[ExI] Public draft of my book "Tales of the Turing Church"

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri Oct 19 17:19:23 UTC 2018

On Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 5:49 AM Giulio Prisco <giulio at gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Giulio

> * >According to Tipler, future intelligent life will be able to reverse
> the expansion and trigger a collapse by purposefully annihilating baryonic
> matter.*

That's not what he said in his book, maybe Tipler is saying that now I
don't know,  but I do know that after he wrote his book he became a
fundamentalist Christian and went a bit nuts. Tipler now thinks we should
look for divine DNA on the Shroud of Turin and check for radiation around
the tomb of the Blessed Virgin Mary that was caused by an intense beam of
neutrinos that must have shot out of the bottom of her feet as she ascended
into heaven. But nevermind, when he wrote his book he still seemed sane and
thought the universe would collapse on its own and intelligent life would
manage that collapse to obtain infitre work that can be used to perform a
infinite number of calculations in a finite time and thus achieve
subjective immortality.  I thought his theory was unusual but not crackpot
because it was falsifiable, be made quite a few predictions and gave very
specific numbers and said said every one of those numbers must be correct
or the entire theory falls apart, and today after more that 20 years we can
see that nearly all his numbers turned out to be wrong. And the most
glaring fault of all was that he didn't predict the existence of Dark
Energy and the acceleration of the universal expansion that was discovered
just a few years after his book was published.

>> I don't understand the Many Minds bit. If mind is what brains do and
>> there are many minds then there must be many brains, but there is only one
>> John Clark brain around here so those other brains must be in other worlds.
> * >In Many Minds, there aren't parallel worlds but parallel mental
> streams. When you (the multiversal super-you) observe a binary quantum
> event, you develop some kind of quantum multiple personality disorder and
> split into two minds unaware of each other, and each aware only of one of
> the two outcomes of the quantum event.*

If that was true then mind must be independent of matter, but all the
evidence is that is not true. A change in the brain state is always
correlated with a change in the mind state and a change in the mind state
is always correlated with a change in the brain state. And all those
different brain states need a world to live in.

> * >I have the impression that Everett had something like this in mind.*

I think that's what John Wheeler, Everett's thesis advisor, had in mind.
Wheeler made Everett cut out about half the stuff in his original 137 page
thesis and tone down the language so it didn't sound like he thought all
those other universes were equally real when in fact he did. For example,
Wheeler didn't like the word "split" and was especially uncomfortable with
talk of conscious observers splitting, most seriously he made him remove
the entire chapter on information and probability which today many consider
the best part of the work. Originally Everett wrote that when a observer
splits it is meaningless to ask "which of the final observers corresponds
to the initial one since each possess the total memory of the first" he
says it is as foolish as asking which amoeba is the original after it
splits into two. Wheeler made him remove all such talk of splits and amebas
from his published much shortened  thesis.

> >> That's true for any sort of determinism, but superdeterminism says
>> much more than that, it says that initial conditions were hyper precisely
>> arranged 13.8 billion years ago so that now we always make exactly the
>> wrong choice when we set up our experiments and we always end up getting
>> fooled. That's a lot to swallow. I'm comfortable with the universe being
>> indifferent about our welfare but if superdeterminism is true it's
>> downright sadistic.
> > *This is not part of the definition of superdeterminism, but a
> (tautologically trivial) consequence of superdeterminism.*

Call it a definition or call it a consequence I don't care,  the point is
with determinism there are an infinite number of initial conditions the
universe could have started out in, but with superdeterminism there was
only one, so the 2 things are not the same.

> > *If the past of the universe determines the choices that you make now,
> then of course the past of the universe must have been such that it
> predetermines the choices that you actually make.*

Both determinism and superdeterminism say that, but only superdeterminism
specifies exactly what the state of that past universe was, it was the one
state that, after 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution, results in us
always making  decisions when we set up experiments that will make it look
like the universe is not local and deterministic when it really is.  And
that is the reason superdeterminism strikes me as being somewhere between
astronomically unlikely and impossible. It reminds me of the argument that
when God  created the Earth in 4004 BC he put fake dinosaur bones and fake
radioactive decay products in the ground to make the Earth look far older
than it really is. Or maybe I and the entire universe is only 10 minutes
old and all the memories I have including being in the first grade don't
correspond to anything real and were also created by God just 10 minutes
ago. I can't prover these ideas are wrong but I don't think they are very

John K Clark

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