Dear Hal,

No, I disagree. The mere a priori existence of bit strings is not enough to imply necessity that what we experience 1st person view points. At best it allows the possibility that the bit strings could be implemented. You see the problem is that it is impossible to derive Change or "Becoming" from Being. Think of this in terms of thermodynamics, if we assume a universe that is in perfect equilibrium there will never be any possibility of a deviation from such equilibrium unless we introduce some mechanism to "disturb" it. If we use the mechanism of a "quantum fluctuation" then we are forced to introduce some kind of "potential to change" into a structure that by definition has none.
This has long been a problem for thinkers trying to understand the notion of Time. Unless we assume some form of change or Becoming as existing a priori to time and that out notion of Time is a "local" measure of change, we are forced to construct ideas where we ask questions like how fast is a second. We end up with a Time_ 1 to measure the rate of change that is somehow different from the usual time (Time_0) and this, in turn, would have to have a Time_2 and thus a Time_3, etc.- an infinite number of times, each to measure the rate of change of the one below it.


Stephen

----- Original Message ----- From: ""Hal Finney"" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <everything-list@eskimo.com>
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2005 4:12 PM
Subject: Re: Everything Physical is Based on Consciousness



Stephen Paul King writes:
I think that your characterization would be accurate if you could
somehow substitute each and every verb, such as "generate", "execute",
"compare", "detect", "create", which depend on some form of transitional
temporality with nouns that have a non-temporal connotation, after all all
of this computational structure is postulated to exist in a TIMELESS
Platonic realm where any notion of temporality and change is non-existent.

That's a good point. Another way to think of it is that all bit strings exist, timelessly; and some of them implicitly specify computer programs; and some of those computer programs would create universes with observers just like us in them. You don't necessarily need the machinery of the computer to run the program, it could be that the existence of the program itself is sufficient for what we think of as reality.

Then the same argument applies: each computer program is actually only
a finite length; and a computer program of n bits is a prefix of 1/2^n
of the bit strings; hence it is reasonable to say that such a program
has a measure of 1/2^n.  Then we can argue that our own universe is a
relatively small program (Wolfram estimates about 2000 bits) and so it
is not all that unlikely that we observe such a universe.

So, in this sense, the Platonic existence of bit strings is enough to
explain our experience of the world.

Hal Finney




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