Re: are we in a simulation?

From: Stephen Paul King <>
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 19:05:34 -0400

Dear Eric,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Hawthorne" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Sunday, June 15, 2003 3:02 AM
Subject: Re: are we in a simulation?

> Stephen Paul King wrote:
> >
> >[SPK]
> >
> > Oh, ok. I have my own version of the anthropic principle:
> >
> > The content of a first person "reality" of an observer is the minimum
> >that is necessary and sufficient for the existence of that observer.
> >
> > I am trying to include observer selection ideas in my definition of
> >"anthropy". ;-) I conjecture that the "third-person" aspect could be
> >in terms of a so-called "communication" principle:
> >
> > An arbitrary pair of observers and only communicate within the
> >or set theoretic intersection of their first person "realities".
> >
> >
> To me, that is too complicated a theory.


    "Too", no. "Complicated" yes. Occam's Razon cuts both ways. We can not
fall back on naive realism to save us.

> I think "reality" is a structure/system that is a
> set of paths through the plenitude, where those paths exhibit
> properties like self-consistency, coherence, locality,
> stability, energy etc.
> That structure can contain observers that can observe the
> very structure they are part of, precisely because of those
> properties of self-consistency, coherence, locality, stability
> etc that the structure (i.e. those paths through a state-space
> plenitude) exhibits.


    I have considered this possibility but it leads nowhere. :_( We must
explain within out model exactly how observation can occur such that the
properties that we associate with the words "self-consistency", "coherence",
"locality", "stability", "etc.", have meaning.

> Every observer will see the structure from their own limited
> point of view (from their place and time within it) so there
> will be disagreements about it, but fundamentally, the
> observers (those who can observe and communicate with each
> other) are within the same structure
> and are viewing parts of the same thing.


    The problem is Eric, that we can not merely hypostatiate the
definiteness of properties absent the specification of observers - the "to
whom it has meaning and definiteness" -. How is it that we are sure that we
are "viewing parts of the same thing"? Popper and other philosophers have
considered this question.

> If that is "physicalist" I don't know. It still seems purely
> mathematico-logical to me. But I'm just positing a larger
> structure that is a commons that is observed by parts of itself.
> I think this is "Tegmarkian" anthropy.

    I agree with that part, I just balk at naive realism.

> Look at it this way. The content of "reality" of an observer
> is (their limited perspective on) the minimum (self-consistent
> structure) that is necessary for themselves, and all the other
> observers they observe, and for the whole sustaining environment
> for them and the physics that produced it, to exist.


    Ok. I agree, but would like to point out that this "content" is not
"pre-specifiable" - like Turing Machine is by definition pre-specifiable.

> I wrote this just before much better and my email client
> flipped out and killed it. So sorry for the sleepy, angry,
> more muddled version you got.


    Ah, don't feel bad. I have had many a message tossed into oblivion by a
Blue Screen of Death! ;-)

Kindest regards,


> Eric
> --
> "We are all in the gutter,
> but some of us are looking at the stars."
> - Oscar Wilde
Received on Sun Jun 15 2003 - 19:07:04 PDT

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