« Use of Role Classes to Define Predicate Semantics: Proposal for Semantic Web Best-Practice | Main | Senate May Ram Ludicrous Copyright Bill »

November 15, 2004

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b21169e200d83457a72869e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference If the Universe is a Simulation, then What?:

» If the Universe is a Simulation, then What? from Kybernetica.com
[Source: Minding the Planet] quoted: Ipropose that consciousness is an example of such a unsimulatable-thing.If we find that consciousness cannot be simulated by a computer, then Iwould conclude that our universe (which contains consciousness,seemingly... [Read More]

Comments

Terry Schermerhorn

Could this be the answer to the question "why are we here?" In our attempt to discover our own meaning to our existence I refer to "Horton hears a who". This is almost the same thing. I'm not suggesting we try to signal a passing elephant in an even larger universe, but perhaps all we need to do is find a clue that leads to the switch that turns on the microphone. If this really is a type of software simulation, then it stands to reason a bug, or anomaly, or even a digital signature, has already been introduced into it. So how do we find it, and how do we recognize it once we do?

jHenosch

If we try to intercept all our neurons by tiny manmade nanotransceivers, that can figure out where they are in the brainnetwork, it is just a question of high fidelity representation of all patterns in the brain wihtin, by a computer that is able to download and upload experiences and memory from and to the biobrain.

The outside represented brainpattern is similar to the real conscienceness of the biotissue of your good old fleshborn body.

And when our biological body starts to fail and deteriorate through age, we can (slowly) take over the biobrain by our sythetic brainpattern in the computer, and live our lives furher in the blessing of virtuality, giving up our deceased flesh.

If this brainpattern can be stored, we as humans, the facto have reached immortality.

It is not really necessary to get yourself back into a cloned body, because robotting can deliver the same manipulation of material needed to maintain our life(computer)systems.

And because people go virtual virtual at the end of their biolife, there are no limits to our natural environment anymore, cause cyberexperiencing at that time will be more real than reality itself.

indeed,as the bible scriptures say:

a new earth and a new heaven !!

X.Mitchell

indeed, throwing our numbers around more dimensions should enhance the contours of our own simulation, letting us harness a couple of fundamentals and send back our "genitors" a winning signal-to-noise ratio. It's interesting to think that this might be our primary engine and the reason why our universe is so fertile. Thank you for the senario.

Question: how far can we go hanging on to a real.external/simulated.inside dichotomy ?
Such binary oppositions would seem to be excess baggage if we want flexible semantics for our math to grow "out" of its "insides" ;-)

Nova

Very interesting suggestion! I never thought of that. Adds another nice angle to all of this, thanks!

Nova

Richard

"If we find that consciousness cannot be simulated by a computer, then I would conclude that our universe (which contains consciousness, seemingly) cannot be a computer simulation."

I'm not convinced that follows, as it seems possible that although our universe is simulated, our consciousness is something that occurs outside of the simulation, due to our external/real brains. (Indeed, I think this is the case in Dave Chalmers' "Matrix" scenario.)

So, instead of concluding that the universe cannot be simulated in such as case, you should instead (I think) conclude that we cannot be merely simulated beings. We might find ourselves in an artificial universe, but we ourselves must be real (i.e. have some grounding to our existence outside of the simulation).

Nova

http://redshift.vif.com/JournalFiles/Pre2001/V00NO20PDF/NR20KOK.PDF -- This paper presents a number of cases of cosmological coincidences that may be the kinds of "clues" we should be looknig at more closely.

Here are some interesting astronomical coincidences that are still unexplained:
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/bmoler/astroco.htm

Here are some mathematical coincidences of note
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mathematical_coincidences

Of course there is also the idea, put forth by Carl Sagan in his book, Contact, that there might be message hidden within the numerical sequence of Pi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi.

Here is an interesting article that analyzes and graphs the randomness of digits of Pi:
http://www.geocities.com/thestarman3/math/pi/RandPI.html

Others have wondered about whether there is a hidden message in the distribution of the prime numbers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_number

This page summarizes some interesting directions in research that point to connections between number theory and physics
http://www.sciscoop.com/comments/2003/12/13/221728/41/4?mode=alone;showrate=1

And this site points out some "evolutionary" aspects of prime number distributions:
http://www.maths.ex.ac.uk/~mwatkins/isoc/index.htm

This site lists many known patterns in the primes...
http://www.geocities.com/~harveyh/primes.htm

Ulam's Prime Number Spiral is also a very interesting curiousity...could there be something here? Perhaps instead of a spiral a different way of arranging the primes, perhaps in more dimensions, will yeield even more structure?
http://www.hermetic.ch/pns/pns.htm
And here's a little more about it: http://www.abarim-publications.com/artctulam.html
The Anthropic Principle is also relevant to this discussion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle

Here's another very interesting study that attempted to find hidden patterns in the mass ratios of the fundamental particles, by doing an exhaustive search of known number sequences: http://www.lacim.uqam.ca/%7Eplouffe/Search.htm

Dave Martindale

Hi, very interesting article!

You wrote, "perhaps there are certain non-random patterns in space-time, or our number system, or the physical constants that are extremely unlikely to have happened by accident. In fact, such patterns have been found..."

Does anyone have some examples of these patterns?

Bram Boroson

Hey Nova, interesting and speculative entries. I should visit more often.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Twine | Nova Spivack - My Public Twine items

Radar Networks

  • twine.jpg
  • logo_v5_03b.jpg
  • logo_v5_03b.jpg

Nova's Trip to Edge of Space

  • Stepsedgestratosphere
    In 1999 I flew to the edge of space with the Russian air force, with Space Adventures. I made it to an altitude of just under 100,000 feet and flew at Mach 3 in a Mig-25 piloted by one of Russia's best test-pilots. These pics were taken by Space Adventures from similar flights to mine. I didn't take digital stills -- I got the whole flight on digital video, which was featured on the Discovery Channel.

Nova & Friends, Training For Space...

  • Img021
    In 1999 I was invited to Russia as a guest of the Russian Space Agency to participate in zero-gravity training on an Ilyushin-76 parabolic flight training aircraft. It was really fun!!!! Among other people on that adventure were Peter Diamandis (founder of the X-Prize and Zero-G Corporation), Bijal Trivedi (a good friend of mine, science journalist), and "Lord British" (creator of the Ultima games). Here are some pictures from that trip...

People I Like

  • Peter F. Drucker
    Peter F. Drucker was my grandfather. He was one of my principal teachers and inspirations all my life. My many talks with him really got me interested in organizations and society. He had one of the most impressive minds I've ever encountered. He died in 2005 at age 95. Here is what I wrote about his death. His foundation is at http://www.pfdf.org/
  • Mayer Spivack
    Mayer Spivack is my father; he's a brilliant inventor, cognitive scientist, sculptor, designer and therapist. He also builds carbon fiber trimarans in his spare time, and studies animal intelligence. He is working on several theories related to the origins of violence and ways to prevent it, new treatments for learning disabilities, and new theories of cognition. He doesn't have a Web site yet, but I'm working on him...
  • Marin Spivack
    Marin Spivack is my brother. He is the one of the only western 20th generation lineage holders of the original Chen Family Tai Chi tradition in China. He's been practicing Tai Chi for about 6 to 10 hours a day for the last 10 years and is now one of the best and most qualified Tai Chi teachers in America. He just returned from 3 years in China studying privately with a direct descendant of the original Chen family that created Tai Chi. The styles that he teaches are mainly secret and are not known or taught in the USA. One thing is for sure, this is not your grandmother's Tai Chi: This is serious combat Tai Chi -- the original, authentic Tai Chi, not the "new age" form that is taught in the USA -- it's intense, physically-demanding, fast, powerful and extremely deadly. If you are serious about Tai Chi and want to learn the authentic style and applications, the way it was meant to be, you should study with my brother. He's located in Boston these days but also travels when invited to teach master classes.
  • Louise Freedman
    Louise specializes in art-restoration. She does really big projects like The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Gardner Museum and Harvard University. She's also a psychotherapist and she's married to my dad. She likes really smart parrots and she knows how to navigate a large sailboat.
  • Kris Thorisson
    Kris has been working with me for years on the design of the Radar Networks software, a new platform for the Semantic Web. He has a PhD from the MIT Media Lab. He designs intelligent humanoids and virtual realities. He is from Iceland, which makes him pretty cool.
  • Kimberly Rubin
    Kim is my girlfriend and partner, and also a producer of 11 TV movies, and now an entrepreneur in the pet industry. She is passionate about animals. She has unusual compassion and a great sense of humor.
  • Kathleen Spivack
    Kathleen Spivack is my mother. She's a poet, novelist and creative writing teacher. She was a personal student of Robert Lowell and was in the same group of poets with Silvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop and Anne Sexton. She coaches novelists, playwrites and poets in France and the USA. She teaches privately and her students, as well as being published, have won many of the top writing prizes.
  • Josh Kirschenbaum
    Josh is a visual effects whiz, director and generalist hacker in LA. We have been pals and collaborators since the 1980's. Josh is probably going to be the next Jim Cameron. He's also a really good writer.
  • Joey Tamer
    Joey is a long-time friend and advisor. She is an expert on high-tech strategic planning.
  • Jim Wissner
    Jim is among the most talented software developers I've ever worked with. He's a prolific Java coder and an expert on XML. He's the lead engineer for Radar Networks.
  • Jerry Michalski
    I have been friends with Jerry for many years; he's been advising Radar Networks on social software technology.
  • Chris Jones
    Chris is a long-time friend and now works with me in Radar Networks, as our director of user-experience. He's a genius level product designer, GUI designer, and product manager.
  • Bram Boroson
    Bram is an astrophysicist and college pal of mine. We spend hours and hours brainstorming about cellular automata simulations of the universe. He's one of the smartest people I ever met.
  • Bari Koral
    Bari Koral is a really talented singer songwriter. We co-write songs together sometimes. She's getting some buzz these days -- she recently opened for India Arie. She worked at EarthWeb many years ago. Now she tours almost all year long and she just had a hit in Europe. Check out her video, on her site.
  • Adam Cohen
    Adam Cohen is a long-term friend; we were roommates in college. He is a really talented composer and film-scorer. He doesn't have a Web site but I like him anyway! He's in Hollywood living the dream.
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 08/2003