Author Topic: sustained re action  (Read 39785 times)

ju4o

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #45 on: 24 December 2014 02:28:44 PM »
"there is the small matter of the matter the computer is made of"

Well yes he did indeed mention that.  But does it have to be made of matter at all?  There are lots of delicious possibilities.

One possibility is that it could be being simulated by some yet higher level of universe.  And that higher level?  Could be being simulated by some yet higher level still.  Does this chain of recursive simulations ever have to end up with an actual top level simulator made of matter?  Maybe there is no top level, and *every* level is simulated by some yet higher level.

Numbers go on for ever.  There doesn't have to be a biggest number.  Every number nestles comfortably in the shadow of a bigger number.  Likewise, every universe could be sweetly simulated by a higher universe.

Psychedelic and unconvincing, you say?  Also, one might add, a tad over-complicated?  Well, psychedelic is good, no problem with that.

As for the unconvincingness and the complicatedness, I think that what trumps both of those is the amazing *economy* of such a scheme.

Because, the problem with a material universe is that it is so darned expensive.  All that stuff, all those bits and pieces, where do they all come from, who paid for them?  Each particle could be pretty small, but add them all up and they must weigh tons.

A stack of simulating universes, none of which are actually made of matter, would be cheap and light.

I think Mr G might have been hinting along these lines when he said "if all particles of matter can be described digitally, as well as the laws that govern their interactions, it means that we don't really need matter at all."

Or maybe he was going even further, and suggesting that a simulated universe would be so lightweight and maintenance-free (after all, the parts wouldn't even need oiling) that perhaps it wouldn't even need a simulator ... it could just ... kind of ... be.

In which case, have we actually said anything at all?

This is where Wittgenstein comes in.

ju4o

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #46 on: 24 December 2014 03:14:56 PM »
But before getting on to that I'd like to mention a couple of problems with Mr G's suggestion, insofar as I understand it, which are:

(1) "if all particles of matter can be described digitally": for this to be true, it seems that space and time would have to be discrete.  An arbitrary position in a continuous medium cannot be described by a finite number of digits, but needs a real number (which has an infinite number of digits).  There's an interesting argument which says that if space and/or time are continuous, then the universe has to be *real* (cannot be simulated) because it involves *real numbers* (i.e. cannot be measured with complete accuracy, which it would have to be, to be represented digitally)

(2) "as well as the laws that govern their interactions": the problem here is with interpretations of quantum mechanics which say that the laws are only probabilistic and there are no "hidden variables" which, represented digitally, could allow matter to be dispensed with.


ju4o

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #47 on: 24 December 2014 03:23:13 PM »
P.S. however,

"String theory is giving us some strong hints that perhaps spacetime at short distances is not continuous or discrete, but something else that we don't understand yet."

http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/33273/is-spacetime-discrete-or-continuous (http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/33273/is-spacetime-discrete-or-continuous)

Mr G

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #48 on: 24 December 2014 03:56:02 PM »
Hello all, just typing this on my phone.. I'd like to point out that a computer should not have much trouble describing particles and other stuff probabilistically.. And what makes it even more better is that it can describe fields and chunks of matter as a whole by a set of properties.. Must have a fantastic compression ratio on that.. Also i took pains to limit my universe.. I said ovservabubble which is dumb but understandable.. So space not continuous in my description..

I haven't tried to be smart in years, but maybe next year's the year.. Will check your links then.. Until then, enjoy the holidays, and Mr X, may you partake in peace..

Peace!

ju4o

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #49 on: 04 January 2015 09:32:07 AM »

Well, where Wittgenstein comes into this (ref post #45) is as follows:

have we any reason to believe that entities in a simulation could have conscious experience?


ju4o

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #50 on: 08 January 2015 10:06:22 PM »

If entities in a simulation could have conscious experience, does the simulation have to actually run in order for them to have this experience?

Mr G

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #51 on: 09 January 2015 08:32:02 AM »
Perhaps you can point me to a web page with the part of Wittgenstein's ideas you are referring to. As far as I can tell, and what I thought I knew, is that his work was mainly about philosophy itself.. the logic and the language and such. If you are saying that "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.", I respect that, and that makes this discussion meaningless. Or wait, no, unsinnig - nonsensical.

Oh.. wait:

Quote
In which case, have we actually said anything at all?
Just re-read your post.

Yeah. I think I might see your point. Maybe you and Mr X (Hello) should talk about nuts and bolts again, this is your thread after all.

Cheers!

ju4o

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #52 on: 10 January 2015 09:57:55 PM »
I hope Mr X is reading Sanchez and letting Sanchez change his mind.  If that doesn't work I have another suggestion, but let's see what effect Sanchez has first.  Meanwhile there are some fascinating aspects to this simulation idea at the nuts and bolts level.

For example, it's interesting to consider the problem of migrating the simulation to new hardware.  In outline it might seem quite simple:  first get the program running on the new hardware, and set the simulated date and time to be the same as it is on the old hardware; then one can switch off the old hardware.  If done correctly, presumably the simulated entites should not notice that anything unusual happened.

Well, here is the first question: is it really necessary to get the program running on the new hardware *before* switching off the old hardware?  After all, date and time in the simulated universe presumably bear no relation to date and time in the simulating universe.

Mr X

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #53 on: 12 January 2015 06:52:29 AM »
hello,

i dont have much to add to the discussion on the nuts and the bolts of the universe. for now my answer is meat. we are an sim ? still meat. i dont know if entities in a simulation could have conscious experience. based on modern computing, probably not. have to run to have the experience, probably yes.

the idea of infinte sims, like the idea of infinte god layers, or the idea of there always being something before the big bang, is an nice idea. still meat though.

shirley the sim idea has be thoroughly fine tooth combed by philospers, what is the distillation of their findings. to cut to the chase.

we have said nothing and it is silly, because we are human meat and have no chance of figuring out the entire universe and the mysterys of existance. not that it isnt fun to talk about it or try.

mr g, s'il vous plait mon ami, this is just an general purpose thread, you could post an bread recipe or movie review here and i wouldnt mind.

if you messed with the date and time in the switch, i imagine there would be an anomaly in the memory of some peoples meat.

"letting Sanchez change his mind"

haha. more on that next time.

mr x.

Mr G

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #54 on: 12 January 2015 03:07:21 PM »


Happy new year X, the simulation idea is just a means to an end for me. I don't really believe that we are definitely in a simulation, but my position is that you cannot be sure that it's wrong. Let's take the Matrix as an example. I can think of no way that we can prove that The Matrix isn't literally true (though dumb), just as we cannot be sure that God planted dinosaur bones to test our faith.

This comes from an argument I had with an atheist friend. My point, as an agnostic, is that his position is also somewhat faith based. Or assumption based, at least. I say that as it stands, one cannot know either way. His main beef was with churches, or religions, and the tons of badness they have wrought. I don't disagree with this, but what I find interesting is that expressions of religion is most often about people trying to be better people. The fact that they usually get it all wrong is an unhappy accident of history, caused by the fact that we're apemonkeys.

I don't know if we have to look at the philosophy of simulations. It may be better to go straight to the meat and potatoes.

We find ourselves on opposite ends of the following debate: Your opinion, I think, is most closely described as "Materialism":

Quote
Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all phenomena, including mental phenomena and consciousness, are the result of material interactions.

(wikipedia)

My position, I think, is best described as "Dualism":

Quote
In philosophy of mind, dualism is the position that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical, or that the mind and body are not identical.

(wikipedia)

Would you agree with this? What do you think, Mr J?

ju4o

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #55 on: 12 January 2015 08:27:29 PM »
Hi. You might be amused by "Am I an atheist or an agnostic?" by Bertrand Russell

( http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/russell8.htm (http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/russell8.htm) )

According to wiktionary, the primary meaning of 'substance' is 'matter'.  Which, to me, means that saying "matter is the fundamental substance in nature" is not saying very much.

As for "all phenomena, including mental phenomena and consciousness, are the result of material interactions" ... I disagree with that, because people who seem reliable have described phenomena which seem unlikely to be the result of material interactions.

For example, the buffalo snuffling which George "Tink" Tinker heard on his vision quest.

Quote
The account has to do with a visit from the buffalo nation, that is, from that spiritual reservoir that gives life and character to all buffalo. As such, it has no material reference other than every buffalo at all times. While the buffalo nation is present in every buffalo, it also has its own separate presence dating from the origin of the cosmos. My own encounter with the buffalo and interaction with its conscious presence affected my entire experiential knowledge base in ways that permanently altered my conception of reality.

I hasten to preface my account of this experience by acknowledging that I have also been trained in the modalities of Euro-Western science - even if this training was in the so-called humanities. Nevertheless, cause and effect, evidentiary warrants, demonstrable proofs, and the like are the skills in which we are all trained. I have always considered myself to be a "hard sell" (and still do) when it comes to matters classified as "paranormal" by the academy. One can imagine, then, my surprise when my microworld began to be turned inside out in ceremonial contexts. The following example is an incident that occurred while I was making the rite of vigil (sometimes popularly called vision quest) about two decades ago. I still live out of the experience and still work to understand the event more fully.

I was engaging in this ceremony largely for cultural and personal identity reasons. I had no expectation of really having a vision of any kind. For me the experience was to be one of intense prayer and physical endurance. I had decided to spend four days and four nights in this ceremony, in an isolated location in a very small half-dome lodge with no food and no water. My ancestors had done it. I felt a need to experience some sense of solidarity with them and with those Indian relatives who were still engaging in this ceremony. But a vision? I was too far gone for that, I assumed. Too much of a skeptic and too well-trained as an objective scholar. Moreover, this was not my first completion of this ceremony. I was already experienced and knew pretty much what to expect: hunger, thirst, unbearable heat in the daytime and cold at night.

After four days, I can report, one is utterly exhausted. The lack of water means that the body's systems are thoroughly dried out; one's tongue is glued to the roof of the mouth; the voice has ceased to function since the middle of day three; and one is hoping against hope to hear the sound of the pickup grinding up the mountain to come and retrieve you any minute. And minutes wear on at that point like hours. Delirium is certainly not far away at any given moment, and the onset of a vision would be quite explicable in terms of an altered state of consciousness. Yet there was no vision on this fourth day, as there was none on the third day and none the day before that.

Strangely enough, my quiet repose had been disturbed only at the end of the first twenty-four hours - long before the possibility of an altered state of personal consciousness might have explained the event. I had been sitting in the lodge fighting off the inevitable dusk attack of mosquitoes. The sun had not yet set but was well on its way. Within the half hour it would begin to pierce the western horizon. Suddenly, I was startled by the loud snorting of a large animal on the north side of the lodge, followed by a pounding on the willow framework. It sounded for all the world like a snorting buffalo bull. It was so startling that I immediately leaped to my feet and out of the door of the lodge. My heart was thumping mightily against my ribs. Yet at that very same moment I found myself creating rational explanations. I thought first of the Shetland ponies that the Wicasa wakan (holy man) kept on a different part of his expansive reservation property. As I emerged from the lodge and looked down the hill in all directions for several hundred yards, I saw nothing at all. The late afternoon was as still as possible with not even the slightest breeze. Then, with my heart continuing to protest loudly, I decided that I had merely heard some smaller animal, perhaps one of the field mice that had scampered over the lodge earlier in the afternoon, and had somehow magnified the sound in my own mind. That seemed to satisfy my need for rational explanation at the moment, so I took a few minutes to walk around the lodge in each of the directions to say a small prayer. Then I returned to the lodge and sat down to continue fighting off mosquitoes.

I had managed to calm myself down almost completely, comforting myself with the studied knowledge of years of PhD work that these things do not happen, or at least that they can always be explained rationally. Indeed, I had began to quietly laugh at myself and my startle reflex when just as suddenly as before I heard the same snorting of a buffalo bull and the aggravated pawing at the north side of the lodge. If anything, it was louder than before, and it was certainly no mouse. Again, my startle reflex had me on my feet and out of the lodge in a flash. And again, only to discover that I was entirely alone with the absolute stillness of what was now the beginning of evening, the sun dipping into the horizon. This time I was less clear that things could so easily be explained away. As I have already noted, it was much too early to think of an altered state of consciousness. In fact, the first day had been relatively easy if quite warm. After praying once again, I returned to my seat in the small lodge.

When the same event reoccurred a third time, I found myself far less startled than before, although I once again rose dutifully from my seat and exited the lodge. The sun was not yet completely set, and I could still see for several hundred yards in each direction. There was no possibility of anything or anyone approaching the lodge and escaping unseen. As I settled into the lodge afterward, the event occurred a fourth time. I had two thoughts. One was to stay put where I was. Even an educated Osage, I thought to myself, can learn something by the fourth repetition. The second thought was simply this: "My boy, your PhD is now officially in trouble." No, the buffalo did not speak to me, but its presence was as powerful as if he had. It is now more than two decades later, and I am still struggling to understand what occurred on that day. I am long past the temptation to deny that it happened or to try explaining it away, since I have had other experiences even more remarkable than this.

mwbdvjh.muse.jhu.edu/journals/wicazo_sa_review/v019/19.2tinker.html (http://mwbdvjh.muse.jhu.edu/journals/wicazo_sa_review/v019/19.2tinker.html)

So if that is to be believed, I think that there are phenomena which probably aren't the result of material interactions.

Merlin

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #56 on: 12 January 2015 09:18:34 PM »
This may seem like a not entirely appropriate moment in the discussion to point out that I have disabled registrations on the bulletin board on account of...

a) A Russian invasion of bogus registrants.
b) A worry point about the software being two versions out of date.

... as you were ...
Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

âspen

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #57 on: 13 January 2015 11:00:50 AM »
Thanks, I've now updated the forum software, re-enabled registration and put in place a sim-resistant challenge-question.


* edit * Crikey! During the two minutes between when I re-enabled registration and when I put in the new challenge-question, a new member (now a new ex-member) successfully registered!  Obviously I should have done those two actions in the opposite order.  Sorry about that!

« Last Edit: 13 January 2015 11:17:50 AM by âspen »

âspen

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #58 on: 20 January 2015 08:54:27 AM »
What should I say to the sr and hat member who I helped register successfully here and whose account then got deleted in less than 24 hours?!?!?  Please advise.

Mr X

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Re: sustained re action
« Reply #59 on: 20 January 2015 12:06:39 PM »
hello,

oh my. this is funny. with all the talk of russian invaders, i thought one made it through. and posted and story about eating dead cats. so i deleted it and them.

i have and screenprint of the post, i will add it later.

mr x.

ps.
zizils post
http://i.imgur.com/Xpp9yS5.jpg
« Last Edit: 20 January 2015 12:16:58 PM by Mr X »