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 > > > > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/group/everything-list. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.