On 05 Jan 2011, at 21:45, Brian Tenneson wrote:

"The Tao that can be described is not the ultimate Tao"

I <3 Lao tseu, and all the taoists. There is a full chapter on Lao- tseu in the long version of my PhD(*). They were aware of the dream argument. In fact, I call the modal formula:

x -> ~B x (or its contrapositive Bx -> ~x) with B intended for the scientific communication or proof: the Lao-Tseu Watts Valadier principle, there.

Alan Watts describes indeed something similar in his book "the wisdom of insecurity", and Valadier, a french jesuit, wrote a remarkable book where it shows that making moral is immoral.

Gödel's theorem (and Löb, Solovay) provides many solutions, having an arithmetical content, for such an equation. Indeed all x belonging to G* \ G obeys to that equation.

With x = Dt (= ~Bf = consistency), you get Gödel's second incompleteness theorem: Dt -> ~BDt. But DDDDDt is also a solution. Most formula beginning by D (= ~B ~) are solutions. Correct machines cannot prove that they cannot prove something.

Tarski's theorem provides even more insightful solutions, which are analytical, and on which the correct machine can only be mute.

It led me also to a very simple theory of intelligence. A machine is intelligent if she is not stupid, and a machine is stupid if either she believes that she is intelligent, or she believes she is stupid. Aagain incompleteness provides solution. From that I showed that intelligence has a positive feedback on competence, but that competence has a negative feedback on intelligence.




Interesting. I wonder if it's so. Whether or not the ultimate Tao can be described has been the object of all my research-related thinking for a while now. I finally made a breakthrough this year on the problem. I still have to manipulate what I think on it and massage the document about it. At least I can say that I'm not trying to describe the Tao. I'm trying to describe a description of the Tao. The reduced product of all structures is my candidate for my description for a description of the Tao.

Perhaps Lao Tzu already put in his two cents regarding this kind of TOE.

In "conscience and mechanism" I argue in detail that most of the writing of Lao-Tseu, Tchouang-Tseu, and especially (my favorite) Lie- Tseu can be interpreted by the discourse of the self-referentially correct machine. But Plotinus is closer to us. I have studied classical chinese and modern chinese, for years, to discuss on Lao- Tseu with scholars. It is difficult.

Mechanism makes a bridge between Smullyan's "Tao is silent" and Smullyan's "Forever undecided". I still don't know if Smullyan would agree on this. Some remark by him makes me think he is not aware of that connection, or that mechanism favors that connection.

If you like Lao-Tseu, you might appreciate Smullyan's book "tao is silent".

Bruno

(*) http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/bxlthesis/consciencemecanisme.html


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