Re: Objective Meaning Must Exhibit Isomorphism

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Thu Mar 06 2008 - 23:52:54 MST

On 07/03/2008, Lee Corbin <> wrote:

> I do not believe that pi (or more precisely an entirely random sequence)
> is more conscious, and has more conscious observers, than the entire
> human race on Earth in the year 2008.
> But to your way of thinking, must not an infinitely long random sequence,
> similar to pi in many ways, contain stretches isomorphic to anyone's life,
> isomorphic to all the thoughts humans have ever had or ever can have?

No, pi would contain only an infinitesimal proportion of the
computations underpinning any given physical reality, since there are
infinitely many transcendental numbers, as well as all the other
mathematical structures.

> > Even if [Monday and Tuesday] occurred in separate Hubble
> > volumes with no
> > chance of information flow between them you would
> > experience Monday followed by Tuesday.
> Yes, but only if (to my way of thinking) there was any information
> flow going on.

So if two computers implement Monday and Tuesday in isolation from
each other, i.e. purely by chance, there *won't* be subjective
continuity between them, while if two similar computers implement
Monday and Tuesday in a similar way, except the programmer set up
Tuesday having knowledge of Monday, there *will* be subjective
continuity between them? How is this discrepancy possible, if mental
states supervene on physical states?

> > If every computation is necessarily implemented by virtue of its
> > status as a platonic object then there is no basis for saying that
> > there is a separate "real" universe.
> Right. That's the main reason that I don't subscribe to "platonic"
> computation. That is, real computation---any computation worthy
> of the name---must be driven by causality in which each state is
> causally derived from earlier state(s). I don't believe in timeless
> computation, calculation, or consciousness.

You have to explain how the computations know they are causally
connected, and not just accidentally connected. And in any case, the
parts of any random system, such as atoms in a gas jostling each
other, are causally connected.

Stathis Papaioannou

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