Re: Variations in measure

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 10:18:43 +1100 (EST) wrote:
> Wei writes, quoting Hal
> > > In general, one might expect those minds with less observational power
> > > and less specific knowledge and understanding of the universe to have
> > > larger measure.
> >
> > Yes, but that doesn't mean you should be surprised if you find yourself
> > having more observational power and more knowledge, because the set of
> > sharp minds can have greater measure than the set of dull minds even if
> > individual sharp minds has less measure than individual dull minds.
> >
> > > Does this have any implications for the use of the all-universe hypothesis
> > > to explain and predict our observations?
> >
> > What kinds of implications did you have in mind?
> What is the right question to ask in terms of relating measure of an
> observer-moment to our likelihood of experiencing it? Equivalently,
> what can we hope to explain via the concept of observer-moments that
> vary in measure?
> It seems that the general statement that we would expect to be in a
> high-measure observer-moment is not true, if the number of low-measure
> observer moments is high. We are not more likely to live in a simple
> universe than in a complex one, if the number of possible complex
> universes is correspondingly larger. And the larger number seems
> plausible when there is greater complexity, as in the example above of
> more complex minds existing in higher numbers.
> Hence the all universe principle does not easily explain the absence of
> flying rabbits, because while flying-rabbit universes are more complex
> and of lower measure, there are so many more ways to come up with complex
> universes. It seems that the explanatory power of the principle is less
> than I had realized.
> Hal

What it does explain is the outcomes of events chosen at random - eg
our birth moment, or the beginning of the universe. These are
relatively simple. It does predict that complex moments (eg our
present minds or the present state of the universe), are unlikely to
appear out of nowhere. They are far more likely to appear as a result
of some evolutionary process that delivers the complex moment from
some simple moment.

This, I believe, succinctly sums up the debate on the ASSA vs the
RSSA we had earlier.


Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 (")
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Received on Sun Dec 16 2001 - 15:25:31 PST

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