Re: Constraints on "everything existing"

From: John M <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 15:50:56 -0500


do I detect in your 'circumstances' some 'anthropocentric/metric/logic'
restrictions? is the multiverse exclusively built according to the system
we devised on this planet as 'our physical laws'? (your 'factor' #1,
although you oincluded in factor #2 the (CLASSICAL existence) modifier.)

Brings to mind Mr Square's opponents in Abbott's Flatland,
with the 2-D vs 3-D joke.

John Mikes

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Hawthorne" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 12:40 PM
Subject: Constraints on "everything existing"

> Hal Finney wrote:
> >the purpose of the list, to
> >discuss the implications of the various ideas that "everything exists".
> >Everything we say is implicitly prefaced by the conditional clause,
> >"If all <whatever>s exist, then".
> >
> I would propose (as I layed out in some detail in a post about
> 3 months ago) that their are in fact many constraints on those
> states-of-affairs that can be said to "exist".
> I would put it this way: Only those states and state changes
> capable of supporting communities of communicating intelligent
> observers "exist". Other, weirder states only "potentially exist",
> but a better way of saying it is that they are "partially
> qualified to exist, but not fully". They are "partially qualified"
> in the sense of being configurations of information, as are the
> more self-consistent "existable" states, but they are not
> self-consistent enough to exist.
> This amounts to a definition of "exist" more than anything else.
> Factors:
> 1. The "consistent enough to exist (and be commonly perceived)"
> states must not only be able to support a single observer, but
> the whole ecosystem of observers that allows that observer to
> exist, and the whole physical set-up (planet, gravity, particular
> gaseous mixtures, particular energy and temperature regimes etc)
> that allows communities of intelligent agents to exist and observe.
> Any state changes (at any time) that would deviate from the
> maintenance of the consistent physical laws that allow for
> conventional existence of stable emergent systems and
> intelligent observers will be automatically disqualified
> from full observable existence.
> 2. My contention is that this is an onerous constraint on
> "fully existable states", and that the number of possible
> configurations of such states is probably very limited.
> It wouldn't surprise me if something very close to the known
> physical constants and laws turned out to be actually
> "logically necessary" for the continual self-consistency
> requirement of existable states that I propose. It could be
> that ALL other configurations of matter, energy, information
> become inconsistent (or too disordered, or too ordered) quickly,
> and disqualify themselves from "observer production" and
> "full-fledged (classical) existence".
> 3. This is not to say that every action that every person
> for example takes is "necessary" for continued full existence
> of the classical, existing, "way things actually are" state.
> But it means that such personal actions are heavily
> constrained by the way things had to be in the historical
> development of our species, and its body's capabilities and
> its brain's capabilities.
> And so human behaviour, on average, will be as determined
> by our nature, and all of that (narrow) range of behaviour
> will be within the narrow bounds of "fully existable" states.
> 4. It seems to me that "self-consistency" and
> "rule-governed, effectively continuous, localized change" of
> state are the necessary pre-conditions of sequences of
> states that can be fully existent (observable).
> Bear in mind that these requirements must be met to the full
> extent of allowing non-locally consistent existence. i.e.
> a whole consistent universe (observable and agreeable by all
> observers in it) must be possible with those
> state-change rules, not just one person's consistent life-story.
> That's a very heavy constraint on state-changes. ALL of those
> state changes must conserve the non-locally-consistent full
> universe life-story without discrepency.
> 5. My intuition says that these very heavy consistency and
> continuity requirements (on "fully existable state change sequences")
> would probably rule out travel or communication by observers between
> different possible worlds.
> And would probably rule out there being a different calculus
> of consequence and probability in a MWI compared to an SWI.
> Only each "self-consistent world" can be a "possible world".
> Most sets S where S is a "set of alternative possible worlds"
> will not be themselves (as a set S) able to be self-consistent
> enough to be a fully existent "world". Or another way of putting it is
> that if a set S of alternative possible worlds is itself
> self-consistent (over spatiotemporal evolution of its states) then
> it collapses by definition into being a single world, not
> a set of different worlds.
Received on Fri Jan 17 2003 - 16:07:39 PST

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