[ExI] Do we live in a universe that allows infinite computation?

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Wed Aug 17 22:52:18 UTC 2011

On 08/11/2011 09:24 PM, john clark wrote:
> Back in 1993 Frank Tipler wrote an interesting book called "The 
> Physics of Immortality". In 2007 the poor man went a little funny in 
> the head, you know, just a little funny,  and he went and did a silly 
> thing; he wrote another book saying we should look for divine DNA on 
> the Shroud of Turin and check for radiation around the tomb of the 
> Blessed Virgin Marry that was caused by an intense beam of neutrinos 
> that must have shot out of the bottom of her feet as she ascended into 
> heaven. Anyway, in 1993 he still had all his marbles and he gave a 
> fairly plausible rough outline of how the universe might be able to 
> perform an infinite (not just very large) number of calculations; to 
> do that you'd need an infinite (not just very large) amount of energy 
> but he thought the laws of physics and of cosmology were so 
> constituted as to allow for that. If you could perform an infinite 
> number of calculations then infinite subjective time is possible even 
> if objectively time comes to an end.

Well, even presuming infinite computation it does not follow that any 
particular subject would get an infinite slice in order to experience 
infinite subjective time.  Nor does it follow that you or I, 
recognizably such, would resurrect even given this highly hypothetical 
infinite computation due to an order of infinities issue.  For you to 
resurrect it would be necessary for all the supporting conditions for 
you to exist, not just the atoms in your body, to spontaneously come 
together in one locale in this infinite computational maelstrom.    That 
would also have to be the case for every other being that ever existed, 
ever will exist or ever could exist in any possible configuration of a 
universe  since neither you nor a universe like ours are in no wise 
special if the argument holds water.

Pretty thin hope for immortality and infinite personal vistas if you ask me.

- samantha

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