We agree on the conclusion. We disagree on vocabulary, and on the  
validity of your reasoning.

Let us call I-comp the usual indexical mechanism discussed in this  
list (comp).
Let us call m-comp the thesis that there is a primitive "natural  
world", and that it can be described by a digital machine.

UDA shows that I-comp entails NOT m-comp.
Obviously m-comp entails I-comp.

So m-comp entails NOT m-comp.

This refutes m-comp.

Now you seem to believe in a stuffy natural reality, so you have to  
abandon I-comp. This is coherent. Now you have to say "no" to the  
doctor and introduce actual infinities in the brain. I find this very  
unplausible, but it is not my goal to defend it.

Now I find your reasoning based on informality not convincing at all,  
to say the least. It is really based on level confusion s Peter Jones  
was driving at correctly. You "B" above seems also indicate you have  
not study the argument.


On 12 Aug 2009, at 08:11, Colin Hales wrote:

> Hi,
> I guess I am pretty much over the need for any 'ism whatever. I can  
> re-classify my ideas in terms of an 'ism, but that process tells me  
> nothing extra and offers no extra empirical clue. I think I can  
> classify fairly succinctly the difference between approaches:
> (A) Colin
> (a) There is a natural world.
> (b) We can describe how it appears to us using the P-consciousness  
> of scientists.
> (c) We can describe how a natural world might be constructed which  
> has an observer in it like (a)
> Descriptions (b) are not the natural world (a) but 'about it' (its  
> appearances)
> Descriptions (C) are not the natural world (a) but 'about it' (its  
> structure)
> (b) and (c) need only ever be 'doxastic' (beliefs).
> I hold that these two sets of descriptions (b) and (c) need not be  
> complete or even perfect/accurate.
> Turing-computing (b) or (c) is not an instance of (a)/will not ever  
> make (a)
> Turing-computing (b) or (c) can tell you something about the  
> operation of (a).
> If (b) is a description of the rules of chess (no causality  
> whatever, good prediction of future board appearances), (c) is a  
> description of the behaviour of chess players (chess causality).  
> There's a rough metaphor for you.
> ---------------------------------
> (B) not-Colin (as seems to be what I see here...)
> There are descriptions of type (b), one of which is quantum  
> mechanics QM.
> The math of QM suggests a multiple-histories TOE concept.
> If I then project a spurious attribution of idealism into this ....
> then ....if I squint at the math I can see what might operate as a  
> 'first person perspective'
> and .... I realise/believe that if I Turing-compute the math, it is  
> a universe. I can make it be reality.
> Causality is a mystery solved by prayer to the faith of idealism and  
> belief in 'comp', driven by the hidden mechanism of the Turing 'tape  
> reader/punch'.
> ---------------------------------
> What's happening here AFAICT, is that players in (B) have been so  
> far 'down the rabbit hole' for so long they've lost sight of reality  
> and think 'isms explain things!
> In (A) you get to actually explain things (appearances and causal  
> necessity). The price is that you can never truly know reality. You  
> get 'asymptotically close to knowing it', though. (A) involves no  
> delusion about Turing-computation implementing reality. The amount  
> of 'idealism', 'physicalism', 'materialism' and any other 'ism you  
> need to operate in the (A) framework is Nil. In (A) the COMP (as I  
> defined it) is obviously and simply false and there is no sense in  
> which Turing-style-computation need be attributed to be involved in  
> natural processes. It's falsehood is expected and natural and  
> consistent with all empirical knowledge.
> The spurious attributions in (B) are replaced in (A) by the  
> descriptions (c), all of which must correlate perfectly  
> (empirically) with (b) through the provision of an observer and a  
> mechanism for observation which is evidenced in brain material. The  
> concept of a Turing machine is not needed at all. There may be a  
> sense in which a Turing (C-T) equivalent  of (c) might be  
> constructed. That equivalent is adds zero to knowledge systems (b)  
> and (c). Under (A) the C-T thesis is perfectly right but simply  
> irrelevant.
> My motivation to kill COMP is purely aimed at bring a halt to the  
> delusion of the AGI community that Turing-computing will ever create  
> a mind. They are throwing away $millions based on a false belief.  
> Their expectations need to be scientifically defined for a change. I  
> have no particular interest in disturbing any belief systems here  
> except insofar as they contribute to the delusion that COMP is true.
> 'nuff said. This is another minor battle in an ongoing campaign. :-)
> Colin
> Stephen Paul King wrote:
>> Hi Colin,
>>     It seems that to me that until one understands the nature of  
>> the extreme Idealism that COMP entails, no arguement based on the  
>> physical will do...
>>     "I refute it thus!"
>> -Dr. Johnson
>> Onward!
>> Stephen
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Colin Hales
>> To:
>> Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 9:51 PM
>> Subject: Re: Can mind be a computation if physics is fundamental?
>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> On 10 Aug 2009, at 09:08, Colin Hales wrote:
>>>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>>> On 06 Aug 2009, at 04:37, Colin Hales wrote:
>>>>>> Man this is a tin of worms! I have just done a 30 page detailed  
>>>>>> refutation of computationalism.
>>>>>> It's going through peer review at the moment.
>>>>>> The basic problem that most people fall foul of is the  
>>>>>> conflation of 'physics-as-computation' with the type of  
>>>>>> computation that is being carried out in a Turing machine (a  
>>>>>> standard computer). In the paper I drew an artificial  
>>>>>> distinction between them. I called the former NATURAL  
>>>>>> The idea is that if COMP is true then there is no distinction  
>>>>>> between AC and NC. The distinction should fail.
>>>>> Why? COMP entails that physics cannot be described by a  
>>>>> computation, but by an infinite sum of infinite histories. If  
>>>>> you were correct, there would be no possible white rabbit. You  
>>>>> are confusing comp (I am a machine) and constructive physics  
>>>>> (the universe is a machine).
>>>> This is the COMP I have a problem with. It's the one in the  
>>>> literature.  It relates directly to the behaviour (descriptive  
>>>> options of) of scientists:
>>>> COMP
>>>> This is the shorthand for computationalism as distilled from the  
>>>> various sources cited above. The working definition here:
>>>> “The operational/functional equivalence (identity,  
>>>> indistinguishability at the level of the model) of (a) a  
>>>> sufficiently embodied, computationally processed, sufficiently  
>>>> detailed symbolic/formal description/model of a natural thing X  
>>>> and (b) the described natural thing X”.
>>>> If this is not the COMP you speak of, then this could be the  
>>>> origins of disparity in view. Also, the term "I am machine" says  
>>>> nothing scientifically meaningful to me.
>>> This is not comp. Actually the definition above is ambiguous, and  
>>> seems to presuppose natural things.
>> I did not make this up. I read it in the literature in various  
>> forms and summarised. 'Mind as computation' is a specific case of  
>> it. If I have a broken definition according to you then I am in the  
>> company of a lot of people. It's also the major delusion in many  
>> computer 'scientists' in the field of AI, who's options would be  
>> very different if COMP is false. So I'll use COMP as defined above,  
>> for now. It is what I refute.
>> 'presupposing natural things..." ?? hmmmmmm....
>> Natural things........You know... the thing we sometimes call the  
>> 'real world'?  Whatever it is that we are in/made of, that appears  
>> to behave rather regularly and that we are intrinsically ignorant  
>> of and 'do empirical science on'. The 'thing' that our  
>> consciousness portrays to us? The place with real live behaving  
>> humans with major brain and other nervous system problems who could  
>> really use some help? That natural world that actually defined COMP  
>> as per above. That 'thing'.Whatever 'it' is... that will do for a  
>> collection of  'natural things'.
>> The idea that the "presupposition of natural things" is problematic  
>> is rather unhelpful to those (above, real, natural) suffering  
>> people. Sounds a bit emotive, but .. there you go .. call me  
>> "practically motivated". I intend to remain in this condition. :-)
>> Colin
> >

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