Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-16 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:

  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
   Russell Standish writes:
  
If the same QM state is associated with different observer moments,
you must be talking about some non-functionalist approach to
consciousness. The QM state, by definition, contains all information
that can be extracted from observation.
  
   Functionalism explicitly allows that different physical states may 
   implement
   the same observer moment. For example, OM1 could be implemented on a
   computer running Mac OS going through physical state S1, or by an 
   equivalent
   program running on the same computer emulating Windows XP on Mac OS
   going through state S2. In this way, there is potentially a large number 
   of
   distinct physical states S1, S2... Sn on the one machine all implementing 
   OM1.
  
   Is there any reason to suppose inclusion of a physical state in this set 
   S1... Sn
   prevents it from implementing any OM other than OM1?
 
  If this set is the set of all phsyical states that possibly implement
  OM1, the any physical state either in the set, or doesn't belong there.

 But does that mean that a physical state which belongs in this set implements 
 OM1
 and only OM1, or is it possible that a physical state may implement more than 
 one
 OM?

Under physicalism, one physical state corresponds to one total
conscious state.

I suppose it is possible, even under constraints which exlude baroque
re-intrerpretations, for one physical state to implement more than
one computational state. A computational state is basically a subset of
 a physical
state. A physical state could have two disjoint computational subsets.
This
is just parallel processing. I suppose the human
equivalent would be patients who have had split brain surgery for
epilepsy.


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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-16 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Peter Jones writes:

 Under physicalism, one physical state corresponds to one total
 conscious state.
 
 I suppose it is possible, even under constraints which exlude baroque
 re-intrerpretations, for one physical state to implement more than
 one computational state. A computational state is basically a subset of
  a physical
 state. A physical state could have two disjoint computational subsets.

 This
 is just parallel processing. I suppose the human
 equivalent would be patients who have had split brain surgery for
 epilepsy.

Parallel processing is a case of many physical states - one computational 
state, isn't it? I don't think this is at all problematic in computer science, 
and 
it is the basis of any functionalist theory of consciousness. However, the 
reverse relationship, one physical state - many computational states is 
deeply problematic if computation is taken to be the basis of consciousness, 
because it destroys the supervenience thesis as commonly understood. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-15 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Russell Standish writes:

 I don't quite follow your argument. OMs are not computations. Whatever
 they are under computationalism, they must be defined by a set of
 information, a particular meaning to a particular observer.

Computationalists do sometimes say things like cognition is computation and 
leave 
it at that. A more common formulation is that consciousness supervenes on the 
physical activity underlying computation. It was Donald Davidson in 1970 who 
introduced the term supervenience in philosophy of mind:

Mental characteristics are in some sense dependent, or supervenient, on 
physical 
characteristics. Such supervenience might be taken to mean that there cannot be 
two events exactly alike in all physical respects but differing in some mental 
respects, 
or that an object cannot alter in some mental respects without altering in some 
physical respects.

[http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/supervenience/#2.1]

That seemed perfectly reasonable and obvious to me a few years ago, but the 
more I 
think about it the more problematic it becomes. The subject of the present post 
is that 
it seems two objects or processes may in fact be physically identical but 
mentally different.
 
 Quantum states have this property. For observables that the state is
 an eigenvalue of, the state contains precise information about those
 observables. For observables that the state is not an eigenvalue of,
 there is still information about relative proportions of different
 outcomes of measurement.
 
 If I understand your argument correctly, you say that 1 string of bits could
 be interpreted in multiple ways by multiply different observers. This
 is true regardless of whether we accept computationalism. But you
 can't associate quantum states with uninterpreted strings - each quantum
 state is an interpretation.
 
 Perhaps where some confusion lies is when we use a quantum state to
 refer to a subsystem of the universe, eg that experiemental apparatus
 over there on the lab bench. This is the typical situation in QM
 calculations. What this state is is the projection of the full QM
 state onto the subspace of interest (the apparatus) with all other
 dimensions summed over (traced out in mathematical parlance). 

I was using quantum state as synonymous with physical state, which I guess 
is what you are referring to in the above paragraph. The observer sees a 
classical 
universe because in observing he collapses the wave function or selects one 
branch 
of the multiverse. Traditional computationalism ignores the other branches/ 
other 
elements of the superposition, but you have implied previously that these are 
necessary for consciousness because they allow implementation of 
counterfactuals. 
Does that mean consciousness would be impossible in a classical universe?

 In this case, this projected QM state describes not a full observer
 moment, but only a component of one. And of course there will be
 multiple observer moments sharing that component.

I didn't think an OM could have components, being the smallest unit of 
subjective 
experience. Do you mean a component of the physical structures giving rise to 
the 
OM? And how can you be sure that other OMs share that component?

   If the same QM state is associated with different observer moments,
   you must be talking about some non-functionalist approach to
   consciousness. The QM state, by definition, contains all information
   that can be extracted from observation.
  
  Functionalism explicitly allows that different physical states may 
  implement 
  the same observer moment. For example, OM1 could be implemented on a 
  computer running Mac OS going through physical state S1, or by an 
  equivalent 
  program running on the same computer emulating Windows XP on Mac OS 
  going through state S2. In this way, there is potentially a large number of 
  distinct physical states S1, S2... Sn on the one machine all implementing 
  OM1. 
  
  Is there any reason to suppose inclusion of a physical state in this set 
  S1... Sn 
  prevents it from implementing any OM other than OM1? It seems that you 
  would 
  quickly run out of useful states on a finite state machine if this were so. 
  Perhaps
  it would be possible in the case of any state Si to reverse engineer a 
  language 
  or operating system under which Si is implementing OM1 (I don't know if 
  this 
  can be shown rigorously), which would mean that any Si implementing another 
  observer moment OM2 would also be implementing OM1. The conclusion would 
  be that the relationship between QM states and OMs could be one-many.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-15 Thread Russell Standish

On Sun, Oct 15, 2006 at 07:00:19PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 Russell Standish writes:
 
  I don't quite follow your argument. OMs are not computations. Whatever
  they are under computationalism, they must be defined by a set of
  information, a particular meaning to a particular observer.
 
 Computationalists do sometimes say things like cognition is computation and 
 leave 
 it at that. A more common formulation is that consciousness supervenes on the 
 physical activity underlying computation. It was Donald Davidson in 1970 who 
 introduced the term supervenience in philosophy of mind:
 
 Mental characteristics are in some sense dependent, or supervenient, on 
 physical 
 characteristics. Such supervenience might be taken to mean that there cannot 
 be 
 two events exactly alike in all physical respects but differing in some 
 mental respects, 
 or that an object cannot alter in some mental respects without altering in 
 some 
 physical respects.
 
 [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/supervenience/#2.1]
 
 That seemed perfectly reasonable and obvious to me a few years ago, but the 
 more I 
 think about it the more problematic it becomes. The subject of the present 
 post is that 
 it seems two objects or processes may in fact be physically identical but 
 mentally different.
  

Indeed. 

 
 I was using quantum state as synonymous with physical state, which I 
 guess 
 is what you are referring to in the above paragraph. The observer sees a 
 classical 
 universe because in observing he collapses the wave function or selects one 
 branch 
 of the multiverse. Traditional computationalism ignores the other branches/ 
 other 
 elements of the superposition, but you have implied previously that these are 
 necessary for consciousness because they allow implementation of 
 counterfactuals. 
 Does that mean consciousness would be impossible in a classical universe?

No - just computationalist consciousness supervening on a classical
physical systems. 

I am open to machines + random oracles being conscious, and I am also
open to computational Multiverses. What I'm not open to is abandoning
supervenience, due to the problem of the Occam catastrophe.

 
  In this case, this projected QM state describes not a full observer
  moment, but only a component of one. And of course there will be
  multiple observer moments sharing that component.
 
 I didn't think an OM could have components, being the smallest unit of 
 subjective 
 experience. Do you mean a component of the physical structures giving rise to 
 the 
 OM? And how can you be sure that other OMs share that component?
 

OMs are defined by some information. Very clearly more than 1 bit is
involved, but it is presumably finite.

Let us say that within this OM I am aware of two apples - 1 red and 1
green. The information describing one of these apples is the
component I was referring to.

As for other OMs sharing that component, this comes down to the usual
suspect arguments against solipsism. I don't feel like rehashing those
at the moment :)


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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-15 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Russell Standish writes:

 OMs are defined by some information. Very clearly more than 1 bit is
 involved, but it is presumably finite.
 
 Let us say that within this OM I am aware of two apples - 1 red and 1
 green. The information describing one of these apples is the
 component I was referring to.
 
 As for other OMs sharing that component, this comes down to the usual
 suspect arguments against solipsism. I don't feel like rehashing those
 at the moment :)

That's a quite different notion of OM to what I have in mind when I see the 
term 
used.  I think of an OM as just the smallest possible unit of subjective 
experience. 
If you see the same red apple as I see, I don't think of that as sharing a 
component of an OM. I don't even think of it as sharing a component of an OM 
if I experience the same red apple a second apart: they are distinct OMs which 
happen to belong to an ordered set constituting my stream of consciousness. 
The main utility of the concept from my point of view is that it removes 
ambiguity 
when personal identity becomes problematic, such as in duplication experiments. 
If you and I participate in a teleportation experiment and the signals 
accidentally 
get mixed so that  the person emerging at the receiving station has 67% of my 
memories and 73% of your memories there is no obvious answer to the question 
of who has survived, who should have access to whose bank account, and so on. 
However, there is no ambiguity if we simply describe the streams of OMs before 
and after the experiment; the after OM may be confused, but it is still a 
perfectly 
well defined OM.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-15 Thread 1Z

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

 I was using quantum state as synonymous with physical state, which I guess
 is what you are referring to in the above paragraph. The observer sees a 
 classical
 universe because in observing he collapses the wave function or selects one 
 branch
 of the multiverse. Traditional computationalism ignores the other branches/ 
 other
 elements of the superposition,

Traditional computationalism doesn't say anything about physics
other than the background assumption that it allows
for computation.

  but you have implied previously that these are
 necessary for consciousness because they allow implementation of 
 counterfactuals.

i.e. Consciousness must supervene on N1 branches, if computationalism
and quantum MW are both true.

 Does that mean consciousness would be impossible in a classical universe?

No, because classical counterfactuals are exactly that --
things that could have happened but didn't.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-15 Thread 1Z


Russell Standish wrote:
 On Fri, Oct 13, 2006 at 07:03:18AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  Also see my reply to Russell below:
 
 
  Russell Standish
  
  The Multiverse is defined as the set of consistent histories described
  by the Schroedinger equation. I make the identification that a quantum
  state is an observer moment, and the set of consistent quantum
  histories is the set of observer histories. As such all observer
  moments are in the Multiverse.
  
  But I appreciate this is not a widely held interpretation...
 
 
  Indeed so.  And there's a good reason why it isn't a widely held
  interpretation, as J.barbour explained in 'The End Of Time'.  In order
  to define 'the Multiverse' in terms of QM one needs a *static*
  wave-function solution for the entire universe (one which doesn't
  change) , whereas conventional QM solutions to real world problems are
  *dynamic* wave-function solutions (wave functions which evolve with
  time).  No one has yet succeeded in demonstrating a static
  wave-function solution for the entire universe.
 

 I haven't read Barbour's book, but if that is what he is saying, he
 would be wrong. Consider a universe of a single electron living in a
 potential well

Where does the potential well come from?

V(x)=|x|^2, x\in R^3. There is a well defined solution
 \psi(t,x) = \sum_j \psu_0|jj| exp(-iE_j t) given the initial
 condition \psi_0.

 The function \psi: R x R^3 - C is a static (time independent)
 mathematical object (I wrote it the mathematicians write to emphasize
 this point). Why wouldn't you identify this with the Multiverse of
 that electron?

 Now I am aware that several people (Hawking included I gather) have
 proposed various wave functions of the universe, which tend to be
 solutions of the Wheeler de Witt equation, which is a time independent
 equation. However, I'm not so interested in following that literature.

That is roughly the approach Barbour takes.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-15 Thread 1Z


[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 1Z wrote:
  [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

  
   The key point I think is that both the A-theorists and the B-theorists
   are partially right.
 
  The B-series is easily compatible with the A-series. The point
  about a block universe is that there is no A-series,
  not that there is a B-series. This asymmetry makes the
  situation unlike W/P duality.

 My point was that the philosophers could be wrong ;)  i.e a block
 universe does *not* have to mean that there is no A-series.

A block universe is *defined* as a B series without an A series.

  I'm
 pointing out the possibility that that there could be *both* a block
 universe *and* an A-Block. ]

There *can* be a B series and an A series. You get the
B series for free with the A series. You don't get
the a series for free with the B series.

 I pointed out that this could be possible
 if time had several different components or dimensions associated with
 it.

Heard of Dunne?

 If both a block universe and an A-series is possible, then the
 philosophy debate over whether time flows or not would be exactly like
 the debate over whether light is particles or waves.

No, because the situation is not symmetrical.

  Every-one thought
 it had to be one or the other, but it turned out to be both.
 Analogously, every-one thinks time is *either* an A-series *or* a
 B-series, but I'm saying it *can* be both.

Everyone knows it can be both. A block universe is B only,
a dynamic universe is A+B.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-15 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

 Russell Standish writes:

  If the same QM state is associated with different observer moments,
  you must be talking about some non-functionalist approach to
  consciousness. The QM state, by definition, contains all information
  that can be extracted from observation.

 Functionalism explicitly allows that different physical states may implement
 the same observer moment. For example, OM1 could be implemented on a
 computer running Mac OS going through physical state S1, or by an equivalent
 program running on the same computer emulating Windows XP on Mac OS
 going through state S2. In this way, there is potentially a large number of
 distinct physical states S1, S2... Sn on the one machine all implementing OM1.

 Is there any reason to suppose inclusion of a physical state in this set 
 S1... Sn
 prevents it from implementing any OM other than OM1?

If this set is the set of all phsyical states that possibly implement
OM1, the any physical state either in the set, or doesn't belong there.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-15 Thread Russell Standish

On Sun, Oct 15, 2006 at 08:53:07PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 Russell Standish writes:
 
  OMs are defined by some information. Very clearly more than 1 bit is
  involved, but it is presumably finite.
  
  Let us say that within this OM I am aware of two apples - 1 red and 1
  green. The information describing one of these apples is the
  component I was referring to.
  
  As for other OMs sharing that component, this comes down to the usual
  suspect arguments against solipsism. I don't feel like rehashing those
  at the moment :)
 
 That's a quite different notion of OM to what I have in mind when I see the 
 term 
 used.  I think of an OM as just the smallest possible unit of subjective 
 experience. 
 If you see the same red apple as I see, I don't think of that as sharing a 
 component of an OM. I don't even think of it as sharing a component of an OM 
 if I experience the same red apple a second apart: they are distinct OMs 
 which 
 happen to belong to an ordered set constituting my stream of consciousness. 

There must be some way of telling two distinct OMs apart. That
distinction is information. Unless there are only two OMs in total,
and one bit of difference between them, it is possible to divide the
information describing the difference between two OMs into parts.

That is all I was talking about, I wasn't talking about dividing them
up into sub-OMs.

Cheers


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A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-15 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Peter Jones writes:

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
  Russell Standish writes:
 
   If the same QM state is associated with different observer moments,
   you must be talking about some non-functionalist approach to
   consciousness. The QM state, by definition, contains all information
   that can be extracted from observation.
 
  Functionalism explicitly allows that different physical states may implement
  the same observer moment. For example, OM1 could be implemented on a
  computer running Mac OS going through physical state S1, or by an equivalent
  program running on the same computer emulating Windows XP on Mac OS
  going through state S2. In this way, there is potentially a large number of
  distinct physical states S1, S2... Sn on the one machine all implementing 
  OM1.
 
  Is there any reason to suppose inclusion of a physical state in this set 
  S1... Sn
  prevents it from implementing any OM other than OM1?
 
 If this set is the set of all phsyical states that possibly implement
 OM1, the any physical state either in the set, or doesn't belong there.

But does that mean that a physical state which belongs in this set implements 
OM1 
and only OM1, or is it possible that a physical state may implement more than 
one 
OM?

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-14 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Russell Standish writes:

 If the same QM state is associated with different observer moments,
 you must be talking about some non-functionalist approach to
 consciousness. The QM state, by definition, contains all information
 that can be extracted from observation.

Functionalism explicitly allows that different physical states may implement 
the same observer moment. For example, OM1 could be implemented on a 
computer running Mac OS going through physical state S1, or by an equivalent 
program running on the same computer emulating Windows XP on Mac OS 
going through state S2. In this way, there is potentially a large number of 
distinct physical states S1, S2... Sn on the one machine all implementing OM1. 

Is there any reason to suppose inclusion of a physical state in this set S1... 
Sn 
prevents it from implementing any OM other than OM1? It seems that you would 
quickly run out of useful states on a finite state machine if this were so. 
Perhaps
it would be possible in the case of any state Si to reverse engineer a language 
or operating system under which Si is implementing OM1 (I don't know if this 
can be shown rigorously), which would mean that any Si implementing another 
observer moment OM2 would also be implementing OM1. The conclusion would 
be that the relationship between QM states and OMs could be one-many.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-14 Thread marc . geddes


Russell Standish wrote:
 On Fri, Oct 13, 2006 at 07:03:18AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  Also see my reply to Russell below:
 
 
  Russell Standish
  
  The Multiverse is defined as the set of consistent histories described
  by the Schroedinger equation. I make the identification that a quantum
  state is an observer moment, and the set of consistent quantum
  histories is the set of observer histories. As such all observer
  moments are in the Multiverse.
  
  But I appreciate this is not a widely held interpretation...
 
 
  Indeed so.  And there's a good reason why it isn't a widely held
  interpretation, as J.barbour explained in 'The End Of Time'.  In order
  to define 'the Multiverse' in terms of QM one needs a *static*
  wave-function solution for the entire universe (one which doesn't
  change) , whereas conventional QM solutions to real world problems are
  *dynamic* wave-function solutions (wave functions which evolve with
  time).  No one has yet succeeded in demonstrating a static
  wave-function solution for the entire universe.
 

 I haven't read Barbour's book, but if that is what he is saying, he
 would be wrong. Consider a universe of a single electron living in a
 potential well V(x)=|x|^2, x\in R^3. There is a well defined solution
 \psi(t,x) = \sum_j \psu_0|jj| exp(-iE_j t) given the initial
 condition \psi_0.

 The function \psi: R x R^3 - C is a static (time independent)
 mathematical object (I wrote it the mathematicians write to emphasize
 this point). Why wouldn't you identify this with the Multiverse of
 that electron?

 Now I am aware that several people (Hawking included I gather) have
 proposed various wave functions of the universe, which tend to be
 solutions of the Wheeler de Witt equation, which is a time independent
 equation. However, I'm not so interested in following that literature.


Barbour argues the same way you do.  But he does concede that his
argument is not yet proven.  The trouble is that in the case of, for
instance, the electron, in the example you give, there is still an
environment external to the electron, but for the entire universe there
could be nothing external to the wave function of the universe.  And
the wave function of the universe, if the block-universe picture is
right, would have to be a static equation as well, as I mentioned
above.  Apparently, none of the proposals for time-independent
equations of the entire universe have yet been made to work.



  See what I said above.  If the *same* QM state could be associated with
  *different* observer moments, then observer moments would not be
  reducible to QM states and the set of consistent quantum histories
  could not be said to be fully identified with the set of observer
  histories.
 

 If the same QM state is associated with different observer moments,
 you must be talking about some non-functionalist approach to
 consciousness. The QM state, by definition, contains all information
 that can be extracted from observation.

 Cheers



See above.  As was pointed out, functionalism allows for one-to-many
relationships between conscious experiences and the physical substrates
on which these experiences are instantiated.

What I really mean by 'observer moment' in the fullest sense of the
phrase is 'conscious experience'.  Conventional QM cannot yet explain
how the actual consciously observed reality is supposed to emerge from
the QM wave-function.  As has been pointed out, the observed reality
can only be derived from QM+Additional Assumptions.  There are implicit
theories of consciousness in any account of how the actual observed
reality is supposed to emerge from the QM wave-function and convincing
explanations for how or why these assumptions are supposed to work are
not yet forth-coming.

How does the *observed* (classical) reality emerge from the QM
wave-function?  Not explained!  Coarse graining, decoherence,
consistent histories etc etc don't yet convincingly explain it.

Until these questions are fully resolved, doubt must remain about the
static timeless 'block universe' picture put forward by hard-core
multiverse fans.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-14 Thread Russell Standish

I don't quite follow your argument. OMs are not computations. Whatever
they are under computationalism, they must be defined by a set of
information, a particular meaning to a particular observer.

Quantum states have this property. For observables that the state is
an eigenvalue of, the state contains precise information about those
observables. For observables that the state is not an eigenvalue of,
there is still information about relative proportions of different
outcomes of measurement.

If I understand your argument correctly, you say that 1 string of bits could
be interpreted in multiple ways by multiply different observers. This
is true regardless of whether we accept computationalism. But you
can't associate quantum states with uninterpreted strings - each quantum
state is an interpretation.

Perhaps where some confusion lies is when we use a quantum state to
refer to a subsystem of the universe, eg that experiemental apparatus
over there on the lab bench. This is the typical situation in QM
calculations. What this state is is the projection of the full QM
state onto the subspace of interest (the apparatus) with all other
dimensions summed over (traced out in mathematical parlance). In
this case, this projected QM state describes not a full observer
moment, but only a component of one. And of course there will be
multiple observer moments sharing that component.

Cheers

On Sat, Oct 14, 2006 at 04:39:17PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 Russell Standish writes:
 
  If the same QM state is associated with different observer moments,
  you must be talking about some non-functionalist approach to
  consciousness. The QM state, by definition, contains all information
  that can be extracted from observation.
 
 Functionalism explicitly allows that different physical states may implement 
 the same observer moment. For example, OM1 could be implemented on a 
 computer running Mac OS going through physical state S1, or by an equivalent 
 program running on the same computer emulating Windows XP on Mac OS 
 going through state S2. In this way, there is potentially a large number of 
 distinct physical states S1, S2... Sn on the one machine all implementing 
 OM1. 
 
 Is there any reason to suppose inclusion of a physical state in this set 
 S1... Sn 
 prevents it from implementing any OM other than OM1? It seems that you would 
 quickly run out of useful states on a finite state machine if this were so. 
 Perhaps
 it would be possible in the case of any state Si to reverse engineer a 
 language 
 or operating system under which Si is implementing OM1 (I don't know if this 
 can be shown rigorously), which would mean that any Si implementing another 
 observer moment OM2 would also be implementing OM1. The conclusion would 
 be that the relationship between QM states and OMs could be one-many.
 
 Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-14 Thread marc . geddes


Russell Standish wrote:
 I don't quite follow your argument. OMs are not computations. Whatever
 they are under computationalism, they must be defined by a set of
 information, a particular meaning to a particular observer.

 Quantum states have this property. For observables that the state is
 an eigenvalue of, the state contains precise information about those
 observables. For observables that the state is not an eigenvalue of,
 there is still information about relative proportions of different
 outcomes of measurement.

A wavefunction itself does contain information about the 'relative
proportions of different outcomes of measurement' (as you put it) but
extracting this information requires 'extra assumptions' apart from QM.
 We don't see half-dead, half-alive cats after all.  Why not?  Why do
we only 'observe' classical reality (i.e objects in definite states)?
This is what is not fully explained by QM.

Perhaps I should revise what I said somewhat: I can agree with you that
the 'consistent histories' that you mentioned earlier are equiavlent to
observer histories.  But it's the supposed derivation of these
'consistent histories' from the QM multiverse picture that I'm
doubting.  In other words I think that somewhere along the way some
'extra non-QM assumptions' have slipped in ;)


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-14 Thread Russell Standish

On Sun, Oct 15, 2006 at 02:37:10AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 Barbour argues the same way you do.  But he does concede that his
 argument is not yet proven.  The trouble is that in the case of, for
 instance, the electron, in the example you give, there is still an
 environment external to the electron, but for the entire universe there
 could be nothing external to the wave function of the universe.  And

In the example I gave, there was only one electron in the
universe. There is no external environment. Sure it is only a thought
experiment, since the only universe we know about is not like this,
but it was deliberately constructed to expose the flaw in your argument.

 the wave function of the universe, if the block-universe picture is
 right, would have to be a static equation as well, as I mentioned
 above.  Apparently, none of the proposals for time-independent
 equations of the entire universe have yet been made to work.
 

I guess this is not something I care about much one way or the other...

 
 
   See what I said above.  If the *same* QM state could be associated with
   *different* observer moments, then observer moments would not be
   reducible to QM states and the set of consistent quantum histories
   could not be said to be fully identified with the set of observer
   histories.
  
 
  If the same QM state is associated with different observer moments,
  you must be talking about some non-functionalist approach to
  consciousness. The QM state, by definition, contains all information
  that can be extracted from observation.
 
  Cheers
 
 
 
 See above.  As was pointed out, functionalism allows for one-to-many
 relationships between conscious experiences and the physical substrates
 on which these experiences are instantiated.
 

Sure, but it also says these conscious experiences will be unable to
to detect which hardware they are running on (otherwise they'd be
different conscious experiences). If the two different physical
implementations differed in their quantum state, then there would be a
physical measurement that could distinguish them (disregarding the
nonphysical arbitrary complex-valued scaling factor). So the quantum
states describing these different physical systems must be the same
(up to a scaling factor).

 What I really mean by 'observer moment' in the fullest sense of the
 phrase is 'conscious experience'.  Conventional QM cannot yet explain
 how the actual consciously observed reality is supposed to emerge from
 the QM wave-function.  As has been pointed out, the observed reality
 can only be derived from QM+Additional Assumptions.  There are implicit
 theories of consciousness in any account of how the actual observed
 reality is supposed to emerge from the QM wave-function and convincing
 explanations for how or why these assumptions are supposed to work are
 not yet forth-coming.
 
 How does the *observed* (classical) reality emerge from the QM
 wave-function?  Not explained!  Coarse graining, decoherence,
 consistent histories etc etc don't yet convincingly explain it.
 
 Until these questions are fully resolved, doubt must remain about the
 static timeless 'block universe' picture put forward by hard-core
 multiverse fans.
 

My guess is that it will arise from things like Stenger's point of
view invariance (POVI) principle. But you are right that there is
still much to be worked out, starting from why we experience living in
a 3+1 spacetime.

My point on the block universe picture is that it is a valid picture
(but not the only one) iff physics is deterministic. Standard quantum
mechanics without collapse is deterministic. Hence the block
Multiverse. If you follow Copenhagen or Bohm, then there can't be a
block Multiverse, nor a block universe for that matter.

 
 
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-14 Thread Russell Standish

On Sun, Oct 15, 2006 at 03:21:52AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
 Russell Standish wrote:
  I don't quite follow your argument. OMs are not computations. Whatever
  they are under computationalism, they must be defined by a set of
  information, a particular meaning to a particular observer.
 
  Quantum states have this property. For observables that the state is
  an eigenvalue of, the state contains precise information about those
  observables. For observables that the state is not an eigenvalue of,
  there is still information about relative proportions of different
  outcomes of measurement.
 
 A wavefunction itself does contain information about the 'relative
 proportions of different outcomes of measurement' (as you put it) but
 extracting this information requires 'extra assumptions' apart from QM.
  We don't see half-dead, half-alive cats after all.  Why not?  Why do
 we only 'observe' classical reality (i.e objects in definite states)?
 This is what is not fully explained by QM.
 
 Perhaps I should revise what I said somewhat: I can agree with you that
 the 'consistent histories' that you mentioned earlier are equiavlent to
 observer histories.  But it's the supposed derivation of these
 'consistent histories' from the QM multiverse picture that I'm
 doubting.  In other words I think that somewhere along the way some
 'extra non-QM assumptions' have slipped in ;)
 
 

Perhaps you should read my paper Why Occam's Razor - available from
my website, or an arXiv mirror near you (http://www.arXiv.org).

The assumptions I run off are called TIME and PROJECTION, as well as
the Kolmogorov probability axioms (and the set theoretic axioms
underlying them). From this, I can derive the main QM postulates,
aside from the odd man out Correspondence principle. The CP itself
can be obtained from Stenger's POVI, but needs 3+1 Minkowski
spacetime.

Probably what you think of as the extra non-QM assumptions are the TIME
and PROJECTION postulates, but these are relatively minimal models of
consciousness. Things like thermostats probably also satisfy TIME and
PROJECTION :).

Cheers

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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-13 Thread marc . geddes


Russell Standish wrote:

 

 Most ensemble theories of everything would postulate that all possible
 observer moments are already there in the ensemble. This is
 certainly true of my construction, as Bruno's and Deutsch's
 Multiverse. It is debatable in Schmidhuber's though, as he seems to
 have some notion of time that his Great Programmer lives in.  I'm
 not sure what the status of Tegmark's ensemble is, but I doubt there
 is any external temporality in that.

 I suspect in that case you would disagree with most of the ensemble
 theories discussed here then.

Right.  The Multiverse does exist but it's just a bunch of meaningless
Shannon information.  It is actually quite trival to see that the
observer moments can't be fully inside that ensemble.  An 'Observer
moment' is a *cognitve interpretation* or *meaning* which is ascribed
to the Shannon information in the ensemble and this meaning is not a
fixed pre-existing thing.



 OTOH, if we're looking at it in terms of an emergent duality picture
 like I suggested, the observer moments do exist in the block
 multiverse, but when asking about appearances this is irrelevant, and
 one can only ask the question what is the probability distribution of
 my next observer moment. This is the RSSA.

 Cheers


Again, the phrase 'probability distribution of next observer moment' is
in my view incoherent, since it presupposes that all observer moments
are already laid down inside the ensemble.

To reason about 'Observer Moment's' properly requires a new kind of
quantatative measure  defined in terms of *degree of reflection*, not
*probability*.  Probability theory just isn't up to the job.  That's
why neither Nick Bostrom nor any-one else can resolve  puzzles of
anthropic reasoning such as the Doomsday argument or the Simulation
argument

---

'...he (Geddes) grabbed the book (of nature/the universe) and turned to
one of the spells...  He concentrated on the symbols and recited the
spell - reading the old (math) symbols easily now, as if it were a
children's book.'


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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-13 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Marc Geddes writes:

 The implicit assumption in anthropic reasoning is that the observer
 moments are in some sense *already there* (i.e the future and past are
 already layed down in the block universe).  This is what I waas
 disputing.  If the observer moments do *not* in fact pre-exist in a
 fully formed or consistent fashion, then you cannot apply standard
 statistical reasoning about the chances of an 'observer moment' being
 instantiated.
 
 Re-read what I said.  I was disputing the block universe as reagrds
 observer moments.  If  Observer moments don't actually exist until we
 come to them via the river of time, then they cannot be reasoned about
 using standard statistical methods to talk about pre-existing
 frequencies.

Do you believe there is a difference between the experience of a being 
living in a model block universe, such as having the observer moments 
of its life running simultaneously on different machines or as separate  
processes run in parallel on the one machine, and the experience of a 
being running in a linear simulation as per the traditional view of time?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-13 Thread Russell Standish

On Fri, Oct 13, 2006 at 06:02:01AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
 Russell Standish wrote:
 
  
 
  Most ensemble theories of everything would postulate that all possible
  observer moments are already there in the ensemble. This is
  certainly true of my construction, as Bruno's and Deutsch's
  Multiverse. It is debatable in Schmidhuber's though, as he seems to
  have some notion of time that his Great Programmer lives in.  I'm
  not sure what the status of Tegmark's ensemble is, but I doubt there
  is any external temporality in that.
 
  I suspect in that case you would disagree with most of the ensemble
  theories discussed here then.
 
 Right.  The Multiverse does exist but it's just a bunch of meaningless
 Shannon information.  It is actually quite trival to see that the
 observer moments can't be fully inside that ensemble.  An 'Observer
 moment' is a *cognitve interpretation* or *meaning* which is ascribed
 to the Shannon information in the ensemble and this meaning is not a
 fixed pre-existing thing.
 

The Multiverse is defined as the set of consistent histories described
by the Schroedinger equation. I make the identification that a quantum
state is an observer moment, and the set of consistent quantum
histories is the set of observer histories. As such all observer
moments are in the Multiverse.

But I appreciate this is not a widely held interpretation...


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-13 Thread marc . geddes


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:


 Do you believe there is a difference between the experience of a being
 living in a model block universe, such as having the observer moments
 of its life running simultaneously on different machines or as separate
 processes run in parallel on the one machine, and the experience of a
 being running in a linear simulation as per the traditional view of time?

 Stathis Papaioannou


This is a 'philosophical leading question' ;) If my theories are right
you *can't* have a being experiencing things living in a model block
universe.  I suspect that if you tried to actually carry out the
thought experiements you mention (observer moments being simulated
simultaneously), you couldn't be certain of simulating a being with a
fixed identity.

So perhaps I should answer: 'Yes I believe there is a difference.  The
being whose observer moments one is trying to simulate simultaneouly
cannot be garanteed to be the same being as the being simulated
linearly'.

The problem lies in the meaning ascribed to symbols.  The same
computation can mean any number of different things depending on the
encoding system used.  For example the following two bytyes:

45, 65

mean two different things depening on whether ASCII or EBCDIC was used
to encode the meaning of the bytes.

Could one be sure that the same computations run simultaneously *mean*
(i.e encode) the same thing as computations run linearly?  I maintain
you cannot.


Also see my reply to Russell below:


Russell Standish

The Multiverse is defined as the set of consistent histories described
by the Schroedinger equation. I make the identification that a quantum
state is an observer moment, and the set of consistent quantum
histories is the set of observer histories. As such all observer
moments are in the Multiverse.

But I appreciate this is not a widely held interpretation...


Indeed so.  And there's a good reason why it isn't a widely held
interpretation, as J.barbour explained in 'The End Of Time'.  In order
to define 'the Multiverse' in terms of QM one needs a *static*
wave-function solution for the entire universe (one which doesn't
change) , whereas conventional QM solutions to real world problems are
*dynamic* wave-function solutions (wave functions which evolve with
time).  No one has yet succeeded in demonstrating a static
wave-function solution for the entire universe.

See what I said above.  If the *same* QM state could be associated with
*different* observer moments, then observer moments would not be
reducible to QM states and the set of consistent quantum histories
could not be said to be fully identified with the set of observer
histories.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-13 Thread Russell Standish

On Fri, Oct 13, 2006 at 07:03:18AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 Also see my reply to Russell below:
 
 
 Russell Standish
 
 The Multiverse is defined as the set of consistent histories described
 by the Schroedinger equation. I make the identification that a quantum
 state is an observer moment, and the set of consistent quantum
 histories is the set of observer histories. As such all observer
 moments are in the Multiverse.
 
 But I appreciate this is not a widely held interpretation...
 
 
 Indeed so.  And there's a good reason why it isn't a widely held
 interpretation, as J.barbour explained in 'The End Of Time'.  In order
 to define 'the Multiverse' in terms of QM one needs a *static*
 wave-function solution for the entire universe (one which doesn't
 change) , whereas conventional QM solutions to real world problems are
 *dynamic* wave-function solutions (wave functions which evolve with
 time).  No one has yet succeeded in demonstrating a static
 wave-function solution for the entire universe.
 

I haven't read Barbour's book, but if that is what he is saying, he
would be wrong. Consider a universe of a single electron living in a
potential well V(x)=|x|^2, x\in R^3. There is a well defined solution
\psi(t,x) = \sum_j \psu_0|jj| exp(-iE_j t) given the initial
condition \psi_0.

The function \psi: R x R^3 - C is a static (time independent)
mathematical object (I wrote it the mathematicians write to emphasize
this point). Why wouldn't you identify this with the Multiverse of
that electron?

Now I am aware that several people (Hawking included I gather) have
proposed various wave functions of the universe, which tend to be
solutions of the Wheeler de Witt equation, which is a time independent
equation. However, I'm not so interested in following that literature.

 See what I said above.  If the *same* QM state could be associated with
 *different* observer moments, then observer moments would not be
 reducible to QM states and the set of consistent quantum histories
 could not be said to be fully identified with the set of observer
 histories.
 

If the same QM state is associated with different observer moments,
you must be talking about some non-functionalist approach to
consciousness. The QM state, by definition, contains all information
that can be extracted from observation.

Cheers 


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-12 Thread marc . geddes


Russell Standish wrote:
 On Mon, Oct 09, 2006 at 11:44:38AM -0400, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  Russell, I like your position - but am still at a loss of a generally
  agreed-upon description of consciousness - applied in the lit as all
  variations of an unidentified thing anyone needs to his theory.
  I 'feel' Ccness is a process. It not only 'knows', but also 'decides' and
  directs activity accordingly. I identified it as acknowledgement of and
  response to information (1992) - info not in the information-theory term,
  but as a 'noted difference by anything/body'. It is not my recent position
  to hold on to that. On another list I read about the ID of Ccness: it is
  one's feeling of SELF (of I) (which makes sense).

 We'll probably be old men (QTI-like ancient) by the time there is any
 concensus on the subject.

 I operationally define consciousness in terms of Bostrom's
 reference class - ie the property of there being something for it be
 like (references of Nagel's What is to be like bat - if bats are
 consciousm the question is answerable, if not then there is nothing
 that it is like to be a bat).

 Note that this is _not_ equivalent to self-awareness, which is the
 feeling of self you talk about. Mind you, self-awareness does seem
 to be necessary for consciousness in order to prevent the Occam
 catastrophe, which I mention in my book, and probably on this list.

 Process is covered by my TIME postulate, which I've been
 deliberately somewhat vague on. It essentially says that experienced
 observer moments can be placed into an ordered set (mathematical
 notion of ordering - for every experienced observer moment, all other
 experienced moments must exist in the past or the future of that one).

 This leaves open a wide variety of time structures (continuous,
 discrete, rational and so on), and indeed all structures called
 timescales is included. However, it dismisses things like 2D time, so
 it could potentially be wrong.


My dear fellow, as I explained in a previous post, consciousness IS a
second time dimension.  The 'Block-universe' view of time (B-Theory)
and the 'Flowing River' view of time (A-Theory) can both be partially
right *if* we allow time to have more than one component or dimension.
The block universe is the mathematical 'scaffolding' of time.  But
superimposed on top of this is *another* component to time
conscious (sentient) observer moments.  The block scaffolding of time
doesn't flow.  But the observer moments *do*.

Poor old Nick Bostrom and the other pompous academic fools are all so
confused because they think consciousness is reducible to physical
time.  This is the source of all the confusion about anthropic
reasoning and observer moments.  Consciousness is *not* reducible to
physical time, but is *another* time dimension super-imposed over the
top of (supervening on but not reducible to) physical time.  As I said
in my previous post:  'Consciousness is movement of mathematical
continuants through mathematical configuration space' (i.e. a higher
dimensional - abstract - time).

If the academics didn't spend all their time jetting around the world
on elaborate conferences and trying to impress us all with fancy
'papers' and 'lectures' filled with worthless verbiage they would have
realized that time had more than one dimension and that consciousness
should be directly equated with an extra dimension long ago.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-12 Thread Russell Standish

On Thu, Oct 12, 2006 at 07:41:37AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 My dear fellow, as I explained in a previous post, consciousness IS a
 second time dimension.  The 'Block-universe' view of time (B-Theory)
 and the 'Flowing River' view of time (A-Theory) can both be partially
 right *if* we allow time to have more than one component or dimension.
 The block universe is the mathematical 'scaffolding' of time.  But
 superimposed on top of this is *another* component to time
 conscious (sentient) observer moments.  The block scaffolding of time
 doesn't flow.  But the observer moments *do*.

They can also be both right if they're held to be emergent concepts
(in the precise form of the term I use). Extra dimensionality is not
needed.

 
 Poor old Nick Bostrom and the other pompous academic fools are all so
 confused because they think consciousness is reducible to physical
 time.  

I find this suprising. I've never seen any of Bostrom's writings that
indicates this.

 This is the source of all the confusion about anthropic
 reasoning and observer moments.  Consciousness is *not* reducible to
 physical time, but is *another* time dimension super-imposed over the
 top of (supervening on but not reducible to) physical time.  As I said
 in my previous post:  'Consciousness is movement of mathematical
 continuants through mathematical configuration space' (i.e. a higher
 dimensional - abstract - time).
 
 If the academics didn't spend all their time jetting around the world
 on elaborate conferences and trying to impress us all with fancy
 'papers' and 'lectures' filled with worthless verbiage they would have
 realized that time had more than one dimension and that consciousness
 should be directly equated with an extra dimension long ago.
 

I take it then that you're spending all your time jetting around the world
to sit in on conferences where pompous academics present worthless
papers filled with verbiage. Half your luck!

I'm not an academic myself, and rarely get an opportunity to attend
conferences. But in these lean times, not many of my academic
colleagues do either.

 
 
-- 
*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Australiahttp://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02



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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-12 Thread marc . geddes


Russell Standish wrote:
 On Thu, Oct 12, 2006 at 07:41:37AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  My dear fellow, as I explained in a previous post, consciousness IS a
  second time dimension.  The 'Block-universe' view of time (B-Theory)
  and the 'Flowing River' view of time (A-Theory) can both be partially
  right *if* we allow time to have more than one component or dimension.
  The block universe is the mathematical 'scaffolding' of time.  But
  superimposed on top of this is *another* component to time
  conscious (sentient) observer moments.  The block scaffolding of time
  doesn't flow.  But the observer moments *do*.

 They can also be both right if they're held to be emergent concepts
 (in the precise form of the term I use). Extra dimensionality is not
 needed.

The key point I think is that both the A-theorists and the B-theorists
are partially right.  The debates over A-Theory of time and B-Theory of
time strike me as similar to the debates over whether light was
particles or waves.  I think the trick is to seperate 'time' into
several different components - there's a mathematical scaffolding which
*doesn't* flow (the block universe of the B-Theorists) and there's
something else which *does* flow (I think it's conscious -sentient -
observer moments).

All the anthropic reasoning stuff is bunk in my opinion.  It's based on
the faulty idea that one can reason about consciousness by equating
observer moments with parts of the block universe.  But as I suggest
above, you can't do this.




 
  Poor old Nick Bostrom and the other pompous academic fools are all so
  confused because they think consciousness is reducible to physical
  time.

 I find this suprising. I've never seen any of Bostrom's writings that
 indicates this.

Bostrom's writings appear to grant validity to anthropic reasoning
(which I think is bunk) and also appear to identify consciousness
(sentient observer-moments) with pre-existing computations in the
block-universe.  As I suggested above, consciousness is not reducible
to physical processes and this is what invalidates anthropic reasoning.


  This is the source of all the confusion about anthropic
  reasoning and observer moments.  Consciousness is *not* reducible to
  physical time, but is *another* time dimension super-imposed over the
  top of (supervening on but not reducible to) physical time.  As I said
  in my previous post:  'Consciousness is movement of mathematical
  continuants through mathematical configuration space' (i.e. a higher
  dimensional - abstract - time).
 
  If the academics didn't spend all their time jetting around the world
  on elaborate conferences and trying to impress us all with fancy
  'papers' and 'lectures' filled with worthless verbiage they would have
  realized that time had more than one dimension and that consciousness
  should be directly equated with an extra dimension long ago.
 

 I take it then that you're spending all your time jetting around the world
 to sit in on conferences where pompous academics present worthless
 papers filled with verbiage. Half your luck!

 I'm not an academic myself, and rarely get an opportunity to attend
 conferences. But in these lean times, not many of my academic
 colleagues do either.


I'm not an academic.  In fact the more time I've spent around these
folks (on various internet mailing lists) the more they irritate me.
They just ain't any fun.

um now why does your sig say 'professor Russell Standish',
Mathematics with a academic address given? ;)


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-12 Thread Russell Standish

On Thu, Oct 12, 2006 at 08:40:40AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 All the anthropic reasoning stuff is bunk in my opinion.  It's based on
 the faulty idea that one can reason about consciousness by equating
 observer moments with parts of the block universe.  But as I suggest
 above, you can't do this.
 

I'm not entirely sure what to make of what you say here, except that
it seems to be a criticism of the ASSA (that each observer moment is
selected independently of any other from an absolute measure distribution).

 
 Bostrom's writings appear to grant validity to anthropic reasoning
 (which I think is bunk) and also appear to identify consciousness
 (sentient observer-moments) with pre-existing computations in the
 block-universe.  As I suggested above, consciousness is not reducible
 to physical processes and this is what invalidates anthropic reasoning.

Not all anthropic reasoning maps consciousness to specific physical processes...



 
 um now why does your sig say 'professor Russell Standish',
 Mathematics with a academic address given? ;)
 

Its an adjunct position, which mainly means they don't pay me
anything, or give me an office. The main advantages for me are access
to a uni library (and more importantly the electronic journal subscriptions),
and access to supercomputers for running simulations (I still have to
apply, but it doesn't cost me anything). The main advantage to the
school is some credit for my publications (which is worth real money)!

Cheers

-- 
*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Australiahttp://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-12 Thread 1Z


[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Russell Standish wrote:
  On Thu, Oct 12, 2006 at 07:41:37AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  
   My dear fellow, as I explained in a previous post, consciousness IS a
   second time dimension.  The 'Block-universe' view of time (B-Theory)
   and the 'Flowing River' view of time (A-Theory) can both be partially
   right *if* we allow time to have more than one component or dimension.
   The block universe is the mathematical 'scaffolding' of time.  But
   superimposed on top of this is *another* component to time
   conscious (sentient) observer moments.  The block scaffolding of time
   doesn't flow.  But the observer moments *do*.
 
  They can also be both right if they're held to be emergent concepts
  (in the precise form of the term I use). Extra dimensionality is not
  needed.

 The key point I think is that both the A-theorists and the B-theorists
 are partially right.

The B-series is easily compatible with the A-series. The point
about a block universe is that there is no A-series,
not that there is a B-series. This asymmetry makes the
situation unlike W/P duality.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-12 Thread marc . geddes


Russell Standish wrote:
 On Thu, Oct 12, 2006 at 08:40:40AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  All the anthropic reasoning stuff is bunk in my opinion.  It's based on
  the faulty idea that one can reason about consciousness by equating
  observer moments with parts of the block universe.  But as I suggest
  above, you can't do this.
 

 I'm not entirely sure what to make of what you say here, except that
 it seems to be a criticism of the ASSA (that each observer moment is
 selected independently of any other from an absolute measure distribution).

 


The implicit assumption in anthropic reasoning is that the observer
moments are in some sense *already there* (i.e the future and past are
already layed down in the block universe).  This is what I waas
disputing.  If the observer moments do *not* in fact pre-exist in a
fully formed or consistent fashion, then you cannot apply standard
statistical reasoning about the chances of an 'observer moment' being
instantiated.

Re-read what I said.  I was disputing the block universe as reagrds
observer moments.  If  Observer moments don't actually exist until we
come to them via the river of time, then they cannot be reasoned about
using standard statistical methods to talk about pre-existing
frequencies.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-12 Thread marc . geddes


1Z wrote:
 [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 
  The key point I think is that both the A-theorists and the B-theorists
  are partially right.

 The B-series is easily compatible with the A-series. The point
 about a block universe is that there is no A-series,
 not that there is a B-series. This asymmetry makes the
 situation unlike W/P duality.

My point was that the philosophers could be wrong ;)  i.e a block
universe does *not* have to mean that there is no A-series.  I'm
pointing out the possibility that that there could be *both* a block
universe *and* an A-Block.  I pointed out that this could be possible
if time had several different components or dimensions associated with
it.

If both a block universe and an A-series is possible, then the
philosophy debate over whether time flows or not would be exactly like
the debate over whether light is particles or waves.  Every-one thought
it had to be one or the other, but it turned out to be both.
Analogously, every-one thinks time is *either* an A-series *or* a
B-series, but I'm saying it *can* be both.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-12 Thread Russell Standish

On Fri, Oct 13, 2006 at 03:38:13AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 
 Russell Standish wrote:
  On Thu, Oct 12, 2006 at 08:40:40AM -, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  
   All the anthropic reasoning stuff is bunk in my opinion.  It's based on
   the faulty idea that one can reason about consciousness by equating
   observer moments with parts of the block universe.  But as I suggest
   above, you can't do this.
  
 
  I'm not entirely sure what to make of what you say here, except that
  it seems to be a criticism of the ASSA (that each observer moment is
  selected independently of any other from an absolute measure distribution).
 
  
 
 
 The implicit assumption in anthropic reasoning is that the observer
 moments are in some sense *already there* (i.e the future and past are
 already layed down in the block universe).  This is what I waas
 disputing.  If the observer moments do *not* in fact pre-exist in a
 fully formed or consistent fashion, then you cannot apply standard
 statistical reasoning about the chances of an 'observer moment' being
 instantiated.
 
 Re-read what I said.  I was disputing the block universe as reagrds
 observer moments.  If  Observer moments don't actually exist until we
 come to them via the river of time, then they cannot be reasoned about
 using standard statistical methods to talk about pre-existing
 frequencies.
 

Most ensemble theories of everything would postulate that all possible
observer moments are already there in the ensemble. This is
certainly true of my construction, as Bruno's and Deutsch's
Multiverse. It is debatable in Schmidhuber's though, as he seems to
have some notion of time that his Great Programmer lives in.  I'm
not sure what the status of Tegmark's ensemble is, but I doubt there
is any external temporality in that.

I suspect in that case you would disagree with most of the ensemble
theories discussed here then.

OTOH, if we're looking at it in terms of an emergent duality picture
like I suggested, the observer moments do exist in the block
multiverse, but when asking about appearances this is irrelevant, and
one can only ask the question what is the probability distribution of
my next observer moment. This is the RSSA.

Cheers

-- 
*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Australiahttp://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02



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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-10 Thread Russell Standish

On Mon, Oct 09, 2006 at 11:44:38AM -0400, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 Russell, I like your position - but am still at a loss of a generally
 agreed-upon description of consciousness - applied in the lit as all
 variations of an unidentified thing anyone needs to his theory.
 I 'feel' Ccness is a process. It not only 'knows', but also 'decides' and
 directs activity accordingly. I identified it as acknowledgement of and
 response to information (1992) - info not in the information-theory term,
 but as a 'noted difference by anything/body'. It is not my recent position
 to hold on to that. On another list I read about the ID of Ccness: it is
 one's feeling of SELF (of I) (which makes sense).

We'll probably be old men (QTI-like ancient) by the time there is any
concensus on the subject.

I operationally define consciousness in terms of Bostrom's
reference class - ie the property of there being something for it be
like (references of Nagel's What is to be like bat - if bats are
consciousm the question is answerable, if not then there is nothing
that it is like to be a bat).

Note that this is _not_ equivalent to self-awareness, which is the
feeling of self you talk about. Mind you, self-awareness does seem
to be necessary for consciousness in order to prevent the Occam
catastrophe, which I mention in my book, and probably on this list.

Process is covered by my TIME postulate, which I've been
deliberately somewhat vague on. It essentially says that experienced
observer moments can be placed into an ordered set (mathematical
notion of ordering - for every experienced observer moment, all other
experienced moments must exist in the past or the future of that one).

This leaves open a wide variety of time structures (continuous,
discrete, rational and so on), and indeed all structures called
timescales is included. However, it dismisses things like 2D time, so
it could potentially be wrong.

 
 You wrote a less controversial variation in your post;
 ... I don't see how I am conscious in the first place. ...
 which (being conscious) is part of the picture, I miss the activity in it,
 just as in the 'feeling of I.
 (Tied to: 'being conscious OF..., i.e. awareness, what many identify with
 the entire chapter.)
 
 Unfortunately the word is so deeply anchored in the multimillennial usage
 that we cannot get rid of this noumenon. We could talk about the
 'ingredients' by themselves and agree, the ominous Ccness term is a good
 platform for eternal debates. Also for grants.
 
 I join you in disproving of assigning total meaning to simplified tools
 allegedly active in the mental concept, like a QM abstraction.
 
 John M
 
 
 
 - Original Message -
 From: Russell Standish [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 1:25 PM
 Subject: Re: Maudlin's argument
 
 
 
  On Sun, Oct 08, 2006 at 01:41:52PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
   However, I don't see why having an interesting future should make the
 difference between
   consciousness and zombiehood. How do I know that I am not currently
 living through a virtual
 
  Sure, but I don't see how I am conscious in the first place. Yet the
  fact remains that I do.
 
  Until we have a better idea of the mechanisms behind consciousness, it
  is a little too early to rule out any specific conclusion. I think
  Penrose and Lockwood are dead wrong in their specific quantum
  mechanical connections with consciousness, but I retain a suspicion
  that quantum effects are important in some way.
 
  --
  *PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
  is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
  virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
  email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
  may safely ignore this attachment.
 
  --
 --
  A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
  Mathematics
  UNSW SYDNEY 2052  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  Australia
 http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
  International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02
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  --
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  Checked by AVG Free Edition.
  Version: 7.1.407 / Virus Database: 268.13.1/466 - Release Date: 10/07/06
 
 
 
 
 
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is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052

Not-Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-10 Thread jamikes

Russell,
thanks for the detailed reply with the agreement against Ccnss being sort-of
a self-awareness. Unfortunately I cannot get to your book for the time being
(we made a solemn oath with my wife at our 50th  NOT to buy any more books,
rather get rid of most of them) and our excellent publ library does not
provide the fresh editions).

On Nagel's bat (and later in JCS Hameroff-Penrose's 'worm') I wrote my
objection that WE want to understand with OUR level ideation the mental
functions of a bat or a worm - of course we cannot. So I seek a better (or
none?!) definition than a comparison to those.

And a consensus on Ccness will never set in as long as diverse researchers
get grants (awards, tenure, etc.) and publish books with the diverse
identifications - theories (against all other ones).  See the 15 year
success of the Tucson Conferences.

John

- Original Message -
From: Russell Standish [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2006 2:52 AM
Subject: Re: Maudlin's argument



 On Mon, Oct 09, 2006 at 11:44:38AM -0400, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  Russell, I like your position - but am still at a loss of a generally
  agreed-upon description of consciousness - applied in the lit as all
  variations of an unidentified thing anyone needs to his theory.
  I 'feel' Ccness is a process. It not only 'knows', but also 'decides'
and
  directs activity accordingly. I identified it as acknowledgement of and
  response to information (1992) - info not in the information-theory
term,
  but as a 'noted difference by anything/body'. It is not my recent
position
  to hold on to that. On another list I read about the ID of Ccness: it is
  one's feeling of SELF (of I) (which makes sense).

 We'll probably be old men (QTI-like ancient) by the time there is any
 concensus on the subject.

 I operationally define consciousness in terms of Bostrom's
 reference class - ie the property of there being something for it be
 like (references of Nagel's What is to be like bat - if bats are
 consciousm the question is answerable, if not then there is nothing
 that it is like to be a bat).

 Note that this is _not_ equivalent to self-awareness, which is the
 feeling of self you talk about. Mind you, self-awareness does seem
 to be necessary for consciousness in order to prevent the Occam
 catastrophe, which I mention in my book, and probably on this list.

 Process is covered by my TIME postulate, which I've been
 deliberately somewhat vague on. It essentially says that experienced
 observer moments can be placed into an ordered set (mathematical
 notion of ordering - for every experienced observer moment, all other
 experienced moments must exist in the past or the future of that one).

 This leaves open a wide variety of time structures (continuous,
 discrete, rational and so on), and indeed all structures called
 timescales is included. However, it dismisses things like 2D time, so
 it could potentially be wrong.

 
  You wrote a less controversial variation in your post;
  ... I don't see how I am conscious in the first place. ...
  which (being conscious) is part of the picture, I miss the activity in
it,
  just as in the 'feeling of I.
  (Tied to: 'being conscious OF..., i.e. awareness, what many identify
with
  the entire chapter.)
 
  Unfortunately the word is so deeply anchored in the multimillennial
usage
  that we cannot get rid of this noumenon. We could talk about the
  'ingredients' by themselves and agree, the ominous Ccness term is a good
  platform for eternal debates. Also for grants.
 
  I join you in disproving of assigning total meaning to simplified tools
  allegedly active in the mental concept, like a QM abstraction.
 
  John M
 
 
 
  - Original Message -
  From: Russell Standish [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
  Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 1:25 PM
  Subject: Re: Maudlin's argument
 
 
  
   On Sun, Oct 08, 2006 at 01:41:52PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
However, I don't see why having an interesting future should make
the
  difference between
consciousness and zombiehood. How do I know that I am not currently
  living through a virtual
  
   Sure, but I don't see how I am conscious in the first place. Yet the
   fact remains that I do.
  
   Until we have a better idea of the mechanisms behind consciousness, it
   is a little too early to rule out any specific conclusion. I think
   Penrose and Lockwood are dead wrong in their specific quantum
   mechanical connections with consciousness, but I retain a suspicion
   that quantum effects are important in some way.
  
   --
   *PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
   is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
   virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
   email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
   may safely ignore this attachment

Re: Not-Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-10 Thread Russell Standish

And you also made a solemn promise to read the ones you've got?

Wait a year or two, and I'll make my book available for a free
download - if you have the time then, you'll be able to read it without
breaking your promise :)

In the meantime, I have to keep up the pretense of this book being a
commercial enterprise so I can claim my publishing expenses as a tax
deduction.

I'm working on making a cheap PDF version available soon, since
Booksurge don't offer that service any more.

Cheers
 
On Tue, Oct 10, 2006 at 04:18:54PM -0400, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
 Russell,
 thanks for the detailed reply with the agreement against Ccnss being sort-of
 a self-awareness. Unfortunately I cannot get to your book for the time being
 (we made a solemn oath with my wife at our 50th  NOT to buy any more books,
 rather get rid of most of them) and our excellent publ library does not
 provide the fresh editions).
 
 On Nagel's bat (and later in JCS Hameroff-Penrose's 'worm') I wrote my
 objection that WE want to understand with OUR level ideation the mental
 functions of a bat or a worm - of course we cannot. So I seek a better (or
 none?!) definition than a comparison to those.
 
 And a consensus on Ccness will never set in as long as diverse researchers
 get grants (awards, tenure, etc.) and publish books with the diverse
 identifications - theories (against all other ones).  See the 15 year
 success of the Tucson Conferences.
 
 John
 
 - Original Message -
 From: Russell Standish [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2006 2:52 AM
 Subject: Re: Maudlin's argument
 
 
 
  On Mon, Oct 09, 2006 at 11:44:38AM -0400, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  
   Russell, I like your position - but am still at a loss of a generally
   agreed-upon description of consciousness - applied in the lit as all
   variations of an unidentified thing anyone needs to his theory.
   I 'feel' Ccness is a process. It not only 'knows', but also 'decides'
 and
   directs activity accordingly. I identified it as acknowledgement of and
   response to information (1992) - info not in the information-theory
 term,
   but as a 'noted difference by anything/body'. It is not my recent
 position
   to hold on to that. On another list I read about the ID of Ccness: it is
   one's feeling of SELF (of I) (which makes sense).
 
  We'll probably be old men (QTI-like ancient) by the time there is any
  concensus on the subject.
 
  I operationally define consciousness in terms of Bostrom's
  reference class - ie the property of there being something for it be
  like (references of Nagel's What is to be like bat - if bats are
  consciousm the question is answerable, if not then there is nothing
  that it is like to be a bat).
 
  Note that this is _not_ equivalent to self-awareness, which is the
  feeling of self you talk about. Mind you, self-awareness does seem
  to be necessary for consciousness in order to prevent the Occam
  catastrophe, which I mention in my book, and probably on this list.
 
  Process is covered by my TIME postulate, which I've been
  deliberately somewhat vague on. It essentially says that experienced
  observer moments can be placed into an ordered set (mathematical
  notion of ordering - for every experienced observer moment, all other
  experienced moments must exist in the past or the future of that one).
 
  This leaves open a wide variety of time structures (continuous,
  discrete, rational and so on), and indeed all structures called
  timescales is included. However, it dismisses things like 2D time, so
  it could potentially be wrong.
 
  
   You wrote a less controversial variation in your post;
   ... I don't see how I am conscious in the first place. ...
   which (being conscious) is part of the picture, I miss the activity in
 it,
   just as in the 'feeling of I.
   (Tied to: 'being conscious OF..., i.e. awareness, what many identify
 with
   the entire chapter.)
  
   Unfortunately the word is so deeply anchored in the multimillennial
 usage
   that we cannot get rid of this noumenon. We could talk about the
   'ingredients' by themselves and agree, the ominous Ccness term is a good
   platform for eternal debates. Also for grants.
  
   I join you in disproving of assigning total meaning to simplified tools
   allegedly active in the mental concept, like a QM abstraction.
  
   John M
  
  
  
   - Original Message -
   From: Russell Standish [EMAIL PROTECTED]
   To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
   Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 1:25 PM
   Subject: Re: Maudlin's argument
  
  
   
On Sun, Oct 08, 2006 at 01:41:52PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 However, I don't see why having an interesting future should make
 the
   difference between
 consciousness and zombiehood. How do I know that I am not currently
   living through a virtual
   
Sure, but I don't see how I am conscious in the first place. Yet the
fact remains that I do

Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-09 Thread jamikes

Russell, I like your position - but am still at a loss of a generally
agreed-upon description of consciousness - applied in the lit as all
variations of an unidentified thing anyone needs to his theory.
I 'feel' Ccness is a process. It not only 'knows', but also 'decides' and
directs activity accordingly. I identified it as acknowledgement of and
response to information (1992) - info not in the information-theory term,
but as a 'noted difference by anything/body'. It is not my recent position
to hold on to that. On another list I read about the ID of Ccness: it is
one's feeling of SELF (of I) (which makes sense).

You wrote a less controversial variation in your post;
... I don't see how I am conscious in the first place. ...
which (being conscious) is part of the picture, I miss the activity in it,
just as in the 'feeling of I.
(Tied to: 'being conscious OF..., i.e. awareness, what many identify with
the entire chapter.)

Unfortunately the word is so deeply anchored in the multimillennial usage
that we cannot get rid of this noumenon. We could talk about the
'ingredients' by themselves and agree, the ominous Ccness term is a good
platform for eternal debates. Also for grants.

I join you in disproving of assigning total meaning to simplified tools
allegedly active in the mental concept, like a QM abstraction.

John M



- Original Message -
From: Russell Standish [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 1:25 PM
Subject: Re: Maudlin's argument



 On Sun, Oct 08, 2006 at 01:41:52PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  However, I don't see why having an interesting future should make the
difference between
  consciousness and zombiehood. How do I know that I am not currently
living through a virtual

 Sure, but I don't see how I am conscious in the first place. Yet the
 fact remains that I do.

 Until we have a better idea of the mechanisms behind consciousness, it
 is a little too early to rule out any specific conclusion. I think
 Penrose and Lockwood are dead wrong in their specific quantum
 mechanical connections with consciousness, but I retain a suspicion
 that quantum effects are important in some way.

 --
 *PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
 is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
 virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
 email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
 may safely ignore this attachment.

 --
--
 A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
 Mathematics
 UNSW SYDNEY 2052  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Australia
http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
 International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-08 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 07-oct.-06, à 16:48, 1Z a écrit :

 That is obviously wrong. Formalists are not Platonists,
 structuralists are not Platonists, Empiricists are not
 Platonists.


After Godel, even formalists are platonist about numbers. If they say 
that they are formalist it means they are not platonist about things 
extending numbers like sets. Or it means they does not follows the 
mathematical news.
Formalism at the level of numbers has been shown senseless. This is 
already clear in Dedekind, but provable in all details by using 
theorems by Skolem or Godel.

A strict formalist about natural numbers cannot even interpret the 
modus ponens rule and explains what formalism is.
It is false to pretend (like we can heard sometimes) that Godel 
incompleteness has kill the formalist doctrine in mathematics, but it 
is correct to say that godel's incompleteness has kill the formalist 
doctrine in arithmetics.

But I agree with David's yesterday post, you should should less quibble 
about terminology and try to understand the reasoning instead. That 
would provide much more help for settling the possible interpretation 
problems.

Bruno


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


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-08 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 07-oct.-06, à 16:48, 1Z a écrit :

  That is obviously wrong. Formalists are not Platonists,
  structuralists are not Platonists, Empiricists are not
  Platonists.


 After Godel, even formalists are platonist about numbers.

Of course not.

  If they say
 that they are formalist it means they are not platonist about things
 extending numbers like sets. Or it means they does not follows the
 mathematical news.

That is not how they describe themselves.

 Formalism at the level of numbers has been shown senseless. This is
 already clear in Dedekind, but provable in all details by using
 theorems by Skolem or Godel.

I think you are getting the Hilbertian programme, of mechanising
mathematics, confuse with formalism, which is a claim
about the meaning of mathematical propositions. Formalists
believe that mathematical propositions in general take
their meanings from  systems of rules and defintions
in general . The discovery that particular systems have particular
limitations
does not destroy that claim.

 A strict formalist about natural numbers cannot even interpret the
 modus ponens rule and explains what formalism is.
 It is false to pretend (like we can heard sometimes) that Godel
 incompleteness has kill the formalist doctrine in mathematics, but it
 is correct to say that godel's incompleteness has kill the formalist
 doctrine in arithmetics.

 But I agree with David's yesterday post, you should should less quibble
 about terminology and try to understand the reasoning instead.

No-one can understand anyhting withiut clear definitions.

 That
 would provide much more help for settling the possible interpretation
 problems.
 
 Bruno
 
 
 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-08 Thread 1Z


Brent Meeker wrote:

 But note that Maudlin's argument depends on being in a classical world.  The 
 quantum
 world in which we live the counterfactuals are always realized with some 
 probability.

Only under MWI.


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-08 Thread Russell Standish

On Sun, Oct 08, 2006 at 01:41:52PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 However, I don't see why having an interesting future should make the 
 difference between 
 consciousness and zombiehood. How do I know that I am not currently living 
 through a virtual 

Sure, but I don't see how I am conscious in the first place. Yet the
fact remains that I do.

Until we have a better idea of the mechanisms behind consciousness, it
is a little too early to rule out any specific conclusion. I think
Penrose and Lockwood are dead wrong in their specific quantum
mechanical connections with consciousness, but I retain a suspicion
that quantum effects are important in some way.

-- 
*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
is of type application/pgp-signature. Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.


A/Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Mathematics  
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Australiahttp://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02



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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:

 I did not have problem with the expression platonic object but be
 careful because it makes some people believe (cf Peter Jones) that we
 are reifying numbers and mathematical objects.

That is exactly what mathematical Platonism has always meant [*]

But reifying doesn't mean treating as material. Platonic objects are
supposed
to immaterial, somehow. Well, you beleive the UD exists,
and you believe matter doesn't so you belive in
immaterial entitities, so you are a Platonist.

[*] http://www.maa.org/reviews/whatis.html

There were three major points of view in the debate about the nature of
mathematics. The formalists argued (roughly: the short
summaries that follow are really caricatures) that mathematics was
really simply the formal manipulation of symbols based on
arbitrarily-chosen axioms. The Platonists saw mathematics as almost an
experimental science, studying objects that really exist
(in some sense), though they clearly don't exist in a physical or
material sense. The intuitionists had the most radical point of
view; essentially, they saw all mathematics as a human creation and
therefore as essentially finite.



http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/platonism/#1

Platonism is the view that there exist abstract objects, and again, an
object is abstract just in case it is non-spatiotemporal, i.e.,
does not exist in space or time. [ ... ] Three examples of things that
are often taken to be abstract are (a) mathematical objects
(most notably, numbers), (b) properties, and (c) propositions.

Platonists about mathematical objects claim that the theorems of our
mathematical theories - sentences like '3 is prime'
(a theorem of arithmetic) and 'There are infinitely many transfinite
cardinal numbers' (a theorem of set theory) -
are literally true and that the only plausible view of such sentences
is that they are about abstract objects
(i.e., that their singular terms denote abstract objects and their
existential quantifiers range over abstract objects).



The philosophy of Plato, or an approach to philosophy resembling his.
For example, someone who asserts that numbers exist
independently of the things they number could be called a Platonist.



http://www.fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/enm3.html#

The view that mathematical concepts could exist in such a
timeless,ethereal sense was put forward in ancient times
(c.360 BC) by the great Greek philosopher  Plato.Consequently,this view
is frequently referred to as mathematical Platonism


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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Bruno Marchal writes:

  It is consistent with Maudlin's paper to say consciousness supervenes 
  on no
  physical activity - i.e. on computation as Platonic object -
 
 
 I did not have problem with the expression platonic object but be 
 careful because it makes some people believe (cf Peter Jones) that we 
 are reifying numbers and mathematical objects. This would be a mistake 
 only second to Aristotle reification of the notion of matter
 
 
  but it is also consistent
  to say that it supervenes on a recording, or on any physical activity, 
  and that
  perhaps if there were no physical universe with at least a single 
  quantum state
  there would be no consciousness. Admittedly the latter is inelegant 
  compared to
  the no physical supervenience idea, but I can't quite see how to 
  eliminate it
  completely.
 
 I think you are right, but it seems to me that at that point (still 
 more after the translation of the UDA in arithmetic) to really believe 
 that a recording can have all consciousness experiences would be like 
 to believe that, despite the thermodynamical explanation, cars are 
 still pull by (invisible) horses. In any *applied* math there is an 
 unavoidable use of Ockham razor. The movie graph or Maudlin's Olympia 
 makes it as minimal as possible.

It seems there is a contest of absurdities: that consciousness can supervene on 
a recording, or any physical process, or no physical process. Maudlin 
apparently 
thinks all of these are absurd, you think the first two are absurd but not the 
last, 
I think all three are equally... a little bit absurd, but not absurd enough to 
knock 
off computationalism as the best theory of consciousness.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 06-oct.-06, à 19:51, Brent Meeker a écrit :


 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Bruno Marchal writes:


 Le 04-oct.-06, à 14:21, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :


 Maudlin's example in his paper is rather complicated. If I could
 summarise, he states that one
 of the requirements for a conscious computation is that it not be 
 the
 trivial case of a recording, a
 machine that plays out the same physical motion regardless of input.
 He then proposes a second
 machine next to one which on its own is just a recording, such that
 the second machine comes into
 play and acts on the first machine should inputs be different. The
 system as a whole now handles
 counterfactuals. However, should the counterfactuals not actually
 arise, the second machine just
 sits there inertly next to the first machine. We would now have to 
 say
 that when the first machine
 goes through physical sequence abc on its own, it is just 
 implementing
 a recording and could not
 possibly be conscious, while if it goes through the same sequence 
 abc
 with the second machine sitting
 inertly next to it it is or could be conscious. This would seem to
 contravene the supervenience thesis
 which most computationalists accept: that mental activity supervenes
 on physical activity, and further
 that the same physical activity will give rise to the same mental
 activity. For it seems in the example
 that physical activity is the same in both cases (since the second
 machine does nothing), yet in the
 first case the system cannot be conscious while in the second case 
 it
 can.


 This is a nice summary of Maudlin's paper.



 There are several possible responses to the above argument. One is
 that computationalism is wrong.
 Another is that the supervenience thesis is wrong and the mental 
 does
 not supervene on the physical
 (but Bruno would say it supervenes on computation as Platonic 
 object).
 Yet another response is that
 the idea that a recording cannot be conscious is wrong, and the
 relationship between physical activity
 and mental activity can be one-many, allowing that any physical
 process may implement any
 computation including any conscious computation.

 Why? The whole point is that consciousness or even just computation
 would supervene on *absence of physical activity.
 This is not on *any* physical activity. I can imagine the quantum
 vacuum is full of computations, but saying consciousness supervene 
 on
 no physical activity at all is equivalent, keeping the comp 
 assumption,
 to associate consciousness on the immaterial/mathematical 
 computations.
 This shows then why we have to explain the relative appearance of the
 physical stuff.


 It is consistent with Maudlin's paper to say consciousness supervenes 
 on no
 physical activity - i.e. on computation as Platonic object - but it 
 is also consistent
 to say that it supervenes on a recording, or on any physical 
 activity, and that
 perhaps if there were no physical universe with at least a single 
 quantum state
 there would be no consciousness. Admittedly the latter is inelegant 
 compared to
 the no physical supervenience idea, but I can't quite see how to 
 eliminate it
 completely.

 Stathis Papaioannou

 But note that Maudlin's argument depends on being in a classical world.


I don't see this. Maudlin's assumes only that consciousness can be 
attributed to a classical computation. Its reasoning would work even 
in the case the brain would be a quantum computer. The reason for that 
is that quantum computations are classically turing emulable.
Church thesis has not been violated by the rise of the quantum turing 
machine, as David Deutsch already explained in his seminal paper on 
quantum computation.


 The quantum
 world in which we live the counterfactuals are always realized with 
 some probability.


And I guess that is why Russell Standish believes that the Maudlin type 
of argument could be just an argument in favor or the (physical) 
multiverse (like UDA could be as well in that case). But this does not 
follow because if the counterfactuals are needed to be simulated, it 
would just mean, assuming comp, that the level of emulation has not 
been correctly chosen. Just redo Maudlin's thought experiment with his 
program PI being a quantum program simulated by a classical Olympia if 
you want to be sure of this.

Bruno






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


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 07-oct.-06, à 11:37, 1Z a écrit :



 Bruno Marchal wrote:

 I did not have problem with the expression platonic object but be
 careful because it makes some people believe (cf Peter Jones) that we
 are reifying numbers and mathematical objects.

 That is exactly what mathematical Platonism has always meant [*]

 But reifying doesn't mean treating as material. Platonic objects are
 supposed
 to immaterial, somehow. Well, you beleive the UD exists,
 and you believe matter doesn't so you belive in
 immaterial entitities, so you are a Platonist.  snip



So we agree on this since the beginning!!!
I was just referring to a nuance you did introduce between believing 
that the number 5 exist (say), and believing in the independent truth 
of the proposition It exist a number which is equal to 5.

I hope you agree with the fact that in this sense everybody is 
*arithmetical* platonist, with the exception of the ultra-intuitionist 
(who does not believe in number which are too much big (yet finite). I 
am certainly an arithmetical realist (platonist), but I would not 
assert that  I am a set-theoretical platonist.  (Note that I would not 
necessarily deny it, I'm just currently agnostic on big sets).

Note that by using godel's arithmetization device, it can be shown that 
the UD exists in exactly the same sense than saying that 5 exists.

And I am not willing to defend the idea that 5 exists,  just that 
comp (yes doctor + Church Thesis + 5 exists (say)) entails that 
physics is a branch of number theory (including recursion theory like 
in Yuri Manin's book), and constructively so.

My personal opinion if comp is true or false is ... personal. Ok I let 
you know that I have no doubt that 5 exists, few doubt that CT is 
true, some doubt that yes doctor is true. My point is that comp, made 
precise enough,  is empirically refutable.

Bruno

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


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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes:

  It is consistent with Maudlin's paper to say consciousness supervenes on no 
  physical activity - i.e. on computation as Platonic object - but it is also 
  consistent 
  to say that it supervenes on a recording, or on any physical activity, and 
  that 
  perhaps if there were no physical universe with at least a single quantum 
  state 
  there would be no consciousness. Admittedly the latter is inelegant 
  compared to 
  the no physical supervenience idea, but I can't quite see how to 
  eliminate it 
  completely.

 But note that Maudlin's argument depends on being in a classical world.  The 
 quantum 
 world in which we live the counterfactuals are always realized with some 
 probability.

I assume you are referring to the MWI interpretation, in which the 
counterfactuals are 
always realised in some branch with certainty; in a classical world, the 
counterfactuals 
are realised with some probability just as in the CI of QM. In any case, I 
don't see that 
it makes much difference to the argument. Consider this model of the MWI case. 
A machine 
is made up of two parts, a1 and b1, such that a1 is active at a particular time 
and b1 
comes into play from an inert state to alter the activity of a1 only if a 
counterfactual is 
realised. It seems absurd to say that a1 is conscious when it undergoes some 
physical
activity with b1 hovering over it inertly (because the counterfactual is not 
realised) but not 
conscious when it undergoes the same activity without b1 in place. But it seems 
no less 
absurd to me to say that a1 or a1b1 is conscious with an identical machine next 
to it, a2b2, 
in which the counterfactual is realised, but not if a2b2 is not present. For 
how would a1/a1b1 
know or care about a2b2, whether in the next room or in another branch of the 
multiverse?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 07-oct.-06, à 11:37, 1Z a écrit :

 
 
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
  I did not have problem with the expression platonic object but be
  careful because it makes some people believe (cf Peter Jones) that we
  are reifying numbers and mathematical objects.
 
  That is exactly what mathematical Platonism has always meant [*]
 
  But reifying doesn't mean treating as material. Platonic objects are
  supposed
  to immaterial, somehow. Well, you beleive the UD exists,
  and you believe matter doesn't so you belive in
  immaterial entitities, so you are a Platonist.  snip



 So we agree on this since the beginning!!!
 I was just referring to a nuance you did introduce between believing
 that the number 5 exist (say), and believing in the independent truth
 of the proposition It exist a number which is equal to 5.

The difference is reification, or Platonism, about numbers.
Which you claim not to
need.

 I hope you agree with the fact that in this sense everybody is
 *arithmetical* platonist,

That is obviously wrong. Formalists are not Platonists,
structuralists are not Platonists, Empiricists are not
Platonists.

with the exception of the ultra-intuitionist
 (who does not believe in number which are too much big (yet finite). I
 am certainly an arithmetical realist (platonist), but I would not
 assert that  I am a set-theoretical platonist.  (Note that I would not
 necessarily deny it, I'm just currently agnostic on big sets).

 Note that by using godel's arithmetization device, it can be shown that
 the UD exists in exactly the same sense than saying that 5 exists.

Which of course is not any real existence at
all for the anti-Platonist, although he agees with
the truth of all the same mathematical propositions as the Platonist.

But you think the UD does things and behaves in certain
ways and generates certain appearances. So you think it
exists. So you are Platonising and reifying, although you claim
not to be.

 And I am not willing to defend the idea that 5 exists,  just that
 comp (yes doctor + Church Thesis + 5 exists (say)) entails that
 physics is a branch of number theory (including recursion theory like
 in Yuri Manin's book), and constructively so.

 My personal opinion if comp is true or false is ... personal. Ok I let
 you know that I have no doubt that 5 exists, few doubt that CT is
 true, some doubt that yes doctor is true.

And many doubt 5 exists in a real sense of existence -- many
doubt Platonism.

My point is that comp, made
 precise enough,  is empirically refutable.
 
 Bruno
 
 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 
It is consistent with Maudlin's paper to say consciousness supervenes on no 
physical activity - i.e. on computation as Platonic object - but it is also 
consistent 
to say that it supervenes on a recording, or on any physical activity, and 
that 
perhaps if there were no physical universe with at least a single quantum 
state 
there would be no consciousness. Admittedly the latter is inelegant compared 
to 
the no physical supervenience idea, but I can't quite see how to eliminate 
it 
completely.
 
 
But note that Maudlin's argument depends on being in a classical world.  The 
quantum 
world in which we live the counterfactuals are always realized with some 
probability.
 
 
 I assume you are referring to the MWI interpretation, in which the 
 counterfactuals are 
 always realised in some branch with certainty; in a classical world, the 
 counterfactuals 
 are realised with some probability just as in the CI of QM. In any case, I 
 don't see that 
 it makes much difference to the argument. Consider this model of the MWI 
 case. A machine 
 is made up of two parts, a1 and b1, such that a1 is active at a particular 
 time and b1 
 comes into play from an inert state to alter the activity of a1 only if a 
 counterfactual is 
 realised. It seems absurd to say that a1 is conscious when it undergoes some 
 physical
 activity with b1 hovering over it inertly (because the counterfactual is not 
 realised) but not 
 conscious when it undergoes the same activity without b1 in place. But it 
 seems no less 
 absurd to me to say that a1 or a1b1 is conscious with an identical machine 
 next to it, a2b2, 
 in which the counterfactual is realised, but not if a2b2 is not present. For 
 how would a1/a1b1 
 know or care about a2b2, whether in the next room or in another branch of the 
 multiverse?

It's not a question of whether the counterfactual occurs.  If it occured it 
wouldn't be counterfactual.  The point is that in QM what occurs depends on 
what 
could have occur but didn't; c.f. quant-ph/9610033, or seach arXiv.org for 
interaction free measurment.


Brent Meeker
What is particularly curious about quantum theory is that there can
be actual physical effects arising from what philosophers refer to as
counterfactuals – that is, things that might have happened, although
they did not happened.
--- Roger Penrose

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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Brent Meeker writes:

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  Brent Meeker writes:
  
  
 It is consistent with Maudlin's paper to say consciousness supervenes on 
 no 
 physical activity - i.e. on computation as Platonic object - but it is 
 also consistent 
 to say that it supervenes on a recording, or on any physical activity, and 
 that 
 perhaps if there were no physical universe with at least a single quantum 
 state 
 there would be no consciousness. Admittedly the latter is inelegant 
 compared to 
 the no physical supervenience idea, but I can't quite see how to 
 eliminate it 
 completely.
  
  
 But note that Maudlin's argument depends on being in a classical world.  
 The quantum 
 world in which we live the counterfactuals are always realized with some 
 probability.
  
  
  I assume you are referring to the MWI interpretation, in which the 
  counterfactuals are 
  always realised in some branch with certainty; in a classical world, the 
  counterfactuals 
  are realised with some probability just as in the CI of QM. In any case, I 
  don't see that 
  it makes much difference to the argument. Consider this model of the MWI 
  case. A machine 
  is made up of two parts, a1 and b1, such that a1 is active at a particular 
  time and b1 
  comes into play from an inert state to alter the activity of a1 only if a 
  counterfactual is 
  realised. It seems absurd to say that a1 is conscious when it undergoes 
  some physical
  activity with b1 hovering over it inertly (because the counterfactual is 
  not realised) but not 
  conscious when it undergoes the same activity without b1 in place. But it 
  seems no less 
  absurd to me to say that a1 or a1b1 is conscious with an identical machine 
  next to it, a2b2, 
  in which the counterfactual is realised, but not if a2b2 is not present. 
  For how would a1/a1b1 
  know or care about a2b2, whether in the next room or in another branch of 
  the multiverse?
 
 It's not a question of whether the counterfactual occurs.  If it occured it 
 wouldn't be counterfactual.  The point is that in QM what occurs depends on 
 what 
 could have occur but didn't; c.f. quant-ph/9610033, or seach arXiv.org for 
 interaction free measurment.

Doesn't this refer to quantum interference effects? Otherwise what would be the 
distinction between 
a quantum computer and a classical computer in what we know is a quantum world?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread Russell Standish

On Sun, Oct 08, 2006 at 12:36:04AM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 For how would a1/a1b1 
 know or care about a2b2, whether in the next room or in another branch of the 
 multiverse?
 

Perhaps they do depend on other Multiverse branches. This is no more
absurd than saying recordings can be conscious.

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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread Russell Standish

On Sat, Oct 07, 2006 at 02:25:08PM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
  The quantum
  world in which we live the counterfactuals are always realized with 
  some probability.
 
 
 And I guess that is why Russell Standish believes that the Maudlin type 
 of argument could be just an argument in favor or the (physical) 
 multiverse (like UDA could be as well in that case). But this does not 
 follow because if the counterfactuals are needed to be simulated, it 
 would just mean, assuming comp, that the level of emulation has not 
 been correctly chosen. Just redo Maudlin's thought experiment with his 
 program PI being a quantum program simulated by a classical Olympia if 
 you want to be sure of this.
 
 Bruno
 

It doesn't really work, because the Multiverse is too simple an
object. We would never say your universal dovetailer was conscious for
example, so doing the Maudlin on it will not tell us anything
interesting.

We can conclude that consciousness must appear as an internal POV
phenomenon (assuming a MV type structure, or equivalently COMP which
implies the latter via the UDA).

Cheers


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread Brent Meeker

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

Brent Meeker writes:



It is consistent with Maudlin's paper to say consciousness supervenes on 
no 
physical activity - i.e. on computation as Platonic object - but it is 
also consistent 
to say that it supervenes on a recording, or on any physical activity, and 
that 
perhaps if there were no physical universe with at least a single quantum 
state 
there would be no consciousness. Admittedly the latter is inelegant 
compared to 
the no physical supervenience idea, but I can't quite see how to 
eliminate it 
completely.


But note that Maudlin's argument depends on being in a classical world.  
The quantum 
world in which we live the counterfactuals are always realized with some 
probability.


I assume you are referring to the MWI interpretation, in which the 
counterfactuals are 
always realised in some branch with certainty; in a classical world, the 
counterfactuals 
are realised with some probability just as in the CI of QM. In any case, I 
don't see that 
it makes much difference to the argument. Consider this model of the MWI 
case. A machine 
is made up of two parts, a1 and b1, such that a1 is active at a particular 
time and b1 
comes into play from an inert state to alter the activity of a1 only if a 
counterfactual is 
realised. It seems absurd to say that a1 is conscious when it undergoes some 
physical
activity with b1 hovering over it inertly (because the counterfactual is not 
realised) but not 
conscious when it undergoes the same activity without b1 in place. But it 
seems no less 
absurd to me to say that a1 or a1b1 is conscious with an identical machine 
next to it, a2b2, 
in which the counterfactual is realised, but not if a2b2 is not present. For 
how would a1/a1b1 
know or care about a2b2, whether in the next room or in another branch of 
the multiverse?

It's not a question of whether the counterfactual occurs.  If it occured it 
wouldn't be counterfactual.  The point is that in QM what occurs depends on 
what 
could have occur but didn't; c.f. quant-ph/9610033, or seach arXiv.org for 
interaction free measurment.
 
 
 Doesn't this refer to quantum interference effects? Otherwise what would be 
 the distinction between 
 a quantum computer and a classical computer in what we know is a quantum 
 world?
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

Yes, it does depend on quantum interference.  But a classical computer in 
this 
quantum world can only be *approximately* classical.  So I'm wondering how that 
affects Maudlin's argument and others that depend on counterfactuals making no 
difference.

Brent Meeker

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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-07 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Russell Standish writes:

 On Sun, Oct 08, 2006 at 12:36:04AM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  For how would a1/a1b1 
  know or care about a2b2, whether in the next room or in another branch of 
  the multiverse?
  
 
 Perhaps they do depend on other Multiverse branches. This is no more
 absurd than saying recordings can be conscious.

Perhaps you are right, but the simplest position seems to me to be that if a 
machine is conscious 
with all its fellows in the multiverse implementing the counterfactuals, it 
should also be conscious 
if all the other machines did not exist. What you have argued is that a 
mechanism for handling 
counterfactuals which is apparently inert and irrelevant on a particular run is 
actually neither if 
the MWI is true, because the presence of the mechanism ensures that the 
counterfactuals are 
realised in other branches. This means that a machine with such a mechanism in 
place (i.e., a 
machine that is not a recording) has a varied and first person indeterminate 
future ahead of it. 
However, I don't see why having an interesting future should make the 
difference between 
consciousness and zombiehood. How do I know that I am not currently living 
through a virtual 
reality replay of something recorded yesterday? I could try to confound the 
simulation by 
performing an unpredictable act, but no matter how hard I tried I could not 
surprise an external 
observer in the know any more than I could surprise my reflection in the 
mirrror with a sudden 
unexpected movement.

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-06 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Bruno Marchal writes:

 Le 04-oct.-06, à 14:21, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
 
 
  Maudlin's example in his paper is rather complicated. If I could  
  summarise, he states that one
  of the requirements for a conscious computation is that it not be the  
  trivial case of a recording, a
  machine that plays out the same physical motion regardless of input.  
  He then proposes a second
  machine next to one which on its own is just a recording, such that  
  the second machine comes into
  play and acts on the first machine should inputs be different. The  
  system as a whole now handles
  counterfactuals. However, should the counterfactuals not actually  
  arise, the second machine just
  sits there inertly next to the first machine. We would now have to say  
  that when the first machine
  goes through physical sequence abc on its own, it is just implementing  
  a recording and could not
  possibly be conscious, while if it goes through the same sequence abc  
  with the second machine sitting
  inertly next to it it is or could be conscious. This would seem to  
  contravene the supervenience thesis
  which most computationalists accept: that mental activity supervenes  
  on physical activity, and further
  that the same physical activity will give rise to the same mental  
  activity. For it seems in the example
  that physical activity is the same in both cases (since the second  
  machine does nothing), yet in the
  first case the system cannot be conscious while in the second case it  
  can.
 
 
 This is a nice summary of Maudlin's paper.
 
 
 
  There are several possible responses to the above argument. One is  
  that computationalism is wrong.
  Another is that the supervenience thesis is wrong and the mental does  
  not supervene on the physical
  (but Bruno would say it supervenes on computation as Platonic object).  
  Yet another response is that
  the idea that a recording cannot be conscious is wrong, and the  
  relationship between physical activity
  and mental activity can be one-many, allowing that any physical  
  process may implement any
  computation including any conscious computation.
 
 Why? The whole point is that consciousness or even just computation  
 would supervene on *absence of physical activity.
 This is not on *any* physical activity. I can imagine the quantum  
 vacuum is full of computations, but saying consciousness supervene on  
 no physical activity at all is equivalent, keeping the comp assumption,  
 to associate consciousness on the immaterial/mathematical computations.  
 This shows then why we have to explain the relative appearance of the  
 physical stuff.

It is consistent with Maudlin's paper to say consciousness supervenes on no 
physical activity - i.e. on computation as Platonic object - but it is also 
consistent 
to say that it supervenes on a recording, or on any physical activity, and that 
perhaps if there were no physical universe with at least a single quantum state 
there would be no consciousness. Admittedly the latter is inelegant compared to 
the no physical supervenience idea, but I can't quite see how to eliminate it 
completely.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-06 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 06-oct.-06, à 13:48, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :


 Bruno Marchal writes:

 Le 04-oct.-06, à 14:21, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :


 Maudlin's example in his paper is rather complicated. If I could
 summarise, he states that one
 of the requirements for a conscious computation is that it not be the
 trivial case of a recording, a
 machine that plays out the same physical motion regardless of input.
 He then proposes a second
 machine next to one which on its own is just a recording, such that
 the second machine comes into
 play and acts on the first machine should inputs be different. The
 system as a whole now handles
 counterfactuals. However, should the counterfactuals not actually
 arise, the second machine just
 sits there inertly next to the first machine. We would now have to 
 say
 that when the first machine
 goes through physical sequence abc on its own, it is just 
 implementing
 a recording and could not
 possibly be conscious, while if it goes through the same sequence abc
 with the second machine sitting
 inertly next to it it is or could be conscious. This would seem to
 contravene the supervenience thesis
 which most computationalists accept: that mental activity supervenes
 on physical activity, and further
 that the same physical activity will give rise to the same mental
 activity. For it seems in the example
 that physical activity is the same in both cases (since the second
 machine does nothing), yet in the
 first case the system cannot be conscious while in the second case it
 can.


 This is a nice summary of Maudlin's paper.



 There are several possible responses to the above argument. One is
 that computationalism is wrong.
 Another is that the supervenience thesis is wrong and the mental does
 not supervene on the physical
 (but Bruno would say it supervenes on computation as Platonic 
 object).
 Yet another response is that
 the idea that a recording cannot be conscious is wrong, and the
 relationship between physical activity
 and mental activity can be one-many, allowing that any physical
 process may implement any
 computation including any conscious computation.

 Why? The whole point is that consciousness or even just computation
 would supervene on *absence of physical activity.
 This is not on *any* physical activity. I can imagine the quantum
 vacuum is full of computations, but saying consciousness supervene 
 on
 no physical activity at all is equivalent, keeping the comp 
 assumption,
 to associate consciousness on the immaterial/mathematical 
 computations.
 This shows then why we have to explain the relative appearance of the
 physical stuff.

 It is consistent with Maudlin's paper to say consciousness supervenes 
 on no
 physical activity - i.e. on computation as Platonic object -


I did not have problem with the expression platonic object but be 
careful because it makes some people believe (cf Peter Jones) that we 
are reifying numbers and mathematical objects. This would be a mistake 
only second to Aristotle reification of the notion of matter


 but it is also consistent
 to say that it supervenes on a recording, or on any physical activity, 
 and that
 perhaps if there were no physical universe with at least a single 
 quantum state
 there would be no consciousness. Admittedly the latter is inelegant 
 compared to
 the no physical supervenience idea, but I can't quite see how to 
 eliminate it
 completely.

I think you are right, but it seems to me that at that point (still 
more after the translation of the UDA in arithmetic) to really believe 
that a recording can have all consciousness experiences would be like 
to believe that, despite the thermodynamical explanation, cars are 
still pull by (invisible) horses. In any *applied* math there is an 
unavoidable use of Ockham razor. The movie graph or Maudlin's Olympia 
makes it as minimal as possible.

Bruno

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


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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-06 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Bruno Marchal writes:
 
 
Le 04-oct.-06, à 14:21, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :


Maudlin's example in his paper is rather complicated. If I could  
summarise, he states that one
of the requirements for a conscious computation is that it not be the  
trivial case of a recording, a
machine that plays out the same physical motion regardless of input.  
He then proposes a second
machine next to one which on its own is just a recording, such that  
the second machine comes into
play and acts on the first machine should inputs be different. The  
system as a whole now handles
counterfactuals. However, should the counterfactuals not actually  
arise, the second machine just
sits there inertly next to the first machine. We would now have to say  
that when the first machine
goes through physical sequence abc on its own, it is just implementing  
a recording and could not
possibly be conscious, while if it goes through the same sequence abc  
with the second machine sitting
inertly next to it it is or could be conscious. This would seem to  
contravene the supervenience thesis
which most computationalists accept: that mental activity supervenes  
on physical activity, and further
that the same physical activity will give rise to the same mental  
activity. For it seems in the example
that physical activity is the same in both cases (since the second  
machine does nothing), yet in the
first case the system cannot be conscious while in the second case it  
can.


This is a nice summary of Maudlin's paper.



There are several possible responses to the above argument. One is  
that computationalism is wrong.
Another is that the supervenience thesis is wrong and the mental does  
not supervene on the physical
(but Bruno would say it supervenes on computation as Platonic object).  
Yet another response is that
the idea that a recording cannot be conscious is wrong, and the  
relationship between physical activity
and mental activity can be one-many, allowing that any physical  
process may implement any
computation including any conscious computation.

Why? The whole point is that consciousness or even just computation  
would supervene on *absence of physical activity.
This is not on *any* physical activity. I can imagine the quantum  
vacuum is full of computations, but saying consciousness supervene on  
no physical activity at all is equivalent, keeping the comp assumption,  
to associate consciousness on the immaterial/mathematical computations.  
This shows then why we have to explain the relative appearance of the  
physical stuff.
 
 
 It is consistent with Maudlin's paper to say consciousness supervenes on no 
 physical activity - i.e. on computation as Platonic object - but it is also 
 consistent 
 to say that it supervenes on a recording, or on any physical activity, and 
 that 
 perhaps if there were no physical universe with at least a single quantum 
 state 
 there would be no consciousness. Admittedly the latter is inelegant compared 
 to 
 the no physical supervenience idea, but I can't quite see how to eliminate 
 it 
 completely.
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

But note that Maudlin's argument depends on being in a classical world.  The 
quantum 
world in which we live the counterfactuals are always realized with some 
probability.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-05 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 04-oct.-06, à 14:21, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :


 Maudlin's example in his paper is rather complicated. If I could  
 summarise, he states that one
 of the requirements for a conscious computation is that it not be the  
 trivial case of a recording, a
 machine that plays out the same physical motion regardless of input.  
 He then proposes a second
 machine next to one which on its own is just a recording, such that  
 the second machine comes into
 play and acts on the first machine should inputs be different. The  
 system as a whole now handles
 counterfactuals. However, should the counterfactuals not actually  
 arise, the second machine just
 sits there inertly next to the first machine. We would now have to say  
 that when the first machine
 goes through physical sequence abc on its own, it is just implementing  
 a recording and could not
 possibly be conscious, while if it goes through the same sequence abc  
 with the second machine sitting
 inertly next to it it is or could be conscious. This would seem to  
 contravene the supervenience thesis
 which most computationalists accept: that mental activity supervenes  
 on physical activity, and further
 that the same physical activity will give rise to the same mental  
 activity. For it seems in the example
 that physical activity is the same in both cases (since the second  
 machine does nothing), yet in the
 first case the system cannot be conscious while in the second case it  
 can.


This is a nice summary of Maudlin's paper.



 There are several possible responses to the above argument. One is  
 that computationalism is wrong.
 Another is that the supervenience thesis is wrong and the mental does  
 not supervene on the physical
 (but Bruno would say it supervenes on computation as Platonic object).  
 Yet another response is that
 the idea that a recording cannot be conscious is wrong, and the  
 relationship between physical activity
 and mental activity can be one-many, allowing that any physical  
 process may implement any
 computation including any conscious computation.

Why? The whole point is that consciousness or even just computation  
would supervene on *absence of physical activity.
This is not on *any* physical activity. I can imagine the quantum  
vacuum is full of computations, but saying consciousness supervene on  
no physical activity at all is equivalent, keeping the comp assumption,  
to associate consciousness on the immaterial/mathematical computations.  
This shows then why we have to explain the relative appearance of the  
physical stuff.


Bruno




 Finally, it is possible that the second machine does
 somehow imbue the system with consciousness even though it doesn't do  
 anything. The challenge is
 to see what is left standing after deciding on which of these ideas  
 are the more absurd.

 Stathis Papaioannou



 ---
 Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 21:56:13 -0700
 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Subject: Maudlin's argument

 Bruno Marchal wrote in explaining Maudlin's argument:
 For any given precise running computation associated to some inner  
 experience, you
 can modify the device in such a way that the amount of physical  
 activity involved is
 arbitrarily low, and even null for dreaming experience which has no  
 inputs and no outputs.
 Now, having suppressed that physical activity present in the running  
 computation, the
 machine will only be accidentally correct. It will be correct only  
 for that precise computation,
 with unchanged environment. If it is changed a little bit, it will  
 make the machine running
 computation no more relatively correct. But then, Maudlin ingenuously  
 showed that
 counterfactual correctness can be recovered, by adding non active  
 devices which will be
 triggered only if some (counterfactual) change would appear in the  
 environment.
 I believe the argument is erroneous. Maudlin's argument reminds me of  
 the fallacy in Maxwell's demon.
 To reduce the machine's complexity Maudlin must perform a modicum of  
 analysis, simulation etc.. to predict how the machine performs in  
 different situations. Using his newly acquired knowledge, he then   
 maximally reduces the machine's complexity for one particular task,  
 keeping the machine fully operational for all other tasks. In effect  
 Maudlin has surreptitiously inserted himself in the mechanism. so  
 now, we don't have just the machine but we have the machine plus  
 Maudlin. The machine is not simpler or not existent. The machine is  
 now Maudlin!
 In conclusion, the following conclusion reached by Maudlin and Bruno  
 is fallacious.
 Now this shows that any inner experience can be associated with an  
 arbitrary low (even null) physical
 activity, and this in keeping counterfactual correctness. And that is  
 absurd with the
 conjunction of both comp and materialism.
 Maudlin's argument cannot be used to state that any inner 

RE: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-04 Thread Stathis Papaioannou

Maudlin's example in his paper is rather complicated. If I could summarise, he 
states that one 
of the requirements for a conscious computation is that it not be the trivial 
case of a recording, a 
machine that plays out the same physical motion regardless of input. He then 
proposes a second 
machine next to one which on its own is just a recording, such that the second 
machine comes into 
play and acts on the first machine should inputs be different. The system as a 
whole now handles 
counterfactuals. However, should the counterfactuals not actually arise, the 
second machine just 
sits there inertly next to the first machine. We would now have to say that 
when the first machine 
goes through physical sequence abc on its own, it is just implementing a 
recording and could not 
possibly be conscious, while if it goes through the same sequence abc with the 
second machine sitting 
inertly next to it it is or could be conscious. This would seem to contravene 
the supervenience thesis 
which most computationalists accept: that mental activity supervenes on 
physical activity, and further 
that the same physical activity will give rise to the same mental activity. For 
it seems in the example 
that physical activity is the same in both cases (since the second machine does 
nothing), yet in the 
first case the system cannot be conscious while in the second case it can.

There are several possible responses to the above argument. One is that 
computationalism is wrong. 
Another is that the supervenience thesis is wrong and the mental does not 
supervene on the physical 
(but Bruno would say it supervenes on computation as Platonic object). Yet 
another response is that 
the idea that a recording cannot be conscious is wrong, and the relationship 
between physical activity 
and mental activity can be one-many, allowing that any physical process may 
implement any 
computation including any conscious computation. Finally, it is possible that 
the second machine does 
somehow imbue the system with consciousness even though it doesn't do anything. 
The challenge is 
to see what is left standing after deciding on which of these ideas are the 
more absurd.

Stathis Papaioannou



---
 Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 21:56:13 -0700
 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Subject: Maudlin's argument
 
 Bruno Marchal wrote in explaining Maudlin's argument:
 For any given precise running computation associated to some inner 
 experience, you
 can modify the device in such a way that the amount of physical activity 
 involved is
 arbitrarily low, and even null for dreaming experience which has no inputs 
 and no outputs.
 Now, having suppressed that physical activity present in the running 
 computation, the
 machine will only be accidentally correct. It will be correct only for that 
 precise computation,
 with unchanged environment. If it is changed a little bit, it will make the 
 machine running
 computation no more relatively correct. But then, Maudlin ingenuously showed 
 that
 counterfactual correctness can be recovered, by adding non active devices 
 which will be
 triggered only if some (counterfactual) change would appear in the 
 environment.
 I believe the argument is erroneous. Maudlin's argument reminds me of the 
 fallacy in Maxwell's demon.
 To reduce the machine's complexity Maudlin must perform a modicum of 
 analysis, simulation etc.. to predict how the machine performs in different 
 situations. Using his newly acquired knowledge, he then  maximally reduces 
 the machine's complexity for one particular task, keeping the machine fully 
 operational for all other tasks. In effect Maudlin has surreptitiously 
 inserted himself in the mechanism. so now, we don't have just the machine but 
 we have the machine plus Maudlin. The machine is not simpler or not existent. 
 The machine is now Maudlin!
 In conclusion, the following conclusion reached by Maudlin and Bruno is 
 fallacious.
 Now this shows that any inner experience can be associated with an arbitrary 
 low (even null) physical
 activity, and this in keeping counterfactual correctness. And that is absurd 
 with the
 conjunction of both comp and materialism.
 Maudlin's argument cannot be used to state that any inner experience can be 
 associated with an arbitrary low (even null) physical activity. Thus it is 
 not necessarily true that comp and materialism are incompatible.
 I think the paradox can be resolved by tracing how information flows and 
 Maudlin is certainly in the circuit, using information, just like Maxwell's 
 demon is affecting entropy.
 George
 
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Re: Maudlin's argument

2006-10-03 Thread Bruno Marchal

Le 03-oct.-06, à 06:56, George Levy a écrit :

Bruno Marchal wrote in explaining Maudlin's argument:

For any given precise running computation associated to some inner experience, you
can modify the device in such a way that the amount of physical activity involved is
arbitrarily low, and even null for dreaming experience which has no inputs and no outputs.
Now, having suppressed that physical activity present in the running computation, the
machine will only be accidentally correct. It will be correct only for that precise computation,
with unchanged environment. If it is changed a little bit, it will make the machine running
computation no more relatively correct. But then, Maudlin ingenuously showed that
counterfactual correctness can be recovered, by adding non active devices which will be
triggered only if some (counterfactual) change would appear in the environment. 



To reduce the machine's complexity Maudlin must perform a modicum of analysis, simulation etc.. to predict how the machine performs in different situations. Using his newly acquired knowledge, he then  maximally reduces the machine's complexity for one particular task, keeping the machine fully operational for all other tasks. In effect Maudlin has surreptitiously inserted himself in the mechanism. so now, we don't have just the machine but we have the machine plus Maudlin. The machine is not simpler or not existent. The machine is now Maudlin!


(We can come back on this real critics, but here is a short answer for those who have Mauldlin's paper, we can find a version on the net now).

Olympia is proto-olympia + the Klaras. Maudlin assumes comp and he needs only the description of the original machine to build the Klaras (for regaining counterfactual correctness) and add them to the proto-olympia (the machine with no physical activity which is only accidentally correct). Once added, the composed, Olympia =  proto-olympia + Klara, is independent of Maudlin, and is computationnaly equivalent with the original machine).

So Olympia, once build,  does not need Maudlin's at all. Of course with comp the building itself cannot influence the future possible supervenience, for the same reason that if a doctor give you an artificial brain, the story of each individual components has no relation with the later use of it (if not it means the comp level has not been chosen correctly).



In conclusion, the following conclusion reached by Maudlin and Bruno is fallacious.

Now this shows that any inner experience can be associated with an arbitrary low (even null) physical
activity, and this in keeping counterfactual correctness. And that is absurd with the
conjunction of both comp and materialism.


I think the paradox can be resolved by tracing how information flows and Maudlin is certainly in the circuit, using information, just like Maxwell's demon is affecting entropy.


Once Olympia is build, Maudlin's is completely out of the circuit. I think you forget the purpose of the Klaras. 

At least, George, this is a real attempt to find an error, and in the 8th step !  I appreciate your try, but it seems to me you have just forgot that Maudlin's did *program* his intervention: through the Klaras, so that keeping comp at this stage makes Maudlin's special role irrelevant. OK?

Bruno


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


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