Fwd: Reality vs. Perception of Reality

From: Bruno Marchal <marchal.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2005 18:45:32 +0200

Sorry I miss the cc "everything-list" on this message: hope you can
read it without too much difficulty.

Début du message réexpédié :

> De: Bruno Marchal <marchal.domain.name.hidden>
> Date: 6 août 2005 18:10:56 GMT+02:00
> À: "chales1.domain.name.hidden" <chales1.domain.name.hidden>
> Objet: Rép : Reality vs. Perception of Reality
> Le 05-août-05, à 03:28, chales1.domain.name.hidden a écrit :
>> My final ramblings.....
>>> From: Bruno Marchal [mailto:marchal.domain.name.hidden]
>>> Moi
>>>> Reality vs perception of reality? I vote we work really hard on the
>>>> latter and drop all ascription in relation to the former. A
>>>> significant dose of humility indeed.
>>> Bruno
>>> I don't think "objective reality" can be perceived (only subjective
>>> reality can be perceived). Nevertheless, "objective reality" is an
>>> ideal we should always tend to. I agree very much with your intuition
>>> of the importance of humility, but then you talk as if someone has
>>> given a convincing argument of the existence of a natural world. You
>>> should give the reference :). With the comp assumption, in
>>> particular,
>>> there is no "natural world", just a web of numbers' dream (to be
>>> short). Matter emerges from the fact that numbers' dreams overlap in
>>> some non trivial way.
>>> Of course there could be, perhaps, a natural world (and comp is
>>> false,
>>> thus). I respect that belief very much, but it is a highly non
>>> trivial
>>> assumption. I can understand the recent irritation of Brent Meeker,
>>> because, although your critics of the current average science
>>> practice
>>> seems to me well-founded, you are not clear on your assumptions and
>>> you
>>> seem to fall in the very trap you describe so well.
>>> Actually, with comp, many things you say seem coherent if you
>>> substitute "natural world" by "arithmetical truth". Remember that
>>> Godel
>>> has shown there is no way to build a complete "model" of it. With
>>> Godel
>>> we have reasons to believe we are very ignorant, and with comp (+
>>> godel) we have justifiable reasons to believe it is necessary like
>>> that. You should appreciate Godel's and Lob's theorem because it
>>> justifies the humility you defend so well. Lob's formula is often
>>> interpreted as a modesty formula.
>>> Bruno
>> I have studied in detail the whole Leibniz -> cantor -> Hilbert ->
>> Russel/Whitehead -> Godel -> Turing -> Chaitin trail. It's a
>> favourite and Godel's work as depicted by Nagel/Newman (with the
>> Hofstadter intro)....
>> Nagel E, Newman JR, Hofstadter DR. 2002. Gödel's proof. New York: New
>> York University Press. xxiii, 129 , p.
>> ....is one of my favourite books of all time along with Godel Escher
>> Bach.
>> Hofstadter DR. 1980. Gödel, Escher, Bach : an eternal golden braid.
>> Harmondsworth: Penguin. xxi, 777 p.
>> Nagel seems to be a very very smart guy and is a gifted wordsmith.
>> His stuff on science and tautologies (IMHO) is wonderful and he is
>> the most observant... he really looks at the natural world...not at
>> his own navel. As in
>> Nagel E. 1974. What is it like to be a bat? The Philosophical
>> Review(Oct):435-450.
> Err... You confuse Ernest Nagel and Thomas Nagel.
> NAGEL E. et NEWMAN J. R., 1958, Gödel's Proof, New-York university
> Press.
> NAGEL T.,1974, What is it like to be a bat ?, The Philosophical
> Review, 83, pp. 435-450.
> No problem I love them both. Hofstadter is quite good too.
> You should try:
> SMULLYAN R., 1987, Forever Undecided, Alfred A. Knopf, New York.
> (It looks like puzzles, puns and fairy tales, but he is actually going
> far beyond Nagel and Hofstadter. He introduces the logic G (and even
> G* a little bit).
>> The model suggests that 'computation' literally is the natural world,
>> in the context of an entropy calculus.
> Like Schmidhuber-Finney or like with the comp hyp and the first
> person/third person distinction?
>> To make entropy calculus simply use the above nagel reference as a
>> cookbook. Start with a gigantic number of very simple reversible
>> events and let it evolve as a massive cellular automata. We emerge.
>> In the end, however, my experience has been that Ockham (Occam?) 's
>> Razor really works. What I find is the essence of simplicity... at
>> all places when it seemed like I had to invent some 'feature' or
>> principle to explain something... in the end it vapourised and became
>> a result of a natural implicit context. Like in entropy calculus...
>> implicit signs, implicit rules of inference, transformation etc... To
>> be in a natural computational substrate is to be us... at least that
>> is what the whole thing points to. A staggerring pile of primitive
>> axioms.
>> So, Bruno, I suppose I'm right with you in regards the relationship
>> between computation and the natural world.
> Not sure. See above. I don't think there is a "nature" emulable by a
> computer. But it is a by-product of my work (see the url).
>> They are one and the same, just not computation in the style we
>> culturally imbue at school and via the workings of our technology. I
>> tend not to think of numbers, however... merely quantity... the word
>> 'number' has the smell of the indirection of a symbolic
>> representation of quantity.
>> I'm also quite at ease with the idea of an infinite number of
>> abstract domains we can explore symbolically. The fact that only one
>> of them is apparently actually implemented (which is what you say
>> when you refer to the one we are in and why you name it 'the natural
>> world'. I say natural because it can spontaneously arise for good
>> reasons) is simply an enforced conclusion of a cognitive agent within
>> it. This is where the anthropic principle seems to be a valuable way
>> of looking at things.
>> I'm fairly sure I have sniffed out all the loose ends in this.
> You are young?
>> I have a mathematical basis, a 2 sided epistemology model situating
>> us within that mathematics. The resulting model shows us that the
>> human brain makes fantastically good use of simple properties of the
>> natural world. In particular it makes use of the very deepest
>> structure of the natural world to construct a macroscale
>> phenomenality.
>> Which brings me to another note to leave you with for the moment. I
>> have said it before and I commend you ponder it deeply... In the
>> organisational hierarchy of structured noise
>> Humanity, Human, Organ(brain), Cell, Molecule, Atom, Atomic Particle,
>> Subatomic Particle, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, ...........<X>
>> Zoom in on the structure with a mental magnifying glass....There's no
>> such thing as a proton... it's 3 quarks playing tag. Then look at the
>> quarks. DOH...no such 'thing', but merely some new substructure. When
>> you stare at any'thing', you are not staring at any'thing' at all.
>> You look at a pile of <X> and only <X> with a really nifty qualia
>> paint job. And when you bust it up you get 'bits' of the same <X> in
>> different configurations with yet another qualia paint job....and so
>> on..... YOU are made of <X>, staring at <X> from within a massive
>> organised structure of <X>.
>> Take away any one layer and all layers above are simply not there any
>> more. Inheritance rules (entropy calculus has a set theoretic
>> treatment)
>> In the model if you BE a human you have to be ALL of the hierarchy!
>> In a monism of structured noise ALL is only made of ONE... and that
>> one thing is <X>...including space and matter...everything is made of
>> the one 'thing'...and , according to Heraclitus.. that thing is not a
>> 'thing' at all..it's merely an event. Prigogine would say drop
>> 'being' and consder 'becoming'. Its ontological appearance is
>> some'thing' we get by talking about it when you are made of it. In
>> Cahill's case he chose that primitive 'event' and called it a GEBIT.
>> It doesn’t really matter what the nature of the fundamental (indeed
>> if there really is a limiting fundamental at all...this is something
>> for people smarter than me to work out) event is.... you end up
>> looking like us in what we see around us.
>> That's the story told by a model of the natural world as an entropy
>> calculus of noise including situated cognitive agents made of it
>> trying to understand it from within and inclusive of the
>> phenomenality needed to construct any knowledge model at all.
>> -------------------------
>> BTW Yesterday I did a mirror metaphor. Not quite adequate... so I'll
>> give you the next layer of the metaphor.
>> 1) Your brain does not make a mirror. It makes everything BUT the
>> mirror or better 'not-mirror'. Think about it.
>> 2) It's not a mirror... it's actually more like a periscope. 'Be' the
>> periscope. If you are a sailor think of 'apparent wind'. It's how
>> phenomenality appears to come from your body or 'out there' when it's
>> actually generated by cellular activity. It's why your visual field
>> appears to be sourced from your eyes when in fact it gets generated
>> up the back of your head in the occipital lobes.
>> 3) The mirror is not a 2D surface. It's a very messy 3D surface and
>> it's not 'reflecting' light, but all manner of 'phenomenal' elements
>> (quale) used to make haptic, visual, olfactory, gustatory, aural
>> perceptual fields.
>> --------------------------
>> I have deposited this structure here, now, so that the extremely
>> elevated IQ of this list may be the first to chew through it and take
>> it or whatever it turns into, including its demise....into the
>> future. prove it wrong (with empirical evidence) and you have helped
>> me to my goal just as much.
>> Phenomenality is becoming banal to me. The real challenge is
>> political/cultural... a pile of darlings have to be... upgraded
>> somewhat. I posit with a huge pile of evidence that science is a
>> psychologically sick puppy and the disease is inherited from 150
>> years ago (ish) and is only a problem in the one area of the science
>> of phenomenality. That science, upon scrutiny, seems to open a door
>> to another 50% of scientific endeavour.
>> The cure is simply to recognize it!...To consider phenomenality as
>> having primacy in our view of the natural world. The practical upshot
>> is the 2 sided epistemology model of explanation/description. This is
>> the essential message of the whole thing. We can't get at
>> phenomenality without absorbing this idea and getting used to it.
>> The details will emerge in the literature... or not... as the case
>> may be! (I'll be a philosopher yet!)
> Good.
> Cheers,
> Bruno
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
Received on Sat Aug 06 2005 - 12:48:09 PDT

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