[extropy-chat] the structure of randomness

Jeff Medina analyticphilosophy at gmail.com
Mon Jan 2 04:07:01 UTC 2006

On 12/31/05, Russell Wallace <russell.wallace at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 12/31/05, Jeff Medina <analyticphilosophy at gmail.com> wrote:
> > And less than 99^ 10 and more than 99^10 are much better targets than
> > 99^10. And >n and <n are better targets than n, where n is any integer
> > greater than 2 (or where n is any integer at all, if you take ">n and
> > <n" as a union to which we're comparing the likelihood of n being the
> > value). Your argument would apply equally no matter what the
> > dimensions of the universe were, however you want to measure it
> > (computational capacity, power requiring to run the sim, bits of
> > information involved, number of particles observed or inferred, etc.).
> > That makes it a non-argument.
>  It would apply equally to any N, provided N were large, but that doesn't
> make it a non-argument, because we have N being generated independently in
> two different ways (amount of computing power just barely adequate for a
> ground level simulation of the visible universe, amount just barely
> available to the simulator), which makes it unlikely that the two values
> would match so nearly exactly.

You have absolutely no idea whether the computing power "just barely
available" to the simulator is anywhere near (as opposed to notably
greater than) the amount "just barely adequate for a ground level
simulation of the visible universe". Why are you making such a strange

Aside from that, it's also not necessarily unlikely that those values
would be near one another. If I were trying to create an interesting
simulation-world, I just might use all of the computing power
available to me. Then Russell-in-the-world-I-made would say, "It sure
is unlikely that my visible universe's required computing power
matches the computing power available to the simulator." And
Sim-Russell would be wrong.

Jeff Medina

Community Director
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Relationships & Community Fellow
Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies

School of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London

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