Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sun Mar 18 2001 - 08:30:30 MST

On Sat, 17 Mar 2001, Samantha Atkins wrote:

> Our current simulations simplify. There is no reason to believe that a
> more advanced technology would not simplify less. There is even less
> reason to believe that what looks like the point of simplification to
> the creators of the simulation would look simple to the creatures within
> the simulation. As that might be where that outside the simulation is
> more accessible it might well look quite complex, random and contrary to
> all reason to the creatures within it. Sound familiar?
In fact Samantha, you can go a bit further. Using Shannon's Information
Theory laws, you can predict that after you have squeezed out the last bit
of information capacity of your information carrier it *should* look or sound
like "noise".

An example of this is the evolution of modem technology. Back when we used
to use 1200 baud modems (I know some of you remember those days), you could
listen to the modem "talk", now you can only listen to it "hiss" because
the information is now encoded at the limits of the carrier.

If our simulators are operating at the scale level proposed by the string
theorists then they are phenomenally off the scale that they have granted
us to work with. In this "universe" producing the "random" results with wierd
coherences (that are the properties of quantum mechanics) as the simulator
"manages" the reality does not seem out of the question to me.

Finally, I'll simply note that Minsky pointed out almost 30 years ago to
the SETI researchers that advanced aliens would take full advantage of
their bandwidth and information packing technologies -- their signals
should therefore appear to be noise. Whether we have any ability to
detect this should we be sitting in the path of dozens of these signals
isn't clear to me. (The assumption by the SETI researchers in most cases
is that they will try to make the signal "visible" to us.)


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