Something vs Nothing? I played with this so a decade+ ago and found that by simply realizing the term *"NOTHING*" we achieved *'something*' so the *nothing* is gone. While, however, going from *'something'* to the (elusive?) 'nothing', we have to cut out *EVERYTHING* that may interfere with 'nothing', a task immensely difficult and unlimited. No matter how one tries to define nothing, ANY point makes it into a something (even the negative).
At that time I still abode in believeing in 'ontology' and my 'something' started easily from nothing. (Since then I refuse 'ontology', which is a STATIC imaging of nature, nonexistent in the continually changing complexity of 'everything' (and all their relatedness). Conventional sciences - and the philosophy on its teats - consider such 'snapshots' in the continuous change and such snapshots represent the statically existent (so bielieved!) status, called ontology of the world. Such snapshot-view led to Darwin's evolution and to physical laws. Two subsequent snapshots show change, - omitting the steps in between, hence the term 'random mutation'. Only the timeless continuality includes the deterministic entailment that represents the dynamics of the world (nature? totality, wholeness, everything). Sorry for a partially obsolete rambling. John M On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 1:40 PM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>wrote: > Bruno Marchal wrote: > >> >> On 17 Jan 2010, at 09:11, Brent Meeker wrote: >> >> >>>>> Brent >>>>> "The reason that there is Something rather than Nothing is that >>>>> Nothing is unstable." >>>>> -- Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate, phyiscs 2004 >>>>> >>>>> >>>> >>>> So, why is Nothing unstable? >>>> >>>> >>> Because there are so many ways to be something and only one way to be >>> nothing. >>> >> >> >> >> >> I suspect Frank Wilczek was alluding to the fact that the (very weird) >> quantum vacuum is fluctuating at low scales. >> Indeed in classical physics to get universality you need at least three >> bodies. But in quantum physics the vacuum is already Turing universal (even >> /quantum/ Turing universal). The quantum-nothing is already a quantum >> computer, although to use it is another matter, except that we are using it >> just by "being", most plausibly right here and now. >> >> >> Nothing is more "theory" related that the notion of "nothing". In >> arithmetic it is the number zero. In set theory, it is the empty set. In >> group theory, we could say that there is no nothing, no empty group, you >> need at least a neutral element. Likewize with the combinators: nothing may >> be tackle by the forest with only one bird, etc. >> >> >> Maybe you're a brain in a vat, or a computation in arithmetic. I'm happy >>> to contemplate such hypothesis, but I don't find anything testable or useful >>> that follows from them. So why should I accept them even provisionally? >>> >> >> >> We may accept them because it offers an explanation of the origin of mind >> and matter. To the arithmetical relations correspond unboundedly rich and >> deep histories, and we can prove (to ourselves) that arithmetic, as seen >> from inside leads to a sort of coupling consciousness/realities. (Eventually >> precisely described at the propositional by the eight hypostases, and >> divided precisely into the communicable and sharable, and the non >> communicable one). >> >> This can please those unsatisfied by the current physicalist conception, >> which seems unable to solve the mind body problem, since a long time. >> > It took over three hundred years from the birth of Newton and the death of > Gallileo to solve the problem of life. The theory of computation is less > than a century old. Neurophysiology is similarly in its infancy. > > > >> Why shouldn't we ask the question "where and how does the physical realm >> come from?". Comp explains: from the numbers, and in this precise way. What >> not to take a look? >> > I have taken a look, and it looks very interesting. But I'm not enough of > a logician and number theorist to judge whether you can really recover > anything about human consciousness from the theory. My impression is that > it is somewhat like other "everything" theories. Because some "everything" > is assumed it is relatively easy to believe that what you want to explain is > in there somewhere and the problem is to explain why all the other stuff > isn't observed. I consider this a fatal flaw in Tegmark's "everything > mathematical exists" theory. Not with yours though because you have limited > it to a definite domain (digital computation) where I suppose definite > conclusions can be reached and predictions made. > > >> To take the physical realm for granted is the same "philosophical mistake" >> than to take "god" for granted. It is an abandon of the spirit of research. >> It is an abstraction from the spirit of inquiry. >> >> Physicalism is really like believing that a universal machine (the quantum >> machine) has to be priviledged, because observation says so. I show that if >> "I am turing emulable", then in fine all universal machines play their role, >> and that the mergence of the quantum one has to be explained (the background >> goal being the mind body problem). >> >> But if you follow the uda, you know (or should know, or ask question) that >> if we assume computationalism, then/ we have just no choice in the matter/. >> > > Unless we assume matter is fundamental, as Peter Jones is fond of arguing, > and some things happen and some don't. > > > The notion of matter has to be recovered by those infinite sum. If not, >> you are probably confusing computation (number relations) and description of >> computations (number describing those number relations). It is almost like >> confusing i and phi_i. It is the whole point of the universal dovetailer >> argument (uda). >> >> To sum up, unless we continue to put the mind under the rug, like >> Aristotelian, we have just no choice here. >> >> The goal is not in finding a new physics, but in deriving the (unique, by >> uda) physics from logic+numbers through comp. A priori, that physics could >> be useless in practice, like quantum physics is useless in the kitchen. The >> advantage is that this "solves" conceptually (as much as it show it >> possible) the consciousness/matter riddle. >> > > I don't see that it has solved the problem. It has shifted it from > explaining consciousness in terms of matter to explaining matter and > consciousness in terms of arithmetic. That has the advantage that > arithmetic is relatively well understood. But just having a well understood > explanans is not enough to make a good explanation. > > What testable prediction (not retrodiction) does the theory make? Can your > theory elucidate the difference in consciousness between me and my dog? Can > it tell me how to make a conscious computer? Can it tell me whether all of > my brain is needed for consciousness? What happens to the consciousness of > people with Alzheimers? > > Brent > >> >> Bruno >> >> >> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ >> <http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/%7Emarchal/<http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/> >> > >> >> >> >> >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------ >> >> >> -- >> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups >> "Everything List" group. >> To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. >> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to >> everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com<everything-list%2bunsubscr...@googlegroups.com> >> . >> For more options, visit this group at >> http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. >> > > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to > everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com<everything-list%2bunsubscr...@googlegroups.com> > . > For more options, visit this group at > http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. > > > >--
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