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

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sat Oct 20 17:25:38 UTC 2018

On Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 5:52 PM Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:

* > It's not the potential for FTL signals that is the problem. It is the
> instantaneous nature of collapse. If you and I are space-like separated and
> we are both studying the same entangled quantum system, then the first one
> of us to observe our entangled particle instantly collapses the wave
> function for both of us. But according to relativity, the concept of
> "first" between two space-like separated events is meaningless.*

There is no way we can use that wave collapse as a signal to synchronize
distant clocks and establish a universal time standard, so it doesn't
violate relativity. And relativity doesn't say that 2 observers can never
agree which of 2 events came first, it just says they can't always agree.
If 2 observers are not moving relative to each other and know how far apart
they are then they can agree on which of 2 events came first.

> *> So which one of us actually collapsed the wave function?*

If the 2 are not moving with respect to each other and thus can agree on
when "now" happens then that question is meaningful because it has
observable consequences, but if they are moving with respect to each other
the question is ambiguous because it implies that the ideas of "before" and
"after" are well defined but in this situation they are not.

Forget General Relativity and forget Quantum Mechanics, that sort of
weirdness is inherent even in Special Relativity. If you and I pass each
other at close to the speed of light I see your clock running slower than
mine and you see my clock running slower than yours. I admit that it seems
weird that both clocks are running slower than the other, but there is no
contradiction. When we both use stopwatches to measure how long it takes
our super fast cars to travel between 2 marks on the road we confirm that
each others stopwatch is running slower than the other but contradiction is
avoided precisely because we can't agree about when "now" happens and thus
we can't agree on when the correct time to start and stop our stopwatches
when we pass those marks on the road is.

>> That is only from the viewpoint of somebody outside the multiverse looking
>> in at it, and that viewpoint does not exist.
> * >I am not sure I understand this objection. I can never directly observe
> the fusion occurring in the heart of the sun, yet I can be confident it
> occurs based on theory*

It would be difficult to engineer such an observing platform but in theory
you could observe the heart of the sun, however an observer outside of the
multiverse looking in at it would not only violate physical law it would be
a flat out logical contradiction.

* > If the multiverse contains all possible arrangements of matter and
> energy in all possible space-times then the multiverse as a whole cannot
> change.*

No observer can see the multiverse as a whole, the very idea is self
contradictory.  The multiverse is at least a 4D object, maybe 5D or even
more, but however many dimensions it has one thing we know for sure is that
it's not homogeneous, it does change along all its time dimensions and it
does change along all its spatial dimensions.

>> When speaking about the multiverse and Many Worlds the use of personal pronouns
>> like "you" and "your" can easily become ambiguous.
> * > True. Where the multiverse is concerned you are no longer an
> individual but an entire category of individuals that share certain
> properties.*

Even if we found out that the entire multiverse idea was wrong the problem
of establishing individuality would remain. Once Drexler style
Nanotechnology has been achieved people duplicating machines will become
practical and then this will no longer be just a rarefied philosophical
puzzle it will be a matter of life and death. I am John Clark because I
remember being John Clark yesterday, and because people duplicating
machines don't exist yet I can be confident no other being in the
observable universe can remember that; but no breakthrough in science or
the discovery of some new law of physics is required to achieve Drexler's
Nanotechnology, all that is needed is improved engineering skill.

I signed up with Alcor to be frozen in liquid nitrogen after my death not
because I thought there was any chance of of anybody ever reviving my body,
I signed up because I thought there was a  nonzero chance the liquid
nitrogen would preserve information in my brain to create a being that
remembers being me today. I believe that being would be me, so I signed up.
Most people disagree and think such a being would not be them, and so they
have not signed up. As I said this is a matter of life and death.
>> Alan Guth's Inflation theory explains that very nicely, the distant parts of
>> the universe we see with our largest telescopes are not causally connected
>> now but at one time there were, and then the universe expanded much
>> faster than light and that's why they are in thermal equilibrium now.
> * > I have some serious misgivings of physics that supposedly worked once
> and only once in the entire history of the universe solely for the purpose
> of patching holes in our models.*

But Guth's inflation field solved 3 different apparently unrelated
problems, the thermal equilibrium problem , the flatness problem, and the
monopole problem. And Inflation made an amazingly accurate prediction of
what the slight variations in the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation
would look like 30 years before if was actually observed. And inflation
also correctly predicted  the amount of Hydrogen and deuterium and Helium-3
and Helium-4 and Lithium-6 and Lithium-7 that the Big Bang would create. I
think that's pretty impressive.

> >* superluminal inflation would have super-cooled the universe requiring
> a "reheating" period which is just kind of glossed over.*

An expanding gas isn't always cooled, for example if I divide a chamber in
two and there is a gas at high pressure in half of it and a vacuum in the
other half and I suddenly remove the barrier between the two the gas
expands to fill the entire chamber, but the gas isn't cooled because it did
no work.  Work is force over distance and that didn't happen.  During the
exponential expansion phase Guth's inflation field did the work not the hot
* >I think you are conflating reason with cause.*

Different words same idea.

> > *I can choose to save my money to buy a car in the future. Such a
> choice has no cause*

Yes it does, the cause of you saving your money was your desire to buy a
car. Why did you have a desire to buy a car? I don't know but I do know
there are only 2 possibilities, there was a reason for your desire in which
case it was deterministic or there was no reason for your desire to buy a
car in which case it was random.

> *> because classic causation presumably follows the arrow of time.*

You had a desire to buy a car before you saved your money and bought the
car. Cause preceded effect in accordance with the arrow of time.

> * > Humans can make decisions based upon preferences for future states
> that do not yet exist.*

But brain states that hypothesize about the future DO exist in the present.

> *Not all reasons for doing things are causes since some reasons for doing
> things are the effects of whatever it is that your are doing.*

Sorry, I don't know what that means.

> *> And doing something to bring about a desired effect is neither random
> or irrational.*

If you are doing something to bring about a desired effect, or doing it for
any reason whatsoever, then you are doing it for a reason and thus by
definition it is rational. It may not be a good or moral reason, it might
not even be consistent with other reasons you have for doing other things,
but it is a reason nevertheless. But if you are doing something for no
reason at all then it is irrational, aka random.

> *Neither me nor evolution would be able to see the intelligence of John
> Clark if he were implemented on a computer so slow that it took days to
> process the image of a dangerous predator stalking him. *

And that is exactly why Evolution never produced such a slow witted John

* > I think intelligence is more than just the sheer number of states a
> system has but also how fast the system can change between those states. *

If we're talking practicality then speed is vastly important and along with
energy usage is the most important engineering consideration, but we were
talking philosophy not engineering and for that speed is irrelevant.

> *I think intelligence is more than just the sheer number of states a
> system **has but also how fast the system can change between those
> states.*

Then a AI has yet another huge advantage over us.

John K Clark
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