On Thu, Mar 1, 2012 Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> The question is "If I throw a coin, what is the probability that I see it
> becoming a flying pig". In front of the UD, that question is not trivial.

In this thought experiment the meaning of the word "I" is not obvious and
in fact the entire point of the exercise is supposed to be to make clear
exactly what "I" means, and yet you throw out the word as if the meaning is
already clear. In one sense there is zero probability because if you became
a flying pig you would not be Bruno Marchal anymore. And in some sense
there is zero probability the Helsinki man will be the Moscow man because
the Moscow experiences is what transformed the Helsinki man into the Moscow
man so that although he may remembers being him he is not the Helsinki man
anymore. So the answer to the question "If I change what is the probability
I will remain the same?" is zero. And that's why I think this first person
indeterminacy stuff is just silly.

> Comp is just "I can survive with a digital brain". It is about me, my
> consciousness, my body

Fine, but then how does that square with your comment "Comp makes
arithmetic a theory of everything". Consciousness is not everything.

> comp makes matter into an appearance in the mind of universal numbers
> only.

Comp can certainly make a mind that through virtual reality can experience
matter that does not in fact exist, but even if the rock the mind feels
like he is holding does not exist other matter does in the form of the
computer that is simulating the rock, and the mind too. You claim you have
proven that a computer made of matter is not necessary to do a simulation
like this but I'll be damned if I can see where you did this. In
Aristotle's metaphysics the potential and the actual are somehow one, but
is this really true? I don't know.

> OK. So you see that there is a 1p- indetermination.

I don't even think "1p- indetermination" has a clear meaning except  "if
you change then you are not the same"; well yes I can see that, it's true
but not very profound.

> the question does not bear on where he will be, but on where he will
> feels to be.

If I receive sense inputs from Washington I will feel like I'm in
Washington if I receive sights and sounds from Moscow I will feel like I'm
in Moscow. You may ask "why are you the Moscow man and not the Washington
man?", and my answer is because I received inputs from Moscow not
Washington. So a legitimate question and a proper use of probabilities
would be "What is the probability I will receive sights and sound from
Moscow but not Washington?". Unlike your question this one is perfectly
clear and is well suited for statistical analysis, but I don't see what
deep philosophical insights can be gained from it.

> he know that he will be in W and in M, but he knows that whatever he will
> feel to be, it will be in only one place, because he knows that he will not
> feel to be in two place at once.

Even that is not a given. This is virtual reality after all, it's the point
of your dovetail machine, so there is no reason you couldn't have the White
House in the middle of the Kremlin and the Washington Monument right next
to St. Basil's Cathedral.

> he is aware that he cannot predict which one among the many "he" he will
> feel to be.

That is true ONLY if he does not know if he will receive signals from
Washington or Moscow, if he knew that, and there is no reason in theory he
could not, then he could make such a prediction.

> That is the 1-indeterminacy, which is crucial for the rest of the
> reasoning.

I know it's crucial, and so if that fails, and it does, then the entire
proof falls apart. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying your conclusions
about numbers are wrong and in fact my hunch is that they are probably
right or close to it, but I don't think you've proved it and I'm certain
this 1p indeterminate stuff is a dead end.

> There is no difficulty. Just the discovery of how to explain a objective
> account of a feeling of subjective indeterminacy in the mechanist
> framework.

The explanation is not difficult, you never know what's coming next. Forest
Gump had a similar explanation that was every bit as deep, "Life is like a
box of chocolates...you never know what you're gonna get".

>>   Non-comp may not be contradictory but all the human practitioners of
>> non-comp most certainly are, every single one, no exceptions.
> >  Many are, but why all, and why necessarily?

All non-comp fans say that knowing what someone or something does is not
enough to determine if it is conscious, you need to know HOW they do what
they do; and yet until very recently nobody had the slightest idea how the
brain worked and yet they still firmly believed that their fellow human
beings were conscious when they acted as if they were, that is to say when
they were not sleeping or dead. Even today 99.9% of the human population
thinks that how the brain works is so unimportant that they have not
bothered to learn the first thing about it and are no more informed on the
subject than a medieval alchemist, and yet they still insist that how the
brain does what it does is far more important than what it does. This is
inconsistent, massively inconsistent.

 >> A God needs to be a person, a infinite person perhaps, a superhero of
>> superheroes, but a person.
> > Not at all. This is a Abrahamic axiom. There are other theories.

It's not a axiom and it's not a theory it's just the way human beings use
the word "God" in the English language. If you want to talk about something
that is responsible for our existence but is not a person then that's fine,
I do it all the time myself, but when I do so I don't use the word "God"
because I believe the purpose of language is communication and thus I
believe that a language known only to me is of no use to anyone. There are
about 900,000 words in the English language and I'm sure you can find at
least one of them that describes Arithmetic better than "God", however as I
said before, many people are willing to abandon the idea of God but for
reasons I don't understand they are unwilling to abandon the word "God".

>> Arithmetic is not a person, super or otherwise.
> > Arithmetical truth? How can you be sure.

Do I really need to be sure to conclude that referring to arithmetic as God
is unlikely to produce optimal communication fidelity?

 > non-plausible does not mean contradictory.

True, but it's the next best thing.

> With different statistical weight, at least for the experience which can
> be distinguished in the future. If not comp predict white noise for all
> experience, given that the UD generates them all.

So let's say that every 10^-43 seconds (the Planck Time) my life branches
in two (or any finite number), nevertheless when the thing called "I" looks
back even after many years have passed he sees a continuous path. There are
a enormous number of other things that call themselves John K Clark, some
of them very similar to the thing that is writing this Email and others
radically different (including one that is now Pope) but all of them see at
least some order in their past. It is true that there are a even larger
number of paths that have no order whatsoever, no rhyme or reason; and at
the end of one of those paths if there were a being looking back  he would
indeed see nothing but white noise, but there is no being there to look
back, because although a little randomness is helpful to Evolution in
producing intelligence, random mutation is only half the story, the other
half is nonrandom natural selection. So if looking back I saw nothing but
white noise I would not be around to look back.

  John K Clark

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