Re: Barbour's mistake: An alternative to a timless Platonia

From: <>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 12:08:18 -0400

you represent a 'free' mind with the division in existence. Alas, in
elaborating on it you slip back into the limitedness of 'our' primitive
universe-conditions (human comprehensibility, math, physics as we imagine it
in our humanly observable "timed" circumstances) losing the benefit of the
freedom from human limitations.
I tried to apply (in my draft-narrative) existence as 'both knowable and not
(yet?) discover(able)(ed) since our mental limitations do not control the
entirety. We may concentrate on the part humanly comprehensible, but in the
wholistic view we cannot make it a substantial part of the existence. We can
speak (think) about it.
I did not read Barbour (only 'about' him) so I leave this part untouched.
Platonia is human understandability in out 'timed' world. Math as well, and
I have no idea (being human) what other logic may govern non-human
mentalities. I consider ourselves (even the most-free listmembers' views)
within the "model' of human logic. Even the 'unlimited' is limited to our
boundaries. I humbly leave the 'outside' untouched with a theoretical
recognition that "it may exist".

I salute your conclusive advantages over Barbour (with a slight "?" to
"reality" - completely out of our bounds, even in Colin's solipsic self
indulging terms). To the 3 (of27) fundamental metaphys. actors:
> *Energy* - Capacity to do work<
Says nothing, only a name to mark "that something does work"
> *Volition* - Capacity to make choices<
highly circumstances-based anticipatory conclusion IMO
> *Information* - A variance, or 'difference'.<
I agree, defined it so 1992, with adding: difference acknowledged (by
anything). The 'difference' by itself I identified as existence (as compared
to nirvana). It was many steps before my today's (much more confused) views.

I want to keep out from this thread, it is above my head, just post these
ideas: maybe they can be used. And thanks for your free mind.

John M

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: "Everything List" <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 2:28 AM
Subject: Barbour's mistake: An alternative to a timless Platonia

> Those who have read my past threads and seen the summary of my
> metaphysics analysis (Mathematico-Cognition Reality Theory-MCRT) know
> that I think that time is an irreducible property of reality and my
> analysis suggests that even Barbour's configuration space (Platonia,
> the Multiverse whatever you want to call it) isn't truly timeless.
> The trouble with a timeless multiverse lies in the notion of 'the space
> of all mathematical possibilities'. Unfortunately the notion of 'all
> mathematical possibilities co-existing' is highly suspect, precisely
> because it's so ill-defined. There are some things in math for which
> the quantifier 'existence' is suspect.... infinite sets in
> particular. If 'the space of all possibilities' is itself still
> evolving as I suggested, then Platonia would not be timeless as Barbour
> (and many here on this list) thinks.
> Another reason for suspecting that Platonia isn't truly timeless lies
> in the fact that Barbour's Platonia is an attempt to totally remove
> 'boundary conditions' from science.
> Note that no attempts to remove boundary conditions from science have
> ever succeeded. Why should Barbour's theory suddenly be the exception?
> There's a very good reason for defining boundary conditions... because
> without an 'inside and 'outside' to an entity, one simply cannot
> analyze it as a dynamical system. That's why no attempt to remove
> boundary conditions from science has ever succeeded.
> Now when the 'system' under disussion is 'all of reality' it may seem
> tautological that 'there exists nothing outside reality because reality
> is everything that exists'.... but... well... this so called tautology
> is not neccesserily true! The trouble lies in the definition of a
> 'thing'. If there are incomprehensible things, then it may actually
> make sense to talk about them existing 'outside reality'. Standard
> philosophy only recognizes one quantifier for 'existence' but perhaps
> thre are several different notions. Again, Barbour's attempt to
> 'remove an outside to reality' also prevents us from analyzing reality
> as a dynamical system, because any system analysis requires us to
> define system boundaries and external actors. Again, no attempts to
> remove boundary conditions from science have ever succeeded.
> Why? Because Barbour's entire notion of a timeless Platonia is
> misguided. It's an attempt to 'objectify everything, to imagine that
> 'all of reality' can somehow be comprehensible to a rational mind. But
> why should this be true? Why shouldn't there exist incomprehensible
> things? Again, we have examples from mathematics...such as
> uncomputable numbers...which appear to suggest that there do exist
> incomphensible things. And I propose that the existence of
> incomphrensible things enables us to establish boundary conditions for
> all of reality and refutes Barbour's notion of timlessness.
> So here's my alternative to a timeless Platonia:
> What I suggest is that we should take the
> comprehensible/incomprehensible division as the boundary condition for
> 'reality'. We then define TWO different 'existence' quantifiers.
> Let:
> 'eXistenZ' = everything which exists which is in principle
> comphrensible
> and let
> 'existence' = everything which exists, including INCOMPREHENSIBLE
> things.
> Then: 'eXistenZ' is a sub-set of 'existence', but all minds can take
> 'eXistenZ' to be reality, because only this part of existence is
> actually comprehensible to them.
> The advantage of this is that it enables us to apply ordinary system
> analysis to eXistenZ. eXistenZ does have a boundary and therefore 'an
> inside and outside'. And unlike Barbour's scheme, eXistenZ is not
> timeless.
> Now one might try to argue that it's pointless to imagine
> 'incomprehensible things' because they can have no comprehsible effect
> on reality. But the argument isn't true. Reason could still tell us
> which things were incomprensible (for an analogy to this, note that we
> DO have comptable proofs that there exist incomputable numbers) and
> further more, incomprehensible things could still have *comprehensible*
> effects on eXistenZ and therefore they could be referenced indirectly,
> through these comprehensible effects.
> Now to summarize my analysis again:
> Start by defining the boundary between incomprehensible and
> comprehensible things as the boundary condition for 'reality'.
> Comprehensible (in principle) things are inside reality... call this
> eXistenZ. And the incomprehensible things are outside reality.
> Existence in it's totality.
> Next I pointed out that we *could* actually reference the
> incomprehensibles indirectly - because incomprehensible things *can*
> have comprehensible effects on eXistenZ.
> Then we have the basis for a new reality theory!
> *Identify the incomprehensibles
> *Reference them indirectly through their comprehensible effects on
> eXistenZ
> *Apply standard system analysis:
> let:
> The effects of the incomprehensibles on eXistenZ be the 'inputs'
> The 'system' which is reality is of course eXistenZ
> And the system 'outputs' are how the incomprehensibles are changed by
> their interaction with eXistenZ
> So:
> Incomprehensibles >>(input) eXistenZ (ouput)>>Incomprehensibles
> In my MCRT analysis I listed 27 fundamental metaphysical actors. I
> believe that the 'incomprehensible things' are what I defined as the
> intrinsic 'Matrix' properties. There were 3 of these, which I defined
> as follows:
> *Energy* - Capacity to do work
> *Volition* - Capacity to make choices
> *Information* - A variance, or 'difference'.
> Now, how, you may ask, can these three things actually be
> 'incomprehensible' when I've just defined them? ;) I point out again
> that incomprehensible things could be referenced indirectly by their
> comprehensible effects. And I maintain that's all of any definitions
> of these three things actually do. After all: have you ever *seen*
> Energy, Volition and Information directly? Never! All definitions of
> these three things have only ever referenced them indirectly.... by
> their comprehensible effects! So these three things *could* logically
> be incomprehensible things.
> If they are, we can consider them as the inputs and outputs of the
> eXistenZ system. Here's my reality theory at this point:
> Energy, Volition, Information
> >>>(Inputs) eXistenZ (Outputs) >>>
> Energy, Volition, Information
> This system analysis has the advantage that we still have boundary
> conditions as science requires, and we have a possible means to define
> the purpose of eXistenZ! Or to be more precise, we could, if you like,
> define a utility function for reality.
> The utility function (or 'purpose') of reality, would consist of taking
> in Energy, Volition and Information , transforming them in some way
> (inside the 'eXistenZ' system) then outputting the transformed Energy,
> Volition and Information to the external environment (the wider
> 'existence').
> eXistenZ itself could still be some sort of Platonia or multiverse,
> however it wouldn't be timeless. The advantages of this scheme over
> Barbour's:
> *The scheme does not try to eliminate boundary conditions
> *The scheme allows for incomprehensible things and does not try to
> objectify all of reality inside a comprehensible theory
> *The scheme allows us to apply standard system analysis to 'reality'
> *The scheme provides a way to define a purpose or utility function for
> reality
> I'd say the scheme suggested here has the advantage over Barbour's
> timeless Platonia on all counts!

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Received on Thu Sep 28 2006 - 12:08:34 PDT

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