On 16 Mar 2011, at 22:40, Russell Standish wrote:

On Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 06:03:12PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 16 Mar 2011, at 09:53, Digital Physics wrote:

You are right, the "theory of nothing" is an old hat, published in
the 1990s. Hutter's new contribution is the observer localization:
how many bits are necessary to identify the observer's location in
the multiverse? Random locations cost many bits. Non-random ones
are much more likely and therefore more predictive in the Bayesian
framework. This "allows to distinguish meaningful from
predictively meaningless theories".

Marcus Hutter, like Schmidhuber, seems to be not aware of the mind
body problem, notably as formulated in the computationalist theory
of mind. His self-localization used implicitly the mind-brain
identity thesis, which cannot be sustained in any computationalist
framework. I already give you the references on sane04.
Please don't hesitate to ask questions if you find something unclear
in it.
You will understand that the notion of self-localization of "myself"
in a universe or a multiverse does not make sense, except in a
precise *relative* way which needs the use of the classical theory
of knowledge of Plato (Theaetetus), and its translation into
arithmetic (something which can be done by using a technic due to
Gödel) to be defined precisely. This makes computationalism
predictive and falsifiable. The key idea consists in distinguishing
the logics of the first person views (and the first person plural
views) from the third person views.

Bruno


Yes, he is a little biased by the Kolmogorov complexity result that
random strings are the most complex. The problem is in treating all
random bits as significant, when usually they aren't. I argue (On
complexity & emergence, 2001) that the relevant complexity measure
takes into account the significance of the information to the
observer, which really means that random strings are amongst the
simplest.

Of course this touches on your point that one cannot localise an
observer to a particular bitstring, but rather to all consistent
strings (that have the same meaning to the observer).

I would say this is my main significant departure with Schmidhuber and Hutter.


You are right. This is old stuff already refuted in this list a long time ago by different people. Then, as you say, we are obliged to restrict the measure on the relative consistent extensions of the strings/theories/bodies, and this forces us to take the self-referential logics into account, together with their POV variants. This lead to the G* theory, and the G/G* splitting, and their corresponding POV variants splittings, so that we get a theory of qualia, with quanta as a particular sharable case, making the whole theory testable, and rather well confirmed up to now. Indeed most quantum weirdness (indeterminacy, non locality, non cloning, etc.) are easy consequences of the comp assumption (and even of much weaker similar assumptions).

The problem of Schmidhuber, Hutter and also Tegmark is that they continue to hide or trivialize the person's consciousness, if not the person per se, under the rug. They do use a more Platonic framework than most materialists, which makes their work being a sort of progress compared to purely physicalist approaches, but, like most physicists, they are still blinded by the Aristotelian frames which they continue to take for granted. They missed the first person indeterminacy, which makes their position hard to maintain. Not only they miss the qualia, but they have an inconsistent (with comp) theory of quanta.

Such Aristotelian materialism/naturalism has been probably the root of the apparent unsolvability of the mind body problem. Nagel says that some 'revolution' is needed to solve the mind-body problem. Computationalism shows that such a revolution is only a coming back to Plato and Plotinus' type of conception of reality. This announces a coming back of theology, soon or later, in the scientific curriculum. A good thing, I think, because the lack of modesty and rigor in theology is responsible for a lot of unnecessary suffering on this planet. Authoritative arguments, conscious one or not, are bad in *all* fields, and even worst as much as the fields are concerned with fundamental questions.

Bruno
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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