Since our whole universe may be defined by something as frugal as hundreds of bits of complexity then the fact that there's an upper bound on speed is an interesting thing since it makes locality a very tangible thing, and not just a question of adding some bits of information to define that where in the universe that "locality" is.
"If you want to print out just Earth by itself, then it's not enough to specify the laws of physics. You also have to point to just Earth within the universe. You have to narrow it down somehow. And, in a big universe, that's going to take a lot of information."
Would it do good to use something like sentience quotient, the quantity of bits per second per kg of matter a system can process, to assess the efficiency of a system ?
Of two systems having the same preferences, and the same sentience quotient, but whose optimization power isn't the same, one must then have a more efficient, smarter way of optimizing than the other ?
As for cross domain optimization, I don't see offhand how to mathematically charaterize different domains - and it is possible to define arbitrary domains anyway I think -
but if you have a nonrandom u, and are niverse, or environment, and are adapted to it, then if following your preferences you want to use all the information available locally in your environment, in your past light cone, you can only predict the course of your actions faster than will the universe given the implementation of physical laws upon matter if you can non destructively compress the information describing that environment; I guess, this works in any universe that has not reached maximal entropy, and the less entropy in that universe, the faster your speed for predicting future events will be compared to the speed of the universe implementing future events.
If you can't do that, then you have to use destructive compression to simplify your information about the environment into something you can manageably use to compute the future state of the universe following your actions, faster than the universe itself would implement them. There's a tradeoff between speed, simplicity, and precision, error rate in this case.
Just my immediate thoughts.
When I first came across Eliezer's writings, it struck me that what I read felt so true to me, that for the first time I felt like I had found someone I could relate to.
I have been avidly reading everything from him I could come across, as long as it "felt" right, which was often. With time I noticed that we didn't think in the same way, and it felt to me Eliezer was much more rational, scientifical, structured, than I was.
I immediately felt that the desirable thing to do would be to read even more of him, so as to "absorb" those traits in me, which would be an advantage; as if reading again and again his writings would slowly diffuse a part of his thinking into me. I know I'm that suggestible, especially if I don't put safeguards between people's ideas and me.
And with time I have felt like a part of me was changing, that I was losing a bit of what made the good old "intuitive", messy me, and gained some of what I identified as rationality, systematic reasoning.
Before I would be aloof, would oversimplify any problem, and would follow my any emotions knowing somehow they were right most of the time, and helped me win at what I did. With the knowledge I gained here, I couldn't ever have that much confidence in my own raw drives and intuitions.
It sometimes feels like plugging incompatible software into my self, and messing the whole for as long as I possess both ways of thinking/feeling. But I think it is worth it, else I wouldn't have done it.
"To physically play out this sequence would require many more pebbles than exist in the universe. Does it make sense to ask if the Goodstein sequence which starts with the length of this line of pebbles, "would halt"? Does it make sense to talk about the answer, in a case like this?
I'd say yes, personally."
On the other hand you're an infinite set atheist. How do you make a difference between those two cases ? In neither can it be said the process can exist in the physical universe, which is all there is.
Does it makes more sense just because "infinite" really seems too, too big, while the Goodstein sequence merely seems "big" ? None can exist in the physical universe, that is their similar property. Is that property, of physical implementation, and physical observation, not all that matters in the end ?
Same with the concept of a spaceship that'd disappear through the cosmological horizon of an expanding universe, can't have any causal effect anymore, but still exists.
Can you explain, why, how, is it that you feel confident that those processes do in one case still make sense, yet not in the other ? In a technical way.
" the future will be even less different from the present than the present."
" the future will be even less different from the present than the present from the past."
"Would you kill babies if it was inherently the right thing to do? Yes  No "
"Imagine that you wake up one morning and your left arm has been replaced by a blue tentacle. The blue tentacle obeys your motor commands - you can use it to pick up glasses, drive a car, etc.
How would I explain the event of my left arm being replaced by a blue tentacle? The answer is that I wouldn't. It isn't going to happen. "
If morality was objective and it said we should kill babies, we'd have, and likely want to do it. Appears it isn't objective, though, and that we just don't feel that way. Another question ?
"My impression is that homosexual male romance is much less confusing than heterosexual romance and that homosexual female romance may the most confusing of the three."
Not at all. From an insider perspective, it appears confusing and jumbled too. Can't tell how much more or less confusing than heterosexual romance, since I lack that bit of information.
There may also be the fact homosexuality has long been, and is still to some extent, taboo, rife with self denial, prejudices, shame, etc., which perhaps could have made it, and the associated romance more confusing than what it could have been for the partakers. Then again, the same would be true of heterosexuality for as long as it has been subjected to the burden of puritan and judeo christian morality.
Question : money derived from those ebooks, goes it to the singularity institute ? In other words, is buying one of these equivalent to donating money to the institute ?
Noether's theorem links symmetry to conservation laws. If you have an asymmetry in your causality, then you don't have conservation of energy anymore.
An exemple of such a system is Conway's game of Life, where you cannot always deduce the past state of the board from its future state. The sum total of all cells values in a Life board isn't constant over different time slices either, so no conservation there.
Is it possible that on that one you're still attached to one of those comfortable fuzzy thoughts ? Is there for instance a(n emotional) reason to value an universe in which there is causality over one where there isn't ?