On 13 May 2013, at 09:30, Pierz wrote:
On Monday, May 13, 2013 2:49:32 AM UTC+10, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 12 May 2013, at 08:07, Pierz wrote:
I've long been interested in the very different realities which the
left and right brain hemispheres perceive. I recently read a
fascinating account of the 'pure' right brain perspective in Jill
Bolte Taylor's book "My Stroke of Insight". Bolte Taylor is a
neuroanatomist who suffered a catastrophic stroke in her early
thirties due to a undiagnosed AVN. The stroke wiped out her left
brain's functioning almost completely - she lost the capacity for
language production and comprehension, mathematical reasoning, and
a host of other functions to boot. What was left, she discovered,
was a blissful sense of one-ness with the world around her and the
cosmos as a whole. She felt herself as a fluid rather than a solid.
Despite the loss of may perceptual functions, such as the ability
to perceive visual edges, she was still highly attuned to "energy"
- energy in the rather New Age sense of the qualities that pervade
a space or emanate from a person. She was instantly able to
perceive the emotion and attitude that a person brought with them
when they visited her, despite being unable to understand a word of
what they said or even distinguish their physical features. In this
left-impaired state she lived in an eternal present, unable to
connect past and future with the current moment. Even after long
and arduous rehabilitation of her left brain functions, which were
eventually restored almost completely to pre-stroke levels, Bolte
Taylor insists that she gained vital insights into the nature of
the left and right brain through this experience, insights that
very much support Eastern teachings about mindfulness and switching
off the analytical mind. According to her experience, it seems to
be the left brain mode that interferes with our native capacity for
joy, but that a state of bliss is always just a "step to the right"
away, if we can still the left brain's interference.
Interesting. It supports also Theatetus' knowledge theory, I could
argue. It is the difference between Bp and Bp & p. It works thanks
Because not everything knowable is provably so, I take it.
Reading this account I was reminded of an idea I used to entertain.
We know that the world we perceive is in a sense a product of the
brain. The reality we see is just the spectrum of reality our
brains allow us or are attuned to perceive. This extends even to
something as basic as time. Nothing in physics defines a moment
"now" or an idea of progression. Rather it seems to be a by-product
of the way the brain processes. My wondering was this: what if the
scientific conception we have of reality is a product not of the
whole brain, but specifically of the left brain?
Yes. Type Bp. That's science.
In one sense, this is definitely the case: our scientific theories
were developed by the left brain and reflect a left brain mode of
perceiving the world. But what if this is true in a deeper sense?
What if the scientific way of seeing the world is a product of a
one-eyed mode of perception? What if reality has two hemispheres so
to speak? A qualitative and a quantitative aspect?
Aritmetic seen from inside as many different views.
Such a view would cast a different light on "comp". Bruno's version
of comp (I have no idea to what extent other computationalists
embrace the more radical elements of Bruno's theory, the reduction
of physics to arithmetic)
The reasoning is valid, or is not valid.
True, but that doesn't mean that everyone who is a computationalist
embraces it, right?
Everyone who understand computationalism and rational enough do so,
when also patient enough to study it of course. The exception are
some philosophers, and some scientists defending them for unknown
reasons. But I have never succeeded in meeting any of them.
Computationalism as its widely understood <> your "comp", sorry to
Not it is not. It is weaker than the other comp. Of course some people
take time to understand that comp does not work with weak materialism.
The widely understood computationalism is like the QM in the textbook:
it is not coherent.
I am aware that many ignore the result, but I don't think it is
related to having discovered some flaw or something.
That's all I'm asserting, not that "radical" makes it invalid.
claims to derive consciousness and qualia from mathematics.
This is not claimed, but assuming comp, we get a theory which
provides the math for the different points of view.
I'm pretty sure I read you making this this very claim recently, but
maybe you were either speaking loosely, or I was reading loosely.
Perhaps you said "from this we get the qualia and consciousness". My
thought was, no you don't "get" those things at all. You put them in
with the initial assumption and found them again at the end,
I assume them in UDA, but no more in AUDA, where I use semi-axiomatic
of them (mainly "capable of being find or produce by the machine, and
not rationally communicable), or, for knowledge, anything obeying the
S4 modal axioms, etc.
There are aspects of consciousness which is beyond the ability of the
machine to understand, or even define, completely, but this can be
explained by the machine.
Anyway, I don't have the energy to trawl through 1 million posts by
rclough (do you think he likes Leibniz by any chance?) to find your
exact words! The claim above I can accept.
OK. Normally I will come back on some of this on FOAR.
But this seems to me to be circular, since qualia were already
smuggled in with the original assumption of computationalism,
namely that consciousness supervenes on computation.
This is made clear at the beginning by the very comp hypothesis.
This assumption is expressed in "yes doctor", the "bet" that a
digital brain substitution will work. Having made this assumption,
Bruno's reasoning eventually shows that the qualia must inhere in
the purely abstract computation taking place in the mathematical
Platonia of the UD.
But this is not deriving qualia and consciousness from maths per se.
Absolutely so. that is why I am not a mathematicalist. With comp,
you can be arithmeticalist on the basic ontology, but the inside
points of view grows in the transfinite.
I think I follow - the 1p perspective arises from the limit of the
(infinite) consistent histories
Notably. This concerns more the content of the 1p experience, as the
logic of 1p is given just by the self-reference ability, which will
structure that content.
It is performing a reductio ad absurdum to remove the intervening
layer of the physical between computation and mind, once the comp
assumption has been made.
It shows such intervening layer can't work, nor is it well defined.
The problem I have pointed out before, which Bruno seems not to
see, is that mathematics cannot admit qualia without becoming
something other than mathematics.
Not at all. Comp is not mathematicalist. It is mathematicalist (even
arithmeticalist) for the ontology, but the epistemology os more ...
theologicalist, we might try to say.
"Not at all" - are you saying that mathematics *can* admit qualia
and still be mathematics?
No. I am saying that the qualia are not mathematical. But this is a
consequence of the math, as all machine can prove that her qualia will
have a non mathematical components for them. The machines are mystic,
somehow, and consciousness can be seen as the easiest and most common
mystic experience. We are born in it, and that is why we rarely see is
Or do you agree you've added something fundamentally non-
mathematical to the picture by giving maths an "inside view"? I'd
call you a mathematical mystic.
The inside view comes when we agree that knowledge obeys to S4, and we
recover S4 (S4Grz) by linking truth to belief.
In a sense, for a machine M1 much stronger than a machine M2, the
theology of M2 can be made mathematical. What M2 cannot do
"mathematically" is to lift that theology on herself, unless she bet
(cautiously) on some self-correctness principle, but that cannot be
done in any 3p method, and usually math is considered as 3p-science,
so that correctness is not a part of math, but on faith in some
reality made by the machine M2. Likewise, I decide to not look at such
machine as zombie, and that means I project a non mathematical thing
(my consciousness) on them. This too is not mathematical.
In fact some mathematicians understood already that the encompassing
notion of "mathematical truth", or even just "arithmetical truth" is
not accessible by mathematics. In practice, this is no problem because
we hardly need such an encompassing notion, but in "theology" we need
it for the inside views.
It turns into a kind of numerical mysticism like numerology or the
kabbalah, which see qualities in numbers. Of course numerology
can't be regarded as mathematics because mathematics is defined by
logical axioms which define purely and simply the relationships
between given symbols. It is certainly the case that there are,
provably, non-provable truths within any mathematical system, but
these truths are still mathematical truths, that is they still
pertain to intelligible sentences within that system of logic. The
sentence "2 is creative" (numerology) is like the sentence
"Function x in the UD is happy". It is unprovable, to be sure, but
that doesn't mean it is legitimised by Gödel. In fact it is not
"unprovable" in a Gödelian sense at all. It is simply unintelligible.
Yes, but the Lôbian machines are sensible to that distinction too,
they know that if they are correct or consistent their own Bp does
not behave like knowledge should be. Their knowledge is not
intelligible for them too.
You mean they know they can't prove their truth?
Yes. They know that if they are consistent then they cannot prove it.
They know that if they are correct, they cannot even define it. The
machines are quickly aware of their limitation, and of the need of
many non provable or non definable things which concerns them, and
machines can justify why, IF they are machines, it is normal that this
Comp, as it is defined, has no need of qualia, and no place for
them beyond the initial assumption of a correspondence between
qualia and computation.
In UDA the purpose is to explain what is physics if we take comp
In AUDA the qualia and consciousness is approached, and things are
defined in term of self-reference, limited to sigma_1 sentence, and
from different modal variant of the classical logic of self-reference.
Really have to read that! But you've talked about it so many times I
think I get the gist, without really understanding the G* stuff...
My maths stopped after first year uni.
A good book is Boolos 1979. A nice recreative introduction to G is
Smullyan's "Forever Undecided". In that last book it looks like it
concerns only people living in some fairy tale, with perfect liars and
truth-tellers inhabiting some magic island, but that fairy tale is
shown to be the case for ideally perfect machines thanks to the
"famous" diagonalization lemma of Gödel.
Mathematics has no need of any perceiver within the numbers. But
because we know there *is* a perceiver, and because we've assumed
this perceiver must be nothing more than the computational
processes which we assume underly it, we're forced into the idea
that maths itself contains consciousness, a notion that seems to
subvert mathematics into something else, kabbalah or numerology.
But what if mathematics is pure left-brain reality and qualia are
pure right brain reality? What if our brains, by being split into
two distinct perceptual systems, force the world to be split in the
same way, as the cones of the eye force the world into the primary
colours. "Logic" dictates that everything must be reducible to maths,
No. not logic. The comp hypothesis, OK. Logic alone dictates nothing.
That was shorthand - the logic of the UDA dictates that (or so you
say, I'm still agnostic).
I think you did a pretty good summary of the UDA(*). I am not sure
what you are missing. Feel free to try to point on an assumption which
would have been made implicitly, or if a step is not valid. UDA1-7 is
enough I think, as step 8 is more subtle, and can certainly be
Then if you agree that you can survive with both an artificial left
and right brains, the consequences go through.
And the incompleteness is beautiful as it suggests an innate left/
right brain interpretation for any machine.
but the strongly right-brained person reviles this notion. The
problem with the right brain of course is that is inarticulate and
loses every argument it gets into with the left. It doesn't have
the words to argue. It will never do good science. And so, in this
culture of hypertrophied rationality, right brain ways of being are
denigrated as irrational, superstitious, soft, feminine etc.
But this victory of one hemisphere over the other may have come at
a cost - the cost of happiness if Bolte Taylor is right, but also
at a philosophical cost, because increasingly the only reasoning
that is seen as valid is mathematical, when so many (all?) of the
great philosophers were led by heart and instinct as much as pure
Yes that very sad. But then again, you should appreciate that such a
very fact *can* be understood and developed by the right brain
? Mixing left and right again, but even so, not quite sure what you
Yes. I was mixing right and left again. Sorry. What I mean, roughly
speaking, is that the brain (beliefs) is a dynamical map of the
neighborhood (truth), and that it has a fixed point, and that the
theory you mention suggests that the fixed point is in the right
brain. So our left hemisphere uses the Bp logic, and the right
hemisphere use the Bp & p logic.
If someone lost one hemisphere, then it will quickly develop a new
fixed point soon enough. Those are more logical points than spatial
points to be sure. Eventually "space is in our head".
(And yes, the philosophy-haters will say I only incriminate
philosophy with this admission, but that merely reasserts the
Comp suggests qualia arising as a sort of by-product of the maths,
No, comp bet our bodies are finite creature, locally. Then the math
suggests where the qualia come from, and why it is not computable,
etc. Science is on the side of proof (doubtable), the qualia is on
the side of truth (not doubtable).
Qualia are in Bp & p, Bp & Dt & p, with p sigma_1, at the G* level.
I have explained this on this list and might explain soon or later
on the FOAR list.
but this does beg the question of why the qualia are necessary at
They are necessary because the machines or numbers are confronted
with, not only machines, but also truth. The left brain keep intact
its ombilical chord with truth (Bp & p); The right brain is the
just as that question is begged by the materialist position.
Arithmetic would seem to get along just fine adding one and one
without needing to involve any subject in the business. A view that
unifies right and left realities would suggest that the
ontologically prior reality is one which encompasses both qualia
and structure (number). Qualia would have equal footing in such a
But with comp, numbers of finite things are enough for the ontology,
then qualia get a large footing encompassing the first person
sharable one, the quanta.
This is only speculation of course, but it appeals to me and there
is some phenomenlogical "evidence" for it in the form of Bolte
Taylor's experiences. However, I'm aware that in one sense there
can never be real evidence for it, since our current mode of
manufacturing ("finding") evidence is a product of the left brain
dominant wordview, which excludes qualia from the outset. This
leaves this whole idea potentially stranded in the ridicule zone,
due to the cutting of the cultural corpus callosum. Nevertheless I
look forward to anyone's responses.
I think that I subscribe much to your view, but that it fits
actually both comp, like in UDA, but also the what the machines
already says (or remain silent, but then can explain why) about
p (truth, beyond quanta and qualia)
Bp (no qualia)
Bp & p (qualia)
Bp & Dt (physics, observable, no qualia)
Bp & Dt & p (qualia: physics sensible) (all this at the G* level)
The qualia comes from the non communicable link you have with truth,
and some of those truth are undoubtable fixed point for self-
observation, self-sensibility, self-knowledge, self-belief, etc.
Machine *can* reason on the "non reasonable things", and even
eventually understand that there is no need of domination relation
between dream and truth. It works better when collaborating.
Interesting. I appreciate your response.
Thanks. I appreciate your comment, and your page on the UDA(*). There
is no problem of not being convinced, but I fail to see an error or a
missing assumptions, and theories works like that. It is preferable to
fake them as true until we see a clear falsity, in which case we can
improve the theory or search another one. UDA is not entirely logical,
as it is applied logic, and I use some occam razor, and the idea that
reification or ontological commitment should never been done in
science. In applied science, it means that an amount of good-
willingness is presupposed. It is quite similar to Everett. We cannot
say that Everett has proved that there is no collapse, but it has
proved that the collapse does not make sense if we suppose QM
universally true. Likewise I don't prove that primitive matter does
not exist, but that it does not make sense for selecting, without some
magic, digital machine's consciousness.
(I will reread it and answer some questions there asap)
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