On 9/21/2011 3:06 PM, Jason Resch wrote:


On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com <mailto:whatsons...@gmail.com>> wrote:

    On Sep 21, 12:20 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com
    <mailto:jasonre...@gmail.com>> wrote:

    Sorry to jump in here..

    >
    > The Mandelbrot set has a definition which we can use to explore
    it's
    > properties.

    In this kind of context, I think it is useful to make the distinction
    that the Mandlebrot 'set' IS a definition.


Then the important question is whether humans had to write it down for it to exist.
[SPK]
Why is the question of whether some set of properties occur given some set of rules and the implementation of those rules by some process tied to the existence or non-existence of an object? Since when was it even a meaningful question? Is existence a property? No, it is not!


    Would you say the set was non-existent before Mandelbrot
    > found it?

    I would say that it is still non-existent. What exists would be a
    graphic representation, for instance, of the results of thousands of
    individual function calls which require our visual sense to be grouped
    into a set. Our recognition of pattern against the set of generic
    iterations of the equation plotted visually is what gives it
    explorable properties: The concrete event of the plotting on a screen
    or pencil and paper.


Yet we have only seen an infinitesimally small part of it. What ontological status shall we ascribe to the unseen parts?

[SPK]
Currently unknown. ".../what we/ cannot /talk about we/ must pass over in silence. " or admit that we are only speculating.

    >  If we have to define something for it to exist, then what
    > was this universe before there were conscious beings in it?

    The universe always has/is/results from awareness.


Then you get into a bootstrap problem. How did the first aware creation come to be if there was not already some structure with a previous history during which that creature evolved? Your idea suggests the universe and its 5 billion history were created when the first life form opened its eyes.

[SPK]
A bootstrap problem can only occur if there is a boundary that cannot be overstepped or crossed by some means.

Why is it assumed that there had to be a structure with no prior history that somehow just appears and all else proceeds from it? We chastise silly creationists for making the same claim! Existence is eternal, just because we observe a finite universe does not mean that the total universe is not infinite or that that finite observed universe is the totality of existence. It could be just the simple fact that a finite system (within an infinite Totality) with finite physical resources can only resolve a finite universe (which is just a finite subset of the Totality. Not too complicated at all. There is no need to concoct weird explanations such as Singularities and Inflatons and Dark Energy, just use some observation, logic and a liberal dose of Occam's razor.

This idea is not unlike Wheeler's participatory universe, which I think has some merit. With Wheeler's idea, however, both awareness and the universe feed on each other and affect each other. With your idea it sounds like you think awareness drives everything. How do you explain the physical laws (the fact that there are laws at all) if sense and awareness are all that are required?

[SPK]
You might not have noticed that Craig's thesis is symmetric with respect to "sense" and "thing". He calls them the Omni and the Acme, if I recall correctly.


    >
    > > The question of whether or not some     number has some
    properties
    > > is dependent only on the structure that     defines it, not the
    > > 'discoverer' there of.
    >
    > What created the definition of the universe we are in?

    Our neurology.




Our neurology is contingent on the universe. What I was asking is if we need to define everything in order that it exist, how can we explain our own existence? Obviously things can exist independently of our mathematical definitions or discoveries. Our universe being a case in point.

[SPK]
We are aware of only a tiny sliver of what exists. Naive realism is a form of hysterical blindness, IMHO. This notion that somehow the existence of an entity is linked to its properties is worse than fallacious. It is dumb.

    >
    > > Without a separate and concrete space to act an an extrinsic
    > > distinguisher (sorry for the sad wording, a better one is
    > > requested!) of the numbers from each other, no pattern at all can
    > > exist.
    >
    > Consider that the game of life is merely a progression of integers,
    > defined by a simple function.  Yet all kinds of patterns and motion
    > are supported.  Now consider a three dimensional game of life: it
    > might enable simple "particles" that move through it's "space".
    >
    > > Here the 2-dimensional space of the computer monitor is
    playing the
    > > role and allows us to contrast the symbols representing the
    digits,
    > > but I hope that my point is understood.
    >
    > It is not what appears to us, but what appears to the beings
    inside.
    > If you sat at a terminal showing all the bits describing this
    universe
    > changing over time your viewing of that screen is not necessary for
    > you or I to experience.

    But as beings inside our universe, we DO need material interfaces to
    see, feel, and think.



What is material but its relation to other material in this universe?
[SPK]
    Correct, but the kind of relation that it is matters, literally!

    Our eyeballs are necessary for us to see the
    world outside of ourselves. It's not enough that the arithmetic of
    visual phenomena exists, we cannot contact it through arithmetic means
    alone.


A being that evolved eyes in the game of life could respond to the reception of "game of life photons" just as we do to our photons. You would then have to admit that this being can see (or perhaps you would not, since you have finally admitted your belief in zombies).

Jason
--
{SPK]
Umm, where in the rules of the Game of Life is there an analogue of a photon? The game merely states somethign like "if your neighboring cell is empty do change to x state". There is no photon there as this 'neighborhood state detection system depends on a global synchronization of the cell detections and transitions, thus there is no signal delay nor permittivity and permeability functions involved. One would have to radically alter the rules of the GoL to make photon facsimiles appear.

Onward!

Stephen


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