It seems that we are wandering off into the thicket of semantics and
thus I need to try to be more precise in my terminology. ;-) Interleaving.
----- Original Message -----
From: "George Levy" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 8:53 PM
Subject: Re: Only Existence is necessary?
> Hi Stephen
> Stephen Paul King wrote:
>>Dear Quentin et al,
>> I keep reading this claim that "only the existence of the algorithm
>>itself is necessary" and I am still mystified as to how it is reasoned for
>>mere existence of a representation of a process, such as an implementation
>>in terms of some Platonic Number, is sufficient to give a model of that
>>be used to derive anything like the world of appearences that we have.
> Is the world fundamentally physical or can it be reduced to ideas? This
> is an interesting issue. If a TOE exists then it would have to explain
> the physics and the objects.
I hold that the question of whether the world is fundamentally physical
or reducible to ideas is based on a false assumption: that there are no
alternatives to the choice between the monisms of Matter (the world is
physical) or Idea (the world is idea). A fascinating arguement has been made
by V. Pratt that a duality can be had, a duality that is based on the
mathematical duality that exist between logical algebras and vector spaces.
But I digress, if we claim that a TOE exists then we have to consider
the issues of completeness of such a TOE! For example:
1) Does such a TOE encode all possible versions of itself?
This leads to a pathological regress! If it only codes one version of
itself, then we can easily show that it is imcomplete and thus it is not a
2) How is this particular TOE distinguished from the space of all possible
I can see that we could use some argument involving the Kolmogorov
aspect of the TOE, i.e. the TOE that has the "shortest" bit string that
faithfully represents/implements *all* possible observations that could
obtain of our universe; but this inevitably requies that we consider the
comutational complexity of finding said bit string. It seems to me that
Chaitin's work on Omega shows that the measure of such a bit is
Thus if the TOE can neither code its own existence not can be found via
a computable search, how is it that we continue to use such an absurd
> This reminds me of the Ether controversy. Is there a need for the Ether
> for waves to propagate? The most up-to-date answer is that waves carry
> their own "physical substrate." They can be waves and/or particles.
> Similarly there should be equivalence between information and
> matter/energy. Thus a process or algorithm should have inherently within
> itself its own physical substrate.
It is interesting that you bring up the notion of an ether! For those
that try to follow the latest ideas in Quantum Gravity, we find many notion
that are merely sophisticated version of ether, ala some kind of a priori
existing subtrate into and onto which we fiber/embed some
dynamic/dimensional structure that encodes the particular set of fields that
we associate with particles.
Frankly, it seems to me that this is merely a hold over from the
assumption of a fundamental monistic structure.
> Since information is observer-dependent (Shannon) this issue brings us
> back to the observer. I think that eventually all observables will have
> to be traced back to the observer who is in fact at the nexus of the
> mind-body problem.
I agree! What is an Observer?
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