Re: to Russell Standish

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 15:26:02 +1100 (EST)

In a relatively trivial sense, observers must process
information. Quite what this means is a little unclear - for example
does it mean that all observers need to be capable of universal

It does seem to me that observers do implement some kind of totally
recursive function i.e. will classify any input given to them into a
countable (possibly finite) number of categories. This is sufficient
to resolve the white rabbit paradox and deliver the general
Schroedinger equation.

Now if you're asking the question of why our intelligence is human,
rather than say ant or bacterial, then I really don't know. I could be
that self reflection is important here, but I'm only guessing. Only a
few species are known to have a sense of self, and homo sapiens is the
most numerous.


Wei Dai wrote:
> At the bottom of
> you wrote:
> > There may well be some way of resolving this problem
> > that leads to an absolute measure over all bitstrings.
> > However, it turns out that an absolute measure is not
> > required to explain features we observe. A SAS is an
> > information processing entity, and may well be capable
> > of universal computation (certainly homo sapiens seems
> > capable of universal computation). Therefore, the only
> > interpreter (UTM) that is relevant to the measure that
> > determines which universe a SAS appears in is the SAS
> > itself. We should expect to find ourselves in a
> > universe with one of the simplest underlying
> > structures, according to our own information processing
> > abilities.
> How do you explain why we find ourselves with the information processing
> abilities that we have? It seems to me that the problem with your idea of
> observer-relative measures of information content is that it can't explain
> this. You can't put an absolute measure on information processing
> abilities, since that would lead to an absolute measure over all bit
> strings.
> How do you respond to this?

Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 (")
Room 2075, Red Centre
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Received on Fri Nov 02 2001 - 20:44:43 PST

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