Re: Objective Meaning Must Exhibit Isomorphism

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Thu Mar 06 2008 - 21:56:09 MST

Stathis writes

> The decimal expansion of pi looks random but contains any string of
> digits you care to contains islands of structure hidden
> in the noise. If these islands of structure contain observers, they will
> be no less conscious for the fact that an observer outside the ensemble
> can't find them.

I do not believe that pi (or more precisely an entirely random sequence)
is more conscious, and has more conscious observers, than the entire
human race on Earth in the year 2008.

But to your way of thinking, must not an infinitely long random sequence,
similar to pi in many ways, contain stretches isomorphic to anyone's life,
isomorphic to all the thoughts humans have ever had or ever can have?

>> Don't want to be picky, but how long is a "moment"? For me, if
>> there is no information flow, there cannot be consciousness. <sigh>
>> I admit that by "information flow" I'm subscribing to a belief in
>> the importance of time as a basic physical reality---I've never
>> bought into Barbour's views or any of that. It's all too theoretical
>> and unsure.
> You seemed to agree earlier on that there wouldn't be a problem if the
> moments lasted a day.

That's right. A lot of information can flow, causally, in a day,
or even in a second. No information flows between the dust
between the galaxies that is isomorphic to the thoughts of a
conscioius creature.

> Even if they occurred in separate Hubble volumes (as indeed
> they must, purely by chance, if the universe is infinite) with no
> chance of information flow between them you would
> experience Monday followed by Tuesday.

Yes, but only if (to my way of thinking) there was any information
flow going on.

> If every computation is necessarily implemented by virtue of its
> status as a platonic object then there is no basis for saying that
> there is a separate "real" universe.

Right. That's the main reason that I don't subscribe to "platonic"
computation. That is, real computation---any computation worthy
of the name---must be driven by causality in which each state is
causally derived from earlier state(s). I don't believe in timeless
computation, calculation, or consciousness.


> Instead, what you think of and everyone has always thought of
> as the real universe is a subset of a wider mathematical reality.
> Your living in a world with orderly physical laws would then
> have to be explained probabilistically as following the computational
> paths of highest measure....

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