[FoRK] Physical limit on total amount of computation vs. Bostrom...

Lucas Gonze lgonze at panix.com
Wed Apr 28 11:53:31 PDT 2004


On Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004, at 14:20 America/New_York, Gordon Mohr 
(personal) wrote:

> Lucas Gonze wrote:
>> On Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004, at 13:38 America/New_York, Gordon Mohr 
>> (PERSONAL) wrote:
>
>>> If I were to run conscious ancestors (or lab
>>> rats or recreational avatars or whatever) inside
>>> a simulation, and I wanted them to take their
>>> "universe" at face value, I might very well make
>>> its computational-capacity ceiling appear pretty
>>> low, to keep them in the dark as long as I'd
>>> like.
>> Eventually they'd discover the discrepancies you had to allow to 
>> plant that deception.
>
> Why do you think there'd have to be discrepancies? Their ultimate
> and self-consistent truth would be that the universe they reside in
> hits an absolute computational ceiling, by design. No discrepancies
> necessary.

The key is in your word "appear."  Either you could only simulate 
universes with physics that lead to a low computational ceiling -- not 
in appearance but in fact, with the low ceiling designed into every 
constant and law, which would eliminate universes you'd want to 
simulate -- or you would have to allow physics that only appeared to 
lead to a lower computational ceiling, which would entail discoverable 
discrepancies.  In the first case you have unsimulable universes 
because you can't simulate physics without a computational ceiling.  In 
the second case you have unsimulable universes because you can't run 
the simulation past the point where the inhabitants discover it.



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