Re: to Russell Standish

From: Wei Dai <>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2001 13:21:53 -0800

On Sat, Nov 03, 2001 at 03:26:02PM +1100, Russell Standish wrote:
> 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
> computation?

Clearly many observers are not capable of universal computation. We
ourselves are mortal and therefore are not capable of computation that
would take longer than our lifetimes.

> 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.

I don't think you have solved the white rabbit paradox. You've tried to
explain why we perceive the world to be relatively simple given our own
information processing abilities, but you have not tried to explain why we
ourselves are relatively simple. Why are our own minds relatively simple
and regular, considering that intelligent minds can be arbitrarily
complex? Your observer-relative approach does not and can not answer that

> 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.

Now you seem to be talking about an absolute measure on information
processing abilities (i.e. homo sapiens are more numerous and therefore
have greater measure). Now doesn't that lead to an absolute measure on bit
strings, which you claimed was not necessary?

And where does that absolute measure on information processing abilities
come from? I mean in your theory, the only reason we perceive that homo
sapiens is the most numerous is that we are homo sapiens ourselves, so we
can't use that fact to explain why we are homo sapiens.
Received on Tue Nov 06 2001 - 13:23:19 PST

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