Re: Predictions & duplications

From: jamikes <>
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 09:32:28 -0400

Dear Russell and Hal,
this is a naive question, however it goes into the basics of your written
explanations. How would YOU define "random"? I had this problem for a long
long time and never got a satisfactory solution. In my (non Indo-European)
language, Hungarian, there is no exact word for it, it is used as a term
meaning "according to whim or taste" (tetszöleges) - which leaves open that
I may not LIKE the 'random' in question. If you say: a sequence defying all
rules, then it is not random, it is calculable. You have to consider all
rules and cut them out. Is a series of 11111... random? of course it may be.
Is the pi-decimal random? no, because it is a result of calculation. If one
says: "just pick it" that would follow all circumstantial pressure of the
situation, maybe unconsciously, yet defying the 'random'.

So what is the content you use behind that word?

I would be surprised if both of you (and others, too) would agree <G>.
Till then I wish you luck to use the word - at random.

Best wishes
John Mikes
----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell Standish" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>; <>
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2001 4:36 AM
Subject: Re: Predictions & duplications

> That is almost the correct solution, Hal. If we ask what an observer
> will make of a random description chosen at random, then you get
> regular universes with probability exponentially related to the
> inferred complexity. It is far clearer to see what happen when the
> observer is a UTM, forcibly terminating programs after a
> certain number of steps (representing the observer's resource bound)
> (thus all descriptions are halting programs). Then one obtains a
> Solomon-Levy distribution or universal prior. However, this argument
> also works when the observer is not a UTM, but simply a classification
> device of some kind.
> The WAP has nothing to do with this issue, except inasmuch as
> universes can only be observed through the eyes of some observer.
> Again I reiterate that Juergen's resource-bounded "Great Programmer"
> religion need be nothing but a reflection of our conscious selves stamped
> upon our observations.
> Cheers
> wrote:
> >
> > Juergen writes:
> > > Some seem to think that the weak anthropic principle explains the
> > > regularity. The argument goes like this: "Let there be a uniform
> > > on all universe histories, represented as bitstrings. Now take the
> > > subset of histories in which you appear. Although the measure of this
> > > subset is tiny, its conditional measure, given your very existence,
> > > is not: According to the weak anthropic principle, the conditional
> > > probability of finding yourself in a regular universe compatible with
> > > your existence equals 1."
> > >
> > > But it is essential to see that the weak anthropic principle does not
> > > have any predictive power at all. It does not tell you anything about
> > > the future. It cannot explain away futures in which you still exist
> > > but irregular things happen. Only a nonuniform prior can explain this.
> >
> > Isn't this fixed by saying that the uniform measure is not over all
> > universe histories, as you have it above, but over all programs that
> > generate universes? Now we have the advantage that short programs
> > generate more regular universes than long ones, and the WAP grows teeth.
> >
> > Hal Finney
> >
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Received on Sun Oct 14 2001 - 06:44:25 PDT

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