> I agree that this is what Tegmark is trying to say.  If we look at it
> in terms of measure, there are (broadly speaking) two ways for creatures
> to exist: artificial or natural.  By artificial I mean that there could
> be some incredibly complex combination of laws and initial conditions
> built into the simulated universe so that the creature's existence was in
> effect pre-ordained.  (If we ever build a simulation containing conscious
> entities, our first attempts will almost certainly be of this type,
> where we have carefully crafted the program to create consciousness.)
> By natural I mean that we could have simple laws of physics and initial

I agree that the "consciousness" (assuming our definitions of same
correspond) would likely result from "complex combination of laws and
initial conditions built into the simulated universe", but I submit that it
is just as likely to be an incidental emergent phenom of an everymore
complex interconnected distributed computational network as the result of
any planned process.

Would we even recognize such an "entity", or it us? Possibly, but Wolfram
alludes to the challenges of percieving the intelligence of "beings" whose
ecology operates on spacial and/or temporal scales foreign to our sensory
receptivity.

>Of course, there's always a risk in such arguments that we may be falling
>victim to parochialism, thinking that our own way of life is the only
>one possible.  It may be that there are some possible life forms that
>exist in a very different mode than we have imagined, in a universe with
>different dimensionality, or perhaps one where dimensionality doesn't
>even make sense.  But I think overall Tegmark does a good job in avoiding
>at least the most obvious flaws of parochialism and anthropomorphism.

Indeed. The constraints to, and requirements for, terrestrial life have had
to be revised and extended of late, given thermophiles and the like. Though
they obviously share our dimensional requisites, they do serve to highlight
the risk of prematurely pronouncing the "facts of life".

CMR


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