Kent Forbes, Does the Simulation Hypothesis Defeat Materialism |323|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    One of the issues discussed in the book, is the supposed independence of the two detector groups. I would suggest reading the book first.

    His book raises a lot of issues, and if you look up reaction to his book, there is some serious physics discussion. He is let down by his style of writing, but it is obvious if you read the whole book that he knows a lot about HEP, and he raises some important points. In fact his final chapter lists the questions that he thinks should be answered by the HEP community.

    Keith, do you know if the figure of 1 event in 10^12 is in the right ballpark? That is a frighteningly low signal to noise ratio, particularly as the raw data is too voluminous to store for further analysis.

    David
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
  2. Good points. Zeh has a paper arguing against the existence of particles and quantum jumps.

    Actually Brian Whitworth, who shows up in the video, also notes the issue regarding what is actually there versus what is observed in an experiment:

     
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  3. Hieracosphinx

    Hieracosphinx Member

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    Simulation, Consciousness, Existence.
    I linked this essay on Bernardo Kastrup's forum. My interpretation is that mathematical realism is the end-stage of reductionism, which can act as a stepping-stone to a future metaphysics based on idealism or neutral monism. Personally, I take the essay's ideas to be more of a reductio ad absurdum than anything. But I admire the poetry of how an outgrowth of modern reductionism could lead to such an anti-materialist viewpoint as described therein.

    Edit: I'm also a bit amused by the implications of mathematical realism for the Fermi Paradox. Maybe we can't see any alien civilisations because they've departed for other mathematical realms of existence, through what would look like a series of bizarre ritual suicides to an outside observer.
     
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  4. KeithA

    KeithA New

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    Well, all particles have lifetimes so it's a matter of degree not principle. The Higgs boson is an excitation of the Higgs field (pervading all space) and has mass so it's material. I wouldn't say it's a virtual particle.
     
  5. Stephen Wright

    Stephen Wright New

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    The Higgs is not a virtual "particle" as would be a virtual photon, in my very limited understanding. The time existence of particles and especially photons is something to consider. If photons don't decay - they don't have a lifetime. At least according to the standard model - a photon hangs-on forever.
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2013/jul/24/what-is-the-lifetime-of-a-photon

    The existence and decay of particles is a confusing subject.

    My opinion, which is open to correction, -- is that having mass is fundamental in reality and that material is just an abstract term . Matter is more a reference to atomic/molecular organization. Materials Science (or Condensed Matter Physics) teach about crystal structure, polymers, electronic related properties and nano-scale structures. The focus in material sciences is the basis of much of modern technology.

    Matter, on the other hand, has become a term with a tacit meaning that physical substance has magic properties that uniquely exude from it. Matter is not a SI measurable property.
    Over the years the dirt has eroded from beneath the feet of the philosophy called Materialism
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
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  6. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    A new scientist article popped up on my feed last night about information being physical? Couldn't read the full article I had to pay, what a damn shame
     
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  7. Stephen Wright

    Stephen Wright New

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    you might like the classic paper: http://cqi.inf.usi.ch/qic/64_Landauer_The_physical_nature_of_information.pdf
     
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  8. KeithA

    KeithA New

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    You can get a virtual photon in particle collisions, e.g. electron electron scattering where the photon carries the force. And it doesn't decay during the exchange anyway. Otherwise, a huge lower limit on it's lifetime in free space, that was a really interesting article you referenced. Maybe mass and energy are convenient labels we attach to something not really understood? And interchangeable as Einstein showed.
    I remember something about cosmic rays that astronauts can see the flashes as they hit the retina. Direct energy/mass detection!
     
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  9. Vault313

    Vault313 New

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    This actually makes me think of the many experiences of both DMT users and NDErs of being in a place where they see beings working on some kind of computer.

    Natalie Sudman in her book "Application of Impossible Things" actually goes into pretty good detail about 'programming' her reality (for her return), including "what if" senarios like taking away an arm or a leg and "laughing hysterically" while watching her 'avatar' as it were struggle to do basic tasks missing these limbs. Something she acknowledges is cruel here, but hilarious there because these things are seen as the illusions they are "there".

    With the DMT experiences as described in Dr. Rick Strassman's book "DMT, The Spirit Molecule", several participants in the study reported finding themselves in a place where either they saw entities working at computer like devices or found themselves on some kind of examining table or bed and were being assessed using some kind of computer, and were often either told "you're not supposed to be here yet" or asked "how did you get here".

    Natalie's book answers the who, what and why. The question is, do you believe her?

    AFAIK, Dr. Strassman makes no attempt at answering any of those questions. In his book, he confesses to being blown away by what the participants experienced and how unexpected much of it was.
     
  10. EthanT

    EthanT Member

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    Except for the "How did you get here part", that's not too far off from the abduction experience!
     
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  11. JD1

    JD1 Member

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    Maybe so, but it's not uncommon for people with severe depression or other such problems to not only not ask for help, but refuse help that's offered to them even if they didn't ask. This could be because they've lost all hope that they can be helped at all, they've developed such self-hatred that they feel like they deserve to suffer, or they're just so blinded by whatever pain they're in that they're practically psychotic and just lashing out at everyone who gets close.
     
  12. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    No disagreement there. Being blinded to the possibilities is one of the obstacles we can all face at times, exploring the darker side may be something which is in some way necessary, in order to eventually decide on a change of direction. (I speak from experience, though that of other people may differ).
     
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  13. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    Interesting makes me wonder if we are artificial beings. Makes me think there might be no after life we are just "machines"
     
  14. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    I think the problem here is the word "after".

    A lot of models of reality are built with this, here, now as the foundation, and everything else fans out from it. But what if we drop the word "after" from the phrase "after life"? We are left with simply the word "life". Forget before, forget after, maybe there is only the eternal "now".

    As for the idea of 'we are just "machines"', maybe we inhabit structures which lend themselves to machine-like descriptions. But perhaps we inhabit something like a diving suit, a cumbersome clothing which allows us to function in a place which is not our natural habitat.

    I don't say these things as an actual representation of reality, more as an allegory, a way of considering or contemplating things.
     
  15. Vault313

    Vault313 New

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    Right, (again, if I remember correctly, it's been a while since I read the book) that was one of the reasons he was taken aback, because many did resemble abduction stories. It's a good read (both of them actually) if you haven't already.
     
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  16. Vault313

    Vault313 New

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    I agree. There is much gnashing of teeth at how slippery the "paranormal" can be and the difficulty of obtaining hard, material evidence. Almost like its....designed that way. Enough to let us know it's there, not so much we forget why we are here. The only thing that can truly convince one of the existence of "something more" is direct experience. Which to me is an indication that this reality is far more about perception than it is solid physical matter. Ancient texts, and even more modern spiritual guides have been telling us this all along. "Ask and it is given", "seek, and you shall find". Even "life is what you make it".

    I have even myself on occasion had the notion that we are far more powerful than we think we are. That the possibilities are literally infinite, and it's the prisons we lock our minds into that (wrongly) tell us otherwise. So I wouldn't say it's a "simulation" per se. More like, we are immersed in a field of infinite possibility with consciousness as the substrate which brings forth whatever reality we imagine. To contact "God" one only need to seek within himself with an open heart. As trite as that may sound, I confess that I myself have experienced just that. And if it was "all in my head", then its one hell of a trip! And if I felt only a small fraction of what it truly means to be "one with God" or mind at large or whatever you want to call it, then it would seem absolutely necessary for some kind of deliberate "cutting off". Would we really want to stay here, if we knew, or remembered, what awaits us on the other side?
     
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  17. Vault313

    Vault313 New

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    Actually, in thinking about this some more; life as a "simulation" is absurdly circular in its logic when viewed from a purely materialistic viewpoint. In likening it to a big computer or computer program, we are using the very definition or concept of "computer" or "computer program" given by the computer itself. We could never really know or understand the what this "massive computer" is, since the concept of computer would come from what we understand as "computer" as given by the computer itself. And if this is a simulation, then our computers are a simulation. So our understanding of the "massive computer" creating reality is no more than the simulation of us understanding a simulation of computer.
     
  18. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    Thanks. This expresses something I thought too, but you put it more clearly than I would have.

    A related thought is that computers are just our latest fashion, in the past we had the 'giant watchmaker' meme. I think we should always be suspicious of ideas built around our current lifestyles - of which watches and computers are but examples. The true picture, no matter what it is, is sure to be more timeless than the comings and goings of our fashions and fads in technology.
     
  19. Stephen Wright

    Stephen Wright New

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    great

    I can't wait for sainted emojis and sacred pokemon go characters.
     
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  20. Stephen Wright

    Stephen Wright New

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    Thinking from an informational process point of view - is deadly to materialism.

    Living things integrate their local information with the signals coming in from the environment. Their target output of this process is the seeking of meaningful opportunities. This integrated information detected by the senses takes another step when it is integrated with a living thing's sense of future states. This process of understanding signals from the senses results in information objects (thoughts, desires, instincts) that can induce behavior. This inner environment (mind) is - in all ways - a sim. Each living thing is copying information from its surroundings and projecting an integrated outcome.

    The planet earth is a ecosystem of sims localized in each living thing. The mental life of all living things is a many-eyed reflection and projection of the physical environment. It's not if we live in one externally programmed sim, like scifi is depicting. We live in a sea of sims, each self-generated.
     
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