RE: Observer-Moment Measure from Universe Measure

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 12:11:58 -0700 (PDT)

Jonathan Colvin writes:
> I presume the answer is that rather than look at physical size/weight of our
> bodies, one must try to calculate the proportion of the universe's
> information content devoted to that part of our beings essential to being an
> observer (probably something to do with the amount of grey matter).

Yes, I think that's right. Our bodies don't directly contribute to our
conscious experiences.

> But
> again, this surely changes as we age. My brain (and consciousness) at age 2
> was much smaller than at age 30, and will start to shrink again as I get
> senile. Does our measure increase with age?

I think you meant "decrease", at least in terms of becoming elderly.
Of course we already know that measure decreases with age due to the
continual risk of dying. But yes, I think this argument would suggest
that there is a small decrease in measure due to brain shrinkage.
It would not be a very large effect, though, I don't think.

> If we get brain surgery, does
> our measure diminish?

You mean if they cut out a piece of your brain? I guess that would
depend on whether it affected your consciousness. If it did you probably
have bigger problems than your measure decreasing. Your consciousness
would change so much that your previous self might not view you as the
same person.

> And once the transhumanist's dream of mental
> augmentation is possible, will our measure increase as our consciousness
> increases?

Yes, I think so, assuming the brains actually become bigger. Although
there is a counter-effect if the brains instead become faster and
smaller, as I wrote earlier. So this raises a paradox, why are we not
super-brains? Perhaps this is an argument against the possibility that
this will ever happen, a la the Doomsday Argument (why do we not live
in the Galactic Empire with its population billions of times greater
than today?).

Although these conclusions may be counter-intuitive, I find it quite
exciting to be able to derive any predictions at all from the AUH in the
Schmidhuber model. It suggests that uploading your brain to a computer
might be tantamount to taking a large chance of dying; unless you could
then duplicate your uploaded brain all over the world, which would greatly
increase your measure. And all this comes from the very simple assumption
that the measure of something is the fraction of multiverse resources
devoted to it, a simple restatement of the Schmidhuber multiverse model.

Hal Finney
Received on Wed Jun 15 2005 - 16:08:08 PDT

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