On Mar 20, 1:27 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 20 Mar 2012, at 17:40, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> > On Mar 20, 12:01 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> >> to explain things. But comp is a (scientific, modest) theology, in
> >> which we can "believe", hope, or fear, and which makes just many
> >> fundamental question technically formulable.
> > There is no consideration that the very act of technical formulation
> > could have an effect on the answer. As the Tao Te Ching begins: "The
> > name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name." This
> > is not modest at all, it is in fact a reckless and arrogant
> > assumption.
> No, because it is presented as an assumption, not as a truth (like you
> did).
> Then comp agree with the TAO, the "real thing" cannot be named.
> But once you accept an assumption, if only for the sake of an
> argument, you can derive conclusion.

The conclusion you derive relates only to your assumption though. The
truth could in fact be precisely the opposite of the conclusion which
presents itself without accepting an assumption. In that case, the
accepting of the assumption itself actually prevents any possibility
of seeing the error of the conclusion. This is because of the symmetry
of consciousness. When we objectify our own awareness, it becomes a
character within our awareness, and therefore denatured and lacking

It sounds like the comp position is that since the real thing cannot
be named, that lets us off the hook and we can just figure everything
else out and leave a hole where consciousness/qualia is supposed to
be. I think of it instead that the unnamable nature of experience is a
positive affirmation of epistemological validity. It is unnamable-ness
itself. It the self-evident nature of truth itself (sense) which makes
it true, not a mechanism which forces truth upon us. We can experience
truth and illusion directly and indirectly but the fact of experience
in the first place is perpetually true.

> > Comp assumes that its own framework can accommodate all
> > things and that no framework can reduce it to another, while further
> > assuming that this assumption is irrelevant or unavoidable. It may be
> > useful to think of it that way for specific purposes, but as a bet of
> > universal significance, it seems to me an obvious catastrophe.
> Not at all. That is what we can partially test. Comp assumes only we
> can survive with a digitalizable body.

It's not just 'we' but our entire participation in the world that is
assumed to be digitally interchangeable. A digitizable body can only
exist within a digitizable universe. My point though, is that by
assuming that things can be truly, ontologically digitized (and not
merely imitated to the perceptual satisfaction of a given audience),
comp already fails to recognize the use-mention distinction (http://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use–mention_distinction) of consciousness.
Assuming that we can survive with a digitized body is only the tip of
the iceberg of assumptions about pattern that take pattern recognition
utterly for granted. Comp exports inorganic naive realism to a
universal level and builds from there.

> >> In particular it does
> >> answer the question "where does the universe come from?". The answer
> >> is, by the truth about addition and multiplication, and the technical
> >> details are accessible to any universal machines.
> >> You will ask: "where does addition and multiplication comes from".
> >> This, in the comp theory can be answered: we will never know, at
> >> least
> >> in any publicly communicable way.
> > Why add the extra step of addition and multiplication?
> To get a Turing complete ontology.

What does it further us though to have a Turing complete ontology
relate to the question in the first place? Instead of trying to make
it answer 'where does the universe come from?', why not 'where does
computing come from'?

> > The deus ex
> > mysterium of the latter answer nullifies any value of the former
> > answer, which now becomes:
> > "where does the universe come from?"
> > "we will never know, at least in any publicly communicable way. "
> For the universe of number, or arithmetical truth, you are right.
> But the rest becomes explainable for that, as interfering numbers
> dreams, which are defined by sequences and subsequences of numbers in
> arithmetic, or the UD*.

It seems to me that the idea of numbers dreams is a plug for the
gaping rift between the two. If we have numbers, we don't need dreams,
and if we have dreams we don't need numbers. To me they have to be two
poles of a single continuum, neither of which can be explained in
terms of the other or expressed in terms other than their own.

> > Somewhere between the complete failure to answer universal questions
> > and the certainty of arithmetic lies the really important questions.
> I have no certainty. You are introducing it.

Isn't certainty what addition and multiplication are all about?

> OK, I have few doubt that "17 is prime", or that phi_i(j) stops or
> does not stops.
> > It's a distraction to insert arithmetic in the first place when it
> > could just as easily be the case that the universal colors and odors
> > give rise to the universe.
> You abstract from the fact that with comp, all what is shown in UDA,
> is that we *have to* explain how odor, color and physical realties
> emerge.

No, we can just say that " we will never know, at least in any
publicly communicable way". Once we have the primitives of odor and
color, we can arrive at arithmetic through chemistry and biology.

> It gives the shape of the solution, and produces already the
> testable propositional parts. It also reminds us that the genuine
> theological debate is the question of who is closer to the truth:
> Plato or Aristotle.

What about 'Lao-Tzu'?

> >> We already need the numbers to give
> >> sense to the question, and we can show that without assuming them (or
> >> equivalent) we cannot recover them.
> > What sense do numbers give to the question?
> With comp humans are examples of relative numbers, so you can take the
> sense *you* give to the question as an example.

I can already do that without numbers though. I don't see why numbers
would help.


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