Re: Natural selection (spinoff from "History-less observer moments")

From: Fred Chen <>
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 21:44:21 -0700 wrote:

> In a message dated 05/18/2000 1:41:52 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > Actually, James, I read something wild into your sentence, interpreting "
> > competition" as the
> > selection mechanism. That does strike me as more promising than Occam's
> > razor. I am interested
> > in pursuing this line of thought as a means of selecting not only ideas
> > perceived to be correct,
> > but also universes.
> >
> > Anthropic compatibility has traditionally been the criterion to select
> > observed universes. It
> > does not appear feasible to apply this analogously to ideas, though. But
> > perhaps white rabbits
> > are naturally disfavored in this scheme?
> >
> > Higgo James wrote:
> >
> > > It seems to me that a good way of selecting one idea over is [sic]
> > competition is
> > > Occam's razor
> > >
> >
> >
> Great Fred, I had exactly the same thought. The selection of ideas, just like
> the selection of life forms, does not have to follow Occam. Otherwise we
> would still be slime in the mud.
> Anthropic selection is yet another kind of selection.
> While natural selection (selection of the individual by the world) is 3rd
> person effect, anthropy (selection of the world by the individual) is a 1st
> person effect. They are identical except that the frame of reference is
> different.
> Interestingly, these processes seem to be acausal: the fittest survives
> because it does. We see the world we see because we are alive to see it.

You raise an important issue. In the competition, there has to be some criteria
for survivability. Self-consistency (essentially the anthropic principle being
applied to whatever is being selected) could be one. Logical consistency (which
forbids p and not p being true) could be another.

 Higgo James wrote:

> This is Dawkins' memes theory

Great, if at least 3 people independently had the same thinking, it can't be
totally devoid of merit.

Higgo James also wrote:

> The answer is simply the anthropic principle - which should strictly be
> applied to thoughts, not to people. The question, 'why is it that I am
> having this exact thought?' exists. You should not be surprised that your
> thought is that question.

There is something circular about this, but a thought that exists in a 'hard'
(perceived) sense should be self-consistent, which I think is what you are
saying. (My earlier statement about AP being applied to ideas was meant to say
not every thought of ours is necessary to our survival.)

Received on Thu May 18 2000 - 21:51:34 PDT

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