On second thoughts, my objection below is invalid. My argument has been that 
under the right interpretation, any string or any physical system could be seen 
as implementing any meaning or computation: you reverse the usual order and 
write the dictionary to match the symbols. This only appears strange when the 
interpretation is not available: however erratic-seeming the internal workings 
of a physical machine, if it interacts with the environment in an appropriate 
way, and if it follows the same protocols interacting with a virtual 
environment, we can accept that it is carrying out a computation. But what if 
we chanced upon the inputless version of this same computer in ignorance of its 
function? We might discern patterns in its behaviour (provided that it had not 
been deliberately designed to obscure pattern, like a message encoded with a 
one-time pad) but we could attribute any interpretation to these patterns that 
the designers *might* have chosen, as there is no way to favour one over 
another. This means that a given physical computer cannot be fixed as 
implementing one computation unless taken in conjunction with a particular 
interpretation, which is problematic when multiple interpretations exist or 
might exist; that is, it shouldn't make any difference to an inputless machine 
if the interpretation is contained in a printed manual that is waved in front 
of it or if it exists as an abstract possibility.The problem is solved in the 
case of abstract machines because there is no mismatch between a single 
physical device and all the possible interpretations. We can, as you say, fix 
an abstract machine or string against a particular environment and consider 
just that combination. In the physical world, someone may come along at any 
time and insist that "cat" means "dog" in his language, but in Platonia you can 
simply consider the cat-string/ cat-meaning combination, as it would be 
logically inconsistent to say that the combination might mean something 
else.Stathsi PapaioannouFrom: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: RE: ASSA 
and Many-WorldsDate: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 09:49:00 +1100

Bruno Marchal writes:
> Le 28-janv.-07, à 20:21, Brent Meeker a écrit :>> > OK, but that means 
> "observer moments" are not fundamental and the > > "illusion" of their 
> continuity may be provided by the continuity of > > their underpinning. But I 
> don't see how a strictly stepwise discrete > > process as contemplated in the 
> UD can provide that continuity. It was > > my understanding that it assumed 
> consciousness could be provided by a > > series of disjoint states.> > Yes. 
> But a series of discrete states (or their godel number) has to be > related 
> by a computation for making sense.> > So it makes no sense to say that a 
> sequence of number is a computation. > You have to fix a "universal 
> environment". Let us fix once and for all > a godel numbering. Then it is 
> only relative to some universal number > that a sequence of number can be 
> counted as a computation.
This sounds a bit strange, as if you have the sequence of numbers, then you set 
their meaning, and thereby create the computation. How can you "fix once and 
for all a Godel numbering" in Platonia? How do you exclude all the other 
possible interpretations? 
> Now, from a first person point of view, we don't know in which > computation 
> we belong. So from a first person point of view, we have to > take all 
> equivalent computations (number sequence) relative to all > universal 
> number.> > This is enough to explain why from first person points of view, > 
> computations seem to require a continuum. In a sense we have to be > related 
> to the continuum of computations going through our states (it > includes the 
> infinity of computations describing finer grained > histories with respect to 
> our comp level of substitution.> > Consciousness is typically a first person 
> notion. Strictly speaking it > cannot be associated to one third person 
> computation. Only this one can > be described by a sequence of discrete 
> states (more or less arbitrarily > from a choice of a universal 
> number/system). First person consciousness > is associated with a uncountable 
> ("continuous") third person > computation.> > That is why all notion of 
> self-correctness can make sense only > relatively to the most *probable* 
> computational histories. OK?> > > Bruno> > > 
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/> > > </html

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