# Re: Consciousness is information?

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On 22 May 2009, at 18:25, Jason Resch wrote:```
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>
> On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 9:37 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
> wrote:
>>
>>
>> Indeed assuming comp I support Arithmetic -> Mind -> Matter
>> I could almost define mind by intensional arithmetic: the numbers
>> when
>> studied by the numbers. This does not work because I have to say:
>> the numbers as studied by the numbers relatively to their most
>> probable local universal number, and this is how matter enters in the
>> play: an indeterminacy bearing on an infinity of possible universal
>> machines/numbers.
>>
>>
>
> Bruno, I was wondering if there are anyn concrete examples to help
> clarify what you mean by numbers studied by numbers.  Are there things
> for example, that 31 could know about 6, or are such things only
> possible with or between very big numbers?

Do you remember that the partial computable functions are recursively
enumerable?
Do you remember the phi_i: computing partial functions from N to N.

phi_1, phi_2, phi_3, phi_4, ....

You can associate a computation to a proof in Robinson Arithmetic of a
statement like phi_31(6) = 745.
The idea is to use the original Robinson Arithmetic as the basic
universal machine.

A description of a computation would be a representation of that
computation in arithmetic. And Robinson arithmetic is already Sigma_1-
complete and thus, if there is a computation of phi_31(6) = 745, there
will be proof of that fact in Robinson Arithmetic.

The difference is really a question of level, and is basically
(simplifying a little bit) the difference between the fact that

phi_31(6) = 745, is true and provable in RA, and the fact

provable(phi_31(6) = 745) is true and provable in RA

The numbers involved will not be so great, but can hardly be very
little.

>
> I still have a confusion as to what you label a computation and a
> description.

A computation is an abstract object. It is what is usually described
by a description of a computation. It is a sequence of step of a
universal machine. Remember that you can also enumerate the partial
computable functions from NXN to N, noted with P capital:

Phi_1, Phi_2, Phi_3, Phi_4, ....

Let me say that a number u is universal if   Phi_u(x,y) = phi_x(y) for
all x and y. x is the number-program, and y is the number-data. By
chosing RA as basic system, all those numbers are well defined. It can
be shown that there will be an infinity of such universal number u1,
u2, u3 ... (enumerable but not recursively enumerable!).

A computation is a finite or infinite sequences of step of some u_i on
some input x.
A description of a (finite piece of) a computation is a nummber code
for an arithmetical description of such a computation.

The difference between computation and description of a computation is
similar to the difference between 1+1=2, and the GĂ¶del number of the
formula "1+1 =2".

> Do you believe if we create a computer in this physical
> universe that it could be made conscious,

But a computer is never conscious, nor is a brain. Only a person is
conscious, and a computer or a brain can only make it possible for a
person to be conscious relatively to another computer. So your
question is ambiguous.
It is not my brain which is conscious, it is me who is conscious. My
brain appears to make it possible for my consciousness to manifest
itself relatively to you. Remember that we are supposed to no more
count on the physical supervenience thesis.
It remains locally correct to attribute a consciousness through a
brain or a body to a person we judged succesfully implemented locally
in some piece of matter (like when we say yes to a doctor).  But the
piece of matter is not the subject of the consciousness. It is only
the "abstract person" or "program" who is the subject of consciousness.
To say a brain is conscious consists in doing Searle's'mistake when he
confused levels of computations in the Chinese room, as well seen

> or do you count all
> appearance of matter to be only a description of a computation and not
> capable of "true" computation?

"appearance of matter" is a qualia. It does not describe anything but
is a subjective experience, which may correspond to something stable
and reflecting the existence of a computation (in Platonia) capable to
manifest itself relatively to you.

> Do you believe that the only real
> computation exists platonically and this is the only source of
> conscious experience?

Computations and their relative implementations exist only in
platonia, yes. But even in Platonia, they exist in multiple relative
version, all defined eventually through many multiple relations
between numbers.

>  If so I find this confusing, as could there not
> be multiple levels?

But they are multiple levels of computations in Platonia or
Arithmetic. Even a huge number of them. That is why we have to take
into account the first person indeterminacies.

> For example would a platonic turing machine
> simulating another turing machine, simulating a mind be consicous?

A 3-machine is never conscious. A 3-entity is never conscious. Only a
person is. First person can only be associated with the infinities of
computations computing them in Platonia.

>  If
> so, how does that differ from a platonic turing machine simulating a
> physical reality with matter, simulating a mind?

You will have to introduce a magical (assuming comp) selection
principle for attaching, in a persistent way, a mind to that "physical
reality" simulation. The mind can only be attached to an infinity of
such relative simulations, and this is why if that mind look at itself
below its substitution level he will find a trace of those
computations. Comp says you have to make the statistic on all the
computations. So the Physical has to be a sum on all those computations.
That such computations statistically interfere is not so difficult to
show. That the comp interference gives the apparent quantum one is not

I think you are not taking sufficiently into account the first person
(hopefully plural) indeterminacy in front of the universal dovetailer,
(or arithmetic) which defined the space of all computations.

Does this help a bit?

Bruno

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

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