On 07 Dec 2008, at 06:19, Abram Demski wrote:

> Bruno,
> Yes, I think there is a big difference between making an argument more
> detailed and making it more understandable. They can go together or be
> opposed. So a version of the argument targeted at my complaint might
> not be good at all pedagogically...
>> I would be pleased if you can give me a version of MAT or MEC to  
>> which
>> the argument does not apply. For example, the argument applies to  
>> most
>> transfinite variant of MEC. It does not apply when some "magic" is
>> introduced in MAT, and MAT is hard to define in a way to exclude that
>> magic. If you can help, I thank you in advance.
> My particular brand of "magic" appears to be a requirement of
> counterfactual/causal structure that reflects the
> counterfactual/causal structure of (abstract) computation.

Sometimes I think I should first explain what a "computation" is. I  
take it in the sense of theoretical computer science, a computation is  
always define relatively to a universal computation from outside, and  
an infinity of universal computations from inside. This asks for a bit  
of computer science. But there is not really "abstract computation",  
there are always relative computation (both with comp and Everett QM).  
They are always concrete relatively to the universal machine which  
execute them. The starting point in no important (for our fundamental  
concerns), you can take number with addition and multiplication, or  
lambda terms with abstraction and application.

> Stathis has
> pointed out some possible ways to show such ideas incoherent (which I
> am not completely skeptical of, despite my arguments).

I appreciate.

> Since this type
> of theory is the type that matches my personal intuition, MGA will
> feel empty to me until such alternatives are explicitly dealt a
> killing blow (after which the rest is obvious, since I intuitively
> feel the contradiction in versions of COMP+MAT that don't require
> counterfactuals).

Understanding UD(1...7) could perhaps help you to figure out what  
happens when we abandon the physical supervenience thesis, and embrace  
what remains, if keeping comp, that is the comp supervenience. It will  
explain how the physical laws have to emerge and why we believe (quasi- 
correctly) in brains.

> Of course, as you say, you'd be in a hard spot if you were required to
> deal with every various intuition that anybody had... but, for what
> it's worth, that is mine.

I respect your intuition and appreciate the kind attitude. My feeling  
is that if front of very hard problems we have to be open to the fact  
that we could be surprised and that truth could be counterintuitive.  
The incompleteness phenomena, from Godel and Lob, are surprising and  
counterintuitive, and in the empirical world the SWE, whatever  
interpretation we find more plausible, is always rather  
counterintuitive too.

I interpret the "self-referentially correct scientist M" by the logic  
of Godel's provability predicates beweisbar_M. But the intuitive  
knower, the first person, is modelled (or defined) by the Theatetus  
trick: the machine M knows p in case "beweisbar_M('p') and p".  
Although extensionally equivalent, their are intensionally different.  
They prove the same arithmetical propositions, but they obey different  
logics. This is enough for showing that the first person associated  
with the self-referentially correct scientist will already disbelieve  
the comp hypothesis or find it very doubtful. We are near a paradox:  
the correct machine cannot know or believe their are machine. No doubt  
comp will appear counterintuitive for them. I know it is a sort of  
trap/ the solution consists in admitting that comp needs a strong act  
of faith, and I try to put light on the consequences for a machine,  
when she makes the bet.

The best reference on the self-reference logics are

Boolos, G. (1979). The unprovability of consistency. Cambridge  
University Press, London.
Boolos, G. (1993). The Logic of Provability. Cambridge University  
Press, Cambridge.
Smoryński, P. (1985). Self-Reference and Modal Logic. Springer Verlag,  
New York.
Smullyan, R. (1987). Forever Undecided. Knopf, New York.

The last one is a recreative book, not so simple, and rather quick in  
the "heart of the matter" chapter. Smullyan wrote many lovely  books,  
recreative and technical on that theme.

The bible, imo, is Martin Davis book "The undecidable" which contains  
some of the original papers by Gödel, Church, Kleene, Post and indeed  
the most key starting points of the parts of theoretical computer  
science we are confonted to. It has been reedited by Dover.


Other references here:

> --Abram
> On Sat, Dec 6, 2008 at 9:32 AM, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>  
> wrote:
>> Le 05-déc.-08, à 22:11, Abram Demski a écrit :
>>> Bruno,
>>> Perhaps all I am saying is that you need to state more explicitly  
>>> the
>>> assumptions about the connection between 1st and 3rd person, in both
>>> MEC and MAT. Simply taking them to be the general ideas that you  
>>> take
>>> them to be does not obviously justify the argument.
>> I don't see why nor how. The first person notions are defined in the
>> three first steps of the UDA. Wait I come back on this in the
>> discussion with Kim perhaps. In AUDA I define the first person by the
>> "knower", and I use the classical definition proposed by Theaetetus  
>> in
>> the Theaetetus of Plato. Keep in mind that you arrived when I was
>> explaining the real last step of an already long argument.
>> Of course you may be right, and I would really appreciate any
>> improvements. But making things more precise could also be a red
>> herring sometimes, or be very confusing pedagogically, like with the
>> easy 1004 fallacy which can obviously crop here.
>> When I defended the thesis in France, it was already a work resulting
>> from 30 years of discussions with open minded physicists, engineers,
>> philosophers and mathematicians, and I have learned that what seems
>> obvious for one of them is not for the others.
>> I don't think there is anything controversial in my work. I got
>> academical problems in Brussels for not having find an original  
>> result
>> (but then I think they did not read the work). Pedagogical  
>> difficulties
>> stem from the intrinsical difficulty of the mind body problem, and  
>> from
>> the technical abyss between logicians and physicists to cite only  
>> them.
>> It is more easy to collide two protons at the speed of light (minus
>> epsilon) than to arrange an appointment between mathematical  
>> logicians
>> and mathematical physicists (except perhaps nowadays on quantum
>> computing issues thankfully).
>>> Furthermore, stating the assumptions more clearly will make it more
>>> clear where the contradiction is coming from, and thus which  
>>> versions
>>> of MEC and MAT the argument applies to.
>> I would be pleased if you can give me a version of MAT or MEC to  
>> which
>> the argument does not apply. For example, the argument applies to  
>> most
>> transfinite variant of MEC. It does not apply when some "magic" is
>> introduced in MAT, and MAT is hard to define in a way to exclude that
>> magic. If you can help, I thank you in advance.
>> Bruno
>>> --Abram
>>> On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 4:36 AM, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>>> wrote:
>>>> On 04 Dec 2008, at 15:58, Abram Demski wrote:
>>>>>> PS Abram. I think I will have to meditate a bit longer on your
>>>>>> (difficult) post. You may have a point (hopefully only  
>>>>>> pedagogical
>>>>>> :)
>>>>> A little bit more commentary may be in order then... I think my  
>>>>> point
>>>>> may be halfway between pedagogical and serious...
>>>>> What I am saying is that people will come to the argument with  
>>>>> some
>>>>> vague idea of which computations (or which physical entities) they
>>>>> pick out as "conscious". They will compare this to the various
>>>>> hypotheses that come along during the argument-- MAT, MEC, MAT +  
>>>>> MEC,
>>>>> "Lucky Alice is conscious", "Lucky Alice is not conscious", et
>>>>> cetera... These notions are necessarily 3rd-person in nature. It
>>>>> seems
>>>>> like there is a problem there. Your argument is designed to talk
>>>>> about
>>>>> 1st-person phenomena.
>>>> The whole problem consists, assuming hypotheses, in relating 1- 
>>>> views
>>>> with 3-views.
>>>> In UDA, the 1-views are approximated by 1-discourses (personal  
>>>> diary
>>>> notes, memories in the brain, ...). But I do rely on the minimal
>>>> intuition needed to give sense to the willingness of saying "yes"  
>>>> to a
>>>> digitalist surgeon, and the believe in a comp survival, or a  
>>>> belief in
>>>> the unchanged feeling of "my" consciousness in such annihilation-
>>>> (re)creation experiences.
>>>>> If a 1st-person-perspective is a sort of structure (computational
>>>>> and/or physical), what type of structure is it?
>>>> The surprise will be: there are none. The 1-views of a machine will
>>>> appears to be already not expressible by the machine. The first and
>>>> third God have no name. Think about Tarski theorem in the comp
>>>> context. A sound machine cannot define the whole notion of "truth
>>>> about me".
>>>>> If we define it in
>>>>> terms of behavior only, then a recording is fine.
>>>> We certainly avoid the trap of behaviorism. You can see this as a
>>>> weakness, or as the full strong originality of comp, as I define  
>>>> it.
>>>> We give some sense, albeit undefined, to the word "consciousness"
>>>> apart from any behavior. But to reason we have to assume some  
>>>> relation
>>>> between consciousness and possible discourses (by machines).
>>>>> If we define it in
>>>>> terms of inner workings, then a recording is probably not fine,  
>>>>> but
>>>>> we
>>>>> introduce "magical" dependence on things that shouldn't matter to
>>>>> us... ie, we should not care if we are interacting with a  
>>>>> perfectly
>>>>> orchestrated recording, so long as to us the result is the same.
>>>>> It seems like this is independent of the differences between
>>>>> pure-comp / comp+mat.
>>>> This is not yet quite clear for me. Perhaps, if you are patient
>>>> enough, you will be able to clarify this along the UDA reasoning  
>>>> which
>>>> I will do slowly with Kim. The key point will be the  
>>>> understanding of
>>>> the ultimate conclusion: exactly like Everett can be said to  
>>>> justify
>>>> correctly the phenomenal collapse of the wave, if comp is  
>>>> assumed, we
>>>> have to justify in a similar way the wave itself. Assuming comp, we
>>>> put ourself in a position where we have to explain why numbers
>>>> develops stable and coherent belief in both mind and matter. We can
>>>> presuppose neither matter, nor mind eventually, except our own
>>>> consciousness, although even consciousness will eventually be  
>>>> reduced
>>>> into our "believe in numbers".
>>>> Bruno
>>>> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
> >


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