Platonic materialism (was Re: Mental vs. Physical)

Mitchell Porter (
Wed, 12 Feb 1997 11:52:12 +1000 (EST)

[Anders Sandberg]
> On Fri, 7 Feb 1997, Mitchell Porter wrote:
> > [Anders Sandberg]
> > > Don't be so sure... the more I become a moravecian platonic materialist,
> > > the more convinced I become that it is quite possible to escape the universe.
> >
> > To where?
> (I should have known this was coming...)
> Into the "Manifold". In this view of reality, all logically possible
> universes (and systems) exist, not side by side but interpenetrating like
> a crossword puzzle. The bits forming this sentence both participate in it
> and in the code of the iridiscent superintelligences of Tryx (and many
> other universes). Of course, it is impossible to say if we are discovering
> or creating new worlds in the Manifold, both are in some sense the same
> thing. Personally I would look for interesting, complex worlds which could
> be extended, a bit like the scenario in _Permutation City_.

But how do you escape from the universe where you are now, into another?
According to the scenario you describe, other universes already exist,
you don't create them by starting to simulate them. So suppose you're
Trans-Anders, stuck in a collapsing universe where a Tiplerian Omega Point
won't happen, and you simulate a few timeslices from a Dyson universe in
which Trans-Anders gets to expand boundlessly. At the end of the simulation,
you remain where you were; and your Other Self exists regardless of
whether you conduct your simulation or not.

Of the various schemes for literal immortality that I've heard of,
I'd rank the Linde scenario as the likeliest sounding, with Dyson
a close second, Tipler third, and Moravec/Egan fourth.