RE: Are First Person prime?

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 16:27:14 +1000

Peter Jones writes:
> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > Peter Jones writes:
> >
> > > Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > >
> > > > I don't know if block universe theories are true or not, but the subjective
> > > > passage of time is not an argument against them. If mind is computation, do
> > > > you believe that a conscious computation can tell if it is being run as a sequential
> > > > series of steps or in parallel, without any external information?
> > >
> > >
> > > If it is being run at all, it is dynamic, not static. Parallel
> > > processes are still
> > > processes.
> >
> > But the important point is that the temporal sequence does not itself make a difference
> > to subjective experience.
> We don't actually know that it is possible that
> there might be some flicker effect.

Not necessarily. I'm suggesting that the actual physical events are *exactly* the same,
just their order is different. If the world were created 5 minutes ago, complete with
fossils, ruins, false memories etc., you could not be aware of this on the basis of any
observation - by definition, otherwise the illusion would not be perfect. This is of course
no reason to believe that the world was created 5 minutes ago; but it does mean that
the absence of a sensation of having just flickered into existence is no evidence *against*
this theory.

> > Would you say that it is in theory possible for the subjective
> > passage of time to be as we know it if the blocks were not infinitesimal, but lasted for
> > a second, so that the whole ensemble of blocks lasted for a second?
> There is still duration within blocks

Yes, and...

> > Then what if you
> > make the blocks shorter in duration and larger in number, progressively down to
> > infinitely many blocks of infinitesimal duration: is there room for dynamism in an
> > infenitesimal interval?
> There are such things as infintiessimal velocities...

So if there is room for movement in infinitesimal intervals (or through combination of
infinitesimal intervals) in a linear theory of time, why not with a block universe?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Tue Aug 15 2006 - 02:29:16 PDT

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