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Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption
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,


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RE: Hi, a timeline question, and some math about encryption - by Drashner1 - 05-16-2018, 03:13 AM

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