Re: COMP/MISC: Upload subjective time, baby universes, quantum Moore's law

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Thu, 23 Jan 1997 21:05:28 -0600

In response to Mitchell Porter:

> I asked myself how much *subjective* time would elapse between
> human-equivalence and maximum speed. If there was no ceiling to
> speed, then elapsed time would be infinite, but in practice it's going
> to reach some apex (e.g. a millionfold increase).

1) I don't think there's an upper limit that They can't work around.
2) I've never seen a "limit" little 'ol *me* couldn't work around.
3) Using mathematics to model a Singularity is ridiculous... fun,
but still ridiculous. Figure that your calculations are a lower
limit on how much computation will be done after time X.

> I have no idea what the rate of increase in processor power
> would be once you start making *real* quantum computers, as opposed
> to simulating them.

Really, really large. I've always thought that from even a 32-qubit
processor to nanotechnology (via protein-fold simulation) would be a
fairly small step. I think you'd probably have to figure that the
number of qubits would double every two years, so we now have an
insanely superexponential version of Moore's Law and the main bottleneck
is quantum memory for output and even interim computation. If two
million branches of reality try to write to the same byte, the result is
an "ugly mess", as the saying goes.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.