Re: Some thoughts from Grandma

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2007 15:56:35 +0200

Le 05-juil.-07, à 17:31, David Nyman a écrit :

> On 05/07/07, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
> BM: OK. I would insist that the "comp project" (extract physics from
> comp)
> is really just a comp obligation. This is what is supposed to be shown
> by the UDA (+ MOVIE-GRAPH). Are you OK with this. It *is*
> counterintuitive.
> DN: I believe so - it's what the reductio ad absurdum of the
> 'physical' computation in the 'grandma' post was meant to show.

This was not so clear, but OK.

> My version of the 'comp obligation' would then run as follows.
> Essentially, if comp and number relations are held to be 'real in the
> sense that I am real',

I am not sure that numbers are real in the sense that "I am real",
unless you are talking of the third person "I". Then "you" are as real
as your (unknown) Godel-number.
In general, when people use the word "I" they refer to their first
person, or to first person plural feature of their "physical" body. It
is a unexpected (by me) discovery that quanta belongs to that sharable
first person view (making the comp-QM a bit more psychological than
some Many-Worlder would perhaps appreciate. So that Fuch-Pauli could be
right ... (if you know the work of Fuchs).

> then to use Plato's metaphor, it is numbers that represent the forms
> outside the cave.

OK, but not only (there are also the relations between numbers, the
relation between the relations between the numbers, etc.)

> If that's so, then physics is represented by the shadows the
> observers see on the wall of the cave. This is what I mean by
> 'independent' existence in my current dialogue with Torgny: i.e the
> 'arithmetical realism' of numbers and their relations in the comp
> frame equates to their 'independence' or self-relativity. And the
> existence of 'arithmetical observers' then derives from subsequent
> processes of 'individuation' intrinsic to such fundamental
> self-relation. Actually, I find the equation of existence with
> self-relativity highly intuitive.

OK. (Technically it is not obvious how to define in arithmetic such
self-relation: the basic tool is given by the recursion or fixed point

> BM: Then, the interview of the universal machine is "just" a way to
> do the
> extraction of physics in a constructive way. It is really the
> subtleties of the incompleteness phenomena which makes this interview
> highly non trivial.
> DN: This is the technical part. But at this stage grandma has some
> feeling for how both classical and QM narratives should be what we
> expect to emerge from constructing physics in this way.

I am not sure how could grandma have a feeling about that, except if
grandma get Church Thesis and the UDA.

> BM: There is no direct (still less one-one) correlation between the
> mental and the physical,
> that is the physical supervenience thesis is incompatible with the
> comp hyp. [A quale of a pain] felt at time t in place x, is not a
> product of the physical activity of a machine, at time t in place x.
> Rather, it is the whole quale of [a pain felt at time t in place x]
> which is associated
> with an (immaterial and necessarily unknown) computational state,
> itself related to its normal consistent computational continuations.
> <snip>
> Comp makes the "yes doctor" a gamble, necessarily. That is: assuming
> the "theory comp" you have to understand that, by saying yes to the
> doctor, you are gambling on a level of substitution. At the same time
> you make a "gamble" on the theory comp itself. There is double gamble
> here. Now, the first gamble, IF DONE AT THE RIGHT COMP SUBSTITUTION
> LEVEL, is comp-equivalent with the natural gamble everybody do when
> going to sleep, or just when waiting a nanosecond. In some sense
> "nature" do that gamble in our place all the time ... But this is
> somethjng we cannot know, still less assert in any scientific way, and
> that is why I insist so much on the "theological" aspect of comp. This
> is important in practice. It really justify that the truth of the "yes
> doctor" entails the absolute fundamental right to say NO to the
> doctor. The doctor has to admit he is gambling on a substitution
> level. If comp is
> true we cannot be sure on the choice of the subst. level.
> DN: ISTM that a consequence of the above is that the issue of
> 'substitution level' can in principle be 'gambled' on by cloning, or
> by evolution (because presumably it has been, even though we can't say
> how). But by engineering or design??? Would there ever be any
> justification, in your view, for taking a gamble on being uploaded to
> an AI program - and if so, on the basis of what theory?

Well, if you are willing to believe in "neurophilosophy", you can bet
on some high level description. If you bet on Hammerof's theory, you
have to duplicate the qunatum state of the brain (and this is of
courese not possible). I don't think we are concerned with those
practical matter. The point is just that physics appears as a sort of
sum on your lobian ignorance.

> Essentially, this is what I've been trying to get at. That is:
> assuming comp, HOW would we go about making a 'sound bet', founded on
> a specific AI theory, that some AI program instantiated by a
> 'physical' computer, will equate to the continuity of our own
> observation?

Before a long time (despite Kurzweyl) we just can do it, even at a high
level. A brain is *very* complex, for any theory. In the future people
will just bet on the available theory through some Pascal wag.
It is possible that there is some "zombie" gap, and that the first
person having an artificial brain will not be conscious ... (I doubt
this, but apparently the lobian machine say so .... according to the
definition I gave).

> The second question I have is summarised in my recent posts about
> 'sense and 'action'.

What you say is interesting, but honestly I am far from extracting
notion like "action" in the lobian frame. I have no time, nor space,
just bit of promising algebra confirming the quantum principle.

> Essentially, I've been trying to postulate that the correlation of
> consciousness and physics is such that the relations between both sets
> of phenomena are a necessary entailment, not an additional
> assumption. ISTM that this is essential to avoid all the nonsense
> about zombies.

As I said this is a point where I would like to disagree with the
lobian machine. The fact is that even the lobian machine warns us on
the possibility of zombie. Certainly the current artificial cops on the
road are zombie. Tomorrow we will be able to build artificial skin for
androids capable of making us believe they are normal humans citizens,
... We should distinguish "local zombie" which are capable to fail you
during some finite time, and "theoretical global zombie" which are
capable to fail you, in principle, for ever (like Torgny try to make us
believe he belongs too: nobody can prove him wrong).

> And not only this, but to show that the reciprocity between experience
> - e.g. suffering - and behaviour (indeed the whole entailment of
> 'intentionality') is a necessary consequence of fundamental
> self-relation (arithmetical relations, in the comp frame).

I am not sure about that. Again you develop your intuition where I am
force to ask the machine, and I am far away to tackle a notion like
"behavior", except in very rough way (where a behavior would be defined
by a generable set of input-outputs).
Are you considering neural processing as a behavior?
Are you considering that some platonic and static relations between
numbers can be seen as behavior?

> Now, my attempt to do this has been to postulate that 'sense' and
> 'action' are simply observer-related aspects of a non-decomposable
> fundamental self-relation, which in the comp frame would equate to a
> set of number-relations. But ISTM that for this to be true, the
> observer and physical narratives would somehow need to follow an
> 'identical' or isomorphic trajectory for their invariant relation to
> emerge in the way that it seems to. Do you think that this idea has
> any specific sense or relevance in the comp frame?

Given that the physical is defined by the invariant of the observable,
it would be a pity not having such invariant, but I am a bit prisoner
of my methodology here. Feel free to pursue your intuitive exploration.

> BM: Does this help? I assert some propositions without justifying
> them,
> because the justification are both already on the list, or in my
> papers. But, please, don't hesitate to ask for more if interested. From
> what I understand about your intuition, you are quite close to the
> "natural first person discourse" of the lobian machine. And the closer
> you are, the more severe my comments will be on the details, so please
> indulge my critical way of talking ...
> Yes, absolutely! I feel I'm making progress in resolving some of the
> ambiguity in my understanding, so be as severe as necessary, cher
> maitre.

Recall that the nameable lobian master always insist on "I will say a
stupidity or I could say a stupidity" (is that english?)



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Received on Fri Jul 06 2007 - 09:56:46 PDT

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