Re: on formally describable universes and measures

From: Stephen Paul King <>
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2001 16:31:42 -0500

Dear George,


George Levy wrote:

> Stephen Paul King wrote:

> [SPK]
> > Umm, let me break this down into chucks and try to see if we
are understanding
> > each other. My notion of a "previous time" was couched within a
notion that is similar
> > to J. A. Wheeler's notion of a "Surprise 20 Questions Game" and I
did not state so
> > explicitly. I am playing with the idea that time is a "first person"
attribute and thus
> > is not to be considered as "objective" nor absolute (as in the
Newtonian sense). I think
> > that our ideas are similar but we may have semantic differences
here. ;-)
> [GL]
> OK but I am not familiar with Wheeler's game.


    This is a good on-line elaboration of Wheeler's idea:

    My thinking generalizes to were we have to consider many
concurrently existing games, e.g.,
each observer would be a Questioner and it's Universe would be the
Answerer, or something along
that line. The game semantics and logics used would fall under the
computational concurrency

> > > [GL]
> >
> > > In addition, the conscious points are multiply connected and the
> > > connections are a function of the points themselves. In other
words each point could
> > > have several priors and several successors.
> >
> > [SPK]
> >
> > I would agree, but I would argue that we could cause some
confusion if we are not
> > careful. We have to distinguish the a priori possible (or probable)
experiences from
> > the a posteriori experiences themselves.
> [GL]
> I don't think I follow you. There is no such a thing as "probable."
All connections are
> actualized albeit in different degrees according to their RELATIVE
measures. We now get into
> the discussion of measure which has been endlessly debated before.
Suffice to say that I
> think that while measure can be relatively different between two
transitions, there is NO
> WAY to establish an ABSOLUTE value for measure because of the infinity
of the plenitude.


    The results of observations are "probable" prior to the actual
instatiation of a particular
observation. I am merely retaining as much of the structure of QM as
possible since "it works".
;-) I agree that there is no absolute value for the same reason that
there is no unique inner
product for the linear vector space of the states that represents the
complete and mutually
exclusive set of observations or occurrences prior to a particular
instatiation. (See Lee
Smolin's paper: Space and Time in the Quantum Universe for a good
discussion of this.) Perhaps
what you refer to as relative measure is similar to my idea. I am
considering the idea that each
observer (consciousness point) has its own set of a priori probable
observations, it is when we
introduce the possibility of communication between observers that these
sets alter...

> [GL]
> (i.e., Loosely speaking, if each transition has infinite measure, the
only way to compare
> two transitions is to take the limit of their ratios.) Hence,
relatively to the observer,
> his own measure can always be assumed to be one. This remains true as
long as the number of,
> or magnitude of the adversities in his environment remains of a lower
cardinality than his
> own measure. When the adversities are too severe then his
consciousness stops from
> propagating (being linked) to those very adverse states. It's kind of
a Cosmological
> Principle.


    That is interesting! Do you have more information on that?

> [SPK]
> > I am exploring the idea that communication
> > between observers plays an important role in restricting and/or
distinguishing the two.
> > I hope that you understand this difference between a priori and a
posteriori that I am
> > writing about. ;-)
> [GL]
> I don't understand. In the constext of Markov chain, all the
information is contained in the
> current states.


    Right, but consider how it is that "current states" are concatenated
(strung together),
especially when you have to consider concurrency issues.

> > > [GL]
> >
> > > The structure is "web-like."
> >
> > [SPK]
> >
> > Yes, I agree. I have been exploring this idea with several
people for some time
> > using the notions of Leibniz and Spinoza. Let me recap. Are you
saying that conscious
> > points (I can them them "monads" ala Leibniz) has a "web-like
> >
> [GL]
> Kind of. They are connected by a web-like set of allowed logical


    I agree. But could you get into detail on the nature of "allowed"?
What is the constraint?
(I think that all that is needed is the weak anthropic principle but I
could be missing
something.) I think that we should consider the rule "All is allowed
that is not Forbidden" (by
logical contradiction) instead of the usual notion " All is forbidden
that is not allowed" (by
prespecification, e.g. a priori algorithms) Peter Wegner has done a lot
of research on this

> > > [GL]
> >
> > > (The universe does not just splits with each Quantum event, it can
also merge)
> >
> > [SPK]
> >
> > Umm, here I have a problem! You say that the universe splits and
> [GL]
> Sorry! In an effort to communicate, I was employing terms used in the
popular literature
> about the MWI. I should NOT have said that the universe "splits." It's
not the universe that
> splits and merge. It's our conscious flow through the interconnections
between the OM or
> conscious points. Schoedinger equation really describes the spread of
our consciousness
> through the web.


    Ok, when we agree.

> [GL]
> > I think it
> > best to view each points as a set of states independent of past
information (i.e.,
> > first order Markov chain). To make sense, a transition needs only
satisfy the
> > current states. The "past" states are irrelevant or ambiguous.
> [SPK]
> > We could think of the splitting and merging as local topological
properties of a
> > multiply connected manifold and I think that such a thought would be
in line with the
> > idea of first order Markov chains, but I am not sure now you are
thinking about how the
> > points are related (via transitions). It is obvious that "past
states" refer to
> > information that is encoded within the current state and that is
what I meant by my
> > statement. I think that we agree that the "past" is not something
that is "out there"
> > outside of the experience of the present moment. ;-)
> >
> [GL]
> I agree with this.
> >
> > [SPK]
> >
> > I am interested in your thoughts of Pratt et al's ideas. ;-)
> >
> Sorry. Pardon my ignorance. I don't know who Pratt is. Would he be by
any chance one of the
> two guys who make airplane engines. ;-)


    No, it is Vaughan Pratt and the Stanford Concurrency Group:

> > >[SPK]
> >
> > Ok, would we agree that the anthropic principle (weak?) is true
in the sense that
> > any observer will have first person perspectives (experiences) that
have a probability
> > of 1 if and only if such are consistent with its existence. Also, if
you are going to
> > say that consciousness is a static phenomenon then could you explain
how the appearance
> > of change comes about?
> [GL]
> In the same way a derivative describes movement while being itself
static.The logical links
> would have to contain directionality information.


    Sure, I agree in principle with that but it is easy to see that
something somehow IS
changing. A purely static model of the Universe only need apply to the
Totality of existence
itself, there are several theorems and demonstrations that show that one
can recover motion and
change from a static and timeless totality. For instance see:

> [SPK]
> > Have you by chance read Julian Barbour's book The End of Time?
> [GL]
> Sorry, I didn't have a chance.


    It is worth your time! I don't agree with Barbour's conclusions but
I still recommend it.
;-) It is almost as good as Penrose's The Emperor's New Mind...

> George

Kindest regards,

Received on Tue Mar 06 2001 - 14:00:20 PST

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