Re: SI: Singleton and programming

Nick Bostrom (
Sun, 22 Nov 1998 23:32:42 +0000

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> One interesting notion is that even if there's a completely unlimited amount
> of computing power, aleph-null flops, the Singularity still might not be
> autopotent. The extent to which current computing power could be extended,
> controlled, consolidated would still be finite. There would be software
> inertia even in the absence of hardware inertia, and there would still be hard
> choices for optimization. One would no longer conserve resources, or even
> intelligence, but choices.

With aleph-null flops, the whole consolidation process could be completed in an arbitrarily short time, just by cranking up the clockspeed of everything, including yourself. Consolidate one millimeter in the first second, another in the next half second and so on. Within two seconds you could have consolidated all of infinity if you do it right.

Of course, measured in subjective time the process could take quite long, unless you find a way to complete it "automatically", i.e. without sentient guidence along the way. (Without sentience, I suppose there would be no subjective time.)

Nick Bostrom Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method London School of Economics