> Information is a difference that makes a difference. But it has to > make a difference *to* someone.
It would be meaningful to rewrite it by putting emphasis on *someone* instead of *to*. 2011/6/5 Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> > On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 4:14 PM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote: > > On Jun 4, 2011, at 1:03 PM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote: > >> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 1:51 PM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> > wrote: > >>> > >>> Godel showed no single axiomatic system captures all mathematical > truth, > >>> any > >>> fixed set of axioms can at best approximate mathematical truth. If > >>> mathematical truth cannot be fully captured by a set of axioms, it must > >>> exist outside sets of axioms altogether. > >> > >> Then perhaps the correct conclusion to draw is that there is no such > >> thing as "mathematical truth"? > >> > >> Perhaps there is just human belief. > >> > > > > Perhaps so, perhaps there is only Rex's beliefs. Perhaps only rex's > beliefs > > at this exact moment. > > Not obviously impossible. Thought not obviously necessitated either. > > Does the possibility that there are only Jason’s beliefs at this exact > moment scare you? > > Would you prefer it to be otherwise? > > > > What model for decision making can there be with such a > > world view? > > But we don’t need metaphysics for decision making. > > We must act. And there’s nothing guide those actions except that > which can be “distilled” from past experience. > > But what to make of the distillate? Is it just a compact description > of past observations? Or is it a “true” description of reality? > > Classical mechanics turned out to be a compact description of past > observations. No one looks to Newton’s equations for metaphysical > guidance, do they? > > But computationalism is, you think, a true description of reality? > > > > But what explanatory power does that offer? > > It seems plausible to me that physics (or computationalists) may be > able to generate a complete, compact framework that describes the > world that I observe. > > And since I observe behavior of the people around me, and the > framework is a compact description of my observations, then I should > be able to “explain” people’s behavior in terms of the framework. > > And if I can explain my neighbor’s behavior in terms of the framework, > maybe I can explain my own behavior in those terms as well. > > However... > > Explanation is something that occurs *within* a descriptive framework. > Those explanations don’t reach beyond the framework. > > Going “metaphysical” (instead of instrumental) with an explanatory > framework could only be justified if we had some reason to believe > that our observations plus our reason gave us reliable access to what > is real. > > But notice that “reason” shows up twice in that sentence...which is a > problem. > > > >>> The fractal is just an example of a simple formula leading to very > >>> complex > >>> output. The same is true for the UDA: > >>> for i = 0 to inf: > >>> for each j in set of programs: > >>> execute single instruction of program j > >>> add i to set of programs > >>> That simple formula executes all programs. > >> > >> Following those instructions will let someone "execute" all "programs". > > > > What is the engine providing the computations which drive the universe? > > That assumes that computations do drive the universe. > > Which is the assumption that I’m questioning. > > > >> Or, alternatively, configuring a physical system in a way that > >> represents those instructions will allow someone to interpret the > >> system's subsequent states as being analogous to the "execution" of > >> all "programs". > >> > > > > Do you think pi has an objective (not human invented or approximated) > value, > > whether or not any person computed it? > > I think that everyone who starts from the same assumptions and makes > the same inferences will always reach the same conclusions regarding > the value of pi. > > > > Is there an answer to the question what is the googleplexth decimal digit > of > > pi given no one in this universe could ever computed it? > > Is there an answer to the question of whether this penny would have > melted had I taken an oxyacetylene torch to it yesterday - given that > this didn’t actually happen? > > If there is an answer to the inner question, and that answer is “yes” > (or “no” for that matter), what makes it “yes” (or “no”)? > > So I can answer the question today relative to some explanatory > framework. But given that the framework is just the distillation of > past experience, and is only intended as a guide to action...the > answer I give today about what would have happened yesterday isn’t > meaningful except in relation to the framework. It’s “for > entertainment purposes only”. > > In the “real world” (whatever that is), I’d guess that there is no > fact of the matter about what would have happened yesterday with the > penny and the torch. > > SO...applying the same reasoning to your question: > > I’ll say that relative to some framework that includes my experience > with the assumptions and inferences and rules needed to calculate pi - > the answer is yes. Because in that framework, given enough time and > enough “universe”, it seems likely that someone *could* calculate the > googleplexth digit of pi. > > But that answer is for entertainment purposes only...since it is an > answer based on a framework distilled from past experience for the > purposes of guiding action which is instead being applied to a purely > hypothetical situation that has no chance of being enacted. > > The answer is only relevant relative to the framework that generated > it and there’s no grounds for ascribing metaphysical significance to > the framework, and so there’s no grounds for ascribing metaphysical > significance to the answer. > > There is no fact of the matter except relative to the framework. > > It’s like asking “who would win an arm wrestling match between the > Incredible Hulk and Spiderman”. I can confidently say the Incredible > Hulk. But that answer doesn’t really mean anything outside of the > “Marvel Universe”. The Marvel Universe has no metaphysical > significance, and so my answer to this hypothetical question involving > it has no metaphysical significance either. > > See? > > > > If there is, then there are also objective values to the omega constant, > or > > the state of the uda after X steps. These values exist without the need > for > > someone to execute them, anymore than we need to compute the billionth > digit > > of pi for it to have it's value. > > Relative to some detailed fictional framework, sure. Such an > imagination you have! > > > >>>> Is extraordinary complexity required for the manifestation of "mind"? > >>>> If so, why? > >>> > >>> I don't know what lower bound of information or complexity is required > >>> for minds. > >> > >> Then why do you believe that information of complexity is required for > >> minds? > >> > > > > I think information is a critical component of consciousness. The very > > definition of consciousness: "having awareness of ones own thoughts and > > sensations.". Awareness is defined as having knowledge or information. > > Therefore consciousness is the possession of information (about ones > > thoughts ir sensations). > > We can say that we have information about what we are aware of...but > that is not the same as saying that awareness *is* information. > > Information is a difference that makes a difference. But it has to > make a difference *to* someone. > > A randomly generated string of bits can be identical to a string of > bits representing an image...but the randomly generated string of bits > contain no real information whereas the image file does. > > The difference being that I know how to correctly interpret an image > file, but there is no “correct” interpretation of a random string of > bits. > > But with the right “interpretation” any information can be found > anywhere. The magic is all in the interpreter, not in what’s being > interpreted. > > Information is observer-relative. Observers aren’t information-relative. > > > > There are also reasons to believe in the informational basis if > > consciousness due to multiple realizeability. Minds can take different > > physical forms because information cab take many physical forms. > > I can take anything to represent anything else. So “representation” > is multiply realizable. > > But again, that has to do with me, not with information. If I > remember what my encoding scheme was, I can “re-present” things to > myself. If I forget what my encoding scheme was, or that I even > encoded anything - then all I have are a bunch of bits...which for all > I know might be random. > > If they really were random bits, but for some reason I was convinced > they weren’t - I might find all sorts of “meaningful” interpretations > of them using all sorts of decoding schemes - but none of these would > be correct. > > In this case, I’m doing all of the work...the bits aren’t doing > anything. Which, as it turns out, is also true of non-random bit > strings. I do all of the work. The bits are just reminders...hints. > > I think you’re getting it all backwards. Representation depends on > me. I don’t depend on representation. > > You’re saying: “Hey, look at all the great things I can do with > representation! What if I represented myself in some way??? Would > that be me?” > > Well...no. That would be a representation of you. Representation is > something you do, not something that you are. > > > > Lastly there is an argument realted to zombies. A zombie cannot feel any > > different or be less conscious than a conscious person who is physically > > identical. This is because the informational content of both the person > and > > the zombie is necessarily the same (given the identical physical states). > > Therefore the conscious person does not and cannot know anything more > about > > what they are feeling or experiencing than the zombie does. Both must be > > equally conscious. > > That’s one way of looking at it. That might be true relative to some > explanatory framework. But it’s true for entertainment purposes only. > Like the Hulk-Spiderman matchup above. > > > > >>>> Is it that these recursive relations cause our experience, or are just > >>>> a way of thinking about our experience? > >>>> > >>>> Is it: > >>>> > >>>> Recursive relations cause thought. > >>>> > >>>> OR: > >>>> > >>>> Recursion is just a label that we apply to some of our implicational > >>>> beliefs. > >>>> > >>>> The latter seems more plausible to me. > >>>> > >>> > >>> Through recursion one can implement any form of computation. > >> > >> But, ultimately, what is computation? > >> > > > > A process. More specifically one that connects a succession of states > via > > some well-defined relation(s). > > So why would a process that connects a succession of states via > well-defined relations - in addition to being that - *also* be my > conscious experience of sitting in this chair drinking coffee, writing > this email? > > Why would that be? Why would this process be *two* things instead of > just one? Not interpretable as two things (by me) - but really, > intrinsically two entirely different things? > > Rex > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to > everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. > For more options, visit this group at > http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. > > -- All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.