>> But since practically anything can represent nearly anything else,
>> it's ultimately all in the mind of the beholder.
> The representation must account for the observation.
Hmmm? I'm not sure what you're saying here. How would the
representation account for the observation? Do you mean that "what is
observed must account for the observation"? If so, virtual realities
and dreams would violate this rule, right?
> If not you can slip into solipsism.
So all that is necessary to avoid solipsism is to append to any theory
that seems open to the accusation of solipsism, "...and if I exist, it
seems reasonable to assume that others do as well. Why would I be the
Viola! Solipsism avoided, right?
I think you're rather too free with the term "solipsism".
So it occurs to me that in physicalism or in your proposal, our
experience of the world is an internal aspect of consciousness.
When I say, "I know my brother," I'm not saying that I know how he
"really is". I'm saying that I know my internal model of my brother.
There are many aspects of my brother's internal life and personality
that I do not know. We build a model of the world, which is updated
for us by our sensory processing apparatus, and this model is what we
know...our own little virtual reality.
We are all "alone in our heads". Certainly if physicalism is correct.
If you're correct, then we might could change this to: "We are all
alone in our algorithms," or something.
>> Why do my conscious experiences have the particular contents that they
> Again, here we can explain why we cannot explain this. Like we can
> explain that no one can explain why it has been reconstituted in
> Washington and not in Moscow (or vice-versa). This is what we can call
> geography/history, by opposition to physics which studies laws (of the
> observable by universal machine). Laws are universal. In my youth I
> thought that physics was a sort of geography. Now I know that comp
> preserve a big body of physical laws. The multiverse is the same for
> all observers, (machine and non machine, really, except those 'quite
> close to the unique "one")
I would have thought that the apparent possibility of virtual
realities, not to mention dreams and hallucinations, would indicate
that you are mistaken on this point.
If I can dream some of the time, why would there not be a set of
conscious experiences somewhere in the infinity of relations between
the numbers that constitute someone who lives in a dream that never
If I could write a computer simulation of a brain, and install it in a
virtual reality to live out it's life in a virtual world that operates
by a strange alternate set of laws, why would this set of experiences
not also show up one of the programs generated by the universal
Note that in either case, what is observed by that consciousness would
probably not be sufficient to allow them to account for their
>> Again, I'd ask the same question for any other ontological
>> theory. Why did the universe have the particular initial conditions
>> and governing laws that it did, which lead to our present experiences?
>> It just did. There's no explanation for that (again, at least none
>> that doesn't depend on some other unexplained event).
>> But, again, there seems to be no way to know for certain what *really*
>> exists, a la Kant.
> If you believe that the primality of 17 does not depend on you, then
> you can explain why matter and consciousness is an unavoidable
> consequence of + and *.
I would say that anyone who makes the same starting assumptions and
follows the same rules of inference would conclude that 17 is prime.
But the concepts of 17 and prime do not exist independently of
context. I'll go with Meeker on this one: "Mathematics is just
precise expression and inference to avoid contradiction."
> I diagnostic you have still some some trouble grasping completely the
> 7th and 8th step of UDA, to be frank. It is OK, take it easy.
Well, I think I grasp those points. I just don't think that they show
that they are the source of conscious experience.
Again, it seems very plausible that what I experience can be
represented by physical objects (electrons moving through silicon and
copper) or numbers. And by developing an algorithm that adjusts these
representations in the right way you can ALSO represent how my
experience changes over time.
But I don't see WHY doing so would produce first person conscious
experience. And so I reject it as an explanation for conscious
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