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

Contempt for Meatheads jbone at place.org
Thu Apr 29 09:27:57 PDT 2004

More random speculation:

(1) Assume that the gist of the paper is correct, that there is a 
finite amount of computational capacity in some given volume of space 
given even infinite time.

(2)  Assume that an individual ("Bob") can be implemented in various 
substrates, particularly biological ("in vivo") and artificial ("in 

(3)  Assume that the in vivo implementation is less computationally 
efficient than the in simulo version.  That is, it requires more 
"computation" to achieve the same subjective experience for Bob in vivo 
vs. in simulo.

(4)  Assume that some civilization achieves the technological ability 
to live in simulo.

(5)  In the interest of maximizing the use of the available 
computational capacity available to them, they move en masse to an 
artificial substrate.

(6) Furthermore, they might be compelled to seek out and coerce other 
civilizations in their neighborhood into doing the same thing.

If life itself (life ~= computation) is a finite and nonreplenishable 
resource, then expect "berserkers."  Even in the presence of ethics 
that discourage killing you'll see forced uploads.


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