On 12/9/2011 4:06 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 09 Dec 2011, at 08:47, meekerdb wrote:
On 12/8/2011 6:35 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 12/8/2011 9:01 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 12/8/2011 5:48 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 12/8/2011 6:45 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 12/8/2011 3:04 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Dec 8, 4:44 pm, "Stephen P. King"<stephe...@charter.net> wrote:
True, it could be dualism (or an involuted monism) too, but I
On 12/8/2011 4:22 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
To suppose computation requires a material process would be
materialism, wouldn't it?
Not quite, a dualist model would require that some form of
process occur for computations and would go even further in
computations from not having a physical component but would not
which it was. This way we preserve computational universality
having to drift off into idealism and its own set of problems.
call a theory of mind which depends on material processes
You might if you thought that's all that was needed to make a
mind, in contrast to some supernatural soul stuff. It basically
boils down to whether you suppose there are some things that are
real (e.g. some things happen and some don't, or some stuff
exists and some doesn't) and some aren't or you suppose that
everything happens and exists. In the latter case there's really
no role for ur stuff whose only function is to mark some stuff as
existing and the rest not.
Interesting role that you have cast the physical world into,
but ironically "stuff whose only function is to mark some stuff as
existing and the rest not" and "everything happens and exists" do
not sleep together very well at all. The "everything happens and
exists" hypothesis has a huge problem in that is has no way of
sorting the "Tom sees this and not that" from the " from "Dick
sees this and not that" and "Jane sees this and not that", where
as the "stuff whose only function is to mark some stuff as
existing and the rest not" can be coherently defined as the union
of what Tom, Dick and Jane see and do not see.
The idealists would have us believe that along with numbers
their operations there exists some immaterial stratifying medium
that sorts one level of Gedel numbering from another. I am
reminded of a video I watched some time ago where a girl had three
sealed jars. One contained nothing, one contained 4 6-die and the
third contained 1,242,345,235,235 immaterial 6-die. ...
The physical world is very much real, even if it vanishes when
we look at it closely enough. But we might consider that just as
it vanishes so too does the ability to distinguish one set of
numbers from another. If the ability to distinguish this from that
itself vanishes, how are we to claim that computations exist
"independent of physics"? Seriously!?!
Where did I claim that. I was just pointing out the genesis of
"everything theories"; you did notice that this is called the
"everything-list" didn't you?
I commented on what you wrote. Care to respond or will you beg my
question? How does immaterial based "everything theories" deal with
this problem that I just outlined?
You should ask a proponent of such theories; like Bruno. But as I
understand it, the ultimate application of Ocaam's razor is to refuse
to make any distinctions, so that we theorize that everything
exists. But the unqualified everything doesn't seem to be logically
coherent. So Bruno backs off to an "everything" that is well defined
and still possibly comprehensive, i.e. everything that is
computable. Within this plenuum there are various states (numbers in
arithmetic) and some principle will pick out what part we
experience. Computation includes an uncountable infinity of states
and relations between states - so whatever we experience must be in
Good answer. The distinction asked by Stephen King are done, in the
relative way, by the universal numbers themselves.
Hi Bruno and Brent,
Sorry, I do not accept that as a "good answer" since it would be
cut to shreds by the razor itself. Postulating that everything exists
without a means to even demostrate necessity is to postulate an infinite
(of unknown cardinality!) of entities, in direct contradiction to
Occam's razor. Even when we reduce this to a countable infinite of
entities, the need for necessitation remains unanswered. Why do numbers
exist? Why numbers and not Nothing? At least with the Stone-type dualism
we have a way to show the necessity of numbers via bisimulations between
different instances of Boolean algebras and, dually, via causality
between Stone spaces and thus do not violate Occam blindly.
Comprehensability requires the co-existence of that which is
comprehended with that which is doing the comprehension, that numbers
can comprehend themselves without additional structure seem to me to be
ruled out even by your result. My point is that we cannot tacitly assume
the existence of entities that can make the distinctions (for example,
between difference Goedelian numberings) and thus the insistence that
the physical not exist at the same level as numbers seems to be an error.
I'm intrigued by David Deutsche's assertion that different physics
implies that different things are computable, but I'm doubtful that
I agree, it is total non sense. Not only it would contradict Church
thesis and the immunity of computability for diagonalization, but
thanks to David Deutsch quantum computer, it does not even make sense
with what we know currently believed in physics, and such a position
is a sort of revisionist definition of what is a computation. That's
is why I prefer to call Deutsch's "Church Turing principle" the
"Deutsch's thesis". And it is an open problem if such a thesis is
compatible with Church's thesis.
You are not even showing a valid proof here. Refuting Deutsch's
assertion would effectively make Yes Doctor vanish, leaving your result
vacuous. Removing all traces of the physical world removes all
possibility of distinguishing a false proof from a true proof. To
contradict this one must show how a "theory of abstract theorem proving"
is self-consistent in the absence of a means to distinguish one proposed
proof from another. Only the physical world with its chalkboards,
computer screens sound waves, etc. offers a medium on and in which we
can communicate abstract ideas and concepts such as your result.
To believe otherwise is to similar to the belief in perpetual
motion machines as it would allow us to do work in contradiction to
thermodynamics. The acquisition of Knowledge, via computation or other,
requires the generation of entropy. Information is not gained for free.
If numbers have a unique and a priori existence and the physical world
emerges from it then even thermodynamics itself is emergent but this
still does not allow us to get 0 to equal 1.
I am sorry to seem so harsh in my critique but this problem that I
am pointing out is far to obvious to be so lackadaisically dismissed. I
believe in your result, but it does not prove the physical world to not
exist as it requires the existence of the physical world to be
communicated. That fact alone should be clear.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to email@example.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at