On 12 Jan 2012, at 06:24, John Clark wrote:
Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>> however we don't know that there is a explanation for everything,
some things might be fundamental.
> In the case of elementary arithmetic, we can even explain why we
cannot explain it by something more fundamental. There are logical
reason for that. But this is not the case for matter and
which admit an explanation from arithmetic.
But even if numbers are fundamental that does not mean there could
not be other things that are also fundamental, an obvious example
would be Turing's non-compatible numbers; integers and other
computable numbers may be able to figure out that non-computable
numbers must exist just as
Turing's mind figured it out, but computable numbers can not explain
them, they can not derive them, they can not calculate them.
Something similar might be the case with consciousness, computable
numbers can figure out that intelligent behavior produces
consciousness but they don't and can never know why.
I am not entirely sure what you mean by computable numbers (I guess
you mean function). I might have abused of the word "fundamental". I
meant "primitive". It means the objects which I postulate the
existence in the basic theory (of everything). For example physicalist
would postulate primitive matter, or point particles or strings,
perhaps time and space, etc. UDA shows that we can postulate only the
numbers, and that we cannot use anything more to justify the
And with a mind that operates by computable numbers there might be
no way to explain, no way to prove, that these other things are
fundamental even though its true they are in fact fundamental. This
I think may be the case with consciousness but it's just a hunch and
obviously I can never prove it; but if its true but can't be proven
then people will always be looking for a theory that explains
consciousness but they will always fail because there is no
explanation in existence to find.
But I think that consciousness can be explained almost completely,
with some aspect which cannot be explained, yet, by mechanism, made
explicit, we can still explain why consciousness cannot be entirely
explained. We just need to agree on some proposition about
consciousness, like "we know it to be true", "we cannot define it",
"it has relation with truth and realities", "it is not doubtable",
etc. Then we can shows that self-observing machine converge to some
self-feature obeying similar principles. We can even ascribe it a role
(explaining its Darwinian advantage) like relative universal self-
>> I have a hunch that consciousness is fundamental and it's just
the way data feels like when it's being processed;
> Then it is not fundamental, and you have to search an explanation
some data, when processed, can lead to consciousness.
To be more complete, I think that consciousness is the way data
feels like when it's processing causes intelligent behavior.
I agree. Consciousness is required for being genuinely intelligent (or
stupid). Consciousness is basically the instinctive bet that there is
a consistent reality. It is not far from the act of going from PA to
PA + con(PA). It makes you more efficacious. It shortened the proof,
and integrate more your knowldge. But it is always on the verge of
identifying PA with PA+con(PA) which leads to inconsistency. The more
you are intelligent, the bigger you *can* be stupid.
Certainly that idea proved to be enormously successful for
evolution, despite the handicap of not being able to see
consciousness any better than we can it managed to produce at least
one conscious being, me, and probably more, you're probably
conscious too. It managed to do this because although Evolution can
not see consciousness it can certainly see
> If you define consciousness by the undoubtable belief in at least
A belief is a conscious acceptance that something is true, and a
conscious acceptance that something is true is a belief, and round
and round we go. I don't even try to define consciousness anymore
because all the definitions I have ever dreamed up suck . So instead
I just give examples, or rather a example, me.
yes. We agree on this: consciousness is not definable. Nor is
knowledge, nor truth (when too much encompassing). But then we can
agree on something, and we can proceed. WE can never defined exactly
what we talk about, but to do reasoning, we need only to share some
propositions and reasoning rules. No need to abandon anything to
churches or governments here.
> You seem here to have difficulties to conceive that Aristotle
matter hypothesis might be wrong.
No not at all, I don't insist that matter is at the bottom of
everything and in fact I think you are right and that numbers are
fundamental, it's just that I'm far less certain than you that they
are the only thing that is fundamental.
OK. That's the UDA point, based on the explicit statement that
consciousness is locally invariant for some digital functional
substitution done at some level. It is like an assumption that my
local body is finite (but then my "real body" will be related to
infinities of computations, and physics get a non trivial foundation
in computer science/number theory).
And there may be things that are NOT fundamental and so are made of
other parts (parts like numbers for example) but there is no way to
prove that to be the case, no way to prove they are not fundamental.
To prove it. No, you can't. That why we use the occam razor. If we
don't need to postulate them, then we don't postulate them.
And there may be things that ARE fundamental and thus have no parts
but there is no way to prove that to be the case, no way to prove
they are fundamental. That is to say although numbers cause it there
is no way for those same numbers to prove that they cause it.
I disagree. They can bet correctly that they are numbers, and see the
consequence. We cannot prove the metaphysical truth, but we can refute
the metaphysical falsity. mechanism makes physics evolving in some
particular way, and it constraints, normally, the whole of physics. It
makes the comp hypothesis testable. I suggest that the quantum nature
of the observable reality might reflect the discovery that we are in
that 'digital matrix'.
Consciousness may be in this category.
>> It would mean a event without a cause and I don't see why that is
more illogical that a event with a cause.
> An event without a cause/reason, is no better than creationism. It
a way of saying "don't ask", unless you can explain why it has to be
That "unless" in the above is very important, however it very well
could be that there are some events without a cause and you can't
explain why and you will never be able to explain why because there
is no explanation as to why it is but it is nevertheless. I don't
like that fact any better than you do but the universe does not care
what our opinions are on the subject.
> Everett is wrong here. because, by UDA, once you postulate comp (as
Everett does practically) we are not living in physical universes.
It does not matter (pun intended), we may not be living in a
physical universe but the physics of that universe could still be
important to us. You me and our entire universe might be part of a
virtual reality program running on a Mega-computer, but whatever the
laws of physics are in that other universe that the Mega-computer is
situated in they must be such that computation is possible. So why
do we virtual beings observe that the Schrodinger Wave Equation
rules our universe? Perhaps because the it also rules in the maker
of the Mega-computer's universe and so they set up their simulation
in the same way; that's what we do, we try hard to make our
simulations obey the same laws of physics as the world we live in.
Or perhaps the Mega-computer makers tried out many different
equations and we just happen to be living in the Schrodinger
I think that here you miss the UDA point. We cannot be in a
simulation, because we are in all simulations (going through pur
actual states). This is where the physical laws come from: physics is
a sum on all emulations. WEll, it may be that we are in a simulation,
we have to extract the physics from comp, and compare it with the
physics observable. Then the owner of the mega-computer will have to
extend it soon or later to simulate the "correct comp physics" if he
want to trick us. But in that case, us, from our point of view, are in
the real (UD*-limit recovered) reality. We are not specially in that
> This leads to a simpler theory of everything than QM, for example
elementary arithmetic. The theory of everything becomes: [The
Peano Postulates] In that theory QM (swe) is false or redundant.
The Schrodinger Wave Equation does not seem to be false, redundant
maybe but you've got a bit of work ahead of you to show that to be
the case, to derive the movements of electrons from nothing but pure
That's why UDA is modest (even if radical). It shows only that physics
is necessarily redundant, if we are machine. It is in our "head", and
actually in the "head" of all universal machine/number, so we can take
a look. Unfortunately it leads to complex math problems. The contrary
would have been astonishing. Some problems have been solved since,
though. The net advantage is that it is a theory of consciousness,
from which you derive the quanta from a theory of (sharable) qualia,
and it proposes a different and testable picture of reality---
different from what the lasting Aristotelian tradition suggests.
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