Re: Introduction (Digital Physics)

From: James Higgo <>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 22:21:06 +0100

I agree - thought is its own foundation. See
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: everything list <>
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 10:11 PM
Subject: Re: Introduction (Digital Physics)

> Joel:
> ... But there MAY be some reasons to want to know exactly which
> algorithm is really being run on the bottom...
> Bruno:
> I am not sure there is any (absolute) bottom.
> Joel:
> Mustn't we assume there is?
> If there is no bottom, what will we stand on?
> How can we understand anything at all?
> I wrote this to the list a while ago:
> Gerard O'Neill, the late Princeton physicist best known for his space
> colony studies, once said that if you met a race that insisted that
> logical developments must be built step by step from a firm
> foundation, you could be pretty sure they were planet dwellers. Races
> that live in space realize that it's perfectly OK to build structures
> that have no foundation at all. They can be circular and unsupported,
> yet if you spin them they'll have gravity just like the ponderous
> planetary piles!
> The context, related to the discussion above, was the need for a
> logical foundation for objective attributions of consciousness. more:
> Many of the people on this list (in common with a lot of western
> philosophy at least since Descartes) are hoping to construct their
> existence measures on the bedrock of the objectively decidable
> self-awareness. They've built very interesting structures, but you
> may notice there's been no progress at all on stabilizing the
> foundation. Instead we have on this list the same debates that
> endlessly, repetitively and inconclusively flood,
> never mind philosophy journals and books.
> I think the insistence on the absolute underpinning of an objective
> consciousness is just planet-bound thinking. Bruno's, Juergen's,
> Russell's or Max Tegmark's analyses can just as well be built on
> arbitrary selections of what's conscious (Turing test passers?
> biological brains? red-haired people? teddy bears?). The teddy bear
> universes may have different probabilities than the biological brain
> universes or the Turing test universes, but so what? Each is as
> likely to be self-consistent as another.
> i.e. You don't have to give up the goals of this list just because you
> don't believe there is an objective fact of the matter to
> consciousness.
Received on Fri Jun 29 2001 - 14:26:06 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:07 PST