From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 10:33:37 +0200

"Stephen Paul King" wrote:

> > >I only have the vaguest hand waving reasoning at this time but let me
>> >try to make my case as to why I asked that question. If we identify
>> >with the notion of a "physical system" simulatable by Comp, following
>> >the line that D. Deutsch reasons with his Church-Turing Principle, it
>> >make sense that the simulations by Comp would be Boolean while Comp
>> >would be Q-Logical. What I am arguing is that MATTER is a simulation by
>> >MIND. I think that you are trying to argue the same. ;-)
>> BM:
>> OK
> So do you agree?

Yes. At least if by matter you mean the object of our sharable anticipations,
and by mind, let us say bits and numbers (I put machine's discourse
on bits and numbers *in* bits and numbers, cf the arithmetisation
of metamathematics ...).

> > > The notion that "our thought behaves in a boolean way" only comes
>> >the fact that mental behavior is modeled in terms of the manipulations of
>> >symbols which is, ultimately, restricted to the possible behaviours of
> > >matter ...

Mmh... I would say that it is the possible behaviors of matter which is
restricted by the possible symbolic links. That's not obvious, I justify
with uda ...

> > BM:
>> Only with some physicalist postulate. I would say it is matter which
>> is ultimately restricted to possible relations between numbers.
> But I hope that you will admit that while being that is true, it is
>trivial given the mathematical Platonist assumption!

There are people like Alain Connes who are both mathematical platonist
and material realist. (But wait him reading my stuff, I show that such
attiude is epistemologicaly untenable!). But even if it was trivial
that matter comes from mind for a mathematical platonist monist, it is
by no means trivial to make an actual derivation of physics from
numbers, or, as I do, from machine psychology/metamathematics.

>What ideas do you have
>about a "physicalist postulate"? What can I read to learn more about this?
> Maybe my question is: how does it make sense to talk about logical
>statements and relations all the while declaring that the existence of the
>manipulations of physical states is just the "possible relations between

Remember we share most probably an infinite set of deep computational
histories. I don't believe in stuffy electrons or stuffy dinosaurs,
but I believe in electrons and dinosaurs, *seen* as "relatively" (!) stable

>I understand somewhat how any logical statement can be encoded as
>some string of numbers, that is a "Goedelization".
> Perhaps what I need to understand how the notion of "meaning" and "time"
>are recovered. ;-)

Hard question. Roughly speaking meaning comes from our expectations. That is,
the way our brain (itself a relatively stable patterns in our computational
histories) build up a decor and some scenario hopefully related with our
most probable continuations. The type of approach I advocate has the advantage
of justifying the presence of an unavoidable explanatory gap concerning
meaning, qualia, first person, etc.

>> >.... and could be considered as those aspects of MIND that can be
>> >projected into MATTER.
>> > The question can be re-posed as: Is MATTER the object of MIND or is
>> >the object of MATTER?
>> BM:
>> I would say MATTER is the object of MIND, although the reverse can be
>> true. Also by MIND I would'nt mean Human Mind but the average mind
>> of the universal (and immaterial) machine.
> I am trying to use MIND as an equivalence class but an still strugling
>with the notion of a "universal (and immaterial) machine".

  May I suggest that you should read about Church thesis perhaps?

> I understand the notion of a UTM but can not understand how one can
>reason consistently about computations by it or any other "Machine" without
>introducing temporality and motion in some way.

Not at all. We need only the intuition of natural numbers. This one is
quite mysterious but is not time (unless you call it a mathematical time,
but arithmetic is not a theory about time but about numbers.
To count, we need *apparently* time. But number theoretical truth are
intemporal and they include all the sigma1 truth describing the complete
universal dovetailing. The physical time emerges from the 1-plural inside
view supervening on the whole intemporal UD works.

>This is the same as asking
>how can software be said to exist without some way to implement it.

The local relative implementation of the program P is needed only
if you want the program P being manifest relatively to you.
But the big program (actually the perhaps little one but, with old
computational history)
which implements you *implementing the program P* does not need to be
implemented. Your implementation of program P, with your feeling of
implementing P supervenes on the 2^aleph_0 computational histories
living atemporally in number platonia.

>It is in
>the implementation that time, motion, thermodynamics and other complications

Only in the local and relative implementations. That complication is
what the computationalist philosopher *must* explain. 'course it is not

> > >Is "the content of observation" a simulation and not
>> >"out there"?
>> BM:
>> They are degrees of "out there". The content of observation can be
>> a simulation AND can be out there, in platonia, for example.
> Does the notion of observation itself even mean anything at the level of

Sure! I even dare to say it is described by the logic of []p & <>p, with p
sigma1. (I recall A is sigma1 is A is equivalent to "it exists x such that
B(x)" with B decidable).

>> >It seems that I am asking you to question material Realism. I
>> >don't think that this would be a problem for you since your COMP theory
>is a
>> >form, IMHO, of Idealism. ;-)
>> BM:
>> Sure ;-)
> What is Time in your theory? Some kind of ordering? What makes it have,
>at least the appearence, of beng absolute?

It is what auda explains the best. Look:

At the ultimate 3-person (scientific) view there is no time. Just
intemporal relations between numbers. The UD* is embedded in there, and
we can limit ourself to it (for the physics). The block mindscape is
out of time.

At the complete opposite you have the 1-person subject, describe by
the thaetetus move: []p is transformed into ([]p & p). This gives an
antisymmetrycal geometry for time (through the frame of S4Grz).

Then you have physical time, which is most probably locally sharable and
should be first person plural (and so it still belongs, like space, to
machine psychology). This one is quasi-symmetrical (full of broken
symmetry). It is the hardest to derive!

Received on Tue Sep 03 2002 - 01:36:51 PDT

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