On Mar 21, 5:12 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 20 Mar 2012, at 20:24, Craig Weinberg wrote:
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> > On Mar 20, 1:27 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> >> On 20 Mar 2012, at 17:40, Craig Weinberg wrote:
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> >>> On Mar 20, 12:01 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>
> >>>> to explain things. But comp is a (scientific, modest) theology, in
> >>>> which we can "believe", hope, or fear, and which makes just many
> >>>> fundamental question technically formulable.
>
> >>> There is no consideration that the very act of technical formulation
> >>> could have an effect on the answer. As the Tao Te Ching begins: "The
> >>> name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name."
> >>> This
> >>> is not modest at all, it is in fact a reckless and arrogant
> >>> assumption.
>
> >> No, because it is presented as an assumption, not as a truth (like
> >> you
> >> did).
> >> Then comp agree with the TAO, the "real thing" cannot be named.
> >> But once you accept an assumption, if only for the sake of an
> >> argument, you can derive conclusion.
>
> > The conclusion you derive relates only to your assumption though.
>
> Thanks for making this precise. That's the goal.
>
> > The
> > truth could in fact be precisely the opposite of the conclusion which
> > presents itself without accepting an assumption.
>
> Yes.
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> > In that case, the
> > accepting of the assumption itself actually prevents any possibility
> > of seeing the error of the conclusion.
>
> ?

Assumption: To test something scientifically, we should first flatten
it with a steam roller.
Conclusion: Once they are flattened, it can be clearly seen that all
people are actually dead.

> It is the contrary. It is only by accepting the assumption that we can
> derive the conclusion, test them, and re-evaluate the assumption.

How does that work out with the steam roller? 100 out of 100 of people
flattened are revealed to be medically deceased. How does that allow
us to re-evaluate the assumption?

>
> > This is because of the symmetry
> > of consciousness. When we objectify our own awareness, it becomes a
> > character within our awareness, and therefore denatured and lacking
> > subjectivity.
>
> I don't see any reason for that.

I know. That's the problem. I happened to hear these lyrics yesterday
on a biography of Oscar Hammerstein:

"A bell's not a bell 'til you ring it, A song's not a song 'til you
sing it"

This is the symbol grounding problem, the use-mention distinction, the
Chinese Room, the China Brain, Leibniz windmill, etc. It's an
interesting problem in that degree to which the problem exists depends
upon where you are looking at it from. In 3p, there is no reason to
make such a distinction. Since the program has to define a bell as
ringable or a song as singable in advance, there is no way to 'show'
the difference. In 1p, the perspective is exactly flipped. The
continuous discovery and participation in the 'show' is everything.
The assumption of Comp cannot be made without flattening 1p to a 3p
shadow. It is a toy model of 1p but has no sense of presentation, only
an black box where numbers dream (of things besides numbers,
presumably...for reasons we can never know).

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> > It sounds like the comp position is that since the real thing cannot
> > be named, that lets us off the hook and we can just figure everything
> > else out and leave a hole where consciousness/qualia is supposed to
> > be.
>
> It is not the comp position. It is derived from it, and it is not used
> except when comparaing Plotinus' theology with machine's theology.

I still think that is the implicit Comp position. I don't see any Comp
argument make a point of trying to relate specific qualia to comp, it
is always partitioned off as if it weren't the source of all human
experience and epistemology but rather some troublesome bag of extra
screws and unidentifiable parts.

>
> > I think of it instead that the unnamable nature of experience is a
> > positive affirmation of epistemological validity. It is unnamable-ness
> > itself. It the self-evident nature of truth itself (sense) which makes
> > it true, not a mechanism which forces truth upon us. We can experience
> > truth and illusion directly and indirectly but the fact of experience
> > in the first place is perpetually true.
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> No problem.
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> >>> Comp assumes that its own framework can accommodate all
> >>> things and that no framework can reduce it to another, while further
> >>> assuming that this assumption is irrelevant or unavoidable. It may
> >>> be
> >>> useful to think of it that way for specific purposes, but as a bet
> >>> of
> >>> universal significance, it seems to me an obvious catastrophe.
>
> >> Not at all. That is what we can partially test. Comp assumes only we
> >> can survive with a digitalizable body.
>
> > It's not just 'we' but our entire participation in the world that is
> > assumed to be digitally interchangeable. A digitizable body can only
> > exist within a digitizable universe.
>
> False. The exact contrary has been proved.

How has it been proved? How can we be ourselves without a world to
exist in?

>
> > My point though, is that by
> > assuming that things can be truly, ontologically digitized (and not
> > merely imitated to the perceptual satisfaction of a given audience),
> > comp already fails to recognize the use-mention distinction (http://
> > en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use–mention_distinction) of consciousness.
>
> I don't see this.

I know. You aren't the only one. It may be like handedness or color-
blindness. Comp fits some minds better than others. It's as hard for
me to believe that you don't get it as it is for you to believe that I
actually do get it.

>
> > Assuming that we can survive with a digitized body is only the tip of
> > the iceberg of assumptions about pattern that take pattern recognition
> > utterly for granted.
>
> We don't need to take for granted any mental ability.

To say that pattern recognition is a mental ability is already falsely
labeling it.

> Just the
> existence of a level of description.

You are assuming there is a such thing as a 'level of description'
because you have already emasculated pattern recognition as a
descriptive epiphenomena rather than the totality of all phenomena.
I'm saying that there is only one level of description, and that is
the universe.

> If you negate this, it means that
> you assume the level to be "infinitely low",

No, it means I understand that your assumption that description can be
quantified is simplistic and inaccurate. Just as these words seem word-
like enough to us doesn't mean that they can't be revealed as generic
pixels on closer inspection. There is no universal level of
description, it is entirely relative to the sensory capacities of the
audience - the qualitative capacities, not just the quantitative
resolution.

> so that you need to
> introduce actual infinity and non computability of all levels. It is
> your right, but you fail to present a theory of this.

That has been your knock on me the whole time, but you aren't seeing
that my position is an order of magnitude more radical than that. I am
saying that finite and infinite qualities are not relevant at all. Not
even a little bit.

The uniqueness of the self and the indeterminacy of 1p are important
but nearly irrelevant compared to the presentational-participatory
aspects. It's not just that we feel different from other people or
that we can't predict how living things behave as well as we might
chemical or physical reactions. It makes sense that we would seize on
these aspects as important because we can work with them
arithmetically; they are the most quantitative functions of the self.

These are only the flattened shadows of selfness though. They mention
of the self but they don't actually use it. A picture of a bell, a
printout of a song, etc. That we feel unique or free is nothing
compared to the reality that we feel at all. This is the sticking
point. If we had reason to believe that programs or furniture could be
coaxed into feeling in the first place, we would not be having this
discussion. We would be talking instead about whether it is moral to
turn off our computers or to replace them when we get tired of them.

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> > Comp exports inorganic naive realism to a
> > universal level and builds from there.
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> >>>> In particular it does
> >>>> answer the question "where does the universe come from?". The
> >>>> answer
> >>>> is, by the truth about addition and multiplication, and the
> >>>> technical
> >>>> details are accessible to any universal machines.
> >>>> You will ask: "where does addition and multiplication comes from".
> >>>> This, in the comp theory can be answered: we will never know, at
> >>>> least
> >>>> in any publicly communicable way.
>
> >>> Why add the extra step of addition and multiplication?
>
> >> To get a Turing complete ontology.
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> > What does it further us though to have a Turing complete ontology
> > relate to the question in the first place? Instead of trying to make
> > it answer 'where does the universe come from?', why not 'where does
> > computing come from'?
>
> Because it is provable that computing exists once the addition and
> multiplication laws are assumed. Indeed computation has been
> discovered there.

I have no problem with that, but what does that have to do with
computing becoming the universe?

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> >>> The deus ex
> >>> mysterium of the latter answer nullifies any value of the former
> >>> answer, which now becomes:
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> >>> "where does the universe come from?"
> >>> "we will never know, at least in any publicly communicable way. "
>
> >> For the universe of number, or arithmetical truth, you are right.
>
> >> But the rest becomes explainable for that, as interfering numbers
> >> dreams, which are defined by sequences and subsequences of numbers in
> >> arithmetic, or the UD*.
>
> > It seems to me that the idea of numbers dreams is a plug for the
> > gaping rift between the two. If we have numbers, we don't need dreams,
>
> ?

I can unplug the monitor and sound card of my computer and all
programs will function without them. Why would the programs (even uber
sophisticated meta programs) need to dream?

>
> > and if we have dreams we don't need numbers.
>
> ?

If our lives are being dreamed by Platonic universal principles, why
do we want to turn them into dust by seeking out the dreamers?

>
> > To me they have to be two
> > poles of a single continuum, neither of which can be explained in
> > terms of the other or expressed in terms other than their own.
>
> >>> Somewhere between the complete failure to answer universal questions
> >>> and the certainty of arithmetic lies the really important questions.
>
> >> I have no certainty. You are introducing it.
>
> > Isn't certainty what addition and multiplication are all about?
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> No, it is just a logical consequence.

Logic is also about certainty.

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> >> OK, I have few doubt that "17 is prime", or that phi_i(j) stops or
> >> does not stops.
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> >>> It's a distraction to insert arithmetic in the first place when it
> >>> could just as easily be the case that the universal colors and odors
> >>> give rise to the universe.
>
> >> You abstract from the fact that with comp, all what is shown in UDA,
> >> is that we *have to* explain how odor, color and physical realties
> >> emerge.
>
> > No, we can just say that " we will never know, at least in any
> > publicly communicable way". Once we have the primitives of odor and
> > color, we can arrive at arithmetic through chemistry and biology.
>
> Those are not assumed, but have to be explained. That's the point.

I'm assuming them though. As you assume addition and multiplication, I
could assume odor and color and go from there. I could say arithmetic
is part of the dream of universal qualia. All digital patterns could
be reduced to stereo distinctions of simpler whole qualia into which
complexity is injected as an afterthought.

>
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> >> It gives the shape of the solution, and produces already the
> >> testable propositional parts. It also reminds us that the genuine
> >> theological debate is the question of who is closer to the truth:
> >> Plato or Aristotle.
>
> > What about 'Lao-Tzu'?
>
> He is closer to Plato, like all the mystics.
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> >>>> We already need the numbers to give
> >>>> sense to the question, and we can show that without assuming them
> >>>> (or
> >>>> equivalent) we cannot recover them.
>
> >>> What sense do numbers give to the question?
>
> >> With comp humans are examples of relative numbers, so you can take
> >> the
> >> sense *you* give to the question as an example.
>
> > I can already do that without numbers though. I don't see why numbers
> > would help.
>
> Because you assume non-comp and all the answers (on consciousness,
> matter, ...) at the start.

I don't assume non-comp, I assumed comp for many years until I
eventually saw reason to stop assuming it.

Craig

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