On Sep 24, 10:20 pm, Pierz <pier...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Let's take a look at the UD. Obviously this is not an 'intelligent'
> device, beyond the intelligence implicit in the very simple base
> algorithm. It just runs every possible computer program. Random
> computer programs are made of and produce *static*, they are a random
> arrangement of bits. Now clearly, we know that if you look at a large
> enough field of static, you will find pictures in it, assemblies of
> dots that happen to form structured, intelligible images.
Yes, exactly. I would go further and question even that
intelligibility could arise at all in the static without an image
cohering visual awareness to experience that. The bits don't know they
are part of an image, so what would know what constitutes
intelligibility? Our own experience with static or other Rorschach
type patterns suggests that intelligibility is highly individual and
not meaningful as a property of the object. What images do emerge
would not make sense to anything which could not or would not be able
to perceive the same kind of visual phenomena in the same human-
neurological way. If I see a cat in the static, it doesn't mean my dog
sees a cat in the static.
> Fine. But then we can simply dispense with the UD altogether and just
> gather up its final results, which is an infinite field of static, a
> giant digital manuscript typed by infinite monkeys. Everything capable
> of being represented by information will exist in this field, which
> means it is capable of "explaining" everything. And nothing.
Right. I think that the whole idea of 'everything capable of being
represented by information' is itself a theoretical idea which doesn't
play out in practice, not just because of physical constraints (due to
exponential growth in computation resource requirements) in a finite
material universe, but because our assumptions about what
'information' actually is are unfounded.
> We have to deconstruct the notion of "computation" here. Computation
> is the orderly transformation of information. But the UD's orderliness
> is the orderliness of the typing monkey. If it is orderly at all, it
> is by mistake. By talking about it the UD as performing computation
> more intelligence is implicitly imputed than this hypothetical device
> possesses. Yes, it would generate every possible information state,
> and would therefore create me and all my possible futures, but these
> 'pictures' would have no coherence, would immediately dissolve back
> into the static they emerged from. The UD, as a generator of static,
> cannot explain coherence in my experience.
Yes. That's what I keep trying to point out. The computation of a-
signifying digital data is not automatically a human perception or
experience of that data.
> There is a fundamental circularity here. Something must explain the
> coherence of 1p and 3p accounts (laws of physics). Because the UD must
> exist (someone please explain this to me!), the explanation must lie
> in the UD. Because the UD is pure computation, the laws of physics
> (the coherence) must be reducible to principles of computation. But
> why no earth must the UD exist? And if it did exist, the reduction of
> the UD to an infinite static field shows that it is devoid of such
> explanatory power. Only if there is something about the UDA that
> confines it to meaningful, orderly algorithms (whatever that might
> mean), can Bruno's argument follow. But the UD's algorithm is a few
> lines of code, there is no hidden magic to allow it to select such
> algorithms. We have to throw out the UD, not the laws of physics.
I would throw them both out as far as explaining consciousness,
although both the principles of computation and physics together with
1-p accounts could be used to triangulate the properties of sense.
> And how do these coherent areas of the field which we call
> consciousnesses (or 1p) connect with their self-similar regions in the
> UD output? There may be pictures of me in all possible states within
> this field, but they will be completely disconnected from one another.
> How does the consciousness apparently implicit in the picture of me
> 'join the dots' between these random images to make a timeline which
> defines my history? The argument that it is 'machine psychology' or
> 'laws of arithmetic' merely begs the question - or obfuscates it.
Exactly. Joining the dots is what it's all about. My hypothesis is
that this dot joining can only be possible if the dots are already
joined 'to begin with' but that they are existentially discontinuous
through the involution of time into energy and space into matter. This
is how we are able to make sense of anything - pulling 'wholes through
the holes' so to speak, as we might pinch closed the gaps between dots
on a printed halftone image or pointillist painting, bitmap image, in
our ocular blind spot, etc. This is how 1-p experience works. Not
adding together meaningless machine statements to build toward
meaning, but from beginning with everything and masking or sculpting
out all that is not phenomenologically local to 'I'.
> In the end, the UDA merely asserts the results of its own assumptions,
> but the assumptions are profoundly doubtful. You can dress the
> emperor's nakedness up in a lot of fancy mathematical formulism and
> obscure verbal manoeuvres, but he is still naked. Infinite randomness
> is a 'powerful' explanation because you can find anything you like
> inside it. But when you see how vast the sea of surrounding
> meaninglessness is, you realise the bankruptcy of that mode of
I agree but I wouldn't blame UDA. UDA is a great way of encapsulating
the worldview which we have inherited form the tradition of far-
Occidental abstraction, but I think that worldview fails when applied
to consciousness and life, as it takes for granted all of the sense
that it presumes to make sense of, and leaves only the empty syntactic
trappings as presumptive originators.
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