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From: Fred Chen <flipsu5.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 20:40:50 -0700

Saibal Mitra wrote:

*>An interesting question can now be asked: Does the prisoner only exist
*

when the computer is simulating his universe, or does his universe

*>exist independently of our universe and simulating his universe simply
*

means that we can take look at his universe and even interact with him?

*>If the latter is true then clearly all possible universes exist
*

independently of each other. We can then ask why we find ourselves in

this0 >universe instead of the rather boring universe of the prisoner. I

think that this must follow from probabilistic arguments. It may be that

all >universes are, in some sense, equally likely a priory. The

probability that we find ourselves in a particular universe would then

be given by an >appropriate conditional probability. When we refer to

our universe we actually refer to a large class of universes, because we

don't have >complete knowledge of our universe (we can only store a

finite amount of information in our brains). So, given the knowledge we

do have, we >live in a large number of universes ``simultaneously´´, and

the number of ``equivalent´´ universes increases with its size. We

should thus ask >for the probability that we live in any of the

equivalent universes. It is thus clear that ``our´´ universe is

infinitely more likely than the >prisoner`s universe.

As Russell has posted, the prisoner's universe is "over-specified" and

so is actually more complex than our universe. However, if it is true

that a Turing machine such as the Game of Life can realize a

self-conscious being, then one wonders whether such a simply constructed

universe would have less information and be more probable.

*>Interestingly this fits in well with observational evidence that our
*

universe is flat. From the arguments I gave above, you would expect that

the >universe is spatially open, because such an universe has an

infinite volume. This infinite volume also cause me to exist in an

infinite number of >places simultaneously in a single universe, because

the probability that somewhere an intelligent being emerges that has

stored in his brain the >same information as in my brain is extremely

small but strictly larger than zero due to the finiteness of the amount

of information that can be >stored in the brain. It would, of course,

necessarily be the case that this intelligent being is very, very

similar to me and that he lives on a planet >which is very similar to

the earth. Now it would be reasonable to expect that an universe where

the density of ``copies´´ of me is larger is more >probable. By

increasing the matter density of the universe I can increase the number

of copies of myself, but if the matter density becomes too >large then

the universe would be spatially closed. Therefore it is reasonable to

expect that we live in a flat universe.

A flat universe (omega=1) is most consistent with cosmic inflation,

which is the simplest theory that would explain large-scale homogeneity

in the universe. Other theories allow open inflation, but are more

complicated in certain ways. Simpler theories go hand-in-hand with

greater measure. It is often tempting to appeal to anthropic reasoning

to justify the matter density we observe, but we have to beware of a

theory of everything may come along which will make all the numbers

which allow us to exist obvious.

Received on Mon Aug 21 2000 - 20:43:19 PDT

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 20:40:50 -0700

Saibal Mitra wrote:

when the computer is simulating his universe, or does his universe

means that we can take look at his universe and even interact with him?

independently of each other. We can then ask why we find ourselves in

this0 >universe instead of the rather boring universe of the prisoner. I

think that this must follow from probabilistic arguments. It may be that

all >universes are, in some sense, equally likely a priory. The

probability that we find ourselves in a particular universe would then

be given by an >appropriate conditional probability. When we refer to

our universe we actually refer to a large class of universes, because we

don't have >complete knowledge of our universe (we can only store a

finite amount of information in our brains). So, given the knowledge we

do have, we >live in a large number of universes ``simultaneously´´, and

the number of ``equivalent´´ universes increases with its size. We

should thus ask >for the probability that we live in any of the

equivalent universes. It is thus clear that ``our´´ universe is

infinitely more likely than the >prisoner`s universe.

As Russell has posted, the prisoner's universe is "over-specified" and

so is actually more complex than our universe. However, if it is true

that a Turing machine such as the Game of Life can realize a

self-conscious being, then one wonders whether such a simply constructed

universe would have less information and be more probable.

universe is flat. From the arguments I gave above, you would expect that

the >universe is spatially open, because such an universe has an

infinite volume. This infinite volume also cause me to exist in an

infinite number of >places simultaneously in a single universe, because

the probability that somewhere an intelligent being emerges that has

stored in his brain the >same information as in my brain is extremely

small but strictly larger than zero due to the finiteness of the amount

of information that can be >stored in the brain. It would, of course,

necessarily be the case that this intelligent being is very, very

similar to me and that he lives on a planet >which is very similar to

the earth. Now it would be reasonable to expect that an universe where

the density of ``copies´´ of me is larger is more >probable. By

increasing the matter density of the universe I can increase the number

of copies of myself, but if the matter density becomes too >large then

the universe would be spatially closed. Therefore it is reasonable to

expect that we live in a flat universe.

A flat universe (omega=1) is most consistent with cosmic inflation,

which is the simplest theory that would explain large-scale homogeneity

in the universe. Other theories allow open inflation, but are more

complicated in certain ways. Simpler theories go hand-in-hand with

greater measure. It is often tempting to appeal to anthropic reasoning

to justify the matter density we observe, but we have to beware of a

theory of everything may come along which will make all the numbers

which allow us to exist obvious.

Received on Mon Aug 21 2000 - 20:43:19 PDT

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