# Re: Numbers

```
John M wrote:
> Quentin, about those darn numbers:
>
> Although I am not FOR their omnipotence/science and
> have some reservations - as I explained partially -
> I have a different notion HOW "a number" can "mean"
> whatever.
> *
> Older members who still went to libraries (before the
> computer only generation <G>) may remember the still
> existing "decimal" system to organize library-stuff
> (and anything else). It had basic topics in a decimal
> form, where the fractional part identified the detail,
> then with additions in (-), /, :, [-], and
> +,-,_,=,etc. you name it, ALL connotations, details,
> relations and peculiarities could be specified and
> included into THAT "NUMBER" (sometimes pretty long).
> This was a primitive way and I am sure the
> number-lover members of this list know better, but for
> starters this could be a hint how numbers can 'mean'
> something.```
```
The meaning still isn't *in* the number. You have to understand
how the dewey system works.

> --- Quentin Anciaux <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>
> > >
> > > Hmm. You can hardly claim that the meaning is
> > intrinsic to the number.
> > > Does "2" mean "red", "mammal", "male" or what ? It
> > could be mean
> > > anything in a given coding scheme.
> >
> > I agree, but the coding scheme is also a number.

is it ? we might be able to ground meaning in causal interactions,
for instance, but can we ground causal interactions in the
timeless world of maths ?

Georges Quenot wrote:
> Norman Samish wrote:
> >

> > Where could the executive program have come from?   Perhaps one could call
> > it "God."  I can think of no possibility other than  "It was always there,"
> > and eternal existence is a concept I can't imagine.  Are there any other
> > possibilities?
>
> I think there is another possibility. I tried to explain it
> in my exchanges with John. It relies on several speculations
> or conjectures:
>
> - Mathematical objects exist by themeslves ("They were
>    (or: are, intemporal) always there"),
> - The multiverse is isomorphic to a mathematical object,
> - Perception of existence is an internal property of the
>    multiverse (mind emerges from matter activity),

Given your commitment below, you also need to suppose
that perception is an internal property of maths.

> - Mathematical existence and physical existence are the
>    same ("there is no need that something special be inside
>    particles", the contrary is an unnecessary and useless
>    dualism, "the fire *is* in the equations").

That can only be the case if the multiverse is isomporphic to
*every* mathematical object and not just one. If it is only
isomorphic to some mathematical objects, that *is* the difference
between physical and mathematical existence.

> Some details and some (weak) arguments can be found in my
> recent posts to this group. Some papers from Max Tegmark
> are also relevant:
>
>    http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/toe_frames.html
>    http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/toe.pdf
>    http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/multiverse.pdf
>
> Georges.

Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I comment Georges Quenot's Post, and then I try to meet Peter D Jones
> critics on Quentin Anciaux.
>
>
> Le 14-mars-06, à 10:31, Georges Quenot wrote:
>
> >
> > Norman Samish wrote:
> >>
> >> I don't see how a list of numbers could, by itself, contain any
> >> meaningful
> >> information.  Sure, a list of numbers could be an executable program,
> >> but
> >> there has to be an executive program to execute the executable
> >> program.
> >>
> >> The multiverse has to therefore consist of more than a matrix of
> >> numbers
> >> which amount to an executable program.
> >
> > I feel that the computational approach is a wrong direction
> > for the question of existence.
>
>
> The question is whether comp is true or not.

The question is whether COMP means

a) a human mind can be implemented by running as a process on a
physical computer.

b) a human mind can be implemented a programme sitting on a hard disk

c) a human mind can be implemented by a series of 1's and 0' floating
around
in Plato's heaven.

> > - Mathematical objects exist by themeslves ("They were
> >    (or: are, intemporal) always there"),
>
>
> OK (I could add some nuances but at this stage it would be confusing:
> roughly speaking we must keep in mind that "all the mathematical
> object" cannot be a mathematical object).
> Note: it is like in Plotinus. The big "ONE" cannot be among the
> "existing" things even if all existing things proceed from it.

Is there a specifically mathematical reason for that?

> > - The multiverse is isomorphic to a mathematical object,
>
>
> What do you mean? I guess this: The multiverse is not a mathematical
> object, but still  is describable by a mathematical object.
> I don't think so. If comp is true the mutiverse should not be entirely
> describable (in any third person term) by any mathematical object.

And if we, who are doing the describing, are not , mathematical
objects,
why should we not assert that the universe is isomorphic to a
mathematical
object ? You are assuming the conclusion.

> If
> we are numbers our possibilities go beyond what we can describe in term
> of mathematical object (and that is why I insist that comp is
> antireductionist).
>
>
> > - Perception of existence is an internal property of the
> >    multiverse (mind emerges from matter activity),
>
> The multiverse would be "physical"? But then: What is mind, what is
> matter, what is activity?
> Are you postulating a physical universe? In that case comp-or-weaker
> is just false. Let me recall that the UDA shows that if we can survive
> (in the folk sense) through a digital body substitution, then physical
> appearances must be justified entirely without any physical ontological
> commitment. Arithmetical truth already contains the full description of
> the deployment of a full quantum universal doevetailer, but it remains
> to explain why such a quantum realm wins the "white rabbit hunting
> battle" (that is how it solve the measure problem).

> > - Mathematical existence and physical existence are the
> >    same ("there is no need that something special be inside
> >    particles", the contrary is an unnecessary and useless
> >    dualism, "the fire *is* in the equations").
>
>
> All this is too much ambiguous for me. I tend to criticize all
> *fundamental* dualism. I agree with you that the fire is in the
> equation (or more aptly in their solutions, or still more aptly: in the
> memory of the possible observer-machine described relatively by (all)
> their solutions).

> > Peter D Jones: Is that a fact, or something you need to assume to
> > maintain the
> > argument ?
>
> > Quentin Anciaux: The coding scheme is the instruction set of a turing
> > machine, which is also a
> > number... I'm stuck ;)
>
> >
> > Peter D Jones: Can TM's interpret -- or do they need to be interpreted
> > ?
>
>
> When a (may be universal) Turing machine M1  interprets some piece of
> code C, such an interpretation is only defined relatively to some ...
> other Universal Turing machine M2.

Is it ? Surely is is interpeted by us.

> Now, if that piece of code, when
> interpreted, corresponds to the running of some "conscious program" C,
> that conscious entity, from its first person perspective, is not just
> related to M2 or to M1 but to *all* Universal Machine embedded through
> *all* possible codings in the arithmetical Platonia (that the main UDA
> point). Now, by Godel's coding technic, all those executions can be
> entirely and completely defined by pure relation among (natural)
> numbers, and no conscious entity can attach itself directly to that
> level, but, by UDA, can attach itself only to the infinity of similar
> processes corresponding to the sufficiently similar relation between
> numbers.
> So Peter Jones is right when he says that "2" could code anything a
> priori, but "2" will only *code* something relatively to some precise
> Universal machine ... itself coded by some universal machine, etc.
> until we get the grounded level of arithmetical truth where "2" and any
> number will code themselves, and addition or multiplication  will mean
> the standard addition or multiplication of Platonia.

errr...yes. But you still have the problem of getting contingent and
changing
worldly truths out  of the timeless truths of mathematics.

> You can get a better picture by thinking more precisely on the
> universal dovetailing, and coding it entirely in term of relations
> between conventional numbers.
> It is probably a subtle point and it is hard to explain without more
> explanation of Godel's technic of arithmetization and its relation with
> computer science through Church thesis.
>
> Perhaps it is easier to see this the other way round. Arithmetical
> truth has nothing conventional. The fact that 17 is prime is an
> absolute truth, where of course 17 represents the number of strokes in
> "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII" (and not the string "17" which indeed could means
> red, mammal, male, or what.)

I see that mathematical truth does not require external
interpretation; I don't see how you get from universal,
eternal and necessary truths to local and contingent ones
about particular things existing in particular places.

> Once you agree with this, it is just a matter of work (which should be
> obvious for computer scientists) that unconventional truth about
> sophisticated relations between numbers will represent sophisticated
> computational histories, including universalone, including universal
> one, etc. With comp each of our first person conscious experience will
> be associated to the usual infinity of sufficiently fine grained (cf
> the comp subsititution level) third person computational histories.
> The "real" problem is to show that the aberrant stories and other white
> rabbits vanish from some first person "normal" point of view (and then
> this is handled in the thesis by the lobian interview).
>
> This explanation relies heavily on some understanding of the UDA
> argument. See
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/publications/SANE2004MARCHAL.htm
> A key point is that our first person expectations depend on an infinity
> of computational histories, and this results from the fact that the
> first persons cannot be aware of the (incredibly long) delays appearing
> in the running of those never terminating programs.

> Bruno
>
>
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

Georges Quenot wrote:
> Bruno Marchal wrote:

> >> [...]
> >> - The multiverse is isomorphic to a mathematical object,
> >
> > What do you mean? I guess this: The multiverse is not a mathematical
> > object, but still  is describable by a mathematical object.
>
> No. I mean that there is a one to one correspondance between
> the "components" of the multiverse and those of a particular
> mathematical object and that this correspondance also maps the
> "internal structures" of the multiverse with those of this
> mathematical object. "Components" and "internal structures"
> should not be understood here as atoms or people or the like
> but only "at the most primitive level".

That is the standard meaning of isomorphic. And if A isomorphic
to B, that does not mean that A is the same thing as B or
even the same kind of thing.

> > Are you postulating a physical universe?
>
> This is an ill-formed question. The universe could be purely
> mathematical and still appear as physical from the inside.

Things are what they are, not what they appear to be.

> > Arithmetical truth already contains the full description of
> > the deployment of a full quantum universal doevetailer, but it remains
> > to explain why such a quantum realm wins the "white rabbit hunting
> > battle" (that is how it solve the measure problem).
>
> Yes. Many things remain to be explained and we may still be
> far to discover which mathematical object we live in (if we
> do, indeed).

If we live inside any particular mathematical object as opposed to
others,
(if one mathematical object is instantiated in reality) then we
don't live in a purely mathematical world, since pure maths
cannot explain why only one of its objects should be instantiated.

> > I tend to criticize all *fundamental* dualism.
>
> Okham's razor doesn't like them too, especially when they
> appear unable to help to explain anything more.

If mathematical "objects" do no exist at all there is no dualism.

> > I agree with you that the fire is in the
> > equation (or more aptly in their solutions,

Why some equations rather than others ?

--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at