RE: Fwd: Implementation/Relativity

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 09:31:05 +0100

I'm interested in the idea that 'Our world is highly
compressible in the Kolmogorov sense'. Could you expand on this?

I have a feeleing that our world is as compressed as it can be - it actually
*is* the shortest possible program required to generate it. It is not a
classical grid with lots of blank spaces that can be compressed. In defining
the position, momentum, spin, of each subatomic particle you use up as many
lines of code as the particles themselves.

Hence you can't have our universe "as a bitstring within our universe"

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Russell Standish []
> Sent: Thursday, July 29, 1999 5:25 AM
> To:
> Cc:;
> Subject: Re: Fwd: Implementation/Relativity
> >
> > Russell Standish <>:
> > > Anthropomorphism may be common, but this doesn't mean it is correct,
> > > nor useful.
> >
> > It is very useful in making sense of fiction (anthropomorphising words
> > on paper, pictures on film, etc.), therapeutic in communicating with a
> > diary or a teddy bear.
> I think most people still realise its fictional and don't take it too
> seriously. Those that do have the habit of becoming insane, or at
> least being committed for such.
> It is ecologically beneficial when applied to
> > trees and animals, as was done by native Americans.
> Australian Aborigines had similar sorts of beliefs also. Maybe it
> mitigated some of the environmental effects they had, but not others
> (eg changing the nature of the vegetation, extinction of the megafauna
> and so on). I don't know much about the environmental effects of
> Amerindians.
> Besides, one can obtain beneficial environmental effect through
> understanding the system also.
> It is
> > historically beneficial when applied to structures and artifacts.
> When those structures and artifacts are created by human societies,
> particularly ones that may have held animistic beliefs. However, it
> must always be tempered with caution, as many an archaeologist has
> come unstuck attributing modern attitudes and beliefs on ancient
> societies.
> It
> > benefits industrial progress when it is applied to machines, as often
> > in Japan, making them a cherished part of the family rather than a
> > threatening soulless force.
> That may be, although I've never heard this explanation before.
> >
> > And I've argued hard that it is an interpretation, as correct as any
> > other.
> >
> >
> > >> Western stinginess in attributing minds, on the other
> > >> hand, is becoming a Luddite-rousing impediment to progress.
> > >>
> > > How so?
> >
> > About half the press advanced robots get here plays up the
> > Frankenstein analogy. I encounter it a lot because of my books. It's
> > even worse in Germany.
> I haven't noticed this much here in Australia. It could be that it is
> because we don't have many industrial robots, and the robots we do
> have tend to be research machines - more objects of curiosity and
> fascination. Industrial robots could be threatening because of fear of
> loss of employment.
> On the other hand, we've just started inheriting the hysteria over
> genetically engineered food that Europe has had for the last decade.
> Asimov noted the reaction, and in his robot
> > books laws are passed keeping robots out of many occupations, as well
> > as the famous three laws to keep robots in their place. It is a
> > subliminal bias that allows only human beings have real souls, and
> > fears anything else that acts like a human but is different as a
> > soulless inhuman menace.
> >
> > Japan's Buddhist and Shinto traditions routinely assign souls to all
> > kinds
> > of objects, animal, vegetable, mineral, geographic, architectural and
> > mechanical, and granting them to robots was natural. There is no
> > Frankenstein complex in Japan, and despite its smaller economy, Japan
> > uses over half the robots in the world.
> >
> >
> This is all a long way from Tegmarks picture of mathematically
> consistent systems that contain SASes. Just because a piece of fiction
> (idealised as a bitstring say) exists in our world, does not imply
> that it is such a mathematical system containing a SAS. It is merely
> an object in our world.
> The converse question one could ask is whether a mathematical system
> with a SAS could be embedded in our world. Our world is highly
> compressible in the Kolmogorov sense. Therefore it should be possible
> encode our universe as a bitstring within our universe, at least that
> part of the universe which is necessary for conscious beings to exist,
> even if some contingency is left out. However, one would expect that
> our world should have minimal information requirements, so don't
> expect there to be much simpler such systems. In order to find out
> whether such encoding does encode for a SAS, presumably one would need
> to unfold the system, and that unfolding would require as much if not
> more resources than our universe contains.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
> Dr. Russell Standish Director
> High Performance Computing Support Unit,
> University of NSW Phone 9385 6967
> Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 6965
> Australia
> Room 2075, Red Centre
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
Received on Thu Jul 29 1999 - 01:35:24 PDT

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