[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Bruno Marchal
Sent: Monday, 11 July 2011 1:16 AM
Subject: Re: COMP refutation GAME OVER
On 10 Jul 2011, at 09:37, Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
> Hi Bruno et.al.
> Once again we have come to grief on the old conflation.
> (A) You speak of a universe _AS_ computation (described _as if_ on
> abstract mega-turing machine)
You confuse perhaps with Schmidhuber's position, or some digital
physicist (DP). But as I have explained many times here that this
position does not work. Computationalism or digital mechanism (DM) is
the idea that "I" am a machine, and by the first person indeterminacy,
and the way the laws of physics have to emerge from computations, the
physical universe (nor the fundamental reality) cannot be described
entirely by a computation. On the contrary it is a sum on an infinity
If the universe is a computation, then "I" am computable, but then it
cannot be a computation (by what I say above, it is not obvious). So
with comp, or without comp, the physical universe is not a
computation. With comp, the laws of nature are not computable, or have
strong non computable components.
DM -> ~DP
DP -> DM,
So DP -> ~DP, so ~DP.
I'm sorry Bruno, but you are so intractably mired in your own
presuppositions that you'll never get this. Clearly you have never been
roughly and uncompromisingly educated by the natural world, as I have as
an engineer. Consider the statement "I am machine". This is totally
loaded with presupposition. Like agreeing on the meaning of the word
"machine" has any bearing on the problem at hand. No amount of playing
about with any words like 'machine' or 'computation' has any relevance
to the problem.
I choose to have nothing to do with any of it. I choose to presuppose
This is an empirical matter.
In the entire history of technology development, the artificial
instantiation of a natural phenomenon, the actual natural phenomenon was
retained. FIRE, WHEEL/TERRESTRIAL TRANSPORT, FLIGHT etc etc etc....
...In the artificial instantiation of COGNITION, the 100% chosen
technique is to throw the physics away...replacing it with the physics
(atoms) of a computer, yet the natural phenomenon is still expected. No
amount of discussion about abstract meanings of words like "machine" and
the logical conclusions reached in unproven, irrelevant presupposed
domains of abstractions of physics changes that.
Where it once may have been plausible that 'information' manipulation
might be a useful abstraction in AGI, this is now gone. Empirically.
This is because the EM fields are no longer epiphenomenal. They have an
active role. Eliminate/replace them with noise like a computer and you
eliminate cognition like computed flame is not flame.
Anastassiou, C. A., Perin, R., Markram, H., & Koch, C. (2011). Ephaptic
coupling of cortical neurons. Nature Neuroscience, 14(2), 217-223.
Frohlich, F., & McCormick, D. A. (2010). Endogenous Electric Fields May
Guide Neocortical Network Activity. NEURON, 67(1), 129-143.
The physics of cognition itself is a little less obvious than the
physics of flames and flight. This does not entail that it is any more
negligible in artificial cognition than flight physics was to artificial
This new reality does not mean that an AGI cannot be computational! What
it means is that you will never prove what can be replaced by
computation without artificially building the physics of cognition and
then seeing what can be computed without eliminating/degrading the
A theory of combustion resulted from playing with combustion. Not the
other way around.
A theory of flight resulted from flying. Not the other way around.
A theory of cognition and general intelligence will result from building
artificial general intelligence, not the other way around.
We now know what is going on in a brain to the point of being able to
replicate it. Semiconductor chip feature sizes approach those of the
brain's feature sizes (insofar as they are cognition-relevant). The game
has changed because of empirical outcomes. The relative importance of
the contributors to cognition have changed. In the last year.
Such changes happen from time to time. I for one am really enthused.
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