On Wed, Dec 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM, Edgar L. Owen <edgaro...@att.net> wrote:

> All,
> ST=spacetime, c=speed of light, thus STc Principle.
> To answer some of Jason's questions. Block time is wrong.

Can you explain your justification for this assertion?

> Only the common present moment exists. All the comments Jason makes refer
> only to differences in clock times which are well known, but the important
> point is that all those differences in clock time occur in the SAME common
> present moment..

How can there be a single common present if relativity says one person can
consistently believe that A happens before B, while, another person, every
bit as consistent, could believe that B happens before A.

If anything like a present exists, there must be at least two of them (one
for each person in this example), and they must each be different in their
content. Relativity of simultaneity absolutely rules out the notion of a
single objective present.  The only alternatives are: 1. a present for each
inertial reference frame, 2. four dimensionalism (block time / eternalism).

> I find it difficult to understand why so many people can't get their minds
> around the difference which proves there are two distinct kinds of time.
> The past exists only as inferences from the present as to what states
> would have resulted in the present according to the currently known laws of
> physics.

If there are two observers in relative motion to each other, Alice and Bob,
then Alice's present contains things that exist in both Bob's future, and
Bob's past. How can something exist in Alice's present which supposedly
stopped existing for Bob, and how can something exist in Alice's present
which hasn't yet happened, from Bob's point of view?  I think this is clear
evidence that all points in time exist. They don't stop existing just
because we can't see them--to me this seems a head-in-the-sand mentality,
i.e. if I can't see it, it mustn't be there.

If a theory explains why we can't see some particular thing, our inability
to see that thing should not be considered evidence against that thing
(within that theory).

> Therefore the past is actually determined by the present state of reality
> from the perspective of the present which is the only valid perspective.

What if multiple possibilities exist for the present moment, such as after
a quantum erasure. Could there be more than one past moment consistent with
the current present moment?

> Therefore the logical network of past and present is absolute 100% exact
> and could not have been different in even the slightest detail.

How does this work with QM?  You expressed distaste for multiverse
theories, but quantum mechanics is not 100% exact and predictable under
single-universe interpretations.

> The actual currently state of the universe falsifies the very possibility
> of other pasts.

Say there are two very similar but different universes, one in which a
photon took path A, and another where it took path B.  However, mirrors are
arranged such that regardless of which path is taken, the photon bounces to
the same spot. After this happens the two universes are in identical
states.  Could either Edgar Owen (in either of the two universes) rule out
the idea of multiple pasts consistent with their present?

> This is another difficult concept for many.
> Only the future is probabilistic because it does not yet exist

If Julius Caesar still exists (in a point in space time some 2000 light
years away), nothing changes in the laws of physics, and yet the future
would seem just as as probabalistic and unpredictable from his point of
view as it seems to us in ours.  We can't use the presumed "lack of
existence" as an explanation for the unpredictability of the future.

Actually, we can entirely explain the unpredictability of the future from
thermodynamics.  Storing information requires energy, and energy can only
be used to perform useful work in the direction of time through which
entropy increases. Therefore no machine, brain, etc. can operate backwards
in time and store information about future events, as it would represent a
thermodynamically impossible system. Imagine a device using energy to store
memories running backwards in time (from our point of view).  It would be
expending energy to store those bits, but from out perspective, expending
energy in a useful way (backwards in time) from our perspective, appears as
gather energy from the environment. It would be like seeing light bounce
randomly off all the walls in the room to focus on the filament of a
flashlight and recharge its batteries.  It's physically possible but
extremely unlikely. If no (likely) process can possess information stored
about the future, then we have an explanation for our inability to know
future outcomes.

> and has never been computed. But the past - present logical state has been
> actually computed and thus is completely deterministic now that it exists
> and it could not have been different in any minute detail at all.

I think the ideas you have developed are good, but are based on starting
assumptions that are different from mine, hence our disagreement.  Where I
think we agree:

Everything travels at the speed of light
Physical reality emerges from computation and as seen by observers
Consciousness creates consciousness
The fundamental processes that underlie reality are deterministic
God can be interpreted as reality

Where we disagree:
I believe the idea of a "flowing time" or a "moving present" is an emergent
phenomenon, not a fundamental one
I believe in many-world's type theories: (all universes, all computations,
etc. that are possible, exist, and are real)
I believe mathematical, or arithmetical realism can explain the existence
of all computations

If mathematical realism is true, it explains the source of the
computations, the source of the conscious views, and the appearance of
physical reality.  There is no present moment more real than any other, no
multi-verse branch more real than any other, no physical reality nor
experience more real than any other, etc.  If space-time is real, why
should one's "where" be any more privileged than one's "when"?

It seems that we agree on more than we disagree. Hopefully we can bridge
that gap and both come to a more complete understanding in that process.

> This solves the problem of the original fine tuning. Given the current
> state of reality which is all that exists, all other conceivable fine
> tunings are impossible.

My opinion is that the "weak anthropic principle" + "all possibilities
exist" can explain the appearance of fine-tuning, and is simpler and more
elegant than "this is just how things have to be and no other possibilities
are allowed". The existence of all computations is easily shown as a
consequence of arithmetical realism, but I don't know where you would start
to explain only the existence of some, or one, computation, to the
exclusion of all others.

> This is what I call the 'Super Anthropic Principle', and it negates the
> necessity and probably the actuality of postulating any multiverses

What about the two-slit experiment, or how quantum computers work? Doesn't
this require that electrons be in two places at once?

> and strongly implies our observable universe is most probably the only one
> that exists.

By definition.


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