Re: Emulation and Stuff

From: 1Z <>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 02:11:31 -0700 (PDT)

On 16 Aug, 16:34, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
> On 14 Aug 2009, at 14:34, 1Z wrote:
> > On 14 Aug, 09:48, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
> >> You are dismissing the first person indeterminacy. A stuffy TM can  
> >> run
> >> a computation. But if a consciousness is attached to that  
> >> computation,
> >> it is automatically attached to an infinity of immaterial and  
> >> relative
> >> computations as well,
> > There's your Platonism.
> Not mine. The one which follows from the comp assumption, if UDA is  
> valid.

Without Platonism, there is no UD since it is not observable within
physical space. So the UDA is based on Plat., not the other way

> > If nothing immaterial exists (NB "nothing",
> > I don't make exceptions for just a few pixies or juse a few numbers)
> > there is nothiign for a cosnc. to attach itself to except a propbably
> > small, probabuily singular set of stuiffy brains and computers.
> I can understand how easy for a materialist it is, to conceive at  
> first sight, that numbers and mathematical objects are convenient  
> fiction realized as space-time material configuration, perhaps of  
> brains.

It's a perfectly consistent assumption. THere is no
disproof of materialism that doesn't beg the quesiton by
assuming immaterialism

> But those space-time configuration are themselves described by  
> mathematical functions far more complex that the numbers described or  
> explain.

Irrelevant. "Described by" does not mean "is"

>This leads to major difficulties, even before approaching the  
> consciousness problem.

Such as?

> This shows that a purely physicalist explanation of numbers could lead  
> to difficulties. But the same for a description of any piece of  
> material things, by just that token.
> So, I am not sure that physicist can be said to have solved the  
> "matter" problem either,

You arguments here are based on the idea
that primary matter needs to be given a
purely mathematical expression. That in turn
is based on an assumption of Platonism. If
Platonism is false and materialism true,
one would *expect* mathematical explanation
to run out at some point. Your "difficulty" is a
*prediction* of materialism , and therefore a
successfor materailism

> and some physicists are already open,  
> independently of comp, to the idea that physical objects are relative  
> mathematical (immaterial) objects. Which of course are "no material".  
> Wheeler, Tegmark, for example.

They have a consisent set of assumptions. So do
their materialist oponents. You can't get an "is true"
out of a "might be true"

> But then with comp, you are yourself an immaterial object,

False. computaitonlism does not prove the immaterial existence
of anything whatsoever. Most computationalists are materialists.

>of the kind  
> person, like the lobian machine. You own a body, or you borrow it to  
> your neighborhood, and "you" as an immaterial pattern can become  
> stable only by being multiplied in infinities of coherent similar  
> histories, which eventually the physicists begin to talk about  
> (multiverse).
> I tend to believe in many immaterial things. Some are absolutely real  
> (I think) like the natural numbers.

There's your Platonism again. Believe what you like, but don'
call it proof.

> Some may be seen as absolutely real, or just as useful fiction: it  
> changes nothing.

It changes everything. If the UD is a useful ficiton, I cannot be a
programme running on it, any more than I can book a flight to Narnia.

>This is the case for the negative number, the  
> rational, a large part of the algebraic and topological, and analytical.

Look, I have already said that I am not going to get into an argument
about which pixies exist.

> Some are both absolutely real, and physically real, they live in  
> "platonia", and then can come back on earth: they have a relatively  
> concrete existence. For example, the games of chess, the computers,  
> the animals, and the persons. But the concreteness is relative, the  
> 'I' coupled with the chessboard is an abstract couple following  
> normality conditions (that QM provides, but comp not yet).
> Some could have an even more trivial sense of absolute existence, and  
> a case could be made they don't exist, even in Platonia, like the  
> unicorns, perhaps, and the squared circles (hopefully).
> Each branch of math has its own notion of existence, and with comp, we  
> have a lot  choice, for the ontic part, but usually I take  
> arithmetical existence, if only because this is taught in school, and  
> its enough to justified the existence of the universal numbers, and  
> either they dreams (if "yes doctor") or at least their discourse on  
> their dreams (if you say no the doctor and decide to qualify those  
> machines are "inexistent zombies").
> There is a sense to say those universal machines do not exist, but it  
> happens that they don't have the cognitive abilities to know that, and  
> for them, in-existence does not make sense.

If they don't exist, they don't exist. You don't have the
rigourous mathematical argument you think
you have, you have some baroque Chuang-Tzu metaphysics.

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Received on Mon Aug 17 2009 - 02:11:31 PDT

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