Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 06 Aug 2011, at 23:14, benjayk wrote:
>> 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.
> There is no problem, Ben. I hope you will not mind if I comment your  
> post.
Of course not, I am interested in your comments. I just wanted to make clear
why I responded briefly.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> 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?
> In science we assume at some meta-level what we try to explain at some  
> level. We have to assume the existence of the moon to try theories  
> about its origin.
That's true, but I think this is a different case. The moon seems to have a
past, so it makes sense to say it emerged from its constituent parts. In the
past, it was already there as a possibility.

But consciousness as such has no past, so what would it mean that it emerges
from numbers? Emerging is something taking place within time. Otherwise we
are just saying we can deduce it from a theory, but this in and of itself
doesn't mean that what is derived is prior to what it is derived from.

To the contrary, what we call numbers just emerges after consciousness has
been there for quite a while. You might argue that they were there before,
but I don't see any evidence for it. What the numbers describe was there
before, this is certainly true (or you could say there were implicitly

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> 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.
> This confirms you are confusing two levels. The level of deduction in  
> a theory, and the level of implication in formal logic.
I am not saying it's the same. I just don't see that because we can formally
deduce A from B, this mean that A in reality emerges from B.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> 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.
> In the comp theory it can be explained why machine takes consciousness  
> as a given, and that from their first person points of view, they are  
> completely correct about this.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>  Yet, consciousness is not assumed as  
> something primitive in the TOE itself.
But this doesn't really matter, as we already assume that it's primitive,
because we use it before we can even formulate anything. You can't just
ignore what you already know, by not making your assumptions explicit in
your theory.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> 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.
> And proving the same things, with equivalent explanation.
Sure, we can write indistinguishable programs (to the user) with different
programming languages as well. Still they are different programming
languages, and they are only equivalent with respect to what they can
compute, not at all practically.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> 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.
> But the goal here is a conceptual understanding, not direct practical  
> application.
OK, but even in this case it seems that this is easier in some languages
than in others.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> In theory, even one symbol can represent every statement in any  
>> language,
> That does not make sense for me. (or it is trivia).
Yes, it is trivial. We just encode statements with numbers expressed with
one symbol (eg + is I, 1 is II,...).

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> 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.
> Why? If you prove this, I abandon comp immediately.
Hm, how do you express the point (3,4) on a two-dimensional plane with
natural numbers? It seems we have to interpret the numbers in a certain way
to do this, and can't express it directly. If we used gaussian integers we
could simply describe the point as 3+4i.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>  From comp you can  
> derive the whole of physics, and this should be easy to understand if  
> you get the UDA1-7.
Well, I get that if we accept COMP we need to associate sheafs of
computations to mind-states, but I have no clue how natural numbers can be
used to derive physics, or even formulate anything related to physics,
without using a meta-level of interpretation. It seems we always need a more
powerful language to do that.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>  Comp remains incomplete on God, consciousness and  
> souls, and can explain why, but physics, including dimensionality is  
> entirely explained. To be sure comp is still "hesitating" between  
> dimension 2 and dimension 24 for the shadow of the notion of space,  
> but this is a very complex mathematical problem, and it assumes that  
> the Z1* logic (the "divine" third person plural points of view) give  
> rise to some mathematical structure (Temperley-Lieb algebra, braid  
> groups).
But how can you formulate dimension 2 / 24 or Z1* logic in arithmetic? I
mean, you don't have to explain it precisely, but can you give a hint how
this could even be conceived to be possible?

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