Re: Measure, Doomsday argument

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 18:13:53 -0700 (PDT)

Quentin Anciaux writes:
> Why aren't we blind ? :-)
> If the "measure" of an OM come from the information complexity of it, it seems
> that an OM of a blind person need less information content because there is
> no complex description of the outside world available to the blind observer.
> So as they are less complex, they must have an higher "measure" ... but I'm
> not blind, so as a lot of people on earth...

There may be something of a puzzle there...

Although I think specifically that blind people don't necessarily have
a lower information content in their mental states. It is said that
blind people have their other sense become more acute to take over the
unused brain capacity (at least people blind from birth). So their mental
states may take just as much information as sighted people.

Beyond that, the puzzle remains as to why we are as complex as we are,
why we are not simpler beings. It would seem that one could imagine
conscious beings who would count as observers, as people we "might
have been", but who would have simpler minds and senses than ours.
Certainly the higher animals show signs of consciousness, and their
brains are generally smaller than humans, especially the cortex, hence
probably with lower information content.

Of course there are a lot more people than other reasonably large-brained
animals, so perhaps our sheer numbers cancel any penalty due to our
larger and more-complex brains.

Hal Finney
Received on Tue Jun 21 2005 - 22:09:06 PDT

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