Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-27 Thread aet.radal ssg
Nice try, Danny, but as usual what I thought was a simple and direct concept was completely missed, qat least in the beginning(see what I mean Lee?).
The key issue was the comment that despite the fact that the people in his brain weren't real, that they could still be considered real in our universe. Your response deals with "those people are real in the sense that his brain is devoting processing power to creating the mental image of the individual, and everything related to this individual's personality", which supports an hypothesis that I shared with Lee privately - that people who are completely immersed in one particular communication style and iconography will default to that style when addressed with a different one, despite its complete inability to accurately express what needs to be communicated. 
As usual on this list, that communication style is biased heavily toward computer technology. So instead of a subjective vs objective argument, which is where Saibal's idea really falls (along with the one that Stathis dodged), the first concept out of the box from you is a qualitative defense of how real Nash's friends were because of the "processing power" his brain was devoting to creating them. Sounds like you're talking about a Pentium chip or something, never mind that the amount of power that his brain is using is irrelevent. If he hallucinated that he saw one obscure figure for a split second and never saw it again, that obscure figurewould be no more real in "our universe" than his hallucinated friends were.
However, you do finally get around to "Therefore the person is real to at least one first person perspective, but is not currently real to any third person perspective." which takes us right back to my original question to Saibal, which was how come he said that they *were* real in "our universe"? The key phrase being "our universe" which means the objective reality that we can all agree upon typically because of shared and agreed upon observations which would exclude subjective hallucinations. 
As usual, the basic, straight forward questions go unaddressed in favor of the usualbanter, but that's par for the course here. I'm just playing through.
"It is not impossible to conceive of future devices that could display thoughts on a screen, or even materialize the thought (for you Trekkies), making the person real even to the third person perspective."
Funny you should mention that - that's part of what I'm working on, 1930s style, of course.- Original Message -From: "danny mayes" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: "aet.radal ssg" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortalityDate: Thu, 26 May 2005 19:43:52 -0400I'll answer your question (at the risk of incurring your wrath): those people are real in the sense that his brain is devoting processing power to creating the mental image of the individual, and everything related to this individual's personality. So even though the person in his head isn't nearly as substantive or complex as a person in the "real" world, information processing has been devoted to creating this "person", who has a real appearance and personality and behavior to at least one observer. Therefore the person is real to at least one first person perspective, but is not currently real to any third person perspective. It is not impossible to conceive of future devices that could display thoughts on a screen, or even materialize the thought (for you Trekkies), making the person real even to the third person perspective.Danny aet.radal ssg wrote:
You're assuming that Einstein came up with those ideas through brainstorming. You're the one that called the ideas discussed here often as "half-formed". The problem Iused to have (I'm too busy to even give darn anymore) is when ideas are put out that don't seem to any thought behind them, prior to being offered. Like mystill unanswered question to Saibal about how people whoaren't "really" there but exist in Nash's headcan still be considered real in "our universe". That's what I'mtalking about. That's a fully formed idea with absolutely no basis in the objective world that was just put out there like it meant something, when in fact it's ridiculous.I asked simply what he meant by it, to see howpossibly he could defend such a statement, and got nothing. Par for the course, I'm sure.- Original Message - From: "Jesse Mazer" To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], everything-list@eskimo.com Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 12:29:13 -0400   aet.radal ssg wrote:Clearly, the method and definition of brainstorming that you're   accustomed to is different than mine. The "half-formed idea" is   what initiates the brainstorm for me, which is fully formed when   the storm is over, ie. the ground is parched and in need of   

Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-27 Thread aet.radal ssg
Forgive any typos...

- Original Message - 
From: Jesse Mazer 
To: everything-list@eskimo.com 
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality 
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 20:05:49 -0400 

 
 aet.radal ssg wrote: 
 
  You're assuming that Einstein came up with those ideas through 
  brainstorming. 
 
 To me, brainstorming just means any creative attempt to come up 
 with new tentative speculations about solutions to a problem. 

Then like I said, you and I have different definitions for brainstorming. 
Mine is specific whereas yours seems arbitray as it includes any creative 
attempt to come up with new tenative speculations about solutions to a 
problem. To each his own. 


Since Einstein's ideas cannot possibly have been anything but tentative 
 and speculative before the theory of general relativity was worked 
 out, then of course he came up with them through brainstorming. How 
 else would he have come up with them, logical deductions from a set 
 of axioms whose truth was totally certain? Divine revelation? 

Perhaps he did, since your definition is so all inconclusive of any attempt at 
creative thought. Since I never met the man, nor have read any accounts that 
document how he did his creative thinking that I can accurtately reference 
right now, I don't have an opinion one way of the other.

 
  You're the one that called the ideas discussed here often as 
  half-formed. 
 
 Yes, and I would define any idea that has not been made into a 
 fully-worked out, complete theory as half-formed. 

And...so what's your point?

Thus, until 
 Einstein worked out the full tensor equations of general 
 relativity, his ideas were half-formed, by definition. Perhaps you 
 woud define the term half-formed differently, but that's all I 
 meant by that. 
 

I think we would agree on the definition of half-formed. I'm just not making 
any assumptions on how Einstein did his work or comparing it to what passes for 
brainstorming on the list...like you are.

  The problem I used to have (I'm too busy to even give darn 
  anymore) is when ideas are put out that don't seem to any 
  thought behind them, prior to being offered. 
 
 What if the person has thought about them, but doesn't know 
 themselves whether they're any good, and wants feedback from 
 others? 

I have no problem with that. Never said I did.

Are you suggesting that before making any proposal, we 
 should always feel 100% certain in our own minds about whether the 
 proposal is correct or not? 


I usually don't suggest things...I come right out and say them. What I'm saying 
is that the posts that I usually have a problem with aren't asking for feedback 
from others because of a particular problem solving issue. They make these 
statements and they're usually just left there as if completely valid, or 
worse, expounded on by others in an even more inaccurate direction so that the 
original issue is never dealt with. I stated that before, I don't know how many 
times now.

  Like my still unanswered question to Saibal about how people 
  who aren't really there but exist in Nash's head can still be 
  considered real in our universe. 
 
 Maybe he didn't know the answer himself--is that a bad thing? 

He could have said so, is that a bad thing?

 Anyway, one could argue that simulations in someone's brain are 
 just as real as simulations on a computer--

Simulations on a computer aren't real, hence the term virtual. However, they 
are more real than a single mental cases' hallucinations.

do you think A.I. 
 shouldn't be considered real beings in our universe? 

They should be considered real technologies, not beings.

Of course, I 
 don't think the simulations of characters in a schizophrenic mind 
 or in a dream are really being simulated at anything like the same 
 level of detail as a genuine A.I. would be. 

OK.

 
  That's what I'm talking about. That's a fully formed idea with 
  absolutely no basis in the objective world that was just put out 
  there like it meant something, when in fact it's ridiculous. 
 
 Whatever gave you the idea that it was a fully formed idea? 

It was a statement. Close enough for rock 'n' roll.

Do you think Saibal believed he had a complete theory of how the brain 
 of a schizophrenic simulates the imaginary characters he interacts 
 with, for example? 

I don't make a practice of trying to guess what somebody thinks. I respond to 
what they say. But I'll say that your question, again, misses the point - 
Saibal's issue was that the imaginary people were still real in our universe. 
It doesn't matter whether Saibal knows how the brain works or understands 
schizophrenia or how much processing power was involved. The key issue is the 
moment that we're supposed to take whatever it is, that Nash's hallucinating, 
as being real in our universe. It goes right back to what Stathis was saying 
about temporal recognition impaired patients having some valid observation on 
how time works, which he also chose to leave

Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-26 Thread aet.radal ssg
- Original Message - From: "Jesse Mazer" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], everything-list@eskimo.com Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 18:36:51 -0400   "aet.radal ssg" wrote:From: "Jesse Mazer"   To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], everything-list@eskimo.com   Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality   Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 14:48:17 -0400  Generally, unasked-for attempts at armchair psychology to explain   the motivations of another poster on an internet forum, like the   comment that someone "just wants to hear themself talk", are   justly considered flames and tend to have the effect of derailing   productive discussion. I indicated that it wasn't a flame and just an observation. You   later prove me right.   My point was that the *type* of comment you made is generally  considered a flame merely because of its form, regardless of  whether your intent was to provoke insult or whether you just saw  it as making an observation. It just isn't very respectful to  speculate about people's hidden motives for making a particular  argument, however flawed, nor does doing so tend to further  productive debate about the actual content of the argument, which  is why ad hominems are usually frowned upon.but hey, this list is all about   rambling speculations about half-formed ideas that probably won't   pan out to anything, you could just as easily level the same   accusation against anyone here.   snip
  If it's not going to pan out anyway, then it's pretty   meaningless. If it's "rambling" it's fairly incoherent, and if   the ideas are half-formed then what's the point to begin with?   99% of brainstorms don't pan out to anything, and brainstorms by  definition are usually half-formed, but all interesting new ideas  were at one point just half-formed brainstorms too. Perhaps I  should have left out "rambling", I only meant a sort of informal,  conversational way of presenting a new speculation.   Jesse 
Clearly, the method and definition of brainstorming that you're accustomed to is different than mine. The "half-formed idea" is what initiates the brainstorm for me, which is fully formed when the storm is over, ie. the ground is parched and in need of rain, the storm comes and when it's over, the ground is wet and crops can grow. Sorry, I just couldn't think of a snappy computer metaphor, being as I'm from the 1930's, as I have been told.

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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-26 Thread Jesse Mazer

aet.radal ssg wrote:

Clearly, the method and definition of brainstorming that you're accustomed 
to is different than mine. The half-formed idea is what initiates the 
brainstorm for me, which is fully formed when the storm is over, ie. the 
ground is parched and in need of rain, the storm comes and when it's over, 
the ground is wet and crops can grow. Sorry, I just couldn't think of a 
snappy computer metaphor, being as I'm from the 1930's, as I have been 
told


But does this mean you think no one should discuss ideas that are not fully 
developed? To use my earlier example, do you think Einstein should have kept 
his mouth shut about ideas like the equivalence principle and curved space 
until he had the full equations of general relativity worked out, and that 
if he did try to discuss such half-finished ideas with anyone it would be 
because he just liked to hear himself talk?


Jesse




Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-26 Thread aet.radal ssg
You're assuming that Einstein came up with those ideas through brainstorming. You're the one that called the ideas discussed here often as "half-formed". The problem Iused to have (I'm too busy to even give darn anymore) is when ideas are put out that don't seem to any thought behind them, prior to being offered. Like mystill unanswered question to Saibal about how people whoaren't "really" there but exist in Nash's headcan still be considered real in "our universe". That's what I'mtalking about. That's a fully formed idea with absolutely no basis in the objective world that was just put out there like it meant something, when in fact it's ridiculous.I asked simply what he meant by it, to see howpossibly he could defend such a statement, and got nothing. Par for the course, I'm sure.- Original Message - From: "Jesse Mazer" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], everything-list@eskimo.com Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 12:29:13 -0400   aet.radal ssg wrote:Clearly, the method and definition of brainstorming that you're   accustomed to is different than mine. The "half-formed idea" is   what initiates the brainstorm for me, which is fully formed when   the storm is over, ie. the ground is parched and in need of   rain, the storm comes and when it's over, the ground is wet and   crops can grow. Sorry, I just couldn't think of a snappy computer   metaphor, being as I'm from the 1930's, as I have been told   But does this mean you think no one should discuss ideas that are  not fully developed? To use my earlier example, do you think  Einstein should have kept his mouth shut about ideas like the  equivalence principle and curved space until he had the full  equations of general relativity worked out, and that if he did try  to discuss such half-finished ideas with anyone it would be because  he just liked to hear himself talk?   Jesse 

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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-26 Thread danny mayes




I'll answer your question (at the risk of incurring your wrath): those
people are real in the sense that his brain is devoting processing
power to creating the mental image of the individual, and everything
related to this individual's personality. So even though the person in
his head isn't nearly as substantive or complex as a person in the
"real" world, information processing has been devoted to creating this
"person", who has a real appearance and personality and behavior to at
least one observer. Therefore the person is real to at least one first
person perspective, but is not currently real to any third person
perspective. It is not impossible to conceive of future devices that
could display thoughts on a screen, or even materialize the thought
(for you Trekkies), making the person real even to the third person
perspective.

Danny 

aet.radal ssg wrote:
You're assuming that Einstein came up with those ideas
through brainstorming. You're the one that called the ideas discussed
here often as "half-formed". The problem Iused to have (I'm too busy
to even give darn anymore) is when ideas are put out that don't seem to
any thought behind them, prior to being offered. Like mystill
unanswered question to Saibal about how people whoaren't "really"
there but exist in Nash's headcan still be considered real in "our
universe". That's what I'mtalking about. That's a fully formed idea
with absolutely no basis in the objective world that was just put out
there like it meant something, when in fact it's ridiculous.I asked
simply what he meant by it, to see howpossibly he could defend such a
statement, and got nothing. Par for the course, I'm sure.
  
- Original Message - 
From: "Jesse Mazer" 
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], everything-list@eskimo.com 
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality 
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 12:29:13 -0400 
  
 
 aet.radal ssg wrote: 
 
  Clearly, the method and definition of brainstorming that
you're 
  accustomed to is different than mine. The "half-formed
idea" is 
  what initiates the brainstorm for me, which is fully formed
when 
  the storm is over, ie. the ground is parched and in need
of 
  rain, the storm comes and when it's over, the ground is
wet and 
  crops can grow. Sorry, I just couldn't think of a snappy
computer 
  metaphor, being as I'm from the 1930's, as I have been
told 
 
 But does this mean you think no one should discuss ideas that are 
 not fully developed? To use my earlier example, do you think 
 Einstein should have kept his mouth shut about ideas like the 
 equivalence principle and curved space until he had the full 
 equations of general relativity worked out, and that if he did try
  
 to discuss such half-finished ideas with anyone it would be
because 
 he just liked to hear himself talk? 
 
 Jesse 
  
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-26 Thread Jesse Mazer

aet.radal ssg wrote:

You're assuming that Einstein came up with those ideas through 
brainstorming.


To me, brainstorming just means any creative attempt to come up with new 
tentative speculations about solutions to a problem. Since Einstein's ideas 
cannot possibly have been anything but tentative and speculative before the 
theory of general relativity was worked out, then of course he came up with 
them through brainstorming. How else would he have come up with them, 
logical deductions from a set of axioms whose truth was totally certain? 
Divine revelation?


You're the one that called the ideas discussed here often as 
half-formed.


Yes, and I would define any idea that has not been made into a fully-worked 
out, complete theory as half-formed. Thus, until Einstein worked out the 
full tensor equations of general relativity, his ideas were half-formed, by 
definition. Perhaps you woud define the term half-formed differently, but 
that's all I meant by that.


The problem I used to have (I'm too busy to even give darn anymore) is 
when ideas are put out that don't seem to any thought behind them, prior 
to being offered.


What if the person has thought about them, but doesn't know themselves 
whether they're any good, and wants feedback from others? Are you suggesting 
that before making any proposal, we should always feel 100% certain in our 
own minds about whether the proposal is correct or not?


Like my still unanswered question to Saibal about how people who aren't 
really there but exist in Nash's head can still be considered real in 
our universe.


Maybe he didn't know the answer himself--is that a bad thing? Anyway, one 
could argue that simulations in someone's brain are just as real as 
simulations on a computer--do you think A.I. shouldn't be considered real 
beings in our universe? Of course, I don't think the simulations of 
characters in a schizophrenic mind or in a dream are really being simulated 
at anything like the same level of detail as a genuine A.I. would be.


That's what I'm talking about. That's a fully formed idea with absolutely 
no basis in the objective world that was just put out there like it meant 
something, when in fact it's ridiculous.


Whatever gave you the idea that it was a fully formed idea? Do you think 
Saibal believed he had a complete theory of how the brain of a schizophrenic 
simulates the imaginary characters he interacts with, for example?


Jesse




Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-24 Thread Jesse Mazer

aet.radal ssg wrote:


From: Jesse Mazer 
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality 
Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 14:48:17 -0400 
 
Generally, unasked-for attempts at armchair psychology to explain 
the motivations of another poster on an internet forum, like the 
comment that someone just wants to hear themself talk, are 
justly considered flames and tend to have the effect of derailing 
productive discussion.


I indicated that it wasn't a flame and just an observation. You later prove 
me right.


My point was that the *type* of comment you made is generally considered a 
flame merely because of its form, regardless of whether your intent was to 
provoke insult or whether you just saw it as making an observation. It just 
isn't very respectful to speculate about people's hidden motives for making 
a particular argument, however flawed, nor does doing so tend to further 
productive debate about the actual content of the argument, which is why ad 
hominems are usually frowned upon.



 but hey, this list is all about 
rambling speculations about half-formed ideas that probably won't 
pan out to anything, you could just as easily level the same 
accusation against anyone here. 


  

Jesse 



And so you reinforce my flame. Rambling speculations about half-formed 
ideas that probably won't pan out to anything is a good description of 
talking to hear ones-self talk.


Sometimes, but it's also a good description of brainstorming ideas that 
aren't fully developed yet. If I had speculated in 1910 that perhaps the 
force of gravity could be explained in terms of objects taking the shortest 
path in curved space, but didn't have a full mathematical theory that 
fleshed out this germ of an idea (and also didn't yet see that the longest 
path through curved spacetime would be better than the shortest path through 
curved space), then this would be a halfed-formed idea that probably 
wouldn't pan out to anything, but it might still be useful to discuss it 
with others who found this germ of an idea promising and wanted to develop 
it further. That's how I see the purpose of this list, a combination of 
brainstorming ideas about the everything exists idea and then criticizing, 
fleshing out or disposing of these ideas. So certainly criticism of specific 
ideas that don't make sense is valuable, but I don't think it's helpful to 
accuse anyone who comes up with an idea that doesn't work out of just 
wanting to hear themselves talk.


If it's not going to pan out anyway, then it's pretty meaningless. If it's 
rambling it's fairly incoherent, and if the ideas are half-formed then 
what's the point to begin with?


99% of brainstorms don't pan out to anything, and brainstorms by definition 
are usually half-formed, but all interesting new ideas were at one point 
just half-formed brainstorms too. Perhaps I should have left out rambling, 
I only meant a sort of informal, conversational way of presenting a new 
speculation.


Jesse




Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-20 Thread aet.radal ssg
 From: "Jesse Mazer"<[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], everything-list@eskimo.com  Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality  Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 14:48:17 -0400   Generally, unasked-for attempts at armchair psychology to explain  the motivations of another poster on an internet forum, like the  comment that someone "just wants to hear themself talk", are  justly considered flames and tend to have the effect of derailing  productive discussion.
I indicated that it wasn't a flame and just an observation. You later prove me right.
I actually agree with your other comments  about it being implausible that the mentally ill have some sort  of superior insight into reality,
Funny, it took my "flame" to get anyone to respond to that point, and the only one was you.
but hey, this list is all about  rambling speculations about half-formed ideas that probably won't  pan out to anything, you could just as easily level the same  accusation against anyone here.
 Jesse 
And so you reinforce my "flame". "Rambling speculations about half-formed ideas that probably won't pan out to anything" is a good description of talking to hear ones-self talk. If it's not going to pan out anyway, then it's pretty meaningless. If it's "rambling" it's fairly incoherent, and if the ideas are half-formed then what's the point to begin with? It's not to further any concrete understanding of anything. It's not to create any better models of reality, how could you with rambling, "half-formed" ideas?The pretense of anything serious being discussed or with any kind of serious thought behind it, should be dropped, then. Save peoplelike me the wasted time of even joining in the first place.The only reason I won't quit the list for now is that ,once and a while, somebody actually sayssomething interesting that' worth taking note of. I'll just let all the rambling comments about areas that I actually work in, slide from here on out -since now it's official that the standardhere is half-formed ideas that won't pan out.


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Re: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-18 Thread aet.radal ssg
Dear Saibal:
Could you explain the paradox you've created by saying, "In the film Nash was closelyacquainted to persons that *didn't realy exist*." and "One could argue that the persons that Nash was seeing in fact did exist *(inour universe)*, precisely because Nash's brain was simulating them."
What is the definition of "really"? What makes something "exist in our universe" if it only "really" exits in somebody's mind? 
- Original Message -From: "Saibal Mitra" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: everything Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortalityDate: Fri, 13 May 2005 03:11:21 +0200



One could say that the brain of some schizophrenic persons simulate otherpersons. I don't know if some of you have seen the film 'A Beautiful mind'about the life of mathematician Nash. In the film Nash was closelyacquainted to persons that didn't realy exist. Only much later when he wastreated for his condition did he realize that some of his close friendsdidn't really exist.One could argue that the persons that Nash was seeing in fact did exist (inour universe), precisely because Nash's brain was simulating them.Saibal

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Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-15 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 14-mai-05, à 07:44, Lee Corbin a écrit :

No, it is not just erroneous.  I know of many thoughtful
people, and include myself as one of them, who believe that
the so-called mind body problem is some sort of verbal or
linguistic problem.

I can agree with that, but then we should solve that linguistic problem.


We see it as arising most likely in the
minds of people who think there must be a deeper explanation
for why highly advanced products of natural selection can
report their internal states.


No. That's easy to explain. The problem is that any third person explanation suppress the need of the first person and its qualia, etc.

And the aforesaid we don't think that anything needs explaining.
Almost everyone reading this believes that an AI program could be
written such that even if you single-step through it, it will
report on its feelings, and that they'll be no less genuine than
ours. And from this, I conclude that in all likelihood, there really
isn't a problem :-)

Big discoveries has made by people who sees problems where others take things for granted. Einstein did see Maxwell equations were problematical with galileo relativity.
We could have sty in our cavern considering that the only serious problem is finding ways to eat and escaping to be east. 
You can read the good nook by Michael Tye, which introduces very gently some facets on the mind-body problem:
 Tye, M. (1995). Ten problems of consciousness. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-15 Thread aet.radal ssg
Why am I not surprised that I disagree with this response?- Original Message - From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], [EMAIL PROTECTED] Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 23:25:28 +1000   The obvious and sensible-sounding response to Jeanne's question  whether it may be possible to access other universes through dreams  or hallucinations is that it is not really any more credible than  speculation that people can contact the dead, or have been  kidnapped by aliens, or any other of the millions of weird things  that so many seem to believe despite the total lack of supporting  evidence. 
Actually, if a person believes they are perceiving a parallel reality a number of questions must be asked first. 1. Is this supposed to be a branch off of our world or is it a world that is distantly related or not related at all? 2. Having identified what type of world, then as much information should be gathered about it as possible to create a database that can be analyzed for evidence from which determinations can be made as to whether the person really is perceiving a parallel world of some kind of just has mental issues. The easiest case would be one where the person in question claims to have awareness of some other world with different technology. If they can't describe it any more than on a superficial level, then the probability is high that its all just some kind of dellusion. However, if they can, especially to the point of it beingreproduced here, and especially if they can describe a number of devices or technologies which don't exist here but can be produced here, then I would say that it warrants a much closer look. 
The greater the detail a person can obtain from their perceptions, the easier it is to map out a description of the other world. If the detail is great enough, then it might be possible to at least decide that even if it can't be conclusive as to whether or not the information is derived from parallel world perception or a highly detailed hallucination, a better understanding can be had of what it is the person is experiencing. For example, 30 years ago a person walks into a psychiatrist's office and talks about how he keeps having visions of the world and it's all weird. After a number of sessions, the psychiatrist learns that the patient has perceptions of the world where the Soviet Union doesn't exist anymore, there's a major conflict in the Mid East with Iraq, and the World Trade Center doesn't exist anymore. Not enough detail. Could be just wild imagination based on obvious scenarios. However, if the patient starts naming names like George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, Putin, etc. then the psychiatrist can begin to construct that database and see if any of these people really exist. The more data, the better. Eventually extrapolations can be made as to whether the patient is seeing the future of the world that they're in or perhaps a parallel world. 
This is an oversimplification of how the process really works, but one that points a direction for how these kinds of questions are actually investigated. BTW, 30 years ago, almost all science fiction written about the near future, had the Soviet Union still in existence. Anyone saying that they had perceptions of a future where it no loner existed, without the use of nuclear war, would truely have been seen as crazy. Yet, they would have been correct.
However, this response is completely wrong if MWI is  correct. If I dream tonight that a big green monster has eaten the  Sydney Opera House, then definitely, in some branch of the MW, a  big green monster will eat the Sydney Opera House. 
Actually, MWI doesn't mean that just because you think (or dream something) that it happens somewhere. The big green monster that eats the Sydney Opera House could just be some bad vegamite you had. Just like the hallucinations of mentally ill people, or for that matter, drug users, aren't valid observations of reality.
Of course, this  unfortunate event will occur even if I *don't* dream it, 
The event will only happen if it's a valid perception of another world. Could be other things. Those other things always have to be taken into consideration.
but I'mnot saying that my dream caused it, only that I saw it happening. 
Dreams rarely, if ever, have a causal effect just in and of themselves. Causality usually results from taking action because of the dream.
 It might also be argued that I didn't really "receive" this  information from another branch, but that it was just a coincidence  that my dream matched the reality in the other branch. 
Of course if it happens in another branch you won't have any other form of confirmation of it besides another dream, which is not all that helpful. There exits a criteria for trying to determine whether a dream should even be considered a possible parallel universe dream.
But seersdon't see things by putting two and two togeth

RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-14 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Lee Corbin writes (replying to Bruno Marchal):
 I agree the abandoning of vitalism is progress. And it is true that
 natural science has explained features like self-reproduction,
 animal motion, energy transformation (sun - living matter) and so
 on. But it is just erroneous to conclude that the mind-body problem
 has been solved.
No, it is not just erroneous.  I know of many thoughtful
people, and include myself as one of them, who believe that
the so-called mind body problem is some sort of verbal or
linguistic problem. We see it as arising most likely in the
minds of people who think there must be a deeper explanation
for why highly advanced products of natural selection can
report their internal states.
 And then if we are really digital machine, I offer a case
 that materialism will be abandoned from purely rational
 consideration. Matter? A lasting aristotelian superstition ...
Well, you could be right!  The jury's still out!  :-)
  Observer-moments seems to arise simply from observers,

 Except that nobody has ever succeed in explaining how the 1-person
 observer moment can arise from any 3-person description of an observer.
And the aforesaid we don't think that anything needs explaining.
Almost everyone reading this believes that an AI program could be
written such that even if you single-step through it, it will
report on its feelings, and that they'll be no less genuine than
ours. And from this, I conclude that in all likelihood, there really
isn't a problem :-)
Lee
I don't believe there is anything fundamentally mysterious about the human 
brain, in that it is just a collection of a dozen or so chemical elements 
organised in a particular way. Some people are offended by this assertion, 
and believe there is some special ingredient or mysterious process involved 
in cognition, which is perhaps forever beyond scientific scrutiny. We could 
call this folk dualism and folk vitalism, and it is very common in the 
community. Of course, it's nonsense.

Having clarified that, I still think there is a real issue when considering 
consciousness and the 1st person/ 3rd person distinction. The problem is 
that it is possible, in theory, to collect, record and communicate 
information about any aspect of the physical universe *except* one's 
conscious experience. A person who is blind from birth might learn 
everything about light, how the eye works, how the brain processes sensory 
data from the optic nerve, and so on, but still have *no idea* of what it 
actually feels like to see.

I don't believe there is some deeper explanation for why we have conscious 
experiences; manifestly, it is something that happens when certain 
electrochemical reactions occur in our brain, just as travelling down the 
road at 60 km/h is something that happens when controlled explosions occur 
in the cylinders of a car's engine. But this does not mean that the unique, 
private nature of conscious experience should be ignored or denied.

--Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-13 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
What is the difference between a simulation and a representation? Is it just 
that a representation is a rather poor simulation, one that doesn't talk 
back to you, like a film? Is there a sharp dividing line between the two, or 
is it a continuum?

--Stathis Papaioannou
From: Saibal Mitra [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything everything-list@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 03:11:21 +0200
One could say that the brain of some schizophrenic persons simulate other
persons. I don't know if some of you have seen the film 'A Beautiful mind'
about the life of mathematician Nash. In the film Nash was closely
acquainted to persons that didn't realy exist. Only much later when he was
treated for his condition did he realize that some of his close friends
didn't really exist.
One could argue that the persons that Nash was seeing in fact did exist (in
our universe), precisely because Nash's brain was simulating them.
Saibal

Van: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Aan: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; [EMAIL PROTECTED]
CC: everything-list@eskimo.com
Verzonden: Thursday, May 12, 2005 03:25 PM
Onderwerp: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
 The obvious and sensible-sounding response to Jeanne's question whether 
it
 may be possible to access other universes through dreams or 
hallucinations
 is that it is not really any more credible than speculation that people
can
 contact the dead, or have been kidnapped by aliens, or any other of the
 millions of weird things that so many seem to believe despite the total
lack
 of supporting evidence. However, this response is completely wrong if 
MWI
is
 correct. If I dream tonight that a big green monster has eaten the 
Sydney
 Opera House, then definitely, in some branch of the MW, a big green
monster
 will eat the Sydney Opera House. Of course, this unfortunate event will
 occur even if I *don't* dream it, but I'm not saying that my dream 
caused
 it, only that I saw it happening. It might also be argued that I didn't
 really receive this information from another branch, but that it was
just
 a coincidence that my dream matched the reality in the other branch. But
 seers don't see things by putting two and two together; they just, well,
 *see* them. And if I really could, godlike, enter at random another 
branch
 of the MW and return to this branch to report what I saw, how would the
 information provided be any different from my dream? The only difference 
I
 can think of is that with the direct method I would be more likely to
visit
 a branch with greater measure, but I can probably achieve the same thing
by
 trying not to think about green monsters when I go to sleep tonight.

 --Stathis Papaioannou

 I once read an article in, I believe, Time Magazine, about the 
relatively
 new field of neurotheology which investigates what goes on in the 
brain
 during ecstatic states, etc.  One suggestion that intrigued me was that
it
 may be possible that in such a state, and I believe that schizophrenics
 were
 also mentioned, that the brain is malfunctioning in such a way as to
allow
 it to perceive states of reality other than that which the normal brain
 would perceive.  In other words, the antenna (brain) is picking-up
 signals
 that are usually beyond the scope of the normal brain.  I wondered if
 anyone
 could comment on this, and if there was any reason to even entertain 
the
 thought that perhaps some people have passed through a crack in the
 division
 between our universe or dimension, into perhaps another?  I read this
 several years ago and wish that I could recall the details of the
article,
 but I don't have it anymore.
 
 Jeanne

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Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-13 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 13-mai-05, à 05:39, Lee Corbin a écrit :
Brent writes
I think that an observer must be physically instantiated - that seems  
well
supported empirically.  As it is used a observer moment seems to  
mean a unit
of subjective experience.  That there is an observer, i.e.  
something with
continuity over many such subjective experiences, must be an  
inference or a
construct within the theory.
Personally, I would agree. But many here contend that abstract
patterns---mathematical stings, really---can do *so* much cross-
referencing and quoting of each other that a form of paste obtains
that wields them in to something capable of having experiences.
But a familiar abstract object, namely the real numbers between zero
and one, evidently already does all of that (considering the decimal
or binary expressions), and so I'm not sure what remains for the
more abstruse inhabitants of Platonia to do.

Such critics can be addressed to any block-universe view of physics,  
not just mathematical platonia.



Yes, that's the simplest explanation! We have to suppose that
physical objects continue to encode previously gained information
in the default case.
I don't know that we have to.  I've know idealists who suppose
that our memories are part of our immaterial spirits.  But they
have a hard time explaining the limitations of memory.
Such idealists have a hard time being credible at all, if you
ask me.
But what John was perhaps saying---and what I would certainly
claim along with all the adherents of observer-moments, I
think---is that any particular version of you at any particular
moment is not conscious of the facts encoded in all your memories.
Hence the idea that an observer-moment is the net intersection
across the multiverse and across other planetary systems of a
particular sense-perception experience of a particular person.
But if, for each subjective experience, there is no way to uniquely  
associate
it with a sequence of subjective experiences, i.e. every such  
experience has
many predecessors and successors, then I don't see how such sequences  
can
constitute a particular person(s).
I agree. That is, freed of memory, just how are all those subjective
moments linked in a particular ordered sequence? I also agree with
your statement, when *persons* (as you write) are being considered.
I'll admit that there is something---but not very much---associated
with a person that has nothing to do with the person's memories.
It seems in these discussions that the existence of such sequences
corresponding to a particular person, an observer, is taken for
granted.  It is a natural model given that observers are physical
things - but it is problematic if physics is thrown out and you
start from nothing but observer moments.
Well said. A natural model does give us that observers are
physical things, or at least *necessarily* instantiated in
physical things. And I agree that starting from nothing but
observer-moments won't take us any further than it took
William James http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/james/
I can't blame the ancients and moderns up to the 19th century
for being dualists. It seemed utterly impossible that mere
atoms in motion could give rise to such as we. But the painful
---and painstaking---defeat of vitalism achieved finally in
the 20th century leaves it the simplest hypothesis by far to
say that we are machines. Our souls and we arise by natural
means, just as do streams and mountains.

Look at my recent posts to the FOR-LIST, which I have cc-send to the  
everything-list just two minutes ago. I agree the abandon of vitalism  
is a progress. And it is true that natural science has explained  
feature like self-reproduction, animal motion, energy transformation  
(sun - living matter) and so one. But it is just erroneous to conclude  
that the mind-body problem has been solved. And then if we are really  
digital machine, I offer a case that materialism will be abandoned  
from purely rational consideration. Matter? A lasting aristotelian  
superstition ...


Observer-moments seems to arise simply from observers,
Except that nobody has ever succeed in explaining how the 1-person  
observer moment can arise from any 3-person description of an observer.  
And myself and independently Maudlin has made a strong case why, with  
the comp hyp it is just impossible to make such a link. Reference can  
be found here:
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/lillethesis/these/ 
node79.html#SECTION00130


 and
observers arise simply from highly intelligent mammals (or
aliens) who can think about their own thinking. Unless you
want (which is probably a good idea) to regard even
photographic plates and other matter upon which impressions
can be made as *observers*.
Lee

Bruno
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-13 Thread Lee Corbin
Bruno writes

 [Lee writes]
  But many here contend that abstract
  patterns---mathematical stings, really---can do *so* much cross-
  referencing and quoting of each other that a form of paste obtains
  that wields them in to something capable of having experiences.
  But a familiar abstract object, namely the real numbers between zero
  and one, evidently already does all of that (considering the decimal
  or binary expressions), and so I'm not sure what remains for the
  more abstruse inhabitants of Platonia to do.
 
 Such critics can be addressed to any block-universe view of physics,  
 not just mathematical platonia.

I believe that the discussions have established that many people
have something broader in mind when they use the term block
universe. But you could be right: best usage may be as you say.

  I can't blame the ancients and moderns up to the 19th century
  for being dualists. It seemed utterly impossible that mere
  atoms in motion could give rise to such as we. But the painful
  ---and painstaking---defeat of vitalism achieved finally in
  the 20th century leaves it the simplest hypothesis by far to
  say that we are machines. Our souls and we arise by natural
  means, just as do streams and mountains.
 
 
 Look at my recent posts to the FOR-LIST, which I have cc-send to the  
 everything-list just two minutes ago.

Okay, and under the same Subject, I am writing this to both lists.

 I agree the abandoning of vitalism is progress. And it is true that
 natural science has explained features like self-reproduction,
 animal motion, energy transformation (sun - living matter) and so
 on. But it is just erroneous to conclude that the mind-body problem
 has been solved.

No, it is not just erroneous.  I know of many thoughtful
people, and include myself as one of them, who believe that
the so-called mind body problem is some sort of verbal or
linguistic problem. We see it as arising most likely in the
minds of people who think there must be a deeper explanation
for why highly advanced products of natural selection can
report their internal states.

 And then if we are really digital machine, I offer a case
 that materialism will be abandoned from purely rational
 consideration. Matter? A lasting aristotelian superstition ...

Well, you could be right!  The jury's still out!  :-)

  Observer-moments seems to arise simply from observers,
 
 Except that nobody has ever succeed in explaining how the 1-person  
 observer moment can arise from any 3-person description of an observer.  

And the aforesaid we don't think that anything needs explaining.
Almost everyone reading this believes that an AI program could be
written such that even if you single-step through it, it will
report on its feelings, and that they'll be no less genuine than
ours. And from this, I conclude that in all likelihood, there really
isn't a problem :-)

Lee



RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Jonathan Colvin

Jonathan Colvin writes:
 That's putting it mildly. I was thinking that it is more 
likely that a 
 universe tunnels out of a black hole that just randomly happens to 
 contain your precise brain state at that moment, and for all 
of future 
 eternity. But the majority of these random universes will be 
precisely 
 that; random. In most cases you will then find that your immortal 
 experience is of a purely random universe, which is likely a 
good definition of hell.

But it's not all that unlikely that someone in the world, 
unbeknownst to you, has invented a cure; whereas for a 
universe with your exact mind in it to be created purely de 
novo is astronomically unlikely.

Look at the number of atoms in your brain, 10^25 or some such, 
and imagine how many arrangments there are of those atoms that 
aren't you, compared to the relative few which are you.  The 
odds against that happening by chance are beyond 
comprehension.  Whereas the odds of some lucky accident saving 
you as you are about to die are more like lottery-winner long, 
like one in a billion, not astronomically long, like one in a 
googleplex.

I'd say considerably more than one in a billion for a lifespan of even a
thousand years. But we are talking *immortality* here (surviving even the
heat death of our local universe). At that point the odds must be getting
googleplexian... 

Especially if you accept that it is possible in principle for 
medicine to give us an unlimited healthy lifespan, then all 
you really need to do is to live in a universe where that 
medical technology is discovered, and then avoid accidents.  
Neither one seems all that improbable from the perspective of 
people living in our circumstances today.  It's harder to see 
how a cave man could look forward to a long life span.

I thought QTI applied to *any* observer, cave men included. I suppose even a
cave man can look forward to long life if a UFO lands and gifts him the
technology for life extension.

I should add that I don't believe in QTI, I don't believe that 
we are guaranteed to experience such outcomes.  I prefer the 
observer-moment concept in which we are more likely to 
experience observer-moments where we are young and living 
within a normal lifespan than ones where we are at a very 
advanced age due to miraculous luck.

Agreed.

Jonathan Colvin




Re: [Fwd: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality]

2005-05-12 Thread danny mayes





I read "Why Occam's Razor" tonight after posting my last response
(despite having a Federal court brief begging for attention). I didn't
have time to wade through the technical parts very thoroughly, but in
general I found it a very good summary of many of the topics we have
been frequently discussing on this list. 

I also re-read (skimmed) Nick Bostrom's "are you living in a
simulation" paper tonight, and it occurs to me if you add his argument
to MWI, you get the inevitable conclusion that we are simulated, which
I guess is actually a similar concept to Marchal (though Marchal goes
much further in attempting to derive QM, etc. from this). One
difference being that Marchal argues the UTM does not need to actually
exist physically, but as you state in your paper if I read/remember
correctly, the UTM would exist both as mathematical and physical
structure.

This then leads back to questions about the differences between the
mathematical and physical structure; if any. With consideration that
any given area of the multiverse is inevitably and eternally being
simulated by another area, I thereby come full circle and see what
Marchal is saying - there is no need to even consider what we refer to
as the physical. I wonder if, considering Godel, we are forever doomed
to walk around in circles like this

Danny Mayes



many seem to bend over backwards to say you do not actually have to
have the UTM exist physically 


Russell Standish wrote:

  On Thu, May 12, 2005 at 12:40:10AM -0400, danny mayes wrote:
  
  
Russell,

When I stated in the original reply that pulling information out of 
other worlds in the MWI context was prohibited by physics, I was 
referring to information about those universes.  As I stated, obviously 
you can create a superposition to utilize  processing power in other 
universes, but you can't take from this information about the 
universes/worlds you are utilizing.  Therefore, the original concept of 
people "seeing" into other universes seems to be prohibited by the laws 
of physics.

As I understand it, the mathematics of Hilbert space prohibits 
inter-world communications because the attempt to remove information 
from Hilbert space causes decoherence, destroying reversibility.  "Any 
Hilbert space accessible from more than one world line must be a 
timeless place, in which we can leave no permanent mark." - Colin Bruce

  
  
Part of the problem is in assuming that all quantum worlds are
disjoint from each other, when it is clear this is not the case. Take
an example Multiverse that has one spin 1/2 particle in it. Clearly,
it consists of two worlds, one which has spin +1/2\hbar, the other
with spin -1/2\hbar in the z-direction. However, this Multiverse also
has another two worlds in it, one with spin +1/2\hbar and one with
-1/2\hbar, however this time in the x-direction. And so on. All these
worlds exist. By choosing to measure the particle in the x-direction,
I get information from both of the "+1/2-" and "-1/2 in the
z-direction" worlds, hence there is a form of information flow between
worlds.

Nevertheless, there is, as you say, no information flow between
decohered worlds.

  
  
Also, I'm interested in your TIME hypothesis.  Could you refer me to a 
source for information, or summarize for me? 


  
  
I initially raised it my paper "Why Occam's Razor", and have discussed
it a few times on the everything list. Try doing a search on
time+russell+standish on the everything list archive.

As a summary, it states that an observer must experience a time
dimension, within which e can process information, and bring disparate
facts together for comparison. About the only requirement of this time
object is that it must have topological dimension at least 1. I
usually assume that it is at least a "time scale" - see the Nohner and
Peterson's book:

@Book{Bohner-Peterson01,
  author =	 {Martin Bohner and Allan Peterson},
  title = 	 {Dynamic Equations on Time Scales},
  publisher = 	 {Birkh\"auser},
  year = 	 2001,
  address =	 {Boston}
}

Cheers


  
  
Danny Mayes


  
  
  






Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
The obvious and sensible-sounding response to Jeanne's question whether it 
may be possible to access other universes through dreams or hallucinations 
is that it is not really any more credible than speculation that people can 
contact the dead, or have been kidnapped by aliens, or any other of the 
millions of weird things that so many seem to believe despite the total lack 
of supporting evidence. However, this response is completely wrong if MWI is 
correct. If I dream tonight that a big green monster has eaten the Sydney 
Opera House, then definitely, in some branch of the MW, a big green monster 
will eat the Sydney Opera House. Of course, this unfortunate event will 
occur even if I *don't* dream it, but I'm not saying that my dream caused 
it, only that I saw it happening. It might also be argued that I didn't 
really receive this information from another branch, but that it was just 
a coincidence that my dream matched the reality in the other branch. But 
seers don't see things by putting two and two together; they just, well, 
*see* them. And if I really could, godlike, enter at random another branch 
of the MW and return to this branch to report what I saw, how would the 
information provided be any different from my dream? The only difference I 
can think of is that with the direct method I would be more likely to visit 
a branch with greater measure, but I can probably achieve the same thing by 
trying not to think about green monsters when I go to sleep tonight.

--Stathis Papaioannou
I once read an article in, I believe, Time Magazine, about the relatively
new field of neurotheology which investigates what goes on in the brain
during ecstatic states, etc.  One suggestion that intrigued me was that it
may be possible that in such a state, and I believe that schizophrenics 
were
also mentioned, that the brain is malfunctioning in such a way as to allow
it to perceive states of reality other than that which the normal brain
would perceive.  In other words, the antenna (brain) is picking-up 
signals
that are usually beyond the scope of the normal brain.  I wondered if 
anyone
could comment on this, and if there was any reason to even entertain the
thought that perhaps some people have passed through a crack in the 
division
between our universe or dimension, into perhaps another?  I read this
several years ago and wish that I could recall the details of the article,
but I don't have it anymore.

Jeanne
_
MSN Messenger v7. Download now:  http://messenger.ninemsn.com.au/


Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread John Collins
Dear Stathis,
This ties in with the subject header of this series of posts, which is a
rare occurence: Many Wolrds Immortality, according to which there will be
some branch of the multiverse in which I hit enough crows and pigeons on the
way down to form a lifesaving mushy matress (mattress?), is a special case
of a 'many-worlds-absurdity theorem' in which in some branch of the
multiverse I will look down and find my leg be a peg and my ass a giraffe.
But these will only happen if there are infinitely many, rather than just
many, worlds. If you believe in some finite or countable discrete structure
underlying physics, then you could ultimately identify definite events in
which the universe branches off into a finite number of different cases
(which would grow exponentially in time, but would after any given time be
finite).

-Chris Collins
- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Cc: everything-list@eskimo.com
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2005 2:25 PM
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality


 The obvious and sensible-sounding response to Jeanne's question whether it
 may be possible to access other universes through dreams or hallucinations
 is that it is not really any more credible than speculation that people
can
 contact the dead, or have been kidnapped by aliens, or any other of the
 millions of weird things that so many seem to believe despite the total
lack
 of supporting evidence. However, this response is completely wrong if MWI
is
 correct. If I dream tonight that a big green monster has eaten the Sydney
 Opera House, then definitely, in some branch of the MW, a big green
monster
 will eat the Sydney Opera House. Of course, this unfortunate event will
 occur even if I *don't* dream it, but I'm not saying that my dream caused
 it, only that I saw it happening. It might also be argued that I didn't
 really receive this information from another branch, but that it was
just
 a coincidence that my dream matched the reality in the other branch. But
 seers don't see things by putting two and two together; they just, well,
 *see* them. And if I really could, godlike, enter at random another branch
 of the MW and return to this branch to report what I saw, how would the
 information provided be any different from my dream? The only difference I
 can think of is that with the direct method I would be more likely to
visit
 a branch with greater measure, but I can probably achieve the same thing
by
 trying not to think about green monsters when I go to sleep tonight.

 --Stathis Papaioannou

 I once read an article in, I believe, Time Magazine, about the relatively
 new field of neurotheology which investigates what goes on in the brain
 during ecstatic states, etc.  One suggestion that intrigued me was that
it
 may be possible that in such a state, and I believe that schizophrenics
 were
 also mentioned, that the brain is malfunctioning in such a way as to
allow
 it to perceive states of reality other than that which the normal brain
 would perceive.  In other words, the antenna (brain) is picking-up
 signals
 that are usually beyond the scope of the normal brain.  I wondered if
 anyone
 could comment on this, and if there was any reason to even entertain the
 thought that perhaps some people have passed through a crack in the
 division
 between our universe or dimension, into perhaps another?  I read this
 several years ago and wish that I could recall the details of the
article,
 but I don't have it anymore.
 
 Jeanne

 _
 MSN Messenger v7. Download now:  http://messenger.ninemsn.com.au/





Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread aet.radal ssg
Dear Stathis:
Your interpretation of my "anger" says more about you than me. I didn't flame you or call you or mentally ill people names. My only point is that if you want to seriously investigate complex concepts scientifically, then it helps to have the most accurate methods available. Even considering that a person with an illness that prevents them from having temporal awareness (or knowing the difference between one moment to the next) could havesome significance on understanding the nature of time is folly for the simple reason it is time that being effected in their case, its their brain's ability to percieve it. Their condition is having know objective effect on time at all. It would be diiferent if you put such a person in a room with a bunch of measuring devices and then detected that temporal anomalies were recorded of some kind, but that doesn't happen. Their perceptions are completely subjective, ie inconsequential, unless you're studying their condition. But, if the purpose of your research is time, like mine is, data based on the perceptions of such an individual is useless, unless, like I suggested, you really just want to jabber about this and that idea, with no criteria for trying to seriously understand the subject at hand.
If these comments upset so much that you think I'm angry, that's on you. I'm simply pointing out what should have been painfully obvious at the onset - you don't make measurement with broken instruments.
- Original Message -From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], everything-list@eskimo.comSubject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortalityDate: Wed, 11 May 2005 17:10:30 +1000  Dear aet.radal.ssg,  You make a few interesting points which under normal circumstances  I would be happy to continue discussing with you, but the primary  motivation for your posts seems to be anger that I have raised the  topic of mental illness. I am sorry if I have upset you, and I hope  that if you do have the opportunity to work with the mentally ill  in future you will treat them with compassion.  --Stathis Papaioannou   From: "aet.radal ssg" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>  To: everything-list@eskimo.com  Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality  Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 09:41:27 -0500  

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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Bruno Marchal
I agree with Stathis' answer to Jeanne. Another one which looks a 
little bit incompatible with the one by Stathis would be: if QM is 
correct no information can travel from one universe to another. So such 
an hallucination can only be such a coincidence or a triviality 
(whatever I think, there is a universe where ... but that lead to the 
measure problem, and the fact that we cannot really *stay* in a Harry 
Potter universe).
But what if QM is almost correct but *slightly* incorrect? Then, as 
Weinberg has shown in the case where the SWE (Schroedinger Wave 
Equation) is changed to be slightly non linear, it  becomes possible to 
travel or communicate between universes.
It is quite speculative because it makes also the second principle of 
thermodynamic wrong in a large part of the multiverse, but it is not 
inconsistent. I vaguely remember having read that some cosmologist 
believes that they have some case for the slight non linearity of the 
SWE. So ...
And what happens with comp? I would just say: open problem. Better 
staying agnostic until more information and results are provided.
Of course the real problem of Jeanne's question is that we cannot give 
much 3-person weight to rare first person narration. We can give 
1-weight, but it's probably better to stay mute on this in a 3-list.

Bruno
Le 12-mai-05, à 15:25, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
The obvious and sensible-sounding response to Jeanne's question 
whether it may be possible to access other universes through dreams or 
hallucinations is that it is not really any more credible than 
speculation that people can contact the dead, or have been kidnapped 
by aliens, or any other of the millions of weird things that so many 
seem to believe despite the total lack of supporting evidence. 
However, this response is completely wrong if MWI is correct. If I 
dream tonight that a big green monster has eaten the Sydney Opera 
House, then definitely, in some branch of the MW, a big green monster 
will eat the Sydney Opera House. Of course, this unfortunate event 
will occur even if I *don't* dream it, but I'm not saying that my 
dream caused it, only that I saw it happening. It might also be argued 
that I didn't really receive this information from another branch, 
but that it was just a coincidence that my dream matched the reality 
in the other branch. But seers don't see things by putting two and two 
together; they just, well, *see* them. And if I really could, godlike, 
enter at random another branch of the MW and return to this branch to 
report what I saw, how would the information provided be any different 
from my dream? The only difference I can think of is that with the 
direct method I would be more likely to visit a branch with greater 
measure, but I can probably achieve the same thing by trying not to 
think about green monsters when I go to sleep tonight.

--Stathis Papaioannou
I once read an article in, I believe, Time Magazine, about the 
relatively
new field of neurotheology which investigates what goes on in the 
brain
during ecstatic states, etc.  One suggestion that intrigued me was 
that it
may be possible that in such a state, and I believe that 
schizophrenics were
also mentioned, that the brain is malfunctioning in such a way as to 
allow
it to perceive states of reality other than that which the normal 
brain
would perceive.  In other words, the antenna (brain) is picking-up 
signals
that are usually beyond the scope of the normal brain.  I wondered if 
anyone
could comment on this, and if there was any reason to even entertain 
the
thought that perhaps some people have passed through a crack in the 
division
between our universe or dimension, into perhaps another?  I read this
several years ago and wish that I could recall the details of the 
article,
but I don't have it anymore.

Jeanne
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Jesse Mazer
Generally, unasked-for attempts at armchair psychology to explain the 
motivations of another poster on an internet forum, like the comment that 
someone just wants to hear themself talk, are justly considered flames and 
tend to have the effect of derailing productive discussion. I actually agree 
with your other comments about it being implausible that the mentally ill 
have some sort of superior insight into reality, but hey, this list is all 
about rambling speculations about half-formed ideas that probably won't pan 
out to anything, you could just as easily level the same accusation against 
anyone here.

Jesse
---BeginMessage---
Dear Stathis:
Your interpretation of my "anger" says more about you than me. I didn't flame you or call you or mentally ill people names. My only point is that if you want to seriously investigate complex concepts scientifically, then it helps to have the most accurate methods available. Even considering that a person with an illness that prevents them from having temporal awareness (or knowing the difference between one moment to the next) could havesome significance on understanding the nature of time is folly for the simple reason it is time that being effected in their case, its their brain's ability to percieve it. Their condition is having know objective effect on time at all. It would be diiferent if you put such a person in a room with a bunch of measuring devices and then detected that temporal anomalies were recorded of some kind, but that doesn't happen. Their perceptions are completely subjective, ie inconsequential, unless you're studying their condition. But, if the!
  purpose of your research is time, like mine is, data based on the perceptions of such an individual is useless, unless, like I suggested, you really just want to jabber about this and that idea, with no criteria for trying to seriously understand the subject at hand.
If these comments upset so much that you think I'm angry, that's on you. I'm simply pointing out what should have been painfully obvious at the onset - you don't make measurement with broken instruments.
- Original Message -From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], everything-list@eskimo.comSubject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortalityDate: Wed, 11 May 2005 17:10:30 +1000  Dear aet.radal.ssg,  You make a few interesting points which under normal circumstances  I would be happy to continue discussing with you, but the primary  motivation for your posts seems to be anger that I have raised the  topic of mental illness. I am sorry if I have upset you, and I hope  that if you do have the opportunity to work with the mentally ill  in future you will treat them with compassion.  --Stathis Papaioannou   From: "aet.radal ssg" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>  To: everything-list@eskimo.com  Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality  Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 09:4!
 1:27 -0500  

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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Russell Standish
On Thu, May 12, 2005 at 02:48:17PM -0400, Jesse Mazer wrote:
 Generally, unasked-for attempts at armchair psychology to explain the 
 motivations of another poster on an internet forum, like the comment that 
 someone just wants to hear themself talk, are justly considered flames 
 and tend to have the effect of derailing productive discussion. I actually 
 agree with your other comments about it being implausible that the mentally 
 ill have some sort of superior insight into reality, but hey, this list is 
 all about rambling speculations about half-formed ideas that probably won't 
 pan out to anything, you could just as easily level the same accusation 
 against anyone here.
 
 Jesse
 

Furthermore, some people in this are taking quite seriously the
proposition that reality is a whole is derived from the properties of
consciousness. Therefore if some consciousnesses do not experience
time like we experience it, this expands the possible forms time can
have, or may even reduce the TIME (or equivalent) proposition to a
probabilistic rule. The discussion is very relevant.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to establish consciousness in
other beings - dogs probably are conscious, but insects
probably are not for example. So alas, I really have been unable to
assimilate what this case of mentally ill means for the general theory.

-- 
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is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics0425 253119 ()
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Russell Standish
On Thu, May 12, 2005 at 08:47:09AM -0500, aet.radal ssg wrote:

???

Could I please request that people post only plain text emails to the
everything list, or at very least include a plain text translation?
This is a sending option available on all HTML email clients I've come
across. It's a real bugger trying to read HTML formatted emails. My
brain's HTML module is obviously defective.

Cheers


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is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics0425 253119 ()
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Australiahttp://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02



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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
I doubt that there are many people who have known someone with a mental 
illness and would claim that there is anything positive about the 
experience. While sometimes the mentally ill themselves claim that they have 
a superior insight into reality, that's just because they lack insight into 
the fact that they are unwell. However, what mental illness, or any other 
disease, does provide is a natural experiment that helps us understand the 
normal function of the affected organ or system. For just this reason, in 
medical research, one of the most common experimental tools is to 
deliberately cause lesions in an experimental animal and observe the 
resulting effects.

--Stathis Papaioannou
From: Jesse Mazer [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], everything-list@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 14:48:17 -0400
Generally, unasked-for attempts at armchair psychology to explain the 
motivations of another poster on an internet forum, like the comment that 
someone just wants to hear themself talk, are justly considered flames 
and tend to have the effect of derailing productive discussion. I actually 
agree with your other comments about it being implausible that the mentally 
ill have some sort of superior insight into reality, but hey, this list is 
all about rambling speculations about half-formed ideas that probably won't 
pan out to anything, you could just as easily level the same accusation 
against anyone here.

Jesse
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Jesse Mazer
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
I doubt that there are many people who have known someone with a mental 
illness and would claim that there is anything positive about the 
experience. While sometimes the mentally ill themselves claim that they 
have a superior insight into reality, that's just because they lack insight 
into the fact that they are unwell. However, what mental illness, or any 
other disease, does provide is a natural experiment that helps us 
understand the normal function of the affected organ or system. For just 
this reason, in medical research, one of the most common experimental tools 
is to deliberately cause lesions in an experimental animal and observe the 
resulting effects.
Yes, I'd agree with that--and besides intentionally causing lesions in 
animals, accidental brain injury in people can give insight into the normal 
function of the corresponding brain areas in uninjured people, and sometimes 
other types of mental illnesses can provide the same kind of insight.

By the way, on the subject of what mental illnesses tell us about the way 
our brains percieve time, here's a very interesting article by Oliver Sacks 
on the possibility that our brain strings together a series of snapshots, 
in much the same way that movies work, rather than integrating sensory 
information in a more continous way:

http://afr.com/articles/2004/01/22/1074732537267.html
This article was originally from the New York Review of Books, and you can 
also read some letters by other scientists written in response at 
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17030

Jesse



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Saibal Mitra



One could say that the brain of some 
schizophrenic persons simulate otherpersons. I don't know if some of you 
have seen the film 'A Beautiful mind'about the life of mathematician Nash. 
In the film Nash was closelyacquainted to persons that didn't realy exist. 
Only much later when he wastreated for his condition did he realize that 
some of his close friendsdidn't really exist.One could argue that 
the persons that Nash was seeing in fact did exist (inour universe), 
precisely because Nash's brain was simulating 
them.SaibalVan: "Stathis Papaioannou" [EMAIL PROTECTED]Aan: 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]; [EMAIL PROTECTED]CC: everything-list@eskimo.comVerzonden: 
Thursday, May 12, 2005 03:25 PMOnderwerp: Re: Many worlds theory of 
immortality The obvious and sensible-sounding response to 
Jeanne's question whether it may be possible to access other universes 
through dreams or hallucinations is that it is not really any more 
credible than speculation that peoplecan contact the dead, or have 
been kidnapped by aliens, or any other of the millions of weird things 
that so many seem to believe despite the totallack of supporting 
evidence. However, this response is completely wrong if MWIis 
correct. If I dream tonight that a big green monster has eaten the 
Sydney Opera House, then definitely, in some branch of the MW, a big 
greenmonster will eat the Sydney Opera House. Of course, this 
unfortunate event will occur even if I *don't* dream it, but I'm not 
saying that my dream caused it, only that I saw it happening. It might 
also be argued that I didn't really "receive" this information from 
another branch, but that it wasjust a coincidence that my dream 
matched the reality in the other branch. But seers don't see things by 
putting two and two together; they just, well, *see* them. And if I 
really could, godlike, enter at random another branch of the MW and 
return to this branch to report what I saw, how would the information 
provided be any different from my dream? The only difference I can think 
of is that with the direct method I would be more likely tovisit a 
branch with greater measure, but I can probably achieve the same 
thingby trying not to think about green monsters when I go to sleep 
tonight. --Stathis Papaioannou I once read 
an article in, I believe, Time Magazine, about the relatively new 
field of "neurotheology" which investigates what goes on in the brain 
during ecstatic states, etc. One suggestion that intrigued me was 
thatit may be possible that in such a state, and I believe that 
schizophrenics were also mentioned, that the brain is 
malfunctioning in such a way as toallow it to perceive states of 
reality other than that which the normal brain would perceive. 
In other words, the "antenna" (brain) is picking-up signals 
that are usually beyond the scope of the normal brain. I wondered 
if anyone could comment on this, and if there was any 
reason to even entertain the thought that perhaps some people have 
passed through a crack in the division between our 
universe or dimension, into perhaps another? I read this 
several years ago and wish that I could recall the details of 
thearticle, but I don't have it anymore.  
Jeanne 
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RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Lee Corbin
Brent writes

 I think that an observer must be physically instantiated - that seems well
 supported empirically.  As it is used a observer moment seems to mean a unit
 of subjective experience.  That there is an observer, i.e. something with
 continuity over many such subjective experiences, must be an inference or a
 construct within the theory.

Personally, I would agree. But many here contend that abstract
patterns---mathematical stings, really---can do *so* much cross-
referencing and quoting of each other that a form of paste obtains
that wields them in to something capable of having experiences.
But a familiar abstract object, namely the real numbers between zero
and one, evidently already does all of that (considering the decimal
or binary expressions), and so I'm not sure what remains for the
more abstruse inhabitants of Platonia to do.

 Yes, that's the simplest explanation! We have to suppose that
 physical objects continue to encode previously gained information
 in the default case.
 
 I don't know that we have to.  I've know idealists who suppose
 that our memories are part of our immaterial spirits.  But they
 have a hard time explaining the limitations of memory.

Such idealists have a hard time being credible at all, if you
ask me.

  But what John was perhaps saying---and what I would certainly
  claim along with all the adherents of observer-moments, I
  think---is that any particular version of you at any particular
  moment is not conscious of the facts encoded in all your memories.
  Hence the idea that an observer-moment is the net intersection
  across the multiverse and across other planetary systems of a
  particular sense-perception experience of a particular person.
 
 But if, for each subjective experience, there is no way to uniquely associate
 it with a sequence of subjective experiences, i.e. every such experience has
 many predecessors and successors, then I don't see how such sequences can
 constitute a particular person(s).

I agree. That is, freed of memory, just how are all those subjective
moments linked in a particular ordered sequence? I also agree with
your statement, when *persons* (as you write) are being considered.
I'll admit that there is something---but not very much---associated
with a person that has nothing to do with the person's memories.

 It seems in these discussions that the existence of such sequences
 corresponding to a particular person, an observer, is taken for
 granted.  It is a natural model given that observers are physical
 things - but it is problematic if physics is thrown out and you
 start from nothing but observer moments.

Well said. A natural model does give us that observers are 
physical things, or at least *necessarily* instantiated in
physical things. And I agree that starting from nothing but
observer-moments won't take us any further than it took
William James http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/james/

I can't blame the ancients and moderns up to the 19th century
for being dualists. It seemed utterly impossible that mere
atoms in motion could give rise to such as we. But the painful
---and painstaking---defeat of vitalism achieved finally in
the 20th century leaves it the simplest hypothesis by far to
say that we are machines. Our souls and we arise by natural
means, just as do streams and mountains.

Observer-moments seems to arise simply from observers, and
observers arise simply from highly intelligent mammals (or
aliens) who can think about their own thinking. Unless you
want (which is probably a good idea) to regard even
photographic plates and other matter upon which impressions
can be made as *observers*.

Lee



RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-12 Thread Brent Meeker


-Original Message-
From: Lee Corbin [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2005 3:40 AM
To: EverythingList
Subject: RE: many worlds theory of immortality


Brent writes

 I think that an observer must be physically instantiated - that seems well
 supported empirically.  As it is used a observer moment seems to
mean a unit
 of subjective experience.  That there is an observer, i.e. something with
 continuity over many such subjective experiences, must be an inference or a
 construct within the theory.

Personally, I would agree. But many here contend that abstract
patterns---mathematical stings, really---can do *so* much cross-
referencing and quoting of each other that a form of paste obtains
that wields them in to something capable of having experiences.
But a familiar abstract object, namely the real numbers between zero
and one, evidently already does all of that (considering the decimal
or binary expressions), and so I'm not sure what remains for the
more abstruse inhabitants of Platonia to do.

 Yes, that's the simplest explanation! We have to suppose that
 physical objects continue to encode previously gained information
 in the default case.

 I don't know that we have to.  I've know idealists who suppose
 that our memories are part of our immaterial spirits.  But they
 have a hard time explaining the limitations of memory.

Such idealists have a hard time being credible at all, if you
ask me.

  But what John was perhaps saying---and what I would certainly
  claim along with all the adherents of observer-moments, I
  think---is that any particular version of you at any particular
  moment is not conscious of the facts encoded in all your memories.
  Hence the idea that an observer-moment is the net intersection
  across the multiverse and across other planetary systems of a
  particular sense-perception experience of a particular person.

 But if, for each subjective experience, there is no way to uniquely
associate
 it with a sequence of subjective experiences, i.e. every such experience has
 many predecessors and successors, then I don't see how such sequences can
 constitute a particular person(s).

I agree. That is, freed of memory, just how are all those subjective
moments linked in a particular ordered sequence? I also agree with
your statement, when *persons* (as you write) are being considered.
I'll admit that there is something---but not very much---associated
with a person that has nothing to do with the person's memories.

 It seems in these discussions that the existence of such sequences
 corresponding to a particular person, an observer, is taken for
 granted.  It is a natural model given that observers are physical
 things - but it is problematic if physics is thrown out and you
 start from nothing but observer moments.

Well said. A natural model does give us that observers are
physical things, or at least *necessarily* instantiated in
physical things. And I agree that starting from nothing but
observer-moments won't take us any further than it took
William James http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/james/

I can't blame the ancients and moderns up to the 19th century
for being dualists. It seemed utterly impossible that mere
atoms in motion could give rise to such as we. But the painful
---and painstaking---defeat of vitalism achieved finally in
the 20th century leaves it the simplest hypothesis by far to
say that we are machines. Our souls and we arise by natural
means, just as do streams and mountains.

Observer-moments seems to arise simply from observers, and
observers arise simply from highly intelligent mammals (or
aliens) who can think about their own thinking. Unless you
want (which is probably a good idea) to regard even
photographic plates and other matter upon which impressions
can be made as *observers*.

In considering what it takes to be an observer, I find it useful to think about
robots.  What would I have to design into a robot in order that it be an
observer - and not just a recorder?  I think the essential elements are having
a goal, the ability to act, and the ability to learn from experience. At a
rudimentary level I'd say the Mars rovers qualify as observers.

Brent Meeker



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-11 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Dear aet.radal.ssg,
You make a few interesting points which under normal circumstances I would 
be happy to continue discussing with you, but the primary motivation for 
your posts seems to be anger that I have raised the topic of mental illness. 
I am sorry if I have upset you, and I hope that if you do have the 
opportunity to work with the mentally ill in future you will treat them with 
compassion.

--Stathis Papaioannou
From: aet.radal ssg [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 09:41:27 -0500
_
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---BeginMessage---
Dear Stathis:- Original Message -From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: [EMAIL PROTECTED], everything-list@eskimo.comSubject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortalityDate: Mon, 09 May 2005 23:02:18 +1000  Dear aet.radal ssg,  I think you missed my point about the amnesic and psychotic  patients, which is not that they are clear thinkers, but that they  are conscious despite a disability which impairs their perception  of time. 
OK, let me take what you just said there, "conscious despite a disability which impairs their perception of time". A person can be conscious and have any number of disabilities that impair their perception of reality. Doesn't mean that their perception is accurate, valid, or even mildly interesting. The word "impair" should have been a clue.
Your post raises an interesting question in that you seem  to assume that normally functioning human minds have a correct  model of reality, as opposed to the "broken" minds of the mentally  ill. This is really very far from the truth.
If the mentally ill had a correct perception of reality, they wouldn't be mentally ill. Hello? Simultaneously, not all sane people have a "correct model of reality" (whatever that means) but they usually know what they're doing on a basic level and function without taking medication to keep them tuned into reality and not the psycho channel. It doesn't mean that they can't be motivated by wrong ideas or misconceptions or even manipulated by somebody smater or with political power, but we're talking apples and oranges now.
Human brains evolved  in a specific environment, often identified as the African  savannah, so the model of the world constructed by the human mind  need only match "reality" to the extent that this promoted survival  in that environment.
And if their perception of that reality environment hadn't been correct, they wouldn't have survived. Simultaneously, other creatures, in that same environment, developed other ways other perceiving it. The point you're missing is that the environment is the same. If I take an array of sophisticated measuring and recording devices into that environment, I should be able to detect all of the aspects that most of the non-insect creatures do, and in some cases, a lot of the insect perceptions. However, if I introduce a paranoid schizophrenic into the equation, I will probably not detect the hallucinations that he will see, though I may be able to identify possible external causes.
As a result, we humans are only able to  directly perceive and grasp a tiny, tiny slice of physical reality.
Which doesn't make the hallucinations of the mentally ill or those with cognitive disabilities, any more valid.
 Furthermore, although we are proud of our thinking abilities, the  theories about physical reality that humans have come up with over  the centuries have in general been ridiculously bad. 
I think part of the problem here is the use of the term "reality" when something else would be better. Since you failed to give any examples of what you meant by "theories about physical reality" I will assume that you mean the matters dealing with the nature of the Earth and its place in the solar system, etc. If not, please be specific. In any case, much of those errors in perception had to do with physical limitations in the ability to conduct accurate observations, further crippled by various philosophical dogma. 
I have spent the last ten years treating patients with schizophrenia, and I can  assure you that however bizarre the delusional beliefs these people  come up with, there are multiple historical examples of apparently  "sane" people holding even more bizarre beliefs, and often  insisting on pain of death or torture that everyone else agree with  them.
Hallucinations aren't the same as religious or philosophical dogmatic beliefs and usually don't operate the same way, no matter how destructive or misguided the latter might be. I think I detect a straw man here.
Itstill doesn't make your case that the inability to perceive time accurately is a valid condition on which to postulate ideas about temporal moments not being

Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-11 Thread John Collins

Quentin Anciaux wrote:

Le Mardi 10 Mai 2005 19:13, Hal Finney a écrit :
 And in terms of your question, I would not act as though I expected to
 be guaranteed a very long life span, because the measure of that universe
 is so low compared to others where I don't survive.

 Hal Finney

Hi,

but by definition of what being alive means (or being conscious), which is
to
experience observer moments, even if the difference of the measure where
you
have a long life compared to where you don't survive is enormous, you can
only experience world where you are alive... And to continue, I find it
very
difficult to imagine what could mean being unconscious forever (what you
suggest to be likely).

Quentin Anciaux

..You are working from the assumtion that each person has some sort of
transcendental identity that experiences these observer moments, but I would
think it more likely that these would be included in the observer moment,
with memories being distinguished from instantaneous thoughts just by
their being repeated several (or even millions of) times. As an
illustration, try and remember what you had for dinner on your fifth
birthday. Whether you remember or not, tou only know if you remember when
you try to recall it, so you can't really pretend the piece of information
is continuously present. Even the knowledge of your own name (which I
suspect is made up, anyway) will have only a finite (or countable, if you
live forever) number of instantiations.

Chris Collins



Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-11 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Bruno,
Le 10-mai-05, à 12:25, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

I should add that I don't believe in QTI, I don't believe that we are
guaranteed to experience such outcomes.  I prefer the observer-moment
concept in which we are more likely to experience observer-moments where
we are young and living within a normal lifespan than ones where we are
at a very advanced age due to miraculous luck.
Aren't the above two sentences contradictory? If it is guaranteed that 
somewhere in the multiverse there will be a million year old Hal 
observer-moment, doesn't that mean that you are guaranteed to experience 
life as a million year old?
With some ASSA perhaps, but with the RSSA it makes sense only if those old 
Hal OM. have the right relative proportion to the young one.
where:
SSA self-sampling assumption (by Nick Bolstrom)
ASSA idem but conceived as absolute
RSSA idem but conceived as relative
OM = Observer Moment
Is the SSA even relevant here? The SSA says that I should consider each OM 
as if randomly sampled from the set of all possible OM's. In the MWI, 
although it is certain that there will be a million year old version of me, 
the distribution of OM's is greatly skewed towards younger versions of me, 
so that the measure of million year old versions is very close to zero; in 
fact, it should have the same numerical value as the probability of my 
reaching this advanced age in a single world interpretation of QM. 
Therefore, if I pick an OM at random from my life, it is extremely unlikely 
that it will be one where I find myself to be a million years old.

I accept the above reasoning as sound, but I don't think it disproves QTI. 
The probability that a randomly chosen OM from all possible OM's available 
to me will be experienced as a million year old version of me is *not* the 
same as the probability that I will experience life as a million year old at 
some point. The former probability may be very close to zero, but the latter 
probability, if MWI is true, should be exactly one.

Here is a somewhat analogous example to show the difference. Suppose that 
there is only one universe and that my life expectancy in this universe is 
about one hundred years. Consider the one second time interval between 
August 10 2005, 10:00:00 AM and August 10 2005, 10:00:01 AM. Counting all 
the one second intervals available to me in a one century lifespan, assuming 
I sleep eight hours a day, gives about 2 billion. The probability that a 
random one second long OM in my life coincides with the above interval on 
August 10 is therefore about 1/2 billion. The probability that I will live 
through this time interval, on the other hand, is hopefully very close to 
one.

--Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-11 Thread Bruno Marchal
I agree with you Stathis. That's why I think MWI, QTI and COMPI lead to 
the Relative SSA, and relative immortality.
The SSA you mention is the Absolute SSA which does not make sense, imo.

Bruno
Le 11-mai-05, à 14:04, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
Bruno,
Le 10-mai-05, à 12:25, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

I should add that I don't believe in QTI, I don't believe that we 
are
guaranteed to experience such outcomes.  I prefer the 
observer-moment
concept in which we are more likely to experience observer-moments 
where
we are young and living within a normal lifespan than ones where we 
are
at a very advanced age due to miraculous luck.
Aren't the above two sentences contradictory? If it is guaranteed 
that somewhere in the multiverse there will be a million year old 
Hal observer-moment, doesn't that mean that you are guaranteed to 
experience life as a million year old?
With some ASSA perhaps, but with the RSSA it makes sense only if 
those old Hal OM. have the right relative proportion to the young 
one.
where:
SSA self-sampling assumption (by Nick Bolstrom)
ASSA idem but conceived as absolute
RSSA idem but conceived as relative
OM = Observer Moment
Is the SSA even relevant here? The SSA says that I should consider 
each OM as if randomly sampled from the set of all possible OM's. In 
the MWI, although it is certain that there will be a million year old 
version of me, the distribution of OM's is greatly skewed towards 
younger versions of me, so that the measure of million year old 
versions is very close to zero; in fact, it should have the same 
numerical value as the probability of my reaching this advanced age in 
a single world interpretation of QM. Therefore, if I pick an OM at 
random from my life, it is extremely unlikely that it will be one 
where I find myself to be a million years old.

I accept the above reasoning as sound, but I don't think it disproves 
QTI. The probability that a randomly chosen OM from all possible OM's 
available to me will be experienced as a million year old version of 
me is *not* the same as the probability that I will experience life as 
a million year old at some point. The former probability may be very 
close to zero, but the latter probability, if MWI is true, should be 
exactly one.

Here is a somewhat analogous example to show the difference. Suppose 
that there is only one universe and that my life expectancy in this 
universe is about one hundred years. Consider the one second time 
interval between August 10 2005, 10:00:00 AM and August 10 2005, 
10:00:01 AM. Counting all the one second intervals available to me in 
a one century lifespan, assuming I sleep eight hours a day, gives 
about 2 billion. The probability that a random one second long OM in 
my life coincides with the above interval on August 10 is therefore 
about 1/2 billion. The probability that I will live through this time 
interval, on the other hand, is hopefully very close to one.

--Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-11 Thread Brent Meeker


-Original Message-
From: John Collins [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 10:22 AM
To: Quentin Anciaux; everything-list@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: many worlds theory of immortality



Quentin Anciaux wrote:

Le Mardi 10 Mai 2005 19:13, Hal Finney a écrit :
 And in terms of your question, I would not act as though I expected to
 be guaranteed a very long life span, because the measure of that universe
 is so low compared to others where I don't survive.

 Hal Finney

Hi,

but by definition of what being alive means (or being conscious), which is
to
experience observer moments, even if the difference of the measure where
you
have a long life compared to where you don't survive is enormous, you can
only experience world where you are alive... And to continue, I find it
very
difficult to imagine what could mean being unconscious forever (what you
suggest to be likely).

Quentin Anciaux

..You are working from the assumtion that each person has some sort of
transcendental identity that experiences these observer moments, but I would
think it more likely that these would be included in the observer moment,
with memories being distinguished from instantaneous thoughts just by
their being repeated several (or even millions of) times. As an
illustration, try and remember what you had for dinner on your fifth
birthday. Whether you remember or not, tou only know if you remember when
you try to recall it, so you can't really pretend the piece of information
is continuously present.

I agree there is reason to postulate a transcedent observer; I'm content with a
physical observer.  That's one of the things that bothers me about observer
moments, but I think it's just English grammar that pushes us to have a
subject.  If you're going to reconstruct physics from discrete subjective
experiences you need to be able to collect and order experiences according from
viewpoint - which corresponds to an observer - and according to
intersubjective agreement among observers - which corresponds to the physical
world.

But just because the subjective observer is a construct, doesn't justify the
pejorative pretend.  I think I have considerable evidence for information,
such as what I ate for breakfast, being persistently encoded in my brain.  No
only the fact that I can recall such information, but also that my ability to
do so diminishes with time and may be lost due to disease or injury.

Brent Meeker



RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-11 Thread Lee Corbin
John Collins had written

 ..You [Hal] are working from the assumption that each person has some sort of
 transcendental identity that experiences these observer moments, but I would
 think it more likely that these would be included in the observer moment,
 with memories being distinguished from instantaneous thoughts just by
 their being repeated several (or even millions of) times.

You reject the reified notion of a transcendental identity that
experiences diverse observer moments. But I don't quite see why.

 As an illustration, try and remember what you had for dinner on your fifth
 birthday. Whether you remember or not, you only know if you remember when
 you try to recall it, so you can't really pretend the piece of information
 is continuously present.

An important point! Every so often I have to remember that I
studied the clarinet as a boy; but that doesn't ever seem to
affect me except on the very rare occasions that something
reminds me of it.

So at any given moment I am that which is perceiving thus-
and-such, and is having a certain reaction to it. (There is
another equally important but separate way---almost along
another axis, as it were---that I *am* my memories, and that
it is my memories, my values, and all the rest of my baggage
that I strive to get more runtime for.)

Brent comments on John's statements:

 I agree there is reason to postulate a transcendent observer; I'm content 
 with a
 physical observer.  That's one of the things that bothers me about observer
 moments, but I think it's just English grammar that pushes us to have a
 subject.

I'm sorry. Could you elaborate a bit on that? Firstly, a *physical*
observer is just one, or one of a class of, observers. Do you mean
that every observer must have a physical substrate of some kind?
I'd readily agree!  A person may indeed be a program (I personally
believe it), but until it gets instanced, i.e., instantiated in some
piece of hardware, it's got no more life than a book on a shelf.

So criticizing observer-moment as a noun, you are cautioning us
against unnecessary reification; that we might keep out ideas
clearer if take the trouble to write out more meaningful phrases
and sentences?  I could believe it.

Perhaps you meant, I agree that there is *no* reason to postulate
a transcendent observer.  It would fit better with what you wrote
next.

 If you're going to reconstruct physics from discrete subjective
 experiences you need to be able to collect and order experiences
 according from [that] viewpoint - which corresponds to an observer -
 and according to intersubjective agreement among observers -
 which corresponds to the physical world.

Evidently that program appeals to some!

 But just because the subjective observer is a construct, doesn't
 justify the pejorative pretend.  I think I have considerable
 evidence for information, such as what I ate for breakfast, being
 persistently encoded in my brain.

Yes, that's the simplest explanation! We have to suppose that
physical objects continue to encode previously gained information
in the default case.

But what John was perhaps saying---and what I would certainly
claim along with all the adherents of observer-moments, I
think---is that any particular version of you at any particular
moment is not conscious of the facts encoded in all your memories.
Hence the idea that an observer-moment is the net intersection
across the multiverse and across other planetary systems of a
particular sense-perception experience of a particular person.

Lee



Re: [Fwd: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality]

2005-05-11 Thread danny mayes




Russell,

When I stated in the original reply that pulling information out of
other worlds in the MWI context was prohibited by physics, I was
referring to information about those universes. As I stated, obviously
you can create a superposition to utilize processing power in other
universes, but you can't take from this information about the
universes/worlds you are utilizing. Therefore, the original concept of
people "seeing" into other universes seems to be prohibited by the laws
of physics.

As I understand it, the mathematics of Hilbert space prohibits
inter-world communications because the attempt to remove information
from Hilbert space causes decoherence, destroying reversibility. "Any
Hilbert space accessible from more than one world line must be a
timeless place, in which we can leave no permanent mark." - Colin Bruce


Also, I'm interested in your TIME hypothesis. Could you refer me to a
source for information, or summarize for me? 

Danny Mayes


Russell Standish wrote:

  On Wed, May 11, 2005 at 09:13:33AM -0400, John M wrote:
  
  
Russell wrote to Danny:


  The Grover algorithm is a form of accessing information from other worlds.
  

Of course the worlds need to be prepared in just the right way, of
course...

I suppose these "other worlds" are potential life-form carrying bodies of
this (our) universe, because as far as I know we have no way(s) to access
any information from other universes  (that MAY be) - unless we take our
speculations for 'real'.

Does the "prepared" mean some adjustment to understand the diverse
situations in terms familiar to us here? that would mean a humanization
(anthropomorphization) of the non-human.
Would that be productive in the scientific sense?

  
  
Communication between worlds takes place within the confines of
quantum superposition. Setting up the superposed states is what I mean
by "prepared". 
  






Re: [Fwd: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality]

2005-05-11 Thread Russell Standish
On Thu, May 12, 2005 at 12:40:10AM -0400, danny mayes wrote:
 Russell,
 
 When I stated in the original reply that pulling information out of 
 other worlds in the MWI context was prohibited by physics, I was 
 referring to information about those universes.  As I stated, obviously 
 you can create a superposition to utilize  processing power in other 
 universes, but you can't take from this information about the 
 universes/worlds you are utilizing.  Therefore, the original concept of 
 people seeing into other universes seems to be prohibited by the laws 
 of physics.
 
 As I understand it, the mathematics of Hilbert space prohibits 
 inter-world communications because the attempt to remove information 
 from Hilbert space causes decoherence, destroying reversibility.  Any 
 Hilbert space accessible from more than one world line must be a 
 timeless place, in which we can leave no permanent mark. - Colin Bruce

Part of the problem is in assuming that all quantum worlds are
disjoint from each other, when it is clear this is not the case. Take
an example Multiverse that has one spin 1/2 particle in it. Clearly,
it consists of two worlds, one which has spin +1/2\hbar, the other
with spin -1/2\hbar in the z-direction. However, this Multiverse also
has another two worlds in it, one with spin +1/2\hbar and one with
-1/2\hbar, however this time in the x-direction. And so on. All these
worlds exist. By choosing to measure the particle in the x-direction,
I get information from both of the +1/2- and -1/2 in the
z-direction worlds, hence there is a form of information flow between
worlds.

Nevertheless, there is, as you say, no information flow between
decohered worlds.

 
 Also, I'm interested in your TIME hypothesis.  Could you refer me to a 
 source for information, or summarize for me? 
 

I initially raised it my paper Why Occam's Razor, and have discussed
it a few times on the everything list. Try doing a search on
time+russell+standish on the everything list archive.

As a summary, it states that an observer must experience a time
dimension, within which e can process information, and bring disparate
facts together for comparison. About the only requirement of this time
object is that it must have topological dimension at least 1. I
usually assume that it is at least a time scale - see the Nohner and
Peterson's book:

@Book{Bohner-Peterson01,
  author =   {Martin Bohner and Allan Peterson},
  title ={Dynamic Equations on Time Scales},
  publisher ={Birkh\auser},
  year = 2001,
  address =  {Boston}
}

Cheers


 Danny Mayes
 

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RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Hal,
I should add that I don't believe in QTI, I don't believe that we are
guaranteed to experience such outcomes.  I prefer the observer-moment
concept in which we are more likely to experience observer-moments where
we are young and living within a normal lifespan than ones where we are
at a very advanced age due to miraculous luck.
Aren't the above two sentences contradictory? If it is guaranteed that 
somewhere in the multiverse there will be a million year old Hal 
observer-moment, doesn't that mean that you are guaranteed to experience 
life as a million year old?

--Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Jeanne Houston
I once read an article in, I believe, Time Magazine, about the relatively
new field of neurotheology which investigates what goes on in the brain
during ecstatic states, etc.  One suggestion that intrigued me was that it
may be possible that in such a state, and I believe that schizophrenics were
also mentioned, that the brain is malfunctioning in such a way as to allow
it to perceive states of reality other than that which the normal brain
would perceive.  In other words, the antenna (brain) is picking-up signals
that are usually beyond the scope of the normal brain.  I wondered if anyone
could comment on this, and if there was any reason to even entertain the
thought that perhaps some people have passed through a crack in the division
between our universe or dimension, into perhaps another?  I read this
several years ago and wish that I could recall the details of the article,
but I don't have it anymore.

Jeanne
- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Cc: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; everything-list@eskimo.com
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 11:19 PM
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality


 Russell,

 To be fair, I should elaborate on my earlier post about amnesics and
 psychotics. If I consider the actual cases I have seen, arguably they do
 have *some* sense of the passage of time. Taking the first example, people
 with severe Korsakoff Syndrome (due to chronic alcohol abuse) appear to be
 completely incapable of laying down new memories. If you enter their room
to
 perform some uncomfortable medical procedure and they become annoyed with
 you, all you have to do is step outside for a moment, then step back
inside,
 and they are all smiles again, so you can have another go at the
procedure,
 and repeat this as many times as you want. While you are actually in their
 sight, however, they do recognise that you are the same person from moment
 to moment, and they do make the connection between the needle you are
 sticking into them and the subsequent pain, causing them to become annoyed
 at you. So they do have a sense of time, even if only for a few seconds.

 The second example, the disorganised schizophrenic, is somewhat more
 complex. There is a continuum from mild to extreme disorganisation, and at
 the extreme end, it can be very difficult to get any sense of what the
 person is thinking, although it is quite easy to get a sense of what they
 are feeling and it would be very difficult to maintain a belief that they
 are not actually conscious (you really have to see this for yourself to
 understand it). Usually, even the most unwell of these patients give some
 indirect indication that they maintain some sense of time. For example, if
 you hold out a glass of water, they will reach for it and drink from it,
 which suggests that they may have a theory about the future, and how they
 might influence it to their advantage. Occasionally, however - and I have
to
 confess I have not actually tried the experiment - there are patients who
 seem incapable of even as simple (one could say near-reflexive) a task as
 grabbing a glass of water. With treatment, almost all these people
improve,
 and it is interesting to ask them what was happening during these periods.
 Firstly, it is interesting that they actually have any recollection. It is
 as if the CPU was defective, but the data was still written to the hard
 drive, to be analysed later. They might explain that everything seemed
 fragmented, so that although they could see and hear things, the visual
 stimuli did not form recognisable objects and the auditory stimuli did not
 form recognisable words or other sounds. Furthermore, the various
perceptual
 data seemed to run into each other spatially, so that it was not possible
to
 distinguish background from foreground, significant from insignificant.
 Catatonic patients, on the other hand, may (later, when better) describe a
 state of total inertia, being stuck in the present moment, unable to move
 either physically or mentally, unable to even imagine a possibility of
 change from the present state, aware of everything going on around them as
a
 kind of extended simultaneity.

 --Stathis Papaioannou

 On Mon, May 09, 2005 at 11:02:18PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
   Dear aet.radal ssg,
  
   I think you missed my point about the amnesic and psychotic patients,
 which
   is not that they are clear thinkers, but that they are conscious
despite
 a
   disability which impairs their perception of time. Your post raises an
 ...
 
 As I said before, I think this is a valuable contribution, but not
 something I know how to deal with at this point in time. Presently,
 these psychotic patients account for only a fraction of conscious
 observers (assuming they are conscious as you say they are). Quantum
 Mechanics only requires that most observers have their own time like
 domain, not that all of them do. I'm still not convinced that TIME
 isn't a necessary

Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Bruno Marchal
Le 10-mai-05, à 12:25, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

I should add that I don't believe in QTI, I don't believe that we are
guaranteed to experience such outcomes.  I prefer the observer-moment
concept in which we are more likely to experience observer-moments 
where
we are young and living within a normal lifespan than ones where we 
are
at a very advanced age due to miraculous luck.
Aren't the above two sentences contradictory? If it is guaranteed that 
somewhere in the multiverse there will be a million year old Hal 
observer-moment, doesn't that mean that you are guaranteed to 
experience life as a million year old?
With some ASSA perhaps, but with the RSSA it makes sense only if those 
old Hal OM. have the right relative proportion to the young one.
where:
SSA self-sampling assumption (by Nick Bolstrom)
ASSA idem but conceived as absolute
RSSA idem but conceived as relative
OM = Observer Moment

Bruno
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Bruno Marchal
Le 10-mai-05, à 05:55, Hal Finney a écrit :
I should add that I don't believe in QTI, I don't believe that we are
guaranteed to experience such outcomes.  I prefer the observer-moment
concept in which we are more likely to experience observer-moments 
where
we are young and living within a normal lifespan than ones where we are
at a very advanced age due to miraculous luck.
To be honest I prefer that too. Now I'm not sure reality will take into 
account my preference, unless the Loebian placebo effect I talked about 
last year is really at the root of everything. But that's remain to be 
developed.

Bruno
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread aet.radal ssg
 is true, but it has taken the cumulative efforts of  millions of people over thousands of years to get to our current  level of knowledge, which in any case is still very far from  complete in any field. Scientific progress of our species a s a  whole is mirrored in the efforts of a psychotic patient who  gradually develops insight into his illness, recognising that there  is a difference between real voices and auditory hallucinations,  and learning to reason through delusional beliefs despite the  visceral conviction that "they really are out to get me".
You just made my point for me. There's a difference between hallucination and objective reality. People with mental illness have a problem with objective reality. Whether they are conscious or not is irrelevent because even if they are conscious, they still can't observe and process objective reality accurately. People with temporalperception disorders, etc. are notwhat we should be basing our concepts oftime in physical objective reality, on. If you do, you really aren't interested in discoveringanything new about objective reality. You really just want to "hear" yourself talk, because nothing else worthwhile is coming from it.Chatter. Just my observation.

 --Stathis Papaioannou   From: "aet.radal ssg" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>  To: everything-list@eskimo.com  Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality  Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 10:44:25 -0500   _ REALESTATE: biggest buy/rent/share listings http://ninemsn.realestate.com.au

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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread aet.radal ssg
Dear Jeanne:
Message - From: "Jeanne Houston" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, [EMAIL PROTECTED] Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 07:19:01 -0400 
I didn't read the article but I am aware of the conceptual basis for this idea. To answer your question, it is possible that altered states, including those caused by mental illness, can allow the brain to pick-up information from elsewhere. However, the differentiation must be made between such elsewhere (or elsewhen) awarenesses and true hallucinations (the same goes for dreams. Some people postulate that some dreams could be awarenesses of other realities but then use lucid dreaming as an example. Right idea, wrong type of dream). Many of the hallucinations common to schizophrenics are based on outside stimuli triggering a preconvieved viewpoint which is then externalized as a hallucination. For example, such a patient may be on his way to the pharmacy to get a prescription filled and see abillboard for an auto body repair shop that features a close-up shot of a man cowering in fear that says "Watch Out! The Morons are Out There!" (a true advertisement). This billboard could stimulate a reaction in the patient based upon the apprehension that the doctor may not know what he's doing and prescribed the wrong medication. This reaction could manifest itself as a merely a thought, "Yeah. And I bet my shrink's a moron too!" or it could extend into the outside world if the patient looks back at the sign. Suddenly the sign could have its own response to this sudden thought that the patient's psychiatrist is a moron and could read something like "Yes! Your shrink's a moron and he's out to get you!" 
This is based on research done by Janssen Pharmaceutica http://www.npr.org/programs/atc/features/2002/aug/schizophrenia/in the development of a simulator of the schizophrenic experience. The simulator was created with the input of actual patients to make it as realistic as possible, and I have used it before, as part of my research. In this case, the hallucinations of the schizophrenic are based on internalapprehensions and are not observations of some parallel reality.The tendency should be resisted to simply assume that just because someone is perceiving something that we aren't, that what they're are perceiving is somehow linked to someinterdimensional knowledgeor higher reality. If one wants to take that tact, then they must also engage in the very real hard work of substantiating exactly what the nature of these perceptions are and if they have any kind of objective basis. To do that takes a considerable amount of work. Otherwise the question goes unanswered and any consideration of what is or isn'tgoing on is simply unbridled speculation.
Hope that helps.
  I once read an article in, I believe, Time Magazine, about the relatively  new field of "neurotheology" which investigates what goes on in the brain  during ecstatic states, etc. One suggestion that intrigued me was that it  may be possible that in such a state, and I believe that schizophrenics were  also mentioned, that the brain is malfunctioning in such a way as to allow  it to perceive states of reality other than that which the normal brain  would perceive. In other words, the "antenna" (brain) is picking-up signals  that are usually beyond the scope of the normal brain. I wondered if anyone  could comment on this, and if there was any reason to even entertain the  thought that perhaps some people have passed through a crack in the division  between our universe or dimension, into perhaps another? I read this  several years ago and wish that I could recall the details of the article,  but I don't have it anymore.   Jeanne 

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[Fwd: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality]

2005-05-10 Thread danny mayes









aet.radal ssg wrote:

  Dear Jeanne:
  Message - 
From: "Jeanne Houston" 
To: "Stathis Papaioannou" ,
  [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality 
Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 07:19:01 -0400 
  
  I didn't read the article but I am aware of the conceptual basis
for this idea. To answer your question, it is possible that altered
states, including those caused by mental illness, can allow the brain
to pick-up information from elsewhere. However, the differentiation
must be made between such elsewhere (or elsewhen) awarenesses and true
hallucinations (the same goes for dreams. Some people postulate that
some dreams could be awarenesses of other realities but then use lucid
dreaming as an example. Right idea, wrong type of dream). Many of the
hallucinations common to schizophrenics are based on outside stimuli
triggering a preconvieved viewpoint which is then externalized as a
hallucination. For example, such a patient may be on his way to the
pharmacy to get a prescription filled and see abillboard for an auto
body repair shop that features a close-up shot of a man cowering in
fear that says "Watch Out! The Morons are Out There!" (a true
advertisement). This billboard could stimulate a reaction in the
patient based upon the apprehension that the doctor may not know what
he's doing and prescribed the wrong medication. This reaction could
manifest itself as a merely a thought, "Yeah. And I bet my shrink's a
moron too!" or it could extend into the outside world if the patient
looks back at the sign. Suddenly the sign could have its own response
to this sudden thought that the patient's psychiatrist is a moron and
could read something like "Yes! Your shrink's a moron and he's out to
get you!" 
  This is based on research done by Janssen Pharmaceutica http://www.npr.org/programs/atc/features/2002/aug/schizophrenia/in
the development of a simulator of the schizophrenic experience. The
simulator was created with the input of actual patients to make it as
realistic as possible, and I have used it before, as part of my
research. In this case, the hallucinations of the schizophrenic are
based on internalapprehensions and are not observations of some
parallel reality.The tendency should be resisted to simply assume that
just because someone is perceiving something that we aren't, that what
they're are perceiving is somehow linked to someinterdimensional
knowledgeor higher reality. If one wants to take that tact, then they
must also engage in the very real hard work of substantiating exactly
what the nature of these perceptions are and if they have any kind of
objective basis. To do that takes a considerable amount of work.
Otherwise the question goes unanswered and any consideration of what is
or isn'tgoing on is simply unbridled speculation.
  Hope that helps.
  
  

I'm not one to shy away from what others would perceive to be
"unbridled speculation," however there are a few fundamental problems
with the idea set forth by Jeanne. First, to the best that I
understand, there is no evidence that we will ever be able to access
the information of the parallel outcomes (worlds) in question. We can
access the processing power of the other worlds, but the laws of
physics seem to prevent our pulling information from another "world"
into our world given the collapse that happens at the end of a
computation (when we get our result from a quantum computer). So the
idea seems to be prohibited by the laws of physics. And lets not even
get into the proof problem. It's sort of like UFO's. Is it easier to
believe that someone is crazy/seeing things/misinterpreting stimuli,
or that they really are seeing other worlds/aliens? Spectacular
claims require spectacular proof, and I don't see how this idea
presents the prospect of any proof. Perhaps, if someone could in a
statistically significant way predict future events or the location of
hidden items, like remote viewing, could provide evidence, but there
would still have to be some way to establish the link between that
phenomena and other worlds.

Danny









RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Hal Finney
Stathis Papaioannou writes:
 Hal,
 I should add that I don't believe in QTI, I don't believe that we are
 guaranteed to experience such outcomes.  I prefer the observer-moment
 concept in which we are more likely to experience observer-moments where
 we are young and living within a normal lifespan than ones where we are
 at a very advanced age due to miraculous luck.

 Aren't the above two sentences contradictory? If it is guaranteed that 
 somewhere in the multiverse there will be a million year old Hal 
 observer-moment, doesn't that mean that you are guaranteed to experience 
 life as a million year old?

I don't think there are any guarantees in life!

I don't see a well defined meaning about anything I am guaranteed to
experience.

I am influenced by Wei Dai's approach to the fundamental problem of what
our expectations should be in the multiverse.  He focused not on knowledge
and belief, but on action.  That is, he did not ask what we expect, he asked
what we should do.

How should we behave?  What are the optimal and rational actions to take
in any given circumstances?  These questions are the domain of a field
which, like game theory, is a cross between mathematics, philosophy and
economics: decision theory.

Classical decision theory is uninformed by the AUP, but it does include
similar concepts.  You consider that you inhabit one of a virtually
infinite number of possible worlds, which in this theory are not real but
rather represent your uncertainty about your situtation.  For example,
in one possible world Bigfoot has sneaked up behind you but you don't
know it, and in other worlds he's not there.  You then use this world
concept to set up a probability distribution, and make your decision
based on optimal expected outcome over all possible worlds.

Incorporating the multiverse can be done in a couple of ways.  I think Wei
proposed just to add the entire multiverse as among the possible worlds.
Maybe we live in a multiverse, maybe we don't.  The hard part is then,
supposing that we do, how do we rank the expected outcomes of our actions?
Each action affects the multiverse in a complex way, being beneficial
in some branches and harmful in others.  How do we weight the different
branches?  Wei proposed to treat that weighting as an arbitrary part of
the user's utility function; in effect, making it a matter of taste and
personal preference how to weight the multiverse branches.

I would aim to get a little more guidance from the theory than that.
I would first try to incorporate the measure of the various branches
which my actions influence, and pay more attention to the branches with
higher measure.  Then, I think I would pay more attention to the effects
in those branches on observers (or observer-moments) which are relatively
similar to me.  However, that does not mean I would ignore the effects
of my actions on high-measure branches where there are no observers
similar to me (i.e. branches where I have died).  I might still take
measures such as buying life insurance for my children, because I care
about their welfare even in branches where I don't exist.  Similarly,
if I were a philanthropist, I might take care to donate my estate to
good causes if I die.

These considerations suggest to me an optimal course of action in a
multiverse, or even in a world where we are not sure if we live in a
single universe or a multiverse, which is arguably the situation we
all face.  It rejects the simplicity of the RSSA and QTI by recognizing
that our actions influence even multiverse branches where we die, and
taking into consideration the effects of what we do on such worlds.
There is still an element of personal preference in terms of how much we
care about observers who are very similar to ourselves vs those who are
more different, which gives room for various philosphical views along
these lines.

And in terms of your question, I would not act as though I expected to
be guaranteed a very long life span, because the measure of that universe
is so low compared to others where I don't survive.

Hal Finney



Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Quentin Anciaux
Le Mardi 10 Mai 2005 19:13, Hal Finney a écrit :
 And in terms of your question, I would not act as though I expected to
 be guaranteed a very long life span, because the measure of that universe
 is so low compared to others where I don't survive.

 Hal Finney

Hi,

but by definition of what being alive means (or being conscious), which is to 
experience observer moments, even if the difference of the measure where you 
have a long life compared to where you don't survive is enormous, you can 
only experience world where you are alive... And to continue, I find it very 
difficult to imagine what could mean being unconscious forever (what you 
suggest to be likely).

Quentin Anciaux



Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Hal Finney
Quentin Anciaux writes:
 but by definition of what being alive means (or being conscious), which is to 
 experience observer moments, even if the difference of the measure where you 
 have a long life compared to where you don't survive is enormous, you can 
 only experience world where you are alive...

The way I would say it is that you can only experience worlds where
you are conscious.  Being alive is not enough.  But really, this is a
tautology: you can only be conscious in worlds where you are conscious.
It sheds exactly zero light on any interesting questions IMO.

 And to continue, I find it very 
 difficult to imagine what could mean being unconscious forever (what you 
 suggest to be likely).

Yet you have already been unconscious forever, before your birth (if we
pretend/assume that the universe is infinite in both time directions).
Can you imagine that?  Why can it happen in one direction but not
the other?

And what do you think of life insurance?  Suppose you have young children
whom you love dearly, for whom you are the sole support, and who will
suffer greatly if you die without insurance?  Would you suggest that QTI
means that you should not care about their lives in universe branches
where you do not survive, that you should act as though those branches
don't exist?

Hal Finney



Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Quentin Anciaux
Le Mardi 10 Mai 2005 20:14, Hal Finney a écrit :
 Yet you have already been unconscious forever, before your birth (if we
 pretend/assume that the universe is infinite in both time directions).

It can't be forever... I'm conscious now... so it was not forever. But I 
know you'll say infinity and all. So the meaning of forever before (me/you) 
and after (me/you) is not quite the same.

 Can you imagine that?  Why can it happen in one direction but not
 the other?

Don't know, I just say I had a lot of difficulties to imagine being 
unconscious forever.

 And what do you think of life insurance?  Suppose you have young children
 whom you love dearly, for whom you are the sole support, and who will
 suffer greatly if you die without insurance?  Would you suggest that QTI
 means that you should not care about their lives in universe branches
 where you do not survive, that you should act as though those branches
 don't exist?

 Hal Finney

I do not see the other branches, nor do I feel them. So I don't know how it is 
supposed to be taken in account. And for the other hand, if all the universes 
exists, and at whatever moments it splits into new branches for each possible 
outcome, whatever I do, there will be branches where it turns bad (for me, my 
friends, whatever)... Why put you high measure on universe where all is good 
for your friend if you've done good in your life (or think about a life 
insurance) compared to those were you didn't ?

Quentin Anciaux



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread George Levy






Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
I happen to be a believer in the observer-moment as
fundamental, and the only thing one can be sure of from the first
person perspective. "I think, therefore I am" is taking it too far in
deducing the existence of an observer; "I think, therefore there is a
thought" is all that I can be absolutely certain of. 


Hi Stathis,

I also believe that the observer moment is fundamental, but I don't
think there is anything wrong with "I think therefore I am" as long as
this statement is taken as a definition of "being" rather than
as an explanation: Look at it as "I think, this means 'I am.' " 

I you accept that the observer-moment is fundamental, and nothing
else is, then "being" cannot be defined using any physical
substrate since, at this point of the argument, physics has not been
defined yet. You are left only with a definition of "being:" To be is
to think. To paraphrase Erdos, "To be is to do math."  ;-) 

George




Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Quentin Anciaux
Le Mardi 10 Mai 2005 20:14, Hal Finney a écrit :
 And what do you think of life insurance?  Suppose you have young children
 whom you love dearly, for whom you are the sole support, and who will
 suffer greatly if you die without insurance?  

Do you agree with this ?

1- whenever there is a choice to be made, the universe split (each outcome has 
a probabilty p).
2- So some outcome are more probable than other.

 Would you suggest that QTI 
 means that you should not care about their lives in universe branches
 where you do not survive, that you should act as though those branches
 don't exist?

By point 1 and 2, imagine the following :

There is 0.5% chance that you go crazy and go killing some friends, and 99.5% 
that you do not. Now, the split is done, so imagine it splits in 1000 (for 
convenience :)), in 5 next observer moments on 1000 you go killing some 
friends, whatever the actual feelings of the 995 others you are, the event 
happening to these 5 you and people surrounding them is equally real... So 
why do you care of the fate of your family in the 995 others universe than of 
the 5 where the things turn bad (not strange, not magic, just bad), which are 
equally real for the observers living in it  ? 

Quentin Anciaux




Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Russell Standish
On Mon, May 09, 2005 at 08:55:00PM -0700, Hal Finney wrote:
 
 But it's not all that unlikely that someone in the world, unbeknownst
 to you, has invented a cure; whereas for a universe with your exact
 mind in it to be created purely de novo is astronomically unlikely.
 

That's the wrong way of putting it. With the RSSA (necessary for QTI),
one doesn't get to be ancient by being created de novo, but by
living a very long life.

The idea is that we must experience increasingly bizarre happenings to
keep us alive - however I don't think this will necessarily be a
descent into hell, or of randomness. Whether eternal life in heaven
or hell is your experience will depend very much on your own
actions.

Cheers

-- 
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is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
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Mathematics0425 253119 ()
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
I vaguely recollect the phenomenon you mention, if I am thinking of the same 
thing. The problem is that when something goes wrong, either in a brain or 
in another machine, in the vast majority of cases it will result in some 
sort of dysfunction. If you took to your computer with a hammer, there is a 
*tiny* chance that you will somehow improve it, or give it some new ability, 
but most likely you will damage it. Having said that, the process of 
evolution works in exactly this way: random errors occur, and that tiny 
proportion which results in survival advantage is selected for. I have heard 
of a much older theory about schizophrenia, that the kind of weird/lateral 
thinking that occurs in subclinical cases (who are perhaps carriers of the 
SZ gene or genes) may be responsible for the great intellectual innovations 
in human history, which is why this devastating disease has not died out.

--Stathis Papaioannou

From: Jeanne Houston [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: Stathis Papaioannou 
[EMAIL PROTECTED],[EMAIL PROTECTED]
CC: [EMAIL PROTECTED],everything-list@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 07:19:01 -0400

I once read an article in, I believe, Time Magazine, about the relatively
new field of neurotheology which investigates what goes on in the brain
during ecstatic states, etc.  One suggestion that intrigued me was that it
may be possible that in such a state, and I believe that schizophrenics 
were
also mentioned, that the brain is malfunctioning in such a way as to allow
it to perceive states of reality other than that which the normal brain
would perceive.  In other words, the antenna (brain) is picking-up 
signals
that are usually beyond the scope of the normal brain.  I wondered if 
anyone
could comment on this, and if there was any reason to even entertain the
thought that perhaps some people have passed through a crack in the 
division
between our universe or dimension, into perhaps another?  I read this
several years ago and wish that I could recall the details of the article,
but I don't have it anymore.

Jeanne
- Original Message -
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Cc: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; everything-list@eskimo.com
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 11:19 PM
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
 Russell,

 To be fair, I should elaborate on my earlier post about amnesics and
 psychotics. If I consider the actual cases I have seen, arguably they do
 have *some* sense of the passage of time. Taking the first example, 
people
 with severe Korsakoff Syndrome (due to chronic alcohol abuse) appear to 
be
 completely incapable of laying down new memories. If you enter their 
room
to
 perform some uncomfortable medical procedure and they become annoyed 
with
 you, all you have to do is step outside for a moment, then step back
inside,
 and they are all smiles again, so you can have another go at the
procedure,
 and repeat this as many times as you want. While you are actually in 
their
 sight, however, they do recognise that you are the same person from 
moment
 to moment, and they do make the connection between the needle you are
 sticking into them and the subsequent pain, causing them to become 
annoyed
 at you. So they do have a sense of time, even if only for a few seconds.

 The second example, the disorganised schizophrenic, is somewhat more
 complex. There is a continuum from mild to extreme disorganisation, and 
at
 the extreme end, it can be very difficult to get any sense of what the
 person is thinking, although it is quite easy to get a sense of what 
they
 are feeling and it would be very difficult to maintain a belief that 
they
 are not actually conscious (you really have to see this for yourself to
 understand it). Usually, even the most unwell of these patients give 
some
 indirect indication that they maintain some sense of time. For example, 
if
 you hold out a glass of water, they will reach for it and drink from it,
 which suggests that they may have a theory about the future, and how 
they
 might influence it to their advantage. Occasionally, however - and I 
have
to
 confess I have not actually tried the experiment - there are patients 
who
 seem incapable of even as simple (one could say near-reflexive) a task 
as
 grabbing a glass of water. With treatment, almost all these people
improve,
 and it is interesting to ask them what was happening during these 
periods.
 Firstly, it is interesting that they actually have any recollection. It 
is
 as if the CPU was defective, but the data was still written to the hard
 drive, to be analysed later. They might explain that everything seemed
 fragmented, so that although they could see and hear things, the visual
 stimuli did not form recognisable objects and the auditory stimuli did 
not
 form recognisable words or other sounds. Furthermore, the various
perceptual
 data seemed to run into each other spatially, so that it was not 
possible
to
 distinguish

Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-10 Thread Russell Standish
On Tue, May 10, 2005 at 07:19:01AM -0400, Jeanne Houston wrote:
 I once read an article in, I believe, Time Magazine, about the relatively
 new field of neurotheology which investigates what goes on in the brain
 during ecstatic states, etc.  One suggestion that intrigued me was that it
 may be possible that in such a state, and I believe that schizophrenics were
 also mentioned, that the brain is malfunctioning in such a way as to allow
 it to perceive states of reality other than that which the normal brain
 would perceive.  In other words, the antenna (brain) is picking-up signals
 that are usually beyond the scope of the normal brain.  I wondered if anyone
 could comment on this, and if there was any reason to even entertain the
 thought that perhaps some people have passed through a crack in the division
 between our universe or dimension, into perhaps another?  I read this
 several years ago and wish that I could recall the details of the article,
 but I don't have it anymore.
 
 Jeanne

My own comment is that there are pure 1st person phenomena, and there
are 1st person phenomena shared with other conscious beings. The first
variety should not be accorded with any real significance, beyond that
of a dream, or whatever. The latter shared type is the basis of
objective science. With my TIME and PROJECTION postulates, or with
COMP, there are 1st person phenomena shared  by _all_ conscious
beings. This last type we can truly label objective.

Cheers

-- 
*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics0425 253119 ()
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
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Re: [Fwd: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality]

2005-05-10 Thread Russell Standish
The Grover algorithm is a form of accessing information from other
worlds. Of course the worlds need to be prepared in just the right
way, of course...

On Tue, May 10, 2005 at 01:01:32PM -0400, danny mayes wrote:
 
 I'm not one to shy away from what others would perceive to be unbridled 
 speculation, however there are a few fundamental problems with the idea 
 set forth by Jeanne.  First, to the best that I understand, there is no 
 evidence that we will ever be able to access the information of the 
 parallel outcomes (worlds) in question.  We can access the processing 
 power of the other worlds, but the laws of physics seem to prevent our 
 pulling information from another world into our world given the 
 collapse that happens at the end of a computation (when we get our 
 result from a quantum computer).  So the idea seems to be prohibited by 
 the laws of physics.  And lets not even get into the proof problem.  
 It's sort of like UFO's.  Is it easier to believe that someone  is 
 crazy/seeing things/misinterpreting stimuli, or that they really are 
 seeing other worlds/aliens?  Spectacular claims  require spectacular 
 proof, and I don't see how this idea presents the prospect of any 
 proof.  Perhaps, if someone could in a statistically significant way 
 predict future events or the location of hidden items, like remote 
 viewing, could provide evidence, but there would still have to be some 
 way to establish the link between that phenomena and other worlds.
 
 Danny
 
 
 
 
 

-- 
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is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics0425 253119 ()
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RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Jonathan Colvin
Picking up a thread from a little while ago:

Jonathan Colvin: That's a good question. I can think of a chess position
that is 
a-priori illegal. But our macroscopic world is so complex it is far 
from obvious what is allowed and what is forbidden.

Jesse Mazer: So what if some chess position is illegal? They are only 
illegal according to the rules of chess, but the point of the 
all logically possible worlds exist idea is not just that 
all possible worlds consistent with a given set of rules (such 
as our universe's laws of physics) exist, but that all 
possible worlds consistent with all logically possible *rules* 
exist. So the only configurations that would be forbidden 
would be logically impossible ones like square A4 both does 
and does not contain a pawn.

Pondering on this, it raises an interesting question. Can we differentiate
between worlds that are (or appear to be) rule-based, and those that are
purely random? 

I think it is suggested that any non-contradictory universe (or
world-history) has a finite chance of appearing by chance (randomly
tunneling out of a black hole for instance).

But can we call a purely random universe rule based? What is the rule?
Randomness is non rule-based by definition, so the idea of a rule-based
random universe seems a contradiction.

Jonathan Colvin



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Dear aet.radal ssg,
I think you missed my point about the amnesic and psychotic patients, which 
is not that they are clear thinkers, but that they are conscious despite a 
disability which impairs their perception of time. Your post raises an 
interesting question in that you seem to assume that normally functioning 
human minds have a correct model of reality, as opposed to the broken 
minds of the mentally ill. This is really very far from the truth. Human 
brains evolved in a specific environment, often identified as the African 
savannah, so the model of the world constructed by the human mind need only 
match reality to the extent that this promoted survival in that 
environment. As a result, we humans are only able to directly perceive and 
grasp a tiny, tiny slice of physical reality. Furthermore, although we are 
proud of our thinking abilities, the theories about physical reality that 
humans have come up with over the centuries have in general been 
ridiculously bad. I have spent the last ten years treating patients with 
schizophrenia, and I can assure you that however bizarre the delusional 
beliefs these people come up with, there are multiple historical examples of 
apparently sane people holding even more bizarre beliefs, and often 
insisting on pain of death or torture that everyone else agree with them.

You might point out that despite the above, science has made great progress. 
This is true, but it has taken the cumulative efforts of millions of people 
over thousands of years to get to our current level of knowledge, which in 
any case is still very far from complete in any field. Scientific progress 
of our species as a whole is mirrored in the efforts of a psychotic patient 
who gradually develops insight into his illness, recognising that there is a 
difference between real voices and auditory hallucinations, and learning to 
reason through delusional beliefs despite the visceral conviction that they 
really are out to get me.

--Stathis Papaioannou
From: aet.radal ssg [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 10:44:25 -0500
_
REALESTATE: biggest buy/rent/share listings   
http://ninemsn.realestate.com.au
---BeginMessage---
- Original Message - From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality Date: Wed, 04 May 2005 22:40:46 +1000  snip I don't see how you could get anywhere if you disregard the  relationship between observer moments. It is this relationship  which allows grouping of different observer moments to give the  effect of a continuous stream of consciousness. The human brain is  a machine which produces just such a sequence of observer moments,  which bear a temporal relationship with each other consistent with  your TIME postulate. But I would still say that these related  observer moments are independent of each other in that they are not  necessarily physically or causally connected. I base this on real  life experience (the fact that I feel I am the same person as I wa!
 s  10 years ago even though I am now made up of different atoms, in an  only approximately similar configuration, giving rise to only  approximately similar memories and other mental properties),
I would question whether you really"feel" that you are the same person you were 10 years ago. 10 years ago you were 10 years younger. Do you "feel" like you are that age now? 10 years ago there were things that you had no knowledge of, that you do now. Just as you are made up of different atoms, etc now, you also have different experiences, and expanded knowledge base, etc. In other words, you are not the same person and you really don't "feel" like you're the same person. However, you are the sentient human entity that was born however many years ago and have accumulated the sum total of knowledge, experience, etc, that you have so far. That said, the observer moments that you have are connected because they're your observer moments and are compared against your base of past experience, etc. They are casually connected if they are moments that are observed in the first place. You're at bat in a ball game and the pitcher throws the ball and you swing and miss and th!
 e ball hits you. Each moment in that sequence is related casually and temporally with the other. The moments can be recalled separately but there is still a casual link.
and on  thought experiments where continuity of identity persists despite  disruption of the physical and causal link between the earlier and  the later set of observer moments (teleportation etc.).
We don't have teleportation yet, especially the demat/remat type (which IMHO is impossible), so I don't see how invoking that is reasonable. Taking a chance to interpret your intent otherwise, I would say that disruption of 

Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread John Collins
Dear Stathis,
  This was an interesting post. You're right in that, until quite
recently, we've understood the world only as well as we've needed to, in
order to survive. But if you believe, as some people on this list do, that
instantaneous 'observer moments' are the only fundamentally real objects in
the universe, (and that the reasoning, 'I think therefore I am' runs
primarily in that direction) then it is the logical struture of our
thopughts that is at each moment retrospectively generating a history in
which there evolved a creature intelligient enough to think them. From this
perspective, there is then a difference when someone becomes too mentally
disfunctional to survive by themselves; then their incoherent patterns of
thought will have to go one better and retrospectively generate a history in
which a successful species evolved,  of which they are a defective variant
(we might all belong in this category, and keep each other sane..)
But really, here we have to be more specific about what constitutes an
observer moment, and what does not. Do dogs, worms, viruses have observer
moments, or did they just coevolve in the history we might claim to have
created by thinking and being? I would suggest that they are as real as we
are, and that human consciousness is only distinguished from the animal sort
in matters of quantity and capacity, and believe that the sorts of thoughts
thatcan be taken as the fundamental objects of the universe are those that
appear in the context of an organism successful response to its surrounding
environment. This could be seen as a compromise between taking thoughts as
fundamental, and a more old-fashioned 'physicalist' perspective, but I would
see it more as observer moments being associated with the observer and
his/her/its environment. After all, the distinction between these is pretty
vague: Does the apple I just ate count as me or my environment? What if I
made myself sick? What if I cut off my appendage? Don't worry; I will do
neither of these things.
 Yours Sincerely,
Chris Collins.

- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; everything-list@eskimo.com
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 2:02 PM
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality


 Dear aet.radal ssg,

 I think you missed my point about the amnesic and psychotic patients,
which
 is not that they are clear thinkers, but that they are conscious despite a
 disability which impairs their perception of time. Your post raises an
 interesting question in that you seem to assume that normally functioning
 human minds have a correct model of reality, as opposed to the broken
 minds of the mentally ill. This is really very far from the truth. Human
 brains evolved in a specific environment, often identified as the African
 savannah, so the model of the world constructed by the human mind need
only
 match reality to the extent that this promoted survival in that
 environment. As a result, we humans are only able to directly perceive and
 grasp a tiny, tiny slice of physical reality. Furthermore, although we are
 proud of our thinking abilities, the theories about physical reality that
 humans have come up with over the centuries have in general been
 ridiculously bad. I have spent the last ten years treating patients with
 schizophrenia, and I can assure you that however bizarre the delusional
 beliefs these people come up with, there are multiple historical examples
of
 apparently sane people holding even more bizarre beliefs, and often
 insisting on pain of death or torture that everyone else agree with them.

 You might point out that despite the above, science has made great
progress.
 This is true, but it has taken the cumulative efforts of millions of
people
 over thousands of years to get to our current level of knowledge, which in
 any case is still very far from complete in any field. Scientific progress
 of our species as a whole is mirrored in the efforts of a psychotic
patient
 who gradually develops insight into his illness, recognising that there is
a
 difference between real voices and auditory hallucinations, and learning
to
 reason through delusional beliefs despite the visceral conviction that
they
 really are out to get me.

 --Stathis Papaioannou

 From: aet.radal ssg [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@eskimo.com
 Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
 Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 10:44:25 -0500
 

 _
 REALESTATE: biggest buy/rent/share listings
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Stephen Paul King
Dear Stathis,
   I would like to thank you for pointing this out, even thought it should 
be obvious to anyone that has any thoughts about consciousness. Any model 
that we propose must consider a very wide range of consciousness, including 
the insanities, and maybe, just maybe, it might make some predictions about 
what the upper and lower bounds on consciousness. Additionally, maybe we 
could require, of a theory of consciousness, some explanation of qualia...
   Maybe I am asking for too much. ;-)

Stephen
- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; everything-list@eskimo.com
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 9:02 AM
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality


Dear aet.radal ssg,
I think you missed my point about the amnesic and psychotic patients, 
which
is not that they are clear thinkers, but that they are conscious despite a
disability which impairs their perception of time. Your post raises an
interesting question in that you seem to assume that normally functioning
human minds have a correct model of reality, as opposed to the broken
minds of the mentally ill. This is really very far from the truth. Human
brains evolved in a specific environment, often identified as the African
savannah, so the model of the world constructed by the human mind need 
only
match reality to the extent that this promoted survival in that
environment. As a result, we humans are only able to directly perceive and
grasp a tiny, tiny slice of physical reality. Furthermore, although we are
proud of our thinking abilities, the theories about physical reality that
humans have come up with over the centuries have in general been
ridiculously bad. I have spent the last ten years treating patients with
schizophrenia, and I can assure you that however bizarre the delusional
beliefs these people come up with, there are multiple historical examples 
of
apparently sane people holding even more bizarre beliefs, and often
insisting on pain of death or torture that everyone else agree with them.

You might point out that despite the above, science has made great 
progress.
This is true, but it has taken the cumulative efforts of millions of 
people
over thousands of years to get to our current level of knowledge, which in
any case is still very far from complete in any field. Scientific progress
of our species as a whole is mirrored in the efforts of a psychotic 
patient
who gradually develops insight into his illness, recognising that there is 
a
difference between real voices and auditory hallucinations, and learning 
to
reason through delusional beliefs despite the visceral conviction that 
they
really are out to get me.

--Stathis Papaioannou
From: aet.radal ssg [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 10:44:25 -0500
_
REALESTATE: biggest buy/rent/share listings
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RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Hal Finney
Jonathan Colvin writes:
 Pondering on this, it raises an interesting question. Can we differentiate
 between worlds that are (or appear to be) rule-based, and those that are
 purely random? 

The usual approach is that a system which is algorithmically compressible
is defined as random.  A rule-based universe has a short program that
determines its evolution, or creates its state.  A random universe has
no program much smaller than itself which can encode its information.

Hal Finney



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread John M



Stephen, you seem to have a clear idea 
about YOUR meaning of "consciousness". The discussion skewed pretty 
much into "human consciousness", which restricts a general idea of it. I wonder 
if your "Any modelthat we propose" refers to models of Ccness, or the 
'bearer' of such? I couldn't agree more with your 'model' view, no matter 
in which sense, - we can speak only in terms of ('our', cut, limited) models. 
I.e. our 1st person interpretation of whatever we 'get' from 3rd person (or 
mind-interpreted observation) at all. (What is this 'mind'?)

I volunteered on a 'psych-related' list in 1992 
to identify that "thing" (or not 'thing') Ccness generalized from 'human' down 
(or up") to the inanimate (stupid word) and ideational items, as: 
"acknowledgement of and response 
toinformation" 
(where of course information was not 'the bit', 
rather some (mentally OR physically) recognized difference). E.g. the attraction 
of an anion to a positive charge. Or: a perplexing maxim by G. B. Shaw . 

You ARE asking for too much, the thousands of 
psych etc. scientists at the yearly Tucson conferences since the eary 90s could 
not agree inan acceptable identification of ccness, becausethey 
neededdifferent meanings to fit their own work. Most of them thinking 
about human ccness only.

I like Stathis's doubts about "who is sane and 
who not" 
  ...human minds have a correct model of 
reality, as opposed to the "broken" minds of the mentally ill. This is really 
very far from the truth.  
because our image of mentally illness is just 
'unfitting' our 'sanity'-image. ("Our" reality?as seen fromthis 
universe?)

Cheers

John Mikes

- Original Message - 
From: "Stephen Paul King" [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@eskimo.com
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 10:51 AM
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of 
immortality
 
Dear Stathis,   I would like to thank you for 
pointing this out, even thought it should  be obvious to anyone that has 
any thoughts about consciousness. Any model  that we propose must 
consider a very wide range of consciousness, including  the insanities, 
and maybe, just maybe, it might make some predictions about  what the 
upper and lower bounds on consciousness. Additionally, maybe we  could 
require, of a theory of consciousness, some explanation of qualia... 
 Maybe I am asking for too much. ;-)  
Stephen   - Original Message -  From: 
"Stathis Papaioannou" [EMAIL PROTECTED] To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; everything-list@eskimo.com Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 9:02 AM 
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
Dear aet.radal ssg,   I think you missed my point about 
the amnesic and psychotic patients,   which  is not that 
they are clear thinkers, but that they are conscious despite a  
disability which impairs their perception of time. Your post raises an 
 interesting question in that you seem to assume that normally 
functioning  human minds have a correct model of reality, as opposed 
to the "broken"  minds of the mentally ill. This is really very far 
from the truth. Human  brains evolved in a specific environment, 
often identified as the African  savannah, so the model of the world 
constructed by the human mind need   only  match 
"reality" to the extent that this promoted survival in that  
environment. As a result, we humans are only able to directly perceive 
and  grasp a tiny, tiny slice of physical reality. Furthermore, 
although we are  proud of our thinking abilities, the theories about 
physical reality that  humans have come up with over the centuries 
have in general been  ridiculously bad. I have spent the last ten 
years treating patients with  schizophrenia, and I can assure you 
that however bizarre the delusional  beliefs these people come up 
with, there are multiple historical examples   of  
apparently "sane" people holding even more bizarre beliefs, and often 
 insisting on pain of death or torture that everyone else agree with 
them.   You might point out that despite the above, 
science has made great   progress.  This is true, but it 
has taken the cumulative efforts of millions of   people 
 over thousands of years to get to our current level of knowledge, which 
in  any case is still very far from complete in any field. 
Scientific progress  of our species as a whole is mirrored in the 
efforts of a psychotic   patient  who gradually develops 
insight into his illness, recognising that there is   a  
difference between real voices and auditory hallucinations, and learning 
  to  reason through delusional beliefs despite the 
visceral conviction that   "they  really are out to get 
me".   --Stathis Papaioannou  
From: "aet.radal ssg" [EMAIL PROTECTED] To: everything-list@eskimo.com Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of 
immortality Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 10:44:25 -0500 



RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Jonathan Colvin
I think you meant algorithmically *in*compressible.

The relevance was, I was thinking that those universes where we become
immortal under MWI are not the conventional rule-based universes such as we
appear to live in, but a different class of stochastic random ones (which
require very unlikely strings of random coincidences to instantiate). The
majority of such universes, being essentially random, are probably not very
pleasant places to live.

Jonathan Colvin 

Jonathan Colvin writes:
 Pondering on this, it raises an interesting question. Can we 
 differentiate between worlds that are (or appear to be) rule-based, 
 and those that are purely random?

The usual approach is that a system which is algorithmically 
compressible is defined as random.  A rule-based universe has 
a short program that determines its evolution, or creates its 
state.  A random universe has no program much smaller than 
itself which can encode its information.

Hal Finney





Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Stephen Paul King



Dear John,

 Thank you for an excellent statement of the 
obvious. ;-) All I am trying to do is to make some modicum of sense of this 
strange symptom that I have, the ability to perceive myself in the universe. 
Iexpect that myexplanations of what consciousness could be should be 
applicable to ANY entity, not justhumans.I amhappy with the 
possibility of being wrong.

Stephen


  - Original Message - 
  From: 
  John M 
  
  To: Stephen Paul King ; everything-list@eskimo.com 
  Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 5:29 PM
  Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of 
  immortality
  
  Stephen, you seem to have a clear idea 
  about YOUR meaning of "consciousness". The discussion skewed 
  pretty much into "human consciousness", which restricts a general idea of it. 
  I wonder if your "Any modelthat we propose" refers to models of Ccness, 
  or the 'bearer' of such? I couldn't agree more with your 'model' view, 
  no matter in which sense, - we can speak only in terms of ('our', cut, 
  limited) models. I.e. our 1st person interpretation of whatever we 'get' from 
  3rd person (or mind-interpreted observation) at all. (What is this 
  'mind'?)
  
  I volunteered on a 'psych-related' list in 
  1992 to identify that "thing" (or not 'thing') Ccness generalized from 'human' 
  down (or up") to the inanimate (stupid word) and ideational items, as: 
  
  "acknowledgement of and response 
  toinformation" 
  (where of course information was not 'the 
  bit', rather some (mentally OR physically) recognized difference). E.g. the 
  attraction of an anion to a positive charge. Or: a perplexing maxim by G. B. 
  Shaw . 
  You ARE asking for too much, the thousands of 
  psych etc. scientists at the yearly Tucson conferences since the eary 90s 
  could not agree inan acceptable identification of ccness, 
  becausethey neededdifferent meanings to fit their own work. Most 
  of them thinking about human ccness only.
  
  I like Stathis's doubts about "who is sane and 
  who not" 
...human minds have a correct model 
  of reality, as opposed to the "broken" minds of the mentally ill. This is 
  really very far from the truth.  
  because our image of mentally illness is just 
  'unfitting' our 'sanity'-image. ("Our" reality?as seen fromthis 
  universe?)
  
  Cheers
  
  John Mikes


Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Russell Standish
On Mon, May 09, 2005 at 11:02:18PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Dear aet.radal ssg,
 
 I think you missed my point about the amnesic and psychotic patients, which 
 is not that they are clear thinkers, but that they are conscious despite a 
 disability which impairs their perception of time. Your post raises an ...

As I said before, I think this is a valuable contribution, but not
something I know how to deal with at this point in time. Presently,
these psychotic patients account for only a fraction of conscious
observers (assuming they are conscious as you say they are). Quantum
Mechanics only requires that most observers have their own time like
domain, not that all of them do. I'm still not convinced that TIME
isn't a necessary property of observerhood, as opposed to a likely
contingent one, but there the debate stagnates, as I'm not an expert
in psychiatry.

I did want to throw one more po thought. Even though standard QM is
based on continuous time, nowhere does TIME require time to be experienced
continuously. It could just as easily be the Cantor set, say. Might not
the time experienced by these psychotic people be a fractal set like
that, or are you saying they have absolutely no sense of time at all?

Cheers

-- 
*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics0425 253119 ()
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Australiahttp://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02



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Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Russell Standish
I don't know why you think QTI experienced worlds will be random. They
will still be law abiding, but the laws will gradually get more
complex, with more exceptions to the rule as time goes on.

Cheers

On Mon, May 09, 2005 at 04:09:26PM -0700, Jonathan Colvin wrote:
 I think you meant algorithmically *in*compressible.
 
 The relevance was, I was thinking that those universes where we become
 immortal under MWI are not the conventional rule-based universes such as we
 appear to live in, but a different class of stochastic random ones (which
 require very unlikely strings of random coincidences to instantiate). The
 majority of such universes, being essentially random, are probably not very
 pleasant places to live.
 
 Jonathan Colvin 
 

-- 
*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics0425 253119 ()
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Australiahttp://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02



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Description: PGP signature


Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Dear Chris,
I happen to be a believer in the observer-moment as fundamental, and the 
only thing one can be sure of from the first person perspective. I think, 
therefore I am is taking it too far in deducing the existence of an 
observer; I think, therefore there is a thought is all that I can be 
absolutely certain of. Having said that, however, I don't actually believe 
that my thoughts are all independent of each other. The simplest and most 
likely explanation is that my thoughts are generated by my brain in the 
usual manner. The point is that this is not *logically* necessary, and if we 
are talking about consciousness persisting over billions or trillions of 
years, the usual manner won't be the most practical.

Your second point is something I have often thought about. I am pretty sure 
that dogs experience observer-moments, but I am not sure that worms do; if 
they do, then maybe our present day computers are not far off from being 
conscious, unless there is some non-computational aspect of biological 
nervous systems that has so far remained obscure. I would class viruses as 
being on a par with inanimate objects as far as conscious experience is 
concerned, but who knows, maybe inanimate objects have a rich but utterly 
alien subjective life from which we are as completely excluded as if we were 
in separate universes.

--Stathis Papaioannou
Dear Stathis,
  This was an interesting post. You're right in that, until quite
recently, we've understood the world only as well as we've needed to, in
order to survive. But if you believe, as some people on this list do, that
instantaneous 'observer moments' are the only fundamentally real objects in
the universe, (and that the reasoning, 'I think therefore I am' runs
primarily in that direction) then it is the logical struture of our
thopughts that is at each moment retrospectively generating a history in
which there evolved a creature intelligient enough to think them. From this
perspective, there is then a difference when someone becomes too mentally
disfunctional to survive by themselves; then their incoherent patterns of
thought will have to go one better and retrospectively generate a history 
in
which a successful species evolved,  of which they are a defective variant
(we might all belong in this category, and keep each other sane..)
But really, here we have to be more specific about what constitutes an
observer moment, and what does not. Do dogs, worms, viruses have observer
moments, or did they just coevolve in the history we might claim to have
created by thinking and being? I would suggest that they are as real as we
are, and that human consciousness is only distinguished from the animal 
sort
in matters of quantity and capacity, and believe that the sorts of thoughts
thatcan be taken as the fundamental objects of the universe are those that
appear in the context of an organism successful response to its surrounding
environment. This could be seen as a compromise between taking thoughts as
fundamental, and a more old-fashioned 'physicalist' perspective, but I 
would
see it more as observer moments being associated with the observer and
his/her/its environment. After all, the distinction between these is pretty
vague: Does the apple I just ate count as me or my environment? What if I
made myself sick? What if I cut off my appendage? Don't worry; I will do
neither of these things.
 Yours Sincerely,
Chris Collins.

- Original Message -
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; everything-list@eskimo.com
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 2:02 PM
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
 Dear aet.radal ssg,

 I think you missed my point about the amnesic and psychotic patients,
which
 is not that they are clear thinkers, but that they are conscious despite 
a
 disability which impairs their perception of time. Your post raises an
 interesting question in that you seem to assume that normally 
functioning
 human minds have a correct model of reality, as opposed to the broken
 minds of the mentally ill. This is really very far from the truth. Human
 brains evolved in a specific environment, often identified as the 
African
 savannah, so the model of the world constructed by the human mind need
only
 match reality to the extent that this promoted survival in that
 environment. As a result, we humans are only able to directly perceive 
and
 grasp a tiny, tiny slice of physical reality. Furthermore, although we 
are
 proud of our thinking abilities, the theories about physical reality 
that
 humans have come up with over the centuries have in general been
 ridiculously bad. I have spent the last ten years treating patients with
 schizophrenia, and I can assure you that however bizarre the delusional
 beliefs these people come up with, there are multiple historical 
examples
of
 apparently sane people holding even more bizarre beliefs, and often
 insisting on pain of death or torture that everyone else agree

RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Did you mean to say a system *not* algorithmically compressible is defined 
as random?

--Stathis Papaioannou
Jonathan Colvin writes:
 Pondering on this, it raises an interesting question. Can we 
differentiate
 between worlds that are (or appear to be) rule-based, and those that are
 purely random?

The usual approach is that a system which is algorithmically compressible
is defined as random.  A rule-based universe has a short program that
determines its evolution, or creates its state.  A random universe has
no program much smaller than itself which can encode its information.
Hal Finney
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RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Hal Finney
The usual approach is that a system which is algorithmically 
compressible is defined as random.  A rule-based universe has 
a short program that determines its evolution, or creates its 
state.  A random universe has no program much smaller than 
itself which can encode its information.

Hal Finney

Jonathan Colvin replies:
 I think you meant algorithmically *in*compressible.

Yes, I did.

 The relevance was, I was thinking that those universes where we become
 immortal under MWI are not the conventional rule-based universes such as we
 appear to live in, but a different class of stochastic random ones (which
 require very unlikely strings of random coincidences to instantiate). The
 majority of such universes, being essentially random, are probably not very
 pleasant places to live.

You could look at it from the point of view of observer-moments.  Among
all observer-moments which remember your present situation and which also
remember very long lifetimes, which ones have the greatest measure?
It should be those which have the simplest explanations possible.
As time goes on, the explanations will presumably have to be more and more
complex, but it doesn't necessarily have to be extreme.  It could just be,
great scientist invents immortality in the year 2006.  Then, next year,
it will be great scientist invents immortality in the year 2007, etc.

Once you're lying on your death bed and each breath could be your last,
it starts to get a little more difficult.  Maybe it will be like those
movies where the condemned man is in the death chamber and they are about
to throw the switch, as the lawyer rushes to the prison with news from
the governor of a last-minute pardon.  You'll be taking your last breath,
and someone will rush in with a miraculous cure that was just discovered,
or some such.

Hal Finney



RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Jonathan Colvin

The usual approach is that a system which is algorithmically 
compressible is defined as random.  A rule-based universe has a short 
program that determines its evolution, or creates its state.  
A random 
universe has no program much smaller than itself which can encode its 
information.

Hal Finney

Jonathan Colvin replies:
 I think you meant algorithmically *in*compressible.

Yes, I did.

 The relevance was, I was thinking that those universes where 
we become 
 immortal under MWI are not the conventional rule-based 
universes such 
 as we appear to live in, but a different class of stochastic random 
 ones (which require very unlikely strings of random coincidences to 
 instantiate). The majority of such universes, being essentially 
 random, are probably not very pleasant places to live.

You could look at it from the point of view of 
observer-moments.  Among all observer-moments which remember 
your present situation and which also remember very long 
lifetimes, which ones have the greatest measure?
It should be those which have the simplest explanations possible.
As time goes on, the explanations will presumably have to be 
more and more complex, but it doesn't necessarily have to be 
extreme.  It could just be, great scientist invents 
immortality in the year 2006.  Then, next year, it will be 
great scientist invents immortality in the year 2007, etc.

Once you're lying on your death bed and each breath could be 
your last, it starts to get a little more difficult.  Maybe it 
will be like those movies where the condemned man is in the 
death chamber and they are about to throw the switch, as the 
lawyer rushes to the prison with news from the governor of a 
last-minute pardon.  You'll be taking your last breath, and 
someone will rush in with a miraculous cure that was just 
discovered, or some such.

That's putting it mildly. I was thinking that it is more likely that a
universe tunnels out of a black hole that just randomly happens to contain
your precise brain state at that moment, and for all of future eternity. But
the majority of these random universes will be precisely that; random. In
most cases you will then find that your immortal experience is of a purely
random universe, which is likely a good definition of hell.

Jonathan Colvin



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Russell,
To be fair, I should elaborate on my earlier post about amnesics and 
psychotics. If I consider the actual cases I have seen, arguably they do 
have *some* sense of the passage of time. Taking the first example, people 
with severe Korsakoff Syndrome (due to chronic alcohol abuse) appear to be 
completely incapable of laying down new memories. If you enter their room to 
perform some uncomfortable medical procedure and they become annoyed with 
you, all you have to do is step outside for a moment, then step back inside, 
and they are all smiles again, so you can have another go at the procedure, 
and repeat this as many times as you want. While you are actually in their 
sight, however, they do recognise that you are the same person from moment 
to moment, and they do make the connection between the needle you are 
sticking into them and the subsequent pain, causing them to become annoyed 
at you. So they do have a sense of time, even if only for a few seconds.

The second example, the disorganised schizophrenic, is somewhat more 
complex. There is a continuum from mild to extreme disorganisation, and at 
the extreme end, it can be very difficult to get any sense of what the 
person is thinking, although it is quite easy to get a sense of what they 
are feeling and it would be very difficult to maintain a belief that they 
are not actually conscious (you really have to see this for yourself to 
understand it). Usually, even the most unwell of these patients give some 
indirect indication that they maintain some sense of time. For example, if 
you hold out a glass of water, they will reach for it and drink from it, 
which suggests that they may have a theory about the future, and how they 
might influence it to their advantage. Occasionally, however - and I have to 
confess I have not actually tried the experiment - there are patients who 
seem incapable of even as simple (one could say near-reflexive) a task as 
grabbing a glass of water. With treatment, almost all these people improve, 
and it is interesting to ask them what was happening during these periods. 
Firstly, it is interesting that they actually have any recollection. It is 
as if the CPU was defective, but the data was still written to the hard 
drive, to be analysed later. They might explain that everything seemed 
fragmented, so that although they could see and hear things, the visual 
stimuli did not form recognisable objects and the auditory stimuli did not 
form recognisable words or other sounds. Furthermore, the various perceptual 
data seemed to run into each other spatially, so that it was not possible to 
distinguish background from foreground, significant from insignificant. 
Catatonic patients, on the other hand, may (later, when better) describe a 
state of total inertia, being stuck in the present moment, unable to move 
either physically or mentally, unable to even imagine a possibility of 
change from the present state, aware of everything going on around them as a 
kind of extended simultaneity.

--Stathis Papaioannou
On Mon, May 09, 2005 at 11:02:18PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Dear aet.radal ssg,

 I think you missed my point about the amnesic and psychotic patients, 
which
 is not that they are clear thinkers, but that they are conscious despite 
a
 disability which impairs their perception of time. Your post raises an 
...

As I said before, I think this is a valuable contribution, but not
something I know how to deal with at this point in time. Presently,
these psychotic patients account for only a fraction of conscious
observers (assuming they are conscious as you say they are). Quantum
Mechanics only requires that most observers have their own time like
domain, not that all of them do. I'm still not convinced that TIME
isn't a necessary property of observerhood, as opposed to a likely
contingent one, but there the debate stagnates, as I'm not an expert
in psychiatry.
I did want to throw one more po thought. Even though standard QM is
based on continuous time, nowhere does TIME require time to be experienced
continuously. It could just as easily be the Cantor set, say. Might not
the time experienced by these psychotic people be a fractal set like
that, or are you saying they have absolutely no sense of time at all?
Cheers
--
*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.

A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics 	   0425 253119 ()
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 	 [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Australia
http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
International prefix  +612, Interstate 

RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
While it is likely that some version of you will end up in a hellishly 
random universe as a result of QTI, you probably won't stay there very long, 
since if your particular brain pattern arose randomly, it will probably 
become disrupted randomly as well. Failing that, you can always kill 
yourself, and keep doing this until you arrive at a universe to your liking.

--Stathis Papaioannou
The usual approach is that a system which is algorithmically
compressible is defined as random.  A rule-based universe has a short
program that determines its evolution, or creates its state.
A random
universe has no program much smaller than itself which can encode its
information.

Hal Finney

Jonathan Colvin replies:
 I think you meant algorithmically *in*compressible.

Yes, I did.

 The relevance was, I was thinking that those universes where
we become
 immortal under MWI are not the conventional rule-based
universes such
 as we appear to live in, but a different class of stochastic random
 ones (which require very unlikely strings of random coincidences to
 instantiate). The majority of such universes, being essentially
 random, are probably not very pleasant places to live.

You could look at it from the point of view of
observer-moments.  Among all observer-moments which remember
your present situation and which also remember very long
lifetimes, which ones have the greatest measure?
It should be those which have the simplest explanations possible.
As time goes on, the explanations will presumably have to be
more and more complex, but it doesn't necessarily have to be
extreme.  It could just be, great scientist invents
immortality in the year 2006.  Then, next year, it will be
great scientist invents immortality in the year 2007, etc.

Once you're lying on your death bed and each breath could be
your last, it starts to get a little more difficult.  Maybe it
will be like those movies where the condemned man is in the
death chamber and they are about to throw the switch, as the
lawyer rushes to the prison with news from the governor of a
last-minute pardon.  You'll be taking your last breath, and
someone will rush in with a miraculous cure that was just
discovered, or some such.
That's putting it mildly. I was thinking that it is more likely that a
universe tunnels out of a black hole that just randomly happens to 
contain
your precise brain state at that moment, and for all of future eternity. 
But
the majority of these random universes will be precisely that; random. In
most cases you will then find that your immortal experience is of a purely
random universe, which is likely a good definition of hell.

Jonathan Colvin
_
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RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Hal Finney
Jonathan Colvin writes:
 That's putting it mildly. I was thinking that it is more likely that a
 universe tunnels out of a black hole that just randomly happens to contain
 your precise brain state at that moment, and for all of future eternity. But
 the majority of these random universes will be precisely that; random. In
 most cases you will then find that your immortal experience is of a purely
 random universe, which is likely a good definition of hell.

But it's not all that unlikely that someone in the world, unbeknownst
to you, has invented a cure; whereas for a universe with your exact
mind in it to be created purely de novo is astronomically unlikely.

Look at the number of atoms in your brain, 10^25 or some such, and imagine
how many arrangments there are of those atoms that aren't you, compared
to the relative few which are you.  The odds against that happening by
chance are beyond comprehension.  Whereas the odds of some lucky accident
saving you as you are about to die are more like lottery-winner long,
like one in a billion, not astronomically long, like one in a googleplex.

Especially if you accept that it is possible in principle for medicine
to give us an unlimited healthy lifespan, then all you really need to do
is to live in a universe where that medical technology is discovered,
and then avoid accidents.  Neither one seems all that improbable from
the perspective of people living in our circumstances today.  It's harder
to see how a cave man could look forward to a long life span.

I should add that I don't believe in QTI, I don't believe that we are
guaranteed to experience such outcomes.  I prefer the observer-moment
concept in which we are more likely to experience observer-moments where
we are young and living within a normal lifespan than ones where we are
at a very advanced age due to miraculous luck.

Hal Finney



Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Norman Samish
If the multiverse is truly infinite in space-time, then all possible 
universes must eventually appear in it, including an infinite number with 
all 10^80 particles in it identical to those in our universe.

Norman Samish
~

- Original Message - 
From: Hal Finney [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@eskimo.com
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 8:55 PM
Subject: RE: many worlds theory of immortality


Jonathan Colvin writes:
 That's putting it mildly. I was thinking that it is more likely that a
 universe tunnels out of a black hole that just randomly happens to 
 contain
 your precise brain state at that moment, and for all of future eternity. 
 But
 the majority of these random universes will be precisely that; random. In
 most cases you will then find that your immortal experience is of a purely
 random universe, which is likely a good definition of hell.

But it's not all that unlikely that someone in the world, unbeknownst
to you, has invented a cure; whereas for a universe with your exact
mind in it to be created purely de novo is astronomically unlikely.

Look at the number of atoms in your brain, 10^25 or some such, and imagine
how many arrangments there are of those atoms that aren't you, compared
to the relative few which are you.  The odds against that happening by
chance are beyond comprehension.  Whereas the odds of some lucky accident
saving you as you are about to die are more like lottery-winner long,
like one in a billion, not astronomically long, like one in a googleplex.

Especially if you accept that it is possible in principle for medicine
to give us an unlimited healthy lifespan, then all you really need to do
is to live in a universe where that medical technology is discovered,
and then avoid accidents.  Neither one seems all that improbable from
the perspective of people living in our circumstances today.  It's harder
to see how a cave man could look forward to a long life span.

I should add that I don't believe in QTI, I don't believe that we are
guaranteed to experience such outcomes.  I prefer the observer-moment
concept in which we are more likely to experience observer-moments where
we are young and living within a normal lifespan than ones where we are
at a very advanced age due to miraculous luck.

Hal Finney 



Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-09 Thread Hal Finney
Norman Samish writes:
 If the multiverse is truly infinite in space-time, then all possible 
 universes must eventually appear in it, including an infinite number with 
 all 10^80 particles in it identical to those in our universe.

Yes, Tegmark calls this the Level I concept of a multiverse.  It's not
so much that the multiverse is truly infinite, it is enough if our own
mundane universe that we see around us is spatially infinite, as predicted
by inflation theory.  See http://it.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0302131 for a
slightly more technical version of Tegmark's Scientific American article
on the topic.  Or the SciAm cover story, Infinite Earths in PARALLEL
UNIVERSES Really Exist, May 2003.

Hal Finney



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-07 Thread aet.radal ssg
- Original Message - From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality Date: Wed, 04 May 2005 22:40:46 +1000  snip I don't see how you could get anywhere if you disregard the  relationship between observer moments. It is this relationship  which allows grouping of different observer moments to give the  effect of a continuous stream of consciousness. The human brain is  a machine which produces just such a sequence of observer moments,  which bear a temporal relationship with each other consistent with  your TIME postulate. But I would still say that these related  observer moments are independent of each other in that they are not  necessarily physically or causally connected. I base this on real  life experience (the fact that I feel I am the same person as I was  10 years ago even though I am now made up of different atoms, in an  only approximately similar configuration, giving rise to only  approximately similar memories and other mental properties),
I would question whether you really"feel" that you are the same person you were 10 years ago. 10 years ago you were 10 years younger. Do you "feel" like you are that age now? 10 years ago there were things that you had no knowledge of, that you do now. Just as you are made up of different atoms, etc now, you also have different experiences, and expanded knowledge base, etc. In other words, you are not the same person and you really don't "feel" like you're the same person. However, you are the sentient human entity that was born however many years ago and have accumulated the sum total of knowledge, experience, etc, that you have so far. That said, the observer moments that you have are connected because they're your observer moments and are compared against your base of past experience, etc. They are casually connected if they are moments that are observed in the first place. You're at bat in a ball game and the pitcher throws the ball and you swing and miss and the ball hits you. Each moment in that sequence is related casually and temporally with the other. The moments can be recalled separately but there is still a casual link.
and on  thought experiments where continuity of identity persists despite  disruption of the physical and causal link between the earlier and  the later set of observer moments (teleportation etc.).
We don't have teleportation yet, especially the demat/remat type (which IMHO is impossible), so I don't see how invoking that is reasonable. Taking a chance to interpret your intent otherwise, I would say that disruption of so-called physical and casual links can happen anytime consciousness is lost, ie sleep, blow to the head, anesthesia, etc. It doesn't support your argument about observer moments being separate in any case.
  Another question: what are the implications for the TIME postulate  raised by certain mental illnesses, such as cerebral lesions  leading to total loss of short term memory, so that each observer  moment does indeed seem to be unrelated to the previous ones from  the patient's point of view? 
The implication is obvious: the "machine" is broken. Therefore the conclusions based on the information that it gathers and processes is defective.
Or, in psychotic illnesses the patient  can display what is known as "formal thought disorder", which in  the most extreme cases can present as total fragmentation of all  cognitive processes, so that the patient speaks gibberish ("word  salad" is actually the technical term), cannot reason at all,  appears unable to learn from the past or anticipate the future, and  reacts to internal stimuli which seem to vary randomly from moment  to moment. In both these cases, the normal subjective sense of time  is severely disrupted, but the patient is still fully conscious,  and often bewildered and distressed. 
Exactly. Broken. No more capable of accurate determination of what is casual, temporal or anything else than a computer is capable of accuratefunctioning after its been damaged by a virus or some other disruptive event. I had a pocket calculator get wet once and all I could get out of it when I attempted calculations were wrong numbers and sometimesabstract partial digital displays. I no more consideredwhat I was getting from the calculator as valid than I dothe perceptions ofa patient with "formal thought disorder". The point is their perceptions are wrong, not just different, they're inaccurate and can be demonstrated to be so. It's not good science to baseideas of temporal reality, and other related issues, on someone who's mentally deficient.
  --Stathis Papaioannou   _  REALESTATE: biggest buy/rent/share listings http://ninemsn.realestate.com.au 
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-05 Thread Russell Standish
On Wed, May 04, 2005 at 10:40:46PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 I don't see how you could get anywhere if you disregard the relationship 
 between observer moments. It is this relationship which allows grouping of 
 different observer moments to give the effect of a continuous stream of 
 consciousness. The human brain is a machine which produces just such a 
 sequence of observer moments, which bear a temporal relationship with each 
 other consistent with your TIME postulate. But I would still say that these 
 related observer moments are independent of each other in that they are not 
 necessarily physically or causally connected. I base this on real life 
 experience (the fact that I feel I am the same person as I was 10 years ago 
 even though I am now made up of different atoms, in an only approximately 
 similar configuration, giving rise to only approximately similar memories 
 and other mental properties), and on thought experiments where continuity 
 of identity persists despite disruption of the physical and causal link 
 between the earlier and the later set of observer moments (teleportation 
 etc.).


Causality is very much a 1st person emergent phenomenon, governed as
it were by conditional probabilities that evolve according to the
Schroedinger equation. The latter equation is a consequence of 1st
person emergent concepts, such as TIME.
 
 Another question: what are the implications for the TIME postulate raised 
 by certain mental illnesses, such as cerebral lesions leading to total loss 
 of short term memory, so that each observer moment does indeed seem to be 
 unrelated to the previous ones from the patient's point of view? Or, in 
 psychotic illnesses the patient can display what is known as formal 
 thought disorder, which in the most extreme cases can present as total 
 fragmentation of all cognitive processes, so that the patient speaks 
 gibberish (word salad is actually the technical term), cannot reason at 
 all, appears unable to learn from the past or anticipate the future, and 
 reacts to internal stimuli which seem to vary randomly from moment to 
 moment. In both these cases, the normal subjective sense of time is 
 severely disrupted, but the patient is still fully conscious, and often 
 bewildered and distressed.
 

These cases are very interesting to examine. The difficulty would be in
establishing whether a sufficiently mentally ill person is in fact
conscious. Since consciousness is a 1st person phenomenon, we only
infer consciousness in others by means of a mental model of the mind
based on our own consciousness. When the other individual departs too
much from our mental model, we would be tempted to discount the other
person as being conscious. Certainly, I would regard a reasonably
ordered version of TIME as a prerequisite for consciousness, but that
includes things like Cantor sets just as much as more conventional
notions of continuous time.

Cheers


 --Stathis Papaioannou
 
 _
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 http://ninemsn.realestate.com.au

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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-05 Thread George Levy
I believe that according to some or most participants in this list, 
transitions between observer moments is representing Time. I have also 
been talking about observer moments in the past but I have always 
skirted around the issue of defining them.

The concept of observer moment is not clear. For example,  you could 
compare each observer moment to the node of a graph and the transitions 
from one observer moment to the links of the graph. However, it is well 
known that a graph can be transformed by changing each node into a 
polygon. Each link then becomes a node. In this new format, you could 
view Time as being represented by the nodes.  We are left with two 
representations of consciousness: the first is a feeling of becoming 
(the first representation in which the links represent time) and the 
second is a feeling of being (the second representation in which the 
nodes represent time).

Ultimately observer-moments are the stuff that makes up the plenitude. 
They are more fundamental than any physical object and more basic than 
time and space. If we are to assume some fundamental entity, I think 
that observer-moments qualify.

George


Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-05 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 4 May 2005 George Levy wrote:
I believe that according to some or most participants in this list, 
transitions between observer moments is representing Time. I have also 
been talking about observer moments in the past but I have always skirted 
around the issue of defining them.

The concept of observer moment is not clear. For example,  you could 
compare each observer moment to the node of a graph and the transitions 
from one observer moment to the links of the graph. However, it is well 
known that a graph can be transformed by changing each node into a polygon. 
Each link then becomes a node. In this new format, you could view Time as 
being represented by the nodes.  We are left with two representations of 
consciousness: the first is a feeling of becoming (the first representation 
in which the links represent time) and the second is a feeling of being 
(the second representation in which the nodes represent time).

Ultimately observer-moments are the stuff that makes up the plenitude. They 
are more fundamental than any physical object and more basic than time and 
space. If we are to assume some fundamental entity, I think that 
observer-moments qualify.
Descartes came up with I think, therefore I am when he asked himself if 
there was anything in the world that was safe from extreme scepticism. 
Modest though his conclusion sounds, it can be argued that he went too far 
in assuming that a thought implies a thinker. If he had stopped at I 
think, then that would really have been the one thing that was beyond all 
doubt: the observer-moment.

--Stathis Papaioannou
_
MSN Messenger v7. Download now:   http://messenger.ninemsn.com.au/


Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-04 Thread Bruno Marchal
Le 04-mai-05, à 01:53, Russell Standish a écrit :
On this list, we seem to have two fairly clear camps: those who
identify observer moments as the fundamental concept, and those who
regard relationships between observer moments with equal ontological
status.
OK. As you know I take the relationship into account.

With my TIME postulate, I say that a conscious observer necessarily
experiences a sequence of related observer moments (or even a
continuum of them).
With my COMP postulate I say the same. The purely mathematically state 
transition function plays the role of your TIME. We do experience a 
continuum of observer moments simultaneously (provably with comp) but 
just because we are related to a continuum of execution in the 
mathematical execution of the UD.


To argue that observer moments are independent of
each other is to argue the negation of TIME. With TIME, the measure of
each observer moment is relative to the predecessor state, or the RSSA
is the appropriate principle to use. With not-TIME, each observer
moment has an absolute measure, the ASSA.
OK. You know I belong to the RSSA.
On this postulate (which admittedly still fails rigourous statement,
and is not as intuitive as one would like axioms to be), hinges the
whole QTI debate, and many other things besides. With TIME, one has
the RSSA and the possibility of QTI. With not-TIME, one has the
ASSA,and Jacques Mallah's doomsday argument against QTI is valid. See
the great RSSA vs ASSA debate on  the everything list a few years 
ago.

Now I claim that TIME is implied by computationalism.
The illusion of time (and even of different sort of time like 
1-person subjective duration to local 3-person parameter-time) is 
implied by comp.

Time is needed
for machines to pass from one state to another, ie to actually compute
something.
I guess our divergence relies on the word actually. If you need such 
a concrete time then you need even a universe. Such actuality is an 
indexical. The only time I need is contained in arithmetical truth, in 
which I can embed all the block-space of all computational histories.


Bruno apparently disagrees, but I haven't heard his
disagreement yet.
I am not sure I understand your TIME. Is it physical or mathematical?
Cheers,
Bruno
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-04 Thread Russell Standish
Reading your responses here, I don't think we have much to disagree
on. Like you, I don't need a concrete universe, with concrete time
etc. It was largely your thesis that convinced me of that. Perhaps you
confuse me with Schmidhuber too much !

I wouldn't say that time is illusionary. Illusionary means that
something either not real, or is not what it seems.

I'd prefer to say that time (psychological) is an emergent property of
the 1st person description. (Emergent wrt the 3rd person). If you want
to know what I mean by emergence, please read my paper On complexity
and emergence - its fairly short.

By way of analogy, I remember from high school physics that
centrifugal force was called imaginary. At the time I thought this
was bizarre - the force is real enough, its really a question of
reference frames. In the rotating reference frame, centrifugal force
is real, balancing centripetal force to make the orbiting body
motionless. In the non-rotating reference frame the centripetal force
causes the body to orbit (constant acceleration). Emergence has
something to do with reference frames...

Of course psychological time differs from coordinate time, which is a
3rd person concept, and quite possibly emergent as well (wrt a deeper
description of reality)

The correlation of psychological and coordinate time is interesting,
and I don't feel I understand it fully, but is probably not worth
delving into in this email.

Cheers

 On Wed, May 04, 2005 at 09:14:13AM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
 Le 04-mai-05, ? 01:53, Russell Standish a ?crit :
 
 On this list, we seem to have two fairly clear camps: those who
 identify observer moments as the fundamental concept, and those who
 regard relationships between observer moments with equal ontological
 status.
 
 OK. As you know I take the relationship into account.
 
 
 
 With my TIME postulate, I say that a conscious observer necessarily
 experiences a sequence of related observer moments (or even a
 continuum of them).
 
 With my COMP postulate I say the same. The purely mathematically state 
 transition function plays the role of your TIME. We do experience a 
 continuum of observer moments simultaneously (provably with comp) but 
 just because we are related to a continuum of execution in the 
 mathematical execution of the UD.
 
 
 To argue that observer moments are independent of
 each other is to argue the negation of TIME. With TIME, the measure of
 each observer moment is relative to the predecessor state, or the RSSA
 is the appropriate principle to use. With not-TIME, each observer
 moment has an absolute measure, the ASSA.
 
 OK. You know I belong to the RSSA.
 
 
 On this postulate (which admittedly still fails rigourous statement,
 and is not as intuitive as one would like axioms to be), hinges the
 whole QTI debate, and many other things besides. With TIME, one has
 the RSSA and the possibility of QTI. With not-TIME, one has the
 ASSA,and Jacques Mallah's doomsday argument against QTI is valid. See
 the great RSSA vs ASSA debate on  the everything list a few years 
 ago.
 
 Now I claim that TIME is implied by computationalism.
 
 The illusion of time (and even of different sort of time like 
 1-person subjective duration to local 3-person parameter-time) is 
 implied by comp.
 
 Time is needed
 for machines to pass from one state to another, ie to actually compute
 something.
 
 I guess our divergence relies on the word actually. If you need such 
 a concrete time then you need even a universe. Such actuality is an 
 indexical. The only time I need is contained in arithmetical truth, in 
 which I can embed all the block-space of all computational histories.
 
 
 Bruno apparently disagrees, but I haven't heard his
 disagreement yet.
 
 I am not sure I understand your TIME. Is it physical or mathematical?
 
 Cheers,
 
 Bruno
 
 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

-- 
*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics0425 253119 ()
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-04 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 4 May 2005 Russell Standish wrote:
On this list, we seem to have two fairly clear camps: those who
identify observer moments as the fundamental concept, and those who
regard relationships between observer moments with equal ontological
status.
With my TIME postulate, I say that a conscious observer necessarily
experiences a sequence of related observer moments (or even a
continuum of them). To argue that observer moments are independent of
each other is to argue the negation of TIME. With TIME, the measure of
each observer moment is relative to the predecessor state, or the RSSA
is the appropriate principle to use. With not-TIME, each observer
moment has an absolute measure, the ASSA.
On this postulate (which admittedly still fails rigourous statement,
and is not as intuitive as one would like axioms to be), hinges the
whole QTI debate, and many other things besides. With TIME, one has
the RSSA and the possibility of QTI. With not-TIME, one has the
ASSA,and Jacques Mallah's doomsday argument against QTI is valid. See
the great RSSA vs ASSA debate on  the everything list a few years ago.
Now I claim that TIME is implied by computationalism. Time is needed
for machines to pass from one state to another, ie to actually compute
something. Bruno apparently disagrees, but I haven't heard his
disagreement yet.
I don't see how you could get anywhere if you disregard the relationship 
between observer moments. It is this relationship which allows grouping of 
different observer moments to give the effect of a continuous stream of 
consciousness. The human brain is a machine which produces just such a 
sequence of observer moments, which bear a temporal relationship with each 
other consistent with your TIME postulate. But I would still say that these 
related observer moments are independent of each other in that they are not 
necessarily physically or causally connected. I base this on real life 
experience (the fact that I feel I am the same person as I was 10 years ago 
even though I am now made up of different atoms, in an only approximately 
similar configuration, giving rise to only approximately similar memories 
and other mental properties), and on thought experiments where continuity of 
identity persists despite disruption of the physical and causal link between 
the earlier and the later set of observer moments (teleportation etc.).

Another question: what are the implications for the TIME postulate raised by 
certain mental illnesses, such as cerebral lesions leading to total loss of 
short term memory, so that each observer moment does indeed seem to be 
unrelated to the previous ones from the patient's point of view? Or, in 
psychotic illnesses the patient can display what is known as formal thought 
disorder, which in the most extreme cases can present as total 
fragmentation of all cognitive processes, so that the patient speaks 
gibberish (word salad is actually the technical term), cannot reason at 
all, appears unable to learn from the past or anticipate the future, and 
reacts to internal stimuli which seem to vary randomly from moment to 
moment. In both these cases, the normal subjective sense of time is severely 
disrupted, but the patient is still fully conscious, and often bewildered 
and distressed.

--Stathis Papaioannou
_
REALESTATE: biggest buy/rent/share listings   
http://ninemsn.realestate.com.au



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-04 Thread Hal Finney
I would add another point with regard to observer-moments and continuity:
probably there is no unique next or previous relationship among
observer-moments.

The case of non-unique next observer-moments is uncontroversial, as it
relates to the universe splitting predicted by the MWI or the analogous
effect in more general multiverse theories.  Non-unique previous
observer-moments can probably happen as well due to the finite precision
of memory.  Any time information is forgotten we would have mental states
merge.  This requires a general multiverse theory, or at least a model
of mental states that span MWI branches; the conventional MWI does not
merge branches which have diverged through irreversible measurements.

In this view, then, we can chain observer-moments together to form
observer-paths, or more simply, observers.  But the chains are non-unique;
obervers can intersect (share observer-moments and then diverge), or
even braid together in interesting ways.  That means that there is no
unique sense in which you are a particular observer, at any moment;
rather, you can be thought of as any of the observers who share your
current observer-moment.

Hal Finney



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-03 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 16-avr.-05, à 02:45, Saibal Mitra a écrit :

Both the suicide and copying thought experiments have convinced me that the
notion of a conditional probability is fundamentally flawed. It can be
defined under ''normal'' circumstances but it will break down precisely when
considering copying or suicide.


This is a quite remarkable remark. I can related it to the COMBINATORS thread.
In a nutshell: in the *empirical* FOREST there are no kestrels (no eliminators at all),
nor Mockingbird, warblers or any duplicators. Quantum information behaves
like incompressible fluid. Universes differentiate, they never multiplies. 
Deutsch is right on that point. I use Hardegree (ref in my thesis(*)) He did show that
quantum logic can be seen as a conditional probability logic. 

We will come back on this (it's necessarily a little bit technical). I am finishing a
technical paper on that. The COMBINATORS can help to simplify considerably
the mathematical conjectures of my thesis.

Bruno

(*) Hardegree, G. M. (1976). The Conditional in Quantum Logic. In Suppes, P., editor, Logic and Probability in Quantum  Mechanics, volume 78 of Synthese Library, pages 55-72. D. Reidel  Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland.


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


RE: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-03 Thread Ben Goertzel




Saibal,

Does 
your conclusion about conditional probability also apply to complex-valued 
probabilities a la Youssef?

http://physics.bu.edu/~youssef/quantum/quantum_refs.html

http://www.goertzel.org/papers/ChaoQM.htm

-- Ben 
Goertzel

  -Original Message-From: Bruno Marchal 
  [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 4:20 
  AMTo: Saibal MitraCc: 
  everything-list@eskimo.comSubject: Re: Many worlds theory of 
  immortalityLe 16-avr.-05, à 02:45, Saibal Mitra a 
  écrit :
  Both the suicide and copying thought experiments have convinced 
me that thenotion of a conditional probability is fundamentally flawed. 
It can bedefined under ''normal'' circumstances but it will break down 
precisely whenconsidering copying or suicide.This 
  is a quite remarkable remark. I can related it to the COMBINATORS 
  thread.In a nutshell: in the *empirical* FOREST there are no kestrels (no 
  eliminators at all),nor Mockingbird, warblers or any duplicators. Quantum 
  information behaveslike incompressible fluid. Universes differentiate, 
  they never multiplies. Deutsch is right on that point. I use Hardegree 
  (ref in my thesis(*)) He did show thatquantum logic can be seen as a 
  conditional probability logic. We will come back on this (it's 
  necessarily a little bit technical). I am finishing atechnical paper on 
  that. The COMBINATORS can help to simplify considerablythe mathematical 
  conjectures of my thesis.Bruno(*) Hardegree, G.M. (1976). The 
  Conditional in Quantum Logic. In Suppes, P., editor, Logic and Probability 
  in Quantum Mechanics, volume78 of Synthese Library, pages 
  55-72. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland.http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-03 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
2 weeks ago Saibal Mitra wrote:
 I don't think that the MW immortality is correct at all! In a certain 
sense
we are
 immortal, because the enseble of all possible worlds is a fixed static
entity. So,
 you ''always'' find yourselve alive in one state or another. However, you
won't
 experience youself evolving in the infinite far future.

 If you encounter a ''branching'' in which one of the possibilities is
death, that
 branch cannot be said to be nonexistent relative to you. Quantum 
mechanics
doesn't
 imply that you can never become unconscious, otherwise you could never 
fall
asleep!

 Of course, you can never experience being unconscious. So, what to do 
with
the branch
 leading to (almost) certain death? The more information your brain
contains, the smaller the set of branches is in which you are alive (and
consistent with your experiences stored in your brain). The set of all
branches in which you could be alive doesn't contain any information at 
all.
Since death involves complete
 memory loss, the branch leading to death should be replaced by the 
complete
set of all possibilities.
...and despite reading the last paragraph several times slowly, I'm afraid I 
don't understand it. Are you saying there may never be a next moment at 
the point where you are facing near-certain death? It seems to me that all 
that is required is an observer moment in which (a) you believe that you are 
you, however this may be defined (it's problematic even in normal life 
what constitutes continuity of identity), and (b) you remember facing the 
said episode of near-certain death (ncd), and it will seem to you that you 
have miraculously escaped, even if there is no actual physical connection 
between the pre-ncd and the post-ncd observer moment. Or, another way to 
escape is as you have suggested in a more recent post, that there is an 
observer moment somewhere in the multiverse in which the ncd episode has 
been somehow deleted from your memory. Perhaps the latter is more likely, in 
which case you can look forward to never, or extremely rarely, facing ncd in 
your life.

It all gets very muddled. If we try to ruthlessly dispense with every 
derivative, ill-defined, superfluous concept and assumption in an effort to 
simplify the discussion, the one thing we are left with is the individual 
observer-moments. We then try to sort these observer-moments into sets which 
constitute lives, identities, birth, death, amnesia, mind duplication, mind 
melding, multiple world branchings, and essentially every possible variation 
on these and other themes. No wonder it's confusing! And who is to judge 
where a particular individual's identity/life/body/memory begins and ends 
when even the most detailed, passed by committee of philosophers set of 
rules fails, as it inevitably will?

The radical solution is to accept that only the observer-moments are real, 
and how we sort them then is seen for what it is: essentially arbitrary, a 
matter of convention. You can dismiss the question of immortality, quantum 
or otherwise, by observing that the only non-problematic definition of an 
individual is identification with a single observer-moment, so that no 
individual can ever really live for longer than a moment. Certainly, this 
goes against intuition, because I feel that I was alive a few minutes ago as 
well as ten years ago, but *of course* I feel that; this is simply reporting 
on my current thought processes, like saying I feel hungry or tired, and 
beyond this cannot be taken as a falsifiable statement about the state of 
affairs in the real world unless recourse is taken to some arbitrary 
definition of personal identity, such as would satisfy a court, for example.

Let me put it a different way. Situation (a) life as usual: I die every 
moment and a peson is reborn every moment complete with (most) memories and 
other attributes of the individual who has just died. Situation (b) I am 
killed instantly, painlessly, with an axe every moment, and a person is 
reconstituted the next moment complete with (most) memories and other 
attributes of the individual who has just died, such that he experiences no 
discontinuity. Aside from the blood and mess in (b), is there a difference? 
Should I worry more about (b) than (a)? This is of course a commonplace 
thought experiment on this list, but I draw from it a slightly different 
conclusion: we all die all the time; death doesn't really matter, otherwise 
we should all be in a constant panic.

--Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-05-03 Thread Russell Standish
On this list, we seem to have two fairly clear camps: those who
identify observer moments as the fundamental concept, and those who
regard relationships between observer moments with equal ontological
status.

With my TIME postulate, I say that a conscious observer necessarily
experiences a sequence of related observer moments (or even a
continuum of them). To argue that observer moments are independent of
each other is to argue the negation of TIME. With TIME, the measure of
each observer moment is relative to the predecessor state, or the RSSA
is the appropriate principle to use. With not-TIME, each observer
moment has an absolute measure, the ASSA.

On this postulate (which admittedly still fails rigourous statement,
and is not as intuitive as one would like axioms to be), hinges the
whole QTI debate, and many other things besides. With TIME, one has
the RSSA and the possibility of QTI. With not-TIME, one has the
ASSA,and Jacques Mallah's doomsday argument against QTI is valid. See
the great RSSA vs ASSA debate on  the everything list a few years ago.

Now I claim that TIME is implied by computationalism. Time is needed
for machines to pass from one state to another, ie to actually compute
something. Bruno apparently disagrees, but I haven't heard his
disagreement yet.

Cheers

On Tue, May 03, 2005 at 11:47:30PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 ...and despite reading the last paragraph several times slowly, I'm afraid 
 I don't understand it. Are you saying there may never be a next moment at 
 the point where you are facing near-certain death? It seems to me that all 
 that is required is an observer moment in which (a) you believe that you 
 are you, however this may be defined (it's problematic even in normal 
 life what constitutes continuity of identity), and (b) you remember facing 
 the said episode of near-certain death (ncd), and it will seem to you that 
 you have miraculously escaped, even if there is no actual physical 
 connection between the pre-ncd and the post-ncd observer moment. Or, 
 another way to escape is as you have suggested in a more recent post, that 
 there is an observer moment somewhere in the multiverse in which the ncd 
 episode has been somehow deleted from your memory. Perhaps the latter is 
 more likely, in which case you can look forward to never, or extremely 
 rarely, facing ncd in your life.
 
 It all gets very muddled. If we try to ruthlessly dispense with every 
 derivative, ill-defined, superfluous concept and assumption in an effort to 
 simplify the discussion, the one thing we are left with is the individual 
 observer-moments. We then try to sort these observer-moments into sets 
 which constitute lives, identities, birth, death, amnesia, mind 
 duplication, mind melding, multiple world branchings, and essentially every 
 possible variation on these and other themes. No wonder it's confusing! And 
 who is to judge where a particular individual's identity/life/body/memory 
 begins and ends when even the most detailed, passed by committee of 
 philosophers set of rules fails, as it inevitably will?
 
 The radical solution is to accept that only the observer-moments are real, 
 and how we sort them then is seen for what it is: essentially arbitrary, a 
 matter of convention. You can dismiss the question of immortality, quantum 
 or otherwise, by observing that the only non-problematic definition of an 
 individual is identification with a single observer-moment, so that no 
 individual can ever really live for longer than a moment. Certainly, this 
 goes against intuition, because I feel that I was alive a few minutes ago 
 as well as ten years ago, but *of course* I feel that; this is simply 
 reporting on my current thought processes, like saying I feel hungry or 
 tired, and beyond this cannot be taken as a falsifiable statement about the 
 state of affairs in the real world unless recourse is taken to some 
 arbitrary definition of personal identity, such as would satisfy a court, 
 for example.
 
 Let me put it a different way. Situation (a) life as usual: I die every 
 moment and a peson is reborn every moment complete with (most) memories and 
 other attributes of the individual who has just died. Situation (b) I am 
 killed instantly, painlessly, with an axe every moment, and a person is 
 reconstituted the next moment complete with (most) memories and other 
 attributes of the individual who has just died, such that he experiences no 
 discontinuity. Aside from the blood and mess in (b), is there a difference? 
 Should I worry more about (b) than (a)? This is of course a commonplace 
 thought experiment on this list, but I draw from it a slightly different 
 conclusion: we all die all the time; death doesn't really matter, otherwise 
 we should all be in a constant panic.
 
 --Stathis Papaioannou
 
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Re: many worlds theory of immortality: May only be the Anthropic Principle

2005-04-29 Thread Stephen Paul King
Dear Lee,
   Interleaving.
- Original Message - 
From: Lee Corbin [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 11:00 PM
Subject: RE: many worlds theory of immortality: May only be the Anthropic 
Principle


Stephen writes
you seem to be making a case of the Anthropic Principle,
but I am not sure if this is your intension. (I am
ignoring my own allergy to the idea that 1st person aspects
can be faithfully represented by Turing algorithms.)
Well, I myself had no clue that these ideas could be connected
to the Anthropic Principle.
[SPK]
   ;-)

You wrote ...the vast winnowing of branches that people find themselves
in... Isn't this exactly what we would expect if we assume that any 
slice
of the Multiverse that an observer finds itself in will be restricted to
necessarily allowing for some measure of being alive such that a
meaningful notion of observation can obtain? [Are we inadvertently
assuming some kind of outside of the multiverse point of view to define
this???]
[LC]
Could you possibly expand on this notion?  Maybe with shorter
sentences?  :-)   As for me, trying to keep the ideas simple,
I often read in literature how some character is surprised to
find himself alive. There have been parallels (perhaps weak
ones) in my own life where I am surprised to find myself still
employed.
[SPK]
   I will try, but as often is the case these ideas are not easily 
explained in small sound byte size morsels, especially by someone like 
myself that is dislexic. ;-)

   There are, at least, two seperate issues here: the multiplicity of 
relative states of an observer and the notion of continuity of the 1st 
person aspect (subjective experience), i.e., that for any given notion of an 
observer and the possible choices that they could make of that causally 
impact upon them there exists one universe within which that observer could 
find itself. The former is easily seen to follow the notion that any 
universe that an observer finds itself in will have conditions that, at 
least, allow for the existence of that observer. This, for example, would 
exclude universes that do not have some form of gravity that would give rise 
to stars, planets, etc.
   The latter notion is not very obvious and as Bruno has pointed out we 
have strong reasons to believe that the 1st person aspect is not reducible 
to some 3rd person aspect. As an aside, I do believe that the converse is 
the case: any 3rd person aspect can be constructed from 1st person aspects. 
Another way of putting the second notion out there is to refere to the 
rubric, whose origin escapes me, I am what I remember myself to be.

[LC]
It hasn't occurred to me that this warrants any revision, but
I guess the adherents of the strong no-cul-de-sac theory should
be incapable of being surprised that they were still alive. I
can just hear them saying to themselves Well, OF COURSE I'm
still alive...what else could I expect?  To find myself dead?
Duh!
[SPK]
   If the observer is incapable of making an observation of a given 
universe, it easily follows that there is some strong reason why. One simple 
reason could be that that observer can not have any 1st person aspects 
consistent with that particular universe. To say that one is dead in such 
and such a universe is the same thing, unless we are going to postulate some 
kind of disembodied consciousness, like a self-aware ghost.

[SPK]
The idea of immortality seems to assume some means by which a given
observer's 1st person aspect can be continuously traced through the
Multiverse. Right? Would not such a trace obey topological rules such 
as
not allowing for the 1st person awareness of the effects of cutting,
pasting, tearing and other kinds of topological surgery?
[LC]
I'm not sure that I follow. It seems to me that I experience a
certain (probably mundane) discontinuity when I sleep and then
wake. Other people, especially amnesiacs, or those involved in
very severe injuries to the head, report discontinuities. Later
on, if/when we have learning pills, one might suddenly remember
that he knew French. Since it's not so difficult to imagine this,
it seems to me that all of the kinds of surgery you list above
can be experienced.
[SPK]
   Again, this is captures by: I am what I remember myself to be, or in 
Vaughan Pratt's terms: I think, therefore I was.

[SPK]
Would these global rules not fall under the AP as well or is
this outside of the AP?
[LC]
Perhaps you should also expand on the Anthropic Principle. I'm
very hazy on it. The Weak anthropic principle seemed only to be
common sense, and the Strong and Final forms, as I recall, were
pretty dubious so far as I was concerned.
Lee
[SPK]
   See: http://www.answers.com/topic/anthropic-principle
   I am dubious about the restriction to carbon-based and frame the AP in 
generic terms that only assume that some kind of 1st person aspect exists 
such that the notion of an Observer has meaning: An observer will only 
have 1st person experiences

Re: many worlds theory of immortality: May only be the Anthropic Principle

2005-04-28 Thread Bruno Marchal
Hi Stephen,
You wrote:
snip ... (I am ignoring my own allergy to the idea that 1st 
person aspects
can be faithfully represented by Turing algorithms.) ...

I take the opportunity of that statement to insist on a key point which 
is admittedly not obvious.
The fact is that I am also totally allergic to the idea that 1st person 
aspects can be represented. Comma.
And that is the main reason I appreciate the computational hypothesis; 
it prevents the existence of any
such representation. This is a consequence of two things:

1) The first person possesses an unbreakable umbilical chord with truth 
(it is related to what is called knowledge incorrigibility);
2) by Tarski theorem the concept of truth on a machine cannot be 
represented in any way in the machine.

In particular if we define (a little bit contra Rafe Champion(for-list) 
knowledge of p by [provability of p] + [truth of p] (more or less 
Theaetetus' definition),
although provability and knowledge can be shown to be third person 
equivalent, they can also be shown first person NOT equivalent.

I even think that the comp hyp, thanks to incompleteness, is the most 
powerful vaccine ever find against any attempt to reduce a first person 
to any third person notion, and this in a third person communicable 
way. This makes me optimistic for the long run ...

Best regards,
Bruno
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-22 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Jesse,
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
Now, look at p(n) again. This time, let's say it is not k, but a random 
real number greater than zero, smaller than 1, with k being the mean of 
the distribution. At first glance, it may appear that not much has 
changed, since the probabilities will on average be the same, over a 
long time period. However, this is not correct. In the above product, p(n) 
can go arbitrarily close to 1 for an arbitrarily long run of n, thus 
reducing the product value arbitrarily close to zero up to that point, 
which cannot subsequently be made up by a compensating fall of p(n) 
close to zero, since the factor 1-p(n)^(2^n) can never be greater than 1. 
(Sorry I haven't put this very elegantly.)
p(n) *can* go arbitrarily close to 1 for an arbitrarily long period of 
time, but you're not taking into the account the fact that the larger the 
population already is, the more arbitrarily close to 1 p(n) would have to 
get to wipe out the population completely--and the more arbitrarily close a 
value to 1 you pick, the less probable it is that p(n) will be greater than 
or equal to this value in a given generation. So it's still true that the 
probability of the population being wiped out is continually decreasing as 
the population gets larger, which means it's still plausible there could be 
a nonzero probability the population would never be wiped out--you'd have 
to do the math to test this (and you might get different answers depending 
on what probability distribution you pick for p(n)).

It also seems unrealistic to say that in a given generation, all 2^n 
members will have the *same* probability p(n) of being erased--if you're 
going to have random variations in p(n), wouldn't it make more sense for 
each individual to independently pick a value of p(n) from the probability 
distribution you're using? And if you do that, then the larger the 
population is, the smaller the average deviation from the expected mean 
value of p(n) given by that distribution.

The conclusion is therefore that if p(n) is allowed to vary randomly, Real 
Death becomes a certainty over time, even with continuous exponential 
growth forever.
I think you have any basis for being sure that Real Death becomes a 
certainty over time in the model you suggest (or the modified version I 
suggested above), not unless you've actually done the math, which would 
likely be pretty hairy.

Jesse
Jesse,
It would be stubborn of me not to admit at this point that you have defended 
your position better than I have mine. I'm still not quite convinced that 
what I have called p(n) won't ultimately ruin the model you have proposed, 
and I'm still not quite convinced that, even if it works, this model will 
not constitute a smaller and smaller proportion of worlds where you remain 
alive, over time; but as you say, I would have to do the maths before making 
such claims. I may try out some of these ideas with Mathematica, but I 
expect that the maths is beyond me. Anyway, thank-you for a most interesting 
and edifying discussion!

--Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-21 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Jesse Mazer wrote:
[Quoting Stathis:]
However, let us agree that the scenario you describe occurs in a 
non-negligible proportion of MW branches in which sentient life survives 
into the indefinite future, and return to Nick Prince's original question 
which spawned this thread. How will you ensure that your friends in this 
super-civilization running on this super-network will not disappear due to 
suicide, homicide, indefinite suspension or transformation into something 
completely unrecognizable? How will you ensure that *you* won't suicide, 
and end up in some other branch of the MW? If it possible that one of 
these things will happen, then over time, it will become a certainty, and 
you will be left alone. If there are constraints in place to make 
antisocial, self-destructive or simply perverse behaviour impossible, then 
(a) that would constitute more severe limits on freedom than the worst 
fascist state in our time, and (b) all fascist states fall, given time.
As I said earlier, my idea about seeing friends around is that A.I.'s in a 
giant computer network would periodically make copies of themselves, so 
even if a given copy commits suicide or is erased by accident or murder, 
there may be other copies in the network, and if the number of copies 
stemming from a single common ancestor (the number of copies belonging to 
a common 'clade') tends to increase geometrically, then the same logic 
about a finite total probability could apply here. Even so, with a friend 
you made fairly recently it may be that all copies descended from the 
common ancestor that you first met will end up getting erased, and of 
course none of the copies descended from earlier common ancestors would 
remember you, and they might be fairly different from the individual you 
knew. But if you have known someone for long enough that there are now a 
huge number of copies of the common ancestor you first met, spread 
throughout the network, then there might be a good chance that there'd be 
at least some copies descended from that common ancestor somewhere in the 
network until the end of time, no matter how many individual copies are 
erased.

Jesse
If the rate of duplication of individuals always matches or surpasses the 
rate of destruction, then there will always be at least some individuals 
left. You can change destruction to change beyond recognition and the 
same argument applies. However, in a real world situation, all these 
paramaters will vary; most especially if we are talking about the decisions 
of sentient beings. In fact, even if the running average of these parameters 
were consistent over a sufficiently long time period (and I don't know that 
this is possible to guarantee: the average will vary over time, and the rate 
of change of the average will vary, and the second and third time derivative 
of the average will vary, and so on), given infinite time, there will be 
periods of negative overall growth which must result in extinction of any 
individual entity, or any group of entities, or the entire population. It is 
analogous to the gambler's fallacy: given long enough, the gambler will lose 
everything, and then he won't have any funds to attempt to recover his 
losses. This applies also to the casino, despite the odds being on average 
stacked in its favour: if it operates long enough, someone will break the 
bank. And in biology, even when a population is still well into the 
exponential phase of its growth, there is always the possibility that it 
will become extinct.

--Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-21 Thread Jesse Mazer
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
Jesse Mazer wrote:
[Quoting Stathis:]
However, let us agree that the scenario you describe occurs in a 
non-negligible proportion of MW branches in which sentient life survives 
into the indefinite future, and return to Nick Prince's original question 
which spawned this thread. How will you ensure that your friends in this 
super-civilization running on this super-network will not disappear due 
to suicide, homicide, indefinite suspension or transformation into 
something completely unrecognizable? How will you ensure that *you* won't 
suicide, and end up in some other branch of the MW? If it possible that 
one of these things will happen, then over time, it will become a 
certainty, and you will be left alone. If there are constraints in place 
to make antisocial, self-destructive or simply perverse behaviour 
impossible, then (a) that would constitute more severe limits on freedom 
than the worst fascist state in our time, and (b) all fascist states 
fall, given time.
As I said earlier, my idea about seeing friends around is that A.I.'s in a 
giant computer network would periodically make copies of themselves, so 
even if a given copy commits suicide or is erased by accident or murder, 
there may be other copies in the network, and if the number of copies 
stemming from a single common ancestor (the number of copies belonging 
to a common 'clade') tends to increase geometrically, then the same logic 
about a finite total probability could apply here. Even so, with a friend 
you made fairly recently it may be that all copies descended from the 
common ancestor that you first met will end up getting erased, and of 
course none of the copies descended from earlier common ancestors would 
remember you, and they might be fairly different from the individual you 
knew. But if you have known someone for long enough that there are now a 
huge number of copies of the common ancestor you first met, spread 
throughout the network, then there might be a good chance that there'd be 
at least some copies descended from that common ancestor somewhere in the 
network until the end of time, no matter how many individual copies are 
erased.

Jesse
If the rate of duplication of individuals always matches or surpasses the 
rate of destruction, then there will always be at least some individuals 
left. You can change destruction to change beyond recognition and the 
same argument applies. However, in a real world situation, all these 
paramaters will vary; most especially if we are talking about the decisions 
of sentient beings. In fact, even if the running average of these 
parameters were consistent over a sufficiently long time period (and I 
don't know that this is possible to guarantee: the average will vary over 
time, and the rate of change of the average will vary, and the second and 
third time derivative of the average will vary, and so on), given infinite 
time, there will be periods of negative overall growth which must result in 
extinction of any individual entity, or any group of entities, or the 
entire population.
You could be right, but I don't think you have good justification for being 
so confident that you're right. It seems plausible to me that the larger the 
number of copies that exist already, the smaller the variations in the 
doubling rate, the smaller the fluctuations in those derivatives you 
mention, and the smaller the probability that a temporary period of negative 
growth will continue for a given amount of time. Are you 100% certain this 
is wrong? Do you disagree that the average actions of a googolplex copies 
will probably be less uncertain than the average actions of 50 copies, for 
example?

It is analogous to the gambler's fallacy: given long enough, the gambler 
will lose everything, and then he won't have any funds to attempt to 
recover his losses.
If the odds are slightly in his favor on each individual bet (say, for each 
dollar he bets there is a 50% chance he'll lose it and a 50% chance he'll 
win $2.01), this isn't true; the larger the amount of money he has already, 
the more predictable his total winnings on each round of betting, so you 
could prove that there is some finite probability his money will never go to 
zero in an infinite number of rounds of betting.

This applies also to the casino, despite the odds being on average stacked 
in its favour: if it operates long enough, someone will break the bank. And 
in biology, even when a population is still well into the exponential phase 
of its growth, there is always the possibility that it will become extinct.
Yes, there is always the possibility, but as long as the resources for 
continued population growth exist, the probability of extinction in any 
given time interval should decrease the larger the population.

Jesse



RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-21 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Jesse,
I've deleted everything, it was getting too messy. I hope this 
(semi-)mathematical formulation captures your argument correctly:

Suppose you start with one individual, your friend, on a computer network 
which has infinite resources and will grow exponentially forever. This 
individual will be duplicated every unit time period, so that after n 
generations, there will be 2^n copies. Suppose there is a probability p(n) 
that, during a unit time period, any single individual in the nth generation 
will be effectively deleted, whether through suicide, murder, local hardware 
failure, or whatever. To simplify the maths, assume that if at least one 
copy survives, the rest of the 2^n copies in that generation will be 
restored from memory; but if all the copies are deleted, then that will be 
Real Death for your friend. Now, the probability of Real Death in the nth 
generation, given the above, is p(n)^(2^n). If p(n) is a constant, call it 
k, this probability will clearly decrease with each generation. The 
probability that your friend will never suffer Real Death is then given by 
the infinite product:

(1-p(0)^(2^0))*(1-p(1)^(2^1))*(1-p(2)^(2^2))*...
which I believe converges to a value between 0 and 1 (too lazy to work it 
out now) and is another way of making your point, with the geometric series, 
that even with an always-nonzero probability that a given individual will 
die, if this probability is always decreasing due to exponential growth of 
copies of the individual, the probability that at least some copies will 
survive indefinitely does not limit to zero.

Now, look at p(n) again. This time, let's say it is not k, but a random real 
number greater than zero, smaller than 1, with k being the mean of the 
distribution. At first glance, it may appear that not much has changed, 
since the probabilities will on average be the same, over a long time 
period. However, this is not correct. In the above product, p(n) can go 
arbitrarily close to 1 for an arbitrarily long run of n, thus reducing the 
product value arbitrarily close to zero up to that point, which cannot 
subsequently be made up by a compensating fall of p(n) close to zero, 
since the factor 1-p(n)^(2^n) can never be greater than 1. (Sorry I haven't 
put this very elegantly.)

The conclusion is therefore that if p(n) is allowed to vary randomly, Real 
Death becomes a certainty over time, even with continuous exponential growth 
forever. If you have a real world network, or simulated sentient beings, I 
don't believe it is possible eliminate the random lement in this parameter.

--Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-21 Thread Jesse Mazer
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
Now, look at p(n) again. This time, let's say it is not k, but a random 
real number greater than zero, smaller than 1, with k being the mean of the 
distribution. At first glance, it may appear that not much has changed, 
since the probabilities will on average be the same, over a long time 
period. However, this is not correct. In the above product, p(n) can go 
arbitrarily close to 1 for an arbitrarily long run of n, thus reducing the 
product value arbitrarily close to zero up to that point, which cannot 
subsequently be made up by a compensating fall of p(n) close to zero, 
since the factor 1-p(n)^(2^n) can never be greater than 1. (Sorry I haven't 
put this very elegantly.)
p(n) *can* go arbitrarily close to 1 for an arbitrarily long period of time, 
but you're not taking into the account the fact that the larger the 
population already is, the more arbitrarily close to 1 p(n) would have to 
get to wipe out the population completely--and the more arbitrarily close a 
value to 1 you pick, the less probable it is that p(n) will be greater than 
or equal to this value in a given generation. So it's still true that the 
probability of the population being wiped out is continually decreasing as 
the population gets larger, which means it's still plausible there could be 
a nonzero probability the population would never be wiped out--you'd have to 
do the math to test this (and you might get different answers depending on 
what probability distribution you pick for p(n)).

It also seems unrealistic to say that in a given generation, all 2^n members 
will have the *same* probability p(n) of being erased--if you're going to 
have random variations in p(n), wouldn't it make more sense for each 
individual to independently pick a value of p(n) from the probability 
distribution you're using? And if you do that, then the larger the 
population is, the smaller the average deviation from the expected mean 
value of p(n) given by that distribution.

The conclusion is therefore that if p(n) is allowed to vary randomly, Real 
Death becomes a certainty over time, even with continuous exponential 
growth forever.
I think you have any basis for being sure that Real Death becomes a 
certainty over time in the model you suggest (or the modified version I 
suggested above), not unless you've actually done the math, which would 
likely be pretty hairy.

Jesse



RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-20 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Jesse Mazer writes:
[Stathis]
There are two separate probabilities to consider here. One is the 
probability (3/4, as you show) that civilization will never break down 
if implemented on a computer with behaviour as specified above. The 
other is the probability that the actual hardware will work according to 
specification. I don't think you should conflate the two, effectively 
arguing that the hardware will work to specification because that is 
part of the specification!

[Jesse]
I don't think I ever said anything about the probability involving 
software only. If you have a distributed computing network (such that 
destroying any part of it won't cause a global breakdown), and more and 
more of the universe is constantly being gobbled up and converted into 
computing power, then perhaps the probability of all the hardware in the 
universe breaking down would decrease geometrically as well, on average. 
Assume that when I talk about the probability of all copies of you being 
destroyed decreasing like 1/8+1/16+1/32+..., this probability takes into 
account all possible causes of failure, including software problems, 
destruction of hardware, and even stuff like the possibility that some 
other enemy groups of A.I.'s will attempt to erase all copies of you.

[Stathis]
Returning to the original question, once you have settled into your new 
home, what is to stop all your friends disappearing, as before? The 
computer will try to prevent this from happening, and you could probably 
try the geometric series trick again (i.e. decreasing probability that 
your friends disappear), but in this case there will be nothing tying 
you to those ever-rarer branches where the hardware works as it is 
supposed to.

[Jesse]
But my point is that it doesn't necessarily have to be a matter of 
ever-rarer branches--even aside from quantum immortality, it might be 
true that in 3/4 (or whatever) of all branches stemming from a given 
point in time, any A.I. around at that time will have at least some 
copies around in the giant computing network forever.
You seem to be treating the proposed ever-decreasing failure rate per 
clock cycle as if it is something that will just happen inexorably once 
the denizens of the far future decide to build this computer.
No, I'm just suggesting that it's possible that once these far future 
people have gotten a good start on building this ever-increasing *network* 
of computers, the probability of every single computer in the system 
breaking down may, in an average world, be decreasing geometrically, 
perhaps for no other reason that the number of computers is increasing 
geometrically as more and more of the universe is converted into computing 
machines (which in a way would be no more surprising than the idea that the 
population tends to increase geometrically when resources are unlimited and 
death rates are low). This need not happen inexorably since it wouldn't 
be true in every single history, I'm just suggesting the average pattern if 
you look at all possible futures stemming from a given time may involve 
such a geometric decrease in failure probability. Are you suggesting it is 
somehow logically impossible that the *average* pattern would be a 
geometric one?

You may as well say that in the future, there will be computers with a 
mean time between failure of 10^10^100 years, or whatever arbitrarily 
large number you choose.
Sure, if you have a decentralized network of computers like the internet, 
then no matter what the average failure rate of an individual computer in 
the network, you can keep the failure rate of the entire network as 
arbitrarily low as you want by making the number of computers in the 
network sufficiently large.

The problem is not in conceiving of such super-machines, it is in the 
details of design and implementation.
Again, it need not be a question of super-machines, just a question of 
sheer numbers.

I imagine that in the future there may be multiple attempts to build 
computers which will squeeze an infinite period of subjective time into a 
finite period of real time, in the way you have described,
I wasn't necessarily suggesting an infinite number of computations in a 
finite physical time a la Tipler...an infinite number of computations in an 
infinite physical time a la Dyson would be fine too (to inhabitants of the 
simulation it wouldn't make any difference).

and like any other engineering project, the success rate will increase 
with increasing experience and resources, but even the last gasp effort 
in the moment before the big crunch will only succeed in an 
infinitesimally small proportion of multiverse branches.
I don't see why it is logically impossible that it could succeed in a 
non-infinitesimal proportion of multiverse branches, due to an on-average 
geometric decrease in the probability of the whole system breaking down.

Jesse
You are relying on the availability of infinite resources for this 
ever-growing network, and 

RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-20 Thread Jesse Mazer
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
Jesse Mazer writes:
[Stathis]
There are two separate probabilities to consider here. One is the 
probability (3/4, as you show) that civilization will never break down 
if implemented on a computer with behaviour as specified above. The 
other is the probability that the actual hardware will work according 
to specification. I don't think you should conflate the two, 
effectively arguing that the hardware will work to specification 
because that is part of the specification!

[Jesse]
I don't think I ever said anything about the probability involving 
software only. If you have a distributed computing network (such that 
destroying any part of it won't cause a global breakdown), and more and 
more of the universe is constantly being gobbled up and converted into 
computing power, then perhaps the probability of all the hardware in the 
universe breaking down would decrease geometrically as well, on average. 
Assume that when I talk about the probability of all copies of you being 
destroyed decreasing like 1/8+1/16+1/32+..., this probability takes into 
account all possible causes of failure, including software problems, 
destruction of hardware, and even stuff like the possibility that some 
other enemy groups of A.I.'s will attempt to erase all copies of you.

[Stathis]
Returning to the original question, once you have settled into your new 
home, what is to stop all your friends disappearing, as before? The 
computer will try to prevent this from happening, and you could 
probably try the geometric series trick again (i.e. decreasing 
probability that your friends disappear), but in this case there will 
be nothing tying you to those ever-rarer branches where the hardware 
works as it is supposed to.

[Jesse]
But my point is that it doesn't necessarily have to be a matter of 
ever-rarer branches--even aside from quantum immortality, it might be 
true that in 3/4 (or whatever) of all branches stemming from a given 
point in time, any A.I. around at that time will have at least some 
copies around in the giant computing network forever.
You seem to be treating the proposed ever-decreasing failure rate per 
clock cycle as if it is something that will just happen inexorably once 
the denizens of the far future decide to build this computer.
No, I'm just suggesting that it's possible that once these far future 
people have gotten a good start on building this ever-increasing *network* 
of computers, the probability of every single computer in the system 
breaking down may, in an average world, be decreasing geometrically, 
perhaps for no other reason that the number of computers is increasing 
geometrically as more and more of the universe is converted into computing 
machines (which in a way would be no more surprising than the idea that 
the population tends to increase geometrically when resources are 
unlimited and death rates are low). This need not happen inexorably 
since it wouldn't be true in every single history, I'm just suggesting the 
average pattern if you look at all possible futures stemming from a given 
time may involve such a geometric decrease in failure probability. Are you 
suggesting it is somehow logically impossible that the *average* pattern 
would be a geometric one?

You may as well say that in the future, there will be computers with a 
mean time between failure of 10^10^100 years, or whatever arbitrarily 
large number you choose.
Sure, if you have a decentralized network of computers like the internet, 
then no matter what the average failure rate of an individual computer in 
the network, you can keep the failure rate of the entire network as 
arbitrarily low as you want by making the number of computers in the 
network sufficiently large.

The problem is not in conceiving of such super-machines, it is in the 
details of design and implementation.
Again, it need not be a question of super-machines, just a question of 
sheer numbers.

I imagine that in the future there may be multiple attempts to build 
computers which will squeeze an infinite period of subjective time into a 
finite period of real time, in the way you have described,
I wasn't necessarily suggesting an infinite number of computations in a 
finite physical time a la Tipler...an infinite number of computations in 
an infinite physical time a la Dyson would be fine too (to inhabitants of 
the simulation it wouldn't make any difference).

and like any other engineering project, the success rate will increase 
with increasing experience and resources, but even the last gasp effort 
in the moment before the big crunch will only succeed in an 
infinitesimally small proportion of multiverse branches.
I don't see why it is logically impossible that it could succeed in a 
non-infinitesimal proportion of multiverse branches, due to an on-average 
geometric decrease in the probability of the whole system breaking down.

Jesse
You are relying on the availability of infinite resources for this 

RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-19 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Jesse Mazer writes:
[Stathis]
There are two separate probabilities to consider here. One is the 
probability (3/4, as you show) that civilization will never break down if 
implemented on a computer with behaviour as specified above. The other is 
the probability that the actual hardware will work according to 
specification. I don't think you should conflate the two, effectively 
arguing that the hardware will work to specification because that is part 
of the specification!

[Jesse]
I don't think I ever said anything about the probability involving software 
only. If you have a distributed computing network (such that destroying any 
part of it won't cause a global breakdown), and more and more of the 
universe is constantly being gobbled up and converted into computing power, 
then perhaps the probability of all the hardware in the universe breaking 
down would decrease geometrically as well, on average. Assume that when I 
talk about the probability of all copies of you being destroyed decreasing 
like 1/8+1/16+1/32+..., this probability takes into account all possible 
causes of failure, including software problems, destruction of hardware, 
and even stuff like the possibility that some other enemy groups of A.I.'s 
will attempt to erase all copies of you.

[Stathis]
Returning to the original question, once you have settled into your new 
home, what is to stop all your friends disappearing, as before? The 
computer will try to prevent this from happening, and you could probably 
try the geometric series trick again (i.e. decreasing probability that 
your friends disappear), but in this case there will be nothing tying you 
to those ever-rarer branches where the hardware works as it is supposed 
to.

[Jesse]
But my point is that it doesn't necessarily have to be a matter of 
ever-rarer branches--even aside from quantum immortality, it might be 
true that in 3/4 (or whatever) of all branches stemming from a given point 
in time, any A.I. around at that time will have at least some copies around 
in the giant computing network forever.
You seem to be treating the proposed ever-decreasing failure rate per clock 
cycle as if it is something that will just happen inexorably once the 
denizens of the far future decide to build this computer. You may as well 
say that in the future, there will be computers with a mean time between 
failure of 10^10^100 years, or whatever arbitrarily large number you choose. 
The problem is not in conceiving of such super-machines, it is in the 
details of design and implementation. I imagine that in the future there may 
be multiple attempts to build computers which will squeeze an infinite 
period of subjective time into a finite period of real time, in the way you 
have described, and like any other engineering project, the success rate 
will increase with increasing experience and resources, but even the last 
gasp effort in the moment before the big crunch will only succeed in an 
infinitesimally small proportion of multiverse branches.

--Stathis Papaioannou
_
Buy want you really want - sell what you don't on eBay:  
http://adfarm.mediaplex.com/ad/ck/705-10129-5668-323?ID=2



RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-19 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Brent Meeker wrote:

[Stathis]
Your body slowly disintegrates and is (approximately) reconstructed atom 
by
atom, so you don't notice a discontinuity, and it doesn't hurt. If the
timing and order of the process were changed, so that your body is 
destroyed
in one operation and a copy reconstructed at a different place and time 
in
another operation, all you would notice is a period of unconsciousness, 
like
being knocked out and waking up later in hospital.

[Brent]
Actually you don't notice a period of unconsciousness.  You infer it.  
There is
an implicit assumption in this talk about copying brains and final results 
that
we do not directly experience the passage of time; that our conscious 
states
are independent entities that can then be ordered along an inferred time 
line.
I wonder if that is true?  The brain is small in extent, but it is not 
unitary.
It apparently consists of different modules or processes only one of which 
is
the internal narrative we call consciousness.

[Stathis]
As for where your consciousness goes when you are unconscious, that is 
my
point: it doesn't go anywhere. Consciousness (and the associated sense 
of
personal identity) is a process, not a material object. You can still 
make
the point that we have no evidence that human-level consciousness can be
implemented outside of a human brain, but I believe the above 
considerations
show that it is not tied to a particular brain.

[Brent]
I agree.  But you seemed to be supporting Hal's statement Your 
consciousness
should be able to jump between branches, between physical locations and 
across
long periods of time.  And you refer to it as mobile.  That seemed to me 
to
be reifying a process into an object that could move and jump.

I agree that one should be able to implement brain processes, including
perception, in some other medium (e.g. silicon) and realize consciousness.  
But
most of what a brain does is not consciousness.  I don't think you could
implement just the consciousness without the other processes.

Brent Meeker
Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth
who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong,
   --- Thomas Jefferson.
It seems we basically agree but issues arise due to terminology. When I say 
consciouness can move and jump, I mean it in the same way that I am 
sending you this email. The term is from regular mail through the post, 
but obviously I am not sending you paper with ink on it, and I am not even 
sending you the actual electrons I cause to flow in the circuitry of my 
computer when I use the keyboard. what I am sending is information: 
encoded instructions which you can decode at your end if you have the 
appropriate protocols and hardware. The information can lie dormant for 
years, be transmitted over long distances, and be implemented on one or more 
computers which may be very different from the one on which it was 
generated.

--Stathis Papaioannou
_
$60,000 prize pool to be won. Three winners. Apply now!   
http://www.healthe.com.au/competition.do



Re: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-19 Thread John M
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
... It will not do to say straight out, I don't like ABC, therefore I will
say ABC does not exist-
It was wrong that I entered this type of discussion about superstitious
fables, unsubstantiated 3rd pers. statements, like e.g. religious belief
systems. However Stathis's statement is reversed in my case, it should read:
ABC does not exist AND I don't even like it. Maybe this wouldn't do
either.
In the name of just reconfirming my sanity.

John M

- Original Message -
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; everything-list@eskimo.com
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 12:33 AM
Subject: Re: many worlds theory of immortality





RE: many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-19 Thread Jesse Mazer
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
Jesse Mazer writes:
[Stathis]
There are two separate probabilities to consider here. One is the 
probability (3/4, as you show) that civilization will never break down if 
implemented on a computer with behaviour as specified above. The other is 
the probability that the actual hardware will work according to 
specification. I don't think you should conflate the two, effectively 
arguing that the hardware will work to specification because that is part 
of the specification!

[Jesse]
I don't think I ever said anything about the probability involving 
software only. If you have a distributed computing network (such that 
destroying any part of it won't cause a global breakdown), and more and 
more of the universe is constantly being gobbled up and converted into 
computing power, then perhaps the probability of all the hardware in the 
universe breaking down would decrease geometrically as well, on average. 
Assume that when I talk about the probability of all copies of you being 
destroyed decreasing like 1/8+1/16+1/32+..., this probability takes into 
account all possible causes of failure, including software problems, 
destruction of hardware, and even stuff like the possibility that some 
other enemy groups of A.I.'s will attempt to erase all copies of you.

[Stathis]
Returning to the original question, once you have settled into your new 
home, what is to stop all your friends disappearing, as before? The 
computer will try to prevent this from happening, and you could probably 
try the geometric series trick again (i.e. decreasing probability that 
your friends disappear), but in this case there will be nothing tying you 
to those ever-rarer branches where the hardware works as it is supposed 
to.

[Jesse]
But my point is that it doesn't necessarily have to be a matter of 
ever-rarer branches--even aside from quantum immortality, it might be 
true that in 3/4 (or whatever) of all branches stemming from a given point 
in time, any A.I. around at that time will have at least some copies 
around in the giant computing network forever.
You seem to be treating the proposed ever-decreasing failure rate per clock 
cycle as if it is something that will just happen inexorably once the 
denizens of the far future decide to build this computer.
No, I'm just suggesting that it's possible that once these far future people 
have gotten a good start on building this ever-increasing *network* of 
computers, the probability of every single computer in the system breaking 
down may, in an average world, be decreasing geometrically, perhaps for no 
other reason that the number of computers is increasing geometrically as 
more and more of the universe is converted into computing machines (which in 
a way would be no more surprising than the idea that the population tends to 
increase geometrically when resources are unlimited and death rates are 
low). This need not happen inexorably since it wouldn't be true in every 
single history, I'm just suggesting the average pattern if you look at all 
possible futures stemming from a given time may involve such a geometric 
decrease in failure probability. Are you suggesting it is somehow logically 
impossible that the *average* pattern would be a geometric one?

You may as well say that in the future, there will be computers with a mean 
time between failure of 10^10^100 years, or whatever arbitrarily large 
number you choose.
Sure, if you have a decentralized network of computers like the internet, 
then no matter what the average failure rate of an individual computer in 
the network, you can keep the failure rate of the entire network as 
arbitrarily low as you want by making the number of computers in the network 
sufficiently large.

The problem is not in conceiving of such super-machines, it is in the 
details of design and implementation.
Again, it need not be a question of super-machines, just a question of sheer 
numbers.

I imagine that in the future there may be multiple attempts to build 
computers which will squeeze an infinite period of subjective time into a 
finite period of real time, in the way you have described,
I wasn't necessarily suggesting an infinite number of computations in a 
finite physical time a la Tipler...an infinite number of computations in an 
infinite physical time a la Dyson would be fine too (to inhabitants of the 
simulation it wouldn't make any difference).

and like any other engineering project, the success rate will increase with 
increasing experience and resources, but even the last gasp effort in the 
moment before the big crunch will only succeed in an infinitesimally small 
proportion of multiverse branches.
I don't see why it is logically impossible that it could succeed in a 
non-infinitesimal proportion of multiverse branches, due to an on-average 
geometric decrease in the probability of the whole system breaking down.

Jesse



Re: Many worlds theory of immortality

2005-04-18 Thread Jesse Mazer
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] (Hal Finney)
To: everything-list@eskimo.com
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 15:27:25 -0700 (PDT)
Jesse Mazer writes:
 Would you apply the same logic to copying a mind within a single 
universe
 that you would to the splitting of worlds in the MWI? If so, consider 
the
 thought-experiment I suggested in my post at
 http://www.escribe.com/science/theory/m4805.html --

Generally, I don't think the same logic applies to copying a mind in a
single universe than to splitting of worlds in the MWI.  Copying a mind
will double its measure, while splitting one leaves it alone.  That is a
significant practical and philosophical difference.
Doubles its measure relative to who? If I am copied while my friend is not, 
perhaps it makes sense that my measure is doubled relative to his. But what 
if our entire planet, or entire local region of the universe, was copied? 
The relative measure of any two people would not be changed, it seems. 
Perhaps you could say that the measure of observer-moments that take place 
after the the copying is higher than the measure of observer-moments that 
take place before it, but I'm not sure that'd be true either, it really 
depends on what your theory is about how measure should be assigned to 
different observer-moments. Part of the problem is you seem to be assuming 
measure can somehow be derived from the number of physical copies in a 
single universe, whereas I lean more towards the view that a TOE would 
ultimately be stated simply in terms of observer-moments and the measure on 
each, with the appearance of a physical universe just being a consequence 
of the particular types of observer-moments that have higher measure. So it 
seems that it partly depends whether one believes the third-person 
perspective or the first-person perspective is more fundamental. (Although 
even if you take the first-person perspective as more basic, you'd need more 
of a fleshed-out theory of how the appearance of an objective physical 
universe comes about to say for sure whether copying a mind in a single 
universe is the same or different from many-worlds splitting.)

Jesse



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