# Re: Edge.org: 2014 : WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? The Computational Metaphor

```On 1/17/2014 10:18 PM, LizR wrote:
```
On 18 January 2014 19:12, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

```
On 1/17/2014 8:28 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
```
```    On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 10:16 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
<mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

On 1/17/2014 5:40 PM, LizR wrote:
```
```
But apparently the brain has a lot to do with those computations in
Platonia, c.f. anesthetic.  Notice that I'm not a disciple of
Platonia.

Me neither, I am agnostic - but within comp it is assumed, so while
discussing
comp we have to assume it (unless we're rejecting comp on that basis).
But I
can see that Platonia makes sense in that 17 does seem to be prime
idependently of you and me and everyone else, which is (I'm told)
enough for
the whole shebang to come into some sort of existence.
```
```
I don't think you have to buy the equivalence between (17 is prime) is
true and
(17 is prime) exists.

No, but all statements about programs can be translated into truth
the natural numbers. So you could say "Program X is conscious of the information
Y"
is a true statement, and that truth implies that the conscious thought of X
exists.
(Just as the primeness of 17 implies two factors of 17 exist).
```
```
But where does it exist?  X has to be conscious of a location, a physics,
etc.  If
all this is the same as where I exist, then it is just a translation of
this world
into arithmetic.  It's the flip side of "A perfect description of X is the
same as
X", i.e. "X is the perfect description of X".  If every perfect description
is
realized somewhere in arithmetic (and I think it probably is) nothing is
gained by
saying we may be in arithmetic.

```
Don't we gain less entities, making Occam a bit happier? If we can get the appearance of a universe without having to actually have one, can't we "retire the universe" and just stick with the "appearance-of-one-with-equal-explanatory-value" ? (Not an original idea, of course, I'm fairly sure Max Tegmark said something along those lines regarding his mathematical universe hypothesis -- that if the maths was isomorphic to the universe, why bother to assume the universe was physically there?).
```
I'm asking why have the maths?

```
Of course there's an answer - we can manipulate the maths - but then doesn't that proves that the maths aren't the universe. They wouldn't be any use as predictive and descriptive tools if they WERE the things described. They are only useful because they are abstractions, i.e. they leave stuff out (like existence?).
```
Brent

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