Bruno - once again I find myself awaiting your response... let me know if
you are uninterested in continuing this line of discussion. Otherwise, I
look forward to what you have to say.

Thanks, Terren

terren wrote:
> Hi Bruno, thanks for your comments... see below.
> On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 11:17 AM, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
>> Comp requires only that you can imagine surviving with an artificial
>> digital
>> brain. Then a reasoning shows that your consciousness is "more attached"
>> to
>> all the possible 'implementations' of that digital brain in the
>> arithmetical
>> truth (or just the sigma_1 tiny part, from inside this changes nothing).
>> Then, if you allow thought experiences with amnesia, you can understand
>> that
>> a non trivial form of consciousness can be attached to the universal
>> machine
>> or relatively universal number.
> Isn't it reasonable that only certain kinds of 'programs' have a 1st
> person consciousness? That it depends on the details of how the
> 'program' is constructed? I mean, the UD executes an infinity of
> nonsensical algorithms that might correspond metaphorically to "rocks"
> and other inanimate phenomena. Again the idea would be that it is a
> particular organization (or class of organization) that is realized by
> a particular universal number (or class of universal numbers) that
> gives rise to the 1st person experience. If this is the case, I'm not
> sure you need the (virgin) universal machine to be conscious.
>> That is why the machine should not be just a virgin universal machine,
>> but a
>> Löbian machine.
>> Both are virtually in all possible environments/computational histories.
>> Both are conscious (I think currently), but only the Löbian one has the
>> cognitive ability to introspect and to give sense to other
>> machines/environment.
>> So, as examples, the Robinson arithmetic theory (basically logic + laws
>> of
>> addition and multiplication) is a Turing universal machines, and thus is
>> conscious, but not self-conscious. The Peano arithmetic theory, which is
>> the
>> same as Robinson + the axioms of inductions (which are very powerful) is
>> self-conscious. But, without further programs/instructions, their first
>> person indeterminacy bears on all state of consciousness. Our own
>> consciousness is their consciousness, somehow.
>> Reasonably, self-consciousness grows a lot and get much more intricate
>> when
>> meeting other selves.
> To me, the abstraction implied by "without further
> programs/instructions" renders the notion of self-consciousness
> obsolete. What I can accept is that the Löbian machine represents the
> minimum logical framework to *support* self-consciousness as
> "embodied" by the relations of *particular* universal numbers...
> otherwise we dilute the meaning of the term "self-conscious", which at
> a bare minimum requires some kind of distinction between an embodied
> self and the 'other' in which it is situated.  What would that 'other'
> be? How would it interact with it?
>> A rock is not a person. In fact a rock or any piece of matter is a
>> pattern
>> *we* make from a infinite sum of computational histories. That exists
>> only
>> as a stable appearances. It might eventually "contains" universal
>> dovetailing, and thus, trivially, all consciousness of all persons. But
>> the
>> rock is none of those person, so it makes no sense to say that a rock is
>> conscious. The same for the whole physical universe: it is a projection
>> that
>> *we*, or all Löbian machines are making. Thus, comp is quite the opposite
>> to
>> panpsychism. Only person, incarnated by relations among natural numbers
>> (or
>> combinators, java program, etc.) can be conscious or self conscious.
> But couldn't you make the same argument to say that the 'virgin'
> universal machine is not conscious, because it is none of those
> persons in particular?
>>>> In your case, we are left wondering how the
>>>> consciousness of the virgin universal machine "interfaces" with
>>>> specific universal numbers, and what would explain the differences in
>>>> consciousness among them.
>> The difference will come from their different experiences relatively to
>> the
>> different computational histories which supports them. This will entail
>> different memories, personalities, characters, etc.
> Sure, but I was talking less about the content of individual
> consciousnesses, and more about the quality of such... e.g. what it's
> like to be a bat. How would you distinguish between a creature that
> (most of us believe) is conscious, like a cat, and a creature most of
> us believe is not, like a bacterium?  It seems to me that if you have
> an answer to that question, you have the makings of a theory of
> consciousness that does not depend on the attribution of some "source
> consciousness" of the virgin universal machine.
>>>> That's why I favor the idea that consciousness arises from certain
>>>> kinds of cybernetic (autopoeitic) organization (which is consistent
>>>> with comp).
>> Sure. Given that everything is defined through self-reference, comp
>> should
>> have friendly relationship with autopoiesis. Self-reference and
>> self-organization is crucial for the development of consciousness and
>> self-consciousness. I talked to Varela and he was aware and interested by
>> the work of Judson Webb on mechanism, and very open to comp and comp's
>> consequences.
> Cool!
>>>> In fact I think it is still consistent with much of what
>>>> you're saying... but it is your assertion that comp denies strong AI
>>>> that implies you would find fault with that idea.
>> The only fault is related to the idea that we can build an AI , *AND*
>> give
>> some proof that it is an AI. The same for an artificial brain. You need
>> to
>> do some act of faith. Most pausibly, we and nature do instinctively or
>> automatically such act of faith, for example in believing in other
>> people.
>> The real question is not "can a machine think", the real question is "are
>> you OK if your son or daughter decides to marry a machine?".
> haha, well said... so far as that goes. But the real issue here is
> your original assertion - the one I responded to initially - where you
> said "Actually, comp prevents
> "artificial intelligence".
> But it sounds like what you really meant to say is "Actually, comp
> prevents us from proving AI" which is a very different statement.
>>>> I think I understand your point here with regard to consciousness -
>>>> given that you're saying it's a property of the platonic 'virgin'
>>>> universal machine. But if you assert that about intelligence, aren't
>>>> you saying that intelligence isn't computable (i.e. comp denies strong
>>>> ai)?
>> Comp implies strong AI (but not vice versa: machine can think does not
>> entail that only machine can think).
>> Comp => STRONG AI: If I am a machine, then some machine can think
>> (assuming
>> that I can think).
>> But comp denies that "we can prove that a machine can think". Of course
>> we
>> can prove that some machine has this or that competence. But for
>> intelligence/consciousness, this is not possible. (Unless we are not
>> machine. Some non-machine can prove that some machine are intelligent,
>> but
>> this is purely academical until we find something which is both a person
>> and
>> a non-machine).
> With you here...
>> I use "intelligence" is the large sense (it is close to being conscious).
>> So
>> it is related to the first person indeterminacy, which is infinite. You
>> need
>> this to stabilize consciousness, and attach it to a notion of normal
>> computational history. You don't need this for one instant of
>> intelligence,
>> but you need it for two instants, so to speak.
> but lost me here.
>>>> That creativity is sourced in subjective indeterminacy?
>> I don't think so. The universal machine is already creative, but its
>> creativity needs some histories to bring stable results.
>> Note that the machine can lose its creativity in some histories, like bad
>> education can discourage students. But at the start, both consciousness
>> and
>> creativity are "maximal" in some way. The more we are aware of our
>> universality (like Löbian machines/numbers already are), the more we can
>> use
>> our initial creativity (if society and contingencies allow it).
>> Creativity
>> might be encouraged, and some heuristics can be taught (like with de
>> Bono),
>> but creativity per se is at the heart of universality. I think that the
>> Mandelbrot set is creative, and that Emil Post "creative sets" are too.
>> That
>> is why he called those set creative, and it has been proved that
>> creativity
>> in the sense of Post is just a set theoretical mathematical
>> characterization
>> of (Turing) universality or sigma_1 completeness.
> To the extent I buy into your mathematical formulations of such heavy
> concepts like consciousness, intelligence, and creativity, then that
> makes sense to me. But I am left wondering if your logics-based
> definitions are the best way to make sense of those concepts, assuming
> comp of course. But I don't want to give you the wrong impression here
> either, because I am deeply impressed by your thoughts on this
> forum... thanks for taking the time to articulate them and to respond
> to folks like myself.
> Terren
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