On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 5:51 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 6/21/2011 2:09 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 1:23 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>> On 6/21/2011 9:56 AM, Rex Allen wrote:
>>> And that we start spreading throughout the galaxy, leaping from solar
>>> system to solar system.
>> If any intelligent species spreads through the galaxy, it isn't going to
>> be human. Human life spans are much to short. I recommend my friend
>> Lawrence Crowell's book "Can Star Systems be Explored?"
> Humans as we know them now will likely not explore the galaxy, but
> nothing prevents human intelligence from exploring the galaxy. In the next
> 30 years the equivalent of the average USB stick will have enough memory to
> store a digital representation of your brain. A processor made of carbon
> nanotubes that is 1 inch cube could have enough processing power to emulate
> an entire city worth of humans (100 thousand to 100 million):
> This is how humanity will explore space, should we survive to that stage,
> no in our frail bodies with all their demands for food, recreation, living
> spaces, air, waste processing, sickness, radiation protection, high
> pressured atmosphere, and so on. Instead of having to construct a gigantic
> vessel to house the hydroponics and living spaces for millions of people,
> and all the thick radiation blocking walls surrounding such a massive
> structure, we could fit a million people in the size of a space shuttle, and
> the only requirements of that would be energy production which could be met
> by a nuclear reactor.
> Living in simulated realities of their choosing, people would not be
> bored or run out of things to do, many might forget altogether the fact that
> they are on a space ship. It would also enable them to live for long enough
> periods to travel interstellar distances.
> And will they live, reproduce, and die in this simulation?
They will live, I see no need for them to die. Reproduction is another
issue, at least if there is no death it leads to exponential growth which
will slow down the speed at which everyone else runs (or require
exponentially more resources). If people want the experience of childhood
or parenthood again, the people can arrange such a simulation and each can
take the roles that they want.
> If not, will they not be un-human? And why keep them "living" in the
> simulation? Why not just "wake them up" when they get to a planetary system
> to explore?
What is the point of existing if you are not alive? The simulated minds
don't need to worry about aging, running out of food, etc., so why not
explore conscious while exploring space?
> But if they're just going to explore there's no reason to have them as
> simulated humans in a computer.
The additional reason is to make copies and spread out through the cosmos so
that single events don't lead to extinction. Why leave all the fun up to
robots while we in our flawed biological hardware are stuck on a rock?
They might better be super intelligent Mars Rovers. Of course it will be a
> century or so before they can report anything back. So who's going to send
> them in hope of an answer long after they are dead?
If the simulated humans do the exploration there is no problem of never
living long enough to get back the results.
> So if we do this at all (which I doubt) we will more likely send AI and
> genetic material with the hope that the AI can identify a suitable planet
> and engineer "humans" from the genetic material to create a species of human
> that can live on the planet. It would be essentially a blind casting of
If the technology exists to run minds in computers, we can engineer any
simulated environment of our choosing, the need to go out and colonize other
planets becomes a completely obsolete technique for survival.
You might say, well who would want to live in a computer simulation, but
your life in a simulation can be identical to the one you have already lived
(if you wanted it to be).
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