RE: Observer-Moment Measure from Universe Measure

From: Jonathan Colvin <>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 13:21:41 -0700

Hal Finney wrote:
> > 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?).

There's a simple answer to that one. Presumably, a million years from now in
the Galactic Empire, the Doomsday argument is no longer controversial, and
it will not be a topic for debate. The fact that we are all debating the
Doomsday argument implies we are all part of the reference class: (people
debating the doomsday argument), and we perforce can not be part of the
Galactic Empire.

> 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.

I find these conclusions counter-intuitive enough to suggest that deriving
measure from a physical fraction of involved reasources is not the correct
way to derive measure. It is not unlike trying to derive the importance of a
book by weighing it.

Jonathan Colvin
Received on Wed Jun 15 2005 - 16:24:26 PDT

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