>Jonathan Colvin wrote:
>> >>Agreed. But some *worlds* we can imagine may be logically
>> >>(inconsistent), may they not? I can imagine (or talk
>about) a world
>> >>where entity A has property X and property Y, but it may be
>> >>logically impossible for any existing entity A to simultaneously
>> >property X
>> >>and Y. For example, it seems that it would be inconsistent
>> >for there to
>> >>exist a world where simultaneously I am omniscinent and I
>> >consist of a single elctron.
>> >>Such a world seems inconsistent (not logically possible).
>> >Such a world
>> >>may not appear in the set of worlds generated by all
>> >instantiated programs.
>> >Omniscience is a problematic concept; one can argue that a single
>> >electron does indeed have all possible knowledge encoded in
>> >But leaving that aside, why do you say that it is logically
>> >impossible for an electron to be intelligent? To show that it is
>> >*logically* impossible you would have to show that it entails a
>> >logical or mathematical contradiction, such as 2+2=5.
>>My point is not that it *is* logically impossible, but that it *may
>>be*. It is obvious that 2+2=5 is a mathematical contradiction. But if
>>we take Tegmark's radical platonism seriously, then such
>>must "scale up" into the categories of things and worlds. All
>>things exist; and all impossible things do not. How do we decide
>>whether "an omniscient electron" is a possible thing? It
>>not appear to be; and the point is that it may *in fact* be an
>>impossible thing. It is straightforward to show that 2+2=5 is
>>contradictory under number theory. It is obviously not so
>>straightforward to show that "an omniscient electron" is equally
>>a-priori contradictory. It is not even obvious that "an omniscient
>>electron" is in the same category of propositions as "2+2=5". But I'd
>>argue that if we take Tegmark seriously, then it should be.
>Stathis: OK, I agree with your reasoning. But, just for fun, can you
>think of an example of a physical reality which is clearly a
That's a good question. I can think of a chess position that is a-priori
illegal. But our macroscopic world is so complex it is far from obvious what
is allowed and what is forbidden. That's why I can't consistently predict
what tomorrow's lottery numbers will be. So if I could answer your question,
I'd probably be out buying lottery tickets right now :).