Re: Misc.

From: Marchal <>
Date: Fri Jan 29 08:23:05 1999

Gilles wrote:

>À (At) 12:16 +0100 28/01/99, Marchal écrivait (wrote) :
>>Put in another way : with QM you have many "worlds", but, a priori, not
>>as many than with COMP. With COMP I think we must justify, in a purely
>>non empirical way, why the vast majority of computationnal state we are
>>living seems to be quantum computationnal state.
>Bruno, that may be a big problem for your hypothesis (if I understand it
>correctly). If there are much less QM histories than computationnal
>histories, most of the computationnal histories are impossible or do not
>make sense in QM. But if our individual consciousness is a part or a bundle
>of computationnal histories, they most probably belong to those histories
>that do not make sense, if oyou vcan complete them with any possibility. So
>if we were a typical, randomly drawn consciousness, why don't we live in a
>Universe without physical laws?
>On the contrary, the (postulated) existence of physical laws can put very
>strong constraints that make the number of existing universes much less
>than the number of imaginable universes, and can be used to understand (in
>some sense) the properties of aour consciousness

Your understanding is quite correct. I do believe my reasoning could lend toward a refutation of mechanism.
But also of the strong AI thesis, and in that case, the problem is that artificial machines would also be able to make similar inferences and "correctly" infer that they are not machines !
So, I expect it will not be so easy to conclude in the falsity of COMP ...

On the other side, if we decide to keep COMP, then we get a very interesting and new formulation of the mind/body problem. We must explain why "pathological" histories are relatively rare, and we must explain why "non pathological" histories appears, from the point of view of the machine, as described by the quantum formalism. And THIS gives a hope for an explanation of the origine of physical laws ...
[... and consciousness, but this is beyond the scope of this remark, see my work].

Some people told me "You show that mechanism (= COMP) entails the (phenomenological) existence of many worlds, but we see only one world. Thus mechanism is false".
For such people, MWI could appear now as a confirmation of Mechanism.
Still, a confirmation is not a proof. And perhaps COMP is false.

To sum up : if COMP is correct, a phenomenology of QM (and physics) must be derivable from computer science.
If you want refute COMP, you will have to prove that such a phenomenology of QM is really impossible. (That is quite difficult to).

In I present some steps toward such a phenomenology.

To sum up again : I agree that the difficulty you mention is a problem for COMP. But my opinion is that it is a very interesting problem. And a solution of this problem would unify physics and computer science, and provide an original solution to the mind body problem.
Similarly, a proof that the problem has no solution, would give a refutation of mechanism.

A+ Bruno.
Received on Fri Jan 29 1999 - 08:23:05 PST

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