Re: Marchal's CC&Q paper

From: Wei Dai <>
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 18:55:49 -0800

On Tue, Dec 29, 2037 at 12:52:36AM +0100, Marchal wrote:
> I will try. Please tell me if I fail.

No, it's very helpful. I'll have more feedback after digesting the
information and reading the books on metamathematics.

A couple of suggestions in the meantime. In your future papers you may
want to define some of the terms that you use. For example what you mean
by "computationalism" seems to be a very specific kind of
computationalism, as the term is commonly used. This page
defines computationalism only as:

> The notion that the operation of the mind can be explained entirely in
> terms of the formal, or functional, properties of a computational
> system.

You should also get a local colleague to review your papers before
publishing them. The CC&Q paper on your site contains a number of
spelling and grammatical errors. The reviewer can also help you by
pointing out the areas that need clarification.

> The best book is Boolos 1993 "The logic of provability" (ref in my
> thesis, or look at "Boolos" in the archive).
> A good intro is Boolos and Jeffrey.
> A textbook is Smorynski "Self-reference and Modal logic".
> A popular introduction is Smullyan's "Forever Undecided".

What about _Introduction to Metamathematics_, by Stephen Cole Kleene. Is
that any good?

> 2) Church Thesis: Anything computable is Turing computable. I give
> the conceptual reason for this at

You refence a "G*" in this post. What does that mean? May I suggest that
you put a list of such terms and definitions on your web site for
reference? You probably defined it in an earlier post, but again it's hard
to read 500 posts. Perhaps you could also give a list of essential posts
that explain your ideas as concisely and clearly as possible and the order
that is best to read them in, and put that on your web site as well.

> Also, when you say that QM should be the shortest algorithm, I am
> afraid you share with Schmidhuber a proposition on the mind body
> relationship which I show to be inconsistent with comp. You seem
> to believe that the mind brain relation is one-one.

No I don't believe that. What I meant was that QM plus a translation
algorithm (into some abstract description of observer-moments) is the
shortest algorithm. I think that multiple distinct brains can translate
to the same abstract description.

On the other hand, from a decision theory perspective, this question may
be irrelevent or just a subjective value judgement. The reason I'm so
interested in a decision theoretic approach is that it may help us figure
out which are the essential questions, and which may just be empty
philosophy. If the answer to a question is irrelevent to choosing actions,
does the question mean anything? If the answer only affects the utility
function, does that mean it has no objective answer and there is no point
in arguing over it?

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving everythingers. Right now I'm very thankful that I
live in a world that affords me the opportunity to think and talk about
these issues.
Received on Thu Nov 22 2001 - 18:57:06 PST

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