re:Hole in a box

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 02:28:50 MST

On Mon, 18 Feb 2002, Eugene Leitl wrote:

> On Mon, 18 Feb 2002, Damien Broderick wrote:
> > unthinkable. *Throw stuff away into a black hole*? Are they completely *mad*?
> No, if we're talking microsingularity catalyzed conversion of mass to
> energy with 100% efficience.

I think Damien's question does beg the issue however -- if memories
(or thought) require matter to preserve and the low level background
radiation of the universe provides sufficient energy for "computation"
(the Landauer brownian motion can produce computation perspective),
then Damien is correct -- one would never want to dump matter into
a black hole to produce energy. Matter is much more valuable
as a bit storing medium -- not as a source of energy for computation!

Of course we feel in the current era that producing and using the
energy as rapidly as we can is the correct perspective. Perhaps
this is because we are in the era where bits generated per unit
energy consumed exceed bits consumed per unit energy generated.
But will that always be true?

When does the Universe flip to the state when the value of
all "organized" matter exceeds the value of any information
that can be generated by consuming such organized matter?
To put this in terms that people may undersand -- when
will we reach the point of burning French paintings or
Russian novels in the fire "just to keep us warm".

This isn't a "trivial" question -- it is the question of "when"
does extropicness become irrelevant? Of course one can argue
that the "value" of the stored memories is entirely subjective,
so one might always exchange old memories for newer memories that
one considers to be more valuable, in which case it would seem
that one consumes oneself in the neverending search for "perfection".

Since matter = energy and energy is required for thought it would
seem that one is caught between a rock and a hard place in terms
of what one can be -- who one was or who one is -- but not both.

It seems inevitable that we must consume our memories
in order to survive. Not a pretty picture. It perhaps
gives new meaning to a perspective I've always been fond
of -- you must give up everything you are for what you
may become. Is what we may become sufficient?


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