Re: on formally indescribable merde

From: Jacques Mallah <>
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 20:09:43 -0500

From: Marchal <>
>Jacques Mallah wrote:
> > Sorry, that doesn't help. What do you mean by a "real actual" one?
>What other kind is there, a fake one? Either it exists, or not.
>OK. In that sense we agree that the DU exist. I am glad to see that you are
>a classical platonist. An intuitionist would'nt accept the idea that
>something exist ... or not.

    I'm a quantum platonist :)

> > Of course, in your macintosh example, the UD was itself implemented by
>some other mathematical structure - your "local decor". Does that matter?
>A big part of my reasoning is that it *doesn't matter* indeed. For most
>people this is a difficulty.

    You're the one who tried to distinguish it as "a concrete UD".
    I take it, from your above statement, that you do not object to my use
of the term "implemented". It seems that, in fact, your claim that while I
have a problem because I need a precise definition of "implementation", you
supposedly don't, was totally groundless.

> >Actually, I would say that any mathematical structure that has real
>existance (in the strong sense) should be called "physical". I do not know
>of any better definition for "physical existance".
>What is that strong sense of existence?

    It's hard to define "existance", isn't it? Certainly, I would say that
whatever structure is responsible for my own thoughts must exist in this
sense. I only distinguish a "strong sense" from the weaker sense used in
mathematics, which basically just means self-consistent.

>And why do you want to classify as physical any mathematical structures.

    That's the "everything" idea, that all math exists, and that the physics
we see is just a subset of that TOE.

>If you do that (a little like Tegmark) you are obliged to explain how we
>feel a difference between physicalness and mathematicalness

    We use "physical" to refer to the structure that we guess exists in the
strong sense. If you believe in the AUH, then the distinction disappears.
Most people don't.
    Of course, we can also use it to refer to things directly related to
what we are seeing. This leads to statements like "the branch of the
wavefunction that I see is physically real, while the rest aren't". I don't
like that kind of statement.

>Tegmark, like Everett, *do* distinguish the first and third person, which
>helps to make sense of that idea.

    Leave Everett alone, he is dead and can't defend himself against your
abuse of his name. I'm sure that, otherwise, he would find my approach to
be the logical next step for the MWI.

>The physical would be some mathematical structures sufficiently rich for
>having "inside point of views" (through SAS point of views for exemple).
>The physical point of view (pov) would correspond to these internal pov.

    It sounds more like you want to say that the "view" seen by a conscious
observer-moment is his "physical world view". If so, this has absolutely
nothing to do with your terms "first person vs. 3rd person views" as it has
nothing to do with time evolution or measure.
    I don't like to call a thought's view his physical world view, but I
might call it "his effective physical world view". (Ever notice how the
main change that is needed in using the English language, to make it
correct, is to preface almost every word with "effective"?)

> >So, your objection is irrelevant. You do believe a UD implements other
> >
> > Sure. Yes. UD implements all computations, and even all implementations
>of all computations.

    Great. So you need a precise definition of "implementation" in order to
find the measure distribution. So much for your claim not to need it.

> > >>Actuality is a first person concept.
> > >
> > > I have no clue as to what you mean.
> >
> > In Newtonian Physics one could imagine some third person time (objective
>time), but since relativity I guess most believe that time is either a
>parameter or do refer to some relative measurement done by an observer.

    Time as a "parameter" is exactly the same idea as Newtonian time. Even
those who refer to measurements done by observers do so in objective or "3rd
person" terms. (If an observer does measurement X, he sees Y. That's a
perfectly objective statement.) Since, after all, there can never be any
other kind of terms!

> > "Actuality", "modern", "here", "now", "there", "elsewhere", are words
>with meaning dependent of the locutor. Indexicals, as the philosophers call

    I would agree for the other terms, but "actuality" has the opposite
meaning. It refers to the reality that exists.

> > Most are true or false only from a first person point of view.

    They are words, not statements, so they are neither true nor false.
    The truth of the statement "Bob is here" depends on the location of the
speaker. If I said it, it would _mean_ "Bob is where Jack is" and would be
objectively false. If you are with Bob, you will not say "Yes, you are
right. Bob is here". Instead you should say "That's a lie. I know because
Bob is here." Everyone (if honest) will agree that it was a lie.
    In any case, we see once again that the fabled "first person point of
view" has absolutely nothing to do with the subject under discussion.
    You need to realize that. Thoughts exist. Thoughts have
characteristics such as the set of things seen by a thought. Indexical
information is important (and guessing it is how I bring effective
probabilities into QM). "1st person point of view", as used on this list to
mean something to do with QTI, is nonsense and does not mean anything.
Anything real can be stated in objective terms.

> > If the person has some set of beliefs, they can be described as part
>of the true description of the situation. (Which you is what I thought you
>call the "3rd person view".)
>Concerning *believes* the case is arguable. For *knowledge* I don't
>think you will ever succeed in describing them in some provable
>(objectively, 3-person) way.
>This can be proved with very reasonable definition.
>See ref by Benacerraf, or Kaplan and Montague in my thesis.

    Why don't you explain it here?

> > Someone who would have only first person insight is a solipsist.

    A solipsist believes that only he exists. He believes that to be an
objectively true fact.

> > Someone who would have only third person insight is a zombie.

    A zombie is a hypothetical creature that is mathematically identical to
a human, but does not have consciousness. They don't exist, according to
    Just because I realize that some reality has objective existance,
doesn't mean I don't have conscious experiences (with, indeed, particular
characteristics). It's just that I know better than to confuse "what I see"
with "what I should believe in".

>If I duplicate myself succesfully in Washington and Moscow, both Bruno1 and
>Bruno2 can communicates the success of the experience from a third person
>point of view, but none can explain you that he feels to be the
>Washingtonian (resp Moscovian) one.

    Why not? Of course, the important point is that neither one is "the
original Bruno" (unless they both are, that depends on the definition). If
one says "I'm the real one, and the other guy isn't", that's an objectively
false statement. If you say, prior to the duplication "I will either end up
in Washington xor in Moscow", that's an objectively false statement.

> > The difference between the first person and the third person is
> > basically the same as the difference between having an headache and
> > having a friend having an headhache.

    The above statement makes no sense, unless it is the same as the
difference between having a headache, and having had a headache.
    But again, dispensing with the "n-person" notation would help clear that
up a lot.

>Some time ago "merde" was considered as very vulgar, but since then
>it has been overthrown by "shit", or worse ... "Merde" seems almost
>polite in comparison.

    So does it mean feces?

                         - - - - - - -
               Jacques Mallah (
         Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
         My URL:
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Received on Mon Mar 05 2001 - 17:36:31 PST

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