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gjm comments on A Roadmap: How to Survive the End of the Universe - Less Wrong

7 Post author: turchin 02 July 2015 11:01AM

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Comment author: gjm 02 July 2015 01:29:26PM 7 points [-]

This is kinda fun, but it seems to me to fall far short of its stated goal:

The purpose of this roadmap is to prove that real immortality is possible

(The above is from the footer of the diagram; the post above says "... of this plan ..." instead.) It falls short because what it does is to list dozens of things we might be able to try but for none of them (so far as I can see) do we know that it's actually possible.

In some cases ("Merge with the universe", "Jump to eternal chaotic inflation level", "We live in a simulation and find a way to persuade its hosts not to disable it", ...) you could equally say "Solve the problem using magic". Others at least seem meaningful and might even be possible. But I didn't see anything in the list that there's good reason to think is actually possible, nor even a set of things in the list for which there's good reason to believe that at least one is possible.

Comment author: turchin 02 July 2015 04:25:28PM *  0 points [-]

By the word "possible" I meant not that immortality is warrant, but that we should not consider the end of the universe as ultimate end until we explore all options to fight with it. There are many directions to explore and we have billions of years to do it (I hope). Some of this direction are listed on the map. Probably hundreds more will be found in the future.

I also think that ideas you mentioned are more sound than just magic. For example "merge with universe" means that all matter in the universe will be converted into computronium and there will be no difference between super AI and universe itself. It may be achieved if universe is basically some kind of computational process itself, as digital physics suggests.

Eternal inflation is physical process (dark energy is visible part of it) and it may be used for calculations or for deliberate creation of desired universe. If we find the ways to control dark energy we will be there. It may sounds crazy, but in the beggining of 19 century no body knows that magnetism may be created artificially using electricity.

If we live in simulation... Personally I think that we are. It is plausible and rational to think that we may live in simulation as Bostrom showed. EY showed that strong AI could find the ways to break from any box including simulation.

So while most of ideas looks wild, they are more sound than just magic.

In 19 century the end of Sun seemed to mean inevitable end of the humanity. It was already known that Sun will burn out soon (but timing was wrong - they thought that the Sun gets its energy from contraction and could shine only around 30 mln years). Now we even do not need to discuss it - it is clear that humanity could escape from the Sun using star travel or geo-engineering.