Down the bottom.... if you dare.... there be dragons... :-)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of Jason Resch
Sent: Sat 7/9/2011 1:23 AM
Subject: Re: COMP refutation paper - finally out
On Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 1:56 AM, Colin Geoffrey Hales <cgha...@unimelb.edu.au
> 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
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?
Hi again on this fine Saturday when I should be gardening.
You can 'imagine' whatever you want about the word 'information'. It's missing
Here in the _real_ world, where 100% of AGI research is using real computers
(or hardware computation of a model eg FPGA) to implement an AGI. That is, to
implement an actual instance of cognition. The goal is the equivalent of human
cognition. I'll spell it out properly because it seems to me, after 10 years of
intense effort, that I've finally found a simple achilles heel, where the
belief system is shown to be inconsistent. That is, there is persistence with a
belief in X in spite of empirical evidence that X is false. Like pulling
Pinocchio the puppet's strings and then really believing it creates a real boy.
==================== EL PROOF
1) We have only 1 benchmark natural general intelligence (NGI): the human.
2) Specific physics exists in the brain. The physics of cognition. This is the
physics of action potential propagation (AP) resonating with a large, unified
electromagnetic (EM) field system. The relationship between AP production to EM
field production is _not_ 1:1. More than one EM field is consistent with one
set of AP transmissions. Call it AP/EM physics of cognition. It's what we have.
3) In the artificial instantiation of fire by humans, the physics of combustion
is retained. In the artificial instantiation of flight by humans, the physics
of flight is retained. And so forth. Without exception. (except in AGI!). By
extension, the way to artificial cognition is to retain the physics of
cognition. AP/EM physics.
4) If computing can literally duplicate human cognition, then by extension,
computing the laws of combustion should create flames. REAL FLAMES. That is the
logical result of a belief that computing the physics (or worse, an abstraction
of it) of cognition leads to NGI cognition.
5) The computation of the physics of flames has been computed _to death_ for
decades. NO FLAMES resulted. In general, no instance of computation of a
physics model of X ever resulted in X. In a very Popperian way, we have
experimentally already falsified, decades ago, a hypothesis that that
computation can produce human cognition.
6) A claim that a computer can deliver human cognition is false. QED.
To continue to believe that a Turing-based computation of a model of cognition
is cognition is thus empirically falsified and has been for a long time. This
is GAME OVER for purely computational AGI. Not in a formal sense, but in a
technological investment sense consistent with every other instance of
technological instantiation of a natural phenomenon. What sort of idiot would
you have to be to invest in a new kind of match, where you try to light your
cigarette with a computation of the physics of combustion ... because that is
exactly what investment in computational AGI is doing.
The AGI research community has it completely backwards. Using fire lead to a
theory of combustion. NOT the other way around. Ditto for cognition. We do not
have a theory of cognition. We will get one by building the AP/EM physics of
cognition and exploring. Just like elsewhere, computation of models is useful.
But it's NOT an instance of cognition. It can't be. We've proved it empirically
already. The AGI community is, in some sense, researching cognition. However,
that research cannot be claimed to ever be an actual instance of NGI-style
cognition. Because of that reality, we need to re-frame expectations and
IMPORTANT NOTE. Your 'it's information' thinking can be completely right and it
changes nothing, because computers are not manipulating it. They are
manipulating human metaphors for information in a 'physics-independent' way. So
you can retain your particular 'information-centric' view of the universe AND
believe that computers won't create cognition. The two views are quite
compatible. This is all about the correct route to knowledge and technology.
Sweet clarity at last.
I don't know why I didn't see this argument before. I guess I'm a bit thick.
Off to the garden.
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