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cousin_it comments on That Alien Message - Less Wrong

111 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 May 2008 05:55AM

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Comment author: cousin_it 11 May 2012 04:36:46PM *  2 points [-]

It's an interesting question. I have a vague intuition that one of the reasons for evolution's awesomeness is that it optimizes using physics on all scales at once, where a human engineer would have focused on a more limited set of mechanisms. Protein folding in our universe is already pretty hard to simulate. In a more computationally capable universe, I'd expect evolution to push the basic machinery even further beyond our ability to simulate. No idea if the intuition is correct, though.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 11 May 2012 06:35:38PM *  2 points [-]

Is protein folding doing some useful computational work? I mean, in a different universe, why couldn't it be replaced by a computationally much cheaper process without affecting the overall course of evolution?

Comment author: cousin_it 12 May 2012 11:03:41AM *  3 points [-]

I'm out of my depth here, but protein folding acts as an interpreter for DNA, and giving your interpreter a lot of resources seems to make evolutionary sense.

ETA: really, please disregard, I'm confused about the whole topic and shouldn't have started talking.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 12 May 2012 06:43:44PM 1 point [-]

It seems to be an idea that's worth investigating further, but you do have a tendency to occasionally "jump the gun" when criticizing others and use words like "Nope" and "Ouch" that seem to indicate more confidence than you ought to have. Not a big deal since you realize your mistakes very quickly, but I wonder if you see this trend yourself.

Comment author: cousin_it 12 May 2012 09:53:35PM *  3 points [-]

Yes, I see that trend and sometimes try to correct for it, but apparently not enough. Thanks.