Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-27 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 26-janv.-07, à 15:13, Mark Peaty a écrit :


  Bruno:
   4) Mark Peaty wrote (to Brent):

 As I say, the essence of evil is the act of treating other persons as 
 things.

  I so agree with you. And then, with Church thesis (less than comp, 
 thus) you can understand the reason why even some (relative) machine 
 and some (relative) numbers should not be confused with any of their 
 third person description. 

  MP: There is too much packed in this for me to be clear of the scope.
  For example: by 'machine' do you mean, generically, any hypothetical 
 self-referencing, sufficiently complex device - or virtual emulation 
 of such - smart enough to think it knows who it is?
  and
  Which numbers have anything BUT a third person description?


I can explain (see UDA) why if you assume comp, numbers get private 
first person relation with respect to other numbers or with unameable, 
from their point of view, set of numbers. I have to use the Wi and Fi 
to explain this. I do identify machine and their godel numbers (or any 
finite description of the machine) at some point.





  I am of course very ignorant about higher mathematics, so the way I 
 use words is that a number is a mathematical object that has/is a [or 
 of a] particular value. I guess that means that a number, for me 
 anyway, is a thing not a process. People use processes to generate, 
 define and compare numbers. These processes are to mathematica what 
 verbs, adverbs, adjectives, complex nouns and all the phrases [noun 
 phr, adjectival phr, etc.] are to natural languages. Because of the 
 precise specifications required for such mathematical processes, which 
 I suppose means their algorithmic qualities, many of them are 
 mathematical objects in their own right,

All right.



 so they do what they do and not anything else.


Universal machine can mirror all machine, and nobody can built a theory 
predicting, for any of their inputs, what they will or can do.







  Bruno [quote continued]:


  Do you agree that those who believe in a primitive physical universe 
 could be deluded in the same manner than those who believe in some 
 notion of God. Perhaps even in a worse manner, because many people 
 believe that the existence of a primitive material universe is a 
 scientific fact. Of course not. At least in many theological text, 
 the word God is used in a more axiomatic way than Matter is by 
 some scientist (at lunch or during the week-end). Most religious 
 people will never say that the existence of God is a scientific fact, 
 and in that sense are less deluded than many materialist. 

  MP: I don't see how people who believe in 'some notion of God' can 
 honestly get past the intelligent child's question of 'Well alright, 
 where did G/god/s come from then'. It is a simple question without an 
 answer except something like: 'Shut up you little smart a*se!' or 
 'BLASPHEMY!! Thou deservest to be burnt at the stake!'


I don't see how people who believe in 'some notion of Primary Matter' 
can honestly get past the child's question of Well all right, where 
did that Physical Matter come from then' It is a simple question 
without an answer except something like: 'Shut up you little smart, 


Mark, what I say is that if someone say the physical universe exists 
in some primitive sense I call it a theologian. If he acknowledge it 
is an assumption, I call it honest theologian, dishonest, if not.



  For me a very important aspect of this latter issue is that any 
 purported supernatural being cannot have a coherent explanation in 
 terms of natural science and,


I agree there is no need for assuming supernatural. But pretending 
Matter *is* primitive, makes Matter and Nature already supernatural.
It is an extrapolation from our most old animals instinctive guess.




 if taken of itself to be an explanation for any of that which is 
 and/or that which transpires, it disempowers the believers concerned 
 and any of those in their care.

I think we agree, at some level.



 Why? Because, as I think I said before, one of the several Earth 
 shaking things that the advent of scientific method has brought to the 
 human race is the objective demonstration that no publicly stated 
 belief or public assertion of the nature of things is immune from 
 sceptical examination which is conducted in an ethical manner.


OK. I prefer not to believe in science but in scientific attitude (this 
is field independent). To say science has prove the existence of a 
physical universe can only come from an unscientific attitude.




  That said, I can now return to the deeper question which is: Is it 
 coherent to assert that there is no universe?


Actually it could be, according to the lobian machine, but ok, it would 
be not really interesting. But primarily physical or not, it is an 
assumption, at some level.




  In common sense, plain English terms that is pretty much like saying 
 that 'Nothing really exists!'

You know I believe in many 

Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-27 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 26-janv.-07, à 19:00, Tom Caylor a écrit :

 Why do we need to eliminate first-person white rabbits?  For purposes
 of science, is not elimination of third-person (or first-person plural)
 white rabbits sufficient?

That would be dishonest. You could eliminate the very idea of first 
person, like the eliminativist materialist.




 So what if we hallucinate, or dream about a
 talking white rabbit?

It is because of those dreams that we have to take into account the 
consistent but incorrect theories, and thus modalities or situations 
with truth of Bp  Dp  ~p.



 We can come back to scientific reality through
 the third-person or first-person plural, i.e. methods of objectivity
 (third-person/first-person plural view by our own definition).

We can have objective talk on first person once we share definitions. 
Recall that my motivation is the mind body problem.
Hiding that a theory is wrong for the experiences is cheating, a little 
bit like physicalist explanation of the mind which most of the time 
explains it away.



 By the way, I'm not implying that scientific reality is sufficient for
 meaning of life. ;)

I hope so.



 My above questions are perhaps a bit rhetorical in
 this sense.  I think the answer is that we long to find meaning solely
 through science so that we can control everything, and so we *try* to
 erect science as the god over all meaning.


That is just scientism, not science. And then lobian machine are 
already able to guess correctly that meaning or truth is much vaster 
than reason or proof. You should love comp :-)

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-26 Thread Mark Peaty
Bruno:
 4) Mark Peaty wrote (to Brent):

As I say, the essence of evil is the act of treating other persons
as things.


I so agree with you. And then, with Church thesis (less than comp, thus) 
you can understand the reason why even some (relative) machine and some 
(relative) numbers should not be confused with any of their third person 
description. 

MP: There is too much packed in this for me to be clear of the scope.
For example: by 'machine' do you mean, generically, any hypothetical 
self-referencing, sufficiently complex device - or virtual emulation of 
such - smart enough to think it knows who it is?
and
Which numbers have anything BUT a third person description?
I am of course very ignorant about higher mathematics, so the way I use 
words is that a number is a mathematical object that has/is a [or of a] 
particular value. I guess that means that a number, for me anyway, is a 
thing not a process. People use processes to generate, define and 
compare numbers. These processes are to mathematica what verbs, adverbs, 
adjectives, complex nouns and all the phrases [noun phr, adjectival phr, 
etc.] are to natural languages. Because of the precise specifications 
required for such mathematical processes, which I suppose means their 
algorithmic qualities, many of them are mathematical objects in their 
own right, so they do what they do and not anything else.

Bruno [quote continued]:

 On another tack: it seems to me the extent and scope of suffering
in the world is one of the most powerful arguments in favour of the
total irrelevance of the concept of G/god/s. However it is not for
me to go around telling those who believe in some G/god/s that they
are deluded.


Do you agree that those who believe in a primitive physical universe 
could be deluded in the same manner than those who believe in some 
notion of God. Perhaps even in a worse manner, because many people 
believe that the existence of a primitive material universe is a 
scientific fact. Of course not. At least in many theological text, the 
word God is used in a more axiomatic way than Matter is by some 
scientist (at lunch or during the week-end). Most religious people will 
never say that the existence of God is a scientific fact, and in that 
sense are less deluded than many materialist. 

MP: I don't see how people who believe in 'some notion of God' can 
honestly get past the intelligent child's question of 'Well alright, 
where did G/god/s come from then'. It is a simple question without an 
answer except something like: 'Shut up you little smart a*se!' or 
'BLASPHEMY!! Thou deservest to be burnt at the stake!'

For me a very important aspect of this latter issue is that any 
purported supernatural being cannot have a coherent explanation in terms 
of natural science and, if taken of itself to be an explanation for any 
of that which is and/or that which transpires, it disempowers the 
believers concerned and any of those in their care. Why? Because, as I 
think I said before, one of the several Earth shaking things that the 
advent of scientific method has brought to the human race is the 
objective demonstration that no publicly stated belief or public 
assertion of the nature of things is immune from sceptical examination 
which is conducted in an ethical manner.

That said, I can now return to the deeper question which is: Is it 
coherent to assert that there is no universe? In common sense, plain 
English terms that is pretty much like saying that 'Nothing really 
exists!' ... which Does not compute! Like dividing or multiplying by 
zero, you either lock up your system or get no useful extra result. It 
is therefore necessary to accept that one exists, with the bookmarked 
proviso that 'exists' needs further research, and accept that for the 
time being there is no really coherent substitute for taking as /given/ 
one's own existence in a world of some sort. In fact as I said somewhere 
else it is one of only two completely free things in life. [The other if 
you remember is the benefits which come from saying 'Think positive, it 
is better for you' and acting as if you believe it.]

My point in harping on in this way is simply so as to point out that:
whilst it IS necessary to assert an assumption of existence beyond 
oneself, and to be ethical it is necessary to acknowledge the 
independent existence of the other people one meets, there is no such 
more-or-less a priori reason for positing the existence of supernatural 
beings of any sort whatever. The assertion of the existence of G/god/s 
is gratuitous, and the very concept is characteristically pre-scientific.

Furthermore, the very concept of an omniscient being, never mind 
omnipotent, depends for its credibility upon the acceptance of some kind 
of naive realism. That is to say, the truth concerning the types of 
awareness we actually experience and for which credible sceptically 
proficient observation has been made, always entails a very 

Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-26 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 26-janv.-07, à 11:11, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :


 It seems to me that abstract machines have been created for our 
 benefit, rather like mathematical notation or human language. That is, 
 they allow us to think about algorithms and to consider how we might 
 build a physical machine to carry them out, even if this is not 
 actually done in practice.


I could agree that mathematical notation are our own invention, unlike 
number, OK?
Now, and I know I have to come back on this with more details, if you 
get what really is CHURCH'S THESIS, I can explain that abstract 
machine are mathematical object like numbers, having objective and 
general mathematical properties which does not depend on the choice of 
language or notation. There is an intrinsical, machine independent 
computer science.




 If you do away with the possibility of physical implementation and if 
 you consider only first person experience, what purpose is served by 
 an abstract machine?


But I do not consider only first person experiences. I consider the 
0-person (roughly: truth), the 3-person (roughly: provability), the 
1-person captured by the conjunction of provability and truth, the 
first person plural or intelligible matter (conjunction of 
provability and consistency) and the sensible matter (conjunction of 
provability, consistency and truth). This makes five notion of person 
points of view.
And thus it makes 10 such notion when you distinguish machine discourse 
on them and divine (true) discourse on them (you can do that by using G 
and G*). And then, for technical but important reason, two of them 
collapse, so in reality there are 8 hypostases.
I don't either do completely away with the physical implementation, 
only they are abstract or immaterial themselves, by relating 
abstract machine state with their possible abstract computational 
most probable continuations.



 The quotient of two numbers does not depend on a long division 
 algorithm, or any algorithm running on any  machine; it simply *is*.

Yes, but with Church thesis, the many abstract machine computing the 
quotient simply *are*, too. And the first person observer, if he 
believe in comp, know that if he want to take localise himself in its 
most probable computational history has to take those many machine into 
considerations. The UD compute the quotient in all possible way (a 
little bit like an electron who follows all possible path).





  OK, but as far as they can communicate from their inside points of 
 view
  (btw: thanks for the spelling!) you are adding implicitly some 
 addition
  and multiplication laws. Once we stop to take for granted what exists
  or not, such little nuance have some importance, especially for
  deriving concretely physics from something else.

 Communicating with the outside world changes everything, but we can 
 put a box around the whole system and declare it closed. This closed 
 system (which may contain many interacting conscious entities) exists 
 somewhere in the Library of Babel, in the output of the count 
 program, in noise, in the decimal expansion of pi, etc., and even 
 though we outside the the system cannot find it or interact with it, 
 its inhabitants are going about their business regardless.


Yes but, after the UDA, unless we abandon comp, we just cannot refer to 
an outside world so easily, nor can we reify any piece of matter. Then 
if comp allows such rich piece of matter, embedding interacting 
consciousness (which I doubt) will be relevant only as far as they 
perturb the relative first person (plural) SSA measure.




  Of course, such measure is a bit too much intuitive: a priori all
  probabilities of histories add up, and we could a bit naively take 
 this
  as a refutation of comp. What refrains us to jump toward that
  conclusion, is that such intuitive probabilities have not enough 
 taken
  into account the difference between the points of view, something any
  self-referentially correct universal machine can be shown to be able 
 to
  do, thanks, not really to incompleteness, but thanks to the fact that
  machine can reason about their own incompleteness (leading to the
  arithmetical points of view/hypostases). This motivates then the AUDA
  (Arithmetical version of UDA, ... or of Plotinus, actually).

 OK, I think I understand why you can see all the arbitrary sequences 
 from inside the UD but not the outside (it relates to the irrelevance 
 of delays from the inside), but I don't see why these extra sequences 
 should be more likely to encode white rabbit universes than the 3rd 
 person observable ones.


Because the arbitrary sequences are much more numerous (a continuum) 
than the computable one. Matter, Nature and Life occur on the 
boundary of the computable and the uncomputable, where the first person 
view and the third person view get conflicting. Frankly, here computer 
science provides many (subtle and counterintuitive) clues.


  Also, I still don't understand how 

Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-26 Thread Tom Caylor

On Jan 26, 9:22 am, Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

   Also, I still don't understand how you will avoid the white rabbits.

 By extracting the physical laws from some 1-person machine measure.
 This one can be extracted from some interview of an honest
 self-observing machine. Well, to be sure, I'm saying this since 1973
 but it is only in 1991 that I have find a formal clue of the reason
 why the rabbits could disappear: the logic of certainty, corresponding
 to the godelian sort of undeterminateness, allows a formal quantization
 of the true Sigma_1 propositions (= those corresponding to the
 accessible state of the UD). This is by far NOT enough for already
 pretending that comp will avoid the white rabbits, but, imo, it is
 enough to make very plausible they can disappear through purely number
 theoretical reason, so that we don't have to rely on some material
 assumption, which puts the mind body problem (my basic motivation)
 under the aristotelian rug.

 But sure, the disappearance of white rabbits with comp is still an open
 problem. Brent seems to believe it is yet open in QM too, which is
 coherent with the fact that most MWI relies implicitly or not on some
 comp assumption. I sum up this sometimes by saying that decoherence +
 MWI avoids 3-person rabbits, but not the 1-person one. Actually I have
 argue that ASSA does the same. Some bayesian stuff seems to be able to
 eliminate the 3-rabbits (or the first plural person one), but hardly
 the first person one (I refer to my oldest post to this list, but I can
 repeat, especially when encouraged, the subject matter is tricky).

 Bruno

Why do we need to eliminate first-person white rabbits?  For purposes
of science, is not elimination of third-person (or first-person plural)
white rabbits sufficient?  So what if we hallucinate, or dream about a
talking white rabbit?  We can come back to scientific reality through
the third-person or first-person plural, i.e. methods of objectivity
(third-person/first-person plural view by our own definition).

By the way, I'm not implying that scientific reality is sufficient for
meaning of life. ;)  My above questions are perhaps a bit rhetorical in
this sense.  I think the answer is that we long to find meaning solely
through science so that we can control everything, and so we *try* to
erect science as the god over all meaning.

Tom


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Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-25 Thread Bruno Marchal

Hi Stathis,

Here is the follow up of my comments on your post. It seems we 
completely agree. Sorry.


Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

 Simplistically, I conceive of computations as mysterious abstract 
 objects, like
 all other mathematical objects. Physical computers are devices which 
 reflect
 these mathematical objects in order to achieve some practical purpose 
 in the
 substrate of their implementation. A computer, an abacus, a set of 
 fingers,
 pencil and paper can be used to compute 2+3=5, but these processes do 
 not
 create the computation, they just make it accessible to the user. The 
 fact that
 2 birds land on a tree in South America and 3 elephants drink at a 
 watering hole
 in Africa, or 2 atoms move to the left in a rock and 3 atoms move to 
 the right
 is essentially the same process as the abacus, but it is useless, 
 trivial, lost in
 randomness, escapes the notice of theories of computation - and 
 rightly so.
 However, what about the special case where a more complex version of 
 2+3=5
 on the abacus is conscious? Then I see no reason why the birds and the 
 elephants
 or the atoms in a rock should not also implement the same 
 consciousness, even
 though there is no possibility of interaction with the outside world 
 due to the
 computation being lost in noise. What this really does is destroy the 
 whole notion
 of physical supervenience: if you shot the elephants or smashed the 
 rock, the
 computation could as easily spring from the new noise situation. Thus, 
 it would
 appear that consciousness comes from computation as pure mathematical 
 object,
 and is no more created by the physical process that addition is 
 created by the
 physical process. Either that, or it isn't computational at all.


OK, so we do agree.




 The real question is not does a rock implement computations, the
 question is does a rock implement computations in such a way as to
 changed the relative measure of my (future) comp states in a relevant
 way? And for answering such question we need to know what a rock
 really is, and both physics and comp are not near at all to answer
 this. Comp has less trouble here because it does not have to reify any
 primary reality associated to the rock, which already emerge locally
 from many non material computations.

 No, as I implied above, a rock makes no difference whatsoever to the 
 measure of
 computation it might be seen as implementing.

OK.
So, now, we have to extract physics from computations if we assume 
(even just standard comp). Do you agree with the UDA informal 
conclusion? That is, that physics will be given by relative (cf RSSA) 
measure on computational histories from some internal point of views? 
Such a measure has to be observer invariant (I am not talking about the 
content of what is measured, but about the general math of that 
measure). In any case we must dig on computations and provability, if 
only to get reasonable mathematical definition of those different 
person point of view.

Bruno

PS Could someone give me the plural of point of view ?

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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RE: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-25 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:

 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 ...
  Now, when you run the UD, as far as you keep the discourse in the third 
  person mode, everything remains enumerable, even in the limit.
  But from the first person point of view, a priori the uncountable 
  stories, indeed generated by the UD, take precedence on the computable 
  one: thus the continua of white rabbits. This results from the lack of 
  any possibility from the first person point of view to locate herself 
  into UD*. Somehow the first person belongs to 2^aleph_zero histories at 
  the start.
  
  A similar explosion of stories appears with quantum mechanics, except 
  that here the physicist as an easy answer: white rabbits and Potter 
  universe are eliminated through phase randomization (apparently).
 
 But only relative some particular bases.  Why the quantum mechanical world 
 has the classical world as an approximation (instead of a white rabbit world) 
 is not a solved problem - though there are proposed, possible solutions.

Doesn't the SWE make some events much more likely than others, whether that 
involves CI collapse or distribution of histories in the MWI?

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-25 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Bruno marchal writes:

 Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
 
  Simplistically, I conceive of computations as mysterious abstract 
  objects, like
  all other mathematical objects. Physical computers are devices which 
  reflect
  these mathematical objects in order to achieve some practical purpose 
  in the
  substrate of their implementation. A computer, an abacus, a set of 
  fingers,
  pencil and paper can be used to compute 2+3=5, but these processes do 
  not
  create the computation, they just make it accessible to the user. The 
  fact that
  2 birds land on a tree in South America and 3 elephants drink at a 
  watering hole
  in Africa, or 2 atoms move to the left in a rock and 3 atoms move to 
  the right
  is essentially the same process as the abacus, but it is useless, 
  trivial, lost in
  randomness, escapes the notice of theories of computation - and 
  rightly so.
  However, what about the special case where a more complex version of 
  2+3=5
  on the abacus is conscious? Then I see no reason why the birds and the 
  elephants
  or the atoms in a rock should not also implement the same 
  consciousness, even
  though there is no possibility of interaction with the outside world 
  due to the
  computation being lost in noise. What this really does is destroy the 
  whole notion
  of physical supervenience: if you shot the elephants or smashed the 
  rock, the
  computation could as easily spring from the new noise situation. Thus, 
  it would
  appear that consciousness comes from computation as pure mathematical 
  object,
  and is no more created by the physical process that addition is 
  created by the
  physical process. Either that, or it isn't computational at all.
 
 
 OK, so we do agree.
 
 
 
 
  The real question is not does a rock implement computations, the
  question is does a rock implement computations in such a way as to
  changed the relative measure of my (future) comp states in a relevant
  way? And for answering such question we need to know what a rock
  really is, and both physics and comp are not near at all to answer
  this. Comp has less trouble here because it does not have to reify any
  primary reality associated to the rock, which already emerge locally
  from many non material computations.
 
  No, as I implied above, a rock makes no difference whatsoever to the 
  measure of
  computation it might be seen as implementing.
 
 OK.
 So, now, we have to extract physics from computations if we assume 
 (even just standard comp). Do you agree with the UDA informal 
 conclusion? That is, that physics will be given by relative (cf RSSA) 
 measure on computational histories from some internal point of views? 
 Such a measure has to be observer invariant (I am not talking about the 
 content of what is measured, but about the general math of that 
 measure). In any case we must dig on computations and provability, if 
 only to get reasonable mathematical definition of those different 
 person point of view.

Yes, I agree, *given* comp. 
 
 PS Could someone give me the plural of point of view ?

points of view 

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-25 Thread John Mikes
Bruno,
as another chap with learned English in vertical stance I partially
agree with your 'plural' as would all English mother-tongued people, but I
also consider the gramatically probably inproper points of views, since WE
allow different 'views' in our considerations. Stathis may choose his
preferenceG.
 Points of view assumes THE one view we allow.  MATTER OF FACTlLY
(plural: 'matters-of factly'? - if it really HAS a plural.  Is there an
English singulare tantum? ) I still speculate what point of views may
refer to, however I would volunteer a point-of-views  in the conventional
sense.
Alas, no 'utmost' authority OVER the hundreds of live English versions.
John

On 1/25/07, Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:



 Bruno marchal writes:

  Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
 
   Simplistically, I conceive of computations as mysterious abstract
   objects, like
   all other mathematical objects. Physical computers are devices which
   reflect
   these mathematical objects in order to achieve some practical purpose
   in the
   substrate of their implementation. A computer, an abacus, a set of
   fingers,
   pencil and paper can be used to compute 2+3=5, but these processes do
   not
   create the computation, they just make it accessible to the user. The
   fact that
   2 birds land on a tree in South America and 3 elephants drink at a
   watering hole
   in Africa, or 2 atoms move to the left in a rock and 3 atoms move to
   the right
   is essentially the same process as the abacus, but it is useless,
   trivial, lost in
   randomness, escapes the notice of theories of computation - and
   rightly so.
   However, what about the special case where a more complex version of
   2+3=5
   on the abacus is conscious? Then I see no reason why the birds and the
   elephants
   or the atoms in a rock should not also implement the same
   consciousness, even
   though there is no possibility of interaction with the outside world
   due to the
   computation being lost in noise. What this really does is destroy the
   whole notion
   of physical supervenience: if you shot the elephants or smashed the
   rock, the
   computation could as easily spring from the new noise situation. Thus,
   it would
   appear that consciousness comes from computation as pure mathematical
   object,
   and is no more created by the physical process that addition is
   created by the
   physical process. Either that, or it isn't computational at all.
 
 
  OK, so we do agree.
 
 
 
  
   The real question is not does a rock implement computations, the
   question is does a rock implement computations in such a way as to
   changed the relative measure of my (future) comp states in a relevant
   way? And for answering such question we need to know what a rock
   really is, and both physics and comp are not near at all to answer
   this. Comp has less trouble here because it does not have to reify
 any
   primary reality associated to the rock, which already emerge locally
   from many non material computations.
  
   No, as I implied above, a rock makes no difference whatsoever to the
   measure of
   computation it might be seen as implementing.
 
  OK.
  So, now, we have to extract physics from computations if we assume
  (even just standard comp). Do you agree with the UDA informal
  conclusion? That is, that physics will be given by relative (cf RSSA)
  measure on computational histories from some internal point of views?
  Such a measure has to be observer invariant (I am not talking about the
  content of what is measured, but about the general math of that
  measure). In any case we must dig on computations and provability, if
  only to get reasonable mathematical definition of those different
  person point of view.

 Yes, I agree, *given* comp.

  PS Could someone give me the plural of point of view ?

 points of view

 Stathis Papaioannou
 _
 Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.

 http://ideas.live.com/programpage.aspx?versionId=5d21c51a-b161-4314-9b0e-4911fb2b2e6d
 


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Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-25 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 25-janv.-07, à 12:25, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :



 Bruno Marchal writes:

 Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

 Searle is not a computationalist - does not believe in strong AI - 
 but
 he does
 believe in weak AI. Penrose does not believe in weak AI either.

 Yes. In that way Searle is not even wrong.

 Meaning what? I thought you agreed his position was coherent.


In the sense that if you predict that weak AI is possible and strong AI 
is not, then he can no more be refuted. At least Penrose can be refuted 
by a success of weak AI, at least in principle. Now you can note that 
both Penrose and Searle are coherent with respect to comp (called 
strong AI by Searle) in the sense that they are aware of some 
difficulty between comp and materialism. Of course they are both 
materialist and so believes that comp must be abandoned.  I prefer to 
abandon materialism which I have practically always suspect of 
incoherence even before I learned about QM (which I take as confirming 
that the notion of primary matter is at least not well defined).

Just to be clear on vocabulary:
COMP = I am a digital machine (roughly)
STRONG AI = digital machine can have qualia/subjective life
WEAK AI = digital machine can behave exactly like if they does have 
qualia/subjective life.

A lot of people confuse COMP and STRONG AI.  But obviously, it is 
logically possible that a digital machine could have subjective 
experience, without me being a machine.  Of course if machine can 
think, this could be taken as an inductive inference argument for 
*guessing* that I could be a machine myself, but deductively  Machine 
can think does not entail that *only* machine can think, perhaps 
angels and supergods could too, or whatever. So COMP = STRONG AI = 
WEAK AI, but in principle none of those arrows are reversible.



 snip: see my preceding post to you


 If there are more arbitrary sequences than third person computations,
 how
 does it follow that arbitrary sequences are not computations?


 I guess I miss something (or you miss your statement?). Is it not
 obvious that if there are more arbitrary sequences than third person
 computations, then some (even most) arbitrary sequences are not
 computations.

 OK, but my concern was to find room in the arbitrary sequences for all
 computations, not the other way around (perhaps I didn't make this 
 clear).
 Every rational number is also a real number.


We certainly agree on that. And all computable sequences are indeed 
contained in the set of all sequences.



 Let us define what is a computable infinite sequence. A sequence is
 computable if there is a program (a machine) which generates
 specifically the elements of that sequence in the right order, and
 nothing else. The set of programs is enumerable, but by Cantor theorem
 the set of *all* sequences is not enumerable. So the set of computable
 sequences is almost negligible compared to the arbitrary one.

 Does it mean there is no program capable of generating a non 
 computable
 sequence?

 Not at all. A universal dovetailer generates all the infinite
 sequences. The computable one, (that is, those nameable by special
 purpose, specific,  program) and the non computable one (how? by
 generating them all).

 I give another example of the same subtlety. One day a computer
 scientist told me that it was impossible to write a program of n bits
 capable of generating an incompressible finite sequence or string of
 length m with m far greater than n. I challenge him.
 Of course, what is true is that there is no program of n bit capable 
 of
 generating that m bits incompressible string, AND ONLY, SPECIFICALLY,
 THAT STRING.
 But it is really easy to write a little  program capable of generating
 that incompressible string by letting him generate ALL strings: the
 program COUNT is enough.

 I think this *is* the main line of the *everything* list, or a
 miniature version of it if you want.

 Yes, and there are many related examples, like Borges' library; I 
 would include
 the computations that might be hiding in noise as another such example.


We will have to go back on this. I would compare the Borges' library 
(or its countable  infinite generalization) as equivalent with the 
counting algorithm. It generates all (finite) strings, and a lot of 
computations can be considered as being embedded in those strings. 
Still I consider that the counting algorithm is not equivalent with a 
universal dovetailer. I will try to explain the difference with some 
details, but roughly speaking, what the UD does, and what neither the 
rock nor the counting algorithm really do, is that the UD generates 
both the program codes and their finite and infinite running. Saying 
that all computations are generated by the counting algorithm makes 
sense only if we add a universal interpreter in the description.
I can anticipate that you will say this does not change anything from 
inside. But remember that once we abandon the 

Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-25 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 25-janv.-07, à 16:48, John Mikes a écrit :

 Bruno,
  as another chap with learned English in vertical stance I 
 partially agree with your 'plural' as would all English 
 mother-tongued people, but I also consider the gramatically probably 
 inproper points of views, since WE allow different 'views' in our 
 considerations. Stathis may choose his preferenceG.
   Points of view assumes THE one view we allow.  MATTER OF FACTlLY 
 (plural: 'matters-of factly'? - if it really HAS a plural.  Is there 
 an English singulare tantum? ) I still speculate what point of 
 views may refer to, however I would volunteer a point-of-views  in 
 the conventional sense.
  Alas, no 'utmost' authority OVER the hundreds of live English 
 versions.


OK thanks. I think I will follow mostly Stathis' suggestion, but you 
just put the finger on why I have a problem. Sometimes I want to talk 
on many first (say) person pointS of view. But sometimes I want to 
speak about all person (first, third, singular, plural) pointS of 
ViewS. So indeed there is a little nuance depending on the number of 
points and views :-)

(Note all this is a bit useless because there are few correlation 
between what I think and write especially when in hurry)

Another solution which I have apparently already used consists in 
saying hypostase in the place of person point of view ...

Bruno




http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-25 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 Bruno Marchal writes:
 
 Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

 Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result of actual brain
 activity, not Turing emulable.
 No... True: Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result
 of brain activity, but nowhere does Searle pretend that brain is not
 turing emulable. He just implicitly assume there is a notion of
 actuality that no simulation can render, but does not address the
 question of emulability. Then Searle is known for confusing level of
 description (this I can make much more precise with the Fi and Wi, or
 with the very important difference between computability (emulability)
 and provability.
 Searle seems to accept that CT implies the brain is Turing emulable, 
 but he
 does not believe that such an emulation would capture consciousness any
 more than a simulation of a thunderstorm will make you wet. Thus, a 
 computer
 that could pass the Turing Test would be a zombie.

 Yes. It confirms my point. And Searle is coherent, he has to refer to a 
 notion of physically real for his non-computationalism to proceed.
 He may be right. Now his naturalistic explanation of consciousness 
 seems rather ad hoc.
 But all what I say is that IF comp is correct, we have to abandon 
 physicalism.


 Searle is not a computationalist - does not believe in strong AI - but 
 he does
 believe in weak AI. Penrose does not believe in weak AI either.
 Yes. In that way Searle is not even wrong.
 
 Meaning what? I thought you agreed his position was coherent.
  
 snip: see my preceding post to you


 If there are more arbitrary sequences than third person computations, 
 how
 does it follow that arbitrary sequences are not computations?

 I guess I miss something (or you miss your statement?). Is it not 
 obvious that if there are more arbitrary sequences than third person 
 computations, then some (even most) arbitrary sequences are not 
 computations.
 
 OK, but my concern was to find room in the arbitrary sequences for all 
 computations, not the other way around (perhaps I didn't make this clear). 
 Every rational number is also a real number. 
  
 Let us define what is a computable infinite sequence. A sequence is 
 computable if there is a program (a machine) which generates 
 specifically the elements of that sequence in the right order, and 
 nothing else. The set of programs is enumerable, but by Cantor theorem 
 the set of *all* sequences is not enumerable. So the set of computable 
 sequences is almost negligible compared to the arbitrary one.

 Does it mean there is no program capable of generating a non computable 
 sequence?

 Not at all. A universal dovetailer generates all the infinite 
 sequences. The computable one, (that is, those nameable by special 
 purpose, specific,  program) and the non computable one (how? by 
 generating them all).

 I give another example of the same subtlety. One day a computer 
 scientist told me that it was impossible to write a program of n bits 
 capable of generating an incompressible finite sequence or string of 
 length m with m far greater than n. I challenge him.
 Of course, what is true is that there is no program of n bit capable of 
 generating that m bits incompressible string, AND ONLY, SPECIFICALLY,  
 THAT STRING.
 But it is really easy to write a little  program capable of generating 
 that incompressible string by letting him generate ALL strings: the 
 program COUNT is enough.

 I think this *is* the main line of the *everything* list, or a 
 miniature version of it if you want.
 
 Yes, and there are many related examples, like Borges' library; I would 
 include 
 the computations that might be hiding in noise as another such example. The 
 significant thing in all these cases is that from the third person 
 perspective, the 
 information or computation is inaccessible. You need to have the book you 
 want 
 already before you can find it in the Library of Babel. However, if 
 computations 
 (or books) can be conscious, then they will still be conscious despite being 
 unable 
 to communicate with the world at the level of their implementation. The first 
 person 
 perspective makes these situations non-trivial.

Or you may regard it as a reductio against the proposition that a consciousness 
can be encapsulated.  Perhaps consciousness is only relative to an open system. 
 If the universe started from nothing, or very little in terms of information, 
then the unitary evolution of the wave function preserves information.  Hence 
the information of the universe is very small.  The apparent information, 
including that which describes conscious processes, is a consequence of 
projecting out onto a reduced basis.
 
 Now, when you run the UD, as far as you keep the discourse in the third 
 person mode, everything remains enumerable, even in the limit.
 But from the first person point of view, a priori the uncountable 
 stories, indeed generated by the UD, 

RE: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-25 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes: Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 16:52:01 -0800 From: [EMAIL 
PROTECTED] To: everything-list@googlegroups.com Subject: Re: Rép : The 
Meaning of Life   Stathis Papaioannou wrote:Bruno Marchal writes:  
  Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :   Searle's 
theory is that consciousness is a result of actual brain  activity, not 
Turing emulable.  No... True: Searle's theory is that 
consciousness is a result  of brain activity, but nowhere does Searle 
pretend that brain is not  turing emulable. He just implicitly assume 
there is a notion of  actuality that no simulation can render, but does 
not address the  question of emulability. Then Searle is known for 
confusing level of  description (this I can make much more precise with 
the Fi and Wi, or  with the very important difference between 
computability (emulability)  and provability.  Searle seems to accept 
that CT implies the brain is Turing emulable,   but he  does not 
believe that such an emulation would capture consciousness any  more than a 
simulation of a thunderstorm will make you wet. Thus, a   computer  
that could pass the Turing Test would be a zombie.   Yes. It confirms my 
point. And Searle is coherent, he has to refer to a   notion of physically 
real for his non-computationalism to proceed.  He may be right. Now his 
naturalistic explanation of consciousness   seems rather ad hoc.  But all 
what I say is that IF comp is correct, we have to abandon   physicalism. 
   Searle is not a computationalist - does not believe in strong AI - 
but   he does  believe in weak AI. Penrose does not believe in weak AI 
either.  Yes. In that way Searle is not even wrong.Meaning what? I 
thought you agreed his position was coherent. snip: see my preceding 
post to youIf there are more arbitrary sequences than third 
person computations,   how  does it follow that arbitrary sequences are 
not computations?   I guess I miss something (or you miss your 
statement?). Is it not   obvious that if there are more arbitrary sequences 
than third person   computations, then some (even most) arbitrary sequences 
are not   computations.OK, but my concern was to find room in the 
arbitrary sequences for all   computations, not the other way around (perhaps 
I didn't make this clear).   Every rational number is also a real number.   
   Let us define what is a computable infinite sequence. A sequence is   
computable if there is a program (a machine) which generates   specifically 
the elements of that sequence in the right order, and   nothing else. The 
set of programs is enumerable, but by Cantor theorem   the set of *all* 
sequences is not enumerable. So the set of computable   sequences is almost 
negligible compared to the arbitrary one.   Does it mean there is no 
program capable of generating a non computable   sequence?   Not at 
all. A universal dovetailer generates all the infinite   sequences. The 
computable one, (that is, those nameable by special   purpose, specific,  
program) and the non computable one (how? by   generating them all).   
I give another example of the same subtlety. One day a computer   scientist 
told me that it was impossible to write a program of n bits   capable of 
generating an incompressible finite sequence or string of   length m with m 
far greater than n. I challenge him.  Of course, what is true is that there 
is no program of n bit capable of   generating that m bits incompressible 
string, AND ONLY, SPECIFICALLY,THAT STRING.  But it is really easy to 
write a little  program capable of generating   that incompressible string 
by letting him generate ALL strings: the   program COUNT is enough.   
I think this *is* the main line of the *everything* list, or a   miniature 
version of it if you want.Yes, and there are many related examples, 
like Borges' library; I would include   the computations that might be hiding 
in noise as another such example. The   significant thing in all these cases 
is that from the third person perspective, the   information or computation 
is inaccessible. You need to have the book you want   already before you can 
find it in the Library of Babel. However, if computations   (or books) can be 
conscious, then they will still be conscious despite being unable   to 
communicate with the world at the level of their implementation. The first 
person   perspective makes these situations non-trivial.  Or you may regard 
it as a reductio against the proposition that a consciousness can be 
encapsulated.  Perhaps consciousness is only relative to an open system.  If 
the universe started from nothing, or very little in terms of information, then 
the unitary evolution of the wave function preserves information.  Hence the 
information of the universe is very small.  The apparent information, including 
that which describes conscious processes, is a consequence of projecting out 
onto a reduced basis.Isn't the universe taken as a whole

Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-24 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 23-janv.-07, à 06:17, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :


 Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result of actual brain
 activity, not Turing emulable.

 No... True: Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result
 of brain activity, but nowhere does Searle pretend that brain is not
 turing emulable. He just implicitly assume there is a notion of
 actuality that no simulation can render, but does not address the
 question of emulability. Then Searle is known for confusing level of
 description (this I can make much more precise with the Fi and Wi, or
 with the very important difference between computability (emulability)
 and provability.

 Searle seems to accept that CT implies the brain is Turing emulable, 
 but he
 does not believe that such an emulation would capture consciousness any
 more than a simulation of a thunderstorm will make you wet. Thus, a 
 computer
 that could pass the Turing Test would be a zombie.


Yes. It confirms my point. And Searle is coherent, he has to refer to a 
notion of physically real for his non-computationalism to proceed.
He may be right. Now his naturalistic explanation of consciousness 
seems rather ad hoc.
But all what I say is that IF comp is correct, we have to abandon 
physicalism.


 Searle is not a computationalist - does not believe in strong AI - but 
 he does
 believe in weak AI. Penrose does not believe in weak AI either.

Yes. In that way Searle is not even wrong.

snip: see my preceding post to you


 If there are more arbitrary sequences than third person computations, 
 how
 does it follow that arbitrary sequences are not computations?


I guess I miss something (or you miss your statement?). Is it not 
obvious that if there are more arbitrary sequences than third person 
computations, then some (even most) arbitrary sequences are not 
computations.

Let us define what is a computable infinite sequence. A sequence is 
computable if there is a program (a machine) which generates 
specifically the elements of that sequence in the right order, and 
nothing else. The set of programs is enumerable, but by Cantor theorem 
the set of *all* sequences is not enumerable. So the set of computable 
sequences is almost negligible compared to the arbitrary one.

Does it mean there is no program capable of generating a non computable 
sequence?

Not at all. A universal dovetailer generates all the infinite 
sequences. The computable one, (that is, those nameable by special 
purpose, specific,  program) and the non computable one (how? by 
generating them all).

I give another example of the same subtlety. One day a computer 
scientist told me that it was impossible to write a program of n bits 
capable of generating an incompressible finite sequence or string of 
length m with m far greater than n. I challenge him.
Of course, what is true is that there is no program of n bit capable of 
generating that m bits incompressible string, AND ONLY, SPECIFICALLY,  
THAT STRING.
But it is really easy to write a little  program capable of generating 
that incompressible string by letting him generate ALL strings: the 
program COUNT is enough.

I think this *is* the main line of the *everything* list, or a 
miniature version of it if you want.

Now, when you run the UD, as far as you keep the discourse in the third 
person mode, everything remains enumerable, even in the limit.
But from the first person point of view, a priori the uncountable 
stories, indeed generated by the UD, take precedence on the computable 
one: thus the continua of white rabbits. This results from the lack of 
any possibility from the first person point of view to locate herself 
into UD*. Somehow the first person belongs to 2^aleph_zero histories at 
the start.

A similar explosion of stories appears with quantum mechanics, except 
that here the physicist as an easy answer: white rabbits and Potter 
universe are eliminated through phase randomization (apparently).

I am not satisfied by this answer if only because my motivation is to 
understand where that quantum comes from.

Is complex randomization of histories the only way to force normal 
nature into the shorter path?

Well, my point is that if we take comp seriously, we have to justify 
the absence of rabbits from computer science. In case too much white 
rabbits remains, comp would be false, and this would be an argument in 
favor of materialism. But, when you interview a universal machine on 
this question you can realize at least that this question is far from 
being settled.



Hope you don't mind I continue to comment your post tomorrow,


Bruno




http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-23 Thread John M
Or of comp, or of multiple universes, or of.
(the list is almost unlimitable).
Proving is tricky. In many cases SOME accept the backwards argument from 
phenomena assigned to an originating assumption that is now deemed proven 
by it. 
Some don't.  It depends on evidence in one's personal belief system qualia 
(characteristics) if someone is not closed minded in his own belief system's 
'monotheistic' 
prejudices (like e.g. of natural sciences, or of math).

Has anybody proven the existence? (I mean beyond the Zenian question: who's 
arthritis is it?)

John
  - Original Message - 
  From: 1Z 
  To: Everything List 
  Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 9:59 AM
  Subject: Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life




  Bruno Marchal wrote:

   Also, nobody has proved the existence of a primitive physical universe.

  Or of a Platonia



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Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-22 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 18-janv.-07, à 06:38, Brent Meeker a écrit :


 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 To avoid to much posts in your mail box, I send all my comments in 
 this post,
 Hi Brent,
 1a) Brent meeker wrote (quoting Jim Heldberg) :
 Atheism is not a religion, just as a vacant lot is not a type of
 building, and health is not a form of sickness. Atheism is not a
 religion.
 --- Jim Heldberg
 It seems to me that Jim Heldberg confuse the scientist (indeed) 
 attitude of agnosticism and atheism.
 Let D = the proposition God exists, ~ = NOT, B = believes.
 An agnostic is someone for which the proposition ~BD is true. (And 
 ~B~D could be true as well)
 An atheist is someone for which B~D is true.

 But what does true mean?  Does it mean provable? and on what basis?  
 Does it mean our best guess




I am using true in its usual informal sense here. To be more precise 
here would be a 1004 fallacy. In the technical part, all proposition 
are purely arithmetical, and if you want you can defined that notion of 
arithmetical truth in set theory for example. But the Tarski definition 
of truth is enough in the present context. The proposition P intended 
by the sentence A is true when it is the case that A.







 The atheist is a believer. As John M often says, an atheist already 
 has some notion of God such as to be able to believe it does not 
 exist.
 Now most atheist are already believer in believing religiously in 
 Primary Matter (a metaphysical entity).
 I'am agnostic in both sense. I do not believe in God, nor do I 
 believe in Matter. Those terms are not enough well defined.
 I do neither believe in the inexistence of God, nor in the 
 inexistence of Matter. I wait for more data.

 Right.  God exists is not well enough defined to believe or 
 disbelieve - both God and exists being ill defined.  But I think 
 theism is well enough defined.  Theism is the belief in an immortal, 
 supernaturally powerful person, who is concerned with the welfare and 
 behavior of human beings.  I believe this god of theism does not 
 exist.  As to other gods, such as the god of deism or pantheism, I'm 
 agnostic - I don't believe they exist and I don't believe they don't 
 exist.  In all the above believe means my considered opinion - not 
 something mathematically provable, but something I think is provable 
 in the legal sense of preponderance of the evidence or in the 
 scientific sense of in accordance with our best model.




OK, but here you do the inverse of the 1004-fallacy. I was thinking we 
were already more precise than that. There is a problem of vocabulary. 
You continue to use the word God as related to our particular 
history. I just defined theology of a machine by the truth about that 
machine (whatver that truth is).  Given that I limit myself to 
self-referentially correct machine, the provable sentences by the 
machine are included in the truth about the machine. The inclusion has 
to be proper due to incompleteness of all such machines. Unlike the 
christian theologians, I have no (not yet) evidence that God (truth, 
the ONE, ...) is dedicated to the welfare of man (although I have 
evidence that man, or at least some man, are dedicated too the serach 
of truth.
Also, nobody has proved the existence of a primitive physical universe. 
With the present definition of theology, the belief in a physical 
primitive universe *is* a theological proposition. And I have shown 
that such a belief is epistemologically incompatible with the belief in 
comp (that there is a level where I am Turing emulable).
The Mechanist position in the philosophy of mind is just 
(epistemologically) incompatible with, not the belief in a physical 
universe, but with the belief in the primary nature of that physical 
universe.






 So atheism is not a religion - it's the belief that a particular class 
 of religion is mistaken.  To reject a belief that is contrary to the 
 evidence is not a matter of faith.  It doesn't take faith to believe 
 there is no Santa Claus.


It does not take faith to NOT believe in Santa Klaus. It does take 
faith (if only in your own consistency) to believe that you will never 
believe in Santa Klaus. Now I (re) define locally and in a first 
approximation GOD as the ultimate reality, for which I do have 
evidence. Thanks to Plotinus and Augustin there is case that this 
notion of GOD is closer to the christian notion than a primitive 
physical universe, for which I have no evidence at all (beyond the 
usual extrapolation of self-consistency that all higher mammal seems to 
do all the time).
I am closer to the atheist when I say that the GOD is not a person (or 
is a zero-person). But with comp, I have to abandon materialism, even 
in the weak sense that there is a primary notion of matter.
Materialism, for a computationalist (who has understand the complete 
UDA) is a form of vitalism: it invokes something nobody can verify, and 
which (by UDA) is shown to explain absolutely nothing. Like the 

RE: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-22 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Bruno Marchal writes:

   1c) Brent wrote (to Stathis):
  How is this infinite regress avoided in our world? By 
  consciousness
  not representing the rest of the world.
  That is an interesting idea. You could elaborate a bit perhaps? I do 
  agree with your most of your recent replies to Stathis about the 
  question does a rock think?. But perhaps not entirely for the same 
  reason as you. We will see.
 
  It's a half-baked idea, so I'm not sure I can fill it out.  But it is 
  similar to Stathis's point that language (and all symbolic 
  representation) must be grounded in ostentive definition.  In Stathis 
  example the conscious computer is conscious by virtue of reference to 
  a real world - which has now been replaced by a simulator.  But in a 
  closed system, with no outside reference, the ostensive definition 
  itself must be represented computationally.  And in what sense is it a 
  representation of an ostensive definition?  Only in virtue of some 
  meta-dictionary that defines it as such in terms of still other 
  representations.
 
 
 When you ask your computer to print a document, the computer typically 
 does not search the meaning of the words print or document in a 
 dictionary. Other more subtile self-reference are handled by the 
 diagonalization technic which makes it possible to cut the infinite 
 regresses. IF and when I come back on the Fi and Wi, I will give you 
 Kleene second recursion theorem which solves all those infinite regress 
 appearing in computer self-reference.

An association has been made between print and document with objects 
in the real world. You can work out what the print command is on an unknown 
computer by experimenting with different inputs and observing outputs. But 
if the real world is internalised, even if you could work out regularities in 
the 
syntax of an unknown computer (and I don't know if this is necessarily 
possible: 
it might be a military computer with syntax deliberately scrambled with a 
one-time 
pad) you would be unable to work out what it originally meant - what the 
computer 
is thinking. It is like finding an unknown language without a Rosetta stone or 
any 
cultural background which might help you with a translation. This reminds me of 
the 
impossibility of sharing 1st person experience: you can only do so if you share 
some 
3rd person quality allowing at least some interaction.

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-22 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Bruno Marchal writes:

 Le 18-janv.-07, à 04:10, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
 
 
  I would say relative to a theory explaining the appearances, not 
  just to the appearances.
 
  Well, it is relative to appearance, but people go on to theorise that 
  these appearances are true reality.
 
 
  From Pythagoras to Proclus, intellectuals were proud not making that 
 error. Aristotle is in part responsible for having made appearance 
 reality, coming back to the (provably wrong assuming comp) common sense 
 in those matters.
 (of course as you know we have to rely on common sense to go beyond 
 common sense).

OK, but we have to start with some basic observation. It looks like objects 
are pulled to the Earth by a force - that is a basic observation, with a 
minimal 
implicit theory. General Relativity explains this differently, but it takes a 
rather 
complex series of arguments to arrive at GR. You can't call Newton stupid 
because 
of this. Similarly, your conclusion that there is no separate physical reality 
follows 
from a number of carefully argued steps, and at the start of the chain is the 
fact 
that there does appear to be a physical world... if there did not, we would not 
be 
having this or any other discussion. 

  Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result of actual brain 
  activity, not Turing emulable.
 
 No... True: Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result 
 of brain activity, but nowhere does Searle pretend that brain is not 
 turing emulable. He just implicitly assume there is a notion of 
 actuality that no simulation can render, but does not address the 
 question of emulability. Then Searle is known for confusing level of 
 description (this I can make much more precise with the Fi and Wi, or 
 with the very important difference between computability (emulability) 
 and provability.

Searle seems to accept that CT implies the brain is Turing emulable, but he 
does not believe that such an emulation would capture consciousness any 
more than a simulation of a thunderstorm will make you wet. Thus, a computer 
that could pass the Turing Test would be a zombie.

See here for example:

http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Papers/Py104/searle.comp.html

  This theory is in keeping with the facts
 
 Ah?

At least, it isn't contradicted by any empirical facts, although neither is 
comp.

  and allows us to keep materialism as well.
 
 Abandoning the comp hyp. OK.

Searle is not a computationalist - does not believe in strong AI - but he does 
believe in weak AI. Penrose does not believe in weak AI either.

  The main problem I see with it is that it allows for the existence of 
  philosophical zombies, such as computers that act conscious but 
  aren't. If this were possible it would mean that consciousness was an 
  optional evolutionary development, i.e. we could all have evolved to 
  live in a world exactly like our own, except we would be zombies. It's 
  not a knock-down argument, but it strikes me as odd that something as 
  elaborate as consciousness could have evolved with no real benefit.
 
 OK. Of course COMP admits local zombie. One day it will be possible to 
 build an artificial museum tourist, looking and commenting picture and 
 art like a real tourist, which nobody will be able to distinguish from 
 a real tourist, but which will be only a sophisticated machine looking 
 for presence of bomb in the museum.
 With comp, consciousness has a big role, many big role (relative 
 sped-up of computations, give the ability to face personal relative 
 ignorance and alternate reality guessing and contemplation, ...). Cf I 
 define in first approximation consciousness as the quale which 
 accompanies the instinctive believe in reality/self-consistency.
 
 
 
  I agree there is no way to know whether you are being run in serial, 
  parallel, etc. But mathematically multiple shorter parallel streams 
  have to be able to be glued, at least mathematically, for 
  constituting a proper computation. If not literally anything can be 
  described as a computation. That is why I explicitly use a 
  mathematical definition of computation, and then(and only then) try 
  to figure out what is a rock, for example.
 
  Would you speculate that there is some indivisible atom of conscious 
  computation?
 
 
 Not at all. Consciousness, or instinctive belief in a reality (or in 
 oneself) and/or its associated first person quale needs an infinity 
 (even non countable) of computational histories. It depends in fine of 
 all nameable and unameable relations between number. Nothing deep here, 
 the primeness of 17 is also dependent in some logical way of the whole 
 mutilicative structure of the natural numbers. Machine are lucky to be 
 able to prove the primeness of 17 in a finite time, because the *truth* 
 of even something as mundane than 17's primeness already escapes the 
 machine capability of expression.

You seemed to be disputing the idea that a serial computation 

Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-19 Thread Bruno Marchal


Brent,

I must go, so I will just comment one line before commenting the other 
paragraph (tomorrow, normally).



Le 18-janv.-07, à 06:38, Brent Meeker a écrit :

Why isn't the computer (or rock) associated with an infinity of 
computations?  I'm assuming you mean a potential countable infinity in 
the future.



I don't know if computers or rocks really exist, nor what you mean 
exactly by such words, but as far as you can associate a computational 
state to the computer or to the rocks, it belongs to a (first person 
actual) NON COUNTABLE infinity of computational histories, including 
quite dummy one, like a program which dovetails on some loopy local 
simulation of the rock (or the computer) together with a (infinite) 
dovetailing on the real numbers. Cf my old conversation with Jurgen 
Schmidhuber. OK?


That is why comp predicts a priori not only some white rabbits, but 
continua of white rabbits. QM eliminates them by destructive 
interference, and my point is just that if we take comp seriously 
enough, then we have to justify those destructive interference by 
classical computer science/number theory alone.


Now, a way to see what happens ( a shortcut!) consists in interviewing 
a correct lobian machine which looks inward, and, because such a 
machine has to take into account the modal nuances forced by the 
incompleteness phenomenon, i.e. the nuance between p,  Bp,  Bp  p,  Bp 
 Dp, etc., the structure of the space of possible histories appears to 
be arithmetically quantized in some way. Enough to associate a 
universal quantum field in the neighborhood of universal machine? Well, 
that is still an open problem.



Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-18 Thread [EMAIL PROTECTED]




[SP] The common sense view is that there is an
underlying primitive physical reality generating this appearance


Your assumption of underlying primitive physical reality puts you
in the line of believers. It is not necessary to make such assumption
to build predictive theories to model/describe the observations.


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Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-18 Thread Brent Meeker


[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:




[SP] The common sense view is that there is an
underlying primitive physical reality generating this appearance


Your assumption of underlying primitive physical reality puts you
in the line of believers. It is not necessary to make such assumption
to build predictive theories to model/describe the observations.


True.  But it's not necessarily an assumption.  You can look at it as a metaphysical 
inference: an answer to the question, Why do these models seem to work so well at 
describing our intersubjective agreement?

Brent Meeker

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Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-18 Thread [EMAIL PROTECTED]



Brent Meeker wrote:

[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


 [SP] The common sense view is that there is an
 underlying primitive physical reality generating this appearance

 Your assumption of underlying primitive physical reality puts you
 in the line of believers. It is not necessary to make such assumption
 to build predictive theories to model/describe the observations.


.True.
.But it's not necessarily an assumption.  You can look at it as a
metaphysical inference:
. an answer to the question,
.Why do these models seem to work so well at describing our
intersubjective agreement?

How about common sense answer: Just because I'm so damn smart.
So, we may remain within paradigm of observation/explanation and no
need for metaphysics being involved. It may be useful to make
underlying reality assumption for some theories if it is
essential and irreducible part of it but I'm not aware about any of
such examples.


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Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-17 Thread Bruno Marchal
To avoid to much posts in your mail box, I send all my comments in this 
post,


Hi Brent,

1a) Brent meeker wrote (quoting Jim Heldberg) :


Atheism is not a religion, just as a vacant lot is not a type of
building, and health is not a form of sickness.  Atheism is not a
religion.
--- Jim Heldberg



It seems to me that Jim Heldberg confuse the scientist (indeed) 
attitude of agnosticism and atheism.

Let D = the proposition God exists, ~ = NOT, B = believes.

An agnostic is someone for which the proposition ~BD is true.   (And 
~B~D could be true as well)

An atheist is someone for which B~D is true.

The atheist is a believer. As John M often says, an atheist already has 
some notion of God such as to be able to believe it does not exist.
Now most atheist are already believer in believing religiously in 
Primary Matter (a metaphysical entity).


I'am agnostic in both sense. I do not believe in God, nor do I believe 
in Matter. Those terms are not enough well defined.
I do neither believe in the inexistence of God, nor in the inexistence 
of Matter. I wait for more data.


But assuming comp, I must confess that I have *reason* to put some more 
credo on Plotinus, and other platonist approaches, on mind/god/matter 
and fundamental principle, than on the aristotelian primitive matter 
theory. Actually, I infer the same belief from the empirical quantum 
data.



1b) Brent wrote to John M:


Values existed longer before humans.



So you are a bit Platonist too  :)



1c) Brent wrote (to Stathis):

How is this infinite regress avoided in our world?  By consciousness 
not representing the rest of the world.



That is an interesting idea. You could elaborate a bit perhaps? I do 
agree with your most of your recent replies to Stathis about the 
question does a rock think?.  But perhaps not entirely for the same 
reason as you. We will see.




The world is what it is and representation is not essential.  I 
suppose this is somewhat like Peter's primitive substance whose only 
function is to distinguish things that exist from their 
representation.


yes, but then the question is what are you assuming to exist?



1d) Brent wrote to Mark Peaty (in Jason's thread about 
irreversibility):


I think there is a confusion creeping in here.  I don't think 
logically reversible is misleading.  It is only physical processes 
that can be termed reversible or irreversible.  Logic lives in a 
timeless Platonia.  Computers operated irreversibly, they dissipate 
heat when they they erase data.  Feynman pointed out that this was not 
necessary and a computer that did not erase data could operate without 
dissipating heat (no increase in entropy).



The logician Hao Wang, is, as far as I know, the first to prove that a 
universal machine can operate without ever erasing information, and 
this is enough for developping notion of logical reversibility (quite 
useful in quantum computing). I say more in term of combinators in my 
Elsevier paper. The one which is not yet on my web page. People 
interested can ask me a preprint.
Grosso modo you lose universality if both eliminating info is 
prohibited and duplicating info.




2a) John wrote to Jamie:

Sponging the 'gedanken..' - the falling treebranch reflects in your 
version the omniscient arrogant reductionist position. I go with 
Popper: no evidence, because we cannot encompass 'totality'  (my 
conclusion).


Cute. And admitting to represent totality by the set of codes of 
total (everywhere defined) computable functions, this can be made very 
precise in term of the Wi and the Fi, as I try to explain from time to 
time in the list.



 
I would'nt go to the primitive mechanistic AI-levels to learn about 
mentality unlimited. Bits (and pieces) for unrestricted relations.
AI simulates (mechanically?) certain aspects of human mentality - up 
to a limited fashion.



You seem quite sure about that. How do you know? Why couldn'it be that 
*you* find this limited due to your own prejudice about numbers and 
machines?



2b) John wrote to Brent:


So noted. (However: in my feeble English 'bias' means
'~prejudice' and I have yet to learn about prejudicial
instruments. Unless we accept the conscious
instrument e.g. a thinking yardstick).  I, as a
Loebian machine, may well be prejudicial).



That is true!!!  Are you serious about being a lobian machine? As a 
matter of fact, lobian machine can know and prove that they are lobian.
To prove being a *consistent* lobian machine is quite another matter, 
though 
It is not impossible. *Inconsistent* lobian machine *can* prove that 
they are consistent lobian machine, but then they can prove the 
existence of Santa Klaus, and also, to be sure, of 0 = 1.





3a) Stathis wrote (to me):

Regarding consciousness being generated by physical activity, would it 
help if
I said that if a conventional computer is conscious, then, to be 
consistent, a

rock would also have to be conscious?


I think you could be right ... It is 

Re: Rép : The Meaning of Life

2007-01-17 Thread Brent Meeker


Bruno Marchal wrote:
To avoid to much posts in your mail box, I send all my comments in this 
post,


Hi Brent,

1a) Brent meeker wrote (quoting Jim Heldberg) :

Atheism is not a religion, just as a vacant lot is not a type of
building, and health is not a form of sickness. Atheism is not a
religion.
--- Jim Heldberg



It seems to me that Jim Heldberg confuse the scientist (indeed) attitude 
of agnosticism and atheism.

Let D = the proposition God exists, ~ = NOT, B = believes.

An agnostic is someone for which the proposition ~BD is true. (And 
~B~D could be true as well)

An atheist is someone for which B~D is true.


But what does true mean?  Does it mean provable? and on what basis?  Does it mean 
our best guess



The atheist is a believer. As John M often says, an atheist already has 
some notion of God such as to be able to believe it does not exist.
Now most atheist are already believer in believing religiously in 
Primary Matter (a metaphysical entity).


I'am agnostic in both sense. I do not believe in God, nor do I believe 
in Matter. Those terms are not enough well defined.
I do neither believe in the inexistence of God, nor in the inexistence 
of Matter. I wait for more data.


Right.  God exists is not well enough defined to believe or disbelieve - both God and exists being ill defined.  
But I think theism is well enough defined.  Theism is the belief in an immortal, supernaturally powerful person, who is concerned with 
the welfare and behavior of human beings.  I believe this god of theism does not exist.  As to other gods, such as the god of deism or pantheism, I'm 
agnostic - I don't believe they exist and I don't believe they don't exist.  In all the above believe means my considered opinion - not 
something mathematically provable, but something I think is provable in the legal sense of preponderance of the evidence or in the 
scientific sense of in accordance with our best model.

So atheism is not a religion - it's the belief that a particular class of 
religion is mistaken.  To reject a belief that is contrary to the evidence is 
not a matter of faith.  It doesn't take faith to believe there is no Santa 
Claus.

But assuming comp, I must confess that I have *reason* to put some more 
credo on Plotinus, and other platonist approaches, on mind/god/matter 
and fundamental principle, than on the aristotelian primitive matter 
theory. Actually, I infer the same belief from the empirical quantum data.



1b) Brent wrote to John M:

Values existed longer before humans.



So you are a bit Platonist too  :)


Yes, I'm willing to contemplate different kinds of existence - so  that mathematical structures 
made be said to exist and statements like Sherlock Holmes was a detective. are in some 
sense true while Sherlock Holmes was a Russian. are false.

But whether arithmetic is more fundamental than matter - I'm agnostic.

 1c) Brent wrote (to Stathis):


How is this infinite regress avoided in our world? By consciousness
not representing the rest of the world.



That is an interesting idea. You could elaborate a bit perhaps? I do 
agree with your most of your recent replies to Stathis about the 
question does a rock think?. But perhaps not entirely for the same 
reason as you. We will see.


It's a half-baked idea, so I'm not sure I can fill it out.  But it is similar 
to Stathis's point that language (and all symbolic representation) must be 
grounded in ostentive definition.  In Stathis example the conscious computer is 
conscious by virtue of reference to a real world - which has now been replaced 
by a simulator.  But in a closed system, with no outside reference, the 
ostensive definition itself must be represented computationally.  And in what 
sense is it a representation of an ostensive definition?  Only in virtue of 
some meta-dictionary that defines it as such in terms of still other 
representations.



The world is what it is and representation is not essential. I
suppose this is somewhat like Peter's primitive substance whose
only function is to distinguish things that exist from their
representation.


yes, but then the question is what are you assuming to exist?


Our best model seems to be the quantum fields of the standard model.  But I think it is the wrong question to 
ask what do you assume to exist.  You don't start with assuming something to exist, that's a 
mathematician's axiomatic approach; you start with what you observe, with appearances.  You may be able to 
model them with different ontologies and then the question is, How can you test them.  As Thales 
said, The question is not what exists, but how can we know.  It may be that different ontologies 
produce the same empirical results - as quantum fields and elementary particle theories seem to - and there 
is nothing to choose between them.

 

1d) Brent wrote to Mark Peaty (in Jason's thread about irreversibility):

I think there is a confusion creeping in