On 17 Sep 2011, at 23:27, meekerdb wrote:

On 9/17/2011 7:59 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 16 Sep 2011, at 21:16, meekerdb wrote:

On 9/16/2011 11:22 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 15 Sep 2011, at 22:22, meekerdb wrote:

On 9/15/2011 11:51 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 14 Sep 2011, at 07:27, meekerdb wrote:

On 9/13/2011 10:01 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Sep 13, 9:38 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:
On 9/13/2011 4:07 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

The rules are at bottom the laws of physics.
That doesn't mean anything. The laws of physics are the rules. That's why I say it's circular reasoning. I ask you what is a rule, and you say it's at the bottom of laws, but laws are just another word for rule. There is no bottom, because there's nothing there. It's an
intellectual construct.
Of course it's an intellectual construct, but it has predictive power.
I agree. Deferent and epicycle have predictive power too. It doesn't
mean they can't be understood in a greater context with more
explanatory if not predictive power.

And that's what Bruno is trying to do - provide explanations in terms of arithmetic; which he takes as basic. But explanation is cheaper than prediction.

But comp predicts, given that it predicts the predictable observable. To get more quantitative results asks for a lot of work and time. But comp predicts all what is predictible, at different levels or modalities, and it predict in principle much more given that it gives a glimpse on the complexity of death and all first person possible experiences. It shows also the abyssal complexity of numbers' epistemologies, and it frees the universal machine from all normative theories (the usual velleity of "other" local universal machines).

It is not for practical quantitative prediction, at least not before we get the physical laws from numbers' theology, but we are interested in fundamental question, aren't we?



Of course I don't expect you to be able explain why there are three generations of leptons or tell me what dark matter is. But we need some definite predictions to test a theory. To just 'predict' linearity or complexity is not very impressive. Physics is a very well developed field, so it's going to be hard to get from arithmetic to a new result.

Hard? Without doubt. But it is necessary (that *is* the point). I don't know what is dark matter, or if it exists. But I know that IF I am a machine, then dark matter does not exist, nor any matter. And I know that addition and multiplication decides all questions on the *observation* on matter and dark matter in the long run. Necessarily (that is what has been proved).

But theories of cogitation and consciousness are not well developed; so it is there I would hope for some real predictions. Here's some interesting observations from a friend. I wonder if your ideas might explain them.

I insist that I have no ideas. I just show the consequences of mechanism, which is assumed by almost everyone, with different degrees of explicitness. Did the theory of evolution predict anything?

It predicted a great deal. It predicted that Lord Kelvin was wrong in his estimate of the age of the solar system (based on the assumption that the Sun was powered by gravity), a prediction that Darwin was not bold enough to publish. It could be said to have predicted genetics. Darwin didn't know about genes, but his theory required some such digital information transmission. It predicted the unity of biochemistry on Earth.

You must look at the mechanist assumption in a similar way: it shows that the laws of physics are not a given (like some people believed for biology and species before Darwin), but that the laws of physics emerge, in a precise way, from the way the universal numbers relate to each other.

To ask for using mechanism to say something concrete about dark matter, today, would be like asking if the theory of evolution can explain the action of some plant in the brain, or the working of my personal computer.

I'll just quickly caveat how far we can extend existing findings, of which there are a few in the last 4-5 years (see: www.wjh.harvard.edu/~dsweb/pdfs/06_01_EFC_DLS_ERG_RAS.pdf -- this was done in Dan Schacter's lab at Harvard; Schacter is a renowned memory researcher; and www.jneurosci.org/content/27/45/12190.full.pdf -- this was featured in Nature Reviews in 2007). In terms of memory and confidence, or how memory changes, Elizabeth Phelps at NYU has done some ground breaking work.

These findings focused on what is happening in the brain during an explicit statement of confidence in one's answer about some or other semantic statement. The caveat is I am not sure how far we can extend this to issues or questions for which an answer is unclear and unavailable, or very difficult to ascertain because veracity may depend on some type of understanding of conceptual material for which the respondent has limited knowledge. It is one thing to have confidence that the solution to the integral of cos x is sin x + C, but another to have confidence that there is a god, or that capitalism will fail. It seems in the latter two instances the reward system is more important in neural processing. But in all cases we are looking at the confidence in the belief that the memory being retrieved is accurate.

During feelings of confidence in which the respondent is correct (high-confidence and correct), medial and lateral parietal regions are active indicating a role for these areas in post- retrieval memory monitoring, but, note that limbic regions are also active for confidence in a recognition decision. In other words, confidence arises as a result of processing in regions associated with familiarity, on the one hand (and this is where errors occur), and/or regions that are more closely or directly linked with the problem at hand - information that is used to solve the problem without so much digging into our vast data stores.

The second paper goes further and shows the difference between older and younger adults with respect to high confidence errors, among other things. The interesting findings, in my opinion, include the fact that the same brain regions (notably though is the DLPFC which is becoming ever more important as a region of interest in cognitive neuroscience- in this case it is thought to monitor or modulating decision processes across cognitive functions) are active during low confidence irrespective of whether or not a condition of true or false recognition was the case. But during high confidence different brain regions are active (posterior cingulate in this case) across true recognition and false recognition.

The conclusion which can be drawn after reading the second paper is that the MTL (medial temporal lobe, but includes the hippocampus and parahippocampus among other structures) is involved in high confidence feelings when the respondent is actually correct (and in the low confidence and incorrect condition), and that frontoparietal activity is dominant in cases where the respondent is highly confident but incorrect (but also active in cases of low confidence but correct recognition). There are other differences which can distinguish the results in parens, but the details are probably not interesting most here. It is interesting to note however that the activation of the MTL and frontoparietal regions are virtual mirror images across the high vs low confidence conditions for true and false recognition - almost like a see saw. We are dealing with on the one hand direct recollection in correct cases and familiarity in incorrect cases.

What is amazing here is that the brain processes high-confidence true and false recognition very differently, yet the feeling of confidence appears indistinguishable. It might be interesting to probe this.

The reward system was not a main region of interest in these studies, however, feelings of confidence are correlated with dopamine release, which necessarily involves the reward pathways and hence the basal ganglia. The more often one feels correct about something, especially in the absence of challenge, the more it becomes part of a belief system - and the more likely a statement fits into a belief system the more likely one is to be confident in that statement. The confirmation of one's belief system creates a rewarding feeling associated with these pathways.

It is very interesting, but I don't see why "my idea" should explain those facts.

Because they are about self-reference and true or false beliefs and as such might be independent of the physical constitution of the brain.

It is *their* approach which are based on "my idea" (mechanism) at the start. They discuss the aspects of the actual human mind implementation in the brain. It illustrates my basic postulates. You can't mention a paper based on "my" assumption and discard the conceptual consequences of that same assumption. Unless, of course, you have seen a reason to doubt the validity of the UDA argument, in which case it would be nice if you could elaborate. I did answer your remarks on both step 6, 7, and 8, but I am willing to explain if it remains something unclear, and I am willing, at least for awhile to add the 323 principle(*) in the definition of comp, if that is the problem, although I didn't see any reason to say "yes" to a digitalist doctor, if the 323 principle was not a consequence of mechanism. But here too, in our last conversation on the subject, you seem to agree that comp implies the 323 principle.

No. I didn't. That's what I saw as a tension in the argument. To say the 323 register is not used is to deny the multiverse interpretation of QM.

I don't think so. That would be the case if the machine was a quantum machine. But a quantum machine can be emulated by a classical machine (not in real time, but the first person is not aware of the delays, so it changes nothing in the argument).

But only by providing in the emulation that the 323 register is used (in some fraction of the multiverses of the emulation).

I don't see this. It is true, at this level, for the quantum machine emulating the classical machine when not using the 323 register. But when we emulate that quantum machine with a classical machine, not using the new 324 (say) register, and not using it, we are back at the original problem. If that 324 register still play a role, we are again confronted with a kind of magic which prevents us to say "yes" to a doctor from rationalism and comp. We can still say yes to the doctor by postulating some form of magic, but it is no more computationalism.

But I understood that you regarded the Everettian interpretation of QM as evidence for your theory. If consciousness is only realized by physical systems, i.e. quantum mechanical ones, then removing a register may affect that consciousness even though it doesn't affect the computation (except with very low probability).

But then you can no more say yes to a digitalist surgeon.

Sure you can. You just can't count on your consciousness being exactly the same.

? This is driven us to zombie-like phenomenon. It seems also not relevant with your explanation above.

One might still say yes to replacement of one's brain with one equivalent as a classical computer because it would also instantiate those counterfactual possibilities. But an equivalent Platonic function would not.

On the contrary, only the platonic function can be said to instantiate the counterfactuals, as a global mathematical object.

OK, I think I understand that.  Good point.

A quantum computer can also instantiate some counterfactual, but in a way which can be emulated by a classical machine, and for that classical machine, if the 323-principle goes wrong, then you can no more be said to be digitally emulable. So if you insist that the computer must be "physical", you are introducing something which is non turing emulable in matter, and which play a genuine role in the consciousness associated to the computation: this means that comp is false.

Yes, and that's the tension I see. QM implies the 323 principle is untrue

It does not. It does in case it happens that an absent register, having no role in a particular computation, appears to have some role after all: meaning we were not using the right substitution level. But the QM machine can be emulated by a classical machine, for which, with or without QM, the 323 principle remains true.
You argument would work perfectly if we have both that:
1) we are quantum machine (the subst level is below the quantum level)
2) quantum digital machine would be not emulable by a classical digital machine. But I know that you think that "1)" is not plausible, and, more importantly, "2)" is false.

and yet you rely on QM and in particular it's multiverse interpretation as evidence for the Platonic view. Looked at another way, the 323 principle can be upheld, but only at the expense of pushing the substitution level all the way down and extending the emulation to be the whole universe.

Why, not necessarily. For all we know (by biology) we might think that the level is high. In fine it means that my consciousness is not related to the physical activity of my brain, but only on the possible computations that accidentally perhaps, my current brains implement here and now. This leads to a "many dreams" interpretation of arithmetic, which is certainly hard to swallow for aristotelian, but quite natural for an open minded platonician. Anyway, the point is not that this is true, but that it is testable. If in the logic Z1*, we find a theorem refuted by nature, we would know that comp is false (or the classical theory of knowledge). That would be the case if the physical universe was Newtonian, or just boolean, but here QM comes to the DM rescue.

You are no more saying yes to the digitalist doctor in virtue of being correctly emulated, but in virtue of some non Turing emulable magic played by piece of matter having no physical activity at all.

It's the same 'magic' as implied by taking one's consciousness to instantiated by an infinite number of computations going through the same state.

I disagree. the second magic is just the global first person indeterminacy of any conscious observer. It is not magic, it is ignorance. No (universal) machine can know which computation support her.

I kno this is a bit subtle. If the 323 register plays a quantum role in computation for consciousness, it means that we have chosen a too much high level, but at the lower level, we can emulate the quantum by a classical machine, and there, to continue to insist of having the presence of inactive machinery for consciousness means that comp is false. The physical role of the inactive piece of matter in the consciousness becomes magical, and necessarily not Turing emulable (if it where, again, it would mean we have chosen a too much high level), and we start again ...

Right.  See above.

See above my answer.


(*) The 323 principle asserts that if consciousness can be attributed to a computer running some computation in which the register n° 323 is not used, then the same consciousness can be similarly attributed to a computer running that same computation, but where the register n° 323 has been removed from the computer.


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