On Aug 6, 4:00 pm, "Stephen P. King" <stephe...@charter.net> wrote:
> Hi Craig and Bruno,
> > But it's not intersubjective if we don't agree. You need to understand
> > math in the exact way that it is intended in order to agree. Certainly
> > as math becomes more complex, it can become less objective than simple
> > language. Mathematicians can disagree, but speakers of English don't
> > disagree on the use of the word 'the'.
>      Intersubjectivity is, by definition, built up from a plurality of
> subjects having similar referents. I would go so far to claim that
> objectivity is an abstraction of intersubjectivity.

I agree. Is that not what it sounds like I'm saying?

> Mathematics deals
> with concepts, content of thought that we use intentionally or not to
> represent referents.

That seems ok to me. But representing referents doesn't mean that the
referents aren't merely conceptual also. We just want them to be

> >>> That being burned causes pain or that pain hurts
> >>> doesn't need to be agreed upon at all.
> >> We are not on the same wave-length. If you do a theory of sensations,
> >> you might use the assertion that "pain hurts" as an axiom.
> > But pain hurts whether or not you have a theory about it. It already
> > is an axiom. You don't need to say Let Pain = Hurt.
>      That is not Bruno's point; it is not that a theory determined
> whether or not pain = hurt, it is how we can think about the
> relationship between pain and hurt.

I'm talking about there being a fundamental difference between
associating like '=' and a sensorimotive experience like 'ouch!'. I'm
saying that ouch is a more primitive phenomena than 'equals', although
the intangible experience which '=' represents is likely more
primitive than feeling pain. Equals needs to be understood, but what
equals refers to can be experienced without understanding...it is the
source of understanding.

>Axioms, crudely, are a way of
> considering primitive matters of affairs that are and there are no
> alternatives. This way of thinking has some assumptions itself, axioms
> if you like, that are different from , say, the anti-fundamentalist
> theories.
>      He is discussing how the quantitative and qualitative valuations
> and properties of our concepts have patterns to them and these patterns
> can be considered seperately from the particular physical instantiations
> of them.

Sure, but just because our brain's consciousness can derive invariance
among patterns doesn't mean that those patterns can be exported into
empty space. They need a physical medium, like another brain, or a
silicon chip to be reproduced. They are like a virus, they need a
physical host to live (exist) but do not live themselves.

> I would nto so far as saying that their existence is
> independent in the existential sense. But the point is that particular
> properties are not subject to human vote, whim, or intension.

Yes, right. If you buy the sense of the language, you have to buy all
of the consequences of that sense. That doesn't mean that there's an
objective structure which that language describes, it just means that
it's internally consistent. If someone is hypnotized to believe that
17 is not prime, they would be convinced that any evidence to the
contrary doesn't make sense, and within their own subjective frame of
reference, they would be right.

>The fact
> that 2 is both an even and a prime number has nothing at all with human
> choice.

Right, it's a consequence of our acceptance of the sense that the
language of arithmetic makes, but that doesn't mean it's there is no
other language - like color, or feeling, or being, that isn't equally
beyond human choice and must be reducible to arithmetic.

>OTOH, the fact that we use this particular symbol '2' to
> represent that quantity of two-ness and all that that entails is
> dependent of human choice.
> >> You will
> >> have to ask them to agree on them. It is not because many will agree
> >> that there is no an agreement.
> > No, I think you can just ask them 'does pain hurt?'. Arithmetic isn't
> > the same, the whole system of logic has to be introduced and
> > understood in advance before it's truths can be agreed upon.
>      What about situations where we do not know the language and thus
> cannot ask the question "Are you in pain?" and expect a response "yes"
> or "no".

The language doesn't matter. You can see that a person is in pain by
their response to being burned, even if they have not developed
language yet. Unless they are pretending not to be in pain for some

> >> Of course "pain hurts" is a rather objective statements on a
> >> subjective experience. I guess in many theory things like that might
> >> be derived from more primitive definitions.
> >>> Physical to me is just an intellectual category of phenomena which can
> >>> be characterized by their adherence to physical law.
> >> And what is a physical law?
> > A category of consistent, quantifiable observations common to objects
> > outside of ourselves and distinct from phenomena with ourselves.
>      But are the 'laws" subject to contingency, or are they necessary
> from the interactions between many entities? It is often the case that
> physical laws are interpreted in the same way that we consider human
> 'laws' of traffic and other conduct. The former are not contingent on
> choice while the latter are.

It's the a primitive beneath the distinction of contingency vs
necessity. It's an accumulated consequence. There could exist a
universe where something with seven protons behaves like Carbon, but
in this universe, six protons behaves Carbon. When we reverse engineer
the arithmetic, we see that six protons must behave like Carbon
because of the consequences of the physics of how a six proton nucleus
can interact with other atoms, but if we lived in Universe B, it would
make sense that seven protons would produce the Carbon character. We
can tell this because it has to be six protons to be Carbon, it can't
be six marbles or six tennis balls - even if the other atoms were made
of marbles or tennis balls. Carbon does not mathematically follow from
sixness in all possible universes.

> >>> Can they be
> >>> described primarily by terms like mass, local boundaries, temperature,
> >>> density,
> >> That are measurable numbers. The one normally related to mathematical
> >> laws.
> > I would say that the numbers are our measurement, what they are
> > measuring is not necessarily a number.
>      .... Sure, we measure quantities, the specifics of what is measured
> can vary... But given the way that we communicate on the
> quasi-invariants within intersubjectivity, the idea that numbers refer
> to quantities does not seem problematic...

I'm saying that they don't refer to quantities. They refer to
sensorimotive experiences which can be abstracted as quantity but
don't make any inherent quantitative sense. You can dream of a world
or be hypnotized into a state where a square has 'noodle' sides, and
is not subject to any mathematical relations.

> >>> interactions with other phenomena that are considered
> >>> physical.
> >> That is circular.
> > I'm trying to say that an actual bowling ball can be distinguished
> > from an imaginary bowling ball by it's interaction with actual bowling
> > pins. Not saying it would constitute evidence of physicality in the
> > positive (virtual bowling ball can knock over virtual pins) but that
> > it does suggest evidence of non-physicality in the negative (virtual
> > bowling ball cannot knock over actual pins by itself). A physical
> > bowling ball could potentially supervene upon a simulation however, by
> > being slammed into the screen or computer hard enough to break it.
> > Anything that could actually run a simulation of bowling pins could
> > potentially be crushed by a large enough or small enough bowling ball
> > going at the right speed. Math alone cannot supervene upon physical
> > bowling pins.
>      Can we not distinguish between a concept in the mind and a physical
> object in the world? How else are we to relate descriptions to
> referents? A simulation of a billiard ball is a meaningless fiction if
> there is no referent to which that simulational pattern can be compared
> and contrasted. How exactly is the world that you observe with your
> senses not a simulation in the sense of being in your head?

The world that we observe with our senses is both a simulation and not
a simulation. Sense compactifies. It cumulatively entangles right
through different physical mediums and across void spaces. If that
were not the case, you would have a much more direct awareness of the
outside world if we pulled out our eyes and just looked through the
raw optic nerves. The eyeballs would not be necessary, it could all be
simulated within the cortex. The extra tissue forms an organ which is
like a visual laboratory - an advanced mammalian antenna with which to
make sense of the different kinds of photological phenomena that the
monkey body might find relevant. What we observe through our sense
organs is, for all intents and purposes, a direct presentation of the
extended reality of our body. To the extent that our body is a
physical thing with physical definitions and limitations, our
observations are representations or simulations, but they are not
solipsistic. In a healthy condition, we are actually in the world that
we think we are.

> If we did
> not perceive the world via simulations generated by the brain then, for
> one example, hallucinations would never occur.

If we did not perceive the world as a non-simulation in the first
place, then we would never know the difference between a hallucination
and not. There would be no words for dream, hallucination, delusion,
etc. It would all seem equally real.

> >>>>> I think that I could have a dream where 2+2=5
> >>>>> and it could make perfect sense in the dream.
> >>>> Dreams illustrates that sense can be put on anything.
> >>> Right. That's the point. If you turn it around, nothing can make sense
> >>> unless you make sense of it also
> >> Not sure. The dinosaurs made sense before the humans made sense of
> >> them.
> > But not before the dinosaurs made sense of their own existence, or the
> > biosphere made sense of reptiles.
>      So, why is it necessary to have a hierarchy of supervenience?

Not sure if it's necessary, it's just desirable. It provides a more
powerful platform for building significance - which is the goal of

> >> I think that the primality of 17 makes sense independently of
> >> any observer or physical reality. I mean that the proposition that
> >> there is no numbers different from 1 and 17 capable to divide 17" is
> >> true in all circumstance. Even in absence of a physical reality.
> >> Indeed I begin to explain that such arithmetical truth implies the
> >> existence of consciousness and stable first person plural beliefs in
> >> local observable physical phenomena.
> > I do get what you're saying, and I agree that the internal consistency
> > or arithmetic, prime numbers, etc is compelling as a primitive, but
> > that consistency is not accessible to all states of consciousness -
> > like a dream. All states of consciousness though imply sensorimotive
> > experience. Being present. Even if there is no exterior geometry of a
> > dream world, you can still be present in a void. To compute in the
> > real world, we need to use physical materials with certain properties.
> > It would be hard to build a calculator out of clouds. It could be done
> > I suppose, but the object-ness of a material is directly proportionate
> > to how appropriate it would be to hosting/reflecting our calcuations.
> > You can simulate a cloud with virtual water droplets and convection
> > currents, but can you simulate silicon microprocessors with fog?
>      Bruno is defending the claim that we and all of our experience of
> the world are, crudely stated, 'the dreams of numbers'. This idea
> entails that the physical world and all of its properties are also part
> of that dream.

Sure, and I have sympathy with that position, I'm just more compelled
in recent years to see the numbers being dreams themselves rather than
dreamers. The dreamer is more like the Tao - a void which has no
quality other than the capacity to experience it's opposite - form,
number, order, etc.

> So in a deep and subtle sense there is no 'you' that has
> the dream of being in a world, what we are experiencing is dreams within
> dreams. There is not fundamental 'stuff'.

I agree that there is no fundamental stuff, but that sense (as the Ur
non-stuff that gives rise to both pattern and pattern recognition) is
a more fundamental idea than either numbers or what numbers refer to.
This makes crystal clear sense to me. Artithmetic is a category of
logic, logic is a category of sense. There are other logics, there are
other senses which are equally primitive.

> >>> . Including arithmetic. It doesn't
> >>> make sense by itself.
> >> Why would you need an observer for making true that only 1 and 17
> >> divides 17?
> >> That seems to me super-anthropocentric.
> > To me it seems anthropocentric to imagine that an abstract human
> > artifact like 17 can exist without an observer.
>      '17' the symbol or that which that symbol represents?

It doesn't have to be that specific symbol, but any symbol or
representative process which recognizes 17 discrete entities as a
single coherent unit. Objectively they are just separate units.
Counting may not be unique to humans, but it may also not be a
universal process.

> >> I think you are confusing the truth of "1 and 17 are the only numbers
> >> dividing 17" with the proposition "humans have discovered that 1 and
> >> 17 are the only numbers dividing 17"
> > I think you are confusing just the opposite. If comp is right, I can
> > make a computer program that believes that 3 divides into 17 equally,
> > and make a whole race of universal machines that will never be able to
> > figure out any differently. Now if I get rid of the humans, 17 divided
> > by 3 will be #, objectively. Any mathematical consequences of this
> > would simply be be understood as an interesting puzzle or open
> > question of mathematics.
>      No, comp does not allow arbitrary mathematical relationships to
> intermingle such that in one part 17 is prime and in some other part 17
> is not prime. Global consistency is a basic requirement and that
> prevents the scenario that you are pointing at.

So if I hypnotize someone into believing that 17 is not prime, and try
to copy that brain with comp, comp won't let me? Comp can't copy
insanity? If so, then it's probably not going to be able to copy
sanity either.

> >>> It needs the physical abacus of a microchip or a
> >>> loom or a brain to do that.
> >> Why?
> >> Also, those object makes use of more complex arithmetical relations.
> > Because there I can't think of any compelling evidence that numbers
> > exist in a vacuum.
>      We must distinguish between the meanings that we confer to objects,
> abstract or concrete, and the idea of meaningfulness itself. The fact
> that no evidence is found is never a proof of non-existence. It is
> simply impossible to prove a negative via demonstrative proofs. That is
> the first lesson of logic.

Put it this way, I see the prospect of numbers existing in a vacuum no
more or less likely than the existence of mythological deities in a
vacuum. Just because we enjoy the feelings of digital certainty that
they provide us doesn't mean that we're not just worshiping an anti-
deity - seducing us into a logic where we imagine that there is no
'you' or me. What if it's an existential virus which compulsively
insists that feeling be explained away in order to negate our identity
and make us hallucinate that we are figments of its imagination?

Can numbers choose to be different? If we have an experience of
changing our mind, must that not be reducible to a mathematical
correlate? How does an equation change it's mind?

> > That's why my view opens the door to territory that is completely
> > unexplored. I assume that numbers and sense are mutually self-defining
> > through non-self projection. It's ok to assume numbers at the start,
> > but just recognize that numbers can't mean anything without a
> > corresponding sense that can be made out of them as a sensorimotive
> > experience. They are in fact the same thing, just ontologically
> > involuted.
>      Craig, but please understand that we cannot find solutions to hard
> problems simply by inventing new languages. yes, it is imporant to have
> a lexicon that is general enough and a grammar/theory of how all of ones
> descriptive terms relate to each other and how meaning obtains, but does
> it not make sense that we build upon what we know 'works". Sure, we
> often face revolutions in our understanding that compelled us to recast
> our ideas about the world and existence into new terms, but this can not
> happen piece-meal.

It sounds like you're saying that a revolution must build upon what we
know works, but that it cannot happen piece-meal. I think that what
I'm talking about is precisely how revolutions happen. It's not like
the last revolution, because this has to build on that and go
somewhere beyond, so it seems counter-intuitive, but how else would it
feel? Must all revolutions be delivered on a silver platter, requiring
nothing but the subject but to be passively convinced by incontestable
evidence, or could a deeper revolution which addresses subjectivity
itself require a different, more participatory and uncertain
commitment - a personal bet, on the part of the scientist?

>      We have to comprehend that we each see a different world and that
> arguing about whose point of view is correct or not is a waste of time.
> What is our goal here?

I think that my main goal is to share my understanding and to see if
there is anything that gives me cause to doubt my hypothesis or revise
it. Or maybe I'm a federal agent just trying to keep some dangerous
thought criminals off the street for several hours a day ;)

> >> On the mind-body issue,
> >> which is transdisciplinar, we have just to be entirely explicit.
> > Explicit is great if you mean defining relations to the highest degree
> > of precision possible without distorting what is being defined, but
> > the same quality which makes numbers most objective makes them least
> > subjective; least appropriate for describing what our most subjective
> > experiences are.
>      Is it understood that numbers to not exist independent of the
> relations that order and distinguish them?

Sure, yeah. I'm thinking of numbers as an aspect of arithmetic logic.
> >>>>> Also, what if a system of arithmetic is derived from physical
> >>>>> isomorphism instead? If, like drops of water, 2+2 =1 big water drop.
> >>>> Computers used all the time the boolean law 1+1= 0.  But this does
> >>>> not
> >>>> put any doubt that the natural 1 added to the natural number 1 gives
> >>>> the natural number 2. It just means that there are different sort of
> >>>> numbers, and/or different operation on them.
> >>> If there are different sorts of numbers and operation, then how can
> >>> they really be objectively primitive?
> >> I don't see any problem. There are different sorts of dinosaurs too.
> >> They might be, in some theory, different sort of particles. This might
> >> be in each case independent of the objective nature, or relative
> >> objective nature of such objects.
> > Then why not just consider qualia different sorts of numbers? What is
> > it about yellow that isn't a primitive number?
>      This is a mistake of smashing many levels of description into one,
> "flattening" concepts only increases chaos.

Not if you are eliminating redundancy. That's what I'm suggesting. If
there can be different kind of numbers, then how is color not eligible
to be exactly that?

> >>> Natural numbers are an invention
> >>> of an entity that thinks,
> >> The existence of numbers, with the laws of addition and
> >> multiplication, entails the existence of universal numbers. They can
> >> introspect themselves and discover, for themselves, the numbers and
> >> their laws. They can even discover themselves in there, and this on a
> >> variety of levels.
> > I don't think that you can say that they do that without a
> > mathematician being there to watch and understand, or a silicon chip
> > to prove it. What numbers help you discover is the logic behind sense
> > and the sense behind logic, but they don't necessarily reveal a logic
> > independent of sense. (That may be my main point right there).
>      I think that you are both wrong! Numbers as independent primitives
> can do nothing without the schemata of ordering and relations that even
> allows the notion of "introspection" and "discovery" to be meaningful.

That schemata, I call sensorimotive experience. The idea of something
and nothing, opposites and complements, more and less - these are
feelings. They allow us to 'under stand' - to settle within. Color has
a different sensorimotive experience which is just as primitive, which
directly presents the same ideas of opposites and similarities,
progression and sequence, but with a strictly qualitative visual
idiom. Numerical relations and ordering can add a level of
understanding to our experience of the visible spectrum but they
cannot substitute for it or simulate it non visually. Synesthesia
doesn't have a single 'correct' correlate of numbers to colors, or
colors to flavors.

> OTOH, requiring the physical presence of a mathematician is missing the
> point that the relationships upon which 'introspection' and 'discovery'
> supervene are not limited some just some particular kinds of things. You
> are missing the true part of functionalism.

I agree that the relationships are particularly functional in modeling
the objective world. It has universal generality for objective
measurement, but not for subjective experience.

> >>> and thought is an invention of an entity
> >>> that feels.
> >> The question which interests me is: who invented the entity that feels?
> > The entity that feels (say a cell) was invented by the entity that
> > senses (molecule), which is invented by the entity that detects (atom
> > or maaaybe subatomic 'particle'), which is all divisions of the
> > singularity into discrete mass-energy time-space topologies. It works
> > from top down as well, the entity that feels may be co-invented by the
> > Sun and Earth, or by archetypal entities which are future potentials
> > echoed backward through time from the singularity. I think it's likely
> > all the same thing objectively.
>      The word 'invent' presumes conscious intention and choice. Why are
> those necessary in this case?

I think Bruno is being figurative by using 'who' and 'invent'. It
could be a 'what gives rise to the entity that feels' and I'd give the
same answer.

> > snip
> >>> It's only humans who are educated in mathematics that can agree on
> >>> natural number axioms.
> >> Well, that's enough, if *you* agree with them.
> >> But I think it is false. Aliens will agree with us, or without us,
> >> that 17 is prime (when asserted in their language). All L bian entity
> >> agrees with this, and the class of L bian entity can be said to
> >> enlarge a lot the class of humans. (I am no talking about *correct*
> >> L bian machines). Even RA asserts that (x divides 17) implies that ((x
> >> = 1) or (x = 17)), with (x divides y) defined by (it exists z such
> >> that x*z = y).
> > I repeat my example again. If you can believe that it's false in a
> > dream or when you're hallucinating, then, in comp, you should be able
> > to generate that hallucination in your template insane transhuman and
> > exterminate all other entities in the universe, including yourself.
> > Then 17 is no longer prime, it's just 3 x #, where # is defined
> > explicitly that which divides evenly into 17 by 3. Isn't that what
> > imaginary numbers do? Can't I just define # is 'that quantity which
> > makes 17 not prime'?
>      As I see this, this all boils down to difference that make a
> difference.

Do imaginary numbers make a difference?


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