Re: on formally indescribable merde

From: Stephen Paul King <>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 18:58:31 -0500

Hi George,

    A few questions and comments...

George Levy wrote:

> Marchal wrote:
> > But COMP implies MWI (Note that Schmidhuber and me agree on that,
> > >> but we disagree on what *are* the (many) worlds MW).
> >
> > More precisely: COMP implies MWI in two senses.
> >
> > 1) Everett's sense: SE + COMP gives MW.
> He really meant SE + No( privileged observer status) -> MW. One could argue then
> that No(privileged observer status) is implied by COMP.
> > 2) COMP sense: COMP gives SE + MW (my thesis, look at my CC&Q paper)
> I agree that COMP implies first person indeterminacy but, as far as I know, it
> does not predict Schoedinger Equation in all its splendor, including Planck's
> constant which is a parameter in this equation. So would it be more accurate to
> say COMP implies Indeterminacy + MW?
> >
> > [BM] I pretend that with comp a world is a
> > first person (plural) construct. [Schmidhuber] does not defined them but he
> > associates
> > them with their generating programs. Observers belongs to worlds, with
> > Schmidhuber. I pretend with comp that observers's infered worlds are
> > defined by the set of the consistent extensions.
> I assume "consistent extensions" means "logically consistent extensions of the
> observers". In which case we agree fully on the meaning of worlds. Schmidhuber,
> just like Mallah, is stuck with the third person perspective.


    I agree, but it seems that people are "stuck" trying to define the first person

> > [GL] >Again to clarify... the word "machine" means that consciousness arises
> > from
> > >simple (Turing-like) computations. This is the COMP hypothesis.
> >
> > [BM] In first approximation YES. In second approximation NOT REALLY.
> > By comp I mean I survive with an artificial digital brain/body/universe.
> > As a counter-intuitive conclusion, consciousness does not really
> > supervenes on a computation but on an infinite cloud of "similar"
> > computations existing in UD*.


    It is trivial to show that TM's can not give rise to consciousness for the simple
reason that consciousness is not "pre-specifiable" in its behaviour. Have you read
Peter Wegner's papers about this?

> I have reached almost the same conclusion, that our consciousness come about from
> an ensemble of more or less identical "points" or states in the plenitude and the
> "thickness" of this ensemble is a measure of the Heisenberg uncertainty. The
> difference is that you call them "computation." I view them more as instantaneous
> static entities which are logically connected to each other. Maybe we could
> resolve this issue by saying that I focus on the points of the graph and you, on
> the links :-)


    Could you elaborate on the nature of this "logical connection?"

> > [BM] Locally a brain/body/universe only makes it
> > possible for a person (the one conscious) to accelerate himself
> > relatively to its most probable possible extensions. Note that this gives
> > a role to consciousness : self-speeding up abilities.
> > And this is linked to another result by Godel. If you add an undecidable
> > true statement to the theory (in which that sentence is undecidable), not
> > only an infinity of new formula become decidable, but an infinity of
> > provable formula get shorter proofs.
> >
> You are accelerating too fast for me... I don't understand this at all.
> >
> > >I am not sure I understand "shared computational histories". Why would past
> > >computational states be relevant? A current state could be reached from
> > >different past points (OMs) unless "merging" is not allowed
> >
> > Merging is allowed through amnesia. In some sense personal memories
> > help you to stay into no merging histories.
> I smell a whiff of third person thinking. I'll say something, then I'll retract
> it because I just don't have the words to say it straight. An observer in world A
> who has a "false" memory (of something that did not happen in world A), is in
> the same mental state as an observer in world B who has a true memory ( of
> something that happended in world B). The two observers are in exactly identical
> states, even though their "shared histories" are different. The point is that
> their mental states are the same, they have the same consciousness, they are
> really the same observer and they are really in the same world.
> Now I can retract what I said. There is no world A and B and there is no shared
> history. The important thing is only the current state of the observer(s). The
> extensions to the observer are fuzzy.
> > [GL] >...Isn't the current state only of relevance?
> >
> > Relevance with respect to what? A state is not enough, you need a
> > universal machine to support it.
> Precisely. With respect to us!. We are the's a vicious circle...we
> are self emergent...Not only is our world anthropically defined, but we ourselves
> also are....
> > It is more "sharing a common history" like the bifurcation W and M.
> > Biological multiplication gives a simple model of tree like
> > developpement where individuals share a long common history. The more you
> > leave the leaves (!) the more the histories are shared. This is an image
> > because both with comp and/or QM, we must take into account merging.
> > (I know you agree with that).
> > >From inside UD* (i.e. from the average first person point of view of
> > machines) I make the conjecture that there is no ultimate well-defined
> > trunk for these barnches and leaves. From the third person view there
> > is one which is just the trivial one: UD.
> >
> Your use of the words "shared histories" partially seem to carry some old
> fashioned baggage from the days when time was thought to be linear. Yet you do
> accept the concept of bifurcation and merging...
> Can conventional mechanics support consciousness spliting and merging? I don't
> think so. Here is why.
> There are two cases to consider: state machines in the continuum and state
> machines in discrete space.
> In phase space with the cardinality of the continuum, each point has a unique
> past and a unique future. Another way to say this is that if we could make state
> machine with continuous states, each machine state would have a unique antecedent
> and a unique future. Except at singularities, no crossing is allowed in continuous
> phase space... transition lines could get arbitrairly close to each other but
> could never reach each other. .I would look at state machines transitions more
> like a fluid flow. Singularities could have no future because any future would be
> indeterminate. Given their indeterminate future, their past would also be
> questionable if we are willing to accept time reversal.


   Your phase space seems to be topologically "simply-connected," why? There is a
theorem by M.C. Mackey and another fellow whose name escapes me that shows that a
phase space of an invertible system can have "traces" (subsets) that are isomorphic to
phase spaces of irriversible systems. This have some bearing on what you wrote here...

> Phase space transitions in discrete space, however, can merge. Once merged, they
> stay merged forever. Splitting is not allowed. State machines can reach the same
> state from different states. Once in similar state they stay similar.
> otherwise, it would generate indeterminacy.
> The point is that merging seems to be possible but splitting is difficult. You
> could have splitting of consciousness, if, instead of considering consciousness as
> a single point represented by definite states, you are willing to consider a fuzzy
> region comprised of a multitude of points. Then any transitions out of this region
> would be "splitting" This type of consciousness fuzzy region) would make
> indeterminacy MANDATORY! In practice the existence of this fuzzy region is hinted
> at by Planck's constant.
> >
> >
> > [GL] >Why the word "projection?"
> >
> > [BM] Or "common anticipation". Like F=ma, or SE, ... We take it as a trunk,
> > when it is perhaps just a branch. See above.
> >
> Ok. I call this, "common frame of reference."
> George

Kindest regards,

Received on Sun Mar 18 2001 - 16:02:15 PST

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