Re: on formally describable universes and measures

From: Marchal <>
Date: Thu Feb 15 03:11:51 2001

Hereby, I comment posts by
Brent Meeker, James Higgo, and George Levy.

Brent Meeker wrote:

>In response to Bruno and Jesse, perhaps I should have used a different
>label in the first block of my diagram to make it correspond with past
>posting, as follows:
> ----------------------------------
> --------------------
> (1) | "observer" moments |<====| other postulates | (6)
> ---------------------------------- /\
> |
> | |
> |
> v |
> |
> --------------------------- |
> |
> (2) | the physical world & me | |
> |
> --------------------------- |
> |
> | |
> |
> v |
> |
> --------------------------------- |
> |
> | descriptions of the physical | |
> |
> (3) | and psychological world in | |
> |
> | terms of mathematical laws | |
> |
> --------------------------------- |
> |
> | |
> |
> v |
> |
> --------------------------------- |
> ===============|
> | the information content of the |
> -------------------
> (4) | mathematical description of |<====| other postulates | (5)
> | the world |
> ---------------------------------
>I preferred "direct perceptions and thoughts" because they didn't
>require an object "observer" which I put in quotes because, as I
>indicated, I supposed that "I" (the observer) is an inference for the
>patterns in the "observer moments". However, part of the reason for my
>posting was that I wanted to say that all the above blocks "exist" in
>different senses and it is only poetic argument to say "only observer
>moments exist". It is all right to make such provacative, poetic
>assertions, but they should be followed by an explanation of how all
>the other blocks "seem" to exist, or exist in some other way.


>As for the continuity of consciousness, I think it is clear that there
>is continuity in the sense that perceptions and thoughts are not
>disconnected. At the level of physical descriptions, nuerological
>states have some finite duration. Even if you like to assert "the
>physical world doesn't exist" your complete theory must take into
>account this "appearance".


> These states are not disjoint, but overlap
>in time. So I would say the there is continuity of consciousness but
>it is not fundamental - it is contingent (having been knocked
>unconscious I can attest to that directly).

Consciousness creates, and re-creates, continuity and time, and space,
and identity through time and space, etc.

Unfortunately I am not able to create enough time to justify this :-)

>Bruno has explained the "uncertainty" in his Washington-Moscow thought
>experiment as one of the thoughts that I would have before being
>duplicated. I would think I am uncertain as to where I will end up. I
>see nothing interesting or fundamental in this.

At which step do you stop in the UDA thought experiment ?

With Everett or just with comp (at least according to, we *are*
duplicated, (or differentiated), all *the time*.
It is not a matter of choice. Having the comp postulates, we are
automatically confronting that problem. And then we must indeed
justify the appearances and the apparently consistent and
continuous change of those appearances.
The problem is to find for each "observer-moment state" a measure
on all its possible relative computational continuations
and justifying physics (the absence of white rabbits) from that.

Schmidhuber has the same basic ontology as mine. But he
assumes that the universe (without clearly saying what that
means) is computable.
I accept *all* computations. And I explain how the appearance
of universes, including appearance of some statistical
inter-relations between theses universes, appears.
These stabilize as truths, some communicable, some uncommunicable,
from the point of view of the sound UTM introspecting herself.

The UDA shows that
the emergence of "physical" appearances emerges from
the statistics on all computations going through definite states
*of* universal machines, as seen *by* universal machine.

This generates automatically appearance of non computable
aspect in the universes. (Despite Juergen).

With the same basic ontology as Schmidhuber I show the average
little sound UTM confront herself, from her point of view,
 with the power of the continuum if not the continua.
Note that there is no need for accepting an ontological existence
for the continuum, but comp entails no sound machine can
avoid a phenomenological (first person) continuum.

This provides also a new *interpretation* of Everett's *formulation*
of quantum mechanics. But it is actually an obliged interpretation
of *arithmetic* for those who say "yes" to the mechanist doctor!

Everett has shown that if we accept Schroedinger equation as
third person description of reality, then we can derive
the wave collapse as a first person (plural!) truth.

But Everett use comp, and what I have shown is that with comp
we just cannot postulate Schroedinger equation. (With comp
our mind cannot be associated with any equation, *unless* that
equation defines the measure on all computations from a
first person plural point of view, relative to a "observer-

>I am uncertain at this
>very moment as to what I will have for lunch tomorrow. This kind of
>uncertainity about the future is commonplace and has no interesting
>philosophical implications.

Remember that today we are making interfering alternative futures
in (prototypical for sure) little quantum circuits. And this
*is* a confirmative type of argument for many-worlds or many
histories. This confirmes comp too.

(of course it does not prove it. No experiences, nor experiments
*prove* anything (at a third person)).

>The only diffence is that if I express my
>uncertainity about my Washington-Moscow future I may use a semantic
>ambiguity when thinking where "I" will be when there are two "I's" and
>I have failed to distinguish them.

And so you must not fail to distinguish them. And you should
believe, with the comp hypothesis, that you will not die
in that processes. So you know that after the experiment
you will feel to be somewhere. You know, with comp, that,
each of 3-you, has not a brain capable of creating the
feeling of being at both place at once.
So if you believe you will survive, you believe that after
the experiment you will survive writing Moscow, *or*
writing Washington in your diaries.

(No more astonishing (especially for a Everettian many-worlders)
than looking to a spin and seing it up).

According to you psychological profile it will be a pleasure or
a displeasure to meet your doppelganger at Brussels.
You will most probably realise how much your are unknow to
yourself. All first person keep secrets.

>In reading Juergen's posts and some earlier ones, I wonder whether
>diagram I made would reflect his view if I added postulates (6), "The
>information content of the mathematical description of the world does
>not have any contingent or historical part because it is a description
>of all possible (describable) worlds and so there is no need to try to
>infer (2) from (3). I don't think this makes the informational content
>level (4) anymore "real" than the others - but it is an interesting
>project to see if one can start there and get to the other levels
>(mostly by invoking the weak-anthropic principle it seems).

You get everything from the weak universal-Turing-tropic principle.

>From superstring, to even qualia thanks to the difference between
the machine-itself G and its guardian angels G*.
G and G* are two little propositional logics formalising the provable
(G) + the unprovable (G*) self-referential (Godelian, Lobian) truth.
The difference between G and G* makes possible to formalise cleanly
the n-person nuances.
It is the difference between intensional variants of G and G* which
makes possible the talk on qualia.
The incredible thing is that some quantum logics appears even at
that stage.
More on that modal approach in the archive:

>In a way I agree with James Higgo that this argumentation about
>"consciousness" is pointless. On the other hand I don't agree that
>"only observer moments exist". It may be interesting to try to start
>with observer moments and see how far you can get, but if you can't get
>the rest of the world - levels (1) thru (4) - and just end up logic
>chopping and giving, "That's just your observer moment." as the answer
>to every question, then I'd say your project had failed.

I am very afraid about James Higgo these days.
Mostly after the following post:

James Higgo wrote:

>BTW, George, of course I understand the 3rd person vs 1st person fallacy,
>which it took Jacques Mallah about a year to disabuse me of in the old QTI
>debates. Once I saw that there was no such thing as the first vs third
>person, all the contradictions under discussion vanished, and hence I have
>not been active in the debate since then.

1) I have not seen any contradiction appearing with the use
of the first person and third person concepts. If there is one,
please give the address.

2) The difference between first person and third person is illustrated
by the difference between "(I am observing that) I am tortured" and
"(I am observing that) he is tortured". Two painfull "observer-moment",
but certainly not painful in the same sense.
It does not mean that the difference is not an illusion, it means
that the "appearance" of the difference cannot *easily* be dismissed.

3) Psychologists evaluate that children begin to make that 1/3-distinction
when they are two years old. Here too, it does not mean that the
distinction is accurate. It means it is easy to use it in thought
experiments, even if those very thought experiments eventually
help us to nuance or even abandon the distinction. If we reject some
common sens right at the start we will not make ourselve understandable.

4) As I say above, Everett gave us the most relevant use of the
1/3 person distinction. He uses the word 'objective' for
3rd person and 'subjective' for 1st person. Are you criticizing
Everett on that point? See what I say above: Everett shows that
third person Schroedinger equation entails first person wave collapse.

In both the self-duplication experiment, and in Everett, the
first person experience are linked to the memory (the diary) which
is supposed to be duplicated. It is just a definition which does not
need a theory of consciousness (see my use of it in my reply to
Juergen). Nevertheless a theory of consciousness is eventually

How many times will it be necessary for disabusing you from Jacques
Mallah's unhappy confusion of 1st and 3rd person ?
At least Jacques is aware that a theory of mind is necessary for
a theory of everything (look at his URL).
The mind/consciousness discussion is not pointless, it is, in
my opinion, most crucial.

BTW James what is your current opinion on QTI? (Quantum Immortality).

James, you wrote also in another post:

>There is no proof of a physical world. There is just this OM, [...]

The absence of proof doesn't entails the non truth.
Moreover do you think you have a proof of *just this OM*?

Here, I got it. There, I lost it. Now, gone, forever ...

George Levy wrote:

>Bruno I fully agree with you in so far the delay is concerned but why do
>you restrict your reconstitution to the same level? What if you are
>reconstituted in a virtual level for example? Shouldn't the distribution
>be invariant for *all levels* and all methods of implementation?


>If this
>is true, time is not an objective real entity, but is reduced to a
>logical linkage between awareness states, with logic, in a recursive
>fashion, being an emergent property of awareness. Time becomes a first
>person phenomenon.

I am glad you see the point, George.
Of course I don't make that restriction.
Virtual neighborhood appears at the step 10 and sequitur
in the UDA, where indeed people are
reconstituted in virtual (simulated) levels,
even eventually appearing in UD*.
(archive at

With the Movie Graph argument (or a little less convincingly with
just UDA + OCCAM) we even got the reconstitutions in the arithmetical
level: no need for an actual running of a concrete UD.

But we need some arithmetics (and some logic) for getting
the needed minimal arithmetical realism.

Time indeed becomes a first person phenomenon. Space too,
energy too. All physical predicates becomes first person plural
phenomena. This is coherent with the general result which makes
physics a branch of machine's psychology. It makes the
multiverse a part of the universal web of number's dreams.
It sounds poetical but people should be aware that I pretend
it to be a literal consequence of "being a digital being" (comp).

Received on Thu Feb 15 2001 - 03:11:51 PST

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