# Re: Request for a glossary of acronyms

From: Jesse Mazer <lasermazer.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 2004 17:28:47 -0500

George Levy wrote:
>
>You assume that you could get your hands on the absolute probability
>distribution. You must assume >when you observe a physical system is that
>you are an observer. The existence of (objective) absolute >reality is
>another assumption that may not be necessary. Assuming the existence of an
>absolute >probability distribution is like assuming the existence of an
>absolute frame of reference in space.

No, I don't assume I know the absolute probability distribution to begin
with. As I explained in earlier posts, I assume that there is some sort of
theory that would be able to tell me the conditional probabilities *if* I
already knew the absolute probability distribution, and likewise that this
theory could tell me the absolute probability distribution *if* I already
knew the all the conditional probabilities. But I don't know either one to
begin with--the idea is that the two mutually constrain each other in such a
way as to provide a unique solution to both, like solving a set of N
simultaneous equations with N variables.

Or:

1. Conditional probability of observer-moment A having observer-moment B as
its next experience = some function F of the form F(formal properties of A,
formal properties of B, P(B))

[by 'formal properties' I am suggesting something like the 'similarity'
between the two observer-moments which I talked about earlier, which is why
I think this would need to be based on a theory of consciousness]

2. Absolute probability of observer-moment B = P(B) = some function G of the
form G(the set of conditional probabilities between B and every other
observer-moment)

The idea is that the theory of consciousness could tell me the exact form of
the functions F and G, but the actual values of all the absolute
probabilities and conditional probabilities are unknown. But since each
function depends on the other in this way, it is conceivable they would
mutually constrain each other in such a way that you could solve for all the
absolute probabilities and conditional probabilities, although of course
this is just my own pet theory.

>The ASSA requires one additional assumption: the existence of an objective
>reality.

Yes, but in a way doesn't a belief in an "objective" truth about conditional
probabilities assume this too? A truly subjective approach would be one like
Wei Dai's, where observers can make any assumptions about probabilities that
they like.

>In my opinion the two approaches are not compatible, but may give very
>similar results when the >obervers are "close" together, where distance
>here is measured as the amount of overlap of life >contingencies.

What do you mean by not compatible? Can you think of a hypothetical example
where the RSSA and the ASSA would give two different predictions about what
I should expect to observe, even if the absolute and conditional
probabilities have the property I discussed in my previous post?

Jesse

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attached mail follows:

Hi Jesse,

Jesse Mazer wrote:
By the way, after writing my message the other day about the question of what it means for the RSSA and ASSA to be compatible or incompatible, I thought of another condition that should be met if you want to have both an absolute probability distribution on observer-moments and a conditional one from any one observer-moment to another. Suppose I pick an observer-moment B from the set of all observer-moments according to the following procedure:

1. First, randomly select an observer-moment A from the set of all observer-moments, using the absolute probability distribution.
You assume that you could get your hands on the absolute probability distribution. You must assume when you observe a physical system is that you are an observer. The existence of (objective) absolute reality is another assumption that may not be necessary. Assuming the existence of an absolute probability distribution is like assuming the existence of an absolute frame of reference in space.

2. Then, select a "next" observer-moment B to follow A from the set of all observer-moments, using the conditional probability distribution from A to all others.

What will be the probability of getting a particular observer-moment for your B if you use this procedure? I would say that in order for the RSSA and ASSA to be compatible, it should always be the *same* probability as that of getting that particular observer-moment if you just use the absolute probability distribution alone. If this wasn't true, if the two probability distributions differed, then I don't see how you could justify using one or the other in the ASSA
The ASSA requires one additional assumption: the existence of an objective reality. In my opinion the two approaches are not compatible, but may give very similar results when the obervers are "close" together, where distance here is measured as the amount of overlap of life contingencies.

George

Received on Wed Feb 04 2004 - 17:32:20 PST

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