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RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - Avengium - 05-16-2018

I really like that. Very well thought! Smile


RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - Drashner1 - 05-16-2018

Haven't had a chance to look over your provided links yet, but would like to keep the conversation moving forward and this posts drills down on a lot of elements. So will respond here to specific bits and throw in some more general stuff and hopefully will all work out to the good.

(05-15-2018, 08:28 PM)Roger Wrote: I have seen little-or-no discussion of quantum computing in OA -- no discussion of S1 toposophics requiring building quantum-algorithm speedups of learning, decision, and search algorithms into your mental structure, for example. In fact, from everything I can recall reading on OA, it has sounded like everything up to an S6 is a boring old classical computer (implausible as that sounds), just a very big one with a very sophisticated architecture. In OA, could one have a sophont thoroughly-quantum computer that was "merely superbright", or would any (sensible) design of sophont quantum computer be S1? Conversely, could you have a "purely classical" S1, or would all designs of SI need to have access to quantum speedups (which are really hard to do in biotech, and impossible in unmodified neural tissue)?

You're correct that we make very little mention of using quantum computing in the setting. This is not due to a specific rejection of QC in the setting so much as it being the case that most of us don't fully understand it sufficiently to feel comfortable writing/speculating about it and those of us who do understand it well enough haven't chosen to do the necessary writeups to help us develop that aspect of the setting. If someone (such as yourself perhaps) was willing to help us fold QC and encryption information into the setting in a realistic and (mostly/reasonably) layperson understandable fashion we would likely to happy to do that.

Off the top of my head (And somewhat relating back to your earlier post/question re where the setting falls in terms of encryption), we do have mention of QC being a factor in W-brains (wormhole linked brains - this is based on a RL science paper that Adam Getchell - a physics post doc and formerly active member - send our way) and there is the previously mentioned use of Sarge's watch in the story Dragon's Teeth, also written by Adam.

The upshot of much of this is that the archai can probably break or bypass or otherwise cheat a lot of modosophont/low transapient encryption, but that even the S6 have limits in terms of raw breaking of encryption, meaning that even modos can successfully encrypt messages the gods can't break.

(05-15-2018, 08:28 PM)Roger Wrote: Given that there exist S1 tribeminds made up of modosophonts (and their exoselves, which admittedly could have a little quantum computing power in them), and apparently-all-biological minds up to at least S3 (which admittedly could have quantum implants), I'm guessing that at S0 through maybe S2 or even S3 it's possible to be entirely non-quantum, or at least no more than "I have a quantum calculator/listsearcher/optimizer add-on or accelerator card in my exoself that I use to factor large numbers and search large datasets quickly". But I'm guessing that there's a level somewhere around S3 or S4 or so that simply can't be managed without throwing in at least a significant amount of quantum speedups scattered through your mentality (if we're willing to retconn the Silk God entry a bit), and from there on up, if you're trying to build an all-biological archailect, it better either have quantum computronium mental implants or some sort of biosynthesized computronium capable of doing quantum computing. (Of course, Roger Penrose thinks the human brain is already using quantum computing, but a large proportion of other scientists think this idea is crazy and he should stick to tilings and twistors -- but maybe if you were an archailect you could design biotech that actually did have proteins or small organic chemicals that had well-isolated qbits in them and that could do precise quantum interactions on them to perform quantum computing. Speaking as a physicist, it sounds like an awfully warm wet messy liquid environment for that sort of work, but then that's generally true of biotech. Failing that, you could almost certainly come up with solid-state quantum computronium that could be internally biosynthesized by sufficiently advanced biotech. Or there are synbont or cyborg solutions. So something that looks on the outside like a godwhale might still have some internal quantum computronium.

This all seems reasonable at first blush. Re biotech, the notion of biosynthesized solid state q-tech is perfectly in line with how we describe the more bio-tech heavy cultures in the setting and synbont or cyborg options for pretty much everywhere else is also fine.

(05-15-2018, 08:28 PM)Roger Wrote: I'd probably identify about four levels of quantum integration in a sophont:
0) I'm completely classical
1) I have a quantum calculator/coprocessor/addon that I can run non-sophont quantum algorithms in (or if I'm an S2+ transapient, probably I can run sophonts of no more than about 1/3 of my toposophic level in it that are themselves quantum-level-3)) on demand (its I/O channel to me is classical, but I can probably plug it into an external quantum channel and use it for quantum encrypted messaging) -- I can also use it as a source of quantum randomness rather than having to flip a coin, so if I want to baroquify my actions I can arrange to be truly unpredicatable
2) in addition to 1), while my overall thought processes are still mostly classical, I have a lot of learning/search/decision/optimization processes scattered all through my mental structure, at both high and low levels, that locally use quantum algorithms to achieve significant speedups wherever that's practical, and I have some modules in my mental structure that are specifically designed for running certain useful quantum algorithms in ways that are integrated into (and can even be wrapped around certain small regions of) my otherwise classical thoughts. I can probably factor products of primes in my head as nearly as easily as I could multiply them.
3) my entire mind runs on quantum computronium that's error-corrected, reversible, and nigh-completely-isolated from environmental decoherence. I often run myself inside Grover's algorithm so I can (in effect) explore 1,000,000 different trains of thought in only 1,000 times the time that a single train of thought would take me, and I can perfectly unthink a train of thought back to its initial state with neligible loss of quantum coherence. My mental processes normally emit no heat until I'm done with them (because they're completely reversible until I choose to dump all the ancilliary qbits as heat). To the extent that I can change my own thought patterns I can use any quantum algorithms I like in any level of my mind. I regularly quantum-teleport quantum portions of my internal state from one place to another in my head, and I precache entanglement in advance for doing so. I can play the role of a "a physicist who's not an observer because he's not a classical system" in David Deutsch's two-slit disproof of the "observations by minds collapse the wave function" version of the Copenhagen interpretation, or (given a suitable quantum information channel, or a classical channel and a big-enough supply of pre-shared entanglement) I can act as a subroutine or oracle in a larger quantum algorithm, or as node in a quantum-level-3) group mind. Good luck with using technotelepathy on me unless you are (or have a specialist node that's) both quantum-level-3) and at least a toposophic level higher then me (which is challenging if I'm an SI:3) -- and even then by the laws of quantum mechanics you can't clone my internal state. Quantum mechanical processes and systems seem completely intuitive to me: I can visualize chemistry or understand quantum circuit diagrams intuitively. I live and breath the Feynman sum-over-histories -- and I can compute it in my head. Basically you can't get more quantum than me!

In theory you could have a being of whom almost all the statements in 3) were true but not those in 2) (such as an uploaded human running as a classical process on a large quantum computer, who wasn't in a position to rewrite his internal mental structure to take advantage of quantum algorithms for learning etc), so 2) and 3) are actually independent variables, but in practice I don't think people would often deliberately engineer a transapient for which 3) was true but 2) wasn't -- it's wasteful design once you built and carefully isolated/chilled down all that fancy quantum computronium.

I'm not sure 3) is even practicable for anything as big as an entire S6 or S5, probably even an S4 -- how do you isolate the internal state of an entire cluster, star, or planet from the rest of the universe to the level where not one quantum of relevant uncorrectable information escapes in a significant period? Topological quantum encodings and multi-error-qubit quantum error correction sound like good starts, but still not up to error rates of, say, less than 1 uncorrectable qubit error per gas giant per hour. So I'm guessing the answer is that all archailects are no better (and generally no worse) than 2), since they're just to big for 3) to be practicable. One exception to that is a Tipler oracle -- if your only connection to it is a single comm-gauge wiormhiole, it's proabably not too hard to isolate the system. So an S6 can probably run a quantum-level-3) S5 inside a Tipler oracle.

Lower toposophic level transapients may be a low as quantum-level-1) (or even 0) in odd cases, like purely biological ones or group-minds-on-top-of-purely biological) or as high as 3) (which is kind of a stunt, though an impressive one -- sort of comparable to transavancy: a 3) would be an-often useful addition to a tribemind, or useful as a specialist node in a small archailect), and modosophonts can be any of these (though biological ones are generally 0) or 1))

Various initial thoughts here:

a) Given their rather...fuzzy...relationship with the concept of individuality as we humans generally understand it, archai could easily have hundreds or thousands of quantum computing 'lobes' or sub-selves within their brains that operate at the full #3 level that you describe. They aren't really the 'full' mind of the archailect - but they would be a part of it and would possibly think of themselves as equivalent to the full archai in their own way - or at least definitely a contributing member of the 'orchestrat' so to speak.

b) As an alternative to a Tipler Oracle, the archai might used nested Void Pockets/specialized Void Ship like devices to pack nearly a Lunar mass worth of quantum computronium into a volume no more than a nano-meter across (and do this repeatedly if desired). The QC hardware might start as raw matter and then be created after void pocket enclosure - or not. I/O issues might be...interesting...but some creative potential solutions come to mind.

c) We've toyed a bit with the idea that S2 or higher minds might be able to (as a bit of transapient 'magic') create and maintain arbitrarily large quantum entangled states and/or create 'room temperature' quantum entangled states (aka the environment is very 'noisy' and chaotic, but the transaps can maintain the entangled states anyway - at least to a point. While certainly speculative, does this strike you as a potentially workable idea or too far beyond the pale in this universe?

(05-15-2018, 08:28 PM)Roger Wrote: Sorry to mess up the nice simplicity of the toposophic levels, but this suggests terminology like SI:1(q2) -- bear in mind here that the second number says a lot less than the first about who would win any contest that wasn't based on factoring large numbers or performing Fourier transforms in your head: it's more like a fraction compared to a toposophic level, roughly comparable in importance to the difference between a slow god and a fast god. A more complex notations would be SI:4(q2,SI:2q3) -- which means I'm a regular SI:4, with quantum speedups sprinkled all through as you'd expect, and I have an SI:2 specialist subnode that's running as a virtual inside a huge cube of quantum computronium, just in case I ever need to explore O(10^8) different paths of SI:2 translogic in time O(10^4), or grok in its entirety the quantum evolution of a quantum-interacting system with as much details an SI:2 can keep mental track of -- say every electron, proton, and neutron in a cell).

That's not really a problem unless you want to invent an entire quantum S-level terminology and then apply it to every mention of an S-level across the setting/ Wink

It is generally understood (or should be) that the toposophic levels as we currently describe them are a greatly simplified shorthand version of the 'real thing' that is actually used by professional Toposophic researchers and professionals inside the setting.

If one outcome of our discussions here is an article or article modification to add quantum terminology into the pages on toposophy that would be perfectly fine - just as long as (as mentioned above) we don't have to rewrite every mention of an S-level as a resultTongue

Hope this helps,

Todd


RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - Drashner1 - 05-16-2018

Another quick thought re modos matching transapients in the encryption dept by simply building up enough computronium:

It should be noted that transapient computronium is qualitatively superior to modosophont computronium, and at the S4 and higher level starts operating at levels that would tear apart processors held together by chemical bonds - so modos are literally incapable of building it. Transapients also presumably employ better/more efficient software design to go with better hardware, making the gap between their tech and modo even larger.

I suppose that modos could (in principle) still build massive amounts of computronium to make up the difference. But I'm not sure how much they would have to build to make up the difference.

Todd


RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - Roger - 05-16-2018

(05-16-2018, 03:13 AM)Drashner1 Wrote: You're correct that we make very little mention of using quantum computing in the setting. This is not due to a specific rejection of QC in the setting so much as it being the case that most of us don't fully understand it sufficiently to feel comfortable writing/speculating about it and those of us who do understand it well enough haven't chosen to do the necessary writeups to help us develop that aspect of the setting. If someone (such as yourself perhaps) was willing to help us fold QC and encryption information into the setting in a realistic and (mostly/reasonably) layperson understandable fashion we would likely to happy to do that.

Sounds like an interesting project - I think this discussion might be a good first step.


(05-16-2018, 03:13 AM)Drashner1 Wrote: The upshot of much of this is that the archai can probably break or bypass or otherwise cheat a lot of modosophont/low transapient encryption, but that even the S6 have limits in terms of raw breaking of encryption, meaning that even modos can successfully encrypt messages the gods can't break.

OK, so then as I suspected we're in a Minicrypt or Cryptomania scenario. Again, this sounds like if it could be written up at an encylopedia-suitable level with fewer technical terms than I've been using above, as an article on encryption (with some mention of why that almost invariably isn't enough when facing technotelepathy/cliology/archailect-level hacking/etc./etc., except maybe in a first-contact situation or the like), so there might be an article in this.

(05-16-2018, 03:13 AM)Drashner1 Wrote: Various initial thoughts here:

a) Given their rather...fuzzy...relationship with the concept of individuality as we humans generally understand it, archai could easily have hundreds or thousands of quantum computing 'lobes' or sub-selves within their brains that operate at the full #3 level that you describe. They aren't really the 'full' mind of the archailect - but they would be a part of it and would possibly think of themselves as equivalent to the full archai in their own way - or at least definitely a contributing member of the 'orchestrat' so to speak.

b) As an alternative to a Tipler Oracle, the archai might used nested Void Pockets/specialized Void Ship like devices to pack nearly a Lunar mass worth of quantum computronium into a volume no more than a nano-meter across (and do this repeatedly if desired). The QC hardware might start as raw matter and then be created after void pocket enclosure - or not. I/O issues might be...interesting...but some creative potential solutions come to mind.

c) We've toyed a bit with the idea that S2 or higher minds might be able to (as a bit of transapient 'magic') create and maintain arbitrarily large quantum entangled states and/or create 'room temperature' quantum entangled states (aka the environment is very 'noisy' and chaotic, but the transaps can maintain the entangled states anyway - at least to a point. While certainly speculative, does this strike you as a potentially workable idea or too far beyond the pale in this universe?

a): Agreed, and that's what I meant by my discussion about specialist nodes above, and by the digression under quantum-level-1) of it being safe to assume that even a quantum-level-1) archailect would have small specialist nodes of S0, S1, or for a higher archailect maybe S2 that were fully quantum.

I really need a more baseline-friendly terminology -- how about rather than quantum-level-0) through 3) I call these "completely classical", "quantum coprocessor", "partly quantum", "fully quantum"?

b): Good point! Yes, that's obviously the easy way for an archailect to make a fully quantum S3 or S4 (so it's a safe assumption that an S3 black angel or an S4 void ship ISO seraph is likely to have one or more void motes that contain a fully quantum subnode one toposophic level down, so S2 or S3 respectively, for handling problems where that looks useful); and it has a nice progression to using a Tipler Oracle to hold a fully quantum S5.

c): In general, that sounds impossible -- the state would collapse in attoseconds or even less -- normally too fast even for error correction from magmatter quantum sensors/processors to maintain it. But there might be plenty of subtle counterexamples, under special circumstances -- perhaps ones a mososophont or supoerbright could understand if it were explained to them, or not, but that they would have a lot of trouble actually finding. Basically you *can* do this, if you can find a (possibly subtle) quantum subspace concealed somewhere within the full dynamics of the system that either a) has no noise interactions with the rest of the system (so it's completely isolated), or very low interactions (low enough that you can add enough quantum error correction to keep up with the noise -- there tends to be a threshold here, as the noise increases this switches from possible to impossible), or b) that has quantum interactions with the big noisy environment that are moderate but (almost) always of a limited predictable form or forms (so the noise you're trying to block has a predictable format), and you can apply error correction that recognizes any signals of that form, can tell that they must be noise, and thus can cancel them, while you do your actual computation only over modes that are orthogonal to the noise.

Let me give you a concrete example of each. For a), there exist thin film materials that have quantum excitations that are always linear: maybe they're boundaries between patches of material with opposite magnetizations, or something more subtle -- anyway, they have to consist of closed loops. If you have a system that consists of a donut shape coated with this material, then there's a potentially a topological effect -- the loop may be such that it can collapse to a tiny loop and disappear, or the loop may be wrapped around the donut so it can't disappear, and has a minimum size (the circumference of the donut in the direction it's wrapped around). This might be a physical donut, or it might be something more subtle like a donut-shaped strange attractor inside the local dynamic behavior of a distribuited system. In a hot, wet, messy system, there is likely to frequently be enough thermal noise to create or destroy a little loop of this linear exitation. But it could be the case that the system isn't hot enough, or strongly interacting enough, or whatever for there to be any significant chance of it spontaneously creating a loop as big as the minimum size of loops that are wrapped around the donut -- so there would be a very low error rate for that subsystem, consisting only of loops wrapped around the donut. Or there might be some symmetry or topological reason why the interactions that normally occur in the system can never create such a loop, no matter how hot it gets (but the archai's effector system can, by using more exotic physics). Then the error rate for that system would be (at least to an excellent approximation) zero. Either way, you have an isolated subspace of topological loops with little or no noise, so (if tis space is also unobservable to other systems and sophonts in the space -- they can't see into it, because it's decoupled) then you can put a fragile entangled state in it, or use it for quantum computing. This is called "topological quantum computing" -- there are some similar tricks for braids or knots rather than loops called "braid quantum computing", and so forth, and probably a lot of other more subtle tricks us modos haven't thought of yet.

For the second type of subsystem b), the one where the noise is recognizable, suppose you have something that has fairly high symmetry -- for example, consider a sphere (either a physical one, or some sort of effectively spherical subspace of the entire space of dynamics of the whole system). Suppose it's pretty strongly coupled to the rest of the system, so lots of thermal noise gets into it and out of it, but suppose that for some reason in the dynamics (maybe the main coupling is via a uniform magnetic field, or something, so it's inherently antisymetric) the noise consists only (or at least almost entirely) of odd spherical harmonics on the sphere -- ones that are antisymmetric under swapping the north and south poles of the sphere. Suppose the archaic conceals the quantum system they want to create entirely in the even spherical harmonics of the sphere. Then (to the extent that the sphere has perfect spherical symmetry), that's perfectly orthogonal to all the noise modes, and thus unaffected by them. So if the sphere has really perfect symmetry, they can just ignore the noise. Or, if (as seem more likely), the sphere isn't perfectly symmetric, just very symmetric, they can put in some sort of damping or error correction mechanism that rapidly damps or cancels the odd harmonics (before their slight crosstalk from those to the even ones due to the less-than perfect symmetry of the spere can cause a problem), while leaving the even harmonics alone. Either way, now the quantum subsystem of even harmonics is sufficiently well isolated from the main system to be usable for quantum computing or the sorts of tricks that you're discussing.

Basically in each of these cases, what the archai is doing is identifying some small (perhaps subtle and inobvious) subset of the dynamics of the big messy system that is, for some (again, perhaps subtle and inobvious) reason, mostly or almost entirely decoupled from the rest of the system, and perhaps also subtly engineering the dynamics in a way that greatly increases the decoupling.

So I would say the answer to "can an archai do this at will across a wide area of a general, big, messy, not previously chosen environment?" is "probably not, unless they get lucky or ingenious". But if the question is "can an archai locate some small or subtle location/structure or other thing somewhere inside general, big, messy, not previously chosen environment where they do have the opportunity to do this, or can they prearrange the ability to do this, in a subtle way that a modosophont would never figure out in advance?" then I strongly suspect the answer is going to be "almost always (though possibly not in a way that happens to be useful for their current purpose)". In general, the situation here is complex enough (and incomprehensible enough to a modo reader) that an author can probably have it happen or not happen as they wish for plot reasons. The challenge for an author is coming up with a plausible sounding collection of buzzwords if you feel you have to describe to the reader *how* the archai did it -- I would suggest avoiding that if possible: leave it a mystery or speculation if you can. If you really want to try, the key elements here are a small subsystem, that in some way is weakly coupled to or blocked from all the noise in the big system (and similarly is unobservable by observers in the big system), or can be engineered to be so, probably for subtle reasons involving symmetry or topology or some mathematical buzzword like that (ideally one most readers have heard of but know little enough about that you can snow them successfully).

Also, consider the manus dei effect (which I assume involves a lot of tiny imperceptible magmatter processors and effector field generators, and so forth, and requires very intense surveillance and very close supervision from an archai to control) -- that could certainly engineer the sort of subsystem I describe above into the apparently-normal location and arrange for it to stay isolated for as long as was needed. Or the quantum system could just be a small amount of magmatter, which inherently has negligible interactions with the (non magnetic) real matter it interpenetrates. Or it could just consist of quantum computronium specks distributed amoung the nanites of the local angelnet. So yes, if you're willing to throw enough clarktech at this problem and get an achai personally involved, you they can almost certainly fake it -- just not where a modosophont is directly watching (unless the archai has quietly virtualised the modo, are now running them on quantum computronium, and are going to manus dei reengenerate them afterwards, Da'at style -- in which case they can do whatever they want, including taking them on a directed tour of the inner workings of a helium atom).


(05-16-2018, 03:13 AM)Drashner1 Wrote: That's not really a problem unless you want to invent an entire quantum S-level terminology and then apply it to every mention of an S-level across the setting/ ;)

It is generally understood (or should be) that the toposophic levels as we currently describe them are a greatly simplified shorthand version of the 'real thing' that is actually used by professional Toposophic researchers and professionals inside the setting.

If one outcome of our discussions here is an article or article modification to add quantum terminology into the pages on toposophy that would be perfectly fine - just as long as (as mentioned above) we don't have to rewrite every mention of an S-level as a result:P

Completely agreed - no, this is more like the distinction between a slow god and a fast god -- sometimes important, but not important enough for widespread use of the notation for it (though doubtless in the venue the would be a notation for it, and our version of the encylopedia could mention that in a suitable article).

What I'd suggest is that the article about quantum sophonts say things like:
* Unless there is some very good reason to assume otherwise, it's a safe bet that most S3's and above are partly-quantum if inorganic, and even organic ones will have at least quantum coprocessors -- indeed, at this level being fully classical would normally be regarded as a form of antitransavancy.
* However, due to their sheer size, making archai fully-quantum is an increasingly difficult engineering challenge at higher toposophics levels. Also, because classical computronium generally runs full-classical algorithms a lot faster for quantum computronium would (since it doesn't have a lot of unnecessary quantum-error-correction overhead built in, and often can run at a higher temperature), for many problems where use of quantum algorithms at the top level of processing (rather than in subroutines) isn't useful, being fully-quantum is often an inefficient design. Thus archai are far more likely to merely have some fully quantum specialist subnodes -- perhaps large ones, than to actually be fully-quantum themselves.
* In high-tech societies even most baselines have a quantum coprocessor either implanted or available in their exoself or via ubiquitous computing, and this is almost universal among superbrights, while S0 vecs and other forms with inorganic comoutronium are almost invariably going to at least have a quantum coprocessor, and will generally be partly-quantum (unless they were built specifically for very high temperature or very high radiation environments, where the level of shielding required for this may become too burdensome)."
Then we let people assume that (unless we're talking about the Silk God) S4 presumably means SI:4(q2) or whatever the long notation we end up with looks like.

Also, this probably also should be mentioned in the sections on technotelepathy and baroquification, since it adds some complications there. For example, its basically impossible for a completely classical archai (if such a thing existed) to do always-accurate technotelepathy on a fully-quantum being, even one several toposophic levels lower, and probably hard to do it on one that's even partly-quantum. But a partly-quantum (or even merely quantum-subprocessor) S6 that has at least fully-quantum S2 specialist subnodes (which is a safe bet) is capable (up to the no cloning theorum and the existence of true quantum randomness) to doing technotelepathy on a fully-quantum S1. At the risk of oversimplifying, the more quantum you are, that also acts like free baroquification against anyone less quantum than you, and for the specific case of a fully-quantum defender vs. a fully-classical technotelepathist, that can act as extremely effective baroquification, typically enough to overcome several levels of toposophic difference -- which presumably means that fully-neoclassical transapients would be at a major disadvantage (enough that for a high transapient being fully classical would probably be considered to be a form of antitransavancy), and thus be rare.


RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - Drashner1 - 05-16-2018

A couple of quick thoughts since it's getting late here. Will respond more fully to your post above tomorrow or as time permits. But these two just popped into my head:

a) Magmatter can pack an enormous number of 'atoms' into a very tiny volume and by its nature 'views' any environment below the level of a neutron star as being near absolute zero and almost utterly inert. S3 or higher archai might therefore create magmatter based quantum computers or masses of entangled particles that could retain their 'functionality' up to and including conditions that would reduce any conventional matter to plasma.

b) S4 plasma processor based computronium can pack an S3 level mind into about a kilogram of computing substrate (not counting the magmatter support structure). As such, archailects could potentially create 'quantum modules' or sub-selves such as you describe up to that level. Maybe more if they combined this with swarms of nested void bubbles.

Todd


RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - Roger - 05-16-2018

(05-16-2018, 11:49 AM)Drashner1 Wrote: Another quick thought re modos matching transapients in the encryption dept by simply building up enough computronium:

It should be noted that transapient computronium is qualitatively superior to modosophont computronium, and at the S4 and higher level starts operating at levels that would tear apart processors held together by chemical bonds - so modos are literally incapable of building it. Transapients also presumably employ better/more efficient software design to go with better hardware, making the gap between their tech and modo even larger.

I suppose that modos could (in principle) still build massive amounts of computronium to make up the difference. But I'm not sure how much they would have to build to make up the difference.

Agreed. But encryption is one of the few problem areas where a simple brute-force search of all the keyspace is actually the most efficient algorithm (at least, it is if the cryptologist designing the code knew what they were doing, since that's exactly what they're trying to ensure). Unlike, say, chess, or go, or higher mathematics, there are no subtleties about pruning the search tree or recognizing abstract relationships and patterns -- the best you can possible do is just try every key as fast as you can. So, unlike most problems, it parallelizes (and can be attacked via Grover's algorithm) very cleanly -- if you want to try a billion keys at once, and you happen to have a computronium bank of a billion little processors available, the programming overhead for doing so is negligible. So this -- extremely atypical -- problem is the one area where toposophic barriers don't really apply: Denebolla collapse never kicks in, since the architecture for parallelizing it to arbitrary numbers of processors is trivial (well, up to one processor per key in your entire keyspace -- not usually a significant limit). But for more typical problems (like designing and manufacturing that computronium bank in the first case), that isn't true.

So yes, of course an archai will have access to far larger banks of far faster computronium than a mososophont. But usually the archai also has the advantage is also having a far more efficient architecture for handling complex problems, which lets them additionally use those computronium banks far more efficiently (since they're supernaturally-to-a-modosophont effective knowing how to prune the search tree, or recognize abstract relationships, or whatever's needed for this complex problem). But for a problem like brute-force trying every key (as opposed to, say using mathematics and logic to figure out a subtle flaw in the cryptosystem, if one exists, or trying to technotelepathize the message sender), an efficient architecture for handling complexity isn't needed -- the problem parallelizes trivially, no search tree pruning is needed, and (assuming that no subtle flaws in the cryptosystem exist) there's no more effective but more complex approach. So this is the area where an archai actually has the smallest advantage over a modosophont -- merely the level of advantage you'd assume from comparing the ratio of their nominal available processing power, without their usual huge algorithmic efficiency advantages on top of that. So brute-force search of a very large number of simple-to-check possibilities (in the absence of any clues suggesting where to look), like brute-force decryption, is one of the very few areas where a modosophont that had access to a moonbrain-sized sphere of S3 ultimate chips (assuming e knows how to use it, and yes, obviously that's unlikely) can do roughly as well as an S3 moonbrain that's built out of S3 ultimate chips.

This is related to the problem with P=NP in the OA setting. A really complicated problem can always be reduced to a simple (and easily parallelized) problem of just trying every possible answer in turn until you find the solution (as long as recognizing the solution when you have it isn't hard -- i.e as long as the problem is in NP). What P=NP says is "you would expect that, while that approach was theoretically possible, in practice it was ridiculously expensive way to solve such a problem compared to some more sophisticated problem-specific approach since it appears to require doing brute-force search of an impractically fast space -- but you're wrong: actually there's a general algorithm for searching the set of all possible solutions in a very reasonable time, vastly faster than looking at all of them, regardless of what your original problem was." So P=NP is saying something that seems extremely implausible -- that all possible inherent complexity is an illusion. That's why it would makes archai redundant: archai can handle supernatural-to-a-modosophont levels of subtlety and complexity. But P=NP means that if a modosophont can describe a problem and how to check that a possible answer is the solution, the apparent complexity doesn't matter, they can effectively check all possible solutions ridiculously much faster than that sounds like it would be possible to do (regardless of how complex or challenging the original problem was). So then you only need to hand a modosophont some moderately fast computronium (or even worse, if the P=NP algorithm also parallelized cleanly -- which seems even more implausible -- a moderately large bank of slow computronium), and then they can solve the sorts of problems that everyone had been assuming only archai could solve. Basically P=NP would provide an end run around the need for toposophic levels, putting S-infinity into a single algorithm: most apparently hard problems can be reduced to one easy problem, and solving that problem doesn't require transapient levels of complexity handling (unless recognizing whether an answer is a solution already inherently requires transapient levels of complexity handling).


RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - Roger - 05-16-2018

(05-16-2018, 01:09 PM)Drashner1 Wrote: a) Magmatter can pack an enormous number of 'atoms' into a very tiny volume and by its nature 'views' any environment below the level of a neutron star as being near absolute zero and almost utterly inert. S3 or higher archai might therefore create magmatter based quantum computers or masses of entangled particles that could retain their 'functionality' up to and including conditions that would reduce any conventional matter to plasma.

An excellent point. Magmatter quantum computronium would be extremely compact, extremely fast (though extremely heavy per quantum gate), and (at least up to the temperatures where room temperature superconductor magnetic shielding gives out) trivially easy to shield. And it lets you make very small S3s and S4s (assuming the latter don't just collapse into black holes). On the other hand, per qubit of storage, magmatter quantum memory is going to be far heavier than normal matter quantum memory (for magmatter processing, the speed advantage probably balances out the weight disadvantage, but for memory it doesn't).


(05-16-2018, 01:09 PM)Drashner Wrote: b) S4 plasma processor based computronium can pack an S3 level mind into about a kilogram of computing substrate (not counting the magmatter support structure). As such, archailects could potentially create 'quantum modules' or sub-selves such as you describe up to that level. Maybe more if they combined this with swarms of nested void bubbles.

Really? Wow, I don't recall seeing the math on that on EG -- is there a thread about it? An S3 in a kilogram (not including magmatter -- that sounds like a heavy proviso) yet a godstar is only an S5? That seems like a weird ratio...

I'm having difficulty believing in hot-plasma-based quantum computronium -- heat (thermal phonons, collisions, or worse still thermal photons) really is the biggest enemy of quantum computing. Single maybe-charged atoms held in position in magnetic or optical traps are a promising way to do quantum computing -- as in there are labs currently working on them -- but you really don't want them hot enough that their outer electrons keep randomly jumping up and down between energy levels and leaking or absorbing thermal photons, or uncontrolled enough that they keep colliding. So it would have to be a cold plasma, not a hot one, with the positions of the atoms pretty rigidly maintained or marshalled by optical or magnetic traps from the magmatter, and ionisations and electrons jumping between energy levels happening as needed by the processing, never at random due to heat. You'd need a lot of magmatter to do the structure for that, and I suspect given that much magmatter (other than issues about your computronium collapsing into a black hole) it would be more mass-efficient to just build compact magmatter computronium. I guess if you really are building magmatter computronium, but trying to space it out far enough that it doesn't just turn into a black hole as soon as you assemble much of it, ordinary matter atoms might be useful as spacers. Can you make an odd sort of crystal in which the normal-matter atoms or ions and the little magmatter circuit elements alternate and hold each other in place? If so, then you might then also use the ordinary matter atoms as relatively lightweight quantum memory (say using nuclear magnetic moment spin flips), slow but still less mass per qbit stored than magmatter, so good for a mass reduction.

I'm thinking that as well as the existing taxonomy of classical ultimate computronium, we need a corresponding one for quantum computronium. Fortunately diamond is quite promising for both, so the Diamond Belt works. But I think there are going to be two distinct sorts of ultimate chip, with different temperature, power, and shielding requirements for the ultimate q-chip -- different enough that intermixing them closely becomes a nontrivial engineering problem (at least for modosophonts), and I suspect the taxonomy of quantum computronium above that is going to get even more interesting. I suspect an S3 fully-quantum moonbrain, if it isn't inside a void mote, is more likely to be out among the backgrounders where its ultimate q-chips are kept nice and cold.

Incidentally, one of the nice things about quantum computronium is that there are only two steps that ever produce any heat: the quantum error correction produces heat when it fixes an error, and deleting your working memory once you're done would also produce heat. However, since most designs for quantum computronium are fully reversible, rather than deleting all your intermediate results, normally you can just copy the classical answer you got, then run the entire algorithm backwards again to reset your working memory to the original state, without emitting any heat -- admittedly this means the running time doubles (though you get the result halfway though, so with no slowdown), but that way you emit no heat at all other than from any error correction you need to do. (Yes, I know that sounds like impossibly perfect efficiency -- perfection is what you need to be able to run quantum computing without error correction, and to the extent that you're still having, finding and fixing errors, you're still emitting heat. This is another way of looking at why making quantum computronium is hard -- you have to get you computation to within a tiny fraction of thermodynamic perfection, since every single quantum of heat energy emitted is an error, and if your error rate is too high your error correction won't be able to keep up.)

Another neat concept I haven't seen in OA is reversible computronium -- this can be classical, but it has the same property described above that it's so close to 100% efficient that again the only major cause of heat being emitted is deleting data (normally in classical computers mostly intermediate results in the computation are deleted as soon as you no longer need them -- but if you're reversible computronium, you're storing those rather than deleting them so you can reverse the computation, so rather than emitting unneeded intermediate results as heat you instead fill up memory with entropy). So again, you can run it, copy the answer, unrun it back to the original state, and since you never actually deleted anything you're producing no heat (other than whatever corresponds to how far away you are from 100% efficiency). Thus it needs practically no power (always helpful). In fact, for any really efficient classical processor (so presumably for ultimate chips) the main cause of heat is deleting data you no longer want -- you're basically emitting the entropy of that data as heat in order to delete it. I assume ultimate chips will be potentially reversible compoutronium, and it will be the programmers choice whether to delete intermediate data now, or reverse the computation later -- you can trade heat emission off for memory usage. (The Negentropists probably have a law against this -- all civilian non-organic computronium must be fully reversible, and except in emergencies or with special dispensations must be used in reversible mode.)

This also suggests a nifty technique, which I think we should call "entropy piping" -- if you're not running reversible computing, so you do have data to delete (that you don't have the space or inclination to store untile you can reverse your computation), rather than deleting it in situ, send that data along a bus to right next to the heatsink, and then delete it there. That way you can control where in your 2000km-wide moonbrain the heat gets emitted: at the surface right next to the base of a radiator fin, not deep inside the center. So a moonbrain will have a huge fractal trees of databusses one rooted at the base of each radiator fin and with twigs all through its volume, piping no-longer needed data to the base of the radiator fin for deletion to emit heat there -- which should be a lot more controllable than trying to do the same flow rate with heatpipes. Basically, keep your unwanted information digital so you can control moving it around, and turn it into entropy only once you've moved it where you want to emit it. Thus the name "entropy piping". I don't recall seeing this mentioned in the literature, but it's the obvious consequence of the form of the efficiency limits of classical computing.

One other little gem from those efficiency limits: for all almost-ultimate-efficiency computronium designs, the cooler it runs, the less power it needs/heat it generates per bit of data deleted (basically because, for a bit to be distinguishable from the thermal noise, the hotter the chip is the more energy each bit has to contain, and thus will release when deleted). You would have thought that running computronium hot was helpful, since it lets you have bigger temperature differentials and thus generate bigger heat flows for your heat dissipation mechanism, but that isn't the case, since the cooler you run, the less heat you need to dissipate (unless you're in space and your heat is going to a black body thermal radiator -- those do work a lot better at higher temperatures). So on a planet, you should run somewhat-but-not-hugely hotter than your environment. So if you archai is short on energy (as opposed to on carbon), they shouldn't be using plasma processing, they should be using cold ultimate chips -- less energy used per unit of computation. Admittedly, if you're an S-brain, shortage of energy probably isn't your first concern, rate of black-body heat dissipation from your surface is -- but it does represent an advantage for matrioshka nodes, or cold J-brains: they're a lot more energy efficient.


RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - Roger - 05-17-2018

Having rechecked the EG, the only article currently there on quantum infotech is the one on Quantum Channels -- which is mostly OK as far as it goes, but has a couple of minor issues, and is missing a quite a bit of relevant information. For example, the limitation it mentions that quantum channels can only travel a few hundred kilometers, is true in optical fiber, but not in a vacuum -- you could send a quantum channel many lightyears in a vaccum (as long as the receiver area is big enough to catch more than 50% of the beamspread from the transmitter -- so you need a very tight beam, and difffraction limits thus require a large transmitter area), and most lightways are probable quantum channels. The actual limitation is that there is no quantum encoding/error correction/eavsdropping detection scheme that will allow you to reconstruct the original quantum information unless you have more than half of the original photons received and uncorrupted (obviously this can never be true for both the legitimate recipient and an eavsdropper -- so if the eavsdropper picked something up, then the intended recipient didn't, and vice versa -- this comes down to the No Copying Theorem, and is the key to why they can be made provably secure.) Also, it only discusses the security advantages of quantum channels, and omits to mention that their biggest advantage is that they can transmit quantum information and quantum entanglement -- probably quite a lot of the comm wormholes with archai's distribuited brains and in the Godweb are used for quantum channels, not so much for security as because archai may often want to transmit quantum information or entanglement, so they can run distributed quantum algorithms.


RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - Drashner1 - 05-17-2018

(05-15-2018, 05:00 AM)Roger Wrote: Circling back to the "What Happens Next" material I've been working on, I'll post one or two sample/summary chunks of it in the encyclopedia forum for people to look at/shoot full of holes, but the basic theme is "What happens when the Archailects try to ascend, or transaturation transcend, to S7 and hit the Great Toposophic Filter?" (which I'm assuming is real, and very hard to pass while staying in this reality but easy by transaturation transcention). Briefly, The Transcend transaturation transcends, Keter transaturation transcends (repeatedly) with a leftbehind (mostly an elaborate set of S0 to S5? Transcention Mazes, plus small leftbehind splinter factions that eventually noetically reform into a Post-Keter), Cyberia tries for S7, fails, goes hyperbolic Denebola Collapse and is torn apart (which gets very messy -- war-in-heaven-with-metric-weapons-level messy -- and turns out to be the actual backstory to the Chaos), the Invisible Hand tries it and goes into accelerated growth and economic instability, outcome currently unclear but prognosis dubious, while the Negentropists, Solar Dominion, Terran Federation, and others cautiously just stop growing at S6 until someone else manages it, the Zoefic Biopolity pauses at S6 until she can create an organic S5 (which may take a while), while the Caretaker Gods, the Eternal, and the Utopia Sphere each quietly go deliberate parabolic Denebola Collapse (i.e. split into multiple dividuals) but no-one can tell the difference. I'm still working on whether anyone manages S7 without transaturation transcention (in my personal opinion the most plausible candidates for a central role in this are the FAS and the Seams -- I can discuss my reasoning). Currently I'm leaning towards: "S7 without transaturation transcention is (barely) possible (see the Leviathen), but it requires making a group mind or tribemind out of at least several dozen different archailects all with different noetics and all of which have sufficiently good reasons not to just transaturation transcend right out of our reality (which rules out at least half the current archailects) without just becoming static (which rules out several more) -- so it's not happening in the next few millennia, or until the Terragen Bubble has grown a lot more -- and it also requires access to the sort of bizarre xenoremnants and weird old artifacts and anomalies left by past transaturation transcentions that our galaxy has in abundance but no (safe) single-galaxy basement universe would have (because reasons), so the archailects can't easily arrange for it to happen inside a Tipler oracle and watch from a safe distance" -- I'd really love to discuss this. If this was the case, the 10,500 to maybe 14,000 period is going to be interesting times, even worse than the 5,000s were -- the Oracle War was just the start of the end for the Pax Archailecta.

Another theme in it is "archailects start letting modosophonts through the connecting wormholes of some of their basement universes" -- starting with the MPA, of course, who can't wait to show off all the nifty pocket-universe-sized living spaces it can build now that it's S6. Which gives a view of what one version of a modosophont-friendly transaturation ascension would look like "from the inside".

Been meaning to reply to this and between short on time and the many elements being covered on this thread, I keep forgetting. I'd suggest shifting this post into its own thread, if you're wanting to continue discussing the ideas here after my reply as well as shifting the discussions on encryption and quantum computing in the setting into their own thread or threads, just to keep things reasonably neat and so we're aren't trying to juggle too many topics all in one linear thread.

If you're good with that, please let me know and I'll see about making that change.

Getting back to the ideas here:

The two big issues I see here are:

1) Jumping the whole project that far forward.

2) Having so many of the various empires that make up the setting all going into ascension all at the same time.

Either of these by themselves would be very disruptive to the setting and the project in general.

Beyond that, there is the issue of just what an S7 is (something we've deliberately left vague up to this point) and how all of the proposed events would impact the overall setting. A big concern on my part is that it would seem likely to distort the setting from a large canvas where many different ideas can be explored in both EG articles and fiction to one where the whole thing is focused around this one thing (attempts by various archai to become S7, or at least vanish).

A final complication might be that the vast majority of content pertaining to events in the setting is written in the past tense/historical mode rather than as current events. We've discussed/played with possible ways of also generating 'present tense' content (e.g., news headlines from 10,600), and are OK with the basic idea in principle, but it really hasn't caught on in terms of people really wanting to write that type of content (although we could make an effort to promote that, in principle).

That all said, we also really dislike quashing member's ideas and we've generally found that we can accommodate almost any concept into the setting somewhere - so those few times we can't are particularly irksome.

Putting all this together, how do we find a compromise that lets you at least partially explore the ideas you want to play with here while also working within OA Canon and not either distorting the setting or so disrupting it that it loses a lot of the elements that many of us know and love?

After letting this percolate for a bit, the following ideas have come to mind. In no particular order:

1) Based on the existing EG article(s) Transaturation Ascension is a real thing in the setting already, not just a rumor/theory/hypothesis. This implies that it has happened at least once, and likely more than once (given the wording of the article) in the history of the setting already. While the article itself seems likely to need some rework just due to the ideas/discussions you've started since arriving here, the basic concepts seem unlikely to change. As such, it seems like it would be doable to have some Transaturation Ascension events described in considerably more detail within the current timeline of the EG without the need to jump further into the OA future and without the need to involve all of the various sephirotic empires we currently describe.

Doing this would likely involve the creation of some new S5 or higher archailects and civs to go with them to then have TS out of regular existence and such (Hmm. It might also allow us to retcon the Surreal Rash entry, which is cool, but doesn't quite fit our current take on intertoposophic relations...) - something you would be welcome to take the lead on developing (so you could give them their own unique spin to a large degree if so inclined), but which I suspect a number of members would also be happy to help with.

I'm not really sure we would want to explicitly say that this was resulting in the creation of an S7. It might be 'merely' a new way to operate as an S5 or S6 or it might be an entirely new mode of existence that takes off at right angles to the whole toposophic scale or something. OA being OA we are most likely to want to have a fair bit of mystery and/or a lot of competing theories about what exactly happened/is happening. The resulting power vacuum and other societal disruption from an entire S5 or higher archailect vanishing would also likely be the definition of living in an...interesting time.

This would basically be filling in details and expanding (with some modifications probably) an existing element of the setting, something that we are usually very open too on general principles. I don't think we would want a whole batch of empires all vanishing at once, but since TS has apparently happened more than once, we could likely come up with a number we could all live with and you could describe that many such events over some chunk of the history of the setting.

2) Pretty much the same scenario as '1' but set in the OA 'present day' - in this case the event would be presented as something happening in 'real time' in 10,600AT. To pull this off with minimal fuss we could look at having one or more of our less developed empires undergo TS - or possibly some part of the Panvirtuality or other ahuman polities. Or you could create an S5 level empire and then have it go TS and vanish. I'd actualy suggest not using a portion of the Transcend for this since they are so much off in their own world (So to speak) that the effects of a TS event might be much more muted in terms of impacts to the Sephirotics and such.

The big difference here from Option 1 is that it would potentially involve taking something away from the setting (an existing empire) and based on past experience removing anything from the setting often results in massive debate and discussion and can take a long time to build consensus on. That said, the current mood of the OA community may have shifted on this a bit, since we are currently gearing up to do some major article consolidations and similar stuff later this year, that will also result in some content being effectively removed - and so far the response has been completely positive among the active membership.

The other major challenge here would be figuring out how best to present a 'present day' set of events in the EG. Doable, but not what we're used to and probably worth giving a bit of thought to before we start trying to actually implement it.

3) As has been suggested already, we could have something like what you suggest taking place inside a virtuality - the reason for its existence could range from some kind of simulation or forecast being run by the Negentropy Alliance (who are very interested in the future) or Keter/the Solar Dominion (who are very interested in ascension) to some kind of game running in the Cybercosm that is played by billions or trillions of sophonts across the Civilized Galaxy.

4) If you're writing skills/interest are up for it, you could do a story describing the idea you've suggested and it could be set in the far future of the setting. Our guidelines around fiction writing in the setting tend to be rather more relaxed, or at least different, from how we handle the setting itself. In this scenario we are more likely to actually want you to have this stuff taking place further into the future than closer to the OA present day for various reason.

5) You could have these events taking place in another galaxy, with one or more xenosophont civs involved and Terragens civ observing the whole thing via the Argus Array and recording it as some number of EG articles.

Ok, I think that about covers it.

Thoughts?

Todd

P.S - After midnight and I really do need to get to bed so I'm good for work tomorrow. But there is a lot of crunchy goodness in your other posts I want to reply to (I know, I keep saying that). Will reply as I can and hopefully get caught up by this weekend.

Thanks!

G'niteBig Grin


RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - Crossroads - 05-18-2018

(05-17-2018, 02:18 PM)Drashner1 Wrote: 5) You could have these events taking place in another galaxy, with one or more xenosophont civs involved and Terragens civ observing the whole thing via the Argus Array and recording it as some number of EG articles.

I concur with your post; I just wanted to quick set forth the idea of doing essentially what you mention here in point 5 when I write my proposed article on the Local Group. What would be observed in part or all of some xeno civ undergoing TS? I imagine this - the AA sees, in just a handful of years or even less time, a large chunk of a HEEC, or even an entire HEEC, stop emitting energy, with no energy bursts consistent with a conflict. Modo observers speculate that this is TS.

Does this sound right?