RE: Minds, Machines, and the Multiverse

From: Billy Brown (
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 12:50:05 MDT wrote:
> Billy writes, quoting Hal:
> > Now we're going back to the same idea you ruled out in your
> first paragraph.
> > If a mind is implemented in software you already have complete
> control over
> > its 'reality'. There is nothing you can do by putting it in a
> VR that you
> > couldn't just do directly. There may be advantages of convenience or
> > flexibility in the VR approach, but a more direct implementation of any
> > given trick will always run faster and cost less energy.
> If you're living in the real world, you're interacting with the
> real world.
> You can't rewind the real world.
> If you're living in a virtual world, you're interacting with the virtual
> world. You can rewind the virtual world and this gives you opportunities
> to save energy. That's the difference.

You don't need to 'rewind the real world' to reverse a computation. All you
need to do is reverse the data manipulation that was done inside your
computer. It doesn't matter whether those bits represented data in a VR,
sensory input from the physical world, short-term memory inside the upload's
mind, or anything else you want to use them for. The physical mechanism is
the same in any case, and so are the limits on what can and can not be done.

Besides, reversible logic doesn't operate like this anyway. The reversals
would be implemented at a very low level of the hardware, and would be
invisible at higher levels of abstraction. The only way for a mind to tell
whether the hardware it runs on uses normal or reversible logic is to read
the manual.

Billy Brown

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