On 17 Dec 2008, at 12:31, Kim Jones wrote:
> On 16/12/2008, at 5:11 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Hi Kim,
>> You have accepted the artificial digital brain.
> They got the colour wrong but that's OK - it would only have been
> worth it if I'd gone for the transparent cranium option as well
Ah ah! I see that Monsieur Jones has some taste. Let me see. Well we
have still some pinky semi-transparent cranium in stock!
>> This means that you
>> say "yes" to the doctor who proposes to you an artificial digital
>> brain. You are thus obviously open to the idea that the MEC
>> in the cognitive science could be correct. Indeed, perhaps you
>> it *has* to be correct, but I will have opportunity to raise doubt
>> about that certainty.
> At this point in time I am convinced of being an immaterial machine.
> Which is nice.
> Something tells me I still have to get up and go to work, though
I told you that you could be disappointed. At some point you will
understand (I think) that roughly speaking everything is immaterial.
Yet, not only you will still have to get up and go to work, but you
will realize that you will have to get up ... forever.
Someone said the only certainty are taxes and death. Understanding the
MEC hypothesis will make you more ignorant, because only one certainty
will be preserved: taxes.
(That is one reason why sometimes I wish MEC to be false, actually. I
think Descartes has seen that, and I think Otto Rossler, who know very
well Descartes, has understood this when he says that consciousness is
a prison. There is no way out. Fortunately, a notion of amnesia does
not vanish so that it remains possible to forget the taxes).
> So - do we care about Descartian dualism at this point or was René
> really insane as George Levy (I guess half-jokingly) suggested?
It is a complex historical problem. My biased and favorable opinion is
that Descartes get MEC and the consequences correctly. But for
political reasons, if not life preserving reasons, he did not insist,
and tried to hide a bit the discovery. Despite this, he has been
forced to run away all along his life.
> Nobody ever seems to achieve clarity on this point because it entails
> accounting for consciousness - The Ultimate Question, surely
> Maybe we don't need to worry about this up to here, which is fine
Yes. We can worry later.
>> From now on, we will always suppose MEC is correct. We will work in
>> that theory. We are just searching the consequences. In case we
>> to a frank contradiction, we can say that we have refuted the MEC
>> theory. If we arrive to weird conclusions only, we have to accept
>> MEC entails those weird conclusions (and we can begin to doubt MEC,
>> to look in Nature if that weirdness is confirmed or falsified, etc.).
> I'd be frankly interested to hear "non-quantum" examples of that
> everything in QM is weird, so why aren't you and I weird in some way
> that you and I can understand?
> The teleportation experiment which I have read many times makes sense
> to me as something truly weird
It is the key. The building block of everything which will follow.
> I have seen and really enjoy "The Prestige" because of the way in
> which some of this weirdness is translated well in that movie
> The scene were Teszla copies first the black cat, then Angier's top
> hat is remarkable.
> Later, when Angier sees all of the hats and says "But which one is
> to which Teszla replies "But, my dear fellow - they are ALL yours!"
> sends shivers down my spine
In some sense the prestige goes beyond (A)UDA.
> other than this quantum teleportation weirdness or inconsistency in
> Nature, what might we expect?
> could we even recognise something truly weird if it rose up and struck
> My sister has a white rabbit but it behaves much like any other rabbit
Don't expect so much funny things. Actually the COMP or MEC hypothesis
implies white rabbits (with clothes, and saying "too late, too late"),
together with white noise. But we have to explain them away, given
that we don't observe them (except white noise). If MEC implies
something a bit too much funny, it would probably means that MEC is
> Have been out of town these last 2 days. Will now plunge into "Kim 2"
> Really appreciate the trouble you are going to. I hope you are
> enjoying this as much as I.
I enjoy very very much Kim. I cannot be sure you will enjoy the full
package though, but it looks like you could, apparently. You seem to
have the taste. Yet, in case of overdose, don't hesitate to tell me
that my wine is good, but you want consume it moderately.
Gosh, Kim, don't tell me that you will enjoy the full UDA, because
this would, not doubt, trig in me a strong motivation for explaining
to you the arithmetical version of the UDA; that is; how to explain
the UDA to the universal machine, and then ask "her" what *she* thinks
about all that. (In french, for a machine, you refer to "herself",
and I feel impolite to say "itself" (given what will follow, and the
fact that "itself" does not exist in french).
The universal machine is not only the UD Dreamer (Robinson Arithmetic,
Combinators), in situations it can be the lucid dreamer (Peano
The universal machine *is* the real surprise, eventually. It is the
observable "white rabbit" that I put clearly and publicly in the hat.
But to explain this I will have to explain to you some amount of
elementary math, and then some amount of computer science, and then
some amount of mathematical logic, and then, just to be able to
illustrate or verify what the machine says about "matter", some amount
of quantum mechanics.
i have to help you to climb on the shoulders of Post, Godel, Lob,
Solovay, Matiyasevitch (among others): from there you will see that
the universal machine is (incredibly) creative; so much that she can
lose herself in its creations, but she can remember, also. Actually
she cannot not remember, eventually.
I wish you good "Kim 2" :)
>> "KIM 2" is really the "2)" of the plan. See below(*)
>> I propose to proceed by little steps, under the form of questions.
>> MEC is correct (by assumption). This makes the following thought
>> experiment possible. You get a new job, but the job is located on the
>> planet Mars, and for personal reasons you want to continue your night
>> life on Earth (say).
>> No problem, MEC makes possible to scan you, at the right level of
>> description (or below), to annihilate you (let us say this is a legal
>> obligation), to send the scanned information (containing the plan of
>> your body, including the plan of your brain in its instantaneous
>> state) to the planet mars (using some laser, radio waves) where there
>> is a receptor and a reconstitution machine, which using the atoms in
>> the martian neighborhood (re)build yourself in the relevant state,
>> which, by construction, is really the state of your body 4m before on
>> earth. (4m, because light takes four minutes to travel from Earth to
>> Mars, as you surely know).
>> I assume very short scanning-annihilation times and short receipting-
>> reconstitution times. Hypotheses like that, or like the fact that
>> "generalized" brain is in your skull, will be eliminated explicitly
>> later. The role of those hypotheses consists only in making the
>> reasoning more easy.
>> I assume all the usual default hypotheses: everything works fine. No
>> bugs in the scanning and reconstitution processes, no asteroid
>> mars. The substitution level has been correctly bet, and it exists,
>> the MEC assumption. All right?
>> The first question is: do you accept the job on mars, knowing that
>> will be obliged to use this teleportation machinery every morning and
>> evening. I assume of course that you are interested in that job, ...
>> Yes or no? (or comments, questions, precisions, etc.)
>> Put in another way, do you agree that if we assume MEC and the
>> hypotheses, teleportation like this is a safe mean for transporting
>> Here are slight variants of the same question which will be useful
>> later. I suppose you, Kim, are doing the teleportation, and that I,
>> Bruno, remains on Earth during that time.
>> Both Kim and Bruno assumes MEC and the default assumptions. On
>> you are on Earth, Monday your job on Mars begins.
>> Is is true that:
>> -On Sunday, Kim believes he will find himself tomorrow on Mars. i.e.
>> On Sunday, Kim believes "Tomorrow, I will find myself on Mars"
>> -On Sunday, Kim believes he will be, tomorrow, on Mars. i.e. On
>> Sunday, Kim believes "Tomorrow, I will be on Mars"
>> -On Sunday , Bruno believes that tomorrow Kim will be on Mars.
>> -On Sunday, Bruno believes that tomorrow Kim will find himself on
>> -On Monday, Bruno and Kim believes that now Kim is on the planet
>> -On Monday, Kim feels himself to be now on planet Mars.
>> What do you say?
>> (*) the plan was:
>> A) UDA (Universal Dovetailer Argument)
>> 1) I explain that if you are a machine, you are already immaterial.
>> 2) Mechanism entails the existence of a subjective or first person
>> indeterminacy or uncertainty.
>> 3) The Universal Machine, the Universal Dovetailer and the reversal
>> B) AUDA (Arithmetical or Abstract Universal Dovetailer Argument).
>> 1) Ontology: Robinson Arithmetic
>> 2) Epistemology: Peano Arithmetic
>> 3) Arithmetical Interpretation of Plotinus (including Plotinus theory
>> of Matter).
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