### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```

On 09 Jan 2009, at 20:12, Günther Greindl wrote:

Hi Bruno,

and Cantor get a contradiction from that.  You assume the diagram is
indeed a piece of an existing bijection in Platonia, or known by God.

No, you misunderstand me there - I just meant that we need to take the
step to infinity - see below.

that you get by flipping the 0 and 1 along the diagonal of the matrix
appearing on the right in the diagram. That sequence, thus, exists in
Platonia, but definitely cannot belong to the list described above.
snip
So you have to look at it, in the third person point of view as
computations which bifurcate (or differentiate by the rule Y = II),
and
bifurcate again, and again, and again, OK?

Yes, I'm with you so far.

And now, what you are missing. I think. It is the distinction between
third and first person point of view. As defined in the first and
second
step of UDA (not the Theatetical one used in AUDA).

Looking at the generation of the UD, or dovetailing on all
computations,
you can see the many computations being generated and you can see
them
differentiate or bifurcating all the time, where here time is
defined
by the succession 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ... itself. If you universal base is
two dimensional (like with the Conway Game of Life) you can see the
deployment as a static three dimensional conic structure.

Everything there, is enumerable. At each UD step, everything is
even finite!
snip
But things changes when you adopt the first person point of view,
due to
the fact that the first person point of view cannot be aware of the
dovetailing delays, nor of the extreme multiplication and
redundancy of
the computations. And if you are OK with, well, mainly here the
step 4,
you see that the intuitive measure will have to be made on the
union
of all computations going through the current state.

Agreed.

0...

I have already begin the generation of a continuum of binary
history:
Indeed, all those beginning by 0. Then I write

1...

So I have begin the generation of the binary sequence beginning by
1. As
you see I am dovetailing (not universally though!).

Then i generate all possible extensions, which give me two time
more work.
First the possible continuation of the one beginning by 0.

00...

01...

That is how I visualized it, yes.

Now, if you interpret the 1 or 0 as results of a self-bifurcation
in the
UDA, then by the unawareness of delays, the first person
indeterminacy
of those in front of a never stopping UD, where your computations
are
dovetailed, in particular on the binary infinite sequences,  bears on
set with cardinalities of continua, despite mathematically the third
person description does not leave the enumerable.

And here is where we seem to disagree - but maybe only in a trivial
sense - maybe we mean the same thing actually.

I agree that everything is still enumerable from a third person
point of
view, and that the continuum arises from a 1st person point of view,
but also only if I imagine all computations of the UD - also the ones
infinitely far away.

I don't understand what you mean by computations being infinitely far
away. In the UD deployment, which I will wrote UD*, all computations
begins soon or later (like all dominoes falls soon or later in the
infinite discrete dominoe-sequences). All computations reach any of
their relative computational state soon or later always after the UD
makes a finite number of steps.   *Some* subcomputations can be
interpreted as dovetailing on the constructive ordinal, but they still
reach any of their computational step in finite time.

I am skeptical of actual infinities in the real=physical world (in
my
1-OM in only believe in potential infinities.

I recall that the physical world is a *first person* plural
observation, so with comp with have to expect things behaving like if
there was actual infinities. The physical world is just unreal, if
we decide to say real = the ontological, in which case something is
real if it belongs to the UD*, or if its existence can be proved in
Robinson Arithmetic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potential_infinity

see Bekenstein Bound, and Seth Lloyd's work on the limits of
computation), but when we say that physics is emergent from 1st person
point of view of the third person UD, we are also aware that this UD
does not exist in time and space (but generates it for inside
observers).

Well, the UD has existed and has run in time 1991 and space Brussels :)

UD* does not exist in time and space, given that with comp it is
time and space which *appears* from the point of view of the
observers generated by the UD. It is an open problem if we can make
sense with a notion like Bekenstein bound or just balk hole with comp.

So no problem with infinities there - I only have a problem with local
physical (1-OM) infinities (as presupposed in textbook physics ```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
Hi Bruno,

I don't understand what you mean by computations being infinitely far
away. In the UD deployment, which I will wrote UD*, all computations
begins soon or later (like all dominoes falls soon or later in the
infinite discrete dominoe-sequences). All computations reach any of
their relative computational state soon or later always after the UD
makes a finite number of steps.
snip
Hmmm... The phrasing reconstitution at infinity does not make sense,
I think. All reconstitutions are done after a finite number of steps
of the UD. But you are right that for (the third person description)
of the first person probable experience we have to take into account
the infinite union of the computations going through the relevant
state. The reals appears here and now, because they are generated at
the limit, as a infinite union of finite computations, or finite
pieces of infinite computations.
snip
OK. But it is the union which is infinite. The reconstitution can be
numbered (by a God).

Yes, I see we agree - my fault. I meant the infinite union of
computations - maybe rec. at infinity was a bit dramatic way of
speaking - the way you put it is clearer.

Cheers,
Günther

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### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
Hi Bruno,

and Cantor get a contradiction from that.  You assume the diagram is
indeed a piece of an existing bijection in Platonia, or known by God.

No, you misunderstand me there - I just meant that we need to take the
step to infinity - see below.

that you get by flipping the 0 and 1 along the diagonal of the matrix
appearing on the right in the diagram. That sequence, thus, exists in
Platonia, but definitely cannot belong to the list described above.
snip
So you have to look at it, in the third person point of view as
computations which bifurcate (or differentiate by the rule Y = II), and
bifurcate again, and again, and again, OK?

Yes, I'm with you so far.

And now, what you are missing. I think. It is the distinction between
third and first person point of view. As defined in the first and second
step of UDA (not the Theatetical one used in AUDA).

Looking at the generation of the UD, or dovetailing on all computations,
you can see the many computations being generated and you can see them
differentiate or bifurcating all the time, where here time is defined
by the succession 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ... itself. If you universal base is
two dimensional (like with the Conway Game of Life) you can see the
deployment as a static three dimensional conic structure.

Everything there, is enumerable. At each UD step, everything is even finite!
snip
But things changes when you adopt the first person point of view, due to
the fact that the first person point of view cannot be aware of the
dovetailing delays, nor of the extreme multiplication and redundancy of
the computations. And if you are OK with, well, mainly here the step 4,
you see that the intuitive measure will have to be made on the union
of all computations going through the current state.

Agreed.

0...

I have already begin the generation of a continuum of binary history:
Indeed, all those beginning by 0. Then I write

1...

So I have begin the generation of the binary sequence beginning by 1. As
you see I am dovetailing (not universally though!).

Then i generate all possible extensions, which give me two time more work.
First the possible continuation of the one beginning by 0.

00...

01...

That is how I visualized it, yes.

Now, if you interpret the 1 or 0 as results of a self-bifurcation in the
UDA, then by the unawareness of delays, the first person indeterminacy
of those in front of a never stopping UD, where your computations are
dovetailed, in particular on the binary infinite sequences,  bears on
set with cardinalities of continua, despite mathematically the third
person description does not leave the enumerable.

And here is where we seem to disagree - but maybe only in a trivial
sense - maybe we mean the same thing actually.

I agree that everything is still enumerable from a third person point of
view, and that the continuum arises from a 1st person point of view,
but also only if I imagine all computations of the UD - also the ones
infinitely far away.

I am skeptical of actual infinities in the real=physical world (in my
1-OM in only believe in potential infinities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potential_infinity

see Bekenstein Bound, and Seth Lloyd's work on the limits of
computation), but when we say that physics is emergent from 1st person
point of view of the third person UD, we are also aware that this UD
does not exist in time and space (but generates it for inside observers).

So no problem with infinities there - I only have a problem with local
physical (1-OM) infinities (as presupposed in textbook physics when
using calculus for finite volumes of spacetime)- but then again, where
they appear locally I think they are also indicative of the multiverse,
as in Max Tegmark's suggestion that natural constants could be viewed as
indexicals into the Multiverse). So, actual infinity (as opposed to
potential) is always a multiverse-feature.

To return to the question at hand: the full continuum, also from a first
person perspective, appears only when I also take into account
reconstitutions at infinity - because, for every finite section I
consider (however large), I only have _stubs_ of full reals - and not
all the reals.

I think a bit along the lines like when one takes an ordinal, say
omega, and imagines that it is infinity completed. In the same
sense, we need _completed_ infinity for a real continuum (as opposed to
only a subset) to arise. And, as the infinity is completed in Platonia,
they contribute to the measure of 1-OMs - with the power of the full
continuum.

Would you agree?

only low levels (not necessarily the bottom). Also, I can sometimes
speculate that comp could predict there is no bottom.

In what way do you think this follows from comp? Because there are
histories for every arbitrarily deep probing of physical reality?

The real question is what will you think if you, low-level
computationalist father have a daughter falls ```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```Hi Günther,

On 07 Jan 2009, at 22:47, Günther Greindl wrote:

showed a glimpse of the vastness of the UD. And, I agree, _in the
limit_
there will be an infinite number of histories. So, as we have to
also
take into account infinite delay, we must take this limit into
account
and have infinite histories going through a state (do I
understand you
correctly?).

I guess you were meaning that we have to take into account an
infinity
of arbitrary long (but finite) delays. OK.

Hmm, if we have an infinity of arbitrary long but finite delays,
then I
can only see aleph_0 histories (because we never take the step to
infinity - we can enumerate all histories.

Only if we take the step to infinity (as in Cantor diagonalization,
were we presuppose the complete listing of the reals and the diagonal
does not fit at infinity) would we get 2^aleph_0 histories - or am I
missing something here?

Cantor's proof is a reductio ad absurdo. It assumes there is a one
one correspondence, or bijection,  between the positive integers and
the infinite sequence on {0, 1} say. Such correspondence could be
partially described by the diagram

1   1001000 ...
2   01101001100 ...
3   11000100111 ...
4   1110000 ...
5   10100110101 ...
6   00010111011 ...
7
...

and Cantor get a contradiction from that.  You assume the diagram is
indeed a piece of an existing bijection in Platonia, or known by God.
But if such a bijection exist, or if God can conceive that
correspondence, then there is a special sequence that God can conceive
too, and that indeed you can bulld from that diagram, indeed the
sequence

001110...

that you get by flipping the 0 and 1 along the diagonal of the matrix
appearing on the right in the diagram. That sequence, thus, exists in
Platonia, but definitely cannot belong to the list described above. If
it was in the list, there would be a number k

k --- 001110...

But by definition of the sequence, the kth decimal of that number k
will be the flip of itself, meaning that 0 = 1. OK?

The reasoning did not depend on the choice of any one one
correspondence, so that we know that for each correspondence there is
a corresponding anti-diagonal sequence, refuting the assertion that
correspondence could exhaust the set of all infinite binary sequences.
The set of binary sequence is thus not listable, not enumerable, not
countable.

You can visualise geometrically the contradictions for any candidate
correspondence by the intersection of the line defined by the
corresponding number k and the diagonal of the matrix describing the
correspondence. Note that the diagonal makes to contradiction
appearing always in a finite time.

I insist on this diagonal because it is the main tool of the AUDA. A
very similar diagonal shows the existence of enumerable but non
recursively enumerable set of numbers, which have some role in
machine's theology (or more quotes).

But then, recall the UD dovetails on the infinite computation, and
sometimes dovetails those infinite computation with the generation of
the binary sequences.

So you have to look at it, in the third person point of view as
computations which bifurcate (or differentiate by the rule Y = II),
and bifurcate again, and again, and again, OK?

And now, what you are missing. I think. It is the distinction between
third and first person point of view. As defined in the first and
second step of UDA (not the Theatetical one used in AUDA).

Looking at the generation of the UD, or dovetailing on all
computations, you can see the many computations being generated and
you can see them differentiate or bifurcating all the time, where
here time is defined by the succession 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ... itself. If
you universal base is two dimensional (like with the Conway Game of
Life) you can see the deployment as a static three dimensional conic
structure.

Everything there, is enumerable. At each UD step, everything is even
finite!

But things changes when you adopt the first person point of view, due
to the fact that the first person point of view cannot be aware of the
dovetailing delays, nor of the extreme multiplication and redundancy
of the computations. And if you are OK with, well, mainly here the
step 4, you see that the intuitive measure will have to be made on
the union of all computations going through the current state.
There is a continuum of such infinite computations, if only due to
that entangling of computation on the dovetailing on the reals and the
Y = II rule.
The third person probabilities for the *first* person point of views
have to bear on the fact that although the reals or the binary
sequence are not enumerable it is easy to write a simple program which
generates them all. This is not always well understood, but the trick
is very simple; just don't name them. In ```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
Hi Bruno,

showed a glimpse of the vastness of the UD. And, I agree, _in the limit_
there will be an infinite number of histories. So, as we have to also
take into account infinite delay, we must take this limit into account
and have infinite histories going through a state (do I understand you
correctly?).

I guess you were meaning that we have to take into account an infinity
of arbitrary long (but finite) delays. OK.

Hmm, if we have an infinity of arbitrary long but finite delays, then I
can only see aleph_0 histories (because we never take the step to
infinity - we can enumerate all histories.

Only if we take the step to infinity (as in Cantor diagonalization,
were we presuppose the complete listing of the reals and the diagonal
does not fit at infinity) would we get 2^aleph_0 histories - or am I
missing something here?

I will let you elaborate on this. But note that if my consciousness
here and now supervenes on past activity,

I will elaborate, but please give me time till February, before I will
not be able to work on this.

then the comp substitution
level has to be very low indeed.

Yes, very low, that was the idea.

You will also need a notion of block
universe. The comp doctor will have to be able to manipulate
time-lines.

No, it is only that he will have to respect relative embeddings -
scanning and reconsitution will only be correct regarding _this_
universe and very similar universes, but not with regard to arbitrary
computations in Platonia.

Remember that even deep, in the sense of Bennett(*) ,
computer state, can be copied efficiently, so that when you say that
(*) Bennett, C. H. (1988). Logical Depth and Physical Complexity. In
Herken, R., editor, /The Universal Turing Machine A Half-Century
Survey/, pages 227-258. Oxford University Press.

Thanks for the reference, I will consider this...

If we assume the whole universe to be an automaton, also it's
inhabitants would be mechanical =effectively computable of course -
but maybe they could then not be duplicated, because, when person A were
trying to make a scan of the properties of person B, the universe as a
whole would move into different states and make complementary
observables - which _could_ be necessary for a duplication - unavailable.

OK. But your level has to be really at the bottom, not only below the
quantum level. I recall you that the no-cloning theorem does not prevent
us to be quantum computer. Right: we cannot say yes to any doctor, yet
UDA goes through because at the seventh step the copy need is
eliminated. We need only turing emulability, because quantum states,
although not copyable, are preparable (in the quantum prepare sense)
in many exemplaries, and indeed the UD does doevetail on all quantum
computations.

Agreed.

I think that your bottom really means: my brain is the whole of reality.

In the sense that the brain state depends on the whole of reality, and
if my brain state (or anyone elses) changes then the whole universe
transitions into a new state, yes, but not in the solipsitic form.

This may only work if consciousness supervenes not on isolated
computations, but only if it is embedded in computations constructing
whole universes - but then again, we can't exclude this a priori.

And we would still have to consider many worlds, but these would then
indeed be _worlds_ and not only OMs with incoming/outgoing histories (of
course it would still seem this way from the concrete OM, but with
greatly reduced danger of white rabbits) - the laws of physics would not
emerge for OM's stranded in the UD deployment but for OM's embedded
already in highly structured computational environments - we would only
have to take into account duplications of OM's where also whole
universes are duplicated.

Hmmm (I guess I use OM in a larger sense: those worlds remain
computable (assuming comp and bottom-level) and, as such, are
generated by the UD). I guess I should not!

Could you please clarify what exactly you mean with OM? Maybe this can
clear up some misunderstandings?

Well, if the quantum laws are derived from comp, then the platonic
histories are manipulable in a sense similar to the use of parallel
universe (or superposition states) in a quantum computer. Also, the comp
Platonia  need not be greater that Sigma_1 Arithmetical truth (which is
a tiny part of arithmetical truth, itself a tiny part of mathematical
truth): the deployment is really just the constructives consequences of
0, succession, addition and multiplication. And it is big as seen and
infered from inside, cf Hubble and ... the quantum multiverse. The
inaccessibility for manipulation is more of the type: no one can make 17
even, not even a God.

Agreed.

Best Wishes,
Günther

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### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
- Original Message -
From: Günther Greindl guenther.grei...@gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2009 4:47 PM
Subject: Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

We need only turing emulability, because quantum states,
although not copyable, are preparable (in the quantum prepare sense)

What is the quantum prepare sense?  Could someone please clarify
the foregoing quote? m.a.

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### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```Hi Günther,

I agree with your main point. My comments below concerns only details.

On 03 Jan 2009, at 23:53, Günther Greindl wrote:

Hi Bruno,

first of all thanks for the long answer, and yes, it was very helpful.

You described the production of all reals with a very vivid imagery;
it
showed a glimpse of the vastness of the UD. And, I agree, _in the
limit_
there will be an infinite number of histories. So, as we have to also
take into account infinite delay, we must take this limit into account
and have infinite histories going through a state (do I understand
you
correctly?).

I guess you were meaning that we have to take into account an infinity
of arbitrary long (but finite) delays. OK.

As to the interacting programs: do you consider them purely because
they
are part of UD or do you think this is a possible way to share
histories?

Both.

(I am interested in this because I find COMP very convincing, though I
am still a bit worried about solipsism).

Me too. Without Everett's confirmation I would perhaps have
suspected absence of first person plurality, and I would have believed
that comp leads to solipsism (and in that case I would have preferred
to be a plumber or something ...).

I am also preparing a few thoughts (in a later post, but see hints
below) on how consciousness might supervene on large parts of past
causal histories, thereby also steering a bit away from solipsism
(arguing via the concept of external realism from analytic philosophy,
summarized by Putnam's meaning is not in the head).

I will let you elaborate on this. But note that if my consciousness
here and now supervenes on past activity, then the comp
substitution level has to be very low indeed. You will also need a
notion of block universe. The comp doctor will have to be able to
manipulate time-lines. Remember that even deep, in the sense of
Bennett(*) , computer state, can be copied efficiently, so that when
you say that consciousness here and now could supervene on the past,
you will have to use not only a low level, but also a rather
sophisticated notion of block universe.  I am not sure making the
level just low will be enough. But from the logical point of view,
this could be conceivable. You should develop perhaps.

(*) Bennett, C. H. (1988). Logical Depth and Physical Complexity. In
Herken, R., editor, The Universal Turing Machine A Half-Century
Survey, pages 227-258. Oxford University Press.

I also have another question (related to the above issue of
solipsism):

We have considered COMP and MAT and seen that the two are not really
compatible.

But you also say that with COMP, the universe itself is not computable
(I understand why, and I agree with your reasoning as you have
presented
it).

But I have one worry: what if the subsitution level is at the
bottom
of the universe - (for a moment drawing on materialist intuitions,
the
universe in the normal sense and not considering infinite histories
for the moment).

If the universe is a computation, then also an individual in the
universe is part of this computation. But this individual can't be
duplicated because of the quantum no-cloning theorem (that is what I
mean with at the bottom - not above the quantum level).

Svozil for instance refers in a number of papers to the work of Moore
and Finkelstein that show, assuming we have an automaton, we would
witness complementarity.

http://tph.tuwien.ac.at/~svozil/publ/publ.html

(see for instance these overview papers:

Svozil, K. ``How real are virtual realities, how virtual is reality?
The
constructive re-interpretation of physical undecidability'',
Complexity,
1, 43-54 (1996).

Svozil, K. Computational Universes Chaos, Solitons  Fractals, 2005,
25,
845-859

Svozil, K. Physical Unknowables physics/0701163, 2007)

I have read all Svozil's book (but none of its papers). I appreciate
and there are complementarities with the UDA reasoning, although it
needs some work to make this precise. By the way the quantum logic
automaton is another example to get a quantum logic in a classical
frame without contradicting the no-go theorems that Stephen was
alluding toward.

The results of course would also apply if we were solipsist
automatons
and the whole not (so the arguments are quite compatible with
varying
versions of machine conception (universe/person) ).

I am just saying that we can't know if we are separable from the
universe.

To state it differently (and to make the connection with
complementarity
and duplication):

If we assume the whole universe to be an automaton, also it's
inhabitants would be mechanical =effectively computable of course -
but maybe they could then not be duplicated, because, when person A
were
trying to make a scan of the properties of person B, the universe as a
whole would move into different states and make complementary
observables - ```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
Hi Stephen,

Stephen Paul King wrote:
Nice post! Coments soon.

Thanks :-) Looking forward to the comments.

Speaking of Svozil's work, please see: Cristian S. Calude, Peter H.
Hertling and Karl Svozil, ``Embedding Quantum Universes in Classical Ones'',
Foundations of Physics 29(3), 349-390 (1999) [abstract], [CrossRef
DOI:10.1023/A:1018862730956], [pdf], [pdf], [tex], [ps].

Thanks for the tip, will have a look at it!

Best Wishes,
Günther

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### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
On 04 Jan 2009, at 03:09, Stephen Paul King wrote:

Hi Günther,

Nice post! Coments soon.

Speaking of Svozil's work, please see: Cristian S. Calude, Peter H.
Hertling and Karl Svozil, ``Embedding Quantum Universes in Classical
Ones'',
Foundations of Physics 29(3), 349-390 (1999) [abstract], [CrossRef
DOI:10.1023/A:1018862730956], [pdf], [pdf], [tex], [ps].

Nice work. It is in the line of the beautiful theorem of Kochen and
Specker.

How can we derive quantum logics from purely integer (or even real
number) based logics? This paper seems to yeild a no-go theorem!

And this confirms the MEC prediction (or re-prediction) that the logic
of the physical reality cannot be boolean.
I recall you that the material hypostases, when interpreted in
arithmetic, gives quantum like logics. There is no reason to suppose
they can be embedded in Boolean logics. The no-go theorems shows that
quantum logic cannot be embedded in classical logic in observable
value preserving way.
Such no go-theorems cannot be applied to the AUDA arithmetical
quantization, which concerns the way self-observing machine have to
structure the comp physical reality. Remember the result by
Goldblatt(*) 1974: there is a boolean way to interpret epistemically
quantum logic (by the modal logic B). The arithmetical quantization,
which captures the first person (plural) points of view, gives a modal
logic B (without necessitation rule). It would be a nice research
project to show that this extends the no-go theorems to the comp
physical quantum logics. This would confirm the highly non boolean
(and non Aristotelian) nature of matter, or appearance of matter.

The mechanist quantum logic is not derived from numbers, but from
numbers personal points ov view: what numbers can observe and share
when they observe themselves, and this with a very general notion of
observation.
It is like the MWI, the most weird is the quantum world, the more we
can believe that comp is correct, given that comp entails a rather
highly non classical view of the physical reality.

All right? More generally and perhaps more simply  the no-go theorems
forbid a classical reality, it does not forbid a classical *theory*
about a non classical reality. The (meta)logic of quantum mechanics
itself is classical. If you believed that the non go theorems is a
problem for comp, it means that you could be confusing levels with
metalevels. All right?

Best,

Bruno

PS Kim, Günther, I will comment your posts with some details asap, but
I have some new year activities ...

(*) Goldblatt, R. I. (1974). Semantic Analysis of Orthologic. Journal
of Philosophical Logic, 3:19-35. Also in Goldblatt, R. I. (1993).
Mathematics of Modality. CSLI Lectures Notes, Stanford California,
page 81-97.

- Original Message -
From: Günther Greindl guenther.grei...@gmail.com
Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2009 5:53 PM
Subject: Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

Hi Bruno,

first of all thanks for the long answer, and yes, it was very helpful.

You described the production of all reals with a very vivid imagery;
it
showed a glimpse of the vastness of the UD. And, I agree, _in the
limit_
there will be an infinite number of histories. So, as we have to also
take into account infinite delay, we must take this limit into account
and have infinite histories going through a state (do I understand
you
correctly?).

As to the interacting programs: do you consider them purely because
they
are part of UD or do you think this is a possible way to share
histories?

(I am interested in this because I find COMP very convincing, though I
am still a bit worried about solipsism).

I am also preparing a few thoughts (in a later post, but see hints
below) on how consciousness might supervene on large parts of past
causal histories, thereby also steering a bit away from solipsism
(arguing via the concept of external realism from analytic philosophy,
summarized by Putnam's meaning is not in the head).

I also have another question (related to the above issue of
solipsism):

We have considered COMP and MAT and seen that the two are not really
compatible.

But you also say that with COMP, the universe itself is not computable
(I understand why, and I agree with your reasoning as you have
presented
it).

But I have one worry: what if the subsitution level is at the
bottom
of the universe - (for a moment drawing on materialist intuitions,
the
universe in the normal sense and not considering infinite histories
for the moment).

If the universe is a computation, then also an individual in the
universe is part of this computation. But this individual can't be
duplicated because of the quantum no-cloning theorem (that is what I
mean with at the bottom - not above the quantum level).

Svozil for instance refers in a number```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
Hi Bruno,

first of all thanks for the long answer, and yes, it was very helpful.

You described the production of all reals with a very vivid imagery; it
showed a glimpse of the vastness of the UD. And, I agree, _in the limit_
there will be an infinite number of histories. So, as we have to also
take into account infinite delay, we must take this limit into account
and have infinite histories going through a state (do I understand you
correctly?).

As to the interacting programs: do you consider them purely because they
are part of UD or do you think this is a possible way to share histories?

(I am interested in this because I find COMP very convincing, though I
am still a bit worried about solipsism).

I am also preparing a few thoughts (in a later post, but see hints
below) on how consciousness might supervene on large parts of past
causal histories, thereby also steering a bit away from solipsism
(arguing via the concept of external realism from analytic philosophy,
summarized by Putnam's meaning is not in the head).

I also have another question (related to the above issue of solipsism):

We have considered COMP and MAT and seen that the two are not really
compatible.

But you also say that with COMP, the universe itself is not computable
(I understand why, and I agree with your reasoning as you have presented
it).

But I have one worry: what if the subsitution level is at the bottom
of the universe - (for a moment drawing on materialist intuitions, the
universe in the normal sense and not considering infinite histories
for the moment).

If the universe is a computation, then also an individual in the
universe is part of this computation. But this individual can't be
duplicated because of the quantum no-cloning theorem (that is what I
mean with at the bottom - not above the quantum level).

Svozil for instance refers in a number of papers to the work of Moore
and Finkelstein that show, assuming we have an automaton, we would
witness complementarity.

http://tph.tuwien.ac.at/~svozil/publ/publ.html

(see for instance these overview papers:

Svozil, K. ``How real are virtual realities, how virtual is reality? The
constructive re-interpretation of physical undecidability'', Complexity,
1, 43-54 (1996).

Svozil, K. Computational Universes Chaos, Solitons  Fractals, 2005, 25,
845-859

Svozil, K. Physical Unknowables physics/0701163, 2007)

The results of course would also apply if we were solipsist automatons
and the whole not (so the arguments are quite compatible with varying
versions of machine conception (universe/person) ).

I am just saying that we can't know if we are separable from the universe.

To state it differently (and to make the connection with complementarity
and duplication):

If we assume the whole universe to be an automaton, also it's
inhabitants would be mechanical =effectively computable of course -
but maybe they could then not be duplicated, because, when person A were
trying to make a scan of the properties of person B, the universe as a
whole would move into different states and make complementary
observables - which _could_ be necessary for a duplication - unavailable.

This may only work if consciousness supervenes not on isolated
computations, but only if it is embedded in computations constructing
whole universes - but then again, we can't exclude this a priori.

And we would still have to consider many worlds, but these would then
indeed be _worlds_ and not only OMs with incoming/outgoing histories (of
course it would still seem this way from the concrete OM, but with
greatly reduced danger of white rabbits) - the laws of physics would not
emerge for OM's stranded in the UD deployment but for OM's embedded
already in highly structured computational environments - we would only
have to take into account duplications of OM's where also whole
universes are duplicated.

So, what I am getting at, wouldn't you have to modify your argument -
the reversal physics/machine psychology - insofar that not only a
substitution level exists (COMP), but that this level is separable
from a possible universe-machine (the possibility of which we can't
exclude at the beginning of the argument). A kind of qualified COMP, QCOMP?

Of course, the variant where the whole universe is necessary for
duplication would still be machine psychology, but at a different level
- at the universe level (classical sense again) and not at the level of
everday conception of persons. Maybe COMP with the assumption that
consciousness needs whole universes to supervene on (I don't mean that a
universe is conscious; persons, brains would be conscious, but they
would need the surrounding computations supplied by the universe to
provide meaning) is even preferable to the view that one can duplicate
a person from _within_ a universe (because of the white rabbit problem).

Reading through my post above again, I believe that your COMP argument
also works with the ```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
Hi Günther,

Nice post! Coments soon.

Speaking of Svozil's work, please see: Cristian S. Calude, Peter H.
Hertling and Karl Svozil, ``Embedding Quantum Universes in Classical Ones'',
Foundations of Physics 29(3), 349-390 (1999) [abstract], [CrossRef
DOI:10.1023/A:1018862730956], [pdf], [pdf], [tex], [ps].

How can we derive quantum logics from purely integer (or even real
number) based logics? This paper seems to yeild a no-go theorem!

Onward!

Stephen

- Original Message -
From: Günther Greindl guenther.grei...@gmail.com
Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2009 5:53 PM
Subject: Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

Hi Bruno,

first of all thanks for the long answer, and yes, it was very helpful.

You described the production of all reals with a very vivid imagery; it
showed a glimpse of the vastness of the UD. And, I agree, _in the limit_
there will be an infinite number of histories. So, as we have to also
take into account infinite delay, we must take this limit into account
and have infinite histories going through a state (do I understand you
correctly?).

As to the interacting programs: do you consider them purely because they
are part of UD or do you think this is a possible way to share histories?

(I am interested in this because I find COMP very convincing, though I
am still a bit worried about solipsism).

I am also preparing a few thoughts (in a later post, but see hints
below) on how consciousness might supervene on large parts of past
causal histories, thereby also steering a bit away from solipsism
(arguing via the concept of external realism from analytic philosophy,
summarized by Putnam's meaning is not in the head).

I also have another question (related to the above issue of solipsism):

We have considered COMP and MAT and seen that the two are not really
compatible.

But you also say that with COMP, the universe itself is not computable
(I understand why, and I agree with your reasoning as you have presented
it).

But I have one worry: what if the subsitution level is at the bottom
of the universe - (for a moment drawing on materialist intuitions, the
universe in the normal sense and not considering infinite histories
for the moment).

If the universe is a computation, then also an individual in the
universe is part of this computation. But this individual can't be
duplicated because of the quantum no-cloning theorem (that is what I
mean with at the bottom - not above the quantum level).

Svozil for instance refers in a number of papers to the work of Moore
and Finkelstein that show, assuming we have an automaton, we would
witness complementarity.

http://tph.tuwien.ac.at/~svozil/publ/publ.html

(see for instance these overview papers:

Svozil, K. ``How real are virtual realities, how virtual is reality? The
constructive re-interpretation of physical undecidability'', Complexity,
1, 43-54 (1996).

Svozil, K. Computational Universes Chaos, Solitons  Fractals, 2005, 25,
845-859

Svozil, K. Physical Unknowables physics/0701163, 2007)

The results of course would also apply if we were solipsist automatons
and the whole not (so the arguments are quite compatible with varying
versions of machine conception (universe/person) ).

I am just saying that we can't know if we are separable from the universe.

To state it differently (and to make the connection with complementarity
and duplication):

If we assume the whole universe to be an automaton, also it's
inhabitants would be mechanical =effectively computable of course -
but maybe they could then not be duplicated, because, when person A were
trying to make a scan of the properties of person B, the universe as a
whole would move into different states and make complementary
observables - which _could_ be necessary for a duplication - unavailable.

This may only work if consciousness supervenes not on isolated
computations, but only if it is embedded in computations constructing
whole universes - but then again, we can't exclude this a priori.

And we would still have to consider many worlds, but these would then
indeed be _worlds_ and not only OMs with incoming/outgoing histories (of
course it would still seem this way from the concrete OM, but with
greatly reduced danger of white rabbits) - the laws of physics would not
emerge for OM's stranded in the UD deployment but for OM's embedded
already in highly structured computational environments - we would only
have to take into account duplications of OM's where also whole
universes are duplicated.

So, what I am getting at, wouldn't you have to modify your argument -
the reversal physics/machine psychology - insofar that not only a
substitution level exists (COMP), but that this level is separable
from a possible universe-machine (the possibility of which we can't
exclude at the beginning of the argument). A kind of qualified COMP, QCOMP?

Of course, the variant where the whole universe is necessary```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
On 31 Dec 2008, at 23:53, Brent Meeker wrote:

The present moment in quantum cosmology: challenges to the arguments
for the elimination of time
Authors: Lee Smolin
(Submitted on 29 Apr 2001)
Abstract: Barbour, Hawking, Misner and others have argued that time
cannot play an essential role in the formulation of a quantum theory
of cosmology. Here we present three challenges to their arguments,
taken from works and remarks by Kauffman, Markopoulou and Newman.
These can be seen to be based on two principles: that every
observable in a theory of cosmology should be measurable by some
observer inside the universe, and all mathematical constructions
necessary to the formulation of the theory should be realizable in a
finite time by a computer that fits inside the universe. We also
briefly discuss how a cosmological theory could be formulated so it
is in agreement with these principles.
Comments: This is a slightly revised version of an essay published
in Time and the Instant, Robin Durie (ed.) Manchester: Clinamen
Press, 2000
Subjects: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)
Cite as:  arXiv:gr-qc/0104097v1

And On 02 Jan 2009, at 04:01, Kim Jones wrote:

Edge Question 2009: What Will Change Everything?

http://www.edge.org/q2009/q09_9.html#smolin

By some token which would be premature to explain, Smolin's 2001
papers is very near the correct physics that we can extract from the
talk of the self-observing universal machine, especially from the 3th
and 5th arithmetical hypostases. This includes an impossibility of
eliminating time, a non standard notion of truth, etc.
But such physics is really a first person construct of the lobian
machine, and to explain this you have to agree that elementary
arithmetical truth is just out of time, out of space, actually out of
physics, and indeed it is math.
So to be frank, I disagree strongly with many points of his Edge
Question 2009, even if I can agree with the type of physics he is

But more generally, any physics, theoretical or experimental, which
would contradict the physics extracted from the comp hyp, would be an
empirical refutation of the comp hyp. Now Everett physics confirms
most of the easiest physical things you can derive from MEC, and, well
Smolin's physics too. The apparent contradiction between Smolin and
Everett-Deutsch are more due to the attachment to physicalism and
Aristotelism than facts or even theory.

I am afraid that Smolin's 2009 reifies good ideas in Smolin's 2001,
sending him to inconsistency or (cosmo)solipsism. I need some amount
of timeless truth to even take my doubt on many other so-called
timeless truth seriously enough. Descartes saw this.

If you want make me believe that the primality of 17 is time and space
dependent, I will ask you to give me the function describing this
dependence, or give me an argument explaining why such a function has
to exist. And take care that your argument is not time and space
dependent itself.

I don't understand either (in the Edge 2009) is argument for ethics,
just after his argument for relativism.

You can search Smolin in the everything archive, for what I have
already said about his work here, and we can come back on this,
perhaps when everyone grasp the UDA proof, and a bit of the AUDA.

I just see Lennart Nilsson post: yes I think so too, although I guess
Smolin could perhaps give a more apt and nuanced answer, but
reintroducing an absolute moment contradict Einstein relativity (but
perhaps not Poincaré's very close relativity theory, sometimes
confused with Einstein one).

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

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```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
Hi Günther,

On 01 Jan 2009, at 23:58, Günther Greindl wrote:

Bruno,

I have also wanted to ask how you come to 2^aleph_zero

Well, in part this results from the unbounded dumbness of the
universal doevtailing procedure which dovetails on all programs but

also on all non interacting collection of programs (as all
interacting
one).

How do you discern interacting/non-interacting programs? What do you
mean exactly with the term in regard to UD?

To write and implement a Universal Dovetailer, you have to fix a
universal programming language (or machine). Then the UD will generate
the list of programs P_1, P_2, P_3, ... and run them by little pieces,
let us say of one running step, and this for each program in such a
way that it dovetails on all the executions, including those who does
not stop, which we cannot avoid.

Let us assume tthat the sequence P_1, P_2, P_3, ... P_i  ...   is the
sequence of the zero variable programs (this changes nothing). Now a
computation, for example, the computation of P_0,  will itself be a
sequence of computational steps, like

P_1^1, P_1^2, P_1^3, etc ...

To run the UD, we dovetail or zig zag on the programs and their
computational steps. Exercise: add some relevant zig zagging to the
following infinite diagram:

P_1^1, P_1^2, P_1^3, P_1^4, ...
P_2^1, P_2^2, P_2^3, P_2^4, ...
P_3^1, P_3^2, P_3^3, P_3^4, ...
P_4^1, P_4^2, P_4^3, P_4^4, ...
...

A solution: P_1^1, P_1^2, P_2^1, P_3^1, P_2^2, P_1^3, P_1^4, P_2^3,
P_3^2, P_4^1, ...

Each computational step P_i^j, of the ith program up to the jth step
is completely independent of any other computations P_k^h, when i is
different from k. Such computations do not interact. The DU, if
programmed correctly, will never let them share the memories or
interact in any way.

But for each couple (P_i, P_k) there is another program, P_h in the
(infinite but enumerable) list P_i which is a mini-dovetailer of the
pair of programs (P_i, P_k). This means P_h dovetails itself on the
execution of the two programs P_i and P_k.  Indeed, trivially, the
universal dovetailer execute all the possible dovetailing, the
universal one and all the other one.

Again, the two new computations of P_i and P_k does not interact.

But that is not enough, for all couple of programs (P_i, P_k) there is
third program P_g, which you can seen as a bad or buggy dovetailer on
the pair (P_i, P_k), which will execute P_i and P_k again, but with
just one shared memory, so that progress in the running of one of them
will destroy the memory of the other. In that sense the buggy mini-
dovetailer makes P_i and P_k interact, in one way.

Given that any digital interaction process, it can be simulated by a
program, and the UD will soon or later simulate that interaction.

For another example, the UD will run all patterns of the game of life,
but also all couple of such patterns, all triples, all quadruples,
actually all finite pieces of possible Eden garden of possible
cellular automata.

You can actually imagine any ways of making two programs or machines
interact, soon or later the UD will generate ONE computation which
will run the interaction of those machines, yet such computation will
not interact with the proper other UD-computations. The UD will even
generate a universal buggy dovetailing computation which makes all
programs interact with each other, in all possible ways. All right?

Please ask if something is not clear. It is simpler to explain all
this with conical drawings, and the internal zig zagging.

In particular each computation is entangled to dovetailing on
the reals,

What do you mean by this? How do the reals enter the picture?

Do you remember the iterated self-duplication experiment? Suppose I
invite you to make that experience. But your boss asked you to do some
computation P (and thus your computation looks like P^1, P^2, etc...
(the number = the steps of your computation).
So, you will do your computation and simultaneously do the iterated
self-duplication. To simplify I will assume that you do one step of
I duplicate you iteratively in two rooms, one with the number zero
written on the wall, the other with the number one on the wall. OK?
And during that time you make the computation (to please your boss).
So you compute P, get the first step of the computation: P^1, go to my
duplicator (where you are scanned---and this includes your step
result P^1annihilated, and reconstituted in the zero-room and in
the one-room. The two of you come back, each one of you compute one
step of the computation to get P^2, and enter the duplicator again.
Both are scanned, including the P^2 step-result, and then annihilated
and reconstituted again in the two rooms. The four of you come back,
compute the third step of the computation, and enter again the
annihilator , the eight of you come back, compute ```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
2009/1/1 Hal Finney h...@finney.org:

I want to emphasize that this picture of how Boltzmann fluctuations would
work is a consquence of the laws of thermodynamics, and time symmetry.
Sometimes people imagine that the fluctuation into the Boltzmann
low-entropy state is fundamentally different from the fluctuation out
of it. They accept that the fluctuation out will be similar to our own
existence, with complex events happening. But they imagine that the
fluctuation into low entropy might be much simpler, molecules simply
aggregating together into some convenient state from which the complex
fluctuation out and back to chaos can begin. While this is not impossible
and hence will happen occasionally among the infinity of fluctuations in
the Boltzmann universe, it will be rare. It will be no more common for a
simple fluctation-in process to occur than for a simple fluctuation-out
process. In our universe, knowing it will evolve to a chaotic heat
death, we might imagine that molecules would just fly apart into chaos,
but we know that is highly unlikely. Instead, by far the most likely
path is a complex one, full of turbulence and reactions and similar
activity. By time symmetry, exactly the same arguments apply during
the fluctation-in phase. The vast majority of Boltzmann fluctuations
that achieve a particular degree of low entropy will do so via complex,
turbulent paths which if viewed in reverse will appear to be perfectly
plausible sequences of events for a universe which is decaying from
order to disorder, like our own.

This is an interesting idea. I had imagined that the fluctuations in
the decreasing entropy or winding up direction would involve chaotic
aggregation of matter which would then wind down in a more organised
way, giving rise to stars and planets and so on, but as you point out
there is no reason to assume this. I am not sure why you suggest that
about whether it could give rise to consciousness): if all the air in
the room moved to one side because, with incredible luck, the
molecules all vibrated in the same direction for a few seconds should
this event be called acausal?

If we are conscious in winding up direction and winding up is no less
likely to occur though interesting pathways than winding down, this
would imply that at any point, we have about an equal chance of living
in the winding up as the winding down phase: we would have no way of
knowing. This would be the case whether we are ordinary brains or
Boltzmann Brains, since in either case there has to be a winding up
before the winding down can happen. A further implication is that
there will be far more observer moments in the later stages of the
universe than in the earlier stages. This is because unlikely as it is
that the universe will wind up all the way to January 1st 2009, it is
even less likely to continue winding up to 31st December 2008 (it is
far more likely of course to only wind back to a state near the heat
death end times, but there are less likely to be observers there). If
you support the ASSA, that would imply that you are near your last
moment of consciousness, since OM's later in your life have a much
higher measure than earlier ones. Under the RSSA or if you take into
account Boltzmann Brains that would not be a problem.

--
Stathis Papaioannou

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### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```

It seems to me that your reasoning illustrates well the problems with
physical supervenience and physicalism, and perhaps ASSA.

In any case the Universal Dovetailer generates all such gaz universes
generating the Boltzmann brains. Now the probability that you are
implemented by a particular Boltzmann brain is null, as it is null for
any particular. With the comp supervenience you have to attach
consciousness on ALL the histories going through your computational
state.  It is a sort of double cone of histories.

We cannot belong to the aleph_zero Boltzmann brains state, because,
from our first person (plural) point of views we already belongs to
the 2^aleph_zero winning (infinite) histories. (or comp is wrong).

This is a case for RSSA indeed. I think. Bb are reduced to the usual
white rabbits histories, with RSSA, it seems to me.

Bruno

On 31 Dec 2008, at 22:58, Hal Finney wrote:

Sometimes we consider here the nature of consciousness, whether
observer
moments need to be linked to one another, the role of causality in
consciousness, etc. I thought of an interesting puzzle about Boltzmann
Brains which offers a new twist to these questions.

As most readers are aware, Boltzmann Brains relate to an idea of
Boltzmann
on how to explain the arrow of time. The laws of physics seem to be
time
symmetric, yet the universe is grossly asymmetric in time.  Boltzmann
proposed that if you had a universe in a maximum entropy state, say a
uniform gas, then given enough time, the gas would undergo
fluctuations
to regions of lower entropy.  Sometimes, purely at random, clumps of
molecules would happen to form. Even more rarely, these clumps might
be
large and ordered. Given infinite time, one could even have an entire
visible-universe worth of matter clump together in an ordered fashion,
from which state it would then decay into higher entropy conditions.
Life
could evolve during this decay, observe the universe around it, and
find
itself in conditions much like our own.

The Boltzmann Brain is a counter-argument, suggesting that the
universe
and everything else is redundant; all you need is a brain to form via
a spontaneous random fluctuation, and to hold together long enough to
engage in a few moments of conscious thought. Such a Boltzmann Brain
is
far more likely to form than an entire universe, hence the vast
majority
of conscious thoughts in such a model will be in Boltzmann Brains
and not
in brains in large universes. If we were tempted to explain the
arrow of
time in this way, we must accept that the universe is an illusion and
that we are actually Boltzmann Brains, a conclusion which most people
don't like.

Now this scenario can be criticized in many ways, but I want to
emphasize
a couple of points which aren't always appreciated. The first is
that the
Boltzmann scenario, whether a whole universe or just a Brain is
forming,
is basically time symmetric. That means that if you saw a movie of a
Boltzmann universe forming and then decaying back to random entropy,
you would not be able to tell which way the movie was running, if it
were to be reversed. (This is an unavoidable consequence of the time
symmetry of the underlying physics.) It follows that while the
universe
is moving into the low-entropy state, it must be evolving backwards.
That
is, an observer from outside would see time appearing to run
backwards.
Eggs would un-scramble themselves, objects would fall upwards from the
ground, ripples would converge on spots in lakes from which rocks
would
then leap from the water, and so on.

At some point this time reversal effect would stop, and the universe
would then proceed to evolve back into a high entropy state, now
with time
going forwards. Now, the forward phase will not in general be an
exact
mirror image of the reverse, because of slight random fluctuations and
the like, but it will be an alternate path that essentially starts
with
the same initial conditions. So we will see one path backwards into
the
minimum-entropy state, and another path forwards from that state. Both
paths are fully plausible histories and neither is distinguishable
from
the other as far as which was reversed and which was forward, if you
ran a recording of the whole process backwards.

One might ask, what causes time to run backwards during the first
half of
the Boltzmann scenario? The answer is, nothing but very, very odd
luck.
Time is no more likely to continue to run backwards, or to run
backwards
the same everywhere in the local fluctuation-area, than it is to start
running backwards right now in the universe around you. Nothing stops
eggs from unscrambling themselves except the unlikelihood, and the
same
principle is at work during the Boltzmann time-reversal phase. It is
merely that we select, out of the infinity of time, those rare
occasions
where time does in ```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
Bruno Marchal wrote:

It seems to me that your reasoning illustrates well the problems with
physical supervenience and physicalism, and perhaps ASSA.

In any case the Universal Dovetailer generates all such gaz universes
generating the Boltzmann brains. Now the probability that you are
implemented by a particular Boltzmann brain is null, as it is null for
any particular. With the comp supervenience you have to attach
consciousness on ALL the histories going through your computational
state.  It is a sort of double cone of histories.

Are you assuming time as fundamental here?  If time is merely inferred then it
seems that states of Bbs could fit into the inferred time sequence as well as
states that arose in some other way.

We cannot belong to the aleph_zero Boltzmann brains state, because,
from our first person (plural) point of views we already belongs to
the 2^aleph_zero winning (infinite) histories. (or comp is wrong).

I don't understand the counting measure.  Why are histories order 2^apleph_0?

Brent

This is a case for RSSA indeed. I think. Bb are reduced to the usual
white rabbits histories, with RSSA, it seems to me.

Bruno

On 31 Dec 2008, at 22:58, Hal Finney wrote:

Sometimes we consider here the nature of consciousness, whether
observer
moments need to be linked to one another, the role of causality in
consciousness, etc. I thought of an interesting puzzle about Boltzmann
Brains which offers a new twist to these questions.

As most readers are aware, Boltzmann Brains relate to an idea of
Boltzmann
on how to explain the arrow of time. The laws of physics seem to be
time
symmetric, yet the universe is grossly asymmetric in time.  Boltzmann
proposed that if you had a universe in a maximum entropy state, say a
uniform gas, then given enough time, the gas would undergo
fluctuations
to regions of lower entropy.  Sometimes, purely at random, clumps of
molecules would happen to form. Even more rarely, these clumps might
be
large and ordered. Given infinite time, one could even have an entire
visible-universe worth of matter clump together in an ordered fashion,
from which state it would then decay into higher entropy conditions.
Life
could evolve during this decay, observe the universe around it, and
find
itself in conditions much like our own.

The Boltzmann Brain is a counter-argument, suggesting that the
universe
and everything else is redundant; all you need is a brain to form via
a spontaneous random fluctuation, and to hold together long enough to
engage in a few moments of conscious thought. Such a Boltzmann Brain
is
far more likely to form than an entire universe, hence the vast
majority
of conscious thoughts in such a model will be in Boltzmann Brains
and not
in brains in large universes. If we were tempted to explain the
arrow of
time in this way, we must accept that the universe is an illusion and
that we are actually Boltzmann Brains, a conclusion which most people
don't like.

Now this scenario can be criticized in many ways, but I want to
emphasize
a couple of points which aren't always appreciated. The first is
that the
Boltzmann scenario, whether a whole universe or just a Brain is
forming,
is basically time symmetric. That means that if you saw a movie of a
Boltzmann universe forming and then decaying back to random entropy,
you would not be able to tell which way the movie was running, if it
were to be reversed. (This is an unavoidable consequence of the time
symmetry of the underlying physics.) It follows that while the
universe
is moving into the low-entropy state, it must be evolving backwards.
That
is, an observer from outside would see time appearing to run
backwards.
Eggs would un-scramble themselves, objects would fall upwards from the
ground, ripples would converge on spots in lakes from which rocks
would
then leap from the water, and so on.

At some point this time reversal effect would stop, and the universe
would then proceed to evolve back into a high entropy state, now
with time
going forwards. Now, the forward phase will not in general be an
exact
mirror image of the reverse, because of slight random fluctuations and
the like, but it will be an alternate path that essentially starts
with
the same initial conditions. So we will see one path backwards into
the
minimum-entropy state, and another path forwards from that state. Both
paths are fully plausible histories and neither is distinguishable
from
the other as far as which was reversed and which was forward, if you
ran a recording of the whole process backwards.

One might ask, what causes time to run backwards during the first
half of
the Boltzmann scenario? The answer is, nothing but very, very odd
luck.
Time is no more likely to continue to run backwards, or to run
backwards
the same everywhere in the local fluctuation-area, than it ```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```

On 01 Jan 2009, at 21:10, Brent Meeker wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

It seems to me that your reasoning illustrates well the problems with
physical supervenience and physicalism, and perhaps ASSA.

In any case the Universal Dovetailer generates all such gaz universes
generating the Boltzmann brains. Now the probability that you are
implemented by a particular Boltzmann brain is null, as it is null
for
any particular. With the comp supervenience you have to attach
consciousness on ALL the histories going through your computational
state.  It is a sort of double cone of histories.

Are you assuming time as fundamental here?  If time is merely
inferred then it
seems that states of Bbs could fit into the inferred time sequence
as well as
states that arose in some other way.

I assume only the sequence 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ... or the axioms of
Robinson arithmetic, or Peano.
This is enough to recognize the working of a universal dovetailer, and
the execution of all programs. It is not infered but postulate. You
can call it a digital time, or you can unravel such a dynamical
deploiment into a statical n n+1 dimensional cone (with n the
dimension of the space used by your starting universal machine (but
some have no concept of dimension, and the statical picture is more a
logical than a geometrical one).  It is not physical time, nor even
the subjective time builded by internal entities.

We cannot belong to the aleph_zero Boltzmann brains state, because,
from our first person (plural) point of views we already belongs to
the 2^aleph_zero winning (infinite) histories. (or comp is wrong).

I don't understand the counting measure.  Why are histories order
2^apleph_0?

Well, in part this results from the unbounded dumbness of the
universal doevtailing procedure which dovetails on all programs but
also on all non interacting collection of programs (as all interacting
one). In particular each computation is entangled to dovetailing on
the reals, and infinite computations are multiplied into 2^aleph_zero
by this entanglement with the reals. Now this is a good thing because
it means that the stable histories will be those who manage that
background noise, who exploits it probably.

Our mind states are enumerable, but our histories are not.

Bruno

Brent

This is a case for RSSA indeed. I think. Bb are reduced to the
usual
white rabbits histories, with RSSA, it seems to me.

Bruno

On 31 Dec 2008, at 22:58, Hal Finney wrote:

Sometimes we consider here the nature of consciousness, whether
observer
moments need to be linked to one another, the role of causality in
consciousness, etc. I thought of an interesting puzzle about
Boltzmann
Brains which offers a new twist to these questions.

As most readers are aware, Boltzmann Brains relate to an idea of
Boltzmann
on how to explain the arrow of time. The laws of physics seem to be
time
symmetric, yet the universe is grossly asymmetric in time.
Boltzmann
proposed that if you had a universe in a maximum entropy state,
say a
uniform gas, then given enough time, the gas would undergo
fluctuations
to regions of lower entropy.  Sometimes, purely at random, clumps of
molecules would happen to form. Even more rarely, these clumps might
be
large and ordered. Given infinite time, one could even have an
entire
visible-universe worth of matter clump together in an ordered
fashion,
from which state it would then decay into higher entropy conditions.
Life
could evolve during this decay, observe the universe around it, and
find
itself in conditions much like our own.

The Boltzmann Brain is a counter-argument, suggesting that the
universe
and everything else is redundant; all you need is a brain to form
via
a spontaneous random fluctuation, and to hold together long enough
to
engage in a few moments of conscious thought. Such a Boltzmann Brain
is
far more likely to form than an entire universe, hence the vast
majority
of conscious thoughts in such a model will be in Boltzmann Brains
and not
in brains in large universes. If we were tempted to explain the
arrow of
time in this way, we must accept that the universe is an illusion
and
that we are actually Boltzmann Brains, a conclusion which most
people
don't like.

Now this scenario can be criticized in many ways, but I want to
emphasize
a couple of points which aren't always appreciated. The first is
that the
Boltzmann scenario, whether a whole universe or just a Brain is
forming,
is basically time symmetric. That means that if you saw a movie of a
Boltzmann universe forming and then decaying back to random entropy,
you would not be able to tell which way the movie was running, if it
were to be reversed. (This is an unavoidable consequence of the time
symmetry of the underlying physics.) It follows that while the
universe
is moving into the low-entropy state, it must be evolving ```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
Hal,

I have entertained quite similar musings some time ago, and this led me
to a position I called naive materialism NMAT some time ago on this
list - that causality does not matter, and consciousness would supervene
on the material states directly - and both backward and forward versions
would actually be the same from an endophysical perspective.

But the problem of these considerations is that indeed we get the BB
issue and causality loses it's role, leaving us with a quite strange
tangle of states. Considering that in a fundamental theory, time
shouldn't be a parameter chugging along, and we are still considering an
external time (where the cosmic perturbations are actually happening)
as opposed to the endophysical time registered by the brains in the
fluctuations, the thinking along these lines reveals itself to be even
more disappointing.

In the meantime I have come to agree with Bruno:

It seems to me that your reasoning illustrates well the problems with
physical supervenience and physicalism, and perhaps ASSA.

The solution Bruno has worked out is much more satisfying -
supervenience on computations, and the physical emerging from the most
probable histories. It is a form of objective idealism, avoiding the
problems of subjective idealisms which are inimical to scientific inquiry.

In sum, BBs and perturbing universes are, I think, more evidence that
there is something wrong with materialism (and I say this having arrived
on this list being a materialist ;-).

Cheers,
Günther

Hal Finney wrote:
Sometimes we consider here the nature of consciousness, whether observer
moments need to be linked to one another, the role of causality in
consciousness, etc. I thought of an interesting puzzle about Boltzmann
Brains which offers a new twist to these questions.

As most readers are aware, Boltzmann Brains relate to an idea of Boltzmann
on how to explain the arrow of time. The laws of physics seem to be time
symmetric, yet the universe is grossly asymmetric in time.  Boltzmann
proposed that if you had a universe in a maximum entropy state, say a
uniform gas, then given enough time, the gas would undergo fluctuations
to regions of lower entropy.  Sometimes, purely at random, clumps of
molecules would happen to form. Even more rarely, these clumps might be
large and ordered. Given infinite time, one could even have an entire
visible-universe worth of matter clump together in an ordered fashion,
from which state it would then decay into higher entropy conditions. Life
could evolve during this decay, observe the universe around it, and find
itself in conditions much like our own.

The Boltzmann Brain is a counter-argument, suggesting that the universe
and everything else is redundant; all you need is a brain to form via
a spontaneous random fluctuation, and to hold together long enough to
engage in a few moments of conscious thought. Such a Boltzmann Brain is
far more likely to form than an entire universe, hence the vast majority
of conscious thoughts in such a model will be in Boltzmann Brains and not
in brains in large universes. If we were tempted to explain the arrow of
time in this way, we must accept that the universe is an illusion and
that we are actually Boltzmann Brains, a conclusion which most people
don't like.

Now this scenario can be criticized in many ways, but I want to emphasize
a couple of points which aren't always appreciated. The first is that the
Boltzmann scenario, whether a whole universe or just a Brain is forming,
is basically time symmetric. That means that if you saw a movie of a
Boltzmann universe forming and then decaying back to random entropy,
you would not be able to tell which way the movie was running, if it
were to be reversed. (This is an unavoidable consequence of the time
symmetry of the underlying physics.) It follows that while the universe
is moving into the low-entropy state, it must be evolving backwards. That
is, an observer from outside would see time appearing to run backwards.
Eggs would un-scramble themselves, objects would fall upwards from the
ground, ripples would converge on spots in lakes from which rocks would
then leap from the water, and so on.

At some point this time reversal effect would stop, and the universe
would then proceed to evolve back into a high entropy state, now with time
going forwards. Now, the forward phase will not in general be an exact
mirror image of the reverse, because of slight random fluctuations and
the like, but it will be an alternate path that essentially starts with
the same initial conditions. So we will see one path backwards into the
minimum-entropy state, and another path forwards from that state. Both
paths are fully plausible histories and neither is distinguishable from
the other as far as which was reversed and which was forward, if you
ran a recording of the whole process backwards.

One might ask, what causes time to run backwards ```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```
Bruno,

I have also wanted to ask how you come to 2^aleph_zero

Well, in part this results from the unbounded dumbness of the
universal doevtailing procedure which dovetails on all programs but

also on all non interacting collection of programs (as all interacting
one).

How do you discern interacting/non-interacting programs? What do you
mean exactly with the term in regard to UD?

In particular each computation is entangled to dovetailing on
the reals,

What do you mean by this? How do the reals enter the picture?

Cheers,
Günther

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```

### Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

```

Hal Finney wrote:

Sometimes we consider here the nature of consciousness, whether observer
moments need to be linked to one another, the role of causality in
consciousness, etc. I thought of an interesting puzzle about Boltzmann
Brains which offers a new twist to these questions.

As most readers are aware, Boltzmann Brains relate to an idea of Boltzmann
on how to explain the arrow of time. The laws of physics seem to be time
symmetric, yet the universe is grossly asymmetric in time.  Boltzmann
proposed that if you had a universe in a maximum entropy state, say a
uniform gas, then given enough time, the gas would undergo fluctuations
to regions of lower entropy.  Sometimes, purely at random, clumps of
molecules would happen to form. Even more rarely, these clumps might be
large and ordered. Given infinite time, one could even have an entire
visible-universe worth of matter clump together in an ordered fashion,
from which state it would then decay into higher entropy conditions. Life
could evolve during this decay, observe the universe around it, and find
itself in conditions much like our own.

The Boltzmann Brain is a counter-argument, suggesting that the universe
and everything else is redundant; all you need is a brain to form via
a spontaneous random fluctuation, and to hold together long enough to
engage in a few moments of conscious thought. Such a Boltzmann Brain is
far more likely to form than an entire universe, hence the vast majority
of conscious thoughts in such a model will be in Boltzmann Brains and not
in brains in large universes. If we were tempted to explain the arrow of
time in this way, we must accept that the universe is an illusion and
that we are actually Boltzmann Brains, a conclusion which most people
don't like.

Now this scenario can be criticized in many ways, but I want to emphasize
a couple of points which aren't always appreciated. The first is that the
Boltzmann scenario, whether a whole universe or just a Brain is forming,
is basically time symmetric. That means that if you saw a movie of a
Boltzmann universe forming and then decaying back to random entropy,
you would not be able to tell which way the movie was running, if it
were to be reversed. (This is an unavoidable consequence of the time
symmetry of the underlying physics.) It follows that while the universe
is moving into the low-entropy state, it must be evolving backwards. That
is, an observer from outside would see time appearing to run backwards.
Eggs would un-scramble themselves, objects would fall upwards from the
ground, ripples would converge on spots in lakes from which rocks would
then leap from the water, and so on.

At some point this time reversal effect would stop, and the universe
would then proceed to evolve back into a high entropy state, now with time
going "forwards". Now, the forward phase will not in general be an exact
mirror image of the reverse, because of slight random fluctuations and
the like, but it will be an alternate path that essentially starts with
the same initial conditions. So we will see one path backwards into the
minimum-entropy state, and another path forwards from that state. Both
paths are fully plausible histories and neither is distinguishable from
the other as far as which was reversed and which was forward, if you
ran a recording of the whole process backwards.

One might ask, what causes time to run backwards during the first half of
the Boltzmann scenario? The answer is, nothing but very, very odd luck.
Time is no more likely to continue to run backwards, or to run backwards
the same everywhere in the local fluctuation-area, than it is to start
running backwards right now in the universe around you. Nothing stops
eggs from unscrambling themselves except the unlikelihood, and the same
principle is at work during the Boltzmann time-reversal phase. It is
merely that we select, out of the infinity of time, those rare occasions
where time does in fact "happen to happen" like this, that allows us to
discuss it.

I want to emphasize that this picture of how Boltzmann fluctuations would
work is a consquence of the laws of thermodynamics, and time symmetry.
Sometimes people imagine that the fluctuation into the Boltzmann
low-entropy state is fundamentally different from the fluctuation out
of it. They accept that the fluctuation out will be similar to our own
existence, with complex events happening. But they imagine that the
fluctuation into low entropy might be much simpler, molecules simply
aggregating together into some convenient state from which the complex
fluctuation out and back to chaos can begin. While this is not impossible
and hence will happen occasionally among the infinity of fluctuations in
the Boltzmann universe, it will be rare. It will be no more common for a
"simple" fluctation-in process to occur than for a simple fluctuation-out
process. In our universe, knowing it will evolve to a chaotic heat
death, we might imagine that molecules would just fly ```