On 17 Oct 2011, at 12:50, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM, Terren Suydam <terren.suy...@gmail.com > wrote:

We are on the exact same page. This is why I keep barking in Stathis
direction - his view is that there are no emergent properties because everything that exists must be reducible to a molecular level or else
it's magic.

Well I'm going to stop guessing about what Stathis thinks and let him
chime in if he wants to.

There are emergent phenomena but they supervene on the lower level

All right. But which lower level phenomena? To fix a computable level, like saying it is the SWE, would consists to chose a particular universal machine. But below our own substitution level, they all compete, and so the physical cannot be a lower level. Indeed it is, I think, a first person collective projection of meaning, by numbers seeing themselves, a rather high level phenomenon.

If you reproduce the low level phenomena you reproduce the
high level ones as well.


There is no downward causation from high
level to low level, since that would look like magic.

That is right. But mind and matter can arise from a simple universal lower level, only in virtue of the fact that a universal machine UM 0 can emulate a universal machine transforming itself, or a UM 1 transforming a UM 2 transforming a UM 3 .... transforming a UM n transforming UM 1. UM 0 plays the role of your lower level, immune to downward causation from higher level, and so also unable to modify itself, and "unbreakable" (like arithmetic). But a UM 0 can emulate complex loops with causation permeating all levels. So in the net of universal machines downward causation for most levels makes sense, except for the basic one, which is unimportant (like arithmetic, or cominators, etc.).

And this leads to a sort of magic, indeed, or hallucinations, or cosmic video games, like plausibly matter among other things. Matter still obeys high level laws, like machines'd dreams obeys laws, but in the mechanist mindscape full circular causation exist. Simple version of it are used in fixed point semantics for programming language (I mean loops of many kind are studied and exploited by computer scientists).

I think we agree on this, but we have different emphases on the importance of lower Level, perhaps. I see the lower level as a incognito UMs being a pretext for realizing the full magic of the infinity of UMs reflecting each others.


I would have doubted it too, but no. His argument is straight up 19th century Billiard Ball Universe determinism. He says that all that can
happen in the brain is a chain reaction from neuron to neuron (plus
"Inputs" from the external environment).

But that is a correct description from the level of single-neuron
dynamics. It is utterly deterministic. If you disagree, then you must
show how, without hand-wavy arguments about will and electromagnetism.
If single-neuron dynamics are not deterministic, then there must be a
random or probabilistic dynamic at play. Roger Penrose thinks so, as
he says consciousness is rooted in quantum effects. So, are
single-neuron dynamics 100% deterministic?  If not, why not? What is
the *specific* mechanism that makes them non-deterministic?  You
cannot answer "will" as that would be level confusion once again.

Again we must distinguish
between single neuron dynamics, which are fairly well understood (and
can be roughly modeled in terms of linear dynamics, but only if you
don't care about precision), and large scale dynamics of ensembles of neurons, which are not all understood in terms of any kind of linear
analysis. I would be surprised if Stathis disagreed with this

Ask him. You'll be surprised. From what he has said here, his position
is that since we do understand single neuron dynamics, then there
cannot be anything which cannot be understood using linear analysis.

OK, I will await his answer on this if he cares to. You're right, I
would be surprised.

Whether a system is linear or non-linear is a statement about the
mathematical model describing it. Non-linear or chaotic systems, such
as the weather, can still be deterministic.

Stathis Papaioannou

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