How long would it take for a human brain to form in a void, complete with a memory of having existed?

Are you a Boltzmann Brain?

BuzzFeed quiz!


Yet fellows at the Society for Anachronistic Word Processing have determined that typewriters smell quite nice. Who are you going to believe?

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And the Brain had the strangest memories!


Wouldn’t it happen in an instant? Like the cluster of matter would go from being not a brain to being a brain.

We have a camping trip planned to see the eclipse this spring, we’re inviting as many people as possible because a memory like that is more meaningful if you have someone to share the same memory with.

Point is, without context, how does a brain even know it’s existing? In a vacuum who or what teaches a brain about memories or existing?

And on a side note…

I’m buying some lottery tickets today because my odds of winning are way better than this.

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It’s happening in an instant right now. You think you actually read this sentence? Just a memory. Yep this one too. Never happened.


Given that my brain has been able to read Hamlet and several of Shakespeare’s other works, I’m going to go out on a limb and say the odds are very low that I am a spontaneously created Boltzmann brain.

If I can experience my parents now - I’m not a Boltzmann brain. But if they’re dead - I might be one.

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This is Borge’s Library of Babel. Every possible book of roughly 400 pages, arranged in a nearly infinite library. All the people in the universe are “librarians,” and spend their whole lives looking for tiny snippets of meaning, or even short patterns, in the books.

The total number of possible books that could be made are 251312000, or something like 101,500,000. If you printed each book as a slim volume, tiny font, paper covers, and stacked them together as tightly as possible, this still fills up the entire universe many, many times over. The empty space between here and Betelgeuse? All books. The mind-boggling size of the Pillars of Creation? All books. The unimaginable distance between the lonely galaxies? Packed tight. And that’s just our universe. The number of universes we’d need to pack them all in is a 1 with over a million zeros after it.

So… yeah, you go ahead and start that project!

My life story takes more than 100 pages, thank you. :wink:

it works out sometimes, apparently.

Michelangelo regarded a single block of stone as containing all the possible conceptions for a work of art, and believed that the artist’s task is sculpting the marble block to reveal the ideal form within… In later years, speaking of his early commissions sculpting marble, he contended that he was merely liberating figures that were already existent in the stone, and that he could see them in his mind’s eye.

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The concept of Boltzman Brain and monkeys typing Shakespeare always kinda sounded like self-absorbed Techbro bullshit to me, and even more so after reading about Assembly Theory earlier this year:

The notion of life being the result of gradual and constant changes makes a LOT more sense than a “spontaneous” genesis of any kind.




Speaking of (fictional) dogs in space, my brain seems to have memories of reading and enjoying The Left Hand of Dog by Si Clarke and I feel I would be remiss in not recommending it to … well, everyone, really.

Spock is a good dog. Feed Spock.


Well there’s your problem. The hypothesis calls for monkeys, not bears!

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Here you go.

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