[extropy-chat] Are Cyclic Universes Meaningless Without Outside Counters?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Mar 27 14:55:12 UTC 2007

Mike writes

> Also consider periodicity in an iterative function.  There may still
> be computation, but unless there is some external counter of history,
> there would be no way to determine if a cycle exists.  The system
> would continue runtime calculations, yet no "new" points are graphed.
> (external history might include an extra dimension to track iteration
> number at each point, so a given point may exist at multiple iteration
> counts)

Yes, even *saying* that there are two subsequent identical runs
of an entire universe is problematic. Because, just as you say,
there is utterly nothing to distinguish them.  Omigod!  We're right
back to Leibnitz's Identity of Indiscernables.  :-)

But relating this to questions  which we seem to be in agreement
about but possibly not everyone here, all you'd need is a single
little tiny system outside that universe, a little systems whose own
entropy could increase and thus make meaningful which of the
two runs of the rest of the universe was "first", and which was
"second".  An example of your "external counter".


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