On 09 Aug 2009, at 08:41, Rex Allen wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 8, 2009 at 6:12 PM, Bruno Marchal<marc...@ulb.ac.be>
>> On 08 Aug 2009, at 22:44, rexallen...@gmail.com wrote:
>>> So physicalism in fact offers no advantage over just asserting that
>>> our conscious experience just exists. Why are my perceptions
>>> and why are my predictions about what will happen next usually
>>> correct? Because that's just the way it is...and this is true
>>> you posit an external universe or just conclude that conscious
>>> experience exists uncaused.
>> This is not against physicalism, it is again rationalism.
> Ha! Well, maybe. What is the flaw that you see in my reasoning?
> I think that both the argument and conclusion are rational, just not
I don't see the theory. What do you ask us to agree on, if only for
the sake of the argument.
In the conclusion I don't understand the last sentence, which seems to
me a proposition for abandoning theorizing in that field.
> So earlier you asked this:
>> By the way, what is the status of your theory with respect to comp?
> Which in part prompted this new thread.
> So I think that one of the things that we can be conscious of is a
> descriptive theory referred to as "comp" that attempts to map the
> contents of our "conscious experience over time" to
> mathematically/logically defined "machines".
No, comp is a "theology" in which you believe that you can survive a
concrete artificial brain/body transplants.
comp does not attempt this, it presupposes a level where it can be
done. Among the first consequences appears the fact that such an
attempt provably necessitates an act of faith.
> And, I will not be surprised if you or someone else is ultimately
> successful in doing so.
Being successful here means only being able to explain (physical)
observations. It is already successful in explaining the existence of
sensations, and in situating quanta with respect to qualia.
> But while this would be interesting, I don't
> think that it means anything deeper. All that it will mean is "look,
> here's an interesting way of representing the contents of your
> conscious experience over time".
Not at all, the comp theory, thanks to its Church Thesis part, and
some mathematical logic, is particularly cautious in distinguishing
the representation and the represented, and what will and will not
depend on the choice of representations. By definition of comp we bet
that there is a digital representation correct with respect to the
most probable local universal number, or computation, but the comp
theory, which is just computer science/number theory/mathematical
logic will still take the many nuances into account.
For example: it is a theorem, not depending of the choice of any
representation that all universal machines have to have a local
representation to develop a third person notion.
> It would just be a way of representing what "is". By which I mean:
> It would just be a way of representing conscious experience.
Comp explains, or if you prefer, the Löbian machine can already
explains, about simpler Löbian machines, why those simpler machine
cannot represent their notions of truth and consciousness.
Consciousness of machine M is not representable by machine M.
Comp provides a theory of consciousness, and this theory prevents us
to represent our consciousness, except by betting on a sufficiently
low level description and making an act of faith. A Löbian machine, I
recall, is a universal machine which can prove (in technical weak
sense) that she is universal. Most known Löbian machine are Peano
Arithmetic and Zermelo Frankel Set Theory.
>> I would say that consciousness has a reason, a purpose, and a power.
>> A reason: the many universal numbers and the way they reflect each
> This doesn't sound like a "reason" to me. It sounds like an
> observation, along the lines of "adjacent gray and white veins exist
> within this block of granite" (from my original post).
It is a theorem in arithmetic. It is a reason, in the sense that if
you agree with some axioms of arithmetic, you can agree that those
universal numbers exist, and contemplate a sequence of unexpected
facts about them.
>> A purpose: truth quest, satisfaction quest.
> This purpose would only exist as part of someone's conscious
> experience. The desire for truth and/or satisfaction are things that
> only exist in the context of conscious experience.
OK. No problem.
>> A power: relative self-acceleration (can lead to catastrophes, (like
>> all power)).
> I'm not sure what you mean by this.
Hmm... I refer often to another result by Gödel, or similar discovered
by Blum and others in computer science, that universal machine/number
are infinity accelerable, and that lobian machine can shorten
arbitrarily the length of infinities of theorems. Consciousness can be
related by the inference of self-consistency, and it makes the machine
able to add that consistency as new belief leading to a new machine
provably more powerful, in its communicating or proving abilities, in
the length or speed of proofs, and the same occur for its anticipating
abilities, by a theorem of Royer.
Consciousness has probably developed with the relatively self-moving
entities for letting them anticipate their neighborhoods more and more
quickly. Comp explain both the role of consciousness and the reason
why we cannot really defined it or capture the notion in any formal
theory. Consciousness escapes representation, but feed on
>> Physicists explain by finding elegant laws relating the quanta we can
>> measure, but fail indeed linking those quanta to the qualia we live,
>> and fail saying where those quanta comes from. But computer science
>> suggest a solution, we are universal machine mirroring doing science
>> "automatically" betting on "big picture" all the time, relatively to
>> other possible universal machines.
> So our machineness precedes our conscious experience?
From the third person sharable ontology you are right. First the
numbers, then consciousness.
From the first person point of view it is the contrary. First
consciousness, then the numbers.
Both view, although contradictories, fit well with what a Löbian
machine can already explain about itself.
(and fit well with Plotinus amanation/conversion transform
> Machines are
> more fundamental than consciousness? Or machines are just a way of
> representing conscious experience?
Machines/numbers cannot represent conscious experiences. They may live
them, assuming comp.
They can represent piece of computation, but, those are not
computation, they are representation of computation. No consciousness
there. It is a key point to get UDA-8 (the movie graph, MGA).
>> Then theoretical computer science
>> can explain why we feel consciousness unexplainable and explain its
>> reason, purpose and power.
> I don't see that it explains anything.
It explains why machine can feel consciousness uncaused, like if they
could remember in a first person way their belongness to arithmetic.
Lobian machine can explain a "strangely similar" for simpler or
actually any "definably correct by definition" Löbian machine. They
can study themselves and explore their ignorance space.
> Though it may be a
> useful/enjoyable way of thinking about the contents of our conscious
>> This explains the mind, but we get the
>> problem of justifying the computability and the existence of the
>> physical laws from a vast set of computations. The white rabbits and
>> white noises.
> So it seems to me that you aren't explaining the fact that we have
I think this is what comp explain the best, thanks to the (rather
incredible) discovery of the universal machine(s), and then by the
work of Gödel, Löb, Solovay, for those universal machines which know
their are universal.
> It seems to me that you are focused entirely on finding
> a way of generating mathematical/logical representations of what you
> and I experience that doesn't also generate representations of strange
> white-rabbit experiences.
I reduce the mind-body into a body problem.
What I say is just: oh look, if brain works like machine then we have
to justify the appearance of physical laws by numbers only". This is
UDA. And then I add, "oh look thanks to Gödel, Löb and Solovay we can
already chat with the Lobian machine, and ask her opinion, and she can
already explain some feature of physics, up to now confirmed by
>> Those universal machine are self-multiplying and self-
>> differencing infinitely often in arithmetic. This is a big price: if
>> we are machine (a theory which explains consciousness as an
>> unconscious bet on a reality), we have to explain the physical laws
>> from computer science and logic alone.
> The physical laws can't be explained except in terms of other
> unexplained laws, as mentioned in my previous post.
Of course. Without theory (axioms) we cannot explain anything. But
here the unexplained laws are just succession, addition, and
multiplication. Without them or equivalent, we just cannot get them.
Any one believing that the concept of prime number makes sense,
already believe in the theory. With comp, we can say that the theory
of everything is already taught in high school, although not presented
in that way, of course.
> Though, I'd say that physical laws can't be explained because they
> only exist in our perceptions,
Comp forces us to (re)define physics as what is first person
observable by ALL universal machine.
Physics loses its status of fundamental science, but is elevated as
sharable laws of arithmetic ("seen from inside").
All the rest is contingent geographies.
> which are themselves uncaused and
> therefore unexplainable.
They are uncaused "physically", but comp explains their logic-
arithmetical origin, which is beyond time and space. Indeed time and
space appears as inside first person psycho-theo-bio-logical category
(a place where people can easily fight on voacabularies).
Consciousness is a mathematical phenomenon, a fixed point of self-
doubting, an elementary belief in a reality if not the reality of the
>> But now that explanation can be
>> tested in nature, making that theory refutable. And this illustrates
>> we don't have to abandon rationalism.
> I think the rational conclusion from what we perceive is that
> conscious experience is fundamental and uncaused.
Comp can make the conscious experience much more fundamental than the
Aristotelian materialist usually think, yet consciousness is
arithmetically "caused". It is an attribute of universal machine (in
an even weaker sense than usual) related to their ideal self-
consistency. It generates the belief in a reality, and the infinities
of corrections which ensue.
> You are saying that consciousness is NOT fundamental, and thus it IS
> caused. By...numbers?
Together with succession, addition and multiplication. In classical
> I think that you are mistaking representation for causation.
I don't think so at all. On the contrary, I even distinguish a
computation and a representation of a computation, like I distinguish
numbers and their relation with representations of numbers and
representations of their relations. It is where mathematical logicians
have an advantage, because such distinction is the key to comprehend
most results in logic.
I know some have still problem with this in step 7 and 8, and that's
why I propose a few math and logic.
> Even if
> numbers exist in some platonic sense, and can be related in a way that
> can be seen as mirroring, representing, or even predicting my
> conscious experience...I think that all this shows is that math/logic
> is a really flexible tool for representing processes, relationships,
> patterns, etc.
I am afraid you underestimate mathematical logic. I would defined it
here as the science of the relation between realities and their
possible representations. Comp makes possible to, exploit this to put
many light on the hard problem of consciousness. It explains there is
a an unbridgeable personal third person gap, and how the first person
can bridge it, yet.
> As far as the significance of accurate predictions, I refer you back
> to the last paragraph of my original post. You read the part about
> the granite block, right? Though, I do need to find some more
> succinct way of stating that point that doesn't require the setup of
> all the preceding paragraphs.
> ALSO, this discussion between Sean Carroll and Mark Trodden was great,
> and I think goes with my original post pretty well, especially the
> last third of their discussion.
I did not see the relation with consciousness. Physicsts, thanks to
Everett and decoherence explains rather well the disappearance of the
observable white rabbits, and this in a elegant way (phases
randomization of waves of coherent interactions), this may explain why
apparently we live in a quantum universal machine. My point is just
that if you "say yes to the digital medication", then we have to
justify that quantum universal machine from a sum on all classical
Bit from qubit, is already understood,
I say comp gives an inverse, Qubit from bit, and that its main
usefulness is that the inverse is enriched by its distinction between
the sharable quanta and its incommunicable qualia extension. This is
AUDA where the modalities are given by two mathematical theories of
self-reference G and G*.
Assuming comp you can no more invoke quantum fluctuations, you have to
derive them from universal specification. That works not too bad.
I don't like the idea to consider matter as fundamental, 'cause I want
an explanation there.
I don't like the idea to put consciousness as fundamental, ' cause I
want an explanation, there too.
I like numbers and their relations as fundamental, because many
persons can share them, and tshare heir beliefs on them, and yet
numbers and their relation have been discovered to lead to
uncomputable richness. Besides, betting on comp makes me bet that I
am , well not really one of them, but (one of them) multiplied by
Comp invites to study theoretical computer science.
And computer can already shows us the infinite complex border of a
simple universal thing, like an iterated enlargement of the Mandelbrot
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