Hi,

    I have found what I believe is a flaw in the reasoning in the paper.

On pages 5-6 we find:

" In Section 5, I attempt to apply this reasoning to the case of an infinite lifetime. I find that, on the one hand, in discovering his current moment out of an infinite ensemble of moments, the observer should gain an infinite amount of information. But, on the other hand, I argue that such a state of affairs is not logically possible. Thus I conclude that an infinite conscious lifetime is not possible in principle."

I disagree with this conclusion because the ability to 'discover' ones current moment out of an infinite ensemble of moments would require the ability to access the computational resources needed to run the computation of the search algorithm on the infinite ensemble. In this case it is required that an infinite quantity of resources be available in a finite or infinitesimal duration. The author does mention some aspects of the problem in computational terms but the issue of resources does not seem to have been noticed. I find it strange that computations can be treated as if they are not subject to the laws of physics that included prohibitions on perpetual motion machines. There is no such thing as a free computation. The content of our Observer moments is finite due to computational resource limitations not because of some universal prior measure.

Onward!

Stephen



On 8/25/2011 5:32 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
Hi David,

It looks not so bad :)
At first sight it is based on the ASSA (absolute self-samplings, like in the doomsday argument; may be Russell can comment on this). He seems naïve on the identity thesis, but that could be a reduction ad absurdum. The use of classical chaos is interesting, but not completely convincing, I might think on it. Will take a deeper look later. Thanks,

Bruno


On 25 Aug 2011, at 00:12, David Nyman wrote:

This paper presents some intriguing ideas on consciousness, computation and the MWI, including an argument against the possibility of consciousness supervening on any single deterministic computer program (Bruno might find this interesting). Any comments on its cogency?

http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0208038

David

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