On 2/7/2012 00:28, meekerdb wrote:
On 2/6/2012 3:50 PM, acw wrote:
I'm not so sure to term ``body'' is as meaningful if we consider the
extremes which seem possible in COMP. After a digital substitution, a
body could very well be some software running somewhere, on any kind
of substrate, with an arbitrary time-frame/ordering (as long as 1p
coherent), it could even run directly on some abstract machine which
is not part of our universe (such as some machine emulating another
machine which is contained in the UD) - the only thing that the mind
would have in common is that some program is being instantiated
somewhere, somehow. In this more extreme form, I'm not sure I can see
any difference between a substrate that has the label 'physical' and
some UD running in abstract Platonia. If you can show why the
'physical' version would be required or how can someone even tell the
difference between someone living in a 'physical' world vs someone
living in a purely mathematical (Platonic) world which sees the world
from within said structure in Platonia and calls it 'physical'. It
seems that 'physical' is very much what we call the structure in which
we exist, but that's indexical, and if you claim that only one such
structure exists (such as this universe), then you think COMP is false
(that is, no digital substitution exists) or that arithmetic is
inconsistent (which we cannot really know, but we can hope)?

Physics is already extremely abstract and mathematical, so it is really
not a big step to suppose that the fundamental ontology is mathematics
or computation as Bruno, Tegmark, and others have speculated. The big
step is between supposing that somethings happen and some don't versus
everything (in some sense) happens. To say there must be substrate, some
'ur-stuff', is really just to say that some things have existence (the
ur-stuff) and some don't.


What do you mean by 'ur-stuff'? Some structure which is more privileged than others with 'existence'? In my opinion, the claim that some things (for example, some computations) don't happen is incredibly strong. It makes sense for someone who has only lived in one universe to say that any other universe doesn't exist because his classical rationality (such as Russell's teapot, the requirement for a burden of proof) says that we can't really claim existence for things we don't have direct evidence for. On the other hand, Occam's razor makes us favor the simplest possible theories. A theory which explicitly has to deny some structures or computations from existing is much more complex and stronger (and thus will be favored less by Occam or its formalizations). COMP as derived from UDA/MGA already places great constraints on what the ontology has to be given the assumption that our brains do admit a digital substitution and such an act is survivable. Any theory which claims the UD's existence, but limits the laws of physics to only a single instance of some string theory, with only one history and one universe and so on is incredibly strong/very complex, thus shouldn't be favored (by Occam). It also leads to many other questions such as: why this mathematical structure is granted existence, but the others are not? and the conflict between mechanism and materialism as shown in the MGA. To me it seems like privileging the indexicals, which seems like a popular conservative materialist position, although I do wonder why it is that popular - it just favors one "magic" over the other (this structure, my structure is "special", all the others aren't), thus I'm not so sure it's the most rational choice possible, despite that being its aim.

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 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to