On 03 Oct 2011, at 20:51, benjayk wrote:

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

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".

OK. And "mind" is already (almost by definition, assuming comp, reduced to computer science/mathematical logic). For example, the quanta/qualia gap is explained by the ability of machine to get immediate truth impossible to prove to others, etc.)

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
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

This is a bit a technical question, which involves logic. With enough logic, 0 and s can be defined from the laws of addition and multiplication. It is not really easy.

But to get the comp point, you don't need to decide what numbers are, you need only to agree with or just assume some principle, like 0 is not a successor of any natural numbers, if x ≠ y then s(x) ≠ s(y), things like that.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

But if the very foundation is undefined, it can mean anything, and
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.

That is something else. Science is build from intuition, always. Rationality is shared intuition. Choice of axioms are done by intuition. And comp explains the key role of intuition and first person in the very fabric of reality. I don't see the link with what you are saying above. It seems on the contrary that you are the one asking for precise foundation, where rationality says that there are none, and which is something intuition can grasp.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

One might argue that even though 0 and
successor can not be defined it is a specific thing that has a
meaning. But really, it doesn't. 0 just signifies the absence of

It might be intepreted like that. But that use extra-metaphysical
OK. But what else is 0?

Nobody knows. But everybody agrees on some axioms, like above, and we start from that.

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?

The successor of zero. The predecessor of 2. The only number which divides all other numbers, ...
(I don't see your point).

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.

It is a big difference. Especially for the many people who does not (yet) grasp the consequences of comp.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

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".

It is a common rule to not use a word which has some meaning for another concept. It can only confuse people.
You might remember what "glory" means, for Humpty-Dumpty.

May be we cannot defined 0 (in some broad sense), and we cannot define "consciousness", but even in that case, we are not allow to equate them. In fact we have a pretty clear intuition of what is 0, and what is consciousness. There are many things which we cannot defined, and still can have a lot of precise idea about.

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.

yes, that comp, alias digital mechanism, or simply mechanism.

It gets critical
when COMP is interpreted as an abstract statement about abstract digital

I don't do that.

and consequences are derived from that.

That is the whole point of the UDA argument. It explains that if you bet that the brain is some sort of (digitalisable) machine, then we get the consequences I describe in theology, physics, etc.

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.

Er, well yes.

Numbers can represent
everything, or nothing.

That's not true. Actually numbers, in arithmetic, are the object we talk about. They do not represent anything than themselves, but they can partcipate in computational relations, and sometimes they can play the role of addresses (like in 17 is the number street of my friend). But they are not arbitrary beings.

So can "material" or "consciousness". What's the

It is hard for me to follow you.

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)
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.

You confuse consciousness and content of consciousness. Universal person and particular moment of particular person. Anyway, I defend no ideas. I shows just that f the brain is a machine, then the theology of aristotle does not work, and we have to come back to Plato's one.

Bruno Marchal wrote:

or  - better  -just take the stance of
observing whatever happens! Maybe that we have to bet on an
level for COMP to have any meaning, and our inability to know any
substitution level should lead us to conclude that there probably is
substitution level, or it is undefined, which would just make sense,
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.

Yes. And indeed, that's part of the consequences.

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.

You are correct with respect to comp, here. If by I you mean your first person I.

And the
spirit part cannot be seperated from our brains (even though spirit is
beyond brain),

This is ambiguous.

which makes our brains partly non turing emulable.

That is correct (if you mean the material brain). Matter needs infinities of computations, nowhere does that appears in the UD*, but machines see it as it was there, from inside. It is a persisting "illusion" obeying precise laws that we can deduce.

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.

I think you restrict science too much. Like I think you restrict rationality. Of course I am talking on correct science. Today's science is a quite dogmatic, inconsistent, hiding the key question under the rug, ... It is not because some scientist get pseudo-scientist and pseudo religious, that we should lose faith in science and religion. Somehow, I think science has bein in -500 and end in +500. Science is something living. It can been sick, but that's a reason to try to do it better.

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.

I see your point. But actually you are confusing science and scientists. The "Gödel's discovery" is the discovery that what we understand in the mathematical reality is about just a little scratch on the "real thing".

The universe is just kind enough to make
a part of nature understandable through relatively easy rules, but the vast
majority is beyond it.

I can't hardly agree more. Today we know that this is the case even in just arithmetic. We have understood why it has to be like that. Don't confuse the poor reductionist scientific approach of today, with the theology of numbers of tomorrow.

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.

Sure. I insist on that since always. They elude both the hard problem of mind, the hard problem of matter.

Or quantum theory. We think that entaglement is usually just relevant at
small scales.

Hmm... Not in Everett, nor in quantum cosmology, black holes, etc.
I think most scientists would agree that the quantum theory applies on all scales. In fact its the entanglement contagiousness of the particle which makes us hard to maintain superposition in the laboratory. If you "O" look at a particle in the state (up + down), you end up quickly into someone seeing "up", or seeing "down", because what happens is that you entangle yourself to the particle O.up + O.down. The explanation of why the quantum *looks* like occurring in the microscopic is that ... it occurs in the macroscopic.

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.

OK. That's the comp explanation. That seems also to be the LUMs and UMs explanations, when we listen to them.

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.

OK. Most things entailed by comp *are* non Turing emulable.

emulable is just a tiny shadow of the non-emulable.

Absolutely so. (Provably so assuming comp).

Precision is just the
"boring" part of the consciousness that is beyond precision and non

I will be neutral on this, because I can interpret it in too many ways.

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

That would be really confusing, given that comp forces us to redefine the material by some limiting property of numbers (programs, machines) dreams.

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.

But they think it as primitive. They take as dogma that it is outside there, and obeys laws, and then extrapolate from their seeings (like all animals does, because it works very well locally). But some other animals discovered something deeper in their own mind, and mathematics is an illustration of a sharable part of this. It is not the only one, for sure.

Comp does not evacuate *all* magic. On the contrary it shows it naked and unavoidable.



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