Re: Tegmark's TOE & Cantor's Absolute Infinity

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 11:12:55 +1000 (EST)

Osher Doctorow wrote:
> From: Osher Doctorow, Sat. Sept. 21, 2002 11:38PM
> Hal,
> Well said. I really have to have more patience for questioners, but
> mathematics and logic are such wonderful fields in my opinion that we need
> to treasure them rather than throw them out like some of the Gung-Ho
> computer people do who only recognize the finite and discrete and mechanical
> (although they're rather embarrassed by quantum entanglement - but not
> enough not to try to deal with it in their old plodding finite-discrete
> way).
> Mathematics and Physics are Allies, more or less equal. I prefer not to
> call the concepts of one inferior directly or to indirectly indicate
> something of the sort, unless they really are contradictory or something
> very, very, very close to that more or less. As for a computer, maybe
> someday it will be *all it can be*, but right now I have to quote a retired
> Assistant Professor of Computers Emeritus at UCLA (believe it or not,
> bureaucracy can create such a position - probably the same bureaucratic
> mentality that created witchhunts and putting accused thieves' heads into
> wooden blocks so that they could be flogged by passers-by in olden times),
> who said: *Computers are basically stupid machines.* We knew what he
> meant. They're very vast stupid machines, and sometimes we need speed,
> like me getting away from the internet or I'll never get to sleep.
> Osher Le Doctorow (*Old*)


> >
> > So I disagree with Russell on this point; I'd say that Tegmark's
> > mathematical structures are more than axiom systems and therefore
> > Tegmark's TOE is different from Schmidhuber's.
> >
> > I also think that this discussion suggests that the infinite sets and
> > classes you are talking about do deserve to be considered mathematical
> > structures in the Tegmark TOE. But I don't know whether he would agree.
> >
> > Hal Finney
> >

If you are so sure of this, then please provide a description of these
"bigger" objects that cannot be encoded in the ASCII character set and sent via
email. You are welcome to use any communication channel you wish -
doesn't have to be email. And if you can't describe what you're
talking about, why should I take them seriously?

Now from my point of view, the continuum exists, of course, but it
exists as a collection of descriptions which make use of primitive
concepts like "limit". Each of these descriptions can be encoded in
ASCII (or any other encoding system). I am open to the proposition
that there is no enumeration of the set of all descriptions of the
continuum - and indeed the enumeration of the set of all descriptions
takes c steps to execute :)

Anyone who is familiar with my postings would never categorise me as
being a "discrete bigot".


A/Prof Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 (")
Room 2075, Red Centre
            International prefix +612, Interstate prefix 02
Received on Sun Sep 22 2002 - 18:15:06 PDT

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