On 12 Dec 2011, at 00:05, Russell Standish wrote:
On Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 02:13:33PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 10 Dec 2011, at 07:23, Russell Standish wrote:
AFAICT, Maudlin's argument only works in a single universe
setting. What is inert in one universe, is alive and kicking in
universes for which the counterfactuals are true.
If that was true, I am not sure a quantum computer could still be
emulable by a classical computer, but QM contradicts this. Nowhere
does Maudlin postulate a single universe. But he postulates that a
computation can be done in one single universe (but that is correct,
even a quantum computation can be done in a single universe).
From my somewhat limited understanding, emulating a quantum computer
with a classical computer involves running something like a dovetailer
algorithm. But it is no longer absurd to suggest that merely executing
the steps of the dovetailer trace instantiates all of the programs the
dovetailer is executing.
Maudlin's argument relies on the absurdity the the presence or absence
of inert parts bears on whether something is consious. This absurdity
only works in a single universe setting, however. If your computer is
embedded in a Multiverse, the absurdity vanishes, because thiose inert
parts are no longer inert.
But they do not play a part in the computation, at the correct
They are playing a part concerning the first person indeterminacy,
like in the UD*, or in QM physics. But that is derived (and has to be)
from the indeterminacy.
If you then fold the multiverse back into a
single universe by dovetailing, one can then reapply the Maudlin
Indeed. That is the key point.
But then, in that case, one can embed that result into a
Multiverse, and the cycle repeats.
I don't think we can. That would be like saying that we have to start
from the quantum multiverse, but the reasoning show that we can start
from any universal machinery, like numbers. To start from the
multiverse would be treachery (for the derivation of matter) and
ambiguous (we don't assume QM). And even with QM, the multiverse
notion is quite complex and controversial: is it a non computational
multidreams (as forced by comp), or is it a multi-physical material
reality (as forbidden by the MGA).
The question is - where is the consciousness in all this? I think it
must move with the levels - and given the UDA and COMP, I would say
that consciousness appears at the Multiverse level, not the single
That is right, but with comp that "multiverse" is the mathematical
structure which needs to be entirely derived from the theory of
consciousness or from the self-reference logics.
BTW - I had a similar problem with your MGA - it is not intrinsically
absurd to me that a recording can be conscious.
There is no computation in a recording. There is only a fixed
description of a computation. In arithmetic, it is like confusing p
With p sigma_1, p and Bp looks alike (which explains the subtlety of
that nuance) in the sense that we have both
p -> Bp and
Bp -> p
But Bp -> p is only true (provable at some [ ]*-logic level), and not
provable by the machine, so p and Bp will still behave in a different
Then you have the stroboscopic argument which shows that a recording
like a movie is not well defined in time and space.
But the simplest, imo, to see that a recording cannot be conscious
(with comp, 'qua computatio') is that there is no more any
computations done by a recording.
From the right point
of view (presumably that of the consciousness itself - aka the "inside
view"), it seems plausible that a recording could be conscious.
A still other argument, is that no piece of the movie can have any
causal relationship with any other part, and so can be removed, making
eventually a *particular* consciousness (a dream about an ice-cream,
for example) supervening on the vacuum.
What is correct is that consciousness is related to all events having
made the recording possible, but this is only in virtue of some
numbers having some special relations with other number, and we are
back to the computationalist supervenience thesis.
We might come back on MGA, given some other questions on the list. So
if this is unclear you might ask question, or wait that I re-explain
the whole argument perhaps.
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