Re: Are First Person prime?

2007-11-27 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 26-nov.-07, à 20:22, George Levy a écrit :

  Bruno
  Yes I am particularizing things... But the end justifies the means. 
 I am being positivist, trying to express these rules as a function of 
 an observer. In any case, once the specific example is worked out, we 
 can fall back on the general case.
  Your feedback about exist not really being adequate to express 
 truth is well noted. Let me change the proposed rules to express truth 
 as a function of an axiomatic system A existing as data  either in 
 the memory of M  or as a axiomatic substrate for a simulated world 
 W.  Let's try the following:


  In a world W simulated according to the axiomatic data system A, 
 there is a machine M, data p and data q such that
  1) If M has access to p (possibly in its memory), then p exists in W. 
 (exist=being simulated in W according to A )
  2) If M has access to p, then M  has access to the access point to p.
  3) If M has access to the information relating or linking p to q then 
 if M has access to p, it also has access to q.

  Now we can make the statements reflexive ( I don't know if this is 
 the right word) by setting data p = Machine description M.

  In a simulated world W following the axiomatic data system A there is 
 a machine M=p and data q such that
  1) If M has access to M  then M exists in W. (reflexivity?)
  2) If M has access to M, then M  has access to the access point to M. 
 (Infinite reflexivity? - description of consciousness?)
  3) If M has information describing q as a consequence of M in 
 accordance with A, then if M has access to M, it also has access to q. 
 (This is a form of Anthropic principle)

  I am not sure if this is leading anywhere, but it's fun playing with 
 it.


Sure. And playing is the best way to learn, as nature knows since the 
beginning.


 Maybe a computer program could be written to express these staqtements.


I certainly encourage you to do so. Note that for the general modal 
theory, S4, or even the comp fist person S4Grz, programs already 
exists.
By some aspect your attempt reminds me also of dynamic logic. This is 
modal logic applied to computations (and thus a bit away from 
computability which concerns my more theological global concern ;). 
You could googelize on dynamic modal logic. I am not at all an expert 
on those logics, to be sure.


Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2007-11-26 Thread Bruno Marchal

George, you can do that indeed, but then you are particularizing 
things. This can be helpful from a pedagogical point of view, but the 
advantage of the axiomatic approach (to a knowledge theory) is that 
once you agree on the axioms and rules, then you agree on the 
consequences independently of the particular instantiation you think 
about. Word like machine, access, memory, world, data,  are, 
fundamentally harder than the simple idea of knowledge the modal S4 
axioms convey. Using machines, for example, could seem as a 
computationalist restriction, when the axioms S4 remains completely 
neutral, etc. Also, acceding a memory is more opinion than knowledge 
because we can have false memory for example. (And then what are the 
inference rules of your system?).

S4 is a normal modal logic with natural Kripke referentials 
(transitive, reflexive accessibility relations).

A bit more problematic is your identification of true with exist.  
This hangs on possible but highly debatable and complex relations 
between truth and reality. This is interesting per se, but imo a bit 
out of topics, or premature (in current thread). Perhaps we will have 
opportunity to debate on this, but I want make sure that what I am 
explaining now does not depend on those possible relations (between 
truth and reality).

Bruno




Le 24-nov.-07, à 21:23, George Levy a écrit :

  Bruno thank you for this elaborate reply. I would like these three 
 statements to make use of cybernetic language, that is to be more 
 explicit in terms of the machine or entity to which they refer. Would 
 it be correct to rephrase the statements in the active tense, using 
 the machine as the subject, replacing proposition p by the term data 
 and replacing true by exist? The statements would then be:

  In a world W there is a machine M, data p and data q such that
  1) If M has access to p (possibly in its memory), then p exists in W.
  2) If M has access to p, then M  has access to the access point to p.
  3) If M has access to the information relating or linking p to q then 
 if M has access to p, it also has access to q.

  I assumed that the term has access means in its memory... but it 
 does not have to.
  I also assumed in statements 3 that the multiple uses of M refers to 
 the same machine. I guess there may be cases where multiple machines 
 can have access to the dame data.
  Same with statement 4

  George

  Bruno Marchal wrote:
  Le 22-nov.-07, à 20:50, George Levy a écrit :
                  Hi Bruno,
                  I am reopening an old thread ( more than a year old) 
 which I found very intriguing. It leads to some startling conclusions.
                      Le 05-août-06, à 02:07, George Levy a écrit :
                      Bruno Marchal wrote:I think that if you want to
 make the first person primitive, given that neither you nor me can
  really define it, you will need at least to axiomatize it in some 
 way.
  Here is my question. Do you agree that a first person is a knower, 
 and
  in that case, are you willing to accept the traditional axioms for
  knowing. That is:

  1) If p is knowable then p is true;
  2) If p is knowable then it is knowable that p is knowable;
  3) if it is knowable that p entails q, then if p is knowable then 
 q is
  knowable

  (+ some logical rules).



  Bruno, what or who do you mean by it in statements 2) and 3).




  The same as in it is raining. I could have written 1. and 2. like

  1) knowable(p) - p
  2) knowable(p) - knowable(knowable(p))

  In this way we can avoid using words like it, or even like true. 
 p is a variable, and is implicitly universally quantified over. 
 knowable(p) - p really means that whatever is the proposition p, 
 if it is knowable then it is true. The false is unknowable (although 
 it could be conceivable, believable, even provable (in inconsistent 
 theory), etc. The p in 1. 2. and 3. is really like the x in the 
 formula (sin(x))^2 + (cos(x))^2 = 1.

  knowable(p) - p really means that we cannot know something false. 
 This is coherent with the natural language use of know, which I 
 illustrate often by remarking that we never say Alfred knew the 
 earth is flat, but the he realized he was wrong. We say instead 
 Alfred believed that earth is flat, but then  . The axiom 1. is 
 the incorrigibility axiom: we can know only the truth. Of course we 
 can believe we know something until we know better.
  The axiom 2. is added when we want to axiomatize a notion of 
 knowledge from the part of sufficiently introspective subject. It 
 means that if some proposition is knowable, then the knowability of 
 that proposition is itself knowable. It means that when the subject 
 knows some proposition then the subject will know that he knows that 
 proposition. The subject can know that he knows.





 In addition, what do you mean by is knowable, is true and 
 entails?



  All the point in axiomatizing some notion, consists in giving a way 
 to reason about that 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2007-11-26 Thread George Levy
Bruno
Yes I am particularizing things... But the end justifies the means. I 
am being positivist, trying to express these rules as a function of an 
observer. In any case, once the specific example is worked out, we can 
fall back on the general case.
Your feedback about exist not really being adequate to express truth 
is well noted. Let me change the proposed rules to express truth as a 
function of an axiomatic system A existing as data  either in the 
memory of M  or as a axiomatic substrate for a simulated world 
W.  Let's try the following:


In a world W simulated according to the axiomatic data system A, there 
is a machine M, data p and data q such that
1) If M has access to p (possibly in its memory), then p exists in W. 
(exist=being simulated in W according to A )
2) If M has access to p, then M  has access to the access point to p.
3) If M has access to the information relating or linking p to q then if 
M has access to p, it also has access to q.

Now we can make the statements reflexive ( I don't know if this is the 
right word) by setting data p = Machine description M.

In a simulated world W following the axiomatic data system A there is a 
machine M=p and data q such that
1) If M has access to M  then M exists in W. (reflexivity?)
2) If M has access to M, then M  has access to the access point to M. 
(Infinite reflexivity? - description of consciousness?)
3) If M has information describing q as a consequence of M in accordance 
with A, then if M has access to M, it also has access to q. (This is a 
form of Anthropic principle)

I am not sure if this is leading anywhere, but it's fun playing with it. 
Maybe a computer program could be written to express these staqtements.

George

Bruno Marchal wrote:

 George, you can do that indeed, but then you are particularizing 
 things. This can be helpful from a pedagogical point of view, but the 
 advantage of the axiomatic approach (to a knowledge theory) is that 
 once you agree on the axioms and rules, then you agree on the 
 consequences independently of the particular instantiation you think 
 about. Word like machine, access, memory, world, data, are, 
 fundamentally harder than the simple idea of knowledge the modal S4 
 axioms convey. Using machines, for example, could seem as a 
 computationalist restriction, when the axioms S4 remains completely 
 neutral, etc. Also, acceding a memory is more opinion than knowledge 
 because we can have false memory for example. (And then what are the 
 inference rules of your system?).

 S4 is a normal modal logic with natural Kripke referentials 
 (transitive, reflexive accessibility relations).

 A bit more problematic is your identification of true with exist. 
 This hangs on possible but highly debatable and complex relations 
 between truth and reality. This is interesting per se, but imo a bit 
 out of topics, or premature (in current thread). Perhaps we will have 
 opportunity to debate on this, but I want make sure that what I am 
 explaining now does not depend on those possible relations (between 
 truth and reality).

 Bruno

 Le 24-nov.-07, à 21:23, George Levy a écrit :

 Bruno thank you for this elaborate reply. I would like these three
 statements to make use of cybernetic language, that is to be more
 explicit in terms of the machine or entity to which they refer.
 Would it be correct to rephrase the statements in the active
 tense, using the machine as the subject, replacing proposition p
 by the term data and replacing true by exist? The statements
 would then be:

 In a world W there is a machine M, data p and data q such that
 1) If M has access to p (possibly in its memory), then p exists in W.
 2) If M has access to p, then M  has access to the access point to p.
 3) If M has access to the information relating or linking p to q
 then if M has access to p, it also has access to q.

 I assumed that the term has access means in its memory... but
 it does not have to.
 I also assumed in statements 3 that the multiple uses of M refers
 to the same machine. I guess there may be cases where multiple
 machines can have access to the dame data.
 Same with statement 4

 George

 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 22-nov.-07, à 20:50, George Levy a écrit :
 Hi Bruno,
 I am reopening an old thread ( more than a year
 old) which I found very intriguing. It leads to some startling
 conclusions.
 Le 05-août-06, à 02:07, George Levy a écrit :
 Bruno Marchal wrote:I think that if you want to

 make the first person primitive, given that neither
 you nor me can
 really define it, you will need at least to axiomatize
 it in some way.
 Here is my question. Do you agree that a first person
 is a knower, and
 in 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2007-11-24 Thread George Levy
Bruno thank you for this elaborate reply. I would like these three 
statements to make use of cybernetic language, that is to be more 
explicit in terms of the machine or entity to which they refer. Would it 
be correct to rephrase the statements in the active tense, using the 
machine as the subject, replacing proposition p by the term data and 
replacing true by exist? The statements would then be:

In a world W there is a machine M, data p and data q such that
1) If M has access to p (possibly in its memory), then p exists in W.
2) If M has access to p, then M  has access to the access point to p.
3) If M has access to the information relating or linking p to q then if 
M has access to p, it also has access to q.

I assumed that the term has access means in its memory... but it 
does not have to.
I also assumed in statements 3 that the multiple uses of M refers to the 
same machine. I guess there may be cases where multiple machines can 
have access to the dame data.
Same with statement 4

George

Bruno Marchal wrote:
Le 22-nov.-07, à 20:50, George Levy a écrit :
Hi Bruno,
I am reopening an old thread ( more than a year old) 
which I found very intriguing. It leads to some startling conclusions.
Le 05-août-06, à 02:07, George Levy a écrit :
Bruno Marchal wrote:I think that if you want to

 make the first person primitive, given that neither you nor me
 can
 really define it, you will need at least to axiomatize it in
 some way.
 Here is my question. Do you agree that a first person is a
 knower, and
 in that case, are you willing to accept the traditional axioms
 for
 knowing. That is:

 1) If p is knowable then p is true;
 2) If p is knowable then it is knowable that p is knowable;
 3) if it is knowable that p entails q, then if p is knowable
 then q is
 knowable

 (+ some logical rules).



 Bruno, what or who do you mean by it in statements 2) and 3).





 The same as in it is raining. I could have written 1. and 2. like

 1) knowable(p) - p
 2) knowable(p) - knowable(knowable(p))

 In this way we can avoid using words like it, or even like true. 
 p is a variable, and is implicitly universally quantified over. 
 knowable(p) - p really means that whatever is the proposition p, if 
 it is knowable then it is true. The false is unknowable (although it 
 could be conceivable, believable, even provable (in inconsistent 
 theory), etc. The p in 1. 2. and 3. is really like the x in the 
 formula (sin(x))^2 + (cos(x))^2 = 1.

 knowable(p) - p really means that we cannot know something false. 
 This is coherent with the natural language use of know, which I 
 illustrate often by remarking that we never say Alfred knew the earth 
 is flat, but the he realized he was wrong. We say instead Alfred 
 believed that earth is flat, but then  . The axiom 1. is the 
 incorrigibility axiom: we can know only the truth. Of course we can 
 believe we know something until we know better.
 The axiom 2. is added when we want to axiomatize a notion of knowledge 
 from the part of sufficiently introspective subject. It means that if 
 some proposition is knowable, then the knowability of that proposition 
 is itself knowable. It means that when the subject knows some 
 proposition then the subject will know that he knows that proposition. 
 The subject can know that he knows.





 In addition, what do you mean by is knowable, is true and
 entails?




 All the point in axiomatizing some notion, consists in giving a way to 
 reason about that notion without ever defining it. We just try to 
 agree on some principles, like 1.,2., 3., and then derives things from 
 those principles. Nuance can be added by adding new axioms if necessary.
 Of course axioms like above are not enough, we have to use deduction 
 rules. In case of the S4 theory, which I will rewrite with modal 
 notation (hoping you recognize it). I write Bp for B(p) to avoid 
 heaviness in the notation, likewize, I write BBp for B(B(p)).

 1) Bp - p (incorrigibility)
 2) Bp - BBp (introspective knowledge)
 3) B(p-q) - (Bp - Bq) (weak omniscience, = knowability of the 
 consequences of knowable propositions).

 Now with such axioms you can derive no theorems (except the axiom 
 themselves). So you need some principles which give you a way to 
 deduce theorems from axioms. The usual deduction rule of S4 are the 
 substitution rule, the modus ponens rule and the necessitation rule. 
 The substitution rule say that you can substitute p by any proposition 
 (as far as you avoid clash of variable, etc.). The modus ponens rule 
 say that if you have already derived some formula A, and some formula 
 A - B, then you can derive B. The necessitation rule says that if you 
 have already derive A, then you can derive BA.



 Are is knowable, is true and entails 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2007-11-23 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 22-nov.-07, à 20:50, George Levy a écrit :

  Hi Bruno,

  I am reopening an old thread ( more than a year old) which I found 
 very intriguing. It leads to some startling conclusions.

  Le 05-août-06, à 02:07, George Levy a écrit :

  Bruno Marchal wrote:I think that if you want to
 make the first person primitive, given that neither you nor me can
  really define it, you will need at least to axiomatize it in some 
 way.
  Here is my question. Do you agree that a first person is a knower, 
 and
  in that case, are you willing to accept the traditional axioms for
  knowing. That is:

  1) If p is knowable then p is true;
  2) If p is knowable then it is knowable that p is knowable;
  3) if it is knowable that p entails q, then if p is knowable then q 
 is
  knowable

  (+ some logical rules).



  Bruno, what or who do you mean by it in statements 2) and 3).




The same as in it is raining. I could have written 1. and 2. like

1) knowable(p) - p
2) knowable(p) - knowable(knowable(p))

In this way we can avoid using words like it, or even like true.  
p is a variable, and is implicitly universally quantified over. 
knowable(p) - p really means that whatever is the proposition p, if 
it is knowable then it is true. The false is unknowable (although it 
could be conceivable, believable, even provable (in inconsistent 
theory), etc. The p in 1. 2. and 3.  is really like the x in the 
formula (sin(x))^2 + (cos(x))^2 = 1.

knowable(p) - p really means that we cannot know something false. 
This is coherent with the natural language use of know, which I 
illustrate often by remarking that we never say Alfred knew the earth 
is flat, but the he realized he was wrong. We say instead Alfred 
believed that earth is flat, but then  . The axiom 1. is the 
incorrigibility axiom: we can know only the truth. Of course we can 
believe we know something until we know better.
The axiom 2. is added when we want to axiomatize a notion of knowledge 
from the part of sufficiently introspective subject. It means that if 
some proposition is knowable, then the knowability of that proposition 
is itself knowable. It means that when the subject knows some 
proposition then the subject will know that he knows that proposition. 
The subject can know that he knows.





 In addition, what do you mean by is knowable, is true and 
 entails?



All the point in axiomatizing some notion, consists in giving a way to 
reason about that notion without ever defining it. We just try to agree 
on some principles, like 1.,2., 3., and then derives things from those 
principles. Nuance can be added by adding new axioms if necessary.
Of course axioms like above are not enough, we have to use deduction 
rules. In case of the S4 theory, which I will rewrite with modal 
notation (hoping you recognize it). I write Bp for B(p) to avoid 
heaviness in the notation, likewize, I write BBp for B(B(p)).

1) Bp - p   (incorrigibility)
2) Bp - BBp  (introspective knowledge)
3) B(p-q) - (Bp - Bq)  (weak omniscience, = knowability of the 
consequences of knowable propositions).

Now with such axioms you can derive no theorems (except the axiom 
themselves). So you need some principles which give you a way to deduce 
theorems from axioms. The usual deduction rule of S4 are the 
substitution rule, the modus ponens rule and the necessitation rule. 
The substitution rule say that you can substitute p by any proposition 
(as far as you avoid clash of variable, etc.). The modus ponens rule 
say that if you have already derived some formula A, and some formula A 
- B, then you can derive B. The necessitation rule says that if you 
have already derive A, then you can derive BA.



 Are is knowable, is true and entails absolute or do they have 
 meaning only with respect to a particular observer?


The abstract S4 theory is strictly neutral on this. But abstract theory 
can have more concrete models or interpretations. In our lobian 
setting, it will happen that formal provability by a machine does not 
obey the incorrigibility axiom (as Godel notices in his 1933 paper). 
This means that formal provability by a machine cannot be used to 
modelize the knowability of the machine. It is a bit counterintuitive, 
but formal provability by a machine modelizes only a form of opinion 
by the machine, so that to get a knowability notion from the 
provability notion, we have to explicitly define knowability(p)  by 
provability(p) and p is true. (Cf Platos's Theaetetus).
Here provability and knowability is always relative to an (ideal) 
machine.
I will come back on this in my explanation to David later. But don't 
hesitate to ask question before.




 Can these terms be relative to an observer? If they can, how would you 
 rephrase these statements?


An observer ? I guess you mean a subject. Observability could obeys 
quite different axioms that knowability (as it is the case for machine 
with comp).
Just interpret knowable(p) by p is knowable by M.
M denotes some machine 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2007-11-22 Thread George Levy
Hi Bruno,

I am reopening an old thread ( more than a year old) which I found very 
intriguing. It leads to some startling conclusions.

Le 05-août-06, à 02:07, George Levy a écrit :

Bruno Marchal wrote:I think that if you want to

make the first person primitive, given that neither you nor me can
really define it, you will need at least to axiomatize it in some way.
Here is my question. Do you agree that a first person is a knower, and
in that case, are you willing to accept the traditional axioms for
knowing. That is:

1) If p is knowable then p is true;
2) If p is knowable then it is knowable that p is knowable;
3) if it is knowable that p entails q, then if p is knowable then q is
knowable

(+ some logical rules).

Bruno, what or who do you mean by it in statements 2) and 3). In 
addition, what do you mean by is knowable, is true and entails? 
Are is knowable, is true and entails absolute or do they have 
meaning only with respect to a particular observer? Can these terms be 
relative to an observer? If they can, how would you rephrase these 
statements?

George




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Re: Are First Person prime?

2007-11-22 Thread George Levy
One more question: can or should p be the observer?
George
George Levy wrote:

 Hi Bruno,

 I am reopening an old thread ( more than a year old) which I found 
 very intriguing. It leads to some startling conclusions.

 Le 05-août-06, à 02:07, George Levy a écrit :

 Bruno Marchal wrote:I think that if you want to

 make the first person primitive, given that neither you nor me can
 really define it, you will need at least to axiomatize it in some
 way.
 Here is my question. Do you agree that a first person is a knower,
 and
 in that case, are you willing to accept the traditional axioms for
 knowing. That is:

 1) If p is knowable then p is true;
 2) If p is knowable then it is knowable that p is knowable;
 3) if it is knowable that p entails q, then if p is knowable then
 q is
 knowable

 (+ some logical rules).

 Bruno, what or who do you mean by it in statements 2) and 3). In 
 addition, what do you mean by is knowable, is true and entails? 
 Are is knowable, is true and entails absolute or do they have 
 meaning only with respect to a particular observer? Can these terms be 
 relative to an observer? If they can, how would you rephrase these 
 statements?

 George




 


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RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-24 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes:

  In a deterministic universe, saying that things could have turned out 
  differently had initial 
  conditions or physical laws been different is analogous to saying the sound 
  coming out of the 
  speakers could have been different if the grooves on the record or the 
  equalisation in the 
  preamp stage had been different.
 
 That still sounds like a cheat to me.  If it's recording of the universe it's 
 an 
 inputless program, since there is no environment outside the universe.  But 
 when 
 you invoke the analogy of the record, you conceive the grooves and the 
 initial 
 conditions as input.

The fundamental constants and physical laws could be taken as input. There 
are of course various 
theories as to how these values have been set, ranging from God made it that 
way to multiverse 
theories in which every possibility is realised but only some lead to conscious 
observers.

Stathis Papaioannou
_
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-24 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:


 Words like real, physical material needs to be (re)defined or at
 least clarify in front of the UDA.

They don't need apriori, rationalist clarity, since
they can be defended by the empiricist-Johnsoinian approach.

  Proponents of the argument need to show that the causality
  and dynamism are inessential (that there is no relevant difference
  between process and programme) before you can have consciousness
  implemented Platonically.


 I would say there is no relevant difference, from the first person
 point of view, between a process in a real universe and a relative
 computation in Platonia.

If Platonia is not real in any sense, it cannot
contain observers, persons, appearances, etc.

  To exist Platonically is to exist eternally and necessarily. There is
  no time or changein Plato's heave.


 All partial recursive solutions of Schroedinger or Dirac equation
 exists in Platonia, and define through that block description notion
 of internal time quite analogous to Everett subjective probabilities.

The A-series cannot be reduced to the B-series.

   Therefore, to gain entry, a
  computational mind will have to be translated from a running process
  into something static and acausal.
 
  One route is to replace the process with a programme. After all, the
  programme does specify all the possible counterfactual behaviour, and
  it is basically a string of 1's and 0's, and therefore a suitabale
  occupant of Plato's heaven. But a specification of counterfactual
  behaviour is not actual counterfactual behaviour. The information is
  the same, but they are not the same thing.


 A program is basically the same as a number.

No it isn't. You don't know which programme is specified
by a number without knowing how the number is to
be interpreted, ie what hardware it is running on.

 A process or a computation
 is a finite or infinite sequence of numbers (possibly branching, and
 defined relatively to a universal numbers).

It is not just a sequence, because a sequence
does not specify counterfactuals.

 The UD build all such (branching) sequences.

If it exists.


  Physical many-world theories have resources to keep counterfactuals
  unobserved that immaterial MW-theories lack (including the simple
  of one that many mathematical possibilities do not
  exist physically).

What does not exist cannot be observed. That is the
Somethingist solution to White Rabbits.



  Consciousness is a problem for all forms of materialism and physicalism
  to some extent, but it is possible to discern where the problem is
  particularly acute. There is no great problem with the idea that matter
  considered as a bare substrate can have mental properities.


 Panpsychism ?

That's *can* have mental properties.

Implying also  can *not* have mental properties.
Property dualism, not contra panpsychism.

  An electron would be conscious? Why do you think there
 are neurons in brains?
 Why do you think there are genes in cells? Do you think they are only
 amplifiers of particle's mind.
 Note that this would not a priori contradict comp per se, it would only
 make the substitution level very low.  (Unlikely imo, but that is not
 relevant for our discussion).



  Any
  inability to have mental properties would itself be a property and
  therefore be inconsistent with the bareness of a bare substrate. The
  subjectivity of conscious states, often treated as inherent boils
  down to a problem of communicating one's qualia -- how one feels, how
  things seem. Thus it is not truly inherent but depends on the means of
  communication being used. Feelings and seemings can be more readily
  communicated in artistic, poetic language, and least readily in
  scientific, technical language. Since the harder, more technical a
  science is, the more mathematical it is, the communication problem is
  at its most acute in a purely mathematical langauge. Thus the problem
  with physicalism is not its posit of matter (as a bare substrate) but
  its other posit, that all properties are physical. Since physics is
  mathematical, that amounts to the claim that all properties are
  mathematical (or at least mathematically describable). In making the
  transition from a physicalist world-view to a mathematical one, the
  concept of a material substrate is abandoned (although it was never a
  problem for consciousness) and the posit of mathematical properties
  becomes, which is a problem for consciousness becomes extreme.


 Why?

Because in a mathematics-only universe, qualia have to be identified
with, or reduced to, mathematical structures.


http://www.geocities.com/peterdjones/diagrams/matter_substrate.jpg



 
  The interesting thing is that these two problems can be used to solve
  each other to some extent. if we allow extra-mathemtical properties
  into our universe, we can use them to solve the White Rabbit problem.
  There are two ways of doing this: We can claim either:-
 
  White Rabbit universes don't exist 

RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-23 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes (quoting SP):

  Every physical system contains if-then statements. If the grooves on the
  record were different, then the sound coming out of the speakers would 
  also be
  different.
  
  That's not a statement contained in the physical system; it's a statement 
  about
  other similar physical systems that you consider possible. You could as 
  well
  say, (print Hello world.) contains an if-then because if the characters 
  in the
  string were different the output would be different.
  
  
  I don't see how you could make the distinction well-defined. 
 
 That's my point.  Counterfactuals are defined relative to some 
 environment/data/input 
 which we suppose to be possibly different.  It's not so much that it's not 
 well 
 defined, but that it's aribtrarily defined.  So I think lz's point about 
 intelligence 
 requiring counterfactuals is the same as saying intelligence is relative to 
 some 
 environment - a view with which I agree.  In the case of reproducing 
 organisms the 
 organism/environment distinction is clear.  In a simulation it's not.

Sorry to keep returning to this, but it's important. I still don't see how you 
can distinguish 
between the conditionals in a computer program and the conditionals inherent in 
any 
physical system. A computer is a device set up so that input A results in 
output B, while 
input C results in output D. The conditional is inherent even if the C-D 
branch is never 
realised because it *could* be realised. But a rock is also a device set up so 
that input 
A results in output B while input C results in output D: if you push it on its 
left side (A) it 
moves to the right (B) while if you push it on its right side (C) it moves to 
the left (D). The 
rock has this inherent conditional behaviour even if the C-D branch is never 
realised, 
because it *could* be realised if things had been different. If you include the 
computer's 
data in the program then it becomes an inputless system, a self-contained 
simulation. If 
you include yourself, the rock and everything else that might interact with it 
in one system 
you have a self-contained, inputless universe. Both the closed simulation and 
the universe 
(in the absence of CI type quantum randomness) are at least as deterministic as 
what we 
normally call a recording, despite all the conditionals, because it is rather 
more likely that I 
will change a recording than that God will intervene to push rocks around or 
provide 
computers with miraculous inputs.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-23 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 22-août-06, à 13:45, 1Z a écrit :



 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 21-août-06, à 16:01, 1Z a écrit :

 Exactly. And if non-phsyical systems (Plato' Heaven) don't
 implement counterfactuals, then they can't run programmes,
 and if Plato's heaven can't run programmes, it can't be running us as
 programmes.

 I would say that only non-physical system implement counterfactuals.

 A counterfactual is somethingthat could have happened, but didn't.
 A static, immaterial systems can only handle counterfactuals by
 turning them into factuals -- everything that can happen does
 happen. It can fully capture the *conditional* structure of a
 programme,
 (unlike a recording) at the expense of not being a process.

 A programme is not the same thing as a process.





I agree. Like a corpse is not the same as a life.









 Computationalism refers to real, physical processes running on material
 computers.


Words like real, physical material needs to be (re)defined or at 
least clarify in front of the UDA.



 Proponents of the argument need to show that the causality
 and dynamism are inessential (that there is no relevant difference
 between process and programme) before you can have consciousness
 implemented Platonically.


I would say there is no relevant difference, from the first person 
point of view, between a process in a real universe and a relative 
computation in Platonia.




 To exist Platonically is to exist eternally and necessarily. There is
 no time or changein Plato's heave.


All partial recursive solutions of Schroedinger or Dirac equation 
exists in Platonia, and define through that block description notion 
of internal time quite analogous to Everett subjective probabilities.




  Therefore, to gain entry, a
 computational mind will have to be translated from a running process
 into something static and acausal.

 One route is to replace the process with a programme. After all, the
 programme does specify all the possible counterfactual behaviour, and
 it is basically a string of 1's and 0's, and therefore a suitabale
 occupant of Plato's heaven. But a specification of counterfactual
 behaviour is not actual counterfactual behaviour. The information is
 the same, but they are not the same thing.


A program is basically the same as a number. A process or a computation 
is a finite or infinite sequence of numbers (possibly branching, and 
defined relatively to a universal numbers).
The UD build all such (branching) sequences.





 No-one would believe that a brain-scan, however detailed, is conscious,


Of course.





 so not computationalist, however ardent, is required to believe that a
 progamme on a disk, gathering dust on a shelf, is sentient, however
 good a piece of AI code it may be!


Of course.




 Another route is record the actual behaviour, under some
 circumstances of a process, into a stream of data (ultimately, a string
 of numbers, and therefore soemthing already in Plato's heaven).


OK then.





 This
 route loses the conditonal structure, the counterfactuals that are
 vital to computer programmes and therefore to computationalism.


Not in the all computations view.





 Computer programmes contain conditional (if-then) statements. A given
 run of the programme will in general not explore every branch. yet the
 unexplored branches are part of the programme. A branch of an if-then
 statement that is not executed on a particular run of a programme will
 constitute a counterfactual, a situation that could have happened but
 didn't. Without counterfactuals you cannot tell which programme
 (algorithm) a process is implementing because two algorithms could have
 the same execution path but different unexecuted branches.


The UD generates all such branching sequences. And the non triviality 
of computer science gives reasons to add different relative weigh on 
the branches (already like the MWI).





 Since a recording is not computation as such, the computationalist
 need not attribute mentality to it -- it need not have a mind of its
 own, any more than the characters in a movie.


Right.




 (Another way of looking at this is via the Turing Test; a mere
 recording would never pass a TT since it has no
 condiitonal/counterfactual behaviour and therfore cannot answer
 unexpected questions).


OK (but not quite relevant imo, because I can attribute a mind to a 
sleeping person, although it lacks inputs and outputs).






 That counterfactuality is the essence of (immaterial) comp. Although
 here Russell has a point: the quantum multiverse seems to handle
 counterfactual.

 Multiverse theories seek to turn the 3rd-person X could have happened
 but didn't
 into the 1st-person X could have been observed by me, but wasn't.


OK.




  Now if comp is correct, I cannot distinguish a
 genuine quantum multiverse from any of its emulation in Platonia,

 A quantum multiverse is sitll only a tiny corner of Platonia.


A priori. But if the quantum hypothesis is correct, and if 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-23 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes (quoting SP):
 
 
Every physical system contains if-then statements. If the grooves on the
record were different, then the sound coming out of the speakers would 
also be
different.

That's not a statement contained in the physical system; it's a statement 
about
other similar physical systems that you consider possible. You could as well
say, (print Hello world.) contains an if-then because if the characters 
in the
string were different the output would be different.


I don't see how you could make the distinction well-defined. 

That's my point.  Counterfactuals are defined relative to some 
environment/data/input 
which we suppose to be possibly different.  It's not so much that it's not 
well 
defined, but that it's aribtrarily defined.  So I think lz's point about 
intelligence 
requiring counterfactuals is the same as saying intelligence is relative to 
some 
environment - a view with which I agree.  In the case of reproducing 
organisms the 
organism/environment distinction is clear.  In a simulation it's not.
 
 
 Sorry to keep returning to this, but it's important. I still don't see how 
 you can distinguish 
 between the conditionals in a computer program and the conditionals inherent 
 in any 
 physical system. A computer is a device set up so that input A results in 
 output B, while 
 input C results in output D. The conditional is inherent even if the C-D 
 branch is never 
 realised because it *could* be realised. But a rock is also a device set up 
 so that input 
 A results in output B while input C results in output D: if you push it on 
 its left side (A) it 
 moves to the right (B) while if you push it on its right side (C) it moves to 
 the left (D). The 
 rock has this inherent conditional behaviour even if the C-D branch is never 
 realised, 
 because it *could* be realised if things had been different. 

OK, I take your point.  But the movement of the rock right or left is not a 
property 
of the rock.  The rock is not computing its motion.   But by including 
spacetime, 
inertia, etc, I will grant that the system computes.  And it has implicit 
if-thens 
because you suppose you could have pushed it the other way; even if you don't.

If you include the computer's 
 data in the program then it becomes an inputless system, a self-contained 
 simulation. If 
 you include yourself, the rock and everything else that might interact with 
 it in one system 
 you have a self-contained, inputless universe. Both the closed simulation and 
 the universe 
 (in the absence of CI type quantum randomness) are at least as deterministic 
 as what we 
 normally call a recording, despite all the conditionals, because it is rather 
 more likely that I 
 will change a recording than that God will intervene to push rocks around or 
 provide 
 computers with miraculous inputs.

Right.  So within this simulation you may say there are intelligent subsystems 
by 
making a somewhat arbitrary cut between subsystem and environment.  This still 
seems 
different from a recording though.  The recording is only of the paths actually 
taken, whereas looking at the program you can see other paths that could have 
been 
taken - just as you say the rock computes because you *could have* pushed it 
the 
other way.

And in anycase  there does seem to be quantum randomness.

Brent Meeker


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RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-23 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes:

 If you include the computer's 
  data in the program then it becomes an inputless system, a self-contained 
  simulation. If 
  you include yourself, the rock and everything else that might interact with 
  it in one system 
  you have a self-contained, inputless universe. Both the closed simulation 
  and the universe 
  (in the absence of CI type quantum randomness) are at least as 
  deterministic as what we 
  normally call a recording, despite all the conditionals, because it is 
  rather more likely that I 
  will change a recording than that God will intervene to push rocks around 
  or provide 
  computers with miraculous inputs.
 
 Right.  So within this simulation you may say there are intelligent 
 subsystems by 
 making a somewhat arbitrary cut between subsystem and environment.  This 
 still seems 
 different from a recording though.  The recording is only of the paths 
 actually 
 taken, whereas looking at the program you can see other paths that could have 
 been 
 taken - just as you say the rock computes because you *could have* pushed it 
 the 
 other way.

In a deterministic universe, saying that things could have turned out 
differently had initial 
conditions or physical laws been different is analogous to saying the sound 
coming out of the 
speakers could have been different if the grooves on the record or the 
equalisation in the 
preamp stage had been different.

 And in anycase  there does seem to be quantum randomness.

There does, although the MWI is deterministic. I can't think of any good reason 
why true or 
apparent quantum randomness should be necessary for intelligent behaviour or 
consciousness.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-23 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 
If you include the computer's 
data in the program then it becomes an inputless system, a self-contained 
simulation. If 
you include yourself, the rock and everything else that might interact with 
it in one system 
you have a self-contained, inputless universe. Both the closed simulation 
and the universe 
(in the absence of CI type quantum randomness) are at least as deterministic 
as what we 
normally call a recording, despite all the conditionals, because it is 
rather more likely that I 
will change a recording than that God will intervene to push rocks around or 
provide 
computers with miraculous inputs.

Right.  So within this simulation you may say there are intelligent 
subsystems by 
making a somewhat arbitrary cut between subsystem and environment.  This 
still seems 
different from a recording though.  The recording is only of the paths 
actually 
taken, whereas looking at the program you can see other paths that could have 
been 
taken - just as you say the rock computes because you *could have* pushed it 
the 
other way.
 
 
 In a deterministic universe, saying that things could have turned out 
 differently had initial 
 conditions or physical laws been different is analogous to saying the sound 
 coming out of the 
 speakers could have been different if the grooves on the record or the 
 equalisation in the 
 preamp stage had been different.

That still sounds like a cheat to me.  If it's recording of the universe it's 
an 
inputless program, since there is no environment outside the universe.  But 
when 
you invoke the analogy of the record, you conceive the grooves and the initial 
conditions as input.

 
 
And in anycase  there does seem to be quantum randomness.
 
 
 There does, although the MWI is deterministic. I can't think of any good 
 reason why true or 
 apparent quantum randomness should be necessary for intelligent behaviour or 
 consciousness.

I can't either, although Henry Stapp thinks he has such a theory: 
quant-ph/0003065.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-22 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 19-août-06, à 16:35, 1Z a écrit :

 No, I am suggesting that 0-width slices don't contain
 enough information to predict future states in physics.

What about a quantum state?

Bruno

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


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-22 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 21-août-06, à 16:01, 1Z a écrit :

 Exactly. And if non-phsyical systems (Plato' Heaven) don't
 implement counterfactuals, then they can't run programmes,
 and if Plato's heaven can't run programmes, it can't be running us as
 programmes.

I would say that only non-physical system implement counterfactuals. 
That counterfactuality is the essence of (immaterial) comp. Although 
here Russell has a point: the quantum multiverse seems to handle 
counterfactual. Now if comp is correct, I cannot distinguish a 
genuine quantum multiverse from any of its emulation in Platonia, and 
the physical laws must take that into account.

Bruno


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


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-22 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 21-août-06, à 16:01, 1Z a écrit :

  Exactly. And if non-phsyical systems (Plato' Heaven) don't
  implement counterfactuals, then they can't run programmes,
  and if Plato's heaven can't run programmes, it can't be running us as
  programmes.

 I would say that only non-physical system implement counterfactuals.

A counterfactual is somethingthat could have happened, but didn't.
A static, immaterial systems can only handle counterfactuals by
turning them into factuals -- everything that can happen does
happen. It can fully capture the *conditional* structure of a
programme,
(unlike a recording) at the expense of not being a process.

A programme is not the same thing as a process.

Computationalism refers to real, physical processes running on material
computers. Proponents of the argument need to show that the causality
and dynamism are inessential (that there is no relevant difference
between process and programme) before you can have consciousness
implemented Platonically.

To exist Platonically is to exist eternally and necessarily. There is
no time or changein Plato's heave. Therefore, to gain entry, a
computational mind will have to be translated from a running process
into something static and acausal.

One route is to replace the process with a programme. After all, the
programme does specify all the possible counterfactual behaviour, and
it is basically a string of 1's and 0's, and therefore a suitabale
occupant of Plato's heaven. But a specification of counterfactual
behaviour is not actual counterfactual behaviour. The information is
the same, but they are not the same thing.

No-one would believe that a brain-scan, however detailed, is conscious,
so not computationalist, however ardent, is required to believe that a
progamme on a disk, gathering dust on a shelf, is sentient, however
good a piece of AI code it may be!

Another route is record the actual behaviour, under some
circumstances of a process, into a stream of data (ultimately, a string
of numbers, and therefore soemthing already in Plato's heaven). This
route loses the conditonal structure, the counterfactuals that are
vital to computer programmes and therefore to computationalism.

Computer programmes contain conditional (if-then) statements. A given
run of the programme will in general not explore every branch. yet the
unexplored branches are part of the programme. A branch of an if-then
statement that is not executed on a particular run of a programme will
constitute a counterfactual, a situation that could have happened but
didn't. Without counterfactuals you cannot tell which programme
(algorithm) a process is implementing because two algorithms could have
the same execution path but different unexecuted branches.

Since a recording is not computation as such, the computationalist
need not attribute mentality to it -- it need not have a mind of its
own, any more than the characters in a movie.

(Another way of looking at this is via the Turing Test; a mere
recording would never pass a TT since it has no
condiitonal/counterfactual behaviour and therfore cannot answer
unexpected questions).



 That counterfactuality is the essence of (immaterial) comp. Although
 here Russell has a point: the quantum multiverse seems to handle
 counterfactual.

Multiverse theories seek to turn the 3rd-person X could have happened
but didn't
into the 1st-person X could have been observed by me, but wasn't.

  Now if comp is correct, I cannot distinguish a
 genuine quantum multiverse from any of its emulation in Platonia,

A quantum multiverse is sitll only a tiny corner of Platonia.

Physical many-world theories have resources to keep counterfactuals
unobserved that immaterial MW-theories lack (including the simple
of one that many mathematical possibilities do not
exist physically).

For instance, even if their are two informationally identical me's
in different branches of a phsycial universe, it is not
inevitable that any sharing or corss-over of
consicousness would occur, because in  a phsyical
universe, cosnciousness would have something other
than informational structures to supervene on.

Thus me might
well be able to tell that we are in a quantum multiverse rather than
Platonia, on the basis that we just do not observe enough weirdness.

Too broad: If I am just a mathematical structure, I should have a much
wider range of experience than I do. There is a mathemtical structure
corresponding to myself with all my experiences up to time T. There is
a vast array of mathematical structures corresponding to other versions
of me with having a huge range of experiences -- ordinary ones, like
continuing to type, extraordinary ones like seeing my computer sudenly
turn into bowl of petunias. All these versions of me share the memories
of the me who is writing this, so they all identify themselves as me.
Remember, that for mathematical monism it is only necessary that a
possible experience has a mathematical description. This 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-22 Thread Quentin Anciaux

Hi,

concerning process and programs, all boils down to the timeless/time argument.

I'm astonished that you accept time as is, I mean if time there is it has been 
created at the same time as our universe in the bigbang. Time begin when the 
universe begin, so you accept that time can occur in a timeless system 
because if you don't then it means time existed before it was created... that 
make me write nonsensical sentences ;)

Regards,
Quentin


Le mardi 22 août 2006 13:45, 1Z a écrit :
 Bruno Marchal wrote:
  Le 21-août-06, à 16:01, 1Z a écrit :
   Exactly. And if non-phsyical systems (Plato' Heaven) don't
   implement counterfactuals, then they can't run programmes,
   and if Plato's heaven can't run programmes, it can't be running us as
   programmes.
 
  I would say that only non-physical system implement counterfactuals.

 A counterfactual is somethingthat could have happened, but didn't.
 A static, immaterial systems can only handle counterfactuals by
 turning them into factuals -- everything that can happen does
 happen. It can fully capture the *conditional* structure of a
 programme,
 (unlike a recording) at the expense of not being a process.

 A programme is not the same thing as a process.

 Computationalism refers to real, physical processes running on material
 computers. Proponents of the argument need to show that the causality
 and dynamism are inessential (that there is no relevant difference
 between process and programme) before you can have consciousness
 implemented Platonically.

 To exist Platonically is to exist eternally and necessarily. There is
 no time or changein Plato's heave. Therefore, to gain entry, a
 computational mind will have to be translated from a running process
 into something static and acausal.

 One route is to replace the process with a programme. After all, the
 programme does specify all the possible counterfactual behaviour, and
 it is basically a string of 1's and 0's, and therefore a suitabale
 occupant of Plato's heaven. But a specification of counterfactual
 behaviour is not actual counterfactual behaviour. The information is
 the same, but they are not the same thing.

 No-one would believe that a brain-scan, however detailed, is conscious,
 so not computationalist, however ardent, is required to believe that a
 progamme on a disk, gathering dust on a shelf, is sentient, however
 good a piece of AI code it may be!

 Another route is record the actual behaviour, under some
 circumstances of a process, into a stream of data (ultimately, a string
 of numbers, and therefore soemthing already in Plato's heaven). This
 route loses the conditonal structure, the counterfactuals that are
 vital to computer programmes and therefore to computationalism.

 Computer programmes contain conditional (if-then) statements. A given
 run of the programme will in general not explore every branch. yet the
 unexplored branches are part of the programme. A branch of an if-then
 statement that is not executed on a particular run of a programme will
 constitute a counterfactual, a situation that could have happened but
 didn't. Without counterfactuals you cannot tell which programme
 (algorithm) a process is implementing because two algorithms could have
 the same execution path but different unexecuted branches.

 Since a recording is not computation as such, the computationalist
 need not attribute mentality to it -- it need not have a mind of its
 own, any more than the characters in a movie.

 (Another way of looking at this is via the Turing Test; a mere
 recording would never pass a TT since it has no
 condiitonal/counterfactual behaviour and therfore cannot answer
 unexpected questions).

  That counterfactuality is the essence of (immaterial) comp. Although
  here Russell has a point: the quantum multiverse seems to handle
  counterfactual.

 Multiverse theories seek to turn the 3rd-person X could have happened
 but didn't
 into the 1st-person X could have been observed by me, but wasn't.

   Now if comp is correct, I cannot distinguish a
  genuine quantum multiverse from any of its emulation in Platonia,

 A quantum multiverse is sitll only a tiny corner of Platonia.

 Physical many-world theories have resources to keep counterfactuals
 unobserved that immaterial MW-theories lack (including the simple
 of one that many mathematical possibilities do not
 exist physically).

 For instance, even if their are two informationally identical me's
 in different branches of a phsycial universe, it is not
 inevitable that any sharing or corss-over of
 consicousness would occur, because in  a phsyical
 universe, cosnciousness would have something other
 than informational structures to supervene on.

 Thus me might
 well be able to tell that we are in a quantum multiverse rather than
 Platonia, on the basis that we just do not observe enough weirdness.

 Too broad: If I am just a mathematical structure, I should have a much
 wider range of experience than I do. There is a 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-22 Thread 1Z


Quentin Anciaux wrote:
 Hi,

 concerning process and programs, all boils down to the timeless/time argument.

 I'm astonished that you accept time as is, I mean if time there is it has been
 created at the same time as our universe in the bigbang. Time begin when the
 universe begin, so you accept that time can occur in a timeless system
 because if you don't then it means time existed before it was created... that
 make me write nonsensical sentences ;)

We don't know what the BB emerged out of. It might have had
more than enough ontological resources to generate time. It did not
have time as we know it , but for all we know
time as we know it is a mere privation or degenerate case of
some funky hyper-time.

But we do know what the resources of Platonia are.

It is a very wide, but very flat country; it contains every possible
static eternal
structure, but only static, eternal structures.


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RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-22 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent meeker writes (quoting SP):

  Every physical system contains if-then statements. If the grooves on the 
  record were different, 
  then the sound coming out of the speakers would also be different.
 
 That's not a statement contained in the physical system; it's a statement 
 about other 
similar physical systems that you consider possible. You could as well 
 say, (print 
 Hello world.) contains an if-then because if the characters in the string 
 were 
 different the output would be different.

I don't see how you could make the distinction well-defined. Consider the 
following two programs:

(a)
input: x
if x=1 print hello
if x=0 print goodbye
data: 1

and

(b)
print hello

As written, program (a) will print hello just as consistently as program (b). 
It looks like program (a) has a conditional in that if the 4th line were data: 
0 it would print goodbye. However, program (b) would also print goodbye if 
that string were substituted for hello. Both programs do the same thing, and 
both would do something else if the programmer intervened and changed them. In 
(a) the code is separated into program and data but as you pointed out 
recently there is no real difference between these. Subroutines within a larger 
program could be intelligent entities interacting with a virtual environment 
with no input from outside the program in the same way as intelligent entities 
within the real universe interact with the environment with no input from 
outside the universe.

It's worth standing back at this point and looking at what a computer + program 
+ data really is: a collection of plastic, metal, and semiconductors assembled 
in a specified way which has no choice but to follow the laws of physics. The 
if-then statements amount to a particular physical configuration such that 
stimulus x will make the computer behave one way while stimulus y will make it 
behave in a different way. This is not fundamentally different to saying that, 
for example, a car is configured so that it will turn left or right depending 
on which way the steering wheel is turned. In both situations, dumb matter 
blindly follows the laws of physics. The difference is in the details, 
complexity and intended purpose of each device; it is not that the computer 
interacts with its environment and handles counterfactuals while the car does 
not.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-22 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 22-août-06, à 14:36, 1Z a écrit :



 Quentin Anciaux wrote:
 Hi,

 concerning process and programs, all boils down to the timeless/time 
 argument.

 I'm astonished that you accept time as is, I mean if time there is it 
 has been
 created at the same time as our universe in the bigbang. Time begin 
 when the
 universe begin, so you accept that time can occur in a timeless system
 because if you don't then it means time existed before it was 
 created... that
 make me write nonsensical sentences ;)

 We don't know what the BB emerged out of. It might have had
 more than enough ontological resources to generate time. It did not
 have time as we know it , but for all we know
 time as we know it is a mere privation or degenerate case of
 some funky hyper-time.

 But we do know what the resources of Platonia are.



What do you mean by resources of Platonia ?






 It is a very wide, but very flat country; it contains every possible
 static eternal
 structure, but only static, eternal structures.



No physical block universe then. But that confirms what Quentin Anciaux 
said, it all boils down to the question of a primitive time or not.
Obviously, comp makes time (and space and all physicalities) form of  
stable illusion from inside. (But I dislike the word illusion). 
Many physicist, like Sanders for example, and many philosophers defend 
the indexical version of time (which is also defended by Deutsch).

Peter, be patient for a comment to your long post of today, I am trying 
to finish a comment on another long post by David.



Bruno


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


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-22 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent meeker writes (quoting SP):
 
 
 Every physical system contains if-then statements. If the grooves on the
 record were different, then the sound coming out of the speakers would also 
 be
 different.
 
 That's not a statement contained in the physical system; it's a statement 
 about
 other similar physical systems that you consider possible. You could as well
 say, (print Hello world.) contains an if-then because if the characters in 
 the
 string were different the output would be different.
 
 
 I don't see how you could make the distinction well-defined. 

That's my point.  Counterfactuals are defined relative to some 
environment/data/input 
which we suppose to be possibly different.  It's not so much that it's not well 
defined, but that it's aribtrarily defined.  So I think lz's point about 
intelligence 
requiring counterfactuals is the same as saying intelligence is relative to 
some 
environment - a view with which I agree.  In the case of reproducing organisms 
the 
organism/environment distinction is clear.  In a simulation it's not.

Brent Meeker


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-21 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:

  Computer programmes contain conditional (if-then) statements. A given
  run of
  the programme will in genreal not explore every branch. yet the
  unexplored
  branches are part of the programme. A branch of an if-then statement
  that is
  not executed on a particular run of a programme will constitute a
  counterfactual,
  a situation that could have happened but didn't. Without
  counterfactuals you
  cannot tell which programme (algorithm) a process is implementing
  because
  two algorithms could be have the same execution path but different
  unexecuted branches.

 Every physical system contains if-then statements. If the grooves on the 
 record were different,
 then the sound coming out of the speakers would also be different.

Exactly. And if non-phsyical systems (Plato' Heaven) don't
implement counterfactuals, then they can't run programmes,
and if Plato's heaven can't run programmes, it can't be running us as
programmes.

  Finitism doesn't imply stasis. New frames could be popping into
  existence
  dynamically.
 
   If time is continuous then in a linear universe movement is the
   result of a series of static frames of infinitesimal duration.
 
  Likewise.
 
   There is no room for movement within
   a frame in either case -
 
  There is room within an infinitessimal frame. dx/dt is not necessarily
  zero.

 No-one knows what dx/dt is.

We can handle it mathematically. If we make dt exactly equal to zero,
everythign stops working.

Either a process is broken into non-zero sized slices,
in which case they dynamism is still their, or it is
broken into 0-sized slices, whoch doesn't work mathematically.

  It is the smallest non-zero number, or the reciprocal of the
 largest finite number. If there is room for movement within an infinitesimal 
 interval then
 it can by definition be divided up further - it isn't an infinitesimal 
 interval.

infinitessimals can be divided into further infinitessimals.

 However, this is
 straying from the original point I wanted to make, which is that whatever 
 reasons there
 might be against block universe theories, continuity of consciousness is not 
 one of them.
 Every digital computer has clock cycles during which nothing actually 
 happens, and it is
 the conjunction of these cycles which makes the program flow. There is no 
 way from
 within the program to know what the clock rate is, if there are pauses in the 
 program, or
 if it is being run in several parallel processes. You might argue that it 
 would not be possible
 to run the program at all without a causal connection between the steps, but 
 the fact
 remains, discontinuous framesd during which nothing changes give the illusion 
 of continuous
 motion.

Given some external apparatus -- you need a movie projector
to show a movie -- so this cannot be applied to the universe as a
whole.

 Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-21 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:
 
 
Computer programmes contain conditional (if-then) statements. A given
run of
the programme will in genreal not explore every branch. yet the
unexplored
branches are part of the programme. A branch of an if-then statement
that is
not executed on a particular run of a programme will constitute a
counterfactual,
a situation that could have happened but didn't. Without
counterfactuals you
cannot tell which programme (algorithm) a process is implementing
because
two algorithms could be have the same execution path but different
unexecuted branches.
 
 
 Every physical system contains if-then statements. If the grooves on the 
 record were different, 
 then the sound coming out of the speakers would also be different.

That's not a statement contained in the physical system; it's a statement about 
other 
   similar physical systems that you consider possible. You could as well say, 
(print 
Hello world.) contains an if-then because if the characters in the string 
were 
different the output would be different.


Finitism doesn't imply stasis. New frames could be popping into
existence
dynamically.


If time is continuous then in a linear universe movement is the
result of a series of static frames of infinitesimal duration.

Likewise.


There is no room for movement within
a frame in either case -

There is room within an infinitessimal frame. dx/dt is not necessarily
zero.
 
 
 No-one knows what dx/dt is. It is the smallest non-zero number, or the 
 reciprocal of the 
 largest finite number. 

You must be thinking of dx or dt.  The derivative dx/dt is well defined.  
There's no 
more reason to treat velocity as mysterious than position.  Per QM they are 
complementary variables.

If there is room for movement within an infinitesimal interval then 
 it can by definition be divided up further - it isn't an infinitesimal 
 interval. 

Infinitesimal doesn't mean indivisble.

However, this is 
 straying from the original point I wanted to make, which is that whatever 
 reasons there 
 might be against block universe theories, continuity of consciousness is not 
 one of them. 
 Every digital computer has clock cycles during which nothing actually 
 happens, and it is 
 the conjunction of these cycles which makes the program flow. There is no 
 way from 
 within the program to know what the clock rate is, if there are pauses in the 
 program, or 
 if it is being run in several parallel processes. You might argue that it 
 would not be possible 
 to run the program at all without a causal connection between the steps, but 
 the fact 
 remains, discontinuous framesd during which nothing changes give the illusion 
 of continuous 
 motion.

No that's not quite right.  If you see two frames, A and B, of a motion picture 
you 
can't infer  a time order.  If you also see a third, C, you can probaly order 
them 
and constrain the time order to be  either ABC or CBA.  This corresponds to 
making 
the two delta-x/delta-t have the same sign.  All continuity says is that if you 
make 
delta-x small enough, you will be able to do this.  No need to go to 
infinitesimals 
in any particular case.  Infinitesimals (and continuity) are just limits that 
are 
convenient for reasoning because then you can avoid always having to repeat 
conditions like for delta-x small enough.

Brent Meeker

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RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-20 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Peter Jones writes:

 Computer programmes contain conditional (if-then) statements. A given
 run of
 the programme will in genreal not explore every branch. yet the
 unexplored
 branches are part of the programme. A branch of an if-then statement
 that is
 not executed on a particular run of a programme will constitute a
 counterfactual,
 a situation that could have happened but didn't. Without
 counterfactuals you
 cannot tell which programme (algorithm) a process is implementing
 because
 two algorithms could be have the same execution path but different
 unexecuted branches.

Every physical system contains if-then statements. If the grooves on the record 
were different, 
then the sound coming out of the speakers would also be different.


 Finitism doesn't imply stasis. New frames could be popping into
 existence
 dynamically.
 
  If time is continuous then in a linear universe movement is the
  result of a series of static frames of infinitesimal duration.
 
 Likewise.
 
  There is no room for movement within
  a frame in either case -
 
 There is room within an infinitessimal frame. dx/dt is not necessarily
 zero.

No-one knows what dx/dt is. It is the smallest non-zero number, or the 
reciprocal of the 
largest finite number. If there is room for movement within an infinitesimal 
interval then 
it can by definition be divided up further - it isn't an infinitesimal 
interval. However, this is 
straying from the original point I wanted to make, which is that whatever 
reasons there 
might be against block universe theories, continuity of consciousness is not 
one of them. 
Every digital computer has clock cycles during which nothing actually 
happens, and it is 
the conjunction of these cycles which makes the program flow. There is no way 
from 
within the program to know what the clock rate is, if there are pauses in the 
program, or 
if it is being run in several parallel processes. You might argue that it would 
not be possible 
to run the program at all without a causal connection between the steps, but 
the fact 
remains, discontinuous framesd during which nothing changes give the illusion 
of continuous 
motion.

Stathis Papaioannou 
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-19 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:

 But the important point is that the temporal sequence does not itself 
 make a difference
 to subjective experience.
   
We don't actually know that it is possible that
there might be some flicker effect.
  
   Not necessarily. I'm suggesting that the actual physical events are 
   *exactly* the same,
   just their order is different. If the world were created 5 minutes ago, 
   complete with
   fossils, ruins, false memories etc., you could not be aware of this on 
   the basis of any
   observation - by definition, otherwise the illusion would not be perfect. 
   This is of course
   no reason to believe that the world was created 5 minutes ago; but it 
   does mean that
   the absence of a sensation of having just flickered into existence is no 
   evidence *against*
   this theory.
 
  My original point stands. There is no evidence *for* the theory. If
  the present
  state is determined by more than a 0-width time slice preceding it,
  then
  a physical process cannot be arbitrarily sliced up.

 Your original point was that the continuous flow of consciousness is evidence 
 against a block
 universe. It is not, whether the time slices are of finite or infinitesimal 
 duration.

It is, because however you slice a dynamic sequence, you don't
remove the dynamism. You just get lots of little dynamic slices.

I'm not sure
 what you mean by the last sentence either: are you suggesting that time is 
 quantised rather
 than continuous, and if so how is that evidence against a block universe?

No, I am suggesting that 0-width slices don't contain
enough information to predict future states in physics.

  Computationalism does not help, because computationalism requries
  counterfactuals.

 I don't see why it does, or why it makes any difference to the present 
 question if it does.


Computer programmes contain conditional (if-then) statements. A given
run of
the programme will in genreal not explore every branch. yet the
unexplored
branches are part of the programme. A branch of an if-then statement
that is
not executed on a particular run of a programme will constitute a
counterfactual,
a situation that could have happened but didn't. Without
counterfactuals you
cannot tell which programme (algorithm) a process is implementing
because
two algorithms could be have the same execution path but different
unexecuted branches.

 Would you say that it is in theory possible for the subjective
 passage of time to be as we know it if the blocks were not 
 infinitesimal, but lasted for
 a second, so that the whole ensemble of blocks lasted for a second?
   
There is still duration within blocks
  
   Yes, and...
  
  Then what if you
 make the blocks shorter in duration and larger in number, 
 progressively down to
 infinitely many blocks of infinitesimal duration: is there room for 
 dynamism in an
 infenitesimal interval?
   
There are such things as infintiessimal velocities...
  
   So if there is room for movement in infinitesimal intervals (or through 
   combination of
   infinitesimal intervals) in a linear theory of time, why not with a block 
   universe?
 
  A block universe with movement is just as dynamic universe
  (specifically,
  a growing universe).

 The effect of movement would be the same in a block universe as in a linear 
 universe. If time
 is discrete then in a linear universe movement is the result of a series of 
 static frames of finite
 duration, like the frames in a film.

Finitism doesn't imply stasis. New frames could be popping into
existence
dynamically.

 If time is continuous then in a linear universe movement is the
 result of a series of static frames of infinitesimal duration.

Likewise.

 There is no room for movement within
 a frame in either case -

There is room within an infinitessimal frame. dx/dt is not necessarily
zero.

 that is what defines it as a frame - but the series of frames creates the
 effect of movement.

 Stathis Papaioannou

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-18 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:
  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
   Peter Jones writes:
  
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
   
 I don't know if block universe theories are true or not, but the 
 subjective
 passage of time is not an argument against them. If mind is 
 computation, do
 you believe that a conscious computation can tell if it is being run 
 as a sequential
 series of steps or in parallel, without any external information?
   
   
If it is being run at all, it is dynamic, not static. Parallel
processes are still
processes.
  
   But the important point is that the temporal sequence does not itself 
   make a difference
   to subjective experience.
 
  We don't actually know that it is possible that
  there might be some flicker effect.

 Not necessarily. I'm suggesting that the actual physical events are *exactly* 
 the same,
 just their order is different. If the world were created 5 minutes ago, 
 complete with
 fossils, ruins, false memories etc., you could not be aware of this on the 
 basis of any
 observation - by definition, otherwise the illusion would not be perfect. 
 This is of course
 no reason to believe that the world was created 5 minutes ago; but it does 
 mean that
 the absence of a sensation of having just flickered into existence is no 
 evidence *against*
 this theory.

My original point stands. There is no evidence *for* the theory. If
the present
state is determined by more than a 0-width time slice preceding it,
then
a physical process cannot be arbitrarily sliced up.

Computationalism does not help, because computationalism requries
counterfactuals.

   Would you say that it is in theory possible for the subjective
   passage of time to be as we know it if the blocks were not infinitesimal, 
   but lasted for
   a second, so that the whole ensemble of blocks lasted for a second?
 
  There is still duration within blocks

 Yes, and...

Then what if you
   make the blocks shorter in duration and larger in number, progressively 
   down to
   infinitely many blocks of infinitesimal duration: is there room for 
   dynamism in an
   infenitesimal interval?
 
  There are such things as infintiessimal velocities...

 So if there is room for movement in infinitesimal intervals (or through 
 combination of
 infinitesimal intervals) in a linear theory of time, why not with a block 
 universe?

A block universe with movement is just as dynamic universe
(specifically,
a growing universe).

 Stathis Papaioannou
 _
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-18 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:
  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
   Peter Jones writes:
  
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
   
 I don't know if block universe theories are true or not, but the 
 subjective
 passage of time is not an argument against them. If mind is 
 computation, do
 you believe that a conscious computation can tell if it is being run 
 as a sequential
 series of steps or in parallel, without any external information?
   
   
If it is being run at all, it is dynamic, not static. Parallel
processes are still
processes.
  
   But the important point is that the temporal sequence does not itself 
   make a difference
   to subjective experience.
 
  We don't actually know that it is possible that
  there might be some flicker effect.

 Not necessarily. I'm suggesting that the actual physical events are *exactly* 
 the same,
 just their order is different. If the world were created 5 minutes ago, 
 complete with
 fossils, ruins, false memories etc., you could not be aware of this on the 
 basis of any
 observation - by definition, otherwise the illusion would not be perfect. 
 This is of course
 no reason to believe that the world was created 5 minutes ago; but it does 
 mean that
 the absence of a sensation of having just flickered into existence is no 
 evidence *against*
 this theory.

My original point stands. There is no evidence *for* the theory. If
the present
state is determined by more than a 0-width time slice preceding it,
then
a physical process cannot be arbitrarily sliced up.

Computationalism does not help, because computationalism requries
counterfactuals.

   Would you say that it is in theory possible for the subjective
   passage of time to be as we know it if the blocks were not infinitesimal, 
   but lasted for
   a second, so that the whole ensemble of blocks lasted for a second?
 
  There is still duration within blocks

 Yes, and...

Then what if you
   make the blocks shorter in duration and larger in number, progressively 
   down to
   infinitely many blocks of infinitesimal duration: is there room for 
   dynamism in an
   infenitesimal interval?
 
  There are such things as infintiessimal velocities...

 So if there is room for movement in infinitesimal intervals (or through 
 combination of
 infinitesimal intervals) in a linear theory of time, why not with a block 
 universe?

A block universe with movement is just as dynamic universe
(specifically,
a growing universe).

 Stathis Papaioannou
 _
 Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.
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RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-18 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Peter Jones writes:

But the important point is that the temporal sequence does not itself 
make a difference
to subjective experience.
  
   We don't actually know that it is possible that
   there might be some flicker effect.
 
  Not necessarily. I'm suggesting that the actual physical events are 
  *exactly* the same,
  just their order is different. If the world were created 5 minutes ago, 
  complete with
  fossils, ruins, false memories etc., you could not be aware of this on the 
  basis of any
  observation - by definition, otherwise the illusion would not be perfect. 
  This is of course
  no reason to believe that the world was created 5 minutes ago; but it does 
  mean that
  the absence of a sensation of having just flickered into existence is no 
  evidence *against*
  this theory.
 
 My original point stands. There is no evidence *for* the theory. If
 the present
 state is determined by more than a 0-width time slice preceding it,
 then
 a physical process cannot be arbitrarily sliced up.

Your original point was that the continuous flow of consciousness is evidence 
against a block 
universe. It is not, whether the time slices are of finite or infinitesimal 
duration. I'm not sure 
what you mean by the last sentence either: are you suggesting that time is 
quantised rather 
than continuous, and if so how is that evidence against a block universe? 

 Computationalism does not help, because computationalism requries
 counterfactuals.

I don't see why it does, or why it makes any difference to the present question 
if it does.
 
Would you say that it is in theory possible for the subjective
passage of time to be as we know it if the blocks were not 
infinitesimal, but lasted for
a second, so that the whole ensemble of blocks lasted for a second?
  
   There is still duration within blocks
 
  Yes, and...
 
 Then what if you
make the blocks shorter in duration and larger in number, progressively 
down to
infinitely many blocks of infinitesimal duration: is there room for 
dynamism in an
infenitesimal interval?
  
   There are such things as infintiessimal velocities...
 
  So if there is room for movement in infinitesimal intervals (or through 
  combination of
  infinitesimal intervals) in a linear theory of time, why not with a block 
  universe?
 
 A block universe with movement is just as dynamic universe
 (specifically,
 a growing universe).

The effect of movement would be the same in a block universe as in a linear 
universe. If time 
is discrete then in a linear universe movement is the result of a series of 
static frames of finite 
duration, like the frames in a film. If time is continuous then in a linear 
universe movement is the 
result of a series of static frames of infinitesimal duration. There is no room 
for movement within 
a frame in either case - that is what defines it as a frame - but the series of 
frames creates the 
effect of movement.

Stathis Papaioannou

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-16 Thread 1Z


David Nyman wrote:
 1Z wrote:

  What does access to information mean ? In a dynamic
  universe, it means causality. In a  Barbour-style universe
  it means some nows coincidentally contain patterns representing other
  nows
  just as , in a world consisting of every possible picture, there will
  be pictures containing pictures-within-a-picture.

 This is a big topic difficult to do justice to. I'm sure we've both had
 the experience of re-perusing various treatments of the alternatives
 without necessarily being completely persuaded either way, but I for
 one have accomodated my intuitions to this fairly successfully.
 There's a brief discussion of this in 'not the roadmap' with Bruno and
 Colin which addresses these issues from the perspective of the
 'gestalt'. The points discussed all seem paradoxical from the pov of a
 classical 'nameable 1st person', and this is IMO a powerful strike
 against this position.

I have no idea what a  'classical nameable 1st person' is suppose to
be.

 BTW, I have a question for you re 'intrinsically dynamic' views of
 reality. It has always seemed to me that this view commits one to a
 sort of continual annihilation of each state by the succeeding one.

It doesn't. The present does need a special status, but
its status can be unerwritten by its being the most
recent existing moment, not by its
being the only existing moment.

 So
 both 'past states' and 'future states' are 'radically absent'. My
 question is: what is left to be 'present'? Recent developments in
 string theory (M-theory) picture time in terms of a 'cinematographic'
 view of Planck-time segments. If these are all that exist at any given
 'point in time', then haven'tf we as-near-as-dammit banished the
 universe from substantial existence?

A small time-slice is not an infinitessimal time-slice,
an infinitessimal time-slice is not a zero time-slice.
You near as dammit is not supported by maths,
indeed it is  opposed by maths.

  After all, 'structure' when
 decomposed is in fact extraordinarily dense action - energy IOW.

Is it ? what is dense about a photon sailing thorough empty space for
amillion years ?

  In the
 'salami-slicer' model, aren't we left the grin without the cat?

I don't think so.

 It seems to me also that our subjective experience of 'the specious
 present' entails the compresent existence of Vast numbers of such
 temporal atoms - say one to one 1/2 seconds-worth.

Or maybe it means that time isn't so atomic in the first place,

Or maybe it means that the specious present is based on
nothing more mysterious than physical latencies in our
ultra-parallel, but rather slow, brain.

 Again, if we try to
 imagine our experience in the face of the razor of dynamic time, does
 it seem anything like this? Have you an alternative presentation of a
 dynamic model that resolves these issues?

I think I have offered two models:

1) dynamic time is not necessarily salami-sliced time

2) even so, salami sliced time can be a smeared-out time-capsule.
There are no restrictions on what a time-capsule can contain.
if it can contain memories of harry Potter siutations, it
can certainly contain memories of a blurry, specious present.

  That doesn't mean all contrast leads to dynamism !
  You can get stasis out of dynamism by slowing things dwon to a halt;
  it is still a paradox to get dynamism out of stasis.

 Substrate/ differentiation is also a global/ local distinction.

How?

 Locality is manufactured out of information and its manner of
 propagation. The global/ local contrast is inherently dynamic.

Then everything else is inherently dynamic, presumably.

 Don't
 expect dynamism to reduce to primitive 'dynamic atoms'. It emerges from
 the tension between two contrastable states.

Why ?

  So the argument is:
 
  1) David is a person.
  2) Because David is a person, some parts of David are conscious, and
  others unconscious.
  3) Some parts of the universe are conscious, and others unconcisous.
  4) Therefore the universe is a person, too.

 4) should read: therefore the universe manifests personhood in macro as
 David does in micro.  'Indexical David' is a lens through which the
 conscious/ unconscious personhood of the universe concentrates a
 particular perspective.


Errmm, yes. But the problem is the basic argument is invalid.
it is like saying salt is white sugar is white, therefore, salt is
sugar.

  1) Persons aren't irreducible

 Persons are defined and delimited by the intersection of structure and
 substrate.

Isn't everything else as well ?

 Or in dynamic language, persons are substrate behaving
 personally. Neither element is dispensible. It depends what you mean by
 reducible.

It depends on what your grounds are for making first-personness
ontologically fundamental.

 A substrate that adopts personal indexicality in this way,
 that claims 'I am indexical David', is something I 'take personally'.



  2) Qualia aren't structural.

 Qualia are the instantiated experience of 

RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-15 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Peter Jones writes:
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  Peter Jones writes:
 
   Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  
I don't know if block universe theories are true or not, but the 
subjective
passage of time is not an argument against them. If mind is 
computation, do
you believe that a conscious computation can tell if it is being run as 
a sequential
series of steps or in parallel, without any external information?
  
  
   If it is being run at all, it is dynamic, not static. Parallel
   processes are still
   processes.
 
  But the important point is that the temporal sequence does not itself make 
  a difference
  to subjective experience.
 
 We don't actually know that it is possible that
 there might be some flicker effect.

Not necessarily. I'm suggesting that the actual physical events are *exactly* 
the same, 
just their order is different. If the world were created 5 minutes ago, 
complete with 
fossils, ruins, false memories etc., you could not be aware of this on the 
basis of any 
observation - by definition, otherwise the illusion would not be perfect. This 
is of course 
no reason to believe that the world was created 5 minutes ago; but it does mean 
that 
the absence of a sensation of having just flickered into existence is no 
evidence *against* 
this theory.

  Would you say that it is in theory possible for the subjective
  passage of time to be as we know it if the blocks were not infinitesimal, 
  but lasted for
  a second, so that the whole ensemble of blocks lasted for a second?
 
 There is still duration within blocks

Yes, and...

   Then what if you
  make the blocks shorter in duration and larger in number, progressively 
  down to
  infinitely many blocks of infinitesimal duration: is there room for 
  dynamism in an
  infenitesimal interval?
 
 There are such things as infintiessimal velocities...

So if there is room for movement in infinitesimal intervals (or through 
combination of 
infinitesimal intervals) in a linear theory of time, why not with a block 
universe?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-15 Thread 1Z


David Nyman wrote:
 1Z wrote:

 On 8/13/06, 1Z [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

   but as I say, I can't help 'taking
   personally' the existent thing from which I and all persons are
   emanating. I think, imaginatvely, that if one pictures a 'block
   universe', Platonia, MW, or any non-process conception of reality, this
   is more intuitive,
 
  I don't see why it should be. It does not conform to our
  experience.

because everything is 'just there' - superposed, as
   it were. So, sure there's a 'layer' at which the individual 1st-person
   'emerges', but it's taking everything else 'working together' to
   manifest it. So in this sense, for me, it's all 'personal'. But maybe
   not for you.

 This business of what 'conforms to our experience' I think is fairly
 deep. I used to be adamant that, whether or not 'timeless' theories
 could be shown to be true or false on any other grounds, that they
 simply didn't 'conform to our experience'. I was, however, also
 suspicious of my own doubts: after all, we can't feel the earth moving,
 and everyone knows you need to keep pushing things or otherwise they
 grind to a halt. So I tried to go on an imaginative journey that might
 take me into this apparently static realm but nevertheless preserve
 something like 'what we experience'.

 In my mind's eye I placed myself in the various 'points of view' that
 'timelessly' exist within these structures. What would I see? Well,
 whatever was manifested to me in virtue of 'my' local capabilities and
 the perceptual information available to this 'me'. Would these
 experiences be discrete, or would they be overlaid or 'smeared' with
 information from other perspectives? Well, it seemed to me that what is
 characteristic about our experience, what makes it seem 'sequential',
 is precisely what we *can no longer* or *can't yet* see, the
 information we *don't* have access to.

In dynamic theories of time , that is explained by
the fact that memory traces are laid down causally, and the
future doesn't causally influence the present, so there
are no traces of the future.

A static universe could be structured the same way, although
it would be coincidental.

An Everythingist universe can't be. Every possible time
capsule must be instantiated. There must be versions of
you who ar the same in every erespect except that hey remember their
subjective future.


 And so despite the 'superposed'
 existence of these other states, delimitations of access to information
 would act to make each capsule discrete.

What does access to information mean ? In a dynamic
universe, it means causality. In a  Barbour-style universe
it means some nows coincidentally contain patterns representing other
nows
just as , in a world consisting of every possible picture, there will
be pictures containing pictures-within-a-picture.

 All the capsules capable of it
 are 'conscious', but the localisation of information prevents there
 being a 'totalising' point of view.

what does the localisation of informatio mean ? What do
1's and -0's mean if they were not caused by anything ?

 The next puzzle for me was why any of this would 'feel' dynamic. This
 IMO is a subset of the qualia issue - i.e. why does anything feel
 anyhow? Now, given that the arena under consideration consists in a
 both a 'substrate' and the structures within it, it has both
 distributed and all-at-once aspects. Could it not be the the dynamic
 temporal 'feel' is the tension between these two? All dynamism derives
 from contrast,

That doesn't mean all contrast leads to dynamism !
You can get stasis out of dynamism by slowing things dwon to a halt;
it is still a paradox to get dynamism out of stasis.

 and this seems to offer it. Putting these elements
 together (over a period of time involving many 'thought voyages') has
 re-aligned my intuition to make the scenario seem more plausible, at
 least experientially.



 Finally we come to the question of all these 'mes'. They all exist, and
 they're all conscious (the ones that are, that is). What's different
 about the other parts of the structure? Why aren't *they* conscious?
 They're just organised differently, just like the parts *within*
 persons that aren't conscious (ever), or the part that just went to
 sleep, or died. So the whole structure, reflexively, *to itself*, is
 manifesting consciously, unconsciously, and no doubt every nuance in
 between and beyond. That's my capital-P Personal. I strongly suspect
 that you find this way of thinking uncongenial, which is absolutely
 fine by me. But I've tried to describe it as clearly as I can, and
 perhaps we can do no better than leave it at that.

So the argument is:

1) David is a person.
2) Because David is a person, some parts of David are conscious, and
others unconscious.
3) Some parts of the universe are conscious, and others unconcisous.
4) Therefore the universe is a person, too.


  That isn't at all clear to me - mainly because you
  are nto makign the all-improtant 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-15 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

 What does access to information mean ? In a dynamic
 universe, it means causality. In a  Barbour-style universe
 it means some nows coincidentally contain patterns representing other
 nows
 just as , in a world consisting of every possible picture, there will
 be pictures containing pictures-within-a-picture.

This is a big topic difficult to do justice to. I'm sure we've both had
the experience of re-perusing various treatments of the alternatives
without necessarily being completely persuaded either way, but I for
one have accomodated my intuitions to this fairly successfully.
There's a brief discussion of this in 'not the roadmap' with Bruno and
Colin which addresses these issues from the perspective of the
'gestalt'. The points discussed all seem paradoxical from the pov of a
classical 'nameable 1st person', and this is IMO a powerful strike
against this position.

BTW, I have a question for you re 'intrinsically dynamic' views of
reality. It has always seemed to me that this view commits one to a
sort of continual annihilation of each state by the succeeding one. So
both 'past states' and 'future states' are 'radically absent'. My
question is: what is left to be 'present'? Recent developments in
string theory (M-theory) picture time in terms of a 'cinematographic'
view of Planck-time segments. If these are all that exist at any given
'point in time', then haven't we as-near-as-dammit banished the
universe from substantial existence? After all, 'structure' when
decomposed is in fact extraordinarily dense action - energy IOW. In the
'salami-slicer' model, aren't we left the grin without the cat?

It seems to me also that our subjective experience of 'the specious
present' entails the compresent existence of Vast numbers of such
temporal atoms - say one to one 1/2 seconds-worth. Again, if we try to
imagine our experience in the face of the razor of dynamic time, does
it seem anything like this? Have you an alternative presentation of a
dynamic model that resolves these issues?

 That doesn't mean all contrast leads to dynamism !
 You can get stasis out of dynamism by slowing things dwon to a halt;
 it is still a paradox to get dynamism out of stasis.

Substrate/ differentiation is also a global/ local distinction.
Locality is manufactured out of information and its manner of
propagation. The global/ local contrast is inherently dynamic. Don't
expect dynamism to reduce to primitive 'dynamic atoms'. It emerges from
the tension between two contrastable states.

 So the argument is:

 1) David is a person.
 2) Because David is a person, some parts of David are conscious, and
 others unconscious.
 3) Some parts of the universe are conscious, and others unconcisous.
 4) Therefore the universe is a person, too.

4) should read: therefore the universe manifests personhood in macro as
David does in micro.  'Indexical David' is a lens through which the
conscious/ unconscious personhood of the universe concentrates a
particular perspective.

 1) Persons aren't irreducible

Persons are defined and delimited by the intersection of structure and
substrate. Or in dynamic language, persons are substrate behaving
personally. Neither element is dispensible. It depends what you mean by
reducible. A substrate that adopts personal indexicality in this way,
that claims 'I am indexical David', is something I 'take personally'.

 2) Qualia aren't structural.

Qualia are the instantiated experience of persons defined indexically.
They are the appearance of the substrate behaving personally. They are
the analogic instantiation of information. Information is derived from
their mutual relations, and these relations are structural/
behavioural. They are the carriers of the metaphoric 'aboutness' of
substrate-as-meaning. The meaning they express is 'like this!' From
these origins all 'what it's like' is synthesised through structure/
behaviour/ process.

 3) There needs to be some sort of Hard Problem
 attached to peronhhod to justify the manoeuvre of making the
 1st-pesoanl
 primary. If a person is just a particualr structure, or a 1st person
 statement is
 just a  statement made by a person, that is not the case.

The HP is not hard if qualia are understood to be the substrate's
unmediated, reflexive, self-referential, self-revelation of its
internal structure/ behaviour.  Each of the advectives I have used is
non-dual in its intent. Even if the limitations of language create the
artefact of an apparent dualism in the notion of 'self-reference', this
is a linguistic mirage. We're talking equivalence, not 'property'.

BTW I don't mean by this that we will ever 'understand' why qualia have
any 'absolute' as opposed to relative appearance.  This is in principle
unanswerable.

 4) Strenuous avoidance of dualism. Not all dualisms have the problems
 of Cartesian dualism. There are dualisms within physicalism.

As soon as we allow 'dual ontology' we let in the notion of mediation
between two realities, and an unstoppable 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-15 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

  What does access to information mean ? In a dynamic
 universe, it means causality. In a  Barbour-style universe
 it means some nows coincidentally contain patterns representing other
 nows
 just as , in a world consisting of every possible picture, there will
 be pictures containing pictures-within-a-picture.

This is a big topic difficult to do justice to. Essentially IMO it
means indexical 1st-person limitations on knowledge arising both from
behavioural capability and information instantiated as a virtual
world-model. Those are the limits of what we can know within a discrete
indexical location, or time capsule. I'm sure we've both had the
experience of re-perusing various treatments of the alternatives
without necessarily being completely persuaded either way, but I for
one have accomodated my intuitions to this fairly successfully. There's
a brief discussion of this in 'not the roadmap' with Bruno and Colin
which addresses these issues from the perspective of the 'gestalt'. The
points discussed all seem paradoxical from the pov of a classical
'nameable 1st person' in a dynamic 'tensed' situation, and this is IMO
a powerful strike against this position.

BTW, I have a question for you re 'intrinsically dynamic' views of
reality. It has always seemed to me that this view commits one to a
sort of continual annihilation of each state by the succeeding one. So
both 'past states' and 'future states' are 'radically absent'. My
question is: what is left to be 'present'? Recent developments in
string theory (M-theory) picture time in terms of a 'cinematographic'
view of Planck-time segments. If these are all that exist at any given
'point in time', then haven't we as-near-as-dammit banished the
universe from substantial existence? After all, 'structure' when
decomposed is in fact extraordinarily dense action - energy IOW. In the
'salami-slicer' model, aren't we left with the grin but without the
cat?

It seems to me also that our subjective experience of 'the specious
present' entails the compresent existence of Vast numbers of such
temporal quanta - say one to one 1/2 seconds-worth. Again, if we try to
imagine our experience in the face of the razor of dynamic time, does
it seem anything like this? Have you an alternative presentation of a
dynamic model that resolves these issues?

 That doesn't mean all contrast leads to dynamism !
 You can get stasis out of dynamism by slowing things dwon to a halt;
 it is still a paradox to get dynamism out of stasis.

Substrate/ differentiation is also a global/ local distinction.
Locality is manufactured out of information and its manner of
propagation. The global/ local contrast is inherently dynamic. Don't
expect dynamism to reduce to primitive 'dynamic atoms'. It emerges from
the tension between two contrastable states.

 So the argument is:

 1) David is a person.
 2) Because David is a person, some parts of David are conscious, and
 others unconscious.
 3) Some parts of the universe are conscious, and others unconcisous.
 4) Therefore the universe is a person, too.

4) should read: therefore the universe manifests personhood in macro as
David does in micro.  'Indexical David' is a lens through which the
conscious/ unconscious personhood of the universe concentrates a
particular perspective.

 1) Persons aren't irreducible

Persons are defined and delimited by the intersection of structure and
substrate. Or in dynamic language, persons are substrate behaving
personally. Neither element is dispensible. It depends what you mean by
reducible. A substrate that adopts personal indexicality in this way,
that claims 'I am indexical David', is something I 'take personally'.

 2) Qualia aren't structural.

Qualia are the instantiated experience of persons defined indexically.
They are the appearance of the substrate behaving personally. They are
the analogic instantiation of information. Information is derived from
their mutual relations, and these relations are structural/
behavioural. They are the carriers of the metaphoric 'aboutness' of
substrate-as-meaning. The meaning they express is 'like this!' From
these origins all 'what it's like' is synthesised through structure/
behaviour/ process.

 3) There needs to be some sort of Hard Problem
 attached to peronhhod to justify the manoeuvre of making the
 1st-pesoanl
 primary. If a person is just a particualr structure, or a 1st person
 statement is
 just a  statement made by a person, that is not the case.

The HP is not hard or a problem if qualia are understood to be the
substrate's unmediated, reflexive, self-referential, self-revelation of
its internal structure/ behaviour.  Each of these adjectives is
non-dual in its intent. Even if the limitations of language create the
artefact of an apparent dualism in the notion of 'self-reference', this
is a linguistic mirage. We're talking equivalence, not 'property'.

BTW I don't mean by this that we will ever 'understand' why qualia have
any 'absolute' as opposed 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-14 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:

  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
   I don't know if block universe theories are true or not, but the 
   subjective
   passage of time is not an argument against them. If mind is computation, 
   do
   you believe that a conscious computation can tell if it is being run as a 
   sequential
   series of steps or in parallel, without any external information?
 
 
  If it is being run at all, it is dynamic, not static. Parallel
  processes are still
  processes.

 But the important point is that the temporal sequence does not itself make a 
 difference
 to subjective experience.

We don't actually know that it is possible that
there might be some flicker effect.

 Would you say that it is in theory possible for the subjective
 passage of time to be as we know it if the blocks were not infinitesimal, but 
 lasted for
 a second, so that the whole ensemble of blocks lasted for a second?

There is still duration within blocks

  Then what if you
 make the blocks shorter in duration and larger in number, progressively down 
 to
 infinitely many blocks of infinitesimal duration: is there room for dynamism 
 in an
 infenitesimal interval?

There are such things as infintiessimal velocities...

 And note that the usual linear view of time is not so different
 from this: an infinite sequence of infinitesimals, which somehow add up to 
 the effect
 of continuous activity.

 Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-14 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 10-août-06, à 19:35, David Nyman a écrit :

 Colin Hales wrote:

 Perhaps the 3rd person is best called 'virtual'. It's role is one for
 'as-if' it existed.

 Yes, that's a reasonable suggestion. Then 3rd person might be reserved
 for the type of observation in George's examples. The 'shareable
 knowledge base' is then an aspect of 'personal virtual reality', and
 those elements held in common by a community of 1st persons (common
 frame of reference) constitute 'consensual virtual reality'.

 David

 David Nyman:
 Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 11:20 AM
 To: Everything List
 Subject: Re: Are First Person prime?


 George Levy wrote:

 Colin Hales remarks seem to agree with what I say. However, I do not
 deny the existence of a third person perspective. I only say that 
 it is
 secondary and an illusion brought about by having several observers
 share the same frame of reference. This frame of reference consists 
 of
 identical contingencies on their existence.


The notion of third person discussed here corresponds closely to what I 
am used to call first person plural discourse, and they are evidences 
that a non negligible part of the quantum reality belongs to that.
Grosso modo first person discourse are given by the diary content of 
someone using teleportation, duplication etc, and  first person 
plural is the same in the case where entire population of individuals 
are duplicated (like in Everett, in some sense). The main difference is 
that the pure first person *singular* indeterminacy is not third person 
communicable, at all. But inside duplicated populations, people can 
have clues about a form of locally communicable indeterminacy (in 
particular, they can make bets ...). But this is, strictly speaking, 
still first person. This should pleased those who like give a central 
role to the first person. The frontier between first person plural and 
third person is hard to fix a priori. It is akin to the difference 
between physics and geography. Pure third person physics is 
necessary: nothing contingent in it, but I agree at some point this is 
just a definition: I almost define geography by contingency, and 
physics by necessary observable in principle.

Bruno



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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-14 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 10-août-06, à 22:44, 1Z a écrit :



 With the materialist hypothesis there is also no dualism.

This is defensible but necessitates a solution of the mind-body 
problem, to explain the relation between sensations and matter.
The traditional implicit or explicit solution of the materialist is 
comp.
And then I show it does not work. Even the traditional comp or standard 
comp (as you call it) makes matter epistemologically devoid of any 
explicative power (cf the UDA).

Bruno


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


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-14 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 10-août-06, à 22:59, 1Z a écrit :

 So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes
 brought by physicists, of block-universe.


 Yes, I certainly would! It is unable to explain the subjective
 passage of time. Dismissing the subjective sensation of the passge of
 time
 as merely subjective or illusional is a surreptitious
 appeal to dualism and therefore un-physicalistic!


OK. Thanks for being clear. I will not comment because David and others 
have already answer this clearly (I think).
David Nyman, like David Deutsch and about half the physicists (let us 
say) agrees with this indexical notion of time.
Let us just remember we agree that we  disagree on this.
My only conception of time which I am able to take as primitive is 
given by the litany of natural numbers (and here perhaps David, George 
and other First person central can disagree, but that's another 
thread).

Bruno


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


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-14 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 11-août-06, à 18:50, David Nyman a écrit :

 I had an interesting exchange with Julian Barbour about this a while
 back. Originally I was convinced he was wrong that a time capsule was
 sufficient to produce the subjective experience of the passage of time.
 I called it a 'sleight of intuition' because all the time-related words
 we use simply *assume* such a passage and hence slip this sense in by
 the back door. He said a lot of people agreed with me, but his static
 concept of Platonia meant he was committed to his view actually being
 the case, without further arguments.

 However, I've changed my original view. I think the fact we don't
 experience consciousness 'smeared' or 'overlaid' over the 4th dimension
 is a function of memory, which delimits what information is available
 to be made conscious at any given point. This source of information is
 different in each (conscious) time capsule, and determines the
 boundaries of the view from that capsule. This is analogous to why we
 don't experience multiple versions in MWI, or in teleportation. The
 relevant question is always 'what information is available to me
 here?', where 'me' and 'here' are correlated within a discrete
 structure (time capsule).

 But why does the information in a time capsule *feels* dynamic rather
 than static? You will recall my view that qualia are the fact of
 *being* particular structures within primitive substance. Structure of
 course has a relational as well as a static aspect, and it may be that
 the 'feel' of the relational aspect is temporal. It's as if there were
 a dynamic figure/ ground tension between the substance instantiating
 the capsules and their unfolding, memory-delimited, structural
 sequence. Given that persons emerge experientially at the intersection
 of substance and structure, it's not impossible to intuit that the
 'feel' of this dynamism is what we experience as the 'flow of time'.
 And the delimited nature of each step of the unfolding structure would
 be central to this. A 'totalised' view would arguably not be
 experienced as dynamic.

 David


OK. That's sum up what philosophers of science call sometimes the 
indexical view of time. I think Sanders wrote papers on this.
Note that comp will lead toward a complete indexical view of most 
physical notions. Not only time, but space as well, and even energy, 
etc.
This should suits centrality of first person notion, but with comp, 
as I try to explain, even that first person will emerge from more 
primitive non personal notion (like numbers ...), and this 
independently of the fact you like to recall and with which I agree 
which is that I have only access to a personal view on numbers.

Bruno


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


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-14 Thread Norman Samish



Brent,

That's an interesting explanation of a zero-information 
universe, which you suggest is implicit in the MWI of QM - yet (like me) you 
don't necessarily buy MWI.In your view, are there other explanations 
for quantum mysteries that are more credible?

Norman Samish
~~~
- Original Message - 
From: "Brent Meeker" [EMAIL PROTECTED]
snip
Well, if 'experience' is the fact of *being* differentiable 
existence, and 'the physical' is the observable relations thereof, then both 
ultimately 'supervene' on there being something rather than nothing. 

No. There being something rather than 
nothing is only 1 buit of information: not enough for a universe to 
supervene on. 

This may not be the problem you think it is. In quantum 
mechanics there can be negative information and there are some (speculative) 
theories of the universe that have it originating from at state with only one 
bit of information. 
It would still have to generate 
localised information, and complex supervenient properties would still need 
something complex to supervene on. A supervenience-base is more than a necessary 
precondition. 
Then complexity we see is due to the 
separation of entangled states by the inflation of the universe. Unitary 
evolution of the wave-function of the universe must preserve information. 
In these theories, as my friend Yonatan Fishman put it, "The universe is just 
nothing, rearranged." 
But entanglement must generate 
localised information. 

It's a somewhat beyond my expertise, but as I understand these 
theories of cosmogony it's analogous to Hawking radiation: Pair production 
produces a virtual quantum particle/anti-particle pair. Inflation is so 
rapid that it pulls them apart and provides the energy to make the virtual 
particles real particles. They are entangled but they are now separated by 
billions of lightyears. So the information (complexity) of the world we 
see can in principle be cancelled out (net zero information as well as matter) 
as in a quantum erasure experiment, but in practice we cannot access the 
entangled particle to do so. 

I think this idea of a zero-information universe is implicit 
in the MWI of QM. Whenever a random event happens it provides 
information (per Shannon's defintion), but in MWI everything happens and that 
provides no information (not that I buy the MWI). 

Brent Meeker 
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-14 Thread Brent Meeker

Norman Samish wrote:
 Brent,
  
 That's an interesting explanation of a zero-information universe, which 
 you suggest is implicit in the MWI of QM - yet (like me) you don't 
 necessarily buy MWI.  In your view, are there other explanations for 
 quantum mysteries that are more credible?
  
 Norman Samish

Of course there are other explanations - you probably know them.  But I 
haven't bought them yet either.  What they have in common is that some 
things really happen and others don't - randomly.  Bohmian QM is a good 
example, although I won't buy it.  Omnes' takes the view that QM is a 
probabilitic theory, it predicts probablities and probability means some 
things happen and some things don't.  He has proposed a model for the 
nulling of off diagonal terms of the density matrix.  It's just hueristic, 
but I have hopes that something like it might come out of einselection plus 
the information theoretic approach (see quant-ph/0212084).  It seems to me 
than an information theoretic analysis should be able to place a lower bound 
on how small a probability can be and not be zero.

Brent Meeker


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RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-13 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Peter Jones writes:

   Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
   does exist, are not well founded empirically.
 
  So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes
  brought by physicists, of block-universe.
 
 
 Yes, I certainly would! It is unable to explain the subjective
 passage of time. Dismissing the subjective sensation of the passge of
 time
 as merely subjective or illusional is a surreptitious
 appeal to dualism and therefore un-physicalistic!

I don't know if block universe theories are true or not, but the subjective 
passage of time is not an argument against them. If mind is computation, do 
you believe that a conscious computation can tell if it is being run as a 
sequential 
series of steps or in parallel, without any external information?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-13 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

 I don't know if block universe theories are true or not, but the subjective
 passage of time is not an argument against them. If mind is computation, do
 you believe that a conscious computation can tell if it is being run as a 
 sequential
 series of steps or in parallel, without any external information?


If it is being run at all, it is dynamic, not static. Parallel
processes are still
processes.


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-13 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:

 1Z wrote:
 
  David Nyman wrote:
 ...
 Well, if 'experience' is the fact of *being* differentiable existence,
 and 'the physical' is the observable relations thereof, then both
 ultimately 'supervene' on there being something rather than nothing.
 
 
  No. There being something rather than nothing is only
  1 buit of  information: not enough for a universe to
  supervene on.

 This may not be the problem you think it is.  In quantum mechanics there can
 be negative information and there are some (speculative) theories of the
 universe that have it originating from at state with only one bit of
 information.

It would still have to generate localised information, and complex
supervenient properties would still need something complex
to supervene on. A supervenience-base is more than a
necessary precondition.

 Then complexity we see is due to the separation of entangled
 states by the inflation of the universe.  Unitary evolution of the
 wave-function of the universe must preserve information.  In these theories,
 as my friend Yonatan Fishman put it, The universe is just nothing, 
 rearranged.

But entanglement must generate localised information.

 Brent Meeker


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-13 Thread Brent Meeker

1Z wrote:
 
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 
 
1Z wrote:

David Nyman wrote:

...

Well, if 'experience' is the fact of *being* differentiable existence,
and 'the physical' is the observable relations thereof, then both
ultimately 'supervene' on there being something rather than nothing.


No. There being something rather than nothing is only
1 buit of  information: not enough for a universe to
supervene on.

This may not be the problem you think it is.  In quantum mechanics there can
be negative information and there are some (speculative) theories of the
universe that have it originating from at state with only one bit of
information.
 
 
 It would still have to generate localised information, and complex
 supervenient properties would still need something complex
 to supervene on. A supervenience-base is more than a
 necessary precondition.
 
 
Then complexity we see is due to the separation of entangled
states by the inflation of the universe.  Unitary evolution of the
wave-function of the universe must preserve information.  In these theories,
as my friend Yonatan Fishman put it, The universe is just nothing, 
rearranged.
 
 
 But entanglement must generate localised information.

It's a somewhat beyond my expertise, but as I understand these theories of 
cosmogony it's analogous to Hawking radiation: Pair production produces a 
virtual quantum particle/anti-particle pair.  Inflation is so rapid that it 
pulls them apart and provides the energy to make the virtual particles real 
particles.  They are entangled but they are now separated by billions of 
lightyears.  So the information (complexity) of the world we see can in 
principle be cancelled out (net zero information as well as matter) as in a 
quantum erasure experiment, but in practice we cannot access the entangled 
particle to do so.

I think this idea of a zero-information universe is implicit in the MWI of 
QM.  Whenever a random event happens it provides information (per Shannon's 
defintion), but in MWI everything happens and that provides no information 
(not that I buy the MWI).

Brent Meeker

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-13 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:


 It's a somewhat beyond my expertise, but as I understand these theories of
 cosmogony it's analogous to Hawking radiation: Pair production produces a
 virtual quantum particle/anti-particle pair.  Inflation is so rapid that it
 pulls them apart and provides the energy to make the virtual particles real
 particles.  They are entangled but they are now separated by billions of
 lightyears.  So the information (complexity) of the world we see can in
 principle be cancelled out (net zero information as well as matter) as in a
 quantum erasure experiment, but in practice we cannot access the entangled
 particle to do so.

 I think this idea of a zero-information universe is implicit in the MWI of
 QM.  Whenever a random event happens it provides information (per Shannon's
 defintion),

Only inasmuch as other events are causally related to it. If you have
nothing
but random events, you would have maximum information by the
Shannon/Entropy measure, and by the Kolmogorov/Chaitin measure...
however by the information is always information about something
pricniple
(and the information is a difference that makes a difference
principle),
you would have no information at all!


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RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-13 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Peter Jones writes:

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
  I don't know if block universe theories are true or not, but the subjective
  passage of time is not an argument against them. If mind is computation, do
  you believe that a conscious computation can tell if it is being run as a 
  sequential
  series of steps or in parallel, without any external information?
 
 
 If it is being run at all, it is dynamic, not static. Parallel
 processes are still
 processes.

But the important point is that the temporal sequence does not itself make a 
difference 
to subjective experience. Would you say that it is in theory possible for the 
subjective
passage of time to be as we know it if the blocks were not infinitesimal, but 
lasted for 
a second, so that the whole ensemble of blocks lasted for a second? Then what 
if you 
make the blocks shorter in duration and larger in number, progressively down to 
infinitely many blocks of infinitesimal duration: is there room for dynamism in 
an 
infenitesimal interval? And note that the usual linear view of time is not so 
different 
from this: an infinite sequence of infinitesimals, which somehow add up to the 
effect 
of continuous activity.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-12 Thread 1Z


David Nyman wrote:

 1Z wrote:

  Why shouldn't they denote that ? And what has that to do with
  substances ?
  The inside/outside distinction can be asserted is a single-substance
  universe. The inside/outside distinction is enough to found the 1st/3rd
  person divide, what
  do you need a multiplicity of substances for.

 I agree. I was setting it up to knock it down.

  It is not clear why they should be that fact. For one thing,
  qualia seem not be structures in themselves. For another
  the perceiver-perceptual-model is 3rd-personal comprehensible
  and therefore part of the Easy problem. So you are simply
  declaring that the HP rides on the back of the EP, for
  reasons that canoot be undeerstood within the EP -- just as
  Chalmers does.

 I don't see why you're resistant to the idea that qualia could have a
 structural aspect.

1) the don't seem to have, and they *are* what they seem
2) they are incommunicable in mathematical, and hence
sructrural terms.


 For one thing, they seem to be systematically
 correlated with physical phenomena (light, sound) which are structural/
 relational.

Correlation is not identity.

  Also, they seem experientially (at least to me) to display
 mutual distributive relations that are analogous to, say, the frequency
 distribution of the colour spectrum.

Mutual relations are not internal relations. Purple
lies between red and blue, but being told that
doens't tell you what purple looks like unless you
already know what red and blue look like. Realtional
information about colours does not convey the colours
themselves.

  So I don't see the suggestion that
 different qualia are different structural modulations of a substrate as
 so counter-intuitive.


If that were the case, there would be no HP, and threfore no
need for any first-personness worth arguing about.

 As to HP 'riding on the back of' EP, I'd rather put it that they are
 correlated, but probably don't map in a simple, one-to-one, 'identity'
 relation.

That is still pure Chalmers -- natural supervenience is not identity,
after all.

  If this is simply 'neutral monism', so be it. Insofar that
 have been disagreeing over terminology, this is entirely fruitless, and
 we should try not to dispute any more over words. Perhaps I could
 replace the form of words 'global 1st person primitivity' with 'global
 neutral (0-person if you like) primitivity', as long as this is
 understood to be the backgound from which 1st-persons, under suitable
 conditions, emerge.

If you are going to continue being unable to specify what is
personal about your primordial 1st peson, then that would
be better, yes.

  AFAIC that amounts to saying they supervene on the physical --
  on the 0-personal.

 No, that's going too far, IMO. I'd rather have them both mapping onto a
 neutral substrate that is basic.

AFAICS, that *is* supervening. What do you think
supervening is ?

  As I concede above, we could call this
 0-personal, but this is surely not baldly equivalent to 'physical'.
 Just as we schematise the physical into chemical, biological,
 physiological levels etc, there may be analogous but different
 'experiential layering' supporting the emergence of the conscious
 modalities we in fact encounter.

If they are not all just structure, there must be, yes.

The claim of physicalism (as opposed to materialism, or
neutral monism) is that everything is just
structured matter, and that all the layers reduce to
physics.

  and
   different types of structure yield different types of qualia.
 
  How and why ?

 How - by relational modulation of the 0-personal substrate.

If you modulate a bunch of relations , you get another bunch
of relations. That is no departure from reductive physicalism.

 Why -
 because of the infinite (or at least Vast) possibilities of modalities,
 range, etc. inherent in this, on the analogy of the physical/
 relational correlates (light, sound, taste, etc).

  That would be equally true of a 0-personal substance, ie matter.

 But a 'neutral (0-personal?) substrate' is not a rigidly 'physical'
 one, if that's what you intend by 'matter'.

It all depends on what you mean by physical. For me,
what physicalism means beyond materialism is that
all properties are quantitiative and relational. A consequence
is that there is no layering of any significant kind.


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-12 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

 1) the don't seem to have, and they *are* what they seem
 2) they are incommunicable in mathematical, and hence
 sructrural terms.

1) Well, this obviously depends on the subject of the seeming. To me,
'red', 'middle C', or 'bitter' all *do* seem to possess a sort of
directly sensed 'vibrational' quality that is essential, for example,
to why I would feel they were 'like' or 'unlike' other colours, sounds,
or tastes, or where they would *subjectively* lie in 'spectra'
analogous (but not identical) to those of 'physical' properties.

2) They are by definition incommunicable in mathematical or any other
language, but this does not in my *experience* equate to their being
'structureless' in *feel*. If I attempt to imagine what the 'bare
substrate' would *feel* like, I am frankly at a loss because it *seems*
to be devoid of content - what would there be to be 'felt'? But beyond
the substrate we have the equally fundamental IMO notion of
differentiation (a neutral term I'm using because it isn't committed to
a purely 'physical' view) and it seems to me that the intersection of
substrate and differentiation could well *be* the direct experience of
content. I also call such content 'structure' because it is
differentiated but if you'd rather reserve this for the relational
idea, so be it.

 Correlation is not identity.

Precisely. But the correlation of qualia with structurally
differentiated 'physical' phenomena leads to the intuition that qualia
themselves may be an *experiential synthesis* based on structural
differentiation of the same bare ('property-less' in your own terms)
substrate. The substrate, as you say elsewhere, provides enduring
existence within which the properties manifest and change. I'm
suggesting that the *existence* of the differentiated substrate
*synthesises* the qualia (i.e. they entail multiple differentiations)
and the mutual *relations* of the differentiated substrate *are* the
'properties'.

BTW, when I meditate on a substrate whose differentiation resolves into
'me' 'you' and other persons, I tend to 'take it personally'.  The
'impersonal' gaps between persons are IMO no different in kind than the
gaps between my own experiences at different times, places, branches of
MW, etc. The substrate is in these terms a single 'potential
experiencer'. The actual experiences it possesses are then a function
of an infinite network of differentiation. I've said something
elsewhere about the implications of this for the perception of time
both as discrete, rather than totalised, experiences, and as a
'dynamic' quale, mediated by discrete 'capsules' of locally-delimited
information.

 Mutual relations are not internal relations. Purple
 lies between red and blue, but being told that
 doens't tell you what purple looks like unless you
 already know what red and blue look like. Realtional
 information about colours does not convey the colours
 themselves.

Nothing can 'tell you what purple looks like'. Purple is a medium that
carries information, not information itself. However, the *feel* of
purple may seem related to the *feel* of blue. Isn't this ultimately a
matter for each 'seemer' to meditate on?

 If that were the case, there would be no HP, and threfore no
 need for any first-personness worth arguing about.

I don't think that the HP is a useful idea. I think there is existence
and this is something I 'take personally' because it *seems* to
manifest as me, and other mes, all of whom I find it intuitive to
conceive as subsets of a much Vaster me, with 'conscious regions' (e.g.
'me yesterday', 'me on the branch where I didn't have that last beer',
'Peter five minutes ago') and 'unconscious regions' (e.g. 'me after
that last beer', interstellar space, a rock). The EP is the observable
behaviour (information content) of all this, insofar as we have access
to and can make sense of it.

 That is still pure Chalmers -- natural supervenience is not identity,
 after all.

Well, if 'experience' is the fact of *being* differentiable existence,
and 'the physical' is the observable relations thereof, then both
ultimately 'supervene' on there being something rather than nothing.
Further correlation is IMO an empirical issue from which might stem a
more robust theoretical model embracing both. If this is the substance
of Chalmers' claim then I suppose I would go along with it.

  How - by relational modulation of the 0-personal substrate.

 If you modulate a bunch of relations , you get another bunch
 of relations. That is no departure from reductive physicalism.

Yes, but that's not what I meant. You experience as the fact of *being*
the 'modulated' (differentiated) substrate, not *observing* it (i.e. as
information). You do of course observe it, but that then is 2nd-order,
the relational level of information, not the substrate level of
existence. This is why I insist that differentiation is as 'primitive'
as the substrate, in the sense that there is nothing in the notion of
'substrate' as a 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-12 Thread 1Z


David Nyman wrote:

 1Z wrote:

  1) the don't seem to have, and they *are* what they seem
  2) they are incommunicable in mathematical, and hence
  sructrural terms.

 1) Well, this obviously depends on the subject of the seeming. To me,
 'red', 'middle C', or 'bitter' all *do* seem to possess a sort of
 directly sensed 'vibrational' quality that is essential, for example,
 to why I would feel they were 'like' or 'unlike' other colours, sounds,
 or tastes, or where they would *subjectively* lie in 'spectra'
 analogous (but not identical) to those of 'physical' properties.

They have some mathematical/structural properties, but they a
re underdefined by those properties -- theya
re far from the wholes tory.

 2) They are by definition incommunicable in mathematical or any other
 language, but this does not in my *experience* equate to their being
 'structureless' in *feel*.

I disagree. I can discern no structure *within* the taste
of lemon or the colour red. There are relations between
tastes, colours and so on, but they underdiefine the tastes
and colurs themselves.

 If I attempt to imagine what the 'bare
 substrate' would *feel* like, I am frankly at a loss because it *seems*
 to be devoid of content - what would there be to be 'felt'? But beyond
 the substrate we have the equally fundamental IMO notion of
 differentiation (a neutral term I'm using because it isn't committed to
 a purely 'physical' view) and it seems to me that the intersection of
 substrate and differentiation could well *be* the direct experience of
 content.

The substrate could be differnentiated into properties
that have no further reducible structure -- ie qualities.

  I also call such content 'structure' because it is
 differentiated but if you'd rather reserve this for the relational
 idea, so be it.



  Correlation is not identity.

 Precisely. But the correlation of qualia with structurally
 differentiated 'physical' phenomena leads to the intuition that qualia
 themselves may be an *experiential synthesis* based on structural
 differentiation of the same bare ('property-less' in your own terms)
 substrate.

What is an  experiential synthesis ?

 The substrate, as you say elsewhere, provides enduring
 existence within which the properties manifest and change. I'm
 suggesting that the *existence* of the differentiated substrate
 *synthesises* the qualia (i.e. they entail multiple differentiations)
 and the mutual *relations* of the differentiated substrate *are* the
 'properties'.

 BTW, when I meditate on a substrate whose differentiation resolves into
 'me' 'you' and other persons, I tend to 'take it personally'.  The
 'impersonal' gaps between persons are IMO no different in kind than the
 gaps between my own experiences at different times, places, branches of
 MW, etc.

I have no idea why you would think that.

 The substrate is in these terms a single 'potential
 experiencer'.

It's a potential everything. Why an experiencer in particular ?

 The actual experiences it possesses are then a function
 of an infinite network of differentiation. I've said something
 elsewhere about the implications of this for the perception of time
 both as discrete, rather than totalised, experiences, and as a
 'dynamic' quale, mediated by discrete 'capsules' of locally-delimited
 information.

  Mutual relations are not internal relations. Purple
  lies between red and blue, but being told that
  doens't tell you what purple looks like unless you
  already know what red and blue look like. Realtional
  information about colours does not convey the colours
  themselves.

 Nothing can 'tell you what purple looks like'. Purple is a medium that
 carries information, not information itself. However, the *feel* of
 purple may seem related to the *feel* of blue. Isn't this ultimately a
 matter for each 'seemer' to meditate on?

  If that were the case, there would be no HP, and threfore no
  need for any first-personness worth arguing about.

 I don't think that the HP is a useful idea.

That's hardly relevant! Problems are problems. They
don't slink away if you accuse them of uselessness.

  I think there is existence
 and this is something I 'take personally' because it *seems* to
 manifest as me, and other mes, all of whom I find it intuitive to
 conceive as subsets of a much Vaster me, with 'conscious regions' (e.g.
 'me yesterday', 'me on the branch where I didn't have that last beer',
 'Peter five minutes ago') and 'unconscious regions' (e.g. 'me after
 that last beer', interstellar space, a rock).

Ontology is all about what you take as fundamental,
and why. Your grounds for taking the me/not-me
distinction as fundamental seem subjective and inutitive rather
than logical.

  The EP is the observable
 behaviour (information content) of all this, insofar as we have access
 to and can make sense of it.


There must be a reason why the Ep is easy.

  That is still pure Chalmers -- natural supervenience is not identity,
  after all.

 Well, 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-12 Thread Brent Meeker

1Z wrote:
 
 David Nyman wrote:
...
Well, if 'experience' is the fact of *being* differentiable existence,
and 'the physical' is the observable relations thereof, then both
ultimately 'supervene' on there being something rather than nothing.
 
 
 No. There being something rather than nothing is only
 1 buit of  information: not enough for a universe to
 supervene on.

This may not be the problem you think it is.  In quantum mechanics there can 
be negative information and there are some (speculative) theories of the 
universe that have it originating from at state with only one bit of 
information.  Then complexity we see is due to the separation of entangled 
states by the inflation of the universe.  Unitary evolution of the 
wave-function of the universe must preserve information.  In these theories, 
as my friend Yonatan Fishman put it, The universe is just nothing, rearranged.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-11 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:
 1Z wrote:
 
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
 Le 09-août-06, à 12:46, 1Z a écrit :
 
 
 Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
 does exist, are not well founded empirically.
 
 So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes
 brought by physicists, of block-universe.
 
 
 
  Yes, I certainly would! It is unable to explain the subjective
  passage of time. Dismissing the subjective sensation of the passge of
  time
  as merely subjective or illusional is a surreptitious
  appeal to dualism and therefore un-physicalistic!

 I don't see that problem.  In the block universe each subject is modelled as
 having different states at different times and hence subjectively
 experiences the passage of time.


That doesn't follow.

Time Capsules: Getting Flow from Sequence.
Proponents of the Block Universe view believe that there is only a
B-Series. Some think that alone is adequate to explain the subjective
Flow-of-Time. It is easy enough to see how there could be a sequence in
the B series. If we consider a series of 3 dimensional snapshots of
someone's brain, each subsequent snapshot iwll contain information
relating back to previous ones.


But is this chain or sequence enough to establish flow ? A B-series
without an A-series is like a spatial series. If you had a series of
clones arranged spatially so that clone 2 has all of clone 1's memories
(and more), clone 3 has all of clone 2's memories (and more) and so on,
you would not expect anything to be flowing from one clone to another.
The clones form a series of time capsules, and a such they have a
natural sequence, but that is all.
Without an A series, there is nothing to justify the idea that only one
time capsule is conscious at a time. Either they all are, or none
are. We know we are conscious, so we must reject the none are option.
The Block Universe therefore predicts that all time capsules are
conscious. This is in line with the way the Block Universe spatialises
Time. It predicts that consciousness is a single 4-dimensional entity.
I would not just be conscious now with memories of the past, I would
have a consciousness in the past overlaid on my present consciousness.

The objection that being arrayed along the 4th dimension would split
consciousness up is week; we don't have a micro-conscousness associated
with each neuron, despite their spatial separation. Why should temporal
separation have ant atomising, fragmenting effect --wehn B-series time
is so similar to space anyway ? 



 Brent Meeker


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-11 Thread Brent Meeker

1Z wrote:
 
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 
1Z wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:


Le 09-août-06, à 12:46, 1Z a écrit :



Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
does exist, are not well founded empirically.

So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes
brought by physicists, of block-universe.



Yes, I certainly would! It is unable to explain the subjective
passage of time. Dismissing the subjective sensation of the passge of
time
as merely subjective or illusional is a surreptitious
appeal to dualism and therefore un-physicalistic!

I don't see that problem.  In the block universe each subject is modelled as
having different states at different times and hence subjectively
experiences the passage of time.
 
 
 
 That doesn't follow.
 
 Time Capsules: Getting Flow from Sequence.
 Proponents of the Block Universe view believe that there is only a
 B-Series. Some think that alone is adequate to explain the subjective
 Flow-of-Time. It is easy enough to see how there could be a sequence in
 the B series. If we consider a series of 3 dimensional snapshots of
 someone's brain, each subsequent snapshot iwll contain information
 relating back to previous ones.
 
 
 But is this chain or sequence enough to establish flow ? A B-series
 without an A-series is like a spatial series. If you had a series of
 clones arranged spatially so that clone 2 has all of clone 1's memories
 (and more), clone 3 has all of clone 2's memories (and more) and so on,
 you would not expect anything to be flowing from one clone to another.
 The clones form a series of time capsules, and a such they have a
 natural sequence, but that is all.
 Without an A series, there is nothing to justify the idea that only one
 time capsule is conscious at a time. 

Sure there is.  Pick a time and I can show you which capsule is conscious 
at that time.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-11 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

 Without an A series, there is nothing to justify the idea that only one
 time capsule is conscious at a time. Either they all are, or none
 are. We know we are conscious, so we must reject the none are option.
 The Block Universe therefore predicts that all time capsules are
 conscious. This is in line with the way the Block Universe spatialises
 Time. It predicts that consciousness is a single 4-dimensional entity.
 I would not just be conscious now with memories of the past, I would
 have a consciousness in the past overlaid on my present consciousness.

 The objection that being arrayed along the 4th dimension would split
 consciousness up is week; we don't have a micro-conscousness associated
 with each neuron, despite their spatial separation. Why should temporal
 separation have ant atomising, fragmenting effect --wehn B-series time
 is so similar to space anyway ?

I had an interesting exchange with Julian Barbour about this a while
back. Originally I was convinced he was wrong that a time capsule was
sufficient to produce the subjective experience of the passage of time.
I called it a 'sleight of intuition' because all the time-related words
we use simply *assume* such a passage and hence slip this sense in by
the back door. He said a lot of people agreed with me, but his static
concept of Platonia meant he was committed to his view actually being
the case, without further arguments.

However, I've changed my original view. I think the fact we don't
experience consciousness 'smeared' or 'overlaid' over the 4th dimension
is a function of memory, which delimits what information is available
to be made conscious at any given point. This source of information is
different in each (conscious) time capsule, and determines the
boundaries of the view from that capsule. This is analogous to why we
don't experience multiple versions in MWI, or in teleportation. The
relevant question is always 'what information is available to me
here?', where 'me' and 'here' are correlated within a discrete
structure (time capsule).

But why does the information in a time capsule *feels* dynamic rather
than static? You will recall my view that qualia are the fact of
*being* particular structures within primitive substance. Structure of
course has a relational as well as a static aspect, and it may be that
the 'feel' of the relational aspect is temporal. It's as if there were
a dynamic figure/ ground tension between the substance instantiating
the capsules and their unfolding, memory-delimited, structural
sequence. Given that persons emerge experientially at the intersection
of substance and structure, it's not impossible to intuit that the
'feel' of this dynamism is what we experience as the 'flow of time'.
And the delimited nature of each step of the unfolding structure would
be central to this. A 'totalised' view would arguably not be
experienced as dynamic.

David


 Brent Meeker wrote:
  1Z wrote:
  
   Bruno Marchal wrote:
  
  Le 09-août-06, à 12:46, 1Z a écrit :
  
  
  Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
  does exist, are not well founded empirically.
  
  So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes
  brought by physicists, of block-universe.
  
  
  
   Yes, I certainly would! It is unable to explain the subjective
   passage of time. Dismissing the subjective sensation of the passge of
   time
   as merely subjective or illusional is a surreptitious
   appeal to dualism and therefore un-physicalistic!
 
  I don't see that problem.  In the block universe each subject is modelled as
  having different states at different times and hence subjectively
  experiences the passage of time.


 That doesn't follow.

 Time Capsules: Getting Flow from Sequence.
 Proponents of the Block Universe view believe that there is only a
 B-Series. Some think that alone is adequate to explain the subjective
 Flow-of-Time. It is easy enough to see how there could be a sequence in
 the B series. If we consider a series of 3 dimensional snapshots of
 someone's brain, each subsequent snapshot iwll contain information
 relating back to previous ones.


 But is this chain or sequence enough to establish flow ? A B-series
 without an A-series is like a spatial series. If you had a series of
 clones arranged spatially so that clone 2 has all of clone 1's memories
 (and more), clone 3 has all of clone 2's memories (and more) and so on,
 you would not expect anything to be flowing from one clone to another.
 The clones form a series of time capsules, and a such they have a
 natural sequence, but that is all.
 Without an A series, there is nothing to justify the idea that only one
 time capsule is conscious at a time. Either they all are, or none
 are. We know we are conscious, so we must reject the none are option.
 The Block Universe therefore predicts that all time capsules are
 conscious. This is in line with the way the Block Universe spatialises
 Time. It predicts that 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-11 Thread Tom Caylor

Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 09-août-06, à 18:12, Tom Caylor a écrit :

 
 
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
  Of course I have a problem with the word universe and especially
  with
  the expression being inside a universe. The reason is that I think
  comp forces us to accept we are supported by an infinity of
  computations and that the 1-(plural and singular) appearance of the
  universe emerges from that. cf UDA.
 
  Bruno
 
 
  http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
 
  I haven't been following this thread, but this caught my attention.
  Bruno, how can you have a real problem with something based on the
  fact that it seems to contradict the comp assumption?  I thought that
  you make a point to stress that you only assume comp for purposes of
  argument to see where it leads.


 You are right. It is just that I feel somehow guilty to always mention
 the comp. hyp.
  From now on, you should always interpret me, when I say I think ...,
 by we can proved under the comp. assumption that 


OK.



  Are you implying that you personally
  have faith in comp to the point that words that don't agree with the
  comp assumption actually give you a problem?  Or is the problem
  caused by a personal belief that is outside of the comp assumption, but
  that is manifested when talking about comp, if you follow me?


 About my personal opinion on comp, I am still going through the four
 days:
 The good one where I hope that comp is true and believe that comp is
 true; or when I hope comp to be false, and I believe it to be false.
 The bad one where it is the reverse.
 The problem is that comp almost entails such oscillations. Indeed,
 although I do not insist on that point I must admit there is something
 a little bit diabolical in comp (and which is similar to some godelian
 sentence) which is that comp predicts that the first person attached to
 a machine really cannot believe or know that comp is true. Strictly
 speaking comp is unbelievable. No consistent machine can take comp for
 granted, and that is why eventually saying yes to a doctor (for an
 artificial body) have to be based on an act of faith

But isn't it true that we can't take anything for granted in an
absolute sense?  Isn't that part of the nature of belief?  I don't see
how something that is a good candidate for a model of reality can be
impossible to believe, unless it is impossible to think about it.  If
you can't believe comp then how can you test it?  If we do some tests
and conclude that the tests refute comp, how can we be sure?  My point
is that we can't be 100% sure, but we can believe.  On the other hand,
I think that belief doesn't have much meaning until the rubber meets
the road and the belief has implications to how we live life.
Oscillating doesn't get us closer to truth.  But I believe in a
personal truth that solves this problem.

 (and that is also
 why I think it is better (more honest) to put comp in theology rather
 than in, say, psychology, like I was used to do before our
 conversation-thread on theology.
 It is diabolical in the sense that when someone tell me I don't
 believe in comp, well, strictly speaking, he confirms comp (but I
 *must* remain silent, or else I have to be more explicit on the G/G*
 differentiation and the way to translate the comp hyp itself in the
 language of arithmetic, but for this I have to dwelve a little bit more
 in the technics).

 Bruno


 PS Apology for letting you with some unsolved problem concerning the Wi
 and the Fi. I propose we come back on this latter (OK?). Meanwhile I
 suggest you could read the wonderful introduction to recursion theory
 made by N. J. Cutland, which is quite readable by undergraduate in
 math:
 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0521294657/103-1630254-7840640?
 redirect=true
 I see you can buy it together with the bible of recursion theory, the
 book by Hartley Rogers, which, imo, is the book which exploits in the
 best possible manner Church's Thesis.


OK.  I will be content with following whatever you have for the roadmap
for now.  I may read the Cutland book if I can afford the time
investment.  I should at least probably try to get my own answers to my
technical (but introductory) questions.  Thanks for your willingness to
explain.

Tom


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-11 Thread 1Z


David Nyman wrote:
 1Z wrote:

 Not only is it not necessary to
  treat such a 1st person as ontologically primative, it is
  hardly even coherent , since such a 1st person is clearly complex.

 I think I see where the confusion lies. My definitions rely on there
 being a unique ontologogical 'substance' because of my frustration that
 there is a pervasive use (not necessarily yours) of 1st-person and
 3rd-person to denote, respectively, the 'inside' and 'outside' views of
 persons.

Why shouldn't they denote that ? And what has that to do with
substances ?
The inside/outside distinction can be asserted is a single-substance
universe. The inside/outside distinction is enough to found the 1st/3rd
person divide, what
do you need a multiplicity of substances for.

 This then leads to the idea that these derive from different
 ontological substances (e.g. Chalmers in effect, dualism in general).
 So my single substance is in that sense 'primitive'. Bruno would I
 think say that this substance is Number.

Hmmm. I don't think Bruno believes in any kind of substance.

 I just say it's whatever it is
 and it's the same for everything. Of course, it's the intersection of
 this substance with structure that produces persons (and all other
 phenomena), which are, as you rightly say, complex.

If persons are complex they are not already present in a simple
primordial substance.

 The problem
  is, that while a)-c) is not all that can be said
  about first personhood, it is pretty much all that *is* said
  in your various definitions [*].

 I quite agree, with the above proviso. I was merely trying to point out
 different uses of the term that I thought important, but you may well
 have found this superflous. The obvious is sometimes elusive.

There is a still a mystery about what the role of primordial
first-personness is.

  OK: now we seem to be getting to the nub of the problem. Consciousness
  and qualia. IOW, 1st-personhood divides into two problems: an
  Easy Problem of a)-c); and a Hard problem of d) qualia and e)
  incommunicable
  experiences.

 I would say that qualia are the fact of *being* structured substance
 *behaving* in a certain kind of 'perceiver+perceptual model' way.

It is not clear why they should be that fact. For one thing,
qualia seem not be structures in themselves. For another
the perceiver-perceptual-model is 3rd-personal comprehensible
and therefore part of the Easy problem. So you are simply
declaring that the HP rides on the back of the EP, for
reasons that canoot be undeerstood within the EP -- just as
Chalmers does.

 As
 such they are themselves incommunicable, although existing in
 non-random mutual relations (e.g. that of red to blue, or middle C to
 bottom A). The information they encode relationally is what is
 communicable both to the 'self' and to others - epistemology from
 ontology. Empirically my assumption is that they must also map in some
 systematic way to material structure, which is not to say that
 qualitative and material structural levels map one-to-one. However I
 don't believe that qualia are 'substrate independent' (you may recall
 that this is where we began in the dear, dim days of the FOR group).


AFAIC that amounts to saying they supervene on the physical --
on the 0-personal.

  Now: if qualia are the only aspect of 1st-personhood whose emergence
  form structured matter is fishy, why not make qualia ontologically
  fundamental, and keep the Easy aspects of 1p-hood as high-level
  emergent features ? (It's not just that we don't *need* to
  treat the a)-c) as primitive, it is also that we can't! A structure
  that contains representations of other structures is inherently
  complex!)

 I think I agree, as I say above. I know I lost you with my previous
 remarks about a primitive substance with primitive differentiation, but
 the fundamental nature of 'qualia' was what I was trying to convey. The
 substance on its own won't do, because it has no content, and
 semantically to have differentiation one needs to start with a
 substance. Hence qualia are to be found at the intersection,

intersection of what and what ?

and
 different types of structure yield different types of qualia.

How and why ?

  ( I am taking it that qualia are basically non-structural [**] )

 'Fraid not.

You mean qualia are not non-structural. Can you argue for that ?

 But now I can agree with you that 1p-hood in its Easy
 aspect is indeed a high level emergent feature of this structured
 ontology. Then the fact of *being* the structured substance is the
 'qualia', and the relational aspects (information) constitute our
 knowledge of the structural entities so formed (i.e. 'the world').
 I take the 'active principle' of information to be the relational aspects
 expressed as behaviour.  IOW, one structure treats another as
 information when its behaviour is systematically changed by
 incorporating it.

  Is that idea even coherent ? How can a universal Person contain
  

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-11 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

 Why shouldn't they denote that ? And what has that to do with
 substances ?
 The inside/outside distinction can be asserted is a single-substance
 universe. The inside/outside distinction is enough to found the 1st/3rd
 person divide, what
 do you need a multiplicity of substances for.

I agree. I was setting it up to knock it down.

 It is not clear why they should be that fact. For one thing,
 qualia seem not be structures in themselves. For another
 the perceiver-perceptual-model is 3rd-personal comprehensible
 and therefore part of the Easy problem. So you are simply
 declaring that the HP rides on the back of the EP, for
 reasons that canoot be undeerstood within the EP -- just as
 Chalmers does.

I don't see why you're resistant to the idea that qualia could have a
structural aspect. For one thing, they seem to be systematically
correlated with physical phenomena (light, sound) which are structural/
relational. Also, they seem experientially (at least to me) to display
mutual distributive relations that are analogous to, say, the frequency
distribution of the colour spectrum. So I don't see the suggestion that
different qualia are different structural modulations of a substrate as
so counter-intuitive.

As to HP 'riding on the back of' EP, I'd rather put it that they are
correlated, but probably don't map in a simple, one-to-one, 'identity'
relation. If this is simply 'neutral monism', so be it. Insofar that
have been disagreeing over terminology, this is entirely fruitless, and
we should try not to dispute any more over words. Perhaps I could
replace the form of words 'global 1st person primitivity' with 'global
neutral (0-person if you like) primitivity', as long as this is
understood to be the backgound from which 1st-persons, under suitable
conditions, emerge.

 AFAIC that amounts to saying they supervene on the physical --
 on the 0-personal.

No, that's going too far, IMO. I'd rather have them both mapping onto a
neutral substrate that is basic. As I concede above, we could call this
0-personal, but this is surely not baldly equivalent to 'physical'.
Just as we schematise the physical into chemical, biological,
physiological levels etc, there may be analogous but different
'experiential layering' supporting the emergence of the conscious
modalities we in fact encounter.

 and
  different types of structure yield different types of qualia.

 How and why ?

How - by relational modulation of the 0-personal substrate. Why -
because of the infinite (or at least Vast) possibilities of modalities,
range, etc. inherent in this, on the analogy of the physical/
relational correlates (light, sound, taste, etc).

 That would be equally true of a 0-personal substance, ie matter.

But a 'neutral (0-personal?) substrate' is not a rigidly 'physical'
one, if that's what you intend by 'matter'.

David

 David Nyman wrote:
  1Z wrote:
 
  Not only is it not necessary to
   treat such a 1st person as ontologically primative, it is
   hardly even coherent , since such a 1st person is clearly complex.
 
  I think I see where the confusion lies. My definitions rely on there
  being a unique ontologogical 'substance' because of my frustration that
  there is a pervasive use (not necessarily yours) of 1st-person and
  3rd-person to denote, respectively, the 'inside' and 'outside' views of
  persons.

 Why shouldn't they denote that ? And what has that to do with
 substances ?
 The inside/outside distinction can be asserted is a single-substance
 universe. The inside/outside distinction is enough to found the 1st/3rd
 person divide, what
 do you need a multiplicity of substances for.

  This then leads to the idea that these derive from different
  ontological substances (e.g. Chalmers in effect, dualism in general).
  So my single substance is in that sense 'primitive'. Bruno would I
  think say that this substance is Number.

 Hmmm. I don't think Bruno believes in any kind of substance.

  I just say it's whatever it is
  and it's the same for everything. Of course, it's the intersection of
  this substance with structure that produces persons (and all other
  phenomena), which are, as you rightly say, complex.

 and
  different types of structure yield different types of qualia.

 How and why ?

  The problem
   is, that while a)-c) is not all that can be said
   about first personhood, it is pretty much all that *is* said
   in your various definitions [*].
 
  I quite agree, with the above proviso. I was merely trying to point out
  different uses of the term that I thought important, but you may well
  have found this superflous. The obvious is sometimes elusive.

 There is a still a mystery about what the role of primordial
 first-personness is.

   OK: now we seem to be getting to the nub of the problem. Consciousness
   and qualia. IOW, 1st-personhood divides into two problems: an
   Easy Problem of a)-c); and a Hard problem of d) qualia and e)
   incommunicable
   experiences.
 
  I would say 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 09-août-06, à 12:46, 1Z a écrit :

 Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
 does exist, are not well founded empirically.

So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes  
brought by physicists, of block-universe. Time would be a primitive?  
What about relativist notion of space-time?

BTW I agree with most of your post (of 09/08/2006) to David. At the  
same time I'm astonished that you seem attracted by the idea of making  
time a primitive one. I know that some respectable physicists do that  
(Prigogine, Bohm in some sense), but many physicist does not (Einstein,  
...).
Of course it is more easy to explain that consciousness supervene on  
number relations to someone who already accept consciousness could  
supervene to a block-universe than to someone who want time (or  
consciousness, or first person notion) to be primitive.

Of course I believe that once we assume the comp hyp. there is no more  
choice in the matter.

Let me comment your other post in the same reply (to avoid mail box  
explosion).


 The non-existence of HP universes still doesn't
 disprove comp. It shows we con't live in abig universe,
 whether a big phsyical univere or a big Platonia.

Nice. It means you get the seven steps of the 8-steps version of the  
UDA. (Universal Dovetailer Argument).
Thanks for resending the 15-steps version of it, it can help. Now I  
think that my SANE paper, which contains the 8 steps version of the  
UDA, is, despite minor errors, the closest english version of my Lille  
thesis, and even better with respect to readability. (Except that it  
lacks, like the 15 steps version) the movie-graph argument). Available  
here in html or pdf:
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/publications/ 
SANE2004MARCHALAbstract.html

Bruno

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


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 09-août-06, à 18:08, Colin Geoffrey Hales a écrit :


 Platonia has not been instantiated. Our universe has.


The problem with such a conception is that it seems to need a form of 
dualism between Plato Heaven and terrestrial realities.
With the comp hyp, all there is is (arithmetical) Platonia. 
Instanciation is relative and appears from inside.



 Being the stuff, the substrate. It's the only thing actually 
 instantiated.


This seems, imo, contradicts what you I remember you said somewhere 
else (or I'm wrong?), mainly when you say, in a monist frame, that 
everything is relational.






  The fact is that
 there
 is no such thing as a 'third person'.

 Ontologically ?

 No, experientially.

 Nobody experiences 'third person'. Everybody has a 1st person 
 experience
 only. There is no such thing as an objective view.

I think that many people confuse third person view and 0 person view. 
I will probably (try to) clarify this in the roadmap-summary.  I 
agree there is no objective *view*, but I think there is a notion of 
objective reality, although such a reality is not necessarily knowable 
as such.





 Furthermore it also seems to have us duped that further considerations 
 of
 mathematical idealisations and abstractions in general likewise tells 
 us
 something about the composition of the actual underlying natural 
 world
 for example that it is the result of a computer running one of our
 abstractions.


With comp I would say we can prove that the composition of the 
underlying world have to emerge, NOT as the result of a computer 
running one of our abstractions (like in Schmidhuber's theory for 
example) but on all possible computations existing in Platonia, and 
well defined through that miraculous Church's thesis. The quantum would 
emerge from digitalness seen from digital entity. Physical realities 
would be number theoretical realities as seen by relative numbers.

Bruno


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


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 09-août-06, à 18:12, Tom Caylor a écrit :



 Bruno Marchal wrote:

 Of course I have a problem with the word universe and especially  
 with
 the expression being inside a universe. The reason is that I think
 comp forces us to accept we are supported by an infinity of
 computations and that the 1-(plural and singular) appearance of the
 universe emerges from that. cf UDA.

 Bruno


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

 I haven't been following this thread, but this caught my attention.
 Bruno, how can you have a real problem with something based on the
 fact that it seems to contradict the comp assumption?  I thought that
 you make a point to stress that you only assume comp for purposes of
 argument to see where it leads.


You are right. It is just that I feel somehow guilty to always mention  
the comp. hyp.
 From now on, you should always interpret me, when I say I think ...,  
by we can proved under the comp. assumption that 



 Are you implying that you personally
 have faith in comp to the point that words that don't agree with the
 comp assumption actually give you a problem?  Or is the problem
 caused by a personal belief that is outside of the comp assumption, but
 that is manifested when talking about comp, if you follow me?


About my personal opinion on comp, I am still going through the four  
days:
The good one where I hope that comp is true and believe that comp is  
true; or when I hope comp to be false, and I believe it to be false.
The bad one where it is the reverse.
The problem is that comp almost entails such oscillations. Indeed,  
although I do not insist on that point I must admit there is something  
a little bit diabolical in comp (and which is similar to some godelian  
sentence) which is that comp predicts that the first person attached to  
a machine really cannot believe or know that comp is true. Strictly  
speaking comp is unbelievable. No consistent machine can take comp for  
granted, and that is why eventually saying yes to a doctor (for an  
artificial body) have to be based on an act of faith (and that is also  
why I think it is better (more honest) to put comp in theology rather  
than in, say, psychology, like I was used to do before our  
conversation-thread on theology.
It is diabolical in the sense that when someone tell me I don't  
believe in comp, well, strictly speaking, he confirms comp (but I  
*must* remain silent, or else I have to be more explicit on the G/G*  
differentiation and the way to translate the comp hyp itself in the  
language of arithmetic, but for this I have to dwelve a little bit more  
in the technics).

Bruno


PS Apology for letting you with some unsolved problem concerning the Wi  
and the Fi. I propose we come back on this latter (OK?). Meanwhile I  
suggest you could read the wonderful introduction to recursion theory  
made by N. J. Cutland, which is quite readable by undergraduate in  
math:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0521294657/103-1630254-7840640? 
redirect=true
I see you can buy it together with the bible of recursion theory, the  
book by Hartley Rogers, which, imo, is the book which exploits in the  
best possible manner Church's Thesis.


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


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Re: Are First Person prime? - time

2006-08-10 Thread jamikes

Bruno, I spent some (!) time on speculating on 'timelessness' - Let me tell
up front: I did not solve it.
Time as 'primitive? you ask (pardon me for the pun: it is primitive as the
idea in our primitive mind) - I ended up with assigning it as a
'space-function' in the concept /movement' (change), just as space is a
time-function in the same. Both in our limited human capabilities of 'sort
of thinking' allowed by the complex of ideation and brain (disallowing the
mind-body dichotomy).
Fromwithin our thinking we cannot judge its reliability or exclusivity. I
allow phenomena outside our experience and comprehension, because we are
limited components in the totality. We think in time and Einstein did not
like it. We also think in space (what is it?).
We also 'think' (some of us) in numbers.

Have a good day

John M

- Original Message -
From: Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:03 AM
Subject: Re: Are First Person prime?




Le 09-août-06, à 12:46, 1Z a écrit :

 Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
 does exist, are not well founded empirically.

So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes
brought by physicists, of block-universe. Time would be a primitive?
What about relativist notion of space-time?

BTW I agree with most of your post (of 09/08/2006) to David. At the
same time I'm astonished that you seem attracted by the idea of making
time a primitive one. I know that some respectable physicists do that
(Prigogine, Bohm in some sense), but many physicist does not (Einstein,
...).
Of course it is more easy to explain that consciousness supervene on
number relations to someone who already accept consciousness could
supervene to a block-universe than to someone who want time (or
consciousness, or first person notion) to be primitive.

Of course I believe that once we assume the comp hyp. there is no more
choice in the matter.

Let me comment your other post in the same reply (to avoid mail box
explosion).


 The non-existence of HP universes still doesn't
 disprove comp. It shows we con't live in abig universe,
 whether a big phsyical univere or a big Platonia.

Nice. It means you get the seven steps of the 8-steps version of the
UDA. (Universal Dovetailer Argument).
Thanks for resending the 15-steps version of it, it can help. Now I
think that my SANE paper, which contains the 8 steps version of the
UDA, is, despite minor errors, the closest english version of my Lille
thesis, and even better with respect to readability. (Except that it
lacks, like the 15 steps version) the movie-graph argument). Available
here in html or pdf:
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/publications/
SANE2004MARCHALAbstract.html

Bruno

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





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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread David Nyman

Colin Hales wrote:

 Perhaps the 3rd person is best called 'virtual'. It's role is one for
 'as-if' it existed.

Yes, that's a reasonable suggestion. Then 3rd person might be reserved
for the type of observation in George's examples. The 'shareable
knowledge base' is then an aspect of 'personal virtual reality', and
those elements held in common by a community of 1st persons (common
frame of reference) constitute 'consensual virtual reality'.

David

 David Nyman:
  Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 11:20 AM
  To: Everything List
  Subject: Re: Are First Person prime?
 
 
  George Levy wrote:
 
   Colin Hales remarks seem to agree with what I say. However, I do not
   deny the existence of a third person perspective. I only say that it is
   secondary and an illusion brought about by having several observers
   share the same frame of reference. This frame of reference consists of
   identical contingencies on their existence.
 
  I'm glad you find agreement here.  I don't think any of us deny the
  existence of a third person perspective.  All three of us, I think,
  agree that it is secondary, but where your 'third person' comes into
  being through the sharing of a frame of reference, I'm applying the
  term to the totality of 'frames of reference', whether shared or not.
  Your 'shared frame of reference' would seem to be achieved through my
  'shareable knowledge base', but for me a frame of reference is always
  third person from one perspective or many. So I'm saying that third
  person is an illusion brought about simply in virtue of having a 'frame
  of reference' at all - the illusion inherent in representing the world.
  I'm not quite sure what to do about this inconsistency of terminology.
  Perhaps the 'shared illusion' could be 'objectivity'?
 

 Perhaps the 3rd person is best called 'virtual'. It's role is one for
 'as-if' it existed.
 
 Colin Hales


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread 1Z


Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
 Misc responses to 1Z [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  Colin Hales wrote:
  David Nyman:
  snip
An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of

  Sort of...but I think the word 'hardware' is loaded with assumption.
 I'd
  say
  that universe literally is a relational construct
 
  A timeless relational construct or an evolving relational construct ?

 Evolving. The evolution of the construct from state to state makes it feel
 like there is time.


Why shouldn't it just *be* time ?

 
  and that it's appearance
  as 'physical' is what it is like when you are in it. .ie.
 
  Presumably, what is *necessarily* like when you are
  in it , since there is no contingency in Platonia.

 Platonia has not been instantiated. Our universe has. Our universe may
 act, somewhere, somehow, as if it were interacting with entities in
 platonia, but that does not make platonic entities 'real' any more than
 real/imaginary power vectors delivered out your power-outlet make the
 square root of -1 real.

You are in line with my prejudices on that one!

 
  I await an apriori deduction of qualia from
  relational structures

 Why stop there? What about an a-priori deduction of mass from relational
 structures? Or space? Or electric fields? Or gravity?

Most of those just *are* relational
structrures, AFAICS.

  All the same...and
 none of these have been predicted by any abstract model or 'lumpy/thingy'
 ontological thinking.

The physics we have is structural/relation from
top to bottom. It was predicted from observation, or rather
hypothesis/deduction/refutatin/confirmation...

The question is what can futher be predicted from that. If
qualia cannot, they are presumably fundamental in some way...

 The abstract model predicts things that behave
 'model'-ly. Parameters/variables in the model match adequately when
 compared to reality. They do not describe what it is actually made of

I agree. Physics goes no further than isomorphism.

 f = ma says nothing about what mass is. It says what mass _does_.

I agree.


  Of course: it is well founded empirically. We have abundant
  evidence that only certaint things exist within a given spatial
  volume (contingency) that they endure through time, and so on.

 No. We have abundant evidence of some'thing' behaving as per an
 abstraction of 'thing' at the scales we explore. We have NOT proven that
 these laws apply at all scales..indeed we have abundant evidence to the
 contrary! Absense of evidence is not evidence of absense.

That is not really the issue. The issue is that only
some things exist, only some laws apply, and so on.

Somethingism vs. everythingism.

Time, in particular, is not a mere mathematical construct. It is
actually
quite hard, if not impossible, to capture the passing (a series) of
time
mathematically. That is precisely why Platonists and othe mathematical
literalists tend argue that it doesn't exist.

  Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
  does exist, are not well founded empirically.

 No they are not. Again a mathematical model (quantum mechanics) that seems
 to imply multiple universes does not mean that they exist

There is a big difference between multiple universes and everything.
Physical multi-world-ism is basically on the somethingist side of the
fence.
Schordinger's equation means some things are definitely impossible.

 Only that the
 model makes it look like it does. I can imagine any number of situations
 where the fuzziness of the ultra-scale world obeys the rules of a QM-like
 model.
 For example, the perfectly deterministicly repeated trajectory of whatever
 an electron is made of through 35.4 spatial dimensions is going to look
 awfully fuzzy to critters observing it as course scales within 3
 dimensions. QM depicts fuzziness... and 'aha' the universe is made of QM?
 Not so. It merely appears to obey the abstraction QM provides us.

Fuzziness can be accomodated within physics in a way that
qualia can't.

A 35.4 dimensional universe is just a minute corner of Platonia.

 QM says nothing about what the universe is actually constructed of. It is
 not constructed of quantum mechanics! It is constructed of something that
 behaves quantum mechanical-ly.

Physicalism in general assumes that there is some substrate to
to physical behaivour/porperties...but it is assumed to be only
a bare substratee with no interesting properties of its own.


  Perhaps this:
  Waving a bit of it ('stuff', the relational-substrate) around in a
 circle
  (for example) in indirect 'as-if' symbolic representation as a
  computation
  of an abstraction X in no way instantiates X or Xness,
 
  Why not? What *does* implementation consist of ?

 Being the stuff, the substrate. It's the only thing actually instantiated.


hmmm. But if you wave a *real* thing around, it is surely
stuff, in itself...?

   it instantiates
  'being_waved_around_in_a_circle_ness' from the point of view of being
 the
  

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:

 The problem with such a conception is that it seems to need a form of
 dualism between Plato Heaven and terrestrial realities.
 With the comp hyp, all there is is (arithmetical) Platonia.
 Instanciation is relative and appears from inside.

With the materialist hypothesis there is also no dualism.


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 09-août-06, à 12:46, 1Z a écrit :

  Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
  does exist, are not well founded empirically.

 So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes
 brought by physicists, of block-universe.


Yes, I certainly would! It is unable to explain the subjective
passage of time. Dismissing the subjective sensation of the passge of
time
as merely subjective or illusional is a surreptitious
appeal to dualism and therefore un-physicalistic!

Time would be a primitive?
 What about relativist notion of space-time?

What indeed ? It means time is local, not that time is non-existent.

 BTW I agree with most of your post (of 09/08/2006) to David. At the
 same time I'm astonished that you seem attracted by the idea of making
 time a primitive one. I know that some respectable physicists do that
 (Prigogine, Bohm in some sense), but many physicist does not (Einstein,
 ...).

The ones that do can expalain my subjective sensation
of time, the ones that don't, can't.

 Of course it is more easy to explain that consciousness supervene on
 number relations to someone who already accept consciousness could
 supervene to a block-universe than to someone who want time (or
 consciousness, or first person notion) to be primitive.

Indeed.

 Of course I believe that once we assume the comp hyp. there is no more
 choice in the matter.

A computation (as opposed to an algorithm) is a process taking
place in time. Not many people would say yes to a doctor
who wanted to make a static  image of their brain and store
it in a filing cabinet.


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RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread Colin Hales

1Z:
 Why shouldn't it just *be* time ?

A structure evolves from state to state in a regular way. The fact that an
observer built of that structure inside that structure can formulate
mathematical descriptions with a t in them that correlate well with what
is observed does not mean that there is anything real in t any more than it
means anything else in the maths is reified. Time is yet another 'as-if'
construct. The universe (the structure) behaves as if a t was there when
it's just an artifact of models.

The experienced moment to moment progress of the state of the structure
literally is what we perceive as time in the sense that there's no
special entity pouring some 'timeness' into the structure.

A metaphor experience for this occurs when you write industrial 'real-time'
control software state machines. You can make the control system speed up
and slow down (meaning that the control system sees the world slow-down and
speed up, resp.) based on the rate the state machine is executed.

 
  
   and that it's appearance
   as 'physical' is what it is like when you are in it. .ie.
  
   Presumably, what is *necessarily* like when you are
   in it , since there is no contingency in Platonia.
 
  Platonia has not been instantiated. Our universe has. Our universe may
  act, somewhere, somehow, as if it were interacting with entities in
  platonia, but that does not make platonic entities 'real' any more than
  real/imaginary power vectors delivered out your power-outlet make the
  square root of -1 real.
 
 You are in line with my prejudices on that one!
 
  
   I await an apriori deduction of qualia from
   relational structures
 
  Why stop there? What about an a-priori deduction of mass from relational
  structures? Or space? Or electric fields? Or gravity?
 
 Most of those just *are* relational
 structrures, AFAICS.

No. They are descriptions of observations formulated by observers of 'the
relational structure'. To an observer built of the structure inside the
structure bits of the structure behave 'massly', gravitationally, electric
field-ly, space-ly and so on. If the mathematics ca, in some sense, termed
an expression of relationality, that's just an artifact of the maths, not a
statement about the original structure exhibiting the behaviour.


 
   All the same...and
  none of these have been predicted by any abstract model or
 'lumpy/thingy'
  ontological thinking.
 
 The physics we have is structural/relation from
 top to bottom. It was predicted from observation, or rather
 hypothesis/deduction/refutatin/confirmation...

Yes, and none of that physics says anything at all about the intrinsic
structural nature of the entities portrayed by the physics. The are
descriptions of behaviour (WHAT HAPPENS) that correlate with observation.
Correlation(WHAT HAPPENS) is not causation(WHY IT HAPPENS). Causation is
what is happening in the underlying structure. Again: the universe is
behaving 'as-if' physics was driving it to an observer inside the structure,
of the structure.


 
 The question is what can futher be predicted from that. If
 qualia cannot, they are presumably fundamental in some way...
 
  The abstract model predicts things that behave
  'model'-ly. Parameters/variables in the model match adequately when
  compared to reality. They do not describe what it is actually made
 of
 
 I agree. Physics goes no further than isomorphism.

So you actually agree with my above comments. Methinks there's confusion in
here somewhere!

 
  f = ma says nothing about what mass is. It says what mass _does_.
 
 I agree.

And again. Now extrapolate the same thing to every mathematical model ever
made by science. They all have the same status and exactly the same type of
statement can be made of every parameter in very one of them.

 
 
   Of course: it is well founded empirically. We have abundant
   evidence that only certaint things exist within a given spatial
   volume (contingency) that they endure through time, and so on.
 
  No. We have abundant evidence of some'thing' behaving as per an
  abstraction of 'thing' at the scales we explore. We have NOT proven that
  these laws apply at all scales..indeed we have abundant evidence to the
  contrary! Absense of evidence is not evidence of absense.
 
 That is not really the issue. The issue is that only
 some things exist, only some laws apply, and so on.
 
 Somethingism vs. everythingism.

There is an evolving structure, we are in it. It behaves with amazing
amounts of regularity (even the persistence of randomness and chaotic
behaviour is regularity!). The regularity as perceived (in the first
person!)...that orderliness...correlates well with some models and not
others, at some scales and not others. These models are descriptions only
and are not explanations in the sense of causality.

 
 Time, in particular, is not a mere mathematical construct. It is
 actually
 quite hard, if not impossible, to capture the passing (a series) of
 time 

RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread Colin Hales

Bruno Marchal
 
 Le 09-août-06, à 18:08, Colin Geoffrey Hales a écrit :
 
  Platonia has not been instantiated. Our universe has.
 
 
 The problem with such a conception is that it seems to need a form of
 dualism between Plato Heaven and terrestrial realities.
 With the comp hyp, all there is is (arithmetical) Platonia.
 Instanciation is relative and appears from inside.
 
 

I'm interested in building an AI inside this structure with us. There may be
a relationship between this AI and platonia in the same way (whatever way
that is) our perceptions may make use of it. Evolution didn’t need to be all
fussed about it...neither am I. I could agree with you or disagree ...it
would have no effect on the outcome.


 
  Being the stuff, the substrate. It's the only thing actually
  instantiated.
 
 
 This seems, imo, contradicts what you I remember you said somewhere
 else (or I'm wrong?), mainly when you say, in a monist frame, that
 everything is relational.
 
 
The stuff is the relation happening. The particular relational outcome we
inhabit is it...the substrate...the structure of which we are part that
appears like it does to us inside it.

 
   The fact is that
  there
  is no such thing as a 'third person'.
 
  Ontologically ?
 
  No, experientially.
 
  Nobody experiences 'third person'. Everybody has a 1st person
  experience
  only. There is no such thing as an objective view.
 
 I think that many people confuse third person view and 0 person view.
 I will probably (try to) clarify this in the roadmap-summary.  I
 agree there is no objective *view*, but I think there is a notion of
 objective reality, although such a reality is not necessarily knowable
 as such.

Nomenclature gnomes at work again! I think what you call objective reality
is what I call the substrate...the relational structure that is the
universe.

 
  Furthermore it also seems to have us duped that further considerations
  of
  mathematical idealisations and abstractions in general likewise tells
  us
  something about the composition of the actual underlying natural
  world
  for example that it is the result of a computer running one of our
  abstractions.
 
 
 With comp I would say we can prove that the composition of the
 underlying world have to emerge, NOT as the result of a computer
 running one of our abstractions (like in Schmidhuber's theory for
 example) but on all possible computations existing in Platonia, and
 well defined through that miraculous Church's thesis. The quantum would
 emerge from digitalness seen from digital entity. Physical realities
 would be number theoretical realities as seen by relative numbers.
 
 Bruno
 

I'm interested in the 'natural mathematics' of the relational structure and
how it can be utilised by us to make artifical versions of us and the
creatures around us. The key to it is the messy, smelly meat called brain
material, not considerations of platonic realms or postulated computations
therein. It may be that what we find will be generalised later into COMP and
other systems of abstraction, but that will change nothing for me trying to
build an AI with the reality we inhabit. Like I said above...the structure
built us on its own...and didn’t need a maths book to do it..because it
literally is the maths...

Cheers

Colin Hales



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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread Brent Meeker

1Z wrote:
 
 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
Le 09-août-06, à 12:46, 1Z a écrit :


Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
does exist, are not well founded empirically.

So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes
brought by physicists, of block-universe.
 
 
 
 Yes, I certainly would! It is unable to explain the subjective
 passage of time. Dismissing the subjective sensation of the passge of
 time
 as merely subjective or illusional is a surreptitious
 appeal to dualism and therefore un-physicalistic!

I don't see that problem.  In the block universe each subject is modelled as 
having different states at different times and hence subjectively 
experiences the passage of time.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Are First Person prime? - time

2006-08-10 Thread George Levy




[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  Bruno, I spent some (!) time on speculating on 'timelessness' - Let me tell
up front: I did not solve it.

Hi John

For example, we can conceive of a consciousness generated by a computer
operating in a time share mode where the time share occur every
thousand years. The important thing is that there should be a logical
flow in the computation, and it really does not matter what is the time
scale, the sampling, in which dimension you operate or the level of
computation. (you could be operating across several levels) The only
thing that matters is that each point of the computation be connected
to the next one by a valid logical link, as in a network. This logical
network in fact frees you from having to specify a dimension such as
time or a level of computation. The logical connections (or consistent
histories as Bruno calls them) in the network are in fact emergent
according to the Anthropic principle. The logical links (or
consistencies) exist because you are there to observe them. Just as a Rorschach test . You are making the links as you go
along.

George

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

Not only is it not necessary to
 treat such a 1st person as ontologically primative, it is
 hardly even coherent , since such a 1st person is clearly complex.

I think I see where the confusion lies. My definitions rely on there
being a unique ontologogical 'substance' because of my frustration that
there is a pervasive use (not necessarily yours) of 1st-person and
3rd-person to denote, respectively, the 'inside' and 'outside' views of
persons. This then leads to the idea that these derive from different
ontological substances (e.g. Chalmers in effect, dualism in general).
So my single substance is in that sense 'primitive'. Bruno would I
think say that this substance is Number. I just say it's whatever it is
and it's the same for everything. Of course, it's the intersection of
this substance with structure that produces persons (and all other
phenomena), which are, as you rightly say, complex.

The problem
 is, that while a)-c) is not all that can be said
 about first personhood, it is pretty much all that *is* said
 in your various definitions [*].

I quite agree, with the above proviso. I was merely trying to point out
different uses of the term that I thought important, but you may well
have found this superflous. The obvious is sometimes elusive.

 OK: now we seem to be getting to the nub of the problem. Consciousness
 and qualia. IOW, 1st-personhood divides into two problems: an
 Easy Problem of a)-c); and a Hard problem of d) qualia and e)
 incommunicable
 experiences.

I would say that qualia are the fact of *being* structured substance
*behaving* in a certain kind of 'perceiver+perceptual model' way. As
such they are themselves incommunicable, although existing in
non-random mutual relations (e.g. that of red to blue, or middle C to
bottom A). The information they encode relationally is what is
communicable both to the 'self' and to others - epistemology from
ontology. Empirically my assumption is that they must also map in some
systematic way to material structure, which is not to say that
qualitative and material structural levels map one-to-one. However I
don't believe that qualia are 'substrate independent' (you may recall
that this is where we began in the dear, dim days of the FOR group).

 Now: if qualia are the only aspect of 1st-personhood whose emergence
 form structured matter is fishy, why not make qualia ontologically
 fundamental, and keep the Easy aspects of 1p-hood as high-level
 emergent features ? (It's not just that we don't *need* to
 treat the a)-c) as primitive, it is also that we can't! A structure
 that contains representations of other structures is inherently
 complex!)

I think I agree, as I say above. I know I lost you with my previous
remarks about a primitive substance with primitive differentiation, but
the fundamental nature of 'qualia' was what I was trying to convey. The
substance on its own won't do, because it has no content, and
semantically to have differentiation one needs to start with a
substance. Hence qualia are to be found at the intersection, and
different types of structure yield different types of qualia.

 ( I am taking it that qualia are basically non-structural [**] )

'Fraid not. But now I can agree with you that 1p-hood in its Easy
aspect is indeed a high level emergent feature of this structured
ontology. Then the fact of *being* the structured substance is the
'qualia', and the relational aspects (information) constitute our
knowledge of the structural entities so formed (i.e. 'the world'). I
take the 'active principle' of information to be the relational aspects
expressed as behaviour.  IOW, one structure treats another as
information when its behaviour is systematically changed by
incorporating it.

 Is that idea even coherent ? How can a universal Person contain
 representations
 of what is outside itself ?

It can't of course. Only of what is inside itself. My intuition about
the 'Big Person' was simply to express the idea that the 'substance' is
universally available to be structured into persons. Persons are just
zones so structured. We needn't mention the BP ever again.

Thank you for your excellent treatment of the physicalism/ mentalism
issues, with which I pretty much entirely agree. I'd just like to
comment on a couple of things:

 But it is almost tautologous that the real world cannot be made of
 those ingredients alone (particularly that is can't be a mere
 abstraction). Thus we have candidates for real properties of the world
 not captured by physics: concreta, intrinsic properties and qualities.

 The last is of the most interest, of course. The resemblance between
 qualia and quality might not be coincidental. Qualities might be
 intrinsic to matter yet incapable of being seen through the
 spectacles of physics. Our own qualia might be a direct insight into
 these qualities, not something else in disguise. We need not suppose
 that all qualities are like human qualia; qualia might be only a tiny
 subset of the 

RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-10 Thread Colin Hales

Brent Meeker:
 1Z wrote:
 
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
 Le 09-août-06, à 12:46, 1Z a écrit :
 
 
 Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
 does exist, are not well founded empirically.
 
 So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes
 brought by physicists, of block-universe.
 
 
 
  Yes, I certainly would! It is unable to explain the subjective
  passage of time. Dismissing the subjective sensation of the passge of
  time
  as merely subjective or illusional is a surreptitious
  appeal to dualism and therefore un-physicalistic!
 
 I don't see that problem.  In the block universe each subject is modelled
 as
 having different states at different times and hence subjectively
 experiences the passage of time.
 
 Brent Meeker

Exactly! See my other post. Being of an evolving structure completely
defined by state transitions makes it amenable to the treatment by the
concept of time, but does not reify time in any part of the structure...it's
intrinsic to its operation.

Then, to those entities inside, observing and evolving along with the
structure/part of it 'what it is like' qualia of time I don’t think is a
property of the qualia per se, but the rate/depth to which they are
analysed. A high novelty environment means faster/more brain process, time
apparently goes slowly (eg during an accident). In a low novelty environment
the brain analysis rate/depth drops. Time appears to go more quickly.

Cheers

Colin Hales



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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread David Nyman

George Levy wrote:

 Not at all. A bidirectional contingency is superfluous. The only
 relevent contingency is: If  the observed event will result in different
 probabilities of survival for myself and for others observing me, then
 our perceptions will be different.

I understand this way of putting it.

 Third person perception comes about when several observers share the
 same perception because they share the same environmental contingencies
 on their existence. In effect these observers share the same frame of
 reference. I see many similarities with relativity theory which I have
 discussed numerous times on this list in the past. Let's be clear: all
 these observer have a first person perspective, however this first
 person perspective appears to be the same across observers, and
 therefore appears to be *independent* of the observers. This perspective
 can be called *objective* but we must keep in mind that it is the same
 only because the frame of reference is the same. Thus the concept of
 objectivity loses its meaning unless we raise the meaning to a higher
 level and accept that different observers will predictably see different
 things, just like in relativity theory different observers may
 predictably make different measurements of the same object.

Again I agree here. In the terminology I've been using, the frame of
reference would be communicated in terms of the 'shareable knowledge
base', or inter-personal (third person) discourse.  What you are saying
above seems consistent with Colin Hales' views both on 1-person primacy
and the nature of 3-person.  Any comments on those?

David

 David Nyman wrote:

 George Levy wrote:
 
 
 
 Thus first person perception of the world comes about when our own
 existence is contingent on our observation.
 
 
 
 Hi George
 
 I think I agree with this.  It could correspond with what I'm trying to
 model in terms of FP1 etc. Perhaps it might be expressed as:
 
 First person perception of the world comes about when our own
 observation and existence are mutually contingent
 
 
 Not at all. A bidirectional contingency is superfluous. The only
 relevent contingency is: If  the observed event will result in different
 probabilities of survival for myself and for others observing me, then
 our perceptions will be different.

 
 
 Third person perception comes about in situations when our own existence
 is not contingent on our observation.
 
 
 
 Now here I'm not so clear.
 
 In sum, I'm not clear what sort of observation is *not* contingent on
 our existence, except someone else's observation, and so far as I can
 see this is always first person by your definition.  Do you simply mean
 to define any observation not involving ourselves as 'third person'
 from our point-of-view?
 
 
 
 Third person perception comes about when several observers share the
 same perception because they share the same environmental contingencies
 on their existence. In effect these observers share the same frame of
 reference. I see many similarities with relativity theory which I have
 discussed numerous times on this list in the past. Let's be clear: all
 these observer have a first person perspective, however this first
 person perspective appears to be the same across observers, and
 therefore appears to be *independent* of the observers. This perspective
 can be called *objective* but we must keep in mind that it is the same
 only because the frame of reference is the same. Thus the concept of
 objectivity loses its meaning unless we raise the meaning to a higher
 level and accept that different observers will predictably see different
 things, just like in relativity theory different observers may
 predictably make different measurements of the same object.

 George

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread 1Z


Colin Hales wrote:
 Why is everyone talking about abstract computation? Of _course_ 1st person
 is prime = Has primacy in description of the universe.
 Being a portion of
 any structure (ME) trying to model the structure (the UNIVERSE) from within
 it (ME as scientist inside/part of the universe) is intrinsically and
 innately presented with that which is _not_ the structure of ME (NOT ME).


i.e. the third person. So the question of whether the 1st or 3rd person
is
prime boils down to whether the 3rd person can be subsumed under the
1st peron or vice versa. If I can give a 3rd-person (or 0-person)
description of
how person-ness works, I can eliminate the 1st personal.

You fact that you investigation are made by you as a person doesn't
itself entitled you to declare tha the 1st personal is basic any more
than the fact
that you are describing things in english allows you to declare
tha the universe is fundamentally an English sort of
place. What the universe fundamentally is depends on what is
the best explanation, not what is the means of explanation.

 This applies at all scales (eg ME = an atom, ME = a galaxy).

Atoms aren't persons. The 1st/3rd person contrast is not
the part/whole contrast. Most parts of the whole have
no mind, perception or awareness.

 An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of a portion
 of the structure (a COMPUTER) inside the structure (the UNIVERSE) will see
 the universe as NOT COMPUTER

It will see it as not THIS computer.

 , not some function of the machinations of X,
 the model. Eg The first person perspective of a register in a computer
 holding a quantity N must be that of being a register in a computer, not
 that of 'being' a quantity N.

 The only computation going on around us is literally the universe.

 WE are
 computations within it.
 We can only ever acquire data about it from the
 perspective of being in it.

 Maybe you're not talking about the same universe as me. We're trying to get
 to grips with our universe, yes? I don't get it. Then again I seem not to
 get a lot. :-)

You've lost me.

 Colin hales


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 09-août-06, à 01:49, Colin Hales a écrit :


 Why is everyone talking about abstract computation? Of _course_ 1st 
 person
 is prime = Has primacy in description of the universe. Being a portion 
 of
 any structure (ME) trying to model the structure (the UNIVERSE) from 
 within
 it (ME as scientist inside/part of the universe) is intrinsically and
 innately presented with that which is _not_ the structure of ME (NOT 
 ME).
 This applies at all scales (eg ME = an atom, ME = a galaxy).

 An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of a 
 portion
 of the structure (a COMPUTER) inside the structure (the UNIVERSE) will 
 see
 the universe as NOT COMPUTER, not some function of the machinations 
 of X,
 the model. Eg The first person perspective of a register in a computer
 holding a quantity N must be that of being a register in a computer, 
 not
 that of 'being' a quantity N.

 The only computation going on around us is literally the universe. WE 
 are
 computations within it. We can only ever acquire data about it from the
 perspective of being in it.

 Maybe you're not talking about the same universe as me. We're trying 
 to get
 to grips with our universe, yes? I don't get it. Then again I seem not 
 to
 get a lot. :-)

 Colin hales


Of course I have a problem with the word universe and especially with 
the expression being inside a universe. The reason is that I think 
comp forces us to accept we are supported by an infinity of 
computations and that the 1-(plural and singular) appearance of the 
universe emerges from that. cf UDA.

Bruno


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


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread 1Z


Colin Hales wrote:
 David Nyman:

 snip
   An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of a
  portion
   of the structure (a COMPUTER) inside the structure (the UNIVERSE) will
  see
   the universe as NOT COMPUTER, not some function of the machinations of
  X,
   the model. Eg The first person perspective of a register in a computer
   holding a quantity N must be that of being a register in a computer, not
   that of 'being' a quantity N.
 
  Interestingly you see it as the perspective of the register, rather
  than some computational entity within X. Does this imply some sort of
  hardware/ substrate experiential dependency, rather than a purely
  relational 'program-level' view?
 
 

 Sort of...but I think the word 'hardware' is loaded with assumption. I'd say
 that universe literally is a relational construct

A timeless relational construct or an evolving relational construct ?

 and that it's appearance
 as 'physical' is what it is like when you are in it. .ie.

Presumably, what is *necessarily* like when you are
in it , since there is no contingency in Platonia.

I await an apriori deduction of qualia from
relational structures

 There's no such
 'thing' as a 'thing'. :-) It doesn't mean that behaving 'as if' there are
 such things as things is not useful...we survive that way...

 'Substrate' in my intended context would mean more like 'whatever it is that
 the universe is, it is that'. Our predisposition to assume isolated lumpy
 'thingness' is rather pervasive.

Of course: it is well founded empirically. We have abundant
evidence that only certaint things exist within a given spatial
volume (contingency) that they endure through time, and so on.

Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
does exist, are not well founded empirically.


 Perhaps this:

 Waving a bit of it ('stuff', the relational-substrate) around in a circle
 (for example) in indirect 'as-if' symbolic representation as a computation
 of an abstraction X in no way instantiates X or Xness,

Why not? What *does* implementation consist of ?

  it instantiates
 'being_waved_around_in_a_circle_ness' from the point of view of being the
 'stuff' (1st person) and the behaviour 'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly' (3rd
 person). Note that the 3rd person is actually derived from the 1st person
 perspective of the observer! This third person can pretend
 'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly' is X, but that's all there is...play acting.

 The third person perspective is manufactured in the eyes of the beholder.
 Perhaps rather than '1st Person Prime' as an assertion, maybe '3rd person
 not prime' is a lesser and more justified position. The fact is that there
 is no such thing as a 'third person'.

Ontologically ?

 What you have is a communicable 1st
 person perspective that yet another 'first person perspective' can find if
 it looks. No-one ever has a 'third person' perspective.

Epistemologically ?

  Ernest Nagel named a
 book after it: 'the view from nowhere'. If 3rd person does not exist, then
 1st person is all there is left, isn't it?
 
 Colin Hales


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread 1Z




David Nyman wrote:
 1Z wrote:

  (PS could you write *less* next time ? I find tha the more you write,
  the less
   I understand!)

 I sympathise!

 However, I'm not sure how much further we're destined to get with this
 particular dialogue.  Each time we have another go I think I see where
 we're going past each other, and I attempt to re-cast what I'm saying
 to address this - hence the prolixity, which frustrates me probably as
 much as it does you!

 On this occasion, I'll say simply this: whilst of course not
 unconscious of other treatments of these issues, particularly those
 addressing the physical or computational issues, there's always seemed
 to me to be something philosophically fishy about how the 'first
 person' is supposed to just 'turn up' in a situation which is
 fundamentally something else - a world fundamentally composed of
 impersonal 'things'.

How fishy that is depends on what is meant by first person.

If a person is just:
a) a structure which is b) part of
wider structure, and which c) has an internal representation
of the wider structure;
there is no great problem. The situation is entirely structure
and relational, and can therefore easily be dealt with by physicalism
--
by matter forming various differnt kinds of structure. The problem
is, that while a)-c) is not all that can be said
about first personhood, it is pretty much all that *is* said
in your various definitions [*]. Not only is it not necessary to
treat such a 1st person as ontologically primative, it is
hardly even coherent , since such a 1st person is clearly complex.


 I'm convinced this puzzles and confuses others
 too, leading to IMO pseudo-problems like 'intelligent zombies', and
 pseudo-solutions like dualism.

OK: now we seem to be getting to the nub of the problem. Consciousness
and qualia. IOW, 1st-personhood divides into two problems: an
Easy Problem of a)-c); and a Hard problem of d) qualia and e)
incommunicable
experiences.

Now: if qualia are the only aspect of 1st-personhood whose emergence
form structured matter is fishy, why not make qualia ontologically
fundamental, and keep the Easy aspects of 1p-hood as high-level
emergent features ? (It's not just that we don't *need* to
treat the a)-c) as primitive, it is also that we can't! A structure
that contains representations of other structures is inherently
complex!)

( I am taking it that qualia are basically non-structural [**] )

   So it occurred to me: supposing one
 were to think of the world not as a collection of 'things' (or as I
 think physics teaches us a 'field' differentiated into apparently
 individual 'things') but as a 'big person' (or a big personal field,
 differentiated into apparently individual persons).

Is that idea even coherent ? How can a universal Person contain
representations
of what is outside itself ?


 I'm sorry if this sounds like Teletubbies, but I'm not going to deploy
 my jargon this time! We're here because the 'big person' is here and
 we're a part of him (her/ us?).  Now this 'big person' would have to be
 conscious in parts, and unconscious in other parts, but it then ocurred
 to me that this is *exactly* analogous to our own situation: we are
 indeed conscious in parts and at times, and unconscious in other parts
 and at other times.  The distinction seems to arise from local strucure
 and function.


And therefore doesn't require any personhood apart from
those structures and funtions.

 Everything else really follows from this, and personally I've found
 that thinking in this way dissolves the sort of conceptual confusions
 that I've mentioned - same structure, same function, same first
 personhood (no zombies, no dualism).

But always *some* first-personhood, or how else
could it be universal ?

 The rest of course, is the
 infamous 'easy problem', on which I have no particular purchase.

 Now that I've put it in this I hope disarmingly naive way, you may wish
 to request clarification on any point, or you may feel that you simply
 disagree, or aren't interested.  As ever, I'd be pleased to hear from
 you.

 David


[*]

1) FP1g - primitive 'global' first person entity or context
2) FP1i - individual person delimited by primitive differentiation
(which is agnostic to comp, physics, or anything else at this logical
level)
3) FP2 - narrative references to first persons, as in 'David is a first
person', an attribution, as opposed to 'David-as-first-person', a
unique entity.
4) TP - third person, or structure-read-as-information, as opposed to
structure-demarcating-an-entity


1) First person 1 (FP1) - the point-of-view that is directly claimed by
an individual (FP1i) such as David or Peter, or what is generally meant
when the word 'I' is directly uttered by such a person.

2) First person 2 (FP2) - representations of an FP1 point-of-view as
modelled within members of the FP1 community. The usage of 'David' or
'Peter' in point 1) exemplifies one type of such representation, whose
presumed referent is an FP1i 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread Colin Geoffrey Hales

Misc responses to 1Z [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Colin Hales wrote:
 David Nyman:
 snip
   An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of
a
  portion
   of the structure (a COMPUTER) inside the structure (the UNIVERSE)
 will
  see
   the universe as NOT COMPUTER, not some function of the
 machinations of
  X,
   the model. Eg The first person perspective of a register in a
 computer
   holding a quantity N must be that of being a register in a
computer,
 not
   that of 'being' a quantity N.
 
  Interestingly you see it as the perspective of the register, rather
than some computational entity within X. Does this imply some sort of
hardware/ substrate experiential dependency, rather than a purely
relational 'program-level' view?
 
 
 Sort of...but I think the word 'hardware' is loaded with assumption.
I'd
 say
 that universe literally is a relational construct

 A timeless relational construct or an evolving relational construct ?

Evolving. The evolution of the construct from state to state makes it feel
like there is time.


 and that it's appearance
 as 'physical' is what it is like when you are in it. .ie.

 Presumably, what is *necessarily* like when you are
 in it , since there is no contingency in Platonia.

Platonia has not been instantiated. Our universe has. Our universe may
act, somewhere, somehow, as if it were interacting with entities in
platonia, but that does not make platonic entities 'real' any more than
real/imaginary power vectors delivered out your power-outlet make the
square root of -1 real.


 I await an apriori deduction of qualia from
 relational structures

Why stop there? What about an a-priori deduction of mass from relational
structures? Or space? Or electric fields? Or gravity? All the same...and
none of these have been predicted by any abstract model or 'lumpy/thingy'
ontological thinking. The abstract model predicts things that behave
'model'-ly. Parameters/variables in the model match adequately when
compared to reality. They do not describe what it is actually made of

f = ma says nothing about what mass is. It says what mass _does_.


 There's no such
 'thing' as a 'thing'. :-) It doesn't mean that behaving 'as if' there
are
 such things as things is not useful...we survive that way...
 'Substrate' in my intended context would mean more like 'whatever it is
that
 the universe is, it is that'. Our predisposition to assume isolated
lumpy
 'thingness' is rather pervasive.

 Of course: it is well founded empirically. We have abundant
 evidence that only certaint things exist within a given spatial
 volume (contingency) that they endure through time, and so on.

No. We have abundant evidence of some'thing' behaving as per an
abstraction of 'thing' at the scales we explore. We have NOT proven that
these laws apply at all scales..indeed we have abundant evidence to the
contrary! Absense of evidence is not evidence of absense.


 Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
 does exist, are not well founded empirically.

No they are not. Again a mathematical model (quantum mechanics) that seems
to imply multiple universes does not mean that they existOnly that the
model makes it look like it does. I can imagine any number of situations
where the fuzziness of the ultra-scale world obeys the rules of a QM-like
model.

For example, the perfectly deterministicly repeated trajectory of whatever
an electron is made of through 35.4 spatial dimensions is going to look
awfully fuzzy to critters observing it as course scales within 3
dimensions. QM depicts fuzziness... and 'aha' the universe is made of QM?
Not so. It merely appears to obey the abstraction QM provides us.

QM says nothing about what the universe is actually constructed of. It is
not constructed of quantum mechanics! It is constructed of something that
behaves quantum mechanical-ly.



 Perhaps this:
 Waving a bit of it ('stuff', the relational-substrate) around in a
circle
 (for example) in indirect 'as-if' symbolic representation as a
 computation
 of an abstraction X in no way instantiates X or Xness,

 Why not? What *does* implementation consist of ?

Being the stuff, the substrate. It's the only thing actually instantiated.


  it instantiates
 'being_waved_around_in_a_circle_ness' from the point of view of being
the
 'stuff' (1st person) and the behaviour 'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly'
(3rd
 person). Note that the 3rd person is actually derived from the 1st
person
 perspective of the observer! This third person can pretend
 'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly' is X, but that's all there is...play
acting.
 The third person perspective is manufactured in the eyes of the
beholder.
 Perhaps rather than '1st Person Prime' as an assertion, maybe '3rd
person
 not prime' is a lesser and more justified position. The fact is that
there
 is no such thing as a 'third person'.

 Ontologically ?

No, experientially.

Nobody experiences 'third person'. Everybody has a 1st person experience
only. 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread Tom Caylor


Bruno Marchal wrote:

 Of course I have a problem with the word universe and especially with
 the expression being inside a universe. The reason is that I think
 comp forces us to accept we are supported by an infinity of
 computations and that the 1-(plural and singular) appearance of the
 universe emerges from that. cf UDA.

 Bruno


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

I haven't been following this thread, but this caught my attention.
Bruno, how can you have a real problem with something based on the
fact that it seems to contradict the comp assumption?  I thought that
you make a point to stress that you only assume comp for purposes of
argument to see where it leads.  Are you implying that you personally
have faith in comp to the point that words that don't agree with the
comp assumption actually give you a problem?  Or is the problem
caused by a personal belief that is outside of the comp assumption, but
that is manifested when talking about comp, if you follow me?

Tom


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread David Nyman

Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:

 I'm hoping this also addresses some of David Nyman's queries.

Thanks, yes it does.  However, for the sake of clarity:

  Why not? What *does* implementation consist of ?

 Being the stuff, the substrate. It's the only thing actually instantiated.

So, given your view that there is only 1st-person, and also given that
our experience is 1st-person, does that imply:

1) That we are instantiated as the substrate behaving in some specific
ways that are in principle empirically determinable?
2) That such behaviour, presumably, can be construed both as our
'ability to perceive' and as our 'perceptions'?
3) If the foregoing two points are ontologogical (what we are), then
does our epistemology (what we can know) derive from the internal
relata of the perceptually-derived models thus instantiated + their
inferred relation to 1st-person referents?
4) If there is only 1st person, what is the most coherent way to
distinguish the ontology of persons (e.g. you, me) from that of
non-persons (e.g. some volume of interstellar space)? Or, in what way
is the ontology of non-persons still 1st-person?

David

 Misc responses to 1Z [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  Colin Hales wrote:
  David Nyman:
  snip
An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of
 a
   portion
of the structure (a COMPUTER) inside the structure (the UNIVERSE)
  will
   see
the universe as NOT COMPUTER, not some function of the
  machinations of
   X,
the model. Eg The first person perspective of a register in a
  computer
holding a quantity N must be that of being a register in a
 computer,
  not
that of 'being' a quantity N.
  
   Interestingly you see it as the perspective of the register, rather
 than some computational entity within X. Does this imply some sort of
 hardware/ substrate experiential dependency, rather than a purely
 relational 'program-level' view?
  
  
  Sort of...but I think the word 'hardware' is loaded with assumption.
 I'd
  say
  that universe literally is a relational construct
 
  A timeless relational construct or an evolving relational construct ?

 Evolving. The evolution of the construct from state to state makes it feel
 like there is time.

 
  and that it's appearance
  as 'physical' is what it is like when you are in it. .ie.
 
  Presumably, what is *necessarily* like when you are
  in it , since there is no contingency in Platonia.

 Platonia has not been instantiated. Our universe has. Our universe may
 act, somewhere, somehow, as if it were interacting with entities in
 platonia, but that does not make platonic entities 'real' any more than
 real/imaginary power vectors delivered out your power-outlet make the
 square root of -1 real.

 
  I await an apriori deduction of qualia from
  relational structures

 Why stop there? What about an a-priori deduction of mass from relational
 structures? Or space? Or electric fields? Or gravity? All the same...and
 none of these have been predicted by any abstract model or 'lumpy/thingy'
 ontological thinking. The abstract model predicts things that behave
 'model'-ly. Parameters/variables in the model match adequately when
 compared to reality. They do not describe what it is actually made of

 f = ma says nothing about what mass is. It says what mass _does_.

 
  There's no such
  'thing' as a 'thing'. :-) It doesn't mean that behaving 'as if' there
 are
  such things as things is not useful...we survive that way...
  'Substrate' in my intended context would mean more like 'whatever it is
 that
  the universe is, it is that'. Our predisposition to assume isolated
 lumpy
  'thingness' is rather pervasive.
 
  Of course: it is well founded empirically. We have abundant
  evidence that only certaint things exist within a given spatial
  volume (contingency) that they endure through time, and so on.

 No. We have abundant evidence of some'thing' behaving as per an
 abstraction of 'thing' at the scales we explore. We have NOT proven that
 these laws apply at all scales..indeed we have abundant evidence to the
 contrary! Absense of evidence is not evidence of absense.

 
  Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
  does exist, are not well founded empirically.

 No they are not. Again a mathematical model (quantum mechanics) that seems
 to imply multiple universes does not mean that they existOnly that the
 model makes it look like it does. I can imagine any number of situations
 where the fuzziness of the ultra-scale world obeys the rules of a QM-like
 model.

 For example, the perfectly deterministicly repeated trajectory of whatever
 an electron is made of through 35.4 spatial dimensions is going to look
 awfully fuzzy to critters observing it as course scales within 3
 dimensions. QM depicts fuzziness... and 'aha' the universe is made of QM?
 Not so. It merely appears to obey the abstraction QM provides us.

 QM says nothing about what the universe is actually constructed of. It is
 not 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread George Levy




David Nyman wrote:

  
Third person perception comes about when several observers share the
same perception because they share the same environmental contingencies
on their existence. In effect these observers share the same "frame of
reference." I see many similarities with relativity theory which I have
discussed numerous times on this list in the past. Let's be clear: all
these observer have a first person perspective, however this first
person perspective appears to be the same across observers, and
therefore appears to be *independent* of the observers. This perspective
can be called *objective* but we must keep in mind that it is the same
only because the frame of reference is the same. Thus the concept of
objectivity loses its meaning unless we raise the meaning to a higher
level and accept that different observers will predictably see different
things, just like in relativity theory different observers may
predictably make different measurements of the same object.

  
  
Again I agree here. In the terminology I've been using, the frame of
reference would be communicated in terms of the 'shareable knowledge
base', or inter-personal (third person) discourse.  What you are saying
above seems consistent with Colin Hales' views both on 1-person primacy
and the nature of 3-person.  Any comments on those?
  


I am sorry David, I have not been following all threads very closely -
It would take a full time commitment to do so. Perhaps each post,
especially the long ones, should be preceded by an abstract.  ;-) Could you point me in
the right direction?

George

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread David Nyman

George

Yes, it is getting quite prolix!

The relevant posts are 9, 11 and 14

David


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread George Levy




David Nyman wrote:

  George Levy wrote:

  
  
Not at all. A bidirectional contingency is superfluous. The only
relevent contingency is: If  the observed event will result in different
probabilities of survival for myself and for others observing me, then
our perceptions will be different.

  
  
I understand this way of putting it.

  
  
Third person perception comes about when several observers share the
same perception because they share the same environmental contingencies
on their existence. In effect these observers share the same "frame of
reference." I see many similarities with relativity theory which I have
discussed numerous times on this list in the past. Let's be clear: all
these observer have a first person perspective, however this first
person perspective appears to be the same across observers, and
therefore appears to be *independent* of the observers. This perspective
can be called *objective* but we must keep in mind that it is the same
only because the frame of reference is the same. Thus the concept of
objectivity loses its meaning unless we raise the meaning to a higher
level and accept that different observers will predictably see different
things, just like in relativity theory different observers may
predictably make different measurements of the same object.

  
  
Again I agree here. In the terminology I've been using, the frame of
reference would be communicated in terms of the 'shareable knowledge
base', or inter-personal (third person) discourse.  What you are saying
above seems consistent with Colin Hales' views both on 1-person primacy
and the nature of 3-person.  Any comments on those?

David
  


Colin Hales remarks seem to agree with what I say. However, I do not
deny the existence of a third person perspective. I only say that it is
secondary and an illusion brought about by having several observers
share the same frame of reference. This frame of reference consists of
identical contingencies on their existence. 

I have a little bit of trouble understanding your terms: "shared
knowledge base" and interpersonal discourse. One way to force your
nomenclature and mine to be identical is to say that "share knowledge
base" and interpersonal discourse" are completely dependent on physical
laws which are completely dependent of the shared contingencies. Thus
our basic thinking process is rooted in the physical objects comprising
our brain. These physical objects owe their existence to our shared
contingencies. Here we are developing an equivalence between mental
processes and physical processes. In other words I can imagine any
process that the universe is capable of supporting, and it is possible
to simulate in the universe any thought process that I am capable of
imagining.

George

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RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread Colin Hales

Prolixing on regardless! David Nyman:

 Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
 
  I'm hoping this also addresses some of David Nyman's queries.
 
 Thanks, yes it does.  However, for the sake of clarity:
 
   Why not? What *does* implementation consist of ?
 
  Being the stuff, the substrate. It's the only thing actually
 instantiated.
 
 So, given your view that there is only 1st-person, and also given that
 our experience is 1st-person, does that imply:
 
 1) That we are instantiated as the substrate behaving in some specific
 ways that are in principle empirically determinable?

Yes, but only in brain material. It is only there that we get anomalous
presentation of two aspects to the one process... brain and mind. Only there
can a model of appearances and a model of structure be bound intimately by
the special behaviour delivering qualia to us. Brain material is
epistemologically anomalous and unique.

 2) That such behaviour, presumably, can be construed both as our
 'ability to perceive' and as our 'perceptions'?

I think I know what you are after. I'd say that one expression of the
'relational structure' is atoms, cells etc which literally are the brain
which, as a result of its behaviour provides 'ability to perceive'. The
'perceptions' are also an aspect of the very same structure behaving
'brainly' but only perceived from the perspective of being the brain.


 3) If the foregoing two points are ontologogical (what we are), then
 does our epistemology (what we can know) derive from the internal
 relata of the perceptually-derived models thus instantiated + their
 inferred relation to 1st-person referents?

Yes. I know my own and Bruno's terminology is mixed and probably at odds.
Nevertheless I'd couch it as saying that the relational structure is
literally what we are. It provides a first person presentation of a slice
across the structure at a given scale. Our brains are brilliant at capturing
apparent causality within the appearances. That 'capture' formulated into a
statement of regularity in the universe using scientific method becomes what
we 'know' (natural 'laws'), which is identical to a belief. We are not
justified in claiming that we have captured the structure itself, only that
we have captured the behaviour of a representational slice across it (eg at
the level of an atom via instruments, or an elephant by eyeball).

 4) If there is only 1st person, what is the most coherent way to
 distinguish the ontology of persons (e.g. you, me) from that of
 non-persons (e.g. some volume of interstellar space)? Or, in what way
 is the ontology of non-persons still 1st-person?
 

There are 2 questions that can be asked of every'thing' X in the universe.

Q1 What is X?   A1) That which behaves Xly
Q2 What is it like to be X? A2) It is like Xness


Mind is to brain as
? is to a coffee cup?

The fact that we can only distinguish between the two questions from the
point of view of being a brain does not mean that the two questions are
valid for everything. Space included. It may not 'be like anything' to be,
say, a coffee cup. That is not the point. The point is that the structure
supports the possibility of 1st person presentation and, once we understand
whether the structure of a coffee cup we can than make a scientific
statement about W.I.I.L. to be a hot coffee cup vs a cold coffee cup. It may
be 'nothing', but at least it will be justified to some extent.

There's a real issue here with language. We have words like ontology and
epistemology and atom, mind and brain. I'd like to simply ignore them all.
Being embedded in a relational structure off the type we are enables us to
hold beliefs. Some of those beliefs are phenomenal presentations (redness),
some are visceral(a belief that I have 10 toes, the expression of which is
phenomenally void until recall, the belief is brain material configuration).
Beleifs can be innate (genetically programmed such as the capacity to
breath) and some learned (language). Beliefs can be about the self or about
the natural world outside the self.

My fervent hope is that some of those beliefs will, in the future, include
models of the relational structure that delivers the phenomenality
containing/depicting the behaviours then used to assemble the existing set
of scientific beliefs. All as one consistent system. A 'Dual aspect science'
without all the anomalous thinking and empirically backed throughout (but
initiated in a science of brain material inclusive of a physics of qualia)

That's as complicated as it needs to be.

I think you and I are on the same wavelength here.

Speaking of coffee . I'm off!

Colin Hales



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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread David Nyman

George Levy wrote:

 Colin Hales remarks seem to agree with what I say. However, I do not
 deny the existence of a third person perspective. I only say that it is
 secondary and an illusion brought about by having several observers
 share the same frame of reference. This frame of reference consists of
 identical contingencies on their existence.

I'm glad you find agreement here.  I don't think any of us deny the
existence of a third person perspective.  All three of us, I think,
agree that it is secondary, but where your 'third person' comes into
being through the sharing of a frame of reference, I'm applying the
term to the totality of 'frames of reference', whether shared or not.
Your 'shared frame of reference' would seem to be achieved through my
'shareable knowledge base', but for me a frame of reference is always
third person from one perspective or many. So I'm saying that third
person is an illusion brought about simply in virtue of having a 'frame
of reference' at all - the illusion inherent in representing the world.
I'm not quite sure what to do about this inconsistency of terminology.
Perhaps the 'shared illusion' could be 'objectivity'?

 I have a little bit of trouble understanding your terms: shared
 knowledge base and interpersonal discourse.

I mean 'frames of reference' or models of the world, as our medium for
communicating with ourselves and each other - i.e. 'inter-personal
discourse'.  Our personal epistemology is a function of our
instantiating such models, and such individual perpectives can become
correlated through pooling their contents in a 'shared knowledge base'.
This affords the possibility of a common frame of reference.

Thus
 our basic thinking process is rooted in the physical objects comprising
 our brain. These physical objects owe their existence to our shared
 contingencies.

This  is consistent with what I've said above - the 'models' are
instantiated in 'the physical objects comprising our brain', at least
under certain descriptions, although I don't take these descriptions to
be irreducible.

Here we are developing an equivalence between mental
 processes and physical processes.

OK with the same proviso.

In other words I can imagine any
 process that the universe is capable of supporting

I'm not sure how one would demonstrate this.

 and it is possible
 to simulate in the universe any thought process that I am capable of
 imagining.

According to some!  However, I would agree with the proviso that
'simulate' can include making an atom-for-atom copy of your brain.
Possibly in other ways too, but I'd be prepared to settle for the
atoms!  I think we can agree that what is modelled or imagined in one
brain can be shared by another, although some might see these dialogues
as a strike against this!  I've suggested in earlier posts, in effect,
that because what we can imagine and what we can share are constrained
to exactly the same 'language', all members of a community of persons
are thereby on an equal epistemic footing (i.e. the third person
perspective, in my terms) with respect to 'knowledge about the world'.
This is what I meant by the 'shareable knowledge base', but the term
itself is dispensable.

David




 David Nyman wrote:

 George Levy wrote:
 
 
 
 Not at all. A bidirectional contingency is superfluous. The only
 relevent contingency is: If  the observed event will result in different
 probabilities of survival for myself and for others observing me, then
 our perceptions will be different.
 
 
 
 I understand this way of putting it.
 
 
 
 Third person perception comes about when several observers share the
 same perception because they share the same environmental contingencies
 on their existence. In effect these observers share the same frame of
 reference. I see many similarities with relativity theory which I have
 discussed numerous times on this list in the past. Let's be clear: all
 these observer have a first person perspective, however this first
 person perspective appears to be the same across observers, and
 therefore appears to be *independent* of the observers. This perspective
 can be called *objective* but we must keep in mind that it is the same
 only because the frame of reference is the same. Thus the concept of
 objectivity loses its meaning unless we raise the meaning to a higher
 level and accept that different observers will predictably see different
 things, just like in relativity theory different observers may
 predictably make different measurements of the same object.
 
 
 
 Again I agree here. In the terminology I've been using, the frame of
 reference would be communicated in terms of the 'shareable knowledge
 base', or inter-personal (third person) discourse.  What you are saying
 above seems consistent with Colin Hales' views both on 1-person primacy
 and the nature of 3-person.  Any comments on those?
 
 David
 
 

 Colin Hales remarks seem to agree with what I say. However, I do not
 deny the existence of a third 

RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-09 Thread Colin Hales

David Nyman:
 Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 11:20 AM
 To: Everything List
 Subject: Re: Are First Person prime?
 
 
 George Levy wrote:
 
  Colin Hales remarks seem to agree with what I say. However, I do not
  deny the existence of a third person perspective. I only say that it is
  secondary and an illusion brought about by having several observers
  share the same frame of reference. This frame of reference consists of
  identical contingencies on their existence.
 
 I'm glad you find agreement here.  I don't think any of us deny the
 existence of a third person perspective.  All three of us, I think,
 agree that it is secondary, but where your 'third person' comes into
 being through the sharing of a frame of reference, I'm applying the
 term to the totality of 'frames of reference', whether shared or not.
 Your 'shared frame of reference' would seem to be achieved through my
 'shareable knowledge base', but for me a frame of reference is always
 third person from one perspective or many. So I'm saying that third
 person is an illusion brought about simply in virtue of having a 'frame
 of reference' at all - the illusion inherent in representing the world.
 I'm not quite sure what to do about this inconsistency of terminology.
 Perhaps the 'shared illusion' could be 'objectivity'?
 

Perhaps the 3rd person is best called 'virtual'. It's role is one for
'as-if' it existed.

Colin Hales



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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 07-août-06, à 20:59, 1Z a écrit :



 George Levy wrote:
 1Z wrote:

 George Levy wrote:

 A conscious entity is also information.

 I am assuming here that a conscious entity is essentially software.

 You can assume it of you like. It isn't computationalism, which
 is the claim that congition is running a programme, not the claim
 that disemobodied algorithms are conscious.

OK but the point is that if cognition is running a programme, then it 
can be shown that the very notion of running a program  and 
embodiment  are  necessarily relative notions.
I do agree with you that a disembodied soul in your branche cannot have 
consciousness with respect to you and to your branch. But from the 
first perspective of any soul, the sould will survive in any 
computational history capable of relatively embodying it through some 
consistent history. And so we arrive at the 1-indetermincay comp 
measure problem.

Bruno

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


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread 1Z


David Nyman wrote:
 1Z wrote:

   I'll try to nail this here.  I take 'ontology' to refer to issues of
   existence or being, where 'epistemology' refers to knowledge, or 'what
   and how we know'.  When I say that our 'ontology' is manifest, I'm
   claiming (perhaps a little more cautiously than Descartes): 'I am
   that which experiences here'. I take these to be an ontological
   continuum or set of equivalences, not properties: I -experience -
   here.  For reasons of economy, I see no need to postulate any other
   ontological status.

  What about all the stuff that appears, subjectively , to be not-me ?
 
  If I ignore it, I am not making full use of my only epistemologial
  resource.
 
  If I treat is as 1st-personal as well as third-personal, I am
  overcomplicating things.

 Hi Peter

 I'd like to be really careful here to avoid getting into some of the
 same loops that so frustrated Alan on the FOR list!  I may well be dead
 wrong in what I'm claiming, but at least I'd like us both to be clear
 on precisely what in fact this is.

 Firstly, my overall enterprise is to arrive at some general description
 of things that relies on as few explanatory entities as possible.  Now,
 IMO we cannot avoid taking first person into account - I find I can't
 begin to have an intelligible discussion with anyone who doesn't accept
 this (not you clearly).

I don't even know what you mean by first person.

You seem to think that the boundraries of the self are given by
secondary,
non-fundamental structures and properties, likewise qualia.


 From this, if first person is to be a given,
 the simplest approach is to explore whether, ontologically speaking, we
 could take it to be the sole given, and my project has been to see
 where this leads.  One of the difficulties has been to pin down the
 language to distinguish the different meanings associated with the term
 'first person', so I've attempted to define certain usages (which I'm
 happy at any time to abandon for better ones). These are:

 1) FP1g - primitive 'global' first person entity or context
 2) FP1i - individual person delimited by primitive differentiation
 (which is agnostic to comp, physics, or anything else at this logical
 level)
 3) FP2 - narrative references to first persons, as in 'David is a first
 person', an attribution, as opposed to 'David-as-first-person', a
 unique entity.
 4) TP - third person, or structure-read-as-information, as opposed to
 structure-demarcating-an-entity

 Later on in the reply to Bruno from which you quote, and in some of the
 earlier posts, I make the point that starting from such a generalised
 or undifferentiated first person context we can see that certain sorts
 of structural differentiation can create delimited zones within the
 whole. Some of these zones take the form of individual first persons
 (FP1i).

Why shoukdn't FP1i be the most primitive 1st-person,
arising from 0-personality ?

 Within each FP1i person so constituted exists a 'set of
 capabilities' and a 'structural model of the world'.  Which part of the
 FP1i acts as 'perceiver' and which 'perceptual model' is simply an
 aspect of function-from-structure.  It happens to be the former that
 has the organisation for representing information and self-reporting,
 so it's the one that gets to enjoy 'experience'.

 Within the structural model of the world - our only means of
 representing, and through 'downloading', sharing information with other
 first persons - there will of course be regions that we variously label
 'self' (e.g. 'my arm') or 'other' (e.g. Peter Jones').  The latter, I
 presume, would be an example of what you call 'stuff that appears,
 subjectively , to be not-me'.  Of course I agree that 'If I ignore it,
 I am not making full use of my only epistemologial resource'.  So, I
 don't ignore it.

 However, you go on: 'If I treat is as 1st-personal as well as
 third-personal, I am overcomplicating things'.  My response to this is
 two-fold.  First, of course, it is simply not the case that my
 representation of 'Peter Jones' is the same as its presumed referent in
 the world 'Peter Jones'.  My assumption is that it is informationally
 connected with this referent, and to an extent co-varies with it, but
 it is well for me to remember that such representations are my
 reponsibility and not yours.  But more fundamentally, and this is why I
 recapitulated my overall project at the outset, the intention is to
 simplify, not complicate.  My representation of 'Peter Jones' is a part
 of my subjectivity, and it is a part I label 'third person' to
 distinguish it from 'self', an evolutionarily useful distinction.

All of that is structural and therefore seconfary to any prime
substance.

 Peter Jones in the world I take to be another first person entity
 (FP1i) that derives this status in virtue of being another delimited
 zone, appropriately structured, within FP1g, the single ontological
 context.  Outside of my subjective model of the world, 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

 I don't even know what you mean by first person.


Peter

It's a bit late in the day perhaps to tell me you 'don't even know what
I mean by first person'!  However, I'll have another go.  I'm concerned
to distinguish two basic meanings, which failing to specify IMO causes
a lot of confusion:

1) First person 1 (FP1) - the point-of-view that is directly claimed by
an individual (FP1i) such as David or Peter, or what is generally meant
when the word 'I' is directly uttered by such a person.

2) First person 2 (FP2) - representations of an FP1 point-of-view as
modelled within members of the FP1 community. The usage of 'David' or
'Peter' in point 1) exemplifies one type of such representation, whose
presumed referent is an FP1i person.

My speculation is that both of the above arise through specific sorts
of differentiation of an axiomatically FP1 context (FP1g).  My reason
for this speculation is to simplify the ontological assumptions.  If
our existential context is FP1 then any zone within it is also FP1 and
consequently, when structured into FP1i persons, yields the direct
experience with which we all claim familiarity.  I have been at pains
to point out that the nature and content of experience are a function
of such structure, and we shouldn't think in terms of 'conscious rocks'
or whatever.  Having established such an FP1 context, we can then go on
to show that FP2 and third person (TP) are simply other zones, not
themselves organised for self-experience/ self-reporting, that are
categorised in specific ways for specific purposes. They are not novel
ontological states.

 You seem to think that the boundraries of the self are given by
 secondary,
 non-fundamental structures and properties, likewise qualia.

This is a good point.  However, it prompts me to deny that the
structures you refer to are 'secondary'.  In claiming the FP1 context
to be 'primitive', I'm saying that it is irreducible. We have to begin
somewhere.  Likewise, in relying on 'differentiation' of this context
(and here I'm designedly agnostic about whether this 'differentiation'
resolves into comp, strings, or whatever) I'm also claiming the
independent irreducibility of primitive differentiation.  I've
discussed this in one of my replies to Bruno in this thread.  Clearly
the undifferentiated FP1g context can yield no experience since thus
conceived it can have no 'content', either 'perceiver' or
'what-is-perceived'.

So it must be differentiated.  Now it seems to me that such a basic
notion of differentiation (prior to any schematisation into
fundamental-object-of-the-month) is primitive and irreducible, not to
say semantically paradoxical (since an undifferentiated whole that is
the sum of everything cannot in logic rely on symmetry-breaking from
any source whatsoever).  Such apparent paradoxicality is a good test of
'primitiveness'. Both primitives are required, because without the
'whole', the mutual transmutability of all phenomena is
incomprehensible, and without the 'part', no phenomena can arise at
all.  Consequently the differentiation process, and the structures to
which it gives rise, are as fundamental as the context itself.

As to 'qualia', I'd like to put it as follows. In my account of things,
our existence within the FP1g context is what gives us our purchase on
the (rest of the) world, what enables us to 'grasp it'.  Whatever we
perceive, we do so in terms of our existence in this form.  Such direct
access, what we sometimes call 'experience', is by this token both
incorrigible, and literally indescribable.  To take one of the
favourite examples, the 'experience of red', this is something which we
know by 'direct grasp', and as such it takes its place within our
'shareable knowledge base', or SKB.  But we cannot 'describe' (i.e.
reduce) this direct experience, even to ourselves.  What we can do is
to refer to it ostensively - to 'point' to it - and to relate it to
other elements within the SKB.

This puts us on precisely the same footing as the other members of the
FP1i community with whom we can share the SKB. So IMO 'qualia' are an
attribute of the FP2-type modelling of the SKB.  You know what I mean
by the term because we can both 'point' to parts of the SKB that in our
view possess this attribute.  But the 'redness-of-red' is the medium,
the 'means whereby', we grasp some element of the world directly, and
is in itself not transmissible - it's not part of the SKB information
content, it's the *medium* of the SKB (and everything else).  In this
direct FP1 aspect 'red' is a fundamental structure based on a primitive
context with a primitive process of differentiation.

 Why shoukdn't FP1i be the most primitive 1st-person,
 arising from 0-personality ?

It depends what you want 0-personality to mean.  Of course I don't
claim that FP1g has 'personality' in the FP1i sense of a single
individual point-of-view.  What I'm claiming is that both have the same
ontological status, and since when we come to the 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread George Levy




1Z wrote:

  
I don't even know what you mean by "first person".


  
  David Nyman wrote:
Peter

It's a bit late in the day perhaps to tell me you 'don't even know what
I mean by first person'!  However, I'll have another go.  I'm concerned
to distinguish two basic meanings, which failing to specify IMO causes
a lot of confusion:

1) First person 1 (FP1) - the point-of-view that is directly claimed by
an individual (FP1i) such as David or Peter, or what is generally meant
when the word 'I' is directly uttered by such a person.

2) First person 2 (FP2) - representations of an FP1 point-of-view as
modelled within members of the FP1 community. The usage of 'David' or
'Peter' in point 1) exemplifies one type of such representation, whose
presumed referent is an FP1i person.
  

Here is an explanation more grounded in Physics:
The concept of "first person" comes directly from the Everett
manyworlds, Schoedinger cat experiment and the quantum suicide
(thought) experiment. In a quantum suicide the subject of the
experiment does not see himself dying. He can only see himself
continuing living along a branch of the manyworld in which his
experiment went awry. His perception is first person. Witnesses to the
experiment are likely to see the subject die and their point of view is
third person. Thus first person and third person imply some kind of
"relativity" contingent on the observer's own existence. 

More generally, one can assume that the laws of physics themselves are
contingent on the observer -ie. the world is being destroyed every
nanoseconds or faster when it diverges into MW branches not supporting
life. - the only worlds we can observe are those worlds upholding those
physical laws supporting life. According to this hypothesis our primary
perception of the world is first person. 

Thus first person perception of the world comes about when our own
existence is contingent on our observation.
Third person perception comes about in situations when our own
existence is not contingent on our observation.

George

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread 1Z


David Nyman wrote:
 1Z wrote:

  I don't even know what you mean by first person.
 

 Peter

 It's a bit late in the day perhaps to tell me you 'don't even know what
 I mean by first person'!

Haven't I been saying that all along.

 However, I'll have another go.  I'm concerned
 to distinguish two basic meanings, which failing to specify IMO causes
 a lot of confusion:

 1) First person 1 (FP1) - the point-of-view that is directly claimed by
 an individual (FP1i) such as David or Peter, or what is generally meant
 when the word 'I' is directly uttered by such a person.

A sense of 1st person that cannot possibly be more fundamental
than a person. And persons are not fundamental

 2) First person 2 (FP2) - representations of an FP1 point-of-view as
 modelled within members of the FP1 community. The usage of 'David' or
 'Peter' in point 1) exemplifies one type of such representation, whose
 presumed referent is an FP1i person.

Or whose presumed referent is just a person.


 My speculation is that both of the above arise through specific sorts
 of differentiation of an axiomatically FP1 context (FP1g).

FP1 depend on a particular kind of structure, a
person, with a particular kind of mental apparatus
allowing it to have such a thing as a point of view.

How could FP1-ness be more fundamental than those structures and
apparatuses ?

 My reason
 for this speculation is to simplify the ontological assumptions.  If
 our existential context

What is an existential context ?

 is FP1 then any zone within it is also FP1 and
 consequently, when structured into FP1i persons, yields the direct
 experience with which we all claim familiarity.  I have been at pains
 to point out that the nature and content of experience are a function
 of such structure, and we shouldn't think in terms of 'conscious rocks'
 or whatever.  Having established such an FP1 context, we can then go on
 to show that FP2 and third person (TP) are simply other zones, not
 themselves organised for self-experience/ self-reporting, that are
 categorised in specific ways for specific purposes. They are not novel
 ontological states.


If 3rdP zones are 3rdP because of the way they
are organised, the 1stP zones are 1stP becasueof the way
they are organised. The fundamental situation, absent
variation in organsation, is surely 0-personal.


  You seem to think that the boundraries of the self are given by
  secondary,
  non-fundamental structures and properties, likewise qualia.

 This is a good point.  However, it prompts me to deny that the
 structures you refer to are 'secondary'.

How can structures fail to be secondary ? Surely whatever
they are constructed out is primary ?

 In claiming the FP1 context
 to be 'primitive', I'm saying that it is irreducible.

An irreducible structure or an irreducible non-structure ?
How can you have an irreducible structure ? How can you hav
e a person without a structure ?

 We have to begin
 somewhere.

Indeed. But why not begin with something simpler than
a person ?

  Likewise, in relying on 'differentiation' of this context
 (and here I'm designedly agnostic about whether this 'differentiation'
 resolves into comp, strings, or whatever)

A much graver question is whether you can have personhod without
differentiation,
and first-personhood without personhood.

  I'm also claiming the
 independent irreducibility of primitive differentiation.
  I've
 discussed this in one of my replies to Bruno in this thread.  Clearly
 the undifferentiated FP1g context can yield no experience since thus
 conceived it can have no 'content', either 'perceiver' or
 'what-is-perceived'.
 So it must be differentiated.

Assuming that it is 1st-personal. Dropping that
assumption allows you to state the more intuitive conlusion
that differentiation a plurality are not fundamental. (That is,
it allows you to explain the complex in terms of the simple,
rather than the complex)

 Now it seems to me that such a basic
 notion of differentiation (prior to any schematisation into
 fundamental-object-of-the-month) is primitive and irreducible, not to
 say semantically paradoxical (since an undifferentiated whole that is
 the sum of everything cannot in logic rely on symmetry-breaking from
 any source whatsoever).

Err. Hmm. Whatever. I still think that if you are not
reducing the complex to the simple, you are not really
*explaining*.

 Such apparent paradoxicality is a good test of
 'primitiveness'. Both primitives are required,

Huh ? What's the other one ?

  because without the
 'whole', the mutual transmutability of all phenomena is
 incomprehensible, and without the 'part', no phenomena can arise at
 all.  Consequently the differentiation process, and the structures to
 which it gives rise, are as fundamental as the context itself.


You've lost me.

 As to 'qualia', I'd like to put it as follows. In my account of things,
 our existence within the FP1g context is what gives us our purchase on
 the (rest of the) world, what enables 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread David Nyman

George Levy wrote:

 Thus first person perception of the world comes about when our own
 existence is contingent on our observation.

Hi George

I think I agree with this.  It could correspond with what I'm trying to
model in terms of FP1 etc. Perhaps it might be expressed as:

First person perception of the world comes about when our own
observation and existence are mutually contingent

 Third person perception comes about in situations when our own existence
 is not contingent on our observation.

Now here I'm not so clear.  I understand what you mean in terms of the
quantum suicide.  The observers observe the deceased version of the
suicide and he does not, but here surely it is *their* observations
that are relevant, and these are first person by your definition. The
suicide doesn't get to have any further 'observations' on this branch -
not because the ontology of his dead body has magically changed out of
FP1, but because the 'observational activity' within his first-personal
domain has shut down.  To make this perhaps intuitively clearer,
suppose it turns out that although he is definitively 'dead' by the
medical standards of the observers, Mr Spock from Star Trek turns up
and resuscitates him with advanced technology.  In this case, he starts
to 'observe' again, but once more we need posit no change of ontology.

In sum, I'm not clear what sort of observation is *not* contingent on
our existence, except someone else's observation, and so far as I can
see this is always first person by your definition.  Do you simply mean
to define any observation not involving ourselves as 'third person'
from our point-of-view?  OK but I don't see where it gets us. We appear
to agree that all observations are first person from the point-of-view
of the observer, IMO in virtue of instantiation in a primitive first
person context (FP1g). All representations of such observations in the
'shareable knowledge base' (SKB) of an FP1i person are likewise
instantiated in this context with the rest of his model of the world,
and are flexibly metaphorised as 'third' (TP) or 'first' person (but
importantly in this latter case FP2, as I discuss below - the
representation of 'my arm' is not my arm).  An example of a flexible
re-metaphorisation is that I may shift the representation of 'my arm'
from FP2 to TP if it is amputated.

Thus third person in my schema refers exclusively to the relata
comprising the content of a first person observation (i.e. one that is
contingent on our existence).  Consequently all observations entail
third person relata, but both the observations and the relata are
exclusively instantiated in a first person context.  The structure of
the context *comprises* the third person relational model, which
through inter-personal communication (instantiation of the SKB) is thus
mutually interrogable on a precisely equal epistemological footing by
ourselves or others.  This is the third person world which is the
content of our experience and discourse, and its referential
correspondence with the remainder of the FP1g context could be modelled
semantically as a network of co-varying nodes.  Those 'nodes' modelled
within the SKB as other 'first persons' I term FP2i to crucially
distinguish them from embodied FP1i first persons.  FP2i are thus
co-varying third person analogs of embodied or instantiated first
persons.  I believe that terminological confusion around these issues
leads directly to many conceptual problems.

 More generally, one can assume that the laws of physics themselves are
 contingent on the observer -ie. the world is being destroyed every
 nanoseconds or faster when it diverges into MW branches not supporting
 life. - the only worlds we can observe are those worlds upholding those
 physical laws supporting life.

Do you mean:

The observer is contingent on the laws of physics (i.e. there can be
observation only where the laws of physics permit this)?

 According to this hypothesis our primary
 perception of the world is first person.

I agree that perception is first person, and as I have already said I
don't understand what could be meant by an observation not contingent
on our existence, except that it is some other observer's (first
person) observation.  However I'm not sure that your hypothesis
replaces my schema. What you appear to be saying is that we can't
observe situations where either we're not present or alive to observe
(but in either case someone else could be observing), or situations
which in their nature cannot sustain observers (in which case nobody is
observing).  I would agree with all of this, but I would like you to
comment further on the implications for the basic ontology of existence
per se - e.g. what you consider 'real' as opposed to metaphorical
distinctions of ontology, which is what my schema attempts to address.

David


 1Z wrote:

 I don't even know what you mean by first person.
 
 
 
 David Nyman wrote:
 Peter
 
 It's a bit late in the day perhaps to tell me 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

 (PS could you write *less* next time ? I find tha the more you write,
 the less
  I understand!)

I sympathise!

However, I'm not sure how much further we're destined to get with this
particular dialogue.  Each time we have another go I think I see where
we're going past each other, and I attempt to re-cast what I'm saying
to address this - hence the prolixity, which frustrates me probably as
much as it does you!

On this occasion, I'll say simply this: whilst of course not
unconscious of other treatments of these issues, particularly those
addressing the physical or computational issues, there's always seemed
to me to be something philosophically fishy about how the 'first
person' is supposed to just 'turn up' in a situation which is
fundamentally something else - a world fundamentally composed of
impersonal 'things'.  I'm convinced this puzzles and confuses others
too, leading to IMO pseudo-problems like 'intelligent zombies', and
pseudo-solutions like dualism.  So it occurred to me: supposing one
were to think of the world not as a collection of 'things' (or as I
think physics teaches us a 'field' differentiated into apparently
individual 'things') but as a 'big person' (or a big personal field,
differentiated into apparently individual persons).

I'm sorry if this sounds like Teletubbies, but I'm not going to deploy
my jargon this time! We're here because the 'big person' is here and
we're a part of him (her/ us?).  Now this 'big person' would have to be
conscious in parts, and unconscious in other parts, but it then ocurred
to me that this is *exactly* analogous to our own situation: we are
indeed conscious in parts and at times, and unconscious in other parts
and at other times.  The distinction seems to arise from local strucure
and function.

Everything else really follows from this, and personally I've found
that thinking in this way dissolves the sort of conceptual confusions
that I've mentioned - same structure, same function, same first
personhood (no zombies, no dualism). The rest of course, is the
infamous 'easy problem', on which I have no particular purchase.

Now that I've put it in this I hope disarmingly naive way, you may wish
to request clarification on any point, or you may feel that you simply
disagree, or aren't interested.  As ever, I'd be pleased to hear from
you.

David


 David Nyman wrote:
  1Z wrote:
 
   I don't even know what you mean by first person.
  
 
  Peter
 
  It's a bit late in the day perhaps to tell me you 'don't even know what
  I mean by first person'!

 Haven't I been saying that all along.

  However, I'll have another go.  I'm concerned
  to distinguish two basic meanings, which failing to specify IMO causes
  a lot of confusion:
 
  1) First person 1 (FP1) - the point-of-view that is directly claimed by
  an individual (FP1i) such as David or Peter, or what is generally meant
  when the word 'I' is directly uttered by such a person.

 A sense of 1st person that cannot possibly be more fundamental
 than a person. And persons are not fundamental

  2) First person 2 (FP2) - representations of an FP1 point-of-view as
  modelled within members of the FP1 community. The usage of 'David' or
  'Peter' in point 1) exemplifies one type of such representation, whose
  presumed referent is an FP1i person.

 Or whose presumed referent is just a person.


  My speculation is that both of the above arise through specific sorts
  of differentiation of an axiomatically FP1 context (FP1g).

 FP1 depend on a particular kind of structure, a
 person, with a particular kind of mental apparatus
 allowing it to have such a thing as a point of view.

 How could FP1-ness be more fundamental than those structures and
 apparatuses ?

  My reason
  for this speculation is to simplify the ontological assumptions.  If
  our existential context

 What is an existential context ?

  is FP1 then any zone within it is also FP1 and
  consequently, when structured into FP1i persons, yields the direct
  experience with which we all claim familiarity.  I have been at pains
  to point out that the nature and content of experience are a function
  of such structure, and we shouldn't think in terms of 'conscious rocks'
  or whatever.  Having established such an FP1 context, we can then go on
  to show that FP2 and third person (TP) are simply other zones, not
  themselves organised for self-experience/ self-reporting, that are
  categorised in specific ways for specific purposes. They are not novel
  ontological states.


 If 3rdP zones are 3rdP because of the way they
 are organised, the 1stP zones are 1stP becasueof the way
 they are organised. The fundamental situation, absent
 variation in organsation, is surely 0-personal.


   You seem to think that the boundraries of the self are given by
   secondary,
   non-fundamental structures and properties, likewise qualia.
 
  This is a good point.  However, it prompts me to deny that the
  structures you refer to are 'secondary'.

 

RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread Colin Hales

Why is everyone talking about abstract computation? Of _course_ 1st person
is prime = Has primacy in description of the universe. Being a portion of
any structure (ME) trying to model the structure (the UNIVERSE) from within
it (ME as scientist inside/part of the universe) is intrinsically and
innately presented with that which is _not_ the structure of ME (NOT ME).
This applies at all scales (eg ME = an atom, ME = a galaxy).

An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of a portion
of the structure (a COMPUTER) inside the structure (the UNIVERSE) will see
the universe as NOT COMPUTER, not some function of the machinations of X,
the model. Eg The first person perspective of a register in a computer
holding a quantity N must be that of being a register in a computer, not
that of 'being' a quantity N.

The only computation going on around us is literally the universe. WE are
computations within it. We can only ever acquire data about it from the
perspective of being in it.

Maybe you're not talking about the same universe as me. We're trying to get
to grips with our universe, yes? I don't get it. Then again I seem not to
get a lot. :-)

Colin hales





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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

 It is only directly manifest inasmuch as it how the brain
 seems to itself. That does not make it ontologically fundamental.

 What is epistemologically basic -- subjective expereince -- is
 ontologically very complex and very far from basic. A lot
 of philosophy goes into the weeds when it confuses epistemic
 prioirty with ontological priority.

Peter

On re-perusing your comments, there is one specific issue I would like
to tackle here. When you say 'it is how the brain seems to itself', you
are of course deploying a third person analog of 'a brain' that you and
I can hold in common, which is how we are able to communicate about it.
This analog is not itself 'a brain', but something that refers to 'a
brain-in-the-world', and I'd be content, for the sake of this argument,
to take this brain-in-the-world to be, for example 'me'. Now, if I find
myself to be equivalent, broadly, to this brain-in-the-world, then
these must share a common ontology, and *some* ontology must be
logically prior to *any* epistemology - what doesn't exist can't know.
So if the equivalence 'me=this-brain-in-the-world' is to be in a
position to *know* anything from a first person position, logically it
must first *be* a person.

Rather than 'confusing' ontological with epistemological priority, I'm
claiming that any epistemological capability must entail some prior
ontology: 'To know, first I must be'.  I assume that when you (rightly
IMO) say that epistomology is 'ontologically complex', the aspect of
ontology you have in mind is structural/ functional.  But my point is
that *all this has to take place somewhere*, and the 'somewhere' is
what I've been calling the first-person field or context, analogous to
(and possibly logically coterminous with) the physical field or
context. It may be that we can simply agree to call this the 0-personal
context, without loss, if we can agree on the entailments of this.

My general sense, oddly, is that we could agree, but what has been
going wrong is that I've been trying to make explicit in some way what
is intended to be 'understood' in standard discourse in terms of
implicit assumptions.  The problem with this IMO is that in practice
not everyone shares the same implicit assumptions - hence confusion.
Unfortunately, the unfamiliar semantics of explicitness seem often to
cause even more confusion - but I enjoy the attempt, in a weird
masochistic sort of way!

David

 David Nyman wrote:
  1Z wrote:
 
   I don't even know what you mean by first person.
  
 
  Peter
 
  It's a bit late in the day perhaps to tell me you 'don't even know what
  I mean by first person'!

 Haven't I been saying that all along.

  However, I'll have another go.  I'm concerned
  to distinguish two basic meanings, which failing to specify IMO causes
  a lot of confusion:
 
  1) First person 1 (FP1) - the point-of-view that is directly claimed by
  an individual (FP1i) such as David or Peter, or what is generally meant
  when the word 'I' is directly uttered by such a person.

 A sense of 1st person that cannot possibly be more fundamental
 than a person. And persons are not fundamental

  2) First person 2 (FP2) - representations of an FP1 point-of-view as
  modelled within members of the FP1 community. The usage of 'David' or
  'Peter' in point 1) exemplifies one type of such representation, whose
  presumed referent is an FP1i person.

 Or whose presumed referent is just a person.


  My speculation is that both of the above arise through specific sorts
  of differentiation of an axiomatically FP1 context (FP1g).

 FP1 depend on a particular kind of structure, a
 person, with a particular kind of mental apparatus
 allowing it to have such a thing as a point of view.

 How could FP1-ness be more fundamental than those structures and
 apparatuses ?

  My reason
  for this speculation is to simplify the ontological assumptions.  If
  our existential context

 What is an existential context ?

  is FP1 then any zone within it is also FP1 and
  consequently, when structured into FP1i persons, yields the direct
  experience with which we all claim familiarity.  I have been at pains
  to point out that the nature and content of experience are a function
  of such structure, and we shouldn't think in terms of 'conscious rocks'
  or whatever.  Having established such an FP1 context, we can then go on
  to show that FP2 and third person (TP) are simply other zones, not
  themselves organised for self-experience/ self-reporting, that are
  categorised in specific ways for specific purposes. They are not novel
  ontological states.


 If 3rdP zones are 3rdP because of the way they
 are organised, the 1stP zones are 1stP becasueof the way
 they are organised. The fundamental situation, absent
 variation in organsation, is surely 0-personal.


   You seem to think that the boundraries of the self are given by
   secondary,
   non-fundamental structures and properties, likewise qualia.
 
  This is a good point.  

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread David Nyman

Colin Hales wrote:

Of _course_ 1st person
 is prime = Has primacy in description of the universe. Being a portion of
 any structure (ME) trying to model the structure (the UNIVERSE) from within
 it (ME as scientist inside/part of the universe) is intrinsically and
 innately presented with that which is _not_ the structure of ME (NOT ME).
 This applies at all scales (eg ME = an atom, ME = a galaxy).

 The only computation going on around us is literally the universe. WE are
 computations within it. We can only ever acquire data about it from the
 perspective of being in it.

Very well put IMO. We could discuss the details of the computational
schema (or Bruno could anyway), but broadly, yes.

 An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of a portion
 of the structure (a COMPUTER) inside the structure (the UNIVERSE) will see
 the universe as NOT COMPUTER, not some function of the machinations of X,
 the model. Eg The first person perspective of a register in a computer
 holding a quantity N must be that of being a register in a computer, not
 that of 'being' a quantity N.

Interestingly you see it as the perspective of the register, rather
than some computational entity within X. Does this imply some sort of
hardware/ substrate experiential dependency, rather than a purely
relational 'program-level' view?


 Maybe you're not talking about the same universe as me. We're trying to get
 to grips with our universe, yes? I don't get it. Then again I seem not to
 get a lot. :-)

You get it pretty well IMO.

David


 Maybe you're not talking about the same universe as me. We're trying to get
 to grips with our universe, yes? I don't get it. Then again I seem not to
 get a lot. :-)
 Why is everyone talking about abstract computation? Of _course_ 1st person
 is prime = Has primacy in description of the universe. Being a portion of
 any structure (ME) trying to model the structure (the UNIVERSE) from within
 it (ME as scientist inside/part of the universe) is intrinsically and
 innately presented with that which is _not_ the structure of ME (NOT ME).
 This applies at all scales (eg ME = an atom, ME = a galaxy).

 An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of a portion
 of the structure (a COMPUTER) inside the structure (the UNIVERSE) will see
 the universe as NOT COMPUTER, not some function of the machinations of X,
 the model. Eg The first person perspective of a register in a computer
 holding a quantity N must be that of being a register in a computer, not
 that of 'being' a quantity N.

 The only computation going on around us is literally the universe. WE are
 computations within it. We can only ever acquire data about it from the
 perspective of being in it.

 Maybe you're not talking about the same universe as me. We're trying to get
 to grips with our universe, yes? I don't get it. Then again I seem not to
 get a lot. :-)
 
 Colin hales


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RE: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread Colin Hales

David Nyman:

snip
  An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of a
 portion
  of the structure (a COMPUTER) inside the structure (the UNIVERSE) will
 see
  the universe as NOT COMPUTER, not some function of the machinations of
 X,
  the model. Eg The first person perspective of a register in a computer
  holding a quantity N must be that of being a register in a computer, not
  that of 'being' a quantity N.
 
 Interestingly you see it as the perspective of the register, rather
 than some computational entity within X. Does this imply some sort of
 hardware/ substrate experiential dependency, rather than a purely
 relational 'program-level' view?
 


Sort of...but I think the word 'hardware' is loaded with assumption. I'd say
that universe literally is a relational construct and that it's appearance
as 'physical' is what it is like when you are in it. .ie. There's no such
'thing' as a 'thing'. :-) It doesn't mean that behaving 'as if' there are
such things as things is not useful...we survive that way...

'Substrate' in my intended context would mean more like 'whatever it is that
the universe is, it is that'. Our predisposition to assume isolated lumpy
'thingness' is rather pervasive.

Perhaps this:

Waving a bit of it ('stuff', the relational-substrate) around in a circle
(for example) in indirect 'as-if' symbolic representation as a computation
of an abstraction X in no way instantiates X or Xness, it instantiates
'being_waved_around_in_a_circle_ness' from the point of view of being the
'stuff' (1st person) and the behaviour 'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly' (3rd
person). Note that the 3rd person is actually derived from the 1st person
perspective of the observer! This third person can pretend
'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly' is X, but that's all there is...play acting.

The third person perspective is manufactured in the eyes of the beholder.
Perhaps rather than '1st Person Prime' as an assertion, maybe '3rd person
not prime' is a lesser and more justified position. The fact is that there
is no such thing as a 'third person'. What you have is a communicable 1st
person perspective that yet another 'first person perspective' can find if
it looks. No-one ever has a 'third person' perspective. Ernest Nagel named a
book after it: 'the view from nowhere'. If 3rd person does not exist, then
1st person is all there is left, isn't it?

Colin Hales



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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread David Nyman

Colin Hales wrote:

 Sort of...but I think the word 'hardware' is loaded with assumption. I'd say
 that universe literally is a relational construct and that it's appearance
 as 'physical' is what it is like when you are in it. .ie. There's no such
 'thing' as a 'thing'. :-) It doesn't mean that behaving 'as if' there are
 such things as things is not useful...we survive that way...

 'Substrate' in my intended context would mean more like 'whatever it is that
 the universe is, it is that'. Our predisposition to assume isolated lumpy
 'thingness' is rather pervasive.

Agreed, I think.  'Hardware' or 'substrate' are ultimately relational
aspects of the computation, but possibly experientially relevant in
some circumstances.

Note that the 3rd person is actually derived from the 1st person
 perspective of the observer! This third person can pretend
 'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly' is X, but that's all there is...play acting.

 The third person perspective is manufactured in the eyes of the beholder.
 Perhaps rather than '1st Person Prime' as an assertion, maybe '3rd person
 not prime' is a lesser and more justified position. The fact is that there
 is no such thing as a 'third person'. What you have is a communicable 1st
 person perspective that yet another 'first person perspective' can find if
 it looks. No-one ever has a 'third person' perspective. Ernest Nagel named a
 book after it: 'the view from nowhere'. If 3rd person does not exist, then
 1st person is all there is left, isn't it?

This is broadly what I've been attempting to present in my various
posts in this thread, although IMO you have suceeded in summarising it
much more succintly.  I would be interested in your comments on this,
and in George's and Bruno's view of your own presentation of this
position.

David

 David Nyman:

 snip
   An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of a
  portion
   of the structure (a COMPUTER) inside the structure (the UNIVERSE) will
  see
   the universe as NOT COMPUTER, not some function of the machinations of
  X,
   the model. Eg The first person perspective of a register in a computer
   holding a quantity N must be that of being a register in a computer, not
   that of 'being' a quantity N.
 
  Interestingly you see it as the perspective of the register, rather
  than some computational entity within X. Does this imply some sort of
  hardware/ substrate experiential dependency, rather than a purely
  relational 'program-level' view?
 
 

 Sort of...but I think the word 'hardware' is loaded with assumption. I'd say
 that universe literally is a relational construct and that it's appearance
 as 'physical' is what it is like when you are in it. .ie. There's no such
 'thing' as a 'thing'. :-) It doesn't mean that behaving 'as if' there are
 such things as things is not useful...we survive that way...

 'Substrate' in my intended context would mean more like 'whatever it is that
 the universe is, it is that'. Our predisposition to assume isolated lumpy
 'thingness' is rather pervasive.

 Perhaps this:

 Waving a bit of it ('stuff', the relational-substrate) around in a circle
 (for example) in indirect 'as-if' symbolic representation as a computation
 of an abstraction X in no way instantiates X or Xness, it instantiates
 'being_waved_around_in_a_circle_ness' from the point of view of being the
 'stuff' (1st person) and the behaviour 'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly' (3rd
 person). Note that the 3rd person is actually derived from the 1st person
 perspective of the observer! This third person can pretend
 'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly' is X, but that's all there is...play acting.

 The third person perspective is manufactured in the eyes of the beholder.
 Perhaps rather than '1st Person Prime' as an assertion, maybe '3rd person
 not prime' is a lesser and more justified position. The fact is that there
 is no such thing as a 'third person'. What you have is a communicable 1st
 person perspective that yet another 'first person perspective' can find if
 it looks. No-one ever has a 'third person' perspective. Ernest Nagel named a
 book after it: 'the view from nowhere'. If 3rd person does not exist, then
 1st person is all there is left, isn't it?
 
 Colin Hales


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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-08 Thread George Levy




David Nyman wrote:

  George Levy wrote:

  
  
Thus first person perception of the world comes about when our own
existence is contingent on our observation.

  
  
Hi George

I think I agree with this.  It could correspond with what I'm trying to
model in terms of FP1 etc. Perhaps it might be expressed as:

First person perception of the world comes about when our own
observation and existence are mutually contingent
  

Not at all. A bidirectional contingency is superfluous. The only
relevent contingency is: If the observed event will result in
different probabilities of survival for myself and for others observing
me, then our perceptions will be different. 


  
  
  
Third person perception comes about in situations when our own existence
is not contingent on our observation.

  
  
Now here I'm not so clear.  


  In sum, I'm not clear what sort of observation is *not* contingent on
our existence, except someone else's observation, and so far as I can
see this is always first person by your definition.  Do you simply mean
to define any observation not involving ourselves as 'third person'
from our point-of-view?  
  
  

Third person perception comes about when several observers share
the same perception because they share the same environmental
contingencies on their existence. In effect these observers share
the same "frame of reference." I see many similarities with relativity
theory which I have discussed numerous times on this list in the past.
Let's be clear: all these observer have a first person perspective,
however this first person perspective appears to be the same across
observers, and therefore appears to be *independent* of the observers.
This perspective can be called *objective* but we must keep in mind
that it is the same only because the frame of reference is the same.
Thus the concept of objectivity loses its meaning unless we raise the
meaning to a higher level and accept that different observers will predictably
see different things, just like in relativity theory different
observers may predictably make different measurements of the
same object.

George

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Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-07 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 05-août-06, à 17:03, David Nyman a écrit :


 Hi Bruno

 I think you're right about the complexity.  It's because at this stage
 I'm just trying to discover whether this is a distinction that any of
 us think is true or useful, so I'm deliberately (but perhaps not always
 helpfully alas) using a variety of terms in the attempt to get my
 meaning across (you will recall the difficulties this caused in the FOR
 group).  However, even 'vaguely' is a start, so I'll count it as a
 success!

All right. (I hope you realize that you are very ambitious, but then 
that is how we learn).



 To make my own summary, I think my key points are:

 1) I take some sort of 'first person', in the direct sense I've termed
 'FP1', to be primitive because IMO this establishes our 'manifest'
 ontology (i.e. that given to us in direct experience)


My terminological problem here is that experience  and knowledge 
are usually put in the epistemology instead of ontology. Of course I 
know that you (and George, perhaps Stephen and Lee) would like to make 
primitive the first person notion(s) ... or the first persons 
themselves ?
To be sure I have some problem to interpret this.




 without either
 dualism, or 'emergence' from the third person (which IMO is
 incoherent).  This amounts to saying that any situation or context
 which is able to manifest the direct experience of 'I' is in some
 fundamental sense 'I all the way down'.


This could make sense, but in many more than one way given the point 
above.




 2) However, I don't by this token believe that such a 'global I' (FP1g)
 is a 'person' with individual experiential content.  The reason is that
 FP1g is undifferentiated, and such differentiation is what IMO
 demarcates 'perceivers' and their 'perceptual models'.  A conceptual
 model might be a network where 'persons' are nodes that co-vary, by
 sharing information, with other parts of the network to which they are
 energetically connected.  These nodes are then what I have termed FP1i.


This makes sense, except that with comp, by UDA, you will have to 
(re)define entirely energetically connected by the coherence 
conditions on the notions of person. Perhaps you could wait  I say more 
on this in my own future summary-roadmap which I have promise to Tom 
and George.





 3) About the details of differentiation schemas (comp, physics,
 whatever) I'm deliberately agnostic, because my key point is simply to
 propose the emergence of 'persons' from the contrast between a seamless
 'context' and its differentiated 'content'.


That looks like a description of emergence of 1-person from 3-persons, 
unless you define context and 'differentiation exclusively from your 
primary 1-person notion.




  I take such persons to
 have a 'dyadic' structure ('perceiver' + 'perceptual model') that is
 directly experienced, and elements of such direct experience are also
 what we call 'third person' when 'read' as information.

We can talk in a third person manner about first person notions. But 
some care is needed for not falling  in Chalmers delusion who forces 
him to accept some universal first person telepathy, so as to be able 
to be at two places at once from a first person point of view. With 
comp this is just impossible.


  I do, as you
 know, hold certain opinions about the equivalence properties of
 experience, but they are not IMO critical in establishing this more
 fundamental point.

 4) A consequence of the foregoing is that such experiential content can
 be 'experienced' (or *is* experience) but not 'known', in the sense of
 'if p is true'.


Here I prefer to simplify and to treat sentences like  I experience p 
by I know p. And keeping added nuances only when it is obligatory.



 This is because experience is 'incorrigible', and
 consequently is not open to falsification.


So at least we agree on the main axiom of standard knowledge theory. 
This is capture by a formula like Kp -  p: meaning If I know p then 
p is true. We can know only true proposition. It is conform with the 
traditional use of the verb to know. Nobody says John knew that (5 + 
4)^2 = 5^2 + 4^2, until he realized his error. We say instead John 
believed (5 + 4)^2 = 5^2 + 4^2, until he realized his error.



  'Knowing' is then an
 emergent aspect of the 'third' person - experience read as information.
 A key point is that this applies equally to the 'self' as it does to
 others, since both are in the same position vis-a-vis the 'shareable
 knowledge base' (SKB) that IMO is the basis of 'consensual reality'.
 My point here is that the relation of both 'self' and 'others' to
 'knowledge' consists of indicating and manipulating parts of the SKB.
 'Experience' is the 'means whereby' we grasp this communicable base,
 and is consequently itself not communicable.

I'm not sure what you mean. As far as I understand it, it seems to 
contradict what you say above.



 5) Finally, I think that many conceptual problems come from confusing
 the SKB with 

Re: Are First Person prime?

2006-08-07 Thread David Nyman

Bruno Marchal wrote:

 All right. (I hope you realize that you are very ambitious, but then
 that is how we learn).

Yes, learning is my aim here.

 My terminological problem here is that experience  and knowledge
 are usually put in the epistemology instead of ontology. Of course I
 know that you (and George, perhaps Stephen and Lee) would like to make
 primitive the first person notion(s) ... or the first persons
 themselves ?
 To be sure I have some problem to interpret this.

I'll try to nail this here.  I take 'ontology' to refer to issues of
existence or being, where 'epistemology' refers to knowledge, or 'what
and how we know'.  When I say that our 'ontology' is manifest, I'm
saying (a little more cautiously than Descartes) that *I experience* is
my primary evidence that 'I am' - indeed, is the manifest 'way in which
I am'.  From this basic ontological status, I can then proceed to
epistemological issues of what and how 'I know', which I discuss below.
However, the 'individual I' established by this basic move IMO is in a
sense illusory, unless we are prepared to settle for solipsism.  If we
wish to believe in the reality of something larger than what we can see
from our perspective, we need to understand our position as delimited
by the local availability of information.

To me this is very consistent with MWI, where the superposition of the
totality of information is nevertheless discriminated into multiple
perspectives by limitations of access from any locale.  It has always
seemed to me that there can be no 'preferred basis' for the assembly of
'personal histories' other than localised structuring of information.
Is it the function of the 'dovetailer' within your comp hypothesis to
establish the localisation basis used in assembling such
'points-of-view' into 'coherent personal histories'?

 That looks like a description of emergence of 1-person from 3-persons,
 unless you define context and 'differentiation exclusively from your
 primary 1-person notion.

Yes, I do define these exclusively in this way.  This is perhaps a key
point. My sense is that the context and the differentiation are both
primitive (irreducible).  That is why I say that I'm agnostic as to the
details of the differentiation at this logical level.  I take the
'context' to be primitive - a primary 'FP1' field, for the reasons
given above.  Further, however we decide to schematise the
differentiation of this field, at root we have to accept that *somehow*
parts are separable from the whole - which so far as I can see is
semantically paradoxical (without introjection from 'outside', what
could penetrate a 'seamless' whole?) - but in a sense this is a test of
true primitivity.  Consequently, in my schema, we have a primitive
field (context) with primitive differentiation (content).  These
together constitute the global first person FP1g.

My point about third person is that this is simply terminological.
Since everything is uniquely constituted in terms of some aspect of the
FP1g context+content, this also applies to the totality of our
representations of the world, what I've termed the shared knowledge
base (SKB).  Within the SKB, such representations are what we refer to
as third person - the word at arm's length as it were - but this is
merely an epithet since the ontological status of the SKB in itself
must be FP1.  The very term 'third person' is literally an FP1 'object'
within the SKB that refers to a logical category we wish to apply to
certain aspects of the SKB and its presumed referents in 'externality'.
But, notwithstanding these internal categorisations, both the SKB and
its distant referents remain alike - and uniquely - constituents of the
FP1 context+content.

 We can talk in a third person manner about first person notions. But
 some care is needed for not falling  in Chalmers delusion who forces
 him to accept some universal first person telepathy, so as to be able
 to be at two places at once from a first person point of view. With
 comp this is just impossible.

I find this 'Chalmers delusion' just that - deluded.  I've said above
(and in my 'PC' analogy) that questions of knowledge and identity can
only be resolved by a person from what is available locally at their
point-of-view (however this is 'assembled').  This means both whatever
capability they have, and whatever information is available.  IMO, to
make intelligible the notion of being in two places at once, one would
need to posit some non-local (as you say telepathic) transmission of
information on the presumed basis of these two points-of-view being the
'same' person.  To me, this is mysticism.  IMO, what constitutes
'sameness' vis-a-vis persons is the history of points-of-view (which
from the individual first person point-of-view is a function of
memory).  At the point of any 'splitting' or duplication of persons,
there is a split in histories, after which they are no longer the
'same'.  This is I suppose somewhat analogous to splitting in MWI,

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