Is the Universe computing something?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by arfa brane, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. The God Valued Senior Member

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    Thats a good acknowldgement from a person who has all along been defending mainstream position on BH....BH is BS, colliding universe is super BS.
     
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Not if the initial data input contained all the energy and potential from the very beginning, albeit in a chaotic state...
     
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  5. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    I tried to oppose the idea that the universe is computing "something", by showing that it indeed can be seen to compute something, it's own future, but at the same time showing that this computation is meaningless in the way the original posting had asked.

    I tried to avoid saying "it computes nothing" because that point would have been easy to attack. Even to say "it computes nothing meaninful" would be debatable, becasue menainful allows so many interpretations.

    And yes, even a rock can be seens as computing its own future in this sense, but a rock is part of the universe, while the embedding of the universe is unknown. So I'd avoid to attribute the calculation to the rock, but rather atrribute it to the highest embedding entity that we can access.

    Fully random data has no information. Maybe I should add "meaningful" - I don't know how to explain this. In one way, random data even has a lot of information - it is very hard to compress, because the data isn't organized in any pattern, so there are no strategies to express the information in a shorter style but write it all down.

    A random string does not bear the information that it is random. It could as well be a highly compressed or exncrpted information, that we cannot recognize as information untill we know the encryption or compression scheme that was used.

    We can knwo meta-data about random data, though. The size, the level of redundancy, frequencies of elements inside the data and the like.

    But random data, e.g. from thermal noise in semiconductors bears no further information. It's source is totally random, there is no meaning in it.
     
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  7. hansda Valued Senior Member

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    The job of computing is the job of a mind. This computing process takes certain time. So, the response from mind is time-delayed.

    There is no such time-delay in the response of the Universe. It is instantaneous. So, either universe is computing instantaneously or it is simply responding and not computing.

    If the Universe is computing, we should believe that the universe is having a mind.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Not that I want to promulgate the fanciful notion that the universe is computing something, but this logic is flawed:

    Or a computer.

    How about the speed of light?

    What if the input were hydrogen and the output were stars or heavy elements? That sure takes time.

    Or a computer.
     
  9. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    Computing does require a mind. We call certain physical systems "computers" because we set them up to approximate, as best they can, the operations of computing. (We also set them up to do other things, usually.) But in order to do this, we need to identify certain distinct input states and output states and impose these on the systems by setting them up in certain ways.

    The physical systems that we find in nature do not seem to be set up in a certain way. They are not computing, they are just evolving according to their nature.
     
  10. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    I would say there is a fine distinction between a mind that can conceive of and build a computer, and what the computer then does under the "control" of that mind. The computer remains a dumb "unknowing" device, it doesn't have what human minds do--self awareness and purpose--we know why we build computers and write programs. We understand what solving a problem means, computers have no understanding.
    Take the example, again, of our solar system. What set it up and got it all moving like clockwork, computing "something"? In this case, a natural "machine" exists, its output is regular enough, or just the earth-moon system is say, that it is a useful timing mechanism and has been for a long time (as long as humans thought it was useful).

    In the case of computers built by humans, the control of input aspect is relevant (it's one reason we build them). We can't change (the "inputs" of) planetary orbits, so then how does that make them not the output of some kind of device, even if the device is read only and we didn't build it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, I guess I was being a bit elliptical. You are right, you can't prove a string is random, but you can try to compress it, and a truly random sequence of characters can't be compressed.
     
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I agree, in context of a universal computer, I would replace the phrase *requiring a mind* with *requiring a natural mathematical function*.

    IOW, the physical values of the input are subject to the natural interactive functions (processes) of the four inherent fundamental forces or potentials of the input values themselves.
    IMO, this is what Bohm called the Implicate, an abstract mathematical *expectation* of a result, dictated by the inherent potentials of the physical input and which Tegmark identifies as the Universal Mathematics based on the interaction of the inherent natural values of the inputs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  13. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    And a mathematical function requires a mind, since it is a mental construct. We use such things to approximate the operation of the world.

    Even if the universe did actually work according to exact mathematical principles, then the input would simply be "1" or "0" and the output would similarly be "1" or "0": there is only the fact of the matter as input and only the fact of the matter as output, with no differentiation.
     
  14. trevor borocz johnson Registered Senior Member

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    the universe isn't expanding, just the visible zone. Galaxies move away from each other for an unexplained reason, but there is no evidence that the universe as a whole is expanding. accordinto this theory its fixed in size http://www.sciforums.com/threads/working-model-of-the-universe-dimensions-gravity-and-energy.154081/
     
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think this necessaririly true. A mathematical function can very well occur without the observation of a mind. IMO, that is a subjective interpretation of the term *mathematical* which humans have assigned to the *natural processing of physical information (values)*.
    So you disagree with my proposition that there is a distinct difference between the *passive* mathematical functions of human computers ( *on* or *0ff*), and the *dynamic* mathematical functions of the universe (*positive*, *neutral*, or *negative* values), which can never be in an *off* state ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  16. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    Even Mathematical Platonists admit that mathematics is abstract. Humans do mathematics and humans approximate physical systems with mathematics.

    No physical system can be in an off state. We can tweak physical systems so that some of their states suit our purposes, but not without our decisions and actions.
     
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    And if abstract mathematics are not a potential of the universe, how could humans even invent a mathematical language if not from observation of the mathematical functions in nature?
    So why do we have an on/off switch on human computers? Turn it OFF and the computer ceases to function as a computational device, even as the physical structure of the computer continues to degrade by an abstract universal mathematical function.
    In the OFF state, you can type in any input, but I doubt you will get a result. It requires energyy (electricity) to function,, but as it is a closed system, in the absence of electricity it reverts to a *nul state* as a computer and its structure becomes just an assembly of electronic bits and pieces, but it does retain its latent ability to perform computational work when we turn it ON, the computer's inherent but latent *potential*.
     
  18. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    People can abstract from the universe. But that's abstraction. When we apply the formulas we abstract out, we get an abstraction. And the mathematics that we use for abstraction is not always a great approximation. We often have to work and correct it.
    But the physical system that we call a computer is always still a physical system in some state. It is never not a physical system, is it?
    Regardless, we have made the computer to be in this state; this is what is required for computation.
     
  19. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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  20. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    'sigh'

    Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do.
     
  21. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, but seeing as that's your speculation, and that you've proven time and time again that you don't know what you're talking about, we can safely conclude that it's just more of the same.
     
  22. trevor borocz johnson Registered Senior Member

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    is that an argument for an expanding universe?
     
  23. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Alrighty, back to a sack of rocks it is then.

    Take one rock from the sack, how would the future of this rock be described by a computation? Say you leave it out in the sun for a few hours, then it will absorb some heat, all the particles making up the rock will have more energy. The computation on a machine, that say we build, would simulate this rock-gaining-energy, but approximately.

    But which system is the machine, why isn't the rock warming in the sun a computation on a real 'mechanical' device, and the computer simulation, which can embody as it were, any of the known laws of physics, is why we get the approximation?
     
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