Re: All is number

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Aug 12 2004 - 18:29:36 MDT

The Universe is not math. This looks like a map versus territory
problem to me although that metaphor isn't what I mean either. You
seem to have dismissed my attempts at explaining what I do mean. As
I see it there are two grounds for dismissal. The first is that my
explanation of why math fits the Universe is what people actually mean
by the statement "the Universe is math". The second would be that I
missed something important or that you otherwise did not consider it
reasonable. So which is it? Or am I playing straight woman (who me?)
to Eliezer humor again?


On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 20:17:39 -0400, Eliezer Yudkowsky
<> wrote:
> Samantha Atkins wrote:
> >
> > That mathematics has empirical suitability is not really astonishing
> > at all. Mathematics is a formal way of stating/capturing algorithms,
> > relationships and regularities. It will map to any system containing
> > relationships and regularities. Math is the abstraction of the way
> > logically coherent systems work. If it did not map well to the
> > Universe then the Universe would be incoherent chaos.
> Right; if the Universe were not, at its core, math, it would be incoherent
> chaos, or rather would not be anything at all. I am not even sure that I,
> a creature of math, can coherently imagine a Universe that is not math.
> This does not imply that the Universe is not, in fact, math. It just says
> that I, being math, cannot imagine something that is not math, for I must
> use math to imagine it.
> > That it isn't
> > doesn't make it permissible to claim that such coherence itself is a
> > manifestation of the abstraction for expressing, capturing,
> > manipulating coherent algorithms and relationships.
> Where is there even a single thing in this universe that is not math?
> --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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