On 28 Dec 2009, at 21:22, benjayk wrote:

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> 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.
> "The theory
> explains what exists, and how the rest emerges from it."... Sounds  
> pretty
> fundamental to me ;). I think your wording was just a bit absolute  
> for me
> here, maybe you should be more careful there, maybe I just took you  
> too
> serious. After all you're talking in the context of a theory, so I  
> should
> take "The theory
> explains what exists, and how the rest emerges from it." as ""The  
> theory
> explains what exists as formalizable in the theory, and explains  
> from it how
> there must be more than this, which trascends the formalities of this
> theory.".


> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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
>> recall.
> Okay, though I still think it's advisable to not use simply  
> "existence" as a
> word a here, because it sounds too exclusive. "What exists" sounds  
> like
> "Everything that exists".
> And I find "dreams of numbers" sounds as if the dreams where less
> fundamental than the numbers.

They are. Numbers are primitive. The variable x and y represents  
excusively those numbers. Finite pieces of computation are speical  
numbers, like prime numbers. To be a (finite piece of a) computation  
is a property of number, a relation which has to be defined in term of  
addition and multiplication of numbers. To be a computation are  
emergent property (emerging from addition and multiplication).

> But since you don't only assume mechanism, but
> also conciousness (like all theories)

Digitam mechanism (comp) assumes consciousness explicitly (cf the  
sense of the "yes doctor"). Most theories does not assume  
"consciousness". The word does not appear in the description of the  

> and consensual reality (the dreams in
> which the representations of numbers appear), I don't see how it  
> makes sense
> to put numbers "before" conciousness and (perceived) reality.

Well, it is a bit like "addition" comes before "being prime". You need  
addition in Robinson arithmetic to define what a prime number is. Then  
you need addition, and prime, before defining when a number represent  
a finite piece of computation. And you need that to eventually attach  
consciousness to computations. The "before" is logical, not temporal.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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.
> Not so good. Theology sounds too big. After all, there is no science  
> or any
> other practice that does not study spirituality or god in some  
> sense. By
> calling it theology it sounds like "your" theory is especially close  
> to
> grasping god. But I don't think it's any good to ever invoke  
> closeness to
> god in any theory.
> I would like "theory of relationship of numbers and that which  
> trascends
> them" or something more precise and modest, without using  
> "everything" or
> some appeal to god.

That is a vocabulary problem. I like "theology" for three reasons:
1) comp is a belief in a form of possible technological reincarnation,  
leading to notions of afterlife, or after-annihilation.
2) the gap between G and G* provides a gap between science and  
3) It necessitates an unprovable belief in the universal machine (the  
little god, Plotinus' man). This is Church thesis.

This is made clear by the arithmetical interpretation of Plotinus. God  
(the ONE) = arithmetical truth, the NOUS = arithmetical provability,  
the third god (universal soul) = provability in company of truth,  
matter = ... etc.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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.
> What is common in all subjective experience...? I don't really know.
> Something is, that is for sure, but I don't know what!

You need to understand "consciousness" only to say "yes" or "no" to  
the doctor, after understanding that he will substitute your part by  
functionally equivalent, at some level, digital one.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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
>> theories.
>> 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.
> Okay, but then you don't explain what conciousness is, but rather  
> *that* it
> is. But this really exlains nothing, because I knew it already ;).  
> So I
> don't get where the explanation is. Maybe you explain that elementary
> arithmetics is compatible with conciousness, but this is far from  
> explaining
> conciousness itself, I am afraid.

I explain that if you are willing to believe that you s-will survive  
with  concrete digital brain, then consciousness is explained by the  
addition and multiplication of numbers.
Auda provides more: even a temptative definition of "consciousness"  
like "machine belief-in-a-reality state".

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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
>> consciousness.
> The difference between faking to be tortured and being tortured is  
> not being
> concious, in my opinion. Somone faking something is necessarily  
> concious,
> too.

I was alluding the consciousness of some pain. It is the difference  
between torturing a doll and a human being, if you prefer.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> 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.
> "my relative consciousness" is so vague for me. In order to make  
> sense of
> this I would need to understand more about conciousness than it  
> being here
> and now and undoubtable (otherwise I cannot relate it to anything  
> else in an
> intellectual way).

I use the axiomatic method. "to be undoubtable" is not an explanation,  
but a property we can discuss or use as axioms. We never knows the  
sense of the word we are using. We can only agree or disagree on some  
use of those words. It is the same for any piece of science.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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:
>> PLATO 1, and ARISTOTLE 0.
>> 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).
> OK, I like this. ;)
> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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.
> OK, so we finally agree that there is nothing even close to a theory  
> of
> everything... ;)

I think that a negative theology is the closer of a TOE we can hope for.
With comp, everything is a number, so comp makes elementary arithmetic  
a TOE, or better a ROE (realm of everything), all the rest can be  
justified by the numbers themselves as dream/computations by numbers.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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.
> This was obviously my problem. Maybe I should adhere more to what I  
> write
> ;).
> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> 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.
> This was not my intention. Sorry if I seemed discouraging.
> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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.
> My point is not to insult machines. A machine is identified by what  
> it does,
> because feelings can not be uniquely linked with a machine.

Why? We can, for all practical purpose, attach a mind to a machine.  
What we cannot do is to attach a machine to a mind, but "only" an  
infinity of machine to a mind.

> So it makes more
> sense for me to say that we are or have a perspective(s) on (the  
> relations
> of) infinitely many machines.


> Conciousness is already attached to an
> infinity of machines and from our perspective we are at least  
> conciousness;
> that which is always sure here and now. So every observer, just by  
> virtue of
> observing *anything*, already feels the truth about an infinity of  
> machines.
> But *are* we machines then? If we always are or "could be"  
> infinitely many
> machines, if we always feel some truth about *every machine*, it is  
> not a
> bit of an understatement to say we are a machine or even machines?

You are right, and that is why sometimes I sum up the reversal by  
saying that
3-we being a 3-machine entails that the 1-we are not machine.
There is a sense to say that first person, from the first person view,  
are not machine. This is already true for the third (and seventh and  
eigth) hypostases. the machine already tell us that they are not  
machine, from their point of view. But G*, the "theologian of the  
machine" knows that 1-we = 3-we. The machine cannot know that.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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.
> I agree, I don't claim it is obvious. Really, it only became obvious  
> to me
> after reading your proof. I just meant "very clear".

Well, thanks.

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> 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!
> I referred to the use of words like "everything", "existence",  
> _theo_logy
> with reference to a theory that claims to explain something...

The only thing that the theory does not explain is the sequence 0,  
s(0), s(s(0)), etc. and addition and multiplication. Then we get all  
discourses, by machine/numbers on X, Y, where X and Y represent things  
obeying statements on which we do agree for consciousness, matter,  
etc. In a sense everything is reduced to the qualia of infinity. You  
need to be conscious of the meaning of "..." in "0, s(0), s(s(0)), ...".

I could, but I haven't, propose elementary arithmetic as a theory of  
everything. I do something more modest and more ambitious. I try to  
explain that if we believe (like many rationalists, materialists) that  
the "brain" is a "machine", then elementary arithmetic has to be the  
TOE, and then I explain how to derive the whole of physics from the  
numbers, and their consciousness.

The work is not supposed to provide answers to old questions, only to  
reformulate precisely those questions. In particular I argue that in  
order to solve the mind body problem in the comp frame, we have to  
reduce physics to number psychology/theology. We can still postulate a  
physical world, but it has no influence at all on our flux of  
consciousness, including our "perception of matter", so by Occam, we  
can forget about that "primitive" physical world.

You can see it as a generalization of Darwin. We accept the idea that  
our biology has evolved, but with comp we have to accept that the  
physical laws are not primitive either, they emerge in a concrete and  
precise way from the logical arithmetical relations.



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