Re: Are we simulated by some massive computer?

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 17:06:04 +0200

At 11:03 27/04/04 -0400, John M wrote:

>I really TRY to catch up with the discussions -

Thanks for telling.

>however I can't help feeling
>that what's going on is a physicalistic (?)

I guess you are trying to provoke me here, isn't it?
(I mean you are aware that I pretend (at least) that physics
could be reducible to "machine's psychology/theology/biology/
number theory", etc. This is hardly physicalistic).

>of Judeo-Christian theology: whe we die, we (soul?) transfer to the Dear
>Good Lord's Heaven/Paradise (= called1000 different planets) - sometimes
>expressed as quantum imortality...(of the soul?)
>Then again, just like in the Christian myth, in heaven everybody
>(including God) speaks the one human language we know (or not).

You mean classical logic? I don't think so. You could read the nice
book by I. M. Bochenski (translated in english in 1961, University of
Notre Dame Press): A History of Formal Logic. It contains a large
chapter on the logics, epistemology and metaphysics of India,before
and after Chr. It could change your mind on this point. Also quite
astonishing in that regard is the book by Th. Stcherbatsky: Buddhist
Logic. Comp itself (arguably) has appeared in the east a very long time before
Plato, as most analysis of the heaven and hell concepts.
(Reference in "Conscience & Mecanisme").
Remember also Giordiano Bruno who has been burned by the Church
for his questions and imaginations; (he was an explicit
"many worlder" in the form of other planet with life form).
You raise interesting question but I thing it would be premature to
really tackle that now.

>is in the pattern of our terrestrial physical taste and comp imagination.
>Maybe we get to hell: the mathematically illiterate planet?

At least I put the carts on the table: Church Turing Post Markov ... thesis,
+ a minimal amount of arithmetical realism, + that special act on faith
in front of a "medical operation".
And the game is just to see where all that could lead with respect
to some unsolved fundamental question.

>Can't we do better?

... and then I point on the fact, about which I have probably underestimated
the startlingness, that, thanks to some works done by ... Godel,
..., Solovay, we can quasi-literally ask the opinion of *the* sound classical
universal machines on that question. In some sense I "eliminate" the
act of faith by just interviewing the machine. What are you asking for?

Look, I promise to Kory a hopefully readable account of what I see as an
obvious (but necessarily a little bit technical) mathematical/physical
confirmation of comp. It is a modest confirmation in the sense that it
leads quickly to many open mathematical problems, a sequence of
conjectures but also a real path from bit to qubit, should comp be true.

I finish by a question.
Because we are about to interview the UM on a possible measure
existing on its (closer) consistent extensions, it is natural
to ask her if she *do* have a consistent extension.

Now on *that* question, the UM remains silent, always.

Is it a western or eastern type of behavior ? ;-)
Is is not a little bit like the thundering silence of Vimalakirti?


Received on Wed Apr 28 2004 - 11:33:01 PDT

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