Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Mon Mar 03 2008 - 07:50:20 MST

On 04/03/2008, Nick Tarleton <> wrote:

> As far as I can tell, these computations will vastly outnumber
> "simple" observers like humans, and most of them will observe
> extremely chaotic, random environments, so you should expect to
> observe a random environment; but you don't. This is puzzling.

Yes. This is sometimes called "failure of induction" and it's a
problem for any ensemble theory in cosmology, such as Max Tegmark's.
(In fact, the idea that every possible computation is necessarily
implemented is one way of justifying Tegmark's modal realism). One
solution relates to consideration of algorithmic probability (short
programs corresponding to universes developing from a set of simple
physical laws have higher measure than much longer programs ouputting
universes where the laws arbitrarily change and weird stuff keeps
happening) in combination with the anthropic principle (we only
experience those universes consistent with our persistent existence).

Stathis Papaioannou

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