Re: Goals

Anders Sandberg (
18 May 1999 12:49:53 +0200

"O'Regan, Emlyn" <> writes:

> I'm a bit worried about all this talk of Jupiter sized brains (although
> I'm guilty of it myself).
> Wouldn't such a thing be a target? If someone was annoying you who was
> dependent on a Jupiter sized brain, then wouldn't you be tempted to lob
> a couple of fusion bombs at it (sorry all you pacifists out there).

Yes, a huge system is a visible target if there are nasty people around. Whether this is a big problem or not is a function of the number of nasties, the offensive strength they can wield and the defensive strength of the jupiter brain. A complicated problem.

But a jupiter-sized brain is not likely unless there is a strong need for very fast and dense communications. A more likely structure (assuming just molecular nanotechnology) is a cluster of asteroid-sized systems. And distribution, redundancy and error-correction would make it much less vulnerable.

> Also, in my experience, computers have been getting *smaller* as time
> wends its way towards whatever it wends its way towards. While we're all
> doing this "my brain's bigger than yours" stuff, transhumans might be
> more impressed by tiny, weeny little brains. "I've got the new
> google-flops processor(s) running my brain, it's made out of quarks, and
> is the size of the head of a match - oh wait, I've dropped it, hey,
> guys, can you help me find my brain, it's here somewhere, no, don't step
> there, aaarrgghhhh *gurgle*).

:-) Actually, there are a limit to how small brains can become. At the very least Bekenstein's bound on the information density, but more likely due to stuff like quantum noise and physical properties of the materials we can get. And once this is reached, the brains will start to grow. Whether they ever become macroscopic (and somebody can ever afford the luxury of having a jupiter brain for itself rather than distributing across the networks) is another matter.

> Anyway, surely it would play hell with your neck muscles.

"The new Trapezius Pro 2.0 can be customized for all brain models, from the BioClassic to the Chandrasekar. Thanks to its unique neutronium cervical reinforcement and magnetically stabilized fibers it will not be troubled even when visiting high gravity environments."

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