Re: being inside a universe

From: Wei Dai <>
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2002 22:19:53 -0700

Bruno, unfortunately I'm not able to write very quickly. I hope you don't
mind if I just respond to some of the topics I think are most important.
Feel free to recall the other ones later if you think I'm missing
something crucial.

On Mon, Jul 08, 2002 at 05:22:11PM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> I give more than a motivation, I suggest (at least) an obligation!
> First here, I could ask you how you define a universe. That's not obvious
> at all.

I'm not sure what the right way to define a universe is yet. For example I
don't know if the definition should allow uncomputable universes, and if
so how. But I have at least two starting points, Schmidhuber's and
Tegmark's definitions, both of which while flawed at least make sense to
me. I am still unable to really understand yours.

> But the uda shows that my next experience is given by some average
> on all possible experience in my computational neighborhoods. So that with
> comp the universe, if any thing like that exists, must emerge from that
> average. The difficult things is how to define that average, and eventually
> this leads me to the interview of the UM.

First I question the necessity of defining that average. Suppose we just
ignored the issue of first person indeterminancy, and made no reference to
it at all. Speak only in third-person terms about the future. Why can't we
just do that?

Second, why do you restrict yourself to interviewing sound machines? I'm
sure I'm not a sound machine, yet I am an conscious observer. So I'm
confused. Why do you ignore most of the conscious observers who are not
sound machines?

> If I am duplicate, I will experience first person indeterminacy (ignorance
> of what I will write in my personal diary), although
> everything is determined from a third person point of view. (Comp
> indeterminacy).
> Do you agree with this?

When I first thought about the issue of duplication, I was on a similar
track - there's first person indeterminancy, so let's figure out how to
quantify it. But then I realized it's not necessary, because we can just
reason and make decisions in third person terms. Why complicate things
beyond what's needed?

If you don't agree, perhaps we can try an exercise. You pose a problem
that you think can only be solved by considering first person
indeterminancy, and I'll try to tell you how to do it without using that
Received on Mon Jul 08 2002 - 22:20:53 PDT

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