Re: Interested in thoughts on this excerpt from Martin Rees

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 14:51:19 +0200

Le 06-août-06, à 15:59, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

> Russell Standish writes:
>> This is one of those truly cracked ideas that is not wise to air in
>> polite company. Nevertheless, it can be fun to play around with in
>> this forum. I had a similarly cracked idea a few years ago about 1st
>> person experienced magic, which we batted around a bit at the tiome
>> without getting anywhere.
>> The trouble I have with this idea is that I can't see the connection
>> between OM measure and the sensation of passage of time. In contrast
>> to your statement of "nothing" however, a lower measure OM will appear
>> more complex - so we experience growth in knowledge as our measure
>> decreases. Increasing measure OM's will correspond to memory
>> "erasure", in the sense of quantum erasure.
> My thought was that if there are twice as many copies of you running
> in parallel,
> you are in a sense cramming twice as much experience into a given
> objective time
> period, so maybe this "stretches out" the time period to seem twice as
> long.

I certainly doubt that!

> There
> is admittedly no good reason to accept that this is so (that's why
> it's a cracked
> idea, as you say!), and I would bet that it *isn't* so, but it's the
> only half-plausible
> subjective effect I can think of due to change in measure alone.

The (relative) number or proportion of emulation will never change a
content of an experience, but could change the relative probabilities,
both in comp and in QM.

> I believe that what you mean when you say that a lower measure OM will
> appear
> more complex is somewhat different to the scenario I had in mind: a
> controlled
> experiment in which measure can be turned up and down leaving
> everything else
> the same, such as having an AI running on several computers in perfect
> lockstep.

I think that the idea that a lower measure OM will appear more complex
is a consequence of Komogorov like ASSA theories (a-la Hal Finney,
Mallah, etc.). OK?

> (I realise this is not the same as changing measure in the multiverse,
> which would
> not lend itself so easily to experiment.) Would the AI notice anything
> if half the
> computers were turned off then on again? I think it would be
> impossible for the AI
> to notice that anything had changed without receiving external
> information.

I agree from some 1 pov. But 1 plural pov here would lead to some "Bell
inequalities violation". That is: sharable experiments which shows
indirectly the presence of some alternate computations.

> If I
> were the AI the only advantage I can think of in having multiple
> computers running
> is for backup in case some of them broke down; beyond that, I wouldn't
> care if there
> were one copy or a million copies of me running in parallel.

Except, as I said above, for the relative probabilities. But this is
equivalent with accepting a well done back-up will not change your
"normal" measure.


> Stathis Papaioannou
>> On Sat, Aug 05, 2006 at 10:44:49PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>> I have asked the question before, what do I experience if my measure
>>> in the multiverse increases or decreases? My preferred answer, contra
>>> the ASSA/ QTI skeptics, is "nothing". However, the interesting
>>> observation
>>> that our perception of time changes with age, so that an hour seems
>>> subjectively much longer for a young child than for an older person,
>>> would
>>> seem to correlate with decreasing measure as a person grows older.
>>> One
>>> explanation for this could be that if there are more copies of us
>>> around
>>> in the multiverse, we have more subjective experience per unit time.
>>> This
>>> would mean that if we lived forever, the years then the centuries
>>> and millenia
>>> would fly past at a subjectively faster and faster rate as we age
>>> and our
>>> measure continuously drops.
>>> I actually believe that a psychological explanation for this
>>> phenomenon is more
>>> likely correct (an hour is a greater proportion of your life if you
>>> are a young child)
>>> but it's an interesting idea.
>>> Stathis Papaioannou
>>> ----------------------------------------
>>>> Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2006 02:10:53 +1000
>>>> From:
>>>> To:
>>>> Subject: Re: Interested in thoughts on this excerpt from Martin Rees
>>>> Someone called me to task for this posting (I forget who, and I've
>>>> lost the posting now). I tried to formulate the notion I expressed
>>>> here more precisely, and failed! So I never responded.
>>>> What I had in mind was that future observer moment of my current one
>>>> will at some point have a total measure diminishing at least as fast
>>>> as an exponental function of OM age. This is simply a statement that
>>>> it becomes increasingly improbable for humans to live longer than a
>>>> certain age.
>>>> Whilst individual OMs will have exponentially decreasing measure due
>>>> to the linear increase in complexity as a function of universe age,
>>>> total OM measure requires summing over all OMs of a given age (which
>>>> can compensate). This total OM measure is a 3rd person type of
>>>> quantity - equivalent to asking what is the probability of a
>>>> conscious
>>>> organism existing at universe age t. It seems plausible that this
>>>> might diminish in some exponential or faster fashion after a few
>>>> standard deviation beyond the mean time it takes to evolve
>>>> consciousness, but I do not have any basis for making this claim. If
>>>> we assume a normal distribution of times required for evolving
>>>> consciousness, then the statement is true for example, but I'm wise
>>>> enough to know that this assumption needs further justification. The
>>>> distribution may be a meanless thing like a power law for example.
>>>> So sorry if I piqued someones interest too much - but then we can
>>>> leave
>>>> this notion as a conjecture :)
>>>> Cheers
>>>> On Fri, Jul 28, 2006 at 12:07:37AM +1000, Russell Standish wrote:
>>>>> Thanks for giving a digested explanation of the argument. This
>>>>> paper
>>>>> was discussed briefly on A-Void a few weeks ago, but I must admit
>>>>> to
>>>>> not following the argument too well, nor RTFA.
>>>>> My comment on the observer moment issue, is that in a Multiverse,
>>>>> the
>>>>> measure of older observer moments is less that younger ones. After
>>>>> a
>>>>> certain point in time, the measure probably decreases
>>>>> exponentially or
>>>>> faster, so there will be a mean observer moment age.
>>>>> So contra all these old OMs dominating the calculation, and giving
>>>>> rise to an expected value of Lambda close to zero, we should expect
>>>>> only a finite contribution, leading to an expected finite value of
>>>>> Lambda.
>>>>> We don't know what the mean age for an observer moment should be,
>>>>> but
>>>>> presumably one could argue anthropically that is around 10^{10}
>>>>> years. What does this give for an expected value of Lambda?
>>>>> Of course their argument does sound plausible for a single
>>>>> universe -
>>>>> is this observational evidence in favour of a Multiverse?
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Received on Mon Aug 07 2006 - 08:53:26 PDT

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