On 14 Aug 2009, at 18:05, David Nyman wrote:
> I have been accustomed to understand
> 'emulation' in the sense of a mathematical model of the evolution of
> physical systems, not an ontological reversal with what-is-emulated -
> hence this post. Why would the 'Turing emulability' of nature in this
> weaker sense constitute a threat to comp?
In that case I think the word simulation is more appropriate.
Emulation strictly works for digital phenomena.
Emulation can be exact, simulation a priori never is.
>> 3) Now we get into more controversial territory.
>> Really? I don't think so. Difficult, not yet very well known, and
>> subtle, no doubt.
>> But I don't think there is anything controversial. Nobody told me
> I think the ordinary English usage of 'controversial' is that there is
> considerable disagreement - of which this list demonstrates ample
> proof! It doesn't imply that it is wrong. But I didn't mean to
You think about Peter Jones? I don't think we can call that a
I think many understand UDA1-7, and many probably are interrogative on
UDA-8, and the notion of comp supervenience. Some can be skeptical,
but that is a sane attitude in front of a "reversal" proposition. I
would not call that disagreement. May be we are trapped by different
connotation due to english/french slight nuance.
>> Bruno has shown (at
>> least I agree with him on this) that for the mind to be regarded as a
>> The wording is a bit dangerous. All I know after UDA is that my
>> state of
>> mind at time and place (x,t) has to be linked to an infinity of
>> going through that state, and that my next state, from my first
>> person point
>> of view is indeterminate on the set of all those computations.
> Yes, I'll avoid saying "a computation".
>> essentially everything else must also be regarded in the
>> same light: IOW our ontology is to be understood entirely from the
>> perspective of numbers and their relations.
>> True, but this excludes quickly that it can be conceived a priori as
>> computations. Immaterial relation between numbers, sure, but not
>> computable relation. Cf the first person indeterminacy.
>> This is not universally
>> accepted, but more on this in the next section.
>> This is not universally understood, nor really studied. But it is
>> quickly or slowly when studied. To my knowledge.
> When I make a gesture to one side of the argument (i.e. the simple
> fact that they don't - in fact - accept it) the other side objects!
> But I understand your frustration.
But who does not accept what? You worry me. Scientists don't play the
game of accepting or not accepting proposition. They understand, they
refute, or they criticize, the axioms, or the validity of a reasoning.
>> Suffice it to say
>> that on this basis we would appear to have a situation where the
>> appropriate set of computations could be regarded not as mere
>> 'emulation', but in fact *as real as it gets*. But this of course
>> also renders 'stuffy matter' irrelevant to the case: it's got to be
>> numbers all the way down.
>> No. With the first person indeterminacy it would be more correct to
>> say that
>> it's got to be number all the way up.
> Yes, I nearly said 'all the way up'.
>> It makes the comp immaterial
>> appearance of "stuffy matter" infinitely complex and non turing
>> emulable, a
>> priori. I suspect you have not yet really see the role of UDA1-6 in
> Ah, this is a key point, I suspect. Now, in my pre-UDA ("beam me up
> Scotty") way of thinking about it, I saw that teleportation could be
> coherent only if consciousness was seen in terms of a movable
> viewpoint within some larger context, not as consisting in a
> 'thing-in-itself' - hence the a priori 1-person indeterminacy.
> Consequently this also implied that the brain - matter itself - must
> be seen somehow in this way too, but I was unable to say how. Anyway,
> now I see the Star Trek part as UDA1-6. UDA-7 introduces the UD
> itself, and from this, that "comp "stuffy" matter has to be made by a
> infinite sum of infinite computations including infinities of white
It is more the comp stuffy matter appearances which has to be made
> UDA-8 crucially shows - finally - that the computations cannot
> themselves supervene on stuffy matter - i.e. the 'stuffy TM' one
> previously assumed they were running on.
I am not sure I understand. What UDA-8 shows is that consciousness is
not related to the physical activity of some machine. Consciousness is
related to the truth of some arithmetical relations which defines the
computations going through the relevant states at the right level and
Computation can supervene on the comp-stuffy matter. Without this no
first plural person, nor personal computer.
Hmm.. My be I see what you say, cautious with the wording, or I miss
> So the overall picture
> derived from this is that both the first person and the appearance of
> matter are complex - and, in any specific instance, a priori
> indeterminate - emergents from this infinite blizzard of computation;
Well, it is the problem of matter to which comp force to reduce the
mind-body problem. But that blizzard is a well structured part of the
arithmetical reality, so it is a mathematical problem. AUDA provides
already information on the solution.
> hence 'individual instances' of minds and bodies can't be regarded as
> 'isolated computations'. Is this is what you mean when you say that
> matter is "non turing emulable, a priori"?
A priori, to predict with 100% accuracy the result that "I" will
observe when doing an experience in physics, I will have to run the
entire UD*, which is an infinite task. Empirically we can bet on very
long computations with many high level stable emerging pattern which
makes most of them easily simulable, but those are the hard to justify
with comp, they have to be relatively multiplied to "save the internal
>> 4) If we don't accept 3) then we can keep stuffy matter,
>> We can't by step 8;
> Surely we can if we're willing to drop the computational theory of
> mind? Note that I say this later on (another sequencing problem).
>> but by the whole UDA 'stuffy matter" does no more make
>> sense at all.
> Yes, but my point was that one isn't forced to accept the UDA, as long
> as one is equally willing to give up the computational theory of mind.
> Faced with the UDA, I suspect many non-specialists might well see
> that as preferable to relinquishing their grasp on stuffy matter. I'm
> not making claims about the correctness of positions here, I'm just
> contrasting them.
No problem, you are right. To abandon 1500 years of Aristotelian
theology will take time, especially for the atheist which have to
understand they were doing theology without saying.
But you can' disagree with such type of work, because it is mainly
question made precise. A statement of a problem. Now this problem was
under the rug, since long, and many materialist thought that
mechanism, per se, solve the problem. But comp, per computer science,
can only make the problem precise, mathematical.
> The comp "stuffy" matter has to be made by a infinite sum of
>> infinite computations including infinities of white rabbits-
>> The apparent computability of the physical laws *is* a problem for
>> indexical computationalist.
>> but at the
>> cost of losing the digital computational model of both mind and body.
>> Most want introduce a stuffy matter because they believe they can
>> computation for both mind and body.
> Yes, but I agree with you that this doesn't work.
>> Not everyone agrees with that radical assessment, I know;
>> Who disagree? It is not a question to agree or not. It is a
>> question of
>> understanding or not (or to find a mistake).
> Whoa! It's a fact that not everyone agrees. This is obviously true,
> because when I don't say this, the ones that don't, start disagreeing!
> Your point is that disagreement isn't refutation (or even
In science, we can always succeed in agreeing on what we disagree,
and then it means we propose different theories. Before that it is the
hard work to understand the theory.
>> but even
>> those who don't concur presumably do hold that everything that
>> finally supervenes on something stuffy as its ontological and causal
>> basis, and that numbers and their relations serve merely to model
>> That is comp, before UDA, before the necessary reversal.
> The reversal is necessary only to save the computational theory of
> mind, surely?
Yes. But it is also welcome to give a rationale spectrum of where the
laws of physics come from.
>> The stuffiness doesn't of course mean that the evolution of
>> physical systems can't in principle be specified algorithmically,
>> Comp-stuffiness *is* a priori not algorithmic.
> Yes, but I was referring here to matter in the stuffy sense, precisely
> to *contrast* it with the comp sense. IOW mathematics is still
> "unreasonably effective" even if it turns out that comp doesn't go
> through as a TOE.
Hmm... If comp is true, then elementary arithmetic goes through as a
Comp is an axiom of a sort of "theology", a belief in a form or
relative incarnation (yes doctor). Then that theology entails that we
don't need more than elementary arithmetic, for the ontology, and
arithmetic+induction, for an epistemology, at least for having the big
shape. Comp entails that the question of the ontic existence of
anything more than what we can defined in arithmetic is absolutely
undecidable. We cannot know the cardinal of the universe, in a sense.
But from inside, there is not one drop of Cantor paradise, which can't
help us. There is a sort of Skolem phenomenon.
>> 'emulated' on a TM if that is possible; we still have mathematics
>> as a
>> model of stuff and its relations.
>> UDA entails there is no stuff at all. No stuff capable of
>> justifying in any
>> way the observation of stuff.
> Yes, of course, I know this! This is what makes me think you have a
> problem with the way I present the argument in stages. I was trying
> to characterise the stuffy model in its own terms (with the caveat
> that IMO this entails abandoning the comp theory of mind),
OK, my fault. I read too quickly.
> as well as
> comp (however inadequately) also in its own terms. I just get
> confused when you interpolate comp objections when I'm not saying
> anything about comp.
>> But it does entail that no digital
>> emulation of a physical system can - as a mere structure of numbers -
>> be considered the 'real thing': it's got to be stuffy all the way
>> Well, with comp+physicalism. But this is inconsistent, at the
>> epistemological level.
> Yes, but there's no reason to claim that comp is necessarily the
> *only* theory of mind.
Of course. But apart from its many weakenings (for which AUDA continue
to work) I don't have heard about other "rationalist" approach.
I tried to build one, a very long time ago, when I was still believing
in the quantum wave collapse.
> Physicalism itself isn't necessarily
> inconsistent at the epistemological level, but it does need a
> different theory of mind - IMO.
I am not even sure of that, but I have no proof, yet. :-)
>> Rather, it seems to me that in our various discussions on the
>> emulability or otherwise of physics, we may sometimes lose sight of
>> whether we are interpreting in terms of numerical or stuffy
>> But "stuffy" or just primitively physical, after UDA has no more any
> Again, surely only on the basis that a stuffy theory still hangs on to
> comp as a theory of mind? Can't we escape the UDA in this way, even
> in principle?
To escape UDA, you have to invent a substantial matter, a substantial
mind, and glue them in a way that makes them unduplicable. Using
infinities does not help, you have to use genuine complex infinities
which prevents your mind to slip in the mathematical world, where
infinities can self-multiply. To identify yourself to your quantum
state, could seem a good idea, because by the non cloning theorem,
your necessarily unknown state (by comp) cannot be cloned, but this
does not work because you remain "preparable" in many similar states,
and the UD will do this all the times.
To escape UDA, I am afraid that you will have to diagonalize it, but
it is closed for the diagnalization, so perhaps with strong oracles, I
Only the ONE could perhaps escape UDA, that is comp's consequences.
AUDA points toward the idea that comp makes just the argument against
physicalism simpler, but that physicalism could be inconsistent by
itself. But I really don't know anything for sure. It is very complex.
>> Be that as it may, the punchline is: do we find this analysis of the
>> distinction between numerical 3) and stuffy 4) to be cogent with
>> *specific* respect to the significance and possible application of
>> concept of 'emulation' in each case?
>> You don't yet have grasped the UDA yet. It makes
>> the stuffy things not just
>> useless for having computations and relative emulation, but it
>> makes, it is
>> the big hard point, any notion of stuffiness, irrelevant for physical
>> objects too.
> Well, I'm always willing to stand corrected, but I had hoped in my
> post on Olympia to show you finally that I had indeed grasped
> *exactly* this point. My questions in this post about emulation were
> really directed to clarifying the stuffy-ontology position, as a
> result of the debate with Colin: i.e. what does emulation mean in a
> stuffy context?
> The common sense view is that - if stuff is primitive
> - emulation can only be a 3-description. However, if numbers are
> primitive, then in principle mathematical structures - in very special
> relation, as you argue - actually *constitute* reality, not just
> describe it.
Yes. But in the sense that you are relatively immaterial, when your
wife offers you two new bodies for your birthday. Despite this is
present in the material frame, "you" somehow is already immaterial.
You own your bodies. This immaterial being is a reality.
I expect many realties of that kind, be it person, people, game,
galaxies, photons, etc.
The common sense believes in particles, and everything is made of
those particles, and their laws are the fundamental laws. Comp is
threatening only the last point, the fundamental aspect of such laws,
they have to justified once comp is assumed.
> I think what muddies the waters all the time is the physicalist
> assumption that 'immaterial computation' can still be claimed account
> for the mind on the basis of a stuffy ontology. Without this, we
> would have more or less the simple dichotomy I propose: i.e.
> stuffy-ontology => stuffy stuff + stuffy mind;
That's OK. If "stuffy" in "stuffy-mind" is enough sophisticated in its
non-comp aspect, then you can save physicalism. This is somehow what
> or comp-ontology =>
> comp stuff + comp mind.
More or less OK. stuff, mind, etc. become arithmetical reality as seen
from inside from some angle.
> Each side could then argue against the
> other's position, but at least without laying claim to each other's
>> There is just no stuff available. Even if we introduce it, it makes
>> change in consciousness, and can't have any relation with what we
>> observe in
> On the basis of the comp theory of mind-body: yes, definitely, no
OK. thanks for that precision. I remain open to the idea that someone
find that there is something wrong in the reasoning given the
difficulty of the subject.
> We will come back on this.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at