On 2/16/2012 23:08, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 2/16/2012 3:06 PM, acw wrote:
On 2/16/2012 19:09, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 2/16/2012 1:16 PM, acw wrote:

The assumption in COMP is that a subst. level exists, it's the main
assumption! What does that practically mean? That you can eventually
implement the brain (or a partial version of it) in a (modified)
TM-equivalent machine (by CTT). It does not deny the quantum reality,
merely says that the brain's functionality required for consciousness
is classical (and turing-emulable). Although, I suppose some versions
including oracles should be possible, and a weakening of COMP into
simple functionalism may also be possible.


I understand the UDA, as I have read every one of Bruno's English papers
and participated in these discussions, at least. You do not need to keep
repeating the same lines. ;-)

The point is that the "doctor" assumption already includes the
existence of the equivalent machine and from there the argument
follows. If you think such a doctor can never exist, yet that there
still is an equivalent turing-emulable implementation that is possible
*in principle*, I just direct you at
www.paul-almond.com/ManyWorldsAssistedMindUploading.htm which merely
requires a random oracle to get you there (which is given to you if
MWI happens to be true).

Does this "in principle" proof include the requirements of
thermodynamics or is it a speculation based on a set of assumptions that
might just seem plausible if we ignore physics? I like the idea of a
random Oracles, but to use them is like using sequences of lottery
winnings to code words that one wants to speak. The main problem is that
one has no control at all over which numbers will pop up, so one has to
substitute a scheme to select numbers after they have "rolled into the
This entire idea can be rephrased in terms of how radio signals are
embedded in noise and that a radio is a non-random Oracle.
You can buy or build various RNGs which utilize quantum effects (or
even use freely available ones), see:
Many others exist.

If MWI is true, some of these devices will generate true random
outputs, that is, because in a world, the state is 0 and in another is
1, and so on for each next state. In the case of the thought
experiment, you write a simple program that utilizes such a QRNG to
generate a program (or a more advanced program that limits it to some
specific types, for example a neural network map or a physics
simulation or whatever) then run it.


Let us build a bit more on this thread because it is getting closer to
the idea in my head that I have yet to find the exact words for (that is
assuming that it can indeed be expressed in English! Some ideas require

"If MWI is true, some of these devices will generate truly random
outputs..." These kind of devices are what I was intending when I wrote
of Markov process in a previous response to Bruno. I Also mentioned some
stuff about Boltzmann brains. Do you recall those ideas? OK, keep that
in mind.

Partially, I'll have to re-read some parts of those threads in context.
In MWI, /*_all possible programs up to some resource bound you
specified (as our hardware is resource bound) will run in some
world_*/. That's the basic idea. If you think a digital subst. exist,
*in principle* a sheaf of continuations will exist somewhere in some
world after running this program. It's a rather ad-hoc and not very
pretty solution, but if one admits a digital subst., then such an
experiment would succeed (although the measure of such continuations
may be low). I don't see anything contradicting thermodynamics here.

I have highlighted in bold and underlines that part of what you wrote
that I am trying to focus attention on. It is there that the problem
that I see in UDA is. This is the problem that Maudlin's argument is
leading us down the wrong path. I tried to get some attention on this
last year (?) in a discussion of Maudlin's paper, but my thoughts never

I did include the resource bound because, it's a practical issue with our physics, but even if it is a practical issue, it's not an insurmountable one: efficient and less efficient hardware that would be capable of running a simulation of our brains is already within our reach ( I can elaborate on what constitute reasonable resource bounds and the estimated size of the information contained in our brain at a subst. level expected by neuroscience, but I have to go for today, so I'll avoid it for now, but I can elaborate on it in another day if necessary). This means that while such an experiment is considered as a thought experiment, it's physically realizable in our world, and it doesn't even require future sci-fi tech.

I'll re-read that thread as time allows, but I can't today.

If such a substitution is not possible even in principle, then you
consider UDA's first assumption as false and thus also COMP/CTM being
false (neuroscience does suggest that it's not, but we don't know
that, and probably never will 100%, unless we're willing to someday
say "yes" to such a computationalist doctor and find out for

All of this substitution stuff is predicated upon the possibility that
the brain can be emulated by a Universal Turing Machine. It would be
helpful if we first established that a Turing Machine is capable of what
we are assuming it do be able to do. I am pretty well convinced that it
cannot based on all that I have studied of QM and its implications. For
example, one has to consider the implications of the Kochen-Specker
<http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kochen-specker/> and Gleason
<http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-quantlog/#1> Theorems - since we
hold mathematical theorems in such high regard!

Then you assume COMP is false. I don't particularly see why a TM
wouldn't be able to emulate a human brain at some level (such as
neuron level with some reasonable approximation of a neuron). Most
neuroscience suggests that such an emulation would be possible,
although it might not be perfect. A lot of high-level concepts in the
human psychology are assumed to exist at much higher levels than
neurons as well. Quantum effects may or may not play a role, but you'd
have to show that they do play a substantial role absent which
intelligence would be human general intelligence is impossible. That
said, even if they would play a substantial role, what about imperfect
copies, would they just be utterly broken in your view?

No, as I can see how COMP is true but only in a narrow sense. To me, if
a idea is false then it is false in a possible worlds. I am arguing that
COMP is true, as I understand it, in worlds that are timeless and where
all physical particles are identical and Bosonic
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boson>. I am trying to fix this limitation
that I see in UDA, as the kernel of Bruno's result is, IMHO, worthy of a
Nobel prize! Sadly I cannot nominate him. :-(

I can't venture a guess why COMP implies those particular limits on the physics, but I guess you can explain once you formulate your theory better. As for Bruno's result, it strangely doesn't seem to be too well-known (although, I've seen it cited in various places), CTM without mind is immensely more popular (in the form of eliminative materialism) and that's a bit sad because Bruno's COMP is a lot more interesting in the picture it paints and the predictions it makes.
All talk of Copying has to assume a reality where decoherence has
occurred sufficiently to allow the illusion of a classical world to
obtain, or something equivalent... In Sane04 we see discussion that
assume the physical world to be completely classical therefore it
assumes a model of Reality that is not true.

Copying in UDA is done after the digital brain substitution, thus it's
all perfectly digital. Your claim would be that no doctor could make
an accurate substitution, thus you reject the premise?

That does not make any sense because the act of digital substitution
*is* a copy operation. I accept copying only if it is done in accordance
with the actual physics of our reality and not just in some fancy
possible world where there is no time and all particles are bosons.

The *initial* act of substitution (which isn't discussed and assumed directly at step 0 in the UDA) may be performed through a variety of means, which are not obvious or relevant for now. UDA 1-8 assumes a SIM that already has a digital brain and the act of copying there is no different from you sending this email or downloading/uploading something on the Internet. The way the substitution act is performed is very specific to our world and completely irrelevant for the actual UDA, but it's generally assumed possible at the limit of our technological progress and generally physically possible, here's some example possibilities: 1) Scanning frozen brain tissue using some Atlum-like device, building a connectome, ... (see http://www.carboncopies.org/ www.humanconnectomeproject.org/ ) 2) Indirect uploading by environment/sense data interpolation (mostly hypothetical, highly inaccurate) 3) MWI-assisted uploads (described previously) - while practical to implement, it's hardly desirable to go such a strange road 4) If we ever get some MNT(molecular nanotechnology) working, we're likely to be able to much more directly and accurately perform scans than what Atlum-like devices do and much faster. As you can see, the actual nature of the "doctor" and how it does the job can vary very much and depends mostly on our scientific research in said domain, however *after* the digital substitution, the UDA can be applied as all the copying/"teleportation" is no more than copying digital data and running programs in the appropriate hardware. The UDA itself is independent of the means the doctor does his job. The means are not assumed to violated physics in any way (none of the examples listed do, although one assumes an interpretation of QM, while others assume certain (difficult, but physically possible) technological advances). You could even imagine the case of some non-human AI which was programmed/designed de novo could still perform the entirety of the UDA and there wouldn't even be a need for a "doctor" (however in that case, the subst. level is fixed at design time).
The alternate option to COMP being false is usually some form of
infinitely complex matter and infinitely low subst. level. Either way,
one option allows copying(COMP), even if at worst indirect or just
accidentally correct, while the other just assumes that there is no
subst. level.

No, this is only the "primitive matter" assumption that you are
presenting. I have been arguing that, among other things, the idea of
primitive matter is nonsense. It might help if you wanted to discuss
ideas and not straw men with me.

We can discuss the ontology that results after UDA, the arithmetical
one, however one should keep in mind that that ontology is the result
of a certain argument based on certain assumptions. You seem to reject
the assumptions, but seem to be interested in discussing the resulting
ontology. I think that's the main point of confusion, because most of
us are taking those assumptions for granted when discussing COMP.

Do you understand at all the stuff about material and idea monism that I
have mentioned previously? We are exploring the implications of a very
sophisticate form of Ideal Monism that I am very much interested in, as
it has, among other wonderful things, an unassailable proof that
material monism is WRONG. What I am trying to discuss is how this is a
good thing but the ontological theory as a whole that it is embedded in
has a problem that is being either a) misunderstood, b) ignored or both.
To be fair, I still have trouble understanding your objections to UDA 8/MGA, and this discussion has been going on for quite some time now, maybe I'm just incapable of seeing the subtle distinction that you're trying to draw. Bruno postulates arithmetic or combinators, but if you want a different ontological foundation, you can formulate it and see how it fits within COMP (in case you assume it) and how that changes predictions and/or explanations.
I am a student of philosophy and one of the reasons that I participared
in the List, actually the only reason, is to learn "applied philosophy".
I am interested in the application of various philosophical ideas. I
would be doing this in a university setting if it where possible, but I
do not qualify. I am too old, poor, married with children and dislexic
to be doing the university thing, so I beg your indulgence with my
strangeness. I really do appreciate that you are taking the time and
effort to have these exchanges with me. ;-)
No problem, I'm just a new poster on this mailing list. I've been thinking/reading about some of the ideas central to this mailing list for a few years now and decided to post here to see if someone could shine some light on the likelihood of one particular hypothesis of mine being true (I still don't know) and ended up staying for more general discussion on related topics ;)

Unfortunately, I won't be around a day or two, so this is my last reply for now.



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