On 1/13/2014 3:42 PM, Edgar L. Owen wrote:
Liz,

Sigh.... Now we have several people complaining because I haven't offered a 'formal theory'. However not a single one of the complainers has themselves offered a formal theory even though they are continually offering theories of their own, none of which are formalized. Is that fair?

The only person on this group who has a formal theory that I'm aware of is Bruno. No one else? You don't have one of your own but you are criticizing me because I don't have one?

I have a couple: quantum field theory and general relativity. They seem to cover all known observations. Unfortunately they are mutually inconsistent. This doesn't worry me too much though since the inconsistency is only likely to show up near a black hole or in the early history of the universe - and anyway they are just models and can be expected to have limited domains of application.


What you guys don't seem to understand is that whether a theory accurately describes reality or not is a much more important criterion than whether that theory is formalized or not. Physics described reality quite accurately for years before it reached its current degree of formalization and that's why it was accepted.

I agree with that and I think Bruno even agrees. What a theory needs most to be accepted is successful specific prediction. So if your theory says something testable about world... Bruno's theory has an explanation of why qualia cannot be shared. And it's consistent with Everett's explanation of quantum randomness. How does your theory treat those two questions?

You never did answer my question as to how one would make a conscious robot and how you would know it was conscious.


Doesn't really matter whether you have a formal theory or not if there is no connection to reality now does there? Bruno's theory is apparently quite tightly formalized but I see none of the required actual consistency with reality to indicate it actually applies to reality at all.

Bruno's theory may itself be logically consistent, but I see no consistency with actual reality. Mine on the other hand is entirely consistent with actual reality because it clearly states that the computations of its computational reality are precisely what is actually necessary to compute the real processes of nature, whatever they are.

Of course it's easy to think up "everything" theories (like we're in an alien simulation), but theories that can explain anything can't explain why *this* thing. They tend to fall back on the wap. Does your theory avoid that flaw?


Bruno's on the other hand makes the wild and unsubstantiated assumption that all possible math is 'out there' in reality somehow even if it's doing nothing. A very improbable assumption there is no empirical evidence for whatsoever. Doesn't matter in the least if the logical consequences of that initial assumption are tight and valid (a formalized theory) if the assumption itself isn't.

Is there any empirical evidence for your theory that is not equally empirical evidence for quantum field theory or general relativity?

I just hope you guys understand what I'm saying is a basis of scientific method. Doesn't matter so much if a theory is formalized. What matters is its explanatory power and consistency with actually observed phenomena.

Consistency is cheap.  Prediction is golden.

Brent

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