>But what would, exactly, constitute "strange behavior" on the part of
>One could argue that the universe can't go completely wacko because we
>cease to exist, and that would violate, the anthropic principle.
It is true that in the ensemble of all possible programs (that are all
equally valid by Tegmark’s premise), the ones that go completely wacho
(and we cease to exist) exist but no one is there to observe it.
However it would seem there will be an enormous number in which we
indeed witness bizarre events like “popping up pink elephants”. The
options seem to be either
1. Programs with a special rule that is waiting to fire at a given
time/place in order to cause a bizarre event are mathematically
2. Programs with such special rules hardly ever occur (in terms of the
3. Programs with such special rules are common but we have been
None of these options appear reasonable. It seems that the simplistic
notion of a simulation on a computer is not tamper proof. In the
ensemble of all possible programs we must accept arbitrarily complex
programs - we have no right to limit ourselves to programs that maintain
consistent "physical law" over time. The invariants in physics all
point to a "program" for our universe that is tamper proof. One
potential solution is that awareness only emerges in the totality of an
infinite computation. This could be tamper proof because of a holistic
relationship between "virtual time" and "simulation time". Another
solution is that our universe is not computable in any sense.
From: Frank [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Tuesday, 4 November 2003 5:54 PM
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: Re: Is the universe computable?
Hi, this is my second post. My name is Frank Cizmic and I'm a
computer Engineer from Uruguay.
David Barrett, I'd like to comment on one aspect of your reasoning with
which I have some doubts.
If I understand correctly, you are saying that *if* the universe is the
result of a "program", then it is very strange that at any one point in
time this program doesn't "go nuts", making strange things occur,
like popping pink elephants out of nowhere, or resisting prediction
by us sentient beings by violating its previous "good behavior".
But what would, exactly, constitute "strange behavior" on the part of
the universe? One could argue that the universe can't go completely
wacko because we would cease to exist, and that would
violate, the anthropic principle.
So what would constitute "strange" behavior? Isn't life strange enough?
Aren't we facing new facts every day? If by strange you mean "twilight
zone" kind of events, wouldn't we eventually adjust to this and end by
considering it normal behavior. Isn't this, in a sense, what we
experience since birth? A wacky universe, that is always surprising us ,
but never to the point where we lose sanity. One could posit that we, in
a sense, would cease to be, if we lost our mental health. This might be
formulated like a variant of the anthropic principle. We always live in
a Universe that makes a minimum of "sense", otherwise, our psyque would
eventually break down, and we would, essentially, cease to be.
----- Original Message -----
From: David Barrett-Lennard
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2003 7:45 PM
Subject: Is the universe computable?
How can a past which has been well behaved prevent strange things from
happening in the future?