[link] Scott Aaronson on free will

Scott Aaron­son has a new 85 page es­say up, ti­tled “The Ghost in the Quan­tum Tur­ing Ma­chine”. (Ab­stract here.) In Sec­tion 2.11 (Sin­gu­latar­i­anism) he ex­plic­itly men­tions Eliezer as an in­fluence. But that’s just a start­ing point, and he then moves in a di­rec­tion that’s very far from any kind of LW con­sen­sus. Among other things, he sug­gests that a cru­cial qual­i­ta­tive differ­ence be­tween a per­son and a digi­tal up­load is that the laws of physics pro­hibit mak­ing perfect copies of a per­son. Per­son­ally, I find the ar­gu­ments com­pletely un­con­vinc­ing, but Aaron­son is always thought-pro­vok­ing and fun to read, and this is a good ex­cuse to read about things like (I quote the ab­stract) “the No-Clon­ing The­o­rem, the mea­sure­ment prob­lem, de­co­her­ence, chaos, the ar­row of time, the holo­graphic prin­ci­ple, New­comb’s para­dox, Boltz­mann brains, al­gorith­mic in­for­ma­tion the­ory, and the Com­mon Prior As­sump­tion”. This is not just a shop­ping list of buz­zwords, these are all im­por­tant com­po­nents of the au­thor’s main ar­gu­ment. It un­for­tu­nately still seems weak to me, but the time spent read­ing it is not wasted at all.