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The Improbability of Hyperspace Options
 
gibran2
#1 Posted : 1/15/2011 9:50:02 PM

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Someone asks “Does hyperspace really exist?”, and then the usual debate begins:

The Debate

x: Yes, it exists. I’ve had experiences that have convinced me.
y: No, it doesn’t exist. We have no scientific evidence for its existence.

x: But we don’t know everything about reality yet.
y: As we learn more about reality, it will become apparent that there is nothing beyond the physical.

x: You can’t say that with absolute certainty.
y: No, not with absolute certainty, but with a high likelihood.

x: Well, what about the primacy of consciousness?
y: There’s no evidence that the primacy of consciousness is correct.

x: But neither is there evidence that the primacy of matter is correct.
y: Well, it seems to be, and there’s no evidence that it isn’t correct.

x: Yes, but…
y: …

Probability

Suppose I have a small black box and eight marbles of different colors. I randomly put some of the marbles in the box (or all, or none), and ask you to guess which ones (if any) are in the box. There are 256 combinations of marbles possible (including the “empty box” state). If you make a guess about the contents, the probability of you guessing right is 1/256.

Now someone (person X) might come along and say, “I am certain that the box contains a red marble, a blue one, and a black one”.

Someone else (person Y) might say to person X, “You have no evidence that the box contains that combination of marbles. In fact you have no evidence that it contains any marbles at all. So until there’s some evidence, I’m going to assume the box is empty.”

Who’s Right?

Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

Person X is wrong in claiming certainty. The probability of any combination of marbles in the box (the probability of the box being in any particular state) is always 1/256.

But person Y is wrong in assigning special status to the “empty box” state. The “empty box” state has the same probability as any other state. The probability that the box is empty is 1/256.

Exponential Growth

Before moving on, I want to mention the amazing property of exponential growth. In the example I gave, each of the eight marbles can either be in the box or not – 2 states. The number of possible states is therefore 2^8. (2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2) This is the number of states raised to the power of the number of objects.

As the number of marbles (or objects, or elements – whatever you want to call them) increases, the number of possible states increases dramatically:

8 marbles = 2^8 = 256 possible box states
16 marbles = 2^16 = 65,536 box states
30 marbles = 2^30 = 1,073,741,824 box states (that’s over 1 billion unique states)

Not only do the number of states grow dramatically, but the likelihood of guessing the state decreases dramatically: The odds of guessing the contents of the box correctly when 30 marbles are used are less than one in a billion.

There is no Special State

Using the eight marble example again, it’s important to stress that there is no statistically “special” state. The probability of the box containing all eight marbles is the same as the box containing between one and seven marbles which is the same as the box containing no marbles at all: 1/256. When pondering the unknown, all possibilities are equally unlikely. There is no special state when we’re dealing with the unknown.

We should keep all of this in mind not only when thinking about our interpretations of the psychedelic experience, but also when thinking about the nature of our everyday reality. The probability that anyone knows or understands “The Truth” - the probability that anyone's ideas conform to the "true" nature of reality - is very close to zero.
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cellux
#2 Posted : 1/15/2011 11:07:11 PM

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If there is a "Truth", then it is not one of those states. The "Truth" is that which governs these states, which makes them possible. The "Truth" is that which provides and enforces the rules by which we can think about this experiment of yours. The "Truth" always exists on the meta-level. And until there is a meta-level, there is always a higher "Truth".

As I see it, the direction towards "Truth" is always perpendicular to what "is". With every step up this ladder, we get to a meta-level which is simpler than the previous one, but contains everything below. There is a hierarchy in existence. The infinite number of states you are talking about are at the leaves. As you ascend from the leaves through the branches to the root of the tree, the whole world gets packaged back into the one, and unfolds from there again into existence.

This kind of "Truth", which shows the inner workings of the world, does not interfere with anything. This is a knowing about the mechanism of everything that is. An important attribute of this "Truth" is that it doesn't give anything, except itself. Everything remains the same, nothing is forced to change, it is just illuminated with light.
 
Eden
#3 Posted : 1/15/2011 11:18:21 PM

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cellux wrote:
If there is a "Truth", then it is not one of those states.

I don't believe this was the claim.

The comparison pertained to the ability to recognize/understand the de facto existential orientation of "reality".
 
olympus mon
#4 Posted : 1/15/2011 11:37:48 PM

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great read as always gibran2, thank you for sharing your awesome brain with us. i just finished staring blankly at the screen after i read this thread for 5 min taking it all in. i enjoy thought exercises.

i really like the analogy and found it easy to follow. after pondering i feel there's really just 2 core marbles; either there is something after physical death or there isn't. the position "i don't know" doesn't get a marble because its not a belief nor is it possible to be true.
the reason i say there can really only be 2 marbles is because any belief past this point such as, karma, reincarnation, no after life, aliens intervention, ext has to fall into one of these two camps, no?

i couldn't agree with you more in terms of the only responsible and prudent stance we can take is that we are probably wrong or it simply is not possible to comprehend the truth at this time and place in evolution or our physical dimension. the second you feel your right and others are wrong is the spark that creates all the suffering in our society.
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gibran2
#5 Posted : 1/15/2011 11:45:33 PM

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There were two things that prompted me to write this.

First, I was prompted by the recent threads concerning Martin Ball and his claims of knowing “The Truth” (I hope this thread doesn’t degenerate into another critique of Martin Ball). With so much that is unknown (we don’t even know how much we don’t know) the likelihood that anyone has stumbled on “the truth” (lowercase truth, not uppercase Truth) is infinitesimally small.

Second, some members of this forum tend to resist the possibility of a reality that is radically different from the one they are capable of perceiving and comprehending. They attempt to downplay the significance of the psychedelic experience by stating that it is “only” the result of a drug-influenced brain. This may or may not be true. For now at least, the answer resides with all other possibilities in the realm of the unknown. They fail to understand that their speculation concerning the unknown is not privileged. Their ideas may seem more reasonable to them, may to them seem to fit better with current science, but, as I wrote, there is no special, privileged state in the realm of the unknown.

@ mon – I think your question could be represented by one marble: Either it’s in the box or not. Smile
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olympus mon
#6 Posted : 1/15/2011 11:57:54 PM

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ahhh yes i see.... so when it comes to the psychedelic experience there is also only one marble. the box is either empty or contains said marble.
these experiences are either nothing more than brain chemistry at its weirdest plain and simple or there is something more to it.

so wouldnt you say that someone choosing one of these 2 beliefs has a 50-50 chance?
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MySmelf
#7 Posted : 1/16/2011 1:00:21 AM

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olympus mon wrote:
ahhh yes i see.... so when it comes to the psychedelic experience there is also only one marble. the box is either empty or contains said marble.
these experiences are either nothing more than brain chemistry at its weirdest plain and simple or there is something more to it.

so wouldnt you say that someone choosing one of these 2 beliefs has a 50-50 chance?


No I don't think it does. Because even if its something more than just brain chemistry doesn't mean that hyperspace really exists. There are more possibilities of hyperspace existing or not in the "something more" camp. IMHO
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I am only someone's imaginary Smelf posting from hyperspace.
 
olympus mon
#8 Posted : 1/16/2011 2:37:18 AM

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MySmelf wrote:

No I don't think it does. Because even if its something more than just brain chemistry doesn't mean that hyperspace really exists.

correct it would show that a separate reality exists though. hyperspace may just be a word given to it and not the actual destination.

i have my healthy doubts that hyperspace is an actual realm, but on the other side of the coin i do feel that tripping and journeys give access to an alternate reality. so i will probably forever been torn between how real things feel on dmt ext... and the un-likleyhood of that being truth.

man even re-reading my words here they contradict each other. its a tough topic to convey accurately but also one of my most favorite to try.
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gibran2
#9 Posted : 1/16/2011 4:10:50 AM

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MySmelf wrote:
olympus mon wrote:
ahhh yes i see.... so when it comes to the psychedelic experience there is also only one marble. the box is either empty or contains said marble.
these experiences are either nothing more than brain chemistry at its weirdest plain and simple or there is something more to it.

so wouldnt you say that someone choosing one of these 2 beliefs has a 50-50 chance?


No I don't think it does. Because even if its something more than just brain chemistry doesn't mean that hyperspace really exists. There are more possibilities of hyperspace existing or not in the "something more" camp. IMHO

That’s right. Any “model” of reality consists of many characteristics, which would correspond to many marbles in the analogy.

If you say “The box contains only the red marble” you have a 1/256 chance of being right. If you say the converse, “The box does not contain only the red marble” you have a 255/256 chance of being right.

The probability of any model of reality being right/true is close to zero. Conversely, the probability of any model being wrong/false is close to 1.
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clouds
#10 Posted : 1/16/2011 5:30:00 AM

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I think there are certain levels that should be taken into consideration when engaging in philosophical debates of this nature.

For example, when discussing the nature of reality one should give/demand for evidence. Why?
To be respectful and thus have a better communication and understanding. It is verifiable. It is ethical.

But evidence can only operate and be understood on certain basic levels of the nature of reality debate.


Do we have evidence that highly suggests that matter/energy is primordial in this universe? Yes. Hard sciences give that evidence.

Do we have evidence that highly suggests that consciousness is primordial in this universe? No. Only opinions.


And the relevant question for this thread:

Is it possible that consciousness is primordial in this universe? Yes. It is possible.


My point is: A lot of things are possible. But evidence can help us understand better, because... it is evident. There is no evidence that Jesuschrist is the son of God. Is it possible that he actually is? Who knows? Maybe the motherfucker is. It is also possible that God is a banana that has an albino dolphin as assistant manager of this galaxy.



On the other hand... it is also possible that the building blocks of reality are neither matter or consciousness. Maybe there exist other factors in the equation that we are not aware of. A lot of things are possible. That is why evidence is so important.

We can only believe, speculate and/or fantasize about levels where evidence can neither be obtained or shown... yet. But there are levels of reality where evidence points towards certain ideas that are not only verifiable but also useful.

 
olympus mon
#11 Posted : 1/16/2011 7:18:42 AM

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good points there clouds. however i think this area of discussion more fits the criteria of theoretical rather than physical. i dont see how there can be irrefutable evidence let alone proof regarding any of these subjects.

if im understanding gibrans post's its saying that the most likely conclusion is that we are all wrong.
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gibran2
#12 Posted : 1/16/2011 3:16:33 PM

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@ clouds - You say that we have no evidence that consciousness is primordial in this universe, yet the only thing that you can be certain is “real” is your conscious experience. Your knowledge of the physical world, including your direct experience of it, consists of a large collection of conscious experiences, and nothing more. You have never consciously experienced anything that wasn’t a conscious experience! You accept on faith that there is something beyond your conscious experiences that is “real”. There is no scientific test to prove, no data that can be collected to show, no evidence to indicate that there is anything beyond your conscious experiences.

Scientific evidence in fact describes relationships and patterns that you see in your conscious experiences. This “evidence” describes a model or abstraction of a physical world that you believe exists outside of the conscious experiences that produced the model. Whether such a world exists or not cannot be answered scientifically.
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actualfactual
#13 Posted : 1/16/2011 3:49:12 PM

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I'll just go ahead and quote my man Carl S. again..

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"
 
Bancopuma
#14 Posted : 1/16/2011 4:31:12 PM

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^^A great quote, and one I think scientists could do with bearing in mind sometimes. Had no idea it was from Mr Sagan either. What a legend.
 
burnt
#15 Posted : 1/16/2011 5:03:27 PM
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Carl Sagan also said:

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

The claim that there is another place inhabited by conscious entities that can only be accessed by smoking dmt is an extraordinary claim. Smoking dmt and going to that place is evidence that it might exist its just poor evidence.

These arguments are all just glorified solipsism and essentially a cheap way of getting out of answering the tough question of what happens when you smoke dmt.
 
actualfactual
#16 Posted : 1/16/2011 5:05:40 PM

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Quote:
The claim that there is another place inhabited by conscious entities that can only be accessed by smoking dmt is an extraordinary claim. Smoking dmt and going to that place is evidence that it might exist its just poor evidence.


I'm not sure hyperspace is a real place but I'm not a strict materialist either. I'm content to keep an open mind on the subject Smile
 
gibran2
#17 Posted : 1/16/2011 5:39:40 PM

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burnt wrote:
Carl Sagan also said:

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

The claim that there is another place inhabited by conscious entities that can only be accessed by smoking dmt is an extraordinary claim. Smoking dmt and going to that place is evidence that it might exist its just poor evidence.

These arguments are all just glorified solipsism and essentially a cheap way of getting out of answering the tough question of what happens when you smoke dmt.

Claiming that there is an objective reality is an extraordinary claim, yet there is no evidence whatsoever that it is true.

These arguments aren’t really about DMT at all. The point of my original post was much more broad. In fact, all you have to do is look at the title of this thread to see what I’m getting at.

There is much about reality that is beyond scientific explanation:

How did the universe begin? With a big bang? And what caused the big bang? Did it have a cause? If not, how can we explain it scientifically? (And saying “it just happened” isn’t a satisfactory explanation.) We experience the world exclusively through our consciousness, yet many claim that there is a tangible, physical reality beyond their consciousness. What proof or evidence do they have to make this claim? No one has ever directly experienced the abstraction they call “objective reality”, no one has seen it or felt it, yet many claim that they know it exists? On what basis do they make that claim?

These questions aren’t solipsistic. They are questions that address how we come to know things. What do we actually know, and what do we assume? We assume that the physical universe is indeed objective and physical, and this assumption comes in handy if one wants to function in this physical world, but it’s just an assumption. A belief. A useful model to help us make sense of our conscious experiences.
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endlessness
#18 Posted : 1/16/2011 6:06:22 PM

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Gibran. While everything we experience is modulated and interpreted by our consciousness and ultimately we have no "proof" of the external world, the fact that different observers can independently and consistently measure/observe certain things about the universe points out (pretty clearly imo) that there is something more than just my own subjective consciousness.

This doesnt mean that we observe that objective reality directly since we are finding approximations for it. It neither negates the possibility that this 'outside' universe objectively observed isnt a part of a larger simulation, but it does point out that its more than just a "its all my own consciousness", dont you think?

In any case I think what you say with this thread is pretty reasonable and I agree, because it doesnt deny any model in specific but argues against models with absolutist pretentions.
 
polytrip
#19 Posted : 1/16/2011 6:23:12 PM
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What about this absolutist model: There is a reality out there, we don't know what it is. It may be we're plugged into the matrix or something. But the matrix is real, the world it conjures up is absolutely real to us and we know what the illusion looks like. Just as we know it's an illusion.
 
gibran2
#20 Posted : 1/16/2011 6:27:40 PM

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endlessness wrote:
Gibran. While everything we experience is modulated and interpreted by our consciousness and ultimately we have no "proof" of the external world, the fact that different observers can independently and consistently measure/observe certain things about the universe points out (pretty clearly imo) that there is something more than just my own subjective consciousness.

This doesnt mean that we observe that objective reality directly since we are finding approximations for it. It neither negates the possibility that this 'outside' universe objectively observed isnt a part of a larger simulation, but it does point out that its more than just a "its all my own consciousness", dont you think?

In any case I think what you say with this thread is pretty reasonable and I agree, because it doesnt deny any model in specific but argues against models with absolutist pretentions.

Oh yes, that’s a definite possibility – it seems reasonable that there is something beyond individual subjective consciousness. I never claimed that existence is limited to my subjective consciousness, or to subjective consciousness in general. My point was that subjective consciousness is all we know for certain to exist, and that anything we posit about an objective reality is speculation. We have no direct experience of an objective reality and never will.

Also, we can’t be certain that “objective reality” is anything like what we perceive. We can’t say that our experience of reality is an approximation of “objective reality”. There’s no way to know. For example, (I know, it’s a tired, worn-out example that I use too often, but it makes my point) if our reality is a computer simulation, then “objective reality” would consist of some sort of sophisticated computer hardware, the software of the application (consisting of a long string of 0’s and 1’s) and the environment in which this computer resides. How does that approximate our experience of reality at all?

Also, it’s not as simple as “either-or”: either objective reality exists as we generally imagine it, or (purely solipsistic) my consciousness is responsible for all of the experiences it has. For example, we can imagine that there is a “realm of consciousness” that has no physicality as we understand it, that collectively creates what we call physical reality. So how would this scenario be objective? Can pure consciousness be thought of as an objective reality? Can something that has no physical substance be objective? And how would it approximate our experience of reality?
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