Le 03-janv.-07, à 04:00, Mark Peaty a écrit :

SP: 'using the term "comp" as short for "computationalism" as something picked up from Bruno. On the face of it, computationalism seems quite sensible: the best theory of consciousness and the most promising candidate for producing artificial intelligence/consciousness'

That is what I thought 'comp' meant. My approach to this is to adhere, as much as possible, to plain and simple English. Not being a 'mathematician' I stick with my type of sceptical method. To me this does not seem deeply problematic although is does of course limit the scope of conversations I can participate in. As far as I can see, Bruno's grand scheme depends on 'assume', like the economists do. Unfortunately that which is assumed remains, I believe, unprovable.


Like any theory. By definition we cannot prove axioms in the theory, except trivially by one line argument: a proof that the number zero has no predecessor will look like "see the first axiom". The axiom are just the minimal assumption we need to get the "interesting propositions". If I could prove the "axioms" from something simpler, I would take those simpler things as axioms.

Now, many people does take as axiom the unprovable assertion that there is a physical universe. I don't. I am not "atheist" about the universe, but I am agnostic. I believe less in a primitive physical universe (especially as an explanation of physics) than in more general "god-like" or "mathematical-like" reality.



Furthermore there are deep, common sense, problems which undermine all these theories of universal emulation possibilities, never mind those potentially lethal :-) teleporting/fax holidays and cryogenic time shifts.


Life is risky. Planes are also potentially lethal. Going out of the mother's womb is actually 100% lethal. People who cryogenizes, does it in general at the end of their life. For a computationalist practioners, refusing an artificial brain when your biological ,one is ill, will be considered as lethal! Like today some say that refusing, for religious reason, a tranfer of blood, is lethal.



 The biggest hurdle is the requirement for infinite computing ability.

Only if you presuppose the need of a physical universe for the computations. But my point is that once you assume "standard comp" you have to drop out the idea of the *need* of a physical universe. No need for high math to understand this. The UDA is enough. The arithmetical UDA is needed just to derive the physics from the numbers, not to understand we have to derive physics from the numbers.



This is simply the recognition that all measurements are approximations so the teleporter/fax machine could only ever send an approximate copy of me to whatever destination duty or holiday dreamings might lead me. Still, it is probable that I, as subjective experiencer, would not notice most anomalies, particularly if trying to fill in the temporal gaps caused by Bruno's gratuitous delays in reading me back out of his archive :-)

This limitation hits all the 'Matrix' type scenarios as well: the emulation system would require essentially infinite computing capacity to reproduce any useful world that a real person inhabits. If on the other hand the Matrix is only concerned to make A world, its virtual reality inhabitants might be sustained [I am admitting this as a possibility] until they started engaging in real science. As I understand things the denizens of a Matrix type world would start to find real anomalies in their 'reality' unless the matrix machine could operate at a fineness of resolution unattainable by any experimental method the matrixians could devise.


Actually you are completely right here, and in total accordance with comp. This is a subtle point which I have explain to Brett Hall (on this list and on the for list). With comp we can measure somehow our degree of "dreaming". See the following argument in ten steps from the list archive:
http://www.mail-archive.com/everything-list@eskimo.com/msg05272.html




There would be much less, or even no problem at all if they were all believers in 'Intelligent Design' of course. [I can put that very rudely as: the problem is not 'If our mind were simple enough to understand then we would be too dumb to understand it' but rather 'If Intelligent Design were really true then we have been designed to be so dumb that it really doesn't matter!']

Yeah... OK.



Re "Platonic objects" - I think this is illusory. The numbers that people write down and think about are words in the language/s of logico-mathematics.


But here I do disagree. Most mathematical truth, and the whole of arithmetical truth has nothing to do with language, nor anything to do with logic. You are confusing theories (of number, say) and what the subject-matter of those theories. Theories are related to language and logic, but the object of the theories is a priori independent. This is clearer through some works in logic which can be use to make explicit some of the differences. You are implicitly defending here a "conventionalist" view of math, like many physicists (like Einstein, but unlike Penrose for example). I completely separate mathematical truth/realities and theories. A theory is like a lantern: it puts some light in the dark, no more.






They do what they do because they are defined as such but they do not exist apart from the systems which generate and record them - by which I mean brains, blackboards and computers, etc...


It seems you believe brains, blackbooard, computers exist per se. I guess in a physical universe, which you assume it exists. I respect all assumptions as far as people are willing to make an effort to understand those are assumptions. Then I give an argument showing that, although logically possible, a physical universe can not even been used to explain the (psychological) appearance of a physical universe, once we take comp as seriously as we can. I find even Tom Caylor "good god" less absurd than "primary matter" once comp is assumed, except that Tom sometimes take "materiality" for Jesus granted, when I don't take my own materiality for granted.


The regularities, and exciting facts people discover about them are just that, regularities and exciting facts about languages.


Again, this is a confusion between means and objects. Language are useful to learn, explore, communicate about, appreciate, mathematical facts, but they are truly different from languages. Number Theory is quite different from Language Theory for example.





I don't mean that in any derogatory sense. We live largely BY MEANS OF our languages and certainly our cultural lives as human beings would be impossible without language in the general and inclusive senses. But the universe is not made out of languages, it just exists - for the moment at least.


Arithmetical truth is not made out of languages, even in a clearer way that the physical universe, which could be more near languages through the comp hypothesis.


[NB: it just occurs to me that certain G/goddists will say that the universe is made out of the mind of G/god/s which could perhaps be included as a or THE language of existence.


In that sense I already believe that the whole of biology belongs to a generalized language, with animals and vegetals being divine hypothesis...




To be 'perfect' however, this would need to be allowed to have infinite recursion, i.e. ''made out of(made out of(made out of(made out of ... -> inf ... ))). As far as I can see however this would amount to an assertion of many layered uncertainty and/or a Heraclitan in-falling in the direction of smallwards due to the necessity of each layer of divinity maintaining omniscience, omnipotence, and so for, over and under its 'turf'. As this has the minimalist effect of underpinning either standard model QM, etc. or something like the Process Physics advocated by Colin Hales and friends [which I find attractive], all is well with the world. :-]

But, seriously, all this stuff about 'supervening' and so forth is all based on the Cartesian assumption that mind-stuff has no physical extension.

Does it? How long is my qualia of "understanding that joke?".
And again, you rely on the assumption that matter-stuff has a physical extension, which can only get a status of relative truth in the comp-physics.



Well the Inquisition is no longer the authority or power base that it was and empirical science has moved on. I think the onus is falling ever more heavily on those who deny the identity of mind and brain to explain WHY they still do so.

Because to get reasonable identity between say this precise pain and this precise brain you have to presuppose infinite matter and infinite mind, and the relation remains mysterious. But once you accept that mind supervenes on a finitely part of a brain, then "the material part" of the brain become "metaphysically" useless. I am not saying this is obvious, see the UDA reasoning.



The 'distinction' between 1st and 3rd person view points is simply raw fact. Both view points have limits which can be seen to derive from the view of reality they embody. 1st person viewpoint conflates the experience of being the embodiment of a view point with an experience of all that is viewable,

OK.



the 3rd person viewpoint conflates objective models of things with the things themselves.


Very often (like you for arithmetical reality, if I may say), but not necessarily.


There is a sense in which these are simply manifestations of the same raw fact of life: the model of something is not the thing, it is only ABOUT the thing. Amen!   :-)


... and languages and theories can be used to talk about numbers and functions, but are not the same things, Amen ;-)

Bruno




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

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