Dear Jesse and Lee,

   I must interject!

----- Original Message ----- From: "Jesse Mazer" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; <everything-list@eskimo.com>
Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2005 9:32 AM
Subject: RE: What We Can Know About the World


Lee Corbin wrote:
snip
[LC]
The disagreement I have with what you have written
is that I do *not* see observer-moments as the most
fundamental entities. It's just so much *clearer*
to me to see them arising only after 13.7 billion
years or so (locally) and that they obtain *only* as
a result of physical processes.
[JM]
Ok, but even if you don't agree with this speculation about observer-moments being the most fundamental entities, criticizing this speculation on the basis of it being anti-realist seems misguided. Also, as I said, my idea is that *all* possible causal patterns qualify as "observer-moments", not just complex ones like ours. And I don't disagree that complex observer-moments are generally the result of a long process of evolution in the physical universe, it's just that I think at a most fundamental level the "physical universe" would be reducible to an enormous pattern of causal relationships which can be broken down into the relationships between a lot of sub-patterns, each of which is an observer-moment. The idea that physics should ultimately be explainable in terms of nothing more than causal relationships between events, and that higher-order concepts like "particles" and "spacetime" would emerge from this level of explanation, is an idea that some approaches to quantum gravity seem to favor, like loop quantum gravity--it's at least not out of the question that a final "physical" ToE would be about nothing more than causal relationships between events. If so, it would just be a different "interpretation" of this theory to say that each sub-network in this universal causal network would be an observer-moment of some kind, and my "meta-physical" speculation would be that you could *start* by looking at all possible finite causal networks and finding a unique measure on them, and the appearance of the huge causal network we call the "physical universe" could be derived from the relationships between all the sub-patterns implied by this unique measure. Obviously I don't expect you to agree with this speculation, but I'm just pointing out that it isn't anti-realist, nor does it contradict your statement about our particular type of consciousness being the result of a long process of evolution.


[SPK]

It is my deep suspicion that this idea that there exists a "unique measure" on the equivalence class (?) of "all possible finite causal networks" is fallacious because it is equivalent to a observational P.o.V. that instantiates the *true* state of motion/rest of a system. For this measure to exist (in the a priori sense) then there must be an a priori instantiation and mutual comparison of all possible finite networks, a diffeomorphism matching. This is Barbour fallacy, the assumption that the results of a Process can obtain independent of the implementation of the Process. Unless one is going to make the leap of faith that it is possible for a computation to occur in zero time and necessitating zero resourse consuption - the ultimate "everything from nothing" violation of thermodynamics - this idea rapidly is seen to be absurd. When will you guys learn the lesson of Relativity: There is no prefered frame; there are only invariances.


[LC]
When in the laboratory we examine the concepts mice
have of the world, we can easily see their limitations.
What would we think of mice who attempted to found all
of reality on "mouse observer moments"?
[JM]
Since there is nothing specifically human about my idea of "observer-moments" this analogy doesn't really work.

[SPK]

Nice try, Jesse! If our idea of an Observer Moment is to be coherent at all, there must exist OMs for *any* possible entity, including that of Mice and Men.

Onward!

Stephen

PS, my critique is missing something but I don't have the time to correct it now. :_(

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