Re: UDA revisited

From: Colin Geoffrey Hales <>
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 12:49:13 +1100 (EST)

<snip de moi>

>> That is, the assumption that zombies are functionally identical. I can
show that a zombie cannot be physically identical because to get a
>> you have to alter the brain. Everything else stays the same. As a result,
>> the functional defininitive benchmark behaviour "scientific behaviour",
cannot be done by a zombie. (see below)
> In that case, you have proved by contradiction that zombies don't exist.
A very different result. I believe that is already a known result within
computationalism, although I'm no expert in these
> matters. However, since I'm not sure you start from computationalism, it
may well be a new result anyway.

Of course this will depend on the definition of computationalism. My only
characterisation is that STUFF (my noun that of which which all is made)
literally is computation. Not an abstraction running on a substrate made
of STUFF. In that context, if a UD was to be reified, then the UD and
everything hooked to it are literally a computation in STUFF that is doing
an abstracted computation.

>> <snip>....nobody has ever said UD's are conscious. If computationalism
>> > is true, then they are executing conscious programs, but they're not
conscious themselves.
>> >
>> Then what use is the UD? If I embody something with a UD (assuming the
computational grunt (and requisite sensing) can be built with the STUFF
(this is the noun I will use to mean a chunk of the natural world) then
the UD cannot do science on the natural world. It doesn;t even know
>> in the natural world. It does science on regularities sensory feeds. It
would look bizarre to us and perform no useful function wahtever.
>> perhaps as a metaphor to use to discuss our place in the real
>> universe,
The UD is a very simple program that executes all programs
"concurrently" (by which I mean that all programs will have a finite
number of steps executed within a finite number of steps of the UD
executed, not that there is an external time in which the programs
execute simultaneously).

Assuming computationalism, some of these computations will correspond
to conscious machines and all possible input tapes. There is some
debate as to whether a machine with no input tape can truly be
conscious - I don't think there can be, as there is no self/other

Taking my POV that input tapes are essential, then the UD cannot be
conscious itself (as it has no input tape), nor can the Multiverse. I
don't think the universe is conscious either - only small bits of
it. Most of the universe is input tape.

This is perhaps only a definitional nuance, but I don't think it is useful
to call an inputless machine conscious. What do others think?
The UD without embodiment is not in our universe. I don;t know where it
is...the universe of the platonic realm used for the abstractions. It may
be able to say something about the platonic realm. Very interesting
but...then what?

If you then embody the UD with a 'tape'(IN and OUT = sensory/actuation)
you have a device that has no idea of how the real universe works trying
to make sense out of it when all its knowledge it has is of a different
universe. It has no awareness of our universe ...indeed no real awareness
of anything at all.

My benchmark behaviour - scientific behaviour - is the key to enabling a
structured analysis of the situation. This behaviour is the only behaviour
where phenomenasl life is translated unambigously into something verified
(a natural law) outside the scientist, which other scientists can use. You
can't get a zombie to play a tennis match with the scientist and prove
anything. :-) However you can present the zombia and the scientist with
the same exquisite novelty and see which one gets to the law of nature
characterising it. The zombie will fail, predictably. Indeed the failure
of the zombie in this circumstance is the proof that phenomenal
consciousness exists and is necessary for scientific behaviour.

So if the UD is a zombie?..... ergo... what? COMP is false? have to think
about that.

...back to the paper....nearly there...

cheers, colin

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Received on Mon Nov 20 2006 - 20:50:01 PST

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