Re: UDA revisited

From: Colin Geoffrey Hales <>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2006 17:09:16 +1100 (EST)

In-Reply-To: <>
> Le 24-nov.-06, ࠰5:48, Colin Geoffrey Hales a dit :
>> I agree very 'not interesting' ... a bit like saying "assuming comp"
endlessly.....and never being able to give it teeth.
> I guess you don't know about my work (thesis). I know there are
> some "philosopher" who considers it controversial, but it is
> not a work in philosophy (in the current usage in europa at
> least) and nothing in it is "third person" controversed
> actually (to my knowledge). Comp makes the physical science
> emerging from number theory, and I show how to make the
> derivation constructively, by interviewing an arithmetically
> sound "platonist" universal machine. The term "platonist"
> can be used in the formal sense that the machine asserts
> (A v ~A) for any arithmetical propositions.
> And this makes comp (actually a weaker form of comp)
> empirically falsifiable.
I know your work is mathematics, not philosophy. Thank goodness! I can see
how your formalism can tell you 'about' a universe. I can see how
inspection of the mathematics tells a story about the view from within and
without. Hypostatses and all that. I can see how the whole picture is
constructed of platonic objects interacting according to their innate
It is the term 'empirically falsifiable' I have trouble with. For that to
have any meaning at all it must happen in our universe, not the universe
of your formalism. A belief in its falsifiability of a formalism that does
not map to anything we can find in our universe is problematic.
In the platonic realm of your formalism arithmetical propositions of the
form (A v ~A) happen to be identical to our empirical laws:
"It is an unconditional truth about the natural world that either (A is
true about the natural world) or (A is not true about the natural world)"
(we do the science dance by making sure A is good enough so that the NOT
clause never happens and voila, A is an an empirical 'fact')
Call me thick but I don't understand how this correspondence between
platonic statements and our empirical method makes comp falsifiable in our
universe. You need to map the platonic formalism to that which drives our
reality and then say something useful we can test.You need to make a claim
that is critically dependent on 'comp' being true.
I would suggest that claim be about the existence or otherwise of
phenomenal consciousness would be the best bet.
There is another more subtle psychological issue in that a belief that
comp is empirically testable in principle does not entail that acting as
if it were true is valid. Sometimes I think that is what is going on
around here.
Do you have any suggested areas where comp might be tested and have any
ideas what the test might entail?
>> ... I am more interested in proving scientists aren't/can't be
>> zombies....that it seems to also challenge computationalism
>> in a certain sense... this is a byproduct I can't help,
>> not the central issue.
> I can have a lot of sympathy for an argument showing that
> science cannot be done without consciousness (I personaly
> do believe this!). But if the byproduct is that machine
> cannot be conscious, then I think it will make your argument
> far less interesting, and, by Church thesis, necessarily
> non effective (if it was a machine would be able to produce
> it). Actually, the acomp hypostases can already been used
> to explain why machines will develop argument why their
> own consciousness are special and cannot be attached to
> any describable machine in a provable way (and they will
> be 1-correct!!!). It is the diabolical (somehow godelian)
> prediction of comp: machines will not believe in comp,
> just bet on it in some circumstance.
Conscious machines will happen. And it will be very very
interesting...With any luck it'll be me who does it. It's my mission. My
What I contend is that abstract computation alone will not do it. Part of
the machine physics, apart from being able to shuffle charge around in
accordance to the symbols, is to ALSO attach the physics of experience.
(Is this what COMP is pointing to?). Then the machines will have
phenomenal consciousuness and as a result be a whole bunch more adaptable
and smart. And get seats on planes.
At that time (a few years.. 10 max?) I'll be able to test comp for real in
teeny weeny scientists. My prediction is comp is false in our universe,
but true in the platonic realm where existence and computation of
abstractions are identities. That is not our universe, IMO, where
'existence' is 'computation of/by <blah>' and the 'blah' is not nice neat
mathematical ideals. Depicting it with platonic ideals is very useful and
informative...but that's as far as it goes.
That's my agricultural, engineers expectation....
> In a preceding post you wrote:
>>> Bruno: I would separate completely "computations" which
>>> is an absolute notion (at least with Church thesis),
>>> and "proof" which has sense only relatively to the choice
>>> of a formal system, or theory, or machine.
>> OK. It tend to mix them without thinking...The process is
>> mixed in my mind. It could be because I can see reality
>> as a formal system.
> The distinction between computability and provability is
> fundamental for the AUDA. Alas, you are not the only one
> who miss the distinction, but explanation of this has to
> be a bit more technical. I have already attempted some
> explanation, but it is perhaps too hard to convey in a
> non technical list. I don't know, presently.
It is something I am working on. Any light you can shed on it I'd greatly
> Now, seeing reality as a formal system ? that does not
> make sense for me. Arithmetical reality is already beyond
> all formal systems except infinite "divine" one like the
> An-omega angels (which in their
> analytical context suffer the same limitations, and obeys
> too to G and G*, cf Boolos 93).
> Bruno
I have no clue what the quotes re angels and G etc are about. However,
once you can accept 'wild-type' naturally occuring primitive "objects" as
available (as opposed to idealised platonic realm primitives like integers
with nice neat relationships) then their inter-relatedness is a formal
system in the same way that platonic realm objects are. An actual instance
of them is axioms. 'Computation' and theorem proving from this axiom set
is what the universe literally least that is how I like to think
of it. It's just very very messy. In local descriptions from within we
scientists can map it into the idealised form - very useful to understand
things, but not saying anything about what the universe is made of. The
idealised realm helps us make conceptual sense.. but no more.
I think of it like lab mice and lab flies. You make them (phenotype them)
and then you get nice neat behaviour (idealised), which you then can use
to contrast with the 'wild-type', which is out of your control, messy and
mysterious (which is why you're doing it in the first place!).
Maybe that's a poor analogy. :-)
Colin Hales
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Received on Sun Nov 26 2006 - 01:09:53 PST

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