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Jordan comments on Nonperson Predicates - Less Wrong

29 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 December 2008 01:47AM

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Comment author: Jordan 27 December 2008 11:37:48PM 1 point [-]

In my mind this comes down to a fundamental question in the philosophy of math. Do we create theorems or discover them?

If it turns out to be 'discovery' then there is no foul in ending a mind emulation, because each consecutive state can be seen as a theorem in some formal system, and thus all states (the entire future time line of the mind) already exists, even if undiscovered.

Personally I fail to see how encoding something in physical matter makes the pattern anymore real. You can kill every mathematician and burn every text book but I would still say that the theorems then inaccessible to humanity still exist. I'm not so convinced of this fact that I would pull the plug on an emulation though.

Comment author: Peterdjones 21 January 2013 03:00:57PM -1 points [-]

Personally I fail to see how encoding something in physical matter makes the pattern any more real.

That is equivalent to saying you can't understand how mathematics could be a construct; or how mathematical anti-realism could possibly be true. I find that odd.

If it turns out to be 'discovery' then there is no foul in ending a mind emulation, because each consecutive state can be seen as a theorem in some formal system, and thus all states (the entire future time line of the mind) already exists, even if undiscovered.

No further foul. If Platonism or Tegmarkism are true and if mind states are fuilly captured by mathematical structures, then there's zillions of yous in states of agony bliss and everything inbetween. Scary enough for ya?

Comment author: Jordan 21 January 2013 08:27:52PM *  3 points [-]

Scary enough for ya?

Sufficiently scary, yes.

That is equivalent to saying you can't understand how mathematics could be a construct; or how mathematical anti-realism could possibly be true.

I assign a respectable probability to anti-realism, and hold no disrespect for anyone who is an anti-realist, but I don't understand how anti-realism can be true. I've never heard a plausible model for why one thing should exist but not another. Tegmarkism sweeps away that problem, leaving the new problem of how to measure probability (why do we have the subjective experience of probability that we do when there are so many versions of myself?). I don't have a satisfactory answer for that question, but it feels like a real question, with meat to get at, whereas in an anti-realist universe the question of why some things exist and other don't seems completely hopeless.

Comment author: MugaSofer 22 January 2013 03:18:13PM -1 points [-]

I think Eliezer is working on addressing this in his new sequence, if this still worries you.