On 19 Dec 2009, at 16:13, benjayk wrote:

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Honestly I think you are a bit dishonest to yourself here, since you
>>> already
>>> presume the appearance of matter,
>> I assume nowhere primitive matter. I do assume "consensual reality".
>> If not, I would not post message on a list.
> Well, that was my point. So indeed numbers don't make sense  
> independent of
> that, because
> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> unless you can make theories about numbers
>>> without perceiving anything, which I doubt.
>> Humans cannot do that, but this is independent which are simùpler
>> concept. All scientists agrees on numbers, and to day we can explain
>> in a precise sense why numbers is the least we have to assume.
> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> When you do abstract math you
>>> nevertheless work with matter, that is, word written on paper or  
>>> on a
>>> computer screen. So either you can indeed make sense of a circular
>>> theory
>> Indeed. That is the case. Circularity is fundamental. I will soon
>> explain this through the second recursion theorem of Kleene. The  
>> whole
>> AUDA things is based almost exclusively based on that handling of
>> circularity, which makes the self-reference possible, for machine,  
>> and
>> relatively to universal machine(s).
> So we seem to agree actually.
> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>> Of course, the human conception of the numbers depends on the human
>>>> conception of his neighborhood and life, but when searching a TOE  
>>>> we
>>>> have to agree on the simplest objects (ontology) from which we  
>>>> derive
>>>> the others (phenomenology).
>>> For me this is not meaningful. What kind of phenomology could be
>>> derived
>>> from the "fundamental" numbers?
>> You may read Plotinus, for having an informal idea. The
>> phenomenologies corresponds to the hypostases, + intelligible and
>> sensible matter.
>> from the numbers (+ comp) we can explain the non communicability of
>> consciousness, its local undoubtability, how "primitive matter"
>> emerges and leads to first plural quantum-like indeterminacies, etc.
> What I find difficult to grasp: If conciousness is non communicable  
> how
> could we explai
> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Basically just that they need to be
>>> phenomena and that they are not expressible in terms of something
>>> else. But
>>> this for me has little to do with what the phenomena *are*.
>> I don't understand this.
> Well every strictly formal theory will just explain you phenomena  
> formally.
> But since phenomena are something that trascends formalities, they  
> fail to
> explain that which is fundamental to phenomena.

Not at all. In a theory (perhaps formal) you can still attribute  
meaning to your terms, and accept that some rule of deduction  
preserves that meaning, then you can learn something new by deduction.

You argument here is close to the error of saying that if neurons  
(artificial, or not) manipulates only other neurones, the meaning will  
escape them. This does not follow.

Anything can be formalise, at some level of description, and indeed  
three of the arithmetical hypostases concern non formalizable by the  
machine form of knowledge by the machine.

Only formalist philosopher copuld decide to not attribute meaning on  
the primitive terms, although he will attributes the usual meaning of  
the inference rules (which are at another level).

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> It's like a
>>> theory saying: "There is something, but don't aks me what it is."
>> You should study the theory, and makes specific remark.
> That would lead nowhere, since I don't have anything specific  
> against the
> theory. It's just that I think claiming it to explain something  
> fundamental
> is missleading; it makes one search fundamental truth where there is  
> none.
> Because what is fundamental to everyone is his own experience.

I agree. But then study the theory which explains why machine can  
already understand this, but that we have to explain physics from the  
number if we want to take the theory seriously.

I have never claim it explains something fundamental, it explains a  
"new" problem, the problem of justifying how machine dreams "glue"  
enough to stabilize first person plural sharable observation.

I just formulate a problem (and show a solution, which is just to  
better illustrate the problem, and also that it would be premature to  
used UDA to abandon mechanism.

And then there is that new pal: the universal machine, which is also a  
root of many problems.

To understand UDA is really equal to underst(and that we don't and  
cannot really understand what numbers and machines are. But that we  
can learn think making us doubting some quasi dogma in the fundamental  

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> The theory
>> explains what exists, and how the rest emerges from it.
> But then doesn't the "rest" exist, too? I just see a problem with  
> claiming
> to explain what exists, when it is really not clear what existance  
> could
> mean apart from the relatively meaningful, but vague, every day use.

In that context existence is the same as in the expression "it exists  
a number having this or that property". Among the property there will  
be property like "relatively to that number this number observe this  
phenomenon". the rest belongs to the dream of numbers, and they do  
those dream because they describe computations. We assume mechanism, I  

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Searching it for me feels like searching something that is not there
>>> (it
>>> feels *bad*).
>> You are right, in the sense that we already know there is no complete
>> theory of what universal machines, or numbers, can do and not do.
>> But that is the reason to become aware that about numbers and  
>> machine,
>> we know nothing, and the hypothesis that we are machine, makes  
>> physics
>> a concrete sum on all computations and this has observable  
>> consequences.
>> We are just trying to understand what happens. don't confuse the
>> search of a theory of everything, with any normative or authoritative
>> theology.
>> If you don't search for a theory of everything, you will adopt the
>> current one. A brain is already a (failed) attempt toward a theory of
>> everything. Searching *that* is what universal machines do. There is
>> no problem with admitting that the word "everything" can have an
>> evolving meaning in most terrestrial or effective context.
> I see where you coming from, but in effect a "theory of everything" is
> really just a theory of "something" then. The word "everything"  
> itself has
> sort of a absolute connotation, because it doesn't say everything of  
> *WHAT*?
> Relativizing it makes clear that the word "everything" is meaningless
> without context, though than it is just confusing to still use the  
> word
> without context .
> Really we only discuss semantics here... I just find "theory of  
> everything"
> sounds authorative, because it seems to claim there is nothing else to
> explain. Basically that is my only problem with a "theory of  
> everything" -
> it is either a confusing name or disingenious,

And what do you think about "theology". The idea is to unify knowledge  
in a coherent realm, which does not eliminate the person nor the  
appearances, but help to figure them out.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>> But
>>>> elementary arithmetics does explain both consciousness, including  
>>>> its
>>>> non definability
>>> That's funny, because this is little more than empty words for me.
>> Read the papers. Or ask questions.
> I don't what conciousness really is.

I am sure you know very well what it is. Think of what is common in  
all subjective experiences.

> So in order to to explain it to me, you
> would have to define it...

Not at all. To make theories we need only to share some statements  
about something. We never define really the object of our thought and  
I cannot define two you what is a line, bit we may agree that two  
points determines a unique line, for example. And reason from that.
I cannot define to you consciousness, but we may agree on some  
statement on it, like conscious people cannot doubt "here and now"  
that they are conscious, for example.

> But wait, you just said elementary arithmetics
> explains it can't defined... What can't be defined? I don't even  
> know what
> exactly your referring to!

To the fact that you are conscious. You are aware of your sensible  
local existence, unlike a doll (probably).

> You seem to assume I already have a clear view of what conciousness  
> is,

I assume only that you know that you are conscious (here and now).  
This has nothing to do with the question of having a clear view on  
what consciousness could consist in.

> so
> you don't need to define it in order to be meaningful. Indeed you  
> don't have
> to, because I very roughly know what conciousness could refer too.  
> But then
> your theory is very vague, because the object it seeks to explain is  
> very
> vague.

I don't think it vague at all. As I said on the FOR list, it is the  
difference between faking to be tortured and being tortured. If you  
undersatnd that diffrence, we mau-y already agree on many things about  

Then, comp is the hypothesis that my relative consciousness will  
remains unchanged for some substitution of my parts (betting on some  
level). From this you can already get startling counter-intuitive  
result, notably that physicalism doesn't work.

> Or the theory is clear, but is says: "This theory does not explain
> what is vague in this theory." But then you can't claim to have a  
> theory of
> fundamental existance or reality or everything.

All what I claim is that IF e are machine, then, in soccer language:  

And I don't pretend it is the last match.

I am a logician. I am interested in the relations between (human, and  
then machine/numbers) beliefs. All what I say is that those who  
believe in primitive matter/physicalism, have to abandon mechanism (or  
rationalism). Or, equivalently, that those who believe in mechanism,  
have to abandon materialism (and indeed have to explain physics from  
the numbers: a new problem if you want).

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>> , and matter, including both its computational and non
>>>> computational aspects.
>>> For me matter is explained by the fact that it is touchable,
>>> seeable, and so
>>> forth. Elementary arithmetics cannot do that. So no, it doesn't
>>> explain
>>> matter for me.
>> Hmm... Not yet read UDA I see.
> I did read UDA.It explains why we can't both postulate we are  
> machines and
> that physics is independent of us (and thus independent of  
> arithmetics), so
> materialism (there exists matter and nothing else) is shown to be
> meaningless (if we accept COMP).
> But I can't touch anything in it, because it is just a text. This  
> already
> proves to me it doesn't explain what matter really is to me.

It is not a text, it is an argument, using some text to ease the  
things. I should do a video!

And it explains a part of what matter is to you, or us, (a sum on an  
infinity of computations, not so different from Feynman path  
integral). It remains an infinity of open problems of course.

> Probably I do not fully agree with axiom number 3, because it claims  
> numbers
> to be independent of me and you, while I don't even understand what me
> really is and what the difference between me and you is - and  
> whether it is
> an absolute or relative difference. How could I then postulate  
> numbers are
> independent of something so vague (yet obviously important)? After  
> all, some
> kind of "me" seems to exists everywhere numbers are understood, so  
> it seems
> to be unreasonable to postulate their independent existance.

The question is just: do you agree with Robinson or Peano axioms, and  
if yes, we can show where you appear in there, and why you ask such  
questions, etc.

You have to understand that the proposition 17 is prime is independent  
of the fact that you will take a bath now or not. If you undretsand  
that, you may undersatnd one day how things like bath and you can  
arise from the distribution of the prime numbers.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>> If you have a better explanation, I can listen, but why not study  
>>>> the
>>>> existing explanation?
>>> My "explanation" is that every explanation in words is suboptimal/
>>> incomplete
>>> and you need to trascend words in order to get a better explanation.
>> But this is a "theorem" in "my theory/conjecture/hypothesis" (that we
>> are machine).
> But then "your" theory is not a TOE at all, because it itself admits  
> it
> doesn't explain everything. :wistle:

yes, if you understand the theory, you will understand that we are  
infinitely more ignorant. You may intuit that science has not yet  
begin (or perhaps it has begun in -500, and stopped in +500).

And yes, a part of that ignorance is intrinsical and fundamental. It  
is was makes truth an "eternal attractors". The theory is indeed a  
negative theology in the sense of the neoplatonist.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Another try: The only ultimate explanation for everything is that
>>> everything
>>> is the ultimate explanation. Or that there is no divorce between
>>> explanation
>>> for reality/everything and reality itself - they are the same! After
>>> all,
>>> *what could* explain everything, except itself :D? It's
>>> acknowledging that
>>> circularity is valid, though not useful in all expressions and
>>> contexts.
>> That's cute, but we are trying to do a bit of science here. And I
>> don't like your religion which seems to imply our quest is vain,  
>> right
>> at the start; which is ridiculous compared to what we a have already
>> discovered.
>> You are a bit dogmatic. Humans cannot fly, so all attempts to do so  
>> is
>> necessarily ridiculous.
> I'm indeed dogmatic on some things. I can't help myself. I *just know*
> theories don't explain everything since everytime I try to grasp a  
> theory
> the truth "theories explain not everything since the experience you  
> have
> right know explains something a theory can't explain"  gets  
> transmitted,
> too. Althoug sometimes it is so vague, that I don't really remember  
> that
> this makes it futile to want a theory to explain everything (I just  
> get a
> bad feeling then).

You take the expression "theory of everything" too much seriously.  
That expression comes from the physicists, and, due to physicalism,  
they believe that if they can unify all the laws of nature, they will  
have explain "everything".
But this is reductionism. It is just false. Unifying the laws will not  
explain mathematical truth, nor psychology, nor any theological  
problem (like what is first person death, etc.). Nor will it explain  
where the laws of physics come from, although here *some* physical  
theories can give explanations. But if fails on consciousness, and is  
based on a very powerful methodological hypothesis, which cannot be  
maintained (the identity thesis mind-brain).

Then this list is open to the idea that everything possible, manage to  
exist, and that appearance comes from some statistical (relative or  
absolute) embedding in it. Then comp, makes arithmetical truth a quasi  
obvious receptor for a very well defined notion of everything: all  
computations, or just a part of arithmetical truth, etc.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>>> So why aks a question that can't be answered with words at all?
>>>> It is up to you to show the question cannot answered at all, and  
>>>> for
>>>> this you need a theory.
>>> No I don't. You already see in front of you that the answer to any
>>> ultimate
>>> question (ultimate *for you*) is not to be found in words (since
>>> words only
>>> appear *in* your experience, which I take as meaning that experience
>>> is more
>>> ultimate than words) so any theory is superfluous in that matter.
>> I have no clue what you are saying, and what you mean by explaining
>> through words. The nice point with the computational hypothesis is
>> that itv explains exactly that, why, if we are machine, we are
>> confronted to the non expressible, the non provable, the non
>> computable, necessarily. I explain why universal machine get both
>> mystical and rational at the same time.
> But then you admit arithmetics can not be a theory of everything at  
> all...
> Every explanation of everything, necessarily must transcend all  
> theories.
> You say I need a theory to show you that some questions cannot be  
> adequately
> answered with words and than you say that your theory says we don't  
> need a
> theory to know that some questions cannot be adequately answered  
> with words
> (because with every sensation, for example the sensation of getting an
> answer to a question, we get confronted to the "non communicable",  
> that is,
> that which transcends words). A little akward I think.

I don't pretend it is easy. You were just confusing two levels of  
I cannot explain my consciousness, but then I can explain that all  
machines can discover about themselves something which obeys the  
statements verified by what I do admit about consciousness, and be  
incapable to explain it, except by discovering, like me, that all  
machine can understand this indeed.

It is subtle, and that is why I give also a purely arithmetical model  
of that "machine theology".

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Personally I think research always starts in experience and words
>>> are for
>>> conveying some part of what you experienced to someone else.
>> Sure. The theory I study, and the methodology I am using, is based on
>> some acknowledgment on that fact.
>> Do you think it is possible that we are machine, (that we can survive
>> with an artificial brain)
> Well, I don't think the question whether we survive something in an  
> absolute
> way is pretty meaningless. If I absolutely don't survive something,  
> than
> there is no one there to survive or not survive. So as long as I am  
> there, I
> will survive *anything*.
> So yes, we can survive with an artificial brain and we can survive  
> with no
> brain at all, because the question "who has a brain?" is a relative  
> question
> already.

You are actually right. The question is to justify this in a frame of  
a theory. here the hypothesis, and thus the question, was "can you  
survive" in the usual clinical sense. Put in another way, would say  
yes to a doctor which propose to you a digital brain. THEN we can  
explain to thers why indeed this is a relative question, and that if  
we can survive with an artificial brain, then we ever survive without  
any brain at all, and that we don't really have material brains, etc.

If you have already an answer, you may or not try to communicate it to  
some others. But you cannot use that fact to discourage another to try  
to communicate his idea.

> So does this mean we are machines? Well, I think we are and we are  
> not... It
> depends on what you mean with "are" and "we". Ultimately, though, I  
> prefer
> to say we are not machines, because all descriptions fail to  
> describe what
> we *really* are. Beauty and freedom cannot be directly described,  
> but only
> felt.

The point is that the consciousness of any machine is already not  
described by, nor describable by the machine. So this cannot be an  
argument, just a statement that *you* feel superior to *any* machine  
in the art of feeling beauty and freedom.

But this is just insulting the machines, and nothing else.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> and if so, have you understand that it
>> entails a reversal between physics and number theory (or  
>> combinator, C+
>> +; whatever).
> I think I understood your reasoning. I think it's obvious that in so  
> far as
> we are machines, the shapes of what we perceive can only be  
> explained by our
> inner functioning ("machine psychology"?).

OK. But it is not obvious for every one. Nothing is. Then AUDA shows  
that, in a precise sense, the universal lobian machine can understand  
that argument, and help in the derivation of physics.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> But since we
>>> don't know what our words exactly mean to someone else we better
>>> don't take
>>> them too serious.
>> In science we have to take our ideas (words) seriously, and make them
>> the most precise as possible. Only then are we able to discover the
>> inconsistency of our ideas, and progress.
> I agree. But only if you don't take this seriousness to serious.  
> "Serious"
> has a connotation of rigidness. But true science is of course not  
> rigid. If
> you try to make science completly rigid (axiomitize everything) it  
> simply
> becomes inconsistent (it shakes of all rigidness if you want;-)).
> Science needs flexibility and playfulness. I just said "too  
> serious", not
> "not serious at all". I'm afraid you took me to serious:-D.


> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> I think your way of thinking (in this paragraph, not neccesarily in
>>> general
>>> ;-)) is somewhat dangerous, because it leads to pseuodo-precision  
>>> and
>>> pseudo-control.
>> I would have prefered: partial precision and partial control.  
>> "Pseudo"
>> seems only insulting.
> You're right, I sounds indeed insulting. I didn't want to sound that  
> way. I
> don't think you wanted to be authorative, it's just that I think it  
> sounds
> authorative to act like a theory is vague or clear independent of  
> your own
> perception of it.

OK. Just that if wa want not to have an infinite conversation before  
the meal, it is good to be able to assess to oneself simple truth like  
those we can prove in elementary arithmetic. If the result is too much  
startling, it is always time to reconsider the initial belief. We have  
to start somewhere.

> I think clear / vague are relative notions. For someone who doesn't
> understand a theory it's extremely vague, for someone who does it  
> may be
> very clear. Someone may dismiss a work of art as almost  
> meaningless / having
> a vague massage, while someone else will find the message it wants  
> to convey
> more clear than all "scientific theories" could be.
> Honestly I think we even can't seperate science and art totally.  
> Both really
> come down to taste, even though science relies more on measurements  
> than on
> intuition (though still it is dependent on intuition) and art has  
> (mostly)
> no intention being formally rigid.

UDA just ask question to you. AUDA shows that we can already listen to  
the universal machines.
About machines, I may just be a bit more polite.

I know humans does not yet really listen to themselves, and I may have  
come a bit too early on this planet.

In "the tao is silent" Raymond Smullyan said something like that:

Some believes that machine are stupid. So they deduce from comp ("I am  
a machine") that they are stupid.

Others believe that  they am a sensible lover of freedom and beauty"  
so from comp they deduce: "Oh, very nice, some machine can be sensible  
lover of truth and freedom".

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> From wanting to be clearer than you can (or others can
>>> understand), dangerous things like authorative religion and states
>>> (in the
>>> form of various repressive systems / ...cracys like democracy)  
>>> emerge.
>> Well democracy, imo, is the less repressive systems, although
>> obviously democracies are not immune against many form of "humans
>> taste of authoritative argument weakness" in many democratic sub-
>> institution (Democracies can be rotten, like the human body can have
>> tumors).
> I too think democracy is the least repressive system we have. But I  
> believe
> wanting to resolve important and complex matters like healthcare or  
> security
> in a rigid system is bound to fail.
> Democracy itself is already authorative, because it claims  
> authorative force
> to be legitimate as long as it is suppported by the majority (at  
> least in
> theory, practically often even this isn't the case). I prefer a  
> society
> where force (or the threat thereof),- IMO one of the most  
> destructive form
> of authority - is generally seen as not legitimate, unless in  
> situations of
> self-defence. This is incompatible with a state, and thus with  
> democracy as
> commonly understood.

It is very difficult. But democracy is a big, alas fragile, progress.  
It does not solve all problems. It is the step 1 of politics, and it  
does not a long way without serious separation of power, and other  
power regulating rules. The human situation is not really easy too. To  
be able to drink when thirsty and eat when hungry is already a lot.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> I think you have not read well my posts or papers, because I show  
>> that
>> computationalism prevents the authoritative argument everywhere in
>> science, and this including theology (and that is new, since at least
>> 1500 years).
> I already got that. Nevertheless sometimes you seem to use authorative
> language. Actually I think everybody does. I just wanted to point it  
> out.

Don't hesitate to tell me where. If I did, it has to be a typo error!
On the contrary I try hard to put all my carts on the tables. That is  
why I repeat ad nauseam "assuming comp (or mech, of digital mech, of  
DM, etc.). Then I make a derivation by steps, and I ask "OK?", at any  
step, and the sequence is constructed in such a way that if you  
succeed in keeping self-honesty, you eventually understand why  
"physical reality" is a facet of the universal machine(s) ignorance.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> I am *not* against making clear theories. I'm against acting like
>>> having a
>>> clear theory, when actually the theory makes nothing clear for most
>>> people.
>> What is unclear? Don't confuse the reasoning, which is long and  
>> rather
>> very new for some Aristotelian, and the theory, which is the clearest
>> of all theories (and actually believed by most rationalist,
>> unfortunately in company of a less clearer theory (materialism).
>> But if you really think that comp is unclear, just ask precision. It
>> is the usual manner to proceed.
> I think comp is unclear in that it postulates "we" are machines,  
> even though
> we do not understand what "we" are. How could we say X is a machine,  
> while X
> is totally mysterious to us?
> Of course every theory concerning "us" has this problem. This is  
> exactly why
> I think every theory concerning us is necessarily vague.

It is vague, but not so much. The artificial brain, will be like the  
computer. Wait ten years more, and you will get a 10^10 times more  
powerful artificial brain, which will emulate you at a much more  
refined level. But then you know that your grand-grand-grand-grand- 
grand-grand-grand father is already so glad with its "so old fashioned  
little universal machine", ...

If we are machine; we cannot know which machine we are nor which  
machine we are in relation. But we can bet that there are level of  
functionality such that we survive some "artificial" substitution. I  
would say that this is already what molecular biology and biochemistry  
illustrate. Living organism take a big deal in self-repairing, and  
self-multiplying, and it could be natural to think that "nature" has  
already betted on comp, many times. It is natural to think that the  
brain could be a natural organic universal machine (and even two  
universal machines in front of themselves, and themselves made of two  
universal machines, 4, 8, 16, 32, ... etc. up to that cabled amoeba  
chatty swarm.

I am a theoretician interested in the consequence of the comp  
hypothesis on the mind body question.

Comp leads to computer science.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> And all theories regarding fundamental things make very little
>>> clear, which
>>> shows itself in the theory making no realistically testable
>>> predictions and
>>> in having no practical application (like string theory).
>> Comp, including the Theaetetus's definition,  makes utterly clear
>> experimental predictions.
> For example?

All the theorems of the 5 lower hypostases described he logic of  
probable appearances. They gives the logic of the "observable", with  
the nuance between "sensible" (and undefinable) and  
"intelligible" (definable) quanta and qualia, and are symmetric enough  
to be compared to quantum logics. A goal: implement the quantum not.  
Very difficult.

The incompleteness phenomenon distinguishes all the Theaetetus'  
definition of knowledge, from sensation, to opinion, true opinion and  
true justified opinion. It adds other nuances. Comp makes a part of  
universal number theology completely mathematical, even decidable at  
the propositional level.

Bruno Marchal



You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to