Re: Brin story in Nature

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sat Mar 18 2000 - 20:46:40 MST

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> Robin Hanson <> writes:
> > David Brin has a short story in the latest Nature,
> > where he mentions the "Great Filter" and names a
> > character after me (sort of).
> >
> > Nature Contents: 16 March 2000
> > 16 March 2000 Volume 404 No. 6775
> >
> Interesting little piece.
> It seems to mirror the non-trivial fact that the set of all possible
> Turing-machine programs is of fairly low complexity (it is trivial to
> write a program that generates all possible programs), but that any
> individual program may be arbitrarily complex - the whole is simpler
> than its parts. If this holds true for the universe (especially in the
> MWI and chaotic inflation scenarios) then omniscience may indeed be a
> problem of the same kind as Brin speaks of.

But would beings that are immortal be so obsessed with death as Brin
describes it? That to me seems significantly improbable, about or at
least of the same difficulty as to expect a rich man to be as stressed
out as a homeless person in finding someplace to spend the night...
Brin's story is basically written from the view of the homeless (i.e.
mortal) person trying to think as if he is in fact rich (immortal).

Mike Lorrey

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