Dear Bruno,

    I still think that we can synchronize our ideas!

On 1/25/2012 1:10 PM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 25 Jan 2012, at 18:04, Stephen P. King wrote:


I am 99% in agreement with Craig here. The 1% difference is a quibble over the math. We have to be careful that we don't reproduce the same slide into sophistry that has happened in physics.

I think I agree. I comment Craig below.



On 1/25/2012 7:41 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Jan 25, 2:05 am, meekerdb<>  wrote:

It is not at all camouflaged; Lawrence Krause just wrote a book called "A Universe From Nothing". That the universe came from nothing is suggested by calculations of the total energy of the universe. Theories of the origin of the universe have been developed by Alexander Vilenkin, Stephen Hawking and James Hartle. Of course the other view is that
there cannot have been Nothing and Something is the default.
"The most reasonable belief is that we came from nothing, by
nothing, and for nothing."
          --- Quentin Smith
I think that we are all familiar with the universe from nothing
theories, but the problem is with how nothing is defined. The
possibility of creating a universe, or creating anything is not
'nothing', so that any theory of nothingness already fails if the
definition of nothing relies on concepts of symmetry and negation,
dynamic flux over time, and the potential for physical forces, not to
mention living organisms and awareness. An honestly recognized
'nothing' must be in all ways sterile and lacking the potential for
existence of any sort, otherwise it's not nothing.

I agree too. That is why it is clearer to put *all* our assumptions on the table. Physical theories of the origin, making it appearing from physical nothingness, makes sense only in, usually mathematical, theories of nothingness. It amounts to the fact that the quantum vacuum is unstable, or even more simply, a quantum universal dovetailer. This assumes de facto a particular case of comp, the believes in the existence of at least one (Turing) universal system. As you might know, choosing this particular one is treachery, in the mind body problem, given that if that is the one, it has to be explained in term of a special sum on *all* computational histories independently of the base (the universal system) chosen at the start.

The idea of theories of Nothing is that "Everything is indistinguishable from Nothing". This is very different from distinctions between Something and Nothing. I cannot emphasize enough how important the role of belief, as it Bp&p, has and how "belief" automatically induces an entity that is capable of having the belief. We simply cannot divorce the action from the actor while we can divorce the action from any *particular* actor. Your idea that we have to count *all* computational histories is equally important, but note that a choice has to be made. This role, in my thinking, is explained in terms of an infinite ensemble of entities, each capable of making the choice. If we can cover all of their necessary and sufficient properties by considering them as *Löb*ian, good, but I think that we need a tiny bit more structure to involve bisimulations between multiple and separate *Löb*ian entities so that we can extract local notions of time and space.

Any formalism describing the quantum vaccuum assumes much more that the Robinson tiny arithmetical theory for the ontology needed in comp. Nothing physical does not mean nothing conceptual. You have still too assume the numbers, at the least. So it assumes more and it copies nature (you can't, with comp, or you lost the big half of everything).

I would like you to consider that the uniqueness of standard models of arithmetic, such as that defined in the Tennenbaum theorem, as a relative notion. Each and every *Löb*ian entity will always consider themselves as recursive and countable and thus the "standard" of uniqueness. This refelcts the idea that each of us as observers finds ourselves in the center of "the" universe.

My view is that the default is neither nothing or something but rather

I think there coexist, and are explanativaely dual of each others. In both case you need the assumptions needed to make precise what can exist and what cannot exist.

This is a mistake because it tacitly assumes that a finite theory can exactly model the totality of existence.

If you have an eternal everything then the universe of
somethings and sometimes can be easily explained by there being
temporary bundling of everything into isolated wholes, collections of
wholes, collections of collections, etc, each with their own share of
small share of eternity.



This is what I am trying to say with Bruno about numbers starting from
1 instead of 0. From 1 we can subtract 1 and get 0,

So we get 0 after all.

Right, but we recover 0 *after* the first act of distinguishing. We cannot start with a notion of primitives that assume distinction a priori.

but from 0, no
logical concept of 1 need follow.

No logical concept, you are right (although this is not so easy to proof). But you have the *arithmetical* (yes, *not* logical), notion of a number's successor, noted s(x). We assume that all numbers have successors. And we can even define 0 as the only one which is not a successor, by assuming Ax(~(0= s(x))) (for all number 0 is different from the successor of that number).

having the symbol 0, we can actually name all numbers: by 0, s(0), s(s(0)), s(s(s(0))), s(s(s(s(0)))), s(s(s(s(s(0))))), ...

Yes, but only after making the initial distinction, an act which requires an actor. This is a "chicken and the egg" problem.

0 is just 0. 0 minus 0 is still 0.

Yes. That's correct. And for all numbers x, you have also that x + 0 = x. Worst: for all number x, x*0 = 0.
That 0 is a famous number!

I invite you to take a look at the finitist system of mathematics of Norman J. Wildberger <>.




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