In the July 1-7 2006 edition of New Scientist there is a review of the book "The Comprehensible Cosmos" by Victor Stenger. You can see here a power point presentation on symmetry by Stenger.

Stenger discusses the idea of symmetry, in particular the work of Emmy Noether who proved that the conservation of energy is a direct consequence of time translation symmetry: the same result is obtained if an experiment is performed now or at a different time.

Other natural laws can be traced to other symmetries: i.e., conservation of momentum to space translation symmetry etc...

I think it may be valuable to express some of our ideas as symmetries/invariances/conservation/equivalence. For example the invariance/conservation of information with regard to the recording substrate is obvious. Information does not change if you transfer it from your hard drive to your floppy (ie., hardware translation symmetry.) This fact, however, may be of far reaching consequence. If one assumes that consciousness is a type of information then consciousness become independent of its physical basis: "The message is independent of the medium!" Or even better: "The message needs no medium!" Marshall McLuhan got it all wrong! :-)

George Levy

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Le 05-juil.-06, à 20:36, George Levy a écrit :

My background is more engineering and physics than mathematics and I do share some of Norman misgivings. Some of it has to do with terminology. For example the term "COMP hypothesis" does not carry any information.

One of my old name for it was "digital mechanism hypothesis"

Would it be more appropriate to rename it as an invariance, equivalence or conservation law? For example would it be appropriate to call it "invariance of consciousness with (change in physical) substrate?"

It is more the assumption that there is a level of description of myself such that my consciousness is indeed invariant for functional digital substitution made at that level.
You can invoke "physical" but then you must make the proof a bit longer. This is due to the fact that the UDA put doubt on the very meaning of the word physical, so you need to justify that the use of "physical" is harmless in the definition of comp.


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