Re: SSIs

Anders Sandberg (
12 Jul 1999 21:08:57 +0200

"Weaver, Evan A." <> writes:

> But, assuming you accept the big bang theory, we get the beginning of
> everything as a finite but positive amount of data in a nonexistent space,
> which means the capacity of the 'everything' (all universes, really
> everything) is a really massive number divided by zero, which is infinite.
> It also means the capacity of nothing is infinite. And if everything and
> nothing are both infinite, then our universe must be somewhere in between,
> which would make it also infinite.
> Sorry if I'm confusing.

Yes, this is confusing and I think you are basing it on the wrong analogies and some non-sequitors. There is (obviously) no such things as a nonexistent space - the only space that matters is the one that we inhabit. Information doesn't exist in nothing, it exists in an universe. And in the big bang model, you get this expansion from a hot and very dense state, but the basic big bang model doesn't say it has to be a zero radius universe. Instead physics suggests that the initial state was something quantum-gravity-weird, and the issue of the amount of information and the existence of a time arrow there becomes somewhat murky. My current favorite is that the "seed" is a piece of spacetime with closed timelike curves spawning the universe - it created itself.

I saw someone (it might have been Wheeler) show in a paper that the Bekenstein bound of information forced the universe at the beginning to have a very low information content; the author suggested that as the universe expanded (and the amount of information could increase) the natural laws bootstrapped themselves. A fun idea, even if I don't believe much in it.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y