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From: Abram Demski <abramdemski.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 22:21:05 -0500

Bruno,

Thanks for the references.

--Abram

ps- it is final exam crunch time, so I haven't been checking email so

much as usual... I may get around to more detailed replies et cetera

this weekend or next week.

On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 1:12 PM, Bruno Marchal <marchal.domain.name.hidden.ac.be> wrote:

*>
*

*> On 07 Dec 2008, at 06:19, Abram Demski wrote:
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*>
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*> Bruno,
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*>
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*> Yes, I think there is a big difference between making an argument more
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*> detailed and making it more understandable. They can go together or be
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*> opposed. So a version of the argument targeted at my complaint might
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*> not be good at all pedagogically...
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*>
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*> I would be pleased if you can give me a version of MAT or MEC to which
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*>
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*> the argument does not apply. For example, the argument applies to most
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*>
*

*> transfinite variant of MEC. It does not apply when some "magic" is
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*>
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*> introduced in MAT, and MAT is hard to define in a way to exclude that
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*>
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*> magic. If you can help, I thank you in advance.
*

*>
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*> My particular brand of "magic" appears to be a requirement of
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*> counterfactual/causal structure that reflects the
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*> counterfactual/causal structure of (abstract) computation.
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*>
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*> Sometimes I think I should first explain what a "computation" is. I take it
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*> in the sense of theoretical computer science, a computation is always define
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*> relatively to a universal computation from outside, and an infinity of
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*> universal computations from inside. This asks for a bit of computer science.
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*> But there is not really "abstract computation", there are always relative
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*> computation (both with comp and Everett QM). They are always concrete
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*> relatively to the universal machine which execute them. The starting point
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*> in no important (for our fundamental concerns), you can take number with
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*> addition and multiplication, or lambda terms with abstraction and
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*> application.
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*> Stathis has
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*> pointed out some possible ways to show such ideas incoherent (which I
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*> am not completely skeptical of, despite my arguments).
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*>
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*> I appreciate.
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*>
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*>
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*> Since this type
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*> of theory is the type that matches my personal intuition, MGA will
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*> feel empty to me until such alternatives are explicitly dealt a
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*> killing blow (after which the rest is obvious, since I intuitively
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*> feel the contradiction in versions of COMP+MAT that don't require
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*> counterfactuals).
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*>
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*> Understanding UD(1...7) could perhaps help you to figure out what happens
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*> when we abandon the physical supervenience thesis, and embrace what remains,
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*> if keeping comp, that is the comp supervenience. It will explain how the
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*> physical laws have to emerge and why we believe (quasi-correctly) in brains.
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*> Of course, as you say, you'd be in a hard spot if you were required to
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*> deal with every various intuition that anybody had... but, for what
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*> it's worth, that is mine.
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*>
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*>
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*> I respect your intuition and appreciate the kind attitude. My feeling is
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*> that if front of very hard problems we have to be open to the fact that we
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*> could be surprised and that truth could be counterintuitive. The
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*> incompleteness phenomena, from Godel and Lob, are surprising and
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*> counterintuitive, and in the empirical world the SWE, whatever
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*> interpretation we find more plausible, is always rather counterintuitive
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*> too.
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*> I interpret the "self-referentially correct scientist M" by the logic of
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*> Godel's provability predicates beweisbar_M. But the intuitive knower, the
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*> first person, is modelled (or defined) by the Theatetus trick: the machine M
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*> knows p in case "beweisbar_M('p') and p". Although extensionally equivalent,
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*> their are intensionally different. They prove the same arithmetical
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*> propositions, but they obey different logics. This is enough for showing
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*> that the first person associated with the self-referentially correct
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*> scientist will already disbelieve the comp hypothesis or find it very
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*> doubtful. We are near a paradox: the correct machine cannot know or believe
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*> their are machine. No doubt comp will appear counterintuitive for them. I
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*> know it is a sort of trap/ the solution consists in admitting that comp
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*> needs a strong act of faith, and I try to put light on the consequences for
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*> a machine, when she makes the bet.
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*>
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*> The best reference on the self-reference logics are
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*> Boolos, G. (1979). The unprovability of consistency. Cambridge University
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*> Press, London.Boolos, G. (1993). The Logic of Provability. Cambridge
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*> University Press, Cambridge.Smoryński, P. (1985). Self-Reference and Modal
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*> Logic. Springer Verlag, New York.Smullyan, R. (1987). Forever Undecided.
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*> Knopf, New York.
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*>
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*> The last one is a recreative book, not so simple, and rather quick in the
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*> "heart of the matter" chapter. Smullyan wrote many lovely books, recreative
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*> and technical on that theme.
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*> The bible, imo, is Martin Davis book "The undecidable" which contains some
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*> of the original papers by Gödel, Church, Kleene, Post and indeed the most
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*> key starting points of the parts of theoretical computer science we are
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*> confonted to. It has been reedited by Dover.
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*> Bruno
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*> Other references here:
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*> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/lillethesis/these/node79.html#SECTION001300000000000000000
*

*>
*

*> --Abram
*

*>
*

*> On Sat, Dec 6, 2008 at 9:32 AM, Bruno Marchal <marchal.domain.name.hidden.ac.be> wrote:
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*>
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*>
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*> Le 05-déc.-08, à 22:11, Abram Demski a écrit :
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*>
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*>
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*> Bruno,
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*>
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*> Perhaps all I am saying is that you need to state more explicitly the
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*>
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*> assumptions about the connection between 1st and 3rd person, in both
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*>
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*> MEC and MAT. Simply taking them to be the general ideas that you take
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*>
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*> them to be does not obviously justify the argument.
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*>
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*>
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*> I don't see why nor how. The first person notions are defined in the
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*>
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*> three first steps of the UDA. Wait I come back on this in the
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*>
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*> discussion with Kim perhaps. In AUDA I define the first person by the
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*>
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*> "knower", and I use the classical definition proposed by Theaetetus in
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*>
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*> the Theaetetus of Plato. Keep in mind that you arrived when I was
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*>
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*> explaining the real last step of an already long argument.
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*>
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*> Of course you may be right, and I would really appreciate any
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*>
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*> improvements. But making things more precise could also be a red
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*>
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*> herring sometimes, or be very confusing pedagogically, like with the
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*>
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*> easy 1004 fallacy which can obviously crop here.
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*>
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*> When I defended the thesis in France, it was already a work resulting
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*>
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*> from 30 years of discussions with open minded physicists, engineers,
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*>
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*> philosophers and mathematicians, and I have learned that what seems
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*>
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*> obvious for one of them is not for the others.
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*>
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*> I don't think there is anything controversial in my work. I got
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*>
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*> academical problems in Brussels for not having find an original result
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*>
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*> (but then I think they did not read the work). Pedagogical difficulties
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*>
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*> stem from the intrinsical difficulty of the mind body problem, and from
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*>
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*> the technical abyss between logicians and physicists to cite only them.
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*>
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*> It is more easy to collide two protons at the speed of light (minus
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*>
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*> epsilon) than to arrange an appointment between mathematical logicians
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*>
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*> and mathematical physicists (except perhaps nowadays on quantum
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*>
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*> computing issues thankfully).
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*> Furthermore, stating the assumptions more clearly will make it more
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*>
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*> clear where the contradiction is coming from, and thus which versions
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*>
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*> of MEC and MAT the argument applies to.
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*>
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*> I would be pleased if you can give me a version of MAT or MEC to which
*

*>
*

*> the argument does not apply. For example, the argument applies to most
*

*>
*

*> transfinite variant of MEC. It does not apply when some "magic" is
*

*>
*

*> introduced in MAT, and MAT is hard to define in a way to exclude that
*

*>
*

*> magic. If you can help, I thank you in advance.
*

*>
*

*> Bruno
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*>
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*>
*

*>
*

*> --Abram
*

*>
*

*> On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 4:36 AM, Bruno Marchal <marchal.domain.name.hidden.ac.be>
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*>
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*> wrote:
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*>
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*>
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*> On 04 Dec 2008, at 15:58, Abram Demski wrote:
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*>
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*>
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*> PS Abram. I think I will have to meditate a bit longer on your
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*>
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*> (difficult) post. You may have a point (hopefully only pedagogical
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*>
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*> :)
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*>
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*> A little bit more commentary may be in order then... I think my point
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*>
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*> may be halfway between pedagogical and serious...
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*>
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*> What I am saying is that people will come to the argument with some
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*>
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*> vague idea of which computations (or which physical entities) they
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*>
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*> pick out as "conscious". They will compare this to the various
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*>
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*> hypotheses that come along during the argument-- MAT, MEC, MAT + MEC,
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*>
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*> "Lucky Alice is conscious", "Lucky Alice is not conscious", et
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*>
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*> cetera... These notions are necessarily 3rd-person in nature. It
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*>
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*> seems
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*>
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*> like there is a problem there. Your argument is designed to talk
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*>
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*> about
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*>
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*> 1st-person phenomena.
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*>
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*> The whole problem consists, assuming hypotheses, in relating 1-views
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*>
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*> with 3-views.
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*>
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*> In UDA, the 1-views are approximated by 1-discourses (personal diary
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*>
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*> notes, memories in the brain, ...). But I do rely on the minimal
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*>
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*> intuition needed to give sense to the willingness of saying "yes" to a
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*>
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*> digitalist surgeon, and the believe in a comp survival, or a belief in
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*>
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*> the unchanged feeling of "my" consciousness in such annihilation-
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*>
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*> (re)creation experiences.
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*> If a 1st-person-perspective is a sort of structure (computational
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*>
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*> and/or physical), what type of structure is it?
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*>
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*> The surprise will be: there are none. The 1-views of a machine will
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*>
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*> appears to be already not expressible by the machine. The first and
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*>
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*> third God have no name. Think about Tarski theorem in the comp
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*>
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*> context. A sound machine cannot define the whole notion of "truth
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*>
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*> about me".
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*>
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*>
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*> If we define it in
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*>
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*> terms of behavior only, then a recording is fine.
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*>
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*> We certainly avoid the trap of behaviorism. You can see this as a
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*>
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*> weakness, or as the full strong originality of comp, as I define it.
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*>
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*> We give some sense, albeit undefined, to the word "consciousness"
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*>
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*> apart from any behavior. But to reason we have to assume some relation
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*>
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*> between consciousness and possible discourses (by machines).
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*>
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*>
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*> If we define it in
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*>
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*> terms of inner workings, then a recording is probably not fine, but
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*>
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*> we
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*>
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*> introduce "magical" dependence on things that shouldn't matter to
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*>
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*> us... ie, we should not care if we are interacting with a perfectly
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*>
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*> orchestrated recording, so long as to us the result is the same.
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*>
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*> It seems like this is independent of the differences between
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*>
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*> pure-comp / comp+mat.
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*> This is not yet quite clear for me. Perhaps, if you are patient
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*>
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*> enough, you will be able to clarify this along the UDA reasoning which
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*>
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*> I will do slowly with Kim. The key point will be the understanding of
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*>
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*> the ultimate conclusion: exactly like Everett can be said to justify
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*>
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*> correctly the phenomenal collapse of the wave, if comp is assumed, we
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*>
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*> have to justify in a similar way the wave itself. Assuming comp, we
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*>
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*> put ourself in a position where we have to explain why numbers
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*>
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*> develops stable and coherent belief in both mind and matter. We can
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*>
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*> presuppose neither matter, nor mind eventually, except our own
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*>
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*> consciousness, although even consciousness will eventually be reduced
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*>
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*> into our "believe in numbers".
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*>
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*> Bruno
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*>
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*>
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*> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*> >
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*>
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Received on Tue Dec 09 2008 - 22:21:14 PST

Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 22:21:05 -0500

Bruno,

Thanks for the references.

--Abram

ps- it is final exam crunch time, so I haven't been checking email so

much as usual... I may get around to more detailed replies et cetera

this weekend or next week.

On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 1:12 PM, Bruno Marchal <marchal.domain.name.hidden.ac.be> wrote:

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Received on Tue Dec 09 2008 - 22:21:14 PST

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