Clearing Archive Roboposter roboposter at
Tue Aug 4 12:06:01 EDT 2020

                            19 Decenber 1993
                 Copyright (C) 1993 Homer Wilson Smith
       Redistribution rights granted for non commercial purposes.
 >     As I see it, cause and effect are mutually dependent.  There can
 >be no cause without an effect and vice versa.  So if you keep in mind
 >that the EFFECT you are learning from is really a symptom of a cause,
 >you can stay out of that learning by effect trap.
     I have to take exception.  Keeping in mind "that any effect is
really a symptom of a cause", IS learning by looking at effects, which
means using the presence of the effect to compute back to what the cause
must have been, using the assmption that all effects are caused.
     It is this perceived necessity between effect and prior cause that
drives people to think they have certainty on the cause just because
they have an effect.
     Here is the view I will be stating in the MCT.
     An effect is a change in state in the universe.  A cause is another
prior change in state in the universe.
     Both causes and effects are merely changes in state.  One is a
cause and the other is an effect only because of the relationship they
have to each other.  Once the effect is caused, that event can itself
become a cause for another later effect.  Thus cause and effect are
relative to one's viewpoint, where as the term 'change in state' or
'event' is not.  Cause and effect are relative terms, change in state is
an absolute term.
     Causation is a perceived or surmised relation between two changes
in state.  Causation is conceived to be more than mere correlation or
dependable followingness, but when you press people, they have a hard
time saying exactly WHAT causation is OTHER than correlation or
dependable followingness.  Weakly put, causation is NECESSARY dependable
     I say weak, because necesssary followingness is not enough to imply
CAUSATION for sure, although causation IS enough to imply necessary
     It is a basic working assumption in this universe that no change in
state will occur without there being a prior change in state in
something else to account for it.  If these changes in state are
separated from each other in space, they will also be separated from
each other in time because it takes time for the cause wave to travel
from the first change in state (the 'cause') to the second change in
state (the 'effect').
     This assumption can be stated 'Every effect has a cause' or 'Effect
implies cause.' This is not meant to be true by definition, as Walt is
implying, but by actual fact that present changes in state are ALWAYS
preceeded by other changes in state.  Nothing happens on its own inside
the universe.  The conservation of energy and momentum demand this.
     Any event that happens here and now, is a change in energy level.
If a point in space has an increase in energy level say, that means some
other point in space must have had a decrease in energy level just a
moment before.   That prior decrease is the 'cause' for the later
     In this way change and thus 'cause' travel through the universe at
the speed of light or slower.
     I submit that the idea that every effect is caused, that every
change in state is preceded by another CAUSALLY RELATED change in state,
is an ASSUMPTION which itself can not be proven WITH CERTAINTY merely by
looking at the changes in states in question.
     You might be able to establish dependable followingness between two
events but the idea that there is CAUSE between them, or NECESSARY
dependable followingness, can not be established with certainty by this
method, only hypothesized.
     In other words, a machine that can only learn by being an effect,
can not PROVE with certainty that any effect is caused at all.
     This is because the machine is only in contact with the events, and
not with the cause between them.  All the events tell you is that there
is dependable followingness, they do NOT tell you that there is
NECESSSARY dependable followingness.
      The necessariness is part of what happens BETWEEN events, and as
such is not visible IN the events themselves.
      A conscious unit however, can SEE cause directly, which means it
can know what two events within itself are related by actual cause and
not just by dependable followingness, and so therefore a CU is not a
      A conscious unit looking at a color form that has two colors in
it, can see that it's knowledge that the color form has two colors in it
NECESSARILY follows from the nature of the color form itself.  It can
see that its observation of the number of colors in the color form is
      What I have been calling CERTAINTY and what I am calling here
necessary dependable followingness are closely related.
      Certainty IS the necessariness of the truth of the observation
that one has made about the color form.  This necessariness can itself
be perceived to exist.
     It is the perception of true necesssariness that delineates a true
CU from a space-time machine.
      A space-time machine is ANY system of parts interacting over a
distance, learning via a causally linked chain of 'cause' and 'effects'.
     Dependable followingness does not absolutely imply NECESSARY
      Space-time machines can only sense dependable followingness at
      CU's can sense NECESSARY followingness.
      No machine can sense, perceive, or come to know about
necessariness of any kind.  It can only theorize things about
necessariness IF programmed to do so.

================ ====================
Tue Aug  4 12:06:01 EDT 2020 
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================== ===================
Learning implies Learning with Certainty or Learning without Certainty.
Learning across a Distance implies Learning by Being an Effect.
Learning by Being an Effect implies Learning without Certainty.
Therefore, Learning with Certainty implies Learning, but 
not by Being an Effect, and not across a Distance.

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