1. Thank you for responding. Of course I have no right to expect a
     response from anybody, but I was starting to just wonder if I HAD
     been a bit rude! :-) And of course now it serves me right if I
     can't understand some of what you have written ...
  2. 'Assuming the digital mechanist thesis, ...  least there could be
     an ultimate *partial* sort of meta-answer.'
     Hmmmmm, and is there a plain English version accessible to anyone
     with far less than a degree in mathematics? [ En Francaise tres
     simple, c'est aussi possible pour mois avec l'assistance des
     services Google de traduction. Mais il faut que mes responses fut
     en Anglaise par ce que detruir la lange Francaise a cause de mois
     fut tellment triste a tois et n'aurais pas d'utilite. ]
  3. Me here, you there. You are an other to me. And I assume, in light
     of the 'Tit for Tat' strategy and its intrinsic simplicity and
     empirically tested/modelled effectiveness, that acting ethically
     towards you and [other] others is the approach most likely to
     facilitate the creation of value accessible to us both. In plain
     English I like to put that now as: My vocation is that I help
     others. My preferred method is to Enquire, Inform, Empower and
  4. We will all die. There is no good evidence to support any other
     assertion about how we ultimately end up.
  5. ' ... say also that there was nothing before birth. In that case I
     (the first person "I") would have emerge from nothing. ...'  Yep!
     In plain English, rough and ready terms that's it! But actually we
     can of course quibble about what is 'nothing', because 'nothing'
     isn't anything. So a more sophisticated assertion is that each of
     us is an emergent property of, well, the universe. I can be
     romantic and say: this experience of being here now is what it is
     like to be the universe looking at itself from a particular point
     of view. It works or me, probably because I now know how to not
     take myself too seriously.  [Sh*t a brick! One look in the mirror
     makes that one clear -] But I have been disappointed at the number
     of people who have quibbled at the idea.
  6. That 'I' might 'come back again' ... DOESN'T RING TRUE! To put it
     succinctly, all these ideas of human awareness being related to
     some non-physical entity and possibly being able to endure beyond
     the death of the body are all from the pre-scientific universe:
     the time before this. There is nothing amongst all of the new
     knowledge discovered about the world through the application of
     scientific method that lends support to any of these soul or
     disembodiable spirit based ideas concerning our awareness. The
     only reason these kinds of ideas still have some kind of general
     currency is ignorance concerning the mind blowing efficacy of
scientific method and the fruits of its application. ......................... I will now dismount from that soap box,
     but not before reminding readers that the effect that scientific
     method has had on the human species is of the same order of
     importance as the acquisition of versatile grammar. Before true
     grammar people had the ability to refer to things not present but
     only in the very simplest of terms, and to use a limited
     vocabulary and simple two-item juxtapositions to associate a
     subject with a simple predicate with no recursions. That state of
     affairs may have lasted several hundred thousand years. The advent
     of versatile grammar allowed the creation of complex predicates
     with multiple recursions ie phrases, clauses and sub-clauses. This
     allowed the telling of stories and thus discussion, in principle
     at least, of absolutely anything.
  7. Ask the question: Why would anybody want to reconstitute and let
     loose a person from the distant past?
  8. It does not seem particularly coherent to say: 'There is no
     universe' because this is equivalent to saying that nothing exists
  9. People who are completely paralysed depend on others whose muscles
     ARE in working order and properly connected to their brains/CNS.
     Maybe this dependency may be mitigated in the future by the
     creation of implants and prosthetic attachments which allow the
     direct reading of brain states to control other prosthetic machinery.
 10. '...except when you are witnessing what I would call a
     reductionist view of numbers and machine...' I am not clear about
     what you mean here. I see numbers as human constructs;
     mathematical objects embodied in the logico-mathematical language
     system. As I see it, mathematical objects derive their existence
     and power from the way they are defined. Because of their clarity
     and fixed meanings numbers and other math. objects have allowed
     people to express summarised and succinct descriptions of
     processes in the world, where the world has manifested groupings
     and recursively generated properties amenable to algorithmic
     analysis. This almost certainly indicates that the universe is
     made of parts or processes which are constituted at their smallest
     levels by existents  which are many, small, and relatively simple.
     However the fact that so many apparently completely arbitrary
     numbers [such as ratios and constants] are needed to describe the
     relationships between physical things indicates I think that the
     ground base of physical reality may not be constituted by
     relationships equivalent to integers. Perhaps it is that the true
     constituents of nature are more akin to bundles of connections
     with fractal dimensionality because they are not in anyway static.
     Our concept and perception of apparent enduring structures and
     identity of things in the world being entirely emergent properties.
 11. 'I could even argue (as I do from times to times) that modern
     (post-godelian) mechanism is a sort of very powerful vaccine
     against a vast class of reductionist view of both human and
     machine' -------  What does that mean?  :-[


Mark Peaty  CDES


Bruno Marchal wrote:

Le 05-janv.-07, à 19:48, Mark Peaty a écrit :

Assuming the digital mechanist thesis, a case can be made that at least there could be an ultimate *partial* sort of meta-answer. I am not sure about that. Recall that after Godel/Turing & Co., we can no more pretend to really know what are numbers and machines or what they are capable of, including their relations with fundamental question.

    ... the universe and everything except that IT IS, and you are
    here to take part in it and observe yourself and others doing so.
    Existence is the source of value, indeed it is the essence of value.



This already depends a lot of what you mean by "me" and "you". In any case I am not sure you can *know* things like that. It could be a form of wishful thinking. And in order to add something obvious: the prediction "you will not live forever" is neither confirmable (with or without comp) nor refutable (with comp).

You may be right and sometimes I hope so, but I have no certainty here. After all most among those who say that there is "nothing" after death say also that there was nothing before birth. In that case I (the first person "I") would have emerge from nothing. Going back to nothing when dead, how could I be sure I will not come back again? Perhaps by being some new born baby? Perhaps with my memories reconstituted by some far away future technologies?


    the fact is, being conscious is inherently paradoxical, and there
    is no escape from the paradox, just like there is no escape from
    the universe - until you die that is.

Let us hope! To be sure even G* provides a hope we can die eventually, but evidences are there that it could be less easy than we are used to think. There could be a rather long Tibetan like Bardo-Thodol to go through before ... I really don't know, for sure. I *can * ask the lobian machine, but it is today intractable, the machine will answer after the sun blows up.

    Your impressions, perceptions, feelings, intuitions, etc. of being
    here now [where you are of course] is what it is like to be the
    updating of the model of self in the world which you brain is
    constantly constructing all the time you are awake. When you sleep
    there are times when enough of the model gets evoked that you have
    a dream that you can remember. The paradox is that for most of the
    time we assume that this awareness - consciousness, call it what
    you like - IS the world, i.e. what it is like to be 'me' here now,
    whereas in fact it is only what it is like to be the model of 'me'
    here now.


To assert without doubt that GOD, NATURE or the UNIVERSE exist is neither correct science and/or theology.

    Think about it! This is what you should be really concentrating
    on, because you and I are NOTHING if our muscles can't be made to
    move in exactly the right way and the right time.

Certainly not. Just think about people who are "completely" paralyzed. "completely" relatively to the local available technologies. To say they are nothing is a exaggerated shortcut. Have you see the movie: "Jonathan got his gun"?


I think I can agree with many things you are saying, except when you are witnessing what I would call a reductionist view of numbers and machine. I could even argue (as I do from times to times) that modern (post-godelian) mechanism is a sort of very powerful vaccine against a vast class of reductionist view of both human and machine.


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