As I wrote in my response to Russell Standish:

    * I think [Russell's] 'kicks back' = physical = measurable in some
      way, and
    * I think 'exists' is a generic, irreducible, ultimate value. In
      fact it is THE generic, irreducible, ultimate value and it
      underlies mathematical objects such as numbers as well as
      everything else.

I think also [something of the waggy tail of this dog] that we are beset 
by irreducible paradox in our experience as conscious beings, which does 
not have to be terminally traumatic but does mean that we will always be 
prone to potentially embarrassing mistakes of perception and thought.

NB: I will be happy to be proven wrong, but this will require that the 
proof is translatable into 'plain-English' :-)  and, preferably points 
to clear empirical evidence for backup.

My main problem with Comp is that it needs several unprovable 
assumptions to be accepted. For example the Yes Doctor hypothesis, 
wherein it is assumed that it must be possible to digitally emulate some 
or all of a person's body/brain function and the person will not notice 
any difference. The Yes Doctor hypothesis is a particular case of the 
digital emulation hypothesis in which it is asserted that, basically, 
ANYTHING can be digitally emulated if one had enough computational 
resources available. As this seems to me to be almost a version of Comp 
[at least as far as I have got with reading Bruno's exposition] then 
from my simple minded perspective it looks rather like assuming the very 
thing that needs to be demonstrated.

    Bruno:'All this provides mathematical clean interpretation of
    neoplatonist researchers (like Plato, Plotinus, Proclus). If you
    want I show that concerning machine's theology it is wrong to reify
    matter or nature.

    Note that I am using the term "materialism" in a weaker sense than
    its use in philosophy of mind. But materialism I mean the
    metaphysical reification of Matter. The idea that some primitive
    matter exists. '

MP: Well at least I can say now that I have some inkling of what 
'machine's theology' means. However, as far as I can see it is inherent 
in the nature of consciousness to reify something. I have not seen 
anywhere a refutation of my favoured understanding of consciousness 
which is that a brain is creating a representation of its world and a 
representation of itself and representations of the relationships 
between self and world. The 'world' in question is reified by the 
maintenance and updating of these representations, this is what the 
brain does, this is what it is FOR. Our contemplation of numbers and 
other mathematical objects or the abstract entities posited as particles 
and energy packets etc., by modern physics is experientially and 
logically second to the pre-linguistic/non-linguistic representation of 
self in the world, mediated by cell assemblies constituting basic 
qualia. [In passing; a quale must embody this triple aspect of 
representing something about the world, something about oneself and 
something significant about relationships *between* that piece of the 
world and that rendition of 'self'.]

I appreciate that the UDA and related treatments in mathematical 
philosophy, can be rigorous, and enormously potent in their implications 
for further speculation and development within their universe of 
discourse, but I remain very sceptical of any advertised potential to 
bootstrap the rest of the universe.

I have been trying to create a worthy reply to Jason's posting of 14 Jan 
07 on the Evidence for the simulation argument. In it I am trying to 
confront this very issue I think .I guess my basic complaint comes down 
to these things:

    * actual existence is an irreducible value or Values
    * structure entails more than just the existence of mathematical
      objects of/with numerically representable values, it entails
      differences and separation which are not just conceptual but
      ontological, so maybe what I am saying is that structure is in
      some way irreducible, which might be better put in some minimalist
      formula like: structuring has an irreducible minimum ontological
    * this seems to require that we acknowledge that things which really
      exist ARE SOMEWHERE now - and I know Bruno has already asserted
      that this is not so 'if Comp is true' but I have certainly not
      encountered any kind of plain-English exposition that refutes the
      problem as I see it
    * the Church Thesis, as I understand it, is an assertion about
      digital computations saying, more or less, that any kind of
      digital computation can be emulated by and within another digital
      computation system, and this is fine as far as it goes but I have
      seen an argument put that there are various aspects of physical
      existence which cannot be translated exactly into digital
      representation, so any digital *emulation* will be a Zenoverse,
          o this was in an edition of New Scientist Magazine several
            years ago [and I will try and track down my paper copy
            because I don't have access to the on-line version like I do
            for Scientific American Magazine]

    of course Bruno and others will argue that they are not saying that
    OUR universe is being emulated but merely that it is numerically
    implemented, but as far as I can see all the 'teleporter' brand of
    arguments DO rely on emulation which must thus need effectively
    infinite resources if they are to 'fool' a scientifically competent
    victim [for indeed the fate of he or she who is 'read' will be death
    at that time, or else at very least they will be damaged goods when
    the door is opened again :-]

    * entropy is a significant feature of our universe which affects
      every aspect of our existence, and I maintain that, as much as
      anything else, it is the PRICE of our existence [of course Xians
      like to complicate this simple observation with subtle
      refinements, but I am Ex-Xian so I ignore these and do not enter
      into discussion about them]. I reckon it is valid to look upon
      entropy in our daily lives as the expansion of the universe writ
      small. Were the universe not expanding, there would be no space
      visible between the stars in the night sky, so the whole sky
      everywhere and always would look like the Sun and 'here' would be
      the same temperature as 'there', i.e. to hot for comfort  :-) As
      we exist and reliable evidence seems to indicate that we live in a
      universe which is both unimaginably big and expanding, I believe
      we have to take entropy seriously. I think this poses problems for
      theories of infinite alternative universes which are purported to
      have some kind of connection with ours.

And there I ran out of steam!

Mark Peaty  CDES
Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Le 07-févr.-07, à 17:34, Mark Peaty a écrit :
>     Bruno: 'Dont hesitate to ask why, I am sure few people have
>     understand the whole point. Some are close to it, perhaps by
>     having figure this out by themselves.'
>     MP: Don't look at me boss ... I'm just glad I don't have to
>     understand 'it' to be able to exist within it!
> Of course! Like babies can use their brain without understanding it ...
>     SO, yes I will ask: What do you mean by 'physical'?
> It concerns the stable appearance described by hypothetical "physical 
> theories" (like classical mechanics, QM, etc.).
> I found an argument showing that IF comp(*) is correct THEN those 
> stable appearances emerge from arithmetic as seen from internalized 
> point of views. Those can be described in computer science, and It 
> makes the comp hyp falsifiable: just extract the physical appearance 
> from comp and compare with nature. I will say more in a reply to Stathis.
> (*) comp means there exist a tuiring emulable level of description of 
> "myself" (whatever I am), meaning I would notice a functional 
> substitution made at that level).
>     And next: what do you mean by 'exist'?
> There are mainly two sort of existence. The absolute fundamental one, 
> and the internal or phenomenological one.
> If you understand the Universal Dovetailer Argument, you can 
> understand that, assuming the comp hypothesis, it is enough to 
> interpret existence by the existential quantifier in some first order 
> logic description of arithmetic. (like when you say "it exist a prime 
> number").
> All the other existence (like headache, but also bosons, fermions, 
> anyons, ...) are phenomelogical, and can be described by "It exist a 
> stable and coherent collection of machines correctly believing from 
> their point of view in "bosons", etc. (I simplify a bit).
> If you want, I say that IF comp is true, only numbers exist, all the 
> rest are dreams with relative degree of stability.
>     These are very basic questions, and in our context here, 'dumb'
>     questions for sure, but without some clarification on how people
>     are using these words, I don't think I can go any further.
> You are welcome, and I don't believe there is dumb questions. I have 
> developed the Universal dovetailer argument, in the seventies, and it 
> was a pedagogical tools for explaining the mathematical theory which 
> consist in interviewing an universal machine on its possible physics.
> I have published all this in the eighties and defend it as a thesis in 
> the nineties. I am aware it goes against materialism (based on the 
> concept of primary (aristotelian) materialism.
> All this provides mathematical clean interpretation of neoplatonist 
> researchers (like Plato, Plotinus, Proclus). If you want I show that 
> concerning machine's theology it is wrong to reify matter or nature.
> Note that I am using the term "materialism" in a weaker sense than its 
> use in philosophy of mind. But materialism I mean the metaphysical 
> reification of Matter. The idea that some primitive matter exists.
> Hope this helps a bit. Perhaps you could study my last version of UDA 
> in my SANE04 paper to see the point. You can ask question for any 
> step. Then if you are willing to invest in mathematical logic, you 
> will see how the UDA can be made entirely mathematical *and* falsifiable.
> Bruno

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