Dear George,
 
    As I read your post I was struck by the necessary assumptions that you noted:
 
1) that the black hole is large enough that the tidal forces do not rip apart the observer falling into it
2) death occurs in one branch of the multiverse but not in another.

    What if we considered the case where we used the size (mass) of the black as a parameter to evaluate the communicability of our hypothetical infinite computer? What would be the analogue in the multiverse?
 
 
    I have been re-reading my copy of Bohm and Hiley's The Undivided Universe and in particular the discussion of Gell_Mann and Hartle's consistent histories interpretation and comparison with MWI. It occurs to me that the size of the black hole (a function of its mass) and the differences between a pair of branches of the multiverse (a function of the non-commutability of their associated operators?) both seem to be 3-person notions (borrowing Bruno Marchal's term) while the idea of infinite computing that we are discussing seems to be a 1-person notion.
    The relation that Hawking et al have written about between a black hole's mass and its entropy seem to be 3-person notions and we seem to be in need of a 1-person analogue. Could it be that the notion of decoherence could be this 1-person analogue?
 
    I will be reading the papers that Jean-Michel referenced and dreaming up a thought experiment. Do you have any ideas at this time?
 
Kindest regards,
 
Stephen
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 1:23 AM
Subject: Re: Infinite computing

Stephen,

Amazingly, I had kind-of the same thought. From the point of view of information flow, there seems to be an analogy between
1) falling down into a black hole and
2) "dying."

Both events results in the cessation of information flow between two observers. In both cases one of the observers appears to "die" from a third person point of view, but stays alive from a first person point of view.  In the first case the cessation of information flow is due to a relativistic effect. In the second case, the continuing of the information flow is due to a quantum effect. The following must be assumed:

1) that the black hole is large enough that the tidal forces do not rip apart the observer falling into it
2) death occurs in one branch of the multiverse but not in another.

There is definitely a relationship between entropy and black holes as Hawkings has shown and there is a relationship between entropy and information.

This topic is ripe for a nice thought experiment.

George

Stephen Paul King wrote:
Dear Jean-Michel and Hal,

    All good humor aside, Hal makes a good point! The conditions that would
exist as one approaches the event horizon seem to be such that any signal
would be randomized such that the end result would be that Nature prevents
infinite information (or conclusions requiring infinite computational power)
from reaching any finite part of itself.
    Interestingly this seems to be the same situation as what forms an event
horizon (around a space-time singularity) in the first place. Could it be
that this is an active example of the so-called anthropic principle? It also
reminds me of a solution to the Quantum Suicide problem!

Kindest regards,

Stephen
SNIP

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