On 01 Sep 2009, at 18:57, Brent Meeker wrote:
> David Nyman wrote:
>> 2009/9/1 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>:
>>>> Peter, you need to keep firmly in mind that the superfluity of PM
>>>> follows on the *assumption* of CTM. The razor is then applied on
>>>> basis of that assumption. If you prefer a theory of mind based on
>>>> "real reality", fair enough, but then you must face the conclusion
>>>> that CTM is no longer tenable in that role.
>>> No, none of that follows from CTM alone. Bruno is putting
>>> forward the Sceptical Hypothesis that I am being simulated
>>> on a UD. However, if I am entiteld to assign a very low
>>> likelihood to that SH along with all the many others, alowing me
>>> to know in a good-enough way that matter is real, reality is
>>> real etc. It is very important in these arguments to distinguish
>>> between certain knowledge and good-enough knowledge.
>> Well, the either the Olympia/MGA reductios entail this consequence,
>> they don't. You imply that they don't, but you still haven't put
>> forward a clear refutation in a fully explicit form that could be
>> considered here on its merits. Until you can do this, it isn't a
>> question of certain or good-enough knowledge, but rather about the
>> logical entailment of CTM itself.
> First, as I understand it, MGA shows that computation realizing
> consciousness could be instantiated with almost zero physical
You are confusing with Olympia. MGA shows that physical supervenience
entails that the computation can be transformed into a process having
the same physical activity, relevant for the computation, but no more
doing any computation at all, like a movie. And that is absurd,
although there is a need to get the difference between a computation
and a description of a computation (the initial motivation for the
seventh step series, I recall). I have to explain, mathematically or
formally, the difference between a (mathematical) computation, and a
(mathematical) description of a computation.
MGA shows that comp forces to switch from physical supervenience to
computational supervenience, with computation in the original sense of
> Since a reductio argument only entails that something in the
> inferences or premises is wrong, it is not shown that consciousness
> be realized by computation in Platonia.
It is ambiguous.
> And, second, even if that were
> shown it would not follow that consciousness *is* realized by
> computation in Platonia. Of course then Bruno challenges us to
> point to
> the particular step of his argument that is in error.
.. or were you don't understand, or what is the objection.
> I suspect it has
> to do with the context or environment and the error is in supposing
> consciousness can be separated from interaction with an external
With comp, and with QM, there is an infinity of 'external worlds', and
consciousness supervenes through all of them. In that sense the UD
never generate consciousness. Consciousness is an internal modality
defined on the whole UD, and the math gives a quantum-like measure of
uncertainty. Comp predicts that the most probable external world is
not entirely computable.
But I agree, you did provide a model where we can say yes to a digital
doctor, and yet CTM is false in the sense that our consciousness is
not generated by the brain, but by the couple brain + a non
computable environment. But this is no more a yes doctor QUA
COMPUTATIO, it is like the one saying yes to the doctor because he
believes that a God will preserve his soul and put it back in the
reconstitution. The God has just been replaced by something actually
uncomputable in the environment. Here there is a tiedous work to make
comp even more precise so as to eliminate the form of "yes doctor"
which looks like CTM, but failed the spirit of CTM. (And the UD build
non computable environment. It is not so relevant here, but it is good
to keep in mind). May be "qua computatio" will fusewith the comp
supervenience, and then, OK, MGA will look as just a motivation for
the comp supervenience, but I doubt this. As you know, I define comp
with the generalized brain, which is ALL what you need to survive the
digital substitution, so I could argue directly that your form of "yes
doctor" does violate the definition of comp/ctm. It is almost a
vocabulary problem imo.
> We're pretty sure that it can be for short periods of time, but as I
> recall from sensory deprivation experiments in the '70s consciousness
> goes into an endless loop after about an hour without input. I'm not
> sure what the implications of this are for computationalism. It
> certainly still allows that one might say "Yes." to the doctor. But
> may invalidate the idea that the world is just conscious
> computations in
> Platonia because the world in total is probably not computable.
OK. With comp, it is even necessarily non computable. You need the
whole UD*, but you have it, by delay-ignorance from the first point of
view. But your model still work, but see above.
> Which is not to say I don't find Bruno's argument interesting as a
> possible model of the multiverse. If QM can be based on a UD that
> would be very interesting.
It explains the difference quanta/ qualia by the intensional variant
of G/G*. It is the theology of the universal machine. It is certainly
a motivation for computer science and logic. And by the "cosmogony"
part of that physics, it makes comp testable.
I like that theory because it preserves the (universal and particular)
person and (universal and particular) consciousness. It gives them a
more foundational rôle than materialism, to say the least.
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