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From: Bruno Marchal <marchal.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 10:08:37 +0200

On 02 Sep 2009, at 03:17, Brent Meeker wrote:

*> But only by isolating a bit of computation from the rest of universe.
*

*> And it doesn't show that a computation supervenes on zero physical
*

*> activity. And even if it did show that, it would not follow that
*

*> mental
*

*> computation *does* supervene on computation realized in Platonia with
*

*> zero physical activity.
*

Maudlin's Olympia shows that a computation can be realized with zero

*computational* physical activity, and this means that if we keep

associating the consciousness to the computation, the physical

activity has no role there.

MGA shows that if we associate consciousness to the physical activity

implementing a computation, then we have to associate that

consciousness "in real time" to a description of that computation,

which can be seen as absurd in different ways.

We can come back on this, but I think it is better I explain what

mathematician means by computations.

MGA and MGA-like argument can be seen as an extension of what is done

in UDA1-6. It shows that a universal machine cannot see the difference

between "real", "virtual" and then "arithmetical". But like the notion

of virtual emulation has to be grasped for the step 6, the notion of

arithmetical computation has to be grasped before, and that is why I

am explaining the mathematician definition of universal machine and

its computations.

*>
*

*>
*

*>> This is an absurd conclusion, so the hypothesis that motivates it -
*

*>> i.e. CTM+PM - is thus shown to be contradictory and must be
*

*>> abandoned,
*

*>> not merely in this case, but in general: i.e. the exception has
*

*>> broken
*

*>> the rule. This is forced unless you can show where the logic goes
*

*>> wrong.
*

*>>
*

*> No, even if the conclusion is wrong that only shows that *some* step
*

*> in
*

*> the argument is wrong NOT that the conjunction of the computationalist
*

*> theory of mind and primary matter is self contradictory.
*

You can say this for any proof by reduction ad absurdo. But if someone

pretend having done a reduction of absurdo of A+B, that is, pretend to

have provide a proof, or argument, that A+B -> false, then if you

disagree that this leads to ~(A+B), you have to *find* at which step

the error is. That's the very idea of proving. Of course in a

difficult "applied" subject, you can always find some loophole of the

kind "invisible horses driving cars", and it is a matter of pedagogy

to explains things spirit, instead of big set of formalities capable

of satisfying everyone in the first strike.

In the present case, you can always develop a sufficiently ridiculous

notion of matter and physical computation to block the proof, but it

should be clear that a strong change of the meaning of the hypothesis

is done.

*> I don't even
*

*> see where the argument uses PM to reach its conclusion.
*

Note that "PM" is used in all UDA1-7, and at that stage, you can still

argue that the supposedly existing physical universe is too little to

run a big part of the UD, (but we have already the result that comp

entails indeterminacy and non-locality). The step 08 just shows that

the move toward a "little physical universe" does not really work, in

the sense that the physical supervenience thesis, in the comp frame,

entails that we can show the physical activity non relevant with

respect to the computation. You have to believe that consciousness "in

real time" is related to static description of such computation, which

is perhaps not contradictory, but is non sensical. You can no more say

yes to the doctor 'qua computatio'.

*> Maybe CTM+UD is
*

*> a simpler explanation of the world, a return to Platonic idealism,
*

*> but I
*

*> don't see that its contrary is contrdictory.
*

It is contradictory with the idea that consciousness is related to

both the computation and the physical activity, in the PM sense of

physical activity. A movie of a brain become conscious qua computation

and without computation. It is not a mathematical contradiction, but a

conceptual difficulty preventing saying "yes to the doctor" by

appealing to the notion of computation. Like invisible horses pulling

cars could throw doubt to the thermodynamical explanation of car

motor. As I have always said, MGA does not eliminate completely some

use of Occam; it minimizes it, but, like always in applied math, you

can imagine a sufficiently bizarre notion of physical computation to

stuck the logic of the applied proof, a bit like your own move of

associating your consciousness to a non computable physical object

outside your brain. But with the generalized brain, this is taking

into account. If your consciousness, to exist, needs that uncomputable

object, you are no more in the comp frame.

It is like the collapse of the wave packet. It shows that the many-

worlds does not follow logically from the SWE, and the collapse is so

badly defined, that you can hardy evacuate it (like the God-of-the-gap

in physics), yet, I do think that the many-words follows directly from

the SWE, because the collapse is just that, an ad hoc construction,

undefinable in the theory, introduced to keep the consequence under

the rug.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

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Received on Wed Sep 02 2009 - 10:08:37 PDT

Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 10:08:37 +0200

On 02 Sep 2009, at 03:17, Brent Meeker wrote:

Maudlin's Olympia shows that a computation can be realized with zero

*computational* physical activity, and this means that if we keep

associating the consciousness to the computation, the physical

activity has no role there.

MGA shows that if we associate consciousness to the physical activity

implementing a computation, then we have to associate that

consciousness "in real time" to a description of that computation,

which can be seen as absurd in different ways.

We can come back on this, but I think it is better I explain what

mathematician means by computations.

MGA and MGA-like argument can be seen as an extension of what is done

in UDA1-6. It shows that a universal machine cannot see the difference

between "real", "virtual" and then "arithmetical". But like the notion

of virtual emulation has to be grasped for the step 6, the notion of

arithmetical computation has to be grasped before, and that is why I

am explaining the mathematician definition of universal machine and

its computations.

You can say this for any proof by reduction ad absurdo. But if someone

pretend having done a reduction of absurdo of A+B, that is, pretend to

have provide a proof, or argument, that A+B -> false, then if you

disagree that this leads to ~(A+B), you have to *find* at which step

the error is. That's the very idea of proving. Of course in a

difficult "applied" subject, you can always find some loophole of the

kind "invisible horses driving cars", and it is a matter of pedagogy

to explains things spirit, instead of big set of formalities capable

of satisfying everyone in the first strike.

In the present case, you can always develop a sufficiently ridiculous

notion of matter and physical computation to block the proof, but it

should be clear that a strong change of the meaning of the hypothesis

is done.

Note that "PM" is used in all UDA1-7, and at that stage, you can still

argue that the supposedly existing physical universe is too little to

run a big part of the UD, (but we have already the result that comp

entails indeterminacy and non-locality). The step 08 just shows that

the move toward a "little physical universe" does not really work, in

the sense that the physical supervenience thesis, in the comp frame,

entails that we can show the physical activity non relevant with

respect to the computation. You have to believe that consciousness "in

real time" is related to static description of such computation, which

is perhaps not contradictory, but is non sensical. You can no more say

yes to the doctor 'qua computatio'.

It is contradictory with the idea that consciousness is related to

both the computation and the physical activity, in the PM sense of

physical activity. A movie of a brain become conscious qua computation

and without computation. It is not a mathematical contradiction, but a

conceptual difficulty preventing saying "yes to the doctor" by

appealing to the notion of computation. Like invisible horses pulling

cars could throw doubt to the thermodynamical explanation of car

motor. As I have always said, MGA does not eliminate completely some

use of Occam; it minimizes it, but, like always in applied math, you

can imagine a sufficiently bizarre notion of physical computation to

stuck the logic of the applied proof, a bit like your own move of

associating your consciousness to a non computable physical object

outside your brain. But with the generalized brain, this is taking

into account. If your consciousness, to exist, needs that uncomputable

object, you are no more in the comp frame.

It is like the collapse of the wave packet. It shows that the many-

worlds does not follow logically from the SWE, and the collapse is so

badly defined, that you can hardy evacuate it (like the God-of-the-gap

in physics), yet, I do think that the many-words follows directly from

the SWE, because the collapse is just that, an ad hoc construction,

undefinable in the theory, introduced to keep the consequence under

the rug.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

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Received on Wed Sep 02 2009 - 10:08:37 PDT

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