RE: Are First Person prime?

From: Colin Hales <>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 10:27:22 +1000

> Why shouldn't it just *be* time ?

A structure evolves from state to state in a regular way. The fact that an
observer built of that structure inside that structure can formulate
mathematical descriptions with a "t" in them that correlate well with what
is observed does not mean that there is anything real in t any more than it
means anything else in the maths is reified. Time is yet another 'as-if'
construct. The universe (the structure) behaves as if a t was there when
it's just an artifact of models.

The experienced moment to moment progress of the state of the structure
literally is what we perceive as time.... in the sense that there's no
special entity pouring some 'timeness' into the structure.

A metaphor experience for this occurs when you write industrial 'real-time'
control software state machines. You can make the control system speed up
and slow down (meaning that the control system sees the world slow-down and
speed up, resp.) based on the rate the state machine is executed.

> > >
> > >> 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.

No. They are descriptions of observations formulated by observers of 'the
relational structure'. To an observer built of the structure inside the
structure bits of the structure behave 'massly', gravitationally, electric
field-ly, space-ly and so on. If the mathematics ca, in some sense, termed
an expression of relationality, that's just an artifact of the maths, not a
statement about the original structure exhibiting the behaviour.

> > 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
> hypothesis/deduction/refutatin/confirmation...

Yes, and none of that physics says anything at all about the intrinsic
structural nature of the entities portrayed by the physics. The are
descriptions of behaviour (WHAT HAPPENS) that correlate with observation.
Correlation(WHAT HAPPENS) is not causation(WHY IT HAPPENS). Causation is
what is happening in the underlying structure. Again: the universe is
behaving 'as-if' physics was driving it to an observer inside the structure,
of the structure.

> 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.

So you actually agree with my above comments. Methinks there's confusion in
here somewhere!

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

And again. Now extrapolate the same thing to every mathematical model ever
made by science. They all have the same status and exactly the same type of
statement can be made of every parameter in very one of them.

> > > 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.

There is an evolving structure, we are in it. It behaves with amazing
amounts of regularity (even the persistence of randomness and chaotic
behaviour is regularity!). The regularity as perceived (in the first
person!)...that orderliness...correlates well with some models and not
others, at some scales and not others. These models are descriptions only
and are not explanations in the sense of causality.

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

Well I agree that it doesn't exist. See's virtual.
I disagree that it's hard. It's the most simple intrinsic property implicit
in the evolution of the structure we inhabit. The causal options for the
intrinsic state transitions of the structure limit the next state to be a
specific thing. The limit makes the structure evolve as it does and it does
this in a regular way (one direction).

It's only hard because no mathematic model (progressing theorem evolution)
actually progresses from proof-step to proof-step without being driven by a
mathematician or the preempting of a theorem proving model provided by a

> > > 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
> fence.
> Schordinger's equation means some things are definitely impossible.

"Schordinger's equation" is yet another model of the structure, not the
structure! What exists is the structure! Because the maths implicates the
impossibility/possibility of something or the idea of multiple universes or
anything else _does not mean_ that the structure that the equation describes
will necessarily incorporate those ideas. It means that the structure acts
'as-if' it did to observers inside it, made of it.

See a pattern here? This is all the same from one end to the other. This is
a fundamental cultural blockage we inherit because we have all been brought
up to worship abstract mathematics and its 'unreasonable effectiveness' with
an almost god-like deference.

> > 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.

So what? What's that got to do with the structure of the universe? Platonia
is just a word.

> > 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.

Well then that just about says it all for the imagination of those who
invent words like 'physicalism', say what it is and then think they've said
anything about the natural world. A resounding so what! Nobody told the
universe its structure had no interesting seems to be
trundling along nicely producing people/observers who can define words like
physicalism, which is kind of interesting, isn't it?

Colin Hales

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Received on Thu Aug 10 2006 - 20:29:31 PDT

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