On 27 Jul 2011, at 20:48, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Jul 26, 4:48 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
All known biology is Turing emulable.
The carbon atom is Turing emulable.
Since our biology is the only biology that we can know from the
inside, why would we assume that what we can emulate the interior
qualities of other organisms or even atoms based upon how they appear
to us from the outside?
We do have abandoned vitalism in biology, and we don't have any reason
to assume there is anything special in biology which would prevent
other materials to have any similar role. We can assume that the heart
is a biological pump, and nobody doubt that we can survive with an
artificial pump at its place.
We have made the big discovery of the universal digital machine, and
we do have good reason to find highly plausible that a brain is a
biological universal machine.
To assume the contrary leads to the need to introduce non Turing
emulable element in the brain, and we have no clue at all if that
exist, nor any clue why this would put any light on the mind-body
And *all* universal machine can imitate themselves completely (making
abstraction of "real time"). So arithmetic can emulate a toilet paper
pebble computer which can emulate a topological quantum computer which
can emulate a wet human brain which can emulate arithmetic, etc. And
the notion of "real time" is a relative notion, in the
Too bas cells are not Löbian (apparently). But the "soul" of the
Löbian machine have a topological space associated to them. Now I am
not sure in which sense you talk about "interior topology of
biological cells". It looks poetical to me.
The interior topology is literally poetic. The cosmos has figurative,
metaphorical properties. That's where they live.
I can appreciate a good poetical slogan to sum up a scientific theory,
but such slogan per se cannot be taken as such as a theory.
What are you saying that consciousness is the result of then?
On the first person point of view of a machine whose states belongs
an infinity of computations (those below its substitution level.
Why and how would there be a such thing as a first person point of
With representational machine it is unavoidable. By their very
(arithmetical) existence they are connected to truth, and by their
representational abilities, they can only scratch on that truth. By
they natural cognitive ability it can be shown that they cannot not be
aware of the discrepancy between some possible truth and their
representation ability, so that machine can be aware of the difference
between what they can communicate to other machine, and what they can
figure out as true by introspection. If you accept Theaetetus
classical theory of knowledge (which defines knwoledge as true
opinion) this very paragraph belongs to such machine discourse.
It is a fact that introspective machine can know much more than what
they can prove or justified in any third person way.
I don't believe in a "granted" (primitive) cosmos, nor in any thing
primitively physical. Nor do I believe in their inexistence. I heard
only rumor. I am agnostic on that issue. But I don't believe in the
compatibility of such beliefs with comp.
The idea of a granted anything presupposes causality as granted. I see
causality as a consequence of existence -
Existence of what?
that is, the unfolding of
essential non-local, non-temporal sense through the existential
process of timespace self-involution.
This looks again like poetical jargon. Unfolding needs space: where
does that space come from?
Essential non-local? Are you assuming that the brain is a quantum
"non-temporal sense through the existential process of timespace self-
involution" is not intelligible for me.
I'm not sure about infinities and zombies. I would have to know
specifically what case you mean.
Frankly it is a consequence of the whole UDA. But you have to do the
thought experience to understand, and so accept comp at least for the
sake of the argument. Do you accept that comp implies I can accept in
principle the use of teletransportation. Do you accept to reason on
the assumption such transportation machine reconstitute you at the
I'm not sure about teletransportation as far as it implies the
continuity of a chain of custody of identity. When you destroy the
template, that could be the end of the identity as far as it's 1p
OK. That is your non comp assumption, but then you introduce the
special infinities, which explains nothing, but add complexity for an
We would have no way of knowing whether that 1p
experience carries over to the clones.
We have no way of knowing if we survive anesthesia or just drinking
coffee. We have no way to attribute 1p experience to anybodies (even
ours). The argument is empty by being too much universal.
If the clones were physically
identical biological organisms, I think that they would be identical
internally as well, but as we know identical twins are not
A twin is not a duplicated person. In case of duplication we do record
the instantaneous state of a universal machine. With twins and clones
we have only the identifies of cells and bodies, not of the software
state of the brain/body.
Not claiming that identical twins would be as exact a
duplicate, but the lack of intimation of potential redundancy in twins
as far as identity goes as well as anecdotal reports of reincarnation
(rare but interesting) leaves open the possibility of a unique
identifier for experiential phenomena. The clone could not be exactly
the same as the original, after all, as it would be composed of
different individual atoms in a different geographical-physical
context. Who knows?
But biology shows that the identity of our atoms has no role in the
building of our personal identity: metabolism changes them all the
time. The geographical-physical context changes even more.
Only by reverse engineering. There's no mathematical inevitability
chlorophyll or carbon. Carbon could be as inert as Neon in another
universe. Six could be the saturated valence number instead of ten.
Geometry could work differently.
But we don't escape the Turing emulable realm here.
You could emulate it if you knew what you were emulating, but you
can't predict what yellow would taste like in a universe where color
is a flavor and carbon is based on imaginary flat-bubble geometry..
You cannot build a theory by speculating on imaginary problems. This
hides the genuine problem.
But you don't have the right software. You would need software that
makes up new colors out of nothing. Software that would rather try
kill you than do what you program it to do.
? I say, if the right software does not exist, you need infinite
specification for your body, and comp is made wrong. That's OK, and
coherent with your cosmos religion. No problem. You might just miss a
cute and rather natural, theory, and I hope you will be kind enough
give a steak to my son in law (and dont' tell him, nor me, that he is
Haha, Of course. Steaks are on the house. I'm not sure if brains are
preferred warm or chilled though. I do like what I can understand of
your thought experiment, I'm just trying to point out where and how I
think that the universe differently from what the experiment takes
That difference can only rely in your assumption that our description
needs a special infinite fine graining. Arithmetic emulates all
finite graining, and many sort of infinite one which can be shown to
be relevant from the 1p of the machines.
The weakness of the non-comp approaches is that you have to
diagonalize against all machines, but machines are, by a sort of
mathematical miracle, immune to diagonalization. Non-comp remains
logically coherent, but asks for a very complex theory, including
speculation on facts for which we have no evidence.
I agree, although I call it awareness. Consciousness to me implies
potential for self awareness.
That is not saying much.
A little goes a long way?
It's finite but it's not characterized by something other than
Yellow is yellow. Hydrogen is Hydrogen.
And Unicorn are Unicorn. With comp, Hydrogen are convenient fictions,
stable patterns in winning (?) computational histories (winning in
sense that they do stabilize coherent first person plural sharable
If Hydrogen is a convenient fiction, and I can sort of go along with
that, then does that make Unicorns inconvenient facts?
Unicorns are convenient fiction to help the children sleep, like fairy
tales. But if a scientist explains a fact by referring to Unicorns,
the fiction become inconvenient. Hydrogen, on the contrary is a very
useful convenient fiction in current theories and application. No
doubt it is a stable and observable pattern, but we cannot extrapolate
from such a fact that hydrogen atoms are *primitively* real.
What do addition and multiplication emerge from?
I don't know. That is why I assume them. What ever you assume
(cosmos?, cells, water, molecules, fields, consciousness?) I will ask
where that come from. Comp start from the simplest to get the riddle
of the puzzle, not from the complex, which *is* the problem.
I see something like pain as being simpler than addition or
But that's says it all. It is obvious that pain is simpler to grasp
than addition and multiplication, from a 1p point of view. You don't
even need to explain it to a child.
But addition and multiplication is more simple than any possible
explanation of what is pain. To have a pain you need a body. To
explain what is a body, you need a rich geometry. To explain what is
that rich geometry you need addition and multiplication.
Every organism knows what feeling is without needing
Birds know how to fly. This does not make aerodynamics a simple science.
The explanation is that a bird has a complex theory of flying which
has emerged from a very long computation (by mutation and selection).
Likewise we have a very complex brain which makes easy to have pain,
but that is not an argument for saying that pain is simple. There are
many very simple things, like consciousness, time, space, which are
simple to live, but hard to explain in the usual 3p sense of
Wouldn't those be the natural primitives?
In life it makes sense. It does not when we look for a theoretical
frame to solve or just to formulate the mind body problem.
logic is symbolic and requires higher order thinking to comprehend. It
needs to be explained - usually through concrete example. Once the
language is imprinted on our minds, it seems quite simple and
intuitive, just as words written in our own language appear to already
be readable when we look at them, but objectively it is the meaning
behind the letters and numbers that is the phenomenological reality.
It's gestural, experiential, raw sensorimotive coherence which
precedes the names we give it.
I agree with this, at the level of the mundane consensual reality. You
cannot use that in a theory. You could have said to Einstein that we
know very well what matter is, and that his construction involving the
speed of light and arcane mathematical symbols just makes things more
complex than the phenomenology of matter. Your approach seems to
prevent by option *any* 3p approaches of the 1p mystery. This does not
only seem non scientific, it seems anti-scientific.
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