Saibal Mitra wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 09:23 AM
> Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity
> Brent Meeker writes:
>>>I think it is one of the most profound things about consciousness > >
> that observer moments don't *need* anything to connect them other than > >
> their content. They are linked like the novels in a series, not like the > >
> carriages of a train. It is not necessary that the individual novels be > >
> lined up specially on a shelf: as long as they have each been written > >
> and exist somewhere in the world, the series exists. > > But the series
> exists, as a series, by virtue of the information in them.  They are like
> Barbour's > time-capsules; each contains enough references and characters
> from the others to allow them to be > put into order.  It's not clear to me
> what duration "obserever moments" have - but I don't think > they are novel
> length.  I imagine them more like sentences (a complete thought as my
> English teacher > used to say), and sentences *don't* have enough
> information to allow them to be reconstructed into > the novel they came
> from.
> A book is the analogy that came to mind, but there is an important
> difference between this and conscious experience. Books, sentences, words
> may not need to be physically collected together to make a coherent larger
> structure, but they do need to be somehow sorted in the mind of an observer;
> otherwise, we could say that a dictionary contains every book ever written
> or yet to be written. Moments of consciousness, on the other hand, by their
> nature contain their own observer.
>>That's why I suggest that OMs are not an adequate ontological basis for a
> world model.  On the other > hand, if we include brain processes, or more
> abstractly, subconscious thoughts, then we would have > enough information
> to string them together.
> I know some people on this list have attempted world-building with OMs, but
> my starting point is the less ambitious idea that consciousness can in
> principle extend across time and space without being specially linked. If a
> person's stream of consciousness were chopped up into seconds, minutes, days
> or whatever, using whatever vehicle it takes to run a human mind, and these
> moments of consciousness randomly dispersed throughout the multiverse, they
> would all connect up by virtue of their information content. Do you disagree
> that it would in principle be possible?
> You can take time evolution as an example. In both classical physics and
> quantum mechanics, information is preserved. All the information about us
> was already present in the early universe....

That is not a consensus theory.  The Copenhagen and other intepretations in 
which the wave-function 
collapses provide for growing information.  Even many of those who assume a 
strictly unitary 
evolution, suppose that the net information is zero or very small: the 
information we see is 
cancelled by negative information embodied in correlations with particles that 
inflation has pushed 
beyond our horizon.

Brent Meeker

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at

Reply via email to