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Comment by mark3 on That Alien Message · 2008-05-22T17:35:52.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Just how fast can they make such deductions? I don't doubt their mad intellectual skillz, but to learn about the world you need to do experiments. Yes, they can glean far more information than we would from the experiments we've already done, but would it really suffice? Might there not be all sorts of significant effects that we simply have not constructed experiments subtle enough to see? You can come up with many theories about proton decay (or whatever) that are consistent with a given set of results at the granularity the "outsiders" can see, but the only way to learn more is to conduct better experiments, perhaps with better tools, and perhaps that take time to run. They might even need time to build the equipment first. OK, good nanotech can make that happen fast. Do the decay rates really match our predictions? It's a rash AI that doesn't at least test its hypotheses.

Comment by mark3 on A Terrifying Halloween Costume · 2007-11-01T18:02:43.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Graham's Number, please, not Yudkowsky's. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham%27s_number