On Sun, May 24, 2009 at 1:54 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> May be you could study the UDA, and directly tell me at which step
> your "theory" departs from the comp hyp.

Okay, I read over your SANE2004 paper again.

>From step 1 of UDA:

"The scanned (read) information is send by traditional means, by mails
or radio waves for instance, at Helsinki, where you are correctly
reconstituted with ambient organic material."

Okay, so this information that is sent by traditional means is really
I think where consciousness lives.  Though not literally in the
physical instantiation of the information.  For instance if you were
to print out that information in some format, I would NOT point to the
large pile of ink-stained paper and say that it was conscious.  But
would say that the information that is represented by that pile of ink
and paper "represents", or "identifies", or "points to" a single
instant of consciousness.

So, what is the information?  Well, let's say the data you're
transmitting is from a neural scan and consists of a bunch of numbers
indicating neural connection weights, chemical concentrations,
molecular positions and states, or whatever.  I wouldn't even say that
this information is the information that is conscious.  Instead this
information is ultimately an encoding (via the particular way that the
brain stores information) of the symbols and the relationships between
those symbols that represent your knowledge, beliefs, and memories
(all of the information that makes you who you are).  (Echoes here of
the Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) stuff that I referenced before)

>From step 8 of UDA:

"Instead of linking [the pain I feel] at space-time (x,t) to [a
machine state] at space-time (x,t), we are obliged to associate [the
pain I feel at space-time (x,t)] to a type or a sheaf of computations
(existing forever in the arithmetical Platonia which is accepted as
existing independently of our selves with arithmetical realism)."

So instead I would write this as:

"Instead of linking [the pain I feel] at space-time (x,t) to [a
machine state] at space-time (x,t), we are obliged to associate [the
pain I feel at space-time (x,t)] to an [informational state] existing
forever in Platonia which is accepted as existing independently of

> You have to see that, personally, I don't have a theory other than the
> assumption that the brain is emulable by a Turing machine

I also believe that, but I think that consciousness is in the
information represented by the discrete states of the data stored on
the Turing machine's tape after each instruction is executed, NOT in
the actual execution of the Turing machine.  The instruction table of
the Turing machine just describes one possible way that a particular
sequence of information states could be produced.

Execution of the instructions in the action table actually doesn't do
anything with respect to the production of consciousness.  The output
informational states represented by data on tape exists platonically
even if the Turing machine program is never run.  And therefore the
consciousness that goes with those states also exists platonically,
even if the Turing machine program is never run.

> OK. So, now, Kelly, just to understand what you mean by your theory, I
> have to ask you what your theory predicts in case of self-
> multiplication.

Well, first I'd say there aren't copies of identical information in
Platonia.  All perceived physical representations all actually point
to (similarly to a C-style pointer in programming) the same
platonically existing information state.  So if there are 1000
identical copies of me in identical mental states, they are really
just representations of the same "source" information state.

Piles of atoms aren't conscious.  Information is conscious.  1000
identically arranged piles of atoms still represent only a single
information state (setting aside putnam mapping issues).  The
information state is conscious, not the piles of atoms.

However, once their experiences diverge so that they are no longer
identical, then they are totally seperate and they represent (or point
to) seperate, non-overlapping conscious information states.

> To see where does those probabilities come from, you have to
> understand that 1) you can be multiplied (that is read, copy (cut) and
> pasted in Washington AND Moscow (say)), and 2) you are multiplied (by
> 2^aleph_zero, at each instant, with a comp definition of instant not
> related in principle with any form of physical time).

Well, probability is a tricky subject, right?

An interesting quote:

"Whereas the interpretation of quantum mechanics has only been
puzzling us for ~75 years, the interpretation of probability has been
doing so for more than 300 years [16, 17]. Poincare [18] (p. 186)
described probability as "an obscure instinct". In the century that
has elapsed since then philosophers have worked hard to lessen the
obscurity. However, the result has not been to arrive at any
consensus. Instead, we have a number of competing schools (for an
overview see Gillies [19], von Plato [20], Sklar [21, 22] and Guttman
[23])." (http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/quant-ph/pdf/0402/0402015v1.pdf)

> The fact is that your explanation, that we are in an typical universe,
> because those exist as well, just does not work with the comp hyp. It
> does not work, because it does not explain why we REMAIN in that
> typical worlds.

Some Brunos will remain in typical worlds, and never see any other
type of world.  But other Brunos are finding themselves in
white-rabbit-worlds at every instant.

You are a "typical world Bruno", and there will ALWAYS be typical
world Brunos who ask "If Kelly's theory is correct why am I still in a
typical world?"

And the answer is, since every possible Bruno exists, there must exist
some Brunos who only see typical worlds.

So with this in mind, how could some Brunos NOT REMAIN in a typical
world?  What could possibly explain the absence of all "typical world

> It seems to me that, as far as I can put meaning on
> your view, the probability I will see a white rabbit in two seconds is
> as great than the probability I will see anything else, and this is in
> contradiction with the fact. What makes us staying in apparent lawful
> histories?

The probability that a Bruno will see a white rabbit in 2 seconds is
100%.  The probability that a Bruno will NOT see a white rabbit in 2
seconds is ALSO 100%.

The key part here is the use of "a", as in "a Bruno".

Future Brunos are independent of "present Bruno", except for their
memory of you.  Again, there's nothing "real" that ties together
instants of consciousness except for the "feeling" of continuity
that's provided by memory.

So with probability, you're asking "what is the likelyhood that I will
see X as opposed to Y".  But YOU aren't going to see anything, you're
tied to the present.  Some future version of you will see X.  And a
different future version of you will see Y.  And there will be other
future versions of you that see A through W also.

So here I guess we get into issues of personal identity over time, and
maybe also questions of transworld identity.  From SEP

"What does it take for a person to persist from one time to
another—that is, for the same person to exist at different times? What
sorts of adventures could you possibly survive, in the broadest sense
of the word 'possible'? What sort of event would necessarily bring
your existence to an end? What determines which past or future being
is you? Suppose you point to a child in an old class photograph and
say, “That's me.” What makes you that one, rather than one of the
others? What is it about the way she relates then to you as you are
now that makes her you? For that matter, what makes it the case that
anyone at all who existed back then is you? This is the question of
personal identity over time. An answer to it is an account of our
persistence conditions, or a criterion of personal identity over time
(a constitutive rather than an evidential criterion: the second falls
under the Evidence Question below)."

> What does you theory predict about agony and death, from the first
> person point of view?

Well, I'm guessing that there is no first person death.  We are all
subjectively immortal, and all possible futures await.  Some of them
very bad.  Some of them very good.

In one of my futures I will never experience a good thing again.  It
will be nothing but suffering, misery, and humiliation for eternity.

BUT, on the plus side, in another future I will never experience
another bad thing again.  It's blue skies and flowers for as far as
the eye can see.

Most futures will be some mix of the two.

To be honest, the thought of the good futures doesn't make up for the
thought of the bad futures.  BUT, such is life.  I suspect.

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