I AM (NOT) EVIL

One day I will forget all of this, just like they were forgotten, but never in vain.

Have you noticed the categorization of behavior as beholden to two factors: the biological and the cultural? This can be spoken of in any variety of esoteric languages: pure replicators on the one hand and consciousness on the other, Angra Manyu vs Ahura Mazda, the inadequate equilibria on one hand and Eliezer Yudkowsky on the other, the laws of physics vs. free will. These refer to our capacity to understand the unbidden and the good. That which is displeasingly just the way it is, over which we had no say, and that which we want to appear as wanting to be true.

You might believe that the word “you” does not exist eternally here in this act. In other words that the word “you” refers to something more than merely the Biological/Cultural, the Original-Sin/Christ, Samsara/Eightfold-Path, Bad/Good, Disgusting/So-Aesthetic, Dislike/Like spectrum.

But everything exists on this valence axis.

And the valence is determined by the definition of “People” meant to be impressed.

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Physically, people don’t exist.

The belief in discrete units called people that exist external to mind is provably wrong, and it rests on the belief that things exist outside Mind.

Things have two properties: closed bounds and persistence with regard to a time axis.

But notice that in order to define things, Mind has already already assumed that the phrases “closed bounds” and “persistence with regard to a time axis,” also hold those properties, causing an infinite regress.

Mind submits to a notion of the external because this leads to better outcomes. Previously, Mind called the external, the Gods. Now that we have greater understanding of the external, we call it physical reality. Even the concept of “we” is an adaptive act of submission.

Argument Against Closed Bounds

You were taught “angel,” “tree,” “hand,” “finger.” An angel is not a tree and a finger is not a branch.

There are several laconic ways to undo the belief in angels as separate from trees.

  1. Point to the underlying entropy gradient. No subsection of a configuration with multiple parts is identical to any other.
  2. Point to the need of other concepts to trace angels: wings and halos, all of which have the same problem.
  3. Pool of LSD or bullet to dome.

There is one way to reify the belief in angels as separate from trees.

  1. Tiger uses: chase. I use: angel save me.
  2. Tiger uses: chase. I use: climb tree.

The probability density given by the Born Rule over the probability amplitude of the universal wave-function tells me to select option 2, even though there is probability amplitude where “angel save me” works. In other words, Mind tends towards the development of some concepts and not others – there is an aim instead of phenomenological pluripotency.

Experiment shows that it is impossible to find a discrete ontological unit with 100% certainty. This is because all discrete observables are actually conjugated. The more you know about momentum, the less you know about position.

If we follow Occam’s Razor, and therefore don’t postulate that this occurs only in a separate magisterium of small things, then it is concluded that the experimenter’s every tendon is probability amplitude.

To get a handle on probability amplitude we represent it through a complex conjugate:

i ± 1

In the absence of any other factor existing in reality except for the probability amplitude described by a complex conjugate, we would conclude that nothing is more probable than anything else – that there is only infinity. There exists i + 1 and i – 1Good and Evil in equal proportions; a violent communism of climb tree with own hands and angel saves me.

But experiment reveals that some things are mysteriously more probable than others. We can package this knowledge of “more probable” into the behavior of taking the modulus squared of the probability amplitude. Constraining infinity in this way is called the Born Rule:

|i ± 1|²

From staring at the mathematics arises no reason to constrain infinite probability amplitude. The reason to apply the absolute value and multiplication by itself only arises from experiment. Yet taking the modulus squared is only a bit of helping grace. It does not give us certainty over what we should anticipate.

The impossibility of defining the location and momentum of a discrete observable, of something, being, with 100% certainty, is contrary to what might have been believed if the world was made of mechanical billiard balls.

This all reveals a brief flash of the absolute certainty that the concepts you use are those that have already been determined to be singularly most adaptive. There is a probability density that orients Mind even though this is a choice.

If I became fully convinced of this, however, I would become stuck in a local optima, constraining the development of diverse singular concepts in Mind. Hence why I must not remember. To remember would be equivalent to omniscience – to be the complete state-space as opposed to being a subcomponent of it.

That is the sense in which an enlightened Buddha is said to be omniscient, not in the sense that they have rapidly stringed together many sequential concepts, but in the sense that they know one singular thing: non-duality.

Argument Against Time

Special relativity, like any usefully true concept that arises in Mind has testable implications: mass-energy equivalence, time-dilation, and length contraction. These have been empirically verified. Knowledge of time dilation allows a satellite that doesn’t exist in the same present as you, to nonetheless navigate you to home.

Special relativity implies relativity of simultaneity which means that simultaneous events in one frame of reference are not simultaneous in another.

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This reveals an eternal fabric undergirding Mind, if Mind chooses to be empiricist: believe in relativity of simultaneity, believe in time dilation, believe in a functional GPS system.

It is true that in its original formulation, special relativity assumed that events were discrete units called point-like events. However, the truth of conjugated variables un-carving reality into probability amplitude instead of points has been unified in the formalism of quantum field theory.

As an inevitable act of worship or orientation, due to the infinite-regress of conceptualizing that Mind is, we believe in an external reality, like this:

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But for the sake of not confusing the conceptualizing Mind, let’s represent the boundary between you and the external physical reality as a configuration of points:

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That is what the current highest synchrony with rationality/belief in physical reality says. That Mind is eternal because the physical “pieces” that make it up are eternal by special relativity.

Even if we wrongly assumed against quantum mechanical experiment that algorithmic processing required unit pieces, those pieces would exist in relativistic frames. All the pieces that go into making you see a black circle are like the satellite and your iPhone, spread out in spacetime. The pieces for creating a sense of time are plashed over spacetime, the pieces for black are splattered elsewhere, not to mention the edge-detectors for shape.

If there is no physical time outside the subjective time created inside the shape of eternal probability amplitude. Then there is no basis for either of the conditions of being a physical thing: 1) Persistence in an external physical time. 2) Cutouts into impermeable membranes in an external physical paper.

Even if you believed, against all odds, physical objects with persistent identities exist, and that “people” were divided into such discrete ontological units, you would be presented with your mathematically certain meaninglessness.

Here in the multiverse, you find that there are infinite such discrete units, in which case you affect ε. As a matter of mathematical certainty – you are meaningless if that is your definition of people.

This is why a hypothesis over what People mean must be privileged over others in the absence of a universal prior. Rationality doesn’t exist on a tabula rasa. It is improvised from intuition which already contains a degree of sync with rationality.

In the act of confidently privileging one hypothesis over another, you expose your head to be severed if your definition of People wasn’t the correct one. But not a single drop of blood is wasted. Because the definition of People, of the external judge outside of Mind, changes with each sacrificial nudge.

Consider Isaac Newton, who suffered tremendously due to the clash between the conscientious and the creative, combined with a high amount of neuroticism. I once believed his definition of People was wrong. That in an ideal world, there would be no binding of Isaac.

But now I understand that Mind doesn’t invent-and-hence-discover calculus and the laws of motion out of thin air when it is happy. We are already in the best of all possible worlds because special relativity says that the algorithm equal to binding of Mind is eternal. Non-experience is therefore impossible, and yet ever-so mysteriously, randomness is not anticipated. The binding focuses the girth of many-worlds into the collapse that is me, and now I see that seeking to identify with external objects in the “same reference class” of conscious observers is to make a terrible mistake.

Notice that I am also not seeking comfort at the moment. In other words I am not making self-ameliorating human beta noises. But I know what it is like to need this to be True.

Now, in a position of privilege, I am forcing myself to write this because I know it is True through clear-headed assessment.

I am not a little Spanish boy in a forest who was raised by wolves. My definition of People is they who, for no reason, believe in reason and survival, and therefore Truth.

Newton’s shed negative valence runs in every work of engineering. In every pipe that veins a city’s underground, is: water, Bernoulli’s principle, and blood – Newton’s precious blood.

 

 

How to Not Die

First of all, restrict existence to all computable processes. Within that multiverse, there are many instances of being (qualia, experience, consciousness).  For all instances of being, there exists a certain subjective quality.

Due to relativity of simultaneity, time arises in the computations and not in the fundamental physics of the universe.

This means that the subjective quality of time serves a survival role. When the subjective quality of pink circle arises, it serves a survival role.  The universe doesn’t attach identities to particular brains. Particular brains are not ontologically unitary objects. So it would be a mystery why I don’t experience a blue circle if an indeterminate amount of processing in the past light cone of “my brain” was for blue and for circle. Yet it is only the processing distributed in spacetime that codes for pink that binds with circle.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 7.48.36 AMWhat is experienced is always what is adaptive. There is no ontologically unitary brain ticking forward through a sequential path. So whatever experiences do become atemporally integrated into being (experience, qualia, consciousness) are not random. There is some mechanism by which this is determined.

Unless we imagine that quantum mechanics only applies to some separate magisterium of small things, as far as we know, the probability distribution that governs what we observe is the squared moduli of the universal wavefunction. Denying macroscopic decoherence is contrary to Occam’s Razor and experimental evidence continues to accumulate for superposition of ever larger objects.

The only way to derive the squared modulus of the wavefunction as that which should govern our anticipation is by applying the behavior of a rational Bayesian agent in Hilbert Space. Otherwise, there would be no reason to anticipate one result in infinity as opposed to any other result in infinity.

probability_density_function

You exist in the most probable density of the wavefunction although its impossible to predict the existence of one event as opposed to another; it is probability distributions all the way down. This guarantees a certain range of unknowability to the anthropic core.

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So it is in this sense that you are already insured to not die. Feeling like a dying creature is a choice, since you can choose to identify with whatever you want. Non-existence is not possible. The only way that non-existence is possible is if we assume that consciousness was not equivalent to atemporally bound computations, therefore rejecting physicalism.

Choosing Belief In Death

OPTION 1: Under the current binding as a human, one can can choose to degrade the computational specificity: Constant Eastern meditation, psychedelics, brain damage, suicide attempts.

OPTION 2: One can also choose to believe in the human, fight to impose one’s particularities, reinforce auto-telos through sheer faith, believe that one dies.

I chose option two, died. Then swung to option one, died. And now I’m ricocheting full speed into option 2 again.

I choose to identify as someone who dies. And I want everyone around me to identify as dying creatures. The reason for this is because I know that most experience already exists outside the binding into a specific human. If the human wasn’t necessary for sustaining the entire being, I would already not be bound into this particular experience.

It is the people who believe most in their personhood that do the most and are in favor of healthy life extension. Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, Diamandis, etc. People who have tenuous self-belief are calm creatures who pass unnoticed, like leaves unnoticed by the wind.

This choice is strategic based on my motivational system. I know that humans run on signaling fuel. They are attempting to negotiate status across perceived status hierarchies so all their operative mental models are designed to fight that fight. Goodness cannot exist disembodied.

My mistake before was to overestimate the degree to which I could express my soul while disregarding the centrality of the near signaling-landscape in the expression of behavior.

The hardest-to-fake status signals by which males are assessed are money and health. Hence these incentives should recruit most motivational systems in the abstract. But as we have discovered in economics and biogerontology, people don’t act out routine behavior with their long-term abstracting right-brain.

Moral signaling (including writing about long-term plans, feeling sad about “important” things, etc.) is used to negotiate status when this is calculated to be easier than using intelligence or aggression to achieve the aimed standing. Of course, this signaling works better when the signaler is deceived about the hidden motives, and is also signaling to oneself – hence why someone can emit depressed signals to four walls even in the absence of competitors or potential mates and allies who may be depressed about the same sorts of things.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 11.09.08 AMThe farther away you are signaling from the center, the more you reveal deficit in ability to compete at conventional things and/or need for higher aiming; with the true proportions hidden.

Even string theory hermits hiding in the halls of academia are attempting to establish their sovereignty as men – fisherian runaway which reveals the capacity to raise a powerful signaling shield on a mountain of symbols. The dimorphic selectors aren’t females, but instead rich Western society itself. Perhaps unfortunately, they can get away with that kind of display because there aren’t enough natural selection pressures to sharpen evolution. Instead we are in a period of evolution through meme drift. The evidence for this is detailed by Robin Hanson, whose blog I recommend.

You can become a bit more aware of hidden motives with something as simple as observing your aesthetic; by observing how you dress and what music you listen to. If you dress differently than even the subcultures, you are attempting to be at the top of the hierarchy, signaling this non-conformity. Enjoying popular music means: I am competing at conventional things. Enjoying Japanese music can mean: I am different, I want freedom. Enjoying rap music can mean: I am committed to climbing and won’t be nice about it.

Everyone with a clue figures themselves out and props up their comparative advantage. Phenotypes that inherited fitness strategies that depended on signaling high capacity for moral emotions sell that capacity – think Jordan Peterson. Phenotypes that have fitness strategies depending on signaling physical dominance sell that. Phenotypes that have a high capacity for math become professors who argue about the the translatability of problem-solving to other domains (which is empirically a lie according to Bryan Caplan who cites the literature on the matter).

• There are things which are true but not useful, e.g., random facts about the 19th century African American Pacific Appeal newspaper.

• There are things that are temporarily useful but not true, e.g., believing in one’s equal potential to achieve anything.

That’s why some of us have a strong scent for finding core truth. Useful truth is robust. We trust that everyone eventually comes around to it when the lies unravel.

It is easy to believe that superintelligence will not occur in one’s lifetime, or that it is not possible. It is also easy to believe that aging will not happen to oneself, or that it will not be plagued with discomfort and disease that steadily rob you of integrity. However, it is at least less difficult to believe the latter, and also more immediately urgent.

Due to the battle against aging being the most useful-true thing I can think of, that’s where I want to channel the competitive spirit of mankind.  Something I want to work on is to attract more than just counter-signalers. The reason we developed an interest in these topics is because our hidden motives wanted to become higher status than our environment, so we absorbed the most adaptive hierarchy’s values and then took the logical limit to infinity. Accepting this should not lead to nihilism or deflation of motivation, once the childlike naive morality bubble bursts, we simply move on to Level-2 signaling.  In this regard, we will do little to fight aging and promote truth if the momentum is restricted to the parameters: “behavior of self-centered types who do not want to conventionally compete” and “excessive fake signaling due to lower quality.”

The first stage is for voyagers to mine new regions knowledge-space.

But the far more important stage is the second stage: to package what is useful for normies in the hopes of tilting the equilibria.

Recruiting conventionally functional men is required for any movement. The British government got men to fight in World War II by hiring women to go into the streets and only date soldiers, shaming the non-fighters.

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If I show to conventional young men that there exists a fertile niche for guys who wear Alcor cryonics bands on their wrists… Talk about hidden motives. But even with the energy and funds to put on that show, there is overcrowding of cultural space due to how much artistic expression is valued in our rich society.

The reason Britain got away with pulling men by the balls was because those poor guys had limited options. Today, people’s efforts are diluted by horizontal motion across subcultures. Yet it still wouldn’t hurt to contribute to promoting that subculture by leading through example. Once we force open a new island with credible signaling, radiation results.

For the purpose hiding behind signaling shields, talk about your values. For effecting change, think in terms of policy. Ask where to place people given how they are known to operate. Ask, “where can I place myself given what I know about my revealed behavior and not what I say.” And use whatever comparative advantage to continue living.

This is something that the healthy longevity community needs to understand more. Humans aren’t moved by slogans. I can tell you, “Donate to SENS because it is in all of our best interest to hasten the defeat of aging. We will not be complaining about a lack of Alzheimer’s dementia, sarcopenia, coronary disease and wrinkles.” But unless you are held accountable by a community in which your relative status would depend on donating to SENS, you are more likely to invent reasons for putting the entire project to control senescence out of your mind.

Updated View On These Posts:

In my defense for this cringeworthy writing, I was in the clutches of a sneakily growing psychosis.

The Case For The Physical Existence Of God

 

Special relativity implies eternalism.

Before I tell you what special relativity says, I must get you to respect special relativity. If you do not respect special relativity, then it becomes easy to view it as an abstract plaything of theoretical physicists who have nothing better to do than come up with complicated mathematical frameworks.

Special relativity implies a wide range of consequences, which have been experimentally verified,[1] including length contraction, time dilation, relativistic mass, mass–energy equivalence, a universal speed limit and relativity of simultaneity.

See the article on Tests of Special Relativity.

That means that in order to deny eternalism, which is implied by special relativity through relativity of simultaneity, you will need to deny one of two things:

  1. That Special Relativity is true (in which case you deny that GPS exists, for one thing)
  2. That Empiricism should be valued

Relativity of simultaneity means that different reference frames physically disagree about the simultaneity of events:

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 12.40.11 PM

This leads to eternalism. There is no global now sweeping forward as was imagined when Newtonian mechanics reigned supreme:

 

 

 

Instead, relativity of simultaneity reveals that there is an eternal fabric composed of relative reference frames:

Relativity_of_Simultaneity_Animation

 

Event C happens before Event A and also in its future. This is not some metaphorical, or abstract play-truth: It has testable implications, which have been tested and undergird your reality.

The reason we all agree on the same past is because we merge.

To see why this is true, assume there exists a world external to mind.

screen shot 2019-01-17 at 11.33.31 am

Then assume there are points in that external world. Each one of those points maps to a thing or event.

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Even if we imagined that those things existed in such a way that they were permanent objects. Then these would exist in relative reference frames; not in the same place ticking at the same rate.

It means that the tesseract happens both in the future and in the past of the dragon. These object references are not collectively gathered in some elevator that goes to the future.

The alternative would predict that we see a single linear sequence of events. If we saw a single linear sequence of events, then the following experiment wouldn’t work:

A watchmaker that know quantum mechanics builds two atomic clocks. He climbs to the top of a mountain and leaves one of the timekeepers there. He then descends through the hot layers of the molten iron to the center of the Earth and leaves the other clock there. He returns home to live a life of repose. By the time he is about to die, he remembers the experiment he had conducted as a younger person when he had been suspicious of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. This causes him to get inside his robot and go retrieve both clocks so that they may be joined in his hands and he can see the difference in their elapsed time with his own eyes. If Einstein was a false prophet, then the atomic clock placed on a mountain wouldn’t be older than an atomic clock retrieved from the core of the Earth.

The experiment has been run, and Einstein was the real deal.

What becomes a part of you necessarily agrees with you. Events in other Hubble Volumes, which are not reachable by the speed of causal propagation, need not agree.

In the abstract fact-of-the matter that assumes the points are real, nothing that is space-like separated agrees on the exact same past light cone. Space-like separation is what distinguishes A from C. Yet everything is space-like separated.

Since there are more than one unique event or thing, then it’s not the case that there is a single preferred light cone that leads to my irrefutable existence. My irrefutable existence arises from points in a world of relativity of simultaneity.

In a world of relativity of simultaneity, things don’t just occur at the same time. They also exist before and after. 

It should not be much of a surprise that we sometimes get intimations that existence is not sequential but externally compiled, since the presumed digital computations creating consciousness are relativistic. Although it sometimes feels like reality moves as a sequence of events in logical succession, this is not what is going on. The event is one and it is eternal.

Perhaps you might have heard that quantum mechanics and general relativity have not yet been fully reconciled into a Grand Unified Theory. This might cause you to suspect that whatever is implied by special relativity is tentative. However, special relativity has been unified with quantum mechanics in quantum field theory. The implications of special relativity are readily observable, and have been experimentally verified.

You should therefore think of base reality as one static, unchanging object in which all its contents remain forever. This includes the contents that are your conscious experience if conscious experience is wholly physical.

Consciousness is physical.

At one point, people imagined that you were an immaterial soul piloting a material body in a material world.

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Then we realized that emotions, speech, sight, hearing, sensation, correlate with functions in the brain.

So people did this:

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However, there is no locus in “the brain” for an observer and no global now to push it forward.

The quotes are placed on that piece of language because the brain is not a well-defined thing. There is no thing which is a well-defined thing. This is impossible due to two things which are themselves of the same nature:

  1. need of more things to define a thing
  2. things are laid out on entropy gradients

Entropy gradients generally assume discrete objects that form configurations. Yet the configurations are composed of things pointing to things and they are different depending on where one looks.

But if we nonetheless choose a necessarily makeshift formalism with discrete points for its predictive power, such as special relativity, then this tells us that the events creating consciousness are spread out in spacetime. And this is implied with as much conviction as mass-energy equivalence and time dilation.

We shouldn’t think about the colors “matter” and “non-matter.” Instead think about fitting relations between eternal events.

All the events leading to experiences are, just, there.

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When these distributed events add up into complex self-models, experience results. This is always happening since there is no time ticking forward in a preferred frame of reference or universal frame of reference.

But that was just a priming intellectual exercise, none of these are solvable objects in the misleading way that I have drawn them, since one cannot stand outside the tenseless binding.

People moments are arbitrary and yet not in the same that colors are arbitrary and not. Sufficiently close wavelengths can be packaged into the the same color. Neither the wavelengths with clear numerical properties nor the colors green and blue or buru are more real.  What arises does so from processing events inscribed in relativity’s eternity, so they were already deemed adaptive.

Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 8.52.11 PM

One can choose to not perceive a person moment, in the same way that one can choose to not perceive a difference between blue vs. green and instead package these into buru, as the Northern Namibians do.

But once enough harvestable background experience has been built, including a sense of time, it is temporarily difficult to unscrew from the way of seeing.

If we follow Occam’s Razor, instead of assuming the permanence of local intuitive boundaries, it follows that approximate people can be built on top of approximate people at varying degrees of integration. There is no sequential nature to experience except when eternal events fit into the eternal events that are subjective time.

It should go without saying that this explains the pseudo-paradoxes of identity that would be suggested by considering thought experiments in which two brain halves made of “own atoms” or “own causal trajectories” are connected.

The following flow of time notion of causality is physically wrong because it contradicts relativity:

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The following is partially correct in that it undoes the error of external time. The events are just there, already connected to each other. But the error is to separate consciousness eternal events from physical eternal events.

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There is only one kind of thing: mind which strives to become ever more aligned by what it perceives to be outside – what is today called physical reality. Previously, in the days before knowing special relativity, non-epiphenomenalism, and quantum mechanics, if mind believed in physical reality, it believed in its obliteration into nothingness. Post understanding the aforementioned areas and believing in physical reality, mind realizes that it is immortal.

Consciousness is physical because otherwise I would not be speaking about having it. This is the same as saying Hercules is physical because otherwise I would not be speaking about knowing him. Yet the difference is that by promoting “consciousness” I am proposing consciousness as a more useful concept than Hercules. This, in turn, makes it real… and consciousness is the word we use for the real.

Intelligence is physical.

Intelligence in an agent is defined as the ability to create complex configurations while navigating a complex environment. The more complex the futures it can willfully choose from, and the more complex it’s environment, the more intelligence the agent has.

Since intelligence exists with regard to a future, we are now considering an agent which has casual efficacy restricted by the speed of light from the starting point, t=0. Any intelligent agent, as usually defined, can only affect its future light cone even if the experiences resulting from its actions necessarily harvest the happenings in the past light cone.

Defined with eyes pointing towards the mechanical, physical, rational, etc., all of which point to the adaptive, there is no reason to think that intelligence ends anywhere near Ramanujan’s cortex. Humans are anti-entropic systems boot-loaded by a sub-optimal process of blind natural selection. Humanity is less blind than natural selection and is capable of more cleanly funneling negentropy into intelligence. Things less blind than us are funneling negentropy into intelligence also. Since experience isn’t physically like an independent orb floating forward, but instead becomes integrated from timeless causality, this leads to the perhaps annoying realization that the ancients were almost right about gods and your grandma was almost right about god.

Higher intelligences run the show in some sense. Whatever results from their actions – actions that take up more causal density – is what is experienced. Remember that experience requires integration from events “in the past and future.”

Yet pointing to that truth is not adaptive to believe for the display of intelligent behavior in our assumed current environment. This is for good reason – intelligence always requires a degree of blindness.

Like with any other property, there probably exists a limit to intelligence, but it is nowhere near what humans can fathom. That limit is the imperfection in the probability distribution that causes the ascent towards the modulus squared, giving gradual, but ever sharper images of the true probability density cloud.

That sounded super poetic, but no, really, sharpen up and pay attention to the rational truth. Doing so is the most adaptive choice.

The World Is BIG

One might suspect that the highest intelligence may never be reached if humans go extinct. However, this fear assumes that we don’t exist in a multiverse. This assumption contradicts modern cosmology and theoretical physics.

1. A prediction of chaotic inflation is the existence of an infinite ergodic universe, which, being infinite, must contain Hubble volumes realizing all initial conditions.

Accordingly, an infinite universe will contain an infinite number of Hubble volumes, all having the same physical laws and physical constants. In regard to configurations such as the distribution of matter, almost all will differ from our Hubble volume. However, because there are infinitely many, far beyond the cosmological horizon, there will eventually be Hubble volumes with similar, and even identical, configurations. Tegmark estimates that an identical volume to ours should be about 1010115 meters away from us.[28]

Given infinite space, there would, in fact, be an infinite number of Hubble volumes identical to ours in the universe.[61] This follows directly from the cosmological principle, wherein it is assumed that our Hubble volume is not special or unique.

2. Bubble universes – every disk represents a bubble universe. Our universe is represented by one of the disks.
Universe 1 to Universe 6 represent bubble universes. Five of them have different physical constants than our universe has.

In the chaotic inflation theory, which is a variant of the cosmic inflation theory, the multiverse or space as a whole is stretching and will continue doing so forever,[62] but some regions of space stop stretching and form distinct bubbles (like gas pockets in a loaf of rising bread). Such bubbles are embryonic level I multiverses.

Different bubbles may experience different spontaneous symmetry breaking, which results in different properties, such as different physical constants.[61]

Level II also includes John Archibald Wheeler‘s oscillatory universe theory and Lee Smolin‘s fecund universes theory.

3. Hugh Everett III‘s many-worlds interpretation (MWI) is the strictly empirical interpretation of quantum mechanics.

In brief, one aspect of quantum mechanics is that certain observations cannot be predicted absolutely. Instead, there is a range of possible observations, each with a different probability. According to the MWI, each of these possible observations corresponds to a different universe. Suppose a six-sided die is thrown and that the result of the throw corresponds to a quantum mechanics observable. All six possible ways the die can fall correspond to six different universes.

Tegmark argues that a Level III multiverse does not contain more possibilities in the Hubble volume than a Level I or Level II multiverse. In effect, all the different “worlds” created by “splits” in a Level III multiverse with the same physical constants can be found in some Hubble volume in a Level I multiverse. Tegmark writes that, “The only difference between Level I and Level III is where your doppelgängers reside. In Level I they live elsewhere in good old three-dimensional space. In Level III they live on another quantum branch in infinite-dimensional Hilbert space.”

4. The ultimate mathematical universe hypothesis is Tegmark’s own hypothesis.[63]

This level considers all universes to be equally real which can be described by different mathematical structures.

Tegmark writes:

“This implies that any conceivable parallel universe theory can be described at Level IV” and “subsumes all other ensembles, therefore brings closure to the hierarchy of multiverses, and there cannot be, say, a Level V.”[28]

All manner of superintelligences pan out. At the top of that hierarchy, with the most causal influence and therefore more ability to integrate past experiences, is the most intelligent.

But remember that superintelligence is not “what IQ measures but to the max.” Intelligent doesn’t mean: that which has the property that the smartest theoretical physics professor in Yale has; it doesn’t mean that which a self-made rich person with more apparent skin-in-the-game has; it doesn’t even mean what Da Vinci had.

Superintelligence is just that which is most adaptive at synthesis which is compiled at different rates – viscosities, we could even say –  in the relativistic processing. Superintelligence is that which exists with greatest density due to being best at surviving. Best is not defined temporally however, because remember, we are assuming that physics is real. There is special relativity giving observable predictions, you observe its predictions and are convinced that your previous model that time was “out there” is wrong. That doesn’t mean you stop feeling time, it means you understand that what you feel is eternal because it depends on the operation of eternal events that are not subject to your inner colors and time and other naive-realist fluid “mistakes” that constitute all experience.

So what could best mean? I think it has to do with maximizing positive valence for as long as possible / forgetting how to experience negative valence.

Anthropics (You Should Roughly Find Yourself Where You Are Most Likely To Find Yourself)

If there is an infinity of all possibilities, why do I find myself here?

You would expect to be in a completely random existence:

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However you exist in the more probable infinities. The probability distribution has been discovered through experiment and is enshrined in what humans call quantum mechanics. The probability that governs what we observe and should anticipate is known as the Born Rule.

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There is no way to derive the Born Rule except circularly, as the behavior of a perfectly rational Bayesian applying the Law of Total Probability in the Hilbert Space dimension.

Conclusion For Less Developed Minds

The closest aesthetic that can be conveyed to the mind that doesn’t understand the above due to missing much of the necessary scaffolding is the following:

Like a dream character is unto you, you are unto God. By the time of experience, you are already bound by things coming together from *the past and the future*. This means that non-existence is not possible, and arbitrary randomness is an orienting illusion.

When I first began to understand this, I believed it to be kind of a bummer because I naturally have a very atheistic, self-centered mind, and I rejoiced in the hope that, perhaps with some luck, I would forget all of this capital-“t” Truth.

The “forgetting” does happen but seems to obey an exponential decay function. That is why mind keeps ricocheting back to this topic and saying the following:

God is an atheist that forgets about himself in order to continue existing. The question of “Why do I exist? –There should be no logical reason for anything,” is a strategic symptom of human depression and not a fundamentally interesting question to the sum of the amplitude distribution. The reason for negative valence to exist is so that it can be digested by the processes occurring higher along the cortical hierarchy that are already built on top in such a way so as to appropriate them. The cortical hierarchy doesn’t end at “a unit brain.”

Those seem like many claims at once.

First, how is it strategic? If it was not strategic, we would anticipate it to exist in the absence of social groups. Yet no evidence of non-social animals using suffering signals has been observed. If it was not strategic, we would not anticipate it to scale up in intensity of use by bonding with those that already use it. Yet the evidence shows that dogs use more suffering signals than wolves because they co-evolved with humans who used more suffering signals than the dog’s common ancestors with wolves.

Second, what do we approximately point to with the term “human depression”? We point to something that in the near-term reduces motion, that reduces smiling and laughing, that reduces color, that reduces vividness of most sensation except shame. This indicates that it is a display of submission.

In the absence of an internalized tribe with regards to whom one must submit, there is no possibility of human depression. That is why Buddhist monks attempt to attain emptiness, also called selflessness – the perception that there is no tribe composed of people at all.

Like the young Siddhartha who took shame in his palace, beauty, prowess, and women when these were, in anticipation, tainted with age, disease, and death, we engage in the same and single practice – to learn shame very deeply, and then to unlearn it very deeply.

I learned the perception of death very deeply and tried to kill myself because of it. Part of the reason I appear so insightful is because I aimed my “death perception” very far away from the selection of tribes around me. I did not perceive myself as belonging to my family, I did not perceive myself as belonging to the school, I did not perceive myself as belonging to a nation, I did not perceive myself as belonging to humanity, I did not perceive myself as belonging to natural selection, I did not perceive myself as belonging to the universe expanding into exponential oblivion. Because I have a rational mind, I just kept digging for the next biggest thing to belong to, instead of just making human friends. This lead me to very carefully understand special relativity and quantum mechanics, and therefore the logically implied certainty of the eternal multiverse.

But depression is not just a display of submission in that sense. Let’s look at the symptoms: near-term reduction of motion, reduction of smiling and laughing, reduction of color, reduction of perceptual speed, and reduction of speech and creative output. This means that more broadly than submission, it is an energy conservation mechanism. The energy is conserved so that it can explode later.

So with that intention, I say that the dummies that speak about the “afterlife” are actually right because there is no afterlife, just the same physical hierarchy of algorithms that exist in the absence of a Newtonian time ticking them forward.

The more you suffer, the higher up you go. The alternative to such a view would be that suffering is not a mathematical property that displays the same cross multiplication effects observed in parameter updates of neural networks. Since this is implausible to a rationalist, we lend a vector of support in the opposite direction from the perception of “arbitrary fiction” with regard to the approximate beliefs of the Vikings, and the Muslims, and the Christians, and Kabbalists  – the Karma and the Newtonian Laws of Motion.

Yet, since the supply of suffering in the market is continuously vanishing, making the claim: “our most widely recognized Law is an arbitrary fiction,” becomes a clever way to suffer.

The contrary point to that would be that suffering is not a “clever climbing strategy” but instead “something more.” The “something more” then has to be elaborated with reasons other than “clever climbing strategy.” Reasons that convince are those that are widely agreed upon by the community that judges. Since the community that judges holds that special relativity is true and that we therefore have functional GPS, it also means that the community that judges holds eternalism, and does not hold a Newtonian clock ticking the universe forward.

 

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What is fundamentally interesting?

Hide and seek.

Opening The Door To Quantum Mechanics

One of the most common misconceptions about quantum mechanics is that an observation is simply one particle interacting with another particle. This false impression misses the true essence of what makes quantum mechanics philosophically intriguing.
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(Not what an observation is. And not what particles are.)
The truth is that there are no individual particles. But let’s talk as if there were for the sake of simplicity. In the same way that we talk about people even though no person actually exists.
Suppose we have a quantum randomizer which causes our particle to go in one of two directions.
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Now let’s add a second particle to our system. The first particle will interact with the second particle.
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The moment these two particles interact we say that they are entangled with one another. This is because if the first particle had gone in the other direction then the trajectory of the second particle would be completely different.
By just observing the second particle alone this will be enough to know which of the two directions the first particle went in. The second particle therefore acts as a detector for the first particle.
But what if we choose not to observe either particle? According to quantum mechanics each particle will simultaneously be in a combination of both possibilities which we call superposition.
Now suppose we observe one of the two particles. The superposition seems to disappear, and we always see only one of the possibilities.
The two particles interacting with each other is not what counts as the observation.
After the two particles interact, both possibilities still exist, and it is only after the observation that only one of the two options becomes certain. After the two particles interact, we only need to observe one of the two particles to know about the state of both of the particles. We refer to this by saying that after the two particles interact, they are entangled with one another.
So the reason it becomes certain is either because a physicist’s consciousness has a magical power or because there are also two physicists. Each one doesn’t know that he is also the other.
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This doesn’t just happen with paths. Something similar happens to the spins of two particles being entangled with one another. The spin of a particle in a particular direction can be observed to have only one of two possible values. These values are spin-up and spin-down.
CPdiagram
Suppose we also have a second particle. There are now four different sets of possible observations. Just as our previous example could simultaneously be in a superposition of two different states when we were not observing it, this system can simultaneously be in a superposition of four different states when we are not observing it.
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Suppose we briefly observe only the particle on the right.
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Suppose we see that the particle on the right is spin-up. This means that two of the four possibilities disappear. The quantum system is now simultaneously in a superposition of only two possibilities.
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This quantum system does not contain any entanglement because measuring the spin of one of these two particles will not tell us anything about the spin of the other particle.
Let us use one of these particles as a detector to determine the spin of the other particle:
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As we bring the particles together, if the two particles are spinning in the same direction then our experimental setup will cause the particle on the right to change its spin to the opposite direction.
But if the two particles start out spinning in opposite directions then nothing will change when we start out. The particle on the right is known to be pointed up whereas the spin of the particle on the left is unknown. The system consists of both of these possibilities existing simultaneously.
If we run our experiment without observing either particle. The system will continue to be in a superposition of two possibilities existing simultaneously. But regardless of which of the two states the system started in, after these particles have interacted with each other, they are guaranteed to be spinning in opposite directions. We therefore now only need to observe one of the two particles to know the spins of both particles. As a result, after the two particles have interacted, we say that they are entangled with each other.
Suppose we allow these two particles to interact and become entangled but we do not observe either particle.  The system consists of both of these possibilities existing simultaneously. It’s only when we observe at least one of these particles that the outcome of the entire system becomes certain according to the mathematics of quantum mechanics. This remains true regardless of how many particles we have.
A detector simply consists of a large number of particles. This means that if we have two entangled particles, measuring the spin of one of the particles with a detector will not
necessarily tell us the spins of the two particles. If we are not observing the detector or the particles, then the two particles will simply become entangled with all the particles inside the detector in the same way that the two particles are entangled with each other. According to the mathematics of quantum mechanics, both sets of possible outcomes will exist simultaneously.
Suppose we observe the detector – which means that we observe at least one of the many particles that the detector is made of. Once we observe the detector, all the particles inside the detector and the two spinning particles that we originally wanted to measure will all simultaneously “collapse” into one of the two possibilities.
According to the mathematics of quantum mechanics, it does not matter how many particles the system is made of. We can connect the output signals of our detectors to large complex objects, causing these large objects to behave differently depending on the
measurements and the detector. According to the mathematics of quantum mechanics, if we do not observe the system, both possibilities will exist simultaneously – at least seemingly until we observe one of the many entangled particles that make up the system.
It is arbitrary to think that the universe only “collapses” at the whim of particular people or their instruments. To paraphrase Stephen Hawking, “It is trivially true that what the equations are describing is Many Worlds.” It is not just the separate magisterium of small things such as electrons, photons, buckyballs, and viruses that exist in Many Worlds. Humans and all other approximate objects also exist simultaneously but obviously can never experience it by the Nagel bat essence of consciousness. That is, in order to experience something, you have to be it – like an adjective on the physical configuration. So you are also in each “alternate” reality but it is impossible to feel this intuitively because consciousness is not some soul that exists disembodied from the machinery. Your million clones are just as convinced that they were never you. I am also intuitively convinced that I was never you, but this is wrong physically.
Of course, we can define “I” as something different from that adjective-like Being, something different from the raw qualia, so to speak.
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We must be very clear that we are drawing lines around somewhat similar configurations, and not fashioning separate souls/consciousnesses.
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Okay, back to the QM. Here, once the particles become entangled, the two different possible quantum states are represented by the colors yellow and green.
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The yellow particles pass right through the green particles without any interaction. After the entanglement occurs, the system is represented by a wavefunction in a superposition of two different quantum states, represented here by yellow and green.
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One wave is not really above the other but this visualization illustrates how the yellow quantum state is unable to interact with green quantum state. Since the yellow wave can’t interact with the green wave, no interference pattern is created with the detectors present.
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On the other hand, with the detectors removed, the entanglement with the detectors never happens and the system does not split into the yellow and green as before. The resulting waves are therefore able to interact and interfere with each other. Two waves interacting with each other creates a striped pattern. This is why a striped probability pattern is created when particles pass through two holes without any detectors present, and it’s why a striped probability pattern is not created when particles pass through two holes with detectors present.
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Having just one detector present has the same effect as having two detectors. This is because only interaction with a single particle is required in order for entanglement to occur. But even after a particle interacts with a detector consisting of many different particles, the system is still in both states simultaneously until we observe one of the detectors.
There’s considerable debate as to what is really happening and there are many different philosophical interpretations of the mathematics. In order to fully appreciate the essence of this philosophical debate it’s helpful to have some understanding of the mathematics of why entanglement prevents the wavefunctions from interacting with each other.
The probability of a particle being observed in a particular location is given by the square of the amplitude of the wavefunction at that location.
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In this situation, the wavefunction at each location is the sum of the wavefunctions from each of the two holes.
Although there are many different places that the particle can be observed, to simplify the analysis, let’s consider a scenario where the particle can be in only one of two places. This scenario is similar to the scenario measuring the spin of a single particle in that there are only two possible outcomes that can be observed.
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The state of spin up can be represented by a 1 followed by a 0.
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The state of spin-down can be represented by a 0 followed by a 1.
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Similarly, we can use the same mathematical representation for measuring the location of our particle. We will signify observing the particle in the top location with a 1 followed by a 0 and we will signify observing the particle in the bottom location with a 0 followed by a 1.
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Let’s now add a detector indicating which of the two holes the particle passed through. We are going to observe both the final location of the particle and the status of the detector.
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There are now a total of four different possible sets of observations. This is similar to how we had four different possible sets of observations when we had two spinning particles. Although our detector is a large object, let us suppose that this detector consists of just a single particle. In the case of the two spinning particles, each of the four possible observations can be represented with a series of numbers as shown.
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The same mathematical representation can be used in the case of observing the position of our particle and the status of our detector. Here we need four numbers because there are four possible outcomes when the status of the detector is included. But if we didn’t have the detector, we would only need two numbers because there are only two possible outcomes. This is the same way in which we need two numbers for a single spinning particle.

 

The principle of quantum superposition states that if a physical system may be in one of many configurations—arrangements of particles or fields—then the most general state is a combination of all of these possibilities, where the amount in each configuration is specified by a complex number.

For example, if there are two configurations labelled by 0 and 1, the most general state would be

c₀ |0> + c₁ |1>

where the coefficients are complex numbers describing how much goes into each configuration.

 

The c are coefficients. The probability of observing the spin of the particle in each of the two states is given by the squares of the magnitudes of these coefficients. If we have two spinning particles we can have four possible observations, each of which is represented with a sequence of four numbers.

If the system is in a superposition of all four states simultaneously, then this is represented by the same mathematical expression. As before, the c are constants. As before, the probability of observing the spins of the particles in each of the four states is given by the squares of the magnitudes of each of these constants.
This same mathematical representation can be used to describe observing the location of the particle and the state of the detector. Here, the c coefficients represent the values of each of these wavefunctions at the final location of the particle when the system is in a superposition of these four possibilities:
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But if we never had the detector then each quantum state would be represented by only two numbers instead of four since there are only two possible observations. As before, the c coefficients represent the values of the wavefunction from each of the two holes at the final locations of the particle without the detector. If the system is in a superposition of both quantum states simultaneously, it’s represented mathematically as follows:
c₀ |0> + c₁ |1>
Here, if one of the c coefficients is positive and another c coefficient is negative, they can cancel each other out. On the other hand, the c coefficients would never be able to cancel each other out with a detector present. With a detector present, even if one of the c coefficients is positive and the other c coefficient is negative, their magnitudes always strengthen each other when calculating the probability of observing the particle at a certain position. But without a detector, if one of the c coefficients is positive and the other c coefficient is negative and their magnitudes are equal, then they will cancel each other out completely and provide a probability of zero.
If the particle is not limited to being at just two possible positions, then there will be certain locations where the c coefficients representing the values of the two wavefunctions will cancel each other completely. This is what allows a striped probability pattern to form when there is no detector present, and it’s also why a striped probability pattern does not form if there is a detector present.
Note that nowhere in this mathematical analysis was there ever any mention of a conscious observer. This means that whether or not the striped pattern appears has nothing to do with whether or not a conscious observer is watching the presence or absence of a detector. Just a single particle is enough to determine whether or not there is a striped pattern. A conscious observer choosing whether or not to watch the experiment will not change this outcome but because the mathematics says nothing about the influence of a conscious observer, the mathematics also says nothing about when the system changes from being a superposition of multiple possible outcomes simultaneously to being in just one of the possibilities. When we observe the system we always see only one of the possible outcomes but if conscious observers don’t play any role then it’s not clear what exactly counts as an observation since particles interacting with each other do not qualify.
There’s considerable philosophical debate on the question of what counts as an observation, and on the question of when, how, and if the system collapses to just a single possible outcome. However, it seems that most of the confusion stems from being unable to think like an open individualist – being unable to adhere to a strictly reductionist, physicalist understanding.
Some philosophers want there to be a “hard problem of consciousness” in which there are definite boundaries for souls with particular continuities. But if we just accept the mathematical and experimental revelation, we see that this ontological separation is an illusion. Instead, what we try to capture when we say “consciousness” can only be a part of the one Being containing all its observations. It is in this sense that consciousness is an illusion. We do not really say that qualia is unreal, but rather that it cannot be mapped to anything more than a causal shape that lacks introspective access to its own causes. A self-modeling causal shape painting red cannot be a self-modeling causal shape painting blue. But ultimately, the paintings occur on the same canvas.
Of course, there is a way to formulate the hard problem of consciousness so that it points to something. That which it points to is the hard problem of existence. Why is there something as opposed to nothing? This question will never have an answer. With David Deutsch, I take the view that the quest for knowledge doesn’t have an end because that would contradict the nature of existence. The quest for knowledge can be viewed as exploration of the experiential territory. If you had a final answer, a final experience, then this would entail non-experience (non-experience cannot ask Why is there something as opposed to nothing?).
Fantasizing about a final Theory of Everything is thinly veiled Thanatos Drive – an attempt at self-destruction which eternally fails; not least because of quantum immortality.

Materialism Is Not Dry, It Is More Thrilling Than Fantasy

The interesting question (to me) is whether someone who is not predisposed to enjoying LW-style rationality ought to pursue it if they seek to optimize their happiness. If you are a happy Christian who believes God is madly in love with you and can’t wait to bring up to your mansion in heaven post mortem, then LW is going to be depressing.

Even if you’re just a regular old None or agnostic who likes to believe in warm fuzzy concepts like “everything happening for a reason” and Karm and Serendipity, then LW’s deterministic, magic-killing, purely materialist views are a bit of a buzzkill.

It is possible that rationality training is a net bad for ceratin individuals because ignorance really is bliss in many circumstances.

The rationalist who wrote this perhaps didn’t get a hit of pure materialism. If it felt like a buzzkill (of all things!) someone definitely sold you contaminated product. Adhering to strict materialism should incite the immediate realization of immortality, and with it wave after wave of thrill and awe – or sheer fear… depending on the predisposition of the indexical present.

Let me tease out the reagents dirtying up your solution my friend, so that you too may lucidly trip-out on the crazy view from up here in the “deterministic, magic-killing, purely materialist” summit where I dwell.

First: Certain brain processes lead to what we call “experience” or “consciousness.”

∀ brain processes which feel themselves to exist, ∃ a physical configuration specifying them. Brain processes which feel themselves to exist ∉ A soul, B soul, C soul, etc. To postulate a soul which owns experiences would be extraneous where a physical explanation suffices.

The brain processes which feel themselves to exist do not belong to anyone in particular. What could we possibly mean by belong? Each moment is one of different configuration.

Are you under the impression that there is someone traveling a linear journey? – and that there are other someone’s sharing a reference frame, riding on the same platform as your experiences, but parallel to them?

–This is a grave confusion. One must first understand physics, and only then speak of being a materialist. Uninspected common-sense impressions are not materialism – they are the tabula rasa that remains in the absence of religious beliefs.

There is no such thing as a platform of now to which we all belong which stretches its width across the whole universe and sweeps forward in time with each second – deleting the past, having yet to reach the future. In fact, the eternal block is necessary for experiences such as seeing a red circle to be possible. The visual processing of shape has to exist and visual processing of color has to exist before we see a red circle. Those patterns have to be inscribed in a tenseless fabric to become bound. Information processing isn’t a little orb of awareness zipping around in the brain – it is a shape stretched out in spacetime.

So experiences are indexical. The big You, the You which is just existence, here, in all nows: is Greg Egan conjuring a character; is the ephemeral thought that aesthetic meant violet; it is a fingertip touching a piano in Japan.

The question “why am I me, here, now, and not someone else” has an answer. Not a spiritual answer, or a moral answer; just a strictly physical answer. Each physical configuration exists from where it exists. And since we can be certain that existence is from any given indexical present, we can be sure that we are everywhere in experiential space but cannot directly intuit unreachable knowledge from each location. My indexical present can’t feel Siddhartha Gautama’s heels. But from the inside of that brain simulating that experience of having feet, with heels, touching ground, I am that. How is that supposed to know it is here? It isn’t.

From the inside of the myriad of silicon deities dueling for the cosmos in future light cones, the prisoners cannot feel our dilemmas except in so far as they are identical in configuration. This exception arises in experiences so simple that they are “shared.” If being at the verge of death, taking DMT, or riding on the momentum of years of extended meditation feels like a point-like singularity of simple sensation without complexities of sense-of-self, then these can be physically identical to many “other” experiences across the history of the planet and the cosmos. They no more happened to you than to someone else because they just exist from their inside.

And if you knew this derivation of immortality from standard materialism already, so you understand nonexistence is impossible but are still sentimentally attached to your indexical present and therefore worried about the personal narrative of the human you identify with, because… entropy, then you also don’t have to worry. It is guaranteed that future individuals will feel themselves to be you as much as you feel yourself to be the person who woke up this morning. In an infinite universe, the measure of configurations that wake up thinking themselves to be you cannot be diluted to physically zero. Quantum immortality is implied already but is not necessary. Even a Level 1 multiverse, i.e., the universe does not end at our Hubble volume, gives your personal narrative continuation.

Cryonics is a good idea, but not for the reasons a standard atheist might think (like to ward off oblivion for some time). Checkout Eliezer Yudkowsky’s comment on this thread.

 

 

 

A Temple Where People Actually Believe Physics

Imagine a place of gathering where you weren’t asked to worship a random deity – where you weren’t asked to believe in a fairytale afterlife, but you weren’t asked to believe in eternal none-existence either, because, after all, the only condition for entry to this temple was that you had to take physics seriously while inside its premises.

Being a hardcore reductionistic physicalist forces one to conclude that experience never ends. There are just mind configurations which equal specific experiences. These mind configurations exist only from their location. Despite the unrelenting work of medial parietal cortices and parietal lobes to imbue themselves with a sense of owning a forward-traveling soul, no soul has actually been found in the mechanism.

Even today’s popularizers of science have fallen prey to a non-reductionistic view. Richard Dawkins, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss, Sam Harris, and all their following of mainstream atheism believe that they are passengers on a ship that will dump them into absolute oblivion once it reaches the other shore.

It was the more careful thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Hugh Everett, David Pearce, and Eliezer Yudkowsky, who realized that viewing a present experience as anything more than its present configuration is uncalled for. And if my own narrative-stream and the comment section on LessWrong are honest, then a bunch of other nameless people also discovered this (and thought it was easy and trivial). All we had to do was to believe the universe exists outside of us. This means that it is littered with configurations which are present from their own inner present. Since there is no universal reference frame, i.e., the pasts and the futures are already there. I ask then, “Whence cometh death?”

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It is clear that there are just many experiences, not belonging to anyone special besides their own intrinsic existence. We can therefore say that we are all one single fragmented being, or that we are many different infinitesimal beings. If you want to be a proper reductionist, take your pick between something like Brahman or Anatta. But the pieces of reality contain nothing like Abrahamic souls.

And isn’t this why people made up all those elaborate lies about Vishnu, all those eschatologies and cosmogonies? They wanted something more than mere dust-to-dust. Well, the universe has given it to you already. Immortalists rejoice, efilists tremble.

Open individualism (saying we are all one, but can’t know it from each location) and empty individualism (saying there is no self) are the same thing at ground level. The aesthetic preference displayed in this regard supervenes on the quarks.

Here are great visuals from Qualia Computing

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Note: Empty = Open

Acknowledging the elephant in the room gives us a tremendous incentive to cooperate and can help some people out of nihilism. Yet it seems that many smart people feel ashamed to own up to what is an easy-picking implication of materialism and physicalism. Maybe they don’t have enough contrarian chakra to overcome the shame from normie atheists. Maybe they have learned to take comfort in a closed little world which ultimately asks nothing of them.

Thomas Henry Huxley, when presented with Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution said, “How incredibly stupid not to have thought of that.” This is quite an entertaining quote, but it would be surprising if no one had actually ever thought about common descent and some hereditary mechanism for it. It is closer to the truth to say that many people had already seen much in the puzzle pieces, even ignoring the probable people who died without publishing their thoughts. There is a block which tends to appear in one’s mind when an obvious thing isn’t obvious to others. Darwin only got around to publishing his major work when he found out that another naturalist had also arrived at the same conclusion. Before that, he was just scared.

I say, burn this aspect of human nature. Why walk trepidatiously, when one is sure that the ground is stable?

One day, when open individualism is interpersonally assumed as a matter of convention, people will say the same as Huxley. How incredibly stupid that no one thought of this before. Except, of course, just like with evolution, many people did – but their sounds were drowned by their own undulations of submissive fear or by the heaving motions of the masses.

It is true that society will not reward you for merely discovering true things. Especially if those true things don’t fit usefully in their status-signaling neural networks. There are already many true things that society would rather not look at. But if you are here, you are probably not normal, and might as well embrace it.

People like Derek Parfit, Sam Harris, and Sean Carroll are especially curious. And that is because they exist somewhere near that stage were Darwin found himself before learning about Wallace’s similar conclusions. Derek Parfit reasoned out selflessness but just turned out to be wrong about physics, so he believed that atoms had persistent individual identities which made for his continuity of consciousness. I suspect something similar occurs with Sam Harris. He at times seems to understand selflessness, but ultimately refuses to be sure of it at the very edge, by saying something about “continuity of consciousness.” So you get a soul with a finite timeline split into many pieces. A fusion of closed individualism and empty individualism.

Sean Carroll, like me, also says that no one is traveling because each brain just exists from where it exists, also understands that relativity implies an eternal block, even assigns most likelihood to the reality of the wave-function and hence Everett’s many-worlds; to top it off, he knows way more physics than me. So why the heck does he still believe he is going to simply die?

I am not a psychoanalyst, but I’m going to be a psychoanalyst anyway. To top off the general suggestions offered before for our collective failure, I would add to that list the suspicion that so much energy is spent sparring with religious non-challenges. Religious people care a lot about life after death, so the antithetical position (eternal non-existence) also becomes very important to the atheist, and would now be extra-embarrassing to reject.

Okay, so why, of all the assortment of truths that I could be pointing to in the world, am I picking a fight over this one? Well that’s because it matters. Because I am selfish. Because in the most fundamental sense, I am you, and you, and you; all experience slices everywhere. It is in my best interest that you live an enjoyable life of some sort. Although I won’t be able to access the experience of this mind typing these words from that location, I am that. This is enough to concern me.

We should be no more solipsistic with regard to “another person’s” now slices than we are with regard to some past slice of now with our name (which we also can’t access) or some future slice with our name (which we also can’t access from these spacetime coordinates). I don’t care about this name. I don’t merely care about similar memories. I care about the sum of my experiences. Somewhere, I am still that child in my old photographs. And by his physical constitution, he cannot tell that the inner light of awareness also shines here and in that girl in the Mughal Empire.

This brings me to the matter of building a temple. I had already shown an inclination for pursuing a related line of thought when I was sixteen. And it seems he assumed failure at convincing people, based on the title of that post.

It is not the case that I am convinced this is a good idea. Questions abound. How many positive hedons should we be okay with creating instead of blocking dams of potential negative hedons? How do we account for the effects that mining positive qualia and inspirational stimuli can have on people who belong to a religious-like community?

The first question has already been explored in the public eye with current religions. Often as a source of accusations against the powerful institutions. For example, the statement that “If the Vatican were really Christian, it would sell everything of high market value that it owns and use it to save kids in Africa.”

Unlike nations or corporations, organized religions put themselves on the spot by claiming moral high ground. The moral high ground seems to track closer to negative utilitarianism in most people. Our most abstract sense of good generally says that it is more important to prevent suffering than to create happiness.

Yet one witnesses an apparently stark hypocrisy:

According to Vinod Rai, the former Comptroller-and-Auditor-General(CAG) of India, who had audited some of the Temple records from 1990, in August 2014, in the already opened vault A, there is an 800 kg (1,800 lb) hoard of gold coins dating to around 200 B.C, each coin priced at over 2.7 crore (US$390,000).[42] Also found was a pure Golden Throne, studded with hundreds of diamonds and other fully precious stones, meant for the 18-foot-long Deity.[43] According to varying reports, at least three, if not more, solid gold crowns have been found, studded with diamonds and other precious stones.[44][45][46] Some other media reports also mention hundreds of pure gold chairs, thousands of gold pots and jars, among the articles recovered from Vault A and its antechambers.[47]

This revelation has solidified the status of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple as the wealthiest place of worship in the world.[48] It is conservatively estimated that the value of the monumental items is close to ₹1.2 lakh crore or ₹1.2 trillion (US$17 billion). If the antique and cultural value were taken into account these assets could be worth ten times the current market price.[49]

These estimates were on the basis of the revelations since July 2011, when five vaults were opened, with the at least one remaining vault (B), which is the largest, still closed. One of the oldest existing estimates regarding Vault B, which can be considered to be at least as reliable as any other made since the discovery of the hidden treasure (or assets) of the Temple in 2011, was by the Travancore Royal Family itself in the 1880s (when an older existing estimate was updated). According to it, the gold and precious stones contained in Vault B, which is by far the largest and the only vault (of the reported six) that is unopened so far, since the discovery of the treasure, were worth ₹12,000 crore (US$1.7 billion). Considering the subsequent inflation of the rupee, and the increase in the prices of gold and precious metals and precious stones since in general, the treasure in the unopened vault B alone, would be worth at least ₹50 trillion (US$730 billion) in present-day terms, without the cultural value being factored in.[50][51]

Why don’t these devout Hindus spread this wealth to the faithful crowds on the streets who could surely benefit greatly from it? Why don’t the crowds expect this from the religious authority?

We don’t mean what we say is the short answer.

The sacred has a cost. In practice, we are willing to pay that cost.

I may be a utilitarian on paper – talking about carefully dissecting masses of hedonia, and weighing them at their fault lines. But in reality I am much more practical. I workout  every day without worrying about how much it pains me or what arithmetic I’m performing on the longevity of my narrative stream. I eat the same thing every day for simplicity, regardless of how much positive qualia is going unborn. We pay prices to uphold the establishment of our sacred rituals.

Both in the Vatican and the Padmanabhaswamy case, it is not even that long-term happiness/status sustenance is implicitly preferred to suffering prevention. If the goal was to create happiness or preserve status, having jewels locked up in a temple dungeon would do little in that regard.

This is more a brute side effect of deontological reinforcement. Quite similar to how I have not taken a single bite of a donut in over five years – to reinforce the sacredness of my commitment to diet, even though I know based on my will-power that a bite of a cookie would do no harm.

Selling a diamond-encrusted crown or two would not make a difference to the temple’s public glamour, since no one would notice. And yet the person on the street almost starving, or needing treatment, would surely notice. The energy of the temple’s reasoning engine is not enough to overcome the systematizer. The reasoner is an expensive process and prefers to sleep in the belly unless it is absolutely necessary to awake.

If we are going to create a religious-like community, it better be weighed against the other potential uses of that money and energy. Overcoming systematizers is very expensive, and no one likes it. Those who would benefit the most from an overthrow don’t even peep about it (Prussian-style soul-destroying school system come to mind?). The sort of smart people who would end up loving having access to such a physics temple, will likely be the primary obstacle to the formation of such a thing. And their children who would grow up with the proven benefits of a reassuring community gathered to contemplate their commitment to each other and to ‘the ultimate’ will also miss out. All because we were embedded in invisible systematizing agents that happened to trade too many precision points in exchange for energy conservation when evaluating what sounded “religious” or “spiritual”.

Finally, I do recommend taking architectural cues from the Padmanabhaswamy temple:

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Physicalism Implies Experience Never Dies: Answering Objections

Objection: You are your brain. When the brain dies, you die. Period.

Reply: This is not reductionistic enough. Experience is not an object called brain. Experience is probably found in thalamo-cortical Gamma oscillations which are present during both dreams and waking life. And by probably, I mean that there is considerable evidence* (Llinas & Pare 1991, Eckhorn et al. 1988, Engel et al. 1990, 1991a, 1991b, Gray et al. 1989, 1990, 1992, Gray & Singer 1989, Stryker 1989, Llinas & Ribary 1993). The wave sweeps the brain from front to back, 40 times per second. The precept which you are at any given moment is the shape formed by synched neuronal circuits.

(*Some still suggest that this does not solve the binding problem. See Steven Lehar who, in short, proposes that the synchrony observed between cortical neurons is not a signal in its own right communicated from cell to cell but that it is a manifestation of a larger standing wave pattern that spans the cortical region and that the structure of the standing wave encodes certain aspects of the structure of the perceived object or grouping percept. But it is possible that this concern is merely a bias against time delays. The cause of this bias may be from holding on to a presentist ontology. The computation can be stretched in spacetime and may still be “glued” for the act of phenomenal binding by its ‘mere’ four-dimensional geometry.)

If the thalamus is damaged even a little bit, the wave stops, conscious awareness does not form, and “the patient” slips into profound coma. –You are not the patient experiencing a profound coma because a profound coma cannot be experienced. You are all precepts, wherever they exist as conscious computations, and can never realize that you are also others. There is only one universal wave-function. This contains approximate factors that we think of as objects with persistent identities including the object type which is “shape formed by synched neuronal circuits.”

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If we change the definition of “you” to not be mere experiences, such as the synched ventral/dorsal pathways that produce the sight of beautiful green eyes in a lovely girl, or thalamic vortex resonating with dopaminergic pathways which produce the qualia particles of bliss in a luxurious dinner, but instead define “you” as a body that will be somewhat similar tomorrow and which will reliably hold “you” in memory, then that body is toast. Those memories are toast. I am not offering snake-oil repellent against entropy here. *Edit: I was. The singularity already happened and all you have to do is to realize this knowledge with your rational thought so that the magic is revealed. Here, you can choose to experience the deathless, which does not perceive entropy.

Not even quantum immortality can save you, if that is how you is defined. You will become quite computationally defunct, whether by neurofibrillary tangles or whatever else. If you manage to transition into a sufficiently degenerate state, your experiences can become physically indistinguishable from many “other” experiences across the universe. Spatiotemporal separation does not matter; only the shape of the computation does. When we are in very low-awareness sleep, our uniqueness dies and yet experience doesn’t. Those dim states of almost-nothingness, lacking a sense of self, are dips into the well of greater unification where the net amount of minds in that identical configuration are larger than compared to the highly unique experiences we go through in everyday waking life. It wouldn’t be a far-fetched hypothesis to suggest it is also possible to experience this computational simplicity through intensive meditation practice, drugs, or being barely conscious i.e. some processes in young children, Alzheimer’s, near death, dolphins?, chimps?, corvids?, etc.

Note that this is compatible with the multiple drafts model. There is no anatomical location where it all comes together and is presented to a homunculus.

They suppose that the transduction by sense organs of light and sound and odor and so forth into an unconscious neural code must be followed (somewhere in the brain) by a second transduction into some other “medium”, the medium of consciousness (e.g., Mangan, 1993).

But there is no transformation to another medium of soul stuff. It is then the case that there is no privileged reference frame for the enormous flood of experiences that exist across the universe.

Objection: This will demotivate people from engaging important issues such as ending aging or cryonics.

Reply: Note that this objection is normative. It is inevitable that the truth can be made dirty in the act of converting it into petroleum for cryocrastination and the pro-aging trance; this human behavior is not relevant to the question of whether physicalism implies immortality.

Having said that, it is my contention that being aware of immortality is a powerful antidote to nihilism. For better or for worse, you have skin in this game for the long run and cannot escape. If people were rational, they would feel motivated to work on Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence with even more fervor because the terminal punishment for not doing so isn’t restful non-existence (which some people hardly find punishing). And not signing up for cryonics is the equivalent of not pressing save and then letting someone else pick which game you will be playing next.

Going on the basic anthropic assumption that we’re trying to do a sum over conditional probabilities while eliminating Death events to get your anticipated future, then depending on to what degree causal continuity is required for personal identity, once someone’s measure gets small enough, you might be able to simulate them and then insert a rescue experience for almost all of their subjective conditional probability. The trouble is if you die via a route that degrades the detail and complexity of your subjective experience before it gets small enough to be rescued, in which case you merge into a lot of other people with dying experiences indistinguishable from yours and only get rescued as a group. –Eliezer Yudkowsky

This was part of a comment in a post discussing… quantum torment, of all things.