On Monday, August 18, 2014 5:33:19 AM UTC+10, Brent wrote:
> On 8/17/2014 5:43 AM, Pierz wrote: 
> > Thank you Bruno for your response. Honestly I don't know if I'd say yes 
> to the doctor. 
> > It's cowardly of me, but I think I'd like to see the device work on 
> someone else first. 
> > If they appear to be fine after the operation then I guess I'll go under 
> the knife - and 
> > have to swallow the logical consequences whole! Your reply helps. I 
> suppose what I feel 
> > is missing from the account is the *necessity* of qualia, because it 
> seems to me that 
> > everything that exists, necessarily exists, and as it stands in the comp 
> account, the 
> > necessity for there to be an interior to mathematics remains mysterious. 
> My guess is 
> > that comp is wrong, but it may be that it is still a whole lot more 
> right than 
> > materialism. It may be wrong in the same way that general relativity and 
> QM are "wrong", 
> > i.e., correct, but to some limit. My next step is to read the Amoeba's 
> Secret and see if 
> > I can start to wrap my head around the S4Grz and the []p & p - the maths 
> is still 
> > largely a mystery to me. 
> > 
> > However I wanted to put some less argumentative and more curious 
> questions to you about 
> > the way you imagine the comp-driven universe to be (yes, there's no 
> universe, I know, 
> > but I lack words: this apparent "space" we inhabit?). The question comes 
> up in the comp 
> > account about the physical explanation for the origin of the Löbian 
> organism the 
> > self-consistency of whose mind creates the appearance of matter 
> (allegedly). Liz and 
> > Brent were throwing around this "if a tree falls in the forest" question 
> on the MGA 
> > thread. The account whereby the observer arises out of the long, deep 
> history of matter 
> > sure looks convincing. What is the status of this alternative origin 
> story if the 
> > observer is actually grounded in Platonia? I seem to recall you talking 
> about the idea 
> > that the observer's self consistency demands that it also find a 
> consistent account of 
> > itself in the "material hypostases". OK, I can go with that, but 
> something here still 
> > troubles me. We can't surely dismiss these origins as fictive any more 
> than we can 
> > dismiss the other observers we find in our environment as fictive. How 
> do you see the 
> > relationship between these accounts (the exterior physical and the 
> machine 
> > psychological)? It occurs to me that in some ways the anthropic 
> explanation of the fluky 
> > coincidences of the laws of nature resembles the machine psychology 
> account - in that 
> > the requirements of existing as a complex self-aware machine in a sense 
> "cause" the laws 
> > of the universe to be what they are. The need for logical consistency 
> constrains the 
> > environment and its laws in very specific, complex ways. It's almost 
> strange that it's 
> > taken us so long to realize just how extraordinary it is that the "laws" 
> work, that they 
> > are capable of creating the complexity and beauty we see. 
> Check out the book "The Comprehensible Cosmos" by my friend Vic Stenger. 
>  It goes *part* 
> way in explaining this. 
> I'm not sure how much more explanation it requires. The anthropic 
principle plus multiverse will do it, won't it?

> > Only a huge, unfathomable amount of selective work could lead to a 
> structure like the 
> > calabi yau manifolds etc, with its staggeringly elegant capacity to 
> generate complexity 
> > from simplicity. So... that work I describe would be the infinite 
> computations in the 
> > UD, and just as all the complexity in the UD is surrounded by a vastly 
> greater region of 
> > garbled junk, so the physical account relies on a similar surrounding 
> region of 
> > incoherence. Which makes me wonder: are the two accounts just mirror 
> images somehow? Are 
> > the garbled, dead, sterile, incoherent universes the reflection of those 
> infinite 
> > sterile computations? Is there an observer of these dead regions? Or are 
> the observers 
> > like fleeting Boltzmann brain or quantum fuzz in the void: incoherent, 
> fleeting, barely 
> > aware, but just there enough? I hope I make sense... 
> > 
> > Now a second thing. Comp suggests, or predicts, Many Worlds, and says 
> physics arises 
> > from the measure of the observer computations. But string theory 
> suggests many 
> > physics(es!). So this is intriguing. Are we humans (and other animals in 
> this 
> > multiverse) bound to one set of physics as it were, while perhaps other 
> (more complex?) 
> > observers occupy a world with different laws? Because it seems we have 
> only one of two 
> > options. Either the other possible physics are all sterile, or there is 
> something about 
> > the types of mathematical structures that we are that keeps us bound to 
> this particular 
> > set of observer states, not letting us "slip over" into universes with 
> different laws? 
> >  Might we not be capable of a kind of mathematical state change that 
> would see us 
> > metamorphose, wake up in a world with different laws? Might death and 
> birth not be such 
> > state changes? (This last suggestion no doubt getting too mystical for 
> many whose 
> > self-appointed job it is to crush any idea that smacks of the Big Guy 
> Upstairs who we've 
> > had so much trouble with in the past, but you're not afraid of the 
> G-word it seems, so I 
> > ask anyway (not that survival of death has to bring God with it, but 
> some people are 
> > sensitive about these things.)) 
> Given that you don't remember any past life (though some people claim to) 
> the question is, 
> what survives?  Is there a kind of soul that is independent of memory but 
> is a "person"? 
> That is a good question. There is some pretty hard to explain research 
done by Ian Stevenson on children who claim to recall past lives. Stevenson 
is legit, the research very thorough, and the data just very hard to 
explain away. I guess if that is right, then comp is false. Or is it 
necessarily? I haven't tried to think this through rigorously but with the 
idea of simulators within simulators perhaps comp might still work? I would 
say that failure to recall past lives is absence of evidence of them, not 
evidence of absence. So it's not argument against them, only a way to place 
the burden of proof on the believer. I'm not interested in trying to prove 
it because I'm agnostic on what happens after death, and because those 
debates are tiring and fruitless, but I am certainly more open to the 
possibility than I once was, having looked at the research.

> > 
> > My own pet idea at the moment is a simple rule that seems at the least 
> strongly 
> > suggested by scientific experience to date and to me just intuitively 
> compelling. It is 
> > simply that there are no brute facts. Or another way of saying this is 
> that there are no 
> > "hard" ontological boundaries, no places where that which exists nakedly 
> abuts 
> > non-existence, in the way that a brute fact is encased as it were in a 
> boundary of 
> > nothingness beyond which one cannot travel. So far, wherever we look we 
> find that 
> > apparently hard boundaries are illusions. Every apparently closed system 
> turns out to be 
> > incomplete (yes Gödel again), 
> But the integers were not even apparently closed, ex hypothesi every 
> number has a 
> successor, and it's this infinity that leads to incompleteness. 
> OK, but I'm not invoking Gödel in any rigorous sense to prove my point. I 
can't prove it, I merely believe it from intuition, and from extrapolating 
from the history of science. Deutsch argues something similar with his idea 
that explanation will be infinite.

> > to be contained as a special case within some more encompassing whole. I 
> believe this is 
> > true infinitely and in all "directions". And so when people pin their 
> hopes on string 
> > theory as a Final Explanation, I don't believe it, just as I don't 
> believe the spatial 
> > dimensions will stop at the current count of 11. They can't, if my idea 
> is correct, 
> > because that 11th dimension would be a hard boundary. The flower of 
> knowledge will keep 
> > opening and opening. 
> But you're looking at our theories as reality.  If you look at them as 
> models we invent to 
> explain the world then it's not so mystical and it's easy to understand 
> that not only does 
> the flower of knowledge open, it also gets discarded and replaced. 
Ah no, I'm not mistaking the map for the territory. I don't know why you 
say that.  I'm saying the territory is infinite in all directions 
(according to my guess), but our maps are finite and so have to have false 
boundaries drawn around them. That allows  them to be accurate to some 
approximation, but I am hypothesizing we'll never close the loop completely.

> Brent 

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