On Monday, February 12, 2018 at 5:08:46 PM UTC-6, John Clark wrote:
>
> On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 1:36 PM, Lawrence Crowell <
> goldenfield...@gmail.com <javascript:>> wrote:
>
> *​> ​We are faced with a number of prospects. The first is there is some 
>> limit to complexity that any intelligent being can manage.*
>>
>
> The smarter something is the more complexity it can handle
> ​
> ,
> ​ 
> so If 
> ​a​
>  Jupiter Brain was approaching
> ​ 
> such a limit
> ​ 
> that would give it motivation to add to its brain hardware.
> ​ 
> And besides,
> ​ 
> a Dyson Sphere would be big but not particularly complex, it would be less 
> complex than a modern computer chip because unlike the chip a sphere is 
> symmetrical so one part of it is just like another
> ​
> . Once you figure out how to makes one square meter of
> ​ 
> a Dyson Sphere
> ​ 
> you just keep doing the same thing over and over till its done.
> ​
>
> But if its so simple why haven't we already built one? Because 
> we don't have 6.02*10^23 arms so we can keep doing the same thing 
> ​over and over ​
> and be done before the sun burns out
> ​;​
> but with self reproducing nano
> ​-​
> machines we can have as many arms as we want. 
>

The basic rule of computers which I think holds for technology in general 
is that it may do what you have designed it to do, but that may not be what 
you want it to do. Even if you have a mole of nanobots doing things, who is 
keeping track of them to make sure they are doing what you want? And even 
if you have that massive computing system who is keeping track of the 
algorithms to make sure it is doing what you want and so forth. In fact 
this becomes Turing's thesis on the impossibility of a Universal Turing 
Machine on steroids.

Already we are getting some problematic news with self-driving cars. 
Remember a test driver. or in a way un-driver, was killed not long ago 
because the algorithm failed to react properly to certain conditions. It 
did what it was programmed to do, not what the designers wanted it to do. 
Complexity explodes enormously and the designers become unable to 
understand or control their systems. We have strategic nuclear missiles 
interfaced with ever more complex systems, and in that case a screw up can 
be total. The smart phone, the smart TV, the smart home, the smart car, the 
smart bot in your body that reads our your biometrics, the smart bots that 
gather this data for various purposes the ... . Yeah this shit is starting 
to become disturbing already. Now we may soon be getting planetary climate 
and weather control along with bots that input information into and read 
information out from brains. This is a long way down from hypertech 
involved with controlling a star or a Jovian sized computer. And oh yeah, 
there are a lot of humans who are completely insane, and frankly we have 
put one in the White House.

It may come down to the incomputability of the Kolmogoroff entropy for all 
possible systems. It is similar to trying to define randomness, when 
something that is purely random, say a symbol string, is not data 
compressible within any sort of general algorithm This is a form of the 
Turing thesis or Godel's theorem. In the end this might be the thing that 
kicks us in ass. Since this has some universality to it I might advance the 
plausible conjecture that any possible IGUS/ETI etc in the universe is 
similarly limited. This may then be one reason there are no massive 
astrophysical engineered objects out there; the amount of information 
necessary to build and control such things is far beyond any tractable 
computing system.

LC
 

>   
>
>> *​> ​The second is that intelligent life is extremely rare or maybe we 
>> are the only ones. *
>>
>
> ​The evidence is ​we are the only one, or at least that nobody has ever 
> gotten much further than we have right now.
>  
>
>> *​> ​This seems to go against some general Copernican principle.*
>>
>
> ​The ​
> Copernican principle
> ​ is not a law of physics and in fact its clearly not true. We don't live 
> at a typical time, life has existed for almost 4 billion years but 
> intelligent life for less than a million and technology only a thousand or 
> so and life first left the earth only a few decades ago. We don't live in a 
> typical place either, a typical place only has one hydrogen atom per cubic 
> meter. ​We are lucky enough to live at an extraordinary time in a 
> extraordinary 
> ​place.​
>
> *​> ​The third is the biology itself is some sort of spectacular fluke, 
>> maybe as a hard emergent process, that Earth is the only biologically 
>> active planet in the entire universe.*
>>
>
> ​That could be. The fourth possibility is civilizations always destroy 
> themselves or stagnate and individuals have no interest in doing anything 
> except spending eternity in a electronic crack house.   ​
>  
>
> ​John K Clark​
>
>
>  
>

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