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*


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