Hal Finney wrote:
George Levy writes:<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head>Oh, sorry, I'm supposed to ignore that, aren't I? I guess you had some neat graphics in your message ....Discreteness may be important in our world for the development of consciousness, but it is certainly not necessary across worlds. I believe therefore that the differences between the simulations is infinitesimal - not discrete - and therefore that the number of simulations is infinite like the continuum.The last part doesn't follow. It could be that the number of simulations is infinite like the rational numbers, which would still allow for the differences between simulations to be infinitesimal. In that case the number of simulations is countably infinite rather than uncountable. Personally I am uncomfortable with the infinity of the continuum, it seems to be a much more troublesome concept than is generally recognized. I would not want to invoke it unless absolutely necessary. I think the rest of your argument works just as well with a countable infinity as an uncountable one.
I only invoked the uncountable infinite because I think there is NO ANTHROPIC REASON for using the countable infinite. Again, it's the same philosophical argument that justifies the plenitude: if an existing instance is arbitrary (not justified), then all instances are necessary.
This principle applied here goes as follows: If there was an anthropic reason requiring discretness between worlds, then those other worlds would have to be causally linked with ours. This would then be one arbitrary instance of a cluster of linked worlds, which we would imply that many other clusters would also exist. Hence we are led to the uncountable infinite.
We're faced with the strange possibility that the consciousness spans an infinite number of simulations distributed over widely different levels. Each individual simulation implementation becomes infinitesimal and unimportant in comparison with the the whole infinite set of implementations that the consciousness covers. A particular simulation that stops operating (for example because the plug is pulled) will hardly affect or be missed by the consciousness as a whole. In fact I rather think of the "simulations" as static states in the plenitude, and consciousness as a locus in the plenitude linking these states in a causally and logically significant manner. We live in the plenitude, not in any particular simulation. Each point in the conscious locus perceives the world that gives it meaning.
Richard Miller wrote
Of all the attempts to link consciousness with physics, this paradigm makes the most sense to me. Additionally, it offers the only model of consciousness that can be described mathematically (well, topologically)---and it even makes sense if you happen to be a neodissociationist psychologist. I'd like to know if George can supply some references for this model or if he came up with it on his own.
I came up with this model myself some time ago as I tried to write a book which has been sitting on my shelf for years, but I think others in this list share this same point of view or may have invented this model independently. We have been talking about this topic for years.
Neodissociationist psychologist... phieww, I had trouble typing this one. A really scary term :-)