re: delayed reply

From: Gilles HENRI <>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 18:19:41 +0100

>>The 'great programmer' could have the intelligence and consciousness of an
>>amoeba. And why bother talking about him if he's not needed - Ockam would
>>not approve.
>You need UD in the same way you need any program or numbers.
>>The great program (Juergen, please correct me) looks something like LET
>>A=A+1 GOTO START. Any ideas on how a program runs when you don't have a
>>flow of time, but a static block universe?
>... the same as newtonian time "occurs" in the static relativity
>>From the 3-person Archimedian point of view there is no running program.
>Your remark about the "moving hand" applies here as well ...
>Your "LET A=A+1 GOTO START" is correct but rather trivial (and
>unpedagogical) as a UD. You could have choose the empty program as well.
>I suggest you write a real UD :). That is : you choose a universal
>machine, and you write an explicit generator of all the possible
>execution of your universal machines. (= about 10 lines in PROLOG, 100
>lines in LISP, 1000 lines in FORTRAN).
>If you are courageous, you can write a dovetailer on the solutions of the
>Dewitt-Wheeler equations !
>Note that a UD is (recursively) equivalent to a program which almost
>compute OMEGA Chaitin number.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the notions of computer, program,
UD ans so on... require the notion of (time ) ordering. A Turing machine is
decribed as a sequence of states, not a set of states. But if time (as I
think too) is an illusion, why invoke a computation instead of some static
state? Then the set of all possible finite computations is N.
So you are basically saying: the Universe is N. But why not R, P(R) or any
more complicated set?
My opinion is you are trying the same method as Descartes: believing that
you can uncover the true reality only by thinking. But Descartes (and his
predecessors) failed to discover most of the physical laws. Only Galileo
and Newton, by trying to explain experimental facts with laws, did really
found modern Science.
It is not surprising that the people of the last XX century imagine the
world based on a computation, just like Greeks have imagined it as a
combination of four elements, or theologist have imagined it as driven by
God (it confirms that consciouness can only produce ideas from the
interaction with an outer world!) There is a common features in all these
beliefs : they don't help to make the simplest prediction about the
observed appearance. (I agree that the world around us can be only an
appearance, but nevertheless this appearance does exist and must be
explained!) Of course I can try to write a UD: but what can I do with that?
People would never have built computers with this kind of ideas.

So if you exhibit a property, or even an idea of which property of our
world could eventually be found with theory of great programmer or UD or
any theory like that, I will applaude and suscribe to the fan club.

(The last measurements of the expansion of the Universe seem to imply a
infinite (spatially and temporally), open Universe. Does it fit with a UD?)


Received on Fri Mar 05 1999 - 09:22:56 PST

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