Re: Wake up guys, you're assuming the world

From: Russell Standish <R.Standish.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 100 21:11:52 +1100 (EST)

>
> Would you all stop being so anthropocentric? The idea you have of being a
> human is just that: an idea. Don't leap to the conclusion that there is a
> human, or a person, or a self. All you know is this idea. Anthropic
> reasoning is severely constrained because its practitioners invariably make
> a host of assumptions, including realism, and that what they see is real,
> and that the visible 'reality' is one of them as independent physical beings
> in a classical universe.
>
> Please go back a step, and understand that all thoughts exist in the
> plenitude; whether they are 'dog' thoughts or 'human thoughts' is
> interesting, but it does not set them in different classes in any way.
>

But it does. If all concious entities are included in the reference
class, then why, for Pete's sake are we even discussing the Anthropic
Principle (or for that matter - anything at all). It may well be there
is something missing in our admittedly half baked theories of
conciousness that sets us apart from other animals - I just can't
think what.
 
> Consciousness does not exists; time does not exist, as an objective feature
> of reality. But all thoughts do exist.

Conciousness and Time are like the opposite sides of a coin - neither
exists without the other. Each is a 1st person phenomenon. I suspect
this is what you believe when you make comments like non existence of
time or conciousness. If not, then we may as well be living on
different planets.

>
> Don't worry, I shan't bother saying this again.
>
> James
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Fred Chen [SMTP:flipsu5.domain.name.hidden]
> > Sent: Monday, January 10, 2000 8:17 AM
> > To: everything-list.domain.name.hidden
> > Subject: Re: The Game of Life
> >
> >
> >
> > Marchal wrote (in response to Russell Standish):
> >
> > > >This touches on a philosophical conundrum I have. Like Bruno, I too
> > > >attribute conciousness to some animals. eg a number of dogs I know
> > > >seem to be concious at an intuitive level. As the previous discussion
> > > >followed, conciousness appears to be reflexive in some manner, even if
> > > >indirectly.
> > > >
> > > >My problem is with the Anthropic principle. If conciousness is all
> > > >that is needed to "instantiate" an interesting universe, then why do
> > > >we even understand what the anthropic principle is? Presumably dogs do
> > > >not wonder why the universe has the form it does. Why do we?
> > > >
> > > >There has to be some good reason why the reference class must be
> > > >human-like, i.e. able to understand philosophical issues such as the
> > > >anthropic principle.
> > >
> > > There are no good reasons, I think, to take human-like reference
> > > class in 'scientific' (let us say) matter. And I do not.
> > >
> > > I appreciate the Anthropic Principle though. I am convinced of the
> > > benefit of weak Anthropic-like reasoning.
> > >
> > > Actually you touch my principal motivation for substituting the
> > > human observer by the machine observer.
> > >
> > > A lot of reasoning can be done with the more vague 'Self-Aware
> > > Substructure', (which does not need to be a machine) but as you know I
> > > give a special role to the SRC UTM. (SRC = Self Referentially
> > > Correct).
> > >
> > > Why animals does not wonder why the universe has the form it does?
> > > I think that animals are SRC in some sense (after all living animals
> > > did succeed the "evolution test"). But animals lack some degree
> > > of introspectiveness. Animals knows but does not know they know.
> > >
> > > When you simulate throwing a piece of wood in front of a dog, the
> > > dog can show some sense of astonishment though.
> > >
> > > But religions and fundamental sciences begin with astonishment
> > > in front of the banal, when you stop taking for granted the very
> > > nature of the apparantly obvious. This need higher introspective
> > > power, and higher communication means, for exemple to remember
> > > and talk about dreams.
> > >
> > > Look at Smullyan's description() of advancing stages of
> > > self-awareness page 89 (either in the hard or paperback edition).
> > >
> > > Human-like interrogations begin perhaps with the Smullyan's stage 4
> > > where the 'reasoner' is able to know that it knows.
> > > More on that modal stuff later ...
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > > Bruno
> > >
> > > () Raymond Smullyan : FOREVER UNDECIDED
> > > Hardback: 1987, Alfred A. KNOPF, New York.
> > > Paperback: 1988, Oxford University Press.
> >
> > Animals can display signs of self-awareness and consciousness. They do not
> > possess all the mental faculties that humans have that we may take for
> > granted. For example, as mentioned by Bruno, introspection and
> > inquisitiveness. But the hard evidence for being human lies in written and
> > symbolic language and the ability to generate permanent records using this
> > language. Most animals are physically incapable of writing, e.g.,
> > quadrupeds. A substitute for written language could be a very good memory
> > capacity for communication by sound (oral language). The limitation of
> > oral
> > language is that it is inherently one-dimensional, while written or
> > symbolic language is two-dimensional. Both written language and sufficient
> > memory capacity for oral language probably require highly evolved brains.
> > Written language also leads to the concept of laws.
> >
> > An appreciation of the Anthropic Principle by an SAS requires the SAS
> > possesses, in addition to introspection and inquisitiveness, a sense of
> > laws governing the world. This would entail that the SAS should have
> > something equivalent to written language ability. With these abilities, it
> > would be natural for the SAS to ask why the laws are the way they are,
> > etc.
> >
> > Fred
>
>



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit,
University of NSW Phone 9385 6967
Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 6965
Australia R.Standish.domain.name.hidden
Room 2075, Red Centre http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
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Received on Mon Jan 10 2000 - 02:07:57 PST

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