Insights How to Create a Universe - Instructions for an Apprentice God - Comments

A. Neumaier

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So, according to the thermal QM, every event (including all this great discussion) was pre-programmed by the Big Bang's primordial fluctuations?
Did Laplace have the same complaint with his clockwork universe?

Yeah, God must be an excellent programmer who knows how to create an interesting universe! But maybe consciousness is not preprogrammed and allows for some user decisions (cf. my fantasy ''How to Create a Universe'' - written 20 years ago when the thermal interpretation was still an actively pursued dream rather than a reality)? We don't know yet....

In any case, the deterministic universe we live in is much more interesting than Conway's game of life which already creates quite interesting toy universes in a deterministic way by specifying initial conditions and deterministic rules for the dynamics.
 
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Point No. 8 is a pretty interesting point. Though it's at odds with divine omnipotence, and the history of religion has involved reported incidents of direct contact with the divine. Well, some people have reported divine contact.

But I digress, this is PhysicsForums, not a theistic debate forum. :smile:
 

Klystron

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Very clever and thought provoking essay.

Once 'universe' is defined item #5 paragraph 3 has no basis. Put in question form, Where are heaven and hell located? In which direction from the field or the ameoba-like 'reader'? How does a 'soul' transit and what basis for a bifurcation?

[This reminds me of an article in ThinkProgress or MotherJones (?) that some modern 'christians' envisage 'heaven' as a front row seat for observing eternal suffering and torture of damned souls in hell. Nothing in my early religious training contradicts this view. See 'stations of the cross' or any crucifix.]
 

ftr

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As I was toying with making some kind of universe. After resting my mind from the complicated ordeal, I thought to myself suppose you succeeded in creating a universe like ours. Then in this universe you see a person pushing a 5m high trolley ( as in poor countries) and this guy with a big fat cigar on a leather couch. What is your decision I thought. Well I change the rules/design, but I could not create a universe except that one. What should I do?
 

almostvoid

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ah the soul, sentient activity and the universe. I like the idea of Vedic Vishnu who encouraged his like minded beings to obliterate the image they carried within they thought was a soul. Later Buddhists claimed on through indepth meditative states, they were not the first, that there is nothing----there in the sense that thoughts are immaterial even if the image is so convincing as it resides, generated by the mind in our consciousness. Leading us to assume the obvious. What we think is real we think is real. Except when we do not. Your article was a delight to contemplate.
 

Buzz Bloom

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Hi @A. Neumaier:

At my advanced years I am no longer able to grasp the detailed logic and implications of your essay. However, I get an impression that it provides a plausible conceptual model of a finite (but very large) computerized simulated universe in which all of the "reality" of our actual universe, including the minds of all sentient beings, are part of the simulation. I conclude that a finite computer is is sufficient because it only needs to include events of a finite universe for a finite time. The finite space of the universe is limited to a sphere large enough to include all observable universes of all the simulated sentient beings. The finite time includes that between an detailed initial condition at some time in the past and a time in the future when there are no longer any sentient beings.

Do you agree that this conclusion is consistent with the concepts in your essay?

Regards,
Buzz
 

A. Neumaier

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At my advanced years I am no longer able to grasp the detailed logic and implications of your essay. However, I get an impression that it provides a plausible conceptual model of a finite (but very large) computerized simulated universe in which all of the "reality" of our actual universe, including the minds of all sentient beings, are part of the simulation. I conclude that a finite computer is is sufficient because it only needs to include events of a finite universe for a finite time. The finite space of the universe is limited to a sphere large enough to include all observable universes of all the simulated sentient beings. The finite time includes that between an detailed initial condition at some time in the past and a time in the future when there are no longer any sentient beings.

Do you agree that this conclusion is consistent with the concepts in your essay?
I go from finite to continuum in Step 3 of my instructions, in order to get more closely to something resembling the universe we live in. For simulation, you'd need to resolve space and time (at least near high resolution equipment) to very small scales, which brings a computer far beyond its limits, even being extremely generous with the future development of computer capacity.

In general, to store the detailed state of a system to be simulated needs equipment with much more degrees of freedom, so that as a matter of principle, within our universe, only a tiny and coarse-grained subsystem can be simulated.
 

Buzz Bloom

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In general, to store the detailed state of a system to be simulated needs equipment with much more degrees of freedom, so that as a matter of principle, within our universe, only a tiny and coarse-grained subsystem can be simulated.
I am guessing you are considering the simulation computer to be created by a future version of something like our human culture in our universe. I was assuming that this computer is created in another universe by other sentient beings (gods?), and with possibly much more ample supplies of other kinds of materials. Also, the time rate of similar activities in this other universe might be much faster or much slower than the time rate being simulated. Are these assumptions consistent or not with the assumptions of your essay. With these assumptions, would such a finite computer simulation of our extended observable universes (for all of the multiple sentient beings) be consistent with your assumptions?

Regards,
Buzz
 

A. Neumaier

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I am guessing you are considering the simulation computer to be created by a future version of something like our human culture in our universe.
Yes, since our universe is the only one we have reasonably reliable information about.
I was assuming that this computer is created in another universe by other sentient beings (gods?), and with possibly much more ample supplies of other kinds of materials. Also, the time rate of similar activities in this other universe might be much faster or much slower than the time rate being simulated. Are these assumptions consistent or not with the assumptions of your essay. With these assumptions, would such a finite computer simulation of our extended observable universes (for all of the multiple sentient beings) be consistent with your assumptions?
Well, one can only speculate about what kind of technology is available in another universe.

In another fantasy (unfortunately available in German only - perhaps someone here would like to translate it to English?) I described a dialogue between God and John von Neumann, where God talks about using machinery where already the addresses are (infinite byte) real numbers rather than 64 byte integers (and most likely computers are capable of an infinite number of Turing computations per unit time), thus leaving a host of possibilities theoretically explored in our universe under the name of hypercomputing. In such an environment, (my toy universe and) the universe we live in can be simulated in finite time, I guess. On the other hand, God describes Eternity (the name of this universe) to von Neumann as timeless, time itself being a simulation product. How to comprehend this is beyond my imagination.
 
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Number one I think is describing how the toolbox works, in my mind.
 

A. Neumaier

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But maybe consciousness is not preprogrammed and allows for some user decisions
Decisions with respect to what in a pre-programmed world?
Well, in the toy model described, there is the dynamics of the universe (the 3D tape) in the absence of the souls (the modifiers). In addition there is the dynamics of the soul-universe interaction (the Turing machine) which modifies the universe within the confines of the bodies of the souls, and the souls themselves. From the point of the world alone, these are nondeterministic decisions. From the point of view of the apprentice God, there are different ways of programming these interactions. The transition table of a Turing machine can be deterministic or not ; both variants are studied though the deterministic one is the far more common.
 

almostvoid

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Yes, since our universe is the only one we have reasonably reliable information about.

Well, one can only speculate about what kind of technology is available in another universe.

In another fantasy (unfortunately available in German only - perhaps someone here would like to translate it to English?) I described a dialogue between God and John von Neumann, where God talks about using machinery where already the addresses are (infinite byte) real numbers rather than 64 byte integers (and most likely computers are capable of an infinite number of Turing computations per unit time), thus leaving a host of possibilities theoretically explored in our universe under the name of hypercomputing. In such an environment, (my toy universe and) the universe we live in can be simulated in finite time, I guess. On the other hand, God describes Eternity (the name of this universe) to von Neumann as timeless, time itself being a simulation product. How to comprehend this is beyond my imagination.
Well I have just read the conversation between -god- and the great Neumann. it is a general discourse on the state of quantum physics focussing on the mathematical end of things. God claims to sort of direct the human race in this construct universe where everything is as it should be according to -god-, proven by the laws of mathematics itself. Any flaws therein are human. Which is OK because according to this -god- this is the 'freedom' written in to the 'laws' resembling physics but far more transcendent and noumenal. God claims the universe is really an eternity and time is a human perspective mis-conception or even a working hypothesis so that details can be elucidated out of what is really a whole. Inconceivable to limited intelligent humans. Neuman repeatedly says he has to sort of dumb down what he is trying to elucidate to humans and agrees with -god- that humans waste their time on trivial things. Non-locality is mentioned which of course means that the universe [this is me not the article] that creation is neither eternal or divine or preordained or predestined. God -back to the article- has foreseen all of whatever Neumann can think of with hints of the Bible saying Moses [who Israeli academics have proven to be pure fantasy as was the Exodus] but anyway -god- says that Moses was not mentally equipped to even understand the basics of relativity. Any further concept therefor not attempted. [Which makes me wonder why god created such a person in the first place-ah well never mind] Towards the end Wittgenstein is mentioned. Egads we studied him in History and Philosophy of Science [which was curious given Wittgenstein's so-called philosophical masterpiece quoted to the point of pointlessness in academia] where that repeated quote: [so wrong so self castrating mentally that is] to not speak of what cannot be known. If that were the case the Greek philosophers would almost all vanish. As would Wittgenstein. Especially given what he then claimed later on. As for even considering -god- even as a thought-experiment this is a total failure due to the fact of entropy. For starters the universe is not static. God though created a static perfect eternal cosmos. Which is not subject to entropy. Now a steady state universe was popular last century. But since energy is in continuous exchange which means leaking radiation and change of states of mass-energy a perfect universe which is not subject to decay is impossible because where is the sustaining energy coming from? Of course -god- would say from without --- but even that then unless of infinite energy the perfect circumscribed universe is impossible. As is -god- because the same applies - no entropy. The only state possible is either non-existence with zero entropy or death-stasis- maximum entropy. So -god- needs energy to remain perfect. This -god- acquires [my hypothesis] by sucking out the living daylights of the believers soul-energy-life force. The dead feed -god- so that -god- stays eternal. [I could go on but -well--there you have it] I cannot quite comprehend what Herr Neumann was trying to achieve with this conversation with -god- more like Leibniz - quoting the Bible which of course is so inconsistent that paradox and chaos seem to be the template of its creation. Of course you may poke what holes you find into this missive. Please, I insist!
 

A. Neumaier

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As for even considering -god- even as a thought-experiment this is a total failure due to the fact of entropy.
You are analyzing a fantasy marked with ''mit einem Augenzwinkern betrachtet'' (viewed with tongue-in-cheek) as if it were a piece of science. Fantasies, like the contents of dreams, don't need to satisfy any scientific laws. I had cited it to give a concrete example how
one can only speculate about what kind of technology is available in another universe.
 

almostvoid

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Of course you are correct--within the story itself I take seriously even what is fantasy. It is a creative mind revealing to us what is within their Weltanschaung. Maybe I'm a literal by a bit too much.
 

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