Hi John,

On 09 May 2011, at 21:35, John Mikes wrote:

A stimulating discussion, indeed. I side with Brent in most of his remarks and question SOME of Bruno's in my 'unfounded' agnostic worldview of 'some' complexity of unrestricted everything - beyond our capabilities to grasp.
Which IMO does not agree with Bruno's
   " I don't think this "hard problem" is soluble."

It is not Bruno's, but Brent's.

Looking at the inductive 'evolution' in our epistemology my agnosticism seems more optimistic than this.

Indeed, comp does solve the 'hard problem', up to a reduction of physics to a modality of universal machine's self-reference (making the theory testable).

Within our present capabilities is missing from the statement, but our capabilities increased constantly - not only by the introduction of 'zero' in math or the Solar system (1st grade cosmology) of Copernicus. I do not restrict the grand kids of the grand kids of our grand kids. I lived through an epoch from right after candlelight with horses into MIR, the e-mail and DNA.
I would not guess 'what's next'.

To retort Brent's AI-robot I mention a trivial example: I have a light-switch on my wall that is conscious about lighting up the bulbs whenever it gets flipped its button to 'up'.


It does not know that 'I am' doing that, but does what it 'knows'.

? (I guess you are trivializing the notion of consciousness). You might be right, but with comp the light switch is a non well defined object, like any piece of matter. So what you say is not false, but senseless.

The rest is similar, at different levels of complexity - the Mars robot still not coming close to 'my' idea-churning or Bruno's math.

And IMO biology is not 'reduced to chemistry (which is reduced to physics)' - only the PART we consider has a (partial?) explanation in those reduced sciences, with neglected other phenomena outside such explanatory restrictions. Just as 'life' is not within biology, which may be closer to it than chemistry. or physics, but genetics is further on and still not 'life'.

What is life? I think that here it is just a question of vocabulary, unless you think about a precise biological phenomenon which would escape the actual theories? In science we bever pretend to know the truth, but we have to take the theories seriously enough if only to find the discrepancy with the facts. Of course, since theology has been taking out of science, many scientist (more than I thought when young) have a theological interpretation of science (and some without knowing it). They are doubly wrong of course.

Yes, consciousness - the historic word applied by many who did not know what they are talking about and applied it in the sense needed to 'apply' to THEIR OWN theoretical needs - is an artifact not identifiable, unless we reach an agreement "WHAT IT IS" (if it IS indeed).

Here I totally disagree. We cannot define in 3p terms what is consciousness, but we know pretty well what it is. We dispose of many, many, many, personal examples, and that is enough for knowing what it is, even if we cannot define it. The comp theory explains entirely what it is, and why we cannot define it. It explains also why it has to be, and what role it has in the origin of the physical realm.

In my wording the complexity that defines many of the applicable tenets form some PROCESS(es), not a mathematically identifiable expression - nor 'awareness' as in another domain. The 'hard problem' is still open.

I don't think so. I am not sure you have study the posts, or the paper, where the solution is explained. If you do, I will ask you to tell us what is missing.

We need a new insight.
We are hindered by too much mental blockage due to accepted (believed? calculated?) hearsay assumptions and their consequences. We 'guess' what we do not know.

We always guess what we do not know. Always. The rest is authoritative argument, or argument by authority.


You see, I should keep my mouse shut...


On Mon, May 9, 2011 at 2:30 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 5/9/2011 11:00 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 09 May 2011, at 18:57, meekerdb wrote:

On 5/9/2011 1:34 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 07 May 2011, at 19:36, meekerdb wrote:

On 5/7/2011 8:19 AM, John Mikes wrote:
Thanks, Russell,
I am gladly standing corrected about our fellow smart animals.
We speak about a "self-awareness" as we, humans identify it in our human terms and views. Maybe other animals have different mental capabilities we cannot pursue or understand, as adjusted to their level of complexity usable in their 'menatality'. It may - or may not - be only according to their number of neurons as our conventional sciences teach. Or some may use senses we are deficient in, maybe totally ignorant about. (We have a deficient smelling sense as compared to a dog and missing orientation's senses of some birds, fish, turtle) In our anthropocentric boasting we believe that only our human observations are 'real'.
Thanks for setting me straight

Not only do other species have different perceptual modalities; even within the "self-awareness" there are different kinds. Referring to my favorite example of the AI Mars rover, such a rover has awareness of it's position on the planet. It has awareness of it's battery charge and the functionality of various subsystems. It has awareness of its immediate goal (climb over that hill) and of some longer mission (proceed to the gully and take a soil sample). It's not aware of where these goals arise (as humans are not aware of why they fall in love). It's not aware of it's origins or construction. It's not a social creature, so it's not aware of it's position in a society or of what others may think of it.

I expect that when we have understood consciousness we will see that it is a complex of many things, just as when we came to understand life we found that it is a complex of many different processes.

Life and consciousness are different notion with respect to the notion of explanation we can find from them. In case of life, we can reduce a third person describable phenomenon to another one (for example we can argue that biology is in principle reduced to chemistry, which is reduced to physics). For consciousness there is an hard problem, which is the mind-body problem, and most people working on the subject agree that it needs another sort of explanation. Then comp shows that indeed, part of that problem, is that if we use the "traditional" mechanistic rationale, we inherit the need of reducing physics to number theory and intensional number theory, with a need to explicitly distinguish first person and third person distinction. In a sense, the "hard problem" of consciousness leads to an "hard problem of matter" (the first person measure problem). Of course, I do think that mathematical logic put much light on all of this, especially the self-reference logics. Indeed, it makes the problem a purely mathematical problem, and it shows quanta to be a particular case of qualia. So we can say that comp has already solved the conceptual problem of the origin of the coupling consciousness/matter, unless someone can shows that too much white rabbits remains predictible and that normalization of them is impossible, in which case comp is refuted.


I don't see that reducing consciousness to mathematics is any different than reducing it to physics.

It is more easy to explain the illusion of matter to an immaterial consciousness, than to explain the non-illusion of consciousness to something material.

Consciousness can be explained by fixed point property of number transformation, in relation to truth, and this explains 99% of consciousness (belief in a reality) and 100% of the illusion of matter, which is really the illusion that some particular universal number plays a particular role.

Each time I demand a physicist to explain what is matter, he can only give to me an equation relating numbers. With math, it is different, we have all relation between numbers, and we can understand, by listening to them, why some relation will take the form of particular universal number, having very long and deep computations, and why they will be taken statistically as describing a universe or a multiverses.

Aren't you are still left with "the hard problem" which now becomes "Why do these number relations produce consciousness?".

Not true. The math explains why some number relatively to other numbers develop a belief in a reality, and it explains why such a belief separates into a communicable part and a non communicable part. This is entirely explained by the G/G* splitting and their modal variant (based on the classical theory of knowledge).

 I don't think this "hard problem" is soluble.

An explanation gap remains, but then those number can understand why an explanation gap has to remain,

What does it mean for numbers to understand? I take it you mean for something like a Godel numbering, the numbers represent a theorem about what can be expressed and what can be proven. But this is a model of thought and understanding. There may be a gap between it and reality just as there may be a gap between the models of physics and reality. One cannot be sure a hitherto successful model is not reality itself - but such a belief must be provisional at best.

for purely logical reason. This explain why we do feel that there is something non explainable. But it is 99% explainable, and this includes a complete explanation why there is, necessarily, a remaining 1% which cannot be explained, but which can be reduced to our belief in the natural numbers. In any case, comp forces us to reduce physics to number "psychology", and this explain conceptually the existence of the physical realm. And we get a simple and elegant theory of everything: addition and multiplication.

Rather what can be solved is how to make devices, like intelligent Mars Rovers and parts of brains the doctor can insert, which act conscious. And further to understand which computations correspond to different kinds of thoughts, such as "awareness of self as a part of society" or "feeling of guilt" or "I'm in Moscow". When we have that kind of engineering mastery of AI, the "hard problem" will be seen as a simplistic, archaic wrong question.

Not at all. If your device is conscious by virtue of doing some right computation, from the point of view of the device itself, his reality must be described by a sum on all computations going through its states, implying that physics must be non local, indeterminist, etc.

But what is a "sum of computations"; and it is an assumption that computation instantiates consciousness (your theology) which seems parallel to the physicists assumption that the 3p world can be modelled by physical things. I see your theory as a model too. It may make some confirmable predictions (not just retrodictions) in which case it will be a great theory. But I don't think it will do very much for achieving the kind of engineering mastery I mentioned.

This *explains* the quantum without postulating it. And the logic of such self-referential programs explains also the qualia, and the gap of explanation for the qualia/consciousness. In fact physics explains nothing, it just take for granted some special universal number (the physical law), and reduce everything to it. The math, even just arithmetic, explains where universal numbers comes from, and how and why they dream, and why some dreams become sharable and define physical realities, with their sharable and non sharable parts.

The hard problem is the real fundamental issue. Its comp solution really explains why they are quanta and qualia, and the laws such things obey. Physicalism/materialism eventually neglect the person and its consciousness, or build an unintelligible dualism. Physics does not even try to understand its own origin, or the origin of the object it talk about. Physics only build descriptions and scenarios, by taking a theology for granted (the Aristotelian one).

Physics aims for an invariant, i.e. 3p, model of the world. I don't know any philosophical minded physicists who think otherwise. That there is some reality the models refer to - that's metaphysics, not physics.




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