Re: Balance of power was Re: Can't afford to rescue cows

From: Byrne Hobart (
Date: Wed Apr 23 2008 - 05:29:41 MDT

On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 6:47 AM, William Pearson <>

> Currently what your PC does is entirely under your control or another
> humans (your can always reformat to another OS, if you dislike
> windows). I think it likely that most silicon compute power will
> become slaved to human desires at least to start with, due to
> economics. It would be as if the silicon was an external part of the
> brain.

It is important not to be too wishful, here. Once computer systems can
modify themselves and spread, the ones most adapted to growth will spread
the fastest. We might 'control' them in the same way that a pet-owner
controls a dog -- one party pays for food, shelter, and health care, and in
return the other party does roughly what it would do anyway. In a computing
context, this could work if a computer were able to, for example, rope lots
of humans into paying for new hardware, and persuade them to lend it other
resources, in which case it would devote a tiny fraction of its resources to
amusing them in characteristic ways.

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