On Fri, May 06, 2011 at 04:33:04PM -0400, Stephen Paul King wrote:
> [SPK]
>     My physical body has myopia and certain other physical characteristics 
> that are consistent with some finite set of possible parents. My daughter has 
> similar physical characteristics, as well as artistic ability that are 
> similar to that of my lovely and talented wife. My point is that where our 
> consciousness finds itself might have some thing to do with the properties of 
> one’s ancestors and not because of some abstract statistical measure. Unless 
> we accept some ambiguous form of reincarnation of souls, which is dualist in 
> the Cartesian sense, then there is a strong physical reason why the body that 
> my consciousness experiences is what it is. It is this kind of hereditary 
> variable that seems to be neglected in the DA. My 1p seems to be constrained 
> by physical properties in a way that does not allow me to claim that the 
> physical world is, at best, an epiphenomena of numbers. 
>     My parents lived in a certain area when this body that I associate with 
> was born, their respective parents lived in Texas and Main, etc. This 
> location, while subject to indeterminacy via Bruno’s teleportation/copying 
> argument, does seem to at least partially address the question of “why do I 
> find myself in a particular place, time, body, etc.?” So maybe my difficulty 
> is in understanding the motivation of the DA and this in turn makes me less 
> than sanguine about the “Ants are not conscious” argument. I worry that we 
> are misapplying our knowledge of the mathematics of statistics to morph the 
> Hard Problem into a problem of measure.
>     I think that the ‘Surprise 20 Questions’ idea that John Wheeler 
> considered in his famous ‘It from Bit’ paper might be more appropriate. Any 
> OM that is a possible continuance of another OM must not contain information 
> that is inconsistent with any previous OM in its sequence, up to some 
> constant that relates to the upper bound on the resolving power of a typical 
> measurement. We additionally need to consider that possible interactions 
> between physical systems would also constrain the information in the OMs such 
> that no OM in a sequence could contain information that contradicts that of 
> another that is related to some separate but co-existing system.
>     Instead of thinking of the content of OMs in terms of some statistical 
> measure, I think that it might be a better idea to consider exactly how OM 
> are sequenced together such that the White Rabbit problem is minimized. This 
> method is what Pratt uses in his residuation idea in his process dualism 
> solution to the concurrency problem, where each state/event transition occurs 
> so long as both physical conservation laws and logical non-contradiction laws 
> are upheld. It seems to me that this bypasses the measure problem completely.

You are talking here about the RSSA - what is the probability of my
next OM, given my existing state.

There are various SSAs, which I distinguish in my book. Most DAs use
the SSA (the original one), which is an absolute measure on birth
moments. There is no prior OM to relate it to, so considerations of
your parent's genomes are not especially relevant. The ants are not
conscious argument uses this original SSA.

Nick Bostrom introduced the SSSA (Strong SSA), but only applied them
to "toy problems". It was a little hard to see the relevance to real
philosophical issues - YMMV.

Jacques Mallah applied a version of the SSSA to the QTI issue, in a
way that is different to Bostrom's usage, and quite unsatisfactory in
my eyes and many others, although others agreed with him. To
distinguish this from Bostrom's formulation, and also to characterise
how we thought the QTI argument ought to be frames, we introduced the
ASSA and the RSSA, both variants of the SSSA applied to successor
observer moments. 


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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