> At the risk of digressing...
I don't think that that's possible on the Everything list by definition!
> Here are two questions to ponder:
> Can the entire collection of minds (human at least) that exists be
> simulated as one computer? That is, is it possible to design a
> computer such that it behaves exactly like the whole of "intellectual
> existence" does?
If we limit "intellectual existence" to everything in the Earth's
noosphere (Pere de Chardin's term for all human thought), then
the answer is "yes, but not yet".
The crust of the Earth contains vast, vast amounts of material
necessary for fabricating computers, possibly even computronium.
(I'm sure wikipedia or someone discusses "computronium" on-line
if you've not seen those discussions.)
Hence in future centuries all human thought circa 2005 will be
emulable on a computer. It's supposed that compute-densities
will be reached that will be so great that a mere cubic meter
of material may suffice!
Being more specific: intelligences vastly greater than today's
might possibly as soon as 2200 A.D. be in a position to design,
if they wanted to, a cubic meter of computing material that
would simulate the thoughts of everyone currently living in 2005.
> conversely, is it possible to bring together currently existing minds
> to behave exactly like a HUGE computer? (this question has a much more
> practical and "sinister" motive)
So you're saying... that if everyone gets on the net... and is GE
enhanced enough to be of IQ 200 or so... then the entire 8 billion
of us might constitute the thinking of a single great being...
Nah. I tried, but I couldn't quite believe it. I love the part about
this being a sinister idea, though. Would you care to elaborate?