On 03 Jan 2010, at 14:55, Nick Prince wrote:

> 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).
> Many thanks
> Nick
> On Jan 3, 11:05 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2010/1/3 Nick Prince <m...@dtech.fsnet.co.uk>:
>>> HI Bruno
>>> Thank you so much for your answers to my queries so far.  I really
>>> need to do some more thinking about all that you have said so far  
>>> and
>>> to understand why I am having difficulty replacing a real physical
>>> universal machine existing in the future (like Tipler suggests) or a
>>> great programmer existing now (like schmidhuber suggests) with your
>>> arithmetical realism.  I also need to search some previous posts to
>>> make use of past discussion topics that are relevant. Perhaps my
>>> background makes me a physicalist who can currently accept a milder
>>> form of comp.  However, I want to explore your position because I
>>> think it makes sense in so far as I think it is less vulnerable to  
>>> the
>>> threat of infinite regressions like in  Schmidhuber’s great  
>>> programmer
>>> (or even the greater programmer that programmed him).  Your  
>>> version of
>>> computationalism would still be valid if either or both of the two
>>> options above were true. Herein lies its appeal to me (both
>>> fundamental and universal).
>>> I would like to read up on logic and computation as you suggest. I
>>> have read about all the books you recommend . However, can you  
>>> suggest
>>> topic areas within these texts which I can  focus on to help me  
>>> get up
>>> to speed with the problems I have regarding arithmetical realism  
>>> with
>>> the UDA?  There is much that could perhaps be left out on a first
>>> reading and to my untrained eyes, it’s difficult to know what to  
>>> omit
>>> (for example what would godels arithmetisation technique come under?
>>> (Googling it brings not much up).  Sorry but I haven’t ordered any
>>> books yet so I can’t look into them.
>>> Is there an English translation of your Ph.D. thesis yet?  Sorry  
>>> but I
>>> can’t do French. My thanks and best wishes.
>> My justification for the hardwareless computer is the fact that any
>> computation can be mapped onto any physical process, in the same way
>> that any English sentence can be mapped onto any string of symbols.
>> Such a post hoc mapping would be useless to an observer trying to
>> extract meaning from the symbols or the result of a calculation from
>> the computer, since he would have to figure out the mapping himself
>> and he would have to know the answer he wants before doing this. With
>> the right key Bruno's PhD thesis contains an account of next week's
>> news, but so what? If you look at it the right way the dust swept up
>> by a storm is implementing a Turing machine calculating the digits of
>> pi, but what good does that do anyone? The claim that codes and
>> computations lurk hidden all around us could be taken as true but
>> trivial, or perhaps defined away as untrue on account of its
>> triviality. However, there is a special class of computations to
>> consider: computations that give rise to conscious observers in
>> virtual universes that do not interact with the environment at the
>> level of the substrate of implementation. If such computations are
>> possible (i.e. if comp is true) then it doesn't matter that no
>> external observers have access to the mapping that would allow them  
>> to
>> recognise them, for these computations create their own observers,
>> bootstrapping themselves into non-triviality. The physical process
>> "sustaining" the computation need not even be as complex in structure
>> as the computation: the computation could be mapped for example  
>> onto a
>> repetitive process, the idle passage of time, even a single instant  
>> of
>> time implementing the parts of the computation in parallel. And if we
>> get that far, it's obvious that the physical process does nothing,  
>> and
>> we may as well map the computation onto the null set. It is obvious
>> that the entire structure of the computation is contained in the
>> mapping, and the mapping is a platonic object, not dependent on being
>> written down or even understood in the mind of an external observer.
>> --
>> Stathis Papaioannou- Hide quoted text -
>> - Show quoted text -
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