I hope you guys will forgive my irreverence, but in the last 
couple of hours for the first time I have managed to read this 
thread to here. Having done so, and in the spirit of this 
everything-list wherein it is assumed everything is not only 
possible but _will_ happen and indeed may already have happened 
in a universe near you [and of course is that possibility 
exists, then it definitely already always has happened], I get 
the feeling that comp could lead to madness. But then, of 
course, it already has hasn't it ... in another universe 
somewhere/when else ... of course ... :-)

The thing is Brent and Stathis have been going around and around 
this critical point of duration and continuity for some time 
now, without wanting to admit that *our experience of being 
aware of being here and now [respectively] is intrinsically 
paradoxical*. Well I have felt compelled to that viewpoint for 
more than a decade or so now, and I find from reading this 
discussion that comp does not solve this. OK, it may well be 
that Loebian machines, whether modest or not in other universes, 
or just modest but smarter than me - the latter not hard :-) can 
get on with the computation of their ontology and somehow 
transcend the apparent paradox. The paradox I have thus far 
asserted to be primary is the comparatively simple thought that 
we are constantly mistaken in taking our experience to be more 
or less _all of what is happening_ when it is really only our 
brain's construction of its model of self in the world, which is 
nothing to sniff at of course but then the processes for doing 
this have been scores of millions of years in the making.

Comp makes the whole thing much more Comp-licated! AFAICS under 
Comp, we are each and every one of us confined to an anthropic 
view which does not even have a consolation that we are 
participating in a genuine continuity. Pre-comp, one could 
assume that, no matter how deluded one might be, as long as 'I' 
am able to be coherent long enough to recognise that it doesn't 
make sense to say 'I don't exist' then the chances were very 
good that the world is going on independently of me and I have 
the chance of really contributing. In a pre-comp universe a wise 
person will recognise that, well, things are always what we 
believe them to be until we discover otherwise so we have no 
guarantee that our attempts to do the right thing are 
necessarily the best. However we have a right to believe that so 
long as we have tried to sort out the facts of our situation and 
purposed not to cause avoidable harm to others then we are being 
as ethical as we know how to be and this counts for something 
and at least we tried. But with comp, assuming there are no 
intrinsic barriers to the formation of worlds and experience 
wherein we can come to truly believe we and our world have a 
coherent history, we have no reason to assume that this current 
experience _and the whole noumenal world we believe to exist_ 
cannot just wink out of existence. By definition it seems, it 
must always be possible that everything we take to be an 
indication of duration 'out there' is a transient artefact of 
this slice of multiverse.

That is a pretty rugged conception to present to people as 
_necessarily_ possible. I therefore take comfort in the 
difficulties that people have in integrating Comp into a 
coherent explanation of the universe we perceive. I realise that 
much can be done with higher mathematics but just because people 
can create a formal language system in which algorithmic 
processes can be referred to with simple symbols, and sets of 
such symbols can be syntaxed together with indicators that mean, 
effectively, 'and so on so forth for ever and ever', this does 
not mean that the universe outside of peoples' heads can ever 
reflect this. I think it behoves contributors here to consider 
whether the universal dovetailer can ever be more real than Jack 
and his Beanstalk. Jack and his magic vegetable have been around 
for a couple of centuries now. The universal dovetailer may do 
likewise. We just need to keep in touch with the idea though 
that 'It Ain't Necessarily So!'.


Mark Peaty  CDES



Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> On 3/22/07, *Brent Meeker* <[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>> wrote:
>     No.  I'm talking about a sort of program/data division - which I
>     recognize is arbitrary in computer program - but I think may have an
>     analogue in brains.  When I write a simulation of a system of ODEs
>     the time evolution of the ODEs define the states.  But in the
>     simulation, what actually evolves them is passing them to another
>     program that takes them and the current state as data and
>     integrates; thus producing a sequence of states.  When you talk
>     about isolated OMs, what we are conscious of, I think of them as the
>     states.  They are what we write into memory; they form the
>     "narrative" of the simulation.  The integrator is like a simulation
>     at a lower level, perhaps at the level of neurons.  We're not aware
>     of it and in fact many different integration algorithms could be
>     used with little difference in the outcome (as in the comp idea of
>     replacing neurons with chips).  But the integrator, even conceived
>     as an abstract 'machine' in Platonia, is performing a function,
>     connecting
>     one state to the next.  I'm not denying that you can simulate all
>     this and that you can take a block universe view of the
>     simulation.  I'm just saying that the block can't be made of just
>     the conscious parts, the OMs, it needs to include the unconscious
>     parts that connect the conscious parts. 
> The integrator is just a device to generate the next state. Perhaps 
> without it there would be no continuity because there would be no 
> simulation, but if you had the DE's all solved beforehand you could 
> simply plot the states and have continuous motion, or whatever it is you 
> are simulating. In any case, what could it possibly mean for the 
> unconscious part binding my OMs together to be disrupted? Suppose that 
> this happened every minute on the minute: would I feel any different? If 
> I did feel different, that would mean my consciousness was affected, so 
> it would be the OMs that differed, not just the unconscious part; while 
> if I didn't feel any different by definition my continuity of 
> consciousness has been maintained and the unconscious disruption is 
> irrelevant.
> Stathis Papaioannou
> > 

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

Reply via email to