On 08/03/11 16:14, Brent Meeker wrote:
OK. But for any given definition of the thinker, there is a version of
the world to which he corresponds. Whether considered as a physical
entity, or a mind or a record of observations, I am instantiated in a
specific version of the universe. On observation, this state changes.
The observer is now in a new and different state, and is instantiated in
a new and different version of the universe.
On 3/8/2011 3:14 AM, Andrew Soltau wrote:
What I am driving at here is the same question as in the email Comp.
Granted that all possible states exist, what changes the point of the
present moment from one to another. My referring to 'the thinker' was
probably not a helpful metaphor. Given the universal numbers, what
carries out the process whereby one is transformed into another? What
makes the state of the thinker or the dreamer into the state of that
entity at the next moment?
I think the idea is analogous to the block universe. In Platonia all
the states of "the thinker" and his relation to the world are
"computed" in a timeless way.
If one steps back and looks at all the possible states of the thinker,
existing in all the different corresponding states of the universe at
each moment, the result is the movie film Barbour refers to. This is a
The impression of time for "the thinker" is recovered by putting the
states into a sequence which is implicitly defined by their content.
So then you have a sequence, but still nothing actually happens. This is
exactly the scenario Deutsch addresses.
/Nothing/ can move from one moment to another. To exist at all at a
particular moment means to exist there for ever. (1997, 263; his italics)
One seems to pass from moment to moment, experiencing change. Deutsch,
however, declares that this can only be an illusion.
We do not experience time flowing, or passing. What we experience are
differences between our present perceptions and our present memories of
past perceptions. We interpret those differences, correctly, as evidence
that the universe changes with time. We also interpret them,
incorrectly, as evidence that our consciousness, or the present, or
something, moves through time. (1997, 263)
Physically, this is unassailable. However, we can explain the appearance
of change very neatly, by saying that the frame of reference is changed,
from one moment to the next to the next, with no change in anything
physical. The only drawback is that this requires something 'outside' of
the moments, and there is nothing outside the multiverse. The solution I
propose is that phenomenal consciousness is an emergent property of this
unitary system as a whole. In other words, this process is to the
moments the way the computational capability of a computer is to the
frames of a movie in solid state memory.
Based on that, my belief is that, in the collapse dynamics of quantum
mechanics, we have discovered evidence for a property of the unitary
system in action, we just haven't recognised it as such. Which is why it
gives rise to all the puzzles it does.
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