Rép : The Meaning of Life

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Bruno Marchal

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Jan 17, 2007, 10:00:12 AM1/17/07
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To avoid to much posts in your mail box, I send all my comments in this
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Hi Brent,

1a) Brent meeker wrote (quoting Jim Heldberg) :

> Atheism is not a religion, just as a vacant lot is not a type of
> building, and health is not a form of sickness. Atheism is not a
> religion.
> --- Jim Heldberg


It seems to me that Jim Heldberg confuse the scientist (indeed)
attitude of agnosticism and atheism.
Let D = the proposition "God exists", "~" = NOT, B = believes.

An agnostic is someone for which the proposition "~BD" is true. (And
"~B~D" could be true as well)
An atheist is someone for which "B~D" is true.

The atheist is a believer. As John M often says, an atheist already has
some notion of God such as to be able to believe it does not exist.
Now most atheist are already "believer" in believing "religiously" in
Primary Matter (a metaphysical entity).

I'am agnostic in both sense. I do not believe in God, nor do I believe
in Matter. Those terms are not enough well defined.
I do neither believe in the inexistence of God, nor in the inexistence
of Matter. I wait for more data.

But assuming comp, I must confess that I have *reason* to put some more
credo on Plotinus, and other platonist approaches, on "mind/god/matter"
and fundamental principle, than on the aristotelian primitive matter
theory. Actually, I infer the same belief from the empirical quantum
data.


1b) Brent wrote to John M:

> Values existed longer before humans.


So you are a bit Platonist too .... :)

1c) Brent wrote (to Stathis):

> How is this infinite regress avoided in our world? By consciousness
> not representing the rest of the world.


That is an interesting idea. You could elaborate a bit perhaps? I do
agree with your most of your recent replies to Stathis about the
question "does a rock think?". But perhaps not entirely for the same
reason as you. We will see.

> The world is what it is and representation is not essential. I
> suppose this is somewhat like Peter's "primitive substance" whose only
> function is to distinguish things that exist from their
> representation.

yes, but then the question is "what are you assuming to exist?"

1d) Brent wrote to Mark Peaty (in Jason's thread about
"irreversibility):

> I think there is a confusion creeping in here. I don't think
> "logically reversible" is misleading. It is only physical processes
> that can be termed reversible or irreversible. Logic lives in a
> timeless Platonia. Computers operated irreversibly, they dissipate
> heat when they they erase data. Feynman pointed out that this was not
> necessary and a computer that did not erase data could operate without
> dissipating heat (no increase in entropy).


The logician Hao Wang, is, as far as I know, the first to prove that a
universal machine can operate without ever erasing information, and
this is enough for developping notion of logical reversibility (quite
useful in quantum computing). I say more in term of "combinators" in my
Elsevier paper. The one which is not yet on my web page. People
interested can ask me a preprint.
Grosso modo you lose universality if both "eliminating info" is
prohibited and "duplicating info".

2a) John wrote to Jamie:

> Sponging the 'gedanken..' - the falling treebranch reflects in your
> version the omniscient arrogant reductionist position. I go with
> Popper: no evidence, because we cannot encompass 'totality'  (my
> conclusion).

Cute. And admitting to represent "totality" by the set of codes of
total (everywhere defined) computable functions, this can be made very
precise in term of the Wi and the Fi, as I try to explain from time to
time in the list.

>  
> I would'nt go to the primitive mechanistic AI-levels to learn about
> mentality unlimited. Bits (and pieces) for unrestricted relations.
> AI simulates (mechanically?) certain aspects of human mentality - up
> to a limited fashion.


You seem quite sure about that. How do you know? Why couldn'it be that
*you* find this "limited" due to your own prejudice about numbers and
machines?


2b) John wrote to Brent:

> So noted. (However: in my feeble English 'bias' means
> '~prejudice' and I have yet to learn about prejudicial
> instruments. Unless we accept the "conscious
> instrument e.g. a thinking yardstick). I, as a
> Loebian machine, may well be prejudicial).


That is true!!! Are you serious about being a lobian machine? As a
matter of fact, lobian machine can know and prove that they are lobian.
To prove being a *consistent* lobian machine is quite another matter,
though ....
It is not impossible. *Inconsistent* lobian machine *can* prove that
they are consistent lobian machine, but then they can prove the
existence of Santa Klaus, and also, to be sure, of 0 = 1.


3a) Stathis wrote (to me):

> Regarding consciousness being generated by physical activity, would it
> help if
> I said that if a conventional computer is conscious, then, to be
> consistent, a
> rock would also have to be conscious?

I think you could be right ... It is difficult because terms like
"conventional" and "physical" are quite fuzzy.
I do think that if a conventional (material in the mundane sense) is
conscious, most probably anything *is* conscious, and that is related
to the fact that I think (assuming the comp hypothesis) that a
conventional computer is *not* conscious. Consciousness is a first
person attribute, and the UDA shows that it has to be associated with
an (infinity) of (mathematical) computations. This 1-person has no
shape, and can even be considered as not being a machine. I guess we
will have to discuss this with more details.

> It's difficult to find the right words here. I think we can all agree
> on the appearance
> of a physical reality as a starting point.

Yes.

> The common sense view is that there is an
> underlying primitive physical reality generating this appearance,
> without which the
> appearance would vanish and relative to which dream and illusion can
> be defined.
> If this is so, it is not a scientifically testable theory.

I think it is testable indirectly. Recall that although I disagree
with Penrose godelian argument, I do arrive at similar conclusion: you
cannot have both "computationalism" and "materialism".


> We can't just switch off the
> physical reality to see whether it changes the appearance, and the
> further we delve
> into matter all we see is more appearance (and stranger and stranger
> appearance at
> that). Moreover, dream and illusion are defined relative to the
> appearance of regular
> physical reality, not relative to the postulated primitive physical
> reality.

I would say "relative to a theory explaining the appearances", not just
to the appearances.

3b) Stathis wrote to John M:

> Not really: the people who claim they saw Elvis after his alleged
> death are more
> numerous and more credible than the second-hand (at best) Biblical
> accounts of
> Jesus being sighted after his crucifixion. When I have put this to
> Christians they
> answer that Elvis did not claim to be God etc. Well, if he had done,
> would that
> make a difference?


I'm afraid it would have!
Reciprocally, would Jesus have been only a musician, things would have
been different, I guess :)

3c) Stathis wrote to John in another post:

> The constraint on meaning and
> syntax would then go, and the vibration of atoms in a rock could be
> implementing
> any computation, including any conscious computation, if such there
> are.
>
> John Searle, among others, believes this is absurd, and that therefore
> it disproves
> computationalism. Another approach is that it shows that it is absurd
> that consciousness
> supervenes on physical activity of any sort, but we can keep
> computationalism and
> drop the physical supervenience criterion, as Bruno has.

Yes.

3d) Stathis wrote to Brent:

> Any serial computation can be made up of multiple parallel
> computations, and vice versa. You can't say, aha, we've used that
> string for "dog" so we can't now use it for "cat", because who is
> going to patrol the universe to enforce this rule? This is what you
> are left with if you eliminate the constraint that the computation has
> to interact with an external observer.
> I am aware that this is a very strange idea, perhaps even an absurd
> idea, but I don't see any way out of it without ruining
> computationalism, as by saying that it's all bunk, or only
> computations that can interact with the environment at the level of
> their implementation can be conscious. Because if you insist on the
> latter, it implies something like ESP: the computer will know the
> difference between a false sensory stimulus and one emanating from the
> environment... possible, but not very Turing-emulable.


I agree with Brent's remark on that: "I find that doubtful - do you
have a reference? Isn't it the definition of "incompressible"
computation that there is no way faster than executing each step in
sequence (Brent Meeker).


3e) Stathis' answer to Brent:

> I'm not referring to speed, just to doing it. For example, a serial
> stream of consciousness can be emulated by multiple shorter parallel
> streams; there is no way of knowing whether you're being run in
> serial, parallel, how fast the real world clock is running, etc.

I agree there is no way to know whether you are being run in serial,
parallel, etc. But mathematically multiple shorter parallel streams
have to be able to be glued, at least mathematically, for constituting
a proper computation. If not literally anything can be described as a
computation. That is why I explicitly use a mathematical definition of
computation, and then(and only then) try to figure out what is a rock,
for example.


4) Mark Peaty wrote (to Brent):

> As I say, the essence of evil is the act of treating other persons as
> things.


I so agree with you. And then, with Church thesis (less than comp,
thus) you can understand the reason why even some (relative) machine
and some (relative) numbers should not be confused with any of their
third person description.

> On another tack: it seems to me the extent and scope of suffering in
> the world is one of the most powerful arguments in favour of the total
> irrelevance of the concept of G/god/s. However it is not for me to go
> around telling those who believe in some G/god/s that they are
> deluded.

Do you agree that those who believe in a primitive physical universe
could be deluded in the same manner than those who believe in some
notion of God. Perhaps even in a worse manner, because many people
believe that the existence of a primitive material universe is a
"scientific fact". Of course not. At least in many theological text,
the word "God" is used in a more axiomatic way than "Matter" is by some
scientist (at lunch or during the week-end). Most religious people will
never say that the existence of God is a scientific fact, and in that
sense are less deluded than many materialist.


Wei Dai wrote :

> As for the simulation argument itself, I've suggested previously that
> instead of thinking "which kind of universe am I likely to be in", it
> makes more sense to consider myself as being "simultaneously" in all
> universes that contain me, and to decide my actions based on their
> effects on the overall multiverse.

I agree. It is not even just an option with the comp hyp. With comp we
just cannot belongs to a universe or to a computational history, we
always "belong" to an infinity of them.

Bruno

PS to Mark Peaty: I will address you last post soon (Friday, I guess).

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

John M

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Jan 17, 2007, 12:11:13 PM1/17/07
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Dear Bruno,
may I ask you to spell out your "B" and "D"?
in your:
>Let D = the proposition "God exists", "~" = NOT, B = believes.<
Where I think I cannot substitute your "~" for the "=NOT"  - or, if the entire line is meaning ONE idea, that "B" believes both the affirmative and the negatory.
Also: the difference between ~BD and ~B~D?
 
 I would like to read on and understanding the starting propositions is crucial.
Sorry for my ignorance
 
I have the feeling that we both are on the same ground in our nonexistent beliefs and I expressed that also as being an agnostic, rather than the atheist (who needs a god-concept (incl. matter, for that matter) to DENY.) It is contrary to the German common usage of "gottlos" (same in my language) - but we try to step further than the conventional common historically used  vocabulary.
Br:
>I do neither believe in the inexistence of God, nor in the >inexistence of Matter. I wait for more data.<
I took a more straightforward stance when a 'believer' challenged me to prove: there is NO god, I said I can disprove only if he proved the existence.
 
Another (redface) ignorance of mine: it seems that your Wi and Fi references appeared in the parts more technical than I could consciously absorb, so I am at a loss. Computable must mean more than "Turing emulable" (R.Rosen) since the unrestricted totality is not available in toto for this later concept.
Br asked:
>You seem quite sure about that. How do you know? >Why couldn'it be that *you* find this "limited" due to your >own prejudice about numbers and machines? <
I was impregnated by some commi dialectic materialism over 2 decades and found a perspective of things developing gradually reasonable. AI emulates (some) human mental characteristics and I don't believe that this process has been completed. I see additional possibilities to extend into, especially in mental events we have not yet discovered. This 'feeling' is not due to my - as you say - prejudice about numbers and machines.
I could not spell out such 'prejudice', not in the least because of my above argument in agnosticism: I did not get so far a firm support for the 'numbers' being the foundation of everything, so I cannot argue against such unproven idea (neither to believe).
*
Lobian machine: I follow a deterministic view: everything that happens is entailed by originating processes (whether we know them or not), so a 'mechanism' can be thought of (machine).  I accept your (Bruno) teaching about Loeb's original description (I tried to read 'him', but it was too 'technical) so I feel free to call myself a 'loebian machine' truthfully. Especially since it is the expression used by Bruno et al. on this list.
Consistent I am in MY common sense (which may be fallse).
*
About the "underlying physical reality"? it became physical only by our interpretation into matter-based model-view. Reality may be underlying - I know nothing about that - but we DO base our figments on something. Then we build up a world 'physical'
(I really do not want to tease you:  "or mathematical - numbers based).
 
John

 
 
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Stathis Papaioannou

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Jan 17, 2007, 10:10:44 PM1/17/07
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Bruno Marchal writes:

>[SP] It's difficult to find the right words here. I think we can all agree on the appearance


of a physical reality as a starting point.

>Yes.


>[SP] The common sense view is that there is an


underlying primitive physical reality generating this appearance, without which the
appearance would vanish and relative to which dream and illusion can be defined.
If this is so, it is not a scientifically testable theory.

>I think it is testable indirectly. Recall that although I disagree with Penrose godelian argument, I do arrive at similar conclusion: you cannot have both "computationalism" and "materialism".

>[SP] We can't just switch off the


physical reality to see whether it changes the appearance, and the further we delve
into matter all we see is more appearance (and stranger and stranger appearance at
that). Moreover, dream and illusion are defined relative to the appearance of regular
physical reality, not relative to the postulated primitive physical reality.

>I would say "relative to a theory explaining the appearances", not just to the appearances.

Well, it is relative to appearance, but people go on to theorise that these appearances are
"true reality".


>3b) Stathis wrote to John M:

>[SP] Not really: the people who claim they saw Elvis after his alleged death are more


numerous and more credible than the second-hand (at best) Biblical accounts of
Jesus being sighted after his crucifixion. When I have put this to Christians they
answer that Elvis did not claim to be God etc. Well, if he had done, would that
make a difference?


>I'm afraid it would have!
Reciprocally, would Jesus have been only a musician, things would have been different, I guess :)

Had Elvis predicted that he would rise from the dead there would have been even more Elvis
post-mortem sightings, but this would not in itself have made any of it more credible.

>3c) Stathis wrote to John in another post:

>[SP] The constraint on meaning and


syntax would then go, and the vibration of atoms in a rock could be implementing
any computation, including any conscious computation, if such there are.

>[SP] John Searle, among others, believes this is absurd, and that therefore it disproves


computationalism. Another approach is that it shows that it is absurd that consciousness
supervenes on physical activity of any sort, but we can keep computationalism and
drop the physical supervenience criterion, as Bruno has.

>Yes.

Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result of actual brain activity, not Turing emulable.
This theory is in keeping with the facts and allows us to keep materialism as well. The main
problem I see with it is that it allows for the existence of philosophical zombies, such as computers
that act conscious but aren't. If this were possible it would mean that consciousness was an
optional evolutionary development, i.e. we could all have evolved to live in a world exactly like
our own, except we would be zombies. It's not a knock-down argument, but it strikes me as odd
that something as elaborate as consciousness could have evolved with no real benefit.


>3d) Stathis wrote to Brent:

>[SP] Any serial computation can be made up of multiple parallel computations, and vice versa. You can't say, aha, we've used that string for "dog" so we can't now use it for "cat", because who is going to patrol the universe to enforce this rule? This is what you are left with if you eliminate the constraint that the computation has to interact with an external observer.


I am aware that this is a very strange idea, perhaps even an absurd idea, but I don't see any way out of it without ruining computationalism, as by saying that it's all bunk, or only computations that can interact with the environment at the level of their implementation can be conscious. Because if you insist on the latter, it implies something like ESP: the computer will know the difference between a false sensory stimulus and one emanating from the environment... possible, but not very Turing-emulable.

>I agree with Brent's remark on that: "I find that doubtful - do you have a reference? Isn't it the definition of "incompressible" computation that there is no way faster than executing each step in sequence (Brent Meeker).


>3e) Stathis' answer to Brent:

>[SP] I'm not referring to speed, just to doing it. For example, a serial stream of consciousness can be emulated by multiple shorter parallel streams; there is no way of knowing whether you're being run in serial, parallel, how fast the real world clock is running, etc.

>I agree there is no way to know whether you are being run in serial, parallel, etc. But mathematically multiple shorter parallel streams have to be able to be glued, at least mathematically, for constituting a proper computation. If not literally anything can be described as a computation. That is why I explicitly use a mathematical definition of computation, and then(and only then) try to figure out what is a rock, for example.

Would you speculate that there is some indivisible atom of conscious computation? Because
it doesn't seem that you need any "glue" to have a continuous stream of conscious in
teleportation and mind uploading thought experiments.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Brent Meeker

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Jan 18, 2007, 12:38:05 AM1/18/07
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Bruno Marchal wrote:
> To avoid to much posts in your mail box, I send all my comments in this
> post,
>
> Hi Brent,
>
> 1a) Brent meeker wrote (quoting Jim Heldberg) :
>
> Atheism is not a religion, just as a vacant lot is not a type of
> building, and health is not a form of sickness. Atheism is not a
> religion.
> --- Jim Heldberg
>
>
>
> It seems to me that Jim Heldberg confuse the scientist (indeed) attitude
> of agnosticism and atheism.
> Let D = the proposition "God exists", "~" = NOT, B = believes.
>
> An agnostic is someone for which the proposition "~BD" is true. (And
> "~B~D" could be true as well)
> An atheist is someone for which "B~D" is true.

But what does "true" mean? Does it mean provable? and on what basis? Does it mean "our best guess"

>
> The atheist is a believer. As John M often says, an atheist already has
> some notion of God such as to be able to believe it does not exist.
> Now most atheist are already "believer" in believing "religiously" in
> Primary Matter (a metaphysical entity).
>
> I'am agnostic in both sense. I do not believe in God, nor do I believe
> in Matter. Those terms are not enough well defined.
> I do neither believe in the inexistence of God, nor in the inexistence
> of Matter. I wait for more data.

Right. "God exists" is not well enough defined to believe or disbelieve - both "God" and "exists" being ill defined. But I think "theism" is well enough defined. Theism is the belief in an immortal, supernaturally powerful person, who is concerned with the welfare and behavior of human beings. I believe this god of theism does not exist. As to other gods, such as the god of deism or pantheism, I'm agnostic - I don't believe they exist and I don't believe they don't exist. In all the above "believe" means my considered opinion - not something mathematically provable, but something I think is provable in the legal sense of "preponderance of the evidence" or in the scientific sense of "in accordance with our best model".

So atheism is not a religion - it's the belief that a particular class of religion is mistaken. To reject a belief that is contrary to the evidence is not a matter of faith. It doesn't take faith to believe there is no Santa Claus.



> But assuming comp, I must confess that I have *reason* to put some more
> credo on Plotinus, and other platonist approaches, on "mind/god/matter"
> and fundamental principle, than on the aristotelian primitive matter
> theory. Actually, I infer the same belief from the empirical quantum data.
>
>
> 1b) Brent wrote to John M:
>
> Values existed longer before humans.
>
>
>
> So you are a bit Platonist too .... :)

Yes, I'm willing to contemplate different kinds of existence - so that mathematical structures made be said to exist and statements like "Sherlock Holmes was a detective." are in some sense true while "Sherlock Holmes was a Russian." are false.

But whether arithmetic is more fundamental than matter - I'm agnostic.

> 1c) Brent wrote (to Stathis):
>
> How is this infinite regress avoided in our world? By consciousness
> not representing the rest of the world.
>
>
>
> That is an interesting idea. You could elaborate a bit perhaps? I do
> agree with your most of your recent replies to Stathis about the
> question "does a rock think?". But perhaps not entirely for the same
> reason as you. We will see.

It's a half-baked idea, so I'm not sure I can fill it out. But it is similar to Stathis's point that language (and all symbolic representation) must be grounded in ostentive definition. In Stathis example the conscious computer is conscious by virtue of reference to a real world - which has now been replaced by a simulator. But in a closed system, with no outside reference, the ostensive definition itself must be represented computationally. And in what sense is it a representation of an ostensive definition? Only in virtue of some meta-dictionary that defines it as such in terms of still other representations.


> The world is what it is and representation is not essential. I
> suppose this is somewhat like Peter's "primitive substance" whose
> only function is to distinguish things that exist from their
> representation.
>
>
> yes, but then the question is "what are you assuming to exist?"

Our best model seems to be the quantum fields of the standard model. But I think it is the wrong question to ask "what do you assume to exist". You don't start with assuming something to exist, that's a mathematician's axiomatic approach; you start with what you observe, with appearances. You may be able to model them with different ontologies and then the question is, "How can you test them." As Thales said, "The question is not what exists, but how can we know." It may be that different ontologies produce the same empirical results - as quantum fields and elementary particle theories seem to - and there is nothing to choose between them.

>
> 1d) Brent wrote to Mark Peaty (in Jason's thread about "irreversibility):
>
> I think there is a confusion creeping in here. I don't think
> "logically reversible" is misleading. It is only physical processes
> that can be termed reversible or irreversible. Logic lives in a
> timeless Platonia. Computers operated irreversibly, they dissipate
> heat when they they erase data. Feynman pointed out that this was
> not necessary and a computer that did not erase data could operate
> without dissipating heat (no increase in entropy).
>
>
>
> The logician Hao Wang, is, as far as I know, the first to prove that a
> universal machine can operate without ever erasing information, and this
> is enough for developping notion of logical reversibility (quite useful
> in quantum computing). I say more in term of "combinators" in my
> Elsevier paper. The one which is not yet on my web page. People
> interested can ask me a preprint.

If it's in English I'm interested.

Why isn't the computer (or rock) associated with an infinity of computations? I'm assuming you mean a potential countable infinity in the future.

That's a reductio argument and when you've reached an absurdity it can be anyone of your premises that is wrong - including comp.

>That is why I explicitly use a mathematical definition of
> computation, and then(and only then) try to figure out what is a rock,
> for example.
>
>
>
>
> 4) Mark Peaty wrote (to Brent):
>
> As I say, the essence of evil is the act of treating other persons
> as things.
>
>
>
> I so agree with you. And then, with Church thesis (less than comp, thus)
> you can understand the reason why even some (relative) machine and some
> (relative) numbers should not be confused with any of their third person
> description.
>
>
>
> On another tack: it seems to me the extent and scope of suffering in
> the world is one of the most powerful arguments in favour of the
> total irrelevance of the concept of G/god/s. However it is not for
> me to go around telling those who believe in some G/god/s that they
> are deluded.
>
>
> Do you agree that those who believe in a primitive physical universe
> could be deluded in the same manner than those who believe in some
> notion of God. Perhaps even in a worse manner, because many people
> believe that the existence of a primitive material universe is a
> "scientific fact". Of course not. At least in many theological text, the
> word "God" is used in a more axiomatic way than "Matter" is by some
> scientist (at lunch or during the week-end). Most religious people will
> never say that the existence of God is a scientific fact, and in that
> sense are less deluded than many materialist.

They say the existence of God is a matter of faith and that is a more certain kind of knowledge than scientific knowledge. Because faith is independent of evidence religion is a much more resistant delusion than erroneous science.

Brent Meeker

stefa...@yahoo.com

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Jan 18, 2007, 1:08:14 PM1/18/07
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> >[SP] The common sense view is that there is an
> underlying primitive physical reality generating this appearance

Your assumption of "underlying primitive physical reality" puts you
in the line of believers. It is not necessary to make such assumption
to build predictive theories to model/describe the observations.

Brent Meeker

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Jan 18, 2007, 2:36:58 PM1/18/07
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True. But it's not necessarily an assumption. You can look at it as a metaphysical inference: an answer to the question, "Why do these models seem to work so well at describing our intersubjective agreement?"

Brent Meeker

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Bruno Marchal

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Jan 19, 2007, 11:10:06 AM1/19/07
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Dear John,


Le 17-janv.-07, à 18:11, John M a écrit :

> Dear Bruno,
> may I ask you to spell out your "B" and "D"?
> in your:
> >Let D = the proposition "God exists", "~" = NOT, B = believes.<
> Where I think I cannot substitute your "~" for the "=NOT"  - or, if
> the entire line is meaning ONE idea, that "B" believes both the
> affirmative and the negatory.
> Also: the difference between ~BD and ~B~D?


In this paragraph you should interpret B by "believes" or by "the
subject believes". And D is an abbreviation of "God exists" (careful!
in other context D is an abbreviation of "~B~", that is "the subject
does not believe in the negation of ".

Example: B(it rains) = the subject believes it rains.
BD = the subject believes that God exists.

the tilde symbol ~ represents the classical negation. A logician
will write ~(it rains) for saying that it does not rain. So we
recover the four modal negation cases already known by Aristotle (as
the aristotelian square):

BD = the subject believes that God exists

B(~D) = the subject believes that God does not exist

~BD = the subject does not believe that God exists

~B~D = the subject does not believe that God does not exist.

We have:

BD is true for the so-called "believer" (in God)

B(~D) is true for the atheist (he is a believer: he believes that God
does not exist)

~BD is true for a (consistent) atheist or for an agnostic

~B~D is true for a (consistent) believer or for an agnostic.

To characterize an agnostic, you have to say that both ~BD and ~B~D are
true for him. He does neither believe in God, nor in the inexistence of
God.

If you replace God by Santa-Klaus, or by "Primary matter" you get the
corresponding notion of believer, atheist, agnostic relatively to Santa
Klaus existence or Matter existence ...

>  
> I have the feeling that we both are on the same ground in our
> nonexistent beliefs and I expressed that also as being an agnostic,
> rather than the atheist (who needs a god-concept (incl. matter, for
> that matter) to DENY.)


We agree on this, and I think we even agree that we agree on this :)

> It is contrary to the German common usage of "gottlos" (same in my
> language) - but we try to step further than the conventional common
> historically used  vocabulary.

Yes.


> Br:
> >I do neither believe in the inexistence of God, nor in the
> >inexistence of Matter. I wait for more data.<
> I took a more straightforward stance when a 'believer' challenged me
> to prove: there is NO god, I said I can disprove only if he proved the
> existence.


This is the quasi-definitive proof that you are a lobian machine ... in
case, you accept to interpret arithmetically Plotinus' ONE by "truth".
Lobian machine can disprove any attempt to define truth ... (this is
mainly a consequence of Tarski theorem)

>  
> Another (redface) ignorance of mine: it seems that your Wi and Fi
> references appeared in the parts more technical than I could
> consciously absorb, so I am at a loss.


It is not very difficult. According to Norman Samish it looks too much
technical for the list, but I am not sure. In general those who have
some problem with the technical stuff have just some lack of elementary
"modern math". I will have to come back on the Wi and the Fi, if people
are interested in the real stuff ....


> Computable must mean more than "Turing emulable" (R.Rosen) since the
> unrestricted totality is not available in toto for this later concept.

"total computable" means more than "turing emulable" (partially
computable). Let us not enter in the technics right now, but keep
insisting :-)

> Br asked:
> >You seem quite sure about that. How do you know? >Why couldn'it be
> that *you* find this "limited" due to your >own prejudice about
> numbers and machines? <
> I was impregnated by some commi dialectic materialism over 2 decades
> and found a perspective of things developing gradually reasonable. AI
> emulates (some) human mental characteristics and I don't believe that
> this process has been completed.

Of course, but I am a theoretician interested in guessing where
"matter" and "mind" comes from. Also I have theoretical reasons to
believe that AI will never proVably succeed. Comp can be used to
predict that even some of the AI products will never believe in AI.
Some machine will be anticomputationalist.

> I see additional possibilities to extend into, especially in mental
> events we have not yet discovered.


Hmmm... Careful with this type of argument. It is like saying that I
don't believe in quantum mechanics because it does not explain how Uri
Geller can change the shape of a fork without touching it. I mean few
theories can explain things not yet discovered (even theoretically).


> This 'feeling' is not due to my - as you say - prejudice about numbers
> and machines.
> I could not spell out such 'prejudice', not in the least because of my
> above argument in agnosticism: I did not get so far a firm support for
> the 'numbers' being the foundation of everything, so I cannot argue
> against such unproven idea (neither to believe).
> *
> Lobian machine: I follow a deterministic view: everything that happens
> is entailed by originating processes (whether we know them or not), so
> a 'mechanism' can be thought of (machine).  I accept your (Bruno)
> teaching about Loeb's original description (I tried to read 'him', but
> it was too 'technical) so I feel free to call myself a 'loebian
> machine' truthfully. Especially since it is the expression used by
> Bruno et al. on this list.
> Consistent I am in MY common sense (which may be fallse).


Again, you talk like a lobian entity!
What I like with lobian machines (or entities) is exactly this: they
arise from the attempt, made by mathematicians, to build the Leibnizian
universal reasoning machine capable of answering all questions in
mathematics.
But now, when we build anything being close to prove the most
elementary truth about numbers, such machine, when asked if they will
ever say some stupidity, instead of saying arrogantly "no, I never say
stupidities", say exactly the contrary: they say ``either I will say a
stupidity, or I might say a stupidity". (For the modalist: "B(0 = 1)
or DB(0 = 1)"; this is a version of the second incompleteness theorem).
Here D = ~B~
And all their (nameable) consistent extensions are like that !!!!!!!!
.... !!!!!!!

I have already shown that the price of being an universal machine is
the possibility to "die/dream/crash/assert-stupidities...".
A lobian machine, roughly speaking is a universal machine having the
very basic introspective ability to prove this about herself.

> *
> About the "underlying physical reality"? it became physical only by
> our interpretation into matter-based model-view. Reality may be
> underlying - I know nothing about that - but we DO base our figments
> on something. Then we build up a world 'physical'

OK.


> (I really do not want to tease you:  "or mathematical - numbers based).


No problem,

Regards,

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

Bruno Marchal

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Jan 19, 2007, 11:41:36 AM1/19/07
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Brent,

I must go, so I will just comment one line before commenting the other
paragraph (tomorrow, normally).


Le 18-janv.-07, à 06:38, Brent Meeker a écrit :

> Why isn't the computer (or rock) associated with an infinity of
> computations? I'm assuming you mean a potential countable infinity in
> the future.


I don't know if computers or rocks "really exist", nor what you mean
exactly by such words, but as far as you can associate a computational
state to the computer or to the rocks, it belongs to a (first person
actual) NON COUNTABLE infinity of computational histories, including
quite dummy one, like a program which dovetails on some loopy local
simulation of the rock (or the computer) together with a (infinite)
dovetailing on the real numbers. Cf my old conversation with Jurgen
Schmidhuber. OK?

That is why comp predicts a priori not only some white rabbits, but
continua of white rabbits. QM eliminates them by "destructive
interference", and my point is just that if we take comp seriously
enough, then we have to justify those destructive interference by
classical computer science/number theory alone.

Now, a way to see what happens ( a shortcut!) consists in interviewing
a correct lobian machine which looks inward, and, because such a
machine has to take into account the modal nuances forced by the
incompleteness phenomenon, i.e. the nuance between p, Bp, Bp & p, Bp
& Dp, etc., the structure of the space of possible histories appears to
be arithmetically quantized in some way. Enough to associate a
universal quantum field in the neighborhood of universal machine? Well,
that is still an open problem.


Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

John Mikes

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Jan 21, 2007, 5:16:30 PM1/21/07
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Dear Bruno,
I read with joy your long and detailed 'teaching' reply (Hungarian slogan: like a mother to her imbecil child) and understood a lot (or so I think).
I am not entusiastic about a sign-language (gesticulated or written) instead of words, because I did not familiarize myself into its 'underwstanding' understanding.

About your warning (Uri Geller's fork): I abhor 'righteous' conclusions based on actual half-information and always leave open a slot for things to be learned (discovered) later. 
In my 7+ decades of watching the world around me (7 in science) I saw "changes" that made me a "~" for firm conclusions. I am not for including the unknowable, but nobody taught about DNA when I first learned  biochemical compounds or irreversible thermodynamics when I first learned Carnot.-  And the Moon was for the poets. Computer was a slide-rule. We had a phone ("please, Mam, connect me to Mr Brown") and I had a radio in 1927 - it spoke(!) through an earphone 2 hours a day.Hallo Radio Budapest,
 Hence my belief in further surprises.I experienced all kinds of belief systems changing around me, in science, art, politics, economy, so the latest is not so impressive either.

Thanks again for your kind explanations - and am ready for Wi Fi.

John


On 1/19/07, Bruno Marchal <mar...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
Dear John,

Le 17-janv.-07, ŕ 18:11, John M a écrit :


> Dear Bruno,
> may I ask you to spell out your "B" and "D"?
> in your:
> >Let D = the proposition "God exists", "~" = NOT, B = believes.<
> Where I think I cannot substitute your "~" for the "=NOT" - or, if
> the entire line is meaning ONE idea,that "B" believes both the
> on something. Then we build up aworld 'physical'

Bruno Marchal

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Jan 22, 2007, 8:15:00 AM1/22/07
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Le 18-janv.-07, à 06:38, Brent Meeker a écrit :

>


> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> To avoid to much posts in your mail box, I send all my comments in
>> this post,
>> Hi Brent,
>> 1a) Brent meeker wrote (quoting Jim Heldberg) :
>> Atheism is not a religion, just as a vacant lot is not a type of
>> building, and health is not a form of sickness. Atheism is not a
>> religion.
>> --- Jim Heldberg
>> It seems to me that Jim Heldberg confuse the scientist (indeed)
>> attitude of agnosticism and atheism.
>> Let D = the proposition "God exists", "~" = NOT, B = believes.
>> An agnostic is someone for which the proposition "~BD" is true. (And
>> "~B~D" could be true as well)
>> An atheist is someone for which "B~D" is true.
>
> But what does "true" mean? Does it mean provable? and on what basis?
> Does it mean "our best guess"


I am using "true" in its usual informal sense here. To be more precise
here would be a 1004 fallacy. In the technical part, all proposition
are purely arithmetical, and if you want you can defined that notion of
arithmetical truth in set theory for example. But the Tarski definition
of truth is enough in the present context. The proposition P intended
by the sentence A is true when it is the case that A.


>
>> The atheist is a believer. As John M often says, an atheist already
>> has some notion of God such as to be able to believe it does not
>> exist.
>> Now most atheist are already "believer" in believing "religiously" in
>> Primary Matter (a metaphysical entity).
>> I'am agnostic in both sense. I do not believe in God, nor do I
>> believe in Matter. Those terms are not enough well defined.
>> I do neither believe in the inexistence of God, nor in the
>> inexistence of Matter. I wait for more data.
>
> Right. "God exists" is not well enough defined to believe or
> disbelieve - both "God" and "exists" being ill defined. But I think
> "theism" is well enough defined. Theism is the belief in an immortal,
> supernaturally powerful person, who is concerned with the welfare and
> behavior of human beings. I believe this god of theism does not
> exist. As to other gods, such as the god of deism or pantheism, I'm
> agnostic - I don't believe they exist and I don't believe they don't
> exist. In all the above "believe" means my considered opinion - not
> something mathematically provable, but something I think is provable
> in the legal sense of "preponderance of the evidence" or in the
> scientific sense of "in accordance with our best model".


OK, but here you do the inverse of the 1004-fallacy. I was thinking we
were already more precise than that. There is a problem of vocabulary.
You continue to use the word "God" as related to our particular
history. I just defined "theology of a machine" by the truth about that
machine (whatver that truth is). Given that I limit myself to
self-referentially correct machine, the provable sentences by the
machine are included in the truth about the machine. The inclusion has
to be proper due to incompleteness of all such machines. Unlike the
christian theologians, I have no (not yet) evidence that "God" (truth,
the ONE, ...) is dedicated to the welfare of man (although I have
evidence that man, or at least some man, are dedicated too the serach
of truth.
Also, nobody has proved the existence of a primitive physical universe.
With the present definition of theology, the belief in a physical
primitive universe *is* a theological proposition. And I have shown
that such a belief is epistemologically incompatible with the belief in
comp (that there is a level where "I" am Turing emulable).
The Mechanist position in the philosophy of mind is just
(epistemologically) incompatible with, not the belief in a physical
universe", but with the belief in the primary nature of that physical
universe.

>
> So atheism is not a religion - it's the belief that a particular class
> of religion is mistaken. To reject a belief that is contrary to the
> evidence is not a matter of faith. It doesn't take faith to believe
> there is no Santa Claus.


It does not take faith to NOT believe in Santa Klaus. It does take
faith (if only in your own consistency) to believe that you will never
believe in Santa Klaus. Now I (re) define locally and in a first
approximation GOD as the ultimate reality, for which I do have
evidence. Thanks to Plotinus and Augustin there is case that this
notion of GOD is closer to the christian notion than a "primitive
physical universe", for which I have no evidence at all (beyond the
usual extrapolation of self-consistency that all higher mammal seems to
do all the time).
I am closer to the atheist when I say that the GOD is not a person (or
is a zero-person). But with comp, I have to abandon "materialism", even
in the weak sense that there is a primary notion of matter.
Materialism, for a computationalist (who has understand the complete
UDA) is a form of vitalism: it invokes something nobody can verify, and
which (by UDA) is shown to explain absolutely nothing. Like the
collapse of the wave, it is not even defined.
The use of materialism in physics, since Aristotle, is just a provisory
metaphysics used to postpone the delicate questions. I have not yet
find a paper by physicist (except Bunge) which really assumes, in some
scientist modest way, the hypothesis of materialism.


>> But assuming comp, I must confess that I have *reason* to put some
>> more credo on Plotinus, and other platonist approaches, on
>> "mind/god/matter" and fundamental principle, than on the aristotelian
>> primitive matter theory. Actually, I infer the same belief from the
>> empirical quantum data.
>> 1b) Brent wrote to John M:
>> Values existed longer before humans.
>> So you are a bit Platonist too .... :)
>
> Yes, I'm willing to contemplate different kinds of existence - so
> that mathematical structures made be said to exist and statements like
> "Sherlock Holmes was a detective." are in some sense true while
> "Sherlock Holmes was a Russian." are false.


OK.


>
> But whether arithmetic is more fundamental than matter - I'm agnostic.


Then you would be kind to point exactly where you miss the point in the
UDA. Or perhaps you are just saying that you are agnostic with respect
to comp? That is ok, I am too, and that is why I have work hard to
distill a testable version of comp.


>
> > 1c) Brent wrote (to Stathis):
>> How is this infinite regress avoided in our world? By
>> consciousness
>> not representing the rest of the world.
>> That is an interesting idea. You could elaborate a bit perhaps? I do
>> agree with your most of your recent replies to Stathis about the
>> question "does a rock think?". But perhaps not entirely for the same
>> reason as you. We will see.
>
> It's a half-baked idea, so I'm not sure I can fill it out. But it is
> similar to Stathis's point that language (and all symbolic
> representation) must be grounded in ostentive definition. In Stathis
> example the conscious computer is conscious by virtue of reference to
> a real world - which has now been replaced by a simulator. But in a
> closed system, with no outside reference, the ostensive definition
> itself must be represented computationally. And in what sense is it a
> representation of an ostensive definition? Only in virtue of some
> meta-dictionary that defines it as such in terms of still other
> representations.


When you ask your computer to print a document, the computer typically
does not search the meaning of the words "print" or "document" in a
dictionary. Other more subtile self-reference are handled by the
diagonalization technic which makes it possible to cut the infinite
regresses. IF and when I come back on the Fi and Wi, I will give you
Kleene second recursion theorem which solves all those infinite regress
appearing in computer self-reference.


>
>> The world is what it is and representation is not essential. I
>> suppose this is somewhat like Peter's "primitive substance" whose
>> only function is to distinguish things that exist from their
>> representation.
>> yes, but then the question is "what are you assuming to exist?"
>
> Our best model seems to be the quantum fields of the standard model.


Quantum field theory (QFT) does assume numbers, and strictly speaking
relates numbers with numbers (actually they appear also mathematically
as invariant of knots, but this is out-of-topic right now). QFT, like
QM compress a lot of information concerning our local appearances, but
it does not tackle the fundamental question (that is: it postulates
quanta, and does not address qualia at all). Quantum thermodynamic can
be said closer to the qualia, but in a still very implicit way, and
almost by chance.


> But I think it is the wrong question to ask "what do you assume to
> exist".

When we got startling results, or address very fundamental questions, I
think there is a time where we should be able to put all the cards on
the table. I think we have to accept the axiomatic method. If not we
could realize one day that we are just mislead by vocabulary, and that
is a waste of time relatively to the question of the content of our
theories/assumption.

> You don't start with assuming something to exist, that's a
> mathematician's axiomatic approach; you start with what you observe,
> with appearances.

I don't believe in "just appearance". Those "appearance" is the result
of both observation together with theories. Even a baby who begins to
distinguish its hands and its mother's hand relies on theories whose
results from millions years of researches.


> You may be able to model them with different ontologies and then the
> question is, "How can you test them."


Hmmm.... OK (logicians and physicians use different word here, but OK).


> As Thales said, "The question is not what exists, but how can we
> know." It may be that different ontologies produce the same empirical
> results - as quantum fields and elementary particle theories seem to -
> and there is nothing to choose between them.

This is not obvious at all, unless you start directly from a
physicalist assumption. Of course a more general theory is needed if
you want to *explain* where the laws of physics come from. And such a
more general theory has to be non physical, as John Archibald Wheeler
has already quite convincingly explained. But the UDA proves that if
comp is true, then Wheeler's idea are not an option, just an
unavoidable consequence.

>
> >
>> 1d) Brent wrote to Mark Peaty (in Jason's thread about
>> "irreversibility):
>> I think there is a confusion creeping in here. I don't think
>> "logically reversible" is misleading. It is only physical
>> processes
>> that can be termed reversible or irreversible. Logic lives in a
>> timeless Platonia. Computers operated irreversibly, they dissipate
>> heat when they they erase data. Feynman pointed out that this was
>> not necessary and a computer that did not erase data could operate
>> without dissipating heat (no increase in entropy).
>> The logician Hao Wang, is, as far as I know, the first to prove that
>> a universal machine can operate without ever erasing information, and
>> this is enough for developping notion of logical reversibility (quite
>> useful in quantum computing). I say more in term of "combinators" in
>> my Elsevier paper. The one which is not yet on my web page. People
>> interested can ask me a preprint.
>
> If it's in English I'm interested.


Done.
Marchal, B., Theoretical Computer Science & the Natural Sciences,
Physics of Life Reviews, Elsevier, Vol 2/4 pp 251-289, 2005.

(for the other: ask if you want a pdf). I will not put it soon in my
web page for copyright reason.

BTW I have finish my paper on the arithmetical interpretation of
Plotinus. And I have submit it.


I have answered this in my preceding post to you. I will come back on
this difficult point in my conversation with Stathis.


That is my point.

Personal pain/pleasure: that is what we can believe without act of
faith. All the rest need an act of faith, by which I mean the ability
to believe in assumptions, that is in proposition without a proof. To
go from "I see the moon" to "there is a moon" you need faith or ...,
well by being non truring emulable perhaps .... (up to you to show me
how ...).

This is provable for any monist theory. In a monist theory you have to
embed the "theoretician" in its object of study (like Everett embeds
the physicist in the physical world (described by the SWE), see also
the work of the physicist Otto Rossler: his endophysics is really an
endomathematics once we assume comp). If the "theoretician" is emulable
by a turing machine, any everything-theory he can build has the
property that the consistency of the big picture entails its own
consistency, and this can only be inferred, never proved.

Our theories are counterintuitive and do handle very subtle questions,
I really think than the axiomatic method can help. You cannot explain
General Relativity to people who believes the Euclid fifth axiom is a
consequence of the fourth preceding one. The same occur in our context.
It is impossible to understand the consequences of comp for those who
believed comp needs materialism when it is actually incompatible with
(weak) materialism, as it has been justified.


Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

Bruno Marchal

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Jan 22, 2007, 9:18:09 AM1/22/07
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Le 18-janv.-07, à 04:10, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

>
>> I would say "relative to a theory explaining the appearances", not
>> just to the appearances.
>
> Well, it is relative to appearance, but people go on to theorise that
> these appearances are "true reality".


From Pythagoras to Proclus, "intellectuals" were proud not making that
error. Aristotle is in part responsible for having made "appearance"
reality, coming back to the (provably wrong assuming comp) common sense
in those matters.
(of course as you know we have to rely on common sense to go beyond
common sense).

> Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result of actual brain
> activity, not Turing emulable.

Nooooo....... True: Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result
of brain activity, but nowhere does Searle pretend that brain is not
turing emulable. He just implicitly assume there is a notion of
actuality that no simulation can render, but does not address the
question of emulability. Then Searle is known for confusing level of
description (this I can make much more precise with the Fi and Wi, or
with the very important difference between computability (emulability)
and provability.

> This theory is in keeping with the facts

Ah?

> and allows us to keep materialism as well.

Abandoning the comp hyp. OK.

> The main problem I see with it is that it allows for the existence of
> philosophical zombies, such as computers that act conscious but
> aren't. If this were possible it would mean that consciousness was an
> optional evolutionary development, i.e. we could all have evolved to
> live in a world exactly like our own, except we would be zombies. It's
> not a knock-down argument, but it strikes me as odd that something as
> elaborate as consciousness could have evolved with no real benefit.

OK. Of course COMP admits local zombie. One day it will be possible to
build an artificial museum tourist, looking and commenting picture and
art like a real tourist, which nobody will be able to distinguish from
a real tourist, but which will be only a sophisticated machine looking
for presence of bomb in the museum.
With comp, consciousness has a big role, many big role (relative
sped-up of computations, give the ability to face personal relative
ignorance and alternate reality guessing and contemplation, ...). Cf I
define in first approximation "consciousness" as the quale which
accompanies the instinctive believe in reality/self-consistency.


>
>> I agree there is no way to know whether you are being run in serial,
>> parallel, etc. But mathematically multiple shorter parallel streams
>> have to be able to be glued, at least mathematically, for
>> constituting a proper computation. If not literally anything can be
>> described as a computation. That is why I explicitly use a
>> mathematical definition of computation, and then(and only then) try
>> to figure out what is a rock, for example.
>
> Would you speculate that there is some indivisible atom of conscious
> computation?


Not at all. Consciousness, or instinctive belief in a reality (or in
oneself) and/or its associated first person quale needs an infinity
(even non countable) of computational histories. It depends in fine of
all nameable and unameable relations between number. Nothing deep here,
the primeness of 17 is also dependent in some logical way of the whole
mutilicative structure of the natural numbers. Machine are lucky to be
able to prove the primeness of 17 in a finite time, because the *truth*
of even something as mundane than 17's primeness already escapes the
machine capability of expression.

> Because it doesn't seem that you need any "glue" to have a continuous
> stream of conscious in teleportation and mind uploading thought
> experiments.

One day I will have to ask you what you really mean by computation. An
arbitrary sequence of sign can be interpreted as a computation (cf your
"rock"). I am OK with that if, and only if you can show me the
universal machine for which this sequence describes a computation. And
if you do that, each of those sign will need to have, at least, an
arithmetical connection: there will be a number (finite piece of
information) capable of relying all the signs. This makes computations
non trivial object, and it is easy to prove that arbitrary sequence of
numbers/signs are NOT computations (there is an uncountable number of
arbitrary sequences, and a countable number of third person
computations. The glue I was thinking about is not physicalist glue,
but already arithmetical glue. Does that help?

The real question is not "does a rock implement computations", the
question is "does a rock implement computations in such a way as to
changed the relative measure of my (future) comp states in a relevant
way?" And for answering such question we need to know what a rock
really is, and both physics and comp are not near at all to answer
this. Comp has less trouble here because it does not have to reify any
primary reality associated to the rock, which already emerge locally
from many non material computations.


Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

Bruno Marchal

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Jan 22, 2007, 9:26:58 AM1/22/07
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Hi John,


Le 21-janv.-07, à 23:16, John Mikes a écrit :

> Thanks again for your kind explanations -


You are welcome.

> and am ready for Wi Fi.


Thanks for telling. I will come back on this ASAP (tomorrow).


Bruno

Stathis Papaioannou

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Jan 22, 2007, 10:36:39 PM1/22/07
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Bruno Marchal writes:

An association has been made between "print" and "document" with objects
in the real world. You can work out what the print command is on an unknown
computer by experimenting with different inputs and observing outputs. But
if the real world is internalised, even if you could work out regularities in the
syntax of an unknown computer (and I don't know if this is necessarily possible:
it might be a military computer with syntax deliberately scrambled with a one-time
pad) you would be unable to work out what it originally meant - what the computer
is thinking. It is like finding an unknown language without a Rosetta stone or any
cultural background which might help you with a translation. This reminds me of the
impossibility of sharing 1st person experience: you can only do so if you share some
3rd person quality allowing at least some interaction.

Stathis Papaioannou

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Jan 23, 2007, 12:17:58 AM1/23/07
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Bruno Marchal writes:

> Le 18-janv.-07, à 04:10, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
>
> >
> >> I would say "relative to a theory explaining the appearances", not
> >> just to the appearances.
> >
> > Well, it is relative to appearance, but people go on to theorise that
> > these appearances are "true reality".
>
>
> From Pythagoras to Proclus, "intellectuals" were proud not making that
> error. Aristotle is in part responsible for having made "appearance"
> reality, coming back to the (provably wrong assuming comp) common sense
> in those matters.
> (of course as you know we have to rely on common sense to go beyond
> common sense).

OK, but we have to start with some basic observation. It looks like objects
are pulled to the Earth by a force - that is a basic observation, with a minimal
implicit theory. General Relativity explains this differently, but it takes a rather
complex series of arguments to arrive at GR. You can't call Newton stupid because
of this. Similarly, your conclusion that there is no separate physical reality follows
from a number of carefully argued steps, and at the start of the chain is the fact
that there does appear to be a physical world... if there did not, we would not be
having this or any other discussion.

> > Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result of actual brain
> > activity, not Turing emulable.
>
> Nooooo....... True: Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result
> of brain activity, but nowhere does Searle pretend that brain is not
> turing emulable. He just implicitly assume there is a notion of
> actuality that no simulation can render, but does not address the
> question of emulability. Then Searle is known for confusing level of
> description (this I can make much more precise with the Fi and Wi, or
> with the very important difference between computability (emulability)
> and provability.

Searle seems to accept that CT implies the brain is Turing emulable, but he
does not believe that such an emulation would capture consciousness any
more than a simulation of a thunderstorm will make you wet. Thus, a computer
that could pass the Turing Test would be a zombie.

See here for example:

http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Papers/Py104/searle.comp.html

> > This theory is in keeping with the facts
>
> Ah?

At least, it isn't contradicted by any empirical facts, although neither is comp.

> > and allows us to keep materialism as well.
>
> Abandoning the comp hyp. OK.

Searle is not a computationalist - does not believe in strong AI - but he does
believe in weak AI. Penrose does not believe in weak AI either.

You seemed to be disputing the idea that a serial computation cannot be broken
up arbitrarily into parallel components, or suggesting that they need to be glued
together in some way if they are. This seems to contradict most of the teleportation
thought experiments we have discussed, in which it is sufficient for continuity of
conscious that I vanish at A and a copy with close enough brain be created at B:
there need be no glue, no causal connection (although of course it would help to
make the copy if you had the right information, the result would be the same if the
copy just came about by random processes), no regard for temporal or spatial
displacement.

> > Because it doesn't seem that you need any "glue" to have a continuous
> > stream of conscious in teleportation and mind uploading thought
> > experiments.
>
> One day I will have to ask you what you really mean by computation. An
> arbitrary sequence of sign can be interpreted as a computation (cf your
> "rock"). I am OK with that if, and only if you can show me the
> universal machine for which this sequence describes a computation. And
> if you do that, each of those sign will need to have, at least, an
> arithmetical connection: there will be a number (finite piece of
> information) capable of relying all the signs. This makes computations
> non trivial object, and it is easy to prove that arbitrary sequence of
> numbers/signs are NOT computations (there is an uncountable number of
> arbitrary sequences, and a countable number of third person
> computations. The glue I was thinking about is not physicalist glue,
> but already arithmetical glue. Does that help?

If there are more arbitrary sequences than third person computations, how
does it follow that arbitrary sequences are not computations?

Simplistically, I conceive of computations as mysterious abstract objects, like
all other mathematical objects. Physical computers are devices which reflect
these mathematical objects in order to achieve some practical purpose in the
substrate of their implementation. A computer, an abacus, a set of fingers,
pencil and paper can be used to compute 2+3=5, but these processes do not
create the computation, they just make it accessible to the user. The fact that
2 birds land on a tree in South America and 3 elephants drink at a watering hole
in Africa, or 2 atoms move to the left in a rock and 3 atoms move to the right
is essentially the same process as the abacus, but it is useless, trivial, lost in
randomness, escapes the notice of theories of computation - and rightly so.
However, what about the special case where a more complex version of 2+3=5
on the abacus is conscious? Then I see no reason why the birds and the elephants
or the atoms in a rock should not also implement the same consciousness, even
though there is no possibility of interaction with the outside world due to the
computation being lost in noise. What this really does is destroy the whole notion
of physical supervenience: if you shot the elephants or smashed the rock, the
computation could as easily spring from the new noise situation. Thus, it would
appear that consciousness comes from computation as pure mathematical object,
and is no more created by the physical process that addition is created by the
physical process. Either that, or it isn't computational at all.


> The real question is not "does a rock implement computations", the
> question is "does a rock implement computations in such a way as to
> changed the relative measure of my (future) comp states in a relevant
> way?" And for answering such question we need to know what a rock
> really is, and both physics and comp are not near at all to answer
> this. Comp has less trouble here because it does not have to reify any
> primary reality associated to the rock, which already emerge locally
> from many non material computations.

No, as I implied above, a rock makes no difference whatsoever to the measure of
computation it might be seen as implementing.

Bruno Marchal

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Jan 23, 2007, 8:35:04 AM1/23/07
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Le 23-janv.-07, à 04:36, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

First, I do agree we cannot extract semantics from syntax, or behavior
of a program from their codes. There is a well know theorem (Rice
theorem) explaining why, and I could come back on this when I come back
on the Fi and Wi. But so we agree. This does not depend on "cultural
background" unless you define "cultural background" by "most probable
universal neighborhood history".
Now I am not sure this is directly related to the 1-3 distinction.
Also, I have no clue of what you mean by "real world".

>>
>> From Pythagoras to Proclus, "intellectuals" were proud not making
>> that
>> error. Aristotle is in part responsible for having made "appearance"
>> reality, coming back to the (provably wrong assuming comp) common
>> sense
>> in those matters.
>> (of course as you know we have to rely on common sense to go beyond
>> common sense).
>
> OK, but we have to start with some basic observation. It looks like
> objects
> are pulled to the Earth by a force - that is a basic observation, with
> a minimal
> implicit theory.


I agree. I call that sometimes "grandmother physics". Even physicists
use it in everyday life.

> General Relativity explains this differently, but it takes a rather
> complex series of arguments to arrive at GR.


Already Galilee makes grandmother's physics globally wrong. Now
Galilee, Newton and GR works because they does not contradict
grandmother physics, and recast it in frame compatible with larger set
of data.

> You can't call Newton stupid because
> of this.

Not at all. Especially not Newton, who wrote some text showing that he
was aware on the lack of serious metaphysical foundations for his
physics.

> Similarly, your conclusion that there is no separate physical reality
> follows
> from a number of carefully argued steps, and at the start of the chain
> is the fact
> that there does appear to be a physical world... if there did not, we
> would not be
> having this or any other discussion.


I think we agree. I have never doubted the appearances of a physical
reality, even assuming comp.
What I do pretend, is that IF we assume the comp hyp, then the
appearance of a physical reality does not reflect the existence of a
*primary* physical reality. It is simpler to describe the
epistemological consequences (albeit probably looking more
provocative), which is that physics cannot be the fundamental science.
It really means that the laws of physics, not only can be derived from
computer science/number theory, but has to be derived from computer
science number theory if we are asssuming comp. All stable appearances
must emerge through a notion of first person plural observation.
Now such "first person plural observation" can be described in the
language of a Universal Machine, and this gives a way to test the comp
hypothesis.
I am before all an empiricist. True, I'm saying that if comp is true
then the "laws of physics" are in your head (actually in any universal
machine's "head"). So let us test comp by 1) deriving the
"comp-physics" (the physics in the head), 2) let us compare it with the
usual observations. If the empirical data contradict comp: comp is
refuted. If the data are coherent with comp, comp is not refuted. If
comp is correct, the data will never be contradicted, and we will never
know if comp is correct, but may be we will bet on it according to
possible circumstances.
Note that in the UDA I do start, not only from the appearances of a
physical world, but from its primary existence. But this assumption is
eliminated in the course of the reasoning (by the movie graph/maudlin).


> You seemed to be disputing the idea that a serial computation cannot
> be broken
> up arbitrarily into parallel components, or suggesting that they need
> to be glued
> together in some way if they are. This seems to contradict most of the
> teleportation
> thought experiments we have discussed, in which it is sufficient for
> continuity of
> conscious that I vanish at A and a copy with close enough brain be
> created at B:
> there need be no glue, no causal connection (although of course it
> would help to
> make the copy if you had the right information, the result would be
> the same if the
> copy just came about by random processes), no regard for temporal or
> spatial
> displacement.

Let us call S my digital (generalized) brain state here and now, in
Brussels for example.
Let us call S' the state of "consistent extension" of that state "me in
Moscow" or "me in Washington" to take those examples.
What the thought experiments show indeed is that we don't need (and
even cannot use) a causal or physical connection between those states S
and S'. But S' has to be a state "near S" for me having a feeling like
"I am in Washington, and I come from Brussels", so as to say yes to the
doctor and continue to say yes to the doctor. This works if S-S'
belongs to a "normal" computational history, that is a third person
computation having the "right" probability (if that exists, if not comp
is already incorrect). But then, by definition of computation S and S'
have to be mathematically related, even arithmetically related. If not
there would be too much white rabbits at the start.
In UD*, i.e. the entire (countably infinite) dovetailing work of the
Universal Dovetailer UD, we must distinguish third person computations
and all possible first person data, which can indeed, from a first
person perspective (which abstracts all delays in the running of the
UD) contained all arbitrary sequences. But almost all such sequences
are NOT computable. They are never generated by the UD, except by local
dovetaling on the finite initial segment of (all) real numbers, but
this perturbs only the measure (which we are searching) in the limit.
This limit makes a first person sense only in the limit.
Consciousness supervenes on computational histories which are immune
for that "real" unavoidable first person (plural) randomization.
The UDA (UD Argument) illustrates that we have to take into account
only the arithmetical gluing. But we have to take account of that
gluing. If not, everything is a computation, and this would make Church
thesis false (among many things ...).

> If there are more arbitrary sequences than third person computations,
> how
> does it follow that arbitrary sequences are not computations?

Stathis, I must go now, I will answer this later. I will comment the
rest of your post + a commentary on your kind reference to Searle. We
agree on many things. I am afraid we have to dig in slightly more
technical stuff for making the remaining posts understandable. I have
to explain those "arithmetical (first person/third person) glues".

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

1Z

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Jan 23, 2007, 9:59:07 AM1/23/07
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Bruno Marchal wrote:

> Also, nobody has proved the existence of a primitive physical universe.

Or of a Platonia

John M

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Jan 23, 2007, 2:33:02 PM1/23/07
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Or of comp, or of multiple universes, or of.....
(the list is almost unlimitable).
"Proving" is tricky. In many cases SOME accept the backwards argument from phenomena "assigned" to an originating assumption that is now deemed "proven" by it.
Some don't.  It depends on evidence in one's personal belief system qualia (characteristics) if someone is not closed minded in his own belief system's 'monotheistic'
prejudices (like e.g. of natural sciences, or of math).
 
Has anybody proven the existence? (I mean beyond the Zenian question: "who's arthritis is it?")
 
John

Bruno Marchal

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Jan 24, 2007, 6:42:50 AM1/24/07
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Le 23-janv.-07, à 15:59, 1Z a écrit :


Call it Platonia, God, Universe, or Glass-of-Beer, we don' t care. But
we have to bet on a "reality", if we want some progress.

Now, here is what I do. For each lobian machine I extract a "theology"
from her personal discourses. The discourses of the machine refers to
something NOT describable in its language (actually "truth"). That is,
each correct lobian machine refers to a reality which has no name for
her.
Now, it happens that a very-rich machine, like ZF, *can* refer and give
name to the unnameable reality of a simpler correct lobian machine. So
the machine ZF can name and prove the whole theology of a simpler than
herself correct lobian machine. For example ZF can define "arithmetical
truth", which is just the "Platonia/God/Universe..." of the (rather
simple) lobian machine PA. If you add to the machine ZF (seen as any
reasonable theorem prover of the ZF theory) a very simple (trivial)
inductive inference ability, she can bet/hope that she is, not only
lobian, but "correct", and so she can lift (but NOT PROVE, 'course)
PA's theology to herself, and "knows" (relatively to her hopes!) that
her "big reality" has no name.

Note this: everyone (human) know that PA is correct. Everyone (human)
can name PA's Platonia. This is enough to prove that as a lobian
machine every human is more rich than PA. Now, I don't know if I am
richer than ZF. Not only ZF cannot name "set-theoretical truth", but I
am not sure human can do that. A case can be given that ZF is already
too much rich. Set theoretical truth, unlike arithmetical truth *is* a
bit problematic.


Note this: all the theologies of all consistent lobian machines and
even of all consistent lobian entities (like "angels", those
generalized NON-machine provability system like Analysis+omega-rule)
are isomorphic. They are all described by G and G* and the intensional
variants: the 8 hypostases (with Plotinus' vocabulary). But the modal
connector "B" is an indexical: it is a notion of third-person "I". It
means ZF when B is the provability in ZF, and it means PA when B
represents the provability in PA (like "I" = Bruno when asserted by
Bruno, and John when asserted by John). But all third-person "I" obeys
the same hypostase-logics, where "I" refers to any correct lobian
entity (machine or not).


Remark: I say that PA is simpler than ZF. By this I mean that 1) you
can translate any theorems of PA in ZF, and 2) ZF can prove those
theorems. Put in another way, it means that ZF contains PA, modulo that
translation.
Now ZF is not simpler that PA: this means the reverse is not true:
there are theorems of ZF that either you cannot translate in PA's
language, and there are proposition of ZF that you can translate in PA
but that PA cannot prove. Example: PA cannot name its "platonia", but
ZF can name PA's platonia. PA can name its own consistency, but cannot
prove it. ZF can name PA's consistency and prove it (but 'course,
cannot prove it).

Last and absolutely important remark: I have just said that ZF can
prove the consistency of PA. And PA cannot prove the consistency of PA,
making ZF more powerful than PA. The point is that PA can prove that!
That is, PA can prove that ZF can prove the consistency of PA. But PA
has no reason at all to trust or even just "understand" ZF.
This means that PA can simulate ZF, like the non-chinese in Searle's
room can "talk" chinese, actually without any understanding. Like I can
solve Einstein's Gravity Equation, if you give me a correct description
of its brain and the time to process it (!).
So the distinction between computability/emulabity and PROVABILITY is
already enough for preventing us to do "Searle's fundamental error":
its confusion between genuine personal understanding of chinese by the
emulated chinese, and the non understanding of the simulator itself.
Searles' error is a fundamental error to meditate on. Usually I don't
insist because I tend to consider that Hofstadter and Dennett, in
Minds'I, are quite good and sufficient on it.
(Please, note that when I say a philosopher is wrong, this should be
taken as a compliment; and sometimes the error is fundamental, I will
probably refer a lot of times to that "Searles' Error"). Science is
just philosophy made refutable.

As computer/simulator, both PA and ZF are universal and equivalent. As
believer or theorem prover, ZF is far more powerful (although
incomplete and necessarily so by Godel II) than PA. The price of
universality in computation/simulation (Church Thesis) is the lack of
universality in theorem proving, belief systems, etc. cf the Fi and Wi:
I'l come back on this.

Note that PA is described here as "simple", but actually PA is rather
gifted, and I could argue that 98% of today math, including 98% of
Ramanujan's work, belongs to its discourse. It is possible to build or
define lobian machine much simpler than PA, but PA is more easy to
describe, and so I take her as a simple example of simple machine, but
this should be relativize a little bit. See any texbook in mathematical
logic for a description of PA, or click here:
http://www.ltn.lv/~podnieks/gt3.html

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

Bruno Marchal

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Jan 24, 2007, 10:40:05 AM1/24/07
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Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

>
>>> Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result of actual brain
>>> activity, not Turing emulable.
>>
>> Nooooo....... True: Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result
>> of brain activity, but nowhere does Searle pretend that brain is not
>> turing emulable. He just implicitly assume there is a notion of
>> actuality that no simulation can render, but does not address the
>> question of emulability. Then Searle is known for confusing level of
>> description (this I can make much more precise with the Fi and Wi, or
>> with the very important difference between computability (emulability)
>> and provability.
>
> Searle seems to accept that CT implies the brain is Turing emulable,
> but he
> does not believe that such an emulation would capture consciousness any
> more than a simulation of a thunderstorm will make you wet. Thus, a
> computer
> that could pass the Turing Test would be a zombie.


Yes. It confirms my point. And Searle is coherent, he has to refer to a
notion of "physically real" for his non-computationalism to proceed.
He may be right. Now his naturalistic explanation of consciousness
seems rather ad hoc.
But all what I say is that IF comp is correct, we have to abandon
physicalism.


> Searle is not a computationalist - does not believe in strong AI - but
> he does
> believe in weak AI. Penrose does not believe in weak AI either.

Yes. In that way Searle is "not even wrong".

<snip: see my preceding post to you>


> If there are more arbitrary sequences than third person computations,
> how
> does it follow that arbitrary sequences are not computations?


I guess I miss something (or you miss your statement?). Is it not
obvious that "if there are more arbitrary sequences than third person
computations, then some (even most) arbitrary sequences are not
computations".

Let us define what is a computable infinite sequence. A sequence is
computable if there is a program (a machine) which generates
specifically the elements of that sequence in the right order, and
nothing else. The set of programs is enumerable, but by Cantor theorem
the set of *all* sequences is not enumerable. So the set of computable
sequences is almost negligible compared to the arbitrary one.

Does it mean there is no program capable of generating a non computable
sequence?

Not at all. A universal dovetailer generates all the infinite
sequences. The computable one, (that is, those nameable by special
purpose, specific, program) and the non computable one (how? by
generating them all).

I give another example of the same subtlety. One day a computer
scientist told me that it was impossible to write a program of n bits
capable of generating an incompressible finite sequence or string of
length m with m far greater than n. I challenge him.
Of course, what is true is that there is no program of n bit capable of
generating that m bits incompressible string, AND ONLY, SPECIFICALLY,
THAT STRING.
But it is really easy to write a little program capable of generating
that incompressible string by letting him generate ALL strings: the
program COUNT is enough.

I think this *is* the main line of the *everything* list, or a
miniature version of it if you want.

Now, when you run the UD, as far as you keep the discourse in the third
person mode, everything remains enumerable, even in the limit.
But from the first person point of view, a priori the uncountable
stories, indeed generated by the UD, take precedence on the computable
one: thus the continua of white rabbits. This results from the lack of
any possibility from the first person point of view to locate herself
into UD*. Somehow the first person belongs to 2^aleph_zero histories at
the start.

A similar "explosion of stories" appears with quantum mechanics, except
that here the physicist as an easy answer: white rabbits and Potter
universe are eliminated through phase randomization (apparently).

I am not satisfied by this answer if only because my motivation is to
understand where that quantum comes from.

Is complex randomization of histories the only way to force normal
nature into the shorter path?

Well, my point is that if we take comp seriously, we have to justify
the absence of rabbits from computer science. In case too much white
rabbits remains, comp would be false, and this would be an argument in
favor of materialism. But, when you interview a universal machine on
this question you can realize at least that this question is far from
being settled.

Hope you don't mind I continue to comment your post tomorrow,


Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

Brent Meeker

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Jan 24, 2007, 1:52:17 PM1/24/07
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Bruno Marchal wrote:
...

> Now, when you run the UD, as far as you keep the discourse in the third
> person mode, everything remains enumerable, even in the limit.
> But from the first person point of view, a priori the uncountable
> stories, indeed generated by the UD, take precedence on the computable
> one: thus the continua of white rabbits. This results from the lack of
> any possibility from the first person point of view to locate herself
> into UD*. Somehow the first person belongs to 2^aleph_zero histories at
> the start.
>
> A similar "explosion of stories" appears with quantum mechanics, except
> that here the physicist as an easy answer: white rabbits and Potter
> universe are eliminated through phase randomization (apparently).

But only relative some particular bases. Why the quantum mechanical world has the classical world as an approximation (instead of a white rabbit world) is not a solved problem - though there are proposed, possible solutions.

Brent Meeker

Bruno Marchal

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Jan 25, 2007, 5:44:35 AM1/25/07
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Hi Stathis,

Here is the follow up of my comments on your post. It seems we
completely agree. Sorry.


Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

> Simplistically, I conceive of computations as mysterious abstract


OK, so we do agree.

>
>> The real question is not "does a rock implement computations", the
>> question is "does a rock implement computations in such a way as to
>> changed the relative measure of my (future) comp states in a relevant
>> way?" And for answering such question we need to know what a rock
>> really is, and both physics and comp are not near at all to answer
>> this. Comp has less trouble here because it does not have to reify any
>> primary reality associated to the rock, which already emerge locally
>> from many non material computations.
>
> No, as I implied above, a rock makes no difference whatsoever to the
> measure of
> computation it might be seen as implementing.

OK.
So, now, we have to extract "physics" from computations if we assume
(even just standard comp). Do you agree with the UDA informal
conclusion? That is, that physics will be given by relative (cf RSSA)
measure on computational histories from some internal point of views?
Such a measure has to be observer invariant (I am not talking about the
content of what is measured, but about the general math of that
measure). In any case we must dig on computations and provability, if
only to get reasonable mathematical definition of those different
"person point of view".

Bruno

PS Could someone give me the plural of "point of view" ?

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

Bruno Marchal

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Jan 25, 2007, 6:05:48 AM1/25/07
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Le 24-janv.-07, à 19:52, Brent Meeker a écrit :

I agree. But I am also convinced by the decoherence justification of
why the position base get his importance in information processing. The
very idea is already in Everett (imo).
To be sure, decoherence makes sense only in the MWI. I know some are
trying to use it to explain the "other world" away, but that is non
sense. IF QM (without collapse) is true, decoherence explains only the
extreme speed of the relative differentiation of the histories.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

Stathis Papaioannou

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Jan 25, 2007, 6:25:39 AM1/25/07
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Bruno Marchal writes:

> Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
>
> >

Meaning what? I thought you agreed his position was coherent.



> <snip: see my preceding post to you>
>
>
> > If there are more arbitrary sequences than third person computations,
> > how
> > does it follow that arbitrary sequences are not computations?
>
>
> I guess I miss something (or you miss your statement?). Is it not
> obvious that "if there are more arbitrary sequences than third person
> computations, then some (even most) arbitrary sequences are not
> computations".

OK, but my concern was to find room in the arbitrary sequences for all
computations, not the other way around (perhaps I didn't make this clear).
Every rational number is also a real number.


> Let us define what is a computable infinite sequence. A sequence is
> computable if there is a program (a machine) which generates
> specifically the elements of that sequence in the right order, and
> nothing else. The set of programs is enumerable, but by Cantor theorem
> the set of *all* sequences is not enumerable. So the set of computable
> sequences is almost negligible compared to the arbitrary one.
>
> Does it mean there is no program capable of generating a non computable
> sequence?
>
> Not at all. A universal dovetailer generates all the infinite
> sequences. The computable one, (that is, those nameable by special
> purpose, specific, program) and the non computable one (how? by
> generating them all).
>
> I give another example of the same subtlety. One day a computer
> scientist told me that it was impossible to write a program of n bits
> capable of generating an incompressible finite sequence or string of
> length m with m far greater than n. I challenge him.
> Of course, what is true is that there is no program of n bit capable of
> generating that m bits incompressible string, AND ONLY, SPECIFICALLY,
> THAT STRING.
> But it is really easy to write a little program capable of generating
> that incompressible string by letting him generate ALL strings: the
> program COUNT is enough.
>
> I think this *is* the main line of the *everything* list, or a
> miniature version of it if you want.

Yes, and there are many related examples, like Borges' library; I would include
the computations that might be hiding in noise as another such example. The
significant thing in all these cases is that from the third person perspective, the
information or computation is inaccessible. You need to have the book you want
already before you can find it in the Library of Babel. However, if computations
(or books) can be conscious, then they will still be conscious despite being unable
to communicate with the world at the level of their implementation. The first person
perspective makes these situations non-trivial.

> Now, when you run the UD, as far as you keep the discourse in the third
> person mode, everything remains enumerable, even in the limit.
> But from the first person point of view, a priori the uncountable
> stories, indeed generated by the UD, take precedence on the computable
> one: thus the continua of white rabbits. This results from the lack of
> any possibility from the first person point of view to locate herself
> into UD*. Somehow the first person belongs to 2^aleph_zero histories at
> the start.

Can you explain again why only the countable stories appear to the 3rd person
but the 1st person sees the uncountable ones as well? Also, why should the
white rabbits prefer the uncountable habitat?



> A similar "explosion of stories" appears with quantum mechanics, except
> that here the physicist as an easy answer: white rabbits and Potter
> universe are eliminated through phase randomization (apparently).
>

> I am not satisfied by this answer if only because my motivation is to
> understand where that quantum comes from.
>
> Is complex randomization of histories the only way to force normal
> nature into the shorter path?
>
> Well, my point is that if we take comp seriously, we have to justify
> the absence of rabbits from computer science. In case too much white
> rabbits remains, comp would be false, and this would be an argument in
> favor of materialism. But, when you interview a universal machine on
> this question you can realize at least that this question is far from
> being settled.

If QM emerges from comp, does that solve the problem?

> Hope you don't mind I continue to comment your post tomorrow,

I appreciate that you are taking the time to reply to my posts; even though
you are probably repeating yourself, I think I understand things a little better
every time.

Stathis Papaioannou

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Jan 25, 2007, 7:11:34 AM1/25/07
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Brent Meeker writes:

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
> ...


> > Now, when you run the UD, as far as you keep the discourse in the third
> > person mode, everything remains enumerable, even in the limit.
> > But from the first person point of view, a priori the uncountable
> > stories, indeed generated by the UD, take precedence on the computable
> > one: thus the continua of white rabbits. This results from the lack of
> > any possibility from the first person point of view to locate herself
> > into UD*. Somehow the first person belongs to 2^aleph_zero histories at
> > the start.
> >

> > A similar "explosion of stories" appears with quantum mechanics, except
> > that here the physicist as an easy answer: white rabbits and Potter
> > universe are eliminated through phase randomization (apparently).
>

> But only relative some particular bases. Why the quantum mechanical world has the classical world as an approximation (instead of a white rabbit world) is not a solved problem - though there are proposed, possible solutions.

Doesn't the SWE make some events much more likely than others, whether that
involves CI collapse or distribution of histories in the MWI?

Stathis Papaioannou

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Jan 25, 2007, 7:20:26 AM1/25/07
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Bruno marchal writes:

> Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
>

Yes, I agree, *given* comp.


> PS Could someone give me the plural of "point of view" ?

"points of view"

John Mikes

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Jan 25, 2007, 10:48:29 AM1/25/07