Re: M. alors

From: Jacques Mallah <>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 16:22:57 -0400

>From: Marchal <>
>Jacques Mallah wrote:
re: implementation
> > A relationship between a computation and another mathematical
> >structure, ...
>What relationship, what mathematical structure ?

    I'm not sure what you want to know (beyond what I've said) when you ask
what relationship. Any mathematical structure can be used.

> >You know where to find my thoughts on how
> >to restrict the mappings.
>Yes but I don't see how that defines an implementation.

    I explained what the concept is that I want to get at. The formal
mathematical definition will be in terms of the restricted mapping, and then
I will claim that it satisfies the desired role for purposes of
consciousness. Of course, it is not possible to prove that something is

> >Sounds like Platonism, but doesn't define existence.
>I use "existence" as a quantifier, like in logic, not as a property which
>need a definition.

    Any word you use needs a definition.

>The key number of existence is 24.

    Do you mean 42?

> > Suppose instead they are all "material" by hypothetical logical
> >necessity. Tell me what would be different. i.e. define "material".)
>The point is that they would be no difference, and that is why I don't
>believe in matter and I don't need to search a definition of it.

    If there would be no difference, you are wrong to have said they are not
material. Just say there is no difference.

>Now I was a little quick in saying that all Universe are in Plato's
>heaven. I should have said only that all apparence of universes are in
>plato heaven, and this only through the "eyes" of Heaven's inhabitant.
>Matter and Universes are just sort of superstitions. (With COMP).

    I certainly disagree.

> > I guess by "relatively" you mean there is no objective measure
> >distribution...
>Not at all!!!! The measure is objective, and objectively relative.

    That doesn't make any sense. Do you believe in an overall, objective
measure distribution? It is a yes or no question, and if you say for
example "yes but relative" then you are for some reason misspelling the word
"no". I guess English spelling is a little hard sometimes for a French
speaking person. And you can't get Darwin unless you say "yes".

> > (I'm not sure what you mean by "comp" though, since you like to
> >talk about whether "you" survive substitutions but did not define "you".)
>Then forget computationalism and think about computationalists! In that
>case you can follow the entire UDA without any other definition than
>the computationalist *belief*: "me is the guy who will survives with
>an artificial digital body".

    I don't know what you mean. You just seem to be substituting the less
formal word "guy" in place of the "me". I don't see how that helps, except
that presumably COMP predicts that a sex change operation is a form of
murder since there is no guy left :)
    What if I pick my own computationalist definition of "self"; for
example, an implementation of a computation. Could you rephrase your UDA to
work around that?

> > Everett never defined "machines", which is why his formulation leads to
>"paradoxes" like a stationary state being able to be "conscious".
>This seems to be an interesting remark. Could you developpe it a
>little bit.

    He assumes that a conscious observer is present when a certain term is
present in a superposition. Obviously, this will be that case for any state
that is not orthogonal to the given term, even a stationary state. It is
not a computationalist formulation.

> > First, memory (which he [Everett] deals with) is nothing like
> >the kind of "flow" QTI freaks talk about.
>What do you mean by "flow"?

    It is not my term, so I don't know what people mean by it, but I know
they attribute miraculous properties to it that lead to the QTI. Try
looking it up in the archives.

>There is only states of consistent machines and the (big) class of their
>consistent computational extensions appearing in UD*.

    What's a consistent computational extension?

>Read DeWitt & Graham page 63seq. He says for exemple (emphasis by
><<However, we do not do justice to the theory of pure wave mechanics
>until we have investigated what the theory itself says about the
>*appearance* of phenomena to observers, rather than hastily concluding that
>the theory must be incorrect because the actual states of systems as given
>by the theory seem to contradict our observations.
>We shall see that the introduction of observers can be accomplished
>in a reasonable manner, and that the theory then predicts that the
>*appearance* of phenomena, as the subjective experience of these
>observers, is precisely in accordance with the predictions of the
>usual probabilistic interpretation of quantum mechanics>>
>As you can see the probabilities are subjective and belong to the
>appearance, to the first person, with my "strange" language.

    First, he is probably just using 'subjective' as a redundant synonym of
'experience'. He does not really want to deny the objective existence of
experiences, or of an objective measure distribution on the same, but just
wants to emphasize that different observers see different things.
    Second, when he says 'predicts' he is clearly invoking an objective
measure distribution, since while the observers with greatest measure see
(approximately) the usual 'probabilities' (in terms of frequency), there are
certainly observers of lower measure who see different 'probabilities'.
(Indeed, there are some who are totally insane and see only white rabbits.)
He couldn't predict a thing without an objective measure distribution, and
clearly he is not just talking about himself so forget the relative stuff.

> >You need to realize that the notion of "1st person" used on this list is
>just an extra-crackpot version of mind-like hidden variables that has no
>basis in objective reality:
>Refer me to a post where "1st person" is used as mind-like
>hidden variables.

    Look it up in the archives and find any post that includes the term,
that's one.

>And recall me what you mean by "objective reality".
>Recall that for me objective reality is just arithmetical truth.

    The set of things that exist has objective reality. You still owe me a
definition of "existence" so I'm not going to define that.

> > That's not an objective measure distribution if it depends
> >on you...
>Let us say it is conditionalised by "me" (my history).

    Well ... (flipping a coin*) ... no, let's not say that.
[* ==> a joke, in response to a ridiculous statement]

> >.. I said there is one unique objective measure distribution - if you
>don't believe it you must believe in hidden variables and other crackpot
>nonsense. There is no other consistent possibility (except, you could
>believe in both).
>I dislike hidden variables. But by reading your post I am
>more and more willing to belief in the existence of crackpot nonsense :-)

    That's a start. You can see a reversed pictoral representation of a
crackpot if you have a mirror handy.

> >> > What does differentiate different people?
> >>Memories. Cosmological, genetical, individual memories. I would
> >>say. Most of the time there are organized into histories, so I could
>have said simply: Histories. Isn't it?
> >
> > Suppose my memory is a set of bits. A cosmic ray comes in and flips
>one bit. Did the ray kill me and create a new person? If so, OK, but no
>QTI. If not what if it keeps happening? I could end up with identical
>memories to a completely different person. So, really, there is no
>distinction between 2 people.
>So you agree that, provided that there is no end for the human race,
>you *are* immortal, because if there is no distinction between two
>people, there is no distinction between you and any of our descendants,
>isn't it?

    No. First, I was using your definition of what distinguishes people,
not my own. I certainly wouldn't want to be the same person as you.
(Non-humans get included too, so what you are saying is that there is only
one person in the multiverse. I don't think a QTIer has in mind "survival"
via his children, without his old memories, though, so I think no one would
agree with that definition.)
    Second, I would define "immortal" not as having no end, but as having an
infinite median age over the measure distribution. Thus an exponentially
decaying long-time tail is not immortality. Third, as you know I agree with
the (modified for what we know) Doomsday argument, so even collectively
humanity is not immortal. It's basically the same argument as for an

                         - - - - - - -
               Jacques Mallah (
         Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
         My URL:
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Received on Fri Apr 27 2001 - 14:25:02 PDT

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