On 1/27/2011 2:23 PM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 27 Jan 2011, at 22:12, Brent Meeker wrote:

On 1/27/2011 10:23 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 25 Jan 2011, at 15:47, Stephen Paul King wrote:
<snip>



Mathematical structures do not “do” anything, they merely exist, if at all! We can use verbs to describe relations between nouns but that does not change the fact that nouns are nouns and not verbs. The movie graph is a neat trick in that is abstracts out the active process of organizing the information content of the individual frames and the order of their placement in the graph, but that some process had to be involved to perform the computation of the content and ordering cannot be removed, it is only pushed out of the field of view. This is why I argue that we cannot ignore the computational complexity problem that exist in any situation where we are considering a optimal configuration that is somehow selected from some set or ensemble.

I don't see how this would change anything in the argument, unless you presuppose consciousness is not locally Turing emulable, to start with.

What does "locally" mean in this context? I doubt that consciousness is strictly local in the physical sense; it requires and world to interact with.

It means that, when saying yes to the doctor, you will not only survive, but you will feel the same physical laws.

Saying yes to the doctor who proposes to replace my brain with a digital computer still leaves my body and the rest of the world non-digital and non-local.

You will not change the relative measure on your computations. It might be necessary to duplicate a part of the environment, which, in that case has to be supposed to be Turing emulable in that same sense.

But this seems to me dubious. All known theories of physics assume a continuum of space, time, and probability. Many people think these may be approximations to a finer, discrete structure, but so far as I know there have not been any successful theories showing how these discrete structures could emulate the continuum. You may object that the part of the environment needed in a simulation of my consciousness is quite small and so can easily be emulated by a discrete computation. But that is only the case when my brain+other is treated as not entangled with the rest of the universe. If this entanglement (including the whole universe) is emulated then as in Bohmian or Everett's quantum mechanics, the world is deterministic and at some level of precision Turing emulable. But if the emulation attempts to be local then it must include inherent randomness - which I think is not Turing computable. So I think there is a tension here that is obfuscated by thinking of the doctor just replacing your brain or a part of your brain and helping yourself to the rest of the world. Your brain is entangled with the rest of the world and either you need to leave the rest of the world in place so your Turing emulation can be entangled (non-local), or you need to emulate the whole world.

I think the whole world probably is Turing emulable, but then that does not get rid of materialism. Material just becomes one of the things emulated along with consciousness.

Brent

That is why I mention the notion of generalized brain. If the environment is not Turing emulable, you have to use another theory of mind than the mechanist one. Consciousness per se, and first person, and matter (first person plural) are not locally emulable. First person point of views are related with the infinite continuum of computations going through their states, and that is not algorithmic (assuming digital mechanism).

If my local body is a machine, my soul, I, is not a machine. I should say.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ <http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/%7Emarchal/>



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