Matryoshka World

Friday, January 21, 2011

A collection of hundreds of predictions from The Futurist magazine

Many interesting predictions covering a number of fields both for the near future and for the longer term.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From Cosmism to Deism

This essay hopes to persuade its readers that science ought to take the notion of deism a lot more seriously. The rise of the artilect in this century makes the notion of a hyperintelligent designer and creator of our universe far more plausible. It suggests the creation of a “hyper-physics” (as distinct from a traditional metaphysics that poses the deepest of questions) that would “investigate” the tree of universes that a branching set of artilects may have created.

From Cosmism to Deism

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Physics of Information Processing Superobjects: Daily Life Among the Jupiter Brains

"In this review, I discuss physical limitations on density, speed, size, energy dissipation and communication, sketching the constraints on very powerful information processing objects."

Daily Life Among the Jupiter Brains

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Galactic gradients, postbiological evolution and the apparent failure of SETI

Here is the abstract of this very interesting paper by Robert Bradbury:

Motivated by recent developments impacting our view of Fermi’s Paradox (the absence of extraterrestrials and their manifestations from our past light cone), we suggest a reassessment of the problem itself, as well as of strategies employed by the various SETI projects so far. The need for such reassessment is fueled not only by the failure of SETI thus far, but also by great advances recently made in astrophysics, astrobiology, computer science and future studies. As a result, we consider the effects of the observed metallicity and temperature gradients in the Milky Way galaxy on the spatial distribution of hypothetical advanced extraterrestrial intelligent communities. While properties of such communities and their sociological and technological preferences are, obviously, unknown at present, we assume that (1) they operate in agreement with the known laws of physics and (2) at some point in their history they typically become motivated by a meta-principle embodying the central role of information-processing; a prototype of the latter is the recently suggested Intelligence Principle of Steven J. Dick. There are specific conclusions of practical interest to astrobiological and SETI endeavors to be drawn from the coupling of these reasonable assumptions with the astrophysical and astrochemical structure of the spiral disk of our galaxy. In particular, we suggest that the outer regions of the Galactic disk are the most likely locations for advanced SETI targets, and that sophisticated intelligent communities will tend to migrate outward through the Galaxy as their capacities of information-processing increase, for both thermodynamical and astrochemical reasons. However, the outward movement is limited by the decrease in matter density in the outer Milky Way. This can also be regarded as a possible generalization of the galactic habitable zone (GHZ), concept currently being investigated in astrobiology.
Keywords: Astrobiology; Galaxy: evolution; Extraterrestrial intelligence; Physics of computation; SETI

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Computers in just 7 years may operate 100 times faster than the human brain

This article linked at Kurzweil's site suggest computers will continue their exponential growth in processing power in the coming years so that in less than a decade, they will operate at exaflop speeds (10^18 or a quintillion operations per second).

For computers to actually achieve strong AI (intelligence) on a level equalling or exceeding humans, dramatic improvements in AI software would also have to be made. Pure processing power in itself is not enough.