Thank you for the reply.
I'm very limited now re: computer time and costs but in response:
"However, the predicate and criteria of identity are human constructs. " Fair comment; and Dr. Dick would add that the mode of comparing (which here is "looking at" the allegedly human- constructed interpretation of actual Mount Fuji
with the allegedly human-constructed painting of Mount Fuji; is also human constructed?
Now that is curious; because if all 3 are human constructed; knowing full details on how humans construct such things would help reveal any logical inconsistencies in making the pattern match-up. Thus fully know thyself and know anything as precisely as you can?
I see no reason why chimps should not be considered conscious. Actually I saw an experiment on TV where an object was placed on a chimp's head; when they saw themself in a mirror they saw the object and removed it (so they recognized themself in the mirror).
Other animals failed to recognize themselves in a mirror; but even a microbe is evidently conscious of its surroundings in certain respects.
"I think that is somewhat doubtful. 'Knowing reality' is a rather dubious term having no real meaning. We know enough about reality to function and survive - maybe even prosper - whether that means we 'know reality' is totally outside our ability to answer."
The question "WHO is knowing reality" has meaning. The key is "WHO". To know something absolutely is to know its uniqueness. Example: you know who comes to the door when you can exclude all other people except one as being that person at the door.
But what if they had an identical twin you didn't know about? How to be sure you know who is at the door?
Well, if you know yourself fully; you know the accuracy of the "WHO" doing the knowing. You can say that within such-and-such boundaries of precision you by definition know who is at the door? Any uncertainty will be accounted for in the certainty-level of self-knowledge?
The reality then is that you know who is at the door within the limits imposed by the precision level of defining "you" and "the person at the door"?
Even mistaken, model, or approximate "knowledge" can be accurately known as a non-contradicting match-up within accuracy error margins?
I explained elsewhere why the LNC can never be wrong.
What happens in science is that claims get mapped onto dubious territory; thus become larger than the secure-by-definition ground they might start on. Thus the claims become speculative and theoretical, awaiting confirmation by experiment.
The above incidentally also addresses: "It's best not to talk in terms of ultimate reality. We are better off talking in terms of the most effective model at making predictions and seeking the best explanation possible. This approach doesn't need to appeal to anything ultimately true, it has enough success from the past that this alone justifies the tentative acceptance of such models meeting these criteria"
In addition: "ultimate reality" seems an unnecessary duplication of words: reality is what is. It is already ultimate. The addition of the term "ultimate" occurs because of a theory like "atoms" being mapped onto speculative ground (such as speculation that they can not be divided?).
All there is is what/ who there is; so all we ever deal with is reality? Whether we face it or evade it, it is all we deal with? Thus "as one judges, so oneself is judged"? Any confusion about "reality" would be a statement about oneself?
If one has full awareness of the limits of one's definitions; one may be able to make precise non-contradicting match-up possibilities among those definitions. You would need to cover everything you ever knew to cover all bases. Then any future mistake would be an honest mistake; or more accurately, perhaps not a mistake, but a surprise, a time to reorganize one's definitions.
The future would be unpredictable; though zones of potential might be known.
An axiom makes future claims so is excluded from a scheme of pure definitions. Tautological relations should be reliable among pure definitions where error margins are noted.
I do not see that relations of relations is absurd. You get an infinite pool of consciousness, of ways of looking at ways of looking.
If Dr. Dick has found that the re-occurrence of any sub-pattern, from appearing in a so-called "random" larger pattern, to appearing again in another so-called "random" larger pattern; delivers a recurrence-probability rule that fits physics laws; this is consistent with the idea that everything is eternally created new.
The two occurences of the sub-pattern make-up as together, a new pattern. The very existence of that new 'together' pattern is dependent on its two parts, on that relationship. Complex patterns appear to be composed of pure relationships.
"Random" actually just means "unique".
To exist is to be different, distinct, unique.
Thus to be so-called "random"?
Thus the laws of Existence turn out, as Dr. Dick seems to have uncovered, to apply to random pattern recurrences.
This does not mean that we don't know anything because it could all be random. Rather, we can know things because everything is unique.
Dr. Dick seems to be claiming that 'chance recurring patterns obey physics laws'.
Take pattern 'A' and pattern 'B'.
What probability is there of a recurring pattern 'C' occuring within both 'A' and 'B'?
Any rule that determines the re-occurence of 'C' must have at least as much structure as the by-definition-base-probability of a 'C' recurrence.
He seems to have found that the by-definition necessarily true probability layerings for recurring patterns, match physics laws. So he figures that we don't know anything, as it is all random. But random = unique.
To exist is to be unique.
So this may explain why the laws of physics are found to fit a collection of unique phenomena?
Since you can create a new phenomenon, you are not constrained by the laws of physics in other reference frames, as by creating you effectively create an instantaneous new universe. Your every move can be as a new law of physics. Walking on water may only look impossible from a static reference frame.