RE: Belief Statements

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2005 12:51:35 -0800 (PST)

> On 28 Jan 2005 Hal Finney wrote:
> >I suggest that the answer is that accidental instantiations only
> >contribute an infinitesimal amount, compared to the contributions of
> >universes like ours.

Stathis Papaioannou replied:
> I don't understand this conclusion. A lengthy piece of code (whether it
> represents a moment of consciousness or anything else) is certainly less
> likely to be accidentally implemented on some random computer than on the
> computer running the original software. But surely the opposite is the case
> if you allow that all possible computer programs "run" simply by virtue of
> their existence as mathematical objects. For every program running on a
> biological or electronic computer, there must be infinitely many exact
> analogues and every minor and major variation thereof running out there in
> Platonia.

I'm afraid I don't understand your argument here. I am using the
Schmidhuber concept that the measure of a program is related to its size
and/or information complexity: that shorter (and simpler) programs have
greater measure than longer ones. Do you agree with that, or are you
challenging that view?

My point was then that we can imagine a short program that can "naturally"
evolve consciousness, whereas to create consciousness "artificially"
or arbitrarily, without a course of natural evolution, requires a huge
number of bits to specify the conscious entity in its entirety.

You mention infinity; are you saying that there is no meaningful
difference between the measure of programs, because each one has an
infinite number of analogs? Could you explain that concept in more

Hal Finney
Received on Sat Jan 29 2005 - 15:37:58 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:10 PST