Re: Belief Statements

From: Stephen Paul King <>
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 19:03:24 -0500

Dear Jesse,

    Your description of Barbour's Time Capsules sounds about right. My
problem with his idea, and may others like it, is that they seem to require
some kind of ab initio preconstruction of the capsules, kernels, etc. and
also some pre-existing "harmony" that connects them together. Becoming and
derivative notions such as motion and the 1st person experience of a "flow
of time" are all explained in terms of some illusion. The first problem I
see with this is that no reason is given, other than some version of an
anthropic principle, for the a priori necessity of the Illusion.

    Why not start of with the idea that Becoming is fundamental and use
notions like Non-Well Founded "streams" to elaborate a hypothesis. The
"illusion" then is explained simply as the 1st person representation of the
computational aspect of the streams, ala Bruno Marchal's theory. To put it
in metaphorical terms, we could say that 1st person conscious experience is
how the Totality of Existence manifests/represents some finite aspect of
itself to Itself.


PS, this idea of mine is strongly influenced by the ideas discussed in Greg
Egan's book "Distress".

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jesse Mazer" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 6:38 PM
Subject: Re: Belief Statements

> Hal Ruhl wrote:
>>Hi Stephen:
>>I took a look at Julian Barbour's "time capsules" and his Nows may be like
>>my kernels but in my (2) the sequence of kernels is inconsistent with its
>>past due to the "=>>" dynamic as I have indicated.
> Barbour's idea is that there is no sequence to the time capsules at all,
> they all exist independently in a timeless manner. Some time capsules may
> contain records that appear more or less consistent with other time
> capsules, and the number of other capsules which have records consistent
> with a given capsule may have something to do with determining the
> probability of that time capsule, but there is no objective truth about
> the future or past of a given time capsule. Here's a good discussion of
> his theory, I don't know if you already read this one or not:
> He also wrote a book explaining his idea at greater length, called "The
> End of Time":
> Jesse
Received on Sun Jan 30 2005 - 19:06:35 PST

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