Hi Ronald,

On 29 Nov 2008, at 13:45, ronaldheld wrote:

>
> Bruno:
>  My background is in Physics and Astrophysics, with interests in GR
> and Cosmology.
>  I suppose I need some definitions of terms as well as whether those
> definitions are used by all of the posters.
> I have no idea what consciousness is or why the Universe/Multiverse
> should care.

I have no idea what the Universe is, but I have a pretty intuition why  
Consciousness should care.


>
> Finally for now, I vaguely see how Tegmark's mathematical structures
> can represent the mathematical represenations of Physics, but not at
> the physical level.


I present an (older) argument that if we take the hypothesis that "we"  
are (turing) emulable, then we can doubt that there is a "physical  
level" at all.
Put in another way, the appearance of a physical level could be a  
higher-order cognitive phenomenon, not specifically human, but  
"universal machinian", if I can say. Physical laws could emerge from  
some gluing property of machine's possible histories. In fine, the  
laws of physics would come from statistical relation on numbers  
relations.

On this list many people agrees that computation and relative  
probabilities play some role. Some other insist on states with some  
absolute probabilities or universal prior (cf Hal Finney).

I think Tegmark and Schmidhuber obliterates a bit too much the mind- 
body question. I am already happy when I can help people to understand  
that the mind-body problem is a difficult but serious problem and  
that, by  assuming hypotheses of the type of comp, we can try  
reasoning and been led to startling and very counterintuitive (for an  
Aristotelian)  conception of "reality", and we can even do math.

Don't hesitate to ask, perhaps more specific, questions. But if *you*  
don't care on consciousness or mind, I'm afraid you could be bored  
quickly.

The recent posts try to single out the falsity (or the difficulties)  
of the identity thesis( linking "consciousness" and "physical state of  
a brain") when computationalism is assumed. You can find the main  
argument with references here:
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/publications/SANE2004MARCHALAbstract.html

Best,

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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