Re: [Fis] Physics of computing

2012-03-18 Thread Bruno Marchal

On 17 Mar 2012, at 15:56, Stanley N Salthe wrote:

Bruno -- As an idealist, I think you have it all backward!

I am not an idealist. Just a logician and an inquirer. I show that if  
you believe in a sufficient amount of arithmetic, and in the  
assumption that your (generalized) brain(*) is Turing emulable, then  
it follows that the mind body problem is two times more difficult to  
solve: not only you need some theory of mind, but you have to derive  
the beliefs in matter from it.
I don't pretend this is obvious. The key notion is the notion of 1- 
indeterminacy, which makes machines unable to know which universal  
machine computes them among an infinity of machines.

I have no clue about the truth. I assume mechanism, that is: the  
invariance of my consciousness through the digital functional  
substitution of my parts at some description level. I  show that it  
needs some revision in ... theology (to be short).

It makes mechanism also scientifically testable, by deriving physics  
from machine't theology (the argument shows that physics is uniquely  
defined), and compare with nature.

(*) The generalized brain is the portion of the physical universe that  
you have to emulate to get the existence of your consciousness  
relatively perpetuated. It exists by the comp assumption.

I would argue that cardinal numbers are the most 'crisp' entities  
that we know, and this disqualifies them or being primeval.

It is not just the number, but their additive and multiplicative  
structure. It is Turing complete. In fact any first order logical  
specification of a Turing complete structure will do.
Consciousness and matter does not depend on the choice of the initial  
universal system in the theory. I  use numbers only because most  
people are familiar with them.

 That is, I think it makes sense to see all developments as  
beginning relatively vaguely and then becoming more definite over  
time.  So, then, it will have taken these numbers a very long period  
of evolution (passing through the 'real' stage) to have become as  
definite as they are now. Or, even if cardinal numbers became quite  
crisp at the time, say, of the origin of chemistry, that too will  
have been a long way from primeval.

I can explain why numbers are confronted to the continuum, indeed also  
the physical.

The problem is that it is a long reasoning.
I don't want to impose anything, and certainly not the truth of  
mechanism, just the point that mechanism and materialism are not  
compatible, and if we bet on mechanism, the mind-body problem is  
transformed into a precise, but complex, problem in machine's  
theology, itself branch of number theory and metamathematics.

I am not sure that anything I say should change your interest or that  
it would contradict most posts here. What I am saying concerns the  
fundamental matter. There, in soccer game language, I would sum by  
Aristotle 0, Plato 1. But it is not the last match, and it changes  
only the global picture.

I share many intuitions here, and with INBIOSA, even if I start from  
what might seems a bit revulsing to many: discrete integers and number- 
crunching machines, but by taking into account the 1-view/3-view  
distinction, that we can partially formalise for machine, we can  
understand that we might have just been guilty of having developed a  
reductionist conception of numbers and machines.

Arithmetic is not just full of life. Angels, goddesses, and other  
oracles are also at play :)


On Sat, Mar 17, 2012 at 4:38 AM, Bruno Marchal  

On 16 Mar 2012, at 18:43, Guy A Hoelzer wrote:

Greetings All,

While I like to think that I am not limited to reductionistic  
thinking, I find it difficult to understand any perspective on  
information that is not limited to physical manifestation. I would  
appreciate further justification for a non-physicalist perspective  
on information.  How can something exist in the absence of physical  

If you are realist about elementary arithmetic, that is if you agree  
that elementary arithmetical proposition like 17 is prime are true  
independently of you, then, by arithmetic's Turing universality, you  
can show that the numbers exchange information relatively to  
universal numbers, which are playing the role of relative  

 I am not interested in a metaphysical perspective here, which  
might have heuristic value even if it is not 'real'.  The issue of  
'content' and 'meaning' strikes me as entirely physical, so  
mentioning those issues doesn't help me understand what non- 
physical information might be.  I would say that if information is  
physically manifested by contrasts (gradients, negentropy, …), then  
content or meaning refers to the internal dynamics of complex  
systems induced by interaction between the system and the  
physically manifested information.  If there is no affect on  
internal dynamics, then the system 

Re: [Fis] [Fwd: Re: Physics of computing]--Plamen S.

2012-03-18 Thread Steven Ericsson-Zenith

I'm with Bob on this to a point. 

Too often I see people giving information an existential status that it is not 
due. As you will recall, in my terms, information is simply a way of speaking 
about that which identifies cause and adds to knowledge, knowledge is simply 
a way a way of speaking about that which determines subsequent action. 

However, this does allow me to identify a rock as the source of information and 
to speak about its behavior in terms of its knowledge, that about its 
structure and dynamics that determine its subsequent action.

I do not use semeiosis in the universal way that I use knowledge. I could 
see it being so used only if it excludes sensory operation, since I argue for a 
role that sense plays in the behavior of living systems, and I include that 
role as distinguishing semeiosis, the term for me refers only to the sign 
processing of living systems.

With respect,

Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith
Institute for Advanced Science  Engineering

On Mar 18, 2012, at 9:30 AM, Bob Logan wrote:

 Dear Stanley - how can there be information in the abiotic world? Information 
 is the noun associated with the verb to inform or informing. A rock can not 
 be informed. An abiotic entity can not be informed. Information begins with 
 life. A bacterium can be informed but not an abiotic entity. When we look at 
 stars or the moon or a fossil, they are not information. Our interpretation 
 of the things in nature we observe, biotic or abiotic is the information. 
 Perhaps I am missing something but that is how I see things from my naive 
 point of view. The star, the moon or the fossil are not signs unless you 
 believe that God exists and he or she made these signs for us to interpret. 
 What do you mean that semiosis is a universal phenomenon? 
 best Bob
 On 2012-03-18, at 11:48 AM, Stanley N Salthe wrote:
 As my first posting for this week:
 Bob, Loet -- I respond by clarifying that my meaning in this little equation 
 is that (following Sebeok) semiosis is a universal phenomenon.  The system 
 of interpretance in my effort here is the LOCALE.  It is such locales that 
 have evolved into organisms and social systems.  In organisms and other 
 distinct systems of interpretance, the sign is the context for 
 interpretation.  So, in the little equation, I am GENERALIZING semiosis into 
 abiotic Nature.
 On Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 2:57 AM, Loet Leydesdorff 
 Dear Bob,
 Yes, I agree: the difference that makes a difference is operationally 
 generated by a receiving system; information itself is nothing but a series 
 of differences (contained in a probability distribution). The selection 
 mechanisms in the receiving systems that position the incoming uncertainty 
 have to be specified (as hypotheses). Meaningful information emerges from 
 selecting the signal from the noise.
 The meaningful information (the differences that make a difference) can 
 again be communicated as information (for example, in and among biological 
 systems). Thus, the operation is recursive and the communication / 
 autopoiesis continues. Meaning can only be communicated by systems which are 
 able to entertain a symbolic order reflexively such as human beings and in 
 interhuman discourses.
 I’ll read the book by Reading.
 Loet Leydesdorff
 Professor, University of Amsterdam
 Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR), 
 Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam. 
 Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-842239111 ; ;
 From: [] On 
 Behalf Of Bob Logan
 Sent: Saturday, March 17, 2012 10:55 PM
 To: Stanley N Salthe
 Cc: fis
 Subject: Re: [Fis] FW: [Fwd: Re: Physics of computing]--Plamen S.
 Stan - great formula but as I learned from Anthony Reading who wrote a 
 lovely book on information Meaningful Information - it is the recipient that 
 brings the meaning to the information. 
 PS My book What is Information was been translated into Portuguese and 
 published in Brazil where I am doing a 4 city, 5 university speaking tour. 
 The book has not yet appeared in English but it is scheduled to be published 
 soon by Demo press.
 Regards from Brazil - Bob
 On 2012-03-17, at 11:17 AM, Stanley N Salthe wrote:
 Concerning the meaning (or effect) of information (or constraint) in 
 general, I have proposed that context is crucial in modulating the effect -- 
 in all cases.  Thus: it would be like the logical example:
 Effect = context a   x   Constraint ^context b
 On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 2:18 PM, Christophe Menant wrote:
 Dear FISers, 
 Indeed information can be considered downwards (physical