Patrick Leahy wrote: 
66~~~~~~~~~~
* White Rabbit: cognizable universes require a high degree of regularity for 
the survival of SAS (not to mention evolution), as above. Hence induction in 
any cognizable universe will work most of the time (which is all it does 
anyway), for a sufficient set of properties of the world. The key point is that 
this is not *every* property, and not all of the time. Hence there should be 
universes in which SAS can survive pretty well, but contain a wide variety of 
phenomena which cannot be unified into a simple theory.  An extreme case is the 
"rubbish" universe proposed against Lewis, in which the extra phenomena are 
completely undetectable. Lewis takes this as a serious objection and counters 
by arguing that it is not possible to say that such universes are "more 
likely".  As scientists, I guess we would only take seriously detectable 
rubbish. NB: whatever the measure you use, unless extremely artificial, the 
rubbish almost certainly would have much higher entropy than talking Whi!
 te Rabbits. Think of reality has having "snow", like a badly-tuned TV.
~~~~~~~~~~99

The induction-friendly universe with so much detectable rubbish that a wide 
variety of phenomena cannot be unified into a simple theory sounds like a 
universe where induction works but surmise, or inference to the simplest 
explanation, faces grave difficulties and too often fails. In other words, in 
difficult cases, efforts toward surmise -- i.e., "rambling speculations about 
half-formed ideas that probably won't pan out to anything" -- really will lead 
too often too far astray to be practicable, and cogent everyday surmises would 
be few and far between -- not everyday or quotidian at all. A greatly increased 
difficulty in the formation of explanatory hypotheses would, it seems, hamper 
not only science but SASs in general. Would intelligence and commonsense 
perception tend, on balance, to be useful in such a world? It sounds like a 
world which would allow vegetable-like systems (i.e., essentially mindless in 
the usual sense) but be severely punitive toward SASs inclined to t!
 ry to be shrewd or clever and to try, for instance, to infer particular 
entities or events or universal laws (as opposed to prolonged tendencies) as 
explanatory reasons, or to try to play architect instead of subsisting on the 
continuation of tendencies. It also sounds like the evolution or "natural 
architecting" of even merely vegetable-like systems would likely be under 
pressure to play it a lot safer than it does in our world, so that the systems 
thus evolved would tend to be not only vegetable-like but also a lot more 
"generic" than those which we see. I guess I'm trying to argue (unconfidently) 
or suggest, for what it's worth, that induction-friendly but much-detectable 
rubbish universes with SASs are induction-friendly but surmise-unfriendly 
universes with SASs, and that their measure would be rather small.

Best regards,
Ben Udell

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Patrick Leahy" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Russell Standish" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Cc: "Alastair Malcolm" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; "EverythingList" 
<everything-list@eskimo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: Induction vs Rubbish

On Wed, 25 May 2005, Russell Standish wrote:

> On Tue, May 24, 2005 at 10:10:19PM +0100, Patrick Leahy wrote:
>>
>> Lewis also distinguishes between inductive failure and rubbish universes as 
>> two different objections to his model. I notice that in your articles both 
>> you and Russell Standish more or less run these together.
>>
>
> I'm interested in this. Could you elaborate please? I haven't had the 
> advantage of reading Lewis.
>
> If what you mean by by the first is why rubbish universes are not selected 
> for, it is because properties of the selected universe follow a distribution 
> with well defined probability, the universal prior like measure. This is 
> dealt in section 2 of my paper.
>
> If you mean by failure of induction, why an observer (under TIME) continues 
> to experience non-rubbish, then that is the white rabbit problem I deal with 
> in section 3. It comes down to a "robustness" property of an observer, which 
> is hypothesised for evolutionary reasons (it is not, evolutionarily speaking, 
> a good idea to be confused by hunters wearing camouflage!)
>
> In that case, how am I conflating the two issues? If I'm barking up the wrong 
> tree, I'd like to know.

It's the second point where I think you conflate two problems.

My distinction is a little different from Lewis' anyway. From my pov, it's a 
matter of degree, but one which makes a qualitative difference:

* Failure of induction: the past fails to predict the future. This occurs in 
universes a la Hume where physical laws only appear to have been followed by 
some massive fluke. Also in universes which always had no, or very little, 
regularity. I claim that as soon as regularity breaks down to this extent, SAS 
cease to exist, so no matter how common these cases are, we never observe them. 
No problem. (Lewis' defence is different).

* White Rabbit: cognizable universes require a high degree of regularity for 
the survival of SAS (not to mention evolution), as above. Hence induction in 
any cognizable universe will work most of the time (which is all it does 
anyway), for a sufficient set of properties of the world. The key point is that 
this is not *every* property, and not all of the time. Hence there should be 
universes in which SAS can survive pretty well, but contain a wide variety of 
phenomena which cannot be unified into a simple theory.  An extreme case is the 
"rubbish" universe proposed against Lewis, in which the extra phenomena are 
completely undetectable. Lewis takes this as a serious objection and counters 
by arguing that it is not possible to say that such universes are "more 
likely".  As scientists, I guess we would only take seriously detectable 
rubbish. NB: whatever the measure you use, unless extremely artificial, the 
rubbish almost certainly would have much higher entropy than talking Whi!
 te Rabbits. Think of reality has having "snow", like a badly-tuned TV.

Of course on objective state-reduction models of QM, our universe does have 
"snow" in the form of random quantum jumps. But this is a very regular form of 
snow, which does "unify" into the basic physical laws. The argument is that for 
some plausible measures (not yours, obviously), even macro-scale snow is much 
more likely than not.

Paddy Leahy


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