Re: Is the universe computable

From: Eugen Leitl <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 17:36:41 +0100

On Fri, Jan 16, 2004 at 02:28:27PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:

> of brain and the like. I of course respect completely that opinion; but I
> point on the fact
> that once you make the computationnalist hypothesis then it is the reverse
> which becomes
> true: even if locally pi is a production of the human brain, globally the
> laws of physics logically
> develop on the set of all possible beliefs of all possible universal and
> immaterial (mathematical)
> machines embedded in all possible computations (computationnal histories).

I respect that opinion, I'm just interested in theories which are
instrumental in solving this universe's problems. You know, trivial stuff:
wars, famines and death. A TOE which says: universe is information, every
possible pattern exists, observers which can observe themselves will, is a
bit sterile in that respect.

There's a little problem with some practical relevance I don't have an
answer, though, which I'd like to have your opinion on.

We have a finite system, iteratively evolving along a trajectory in state space.
We have observers within that system, subjectively experiencing a flow of

I have trouble alternating between the internal and the external observer
view. So we have a machine crunching bits, sequentially falling from state to
state. This spans a continous trajectory. We can make a full record of that
trajectory, eliminating a time axis. When does the subjective observation of
existence assemble into place? The first time the computation was made?

I have trouble seeing my subjective observer experience as a sequence of
frames, already computed. Is the first run magical, and the static record
dead meat? I'm confused.

Let's bring a little dust into the run. Let's say we use a HashLife approach,
which assembles the flow from lightcone hashes. Does this screw up the
subjective experience? If yes, how?

What about computing a record of all possible trajectories? Is enumerating
all possible states sufficient to create an observer experience?

I haven't spent much time on this, so maybe you can bring some light into the

> That's all my thesis
> is about. I don't pretend it is obvious, for sure.

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07078, 11.61144
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A 7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE

Received on Fri Jan 16 2004 - 11:38:14 PST

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