From: Russell Standish
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 8:07 PM
Subject: Re: A possible flaw un UDA?
I confess I got lost too with your presentation. My gut feeling is your
discomfort stems from an "almost magical" insertion of the subjective
(ie a knower) into the UDA. Another way of putting it is "what runs
However, the knower is introduced explicitly with the "yes, doctor"
assumption - that I survive with my "brain" substituted by a digital
device. What is this "I" if it isn't the knower? What possible meaning
can "survive" have, without there being a sense of "being"?
Externally, a UD just exists as a static program (just a number that
exists platonically). However, once you have a knower, you can run the
UD, albeit viewed from the inside. In my book I make this explicit
with the TIME postulate, but I don't see anything hugely controversial
about it. It is not referring to any external time, just that the
knower cannot experience all experiences at once.
Have I put my finger on it, or is this just wide of the mark?
[SPK] Hi Russell,
Yes, that is part of the discomfort. Another is a feeling that the UDA is
the semantic equivalent of building a beautiful castle in midair. One first
erects is a brilliant scaffolding then inserts the castle high up on top of
the scaffolding. We then are invited to think that the castle will stay in
place after the scaffolding is removed. Let me be clear, I find Bruno's idea to
be work of pure genius. I delight in it and I deeply admire Bruno and his
tenacity. I just was to remove these nagging doubts I have about it. I want to
be absolutely sure that it can stand up to ferocious and diligent attacks
before I will commit to it.
Let us consider in detail an idea that emerged here in my post and Bruno's
From: Bruno Marchal
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 7:02 AM
Subject: Re: A possible flaw un UDA?
On 13 Apr 2011, at 02:35, Stephen Paul King wrote:
AR must be expressible as some belief in each 1p (modulo coherent and
[BM] Why? It is true, but I don't see the relevance.
for AR to exist
[BM]What do you mean by "AR exists"? That is ambiguous. And what you are saying
begin to look like "archeology is needed for dinosaur to exist". The very idea
of AR is that 1+1=2 does not need a human for being true. Of course, a human or
some alien is needed to say that "1+1=2" is believed.
then it is necessary that a 1p believe that AR exists and the statement “AR
exists” is true. If the belief that AR exists cannot be expressed by a CUD then
AR cannot be said to exist since it would be impossible to express the
statement “AR exists”. Diagonalizations require some form of CU support or else
they all collapse into Nothing.
[BM] Why does diagonalization need a CU?
For AR to exist as distinct from Nothing then there must exist a concrete
structure, a CU,
[BM] I doubt this.
Why does diagonalization need a concrete universe? So that it can
represent something other than itself to some thing other than itself. Does not
more than one 1p exist? If only one 1p can exist then we have a perfect example
of a solipsism, no? If the 1p are purely relations between numbers “as seen
from the inside” (an idea that I find to be wonderful and useful and expressed
in the myth of the Net of Indra), does this not lead to a duality between the
numbers and the representations that the multiple 1p have of themselves, a
duality exactly like what we see in the representation theorems that I have
What I am thinking is that the sum of the inside views of the 1p is a CU
that cannot be removed or reduced to just the existence of the numbers
themselves so long as the numbers are collection of entities that have some
differences between themselves. In other words the numbers are not Nothing.
They are “something to something else” and that ‘somethingness’ is concrete and
irreducible even if it is the “inside looking out” aspect of the numbers. The
fact that there is an ‘inside’ that is different from an ‘outside’ demands the
kind of duality that I am proposing.
We talk a lot about Gödel's brilliant idea of representing propositions of
a theory that includes arithmetic using arithmetic statements so that we can
consider the theory to be able to “make statements about itself”. We go on and
consider Turing and others that showed how this can be done in wider settings.
All well and good. But do these “theories” or “abstract machines” actually have
the property that we are ascribing to them absent a “knower”, to use your word
and implied definition? What does it means to claim that something has such and
such properties when it is in principle impossible to determine if indeed that
claim is true? That sounds a bit too much like the idea of blind faith that we
chastise religious fanatics for!
Sure, we can go thru a long litany of reasonings and tangential evidence
and analogies, but if we remove the very ability to determine truth as we know
it, how can we continue to claim that truth exists unsupported (in the sense of
supervenience) by any representation of it that is not the entity itself?
Please help me figure this out. Can truth exist if all that exists is Nothing
without an Everything that is its dual (as per your and Hal Ruhl’s definition)
and capable of manifesting concreteness?
I think that “the knower cannot experience all experiences at once” is
telling us something very important about what a knower is, something not
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