Re: Paths to Uploading

Anders Sandberg (
05 Jan 1999 23:33:46 +0100

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> writes:

> Nature has had billions of years to thoroughly exploit and deepen every
> possible quirk that could be used for computing power.

Nature doesn't optimize for computing power, it optimizes for survival. Instead of making much better neurons it makes more of them. It certainly exploits a lot of odd properties, but we don't know how odd yet. Ephaptic influences (where paralell axons induce synchronization by electromagnetic induction) are right now at my outer edge of weirdness in the CNS; I don't believe in it, but it could be possible.

> Roger Penrose
> thinks that the fundamental units of computation are microtubule dimers,
> which would put the brain at 10^26 ops/second. He furthermore
> speculates that the brain uses quantum computing. I'm not sure I
> believe (guess-that) either, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

I would be surprised, since the noise levels in the brain are far too high for microtubuli coherence and computation to make any real difference.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y