Russell Standish wrote:
> 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)
> Mathematics
> UNSW SYDNEY 2052                       [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Australia                                http://www.hpcoders.com.au
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your "external event" is part of what I was referring to as "out
there". I would argue for the consistency and the merits of the view
that our identity is tied not only to our brains but also to events
recorded outside of our brains.  Someone with Alzheimers still has a
history (and also an identity) recorded externally to their brains, a
history that can be read by other persons.  I know, the quantum
superposition view entails that there are multiple histories being
read by multiple persons in multiple universes.  As I have said before
on this list, I think that this just multiplies the problem.  If your
identity is tied only to your brain, and the first person observer
moments that it can experience based solely on internal "memory", then
you have multiple people in multiple universes treating the Alzheimers
patient as worthless (since they know that the patient cannot remember
these accomplishments), and multiple Alzheimers patients believing
that he/she is worthless, with no identity so speak of.  What's wrong
with the view that our memory is augmented by the external world
around us?  In fact, it has been discussed here before that perhaps
consciousness itself needs a world external to our "brains" in order
to keep living.  I'm for the view that life/consciousness/everything
is about relationships rather than data.

Along these lines, I'm wondering if the pursue of thought experiments
like this, that use the past, is a valid way to explore the everything
idea.  Perhaps this is tied to the topic of reversibility of laws. (?)

Tom
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