Re: Are First Person prime?

From: 1Z <>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 12:48:29 -0700

Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
> Misc responses to "1Z" <>
> > Colin Hales wrote:
> >> David Nyman:
> >> <snip>
> >> > > An _abstract_ computation/model X implemented symbolically on a of

> >> Sort of...but I think the word 'hardware' is loaded with assumption.
> I'd
> >> say
> >> that universe literally is a relational construct
> >
> > A timeless relational construct or an evolving relational construct ?
> Evolving. The evolution of the construct from state to state makes it feel
> like there is time.

Why shouldn't it just *be* time ?

> >
> >> and that it's appearance
> >> as 'physical' is what it is like when you are in it. .ie.
> >
> > Presumably, what is *necessarily* like when you are
> > in it , since there is no contingency in Platonia.
> Platonia has not been instantiated. Our universe has. Our universe may
> act, somewhere, somehow, as if it were interacting with entities in
> platonia, but that does not make platonic entities 'real' any more than
> real/imaginary power vectors delivered out your power-outlet make the
> square root of -1 real.

You are in line with my prejudices on that one!

> >
> > I await an apriori deduction of qualia from
> > relational structures....
> Why stop there? What about an a-priori deduction of mass from relational
> structures? Or space? Or electric fields? Or gravity?

Most of those just *are* relational
structrures, AFAICS.

> All the same...and
> none of these have been predicted by any abstract model or 'lumpy/thingy'
> ontological thinking.

The physics we have is structural/relation from
top to bottom. It was predicted from observation, or rather

The question is what can futher be predicted from that. If
qualia cannot, they are presumably fundamental in some way...

> The abstract model predicts things that behave
> 'model'-ly. Parameters/variables in the model match adequately when
> compared to reality. They do not describe what it is actually made of....

I agree. Physics goes no further than isomorphism.

> f = ma says nothing about what mass is. It says what mass _does_.

I agree.

> > Of course: it is well founded empirically. We have abundant
> > evidence that only certaint things exist within a given spatial
> > volume (contingency) that they endure through time, and so on.
> No. We have abundant evidence of some'thing' behaving as per an
> abstraction of 'thing' at the scales we explore. We have NOT proven that
> these laws apply at all scales..indeed we have abundant evidence to the
> contrary! Absense of evidence is not evidence of absense.

That is not really the issue. The issue is that only
some things exist, only some laws apply, and so on.

Somethingism vs. everythingism.

Time, in particular, is not a mere mathematical construct. It is
quite hard, if not impossible, to capture the passing (a series) of
mathematically. That is precisely why Platonists and othe mathematical
literalists tend argue that it doesn't exist.

> > Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
> > does exist, are not well founded empirically.
> No they are not. Again a mathematical model (quantum mechanics) that seems
> to imply multiple universes does not mean that they exist....

There is a big difference between multiple universes and everything.
Physical multi-world-ism is basically on the somethingist side of the
Schordinger's equation means some things are definitely impossible.

> Only that the
> model makes it look like it does. I can imagine any number of situations
> where the fuzziness of the ultra-scale world obeys the rules of a QM-like
> model.
> For example, the perfectly deterministicly repeated trajectory of whatever
> an electron is made of through 35.4 spatial dimensions is going to look
> awfully fuzzy to critters observing it as course scales within 3
> dimensions. QM depicts fuzziness... and 'aha' the universe is made of QM?
> Not so. It merely appears to obey the abstraction QM provides us.

Fuzziness can be accomodated within physics in a way that
qualia can't.

A 35.4 dimensional universe is just a minute corner of Platonia.

> QM says nothing about what the universe is actually constructed of. It is
> not constructed of quantum mechanics! It is constructed of something that
> behaves quantum mechanical-ly.

Physicalism in general assumes that there is some substrate to
to physical behaivour/porperties...but it is assumed to be only
a bare substratee with no interesting properties of its own.

> >> Perhaps this:
> >> Waving a bit of it ('stuff', the relational-substrate) around in a
> circle
> >> (for example) in indirect 'as-if' symbolic representation as a
> >> computation
> >> of an abstraction X in no way instantiates X or Xness,
> >
> > Why not? What *does* implementation consist of ?
> Being the stuff, the substrate. It's the only thing actually instantiated.

hmmm. But if you wave a *real* thing around, it is surely
stuff, in itself...?

> >> it instantiates
> >> 'being_waved_around_in_a_circle_ness' from the point of view of being
> the
> >> 'stuff' (1st person) and the behaviour 'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly'
> (3rd
> >> person). Note that the 3rd person is actually derived from the 1st
> person
> >> perspective of the observer! This third person can pretend
> >> 'waving_around_in_a_circle_ly' is X, but that's all there
> acting.
> >> The third person perspective is manufactured in the eyes of the
> beholder.
> >> Perhaps rather than '1st Person Prime' as an assertion, maybe '3rd
> person
> >> not prime' is a lesser and more justified position. The fact is that
> there
> >> is no such thing as a 'third person'.
> >
> > Ontologically ?
> No, experientially.
> Nobody experiences 'third person'.

Everybody experiences a me/not-me distinction...even
if you want to argue solipsistically that hey
ar "within" consciousness.

> Everybody has a 1st person experience
> only.

I don't think so. My thoughts are 1st person in a way
that the keyboard I am typing on isn't.

> There is no such thing as an objective view. There is merely
> behaviour called objectivity which serves to extract regularities which
> subsequently become described with natural laws. If you care to treat the
> collection of natural laws as a kind of 'lens' through which to view the
> universe, then that view could be regarded as a 'third person view'. But
> nobody ever has that view. The universe thus viewed does not exist. The
> ontology of that view does not exist.

How do you know ? Surely you mean "it doesn't seem to
exist form my 1st person POV"

> >> What you have is a communicable 1st
> >> person perspective that yet another 'first person perspective' can find
> if
> >> it looks. No-one ever has a 'third person' perspective.
> >
> > Epistemologically ?
> No. Experientially.
> See above. The collection of laws as a set of beliefs is _not_ a third
> person perspective. Adopting the beliefs results in behaviours that enable
> the prediction of 1st person experiences (the behaviour of the natural
> world as observed). This is how science works. This behaviour (acting as
> if the natural laws ran the universe) instantates the causal ancestry of
> all our technology. It really works ..but..

Well, maybe it works *because* there is a third person (or 0 person
world). Otherwise it is just a mssive coincidence that a lot
of different 1st-person views get coordinated togehter.

> Any further attribution of natural laws beyind the status of (albeit
> highly structured and systematically calibrated) beliefs is not justified.
> =======================

Surely the refusal to believe in a pefectly good explanation for what
would otherwise be a mere coincidence is not justified.

> The fundamental and, IMO fatal assumption being made here and throughout
> this thread, is that a _description_ of the universe acquired/validated
> with 1st person experience (= our only and entire source of scientific
> evidence) necessarily means that a natural law thus established is
> literally involved in the structure and causal necessities of the
> universe. This is plain unjustified nonsense.

I disagree. Structure is alright as far as it goes. If you can predic
you are onto something. Only *something*, mind...

> What we get with empirical laws is a model/abstraction that the universe
> _appears_ to obey.

Ye-e-e-s. But don't knock the "appearing". It doesn't come for free.
There is an infinity of theories which the universe *doesn't* seem to

> The models are very predictive and useful. But they are
> devoid of causal necessity and say nothing about the underlying
> composition of the universe.

Having predictive power but no causal necessity is much better than
having neither!

> Natural laws say WHAT but are mute as to WHY.

I disagree. Any kind of law allows you to answer causal and
questions. They don't answer "what is" questions except by appeal
to furethe behaviour and structure (and atom "is" protons, neutrons
ane electrons,..but they "are" jsut things that behave ia certain

> Take any laws of the natural world X. The physics of it is called Xics.
> (eg quantum mechanics). The natural world is _not_ constructed of Xics.
> The natural world merely behaves Xically in the specified context.


> That we happen to have a universe that is describable in models .ie. that
> happens to implement the necessary calculi in the context of our
> observations... this is a simply a property of the universe not yet
> explored.

hmmm. Well it could just be a property of thrid-personness or
objectiveity as far as behaviour is concerned.

Why not ?

> The so-called 'unreasonable effectiveness' of mathematics has us
> duped into a mass delusion that somehow the natural world is literally
> constructed of our abstractions.

Yes. But mathematics is effective enough to demonstrate objectivity
with regard to structures functions, laws etc.

> Furthermore it also seems to have us duped that further considerations of
> mathematical idealisations and abstractions in general likewise tells us
> something about the composition of the actual underlying natural world....
> for example that it is the result of a computer running one of our
> abstractions.

I couldn't agree more!

> As a result, instead of exploring the native structure of the universe as
> a natural mathematics in its own right with all its axioms established in
> a 'big-bang', we are diverted into mental machinations of entities whose
> relationship with the actual universe is merely an assumption.

The vast majority of phsyicists do explore the mathematics of
the universe in its own right.

> I'm hoping this also addresses some of David Nyman's queries.
> Colin Hales

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Received on Thu Aug 10 2006 - 15:50:31 PDT

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