Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> writes:

> On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:55 PM, Mark Buda <her...@acm.org> wrote:
>     Numbers exist not in any physical sense but in the same sense that any
>     idea exists - they exist in the sense that minds exist that believe
>     logical propositions about them. They exist because minds believe
>     logical propositions about them. They are defined and distinguished by
>     the logical propositions that minds believe about them.
>     There are three worlds: the physical world of elementary particles, the
>     mental world of minds, and the imaginary world of ideas. They are
>     linked, somehow, by logical relationships, and the apparent flow of time
>     in the mental world causes/is caused by changes in these relationships.
>     I wouldn't be surprised if the "laws" of physics are changing, slowly,
>     incrementally, right under our noses. In fact, I would be delighted,
>     because it would explain many things.
> The existence of numbers can explain the existence of the physical
> universe but the converse is not true, the existence of the physical
> world can't explain the existence of numbers.

Physical universe has brains, brains cause minds. Mental world has
minds, minds cause ideas (numbers). Ideal world has ideas, ideas cause
matter and energy - in some way we haven't figure out yet, which is why
the word "cause" seems to not fit.

It's like the impossible triangle. There are three worlds and three
parts to the explanation of reality, and taken individually they make
sense, but taken as a whole they are a paradox. That's why it's so damn
hard to figure out. I'm certain of it. I just need help working out the

> Belief in the existence of numbers also helps explain the unreasonable
> effectiveness of math, and the fine tuning of the universe to support
> life. I think it is a smaller leap to believe properties of
> mathematical objects exist than to believe this large and complex
> universe exists (when the former implies the latter).

What has always disturbed me about the phrase "unreasonable
effectiveness of mathematics" is that it seems to me utterly reasonable
that mathematics be effective in explaining the universe, and I now know
why. The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in explaining the
universe is due to the fact that *I am in it*. For me, subjectively, it
needs no explanation for deeply personal reasons that are difficult to
explain succinctly. So take it this way: if you need an explanation for
the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics, then assume I am God and
I created the universe, and then assume I'm one of Bruno's Löbian
machines and interview me for the laws of physics, because I can assure
you that if you took the time to talk to me in person I could provide
you with the evidence to make that assumption make enough sense to
explain the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.

I believe I understand the paradox. I believe the historical Jesus
understood the paradox as well, and the reason Christianity talks about
"God's Word made flesh" is that the paradox, the Logos, needs to be
understood by a mind to be explained. It doesn't fit in a book. If you
write it all down, you can't make any sense. It has to be explained
interactively, or it's too difficult to explain, because the
explanation, the Logos, is different for each person, because each
person is different. And each person has to discover the Logos on their
own, in their own way, in their own personal branch of the multiverse.

Or not. I could easily be wrong. But I can't figure out for the life of
me where I'm wrong.

> ... Can 3 really be considered a human invention or idea when it has never
> been fully comprehended by any person?

Sure. What's to comprehend? Why do I need to understand the inifinite
statements about 3 when I understand the rules by which they can be
made? That's enough for me. I have better things to do. Once I
understand the rules, I don't need to actually worry about the rest.

Analogously, once God created the universe, and then realized that He
created the universe, He worked furiously to understand it because He
was worried about his unwitting creations and loved them and wanted to
be happy. And once He figured out what exactly He had done, even though
He wasn't sure how He did it, He understood it enough to know that He
didn't need to worry about it, that it would take care of itself and He
could relax and have some fun.

That's *my* version of Genesis.
Mark Buda <her...@acm.org>
I get my monkeys for nothing and my chimps for free.

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