Re: The Anthropic Principle Boundary Conditions

From: Jacques Mallah <>
Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 19:45:07 -0700 (PDT)

--- wrote:
> writes:
>>>> Perhaps the best thing to do is just to compare
>>>> the complexity of an observation with that of an
>>>> equal size, anthropically filtered but otherwise
>>>> random possible observation. The latter case
>>>> would have higher complexity.

>>> I don't understand your statement about
> >
> > Why not? Complexity = Kolmogorov complexity.
> > I am comparing two cases:
>> 1) A typical observation (modelled as a
> >drawn from, e.g., a UD with computationalism.
> > "apparent laws of physics" are said to be favored
> > by this.
> > 2) A typical observation, as above, but drawn
> > instead from a set with equal weight for all
> > anthropically valid possible observations, of the
> > same size (same bitstring length) as above. This
> > should be more "wabbitty"; the question is how to
> > define that.
> We are really really not on the same wavelength.

    To that, I agree completely.

> I am guessing the following: According to you, your
> 1) (a UD with computationalism) can be found
> independently of Anthropic filtering. According to
> me it can't.
> Computationalism of the world is the result of
> Anthropic filtering with computationalism of the
> mind of the observer as a boundary condition. So
> your 1) and your 2) are, according to me, identical.

    I don't know what you are talking about. First, I
assume we agree a UD (or better, the set of all TM
programs) can be defined.
    I don't understand the way you use the word
'computationalism'. What this word means to me, is
just that implementation of certain computations is
sufficient for consciousness.
    It should be obvious, but you're slow on the
uptake so I'll go ahead and say it, that something
which is _not_ anthropically valid, is not an
observation. 1) and 2) contain the same set of
observations, but have a different measure
distribution on them.

> If I attempt to keep your 2) as such and redefine
> your 1) as a totally random world (without
> necessarily computationalism)

    Here, you go off on an unrelated tangent in which
I have no interest.

> > You still haven't defined "I", and the fact that
> > we've discussed it many times without me getting a
> > straight answer from you is not an excuse for you.
> > As for my starting point, as I've said repeatedly,
> > it's my observer-moment.
> >
> You can't prove observer-moment without going
> through "I think" first. And I don't need to, nor
> know how to define "I." I experience it.

    Au contraire, what you experience is an
observer-moment. As for your "I", you do need to
define it if one additional condition holds, namely,
that you want to talk about it.

> writes:
>> I think [Jacques] is just saying that: 1) worlds
>> low complexity are those that are
>> described by a few consistent laws and exceptions
>> add complexity while, on the other hand, 2) worlds
>> with observers will have to be more complex than
>> those with the simplest physics and without the
>> constraint of being law-like could be
>> very much more complex, i.e. wabbity. The question
>> is, "Can observers exist in a wabbity world?".
>> Logically, I don't see why not. But unless there
>> is at least a somewhat consistent physics they
>> could not be 'rational' observers in
>> the sense required by the WAP.

    Right, but still wabbitty.

> I read an article in one of the Science magazines
> recently, possibly Science News or New Scientist
> that related the complexity of an environment to how

> interesting it is. The article concludes that the
> most interesting results are achieved when the
> environment is neither too simple nor too complex.

    The amazing thing here is - someone was actually
able to publish an article concluding something so
painfully obvious?!? I gotta get me some of that

> In terms of our discussion, we can imagine a
> computable (simulatable) Universe with laws
> described by a bit string such as (0,0,0,0,0,0...0)
> in which nothing happens. Similiarly if the bit
> string is totally random, nothing is going to happen
> either. The best results are obtained with a middle
> of the road complexity.

    Note though that a quite little complexity, plus a
lot of depth, can go a long way, e.g. fractals. Hey -
I'd better tell New Scientist the news!

> A puzzle for the reader: Derive mathematically the
> value for the critical mine density showing why it
> is close to the experimental value of 1/12.


> > Could we please resolve our differences simply by
> > saying that observer- moment is the same as "I
> > think?" Thank you.

> I think I am going to withdraw this offer.

    Good, I'd have rejected it.

> Observer-moment is implicitely objective, "I think"
> is implicitly subjective. Just like oil and water.
> They don't mix. We cannot prove the objective world
> until we accept our subjective thoughts and
> observations. So, I insist, "I think" comes first.

    The experience of the observer-moment, and theory,
are the only building blocks we have. Tell me how to
build your "I think", or get rid of it.

> Definitions always have to stop with undefined
> terms. Where is not crucial so long as we can
> understand one another. - Brent Meeker
    OK. Trouble is, we can't.

- - - - - - -
               Jacques Mallah (
         Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
         My URL:

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Received on Mon May 29 2000 - 19:48:40 PDT

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