On 29 Feb 2012, at 13:50, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 2/28/2012 5:19 PM, Quentin Anciaux wrote:
2012/2/28 Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net>
On 2/28/2012 10:43 AM, Quentin Anciaux wrote:
Comp substitute "consciousness"... such as you could not feel any
difference (in your consciousness from your POV) if your brain was
substituted for a digital brain.
OK, but could you elaborate on this statement?
It means an hypothetical "you" after mind uploading would feel as
conscious as you're now in your biological body, and you would
steel *feel* and feel being you and conscious and all...
We need to nail down exactly what continuity of self is. if
there is no "you", as Brent wrote yesterday, what is that which is
invariant with respect to substitution?
As I said, Brent made a sort of pedagogical mistake, but a big one,
which is often done, and which explains perhaps why some materialist
becomes person eliminativist.
The "you" is a construct of the brain. It is abstract. You can see it
as an information pattern, but a real stable one which can exist in
And you can build it for any machine by using Kleene's "second
It is the key of the whole thing. So let me explain again. You can
certainly construct a program D capable of doing some simple
duplication of an arbitrary object x and apply any transformation T
that you want on that duplicated object, perhaps with some parameters:
Dx gives T(...., xx, ....),
Then applying D to itself, that is substituting x for D, leads to a
DD gives T(...., DD, ...).
You might add "quotes" to prevent an infinite loop:
Dx gives T(...'xx' ...) so that
DD gives T(... 'DD'...).
This is the trick used by Gödel, Kleene, Turing, Church, Post, ... in
all incompleteness and insolubility result, but also, in abstract
biology (see my paper "amoeba, planaria, and dreaming machine".
That define a relative "you", trivially relative to you. It is the "I"
of computer science. It allows you to write a program referring to its
entire code/body in the course of its execution. In some programming
language, like the object oriented Smalltalk, for example, it is a
build in control structure called SELF.
This gives, unfortunately only a third person notion of self. It is
more "my body" than my "soul", and that if why, to do the math, we
have to use the conjunction of truth, with belief, to get a notion of
first person. By the non definability of truth, this "I" cannot be
defined by the machine concerned, but it still exist, even if doubly
immaterial---because it is abstract, and in relation with the non
definable (by the machine) truth.
Both are invariant, by definition, when the comp substitution is done
at the right level. It means that the reconstituted person will behave
the same, and feel to be the same.
Is the differentiation that one might feel, given the wrong
substitution level, different from what might occur if a "digital
uploading" procedure is conducted that fails to generate complete
It depends on the wrongness of the substitution or the lack of
continuity... it's not binary outcome.
At some point it would have to be, for a digital system has a
fine grained level of sensitivity to differences, no? I am trying to
nail down the details of this idea.
The details are in the mathematics of self-reference.
Those "does not feel any difference" terms are a bit ambiguous and
Digital physics says that the whole universe can be substituted
with a program, that obviously imply comp (that we can substitue
your brain with a digital one), but comp shows that to be
inconsistent, because comp implies that any piece of matter is non-
computable... it is the limit of the infinities of computation
that goes through your consciousness current state.
Can you see how this would be a problem for the entire digital
uploading argument if functional substitution cannot occur in a
strictly classical way, for example by strictly classical level
measurement of brain structure?
Yes, and if it is, it is a big indication that comp is somehow
AFAIK, it would only prevent the continuation of the idea that
"we are only that which is within our skin". We might finally escape
from the modular clock world of gears and levers that the
Parminidean and Newtonian world view entails.
But comp escapes this. If "I" am a machine, then the reality, globally
cannot be a machine, and from the point of view of any machine, his 1-
I cannot be a machine either, even if it *is* a machine ... from God
(Truth) point of view.
Here there is a quite difficult idea, made simple by the self-
reference logic, which is that:
G* proves that Bp is extensionally equivalent to Bp & p. (they prove
the same arithmetical p),
But G, and thus the machine, does not prove that, which makes them
intensionally different. The first obeys to G, and the second obeys to
a logic of knowledge (S4Grz).
Any dependence of consciousness on quantum entanglement will
prevent any form of digital substitution. This might not be a bad
thing for Bruno's ontological argument - as it would show that 1p
indeterminacy is a function or endomorphism of entire "universes"
in the many-worlds sense - but would doom any change of immortality
via digital uploading.
Sure, but if the level is that down... then even if it is still
compatible with comp, for all practical purposes, it's the same as
if it was wrong...
I am not so sure. I think that the way that QM systems are
linear will still allow substitution, but not in the usual way of
thinking. The problem that I see is the lack of understanding of
Comp does not assume QM. It is just not part of the theory. And then
the reasoning shows that as far as QM is a physically correct law, it
has to be derived from comp.
To understand comp, you have to abstract yourself of any *theory* on
the physical reality. It is easy, if you grasp Church thesis, which
makes the definition of computation general enough, and purely
Ihope Quentin will not mind too much I answered the question addressed
I hope also this helps a bit. You should try to have a complete
understanding of the UDA, which asks only for a passive understanding
of Church thesis and of universal Turing machine, before digging on
the more complex translation of UDA in arithmetical terms, where the
billions of confusions possible are handled by the nuances made
obligatory by the subtle counter-intuitive logics of self-reference.
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