Re: algorithmic complexity of God

Wei Dai (
Thu, 15 Jan 1998 13:31:42 -0800

On Thu, Jan 15, 1998 at 09:40:29AM -0800, Hal Finney wrote:
> That URL would not work for me this morning, but this one did:
> The specific article about computing
> the universe is at:
> It does appear to mirror some of the considerations raised by Wei and Nick
> in terms of possible universes. I'll try to comment on it later.

Thanks to Anders for pointing out this paper, and to Hal for the fixed
URL. It's ideas are both similar and complementary to the ones in Max
Tegmark's "Theory of Everything" (even though they don't reference each
other). It's interesting to see the different emphases placed on the same
themes by the physicist compared to the computer scientist.

The idea that all possible universes exist is probabily not a new one, but
it seems there is only recently realization that it has non-trivial
implications. I remember that Marvin Minsky mentioned it in his book
"Society of Mind" but he said something to the effect that he didn't know
what to make of the idea.

I am interested in furthur discussions, but I'm not sure if the extropian
list is the right place to do it. I'm creating a new mailing list to talk
about the idea that all possible universes exist, and I'll make an
announcement here when it's ready.