Re: PHYSICS/SPACE: Legitimate time travel proposal

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sat May 19 2001 - 14:39:37 MDT wrote:
> If it looks like optical FastEthernet traffic coming out from the
> Bose-Einstein condensate portal, do *not* hook it up to the network.
> At least, have the good sense of only connecting this to a sacrificial
> machine. I.e., do not use that machine for anything, ever.</eliezer-mode>
> If the portal is traversable by matter, you're fucked, plain and simple.

There are essentially two possibilities. One is that the portal is to
*the* future, to the Singularity that would otherwise happen, and this
Singularity is Friendly. In this case, a CTC is a
Singularity-accelerating device and we should build one tomorrow, then
plan on keeping it running forever. The second possibility is that the
portal is to *a* future; that the CTC-containing world creates itself to
be maximally self-consistent but with no other influences. In this case,
which Power gets to come into existence has zip to do with Friendliness
and you're screwed. Do not connect the information to a "sacrificial
machine". Do not use the information for *anything*. Don't try to decode
it as Morse. Don't look at it directly. Don't measure it or record it
even on clay tablets. In fact, don't build the damn time machine in the
first place. It's just a long-distance phone call to the Blight.

> As I said, Star Trek this ain't. Time travel is one of the
> "indistinguishable from magic" technology candidates.

Sadly, the Universe doesn't care.

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

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