Bits of Reality

by phil on Monday Jun 16, 2003 12:25 PM
universe, Turing

If you had a DVD of Fight Club and played you'd see that Ed Norton makes a choice to punch Brad Pitt in the famous, "How much can you know about yourself if you've never been a fight" scene. Now, let's say you never played the DVD but just owned the DVD, would it be true that Ed Norton makes a choice in the film and punches Brad Pitt. Surely you'd say, yeah, he does, surely he does, if I play it, it will reveal that indeed, Ed Norton punches Brad Pitt. Now, let's say, all the DVD players in the world were broken, would it be true that in Fight Club, Ed Norton punches Brad Pitt? You have the DVD right here, and if there was a DVD player that could play it, you could play it and show that indeed this were true. But not having the DVD player wouldn't invalidate that fact. So, now, what if you lost your DVD, or that all the DVDs were destroyed. Would it still be true that in Fight Club, Norton punches Pitt? You have no proof, but you know that indeed it is true, in that movie, if it were to be resurrected somehow, would still show the same thing. Is the medium of an event's existence necessary for the event to actually exist? If you just own the DVD but no player, then the story is still encoded IN the bits. And in your memory, it's encoded in your recollection embedded into neural states. But what if everybody forgot, what if that memory was erased, would it still be true if there was no record of its existence?

I'd say the same thing with us, do we have to have a particular "substance" or "real" medium in order to exist? Sure, I can feel and see things, but that's only laden in my mind, and who knows what my mind is. I know my mind exists, but I have no objective understanding of where the real ends and the abstract begins. This is my understanding of how the universe could possibly just be an Abstract Turing Machine or an Abstract Cellular Automata that exists (out of the infinitely possible Turing machines that math can produce) that has, if run for a long time, the feature that sentient beings will evolve and are able to see the states that the turing machine enclosing it produces.

If you can write a program that can look at itself, then I don't see why we couldn't be in a machine and are able to see ourselves. Also, then, I don't see why this machine has to be created by a God Programmer. Why couldn't it be just inherent in the architecture of a particular specification for a Turing Machine. That TM wouldn't have to be created and executed in order for the states that follow from it to exist, right? It's the same as the DVD scenario above. The TM just has to be possible.


david barkan said on February 14, 2004 8:20 PM:

Hey man, sensational thinking...
BTW Have you ever read or heard anything about Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism??
You'll love it, I trully believe that it's the meaning and real reason of life itself.
Begin by reading the contents of the URL above, but anyway send me an e-mail, let's chat some. I'm a movie maker, I need some ideias!

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