On 12/9/2011 2:17 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 12/9/2011 4:43 AM, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 12/9/2011 2:47 AM, 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:
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.


Hi Brent,

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?

HI Brent,

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 there somewhere.

I'm intrigued by David Deutsche's assertion that different physics implies that different things are computable, but I'm doubtful that it's true.

Hi Brent,

What is the basis of your doubt? Have you not looked at, for instance, the work of Tipler <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_J._Tipler#The_Omega_Point_cosmology> that discusses how different physics alters the kinds of computations that can occur? The notion of Hypercomputation <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercomputation> is a good place to start.

Yes I can understand that there are mathematical models in which computations different from Turing's are possible. But I'm doubtful whether they are coherent. If you tried to build a physics on them that model conscious beings would you run into contradictions? That's one role the physical universe plays, it (supposedly) is free of contradictions. So if we have a mathematical model of something physical and the model is found to have a contradiction we generally say that it cannot be a correct model of the physical something.


  Hi Brent,

Again, what is the basis of your doubt and how would you confirm the truthfulness of that basis?

My agreement with Deutsch's assertion does not follow from just taking his words as authority. Consider a physical would in which the Plank constant was zero, Newton's universe for example; in such a world computations would be radically different if only because there do not exists any stable atoms.

In Newton's universe there weren't any atoms to be unstable. But Newton's universe was not Turing computable.
OK, but that is illustrating Deutsch's point that proofs require a physical universe. See pages 190-191 in BoI. Without the 'thisness" of the physical one does not even have the ability to communicate, interview or know anything in any way. In fact, there would be no Bruno, or Brent or Stephen having this conversation or anyone or anything else in any kind of provable way. To seriously believe that *all that exists* is the Integers and their dreams is to eliminate any possibility of explanation or knowledge of such by us. It even undermines our very ability to have any knowledge whatsoever. Kant's nonsensical synthetic a priori idea is conservative compared to this radicalism! I deeply admire Bruno and his temerity and I am anguished by his persecution, but he needs to face the consequences of his claims. One cannot take seriously an ontological theory that undermines its very own know-ability.

All computers would be sporadic and stochastic Boltzmann type computers. Would the same kind of universality that we have with our Turing thesis exist in such?

I think so because they don't physically exist in our world either. They are abstractions, which if they exist at all, exist in Platonia.
What makes Platonia "more real" than the dreams of Pink Unicorns? If we can physically not verify or even write faithful representations of theorems, lemmas, proofs, etc. of our mathematics what coherence is there at all? The immaterialist would deny all causal efficacy to the physical. Please understand that my only complaint about Bruno's result is that it is interpreted in a way that undermines its very existence. To assume that any critique of is is equivalent to either nonsensical statements and claims or some kind of appeal to "primitive matter" is frankly, begging the question. Betrand Russell examined the kind of questions that I am asking and found that a neutral monism <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_monism> made the most sense. I propose a similar idea for our ontological primitives, our grundlagen. This idea is also consistent with Russell Standish's theory of Nothing. ll I am adding to the discussion is a claim that Vaughn Pratt's rehabilitation of Cartesian dualism, via the Stone duality, solves the mind-body problem in a way that has a much longer reach that either material or ideal monism (and none of its efficacy problems) and even solves the measure problem as a side note. it also gives some strong hints as to a theory of time that cuts McTaggart <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unreality_of_Time> and Barbour's Gordian knot. What ideas are you proposing or defending?



You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to