Re: White Rabbits and QM

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 10:57:51 +1100 (EST)

> What about the ``rubbish universes''? Are there any? How do you tell them
> from others, when everything depends on the interpreter? It is essential
> to see that the external interpretation of some bitstring universe as,
> say, a movie, or a proof, requires additional information. A complex
> interpreter conveying a lot of algorithmic information can translate
> a simple universe into a complex one, while a simple interpreter will
> have complex output only if the universe itself is complex. Does that
> mean we explicitly have to look at all possible interpreter algorithms
> as well? No need to worry - they are already implicit in the original
> list of all possible programs.

As you say, the compiler theorem at least ensures that the interpreter
is not important for generating all universes. However, it does have
an impact on the measure, the point made in my paper. Ultimately, what
is important is the interpreter given by the SAS contained within the
system. As for whether there are rubbish universes or not - I believe
that there must be. Consider the string made up of all 0s. Surely this
string could not contain SASes? I'm not sure it is important to be
able to distinguish between real meaningfull universes and rubbish
universes. I suspect that it may in fact be impossible.

> The `internal' interpretation of some universe by some locally evolved
> observer dynamically depends on the changing observer who may not be aware
> yet of certain aspects of his universe. Like Alistair (recall his comment
> below) I'd hesitate to model a universe around the current abilities of
> an observer that evolved in it.

There is probably only a problem if more than one SAS existed within a
universe, and even then, only if the SASes were mutually
inconsistent. However, how likely is that? It seems more likely, that
only one (or none) SAS will evolve fo any given universe, and that
that universe will be quite strongly determined by the structure of
the SAS - basically the SAP. This was my point, that in an ensemble
picture, the SAP must be taken seriously.

If your worried about whether this has implications for future
developments to our intelligence, then I would have to say quite
strongly that it does. It doesn't rule out "super-intelligences"
descended from us in the future, but I would suspect that they would
be strongly consistent with where we are now.

Anyway, its at least worth running with - at least if some strong
internal inconsistency arises, then we can throw it all out, and start

> Russell:
> >>The answer is that the UTM is not important, but information
> >>is. Information is only information when interpreted by something, and
> >>the only things interpreting the universes are precisely the self-aware
> >>substructures inhabiting the universes. We should expect to find ourselves
> >>in a universe with one of the simplest underlying structures, according
> >>to our own information processing abilities.>>
> Alastair:
> >I can't agree with this, if I understand you correctly. This implies that as
> >our information processing abilities increase, we could in principle expect
> >to find ourselves in another kind of universe.
> Juergen

Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit,
University of NSW Phone 9385 6967
Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 6965
Room 2075, Red Centre
Received on Wed Nov 17 1999 - 16:03:11 PST

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