Re: Alternate deductive route to the existence of all universes

From: Hans Moravec <>
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 02:38:47 -0400

Christopher Maloney:
> I was a little turned off, if I remember correctly, by some
> of the book flap, where they described some of your predictions.

They're my best shot at extrapolating the developments I see. One
branch of machine development seems to be roughly recapitulating the
evolution of our own minds, but at about ten-million speed. It has
progressed from the equivalent of no nervous system 100 years ago to
the very bottom of the vertebrate scale (roughly insect nervous
complexity) now. Computer power is growing fast enough to zoom
machines through reptile-, mammal- and human-like complexity over the
next 50 years. I do my best to figure the consequences of that
development, and make a few suggestions.

>> It also notes that, no matter
>> what happens to us, among all universes there are some in which our
>> consciousness continues, and we will always find ourselves in those
>> (and never in ones where our consciousness does not continue!).

> So do you believe in immortality? Where do you stand on the FAP the
> Final Anthropic Principle, ala Tipler and Barrow)?

In all possible universes there are always some where your subjectivity
continues, no matter what, and those are where you'll find yourself!
That much I find convincing. But I never found the logic for an Omega
point compelling. I don't see why you can't just keep on going and
going on your own unique subjective paths through the space of possible

>> For some things that happen (like our brain rotting) the simplest
>> continuation of our consciousness may no longer involve the exact
>> continuation of the old physical laws.

> Huh?

The evolution of the universe, earth, life and yourself from the
working of a very simple (maybe null) TOE and its consequent steady
physical laws must be the simplest way to produce your subjective
existence. Now that your mind-implementing brain exists, exquisitely
evolved to certain physical laws, the simplest continuation of your
subjectivity is surely for those laws to continue to operate as
always. But in normal operation your body has a finite lifespan: you
see other people die all the time. So eventually the continued
operation of your brain, the mechanism of your subjectivity, becomes
less and less likely. To continue one day, maybe you need a lucky
escape from an accident. Later it may take medical luck to keep you
alive: a cancer cell happens to die, some thymus mutation rejuvinates
you a bit, an infection happens to clear some arteries ... But as
more and more coincidences are needed, your subjective continuation
through the continued operation of physical law may become less
probable than other continuations among the possible worlds, most of
which don't have our physics. For instance, you may suddenly discover
that the physical universe is just a simulation in some other world
with different laws altogether, and as your brain falls apart, your
abstract subjective processes, without the underlying physics, are
"uploaded" into some strange new substrate.
Received on Wed Jul 07 1999 - 23:43:39 PDT

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