Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-08 Thread John M

Stathis, you put me on the spot (as Brent did, to whom I still owe a reply).
I have NO theory. I started to speculate about things I never had the time 
to read a bout, keep pace with novelties, or even contemplate while I was 
busy as the nonexistent hell in my
day-to day D and consulting workload.
I read some 2-300 NEW books o n new worldview-related topics, starting as 
probably the oldest one: David Bohm. Then I argued (neophyte hassle) with 
physicists and conservative neuro-philosophers and wrote a sci-fi.
I concluded in an unlimited complexity of everything existing (another 
questionmark, since I was not on the basis of  the physical measurements) of 
which human thinking formulates topics, maps, territories (=models, within 
boundaries) and we have a 'science' closed into our models.
So I formulated a NARRATIVE for myself. (Plenitude etc.)
This (answering your question: 
...how it could be immune to being proved wrong?
makes me immune as it is MY narrative. You don't like it? fine. It gives me 
easier explanations in MY (common sense) logic to many (not all) questions. 
Primitive? of course.
Are we not all?
I found similar thinkers (different theories and bases) galore
and have interesting discussions on - I think - 8 lists.
Counterarguments help me develop my ideas. The only one I stick to is the 
total interconnectedness and intereffectiveness in the totality irrespective 
topics we identify. Complexity exceeds the systems. We are complexity of not 
separable mind (what is it?) and body (our historical figment of matter, 
just  explaining phenomena in the evolving empirical enrichment).
None exists without the other.

I better stop because I could not hold water in a detailed wide discussion 
against all that knowledge stuffed in this list.

John M

- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: John M everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Monday, August 07, 2006 9:25 PM
Subject: RE: Bruno's argument - Comp



John,

Perhaps I have misunderstood if you were presenting an alternative theory:
it's easy to misunderstand the often complex ideas discussed on this list. 
Could
you explain your theory, and how it could be immune to being proved wrong?

Stathis Papaioannou


 Stathis,
 you (of all people) underestimate human optimism and self confidence. MY
 THEORY? the 'others' maybe, they become proven wrong and false, not mine!
 Then again where is an acceptable evidence? to whom?
 Ask Goedel, ask Popper, ask all people who 'think' differently.
 Bruno has different evidence for his position in his reply to my question
 today than I had when I asked it.
 Not even a (confirmed?) Pysicalexperiment is 'evidendce'.  wHO do you 
 call
 a 'scientist'? the one who accepts an evidence, or  who does not?
 Best wishes
 John M
 - Original Message - 
 From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: John M everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 7:22 AM
 Subject: RE: Bruno's argument - Comp



 John M writes:

  Earlier we lived in a telephone central switchboard, further back in a
  steam-engine. Not to mention the Turtle.
  The 'cat' specifies IMO ignorance without prejudice.

 Very droll, very true! But what, then, must we do? Scientists come up with
 the
 best theory consistent with the evidence, with a willingness to revise the
 theory
 in the light of new evidence. They might not be quite as willing as they
 ideally
 should be, but that's just human nature, and they all come around to doing
 the
 right thing eventually. It would not be very helpful if we all thought, I
 know that
 whatever theory I come up with will almost certainly be proved wrong given
 enough
 time, so I won't bother coming up with a theory at all.

 Stathis Papaioannou



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RE: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-07 Thread W. C.

From: Brent Meeker
...
But I like to eat.  I like to eat steak.  A world in which I can't eat 
steak is not perfect for me.

  People with common intelligence can easily *imagine* (or dream) what a 
PU  will be.

I guess I have uncommon intelligence :-)  since I can't imagine what a PU 
would be.  I can't even imagine exactly what would be a perfect universe 
for me.  Do I want more security...or more adventure?  Sure I want to 
suceed...but maybe not too easily.  Do I really need to be the world's 
greatest tennis, chess, and billiards player?


Don't worry. I already have a solution for this:
Before I adjust the universe to become perfect, I will send everyone one 
message (by telepathy) to let you decide:
(1) Stay with the current universe if you like.
(2) Change to PU and become perfect.

Thanks.

WC.

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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-07 Thread Brent Meeker

W. C. wrote:
From: Brent Meeker
...
But I like to eat.  I like to eat steak.  A world in which I can't eat 
steak is not perfect for me.


People with common intelligence can easily *imagine* (or dream) what a 

PU  will be.

I guess I have uncommon intelligence :-)  since I can't imagine what a PU 
would be.  I can't even imagine exactly what would be a perfect universe 
for me.  Do I want more security...or more adventure?  Sure I want to 
suceed...but maybe not too easily.  Do I really need to be the world's 
greatest tennis, chess, and billiards player?

 
 
 Don't worry. I already have a solution for this:
 Before I adjust the universe to become perfect, I will send everyone one 
 message (by telepathy) to let you decide:
 (1) Stay with the current universe if you like.
 (2) Change to PU and become perfect.

Aye, there's the rub.  I can't become WC-perfect and remain me.

Brent Meeker


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RE: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-07 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

John,

Perhaps I have misunderstood if you were presenting an alternative theory: 
it's easy to misunderstand the often complex ideas discussed on this list. 
Could 
you explain your theory, and how it could be immune to being proved wrong?

Stathis Papaioannou


 Stathis,
 you (of all people) underestimate human optimism and self confidence. MY 
 THEORY? the 'others' maybe, they become proven wrong and false, not mine!
 Then again where is an acceptable evidence? to whom?
 Ask Goedel, ask Popper, ask all people who 'think' differently.
 Bruno has different evidence for his position in his reply to my question 
 today than I had when I asked it.
 Not even a (confirmed?) Pysicalexperiment is 'evidendce'.  wHO do you call 
 a 'scientist'? the one who accepts an evidence, or  who does not?
 Best wishes
 John M
 - Original Message - 
 From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: John M everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 7:22 AM
 Subject: RE: Bruno's argument - Comp
 
 
 
 John M writes:
 
  Earlier we lived in a telephone central switchboard, further back in a
  steam-engine. Not to mention the Turtle.
  The 'cat' specifies IMO ignorance without prejudice.
 
 Very droll, very true! But what, then, must we do? Scientists come up with 
 the
 best theory consistent with the evidence, with a willingness to revise the 
 theory
 in the light of new evidence. They might not be quite as willing as they 
 ideally
 should be, but that's just human nature, and they all come around to doing 
 the
 right thing eventually. It would not be very helpful if we all thought, I 
 know that
 whatever theory I come up with will almost certainly be proved wrong given 
 enough
 time, so I won't bother coming up with a theory at all.
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

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RE: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

John M writes:

 Earlier we lived in a telephone central switchboard, further back in a 
 steam-engine. Not to mention the Turtle.
 The 'cat' specifies IMO ignorance without prejudice.

Very droll, very true! But what, then, must we do? Scientists come up with the 
best theory consistent with the evidence, with a willingness to revise the 
theory 
in the light of new evidence. They might not be quite as willing as they 
ideally 
should be, but that's just human nature, and they all come around to doing the 
right thing eventually. It would not be very helpful if we all thought, I know 
that 
whatever theory I come up with will almost certainly be proved wrong given 
enough 
time, so I won't bother coming up with a theory at all.

Stathis Papaioannou


  I recently read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit is may 
  be
  a quantum computer.   Presumably when we observe Schrodinger's cat
  simultaneously being killed and not killed, we are observing the quantum
  computer in action.
 
  Norman Samish
  ~
  - Original Message - 
  From: John M [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
  Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 2:05 PM
  Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp
 
 
 
  To All:
  I know my questions below are beyond our comprehension, but we read (and
  write) so much about this idea that I feel compelled to ask:
 
  is there any idea why there would be 'comp'? our computers require juice
  to
  work and if unplugged they represent a very expensive paperweight.
 
  What kind of computing unit (universe? multiverse, or some other 
  satanic
  'verse') would run by itself without being supplied by something that
  moves
  it? I hate to ask about its program as well, whether it is an 
  intelligent
  design?
  Is it a pseudnym for some godlike mystery?
 
  Are we reinventing the religion?
 
  John Mikes
 
 
 
 
  

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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread 1Z


Norman Samish wrote:
 1Z,
 I don't know what you mean.

That is unfortunate, because as far as I am concerned everyhting
I am saying is obvious. (Have you read The fabric of Reality ?)

  Perhaps I can understand your statement, but
 only after I get answers to the following questions:
 1) What do you mean by Quantum computer?

A computer that exploits quantum superpositions to achieve parallelism.

 2) What do you mean by Quantum universe?

A universe (or multiverse) in which quantum physics is a true
description of reality.

 3) Why is a Quantum Computer only possible in a Quantum Universe?

It exploits quantum physics.

 4)  Why is Schrodinger's Cat possible in quantum universes  without
 computational assistance?

Superpositions are an implication of quantum mechanics. Schrodinger's
Cat
was mooted decades before anyone even thought of  quantum computaion.

 Norman

 - Original Message -
 From: 1Z [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: Everything List everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 2:43 PM
 Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp


 
 
  Norman Samish wrote:
  I recently read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit may be
  a quantum computer.   Presumably when we observe Schrodinger's cat
  simultaneously being killed and not killed, we are observing the quantum
  computer in action.
 
  Quantum computers are only possible in quantum universes, and in quantum
 universes, S's C is possible without computational assistance.


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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread Norman Samish

Thanks - with your help plus Wikipedia I now have an hypothesis about your 
statement.  It seems to boil down to Schrodinger's Cat has nothing to do 
with quantum computers other than they both depend on quantum 
superpositions.   Fair enough.

When I read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit may be a 
quantum computer, it enlarged my concept of all possible realities to 
include all possible states of quantum superpositions.   In half of these 
S.C. is alive; in half it is dead.

Norman Samish
~~~`
- Original Message - 
From: 1Z [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: Everything List everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 5:35 AM
Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp




 Norman Samish wrote:
 1Z,
 I don't know what you mean.

 That is unfortunate, because as far as I am concerned everyhting
 I am saying is obvious. (Have you read The fabric of Reality ?)

  Perhaps I can understand your statement, but
 only after I get answers to the following questions:
 1) What do you mean by Quantum computer?

 A computer that exploits quantum superpositions to achieve parallelism.

 2) What do you mean by Quantum universe?

 A universe (or multiverse) in which quantum physics is a true
 description of reality.

 3) Why is a Quantum Computer only possible in a Quantum Universe?

 It exploits quantum physics.

 4)  Why is Schrodinger's Cat possible in quantum universes  without
 computational assistance?

 Superpositions are an implication of quantum mechanics. Schrodinger's
 Cat
 was mooted decades before anyone even thought of  quantum computaion.

 Norman

 - Original Message -
 From: 1Z [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: Everything List everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 2:43 PM
 Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp


 
 
  Norman Samish wrote:
  I recently read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit may 
  be
  a quantum computer.   Presumably when we observe Schrodinger's cat
  simultaneously being killed and not killed, we are observing the 
  quantum
  computer in action.
 
  Quantum computers are only possible in quantum universes, and in quantum
 universes, S's C is possible without computational assistance. 


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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread 1Z


Norman Samish wrote:
 Thanks - with your help plus Wikipedia I now have an hypothesis about your
 statement.  It seems to boil down to Schrodinger's Cat has nothing to do
 with quantum computers other than they both depend on quantum
 superpositions.

Correct.

 Fair enough.

 When I read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit may be a
 quantum computer, it enlarged my concept of all possible realities to
 include all possible states of quantum superpositions.   In half of these
 S.C. is alive; in half it is dead.

That's just standard MWI. BTW, you didn't answer my question about FoR.


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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread Norman Samish



I read Fabric of Reality several years ago, but didn't understand it 
well. I intuitivelyagree with Asher Peres that Deutsch's version of 
MWI too-flagrantly violatesOccam's Razor. Perhaps I should read it 
again.

I even attended a lecture by John Wheeler, David Deutsch's thesis 
advisor. He gave me the same sense of unease that FoR did.

While I have no better explanation for quantum mysteries,I 
remainagnostic."MWI's main conclusion is that the universe (or 
multiverse in this context) is composed of a quantum superposition of very many, 
possibly infinitely many, increasingly divergent, non-communicating parallel 
universes or quantum worlds." (Wikipedia)I also can't buy "wavefunction 
collapse." 

Perhaps some undiscovered phenomenon is responsible for quantum mysteries - 
e.g., maybe the explanation lies inone or moreof the ten dimensions 
that string theory requires. Maybe these undiscovered dimensions somehow 
allow the fabled paired photons to instantly communicate with each other over 
astronomical distances. This is a WAG (wild-ass guess) of course, but it's 
more believable to me than new universes being constantly generated.

However, I CAN see some logic to the idea that Tegmark introduced me to - 
the idea that, in infinite space, a multiverse exists containing all possible 
universes - and we inhabit one of them. I believe that, in infinite time 
and space, anything that can happen must happen, not only once but an infinite 
number of times.

I freely admit that there are a lot of things I can't understand, e.g. more 
than three physical dimensions, the concept of infinity, time without beginniing 
or end, and the like. The reason I lurk on this list is to try to 
gainunderstanding. I sit at the feet of brilliant thinkers and 
listen.Norman~~- Original 
Message - From: "1Z" [EMAIL PROTECTED]To: "Everything 
List" everything-list@googlegroups.comSent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 
11:06 AMSubject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp  
 Norman Samish wrote: Thanks - with your help plus Wikipedia 
I now have an hypothesis about your statement. It seems to 
boil down to "Schrodinger's Cat has nothing to do with quantum 
computers other than they both depend on quantum 
superpositions."  Correct.  Fair 
enough. When I read somebody's speculation that the 
reality we inhabit may be a quantum computer, it enlarged my concept 
of all possible realities to include all possible states of quantum 
superpositions. In half of these S.C. is alive; in half 
it is dead.  That's just standard MWI. BTW, you didn't answer my 
question about FoR.
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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread Brent Meeker

Norman Samish wrote:
 I read Fabric of Reality several years ago, but didn't understand it 
 well.  I intuitively agree with Asher Peres that Deutsch's version of 
 MWI too-flagrantly violates Occam's Razor.  Perhaps I should read it 
 again.  
  
 I even attended a lecture by John Wheeler, David Deutsch's thesis 
 advisor.  He gave me the same sense of unease that FoR did.
  
 While I have no better explanation for quantum mysteries, I 
 remain agnostic.  MWI's main conclusion is that the universe (or 
 multiverse in this context) is composed of a quantum superposition of 
 very many, possibly infinitely many, increasingly divergent, 
 non-communicating parallel universes or quantum worlds. (Wikipedia)
 
 I also can't buy wavefunction collapse. 

If you don't buy MWI (or the more modestly name relative state version, 
which is what Everett called it) then you have to collapse the 
wavefunction some way.  Decoherence theory has shown that a density matrix 
for any instrument or observer is quickly diagonalized FAPP.  So if you can 
just ignored those 1e-100 cross-terms you're back to ordinary probabilities. 
  Then as Omnes' remarks, it's a probabilistic theory - which means it 
predicts one thing happens and the others don't.

Brent Meeker



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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread John M

Stathis,
you (of all people) underestimate human optimism and self confidence. MY 
THEORY? the 'others' maybe, they become proven wrong and false, not mine!
Then again where is an acceptable evidence? to whom?
Ask Goedel, ask Popper, ask all people who 'think' differently.
Bruno has different evidence for his position in his reply to my question 
today than I had when I asked it.
Not even a (confirmed?) Pysicalexperiment is 'evidendce'.  wHO do you call 
a 'scientist'? the one who accepts an evidence, or  who does not?
Best wishes
John M
- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: John M everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 7:22 AM
Subject: RE: Bruno's argument - Comp



John M writes:

 Earlier we lived in a telephone central switchboard, further back in a
 steam-engine. Not to mention the Turtle.
 The 'cat' specifies IMO ignorance without prejudice.

Very droll, very true! But what, then, must we do? Scientists come up with 
the
best theory consistent with the evidence, with a willingness to revise the 
theory
in the light of new evidence. They might not be quite as willing as they 
ideally
should be, but that's just human nature, and they all come around to doing 
the
right thing eventually. It would not be very helpful if we all thought, I 
know that
whatever theory I come up with will almost certainly be proved wrong given 
enough
time, so I won't bother coming up with a theory at all.

Stathis Papaioannou


  I recently read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit is 
  may
  be
  a quantum computer.   Presumably when we observe Schrodinger's cat
  simultaneously being killed and not killed, we are observing the quantum
  computer in action.
 
  Norman Samish
  ~
  - Original Message - 
  From: John M [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
  Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 2:05 PM
  Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp
 
 
 
  To All:
  I know my questions below are beyond our comprehension, but we read 
  (and
  write) so much about this idea that I feel compelled to ask:
 
  is there any idea why there would be 'comp'? our computers require 
  juice
  to
  work and if unplugged they represent a very expensive paperweight.
 
  What kind of computing unit (universe? multiverse, or some other
  satanic
  'verse') would run by itself without being supplied by something that
  moves
  it? I hate to ask about its program as well, whether it is an
  intelligent
  design?
  Is it a pseudnym for some godlike mystery?
 
  Are we reinventing the religion?
 
  John Mikes
 
 


 

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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread John M

Apologies to the list and to Stathis especially!

I replied to Stathis - and lost the text - at least I thought so.
That happens in Yahoo-mail sometimes and so far I could not detect which 
'key' did I touch wrong?
So I wrote another one and mailed it all right.

Then in the mail I detected my 'original' and lost text, it was snatched 
away and mailed.

The two are pretty different.

Redface John
- Original Message - 
From: John M [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 8:12 AM
Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp



 Stathis:
 I know that whatever theory I come up with will almost certainly be 
 proved
 wrong given enough
 time, so I won't bother coming up with a theory at all.
 Funny that you of all people come up with such a supposition so different
 from fundamental basic human nature!
 We all hope to be smarter than , And speculate.
 Even those scientists you refer to.
 Evidence? that is what I scrutinize. It is subject to the level of our
 ongoing epistemic enrichment and without later findings one settles with
 insufficient ones that become soon obsolete.
 I was challenged to propose technical levels 50 years ahead. It is
 impossible. I rather try to compose what and why of our present
 technological and theoretical status could  we NOT imagine 60 years 
 ago...it
 is entertaining.

 Man is optimist. Even myself with a cynical pessimism.

 John M


 - Original Message - 
 From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: John M everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 7:22 AM
 Subject: RE: Bruno's argument - Comp



 John M writes:

 Earlier we lived in a telephone central switchboard, further back in a
 steam-engine. Not to mention the Turtle.
 The 'cat' specifies IMO ignorance without prejudice.

 Very droll, very true! But what, then, must we do? Scientists come up with
 the
 best theory consistent with the evidence, with a willingness to revise the
 theory
 in the light of new evidence. They might not be quite as willing as they
 ideally
 should be, but that's just human nature, and they all come around to doing
 the
 right thing eventually. It would not be very helpful if we all thought, I
 know that
 whatever theory I come up with will almost certainly be proved wrong given
 enough
 time, so I won't bother coming up with a theory at all.

 Stathis Papaioannou


  I recently read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit is
  may
  be
  a quantum computer.   Presumably when we observe Schrodinger's cat
  simultaneously being killed and not killed, we are observing the 
  quantum
  computer in action.
 
  Norman Samish
  ~
  - Original Message - 
  From: John M [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
  Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 2:05 PM
  Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp
 
 
 
  To All:
  I know my questions below are beyond our comprehension, but we read
  (and
  write) so much about this idea that I feel compelled to ask:
 
  is there any idea why there would be 'comp'? our computers require
  juice
  to
  work and if unplugged they represent a very expensive paperweight.
 
  What kind of computing unit (universe? multiverse, or some other
  satanic
  'verse') would run by itself without being supplied by something that
  moves
  it? I hate to ask about its program as well, whether it is an
  intelligent
  design?
  Is it a pseudnym for some godlike mystery?
 
  Are we reinventing the religion?
 
  John Mikes
 
 


 

 _
 Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.
 http://ideas.live.com/programpage.aspx?versionId=5d21c51a-b161-4314-9b0e-4911fb2b2e6d




 -- 
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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread 1Z

Norman Samish wrote:
 I read Fabric of Reality several years ago, but didn't understand it well.  I 
 intuitively agree with Asher Peres that Deutsch's version of MWI 
 too-flagrantly violates Occam's Razor.  Perhaps I should read it again.

This is diusputed, e.g. in http://www.hedweb.com/manworld.htm

Q21 Does many-worlds violate Ockham's Razor?
William of Ockham, 1285-1349(?) English philosopher and one of the
founders of logic, proposed a maxim for judging theories which says
that hypotheses should not be multiplied beyond necessity. This is
known as Ockham's razor and is interpreted, today, as meaning that to
account for any set of facts the simplest theories are to be preferred
over more complex ones. Many-worlds is viewed as unnecessarily complex,
by some, by requiring the existence of a multiplicity of worlds to
explain what we see, at any time, in just one world.

This is to mistake what is meant by complex. Here's an example.
Analysis of starlight reveals that starlight is very similar to faint
sunlight, both with spectroscopic absorption and emission lines.
Assuming the universality of physical law we are led to conclude that
other stars and worlds are scattered, in great numbers, across the
cosmos. The theory that the stars are distant suns is the simplest
theory and so to be preferred by Ockham's Razor to other geocentric
theories.

Similarly many-worlds is the simplest and most economical quantum
theory because it proposes that same laws of physics apply to animate
observers as has been observed for inanimate objects. The multiplicity
of worlds predicted by the theory is not a weakness of many-worlds, any
more than the multiplicity of stars are for astronomers, since the
non-interacting worlds emerge from a simpler theory.

(As an historical aside it is worth noting that Ockham's razor was also
falsely used to argue in favour of the older heliocentric theories
against Galileo's notion of the vastness of the cosmos. The notion of
vast empty interstellar spaces was too uneconomical to be believable to
the Medieval mind. Again they were confusing the notion of vastness
with complexity [15].)





 I even attended a lecture by John Wheeler, David Deutsch's thesis advisor.  
 He gave me the same sense of unease that FoR did.

 While I have no better explanation for quantum mysteries, I remain agnostic.  
 MWI's main conclusion is that the universe (or multiverse in this context) 
 is composed of a quantum superposition of very many, possibly infinitely 
 many, increasingly divergent, non-communicating parallel universes or quantum 
 worlds. (Wikipedia)

 I also can't buy wavefunction collapse.

That is unofortunate, because if you do not have collapse, you
have MW, and if you do nto have MW, you have collapse.

 Perhaps some undiscovered phenomenon is responsible for quantum mysteries - 
 e.g., maybe the explanation lies in one or more of the ten dimensions that 
 string theory requires.

What is responsible for quantum phenomena is the way the universe
works.
What needs explaining is how the appearance of a classical
world-re-emerges.


   Maybe these undiscovered dimensions somehow allow the fabled paired photons 
 to instantly communicate with each other over astronomical distances.  This 
 is a WAG (wild-ass guess) of course, but it's more believable to me than new 
 universes being constantly generated.

This is already explained: what allows them to communicate is the
fact that they occupy an infinitely-dimensional Hilbert space. What
needs
explaining is how that ends up looking like 3D classical/relativistic
space.

 However, I CAN see some logic to the idea that Tegmark introduced me to - the 
 idea that, in infinite space, a multiverse exists containing all possible 
 universes - and we inhabit one of them.

Then the quantum universe will be one of them. But why shouldn't it be
the only one ?

  I believe that, in infinite time and space, anything that can happen must 
 happen, not only once but an infinite number of times.


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RE: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread W. C.

From: Brent Meeker

I don't think it's possible, because perfect is subjective.  Perfect for
the lion is bad for the antelope.


Such problem doesn't exist in PU.
In PU, there is no food chain like A eats B; B eats C; C eats D ... etc..
Perfect beings (both living and non-living) mean no unhappiness (you don't 
feel happy when you are eaten, right?).
Why living beings need to eat?
People with common intelligence can easily *imagine* (or dream) what a PU 
will be.
The difficult thing is how to make it.
(The rule is always simple: If I can't make it, it's just dream.)

Thanks.

WC.

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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-06 Thread Brent Meeker

W. C. wrote:
From: Brent Meeker
 
 
I don't think it's possible, because perfect is subjective.  Perfect for
the lion is bad for the antelope.

 
 
 Such problem doesn't exist in PU.
 In PU, there is no food chain like A eats B; B eats C; C eats D ... etc..
 Perfect beings (both living and non-living) mean no unhappiness (you don't 
 feel happy when you are eaten, right?).
 Why living beings need to eat?

But I like to eat.  I like to eat steak.  A world in which I can't eat steak 
is not perfect for me.

 People with common intelligence can easily *imagine* (or dream) what a PU 
 will be.

I guess I have uncommon intelligence :-)  since I can't imagine what a PU 
would be.  I can't even imagine exactly what would be a perfect universe for 
me.  Do I want more security...or more adventure?  Sure I want to 
suceed...but maybe not too easily.  Do I really need to be the world's 
greatest tennis, chess, and billiards player?

Brent Meeker


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RE: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread W. C.

I think it's always good to have all different kinds of theories to explain 
our universe.
Whatever current theories are, our understanding could be always limited by 
our limitations
(as designed by the so-called Creator if any).
So I always think it's possible to produce a perfect universe by some way 
(although other theories say impossible).
Then all living beings can live in a paradise-like universe.
In this (infinite) universe with infinite resources, it makes sense that all 
living beings should be in paradise.
In one sentence, there should be free lunch for all.
All beings should be created perfect with everything needed forever.
Maybe the solution won't come from the so-called evolution and the slow 
science/technology development.
It could come from some magic (sorry if you think I am unscientific).
There should be some magic to make the universe perfect instantly.

Thanks.

WC.

From: John M
To All:
I know my questions below are beyond our comprehension, but we read (and 
write) so much about this idea that I feel compelled to ask:

  is there any idea why there would be 'comp'? our computers require juice 
to work and if unplugged they represent a very expensive paperweight.

What kind of computing unit (universe? multiverse, or some other satanic 
'verse') would run by itself without being supplied by something that moves 
it? I hate to ask about its program as well, whether it is an intelligent 
design?
Is it a pseudnym for some godlike mystery?

Are we reinventing the religion?


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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread Quentin Anciaux

Hi,

The problem with perfection is that this word has *no* absolute meaning.

Then depending on your culture/history it can have a different meaning.

Stupid example: Imagine you are a serial killer... perfect world for you would 
be a world were you can kill at will ;) But you would say that a serial 
killer cannot be in a perfect world (I'd say he cannot be in your perfect 
world, not his).

So unless there exists an absolute meaning of perfection, PU seems impossible 
or I should say meaningless.

Quentin

Le Samedi 5 Août 2006 12:41, W. C. a écrit :
 I think it's always good to have all different kinds of theories to explain
 our universe.
 Whatever current theories are, our understanding could be always limited by
 our limitations
 (as designed by the so-called Creator if any).
 So I always think it's possible to produce a perfect universe by some way
 (although other theories say impossible).
 Then all living beings can live in a paradise-like universe.
 In this (infinite) universe with infinite resources, it makes sense that
 all living beings should be in paradise.
 In one sentence, there should be free lunch for all.
 All beings should be created perfect with everything needed forever.
 Maybe the solution won't come from the so-called evolution and the slow
 science/technology development.
 It could come from some magic (sorry if you think I am unscientific).
 There should be some magic to make the universe perfect instantly.

 Thanks.

 WC.

 From: John M
 To All:
 I know my questions below are beyond our comprehension, but we read (and
 write) so much about this idea that I feel compelled to ask:
 
   is there any idea why there would be 'comp'? our computers require juice
 to work and if unplugged they represent a very expensive paperweight.
 
 What kind of computing unit (universe? multiverse, or some other satanic
 'verse') would run by itself without being supplied by something that
  moves it? I hate to ask about its program as well, whether it is an
  intelligent design?
 Is it a pseudnym for some godlike mystery?
 
 Are we reinventing the religion?

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RE: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread W. C.

Good question. But I don't think we need to define perfect.
You can check the dictionary to know its meaning.
Your killing example won't exist in the PU. Otherwise it won't be PU.

From: everything-list@googlegroups.com The problem with perfection is that 
this word has *no* absolute meaning.

Then depending on your culture/history it can have a different meaning.

Stupid example: Imagine you are a serial killer... perfect world for you 
would be a world were you can kill at will ;) But you would say that a 
serial killer cannot be in a perfect world (I'd say he cannot be in your 
perfect world, not his).

So unless there exists an absolute meaning of perfection, PU seems 
impossible or I should say meaningless.

Quentin

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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread Quentin Anciaux

Hi, I've checked and I do not see an absolute meaning to perfection.

Le Samedi 5 Août 2006 13:12, W. C. a écrit :
 Good question. But I don't think we need to define perfect.
 You can check the dictionary to know its meaning.
 Your killing example won't exist in the PU. Otherwise it won't be PU.

It won't be in *your view* of *your* PU... That shows that PU notion has no 
meaning... or I should say the meaning is tied to the person who think of it.

Regards,
Quentin

 From: everything-list@googlegroups.com The problem with perfection is that
 this word has *no* absolute meaning.
 
 Then depending on your culture/history it can have a different meaning.
 
 Stupid example: Imagine you are a serial killer... perfect world for you
 would be a world were you can kill at will ;) But you would say that a
 serial killer cannot be in a perfect world (I'd say he cannot be in your
 perfect world, not his).
 
 So unless there exists an absolute meaning of perfection, PU seems
 impossible or I should say meaningless.
 
 Quentin

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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 03-août-06, à 23:05, John M a écrit :


 Are we reinventing the religion?


Yes.

Now, it is not that science is suddenly so clever that it can solve the 
problem in religion. It is (justifiably assuming comp) that we can 
approach some religion's problem with the modesty inherent in the 
scientific attitude, and then deduce testable facts.

That scientific attitude has ALWAYS been in conflict, of course, with 
all form of scientism or religionism or whatever based on authoritative 
arguments.
It is fair to say that Aristotelism has probably saved the observation 
of nature from the influence of such authoritative arguments, but it 
has saved only that, and I think it could perhaps be time to dare, at 
least, reformulate unsolved old question. Comp gives an opportunity to 
do that. It clearly provides the tools. As Rudy Rucker, Judson Webb, 
Paul Benacerraf, and others have already shown, notably, is that 
computer science and mathematical logic makes it possible to develop 
theories putting light on those questions. About the nature of 
matter, Comp, then, appears to go more in the direction of Plato and 
Plotinus than Aristotle. Is that even astonishing?

Bruno

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


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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread Bruno Marchal

OK John, I say more on your post.


Le 03-août-06, à 23:05, John M a écrit :


 To All:
 I know my questions below are beyond our comprehension, but we read 
 (and
 write) so much about this idea that I feel compelled to ask:

  is there any idea why there would be 'comp'? our computers require 
 juice to
 work and if unplugged they represent a very expensive paperweight.

Sure.



 What kind of computing unit (universe? multiverse, or some other 
 satanic
 'verse') would run by itself without being supplied by something that 
 moves
 it?


Space and movement would be how numbers see themselves, in case comp is 
assumed (that is in case you say yes to the doctor).




 I hate to ask about its program as well, whether it is an intelligent
 design?

Even without comp, but with the weaker everything idea we have 
already throw out the intelligent design idea. The problem is what 
is everything?. With comp, actually with just Church thesis, we do 
have a notion of universality which is formalism and theory 
independent. It is one of the major discovery of last century. It is 
unique in math.


 Is it a pseudnym for some godlike mystery?

 Are we reinventing the religion?

See my preceding post.

Bruno

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


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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread John M

Bruno:
I am sorry to have asked that question.
I meant 'religion' as assigning those 'unanswered' questions to some 
super-authority and 'believe' an answer assigned as if a higher 
authority-wisdom would have provided them, whilst they came from (definitely 
wise) humans of THAT age (i.e. level of epistemic readiness). Mostly with 
mystical painting.
Then later on powers picked it up, formulated those ideas into formats 
according to their goals (any, according to the 'times')
and waged brutal wars all the way to this day.
Instead of in a  - as you said - modestly scientific manner admitting our 
ignorance. Which does not interfere with trying to find solutions
How about steering 'comp' in the direction of the 3rd millennium level of 
ideas AD instead of BC times?

Sorry, I don't know those gentlemen you mention, but it seems they want to 
explain the fundamentally unknown by parts (ideas) of the same fundamentally 
unknown . Matter? Math-cal logic? Computer science? all embedded into the 
age-old ways.
Even the last one, unless it 'forms' out itself from its rather embryonic 
phase of the early development. (Digital that is).

John M

- Original Message - 
From: Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 9:04 AM
Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp




Le 03-août-06, à 23:05, John M a écrit :


 Are we reinventing the religion?


Yes.

Now, it is not that science is suddenly so clever that it can solve the
problem in religion. It is (justifiably assuming comp) that we can
approach some religion's problem with the modesty inherent in the
scientific attitude, and then deduce testable facts.

That scientific attitude has ALWAYS been in conflict, of course, with
all form of scientism or religionism or whatever based on authoritative
arguments.
It is fair to say that Aristotelism has probably saved the observation
of nature from the influence of such authoritative arguments, but it
has saved only that, and I think it could perhaps be time to dare, at
least, reformulate unsolved old question. Comp gives an opportunity to
do that. It clearly provides the tools. As Rudy Rucker, Judson Webb,
Paul Benacerraf, and others have already shown, notably, is that
computer science and mathematical logic makes it possible to develop
theories putting light on those questions. About the nature of
matter, Comp, then, appears to go more in the direction of Plato and
Plotinus than Aristotle. Is that even astonishing?

Bruno

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





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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread John M

Earlier we lived in a telephone central switchboard, further back in a 
steam-engine. Not to mention the Turtle.
The 'cat' specifies IMO ignorance without prejudice.
John M
- Original Message - 
From: Norman Samish [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Friday, August 04, 2006 9:04 PM
Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp



 I recently read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit is may 
 be
 a quantum computer.   Presumably when we observe Schrodinger's cat
 simultaneously being killed and not killed, we are observing the quantum
 computer in action.

 Norman Samish
 ~
 - Original Message - 
 From: John M [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 2:05 PM
 Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp



 To All:
 I know my questions below are beyond our comprehension, but we read (and
 write) so much about this idea that I feel compelled to ask:

 is there any idea why there would be 'comp'? our computers require juice
 to
 work and if unplugged they represent a very expensive paperweight.

 What kind of computing unit (universe? multiverse, or some other 
 satanic
 'verse') would run by itself without being supplied by something that
 moves
 it? I hate to ask about its program as well, whether it is an 
 intelligent
 design?
 Is it a pseudnym for some godlike mystery?

 Are we reinventing the religion?

 John Mikes




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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread 1Z


Norman Samish wrote:
 I recently read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit is may be
 a quantum computer.   Presumably when we observe Schrodinger's cat
 simultaneously being killed and not killed, we are observing the quantum
 computer in action.

Quantum computers are only possible in quantum universes, and in
quantum universes, S's C is possible without computational assistance.


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RE: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread W. C.

From: Quentin Anciaux

Hi, I've checked and I do not see an absolute meaning to perfection.


OK. If you want more, I will say perfection in PU is *every being is perfect 
and feels perfect (if it has feeling)*.
This doesn't mean that every being is exactly the same. They may have 
different special functions. But they are all perfect.
They are born with highest self-fulfillment and happiness (if needed) and 
all resources, no need to follow life cycles
(born, aged, sick, death etc.).
So a PU is without any wars/crimes/conflicts, any bad things, any natural 
disasters ... etc.
If you want even more, I think I need to write down some math. 
formulas/theorems etc. But it takes time.

Thanks.

WC.

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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-05 Thread Norman Samish

1Z,
I don't know what you mean.  Perhaps I can understand your statement, but 
only after I get answers to the following questions:
1) What do you mean by Quantum computer?
2) What do you mean by Quantum universe?
3) Why is a Quantum Computer only possible in a Quantum Universe?
4)  Why is Schrodinger's Cat possible in quantum universes  without 
computational assistance?

Norman

- Original Message - 
From: 1Z [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: Everything List everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 2:43 PM
Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp




 Norman Samish wrote:
 I recently read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit may be
 a quantum computer.   Presumably when we observe Schrodinger's cat
 simultaneously being killed and not killed, we are observing the quantum
 computer in action.

 Quantum computers are only possible in quantum universes, and in quantum 
universes, S's C is possible without computational assistance. 


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-04 Thread Russell Standish

I think if you stack all possible recordings together in the way you
suggest, connected in such as way as to be indistinguishable from a
computation occuring with all its counterfactuals in the Multiverse,
then what you have is a computation.

Cheers

On Fri, Aug 04, 2006 at 02:55:18PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 Russell Standish writes:
 
  In the Multiverse, there is a huge difference between a recording and
  the actual computation. Only in one single universe (or history) of
  the ensemble do the two coincide.
  
  The recording is a computation issue is only a problem for single
  universe theory IMHO.
 
 Do you mean that the recording is static while the computation branches 
 out in the MV? Couldn't we also say that all possible related recordings 
 exist 
 somewhere in the multiverse, giving just as broad a variety of putative 
 computations as the conventional computer? In any case, even if the 
 recording is confined to a single universe while the computation roams all 
 over the ensemble, does that necessarily say anything about whether the 
 recording can be conscious?
 
 Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-04 Thread John M

To All:
I know my questions below are beyond our comprehension, but we read (and 
write) so much about this idea that I feel compelled to ask:

 is there any idea why there would be 'comp'? our computers require juice to 
work and if unplugged they represent a very expensive paperweight.

What kind of computing unit (universe? multiverse, or some other satanic 
'verse') would run by itself without being supplied by something that moves 
it? I hate to ask about its program as well, whether it is an intelligent 
design?
Is it a pseudnym for some godlike mystery?

Are we reinventing the religion?

John Mikes



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Re: Bruno's argument - Comp

2006-08-04 Thread Norman Samish

I recently read somebody's speculation that the reality we inhabit is may be 
a quantum computer.   Presumably when we observe Schrodinger's cat 
simultaneously being killed and not killed, we are observing the quantum 
computer in action.

Norman Samish
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- Original Message - 
From: John M [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 2:05 PM
Subject: Re: Bruno's argument - Comp



 To All:
 I know my questions below are beyond our comprehension, but we read (and
 write) so much about this idea that I feel compelled to ask:

 is there any idea why there would be 'comp'? our computers require juice 
 to
 work and if unplugged they represent a very expensive paperweight.

 What kind of computing unit (universe? multiverse, or some other satanic
 'verse') would run by itself without being supplied by something that 
 moves
 it? I hate to ask about its program as well, whether it is an intelligent
 design?
 Is it a pseudnym for some godlike mystery?

 Are we reinventing the religion?

 John Mikes 


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-03 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 
 Brent Meeker writes (quoting SP):
 
 
Consider a computer which is doing something (whether it is dreaming or 
musing or just running is the point in question).  If there is no 
interaction between what it's running and the rest of the world I'd say 
it's not conscious.  It doesn't necessarily need an external observer 
though.  To invoke an external observer would require that we already 
knew how to distinguish an observer from a non-observer.  This just 
pushes the problem away a step.  One could as well claim that the walls 
of the room which are struck by the photons from the screen constitute 
an observer - under a suitable mapping of wall states.  The computer 
could, like a Mars rover, act directly on the rest of the world.


The idea that we can only be conscious when interacting with the environment 
is certainly worth considering. After all, consciousness evolved in order to 
help 
the organism deal with its environment, and it may be wrong to just assume  
without further evidence that consciousness continues if all interaction 
with the 
environment ceases. Maybe even those activities which at first glance seem 
to 
involve consciousness in the absence of environmental interaction actually 
rely 
on a trickle of sensory input: for example, maybe dreaming is dependent on 
proprioceptive feedback from eye movements, which is why we only dream 
during REM sleep, and maybe general anaesthetics actually work by 
eliminating 
all sensory input rather than by a direct effect on the cortex. But even if 
all this 
is true, we could still imagine stimulating a brain which has all its 
sensory inputs 
removed so that the pattern of neural activity is exactly the same as it 
would 
have been had it arisen in the usual way. Would you say that the 
artificially 
stimulated brain is not conscious, even though everything up to and 
including 
the peripheral nerves is physically identical to and goes through the same 
physical processes as the normal brain?

No.  I already noted that we can't insist that interaction with the 
environment is continuous. Maybe potential interaction would be 
appropriate.  But I note that even in your example you contemplate 
stimulating the brain.  I'm just trying to take what I consider an 
operational defintion and abstract it to the kind of 
mathematical/philosophical definition that can be applied to questions 
about rocks thinking.
 
 
 The brain-with-wires-attached cannot interact with the environment, because 
 all its sense organs have been removed and the stimulation is just coming 
 from 
 a recording. Instead of the wires + recording we could say that there is a 
 special 
 group of neurons with spontaneous activity that stimulates the rest of the 
 brain 
 just as if it were receiving input from the environment. Such a brain would 
 have 
 no ability to interact with the environment, unless the effort were made to 
 figure out its internal code and then manufacture sense organs for it - but I 
 think that would be stretching the definition of potential interaction. In 
 any 
 case, I don't see how potential interaction could make a difference. 

Yet you had to refer to stimulate...as if it were receiving input from the 
environment to create an example.  If there were no potential interaction 
there could be no as if.  So istm that the potential interaction can be an 
essential part of the definition.  That's not to say that such a definition 
is right - definitions aren't right or wrong - but it's a definition that 
makes a useful distinction that comports with our common sense.

If you had 
 two brains sitting in the dark, identical in anatomy and electrical activity 
 except 
 that one has its optic nerves cut, will one brain be conscious and the other 
 not?

Where did the brains come from?  Since they had optic nerves can we suppose 
that they had the potential to see photons and they still have this 
potential given replacement optic nerves?  Not necessarily.  Suppose one 
came from a cat that was raised in complete darkness.  We know 
experimentally that this cat can't see...even when there is light.  The lack 
of stimulus results in the brain not forming the necessary structures for 
interpreting signals from the retina.  Now suppose it were raised with no 
stimulus whatever, even in utero.  I conjecture that it would not think at 
all - although there would be computation, i.e. neurons firing in some 
order.  But it would no longer have the potential for interaction; even with 
its own body.

But I think you do bring up a good point - the boundary between brain and 
environment is clear enough for actual animals, but seems rather arbitrary 
in the abstract.

Brent Meeker

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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-08-03 Thread Stathis Papaioannou



Brent Meeker writes:

  The brain-with-wires-attached cannot interact with the environment, because 
  all its sense organs have been removed and the stimulation is just coming 
  from 
  a recording. Instead of the wires + recording we could say that there is a 
  special 
  group of neurons with spontaneous activity that stimulates the rest of the 
  brain 
  just as if it were receiving input from the environment. Such a brain would 
  have 
  no ability to interact with the environment, unless the effort were made to 
  figure out its internal code and then manufacture sense organs for it - but 
  I 
  think that would be stretching the definition of potential interaction. 
  In any 
  case, I don't see how potential interaction could make a difference. 
 
 Yet you had to refer to stimulate...as if it were receiving input from the 
 environment to create an example.  If there were no potential interaction 
 there could be no as if.  So istm that the potential interaction can be an 
 essential part of the definition.  That's not to say that such a definition 
 is right - definitions aren't right or wrong - but it's a definition that 
 makes a useful distinction that comports with our common sense.

It's very difficult to define potential interaction. With even a completely 
solipsistic 
computer we could imagine taking readings at various points in the circuit with 
an 
oscilloscope and/or changing circuit voltages, capacitance, resistance etc. Is 
the 
fact that we *could* do this enough to make the computer conscious? Or would it 
only be conscious if we had access to its design specifications, so that we 
could in 
principle communicate with it meaningfully rather than just making random 
changes? 
What if the human race died out but the computer continued to function, with no 
hope that anyone might ever talk to it? What if the computer had very complex 
(putatively) conscious thoughts, but rather simple input and output, eg. it 
beeps 
when the counts from a connected geiger counter matches the number it happens 
to be thinking of at the time: would that be enough to make it conscious or 
does the 
environmental interaction have to match or reflect (or potentially so) the 
complexity 
of its internal thoughts?
 
 If you had 
  two brains sitting in the dark, identical in anatomy and electrical 
  activity except 
  that one has its optic nerves cut, will one brain be conscious and the 
  other not?
 
 Where did the brains come from?  Since they had optic nerves can we suppose 
 that they had the potential to see photons and they still have this 
 potential given replacement optic nerves?  Not necessarily.  Suppose one 
 came from a cat that was raised in complete darkness.  We know 
 experimentally that this cat can't see...even when there is light.  The lack 
 of stimulus results in the brain not forming the necessary structures for 
 interpreting signals from the retina.  Now suppose it were raised with no 
 stimulus whatever, even in utero.  I conjecture that it would not think at 
 all - although there would be computation, i.e. neurons firing in some 
 order.  But it would no longer have the potential for interaction; even with 
 its own body.

Yes, the cat would be missing essential brain structures so it would not be 
conscious of light even if you somehow gave it eyes and optic nerves. But I 
think 
this makes the point that perception/consciousness does not occur in the 
environment 
but in the brain. If you have the right environmental inputs but the wrong 
brain, 
there is no perception, whereas if you have the right brain with the neurons 
firing 
in the right way, but in the absence of the right environmental inputs, the 
result is 
a hallucination indistinguishable from reality.

Stathsi Papaioannou
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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-08-03 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Russell Standish writes:

 In the Multiverse, there is a huge difference between a recording and
 the actual computation. Only in one single universe (or history) of
 the ensemble do the two coincide.
 
 The recording is a computation issue is only a problem for single
 universe theory IMHO.

Do you mean that the recording is static while the computation branches 
out in the MV? Couldn't we also say that all possible related recordings exist 
somewhere in the multiverse, giving just as broad a variety of putative 
computations as the conventional computer? In any case, even if the 
recording is confined to a single universe while the computation roams all 
over the ensemble, does that necessarily say anything about whether the 
recording can be conscious?

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-08-02 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:

 Consider a computer which is doing something (whether it is dreaming or 
 musing or just running is the point in question).  If there is no 
 interaction between what it's running and the rest of the world I'd say 
 it's not conscious.  It doesn't necessarily need an external observer 
 though.  To invoke an external observer would require that we already 
 knew how to distinguish an observer from a non-observer.  This just 
 pushes the problem away a step.  One could as well claim that the walls 
 of the room which are struck by the photons from the screen constitute 
 an observer - under a suitable mapping of wall states.  The computer 
 could, like a Mars rover, act directly on the rest of the world.

The idea that we can only be conscious when interacting with the environment 
is certainly worth considering. After all, consciousness evolved in order to 
help 
the organism deal with its environment, and it may be wrong to just assume  
without further evidence that consciousness continues if all interaction with 
the 
environment ceases. Maybe even those activities which at first glance seem to 
involve consciousness in the absence of environmental interaction actually rely 
on a trickle of sensory input: for example, maybe dreaming is dependent on 
proprioceptive feedback from eye movements, which is why we only dream 
during REM sleep, and maybe general anaesthetics actually work by eliminating 
all sensory input rather than by a direct effect on the cortex. But even if all 
this 
is true, we could still imagine stimulating a brain which has all its sensory 
inputs 
removed so that the pattern of neural activity is exactly the same as it would 
have been had it arisen in the usual way. Would you say that the artificially 
stimulated brain is not conscious, even though everything up to and including 
the peripheral nerves is physically identical to and goes through the same 
physical processes as the normal brain?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-02 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 
Consider a computer which is doing something (whether it is dreaming or 
musing or just running is the point in question).  If there is no 
interaction between what it's running and the rest of the world I'd say 
it's not conscious.  It doesn't necessarily need an external observer 
though.  To invoke an external observer would require that we already 
knew how to distinguish an observer from a non-observer.  This just 
pushes the problem away a step.  One could as well claim that the walls 
of the room which are struck by the photons from the screen constitute 
an observer - under a suitable mapping of wall states.  The computer 
could, like a Mars rover, act directly on the rest of the world.
 
 
 The idea that we can only be conscious when interacting with the environment 
 is certainly worth considering. After all, consciousness evolved in order to 
 help 
 the organism deal with its environment, and it may be wrong to just assume  
 without further evidence that consciousness continues if all interaction with 
 the 
 environment ceases. Maybe even those activities which at first glance seem to 
 involve consciousness in the absence of environmental interaction actually 
 rely 
 on a trickle of sensory input: for example, maybe dreaming is dependent on 
 proprioceptive feedback from eye movements, which is why we only dream 
 during REM sleep, and maybe general anaesthetics actually work by eliminating 
 all sensory input rather than by a direct effect on the cortex. But even if 
 all this 
 is true, we could still imagine stimulating a brain which has all its sensory 
 inputs 
 removed so that the pattern of neural activity is exactly the same as it 
 would 
 have been had it arisen in the usual way. Would you say that the artificially 
 stimulated brain is not conscious, even though everything up to and including 
 the peripheral nerves is physically identical to and goes through the same 
 physical processes as the normal brain?

No.  I already noted that we can't insist that interaction with the 
environment is continuous. Maybe potential interaction would be 
appropriate.  But I note that even in your example you contemplate 
stimulating the brain.  I'm just trying to take what I consider an 
operational defintion and abstract it to the kind of 
mathematical/philosophical definition that can be applied to questions 
about rocks thinking.

At the experimental level, I recall that in the late '60s, when sensory 
deprivation experiments were the craze, there was a report that after an 
hour or so in a sensory deprivation tank a persons mind would end up in 
a loop.

Incidentally, the attribute in question seems to morph around among 
conscious, intelligent, and computing something.  I don't think 
those are all exactly the same.  Certainly computing and intelligence 
don't necessarily entail consciousness.  And consciousness itself admits 
of categories.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-02 Thread Hal Finney

A useful model of computation is the Turing Machine.  A TM has a tape
with symbols on it; a head which moves along the tape and which can read
and write symbols, and a state machine with a fixed number of states
that controls head movement and symbol writing based on the current
state and the symbol at the head's current location.  It has been shown
that this relatively simplistic model is able to do anything that more
sophisticated computer models can do.

We can consider the state of a TM to be made up of the conjunction of
three things: the current state of the tape (i.e. the string of symbols
written there); the position of the head; and the state of the internal
state machine.  Maybe it would be best to call this the superstate
because normally the state of the TM just refers to its internal state
machine state.  The TM can then be said to advance from superstate to
superstate according to its internal rules and the contents of the tape.

If a TM ever gets into the same superstate twice, it is in an infinite
loop.  This is because the TM is fully deterministic and so it will
always go into the same successor superstate from a given superstate.
Halting TM's never get into the same superstate twice.  Therefore halting
TM's go through a unique succession of superstates, from the first to
the last.

We can map or label a TM's superstates with successive integers,
corresponding to the order that it goes through the superstates of a
computation.  In this mapping, the only difference between two different
computations is their length.  If two computations had the same length N,
they would both go through states labeled 0, 1, 2, ..., N.

What is a computation?  A TM computation has two parts.  One is the
initial conditions: the initial value on the tape, the initial head
position.  The other is the set of rules used, the internal state machine
that controls the machine.  Together these two parts define a trajectory
of the TM through a sequence of superstates.

We often think of the internal state machine as being like the program
and the initial contents of tape as being the data.  However, as
Turing was the first to recognize, this distinction is not always useful,
and sometimes it makes more sense to think of at least part of the tape
contents as being program rather than data.  In particular, the Universal
TM treats part of the tape as a specification for a specific other TM
that it will emulate, and the remainder of the tape is then the input
to that TM.

Generally, when we think of counterfactuals in a TM computation we mean
to change the data, not the program.  We don't mean to ask, what would
happen if you ran a different program on the same data.  Rather, we
mean, what would happen if you ran the same program on different data.
We want to say that two computations are equivalent only if they have
the same counterfactual behavior - that is, if the programs would behave
the same on all data.

One problem with this is noted above, that we cannot always cleanly
distinguish program and data.  In the case of the UTM, is the prefix part
of the tape, that defines the particular TM to emulate, program or data?
If it is program, we would not try to vary it in considering whether
two computations are equivalent.  If it is data, we should consider
such variations.  In general, I don't think we can always distinguish
these cases cleanly.  UTMs can be nested to any desired degree.  What is
program to one is data to another.  More complex UTM computations may be
aided by certain patterns on the tape which will disrupt the computation
if they are changed.

Another problem is that a more complex mapping may be able to be set up
between two different computations even if we consider counterfactuals
as all different initial tape configurations.  We could make the mapping
be a function of the superstate as defined above.  Two computations with
different initial tapes will start in different superstates, hence the
mapping is still unique.  And it will be robust over all possible inputs
and hence all possible counterfactual computations.

On these considerations, It seems to me that there are problems
with basing the distinction between computations on support for
counterfactuals.  TMs make the very notion of counterfactuals rather
fuzzy, and still admit the possibility of mappings between computations
that remain robust even in the face of counterfactuals.

My preferred view is to focus on the algorithmic complexity of the
mapping between two computations, and to ask whether the information
needed to specify the mapping is less than the information needed to
write down the computation from scratch.  If not, if the mapping is
substantially bigger than the computation it purports to describe,
then the correspondence is an illusion and is not real.

Hal Finney

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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-08-02 Thread Stathis Papaioannou




Brent Meeker writes (quoting SP):

 Consider a computer which is doing something (whether it is dreaming or 
 musing or just running is the point in question).  If there is no 
 interaction between what it's running and the rest of the world I'd say 
 it's not conscious.  It doesn't necessarily need an external observer 
 though.  To invoke an external observer would require that we already 
 knew how to distinguish an observer from a non-observer.  This just 
 pushes the problem away a step.  One could as well claim that the walls 
 of the room which are struck by the photons from the screen constitute 
 an observer - under a suitable mapping of wall states.  The computer 
 could, like a Mars rover, act directly on the rest of the world.
  
  
  The idea that we can only be conscious when interacting with the 
  environment 
  is certainly worth considering. After all, consciousness evolved in order 
  to help 
  the organism deal with its environment, and it may be wrong to just assume  
  without further evidence that consciousness continues if all interaction 
  with the 
  environment ceases. Maybe even those activities which at first glance seem 
  to 
  involve consciousness in the absence of environmental interaction actually 
  rely 
  on a trickle of sensory input: for example, maybe dreaming is dependent on 
  proprioceptive feedback from eye movements, which is why we only dream 
  during REM sleep, and maybe general anaesthetics actually work by 
  eliminating 
  all sensory input rather than by a direct effect on the cortex. But even if 
  all this 
  is true, we could still imagine stimulating a brain which has all its 
  sensory inputs 
  removed so that the pattern of neural activity is exactly the same as it 
  would 
  have been had it arisen in the usual way. Would you say that the 
  artificially 
  stimulated brain is not conscious, even though everything up to and 
  including 
  the peripheral nerves is physically identical to and goes through the same 
  physical processes as the normal brain?
 
 No.  I already noted that we can't insist that interaction with the 
 environment is continuous. Maybe potential interaction would be 
 appropriate.  But I note that even in your example you contemplate 
 stimulating the brain.  I'm just trying to take what I consider an 
 operational defintion and abstract it to the kind of 
 mathematical/philosophical definition that can be applied to questions 
 about rocks thinking.

The brain-with-wires-attached cannot interact with the environment, because 
all its sense organs have been removed and the stimulation is just coming from 
a recording. Instead of the wires + recording we could say that there is a 
special 
group of neurons with spontaneous activity that stimulates the rest of the 
brain 
just as if it were receiving input from the environment. Such a brain would 
have 
no ability to interact with the environment, unless the effort were made to 
figure out its internal code and then manufacture sense organs for it - but I 
think that would be stretching the definition of potential interaction. In 
any 
case, I don't see how potential interaction could make a difference. If you 
had 
two brains sitting in the dark, identical in anatomy and electrical activity 
except 
that one has its optic nerves cut, will one brain be conscious and the other 
not?

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-08-01 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes:

  Would you allow that one machine or computation may be emulated by another 
  following some sort of mapping rule, and that consciousness may be 
  preserved 
  in this process? This would seem to be an assumption at the basis of 
  functionalism 
  and computationalism. But what if the mapping rule were the equivalent of 
  what 
  in cryptography is called a one-time pad, determined by some stochastic 
  process 
  such as radioactive decay? The states of the emulated machine would then 
  seem 
  to vary randomly, but if you had access to the mapping rule you would be 
  able to 
  read it (and perhaps interact with it) just as if it followed some 
  simpler code, like 
  shifting each letter of the alphabet by one. Are you prepared to argue that 
  the 
  emulated machine is only conscious if an external observer has the relevant 
  mapping rule at hand and/or is actually reading it or interacting with it 
  using 
  this information?
  
  Stathis Papaioannou
 
 Yes, that's roughly my idea.  Of course you can't insist that a 
 computation interact continuously to count as computation, only that it 
 does occasionally or potentially.  In your example I would say that you 
 can only know that there is computation, as distinct from noise, going 
 on if the computer, via the emulation code, can still interact with its 
 environment (i.e. you).  I don't believe the simplicity or complexity of 
 the internal operations is relevant.  For example, if you could see the 
 movements of electrons in my computer, you couldn't tell whether it was 
 displaying this email or just doing something random - but if you look 
 at the dispaly screen you can.  On the other hand, to the alien from 
 alpha centauri, the screen might also look random.
 
 Brent Meeker

That's fine in the case of an email, but consider a computer which is conscious 
and 
spends its time musing or dreaming. Would you say that this computer's 
consciousness 
is contingent on the existence of external observers who might be able to 
figure out 
what it's up to? 

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-01 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:

 And evolution constructs brains to be essentially deterministic for the
 same reason.  So is it your theory that any deterministic sequence of
 states constitutes computation and the reason a rock doesn't instantiate
 computation is that, at the microscopic level its state changes are
 dominated by quantum randomness?

My theory is that to implement an algorithm something needs to
have the counteractuals that are part of the algorithm.

A machine needs to have distinct states (unlike a rock) and
to have them counterfactually/causally linked (unlike a cloud of gas),

 This thread started with a discussion of what computation could be
 counted as intelligent - or Stathis prefers conscious.  Does your
 distinction entail that intelligence (or consciousness) is deterministic?

I never said intelligence was computational in the first place !

 Brent Meeker


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-01 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:
 1Z wrote:
 
  Brent Meeker wrote:
 
 1Z wrote:
 
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 
 
 
 I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be
 distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the
 computation.  I don't think you can make the idea of information hidden
 in noise well defined.  By Shannon's measure noise is information.
 
 
 You can easily distinguish computation from noise using counterfactuals
 
 Can you make that more concrete - an example perhaps?
 
 
  Counterfactuals come from the undertlying physics of the computation.
  Cups of coffee don't have any woth speaking about-- you can't force
  them into the same state twice.

 Sorry, but I still don't understand the counterfactual aspect.

You have to be able to say what *would* have happened if
the computation had gone down the other fork of an if-then. That
requires some causal stability.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causality#Counterfactual_theories_of_causation

  Whether they are part of the internal characteristitcs of a
  computation
  depends, question-beggingly , ont what you mean by computation.

 I think I agree with that.  I'm trying to come up with a non-question
 begging definition of computation and I think the idea that a rock
 implements all computations implies that computation can't be defined in
 terms of some chracteristic of its sequence of internal states.

I think the idea that a rock implements all computations is the wrong
place to start.

  If you think a computation is nothing but a string of 1's and 0's,
  counterfactuals
  will be very difficulty to find.

 So you're agreeing with me that it's impossible to distinguish noise and
 computation based their sequence of internal states (e.g. 1's and 0's)?

No: I'm saying you do need to find counterfactuals,
and since they aren't in bit-strings (movies or recordings),
bit-strings aren't computations. Therefore, rocks don't compute
merely by going through a succession of internal states.

 Brent Meeker


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-01 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 John M writes:

  Peter Jones writes:
 
  
   Hmm. Including limitations in time?
 
  Yes, if an infinite number of finite computations are run simultaneously on
  a system with a finite number of physical states.
 
  Stathis Papaioannou
  -
  So if I have a system with finite number of physical states, it will take a
  matching finite number of (base)-computations leaving an infinite number
  untreated. Out of them I can take a deduction for muiltiplying the finite
  number of physical states by the finite number of the base-states to get to
  the total number of computability on that system in parallel  - still a
  finite number. I still have an infinite number of unbtreated cases left.
  Damn that infinite! Cantor's curse.
 
  John M

 Suppose there is a very simple physical system that goes through two states,
 on and off. You wish to map these states onto a binary sequence which at
 first glance seems too long: 10110100... You write down the following: on the
 first run, on-1 and off-0; on the second run, on-1 and off-1; on the
 third run, on-0 and off-1; and so on, for as long as you like. It is not 
 common
 practice to change the code from run to run when designing a computer, but
 that is just a matter of convenience. If you specify exactly how the code
 changes the meaning is unambiguous, and in principle the two physical states
 can encode any number of binary states, or even more complex computations.

A computation is not a series of states. A computation is an
implementation
of an algorithm, and algorithms include conditional statements which
must be modelled by something with counterfactual behaviour --
by something which *could have* execute the other branch.

 The above probably seems silly to most people reading this, because the burden
 of the computation falls on the specification of the code, the physical 
 processes
 being essentially irrelevant. Nevertheless, we may have the situation where 
 the
 code specification is documented in a big book while the computer (such as it 
 is)
 carries out the physical processes which, if we to refer to the book, performs
 perfectly legitimate computations. We could even design a driver for a 
 monitor to
 display the computations, again using the book. Now, suppose the last copy of
 the book is destroyed. The computer would still do its business, but it may as
 well be a random number generator for all the good it does us without the code
 specification. But what if, by the book, the computer is actually carrying out
 *conscious* computations? Would it suddenly cease being conscious as the book
 is burned in a fire, or gradually lose consciousness as the book's pages are
 ripped out one by one?


No amount or arbitrary mapping can transofrm a situation without
counterfactuals
into one with them


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-01 Thread John M

Peter:
As I recall all I wrote (and the post marked it as  was:
 So if I have a system with finite number of physical states, it will take a 
matching finite number of (base)-computations leaving an infinite number 
untreated. Out of them I can take a deduction for muiltiplying the finite 
number of physical states by the finite number of the base-states to get to 
the total number of computability on that system in parallel  - still a
 finite number. I still have an infinite number of unbtreated cases left.
 Damn that infinite! Cantor's curse.
 John M
*
I wanted to point to the 'flipside of it' which was not addressed in your 
reply: mixing finite and infinite.  Those  marks drive me crazy. too.
John



- Original Message - 
From: 1Z [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: Everything List everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 9:17 AM
Subject: Re: Bruno's argument




 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 John M writes:

  Peter Jones writes:
 
  
   Hmm. Including limitations in time?
 
  Yes, if an infinite number of finite computations are run 
  simultaneously on
  a system with a finite number of physical states.
 
  Stathis Papaioannou
  -
  So if I have a system with finite number of physical states, it will 
  take a
  matching finite number of (base)-computations leaving an infinite 
  number
  untreated. Out of them I can take a deduction for muiltiplying the 
  finite
  number of physical states by the finite number of the base-states to 
  get to
  the total number of computability on that system in parallel  - still a
  finite number. I still have an infinite number of unbtreated cases 
  left.
  Damn that infinite! Cantor's curse.
 
  John M

 Suppose there is a very simple physical system that goes through two 
 states,
 on and off. You wish to map these states onto a binary sequence which 
 at
 first glance seems too long: 10110100... You write down the following: on 
 the
 first run, on-1 and off-0; on the second run, on-1 and off-1; on the
 third run, on-0 and off-1; and so on, for as long as you like. It is 
 not common
 practice to change the code from run to run when designing a computer, 
 but
 that is just a matter of convenience. If you specify exactly how the code
 changes the meaning is unambiguous, and in principle the two physical 
 states
 can encode any number of binary states, or even more complex 
 computations.

 A computation is not a series of states. A computation is an
 implementation
 of an algorithm, and algorithms include conditional statements which
 must be modelled by something with counterfactual behaviour --
 by something which *could have* execute the other branch.

 The above probably seems silly to most people reading this, because the 
 burden
 of the computation falls on the specification of the code, the physical 
 processes
 being essentially irrelevant. Nevertheless, we may have the situation 
 where the
 code specification is documented in a big book while the computer (such 
 as it is)
 carries out the physical processes which, if we to refer to the book, 
 performs
 perfectly legitimate computations. We could even design a driver for a 
 monitor to
 display the computations, again using the book. Now, suppose the last 
 copy of
 the book is destroyed. The computer would still do its business, but it 
 may as
 well be a random number generator for all the good it does us without the 
 code
 specification. But what if, by the book, the computer is actually 
 carrying out
 *conscious* computations? Would it suddenly cease being conscious as the 
 book
 is burned in a fire, or gradually lose consciousness as the book's pages 
 are
 ripped out one by one?


 No amount or arbitrary mapping can transofrm a situation without
 counterfactuals
 into one with them




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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-01 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 
Would you allow that one machine or computation may be emulated by another 
following some sort of mapping rule, and that consciousness may be preserved 
in this process? This would seem to be an assumption at the basis of 
functionalism 
and computationalism. But what if the mapping rule were the equivalent of 
what 
in cryptography is called a one-time pad, determined by some stochastic 
process 
such as radioactive decay? The states of the emulated machine would then 
seem 
to vary randomly, but if you had access to the mapping rule you would be 
able to 
read it (and perhaps interact with it) just as if it followed some simpler 
code, like 
shifting each letter of the alphabet by one. Are you prepared to argue that 
the 
emulated machine is only conscious if an external observer has the relevant 
mapping rule at hand and/or is actually reading it or interacting with it 
using 
this information?

Stathis Papaioannou

Yes, that's roughly my idea.  Of course you can't insist that a 
computation interact continuously to count as computation, only that it 
does occasionally or potentially.  In your example I would say that you 
can only know that there is computation, as distinct from noise, going 
on if the computer, via the emulation code, can still interact with its 
environment (i.e. you).  I don't believe the simplicity or complexity of 
the internal operations is relevant.  For example, if you could see the 
movements of electrons in my computer, you couldn't tell whether it was 
displaying this email or just doing something random - but if you look 
at the dispaly screen you can.  On the other hand, to the alien from 
alpha centauri, the screen might also look random.

Brent Meeker
 
 
 That's fine in the case of an email, but consider a computer which is 
 conscious and 
 spends its time musing or dreaming. Would you say that this computer's 
 consciousness 
 is contingent on the existence of external observers who might be able to 
 figure out 
 what it's up to? 
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

Consider a computer which is doing something (whether it is dreaming or 
musing or just running is the point in question).  If there is no 
interaction between what it's running and the rest of the world I'd say 
it's not conscious.  It doesn't necessarily need an external observer 
though.  To invoke an external observer would require that we already 
knew how to distinguish an observer from a non-observer.  This just 
pushes the problem away a step.  One could as well claim that the walls 
of the room which are struck by the photons from the screen constitute 
an observer - under a suitable mapping of wall states.  The computer 
could, like a Mars rover, act directly on the rest of the world.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-01 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 John M writes:
  
 
Peter Jones writes:


Hmm. Including limitations in time?

Yes, if an infinite number of finite computations are run simultaneously on 
a system with a finite number of physical states.

Stathis Papaioannou
-
So if I have a system with finite number of physical states, it will take a 
matching finite number of (base)-computations leaving an infinite number 
untreated. Out of them I can take a deduction for muiltiplying the finite 
number of physical states by the finite number of the base-states to get to 
the total number of computability on that system in parallel  - still a 
finite number. I still have an infinite number of unbtreated cases left.
Damn that infinite! Cantor's curse.

John M
 
 
 Suppose there is a very simple physical system that goes through two states, 
 on and off. You wish to map these states onto a binary sequence which at 
 first glance seems too long: 10110100... You write down the following: on the 
 first run, on-1 and off-0; on the second run, on-1 and off-1; 

That one's not gonna work :-)

on the 
 third run, on-0 and off-1; and so on, for as long as you like. It is not 
 common 
 practice to change the code from run to run when designing a computer, but 
 that is just a matter of convenience. If you specify exactly how the code 
 changes the meaning is unambiguous, and in principle the two physical states 
 can encode any number of binary states, or even more complex computations.
 
 The above probably seems silly to most people reading this, because the 
 burden 
 of the computation falls on the specification of the code, the physical 
 processes 
 being essentially irrelevant. Nevertheless, we may have the situation where 
 the 
 code specification is documented in a big book while the computer (such as it 
 is) 
 carries out the physical processes which, if we to refer to the book, 
 performs 
 perfectly legitimate computations. We could even design a driver for a 
 monitor to 
 display the computations, again using the book. Now, suppose the last copy of 
 the book is destroyed. The computer would still do its business, but it may 
 as 
 well be a random number generator for all the good it does us without the 
 code 
 specification. But what if, by the book, the computer is actually carrying 
 out 
 *conscious* computations? Would it suddenly cease being conscious as the book 
 is burned in a fire, or gradually lose consciousness as the book's pages are 
 ripped out one by one?

The implication is that the computer was conscious before the book was 
burned - but I would ask, What was it's interaction with the world? 
If the answer is that the person with the book interpreted the output 
and was informed by that or acted on that, then I'd say the 
book+computer was conscious - but not the computer alone.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-01 Thread Brent Meeker

1Z wrote:
 
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
John M writes:


Peter Jones writes:


Hmm. Including limitations in time?

Yes, if an infinite number of finite computations are run simultaneously on
a system with a finite number of physical states.

Stathis Papaioannou
-
So if I have a system with finite number of physical states, it will take a
matching finite number of (base)-computations leaving an infinite number
untreated. Out of them I can take a deduction for muiltiplying the finite
number of physical states by the finite number of the base-states to get to
the total number of computability on that system in parallel  - still a
finite number. I still have an infinite number of unbtreated cases left.
Damn that infinite! Cantor's curse.

John M

Suppose there is a very simple physical system that goes through two states,
on and off. You wish to map these states onto a binary sequence which at
first glance seems too long: 10110100... You write down the following: on the
first run, on-1 and off-0; on the second run, on-1 and off-1; on the
third run, on-0 and off-1; and so on, for as long as you like. It is not 
common
practice to change the code from run to run when designing a computer, but
that is just a matter of convenience. If you specify exactly how the code
changes the meaning is unambiguous, and in principle the two physical states
can encode any number of binary states, or even more complex computations.
 
 
 A computation is not a series of states. A computation is an
 implementation
 of an algorithm, and algorithms include conditional statements which
 must be modelled by something with counterfactual behaviour --
 by something which *could have* execute the other branch.

I think this something is an interaction with something outside the 
computer, i.e. a different input or a real-time sensor input.  I could 
also be a random variable generated internally - but I'm not clear on 
whether that satisfies lz's idea - it doesn't satisfy mine.

Brent Meeker

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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-08-01 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Peter Jones writes:

 A computation is not a series of states. A computation is an
 implementation
 of an algorithm, and algorithms include conditional statements which
 must be modelled by something with counterfactual behaviour --
 by something which *could have* execute the other branch.

Whatever else a computation is, it is a series of states. My computer 
is going through a series of physical states, with the earlier states 
determining the later states. If the earlier states were different, then 
the later states would also be different, hence the computer handles 
counterfactuals. However, this is so with any physical system: it goes 
through a series of states, the earlier states determine the later states 
following the laws of physics, and had the earlier states been different, 
so would the later states. Now, I suppose you would say that the states 
in a rock are random, while those in a computer are not. But what is to 
stop someone from designing a computer so that there is no pattern to 
its internal states unless you have the key? Suppose you find two 
inputless electronic devices, powered up, with complex and at first glance 
random currents circulating in their internal components. One of these 
devices is in fact implementing a computation, deliberately scrambled 
to keep it secret from prying eyes, while the other is just a decoy with 
random electrical activity. Without access to the key, would you be able 
to tell which is which?

Another question: I can see why a computer should be able to handle 
counterfactuals if it is to be of practical use, but what is wrong with 
saying that a recording implements a computation, whether that is 
adding two numbers or having a conscious experience? 

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-08-01 Thread Russell Standish

On Wed, Aug 02, 2006 at 10:05:37AM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 Another question: I can see why a computer should be able to handle 
 counterfactuals if it is to be of practical use, but what is wrong with 
 saying that a recording implements a computation, whether that is 
 adding two numbers or having a conscious experience? 
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

In the Multiverse, there is a huge difference between a recording and
the actual computation. Only in one single universe (or history) of
the ensemble do the two coincide.

The recording is a computation issue is only a problem for single
universe theory IMHO.

Cheers


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent meeker writes:
 
 
I don't think intelligence is meaningful without an environment with 
which it can interact.  The same for computation: what distinguishes 
computation and noise is a context in which it interacts with its 
environment.


What about an intelligent, conscious being spending its time dreaming?

Stathis Papaioannou

You're hypothesizing an intelligent being and then asking me if it's 
intelligent??
 
 
 Is it a contradiction to hypothesise an intelligent being which only dreams?
  
 
It a computatation only dreams then how could you know whether it was 
intelligence, or just noise?
 
 
 We wouldn't know, but the computation itself would know if it were conscious, 
 creating its own observer. If we say that noise contains hidden information 
 that may be true in a trivial sense, but it's meaningless: information hidden 
 in 
 noise is not accessible to anyone and is no different to no information at 
 all. 
 But if the information hidden in noise is a conscious computation, then it 
 *is* 
 accessible to someone: itself, by definition. If you don't like this 
 conclusion 
 then you have to either reject computationalism (as John Searle does using 
 this argument) or impose ad hoc limitations on it, which amounts to the same 
 thing.

I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be 
distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the 
computation.  I don't think you can make the idea of information hidden 
in noise well defined.  By Shannon's measure noise is information.

Brent Meeker

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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread Stathis Papaioannou




Brent meeker writes:

 [If] a computatation only dreams then how could you know whether it was 
 intelligence, or just noise?
  
  
  We wouldn't know, but the computation itself would know if it were 
  conscious, 
  creating its own observer. If we say that noise contains hidden information 
  that may be true in a trivial sense, but it's meaningless: information 
  hidden in 
  noise is not accessible to anyone and is no different to no information at 
  all. 
  But if the information hidden in noise is a conscious computation, then it 
  *is* 
  accessible to someone: itself, by definition. If you don't like this 
  conclusion 
  then you have to either reject computationalism (as John Searle does using 
  this argument) or impose ad hoc limitations on it, which amounts to the 
  same 
  thing.
 
 I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be 
 distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the 
 computation.  I don't think you can make the idea of information hidden 
 in noise well defined.  By Shannon's measure noise is information.

Would you allow that one machine or computation may be emulated by another 
following some sort of mapping rule, and that consciousness may be preserved 
in this process? This would seem to be an assumption at the basis of 
functionalism 
and computationalism. But what if the mapping rule were the equivalent of what 
in cryptography is called a one-time pad, determined by some stochastic process 
such as radioactive decay? The states of the emulated machine would then seem 
to vary randomly, but if you had access to the mapping rule you would be able 
to 
read it (and perhaps interact with it) just as if it followed some simpler 
code, like 
shifting each letter of the alphabet by one. Are you prepared to argue that the 
emulated machine is only conscious if an external observer has the relevant 
mapping rule at hand and/or is actually reading it or interacting with it 
using 
this information?

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

WC writes:

 In multiverses, I think it's possible to say there exists one universe 
 which could include 
 only one (super) being with nothing else.
 I mean this (super) being is the universe itself.
 So this super being knows everything right at the beginning of this 
 universe.
 No need and not possible for this being to interact with other things 
 (either living or non-living) because
 this being is the only thing in its universe. It doesn't need to do 
 anything except thinking (or dreaming) itself.
 Maybe this being has the memories of the entire histories of other universe 
 (such as the one with the earth).
 So this being just thinks always and feels not boring. I think it's 
 meaningful although I can't observe it.

Yes, it's certainly *logically* possible that this is the case, even though in 
the world with which we are familiar intelligence evolves in order to deal with 
its environment and would be rather useless unless it could interact with that 
environment.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:

 I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be
 distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the
 computation.  I don't think you can make the idea of information hidden
 in noise well defined.  By Shannon's measure noise is information.

You can easily distinguish computation from noise using counterfactuals


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:

 I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be
 distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the
 computation.  I don't think you can make the idea of information hidden
 in noise well defined.  By Shannon's measure noise is information.

You can easily distinguish computation from noise using counterfactuals


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread Brent Meeker

1Z wrote:
 
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 
 
I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be
distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the
computation.  I don't think you can make the idea of information hidden
in noise well defined.  By Shannon's measure noise is information.
 
 
 You can easily distinguish computation from noise using counterfactuals

Can you make that more concrete - an example perhaps?

Brent Meeker

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:
 1Z wrote:
 
  Brent Meeker wrote:
 
 
 I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be
 distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the
 computation.  I don't think you can make the idea of information hidden
 in noise well defined.  By Shannon's measure noise is information.
 
 
  You can easily distinguish computation from noise using counterfactuals

 Can you make that more concrete - an example perhaps?

Counterfactuals come from the undertlying physics of the computation.
Cups of coffee don't have any woth speaking about-- you can't force
them into the same state twice.

Whether they are part of the internal characteristitcs of a
computation
depends, question-beggingly , ont what you mean by computation.

If you think a computation is nothing but a string of 1's and 0's,
counterfactuals
will be very difficulty to find.

That may well be a /reductio/ of  a computation is nothing but a
string of 1's and 0's.

 Brent Meeker


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 
 Brent meeker writes:
 
 
[If] a computatation only dreams then how could you know whether it was 
intelligence, or just noise?


We wouldn't know, but the computation itself would know if it were 
conscious, 
creating its own observer. If we say that noise contains hidden information 
that may be true in a trivial sense, but it's meaningless: information 
hidden in 
noise is not accessible to anyone and is no different to no information at 
all. 
But if the information hidden in noise is a conscious computation, then it 
*is* 
accessible to someone: itself, by definition. If you don't like this 
conclusion 
then you have to either reject computationalism (as John Searle does using 
this argument) or impose ad hoc limitations on it, which amounts to the same 
thing.

I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be 
distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the 
computation.  I don't think you can make the idea of information hidden 
in noise well defined.  By Shannon's measure noise is information.
 
 
 Would you allow that one machine or computation may be emulated by another 
 following some sort of mapping rule, and that consciousness may be preserved 
 in this process? This would seem to be an assumption at the basis of 
 functionalism 
 and computationalism. But what if the mapping rule were the equivalent of 
 what 
 in cryptography is called a one-time pad, determined by some stochastic 
 process 
 such as radioactive decay? The states of the emulated machine would then seem 
 to vary randomly, but if you had access to the mapping rule you would be able 
 to 
 read it (and perhaps interact with it) just as if it followed some simpler 
 code, like 
 shifting each letter of the alphabet by one. Are you prepared to argue that 
 the 
 emulated machine is only conscious if an external observer has the relevant 
 mapping rule at hand and/or is actually reading it or interacting with it 
 using 
 this information?
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

Yes, that's roughly my idea.  Of course you can't insist that a 
computation interact continuously to count as computation, only that it 
does occasionally or potentially.  In your example I would say that you 
can only know that there is computation, as distinct from noise, going 
on if the computer, via the emulation code, can still interact with its 
environment (i.e. you).  I don't believe the simplicity or complexity of 
the internal operations is relevant.  For example, if you could see the 
movements of electrons in my computer, you couldn't tell whether it was 
displaying this email or just doing something random - but if you look 
at the dispaly screen you can.  On the other hand, to the alien from 
alpha centauri, the screen might also look random.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread Brent Meeker

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

Brent Meeker wrote:



I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be
distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the
computation.  I don't think you can make the idea of information hidden
in noise well defined.  By Shannon's measure noise is information.


You can easily distinguish computation from noise using counterfactuals

Can you make that more concrete - an example perhaps?
 
 
 Counterfactuals come from the undertlying physics of the computation.
 Cups of coffee don't have any woth speaking about-- you can't force
 them into the same state twice.

Sorry, but I still don't understand the counterfactual aspect.

 Whether they are part of the internal characteristitcs of a
 computation
 depends, question-beggingly , ont what you mean by computation.

I think I agree with that.  I'm trying to come up with a non-question 
begging definition of computation and I think the idea that a rock 
implements all computations implies that computation can't be defined in 
terms of some chracteristic of its sequence of internal states.

 If you think a computation is nothing but a string of 1's and 0's,
 counterfactuals
 will be very difficulty to find.

So you're agreeing with me that it's impossible to distinguish noise and 
computation based their sequence of internal states (e.g. 1's and 0's)?

Brent Meeker

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:

  Stathis Papaioannou

 Yes, that's roughly my idea.  Of course you can't insist that a
 computation interact continuously to count as computation, only that it
 does occasionally or potentially.

Most of the counterfactuals that make up a computation
are internal. There has to be some sense in which
it could have gone down the other branch of an if-then
statement (or that is must have gone fown the same one)

 In your example I would say that you
 can only know that there is computation, as distinct from noise, going
 on if the computer, via the emulation code, can still interact with its
 environment (i.e. you).  I don't believe the simplicity or complexity of
 the internal operations is relevant.  For example, if you could see the
 movements of electrons in my computer, you couldn't tell whether it was
 displaying this email or just doing something random - but if you look
 at the dispaly screen you can.  On the other hand, to the alien from
 alpha centauri, the screen might also look random.

The underlying physics of the thing will tell youwhether
it is capable of supporting countefactuals without
running a programme at all. There is something objectively
machine-like about machines -- complex , but predictable
behaviour.


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread Brent Meeker

1Z wrote:
 
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 
 
Stathis Papaioannou

Yes, that's roughly my idea.  Of course you can't insist that a
computation interact continuously to count as computation, only that it
does occasionally or potentially.
 
 
 Most of the counterfactuals that make up a computation
 are internal. There has to be some sense in which
 it could have gone down the other branch of an if-then
 statement (or that is must have gone fown the same one)
 
 
In your example I would say that you
can only know that there is computation, as distinct from noise, going
on if the computer, via the emulation code, can still interact with its
environment (i.e. you).  I don't believe the simplicity or complexity of
the internal operations is relevant.  For example, if you could see the
movements of electrons in my computer, you couldn't tell whether it was
displaying this email or just doing something random - but if you look
at the dispaly screen you can.  On the other hand, to the alien from
alpha centauri, the screen might also look random.
 
 
 The underlying physics of the thing will tell youwhether
 it is capable of supporting countefactuals without
 running a programme at all. There is something objectively
 machine-like about machines -- complex , but predictable
 behaviour.

But so far as we know all machines, all physical objects, are described 
by quantum mechanics and therefore are subject to random variations, 
i.e. they could have done otherwise.  So I don't see how that helps in 
distinguishing computation from noise.  Are you thinking of abstract 
computation - which of course can be deterministic if you rule out 
randomness in the abstraction?

Brent Meeker

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread 1Z

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

  The underlying physics of the thing will tell youwhether
  it is capable of supporting countefactuals without
  running a programme at all. There is something objectively
  machine-like about machines -- complex , but predictable
  behaviour.

 But so far as we know all machines, all physical objects, are described
 by quantum mechanics and therefore are subject to random variations,
 i.e. they could have done otherwise.

That applies to your PC. How often does it randomly crash ?

 So I don't see how that helps in
 distinguishing computation from noise.

You can't tell the difference between doing something
random once every day and doins something
random billions of times a seconc ?

  Are you thinking of abstract
 computation - which of course can be deterministic if you rule out
 randomness in the abstraction?

we construct machines to rule out randomness within
certain limits.

 Brent Meeker


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread John M

Stathis,
excuse my naive ignorance: (below your reply)

- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: 1Z everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2006 5:12 AM
Subject: RE: Bruno's argument



Peter Jones writes:


 Hmm. Including limitations in time?

Yes, if an infinite number of finite computations are run simultaneously on 
a system with a finite number of physical states.

Stathis Papaioannou
-
So if I have a system with finite number of physical states, it will take a 
matching finite number of (base)-computations leaving an infinite number 
untreated. Out of them I can take a deduction for muiltiplying the finite 
number of physical states by the finite number of the base-states to get to 
the total number of computability on that system in parallel  - still a 
finite number. I still have an infinite number of unbtreated cases left.
Damn that infinite! Cantor's curse.

John M


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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-31 Thread Colin Hales

 
 
 Brent Meeker wrote:
  1Z wrote:
  
   Brent Meeker wrote:
  
  
  I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be
  distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the
  computation.  I don't think you can make the idea of information
 hidden
  in noise well defined.  By Shannon's measure noise is information.
  
  
   You can easily distinguish computation from noise using
 counterfactuals
 
  Can you make that more concrete - an example perhaps?
 
 Counterfactuals come from the undertlying physics of the computation.
 Cups of coffee don't have any woth speaking about-- you can't force
 them into the same state twice.

I'm curious as to the perceived distinction between a cup of coffee doing a
computation (being used to do a computation in a symbolic domain) and the
cup of coffee literally being the computation (.i.e. the coffee cup has been
computed by the universe).

In my mind consideration of the former does not lead to any useful
understanding of the latter. It is the latter that is our goal, it seems to
me, if we target a true understanding of the universe.

Just wondering if this aspect is something I am just plain missing? If feel
like I am missing something...

Colin Hales



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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-30 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes:

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  Peter Jones writes (quoting SP):
  
  
  The constraints (a) and (b) you mention are ad hoc and an
  unnecessary complication. Suppose Klingon computers change their
  internal code every clock cycle according to the well-documented
  radioactive decay pattern of a sacred stone 2000 years ago. If we
  got our hands on one of these computers and monitored its
  internal states it would seem completely random; but if we had
  the Klingon manual, we would see that the computer was actually
  multiplying two numbers, or implementing a Klingon AI, or 
  whatever. Would you say that these computations were not valid
  because it's a dumb way to design a computer?
  
  I'd say that a defintion of computer that applies to everything
  is useless.
  
  
  I agree, it's completely useless to *us* because we couldn't interact
  with it. That would be the end of the matter unless we say that
  computation can lead to consciousness, creating as it were its own
  observer. Are you prepared to argue that the aforementioned Klingon
  AI suddenly stops being conscious when the last copy of the manual
  which would allow us to interact with it is destroyed?
 
 If it's intelligent we should be able to interact with it without a manual.

I should have specified, there is no input or output device connected. With 
a normal computer we might look for patterns in its internal states and 
design drivers for a keyboard and monitor, but with this computer its 
internal states are apparently completely random unless you have the 
original design specifications. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-30 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Peter Jones writes:

   I can say that a hydrogen atom can't compute an entire virtual
   universe,
   because there isn't enough room.
 
  If you can map multiple computation states to one physical state, then all 
  the requisite computations can be run in parallel on a very limited 
  physical system.
 
 Hmm. Including limitations in time?

Yes, if an infinite number of finite computations are run simultaneously on a 
system with a finite number of physical states.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-30 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

Peter Jones writes (quoting SP):



The constraints (a) and (b) you mention are ad hoc and an
unnecessary complication. Suppose Klingon computers change their
internal code every clock cycle according to the well-documented
radioactive decay pattern of a sacred stone 2000 years ago. If we
got our hands on one of these computers and monitored its
internal states it would seem completely random; but if we had
the Klingon manual, we would see that the computer was actually
multiplying two numbers, or implementing a Klingon AI, or 
whatever. Would you say that these computations were not valid
because it's a dumb way to design a computer?

I'd say that a defintion of computer that applies to everything
is useless.


I agree, it's completely useless to *us* because we couldn't interact
with it. That would be the end of the matter unless we say that
computation can lead to consciousness, creating as it were its own
observer. Are you prepared to argue that the aforementioned Klingon
AI suddenly stops being conscious when the last copy of the manual
which would allow us to interact with it is destroyed?

If it's intelligent we should be able to interact with it without a manual.
 
 
 I should have specified, there is no input or output device connected. With 
 a normal computer we might look for patterns in its internal states and 
 design drivers for a keyboard and monitor, but with this computer its 
 internal states are apparently completely random unless you have the 
 original design specifications. 
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

I don't think intelligence is meaningful without an environment with 
which it can interact.  The same for computation: what distinguishes 
computation and noise is a context in which it interacts with its 
environment.

Brent Meeker

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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-30 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes:

 I don't think intelligence is meaningful without an environment with 
 which it can interact.  The same for computation: what distinguishes 
 computation and noise is a context in which it interacts with its 
 environment.

What about an intelligent, conscious being spending its time dreaming?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-30 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 
I don't think intelligence is meaningful without an environment with 
which it can interact.  The same for computation: what distinguishes 
computation and noise is a context in which it interacts with its 
environment.
 
 
 What about an intelligent, conscious being spending its time dreaming?
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

You're hypothesizing an intelligent being and then asking me if it's 
intelligent??

It a computatation only dreams then how could you know whether it was 
intelligence, or just noise?

Brent Meeker

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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-30 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent meeker writes:

 I don't think intelligence is meaningful without an environment with 
 which it can interact.  The same for computation: what distinguishes 
 computation and noise is a context in which it interacts with its 
 environment.
  
  
  What about an intelligent, conscious being spending its time dreaming?
  
  Stathis Papaioannou
 
 You're hypothesizing an intelligent being and then asking me if it's 
 intelligent??

Is it a contradiction to hypothesise an intelligent being which only dreams?
 
 It a computatation only dreams then how could you know whether it was 
 intelligence, or just noise?

We wouldn't know, but the computation itself would know if it were conscious, 
creating its own observer. If we say that noise contains hidden information 
that may be true in a trivial sense, but it's meaningless: information hidden 
in 
noise is not accessible to anyone and is no different to no information at all. 
But if the information hidden in noise is a conscious computation, then it *is* 
accessible to someone: itself, by definition. If you don't like this conclusion 
then you have to either reject computationalism (as John Searle does using 
this argument) or impose ad hoc limitations on it, which amounts to the same 
thing.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-30 Thread C. W.

Hi, Stathis, Brent,

In multiverses, I think it's possible to say there exists one universe 
which could include 
only one (super) being with nothing else.
I mean this (super) being is the universe itself.
So this super being knows everything right at the beginning of this 
universe.
No need and not possible for this being to interact with other things 
(either living or non-living) because
this being is the only thing in its universe. It doesn't need to do 
anything except thinking (or dreaming) itself.
Maybe this being has the memories of the entire histories of other universe 
(such as the one with the earth).
So this being just thinks always and feels not boring. I think it's 
meaningful although I can't observe it.

Thanks.

WC.

-Original Message-
From: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
[mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Brent Meeker
Sent: Monday, July 31, 2006 12:14 PM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Bruno's argument


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 
I don't think intelligence is meaningful without an environment with 
which it can interact.  The same for computation: what distinguishes 
computation and noise is a context in which it interacts with its 
environment.
 
 
 What about an intelligent, conscious being spending its time dreaming?
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

You're hypothesizing an intelligent being and then asking me if it's 
intelligent??

It a computatation only dreams then how could you know whether it was 
intelligence, or just noise?

Brent Meeker

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-29 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes (quoting SP):
 
 
 The constraints (a) and (b) you mention are ad hoc and an
 unnecessary complication. Suppose Klingon computers change their
 internal code every clock cycle according to the well-documented
 radioactive decay pattern of a sacred stone 2000 years ago. If we
 got our hands on one of these computers and monitored its
 internal states it would seem completely random; but if we had
 the Klingon manual, we would see that the computer was actually
 multiplying two numbers, or implementing a Klingon AI, or 
 whatever. Would you say that these computations were not valid
 because it's a dumb way to design a computer?
 
 I'd say that a defintion of computer that applies to everything
 is useless.
 
 
 I agree, it's completely useless to *us* because we couldn't interact
 with it. That would be the end of the matter unless we say that
 computation can lead to consciousness, creating as it were its own
 observer. Are you prepared to argue that the aforementioned Klingon
 AI suddenly stops being conscious when the last copy of the manual
 which would allow us to interact with it is destroyed?

If it's intelligent we should be able to interact with it without a manual.

Brent Meeker


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-29 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes (quoting SP):

   The constraints (a) and (b) you mention are ad hoc and an unnecessary 
   complication. Suppose Klingon
   computers change their internal code every clock cycle according to the 
   well-documented radioactive
   decay pattern of a sacred stone 2000 years ago. If we got our hands on 
   one of these computers and
   monitored its internal states it would seem completely random; but if we 
   had the Klingon manual, we
   would see that the computer was actually multiplying two numbers, or 
   implementing a Klingon AI, or
   whatever. Would you say that these computations were not valid because 
   it's a dumb way to design
   a computer?
 
  I'd say that a defintion of computer that applies to everything is
  useless.

 I agree, it's completely useless to *us* because we couldn't interact with it.

I don't mean that if a  defintion of computer applied to everything
the *computer* would be useless.

I mean that if a defintion of computer applied to everything
the *definition* would be useless.

  That would be the end of the matter unless we say that computation can lead 
 to consciousness, creating as it were its own observer. Are you prepared to 
 argue that the aforementioned Klingon AI suddenly stops being conscious when 
 the last copy of the manual which would allow us to interact with it is 
 destroyed?

 ...
  I can say that a hydrogen atom can't compute an entire virtual
  universe,
  because there isn't enough room.

 If you can map multiple computation states to one physical state, then all 
 the requisite computations can be run in parallel on a very limited physical 
 system.

Hmm. Including limitations in time?


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-28 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 28-juil.-06, à 02:52, John M a écrit :

 Then again is the 'as - if' really a computation as in our today's
 vocabulary? Or, if you insist (and Bruno as well, that it IS) is it
 conceivable as our digital process, that embryonic first approach, or  
 we
 may hope to understand later on a higher level (I have no better word 
 for
 it): the analog computation of qualia and meaning?  Certainly not the 
 Turing
 or Church ways and not on Intel etc. processors.


What makes you so sure? Sometimes you talk like if you were sure we are 
not digital machine.
Is that not a human prejudice?
At least I can explain why If we are machine, we cannot *know* it (just 
bet on it). There is mathematical description of machine's prejudices.

Bruno


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


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-28 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes (quoting SP):

There is a very impoertant difference between computations do
not require a physical basis and computations do not
require any *particular* physical basis (ie computations can be
physical
implemented by a wide variety of systems)
  
   Yes, but any physical system can be seen as implementing any computation 
   with the appropriate
   rule mapping physical states to computational states.
 
  I don't think such mappings are valid
  a) without constraints on the simplicity of the mapping rules
  or
  b) without attention to counterfactuals/dispositions
 
 
Attempts are made to put constraints on what
   counts as implementation of a computation in order to avoid this 
   uncomfortable idea, but it
   doesn't work unless you say that certain implementations are specially 
   blessed by God or something.
 
  I don't know where you get that idea. Dispositions are physically
  respectable. Simplicity constraints are the lifeblood of science.

 The constraints (a) and (b) you mention are ad hoc and an unnecessary 
 complication. Suppose Klingon
 computers change their internal code every clock cycle according to the 
 well-documented radioactive
 decay pattern of a sacred stone 2000 years ago. If we got our hands on one of 
 these computers and
 monitored its internal states it would seem completely random; but if we had 
 the Klingon manual, we
 would see that the computer was actually multiplying two numbers, or 
 implementing a Klingon AI, or
 whatever. Would you say that these computations were not valid because it's a 
 dumb way to design
 a computer?

I'd say that a defintion of computer that applies to everything is
useless.

  Would it make any difference if the Klingons were extinct and every copy of 
 the manual
 destroyed? What about if the exact same states in a malfunctioning human 
 computer arose by chance,
 before the Klingons came up with their design? Having the manual is necessary 
 to make the computer
 useful, so that we can interact with it, but it doesn't magically *create* 
 computation where previously
 there was just noise.


   So at least you have to say that every computation is implemented if any 
   physical universe at all
   exists, even if it is comprised of a single atom which endures for a 
   femtosecond.
 
  Hmmm. So much for the quantitative issue. What a strange view of
  physics you have.

 This says nothing about physics. There may well be a physical universe, with 
 orderly physical laws,
 and our computers would have to be of the familiar type which will 
 consistently handle counterfactuals
 in order to be of use to us. But I think it is trivially obvious that any 
 computation is hiding in noise just
 as any statue is hiding in a block of marble.

There is a quantitaive issue. There are only so many bits in  a
phsycial
system.

 This is not very interesting unless you say that computation
 can lead to consciousness. You could specify that only brains can lead to 
 consciousness, or that only
 non-solipsistic computations with inputs and outputs based on physical 
 reality can lead to consciousness,
 but that's not straight computationalism any more.


I can say that a hydrogen atom can't compute an entire virtual
universe,
because there isn't enough room.

And even so, there is the other part of the problem. You can't
validly infer from any computation can be implemented
by any physical system to any computation can be implemented by
without
any physical basis


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-28 Thread John M

Please see after your remark/question at the end
John
- Original Message - 
From: Bruno Marchal [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2006 10:48 AM
Subject: Re: Bruno's argument




Le 28-juil.-06, à 02:52, John M a écrit :

 Then again is the 'as - if' really a computation as in our today's
 vocabulary? Or, if you insist (and Bruno as well, that it IS) is it
 conceivable as our digital process, that embryonic first approach, or
 we
 may hope to understand later on a higher level (I have no better word
 for
 it): the analog computation of qualia and meaning?  Certainly not the
 Turing
 or Church ways and not on Intel etc. processors.


What makes you so sure? Sometimes you talk like if you were sure we are
not digital machine.
Is that not a human prejudice?
At least I can explain why If we are machine, we cannot *know* it (just
bet on it). There is mathematical description of machine's prejudices.

Bruno
---
JM:
...We May Hope... does not seem to me as beiing so sure.

Look please at the -IF- in your offered explanation. How about if not? 
the mathematical description is part of the human prejudice you mention.
You are within a mindset and not responsive to outside ideas.
Which is natural. Once I allow to my (outside) ideas to be dragged INTO your 
circle of your mindset I am lost. Which may  not be so bad, but if I am 
mistaken, I want to get it verified from arguments applicable within  my 
thinking.
Just as you cannot argue with a religious belief taken as very 'sufficient 
evidence' by the adherents. They KNOW and my agnostic doubt looks to 'them' 
as a typical
Nescio non est  Argumentum,. (Nor are if-s - I think).

Best

John




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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-28 Thread John M

Thanks, Colin,
I feel we also agree in your last sentence statement, however I could not 
decide whether abstraction is reductionist model forming or a 
generalization into wider horizons? Patterns - I feel - are  IMO definitely 
reductive.

that scale-game (40-50 orders of m. down) seems to me valid within the 
physical explanatory equationalized circumstances - so I scrutinize it 
(accept it within physics-thinking). It does not refer to 'time' (whichever 
you prefer). I had the notion that there 'is' only change ie. movement and 
space is a time-coordinate of it, while time is a space-coordinate of it, as 
long as we think in terrestrially (not even of THIS universe) formed 
explanations of those figments we conclude upon the latestly primitive 
instrumental observations in our reductionist science domain.
Matter and its 'behavior' is similarly 'concluded' to reflect the 'personal' 
experiencing of the unknown effects.

I am deterred by the semantic direction of 'computing'. If it is Bruno's 
manipulation of ordinary numbers, I feel OK, but then I feel domains of 
incompetence. Your as-if  changes that and I felt lost. Why use a word 
with 'other' meaning 'as - if'? It is a cheap excuse that we have no better 
one G.

Sorry for just multiplying the words in this exchange.
 John M


- Original Message - 
From: Colin Hales [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2006 10:32 PM
Subject: RE: Bruno's argument



 John M

 Colin,
 the entire discussion is too much for me, I pick some remarks of yours 
 and
 ask only about them. I am glad to see that others are also struggling to
 find better and more fitting words...
 (I search for better fitting concepts as well to be expressed by those
 better fitting wods).
 You wrote:
 ... *the rest of the universe that is not 'us' behave in a way with
 respect
 to us that we label 'physical'...
 Do I sense a separation us versus the 'rest of the universe'?
 I figure it is not a relation between them (the rest of the universe)
 and
 us (what is this? God's children?) especially after your preceding
 sentence:
  *whatever the universe is we are part of it, made of it, not separably
 'in
  it'.
 I am looking for distinctive features which help us 'feel' as ourselves 
 in
 the total and universal interconnectedness. The closeness
 (interrelation?)
 vs a more remote connectivity.
 The 'self', which I do not expropriate for us.
 I have  no idea about 'physical', it reflects our age-old ways of
 observing
 whatever was observable with that poor epistemic cognitive inventory our
 ancestors used reducing mindset, observation and explanation to their
 models
 (level of the era).

 40 or 50 orders of spatial magnitude down deep, space and matter merge 
 into
 their common organisational parent. There is no 'separateness', we have
 never justified that, only assumed it and seen no convincing empirical
 evidence other than a failure of science to sort out consciousness because
 of the assumption. Whatever the depth of structure, we humans are ALL of 
 it.
 The existence of consciousness (qualia) is proof that the separateness is
 virtual (as-if).

 IMO the separation is merely a delineation  - a notional boundary 
 supported
 by our perception systems. Just because a perceived boundary is closed 
 does
 not mean that it is not 'open' in some other way down deep in the 
 structure
 of the universe.

 So I guess we are in agreement here.


 Then again is the 'as - if' really a computation as in our today's
 vocabulary? Or, if you insist (and Bruno as well, that it IS) is it
 conceivable as our digital process, that embryonic first approach, or  we
 may hope to understand later on a higher level (I have no better word for
 it): the analog computation of qualia and meaning?  Certainly not the
 Turing
 or Church ways and not on Intel etc. processors.

 John M


 Not sure I follow you here. All abstracted computing everywhere is 
 'as-if'.
 None of the input domains of numbers or anything else are ever reified. We
 simply declare a place to act like it was there and then behave as if it
 were. The results work fine! I'm writing this using exactly that process.
 Looks 'as-if' I'm writing a letter no? :-)

 Qualia requires that form of computation executed by the 'natural 
 domain'...
 IMO it's computation..it just doesn't fit neatly into our limited 
 idealized
 mathematics done by creature constructed of it from within it. The natural
 world does not have to comply with our limited abstractions, nor does the
 apparent existence of an abstraction that seems to act 'as-if' it captures
 everything in the natural world. Abstractions are just abstractions...
 ultimately it's all expressed as patterns in the stuff of the universe...

 IMO If there's any property intrinsic and implicit to the reality of the
 universe (whatever it is, it is it!) then the abstraction throws it away.

 Cheers
 Colin hales

Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-28 Thread Colin Geoffrey Hales


 Thanks, Colin,
 I feel we also agree in your last sentence statement, however I could
not
 decide whether abstraction is reductionist model forming or a
 generalization into wider horizons? Patterns - I feel - are  IMO
definitely reductive.

Abstraction I would characterise as a mapping into a representational
domain. As to the level of reduction, that would depend on the domain of
symbols and their mapping to the mapped domain. The questions to ask
yourself are:
a) Who decides what the lowest level domain is to be?
b) What do you lose when you choose?

Let's look at abstracting a whole human:

a-1) Say we 100% abstract a human down to a representation of cells. Cells
would be the base level descriptive domain. Organs would be data patterns
that the cells express under the rules of the abstraction. And so on. You
are not letting the natural rules run. You are merely moving symbols
around. No matter how powerful the computer and how detailed (lowest level
domain) the abstraction is just the computer's representation of the
symbols being moved around.

a) If you build a squillion little computers, each to act 'as-if' they
were the, say, the cell level of the abstraction with a little physical
interface that meant it was just like a cell from the outside, then you
have reinstated some level of the natural world's involvement...the
resulting human may be indistinguiishable from a human. Organs are an
emergent property of these collaborating 'Turing Cells'.

b) Then again, if you reduced the abstraction level to build tiny
computers that become substitute molecules, so to all intents they looked
like molecules...the human would look the same. Cells are an emergent
property of collaborations of these 'Turing Molecules'. (please ignore the
need for fluids and food etc in this body for the moment!)

If you inspected the human a-1) at the molecular level all you see is a
computer playing with patterns depending on the chosen abstraction domain.

If you inspected human a) at the molecular level you would see only the
computer that runs cells, but the cells would look normal. There are no
human molecules here, only the molecules of the computers inside the
cells.

If you inspected human b) at the molecular level you would see what
appears to be real molecules. The cells would look normal. However, look
for atoms and you won't find any.

Q. What is it like to be human a-1) cf a) cf  b) and how well does each
human operate cognitively?

You could extend the argument to simulated Turing-quarks and
Turing-leptons... and so on... at some point the human would acquire
consciousness. What level of Turing-granularity is that?

My answer to this would be probably waay down deep below where the
matter and the space differentiate their behaviour. We have no
justification that any one level of organisation is an end-point.


 that scale-game (40-50 orders of m. down) seems to me valid within the
physical explanatory equationalized circumstances - so I scrutinize it
(accept it within physics-thinking). It does not refer to 'time'
(whichever
 you prefer). I had the notion that there 'is' only change ie. movement
and
 space is a time-coordinate of it, while time is a space-coordinate of
it,

Change as a structural primitive is quite workable. Imagine being human
shaped water in one place in a waterfall... i.e. regular structure within
change. At any instant there is a human, but the water is flowing, so the
componentry of the human is dynamically refreshed. Think of humanity.
Humanity survives where all the humans in it don't. Same thing at all
scales.

An infinity of potential collaborations of that one tiny change primitive
that have a net value of 1 change primitive can be substituted for any
other change primitive. This recursiveness is the basis of a
calculus/logic.

In this system time results merely from the state of the collaboration
undergoing a transition as the change primitive does what it does (eg
changes from state A to B then back to A). There's not such thing as time
in this structure. If the state changes happen at a regular enough rate
then equations with a t in it are possible as descriptors. The universe
acts 'as-if' there was time. If you are made of a pile of these changes
then, if there was an
observation faculty, all you would see is the collaboration evolving
according to the rules of the structural primitives. You would need to
see only the structural regularity, not the change primitives.

In the waterfall metaphor, two humans as regularity in this waterfall
would not see any water. They would see only each other and the space in
between. This is nature of

In this structural domain these things are really simple.

Also: If you take a slice _across_ this structure around the level of
atoms, photons etc and devise mathematical descriptions for the behaviour
of identified structures you get quantum mechanics. QM says absolutely
nothing about 'what it is that is behaving quantum mechanically.

There 

RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-28 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Peter Jones writes (quoting SP):

  The constraints (a) and (b) you mention are ad hoc and an unnecessary 
  complication. Suppose Klingon
  computers change their internal code every clock cycle according to the 
  well-documented radioactive
  decay pattern of a sacred stone 2000 years ago. If we got our hands on one 
  of these computers and
  monitored its internal states it would seem completely random; but if we 
  had the Klingon manual, we
  would see that the computer was actually multiplying two numbers, or 
  implementing a Klingon AI, or
  whatever. Would you say that these computations were not valid because it's 
  a dumb way to design
  a computer?
 
 I'd say that a defintion of computer that applies to everything is
 useless.

I agree, it's completely useless to *us* because we couldn't interact with it. 
That would be the end of the matter unless we say that computation can lead to 
consciousness, creating as it were its own observer. Are you prepared to argue 
that the aforementioned Klingon AI suddenly stops being conscious when the last 
copy of the manual which would allow us to interact with it is destroyed?
 
...
 I can say that a hydrogen atom can't compute an entire virtual
 universe,
 because there isn't enough room.

If you can map multiple computation states to one physical state, then all the 
requisite computations can be run in parallel on a very limited physical system.

 And even so, there is the other part of the problem. You can't
 validly infer from any computation can be implemented
 by any physical system to any computation can be implemented by
 without
 any physical basis

Yes, that is a valid point, and the same can be said about mathematical 
Platonism in general. Perhaps we have to say: all of mathematics is contingent 
on the existence of a real universe with at least one physical state. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-27 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Well, I think I have a better understanding now of the ideas leading me to 
 start this thread - thanks to Bruno, Quentin and the other contributors. 
 Moreover, I am leaning towards fundamentally changing my views on the 
 implementation problem: if computationalism is true, then it doesn't seem to 
 make much sense to say that computations are implemented as a result of 
 physical processes, even if a separate physical reality did exist. It may yet 
 be the case that consciousness is only the result of special physical 
 processes, perhaps brains and digital computers but not rocks or the mere 
 existence of computations as mathematical objects, but then this would entail 
 giving up computationalism. Putting constraints on which computations 
 contribute to the measure of consciousness, as I understood Jesse Mazer's 
 suggestion to be, may also be true, but it is debatable whether this 
 preserves computationalism either.

 Stathis Papaioannou

There is a very impoertant difference between computations do
not require a physical basis and computations do not
require any *particular* physical basis (ie computations can be
physical
implemented by a wide variety of systems)


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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-27 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Peter Jones writes:

 There is a very impoertant difference between computations do
 not require a physical basis and computations do not
 require any *particular* physical basis (ie computations can be
 physical
 implemented by a wide variety of systems)

Yes, but any physical system can be seen as implementing any computation with 
the appropriate
rule mapping physical states to computational states. Attempts are made to put 
constraints on what
counts as implementation of a computation in order to avoid this uncomfortable 
idea, but it 
doesn't work unless you say that certain implementations are specially blessed 
by God or something. 
So at least you have to say that every computation is implemented if any 
physical universe at all
exists, even if it is comprised of a single atom which endures for a 
femtosecond. That's an absurd 
amount of responsibility for a little atom, and it makes more sense to me 
(although I can't at the 
moment think of a proof) to say that the atom is irrelevant, and the 
computations are implemented 
anyway by virtue of their status as mathematical objects.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-27 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:
 
 
There is a very impoertant difference between computations do
not require a physical basis and computations do not
require any *particular* physical basis (ie computations can be
physical
implemented by a wide variety of systems)
 
 
 Yes, but any physical system can be seen as implementing any computation with 
 the appropriate
 rule mapping physical states to computational states. 

I think this is doubtful.  For one thing there must be enough distinct states.  
It's all very well 
to imagine a mapping between a rock and my computer idealized as isolated 
closed systems - but in 
fact they are not isolated close systems.  When you're talking about simulating 
the universe in 
computation it has a lot more states than a rock and it isn't close either.

Attempts are made to put constraints on what
 counts as implementation of a computation in order to avoid this 
 uncomfortable idea, but it 
 doesn't work unless you say that certain implementations are specially 
 blessed by God or something. 
 So at least you have to say that every computation is implemented if any 
 physical universe at all
 exists, even if it is comprised of a single atom which endures for a 
 femtosecond. That's an absurd 
 amount of responsibility for a little atom, and it makes more sense to me 
 (although I can't at the 
 moment think of a proof) to say that the atom is irrelevant, and the 
 computations are implemented 
 anyway by virtue of their status as mathematical objects.

Or by virtue of there being universes.

Brent Meeker


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-27 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:

  There is a very impoertant difference between computations do
  not require a physical basis and computations do not
  require any *particular* physical basis (ie computations can be
  physical
  implemented by a wide variety of systems)

 Yes, but any physical system can be seen as implementing any computation with 
 the appropriate
 rule mapping physical states to computational states.

I don't think such mappings are valid
a) without constraints on the simplicity of the mapping rules
or
b) without attention to counterfactuals/dispositions


  Attempts are made to put constraints on what
 counts as implementation of a computation in order to avoid this 
 uncomfortable idea, but it
 doesn't work unless you say that certain implementations are specially 
 blessed by God or something.

I don't know where you get that idea. Dispositions are physically
respectable. Simplicity constraints are the lifeblood of science.

 So at least you have to say that every computation is implemented if any 
 physical universe at all
 exists, even if it is comprised of a single atom which endures for a 
 femtosecond.

Hmmm. So much for the quantitative issue. What a strange view of
physics you have.

 That's an absurd
 amount of responsibility for a little atom, and it makes more sense to me 
 (although I can't at the
 moment think of a proof) to say that the atom is irrelevant,

Any finite quantitiy is infinitely greater than zero. I *can* think of
a disproof!

 and the computations are implemented
 anyway by virtue of their status as mathematical objects.

Assuming Platonism has been proved, whcih it hasn't.

(NBB implemented means a lot more than theoretically true !!!)

 Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-27 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:
 d the computations are implemented
  anyway by virtue of their status as mathematical objects.

 Or by virtue of there being universes.

Something, anyway. You don't get implementation for free.


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-27 Thread Colin Geoffrey Hales



 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Well, I think I have a better understanding now of the ideas leading me
to start this thread - thanks to Bruno, Quentin and the other
 contributors. Moreover, I am leaning towards fundamentally changing my
views on the implementation problem: if computationalism is true, then
it doesn't seem to make much sense to say that computations are
implemented as a result of physical processes, even if a separate
physical reality did exist. It may yet be the case that consciousness
is
 only the result of special physical processes, perhaps brains and
digital computers but not rocks or the mere existence of computations
as
 mathematical objects, but then this would entail giving up
 computationalism. Putting constraints on which computations contribute
to the measure of consciousness, as I understood Jesse Mazer's
 suggestion to be, may also be true, but it is debatable whether this
preserves computationalism either.
 Stathis Papaioannou

 There is a very impoertant difference between computations do
 not require a physical basis and computations do not
 require any *particular* physical basis (ie computations can be physical
 implemented by a wide variety of systems)



The distractions of language in this are so subtle. The word 'physical' is
so laden with preconceived notions. I wish I could think of a better word
but I can't. Perhaps a better way of couching it would help:

*whatever the universe is we are part of it, made of it, not separably 'in
it'.
*the rest of the universe that is not 'us' behave in a way with respect to
us that we label 'physical'
*the entire thing could be called a computational domain but based on
computing done with 'objects' that are nothing like the idea of number we
are used to. A particular 'number' in our universe could be
colin.brain.cell.molecule.atom.proton.quark.a.s.d.fetc. There need
be no 'next' or 'previous' number in the sense we are used to - that comes
from our thinking. The number is actually an organisational hierarchy
only.

Pick up a pencil, hold it. Say to yourself The universe has computed a
pencil.

These numbers interact with each other according to whatever is
computationally adjacent (this has nothing to do with space or what we
would call physically adjacent...space can be what it looks like when you
are in it).. for example 'adding' three of these (above) numbers involves
creating the right context of adjacency and voila... a 'proton' (plus some
remainder rubbish which can go away and do something else...) Basically
the gigantic cellular automata.

The computations done with these 'numbers' is what we are. For the sake of
a name call the numbers 'entropy numbers'.

'AS-IF' COMPUTATION
What we can do is arrange this 'intrinsic computation with entropy
numbers' to behave 'as-if' idealised numbers existed and obey rules
according to the idealised domain of those numbers, if it actually existed
(presumably in the legendary platonia). Nowhere in any of this 'as-if'
computation does any of the structural 'entropy numbers' have any clue as
to what it is doing. The manipuluated 'symbols' are just patterns in the
adjacency of the numbers.

'VIRTUAL MATTER'
Imagine this huge cellular automata  - a computation performed by simple
adjacency of entities in an organisational hierarchy - the numbers in it
that represent the organisation of me and you is what we call matter. As
computation it is actually derived from an axiomatic initial conditions
and a set of logical rules, forming a massively parallel calculus.

if 'number a' (a cell in the CA) is matter it is a proof in this calculus
if 'number b' (a cell in the CA) is matter it is a proof in this calculus

then what is the status within the CA the 'difference' between two cells
in the CA? The difference has been computed just as exquisitely
accurately, but no computational proof exists in the sense that a and b
were proven. It is 'as if' the computation was performed...but it was not
actually performed. Therefore if a is matter, b is matter, then (a_to_b)
is 'as-if' matter - virtual matter.

You can see this in any of the CAs Stephen Wolfram's book. Each cell is
actually computed. The _difference_ between any two cells is not computed
explicity but is as perfectly proven. These are godellian unproven truths
in their squintillions.

Now ask yourself the one question Stephen Wolfram didn'k himself:

Q. Under what conditions can it be like something to 'be' an object in a
CA?

A. When the object in the CA behaves 'as-if' it is interacting with some
other part of the CA.

Under these circumstances the unproven truths - the virtual matter
riddling the CA can be used to paint a computational picture of any other
part of the CA. The trick is that the numbers in the CA have to do it...
no act as-if'.

But the machine that does the 'as-if' symbolic computation throws away all
the virtual matter in the process of manipulating symbols only meaningful
to a third person...

does this smake any 

RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-27 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes:

  Yes, but any physical system can be seen as implementing any computation 
  with the appropriate
  rule mapping physical states to computational states. 
 
 I think this is doubtful.  For one thing there must be enough distinct 
 states.  It's all very well 
 to imagine a mapping between a rock and my computer idealized as isolated 
 closed systems - but in 
 fact they are not isolated close systems.  When you're talking about 
 simulating the universe in 
 computation it has a lot more states than a rock and it isn't close either.

The rock could be running all the required computations *in parallel*.

 Attempts are made to put constraints on what
  counts as implementation of a computation in order to avoid this 
  uncomfortable idea, but it 
  doesn't work unless you say that certain implementations are specially 
  blessed by God or something. 
  So at least you have to say that every computation is implemented if any 
  physical universe at all
  exists, even if it is comprised of a single atom which endures for a 
  femtosecond. That's an absurd 
  amount of responsibility for a little atom, and it makes more sense to me 
  (although I can't at the 
  moment think of a proof) to say that the atom is irrelevant, and the 
  computations are implemented 
  anyway by virtue of their status as mathematical objects.
 
 Or by virtue of there being universes.

Sure: there may be a physical universe, and there may be something special 
about brains - i.e. only brains 
or some restricted subset of possible computation devices might be able to run 
conscious programs.

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-27 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Peter Jones writes (quoting SP):

   There is a very impoertant difference between computations do
   not require a physical basis and computations do not
   require any *particular* physical basis (ie computations can be
   physical
   implemented by a wide variety of systems)
 
  Yes, but any physical system can be seen as implementing any computation 
  with the appropriate
  rule mapping physical states to computational states.
 
 I don't think such mappings are valid
 a) without constraints on the simplicity of the mapping rules
 or
 b) without attention to counterfactuals/dispositions
 
 
   Attempts are made to put constraints on what
  counts as implementation of a computation in order to avoid this 
  uncomfortable idea, but it
  doesn't work unless you say that certain implementations are specially 
  blessed by God or something.

 I don't know where you get that idea. Dispositions are physically
 respectable. Simplicity constraints are the lifeblood of science.

The constraints (a) and (b) you mention are ad hoc and an unnecessary 
complication. Suppose Klingon 
computers change their internal code every clock cycle according to the 
well-documented radioactive 
decay pattern of a sacred stone 2000 years ago. If we got our hands on one of 
these computers and 
monitored its internal states it would seem completely random; but if we had 
the Klingon manual, we 
would see that the computer was actually multiplying two numbers, or 
implementing a Klingon AI, or 
whatever. Would you say that these computations were not valid because it's a 
dumb way to design 
a computer? Would it make any difference if the Klingons were extinct and every 
copy of the manual 
destroyed? What about if the exact same states in a malfunctioning human 
computer arose by chance, 
before the Klingons came up with their design? Having the manual is necessary 
to make the computer 
useful, so that we can interact with it, but it doesn't magically *create* 
computation where previously 
there was just noise.
 
  So at least you have to say that every computation is implemented if any 
  physical universe at all
  exists, even if it is comprised of a single atom which endures for a 
  femtosecond.
 
 Hmmm. So much for the quantitative issue. What a strange view of
 physics you have.

This says nothing about physics. There may well be a physical universe, with 
orderly physical laws, 
and our computers would have to be of the familiar type which will consistently 
handle counterfactuals 
in order to be of use to us. But I think it is trivially obvious that any 
computation is hiding in noise just 
as any statue is hiding in a block of marble. This is not very interesting 
unless you say that computation 
can lead to consciousness. You could specify that only brains can lead to 
consciousness, or that only 
non-solipsistic computations with inputs and outputs based on physical reality 
can lead to consciousness, 
but that's not straight computationalism any more.

Stathis Papaioannou

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-27 Thread John M

Colin,
the entire discussion is too much for me, I pick some remarks of yours and 
ask only about them. I am glad to see that others are also struggling to 
find better and more fitting words...
(I search for better fitting concepts as well to be expressed by those 
better fitting wods).
You wrote:
... *the rest of the universe that is not 'us' behave in a way with respect 
to us that we label 'physical'...
Do I sense a separation us versus the 'rest of the universe'?
I figure it is not a relation between them (the rest of the universe) and 
us (what is this? God's children?) especially after your preceding 
sentence:
 *whatever the universe is we are part of it, made of it, not separably 'in 
 it'.
I am looking for distinctive features which help us 'feel' as ourselves in 
the total and universal interconnectedness. The closeness (interrelation?) 
vs a more remote connectivity.
The 'self', which I do not expropriate for us.
I have  no idea about 'physical', it reflects our age-old ways of observing 
whatever was observable with that poor epistemic cognitive inventory our 
ancestors used reducing mindset, observation and explanation to their models 
(level of the era).

Then again is the 'as - if' really a computation as in our today's 
vocabulary? Or, if you insist (and Bruno as well, that it IS) is it 
conceivable as our digital process, that embryonic first approach, or  we 
may hope to understand later on a higher level (I have no better word for 
it): the analog computation of qualia and meaning?  Certainly not the Turing 
or Church ways and not on Intel etc. processors.

John M





- Original Message - 
From: Colin Geoffrey Hales [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2006 6:11 PM
Subject: Re: Bruno's argument





 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Well, I think I have a better understanding now of the ideas leading me
 to start this thread - thanks to Bruno, Quentin and the other
 contributors. Moreover, I am leaning towards fundamentally changing my
 views on the implementation problem: if computationalism is true, then
 it doesn't seem to make much sense to say that computations are
 implemented as a result of physical processes, even if a separate
 physical reality did exist. It may yet be the case that consciousness
 is
 only the result of special physical processes, perhaps brains and
 digital computers but not rocks or the mere existence of computations
 as
 mathematical objects, but then this would entail giving up
 computationalism. Putting constraints on which computations contribute
 to the measure of consciousness, as I understood Jesse Mazer's
 suggestion to be, may also be true, but it is debatable whether this
 preserves computationalism either.
 Stathis Papaioannou

 There is a very impoertant difference between computations do
 not require a physical basis and computations do not
 require any *particular* physical basis (ie computations can be physical
 implemented by a wide variety of systems)



 The distractions of language in this are so subtle. The word 'physical' is
 so laden with preconceived notions. I wish I could think of a better word
 but I can't. Perhaps a better way of couching it would help:

 *whatever the universe is we are part of it, made of it, not separably 'in
 it'.
 *the rest of the universe that is not 'us' behave in a way with respect to
 us that we label 'physical'
 *the entire thing could be called a computational domain but based on
 computing done with 'objects' that are nothing like the idea of number we
 are used to. A particular 'number' in our universe could be
 colin.brain.cell.molecule.atom.proton.quark.a.s.d.fetc. There need
 be no 'next' or 'previous' number in the sense we are used to - that comes
 from our thinking. The number is actually an organisational hierarchy
 only.

 Pick up a pencil, hold it. Say to yourself The universe has computed a
 pencil.

 These numbers interact with each other according to whatever is
 computationally adjacent (this has nothing to do with space or what we
 would call physically adjacent...space can be what it looks like when you
 are in it).. for example 'adding' three of these (above) numbers involves
 creating the right context of adjacency and voila... a 'proton' (plus some
 remainder rubbish which can go away and do something else...) Basically
 the gigantic cellular automata.

 The computations done with these 'numbers' is what we are. For the sake of
 a name call the numbers 'entropy numbers'.

 'AS-IF' COMPUTATION
 What we can do is arrange this 'intrinsic computation with entropy
 numbers' to behave 'as-if' idealised numbers existed and obey rules
 according to the idealised domain of those numbers, if it actually existed
 (presumably in the legendary platonia). Nowhere in any of this 'as-if'
 computation does any of the structural 'entropy numbers' have any clue as
 to what it is doing. The manipuluated 'symbols' are just patterns in the
 adjacency

RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-27 Thread Colin Hales

John M
 
 Colin,
 the entire discussion is too much for me, I pick some remarks of yours and
 ask only about them. I am glad to see that others are also struggling to
 find better and more fitting words...
 (I search for better fitting concepts as well to be expressed by those
 better fitting wods).
 You wrote:
 ... *the rest of the universe that is not 'us' behave in a way with
 respect
 to us that we label 'physical'...
 Do I sense a separation us versus the 'rest of the universe'?
 I figure it is not a relation between them (the rest of the universe)
 and
 us (what is this? God's children?) especially after your preceding
 sentence:
  *whatever the universe is we are part of it, made of it, not separably
 'in
  it'.
 I am looking for distinctive features which help us 'feel' as ourselves in
 the total and universal interconnectedness. The closeness
 (interrelation?)
 vs a more remote connectivity.
 The 'self', which I do not expropriate for us.
 I have  no idea about 'physical', it reflects our age-old ways of
 observing
 whatever was observable with that poor epistemic cognitive inventory our
 ancestors used reducing mindset, observation and explanation to their
 models
 (level of the era).

40 or 50 orders of spatial magnitude down deep, space and matter merge into
their common organisational parent. There is no 'separateness', we have
never justified that, only assumed it and seen no convincing empirical
evidence other than a failure of science to sort out consciousness because
of the assumption. Whatever the depth of structure, we humans are ALL of it.
The existence of consciousness (qualia) is proof that the separateness is
virtual (as-if).

IMO the separation is merely a delineation  - a notional boundary supported
by our perception systems. Just because a perceived boundary is closed does
not mean that it is not 'open' in some other way down deep in the structure
of the universe.

So I guess we are in agreement here.

 
 Then again is the 'as - if' really a computation as in our today's
 vocabulary? Or, if you insist (and Bruno as well, that it IS) is it
 conceivable as our digital process, that embryonic first approach, or  we
 may hope to understand later on a higher level (I have no better word for
 it): the analog computation of qualia and meaning?  Certainly not the
 Turing
 or Church ways and not on Intel etc. processors.
 
 John M
 

Not sure I follow you here. All abstracted computing everywhere is 'as-if'.
None of the input domains of numbers or anything else are ever reified. We
simply declare a place to act like it was there and then behave as if it
were. The results work fine! I'm writing this using exactly that process.
Looks 'as-if' I'm writing a letter no? :-)

Qualia requires that form of computation executed by the 'natural domain'...
IMO it's computation..it just doesn't fit neatly into our limited idealized
mathematics done by creature constructed of it from within it. The natural
world does not have to comply with our limited abstractions, nor does the
apparent existence of an abstraction that seems to act 'as-if' it captures
everything in the natural world. Abstractions are just abstractions...
ultimately it's all expressed as patterns in the stuff of the universe...

IMO If there's any property intrinsic and implicit to the reality of the
universe (whatever it is, it is it!) then the abstraction throws it away.

Cheers
Colin hales



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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-26 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 26-juil.-06, à 07:55, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :



 Bruno Marchal writes (quoting SP):

 But certain computations are selected out through being isomorphic
 with physical structures and processes (or simulations thereof):


 I would have said that certain computations are selected out by giving
 high relative measure for locally stable consciousness experiences, 
 and
 then those relative computations will defined what is physical from
 inside. this explains (or at least makes it possible to explain) why
 apparent physical laws are isomorphic to mathematical laws. The
 physical would be the mathematical as seen from inside by mathematical
 entities.

 I think I understand what you mean. If we say there is a physical 
 world for the sake of argument, and then the whole thing suddenly 
 disappears, there would be no way for a conscious being to know that 
 anything had changed, because the computations underpinning his 
 consciousness are unaffected: they still give the impression of a 
 physical world.



With comp it have to be so. If it is actually is still an open problem, 
despite some results.






 So the existence of a physical world somehow separate from mere 
 mathematical entities is an unnecessary hypothesis.

 a parabola, the number three, a mind. We are happy to say that the
 first two of these are not caused by physical processes even when
 they manifest as if they are, and I think the same consideration can
 be applied to mind. What physical structures consciousness is
 isomorphic with and why is another question.

 Consciousness would be isomorphic with relative or conditional average
 on *all* computations, which can be made matematical by Church Thesis.

 This sounds right, but I have absolutely no idea where to start when 
 we are talking about computations underlying consciousness. As Russell 
 asked, why does it appear that they emanate from complex structures 
 called brains? Why don't we perceive ourselves to be disembodied 
 spirits, or to have heads solid like a potato?




stable brains/ body/universes are locally needed only to make it 
possible for a consciousness or a first person to manifest 
him/her/e/self with respect to a stable (high measure preserving) 
history.
So comp have to explain why Harry Potter and first person white rabbits 
are relatively rare. This is still an open problem, but comp (Church 
thesis mainly) makes it mathematical. What I have done is only a 
reduction of the mind/body problem to a mathematical problem, + timid 
advances toward a solution of that math problem, making comp testable 
(and partially tested).
You are near the difficult questions which remains to be thoroughly 
worked out ...

Bruno

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


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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-26 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Well, I think I have a better understanding now of the ideas leading me to 
start this thread - thanks to Bruno, Quentin and the other contributors. 
Moreover, I am leaning towards fundamentally changing my views on the 
implementation problem: if computationalism is true, then it doesn't seem to 
make much sense to say that computations are implemented as a result of 
physical processes, even if a separate physical reality did exist. It may yet 
be the case that consciousness is only the result of special physical 
processes, perhaps brains and digital computers but not rocks or the mere 
existence of computations as mathematical objects, but then this would entail 
giving up computationalism. Putting constraints on which computations 
contribute to the measure of consciousness, as I understood Jesse Mazer's 
suggestion to be, may also be true, but it is debatable whether this preserves 
computationalism either.

Stathis Papaioannou





 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Subject: Re: Bruno's argument
 Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 16:32:03 +0200
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 
 
 
 Le 26-juil.-06, à 07:55, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
 
 
 
  Bruno Marchal writes (quoting SP):
 
  But certain computations are selected out through being isomorphic
  with physical structures and processes (or simulations thereof):
 
 
  I would have said that certain computations are selected out by giving
  high relative measure for locally stable consciousness experiences, 
  and
  then those relative computations will defined what is physical from
  inside. this explains (or at least makes it possible to explain) why
  apparent physical laws are isomorphic to mathematical laws. The
  physical would be the mathematical as seen from inside by mathematical
  entities.
 
  I think I understand what you mean. If we say there is a physical 
  world for the sake of argument, and then the whole thing suddenly 
  disappears, there would be no way for a conscious being to know that 
  anything had changed, because the computations underpinning his 
  consciousness are unaffected: they still give the impression of a 
  physical world.
 
 
 
 With comp it have to be so. If it is actually is still an open problem, 
 despite some results.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  So the existence of a physical world somehow separate from mere 
  mathematical entities is an unnecessary hypothesis.
 
  a parabola, the number three, a mind. We are happy to say that the
  first two of these are not caused by physical processes even when
  they manifest as if they are, and I think the same consideration can
  be applied to mind. What physical structures consciousness is
  isomorphic with and why is another question.
 
  Consciousness would be isomorphic with relative or conditional average
  on *all* computations, which can be made matematical by Church Thesis.
 
  This sounds right, but I have absolutely no idea where to start when 
  we are talking about computations underlying consciousness. As Russell 
  asked, why does it appear that they emanate from complex structures 
  called brains? Why don't we perceive ourselves to be disembodied 
  spirits, or to have heads solid like a potato?
 
 
 
 
 stable brains/ body/universes are locally needed only to make it 
 possible for a consciousness or a first person to manifest 
 him/her/e/self with respect to a stable (high measure preserving) 
 history.
 So comp have to explain why Harry Potter and first person white rabbits 
 are relatively rare. This is still an open problem, but comp (Church 
 thesis mainly) makes it mathematical. What I have done is only a 
 reduction of the mind/body problem to a mathematical problem, + timid 
 advances toward a solution of that math problem, making comp testable 
 (and partially tested).
 You are near the difficult questions which remains to be thoroughly 
 worked out ...
 
 Bruno
 
 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
 
 
  

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-25 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 24-juil.-06, à 09:26, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

x-tad-bigger It's only a coincidence in the literal sense of the word, i.e. two things happening simultaneously. My point was to explore the idea of supervenience, which (to me, at any rate) at first glance seems a mysterious process, and we should cut mysterious processes from our theories whenever possible: entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily. Computations exist eternally as mathematical objects, regardless of whether there is a physical world or not. 
/x-tad-bigger
OK.


x-tad-biggerBut certain computations are selected out through being isomorphic with physical structures and processes (or simulations thereof): 
/x-tad-bigger

I would have said that certain computations are selected out by giving high relative measure for locally stable consciousness experiences, and then those relative computations will defined what is physical from inside. this explains (or at least makes it possible to explain) why apparent physical laws are isomorphic to mathematical laws. The physical would be the mathematical as seen from inside by mathematical entities.





x-tad-biggera parabola, the number three, a mind. We are happy to say that the first two of these are not caused by physical processes even when they manifest as if they are, and I think the same consideration can be applied to mind. What physical structures consciousness is isomorphic with and why is another question.
/x-tad-bigger
Consciousness would be isomorphic with relative or conditional average on *all* computations, which can be made matematical by Church Thesis.

Bruno


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


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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-25 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Bruno Marchal writes (quoting SP):

  But certain computations are selected out through being isomorphic 
  with physical structures and processes (or simulations thereof):
 
 
 I would have said that certain computations are selected out by giving 
 high relative measure for locally stable consciousness experiences, and 
 then those relative computations will defined what is physical from 
 inside. this explains (or at least makes it possible to explain) why 
 apparent physical laws are isomorphic to mathematical laws. The 
 physical would be the mathematical as seen from inside by mathematical 
 entities.

I think I understand what you mean. If we say there is a physical world for the 
sake of argument, and then the whole thing suddenly disappears, there would be 
no way for a conscious being to know that anything had changed, because the 
computations underpinning his consciousness are unaffected: they still give the 
impression of a physical world. So the existence of a physical world somehow 
separate from mere mathematical entities is an unnecessary hypothesis.

  a parabola, the number three, a mind. We are happy to say that the 
  first two of these are not caused by physical processes even when 
  they manifest as if they are, and I think the same consideration can 
  be applied to mind. What physical structures consciousness is 
  isomorphic with and why is another question.
 
 Consciousness would be isomorphic with relative or conditional average 
 on *all* computations, which can be made matematical by Church Thesis.

This sounds right, but I have absolutely no idea where to start when we are 
talking about computations underlying consciousness. As Russell asked, why does 
it appear that they emanate from complex structures called brains? Why don't we 
perceive ourselves to be disembodied spirits, or to have heads solid like a 
potato? 

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-24 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Russell Standish writes (quoting SP):

 Whatifwejustsaythatthereisnomoretothesupervenienceofthe mentalonthephysicalthanthereistothesupervenienceofa parabolaonthetrajectoryofaprojectileundergravity?The projectiledoesn't"create"theparabola,whichexistsinPlatoniain aninfinitevarietyofformulations(differentcoordinatesystemsand soon)alongwithalltheothermathematicalobjects,butthereisan isomorphismbetweenphysicalrealityandmathematicalstructure,which intheprojectile'scasehappenstobeaparabola.Sowecouldsay thatthebraindoesnot"create"consciousness,butitdoeshappen thatthosemathematicalstructuresisomorphicwithbrainprocessesin aparticularindividualarethesubsetofPlatoniathatconstitutesa coherentconsciousstream.Thisisnottoassumethatthereactually isarealphysicalworld:simulatingaprojectile'smotionwithpencil andpaper,onacomputer,orjustthe*idea*ofdoingsowilldefine thatsubsetofPlatoniacorrespondingtoaparticularparabolaas surelyasdoingtheactualexperiment.Similarly,simulatingatoms, moleculesetc.makingupaphysicalbrain,orjusttheideaofdoing sodefinesthesubsetofPlatoniacorrespondingtoanindividual streamofconsciousness.Yourheadsuddenlyturningintoabunchof flowersisnotpartoftheconsciousnesssimulation/reality(although itstillispartofPlatonia),justastheprojectilesuddenly changingitstrajectoryinarandomdirectionisnotpartofthe parabolasimulation/reality,or"7"isnotanelementofthesetof evennumbers.StathisPapaioannou  Soyouconsideritjustacoincidencethenthatincrediblycomplicated structures(called"brains")arepartofourobservedreality,even thoughbyOccam'srazorwereallyshouldbedemandinganexplanation ofwhysuchcomplexityexists.
It's only a coincidence in the literal sense of the word, i.e. two things happening simultaneously. My point was to explore the idea of supervenience, which (to me, at any rate) at first glance seems a mysterious process, and we shouldcut mysterious processes from our theories whenever possible: "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily". Computations exist eternally as mathematical objects, regardless of whether there is a physical world or not. But certain computations are selected out through being isomorphic with physical structures and processes (or simulations thereof): a parabola, the number three, a mind. We are happy to say that the first two of these are not "caused" by physical processes even when they manifest as if they are, and I think the same consideration can be applied to mind. What physical structures consciousness is isomorphic with and why is another question.

Stathis PapaioannouBe one of the first to try  Windows Live Mail.
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RE: Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-23 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Jesse Mazer writes (quoting SP):

 Whatyouseemtobesuggestingisthatnotallcomputationsareequivalent: somegiverisetomind,whileothers,apparentlysimilar,donot.Isn't thissimilartothereasoningofpeoplewhosaythatacomputercould neverbeconsciousbecauseevenifitexactlyemulatedahumanbrain,itis alawofnaturethatonlybrainscanbeconscious?  No,notatall--wheredidyougettheideaIwassaying"apparentlysimilar" computationswouldnotgiverisetominds?Thepsychophysicallawsare supposedtoinsurethatacomputationswhichappearscompletely*dissimilar* toahumanmind,likeasimulationofthemovementofatomsinarock,does notinfactqualifyasanimplementationof(orcontributetothemeasure of)mymindandeveryotherpossiblemind,aswouldbeconcludedby Maudlin'sargumentorBruno'smovie-graphargument,asIunderstandthem. SeeChalmers'paper"DoesaRockImplementEveryFinite-StateAutomaton?"at http://consc.net/papers/rock.htmlformoreonthis"implementationproblem".
OK, I should have said "apparently dissimilar, but actually similar computations".Chalmer's argument seems to be that the vibration of atoms in a rock does not follow any well-defined causal relationship, as the functioning of a computer or a brain does. It is only by accident, after the fact, that the rock's states map onto computational states, whereas a computer will reliably give a certain output for a certain input. Even if the computer has no input or output (which is the subtype of FSA which Putnam claims a rock implements) there is still a consistent set of rules governing the physical state transitions and mapping them onto computational states, such that had the physical states been different, so would the computation being implemented. The first problem with this idea is that it is an unnecessary complication:the fact that we*can't*observe rocks' solipsistic computing is enough to explain why we *don't* observe it.The second problem is that you would have to say that a system deliberately set up to perform a computation in the usual manner does perform that computation, but that the same system arising at random does not. This sounds almost like magic: why would the system know or care how it came about?

Stathis PapaioannouBe one of the first to try  Windows Live Mail.
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RE: Bruno's argument

2006-07-23 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Russell Standish writes:

 Torefinetheproblemalittlefurther-weseeabraininour observedrealityonwhichourmindsupervenes.Andweseeother brains,forwhichwemustassumesupervenienceofotherpersons(the nozombiesassumption).  Whatisthecauseofthissupervenience?Itisasymptomofthe anthropicprinciple(observedrealitybeingconsistentwithour brains),butthisismerelytransferringthemystery.InmyToNbookI advancetheargumentthatthishastobesomethingtodowith self-awareness-iethebodyisnecessaryforself-awareness,and self-awarenessmustthereforebenecessaryforconsciousness.  Bruno,Iknowinyourtheorythatintrospectionisavitalcomponent (theGoedel-likeconstructions),butIdidn'tseehowthisturnsback ontotheself-awarenessissue.Didyoudevelopthissideoftheargument?
Why is the body necessary for self-awareness? And why are our heads not homogeneously solid like a potato?The answer is straightforward if you say only computers compute, but not if you say everything computes, or every computation is implemented (sans "physical reality") by virtue of itsstatus as a mathematical object in Platonia. One answer is that only those computations which supervene on physical processes in a brain which exists in a universe with orderly physical laws (which universe is just a tiny subset of the computations in Platonia) can result in the kind of orderly structure required to create the effect of a conscious being persisting through time. This does not necessarily mean that the computations underpinningyour stream of conscious are actually implemented in a physical universe, or even in a simulation of a physical universe, since it is impossible to say "where" a computation is being implemented when there are an infinity of them for every possible thought. Rather, it is enough that those computations which have a component in the physical universe (such as it is) are selected out, while those that end in your head turning into a bunch of flowers in the next microsecond are excluded.

The above is of course related to the problem of the failure of induction, which you address more rigorously in your "Why Occam's Razor" paper and (hopefully at a simpler level, when it arrives) in your ToN book.

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-23 Thread Russell Standish

On Sun, Jul 23, 2006 at 06:53:50PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Russell Standish writes:
  
  To refine the problem a little further - we see a brain in our observed 
  reality on which our mind supervenes. And we see other brains, for which 
  we must assume supervenience of other persons (the no zombies 
  assumption).  What is the cause of this supervenience? It is a symptom of 
  the anthropic principle (observed reality being consistent with our 
  brains), but this is merely transferring the mystery. In my ToN book I 
  advance the argument that this has to be something to do with 
  self-awareness - ie the body is necessary for self-awareness, and 
  self-awareness must therefore be necessary for consciousness.  Bruno, I 
  know in your theory that introspection is a vital component (the 
  Goedel-like constructions), but I didn't see how this turns back onto the 
  self-awareness issue. Did you develop this side of the argument?
 Why is the body necessary for self-awareness? 

And why are our heads not homogeneously solid like a potato? 

Good question!

 The
answer is straightforward if you say only computers compute, but not
if you say everything computes, or every computation is implemented
(sans physical reality) by virtue of its status as a mathematical
object in Platonia. 

But why does our consciousness supervene on any physical object (which we
conventionally label heads)?

 One answer is that only those computations which
supervene on physical processes in a brain which exists in a universe
with orderly physical laws (which universe is just a tiny subset of
the computations in Platonia) can result in the kind of orderly
structure required to create the effect of a conscious being
persisting through time. This does not necessarily mean that the
computations underpinning your stream of conscious are actually
implemented in a physical universe, or even in a simulation of a
physical universe, since it is impossible to say where a computation
is being implemented when there are an infinity of them for every
possible thought. Rather, it is enough that those computations which
have a component in the physical universe (such as it is) are selected
out, while those that end in your head turning into a bunch of flowers
in the next microsecond are excluded. 

I don't really follow this argument :(

   The above is of course
related to the problem of the failure of induction, which you address
more rigorously in your Why Occam's Razor paper and (hopefully at a
simpler level, when it arrives) in your ToN book.  

Not necessarily at a simpler level, but I did try to expand on it to
make the argument clearer.


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-23 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:
 1Z wrote:
 
  Brent Meeker wrote:
 
 
 In other words it is not justified, based on our limited understanding of 
 brains, to say we'll never
 be able to know how another feels based on observation of their brain.
 
 
 
  We don't know how insects or amoebae feel, either.
  It is not just an issue of complexity.
  We don't knw where to *start* with qualia.

 We know where to start when it comes to knowing how other people feel, i.e. 
 we empathize.  If we
 knew how our brain worked and how the brain of our friend worked, then we 
 could correlate the
 empathized feeling with the brain events.

Correlation isn't explanation.

  This doesn't mean we would experience our friends
 feeling, but we could produce a mapping between his brain processes and his 
 (inferred) feelings.  Of
 course we wouldn't *know* this was right - but scientific knowledge is always 
 uncertain, so I don't
 see that as a objection to calling it knowledge.

I think you have skated past an important point. Being explanatory
is not all the same as being certain. All scientific knowledge
is uncertain; all knowledge worthy of the name is explanatory --
meaning it can provide answers (however uncertain) to how and why
questions.

 Then there are homologous structures in our
 friends brain to those in a chimpanzee's brain and there are similar 
 behavoirs - so I think we could
 extend our map to the feelings of a chimpanzee.  Of course with some really 
 alien life form, say an
 octopus, this would be difficult to test empirically - but not, I think, 
 impossible.

At best, this anwers questions about the circumstances under which an
organism might feel a quale. It doesn't say anything about what qualia
are -- why red seems red. (oh well, of course we can't answer that
question..)


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-23 Thread 1Z


Russell Standish wrote:
 On Sun, Jul 23, 2006 at 06:53:50PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  Russell Standish writes:
 
   To refine the problem a little further - we see a brain in our observed 
   reality on which our mind supervenes. And we see other brains, for which 
   we must assume supervenience of other persons (the no zombies 
   assumption).  What is the cause of this supervenience? It is a symptom 
   of the anthropic principle (observed reality being consistent with our 
   brains), but this is merely transferring the mystery. In my ToN book I 
   advance the argument that this has to be something to do with 
   self-awareness - ie the body is necessary for self-awareness, and 
   self-awareness must therefore be necessary for consciousness.  Bruno, I 
   know in your theory that introspection is a vital component (the 
   Goedel-like constructions), but I didn't see how this turns back onto 
   the self-awareness issue. Did you develop this side of the argument?
  Why is the body necessary for self-awareness?

 And why are our heads not homogeneously solid like a potato?

 Good question!

  The
 answer is straightforward if you say only computers compute, but not
 if you say everything computes, or every computation is implemented
 (sans physical reality) by virtue of its status as a mathematical
 object in Platonia.

 But why does our consciousness supervene on any physical object (which we
 conventionally label heads)?

it is easy enough to see why the Easy Problem asepcts of
consciousness...

# the ability to discriminate, categorize, and react to
environmental stimuli;
# the integration of information by a cognitive system;
# the reportability of mental states;
# the ability of a system to access its own internal states;
# the focus of attention;
# the deliberate control of behavior;
# the difference between wakefulness and sleep.

...do. The question, then, is : why do the Hard Problem aspects..


(The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience.
When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing,
but there is also a subjective aspect. As Nagel (1974) has put it,
there is something it is like to be a conscious organism. This
subjective aspect is experience. When we see, for example, we
experience visual sensations: the felt quality of redness, the
experience of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field.
Other experiences go along with perception in different modalities: the
sound of a clarinet, the smell of mothballs. Then there are bodily
sensations, from pains to orgasms; mental images that are conjured up
internally; the felt quality of emotion, and the experience of a stream
of conscious thought. What unites all of these states is that there is
something it is like to be in them. All of them are states of
experience.)


...supervene on the easy problem aspects. Of course, the universe would
be quite
a strange place if reports of red qualia (EP) weren't accompanied by
experienced
red qualia (HP)!

Which is just he issue Chalmers addresses in another key paper:

Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia

http://consc.net/papers/qualia.html


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-23 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 22-juil.-06, à 22:02, Brent Meeker a écrit :



 No bigger than the assumption that other minds exists (a key
 assumption in comp if only through the trust to the doctor).

 Aren't those two propositions independent - that there are other minds  
 and that we cannot possibly
 know what their experiences are like?



Not with comp. Other minds have personal experiences, and if they are  
vehiculated by a software having a complexity comparable to your's,  
those personal experience are knowable only by empathy, for you. Not  
3-describable knowledge.





 And then it is a theorem that for any correct machine there are true
 propositions about them that the machine cannot prove.

 And there are true propositions about itself that the machine cannot  
 prove - but are they
 experiences?  Certainly there are myriad true propositions about  
 what my brain is doing that I am
 not, and cannot be aware of, but they aren't experiences.




I don't try to use a sophisticated theory of knowledge. You mention  
yourself knowing can be given by true justified opinion (Theaetetus).  
I take provability of p as a form of justified opinion of p:  Bp.  
Then I get knowledge by adding that p is true, under the form  p.
Limiting ourself to correct machine, we know that Bp and Bp  p are  
equivalent, but the key (godelian) point is that the machine itself  
cannot know that for its own provability predicate, making the logic of  
Bp  p different. It can be proved that Bp  p acts as a knowledge  
operator(*) (S4 modal logic), even a temporal one (S4Grz logic), and  
even a quasi quantum one with comp: S4GRz1 proves LASE p - BDp  
necessary to get an arithmetical interpretation of some quantum logic.
So non provability is not the way I model experience in the lobian  
interview. I model experiences and experiments with *variant* of G and  
G*, the logics of provable and true provability respectively.
The variants are obtain by adding  p or  Dp. This could sound  
technical, it is, sorry.

Bruno

(*) Which I should have recall to Russell (it is the best justification  
for the  p). Artemov has shown that it is the only one possible(*)  
if we decide to restrict ourself (as I have done) to what Russell call  
mathematical knowledge, but if Russell agrees with the UDA, this  
should not cause a problem (especially knowing that S4Grz describes  
mathematically a form of knowledge which cannot be put (knowingly) in a  
mathematical form. That's admittedly counter-intuitive and subtle and  
explains why I need to get people familiar with many similar  
counter-intuitive propositions which all are obtained directly or  
indirectly from diagonalizations.

(*)  
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/bxlthesis/Volume4CC/ 
6%20La%20these%20d'Artemov.pdf

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


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-23 Thread Russell Standish

On Mon, Jul 24, 2006 at 12:35:02PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: 

 What if we just say that there is no more to the supervenience of the
 mental on the physical than there is to the supervenience of a
 parabola on the trajectory of a projectile under gravity? The
 projectile doesn't create the parabola, which exists in Platonia in
 an infinite variety of formulations (different coordinate systems and
 so on) along with all the other mathematical objects, but there is an
 isomorphism between physical reality and mathematical structure, which
 in the projectile's case happens to be a parabola. So we could say
 that the brain does not create consciousness, but it does happen
 that those mathematical structures isomorphic with brain processes in
 a particular individual are the subset of Platonia that constitutes a
 coherent conscious stream. This is not to assume that there actually
 is a real physical world: simulating a projectile's motion with pencil
 and paper, on a computer, or just the *idea* of doing so will define
 that subset of Platonia corresponding to a particular parabola as
 surely as doing the actual experiment. Similarly, simulating atoms,
 molecules etc. making up a physical brain, or just the idea of doing
 so defines the subset of Platonia corresponding to an individual
 stream of consciousness. Your head suddenly turning into a bunch of
 flowers is not part of the consciousness simulation/reality (although
 it still is part of Platonia), just as the projectile suddenly
 changing its trajectory in a random direction is not part of the
 parabola simulation/reality, or 7 is not an element of the set of
 even numbers.Stathis Papaioannou 

So you consider it just a coincidence then that incredibly complicated
structures (called brains) are part of our observed reality, even
though by Occam's razor we really should be demanding an explanation
of why such complexity exists.

Cheers

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-22 Thread Quentin Anciaux

Le Samedi 22 Juillet 2006 04:21, Brent Meeker a écrit :
 Quentin Anciaux wrote:
  But in this case what is the difference between knowing how and having
  the experience ?

 Seems to me there's a lot of difference between knowing how to shoot myself
 in the foot and having the experience of doing so.


Not in this case... I recall you that you said to know how it is to feel 
having the experience.. to know what it is like to be me/to have my 
experience. You go away in a semantical debate which is not the point at 
all !

 If you could know how then you should be able to recreate the
  experience for yourself and feel the feeling of being me ;) Then it means
  you are me

 If I do it or if I know how?

How could you do my feelings ?

So sure it is when you know how... 

Quentin

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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-22 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 21-juil.-06, à 17:52, Brent Meeker a écrit :

 If there is anything left over.  I don't think it is sufficiently 
 appreciated that this
 unknowability is an assumption.

No bigger than the assumption that other minds exists (a key 
assumption in comp if only through the trust to the doctor).

And then it is a theorem that for any correct machine there are true 
propositions about them that the machine cannot prove.

Modeling (at first) knowledge by [true justified opinion] (Theaetetus) 
and modeling (at first) the [justified opinion] by the machine 
provability ability (in the sense of Godel), gives a theory justifying 
that for each correct machine there exist true unknowable propositions.
More can be said: if you have two machines M1 and M2 having similar 
complexity there will be  truth about M1 which are unknowable by M2 and 
vice versa.

Bruno


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


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Re: Bruno's argument

2006-07-22 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 20-juil.-06, à 13:46, Russell Standish a écrit :

 Bruno, I know in your theory that introspection is a vital component
 (the Goedel-like constructions), but I didn't see how this turns back
 onto the self-awareness issue. Did you develop this side of the 
 argument?


Yes sure. The Goedel-like construction can handle only a 3-person 
discursive self-reference.
A little like if you where reasoning on some 3-description of your 
brain or body with your doctor, although it could be also an high level 
3-description (like I have a head).

The Goedel construction leads to the modal logic G, where the atomic 
propositions p are interpreted by arithmetical sentences, and the 
modal box B by the Goedel provability predicate. So, for example, 
with f the logical constant FALSE, and ~ = negation, Goedel second 
incompleteness can be written

  ~Bf - ~B ~Bf

you can read like the machine says that if the false is provable by er, 
then that very fact (that the false is not provable) is itself not 
provable.

But B is only one among many notion of person, and G corresponds to 
an intellectual, discursive, 3-describable, scientific if you want, 
sort of self-referential discourse. G* also, but G* got the whole truth 
(at this propositional level thanks to Solovay theorem).

Consciousness and first person self-awareness will correspond to 
theaetetical weakening of that Goedlian provability notion, besides 
the arithmetical version of comp.

Mainly:

Bp  p
Bp  ~B~p
Bp  ~B~p  p

or if you abbreviate ~B~p by the diamond: Dp,:

Bp  p
Bp  Dp
Bp  Dp  p

Although G* can prove the arithmetical equivalence of those 
provability predicates, G cannot prove them equivalent, and they will 
give rise to different modal logics corresponding to different internal 
perception of number-truth. Bp  p gives a temporal knower in an 
branching multiverse, Bp  Dp gives rise to a quantum sort of sharable 
credibility or a bottom symmetrical multiverse, etc.

Actually, thanks to the nuances you inherit from the corona G* \ G, 
those hypostases are divided into sharable and no sharable part 
making quanta particular case of qualia.

I will come back on the correspondence later. The key point is that the 
nuance between
p, Bp, Bp  p, Bp  Dp, Bp  Dp  p, are imposed by the incompleteness 
phenomenon, and self-awareness corresponds to the one having   p in 
their definition. It is the umbilical chord between truth and 
intellect of the reasonable first person.

Bruno

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


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