Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 20:11:08 +0200

Hi Alberto,

On 20 May 2009, at 13:08, Alberto G.Corona wrote:
> On May 19, 7:37 pm, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
>> ....... UDA is an argument showing that the current
>> paradigmatic chain MATTER => CONSCIOUSNESS => NUMBER is reversed:
>> with
>> comp I can explain too you in details (it is long) that the chain
>> should be NUMBER => CONSCIOUSNESS => MATTER. Some agree already that
>> it could be NUMBER => MATTER => CONSCIOUSNESS, and this indeed is
>> more
>> locally obvious, yet I pretend that comp forces eventually the
>> complete reversal.
> Do you have any reference where this is developed?

I have often explain UDA on this list. There is a very older version
in 15 steps, and a more recent in 08 steps.
You could search in the archive of this list.
Or look at my Sane04 paper:
You can print the slides. I refer now often to UDA-i with i from 00 to
8, which are the main step of the reasoning. PDF slide

UDA is for Universal Dovetailer Argument. The UD provides a concrete
base for a reasoning in line with the "everything" "or many worlder"
open minded philosophy common on this list, especially for the
"relativist" one (where proba are always conditional).
UDA is provably available to Universal (in the theoretical computer
science sense of Post, Turing, Kleene, Church, ... " machine, which
leads to a machine version of UDA: AUDA (Arithmetical UDA).

UDA is mainly an argument showing that, assuming comp, the mind body
problem reduce to the body problem.
And AUDA shows a natural path to extract the solution of the body
problem by that "interview" of the universal machine.

Much older versions are in French (my PhD actually, and more older
paper). See my URL.

> I try to be as close to facts as possible, and the most plausible
> explanation for me, trough natural selection, is that consciousness is
> a processing device made by natural selection as an adaptation to the
> physical environment, social environment included.

This is plausible for most of the human and animal part of
consciousness. It is a reasonable local description. But globally a
dual version of this has the advantage of explaining how nature itself
evolves, from sort of "competition and selection" of pieces of machine
dreams, which are "easy" to define in arithmetic (assuming comp ...).
It is normal that comp depends on the many non trivial results in
computer science. A universal machine is itself a rather non obvious

> So I support
> matter-> consciousness.

I could explain why it has to look locally that way, but it can not
work in the big picture, unless you make both matter and mind, not
just infinite, but very highly infinite ... (just read UDA, I think I
have make progress through those explanation on the list).

> Dualism is the result of my subjective
> experience,

I doubt this can be. I would say it is a result of your experience
together with a bet (instinctive or/and rational) in a independent
you cannot experience the independent reality. You can experience only
the dependent reality, but not as a dependent one, for this you need
to bet on the independent one. What makes this diificult is that we
make that bet instinctively since birth and beyond.

> and my subjective experience is the most objective fact
> that I can reach.

I see what you mean, but the subjective experience, although real and
true, and undoubtable, is subjective. It exists as far as you cannot
prove to an other that it exists. To communicate you have to bet on
tools and on others, and other many doubtable (yet plausible) mind

> I cannot support this Kantian notion consciousness -> matter.

The problem is that if you are ready to attribute consciousness to a
device, by its virtue of simulating digitally a conscious brain at
some correct level of description, you will be forced to attribute
that consciousness to an infinity of computations already defined by
the additive and multiplicative structure of the numbers (by UDA). A
quasi direct consequence is that if a machine look at herself below
its substitution level, it will build indirect evidences of a flux of
many (a continuum) of computational histories (a typical quantum
feature, I mean for QM without wave collapse). But comp forces the
structure of those many realities (or dreams) to be determined by
specifiable number theoretical relations. Those relations are either
extensional relations (like in number theory), or intensional
relations (like in computer science, where number can also points
toward other numbers, and effective set of numbers). It makes
computationalism testable. The genral shape of QM confirm it, but
cosmogenesis remains troubling ...

> The final words that I can say about the "hard problem" of
> consciousness is that any conversation with a robot, with the self-
> module that I described in the previous post, will give answers about
> qualia indistinguisable from the answers of any of you. He would
> indeed doubt about if you are indeed robots and he is the only
> conscious being on earth. Just as any of you may think.
> Its self module would not say "I perceive the green as green" because
> he has this as an standard answer, like a fake Turing test program,
> but because it can zoom in the details of every leaf, grass etc and
> verify that the range of ligh frecuencies are in the range of
> frequencias that a computer programmer assigned to green and a
> trainer later told him to call it "green". He even can have its own
> philosophical theories about qualia, the self etc. He even may ask
> himself about the origins of moral and self determination, and even
> all of this may force him to believe in God. So we must conclude that
> he have its own qualia and all the attributes of consciousness. in no
> less degree than I could believe in yours.

A priori I have no problem, although I could pretend you have solved
only the easy problem.
The hard problem is: why do *we* (and not just a robot) have those
qualia, if robot can have the same talk and behavior? You have still
to explain the nature of the qualia, and why we have to experience
them, given that a mechanical explanation seems to make them
unnecessary, especially if you invoke Darwinian natural selection. And
then, by UDA you have to (re)explain what is matter and how to relate
them with the qualia. Eventually matter will appear to be a sort of
sharable qualia (or comp is false).
I do appreciate your willingness of not treating a self-referentially
correct machine as a zombie, but providing a machine with the correct
behavior and the relevant discourse does not yet explain the *meaning*
of those discourses. Some could argue that on the contrary it makes
those meaning illusory. Theories remains to be done, and if something
is true and unexplainable, this has to be justified too. Amazingly
you can extract both the communicable and incommunicable part of that
discourse from an interview of the machine , and this has already be
done (thanks to Gödel Post Turing ... and computer science/logic). It
is the AUDA part: the (admittedly rough, concerning only ideally
correct machines) translation of UDA in the language of a universal
machine, like (Peano) Arithmetic.
And given that physics is testable, this makes comp testable (well in
AUDA the definition of the internal points of view are debatable, and
better solution could be imaginable, I have used the old definition
you can find in the Theaetetus of Plato. They work very well thanks to
the subtleties of the Gödel-Löb self-reference logic.

UDA is easy (except the step 07 and 8 which asks for more work).
AUDA is difficult because you have to study Mathematical Logic to get
the point, and Quantum Mechanics to believe it.

UDA+AUDA leads to McGuin Mysterianism, as explained and justified by
the "betting, praying" machine. There is a gap of explanation, which
can be justified almost completely from the first person point of
view. From the third person point of view there is no gap at all.
Machines can already see this, and this should please you, if I
understand you well.

Matter then play a special role in the dreams, especially those
"collective dreams", but it is part of the dreams. We are in the
number matrix, if you want a short description. My point is not that
this is true, but that this is Popper-refutable. It is not a question
of liking it or not, but of making the math and the experiments. All
in all, it makes many fundamental question less obvious that many


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Wed May 20 2009 - 20:11:08 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:15 PST