From: Simon Gordon (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Aug 10 2004 - 17:14:38 MDT
--- David <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Mathematics is a human construct that has some
> usefulness to the physical world because man
> designed it that way.
Do you see the elegance and complexity of a fractal
and still think of it as a human construct? Clearly
most of mathematics is not simple enough to be
"invented". You could argue that the human
brain/mind/consciousness has such a part to play in
our ability to interpret and manipulate the symbols to
the extent that the real math is hidden from us, but
even so the mathematics is definitely "out there" and
not just figments of our minds.
> ... do my programs "manifest" the
Well they manifest they're universes i.e. each
computer program is equivalent to a mini-universe. And
there is strong reason to believe that our universe,
in its entirety, is itself describable by a single
unique program, "Wolfram's code", rather than just a
bunch of mathematical bits and pieces.
> He told me that there were currently no
> known applications or physical use for Lattice
> theory in the world! How does this correlate with
> reality and pure mathematics?
The mathematics of lattice theory is real, just as
physically applicable mathematics is real. The fact
that some mathematical discovery is not physically
applicable doesnt make it any less real, nor should we
expect any given piece of math to be physically
applicable since mathematics is by nature ABSTRACT.
The physical world is itself an abstraction, but only
an infinitesimally small subset of the complete set of
> should we believe
> things just because they seem "obvious"?
Hell yes! if something is obvious to me, then thats
better than a step-by-step rational argument IMO.
Unfortunately obviousness is not easy to translate to
> if I
> > recall correctly "all is math" goes back to
> Pythagoras, and I don't know
> > who first speculated that everything exists.
Parmenides is the first in recorded literature i
> Who cares who first postulated some particular idea?
> If you say you believe XYZ then you should have to
> support your belief. I am not impressed by the fact
> that someone who was quoted lived long ago. In
> fact, because they didn't have the benefit of all
> the knowledge that has been gained since, their
> opinions are probably worth less.
Philosophers like Pythagoras and Parmenides are no
less intelligent than the philosophers of today just
because they didnt have modern books or calculators.
Metaphysics is one of the few fields of human
understanding which hasnt changed much in the last few
thousand years, and one of the few fields where the
collection of new knowledge isnt going to improve our
understanding. Im hoping that will change during the
Singularity with a quantitive leap in sentient
intelligence on Earth, which we would expect would
yield a qualititive leap in our ability to understand
extremely complex issues and concepts.
> Many times I think up new (to me)
> ideas and I am subsequently told someone thought of
> them before me. I feel much smarter having walked
> in such great shoes!
Good for you. I usually have a negative reaction when
i find out my ideas arent as original as i thought
they were. I find it damn annoying.
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