Bruno, our posts just crossed each other.

I'm still here and listening and thinking hard.

We are busy, as you say, but listening and thinking about the  
realities has to be part of that, so I ensure that I set aside time to  
follow your reasoning.

I may translate part of the Brussels thesis soon and release on the  
list, just to prove that the act of translating is also the act of  
arriving at a compatible understanding of what i translate. You will  
tell me if I am any good at it and please be frank.

Start with ZERO - it's more "mysterious" than 1


On 05/02/2009, at 4:23 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

> Hi Kim,
> Still interested?
> I must say I was wrong. I cannot explain to you the functioning of a
> computer without doing math. Orally, drawing on a black board, I would
> have been able to explain a big part of it, and simultaneously hiding
> the mathematics. But I realize now that even this would have been a
> bad idea and would have made things more difficult in the longer run,
> given the ambition of the project.
> After all, I am supposed to explain to you how, when we assume the
> comp hypothesis, the ultimate realities become mathematical in nature,
> even arithmetical or number theoretical. But how could I explain this
> to you without doing a bit of mathematics.
> Mathematics is a curious music that only the musicians can hear.
> Mathematicians play with instruments that only them can hear.
> To listen to a mathematician, you have to be a mathematician and play
> the instrument. Fortunately, all universal machine like you, are a
> mathematician, and when a human seems to feel he is not a
> mathematician, it just means the mathematician living within is a bit
> sleepy, for a reason or another.
> Especially that I am realizing that some people confuse a computation
> with a description of a computation, which are two very different
> mathematical objects (albeit relative one) existing in Platonia. This
> plays a key role in the articulation of the step seven with the step
> eight. It plays a key role to understand the computationalist
> supervenience thesis, and thus where the laws of physics come from,
> and of course it is strictly needed when ultimately we interview the
> universal Lobian machine.
> So, the time has come I cure your math anxiety, if you or some others
> are still interested. I can awake the mathematician in you (like I can
> awake the mathematician living in any universal entity, btw :).
> I propose we begin with the numbers, and, to keep our motivation
> straight, I propose we meditate a little bit on the distinction
> between numbers and descriptions of numbers, and notations for
> numbers. It is a bit like the difference between a symphony and a
> symphony's partition ....
> Given the importance of such distinction in the whole drama, it is
> worth to get those conceptual nuances clear right at the beginning.
> I really propose to you to begin math at zero.
> But now I am already stuck: should I explain first the number 1,
> or ... the number zero?
> A tricky one that number zero ... :)
> Best,
> Bruno
> PS I now you are busy. I propose we go at the minimum of your rhythm
> and mine. But I tell you that "the poem is long".
> >

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