Hi Abram,

On 27 Nov 2008, at 20:02, Abram Demski wrote:

> Bruno,
> It seems to me that this runs head-on into the problem of the
> definition of time...
> Here is my argument; I am sure there will be disagreement with it.
> Supposing that Alice's consciousness is spread out over the movie
> billboards next to the train track, there is no longer a normal
> temporal relationship between mental moments. There must merely be a
> "time-like" relationship, which Alice experiences as time.

Assuming MAT (and MEC). OK.

> But, then,
> we are saying that wherever a logical relationship exists that is
> time-like, there is subjective time for those inside the time-like
> relationship.

With MAT,  (in a block view or not). OK.

> Now, what might constitute a time-like relationship? I see several
> alternatives, but none seem satisfactory.
> At any given moment, all we can be directly aware of is that one
> moment. If we remember the past, that is because at the present moment
> our brain has those memories; we don't know if they "really" came from
> the past. What would it mean to put moments in a series? It changes
> nothing essential about the moment itself; we can remove the past,
> because it adds nothing.

With MAT! As Stathis said, once consciousness supervenes on  
mathematical computations (up to some equivalence class), you can no  
more remove a past than you can remove the number 13 from elementary  

> The connection between moments doesn't seem like a physical
> connection; the notion is non-explanatory, since if there were such a
> physical connection we could remove it without altering the individual
> moments, therefore not altering our memories, and our subjective
> experience of time.

All right.

> Similarly, can it be a logical relationship? Is it
> the structure of a single moment that connects it to the next? How
> would this be? Perhaps we require that there is some function (a
> "physics") from one moment to the next?

It is here that we have to take into account what I think to be a  
major discovery, if not THE first big(**)  discovery of humanity:  the  
discovery of the (mathematical) Universal Machine (of Turing, if you  
want, but with Church thesis it is considerably more general).

That concept makes it possible to define a "space" of all  
computations. It is defined unambiguously by the Universal Dovetailer,  
a program itself. Or equivalently by the set of sigma_1 sentences and  
their proofs (note that the false sigma_1 sentences inherit infinite  

Now, consider some trace of that program. It executes all  
computations. But (see the UDA), from our personal point of view, even  
between just two distinguishable computational states, there will be a  
continuum of computations going through those states, if only due to  
the "dumbness" of the UD, who re-execute each step of any computation  
by dovetailing them on all "real" oracle. And MEC predict that this  
"mutiplication" of computations appearing below our substitution level  
is indirectly observable.

> But, this does not exactly
> allow for things like relativity in which there is no single universal
> clock.

(Sure, but we were trying to suppose here only MEC + MAT (not MEC +  
MAT + relativity). And this points to a little weakness of the second  
argument I gave.
But I would find only funny to just conclude that the falsity of  
relativity would safe "MAT".  That would be a type of ad hoc move I  
was hoping to exclude in some dreamy "MGA 5" some posts ago.

> Of course, relativity could be simulated, creating a universe
> that was run be a universal clock but whose internal facts did not
> depend on which universal clock, exactly, the simulation was run from.

You have to read the UDA here I'm afraid: no "emulable physical  
reality" can save the problem. With MEC, "physical reality" has to  
emerge from ALL emulable histories, and this, as viewed by any  
universal machine, is really an infinite sum. That sum is hardly  
emulable, a priori, but I agree that quantum mechanics seems to show  
that such a sum is perhaps emulable (albeit with exponential slow  
down) by the sharable indeterminate part making our probable sharable  
MEC has everything to justify it, or to refute it (in which case the  
success of quantum computing would confirm or refute MEC). Up to now,  
QM confirms MEC (I can say more precise technical things here if  

> My problem is, I suppose, that any particular definition of "timelike
> relationship" seems too arbitrary.

There is a big difference between first person non sharable time, and  
sharable local (clock measurable) time. The first you experience, the  
second you guess, and you guess it only from an implicit bet on your own

consistency. It makes a big "modal" difference.

> As another example, should any
> probabilistic elements be allowed into physics? In this case, we don't
> have a function any more, but a relation-- perhaps a relation of
> weighted transitions. But how would this relation make any difference
> from inside the universe?

We are supported by infinity(*) of computations.  We can only bet on  
our most probable "histories", above our level of constitution. Those  
historie which can multiplie themselves from below, and thus in front  
of pure probabilistic event (noise) can win the measure game (on the  
computations or the OMs). The question is: can we explain from MEC, as  
we have too, why, as we can see empirically, the "probabilities" can  
also be subtracted. To we get here too classical mechanics in the  
limit? Open problem of course.

Now the crazy thing is that we can already (thanks to Gödel, Löb,  
Solovay ...) interview a (Lobian) universal machine on that subject,  
and she gives a shadow of reason (and guess!) why indeed subtraction  
occurs. And thanks to the Solovay split between G (the provable part  
of self-reference, and G*, the true but unprovable part of self- 
reference, some intensional variant of G and G* split temselves into  
the sharable physics (indeteminate quanta) and unsharable physics (the  
qualia? the perceptible field, what you can only be the one to confim:  
a bit like being the one in Moscow after a self-duplication experiment).


(*)  Even infinitIES, from the "third person point of view on the  
first person points of view. Hmmm do you know the first person comp  
indeterminacy? (step 3 of UDA).
(**) The second BIG discovery being the quantum computer !  (don't  
hesitate to use grain salts if it helps to swallows what I say). of  
course "nature" made those discoveries before us. Well, with MEC we  
have to consider that elementary arithmetic did those "discoveries"  
even out of time and space.

> On Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 4:09 AM, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>  
> wrote:
>> MGA 3
>> It is the last MGA !
>> I realize MGA is complete, as I thought it was, but I was doubting  
>> this
>> recently. We don't need to refer to Maudlin, and MGA 4 is not  
>> necessary.
>> Maudlin 1989 is an independent argument of the 1988 Toulouse  
>> argument (which
>> I present here).
>> Note that Maudlin's very interesting "Olympization technic"  can be  
>> used to
>> defeat a wrong form of MGA 3, that is, a wrong argument for the  
>> assertion
>> that  the movie cannot be conscious. (the argument that the movie  
>> lacks the
>> counterfactual). Below are hopefully correct (if not very simple)  
>> argument.
>> ( I use Maudlin sometimes when people gives this non correct form  
>> of MGA 3,
>> and this is probably what makes me think Maudlin has to be used, at  
>> some
>> point).
>> MGA 1 shows that Lucky Alice is conscious, and MGA 2 shows that the
>> "luckiness" feature of the MGA 1 experiment was a red herring. We can
>> construct, from MEC+COMP, an home made lucky rays generator, and  
>> use it at
>> will. If we accept both digital mechanism, in particular Dennet's  
>> principle
>> that neurons have no intelligence, still less prescience, and this
>> *together with* the supervenience principle; we have to accept that  
>> Alice
>> conscious dream experience supervenes on the projection of her brain
>> activity movie.
>> Let us show now that Alice consciousness *cannot* supervene on that
>> *physical* movie projection.
>> I propose two (deductive) arguments.
>> 1)
>> Mechanism implies the following tautological functionalist  
>> principle: if,
>> for some range of activity, a system does what it is supposed to  
>> do, and
>> this before and after a change is made in its constitution, then  
>> the change
>> does not change what the system is supposed to do, for that range of
>> activity.
>> Example:
>> - A car is supposed to broken but only if the driver is faster than  
>> 90
>> miles/h. Pepe Pepito NEVER drives faster than 80 miles/h. Then the  
>> car is
>> supposed to do what she is supposed to do, with respect of its  
>> range of
>> activity defined by Pepe Pepito.
>> - Claude bought a 1000 thousand processors computer. One day he  
>> realized
>> that he used only 990 processors, for his type of activity, so he  
>> decided to
>> get rid of those 10 useless processors. And indeed the machine will  
>> satisfy
>> Claude ever.
>> - Alice has (again) a math exam. Theoreticians have correctly  
>> predict that
>> in this special circumstance, she will never use neurons X, Y and  
>> Z.  Now
>> Alice go (again, again) to this exam in the same condition, but  
>> with the
>> neurons X, Y, Z removed. Again, not only will she behaved like if she
>> succeed her exam, but her consciousness, with both MEC *and* MAT  
>> still
>> continue.
>> The idea is that if something is not useful, for an active process  
>> to go on,
>> for some range of activity, then you can remove it, for that range of
>> activity.
>> OK?
>> Now, consider the projection of the movie of the activity of  
>> Alice's brain,
>> "the movie graph".
>> Is it necessary that someone look at that movie? Certainly not. No  
>> more than
>> it is needed that someone is look at your reconstitution in Moscow  
>> for you
>> to be conscious in Moscow after a teleportation. All right? (with MEC
>> assumed of course).
>> Is it necessary to have a screen? Well, the range of activity here  
>> is just
>> one dynamical description of one computation. Suppose we make a  
>> hole in the
>> screen. What goes in and out of that hole is exactly the same, with  
>> the hole
>> and without the hole. For that unique activity, the hole in the  
>> screen is
>> functionally equivalent to the subgraph which the hole removed.  
>> Clearly we
>> can make a hole as large as the screen, so no need for a screen.
>> But this reasoning goes through if we make the hole in the film  
>> itself.
>> Reconsider the image on the screen: with a hole in the film itself,  
>> you get
>> a "hole" in the movie, but everything which enters and go out of  
>> the hole
>> remains the same, for that (unique) range of activity.  The "hole"  
>> has
>> trivially the same functionality than the subgraph functionality  
>> whose
>> special behavior was described by the film. And this is true for any
>> subparts, so we can remove the entire film itself.
>> Does Alice's dream supervene (in real time and space) on the  
>> projection of
>> the empty movie?
>> Remark.
>> 1° Of course, this argument can be sum up by saying that the movie  
>> lacks
>> causality between its parts so that it cannot really be said that it
>> computes any thing, at least physically. The movie is just an  
>> ordered record
>> of computational states. This is neither a physical computation,  
>> nor an
>> (immaterial) computation where the steps follows relatively to some
>> universal machine. It is just a description of a computation, already
>> existing in the Universal Deployment.
>> 2° Note this: If we take into consideration the relative destiny of  
>> Alice,
>> and supposing one day her brain broke down completely, she has more  
>> chance
>> to survive through "holes in the screen" than to the "holes in the  
>> film".
>> The film contains the relevant information to reconstitute Alice  
>> from her
>> brain description, contained on this high resolution film. Keeping  
>> comp, and
>> abandoning the physical supervenience thesis, means that we do no  
>> more
>> associate consciousness, neither on the movie, NOR on the brain  
>> special
>> activity in a computation, but to the computation itself directly.  
>> A brain,
>> and even a film,  will "only" be a way to make bigger the probability
>> for a consciousness to manifest itself relatively to a "probable"  
>> universal
>> computational history.
>> Strictly speaking, running the movie dimimish Alice chance to have  
>> her
>> conscious experience (life) continue, at least relatively to you,  
>> because of
>> the many scratches the projector makes on the pellicle, which remove
>> relevant information for a safe reconstitution later (again  
>> relatively to
>> you).
>> 2)
>> I give now what is perhaps a simpler argument
>> A projection of a movie is a relative phenomenon. On the planet  
>> 247a, nearby
>> in the galaxy, they don't have screen. The film pellicle is as big  
>> as a
>> screen, and they make the film passing behind a stroboscope at the  
>> right
>> frequency in front of the public. But on planet 247b, movies are  
>> only for
>> travellers! They dress their film, as big as those on planet 247a,  
>> in their
>> countries all along their train rails with a lamp besides each  
>> frames, which
>> is nice because from the train, through its speed, you get the  
>> usual 24
>> frames per second. But we already accepted that such movie does not  
>> need to
>> be observed, the train can be empty of people. Well the train does  
>> not play
>> any role, and what remains is the static film with a lamp behind  
>> each frame.
>> Are the lamps really necessaries? Of course not, all right? So now  
>> we are
>> obliged to accept that the consciousness of Alice during the  
>> projection of
>> the movie supervenes of something completely inert in time and  
>> space. This
>> contradicts the *physical*  supervenience thesis.
>> Exercises.
>> a) Someone could propose an alternate argument that a movie does  
>> not compute
>> (and so consciousness does supervene on it) by alluding to the lack  
>> of
>> causality in the movie:  the movie does not handle the counterfactual
>> existing implicitly in computations (physical or not).  Use Maudlin's
>> Olympization technic to refute that argument.
>> b) Make fun by using a non dreaming Alice. Shows that the movie  
>> (film or
>> screen) graph border is needed to get the accidental zombies (the  
>> puppet).
>> And then the "important" exercise (the original goal).
>> c) Eliminate the hypothesis "there is a concrete deployment" in the  
>> seventh
>> step of the UDA. Use UDA(1...7) to define properly the  
>> computationalist
>> supervenience thesis. Hint: reread the remarks above.
>> Have a good day.
>> Bruno
>> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
> >


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