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 consciousness,
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 appearances.

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- speeding.

>> 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 why
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 one
reality [...]

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 primary
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 is a way of saying "don't ask", unless you can explain why it has to be so

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 universe/simulation.

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 simulation.

> 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 dimensionless numbers.

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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