Stephen P. King (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mon, 10 May 1999 14:43:21 -0400
Thanks for the fast reply! :) I will try to comment intelligently. ;)
> Thanks Stephen, though I doubt I'll receive any seconds
> on your commendation! The issue is the most slippery
> epistemological issue I've yet encountered, and I thought
> people were nuts for many years who advocated what I've
> written. The problem is they don't understand the question
> itself, largely because they are "pointing" at it with dualistic
> language which only aggravates the problem. It was many
> years before, in an instant, I "saw" the problem, and then it
> was several more years before I figured out the answer.
> Berkeley's idealism missed the point also, as badly as the
> dualists! You can easily see when people don't even
> understand the question properly by the response they give:
> inevitably they attack a straw man, an argument you aren't
> even making (usually by stating that your argument somehow
> negates your own existence). They make a categorical
> error or more properly and error in "levels" of reality by
> failing to make the distinction between appearance and
> reality that Kant made. The flaw in Deutsch's "refutation"
> can easily be seen as follows:
> # #
> # A B C #
> # #
> (I hope this pathetic "graphic" translates over)
I am not grasping the graph, which is strange since I think spatially
(dyslexia)! :( But I do think I understand what you are getting at! :) I
completely agree with your comments!
> Let us imagine A B & C to be robots enclosed in the
> rectangular space. Let us call this Level One, the Source
> Level. Now, let us suppose
> that A and C observe B. Both A and C will construct
> virtual images of the space
> containing A B and C, including a virtual representation of
> THEMSELVES within that
> virtual space. This VR space is "within" each of them, and
> is all they ever have
> any DIRECT awareness of. THIS IS LEVEL TWO, the
> phenomenal realm as Kant would say.
> But A B and C are always and only manipulating THIS
> symbolic realm (Level Two) which CORRESPONDS
> BUT IS NOT EQUIVALENT TO the "real" source
> world which gave rise to it. Level Two is a virtual world,
> not the "real" world (Level One).
Could we think of Level One and Two as dual to each other in the sense
that one (Level Two) is the local information contained in the
equivalence class of all possible VR spaces is dual to the equivalence
class of all possible finite "real worlds" (Level One)? (see V. Pratt's
work http://boole.stanford.edu/chuguide.html#ratmech for a better
explanation of this kind of duality) Both Level One and Two are
contained simultaneously in the Totality of existence Universe...
We consider that the possible information that A, B and C can have of
each other must be encodable within the internal configurations of
each's Level One reality (or to use Deutsch's terms: A, B and C can
observe each other's behavior only to the degree that they have
representative behaviors in their individual repertoire).
I am approaching this problem from a quasi-Leinitzian perspective, in
that all Level Two worlds are monads but there is not "pre-ordained
synchronization" of the sort that Leibnitz postulated. Each Monad (we
call it a Local System) has its own clock, rod and transitive ordering,
and thus its own VR reality. I am working with several people on the
details of this in the Time e-list
> Now, the error in Deutsch's analysis enters in at this
> point: He is attempting
> to overlap the two levels, i.e., overlap Level One/Source,
> and the Level Two/VR representation
> of Level One. Because of this, he wrongly concludes
> that my argument
> would mean that if A and C ceased to exist, so would B.
> (I do not believe, as did
> Berkeley, that to exist is to be perceived). The reason this
> is NOT true is because A and C were never perceiving
> anything external to themselves, they were always
> and only manipulating symbols of self and "not self" in
> virtual space, i.e., Level Two. But there
> really is no "internal" and "external" in Level Two/VR space:
> both virtual self and virtual
> non-self occur in this same mental "space" which is
> really nothing more than a rule
> based construct which CORRESPONDS TO the source
> realm which gave rise to the construct, and because it is
> a rule based construct, to the extent the rules correspond
> to Level One, they will result in success. Natural selection
> will quickly weed out wrongful mapping over of
> the two levels (delusions, hallucinations, errors of perception).
> Level Two is the map, Level One is the territory, don't
> confuse the two or you will never understand the concept
> I am trying to lay out. Destroying a map doesn't destroy
> the territory!
I agree, but this is a very subtle point! :) Existence is given by mere
consistency, in that to *exist* is only to be *potentially observable*,
thus we distinguish "existence" in the ontological sense from "actual"
in the observable sense. To say that a object ceases to exist is a
contradiction, since existence, by definition is *tenseless*. Actuality
is tensed, thus we deal with the "grue" paradox for example.
I agree with the assertion that natural selection "will quickly weed
out wrongful mapping over of the two levels"! I would go so far as
granting Natural selection primitive status as a category in the Kantian
Destroying (or creating) a map is the dynamic of actualization, much
like David Bohm's ideas of "enfolding" and "unfolding". I believe that
the "annihilation" and "creation" operators used in QFT (quantum field
theory) are mathematical versions of this!
> the two levels
> If one chooses to use words like "external" when referring to
> the source world, one
> may do so, but it will greatly aggravate trying to
> understand this issue. It simply makes no sense to refer to
> it as external. It is "other than" but not "external."
Yep! But we can reserve the terms "inside" and "outside" for dealing
with the difference between information/dynamics not shared with others
in the former case and information/dynamics shared with others in the
later case; where "sharing" is in the bisimulation sense only!
> The ultimate irony is that their thinking creates the very sort
> of solipsism that they roundly criticize us for!
I think that they do not understand solipsism to begin with! I think
that they make the fundamental error of assuming that we all share a
common VR generator! I can be shown that there are an nonenumerable
number of disctict Bisimulation generating dynamics, and thus an
nonenumerable number of almost disjoint VR generators.
I hope I make some sense. :) I have been thinking and talking to others
about this for a long time. I would be honored if you would consider
joining our little e-list: http://metasci.kitada.com/cgi-bin/md-sub.cgi
It would help to down load the past posts and read Hitoshi's papers...
Subject: Your comments
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 12:14:06 -0400
From: "Stephen P. King" <email@example.com>
Organization: OutLaw Scientific
To: No Name Available <SOMMEB@MAIL.MODOT.STATE.MO.US>
This is wonderful! I believe you may find the work of Peter
Why is it so hard for people to understand that their MIND is
>In that view, there is a theoretically "real" universe around us, as Rachel
>suggests. But, as Brad seems to suggest, it's all information (except it's
>actually the _manner_ in which information is derived from the flood of
>stimuli entering the cognitive system).
Everything you stated is consistent with what I proposed except this
If you had quotes enclosing the word "around," then I would agree. The
statement as it stands suggests, again, that there is an "around."
Precisely where is this around? Every place you can point to is MIND
since all thoughts and perceptions occur "in" the mind. It is language
that largely fouls us up in thinking about this problem. Thoughts and
perceptions don't occur "in" the mind, they ARE the mind. One is no
better off stating that they occur "in" the brain, since when you point
to the brain, you are pointing to, once again, a perceived object and
hence MIND. That is MIND pointing at itself (recursion). "Godel,
Escher, Bach" is a great intro to thinking about this issue.
The only way out of this problem is my proposal: of
VR representation. Once you understand this problem, then you
have to deal with a far more difficult one: since thoughts are also
perceived, what is perceiving them? How do you avoid
endless regress? Thoughts are themselves
"objects" of perception. I am not about to delve into that issue,
just wanted to raise it for you to ponder.
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