On 28 May 2009, at 09:02, Kelly Harmon wrote:
> On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 10:21 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
>> Since you told me that you accept comp, after all, and do no more
>> oppose it to your view, I think we agree, at least on many things.
>> Indeed you agree with the hypothesis, and your philosophy appears to
>> be a consequence of the hypothesis.
Glad you say so.
>> It remains possible that we have a disagreement concerning the
>> probability, and this has some importance, because it is the use of
>> probability (or credibility) which makes the consequences of comp
>> testable. More in the comment below.
> So my only problem with the usual view of probability is that it
> doesn't seem to me to emerge naturally from a platonic theory of
It does not in Platonia-before-Gödel.
After Godel we know machines (and even most "gods"), when they observe
they neighborhoods are confronted to many modalities which reflect the
gap between truth, intelligibility, observability, sensibility.
Rational probabilities, qualia sensibilities, quanta probabilities
emerge by the reflection, for each normal universal machine/number, of
their personal and collective border of their (abyssal) ignorance.
After Godel we know that such an ignorance has a mathematical creative/
But just UDA should convince you that probabilities emerge. I will
come back on this.
> Is your proposal something that would conceivably be
> arrived at by a rational observer in one of the (supposedly) rare
> worlds where white rabbits are common?
White rabbits are never common. When a white rabbit is common and
regular, we call it a particle.
Today, the problem with comp is that it still could predict a priori
too much white rabbits, and not enough particles, to be short ...
A priori the universal machine dreams too much ...
> Does it have features that
> would lead one to predict the absence of white rabbits, or does it
> just offer a way to explain their absence after the fact?
The UD reasoning has to justify the observation that they are very
rare. We have to justify why our neighborhoods seems to obey
computable and compressible laws, when we know that below our
substitution level we are supported by a continuum of computations.
Well, computer science and mathematical logic are promising with that
respect. That continuum has a mathematical shape.
> As I mentioned before, assuming computationalism it seems to me that
> it is theoretically possible to create a computer simulation that
> would manifest any imaginable conscious entity observing any
> imaginable "world", including schizophrenic beings observing
> psychedelic realities.
The UD does exactly that.
The first price of its universality is that it will not only do that,
but it will do that *redundantly*. The redundance is big and
The second price is that it will generate (in its platonic static way)
non terminating histories, from which a continuum will be projected as
viewed from "inside".
The UD is redundant, like the Mandelbrot set. See
It is an impressive zoom on compact representation of a universal
dovetailng (most probably) and illustrates the redundancy, and the
presence of a rich structure. It is generated by a very little program.
> So, then further assuming Platonism, all of
> these strange experiences should exist in Platonia. Along with all
> possible normal experiences.
Yes. But clearly we don't see them, or very rarely. This has to be
explained from the general indeterminacy.
The special indeterminacy is the indeterminacy in a relative to this
"cosmos" self-duplication à-la Washington/Moscow.
The global indeterminacy is you in front of a (material or immaterial,
platonic) Universal Dovetailer (UD).
Elementary arithmetic defines already a universal dovetailer.
> I don't see any obvious, non-"ad hoc" mechanism to eliminate or
> minimize strange experiences relative to normal experiences, and I
> don't think adding one is justified just for that purpose, or even
> necessary since an unconstrained platonic theory does have the obvious
> virtue of saying that there will always be Kellys like myself who have
> never seen white rabbits.
This explains the Kelly of here and now. But it does not explain where
my assurance comes from that the Kelly which I hope will read this
mail will still share my history, in which the white rabbit has not
made an apparition.
Given that you are already idealist, UDA is just UDA1-7, lucky you!
UDA1-7 is the explanation where the probabilities (or credibilities)
come from, and why they have to be quantum-like unless comp or quantum
mechanics are flawed.
> As for your earlier questions about how you should bet, I have two
> First that there exists a Bruno who will make every possible bet.
> One particular Bruno will make his bet on a whim, while another Bruno
> will do so only after long consideration, and yet another will make a
> wild bet in a fit of madness. Each Bruno will "feel" like he made a
> choice, but actually all possible Brunos exist, so all possible bets
> are made, for all possible subjectively "felt" reasons.
Here I disagree as far as I understand something .. I am not sure to
which Bruno you are talking.
And I agree with Papineau's paper you quote (see below), but it seems
to me that it pleads in the favour of the use of objective in (quantum
or not) self-multiplication.
Let me ask you the following question. I have already ask the list.
I propose you the following experience/experiment.
I multiply [you-in-front of a (16180x10000) black and white pixels
screen] so that each of your future "you" (third person) will be in
front of each of the 2^(16180*10000) configurations of the screen. I
will do this concretely in this universe, tomorrow.
Actually, I repeat it 24 times per second during 1h30 (60 * 90
seconds). So after a lapse of 1h30, you will be multiplied in
2^(16180*10000*60*90*24) exemplars, and, of course, each of those
resulting exemplars will have the memory of having seen ONE
"movie" (in a larger sense than usual) .
And I am asking you, here and now, what do you expect the most
probable experience you will feel tomorrow, when I will do that
It is easy to predict that you will feel, from your first person point
of view, with certainty, (assuming comp and the correct choice of
level) seeing a movie, one movie.
What do you thing is the more probable events that you will live which
one is the more probable? What is your most rational choice among
1) I will see a Monty Python with chinese subtitle
2) I will see the beginning of Space Odyssey (black and white version)
3) I will see a black screen
4) I will see a white screen
5) I will see white noise, but looking in the details, the black and
white sequence gives the decimal of PI in binary.
6) I will see white noise, and looking in the details I will not find
a program generating that sequence.
> Second, and probably more helpfully, I'll quote this paper
> (http://www.kcl.ac.uk/content/1/c6/04/17/78/manymindsandprobs.doc) by
> David Papineau, which sounds reasonable to me:
> "But many minds theorists can respond that the logic of statistical
> inference is just the same on their view as on the conventional view.
> True, on their view in any repeated trial all the different possible
> sequences of results can be observed, and so some attempts to infer
> the probability from the observed frequency will get it wrong. Still,
> any particular mind observing any one of these sequences will reason
> just as the conventional view would recommend: note the frequency,
> infer that the probability is close to the frequency, and hope that
> you are not the unlucky victim of an improbable sample. Of course the
> logic of this kind of statistical inference is itself a matter of
> active philosophical controversy. But it will be just the same
> inference on both the many minds and the conventional view.
> It is worth observing that, on the conventional view, what agents want
> from their choices are the desired results, rather than that these
> results be objectively probable (a choice that makes the results
> objectively probable, but unluckily doesn't produce them, doesn't give
> you what you want). Given this, there is room to raise the question:
> why are rational agents well-advised to choose actions that make their
> desired results objectively probable? Rather surprisingly, is no good
> answer to this question. (After all, you can't assume you will get
> what you want if you so choose.) From Pierce on, philosophers have
> been forced to conclude that it is simply a primitive fact about
> rational choice that you ought to weight future possibilities
> according to known objective probabilities in making decisions.
> The many minds view simply says the same thing. Rational agents ought
> to choose those actions which will maximize the known objective
> probability of desired results. As to why they ought to do this,
> there is no further explanation. This is simply a basic truth about
> rational choice.
> I supect that this basic truth actually makes more sense on the many
> minds view than on the conventional view. For on the conventional
> view there is a puzzle about the relation between this truth and the
> further thought that ultimate success in action depends on desired
> results actually occurring. On the many minds view, by contrast,
> there is no such further thought, since all possible results occur,
> desired and undesired, and so no puzzle: in effect there is only one
> criterion of success in action, namely, maximizing the known objective
> probability of desired results. However, this is really the subject
> for another paper, not least because the idea that agents ought to
> maximize the known objective probability of desired results itself
> hides a number of complexities which I have been skating over here."
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