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" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
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":


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