Thursday, 1 November 2018

Born to do Math 94 - Critique of IC (2)

Born to do Math 94 - Critique of IC (2)
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
November 1, 2018

[Beginning of recorded material]

Rick Rosner: We are aware of three things we've been talking about. The math of consciousness, which we do not have a good enough math to do yet. Consciousness itself and the material world that supports consciousness on an everyday basis. 

We are aware that we think. We are aware of the material world. We are not aware of any mathematical framing of the information in consciousness. Under IC, we experience the material world.

Under IC, the material world is the mathematical framing of information, probably within some vast consciousness. We don't experience that vast consciousness. We certainly don't expect some external framework that supports the information structure that is the universe.

We experience the material-seeming aspects of this informational map that we claim can exist. It is not the clearest thing. But IC claims the universe is made of information. That information is part of something part of a self-consistent information processing apparatus or consciousness (possibly). 

In that, under IC, any sufficiently large and complicated information-processing system is generally the self-knowledge that it would experience itself in a way that is consciousness. 

Jacobsen: I want to make a buffer point here too. Creationism is the dominant belief among most people. It's wrong. The right theory is not the most accepted theory, which is unguided evolution.

Rosner: By creationism, you mean directed development of the universe and the beings in it. By creationism, you mean somebody is in charge. Some external and powerful being is running the show to some extent. 

Jacobsen: I would confine creationism or directed evolution, and unguided evolution, within biology as an analogy to make with IC. IC comes from digital physics. Digital physics is a minority view within physics in a similar way string theory is a minority view within the physics community.

But it is one among several competing theories. IC would amount to a branch of digital physics. It would be considered a branch of an established physics, which simply needs further development because it is a newer take on a more established branch of physics. 

Does that seem fair?

Rosner: Yes. Let's take a detour. Creationism implies a creator. The absence of creationism implies unguided evolution. Evolution itself includes the idea that it is not guided. But the 20th century and the standard understanding of evolution is that it is this random thing.

Because if you do not have a creator, or intelligent design, or any of the things that religious people try to sneak into evolution, then what you're left with, naively at least, is pure randomness. But! That's not exactly the deal either.

Because evolution is nothing if not opportunistic. The systems of the world are opportunistic. In that, they take advantage of self-consistencies that work. That you don't have people sproting tentacles randomly from their foreheads.

You do not have planets randomly exploding. The universe is not chaos. It is not directed. But the processes of the universe take advantage of things that work. It is an interplay randomness and the persistence of structures that are good at perpetuating their own existence. Right?

Jacobsen: Yes, it is based on the broader principle of persistence, of order.

Rosner: Order is a part of evolution. It is not imposed externally by some creator. But things that are good at existing continue to exist. It is an interplay between things that work.

Jacobsen: It leads to rhetorical questions too: How old are atoms? How old is DNA? How old are cells? How old are multicellular organisms? How old are individual species? There are structures that last shorter than their precursors but allow more complicated things to exist and do not last as long.

But they, if you get into a field like biology, have a tendency to live longer.

Rosner: Yes, both an IC universe and a Big Bang universe embody causality. A causal framework is an efficient way of encompassing information. But let's get off of that before I talk myself into a really tough cul-de-sac with that.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner
American Television Writer

According to semi-reputable sources, Rick Rosner has the world’s second-highest IQ. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writer’s Guild Award and Emmy nominations, and was named 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Registry.

He has written for Remote Control, Crank Yankers, The Man Show, The Emmy Awards, The Grammy Awards, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He has also worked as a stripper, a bouncer, a roller-skating waiter, and a nude model. In a TV commercial, Domino’s Pizza named him the World’s Smartest Man. He was also named Best Bouncer in the Denver Area by Westwood Magazine.

He spent the disco era as an undercover high school student. 25 years as a bar bouncer, American fake ID-catcher, 25+ years as a stripper, and nude art model, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television.  He lost on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire over a bad question, and lost the lawsuit. He spent 35+ years on a modified version of Big Bang Theory. Now, he mostly sits around tweeting in a towel. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and daughter.

You can send an email or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing

(Updated September 28, 2016)

He is a Moral Courage Webmaster and Outreach Specialist (Fall, 2016) at the UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center), Interview Columnist for Conatus News, Writer and Executive Administrator for Trusted Clothes, Interview Columnist for Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), Chair of Social Media for the Almas Jiwani Foundation, Councillor for the Athabasca University Student Union, Member of the Learning Analytics Research Group, writer for The Voice MagazineYour Political Party of BCProBCMarijuana Party of CanadaFresh Start Recovery CentreHarvest House Ministries, and Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Editor and Proofreader for Alfred Yi Zhang Photography, Community Journalist/Blogger for Gordon Neighbourhood House, Member-at-Large, Member of the Outreach Committee, the Finance & Fundraising Committee, and the Special Projects & Political Advocacy Committee, and Writer for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Member of the Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab and IMAGe Psychology Lab, Collaborator with Dr. Farhad Dastur in creation of the CriticalThinkingWiki, Board Member, and Foundation Volunteer Committee Member for the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, and Independent Landscaper.

He was a Francisco Ayala Scholar at the UCI Ethics Center, Member of the Psychometric Society Graduate Student Committee, Special Advisor and Writer for ECOSOC at NWMUN, Writer for TransplantFirstAcademy and ProActive Path, Member of AT-CURA Psychology Lab, Contributor for a student policy review, Vice President of Outreach for the Almas Jiwani Foundation, worked with Manahel Thabet on numerous initiatives, Student Member of the Ad–Hoc Executive Compensation Review Committee for the Athabasca University Student Union, Volunteer and Writer for British Columbia Psychological Association, Community Member of the KPU Choir (even performed with them alongside the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Delegate at Harvard World MUN, NWMUN, UBC MUN, and Long Beach Intercollegiate MUN, and Writer and Member of the Communications Committee for The PIPE UP Network.


[1] Four format points for the session article:

  1. Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner.
  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview.
  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability.

For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:

  1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from
  2. Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from

License and Copyright

Based on a work at and


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

No comments:

Post a Comment