On Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 1:56 AM, Colin Geoffrey Hales <cgha...@unimelb.edu.au > wrote:
> Hi,**** > > **** > > You have missed the point. When you feel pain in your hand your are feeling > it because the physics of specific specialized small regions of the cranial > central nervous system are doing things. This includes (1) action potentials > mutually resonating with (2) a gigantic EM field system in extremely complex > ways. *Exactly how and why this specific arrangement of atoms and > behaviour delivers it is irrelevant. It is enough to know that it does*. > More than that it is the ONLY example of natural cognition we have.**** > > **** > > The whole point of this argument is that unlike any other time in the > history of science, we are expecting the particular physics (that we know > delivers cognition) can be totally replaced (by the physics of a computer > or even worse, a non-existent Turing machine) , yet still result in > cognition. **** > > > It's not the "totally" that is the problem. Bruno asks if you can replace > a part of a brain with something that does the same computation (at some > level) and have no effect on the conscious (or unconscious) life of that > person. This certainly seems plausible. But it relies on the remaining > world to continue interacting with that person. So in his idea of replacing > physics with computation he has to suppose replacing all of the brain plus > everything that interacts with the brain. In other words a simulation of > the person(s) and the universe. Then within the simulation EM fields are > computed and supply computed illumination to computed eyes and brains. He > invites us to consider all this computation done by a universal dovetailer, > a computer which also computes all possible computable universes as it > goes. But to me it seems a great leap from computing what a piece (or even > all) of a brain does to computing a whole (quantum) universe. I'm not at > all sure that the universe is computable; and it's certainly a different > question than whether I would say yes to the doctor. > > *This entire scenario has nothing to do with what I am talking about. > Bruno is talking about the universe AS abstract computation. Ontology. I am > talking about a completely different area: the computation of descriptions > of a universe; descriptions compiled by observers within it called ‘laws > of nature’. *** > > ** ** > > *This is the main problem. We are speaking at cross purposes. Computation > by computers made of bits of our universe is not the same is describing of a > universe of ontological primitives interacting. I find the latter really > interesting, but completely irrelevant to the task at hand, which is to > create artificial cognition using the real world of humans and the stuff > they are made of. * > > **** > > If you believe that computed physics equations is indistinguishable from > physics, to the point that a computed model of the physics of cognition is > cognition, then why don’t you expect a computed model of combustion physics > to burst into flames and replace your cooker? Why can’t you go to work in a > computed model of a car that spontaneously springs into your life? Why don’t > you expect to be able to light your room with a computed model of the > physics of a lightbulb? Why can’t you compute Maxwell’s equations and create > a power station?**** > > > You can within a simulation.**** > > ** ** > > *At last, someone takes the magical step. This is the problem writ-large. > What you are saying, in effect, is that computation about X is only some > kind of simulation of X. My whole point is that I do not want a simulation > of X. I want an X. Like artificial fire is still fire. Like artificial light > is light. Like artificial lightning is lightning. Like artificial cognition > is cognition. Like an artificial round rollything (wheel) is a wheel. .... > like a million other artificial versions of a natural phenomenon created by > humans for millennia.* > > * * > > *In using a computer, all the original physics is gone. Yet the 100% > expectation is (apart from yourself, apparently... or.not... we have found > the inconsistency at last) that computers will lead to AGI is the state of > the game. Yet it involves entirely disposing of the natural phenomenon that > we know originates it. It replaces the entire physics with the physics of a > computer ... and then expects to get the natural phenomenon out of it!* > Ultimately physics is just set of well defined rules (algorithms) and matter and energy is just information. It is not unreasonable to imagine that information sits at the core of > physics, just as it sits at the core of a computer. > > It from bit. Otherwise put, every 'it'—every particle, every field of > force, even the space-time continuum itself—derives its function, its > meaning, its very existence entirely—even if in some contexts > indirectly—from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, > binary choices, bits. 'It from bit' symbolizes the idea that every item of > the physical world has at bottom—a very deep bottom, in most instances—an > immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the > last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of > equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are > information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe. > (John Archibald Wheeler 1990: 5) > More and more information is being shown to be a critical property of the universe, in entropy, the holographic principle, quantum mechanics, Shanon's laws of information carrying capacity, extreme physical information etc. It is not unreasonable, therefore, to consider the universe has some informational basis. The ultimate description of anything is information. Information cannot be described in terms of anything else. You might say the map is not the territory,. but I would argue that a map that is accurate in every possible detail is the territory. There would be no way for any observer to distinguish between the two. You might consider Ockham in the following thought experiment: Imagine there are two universes, one is the physical universe in which we live, another is informational representation existing in math. If observers in the informational version are as conscious as you and I (I know you would say they are not but stay with me) then they would also consider their universe to exist physically, there is no way for them to tell one way or the other. Now if an informational universe is shown to exist in math, what is the reason for postulating our universe is somehow different? In what manner is "physical" different from an "informational" one, what does being "physical" mean and what does it add which is not already there in the identical informational one? Everything that happens in the physical universe also happens in the informational one, they have all the same laws, and the same evolution through time. What distinguishes the "informational hydrogen atom" in the informational universe from the "physical hydrogen atom" in the physical universe? I imagine you will say something like "It has to be physical to be real", but I have never seen a convincing argument for this; perhaps you could provide one? Jason -- 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.