Re: briefly wading back into the fray re: UDA

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2009 19:53:22 +0100

Hi Jack,

On 09 Feb 2009, at 18:19, Jack Mallah wrote:

> --- On Mon, 2/9/09, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
>> good idea to resume UDA again
> Bruno, I will post on the subject - but not yet. I do not want to
> get sidetracked from improving my paper.

I guess you understand that I do think that an understanding of the
UDA could improve, if not disprove your paper. Let us hope, for you,
that I am wrong.

>> I see you have make some progress on the subject (but not yet on
>> diplomacy, unless your "crackpot" wording is just an affectionate
>> mark: I could be OK with that. Well we will see).
> I will admit that diplomacy is not always my strong suit when
> dealing with controversial subjects.

Damned! You *have* improved!

> My characterization of it is sincere, not affectionate, though
> mainly what made me say that is that you call it a proof. It's an
> argument, not a proof, and the argument fails to be convincing. Now
> many people make arguments that I don't buy and I don't necessarily
> call those arguments crackpot, but I will if they make too-strong
> claims.

If that is the issue then don't worry, I am not so much sanguine about
calling it a "proof". Actually, in the "Brussels' thesis", it is not
even presented as an argument. It was presented as a paradox. The
original names are PDU (Paradoxe du Doveteller Universel) and PGF
(Paradoxe du Graphe Filmé). The goal consisted in explaining that the
mind body problem, or the hard consciousness problem was not yet
solved. Indeed my point was that it seems that (Naive) Mechanism and
(Naive) Materialism are hardly capable of being compatible. "Naive" in
the sense that I give precise definition of those terms, with all the
carts on the table.

Now, it happens also that the thought experiment is of a "platonic
destructive" type of thought experiment, in the nomenclature of James
Brown's book on thought experiments(*). Such thought experiments makes
principles incompatible, strictly speaking they are proof: it would be
just tedious to present them in a first order axiomatization (and this
would be unnecessary given the translation into arithmetic). So,
although I am not sanguine about it (mainly because once you
understand the argument, you understand what I modestly *mean* when I
say it is a proof), I feel I would hide a fact by just playing it as a
paradox. That paradox is an argument, and that argument is a
deduction, once you are willing to take seriously enough the
ASSUMPTION that you could survive through a digital "truncation",
without of course adhering to any willingness of eliminating the
(first) person and consciousness.
Somehow I just show that the comp assumption is machine-incredible but
precise enough to be falsifiable.

You are courageous to discuss your paper here, after the RSSA wins on
the ASSA on this list :)
For example when you say to Stathis:

> This sort of talk about "random sampling" and "luck" is misleading
> and is exactly why I broke down the roles of effective probability
> into the four categories I did in the paper.
> If you are considering future versions of yourself, in the MWI
> sense, there is no randomness involved.

  Do you mean that you stop at UDA step 3? No first person
indeterminacy? No first person?
Take it easy. Best,


(*) Brown, J. R. (1991). The laboratory of the mind. Routledge, London.

>> Welcome back to the list Jacques,
> Thanks :)
> >

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Received on Mon Feb 09 2009 - 13:53:27 PST

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