RE: SI Comparative Advantages [was Re: Free Will]

O'Regan, Emlyn (
Wed, 18 Aug 1999 12:42:25 +1000

> > O'Regan, Emlyn <> wrote:
> > ah, if you have gone to the trouble of becoming an SI, why would you
> > then snooze on the job?
> The same reason that predators (lions/cats) at the top of their
> evolutionary niche sleep 12-16 hours/day -- because there is
> nothing better to do!
A whole universe, an M-brain, and there's nothing better to do? Come on! Felines sleep 12-16 hours a day because they are bozos. Imagine, with all that mental power at your command, and physical power over the universe. Wouldn't you spend time thin

> > There's always something you can do with CPU/brain time.
> Yes, you can always run the VR for the uploaded minds.
> The trick of it is, since all of their senses are fed
> in anyway, they have no way of knowing whether they
> have been suspended for 1000 years and are just being
> fed 1000 year old pictures of the universe! I envision
> an interesting game of cat & mouse -- the SI "scheduler"/
> sensory management subroutine attempting to convince you
> that you have been awake the last 1000 years, while you
> (an uploaded mind in a small region of the SI) attempts
> to prove that you have only been given 3 minutes of CPU
> time in the last 1000 years!
> > And wouldn't a permanently awake SI have an advantage over
> > a strategically sleepy one, just because it's thinking more?
> I think it depends on the rate of "challenges". Remember what
> dictates our current longevity -- tradeoffs between energy
> devoted to reproduction vs. energy devoted to maintenence &
> repair. If the rate of challenges/hazard function is "high",
> then thinking more has its advantages. If the rate of challenges/
> hazard function is low, then sleeping may be the preferential
> strategy for survival (think of the mouse vs. the lion). I
> think this works out so that SIs in high density regions
> (stars, other SIs, black holes, etc.) prefer to think, while
> SIs in low density regions prefer to sleep.
OK, while we are constructing the SI's as predators, look at it this way. Imagine that they are all in fierce competition - there can only be one! - which there may be reasons for. Even if a small number of them think this way, the rest must at least adopt a strong self defense stance (I would if I had an SI gunning for me!!!).

Say you stop thinking, and rely on automated (or smaller, slightly less intelligent) subsystems to keep an eye out. Meanwhile, another killer SI (KSI?) is thinking, thinking, thinking... it models your alarm subsystems, works out a way to attack you without alerting you (they are quite clever by definition), and good bye sleepy head! In general I think proactivity is more successful than a reactive stance in a competitive situation.

Why would it do this? Maybe it can examine the corpse, steal the energy reserved for when you next woke up, and continue on it's high-energy strategy, off to nuke the next SI. Meanwhile it's also been able to devote substantial resources to some long term goal, like the fundamental meaning of the universe, or some similar guff.

> > Or do you mean that doing "nothing" means doing entirely internal
> > thinking, ie: not interacting with the outside world, but CPUs at 100%?
> No, if Robert Freitas is correct (in his communications to me),
> that SIs will dismantle Jupiters/brown dwarfs/stars for long term
> fuel requirements, then your rate of fuel consumption is entirely
> self-determined (so you can sleep "between" gas stations).
> In other words you have an entirely "self-controlled" rate
> of fuel consumption, thought rate, heat production/signature.
> If my thinking is more correct, that fuel management is
> "expensive" (from a material resources perspective) for
> "young" SIs, then you want to run "full-out" using all
> of the material/energy resources available, until you
> get to the point where you either (a) have computed
> future paths with a high degree of confidence or (b)
> have computed everything of interest to you and are
> willing to sacrifice the computational resources to
> energy management (fuel tanks, star atmosphere harvesters,
> etc.)
> You always have the ability to turn the CPU clock rate to
> zero, but you don't have the ability to turn off the star
> (and therefore the energy production). So in even a moderately
> engineered system you will radiate heat (and waste energy).
> Only if you go to the trouble of constructing what I call
> Externally Powered SIs (EPSIs), that use materials harvested
> from Jupiters/Brown Dwarfs/Stars, can you completely control
> both the though rate and the waste heat production rate.
Is it possible that SIs will discover that a lower level of processing (dumber self) which is sustainable over longer periods of time, such that the SI is constantly "awake", is more advantageous than short periods of mega-brain activity punctuated by long periods of sleep? Maybe some combination is possible; maybe that is what you might also mean by periods of inactivity - you would instead have periods of comparitive stupidity.

> > I just don't like the idea that SI's work like an office photocopier
> AH, but an office photocopier doesn't rate the "entertainment
> value" or the "survival value" of the material it is copying.
> If, you as an SI had the ability to judge these factors, then
> presumably you would optimize your operations to maximize
> these values.
> Robert
I still don't like it. I can sleep 12-16 hours a day now if I am so inclined (not really, but that's out of choice too). Why would I transcend to (S^N)I-hood, just to go for a trans-galactic snooze?

Emlyn (the milky way really *is* a huge line of speed for SIs).

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