On 25 May 2009, at 07:41, Kelly Harmon wrote:

> 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.

This like confusing the universal dovetailer and the counting algorithm.
Such information have no absolute content, they depend on universal  

> 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
> ourselves."

Same remark.

>> 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.

I agree with this. It is the comp hyp. Except it is a bit fuzzy, and  
contradict what
you say above and in other posts.
 From now on I will assume you are assuming comp.

> 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.

Are you talking about the physical execution, in which case what you  
say is a consequence of the MGA, or of a platonic execution?

> 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.

In platonia all Turing machines run. Or you mean: never run in our  
physical universe, in which case we agree.

>> 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.

It is a bit ambiguous, but the UD, in platonia makes a lot of  
*relmative* copies, a bit like the Mandebrot set contains an infinity  
of copies of itself. It is a ket point because those relative copies  
will explain eventually the vansihing of the white rabbits and explain  
the origin of the believe in physical space-time and dynamics in the  
static context of 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.

The UD runs C++ in Platonia, but also amm ways to implement all  
programs including those who makes many relative copies, like the e- 
mail will multiplied this posts.

> Piles of atoms aren't conscious.


> Information is conscious.

A person is conscious. Animals can be conscious, perhaps plant.
Actually I still have no clue of what you mean by "information".

> 1000
> identically arranged piles of atoms still represent only a single
> information state (setting aside putnam mapping issues).

There is no mapping issue. The mapping always makes sense relatively  
to a mapping machine, and eventually on the basic mapping you whoose  
and which has to be part of the theory. I have chosen, to fix the  
things, elementary arithmetic, although they are in infinity of  
equivalent mappings. We need one as basic immaterialist ontology if we  
don't want been lead to zombies or nihilism.

>  The
> information state is conscious, not the piles of atoms.

Is not an information state a pile of 1 and 0?

> 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.

This can make a bit more sense.

>> 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?

That is what a politician told me when I show him, years ago, that its  
argument was a misuse of statistic. A good way for not answering. In  
our context the notion of consciousness is far more tricky than the  
notion of probability. And you don't answer the question.

> 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)

On all interesting subject there are competing views. It is a non  

>> 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.

I agree. The question is this: how is it that I find in worth to  
prepare a cup of coffee. How is it that it is reasonnable to bet, as I  
do all the time that I will stay in anon rabbit world so that, for  
example, it makes sense to type on this keyboard? My point is that  
with comp, we can no more use the usual explanation that we are living  
in a lawful universe.

> You are a "typical world Bruno",

Thanks. But for how long?

> 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?

? Because of you say above. Some 3-Bruno will be separated and some  
will belong to non typical world. My question is what is the  
probability for the 1-Bruno, here and now, to wake up in the body of  
such white rabbit sort of 3-bruno?

> What could possibly explain the absence of all "typical world
> Brunos"?

We already agree that all worlds exist. Both the typical and the non  
typical. The question remains: why should I bet I will stay during the  
next second in a typical universe. yet I am typing on this keyboard  
because I find it worth to do it, meaning I am betting I will stay in  
such a typical universe, at least for some time. The question is: how  
to justify those bets once we abandon the notion of primitive physical  
universe. Where does the appearance of a lawful and stable physical  
universe come from. Of course I have the beginning of the answer in  
the comp theory (cf UDA+AUDA).

>> 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%.

A Bruno. Or Bruno? I begin to feel you talk like if 1-Bruno = 3-Bruno,  
but this would mean you stop at the second step of UDA.

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

I am talking about the relative probabilities. The question is really:  
what is the probability that in two seconds I will see a white rabbit.  
If you tell me 100%, then let me do the experiment/experience. I wait  
for two seconds. I have not seen a white rabbits. Your 100% prediction  
is refute. Your theory is incorrect. Given that comp has not yet been  
refuted today, it means that your theory is not comp, or you have a  
wrong interpretation of comp.

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

OK, then. So I reiterate the question you again, and please note that  
I am asking for the 1-personal expectations. The difference between  
"Bruno" and the infinitely many 3-Bruno is the key to understand the  
UD reasoning.

> 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.

With comp, what ties the instants of consciousness are the infinitely  
many universal numbers which generates (in platonia) the computations  
between the computational states corresponding to those relative  
instants of consciousness. Only we cannot know which one are "acting",  
and below our level of substitution, they are all "acting" at once  
"acting" in the mathematical computer science sense (it is a globally  
static and platonic sense).

> 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.

If that was true, planning anything would make no sense at all.

> So here I guess we get into issues of personal identity over time, and
> maybe also questions of transworld identity.  From SEP
> (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/):
> "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)."

One of my oldest paper "Mechanism and personal identity" points on the  
comp answer, which is the answer above. It raises a mathematical  
problem of probability (UDA), and the logic of self-reference (AUDA)  
provides the math for evaluating those probabilities. The "probability  
one" has been shown to obey a quantum logic, and that is the beginning  
of the comp justification of the well founded beliefs in the  
appearance and stability of a physical universe, and this without  
invoking it a priori, which is forbidden by the UD reasoning.

>> 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.

With different probabilities. That is why we are partially responsible  
of our future. This motivates education and learning, and commenting  
posts ...

> 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.

Hmm...  Life provides tools for planning. If you jump out of a window,  
there is a high probability you will experience some bad future, but  
if you plan to take the lift, you diminish, at least locally, the  
probability that you end up in that bad future.

My diagnostic is that you miss the universal numbers and their  
relative probabilities. You confuse the notion of (apparent) physical  
running, and the many platonic "running" existing (in the usual  
mathematical sense)  in Platonia (alias elementary arithmetic).



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