Jesse Mazer wrote:
>  > Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 01:37:02 -0700
>  > Subject: Re: Emulation and Stuff
>  > From:
>  > To:
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  > On 18 Aug, 01:53, Jesse Mazer <> wrote:
>  > > Peter Jones wrote:
>  > >
>  > > > On 17 Aug, 14:46, Jesse Mazer <> wrote:
>  > > > > 1Z wrote:
>  > > > > > > But those space-time configuration are themselves described 
> by  
>  > > > > > > mathematical functions far more complex that the numbers 
> described or  
>  > > > > > > explain.
>  > >
>  > > > > But what is this "primary matter"? If it is entirely divorced 
> from all the evidence from physics that various abstract mathematical 
> models of particles and fields can be used to make accurate predictions 
> about observed experimental results, then it becomes something utterly 
> mysterious and divorced from any of our empirical experiences whatsoever 
> (since all of our intuitions regarding 'matter' are based solely on our 
> empirical experiences with how it *behaves* in the sensory realm, and 
> the abstract mathematical models give perfectly accurate predictions 
> about this behavior).
>  > >
>  > > > Primary matter is very much related to the fact that some theories of
>  > > > physics work and other do not. It won't tell you which ones work, but
>  > > > it will tell you why there is a difference. It solves the white 
> rabbit
>  > > > problem. We don't see logically consistent but otherwise bizarre
>  > > > universes because they are immaterial and non-existent--not matter
>  > > > instantiates
>  > > > that particualar amtehamtical structure.
>  > >
>  > > But then it seems like you're really just talking about 
> consciousness and qualia--of all the mathematically possible universes 
> containing possible self-aware observers, only in some (or one) are 
> these possible observers actually real in the sense of having qualia 
> (and there qualia being influenced by other, possibly nonconsious 
> elements of the mathematical universe they are a part of).
>  >
>  > No.. I don't need the hypothesis that WR universes are there but
>  > unobserved.
> What does "are there" mean? It seems to be a synonym for physical 
> existence, but my whole point here is that the notion of physical 
> existence doesn't even seem well-defined, if this discussion is going to 
> get anywhere you need to actually address this argument head on rather 
> than just continue to talk as though terms like "exists" and "are there" 
> have a transparent meaning. The only kinds of existence that seem 
> meaningful to me are the type of Quinean existence I discussed earlier, 
> and existence in the sense of conscious experience which is something we 
> all know firsthand. Can you explain what "physical existence" is 
> supposed to denote if it is not either of these?
>  > > There's no need to have a middleman called "primary matter", such 
> that only some (or one) mathematical possible universes are actually 
> instantianted in primary matter, and only those instantiated in primary 
> matter give rise to qualia.
>  >
>  > There is no absolute need, but there are advantages. For instance, the
>  > many-wolder might have to admit
>  > the existence of zombie universes -- universes that containt
>  > *apparent* intelligent lige that is nonetheless unconscious--
>  > in order to account for the non-obseration of WR universes.
>  >
>  > > If you *are* going to add unobservable middlemen like this,
>  >
>  > I don't concede that PM is unobservable. What exists is material, what
>  > is immaterial does not
>  > exist. There is therefore a large set of facts about matter. Moreover,
>  > the many-worlders extra
>  > universes *have* to be unobservable one way or the other, since they
>  > are not observed!
> Who said anything about many worlds? Again, we are free to believe in a 
> type of single-universe scenario, let's call it "scenario A", where only 
> a single one of the mathematical universes which "exist" in the Quinean 
> sense (and it seems you cannot deny that all mathematical structures do 
> 'exist' in this sense, since you agree there are objective mathematical 
> truths) also "exist" in the giving-rise-to-conscious-experience sense. 
> You want to add a third notion of "physical existence", so your 
> single-universe scenario, which we can call "scenario B", says that only 
> one of the mathematical universes which exist in the Quinean sense also 
> exists in the physical sense (i.e. there is actual 'prime matter' whose 
> behavior maps perfectly to that unique mathematical description), and 
> presumably you believe that only a universe which exists in the physical 
> sense can exist in the giving-rise-to-conscious-experience sense. But 
> all observations that conscious observers would make about the world in 
> scenario B would also be observed in scenario A (assuming that the same 
> mathematical universe that is granted physical existence in scenario B 
> is the one that's granted conscious existence in scenario A). In both 
> scenarios "physical objects" would be identified based on the qualia 
> associated with them (color, visual shape, tactile hardness, etc.), and 
> based on the fact that they behaved in certain predictable lawlike ways 
> which could be boiled down to mathematical rules. If the experiences of 
> observers in scenario A are identical in every way to those of observers 
> in scenario B, despite the fact that there is no "physical existence" in 
> scenario A, then the extra ingredient of "physical existence" makes no 
> observable difference, and thus must be something utterly mysterious, we 
> might as well call it "clapsahadrical existence".
>  >
>  > >there's no real logical justification for having only one--you could 
> say "only some mathematically possible universes are instantiated in 
> primary asfgh, and only some of those give rise to qwertyuiop, and only 
> the ones with quertyuiop can give rise to zxcvbn, and only ones with 
> zxcvbn can give rise to qualia and consciousness".
>  >
>  > Single-universe thinking is a different game from everythingism. It is
>  > not about
>  > explaining everything from logical first priciples. It accepts
>  > contingency as the price
>  > paid for parsimony. Pasimony and lack of arbitrariness are *both*
>  > explanatory
>  > desiderata, so there is no black-and-white sense in which
>  > Everythingism wins.
> Again, I said nothing about "Everythingism", my comments about "physical 
> existence" being a meaningless middleman would apply just as well if we 
> believed there was only one universe that "existed" in the sense of 
> giving rise to first-person experiences and qualia.
>  >
>  > >  > > In that case you might as well call it "primary ectoplasm" or 
> "primary asdfgh".
>  > >
>  > > > You might as well call "2" the successor of "0". All symbols are
>  > > > arbitrary.
>  > >
>  > > My point was just that I think it's *misleading* to use the word 
> "matter" which already has all sorts of intuitive associations for us, 
> when really you're talking about something utterly mysterious whose 
> properties are completely divorced from our experiences, more like 
> Kant's "noumena" which were supposed to be things-in-themselves separate 
> from all phenomenal properties (including quantitative ones).
>  >
>  > I don't accept that characterisation of PM. (BTW, phenomenal
>  > properties could be accounted for
>  > as non-mathematical attributes of PM)
> Well, see my point above about the complete indistinguishability of 
> scenario A from scenario B from the perspective of conscious observers.
>  >
>  > > > > And are you making any explicit assumption about the relation 
> between this "primary matter" and qualia/first-person experience? If 
> not, then I don't see why it wouldn't be logically possible to have a 
> universe with primary matter but no qualia (all living beings would be 
> zombies), or qualia but no primary matter (and if you admit this 
> possibility, then why shouldn't we believe this is exactly the type of 
> universe we live in?)
>  > >
>  > > > The second possibility is ruled out because it predicts White 
> Rabbits.
>  > >
>  > > I don't agree, there's no reason you couldn't postulate a measure
>  >
>  > Yes there is: you have to justify from first principles and not just
>  > postulate it.
> Huh? Who made up that rule? If you can postulate that only one 
> mathematically possible universe exists in the physical sense without 
> justifying it from first principles, I can postulate that only one 
> mathematically possible universe exists in the 
> giving-rise-to-conscious-experience sense.
>  > The problem is that if all possible maths exists, all possible
>  > measures exist...
>  > you can't pick out one as being, for some contingent reason "the"
>  > measure....
>  >
>  > >on the set of mathematical possibilities which determined the 
> likelihood they would actually be experienced by conscious 
> observers--this measure might be such that white-rabbit worlds would be 
> very improbable, it might even pick out a unique mathematically possible 
> universe where the possible observers are actually conscious, while 
> assigning zero measure to all other possibilities.
>  >
>  > So you are appealing to the unknown relationship between maths and
>  > qualia, rather than the unknown properties
>  > of matter?
> If you want to put it that way, sure. This isn't necessarily what I 
> believe personally, I'm just pointing out that *if* you want to believe 
> in a single universe that "exists" in some sense distinct from the 
> Quinean sense, then it's much simpler to just talk about existence in 
> the sense of giving rise to conscious experience rather than first 
> talking about something mysterious called "physical existence" and then 
> as an afterthought adding the additional claim that physical existence 
> is required for conscious experience.

I would say that giving-rise-to-conscious-perception = physical-existence.  
speaking perceiving is being kicked back when you kick.  It allows ostensive 
But I'm not sure this is the same as giving-rise-to-conscious-experience.  
Would it be 
possible to have a stream of conscious experience with no perception, i.e. like 
a dream 
about mathematics, but with no perceptions of the tokens we use to represent 
concepts, i.e. a dream about the number two without any representation like "2" 
or "two" 
or "{{}{{}}}"?  I doubt it.


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