Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 14:00:57 MST

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> You have to keep in mind an MBrain can run the entire
> mental thought capacity of "humanity" from the dawn
> of Homo erectus until now in a few microseconds.
> You can run many instances of the entire history of
> humanity from the beginning to the end without much trouble.

Yes, but why bother to run it at that level of detail? Humanity isn't all
that complicated, despite our bred-in vanity. There are enough
higher-order regularities in civilization to completely obviate the need
of running complete individual lives, and besides, what does an MBrain
care about the subject anyway?

It's nice to think that human civilization is so complex and endlessly
fascinating that it can only be understood by simulating it repeatedly and
on the biological level, but I'd actually peg the level of intelligence
required for complete understanding as being transhuman (not even
superintelligent, say 5x to 50x human computation), with the number of
interacting chunks needed to understand a civilization at around twenty to
a hundred thousand, and the number of interacting chunks needed to
understand a human mind as being around a thousand. Again, out of range
for human seven-plus-or-minus-two cognition, but not *that* far out of

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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