Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Quoting Finite and Infinite Games

Author:Paul Snively
Posted:7/16/2000; 3:06:21 PM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 7/14/2000
Msg #:18724 (In response to 18717)
Prev/Next:18723 / 18725

David McCusker: [extended quote from Finite and Infinite Games deleted for brevity]

This all sounds rather similar to Frank Tipler's assertion as to how the universe will work near its end in proper time, as described in The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead. In a nutshell, Tipler's thesis includes the idea that the universe will collapse into a singularity but will be forced by humanity to do so in a very specific way such that gravitational shear will result in the singularity having an infinite amount of energy. The singularity, which Tipler refers to as the "Omega Point," will then be an infinite state machine. As a matter of information theory, it's possible for an infinite state machine to emulate an infinite number of finite state machines. Tipler suggests that all of existence as we are aware of it is composed of finite state machines, i.e. it's all quantum mechanics and there are a finite number of quantum states, so the Omega Point will "resurrect the dead" by emulating them all the way down to the quantum level, i.e. as a matter of physics, it will be impossible even in principle to distinguish between the "emulation" and the "real" (it's not even clear that the distinction has any semantics behind it).

Because of its deliberately provocative theme and also because of Tipler's impassioned discussions of some of the personal ramifications of his theory, this book has not received the audience, particularly among the people who would generally seem most interested--people at the forefront of computer science, physics, and ethics, that it deserves.

I should also point out that, thanks to having read this book, I already knew what the "Noosphere" of Eric Raymond's Homesteading the Noosphere was.

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