Re: History-less observer moments

From: Alastair Malcolm <>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 14:23:43 +0100

----- Original Message -----
From: Higgo James <>
> The answer is simply the anthropic principle - which should strictly be
> applied to thoughts, not to people. The question, 'why is it that I am
> having this exact thought?' exists. You should not be surprised that your
> thought is that question.

Many, perhaps all, human thinking experiences are 'compound', that is,
logically decomposable; for example, you have the sense of being James, in
London, in May as you are (having the thought of) looking at this vdu and
reading this message. Now, of all possible thoughts, some will have the
background self-sense of 'James in London in May'. But of those, the vast
majority will not have a corresponding visual thought compatible with that
background (some will have a corresponding visual image of a lunar
landscape, or of hell, or of nothing coherent at all, rather than of a vdu).
Sure you will say 'but there *will* be a James/London/May-seeing-a-vdu
thought, and this is it', but the point is that there is no *reason* for a
J/L/M background in general to find itself associated with a vdu thought.
And the same goes for other logical decompositions of that
thought experience as well: if there are only isolated thought experiences,
then why should the sense of touch of the mouse cohere with the (thought of
the) image of the vdu, why should the memory of yesterday cohere with that
of today etc.

The above is not intended as a definitive refutation of your ideas, but
taken together with other problems, gives me great difficulty in assigning
any credance to them. These other problems largely depend on whether your
'everything' scheme includes or excludes an 'ordinary physics' universe,
though an explanation for how thoughts can occur in the absence of physics
seems to be missing in any event.

Received on Fri May 19 2000 - 06:58:09 PDT

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