Le 14-févr.-06, à 05:19, danny mayes wrote (to Ben):

I doubt Marchal's ideas will be made widely known or popularized in the foreseeable future. 

This looks like an encouraging statement :-)

The problem isn't with the name of his theory, or with any problem with Bruno per se beyond this:  There doesn't seem to be an easily reducible way to summarize the theory in a manner that is digestible to anyone beyond the highly specialized in similar fields. 

I doubt this. I would even say that highly specialized people have more difficulties due to the lack of a panoramic view of the subject, and the lack of knowledge in the adjacent fields. Logicians doesn't really know the conceptual problem of QM. And Physicist rarely know what a formal system is all about. Both are unaware of the mind-body problem, etc. Probably popularization is technically more easy (but professionally more dangerous). "My theory", in a first approximation, is just "Mechanism", the doctrine that we are machine, in the sense that we cannot see any difference once we are substituted at some level of description of ourselves. That "theory" already appears in some ancient Indian and chinese texts, and is often attributed to Descartes. Somehow "my theory" is already popularized in many science-fiction books and essays. Dennet and Hofstadter are quite close in the book "Mind's I", which I recommend. They didn't see the first person comp indeterminacy though. And, given that Hofstadter wrote an impressive book on Godel's theorem, where he criticizes correctly the use of Godel's incompleteness against mechanism, I thought awhile that it was not even necessary I wrote my work. Almost like Judson Web, Hofstadter sees that Godel's theorem could be a good news for Mechanism/Comp. My work preceded those books for ten years, but has been trapped in a sort of typically european bureaucratic nightmare which will make me abandoning research for a while. Have you read the "Mind's I" book? I think you could follow the UDA argument easily if you have done that. The argument requires only some passive understanding of what a digital universal machine (computer) is. I keep saying I have no theory. I have just a theorem or an argument (informal and (hopefully) rigorous) according to which, if we take the comp hyp. seriously enough then eventually physics should be retrievable from [computer science + the amount of "theological faith" needed for saying "yes" purposefully to the doctor].

 I certainly understand the basics of some of his ideas,

If you understand the UDA, you get the point .... If not, you can always ask questions or make critics.

but when it gets into all
his logical analysis I just have never found myself willing to devote myself to the time required to really get into the detail of where he is coming from. 

... because the logical analysis does not add anything. The UDA shows that comp entails that necessarily physics is a branch of computer science (in a large sense). The "logical analysis" is the beginning of an *actual* derivation of physics from computer science. This *illustrates* how such a derivation, which is made necessary by UDA, can *actually* be undertaken. The logical analysis also shows the relative consistency of the enterprise. Would Godel's theorem be false, i.e. would truth be equal to provability, all "hypostases" would collapse into classical logic. Thanks to Godel's theorem, they are all different.

And I
would consider myself highly interested in these topics and at least reasonably intelligent.

Do you have the little book by Smullyan "Forever Undecided"? It is a very cute introduction to the logic G. Once you understand what is G, you can understand all the other arithmetical hypostases (effective and non effective person points of view, Theaetetical variants, see below).

Even something as mundane as the MWI (to this group at least) runs into a brickwall when presented to the layperson.  You should see the conversations I have with my wife.  Tell people everything is made of strings.  Or space and
time can be warped and curved.  They may not understand the science and
math behind it at all, but at least you are speaking their language. 

I think you have too much imagination which make you think my work is technically difficult. It isn't. In Brussels my work has been criticized has being too much easy. Argument of the type: "my two years old niece can do that!" (*).

 The world is not ready for his ideas. 

From -500 to +500, the world has been ready for quite similar Platonist Questioning, I tend to think now. And actually Plotinus seem to have got the main points with almost all details (without comp!). After: just 1000 years of a sort of obscurity with respect to the fundamental questioning, and so much religious or ideological brainwashing that in some countries we can even no more suggest any idea capable of questioning materialism. At least it *looks* like that.

Even for the most part the world of scientists in my opinion. 

Perhaps. You should wait I submit a publication, though. All the papers I have published so far has been ordered, and I try to get some more technical confirmation, or infirmation perhaps, to submit a completed version of my thesis. It could still take times(**), especially now that I realize that it could be difficult just to find the accurate journal ... I will send papers to the ArX.org soon or later. I am not entirely satisfied by my presentations.


(*) To be fair, those critics were coming from people defending some political version of materialism which I have never find very convincing. Those people are very powerful in France and Belgium, which explains a bit of my academical isolation. Let me give you pieces of evidences once and for all so that I will not need to bother the list with that "little history". For example, in 1998, I got a price in France celebrating annually the five best PhD theses in the french speaking world. See
The price consisted in part in the publication of the thesis, and indeed in 2000, the publishing of the book has been publicly announced: see the picture: http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/prixlemonde/ A%20paraitre%20en%202000.jpg Now all the books on that document have been published, but not mine, and without any explanations. Worse, they will eventually suppress me from the list of the winner... See:
We are still living in an Orwelian sort of world. In west europa, apparently, we don't have a solid Berlin Wall to make it fall ... Now, in France, an ex-minister of education has written a book entitled "The defeat of Plato", and I guess I have also underestimated the ambient AntiPlatonism. But I don't care. If needed I will come back next Millenium ;-)

(**). Let me confide a more happy and recent event, to finish on a more optimistic mode. And let me take this as an opportunity to make a sort of Plotinian summary of "my thesis". As you know the UDA (Universal Dovetailer Argument) is a sequence of thought experiments showing, from the comp assumption, that physics should be ultimately derivable by some sort of measure on all computational histories which exists beyond time and space in (arithmetical) Platonia. Then, I interview a sufficiently rich (with respect to provability) introspective universal machine about that "measure". This consists in presenting the UDA to the machine. The main difficulties consists in defining what is an "history". It cannot be a mere computation: it must be a computation as seen from some first person, or first person plural, perspective, like in the UD Argument. Now, it is natural to modelize the first person by the "knower". It is the one who feels incorrigibly the sensations she is living. The simplest way to transform a mere opinion into knowledge has already been proposed by Plato in his Theaetetus: it consist in defining it by True Opinion, where the opinion is presented in company of a justification or proof. Such an opinion can be modelized by the provability predicate of Godel, hereby written B. So Bp is an abbreviation of "p is provable by a (fixed) machine". We suppose the machine is sound, so Bp -> p, by definition. But (and this is the solution of the problem I gave to Tom) although it is true that Bp implies p, it is just an easy consequence of Godel's theorem that the sound machine is not able to prove that truth. So although the Theaetetical trick of defining the knowledge of the proposition p by Bp & p, looks irrelevant (because Bp is really equivalent to Bp & p), it is not because that truth is not provable by the machine, and so, it will define indeed a natural candidate for a, possibly rough, notion of knowledge. And the same applies for the notion of provability-and-consistency: Bp & Dp, and even for the notion of true-provability-and-consistency: Bp & Dp & p. Now provability-and-consistency is needed to define a notion of "probability one" on the possible extensions of the machine, as the UDA suggests, and should indeed give the logic of probability one on the computational histories, at least in the comp situation where "p" will corresponds to states accessible by the Universal Dovetailer. So we get 8 hypostases (viewed as generalization of the notion of person point of view, so as to include the truth represented by p). The primary one:

p  (truth, the one)
Bp  (intellect, third person)
Bp & p (soul, first person)

and the secondary one:

Bp & Dp   (intelligible matter, observation, first person plural)
Bp & Dp & p (sensible matter, where "objective reality not only kicks back but can even hurt).

Why 8 ? It looks like 5, isn't it? No. Because the machine which introspect herself will soon discover its own Godel's theorem: "if I cannot prove the falsity then I cannot prove that fact, that I cannot prove a falsity", i.e. ~Bf -> ~B(~Bf). Or Dt -> ~BDt. So the machine is able to discover the gigantic gap between the divine (Unameable) Truth, and its terrestrial effective provability ability. So the second hypostase divides itself in a terrestrial part: the terrestrial intellect, and a divine part, the divine intellect. Solovay's theorem states that the terrestrial intellect is described by the logic G, and that the divine intellect is described by the logic G*. By a kind of miracle, the soul does not divide. It is the only hypostase which is both terrestrial and divine, in some sense. The price is high: she cannot indentify herself to any machine or even angels, or anything third person describable.The two secondary hypostases does divide themselves in terrestrial and divine part. This will help to modelize the difference between Qualia and Quanta. To test that theory, we need to compare the logic of Matter with the empirical logic of Matter (quantum logic). Well, for this we need to find axiomatizations of the secondary hypostases (terrestrial and divine). ... and I have been stuck somehow on that problem since my PhD thesis. Still, in it, I have been able to already got "quantum" theorems (called LASE in the list) and even theorem prover for those logics (but they are intractable).

The happy event is that I got last week the visit of a little genius in logic who *did* solve the axiomatization problem for the the two logics of sensible matter (terrestrial and divine). Actually, in my term, he found a cute sort of "modal Fourier transform" between the intellect (described by G) and the intelligible matter (described by Z in the Lille Thesis). Actually I strike my head on the wall, 'cause technically this "fourier transform" was right in front of my eyes, but I did not seen it until he shows it to me in a two pages mathematical poem, which I intend to put on my web pages). So G thinks "particles" and Z thinks already "waves", if we granted that LASE is indeed a symptom of the presence of a purely arithmetical quantum logic (which can be defended formally, accepting some modal interpretation of (quantum) probabilities in the literature (Barnaba, Goldblatt, Dalla Chiaria). From that Fourier transform he succeds to define easily G in Z, from which axiomatizations follow). He did not find a comparable inversible transformation for the "sensible matter", though ... I am still a long way to complete the derivation of the comp-(or weaker) physics, so as to test it from empiry, but a genuine step has been done last week, thanks to him.

(I will answer Ben tomorrow).


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