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Why down votes and a statement that I am wrong because I misunderstood.  

This is a mean spirited reaction when I lead with admission that I could not follow the argument.  I offered a concrete example and stated that I could not follow the original thesis as applied to the concrete example.  No one took me up on this.  

Are you too advanced to stoop to my level of understanding and help me figure out how this abstract reasoning applies to a particular example?   Is the shut down mechanism suggested by Yudkowsky too simple?

Compute is not the limiting factor for mammalian intelligence.  Mammalian brains are organized to maximize communication.  The gray matter, where most compute is done, is mostly on the surface  and the white matter which dominate long range communication, fills the interior, communicating in the third dimension.

If you plot volume of white matter vs. gray matter across the various mammal brains, you find that the volume of white matter grows super linearly with volume of gray matter.

As brains get larger, you need a higher ratio of communication/compute.

Your calculations, and Cotras as well, focus on FLOPs but the intelligence is created by communication.  

dy/dt = f(y) = m*y whose solution is the compound interest exponential, y = e^(m*t).

Why not estimate m?  

An exactly right law of diminishing returns that lets the system fly through the soft takeoff keyhole is unlikely.

This blog post contains a false dichotomy.  In the equation, m can take any value and there is no special keyhole value, and there is no line between fast and slow.

The description in the subsequent discussion is a distraction.  The posted equation is meaningful only if we have an estimate of the growth rate.  

The missile gap was a lie by the US Air Force to justify building more nukes, by falsely claiming that the Soviet Union had more nukes than the US

This statement is not supported by the link used as a reference.  Was it a lie?  The reference speaks to failed intelligence and political manipulation using the perceived gap. The phrasing above suggests conspiracy.

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