Lee Corbin wrote: > Stathis wrote, Friday, June 30, 2006 12:24 AM > > >>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. > > > Okay, suppose that there are no observers, and the Earth > has been burnt to a cinder except for one copy of Milton's > "Paradise Lost", and one copy of the Oxford English dictionary. > It seems to me that we should say that just two books still > exist. Do you agree? > > (Sorry for asking what you have said many times one > way or the other; I'm not clear as to who has said > what.) > > Supposing that you do agree that these two book in our > spacetime still exist, then as you have said, all the > words in "Paradise Lost" can be found in the Oxford > dictionary. > > Next we begin the slippery slope argument where Paradise Lost > is broken apart into its separate pages and scattered > throughout the cosmos. I agree with you that in one sense > Milton's book no longer exists, but it still does exist in > the sense that there is enough redundancy to piece it back > together again were a new sentient life form to come into > being, and to find those pages, and to bind them. > > What I disagree with is your statement that the mind of the > observer really played any key role.
I find that implausible. You're assuming that the pages could be put back in order without recognizing any meaning of the words. Do you think you could put the pages of a book written in Chinese in order? - I couldn't. I think you are implicitly assuming that rules of syntax and grammar are in the text itself. For a long book, it might be possible to infer those rules with some confidence - but not with certainty. As this analogizes OMs, my conception of OMs is that they would correspond roughly to sentences, not pages; so reconstruction is even less likely. Brent Meeker "A solopist is like the man who gave up turning around because whatever he saw was always in front of him." --- Ernst Mach --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---