RE: Misc.

From: Gilles HENRI <>
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 16:16:16 +0100

>I'm not sure I understand you. Physical laws ARE necessary to consciousness.
>You will not find consciousness where you do not find the right environment,
>and that environment must include not only physical laws, but physical laws
>that are very similar to the ones we see in our environment. There is no
>'use' in invoking other computational histories in the same way that
>Betelgeuse is of no 'use' to us.

I was too elliptic. I meant "what's the use of invoking other computational
laws to explain consciousness" (of course Betelgeuse is also of no use to
explain consciousness, except that it is precisely in such stars that
nucleosynthesis produces carbon and oxygen!)

All this stuff seems to me much too simplistic. Why should we need physical
laws in this model? Presumably "you" are assimilated to some substring
made of 0 and 1. This substring appears in an infinite numbers of strings,
most of them not corresponding to "regular universes". Even if you need
some regularity in your own structure to be conscious, you don't need it
for the external environment. We *could* be some organized beings living in
a totally chaotic world where no physical quantity is conserved. If such
worlds are indeed much more numerous than regular ones, we should live

NB even is a string is compressible up to Nth position, it will be most
probably (by far!!) incompressible after that!!

I have much more objections in fact to models like Schmidhuber's one:
 again what are these Turing machines, Big programmer and so on made of?
 Who is "interpreting" a string as a Universe?
Is it true that in this model every "state" is finite, that is the set of
all possible states of all possibles universes is countable? Does it mean
for example that the possible values of physical constants are discrete?

and so on...

Received on Fri Jan 29 1999 - 07:22:22 PST

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