2009/7/17 Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>:

> Also, this general approach seems to me to have striking resonances
> with metaphysics such as Bohm's notions of implication and
> explication, as well as MWI.
> You may develop. I like very much Bohm, because he is an honest inquirer. I
> appreciate him as a respectable adversary.
> To keep his materialist philosophy he honestly posit a non-comp assumption,
> and he is not attracted at all by the MWI. But many of its intuition fit
> nicely with the comp hyp, as we can see by taking computer science
> seriously. Bohm, like many, has still a "pre-Godelian" conception of comp,
> so to speak. Well I should perhaps reread him because I don't remember how
> far he is a (weak) materialist.

Yes, I've been reading Bohm quite a bit recently, and he was indeed an
open minded and fearless thinker.  I don't think he's really even a
'weak' materialist.  At least, he insists on the inexhaustible
unknowability that lies behind his ideas of matter-energy-meaning, and
of course he was a close confidant of Krishnamurti for many years, and
had a strong appreciation of Vedanta.  I can't relate his ideas too
precisely to COMP, but just a couple of points perhaps:

1) He proposes that the quantum potential is replete with subtle
information that guides the 'particle', but that only a single 'path'
becomes determinate, with the rest of the information becoming
'inactive' - though not disappearing.  This observation seems
explicable in terms of the 1-person plural view of 'physical
evolution' implied by COMP.  However, I assume you would say that a
'single universe' option would be ruled out in principle by COMP?

2) An analogy he gives of the relation between implication,
explication and super-implication is that of a video game, in which
the implicate order is the program, which acts on the explicate order
of the screen 'objects' and is in turn acted on by the super-implicate
order of the player.  This seems to correspond to levels of recursion
entailed in the emergence of the 1-person and the intuition of
'substitution levels'.  Indeed Bohm's views don't set any limit
whatsoever on the levels of implication/explication that could extend
in any direction and to any degree beyond what is knowable.

That's about as much as I can say at present.


> Hi David,
> I comment your post with an apology to Kim and Marty, then I make a comment
> to Marty, and then I comment your (very nice) post.
> Kim, Marty, I apologize for my bad sense of humor. Rereading some post, I
> realize some nuance in the tone does not go through mailings. Please indulge
> professional deformation of an old math teacher ...
> On 17 Jul 2009, at 03:12, m.a. wrote:
> David,
>            I appreciated this post because I'm more interested in the
> philosophical implications (which I'm hoping to find at the end of Bruno's
> UDA bridge to Valhalla) of these goings-on  ...than in the mathematical
> ones. Best,
> Marty, I can understand you. At the same time, many discussion have been
> more philosophical, and the problem here, is that without some amount of
> math, and of computer science, things will look like a crackpot-like thing.
> It is almost in the nature of the subject. Big statements needs big
> arguments, and at least enough precise pointers toward the real thing.
> You can have a still more passive understanding of the UDA, if you
> understand the first sixth steps. Then for the seventh, it is enough to
> believe in the existence of universal dovetailer (itself a quasi direct
> consequence of the existence of a universal machine).
> Then the 8th step alone can help you to have an idea why the Universal
> dovetailer is immaterial, so that physics has to be reduced to math and
> "machine psuchology/theology".
> But then, I will not been able to answer some remark which have been done by
> Stathis, Russell, Brent and some others, and which are relalted to the
> difference between a computation (be it mathematical or physical)  and a
> description of a computation (be it mathematical or physical), and this is
> the key for understanding that when we assume brain are digitalizable,
> eventually we have to abandon the idea that consciousness supervene on
> physical computations, and to accept that it supervenes on mathematical
> computations.
> You know, the discovery of the universal machine is the real (creative) bomb
> here. I could say that "nature" has never stopped to invent it and reinvent
> it, like with the apparition of brain, of life and the possible other many
> big bangs.
> Then, it is hard to explain, without learning a bit on numbers, functions,
> sets and mathematical structures, that arithmetic, simple elementary
> arithmetic, already describes that universal thing which can't help itself
> to reinvent hitself again and again and again, and this in an atemporal,
> aspatial frames.
> Sri Aurobindo made once a nice summary:
> What, you ask, was the beginning of it all?
> And it is this ...
> Existence that multiplied itself
> For sheer delight of being
> And plunged into numberless trillions of forms
> So that it might
> Find
> Itself
> Innumerably
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Nyman" <david.ny...@gmail.com>
> To: <everything-list@googlegroups.com>
> Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 8:38 PM
> Subject: Dreams and Machines
> With Bruno and his mighty handful engaged in the undodgeable (though
> constantly dodged) task
> Well said!
> of working towards an elementary grasp of the
> technical underpinnings of COMP, and patently lacking the fortitude of
> these valorous Stakhanovites, I have been spending my time lurking,
> reading and musing. My philosophical position on possible relations
> between computation and mind has long (well before this list) been
> that it would indeed require something like Bruno's reversal of the
> 'normal' relationship between computation and physics, so that mind
> could emerge in some at least comprehensible manner; certainly not -
> per impossibile - in the ghostly shrouds of the 'deus ex machina' of
> 'computational materialism'. Consequently, parallel to the strenuous
> effort ongoing in the other thread, I have been wrapping my mind more
> loosely around 'interpretations of COMP-mechanics' in order to attempt
> a better personal grasp of what it might mean as a metaphysics. As
> always, I need help, so here goes for starters.
> This points to another problem I have. The UDA, and probably even more the
> AUDA, has deeply changed my "philosophy", up to a point where I think that
> philosophy and metaphysics can be handled with the doubting attitude of the
> (ideal) scientist, and that this attitude is a vaccine against the most
> inhuman aspect of "human science". But then I have reason to suggest that
> everything becomes far more clearer if we drop the expression "fundamental
> science", philosophy", "metaphysics" (unless we use them in their original
> greek senses) and come back to the expression "theology". If you want,
> assuming comp, metaphysics becomes a theology, with its communicable and non
> communicable parts. Assuming comp we can already listen to the course on
> machine theology provided by the machines.
> But then I know that I look over-provocative.
> At the same time, I feel that this is important, because, I don't see how we
> could ever win the war against authoritative arguments and fundamentalism of
> all kinds without bringing back modesty (that is science) in that field.
> When you grasp comp, you can understand that those scientist who pretend not
> doing theology are those who take Aristotle theology for granted. (Actually
> even a simplification of Aristotle. Aristotle was more Platonist than we
> usually imagine).
> Bruno has sometimes remarked (if I'm not misrepresenting him) that
> COMP introduces us to machines and their dreams and I find this
> metaphor very cogent and suggestive.
> You don't misrepresent me ... too much. Just that dreams is no more really
> use as a metaphor, but as a literal thing. It is a point of using digital
> mechanism, and assuming it clearly, and not just a vague mechanist
> intuition, which is already at play in all rationalist approach to inquiry.
> If someone accept an artificial heart, he/she does not got a metaphor in
> his/her thorax. It is the same for an artificial brain, and eventually for a
> purely arithmetical one.
> Certainly it seems to me that my
> present state could coherently be characterised as a peculiarly
> consistent dream - one that I nonetheless assume to be correlated
> systematically with features of some otherwise unreachable
> 'elsewhere'.
> So you are a critical realist. A "believer" in the large open minded sense.
> Nice.
> The key lesson of UDA here is that, although you are right to bet that your
> present state belongs to a consistent dream, the 'truth' (a theorem in comp)
> is that there is an infinity of consistent dreams matching your
> observations, and there is a sense in which you (first person you) actually
> belong to an infinity of them. It is the many dreams aspect of the comp
> theory, partially confirmed by the quantum empirical MW observations.
> In COMP, the 'mechanism and language of dreams' is
> posited to be those elements of the number realm and its operators
> that are deemed necessary to instantiate a 'universal TM' (i.e. one
> that - assuming CT to be true - is capable of computing any computable
> function). Given this point of departure,
> Well the point of departure is really that I can survive with an artificial
> "physical" brain. And the result is that "physical" can no more be a
> primitive notion, and that the physical appearance has to be explained from
> the numbers, and indeed from their relative self-reference modalities. This
> leads to the arithmetical 'hypostases'.
> it follows that machines so
> instantiated would be capable of implementing any computable 'dream'
> whatsoever - including dreams instantiating yet further levels of
> machines and their dreams. With an additional dovetailing assumption,
> we find ourselves in a position to construct a sort of hyper-threaded
> layer-cake of dreaming where, from any arbitrary level, recursively
> nested dreams disappear towards infinity both 'upwards' and
> 'downwards'.
> All right. Except that the dovetailing is not an additional assumption. The
> dovetailing is already there, like the primes numbers are already there,
> once you posit the sixth first axioms of (Robinson) arithmetic. Sorry for
> being technical.
> As we 'drill down' into this gateau, we are looking for emergent
> patterns of invariance representing the self-referential viewpoints of
> layers of 'dreaming machines' - their experience and their 'external
> reality'.
> It is good idea to put 'external reality' in quote. It is a very ambiguous
> notion. It can be the simple pure third person provable relations among the
> numbers, like it can be the first person plural emerging appearance of
> multiverse(s).
> And it can be something in between, all that can depend, or not, of our
> substitution level, and of the meaning "we" can give to words "we", "our",
> ...
> Obviously we do share a long and rich history.
> The lowest level of recursion that any particular system of
> dreaming requires for its instantiation is taken to constitute its
> 'substitution level'.
> I guess that I agree with what you want to mean, but I would have said "the
> highest level" level required, in the sense that there is no lowest level.
> In case of doubt, the doctor can always bet on a lowest level of comp, just
> to diminish the probability that his patient become a zombie. Of course in
> practice this will cost more money.
> Since which layer of the cake this corresponds
> to must be unknowable from the viewpoint of any level we currently
> occupy, we ineluctably take a gamble if we say 'yes' to any doctor who
> claims to know what he's about. BTW, on this topic, I would refer you
> to an interesting analogy that I append as a footnote below.
> So, what can we take 'reality' (i.e. real, as you will recall, "in the
> sense that I am real") to mean in this schema? We cannot know, but we
> do want to say that it corresponds self-referentially - in some sense
> - to the number realm, and that the true language of the dreaming
> machines therefore corresponds - also in some self-referential sense -
> to numbers and their inter-relations. This 'sense of correspondence'
> can be defined in two ways: 'truth', which is taken to correspond
> self-referentially to the unknowably 'real', and 'provability', which
> is taken to correspond to what this reality can consistently claim,
> express, or represent to itself.
> Good summary!
> This is about as far as I've got, and broad as it is, it seems to
> point more or less in the direction of a detailed research programme
> such as Bruno has outlined.
> Well, here I disagree in the probably looking immodest claim of mine that
> the research has already be done up to the sad point that now, only math and
> physics remains. My initial goal, unless mistakes (fatal or not) has been
> attained: now we know that the "comp theology" is science, in the Popper
> sense that the "comp theology" has been shown refutable.
> What would be nice is that the Z1* logics leads to new quantum tautologies
> so that the digital quantum nature can be tested against the quantum
> empirical one.
> I can see that stipulations on 'reality'
> such as universal computability make implicit claims that are
> empirically falsifiable in principle, which is most encouraging.
> This is CT, and you are correct, that part of comp is also refutable. But
> this we already have good reason to believe that nature will not, and cannot
> really refute it, unless quantum mechanics is wrong in the large proportion.
> Actually, I believe that Church thesis can be proved in higher order logic,
> but this is a point I prefer to range out of the topic, because it is not
> essential, and it can lead to confusions (and it needs even bigger
> familiarity with mathematical computer science).
> The yes doctor is highly more doubtable, and the main goal consisted in
> showing that it leads to a refutable 'theology'. Indeed, like in Plotinus,
> both the sharable and non sharable part of physics is completely determined
> by that "theology".
> Also, this general approach seems to me to have striking resonances
> with metaphysics such as Bohm's notions of implication and
> explication, as well as MWI.
> You may develop. I like very much Bohm, because he is an honest inquirer. I
> appreciate him as a respectable adversary.
> To keep his materialist philosophy he honestly posit a non-comp assumption,
> and he is not attracted at all by the MWI. But many of its intuition fit
> nicely with the comp hyp, as we can see by taking computer science
> seriously. Bohm, like many, has still a "pre-Godelian" conception of comp,
> so to speak. Well I should perhaps reread him because I don't remember how
> far he is a (weak) materialist.
> Anyway - Bruno, I would be grateful as
> ever - when you have a moment - if you would tell me which end of what
> wrong stick I've got hold of this time.
> Very nice post, David. The only general but key point where I would like to
> add precision, if not insistence, is that "metaphor" thing. Einstein would
> not have been glad if people told him that energy is a good metaphor for
> matter, when all his work consists in a coherent theory (= clear refutable
> assumption) where the relations between matter and energy are described by
> testable/refutable facts. The whole point of saying yes to the doctor, qua
> computatio, is for helping the understanding that the comp assumption is not
> metaphorical and that it leads to a theory which implies the reversal that
> you are most correctly intuiting.
> You are correct about truth and provability. You may have insisted a bit
> more on the first person/third person important , and still unsolved, to be
> sure, relationship, and the first person indeterminacy which follows. You
> certainly motivate me to explain better AUDA and its relation with UDA.
> I am glad that Marty enjoy your post. At the same time, the point of my work
> did consist in making this utterly clear (if not shocking for those
> Aristotelian fundamentalist). Clarity in an hot field has to be technical or
> it looks too much provocative.
> Thanks for this very clear post. You have a good intuition of the ultimate
> consequences of the comp hyp, I think.
> Footnote:
> http://www.getyourowndirt.com/
> One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had
> come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist
> to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked
> up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you.
> We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous
> things, so why don't you just go on and get lost."
> God listened very patiently and kindly to the man and after the
> scientist was done talking, God said, "Very well, how about this,
> let's say we have a man making contest." To which the scientist
> replied, "OK, great!" But God added, "Now, we're going to do this just
> like I did back in the old days with Adam." The scientist said, "Sure,
> no problem" and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt. God
> just looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!"
> Cute simple story illustrating a key point that most forget.
> Bruno
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
> >

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