On 17 Nov 2008, at 16:22, Kory Heath wrote:

> On Nov 16, 2008, at 6:34 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Some believe that for having a real conscious person, you have to
>> implement it in a real primary material universe. It is clearly what
>> Peter Jones thinks. I am saying that a person can be fully conscious
>> like you or me, even when implemented either directly in arithmetic,
>> or in a mathematical physical universe itself implemented in
>> arithmetic (or fortran, whatever). I think your point is just the  
>> same
>> than mine: we don't need a material bottom.
> Yes. We may end up disagreeing about certain details (as any two
> philosophers will), but we seem to both hold the same basic position.

I have no position (just an argument). Years ago, in a moment of  
weakness I have mentionned my perpetually oscillating positions, from  
hoping comp true (false) and believing it is false (true), the bad  
days, and the goods days hoping it true (false) and wanting it true  
(false). I mean even my taste is oscillating. But I think nobody  
should really care about things like that. as a professional, if you  
want, I care only on the sharable deductive results which is mainly  
that you can't have both mind and matter both computable. And the  
related: If MECH is true, then MAT is false. NOT MAT or NOT MEC.
Read my post to John Mikes, which has been sent probably when you  
wrote your's. I am not a philosopher. If you really want to classify  
me, just say that I am a (neoneoplatonist) theologian (with or without  
grain of salt). I just take the opportunity of comp to transform  
philosophical problems into mathematical problems (nobody has to  
believe in the assumption, nor believe I believe them).

>> The question for the existence of mathematical physical universe
>> (your mathematical physicalism) is an open one.
> I'm a little bit confused by this, coming on the heels of your
> previous paragraph. Do you believe it's an open question whether or
> not "a person can be fully conscious like you or me, even when
> directly implemented in arithmetic", or do you mean something
> different when you say "the existence of mathematical physical
> universe"? In any case, I take a strong stance on the former statement
> - I think we have enough reason right now to conclude that it's  
> correct.

I guess you mean, ASSUMING COMP, and after the UDA-MGA proof. Then,  
the use of word is delicate, and can be understood only through the  
understanding of the argument, really. I can make a cautious try.

You cannot implement a person in arithmetic, because they are all  
already implemented in arithmetic. You can' do that for the same  
reason you cannot make, by yourself, 17 a prime number. 17 is already  
prime, and persons are already implemented.

Now, you can apparently implement arithmetic in our most probable  
computational histories, note the "s". I say "apparently" because it  
is an empirical fact. It is enough to implement a computer like the  
one in front of you right now. And you can implement a person, by  
yourself in a computer, except you have to solve the AI problem or to  
implement the universal dovetalier (and then be patient, and not to  
demanding because you will not been able to extract the people from  
the universal computation).

Now, even in the lucky case you implement a person on a computer, the  
consciousness of that person will noy been exclusively related to the  
computer in front of view which executes the person. from the person  
point of view, she will feel executed by an infinity of programs,  
inddeed all those already implemented in arithmetic. Give me a bit of  
time, and I will try to make this clear in MGA 0. This should be  
understandbale if yopu really 1) grasp the seven steps, and 2) abandon  
materialism (through MGA or not). The UDA says something about  
physics, that simple mathematicalism does not say, and it is related  
to the fact that the UD existence relies on Church thesis, like  
physics (and more) will be related to incompleteness and the  
mathematical structure of universal machine ignorance.

You seem to forget or to be unaware that, a priori, nowhere  in the  
deployment, does a physical structure arise. Physical structures arise  
in the "memories" of universal machine, and emerge, in a relative or  
conditional way, from a non computable (a priori) set of computable  
functions executions. Mathematical physicalism seems to invoke a  
program which would emulate somehow that sum on all computations; this  
seems impossible. But I agree that some facts are with you, it is a  
mystery (still too much non computable rabbits with comp). Yet if you  
are correct, then it means that your consciousness is defined by that  
the whole execution of that little programs. Comp is false, or is true  
but makes the whole universe my brain. Comp would be true in the  
weaker sense. Now, even if you are correct, it has to be justified  
completely from the comp hypothesis.

>> If it exists, we have
>> to explain how it wins the "measure of uncertainty" battle on all
>> other programs which reach also your mind computational state in the
>> universal deplyment. All right? (this follows from step seven).
> Do you mean that if "mathematical physicalism" is true, we need to
> offer a mathematical-physicalist solution to the "white rabbit
> problem"?

Any theory has to wash out its white rabbits.
Any modal realism has to wash out its inflation of inferable  
But I am saying a stronger things. Always assuming comp, of course.
I am saying that the question of the truth of "mathematical  
physicalism" has to be solved. Once you assume comp, it is an open  
problem. In with my insight I would say there is few chance it could  
be true. If by mathematicalism you mean that the big thing is a  
mathematical object, then I think mathematicalism is wrong. Assuming  
comp the big thing is, well, it has no name. If there is a theory of  
everything (and everyone), then its has to ba a [no-name]logist  
theory. despite this we can bet it is no more than arithmetical truth,  
but only by keeping in mind that this is equivalent to the "yes  
doctor" act of FAITH.

> I agree with that. And in fact, I don't claim to have a full
> solution to the white rabbit problem. However, I think the logical /
> philosophical arguments against the materialist's conception of
> "matter" are so strong, and the replacement of that conception with
> the concept of "mathematical facts-of-the-matter" is so fruitful, that
> the acceptance of mathematical physicalism is justified, even without
> a full solution to the white rabbit problem.

Your intuition is similar to Tegmark. I think we can have even  
physical motivation for mathematicalism.
What I say, is that the comp hypothesis makes it possible to translate  
the mind-body problem into a mathematical measure problem. It does not  
mean comp is true. It means comp is sufficiently precise to translate  
philosophical problems into mathematical problems.
A bit like newton did with aristotle natural philosophy. With comp you  
get Plotinus theology, with matter described by a verifiable theory  
(of course here you need to translate effectively UDA in Arithmetic.  
This is AUDA, or the lobian machine interview, and that is really the  
advanced technical sequel of MGA. For that stage, you have not only to  
understand UDA+MGA, but you have to understand why any universal  
machine (believing in induction axioms) can understand UGA+MGA. This  
is a bit less simple, because it points of the fact that obvioulsy  
comp relies on computer science, and few people in the list does like  
I use it too much (the F_i and the W_i makes the people running  
away. ) But this is not needed for understanding the proof of the  

>>> "Mathematical facts play the role that physical existence is  
>>> supposed
>>> to play for materialists."
>> I would say "some mathematical facts".
> I see your point, although someday later I might want to defend the
> position that I don't really need the word "some".

No I agree. If you see this, you have an idea that physics is a sum on  
all math. Then replace "all math" by "all arithmetic", and you go near.
But the game for me is not to defend a position. It is to convince  
people by an argument.

>> For that reason I am
>> not sure you will appreciate the MGA, because you clearly seem to be
>> aware we don't need material stuff.
> I'm interested to learn how similar the MGA is to my own reasons for
> accepting what I'm calling "mathematical physicalism".

If you have reasons, (other than taste), feel free to share them with  

> It may turn out
> to be functionally identical to one of the arguments I've been using
> (in my head). Or it may be a complementary argument that I've never
> thought of. Or it may turn out that I don't find the argument
> persuasive, which may in turn indicate that what I'm calling
> mathematical physicalism isn't actually identical to your position.

It is certainly not my position, if you mean by my position "what we  
have to believe if we say yes to the doctor and if (indeed) we survive  
the comp substitution".

Then "my position" is "mathematical physicalism" (a bit à-la Tegmark)  
is wrong.

I remain open that the process of hunting the white rabbits out would  
converge to mathematical physicalism, and this would be equivalent of  
making our substitution level lower and lower. If mathematical  
physicalism is 100% true, and if we still keep comp, then it means I  
can say yes to the doctor only if the doctor gives me a brain which  
simulates the entire universe. Well I am thinking here to a  
Sxhmidhuberian+Tegmarkian universe, and the "truth" is actually even  
more subtle.

To sum up: mathematical physicalism, I just don't know, and I am sure  
it could depend how we choose to interpret the words physics and  

> Or
> I might just think there's an easier or better way to get the same
> conclusion. In any case, I think it would be fruitful.

Write down your way. We just try to understand each other.

In all what I say, the comp assumption plays the key role. My point is  
"just" that if we assume comp, then Physics has to be derived by  
gluing conditions on machine dreams. It is an open problem if that can  
lead to a physics capable of being described by a (computable?)  
mathematical object. I speculate (only) that it can't be.

I could summarize my conclusion(s) in many ways. What I try to show is  
that the hypothesis COMP is testable. With comp, you have to extract  
physics from comp, in a precise unique way, then  do it (I show a way,  
there are others) and then compare the comp physics with empirical  

Bruno Marchal


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