I'm not sure what you are saying here. Are you invoking something like Zeno's Paradox, which purports to show that motion is impossible? If you believe in observers and in moments (even if they are the "block universe" kind of moments), then you believe in observer moments. The main utility of the idea, as I see it, is to eliminate ambiguity when the issue of personal identity arises. If two or more related observers are separated in time, space, parallel universes, substrate of implementation or any combination of these, are they the same person or are they different people? It seems that there are as many different answers to this question as there are posters on this list, but at least if we specify our answers in terms of the smallest possible unit of observerhood - the OM - we are able to communicate with a minimum of ambiguity.

Adopting the term OM does not necessarily commit you to a particular philosophical view, and it certainly doesn't mean that our brains generate neat little self-contained parcels of conscious experience. Where and when one OM starts and ends need not be specified, and probably can't be reliably specified. I would say, very loosely, that if I become aware of any subjective change in any parameter, then that is a new OM. I would guess this would take between 0.1 and 0.5 seconds.

--Stathis Papaioannou

Hal Ruhl writes:

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.

Quoting a small part of the post:

Then, finding
that your present observer-moment is at time 0 gives you reason
(because of Bayes' theorem) to prefer a hypothesis according to which
a larger fraction of all observer-moments are at time 0 to a
hypothesis according to which a smaller fraction of all
observer-moments are at that time. In the present example, that means
that finding yourself at t=0, you should conclude that the chance
that both coins will land heads is less than 1/4. This also means
that the chance of the first coin landing heads is less than 1/2.

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 at:


Where various authors use processes within an OM such as reference to a memory and thinking.

All this is confusing. How can a process take place within a single moment?

In my view [compressed] is that all possible states of universes preexist [perhaps compressed as interpretable numbers]. The system imbedding these states has a dynamic arising out of the incompleteness of some of its components which randomly provides these states with an instantation of "reality" [being] of indeterminate dimensions. This will give rise to very long strings of states given such being such that the succession of states within the string can be compressed into a few simple rules [such as this string?]. There is no "observation" in this dynamic, but rather just a "flow" [not necessarily steady] of being.

Hal Ruhl

Single? Start dating at Lavalife. Try our 7 day FREE trial! http://lavalife9.ninemsn.com.au/clickthru/clickthru.act?context=an99&locale=en_AU&a=19179

Reply via email to