Re: poly: polymath digest for 09 Dec 97

From: Anders Sandberg <>
Date: Thu Dec 11 1997 - 04:40:47 PST (d.brin) writes:

> The fact that all of this is taking place in the final weeks of the Big
> Crunch is something Tipler shrugs aside, since those weeks have no meaning
> if there is no external context in which they will be measured. The Omega
> Point is effectively immortal from its own point of view, and that
> suffices.
> Now some of us lack Tipler's braininess, perhaps, but those 'few weeks'
> still linger at the back of my mind. Won't some sub units of the OP want
> to peer at that old 'objective' universe? If they do, does THAT provide a
> context?

I think you give the external context some privileges it doesn't have;
just because you can take a look at the boring (?) clouds of
superheated plasma, omni-engineering and Higgs field excitations that
are the "backstage" of the Omega Point doesn't mean the internal
context is suddenly forced to collapse. I could well imagine having a
clock on my virtual desk in the OP-system that shows proper time (as
measured by light signals) to the Big Crunch, beside the clock showing
my (and my society's) subjective time, measured by number of clock
ticks in our virtual world. As time goes on, the "doomsday clock"
would move slower and slower (from my point of view), while the other
clock would tick on normally (from my POV).

> We may have an 'infinite' subjective spree during those
> three weeks... but when they are over, our OP god gets smushed.

I think the uneasiness with cramming infinite computations into finite
time stems a lot from the view that the outside position somehow is
more privileged than the inside position. If you could stand by and
watch the OP implode (let's say by looking over the shoulder of God as
he runs his big simulator), you might remark afterwards, looking at
the blank screen, that it was pointless, "look at my works ye mighty"
and all that - but from the perspective of the OP inhabitants they
really have infinity to grow and develop in (modulo questions about
computability etc). As I see it, both perspectives are valid, but one
is much more nice to live in.

> Won't some irritating jerb keep interrupting everybody else's
> infinite holodeck fantasies with sneering remarks about how there's only
> nineteen days to go now... Then he pops back in a billion subjective years
> later and says there's just eighteen... and so on. So much for
> immortality.

Remember killfiles? Besides, after a while he is becoming more and
more rare. First it takes a billion subjective years, then ten billion
subjective years... In the end he would have to pop back faster and
faster in order to say there is just 54 milliseconds left or there
would come a time when he said "just one day left" and then
disappeared forever.

> Ironically, Lee Smolin -- the OTHER guy to present a theologically
> important cosmological idea lately, threatens Tipler's blithe
> scenario with utter demolition. If Smolin is right, that our
> Universe is just one of the latest in an ecosystem of trillions of
> universes, each giving birth to new ones that slowly evolve toward
> reproductive fitness ... then there is a plethora of external
> context!

It is not certain they can provide an external context, since they are
not causally connected. But is Smolin is right, then the OPT of Tipler
is unnecessary anyway and it is unlikely the universe would evolve to
a OP-compatible state (however, intelligent actions may create subsets
with ever more useful laws of physics).

> I wrote a story about Smolin's evolving meta-universe, by the way. It's
> the final piece in my collection, OTHERNESS. Kinda kinky.

I remember that one. Quite nice, even if I don't buy your trick for
looking into black holes. :-)

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y
Received on Thu Dec 11 12:35:43 1997

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