Jesse writes

> >So again, is it enough to look at the natural laws of our universe in
> >order to decide whether the consciousnesses within it are real?  Or do we
> >need more?  Can we imagine a universe like ours, which follows exactly the
> >same natural laws, but where time doesn't really exist (in some sense),
> >where there is no actual causality?  I have trouble with this idea, but
> >I'd be interested to hear from those who think that such a distinction
> >exists.
> For me, it's not that I think it's meaningful to imagine a universe just
> like ours but without causality, rather it's that I think causality is
> probably important to deciding whether a particular system in our universe
> counts as a valid "instantiation" of some observer-moment, and thus
> contributes to the measure of that observer-moment (which in turn affects
> the likelihood that I will experience that observer-moment in the future).

But here you use the word "system". Isn't that by definition a
process (obeying, for example, in our universe the Schrödinger
equation)?   I wouldn't know, in other words, what kind of system
would *not* be a valid instantiation of an observer-moment if
it actually computed a sequence of states that emulated a person.

> I think if you run a simulation of an observer, and record the output and
> write it down in a book which you then make thousands of copies of, the
> static description in all the books most likely would not have any effect on
> the measure of that observer, since these descriptions lack the necessary
> "causal structure".

Yes, I'd agree. When you use the word "static" then I get the
picture.  A warehouse full of stacks of paper with symbols
written on it for example.  But it's not *doing* anything.

> I sort of vaguely imagine all of spacetime as an
> enormous graph showing the causal links between primitive events, with the
> number of instantiations basically being the number of spots you could find
> a particular sub-graph representing an observer-moment embedded in the
> entire graph; the graphs corresponding to the physical process that we label
> a "book" would not have the same structure as graphs corresponding to the
> physical process that we label as a simulation of a particular observer.

Here I am not sure that I am following you. Let's say somewhere in
spacetime we have a spot, as you say, where we could find a particular
sub-graph representing an observer moment. But a "book" COULD NOT
have the same kind of structure?  (If the answer is yes, then I'm
following you.


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