Re: Definitation of Observers

From: Eric Hawthorne <>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 00:40:03 -0700

An observer is a pattern in space-time (a physical process) which
engages in the processing and storage
of information about its surroundings in space-time. Its information
processing is such that the observer
creates abstracted, isomorphic, representative symbolic models of the
structures and processes surrounding
it, as well as other, purely abstract informational model structures.
The observer has subprocesses of itself
which process its representative models in such a way as to model,
simulate, or calculate relations between
informationally connected local parts of the space-time surroundings of
the observer. These "cognitive"
subprocesses also model, simulate, or calculate relations between the
observer process itself and its
surrounding structures and processes in space-time.

An observer is constrained to exist as a substructure of an
informationally self-consistent medium,
and a medium in which notions of change, locality, and metric space and
time can be defined.

Further, an observer is constrained to exist in a locale which has a
thermodynamic range of variation,
and a fine-grained structural variety suitable for the random
coalescence of structures (slow localized processes)
which can attain auto-poietic (pattern-self-sustaining) properties
relative to alternative patterns of organization of
matter and energy. As a restatement and refinement of that constraint;
the locale of the observer must be suitable
for the emergence of and growth of stable, organized complex systems
with adequate degrees of freedom to explore
many possibilities for their form and function. Only in such a
constrained environment could an observer
general-information-processing-and-epresenting-and-abstracting process
arise spontaneously and maintain itself
long enough to do meaningful observation of its surroundings.

An observer is constrained to perceive only informationally
self-consistent states (with respect perhaps to some
notion of locality and metric space-time) that its medium exhibits. It is
conceivable that the medium exhibits other, informationally mutually
inconsistent states, but any aspect of the
"extent" of these other pseudo-states of the medium can in principle
not be perceived by any information receiver and processor such as the

Hal Ruhl wrote:

> I would like to explore just exactly what the various members of the
> list mean by "observer" as in the following from Wei Dai's post.
> Hal
Received on Mon Apr 26 2004 - 03:45:15 PDT

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