Re: Zones of Thought (was Zindell's _The Wild_)

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 18:57:33 -0600

<It appears that you want only Powers ascribed to Omega, anything less,
any intermediate level (like Jupiter-size brains or gallactic minds) is
"just ridiculous, wildly impossible"!!??>

One hundred percent absolutely correct! The Powers will think faster
than we are, be smarter. How in the world do you imagine that they'll
get to an "intermediate level" and just *stop* there? The essence of the
Singularity is that a smarter being has an increased capacity to invent
still smarter beings; that's why everything goes to infinity.

<Even with the unlimited memory you imply for your Powers (BTW, what
would be the point of having more than one of these all-knowing
beings?), even if they are able to immediately view anything they ever
knew, why should they remember anything that we know now? WE were once
embryos and (most) remember nothing from that time. A galactic brain,
for example, is no more going to 'remember' a single planet than we
'remember' a single cell in our bodies.>

When you see a bear, you don't suddenly conceive of "the bear". You see
a picture of the bear complete with millions of pixels, every one of
which you consciously perceive all at once. I doubt the Powers will
settle for less; why should they?

<<Our sole responsibility is to produce something smarter than we are;
any problems beyond that are not ours to solve.>>

<Rather Deathist I'd say - counting on the children to carry on for
you. It seems like you're saying that, since *you* can't possibly see
*all* then there's no sense in trying to fathom anything.>

No - I'm saying that since *no mortal* can imagine someone smarter - not
more intelligent, but smarter - there's no sense in trying to fathom the

I'm saying that problems which can occur only when transhumans are
already around should be left to transhumans. There's no reason for
mortals to think about those problems or try to solve them with our
inadequate brains, especially when they'll all have such simple and
obvious solutions to the Powers.

Nor is it the children who will carry on: I said "The Powers, our future
selves." But you're right - in a sense it is Deathist, in the sense that
there is a Great Boundary which we need not think beyond. For some, the
boundary is Death - for me, Singularity.

            Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
                 "I'm sorry, my karma ran over your dogma."
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