On 3/12/2012 3:49 AM, acw wrote:
On 3/12/2012 08:04, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 3/12/2012 2:53 AM, acw wrote:
On 3/12/2012 05:43, Stephen P. King wrote:

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.

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.

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.


I am mot exactly sure of what you mean by "indexical".
Your current state, time, location, birth place, brain state, etc are indexicals. The (observed) laws of physics are also indexicals, unless you can show that either only one possible set of laws of physics is possible or you just assume that (for example, in a primary matter hypothesis).

As to brain
surgery in VR, why not? All that is needed is rules in the program that
control the 1p experience of content to some states in game structures.
Our brains are made of matter and if we change them, our experience changes. In a VR, the brain's implementation is assumed external to the VR, if not, it would be a digital physics simulation, which is a bit different (self-contained). It might be possible to change your brain within the VR if the right APIs and protocols are implemented, but the brain's computations are done externally to the VR physics simulation (at a different layer, for example, "brain" program is ran separately from "physics" simulation program) . There's some subtle details here - if the brain was computed entirely through the VR's physics, UDA would apply and you would get the VR's physics simulation's indeterminacy (no longer a simulation, but something existing on its own in the UD*), otherwise, the brain's implementation depends on the indeterminacy present at the upper layer and not of the VR's physics simulation. This is a subtle point, but there would be a difference in measure and experience between simulating the brain from a digital physics simulation and external to it. In our world, we have the very high confidence belief that our brains are made of matter and thus implemented at the same level as our reality. In a VR, we may assume the implementation of our brains as external to the VR's physics - experienced reality being different from mind's body (brain) reality.


Umm, this looks like you are making a difference between a situation where your P.o.V. os "stuck" 'in one's head" and a P.o.V. where it is free to move about. Have you ever played a MMORPG game? These two situations are just a matter of the programs parameters... Again, what makes the virtual reality "virtual"? I claim that it is only because there is some other point of view or stance that is taken as "real" such that the virtual version is has fewer detail and degrees of freedom. If a sufficiently powerful computer can generate a simulation of a physical world, why can it not simulate brains in it as well? Some people think that minds are just "something that the brain does", so why not have a single program generating all of it - brains and minds included? My problem is that I fail to see how the UD and indeterminacy given copy and paste operations is involved in this question.

The point is that if we are considering brains-in-vasts problems we need
to also consider the "other minds" problems. We should not be analyzing
this from a strict one person situation. You and I have different
experiences up to and including the "something that is like being
Stephen" as different from "something that is like to being ACW". If we
where internally identical minds then why would be even be having this
conversation? We would literally "know" each others thought by merely
having them. This is why I argue that plural shared 1p is a weakness in
COMP. We have to have disjointness at least.
We have different mind-states thus we have different experiences. I'm not entirely sure why would we share a mind if we didn't share a brain - it doesn't make much sense to me.

What is the relation between mind states and brain states in your opinion? I believe that we cannot have minds without brains, but I also believe that minds and brains are not "modular" in the complete sense, because it it where then we would literally share mind states via functional equivalence without sharing brains. There is something "integral" about a mind...



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