Re: [issues] Re: Is the universe computable

From: James N Rose <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2004 22:01:47 -0800

Calm, Steve, calm. :-) Remember my comment the
other evening: It is the appropriate moment in
human thought to change the definitions of
'objective' and 'subjective'.

Implementation is the 'subjective'. Relationship
need not be. In fact, relationship is necessarily
-intangible-, but -is- the object of any search
for 'the objective'.

That 'relationship' is made explicit via implementation
does not detract from its purity of specification .. its

Nor is the objectivity of a 'relationship' diminished
by the fact that relationship can only be explore, examined,
or empirically specified, except via subjective 'instantiation'.

These simultaneous aspects of reality/being are superposed
with one another. Both present even as they are mutually

This takes 'objectivity' to an independent level of
identification, beyond any potential for anomaly, for
variation; immune to perturbation and noise.

It finally allows us to consiliently accomodate
'subjective' truths with objective basese.
Objectivity is the intangible and uncorruptable
'relations', rules, and laws, of being and performance.

Subjectivity is all the necessary examples and instantiations
-by which- we can and do 'know' the 'relations', rules, and
laws, of being and performance.

Jamie Rose
MetaScience Academy. Japan.
Ceptual Institute. USA.

Stephen Paul King wrote:
> Dear Hal,
> "A theorem doesn't weigh anything, and neither does a computation."
> Nice try but that is a very smelly Red Herring. Even Conway's Life can
> not exist, even in the abstract sense, without some association with the
> possibility of "being implemented" and it is this "Implementation" that I am
> asking about.
> Let us consider Bruno's beloved "Arithmetic Realism". Are we to believe
> that Arithmetic can be considered to "exist" without, even tacitly, assuming
> the possibility that numbers must be "symbolic representable"? If they can
> be, I strongly argue that we have merely found a very clever definition for
> the term "meaninglessness".
> I beg you to go directly to Turing's original paper discussing what has
> become now know as a "Turing Machine". You will find discussions of things
> like "tape" and "read/write head". Even if these, obviously physical,
> entities are, as you say, "by definition within a universe" and that such
> "universes" can be rigorously proven to be "mathematical entities", this
> only strengthens my case: An abstract entity must have a possibility of
> being physically represented, even if in a "Harry Potter Universe", to be a
> meaningful entity. Otherwise what restrains us from endless Scholastic
> polemics about "how many Angels can dance on the head of a Pin" and other
> meaningless fantasies.
> The fact that an Algorithm is "independent of any particular
> implementation" is not reducible to the idea that Algorithms (or Numbers, or
> White Rabbits, etc.) can exist without some "REAL" resources being used in
> their implementation (and maybe some kind of "thermodynamics").
> BTW, have you read Julian Barbour's The End of Time? It is my opinion
> that Julian's argument falls flat on its face because he is making the very
> same mistake: Assuming that his "best-matching" scheme can exists without
> addressing the obvious status that it is an NP-Complete problem of
> uncountable infinite size. It is simply logically impossible to say that the
> mere postulation of a Platonia allows for the a priori existence of the
> solution to such a computationally intractable problem.
> Kindest regards,
> Stephen
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hal Finney" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 1:39 PM
> Subject: Re: Is the universe computable
> > At 13:19 19/01/04 -0500, Stephen Paul King wrote:
> >
> > >Where and when is the consideration of the "physical resources" required
> > >for the computation going to obtain? Is my question equivalent to the old
> > >"first cause" question?
> >
> > Anything "physical" is by definition within a universe (by my definition,
> > anyway!). What are the physical properties of a system in our universe?
> > Mass, size, energy, electrical charge, partical composition, etc. If we
> > at least hypothetically allow for the existence of other universes,
> > wouldn't you agree that they might have completely different physical
> > properties? That they might not have mass, or charge, or size; or that
> > these properties would vary in some bizarre way much different from how
> > stable they are in our universe.
> >
> > Consider Conway's 2-dimensional Cellular Automota universe called Life.
> > Take a look at, an amazing
> > implementation of a computer, a Turing Machine, in this universe.
> > I spent a couple of hours yesterday looking at this thing, seeing how
> > the parts work. He did an incredible job in putting all the details
> > together to make this contraption work.
> >
> > So we can have computers in the Life universe. Now consider this: what
> > is the mass of this computer? There is no such thing as mass in Life.
> > There are cells, so you could count the number of "on" cells in the system
> > (although that varies quite a bit as it runs). There is a universal
> > clock, so you could count the time it takes to run. Some of our familiar
> > properties exist, and others are absent.
> >
> > So in general, I don't think it makes sense to assume literally that
> > computers require physical resources. Considered as an abstraction,
> > computation is no more physical than is mathematics or logic. A theorem
> > doesn't weigh anything, and neither does a computation.
> >
> > Hal Finney
> >
> >
Received on Wed Jan 21 2004 - 01:05:51 PST

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