On 3/12/2012 05:43, Stephen P. King wrote:
Sure, given a mathematical ontology, "real" is just the structure you
exist in - an indexical. This real might be limited in some way (for
example in COMP, you cannot help but get some indeterminacy like MW)- a
newtonian physics simulation might be real for those living in it and
which are embedded in it, although if this would really work without any
indeterminacy, I'm skeptical of.
On 3/11/2012 8:30 PM, acw wrote:
On 3/12/2012 00:39, meekerdb wrote:
This implies that our measure is strongly correlated with the regularity
of physics. I'm not sure you can show that, but if it's true it means
that physics is fundamental to our existence, even if physics can be
explained by the UD. Only worlds with extremely consistent physics can
support consciousness (which seems unlikely to me).
Maybe, it's more of a conjecture, I don't posses the theoretical tools
to make some headway on the issue for now.
As for physics being essential, I'm not 100% sure, it might be for us,
humans with physical brains and bodies, but I don't see why it would
be for a SIM, or for a detailed emulation of a human body/brain:
consider the case of such a SIMs living in a VR(Virtual Reality)
simulation - they wouldn't really care what the underlying substrate
would be, but then, they would know they are in a simulation (to some
degree). A more interesting question might be not about SIMs living in
VRs, but those beings which live in a physical world and have bodies
and are self-aware of those bodies and their own embedding in such a
physical world - what possible statistically stable laws of physics
would be required for such beings (I think Tegmark called them
Self-Aware Substructures)? Since we know we're in such a situation,
what laws of physics are possible that have conscious self-aware
observers with 'physical' bodies?
Could it be that we are tacitly assuming that our notion of Virtual is
such that there always exists a standard what is the "Real" version? If
it is not possible to tell if a given object of experience is real or
virtual, why do we default to it being virtual, as if it was somehow
possible to compare the object in question with an unassailably "real"
version? As I see it, if we can somehow show that a given object of
experience is the _best possible_ simulation (modulo available
resources) then it is "real", as a better or "more real" simulation of
it is impossible to generate. Our physical world is 'real' simply
because there does not exist a better simulation of it.
I should have been more precise, when I said VR, I didn't merely mean a
good digital physics simulation where the observer's entire body+brain
is contained within, I meant something more high-level, think of "Second
Life" or "Blocks World" or some other similar simulation done 1000 years
from now with much more computational resources. The main difference
between VR and physical-real is that one contains a body+brain embedded
in that physical-real world (as matter), thus physical-real is also a
self-contained consistent mathematical structure, while VR has some
external component which prevents a form of physical self-awareness (you
can't have brain surgery in a VR, at least not in the sense we do have
in the real world). The main difference here is that the VR can be
influenced by a higher level at which the VR itself runs, while a
physical-real structure is completely self-contained.
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