Frankly I am a bit tired of this debate (to some extent debating in general),
so I will not respond in detail any time soon (if at all). Don't take it as
total disinterest, I found our exchange very interesting, I am just not in
the mood at the moment to discuss complex topics at length.


Bruno Marchal wrote:
> 
> Then computer science provides a theory of consciousness, and explains how  
> consciousness emerges from numbers,
How can consciousness be shown to emerge from numbers when it is already
assumed at the start?
It's a bit like assuming A, and because B->A is true if A is true, we can
claim for any B that B is the reason that A true.

Consciousness is simply a given. Every "explanation" of it will just express
what it is and will not determine its origin, as its origin would need to be
independent of it / prior to it, but could never be known to be prior to it,
as this would already require consciousness. 

The only question is what systems are able to express that consciousness
exists, and what place consciousness has in those systems.



Bruno Marchal wrote:
> 
>>
>>
>>
>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> And in that sense, comp provides, I think, the first coherent
>>>>> picture of
>>>>> almost everything, from God (oops!) to qualia, quanta included, and
>>>>> this by assuming only seven arithmetical axioms.
>>>> I tend to agree. But it's coherent picture of everything includes  
>>>> the
>>>> possibility of infinitely many more powerful theories. Theoretically
>>>> it may
>>>> be possible to represent every such theory with arithmetic - but
>>>> then we can
>>>> represent every arithmetical statement with just one symbol and an
>>>> encoding
>>>> scheme, still we wouldn't call "." a theory of everything.
>>>> So it's not THE theory of everything, but *a* theory of everything.
>>>
>>> Not really. Once you assume comp, the numbers (or equivalent) are
>>> enough, and very simple (despite mysterious).
>> They are enough, but they are not the only way to make a theory of
>> everything. As you say, we can use everything as powerful as  
>> numbers, so
>> there is an infinity of different formulations of theories of  
>> everything.
> 
> For any theory, you have infinities of equivalent formulations. This  
> is not a defect. What is amazing is that they can be very different  
> (like cellular automata, LISP, addition+multiplication on natural  
> numbers, quantum topology, billiard balls, etc.
I agree. It's just that in my view the fact that they can be very different
makes them ultimately different theories, only theories about the same
thing. Different theories may explain the same thing, but in practice, they
may vary in their efficiency to explain it, so it makes sense to treat them
as different theories.
In theory, even one symbol can represent every statement in any language,
but still it's not as powerful as the language it represents.

Similarily if you use just natural numbers as a TOE, you won't be able to
directly express important concepts like dimensionality.
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