Re: Janus [was Evidence for the simulation argument ]

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 12:08:56 +0100


I appreciate your post, and I take any feeling, that what is said here
is incompatible with the computationalist hypothesis, as a
misunderstanding of what comp could be, or as an absence of knowledge
of how computer science and mathematical logic force us to revise our
opinion on machine and numbers (natural or not). The Janus image is
cute. From any correct machine point of views, incompleteness forces us
to recognize that arithmetical truth is a Janus with at least 8 (or 16,
or 24, ...) heads. Those unavoidable quite different internal and not
always arithmetical view of the arithmetical reality(*) connect all
"machine dreams" in an eventually empirically testable view, and also,
contrary to "usual physics" prevent at the start the usual pre-Loebian
pseudo-mechanist or materialist elimination of the person.


(*) For example, from the first person point of view a machine cannot
identify herself with ANY machine. When a machine says "I am not a
machine", if "I" denotes the first person canonically attached to the
machine, such an assertion is correct. I know that this is
counter-intuitive. I can provide more technical explanation if asked.

Le 21-mars-07, à 18:05, Mark Peaty a écrit :

> John, with your rich linguistic experience you surely recognise
> that English [plain or otherwise] is very much a hybrid language
> - and surely many who are forced to learn it as a second or
> third language would call it 'b*stard' even. And the way that we
> native speakers of English use words from other languages is
> never very consistent, Imp*rialistically exploitative is the
> stronger tradition. So please don't expect great depth of
> empathy with Latin or whatever.
> The point about 'Janus' - who I first heard about through
> reading the books of Arthur Koestler - is that 'he'? no 'It'!
> embodies or symbolises some interesting aspects of the
> part-whole nature of things in the real world. And it was Arthur
> Koestler who really majored on the pervasive manifestation and
> influence of part-whole dichotomy-as-integration in nature.
> My rave about Janus and the quora is an attempt to digest all
> the strange and seemingly incompatible theories and descriptions
> trotted out on this and other discussion groups. The Janus
> incorporates a basic paradoxical feature of the 'real' world:
> togetherness and separation. The two faces of Janus ARE one
> entity or feature, like the two sides of a door. Each face must
> connect with others, and it seems self evident that such a place
> of connection requires at least three different Jani to be
> linked together, because just two would not be distinguishable.
> Part of the reason I go on about this is that I am not satisfied
> with conceptions of 'arithmetic' being ultimate in nature and
> somehow immune from entropy. My take on things is that
> 'existence' per se is ultimately irreducible but we can never
> get to the bottom of it. Indeed, 'getting to the bottom' of the
> _Great It_ may be impossible in principle if process physics is
> the truest description we can find. If basic space time is an
> eternal process of collapse and simplification in the direction
> of smallwards, there may be no true smallest thing. Our
> discovery of the Planck length, etc, and the fact that we live
> in a world of the characteristic dimensions it appears to have,
> may be 'just' artefacts or consequences of being the size we
> are. What I mean is there may be no limits to the range of
> scales [orders of magnitude] that are possible.
> One good feature of the 'Janus' concept is that it incorporates
> existence, connection at potentially vast distance, the
> potential for 'direction' [because the two faces of Janus are
> looking opposite ways], the potential for tension and its
> resolution through simplification [and therefore gravity as
> drift towards small size], and so forth. Furthermore it does not
> rule out the possibility that the connections embodied as the
> Janus connection, are of an indeterminate, fractal nature. This
> might be reflected in the node or quorum actually being made of
> [or having] fractional connectivity.
> I see it as possible that 'numbers' are in fact words, and the
> 'integers' or 'whole numbers' that we commonly speak of and
> utilise are actually convenient fabrications humans have created
> in order to impose order on the world. It is conceivable that
> everything real is actually a process that can only ever be
> represented properly with 'quasi-numbers' that only ever
> exhibit/take fractional values.
> Regards
> Mark Peaty CDES
> John Mikes wrote:
>> Mark, makes sense - but... *: I hate when people create a new
>> vocabulary to be learned for appropriate use. I made MY
>> vocabulary and the rest of the world should learn it. Adolf
>> H*tler. * Then again I like your 'plain English' of Latin
>> words, grammar and mythology. * We like to mix features of
>> reductionist (conventional) "science" with more advanced
>> ideas, it is an excellent way to secure endless discussions.
>> Like e.g. the "SU".. I rather spread my 'I dunno' into the
>> vagueness of my narratives, suggest what we might find (out?)
>> in the future and scratch those assumptions that *in my
>> views* serve only the purpose to make model-theories better
>> believable (calculable?). * If I got it right, your 'ianus'
>> is sometimes called relation and the quorum may be referred
>> to as (network) nodes or hubs in some other vocabulary.
>> (quorum, btw. looks to me as a plural genitive of the pronoun
>> qui quae quod in masculine or neutral (quarum being the
>> feminine), also used pars pro toto for the existing total
>> construct mostly in human assemblages. Accordingly my Latin
>> disallows to form a simple plural of it, since it is not a
>> noun within the neutral o-based conjugation. (Yet, you may
>> say: 'quorums'). (I learned this 74-75 years ago, so please
>> do correct me if someone has more recent and unmatching
>> memories).
>> You start well with " * so-called Dark matter may simply be
>> vortex knots that neither generate nor receive gliders..."
>> but continue within the subatomic 'particle' lingo,( of which
>> Enrico Fermi quipped: If I knew that much Greek, I could be a
>> botanic. )
>> Best regards
>> John M
>> On 3/14/07, *Mark Peaty* <
>> <>> wrote:
>> I think many questions go begging here.
>> Your elementary unit SU will have more of a logical existence
>> than a 'physical' existence. There is no reason to suppose
>> that Pythagoras's theory will apply because Pythagoras's
>> theory entails ideas of straight lines, a right angle, and so
>> forth but your elementary units are too simple to know about
>> that stuff :-) How do they even know where their ends are? Ie
>> what makes the difference between the 'length' of the
>> elementary unit and the 'end' where it joins another.
>> In fact though, I think it is more exciting to contemplate
>> the possibility that space-time is a process. Certainly this
>> is what is being asserted by the proponents of "Process
>> Physics". I cannot pretend to understand the mathematical
>> formalisation they put forward. I like the idea very much
>> though so I play around with my mental picture version and
>> see where it takes me.
>> The story so far looks like this: * existence [all that which
>> is] consists of nodes and connections * the nodes can be
>> called a 'quorum' when talking about one, and 'quora' for
>> plural * the connections can be called a 'janus' when talking
>> about one, and 'jani' for plural * the janus is named after
>> the Roman g*d Janus, the g*d of doors and name sake of the
>> month of January, the common feature being that Janus had two
>> faces one for each opposite direction, and two natures one
>> being that of connecting and the other being that of dividing
>> * the quorum is so named because there must be at least
>> three jani facing ...
> <<snipped>>
> >

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Received on Fri Mar 23 2007 - 07:09:18 PDT

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