Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 01 Feb 2011, at 07:51, Colin Hales wrote:
I have been pondering this issue a bit and I am intrigued about
regard the problem space we inhabit. When you say things like ...
"Are you aware that If comp is true, that is if I am a machine ..."
I cannot fathom how you ever get to this point.
By looking at amoeabs, then reading book on molecular genetics,
Turing universality, then by reading Gödel's proof and the
discovery of how
to handle self-duplication and self-reference in representational
I did not take this too much seriously until my understanding of
thesis deepens. The closure of computerland for diagonalization
universal machine extremely universal, if I can say.
This is a presupposition that arises somehow in the lexicon you
established within your overall framework of thinking.
It has lead me to some interest with that hypothesis.
Let me have a stab at how my view and yours correlate.
In my view
A) There is a natural world.
We, Turing machines dogs, computers are all being 'computed' by
This is a set of unknown naturally occurring symbols
The natural 'symbols' interact naturally.
This is 'natural computation'. NOT like desktop computing.
Universe U ensues.
Scientist S is being computed within U
Scientist S can observe U from within.
U makes use of fundamental properties of the symbols to enable
.... observation, from within. Call this principle P-O
If by natural world you mean the world of the natural numbers with
addition and multiplication, I am OK. I can picture your "A)".
No. Here's where we part company. This presupposition about the
between the abstractions for quantity we call numbers, and the
is one I do not make. All you can logically claim is that it is
made of a
large set of 'something', these 'somethings' interact
mass. The 'numbers' do not relate to each other like natural
they do relate in a way that can be MODELLED using natural numbers.
If by natural world you mean the physical worlds as seen by
what you say might be locally correct, but that remains to be proved
No. You have it all backwards. You can assume _nothing_ about the
world and abstract number systems.
B) This is a symbolic description of U created by S from within U
S can concoct a description of the natural symbols in (A)
It need not be unique, many (B) correspond to one (A)
S can never know if it's completely done.
S can never know the real nature of the sybols in (A)
Descriptions (B), with P-O, explains observation and the
C) There is a _second_ description
It is also concocted by S
These are the normal empirical laws we all know so well
It describes how the U appears to S from inside
It need not be unique, many (C) correspond to one (A)
No (C) ever explains observation.
In this framework
(i) a computer running description/rules (B) is not the natural
OK. With the two sense of natural world I accept above.
(ii) a computer running description/rules (C) is not the natural
(iii) a computer running descriptions (B) or (C) is 'artificially
Yes. it is an isolated malin génie.
(iv) (C) is physics that present day scientists construct
I don't get "C".
So you don't understand what basic empirical scientists do. Boy
failed to connect or what!
(v) (B) is physics of a natural world prior to an observer.
This exist for Löbian machine (although they can find it "looking
(vi) (A) is 'NATURALLY computing' in the sense that it is
'computing' scientist S.
These options are the logically justifiable position we can take
are, as we are, inside U trying to work U out from within, using an
observation faculty provided by U as part of (A). Empirical
justifying (C) is normal overvation (contents of one or more
conscious experisnces). Empirical evidence justifying (B) is
implicit in the
existence of an observer concocting a set (C). You can't be
an bservation unless there is an observer to be confused.
All that said.....now ....
You mention "digital physics". You say "Are you aware that If
true, that is if I am a machine ..."
In terms of my framework....you are speaking of ...what?
I postulate, eventually, only natural numbers and addition and
multiplication. Then from this (it is not obvious but standard in
textbook) you can show that the arithmetical relation (defined
with "+" and
"*", and classical logic) emulate all computations. Physics or the
world is never emulated (but often simulated by malin génie
Physics is what appear from inside taking the first person
inyto account. A priori the natural world is not a computational
"Physics is what appear from inside taking the first person
inyto account. "
This is (C). Standard empirical physics.
"A priori the natural world is not a computational object"
This is (A). the universe U is not a computational object. Not
OK. Clarity of a sort. Where does (B) fit in? I think you assume it
com,puter program on a magical non-existent computer running
hold that descriptions (B) are accessible. I also hold that these
descriptions are not the same as the (C) descriptions. Both
the same observer/scientist.
No I think maybe you merge (A) and (B) and then replace them both
lower-case comp machine. OK.
The 'comp' you talk about is actually an abstract machine in a non-
abstract space that manipulates abstractions. It's got nothing to
the COMP I talk about, which is a computer, made of the real world
integers), in the real natural world, running a description (made
of the natural world. This applies to 'quasi-digital' (desktop
(1) A 'Turing machine (digital computer)' inside U running (B)
(2) The natural computation itself, of kind (A)?
(3) Some kind of magical 'computer' in idea-space computing us as
i.e. A 'virtual machine' that 'acts as if' it generates an
number of different U?
The COMP I talk about having refuted is in (i) or (ii) above.
I suspect this is not the COMP you are speaking of...
The comp I talk about is the assumption that my (generailzed)
brain can be
emulated by a digital computer. The rest should follow.
analogue and quantum computers.
You have a deep seated conviction that this abstract computer that
reality and a real computer that runs descriptions of a reality are
indistinguishable. This is unjustifiable. The simpler, parsimonious
is to assume that is not the case, and work out what options exist
describer and the possible relations between a describer and the
The reason your propositions have trouble getting accepted is
make this step into a faith-based presupposition that is
from a statement like "the natural world is erected in real time by
little purple regularity fairies". It has exactly the same level of
and assumption. So the comp you speak of, I conclude, at last, is
COMP I refute, nor is it the one of the many other refutations.
kind of good from your perspective. From my perspective it means I
battle no more with your comp.
In relation to Stathis' request:
If you model a natural environment presenting some problem to a human
within that environment, the simulated human will arrive at the same
solution as the real human would have. If intelligence is
problem-solving behaviour, there is therefore no difference between
the natural world and the model provided that the model is in fact a
good one. Your claim that computers cannot replicate human
intelligence is thus equivalent to a claim that there is some process
in the human brain which is not Turing emulable. What process do you
No. This is just plain wrong. You cannot model an observation of
that you have no idea of the evidence of .i.e. You cannot model the
If you could then you'd already know it (the observer and the
of the observer to everything else. If you want to get at unknowns,
have to model a modeller of the unknown ... and then _assume_ that
everything in a model captures the reality you are modelling,
The non-Turing emulable part of the natural world is the relationship
between every little bit X and every other bit of it that is NOT
related to X. A product of massive parallelism created by a massive
collection of the entities of which we are actually made, which is
assumed not to be abstract numbers if you want to understand it.
something we inherit by 'being' in the world. Something that cannot
simulated. Something that a Turing Machine (computer), totally
us physically, does not get in its program.
By way of example, I have attached a video of a simulated neuron
It's from a paper I have in review at the moment. The video depicts
currents originating the biologically realistic EM fields around a
due to the ion channels involed in an action potential. It was
the package NEURON. In it you will see a pair of red/blue interfaces
travelling away from the soma. These interfaces are virtual
current-dipoles. They are mathematically describable, but form no
the mathematical description that generated them. THAT is what is
These are the virtual relationships not accessed by the mathematics
Turing machine. No matter what is going on in a Turing machine,
NONE of this
kind of phenomenon are accessed by it.
The question is 'what is it like to BE those fields'. It cannot be
to be like the mathematical description that represents them, nor
can it be
claimed to be 'like' being the computer running the simulation.
A final demo that tells you what can't be emulated...using, yes,
Here's a 1.
Here another 1.
If I 'be' the first 1, you 'be' the second 1. what 'law' captures the
relationship between the two instances of 1? That 'law' is not any
you and I concoct sitting up here, staring down at them like a god.
amount of abstraction of 'one-ness' capture that relationship.
I am glad I don't have to battle lower case comp any more. So I
leave it there for now. Progress has been made.
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