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Old 13th October 2019, 04:00 AM   #121
HansMustermann
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I don't think it's really circular. Try flipping the X => Y to the equivalent !Y => !X to see what it's really saying.
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Old 13th October 2019, 04:13 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I don't think it's really circular. Try flipping the X => Y to the equivalent !Y => !X to see what it's really saying.
It begs the question.
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Old 13th October 2019, 04:19 AM   #123
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The embarrassment I refer to is also that it arises from a "proof" of god, his criterion of clear and distinct perception.
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Old 13th October 2019, 06:00 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
The embarrassment I refer to is also that it arises from a "proof" of god, his criterion of clear and distinct perception.
"I think therefore I am" does not depend on any proof that God exists. It is a step needed in that proof, but it stands or falls on its own.

Arguments do not become embarrassing just because they are used as a step in an embarrassing argument.
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Old 13th October 2019, 07:24 AM   #125
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If thinking is something that can occur in a void, without there having to be anything that is doing the thinking then there is no reason to suppose that there is anything at all besides that thinking.

The alternative is that there is something that is doing the thinking.
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Old 13th October 2019, 07:28 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
The illusion definition of pain is an electrical signal sent up the nerves to the brain.

FTFY. Something being an interpretation of data in your brain doesn't mean it's not real. Your brain is real, the information in it is too.
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Old 13th October 2019, 07:29 AM   #127
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It does not so much beg the question as make the assumption that if there is some thinking going on then there must be something that is thinking.
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Old 13th October 2019, 10:48 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
"I think therefore I am" does not depend on any proof that God exists. It is a step needed in that proof, but it stands or falls on its own.

Arguments do not become embarrassing just because they are used as a step in an embarrassing argument.
I think you misunderstood my post.
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Old 13th October 2019, 10:50 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It does not so much beg the question as make the assumption that if there is some thinking going on then there must be something that is thinking.
By assuming thought is what is happening, which ever way you cut it or which end you start at you end up with assuming your conclusion as your premise.
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Old 13th October 2019, 11:45 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Perhaps you missed the part in my post where I said that rules and randomness were not a dichotomy.
Well, I happen to disagree. For any sensible definition of the terms, 'rules' imply predictability, and 'random' implies unpredictability. I grant you that there there exists a special condition of the a random sequence where the next condition is, per rule, unpredictable, but as a general condition, no.

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The idea is that this universe, as a one-off, is fantastically improbable, but given an environment in which every kind of thing can happen at least once, it is not improbable at all.
I don't think that we are at a position to estimate the a-priori probability of this universe, but it is not important. We already know it exists.

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So do these rules rule out a brain popping into existence and thinking and experiencing some stuff and popping back out of existence?
No, but it is one step of complexity above the universe per sť: Both a brain and that brain imagining just this universe.

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In fact a brain capable of computing the experience you are having now might be considerably less complex than the early Universe.
No. A computer (brain) running a simulation will be at least as complex as the simulation it runs.

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Old 13th October 2019, 12:05 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Solipsism posits that the only certainty I have is that I exist and have various experiences. This does not entail that I can control the experiences. It is a matter of fact that the history of my experiences (forget Hume for the moment) presents certain regularities. This is compatible with the assumption that there are rules regarding my experiences.
And the fact that you don't control the experience and they instead follow some external rules is what should convince you that your experience is mostly due to external sources.

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A given set of physical laws are our best guess about what rules apply. They are not established through evidence, but chosen to fit the given evidence.
That is the same thing.

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When new evidence comes in, they may be amended. In fact, the rules can be amended regardless of what evidence comes in,
No. They can be amended if new evidence overrules or supplement earlier evidence.

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although if the universe starts behaving in truly bizarre ways, the resulting rules will become unmanageable.
Why? As long as we are able to map the patterns, we can make a good guess at the rules.

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You're right that my testimony alone would rightly be rejected. I probably would reject my own experience as a hallucination, but only because I have greater faith in the current set of physical laws than in the certainty of my own experience.
Your testimony would either be testable or not. If it is not testable, then yes, it would presumably be rejected. It it was testable, it would probably be tested.

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This just goes to show that the presumption that the universe is uniform is unfalsifiable.
This is contradicted by your own statement:

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When new evidence comes in, they may be amended.
Rules can be found to be false or incomplete by suitable evidence. That is the very definition of being falsifiable.

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If it happens to a million coffee cups, you would search for an explanation, perhaps a new law or some set of conditions consistent with the current laws. If no explanation was forthcoming, then it would be labeled an unexplained occurrence, but not an unexplainable occurrence. It happened, so there must be some reason.
Yes. And?

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So what conditions would lead to the defeat of the assumption of uniformity? A single event, even if it occurs a million times, would be something to explain, not a refutation of uniformity. Hence, uniformity is unfalsifiable.
Sorry, but this is nonsense. What you are claiming is that as long as we cannot explain everything, the rule is unfalsifiable.

Consider thermodynamics. It is one of the best established rules of the universe, and very falsifiable.

Now consider early middle ages. Mankind had only a sketchy idea of thermodynamics. Was it not falsifiable back then?

Hans
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Old 13th October 2019, 02:14 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
If thinking is something that can occur in a void, without there having to be anything that is doing the thinking then there is no reason to suppose that there is anything at all besides that thinking.

The alternative is that there is something that is doing the thinking.
Sounds a bit like Hume, purposely I suppose.

I wasn't sure that this sort of reasoning would gain any traction here. Guess we'll see.
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Old 13th October 2019, 02:25 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post


I don't think that we are at a position to estimate the a-priori probability of this universe, but it is not important. We already know it exists.
No we don't. But we do know that thinking happens.

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No, but it is one step of complexity above the universe per sť: Both a brain and that brain imagining just this universe.
A brain popping directly into existence and having experiences of an apparent universe involves fewer steps as I pointed out above.

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No. A computer (brain) running a simulation will be at least as complex as the simulation it runs.
It doesn't have to compute a universe. It only has to compute some experiences of a universe for some duration. For most of the time it does not have to compute the actions of individual particles and when it does, it only has to compute the actions of very few particles for a short time.
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Old 13th October 2019, 02:35 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It does not so much beg the question as make the assumption that if there is some thinking going on then there must be something that is thinking.
Yes. I don't know if that's what Darat had in mind, but yes.
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Old 13th October 2019, 02:46 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It does not so much beg the question as make the assumption that if there is some thinking going on then there must be something that is thinking.
Well every system is based on some axiom. In materialistic view there is matter, and mind is product of the matter. In idealistic view there is mind, and matter is illusion of the mind. I don't think science can rule out idealistic view, as it's untestable. It just disregards as irrelevant.
Yet when we dream, we DO live in idealistic reality, where all we perceive is product of our mind. And you DO need mind to 'perceive'. Even if thw world is perfectly materailistic, it can all be just my dream.

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Old 13th October 2019, 07:47 PM   #136
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Well, this thread has gone completely to the left. It's no wonder the OP hasn't been back. He was interested in trying to find some evidence for his own pet metaphysical beliefs (which he never defined). Meanwhile, you people took the title of the thread seriously and had a debate about whether solipsism and materialism are equal or if there's some fundamental difference between the two. How dare you! How dare any of you!
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Old 13th October 2019, 08:17 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
In the English translation it becomes such a clear example of circular logic that I'm amazed more folk aren't simply embarrassed to bring it up in such discussions.
And it's generally followed by an awful pun (You know the one.) that pretty well applies to that I showing up before it has any impetus.
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Old 13th October 2019, 10:17 PM   #138
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I've always admired Hume and believe that the possibility of simulation or even fundamental arbitrariness can never be disproven. But then again it doesn't seem to make much practical difference: Hume himself left houses through the front door and not through third floor windows and had no habit of running into solid walls. Thus far the more we know of the material universe the more it seems to be rather uniformly explainable and ever following regular patterns. Natural science works here: it can predict future occurrances, it coheres and makes sense.
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Old 14th October 2019, 01:41 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
It begs the question.
No, it really doesn't. It's a truism, which is a different kettle of fish.

As I was saying, X=>Y is equivalent to !Y=>!X, which in this case would be: "If I didn't exist, I wouldn't be doing any thinking." Or anything else, really.

It's not as profound as most people seem to think, to say the least, but it's not circular.
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Old 14th October 2019, 01:48 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It doesn't have to compute a universe. It only has to compute some experiences of a universe for some duration. For most of the time it does not have to compute the actions of individual particles and when it does, it only has to compute the actions of very few particles for a short time.
Nevertheless, to even hold the whole information of the universe, even if it's not processing it the whole time, it would have to be almost as BIG as the universe.

In physics it turns out that the maximum information you can have in any spherical piece of space is limited by the surface of the sphere in square Planck lengths. You reach that limit, it turns into a black hole and its surface STILL equals the information bits in it. It still doesn't get any smaller. You put another bit of information in, it just grows a bit.

That's what gave rise to the holographic universe hypothesis.

Since the density of the visible universe is pretty much close to that of a black hole of that size, yeah, you're not getting a computer much smaller to hold all that information. Sorry.

So, yeah, it's going to be a lot bigger and more complex (as in, bits of information it holds) than a brain. By many many orders of magnitude.
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Old 14th October 2019, 01:50 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Well, this thread has gone completely to the left. It's no wonder the OP hasn't been back. He was interested in trying to find some evidence for his own pet metaphysical beliefs (which he never defined). Meanwhile, you people took the title of the thread seriously and had a debate about whether solipsism and materialism are equal or if there's some fundamental difference between the two. How dare you! How dare any of you!
Well, technically most of us HAVE been discussing metaphysics. As in, what actual philosophy calls metaphysics. It's not quite the woowoo mumbo-jumbo that most people seem to understand by metaphysics.
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Old 14th October 2019, 07:02 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
...It's not quite the woowoo mumbo-jumbo that most people seem to understand by metaphysics.
...or physics. I agree with Loss Leader. Scorpion came here with a poor conception of physics and a vague conception of metaphysics duct-taped together with some cherry-picked, marginally relevant quotes. The apparent point was for everyone to marvel at how "deep" such a vagaries are. In his other thread no one seemed impressed (or especially convinced) at that brand of philosophical depth, his having wowed a philosophy class into consternation by elevating his hand -- index finger most philosophically extended -- and declaring, "Why yes, there is an absolute truth!"

People keep taking Scorpion's thread titles at face value and, you know, having actual interested, if not outright productive, debates about them. Consider the chicken, after all. They neither toil nor spin, yet Foghorn Leghorn in all his glory was never arrayed in eleven herbs and spices. The proper way to address a Scorpion thread, I opine most philosophically -- finger redacted -- is to determine which of a few common ulterior motives is responsible for its creation. Debating the -isms or how diet works or how courts should test evidence -- these are the derails, folks.
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Old 14th October 2019, 07:19 AM   #143
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Or physics, as you've correctly noted.
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Old 14th October 2019, 07:32 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Nevertheless, to even hold the whole information of the universe, even if it's not processing it the whole time, it would have to be almost as BIG as the universe.

In physics it turns out that the maximum information you can have in any spherical piece of space is limited by the surface of the sphere in square Planck lengths. You reach that limit, it turns into a black hole and its surface STILL equals the information bits in it. It still doesn't get any smaller. You put another bit of information in, it just grows a bit.

That's what gave rise to the holographic universe hypothesis.

Since the density of the visible universe is pretty much close to that of a black hole of that size, yeah, you're not getting a computer much smaller to hold all that information. Sorry.

So, yeah, it's going to be a lot bigger and more complex (as in, bits of information it holds) than a brain. By many many orders of magnitude.
But if that brain only exists for 1 second then you only need to model a sphere of 1 lightsecond around that brain, since nothing outside of that sphere can have an effect on it within that 1-second lifetime.
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Old 14th October 2019, 11:50 AM   #145
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Well, true, if you want a brain that only lives for 1 second, you only need all the information in a sphere with a radius of about 300,000km or 186282 miles. Which at the very least contains all the bits of information in the structure of that brain, to simulate it, so to speak, even if it existed in an absolute vacuum of anything else. So it's still not going to be any less complex than the brain.

But in a more realistic scenario, it will still have to include every information about every particle forming the Earth, the atmosphere, and even everything in orbit. Since 300k km is up to just below the orbit of the Moon.

And that's for a single second.
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Old 14th October 2019, 12:01 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
But if that brain only exists for 1 second then you only need to model a sphere of 1 lightsecond around that brain, since nothing outside of that sphere can have an effect on it within that 1-second lifetime.
Methinks you are being carried off by your own idea. What would a one second brain be able to imagine? I have experienced 70 years of real world. How tould your proposed "instant brain" model that?

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Old 14th October 2019, 12:55 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
And the fact that you don't control the experience and they instead follow some external rules is what should convince you that your experience is mostly due to external sources.



That is the same thing.



No. They can be amended if new evidence overrules or supplement earlier evidence.



Why? As long as we are able to map the patterns, we can make a good guess at the rules.



Your testimony would either be testable or not. If it is not testable, then yes, it would presumably be rejected. It it was testable, it would probably be tested.



This is contradicted by your own statement:



Rules can be found to be false or incomplete by suitable evidence. That is the very definition of being falsifiable.



Yes. And?



Sorry, but this is nonsense. What you are claiming is that as long as we cannot explain everything, the rule is unfalsifiable.

Consider thermodynamics. It is one of the best established rules of the universe, and very falsifiable.

Now consider early middle ages. Mankind had only a sketchy idea of thermodynamics. Was it not falsifiable back then?

Hans
You are confusing two different claims. First, just to simplify matters, let's pretend that science is deterministic. (The move to probabilistic flaws complicates the argument but strengthens my claim about falsifiability. Let's avoid the more complicated analysis.)

It is easy to see that a set of scientific laws is refuted when an event occurs which the laws preclude. Thus,

Any given set of laws is falsifiable.

is true. Here, I ignore some of the later philosophy of science (Carnap, perhaps? My memory is fuzzy) casting this into doubt and will take the naive view for granted. Any given set of laws is falsified when an event incompatible with those laws occurs.

But that's not what I was calling uniformity. I was calling uniformity the proposition that there is a set of laws consistent with every event that occurs. I'll further add that this set predicts every event that occurs (to avoid trivial examples like the empty set of laws, which is consistent with every event by not predicting anything).

Thus, when I say that uniformity is unfalsifiable, I'm saying that there is no possible event inconsistent with the assumption that some set of rules could predict that event.

I think this is fairly clear, but it all depends on how one defines the rules. On a broad definition of rules, take any theory T which is consistent with everything thus far, but not some event E which occurred on 12:00am Jan 1, 1970. Then the new theory consisting of "Everything occurs as T predicts, unless it's midnight 1/1/1970, when E occurs" is a set of rules not falsified thus far. Amend this theory as needed.

Of course, it starts to look not so much like a scientific theory so much when we tack on ad hoc exceptions, but I don't know a precise definition of law which excludes this possibility. Rather than digress into the notion of law, let me simply ask: What event could possibly entail that no possible set of laws could be consistent with that event (together with everything happening up until then)? What occurrence would cause you to say, "There is literally no theory possible that could predict or explain that event?"

If you cannot come up with any such occurrence, you must at least admit that you cannot show that uniformity is falsifiable. I think that uniformity is unfalsifiable, though I admit that the fuzziness of the word "law" is such that I can't say that I can prove this. It is obvious for broad notions. It would take work to extend this to a wide class of definitions of "law".
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Old 14th October 2019, 12:57 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
I've always admired Hume and believe that the possibility of simulation or even fundamental arbitrariness can never be disproven. But then again it doesn't seem to make much practical difference: Hume himself left houses through the front door and not through third floor windows and had no habit of running into solid walls. Thus far the more we know of the material universe the more it seems to be rather uniformly explainable and ever following regular patterns. Natural science works here: it can predict future occurrances, it coheres and makes sense.
Hume indeed denied that his skepticism could overcome custom (including faith in induction), if I'm not mistaken. It was an academic argument, not a discovery with deep practical consequences.
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Old 14th October 2019, 01:44 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Methinks you are being carried off by your own idea. What would a one second brain be able to imagine? I have experienced 70 years of real world. How tould your proposed "instant brain" model that?

Hans
It's not my idea, it's what Robin said, a brain popping into and back out of existence. Maybe you should read that exchange between you and Robin, to which I eventually responded, again.
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Old 14th October 2019, 06:08 PM   #150
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BTW, while the Boltzmann brain is an interesting idea, I think people totally ignore the PROBABILITY of you being one.

I mean, let's even forget a FUNCTIONING brain forming. Let's look at how probable it is that just the basic information stored right now in your brain would form by sheer chance alone. We'll also grossly underestimate that amount of information, by ignoring the synapse strength, or the fact that the brain rewires itself so the wiring itself is also information. Let's just take only the information stored in the synapses, and assume it's only 1 bit of information per synapse: on or off.

Well, a human brain has about 100,000,000,000 neurons. Each has an average of 7000 connections to other neurons, i.e., synapses. It is estimated that by the age of 3 you have about 1015 synapses.

To have even our grossly oversimplified copy of that data, that's 21015 possible states. I.e., 21,000,000,000,000,000. Which means somewhere in the order of 10300,000,000,000,000 or so.

To give you an example of how ridiculous that is, it's estimated that there are about 1080 total atoms in the whole universe.

If every single atom could store such a state (and it can't), and every single atom rolled a different brain state every single second (which is how long apparently such a brain is supposed to last) from Big Bang to eternity, we're talking somewhere in the order of 5*10299,999,999,919 seconds until it's 50-50 whether your combination has been rolled yet anywhere in the universe.

The estimated age of the universe in seconds is merely 4.32*1017 seconds. Let's round it to 5*1017 seconds.

Can you see the insane difference in proportions. We're talking something like 10299,999,999,999,902 times the flippin' age of the universe until there's any chance in hell of even that oversimplified model forming by random chance.

Seriously. Write a zero and a dot, then 299,999,999,999,902 zeroes after that, and then a 1. That's the chance of even that oversimplified model ever having formed anywhere since the big bang.

So, yeah, I REALLY wouldn't take that idea too seriously.
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Old 14th October 2019, 06:48 PM   #151
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It is not the case that people ignore the probability of a Boltzmann brain, it has been the subject of quite a bit of discussion.

I have read Sean Carroll suggest that the assembly of a brain is much more probable than a nascent universe.

In some theories of cosmology Boltzmann brains are pretty much inevitable (infinity squelches any kind of improbability), but the question is really one of the ratio of Boltzmann brains to in-universe observers.

In this paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/0808.3778 some pretty serious physicists go into quite a bit of detail about the relative probability of a Boltzmann brain and a nascent universe and they make no firm conclusion about whether a "real" observer would be more common than a Boltzmann brain observer.

People forget that you do not even need a complete brain to fluctuate into existence, you only need something that can compute some moment of experience. How computationally complex is that which you are currently experiencing? Probably not very.

And it is unlikely that evolution produced the most efficient computer.
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Old 14th October 2019, 07:00 PM   #152
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Also, a Boltzmann Brain doesn't have to exist in a time frame of between the Big Bang and now, a Boltzmann Brain could be anywhere and any time.
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Old 14th October 2019, 07:26 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, true, if you want a brain that only lives for 1 second, you only need all the information in a sphere with a radius of about 300,000km or 186282 miles. Which at the very least contains all the bits of information in the structure of that brain, to simulate it, so to speak, even if it existed in an absolute vacuum of anything else. So it's still not going to be any less complex than the brain.

But in a more realistic scenario, it will still have to include every information about every particle forming the Earth, the atmosphere, and even everything in orbit. Since 300k km is up to just below the orbit of the Moon.

And that's for a single second.

I disagree. Assuming you (or I) were just created a second ago when a computer started running HansSim 3.4, it wouldn't have to model a full universe or even a universe 1 light second long. Because Hans (or Loss) couldn't appreciate everything in creation within 1 light second of it. I couldn't appreciate all the stellar dust and magnetic fields encompassing me withing 186,000 miles. I couldn't appreciate the core of the earth or everything going on on the entire planet.

All I need to do is believe that I appreciate what I can sense right then. You don't even have to model a complete brain. You just need a computer program that thinks it's a complete brain - and if it tries to access something that hasn't been modeled, you've got a good .3 seconds to generate it. Or, you can just turn off the simulation, add a false memory that the thing happened, and then turn it on again.

The internet, which is just a network of old, silicon-based computers, already holds more information than one person could appreciate in a lifetime. Running a program that thinks it's self-aware in a vast universe for one second and then shutting it off? I don't think that requires anything like the processing power you're proposing.

In that small way, materialism is as unfalsifiable as solipsism. Materialism, however, still holds the advantage that we have to at least act like it's true - for however long we get to act before they reboot the sim.
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Old 14th October 2019, 07:58 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It is not the case that people ignore the probability of a Boltzmann brain, it has been the subject of quite a bit of discussion.

I have read Sean Carroll suggest that the assembly of a brain is much more probable than a nascent universe.

In some theories of cosmology Boltzmann brains are pretty much inevitable (infinity squelches any kind of improbability), but the question is really one of the ratio of Boltzmann brains to in-universe observers.

In this paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/0808.3778 some pretty serious physicists go into quite a bit of detail about the relative probability of a Boltzmann brain and a nascent universe and they make no firm conclusion about whether a "real" observer would be more common than a Boltzmann brain observer.

People forget that you do not even need a complete brain to fluctuate into existence, you only need something that can compute some moment of experience. How computationally complex is that which you are currently experiencing? Probably not very.

And it is unlikely that evolution produced the most efficient computer.

The paper makes no claim that either its reader(s) or author(s) have a finite probability of unknowingly being Boltzmann brains. In fact their argument depends upon making a distinction between BB observers, who (with extremely rare exceptions) observe nothing surrounding them but vacuum energy, and normal (NO) observers, who observe e.g. cosmic microwave background radiation and an orderly predictable world. As we observe the latter, we are normal observers. The gist of the paper is to consider certain explanations of why that is true, not to question whether it is true.

In any case, while there might be a finite probability that I am at this moment a Boltzmann brain experiencing one of an infinite recurrences of a certain moment of the life of an individual who may or may not have ever actually existed, the combined probability that that is the case AND I am actually having and shall continue to have a coherent conversation with another entity similar to myself aka "Robin" or "you," is precisely zero. Yet the combination of those two circumstances is necessary for further conversation about the proposition of my being a Boltzmann brain to be relevant. If I were a Boltzmann brain, then this very dialog would be impossible. It is similar in that regard to the proposition that written language does not actually convey any coherent meaning, or that I am a hallucination you are having. Discussing it cannot avoid denying it, whatever position one actually claims to take.
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Old 14th October 2019, 08:31 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
The paper makes no claim that either its reader(s) or author(s) have a finite probability of unknowingly being Boltzmann brains. In fact their argument depends upon making a distinction between BB observers, who (with extremely rare exceptions) observe nothing surrounding them but vacuum energy, and normal (NO) observers, who observe e.g. cosmic microwave background radiation and an orderly predictable world. As we observe the latter, we are normal observers. The gist of the paper is to consider certain explanations of why that is true, not to question whether it is true.

In any case, while there might be a finite probability that I am at this moment a Boltzmann brain experiencing one of an infinite recurrences of a certain moment of the life of an individual who may or may not have ever actually existed, the combined probability that that is the case AND I am actually having and shall continue to have a coherent conversation with another entity similar to myself aka "Robin" or "you," is precisely zero. Yet the combination of those two circumstances is necessary for further conversation about the proposition of my being a Boltzmann brain to be relevant. If I were a Boltzmann brain, then this very dialog would be impossible. It is similar in that regard to the proposition that written language does not actually convey any coherent meaning, or that I am a hallucination you are having. Discussing it cannot avoid denying it, whatever position one actually claims to take.
I would be interested in the calculation by which you came about "precisely zero" (even if it is only a rough calculation).

It would seem to depend upon how computationally complex this exchange was. If there was a computer that could compute the information contained in this exchange, would that computer be so complex as to be impossible? Seems unlikely that there is that much information that we are processing right at this moment.

And in any case the problem is for any person reading this who is experiencing consciousness, why would you assume that your interlocutors are also conscious, any more than you would assume that you existed for more than a couple of seconds of experienced time?
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Old 14th October 2019, 08:33 PM   #156
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Incidentally it seems unlikely that a Boltzmann brain would have experiences of the surrounding vacuum, that would imply that it also had some sort of sensing mechanism. More likely it would experience a spurious universe.

Multiverses, eternal inflation, many-worlds and so on and so forth only multiply this.
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Old 14th October 2019, 08:36 PM   #157
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As I understand it, the problem with a single universe is that observers like you and I suppose ourselves to be are only possible right at the beginning of the universe in the first, say, 1050 years before increasing entropy makes us impossible. After that there is an infinity of time and very occasional cases of reducing entropy.

In this case something, even fantastically improbable, will eventually become more numerous than observers seeing the actual universe.
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Old 14th October 2019, 08:41 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Methinks you are being carried off by your own idea. What would a one second brain be able to imagine? I have experienced 70 years of real world. How tould your proposed "instant brain" model that?

Hans
I don't see the difficulty.
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Old 14th October 2019, 08:46 PM   #159
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When I try to remember a holiday I had in America a long time ago, I recall driving a car (that I rented from the airport) with the steering wheel on the right, and driving on the left hand side of the road. Many other people have also reported this.

Clearly that is a reconstruction of something that couldn't possibly have really happened that way. So I don't see the problem of some computer 'remembering' any number of years in the past, even though the program only started running a few seconds ago.
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Old 14th October 2019, 09:38 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Myriad
In fact their argument depends upon making a distinction between BB observers, who (with extremely rare exceptions) observe nothing surrounding them but vacuum energy, and normal (NO) observers, who observe e.g. cosmic microwave background radiation and an orderly predictable world.
Atcually, in the paper referred to, the reference to "observing cosmic microwave background radiation" is in relation to Boltzmann brains observing a spurious illusion of this. Boltzmann brains are defined:
Quote:
Or, short of a complete observer, a disembodied brain may fluctuate into existence, with a pattern of neuron firings creating a perception of being on Earth and, for example, observing the cosmic microwave background radiation. Such freak observers are collectively referred to as “Boltzmann brains”
and normal observers are defined:
Quote:
To define the problem more precisely, we use the term “normal observers” to refer to those that evolve as a result of non-equilibrium processes that occur in the wake of the hot big bang.
They are claiming to show that, under certain assumptions, the ratio of Boltzmann brains to normal observers can be low.
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