Re: Boltzmann Brains, consciousness and the arrow of time

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2009 13:17:02 +0100

On 31 Dec 2008, at 23:53, Brent Meeker wrote:

> The present moment in quantum cosmology: challenges to the arguments
> for the elimination of time
> Authors: Lee Smolin
> (Submitted on 29 Apr 2001)
> Abstract: Barbour, Hawking, Misner and others have argued that time
> cannot play an essential role in the formulation of a quantum theory
> of cosmology. Here we present three challenges to their arguments,
> taken from works and remarks by Kauffman, Markopoulou and Newman.
> These can be seen to be based on two principles: that every
> observable in a theory of cosmology should be measurable by some
> observer inside the universe, and all mathematical constructions
> necessary to the formulation of the theory should be realizable in a
> finite time by a computer that fits inside the universe. We also
> briefly discuss how a cosmological theory could be formulated so it
> is in agreement with these principles.
> Comments: This is a slightly revised version of an essay published
> in Time and the Instant, Robin Durie (ed.) Manchester: Clinamen
> Press, 2000
> Subjects: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)
> Cite as: arXiv:gr-qc/0104097v1

And On 02 Jan 2009, at 04:01, Kim Jones wrote:

Edge Question 2009: "What Will Change Everything?"

By some token which would be premature to explain, Smolin's 2001
papers is very near the "correct" physics that we can extract from the
talk of the self-observing universal machine, especially from the 3th
and 5th arithmetical hypostases. This includes an impossibility of
eliminating time, a non standard notion of truth, etc.
But such physics is really a first person construct of the lobian
machine, and to explain this you have to agree that elementary
arithmetical truth is just out of time, out of space, actually out of
physics, and indeed it is math.
So to be frank, I disagree strongly with many points of his Edge
Question 2009, even if I can agree with the type of physics he is
working about.

But more generally, any physics, theoretical or experimental, which
would contradict the physics extracted from the comp hyp, would be an
empirical refutation of the comp hyp. Now Everett physics confirms
most of the easiest physical things you can derive from MEC, and, well
Smolin's physics too. The apparent contradiction between Smolin and
Everett-Deutsch are more due to the attachment to physicalism and
Aristotelism than facts or even theory.

I am afraid that Smolin's 2009 reifies good ideas in Smolin's 2001,
sending him to inconsistency or (cosmo)solipsism. I need some amount
of "timeless truth" to even take my doubt on many other so-called
"timeless truth" seriously enough. Descartes saw this.

If you want make me believe that the primality of 17 is time and space
dependent, I will ask you to give me the function describing this
dependence, or give me an argument explaining why such a function has
to exist. And take care that your argument is not time and space
dependent itself.

I don't understand either (in the Edge 2009) is argument for ethics,
just after his argument for relativism.

You can search Smolin in the everything archive, for what I have
already said about his work here, and we can come back on this,
perhaps when everyone grasp the UDA proof, and a bit of the AUDA.

I just see Lennart Nilsson post: yes I think so too, although I guess
Smolin could perhaps give a more apt and nuanced answer, but
reintroducing an absolute moment contradict Einstein relativity (but
perhaps not Poincaré's very close relativity theory, sometimes
confused with Einstein one).


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Received on Fri Jan 02 2009 - 07:17:14 PST

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