Re: Devil's advocate against Max Tegmark's hypothesis

From: David Seaman <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 11:10:21 +0100

At 23:36 -0400 7/7/99, Christopher Maloney wrote:

>So the "flying rabbit" problem is just a restatement of the "why are
>there physical laws" question, which has also been debated on this
>list myriads of times.

Here is my attempt at the physical laws question:

Consider the set of all states of information which generate some
continuous conscious experience. There are at least three disjoint subsets
of this set :

1) States of information (SOI) which define a series of conscious
'instants' which when experienced one after the other generate a continuous
conscious experience. There is a lot of information in these types of SOI
since each instant requires a lot of information and it needs a lot of
instants to generate a reasonable length of conscious experience.

2) SOIs which define an initial state consisting of a brain and supporting
apparatus together with laws of physics which allow the brain to become
conscious and remain conscious for a period of time. The initial state is
complex and requires a lot of information but because the laws of physics
are included there is a considerable saving over the information required
for a type 2 SOI compared with type 1.

3) SOIs which define an initial state for a universe such as ours together
with laws of physics which allow that universe to contain conscious
entities. It is not clear whether a type 3 SOI contains more or less
information than a type 2, but I suspect it takes less information to
describe the boundary conditions for a universe than a brain.

The amount of information an SOI contains is an indication of how unique
that SOI in the set of all SOIs. If an SOI can be mutated and still
generate conscious experiences then SOIs of that type will have greater
measure in the set of all SOIs which generate conscious experiences. This
means SOIs of type 1 require the most information so are the least general
and would have least measure. And those of type 3 need less information
are more general and would have higher measure. Another aspect of a type 3
SOI is that it will typically generate many conscious entities which exist
for considerable lengths of time (maybe infinite lengths of time). So when
weighted by the number of conscious instants a type 3 SOI has a big
advantage. This suggests it is most likely that a particular conscious
experience will be generated by a type 3 SOI and will happen in a complete
universe with physical laws.
Received on Thu Jul 08 1999 - 03:12:32 PDT

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