Aaargh, I see from looking at my last message to Jack Mallah at http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg18314.htmlthat hotmail completely ignored the paragraph breaks I put in between the numbered items on the list of propositions, making the lists extremely hard to read. I'll try resending from my gmail account and hopefully it'll work better!
> Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 11:41:38 -0800 > From: jackmal...@yahoo.com > Subject: RE: problem of size '10 > To: email@example.com > > Jesse, how do you access the everything list? I ask because I have not recieved my own posts in my inbox, nor have others such as Bruno replied. I use yahoo email. I may need to use a different method to prevent my posts from getting lost. They do seem to show up on Google groups though. There was never a problem until recently, so I'll see if this one works. I just get the messages in my email--if you want to give a link to one of the emails that didn't show up in your inbox, either from google groups or from http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html , then I can check if that email showed up in my own inbox, since I haven't deleted any of the everything-list emails for a few days. > > --- On Mon, 2/22/10, Jesse Mazer <laserma...@hotmail.com> wrote: > > Hi Jack, to me the idea that counterfactuals would be essential to defining what counts as an "implementation" has always seemed counterintuitive for reasons separate from the Olympia or movie-graph argument. The thought-experiment I'd like to consider is one where some device is implanted in my brain that passively monitors the activity of a large group of neurons, and only if it finds them firing in some precise prespecified sequence does it activate and stimulate my brain in some way, causing a change in brain activity; otherwise it remains causally inert > > According to the counterfactual definition of implementations, would the mere presence of this device change my qualia from what they'd be if it wasn't present, even if the neurons required to activate it never actually fire in the correct sequence and the device remains completely inert? That would seem to divorce qualia from behavior in a pretty significant way... > > The link between qualia and computations is, of course, hard to know anything about. But it seems to me quite likely that qualia would be insensitive to the sort of changes in computations that you are talking about. Such modified computations could give rise to the same (or nearly the same) set of qualia for the 'inert device' runs as unmodified ones would have. I am not saying that this must always be the case, since if you take it too far you could run into Maudlin-type problems, but in many cases it would make sense. OK, so you're suggesting there may not be a one-to-one relationship between distinct observer-moments in the sense of distinct qualia, and distinct computations defined in terms of counterfactuals? Distinct computations might be associated with identical qualia, in other words? What about the reverse--might a single computation be associated with multiple distinct observer-moments with different qualia? > > > If you have time, perhaps you could take a look at my post > > http://email@example.com/msg16244.html > > where I discussed a vague idea for how one might define isomorphic "causal structures" that could be used to address the implementation problem, in a way that wouldn't depend on counterfactuals at all > > You do need counterfactuals to define implementations. > > Consider the computation c(t+1) = a(t) AND b(t), where a,b,c, are bits. Suppose that a(t),b(t),and c(t) are all true. Without counterfactuals, how would you distinguish the above from another computation such as c(t+1) = a(t)? > > Even worse, suppose that c(t+1) is true no matter what. a(t) and b(t) happen to be true. Is the above computation implemented? You say "Suppose that a(t),b(t),and c(t) are all true", but that's not enough information--the notion of causal structure I was describing involved not just the truth or falsity of propositions, but also the logical relationships between these propositions given the axioms of the system. For example, if we are looking at three propositions A, B, and C in the context of an axiomatic system, we can ask whether or not the axioms (which might represent the laws of physics, or the internal rules of a turing machine) along with propositions A and B (which could represent specific physical facts such as initial conditions, or facts about particular cells on the turing machine's tape at a particular time) can together be used to prove C, or whether they are insufficient to prove C. The causal structure for a given set of propositions could then be defined in terms of all possible combinations of logical implications for those propositions, like this: 1. Axioms + A imply B: true or false? 2. Axioms + A imply C: true or false? 3. Axioms + B imply A: true or false? 4. Axioms + B imply C: true or false? 5. Axioms + C imply A: true or false? 6. Axioms + C imply B: true or false? 7. Axioms + A + B imply C: true or false? 8. Axioms + A + C imply B: true or false? 9. Axioms + B + C imply A: true or false? For example, one possible causal structure for three propositions would be: 1. Axioms + A imply B: false 2. Axioms + A imply C: true 3. Axioms + B imply A: false 4. Axioms + B imply C: false 5. Axioms + C imply A: false 6. Axioms + C imply B: false 7. Axioms + A + B imply C: true 8. Axioms + A + C imply B: true 9. Axioms + B + C imply A: false Then if you had three other propositions D, E, F, they would have an isomorphic causal structure to A, B, C if you could map the two sets of propositions to one another such that all the logical implications would be the same. For example, suppose the following logical relations hold for D, E, F: 1. Axioms + E imply D: false 2. Axioms + E imply F: true 3. Axioms + D imply E: false 4. Axioms + D imply F: false 5. Axioms + F imply E: false 6. Axioms + F imply D: false 7. Axioms + E + D imply F: true 8. Axioms + E + F imply D: true 9. Axioms + D + F imply E: false Then if you map D to B, E to A, and F to C, you can see that their causal structures are isomorphic. On the other hand, suppose the logical relations were: 1. Axioms + D imply E: true 2. Axioms + D imply F: true 3. Axioms + E imply D: false 4. Axioms + E imply F: false 5. Axioms + F imply D: false 6. Axioms + F imply E: false 7. Axioms + D + E imply F: true 8. Axioms + D + F imply E: true 9. Axioms + E + F imply D: false In this case their could be no isomorphism with A, B, and C, since D can be used to prove either E or F, but neither A nor B nor C can be used to prove both the other two propositions in that group. So in this case A, B, C would not have the same causal structure as D, E, F. So, it seems to me that identifying observer-moments with particular causal structures avoids the implication that any possible system can be "interpreted" in such a way as to instantiate any possible observer-moment, but it also avoids the need to consider counterfactuals, since we can restrict ourselves to propositions about events which actually occurred. -- 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 everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.