Re: virus: Re: alternative model
Wed, 11 Dec 1996 09:41:26 -0600 (CST)

On Thu, 28 Nov 1996, Martin Traynor wrote:

> On 27 Nov 96 at 21:30, Ken Pantheists wrote:
> > Kenneth Boyd asked:
> >
> > Question: is Virtual Reality formally distinguishable from Subjective
> > Reality?
> > =====================================================================
> > -You knowingly participate in virtual reality.
> Prove that you do not also participate in it unknowingly. A virtual
> reality that was created around you with subatomic resolution and
> rich and consistent would be subjectively indistinguishable from
> reality.

That is why I cannot find any test for ruling out Virtual Reality for our
universe. Sure, this isn't *science*--but the metaphor of Virtual
Reality is connotationally less limiting than the metaphor of Reality.

> > -Subjective reality is a repository of your experience-- even virtual
> > experience.
> Agreed, but can you prove that it is composed of anything *other*
> than virtual reality?
> > - The two are necessarily different because one can be used to construct
> > the other.
> But can that difference be shown formally? I don't think it can.

An explicit construction *is* formally showing the difference. This
isn't necessarily an operationally useful difference.

For instance, less than 5 years ago, it was shown that R^4 [4-D space]
has as many distinct "differential structures" as the real numbers. In
other words, a sufficiently bad choice of "differential structure" will
make functions you expect to have reasonable tangent lines, *fail* to
have tangent lines. This is unique to 4-D space; for any other
[finite-dimensional] space, the functions you expect to have tangent
lines always do [there is effectively only one "differential structure",
in terms of the functions that have tangent lines.]

Unfortunately, the proof was nonconstructive: it doesn't tell how to
construct any of these "weird" spaces.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd