On 30 Apr 2011, at 02:27, Stephen Paul King wrote:
From: Bruno Marchal
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 11:45 AM
Subject: Re: Reading The Theory of Nothing
On 29 Apr 2011, at 02:42, Stephen Paul King wrote:
Please allow me to ask another question. Is the notion of an
“observer moment” corresponding to “the smallest possible
conscious experience” related to Bruno’s concept of substitution
level? ISTM that both act like the idea of a coarse graining on an
ensemble that is used to define the entropy of a system in that
all of the members of the ensemble that are indistinguishable from
a macroscopic point of view.
You can easily relate them.
Let us distinguish the 1-OMs from the 3-OMs. The 1-OM are
experiences of an individual when his brain is in some computational
state S. We assume comp, of course, so we can attribute a 1-OM to
some such state. The 3-OMs are given by all the equivalent
computational states S, S', S'', ... obtained in the universal
dovetailing. For example the state of your brain emulated by a
program computing the Heisenberg evolution of the Milky Way at the
level of strings, or the state of your brain obtained by another
program simulating the quantum fluctuation of the void, or the state
of your brain obtained by a fortran program emulating a lisp program
emulating a prolog program emulating ... emulating the search of the
solution of some universal diophantine polynomial, etc. All those
programs are emulated by the universal dovetailer, and all the
finite pieces of computations obtained by such emulation can be
proved to exist in a tiny part of arithmetic. There are aleph_0 such
finite piece of computations, and they are all "run" by the UD. The
first person glue them into a priori 2^aleph_0 infinite computations.
For each of them, you can always find in arithmetic a computation
which is more fine grained. But you, by the first person
indeterminacy, cannot know in which computation you are. Actually
you can be said belonging to all of them, and your physical laws are
determined by the measure on your continuations of such
computations. From this you can see that the highest level of
substitution defines the measure on the possible lowest one, which
you cannot distinguish, by definition. That is why, if we look at
ourselves below that level, we have to be confronted with a strong
form of indeterminacy. Boltzman's idea cannot be used at this stage,
though, without having a measure on the relative computations, and
this prevents a direct use of the notion of entropy. We need more
physics for that, but, as I have already explained we have to derive
that physics from the numbers and self-reference if we don't want to
miss the relationship between the quanta and the qualia offered by
the splitting between provable self-reference and true self-
reference (G and G* and their intensional variants).
Thank you very much for this comment. I have two comments in
1) Does not this relation, between substitution level and
distinguishability level, hinge on the ability of a generic observer
to make the distinction between what it is experiencing as opposed
to and contrasted from what it is not (which is then defined as an 1-
OM)? Is not the act of making a distinction a dynamic action that
cannot be reduced to a static relation?
I don't see why. A dynamic relation which cannot be seen statically
seems to use some magic, which would contradict both the 3-determinism
of QM, or the classical logic of elementary arithmetic.
I strongly believe that we do not have a solution of the hard
problem of consciousness because we refuse to see the obvious fact
that consciousness is not a static condition.
On the contrary, the beauty of incompletness is that it justifies why
consciousness is felt as dynamical, and in a sense, *is* intrinsically
dynamical (to be sure, this is a rare things put in doubt by salvia
divinorum which seems to accept a notion of static consciousness, but
Simply embedding a self-map within a static bit-string (via abstract
Gödelization) is insufficient for reasons that Russell discusses in
Theory of Nothing (the TIME postulate).
That is a 3-time notion. I postulate it also, through the Peano
arithmetic postulate. It is the remaining necessarily mystery.
Consciousness requires a flow to allow for a continuous updating of
the self-mapping (modelizing) that is irreducible to a unique
monotonic function for similar reasons that a machine can never know
exactly what process it is supervening upon!
That makes sense at the epistemological level.
What I am saying is that you are repeatedly stated this fact but it
seems that you do not see the meaning of the words!
At some point in these discussion we will have to come to grips
with this property of observers: the ability to distinguish
dynamically. I think that the results of the act of making
distinctions (X) are the logical structures (G and G*) that you have
explored in depth, but implies a X causes (G, G*) relation that is
asymmetric for it tells us that G, G* supervene on X. How please
note that X is, in my thinking, a process, not a static structure.
My belief is that even with an ensemble of static structures does
not equal a dynamic process. There must exist something that
“breaths fire” into the ensemble.
That seems to me like saying that we are OK with modern science, but
that we still need a God for explaining where all come from. But
assuming comp, the God we need is no more than arithmetical truth. It
explains well why machine will be befuddled abaout time and becoming,
as they cannot avoid those notion due to their internal perspectives.
2) You have discussed how the UD runs on something, but I have
never been able to put my mental finger on what it is.
It is a tiny part of arithmetic.
Even after reading SANE04 several times and asking many questions on
this List... Every time that I see a discussion that makes sense of
the UD as a process that can be associated with something that is a
process, like a concrete or physical universe, that connects to
observable phenomena like thermodynamics, you make this claim (or
equivalent) that “comp forbids to associate inner experiences
with the physical processing related to the computations
corresponding (with comp) to those experiences.” You seem to
demand that since there does not exist a bijective (one to one and
onto) map between a particular inner experience (1-OM) and some
(particular thermodynamic law compliant) process X that can act as a
concrete instantiation of some computation S, that X does not exist.
It does not exist "ontologically", but still exist (and is
unavoidable) epistemologically. X can exist, but the UDA shows that it
would be without any explanatory purpose: we cannot attach
consciousness to it, so we have no choice, for explaining the
appearance of X, to "reduce" it to number relations. The self-
reference logics show that such an enterprise makes sense. And from
this we get a coherent, conceptually simple, theory of both quanta and
qualia. It is as close as it is possible to a solution of the "hard
problem of consciousness" (that is the mind-body problem).
Is this correct? It is an oxymoron to say that the UD “runs on
the walls of Platonia” when we have explicitly forbidden Platonia
from having anything like walls! Ideas require concrete
implementations to be “real”.
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, ... are concrete enough. With comp ideas are numbers,
and the "fire" comes from the laws of addition and multiplication.
You can postulate more, but you cannot use more, so by occam, it is
preferable to not postulate more, because it introduce unnecessary
The idea (the philosophic aspect at least) that I am exploring
is exactly related to the “physics” that we need to recover
something consistent with Boltzman’s idea but so far it requires
that the measure is emergent from interactions between 1-OMs in a
way that is not static and timeless. To do this we need a notion of
concurrency and some notion of time (not the sequence of events
notion of time, but the flow of one event into another). Now, I
agree with you that there can be no ontologically primitive time
because as there cannot be a single monotonic universal ordering of
events when those events include even just those for all possible
OM. OTOH, there can exist a fundamental notion of change that can
have aspects (projections?) in finite 1-OMs that when counted with
some form of local measure will generate a local clock aspect of
time. See: http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0212092
My only difficulty with your ideas is that you use the semantics
of Becoming to argue for its antithesis. Why do you do this? What is
I study the logical consequence of assuming that I can survive through
a digital substitution, and I am glad to see that it explains where
time and space come from, without making the qualia disappear (unlike
1500 years of naturalism).
Is it your goal to prove the existence of a universal measure for
Certainly not. The measure is only relative. Cf the assa/rssa
discussions on this list.
Why is not a local relative (not global or universal) measure not
It has to be sufficient, or comp is false. there is no absolute
measure, but the relative measure is absolute. This is like QM.
Pratt’s residuation can be used to define the logical abstract
aspect of such a local measure but his idea has not been fleshed out
sufficiently to derive the particular form of this local measure,
but other people are working on equivalent ideas that may overcome
PS, to Russell: I think that you are conflating consciousness with
self-awareness in section 9.5 of your book. <wlEmoticon-
sadsmile.png> The two are not the same thing. Consciousness is
purely passive. Self-awareness is active in that is involves the
continuous modeling (passive consciousness) with the continuous act
of choosing between alternatives (free will).
That is weird, because I think that with respect to the current stage
of the mind body problem, to distinguish awareness and consciousness
is a bit like distinguishing 1000 $ and 1004 $. But it remains
important to distinguish awareness and self-awareness (or
consciousness and self-consciousness).
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