On Wed, Sep 05, 2012 at 12:37:22AM -0400, Stephen P. King wrote:
> Hi Russel,
>     In Craig's defense. When did ontological considerations become a
> matter of contingency? You cannot "Choose" what is Real! That is the
> entire point of Reality. It is not up to the choice of any one. It
> is that which is incontrovertible for All of us. The Moon does not
> vanish when you stop looking at it, simply because you're not its
> only onlooker!

I don't think I ever suggested that reality was an arbitrary
choice. But whilst that reality is unknown, it seems quite reasonable
to suppose it is this or that, and to see whether the consequences of
that assumption match up with observations. It is how science is done,
after all.

For certain choices of "this or that", the ultimate reality is
actually unknowable. For instance, the choice of a Turing complete
basis means that the hardware running the computations is completely
unknowable to the denizens of that computation. This is a consequence
of the Church thesis.

> >
> >>*Church thesis*: Views computation in isolation, irrespective of resources,
> >>supervenience on object-formed computing elements, etc. This is a
> >>theoretical theory of computation, completely divorced from realism from
> >>the start. What is it that does the computing? How and why does data enter
> >>or exit a computation?
> >It is necessarily an abstract mathematical thesis. The latter two
> >questions simply are relevant.
>     The issue of I/O is not irrelevant.


> >
> >>*Arithmetical Realism*: The idea that truth values are self justifying
> >>independently of subjectivity or physics is literally a shot in the dark.
> >>Like yes, doctor, this is really swallowing the cow whole from the
> >>beginning and saying that the internal consistency of arithmetic
> >>constitutes universal supremacy without any real indication of
> >>that.
> >AR is not just about internal consistency of mathematics, it is an
> >ontological commitment about the natural numbers. Whatever primitive
> >reality is, AR implies that the primitive reality models the natural
> >numbers.
>     Note quite. AR is the stipulation that primitive reality = the
> natural numbers. The idea has been around for a long time. We silly

I assume by your comment you mean "nothing buttery". If everything
about the observed universe can be explained by the properties of the
natural numbers, then it matters not whether the primitive reality
_is_ the natural numbers (nothing but), or simply models it (has all
the properties of the natural numbers, but may have other, unspecified
and unobservered, properties).

> humans simply cannot wrap our minds around the possibility that more
> exists than we can count! We must be able to count what we can
> communicate about in the context of any one message, but this does
> not place an upper finite bound on the host of possible messages.

Countability is not normally considered to be a finite property,
unless you're an ultrafinitist.

> >
> >In fact, for COMP, and the UDA, Turing completeness of primitive reality is
> >sufficient, but Bruno chose the natural numbers as his base reality
> >because it is more familiar to his correspondents.
>     Sure, but this results in a consistent solipsism of a single
> mind. It is a prison of reflections of itself, over and over, a
> Ground Hog Day <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_yDWQsrajA> where
> there is no possible escape. I am interested in a non-prison version
> of comp.

I don't really buy this statement. I get the impression that the
debates flowing around on this topic on this list are being conducted
by people who don't know what they're talking about (whether pro or
con). Or at least, I don't know what is being talked about, which is
why I usually prefer to remain silent...

> >
> >>Wouldn't computers tend to be self-correcting by virtue of the pull toward
> >>arithmetic truth within each logic circuit? Where do errors come from?
> >>
> >Again, these two questions seem irrelevant.
>     No, you just don't understand him.

I'm sure that is true too. Unfortunately, he has a habit of stating
something completely distant from the topic being responded to, which
doesn't help that understanding.


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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