[FOM] inconsistency of P
david.roberts at adelaide.edu.au
Mon Oct 10 18:20:17 EDT 2011
> It's not so
> different from saying that I understand what a computer with a large
> amount of memory is. Given some knowledge of computer engineering, I can
> comprehend what it means to build a large array of hard drives. I know
> what it means to add another hard drive to the array---up to a point.
> Eventually, the array will get too large for the Earth. What will we do
> at that point? The operation of the drive might depend on the Earth's
> gravity. Even if you have no trouble imagining that, what if the memory
> is so large that there is no way to build a storage system that won't
> decay in the billion or so years that it takes a signal from the CPU to
> reach the storage unit?
More importantly, there is the physical problem of information
density. If we could try
and improve technology (perhaps by thought experiment only) such that the
information density could increase by leaps and bounds, seemingly
eventually we run into the problem that the device containing the information
would collapse into a black hole (there is an explicit, finite cutoff
depending on the
entropy/information content and the volume).
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