Hi Roger,

On 10/16/2012 7:48 AM, Roger Clough wrote:
Is consciousness just an emergent property of overly complex computations ?

    No!

The short answer is that I am proposing that :
1) Penrose's noncomputability position is equivalent to the position
that consciousness emerges at such a level of complexity.

    No!

2) In addition, that while Godel's incompleteness theorem may make
such calculations incomplete, it does not make them beyond the
range of computabilitlity.

No, it puts them beyond the domain of computability. Bruno has already shown this!

 Instead, it exposes these halted upward-directed
calculations to the possibility of continuing downward-directed platonic reason, the numbers themselves, and plato's geometrical forms. I do not know enough
mathematics to be more specific.

Look up Bruno's resent cartoon of Löb property. This is also available from http://lesswrong.com/lw/t6/the_cartoon_guide_to_l%C3%B6bs_theorem/

"Löb's Theorem shows that a mathematical system cannot assert its own soundness without becoming inconsistent."

A slightly more technical discussion here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry's_paradox <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry%27s_paradox>

If you would like a more complete discussion, read below.

    I will!

=======================================================
A MORE COMPLETE ANSWER:
Contemporary thinking on consciousness is that it is an "emergent property"
of computational complexity among neurons. This raises some questions:

A. Is the emergence of consciouness simply a another name for Penrose's condition of non-computability ?

http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/presentations/whatisconsciousness.html <http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/presentations/whatisconsciousness.html%20>

"Conventional explanations portray consciousness as an emergent property of classical
computer-like activities in the brain's neural networks.
The prevailing views among scientists in this camp are that

1) patterns of neural network activities correlate with mental states,
2) synchronous network oscillations in thalamus and cerebral cortex temporally bind information,
and
3) consciousness emerges as a novel property of computational complexity among neurons."


    That is Stuart Hameroff's idea, not Penrose's per se...



B. Or is there another way to look at this emergence ?

Now my understanding of "emergent properties" is that they appear or emerge through looking at a phenomenon at a lower degree of magnification "from above. " Thus sociology is an emergent property of
the behavior of many minds.

Sure, but the "integrity" or "wholeness" of an individual mind is only subject to a threshold in the sense of the requirement of closure under consistent self-reference (which is what Löb's Theorem is all about.) But this makes a mind solipsistic unless we can break the symmetry somehow!


IMHO "from above" means looking downward from Platonia. From a wiser position.

Penrose seems to take take two views of Platonia:

http://cognet.mit.edu/posters/TUCSON3/Yasue.html <http://cognet.mit.edu/posters/TUCSON3/Yasue.html%20>

One is his belief that there is a realm of non-computability, presumably that of Platonia as experienced.
All art and insight comes from such an experience.


No, that is what Kunio Yasue thinks that Penrose's position on Platonia! You might read The Emperor's New Mind for yourself and get it straight from the Horse's mouth.

http://www.thiruvarunai.com/eBooks/penrose/The%20Emperors%20New%20Mind.pdf

    This quote might give us a flavor of Penrose's thinking:

"In Plato's view, the objects of pure geometry straight lines,
circles, triangles, planes, etc. --were only approximately
realized in terms of the world of actual physical things. Those
mathematically precise objects of pure geometry inhabited,
instead, a different world Plato's ideal world of
mathematical concepts. Plato's world consists not of tangible
objects, but of 'mathematical things'. This world is
accessible to us not in the ordinary physical way but, instead,
via the intellect. One's mind makes contact with Plato's
world whenever it contemplates a mathematical truth, perceiving
it by the exercise of mathematical reasoning and
insight. This ideal world was regarded as distinct and more perfect
than the material world of our external experiences,
but just as real."

Exactly how the "contact" is made between the realms remains to be explained! This, BTW, is my one bone of contention with Bruno's COMP program and I am desperately trying to find a solution.


On the other hand, if I am not mistaken, Penrose seems to believe that the universe is made up of quantum "spin networks", which presumably can model even the most complex entities. He does not seem to deny that the "non-computational" calculations belong to the realm
of spin networks.

The "physical universe" yes, he believes that... He has shown how one can derive a crude version of space-time using spin combinatorials.

This casts some doubt on his belief in the possibility of non-computability,
and may even allow his spin networks, which are presumably complete,
to escape intact from Godel's incompleteness limitation.

    Not even wrong!

Instead, I propose the following:
1) Penrose's noncomputability position is equivalent to the position
that consciousness emerges at such a level of complexity.

    No!

2) In addition, that while Godel's incompleteness theorem may make
such calculations incomplete, it does not make them beyond the
range of computabilitlity. Instead, it exposes these halted upward-directed calculations to the possibility of continuing downward-directed platonic reason, the numbers themselves, and plato's geometrical forms. I do not know enough
mathematics to be more specific.
=================================================================


    We must study the math, there are no short-cuts!



Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net <mailto:%20rclo...@verizon.net>
10/16/2012
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
--

--
Onward!

Stephen

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