On 14 Oct 2013, at 17:46, Craig Weinberg wrote:
A first draft that I posted over the weekend.
I. Trailing Dovetail Argument (TDA)
A. Computationalism makes two ontological assumptions which have not
been properly challenged:
The universality of recursive cardinality
Complexity driven novelty.
Both of these, I intend to show, are intrinsically related to
consciousness in a non-obvious way.
B. Universal Recursive Cardinality
Mathematics, I suggest is defined by the assumption of universal
cardinality: The universe is reducible to a multiplicity of
discretely quantifiable units.
No mathematician will read more after this. Sorry Craig, but if you
use standard terms, you need to follow the standard use. Mathematician
avoid talking on the universe, at the start, and they do no more try
to build foundations, still less on anything discrete.
Please avoid jargon, and use simpler terms. Avoid attributing nonsense
to others. You make unclear what generations of thinkers have succeed
in making clear.
The origin of cardinality, I suggest, is the partitioning or
multiplication of a single, original unit, so that every subsequent
unit is a recursive copy of the original.
Because recursiveness is assumed to be fundamental through math, the
idea of a new ‘one’ is impossible. Every instance of one is a
recurrence of the identical and self-same ‘one’, or an inevitable
permutation derived from it. By overlooking the possibility of
absolute uniqueness, computationalism must conceive of all events as
local reproductions of stereotypes from a Platonic template rather
than ‘true originals’.
A ‘true original’ is that which has no possible precedent. The
number one would be a true original, but then all other integers
represent multiple copies of one. All rational numbers represent
partial copies of one. All prime numbers are still divisible by one,
so not truly “prime”, but pseudo-prime in comparison to one. One, by
contrast, is prime, relative to mathematics, but no number can be a
true original since it is divisible and repeatable and therefore non-
unique. A true original must be indivisible and unrepeatable, like
an experience, or a person. Even an experience which is part of an
experiential chain that is highly repetitive is, on some level
unique in the history of the universe, unlike a mathematical
expression such as 5 x 4 = 20, which is never any different than 5 x
4 = 20, regardless of the context.
I think that when we assert a universe of recursive recombinations
that know no true originality, we should not disregard the fact that
this strongly contradicts our intuitions about the proprietary
nature of identity. A generic universe would seem to
counterfactually predict a very low interest in qualities such as
individuality and originality, and identification with trivial
personal preferences. Of course, what we see the precise opposite,
as all celebrity it propelled by some suggestion unrepeatability and
the fine tuning of lifestyle choices is arguably the most prolific
and successful feature of consumerism.
If the experienced universe were strictly an outcropping of a
machine that by definition can create only trivially ‘new’
combinations of copies, why would those kinds of quantitatively
recombined differences such as that between 456098209093457976534
and 45609420909345797353 seem insignificant to us, but the
difference between a belt worn by Elvis and a copy of that belt to
be demonstrably significant to many people?
C. Complexity Driven Novelty
Because computationalism assumes finite simplicity, that is, it
provides only a pseudo-uniqueness by virtue of the relatively low
statistical probability of large numbers overlapping each other
There is no irreducible originality to the original Mona Lisa, only
the vastness of the physical painting’s microstructure prevents it
from being exactly reproduced very easily. Such a perfect
reproduction, under computationalism is indistinguishable from the
original and therefore neither can be more original than the other
(or if there are unavoidable differences due to uncertainty and
incompleteness, they would be noise differences which we would be of
This is where information theory departs from realism, since reality
provides memories and evidence of which Mona Lisa is new and which
one was painted by Leonardo da Vinci at the beginning of the 16th
century in Florence, Italy, Earth, Sol, Milky Way Galaxy*.
Mathematics can be said to allow for the possibility of novelty only
in one direction; that of higher complexity. New qualities, by
computationalism, must arise on the event horizons of something like
the Universal Dovetailer. If that is the case, it seems odd that the
language of qualia is one of rich simplicity rather than cumbersome
computables. With comp, there can be no new ‘one’, but in reality,
every human experience is exactly that – a new day, a new
experience, even if it often seems much like the one before. Numbers
don’t work that way. Each mechanical result is identical. A = A. A
does not ‘seem much like the A before, yet in a new way‘. This is a
huge problem with mathematics and theoretical physics. They don’t
get the connection between novelty and simplicity, so they hope to
find it out in the vastness of super-human complexity.
II. Computation as Puppetry
I think that even David Chalmers, who I respect immensely for his
contributions to philosophy of mind and in communicating the Hard
Problem missed the a subtle but important distinction. The
difference between a puppet and a zombie, while superficially
innocuous, has profound implications for the formulation of a
realistic critique of Strong AI. When Chalmers introduced or
popularized the term zombie in reference to hypothetical perfect
human duplicates which lack qualia and subjective experience, he
inadvertently let an unscientific assumption leak in.
A zombie is supernatural because it implies the presence of an
absence. It is an animated, un-dead cadaver in which a living person
is no longer present. The unconsciousness of a puppet, however, is
merely tautological – it is the natural absence of presence of
consciousness which is the case with any symbolic representation of
a character, such as a doll, cartoon, or emoticon. A symbolic
representation, such as Bugs Bunny, can be mass produced using any
suitable material substance or communication media. Even though Bugs
is treated as a unique intellectual property, in reality, the title
to that property is not unique and can be transferred, sold, shared,
The reason that Intellectual Property law is such a problem is
because anyone can take some ordinary piece of junk, put a Bugs
Bunny picture on it, and sell more of it than they would have
otherwise. Bugs can’t object to having his good name sullied by hack
counterfeiters, so the image of Bugs Bunny is used both to falsely
endorse an inferior product and to falsely impugn the reputation of
a brand. The problem is, any reasonable facsimile of Bugs Bunny is
just as authentic, in an Absolute sense, as any other. The only true
original Bugs Bunny is the one we experience through our imagination
and the imagination of Mel Blanc and the Looney Tunes animators.
The impulse to reify the legitimacy of intellectual property into
law is related to the impulse to project agency and awareness onto
machines. As a branch of the “pathetic fallacy” which takes
literally those human qualities which have been applied to non-
humans as figurative conveniences of language, the
computationalistic fallacy projects an assumed character-hood on the
machine as a whole. Reasoning (falsely, I think) that since all that
our body can see of ourselves is a body, it is the body which is the
original object from which the subject is produced through its
functions. Such a conclusion, when we begin from mechanism, seems
unavoidable at first.
I propose that we reverse the two assumptions of mathematics above,
Recursion is assumed to be derived from primordial spontaneity
rather than the other way around.
Novelty can only be meaningful if it re-asserts simplicity in
addition to complexity.This would mean:
The expanding event horizon of the Universal Dovetailer would have
to be composed of recordings of sensed experiences after the fact,
rather than precursors to subjective simulation of the computation.
Comp is untrue by virtue of diagonalization of immeasurable novelty
Sense out-incompletes arithmetic truth, and therefore leaves it
frozen in stasis by comparison in every instant, and in eternity.
Computation cannot animate anything except through susceptibility to
the pathetic fallacy.
This may seem like an unfair or insulting to the many great minds
who have been pioneering AI theory and development, but that is not
my intent. By assertively pointing out the need to move from a model
of consciousness which hinges on simulated spontaneity to a model in
which spontaneity can never, by definition be simulated, I am
trying to express the importance and urgency of this shift. If I am
right, the future of human understanding depends ultimately on our
ability to graduate from the cul-de-sac of mechanistic supremacy to
the more profound truth of rehabilitated animism. Feeling does
compute because computation is how the masking of feeling into a
localized unfeeling becomes possible.
IV. Reversing the Dovetailer
By uncovering the intrinsic antagonism between the above
mathematical assumptions and the authentic nature of consciousness,
it might be possible to ascertain a truer model of consciousness by
reversing the order of the Universal Dovetailer (machine that builds
the multiverse out of programs).
The universality of recursive cardinality reverses as the
Diagonalization of the Unique
Complexity driven novelty can be reversed by Pushing the UD.
A. Diagonalization of the Unique
Under the hypothesis that computation lags behind experience*, no
simulation of a brain can ever catch up to what a natural person can
feel through that brain, since the natural person is constantly
consuming the uniqueness of their experience before it can be
measured by anything else. Since the uniqueness of subjectivity is
immeasurable and unprecedented within its own inertial frame, no
instrument from outside of that frame can capture it before it
decoheres into cascades of increasingly generic public reflections.
PIP flips the presumption of Universal Recursive Cardinality
inherent in mathematics so that all novelty exists as truly original
simplicity, as well as a relatively new complex recombination, such
that the continuum of novelty extends in both directions. This, if
properly understood, should be a lightning bolt that
recontextualizes the whole of mathematics. It is like discovering a
new kind of negative number. Things like color and human feeling may
exploit the addressing scheme that complex computation offers, but
the important part of color or feeling is not in that address, but
in the hyper-simplicity and absolute novelty that ‘now’ corresponds
to that address. The incardinality of sense means that all feelings
are more primitive than even the number one or the concept of
singularity. They are rooted in the eternal ‘becoming of one’;
before and after cardinality. Under PIP, computation is a public
repetition of what is irreducibly unrepeatable and private.
Computation can never get ahead of experience, because computation
is an a posteriori measurement of it.
For example, a computer model of what an athlete will do on the
field that is based on their past performance will always fail to
account for the possibility that the next performance will be the
first time that athlete does something that they never have done
before and that they could not have done before. Natural identities
(not characters, puppets, etc) are not only self-diagonalizing,
natural identity itself is self-diagonalization. We are that which
has not yet experienced the totality of its lifetime, and that
incompleteness infuses our entire experience. The emergence of the
unique always cheats prediction, since all prediction belongs to the
measurements of an expired world which did not yet contain the next
B. Pushing the UD – If the UD is a program which pulls the
experienced universe behind it as it extends, the computed realm,
faster than light, ahead of local appearances. It assumes all
phenomena are built bottom up from generic, interchangeable bits.
The hypothesis under PIP is that if there were a UD, it would be
pushed by experience from the top down, as well as recollecting
fragments of previous experiences from the bottom up. Each
experience decays from immeasurable private qualia that is unique
into public reflections that are generic recombinations of fixed
elements. Reversing the Dovetailer puts universality on the defense
so that it becomes a storage device rather than a pseudo-primitive
mechina ex deus.
The primacy of sense is corroborated by the intuition that every
measure requires a ruler. Some example which is presented as an
index for comparison. The uniqueness comes first, and the
computability follows by imitation. The un-numbered Great War
becomes World War II only in retrospect. The second war does not
follow the rule of world wars, it creates the rule by virtue of its
similarities. The second war is unprecedented in its own right, as
an original second world war, but unlike the number two, it is not
literally another World War I. In short, experiences do not follow
from rules; rules follow from experience.
If we extrapolate the assumptions of Compuationalism out, I think
that they would predict that the painting of the Mona Lisa is what
always happens under the mathematical conditions posed by a
combination of celestial motions, cells, bodies, brains, etc. There
can be no truly original artwork, as all art works are inevitable
under some computable probability, even if the the particular work
is not predictable specifically by computation. Comp makes all
originals derivatives of duplication. I suggest that it makes more
sense that the primordial identity of sense experience is a
fundamental originality from which duplication is derived. The
number one is a generic copy – a one-ness which comments on an
aspect of what is ultimately boundaryless inclusion rather than
naming originality itself.
Under Multisense Realism (MSR), the sense-first view ultimately
makes the most sense but it allows that the counter perspective, in
which sense follows computation or physics, would appear to be true
in another way, one which yields meaningful insights that could not
be accessed otherwise.
When we shift our attention from the figure of comp in the
background of sense to the figure of sense in the background of
comp, the relation of originality shifts also. With sense first,
true originality makes all computations into imposters. With
computation first, arithmetic truth makes local appearances of
originality artifacts of machine self-reference. Both are trivially
true, but if the comp-first view were Absolutely true, there would
be no plausible justification for such appearances of originality as
qualitatively significant. A copy and an original should have no
greater difference than a fifteenth copy and a sixteenth copy, and
being the first person to discover America should have no more
import than being the 1,588,237th person to discover America. The
title of this post as 2013/10/13/2562 would be as good of a title as
any other referenceable string.
*This is not to suggest that human experience lags behind
neurological computation. MSR proposes a model called eigenmorphism
to clarify the personal/sub-personal distinction in which
neurological-level computation corresponds to sub-personal
experience rather than personal level experience. This explains the
disappearance of free will in neuroscientific experiments such as
Libet, et. al. Human personhood is a simple but deep. Simultaneity
is relative, and nowhere is that more true than along the continuum
between the microphysical and the macrophenomenal. What can be
experimented on publicly is, under MSR, a combination of near
isomorphic and near contra-isomorphic to private experience.
To sum up: unintelligible prose => non comp.
I can make sense of some image and assertions, here and there, but the
overall message does not go through, and as the pretense is negative
(those machines are puppets), I find this a bit annoying, like I find
racist and prohibitionist overgeneralization annoying, especially when
Note that you are correct, on something, but it is only comp which
helps me to realize this, making your negative allegation almost
blasphemous on some spiritual level.
No machine/person can know or even believe being any machine, but that
is not a logical reason to, counterintuitively, for sure, get the
understanding why it has to be like that, for all machines.
Somehow, you make also the confusion between p and p & p, all the
Study comp and a bit of computer science, and dig deeper, before
dismissing possible others.
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