I see we agree on many things. I comment only where we take distance.
Le 12-août-05, à 19:33, [EMAIL PROTECTED] a écrit :
Again I fully agree, though I am sure you are aware that "mentality"
and "identity" are among the most difficult problems that
science has tried to tackle and that what we think we know about such
matters pales in comparison with what we are sure we
don't know! Even just building theories may be more forthcoming in
some domains than others, irrespective of testing them.
BM: That is exactly why I have concentrate on a testable theory of the
mind. Actually the testability is my first and most basic concern. I
will say more in a reply to Lee.
Mentality and identity are difficult, sure. But the question of what is
time, matter, space, etc. are difficult too. Modern physics has even
made them more difficult.
This is just ignorance. Science is *the* most efficacious way to
accept that we are ignorant.
It is the motor of science. If you have a scientific interest in
alien abduction you can always search for a piece of unknown metal, or
for tackling the plausibility problem of the account. Etc. As I
mentioned before one of my favorite text to illustrate what is the
scientific attitude is given in a book of parapsychology (the "In
search of the light' by S. Blackmore). Of course the whishfull
thinkers in parapsychology doesn't like it because it is negative (She
shows the protocol errors in most parapsychologists experiments).
That is a wonderful point you make above! But my own was that
acknowledging something may not exactly be the same as admiting its
reality; it can in fact be just the oposite when what is acknowledge
is someone else's belief for instance. How
(consensual) reality is acquired is a pretty complicated and still
mysterious process. I would venture that a lot of what we
would count as "subjective reality" is just that! (more below)
I am not sure I understand you, and pêrhaps it is just a question of
vocabulary. If I acknowledge a belief of someone, it seems to me that I
take as real (or very plausible) that that someone has a belief, not
that the belief is true.
Altough the subjective reality is just that, I guess, subjective. I
take as objective the existence of "subjective reality", or at least I
take as objective the existence of the discourse and silence on
subjective reality, and what I am searching an explanation on is
exactly that, how to explain in objective term the subjective
discourse, including the fact that we know we acnnot make objective
that subjectivity. This is part of the so-called mind-body problem.
Saying, like Lee, that my subjective view is neurons firing is just
false. To say that it is the sult of neurons firing is much more
interesting but actually makes the problem worse (as serious
philosopher of mind know very well). The reason is that if neurons
firing explains all my behavior, it is just more enigmatic that
something like consciousness has ever evolved.
The explanation is more subtle and demanding and eventually forces us
to revised our oldest prejudices about the nature of reality.
> If that derivation is just a piece of your subjectivity that may
dash > your hopes to convey it to others...
By derivation I really mean "demonstration". It is valid for anyone
(accepting classical logic applies on the elementary arithmetical
truth). Sorry if this looks contemptuous.
It may very well be contemptuous but I cannot fault your
"demonstration" since I see no reason why materialism would
be compatible with your hypothesis!
Good! Many people still confuse comp and materialism.
If I understand it correctly this is that one materially supported
conscious entity could
be entirely (and analytically) replaced by a digitally constructed
one without it even being conscious of it. Am I right? Is
this what you COMP ? If so you are right in one thing: it is one hell
of a stronger contention than the strongest AI hyp
(and that much more unlikely).
OK. But please note that 99,9% of the scientists take it for granted.
Actually I know only Penrose postulating explicitly the negation of
comp. This forces him to speculate about the falsity of both quantum
mechanics and general relativity.
OK. This means you are serious like Lee. I certainly don't expect
people to understand it quickly! The people in this list does not know
(I think) that they are one century in advance!
(and then they doesn't know I'm two centuries in advance ;-)
(Don't infer I'm some sort of genius: it is just years and years and
years of work + open mindedness).
Oh don't worry about that! There is genius in knowing that your are
I didn't say that either. I don't know if I am a genious, but I don't
know if I am not a genious either ;-)
And since you are a machine your years and years
and years may surely add to two centuries! No wonder you outrun your
I have never said that I am a machine. I have not the slightest idea if
comp is true. But I am sure that if comp is true then physics emerges
from the arithmetical relations, well, as sure as I am sure of the
irrationality of the square root of 2. I give a proof.
Oh but you make it sound so easy! See: its is the "derive physics
from computer science" that I have my first problem with!
That is the object of the proof I gave. The proof is 100% third person
accessible, like any proof. What is hard, perhaps, is that the proof is
done in a field which is in the intersection of theoretical physics,
theoretical computer science and theoretical cognitive science.
Easier said than done, I'm afraid. Stephen Wolfram sent me his huge
book but I remain as unconvinced by it as everyone
else who has read it about his "tinker bell" version of Quantum
Mechanics. I heard Ed Fredkin a number of times and,
though he is quite charming, I don't think he has any better answer
to that question...
Wolfram, like Schmidhuber, entirely dismiss the 1/3 distinction. The
proof I gave shows that Wolfram is just wrong on those matter. I am
nearer Svozil and Chaitin (but well beyond, probably).
More specifically: I believe QM puts a big kabosh into any
non-quantum mechanistic view of the physical world. If you
don't get that, than maybe you don't get a lot of other things,
Bruno. Sorry if this sounds contemptuous. It is meant
It does not seem contemptuous, it seems just circular. If you have the
two following axioms:
1) There is a physical world
2) The physical world is described by QM
Then it seems obvious to me that "QM puts a big kabosh into any
non-quantum mechanistic view of the physical world".
Now don't worry, I believe more in the quantum than in comp! I thought,
in the past, that I would quickly refute comp with quantum mechanics.
But the fact are there, comp, as far as it has been tested implies
everything we can deduce from the quantum. Comp is not yet refuted, and
evidences add up that the quantum is derivable from comp (or from
numbers through comp).
Of course, I believe in the quantum, but if comp is correct, I can no
more believe in "1)", i.e. I must abandon the existence of a physical
world, and the quantum describes only the way machine dreams
interference generate the stable illusion of solidity and time from
arithmetical truth (under the form of confirmable bets, the Lobian Bp &
Incidentally, the reverse reduction of computer science to physics
seems to be a lot more hopeful specially since most
computations seem to run a lot faster in physical computers than
on... (what are the alternatives again?).
If you study the Universal Dovetailer Argument, you will see that any
machine betting correctly and consistently on any piece of "observable"
reality, will bet that to simulate that piece of reality exactly, there
is a need of simulating an infinity of computations. Remember we don't
know in which computations "we are", and the "physical" appearances
emerge from some probabilistic interference among all the possible
computations. Without QM, for example, with just a Newtonian World I
would directly interpret my proof as a refutation of comp.
OK, no one
has built a truly quantum computer just yet but a lot of people think
they are about to do it!
I'm quasi sure they will!
And I'm quasi sure me or someone else will extract the existence of a
quantum computer in the neighborhood of any "conscious" lobian machine,
or refute comp. comp will provide really solid foundations for the
quantum, if it is correct. In particular physical *laws* will be real
general laws pertaining on all possible observers.
Sure will (take it with and entire salt mine)! My point is that we
already have ways of explaining other people's experiences
on the basis of empathy or antipathy and in terms of direct causation.
Causation? Sorry but I consider such a notion as very vague (and very
There are ten thousands notion of causality, and a lot of them can be
studied as necessary implication: B(p->q) in some modal logic. So I
consider they are at least as many notion of "causation" than there are
modal logics. And there is an infinity of modal logics ...
Bill Clinton was found of saying "I feel your pain" and
no one called him on that obvious lie! I can think of some numbers
that would tell me about the pain others are feeling
(checked the price of gas today? $2.59 a gallon!!! That hurts!!!)
Quite cheap from here!
Seriously, I see nothing wrong with what you saying as long as you
couch it in that "faith-based" argumentation.
I think all theories are faith-based. But, yes, comp, is not only faith
based, but it justifies why some part of it are necessarily
faith-based, if true.
Your argument is cute and may very well be defensible that way. This
day and and age it may actually be better supported
that way than as hard clad science, who knows?
It is hard clad science. I know of course that it could look
"philosophical" because I indeed tackle a "philosophical problem". But
I did actually chose purposefully special hypotheses for making the
conclusion 100% testable, as it makes testable many variant of comp
(like some weakening or strengthening).
Many people, including Bohr, qualified the Einstein Podolski Rosen
paper as "philosophical". But then (30 years later) Bell shows it to be
testable (and Deutch: exploitable). My work is like EPR+BELL, although
it bears on the mind body problem. The UDA part corresponds to EPR and
the translation of the UDA in the language of a sufficiently rich
machine theorem prover is the BELL part: I arrive to propositions as
vulnerable as it is possible to be.
Oh, what a pity! I was kind of bracing to see that derivation! I am
sure it would drive your point across a lot quicker.
Oh well, I could probably give you a couple of other outrageous
hypothesis from which you could derive the whole
of physics, not constructively of course! You are the logician but
isn't it the case that from an assuredly false premise
you can derive anything?
Oh please! If you don't know the premise is false, then by deriving
anything from the premise gives in any circumstances interesting
information. Take the case where I would derive the false from comp,
then I would have derive a refutation of comp. (p -> f is the same as
~p). That would be something!
So non constructive proof can be interesting and informative!
Anyway, my proof *is* constructive.
The second part is a translation of that argument in the language of
the "universal machine itself". This, by the constraints of
theoretical computer science, makes the proof constructive, so that it
gives the complete derivation of physics from computer science. Of
course God is a little malicious, apparently, and we are led to hard
intractable purely mathematical questions.
You are welcome,
Oh gosh! Another let down! Well maybe those pesky Quantum Computer
builders can rescue you after all one day.
Here you are right. This is actually predictable from comp. One of the
quantum logics should be quantum tractable, and not classically
Also, I said to much when I say the questions are intractable. I should
insist on the fact that I did solve one of the main decisive question
(and comp succeed the test), and that, concerning many others, I have
not yet really try to solve them, but professional logician does not
find them easy, so I doubt I will get them. Now, I could prove that all
of them are tractable in the sense that less than a CETI project could
solve them (like you can simulate a <few-bits>-quantum computer with
enough classical bits.
I heard that you plan to become immortal (after a little digital
plastic surgery) you will have the time to wait for it!
It is the contrary. I plan to be mortal, but with comp this seems
extremely hard if not impossible. This is the feature I dislike the
most in comp. It is not clear there could be any hope of finding a way
to get out. There could be a whole arithmetical Bardo Thodol.
(This is already true with Everett QM). That's another reason to think
about using the word "theology", perhaps.
Bruno: you seem to hold quite estimable principles about the
fundamentals of scientific practice and you seem much less
threatening than your digitalist surgeon.
When I have a chance I'll check your papers out and see what I can
of them. Thanks for the summary, though.
Take it easy,