Re: Constraints on "everything existing"

From: Eric Hawthorne <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 20:40:42 -0800

John M wrote:

>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.
It may seem that way (anthropocentric) but when I say "intelligent
observer" I mean "any kind of intelligent observer" or couched
in some more terminology "any emergent system or pattern
that functions as an intelligent observer."

So no, I'm not talking about a human-centric anthropic principle,
I'm talking about an "arbitrary intelligent observer", generically
defined. As you would expect, I would guess that there are
some pretty tight constraints on how an intelligent observer
would have to function to be considered such, but "human" is
definitely too narrow a definition of it.

I see "intelligent observer production" as being
a threshold level of organization achieved by certain
constraint regimes on "all sequences of state changes".

Of course, as a thought experiment, you could set a lower
threshold criterion for "fully existing worlds", such as
the ability to be organized enough to produce
"some interesting (non-trivial) stable emergent systems
that seem to exhibit some higher-level functions
including self-preserving functions".

Unless a world (i.e. a sequence of information state changes)
has produced intelligent observers though, there will be
no one around in it to argue whether it exists or not.

Which brings us around to the conclusion that after all,
the question of "classical existence or not" of some world
is only ever a concern of intelligent observers. It is
not really a concern for the non-thinking aspects of
worlds or potential worlds, precisely because those parts
are content to just be, or maybe be, as the case may be.
Those parts are just "the potential for information".
Only when something comes along that cares to conceptualize
about the various possibilities borne of different states
of information, does there arise a question of existence,
and then, it is a question of existence from the perspective
of those that can observe and care about such things.

Received on Fri Jan 17 2003 - 23:38:11 PST

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