[Fis] What is a machine?
Bruno Marchal
marchal at ulb.ac.be
Tue Nov 5 11:36:32 CET 2019
Hi Stan, Jerry, Annette, Joseph, & others,
> On 4 Nov 2019, at 03:00, Jerry LR Chandler <jerry_lr_chandler en me.com> wrote:
>
> List,
> Hi Annette,
>
>> On Nov 3, 2019, at 4:42 PM, annette.grathoff en is4si.org <mailto:annette.grathoff en is4si.org> wrote:
>>
>> ...where a centralized nervous system and brain analyses signals incoming from many different cells and sub-cellular systems and integrates them into a global feeling which aids as evaluation capacity in decision making. Descartes had to deliberately exclude this topic from the sciences for reasons quite understandable at his times, but today?
>> Is the evaluation capacity and evaluation depth of machines in any way comparable to the one of biological systems or is it a complete new path in the history of prioritizing?
>
> Thank you for focusing a deeper perspective on the well-worn metaphors about mathematical machines.
I think that we have to distinguish the use of machine as metaphor in biology and psychology, which can have some practical interest, but should never taken seriously (I explain why below), and the Digital Mechanist Hypothesis, which only asserts the (non constructive) existence of a level of description of “me” such that I can survive with a computer emulating me at that level of description. To negate the second hypothesis is basically equivalent to introduce actual infinities, or non computable notions, a priori in Nature. This is not helpful because the Digital Mechanist hypothesis do justify the use of actual infinities and non computable notions for the phenomenology.
Indeed, I can justify (or refer to my papers) why the digital mechanist hypothesis is incompatible with any mechanical metaphor. Accepting a digital artificial brain is not a metaphor, and requires some act of faith, as no machine is able to know which machine she might be. In fact, the machine are already aware that they have a “soul” (a first person knowledge) which is provably different of any machine. The universal machine is a sort of universal dissident by being able to refute all reductionist theories made about them.
Those subtleties are brought by the incompleteness phenomenon which kills the reductionist conception of numbers and machines, and thus a fortiori of Man.
This entails also that we cannot know which computations (among an infinities of computations, all realised in arithmetic, as we know (or should know) since Gödel 1931 and Turing 1936.
The universal machine’s behaviour, and semantic, is not computable: it is only partially computable, and the machine which try to know “who she is” is on an infinite path. Each time she get closer to an answer, she changes itself in a way that she cannot predict, nor the consequences of the changes. That makes the machine metaphor (which requires some fixed description) contradicted by the very notion of universal machine. To be sure, I limit myself to self-referentially correct “rich” (Löbian) machine (they are universal and they know that they are universal, like humans).
With that hypothesis, physics becomes in principle a branch of machine’s biology/psychology/theology, which is a theory which cannot be reduced into a fixed complete theory. It is essentially undecidable (which explains the need of the mechanist act of faith and the appearance of a theology (in the Platonic greek sense of a non constructive truth theory about the machine and its mode of self-reference).
This theory might be false (we might not survive with a digital brain/body transplants), but it explains, assuming no more than natural numbers (or any Turing universal where the appearance of a physical reality comes from, and why it seems to be a statistics on computations. That leads to a “many-world interpretation” of elementary arithmetic which is enough precise to recover some quantum logics for the machine’s sharable observable (quanta), but also for its private non sharable parts (quanta). When I found this, I thought that I was close to refute Mechanism … until I discover that the physicist where already there. This also to explain hat is quantum information from the digital information theory (aka computer science, mathematical logic).
With digital mechanism, the explanations go in this way:
NUMBER => INFORMATION/COMPUTATION => (universal) DREAMS => Physical REALITY appearances => HUMANS => Human’s number and machines => etc.
I don’t know the truth, of course, but thanks to Quantum Mechanics, and Mathematical Logic, I would say that there is more evidence in favour of Digital Mechanism than in materialism/physicalism. It looks like we are led back to Plato and Pythagorus. In fact, the “theology of the machine” is *quite* close to Moderatus of Gades (first century, neopythagorean) and the neoplatonist (Plotinus, Proclus, … up to Damascius).
I can give references, if you don’t know them already. I understand that it might look very weird from a materialist or Aristotelian point of view. Sadly, the common God vs No God hides the original question of the early theologian: is reality given by a physical primary universe, or is reality a deeper and simpler consequence of a non material reality (like mathematics, musics, …).
To sum up the main admittedly counter-intuitive point: the digital mechanist hypothesis refutes all mechanist metaphors. The machines have a soul (in the greek platonician sense) and they already know (in the sense of Plato’s Theaetetus) that their soul is NOT a machine, nor even anything describable in any third person way.
Bruno Marchal
>
> What do you think is the role of information-bearing symbols in the possible forms of machines?
> Is there a truth function that connects abstract machines to the logic of reality?
> (Is this the constraint that you believe Descarte declined to address?) The bipolarity of Quantum theory (QED) seems to address the your issues from a sub-atomic perspective. Or hav I mis-interpreted you intended meaning?
>
> Numerous scientific symbol systems are used routinely in the everyday pragmatism of doing science of reality. Why? Why so many different symbol systems? Are numerous symbol systems actually necessary for human communication of information?
>
> Can you imagine one “machine language” that could serve to communicate information, irrespective of the particular scientific symbols used by humans?
>
> The writings of C S Peirce (breath and comprehension as properties of information) and of J S Mills (homeopathic and heteropathic representational structures of emergence) seem to lurking in the philosophic ether that motivates these distinctions.
>
> W.R.T
>> Is the evaluation capacity and evaluation depth of machines in any way comparable to the one of biological systems or is it a complete new path in the history of prioritizing?
>
> It is possible to give a logically rigorous path that connects heteropathic scientific antecedents to emergent heteropathic consequences by numerical paths. Such a path embraces the notion of mappings between scientific notations and correspondence between the logical terms of scientific notations. I published a short paper on this in a conference proceedings a couple of years ago; the thread of logic is by extension of scale and by abductive scopes of meanings of propositional terms.
>
> Cheers
>
> Jerry
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