For what you’re claiming to be correct the *uncollapsed* wave function itself must *also* not exist without someone doing the calculation. This is actually contrary to what experiments show.

*It may be worth keeping in mind that there is still some debate on whether this particular aspect of quantum mechanics is literally valid, or simply a solution that appears to fit with experiments so far.*

It seems as though you are starting with the premise that an intelligent creator is required for a digital world, and therefore all digital worlds have an intelligent creator. It’s circular.

I feel this needs to be turned around to see how you legitimize the calculations inside a computer while disregarding calculations outside. If I took a piece of paper, and wrote out the calculations that would result in a digital world, and those calculations were evaluating the position, orientation, color, motion, and all other conceivable properties of leaves on a tree, your reasoning would suggest that *that* would be a legitimate digital world, but only because I actually did the math. If I stopped before the last digit was written, then there would be no digital world because the math wasn’t complete by an intelligent observer.

I say the math is there to be calculated and our actual calculation of it is not relevant.

]]>This is absolutist. As per my post above, it not only requires an observer to give the concept of ‘apple’ any meaning, it requires an observer to give the concept of ’10’ any meaning. Everything, every particle of everything, is in a state of superposition until it is observed. Without an external observer all you have is ‘potential’ not ‘actual’. You no more have 10 apples without an observer as you have 457 clowns.

2. “My idea hinges around the idea that the potential mathematical interpretation of matter/energy is no different from the actual mathematical interpretation.”

A ‘potential interpretation’ is as unreal as it gets. It allows for anything and everything and does not describe the actual experience of actual beings.

I think your argument only supports the conclusion that within every designed TAC there exists countless ‘potential’ undesigned TACs, but whereas the designed TACs are ‘actual’, perceived as real, existing, by the designer and the designed, the potential TACs are unreal, imaginary – figments imagined to occupy the imaginary thoughts of the imaginary citizens of these TACs.

That these potential TACs are capable of being perceived, by beings we can imagine as having the right modes of perception, doesn’t make them any more real than said imagined beings.

]]>My idea hinges around the idea that the *potential* mathematical interpretation of matter/energy is no different from the actual mathematical interpretation. So you don’t actually have to do the math for the result of the equation to “exist”.

A digital world in general is really just interpreting matter and energy in a mathematical way. Whether we actually *do* the math or not is irrelevant. As an oversimplified example of my point, if a tree grows 10 apples, the counting of them doesn’t change the fact that there are 10 apples. The math doesn’t have to be calculated by an observer for it to be reflected in reality.

So *any* mathematical evaluation of *any* combination of matter/energy and their properties would be valid. Countless numbers of these calculations would result in digital worlds containing technologically advanced civilizations. Any simulations we run are limited to our own mathematical interpretation of the matter/energy inside whatever computer is being used.

I don’t feel this is an objection to the simulation argument more than it is an addendum. Bostrom’s points defending the existence of simulations are still just as legitimate as always. The only issue is in the conclusion that we must be in one of those since it didn’t take into account naturally occurring digital worlds.

]]>1. Our method of perceiving the world defines our world. There is no absolute reality. A being that had only a human-level sense of smell would not perceive spruce trees in a forest but only what we would describe as a generalized, amorphous blob or spruce-smelliness.

2. Taking that further, maybe rather than a spruce tree, other beings would perceive something more akin to our concept of a rock, or maybe a camera, or maybe a technically advanced civilization (“TAC”).

3. Thus every item in our world could, to purported, very-dissimilar beings, contain or consist of one or more TAC.

4. Therefore, for every actual designed TAC, there will be an enormous number of actual undesigned TACs.

]]>Another way to look at it:

Forget all randomly occurring TACs. They are inevitable, but we don’t even need to count those innumerable populated existences in order to determine that designed TACs will always be less common then unintentional/natural ones.

Now take a designed TAC, whether created in our own universe or a child universe, it doesn’t matter. Let’s say it’s designed so literally nothing exists except for one super intelligent being, and the absolute minimum amount of matter and energy needed to create a computer that produces a child TAC. That computer in that simulation is interpreting the materials in a specific way to produce a simulation. For instance, the movement of an electron. All we need to do is point to a single electron and say, if that electron is interpreted in a different way, the features of the simulation are different. If a single piece of the mechanism for a simulation has the potential to cause the interpretation of the material to be a separate digital world, then it is impossible to design a TAC without simultaneously and unintentionally creating many more accidental and random TACs.

Regarding the idea of a universe inside a photon, it was more a to illustrate the point that there are still regions of science and technology that may exist but that we don’t know and therefore can’t include in our calculations of probability. I’m not at all claiming there is literally a physical universe inside a photon.

“You might get a TAC-containing universe from a black hole, but you aren’t going to get one from someone’s shoe, or from a photon, or from a piece of wood, or a tree, or a forest. There’s not enough matter, energy or level of organization.”

This is true only for *designed* TACs, and even then, only because of our current limitations on computing.

When I point out that there are a myriad of ways to interpret matter and energy to result in a simulation, I don’t mean that only one method of interpretation is usable at a time. For instance, current computers are almost exclusively evaluating the movement of an electron in an “on/off” sense. The position, speed, vibration, quantity, etc. play little to no role in our current computers.

NDWs can evaluate any *combination* of qualities. This drastically reduces the amount of matter or energy needed to produce a single digital world because the same matter can be evaluated in multiple ways at the same time.

**Current computers:**

Electrons not moving = 0

Electrons moving = 1

**Other potential ways to place value on electrons:**

Electrons moving along the x axis = 2

Electrons moving along the y axis = 3

Electrons moving along the z axis = 4

Electrons colliding with other electrons = 5

Electrons passing into a different medium = 6

etc.

And this is still just electrons! We don’t have to limit the calculations involved in a single NDW to a single material. The potential for a NDW could be spread out over many materials, each evaluated in different ways.

A single photon *could* have the potential to be interpreted as a digital world (not a physical one). It’s movement, collisions, wavelength, speed, etc. could all be part of the calculation. The digital world it produces may be short-lived, but it could still include a TAC. Don’t forget that there’s no requirement for these digital worlds to have a big bang or evolution. It could just start with the TAC fully developed. Also remember that time outside a digital world is not relevant to inside it and vice-versa. The photon may take centuries to produce enough data for a decade in a digital world, but that doesn’t matter. It may even be the opposite (a decade of a photon bouncing around produces a century inside the digital world) but I doubt it.

First, these TAC-containing designer universes may be designed such that organic TAC-containing universes cannot arise. It may be explicitly to prevent them or it may be a by-product of something like the need for compression.

Second, even if designer TAC-containing universes permitted organic TAC-containing universes, they can’t be as easily and plentifully produced as you suggest. You can’t get a universe inside of a photon.

These aren’t separate arguments. In an organic universe it may be that, for example, black holes are the manifestation of another universe. With the fine tuning necessary for a universe to give rise to a TAC, it may take all the universes represented by all the black holes in one organic universe to produce even one TAC. Even one may require a lot of luck.

You might get a TAC-containing universe from a black hole, but you aren’t going to get one from someone’s shoe, or from a photon, or from a piece of wood, or a tree, or a forest. There’s not enough matter, energy or level of organization.

]]>Produce as many TCAs as you want organically. Their numbers will still be swamped by the designer TCAs that each of them produces.

Each organic TCA is a factory producing designer TCAs. And that doesn’t even account for the fact that each of these designer TCAs is itself a factory producing still more designer TCAs down as far as compressed resources permit.

So let me ask you to confine your next reply to answering this single question. Where is the flaw in the following argument? For every organically arising TAC there will be a million designer TACs. Therefore, the odds of being in a designer TAC are a million to one.

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