[extropy-chat] Role of Observer is not Relevant

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Apr 3 19:58:03 UTC 2007

On Tue, Apr 03, 2007 at 03:09:36PM -0400, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:

> > Not all circuits can count, it take special ones.
> ### You evaded the question. What is so special about certain material
> objects (human brains, ink on paper, certain circuits) that makes

Ink on paper, no, (unless it's one of them fancy inkjet-printed
electronics which is smart enough to count). Human brains and certain circuits, 
yes, because through evolutionary optimization (all smart human artifacts are 
causally entangled with said optimization, which is not true for dumb
objects, man-made, or otherwise) they have evolved to be able to make 
measurements on their environment/tracking certain aspects of state 
(including themselves), which is externally denoted (in your, mine, 
and a fair number of other heads) as "counting" and "numbers". 

The pigment marks on dead tree are completely meaningless without any
such systems and said measurements (unless it's one damn smart paper).

> their states able to support the existence of numbers (and be
> absolutely necessary to the existence of numbers), while other
> material objects do support the existence of numbers?

The numbers are not in the object but the observer (the systems 
have to agree on a common code as to configuration states of the object, which
requires communication, or a common point of origin acting as
a communication channel equivalent). Observer complex, external
encoding trivial. Sufficiently so that the observer can encode
internally, without breaking a sweat.

Any borderline smart critter (evolved here or elsewhere) will
need a capability of track resources and fellow critters (assuming,
it's not completely asocial), so it will evolve one. Much smarter
critters which need to make sense of the universe will have to
come up with some functional equivalent of technology/science, which,
however, will be rather alien to us.

All of this is completely orthogonal to the low level processes 
of the universe or even metaverse, because you can make abacuses
from opterons, by drilling a neat hole through them and putting
them on strings.

Now I sound like a philosopher. Ptui, must go wash my mouth with soap.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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