Bruno Marchal wrote:

I think we have always agreed on this conclusion. We may differ on the premises. It just happen that I am using a special hypothesis, which is very common, but not so well understood, and which is the digital mechanist hypothesis.
I think things are more subtle than this...... I assume nothing, especially 'digital anything'. In reality there's no such thing as 'digital' (do not conflate this with 'quantisation'!). There's brains that make statements or kind (A) and (B). That's all.

Unfortunately, because of our conceptual divide I cannot give meaningful answers to any of the subsequent questions you ask - because to answer them at all means I have to agree with the starting point. Your questions are of the same kind as "when did you first start beating your dog?" - the presupposition is that I beat my dog and the only undecided issue is 'when?'. The issues you discuss presuppose something that fundamentally violates science approaches in the same way that 'strings', 'loops', 'branes', 'froth' etc etc violate it and get sidelined. You have added the UTM and its variants to the pile. Any of these could be just as right as you think COMP is.

The (A)/(B) framework is parsimonious/empirically tractable (requires nothing extra in the Occam's razor sense) and COMP isn't because it requires invocation of a form of unseen abstract computer running rules-of-Bruno, none of which lead to predictions that implement/explain the observer. You seem to think that my (A)/(B) framework must address issues in Bruno/COMP terms. I need none of it. Your framework is a preemptive generalisation of (A)/(B).

In the end, once (A)/(B) candidates have been found and explored, Bruno/COMP may be able to be used as an abstract generalisation of the Hales/(A)/(B) framework. When that realisation happens, we can all go down to the pub and declare "Bruno was right" and drink to your insights....However, this will not happen until (A)/(B) is adopted in a self-consistent manner and followed to its logical endpoint.... /literal/, verifiable neuroscience predictions of an observer (not by pointing to "what is believed corresponds to observation" within in an abstract hypostase framework on a presupposed computer)........Then and only then will we understand the relationship between the natural world and formal/artificial computation of the COMP we can then make informed decisions.

IMO this is the way that you can ultimately be right, Bruno. Your work is an uber-framework within which sits mine as a special case. It's not either/or. Between you and proof of COMP is type (B) science of claims and testing. The instant that a (B) makes a verified prediction of brain material, you can then provide an abstract 'generalised theoretical neuroscience' that can, under suitable constraints, become the specific (B) that is us. At that time (A)/(B) will be able to be calibrated in terms of 'digital doctors', 'white rabibits', hypostases etc etc. In this way, Bruno/COMP can be quite right but devoid of practical utility, at least at this stage. (Right now...if I believe in COMP or I don't believe...changes nothing ....I still do (A)/(B), making predictive claims) Note that at the same time, the equally sidelined. 'strings', 'loops', 'branes', 'froth' etc etc will also get their validity sorted ... because all of them will be required to predict/explain the observer or go away.

I can see how it must be very frustrating for you to see the overall generalisation but not how we are actually implemented as a particular version of it. At least my assessment of your position looks like that. This is how I think the COMP proposition could be viewed in the future....we'll see, I suppose.

:-) Meanwhile I have a broken, neurotic, deluded (A) science to fix. That's enough work!


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