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
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
Well ... OK.
AIUI the practice of sceptical inquiry is fundamental to getting
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
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),
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
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
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
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.
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