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Caledonian2 comments on That Alien Message - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Caledonian2 22 May 2008 01:32:21PM 9 points [-]

Humans have an extremely rich set of sensory data - far, far richer than the signals sent to us by the aliens. That is why we are smart enough in the first to be able to analyze the signals so effectively. If we were limited to perceiving only the signals, our minds would have cannibalized themselves for data, extracting every last bit of consumable information from our memories, shortly after receiving the first frame.

Einstein was able to possess a functioning (and better-than-functioning) mind because he had been born into a world with a rich set of experiences capable of sustaining a system that reduces complexity down to basic concepts, and he had been bombarded with data necessary for a neural network to self-organize ever since he had been born.

Upload Einstein's mind into a superfast computer and give him a frame to look at every decade, and he won't eliminate hypotheses at the maximum rate - he'll just go mad and die. Your world of Einsteins is possible only because there's a whole world involved in processing the messages.