[ExI] the list of all truths

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sat Apr 15 11:01:50 UTC 2023

On Fri, Apr 14, 2023, 11:51 PM Rafal Smigrodzki via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 4, 2023 at 7:42 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 2:48 AM  for Smigrodzki via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> Science succeeds. The mystery endures.
>> Indeed. But I would say some cracks are finally appearing in the
>> intractability of the problem of ontology. For the first time in history we
>> can link observational evidence to a theory that explains why we exist. My
>> article here explains what progress has been made in this question:
>> https://alwaysasking.com/why-does-anything-exist/
>> The short answer is that if we assume absolute truths, like 2+2=4, have
>> always existed and always will exist, we can show constructively how this
>> leads to other mathematical truths and equations, some of which define all
>> computable universes and minds. The distribution of these mind states as
>> implied by algorithmic information theory leads to many testable
>> predictions about our universe, all of which, to date, have been confirmed.
>> Including:
>> A multiverse of many parallel histories, fundamental unpredictability,
>> involving seemingly unlimited computation.
>> A universe having simple, computable, life friendly laws, having both
>> time and an apparent beginning in time.
>> A universe where information and observation play a critical and
>> fundamental role.
>> See the section:
>> https://alwaysasking.com/why-does-anything-exist/#Is_This_Testable
>> If correct, this puts observation at the heart of ontology and makes
>> understanding consciousness central to understanding reality.
> ### Yes. But still, I have an unshakable sense of mystery when trying to
> think about these issues.
> Take this for example: If you take an infinite list of undecidable or
> uncomputable mathematical questions, there is a corresponding list of
> correct answers. This list of truths is uncomputable, there is no way of
> telling it apart from the infinity of lists that contain one or more
> incorrect answers. And yet, it exists. Are there any subjective, conscious
> states that in some way relate to such lists of correct answers?

I would say it's only the computations that matter to the question of which
and whether any conscious states are realized by them. What the final
result (if any) of the computation is, is of little importance, it's more
what happens in between that matters.

Think of that computer described by Douglas Adams which computed for
billions of years to output 42 as the answer to life the universe and
everything. If during the course of this computation it simulated whole
worlds and civilizations down to the details of individuals and their
minds, those observers will have lived, experienced and felt, regardless of
whether 42 is right or wrong, and regardless of whether the computer ever
finds that answer or if it goes on forever never finding one.

Does computationalism say our conscious experience takes place within the
> realm of computable or decidable mathematical objects, or do we exist in
> the uncomputable part?

I have seem some, like Tegmark (I believe it was him anyway) say that we
only exist in programs that terminate. But I have seen others (like Bruno
Marchal) argue, that we only exist in programs that go on forever, since
any programs that terminate can provide only a finite contribution to our
measure, which becomes infinitesimal compared to the contribution of
programs that go on forever. I think I lean more towards Bruno's answer

Then we would exist (mainly) in the uncomputable parts. But note, there are
programs that as part of their operations, compute all programs, e.g. a
program computing Chaitin's Omega Constant, or Bruno Marchal's universal
dovetailer. These top level programs never halt, but they will invoke and
process programs that do terminate. Self-delimited and terminating
programs, as well as new instances of the dovetailer or Chaitin's Omega
calculator, will recur infinitely often and form a fractal-like structure.

> Is there the one and only list of all truths, including the unknowable
> truths?

I believe in objective truth, but I don't think anyone can generate a list
of it, or ever know more than some finite subset of it.

Where truth ties into consciousness is where we can say, it is objectively
true that program P (which simulates the Hubble volume of our universe)
contains a person named Rafal who generates the string of text "Is there
the one and only list of all truths, including the unknowable truths?"

This is a fact that could be discovered and proven by analyzing the memory
contents of program P. Now unless the Rafal within program P is a zombie,
then that Rafal is as conscious as you are. And we can prove that within
arithmetic that this Rafal exists, and so he is in essence, as necessary to
exist as 42 is necessary to exists within arithmetic.


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