Science advances in small steps that often depend on technology. I think the next 'hard' question that has some chance of being answered is, what information processes are necessary and sufficient to produce human-like conscious behavior.Lets consider two "hard" questions - "why do we live in THIS universe?" (1) and "why am I me?" (2).(1) . Why do we live in THIS universe? Here we got: - string theory and anthropic reasoning present us with a landscape of 10^(10^N) universes that we can choose from. - we've got some strong constraints on the result of the choice. The choice can be random (or defined by some probability distribution on the set of all possible universes), but we should live in the universe compatible with our existence. Conclusion: we can't answer 'hard' question 'Why physical laws are described by string (M, F, whatever) theory, but we can at least ask more 'soft' question - 'Why from the set of all possible universes described by theory T the chosen one is this one". And this question sounds scientific and it seems that it should be answered before we can answer thr hard one. (2). Why am I me? Here we got nothing (?): - what is a "landscape" here, a set of all possible mes? All the people? All the people that ever lived and will ever live? All the animals? All the conscious entities? And here we stuck cause we don't know excatly what entity is conscious and what is not. Or, maybe the set contains only ONE element (only one 1st person exists ...) and there is no choice at all? - what are constraints? What machine can 'host' me (conscious entity) ?Sorry, I forgot the questions themselves: 1. Can we temporarily substitute the 'hard' question "why am I me?" by the more 'soft' one, like the question of choice in some 'level 3 tegmarkian multiverse' of all possible mes ? 2. Can we reduce "why am I me?" to the question of choice on the some set? 3. What is the 'hardest' question that is still scientific? In other words, that is the most rigorous reformulation of "why I am me?" that could be asked and maybe even answered by modern science in the nearest future?
One cannot guess the real difficulties of a problem before having solved it."
--- Carl Ludwig Siegel
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- Re: Why I am I? benjayk
- Re: Why I am I? soulcatcher☠
- Re: Why I am I? Brent Meeker
- Re: Why I am I? Bruno Marchal