Ron,

I think the path to seeing the mind as a program is easier in this way:
1. It's not what the parts of the brain are made of its how they function
which determines behavior
2. This leads to the idea of multiple realizability
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_realizability (Brains can be made in
different ways so long as the parts function the same)
3. Accordingly, one could replace each neuron, or each atom, (or whatever)
with a device that behaved like what it was replacing (A man made out of
antimatter and antiparticles would still be a man)
4. Philosophical zombies (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie) are not possible,
their brain/mind would have all the same beliefs, and
all the same information as the equivalently organized and behaving brain it
replaced, but in what sense could one say this one's beliefs are wrong but
this one's beliefs are right?  There would be no way to ever prove that one
is conscious and one is not, it would be wrong for no reason at all.  This
is what it takes for the idea of zombies to be consistent.  Further, the
real brain and zombie brain could never even report feeling any different,
since both brains contain the same information and same knowledge, how is it
possible for one to report differences in experience?  This addresses your
question of whether or not there would be an impact to one's consciousness
if their brain were swapped by a device with equivalent processing of
information.
5. If zombies are impossible, then any device containing the same
information and processing it in the same way as another mind should have
the same consciousness.
6. By Church-Turing thesis, a Turing machine (computer) can process
information in any way that information can be processed.  Note that to say
the mind is emulable by a computer says very little about a mind, it
essentally says only that that the mind is a process.  The analogy is that a
computer can process information in any possible way given the appropriate
programming, just as a record player can produce any possible sound given
the appropriate record.  Saying the mind is emulable by a computer is like
saying voice is emulable by a record player.  (It is not a very big leap,
conceptually)

It doesn't matter if the process is like parallel programs, networked
computers, etc. a single computer can process information in the same way as
a whole bunch of computers running in parallel without any difficulty.  The
thing computers have difficulty with are infinities.  Questions which take
an infinite amount of processing or infinite amount of information to answer
can't realistically be simulated.  On this Bruno has said, if you don't
believe the neuron requires an infinite amount of information to decide
whether or not to fire, then you are a mechanist.

Jason

On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 6:13 PM, ronaldheld <ronaldh...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Bruno:
>  Thanks for the weekend wishes.
>   I believe the Brain runs programs, in parallel, but are they the
> Mind, and are they able to be run as Turing emulable programs with no
> impact to one's consciousness?
>                                                  Ronald
>
> On Dec 11, 7:51 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> > On 11 Dec 2010, at 01:01, ronaldheld wrote:
> >
> > > Bruno:
> > >  I stand corrected  on steps 6 and 7. I believe I understand your UDA
> > > diagrams.
> >
> > OK.  Thanks for saying.
> >
> > > Before I can comment, I need to decide waht progrmas are and
> > > are not Turing emulatable,
> >
> > All programs are Turing-emulable. That is a consequence of Church
> > thesis.
> > Many computer scientists tend to consider that Church Thesis is
> > trivially true, but, when you study it you might realize that CT is on
> > the contrary quite miraculous. Like Gödel saw, it is a miracle that
> > the Cantor-like diagonalization procedure does not lead outside the
> > class of partial recursive functions. The gift is a very robust notion
> > of universality. The price to pay for that is also very big: the
> > abandon of any complete TOE (unless ultrafinitism, ...). But
> > psycholically that price is a relief: it prevents computer science to
> > be reductionist.
> >
> > > and if the brain runs a program, parallel
> > > programs, or something else.
> >
> > Brains and other biological organs and organisms,  run parallel
> > programs. But all digitalizable parallel programs can be made
> > equivalent with dovetailing on non parallel programs. The UD does run
> > an infinity of programs in parallel, for example. So the brain
> > parallelism does not change anything unless the brain is not a
> > digitalizable physical process (but then we go outside the scope of
> > Digital Mechanism, the theory I am working in).
> > Theoretical Computer Science is, amazingly enough, something non
> > dimensional. This of course forces us to explain why dimensionality
> > seems so important in the physical sciences, or in the observable
> > sharable (first person plural) realities.
> >
> > Don't hesitate to ask for precisions.
> >
> > Good week-end,
> >
> > Bruno
> >
> >
> >
> > > On Dec 7, 4:10 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> > >> On 06 Dec 2010, at 19:00, ronaldheld wrote:
> >
> > >>> Bruno(and others)
> > >>>  I am going to do this in two posts. The first is my interpretation
> > >>> of your UDA. Since the Brain is a Turing emulatable program
> > >>> running on
> > >>> a biological platform(to start), steps 1-5 are not controversal.
> > >>> Step
> > >>> 6 scan(and annilates) the body and only places the program on
> > >>> another
> > >>> physical hardware platform, for a finite amount of time. Step 7 is
> > >>> the
> > >>> usual scan and annihilate,
> >
> > >> Well, step 6 and 7 use step 5 where you don't need to annihilate the
> > >> original anymore.
> > >> A (classical) teleportation without annihilation is a duplication
> > >> where the original is considered annihilate and reconstituted at his
> > >> original place wihout delay.
> > >> You need that to understand that if you do an experience of physics,
> > >> you have to to consider into account all computations in the UD
> > >> execution to predict your future experience (including "looking at a
> > >> measuring apparatus needle'. OK?
> >
> > >>> and then looks for the program in the UD
> > >>> still on some physical platform?
> >
> > >> Yes. At step seven, you have already that DM entails indeterminacy,
> > >> non locality and even (exercice) non clonability of anything
> > >> 'physically' observable. (mechanism accepts the 3-duplicability of
> > >> the
> > >> person which is not something physically observable (yet inferable)).
> >
> > >>> Step 8 removes the physical universe
> > >>> and had the UD "running" in Arithmetical Platonia?
> >
> > >> Yes. The UD is somehow given by the true sigma_1 arithmetical
> > >> propositions (with shape like ExP(x) P decidable) together with their
> > >> many proofs. This can be derived from a well known result asserting
> > >> that the computable functions are representable in Robinson (tiny)
> > >> arithmetic, or you can use the beautiful work of Putnam, Juila
> > >> Robinson, Davis, and Matiyazevitch).  This makes it Turing universal,
> > >> and makes the UD emulated in Platonia (or in any model of Peano
> > >> Arithmetic, that is a tiny part of arithmetical truth).
> >
> > >>> If I basically understand this correctly, then I will interpret UDA
> > >>> from my(physicla scineces POV).
> >
> > >> Normally the reasoning does not depend on any points of view (that is
> > >> why is a deductive reasoning or a proof). The step 8 is more
> > >> difficult, and I might resend the Movie Graph Argument (MGA) already
> > >> sent. Step 8 explains the necessity of immateriality. It explains
> > >> that
> > >> the physical supervenience thesis cannot work, unless you accept the
> > >> idea that an inactive piece of material has an active physical
> > >> activity in a computation, and still say "yes" to the doctor, like
> > >> Jack Mallah apparently. To avoid this I add sometimes that the
> > >> survival, when saying yes to the doctor, is done "qua computatio",
> > >> and
> > >> I am working to make this more precise. It is always possible to put
> > >> some magic in the notion of matter to build a fake comp hypothesis
> > >> saving primary matter, but then you can save any theology, and it
> > >> seems to me quite an ad hoc move. But I am interested in hearing
> > >> your
> > >> Physical Science point of view.
> >
> > >> Bruno
> >
> > >>> Ronald
> >
> > >>> On Dec 2, 10:55 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> > >>>> On 02 Dec 2010, at 15:51, ronaldheld wrote:
> >
> > >>>>> Bruno:
> > >>>>> I looked at UDA via the SANE paper. I am not certain the the
> > >>>>> mind is
> > >>>>> Turing emulatable, but will move onward.
> >
> > >>>> OK. It is better to say brain instead of mind. The doctor
> > >>>> proposes an
> > >>>> artificial digital brain, and keep silent on what is the mind, just
> > >>>> that it will be preserved locally through the running of the
> > >>>> adequate
> > >>>> computer.
> >
> > >>>>> Using Star Trek transporter
> > >>>>> concepts, I can accept steps 1 through 5.
> >
> > >>>> Nice. Note that the Star trek transporter usually annihilates the
> > >>>> original (like in quantum teleportation), but if I am a
> > >>>> "program" (a
> > >>>> natural program) then it can be duplicated (cut, copy and paste
> > >>>> apply
> > >>>> to it).
> >
> > >>>>> Step 6 takes only the mind
> >
> > >>>> (the program, or the digital instantaneous state of a program)
> >
> > >>>>> and sends it to a finite computational device or the entire person
> > >>>>> into a device similar to a Holodeck,
> >
> > >>>> It is just a computer. A physical embodiment of a (Turing)
> > >>>> Universal
> > >>>> Machine. Assuming the "mind state" (here and now) can be captured
> > >>>> as
> > >>>> an instantaneous description of a digital program, nobody can feel
> > >>>> the
> > >>>> difference between "reality" and its physical digital emulation, at
> > >>>> least for a period (which is all what is needed for the probability
> > >>>> or
> > >>>> credibility measure).
> >
> > >>>>> where the person is a
> > >>>>> Holocharacter?
> >
> > >>>> A person is what appears when the correct program (which exists by
> > >>>> the
> > >>>> mechanist assumption) is executed ('runned') in a physical
> > >>>> computer.
> >
> > >>>>> I am not certain a UD is physically possible in a
> > >>>>> finite resource Universe.
> >
> > >>>> You don't need this to get the indeterminacy, non-locality and even
> > >>>> the non clonability, unless you add that the resource are finite
> > >>>> and
> > >>>> enough little (in which case you still have the indeterminacy and
> > >>>> non-
> > >>>> locality in case of self-duplication in that little universe of
> > >>>> course).
> > >>>> After UDA 1-7, you know that if you make a physical experiment, the
> > >>>> result that you will perceive depend on the absence of similar
> > >>>> state
> > >>>> of "your body" in the (physical) universe.
> >
> > >>>> Then, with step 8, you can realize that even that move toward a
> > >>>> little
> > >>>> physical universe will not help to throw away the 1-indterminacy,
> > >>>> non-
> > >>>> locality and non clonability. The reason is that Arithmetical
> > >>>> Platonia
> > >>>> becomes the universal "Holodeck", if you want.
> > >>>> UDA 1-7 shows that the mind (the first person) cannot distinguish a
> > >>>> physical reality from a physical emulation of it (for a short
> > >>>> time),
> > >>>> but after step 8, we can see that the person cannot even feel the
> > >>>> difference between a physical emulation and an arithmetical
> > >>>> emulation,
> > >>>> which exists out of space and time independently of any observers
> > >>>> (by
> > >>>> Church thesis, arithmetic and computer science). That is subtler
> > >>>> than
> > >>>> UDA 1-7, but it makes the argument a proof, i.e. a proof that
> > >>>> physics
> > >>>> just cannot be the fundamental theory, once we assume digital
> > >>>> mechanism. The physical laws have a reason, and even a
> > >>>> "space" (arithmetical truth) where, from the point of view of the
> > >>>> observers, they have been selected.
> >
> > >>>> Thanks for your reply, and ask any supplementary questions if
> > >>>> interested. I am trying to work on the official "english" papers.
> > >>>> After that I will write a book. I have succeeded in explaining
> > >>>> step 8
> > >>>> to many different publics now, so that I think I have the whole
> > >>>> thing
> > >>>> straight.
> >
> > >>>> AUDA, on the contrary, is well understood only by logicians, but
> > >>>> physicists have still problem with basic logic. There is a real big
> > >>>> gap between logicians and physicists. I was hoping that quantum
> > >>>> computations would make a bridge, but that will still take a long
> > >>>> time. Anyway, UDA is enough to understand the main point.
> > >>>> AUDA is cute, because it shows that the intelligent machine are
> > >>>> already here. It shows also that intelligence is mainly a right,
> > >>>> not a
> > >>>> gift (but many people dislike this, and that is hardly astonishing
> > >>>> when you look at the history of humanity: it is the sempiternal
> > >>>> fear
> > >>>> of the others).
> >
> > >>>> Bruno
> >
> > >>>>> On Nov 28, 5:52 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> > >>>>>> On 27 Nov 2010, at 19:05, ronaldheld wrote:
> >
> > >>>>>>> Jason(and any others)
> > >>>>>>>   Both. Level IV Universe is hard to explain even if real.
> > >>>>>>> Bruno's
> > >>>>>>> reality is equally hard to convincing present.
> > >>>>>>>                               Ronald
> >
> > >>>>>> Do you agree/understand that if we are machine then we are in
> > >>>>>> principle duplicable?  This entails subjective indeterminacy.
> > >>>>>> All the rest follows from that, and few people have problems to
> > >>>>>> understand UDA 1-7.
> >
> > >>>>>> UDA-8, which...
> >
> > read more »
>
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