[NTLK] OT: A Future That is a Singularity - Evolution

L.W. Brown lwb at mac.com
Fri Apr 2 11:47:42 EDT 2010

Nicely summarized (no pun intended).

Sent from my ¡Brick...

On Apr 2, 2010, at 2:46, Robert Zimmerman  
<bob_zimmerman at myrealbox.com> wrote:

> Mathematics is most certainly not a human invention.  Sure, our  
> representations of mathematical concepts are invented, but the  
> concepts themselves are discovered.  Arithmetic wasn't invented.   
> Trigonometry, geometry, the calculus of functions; none of them were  
> invented, just described.  It's just like how the laws of physics  
> are not invented, but are instead discovered and given names and  
> approximate written form.
> All of this brings up another huge misconception.  People think that  
> order and patterns represent complexity.  They do not, at least not  
> in the scientific or mathematical sense.  In information theory (the  
> basis of the scientific and mathematical use of the word  
> "complexity"), it is determined by how easily information can be  
> summarized.  Truly random information is the most complex  
> information around because it cannot be summarized or compressed.   
> Intricate order such as is found in an airplane is less complex.   
> Simple order as is found in organisms and cells is even less  
> complex.  The human body is vastly less complex than a 747, largely  
> because it is self-organizing from a single starting cell.  The 747  
> takes vastly more manual intervention to build.  Evolution targets  
> low complexity solutions, because better summarizability means less  
> likelihood of something going wrong.  If something goes wrong  
> enough, the organism is not viable and is not able to reproduce,  
> thereby ending that
> development.
> When reading Ray Kurzweil's books, I always interpreted the  
> Singularity, capital 'S', as the event described earlier.  The idea  
> is that computers will eventually become slightly better at  
> designing other computers than the humans that designed them.  When  
> that happens, the computers will design better computers, which will  
> then design better computers, and so on.  Since a new silicon spin  
> doesn't take much time when you have the design, this could produce  
> rapid increases in computing power.  That much is feasible and the  
> logic is sound.  Whether it would produce thinking machines depends  
> on how you define consciousness and is really beyond the scope of  
> science.  That is religion's domain.
> He is working with a cryptographer's mindset, just accelerated.   
> This goes back to information theory, and specifically linear  
> algebra and algorithmic complexity.  Cryptographers are the kind of  
> people who declare an encryption scheme worthless if it would "only"  
> take a billion years to crack a key rather than ten trillion.  We  
> don't deal with infinities, just very, mind-bogglingly-large  
> numbers.  For example, did you know that an ideal conventional  
> computer would take more energy than is estimated to exist in the  
> galaxy to crack a 256-bit AES key by brute force?  There are faster  
> attacks, but they require massive resources to execute.
> There was also a concept of a singularity, lowercase 's'.  It  
> implied a discovery that changes the foundations of our technology  
> so profoundly that future advancement cannot possible be predicted.   
> An example is the transistor.  It was not simply a faster, smaller,  
> more-efficient vacuum tube.  Instead, it was a leap onto a different  
> path of development.  A machine better able to design future  
> versions of itself than its own designers would be a discovery or  
> invention of this magnitude, but there are others.  Some kind of  
> compact, high-output generator or power store would be another.  The  
> largest limit to our current mobile technologies is the power  
> source.  With a substantially more space-efficient source of power,  
> whole new possibilities would open.  There are doubtless hundreds of  
> others that we would never even consider until we look back on them  
> and ask why nobody ever thought of that before.
> --
> Robert Zimmerman
> On Mar 29, 2010, at 1:18 AM, Jon Glass wrote:
>> On Monday, March 29, 2010, Ryan <newtontalk at me.com> wrote:
>>> Doing some research, I came across an interesting article about a
>>> future that is a singularity through mathematical recursion.
>> You know if you look down railroad track, they also look like they
>> reach a singularity. But they don't. U wouldn't put too much faith in
>> mathematics fo predicting future. Math is descriptive not
>> prescriptive. And what is possible I'm math may not be physically
>> possible. Lastly it is worth pondering that mathematics is 100% a
>> human invention. U think that sometimes it seems the perfect science
>> for that reason alone--it is solely the product of the human mind.  
>> And
>> yes I'm more the philosophical type (intuitive vs analytical) so take
>> what I say with a huge block of salt. ;-)
>> --
>> -Jon Glass
>> Krakow, Poland
>> <jonglass at usa.net>
>> "I don't believe in philosophies. I believe in fundamentals." -- 
>> Jack Nicklaus
>> ====================================================================
>> The NewtonTalk Mailing List - http://newtontalk.net/
>> The Official Newton FAQ     - http://splorp.com/newton/faq/
>> The Newton Glossary         - http://splorp.com/newton/glossary/
>> WikiWikiNewt                - http://tools.unna.org/wikiwikinewt/
>> ====================================================================
>> ---- Content & Policy Scan by M+ Guardian ----
>> Millions of safe & clean messages delivered daily
> ---AV & Spam Filtering by M+Guardian - Risk Free Email (TM)---
> ====================================================================
> The NewtonTalk Mailing List - http://newtontalk.net/
> The Official Newton FAQ     - http://splorp.com/newton/faq/
> The Newton Glossary         - http://splorp.com/newton/glossary/
> WikiWikiNewt                - http://tools.unna.org/wikiwikinewt/
> ====================================================================

More information about the NewtonTalk mailing list