Re: Simulation argument in the NY Times

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Fri Aug 17 2007 - 13:33:38 MDT

--- Norman Noman <> wrote:
> Actually... considering your original question with the more liberal
> definition of simulation, perhaps it is not so unlikely as I claimed, that
> say a turing machine enumeration might appear spontaneously.
> I don't think it would happen in our universe, the self-replicating molecule
> that began life on earth was probably much less complex than a turing
> machine, and the uncertainty of our universe would doom a turing machine to
> error and thus destruction long before it got around to simulating chicken
> soup.

A Turing machine is not possible in our universe because a Turing machine has
infinite memory and our universe has finite entropy (about 10^122 bits). But
we don't know anything about the physics of the simulating universe. It could
have infinite entropy for all we know.

Hutter's AIXI gives us a tool by which we can estimate the probabilities of
various simulation scenarios. I discussed this on the singularity list a few
months ago.">

-- Matt Mahoney,

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