Open question: are minimal circuits daemon-free?

I am interested as well. Please share the docs in question with my LW username at gmail dot com if that is a possibility. Thank you!

Could we send a message to the distant future?

This was my thought exactly. Construct a robust satellite with the following properties.

Let a "physical computer" be defined as a processor powered by classical mechanics, e.g., through pulleys rather than transistors, so that it is robust to gamma rays, solar flares and EMP attacks, etc.

On the outside of the satellite, construct an onion layer of low-energy light-matter interacting material, such as alternating a coat of crystal silicon / CMOS with thin protective layers of steel, nanocarbon, or other hard material. When the device is constructed, ensure there are linings of Boolean physical input and output channels connecting the surface to the interior (like the proteins coating a membrane in a cell, except that the membrane will be solid rather than liquid), for example, through a jackhammer or moving rod mechanism. This will be activated through a buildup of the material on the outside of the artifact, effectively giving a time counter with arbitrary length time steps depending on how we set up the outer layer. Any possible erosion of the outside of the satellite (from space debris or collisions) will simply expose new layers of the "charging onion".

In the inside of the satellite, place a 3D printer constructed as a physical computer, together with a large supply of source material. For example, it might print in a metal or hard polymer, possibly with a supply of "boxes" in which to place the printed output. These will be the micro-comets launched as periodic payloads according to the timing device constructed on the surface. The 3D printer will fire according to an "input" event defined by the physical Boolean input, and may potentially be replicated multiple times within the hull in isolated compartments with separate sources of material, to increase reliability and provide failover in case of local failures of the surface layer.

The output of the 3D printer payload will be a replica of the micro-comet containing the message payload, funneled and ejected into an output chute where gravity will take over and handle the rest (this may potentially require a bit of momentum and direction aiming to kick off correctly, but some use of magnets here is probably sufficient). Alternatively, simply pre-construct the micro-comets and hope they stay intact, to be emitted in regular intervals like a gumball machine that fires once a century.

Finally, we compute a minimal set of orbits and trajectories over the continents and land areas likely to be most populated and ensure there is a micro-comet ejected regularly, e.g., say every 25-50 years. It is now easy to complete the argument by fiddling with the parameters and making some "Drake equation"-like assumptions about success rates to say any civilization with X% coverage of the landmass intersecting with the orbits of the comets will have > 25% likelihood of discovering a micro-comet payload.

The only real problem with this approach is guaranteeing your satellites are not removed in the future in the event future ancestors of our civilization disagree with this method. I don't see a solution to this other than through solving the value reflection problem, building a defense mechanism into the satellites that is certain to fail -- as you start getting close to the basic AI drive of self-preservation and will anyway be outsmarted by any future iteration of our civilization -- or making the satellites small or undetectable enough that finding and removing them is economically more pain than it is worth.

How to intro Effective Altruism

To not support EA? I am confused. Doesn’t the drowning child experiment lend credence to supporting EA?

Decision theories as heuristics

I down-voted this comment because it is a clever ploy for karma that rests on exploiting LessWrongers' sometimes unnecessary enthusiasm for increasingly abstract and self-referential forms of reasoning but otherwise adds nothing to the conversation.

Twist: By "this comment" I actually mean my comment, thereby making this a paraprosdokian.

Open thread, 16-22 June 2014

I am an active github R contributor and stackoverflow R contributor and I would be willing to coordinate. Send me an email: rkrzyz at gmail

Timeless Control

So you are saying that explaining something is equivalent to constructing a map that bridges an inferential distance, whereas explaining something away is refactoring thought-space to remove an unnecessary gerrymandering?

Skills and Antiskills

It feels good knowing you changed your mind in response to my rebuttal.

Skills and Antiskills

I disagree with your preconceptions about the "anti" prefix. For example, an anti-hero is certainly a hero. I think it is reasonable to consider "anti" a contextually overloaded semantic negater whose scope does not have to be the naive interpretation: anti-X can refer to "opposite of X" or "opposite or lacking of a trait highly correlated with X" with the exact choice clear from context.

LessWrong as social catalyst

I got a frequent LessWrong contributor a programming internship this summer.

Tricky Bets and Truth-Tracking Fields

It is as if you're buying / shorting an index fund on opinions.

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