On 14 Dec 2011, at 04:56, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Dec 13, 12:44 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
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
derive it from computer science.
Observation becomes a modality of (relative) self-reference.
I'm not sure I get it. I thought your position is that physics is a
That's not my position. My working hypothesis is that "I" am a
machine, in the sense that I could survive with a copy of my brain
done at some level.
From this I can show that whatever the physical universe can be, it
cannot be a "computational object". Indeed it is only an appearance
emerging from a non computational statistics on computations.
Likewise, consciousness also is not a computational thing.
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)).
I think that the brain is a biocomputer, but it also hosts
consciousness. Consciousness uses the computing capacity of the brain,
but awareness itself is not a disembodied computational state.
living cells. Their awareness scales up to our awareness.
It is driven
by their first person agendas as well as ours, which cannot be
We can believe the brain is a computer like most of us would believe
that the hart is a pump.
I understand, and I agree, the brain functions like a computer.
Yes, there are many evidences, if only because locally everything
does, as far as we know. Except for the collapse of the quantum waves
(that nobody can explain, and that Everett explained away) we have not
yet find anything in nature which is not Turing emulable. That might
be a long term problem for comp, because comp predicts that the
physical universe is NOT turing emulable, but it might be everywhere
Turing emulable locally.
also functions like a pump,
A brain? Why?
a coral reef,
a synaptic suburb,
etc. Generally the brain is compared to
the most advanced technology of whatever era is considering it.
Not at all. It is compared to machine only, and wisely so given the
Now, we have discovered universal machine, and the comparison just
makes *much* more sense.
We do have evidence that whatever the level we choose to look on,
we observe an heart or a brain, nothing seems to violate finite local
deterministic rules (machine).
But when we observe our own interiority, nothing seems to follow
finite local determistic rules.
I agree with you. But that's exactly what introspecting machine are
saying, and can even explain.
We appear to be able to conjure an
infinite universal indeterminacy at will.
Yes. And we still don't know exactly how a machine can do that, but
their rich theology is promising with this respect.
We don't know what a heart
can imagine, but it doesn't seem to do exactly what a brain does, and
neither does anything else. A brain really cannot be compared to
anything else until we can get outside of a brain.
We can compare the brain with anything. And the comparison with
computer, especially in the mathematical original sense of the word,
is worth to study. Universal machine or number are very rich objects.
They are already able to defeat all universal theories.
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
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.
But the specificity of it would be unnecessary.
Why and how would
blueness be invoked just to set a self-referential equivalence?
To accelerate decision.
matter how powerful a computer we build, we're never going to need to
invent blue to perform some arithmetic operation,
Why should we need to invent it? It is already there, in the relation
in-between universal numbers.
and no arithmetic
operation is ever going to have blue as a solution.
You are right. An arithmetic operation, like a physical event are just
not the right type of object for seeing blue. Only person (including
animals) can do that. But this does not contradict the fact that they
might survive with a digital brain.
You don't know that. You assume non-comp. You have not produce a
refutation of comp, as far as I know.
I am a refutation of comp.
You are not a proof. Even from your own private point of view.
That's how I know it.
Comp, nor non-comp, is not the kind of thing we can *know*. We can
assume them and reason. besides in science we *know* nothing for sure.
Even if God appears to you and tell you that you are not a machine,
that will prove nothing, even to you. using that argument shows only
that you are influenceable through authoritative argument (the worst
possible kind of argument in fundamental science).
I can care about
things and have preferences, computation cannot.
But why could not people do that, when incarnated relatively through
computations (note the plural).
If you just say that machine cannot have preference, you are just
begging the question.
instructions and parameters, variables, and functions, but no
opinions, no point of view.
I have displayed the math of the 8 types of opinion/points of view
that *any* sound machine canNOT NOT discover by introspection. One of
them is the physical modalities, making comp + the classical theory of
Computer science explains very well were does the opinion, knowledge,
sensation, observation of machines comes from.
It might not be the correct explanations, but correct machines already
provide them. We might listen to them.
A hopelessly unrecoverable category error which
is nonetheless quite intellectually seductive.
I agree that physics applies to everything, including us, which is
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
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.
Hmm. I lost you in there with the cluster or infinity of one. I get
that physics at this time is limited to external objects, and my first
premise in Multisense Realism is that this limitation is not rooted in
science. Its invaluable for engineering of course, but it's an
insurmountable obstacle I think in understanding consciousness.
I was alluding to the movie graph argument (or Maudlin's one) which
shows that if we are machine, consciousness cannot be attributed to
the physical activity of that machine, but only to the causal
(arithmetical, with comp) dependencies. We can come back on this.
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.
Even if it were comp. if a certain color or texture has an arithmetic
function associated with it, then doesn't that mean that function also
has at least the possibility of that color or texture within it?
It has not. Physical (and persistent) objects exist only in the
(sharable) dream of numbers.
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"
I was meaning more that the possibility of feeling exists within the
Which universe? The arithmetical one? The physical one? The
Feeling is one of the things that the universe knows how to
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
I agree, it could be related to different arithmetic consequences but
that is still not sufficient to explain the experience of feeling
itself. It's like saying that typing is related to language and
communication so therefore a keyboard must understand what you are
typing on it - that keystrokes inherently produce whatever meaning is
present in words.
Feeling are explained by the fact that machine can refer entirely to
their own body (at some level), and this in different ways from
different points of view which obeys different logics. In particular
qualia correspond to available non communicable truth. They do have a
role by speeding up relative computation and decision. In fact the
more a machine introspect, the bigger is the set of non communicable
otherwise it would be unexplainable
Yes. An epiphenomena.
I think an epiphenomena just has to be non causally efficacious.
I agree. That is why I like comp: it prevents consciousness and
private life to be epiphenomena. They are just real and very useful
(for just surviving for example) phenomenon. Stephen would add here
that comp makes primitive matter epiphenomenal, but that is a
nonsense: primitive matter just goes away.
my car engine and the heat and exhaust are epiphenomena. Feeling makes
no sense as a possible exhaust of computation.
Right. But that's a consequence of comp. feeling is not a computation.
What happens with comp is that a feeling is a truth about a person
incarnated at once by an infinity of computations.
The whole point of
computation is it's normalized, parsimonious integrity.
Hmm... You might confuse machine before and after Gödel. We have
learned something fundamental about machine: we have learned that we
cannot know what they are capable of (and this can be justified
entirely if we assume we are machines ourselves).
Where does a
picture of a nonexistent palm tree come from in the f(x)?
By the unboudable imagination of the universal machines, especially
when they are glued in long and deep sharable histories.
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.
I like this whole direction of mathematics, and even though my mind
isn't well suited to it, I do respect the importance of the
Turing too. I think the whole self-referential
revelation is the functional skeleton of the most literal, objective
sense of the cosmos.
There is intelligence and wisdom there,
I just think that it's only *almost* the secret of the
universe. To get the whole secret, we have to bring ourselves all the
way into the the laboratory. Everything that arithmetic is, the
universe also is not.
We don't know what arithmetic is.
Figurative, semantic, poetic, intuitive,
sensorimotive, sentient, etc. These aspects of our realism cannot be
meaningfully reduced to arithmetic,
You might be confusing a theory of arithmetic with arithmetic itself.
Today we know those things are far apart.
A theory of arithmetic is just a universal machine, or a Löbian
machine. Arithmetical truth is *far* beyond any machine.
nor can arithmetic be understood
by wishes and fiction. What they can be reduced to is the sense of
order and symmetry which unites and divides them.
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.
Hard for me to follow. Why doesn't physics include enactment? I
thought comp makes physics digital?
A lot of people develop that confusion, that is why I insist so much
that comp is in opposition to digital physics, at least as a
would be having any conversation. What would be the point? Why
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
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
How do you know that a Löbian being isn't just a simulation of a self-
It is, in the trivial sense that you light consider the number one
being a simulation of itself. But that is rather misleading, and
certainly false if "simulation" is taken in the computer science
sense. In that case a Löbian machine is only a simulation (emeuation)
of some other universal system (mike arithmetic). In that sense we are
It's only our sense of self projecting it's own
image onto a generic arithmetic process, like a cartoon.
The cartoon lacks everything making it a computation. At best, it
gives a description of computation.
The Gödel number of a computation is not a computation. A computation
is a complex relation between numbers and a universal number. the
Gödel number of a computation is just a number.
like a self automatically make it a self?
Yes. Or you get zombie.
What if you intentionally
want to make a Löbian being that only seems like it is self-
referential but actually is not?
Then it will fail on some self-referential task.
3. Physics is feeling as well as computation.
It relates to phenomena in the universe which is ultimately tangible
or has tangible consequences. It's not just computation for the sake
I guess you mean "physical universe". I don't believe that exist in
any ontological sense. Physical reality is a (non arithmetical)
projection made by non arithmetical being emerging from infinities of
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
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
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).
I'm not opposed to the idea of us being relatively dependent on some
universal computation, but not in a strictly epiphenomenal way.
I agree with you.
universal computations are also influenced by us directly, our sense
and motive on the macro-person level.
Some are, locally and relatively, but most are not. You cannot change
at will the additive/multiplicative structure of numbers.
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.
Quickly, yes. Universal, sure, at least as far as objects go.
As far as computation go. Not sure what you mean by "objects" here.
Its immunity for diagonalization makes it the most transcendental
mathematical reality, and yet still effective.
I believe it. There is almost certainly no more powerful tool to
manipulate our environment. It's just that the thing that wants to
exercise power and manipulate the environment in the first place has
to precede the tool, if we are talking about a Theory of Everything.
If it were a Theory of Engineering, I would bet on computation every
Diagonalization exists in arithmetic, out of time and space. Time and
space comes from the number ability to diagonalize and refer to
When I wrote "Amoeba, Planaria and dreaming machine" I thought
engineers would jump on that, and some did, but unfortunately, the
technics is still waiting more powerful hardware to do that.
And then it will not work for the reason that nobody want clever
machines (who could be choosy about their users and destiny), for the
same reason that nobody really want children to be educated and free.
Humans love to chat on freedom, but I think they really hate that in
I don't think the machines will ever be intelligent thanks to the
humans, they will be intelligent *despite* the humans. We want slaves,
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
and arbitrarily privilege specific human perception channels.
You lost me. I guess it makes sense with some non-comp theory.
In a material metaphor, I'm saying that plastic is a higher order
phenomenon of synthetic organic chemistry, not a molecular primitive.
Even though it's utility and flexibility in simulating almost any kind
of material to our eyes, it's actually the deeper qualities underlying
the plastic which gives it it's pseudo-universality. When we mistake
plastic for the root of all matter, we focus on it's plasticity as it
serves us (rather than questioning the underlying chemistry which
gives plastic it's qualities).
Plastic sucks. We should use renewable plants instead!
5. Awareness is not primitive.
Awareness does not exist absent a
That's locally true. It might be necessary, but that's an open
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.
They still have to have a material net to grow on though.
Even if that would exist, it cannot help. That is the point of the MGA:
catch a programming bug from your computer. It seems like comp would
have a hard time explaining why that is - harder than it is for a six
year old to observe that it obviously can't happen.
A six years old child has a brain which is the product of millions
years of evolution. Give time to (human made) machines, the human made
computer are in their infancy, and 99,9999 % of applied computer
science consist in controlling them, not in letting them controlling
6. Sense is primitive.
Not with comp. Sense are primitive only form the first person
perspective, but not in "gods eyes" (The unnameable arithmetical
talk to the machines).
What is arithmetical truth if it doesn't make sense?
Nothing. It does make sense. That's the whole point: it makes sense to
the universal numbers inhabiting (in some sense) arithmetical truth.
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.
Yes! Well yes in the literal sense that you intend.
It could be said
that the 'knowledge of the nothingness of death' = the 'singularly
human experience' or something like that...1=0 in the sense 'each
thing begins from no thing'.
Hmm... Then we would write 0 => 1. Not 0 = 1.
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
How can sense arise from a universe which doesn't make sense? The
possibility of sense is itself sense.
Yes. And the arithmetical universe makes sense, to us, but also to a
vast class of (relative) numbers (that is a shorthand for "people
incarnated in infinities of numbers relations").
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
part of the machine).
It's not that I assume that we cannot explain those truths in other
ways, just that I don't assume that those other explanations can
dilute or negate the naive subjective orientation.
And you are right on this. That's my whole point. We cannot and should
not discard the subjective feeling of 'numbers' and machines. That
would be an error, even for engineers.
Just because the
map is not the territory doesn't mean that map is not a phenomenon in
it's own right. It doesn't mean that map-making is an emergent
property of the territory.
OK. But yet that might still be possible.
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
How can you tell the difference between a machine reflecting our sense
of I and a first person experience of I? What gives us reason to think
a digital I is genuine?
The richness of machine's introspection, and notably the difference
between what a machine can take as true and what she can justified
rationally. That might make comp as being the fertile simplest
explanation of the consciousness/realities coupling.
I cannot be
Relatively? That's your non-comp assumption.
The simulation would have to turn me into someone else and still be
me. A simulation could act like me in every way, but the I that I am
now would not be extended into that simulation.
You can't be sure of that.
Only I am I (how could
I not 'be'? Everywhere I go, there I am...)
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).
my only problem with being a machine is that since we are as close as
you can get to being the opposite of a machine, so that the term loses
all meaning if it encompasses everything. If a machine can make
choices based on preference rather than instructions as we can, what
does it serve to use the term machine?
Machine means only that the local behavior follows local computable
laws. Arithmetical truth is full of machines, but also full of
entities which cannot be emulated by any machines. Not everything is
machine. And the behavior of most machines is beyond what machine can
handled and prove. The very notion of machine is already beyond
machines. A bit like it can be proved that the notion of finite number
is beyond what finite number/theory/machine can explain or justify.
Mathematical logic shows that the notion of finite, machines, etc. are
very tricky. It looks simple for us, but that simplicity is a delusion.
At the beginning of last century, Hilbert was hoping for a proof of
consistency of math in arithmetic, but Gödel showed that even the
consistency of arithmetic is beyond arithmetical means. Tarski showed
that arithmetical truth is not even definable in arithmetic. This
limitation, and the awareness of this limitation, extends to machines.
I may be computation in part, but then computation is
also me. Arithmetic must have all the possibilities of odor and
Numbers must get dizzy and fall down.
Not numbers, but the hero appearing in the numbers' dreams.
What are those dreams made of?
They are only relational. Nothing is "made of" something.
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.
What would be the difference between an asylum and anywhere else?
In an asylum you are forced to take toxic harmful drugs. Less so,
anywhere else (especially jail).
Can't numbers dream just as well in an asylum?
Not with the kind of medication you get in an asylum. You can't even
Even as a semi-literal folk ontology, the
notion of automatism as the authoritative essence of identity has
Automata are below universality.
Are they below identity?
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
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.
Are you sure? What is economics but socially enforced
I really don't see the relation. In a democracy, economics is a way to
distribute money and enrich everyone, but only if bandits are not
perverting it for their own special interest.
as alchemists and mystics once gazed into mere matter and
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.
Certainty of uncertainty.
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?
Us natural persons.
Nooooo.... us the Löbian Universal Number. They are the one given
internal sense to "everything". They always fill the gaps. That makes
them wrong almost all the time, but that gives their meaning, learning
abilities and purposes also.
Human beings extending psychologically into
autobiographical experience with historical context and corporeal
bodies with cells and molecules inside and cities, planets, and
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