Re: Singularity: Generation gap

Wei Dai (
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 12:17:42 -0700 (PDT)

On 25 Sep 1997, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> The point is that technological development as a whole also likely
> forms a sigmoid. What we can do is bounded above by the laws of
> physics (whatever they are), which is of course a very high ceiling.
> But there is no way technological development can diverge. Note that
> this does not mean culture, extropy and information can not diverge in
> the long run, but our technology (as relating to the physical world)
> will eventually level off (diminishing returns: yes, you could
> build a better galaxy brain out of eden-particles, but you would need
> all the mass in the universe to make the ridgeways fromblitzer).
> In the long run, the information of our civilization can only
> grow as t^3, due to the finite lightspeed and the Bekenstein Bound,
> at least before the Big Crunch.

But time does not matter if you are immortal. I agree with Anders that
technological development will level off, but what's important in the long
run is whether the ultimate limit of technology bounds the total amount of
computation that can be done before the universe ends (or as time goes to
infinity if the universe does not end). If the answer is no, we don't have
to build a better galaxy brain, we can just simulate one.

My intuition says that the universe is computationally bounded, but
probably this is only because a life-time experience of scarcity has
limited my imagination.