I'm absolutely sincere in what I've said about approaching comp in
'as if' mode. But at the same time I've hoped from the beginning
that we could make explicit the choices that motivate our different
ontic starting assumptions. Are there perhaps irreconcilable issues of
style or preference, or are there fundamental logical, philosophical,
or even semantic errors entailed in one or other position? Well, let me
continue in the effort by trying to clarify my position on some of your
recent points.

> So, either you put in AR something which is not there (like peter D
> Jones who want me doing "Aristotle error" on the numbers (like if I was
> reifying some concreteness about them), or you should have a powerful
> argument against AR, but then you should elaborate.

> To be honest I have not yet seen where you postulates comp wrong in
> your long anti-roadmap post.
> Recall that I take comp as YD + CT + AR (Yes Doctor + Church Thesis +
> Arithmetical Realism).

OK.  I've already agreed to accept AR in 'as if' mode. So that implies
I'm staying on the comp road in the same 'as if' spirit to see where it
leads. It's very interesting! Also I genuinely think that AR is not
'false' from any of the *logical* perspectives from which you
defend it. My problem - outside 'as if' mode (and this goes back to the
'primacy' issue) - is with adopting *any* 3rd-person postulate as
'ontic ground zero'. My view - and I'm still not clear whether
you think it unjustified, or that you simply *prefer* to start
elsewhere - is that we go wrong the moment we fail to treat reflexive
indexical necessity with maximal - *extreme* - seriousness. My most
basic claim is that to make *any* 3rd-person assumption primary - even
one as apparently 'modest' as AR - is to try to 'sneak past'
this, and thereby to fail *the* crucial test of ontic realism.

We could call this position maximal personal, or indexical,
seriousness, but what's in a name? It frustrates me almost beyond
endurance that this isn't simply 'obvious' (though error,
especially one's own, is subtle). But it seems as though we're
somehow 'tricked' out of seeing it because all 'personal'
interaction (including that with the 'self') is relational, and
3rd-person is the characteristic mode of relational interaction. So all
natural language just assumes it.

Consequently when you say:

> What you say is exactly what the lobian *first person* will feel.  I hope you 
> will
> see this eventually.

I think I 'see' it *now*. I understand that the lobian first person
*emerging* from your 3rd person AR postulate *would* indeed
'possess' such a view. But my problem is with all this 3rd person
language. I can indeed 'see' how you can invoke a '1st-person
David analog' in this way, but I can't at all see how this causes
'indexically necessary David' - 'here and now' - to appear
out of 'thin 3rd-person air'. Logic lacks this power. It seems as
if only magic will do. It's like Harry Potter saying - "I know
I'm just imagining you, but hang on, in just a jiffy AR will make you
indexically necessary".

On the other hand, bare 'indexical necessity' is the sole ontic
postulate I need. Is this an insufficiently 'modest' requirement? My
justification is reflexively evident and incorrigible. It does no
practical damage to the subsequent postulation of AR - it can't do,
because this position simply *is* the situation from which I postulate
it. By the same token, CT survives (if true) undamaged by being
postulated from this position. In other words, I'm claiming that we
have access to versions of AR and CT manifested entirely in virtue of
their generalisation from relational reality, and I can't see that
you or I have reason to believe anything else, except through
'Penrose direct revelation', which you reject. So what's the

YD now becomes the interesting case, and the point, as I recall, where
we started. My long post refers to the dependencies and assumptions,
implicit in bit-stream representations, that are only made explicit by
their instantiation. My argument is that any digital program is an
arbitrary gloss on the behaviour of a 'substrate' (i.e. lower logical
level) - I think I've seen you argue more or less the same point -
and therefore relies on a notion of 'causation' (dependency,
sequence, structure, behaviour, or state your preferred terminology) -
that is essentially non-local at the level of such instantiation.

Consequently we must choose: to believe either that *any* example of
situated, indexical, experience arises from localised phenomena at the
causal level of their instantiation (appropriately schematised), or
that it arises from arbitrary, non-localised, aspatial, atemporal,
abstractions from behaviour at this level. I can't see that these
considerations don't apply to *any* digital 'substitution level'
that relies on a purely syntactical expression - e.g. instantiation
in a digital computer - and would consequently have to decline the
doctor's offer. This is what I mean by non-invariance of experiential
structure to Turing emulation.

However, the question then becomes one of defining the 'level' of
instantiation. You have pointed out, I recall, that the comp
assumptions leave 'matter' devoid of any unique explanatory
function. This isn't a surprise surely, because 'matter' is
defined purely relationally as behaviour. Be that as it may, why would
we ever expect a purely relational or behavioural description to invoke
prior indexical necessity in my maximally serious sense? And without
such a prior ontic postulate, any relational schema surely 'exists'
only in 'Harry Potter space'? With it, 'matter' becomes a
causal layer in the construction of experience and everything we infer
from it. If we can schematise this in a way that proves capable of
'substitution', YD would then emerge as an empirical possibility
'from the bottom up'. In effect, to say 'yes' to the doctor
would be to agree to be cloned.

So, in summary, if comp were presented as a relational substitution
scheme defined on prior, maximally serious ontic necessity - in my
sense - from which AR, CT and YD emerge at the appropriate relational
level, I could perhaps travel with you even more happily. I just
can't see, except in 'as if' mode, how AR truly serves as
'ontic ground zero' in this 'maximally serious' sense. I'd be
grateful if you could show me how this is false. Or is it rather that
modesty dictates that comp takes us no further than 'as if'?


> Hi David,
> Le 18-août-06, à 02:16, David Nyman wrote (answering John):
> >
> > [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
> >
> > John
> >
> > Thanks for taking the trouble to express your thoughts at such length.
> > I won't say too much now, as I have to leave shortly to meet a long
> > lost relative - from Hungary! However, I just want to make sure it's
> > clear, both for you and the list, that:
> >
> >>> "Comp is false". Let's see where *that* leads.....
> >
> > isn't intended as a definitive claim that comp *is* false.
> To be honest I have not yet seen where you postulates comp wrong in
> your long anti-roadmap post.
> Recall that I take comp as YD + CT + AR (Yes Doctor + Church Thesis +
> Arithmetical Realism).
> So, strictly speaking comp can be false in seven ways:
> 1     1     1    comp is true
> 1     1     0    comp is false 1
> 1     0     1             " "            2
> 1     0     0             " "            3
> 0     1     1             " "            4
> 0     1     0             " "            5
> 0     0     1             " "            6
> 0     0     0             " "            7
> 1. AR is false, but CT is true, and YD is true. This would mean there
> is a program which stops or does not stop according to my knowledge of
> it. It is beyond my imagination, even if, as a logician I know that I
> have to postulate AR. Of course the UD would loose all its purpose.
> 2. CT is false. This would mean there exist a way to explain in a
> finite time how to compute a function from N to N, such that no
> computer can be programmed to compute it. Possible but unlikely.
> 3) YD is true, but CT is false and AR is false. This means the doctor
> is helped by Gods or Goddesses.
> 4) YD is false (and CT and AR are true). This means I am an actual
> infinite object.
> 5) 6) 7): combination of above.
> > Rather, *if*
> > it is false, in what ways specifically, and what are the alternatives?
> > Can they be stated as clearly and explicitly as Bruno is trying to do
> > for his approach ('to see where it leads')? Hence the 'anti-roadmap',
> > or perhaps better - 'another roadmap', or some ideas for one.
> It is certainly interesting. But comp is a very weak statement, so
> non-comp is very strong. It needs some actual infinite to be
> "implemented". Judson Webb range "comp" in the "finitist doctrines"
> (but not in the ultra-finitist doctrine).
> > Most of
> > the thoughts in it were originally expressed in some earlier postings
> > on 'The Fabric of Reality' list, which Bruno was kind enough to copy to
> > this list.  Anyway, it's intended as a point of departure (for me
> > certainly) and I look forward to some strenuous critiques.
> >
> > One misgiving I have, now that I've finally grasped (I think) that the
> > comp 'theology' entails 'faith' in the number realm, ...
> I prefer to reserve "faith" for the resurection "promised but not
> guarantied" by the (honest) doctor.
> I need infinitely less faith to believe that each number has a
> successor than to believe the sun will rise tomorrow. AR is very weak.
> Sometimes I regret to have been explicit on AR, because it looks like
> everyone believe in it, except when we write it explicitly. People put
> many things in it, which are not there. Not believing in AR also
> entails that there is a finite polynomial (on the integers) such that
> two different people can find different integer values when applying
> the polynomial on the same number, and despite those people agree on
> the meaning of + and * and zero and "+1".
> > ... is that by this
> > token it seeks to provide a TOE (Bruno, am I wrong about this?)
> You are right. By the UDA it is not a matter of choice.
> > That
> > is, beginning with an assertion of 'faith' in UDA + the number realm,
> > we seek to axiomatise and 'prove' a complete theory of our origins.
> > Bruno is a very modest person, but I worry about the 'modesty' of the
> > goal.
> Modesty is not incompatible with ambitious goal. You can decide to
> climb the everest Mountain, and recognize you have climb only two
> meters high :)
> > Of course, it's highly probable that I just misunderstand this
> > point. However, I'm having trouble with my faith in numbers,
> > monseigneur.
> We cannot build a theory without accepting some intuitive truth, and
> some third person presentation of those truth. AR false means that the
> simple y = sin(x) real function could intersect the real axes on some
> non integer abscisse. Do you really believe that? Quantum mechanics
> relies completely on AR. If AR is false, QM is inconsistent (and almost
> all math).
> So, either you put in AR something which is not there (like peter D
> Jones who want me doing "Aristotle error" on the numbers (like if I was
> reifying some concreteness about them), or you should have a powerful
> argument against AR, but then you should elaborate.
> > My own intuition begins from my own indexical
> > self-assertion, my necessity, generalised to an inclusive
> > self-asserting necessity extending outwards indefinitely.
> Here I have a pedagogical, if not diplomatical, problem. What you say
> is exactly what the lobian *first person* will feel.  I hope you will
> see this eventually.
> > I don't look
> > for a way to 'get behind' this, and to this extent I don't seek a TOE,
> > because I can't believe that 'everything' (despite the name of this
> > list) is theoretically assimilable.
> It is not. Here is the funny thing: the third person "ultimate reality"
> with comp seems to be not so great: it is just the natural numbers,
> including their relations in term of addition and multiplication.
> This is enough to give rise to first person plenitude(s) which are way
> bigger than "just the numbers". Indeed the first person plenitude
> escapes *all* theories. (Even provably so, and that is why comp gives a
> sort of vaccine against almost all "normative" psychology or theology.
> Accepting comp is like accepting we cannot control everything. Comp,
> well understanded, should be appreciate by those who likes freedom, and
> be feared by those willing to control too much.
> It looks paradoxical, but it is only "counter-intuitive. It is akin to
> "Skolem paradox" in "model theory". Some little structure can have
> giant substructures.
> > This may well be blindness more
> > than modesty, however.
> >
> > Having said this, of course in a spirit of learning I'm trying to
> > understand and adopt *as if* true the comp assumptions, and continue to
> > put my best efforts into getting my head around Bruno's roadmap as it
> > emerges. I have a lot of experience of changing my mind (and maybe I'll
> > get a better one!)
> I certainly appreciate your good will,
> Bruno

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