> George and List:
> a very naive question (even more than my other posts) since I miss lots
> posts that have been exuded on this list (since a decade or so of my
incompletely reading it):
> Has it been ever formulated (and accepted on this list!) what we mean by
the verb "to observe"? What does an 'observer' do in its (not his!!!)
'observer minute'? WHAT (and not 'who') is an observer?

Many hours spent on this one.

My definition sounds odd but only because I have to literally 'build'
observation that I have had to sort it out. As an engineer I know that
building an X is a sure route to an intimate understanding of X....so...My
design goal: construction of an artificial scientist (artificial general
intelligence - AGI). Thus logically I must build an observer. So.. the
design aim of the project has observation as follows...(off the top of my

Observation involves (necessitates) the AGI having experiences, some of
which are an experiential representation of the external world. The
process of generation of the experiential field(s) involves the insertion
of the AGI in the chain of causality from that which is observed 'out
there' through the external world to the sensing surface, impact (causal
interaction) measured by sensing, transport (causality again) of the
measurement through the AGI to the brain where the measurement
participates in the causality that is the creation of the experiential
field. It is by virtue of the existence/reality of the _entire_ causal
chain that the experiential field can be created and be called observation
of the external world. (Clearly experiential fields can also be created as
hallucinations/dreams, without the full causality chain - but that is not
the 'observation' we are talking about). In making use of the complete
causal chain the oberver has access (inherits some of the properties of)
to that which is observed. This is not 'creating reality' in the
Berkeleyian sense. This is participation in it. This is construction of a
representation of it from within the reality.

This process I have described is observation and all of observation -
nothin else counts as observation. No separable part of what I have
described is observation including any subset of the entire causal chain
(just for you QM wave collapse buffs). Take anything out of the above and
observation is no longer happening. Connection of the observer with that
external reality is gone along with all access to a-posteriori knowledge
of it.... in the sense that with the faculty for observation as literally
the only possessed a-priori 'knowledge', all other knowledge (a-posteriori
 aboutness) in respect of external reality flows.

The best observers of all time IMHO?

1) James Joyce.
2) Douglas Adams.
3) Heraclitus

Note they are not scientists.... they were much more fun! Maybe my AGI
artificial scientist will run aweay and become a writer. I can be weird in
so many different areas! It's a gift! polyweirdness :-)

Colin Hales

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