Stathis wrote

>Yes, but a critic could still say that no conscious observer could be
>conjured up by a computation unless the computation is physically
>implemented. At least at first glance that seems to be the case: the
>brain is required for consciousness, since if the brain is destroyed
>consciousness is destroyed. And if the mind is generated by a computer
>program, it would be normal to think that if the computer is
>destroyed, so is the mind, although the program in Platonia remains
>unaffected even if the entire universe blows up. These are the common
>sense objections. So the question is, is physical implementation
>necessary for consciousness, and what does it actually mean to
>physically implement a program?

>From what I surmised and what Bruno wrote earlier in the discussion, I
thought that consciousness might supervene over all computations that
were essentially equivalent (whatever that might mean— i.e. some sort
of equivalence class?).  Anyway, this would imply that if the brain
was destroyed, then consciousness would simply be continued on by the
rest of the (competing) and remaining equivalent computations.
These would presumably be consistent extensions of the consciousness
in other worlds (MW interpretation) or in a platonic UD.

SP
>(and of course, this hardware may itself be part
>of the virtual world generated in Platonia).

I thought that this would be a consequence of comp since the
probability of consciousness staying in any “concrete” universe would
seem to be essentially zero. see below from earlier in the discussion:

NP> In other words every observer
> moment of his life (not just the one just before being blown up - but
> any  of them) could just as easily be followed by a suitable one in
> the virtual UD rather than one in the initial run of the universe.
BM
>Absolutely. Would a real *singular* concrete material universe exist,
>the probability to stay in that universe is zero.

Brent

 >I think you give an excellent explication of the problem, Stathis.
However, one thing about it that still worries me is the role of time.
You >say the mapping need not be consistent even moment to moment, and
yet the mapping is a timeless Platonic object. To be a timeless
>object the the moments need some timeless representation. In Bruno's
theory time arises from the computational sequence. But in the
>mapping, time is just a relation of similarity (closest continuation)
of states. So three states which when ordered by closest continuation
>are XYZ may have been computed in the order XZY. So I find myself
seeing the hardwareless computer as a reductio against
>consciousness=computation thesis and support for Peter's view that ur-
stuff and contingency are fundamental.

The time bit confuses me too but if the UD is recursive (as I thought
it would have to be) and a successor function was implicit in the
algorithm then the timeless algorithm would give a perception of time
to the internal observers that Stathis spoke of earlier generated by
the computation.

However I am still not convinced about this myself and get this
feeling that there is a dynamic element missing from the static or
timeless representations which I am assuming to be existent in the
platonic realm

Nick


On Jan 3, 6:57 pm, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:2010/1/4 Nick Prince<m...@dtech.fsnet.co.uk>:Thank 
> you Stathis This has helped move me on a bit. The hardwareless computer has 
> been giving me some real problems. Let me replay my understanding of what you 
> said back just to check it is on the right lines. As a possible example of 
> one of these lurking computations we could consider the one which begins with 
> no-thing and think of the null set as made of it phi ={ } and then 
> associating it with the number 0. Then imagine the set { phi} associating it 
> with 1, then { phi,{phi }} associating this with 2, then { phi, { phi} , { 
> ,{phi }} }, associating it with 3 etc. Hence we get an infinite sequence of 
> abstract (platonic) entities which can conjure up (compute) the natural 
> numbers and the implied successor function simply from the abstract 
> (platonic) notion of a set and an association rule (also a platonic 
> relation). More and more structure can be built up until - as you say - the 
> entire structure of the computation contained in the mapping can be 
> envisioned. Now although no external observers might be able to access these 
> computations, the computations might just create conscious observers 
> bootstrapped into existence by the special class of computations which these 
> (internal) observers (if they believed in comp) would naturally consider as 
> non trivial. As you say the entire structure of the mapping which describes 
> the computation is a platonic object too hence the world comes from nothing 
> and computation. Have I got this roughly right? I would be grateful for any 
> critical comments from you, Bruno (or anyone).Yes, but a critic could still 
> say that no conscious observer could be conjured up by a computation unless 
> the computation is physically implemented. At least at first glance that 
> seems to be the case: the brain is required for consciousness, since if the 
> brain is destroyed consciousness is destroyed. And if the mind is generated 
> by a computer program, it would be normal to think that if the computer is 
> destroyed, so is the mind, although the program in Platonia remains 
> unaffected even if the entire universe blows up. These are the common sense 
> objections. So the question is, is physical implementation necessary for 
> consciousness, and what does it actually mean to physically implement a 
> program? Suppose we agree that it is necessary to physically implement a 
> program in order to get the consciousness. Physical implementation then 
> involves, essentially, causing a machine to go through a sequence of causally 
> connected configurations such that the configurations and the state 
> transition rules match up with the abstract program. There is a mapping from 
> the abstract program to the machine so that the engineer, programmer and end 
> user know what's going on. But "write 1 and then move the head to the left" 
> could be represented in an infinite number of ways. If a man walks down the 
> street chewing gum, that could represent "write 1 then move the head to the 
> left", while if he stood still humming "Jingle Bells" that would have 
> represented "write 0 then move the head to the right". Moreover the mapping 
> does not have to be consistent from moment to moment: chewing gum could mean 
> "0" on Fridays and "1" on other days. There is no reason why a computer could 
> not be designed to function in such an inconsistent way, other than the 
> practical necessity of keeping track of what's going on, which is necessary 
> if the computer is to be of any use to anyone. But if we don't care about its 
> usefulness to an outside observer we could say that any abstract computation 
> maps to any physical process: a random physical process, a repetitive 
> physical process, or a single physical state. The man walking down the street 
> chewing gum over the course of a second could be seen as representing the one 
> thousand steps of a Turing machine adding two numbers together, although of 
> course it wouldn't be of any use to anyone interested in the result of the 
> calculation. You can see no doubt that if you accept the argument so far the 
> physical process is irrelevant, and all of the computation, such as it is, 
> consists in the abstract machine and the mapping, which are timeless platonic 
> objects. Arguable the mapping is also irrelevant, since there are an infinite 
> number of possible mappings for an infinite number of possible physical 
> processes. The only thing that seems to make a difference is the abstract 
> machine or program itself. The program "runs" necessarily, even in the 
> absence of a physical universe, and it only need run on physical hardware in 
> order to interact with the environment at the level of the hardware (and of 
> course, this hardware may itself be part of the virtual world generated in 
> Platonia).I think you give an excellent explication of the problem, Stathis. 
> However, one thing about it that still worries me is the role of time. You 
> say the mapping need not be consistent even moment to moment, and yet the 
> mapping is a timeless Platonic object. To be a timeless object the the 
> moments need some timeless representation. In Bruno's theory time arises from 
> the computational sequence. But in the mapping, time is just a relation of 
> similarity (closest continuation) of states. So three states which when 
> ordered by closest continuation are XYZ may have been computed in the order 
> XZY. So I find myself seeing the hardwareless computer as a reductio against 
> consciousness=computation thesis and support for Peter's view that ur-stuff 
> and contingency are fundamental.
> Brent

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