X-Message-Number: 31703
Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 23:16:03 EDT
Subject: Pizer's time travel

Content-Language: en

Dave Pizer proposes virtual "travel" into the past, first by retrodicting
history and then creating a virtual reality reflecting that.

I have discussed some of these questions in Youniverse. I think it is
probable ( currently a minority opinion) that the universe is deterministic and
that information cannot be destroyed, hence duplication or near-duplication
of  people and events may be possible in principle. However, I do not agree
that  virtual reality would necessarily allow virtual people to be real in
the  sense of having subjective experiences, these latter (qualia) being the
essence  of life as we know it.

As just one example of the problems, a virtual "world" would necessarily
behave according to the rules of physics as understood (or imagined) by the
programmers. But for the foreseeable future our models of the world will be
incomplete and partly wrong, hence will not fully or accurately reflect 

Robert Ettinger
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