Re: One more question about measure

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2005 22:03:54 +1000

Quentin Anciaux writes:

>1) assume an observer that can see.
>2) assume that the observer can see only at a certain resolution/level
>true that I can't see everything, I do not see quarks for example, nor my
>Then, I can digitalize every image that I (assuming I'm an observer ;) can
>Now, I'll take an arbitrary image resolution far upper than I details I can
>actually be aware of. For example : 100000x100000 pixels, every pixels can
>have 16.5 millions colors (even if it has been proven that humans can only
>see less than 200000 colors, just for the argument). Then the limit for the
>eyes to see individual images in a movie is approximately 40hz, so for the
>argument I will say that I need at least 100 frames by second (higher than
>what we can perceive).
>Now how much bits do I need to encode one hour of visual events ?
>It's simply 100000x100000x4x100x3600.
>So the needed number of bits to encode one hour of visual events at a
>resolution far higher than what we can perceive is finite... It's the same
>you replace one hour by the length of a lifetime (+/- 80 years). So even if
>we are immortal, at a given time in the far away future, the visual events
>must repeat.

You can also work out directly how many possible experiences a human can
have. A normal brain has about 10^11 neurons, and each of these neurons can
have only one of two states, on or off. This means that the maximum number
of possible brain states is 2^10^11, so the number of possible experiences
must be less than this. While this is a *huge* number (even if you take into
account the fact that the vast majority of possible brain states are
"nonsense" and don't give rise to experiences), it is nevertheless finite,
and as you concluded, this means we would start repeating experiences if we
lived long enough. However, many people who think about what life would be
like if our species survives into the far future - many thousands or
millions of years - envisage that our current biological form will be
discarded in favour of something more durable and powerful, such as living
as sentient software on a computer network. What will happen in this case
depends on which cosmological model you follow, but if the network is
forever expanding in size in an infinite universe, then there will always be
more processing power for new experiences.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Sat Jun 25 2005 - 08:06:03 PDT

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