Hal Ruhl writes
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hal Ruhl [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Subject: Observer Moment?
> I do not understand what is meant by "Observer Moment" [OM].
> I went back and found the very first post that contains such
> a reference. It was by Nick Bostrom and is at:
> The language in this post indicates that various processes
> take place during an OM....
Thanks for the homework.
> Here we see processes such as discovery, preferring, and
> concluding taking place within a moment. This remains common
> in the language surrounding the idea of OM in the current
> threads. See for example Stephen Paul King 's composite post
> raising similar questions
> How can a process take place within a single moment?
Well, I don't have too much trouble with processes taking place
in a "moment". Sure, in 1/100th of a second, it's hard to say
that any process has had time to get very far.
But if one were a computer program, and you got to "run" for
a hundredth of a second, then get swapped out to disk, and then
later on run for another hundredth of a second, you'd never
know the difference. This line of thought was carried on in
Greg Egan's "Permutation City" to quite a degree.
Even for biological processes, it's *conceivable* that someday
devices could work so fast and with such incredible accuracy
that a person could be disassembled and at a later time be
reassembled with no break in consciousness at all.
And in these philosophic investigations, we are usually
exploring what is true in principle.
Where I join you (in failing to understand) is what happens as
the OM becomes of zero length. I did not say *the limit as
it becomes zero*, I said "zero". It's almost as though some
people take this as license to suppose that time is not a
necessary ingredient or even that time does not exist:
There have been many, many investigations of this idea. It may
not be an exaggeration to say that the main theme of this list
has been a pursuit of the idea. But Stephen Paul King gives a
very appropriate name to all the sponsors of these ideas, from
Bruno and Russell, all the way to Julian Barbour: the time-
The thread http://www.escribe.com/science/theory/m6673.html
started by Hal Finney in June had a few posts that touched
on this what-is-to-me basic issue, and when I've finished
with that thread I will follow up by posting replies to those
I am still at the point where I cannot quite imagine how a
huge nest of bit strings (say all the real numbers between
0 and 1) manages to (in stasis) emulate all possible
conscious experiences of all possible entities. But I
still have an open mind.