Bruno, I apologize for taking so much time from you to reply.
And thanks for the highly entertaining reading how your mind
(to which mine is no knowledgeable match) rebuffs.

One question if you still can take one:

> *"JM: I would leave out mind, matter, consciousness*
>
> *Br: Well, that is what I am working on. "*
>

(Q: on 'leaving them out' or 'working on THEM'?)

And I offer my take developed over the past 2 decades of my agnostic
(religious non-faithful) belief system - not for an argument (I am not
ready for that) just as a MAYBE usable idea:
I INTERPRET (thanks for the word)
*
*
*mind* as the unknowable mentality we 'work with' - an agent we (you?) are
willing to assign to our (physiological/physical tool) brain as the tool,
though far from understanding it. Then again

*matter* as the interactive figment for our sensors (known and still
unknown ones) as effects of relations (some knowable) in that 'infinite
complexity' of which we have access only to a portion and which gave rise
to the greatest hypothesis of man: the FEELING and SCIENCE (physics) of
some 'material world'.
(I have no idea how other 'creatures' THINK about matter). And:

*consciousness *(not related to human terms) as the "response to relations"
in that 'infinite complexity'.

Thanks for providing the opportunity to think about these definitions. I
may improve on them and would be glad to do so.

John Mikes



On Sat, May 4, 2013 at 8:06 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

>
> On 03 May 2013, at 17:09, John Mikes wrote:
>
> Never argue with a logician!
> I try to insert some re-remarks into '&'-induced lines below
> John
>
> On Fri, May 3, 2013 at 5:52 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>
>>
>> On 02 May 2013, at 18:03, John Mikes wrote:
>>
>> Bruno asked:* "are you OK with this?"*  -  NO, I am not OK:
>>
>> as I follow, 0 is NOT a number, it does not change a number.
>>
>>
>>
>> 0 * 1000 = 0.
>>
>
> & read in English: 'zero times thousand is zero, - which is
> &-funny: it is not additional/subtractional only states that if I &take
> the '1000' *NOT AT ALL* I get nothing.  You are right: I &have no problem
> with 0.000*89, 0*s as "position markers" for &the order of magnitude of
> the *89*. I have problems if (some &of the) 0-s are NOT zeros, like 0.204*
> 89:* to use NUMBERS &as position-markers (the dirty trick of a decimal
> point -<G>)
>
>>
>> Well, I have to say you are the first to refuse to 0 the number status,
>> with the notable exception of the greeks, but they did not really
>> discovered it.
>> I am sure you have no problem with expression like "the concentration of
>> this product is 0.00089 cc". It uses the number 0, which is very useful in
>> the decimal or base notation of the natural and real, and complex numbers.
>>
>> But how do you  *" A D D "* a number to another one if it is not
>> identified as a quantity?
>>
>>
>> "quantity" is already part of some interpretation, but you can use it, it
>> is very well.
>>
>
> &so you do not IDENTIFY, you just INTERPRET? (and do &so 'practically')
>
>
> Yes, and if we are cautious enough, the reasoning and the conclusion will
> not depend on the interpretation. It is not well known, but this has made
> clear by Gödel, Henkin in the frame of the first order predicate logic.
>
>
>
>
>
>>
>> Can you add an electric train to the taste of a lolly-pop?
>>
>>
>> No, but those are not numbers.
>>
>
> &How would you know, if you do not know what NUMBERS &are? So far (my)
> 'Ding an Sich' can be anything.
>
>
> We might not know what numbers are, and be pretty sure what they are not.
>
>
>
>
>
>> You speak about 'axioms' (- in my words they are inventions to prove a
>> theory's applicability.)
>>
>>
>> They are just hypotheses that we accept at the start for doing the
>> reasoning. Nobody ever says that an axiom is true, except in some
>> philosophical context.
>>
>
> &does that mean  that 'an axiom is untrue'? if it is 'not true', &why
> should I accept the hypothesis based on it? Maria said &I lack a proposal
> substituting the accepted reasoning. &Pardon me, I am not smarter than
> those zillion wise men
> &who so far used 'numbers' - yet I have the right to question.
>
>
> We don't know if the hypotheses are true. That does not entail that an
> hypothesis is untrue. It means that we are agnostic. This should not
> prevent us to reason as IF they are true, in case the theory (hypotheses)
> shed light on some subject.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>> So no *reversing* please: proving the theory by axioms.
>>
>>
>> We never do that. We always prove FROM axioms, and we always know that
>> "proving" does not entail truth or knowledge. Only pseudo-scientists
>> believe that we can prove things about some reality.
>>
>
> &I am not for 'proving', do not accept 'reality' and 'truth'. I am &just a
> simpleminded agnostic who asks questions.
>
>
> And I am a simple minded agnostic who try to answer them. The point is
> that proving does not mean at all "making true". Proving just shows a
> shatable path (for good willing people readu to do some work) between
> hypothesis and consequences. It does not mean that the hypotheses, nor the
> consequences, are true.
>
>
>
>
>
>> May I repeat the main question: is YOUR number a quantity?
>>
>>
>> Natural number have both. A quantity aspect, and an ordinality aspects,
>> like in the first, the second, the third, etc.
>>
>> so you can add (two = *II *to three = *III* and get five = *IIIII*) ??
>>
>>
>> That's correct.
>>
>
> &Now I really do not get it. You marked the quantity-aspect &by pegs - au
> lieu de anything better.
>
>
> ? you did.
>
>
>
>
> So WHAT is that
> & NUMBER TWO marked by 'II'? Do you COUNT them?
> &(what?)
>
>
> In the theory I gave, two is the successor of one, and one is the
> successor of zero, and zero is that unique number which is such that when
> added to some number, it gives that number.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>>
>> If THAT is your axiom then numbers are quantity specifiers.
>>
>>
>> You can see it that way, but we don't need to agree on this, as long as
>> you agree with the axioms given. Agreeing in science does not mean that we
>> believe those axioms to be true, but that we can understand them and use it
>> to develop some other theories.
>>
>> Now 2+3 = 5 was not an axiom, but it can be derived from them easily.
>>
>
> &As an agnostic I cannot "agree in science" or it's axiomatic &bases just
> to submerge into a conventional  belief system,
> &which includes the interlaced assumption-conclusion mass &we call
> 'science'. Numbers, or not.
>
>
> Science is agnostic. (well, before Nobel Prize and before pension, and out
> of the coffee room, actually). When science is not agnostic it is
> pseudo-religion or pseudo-science.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>> We may AGREE on that, but then numbers are indeed the products of human
>> thinking applied as humans think. *Q E D *
>>
>>
>> In which theory?
>>
>
> &Maybe in the overall 'belief' that we can understand the &world.
>
>
> That needs an act of faith in some world, and some act of faith in our own
> capacity to understand.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>> I do not assume the humans as primitive, I try to explain them in the
>> theory which assumes that human can be Turing emulated. The result is that
>> the physical laws evolve from the relation between numbers, and this in a
>> testable way. the advantage is that we get an explanation (perhaps wrong,
>> of course) of why we have consciousness and qualia.
>>
>>
> &Please do not forget all those knowables we may acquire &later on
>
>
> That's why we build hypotheses, and are open to change them in case new
> informations refute them, or make them doubtful.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> - they may change the 'physical Law' of yesterday
>
>
> I have never buy them. The physical is just an appearance of reality, not
> reality. provably so in the mechanist theory of mind.
>
>
>
>
> &even the "Turing emulation" of the 'HUMAN'.
>
>
> The result is that IF human are Turing emulable, then Aristotelian physics
> is no more defensible.
>
>
>
>
>
> Which raises &again the question how reliable the "numbers" may be. (If
> &we agree in their identification).
>
>
> Never identify. Just agree on some axioms, and reason from them. Or
> propose other axioms.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>>
>>
>> *
>> *
>> *Bruno: "...**That's very good, but we can also develop general
>> statement. We would not have discover the universal number (the computers)
>> without agreeing on those principles."*
>> *
>> *
>> That's a practicality and very fortunate.
>>
>>
>> It is also a conceptual very deep discovery. Before it, mathematicians
>> thought that no epistemiological concept (like computability) could have a
>> universal nature. They believe we could use Cantor's diagonalization to
>> refute all prtendion to universality in math, but computability seems to be
>> an exception (cf the Church Turing thesis).
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Does not enlighten the problem of what 'numbers' may be, if not
>> quantifiers.
>>
>>
>> The problem is what mind and matter are. The numbers are tools that we
>> use, and we don't even try to explain them, if only because we can already
>> explain (in the comp theory) why it is impossible to understand what they
>> are from anything simpler than them.
>>
>
> &My common sense feeling bows before that.
> &I would leave out mind, matter, consciousness
>
>
> Well, that is what I am working on.
>
>
>
>
> and accept &the numbers as (simplest) tools in a certain aspect.
>
>
>
> Good.
>
>
>
> Unless &you want to include the 'computation' term for non-math i.e.
>  &analogue or else not even thought of) topics (logical?) when &I may see
> trouble again. Complexity of the world is beyond &our capabilities
> (infinite?) to comprehend.
>
>
> That is why I favor clear hypothetical deductive approaches. We can learn
> by being refuted, and suggest new theories.
>
> Bruno
>
>
>
>
>
> &- John
>
>>
>> BrunO  :)
>>
>>
>>
>> JOhn
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 4:54 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> On 01 May 2013, at 22:09, John Mikes wrote:
>>>
>>> Bruno asked why I have problems how to figure out *'numbers'*. * *
>>>
>>> In his texts (as I remember and I have no quotes at hand) the "world"
>>> can be construed from a large enough amount of numbers in simple
>>> arithmetical ways (addition-subtraction). Also: numbers do not mean
>>> quantities.
>>> If his older post with pegs (II=two, IIII=four etc.) is OK, the 'words'
>>> two and four DO mean quantities. If not, as 'numbers' they are meaningless
>>> combinations of letters (sounds?) we could call the series any way, as well
>>> as e.g.:
>>> tylba, chuggon, rpais, etc. for 1,2,3 - or take them from any other
>>> language (eins,zwei,drei, - egy, kettő, három) as they developed in diverse
>>> domains/lifestyles. The 'numbers' would be like "Ding an Sich" (German)
>>> however used as qualifiers for quantities if so applied (see Bruno's 'pegs'
>>> above).
>>>
>>>
>>> The terms we are using are not important. All we need is some agreement
>>> on some theory.
>>> Most things we need for the natural numbers can be derived from the
>>> following axioms (written in english):
>>>
>>> any number added to zero gives the number we started with (= x + 0 = x)
>>> 0 is not the successor of any natural number
>>> if two numbers are different, then they have different successors
>>> a number x added to a successor of a number y gives a successor of the
>>> sum of x and y.
>>>
>>> Are you OK with this?
>>>
>>> In science we know that we cannot define what we are talking about, but
>>> we can agree on some principles about them.
>>>
>>
>> Bruno: *"...We would not have discover(ed) the universal number (the
>> computers) without agreeing on those principles." *
>> *
>> *
>> To have discovered the 'universal number'(?) (i.e. computers)
>> is fine but that does not imply understanding on numbers:
>> like "numbers are such as to be applicable for..." etc.
>> My agnosticism needs more than that. Sorry.
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> More reasonably sounds the idea of my wife, Maria, who assigns the
>>> primitive development of quantities originally to proportions: "larger
>>> (amount)" - "smaller (amount)" evolving in some thousand centuries into the
>>> process of 'counting' the included units.
>>>
>>>
>>> That's very good, but we can also develop general statement. We would
>>> not have discover the universal number (the computers) without agreeing on
>>> those principles.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I published on this list my thought for developing the Roman numbering
>>> signs. I started with 2 - a PAIR of hands etc. (not with one, which means
>>> only the existence) and branching into 5 (as fingers, as in pentaton music)
>>> already as 'many'.
>>>
>>>
>>> OK.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I still have no idea what description could fit *'number'* in Bruno's
>>> usage (I did not study number -  theory - to keep my common sense
>>> (agnostic?) thinking free).
>>>
>>>
>>> See above.
>>>
>>> Bruno
>>>
>>> John
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> John Mikes
>>>
>>> --
>>>
>>>
>>>  http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
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