Re: Is the universe a set? On the one hand it is, on the other hand...

From: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 01:37:59 EDT

We must distinguish between what is the universe is and what we think it is.
I am not sure if there is any point talking about the universe as it really
is since this discussion takes us into the unknowable. Therefore let's talk
about the universe as we can perceive it.

If we consider ourselves to be "deterministic and finite state machines" then
the universe we perceive is definitely a set since we can only perceive a
limited set of mental states. If we insist that the universe that we perceive
is not a set, then we must also admit that our thinking process cannot be
described by deterministic and finite state machines.

I believe this argument presents a problem for Bruno who relies on the
machine model to describe the human mind.

What is a set, and what is deterministic may depend on the observer, as
strange as it may seem. For example, if my mind can be modelled by
1000,000,000 states and your mind by the same 1000,000,000 states plus 1 for
a total of 1000,000,001 states then I may perceive your behavior to be
sometimes indeterministic or, in human terms, incomprehensible.

George Levy
Received on Thu Oct 12 2000 - 22:43:46 PDT

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