Re: being inside a universe

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 11:49:18 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 3 Jul 2002, Hal Finney wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 27, 2002 at 03:59:49PM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> > Now, and we have discussed this before, I have no understanding of the
> > expression "being inside a universe".
> Isn't it necessary to back up here, and to first define what is a
> universe? And then, what does it mean for something (not a conscious
> observer) to be inside a universe? And only then to ask what it means
> to be a conscious observer inside a universe, which I think is what
> Bruno was getting at?
> If we adopt a simple Schmidhuber formulation, a universe corresponds
> to the output of a computer program. Every computer program creates a
> universe. In general, universes are created by more than one computer
> program. The measure of a universe is proportional to the number of
> computer programs which create it.
> Obviously most computer programs will not create "interesting" universes.
> I have been reading Wolfram's book A New Kind of Science. He shows
> that programs tend to generate one of four different kinds of output:
> simple, repetitive, random, or structured. Only the last category
> create outputs that we might recognize as a universe like our own, one
> with persistent structure and potentially complex dynamics. The other
> categories would produce "universes" that have no meaningful structure
> and which we can ignore.
> Asking whether something is inside a particular universe means asking
> whether this "something" corresponds to a structure which exists in the
> output of the program that defines the universe. Somewhere there is a
> program which defines our own universe, and if we look at the output of
> that program we would see structures corresponding to atoms, to planets,
> to galaxies, etc. We can then say that these objects exist inside
> that universe.

Does Wolfram have a critereon for discriminating between "random" and
"sturctured", or is it "just how it looks?"

Brent Meeker
"Failure is not an option, it comes bundled with every Micro$oft product"
      -- Matt Allen
Received on Wed Jul 03 2002 - 11:50:29 PDT

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