On 11/19/2012 9:25 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 19 Nov 2012, at 05:03, Stephen P. King wrote:

On 11/18/2012 8:12 PM, Russell Standish wrote:
On Sun, Nov 18, 2012 at 07:48:57PM -0500, Stephen P. King wrote:
Hi Russell,

     I agree with this view, especially the part about the
compatibility of bases leading to a 'sharing of realities' that then
gives rise to an illusion of a single classical reality; I just
phrase the concepts differently. My question to you is how 'simple'
can an observer be, as a system? It seems to me that even particles
could be considered as observers. I buy Chalmers' argument for

I doubt that very much, as if true, then we should expect to find
ourselves as particles, which is the Occam's catastrophe redux I point
out in my book.

Hi Russell,

And how could we know that we are not particles dreaming that we are humans? Particles are, after all, just an artifact of a particular basis that some set of "observers with compatible bases can sharing their realities". Is a reality something that is 1p in your thinking? It isn't in my thinking but I'll put that aside for now. That is a very interesting point and I have long wondered about the distribution arguments (ala Bostrum <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Bostrom#Simulation_hypothesis>) and Occam's catastrophe <http://www.mail-archive.com/everything-list@googlegroups.com/msg22943.html>. It seems to me that there is something that is being assumed about consciousness in those reasonings, something that is being taken for granted. (For one thing, the Solomonoff-Levin distribution assumes a universal ensemble that is very much like Leibniz' pre-established harmony and thus problematic as it is not computable <http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Algorithmic_probability>. Bruno's rejection of infinities seems to disallow for such priors to work for comp, IMHO.)

Partially OK. It is more complex as the probabilities, although "objective", concerned the 1p, which might contains actual infinities (at least in some sense).

Dear Bruno,

OK, I need to understand where actual infinities are permitted within comp's theoretical structure.

I think that we can think of this cryptic idea that there is somehow a difference of the 'we' or, more correctly, the 'I' that is, as I claim, instantiated in a electron or an ant or a human or a giant Black Cloud and that this difference can somehow be remembered and passed along in continuations. It is the one complaint that I have with reincarnation theories, the idea that some memories that can only be defined with reference to physical bodies can be continued. I think that the 'I' is not much different from the center of mass of physics. The C.o.M. does not really exist at all as a substance or physical object and yet it has causal efficacy in some way... Could be that consciousness is being assumed to be some kind of substance that has persistent existence, like material substances in Parmenidean and Aristotelian science? What if this assumption is 'not even wrong'? What happens to the center of mass of an aggregate when the members of that aggregate are altered? What if consciousness is not a 'thing', but is a 'process' - something more like a 'stream <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nonwellfounded-set-theory/#sectionstreams>'. Computer science has no problem with streams that I know of... I am trying to get Bruno to consider streams, as he does seem to be OK with Quine atoms (which are the canonical case of a stream!)

Could explain the realtion between Quine atoms and streams?

I do not know how to explain this relation is words at this time. Please allow me to refer to some definitions and ask for some thought on your part.

From: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nonwellfounded-set-theory/#sectionstreams

"A/stream of numbers/is an ordered pair whose first coordinate is a number and whose second coordinate is again a stream of numbers. The first coordinate is called the/head/, and the second the/tail/. The tail of a given stream might be different from it, but again, it might be the very same stream. For example, consider the stream/s/whose head is 0 and whose tail is/s/again. Thus the tail of the tail of/s/is/s/itself. We have/s/= ? 0, /s/? ,/s/= ? 0, ? 0, /s/? ? , etc. This stream/s /exhibits object circularity. It is natural to "unravel" its definition as:


It is natural to understand the unraveled form is as an/infinite sequence/; standardly, infinite sequences are taken to be functions whose domain is the set/N/of natural numbers. So we can take the unraveled form to be the constant function with value 0. Whether we want to take the stream/s/described above to/be/this function is an issue we want to explore in a general way in this entry. Notice that since we defined/s/to be an ordered pair, it follows from the way pairs are constructed in ordinary mathematics that/s/will not itself be the constant sequence 0."

A Quine atom is a set that only has itself as a member or "Quine Atom is a set Q that satisfies Q={Q}".

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quine_atom and http://math.eretrandre.org/mybb/showthread.php?tid=28

It might be helpful to think of a Quine atom as a labeled transition system to understand my point about the relation between Quine atoms and streams.

Note that the UD dovetails on all programs, with all inputs including all streams.

    Yes. This is why I think that your UD idea is very important!

Are you assuming that consciousness is somehow independent of bodies, ala Bruno's immaterialism of numbers? Isn't this just an obscure form of Cartesian dualism that just argues away the existence of the 'res extensa' as being, as per Bruno's argument, something that Occam's razor cuts out of ontology and thus are left with a 'arithmetic body problem' where the 'res extensa <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Res_extensa>' used to be?

But you need to postulate a small physical universe, and to speculate on a flaw in step 8, to get this.

Why? I am only taking comp seriously and considering that a finite but very large plurality of Löbian entities can form a defacto 'physical world' by their mutual agreements or truths. This 'physical world' is not to be considered as ontological primitive!

I thought for a long time on this list that the step 8 was not needed here, as the postulation of a small primitive physical universe cut the benefits of everything-like philosophy, which was the starting of this very list.

    Yes, so why is my idea so difficult for you to grok?

Also, to be "left with the body problem" is what is intersting in comp, as it gives the realm, and the ways, matter can appear and be explained. All the other theories assumed matter at the start.

I know and this is what I wish to overcome, but I which for a model of interactions between Löbian entities.


I suspect that as human beings, we rank amongst the simplest of all
possible observers.

Is this because of your argument that self-awareness is necessary for consciousness? Maybe you are right but thinking of it backwards; could you consider that there is a difference between being able to 'know' that one is conscious and simply being conscious? I think that Craig is making the case that 'sense' or raw 'something that is like being in the world' is not separable from the 'being in the world'. What we have is the case where the 'simulation of the entity' is the entity itself; yet this wording does violence to the concept that I have been trying to explain.

The best explanation that I have to point to is Kaufman and Zuckerman & Miranker's Russell operator idea and the Quine atom as a formal mathematical concept and its identification of the object with itself. It cannot be understood so long as one is embedded in the vision of the universe as being well founded and 'regular <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_of_regularity>' - that there are a single set of 'irreducible' parts that make it up. It amazes me that the ideas of those Greek guys from 2000 years ago still carry so much influence over our thinking!



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