On Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 04:11:54PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> >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
> substitution level.

They certainly look like they are. If these parts weren't present, the
calculation proceeds differently in the other branches of the
Multiverse. In other words, counterfactuals are not handled correctly.

> 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.

They do that as well, but this is not relevant to Maudlins argument...

> >If you then fold the multiverse back into a
> >single universe by dovetailing, one can then reapply the Maudlin
> >move.
> 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).

I do start with a Multiverse for Occams razor reasons (it hardly
treachery), and I know you don't (since it is derived in your
case). However, that is beside the point for Maudlin's argument. I'm
only observing that Maudlin's argument fails in a Multiverse reality.

> >
> >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
> >universe level.
> 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.

Why? I can see how, but why?

> >
> >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
> and Bp.

This also means there is no computation in a block universe like UD*.

I think this needs to be spelled out. It is not so obvious.

> 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 logical way.

I see the difference between p and Bp, but not the relevance to
recordings and computation. Sorry to be difficult here.

> 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.

The computations may be phenomenal to the consciousness in
question. If not, why not? We have often talked about what links
observer moments together in this list.

> >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.

Isn't this what you were calling the "stroboscopic argument" above?

> 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.

I remember when you were explaining the MGA before, we got to this
point where you relied on recordings not being conscious, and I think
you said you hoped you didn't need to explain that bit :).  I did ask
why at the time.

Its not a biggie though - just one of those "not understanding all the
steps" things.


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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