> > > Stathis Papaioannou wrote: >> Well, I think I have a better understanding now of the ideas leading me to start this thread - thanks to Bruno, Quentin and the other >> contributors. Moreover, I am leaning towards fundamentally changing my views on the implementation problem: if computationalism is true, then it doesn't seem to make much sense to say that computations are implemented as a result of physical processes, even if a separate physical reality did exist. It may yet be the case that consciousness is >> only the result of special physical processes, perhaps brains and digital computers but not rocks or the mere existence of computations as >> mathematical objects, but then this would entail giving up >> computationalism. Putting constraints on which computations contribute to the measure of consciousness, as I understood Jesse Mazer's >> suggestion to be, may also be true, but it is debatable whether this preserves computationalism either. >> Stathis Papaioannou > > There is a very impoertant difference between "computations do > not require a physical basis" and "computations do not > require any *particular* physical basis" (ie computations can be physical > implemented by a wide variety of systems) > >

The distractions of language in this are so subtle. The word 'physical' is so laden with preconceived notions. I wish I could think of a better word but I can't. Perhaps a better way of couching it would help: *whatever the universe is we are part of it, made of it, not separably 'in it'. *the rest of the universe that is not 'us' behave in a way with respect to us that we label 'physical' *the entire thing could be called a computational domain but based on computing done with 'objects' that are nothing like the idea of number we are used to. A particular 'number' in our universe could be colin.brain.cell.molecule.atom.proton.quark.a.s.d.f........etc. There need be no 'next' or 'previous' number in the sense we are used to - that comes from our thinking. The number is actually an organisational hierarchy only. Pick up a pencil, hold it. Say to yourself "The universe has computed a pencil". These numbers interact with each other according to whatever is computationally adjacent (this has nothing to do with space or what we would call physically adjacent...space can be what it looks like when you are in it).. for example 'adding' three of these (above) numbers involves creating the right context of adjacency and voila... a 'proton' (plus some remainder rubbish which can go away and do something else...) Basically the gigantic cellular automata. The computations done with these 'numbers' is what we are. For the sake of a name call the numbers 'entropy numbers'. 'AS-IF' COMPUTATION What we can do is arrange this 'intrinsic computation with entropy numbers' to behave 'as-if' idealised numbers existed and obey rules according to the idealised domain of those numbers, if it actually existed (presumably in the legendary platonia). Nowhere in any of this 'as-if' computation does any of the structural 'entropy numbers' have any clue as to what it is doing. The manipuluated 'symbols' are just patterns in the adjacency of the numbers. 'VIRTUAL MATTER' Imagine this huge cellular automata - a computation performed by simple adjacency of entities in an organisational hierarchy - the numbers in it that represent the organisation of me and you is what we call matter. As computation it is actually derived from an axiomatic initial conditions and a set of logical rules, forming a massively parallel calculus. if 'number a' (a cell in the CA) is matter it is a proof in this calculus if 'number b' (a cell in the CA) is matter it is a proof in this calculus then what is the status within the CA the 'difference' between two cells in the CA? The difference has been computed just as exquisitely accurately, but no computational proof exists in the sense that a and b were proven. It is 'as if' the computation was performed...but it was not actually performed. Therefore if a is matter, b is matter, then (a_to_b) is 'as-if' matter - virtual matter. You can see this in any of the CAs Stephen Wolfram's book. Each cell is actually computed. The _difference_ between any two cells is not computed explicity but is as perfectly proven. These are godellian unproven truths in their squintillions. Now ask yourself the one question Stephen Wolfram didn'k himself: Q. "Under what conditions can it be like something to 'be' an object in a CA?" A. When the object in the CA behaves 'as-if' it is interacting with some other part of the CA. Under these circumstances the unproven truths - the virtual matter riddling the CA can be used to paint a computational picture of any other part of the CA. The trick is that the numbers in the CA have to do it... no act as-if'. But the machine that does the 'as-if' symbolic computation throws away all the virtual matter in the process of manipulating symbols only meaningful to a third person... does this smake any sense? It seems really obvious to me! Colin Hales --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---