# Re: computationalism and supervenience

```Le 21-août-06, à 19:48, Tom Caylor a écrit :

>
> I'd rather go with Pascal.  ;)```
```

Comp has its own "Pascal wag", when the doctor said that either you
will die soon or you accept an artificial brain. Some people will
believe an artificial brain could be a last chance to ... see their
grand grand children married, or to follow the next soccer
championship, or whatever.

>
>> As I remember it, my interpretation/expansion of the "Yes Doctor"
>> assumption is that 1) there is a (finite of course) level of (digital)
>> substitution (called the "correct level of substitution") that is
>> sufficient to represent "all that I am", and "all that I could be if I
>> hadn't undergone a substitution", and 2) we (including the doctor)
>> cannot know what the correct level of substitution is, therefore we
>> have to gamble that the doctor will get it right when we say "Yes
>> Doctor".
>>
>> Suppose that the level of substitution actually *performed* by the
>> Doctor is S_p.  Denote the *correct* level of substitution S_c.  S_p
>> can be expressed by a finite number, since the substitution itself can
>> be expressed by a finite number (whatever is written on the tape/CD or
>> other storage/transmitting device).  We know what S_p is and it is a
>> *fixed* finite number. But since S_c (*correct* level) is totally
>> unknowable, all we "know" about it is our assumption that it is
>> finite.
>>  The next *obvious* step in the logical process is that the
>> probability
>> that S_p >= S_c is infinitesimal.

Why? If the level is high it could be that even a drunk doctor will
always choose it correctly. Your inference does not seem valid.

>>  I.e. the probability that the doctor
>> got it right is zilch.  This is because most numbers are bigger than
>> any fixed finite number S_p.

With progress, people will have lower and lower level of substitution
proposed by doctors having more and more sophisticated substitution
tools.
I guess the *must* will be "quantum protected classical coding", so as
to diminish the risk of being copied by some devil sadistic Eve.

>>
>> So it seems that our step of faith in saying Yes Doctor in not well
>> founded.  It's definitely a bad bet.

I don't see why. For many people it will be like a choice between dying
in the usual sense (which of course is unknown for a computationalist),
and having a chance to live a bit longer.

>>
>> It seems that we need a stronger statement than S_c is finite.

I don't follow you here. It is obvious that the finiteness of the level
is not enough, the substitution must be functionally genuine at that
level. This is in the definition of comp.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

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