At 02:15 AM 7/6/2005, you wrote:
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.
My current view of an evolving universe is a series of states that differ
from each other by at least a finite sized quanta. As the series
progresses two sub components within the universe can merge such as a
photon merging with an "eye". This would be "observation" in a manner
that spans a set of states. However, while any given state has "being"
nothing is changing within that state so things like motion, observation,
and thinking are not present within a state. The "moment" part of an
OM in my view must therefore also span that set of states.
The only thing that is still needed is for "being" to span that set of
states as well - and why not.
As near as I can tell [I am not a mathematician] the above requires that
states of universes have finite descriptors [finite bit strings]. The
cardinality of the number of descriptors can be c because each real
can contain an infinite number of finite descriptors.
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.
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:
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.
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