However, the crucial property of theories starting from the ensemble of worlds 
 in their third person viewpoint. The ontological basis does not explicitly 
refer to observers 
nor to observer moments. Observers are regarded as being self-aware 
of the worlds they inhabit.

??? ??  ??  ??  ??  ??  ? 
Youness Ayaita

All you have to do is focus on the empirical evidence of science 
itself as a cognitive act and in the application of science to the 
scientific description of brain material which then results in the 
scientific description of scientists thus enabled through the provision 
of the 1stP, which is 100% the source of scientific observation (an 
empirically verifiable fact). 
Colin Hales  

Greetings and thanks for this interesting discussion,

An untutored aphorism, perhaps, but "the map is not the territory" seems a 
satisfying, even elegant shorthand with some applicability here. Deciding not 
to have a theory inclusive of subjectivity seems equivalent to deciding on a 
map that is, in fact, not a theory of "everything" but perhaps a theory of 
everything except the observer holding the theory (experiential map). Can the 
ensemble of experiencing observers (1st person subjectivities) be equivalent to 
the ensemble of theories (maps) that in each unassembled instantiation fails to 
note the singularly observable fact in separate observers of subjective 
experience that is equivalent to each theory (experiential map)? 

Admitting for the moment the premise that the theory (experiential map) is a 
faithful representation or unifying mathematical expression taking in all 
empirical (external/3rd person) observables, will assembling them in a 
hypothetical or conceptual library or warehouse be equivalent to similarly 
gathering the experience (of the users/creators) that creates those theories 
(experiential maps)? 

Like placing two mirrors face to face, equivalence of image seems to multiply 
infinitely. And yet, with each reification of the image there is loss of 
fidelity, increasingly insufficient identity to even suggest an equivalence. 
And yet, it is the observer, off at some angle observing the mirrors, who is 
excluded from the faithful repetition of light images into a theoretical 
infinite regress.

I wonder if an inquiry into the equivalence of the observers (all 1st persons) 
might yield something necessary for the unified theory of observer and observed.

Ben Price


-----Original Message-----
From: Colin Hales <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 12:01 am
Subject: Re: An Equivalence Principle

I think I have an argument  in support of the 'equivalence' of 3rd and 
1st person descriptions of the natural world in the sense that you 
offer. It works by loking at the world predicted by the 1P=3P identity. 
I agree with your sentiments:

....The equivalence of the two approaches does not mean that they are 
I will say
that they have identical implications for our reasoning.

... but perhaps not via the route you use. You don't need QM-speak at 
all. All you have to do is focus on the empirical evidence of science 
itself as a cognitive act and in the application of science to the 
scientific description of brain material which then results in the 
scientific description of scientists thus enabled through the provision 
of the 1stP, which is 100% the source of scientific observation (an 
empirically verifiable fact). I always have trouble with these 
sentences! Read it a couple of times....
Step 1.
Let us start with a characterisation of what might be claimed as the 
received (programmed by training) view of the mainstream physicist as 
expressed by [1] Gari Lisi in 2007 "An exceptionally simple theory of 
everything". The very first paragraph of which is:

We exist in a universe described by mathematics. But which math? 
Although it is interesting
to consider that the universe may be the physical instantiation of all 
there is a classic principle for restricting the possibilities: The 
mathematics of the universe
should be beautiful. A successful description of nature should be a 
concise, elegant, unified
mathematical structure consistent with experience."

YES there is only describing going on - NOT explanation....OK... but  I 
disagree with "We exist in a universe described by mathematics" in the 
sense that NO, " We exist in a universe described by scientists" and 
does 'UNIFIED' imply 'COMPLETE'?....And where is this unseen computer 
running the TOE as a program?  sorry.......I's a minefield 
of preconceptions and assumptions. .....

but.....more important is at the 'meta-level' and involves how Lisi's 
claim represents the accepted view of what physics purports to be 
doing.... generating a 'theory of everything' which involves "A 
successful description of nature should be a concise, elegant, unifed 
mathematical structure consistent with experience." AFAICT in the 
criticisms of Lisi that followed his submission nobody disagreed with 
this particular statement in that concern was confined to the details of 
his model.  This fact is important in what follows.....Let us accept it 
as a claim merely as an accurate representation of the belief systems of 
physicists (regardless of its truth) about what they do or are trying, 
ultimately, to do.

Step 2.
Next let us examine the word "EVERYTHING". There are two senses of the 
use of this word which I express as two hypotheses in respect of the 
state of affairs implicit in such a 'theory of everything'. The first is 

2a) that such a theory shall explain absolutely everything. That is it 
shall be literally predictive of ALL aspects of the natural world in all 
its expressions.

and then there is this 'relative' definition:

2b) that such a theory merely represents what physicists describe as 
being 'everything' in the sense that what it does not explain is to 
remain methodologically (as a matter of procedure) unexplained or is 
(tacitly) methodologically *defined* as unexplainable in principle....

These are two very different states of affairs and the applicability of 
their status in in relation to any instance of a "theory of 
_everything_" seems to be overlooked somewhat.

Step 3.
Here is where we get empirical evidence. This is observed inside LISI's 
theory and evident in his words:
".........*consistent with* experience."
as compared with the possible phrase:
".........*predictive of* experience."

For there is something that is NOT predicted by the 'theory of 
everything': _experience itself_.

.........Lisi's theory does not predict the existence of or otherwise 
explain brain material behaviour relating to the scientist's internal 
life(= Lisi, himself). NOTE: I do not refer here any _particular_ 
(contents of) experience used as scientific evidence. I mean experience 
itself..._the very fact of it_.... the empirically verified  
specifically neurologically empirically demonstrable, localisable 
delivery of a first person perspective that results from matter 
configured as we see (experience) when we observe it with that same 
first person observation system: cranial central nervous system material.

NOTE: There is a serious logical flaw in the scientific evidence system 
in that to demand experience (Lisi's."...consistent with...") as 
scientific evidence and then to deny that the scientific evidence system 
(experience itself) has been evidenced (it is a methodological denial - 
otherwise how could it be a 'theory of _everything_'?) is like accepting 
the time from a demanded clock and then, time in hand, methodologically 
denying that a clock has been evidenced. ...moving on....

Step 4.
Here's the logical outcome:
FACT: Lisi claims to have a "theory of everything"
FACT: Lisi's theory fails to predict experience itself.

Therefore Lisi's theory is
4a) False because Hypothesis 2a) is false.
4b) True because Hypothesis 2b) is true.

4a) puts physicists in  the usual scientific position of a 'scientific 
refutation', except that it is in respect of principles underlying their 
own behaviour.
4b) puts physics is in a bizarre epistemological trap where they 
methodologically deny their own evidence source evidenced it its role as 
a valid originator of descriptions of it, predictive of its contents, 
whilst demanding it be used. In this case the physicist are perfectly 
right but because they methodologically constrain themselves to be so.

Physicists are in an awkward place, regardless...especially in the face 
of an empirically verified reality of very specialised deliverer of a 
first person perspective which is unexplained (by any existing physical 
laws, which merely describe) and at the same time upon which those same 
physicists are totally dependent on for all scientific 
observations...indeed Lisi's words actually demand that the first person 
perspective shall be involved!

And as if this weren't enough... there's an empirical neuroscience 
argument which dispenses with the 1stP=3rdP claim: It's the same 
neurological evidence used to flush the 'homunculus hypothesis':
Auxillary Step)
Claiming that the 1stP=3rdP is identical with the claim that the world 
is literally constructed of 'appearances'. Thus as a scientitist intent 
on empirically verifying the hypothesis based this "literally 
constructed of appearances"  premise:

"It is a truth of the natural world that the universe is literally made 
of what it appears to be made of, or the 'rules' that those appearances 

The prediction of this hypothesis is that when you open up a cranium you 
will _literally objectively (3P) see the appearances themselves_. That 
is, if a person is experiencing something green and moving then a 
scientific observation of something green and moving shall be visible 
somewhere inside the cranium... for 1stP = 3rdP... so it must apply to 
the 'appearances themselves'... to be consistent with the circumstances 
of all other scientific observation where that can be seen to be the case.

BUT:   The empirical outcome is in the negative....We do not literally 
see the experiences. What we actually see is brain material in the act 
of delivery of them.

This disparity between expected and actual evidence renders the 
hypothesis falsified.

You then have to go back to your premises. This means that 1stP DOES NOT 
= 3rdP. From this it follows that the 'descriptions' that are a 'theory 
of everything' (3P) and the complete set of descriptions _are not the 
identical set of descriptions_. I am not saying anything about the 
natural of the additional set of descdriptions. I say merely that they 
necessarily exist and that it is likely the only reason they do not is 
that 2b) is tacitly accepted 'rule of the game'.

Having any belief in the existence or otherwise of an external reality 
changes nothing. It is irrelevant.

You may not accept various aspects of this argument, but I think you may 
agree that it reveals inconsistent belief systems of physicists and 
raises meta-scientific questions insufficiently addressed by those whose 
scientific ambit is the most general - the physicist and in particular 
the cosmologist.

Colin Hales

[1] Lisi, G. (2007) An exceptionally simple theory of everything.

Youness Ayaita wrote:
> By this contribution to the Everything list I want to argue that there
> is a fundamental equivalence between the first person and the third
> person viewpoint: Under few assumptions I show that it doesn't matter
> for our reasoning whether we understand the Everything ensemble as the
> ensemble of all worlds (a third person viewpoint) or as the ensemble
> of all observer moments (a first person viewpoint). I think that this
> result is even more substantial than the assumptions from which it can
> be deduced. Thus, I further suggest to reverse my argument considering
> the last statement as a principle, the equivalence principle.
> Let me first present and explain the two viewpoints:
> 1. The ensemble of worlds
> This approach starts from the ontological basis of all worlds (or
> descriptions thereof). I am not precise to what exactly I refer by
> saying "worlds" and "descriptions" for I don't want to lose wider
> applicability of my arguments by restricting myself to specific
> theories of the Everything ensemble. But admittedly, I mainly think of
> theories similar to Russell's ideas. However, the crucial property of
> theories starting from the ensemble of worlds consists in their third
> person viewpoint. The ontological basis does not explicitly refer to
> observers nor to observer moments. Observers are regarded as being
> self-aware substructures of the worlds they inhabit.
> Coming from the sciences, this approach is very natural. In the
> sciences, we are used to the idea of a physical reality independent of
> us humans. We are studying phenomena happening in our universe. Thus,
> when we invent a theory of the Everything ensemble, we are naturally
> driven to the idea that not only our universe, but a multiverse
> consisting of all possible worlds exists. We already know how
> observers come into the scene: As an emergent property, a huge number
> of the fundamental building blocks can constitute an observer. In
> order to understand this, one has to introduce a semantic language
> which describes the emergent phenomenon. The description of the world
> itself is expressed in the syntactic language (I adopt Russell's
> nomenclature). The link between between these two languages is some
> kind of neurological theory explaining how the states of the
> fundamental building blocks (more precise: the description of the
> world) lead to mental states (or the emergence of an observer).
> Though, finding such a neurological theory is a very difficult task.
> In this world, we are facing the so-called hard problem of
> consciousness. And even if neurologists, psychologists and
> philosophers will finally succeed to find an adequate theory in this
> world, it is not clear whether we can apply the theory to other
> worlds.
> So, to conclude, this approach has the great advantage of being very
> close to the structure of the physical worlds. The explanation of
> observers and observer moments seems to be possible, but surely is
> very complicated and difficult.
> 2. The ensemble of observer moments
> When I first thought of the Everything ensemble, I did not come from
> the sciences, but from philosophy. I judged that the concept of
> absolute "existence" was a dubious extension of the concepts of
> subjective accessibility and perceptibility. So, it was natural for me
> to start from the ensemble of observer moments, a first person
> viewpoint. The class of all observer moments constitutes the
> ontological basis of this second approach. Later, I realized that the
> theory of the Everything ensemble could be used to draw conclusions
> about the physical world. But this seemed to be unfeasible starting
> from observer moments: the relatively simple laws of nature that we
> find in our universe are obscured by the complex properties of our
> senses. Starting from observer moments seemed to be a complication.
> Consequently, I switched viewpoints and studied the ensemble of
> worlds. I always hoped that both approaches would finally turn out to
> be equivalent.
> Even in principle, it is very difficult to think of "worlds" when
> starting from observer moments only. This task is similar to
> understanding observer moments when starting from the descriptions of
> worlds. Starting from worlds, we must identify the observer moments as
> substructres. Starting from observer moments, we must somehow extract
> information that allows us to meaningfully talk about a world. From
> the sciences, we know how difficult this is because there we try to
> find a description of our world given our observer moments. We see how
> complementary the two approaches are: The first approach needed some
> kind of neurological theory to explain the appearance of observer
> moments within a world, the second approach needs some kind of
> physical theory to explain the appearance of a world when first
> studying observer moments. The two approaches are another
> manifestation of the deep connection between laws of physics and
> properties of an observer.
> The assumptions
> My first assumption is related to our reasoning. The equivalence of
> the two approaches does not mean that they are identical. I will say
> that they have identical implications for our reasoning. To clarify
> this, I must first explain how we shall reason. Here, I take the ASSA
> (maybe we can check during the discussion whether or not my argument
> generalizes to other versions of the self-sampling assumption):
> 'Each observer moment should reason as if it were randomly selected
> from the class of all observer moments.'
> The second assumption is more subtle. Suppose we take the first
> approach, with all worlds as ontological basis. We explain observer
> moments with the help of some neurological theories. At first, it is
> not clear whether we can find every possible observer moment under
> these emergent observer moments. The assumption is that we can. Every
> possible observer moment is realized in at least one world.
> Perhaps, some of you remember that I wrote about this topic September
> last year. At that time, I came to the conclusions that the
> equivalence did not exist. But yesterday, I read Bostrom's paper that
> is currently analyzed on this list ("Quantity of experience: brain-
> duplication and degrees of consciousness") and I understood that
> September last year I took for granted what Bostrom calls
> "Duplication". His arguments in favor of Duplication didn't convince
> me, quite the opposite happened: I have adopted the other position,
> "Unification".
> The question Bostrom raises is the following: "Suppose two brains are
> in the same conscious state. Are there two minds [Duplication], two
> streams of conscious experience? Or only one [Unification]?"
> This may seem to be a matter of definition. But let us return to the
> ASSA: Which measure should be assigned to each observer moment? Given
> Unification it is natural to assign a uniform measure: no observer
> moment is more likely to be selected than any other. Given Duplication
> it is natural to assign a measure to each observer moment proportional
> to the number of its occurences in the Everything ensemble.
> I assume a uniform measure. Surely, we can soften this assumption.
> Nonetheless, it is decisive that the measure does not fundamentally
> depend on the worlds but can also be deduced when taking the class of
> observer moments as ontological basis. This is why I think that the
> RSSA does not do any worse than the ASSA.
> The equivalence principle
> 'Our reasoning does not depend on whether the ensemble of worlds or
> the ensemble of observer moments is considered fundamental.'
> I assumed that our reasoning should follow from the ASSA (or any other
> version of the SSA compatible with my argument). Due to Unification,
> we cannot detect any difference between the two different approaches:
> The measure for each observer moment is the same.
> The equivalence principle is a fundamental expression of what Russell
> so eloquently explained in his book: "Not only is our psyche emergent
> from the eletrical and chemical goings on in our brain, but the laws
> governing that chemico-electrical behaviour in turn depend on our
> psyche."
> I speculate that both approaches to the Everything ensemble, the
> ensemble of worlds and the ensemble of observer moments, are two
> different windows to the same theory.
> Youness Ayaita
> >


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