Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 30 Sep 2011, at 17:26, benjayk wrote:
>> COMP is the attempt to solve the mind-body problem with basing  
>> everything on
>> computations.
> This is not correct. Comp is the assumption that the brain functions  
> without extra magic, or that the brain is just a natural machine, like  
> the heart or the liver. It might be false, but still is a widespread  
> belief among rationalist since many centuries, and there are no sign  
> that it might be refuted.
> Materialists are often using comp as a method to hide the mind-body  
> problem. My own works shows that attempt to be incorrect, and I use  
> comp to formulate precisely the mind body problem. Comp reduces indeed  
> the mind-body problem to a purely mathematical body problem, and this  
> makes comp a scientific (testable, refutable) hypothesis.
I wanted to express what you said with the words "Comp reduces indeed  
the mind-body problem to a purely mathematical body problem". 

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> But then one 3-thing remains uncomputable, and undefined,
>> namely the very foundation of computations. We can define  
>> computations in
>> terms of numbers relations, and we can define number relations in  
>> terms of
>> +,*,N. But what is N? It is 0 and all it's successors. But what is  
>> 0? What
>> are successors? They have to remain undefined. If we define 0 as a  
>> natural
>> number, natural number remains undefined. If we define 0 as having no
>> successor, successor remains undefined.
> All theories are build on unprovable axioms. Just all theories.
> Most scientific theories assumes the numbers, also.
> But this makes not them undefinable. 0 can be defined as the least  
> natural numbers, and in all models this defines it precisely.
But natural *numbers* just make sense relative to 0 and it's successors,
because just these are the *numbers*. If you define 0 in terms of natural
numbers, and "least" (which just makes sense relative to numbers), you
defined them from something undefined.
So I ask you: What are natural numbers without presupposing 0 and its

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> But if the very foundation is undefined, it can mean anything, and  
>> anything
>> derived from it can mean anything.
> Then all the scientific endeavor is ruined, including the one done by  
> the brains. This would mean that nothing can have any sense. This is  
> an argument against all science, not just mechanism.
No. It is an argument against science based on rationality. We can use it
based on our intuition.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> One might argue that even though 0 and
>> successor can not be defined it is a specific thing that has a  
>> specific
>> meaning. But really, it doesn't. 0 just signifies the absence of  
>> something,
> It might be intepreted like that. But that use extra-metaphysical  
> assumptions.
OK. But what else is 0?

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> which makes sense if we count things, but as a foundation for a TOE,  
>> it is
>> just meaningless (absence of anything at all?), or could mean  
>> anything (the
>> absence of anything in particular). Successor signifies that there  
>> is "one
>> more" of something, which makes sense with concrete object, but what  
>> is one
>> more of the "absence of something" (which could mean anything).
> 1 is the successor of 0. You are confusing the number 0 and its  
> cardinal denotation.
OK. But what else is 1?

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> So even if we assume that COMP is correct, it is essentially empty,
> It is not empty to say "yes" to a doctor, for any operation proposed.
OK, this isn't empty. I did not mean COMP as just saying yes doctor, but the
(supposed) metaphysical consequences of it.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> because
>> it's very foundation is undefined. Everything derived from it also is
>> undefined, that is, it is totally open to interpretation. We can  
>> just name
>> the "undefinedness" of 0 as "matter" or "consciousness",
> No, we can't. or prove it.
I don't have to prove that we can tack a name onto something. It is like
asking you to prove that the name of 1 is "one".

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>  What you say here is meaningless.
What is meaningless about saying we can call something that remains
undefined, and unspecified pretty much every term that is so broad as to be
undefined, and unspecified.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
> I remind you that comp is the proposition that brain are sort of  
> machines naturally emulating digital machine. This is accepted by all  
> cogniyive scientist, and it makes sense. Indeed it might be false.
OK, I rather meant "(metaphysical) consequences of COMP". Of course we can
bet on the brain being some sort of machine, on some level. It gets critical
when COMP is interpreted as an abstract statement about abstract digital
machines, and consequences are derived from that.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> and there we have
>> the very same mystery we wanted to explain.
> No. It follows from comp that we have to derive physics from Number  
> theory. This is a theorem, and not an assumption.
Yes, but what are numbers? This is the mystery. Numbers can represent
everything, or nothing. So can "material" or "consciousness". What's the

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Every computation could manifest
>> itself in arbitrary ways... COMP itself says that actual 1- 
>> experience is
>> related to an "infinity" of computations.
> Comp proves this, but does not assume this.
I was a bit sloppy with my use of "COMP". I meant the consequences of it, as
well as the assumptions.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> That's even worse, so we have an
>> infinity of undefined computations. Every computation (or infinite
>> computations) can correspond to every (or none) experience, that is,
>> ultimately COMP says nothing about experience. If it would, it had  
>> to give a
>> mapping of computation (/infinite computations) to experiences...  
>> But since
>> experience is ultimately not divisible in chunks of concrete, seperate
>> experiences, this attempt is bound to fail.
> On the contrary, comp maps the experience with the internal brain(s)  
> processes.
But how can we map the experience, if it is indivisible? There is no useful
mapping if the domain of the mapping consists of only one thing.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> or  - better  -just take the stance of
>> observing whatever happens! Maybe that we have to bet on an  
>> substitution
>> level for COMP to have any meaning, and our inability to know any
>> substitution level should lead us to conclude that there probably is  
>> no
>> substitution level, or it is undefined, which would just make sense,  
>> given
>> that apparently COMP is undefined in its very foundations.
> So how would react if your daughter want to say yes to a digitalist  
> doctor? Or what if your doctor says that this is the only chance for  
> her to survive some disease?
Well, let's try it. I just don't have to pretend it implies anything about
metalphysical relationships between abstract machines and experience. It
might just be that our machines are suited for the task. It might work only
because actual machines are infinite things.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Also, what is your alternative to the comp theory? It can only be  
> something making your body non turing emulable, which force you to  
> negate all current theories.
Indeed. I think we are spiritual beings which are beyond emulabilty. And the
spirit part cannot be seperated from our brains (even though spirit is
beyond brain), which makes our brains partly non turing emulable.
I have no theory. It just seems natural to me that the ultimately we can
just rely on our direct observation, which cannot be predicted by any laws.
Science is just a tool of consciousness for it to learn to observe clearly,
and see that there is an order in things. But just a tiny part of it can be
made sense of by science. Science is like describing the parts of the
mandelbrot, far enough from the border, that can be easily described without
using any fractal (recursive) math. The universe is just kind enough to make
a part of nature understandable through relatively easy rules, but the vast
majority is beyond it.
In some sense, I think many scientists are naive in the way they interpret
the findings of eg neurobiology. We find some correlations between brain and
mind states? Obviously all there is to mind states is brain activity, as if
correlation means identity.
Or quantum theory. We think that entaglement is usually just relevant at
small scales. Maybe this is just the case because the entaglement of large
objects (like brains) is too subtle to be obvious. The brain my just be
"surface" of our collective and individual consciousness. It could be built
in a way that apparently small quantum entaglements between brains
"transmit" (I know transmission is a litte inaccurate in that context) large
amount of information. The only reason it may appear small to us is because
it is beyond space, and at small scales space breaks down.
I negate all current theories, because I don't believe theories can describe
reality, ultimately. They just describe a tiny fragment of it. Even in
current physical theories infinities (whose meaning is pretty much undefined
in physics) appear at very crucial points. If there is an infinity already
at the big bang, why should it ever dissappear? And if doesn't, there is
infinity everywhere, making everything ultimately, non-emulable. The
emulable is just a tiny shadow of the non-emulable. Precision is just the
"boring" part of the consciousness that is beyond precision and non

Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Note that I am professionally completely agnostic on comp, I just show  
> it making materialism contradictory with the idea that consciousness  
> has a relation with the brain.
But why can't we call this mysterious thing which you call numbers
"material"? Sure, it is not stuffy, but hardly any intelligent materialst
thinks of material as "stuffy". OK, subconsciously it appears they do (which
is my main point of disagreement with them, they regard matter as
"unintelligent", which seems to stem from the belief in "solid" matter), but
intellectually they don't.

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