On Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 01:20:21PM -0700, Tom Caylor wrote:
> Except that the evidence seems to support that our past is also
> recorded in a reality "out there" that seems independent of our
> brains.  For example when we are reminded of something from our past,
> from looking at old photos, or from someone from our past telling a
> story about us, which as far as we can tell we would have never
> remembered without that reminder from outside of our possible streams
> of consciousness without the reminder. 

You have to distinguish between "being reminded of something" - here
an external event triggers our brain to recall a memory that is really
there, and "finding out about our past" by performing a
measurement. The latter entails completely new knowledge. It is no
different in principle to finding out about the present by performing
a normal measurement.

I would argue that this implies our past (that which is beyond our
memories) is a superposition of those histories prior to any
measurement that might distinguish them, just as it might be in an
experimental apparatus measure circular polarisation.

The independent "out there" feeling is just the self consistency of
all our observations - one that is nevertheless quite remarkable, but
not entailing the existence of something that is out there.


A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052                         [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Australia                                http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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