Re: BLOCK-MIND (My comments to your FOR posts) Was: Free-Will

From: 1Z <>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2008 07:04:11 -0700 (PDT)

On 5 Oct, 16:34, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
> Dear Henry, Charles and Peter,
> Apparently my messages did not go through to the FOR-LIST, I can
> understand because it could be slightly too technical for FOR. I let
> you know my comments, and send it in cc to the everything-list in case
> you want reply. We are used to discuss those matter there. Please
> don't reply personally because I try to limit the personal
> correspondences which force me to explain the same things to many
> people. Not only I have not the times, but it makes me forget what I
> say to who. Anyway, thanks for the interest.
> ------------------
> 1) Post to Henry. The message got a new title-thread: Block-Mind (was:
> Free-will)
> Henry Sturman wrote:
> > >How would an immaterial machine distinguish between a computation and
> > >a material computation? What does matter add?
> > I would think something has to *perform* the computation. For
> > example, how can a computer program be executed without hardware?
> A computer program can be defined mathematically. And, like number (or
> tuple of numbers) can be associated with position in physics, computer
> program can be associated with number in computer science. Roughly
> speaking by their encodings.
> A computer program execution can be defined mathematically too. Like a
> sequence of numbers, or a function, can be associated to movement in
> physics, a computer execution can be defined by a sequence of numbers,
> or an equivalence relation on the set of such sequences.
> > >Have you a problem with the physicist notion of block universe, where
> > >time does not "really" exist.
> > No.
> That is helpful. Now it is "just a bit of technic" to realize that a
> tiny part of arithmetic encodes all by itself a "block-mind", once you
> assume the computationalist hypothesis. All the stopping and non
> stopping program executions are encoded in the arithmetical truth. So
> we can define an inside point of view by the relative execution of
> programs existing in arithmetic. It gives a multilayered complex
> structure.
> Not attibuting mind to the entities appearing there, which look like
> you and me here and now, makes such complex structure full of zombies.
> A priori there will be too much executions (the white rabbits).
> Perhaps even so much that the comp hyp would lead to a contradiction.
> Empirically, quantum mechanics entails also a class of quantum white
> rabbits or some quantum Harry Potter histories, but quantum mechanics
> does provide an explanation why those (quantum) rabbits are relatively
> very rare.
> > We don't need real space or time, because these are only abstract
> > notions specifying the relation between physical/material objects.
> > But the objects themselves are real, have to be real. For if they are
> > not real, then we are left with nothing.
> I think we are left with numbers' dreams. Third person realness
> *feelings* develops from or in bunches of very long histories, which
> are relatively so numerous and entangled that we can share them. No
> doubt we share a very long (cosmic) history. But, assuming the comp
> hyp, we have no ways to distinguish "real" from "virtual", nor
> "virtual" from arithmetical. We cannot know if we are in a block-mind
> or a block-universe. (But they cannot both be computable)
> The fact that we cannot make such a distinction is the result of the
> "movie-graph" argument. Latter Tim Maudlin has found independently an
> argument which shows basically the same thing, and put a serious doubt
> to the identity thesis in the computationalist philosophy of mind.
> Note that the identity thesis is already in difficult position in most
> "Everett-like interpretation" of QM.
> > According to :
> > >In <>philosophy, mechanism is
> > >a theory that all natural
> > >phenomena can be explained by physical causes.
> To be short I will say Wikipedia is wrong: the idea that all natural
> phenomena can be explained by physical laws is physicalism (or
> materialism, or naturalism. Not mechanism).
> Mechanism is an assumption in the philosophy of mind, or in cognitive
> science. It is the assumption that "I" am a machine. And digital
> mechanism (in the weak sense I am most of the time using) is that my
> consciousness is "Turing emulable". It means that my consciousness can
> be processed through a computer program execution.
> For the reason above, the computer execution does not have to be real
> or virtual. It can be purely arithmetical. From the point of view of
> the program which is executed, there is no possible difference.
> Actually the program is "statically" executed almost everywhere in the
> block-mind structure.
> I am aware that mechanism is the usual theory of mind of the
> naturalist/physicalist. And indeed physicalism implies reasonably
> mechanism (unless you believe in the wave packet reduction or some
> other "collective hallucinations" (Feynman). This explains probably
> the confusion between mechanism and physicalism.
> But you better should not confuse them, because *digital* mechanism
> entails the falsity of physicalism. Or equivalently, physicalism
> entails the falsity of digital mechanism, or equivalently digital
> mechanism and physicalism are incompatible. By logic alone "I" or "the
> universe" cannot be completely described in term of a digital machine.
> This shows also that physicalism cannot really entails digital
> mechanism, without being inconsistent.
> I am not pretending at all that this is completely obvious. It *is* a
> bit work demanding of course.
> > So mechanism implies physical causes, which implies material. And yet
> > you deny material. So it doesn't seem comp is a form of mechanism.
> OK, but digital mechanism implies only arithmetical causes (like 4
> divides n implies that 2 divides n).
> Physical causes emerge in the mind of the arithmetical observers, in
> some sense.
> This emergence is not a purely statistical emergence, but a mixture of
> statistical emergence (due to the first person (plural) indeterminacy
> bearing on the universal dovetailing or on any block-mind structure),
> and of an emergence from that "block-mind structure" which is
> constrained non trivially by computer science. See below for
> Mandelbrot Set videos. They are probable block-mind structure.
> Everett Deutch Zurek explanation of bit (mind) from qubit (matter)
> remains correct, but if we take mechanism seriously enough we can see
> that such an explanation has a reverse, i.e. an explanation of qubit
> (matter) from bit (mind). But the reverse makes the explanation richer
> by "explaining" consciousness, "free-will", "infinities" ... and this
> by the fact, that computer science can explain how and why universal
> machine can be "aware" of the presence of something they cannot be
> entirely aware of, and other things of that kind. This has been
> already well understood mathematically by Emil Post, Gödel at the very
> beginning (but he will forget later) and Judson Webb. Thist is missed
> by Lucas and Penrose, for example. Universal Machine can prove their
> own incompleteness theorem. When consistent, it is easy
> (computationally) for them to infer correctly their intrinsical
> ignorance, indeterminacy, etc. For them universe(s) are first of all
> big unknown thing(s).
> This is an important FOR topics, imo, if a bit critical certainly, in
> the sense that it shows that David has not pushed the Turing thread as
> far as taking the comp hyp seriously *enough*. No physicists does
> that, actually, but David is the closer, well, after J.A. Wheeler.
> Digitalism provides also an explanation why, if we look at ourselves
> close enough, we should have indirect evidence of many computations/
> histories/worlds. Indeed, up to now, the comp hyp is still a priory
> too much many-wordly. But QM fits better than Newton in that regard.
> Digital Mechanism could be wrong, of course, but the "easy white
> rabbit refutation" is blocked by the non triviality of mathematical
> computer science. It is a priori too much many-wordly, but no more
> easily prove to be so.
> *I* could be wrong too, of course. That why I have submit this work as
> a thesis, or as papers, and although there are few people courageous
> enough to study such an extreme interdisciplinary subject, (which
> traverses cognitive science/philosophy of mind, physics, computer
> science, mathematical logic), those who have done so either get the
> point, or get the idea that it could be interesting to find precisely
> where an error could be.
> As a possible help for having some idea or image of the "block-mind"
> or Universal Deployment, and its non triviality, you could perhaps
> take a look on the Mandelbrot Set.
> Penrose has conjectured that the Mandelbrot set in undecidable (in a
> sense close to Turing), and this has been proved by Blum, Smale and
> Shub. Well, much before Penrose I have made a stronger assumption
> which is that the Mandelbrot set is "creative" in the sense of Post.
> That means mainly "Turing-Universal". I am still conjecturing this.
> If that is true, the Mandelbrot set would give a compact and connexe
> plane representation of the "block-mind", or of the Universal
> Deployment.
> So you could contemplate those beautiful movies below, bearing in mind
> they give only a third person view of the block-mind.
> Unlike the Universe of Sets, or even the possible physical universe
> (in most current theories), the block-mind *does* contain itself or
> versions of itself, indeed with all possible variations.
> You will see that this is indeed the case for the Mandelbrot Set.
> Indeed, the Mandelbrot Set contains itself everywhere. Note that each
> of the following are generated by a very simple program (mainly an
> interation of z := z^2 + C, for each C in the complex plane and
> deciding if it goes to infinity or not) + zooming on the result. The
> border of the set is infinitely intricate and "complex" (sorry for the
> pun). The color measures the quickness of the way you go to infinity
> in that iteration, and it measures in that way how close you are to
> the Mandelbrot set.
> Look at those instructive little musical pieces of art:
> I hope this could help in this highly difficult subject.
> Bruno
> -------------------------------
> 2) Message to Charles:
> On 29 Sep 2008, at 23:40, Charles Goodwin wrote:
> > > From: [mailto:Fabric-of-
> > >] On Behalf Of Henry Sturman
> > > And how do natural laws arise from numbers? How do h, c and other
> > > physical constants arise out of numbers? Would not many different
> > > worlds with different laws be consistent with numbers? Or is that
> > > what you are arguing? A sort of plentitude? But in any case, can you
> > > give an example of how a physical process arises from integers? It
> > > seems integers is just a list of numbers increasing 1 at a time.
> > > That's not very complicated. How do we get from something as simple
> > > as counting numbers to, say, the law of Gravity? Or a molecule? Your
> > > theory seems rather abstract, and it would be more helpful if your
> > > explanations were more specific. And how does the mere existence of
> > > numbers create reality? If I write 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. on a piece of
> > > paper, surely that doesn't create a reality? Again I come back the
> > > the issue, there must be some kind of hardware, matter, physical
> > > stuff, some sort of stuff, which actually *runs* the processes which
> > > are hapening in reality?
> > I too would love to hear an answer to this. Of course I believe we are
> > dealing with numbers so large that they couldn't even be written
> > down - even
> > a formula to generate them couldn't be, in fact. Perhaps those sorts
> > of
> > numbers look like reality when seen from inside...?
> I would say it is more due to the fact that little numbers can
> generate complex gigantic realities.
> The big numbers are more in the generation steps than in the original
> seed. Stable realities should be filtered from inside.
> Digitalness prevents the need of time, the digital notion of step (a
> cousin of the function n+1) is enough.
> It is also more in the many relations between numbers than in the
> numbers themselves.
> See my hopefully not too much lengthy answer to Henry. It is a
> delicate point.
> Bruno
> ---------------
> 3) Message to Peter
> On 30 Sep 2008, at 19:08, Peter D Jones wrote:
> > No form of arithmetic proves Platonism.
> In the premisses I am using platonism, not Platonism. In the
> conclusion something akin to some text of Plato appears, but in the
> conclusion only.
> platonism (with a little "p") is just that we accept the principle of
> excluded middle in arithmetic. It is the usual platonism of the
> working mathematician.
> > Here's the error: substitutible doesn't mean substituted,
> > and here is no first-peson inderminacy wihout actual substitution.
> Once comp is assumed, it can be shown that "substituted" means
> "substitutible from inside". Like "real" means "possible from inside".
> Like "now" means "sometime from inside". It is an indexical and
> relative notion. I don't say that this is obviously so. It come from
> the fact, that, as I said to Henry, machine cannot distinguish "real"
> from "virtual", from "arithmetical". See my url for detailed
> explanations.
> Bruno
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Received on Wed Oct 08 2008 - 10:04:25 PDT

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