[time 336] Re: [time 333] Re: [time 332] Re: Big Picture

Matti Pitkanen (matpitka@pcu.helsinki.fi)
Thu, 20 May 1999 19:03:00 +0300 (EET DST)

On Thu, 20 May 1999, Stephen P. King wrote:

> Dear Matti,
> Matti Pitkanen wrote:
> >
> > On Thu, 20 May 1999, Stephen P. King wrote:
> >
> > > Dear Hitoshi,
> > >
> > > Hitoshi Kitada wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Dear Stephen,
> > > >
> > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > From: Stephen P. King <stephenk1@home.com>
> > > > To: Hitoshi Kitada <hitoshi@kitada.com>
> > > > Cc: Time List <time@kitada.com>
> > > > Sent: Thursday, May 20, 1999 12:42 AM
> > > > Subject: [time 328] Re: [time 326] Re: Fisher information and relativity
> > > snip
> > >
> > > > Frieden thinks the observational aspect only. Thus space-time is given for
> > > > him. Maybe in this sense, my notion or defintion of time is not necessary
> > > > for his consideration. It is sufficient that some parameter corresponding to
> > > > time is given for him.
> > >
> > > But is not the main point of your LS theory? I understand that Frieden
> > > is assuming an a priori space-time to frame his thoughts. We must think
> > > of his notions as applying to the "mechanisms of observation" of LSs and
> > > as such should use a line of thought similar to your explanation of the
> > > Hubble expansion.
> > > Most people do not understand your theory! It is very hard to accept
> > > that their is no absolute clock (or unique space-time frame!) for all
> > > possible observers! People instinctively wish for an absolute ordering,
> > > duration and length measure to the world for that would allow them to
> > > affirm that their particular way of thinking is the only correct one and
> > > every one else is wrong. This violates the spirit of relativity. "Any
> > > observer perceives their own subuniverse to be Minkowskian in itself."
> > > (my notion)
> > > I say that Einstein did not go far enough, he should of banished the
> > > notion of a Unique space-time for all observers all together. We need to
> > > discuss this further! We need to rethink everything starting with the
> > > notion of causality!
> >
> > I agree with the idea that there is no unique spacetime but quantum
> > superposition of spacetimes. But I think that also the hypothesis
> > about observer is too strong and leads to philosophical problems.
> > Just conscious observations are needed, I think.
> I agree, but I am thinking of the nature of these space-times that are
> superposed. Are they a priori definite or are they even categorizable as
> space-times? Could you explain your take on the philosophical problems
> implied by my hypothesis? I am very happy for a critique on this notion!
> :)

Actually I am speaking about spacetime surfaces in my own approach.
Absolute minima of Kaehler action. Imbeddability as
smooth surface to M^4_+xCP_2 should make everything rather well defined.
I might equally well speak about 3-surfaces
with sufficiently general definition of 3-surface since minimization of
Kahler action associates to 3-surface spacetime surface.
By nondeterminism of Kaehler action, this means allowance of unions of
spacelike 3-surfaces with time like separations, and this brings in
'thoughts' interpreted as surfaces of this kind: multisnapshots of
classical time development.

About your hypothesis. Basic problem is that observer with free will is
inconsistent with the determinism of physics. Speaking about observers
means dualism. The basic problems and paradoxes of various are dualisms
discussed by Chalmers in his book: Chalmers was a believer of interactive
dualism but quite convincingly showed that it does not work.
 Hard problem is one of the problems: if contents
of consciousness are determined by 'function' of the system, that is
by the dynamical development of system, it is very difficult to see
how free will could fit into the picture.

If one wants to describe observer in manner consistent with physical laws
one ends up with identification of consciousness as a property of physical
state or as a process and this in turn leads to conclusion that
consciousness is epiphenomenon, no free will. This of course assuming that
physics is deterministic. Quantum nondeterminism does not help since
the concept of observer is equally problematic in
standard quantum physics context, to say nothing about quantum
nondeterminism itself. My impression is that talking about observer
involves assuming too much.

> > Various observations given very limited information about
> > reality which itself changes in every moment of consciousness. Could
> > this be sufficiently general to be free of internal contradictions?
> Yes, each observation involves only finite amounts of information and
> the content changes in every moment of conscious! How this changes and
> what are the trade-offs is important. The statement "consistency implies
> existence" is a two edged sword! We must understand that given finite
> information only a lower bound can be placed on the internal consistensy
> of observables. Reality, for me, is the Totality and it is, as a whole,
> unknowable, e.g. it is impossible to map an infinite set onto a finite
> set in a unique manner. Or am I wrong on that? :)
You are quite right. Fortunately, it seems that moments of consciousness
somehow manage to give very deep and abstract information
about Totality: our ability to form abstractions and experience
logical consistency is something remarkable. I really believe that
basic property of consciousness is formation of abstractions:
we cannot solve a simplest differential equation numerically in our head
but we can play with infinite-dimensional geometries.

> > > snip
> > > > > I believe that Frieden's work is but another piece of the puzzle of
> > > > > Quantum gravity, I do not expect his work to completely exhaust the work
> > > > > needed.
> > > >
> > > > I agree. But my problem is what the complete understanding is.
> > >
> > > I do not think that "complete understanding" is possible, only
> > > asymptotically increasing understanding. Since any observation is
> > > restricted to a finite number of parameters, "knowledge" of the totality
> > > is impossible!
> > >
> > Agree also with this.
> >
> > > > I need only to point at the work that went into QM to illustrate
> > > > > this! We need to see the big picture!
> > > >
> > > > The problem is we cannot have the picture. We have many pieces, but do not
> > > > have any synthetic picture. This seems to be the case at any age, as we see
> > > > when reminding the history.
> > >
> > > We must understand how it is that LSs can communicate at all!
> > >
> > > We start by understanding that each observer has its own infinite
> > > subuniverse of potentially observable events, but can only communicate
> > > with other observers to the degree that it shares information with them.
> >
> > Criticizing again the idea of observer (without denying that it is
> > certainly very useful approximate concept at practical level).
> > Couldn't communication be basically an observation in which communicators
> > form larger unit of consciousness?
> Yes! :) Communication acts are mappings from one space-time to another,
> if we follow Edelman's line of thinking in "Bright Air, Brilliant Fire"
> so your notion are accurate. I am trying to understand consciousness as
> a quantum-like action and can be composed to for different sized units.
> The information content can vary within the uncertainty trade-offs so it
> is not an atom in the classical sense. The closest I have seen this idea
> discussed is in Pratt's papers. I wil try to write up this more.
> The key understanding needed is that observations involve computation
> of the involved minima. Such are not "free"! The computation of the
> Lagrangian of a system has a price tag in free energy available to an
> observer. When we think about the computations involve in the traveling
> saleman problem we see clear example of this notion.
I love to disagree! Do conscious observations really involve
computation? I tend to believe that something much much simpler is in
question (no need to say, quantum jump, the miracle!). Thoughts as
associations or sensory experiences. . 2+2=4 as learned association of
symbols rather than computation. Somehow I feel that computationalism
is modern version of the clockwork models of mind based on gears and


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Sun Oct 17 1999 - 22:10:32 JST