[ExI] Public draft of my book 'Tales of the Turing Church'

Giulio Prisco giulio at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 04:37:03 UTC 2018

Thanks for reading and commenting Stuart and John. For some reasons I
didn't receive John's post, and the list archives in extropy.org are
down atm. Fortunately I am subscribed to the list also via my
Protonmail mailbox, where I found John's post with the warning "This
email has failed its domain's authentication requirements. It may be
spoofed or improperly forwarded! " John, you may wish to review your
email settings.

I'll address your comments in another post.

On Wed, Oct 17, 2018 at 4:05 AM Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:
> Giulio Prisco & John Clark wrote:
> >> Everett’s used to be my favorite interpretation of quantum mechanics. I
> >> am less sure now, because Everett assumes the universal validity of
> >> quantum mechanics, and perhaps it’s too soon to be sure that a theory
> >> developed in the early 20th century is the ultimate scientific model of
> >> reality.
> >
> > Quantum Mechanics can't be the ultimate scientific model of reality
> > because it says nothing about gravity, and we know nothing about Dark
> > Energy and Dark Matter except that its 95% of reality.
> MWI also has the advantage of being compatible with general relativity in
> a way that Copenhagen and its ilk cannot be: no FTL wave function collapse
> or universal time-dependence. Everett framed his theory as the universe
> splitting into multiple universes whenever a quantum experiment was
> conducted.
> That was the part of Everett's interpretation that I disliked the most
> until I realized that the math works out the same if universe doesn't
> split because all the possible universes are all already out there and
> there are an infinite number of them. (Causal cells remember?) Thereby
> making it unnecessary for there to be a universal "now" to orchestrate a
> wave function collapse or the universe splitting into two or other
> "quantum magic".
> That is to say, there is no reason to require that all the version(s) of
> you that measured the electron to be spin up and the version(s) of you
> that measured the electron to be spin down all conduct their respective
> identical experiments at the same time. All that matters is that they did
> the same experiment and got different results. Those quantum experiments
> can be entangled with one another no matter how far apart they are in time
> and space.
> Also, this timelessness of combined GR and modified MWI (causal cells)
> fits the Wheeler-Dewitt equation quite well.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler%E2%80%93DeWitt_equation
> If all possible causal cells (Everett branches) exist on the same infinite
> n-dimensional manifold, then the overall state of universe itself does not
> change because it does not need to because it already embodies all
> possibility at once.
> > I like Many Worlds because it doesn't have to explain what an
> > observer is or how consciousness works because it has nothing to do with
> > it.
> MWI doesn't need consciousness to work but consciousness is still a
> phenomenon worthy of study and explanation.
> >> An alternative reading of Everett is suggested by “Many Minds”
> >> interpretations (of Everett’s interpretation) where it’s an observer’s
> >> consciousness, rather than the universe, that splits in parallel
> >> streams unaware of each other.
> Nothing splits because there are infinite versions of every observer
> observing every possible outcome except for the ones for which they are
> not present. Nothing changes when you observe a quantum state except your
> knowledge. You are just narrowing down which causal cell you have been
> residing in all this time.
> > If mind is what brains do then Many Minds and Many Worlds are the same
> > interpretation because brains are made of matter.
> >
> >> I find irrational mechanics liberating. I agree with Rucker that
> >> whether the world is fully deterministic or not ([causally closed or
> >> open]) is a fundamental open issue, perhaps THE fundamental open issue
> >> in science.
> Causal cells are causally closed, but that is made up for by there being
> an infinite number of them in every possible variation. They float like
> bubbles in the endless continuum of space each with its own independent
> arrow of time.
> > As far as consciousness is concerned I don't think it matters much if
> > things are deterministic or not, we do what we do because of cause and
> > effect (for a reason) and we are rational,  or we do things for no reason
> > and we are irrational. To my mind there is a even deeper question than
> > determinism is the world realistic, that it to say do things exist in a
> > definite state before they are observed? We know from experimental
> > results that Bell's Inequality is violated, therefore we know for certain
> > that if the universe is deterministic then it can't be both local and
> > realistic, at least one of those 2 things must be false.
> If realism is false, then we live in a finite simulation that is being
> rendered on-the-fly on an as needed basis possibly to conserve
> energy/resources. Thus physical objects are given properties only when
> they are observed.
> If locality is false we live in a multiverse that is infinite in size,
> continuous in space, and containing a countably infinite number of
> causally closed pocket universes or causal cells. Moreover these causal
> cells are entangled with one another through a universal wave function
> possibly with the help of extra dimensions as claimed by string theory.
> >  I don't see how
> > locality could be wrong. If things were non-local a change anywhere would
> > instantly change everything everywhere and before you could understand
> > anything you'd have to understand everything. We certainly don't know
> > everything but we do know a few things and I don't see how we could if
> > things were non-local.
> String theorists propose as many as 14 dimensions. All it takes is for one
> of those extra dimensions to actually exist and opposite sides of the
> observable universe could be an inch apart through that extra dimension.
> Something like this must happen since opposite sides of the observable
> universe are in thermal equilibrium with one another despite having been
> causally separated from one another since the big bang.
> > And if things are not realistic then the moon
> > doesn't exist when nobody is looking at it, and that seems like too high
> > a price to pay for determinism.
> Computing every detail of the moon when nobody is looking at it is a waste
> of CPU cycles.
> >> According to Hoyle, consciousness itself is a byproduct of the process
> >> of choosing a route - or, using Sir Fred's analogy, lopping the
> >> unrealized branches of the Everett tree.
> Yes, I agree that consciousness is correlated with agency.
> > Hoyle glosses over what he means by "choosing" but there are only 2
> > things it could mean, you made the choice you did for a reason or you
> > didn't, so you're either a Cuckoo Clockor a  roulette wheel, but we're
> > not going to learn much from that.
> Cuckoo clocks are a bad example here. Cuckoo clocks don't "choose"
> anything, they simply engage in periodic behavior. If anything we are more
> like thermostats than we are either cuckoo clocks or roulette wheels. In
> other words, we make choices based upon external input parameters.
> > I agree that consciousness is a
> > byproduct but not of choice of intelligence, if Darwin was right it has
> > to be. Evolution can't select for something it can't see and it can see
> > intelligence but it can't see consciousness any better than we can
> > directly see it in others, and yet I know for a fact random mutation and
> > natural selection produced at least one conscious being (me) and probably
> > many billions more. So consciousness must be a byproduct and is just the
> > way data feels like when it is being processed.
> I have some thoughts about the nature of intelligence and consciousness
> that I will go into in a separate thread as it is kind of down its own
> rabbit hole.
> >> I do NOT think that active consciousness and free will can arise in a
> >> Life universe.
> Well according to Conway you are right, Guilio. Conway wrote Life so that
> every state is used to compute a successor state, thus every state is
> solely a function of the previous state. Furthermore Conway published
> theorems regarding free will which defined it as the ability to make
> choices that are not a function of the past. Therefore, the cellular
> automata of Life do not have free will as defined by their creator.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_theorem
> Whether Conway's definition of free will is correct or not is debatable,
> but I can deliberately choose to say a non-sequitur or do something
> unpredicatbly spontaneous. Therefore I have what Conway calls free will
> and so do certain subatomic particles.
> > We know you can make a Turing Machine in the Life universe and if you can
> > do that then you can make make a intelligent machine and if you did that
> > you've got a conscious machine, or at least you do unless Darwin was
> > wrong. I don't think he was wrong.
> That does not follow at all. A Turing Machine is a convenient abstract
> mathematical object that is horribly innefficient compared to real
> computers. Furthermore a Turing Machine is like a combination of hardware
> and software so every possible algorithm is its own Turing Machine. So if
> I can implement a Turing Machine to add integers in Life, it does not
> necessarily mean that I can use Life to run Windows or John Clark.
> Just because given an infinite amount of time, an intelligence could be
> computed on an abacus does not qualify the abacus as intelligent or
> conscious. It certainly could not escape a hungry tiger.
> >> super-determinism should be called just determinism:
> >
> > I don't agree. Determinism just means if you know the laws of physics and
> > the initial conditions then you can figure out exactly what the future is
> > going to be, but it says nothing specific about what those specific
> > conditions are. But Super-determinism says that out of the astronomical
> > and possibly infinite number of states the universe could have stared out
> > with when it was born it just happened to be in the one and only state in
> > which after 13.8 billion years if would cause us to be fooled and make us
> > thing things were not deterministic when they really are. Although not
> > logically impossible that seem to me to be astronomically improbable,
> > maybe infinity so.
> Maybe all perceived randomness is simply ignorance of an implicit order
> too large to wrap our heads around. Like the distribution of prime numbers
> which are perfectly deterministic yet maddeningly unpredictable.
> Stuart LaForge
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