Freq/Space smearing, Dirt Beings on the list

Steve Witham (
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 00:29:23 -0400

(Btw, I read and respond to the extropians list in what must seem a very
time-smeared, crypto-scrambled fashion. Sorry if I'm strangely out
of touch....yet, strangely, ah...*prophetic*, yeah, that's it...)

>From: Anders Sandberg <>
>Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 11:20:26 +0200 (MET DST)
>Subject: Re: Hacking the Kernel
>On Wed, 23 Oct 1996, Crosby_M wrote:
>> Moravec suspects that we live in the (Slow-Zone?) 'V world', where
>> volume or space dominates our activities, but there may be more advanced
>> entities dwelling in the 'F world' transform (Transcend?) of our
>> universe where frequency dominates:
>This fits in with platonic materialism (which HM accepts), and Greg
>Egan's ideas in _Permutation City_. Advanced life may exist in a
>distributed fashion across the entire span of spacetime, moving towards
>the (distributed) regions where transcendence is possible.

Anders, what does that last line mean? Also, what's platonic materialism?

I am a little slow on the math here, but aren't wave packets in physics a
lot like wavelets? If so, wouldn't it be possible to pick and choose
between all sorts of basis function sets, not just pure space or pure
frequency? Maybe we (meaning, the computers we download into) could be
reimplemented in more and more spatially smeared, more and more frequency
localized ways. Is time-smearing an independent variable here? Somewhere
I got the impression that this is what "uncertainty" tradeoffs are about,
or is a very close analogy to it... can someone straighten me out (or bend
me, as appropriate)?

Also, wouldn't the "domain" you're localized in determine how you
perceive the multiverse as split into branches, in the multi-worlds view?

The particular application I'm thinking about right now is, er, dirt-
computing. Just realized I haven't really coined a better term for it;
let's try this:

Dirt Computing: using matter to compute, in a way that
looks (at first glance, to some observers at least) like
undisturbed nature, whether motivated by stealth, efficiency,
or other concerns.

(Which points up an interesting thing about current spread-spectrum
communications in this context: Although privacy and pure efficiency are
concerns, the main driving force for it right now is how it lets you
*share space and frequency* more gracefully. "Dirt communications" is
being developed as a method of *peaceful coexistence*.)

If one can choose how to be smeared, then wouldn't all the wacky
wavelet bases be available, too, and pseudo-random ones?

Anyway, if mere spacetime smearing is available, that means civilizations
with a lot of patience could spread themselves more widely and be less
vulnerable to local attacks or sensors. You could also be doing something
that seems to have very sensible circuit diagrams to you, but looks like
dirt to others. That means only the post-singularity physicists, not the
post-singularity computer scientists, have to do impossible things.
I hope those Jupiter-brained nerds appreciate my suggestions.

>From: Lyle Burkhead <>
>Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 01:56:46 -0500 (EST)
>Subject: Great Filter, Low Profile, Cryptocosmology
>For an advanced civilization, advanced enough to live unnoticed
>in the dirt under our feet, it would be a trivial matter to subscribe
>to this list... But if you don't even believe there is an AI on the list,
>there is no use going into THAT question.

I imagine events on our macro time and space scale appear like weather
to the dirties. Predicting our actions is like predicting weather,
dealing with us is like dealing with weather, and watching us is like
watching clouds...
"Oh, there's a horse!"
"That one looks like a castle!"
...only these guys have femtominiturized Jupiter-brains with more detailed
"That one looks kinda like an essay on cryptocosmology, if you
turn your head sideways and squint a little..."
"Wow, yeah!"


"It just keeps going and going and therefore you yourself have to keep
going and going." --Energizer Bunny researcher