## digitalmars.D - Re: [~ot] why is programming so fun?

Simen Kjaeraas <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
```John Reimer Wrote:
Don't you think you would be lucky that "2+2=4" occurs
consistantly in a random chance universe.

I find it unlikely (though not impossible) that life would exist in a universe
where 2 + 2 != 4. However, if we assume that every possible universe exists, we
would exist in that (those?) most fitting for our survival.

Logically, we exist on earth because the sun is too hot, and pluto is too cold.
"How lucky we are that the earth is just the right distance from the sun, has
just the right amount of this and that..." Yes, it is a rare coincidence. But
if it weren't so, we wouldn't be here to consider it.

You've probably heard of the Many-worlds interpretation. It holds that
'everything happens, but in seperate universes'. Meaning that all possible
result of all actions, will in fact happen, and each will spawn a new universe
in which that exact thing took place. Again, we would not exist in the
universes where the earth never formed, nor the ones where the third world war
in the 1960's removed the human race from the face of the earth.

As for 'every possible universe', imagine all constants (speed of light,
strength of gravity, Planck's constant, electron volt, etc) being variables,
and one universe existing for every combination of these. Then add any possible
beginning of such a universe (always existed, formed in a big bang caused by
quantum fluctuation, space-time bubble that detached from a neighbouring
universe, suddenly springing fully-formed into being, etc), any possible point
in their existence... And when you're done with that, check out Max Tegmark's
Ultimate Ensemble (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_ensemble). Now you've
got a universe with 7 dimensions of space, 4 dimensions of time, and all
coordinates are of type split-complex dual octonions.

-- Simen
```
Jun 05 2008
Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
```Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
... And when you're done with that, check out Max Tegmark's Ultimate
Ensemble (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_ensemble). Now you've
got a universe with 7 dimensions of space, 4 dimensions of time, and
all coordinates are of type split-complex dual octonions.

Sometimes I think we're going too far. The non-understandability of
Quantum Mechanics has opened the door to a totally new kind of writing.

Today, anybody who can write utter crap in such a way that nobody else
can kick it down, is considered a Very Smart man.
```
Jun 06 2008
Tower Ty <towerty msn.com.au> writes:
```Georg Wrede Wrote:

Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
... And when you're done with that, check out Max Tegmark's Ultimate
Ensemble (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_ensemble). Now you've
got a universe with 7 dimensions of space, 4 dimensions of time, and
all coordinates are of type split-complex dual octonions.

Sometimes I think we're going too far. The non-understandability of
Quantum Mechanics has opened the door to a totally new kind of writing.

Today, anybody who can write utter crap in such a way that nobody else
can kick it down, is considered a Very Smart man.

Well said with quantum mechanics/physics you can prove the probability of
anything you wish !!  It has been proved that black has a 99% probability of
being white.

Hawkins is a classic example and black holes are proposed by quantum physics to
be composed of nothing !!.

All of it utter garbage which wastes the thinking mans mind . My advice, stick
to believing in what you know to be true and let the wackers carry on and waste
their own time.
```
Jun 06 2008
Don <nospam nospam.com.au> writes:
```Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
John Reimer Wrote:
Don't you think you would be lucky that "2+2=4" occurs
consistantly in a random chance universe.

I find it unlikely (though not impossible) that life would exist in a universe
where 2 + 2 != 4. However, if we assume that every possible universe exists, we
would exist in that (those?) most fitting for our survival.

Logically, we exist on earth because the sun is too hot, and pluto is too
cold. "How lucky we are that the earth is just the right distance from the sun,
has just the right amount of this and that..." Yes, it is a rare coincidence.
But if it weren't so, we wouldn't be here to consider it.

Which is called the "Anthropic Principle".

You've probably heard of the Many-worlds interpretation.

Unfortunately, once any kind of probabilities are involved, the
anthropic principle won't help you. If this is just a random universe...
why is it so big? We could exist in a much simpler, smaller universe.
In fact, it's overwhelmingly more likely.

It this is a random universe, it's a freak.
```
Jun 06 2008
Russell Lewis <webmaster villagersonline.com> writes:
```Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
John Reimer Wrote:
Don't you think you would be lucky that "2+2=4" occurs
consistantly in a random chance universe.

I find it unlikely (though not impossible) that life would exist in a universe
where 2 + 2 != 4. However, if we assume that every possible universe exists, we
would exist in that (those?) most fitting for our survival.

Logically, we exist on earth because the sun is too hot, and pluto is too
cold. "How lucky we are that the earth is just the right distance from the sun,
has just the right amount of this and that..." Yes, it is a rare coincidence.
But if it weren't so, we wouldn't be here to consider it.

You've probably heard of the Many-worlds interpretation. It holds that
'everything happens, but in seperate universes'. Meaning that all possible
result of all actions, will in fact happen, and each will spawn a new universe
in which that exact thing took place. Again, we would not exist in the
universes where the earth never formed, nor the ones where the third world war
in the 1960's removed the human race from the face of the earth.

As for 'every possible universe', imagine all constants (speed of light,
strength of gravity, Planck's constant, electron volt, etc) being variables,
and one universe existing for every combination of these. Then add any possible
beginning of such a universe (always existed, formed in a big bang caused by
quantum fluctuation, space-time bubble that detached from a neighbouring
universe, suddenly springing fully-formed into being, etc), any possible point
in their existence... And when you're done with that, check out Max Tegmark's
Ultimate Ensemble (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_ensemble). Now you've
got a universe with 7 dimensions of space, 4 dimensions of time, and all
coordinates are of type split-complex dual octonions.

This, combined with the Anthropic Principle, is a fascinating argument.
On the surface, it seems to undercut any possible probability-based
argument that we theists might use.  However, it also undercuts all of
science.  If we assume an infinite number of universes (and there is no
way to exclude the possibility), then for any arbitrary thing you can
imagine, there exists a universe where it happened.  If God came down
personally and shook your hand, you could state, "Isn't this a
remarkably unlikely universe?  It seems like God shook my hand.  I know,
of course, that this is false."  More to the point, you could observe
that things fall to the ground when you drop them, and say "What a
remarkable coincidence!  I wonder what the odds are of that?"

Since science can never directly reveal the absolute laws of the
universe, we are left with making statements, based on probability,
derived from our observations.  We see things fall to the ground, and
thus we hypothesize that there is something called "gravity" which
causes it to do so.  We cannot exclude the possibility that it was all
random, but when certain things become remarkably improbable, we come to
believe that there is a reason behind them other than random chance.

In the same way, if some people want to argue for the existence of God
based on the remarkable unlikeliness of the random existence of life,
that is a valid and logical argument.  Of course, others will disagree
about the probabilities, and thus come to a different conclusion.

To be slightly more direct, the infinite universes hypothesis, combined
with the anthropic principle, is a handy tool to explain away any
evidence that doesn't fit your preconceptions.  Any remarkable
observation can be claimed to be random chance.
```
Jun 06 2008
Simen Kjaeraas <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
```Russell Lewis Wrote:

Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
John Reimer Wrote:
Don't you think you would be lucky that "2+2=4" occurs
consistantly in a random chance universe.

I find it unlikely (though not impossible) that life would exist in a universe
where 2 + 2 != 4. However, if we assume that every possible universe exists, we
would exist in that (those?) most fitting for our survival.

Logically, we exist on earth because the sun is too hot, and pluto is too
cold. "How lucky we are that the earth is just the right distance from the sun,
has just the right amount of this and that..." Yes, it is a rare coincidence.
But if it weren't so, we wouldn't be here to consider it.

You've probably heard of the Many-worlds interpretation. It holds that
'everything happens, but in seperate universes'. Meaning that all possible
result of all actions, will in fact happen, and each will spawn a new universe
in which that exact thing took place. Again, we would not exist in the
universes where the earth never formed, nor the ones where the third world war
in the 1960's removed the human race from the face of the earth.

As for 'every possible universe', imagine all constants (speed of light,
strength of gravity, Planck's constant, electron volt, etc) being variables,
and one universe existing for every combination of these. Then add any possible
beginning of such a universe (always existed, formed in a big bang caused by
quantum fluctuation, space-time bubble that detached from a neighbouring
universe, suddenly springing fully-formed into being, etc), any possible point
in their existence... And when you're done with that, check out Max Tegmark's
Ultimate Ensemble (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_ensemble). Now you've
got a universe with 7 dimensions of space, 4 dimensions of time, and all
coordinates are of type split-complex dual octonions.

This, combined with the Anthropic Principle, is a fascinating argument.
On the surface, it seems to undercut any possible probability-based
argument that we theists might use.  However, it also undercuts all of
science.  If we assume an infinite number of universes (and there is no
way to exclude the possibility), then for any arbitrary thing you can
imagine, there exists a universe where it happened.  If God came down
personally and shook your hand, you could state, "Isn't this a
remarkably unlikely universe?  It seems like God shook my hand.  I know,
of course, that this is false."  More to the point, you could observe
that things fall to the ground when you drop them, and say "What a
remarkable coincidence!  I wonder what the odds are of that?"

Since science can never directly reveal the absolute laws of the
universe, we are left with making statements, based on probability,
derived from our observations.  We see things fall to the ground, and
thus we hypothesize that there is something called "gravity" which
causes it to do so.  We cannot exclude the possibility that it was all
random, but when certain things become remarkably improbable, we come to
believe that there is a reason behind them other than random chance.

In the same way, if some people want to argue for the existence of God
based on the remarkable unlikeliness of the random existence of life,
that is a valid and logical argument.  Of course, others will disagree
about the probabilities, and thus come to a different conclusion.

To be slightly more direct, the infinite universes hypothesis, combined
with the anthropic principle, is a handy tool to explain away any
evidence that doesn't fit your preconceptions.  Any remarkable
observation can be claimed to be random chance.

Ah, but here I believe you misunderstand things. "Every /possible/ universe"
does not mean "every /imaginable/ universe". Take uranium U-235, for example.
Given one atom of U-235, there's a 50% chance it will decay within the first
703,800,000 years. It might decay tomorrow, it might not decay before the sun
burns out. That does not mean that atom may suddenly turn into a four-armed
clown. (sorry if this seems insulting your intelligence, it is not intended as
such)

What many-worlds and it's derivatives preach is that all possible results of a
wavefunction collapse will take place, each in a separate universe. The fact
that the underlying laws that govern it may change, does not allow matter and
energy in a universe to break those laws.

-- Simen
```
Jun 07 2008
Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
```Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
Russell Lewis Wrote:
To be slightly more direct, the infinite universes hypothesis,
combined with the anthropic principle, is a handy tool to explain
away any evidence that doesn't fit your preconceptions.

Yes. Combine utter crap (the former) with an ignorant, self-centered
view (the latter), and you can (or may I even say, this forces you) to
become embottled in your particular view. (!! "you" used here as the
general person, not Simen or Russell.)

Any remarkable observation can be claimed to be random chance.

Ah, but here I believe you misunderstand things. "Every /possible/
universe" does not mean "every /imaginable/ universe".

What many-worlds and it's derivatives preach is that all possible
results of a wavefunction collapse will take place, each in a
separate universe. The fact that the underlying laws that govern it
may change, does not allow matter and energy in a universe to break
those laws.

Many-worlds, IMHO, has come from thinking of wave function collapse the
same day one tried to understand the universe. An unfortunate and
unfounded "aha", and one immediately "discovers" Many Universes. If this
person happens to have a good education in cosmology and math, then
for anyone much harder to shoot down than those of a layman.

Of course, in general, intelligent people or intelligent actions have as
a hallmark combining seemingly (to the lesser audience, anyway)
unrelated things or ideas, and then making something excellent from it.

But the many-worlds thing is just a sorry stab at emulating such.
```
Jun 07 2008
Russell Lewis <webmaster villagersonline.com> writes:
```Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
Russell Lewis Wrote:

Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
John Reimer Wrote:
Don't you think you would be lucky that "2+2=4" occurs
consistantly in a random chance universe.

Logically, we exist on earth because the sun is too hot, and pluto is too
cold. "How lucky we are that the earth is just the right distance from the sun,
has just the right amount of this and that..." Yes, it is a rare coincidence.
But if it weren't so, we wouldn't be here to consider it.

You've probably heard of the Many-worlds interpretation. It holds that
'everything happens, but in seperate universes'. Meaning that all possible
result of all actions, will in fact happen, and each will spawn a new universe
in which that exact thing took place. Again, we would not exist in the
universes where the earth never formed, nor the ones where the third world war
in the 1960's removed the human race from the face of the earth.

As for 'every possible universe', imagine all constants (speed of light,
strength of gravity, Planck's constant, electron volt, etc) being variables,
and one universe existing for every combination of these. Then add any possible
beginning of such a universe (always existed, formed in a big bang caused by
quantum fluctuation, space-time bubble that detached from a neighbouring
universe, suddenly springing fully-formed into being, etc), any possible point
in their existence... And when you're done with that, check out Max Tegmark's
Ultimate Ensemble (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_ensemble). Now you've
got a universe with 7 dimensions of space, 4 dimensions of time, and all
coordinates are of type split-complex dual octonions.

On the surface, it seems to undercut any possible probability-based
argument that we theists might use.  However, it also undercuts all of
science.  If we assume an infinite number of universes (and there is no
way to exclude the possibility), then for any arbitrary thing you can
imagine, there exists a universe where it happened.  If God came down
personally and shook your hand, you could state, "Isn't this a
remarkably unlikely universe?  It seems like God shook my hand.  I know,
of course, that this is false."  More to the point, you could observe
that things fall to the ground when you drop them, and say "What a
remarkable coincidence!  I wonder what the odds are of that?"

Since science can never directly reveal the absolute laws of the
universe, we are left with making statements, based on probability,
derived from our observations.  We see things fall to the ground, and
thus we hypothesize that there is something called "gravity" which
causes it to do so.  We cannot exclude the possibility that it was all
random, but when certain things become remarkably improbable, we come to
believe that there is a reason behind them other than random chance.

In the same way, if some people want to argue for the existence of God
based on the remarkable unlikeliness of the random existence of life,
that is a valid and logical argument.  Of course, others will disagree
about the probabilities, and thus come to a different conclusion.

To be slightly more direct, the infinite universes hypothesis, combined
with the anthropic principle, is a handy tool to explain away any
evidence that doesn't fit your preconceptions.  Any remarkable
observation can be claimed to be random chance.

Ah, but here I believe you misunderstand things. "Every /possible/ universe"
does not mean "every /imaginable/ universe". Take uranium U-235, for example.
Given one atom of U-235, there's a 50% chance it will decay within the first
703,800,000 years. It might decay tomorrow, it might not decay before the sun
burns out. That does not mean that atom may suddenly turn into a four-armed
clown. (sorry if this seems insulting your intelligence, it is not intended as
such)

What many-worlds and it's derivatives preach is that all possible results of a
wavefunction collapse will take place, each in a separate universe. The fact
that the underlying laws that govern it may change, does not allow matter and
energy in a universe to break those laws.

I have been trying diligently to stay out of this argument, and so have
only posted a couple of times.  However, I wanted to offer a quick
clarification of my original statement.  I agree that there is one type
of "infinite universes" hypothesis which is based on the concept of
waveform collapse.  That assumes that we had one starting point and
there are an infinite number of descendant universes from it.  However,
the more general theory is that there could have been an infinite number
of different instances, and the various laws & constants of nature vary
from instance to instance.  That was more what I was describing.

Yet I would say that even if we restrict ourselves to the
collapsing-waveform type of theory, we are still in much the same boat.
Quantum physics tells us that there are any number of remarkably
improbable things which still have nonzero probability.  If we assume
infinite universes, then we can reasonably say that in at least one of
the universes, that remarkably improbable thing happened.

My argument is that while this is a fascinating cosmological theory (I
like it, personally, even if I have no idea whether it's true), we
cannot reasonably use it to explain away scientific phenomena.  We must,
as much as possible, look at the evidence, find the most probable
explanation, and then assume (until we have better observations) that
the explanation is likely to be true.  Otherwise, science as a
discipline has no ground to stand on.  More bluntly, we must
intentionally ignore the many-worlds interpretation when we are making
scientific conclusions.  This might, of course, cause us to draw
incorrect conclusions, but quantum physics tells us that it is quite
improbable that we are wrong. :)
```
Jun 07 2008
"Simen Kjaeraas" <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
```On Sat, 07 Jun 2008 23:32:02 +0200, Russell Lewis
<webmaster villagersonline.com> wrote:

I have been trying diligently to stay out of this argument, and so have
only posted a couple of times.  However, I wanted to offer a quick
clarification of my original statement.  I agree that there is one type
of "infinite universes" hypothesis which is based on the concept of
waveform collapse.  That assumes that we had one starting point and
there are an infinite number of descendant universes from it.  However,
the more general theory is that there could have been an infinite number
of different instances, and the various laws & constants of nature vary
from instance to instance.  That was more what I was describing.

Yet I would say that even if we restrict ourselves to the
collapsing-waveform type of theory, we are still in much the same boat.
Quantum physics tells us that there are any number of remarkably
improbable things which still have nonzero probability.  If we assume
infinite universes, then we can reasonably say that in at least one of
the universes, that remarkably improbable thing happened.

My argument is that while this is a fascinating cosmological theory (I
like it, personally, even if I have no idea whether it's true), we
cannot reasonably use it to explain away scientific phenomena.  We must,
as much as possible, look at the evidence, find the most probable
explanation, and then assume (until we have better observations) that
the explanation is likely to be true.  Otherwise, science as a
discipline has no ground to stand on.  More bluntly, we must
intentionally ignore the many-worlds interpretation when we are making
scientific conclusions.  This might, of course, cause us to draw
incorrect conclusions, but quantum physics tells us that it is quite
improbable that we are wrong. :)

Then it seems we do for the most part agree. I love playing with the
thought of an infinite number of universes, some having their own strange
physical laws and constants. That does not mean I hold it to be The One
True Truth(tm). I'm more likely to change my world view than my clothes,
as I feel it doesn't matter anyway. I like solipsism, shared-
consciousness, lazy-evaluation-universes, etc. Some theories I like
because they are simple, some because they are complex. I like some
theories with a creator, some without.

Back off topic - you are right that it may not be enough to limit
ourselves to collapsing wavefunctions. Quantum fluctuation, for example,
may possibly turn one thing into something completely different. However,
we don't at the moment know the rules by which quantum fluctuation abides,
so it might be limited enough that nothing /too/ weird will happen (I have
no idea what 'too weird' would mean in a quantum physics discussion :p). I
still feel we have somewhat different understandings of MWI, but I'm not
one to claim my view is more correct than yours. I feel MWI does not
undermine science, as we know that some things are more probable than
others, and that would not change with MWI (imagine that a more probable
outcome would result in more, identical, universes).

-- Simen
```
Jun 07 2008