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From: Jacques Mallah <jackmallah.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2000 19:11:29 EDT

*>From: Russell Standish <R.Standish.domain.name.hidden>
*

*>Jacques Mallah wrote:
*

*> > I didn't ask for a full theory. I require a definition of observer
*

*>because 1) it seems obvious that, in principle, there is no such definition
*

*>that would have all the properties you want. The only way to dissuade me
*

*>of that would be to provide said definition, and 2) without the definition,
*

*>I don't know what you are trying to say.
*

*>
*

*>So that we're quite clear what I'm talking about, the observer
*

*>referred to is the Anthropic Principle observer. It would be nice to
*

*>have a clear definition of what that is - eg is it required to
*

*>self-aware, as Max Tegmark implies. All I say about this observer is
*

*>
*

*>a) It must be capable of computation (though not necessarily universal
*

*>computation)
*

*>b) It must experience a time dimension in which to perform these
*

*>computations
*

*>c) It must be able to project from the ensemble of possibilities to
*

*>the actual outcome it sees.
*

*>
*

*>That's it. b) is required for a). a) is required for the Schmidhuber
*

*>"bitstring" ensemble to be experienced. c) is required for the
*

*>Anthropic Principle.
*

*>
*

*>I don't see any inconsistencies between these properties. There is
*

*>possibly an inconsistency between c) and computationalism, which I
*

*>have pointed out. If true, there would be an inconsistency between AUH
*

*>and computationalism. However, this is a completely spearate argument.
*

"The AP observer"? I asked for the defintion of an observer. Most

importantly, how could one distinguish one observer from another,

observer-moments belonging to one observer from those belonging to another.

This you did not address at all.

I don't know what your c) is supposed to mean.

*> > >The way the statements M(x) and M(x') that you gave are phrased, they
*

*>refer to the same "generic" observer, wondering why it sees an ordered
*

*>world.
*

*> >
*

*> > If there is such a "generic" observer, then is he the only observer
*

*>ever to be in existance? If so, then maybe I could understand what you
*

*>mean.
*

*>
*

*>Not the only observer, but the only class of observers. The "generic"
*

*>observer can only have properties that all observers must share.
*

So the "generic" observer is really not an observer at all, but instead

...? Not a set of observers, from what it sounds like. Perhaps you mean

that any observer would have the same measure distribution as any other?

Absolute measures?

*> > Otherwise, surely the Bayesian probabilities that he is the various
*

*> > observers come into play, which you refuse to consider.
*

*> >
*

*> > > > Suppose I see a guy named Harry, who verifiably came into being
*

*>due to 'random fluctuations'. Surely, whatever is meant by 'Harry', that
*

*>is one of his characteristics and it's what makes him so popular at
*

*>parties.
*

*> > >
*

*> > >This would be a truly remarkable observation, and would probably put
*

*>into grave doubt the whole idea of the SSA and the Anthropic Principle.
*

*>Instead, it would make the idea of an intelligent designer much more
*

*>appealing.
*

*> >
*

*> > Now that's a real red herring. Forget that and answer the question:
*

*>is it one of Harry's characteristics? And if so, shouldn't Harry still be
*

*>surprised to have such an origin? And if that too, then he is clearly
*

*>considering the measure of other observers, which he knows is larger than
*

*>the measure of freaks like him.
*

*>
*

*>Yes, but Harry is still only considering the generic class of
*

*>observer. He is surprised to find himself a freak, but can recognise
*

*>that his case is not impossible.
*

Supposing it is a characteristic of him as an observer. Then he is

considering the Bayesian probability that an observer, prior to knowing who

he is, would be a freak. By considering prior Bayesian probabilities of

being different observers, he must be using absolute measure. Period.

*> > In the AUH, all possibilities exist. So no information is needed to
*

*>specify which ones exist. But of course there is stucture.
*

*> > Consider the UTM analogy of the universal distribution. The
*

*>universal distribution is the distribution of output strings produced by a
*

*>UTM, given a uniform distribution of input strings.
*

*> >
*

*> > >This is my point - all measure distributions must be relative to some
*

*>information processing entity (be they observer or UTM or whatever). These
*

*>"observers" needn't be concrete, but they must have some properties to
*

*>enable information in the form of measure distributions to be extracted.
*

*> >
*

*> > First, as I have said many times on this list, for the UTM analogy
*

*>to work there must exist some special UTM or distribution of UTMs which is
*

*>to be used. This does *not* mean information is required, because it
*

*>should be possible to know this distribution based only on special
*

*>properties that it ought to have. (Just as it does not take information to
*

*>know that pi > 3.)
*

*> > If on the other hand that is not sufficient, then nature would need to
*

*>'arbritrarily' make a choice, in which case the zero information hypothesis
*

*>should be considered FALSIFIED.
*

*>
*

*>Wrong. There may well be a special UTM, or distribution of UTMs, in
*

*>which case what you say applies. However, it is simply not necessary
*

*>for the Universal Prior argument to work.
*

Sure it is. No special distribution, no universal prior.

*> > Second, if we consider a measure distibution of conscious
*

*>computations, then obviously the definition of 'conscious' acts as a
*

*>filter. To go back to a bitstring analogy, suppose there is a uniform
*

*>distribution 'D' of strings, and we want the measure distribution of such
*

*>strings given an additional property, c. Obviously M(c) will not (in
*

*>general) be uniform. Again - no information is required to specify 'D'
*

*>because it is uniform, yet it leads to a nontrivial M(c).
*

*> > M(c) is quite objective; anyone who calculates it would get the same
*

*>result. In our case, we are interested in consciousness, so we choose that
*

*>as a filter. Me being conscious has nothing to do with the result, just as
*

*>an unconscious computer could calculate M(c).
*

*>
*

*>Maybe this is true, but you've made several assumptions. One of which
*

*>is that the ensemble of all conscious entities must implement a well
*

*>defined distribution of UTMs. I don't need to assume this, and in the
*

*>absence of a good reason, I think it is a mistake to make such an
*

*> >assumption.
*

I have assumed no such thing. Of course as I said, a special

distribution of UTMs must implement all conscious computations, but that's

quite different. You may think you don't need it, but then you are wrong as

usual.

- - - - - - -

Jacques Mallah (jackmallah.domain.name.hidden)

Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate

"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum

My URL: http://hammer.prohosting.com/~mathmind/

________________________________________________________________________

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com

Received on Wed Jul 05 2000 - 16:16:20 PDT

Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2000 19:11:29 EDT

"The AP observer"? I asked for the defintion of an observer. Most

importantly, how could one distinguish one observer from another,

observer-moments belonging to one observer from those belonging to another.

This you did not address at all.

I don't know what your c) is supposed to mean.

So the "generic" observer is really not an observer at all, but instead

...? Not a set of observers, from what it sounds like. Perhaps you mean

that any observer would have the same measure distribution as any other?

Absolute measures?

Supposing it is a characteristic of him as an observer. Then he is

considering the Bayesian probability that an observer, prior to knowing who

he is, would be a freak. By considering prior Bayesian probabilities of

being different observers, he must be using absolute measure. Period.

Sure it is. No special distribution, no universal prior.

I have assumed no such thing. Of course as I said, a special

distribution of UTMs must implement all conscious computations, but that's

quite different. You may think you don't need it, but then you are wrong as

usual.

- - - - - - -

Jacques Mallah (jackmallah.domain.name.hidden)

Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate

"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum

My URL: http://hammer.prohosting.com/~mathmind/

________________________________________________________________________

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com

Received on Wed Jul 05 2000 - 16:16:20 PDT

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