# Re: Maudlin & How many times does COMP have to be false before its false?

```Peter,

Correct me if I am wrong but I think we have established some things we
agree on:```
```
Consciousness is informational
There are more ways to have disorder than order
Bayesian reasoning is a good approach in matters of truth
The universe could be a second old, and we would have no way of telling
White rabbits are not commonly seen
This universe appears to follow laws having a short description
Evolution requires non-chaotic universes

Where I think we disagree is on assumptions related to measure, of a
universe's initial conditions vs. a universe's laws.  I agree there are very
many possibilities for what my next moment of experience might bring, yet of
all the strange things I could observe, the universe doesn't often surprise,
laws seem to be obeyed.  It is as if there is some equation balancing two
extremes, and we see the result of who wins: universes with simple laws (few
possibilities) but random initial conditions (many possibilities) vs.
universes with complex or random laws (many possibilities) but with ordered
initial conditions (few possibilities).

Universes which are ruled by chaotic or unpredictable laws with white
rabbits present probably also prevent life from evolving.  However as you
mentioned, observers may be part of the initial conditions for such a
universe.  There are many possibilities for the laws, but few possibilities
for the initial conditions.

Our universe does not seem to be that way, however, owing to the lack of
white rabbits.  Our universe's laws seem simple, and life had to evolve from
initial conditions for which there could have been many possibilities.

The question should then be, which side of the equation wins out most often?
Every possible universe has its laws and initial conditions, for which
there are many possibilities.  The two must be considered together.  For
this universe the initial conditions were chaotic and unordered, but the
laws were simple.  You propose that universes with chaotic laws are more
likely.  The most likely of these would be chaotic laws with chaotic initial
conditions, but I think we agree life and observers are not likely to arise
in this case, so the remaining possibility is chaotic laws with ordered
initial conditions (which can admit observers at the start).

If the possibilities for initial conditions wins out by having more
combinations than random (yet stable enough to be supportive of observers
present at the initial conditions) laws, then this could explain the lack of
observed white rabbits in the whole of mathematical reality.

Do you agree with the logic at least?

>
> > 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.
>

Do you think the subjective perception of time rules out block time, or
would you say block time is indistinguishable from 3 spacial dimensions
which evolve over time?  I have a thought experiment to show a physical flow
of time can in no way be necessary for the perception of the flow of time.
Let's say there are two theories: Presentism (only the present moment is
real, and every moment in time has its chance at being the present) vs.
Block time (all points in time exist and are equally real).

Presentism makes the appearance of the flow of time obvious.  It seems like
time is flowing because it is in fact flowing.  However, upon deeper
consideration you will see that it refutes this relation.  If only the
present time is real, then what you experience in this moment must have no
dependence whatsoever on the existence of prior moments (since they no
longer exist).  You perceive the existence of time's flow from the existence
of this single slice of time.  Since the existence of past moments has no
bearing on your experience in this moment, however, then it becomes
absolutely needless to say the past moment must cease to exist to give
the appearance of the flow of time.  Rather, if it still continued to exist,
it must (according to Presentism) have no impact at all on what you feel now
in the present.  Therefore even if all moments in time remain real, your
experience of the flow of time would be intact.  It is, by Occam, simpler to
believe that past moments continue to exist, rather than believe some
process causes future moments to come into existence, and past moments to
disappear from existence, since without such a process, observations will be
identical.

> It's like saying that a brain with no colour processing
> centres can nonetheless halucinate in colour. Even
> illusions require some real basis.
>

The brain is able to generate color from colorless photons, music from
oscillations in air pressure.  Certainly at time t1 the brain can anticipate
it will acquire new information at t2, this is where the basis comes from,
but the anticipation for the brain at t1 isn't fulfilled in the same way it
is represented to the mind.  The brain as it exists in t1 remains in t1.

> 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
>

To provide a motivation to get a drink of water when you feel thirsty.
Without the threat of future thirst, or the promise of future relief, there
is no motivation to act.

Would you still go to work knowing the you (stuck in that time) will not get
to enjoy spending the earnings?

> > > 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
>

The simulation argument makes a case that virtual realities are more common
than primitively physical ones.  This is already the case for our own
universe (Think of all the computer games that have been made) the only
difference is we haven't begun to fill those virtual realities with
conscious observers.  If humanity uploads its minds into computers, you may
for recreation experience what it was like to be one of your ancestors.  If
the average person does this more than 10 or so times during the course of
their very long lifespan, then simulated human lives greatly outnumber
primitively physical lives.  Therefore, the idea that this universe is a
simulation is not so ridiculous that it can be dismissed outright.

Jason

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