Hi, Bruno,
excuse me for getting lost between you and Brent. You are absolutely right:
I did not follow, study and understand those many thousand pages of
discussions over the more than a decade on this list, together with the many
tenthousand pages (not) learned to understand them. Indeed I am out of the
vocabulary.

Here are some little nitpicks I feel I can respond to:
you wrote:
     "*? (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*."
\
I was trying to trivialize Brent's robot, as you identified: 'any piece of
matter'. And my example was trivial, in such respect.
About my inquiry for consciousness: I questioned *"WHAT ARE WE TALKING
ABOUT?"*
your reply:

*"...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)."*

does not enlighten me: "a modality of universal machine's self reference"
draws my question:
*WHAT *modality? *HOW* does that self reference work? *Testability* is not
an argument, it may be a way *TO* an argument. Did the "hard problem" change
from its original content which was the topical identification of physical
data measurable in our neuronal system? (Mind-Body?)
(Plus: as I recall you were not too concrete about our knowledge of the
"universal Machine" either).

*LIFE* in my views is not biological, biology (and other life sciences) try
to get a handle on CERTAIN aspects we select in the generality we may call
'life'.
I think we agreed that there is no such thing as *The TRUTH -* there are
tenets you or me may accept as 'true' in some sense.
I think I already sent you my 'draft' about "Science-Religion" about belief
systems.

Have a good time

John M



On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 8:39 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> 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.
>
> Bruno
>
>
>
>
> You see, I should keep my mouse shut...
>
> John
>
>
>
>
>
> 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.
>>>>>>> HOWEVER:
>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>> John.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>
>>>>> Bruno
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> 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.
>>
>> Brent
>>
>>
>>
>>> Bruno
>>>
>>> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
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