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mad-scientist and computer programmer looking for something more interesting than most people accept as their future
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    Philosophy Of Fractal Or Recursive Universes
    This is my response to a debate between Ben Goertzel and Hugo De Garis who both build artificial intelligence and speculate about what it leads to and the possibility aliens may have already done it. Normal religions help us understand the universe as much as a 1000 year old physics book. That leaves a lot of questions... If you're not more confused about what the universe really is after reading this, then you must have missed something. If there is a god or not depends on your definition of "god", and most people don't bother to define it. I might be an atheist or not, and science might be able to test some things most people think can't even be defined or understood.

    "From cosmism to deism"
    http://www.kurzweilai.net/from-cosmism-to-deism

    "Is God an Alien Mathematician?"
    http://hplusmagazine.com/editors-blog/god-alien-mathematician
    Then the thread was deleted and moved to:http://hplusmagazine.com/2011/01/18/is-god-an-alien-mathematician

    You can find my response at the bottom of the second link. Here it is:

    If the universe equals math then a lot of things fit together

    Most of what we've observed in science is very well approximated by small math equations. That's a fact. If the equations were a little different then physics probably wouldn't get past the first few steps of forming life. That's an other fact. Physics that is very (instead of a little) different could form different kinds of life, but the point is this part of the universe that we live in works so much better than a randomly selected physics that, to learn what physics (or "hyper-physics") really is, we must figure out why such a rare or improbable thing happened. There are 2 main categories of explanation: Rare and Improbable.

    If its Improbable but exists anyways, that implies something intelligent. Most religions and "Is god an alien mathematician" are in this category.

    If its Rare instead of Improbable, then enough things exist that, without needing anything intelligent to design it, this part of the universe just happened to be 1 of those many things. Max Tegmark's "Mathematical Universe Hypothesis" (summarized as "All structures that exist mathematically exist also physically") is the simplest idea in this category.

    The We-Are-Rare and We-Are-Improbable categories should both be considered in science, including theories of superintelligent artilectual intelligences.

    Hugo de Garis is probably right about "humanity has invented on the order of about 100,000 different gods over the broad sweep of history, and across the planet. These many gods are so obviously invented", but if we say it as "100,000 theories of which most have been proven false" then we find the real problem in religions: They don't learn from their mistakes. They continue creating variations of failed theories instead of thinking in new ways.

    Theories are better when they are simpler and explain more things. The "Is god an alien mathematician" idea is compatible with some kinds of Buddhism, which Ben Goertzel said can be argued it "isn't really a religion." Ignoring the parts about what people should and shouldn't do and the details about things that happen on Earth, one of its bigger ideas is the emptiness of reality. If the "Mathematical Universe Hypothesis" is true, then the universe simply is math, and math is purely abstract so doesn't really exist. On average, math and therefore the universe sum to nothing, but its parts individually exist because we're here experiencing them. The "Mathematical Universe Hypothesis" requires there be an infinite number of superintelligent alien mathematicians, but it also requires there be an infinite number of everything else you can define in math.

    Ben Goertzel sees "Is god an alien mathematician" as a variation of the "simulation argument." Since technology will probably advance enough for artilects to appear god-like compared to us and create recursions of universes, the argument is we're probably in one of those simulations. You forgot to weight the probabilities. Its true there are many simulations in our computers today, but if we weight by the number of particles, all the simulations together are small compared to the particles in the computers which run the simulations, therefore if you're made of some particles then its more likely you're part of a computer (or are nowhere near a computer) than a simulation in that computer.

    I agree that large things (which small-brained Humans would call "universes" instead of "places with different physics") can be created by artilects with enough intelligence, and we could be in one, but considering my Weighted Simulation Argument, and considering that we don't know how far up the tree (or fractal or peer-to-peer-network) of recursive universes we are (We can't see below quantum physics yet), I expect theres a lot of potential in this part of the universe that we're just starting to learn how to use. An event as small as splitting a particle and its antiparticle could be seen as creating a new universe to those who experience the universe in a different way or size or pattern than we do.

    Math contains and is contained by an infinite variety of fractals, and the universe could equal math. How do you know your theoretical superintelligent artilects are more advanced than what we do by accident or what we do intentionally as mathematicians to physics in a statistical way (which we would not see since the effects are too small or too big)? When, for example, Ben Goertzel says "I've had my share of strange spiritual experiences, which have made me sometimes feel very directly in contact with transhuman intelligences", shouldn't we consider that some part of it could be real? And if we go that far, shouldn't we consider that Humans may intuitively know (through brains interactions with quantum physics) something these "transhuman intelligences" do not know? Why should we only consider theories where power is in a hierarchy/tree (this universe inside that universe) instead of fractal or network or strange-loop or emergent shapes? I will not make the assumption that there must be something higher or lower than me. Theres too many questions to ask first.

    Thu, Jan 20, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: alien, AI, philosophy, religion, Fractal, math
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