Re: Hello all - My Theory of Everything

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 22:49:04 +1100

----- Forwarded message from Russell Standish <> -----

Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 16:32:33 +1100
From: Russell Standish <>
Subject: Re: Hello all - My Theory of Everything
In-Reply-To: <>
User-Agent: Mutt/

On Fri, Dec 08, 2006 at 03:18:00PM -0800, William wrote:
> Hello everybody,
> My name is William Vandenberghe, I'm 21 years old, and currently a last
> year student electrical engineering at the university of Leuven
> (Belgium).
> All of my life, I have been wondering about why we exist, and why we
> exist in the way we do... I think I finally found the explanation and
> after some searching on the internet, I came to the theory of Max
> Tegmark which was
> pretty close to what I was thinking.
> Although, I do disagree or put the emphasis differently at some points.
> My theory (I mailed a copy to professor Tegmark yesterday) :
> The main disagreement in philosophy with the theory of Tegmark is that
> I do believe that SASs are possible in universes that have higher
> dimensions, or for instance SASs in a universe that did not just start
> with 1 big bang ...

Tegmark gives some interesting arguments for why dimensionality might
be 3+1, but they're hardly conclusive.

> Take a universe completely the same to our universe up to this moment,
> obviously it would contain an SAS (us humans); but the difference with
> our universe is that from tomorrow on, it will stop obeying the rules
> of physics (it has respected rules of physics up to today for those
> humans, but no longer does from tomorrow on). I am sure you will agree
> that this universe exists (given that I can describe it to you and it
> is not inconsistent).
> Now, if all universes are equally probable, we can not be living in a
> universe with rules of physics.
> My solution:
> In short, I think the option 1a
> "Everything that exists mathematically exists physically."
> must be true ... for reasons of symmetry, simulated reality, etc ...
> Now, I have a 2nd "postulate":
> "Nothing that exists mathematically exists physically with finite
> probability."

Do you mean all mathematical existing objects exist with zero
probability? It seems to belie the first claim.

> So the main point in my theory is, that all mathematical things exist,
> but some with a different probability than others. And the way I
> develloped my theory, the probability of a universe (or a formal system
> in the paper of prof. Tegmark) to exist; is proporional to the amount
> of information that universe contains ( Probability ~ 1/(amount of
> information) )

Quite a few of us have discussed and developed theories along these
lines. Schmidhuber, Wei Dai, myself, at least someone else that I've

> A simple example would be:
> A (normalized & continious) 3D universe with 1 particle in it is
> infinitely less probable than a (norm. & cont.) 2D universe with 1
> particle in it.
> This is very intuitive, it just means that a 2D universe is equally
> probable as the sum of the probability of all 3D universes for 2
> coordinates fixed, and a 3rd varied.
> Or P( U2(a,b) ) = int( P( U3(a,b,x) ) , x=-inf..inf )

I don't think this is at all obvious. In any case, you'd have to
explain why 2D SASes are impossible when 2D universal machines are
possible (eg within the Game of Life).

I suspect 2D SASes are possible, but rather unlikely (it is hard to
wire up a universal machine in GoL, for instance).

> So of all universes that allow SAS, we live in the one with the lowest
> possible amount of information.
> Now let us look at some predictions for now:
> - Our universe has rules and keeps to them at all times unless it is
> essential for the existence of a SAS (violating rules = information)
> - Either our universe started with a small number of particles, or many
> particles in our universe started with the same initial conditions; if
> every particle currently in existence, had its own initial conditions,
> this would contain a huge amount of information. A nice Big Bang
> directly coming out of the TOE.

What makes this a big bang?

> - No universe containing fewer information than our own, contains a
> SAS.

Its not such an absolute hard prediction - we can only say that the information
content of our universe is amongst the lowest - not the absolute minimum.

> Another amusing result is that we can answer the simulated reality
> question with a simple "no, we are not living in a simulation", since
> it takes a universe of more information to simulate our universe and
> that universe is at least infinitely (probably some powers of infinity)
> less probable than ours.

It takes precisely the same amount of information to simulate
something as the thing has in the first place. This is the definition
of information as used in algorithmic information theory. So I don't
think this latter argument works at all.


> Bring on the comments please :)
A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052         
----- End forwarded message -----
A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052         
 You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Sat Dec 09 2006 - 17:16:08 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:12 PST