# Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

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Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Peter Jones writes:
>
> > > > The other issue matter is able to explain as a result of having no
> > > > properties of its own is the issue of change and time. For change to be
> > > > distinguishable from mere succession, it must be change in something.
> > > > It could be a contingent natural law that certain properties never
> > > > change. However, with a propertiless substrate, it becomes a logical
> > > > necessity that the substrate endures through change; since all changes
> > > > are changes in properties, a propertiless substrate cannot itself
> > > > change and must endure through change. In more detail here
> > >
> > > Why must "change... be change in something"? It sort of sounds reasonable
> > > but it is our duty to question every assumption and weed out the
> > > superfluous
> > > ones. If there is an object with (space, time, colour) coordinates (x1,
> > > t1, red)
> > > and another object (x1, t2, orange), then we say that the object has
> > > changed
> > > from red to orange.
> >
> > If we already know what distinguishes the time co-ordinate
> > from the space co-ordinate. What is our usual
> > way of doing that? The time co-ordinate is the one that is always
> > changing...
> >
> > Time and Possibility
> >
> > Imagine a universe in which there was no change, nothing actually
> > occurs. In the absence of events, it would be imposssible to
> > distinguish any point in timw from any other point. There would be no
> > meaning to time -- such a universe would be timeless.
> > Now imagine a universe which is completely chaotic. Things change so
> > completely from one moment to the next that there are no conistent
> > things. This universe is made up solely of events, which can be
> > labelled with 4 coordinates . [ x,y,z,t]. But which coordinate is the
> > time coordinate ? One could just as well say [ y,t,z,x]. In the absence
> > of persistent ojects there is nothing to single out time as a
> > 'direction' in a coordinate system. So again time is meaingless.
> >
> > In order to have a meaningful Time, you need a combination of sameness
> > (persisitent objects) and change (events). So time is posited on being
> > able to say:
> >
> > "Object A changed from state S1 at time T1 to state S2 at time T2."
>
> You're just stating that time is different from space. Time and space are also
> different from colour, or any other property an object may have. If we didn't
> have time there would be no change, if we didn't have height everything would
> be flat, and if we didn't have colour everything would be black.```
```
But it isn't an arbitrary difference.

> > > I don't see how a physical multiverse would be distinguishable from a
> > > virtual
> > > reality or a mathematical reality (assuming the latter is possible, for
> > > the sake
> > > of this part of the argument). The successive moments of your conscious
> > > experience do not need to be explicitly linked together to "flow" and
> > > they do
> > > not need to be explicitly separated, either in separate universes or in
> > > separate
> > > rooms, to be separate.
> >
> > I've never seen an HP universe. Yet they *must* exist in a mathematical
> > reality, because there are no random gaps in Platonia. Since all
> > mathematical
> > structures are exemplified, the structure corresponging to (me up till
> > 1 second ago)
> > + (purple dragons) must exist. If there is nothing
> > mathematical to keep out of HP universe, the fact that I have never
> > seen one is
> > evidence against a mathematical multiverse.
>
> That you don't experience HP universes is as much an argument against a
> physical
> multiverse as it is an argument against a mathematical multiverse.

Not "as much". It depends on how constrained they are.
Physical multiverses can be almost as constrained as single universes,
or almost as unconstrained as multiverses.

>  If a physical MV
> exists, then in some branch you will encounter purple dragons in the next
> second.

With a very low measure.

> The fact that you don't means that either there is no physical multiverse or
> there is
> a physical multiverse but the purple dragon experience is of low measure.
> Similarly in
> a mathematical multiverse the HP experiences may be of low measure.

Physical multiversalists can choose measure to match observation (that
is
basically how the SWE is arrived at). Mathematical multiversalists
cannot choose an arbitrary measure, because nothing is arbitrary or
contingnet
in Platonia. Measure has to emerge naturally and necessarily for them.

> > > If you died today and just by accident a possible next
> > > moment of consciousness was generated by a computer a trillion years in
> > > the
> > > future, then ipso facto you would find yourself a trillion years in the
> > > future.
> >
> > That's the whole problem. I could just as easily find myself in an HP
> > universe. But I never do.
>
> Not "just as easily". If you are destructively scanned and a moment from now
> 2 copies
> of you are created in Moscow and 1 copy created in Washington, you have a 2/3
> chance
> of finding yourself in Moscow and a 1/3 chance of finding yourself in
> Washington.

What's that got to do with Platonia? Platonia contains every
configuration of matter.
(Snd no time). Configurations where I'm in Moscow, configurations where
I'm in Washington,
configurations where I'm on the moon, configurations where I'm in
Narnia.
There is no unaccountable fact to the effect that there is 1 copy of me
in Moscow,
2 in Washington, and 0 on the moon. There are no random gaps in
Platonia.

(That's the "mathematical* mutiverse of course. A physical mutliverse
is an entirely different matter).

> It is a
> real problem to explain why the HP universes are less likely to be
> experienced than the
> orderly ones (see chapter 4.2 of Russell Standish' book for a summary of some
> of the
> debates on this issue), but it is not any more of a problem for a
> mathematical as opposed
> to a physical multiverse.

Not at all. P-multiversalists can and do choose measure to match
observation.

> > > But if you had the successive moments of your consciousness implemented
> > > in parallel, perhaps as a simulation on a powerful computer, it would be
> > > impossible
> > > to tell that this was the case. For all you are aware, there may not *be*
> > > any past
> > > moments: your present experience may include false memories of your past,
> > > and
> > > whole world may have been created a second ago.
> >
> > A simulation running on a computer is still a dynamic, temporal
> > process. The point is that the passage of
> > time tells me that I am not in Platonia.
> >
> >
> > Time Capsules: Getting Flow from Sequence.
> >
> > Proponents of the Block Universe view believe that there is only a
> > B-Series. Some think that alone is adequate to explain the subjective
> > Flow-of-Time. It is easy enough to see how there could be a sequence in
> > the B series. If we consider a series of 3 dimensional "snapshots" of
> > someone's brain, each subsequent snapshot iwll contain information
> > relating back to previous ones.
> > But is this chain or sequence enough to establish flow ? A B-series
> > without an A-series is like a spatial series. If you had a series of
> > clones arranged spatially so that clone 2 has all of clone 1's memories
> > (and more), clone 3 has all of clone 2's memories (and more) and so on,
> > you would not expect anything to be flowing from one clone to another.
> > The clones form a series of "time capsules", and a such they have a
> > natural sequence, but that is all.
> > Without an A series, there is nothing to justify the idea that only one
> > time capsule is conscious "at a time". Either they all are, or none
> > are. We know we are conscious, so we must reject the "none are" option.
> > The Block Universe therefore predicts that all time capsules are
> > conscious. This is in line with the way the Block Universe spatialises
> > Time. It predicts that consciousness is a single 4-dimensional entity.
> > I would not just be conscious now with memories of the past, I would
> > have a consciousness in the past overlaid on my present consciousness.
>
> Whether the Block Universe model is right or not, the series of clones you
> describe, set up as an experiment, would still give the experience of being
> continuously conscious through time.

The problem is not that there would be gaps, the problem
is that they would all be conscious simultaneously.

> I remember being conscious a second
> ago but how could I possibly know that I didn't just pop into existence
> complete with false memories half a second ago?

That isn't the problem. The problem is that if time is just like
space, as the BU theory states, you should have single consciousness
spread across time, not a temporal sequence of one-at-a-time
conscious states.

> All I know is what I am
> experiencing *now*.

Yes. That is the phenomenological fact that contradicts the BU.

> It is only because I have memories and a sense of being
> the same person over time that I consider it was "I" who woke up this morning
> and it will be "I" again who goes to bed tonight. I don't have a direct
> telepathic
> link to past or future selves, or copies in the next room, to ensure that
> they are
> "really me". All I have to go on are my present memories and beliefs, which
> could
> in theory be artificially implanted without changing anything about my stream
> of
> consciousness. Nothing is changed if we say that we live only transiently,
> and the
> feeling that we persist as individuals through time is an illusion.
>

> Stathis Papaioannou
> _________________________________________________________________
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