On Thu, Mar 30, 2006 at 08:26:52AM -0800, 1Z wrote:
> Russell Standish wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 28, 2006 at 04:37:06PM -0800, 1Z wrote:
> > >
> > > I mean that you do not fulfil the promise of the first sentence:
> > > "that a description logically capable of observing itself is
> > >  enough to bootstrap ITSELF  into existence."
> > >
> > ...
> >
> > >
> > > > Therefore a Plenitude
> > > > of compilers will surely bootstrap gcc - or more fully gcc is
> > > > bootstrapped on all of them.
> > >
> > > If a Plenitude exists, nothing needs to be bootstrapped. But that
> > > is in any case assuming what needs to be proved.
> >
> > I do so assume. It is one of the main working hypotheses of my
> > book. The reason for considering bootstrapping is to see why observers
> > must be their own interpreter - as otherwise there must be another
> > interpreter running in the background which breaks ontological
> > closure.
> If a plenitude already exists, what does bootstrapping add ?
> If you feel that an observer needs to be a running process, not just a
> static programme (on the hard disk, as it were) then they need to

It is needed to demonstrate how meaning gets attached to
descriptions. The actual running of things is a bit of a furphy, as
you point out. The appearance of time is assumed to necessarily emerge
from the meaning.

> be interpreted..by another running process. There are no obvious
> examples
> of processes doing bootstrapping themselves, without having something
> that is already dynamic or running, so I suppose that would be another
> posit.
> > Its a subtle point - in ontology, there can only be 3 possible types
> > of causality:
> >
> > 1) Terminal cause. The chain of causality is broken at a first cause
> >    (eg God), although a final cause will also do. The only difference
> >    between first and final cause relates to temporal priority, rather
> >    than logical priority
> >
> > 2) Infinite regress: There is no first cause - the chain a because b
> >    because c has no end
> >
> > 3) Causal loop: A because B because A
> >
> > Obviously option 1) is very popular. The notion of "stuffy matter" as
> > Bruno calls it, fits into this category. However I find it
> > unsatisfactory from an Occam's razor point of view.
> Occam's razor is about the simplest explanation that fits the facts,
> not the simplest
> explanation simpliciter. If materialism is the simplest explanation for
> why HP universes are not observed, then it is demanded by O's R, not
> excluded by it.

Then you must explain why the argument put forward in my paper "Why
Occams Razor" (available from my website mentioned below) for why we don't
observe White Rabbit universes (aka HP universes) fails. Nobody to
date has done this, although many people are naturally sceptical.

Also, you will need to explain why Juergen Schmidhuber's argument put
forward in "Algorithmic Theories of Everything", available from his
website for why the White Rabbit universes aren't seen fails. It is a
different argument, not one that I particularly agree with, but
nevertheless one that I cannot rule out on purely logical grounds.

These are two arguments put forward that demonstrate the White Rabbit
problem is not fatal for Plenitude like theories (it does constrain
them in various ways though). There may well be others.

> > I'm promoting option 3), which is ontologically closed with nothing
> > further to explain. The gcc story is, obviously, in the form of a
> > metaphor to explain the full situation.
> Is ontological closure desirable per se, or just the outcome of a
> certain
> way of looking at causality?

It is desirable - otherwise the "zero information" advantage of the
Plenitude is lost. 

> > I'm not sure option 2) has much going for it, but I will certainly
> > listen to someone try to defend it. It is usually derided as "turtles
> > all the way down".
> I'd like to put up a case for 1. while we don't have evidence of
> self-bootstrapping processes
> or infinite regresses, we apparently do have evidence of uncaused
> causes (QM). 

The contingent nature of quantum uncertainty is not uncaused. The
causal explanation basically involves broken symmetry.

> So (1) is the
> only option that has internal evidence, ie that doesn't require ad-hoc
> hypotheses.

Other than it is an ad-hoc hypothesis.

> That being the case,the mere fact that I *might* be being fooled
> by a simulation right now, doesn't mean I am being fooled. O's R of
> course indicates I should presume I am not in a simulation since it is
> more
> complex explanation for the same set of facts.

Plenitude-like explanations are always simpler than unexplained
contingent reality. That they lead to a case of us being unable to
determine if we are in a simulation does not negate that fact. You are
being misled by too many "brain in the vat" scenarios. A good paper to
read is Bostrom's "Are you living in a simulation", and scale that up
to a Plenitude.

A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics                                    0425 253119 (")
UNSW SYDNEY 2052                         [EMAIL PROTECTED]             
Australia                                http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
            International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02

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