RE: delayed reply

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 10:05:16 -0000

        Many thanks for this detailed and wide-ranging post. I am
flabberghasted that anyone could read my "Universes are related to other
universes only by correlation, which is a subjective feature...." post and
agree with it. I thought it was pretty radical. Do you know of anywhere
these ideas are developed further?

        Could you refer me to something on the Skolem paradox?

        I think I'll pass on the program-writing. I can't see why you need
anything more than "LET A=A+1 GOTO START" to generate the universe. But if I
did take up programming again I'd be sure to have a look at PROLOG. I've
only ever really used Z80A machine code, BASIC and FORTRAN.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Marchal []
> Sent: Friday, March 05, 1999 9:50 AM
> To: James Higgo;
> Subject: re: delayed reply
> Hi James,
> >Bruno, I finally got around to replying to this missive of yours. But I
> am
> >still not sure what you're saying as I don't know precisely what you mean
> >by:
> >"your mind (consciousness) includes your immediate expectations"
> The idea comes from Helmholtz. He attempts to define conscious perception
> as unsconscious inference. What I mean is that you cannot be conscious
> (having a subjective private life) without having some implicit
> expectation, if only the expectation that the next instant will looks
> approximately the same as the current instant. The neurophysiological
> study of dreams has shown that the cerebral stem play a role in trigging
> the cortex for making these instinctive inferences (in dreams for
> exemple). Actually such an idea can be find also in Descartes where
> consciousness generates potential representations. Dostoiesvski also
> describes consciousness as accessible truth.
> A very good book on consciousness is the recent one by William SIEGER
> ("Theories of Consciousness", Routledge 1999). I recommand it. It is a
> good introduction to the mind/body problem from Descartes to Quantum
> approaches.
> >Forthermore, the idea of transportation has no place in my ontololgy as
> all
> >universes are discrete and contain no movement. Universes are related to
> >other universes only by correlation, which is a subjective feature.
> > You may
> >see that your hand moves smoothly from one point to another. In fact, you
> >have viewed a huge number of unrelated universes in such a
> > way that they are
> >related. It so happens that there is a universe in which you hand is at
> >point a, and another in which your hand is at point a+1, and
> > those universes
> >appear to be related. But they are not. In an infinite multiverse
> universes
> >which appear to have any relation you like do in fact exist. We appear to
> >exist in those sets of universes which can be strung together so that the
> >laws of physics appear to emerge (weak anthropic principle, my dear
> > friend).
> I totally agree with what you are saying here, with some nuances. Replace
> Universe with Computationnal (and consistent) histories, etc. I will not
> try to be more precise at this stage. Even in the restricted
> interpretation of MWI these nuances exist.
> BTW does someone understand why Tegmark does not include the "consistent
> histories approach to QM" in the "many-world" type of QM-interpretation?
> >I'm thinking of Tegmark's and Schmidhuber's ideas that complexity is only
> >apparent when you see a subset of the simple reality, like the Mandelbrot
> >set. This ties in nicely with the Buddhist idea that it is only our
> >ignorance that allows us to see the world at all. Once you see the whole
> -
> >like the Mandelbrot equation - you no longer see the one little piece of
> > the set that you once thought so interesting and complex.
> >It seems that *everything* has no meaning unless you view it from the
> very
> >narrow subjective perspective that we have. If you take the Arcimedian
> >perspective, then you can say nothing but 'everything is'. Resolution of
> >separate phenomena can only occur as we occlude our vision.
> >
> >Before you can talk about anything, you have to define our level of
> >ignorance. Or perhaps defining our level of ignorance is the only weay to
> >define anything.
> This is a very nice idea. In fact theoretical computer science is
> partially based on this principle.
> There exists also a lot of illustration of that idea in mathematical
> logic. For exemple with Skolem paradox.
> >Note that, although I can't see why our consciousnesses are not
> 'immortal'
> >under MWI, that doesn't mean that I think we exist as separate entities
> >undergoing successive experiences in time. And it doesn't mean I think
> it's
> >good or desirable to be immortal.
> I am glad you are aware of that. Sometime I hope comp is false.
> Immortality, once you understand where it comes from with comp and/or
> MWI, is not necessarily a good news.
> The old materialist notion of death (eternal peace, nothingness) looks
> like wishfull thinking now.
> The fact that you don't necessarily think we exist as separate entities
> undergoing successive experiences in time can be made more precise:
> 1) from the 3d person point of view, we are not separate entities
> undergoing successive experiences in time.
> 2) ... but we (at least most of us) feel that we live as separate entities
> undergoing successive experiences in time : and that should be explained.
> >The 'great programmer' could have the intelligence and consciousness of
> an
> >amoeba. And why bother talking about him if he's not needed - Ockam would
> >not approve.
> You need UD in the same way you need any program or numbers.
> >The great program (Juergen, please correct me) looks something like LET
> >A=A+1 GOTO START. Any ideas on how a program runs when you don't have a
> >flow of time, but a static block universe?
> ... the same as newtonian time "occurs" in the static relativity
> space-time.
> From the 3-person Archimedian point of view there is no running program.
> Your remark about the "moving hand" applies here as well ...
> Your "LET A=A+1 GOTO START" is correct but rather trivial (and
> unpedagogical) as a UD. You could have choose the empty program as well.
> I suggest you write a real UD :). That is : you choose a universal
> machine, and you write an explicit generator of all the possible
> execution of your universal machines. (= about 10 lines in PROLOG, 100
> lines in LISP, 1000 lines in FORTRAN).
> If you are courageous, you can write a dovetailer on the solutions of the
> Dewitt-Wheeler equations !
> Note that a UD is (recursively) equivalent to a program which almost
> compute OMEGA Chaitin number.
> >One point of disagreement with Juergen: you don't need infinite strings
> of
> >great programmers. There need be no great programmer, just
> > the program. And
> >since there's no programmer to make it complicated,
> > the program is as simple
> >as it can be.
> I guess Schmidhuber should'nt anthropomorphise UD. The great programmer
> (Schmidhuber recognize that explicitely) is a program. Its execution
> generates all possible (with Church's Thesis) possible UDs.
> Once you admit a minimal amount of arithmetical platonism, you inherit
> all the UDs, independently of your using or not using them.
> Cheers, Bruno
Received on Fri Mar 05 1999 - 02:09:11 PST

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