On 12 Mar 2011, at 13:07, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 9:45 PM, Andrew Soltau
So, 'first person indeterminacy' simply means that I don't know what
observation I will make next?
It is not just ignorance, it is true indeterminacy. Even if you have
all the information you cannot know which observation you will make
Well, many thanks for insisting on that. It is certainly not as simple
as Andrew let it be believed. After all many academics have rejected,
and still rejected that notion. Notably Chalmers.
That notion shows that in a purely deterministic context of full
information, we can in principle set up a device, (which will include
the observer like in the logician diagonalization note), leading to a
completely indeterminate outcome from the point of view of the observer.
I know only quantum mechanics leading to such an indeterminacy, and as
everyone know, that has been hard to accept for many. Would the comp
indeterminacy and non locality, and the reversal, have been discovered
before quantum mechanics, I think QM would have been considered as the
start as a blatant confirmation of the comp theory, and that nobody
would have even suggested the ad hoc and unscientific idea of a
collapse of the wave function.
It shows also that if the universe is sufficiently big to contain a
Universal Dovetailer, (or just Boltzman brains if you prefer), you
loose, already, the possibility to use *any* physical equation to
predict a *perceptible-by-you* outcome of any physical experiment.
You have to take into account the similar observers (similar to you)
possibly realized in this or other universes. Like in logic, each
physical equation should be put together with a clause that the
phenomenon you are studying is described only by that equation, with
only the current initial condition. This shows that classical physics
is build on an implicit clause of unicity.
But assuming comp, by the movie graph, such clause has no effect,
because machine cannot distinguish "current things" from similar
things happening in any other possible universe. Comp has just no
Bohmian type of selection principle. (Here I use also the fact that
the first person is invariant for the reconstitution delay change,
virtual/physical change, etc.). Note that Boltzman has not seen the 1-
indeterminacy, for he used the ASSA type of bayesian probability to
ask if we "are in" such brain. Of course, by the FPI (first person
indeterminacy) we are in such brains, and, indeed, in all of them.
But that is not all! (as we say in French). There is something else.
To grasp the first person indeterminacy, you have to grasp the notion
of consciousness. Without consciousness, there is no indeterminacy, at
least not in an immediate way. You can iterate the duplication of a
simple inference inductive machine, and some of the multiplied
machines will eventually infer that they cannot predict their
duplication outcome, after some number of iterations. At that moment,
when they can predict that they cannot predict the *next* outcome of
the duplication, it makes sense to say that they have reached a
conscious state. (Then technically it can be shown that Universality +
induction axioms is already at that level).
First person indeterminacy is a simple idea, ... which changes
everything. It is normal some people take time to fully understand its
and its many (shocking for aristotelian) implications. At some
conference I did, some reacted as saying it was 'trivial', and others
that it was 'nonsense'. Then they fight with each others without
letting me add any word! The fact that the original paper are in
french has not help of course.
The movie graph argument is a bit subtler, but its difficulty should
not be exaggerated.
So if some of you wish a primitive time, and/or a primitive space, and/
or a primitive physical universe, just say "no" to the digitalist
doctor, and try to build a non-comp theory of consciousness and reality.
With comp, Plato and Plotinus, and the mystics are right: the physical
universe is not the basic reality. It is the shadow, the projection,
the border ... of something vastly bigger. That something is the first
person plenitude (George Levy), and it is "simply" arithmetic or
combinator, or a degree four diophantine polynomial, seen from inside.
Note that time and space and the physical reality does not disappear,
on the contrary, it is re-explained on a less shaky ground that just
observation and extrapolation. Science, including theology, was born,
in Occident, from that initial goal.
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