[extropy-chat] something rather than nothing
A B
austriaaugust at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 4 21:38:55 UTC 2007
Hi Stathis,
Stathis wrote:
"Actually your whole question could be taken as a
> form of Doomsday Argument
> reasoning: it would seem more likely that I am one
> of few (few species, few
> observer moments, few historical eras) rather than
> one of many, especially
> one of infinitely many. The paradox is, even if the
> space of all observer
> moments is infinite, making the measure of each
> individual observer moment
> infinitesimal, that doesn't mean that each observer
> moment should assume it
> doesn't exist. Reality trumps probability every
> time."
Hmm. That's a very interesting point. If a Universe
was to become infinitely old, your interpretation
would appear to be something like a partial
counterargument (maybe): You should expect to find
yourself in a *relatively* very early period of the
Universe, seemingly without regard to the size of
future populations - even if those future populations
are to become very large. (Although I also believe an
"observer-moment" could also *potentially* be finite
in addition to potentially being infinitesimal {or it
could potentially even be infinite}.) - But, I could
be wrong about that.
Just to throw some shot-in-the-dark ideas at a
question I asked earlier:
Jeffrey wrote:
"A lingering question I still have is: if the
+Infinity/+Infinity quotient can yield any positive
real number, then why in this example, does it appear
that the quotient is continually gaining positive
value only? Instead of for example, yielding an
apparent value of +4528, and then subsequently
yielding an apparent value of +326. IOW, *why* are
these seemingly arbitrary calculations completely
consistent with the apparent "arrow of time"? ...???
...? ..."
1) I suppose from a "meta-overview" an observer could
say that those smaller positive quotients have indeed
been "calculated" and that they appeared as "past
moments" in the observer's personal history. I think
this potential answer would have to mingle with the
Continuity-of-Self debate, and that's a sticky one as
we all know :-) (and the "arrow of time" question).
2) Maybe the "fabric" of time is itself expanding
similarly to the way that the "fabric" of space is
expanding ie. the Inflating Universe. (This one seems
kind of weak to me).
3) Of course, possibly the easiest answer is that a
Universe such as ours can never potentially become
infinitely old because it's destined to end in a Big
Crunch. But, this answer is just too easy ;-) And I
think it's extremely improbable, in terms of an
absolute to be applied to all similar Universes.
Do you have any other ideas, Stathis? Does anyone have
any other ideas? Because I'm feeling pretty stumped by
this question.
Also, I wonder if it is even possible that a Universe
such as ours (one that includes observers who can
detect a greater-than-zero but finite history) can
even become *anything but* infinitely old.
For example, if a hypothetical Universe was destined
to only become finitely old (eg. 6 Billion years
old)then dividing that finite history by +Infinity
would lead to any
"time-unit"/"observer-moment"/"apparent history" being
infinitely small. So the only length of history that
could possibly be observed would be an infinitely
short one. Or to put it more directly, it seems that
no observer could possibly exist at all in this
hypothetical Universe. And I don't yet see any reason
why the starting denominator could not be +Infinity
(which would represent the "very beginning" of this
hypothetical Universe) given that the value of the
quotient would still be greater-than-zero (and
positive) although very, very, very tiny.
Best Wishes,
Jeffrey Herrlich
--- Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Jeffrey,
>
> ..."if the probability of
> > > observers arising or surviving
> > > decreases as time increases, it can turn out
> that
> > > there is a high
> > > probability that an observer would find himself
> in
> > > the first n years of the
> > > universe's existence."
> >
> > True. Or the potential decrease could be the
> result of
> > a voluntary aggregation/assimilation of
> individuals
> > into a smaller number of "discrete"
> consciousnesses,
> > which is what I hope that the Doomsday Argument is
> > indicating, above any of the alternatives.
> >
>
> Actually your whole question could be taken as a
> form of Doomsday Argument
> reasoning: it would seem more likely that I am one
> of few (few species, few
> observer moments, few historical eras) rather than
> one of many, especially
> one of infinitely many. The paradox is, even if the
> space of all observer
> moments is infinite, making the measure of each
> individual observer moment
> infinitesimal, that doesn't mean that each observer
> moment should assume it
> doesn't exist. Reality trumps probability every
> time.
>
> Stathis Papaioannou
> > _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
>
http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
>
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