Hi Stephen P. King et al,  

For what it's worth, in the philosophy of mathematics,
numbers are considered as static entities (they don't change). 
Instead, change is a property of geometry.  I suppose
because angles can change.

Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net 
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen 

----- Receiving the following content -----  
From: Stephen P. King  
Receiver: everything-list  
Time: 2012-11-01, 09:25:50 
Subject: Re: Numbers in the Platonic Realm 

On 11/1/2012 6:54 AM, Platonist Guitar Cowboy wrote: 

On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 1:42 AM, Stephen P. King  wrote: 

On 10/31/2012 6:14 PM, Platonist Guitar Cowboy wrote: 

On Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 7:59 PM, Stephen P. King  wrote: 

One problem that I have discovered (I thank Brent for bringing this up!) is 
that in our reasoning we set up constructions - such as the person on the 
desert island - that blur the very distinction that I am trying to frame. We 
should never assume temporal situations to argue for relations that are 
atemporal unless we are prepared to show the morphisms between the two 

Isn't this already physical framework when you seem to be arguing for time as 
primitive ("n incompatible with comp to begin with, after which you seek to 
carve out a distinction, when you've already mixed at the base?  

    My argument is that it is impossible to 'derive" Becoming from Being, but 
we can derive Being from Becoming. So why not work with the latter idea? I am 
trying to get Bruno to admit, among other things, that he has to assume a 
non-well founded logic for his result to work.;-)  

I see less and less how you'd be able to do that, as I said, by making 
process/linear time primitive in comp, and by assuming physical universe with 
so many statements. Quantum Logic is part of the picture (see SANE 2004). 

Hi Cowboy, 

    I think of it this way: Change is fundamental (ala Heraclitus and Bergson) 
and Being is its automorphism. Is that a bit more clear? "Linear time" (why 
'linear'? Is there such a thing as non-linear time? Cyclic time is still 
linear, AFAIK...) is, IMHO, change + a measure. Without a measure of change, 
there is no time; there is just change. If we take relativity seriously, we 
might even claim that there is no difference between change minus measure and 
staticness... I should mention that any change that has no measure associated 
with it is "zeroth" order change. 
    Without the means to compare two different things to each other, does it 
make any sense to be able to make coherent statements about some change in one 
relative to the other. If there is just one thing, how do we know anything 
about its possible change(s) unless we are looking at it and gauging 
(measuring) its change against some thing else that has some measure associated 
- but our observation of it violates the stipulation of "if there is just one 

    The idea that somehow the observer is irrelevant in physics and philosophy 
is, IMHO, one of the worse errors ever. Sure, we need to minimize and even 
eliminate observer bias and preferred reference framing, but eliminating the 
observer and replacing it with some ambiguous 'view from nowhere' is undiluted 
hogwash. This is where "realist" chafe me, they act as if the universe of 
objects is out there and has definite properties in the complete absence of any 
clear explanation for how those properties came to be defined in the first 
place. OK, OK, I will stop ranting... 

    Bruno would have us, in step 8 of UDA, to "not assume a concrete robust 
physical universe". He goes on to argue that Occam's razor would demand that we 
reject the very idea of the existence of physical worlds given that he can 
'show' how they can be reconstructed or derived from irreducible - and thus 
ontologically primitive - Arithmetic 'objects' {0, 1, +, *} that are 
"operating" somehow in an atemporal way.  

UDA does not contradict itself here. Restraints on processing power, on memory 
and print capacities, implying time as some illusion emanating from eternal 
primitives, don't exist when framed non-constructively, more like sets of 
assignments, rather than operations in your sense, by which you seem to mean 
"physically primitive operations" on par with ontologically primitive arrow of 
time. Isn't this like cracking open the axioms, and then complaining that the 
building has cracks in it? 

    There are simply a pile of concepts that are just assumed without 
explanation in any discussion of philosophy/logic/math. My point is that a 
theory must be have the capacity of being communicable ab initio for it to even 
be considered. When I am confronted with a theory or a "result" or an argument 
that seems to disallow for communicability I am going to baulk at it!  

And the possibility that you are baulking at your preconceptions rather than 
engaging the theory has never happened to you? Happens to me all the time. 

    OK, got any ideas what these might be other than those I have mentioned 
explicitly? Philosophically, I am a Heraclitean, at least, as opposed to a 

We should be able to make the argument run without ever appealing to a Platonic 
realm or any kind of 'realism'.  

It's hard for me to see bets being made without some cash/investment/gap of 
faith on the table. 


Then it would be easy for you to directly address the question: why assume 
non-comp and then complain about comp's implications of time and physics 
arising from dream interaction of universal numbers, therefore being not 
primary or existing primitively?  

    But I agree with comp up to the strong version of step 8! I accept comp 
with a weak version of step 8 or, I think equivalently, a weak version of 
computational universality: A computation is universal if it is not dependent 
on any one particular physical system. This implies, to me, that there is at 
least one physical system that such a universal computation can be said to 
actually run on! This goes against the Parmenidean/Platonistic idea of 
computation as static objects in eternity that are completely independent of 
physical stuff!     
    This makes me suspicious of the entire idea of ontological "independence" 
but I digress. 

In my thinking, if arithmetic is powerful enough to be a TOE and run the TOE to 
generate our world, then that power should be obvious. My problem is that it 
looks tooo much like the 'explanation' of creation that we find in mythology, 
whether it is the Ptah of ancient Egypt or  the egg of Pangu or whatever other 
myth one might like. What makes an explanation framed in the sophisticated and 
formal language of modal logic any different? 

Nothing, at its base. Appearances and looks can deceive, as numbers can too. 

    Would this not make that deception something in our understanding and not 
the fault of numbers? After all, numbers are supposedly the least ambiguous of 

On the surface, but not when you look under the hood. That's a reductionist 
bias of number.  

    Don't get me started on reductionism! I don't believe in it as I don't 
believe in ontologically primitive objects that have particular properties. 

    I agree 1000000000% with your point about 'miracles'. I am very suspicions 
of "special explanations' or 'natural conspiracies'. 

Same here. My point with humanism + natural sciences, including standard model, 
is that you have to be straight about your wager: there's my magic primitive 
right there, warts and all.   

Its deceiving to, on the one hand assert "no miracles" whatsoever, and then ask 
for it at the instant of Big Bang. "Human" in this sense is both deceptive 
through error and useful for power.  

    I think that we are too eager for explanations and are willing to play fast 
and lose with concepts so long as we can hand wave problems away.  



  (This comes from my upbringing as a "Bible-believing Fundamentalist" and 
eventual rejection of that literalist mental straight-jacket.) As I see things, 
any condition or situation that can be used to 'explain' some other 
conceptually difficult condition or situation should be either universal in 
that they apply anywhere and anytime or are such that there must be a 
particular configuration of events for them to occur. This principle (?) 
applies to everything, be it the Big Bang initial state/singularity or 

    One point about the Big Bang. It seems to me that if we are considering 
conditions in our current physical universe that involve sufficiently small 
scales and/or high enough energies that there should be the equivalent to the 
Big Bang initial conditions, thus the Big Bang should be considered as an 
ongoing process even now and not some epochally special event. 

You argue both comp ("universal, anywhere, eternal") and physically primitive 
universe ("current physical universe", "ongoing process" etc).  

    It seems to me that we need both to come up with ontological theories! 

I don't need to. Others are good at that. Every song I play/write is one 
ontological theory, that sometimes even kids can grasp and smile at. In ancient 
Greece, music was a branch of core education. Numbers and geometry were as 
important as an understanding of harmony. I am not idealizing ancient Greece, 
nor am I saying math = music.   

    I have found that those ancient Greeks where just as smart as smart people 

That's why I ask above why you burn your money before you put it on the (comp) 
table and claim the game is rigged? Just because "eternal is foundation", 
doesn't imply that process isn't possible on some higher level. Your alluding 
to mysticism points towards different ways you can frame temporal and 
"atemporal" systems. There's not "a difference", there are many, which is 
perhaps a fruitful avenue of inquiry. 

I do agree with you on the straight-jacket problem. But extreme limitation is 
also liberating. 

    Freedom from is not freedom to. 

I'm not saying UD is without problems or possible flaws; but simply fail to 
understand the flaw you are trying to express. 

Again: why burn the basement and complain the building has cracks?  

    I'm trying to do exactly not that... 



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