Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Harking back to a much earlier sub-topic of this thread, physicists may have just definitively proved that we are not living in a simulation.

 

This is way beyond my ability to critically asses the case, but here it is: Physicists Find we're not living in a computer simulation.

 

Just in case it’s been weighing on your mind, you can relax now. A team of theoretical physicists from Oxford University in the UK has shown that life and reality cannot be merely simulations generated by a massive extraterrestrial computer.

The finding – an unexpectedly definite one – arose from the discovery of a novel link between gravitational anomalies and computational complexity.

In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, Zohar Ringel and Dmitry Kovrizhi show that constructing a computer simulation of a particular quantum phenomenon that occurs in metals is impossible – not just practically, but in principle.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They've found that a simulation of particular effect is exponential is the number of particles participating.
Thus, concluding it will be impossible to simulate a large number of such particles.

But, Quantum computers in theory can work with exponential time:
https://cs.stackexchange.com/questions/12892/quantum-computers-parallel-computing-and-exponential-time

Thus, if our simulators have access to those computers, they can simulate those kind of interaction in linear time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rather than celebrate, I find this depressing. Call me crazy, but I think we should be massively investing in promising new tech whether genetic engineering or extreme computing for the betterment of humanity's prospects. That's a worthy goal. It shouldn't be that the only way to invest any real resources into promising tech is because of an "arms race". Why are we sitting around on our behinds while "China" or whoever is "racing ahead"? We should be massively investing in science and technology to begin with, not wait fort the "Soviets", "Nazis", "Japan" "China" and threat du jour before we do what we should be doing routinely anyway. The fact that we can only conceive of investing in cutting edge science if it has military application is why we end up with substantial portions of publicly funded science going into the department of defence and then the DOD funds this or that study at a university if it strikes their fancy. Meanwhile science budgets are starved of funds (just look up at current budget proposals). Bass ackwards.

 

Cut the military budget by 90% and re-assign the money to science, infrastructure and education, so we have a stronger economy and can afford more science funding, and eliminate tax loopholes for religion/churches and other scams. Because it is not bombs or bibles that will save us, but science (if that). 

 

Why does this sound utterly unrealistic, though it is in fact completely commonsensical? Politics. The same forces that brought us Trump, and have been with us since the dawn of time, the regressive/superstitious/irrational tendencies in humanity. We either overcome it, or we are doomed as a species. All academic to anyone on this board, of course, as we're all going to be dead long before the reckoning. But sad for what human civilization could have been. File under "that's why we can't have nice things". 

Edited by TomBAvoider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d be fine with the DoD budget being cut by 90%, but it really doesn’t matter who does the R&D nor is DoD work going to be military restricted.

 

https://www.darpa.mil/about-us/timeline/modern-internet

 

p.s. Not sure why you want to drag religion through the mud in a thread about the singularity but it would make for an interesting new thread. Many studies point to the benefits with regard to health, happiness, and longevity.

The Important Relationship Between Faith and Longevity

http://lifeandhealth.org/readandwatch/live/faith-and-longevity/14428.html

 

Making Sense of Extreme Longevity: Explorations Into the Spiritual Lives of Centenarians

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3489187/

 

Going to church could help you live longer, study says

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/16/health/religion-lifespan-health/index.html

 

Of course the flip side of that is that if everyone believes paradise awaits them after death, there is little to no incentive or mass appeal to the ideas of radical life extension so faith may be a detriment to progress. I’m not convinced of that argument though, I think most people would favor eliminating disease and suffering if possible, which essentially means ending aging.

Edited by Gordo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While darpa funds dual use research, and there certainly are civilian applications from a lot of that research, it is far more efficient to fund science directly, without going through the filter of DOD - it's not as if DOD maps exactly to all science research in a venn diagram - and if it did, it would be a redundant hoop to jump through - why just not fund directly. But the fact remains that the primary mandate of the DOD is to fund military related research - civilian applications are a happy byproduct and definitely a *subset* of all research money going to the DOD. I prefer science to be funded without the distorting lens of military applications.

 

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/trumps-science-health-budget/519768/

 

"In the Department of Energy, nuclear weapons spending gets a boost to the detriment of renewable energy. The budget would eliminate Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which has given out $1.5 billion to 580 high-risk, high-reward projects in renewable energy and efficiency since 2009."

 

I prefer not to devote funds for f.ex. more nuclear weapons (we have enough) at the cost of civilian high-risk, high-reward scientific projects.

 

As to religion - there is no mystery as to why I brought it up, indeed, I stated so outright. In this context it was strictly based on economics. Any entities that are exempt from paying income taxes are in effect subsidized by the other taxpayers. That being so, one has the right, as a taxpayer (I am one) to ask what are we getting in exchange for this burden. It is my personal opinion (everyone has an opinion!) that on balance it's a bad deal for our society and any goals of making progress through scientific research. If they had to pay taxes, there would be more money to fund research, f.ex. life-saving research. I'd rather pay to find a cure for cancer through tax funded research than subsidize religious businesses and money making ventures. I don't think the "why" is much of a puzzle: I based that on the observation that more scientific progress has been made by funding research than funding bibles. Of course, that's just my opinion, and others my claim the opposite. 

Edited by TomBAvoider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/25/2017 at 3:10 AM, Gordo said:

Of course the flip side of that is that if everyone believes paradise awaits them after death, there is little to no incentive or mass appeal to the ideas of radical life extension so faith may be a detriment to progress. I’m not convinced of that argument though, I think most people would favor eliminating disease and suffering if possible, which essentially means ending aging.

I believe that the attachment to one own's body and present state of existence is enough to prompt life-extension strategies, regardless of the concept of paradise (but there always is the possibility of hell!).

I agree upon the positive aspects of religious belief, even though TA made it clear that he cited the religious aspect as pertinent to thetax  funds available for research.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, mccoy said:

I believe that the attachment to one own's body and present state of existence is enough to prompt life-extension strategies, regardless of the concept of paradise (but there always is the possibility of hell!).

I agree upon the positive aspects of religious belief, even though TA made it clear that he cited the religious aspect as pertinent to thetax  funds available for research.

 

I didn't want to go on that tangent but I would argue that dropping the non-profit status of churches or other organizations would have little impact on tax receipts. They would just reorganize as an s-Corp, the same as millions of small businesses across America - and maybe people don't know this, but s-corps don't pay federal taxes either. There is good reason for that, the net income is passed through to employees, and employees pay the taxes on their income just like everyone else. The same already exists for non-profits today (if you think people who work at non-profits don't pay taxes, you are wrong). Very few people itemize deductions anymore since the standard deduction is so high, only 12% itemize, so the impact from that standpoint is also miniscule. 

At any rate, if congress wanted to fund more research, they could, but it seems they'd rather blow the budget on Medicare, medicaid, social security and defense. 

Edited by Gordo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×