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A Dream of Brahma

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   In India they say, that our world
is but a Dream of Brahma. Modern
technology shows us the "Why" of it.
  
   The Moore "law" workes well over halve a century without glitch;
even longer, than past from the day this empiric rule was discovered
by one of the fathers of IBM. He predicted, that the density of the
computer chip would double every year and halve. As the resault,
computers become smaller and faster. Today, after some sixty plus
years of the IT development the generic PC hardware workes over
ten in power nine(billion) FLOPS(float operations per second at
thirty two bit word currently).
Should the Moore law hold for a century more; some 150 years
after the first computer was build generic PC shall outrace it
in two in power hundreed times, which is more than ten in power
thirty. I don't know the name for a number that big. The Avogadro
number - number of atoms in one mole(the weight of one mole equels
the atomic weight of the element) is some millione times smaller
than that.
What does that processing power actually mean? All the implications
are hard to imagin... Lets start from the simple examples:
- In mathematics we'll be able to model in real time stohastic
processes. The computer would be able to run a rude real time simulation
of the processes, described by the chaos theory and discover the new
laws of this theory empirically, by the brute power. Once discovered,
thouse laws would be in turn applied to make the furver simulations
more efficient. Its a classical example of the recursion.
We'll be able to calculate qualities of any imaginable molecula and
develop the Know-How of its production as a matter of seconds on
generic PC. The material with any reasonable required characteristics
may be constructed in reasonable time. Supercomputer would be able to
model a fenotype of the living creature with given genotype in seconds
and construct the genotype for the given fenotype of the living creature
in a resonable time. Evolutionary programming would "evolve" you better
chips and machinery without the human intervention. All of it may be done
by the brute power, without any real computer intelligence.
Any "general" learning computer intelligence rises hard evolutional
quations for humankind. You see, while its incredibly defficalt to
program it to be as smart as an average human being, its imposible than
to stop it from surpassing it. Hardware progress and apgreadability
would soon put us out of competition. May you put efficient limitations
on someone much smarter, than yourself? Sounds like an attempt to play
a game, which rules are beyond your comprehention by definition - an
excersize in futility. May be cyborgs are our only viable path to the
survival on the next step of evolution of intellect. But let me stray
no farver off topic :). Even without computer intelligence, to the end
of this century our technology may well reach an immagenary "super-
civilization" threshfold.
Yes, we may remain as far from reachin stars as now, but became able
to model, emulate whole civilizations as "real" as we wish on our
computers. S/F writers usually imagine it other way around...
But why would such a "subsupercivilization" build a lot of virtual
space? I suppose, it'll start from the scientific research - applied,
as well as academic. The standart building blocs(classes, components,
libriaries, etc.) would be developed. Ph.D., D.Sc., M.Sc, B.Sc. would
be awarded. Video games, education, research - all would converge to
the virtual worlds.
If there are no way around Einshtein we'll reach longevity without
any ability to spread the bulk of population to stars at all... We'll
need virtual space, just not to go nuts from the absence of the real
one! Just immagine yourselve the combination of the demigod's level
technology and a few square metres to exersize your godlike powers
in. :)
All of a sudden it looks really probable, that technology centered
civilization on its way to became a supercivilization builds about
as many virtual words, as it does have "citizens". And the process
is recursive too!
So, what are the chances, that our world is "real" and not a
semester work of some student or the favorite toy of some child?
"A Dream of Brahma" indeed!
   Mark
  

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