On 31 Jul 2012, at 11:08, Alberto G. Corona wrote:
Evgenii, great questions
2012/7/30 Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru>
On 30.07.2012 11:19 Alberto G. Corona said the following:
What do you mean by "the world of the mind is different form the
phisico-mathematical world"? Is this as by Descartes res cogitans
vs. res extensa?
As you said, it is a matter of common sense and Descartes had it.
But it can be also derived from the Computational hypothesis in
virtue of it, even monist materialists have to accept the world of
the mind, (and I need the opinion of Bruno) because two different
"material substrates" can support the same mind. Materialism is a
monism but has a hidden dualism that is converted back into monism
by the process of avoiding delicate questions, for example the
nature of perceptions and the nature of the suppossedly "external"
phenomenons that they affirm that they study, This i suspect, does
not resist a deep examination. Within the monist sceintist, It
resurfaces in the mathematical nature of reality that implies a
dualism between matter and (some) mathematics. That is because
matter ,and perceived phenomenons of "reality" are nothing but
mental categories like electron, Person, among other more abstract
like USA or Vanity or Essence, all of them have some correspondence
with the outer world, that I argue, is purely mathematical. This is
the world outside of the mind. Any way you take it, wether the mind
is a product of the matter or the opposite or something else, there
are two different realities. no matter if you put both in a single
substance, or you divide them
I agree with all what is said here. I comment rarely your post because
I usually agree with them.
I do think there is a phenomenological dualism between mind and
matter, and I do think we can retrieve it from computationalism, where
such dualism (and others) arise from the fact that all the points of
view of the self-observing machine obeys different logics, and
generates different structures in the mind.
[Our phenomenology conform a common, communicable reality among us
because it is the product of a common mind, that is a product of
a common brain architecture, that is a result of a common brain
development program that is a result of a common genetic
Let me ask Max Velmans' question again. According to neuroscience,
all conscious experience including visual is in the brain. Hence,
according to the ultimate causes, is the brain in the world or the
world in the brain? What would you say?
Again, this question is quite important, as we have to define what
observation is. Does for example observation happens in the brain
The activity of the brain is the mind and the mind is a separate
world that includes all that can be perceived. What is outside of the
mind may just plain mathematics. What we call phisical world is in
reality set of phenomenons perceived by the mind. Observations happen
in the mind. We can repeat and verify experiments because we live in
the same mathematical reality outside of the mind, and because our
minds have similar architecture and experience, so we have the same
language, interests, experimental machines, procedures, so, as Eric
Voegelin said, we live in a shared social mind.
I am not sure if I understand. How do you connect these two
"What we call phisical world is in reality set of phenomenons
perceived by the mind."
"because we live in the same mathematical reality outside of the mind"
Do you mean that the world outside of the mind is congruent with the
perceived world by the mind?
Yes. This is not magical, but a product of natural selection. Our
mental world is made to support life, and life is the art of
maintaining and reproducing our bodies, that live outside of the
mind. A computer can simulate anythnig we want, but our brains are
dedicated computers devoted full time to carefully examine the
external reality that appear to our perception as phenomenons or
else, we would not survive. Some irrealities can be accepted when
they are in a trade-off with other more valuable knowledge, or the
perception is too expensive. We do not see individual dangerous
bacterias for example, but we avoid them by smell and taste and
some visual clues, well before we noticed its existence.
So when we have in front of our eyes an arrangement of atoms that
has direct or indirect meaning for our purposes, we identifty and
classify it according with his "use": men, women, disgusting,
pleasing, horses, experiments, countries..but also atoms, electrons
and so on. And we proceed acordingly. None of these things exist
outside of the mind, but what we are sure of is that outside there
is something that make all of us perceive the same things and it
respond with certain laws that we have discovered that are
mathematical. So both are congruent because the mind evolved to be
congruent, but not only congruent, but congruent in certain defined
ways. There is a branch called evolutionary epistemology that study
the epistemological consequences of the evolved nature of our mind.
However, The COMP hypothesis it is possible to parsimoniously
substitute every component of the brain by a silicon analogue without
the mind being aware of the change. this , for me, makes the question
"were our minds come from" a mistery
Do you know Bruno's theorem? If yes, what do you think about it?
Yes, I agree with the first steps, but do not see the need of
computing the universe.
The physical universe is not computed, it is only emerging from the
first person (hopefully plural) indeterminacy due to the competition
between an infinity of universal machine or number to generate your
state. With comp neither matter nor consciousness are Turing emulable,
only truncated bodies at the substitution level can make a
consciousness able to manifest itself relatively to you and your most
Assuming comp, the apparent computability of our environment is the
mystery, and without QM, which include apparent local non
computability, I would have found comp not empirically plausible.
rather than that, I see that the living beings compute and this
computational nature of living beings impose very strict
requirements for an existent universe that exist, that is, can be
observed by life forms.
Rather than deciding arbitrarily that a universe must be
mathematical or computational or absent from contradictions, is the
computational nature of life what imposes a mathematical universe
with smooth, continuous macroscopical phisical laws under reusable
mathematical structures that appears again and again in different
contexts. This is the only way for living beings to evolve and to
evolve minds capable of understanding the universe. Otherwise, the
brain necessary for a complex universe would be too complex for
natural selection to design it and even life would not appear in the
OK. More or less (a bit quick perhaps).
An example of ultimate causes may be the theory of Relativity,
statistical mechanics, the fact that we live in a four
dimensional universe and our 4d life lines go along a maximum
gradient of entropy, and the desplacement along these lines is
called time, that is local to each line. Another ultimate cause
is the nature of natural selection, how and why a certain
aggregate of matter can maintain its internal entropy in his path
trough a line of maximum increase of entrophy, and it is by
detection computation and acting to avoid dangers and to capture
good things. The good and bad entropy must come in identifiable
bags in an eternal "videogame". This is a requisite for life. Non
avoidable changes of entropy causes mass extinctions.
[The maximum gradient of entropy is paradoxically at first sight,
the most computable path, that is why life proceed in this
In your presentation you use terms causation and computation. How
would you define them?
Causation is a consequence of life, that proceed in a definite
direction, the direction of entropy increase. In a space-time
unverse , such is the solutions of general theory of relativity or
the M theory, there is no notion of beginning nor end. some
solutions are represented as a four dimentional bell with a
singularity in the peak of the bell. For example:
That´s all. No beginning , no end . No time. No causes. Is our urge
for seeing our arrow of time represented in the bell, and to add
some causalities what adds to the figure a notion of principle, in
the singularity and a a initial "explosion" (why not implosion
back?) . This is unavoidable, but it is not something phisically
demanded by the equations.
But why we see causes and efects and time-dependent phisical laws? .
Our local experiments in physics do have causalities and time
because we observe them going trough our arrow of time. We see
photons emerging from a bulb. We do not see photons converging to
the bulb and heating the metal in the bulb in a way that produce
electricity back. In this case the causes and effects would
reverse. This reverse process is compatible with the microphisical
laws and we would observe it in this same universe if our lifes
would proceed in the reverse arrow of time, but this is not the case
and moreover, it is impossible, because a this reverse arrow produce
umpredictable phenomenons such are "miracolous" convergences of
photons in lightbulbs and thus are not computable. A living being
could not make use of the environment and would die (or
disintegrate). so life is not possible in this reverse direction.
That is what I try to demonstrate in my presentation and in the
The fact that macroscopical phisical laws(like the law of
thermodinamics, the achimedes principle, the dynamic of bodies
reduced to the dynamic of its center of gravity etc) do have a arrow
of time while microscopical laws do not obey to the same reasons why
life is possible in this direction and not in the opposite: we can
reason about whole macroscopical objects in the entropy increase
direction, but in the opposite direction we are forced to consider
individual particle by particle trajectories.
This is very plausible. It is certainly defensible in the QM
(Everett), and in comp, where it can be justified by iteration of the
self-duplicating aspect of observers in arithmetic.
Life exists on the border between the computable and the non computable.
Under the idea of four dimensional (or higuer dimensional) block
where time are included and everithing is static, causality does not
exist. The M theory describes a timeless manifold, but there are
partial phisical laws, that describe particular local phenomenons,
that uses time as parameters, but these phisical laws which take time
as parameter, do not have a preference for a particular arrow of
time, so, as I try to show, heat in the air can rearrange the pieces
of a porcelain vase and push it up to the table. causality appears in
our time-oriented mind, who proceed, as I try to demonstrate in the
presentation, in the computable direction , the direction of entropy
increase. for this reason causes are less entropic that consequences.
is the drop of the vase what causes his crash because entropy
increase is the direction of life and we observe it this way.
Let us say that there is some conglomerate of atoms. When it
computes and when not?
From a black-box perspective, they compute when they are open to to
environment and they maintain its internal entropy. That may be the
definition of life too. From inside, they must live in a predictable
environment with smooth phisical laws where entrophy dangers and
opportinities can be discovered to react appropriately
I would suggest to consider a series as follows:
A greath exercise,
1) A rock;
A rock does not compute but it may be said that it maintain its
internal order by generating a newtonian force equal and opposed to
every force exerted against it. So it may be considered that perform
a analogical computation. But a rock does not preserve and extend
its information by reproduction.
2) A ballcock in the toilet;
It is an analogical device with a detector (the piece thar floats)
and an actuator (the piece that closes the flux of water) . Both
are solidary. The computation is the most simple possible: upon a
threshold the flux of water is interrupted.
OK. I do think that life and consciousness manifestation necessitates
universality (or near-universality, or some weakening). Self-
consciousness arises with Löbianity which is equivalent with
universality + self-awareness of that universality.
3) A self-driving car;
A self driving car can maintain temporally its internal order by
acting as consequence of computations that take sensory information
as input. The crankshaft is an analogical computer that coordinate
the cycle of the engine cilinders. But this order can not last
across generations unless humans repair, maintain the information of
how to build it and assemble more. His life status may be the less
than the one of a virus.
"Alive" is sometimes used for "conscious". But third person life is
conventional. I like to say that virus are alive, even if, like
parasites, they need another living organism to steal the needed
materials. It makes me say that cigarettes are alive too, with a
complex reproduction cycle, acting on the human mind to grow the
tobacco plant and manufacture the protecting boxes. Then the cigarette
has developed a way to force human to burn them and inject the smoke
in the brain and forcing them to act in a way which enforces the
continuation of the cycle.
But unlike consciousness, I think that the problem of the definition
of life is a bit conventional and not much interesting.
4) A living cell.
A living cell perform chemical computations. For example. upon
contact or the receptors of the membrane with certain proteins, it
trigger a reaction that make the membrane localy permeable to accept
this protein . the mcrobiological literature is full of chains of
chemical reactions to produce ATP, sugars, proteins, using gene
sequences , enzymes, RNA etc, that are the computations performed
by the cell in order to maintain its internal order, Also to
reproduce, to segregate substances for other cells, if they are
social cells and so on. Schneider page about molecular machines is
very good. It defines clear definitions for entropy and information
for such molecular machines. http://www.ccrnp.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/paper/
computations for life is the art of achieving good internal
correlations between chemical and neurological systems in a way that
every possible input produces an output that is good for the system.
The engineer that select such correlation is the process of natural
selection. If the correlations are good, the living being survive.
if not, another mutant variation can solve the problem and survive.
In the process, natural selection construct a genetic storage and
transmission system, an enzimatic machinery to execute the genetic
program and produce proteins, a replication system, a sensory
system, a information processing center, i.e a brain, and actuators
to execute responses and so on in multicellular and social systems.
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