Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2007-01-09 Thread dan9el


Tom Caylor wrote:
 Brent Meeker wrote:
  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  
   Brent Meeker writes:
  
   This cannot be explained away by
   faith in the sense that one can have faith in the gravity god or a
   deist god (because no empirical finding counts for or against such
   beliefs): rather, it comes down to a matter of simultaneously
   believing x and not-x.
  
   Seems like faith to me - belief without or contrary to evidence.  What 
   is the x you refer to?
  
   There is a subtle difference. It is possible to have faith in something 
   stupid
   and still be consistent. For example, I could say that I have faith that 
   God
   will answer my prayers regardless of whether he has ever answered any
   prayers before in the history of the world. However, I think most 
   religious
   people would say that they have faith that God will answer their prayers
   because that it what God does and has done in the past. In so saying, they
   are making an empirically verifiable claim, at least in theory. They can 
   be invited
   to come up with a test to support their belief, which can be as stringent 
   as they
   like; for example, they might allow only historical analysis because God 
   would
   not comply with any experiment designed to test him. I suspect that no 
   such
   test would have any impact on their beliefs because at bottom they are 
   just
   based on blind faith, but given that they do not volunteer this to begin 
   with, it
   shows them up as inconsistent and hypocritical.
  
   Stathis Papaioannou
 
  OK.  But I'd say that in fact almost no one believes something without any 
  evidence, i.e. on *blind* faith.  Religious faith is usually belief based 
  on *selected* evidence; it is faith because it is contrary to the total 
  evidence.  Bruno seems to use faith somewhat differently: to mean what I 
  would call a working hypothesis.
 
  Brent Meeker

 This gets us to the question that has been pondered here before, a
 question that is more appropriate to the general
 metaphysical/epistemological thoughts of this List: What does it mean
 to believe something?  I'd say that you can't really know if you or
 someone else really believes something unless you/they act on it.  An
 act could simply be investing some of our precious limited time to look
 at its consequences.  I'd say that for that non-trivial period of time
 in your life, you had at least somewhat of a belief in it.  It is not a
 trivial thing to use up some of your life doing something (at least in
 my worldview).  I think this shows how Bruno's belief can be brought
 equal in essence (if not necessarily the quantity of investment) to any
 other belief.  Evidence is relative, and I think is important in
 practical terms, but it is not essential to the definition of belief.
 
 Tom


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2007-01-09 Thread Brent Meeker

dan9el wrote:
 
 Tom Caylor wrote:
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 This cannot be explained away by faith in the sense that
 one can have faith in the gravity god or a deist god
 (because no empirical finding counts for or against such 
 beliefs): rather, it comes down to a matter of
 simultaneously believing x and not-x.
 
 Seems like faith to me - belief without or contrary to
 evidence.  What is the x you refer to?
 There is a subtle difference. It is possible to have faith in
 something stupid and still be consistent. For example, I could
 say that I have faith that God will answer my prayers
 regardless of whether he has ever answered any prayers before
 in the history of the world. However, I think most religious 
 people would say that they have faith that God will answer
 their prayers because that it what God does and has done in the
 past. In so saying, they are making an empirically verifiable
 claim, at least in theory. They can be invited to come up with
 a test to support their belief, which can be as stringent as
 they like; for example, they might allow only historical
 analysis because God would not comply with any experiment
 designed to test him. I suspect that no such test would have
 any impact on their beliefs because at bottom they are just 
 based on blind faith, but given that they do not volunteer this
 to begin with, it shows them up as inconsistent and
 hypocritical.
 
 Stathis Papaioannou
 OK.  But I'd say that in fact almost no one believes something
 without any evidence, i.e. on *blind* faith.  Religious faith is
 usually belief based on *selected* evidence; it is faith
 because it is contrary to the total evidence.  Bruno seems to use
 faith somewhat differently: to mean what I would call a working
 hypothesis.
 
 Brent Meeker
 This gets us to the question that has been pondered here before, a 
 question that is more appropriate to the general 
 metaphysical/epistemological thoughts of this List: What does it
 mean to believe something?  I'd say that you can't really know if
 you or someone else really believes something unless you/they act
 on it.  An act could simply be investing some of our precious
 limited time to look at its consequences.  I'd say that for that
 non-trivial period of time in your life, you had at least somewhat
 of a belief in it.  It is not a trivial thing to use up some of
 your life doing something (at least in my worldview).  I think this
 shows how Bruno's belief can be brought equal in essence (if not
 necessarily the quantity of investment) to any other belief.
 Evidence is relative, and I think is important in practical terms,
 but it is not essential to the definition of belief.
 
 Tom

I agree that action is the measure of belief (recognizing that speech is also a 
form of action).  I didn't say that evidence was of the essence of belief.  I 
just observed that belief without any evidence at all is very rare.  Even 
people who hold completely crazy beliefs, like their toaster gives them orders 
they must obey, can usually give reasons for their belief.  It's just a matter 
of scope and relevance of evidence.

Brent Meeker


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-13 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 11-nov.-06, à 19:07, 1Z a écrit :



 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 11-nov.-06, à 01:09, 1Z a écrit :

 No, because there are no possible worlds where (2^32582657)-1
 is not  a prime number.

 This is for me a typical arithmetical realist statement.

 Most philosophers who use the possible
 worlds terminology do nothing PW's actually
 exist.

 Of course it is AR in the sense of appealing to
 mind-independent truth. And of course it
 remains unclear whether your AR is a claim
 about truth, or about existence.


It depends on the sense of the term existence. But frankly such 
discussion is premature. It is probably a 1004 fallacy, like those who 
were condemning the old quantum mechanics, after its birth, because it 
is philosophically unclear. I think you should study the comp-theory 
before arguing about its interpretation. You are introducing nuances, 
like the difference between 2 exists is true and '2 exists' which, 
although not uninteresting per se, are too much involved considering 
the existence of a precise (refutable) new theory of mind/matter.




 You still want it both ways: keeping comp and primary material 
 reality,
 but I have already argued in detail that this cannot work in any
 reasonable way.

 No you haven't. You argument requires an assumption of Platonism
 as well as computationalism. Computationalism
 alone is compatible with materialism.


I need only A or ~A. You can call it classical computationalism. I 
prefer to call it comp, because the reasoning goes through even with 
weaken form of classical logic (that is I can use the intuitionist 
excluded middle principle for arithmetic instead: ~~(A v ~A)).

I do believe the formalist philosophy has been shown dead wrong after 
Godel, but in case you have trouble with what I call platonism or even 
plotinism you could for all practical purpose adopt formalism 
temporarily. In that case I will say that an ideal lobian machine (in 
her chatty mode) is an arithmetical platonist if she asserts A v ~A 
for any arithmetical proposition A. This could help to proceed, and 
then we can come back on discussing on the interpretation problem of 
the formalism.

Bruno



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


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-11 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Tom Caylor writes:

 Brent Meeker wrote:

  OK.  But I'd say that in fact almost no one believes something without any 
  evidence, i.e. on *blind* faith.  Religious faith is usually belief based 
  on *selected* evidence; it is faith because it is contrary to the total 
  evidence.  Bruno seems to use faith somewhat differently: to mean what I 
  would call a working hypothesis.
 
  Brent Meeker
 
 This gets us to the question that has been pondered here before, a
 question that is more appropriate to the general
 metaphysical/epistemological thoughts of this List: What does it mean
 to believe something?  I'd say that you can't really know if you or
 someone else really believes something unless you/they act on it.  An
 act could simply be investing some of our precious limited time to look
 at its consequences.  I'd say that for that non-trivial period of time
 in your life, you had at least somewhat of a belief in it.  It is not a
 trivial thing to use up some of your life doing something (at least in
 my worldview).  I think this shows how Bruno's belief can be brought
 equal in essence (if not necessarily the quantity of investment) to any
 other belief.  Evidence is relative, and I think is important in
 practical terms, but it is not essential to the definition of belief.

Belief could probably be entirely described in social, behavioural and 
psychological terms. 
But problems arise when you consider *only* this aspect of belief, ignoring the 
question 
of whether there is a basis for saying some beliefs are true and others false. 
This does not 
just apply to religious beliefs but is at the basis of the theories espoused by 
the sort of 
secular academics shown up in recent years by the Sokal hoax. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-11 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 11-nov.-06, à 01:09, 1Z a écrit :

 No, because there are no possible worlds where (2^32582657)-1
 is not  a prime number.

This is for me a typical arithmetical realist statement.


 Causality , as opposed
 to material implication, requires contingency.

Yes. And grosso modo there will be as many notion of causality that 
there are possible modal logic. Causality, like matter, 
consciousness, etc. are higher order notions. Causality is as different 
from material implication that B(p - q) is different from p - q, 
for many possible logical systems.

You still want it both ways: keeping comp and primary material reality, 
but I have already argued in detail that this cannot work in any 
reasonable way. Postulating matter cannot explain appearance of 
matter (cf UDA, but we are in a loop, I think).

Bruno

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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-11 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 11-nov.-06, à 01:09, 1Z a écrit :

  No, because there are no possible worlds where (2^32582657)-1
  is not  a prime number.

 This is for me a typical arithmetical realist statement.

Most philosophers who use the possible
worlds terminology do nothing PW's actually
exist.

Of course it is AR in the sense of appealing to
mind-independent truth. And of course it
remains unclear whether your AR is a claim
about truth, or about existence.

 You still want it both ways: keeping comp and primary material reality,
 but I have already argued in detail that this cannot work in any
 reasonable way.

No you haven't. You argument requires an assumption of Platonism
as well as computationalism. Computationalism
alone is compatible with materialism.


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:

 This cannot be explained away by
  faith in the sense that one can have faith in the gravity god or a
  deist god (because no empirical finding counts for or against such
  beliefs): rather, it comes down to a matter of simultaneously
  believing x and not-x.
 
 Seems like faith to me - belief without or contrary to evidence.  What is 
 the x you refer to?

There is a subtle difference. It is possible to have faith in something stupid 
and still be consistent. For example, I could say that I have faith that God 
will answer my prayers regardless of whether he has ever answered any 
prayers before in the history of the world. However, I think most religious 
people would say that they have faith that God will answer their prayers 
because that it what God does and has done in the past. In so saying, they 
are making an empirically verifiable claim, at least in theory. They can be 
invited 
to come up with a test to support their belief, which can be as stringent as 
they 
like; for example, they might allow only historical analysis because God would 
not comply with any experiment designed to test him. I suspect that no such 
test would have any impact on their beliefs because at bottom they are just 
based on blind faith, but given that they do not volunteer this to begin with, 
it 
shows them up as inconsistent and hypocritical.

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread Stathis Papaioannou






Johnathan Corgan writes:

  That's because for hundreds, if not thousands, of years their theologians 
  have had to explain why their God is invisible, unnoticable, 
  incompehensible, and undetectable.  So a null experimental outcome, 
  like the recent studies of the efficacy of healing prayer, is ho-hum.
 
 For a rather lengthy, straight-faced treatment of intercessory prayer
 and victims of amputation:
 
 http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god5.htm

Great article! I initially thought that it was written by some poor, honest 
Christian 
genuinely struggling with the logical consequences of his beliefs. But then 
such a 
person would quickly either fall back on blind faith or reject his beliefs as 
false, so 
there can't be many around. 

On the other hand, I once spoke to someone who claimed he saw God miraculously 
fill a cavity in a tooth with amalgam while the faithful were invited to 
observe with 
little flashlights, so I guess someone will say that God *does* heal amputees.

Stathis Papaioannou

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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread Johnathan Corgan

On Sat, 2006-11-11 at 00:30 +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

  http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god5.htm
 
 Great article! I initially thought that it was written by some poor, honest 
 Christian 
 genuinely struggling with the logical consequences of his beliefs. But then 
 such a 
 person would quickly either fall back on blind faith or reject his beliefs as 
 false, so 
 there can't be many around. 

One thing that stands out about this author is his even-handed,
non-strident walk through of his argument, taking claims regarding
prayer and statements in the Christian bible at face value.  There is no
politicizing, sarcasm, or innuendo.  It's almost as if he very strongly
wants these claims to be true but is forced to conclude they are not
through irrefutable logic.  

We certainly could use more people this eloquent in their presentation!

-Johnathan


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 09-nov.-06, à 14:07, 1Z a écrit :

  Bruno Marchal wrote:
  Le 31-oct.-06, à 19:37, 1Z a écrit :
 
  Well, I think numbers don't exist AT ALL
 
  I have not the slightest idea what you mean by that.
 
  If you don't understand anti-Platonism, that would certainly explain
  why you don't argue against it.


 I still don't understand what you mean by numbers does not exist at
 all.
 If that is antiplatonism, it would help me if you could explain
 what is antiplatonism, or better what could it mean that the numbers
 don't exist. We already agree they don't exist physically, but saying
 they does not exist at all ???

It means they don't non-physically exist either.

Mathematical claims about existence can be true
of false, but so can fictional claims like Harry Potter exists
in Middle Earth

  Even Licorne exists in some sense,
 without referent in the physical world, but with referent (meaning)
 in some fantasy worlds?

Fantasy worlds don't exist -- that's why they are called fantasy
worlds, --
Licornes don't exist, and Licornes' don't exist in fantasy worlds.

Meaning is *not* the same thing as reference (Bedeutung). That is the
box the anti-Platonist has climbed out of. Some terms have
referents (non-linguistic items they denote), others have only
sense (Sinn). Sense and reference are two dimensions
aspects of meaning, but not every term has both.
Sense is internal to langauge, it  a relationship between a
word/concept
and others. It is like a dictionary definition, whereas reference is
like
defining a word by pointing and saying it is one of those.
But no-one has ever defined a Licorne that way, since
there is no Licorne to be pointed to. Mathematical concepts
are defined in terms of other mathematical concepts.
Mathematical reference is impossible and unnecessary.

 Why could numbers not exist in some similar
 sense, except that the number fantasy kiks back (as Tom has recalled
 recently).

Saying that Licornes exist in a fantasy world
is a cumbersome way of saying they don't
literally exist. Well, numbers don't literally
kick back. They don't interact causally
with my reality.

 I am just trying to understand what you say.
 
 Bruno
 
 
 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread Tom Caylor

Brent Meeker wrote:
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
  Brent Meeker writes:
 
  This cannot be explained away by
  faith in the sense that one can have faith in the gravity god or a
  deist god (because no empirical finding counts for or against such
  beliefs): rather, it comes down to a matter of simultaneously
  believing x and not-x.
 
  Seems like faith to me - belief without or contrary to evidence.  What 
  is the x you refer to?
 
  There is a subtle difference. It is possible to have faith in something 
  stupid
  and still be consistent. For example, I could say that I have faith that God
  will answer my prayers regardless of whether he has ever answered any
  prayers before in the history of the world. However, I think most religious
  people would say that they have faith that God will answer their prayers
  because that it what God does and has done in the past. In so saying, they
  are making an empirically verifiable claim, at least in theory. They can be 
  invited
  to come up with a test to support their belief, which can be as stringent 
  as they
  like; for example, they might allow only historical analysis because God 
  would
  not comply with any experiment designed to test him. I suspect that no such
  test would have any impact on their beliefs because at bottom they are just
  based on blind faith, but given that they do not volunteer this to begin 
  with, it
  shows them up as inconsistent and hypocritical.
 
  Stathis Papaioannou

 OK.  But I'd say that in fact almost no one believes something without any 
 evidence, i.e. on *blind* faith.  Religious faith is usually belief based on 
 *selected* evidence; it is faith because it is contrary to the total 
 evidence.  Bruno seems to use faith somewhat differently: to mean what I 
 would call a working hypothesis.

 Brent Meeker

This gets us to the question that has been pondered here before, a
question that is more appropriate to the general
metaphysical/epistemological thoughts of this List: What does it mean
to believe something?  I'd say that you can't really know if you or
someone else really believes something unless you/they act on it.  An
act could simply be investing some of our precious limited time to look
at its consequences.  I'd say that for that non-trivial period of time
in your life, you had at least somewhat of a belief in it.  It is not a
trivial thing to use up some of your life doing something (at least in
my worldview).  I think this shows how Bruno's belief can be brought
equal in essence (if not necessarily the quantity of investment) to any
other belief.  Evidence is relative, and I think is important in
practical terms, but it is not essential to the definition of belief.

Tom


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread Brent Meeker

Tom Caylor wrote:
 1Z wrote:
 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 09-nov.-06, à 14:07, 1Z a écrit :

 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 31-oct.-06, à 19:37, 1Z a écrit :

 Well, I think numbers don't exist AT ALL
 I have not the slightest idea what you mean by that.
 If you don't understand anti-Platonism, that would certainly explain
 why you don't argue against it.

 I still don't understand what you mean by numbers does not exist at
 all.
 If that is antiplatonism, it would help me if you could explain
 what is antiplatonism, or better what could it mean that the numbers
 don't exist. We already agree they don't exist physically, but saying
 they does not exist at all ???
 It means they don't non-physically exist either.

 Mathematical claims about existence can be true
 of false, but so can fictional claims like Harry Potter exists
 in Middle Earth

  Even Licorne exists in some sense,
 without referent in the physical world, but with referent (meaning)
 in some fantasy worlds?
 Fantasy worlds don't exist -- that's why they are called fantasy
 worlds, --
 Licornes don't exist, and Licornes' don't exist in fantasy worlds.

 Meaning is *not* the same thing as reference (Bedeutung). That is the
 box the anti-Platonist has climbed out of. Some terms have
 referents (non-linguistic items they denote), others have only
 sense (Sinn). Sense and reference are two dimensions
 aspects of meaning, but not every term has both.
 Sense is internal to langauge, it  a relationship between a
 word/concept
 and others. It is like a dictionary definition, whereas reference is
 like
 defining a word by pointing and saying it is one of those.
 But no-one has ever defined a Licorne that way, since
 there is no Licorne to be pointed to. Mathematical concepts
 are defined in terms of other mathematical concepts.
 Mathematical reference is impossible and unnecessary.

 Why could numbers not exist in some similar
 sense, except that the number fantasy kiks back (as Tom has recalled
 recently).
 Saying that Licornes exist in a fantasy world
 is a cumbersome way of saying they don't
 literally exist. Well, numbers don't literally
 kick back. They don't interact causally
 with my reality.
 
 What about:
 If (2^32582657)-1 is a prime number, I will not eat my hat.
 In all possible worlds where I always keep my promises, I will not eat
 my hat.
 This is causally a result of the fact that (2^32582657)-1 is a prime
 number.
 
 Tom

I think a clue is in the fact that you picked (2^32582657 -1) instead of 7.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread Tom Caylor

Brent Meeker wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
  1Z wrote:
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
  Le 09-nov.-06, à 14:07, 1Z a écrit :
 
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
  Le 31-oct.-06, à 19:37, 1Z a écrit :
 
  Well, I think numbers don't exist AT ALL
  I have not the slightest idea what you mean by that.
  If you don't understand anti-Platonism, that would certainly explain
  why you don't argue against it.
 
  I still don't understand what you mean by numbers does not exist at
  all.
  If that is antiplatonism, it would help me if you could explain
  what is antiplatonism, or better what could it mean that the numbers
  don't exist. We already agree they don't exist physically, but saying
  they does not exist at all ???
  It means they don't non-physically exist either.
 
  Mathematical claims about existence can be true
  of false, but so can fictional claims like Harry Potter exists
  in Middle Earth
 
   Even Licorne exists in some sense,
  without referent in the physical world, but with referent (meaning)
  in some fantasy worlds?
  Fantasy worlds don't exist -- that's why they are called fantasy
  worlds, --
  Licornes don't exist, and Licornes' don't exist in fantasy worlds.
 
  Meaning is *not* the same thing as reference (Bedeutung). That is the
  box the anti-Platonist has climbed out of. Some terms have
  referents (non-linguistic items they denote), others have only
  sense (Sinn). Sense and reference are two dimensions
  aspects of meaning, but not every term has both.
  Sense is internal to langauge, it  a relationship between a
  word/concept
  and others. It is like a dictionary definition, whereas reference is
  like
  defining a word by pointing and saying it is one of those.
  But no-one has ever defined a Licorne that way, since
  there is no Licorne to be pointed to. Mathematical concepts
  are defined in terms of other mathematical concepts.
  Mathematical reference is impossible and unnecessary.
 
  Why could numbers not exist in some similar
  sense, except that the number fantasy kiks back (as Tom has recalled
  recently).
  Saying that Licornes exist in a fantasy world
  is a cumbersome way of saying they don't
  literally exist. Well, numbers don't literally
  kick back. They don't interact causally
  with my reality.
 
  What about:
  If (2^32582657)-1 is a prime number, I will not eat my hat.
  In all possible worlds where I always keep my promises, I will not eat
  my hat.
  This is causally a result of the fact that (2^32582657)-1 is a prime
  number.
 
  Tom

 I think a clue is in the fact that you picked (2^32582657 -1) instead of 7.

 Brent Meeker

OK.  I'll go with 7.  Compare

If 7 is a prime number, I will not eat my hat.

vs.

If this table holds up my coffee cup, I will not eat my hat.

Signed,
Tom


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread 1Z


Tom Caylor wrote:
 1Z wrote:
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
   Le 09-nov.-06, à 14:07, 1Z a écrit :
  
Bruno Marchal wrote:
Le 31-oct.-06, à 19:37, 1Z a écrit :
   
Well, I think numbers don't exist AT ALL
   
I have not the slightest idea what you mean by that.
   
If you don't understand anti-Platonism, that would certainly explain
why you don't argue against it.
  
  
   I still don't understand what you mean by numbers does not exist at
   all.
   If that is antiplatonism, it would help me if you could explain
   what is antiplatonism, or better what could it mean that the numbers
   don't exist. We already agree they don't exist physically, but saying
   they does not exist at all ???
 
  It means they don't non-physically exist either.
 
  Mathematical claims about existence can be true
  of false, but so can fictional claims like Harry Potter exists
  in Middle Earth
 
Even Licorne exists in some sense,
   without referent in the physical world, but with referent (meaning)
   in some fantasy worlds?
 
  Fantasy worlds don't exist -- that's why they are called fantasy
  worlds, --
  Licornes don't exist, and Licornes' don't exist in fantasy worlds.
 
  Meaning is *not* the same thing as reference (Bedeutung). That is the
  box the anti-Platonist has climbed out of. Some terms have
  referents (non-linguistic items they denote), others have only
  sense (Sinn). Sense and reference are two dimensions
  aspects of meaning, but not every term has both.
  Sense is internal to langauge, it  a relationship between a
  word/concept
  and others. It is like a dictionary definition, whereas reference is
  like
  defining a word by pointing and saying it is one of those.
  But no-one has ever defined a Licorne that way, since
  there is no Licorne to be pointed to. Mathematical concepts
  are defined in terms of other mathematical concepts.
  Mathematical reference is impossible and unnecessary.
 
   Why could numbers not exist in some similar
   sense, except that the number fantasy kiks back (as Tom has recalled
   recently).
 
  Saying that Licornes exist in a fantasy world
  is a cumbersome way of saying they don't
  literally exist. Well, numbers don't literally
  kick back. They don't interact causally
  with my reality.

 What about:
 If (2^32582657)-1 is a prime number, I will not eat my hat.
 In all possible worlds where I always keep my promises, I will not eat
 my hat.
 This is causally a result of the fact that (2^32582657)-1 is a prime
 number.


No, because there are no possible worlds where (2^32582657)-1
is not  a prime number. Causality , as opposed
to material implication, requires contingency.



 Tom

 
   I am just trying to understand what you say.
   
   Bruno
   
   
   http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Peter Jones writes:

   Most people would not say yes doctor to a process that recorded
   their
   brain on a tape a left it in a filing cabinet. Yet, that is all you
   can
   get out of the timeless world of Plato's heaven (programme vs
   process).
 
 
  Why? Plato's heaven is full of mathematical process, which looks non
  dynamical from outside, like a block universe, but can be dynamical
  from inside.
 
 If you can show that subjective experience exists in Platonia,
 you can use that to show that some things will seem dynamical.
 
 If you can show that there a dynamic processes in Platonia,
 you can use that to show there are running computations
 and therefore minds, and therefore experiences.
 
 But can you do both without circularity?

That subjective experience exists in Platonia is shown by Maudlin-type 
arguments, although admittedly there are several other ways around this 
such as rejecting computationalism. 

That dynamic processes can occur in the absence of traditional linear time is 
less problematic. You haven't come up with a test that would tell me whether 
I am living in a properly implemented block universe or a linear universe, and 
I 
think it is impossible in principle to come up with such a test. That does not 
mean 
we are living in a block universe, but it does mean we would not know it if we 
were. 

Stathis Papaioannou
_
Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread Tom Caylor

1Z wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
  1Z wrote:
   Bruno Marchal wrote:
Le 09-nov.-06, à 14:07, 1Z a écrit :
   
 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 31-oct.-06, à 19:37, 1Z a écrit :

 Well, I think numbers don't exist AT ALL

 I have not the slightest idea what you mean by that.

 If you don't understand anti-Platonism, that would certainly explain
 why you don't argue against it.
   
   
I still don't understand what you mean by numbers does not exist at
all.
If that is antiplatonism, it would help me if you could explain
what is antiplatonism, or better what could it mean that the numbers
don't exist. We already agree they don't exist physically, but saying
they does not exist at all ???
  
   It means they don't non-physically exist either.
  
   Mathematical claims about existence can be true
   of false, but so can fictional claims like Harry Potter exists
   in Middle Earth
  
 Even Licorne exists in some sense,
without referent in the physical world, but with referent (meaning)
in some fantasy worlds?
  
   Fantasy worlds don't exist -- that's why they are called fantasy
   worlds, --
   Licornes don't exist, and Licornes' don't exist in fantasy worlds.
  
   Meaning is *not* the same thing as reference (Bedeutung). That is the
   box the anti-Platonist has climbed out of. Some terms have
   referents (non-linguistic items they denote), others have only
   sense (Sinn). Sense and reference are two dimensions
   aspects of meaning, but not every term has both.
   Sense is internal to langauge, it  a relationship between a
   word/concept
   and others. It is like a dictionary definition, whereas reference is
   like
   defining a word by pointing and saying it is one of those.
   But no-one has ever defined a Licorne that way, since
   there is no Licorne to be pointed to. Mathematical concepts
   are defined in terms of other mathematical concepts.
   Mathematical reference is impossible and unnecessary.
  
Why could numbers not exist in some similar
sense, except that the number fantasy kiks back (as Tom has recalled
recently).
  
   Saying that Licornes exist in a fantasy world
   is a cumbersome way of saying they don't
   literally exist. Well, numbers don't literally
   kick back. They don't interact causally
   with my reality.
 
  What about:
  If (2^32582657)-1 is a prime number, I will not eat my hat.
  In all possible worlds where I always keep my promises, I will not eat
  my hat.
  This is causally a result of the fact that (2^32582657)-1 is a prime
  number.


 No, because there are no possible worlds where (2^32582657)-1
 is not  a prime number. Causality , as opposed
 to material implication, requires contingency.


So reality requires contingency.  This is getting circular.



  Tom
 
  
I am just trying to understand what you say.
   
Bruno


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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-10 Thread 1Z


Tom Caylor wrote:
 Brent Meeker wrote:
  Tom Caylor wrote:
   1Z wrote:
   Bruno Marchal wrote:
   Le 09-nov.-06, à 14:07, 1Z a écrit :
  
   Bruno Marchal wrote:
   Le 31-oct.-06, à 19:37, 1Z a écrit :
  
   Well, I think numbers don't exist AT ALL
   I have not the slightest idea what you mean by that.
   If you don't understand anti-Platonism, that would certainly explain
   why you don't argue against it.
  
   I still don't understand what you mean by numbers does not exist at
   all.
   If that is antiplatonism, it would help me if you could explain
   what is antiplatonism, or better what could it mean that the numbers
   don't exist. We already agree they don't exist physically, but saying
   they does not exist at all ???
   It means they don't non-physically exist either.
  
   Mathematical claims about existence can be true
   of false, but so can fictional claims like Harry Potter exists
   in Middle Earth
  
Even Licorne exists in some sense,
   without referent in the physical world, but with referent (meaning)
   in some fantasy worlds?
   Fantasy worlds don't exist -- that's why they are called fantasy
   worlds, --
   Licornes don't exist, and Licornes' don't exist in fantasy worlds.
  
   Meaning is *not* the same thing as reference (Bedeutung). That is the
   box the anti-Platonist has climbed out of. Some terms have
   referents (non-linguistic items they denote), others have only
   sense (Sinn). Sense and reference are two dimensions
   aspects of meaning, but not every term has both.
   Sense is internal to langauge, it  a relationship between a
   word/concept
   and others. It is like a dictionary definition, whereas reference is
   like
   defining a word by pointing and saying it is one of those.
   But no-one has ever defined a Licorne that way, since
   there is no Licorne to be pointed to. Mathematical concepts
   are defined in terms of other mathematical concepts.
   Mathematical reference is impossible and unnecessary.
  
   Why could numbers not exist in some similar
   sense, except that the number fantasy kiks back (as Tom has recalled
   recently).
   Saying that Licornes exist in a fantasy world
   is a cumbersome way of saying they don't
   literally exist. Well, numbers don't literally
   kick back. They don't interact causally
   with my reality.
  
   What about:
   If (2^32582657)-1 is a prime number, I will not eat my hat.
   In all possible worlds where I always keep my promises, I will not eat
   my hat.
   This is causally a result of the fact that (2^32582657)-1 is a prime
   number.
  
   Tom
 
  I think a clue is in the fact that you picked (2^32582657 -1) instead of 7.
 
  Brent Meeker

 OK.  I'll go with 7.  Compare

 If 7 is a prime number, I will not eat my hat.


http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/courses/log/mat-imp.htm

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-relevance/


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-09 Thread Bruno Marchal


Peter Jones (1Z) a écrit :

 Most people would not say yes doctor to a process that recorded 
 their
 brain on a tape a left it in a filing cabinet. Yet, that is all you 
 can
 get out of the timeless world of Plato's heaven (programme vs 
 process).


Why? Plato's heaven is full of mathematical process, which looks non 
dynamical from outside, like a block universe, but can be dynamical 
from inside.

Bruno


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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-09 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 31-oct.-06, à 19:37, 1Z a écrit :

 Well, I think numbers don't exist AT ALL

I have not the slightest idea what you mean by that. Your longer 
metaphysics post begs many of the questions addressed in this list.
Personally: I have no theory, just an argument showing that if we take 
the yes doctor seriously enough then there is no primitive physical 
objects AT ALL(**), and then I show how to recover constructively the 
stable appearances of physical objects, and this in a precise 
empirically verifiable way(*).
(And to be sure, I have always expected to get a refutation, but 
instead the theory has been confirmed until now. Of course QM, loop 
gravity and string theories are still in advance for the physical stuff 
but (a)comp is in advance for the explanation of the quanta-qualia 
relations, (and more generally the relation between all point of views 
(n-persons, hypostases) I would say).

Bruno

(*) This makes me an empirist, but I do not subscribe to math is 
physics form of empiry. It belongs more on the type physics is 
mathematics as seen from some internal observer-universal machine.
(**) More precisely: such a notion of primitive physical objects can no 
more be invoked for justifying the appearances of physical laws.
BTW (a minor detail) rational numbers are also dense, but are 
constructive objects. Cf your long post.

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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-09 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Peter Jones (1Z) a écrit :

  Most people would not say yes doctor to a process that recorded
  their
  brain on a tape a left it in a filing cabinet. Yet, that is all you
  can
  get out of the timeless world of Plato's heaven (programme vs
  process).


 Why? Plato's heaven is full of mathematical process, which looks non
 dynamical from outside, like a block universe, but can be dynamical
 from inside.

If you can show that subjective experience exists in Platonia,
you can use that to show that some things will seem dynamical.

If you can show that there a dynamic processes in Platonia,
you can use that to show there are running computations
and therefore minds, and therefore experiences.

But can you do both without circularity?

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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-09 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 31-oct.-06, à 19:37, 1Z a écrit :

  Well, I think numbers don't exist AT ALL

 I have not the slightest idea what you mean by that.

If you don't understand anti-Platonism, that would certainly explain
why you don't argue against it.

 Your longer
 metaphysics post begs many of the questions addressed in this list.
 Personally: I have no theory, just an argument showing that if we take
 the yes doctor seriously enough then there is no primitive physical
 objects AT ALL(**), and then I show how to recover constructively the
 stable appearances of physical objects, and this in a precise
 empirically verifiable way(*).
 (And to be sure, I have always expected to get a refutation, but
 instead the theory has been confirmed until now. Of course QM, loop
 gravity and string theories are still in advance for the physical stuff
 but (a)comp is in advance for the explanation of the quanta-qualia
 relations, (and more generally the relation between all point of views
 (n-persons, hypostases) I would say).

 Bruno

 (*) This makes me an empirist, but I do not subscribe to math is
 physics form of empiry. It belongs more on the type physics is
 mathematics as seen from some internal observer-universal machine.
 (**) More precisely: such a notion of primitive physical objects can no
 more be invoked for justifying the appearances of physical laws.

Just as I have an argument that Platonically existing mathematical
objects are not needed to explain mathematics or anything else.

 BTW (a minor detail) rational numbers are also dense, but are
 constructive objects. Cf your long post.
 
 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-09 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 09-nov.-06, à 13:53, 1Z a écrit :


 If you can show that subjective experience exists in Platonia,
 you can use that to show that some things will seem dynamical.

 If you can show that there a dynamic processes in Platonia,
 you can use that to show there are running computations
 and therefore minds, and therefore experiences.

 But can you do both without circularity?



Yes. That circularity is worked out through a mathematical theory of 
self-reference. Of course that is not something I can explain in just 
one post.

I suggest you search in the archive, or you consult my papers, or you 
could wait some explanation I have promised to David (but he seems busy 
right now).

What can be explained in a few lines is that *discourses* about 
subjective experience and time appears naturally in the modal 
variant of self-reference.

I study what a ideally correct machine can prove about herself. Then 
I borrow one of Theaetetus' definition of the knower/first person: so 
that
to know p is defined by to ((I can justify p)  p). This makes 
sense thanks to the fact that no machine can prove that proving p 
entails necessarily p (and this is a consequence of incompleteness). 
Then math shows that the arithmetical knower so defined has a 
discourse similar to the Berson/Brouwer ... theory of the creative 
and temporal subject, + a lot of mathematical property making it closer 
to some intuitionistic view of math. This gives a subjective time 
theory, but also an arithmetical topos, etc.
In the same way we get a physics (according to the UDA) when we 
define I observe p, by I am measuring p with a 
probability/credibility of one. This means we can define observing p 
by I  can justify p and p is consistent. By Godel *completeness* 
theorem this is equivalent with p is true in all accessible world and p 
is true in at least one accessible world). Note that here I am using 
implicitly a lot of theorems in the math of self-reference---I just 
summarize, look into my papers for more). Here we should get some 
geometry, and we already get a quantum like probability logic, 
including a purely arithmetical interpretation of it.

Of course nobody can prove the existence of subjective experience in 
Platonia or anywhere. We know that exists because somehow we live 
them, but they cannot be communicated.
But once we grant that similarity of some possible discourses on 
subjective experience can be taken as evidence of the presence of 
subjective experience (what I have sometimes refer to as the 
politeness principle), then what I say above can help to figure out 
how subjective experiences and subjective times can appear as internal 
modality of any arithmetical realm. Put in another way, if this would 
not be true, it would entails the existence of many zombies in 
platonia. But of course this is a short way to present this and I ask 
you to not taking too much literally what I try to explain shortly.

To sum up: circularity is handled by the mathematical theory of 
self-reference (encapsulated by the modal logic G and G* at the 
propositional level). Psychological and physical things are either 
modelised or recovered by intensional variants of the self-reference 
logic G (for the provable) and G* (for the true but not necessarily 
provable).

Note that here I was talking on subjective time. The running UD in 
platonia defined implicitly another notion of time, which is just the 
number of steps the UD needs to access states. This can be well defined 
up to some constant thanks to machine independence theorem in computer 
science. But this as nothing to do with subjective time, or with the 
feeling or seeming of time flows.


Bruno



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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-09 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 09-nov.-06, à 14:07, 1Z a écrit :

 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 31-oct.-06, à 19:37, 1Z a écrit :

 Well, I think numbers don't exist AT ALL

 I have not the slightest idea what you mean by that.

 If you don't understand anti-Platonism, that would certainly explain
 why you don't argue against it.


I still don't understand what you mean by numbers does not exist at 
all. If that is antiplatonism, it would help me if you could explain 
what is antiplatonism, or better what could it mean that the numbers 
don't exist. We already agree they don't exist physically, but saying 
they does not exist at all ??? Even Licorne exists in some sense, 
without referent in the physical world, but with referent (meaning) 
in some fantasy worlds? Why could numbers not exist in some similar 
sense, except that the number fantasy kiks back (as Tom has recalled 
recently).

I am just trying to understand what you say.

Bruno


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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-09 Thread Stephen Paul King

Dear Stathis,

Is this not an extreme form of Occasionalism?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occasionalism

Why does it seem that we humans perpetually imagine the possibility that 
the Universe we observe requires some form of hidden behind the curtains 
machinery to hold it up; I am remined of the image of Atlas standing on a 
Tortoise hold up the Earth.

Could it be that all of the machinery required is right in front of 
us?


Consider the question of the computational resources required to compute 
the dynamics of the Earth's ecosphere, as Stephen Wolfram wrote:

http://www.stephenwolfram.com/publications/articles/physics/85-undecidability/2/text.html

The behavior of a physical system may always be calculated by simulating 
explicitly each step in its evolution. Much of theoretical physics has, 
however, been concerned with devising shorter methods of calculation that 
reproduce the outcome without tracing each step. Such shortcuts can be made 
if the computations used in the calculation are more sophisticated than 
those that the physical system can itself perform. Any computations must, 
however, be carried out on a computer. But the computer is itself an example 
of a physical system. And it can determine the outcome of its own evolution 
only by explicitly following it through: No shortcut is possible. Such 
computational irreducibility occurs whenever a physical system can act as a 
computer. The behavior of the system can be found only by direct simulation 
or observation: No general predictive procedure is possible.

...

...their own evolution is effectively the most efficient procedure for 
determining their future.

The Universe's Computation of its future is its Evolution.


Onward!

Stephen

- Original Message - 
From: Stathis Papaioannou [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 11:11 PM
Subject: RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted




Brent Meeker writes:
snip
 A theist God (as opposed to a deist God) is one who intervenes in the 
 natural order, i.e. does miracles.  Stenger will readily admit that his 
 argument does not apply to a deist God.

It's also possible that God intervenes all the time in a perfectly 
consistent
manner to sustain natural laws, such that if he stopped doing so the whole
universe would instantly disintegrate. This would make it seem as if God 
either
does not exist or, if he does, he is a deist, whereas in fact he is a 
theist. The
problem with this idea, and for that matter with deism, is that it is empty 
of
explanatory value. Ironically perhaps, it is God-as-miracle-worker which 
comes
closest to a legitimate scientific theory, albeit one without any supporting 
evidence
in its favour.

Stathis Papaioannou 


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-08 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:

  It's also possible that God intervenes all the time in a perfectly 
  consistent 
  manner to sustain natural laws, such that if he stopped doing so the whole 
  universe would instantly disintegrate. 
 
 That's possible, but then he's a deist God.  He doesn't do miracles in 
 response to prayer.  It seems to me there's a contradiction between 
 intervenes and prefectly consistent.  There's no more reason to believe 
 that the universe needs sustaining than to believe there's a teapot 
 orbiting Jupiter.

A deist God does not intervene once the universe is set in motion. But one can 
imagine 
for example a gravity god, who pushes matter around in a perfectly consistent 
way so 
as to give the impression of natural laws. If he stopped doing his thing, stars 
would explode 
and the universe would fall apart. It's only because the gravity god is very 
conscientious in 
his work that we don't notice he is constantly performing miracles. Of course, 
there is no more 
reason to believe in the gravity god than there is to believe in any other kind 
of god, but at the 
same time it is not possible to be rigidly atheistic about the gravity god just 
as it is not possible to 
be rigidly atheistic about Zeus or Thor. 

 This would make it seem as if God either 
  does not exist or, if he does, he is a deist, whereas in fact he is a 
  theist. The 
  problem with this idea, and for that matter with deism, is that it is empty 
  of 
  explanatory value. Ironically perhaps, it is God-as-miracle-worker which 
  comes 
  closest to a legitimate scientific theory, albeit one without any 
  supporting evidence 
  in its favour.
 
 If it's lawlike it ain't a miracle.  Deism was a common position that come 
 out of the Enlightenment.  It comported perfectly with a Newtonian, clockwork 
 universe.  It avoided the problem of evil.  Franklin, Paine, and Jefferson 
 were deists.  But it fits well with scientific models because it does nothing.

Good old-fashioned miracles are not lawlike, which is what makes them subject 
to empirical verification. 
If God is a Protestant, then an examination of a list of lottery ticket winners 
or people with serious 
illnesses should show that Protestants are statistically more likely to have 
their prayers answered than 
Catholics, Muslims or atheists (who wish for things, even if they don't 
actually pray). If not, then either 
God is not a Protestant or there is no point in praying for anything even if 
you and he are both Protestants. 
And yet I doubt that there are any Protestants, Catholics or Muslims who be at 
all perturbed by the findings 
of such a study, or countless other possible studies or experiments. This 
cannot be explained away by faith 
in the sense that one can have faith in the gravity god or a deist god (because 
no empirical finding counts for 
or against such beliefs): rather, it comes down to a matter of simultaneously 
believing x and not-x. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-08 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 07-nov.-06, à 20:10, Tom Caylor a écrit :


 Brent Meeker wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
 Bruno has tried to introduce us before to the concept of universes 
 or
 worlds made from logic, bottom up (a la constructing elephants).  
 These
 universes can be consistent or inconsistent.

 But approaching it from the empirical side (top down rather bottom 
 up),
 here is an example of a consistent structure:  I think you assume 
 that
 you as a person are a structure, or that you can assume that
 temporarily for the purpose of argument.  You as a person can be
 consistent in what you say, can you not?  Given certain assumptions
 (axioms) and inference rules you can be consistent or inconsistent 
 in
 what you say.
 Depending on your definition of consistent and inconsistent, there 
 need not be any axioms or inference rules at all.  If I say I'm 
 married and I'm not married. then I've said something inconsistent 
 - regardless of axioms or rules.  But *I'm* not inconsistent - just 
 what I've said is.

 I'm not saying the what you say is all there is to who
 you are.  Actually this illustrates what I was saying before about 
 the
 need for a reference frame to talk about consistency, e.g. what 
 you
 say, given your currently held axioms and rules.
 If you have axioms and rules and you can infer X and not-X then 
 the axioms+rules are inconsistent - but so what?  Nothing of import 
 about the universe follows.


 Yes, but if you see that one set of axioms/rules is inconsistent with
 another set of axioms/rules, then you can deduce something about the
 possible configurations of the universe, but only if you assume that
 the universe is consistent (which you apparently are calling a 
 category
 error).  A case in point is Euclid's fifth postulate in fact.  By
 observing that Euclidean geometry is inconsistent with non-Euclidean
 geometry (the word observe here is not a pun or even a metaphor!),
 you can conclude that the local geometry of the universe should 
 follow
 one or the other of these geometries.

 No, you are mistaken.  You can only conclude that, based on my 
 methods of measurement, a non-Euclidean model of the universe is 
 simpler and more convenient than an Euclidean one.

 This is exactly the reasoning
 they are using in analyzing the WIMP observations.

 The WIMP observations are consistent with a Euclidean 
 model...provided you change a lot of other physics.

 Time and again in
 history, math has been the guide for what to look for in the 
 universe.
 Not just provability (as Bruno pointed out) inside one set of
 axioms/rules (paradigm), but the most powerful tool is generating
 multiple consistent paradigms, and playing them against one another,
 and against the observed structure of the universe.

 Right.  As my mathematician friend Norm Levitt put it,The duty of 
 abstract mathematics, as I see it, is precisely to expand our 
 capacity for hypothesizing possible ontologies.


 This quote is basically what I've been trying to get at.  The possible
 ontologies are the multiple self-consistent paradigms that I was
 referring to.  When we keep finding that using abstract math to
 hypothesize actually works in guiding us correctly to what to look
 for, then we have to start believing that there's got to be some kind
 of truth to math that is greater than trivial self-consistent logical
 inference.  I think this is what Bruno is getting at with the border
 between G (provable truth) and G* (provable and unprovable truth).
 Math helps us find not just G, but we can also explore the border of G
 and G*.



Yes. Note that a lobian machine M1 can *deduce* the G and the G* 
corresponding to a simpler lobian machine M2, but can only infer or 
hope or fear ... about its own G*.

Remark: I recall for others that G is the modal logic which axiomatizes 
completely the self-referential provable discourse of sufficiently 
powerful classical proving machine, and G* formalize completely (at 
some level) the true discourse (the provable one and the inferable 
one).
It corresponds to the third person point of view (the second hypostase 
of Plotinus). G is the discursive, G* is the divine one (true).
The main axiom of G is B(Bp - p) - Bp and its arithmetical 
interpretation is lob theorem. Exercise: deduce from Godel's theorem  
it (I have already answer it but ask if you don't find the answer).

B represents here Godel's provability predicate: Godel's theorem = ~Bf 
- ~B(~Bf) (If the false is not provable, then that fact itself is not 
provable).



 Agreement would be great.  But the proof of scientific pudding is 
 predicting something suprising that is subsequently confirmed.

 Brent Meeker
Tom:
 I would like to hear Bruno's thoughts on comp with respect to
 prediction of global aspects such as geometry, as I brought up in the
 above paragraph from a previous post.

A sort of physical geometry should arise from the Bp  Dp ( p) povs.
Mathematical geometry can occur 

Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-08 Thread Johnathan Corgan

On Wed, 2006-11-08 at 09:39 -0800, Brent Meeker wrote:

  Good old-fashioned miracles are not lawlike, which is what makes them
  subject to empirical verification. If God is a Protestant, then an
  examination of a list of lottery ticket winners or people with
  serious illnesses should show that Protestants are statistically more
  likely to have their prayers answered than Catholics, Muslims or
  atheists (who wish for things, even if they don't actually pray). If
  not, then either God is not a Protestant or there is no point in
  praying for anything even if you and he are both Protestants. And yet
  I doubt that there are any Protestants, Catholics or Muslims who be
  at all perturbed by the findings of such a study, or countless other
  possible studies or experiments. 
 
 That's because for hundreds, if not thousands, of years their theologians 
 have had to explain why their God is invisible, unnoticable, 
 incompehensible, and undetectable.  So a null experimental outcome, 
 like the recent studies of the efficacy of healing prayer, is ho-hum.

For a rather lengthy, straight-faced treatment of intercessory prayer
and victims of amputation:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god5.htm

-Johnathan



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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-08 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 It's also possible that God intervenes all the time in a
 perfectly consistent manner to sustain natural laws, such that if
 he stopped doing so the whole universe would instantly
 disintegrate.
 That's possible, but then he's a deist God.  He doesn't do miracles
 in response to prayer.  It seems to me there's a contradiction
 between intervenes and prefectly consistent.  There's no more
 reason to believe that the universe needs sustaining than to
 believe there's a teapot orbiting Jupiter.
 
 A deist God does not intervene once the universe is set in motion.
 But one can imagine for example a gravity god, who pushes matter
 around in a perfectly consistent way so as to give the impression of
 natural laws. If he stopped doing his thing, stars would explode and
 the universe would fall apart. It's only because the gravity god is
 very conscientious in his work that we don't notice he is constantly
 performing miracles. 

Or we could just denominate him the law of gravity.  But notice that the god 
theory of gravity is in trouble with black holes and gravity waves.

Of course, there is no more reason to believe in
 the gravity god than there is to believe in any other kind of god,
 but at the same time it is not possible to be rigidly atheistic about
 the gravity god just as it is not possible to be rigidly atheistic
 about Zeus or Thor.

I think we're just parsing words.  I'm saying atheist=(not a theist). I don't 
know what you mean by rigidly atheistic.  I'm equally confident, and equally 
uncertain, in my belief that there is no God of the theist type and there is no 
Santa Claus.
 
 This would make it seem as if God either does not exist or, if he
 does, he is a deist, whereas in fact he is a theist. The problem
 with this idea, and for that matter with deism, is that it is
 empty of explanatory value. Ironically perhaps, it is
 God-as-miracle-worker which comes closest to a legitimate
 scientific theory, albeit one without any supporting evidence in
 its favour.
 If it's lawlike it ain't a miracle.  Deism was a common position
 that come out of the Enlightenment.  It comported perfectly with a
 Newtonian, clockwork universe.  It avoided the problem of evil.
 Franklin, Paine, and Jefferson were deists.  But it fits well with
 scientific models because it does nothing.
 
 Good old-fashioned miracles are not lawlike, which is what makes them
 subject to empirical verification. If God is a Protestant, then an
 examination of a list of lottery ticket winners or people with
 serious illnesses should show that Protestants are statistically more
 likely to have their prayers answered than Catholics, Muslims or
 atheists (who wish for things, even if they don't actually pray). If
 not, then either God is not a Protestant or there is no point in
 praying for anything even if you and he are both Protestants. And yet
 I doubt that there are any Protestants, Catholics or Muslims who be
 at all perturbed by the findings of such a study, or countless other
 possible studies or experiments. 

That's because for hundreds, if not thousands, of years their theologians have 
had to explain why their God is invisible, unnoticable, incompehensible, and 
undetectable.  So a null experimental outcome, like the recent studies of the 
efficacy of healing prayer, is ho-hum.  But suppose it had gone the other way.  
Suppose prayer was shown to be statistically efficaous and further that only 
Protestant prayer was efficaous.  It would be trumpeted to the roof tops by the 
Protestants and spread consturnation among the competing religions.

This cannot be explained away by
 faith in the sense that one can have faith in the gravity god or a
 deist god (because no empirical finding counts for or against such
 beliefs): rather, it comes down to a matter of simultaneously
 believing x and not-x.

Seems like faith to me - belief without or contrary to evidence.  What is the 
x you refer to?

Brent Meeker 

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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-07 Thread Tom Caylor

Brent Meeker wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
  Brent Meeker wrote:
  Tom Caylor wrote:
  Bruno has tried to introduce us before to the concept of universes or
  worlds made from logic, bottom up (a la constructing elephants).  These
  universes can be consistent or inconsistent.
 
  But approaching it from the empirical side (top down rather bottom up),
  here is an example of a consistent structure:  I think you assume that
  you as a person are a structure, or that you can assume that
  temporarily for the purpose of argument.  You as a person can be
  consistent in what you say, can you not?  Given certain assumptions
  (axioms) and inference rules you can be consistent or inconsistent in
  what you say.
  Depending on your definition of consistent and inconsistent, there need 
  not be any axioms or inference rules at all.  If I say I'm married and 
  I'm not married. then I've said something inconsistent - regardless of 
  axioms or rules.  But *I'm* not inconsistent - just what I've said is.
 
  I'm not saying the what you say is all there is to who
  you are.  Actually this illustrates what I was saying before about the
  need for a reference frame to talk about consistency, e.g. what you
  say, given your currently held axioms and rules.
  If you have axioms and rules and you can infer X and not-X then the 
  axioms+rules are inconsistent - but so what?  Nothing of import about the 
  universe follows.
 
 
  Yes, but if you see that one set of axioms/rules is inconsistent with
  another set of axioms/rules, then you can deduce something about the
  possible configurations of the universe, but only if you assume that
  the universe is consistent (which you apparently are calling a category
  error).  A case in point is Euclid's fifth postulate in fact.  By
  observing that Euclidean geometry is inconsistent with non-Euclidean
  geometry (the word observe here is not a pun or even a metaphor!),
  you can conclude that the local geometry of the universe should follow
  one or the other of these geometries.

 No, you are mistaken.  You can only conclude that, based on my methods of 
 measurement, a non-Euclidean model of the universe is simpler and more 
 convenient than an Euclidean one.

 This is exactly the reasoning
  they are using in analyzing the WIMP observations.

 The WIMP observations are consistent with a Euclidean model...provided you 
 change a lot of other physics.

 Time and again in
  history, math has been the guide for what to look for in the universe.
  Not just provability (as Bruno pointed out) inside one set of
  axioms/rules (paradigm), but the most powerful tool is generating
  multiple consistent paradigms, and playing them against one another,
  and against the observed structure of the universe.

 Right.  As my mathematician friend Norm Levitt put it,The duty of abstract 
 mathematics, as I see it, is precisely to expand our capacity for 
 hypothesizing possible ontologies.


This quote is basically what I've been trying to get at.  The possible
ontologies are the multiple self-consistent paradigms that I was
referring to.  When we keep finding that using abstract math to
hypothesize actually works in guiding us correctly to what to look
for, then we have to start believing that there's got to be some kind
of truth to math that is greater than trivial self-consistent logical
inference.  I think this is what Bruno is getting at with the border
between G (provable truth) and G* (provable and unprovable truth).
Math helps us find not just G, but we can also explore the border of G
and G*.

  On the other hand, I think that the real proof of the pudding of
  Bruno's approach would be, not does his approach agree with empirical
  evidence at the quantum/atomic level, but does it agree at the global
  level, e.g. by make correct predictions about the spacial curvature,
  compactness, finitude/infinitude, connectedness, etc. of the observed
  universe.  Of course the quantum vs. global agreement would be the real
  proof of any TOE.

 Agreement would be great.  But the proof of scientific pudding is predicting 
 something suprising that is subsequently confirmed.

 Brent Meeker

I would like to hear Bruno's thoughts on comp with respect to
prediction of global aspects such as geometry, as I brought up in the
above paragraph from a previous post.

Also, a thought comes to mind that Bruno once said something about
reality (physics, sensations?) arising from our ignorance of the
absolute border between G and G*.  This brings me back to the analogy
of the Mandelbrot set.  We can never know the actual absolute border of
the Mandelbrot set.  If we were asked to point out even one
(non-trivial) point on the complex plain that is exactly on the border,
we wouldn't be able to do it.  However, if we take a finite number of
iterations of the recursive equation, we get a definite border, which
is an approximation.  We get an actual instantiation/shape we can
interact with, something that kicks 

Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-07 Thread Tom Caylor

Brent Meeker wrote:
 An excellent essay.  I agree with almost everything you wrote; and you put it 
 very well.  Would you mind if I cross posted it to Vic Stenger's AVOID-L 
 mailing list.  You can check out the list here: 
 http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/


Although Victor Stenger doesn't use the word anti-natural, the
following equation is what he is assuming in his atheistic arguments:
supernatural = anti-natural.

Therefore he thinks that a proof of theism would amount to finding a
violation of natural law.  Since he finds no such violation (which I
would argue is a circular argument based on the definition of natural)
he claim this proves atheism beyond a reasonable doubt (what is the
measure of certainty/uncertainty?).

In terms of Bruno's provability, this is akin to saying that a proof of
the existence of a non-trivial G*/G can be obtained by finding an
inconsistency in G.  This does not make sense.  This is like saying the
only god that can exist is an inconsistent god.

Tom


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-07 Thread Brent Meeker

Tom Caylor wrote:
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 An excellent essay.  I agree with almost everything you wrote; and you put 
 it very well.  Would you mind if I cross posted it to Vic Stenger's AVOID-L 
 mailing list.  You can check out the list here: 
 http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/

 
 Although Victor Stenger doesn't use the word anti-natural, the
 following equation is what he is assuming in his atheistic arguments:
 supernatural = anti-natural.
 
 Therefore he thinks that a proof of theism would amount to finding a
 violation of natural law.  Since he finds no such violation (which I
 would argue is a circular argument based on the definition of natural)
 he claim this proves atheism beyond a reasonable doubt (what is the
 measure of certainty/uncertainty?).
 
 In terms of Bruno's provability, this is akin to saying that a proof of
 the existence of a non-trivial G*/G can be obtained by finding an
 inconsistency in G.  This does not make sense.  This is like saying the
 only god that can exist is an inconsistent god.

A theist God (as opposed to a deist God) is one who intervenes in the natural 
order, i.e. does miracles.  Stenger will readily admit that his argument does 
not apply to a deist God.

Brent Meeker

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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-07 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:

 Tom Caylor wrote:
  Brent Meeker wrote:
  An excellent essay.  I agree with almost everything you wrote; and you put 
  it very well.  Would you mind if I cross posted it to Vic Stenger's 
  AVOID-L mailing list.  You can check out the list here: 
  http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/
 
  
  Although Victor Stenger doesn't use the word anti-natural, the
  following equation is what he is assuming in his atheistic arguments:
  supernatural = anti-natural.
  
  Therefore he thinks that a proof of theism would amount to finding a
  violation of natural law.  Since he finds no such violation (which I
  would argue is a circular argument based on the definition of natural)
  he claim this proves atheism beyond a reasonable doubt (what is the
  measure of certainty/uncertainty?).
  
  In terms of Bruno's provability, this is akin to saying that a proof of
  the existence of a non-trivial G*/G can be obtained by finding an
  inconsistency in G.  This does not make sense.  This is like saying the
  only god that can exist is an inconsistent god.
 
 A theist God (as opposed to a deist God) is one who intervenes in the natural 
 order, i.e. does miracles.  Stenger will readily admit that his argument does 
 not apply to a deist God.

It's also possible that God intervenes all the time in a perfectly consistent 
manner to sustain natural laws, such that if he stopped doing so the whole 
universe would instantly disintegrate. This would make it seem as if God either 
does not exist or, if he does, he is a deist, whereas in fact he is a theist. 
The 
problem with this idea, and for that matter with deism, is that it is empty of 
explanatory value. Ironically perhaps, it is God-as-miracle-worker which comes 
closest to a legitimate scientific theory, albeit one without any supporting 
evidence 
in its favour.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-07 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 Tom Caylor wrote:
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 An excellent essay.  I agree with almost everything you wrote; and you put 
 it very well.  Would you mind if I cross posted it to Vic Stenger's 
 AVOID-L mailing list.  You can check out the list here: 
 http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/

 Although Victor Stenger doesn't use the word anti-natural, the
 following equation is what he is assuming in his atheistic arguments:
 supernatural = anti-natural.

 Therefore he thinks that a proof of theism would amount to finding a
 violation of natural law.  Since he finds no such violation (which I
 would argue is a circular argument based on the definition of natural)
 he claim this proves atheism beyond a reasonable doubt (what is the
 measure of certainty/uncertainty?).

 In terms of Bruno's provability, this is akin to saying that a proof of
 the existence of a non-trivial G*/G can be obtained by finding an
 inconsistency in G.  This does not make sense.  This is like saying the
 only god that can exist is an inconsistent god.
 A theist God (as opposed to a deist God) is one who intervenes in the 
 natural order, i.e. does miracles.  Stenger will readily admit that his 
 argument does not apply to a deist God.
 
 It's also possible that God intervenes all the time in a perfectly consistent 
 manner to sustain natural laws, such that if he stopped doing so the whole 
 universe would instantly disintegrate. 

That's possible, but then he's a deist God.  He doesn't do miracles in response 
to prayer.  It seems to me there's a contradiction between intervenes and 
prefectly consistent.  There's no more reason to believe that the universe 
needs sustaining than to believe there's a teapot orbiting Jupiter.

This would make it seem as if God either 
 does not exist or, if he does, he is a deist, whereas in fact he is a theist. 
 The 
 problem with this idea, and for that matter with deism, is that it is empty 
 of 
 explanatory value. Ironically perhaps, it is God-as-miracle-worker which 
 comes 
 closest to a legitimate scientific theory, albeit one without any supporting 
 evidence 
 in its favour.

If it's lawlike it ain't a miracle.  Deism was a common position that come out 
of the Enlightenment.  It comported perfectly with a Newtonian, clockwork 
universe.  It avoided the problem of evil.  Franklin, Paine, and Jefferson were 
deists.  But it fits well with scientific models because it does nothing.

Brent Meeker
Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . . It happened
that they wrought  an effect on me quite contrary to what was
intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were
quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the
refutations, in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.
  --- Benjamin Franklin


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-02 Thread David Nyman


Bruno Marchal wrote:

 I don't understand really what you mean by AUDA is not RITSIAR. AUDA
 is just the lobian interview, or if you prefer the complete
 mathematical formalization of the UDA reasoning. In some sense you can
 interpret it as the eventual elimination of the yes doctor hypothesis
 in the UDA argument (but here I do simplify a little bit).

Yes, sorry, perhaps I should have said 'if number is not RITSIAR, is
anything?' The intention behind the question is to find out how and
where you would apply RITSIAR in your schema - if at all - because
Peter has been willing to do this but you haven't. I just want to know
why.

David

 Le 29-oct.-06, à 17:43, David Nyman a écrit :

  Peter, when you said that the physical might be 'relations all the way
  down', and I asked you what would you find if you went 'all the way
  down', you replied 'primary matter'. IOW, you posit primary matter as a
  'bare substrate' to which are attached whatever properties theory or
  experiment may suggest. Consequently, isn't it the case that you are
  defining this 'bare substrate' (which by posit has no properties of its
  own) as whatever-it-is that is RITSIAR (i.e. you might say that it's
  what exists)? Bruno, aren't you making essentially the same claim for
  AUDA, in attempting to derive all properties from it?


 P. Jones posit a primary matter having no properties, and he does not
 explain how things with properties can emerge from that.
 I posit numbers (not AUDA which is just an acronym for the Arithmetical
 translation of the Universal Dovetailer Argument).
 And numbers have well know properties of their own (they can be even,
 odd, prime, godel-number, etc.). And from those number properties I
 explain the possible n-person discourses. And from UDA one of them is
 the physical discourse, so it is easy to test comp through empiry.




  In your schema,
  if AUDA isn't RITSIAR (even if you'd rather define 1-ritsiar or
  3-ritsiar separately), then is anything?

 I don't understand really what you mean by AUDA is not RITSIAR. AUDA
 is just the lobian interview, or if you prefer the complete
 mathematical formalization of the UDA reasoning. In some sense you can
 interpret it as the eventual elimination of the yes doctor hypothesis
 in the UDA argument (but here I do simplify a little bit).


   Are these two views
  commensurable at all? Or are you saying that we can only maintain a
  Wittgensteinian silence on such questions?


 Wittgenstein said to much, or not enough. He felt in the trap he was
 describing. The difference between G and G* can be used to make this
 transparently clear, and can even be used to argue that eventually
 Wittgenstein realize the point in his last writings (on certainty).
 
 Bruno
 
 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-11-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 31-oct.-06, à 19:01, 1Z a écrit :



 Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 30-oct.-06, à 14:15, Stathis Papaioannou wrote (in part):


 A computationalist would add that a computer analogue
 of a person would also have the same mental states, but this is more
 controversial.


 Is it really? With the notable couragous exception of Penrose I don't
 know people who object to comp.

 Hardly anyone thinks it is a good explanation of phenomenality/qualia.
 Computationalists tend to be people who care a lot more about
 thinking than feeeling.


This is because the feeling problem is vastly more complex. Indeed I 
have shown that to explain feeling it begins to be harder to sustain 
both comp and materialism. So we have to backtrack 1500 years ...





 Of course someone like Searle could gives the feeling that he dislike
 comp, but its own reasoning, if you read it carefully, proves that he
 accept comp, albeit only for low substitution level unlike most
 functionalist.

 Another staunch opponent is Edelmann.

 http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=178

 'The notion that the brain is a kind of computer is an error of such
 magnitude, Mr. Edelman believes,
 that cognitive science is on the brink of a crisis. I claim, he
 writes, that the entire structure on which
 the cognitivist enterprise is based is incoherent and not borne out by
 the facts.'

I agree with Papaioannou answers. Now you could also replace error by 
hypothesis in you text, and then I totally agree. the crisis can be 
describe by the fact that we want remain materialist and 
computationalist. But this leads to difficulties ...
Perhaps Edelman (which I appreciate greatly) would like to throw out 
comp, but, just because comp is my working professional hypothesis, in 
the frame of my work, accepting the consequence of the theory, I throw 
out materialism. And between us that is not a lot. Nobody use it. 
Matter is like the wave collapse: nobody understand it, and nobody use 
it, except for avoiding conceptual headache the week-end ...







 Now as you know comp is my working hypothesis so this is for me just a
 bit out of my topic. Remember that for postulating not-comp you have
 to introduce high infinities in the third person description of the
 brain/body.

 No you don't. You can posit that phenomenality inheres directly
 in matter,


This is exactly what I call putting a problem under the rug ...



 or that matter otherwise pins downs an absolute
 level of simulation.

This is far more interesting, by comparison. Actually, assuming comp, 
this is the basic idea which makes it possible to redefined matter 
(from the pov of machine M) by a sum on all the indiscernible (by 
machine M) sub-level substitutions.




 In particular you have to abandon QM, or any theory ever
 proposed in physics and cognitive science.

 No theory of physics entails that simulations will have
 all the features -- other than functional/structural
 ones -- of the systems simulated.


Yes. That is the traditional problem of post-525 physics. (525: the 
Roman Church closed Athen platonic school: after that mind, person 
soul and similar stuff has been reserved to the nominated 
Christian theology. During centuries you could be burned for 
contradicting them. Third person discourse about first person 
discourse is just taboo, and still appears to be so today, but more 
among atheist believer than christian logician and theologian.


In another post IZ wrote:


 (Of course everyone is a contingentists to some extent,
 since no-one can show that the non-existence of matter
 of contingency is itself necessary).


H At least Godel theorem explains why contingency is necessary 
in the number domain from the machine/number pov. Wait perhaps for more 
  in the explanation I have promised to David.





 Peter, I think that David is right. We are in a loop. On the FOR list
 we would have been moderated out a long time ago :). Tell us your
 theory please.

 Bruno



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

 Well, I think numbers don't exist AT ALL


?  Not even in the sense that the proposition Ex(Prime-number(x)) 
is true independently of me, as it seems to me you have agree with in 
more than one preceding post. Anyway, to believe that numbers don't 
exist AT ALL, what could that mean?
And that is your theory?



 I don't explain *rationalistically* -- that is I do not show how
 properties are entailed by inevitable logic from the posit of
 matter -- because I am not in the business of rationalism.


?

Bruno

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


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


David Nyman writes:

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
  I think I see what you mean, but it's as much a problem for the intact and
  normally functioning brain as it is for teleportation experiments, isn't it?
 
 Yes, that's my point! I'm trying to argue that the brain has actually
 come up with a solution to this in order to account for what we
 experience.
 
  For that
  matter, it's as much a problem for a computer that gets teleported around 
  in the
  course of its calculations. If the teleportation time slices are of 
  femtosecond
  duration, then there is nothing within a particular slice to mark it as 
  part of the
  calculation 5464*2342. Yet a computer strobing in and out of existence like 
  this,
  technical problems aside, will still come up with the right answer. Indeed, 
  if the
  computer only materialised in the final femtosecond it would have the right 
  answer
  and if a log were kept, evidence of how it arrived at the answer. Do you 
  believe
  that there must be some super-computation information in each femtosecond 
  slice
  that binds them all together?
 
 No, this is irrelevant. The calculation example is disanalogous,
 because what is relevant to this is simply the 3-person process that
 results in the right answer: this *entirely constitutes* the
 calculation. We don't seek to make claims about any putative
 'temporally-extended pov' that the computer might possess while
 performing it. What is at issue in these thought experiments, by
 contrast, is *precisely* the pov - of apparently real temporal
 dimension and dynamic character - that we wish to claim would be
 experienced from the perspective of a given 'time-slice', however
 arbitrarily fine-grained.

I don't see why the calculation example should be different. We could either go 
with saying that the calculation mysteriously supervenes on the physical 
activity 
of the computer, or we could go with saying that the physical activity of the 
brain 
entirely constitutes the mental activity. I know people who find computers at 
least 
as mysterious as brains. It takes many time slices of computer activity to make 
up 
a period that would be recognised by an external observer as part of a 
particular 
calculation, and in a similar fashion it takes many slices of brain activity to 
make up 
a period that would be recognised by an external or the internal observer as a 
coherent thought or part of a thought. 
 
 1) It is supported and constrained *entirely* by whatever structure and
 information is to be found within an individual time-slice (i.e. the
 'time capsule').
 
 2) Structure and information external to the individual time-slice is
 in fact required to generate it (i.e. the individual slice is not a
 'time capsule').
 
 Per alternative 1), any slice containing the requisite structure and
 information content can potentially support a coherent 'temporally
 extended' conscious experience. Per alternative 2) AFAICS this can't be
 the case.

 I'm not sure that you're seeing my point here. I'm not denying that the
 pov is maintained in the chopped-up version, I'm supporting this view.
 But given the information constraint, I'm saying that any mechanisms
 that produce conscious experiences of apparent temporal duration *must*
 consequently (and counter-intuitively) depend on *instantaneously*
 present structure and information. These non-sequential issues are not
 relevant for 'calculation', hence the disanalogy. This leads to an
 empirical claim about brain mechanism, driven by the analysis. If we
 don't concede this, then AFAICS we're left with the alternative of
 giving up the information constraint. That is, the apparent temporal
 extension available in experience *from the pov of an individual
 infinitessimal time-slice* must somehow depend on information to be
 found only in other time-slices. But this then renders any notion of
 slicing irrelevant and the thought experiment collapses.

I'd say that it takes as many time slices as it takes to generate a coherent 
conscious 
experience. You could have a strict 1:1 mapping from physical activity to 
mental 
activity. An infinitesimal slice of physical activity is no easier to stomach 
than an 
infinitesimal slice of mental activity, given that we already accept that the 
physical 
generates the mental, which seems to be a minimal empirical observation 
whatever 
subsequent claims are made about the true nature of physical reality and the 
possibility 
than the mental may additionally be generated by non-physical processes.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 28-oct.-06, à 23:24, 1Z a écrit :


 Stathis: and no explicit ordering is necessary. The counting sequence 
 one, two, three may involve millions of slices of brain activity or 
 computer emulation activity spread throughout space and time, and it 
 may take many of these slices to form a moment of consciousness just 
 as it takes many milliseconds of normal brain activity to form a 
 moment of consciousness, but the feeling of continuity should be 
 preserved.

 Why? Maybe it supervenes on whatever propels one physical state
 to evolve into another.


That answer would work if that whatever was NOT turing emulable.


Bruno






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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 29-oct.-06, à 12:11, 1Z a écrit :


 If numbers aren't real at all they cannot generate reality
 (ITSIAR).


 You beg the question. Numbers are not physically real
 does not entails
 that numbers don't exist at all, unless you define real by physical
 real.

 I didn't say numbers are not PHYSICALLY real,
 I said real at all.


Are you seriously suggesting that numbers are not real *at all*?  That 
would clarify a lot of misunderstandings indeed.

Bruno



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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 29-oct.-06, à 12:11, 1Z a écrit :

 
  If numbers aren't real at all they cannot generate reality
  (ITSIAR).
 
 
  You beg the question. Numbers are not physically real
  does not entails
  that numbers don't exist at all, unless you define real by physical
  real.
 
  I didn't say numbers are not PHYSICALLY real,
  I said real at all.



Yes, yes yes!

'If mathematical objects do no exist at all there is no dualism'.


'I don't see why the mathematical realism needs to be true.
The difference between mathematical existence and physical
existence could consist in physical things exisitng, and mathematical
objects not exisiting'.


'Epistemic objectivity of maths means every competent mathematician
gets the same answer to a given problem. It doesn't say anything about
the existence of anything (except possibly mathematicians)'.


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 29-oct.-06, à 17:43, David Nyman a écrit :

 Peter, when you said that the physical might be 'relations all the way
 down', and I asked you what would you find if you went 'all the way
 down', you replied 'primary matter'. IOW, you posit primary matter as a
 'bare substrate' to which are attached whatever properties theory or
 experiment may suggest. Consequently, isn't it the case that you are
 defining this 'bare substrate' (which by posit has no properties of its
 own) as whatever-it-is that is RITSIAR (i.e. you might say that it's
 what exists)? Bruno, aren't you making essentially the same claim for
 AUDA, in attempting to derive all properties from it?


P. Jones posit a primary matter having no properties, and he does not 
explain how things with properties can emerge from that.
I posit numbers (not AUDA which is just an acronym for the Arithmetical 
translation of the Universal Dovetailer Argument).
And numbers have well know properties of their own (they can be even, 
odd, prime, godel-number, etc.). And from those number properties I 
explain the possible n-person discourses. And from UDA one of them is 
the physical discourse, so it is easy to test comp through empiry.




 In your schema,
 if AUDA isn't RITSIAR (even if you'd rather define 1-ritsiar or
 3-ritsiar separately), then is anything?

I don't understand really what you mean by AUDA is not RITSIAR. AUDA 
is just the lobian interview, or if you prefer the complete 
mathematical formalization of the UDA reasoning. In some sense you can 
interpret it as the eventual elimination of the yes doctor hypothesis 
in the UDA argument (but here I do simplify a little bit).


  Are these two views
 commensurable at all? Or are you saying that we can only maintain a
 Wittgensteinian silence on such questions?


Wittgenstein said to much, or not enough. He felt in the trap he was 
describing. The difference between G and G* can be used to make this 
transparently clear, and can even be used to argue that eventually 
Wittgenstein realize the point in his last writings (on certainty).

Bruno

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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 30-oct.-06, à 14:15, Stathis Papaioannou wrote (in part):


 A computationalist would add that a computer analogue
 of a person would also have the same mental states, but this is more 
 controversial.


Is it really? With the notable couragous exception of Penrose I don't 
know people who object to comp.
Of course someone like Searle could gives the feeling that he dislike 
comp, but its own reasoning, if you read it carefully, proves that he 
accept comp, albeit only for low substitution level unlike most 
functionalist.
Now as you know comp is my working hypothesis so this is for me just a 
bit out of my topic. Remember that for postulating not-comp you have 
to introduce high infinities in the third person description of the 
brain/body. In particular you have to abandon QM, or any theory ever 
proposed in physics and cognitive science.

Bruno

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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 30-oct.-06, à 00:40, David Nyman wrote (to Peter Jones (1Z)):

  Name your
 turtle. Can't we just get on with investigating what either theory
 explains or predicts, and stop arguing over words - isn't this why no
 agreement is ever reached on this?



Peter, I think that David is right. We are in a loop. On the FOR list 
we would have been moderated out a long time ago :). Tell us your 
theory please.

Bruno



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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 30-oct.-06, à 14:15, Stathis Papaioannou wrote (in part):


  A computationalist would add that a computer analogue
  of a person would also have the same mental states, but this is more
  controversial.


 Is it really? With the notable couragous exception of Penrose I don't
 know people who object to comp.

Hardly anyone thinks it is a good explanation of phenomenality/qualia.
Computationalists tend to be people who care a lot more about
thinking than feeeling.

 Of course someone like Searle could gives the feeling that he dislike
 comp, but its own reasoning, if you read it carefully, proves that he
 accept comp, albeit only for low substitution level unlike most
 functionalist.

Another staunch opponent is Edelmann.

http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=178

'The notion that the brain is a kind of computer is an error of such
magnitude, Mr. Edelman believes,
that cognitive science is on the brink of a crisis. I claim, he
writes, that the entire structure on which
the cognitivist enterprise is based is incoherent and not borne out by
the facts.'


 Now as you know comp is my working hypothesis so this is for me just a
 bit out of my topic. Remember that for postulating not-comp you have
 to introduce high infinities in the third person description of the
 brain/body.

No you don't. You can posit that phenomenality inheres directly
in matter, or that matter otherwise pins downs an absolute
level of simulation.

 In particular you have to abandon QM, or any theory ever
 proposed in physics and cognitive science.

No theory of physics entails that simulations will have
all the features -- other than functional/structural
ones -- of the systems simulated.

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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 29-oct.-06, à 17:43, David Nyman a écrit :

  Peter, when you said that the physical might be 'relations all the way
  down', and I asked you what would you find if you went 'all the way
  down', you replied 'primary matter'. IOW, you posit primary matter as a
  'bare substrate' to which are attached whatever properties theory or
  experiment may suggest. Consequently, isn't it the case that you are
  defining this 'bare substrate' (which by posit has no properties of its
  own) as whatever-it-is that is RITSIAR (i.e. you might say that it's
  what exists)? Bruno, aren't you making essentially the same claim for
  AUDA, in attempting to derive all properties from it?


 P. Jones posit a primary matter having no properties, and he does not
 explain how things with properties can emerge from that.

I don't explain *rationalistically* -- that is I do not show how
properties are entailed by inevitable logic from the posit of
matter -- because I am not in the business of rationalism.

That matter has the properties it has is an contingent
fact which is known empirically.

(Of course everyone is a contingentists to some extent,
since no-one can show that the non-existence of matter
of contingency is itself necessary).


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Bruno Marchal writes:

 Le 30-oct.-06, à 14:15, Stathis Papaioannou wrote (in part):
 
 
  A computationalist would add that a computer analogue
  of a person would also have the same mental states, but this is more 
  controversial.
 
 
 Is it really? With the notable couragous exception of Penrose I don't 
 know people who object to comp.
 Of course someone like Searle could gives the feeling that he dislike 
 comp, but its own reasoning, if you read it carefully, proves that he 
 accept comp, albeit only for low substitution level unlike most 
 functionalist.
 Now as you know comp is my working hypothesis so this is for me just a 
 bit out of my topic. Remember that for postulating not-comp you have 
 to introduce high infinities in the third person description of the 
 brain/body. In particular you have to abandon QM, or any theory ever 
 proposed in physics and cognitive science.

Most people I know accept that consciousness is due entirely to physical 
processes in the brain. I think that this should commit them to this minimal 
functionalism: that a perfect copy of a person, as in quantum teleportation, 
should have the same kinds of conscious experiences as the original and should 
feel himself to be continuous with the original. However, many do not accept 
this conclusion, and even more puzzling, some accept but still claim that the 
copy won't really be me and that therefore teleportation = suicide.

On the other hand, there is nothing contradictory in believing that 
consciousness 
is due to physical processes but only the kind of hardware we carry in our 
heads 
will provide the correct sort of physical processes. A computer may or may not 
be 
able to copy the behaviour of a person, but it won't have the same experiences 
as 
the person, or it won't have any experiences at all. It is even possible to 
come up 
with a non-computationalist theory of computer consciousness: two computers 
apparently carrying out the same computation may differ in their conscious 
experience 
if their case is a different shape or the insulation on their wiring a 
different colour. It 
isn't very plausible, but it isn't logically contradictory.

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-31 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Peter Jones writes:

 Another staunch opponent is Edelmann.
 
 http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=178
 
 'The notion that the brain is a kind of computer is an error of such
 magnitude, Mr. Edelman believes,
 that cognitive science is on the brink of a crisis. I claim, he
 writes, that the entire structure on which
 the cognitivist enterprise is based is incoherent and not borne out by
 the facts.'

Edelmann's dispute does not seem to be with computationalism per se, but 
with the particular models which many cognitive scientists use in an attempt 
to emulate brain function. For example, he argues that neural networks as 
used in computer science are not really much like biological neural networks 
and 
therefore will not be able to yield brain-like results. But this does not mean 
that 
no computer model model would be able to emulate the behaviour of biological 
neural networks, even if such a model would be very difficult to implement. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-30 Thread Stathis Papaioannou






Brent Meeker writes:

  Suppose that being conscious is something a brain does.  Then a
  Observer-second would be one second of that brain activity.  When
  this OS was magically initiated it would already include potentials
  traveling down axons, etc, the residue of the previous OS and the
  precursors of later milliseconds in this OS.  But those underlying
  physical processes are not what we generally think of as conscious.
  They are not things we would report if asked what we are thinking.
  Nevertheless they may be necessary for the continuity of
  consciousness, where consciousness here means the inner narrative -
  the story I tell myself in my head.  In these thought experiments
  about OMs there seem to be two contrary implicit assumptions:
  
  (1) that just the content of the inner narrative constitutes
  consciousness, as in the analogy of cutting up a book and then
  reconstructing it's order from the content of the segments,
  
  (2) the feeling of continuity remains in a segment 1sec or 0.1sec
  or 0.01sec even if that is too short a segment to allow
  reconstruction of the order from the content.
  
  I suppose you could say that there is no feeling of continuity from
  one microsecond to the next in a normally functioning brain either,
  because it takes many microseconds to make a thought. My point is
  that whatever it takes to make a thought and however vague the
  distinction between one thought and the next is, arbitrarily slicing
  up the physical activity underlying consciousness should not make a
  difference to the sense of continuity, 
 
 But that's exactly the point I find dubious.  Continuity in mathematics 
 always involves taking infinite limits in sets that are already ordered 
 (Dedekind cuts for example).  And per all our best theories, the universe is 
 instantiates continuous processes in a continuous spacetime.  Though there 
 have been many attempts, no one has shown with mathematical rigor how a 
 continuous spacetime can emerge as an approximation of a discrete one.  
 Physicists mostly think it is true, but mathematicians think they're hand 
 waving.  The difficulties of numerically solving partial differential 
 equations in computers don't give much comfort.  
 
 We use the instantaneous states as in the solution of differential equations, 
 but those generally include the values of derivatives and hence implicitly a 
 time variation.

I'm not sure of your point here. If time is discrete then you can't slice up an 
interval smaller than the time quantum, and if it is continuous then you can. 
Or are you just saying that it would be very difficult technically to record 
and 
then reproduce a sufficiently accurate copy of a brain at a particular instant 
in 
time in order to ensure that the activity of the copy does not deviate too much 
from what the activity of the original would have been given similar inputs?

 and no explicit ordering is
  necessary. The counting sequence one, two, three may involve
  millions of slices of brain activity or computer emulation activity
  spread throughout space and time, and it may take many of these
  slices to form a moment of consciousness just as it takes many
  milliseconds of normal brain activity to form a moment of
  consciousness, but the feeling of continuity should be preserved.
 
 It's the should that worries me. If consciousness is just some digital 
 information process that can exist in Platonia, then the underlying 
 continuity of brain processes is irrelevant.  But the relevance of brain 
 processes is the point in question.  When it is assumed that the conscious 
 thought is not affected by slicing up the physical process, I'm concerned 
 that we are implicitly assuming what was to be proved.

We've debated whether a computer, a recording, the computations in Platonia 
etc. can be conscious, but I think we can almost all agree on at least this 
minimal 
functionalism: that if you could copy a person by placing all the atoms in 
position 
accurately enough, then you would end up with a person who looked, behaved, 
thought just like the original, had all the original's memories, and identified 
as being 
the original. After all, this sort of thing is happening in our bodies all the 
time as bits 
break off cells and are replaced by identical (or near-identical) parts 
manufactured by 
the automated cellular repair mechanisms. If you accept this idea that the 
brain is just 
a complex machine, I don't see how it is even *logically* possible that a copy 
of a person 
made mid-thought would not experience continuity of consciousness, provided of 
course 
that the technical problems could be overcome and the copy was sufficiently 
accurate. 
It would be like expecting that a perfect copy of an electronic calculator in 
the middle of 
multiplying two numbers would somehow forget what it was doing, or a perfect 
copy of a 
mechanical clock would show a different time or run at a different rate.

Stathis 

RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-30 Thread Stathis Papaioannou





Peter Jones writes:

  I suppose you could say that there is no feeling of continuity from one 
  microsecond to the next in a normally functioning brain either, because it 
  takes many microseconds to make a thought. My point is that whatever it 
  takes to make a thought and however vague the distinction between one 
  thought and the next is, arbitrarily slicing up the physical activity 
  underlying consciousness should not make a difference to the sense of 
  continuity,
 
 Should not, assuming physicalism? Should not, assuming
 computationalism?

Assuming a minimal form of functionalism: that at the very least, a perfect 
physical copy of a person will behave, think and have the same kinds of mental 
states as the original. A computationalist would add that a computer analogue 
of a person would also have the same mental states, but this is more 
controversial. 
 
  and no explicit ordering is necessary. The counting sequence one, two, 
  three may involve millions of slices of brain activity or computer 
  emulation activity spread throughout space and time, and it may take many 
  of these slices to form a moment of consciousness just as it takes many 
  milliseconds of normal brain activity to form a moment of consciousness, 
  but the feeling of continuity should be preserved.
 
 Why? Maybe it supervenes on whatever propels one physical state
 to evolve into another.

A perfect copy will include that as well. A perfect copy of a mechanical clock 
will include the same position of the hands and gears, the same geometry, 
metallurgy and tension in the spring, the same amount of oxidation on each 
metal part, and every other detail the same. Do you think it is possible that 
such a copy would not show or keep the same time even though it is physically 
exactly identical?

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-30 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Peter jones writes:

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  Peter Jones writes:
 
  Here is another thought experiment. You are watching an object 
  moving against a
  stationary background at a velocity of 10 m/s. Suddenly, the object 
  seems to instantly
  jump 10 metres in the direction of motion, and then continues as 
  before at 10 m/s. You
  are informed that one of the following three events has taken place:
 
  (a) your consciousness was suspended for 1 second, as in an absence 
  seizure;
 
  (b) you were scanned, annihilated, and a perfect copy created in 
  your place 1 second
  later;
 
  (c) nothing unusual happened to you, but the object you were 
  watching was instantly
  teleported 10 metres in the direction of motion.
 
  Would you be able to guess which of the three events took place?
 
  Stathis Papaioannou

 Sure, it was (a).  (c) violates the laws of physics.  (b) might or 
 might not be theoretically possible, but it's practically impossible.
   
OK, you would probably be right if you were kidnapped and subjected to 
this experiment
tomorrow. But it's a thought experiment, and my point is that from your 
conscious
experience alone you would be unable to distinguish between the three 
cases. Peter Jones'
posts seem to imply that you would notice a difference.
  
   You have to say that, given a particular theory of consciousness,
   would you notice a difference. If physical counterfactuals/causality
   is important, you could in  cases a) and b), since they
   all involve an abnormal causal transition from one OM to
   then next. Given computationalism, it is less straightforward.
 
  The question is independent of your theory of consciousness. Say 
  consciousness
  is based on process C. I trust you will assume that process C is entirely 
  physical, but
  suppose it involves God animating your brain with his breath. Then in case 
  (a) God stops
  breathing for a second, in case (b) God destroys you and makes a perfect 
  copy which he
  reanimates a second later, and case (c) is unchanged. The important point 
  is, when you
  are destroyed then rebuilt, the new version of you is perfectly identical 
  to the original and
  functions exactly the same as the original would have. It seems to me 
  *logically* impossible
  that you could distinguish between the three cases.
 
 Assuming that everything necessary for consciousness at time can be
 contained
 in  a 0-duration snapshot at time t. However, If consciousness
 supervenes on a process,
 however that assumption is not true.

The process survives the destruction/copying cycle. Any other physical process 
would, given sufficient care, so if consciousness doesn't you have a problem 
with 
physical theories of consciousness. If a person was destroyed at point A and an 
exact copy created at point B, what do you think would actually happen? Do you 
think the person at B would in some way behave and think differently from the 
original, or do you think he would behave and think the same but still not *be* 
the 
original? 

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-30 Thread Tom Caylor

Tom Caylor wrote:
 Bruno Marchal wrote:
  Le 27-oct.-06, à 13:04, Quentin Anciaux a écrit :
 
  
   Hi Stathis,
  
   Le Vendredi 27 Octobre 2006 12:16, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
   Here is another thought experiment. You are watching an object moving
   against a stationary background at a velocity of 10 m/s. Suddenly, the
   object seems to instantly jump 10 metres in the direction of motion,
   and
   then continues as before at 10 m/s. You are informed that one of the
   following three events has taken place:
  
   (a) your consciousness was suspended for 1 second, as in an absence
   seizure;
  
   (b) you were scanned, annihilated, and a perfect copy created in your
   place
   1 second later;
  
   (c) nothing unusual happened to you, but the object you were watching
   was
   instantly teleported 10 metres in the direction of motion.
  
   Would you be able to guess which of the three events took place?
  
   Stathis Papaioannou
  
   The problem with these kind of thoughts experiments is that we don't
   know how
   consciousness works, we don't know if we can make a perfect copy,
   we
   can't know (currently) if such a copy would be conscious as we don't
   know how
   conscious experience arise.
 
 
  That is why we are proposing theories. It seems to me that the
  computationalist hypothesis entails the answer no to Stathis
  question.
  Are you OK with this? (Of course, other hypotheses (like some weakening
  of comp for example) could also lead to the answer no.
 
 
 
   Taking the premises of the problem you gave, it
   is impossible to give a (right) answer (if there is one...). You
   presupose
   too much on what is consciousness and how it works (not that it is a
   bad
   thing, but I think these examples won't convince someone who have not
   the
   same view on you about what is consciousness and how it works).
 
 
  I think that the point of Stathis was illustrating comp or some
  weakening of it.
 
  Is there someone in the list who find simultaneously both comp *and* a
  yes answer to Stathis' question plausible?
 
 
  Bruno

 Is there a difference in the answer to Stathis' question for this
 thought experiment, and the answer to Stathis' question for the
 equalivent thought experiment except for the following?

 (a) your consciousness was suspended for 0 seconds

 (b) you were scanned, annihilated, and a perfect copy created in your
 place 0 seconds later

 (c) nothing unusual happened to you, but the object you were watching
 was instantly teleported 0 metres in the direction of motion.

 At first (a) and (c) seem identical, but I take teleported here to
 mean (for the sake of simplicity!) the same thing as was done to you in
 (b).

 What is happening in (a)?  Let's say that the same rigamarole as in the
 original thought experiment (to keep as much as possible equal between
 the two experiments!) is done, except that 1 is replaced by 0.

 I mean, why would a delay make any difference to the argument?  That's
 equivalent to one of the steps in Bruno's UDA.

 Actually, let's change the 0 to epsilon and let epsilon approach zero,
 so instead of a 0 second argument, we have an epsilon second
 argument.

 Well then, what have we here in the epsilon second experiment?  It
 seems to simply argue that we don't know what the heck is happening in
 our universe from one instant to the next.  I can think of a lot of
 TOEs that say that.

 But on the other hand, we do have some very good models in physics that
 say we actually can predict with minimal uncertainty what will happen
 over time.

 So the conclusion of my thought is that perhaps such thought
 experiments, as well as Bruno's UDA, are just inserting white rabbits
 constructively into the universe.  No wonder the conclusion is that we
 don't know what's happening (a la Bruno's indeterminacies).

 Tom

To make my point clearer, make a change to the epsilon second
argument wherein, during the technological rigmarole involved in (a)
consciousness suspension (b) duplication with annihilation (b)
teleportation, in between pushing buttons the Doctor dances a jig.

Also, I realize that, as epsilon approaches zero, the speed at which
the rigmarole is done (and how fast the Doctor dances) has to approach
infinity.  But this is just a matter of degree of prowess.

Tom


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-30 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:

  Errmm.. if by recover we are able to replay them as
  conscious (re)experiences. The memory-trace need
  only contain time-stamps indicating the order
  and timing of the contents of the experience. The
  total structure of time-stamped-stored-experience
  can co-exist simultaneously, just as a the frames
  of a movie stored on a shelf co-exist simultaneously.
 
  The stored experience is not conscious in itself
  any more than the stored movie involves any (ilusion of) motion.
 
  In both cases, that comes in with the recovery.

 That's not an accurate analogy. For a start, a film in the can is not
 equivalent to a film on the screen sliced up into frames because there
 is no projector and no screen in the can.

Would it help if there were?

 Then there is the fact that if
 you did project one frame in one cinema, the next frame in another
 cinema, and so on, the analogy would still not hold because it leaves
 out the observer. To make the analogy work, you would have to show
 one frame to an observer in one cinema, suspend his consciousness
 while you move him and the film to another cinema, show him another
 frame, supend his consciousness again while you move to a third cinema
 for the third frame, and so on. The observer would then see the whole
 film, and if the cinemas were identical, would not even know he had been
 moved, other than due to mere technical problems.

I am not (here) arguing that time-slicing is necessarily noticeable,
I am arguing that the dynamism of a recovered memory doesn't imply
that the stored memory trace itself is dynamic.


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-30 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Peter Jones writes:
 
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
  I think I see what you mean, but it's as much a problem for the intact and
  normally functioning brain as it is for teleportation experiments, isn't 
  it? For that
  matter, it's as much a problem for a computer that gets teleported around 
  in the
  course of its calculations. If the teleportation time slices are of 
  femtosecond
  duration, then there is nothing within a particular slice to mark it as 
  part of the
  calculation 5464*2342. Yet a computer strobing in and out of existence like 
  this,
  technical problems aside, will still come up with the right answer. Indeed, 
  if the
  computer only materialised in the final femtosecond it would have the right 
  answer
  and if a log were kept, evidence of how it arrived at the answer. Do you 
  believe
  that there must be some super-computation information in each femtosecond 
  slice
  that binds them all together?
 
 
 A piece of paper with 12796688 on it has the right answer.
 But it didn't computer it.
 
 I don't have to believe that the end-state of the computation
 is the result of a genuine computational process, if it
 isn't underpinned by a genuine physical process.

What about a computation distributed over a computer network? What about just 
the latter part of the computation? Do you think the computation's experience 
(such as it is) would be any different compared to the latter part of the 
computation 
on a single computer?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-30 Thread 1Z

David Nyman wrote:
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

  I think I see what you mean, but it's as much a problem for the intact and
  normally functioning brain as it is for teleportation experiments, isn't it?

 Yes, that's my point! I'm trying to argue that the brain has actually
 come up with a solution to this in order to account for what we
 experience.


If it is in the nature of physics to spread over regions
of non-zero duration, the brain doesn't *have* to solve
any problems relating to zero-dimensional slices.

  For that
  matter, it's as much a problem for a computer that gets teleported around 
  in the
  course of its calculations. If the teleportation time slices are of 
  femtosecond
  duration, then there is nothing within a particular slice to mark it as 
  part of the
  calculation 5464*2342. Yet a computer strobing in and out of existence like 
  this,
  technical problems aside, will still come up with the right answer. Indeed, 
  if the
  computer only materialised in the final femtosecond it would have the right 
  answer
  and if a log were kept, evidence of how it arrived at the answer. Do you 
  believe
  that there must be some super-computation information in each femtosecond 
  slice
  that binds them all together?

 No, this is irrelevant. The calculation example is disanalogous,
 because what is relevant to this is simply the 3-person process that
 results in the right answer: this *entirely constitutes* the
 calculation. We don't seek to make claims about any putative
 'temporally-extended pov' that the computer might possess while
 performing it. What is at issue in these thought experiments, by
 contrast, is *precisely* the pov - of apparently real temporal
 dimension and dynamic character - that we wish to claim would be
 experienced from the perspective of a given 'time-slice', however
 arbitrarily fine-grained.

Why do we wish to claim that?

 With respect to this pov, we seem to have two alternatives:

 1) It is supported and constrained *entirely* by whatever structure and
 information is to be found within an individual time-slice (i.e. the
 'time capsule').

 2) Structure and information external to the individual time-slice is
 in fact required to generate it (i.e. the individual slice is not a
 'time capsule').

 Per alternative 1), any slice containing the requisite structure and
 information content can potentially support a coherent 'temporally
 extended' conscious experience. Per alternative 2) AFAICS this can't be
 the case.

 I'm not sure that you're seeing my point here. I'm not denying that the
 pov is maintained in the chopped-up version, I'm supporting this view.
 But given the information constraint, I'm saying that any mechanisms
 that produce conscious experiences of apparent temporal duration *must*
 consequently (and counter-intuitively) depend on *instantaneously*
 present structure and information. These non-sequential issues are not
 relevant for 'calculation', hence the disanalogy. This leads to an
 empirical claim about brain mechanism, driven by the analysis. If we
 don't concede this, then AFAICS we're left with the alternative of
 giving up the information constraint. That is, the apparent temporal
 extension available in experience *from the pov of an individual
 infinitessimal time-slice* must somehow depend on information to be
 found only in other time-slices. But this then renders any notion of
 slicing irrelevant and the thought experiment collapses.


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-30 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:
 
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  
  David Nyman writes:
  
  I think we're in agreement, Stathis, but I'm trying to focus on a
  problem, and what I think is a non-trivial aspect of evolved brain
  functionality that would be required to overcome it. Of course, I agree
  with you that each aspect of the experience '.falls perfectly into
  position in each case by virtue of its content alone' - it's precisely
  what I've been arguing. But there's a subtler point here also, I think,
  that leads to the problem. Let's take the 'cat sat on the mat': now
  'cat' starts at t1 and 'mat' ends at t2. Let's subdivide t1t2 into
  occasions o1-o1000, and let teleportation occur between each. Each
  occasion o1-o1000 is as informationally closed as OMt1t2 (the
  'teleportation' is of course inserted precisely to make this point),
  but now it has become implausible to believe that any individual
  occasion, say o492, is of sufficient extent to recover any coherent
  component whatsoever of the conscious thought 'the cat sat on the mat'.
  And yet, we know that we *are* in fact able to routinely recover such
  components, corresponding loosely to a 'specious present' of some 1.5
  seconds extent.
 
  Now comes the problem: how do we account for our manifest ability to do
  this without invoking some form of illicit 'continuity' between
  informationally separated occasions of arbitrarily fine granularity? No
  individual occasion apparently contains all the necessary information,
  and it seems that we almost can't stop ourselves imaginatively invoking
  some sort of continuity over multiple occasions, in order that coherent
  experiences can somehow be recovered by summing over the sequence.
 
  I think, if true, this would be a real problem in reconciling our
  experience with the facts, and I think therefore that it requires a
  real solution (actually an aspect of Barbour's time capsule theory
  which I'm extrapolating a bit further). Simply, if what I'm arguing is
  valid, it must follow that my assumption about individual occasions
  'not containing the necessary information' *must be wrong*.
  Consequently, sufficient information to recover 'speciously present'
  dynamic experiences *must* in fact be *simultaneously* represented by
  the brain - be present on one occasion - and that this simultaneous
  'dynamic' presentation must be the engine that renders both the
  duration and the dynamism of the experience. And, to complete the
  (evolutionary) circularity, this would be precisely *why* the brain
  would possess this capability - because without it, extended, dynamic
  environmental presentations would simply be *unavailable* to the
  organism.
 
  Does this make sense?
  
  I think I see what you mean, but it's as much a problem for the intact and 
  normally functioning brain as it is for teleportation experiments, isn't 
  it? For that 
  matter, it's as much a problem for a computer that gets teleported around 
  in the 
  course of its calculations. If the teleportation time slices are of 
  femtosecond 
  duration, then there is nothing within a particular slice to mark it as 
  part of the 
  calculation 5464*2342. Yet a computer strobing in and out of existence like 
  this, 
  technical problems aside, will still come up with the right answer. Indeed, 
  if the 
  computer only materialised in the final femtosecond it would have the right 
  answer 
  and if a log were kept, evidence of how it arrived at the answer. Do you 
  believe 
  that there must be some super-computation information in each femtosecond 
  slice 
  that binds them all together?
 
 I think that's possible.  The fact that the computation is realized in a 
 physical system which, to the best of our knowledge is continuous, may mean 
 that there is something more than the the computational process conceived as 
 discrete and finite (in the infomation sense).  

But surely this isn't true for a digital computer. The fact that one computer 
is painted a 
different colour or the wires have a different resistance compared to another 
computer 
cannot make a difference to how the computation feels, if a computation can 
feel.

 On the other hand our theories of physics tell us that physical processes, 
 including those that realize the computation, can also be approximated by 
 discrete processes - except that time and space variables are kept as 
 implicitly continuous.  By this I mean that when simulating such a process on 
 a digital computer (I'm old enough to remember when we did it on analog 
 computers), we set the steps smaller and smaller and we're only satisfied 
 when making the step smaller doesn't change the answer.  I think this is 
 going to be the case for any closed physical system.  But for an open system, 
 you+universe, I'm not so sure.

There must be some level of tolerance for physical change in the brain or you 
wouldn't 
feel yourself to be the same person from moment to moment. But 

Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-29 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 27-oct.-06, à 13:04, Quentin Anciaux a écrit :


 Hi Stathis,

 Le Vendredi 27 Octobre 2006 12:16, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
 Here is another thought experiment. You are watching an object moving
 against a stationary background at a velocity of 10 m/s. Suddenly, the
 object seems to instantly jump 10 metres in the direction of motion, 
 and
 then continues as before at 10 m/s. You are informed that one of the
 following three events has taken place:

 (a) your consciousness was suspended for 1 second, as in an absence
 seizure;

 (b) you were scanned, annihilated, and a perfect copy created in your 
 place
 1 second later;

 (c) nothing unusual happened to you, but the object you were watching 
 was
 instantly teleported 10 metres in the direction of motion.

 Would you be able to guess which of the three events took place?

 Stathis Papaioannou

 The problem with these kind of thoughts experiments is that we don't 
 know how
 consciousness works, we don't know if we can make a perfect copy, 
 we
 can't know (currently) if such a copy would be conscious as we don't 
 know how
 conscious experience arise.


That is why we are proposing theories. It seems to me that the 
computationalist hypothesis entails the answer no to Stathis 
question.
Are you OK with this? (Of course, other hypotheses (like some weakening 
of comp for example) could also lead to the answer no.



 Taking the premises of the problem you gave, it
 is impossible to give a (right) answer (if there is one...). You 
 presupose
 too much on what is consciousness and how it works (not that it is a 
 bad
 thing, but I think these examples won't convince someone who have not 
 the
 same view on you about what is consciousness and how it works).


I think that the point of Stathis was illustrating comp or some 
weakening of it.

Is there someone in the list who find simultaneously both comp *and* a 
yes answer to Stathis' question plausible?


Bruno




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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-29 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 27-oct.-06, à 15:58, 1Z a écrit :


 If numbers aren't real at all they cannot generate reality
 (ITSIAR).


You beg the question. Numbers are not physically real does not entails 
that numbers don't exist at all, unless you define real by physical 
real.
The question you should ask is: are number sufficiently real to 
explain why some of them believes in a physical reality. My answer, 
which I agree need some amount of work to get through, is yes. 
Existing in the standard mathematical meaning of existence is enough 
to explain why a stable and lawful illusion of physical reality 
exists, again in that mathematical sense. Recall that the UDA explains 
why, assuming comp,  a turing machine cannot distinguish the 
physical, virtual and arithmetical aspect of any reality.
Perhaps one day we will find a way to make those distinction. My work 
proposes a transparently clear way to observe that distinction if it 
exists, but then that would be a refutation of (standard) comp.






 Alternatively, such a hypothesis may be shown to be redundant or
 incoherent.

 Not really. It is SWE which should be made redundant.



 Peter, as we've agreed, materialism is also metaphysics, and as a 
 route
 to 'ultimate reality' via a physics of observables, is vulnerable to
 'reification'. Might it not be premature to finalise precisely what 
 it
 is that physical theory decribes that might actually be RITSIAR?

 I have answered these questions before: but

 1. Contingent existence.
 2. The ability to causally interact
 3. A primary substance which endures through change ( explaining
 dynamic, non-BU time)
 4. Optionally, the ability to explain phenomenal consiousness in a
 basically non-mathematical way.(Property dualism)


The AUDA hypostases explains this, including 4. Wait a bit perhaps, or 
read my papers.

Bruno


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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-29 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 27-oct.-06, à 16:06, 1Z a écrit :


 Principally I mean in the physical universe, or in Plato's heaven.

 Bruno always sounds like a Platonist, but he keeps denying he is one.


Quite the contrary. I vindicate that I am even a plotinist, or a 
neoplatonist if you prefer.
I just don't share your naive view of platonia, so I avoid that term 
with you.

In any case such a terminological debate is entirely useless. Tom 
Caylor has provided enough good answer on that point: to ask where the 
UD lives is a category error. Numbers, prgram and mathematical 
structure does not lives in any place except metaphorically. Actually 
physicist borrowed the notion of space to mathematician to get some 
sharable notion of where and when, but of course those spaces cannot 
be ascribed to a place themselves, or, again only in some metaphorical 
sense, like saying that such space lives in the category of sets, or in 
a model of ZF, etc.

Bruno


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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-29 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

  Peter, when you said that the physical might be 'relations all the way
  down', and I asked you what would you find if you went 'all the way
  down', you replied 'primary matter'. IOW, you posit primary matter as a
  'bare substrate' to which are attached whatever properties theory or
  experiment may suggest. Consequently, isn't it the case that you are
  defining this 'bare substrate' (which by posit has no properties of its
  own) as whatever-it-is that is RITSIAR (i.e. you might say that it's
  what exists)?

 RITSIAR is supposed to be a free variable. Thus
 RITSIAR = material existence is a substantive, non-tautologous claim,
 as is
 RITSIAR = Platonic existence

 (Compare with I
 in I am in Sussex
 and
 I am in Sierra Leone

So, that's a 'yes' for primary matter = RITSIAR 1.
And another 'yes' for AUDA = RITSIAR 2.

You want to call RITSIAR 2 Platonic reality (and can call witnesses to
attest to this usage). Bruno doesn't seem to want to call it Platonic
(he seems to rely on different witnesses) but he's clear it's not
RITSIAR 1. RITSIAR 1 is 'where the matter is'. RITSIAR 2 is 'where the
numbers are'. Such ontic claims merely serve to ground the hierarchy of
predicative recursion: 'I am in Sussex' is predicated on 'I' and
'Sussex' pre-existing at some prior level, etc, etc, etc. Name your
turtle. Can't we just get on with investigating what either theory
explains or predicts, and stop arguing over words - isn't this why no
agreement is ever reached on this?

David

 David Nyman wrote:
  1Z wrote:
 
 Where are these machines?
   
   
Where the numbers are.
  
   Which is...? Presumably the answer is not
   on blackboards or in the minds of mathematicians.
  
   Apparently its not a magical realm either.
 
  Peter, when you said that the physical might be 'relations all the way
  down', and I asked you what would you find if you went 'all the way
  down', you replied 'primary matter'. IOW, you posit primary matter as a
  'bare substrate' to which are attached whatever properties theory or
  experiment may suggest. Consequently, isn't it the case that you are
  defining this 'bare substrate' (which by posit has no properties of its
  own) as whatever-it-is that is RITSIAR (i.e. you might say that it's
  what exists)?

 RITSIAR is supposed to be a free variable. Thus
 RITSIAR = material existence is a substantive, non-tautologous claim,
 as is
 RITSIAR = Platonic existence

 (Compare with I
 in I am in Sussex
 and
 I am in Sierra Leone


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-29 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


David Nyman writes:

 I think we're in agreement, Stathis, but I'm trying to focus on a
 problem, and what I think is a non-trivial aspect of evolved brain
 functionality that would be required to overcome it. Of course, I agree
 with you that each aspect of the experience '.falls perfectly into
 position in each case by virtue of its content alone' - it's precisely
 what I've been arguing. But there's a subtler point here also, I think,
 that leads to the problem. Let's take the 'cat sat on the mat': now
 'cat' starts at t1 and 'mat' ends at t2. Let's subdivide t1t2 into
 occasions o1-o1000, and let teleportation occur between each. Each
 occasion o1-o1000 is as informationally closed as OMt1t2 (the
 'teleportation' is of course inserted precisely to make this point),
 but now it has become implausible to believe that any individual
 occasion, say o492, is of sufficient extent to recover any coherent
 component whatsoever of the conscious thought 'the cat sat on the mat'.
 And yet, we know that we *are* in fact able to routinely recover such
 components, corresponding loosely to a 'specious present' of some 1.5
 seconds extent.
 
 Now comes the problem: how do we account for our manifest ability to do
 this without invoking some form of illicit 'continuity' between
 informationally separated occasions of arbitrarily fine granularity? No
 individual occasion apparently contains all the necessary information,
 and it seems that we almost can't stop ourselves imaginatively invoking
 some sort of continuity over multiple occasions, in order that coherent
 experiences can somehow be recovered by summing over the sequence.
 
 I think, if true, this would be a real problem in reconciling our
 experience with the facts, and I think therefore that it requires a
 real solution (actually an aspect of Barbour's time capsule theory
 which I'm extrapolating a bit further). Simply, if what I'm arguing is
 valid, it must follow that my assumption about individual occasions
 'not containing the necessary information' *must be wrong*.
 Consequently, sufficient information to recover 'speciously present'
 dynamic experiences *must* in fact be *simultaneously* represented by
 the brain - be present on one occasion - and that this simultaneous
 'dynamic' presentation must be the engine that renders both the
 duration and the dynamism of the experience. And, to complete the
 (evolutionary) circularity, this would be precisely *why* the brain
 would possess this capability - because without it, extended, dynamic
 environmental presentations would simply be *unavailable* to the
 organism.
 
 Does this make sense?

I think I see what you mean, but it's as much a problem for the intact and 
normally functioning brain as it is for teleportation experiments, isn't it? 
For that 
matter, it's as much a problem for a computer that gets teleported around in 
the 
course of its calculations. If the teleportation time slices are of femtosecond 
duration, then there is nothing within a particular slice to mark it as part of 
the 
calculation 5464*2342. Yet a computer strobing in and out of existence like 
this, 
technical problems aside, will still come up with the right answer. Indeed, if 
the 
computer only materialised in the final femtosecond it would have the right 
answer 
and if a log were kept, evidence of how it arrived at the answer. Do you 
believe 
that there must be some super-computation information in each femtosecond slice 
that binds them all together?

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-28 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  
  Brent meeker writes:
  
  That is not clear to me.  Perhaps it turns on the meaning of
  content in an OM.  Generally if my OM's are taken to be on the
  order of a second or longer, I think the order could be
  reconstructed from the content.  But I also think there would be
  exceptions.  For example if I'm startled by a loud noise this
  switches my consciousness on a time scale much shorter than 1sec to
  What was that!? and then, deciding it was not important, I switch
  back to what I was thinking of before.  These thoughts are 
  connected by *memory* but not by conscious content of OMs.  Maybe
  there is a feeling of continuity in consciousness which doesn't
  survive chopping it up into OMs, i.e. each conscious thought has
  duration and overlaps preceding and suceding thoughts.  But I think
  that either some such overlap or access to memory must be invoked
  to ensure that OMs can be ordered.
  
  We can distinguish between memory that actually is part of my present
  conscious experience, such as when I am in the process of recalling
  what I did yesterday, and memory that lies in waiting and available
  for access should the need arise, such as just before I decided to
  recall what I did yesterday. I would class the latter kind of memory
  along with the rest of the machinery required to generate the
  appropriate observer moments to give the experience of a coherent
  stream of consciousness. If all this machinery were dispensed with,
  and the OM's were generated magically just as if the underlying
  stored memories etc. were still operational, no difference in the
  stream of consciousness could occur.
  
  Pushing the idea to its limit, not only is it unnecessary for
  anything external to the OM's to bind them together, it is
  unnecessary for other OM's, past or future, to even exist. I would
  still feel I have a past and expect I will survive into the future if
  my entire lifespan is just one second long and all my memories false.
  My hope that I will survive amounts to a hope that somewhere,
  sometime, there will be an OM with appropriate memories and a sense
  that he was and remains me. If such an OM does exist, it will
  consider itself my successor regardless of whether I ever actually
  existed.
  
  Stathis Papaioannou
 
 That is not so clear to me as it seems to be to you.  
 
 Suppose that being conscious is something a brain does.  Then a 
 Observer-second would be one second of that brain activity.  When this OS was 
 magically initiated it would already include potentials traveling down axons, 
 etc, the residue of the previous OS and the precursors of later milliseconds 
 in this OS.  But those underlying physical processes are not what we 
 generally think of as conscious.  They are not things we would report if 
 asked what we are thinking.  Nevertheless they may be necessary for the 
 continuity of consciousness, where consciousness here means the inner 
 narrative - the story I tell myself in my head.  In these thought experiments 
 about OMs there seem to be two contrary implicit assumptions: 
 
 (1) that just the content of the inner narrative constitutes consciousness, 
 as in the analogy of cutting up a book and then reconstructing it's order 
 from the content of the segments,
 
 (2) the feeling of continuity remains in a segment 1sec or 0.1sec or 0.01sec 
 even if that is too short a segment to allow reconstruction of the order from 
 the content.

I suppose you could say that there is no feeling of continuity from one 
microsecond to the next in a normally functioning brain either, because it 
takes many microseconds to make a thought. My point is that whatever it takes 
to make a thought and however vague the distinction between one thought and the 
next is, arbitrarily slicing up the physical activity underlying consciousness 
should not make a difference to the sense of continuity, and no explicit 
ordering is necessary. The counting sequence one, two, three may involve 
millions of slices of brain activity or computer emulation activity spread 
throughout space and time, and it may take many of these slices to form a 
moment of consciousness just as it takes many milliseconds of normal brain 
activity to form a moment of consciousness, but the feeling of continuity 
should be preserved.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-28 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent meeker writes:

  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  
  
   Peter Jones writes:
  
   I think it is simpler to go back to your own clones-in-the-next-room 
   example
   rather than introducing the complication of neurophysiology (or indeed 
   physics).
   You are informed that your current stream of consciousness is either 
   being
   generated by
  
   (a) a temporal sequence of clones, each of which lives for a second, 
   then is
   instantly killed, and replaced by the next one in the series a 
   microsecond later
  
   or
  
   (b) a spatial series of clones, each of which lives for a second, then 
   is instantly
   killed, such that the whole experiment goes for a second but uses 
   multiple
   adjacent rooms
  
   You have to guess whether you are in experiment (a) or (b). If 
   appropriate care
   is taken to provide you with no external clues do you think you would 
   be able to
   guess the right answer with greater than 1/2 probability?
   It's quite possible that neither scenario can support a
   subjective flow of time.
  
   Here is another thought experiment. You are watching an object moving 
   against a
   stationary background at a velocity of 10 m/s. Suddenly, the object seems 
   to instantly
   jump 10 metres in the direction of motion, and then continues as before 
   at 10 m/s. You
   are informed that one of the following three events has taken place:
  
   (a) your consciousness was suspended for 1 second, as in an absence 
   seizure;
  
   (b) you were scanned, annihilated, and a perfect copy created in your 
   place 1 second
   later;
  
   (c) nothing unusual happened to you, but the object you were watching was 
   instantly
   teleported 10 metres in the direction of motion.
  
   Would you be able to guess which of the three events took place?
  
   Stathis Papaioannou
 
  Sure, it was (a).  (c) violates the laws of physics.  (b) might or might 
  not be theoretically possible, but it's practically impossible.

 OK, you would probably be right if you were kidnapped and subjected to this 
 experiment
 tomorrow. But it's a thought experiment, and my point is that from your 
 conscious
 experience alone you would be unable to distinguish between the three cases. 
 Peter Jones'
 posts seem to imply that you would notice a difference.

You have to say that, given a particular theory of consciousness,
would you notice a difference. If physical counterfactuals/causality
is important, you could in  cases a) and b), since they
all involve an abnormal causal transition from one OM to
then next. Given computationalism, it is less straightforward.


 Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-28 Thread David Nyman

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

 The point is, whatever you are thinking during t1t2, you are thinking 
 *something*,
 and you are thinking the same something in (a), (b) and (c). Whatever complex
 brain processes are occurring during t1t2 in (a) are also occurring in (b) 
 and (c), and
 therefore whatever conscious processes are occurring during that interval in 
 (a) will
 also occur in (b) and (c), and you will not lose your place in the sentence 
 or your sense
 of continuity of consciousness. The OM t1t2 is exactly the same in each case, 
 and falls
 perfectly into position in each case by virtue of its content alone.


I think we're in agreement, Stathis, but I'm trying to focus on a
problem, and what I think is a non-trivial aspect of evolved brain
functionality that would be required to overcome it. Of course, I agree
with you that each aspect of the experience '.falls perfectly into
position in each case by virtue of its content alone' - it's precisely
what I've been arguing. But there's a subtler point here also, I think,
that leads to the problem. Let's take the 'cat sat on the mat': now
'cat' starts at t1 and 'mat' ends at t2. Let's subdivide t1t2 into
occasions o1-o1000, and let teleportation occur between each. Each
occasion o1-o1000 is as informationally closed as OMt1t2 (the
'teleportation' is of course inserted precisely to make this point),
but now it has become implausible to believe that any individual
occasion, say o492, is of sufficient extent to recover any coherent
component whatsoever of the conscious thought 'the cat sat on the mat'.
And yet, we know that we *are* in fact able to routinely recover such
components, corresponding loosely to a 'specious present' of some 1.5
seconds extent.

Now comes the problem: how do we account for our manifest ability to do
this without invoking some form of illicit 'continuity' between
informationally separated occasions of arbitrarily fine granularity? No
individual occasion apparently contains all the necessary information,
and it seems that we almost can't stop ourselves imaginatively invoking
some sort of continuity over multiple occasions, in order that coherent
experiences can somehow be recovered by summing over the sequence.

I think, if true, this would be a real problem in reconciling our
experience with the facts, and I think therefore that it requires a
real solution (actually an aspect of Barbour's time capsule theory
which I'm extrapolating a bit further). Simply, if what I'm arguing is
valid, it must follow that my assumption about individual occasions
'not containing the necessary information' *must be wrong*.
Consequently, sufficient information to recover 'speciously present'
dynamic experiences *must* in fact be *simultaneously* represented by
the brain - be present on one occasion - and that this simultaneous
'dynamic' presentation must be the engine that renders both the
duration and the dynamism of the experience. And, to complete the
(evolutionary) circularity, this would be precisely *why* the brain
would possess this capability - because without it, extended, dynamic
environmental presentations would simply be *unavailable* to the
organism.

Does this make sense?

David

 David,

 Consider these three examples:

 (a) You utter sentence S, the cat sat on the mat. The word on
 starts at time t1 and finishes at time t2.

 (b) At time t1 while uttering S you are intantaneously teleported to a
 distant location.

 (c) You have no actual past but materialise de novo at time t1 as if in (b),
 uttering  ... on the mat.

 We are interested in your phenomenal consciousness between t1 and t2 in
 each case (ignoring the change of scenery due to the teleportation). It is no
 doubt quite complex, involving not only saying the word on but also a sense
 of self, a sense of the whole sentence and your place in it, an idea that 
 this is
 part of an experiment, and so on. There may even be a lag between action and
 awareness, so that you are actually conscious of saying sat in the interval
 t1t2 rather than when you actually said it, and there will probably be at 
 least some
 sense of continuity between sat and on during t1t2.

 The point is, whatever you are thinking during t1t2, you are thinking 
 *something*,
 and you are thinking the same something in (a), (b) and (c). Whatever complex
 brain processes are occurring during t1t2 in (a) are also occurring in (b) 
 and (c), and
 therefore whatever conscious processes are occurring during that interval in 
 (a) will
 also occur in (b) and (c), and you will not lose your place in the sentence 
 or your sense
 of continuity of consciousness. The OM t1t2 is exactly the same in each case, 
 and falls
 perfectly into position in each case by virtue of its content alone.

 Stathis Papaioannou



 
  From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
  Subject: Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted
  Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 05:14:03 -0700

Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-28 Thread 1Z


David Nyman wrote:
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

  The point is, whatever you are thinking during t1t2, you are thinking 
  *something*,
  and you are thinking the same something in (a), (b) and (c). Whatever 
  complex
  brain processes are occurring during t1t2 in (a) are also occurring in (b) 
  and (c), and
  therefore whatever conscious processes are occurring during that interval 
  in (a) will
  also occur in (b) and (c), and you will not lose your place in the sentence 
  or your sense
  of continuity of consciousness. The OM t1t2 is exactly the same in each 
  case, and falls
  perfectly into position in each case by virtue of its content alone.
 

 I think we're in agreement, Stathis, but I'm trying to focus on a
 problem, and what I think is a non-trivial aspect of evolved brain
 functionality that would be required to overcome it. Of course, I agree
 with you that each aspect of the experience '.falls perfectly into
 position in each case by virtue of its content alone' - it's precisely
 what I've been arguing.

I don't think that is a necessary or obvious truth. If there
is an external time parameter, it might be possible to
return to the same state of mind (or the universe)
at different points in time, just as it is possible to
for identical duplicates to exist simultaneously at different
points in space).

 But there's a subtler point here also, I think,
 that leads to the problem. Let's take the 'cat sat on the mat': now
 'cat' starts at t1 and 'mat' ends at t2. Let's subdivide t1t2 into
 occasions o1-o1000, and let teleportation occur between each. Each
 occasion o1-o1000 is as informationally closed

What does informationally closed mean?

 as OMt1t2 (the
 'teleportation' is of course inserted precisely to make this point),
 but now it has become implausible to believe that any individual
 occasion, say o492, is of sufficient extent to recover any coherent
 component whatsoever of the conscious thought 'the cat sat on the mat'.
 And yet, we know that we *are* in fact able to routinely recover such
 components, corresponding loosely to a 'specious present' of some 1.5
 seconds extent.

Errmm.. if by recover we are able to replay them as
conscious (re)experiences. The memory-trace need
only contain time-stamps indicating the order
and timing of the contents of the experience. The
total structure of time-stamped-stored-experience
can co-exist simultaneously, just as a the frames
of a movie stored on a shelf co-exist simultaneously.

The stored experience is not conscious in itself
any more than the stored movie involves any (ilusion of) motion.

In both cases, that comes in with the recovery.


 Now comes the problem: how do we account for our manifest ability to do
 this without invoking some form of illicit 'continuity' between
 informationally separated occasions of arbitrarily fine granularity? No
 individual occasion apparently contains all the necessary information,

That all depends on what you mean by individual occasion.
In physics that a purely 3d (0 time-dimensional)
doesn't contain enough information to recover
standard dynamics, and instead a kind of specious present
known as instantaneous velocity is used -- i.e.
the snapshot is of an infinitessimal slice, not a 0-width slice.
(Barbour's Machianism keeps the 0-slices and does without
some features of standard dynamics).

 and it seems that we almost can't stop ourselves imaginatively invoking
 some sort of continuity over multiple occasions, in order that coherent
 experiences can somehow be recovered by summing over the sequence.

Hmmm. Well, sequence per se doesn't require continuity.

 I think, if true, this would be a real problem in reconciling our
 experience with the facts, and I think therefore that it requires a
 real solution (actually an aspect of Barbour's time capsule theory
 which I'm extrapolating a bit further). Simply, if what I'm arguing is
 valid, it must follow that my assumption about individual occasions
 'not containing the necessary information' *must be wrong*.

Soo...what you are saying is that experiences of
(seemingly) continuous processes are incompatible with
presentism, the idea that everything must be recovered
from a 0-width (temporally) slice. Well, maybe,
but not even physics goes in for presentism in exactly *that* sense.

(I think this is relevant to Maudlin. I don't
think the physical activity of a system can be
separated from its latent casual dispositions).

 Consequently, sufficient information to recover 'speciously present'
 dynamic experiences *must* in fact be *simultaneously* represented by
 the brain - be present on one occasion - and that this simultaneous
 'dynamic' presentation must be the engine that renders both the
 duration and the dynamism of the experience. And, to complete the
 (evolutionary) circularity, this would be precisely *why* the brain
 would possess this capability - because without it, extended, dynamic
 environmental presentations would simply be 

Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-28 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

  I think we're in agreement, Stathis, but I'm trying to focus on a
  problem, and what I think is a non-trivial aspect of evolved brain
  functionality that would be required to overcome it. Of course, I agree
  with you that each aspect of the experience '.falls perfectly into
  position in each case by virtue of its content alone' - it's precisely
  what I've been arguing.

 I don't think that is a necessary or obvious truth. If there
 is an external time parameter, it might be possible to
 return to the same state of mind (or the universe)
 at different points in time, just as it is possible to
 for identical duplicates to exist simultaneously at different
 points in space).

Yes, I think this could have been better put. I meant that each aspect
of the experience could be treated as if self-contained, with an
independent 'pov'. etc.

 What does informationally closed mean?

'Isolated' might be a better term. As DD puts it 'other times are
special cases of other worlds'.

 Errmm.. if by recover we are able to replay them as
 conscious (re)experiences. The memory-trace need
 only contain time-stamps indicating the order
 and timing of the contents of the experience. The
 total structure of time-stamped-stored-experience
 can co-exist simultaneously, just as a the frames
 of a movie stored on a shelf co-exist simultaneously.

Precisely, my dear Watson.

 The stored experience is not conscious in itself
 any more than the stored movie involves any (ilusion of) motion.

 In both cases, that comes in with the recovery.

And I'm saying that the recovery *is* a structure that implements a
specific set of relations between the 'time-stamped' data and the
perceptual apparatus - what I've termed the perceiver-percept dyad. The
dyad's function is to render the time-stamped data in the form of
environmentally-embedded dynamic processes centred on a 1-person pov.
If you press me for the detail of 'render' I'm afraid I can only
respond 'in some way', as you do with respect to RITSIAR. My point is
that the dyad is rendered as a simultaneously compresent structure. As
to *why* the structure is experienced as an 'A'-series, I can but refer
you to my previous suggestions, which you may or may not find
persuasive.

 That all depends on what you mean by individual occasion.
 In physics that a purely 3d (0 time-dimensional)
 doesn't contain enough information to recover
 standard dynamics, and instead a kind of specious present
 known as instantaneous velocity is used -- i.e.
 the snapshot is of an infinitessimal slice, not a 0-width slice.
 (Barbour's Machianism keeps the 0-slices and does without
 some features of standard dynamics).

We don't have to define the occasion in this way. Rather, we look at
what information is available for 'dyadic rendering'. My point to
Stathis was that unless the information representing all stages of a
specific dynamic experience is simultaneously compresent in a single
occasion, however delimited, there could be no such experience present
in that occasion.

  and it seems that we almost can't stop ourselves imaginatively invoking
  some sort of continuity over multiple occasions, in order that coherent
  experiences can somehow be recovered by summing over the sequence.

 Hmmm. Well, sequence per se doesn't require continuity.

No, but the temptation is to try to assemble the information from
different OMs or occasions by surreptitiously invoking 'continuity' -
peeking, IOW.

 Soo...what you are saying is that experiences of
 (seemingly) continuous processes are incompatible with
 presentism, the idea that everything must be recovered
 from a 0-width (temporally) slice. Well, maybe,
 but not even physics goes in for presentism in exactly *that* sense.

Am I? I'm saying that the information driving the experience of
(seemingly) continuous processes must be recovered from simultaneously
compresent sources. The reason is that if one assumes the opposite -
that such information is just recovered from individual events 'smeared
over time' - then you keep losing bits of the (psychological) 'specious
present' because, as the information sequence moves forward, the
earlier bits *just aren't available any longer*. So I'm saying that in
the B-series events are indeed sequentially 'laid out', but that this
of itself is insufficient to account for our own species of episodic
dynamic experience. The A-series (i.e. time-as-experienced) seems to
proceed via sequences not of single events, but simultaneously rendered
'dynamic  capsules' generated by (god-knows-what) brain mechanisms that
have specifically evolved towards this end.

David

 David Nyman wrote:
  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
   The point is, whatever you are thinking during t1t2, you are thinking 
   *something*,
   and you are thinking the same something in (a), (b) and (c). Whatever 
   complex
   brain processes are occurring during t1t2 in (a) are also occurring in 
   (b) and (c), and
   therefore whatever conscious 

Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-28 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 Brent Meeker writes:
 
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent meeker writes:
 
 That is not clear to me.  Perhaps it turns on the meaning of 
 content in an OM.  Generally if my OM's are taken to be on
 the order of a second or longer, I think the order could be 
 reconstructed from the content.  But I also think there would
 be exceptions.  For example if I'm startled by a loud noise
 this switches my consciousness on a time scale much shorter
 than 1sec to What was that!? and then, deciding it was not
 important, I switch back to what I was thinking of before.
 These thoughts are connected by *memory* but not by conscious
 content of OMs.  Maybe there is a feeling of continuity in
 consciousness which doesn't survive chopping it up into OMs,
 i.e. each conscious thought has duration and overlaps preceding
 and suceding thoughts.  But I think that either some such
 overlap or access to memory must be invoked to ensure that OMs
 can be ordered.
 We can distinguish between memory that actually is part of my
 present conscious experience, such as when I am in the process of
 recalling what I did yesterday, and memory that lies in waiting
 and available for access should the need arise, such as just
 before I decided to recall what I did yesterday. I would class
 the latter kind of memory along with the rest of the machinery
 required to generate the appropriate observer moments to give the
 experience of a coherent stream of consciousness. If all this
 machinery were dispensed with, and the OM's were generated
 magically just as if the underlying stored memories etc. were
 still operational, no difference in the stream of consciousness
 could occur.
 
 Pushing the idea to its limit, not only is it unnecessary for 
 anything external to the OM's to bind them together, it is 
 unnecessary for other OM's, past or future, to even exist. I
 would still feel I have a past and expect I will survive into the
 future if my entire lifespan is just one second long and all my
 memories false. My hope that I will survive amounts to a hope
 that somewhere, sometime, there will be an OM with appropriate
 memories and a sense that he was and remains me. If such an OM
 does exist, it will consider itself my successor regardless of
 whether I ever actually existed.
 
 Stathis Papaioannou
 That is not so clear to me as it seems to be to you.
 
 Suppose that being conscious is something a brain does.  Then a
 Observer-second would be one second of that brain activity.  When
 this OS was magically initiated it would already include potentials
 traveling down axons, etc, the residue of the previous OS and the
 precursors of later milliseconds in this OS.  But those underlying
 physical processes are not what we generally think of as conscious.
 They are not things we would report if asked what we are thinking.
 Nevertheless they may be necessary for the continuity of
 consciousness, where consciousness here means the inner narrative -
 the story I tell myself in my head.  In these thought experiments
 about OMs there seem to be two contrary implicit assumptions:
 
 (1) that just the content of the inner narrative constitutes
 consciousness, as in the analogy of cutting up a book and then
 reconstructing it's order from the content of the segments,
 
 (2) the feeling of continuity remains in a segment 1sec or 0.1sec
 or 0.01sec even if that is too short a segment to allow
 reconstruction of the order from the content.
 
 I suppose you could say that there is no feeling of continuity from
 one microsecond to the next in a normally functioning brain either,
 because it takes many microseconds to make a thought. My point is
 that whatever it takes to make a thought and however vague the
 distinction between one thought and the next is, arbitrarily slicing
 up the physical activity underlying consciousness should not make a
 difference to the sense of continuity, 

But that's exactly the point I find dubious.  Continuity in mathematics always 
involves taking infinite limits in sets that are already ordered (Dedekind cuts 
for example).  And per all our best theories, the universe is instantiates 
continuous processes in a continuous spacetime.  Though there have been many 
attempts, no one has shown with mathematical rigor how a continuous spacetime 
can emerge as an approximation of a discrete one.  Physicists mostly think it 
is true, but mathematicians think they're hand waving.  The difficulties of 
numerically solving partial differential equations in computers don't give much 
comfort.  

We use the instantaneous states as in the solution of differential equations, 
but those generally include the values of derivatives and hence implicitly a 
time variation.

and no explicit ordering is
 necessary. The counting sequence one, two, three may involve
 millions of slices of brain activity or computer emulation activity
 spread throughout space and time, and it may take many of these
 slices to form a 

Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-28 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Brent Meeker writes:

  Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  
   Brent meeker writes:
  
   That is not clear to me.  Perhaps it turns on the meaning of
   content in an OM.  Generally if my OM's are taken to be on the
   order of a second or longer, I think the order could be
   reconstructed from the content.  But I also think there would be
   exceptions.  For example if I'm startled by a loud noise this
   switches my consciousness on a time scale much shorter than 1sec to
   What was that!? and then, deciding it was not important, I switch
   back to what I was thinking of before.  These thoughts are
   connected by *memory* but not by conscious content of OMs.  Maybe
   there is a feeling of continuity in consciousness which doesn't
   survive chopping it up into OMs, i.e. each conscious thought has
   duration and overlaps preceding and suceding thoughts.  But I think
   that either some such overlap or access to memory must be invoked
   to ensure that OMs can be ordered.
  
   We can distinguish between memory that actually is part of my present
   conscious experience, such as when I am in the process of recalling
   what I did yesterday, and memory that lies in waiting and available
   for access should the need arise, such as just before I decided to
   recall what I did yesterday. I would class the latter kind of memory
   along with the rest of the machinery required to generate the
   appropriate observer moments to give the experience of a coherent
   stream of consciousness. If all this machinery were dispensed with,
   and the OM's were generated magically just as if the underlying
   stored memories etc. were still operational, no difference in the
   stream of consciousness could occur.
  
   Pushing the idea to its limit, not only is it unnecessary for
   anything external to the OM's to bind them together, it is
   unnecessary for other OM's, past or future, to even exist. I would
   still feel I have a past and expect I will survive into the future if
   my entire lifespan is just one second long and all my memories false.
   My hope that I will survive amounts to a hope that somewhere,
   sometime, there will be an OM with appropriate memories and a sense
   that he was and remains me. If such an OM does exist, it will
   consider itself my successor regardless of whether I ever actually
   existed.
  
   Stathis Papaioannou
 
  That is not so clear to me as it seems to be to you.
 
  Suppose that being conscious is something a brain does.  Then a 
  Observer-second would be one second of that brain activity.  When this OS 
  was magically initiated it would already include potentials traveling down 
  axons, etc, the residue of the previous OS and the precursors of later 
  milliseconds in this OS.  But those underlying physical processes are not 
  what we generally think of as conscious.  They are not things we would 
  report if asked what we are thinking.  Nevertheless they may be necessary 
  for the continuity of consciousness, where consciousness here means the 
  inner narrative - the story I tell myself in my head.  In these thought 
  experiments about OMs there seem to be two contrary implicit assumptions:
 
  (1) that just the content of the inner narrative constitutes consciousness, 
  as in the analogy of cutting up a book and then reconstructing it's order 
  from the content of the segments,
 
  (2) the feeling of continuity remains in a segment 1sec or 0.1sec or 
  0.01sec even if that is too short a segment to allow reconstruction of the 
  order from the content.

 I suppose you could say that there is no feeling of continuity from one 
 microsecond to the next in a normally functioning brain either, because it 
 takes many microseconds to make a thought. My point is that whatever it takes 
 to make a thought and however vague the distinction between one thought and 
 the next is, arbitrarily slicing up the physical activity underlying 
 consciousness should not make a difference to the sense of continuity,

Should not, assuming physicalism? Should not, assuming
computationalism?

 and no explicit ordering is necessary. The counting sequence one, two, 
 three may involve millions of slices of brain activity or computer emulation 
 activity spread throughout space and time, and it may take many of these 
 slices to form a moment of consciousness just as it takes many milliseconds 
 of normal brain activity to form a moment of consciousness, but the feeling 
 of continuity should be preserved.

Why? Maybe it supervenes on whatever propels one physical state
to evolve into another.

 Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Quentin Anciaux

Hi Stathis,

Le Vendredi 27 Octobre 2006 12:16, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
 Here is another thought experiment. You are watching an object moving
 against a stationary background at a velocity of 10 m/s. Suddenly, the
 object seems to instantly jump 10 metres in the direction of motion, and
 then continues as before at 10 m/s. You are informed that one of the
 following three events has taken place:

 (a) your consciousness was suspended for 1 second, as in an absence
 seizure;

 (b) you were scanned, annihilated, and a perfect copy created in your place
 1 second later;

 (c) nothing unusual happened to you, but the object you were watching was
 instantly teleported 10 metres in the direction of motion.

 Would you be able to guess which of the three events took place?

 Stathis Papaioannou

The problem with these kind of thoughts experiments is that we don't know how 
consciousness works, we don't know if we can make a perfect copy, we 
can't know (currently) if such a copy would be conscious as we don't know how 
conscious experience arise. Taking the premises of the problem you gave, it 
is impossible to give a (right) answer (if there is one...). You presupose 
too much on what is consciousness and how it works (not that it is a bad 
thing, but I think these examples won't convince someone who have not the 
same view on you about what is consciousness and how it works).

Quentin Anciaux

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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent meeker writes:

 That is not clear to me.  Perhaps it turns on the meaning of content in
 an OM.  Generally if my OM's are taken to be on the order of a second or
 longer, I think the order could be reconstructed from the content.  But I
 also think there would be exceptions.  For example if I'm startled by a
 loud noise this switches my consciousness on a time scale much shorter
 than 1sec to What was that!? and then, deciding it was not important, I
 switch back to what I was thinking of before.  These thoughts are
 connected by *memory* but not by conscious content of OMs.  Maybe there is
 a feeling of continuity in consciousness which doesn't survive chopping it
 up into OMs, i.e. each conscious thought has duration and overlaps
 preceding and suceding thoughts.  But I think that either some such
 overlap or access to memory must be invoked to ensure that OMs can be
 ordered.

We can distinguish between memory that actually is part of my present conscious 
experience, such as when I am in the process of recalling what I did yesterday, 
and memory that lies in waiting and available for access should the need arise, 
such as just before I decided to recall what I did yesterday. I would class the 
latter kind of memory along with the rest of the machinery required to generate 
the appropriate observer moments to give the experience of a coherent stream of 
consciousness. If all this machinery were dispensed with, and the OM's were 
generated magically just as if the underlying stored memories etc. were still 
operational, no difference in the stream of consciousness could occur.

Pushing the idea to its limit, not only is it unnecessary for anything external 
to the OM's to bind them together, it is unnecessary for other OM's, past or 
future, to even exist. I would still feel I have a past and expect I will 
survive into the future if my entire lifespan is just one second long and all 
my memories false. My hope that I will survive amounts to a hope that 
somewhere, sometime, there will be an OM with appropriate memories and a sense 
that he was and remains me. If such an OM does exist, it will consider itself 
my successor regardless of whether I ever actually existed. 

Stathis Papaioannou

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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread David Nyman

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

 My brain must
 at some subconscious level have the structure of the whole sentence spanning 
 a 2 second interval
 t1-t2 or else the sentence could not be generated.

It's still unclear to me from the above whether we're in agreement or
not. I'm concerned that you may be assuming what is to be explained,
owing to an illegitimate sleight of intuition. That is, it's so normal
for us to think in terms of the overall 'sequence of moments' that it's
easy to forget that the posit for OMs is that they are *informationally
closed* with respect to other OMs (this is the point I've been debating
with Peter, with which I thought you agreed). If OMs are thus closed,
then it must follow that whatever information is required to generate
the experience of 'a given moment' (under-defined, but see below)
*must* be contained in its entirety within *some* (but of course not
every) OM.

Were that not the case, *no* individual OM would contain all the
elements of a coherent conscious experience, and by the same token
*any* coherent conscious experience would necessarily have to span
*multiple* OMs. But any such assumption - i.e. meta-assembly of data
over multiple OMs - is precisely what we wish to rule out of our
account. A 'successor' OM - and any conscious state dependent on it -
must simply 'forget' anything about 'prior' OMs that is not re-encoded
within it - beyond such encoding, everything else is simply radically
absent. A metaphor here might be a cine-film. An OM is then a frame. If
all you have is a single frame, then your 'experience' must be strictly
limited to whatever is contained in that frame, unless you can somehow
surreptitiously sneak a glance at - or recall at will - other frames.

 we rely on the machinery of the brain keeping track of everything to generate 
 successive
 moments of consciousness which pull everything back into coherence.

Is what you say above consistent with the constraints on OMs in my
account? I think perhaps we may intend the same thing here.

This consideration, at least, strongly suggests (IMO entails) something
entirely non-trivial about what the brain is actually doing (your
'engineering problem'), beyond representing simple 'snapshots' from
external input. To overcome the 'OM constraint', it needs to assemble,
from these 'instants', 'rolling constructs', each of which encodes an
updated version of the 'specious present', *simultaneously*
representing multiple snapshots and their relations. It may be entirely
owing to such 'time capsules' (as Barbour, taking this issue seriously,
implies) that we are able to assemble and implement a dynamic
experience of 'time'. In fact, we can be pretty sure that there is a
brain mechanism doing something like this, because as Colin recently
reminded us, there are syndromes that interfere with it, changing the
'dynamic granularity' (refresh rate). So our dynamic experience - the
'A-series' - may depend critically on such 'time-synthesising'
mechanisms within brain structure and function, rather than mapping in
a simple sequential way to external 'B-series' events. And this of
course would then make sense of why such biological time-mechanisms
would have evolved. That is, because successive improvement in the
ability to represent, and consequently discriminate and respond to, an
environment perceived as dynamic events and processes at variable
levels of granularity, confers obvious survival advantage.

David

 David Nyman writes:

   As for memory being encoded in or accessible to an OM, that is an 
   unnecessary complication.
   As you said previously, the OM's are related solely by their information 
   content. If the seconds
   of your life were sliced up, shuffled and thrown to the wind, (t1) 
   3:10:02 PM of 10/10/06 would
   still subjectively follow (t2) 3:10:01 PM of 10/10/06 even though there 
   is no connection or flow
   of information between them. If you look at how t1 and t2 are generated, 
   then yes, there is a
   connection - they both come out of your head - but once generated, they 
   form a natural sequence
   which cannot be disrupted.
 
  But my point about the 'coherence' of consciousness is that it seems
  (especially from what occurs, or fails to occur, when it deteriorates)
  that complex representation and processing of *temporally extended*
  information sequences (e.g. grasp of the entirety of the content and
  meaning of a sentence or proposition) is necessary for one to
  experience and act as a fully-functioning conscious individual.
  Consequently, it seems to me that such processes must converge on OMs
  in which all the necessary information is fully encoded and expressed
  (which is essentially what Barbour seems to be claiming for his 'time
  capsules' - e.g. his 'flight of the kingfisher' example). Without this,
  the alternative seems to be that the individual random, wind-blown
  seconds of your metaphor would need to be totalised in some additional
  

Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 26-oct.-06, à 17:52, 1Z a écrit :

 No, I am just asking. I have even
 come up with formulations like real in the sense
 that I am real which avoid begging any questions about what
 kind of reality I have.


Ah OK. I guess that is the RITSIAR. I let you know that:

1) I agree matter exists like my third person body exists (that is not 
primitively with comp)
2) My first person I exist like the unameable truth (assuming 
*informally* I am a consistent lobian machine).

So it is important to distinguish 1-Ritsiar and 3-ritsiar. Perhaps just 
wait a bit when I will explain the math of the 1 and 3 pov 
(hypostases).

Bruno

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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 26-oct.-06, à 18:02, 1Z a écrit :

 Measure is a lot more difficult in MMW. It has to be
 deprived by apriori necessity. Do you have
 a solution?

A good candidate for apriori necessity (and possibility) is provability 
(and conssitency) by a lobian machine.


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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 26-oct.-06, à 21:11, 1Z a écrit :

 If your definition of truth is limited to logical inference given a
 certain set of axioms and inference rules, then what are we trying to
 do on the Everything List?

 That's *mathematical* truth.

It is not. This is just provability. Since Godel we know that they are 
not the same. This is *the* key point for giving sense to the lobian 
interview.

Bruno



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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 26-oct.-06, à 22:55, 1Z a écrit :

 In an MMW, measure cannot be chosen to match experience, empirically,
 it has to be deduced apriori.

Yes. You are rioght. And this is what I have done. Please be patient I 
will give all the explanation. Or search in the archive those I have 
already given.


Bruno

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


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Quentin Anciaux writes:

 Hi Stathis,
 
 Le Vendredi 27 Octobre 2006 12:16, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :
  Here is another thought experiment. You are watching an object moving
  against a stationary background at a velocity of 10 m/s. Suddenly, the
  object seems to instantly jump 10 metres in the direction of motion, and
  then continues as before at 10 m/s. You are informed that one of the
  following three events has taken place:
 
  (a) your consciousness was suspended for 1 second, as in an absence
  seizure;
 
  (b) you were scanned, annihilated, and a perfect copy created in your place
  1 second later;
 
  (c) nothing unusual happened to you, but the object you were watching was
  instantly teleported 10 metres in the direction of motion.
 
  Would you be able to guess which of the three events took place?
 
  Stathis Papaioannou
 
 The problem with these kind of thoughts experiments is that we don't know how 
 consciousness works, we don't know if we can make a perfect copy, we 
 can't know (currently) if such a copy would be conscious as we don't know how 
 conscious experience arise. Taking the premises of the problem you gave, it 
 is impossible to give a (right) answer (if there is one...). You presupose 
 too much on what is consciousness and how it works (not that it is a bad 
 thing, but I think these examples won't convince someone who have not the 
 same view on you about what is consciousness and how it works).

I don't think the example I gave depends on detailed understanding of how 
consciousness 
works. The point I was trying to make is that it is not possible to guess the 
correct answer 
as your conscious experience would be exactly the same in each case. We could 
probably 
actually *do* the experiment with options (a) and (c) (the teleportation is not 
essential).
We can't do (b) at present, but it seems obvious to me that whatever the 
complex details 
of the neurophysiology of consciousness, (b) would be indistinguishable from 
(a) unless 
you invoke something like a soul, for which there is no evidence.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Bruno Marchal


Hi Colin,

I am not sure I understand your point. Would you say that Derek Denton 
work is conflicting with comp?
Actually comp can explain why we cannot attribute some brain *function* 
to some brain *part* activity. Such relation  are described by G* (true 
but unprovable or unverifiable).
Only an argument showing that some part of the brain use physical 
infinities would be a stress for comp.

Not really the time to say more now(*).

Bruno

(*)  I have not even the time to just read the other mail before sunday 
... But then I see Quentin, Tom and others manage rather well most of 
Peter's current critical remarks.



Le 27-oct.-06, à 02:45, Colin Hales a écrit :


 Hi Bruno,

 Derek Denton in

 Denton D. 2005. The Primordial Emotions: The dawning of consciousness:
 Oxford University Press. 267 p.

 is able to point to activated regions of basal brain in a human 
 subject
 undergoing extreme thirst. It isn’t easy to control for obfuscating
 parameters but he did it. Dry mouth, wet mouth, blood salt levels,
 micturition thwarting...etc...He can point (in fMRI) to a single small
 cohort of cellular material unambiguously responsible for thirst 
 qualia (a
 primordial emotion). One cohort does it. Another nearby in the same
 activated chain doesn't. Totally outside the cerebral cortex.

 If COMP is correct it should be telling us why that is and what to 
 look for.

 Exactly what computational process corresponds to the difference 
 between the
 two cohorts in first person presentation?

 What is it about COMP as an abstraction that renders that difference
 invariant? (being a real cellular version vs being a COMP version of 
 the
 same thing)

 This is a glaring, large scale (well beyond quantum levels) phenomenon,
 right in your face at the cellular level and above.

 Perhaps you can shed some light on COMP in this regard, because I 
 can’t see
 it.

 Regards,

 Colin  Hales
 (EC still brewing!)

 -Original Message-
 From: everything-list@googlegroups.com [mailto:everything-
 [EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Bruno Marchal
 Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 8:23 PM
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Subject: Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted



 Le 23-oct.-06, à 00:12, 1Z a écrit :

 Huh? Computationalism is no more able to account for
 qualia than physicalism.



 Computationalism (the standard one) through my work (don't hesitate to
 criticize it) gives a precise account of qualia.
 It is even a refutable theory of both quanta and qualia, given that
 quanta are shown to be sharable qualia (first person plural).
 If the comp quanta behavior are shown to contradict empirical quanta,
 then that would refute the comp theory of of both qualia and quanta,
 and actually this would refute comp, even acomp (comp without yes
 doctor).

 Contrarywise, everyone a bit serious in philosophy of mind agrees that
 physicalist theories have not yet succeed in just approaching or
 formulating the the qualia problem.

 Bruno



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




 

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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:

 Le 26-oct.-06, à 17:52, 1Z a écrit :

  No, I am just asking. I have even
  come up with formulations like real in the sense
  that I am real which avoid begging any questions about what
  kind of reality I have.


 Ah OK. I guess that is the RITSIAR. I let you know that:

 1) I agree matter exists like my third person body exists (that is not
 primitively with comp)
 2) My first person I exist like the unameable truth (assuming
 *informally* I am a consistent lobian machine).

The question is how any of these machines exist.

 So it is important to distinguish 1-Ritsiar and 3-ritsiar. Perhaps just
 wait a bit when I will explain the math of the 1 and 3 pov
 (hypostases).

No. I (still) want to know where the UD is running.

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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:

 Sorry for the comment delay.


 Le 23-oct.-06, à 16:49, David Nyman a écrit :

 
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
  As usual, the truth of a mathematical existence-claim does not
  prove Platonism.
 
  By Platonism, or better arithmetical realism I just mean the belief
  by many mathematician in the non constructive proof of OR
  statements.
 
 
  Lest we go yet another round in the 'reification' debate, is it not
  possible to reconcile what is being claimed here?
 
  Bruno, I'm assuming that when you eschew 'Platonic existence' for AR,
  you are thereby saying that your project is to formalise certain
  arguments about the logical structure of possibility - and through
  this, to put actuality to the test in certain empirical aspects.


 Yes. Although people are so often wrong on what formalization
 consists in, that I prefer to say that I just interview a machine.



  Questions of how this may finally be reconciled with 'RITSIAR' (I hope
  you recall what this means) are in abeyance.


 I don't recall what RITSIAR means. Nor BU.

Real in the sense that I am real

Block Universe



  Nevertheless, some aspect
  of this approach may ultimately be ascribed a status as 'foundational
  existent' analogous to that of 'primary matter' in materialism.

 I don't think so. This would lead to a reification of numbers, which I
 think is just a little bit less meaningless than reifying matter. But
 still fundamentally wrong.

If numbers aren't real at all they cannot generate reality
(ITSIAR).

  Alternatively, such a hypothesis may be shown to be redundant or
  incoherent.

 Not really. It is SWE which should be made redundant.


 
  Peter, as we've agreed, materialism is also metaphysics, and as a route
  to 'ultimate reality' via a physics of observables, is vulnerable to
  'reification'. Might it not be premature to finalise precisely what it
  is that physical theory decribes that might actually be RITSIAR?

I have answered these questions before: but

1. Contingent existence.
2. The ability to causally interact
3. A primary substance which endures through change ( explaining
dynamic, non-BU time)
4. Optionally, the ability to explain phenomenal consiousness in a
basically non-mathematical way.(Property dualism)

 You
  may be tempted to respond, Johnsonianly, that it is precisely the world
  that kicks back that is RITSIAR, but theoretical physics and COMP are
  both in the business of modelling what is not so directly accessible.


 OK.



  This notwithstanding that we may believe one or other theory to be
  further developed, more widely accepted, or better supported
  empirically. Or is there some irreducible sense in which 'primary
  matter' could be deemed to exist in a way that nothing else can?


 Note that consciousness can be deemed to exist in a way that nothing
 else can. In particular consciousness of numbers.
 But Primary Matter, Ether, Phlogiston, Vital Principle,   I doubt
 it.
 
 Bruno
 
 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Tom Caylor

1Z wrote:
 Bruno Marchal wrote:

  Le 26-oct.-06, à 17:52, 1Z a écrit :
 
   No, I am just asking. I have even
   come up with formulations like real in the sense
   that I am real which avoid begging any questions about what
   kind of reality I have.
 
 
  Ah OK. I guess that is the RITSIAR. I let you know that:
 
  1) I agree matter exists like my third person body exists (that is not
  primitively with comp)
  2) My first person I exist like the unameable truth (assuming
  *informally* I am a consistent lobian machine).

 The question is how any of these machines exist.

  So it is important to distinguish 1-Ritsiar and 3-ritsiar. Perhaps just
  wait a bit when I will explain the math of the 1 and 3 pov
  (hypostases).

 No. I (still) want to know where the UD is running.


What do you mean by where?  It sounds like asking where the universe
is.

Tom


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread 1Z


Tom Caylor wrote:

 1Z wrote:
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
   Le 26-oct.-06, à 17:52, 1Z a écrit :
  
No, I am just asking. I have even
come up with formulations like real in the sense
that I am real which avoid begging any questions about what
kind of reality I have.
  
  
   Ah OK. I guess that is the RITSIAR. I let you know that:
  
   1) I agree matter exists like my third person body exists (that is not
   primitively with comp)
   2) My first person I exist like the unameable truth (assuming
   *informally* I am a consistent lobian machine).
 
  The question is how any of these machines exist.
 
   So it is important to distinguish 1-Ritsiar and 3-ritsiar. Perhaps just
   wait a bit when I will explain the math of the 1 and 3 pov
   (hypostases).
 
  No. I (still) want to know where the UD is running.
 

 What do you mean by where?

Principally I mean in the physical universe, or in Plato's heaven.

Bruno always sounds like a Platonist, but he keeps denying he is one.


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Tom Caylor

Brent Meeker wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
  Bruno has tried to introduce us before to the concept of universes or
  worlds made from logic, bottom up (a la constructing elephants).  These
  universes can be consistent or inconsistent.
 
  But approaching it from the empirical side (top down rather bottom up),
  here is an example of a consistent structure:  I think you assume that
  you as a person are a structure, or that you can assume that
  temporarily for the purpose of argument.  You as a person can be
  consistent in what you say, can you not?  Given certain assumptions
  (axioms) and inference rules you can be consistent or inconsistent in
  what you say.

 Depending on your definition of consistent and inconsistent, there need not 
 be any axioms or inference rules at all.  If I say I'm married and I'm not 
 married. then I've said something inconsistent - regardless of axioms or 
 rules.  But *I'm* not inconsistent - just what I've said is.

  I'm not saying the what you say is all there is to who
  you are.  Actually this illustrates what I was saying before about the
  need for a reference frame to talk about consistency, e.g. what you
  say, given your currently held axioms and rules.

 If you have axioms and rules and you can infer X and not-X then the 
 axioms+rules are inconsistent - but so what?  Nothing of import about the 
 universe follows.


Yes, but if you see that one set of axioms/rules is inconsistent with
another set of axioms/rules, then you can deduce something about the
possible configurations of the universe, but only if you assume that
the universe is consistent (which you apparently are calling a category
error).  A case in point is Euclid's fifth postulate in fact.  By
observing that Euclidean geometry is inconsistent with non-Euclidean
geometry (the word observe here is not a pun or even a metaphor!),
you can conclude that the local geometry of the universe should follow
one or the other of these geometries.  This is exactly the reasoning
they are using in analyzing the WIMP observations.  Time and again in
history, math has been the guide for what to look for in the universe.
Not just provability (as Bruno pointed out) inside one set of
axioms/rules (paradigm), but the most powerful tool is generating
multiple consistent paradigms, and playing them against one another,
and against the observed structure of the universe.

On the other hand, I think that the real proof of the pudding of
Bruno's approach would be, not does his approach agree with empirical
evidence at the quantum/atomic level, but does it agree at the global
level, e.g. by make correct predictions about the spacial curvature,
compactness, finitude/infinitude, connectedness, etc. of the observed
universe.  Of course the quantum vs. global agreement would be the real
proof of any TOE.

Tom

  Another example would be an electric circuit:  Given the structure of
  an electric circuit, and axioms and rules about electricity, we can
  predict what the output of the circuit will be.  If we go through a
  different sequence of contortions/calculations with that same
  structure, axioms and rules, and get a different output value, then the
  axioms, rules *together with the structure* are inconsistent.

 The structure can't be inconsistent - it's not a statement or proposition.
 
 Brent Meeker


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:

 Le 26-oct.-06, à 21:11, 1Z a écrit :

  If your definition of truth is limited to logical inference given a
  certain set of axioms and inference rules, then what are we trying to
  do on the Everything List?
 
  That's *mathematical* truth.

 It is not. This is just provability. Since Godel we know that they are
 not the same.

We are not *forced* to the conclusion that
there *is* a kind of truth which is completely
separate from provability. Platonism is
*possible* in the face of Godel, but so is intuitionism.


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread 1Z


Tom Caylor wrote:

 Brent Meeker wrote:
  Tom Caylor wrote:
   Bruno has tried to introduce us before to the concept of universes or
   worlds made from logic, bottom up (a la constructing elephants).  These
   universes can be consistent or inconsistent.
  
   But approaching it from the empirical side (top down rather bottom up),
   here is an example of a consistent structure:  I think you assume that
   you as a person are a structure, or that you can assume that
   temporarily for the purpose of argument.  You as a person can be
   consistent in what you say, can you not?  Given certain assumptions
   (axioms) and inference rules you can be consistent or inconsistent in
   what you say.
 
  Depending on your definition of consistent and inconsistent, there need not 
  be any axioms or inference rules at all.  If I say I'm married and I'm not 
  married. then I've said something inconsistent - regardless of axioms or 
  rules.  But *I'm* not inconsistent - just what I've said is.
 
   I'm not saying the what you say is all there is to who
   you are.  Actually this illustrates what I was saying before about the
   need for a reference frame to talk about consistency, e.g. what you
   say, given your currently held axioms and rules.
 
  If you have axioms and rules and you can infer X and not-X then the 
  axioms+rules are inconsistent - but so what?  Nothing of import about the 
  universe follows.
 

 Yes, but if you see that one set of axioms/rules is inconsistent with
 another set of axioms/rules, then you can deduce something about the
 possible configurations of the universe, but only if you assume that
 the universe is consistent (which you apparently are calling a category
 error).

it is possible to have several universes which are consistent with each
other , but mutually inconsistent. That is in fact
the situation with contemporary mathematics.

   A case in point is Euclid's fifth postulate in fact.  By
 observing that Euclidean geometry is inconsistent with non-Euclidean
 geometry (the word observe here is not a pun or even a metaphor!),
 you can conclude that the local geometry of the universe should follow
 one or the other of these geometries.  This is exactly the reasoning
 they are using in analyzing the WIMP observations.  Time and again in
 history, math has been the guide for what to look for in the universe.
 Not just provability (as Bruno pointed out) inside one set of
 axioms/rules (paradigm), but the most powerful tool is generating
 multiple consistent paradigms, and playing them against one another,
 and against the observed structure of the universe.

I hardly follows from that, that all maths is physically
true. The point of making observations is to
exclude un-physical maths (ie falsify theories).

 On the other hand, I think that the real proof of the pudding of
 Bruno's approach would be, not does his approach agree with empirical
 evidence at the quantum/atomic level, but does it agree at the global
 level, e.g. by make correct predictions about the spacial curvature,
 compactness, finitude/infinitude, connectedness, etc. of the observed
 universe.  Of course the quantum vs. global agreement would be the real
 proof of any TOE.



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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:

 Le 26-oct.-06, à 18:02, 1Z a écrit :

  Measure is a lot more difficult in MMW. It has to be
  deprived by apriori necessity. Do you have
  a solution?

 A good candidate for apriori necessity (and possibility) is provability
 (and conssitency) by a lobian machine.


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

Are Lobian machines apriori necessary themselves ?.


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 
 Peter Jones writes:
 
 I think it is simpler to go back to your own clones-in-the-next-room example
 rather than introducing the complication of neurophysiology (or indeed 
 physics).
 You are informed that your current stream of consciousness is either being
 generated by

 (a) a temporal sequence of clones, each of which lives for a second, then is
 instantly killed, and replaced by the next one in the series a microsecond 
 later

 or

 (b) a spatial series of clones, each of which lives for a second, then is 
 instantly
 killed, such that the whole experiment goes for a second but uses multiple
 adjacent rooms

 You have to guess whether you are in experiment (a) or (b). If appropriate 
 care
 is taken to provide you with no external clues do you think you would be 
 able to
 guess the right answer with greater than 1/2 probability?
 It's quite possible that neither scenario can support a
 subjective flow of time.
 
 Here is another thought experiment. You are watching an object moving against 
 a 
 stationary background at a velocity of 10 m/s. Suddenly, the object seems to 
 instantly
 jump 10 metres in the direction of motion, and then continues as before at 10 
 m/s. You 
 are informed that one of the following three events has taken place:
 
 (a) your consciousness was suspended for 1 second, as in an absence seizure;
 
 (b) you were scanned, annihilated, and a perfect copy created in your place 1 
 second 
 later;
 
 (c) nothing unusual happened to you, but the object you were watching was 
 instantly 
 teleported 10 metres in the direction of motion.
 
 Would you be able to guess which of the three events took place?
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

Sure, it was (a).  (c) violates the laws of physics.  (b) might or might not be 
theoretically possible, but it's practically impossible.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Tom Caylor

1Z wrote:
 Bruno Marchal wrote:

  Le 26-oct.-06, à 21:11, 1Z a écrit :
 
   If your definition of truth is limited to logical inference given a
   certain set of axioms and inference rules, then what are we trying to
   do on the Everything List?
  
   That's *mathematical* truth.
 
  It is not. This is just provability. Since Godel we know that they are
  not the same.

 We are not *forced* to the conclusion that
 there *is* a kind of truth which is completely
 separate from provability. Platonism is
 *possible* in the face of Godel, but so is intuitionism.

True.  But there always is a truth that is not provable (given the
system).
And you can find out more about it by changing the system and comparing
results.

By the way, you never answered my question, what are we trying to do on
the Everything List besides logical inference given a system?  My take
is that at least part of what we are doing is banging systems against
each other via discussion.  If this is not productive, then we should
abandon the Everything List and buy telescopes.

Tom


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Tom Caylor

Tom Caylor wrote:
 Brent Meeker wrote:
  Tom Caylor wrote:
   Bruno has tried to introduce us before to the concept of universes or
   worlds made from logic, bottom up (a la constructing elephants).  These
   universes can be consistent or inconsistent.
  
   But approaching it from the empirical side (top down rather bottom up),
   here is an example of a consistent structure:  I think you assume that
   you as a person are a structure, or that you can assume that
   temporarily for the purpose of argument.  You as a person can be
   consistent in what you say, can you not?  Given certain assumptions
   (axioms) and inference rules you can be consistent or inconsistent in
   what you say.
 
  Depending on your definition of consistent and inconsistent, there need not 
  be any axioms or inference rules at all.  If I say I'm married and I'm not 
  married. then I've said something inconsistent - regardless of axioms or 
  rules.  But *I'm* not inconsistent - just what I've said is.
 
   I'm not saying the what you say is all there is to who
   you are.  Actually this illustrates what I was saying before about the
   need for a reference frame to talk about consistency, e.g. what you
   say, given your currently held axioms and rules.
 
  If you have axioms and rules and you can infer X and not-X then the 
  axioms+rules are inconsistent - but so what?  Nothing of import about the 
  universe follows.
 

 Yes, but if you see that one set of axioms/rules is inconsistent with
 another set of axioms/rules, then you can deduce something about the
 possible configurations of the universe, but only if you assume that
 the universe is consistent (which you apparently are calling a category
 error).  A case in point is Euclid's fifth postulate in fact.  By
 observing that Euclidean geometry is inconsistent with non-Euclidean
 geometry (the word observe here is not a pun or even a metaphor!),
 you can conclude that the local geometry of the universe should follow
 one or the other of these geometries.  This is exactly the reasoning
 they are using in analyzing the WIMP observations.  Time and again in
 history, math has been the guide for what to look for in the universe.
 Not just provability (as Bruno pointed out) inside one set of
 axioms/rules (paradigm), but the most powerful tool is generating
 multiple consistent paradigms, and playing them against one another,
 and against the observed structure of the universe.

 On the other hand, I think that the real proof of the pudding of
 Bruno's approach would be, not does his approach agree with empirical
 evidence at the quantum/atomic level, but does it agree at the global
 level,

I should say that agreement at the quantum level is needed too, but
also agreement at the global level.

Tom

 e.g. by make correct predictions about the spacial curvature,
 compactness, finitude/infinitude, connectedness, etc. of the observed
 universe.  Of course the quantum vs. global agreement would be the real
 proof of any TOE.
 
 Tom



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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Tom Caylor

Tom Caylor wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
  Brent Meeker wrote:
   Tom Caylor wrote:
Bruno has tried to introduce us before to the concept of universes or
worlds made from logic, bottom up (a la constructing elephants).  These
universes can be consistent or inconsistent.
   
But approaching it from the empirical side (top down rather bottom up),
here is an example of a consistent structure:  I think you assume that
you as a person are a structure, or that you can assume that
temporarily for the purpose of argument.  You as a person can be
consistent in what you say, can you not?  Given certain assumptions
(axioms) and inference rules you can be consistent or inconsistent in
what you say.
  
   Depending on your definition of consistent and inconsistent, there need 
   not be any axioms or inference rules at all.  If I say I'm married and 
   I'm not married. then I've said something inconsistent - regardless of 
   axioms or rules.  But *I'm* not inconsistent - just what I've said is.
  
I'm not saying the what you say is all there is to who
you are.  Actually this illustrates what I was saying before about the
need for a reference frame to talk about consistency, e.g. what you
say, given your currently held axioms and rules.
  
   If you have axioms and rules and you can infer X and not-X then the 
   axioms+rules are inconsistent - but so what?  Nothing of import about the 
   universe follows.
  
 
  Yes, but if you see that one set of axioms/rules is inconsistent with
  another set of axioms/rules, then you can deduce something about the
  possible configurations of the universe, but only if you assume that
  the universe is consistent (which you apparently are calling a category
  error).  A case in point is Euclid's fifth postulate in fact.  By
  observing that Euclidean geometry is inconsistent with non-Euclidean
  geometry (the word observe here is not a pun or even a metaphor!),
  you can conclude that the local geometry of the universe should follow
  one or the other of these geometries.  This is exactly the reasoning
  they are using in analyzing the WIMP observations.  Time and again in
  history, math has been the guide for what to look for in the universe.
  Not just provability (as Bruno pointed out) inside one set of
  axioms/rules (paradigm), but the most powerful tool is generating
  multiple consistent paradigms, and playing them against one another,
  and against the observed structure of the universe.
 
  On the other hand, I think that the real proof of the pudding of
  Bruno's approach would be, not does his approach agree with empirical
  evidence at the quantum/atomic level, but does it agree at the global
  level,

 I should say that agreement at the quantum level is needed too, but
 also agreement at the global level.

 Tom

  e.g. by make correct predictions about the spacial curvature,
  compactness, finitude/infinitude, connectedness, etc. of the observed
  universe.  Of course the quantum vs. global agreement would be the real
  proof of any TOE.
 
  Tom
 

I should also say that I will be too busy to post the next several
days.
Too busy pushing the proverbial mop, getting paid for logical
inference.

Tom


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread 1Z


Tom Caylor wrote:
 1Z wrote:
  Bruno Marchal wrote:
 
   Le 26-oct.-06, à 21:11, 1Z a écrit :
  
If your definition of truth is limited to logical inference given a
certain set of axioms and inference rules, then what are we trying to
do on the Everything List?
   
That's *mathematical* truth.
  
   It is not. This is just provability. Since Godel we know that they are
   not the same.
 
  We are not *forced* to the conclusion that
  there *is* a kind of truth which is completely
  separate from provability. Platonism is
  *possible* in the face of Godel, but so is intuitionism.

 True.  But there always is a truth that is not provable (given the
 system).

You can't be sure that it is a truth unless you can prove it.
Albeit in another system.

 And you can find out more about it by changing the system and comparing
 results.

 By the way, you never answered my question, what are we trying to do on
 the Everything List besides logical inference given a system?

One thing is to compare the reasonableness of
various axioms.

 My take
 is that at least part of what we are doing is banging systems against
 each other via discussion.  If this is not productive, then we should
 abandon the Everything List and buy telescopes.
 
 Tom


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Brent Meeker

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
 Brent meeker writes:
 
 That is not clear to me.  Perhaps it turns on the meaning of
 content in an OM.  Generally if my OM's are taken to be on the
 order of a second or longer, I think the order could be
 reconstructed from the content.  But I also think there would be
 exceptions.  For example if I'm startled by a loud noise this
 switches my consciousness on a time scale much shorter than 1sec to
 What was that!? and then, deciding it was not important, I switch
 back to what I was thinking of before.  These thoughts are 
 connected by *memory* but not by conscious content of OMs.  Maybe
 there is a feeling of continuity in consciousness which doesn't
 survive chopping it up into OMs, i.e. each conscious thought has
 duration and overlaps preceding and suceding thoughts.  But I think
 that either some such overlap or access to memory must be invoked
 to ensure that OMs can be ordered.
 
 We can distinguish between memory that actually is part of my present
 conscious experience, such as when I am in the process of recalling
 what I did yesterday, and memory that lies in waiting and available
 for access should the need arise, such as just before I decided to
 recall what I did yesterday. I would class the latter kind of memory
 along with the rest of the machinery required to generate the
 appropriate observer moments to give the experience of a coherent
 stream of consciousness. If all this machinery were dispensed with,
 and the OM's were generated magically just as if the underlying
 stored memories etc. were still operational, no difference in the
 stream of consciousness could occur.
 
 Pushing the idea to its limit, not only is it unnecessary for
 anything external to the OM's to bind them together, it is
 unnecessary for other OM's, past or future, to even exist. I would
 still feel I have a past and expect I will survive into the future if
 my entire lifespan is just one second long and all my memories false.
 My hope that I will survive amounts to a hope that somewhere,
 sometime, there will be an OM with appropriate memories and a sense
 that he was and remains me. If such an OM does exist, it will
 consider itself my successor regardless of whether I ever actually
 existed.
 
 Stathis Papaioannou

That is not so clear to me as it seems to be to you.  

Suppose that being conscious is something a brain does.  Then a Observer-second 
would be one second of that brain activity.  When this OS was magically 
initiated it would already include potentials traveling down axons, etc, the 
residue of the previous OS and the precursors of later milliseconds in this OS. 
 But those underlying physical processes are not what we generally think of as 
conscious.  They are not things we would report if asked what we are thinking.  
Nevertheless they may be necessary for the continuity of consciousness, where 
consciousness here means the inner narrative - the story I tell myself in my 
head.  In these thought experiments about OMs there seem to be two contrary 
implicit assumptions: 

(1) that just the content of the inner narrative constitutes consciousness, as 
in the analogy of cutting up a book and then reconstructing it's order from the 
content of the segments,

(2) the feeling of continuity remains in a segment 1sec or 0.1sec or 0.01sec 
even if that is too short a segment to allow reconstruction of the order from 
the content.

Brent Meeker

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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Brent Meeker

Tom Caylor wrote:
 Brent Meeker wrote:
 Tom Caylor wrote:
 Bruno has tried to introduce us before to the concept of universes or
 worlds made from logic, bottom up (a la constructing elephants).  These
 universes can be consistent or inconsistent.

 But approaching it from the empirical side (top down rather bottom up),
 here is an example of a consistent structure:  I think you assume that
 you as a person are a structure, or that you can assume that
 temporarily for the purpose of argument.  You as a person can be
 consistent in what you say, can you not?  Given certain assumptions
 (axioms) and inference rules you can be consistent or inconsistent in
 what you say.
 Depending on your definition of consistent and inconsistent, there need not 
 be any axioms or inference rules at all.  If I say I'm married and I'm not 
 married. then I've said something inconsistent - regardless of axioms or 
 rules.  But *I'm* not inconsistent - just what I've said is.

 I'm not saying the what you say is all there is to who
 you are.  Actually this illustrates what I was saying before about the
 need for a reference frame to talk about consistency, e.g. what you
 say, given your currently held axioms and rules.
 If you have axioms and rules and you can infer X and not-X then the 
 axioms+rules are inconsistent - but so what?  Nothing of import about the 
 universe follows.

 
 Yes, but if you see that one set of axioms/rules is inconsistent with
 another set of axioms/rules, then you can deduce something about the
 possible configurations of the universe, but only if you assume that
 the universe is consistent (which you apparently are calling a category
 error).  A case in point is Euclid's fifth postulate in fact.  By
 observing that Euclidean geometry is inconsistent with non-Euclidean
 geometry (the word observe here is not a pun or even a metaphor!),
 you can conclude that the local geometry of the universe should follow
 one or the other of these geometries.  

No, you are mistaken.  You can only conclude that, based on my methods of 
measurement, a non-Euclidean model of the universe is simpler and more 
convenient than an Euclidean one.

This is exactly the reasoning
 they are using in analyzing the WIMP observations.  

The WIMP observations are consistent with a Euclidean model...provided you 
change a lot of other physics.

Time and again in
 history, math has been the guide for what to look for in the universe.
 Not just provability (as Bruno pointed out) inside one set of
 axioms/rules (paradigm), but the most powerful tool is generating
 multiple consistent paradigms, and playing them against one another,
 and against the observed structure of the universe.

Right.  As my mathematician friend Norm Levitt put it,The duty of abstract 
mathematics, as I see it, is precisely to expand our capacity for hypothesizing 
possible ontologies.
 
 On the other hand, I think that the real proof of the pudding of
 Bruno's approach would be, not does his approach agree with empirical
 evidence at the quantum/atomic level, but does it agree at the global
 level, e.g. by make correct predictions about the spacial curvature,
 compactness, finitude/infinitude, connectedness, etc. of the observed
 universe.  Of course the quantum vs. global agreement would be the real
 proof of any TOE.

Agreement would be great.  But the proof of scientific pudding is predicting 
something suprising that is subsequently confirmed.

Brent Meeker

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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


David, 

Consider these three examples:

(a) You utter sentence S, the cat sat on the mat. The word on 
starts at time t1 and finishes at time t2.

(b) At time t1 while uttering S you are intantaneously teleported to a 
distant location.

(c) You have no actual past but materialise de novo at time t1 as if in (b), 
uttering  ... on the mat. 

We are interested in your phenomenal consciousness between t1 and t2 in 
each case (ignoring the change of scenery due to the teleportation). It is no 
doubt quite complex, involving not only saying the word on but also a sense 
of self, a sense of the whole sentence and your place in it, an idea that this 
is 
part of an experiment, and so on. There may even be a lag between action and 
awareness, so that you are actually conscious of saying sat in the interval 
t1t2 rather than when you actually said it, and there will probably be at least 
some 
sense of continuity between sat and on during t1t2. 

The point is, whatever you are thinking during t1t2, you are thinking 
*something*, 
and you are thinking the same something in (a), (b) and (c). Whatever complex 
brain processes are occurring during t1t2 in (a) are also occurring in (b) and 
(c), and 
therefore whatever conscious processes are occurring during that interval in 
(a) will 
also occur in (b) and (c), and you will not lose your place in the sentence or 
your sense 
of continuity of consciousness. The OM t1t2 is exactly the same in each case, 
and falls 
perfectly into position in each case by virtue of its content alone.

Stathis Papaioannou




 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Subject: Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted
 Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 05:14:03 -0700
 
 
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
  My brain must
  at some subconscious level have the structure of the whole sentence 
  spanning a 2 second interval
  t1-t2 or else the sentence could not be generated.
 
 It's still unclear to me from the above whether we're in agreement or
 not. I'm concerned that you may be assuming what is to be explained,
 owing to an illegitimate sleight of intuition. That is, it's so normal
 for us to think in terms of the overall 'sequence of moments' that it's
 easy to forget that the posit for OMs is that they are *informationally
 closed* with respect to other OMs (this is the point I've been debating
 with Peter, with which I thought you agreed). If OMs are thus closed,
 then it must follow that whatever information is required to generate
 the experience of 'a given moment' (under-defined, but see below)
 *must* be contained in its entirety within *some* (but of course not
 every) OM.
 
 Were that not the case, *no* individual OM would contain all the
 elements of a coherent conscious experience, and by the same token
 *any* coherent conscious experience would necessarily have to span
 *multiple* OMs. But any such assumption - i.e. meta-assembly of data
 over multiple OMs - is precisely what we wish to rule out of our
 account. A 'successor' OM - and any conscious state dependent on it -
 must simply 'forget' anything about 'prior' OMs that is not re-encoded
 within it - beyond such encoding, everything else is simply radically
 absent. A metaphor here might be a cine-film. An OM is then a frame. If
 all you have is a single frame, then your 'experience' must be strictly
 limited to whatever is contained in that frame, unless you can somehow
 surreptitiously sneak a glance at - or recall at will - other frames.
 
  we rely on the machinery of the brain keeping track of everything to 
  generate successive
  moments of consciousness which pull everything back into coherence.
 
 Is what you say above consistent with the constraints on OMs in my
 account? I think perhaps we may intend the same thing here.
 
 This consideration, at least, strongly suggests (IMO entails) something
 entirely non-trivial about what the brain is actually doing (your
 'engineering problem'), beyond representing simple 'snapshots' from
 external input. To overcome the 'OM constraint', it needs to assemble,
 from these 'instants', 'rolling constructs', each of which encodes an
 updated version of the 'specious present', *simultaneously*
 representing multiple snapshots and their relations. It may be entirely
 owing to such 'time capsules' (as Barbour, taking this issue seriously,
 implies) that we are able to assemble and implement a dynamic
 experience of 'time'. In fact, we can be pretty sure that there is a
 brain mechanism doing something like this, because as Colin recently
 reminded us, there are syndromes that interfere with it, changing the
 'dynamic granularity' (refresh rate). So our dynamic experience - the
 'A-series' - may depend critically on such 'time-synthesising'
 mechanisms within brain structure and function, rather than mapping in
 a simple sequential way to external 'B-series' events. And this of
 course would then make sense of why such biological

RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-27 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent meeker writes:

 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
  
  
  Peter Jones writes:
  
  I think it is simpler to go back to your own clones-in-the-next-room 
  example
  rather than introducing the complication of neurophysiology (or indeed 
  physics).
  You are informed that your current stream of consciousness is either being
  generated by
 
  (a) a temporal sequence of clones, each of which lives for a second, then 
  is
  instantly killed, and replaced by the next one in the series a 
  microsecond later
 
  or
 
  (b) a spatial series of clones, each of which lives for a second, then is 
  instantly
  killed, such that the whole experiment goes for a second but uses multiple
  adjacent rooms
 
  You have to guess whether you are in experiment (a) or (b). If 
  appropriate care
  is taken to provide you with no external clues do you think you would be 
  able to
  guess the right answer with greater than 1/2 probability?
  It's quite possible that neither scenario can support a
  subjective flow of time.
  
  Here is another thought experiment. You are watching an object moving 
  against a 
  stationary background at a velocity of 10 m/s. Suddenly, the object seems 
  to instantly
  jump 10 metres in the direction of motion, and then continues as before at 
  10 m/s. You 
  are informed that one of the following three events has taken place:
  
  (a) your consciousness was suspended for 1 second, as in an absence seizure;
  
  (b) you were scanned, annihilated, and a perfect copy created in your place 
  1 second 
  later;
  
  (c) nothing unusual happened to you, but the object you were watching was 
  instantly 
  teleported 10 metres in the direction of motion.
  
  Would you be able to guess which of the three events took place?
  
  Stathis Papaioannou
 
 Sure, it was (a).  (c) violates the laws of physics.  (b) might or might not 
 be theoretically possible, but it's practically impossible.

OK, you would probably be right if you were kidnapped and subjected to this 
experiment 
tomorrow. But it's a thought experiment, and my point is that from your 
conscious 
experience alone you would be unable to distinguish between the three cases. 
Peter Jones' 
posts seem to imply that you would notice a difference.

Stathis Papaioannou
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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-26 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Peter Jones writes (quoting David Nyman):

  The key aspect is that the structure of each OM is inherently what
  might be termed a perceiver-percept dyad - that is, it must contain
  whatever process or structure is involved both in *representing* the
  available information and *responding* perceptually to it. This makes
  each dyad *informationally* closed with respect to other such dyads,
  without reference to their 'temporal' or 'spatial' separation.
 
 I don't see why. Are you saying they are still closed
 even if their information content is similar? Why should that be?
 How can I fail to have similar information content
 to myself five minutes form now? Why doesn't it apply
 spatially? Why doensnt each neuron have its own
 consciousness?
 
  Consequently, in a BU, you shouldn't expect to have an experience of:
 
   A consciousness spread across time.
 
  if by this, you mean some sort of simultaneous awareness of multiple
  'I's. This would require an extra-hypothetical 'super-I' process or
 
 There is *a* process which links spatially separated neurons
 into a single consciousness. I don't claim to know what it is.
 But if time is just like space, as the BU theory has it, why doesn't
 it apply across time.
 
   We *do* have simultaneous consciousness -- just not
   the same consciousness.
 
  Which is precisely my point. Just as you *do* have simultaneous
  consciousness of all OMs in which you are present  - just not the same
  consciousness.
 
 But the difference of your and my consiousness
 is explained by the difference in content. My consciousness
 five minutes from now cannot fail to be 99% the same as my
 consciousness
 now, information-wise.
 
   There is no logical distinction between the two cases,
  unless you are positing the existence of a soul. The distinction
  between the OMs in which the 'I' is you, and those in which the 'I' is
  me, is entirely informationally determined and delimited. There is no
  other means of differentiation.
 
 Which is precisely my point. My consciousness
 five minutes from now cannot fail to be 99% the same as my
 consciousness
 now, information-wise.

I think it is simpler to go back to your own clones-in-the-next-room example 
rather than introducing the complication of neurophysiology (or indeed 
physics). 
You are informed that your current stream of consciousness is either being 
generated by 

(a) a temporal sequence of clones, each of which lives for a second, then is 
instantly killed, and replaced by the next one in the series a microsecond later

or

(b) a spatial series of clones, each of which lives for a second, then is 
instantly 
killed, such that the whole experiment goes for a second but uses multiple 
adjacent rooms

You have to guess whether you are in experiment (a) or (b). If appropriate care 
is taken to provide you with no external clues do you think you would be able 
to 
guess the right answer with greater than 1/2 probability? 

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-26 Thread David Nyman

1Z wrote:

 I don't see why. Are you saying they are still closed
 even if their information content is similar? Why should that be?
 How can I fail to have similar information content
 to myself five minutes form now? Why doesn't it apply
 spatially? Why doensnt each neuron have its own
 consciousness?

What I mean by 'closed' is that not merely the objects of perception,
but the means of acquisition of perceptual content (i.e. the dyad), are
alike constrained by the information content - or structure - of the OM
itself. There isn't a further 'sympathetic' - or whatever - access to
information due to 'similarity' - by what process could this occur? As
to each neuron having its own 'consciousness', this is neither here nor
there - whatever could the *content* of such consciousness be? The very
point is that there must be a complex interaction, seamlessly relating
perceiver-process with percept-process (e.g. constructing memory,
representation, etc.), in order for the 'I' to emerge and coherently
assert itself. We know this from the way such processes fragment and
break down under the impact of Alzheimers and short-term memory
disfunction. Self-referential consciousness can only be sustained
through a highly organised *process*, not merely an inherent
undifferentiated quality.

So of course 'you' have similar information content 'five minutes from
now'. This is how you (and we) make the identification that this
particular 'I' is 'you' - the persistency of information through which
'you' can be tracked. It's also the only distinction between 'you' and
'me'. So for this reason there would be exactly the same argument for
(or against) 'sympathetic overlap' between OMs containing you, and
those containing me. And, interesting though this might be, personally
I fail to experience any such communion, short of this particular
channel of information that (literally) connects our respective OMs.

David


 David Nyman wrote:
  1Z wrote:
 
   Why are POV's divided temporally?. If the BU theory predicts that they
   are not, it must be rejected.
 
  I don't think this is what needs to be at issue to resolve this point.

 Well, I think it is. Perhaps you could say why it is not.

  The key aspect is that the structure of each OM is inherently what
  might be termed a perceiver-percept dyad - that is, it must contain
  whatever process or structure is involved both in *representing* the
  available information and *responding* perceptually to it. This makes
  each dyad *informationally* closed with respect to other such dyads,
  without reference to their 'temporal' or 'spatial' separation.

 I don't see why. Are you saying they are still closed
 even if their information content is similar? Why should that be?
 How can I fail to have similar information content
 to myself five minutes form now? Why doesn't it apply
 spatially? Why doensnt each neuron have its own
 consciousness?

  Consequently, in a BU, you shouldn't expect to have an experience of:
 
   A consciousness spread across time.
 
  if by this, you mean some sort of simultaneous awareness of multiple
  'I's. This would require an extra-hypothetical 'super-I' process or

 There is *a* process which links spatially separated neurons
 into a single consciousness. I don't claim to know what it is.
 But if time is just like space, as the BU theory has it, why doesn't
 it apply across time.

   We *do* have simultaneous consciousness -- just not
   the same consciousness.
 
  Which is precisely my point. Just as you *do* have simultaneous
  consciousness of all OMs in which you are present  - just not the same
  consciousness.

 But the difference of your and my consiousness
 is explained by the difference in content. My consciousness
 five minutes from now cannot fail to be 99% the same as my
 consciousness
 now, information-wise.

   There is no logical distinction between the two cases,
  unless you are positing the existence of a soul. The distinction
  between the OMs in which the 'I' is you, and those in which the 'I' is
  me, is entirely informationally determined and delimited. There is no
  other means of differentiation.

 Which is precisely my point. My consciousness
 five minutes from now cannot fail to be 99% the same as my
 consciousness
 now, information-wise.


  David
 
   David Nyman wrote:
1Z wrote:
   
 The problem is not that there would be gaps, the problem
 is that they would all be conscious simultaneously.
   
Peter, I know from the above and previous comments you have made that
this notion of multiple compresent consciousness seems to you to
contradict your own experience, but I just can't see why. The crucial
point about our 1-person experience is that it's inherently
informationally self-limiting - i.e. we can only define ourselves in
terms of whatever information we have access to from a given pov.
  
   Why are POV's divided temporally?. If the BU theory predicts that they
   are not, it must be 

Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-26 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 25-oct.-06, à 13:57, 1Z a écrit :

 Brent Meeker wrote:

 It's even more than seeing where axioms and rules of inference lead.  
 Given some axioms and rules of inference the only truths you can 
 reach are those of the form It is true that axioms = theorems.

 For formalists, all mathematical truths are of this form.



And that is why the doctrine of formalism in mathematics (or just 
number theory) is dead since Godel has proved his incompleteness 
theorem.
We definitely know today that number theoretical truth escapes all 
formal theories.

Physicists can still dream today about a formal and complete theory of 
everything-physical, but number scientist knows that the number realm 
is not completely formally unifiable.


Bruno


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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-26 Thread David Nyman

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

 (b) can't be right. However many copies of you there are, you only experience 
 being one at
 a time.

Stathis, I concur with this view, and for the reasons you give.
However, much as I hate to complicate this issue further, I wonder if
you have a view on the following. I mentioned to Peter the issue of the
destructive effect of loss of short-term memory on the coherence of
'normal' conscious processes - e.g. forgetting the beginning of a
sentence before getting to the end of it - an affliction to which I'm
not entirely a stranger myself! From this, it seems to me that the
notion of a 'state of consciousness' as being discrete with an OM, or
'time-capsule', might be overly simplistic, unless we conceive of the
necessary extent of memory as being entirely encoded in, and accessible
to, an individual OM - i.e. an OM can represent a 'fully-conscious
individual'. For that matter, what temporal duration is an OM supposed
to encompass - a 'Planck-length' instant; the entire 'specious present?
This whole issue seems to be under-defined, but the danger is that the
very notion of 'the present' might need to be treated as an emergent
from a coordinated ensemble, rather than being inherent in individual
OMs. But then what would coordinate them?

Any thoughts?

David

 Peter Jones writes:

 I don't see how a physical multiverse would be distinguishable from a 
 virtual
 reality or a mathematical reality (assuming the latter is possible, 
 for the sake
 of this part of the argument). The successive moments of your 
 conscious
 experience do not need to be explicitly linked together to flow and 
 they do
 not need to be explicitly separated, either in separate universes or 
 in separate
 rooms, to be separate.
   
I've never seen an HP universe. Yet they *must* exist in a mathematical
reality, because there are no random gaps in Platonia. Since all
mathematical
structures are exemplified, the structure corresponging to (me up till
1 second ago)
+ (purple dragons) must exist. If there is nothing
mathematical to keep out of HP universe, the fact that I have never
seen one is
evidence against a mathematical multiverse.
  
   That you don't experience HP universes is as much an argument against a 
   physical
   multiverse as it is an argument against a mathematical multiverse.
 
  Not as much. It depends on how constrained they are.
  Physical multiverses can be almost as constrained as single universes,
  or almost as unconstrained as multiverses.
 
If a physical MV
   exists, then in some branch you will encounter purple dragons in the next 
   second.
 
  With a very low measure.
 
   The fact that you don't means that either there is no physical multiverse 
   or there is
   a physical multiverse but the purple dragon experience is of low measure. 
   Similarly in
   a mathematical multiverse the HP experiences may be of low measure.
 
  Physical multiversalists can choose measure to match observation (that
  is
  basically how the SWE is arrived at). Mathematical multiversalists
  cannot choose an arbitrary measure, because nothing is arbitrary or
  contingnet
  in Platonia. Measure has to emerge naturally and necessarily for them.

 OK, if you put constraints on a physical multiverse so that it's smaller than 
 every possible
 universe.

 If you died today and just by accident a possible next
 moment of consciousness was generated by a computer a trillion years 
 in the
 future, then ipso facto you would find yourself a trillion years in 
 the future.
   
That's the whole problem. I could just as easily find myself in an HP
universe. But I never do.
  
   Not just as easily. If you are destructively scanned and a moment from 
   now 2 copies
   of you are created in Moscow and 1 copy created in Washington, you have a 
   2/3 chance
   of finding yourself in Moscow and a 1/3 chance of finding yourself in 
   Washington.
 
  What's that got to do with Platonia? Platonia contains every
  configuration of matter.
  (Snd no time). Configurations where I'm in Moscow, configurations where
  I'm in Washington,
  configurations where I'm on the moon, configurations where I'm in
  Narnia.
  There is no unaccountable fact to the effect that there is 1 copy of me
  in Moscow,
  2 in Washington, and 0 on the moon. There are no random gaps in
  Platonia.
 
  (That's the mathematical* mutiverse of course. A physical mutliverse
  is an entirely different matter).

 Suppose God took Platonia, in all its richness, and made it physical. What 
 would expect to
 experience in the next moment?

 (a) nothing
 (b) everything
 (c) something

 (a) can't be right. Although in the vast majority of universes in the next 
 moment your head
 explodes or the laws of physics change such that your brain stops working 
 (sorry), as long as
 there is at least one copy of you still conscious, you can expect to 

Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-26 Thread Bruno Marchal


Le 23-oct.-06, à 00:12, 1Z a écrit :

 Huh? Computationalism is no more able to account for
 qualia than physicalism.



Computationalism (the standard one) through my work (don't hesitate to 
criticize it) gives a precise account of qualia.
It is even a refutable theory of both quanta and qualia, given that 
quanta are shown to be sharable qualia (first person plural).
If the comp quanta behavior are shown to contradict empirical quanta, 
then that would refute the comp theory of of both qualia and quanta, 
and actually this would refute comp, even acomp (comp without yes 
doctor).

Contrarywise, everyone a bit serious in philosophy of mind agrees that 
physicalist theories have not yet succeed in just approaching or 
formulating the the qualia problem.

Bruno



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


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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-26 Thread 1Z


Bruno Marchal wrote:
 Le 25-oct.-06, à 13:57, 1Z a écrit :

  Brent Meeker wrote:
 
  It's even more than seeing where axioms and rules of inference lead.
  Given some axioms and rules of inference the only truths you can
  reach are those of the form It is true that axioms = theorems.
 
  For formalists, all mathematical truths are of this form.



 And that is why the doctrine of formalism in mathematics (or just
 number theory) is dead since Godel has proved his incompleteness
 theorem.
 We definitely know today that number theoretical truth escapes all
 formal theories.

 Physicists can still dream today about a formal and complete theory of
 everything-physical, but number scientist knows that the number realm
 is not completely formally unifiable.


 Bruno


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


Again, the kind of formalism that says
everything can be brought under a single
formal scheme (the Hilbertian
programme) is different from the kind
that says mathematical truths are dependent on axioms,
and different truths will be arrived at under different
axioms. Of course the key point  here
is different truths. Tom is not entitled to assume that
all roads lead to Rome.


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RE: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-26 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


David Nyman writes:
 
 Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 
  (b) can't be right. However many copies of you there are, you only 
  experience being one at
  a time.
 
 Stathis, I concur with this view, and for the reasons you give.
 However, much as I hate to complicate this issue further, I wonder if
 you have a view on the following. I mentioned to Peter the issue of the
 destructive effect of loss of short-term memory on the coherence of
 'normal' conscious processes - e.g. forgetting the beginning of a
 sentence before getting to the end of it - an affliction to which I'm
 not entirely a stranger myself! From this, it seems to me that the
 notion of a 'state of consciousness' as being discrete with an OM, or
 'time-capsule', might be overly simplistic, unless we conceive of the
 necessary extent of memory as being entirely encoded in, and accessible
 to, an individual OM - i.e. an OM can represent a 'fully-conscious
 individual'. For that matter, what temporal duration is an OM supposed
 to encompass - a 'Planck-length' instant; the entire 'specious present?
 This whole issue seems to be under-defined, but the danger is that the
 very notion of 'the present' might need to be treated as an emergent
 from a coordinated ensemble, rather than being inherent in individual
 OMs. But then what would coordinate them?
 
 Any thoughts?

It's certainly possible to have a very fragmented stream of consciousness. 
While 
fortunately rare these days, the most extreme forms of disorganised 
schizophrenia 
are from the patient's point of view something like having random, disconnected 
thoughts 
and perceptions without even a sense that they belong to a single enduring 
individual to 
bind them together.

I think of an OM as the shortest possible period of conscious experience, which 
would make 
its apparent duration many milliseconds. Much of the discussion in which the 
term OM is used 
could as easily (and less ambiguously) use observer-second or observer-minute 
without loss 
of the general point. Of course, hours of real time physical activity might 
have to occur for 
each subjective moment of consciousness, and those hours may be divided up into 
infinitesimals 
in a block universe, or whatever the underlying physics dictates. The OM 
concept has analogies 
with block universe models, but it is philosophically useful regardless of what 
the actual nature 
of time is.

As for memory being encoded in or accessible to an OM, that is an unnecessary 
complication. 
As you said previously, the OM's are related solely by their information 
content. If the seconds 
of your life were sliced up, shuffled and thrown to the wind, (t1) 3:10:02 PM 
of 10/10/06 would 
still subjectively follow (t2) 3:10:01 PM of 10/10/06 even though there is no 
connection or flow 
of information between them. If you look at how t1 and t2 are generated, then 
yes, there is a 
connection - they both come out of your head - but once generated, they form a 
natural sequence 
which cannot be disrupted.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Re: Numbers, Machine and Father Ted

2006-10-26 Thread 1Z


Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
 Peter Jones writes:

 I don't see how a physical multiverse would be distinguishable from a 
 virtual
 reality or a mathematical reality (assuming the latter is possible, 
 for the sake
 of this part of the argument). The successive moments of your 
 conscious
 experience do not need to be explicitly linked together to flow and 
 they do
 not need to be explicitly separated, either in separate universes or 
 in separate
 rooms, to be separate.
   
I've never seen an HP universe. Yet they *must* exist in a mathematical
reality, because there are no random gaps in Platonia. Since all
mathematical
structures are exemplified, the structure corresponging to (me up till
1 second ago)
+ (purple dragons) must exist. If there is nothing
mathematical to keep out of HP universe, the fact that I have never
seen one is
evidence against a mathematical multiverse.
  
   That you don't experience HP universes is as much an argument against a 
   physical
   multiverse as it is an argument against a mathematical multiverse.
 
  Not as much. It depends on how constrained they are.
  Physical multiverses can be almost as constrained as single universes,
  or almost as unconstrained as multiverses.
 
If a physical MV
   exists, then in some branch you will encounter purple dragons in the next 
   second.
 
  With a very low measure.
 
   The fact that you don't means that either there is no physical multiverse 
   or there is
   a physical multiverse but the purple dragon experience is of low measure. 
   Similarly in
   a mathematical multiverse the HP experiences may be of low measure.
 
  Physical multiversalists can choose measure to match observation (that
  is
  basically how the SWE is arrived at). Mathematical multiversalists
  cannot choose an arbitrary measure, because nothing is arbitrary or
  contingnet
  in Platonia. Measure has to emerge naturally and necessarily for them.

 OK, if you put constraints on a physical multiverse so that it's smaller than 
 every possible
 universe.



 If you died today and just by accident a possible next
 moment of consciousness was generated by a computer a trillion years 
 in the
 future, then ipso facto you would find yourself a trillion years in 
 the future.
   
That's the whole problem. I could just as easily find myself in an HP
universe. But I never do.
  
   Not just as easily. If you are destructively scanned and a moment from 
   now 2 copies
   of you are created in Moscow and 1 copy created in Washington, you have a 
   2/3 chance
   of finding yourself in Moscow and a 1/3 chance of finding yourself in 
   Washington.
 
  What's that got to do with Platonia? Platonia contains every
  configuration of matter.
  (Snd no time). Configurations where I'm in Moscow, configurations where
  I'm in Washington,
  configurations where I'm on the moon, configurations where I'm in
  Narnia.
  There is no unaccountable fact to the effect that there is 1 copy of me
  in Moscow,
  2 in Washington, and 0 on the moon. There are no random gaps in
  Platonia.
 
  (That's the mathematical* mutiverse of course. A physical mutliverse
  is an entirely different matter).

 Suppose God took Platonia, in all its richness, and made it physical. What 
 would expect to
 experience in the next moment?

 (a) nothing
 (b) everything
 (c) something

 (a) can't be right. Although in the vast majority of universes in the next 
 moment your head
 explodes or the laws of physics change such that your brain stops working 
 (sorry), as long as
 there is at least one copy of you still conscious, you can expect to remain 
 conscious.

 (b) can't be right. However many copies of you there are, you only experience 
 being one at
 a time. Even if one of the copies is mind-melded with others, that still 
 counts as an individual
 with more complex experiences. Moreover, it is doubtful whether an experience 
 of everything
 simultaneously - every possible thought, including all the incoherent ones - 
 is different to no
 experience at all, much as a page covered in ink contains no more information 
 than a blank
 page.

 Therefore, (c) must be right. You can expect to experience something. What is 
 it that you
 might experience, if all possibilities are actualised? What will you 
 experience if no measure is
 defined, or all the possibilities have equal measure?

But c breaks down into:
c1)  I experience something coherent that obeys the laws of
physics
and
c2) I experience wild and crazy harry Potter stuff.

The memory-traces corresponding to c2 are a possible
configuration of matter, and so must exist in Platonia. But
I only experience c1.

   It is a
   real problem to explain why the HP universes are less likely to be 
   experienced than the
   orderly ones (see chapter 4.2 of Russell Standish' book for a summary of 
   some of the
   debates on this issue), but it 

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