Le 15-août-05, à 21:14, [EMAIL PROTECTED] a écrit :
The point I am trying to make is that a lot of your back and forth
discourse on the 1st versus the 3rd person misses the
2nd person in between them! More specifically: I am quite convinced
that one good part of what we call "the Mind" or
"the Self" and perhaps even "Consciousness" is generated by social
interaction rather than by any "inner realm of subjectivity".
I suspect this is true about all of what we call "symbolic" or
"meaningful" including a lot of the support for mathematical
understanding though I guess I am a platonist to the extent that I
think of mathematical objects as existing independently
of any of our semantics in a realm of their own.
Nice your platonism. Although it is not entirely relevant, I do not
believe consciousness is generated by social interactions. I think
consciousness has evolved with the ability of self-moving by the need
to anticipate collisions (thus consciousness evolved from interaction
but not necessarily social interaction (unless you call the invention
of the "cables" by amoebas a social interaction). Self-consciousness is
perhaps due to social interaction. I will give you a "definition" of
As for consciousness I do agree with you that whatever explains it
may seriously require a revision of our oldest and,
very possibly, some of our newest prejudices about reality but
certainly most of outr old prejudices about... consciousness-
yours (and mine) included! ;-)
Consciousness can be defined by the first person high level description
of the result of an unconscious (totally automated) *guess* that there
is at least one observer-moment (world, state, etc.). More simply:
consciousness is the belief in a world.
With such a definition it is possible to explain both
1) why consciousness has a role and which one: the role consists in
giving us the ability of self-speeding up ourself relatively to our
most probable (Turing) universal environment.
2) why consciousness is ineffable (not justifiable).
But then it explains also how the physical laws are generated logically
by the Lobian machine's dream (in that verifiable way described in my
See also the work by Helmholtz on perception.
I would rather not bring Penrose to this discussion though he is
someone I much appreciate and will not easily dismiss. Unfortunately I
can't claim I understand his Byzantine time-asymmetric proposals as
alternatives for QM and GR enough
to criticize them, and I am not alone in this.
In the "emperor new clothes" Penrose is wrong in its use of Godel's
theorem. In "the shadows of the mind" Penrose made the necessary
correction, but he puts it into parentheses and does not take it really
into account. But I find Penrose very courageous to tackle the
fundamental questions. Godel's incompleteness cannot be used to show
that we are not machine, just that we cannot known which machine we are
(and thus which computations support us). This is related to the
mathematical form of the first person comp indeterminacy. The physical
laws emerge from the border of machine's intrinsic ignorance; a measure
on or of incompleteness.
But I thought about your COMP and such over the weekend and I
realized I have to take back what I said above! I can
perfectly well imagine a world in which no one has yet built a
conscious machine from scratch but someone has found a
procedure for replacing one's consciousness by a digital one in the
way you describe. Why should one imply the other?
To make a conscious machine (if that can be tested!) from scratch does
not logically imply we are machine (machine think does not entail that
only machine think (no OCCAM in logic or math).
And to be able to copy a human machine (assuming comp) does not imply
we can build a conscious machine from scratch).
None of the implications exist.
Oh, I am sorry, than! As you speak so much of acts-of-faith I
concluded, too soon I gather, that you took all those years of toil
as a consequence of your beliefs. Silly me!
No problem. Some people would like to think I am a defenser of comp.
But I am not. I am a defenser of the idea that we can do philosophy or
theology still keeping the modesty of the scientific attitude. It needs
just courage if only to acknowledge that we are just at the very
beginning, and that until now many fundamental questions are just tabu.
> 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
And just how sure are you that there is such an intersection? Or is
that also an article of faith?
Not at all. I know it can sound weird, but once you take seriously the
comp hyp (and the existence of the first person subjectivity), then
physics and cognitive science are reduced to computer science (itself
reducible to number theory).
Logically you can still believe in a material world, but this one will
have zero explanation power, even for explaining the appearance of
matter. So with OCCAM ...
If I thought Svozil and Chaitin were near at all I might understand
you better. At least we agree that Wolfram is wrong!
It is a key point. Perhaps you could read my presentation of the steep
by step Universal Dovetailer Argument (the proof that comp entails the
reversal between theoretical computer science and natural sciences) I
have made online for Joel (a defender of Wolfram and cellular automata
approach in physics). The links are: ... mmh the net is sleeping: see
the link "UDA step by step" in my webpage.
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
Lots of "ifs" in there!
I count just one. IF comp.
Since you found me circular let me just ask you this:
If the physical world does not exist (you say that COMP implies this)
why even bother deriving physics? Can't machines
dream just like we do, about lovely, terrifying and yet unphysical
Alas, "normal" machines get trapped in deep interfering computations
making their most probable histories looking completely physical.
Actually it is the the vanishing of a primitive substancial universe
which forces us to retrieve the appearances of the physical laws (in a
Maybe there is a typo in what you say above because if that argument
actually says 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" than I would not take it to Vegas (;-) ! This is because
we can in fact, not just bet but,
predict, with certainty, and simulate with arbitrary precision, the
behavior of a good number "pieces of observed reality" by
themselves and even verify the certainty of those predictions with a
finite collection of finite algorithms which is what we
do call physics (classical or quantum, theoretical or empirical) ).
What we cannot do is to reproduce by any finite set of algorithms
worth betting on the type of persistent built-in correlations that
pairs (and trios, etc..) of these pieces of
observable reality manifestly carry between them once they have been,
once, part of the same piece! Even coins
don't toss that way! That is where the "kabosh" is! There is no
dovetailing out of it...
Remember that quantum computer does not violate Church thesis, and that
complete indeterminacy can be simulated by iterated self-duplications.
Again, see the Universal Dovetailer Argument.
Also if Newtonian physics is enough to shoot down your hypothesis
than it must be dead already since Newtonian physics
is the correspondence limit of QM and QM is right!!! I really don't
follow you here...
Not really, as far as you agree that classical physics can be extracted
from quantum physics. My favorite unrigorous way: Feynman integral (see
for a little summary.
Well, again, I would much like to know what these "solid foundations
for the quantum" are but am happy in my believe
that particular(?) physical laws are *already* real general laws and
indeed apply to all possible observers even without
your help or George Levy's opposition!!!
The advantage of deriving physics from comp is that it gives at once
the (comp)-correct physical laws. They are solid because they rely only
on number-theoretical relations. Physicists have not that chance, they
can hope having find the last theory, and as Lee says, it is only
conjectural. If you derive Schroedinger Equation from Machines'
introspection, well, if you believe in comp you don't need to even look
at nature. You need to look at nature only to test comp.
If I stop believing in gravity can I fly? (:-)
It is probably more correct to say that if you begin believing in
gravity that you might fly.
(Sorry for looking as if you were serious :-)
My fault I am sorry, I should have written "interaction" instead of
causation. I fully agree with you about the latter.
OK. Now "interaction" is the most difficult part to correctly get from
comp. Here quantum physics has made impressive progresses. Logicians
have themselves made progress, mainly through the rather interesting
"geometry of interaction" by J. Y. Girard. We can come back on this
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.
You lost me here. Are they tractable or not? I wasn't aware that the
CETI project can solve intractable problems !!!
Come on. "intractable" problems can be tractable by brute force when
the number of arguments is not too big. Think about the truth-table
method for deciding tautologies. 2^n does not grow so quickly. Now the
quantum tautologies are not so big. The problem is that I am not
finding, nor really searching, a good cheap and not too heavy Lisp
Interpreter. I have also find ways to simplify some of them. We will
see. It is true that O prefer to concentrate myself on the enunciation
of the problem than on its solutions ...
It is perhaps time I begin to (re)-awake my programs for G, G* ...
Seriously for a second: I doubt that I know enough to understand all
your demonstrations and arguments or judge their
correctness in detail, and I am no Dr. Phil, but I have the distinct
impression that you are too enamoured with your COMP
hyp to let it go. Is this possible?
I am not enamoured with comp. I am just overblashed (if that is the
term) by the infinitely fascinating consequences of comp.
You could say I am a little bit enamoured with the Lobian Machine,
though. She is a very sensible person. If you ask her just if she is
conscious, or if she beliefs in one (at least) observer-moment (see
above my definition of consciousness), then she crash!
Actually she crash in front of most interesting questions!
Thanks to Solovay's logics G and G* you can now resume infinite
conversations with her without crashing, and even figure out why she is
so sensible, and why she seems to be forever unsatisfied and so
demanding in space time information and memory, and so error prone, if
not lying (or joking!) in front of fears and/or contrarieties.
You can read "Forever Undecided" by Raymond Smullyan for a gentle
introduction to the theorems of Godel, Lob and Solovay, and to the
modal logic G.