My final ramblings.....
> From: Bruno Marchal [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
> > Reality vs perception of reality? I vote we work really hard on the
> > latter and drop all ascription in relation to the former. A
> > significant dose of humility indeed.
> I don't think "objective reality" can be perceived (only subjective
> reality can be perceived). Nevertheless, "objective reality" is an
> ideal we should always tend to. I agree very much with your intuition
> of the importance of humility, but then you talk as if someone has
> given a convincing argument of the existence of a natural world. You
> should give the reference :). With the comp assumption, in particular,
> there is no "natural world", just a web of numbers' dream (to be
> short). Matter emerges from the fact that numbers' dreams overlap in
> some non trivial way.
> Of course there could be, perhaps, a natural world (and comp is false,
> thus). I respect that belief very much, but it is a highly non trivial
> assumption. I can understand the recent irritation of Brent Meeker,
> because, although your critics of the current average science practice
> seems to me well-founded, you are not clear on your assumptions and you
> seem to fall in the very trap you describe so well.
> Actually, with comp, many things you say seem coherent if you
> substitute "natural world" by "arithmetical truth". Remember that Godel
> has shown there is no way to build a complete "model" of it. With Godel
> we have reasons to believe we are very ignorant, and with comp (+
> godel) we have justifiable reasons to believe it is necessary like
> that. You should appreciate Godel's and Lob's theorem because it
> justifies the humility you defend so well. Lob's formula is often
> interpreted as a modesty formula.
I have studied in detail the whole Leibniz -> cantor -> Hilbert ->
Russel/Whitehead -> Godel -> Turing -> Chaitin trail. It's a favourite and
Godel's work as depicted by Nagel/Newman (with the Hofstadter intro)....
Nagel E, Newman JR, Hofstadter DR. 2002. Gödel's proof. New York: New York
University Press. xxiii, 129 , p.
....is one of my favourite books of all time along with Godel Escher Bach.
Hofstadter DR. 1980. Gödel, Escher, Bach : an eternal golden braid.
Harmondsworth: Penguin. xxi, 777 p.
Nagel seems to be a very very smart guy and is a gifted wordsmith. His stuff on
science and tautologies (IMHO) is wonderful and he is the most observant... he
really looks at the natural world...not at his own navel. As in
Nagel E. 1974. What is it like to be a bat? The Philosophical
In relation to Godel I can offer a quote from
Hintikka J. 2000. On Gödel. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
“...It may be true in some sense that the human mind operates in a way
different from the modus operandi of a Turing machine, and even that Gödel’s
theorem shows this difference. However, the arguments offered in the literature
are for the most part highly unsatisfactory. For one thing, what is it that
humans are supposed to know but machines not? Presumably the existence of a
true but unprovable arithmetical proposition.
‘On Gödel’ (Hintikka, 2000)
Chapter X “Turing Machines or Gödel Machines?”. Page 68
This is exactly what I have found. A new form of unprovable truth I have called
a 'virtual theorem'. I am writing this stuff up at the moment. It's next of the
list in the model.... layer 0 of the model is the fundamentals like the
mathematical basis....The mathematical basis for the phenomenality model is, as
I have said previously something that you can understand when you formulate 'a'
reality as a calculus of noise. In my case the calculus I called 'entropy
calculus'. And indeed if you consider it as a naturally occurring mathematics
then we are indeed simply part of a mathematics. You and I are a running
proof-in-progress in that mathematics.
Ultimately I see people like Cahill actually finding noise statistics like the
G and u0, e0 and other physical constants.
The deeper implications and potentialities of that situation are not my goal.
There may me more than one calculus happening at the same time. We may be 'in
As a monism of noise I am only interested in understanding the entire structure
to the point of understanding phenomenality so I can build my chipset to make
machines that have a phenomenal life and a form of general intelligence based
on it like us. Someone else can work out the rest.
The idea of a simulated (computational) basis for life within this universe is
simply not meaningful in term so fthe proposed model. That is, in the sense
that we consider manipulation of symbols with meanings ascribed by humans any
symbolic manipulation throws away the virtual theorems. There can be no
phenomenal life. This can be intuited from a very simple thought experiment:
Ask yourself "what is it like to be a Turing Machine?" The answer, no matter
how staggeringly complex the symbols on the tape, is it is like being a tape
and tape reader with a perforated tape in it. Put the same thing in silicon...
what's it like? It's like being a hot rock. Whatever that is... :-) Put it in a
quantum computer... what's it like? Like being ..dunno.. a cryogenically cold
The model suggests that 'computation' literally is the natural world, in the
context of an entropy calculus. To make entropy calculus simply use the above
nagel reference as a cookbook. Start with a gigantic number of very simple
reversible events and let it evolve as a massive cellular automata. We emerge.
In the end, however, my experience has been that Ockham (Occam?) 's Razor
really works. What I find is the essence of simplicity... at all places when it
seemed like I had to invent some 'feature' or principle to explain something...
in the end it vapourised and became a result of a natural implicit context.
Like in entropy calculus... implicit signs, implicit rules of inference,
transformation etc... To be in a natural computational substrate is to be us...
at least that is what the whole thing points to. A staggerring pile of
So, Bruno, I suppose I'm right with you in regards the relationship between
computation and the natural world. They are one and the same, just not
computation in the style we culturally imbue at school and via the workings of
our technology. I tend not to think of numbers, however... merely quantity...
the word 'number' has the smell of the indirection of a symbolic representation
I'm also quite at ease with the idea of an infinite number of abstract domains
we can explore symbolically. The fact that only one of them is apparently
actually implemented (which is what you say when you refer to the one we are in
and why you name it 'the natural world'. I say natural because it can
spontaneously arise for good reasons) is simply an enforced conclusion of a
cognitive agent within it. This is where the anthropic principle seems to be a
valuable way of looking at things.
I'm fairly sure I have sniffed out all the loose ends in this. I have a
mathematical basis, a 2 sided epistemology model situating us within that
mathematics. The resulting model shows us that the human brain makes
fantastically good use of simple properties of the natural world. In particular
it makes use of the very deepest structure of the natural world to construct a
Which brings me to another note to leave you with for the moment. I have said
it before and I commend you ponder it deeply... In the organisational hierarchy
of structured noise
Humanity, Human, Organ(brain), Cell, Molecule, Atom, Atomic Particle, Subatomic
Particle, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, ...........<X>
Zoom in on the structure with a mental magnifying glass....There's no such
thing as a proton... it's 3 quarks playing tag. Then look at the quarks.
DOH...no such 'thing', but merely some new substructure. When you stare at
any'thing', you are not staring at any'thing' at all. You look at a pile of <X>
and only <X> with a really nifty qualia paint job. And when you bust it up you
get 'bits' of the same <X> in different configurations with yet another qualia
paint job....and so on..... YOU are made of <X>, staring at <X> from within a
massive organised structure of <X>.
Take away any one layer and all layers above are simply not there any more.
Inheritance rules (entropy calculus has a set theoretic treatment)
In the model if you BE a human you have to be ALL of the hierarchy! In a monism
of structured noise ALL is only made of ONE... and that one thing is
<X>...including space and matter...everything is made of the one 'thing'...and
, according to Heraclitus.. that thing is not a 'thing' at all..it's merely an
event. Prigogine would say drop 'being' and consder 'becoming'. Its ontological
appearance is some'thing' we get by talking about it when you are made of it.
In Cahill's case he chose that primitive 'event' and called it a GEBIT. It
doesn’t really matter what the nature of the fundamental (indeed if there
really is a limiting fundamental at all...this is something for people smarter
than me to work out) event is.... you end up looking like us in what we see
That's the story told by a model of the natural world as an entropy calculus of
noise including situated cognitive agents made of it trying to understand it
from within and inclusive of the phenomenality needed to construct any
knowledge model at all.
BTW Yesterday I did a mirror metaphor. Not quite adequate... so I'll give you
the next layer of the metaphor.
1) Your brain does not make a mirror. It makes everything BUT the mirror or
better 'not-mirror'. Think about it.
2) It's not a mirror... it's actually more like a periscope. 'Be' the
periscope. If you are a sailor think of 'apparent wind'. It's how phenomenality
appears to come from your body or 'out there' when it's actually generated by
cellular activity. It's why your visual field appears to be sourced from your
eyes when in fact it gets generated up the back of your head in the occipital
3) The mirror is not a 2D surface. It's a very messy 3D surface and it's not
'reflecting' light, but all manner of 'phenomenal' elements (quale) used to
make haptic, visual, olfactory, gustatory, aural perceptual fields.
I have deposited this structure here, now, so that the extremely elevated IQ of
this list may be the first to chew through it and take it or whatever it turns
into, including its demise....into the future. prove it wrong (with empirical
evidence) and you have helped me to my goal just as much.
Phenomenality is becoming banal to me. The real challenge is
political/cultural... a pile of darlings have to be... upgraded somewhat. I
posit with a huge pile of evidence that science is a psychologically sick puppy
and the disease is inherited from 150 years ago (ish) and is only a problem in
the one area of the science of phenomenality. That science, upon scrutiny,
seems to open a door to another 50% of scientific endeavour.
The cure is simply to recognize it!...To consider phenomenality as having
primacy in our view of the natural world. The practical upshot is the 2 sided
epistemology model of explanation/description. This is the essential message of
the whole thing. We can't get at phenomenality without absorbing this idea and
getting used to it.
The details will emerge in the literature... or not... as the case may be!
(I'll be a philosopher yet!)
I gotta get back to the coal face.