On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 2:12 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net>wrote:
> On 9/22/2011 11:22 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 7:55 AM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net>wrote:
>> On 9/22/2011 1:19 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
>> Sure, let us consider this similarity to Leibniz' "per-established
>> harmony" idea. Could you sketch your thoughts on the similarity that you
>> see? I have my own thoughts about pre-established harmony, but I see, in
>> Craig's ideas, other concepts similar to those of Leibniz that do relate to
>> a notion of "harmony" and other somewhat unrelated concepts but not
>> necessarily include the "pre-established" aspect. I haev an argument against
>> the concept of "pre-established" as Leibniz uses it.
> From what I understand of Craig's theory it describes a difference between
> first person and third person experience/reality. Each being two sides of
> the same coin, where first person experience is the interior side of what
> its like to be the material. The first person experience of is
> indeterminable (and possibly relies on the indeterminism of physics?) and
> can cause physical changes above and beyond what can be predicted by any
> third-person physics. While we are a machine according to this theory, we
> are a special machine due to our history as organisms and the special
> properties of the carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, etc. which form the
> basis of our biochemistry. Functional equivalence is either not possible,
> or will lead to various brain disorders or zombies.
> Hi Jason!
> Excellent post!! But can you see how this is really not so different
> from Bruno's "result"?! Bruno just substitutes (N, +, *) of matter and the
> 1p experience is the 'inside dream" of Arithmetic. Same basic outline, very
> different semantics, but a radically different interpretation...
Both theories suggest that neither matter nor first person experience are
what is commonly understood, but aside from that it seems little is in
common. To me there is a big difference between saying first person
experience is a dream inside of arithmetic compared to a an innate sense
capability of substance (carbon atoms, electromagnetic fields, neurons, I am
not sure which).
Bruno's result is well-defined, refutable, does not reject the physical laws
as currently understood, and does not make unfounded assertions, such as:
only certain materials can experience red, no computer program can feel,
think, understand, etc.
> Craig does make a big deal about "special properties" but the properties of
> carbon, etc. do matter when it comes to real functionality.
What is real though? In what level or context? Craig ignores the concept
of different levels in his arguments and in our replies. When he says only
carbon and oxygen can combust and produce *real* heat, and we tell him sim
carbon and sim oxygen can produce *real* heat to the sim observer he expects
that heat to appear also in the higher level universe conducting the
What function of the brain cannot be determined with anything other than a
carbon atom? If we can use the behavior of other systems to predict what a
carbon would do then the carbon atom is dispensible to the functions and
behavior of the brain. You can then argue that this results in a mindless
automaton, but then you run into all the funny and absurd issues with
> While it is true that we can build universal Turing machine equivalents out
> of practically anything, explaining and modeling the physical world is not
> about computations that do not require resources or can run forever or such
> "ideal" things, it is about how all this stuff that has particular
> properties interacts with each other. We simply cannot dismiss all of the
> details that encompass our reality by just invoking computational
> universality. What is that truism? The Devil is in the Details!
Craig posits an infinite devil, but does so without evidence. And contrary
to evidence from physics, chemistry, neurology, etc.
Frankly I have grown tired of debating Craig's thesis because his responses
ignore everything we say, and he has admitted as much: that nothing we say
will convince him he is wrong. Only interviewing someone who has received a
partial digital neural prosthesis can do that.
> My own thesis follows this same outline, except that I propose that the
> topological spaces are the "outside" and algebras (which would include
> Bruno's (N, +, *) and minds are the inside. This outline dispenses with the
> problem of psycho-physical parallelism that I will make a comment on below.
> There is no need to explain why or how matter and mind are harmonized or
> synchronized when, ultimately, they are jsut two different (behaviorally and
> structuraly) aspect of each other, all of this follow from M. Stone's
> representation theorem.
Do you agree that computers can be conscious?
> My idea is a bit tricky because we have to treat topological spaces
> (such as the totally disconnected compact Hausdorff spaces dual to Boolean
> logics) both as the form and content of 1p and as mathematical objects. This
> is not a problem because math is all about representing 1p and more! This
> makes sense because mathematical representations can both represent
> themselves and be what they represent. WE see this explained in a round
> about way in Stephen Wolfram's essay on intractability and physics. The
> basic idea of the essay is that physical systems are, effectively, the best
> possible computational model of themselves. We do not need to postulate
> computations separate from the physical processes themselves, if we are
> going to stay int eh semi-classical realm. If we wish to go to a fully
> quantum model, they the wavefunction (and its evolution) of a physical
> system is the computation itself of that system.
> Vaughan Pratt argued that QM is just a consequence of the way that the
> stone duality is implemented. I am just taking this ideas and exploring them
> for flaws and falsification, but to do so I have to be able to fully explain
> them (not an easy job!) but that is what is necessary to claim that I
> understand them.
> This assessment of Craig's idea seems accurate from what I can tell at
> the start but falls down on the epiphenomena bit AFAIK...
> Consciousness to Craig is an epiphenomenon, since he has said there is no
> reason to evolve this tehnicolor cartesian theater.
> I need to get his comment on this statement about the Cartesian
The reason I say it is an epiphenomenon is that if there is no reason to
evolve it, then human behavior would be unaltered with its absence. Thus
its presence makes no difference one way or the other according to his
> The similarity I see to the pre-established harmony is that Liebniz
> posits two realities, a physical reality and reality of experiences. Each
> follows their own laws independently of the other, but physics does not
> affect or could not implement a mind, nor is the mind really affecting
> physics. Instead, physical law is such that it coincides with what a mind
> would do even if there were no mind, and the mind experiences what physical
> law would suggest even if there were no physical world. It is analagous to
> a matrix-world where we experiencing a pre-recorded life and experiencing
> everything of that individual. Liebniz postulated his idea when it became
> clear that Newton's laws suggested a conservation of not only energy (as
> Descartes was aware) but also momentum. Therefore an immaterial soul could
> have no affect on physics. This led Leibniz to the idea that God setup both
> to necessarily agree before hand.
> About this pre-established harmony: Leibniz proposed it as a way to
> select the "best of possible worlds", given all possible, and explain the
> synchrony of events (that his hypothesis of Monads required to exist)
> between monads.
> Recall that the monads are "windowless" and to not exchange substances.
> (BTW, this effectively makes them totally disconnected spaces if we consider
> the topological implication of this property of windowlessness!) Monads have
> both internal aspects (defining 1p content) and external aspects (defining
> physical reality) that , as you point out "... follow their own laws
> independently of the other, but physics does not affect or could not
> implement a mind, nor is the mind really affecting physics"; but if we
> follow my thesis there would be no minds without physics nor physics without
> minds per se,
Could there not be universes devoid of conscious observers internal to
them? We can come to know about some of these universes through math at
least, even if they contain no self-aware patterns.
> as the duality between algebras and topological spaces is a form of
> "natural transformation" between Categories. Yes, there would be physics for
> monads that do not have self-awareness - such as electrons and quarks, but
> self-awareness is a higher order computational modeling process that need
> not be instantiated (pace Russell) but is possible given sufficient
> topological and, dually, algebraic structure. So this thesis implies a very
> weak form of panpsychism.
> It can be proven that Leibniz's pre-ordained harmony implies a logical
> contradiction and thus is flawed: even an omnipotent god cannot perform
> computations of infinite NP-Complete problems in zero time - which is
> exactly what is required to have god establish the harmony of the universe
> prior to creating it or as you wrote: "God setup both to necessarily agree
> before hand". How can one perform a task that requires an eternity to
> complete the set up in the first place? It cannot ever begin!
Why does it have to take place in zero time?
The problem for best of all worlds as I see it, is to evaluate a universe,
God has to see what happens in it, and this requires implementing the
conscious beings within it. Therefore all possible worlds would be realized
and experienced by its inhabitants during the search for the best of all
> The alternative to Leibniz' self-contradicting explanation is to
> consider that the NP-Complete computation as running for eternity,
NP-complete doesn't mean it takes forever to complete, just possibly
exponential amount of time.
> it never begins and it never ends - kinda like Bruno's UD* - and 1p are
> finite instances or "streams" of this eternal computational process. Each
> stream instantiates a Monad and the psycho-physical parallelism is the
> natural result of the Stone duality between the insidge (logical algebras)
> and the outside (topological spaces), no need to have an explanation of mind
> and body interactions! All the neat stuff follows from considering how minds
> interact with each other. The appearance of a "beginning of time (and
> space!)" that we seem to have is simply an artifact of the finiteness of our
> One interesting and strange twist of this idea is that it implies that
> we never actually observe the outside aspects of monads (Leibniz does
> mention this in his Monadology), we only experience the internal
> representations of them. This twist is a form of the argument that we find
> in the Matrix thought-experiment that since we cannot prove that we are not
> in a matrix we should assume that we are and work out the consequences. This
> idea also seems consistent with Russell's thesis that "the set of all the
> universes that make up the Multiverse, contains no information at all, and
> is in fact Nothing; it is just from the inside, as mere descriptions – bits
> of strings – that we are, that there *seems*, from our point of view, to
> be something." quoting from
> Recall how Observer moments are finite? Does this not imply that
> there is an event horizon effect in the history of an observer whose 1p is
> given in terms of OMs? This is an effective cut-off on information that
> follows from its ability to only resolve a finite amount of information,
> which is just another way of saying that OMs are finite. Thus this idea
> implies that the "singularity" of the Big bang never happened nor
> necessarily exists, an interesting and counter-intuitive implication!
There are universes just like this one whose initial condition was this
universes as it existed 1 second ago. I think these are much rarer however
than universes with more uniform initial conditions. (There are many times
more combinations than our present highly ordered (evolved) state).
> (Penrose and Hawking's singularity theorems work only if gravity exists at
> infinitesimal size/ infinite energy scale and this is, on its face, merely
> an idealization.) We would see an event horizon in our most distant past,
> but not because there is an infinite gravitational gradient behind it.
> Because of this (and considerations such as those that Russell explains in
> his book), my thesis implies the "perfect cosmological principle" that any
> average observer would see pretty much the same thing as any other no matter
> where in a universe it found itself. All observers would see an event
> horizon in their distant past and would see a universe that they believe is
> middle aged.
I think there is potential for more variation. What do the beings who live
under Europa's ice sheets see? Or what about those beings who are blind and
only hear (or universes in which there is no such thing as light)?
Our universe is not middle aged compared to how long it might last. (Then
again, we may be in a simulation so we can't really know how old the
universe is really).
> This idea also how the appearence of a Cartesian theater effect, that
> (pace Dennett) actually explains something without an actual infinite
> regress of explanations! Basically, the homunculus of the Cartesian Theater
> model is proposed to be something like a "strange attractor" on the
> configuration space or, by the dually, computation space of the brain. The
> attractor is a computational model of the global behavior of the brain and
> is capable of computing simulations of itself since, if we believe in
> computational universality, a model of a computation is a computation too.
> So the experience that we have of being a "driver in a body" makes sense,
> given that what we actually experience of the world is the brain's Virtual
> Reality simulation of the world *and* this simulation is a computation
> capable of simulating itself, albeit at a lower resolution and level of
> complexity. Since the brain has access to finite physical resoulces to run
> the computations there will be a short truncation of the regress of
> simulations within simulations; maybe only 3 to 4 recursions, I figure, at
> the most.
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