Re: on formally describable universes and measures

From: George Levy <>
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2001 14:33:19 -0800

Excellent, Bruno. Thank you for the explanation of computational indeterminacy
for the first person point of view.

Most of the disagreement here originates from the failure of some participants
to appreciate the distinction bewteen first vs third person perspectives.

James Higgo even manages to see it both ways without being explicit about the
facts that perspectives can be relative. He says

"All that exists of 'you' is this very present thought,"

he is right .... from the first person perspective.. His earlier comment

"Consciousness - a flow of related thoughts in time - does not exist, any more
than time itself exists," I believe, attempts to address the issue of
consciousness from the third person perspective. He comes to the obvious
conclusion that first person consciousness as seen from the third person does
not exist. His lacks of awareness of the relativity of these issue leads to

First person observation of consciousness is the self observing the self, or
possibly part of the self observing other parts of the self.

Third person observation of consciousness involves the self observing
others...and requires 1) the non-solipsist ASSUMPTION that these other
consciousness do have a first person and third person perspective and 2) A
kind of a Turing test confirming the existence of third person consciousness
based on observation of their interaction with their environment.

In addition to the distinction between first and third person points of views,
I do agree with Russell Standish and his quotes from Stanislas Dehaenne that
there can be several kinds of consciousness. It can vary qualitatively
depending on what mental processes are involved.

George Levy

Marchal wrote:

> Juergen wrote also (Sorry for cutting my comments)
> >Here is the best you can achieve with a dovetailer. You can
> >extract representations of all the countably many computable reals.
> >How? Systematically enumerate all possible input strings, viewing them as
> >starts of programs to be executed in dovetail fashion. This excludes
> >many strings that cannot be input programs because one of their prefixes
> >already is a self-delimiting program that will never request additional
> >bits. Some input strings, however, are valid, finite, possibly
> >nonhalting programs (such as the algorithm computing the decimal expansion
> >of 1/3). They generate possibly infinite objects (such as 0.33333...).
> >Make a list containing all current programs or program prefixes.
> >Update the list whenever one of its elements requests a new bit. This
> >will eventually give you finite representations of each computable real.
> I doubt that. The set of computable real is not recursively enumerable.
> But OK in the limit. It is recursive in the halting set ...
> >But your own so-called "dovetailer" essentially is
> >the extremely inefficient algorithm called ALPHABET in
> > . ALPHABET simply
> >lists all bitstrings ordered by size and separated by blanks. Note that
> >countably many steps are insufficient for ALPHABET to print any infinite
> >string! So ALPHABET clearly is the wrong approach when it comes to
> >generating all computable universes.
> DU generates all the infinite strings. It generates the non stopping
> computations including those using real as oracle. It makes Zig-Zag
> on all "Brouwer's Fan".
> I don't remember having propose an algorithm for the UD (apart from
> the explicative specification). In my 1995 report I write an efficient
> one, which also "quasi-compute" Chaitin OMEGA number.
> As Gilles Levy pointed out the efficiency of the UD is not relevant, for
> the sharing space-time emerges from the statistics of the whole set
> of finite and infinite computationnal histories, from the first person
> point of view or first person plural point of view in the case of
> bifurcation of deep computational histories shared by many.
> As I said in my preceeding post it could be that the ``natural universal
> dovetelair" is a quantum one. But still, it is generated by the classical
> dovetailer. It just mean that its way of multiplying and entangling long
> histories makes these stories winning from the first person statistical
> anticipation point of view.
> Now you know that when the classical UTM simulates the
> quantum one there is an exponential slow-down. The invariance lemma
> entails we cannot be aware of that !
> No doubt the Great Programmer, as you call it, is rather stupid, and
> trying to speed up a little will not help.
> >From the "inside" point of view, it is what most machines observe and
> anticipate relatively to their most probable computational histories,
> among all possible one (including non stopping one), which counts.
> >Once more: The concepts of dovetailing and continuum are incompatible!
> Yes. In a trivial sense from a third person point of view. But about
> the question "in which computational history am I", well, if I am
> a machine, then a priori I can belong to 2^aleph_0 histories.
> If you have still a doubt let me explain you my iterated
> self-duplication experience WM (from my 1988 paper).
> Annihilation at Brussels, reconstitution at Washington (W) and Moscow (M).
> The one in Moscow writes M on his t-shirt, and the one in Washington
> write W.
> Then you come back by plane, each of you!, and do the experience again,
> and again, and again ...
> Each infinite sequence WMWMMMWWMWMMM... will be generated, although
> each of you cannot compress its t-shirt inscription, it just does not
> know which will be its computational history among all infinite
> sequence of W and M. Most of you will be able, in this setting
> to anticipate that you cannot anticipate. This is one exemple of
> computational undeterminacy.
> Bruno
Received on Sat Jan 27 2001 - 14:48:34 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:07 PST