Dear Brent and others in this thread:

I kept out of it (not the least because of computer
troubles still unresolved) now I have some remarks:

How do you (all) imagine experience/knowledge WITHOUT
experience and knowledge to absorb/create it? It is a
(vicious?) circle. Do we start with a blank form to
fill in? What empty lines? what relations? where from?

You all use the word "reality" - who's and who knows
what is 'behind' it? We interpret some figment by our
own (1st mostly, but applying 3rd pers. info as well -
to the extent how we absorbed it as our own 1st pers
compliance) We are part of the "reality"-word, can't
see it in its totality (from the inside). Can a
deepsea fish describe water? A blind the colors deaf
the sound?
Then again 'computer sci (whatever) is a "more
abstract model"?' what is a non-abstract one? It comes
by abstraction limiting the topic we visualize between
OUR homemade boundaries. 

I kept out from topics beyond (beneath?) my common
sense, like the Q immortality related fantasms,
because WHAT may 'live on' if the COMPLEXITY of
mentality (call it as you wish, consciousness, spirit,
soul, mind etc.) TOGETHER with the bodily aspect we
visualize (and live ???) falls apart? Who are you
without your body? Who are you without your mind? The
reincarnationists have not resolved that: nobody (in
the next life) remembers anything about the former
bodily existence (have you been an ant? an eagle? or
an elephant?) so WHAT is that reincarnational (or
Q-transfer) item? Superstitious (my slogan on
religion-based belief - including the post Q

Evidence? a model based figment that supports my
Quantizing? the human mind invented numbers (Bohm) and
'counting' within the items chosen to be included in
our actual model. Go beyond it? That's highly
"unscientific" (which tells something about our terms
of the sciences).

Granted: in "wholism" we are vague, even ignorant,
because our knowledg-base is limited and our working
mind (still not understood what it may be) does think
(work) only in those model-terms we can account for.
Which does not mean to accept the model-based talk.

Please excuse me for misusing the moment when a
mailbox was willing to forward my remarks. 

John Mikes

--- Hal Finney <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Forwarded on behalf of Brent Meeker:
> > On 24-Jul-05, you wrote:
> >
> > > Brent Meeker writes:
> > >> Here's my $0.02. We can only base our knowledge
> on our experience
> > >> and we don't experience *reality*, we just have
> certain
> > >> experiences and we create a model that
> describes them and
> > >> predicts them.  Using this model to predict or
> describe usually
> > >> involves some calculations and interpretation
> of the calculation
> > >> in terms of the model.  The relation of the
> model to reality, if
> > >> it's a good one, is it gives us the right
> answer, i.e. it
> > >> predicts accurately.  Their are other criteria
> for a good model
> > >> too, such as fitting in with other models we
> have; but prediction
> > >> is the main standard.
> > > 
> > > This makes sense but you need another element as
> well.  This shows up
> > > most explicitly in Bayesian reasoning models,
> but it is implicit in
> > > others as well.  That is the assumption of
> priors.
> > > 
> > > When you observe evidence and construct your
> models, you need some
> > > basis for choosing one model over another.  In
> general, you can create
> > > an infinite number of possible models to match
> any finite amount of
> > > evidence.  It's even worse when you consider
> that the evidence is noisy
> > > and ambiguous.  This choice requires prior
> assumptions, independent of the
> > > evidence, about which models are inherently more
> likely to be true or not.
> >
> > In practice we use coherence with other theories
> to guide out choice.  With
> > that kind of constraint we may have trouble
> finding even one candidate
> > theory. We begin with an intuitive physics that is
> hardwired into us by
> > evolution.  And that includes mathematics and
> logic.  Ther's an excellent
> > little book on this, "The Evolution of Reason" by
> Cooper.
> >
> >
> > > 
> > > This implies that at some level, mathematics and
> logic has to come before
> > > reality.  That is the only way we can have prior
> beliefs about the models.
> > > Whether it is the specific Universal Priori
> (1/2^n) that I have been
> > > describing or some other one, you can't get away
> without having one.
> > > 
> > >> So in my view, mathematics and theorems
> > >> about computer science are just models too,
> albeit more abstract
> > >> ones.  Persis Diaconsis says, "Statistics is
> just the physics of
> > >> numbers."  I have a similar view of all
> mathematics, e.g.
> > >> arithmetic is just the physics of counting.
> > > 
> > > I don't think this works, for the reasons I have
> just explained.
> > > Mathematics and logic are more than models of
> reality.  They are
> > > pre-existent and guide us in evaluating the many
> possible models of
> > > reality which exist.
> >
> > I'd say they are *less* than models of reality. 
> They are just consistency
> > conditions on our models of reality.  They are
> attempts to avoid talking
> > nonsense.  But note that not too long ago all the
> weirdness of quantum
> > mechanics and relativity would have been regarded
> as contrary to logic.
> >
> >
> > Brent Meeker

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