Re: A nerw idea to play with

From: Gilles HENRI <>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 16:16:50 +0200

>> Over dinner in a small pub in Fotheringhay, a friend described to me the
>> plot of the Matrix, which I still have not seen. It reminded me of an idea
>> I had when I was about 12, after reading too much Asimov, no doubt:
>> At some point in our evolution, we are bound to develop technology
>> sufficiently powerful to replicate the universe in a computer over which
>> we have full control (lets say it will take us a million years from now).
>> We are extremely unlikely to find ourselved in the first 4million years
>> during which this machine has not been invented. So it is highly likely
>> that we are inside a computer, or a nest of computers.
>> This hypothesis violates Ockam. And it's not terribly interesting because
>> the same questions remain to be answered (I can't understand people who
>> look to space-aliens for the genesis of life on earth!) But where are the
>> flaws?
>> James Higgo (not Higgo James, and my e-mail program insists on calling me)

I REFUSED to see this movie! (ok, I may be wrong, but let say I refuse to
pay to see this movie, I will wait until it comes on TV)
Again all this stuff relies on what I called comp2, ie the hypothesis that
a digital simulation can be at some level completely equivalent to an
analogic physical system. To speak like Jacques, I think that's the worst
crackpot idea that emerged from computer science!
The flaw is that even if it were the case, the required information is so
huge that it could not be physically realized by any system in our
Universe. You must invoke a super Universe where the amount of available
information would by far exceed that in our own universe. So it won't take
a million years to do it. It will never be done...

Received on Tue Aug 31 1999 - 07:15:48 PDT

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