On 07 Nov 2008, at 20:10, Brent Meeker wrote:
> It's easy enough to agree with "describes", but is describing  
> something
> the same as creating it?

Yes, for effective things like numbers and programs, (machines, or  
finite pieces of computations).

> How can we decide these entities (what makes
> them entities?) are or are not conscious?

We just cannot decide.

> I understand that up to the "map of our personal ignorance" =  
> "physical
> things"  How does our uncertainity as to which histories we are entail
> phyisical things?

Well, this is really the point of the whole reasoning. UDA(1...7) +  

I think now that if you have grasped up to step 6. It is really step 7  
which explain why the laws of physics have to emerge from computer  
science or number theory.

Imagine that in our physical universe (assumed, if only to get the  
contradiction) a real concrete UD is running. This makes intuitive  
sense. I have implemented in 1991 a UD, and it has run for two weeks.  
The UD has no inputs and no outputs. It just runs, and simulate all  
possible programs on all possible inputs with all possible (piece of)  
oracles. The existence of this UD is not something obvious, but it  
does exist, and is even constructible, if we accept Church Thesis.  
With Church thesis, even a DU written in FORTRAN, and dovetailing only  
on the fortran programs will generates all the program in LISP, but  
also in all not yet invented languages, and runs them. OK?

I assume here also (in step 7) that our physical universe is robust  
enough to let the UD run forever. If you grasp up to step 6, then you  
should understand that if you decide here and now to do any "physical  
experiment", like sending a photon on a mirror, or like observing an  
apple in a tree", the only real and correct way to predict or evaluate  
what will happen, is NO MORE to use the physical laws of your  
universe, but to look at all the computational histories generated  
through by the UD up to your actual state of mind (this exists because  
we assume comp). And what will happen is what happen in most of those  
stories. OK?

So, even, without the Movie Graph Argument, if such a concrete UD  
exists, if no white rabbits appears and if the photon bounce, or the  
apple falls on the ground, you can deduce that the "physical laws'  
describe those more common histories.

At this point a mechanist who want to stay naturalist and keep "a  
physical lawful universe" can decide that such a universe just cannot  
run the UD, nor a too big portion of it. This would indeed evacuate  
the comp white rabbits, and reinstate a sense to "physical law".

But then MGA, UDA step 8, shows that such a move don't work.



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