On 13 Dec 2011, at 16:47, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Dec 13, 8:53 am, smi...@zonnet.nl wrote:
I explained my argument on this here:
As with Bruno's argument, the problem I have is not with the
reasoning, it's with the beginning assumptions. You say
"According to the computationalist theory of the mind, conscious
identified with computational states of algorithms [1, 2]. This view
is the logical
conclusion one arrives at if one assumes that physics applies to
I disagree completely.
Me too. It assumes physics is computational, which it is most
plausibly not, in case "we" are machine (and thus described by a
digital truncation of some physical processes).
This entails that we cannot even assume a physical theory, but have to
derive it from computer science.
Observation becomes a modality of (relative) self-reference.
There is nothing logical about identifying
conscious experiences with computational states.
Here I disagree with you.
Although there is nothing sure from which we could deduce such a
relationship, we might still *infer* or *believe* that the brain is a
"natural" computer, (that is the truncation of you at the digital
level is a universal machine (in the Post, Church, Turing sense)).
We can believe the brain is a computer like most of us would believe
that the hart is a pump.
We do have evidence that whatever the level we choose to look on, when
we observe an heart or a brain, nothing seems to violate finite local
deterministic rules (machine).
Pain is not a number.
Blue is not a an algorithm which can be exported to non-visual
You assume non-comp. The fact that the experience of blueness is not a
number does not make it impossible that "blueness" is "lived" through
an arithmetical phenomenon involving self-reference of a machine with
respect to infinities of machines and computations.
You don't know that. You assume non-comp. You have not produce a
refutation of comp, as far as I know.
A hopelessly unrecoverable category error which
is nonetheless quite intellectually seductive.
I agree that physics applies to everything, including us, which is why
the logical conclusion is:
We can enlarge the sense of the word physics, but currently, in the
Aristotelian physicalist tradition, this is a form of reductionism.
Physics assumes special universal machine, where the digital mechanist
assumption force to take them all in consideration, and extract the
one, or the cluster of "one" justifying the local possible
truncations. But like in Mitra, and in Everett, "we" are always "in"
an infinity of one. (And that's indeed the natural place where the
counterfactuals can get some meaning and role, without attributing a
physical activity to a physically inactive piece of primitive matter.
1. What and who we are, our feelings and perceptions, apply to (at
least parts of) physics.
That's coherent with your non-comp assumption.
It goes both ways. The universe feels. We are
the evidence of that.
Which universe? All the universal being can feel.
But the big whole, from inside, is just so big that it is not
unnameable, so I will not dare to address the question of "its"
2. Feeling is not a computation,
Right. But this does not mean that it cannot related to self-
referential truth about a universal machine relatively to other
universal machines and infinities of computations, random noise
otherwise it would be unexplainable
Yes. An epiphenomena. It is the same error of formalism and
reductionism trying to eliminate truth in favor of forms. This can
only exist by a misunderstanding of Gödel and Tarski theorem. Even in
math we cannot eliminate truth and intuition, and assuming comp, and
*some amount* of self-consistency, we can "know" why.
If physics were merely the enactment of automatic
algorithms, then we would not be having this conversation.
OK. But I dare to insist that if we assume mechanism, physics is
everything but an enactement of an algorithm. Comp makes digital
physics wrong, a priori. I think that the DU even diagonalizes
'naturally" against all possible computable physics. But if that is
not the case, comp still force to extract the special physical
universal machine from the first person experience measure problem.
would be having any conversation. What would be the point? Why would a
computation 'feel' like something?
Well, a computation does not feel, like a brain does not feel. But a
person (a Löbian self-referential being) can, and thanks to relatively
stable computations emulating the self relatively to other machine,
that person can manifest herself through computations. Then that
person can be aware of the impossibility to communicate that feeling
to any probable universal neighbors in case it is unwilling to do that.
3. Physics is feeling as well as computation.
We know that we can tell
the difference between voluntary control of our mind and body and
My feeling and intention can drive
physiological changes in my body and physiological changes in my body
can drive feelings, thoughts etc. If it were just computation, there
would be no difference, no subjective participation.
But comp does not say that we are computation. It says only that we
are only *relatively* dependent on some universal computation going on
relatively to some probable computations. The subjective machine will
speed up, because it bets on its consistency, on the existence of
itself relatively to the possible other machines. Memories become a
scenario with a hero (you).
4. Computation is not primitive.
You get computation quickly. Universality is cheap. Assuming
elementary arithmetic (like everyone does in high school, notably)
makes it already there.
Its immunity for diagonalization makes it the most transcendental
mathematical reality, and yet still effective.
It is a higher order sensorimotive
experience which intellectually abstracts lower order sensorimotive
qualities of repetition, novelty, symmetry, and sequence. When we
project arithmetic on the cosmos, we tokenize functional aspects of it
and arbitrarily privilege specific human perception channels.
You lost me. I guess it makes sense with some non-comp theory.
5. Awareness is not primitive.
Awareness does not exist absent a
That's locally true. It might be necessary, but that's an open problem.
Some might argue for ghosts or out of body/near death
experiences, but even those are reported or interpreted by living
human subjects. There is no example of a disembodied consciousness
haunting a particular ip address or area of space.
How do you know that? I guess you are right today, but "human made"
machines, programs and bugs are still very young, yet they grows
explosively on the net.
6. Sense is primitive.
Not with comp. Sense are primitive only form the first person
perspective, but not in "gods eyes" (The unnameable arithmetical truth
talk to the machines).
Everything that can be said to be real in any
sense has to make sense.
Ah! In that sense? Then I am OK.
0=1 is fase independently of me or anything.
The universe has to make sense before we can
make sense of it.
Probable with "we" = "humans".
false with "we" = "the universal beings", and universe meaning
The capacity for being and experiencing inherently
derives from a distinction between what something is and everything
that is it isn't. The subject object relation is primary - well
beneath computation. Subjectivity is self-evident. It needs no
definition statement and no definition statement can be sufficient
without the meaning of the word 'I' already understood.
Here you make a subtle error. You are correct (telling truth), but
incorrect to assume that we cannot explains those truth (self-
evidence, no possible definition) when doing some assumption (like
mechanism, and the non expressible self-referential correctness on the
part of the machine).
cannot understand 'I', it cannot ever be a subject.
Self-reference is the jewel of computer science. machine can easily
understand the third person I, and experience the first person I. And
the first is finitely describable, and the second is only a door to
I cannot be
Relatively? That's your non-comp assumption.
decohered, or reduced to an 'identification with
Well, as paradoxical it might soon, you are provably right when we
assume comp. If you are a machine, then no one can reduce you to any
particular knowable machine, and no one can do any thinking at your
place (but you can delegate thinking by yourself).
I may be computation in part, but then computation is
also me. Arithmetic must have all the possibilities of odor and sound.
Numbers must get dizzy and fall down.
Not numbers, but the hero appearing in the numbers' dreams.
7. Mistaking consciousness for computation has catastrophic
consequences. It is necessary to use computation to understand the
'back end' of consciousness through neurology, but building a
worldview on unrealism and applying it literally to ourselves is
Not only you will not give a steak to my son in law, but I see you
will try to send his doctor in the asylum.
Well, thanks for the warning.
Even as a semi-literal folk ontology, the
notion of automatism as the authoritative essence of identity has ugly
Automata are below universality.
Wal Mart. Wall Street. The triumph of quanitative
analysis over qualitative aesthetics is emptying our culture of all
significance, leaving only a digital residue - the essence of generic
interchangeability - like money itself, a universal placeholder for
the power of nothingness to impersonate anything and everything.
I am as much sad about that than you, but your reductionist view on
machine will not help.
as alchemists and mystics once gazed into mere matter and coincidence
looking for higher wisdom of a spiritual nature, physics and
mathematics now gazes into consciousness looking for a foregone
conclusion of objective certainty.
No. The point is that we cannot do that even with machine.
It's a fools errand. Without us,
the brain is a useless organ.
You can say that.
All of it's computations add up to
nothing more or less than a pile of dead fish rotting in the sun.
Without us? Sure.
But who us?
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