On 09/03/11 16:53, Brent Meeker wrote:
On 3/9/2011 5:24 AM, Andrew Soltau wrote:
On 08/03/11 16:14, Brent Meeker wrote:
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?

Andrew

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.
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.

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 timeless situation.

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,

The appearance of change is already explained by the fact that there are different frames that have an implicit sequence and in which the observers state is different. Further "explanation" is just muddying the picture - at leas that's what Deutsch et al would say.

by saying that the frame of reference is changed, f

But this is no more than a magic finger pointing to the frames and saying, "This one. And then this one. And then...."
Which is what one seems to be experiencing.

rom 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

??? Collapse is not unitary.
By this I simply mean that only something of the logical type of the system itself can perform the magic finger operation. Just as it takes a projector, something outside of the frames of the movie, to operate on the sequence of frames of the movie, to produce a motion picture. Just as it takes a whole working computer system to actually alter the value of a pointer from one address in memory to another. All the moments exist, and as Deutsch points out, as you summarise, 'The appearance of change is already explained by the fact that there are different frames that have an implicit sequence and in which the observers state is different', but for change to actually happen, the magic finger must move. Otherwise reality would be like a movie film sitting in the can in storage. Nothing happens. As Weyl states

The world simply is, it does not happen. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling up the life-line of my body, does the world fleetingly come to life. (1949, 116)

This applies to the static block universe of spacetime, but it also applies to the sequence of moments, each one a static block universe moments, 'snapshots', which Deutsch describes as the quantum concept of time. That static sequence is an unchanging layout, just like the movie film.

Everett's formulation describes how one passes from moment to moment, the making of each observation is the transition from moment to moment. But there still needs to be something that exercises that process. That is the point at which something 'outside' the system, or at least contextual to the moments, is required. The definition of the collapse dynaimcs can be formulated in terms of the moments, and the change to the moments, but the exercise of that change can only be carried out from the perspective of something contextual to the moments. Which is odd, because that is exactly what one is experiencing. Ergo, at least as a working hypothesis, the consciousness that encounters this passage from moment to moment has to be an epiphenomenon of the operation of the system, moving the magic finger from moment to moment, as each observation is made.


But ...

, we just haven't recognised it as such. Which is why it gives rise to all the puzzles it does.

Brent


--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.

Reply via email to