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'
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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