Re: on formally describable universes and measures

From: George Levy <>
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 12:24:18 -0800

Brent Meeker wrote:

> On 03-Mar-01, George Levy wrote:
> ...
> > Here is a thought experiment to illustrate this point. Let us say that
> > a ***very reliable*** machine is designed to instantly kill several
> > scientists unless the natural laws are modified to a different
> > configuration than the one we currently have, but still capable of
> > sustaining life. The wave function of these scientist will then be
> > restricted to a set of worlds in which laws of physics are different.
> > These scientists will have absolutely no awareness of having their
> > wave function restricted. They could even find other scientists so
> > restricted, and together they could develop an "objective" third
> > person science customized to their world, and share what they believe
> > to be "objective" information. Their science will be different from
> > ours, but from their common points of view, it would be objective.
> I know that you take the MWI as fact (which I don't) but even so you
> seem to stretch it beyond recognition. Wouldn't these scientist exist
> in universes that had been separate since their beginnings - since they
> embodied different physics. In which case why would you suppose that
> killing scientist in one of them corresponds to collapsing the wave
> function of scientists who were living in *both* universes?
> Brent Meeker

I do not view these so called "parallel" universes as *separate*. It's
really one single multiverse and the wave function exists in the
multiverse.... in a static web-like form so to speak. The wave function is
really the locus of points having consciousness status, that is the points
are linked together by the logically possible transitions. Each logic (there
are several) define each consciousness and the physical laws of the world
which supports it. Using the machine just restricts the transitions on the
web. Since the web has the cardinality at least of the continuum (anything
smaller would be arbitrary and therefore illogical), any finite trimming
would not reduce its size.

Let me add to the thought experiment that one possible way to make such a
machine would be to build it in a virtual reality ( in a very powerful
computer) embodying these different physical laws. The scientists mental
states could either be actively transferred to this reality, at the logical
point (I do not want to say moment) when they die. As another option, the
virtual reality could be run for a very long time with random inputs until
the mental states of the scientists happens. Substrate, implementations and
delays are irrelevent to the perception of consciousness continuation that
the scientists experience. Another option still, is to build a conditional
killing machine but not to build a virtual reality. The plenitude is big
enough to guarantee that somewhere, sometimes within it, the required
conditions for the scientists continuation does happen.

Received on Sat Mar 03 2001 - 12:35:35 PST

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