On Feb 5, 2:09 am, Russell Standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote:

> Stephen is objecting that such abstract systems are, well, too
> abstract. He'd prefer something more concrete - whatever "concrete"
> might actually be.

Here is another way to look at that sentence:
"Stephen is objecting that such non-concrete systems are, well, not
concrete. He'd prefer something more actual - whatever "actual" might
concretely be.

It's hard for me to take seriously the idea of failing to grasp the
meaning of 'concrete' in the same breath that uses the word actual and
abstract. Talking about a mountain is not a mountain. The menu does
not taste like the meal. All of the quant descriptions in the universe
do not add up to a single experienced quality. Quantites are only
quantities. They don't scale up into anything else without something
that is capable of experiencing the low level granular quantities as a
completely novel level of continuous qualities. Digital computing
cannot do that. Any kind of semantic scaling in a digital computation
can only wind up as being more or less a-signifying generic digits.

> It is true, I understand, that the UDA (and AUDA) does
> not eliminate the possibility of a "concrete physical
> underpinning". It is just that such a concrete physical underpinning has
> no measurable, or detectable effect on our phenomonology other than
> that due to its capability of universal computation.

It's circular reasoning to say that physical underpinnings have no
effect on our phenomenology when you are working from a theory which
presupposes that phenomenology is detectable only by quantitative
measurement in the first place. In our actual experience, we know that
in fact all phenomenological systems without exception exist as a
function of physical systems - virtual servers do not fly off into the
data center on their own virtual power grid - they are still only a
complicated event of electrified semiconductors. Unplug the hardware
node and all of the operating systems, be they first order software or
second order virtual hardware or still only software, 100% dependent
on the physical resources. It is generators burning diesel fuel fifty
miles away that literally pushes the entire computation - not
arithmetic. Arithmetic has 0% independence of physical systems *as a
whole* even though computations can be understood *figuratively* as
being independent of any particular physical structure.

All computation can be impacted by changes to it's physical
underpinning. Devices which are damaged or have low power supply, or
brains which have physiological irregularities produce changes to
their phenomenology independent of program logic. The physical
topology, the materials and events that effect them can drive
phenomenology as well.

>
> Which is why I'd like to remind people of Witgenstein's comment: Whereof
> one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

A great quote, but I do not think Wittgenstein intended it to be used
to silence speculation. Unfortunately I have only ever seen it used to
serve that function. What he refers to is the limitation of language
to express the sense that language makes to the listener (http://
www.teleologie.org/OT/deboard/2117.html). That meaning is reversed
when used as an admonition, so that the meaning becomes something like
"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open
your mouth and remove all doubt".

Craig

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