Re: UDA revisited

From: Colin Geoffrey Hales <>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 18:16:29 +1100 (EST)

> I have never heard of your "virtual theorems" before

I sent an early version of it to you over a year ago.

> , but assuming
> they're analogous to the implied computations that occur in your CA
> example, the difference would be the other way around. A UD will
> actually compute all these implied computations, whereas they are only
> virtual with respect to a direct computation.

I must be missing something. Perhaps it's a subtly to so with assumptions
about what constitutes computation. The point is that 'computing' it using
an abstraction in the UD kills any 'what it is like'. The virtual theorems
= virtual matter are gone, along with the matter. It will only ever be
like a UDA piece of hardware to be a UDA, because it's not doing the
computation with that IS 'the stuff'.

> So you could make a statement that the difference between living in a
> direct computation and living in a UD is that in the direct
> computation there isn't this "blizzard of virtual theorems". But
> there is another difference, as pointed out by Bruno - in a UD, first
> person histories are non-deterministic. The point has been well argued
> in this list as to whether this is significant or not (I for one happen to
> think it is significant).

So what? That just sounds like COMP-speak. It means nothing to me. I
expect all matter to be governed, deep down, by profound unpredictability.
It doesnlt matter whether it's real or virtual matter or what role its
playing. The UDA simulated matter erg the 'first person' you point at in
the UDA is just an artefact. No actual experience, no ability to do
science on the naturasl world outside the UDA because it's not even in the

> Finally, there is a problem that UDs are far simpler programs than the
> one implementing our universe, so assuming they exist (which they do
> by virtue of computationalism), we are far more likely to find
> ourselves in a UD than in a simple direct computation.

Another misunderstanding? In my thinking there is no 'program' running our
universe. The matter is computation. An atom is a running proof in the
computation that is reality.

>> The story is bigger than this in that I hold the virtual theorems to be
>> the substrate for subjective experience....but my claims in this regard
>> do
> Interesting claim. And if what I stated above holds, it meshes quite
> nicely with the view that counterfactuals are essential for conscious
> experience.

We don't have to take this claim any further. It has a lot of good things
going for it - including me pointing at exactly where it happens and how
it happens in brain material ansd why it needs to happen. But I'd like to
leave it aside whilst we have this issue of virtual theorems out.

I am not convinced at all that the UDA has anything other than 'as-if'
constructs, none of which have any real experiential qualities whatever.
Today I proved mathematically that zombies cannot do science. The capacity
to do science is the key to it. The UDA cannot do science (is a zombie).

I'll cogitate and see if I can work out another way of approaching the issue.

colin hales

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Received on Mon Nov 20 2006 - 02:16:53 PST

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