On Feb 17, 10:25 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 9:06 AM, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > On Feb 16, 10:58 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 11:41 AM, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > > > On Feb 16, 3:40 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > > On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 9:04 AM, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > > > > > On Feb 16, 8:27 am, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > > > > On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>
> > wrote:
>
> > > > > > > > On Feb 15, 10:12 pm, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>
> > wrote:
> > > > > > > > > On 2/15/2011 1:48 PM, 1Z wrote:
>
> > > > > > > > > I agree.  Although it's interesting that some people with
> > > > synasthesia
> > > > > > > > > apparently perceive numbers as having various perceptual
> > > > properties.
>
> > > > > > > > Some people "perceive" pink elephants too. However, other
> > people
> > > > don't
> > > > > > > > "perceive" them , leading cynics to suppose that they are not
> > > > > > > > really being perceived at all.
>
> > > > > > > The guy who reported seeing the digits of pi like a vast
> > landscape
> > > > also
> > > > > > > receited over 20,000 digits from memory.  That should lend a
> > little
> > > > more
> > > > > > > credence to his claims.
>
> > > > > > Which are what? I don't think *he* is claiming numbers objectively
> > > > > > exist. And isn't the fact that all synaesthetes visualise them
> > > > > > differently
> > > > > > somehat contrary to *that* claim.
>
> > > > > >  > Sure. Horses are real and unicorns aren't. Didn't you know that?
>
> > > > > > > Unless you've visited every time period in every corner of
> > reality
> > > > how
> > > > > > can
> > > > > > > you assert unicrons don't exist?
>
> > > > > > The same way I assert everything: the evidence I have is good
> > enough.
>
> > > > > > >The fossile record might suggest they have
> > > > > > > never lived on this planet but that hardly rules out their
> > existence
> > > > > > > everywhere.
>
> > > > > > > "Does XYZ exist?"
> > > > > > > "Let me look around...  I can't see it right now, it must not
> > exist!"
>
> > > > > > > Instead we should take a more humble approach:
>
> > > > > > > "I've looked around and cannot see it here, it probably doesn't
> > exist
> > > > > > here,
> > > > > > > however I have no idea whether or not it exists in places I
> > cannot
> > > > see or
> > > > > > > have not looked."
>
> > > > > > > I think Bayesian inference:
>
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_inference#Evidence_and_changing.
> > > > ..
> > > > > > > Is particularly useful in answering questions relating to
> > existence.
> > > >  The
> > > > > > > question is, what prior probability would you set to a
> > proposition
> > > > such
> > > > > > as
> > > > > > > "Other universes not visible to us exist".  1Z and Brent would
> > seem
> > > > to
> > > > > > > assign a rather low probability, but that just means a higher
> > > > threshold
> > > > > > of
> > > > > > > evidence will be required to convince them.  Lacking any evidence
> > at
> > > > all,
> > > > > > > the least biased prior probability to begin with is 0.5.  If some
> > > > > > evidence,
> > > > > > > for fine tuning for example, accumulates then you should adjust
> > your
> > > > > > assumed
> > > > > > > probability that the proposition "Other universes not visible to
> > us
> > > > > > exist"
> > > > > > > is true.
>
> > > > > > > Are you aware of a better or more fair way of addressing such a
> > > > question?
>
> > > > > > I am a fallibilist. You are preaching to the converted.
>
> > > > > Okay it seems we have a common foundation we agree on.  Can you
> > explain
> > > > why
> > > > > you have confidence in the unreality of other possible universes
> > rather
> > > > than
> > > > > uncertainty?  What evidence have you seen for or against that
> > > > proposition?
>
> > > Peter,
>
> > > Thank you for your very detailed and thoughtful response.
>
> > > > The  mathematical multiverse suffers from a double wammy: it is
> > > > predicts
> > > > too much (white rabbits) and explains too little (time and
> > > > consciousness are
> > > > not explained). Physical multiverses are a bit more of a nuanced
> > > > issue. Many worlds
> > > > is not my favourite interpretation of QM, but at the end of the day
> > > > there could be
> > > > empirical evidence one way or the other.
>
> > > If universes are mathematical objects, they follows well-defined
> > equations.
>
> > Physical universes will. Mathematical universes need not. Platonia
> > will include all the discontinous and non-differentiable functions.
> > You
> > have to take the rough with the smooth.
>
> Why couldn't a physical universe be discontinuous?

The more discontinuity you have, the less predictability you
have.

> > >  A few, more rare, universe may have an additional law, at time X, in
> > > location Y, a white rabbit will pop into existence, but the description
> > for
> > > such a universe is much longer.
>
> > Platonia includes eveything that is not seld contradictory, and
> > there is no contradiction in randomness and chaos. Moreoever
> > there must be many disordered sets for every ordered set.
>
> Chaotic mathematical structures may exist, but life seems to require the
> right balance between complexity and simplicity.

An evolutionary history of life does, but so what? Time
and causality themselves exist in only some corners of Platonia.
There is no contradiction in having a bubble of order,
such as a conscious observer, in a sea of chaos.
Since it is non-contradictory, it must exist in Platonia.

> Too complex and there is
> not enough time to adapt to changing rules, too simple, and life may not be
> possible at all.  That you don't find yourself in a chaotic mathematical
> structure should not be surprising.
>
>
>
> > > In self-similar mathematical structures,
> > > such as the programs generated by the UDA, the simpler structures recur
> > much
> > > more frequently, and so the measure for a particular instantiation of an
> > > observer would have a higher measure in universes with shorter
> > > descriptions/definitions.
>
> > That applies if the UDA is the only primary structure. However,
> > if your argument for a UDA is that it necessarily exists in Platonia,
> > it has to be an island of order in a sea of chaos.
>
> Many mathematical structures are self-similar, or contain themselves an
> infinite number of times.  The infinite copies of the UDA that exist within
> the UDA, would may overwhelm the sea of choatic structures which are too
> disordered to contain self references.  In any case, even if chaotic
> structures are more common than ordered ones, you would have to show that
> life is possible there.

It's not merely possible but necessary, because every stitching of
order onto chaos (or embedding of order in chaos)  is non-
contradictory.

>
>
> > > Further, life cannot evolve in a universe with
> > > unpredictable laws or with laws which constantly change.
>
> > But time and causality are just forms of order that apply
> > in only a few small corners of Platonia. In much
> > of Platonia, the question "How did this evolve"
>
> > > If evolution is
> > > the most common path to observers, then again the measure will be higher
> > for
> > > observers located in orderly predictable universes.
>
> > Platonia does  not need to evolve observers. It contains all
> > possible structures, so it contains all possible observes. Where
> > they appear to have a history, that is inessential; they don't
> > need one.
>
> Compare the number of possible universes whose initial conditions consist of
> you, me, the Earth, etc. vs. the number of universe which contain a random
> distribution of matter but can evolve life.  It is similar to comparing the
> number of possible 20 character sequences which are meaningful English
> sentences vs. the number of possible 20 character sequences.  There are
> vastly more possibilities when the initial conditions do not have to be
> structured a certain way.

I don't see your point. You don't have to justify the existence of
observers in Platonia by saying they could have evolved. Evolution
is meaningless in most of Platonia.

> > > Where randomness and unpredictability come from results from observers
> > > lacking sufficient knowledge to locate in which universe they exist, or
> > in
> > > which universe their next consciousness moment may be.
>
> > Random structures exist, since all structures exist.
>
> What is random?  Unpredictable to you?  Unpredictable to me, or
> unpredictable by anyone or from any perspective?

There is no contradiction in randomness that is unpredictable to
anyone, so Platonia contains it.

>While there are certainly
> things which appear unpredictable, it is not certain that there idea of a
> fundamentally random process exists.

If there is no contradiction in the idea it *must*
exist in Platonia. What we observe in the physical
world (ie our tiny corner of Platonia) is irrelevant to that.

> Even if fundamentally random processes
> are consistent, this doesn't seem like a refutation of mathematical realism.

Randomness predicts WRs which are not observed. THat is disproof
of mathematical realism by modus tollens


> > More ordered universes must occur "less" often. Much less.
>
> It sounds like you accept the basic premise of fine-tuning

It just means that
if you run through every possible combination of something or
other, you must hit the orderd combinations rarely.

>.  So you do agree
> that of the possible universes, most cannot support life?

"support" is irrelevant, because it is an appeal to evolutionary
history. Most regions of Platonia will be chaotic, a very few wil be
ordered, and an inbetween number will be inbetween. The third
category will include bubbles of order floating unaccountably
in the middle of chaos and nbserving it.

> > > In any case, while the WR problem is deserving of a solution, I don't
> > think
> > > it has disproved mathematical realism.  It is like the Borne rule and QM.
> > >  It is just something in need of a resolution.
>
> > I am quite entitled to reject MUH until is has been found.
>
> How will you know when it is found?

Bruno or Tegmrark or somebody will announce it.

> Will you similarly reject the single universe theory until a theory of
> everything proves that this is the only way the laws of physics can be?

Single universe theories don't have that problem, since
the predictions can be adjusted to what is observed.

> > That doesn't follow. Just because observers don't agree on
> > simultaneity
> > does not mean there is no flow.
>
> It does.  There is no objective present, there are only slices through 4-d
> spacetime which depend on the direction one is travelling through it.  How
> can there be a flow of time in which yours contains A and B happening, where
> in my present only A happens then B happens?

The answer to that "how" is that there is a flow and it is subjective.
But matter/substance is apt to explain subjective flow.

> Einstein believed this, which is evident in this "The distinction between
> past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion".
>
> See:http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/2408/
>
> > That our
> > > universe is conceivable as a static four dimensional block is supportive
> > of
> > > the theory that it is a mathematical object.
>
> > But there is an appearance of flow, and if mind isn't flowing
> > because brain isn't flowing, where is it coming from?
>
> The brain generates the illusion of flow.

I can't see how it could, when it has no flow itself.
It's like saying that a brain with no colour processing
centres can nonetheless halucinate in colour. Even
illusions require some real basis.

> There are obvious evolutionary
> reasons for giving the illusion to beings that they are about to experience
> future moments.  The whole point of a brain is to predict optimal strategies
> to cope with the future.

What has that to do with flow?

> "Patients with akinetopsia struggle with many issues in their day-to-day
> life, depending on the severity of their condition. One patient, LM,
> described pouring a cup of tea or coffee difficult "because the fluid
> appeared to be frozen, like a
> glacier".[5]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akinetopsia#cite_note-LM-4>
> She
> did not know when to stop pouring, because she could not perceive the
> movement of the fluid rising."
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akinetopsia#Characteristics

If there is flow, and you can't perceive it, that is obviously
a problem. However, if there isn't flow, why would it be an
advantage to hallucinate it?

> > > Consciousness is made of information, information is encodable as
> > relations
> > > between objects.
>
> > That doesn't solve the problem of qualia.
>
> That is a separate problem and another discussion.

No, it's not separate. Qualia are central to consciousness.

> That mathematical
> realism doesn't immediately answer the question of qualia is no different
> than it not immediately answering questions of biology, psychology,
> sociology or economics.

Materialism does better than mathematical realism. MR imples
there shouldn't even be a problem of qualia.

> > Chalmers also thinks qualia are essentially non structural-funcitonal
> > and
> > hence non mathematical, and hence non physical.
>
> There is a lot of what Chalmers says that I disagree with, for example his
> belief in zombies.  I find it surprising that he could consider
> consciousness informational but not mathematical.

He doesn't exactly say that. And qualia clearly are informational,
and clearly not mathematical.


> > Sure. If we know we put it in an unreal environment,
> > we know its environment is unreal.
>
> So how do you know we aren't in an "unreal" environment?

Occam's razor

> Do you consider it
> an impossibility that you could be in a computer simulation?  "real" and
> "unreal" as you use the terms seems to be entirely subjective.  Is this
> right?  Or do you consider such terms to have objective meaning?

Objective but not certain.

> > > You may say that it is not, because it is contained by
> > > our universe, but what if our universe is a world like that in the
> > Matrix?
>
> > What if it isn't. The point is that matter is nor redundant. It
> > explains
> > the singularity (or low level plurality) of the world, and that
> > resolves the WR problem.
>
> For there to be a WR problem, you have to show that WR experiences are
> common throughout platonia.  For this you must show that universes with
> observers and WRs are more plentiful than universes with observers, which I
> don't think you have done.


What's contradictory about {observer} U {chaos}?
 (U=set union)

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