Lennart Nilsson > Here is something from David Deutsch for Platonists to > contemplate...I think > LN > > > > "We see around us a computable universe; that is to say, of all > > possible mathematical objects and relationships, only an infinitesimal > > proportion are ever instantiated in the relationships of physical objects > > and physical processes. > > (These are essentially the computable functions.) Now it might > > seem that one approach to explaining that amazing fact, is to say "the > > reason why physical processes conform to this very small part of > > mathematics, 'computable mathematics,' is that physical processes > > really are computations running on a computer external to what > > we think of as physical reality." > > But that relies on the assumption that the set of computable > > functions - the Turing computable functions, or the set of quantum > > computable operations - is somehow inherently privileged within > > mathematics. So that even a computer > > implemented in unknown physics (the supposed computer that we're > > all simulations on) would be expected to conform to those > > same notions of computability, to use those same functions > > that mathematics designates as computable. > > But in fact, the only thing that privileges the set of all > > computational operations that we see in nature, is that they are > > instantiated by the laws of physics. It is only through our > > knowledge of the physical world > > that we know of the difference between computable and not computable. > > So it's only through our laws of physics that the nature of computation > > can be understood. It can never be vice versa." > >

I think our whole traditional approach is anthropomorphically inside out. The universe is a process and the only perfect descriptor - the perfect mathematics of the universe - is the universe itself. Of course it is all a computation. We tinker and panelbeat mathematics to model what it does in a certain context but it's ultimately a process and is indivisible. Take anything out of it and what you take is changed and what you take it from is changed. Our silly fascination that there are 'things' to model is an artifact of our being in the system we try to describe and the inherently 3rd person view of it provided by our senses. I hold that the third person view is fundamentally virtual. There is only 1st person experience giving an apparent 3rd person view! Kant was 180 degrees wrong. I find the awe that we have of the apparent utility of mathematics quite funny. We beat the hell out of it until it works and then get all misty eyed and mystical that it does! Nuts. Yes the universe is computation but its language is its own and the only tokens and types that truly represent what it does are persistencies in a massive process of change. In mathematical modelling axiomatic statements form a boundary to both the rest of the universe contained by the erstwhile model and to that part of the universe containing your erstwhile model. The universe has no such limit. It is complete from the most minute fluff in a loop in quantum foam to a galactic supercluster and beyond. There is no such thing as matter. There is only apparently persistent structure in a massive process and everything in it is connected. Physics and mathematics can only ever approximate what it does. That is what Godel taught us. It's time we listened. A TOE in this context is simply meaningless. The universe itself _is_ the TOE! Job's done! A model of a thing is not a thing. Materialism is only apparent and platonist dreaming should be left as just that. A little while ago we had a posted paper re 'Process Philosophy' and a 'Process Physics' to go with it. Listen to it. How's that for a sweeping flood over the whole issue! cheers Colin Hales * Stirring the pot a little more vigorously than usual*