Dear Brent,

On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 10:05 PM, meekerdb <> wrote:

>  On 1/18/2014 1:09 AM, LizR wrote:
>  On 18 January 2014 19:51, meekerdb <> wrote:
>>   On 1/17/2014 10:18 PM, LizR wrote:
>>  On 18 January 2014 19:12, meekerdb <> wrote:
>>>  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?
>  Well (putting on my AR hat) we have it because the maths is 
> *necessarily*existent, while the universe isn't.
> I disagree.  The maths are necessarily true, i.e. "axioms imply theorems"
> is true.  But why should that imply *existence*.  We know we can invent all
> kinds of maths by just changing the axioms or even changing the rules of
> inference.  Sometimes people on this list post the semi-mystic opinion that
> everything=nothing, pointing to the need for discrimination.  I look at
> this as saying positing everything is the same as saying nothing.

Not so cotton-picking fast! Where is discussion of the proofs of said
"necessarily true" maths? I could be handed a papyrus scroll covered with
indecipherable chicken scratch and need to find a way to "prove" that it is
a theory of Green Eggs and Ham. How do I get that proof?

  What about math theories whose equations are relations between ginormous
prime numbers and I have to factor them to extract a proof of this or that
statement in the theory? Are they necessarily true? Truth does not come
from a fancy looking stamp marked QED by Professor Ultimum Mentalium. No.
  I am more inclined to believe Jaakko Hintikka's proofs by games

>> 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?).
>  Well .... the maths does have that "unreasonable effectiveness" (that
> you're probably bored to death hearing about). And one reason for that
> could be because it is - in the guise of some yet-to-be-discovered TOE -
> isomorphic to the universe.
> Or it could be because we, denizens of this physics/universe, invent them.

Yes, there is that possibility. We humans are very good at deluding and
lying to ourselves and each other.


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