Re: What I think is wrong with Eli's current approach

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Thu Oct 28 2004 - 23:17:16 MDT

Jeff Medina wrote

>So far, a quick glance at Marc's most recent e-mail
provides 87 points. And this isn't even taking into
account the gibberish in the earlier "philosophical
schemata" e-mail, which would undoubtedly add quite a
few more. Mentafex indeed. How many points does one
need before sniper-moderation comes into effect,

Ah, well I won't say anything in future until it's
written up into a form backed by proper logical

But bear in mind that the difference between a
crack-pot and a genius may not be *immediately*
obvious at first ;)

Since I was silly enough to post that schematic, I
will reply once more in an attempt to explain what my
gem of idea actually is. What I need to do here is
give away enough to be *comprehensible*, wihout
actually giving away my secrets until I'm ready to do
so. I said I'd beaten Eliezer to the fundamentals. I
need to back that up. So here goes:

O.K. If you read the work of Julian Barbour, you'll
learn of his theory that time is an illusion. He
subscribes (as do I) to the multiverse theory of
quantum mechanics. But the relationship between the
human perception of a single quantum branch and the
entire *multiverse* has always been somewhat
mysterious. Why if all these alternative time-tracks
are there do humans only perceive a single branch?

Barbour's idea was to treat different times as special
cases of different universes (read his book for a
detailed explanation of the theory).

Now in my own theory of FAI (and everything!) I've
taken something like Barbour's idea and generalised it
to a higher level of abstraction. I've then carried
over the same abstract logic to areas of science
outside quantum physics.

My idea was to try to explain the whole of reality in
terms of the relationship between the various aspects
of a sentient mind and the external universe. I have
postulated a general *partitioning mechanism* which
explains this relationship (between an individual
'mind' on one side, and some aspect of the 'external
universe' on the other).

Consider Barbour's idea about time and the qauntum
multiverse. What need to be explained there? Well,
'the external universe' is the quantum multiverse, and
'the perception of a sentient mind' is the single time
track you currently perceive. So Barbour is really
attempting to explain time by explaining the
relationship between the entire multiverse, and the
fact that a mind can only percieve one particular time
track. In my schematic I stated:

Multiverse x Time = Prediction

This was simply referring to a generalzied version of
Barbour's scheme. The term 'Multiverse' is obviously
referring to the quantum multiverse. The term 'Time'
is referring to the perception of a sentient mind that
only one time track is present (Don't worry about the
'Prediction' term at the moment). The 'x'
(multiplcation side) was short-hand referring to the
relationship between the two. Clearly there is a sort
of division or 'partitioning' going on. We do not
directly perceive multiple time tracks. We only
perceive one particular time track. So our perception
is 'partitioned' up into the (largely) seperate
time-tracks of the multiverse. 'x' is a tranformation
referring to the way that the multiverse has been
partitioned into largely seperate time-tracks, due to
the way that sentients perceive reality.

Now does my equation make more sense to you? If not,
read Barbour's book about time for a fuller

O.K, now as I said, I generalized Barbour's idea. I
think that (taken to a higher level of abstraction)
the same *general logic* applies to all the other
mysteries of the world, which can be explained in
terms of a 'general partitioning mechanism' , which
sets up a relationship between an 'external reality'
and an 'individual sentient mind'.

Look at what I said in the next line of my schematic:

Probability x Reflection = Explanation

In my theory, this is simply the analogy of Barbour's
scheme for metaphysics, carried over to epistemology.

The term 'Probability' was referring to the 'Bayes
scape' (which is a range of possible 'a priori'
probabilities for use with Bayes Theorem). This is
directly analogous to the quantum multiverse. There
is a 'landscape of possibilities' in an analogous way
to a 'landscape of different qauntum time tracks'

The term 'Reflection' was referring to the way a
sentient mind cuts down the range of probabilities to
only a single probability. The landscape of
possibilities (which exists in external reality) is
cut to only a single possibility (which exists in a
sentient mind). The 'x' multiplication sign, is
referring to this proccess. This is directly
analogous to the way that the entire qauntum
multiverse is 'cut down' by a sentient mind, to a
perception of only a single time track.

And the same general scheme carries over to everything
else. For instance look at the last line of my

Market x Volition = Freedom

The term 'Market' here is referring to Eliezer
Yudkowsky's Collective Volition, which is really 'a
landscape of possible future volitions', directly
analogous to the qauntum multiverse, or the Bayes
scape of possible probabilities. The term 'Volition'
is referring to a single individual volition. So in
the left hand side there is a 'Collective Volition' of
possibilities, on the right hand side an 'Individual
Volition' and there is a 'x' sign referring to the way
the field of external possibilities is cut by a single
sentient mind to a possibilility referring to a
specfic individual volition.

My theory is that *exactly the same logic and
mathematics* (suitably generalized) that applied to
Barbours scheme for quntum physics, applies to
everything else in reality.

For instance I think that the same general logic
describing the 'qauntum multiverse', carry over to the
'Bayes Scape' , which in turn carry over to
'Collective Volition' and so on.

And the same general logic describing how only a
sentient mind cuts the range of perception from the
whole multiverse to only a single time track, carries
over to how a sentient mind cuts the range of
possibility from Collective Volition to an Individual
Volition for instance. Exactly the same general
mechanisms are at work, I'm saying.

So for instance I think that:


Exactly the same principles, and the same 'general
partitioning mechanism'

You'll notice I'd even named what I think the 'general
partitioning mechanism' is for each area of reality.

For instance, I think that 'Induction' is the
manifestion of the mechanism for epistemology. It is
'Induction' that cuts the Bayes scape from a range of
a priori probabilities, to only a single probablity.
And I said that 'Person hood' was the manifestation of
the mechanism for politics. I thought that the
determination of 'Person-hood' is what cuts the range
of possibilities represented by Collective Volition
down to a single choice made by an Individual

Anyway, my theory lies in generalizing Barbour's
scheme for qauntum physics, and coming up with a
'general partitioning mechanism', which describes the
relationship between aspects of the external universe,
and aspects of an indivudual sentient mind.

See if my schemata makes more sense to you now.


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