Re: Are we simulated by some massive computer?

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Tue, 11 May 2004 09:29:02 +1000

On Mon, May 10, 2004 at 03:51:34PM -0700, George Levy wrote:
> >But you agree there is no plenitude without an UD.
> No I don't agree. I don't agree that the UD is the origin of all things.
> This is typical classical thinking. To paraphrase:
> "In the beginning there was the UD (eg. x=x+1). And the UD generated the
> Plenitude (eg. 0, 1, 2, 3, ...). Out of the plenitude came out different
> worlds. Out of some of these worlds conscious creatures emerged. We are
> some of these creatures."
> This is 3rd person thinking. It leads to the mind-body problem.
> I resolve the mind-body problem at the outset by using the observer as a
> starting point. The "I" is both an observable fact and an axiom. "I"
> can observe that "I" am capable of logical thinking and that my thoughts
> are consistent. ( I will leave to you the detail regarding what kind of
> logic applies) My logical ability leads me to the principle of
> sufficient reason One way to phrase this principle is "If there is no
> reason for something not to be then it must be. Since I am in a
> particular state and there is no reason for me not to be in any other
> state, then I must also be in those states. This leads me to think that
> there are other observers beside myself, in fact, all possible observers.


> It may be that using the observer as starting points will force White
> Rabbits to be filtered out of the observable world
> >
> George

I think this email is quite profound. I find myself in agreement with
George's statement, and I basically say the same thing (in a more
clumsy way) in "Why Occam's Razor".

However, the mind-body problem doesn't completely disappear - rather
it is transformed into "Why the Anthropic Principle?". See Bruno's
critique of my paper, circa early 2000. The AP demands that our
observed universe contains an instantiation of our consciousness. This
is needed, as otherwise we will only see trivial worlds, contrary to

My guess is that the AP is a reflection of some deep principle of
consciousness that we haven't unravelled - something necessarily


A/Prof Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 (")
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Received on Mon May 10 2004 - 19:31:16 PDT

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