Making sense of EPW
Jeff Bone
jbone at deepfile.com
Tue Apr 29 01:02:20 PDT 2003
On Monday, Apr 28, 2003, at 23:28 US/Central, Russell Turpin wrote:
> There are some obvious analogies, but I think the
> Every Possible World ontology really is much more
> radical. Cosmologists envision bubbling universes
> where some fundamental constants may vary but
> physical law is the same, and MWI posits every
> possible universe that obeys the laws of QM and
> is a quantum mechanical branching from a quantum
> mechanically possible past. EPW goes far beyond
> either of these...
As you'll see if you dig into this, EPW doesn't require throwing the
baby out with the bathwater. Even if all possible worlds exist that
doesn't imply that they're all equally likely.
> In essence, EPW denies the distinction between
> 'real' and 'pretend,' except in some sort of
> complexity ordering, i.e., some universes are
> simple enough that we can wholy imagine them...
>
> It's just all too Rudy Ruckerish to me.
>
> I'm surprised, though, that there's not a reference
> to this viewpoint.
This view's got some similarities to (and roots, for me, in) Egan (Perm
City [1] and others) as mentioned, and I'm sure a host of other
writers, both sci-fi and scientists. There's been a lot of stuff about
this over the last few years. In particular, you're going to want to
check out Jurgen Schmidhuber's _A Computer Scientist's View of Life,
the Universe, and Everything_ [2] and other stuff [3,4].
Now let's rescue reality. There are a number of measures by which
different universes could be regarded as, in some sense, more "real"
than others. (More probable = more real, etc.) Note that
Champerknowne's number in its infinite expansion contains all possible
finite bitstrings within it. (Bonus points: prove that all finite
bitstrings occur as substrings an infinite number of times in
Champerknowne's infinite expansion.) But the distance between
instances of particular bitstrings, or classes of bitstrings, etc.
might be greater or less vs. other bitstrings / classes. You could
then regard those recurring bitstrings as in some sense "more probable"
than other bitstrings. (if it's not clear, we're interpreting these
bitstrings as snapshots or slices through an uber-phase space;
increased frequency would then mean that certain states would more
likely occur in any random sampling.) The distributions of such across
the entire expansion might have some kind of relationship with certain
hypotheses about the distribution of primes, etc. i.e. a kind of
uber-Riemann.
Anyway, there's no obvious reason to assume that all sequences of all
configurations of phase space are equally likely; and though there
aren't any necessary a priori constraints on what we could interpret as
phase transitions in this iterated phase space, it's still the case
that transitions between any such more-likely similar states would be
themselves more likely. And the similarities between those states then
give us clustered, consensus realities in which we have things like c,
G, and so on. And thus perhaps there's a higher-order set of rules to
be discovered.
jb
[1] http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/006105481X/
[2] ftp://ftp.idsia.ch/pub/juergen/everything.pdf
[3] ftp://ftp.idsia.ch/pub/juergen/ijfcspreprint.pdf
[4] http://www.idsia.ch/~juergen/toesv2
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