Hi Mark,

Le 16-janv.-07, à 13:41, Mark Peaty a écrit :

Bruno: 'To be honest I always fear a bit those who want to help me or others, but thanks anyway for the good intentions (which pave the way to hell ... :) '

MP: yes, I can relate to that. Be reassured then that as I understand it [AIUI], helping you and others is very much in my own interest.


I must feel that my life has meaning. Without this, getting up in the morning would become a terrible effort never mind going to work in the oxymoronic, Sisyphus-world of bureaucracy. Amongst other things this entails belief that the things I do contribute to the well being and survival prospects of those I love and also to the benefit of those upon whom my children and their children will depend in the future. As I like to say: the human universe is always potentially infinite, so long as it exists and we believe it to be so.


However I have not met anyone who can reassure me that the human species has anything much more than a 50% chance of surviving beyond the next 200 years.

Ah but this is something else. To comment this I need to comment your last paragraph before, so ... see below.

I can see how all the pieces necessary to create sustainable and enduring social and cultural networks and systems already exist; the technology has already been invented, the theory has all been written down. What is not clear to me however is how to ensure that everybody with the need [effectively everybody on the planet] can access the information they need to make fully informed decisions about the crucial issues which affect us. I am pretty much convinced that the answer/s involves person to person dialogue rather than propaganda and oratory, and the empowerment of individuals to undertake human sized projects rather than the regimenting of industrial clone armies in massive organisations.

Well ... OK.

AIUI the practice of sceptical inquiry is fundamental to getting things right.

I agree. (But I think skeptical inquiry in the field of scientific (= modest, doubting) has been abandoned since 1500 years when the academy of Athena has been closed. The Enlightenment has been only half-Enlightenment: scientific theology remained stuck in the authoritative mode of thinking).

In this vein, we all need to help each other to see on the one hand the formidable danger which affects absolutely ALL of us, and on the other hand to see the utterly amazing potential for creatively solving all the practical problems that confront us. Such is the nature of the modern world as it is transformed again and again by the fruits of the application of scientific method.

I would say it is like that since the very beginning.

Bruno: 'Then I can explain you with all details why the proposition "we will all 1-die" is provably "put in doubt" once we assume either just comp or even just quantum mechanics. With QM this is not wishful thinking but "terrorful" thinking: a priori the QM immortality is not fun: each time we die clinically (in a relative third person way), from our personal point of view we survive in the closer normal comp. history. A case can been made that this entails a sort of eternal agony. Of course this can be nuanced too. With comp some weird gap seems to exist ... '

MP: I do not understand this. I am surprised to notice, however, a faint resemblance to something I read once concerning the teachings of George Gurdjieff, an ethnic Armenian who became a teacher of 'esoteric religion' and some very deep insights into how humans function, in the early 20 Century. He died in 1952 in France. Gurdjieff was asked what was the truth about reincarnation, and the reply was along the lines of: talk of souls transmigrating from body to body over millennia was misleading, it is more like that if a person could not see what they were really doing, and what they are, then they [we] are condemned to live and relive that same life - until we realise what is happening [I suppose, or some such ... ]. Well once upon a time I was very enthusiastic about George Gurdjieff's teachings but now I think just that his psychological insights and practical methods were good but too much of his metaphysics, for want of a better word, is pre-scientific in origin.

To make things simple, let me say that I think somehow the contrary. I believe that his metaphysics insights are basically "correct" or at least coherent with facts, theories, and philosophical principles which I think are almost beyond reasonable doubts, but I am less far convinced in the practical use of such insights. Now if that can help some people, why not, but, like sometimes with mystics, I'm afraid his disciples didn't got him right. I don't think Gurdjieff metaphysics is pre-scientific, it is pre-aristotelian perhaps, and in that sense, it could be visionary. I know that I have much more to explain to you for making such things more palatable. See below.

 Bruno: 'Have you an opinion on QM interpretation?'

MP: Well, from my particular style of ignorance, I take it that QM is a descriptive system that allows predictions and explanations to be made about how things do or will occur at the smallest scales of measurement that scientists can currently observe. I take with a grain of salt all statements that the noumenal world, or even parts of it, cannot exist without an observer. That world - 'The Great It' - I like to call it, exists whether we know about it or not. We participate and make things happen, but usually without being very aware of it. Our awareness is what it is like to be the updating of the brain's model of self in the world, and this model is a cryptic, or encrypted, analogue system. It is complex and subtle but classical as opposed to Quantum in nature, in that the dynamic logical entities which mental objects and so forth are aggregate effects of literally millions of neuron interactions. I take it that harmonic resonance and all manner of standing wave effects are essential to the spatia-temporal structure of perceptions and other mental objects. So, AIUI, clearly the world described by QM is very weird from our classical and naive experience view point, but it is so whether we know about it or not. The world we are normally aware of, or our experience of it if you like, is our brain's analogue description of the emergent properties of space-time, energy and matter at our bodies' order of magnitude.

I should have asked you: "what is you opinion on the QM ``theory", instead of ``interpretation". The problem with QM is above all a problem of choosing a theory (well before asking oneself how to interpret it). Currently, there is, well, let us say three theories (I count mine!):

1) Bohr or Copenhagen theory:
     = SWE + Wave-collapsing observation "theory"
(this *is* a dualist form of the many world/state theory, where mind act on matter by making many worlds/states disappear by observation, in a way which eludes the SWE (Schroedinger Wave Equation). I agree with David Deutsch that QM is a theory of parallel universe, but I am not sanguine about words and you can call it a theory of superposable states. It is incomplete as far as the Copenhagen theory has never succeed in providing any serious clue about what is an observation and why does observation not follow the SWE. Cf; the "measurement problem", Schroedinger cat, etc.

2) Everett theory:
    = SWE + COMP (or weaker form of COMP)
(This is a theory which accept that observation itself obeys to the SWE, + a proof/argument showing that if we model the observer by some memory-machine, then the SWE explains completely why such machine feels as if they reduce the wave packet, although it is just a first person "illusion". This is an indispensable theory for any macro use of QM (like Quantum Cosmology, quantum general relativity (black holes), etc.).

3) Your servitor's "theory":
    = COMP (or weaker)
(This is a theory which assumes that whatever I am, I am turing-emulable, + a proof/argument showing that this alone *has to* explain the appearance, in the mind of most universal machines, of the SWE (and then of the wave collapse), or of the "correct SWE", in case the SWE would appear to be incorrect.

In this list, I am in good company. The main "everything-list" idea is that it is conceptually more elegant to accept or assume all realities and then to explain from that, what is "our reality" and why do we "belong" to it (using either ASSA or RSSA) . To be sure the "3)" points only to the fact that if we take the comp hyp seriously we have to derive physics from computer science and number theory (I also explain a completely precise way of how to do that and get some nice results). You can see that "3)" is to "2)" as "2)" is to "1)": the sequence of 1,2,3 are just less and less redundant presentation of the same theory.

Now, both assuming "2)" or "3)" it is hard to avoid a form of immortality, both individual and collective, making "materialism", under the form "I will die with certainty" looking like a form of wishful thinking, I'm afraid.

To sum up, I agree with the necessity of the skeptical inquiry attitude. Actually, I believe that "modern science" has begun with such an attitude, especially in front of the appearances. I take Plato as saying "reality" or "truth" is what is beyond the appearance. Now I have finished reading Aristotle, and I am less sure he is the one responsible for (re)introducing the idea that reality is what we see and measure, but clearly that idea has had some success. But if we assume comp, we have to abandon it.

Bruno: 'Worst, I do believe this assumption is contrary to both logic+arithmetic (and comp) and with the empirical data'

 MP: What data?

Violation of Bell's inequality or of other classical tautologies. Quantum computing stuff, black hole behavior, electron or photons behavior, ...

MP: Existence entails being somewhere

I don't think so. "somewhere" could be (and *is*, with comp) an emerging modality. The number 3 exists, but not somewhere. Believing in a absolute notion of "somewhere" is already making some physicalist or geometricalist basic starting assumption incapable of fitting the comp hyp, or even just the empirical data (and some criterion of simplicity like occam razor). This is already implied by the Universal Dovetailer Argument, but you can just read Plotinus for a coherent theory where physicalist things like space and time emerged as secondary products.

and IMO, except possibly for the smallest conceivable distances of Planck length, whatever it is that IS somewhere ENDURES while other things change around it.

Nothing endures so much as number theoretical truth, which is better conceived as being out of the realm of space and/or time. Then space and/or time can emerged as an internal view (modality).

I have written before about my Process Physics inspired conception of connections [called Janus] being ultimately all that is and that particles of matter and energy are knot-like, self-entangled concentrations of the every collapsing plenitude of simplifying connections.

Hmm... Good intuition! I have purely mathematical results and conjectures which make knot theory a sort of possible bridge between number theory and physics. Entanglement arise from a notion of first person plural modalities.

It just seems to me to be logically necessary that existence and location are prerequisites for anything else.

I don't think so at all. I guess you believe this because you assume an aristotelian reality. I can explain how time (and hopefully one day space) emerge from relation between numbers. I do believe in time, like I do believe in consciousness, but those are very high level emerging (in a logico-arithmetical way, not in a spatio-temporal way) things.

Perhaps that should be existence, location and separation. But anyway, words fail and something like the Chinese Yin and Yang conception actually makes a lot of sense [thinks: the interpenetration and eternal separation of two branes might be just that!]

I like very much the "I king" and the Ying Yang, but comparing them with the branes is very speculative. But arithmetically you would be close to right if the branes could appear in the arithmetical interpretations of the fourth and fifth hypostases, and I hope so, but there remains a lot of work. The moonshine story (the discovery of the Bosonic string theory as a complex representation of the Monster Group) is going in that direction. It could be that the particles of "physics" are related, through comp, to the group of permutations of roots of a universal diophantine polynomial.

 Numbers are written and imagined as existing in their own right

The problem is that we have to assume some independent existence for the numbers if we want to be able to explain a term like "imagined". It seems to me it is more easy conceptually to accept some axiom of arithmetic and to derive a theory of machine's imagination (bearing on numbers, gluons and galaxies), than to take "imagined" as a primitive term for explaining the numbers.



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 

Reply via email to