Re: Singularity worship

James Rogers (
Fri, 13 Dec 1996 16:19:36 -0800

> >I know how my computer works, but it still beats me at

> >arithmetic.
>Nobody understands how a computer works, if we did we wouldn't need them for

Wait a minute:

1) I *do* understand, in intimate detail, how a computer produces arithmetic
results on the lowest level. If we didn't, we wouldn't be able to build them.

2) A computer is fast at computation, but doesn't have understanding of the
significance or relevance of the computations it performs.

3) Understanding and practical capability are very different creatures.
Studying art does not make one a great artist. Nor does having carnal
knowledge of arithmetic make you lightning fast at computation.

A Pentium processor can add two numbers faster than it takes an electrical
signal to travel between two neurons. This is a limitation in our hardware,
not in our understanding.

> >the things [Quantum Computers] are SO damned useful and

> >there's no theoretical reason why it shouldn't work.
>I agree that nobody has found a show stopper yet, but there's still a lot we
>don't know about Quantum decoherence, error correction and how to program in
>Quantum logic. At the current rate of progress I think in 5 years, maybe less,
>we'll know for sure if it's possible or not, after that it would just be a
>(very difficult) engineering project and the Universe will never be the same.
>It would make Drexler's Nanotechnology look like the stone age, but I would
>still say there is a 40% chance that such a machine is impossible. Ask me
>again in 5 years.

I thought I read (in Scientific American?) that someone came up with an
error correction protocol for quantum computing. From what I've been
reading, I would give a very high probability to the possibility of quantum
computing. From what I've heard, they are expecting the first elementary
quantum computing structures within 5 years in the laboratory. Practical
application and production: who knows?

-James Rogers