The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World (89 page)

BOOK: The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World
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Weizenbaum, Joseph
148

9

‘what is it like to be a’ (Nagel)

bat
367

dollar
268

West, the
23
,
31
,
121
,
214
,
254
,
313

14
,
335
,
350
,
351
,
386
,
387
,
390
,
391
,
393
,
397
,
428
,
431
,
442

Wheeler, John Archibald
1
,
26
,
104
,
353
,
354
,
458

9

‘who should rule’
see
Popper, Karl
:
criterion of ridding ourselves of bad governments without violence

Wigner, Eugene
189
,
308

paradox of Wigner’s friend
308

will of the people
335
,
336
,
337

8
,
350

Wittgenstein, Ludwig
166
,
313
,
314

wizards
260

Wolfe, Art
56

7

Wooters, William
299

world, distinguished from ‘universe’, ‘multiverse’ and ‘history’
265

World War II
109
,
139
,
205
,
334

computers of
140
,
148

in
Fatherland
259

writing systems
125

7

X-rays
2
,
68

Xenophanes of Colophon
216

17
,
227
,
230
,
231
,
238
,
242

Xenophon
83

4
,
216

Young, Peyton
334

Balinski and Young’s theorem
334
,
339

Zeno of Elea
182

3

Zeno’s mistake (confusing abstract attributes with physical ones of the same name)
182

6
,
343

Zuse, Konrad
139

Zweig, Stefan
205

*
The term was coined by the philosopher Norwood Russell Hanson.

*
This terminology differs slightly from that of Dawkins. Anything that is copied, for whatever reason, he calls a replicator. What I call a replicator he calls an ‘active replicator’.

*
These are not the ‘parallel universes’ of the
quantum
multiverse, which I shall describe in
Chapter 11
. Those universes all obey the same laws of physics and are in constant slight interaction with each other. They are also much less speculative.

*
Hence what I am calling ‘AI’ is sometimes called ‘AGI’: Artificial
General
Intelligence.

*
First, they announce to the existing guests, ‘For each natural number
N
, will the guest in room number
N
please move immediately to room number
N
(
N
+
1
)/
2
.’ Then they announce, ‘For all natural numbers
N
and
M
, will the
N
th passenger from the
M
th train please go to room number [(
N
+
M
)
2
+
N

M
]/
2
.’

*
In the story as told by Plato in his
Apology
, Chaerophon asks the Oracle
whether
there is anyone wiser than Socrates, and is told no. But would he really have wasted this expensive and solemn privilege on a question with only two possible answers, one flattering, the other frustrating, and neither very interesting?

*
In this dialogue, Socrates sometimes exaggerates the attributes and achievements of his beloved home city-state, Athens. In this case he is ignoring the contributions of other Greek city-states to the defeats of two invasion attempts by the Persian Empire, both of them before he was born.

*
Popper’s translation in
The World of Parmenides
(1998).

*
I shall say more about the difference between those two kinds of society – which I call
static
and
dynamic
societies – in
Chapter 15
.

*
Which some would mistakenly think were ‘derived from experience’.

*
The ancient Greeks were not very clear about where sensory experiences are located. Even in the case of vision, many in Socrates’ time believed that the eye
emits
something like light, and that the sensation of seeing an object consists of some sort of interaction between the object and that light.

*
Our experience of the world is indeed a form of virtual-reality rendering which happens wholly inside the brain.

*
Namely the Parthenon.

*
‘Glayvin’ is a term of indeterminate meaning, coined by
The Simpsons
.

*
Identical entities that were at different locations
in an otherwise empty space
would not be fungible, but some philosophers have argued that they would be ‘indiscernible’ in Leibniz’s sense. If so, then this is yet another respect in which fungibility is worse than Leibniz imagined.

*
That this information is carried entirely locally in objects is currently somewhat controversial. For a detailed technical discussion see the paper ‘Information Flow in Entangled Quantum Systems’ by myself and Patrick Hayden (
Proceedings of the Royal Society
A456 (2000)).

*
This rule is often misinterpreted as illustrating how slaves were regarded as less than fully human. But that has nothing to do with the issue. Black people were indeed widely regarded as being inferior to white ones, but this particular measure was designed to
reduce
the power of slave-owning states compared to what it would have been if slaves had been counted like everyone else.

*
It should of course be physicists.

*
I am counting the Christian Democrat CDU and the regionally based CSU as being one party for present purposes.

*
Let me remind the reader that these highly speculative parallel universes have nothing to do with the universes or histories in the quantum multiverse, for whose existence there is overwhelming evidence. Strictly speaking, the standard anthropic explanations postulate infinitely many quantum
multiverses
.

BOOK: The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World
13.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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