Hi Folks,
I can't throw myself any further into this ... I have to get back in the 
fray here. However - a couple of quick-ones for Brent and Bruno:

COL
> the instant the 
> abstraction happens, from that moment on you know NOTHING about the 
> current state of the distal environment...all you have is IO 
> measurements. 
>   
BRENT
And that's all a human scientist has too - IO measurements by his senses.

COL
This is just plain empirically, factually wrong. The whole of 
neuroscience for 100 years confirms that perception is a central nervous 
system functiona: CRANIAL, CENTRAL. Not peripheral. The CNS qualia are 
observation. The peripheral nervous system has/bestows no experienced 
qualities whatever. It only feel like it does because of the CNS doing 
its thing. I don't want to debate this. I shouldn;t have to. Go and look 
it up. There's about a million books and papers on it. In terms of my 
discussion of a scientist:
a) CNS qualia are scientific observation
b) The events in the distal world outside the scientist are the 
scientific measurement.

In the scenario I painted, the scientist COMP_S has to be hooked up to 
IO (you could even put the COMP_S inside a human body). Results are 
identical. There is absolutely no point in simulating the distal natural 
world! You are there to do SCIENCE: You don't know what the distal 
natural world is, by definition! Therefore you can't possibly simulate 
it ...and... if you could you wouldn't want to do science on it... 
that's the nice point about this scenario. It cuts out the logical holes.

BRUNO:
Please don't get me wrong. I actually hold the universe to be literally 
a mathematics...not COMP _OF_ a mathematics. There is no computer. The 
universe is the computer. There's no _abstractions_ of it. There's 
actual reified symbols interacting with each other, not being forced to 
interact by something else..... but that's a whole other story only 
indirectly related to the one I told.

In regards to being guided by what the HUMAN_S vs COMP_S scenario tells 
us  - as is usual in the most Popperian of science... what I get is 
merely guidance in my behaviour - my choices - as a designer. I don't 
get told by the analysis a 'truth' or what to do. I get told by the 
analysis what NOT to do  - or better - what choices  to refrain from 
making. The COMP_S is an _abstract_ symbol manipulator. When you 
abstract X, then all relations between X and everything else (through 
the parallelness with all the other entities in the universe) - are all 
gone.

Classical mathematical thinking is a single stream  - a single line of 
proof. Our abstractions are the axioms in such a style of proof. But 
that's NOT what any entity X (the intended abstracted entity) has. If 
there are 10^1234  entities in the universe then X has (10^ 1234 -1) 
relationships with everything that is not X. Our models throw all of 
them away. I cannot prove that these relationships play no part in 
scientific behaviour. Nor can you. So in my design I shall, in the 
popperian tradition, refrain from making any choice that eliminates 
those relationships. So: abstract COMP is OUT as an option.

You said:

"That we cannot build constructively a scientist is correct. But it is  
then very misleading to use the word "false". Also, it is not because  
we cannot built constructively a scientist that we can infer that we  
are unable to isolate one, or to copy one, (and then: without  
constructively proving that we have done so). We just cannot know who  
we are.
By using "false" here you change the usual meaning of the word, and it  
could lead to add misunderstandings in a field where there are already  
many misunderstandings."


OK we're getting to the nub of it. Firstly I disagree that "we cannot 
build constructively a scientist". I hold that we can... unless by "We" 
you mean "All those people who subscribe to COMP" .. in which case you 
are correct. I hold that we CAN. I am not interested in copies or 
'simulations' = pretending. My scenario demands authentic original 
science done from a point of view of incomplete knowledge of a system 
from the vantage point of being literally built inside the system being 
scientifically described.

RE: 'falsity', 'refutation' etc.
The BEER definition of

COMP = '...the theoretical claim that a system's behavior derives from 
its instantiation of appropriate representations and computational 
processes." Beer, R. D. (1995), 'A Dynamical-Systems Perspective on 
Agent Environment Interaction'. Artificial Intelligence 72(1-2):pp. 
173-215.

Such a definition does not preclude "scientific behaviour" as a "system 
behaviour". Therefore COMP predicted that a scientitist can be created 
by "instantiation of appropriate representations and computational 
processes" , which I take to mean, as most would , a Turing 
Machine/digital computing abstraction-based symbol manipulator.

*FACT 1:* COMP cannot deliver one very specific, highly specialised 
thing: an authentic scientist. For all the reasons I have supplied in 
previous posts.

YES you can simulate a scientidst...! From that point of view COMP is 
true. But if you could you wouldn;t want to because all the science must 
have been done already... otherwise you wouldn't be able to simulate it! 
The logic is compelling.

By the BEER definition (which is only a theoretical claim anyway!), 
because FACT 1, COMP is false in the specialised circumstance.... 
therefore it is methodologically false as a general/universal claim.

I don't give a stuff about the survival of COMP as a concept. All I care 
about is making good decisions. A good decision involves NOT choosing 
COMP to build something capable of doing authentic original science on 
the a-priori unknown....and... something that is provably capable of 
such a scientific act is logically arguable to be capable of less 
rigorous, everyday problem solving of the kind humans do....

COMP is refuted as a general claim. It doesn't mean it's not useful. It 
just means that you can't simulate a scientist. You can still use COMP 
to do a whole lot od things.... just not artificial GENERAL intelligence.

The useful way ahead is to forget about 'computing' the universe and 
start discussing the universe AS innate computation (there is no 
computer!). But this is not COMP as I understand it. You can rearrange 
the meaning of the words all you like... there's no intrinsic value in 
being right by a definition! What need to do is make correct choices... 
so COMP - as defined above - is a dead idea...way past its use-by date. 
I don't need to think about UTMs or dovetailers or anything else 
designed to make up for the fundamental shortcomings of a COMP approach 
... I have an empirically testable, logically arguable, here and now 
decision-maker.

In my INORGANIC_S ...there is still 'computation'... but the computation 
involves manipulation of natural symbols and the 'rules of 
transformation' of it, as a calculus ...are literally Maxwell's 
microscopic equations. All relationships with everything else that is 
NOT (INORGANIC_S) are conserved and allowed to influence the dynamics.

If you want to redefine COMP to include such natural symbol 
manipulation...fine...! It makes COMP true, but changes nothing....I 
still decide to do the same thing...NOT to use Church-Post-Turing-based 
approaches which force the computing to be dissociated from the computed 
through any abstraction process..

So... Marc... you can let Mr Yudkowski know that his ideas are formally 
refuted as a way to AGI. I am thinking of going to the AGI conference 
next year... in which case I'll tell them all!

Until next time....

cheers
colin



================================
I can;t do any more now... please run with it... I have to dissappear 
back into my work... I have an INORGANIC_S to build!

Thanks for the interesting sparring...to be continued another day... 
maybe when my COMP refutations come out in print.

cheers
colin


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