Re: Real vs. Simulated Ecologies [was: Moravec article available]

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 05:45:11 MDT

"Billy Brown" <> writes:

> > However in the physical world if the VR erasure is mirrored by a physical
> > erasure, that must dissipate heat. The amount dissipated need not have
> > any particular bearing on the amount that the VR person would calculate,
> > though.
> There is no "if" about it. In order to erase a virtual bit in the VR, there
> must be *at least* one real bit being erased in the real world (in fact,
> unless you are extremely clever about how you encode the VR's data there
> will be lots and lots of real bits for every "virtual" bit). So, the VR
> person might not be able to see the energy dissipation, but it still happens
> and it still represents a limit on the amount of computation the VR person
> can do.

What you can do is swap the bit, so that the bit is replaced with a
zero from a big pool of zero bits you happen to have in the
simulation. This pool would correspond to a heat sink, and is of
course not something that can be renewed without dissipation. But the
time and space distance between the virtual and real bit erasures can
be arbitrarily long. One could also imagine the "erased" but stored
bits being used as the results of random number generators elsewhere
in the simulation, putting them into circulation again.

"Captain, we are running out of ones, sir!"

"Damn! We should have refuelled at the latest Dyson. Now we have to
scavenge some silence and negate it."

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:10:27 MDT