Reality is an Information Transducer

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Spellbound, May 6, 2015.

  1. cdipoce Registered Member

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    I can't speak for Spellbound's personal views, but if he is intending to describe the CTMU-definition of "reality", he seems to be conflating "reality" with "UBT" (see my previous post).

    Reality has constraints (in fact, this very property is what makes it distinct from UBT). I see no reason whatsoever to believe in the physical existence of unicorns and the CTMU doesn't say otherwise.
     
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Which seems to ultimately be just a different version of the cosmological argument, albeit dressed up in saladificational garbs of verbal nonsensificism.

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  5. cdipoce Registered Member

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    What is non-sensical specifically?
    If you can recognize that it is ultimately equivalent to some other argument, which you seem to understand (and it actually isn't a variation on the cosmological argument, but it is related), then what I said must've been intelligible to you.
     
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  7. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Is syndiffeonetic even a real word?

    The only reference I can find is on some crappy new age woo woo blog.
     
  8. cdipoce Registered Member

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    It is a CTMU-neologism, which is why I provided a description of its meaning. Langan formalizes the notion of "difference-in-sameness" as an algebraic relation between two objects. Was my example involving the numbers "1" and "2" clear?
     
  9. cdipoce Registered Member

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    It gets tricky with a work like "conscious" (it all depends on what you're willing to accept as a definition), but the CTMU generalizes the notion of "cognition" to all forms of information transduction. Since a rock transduces information, there is then a cognitive aspect to the rock. If that level of cognition constitutes consciousness in your mind then the answer to your question is yes.
     
  10. cdipoce Registered Member

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    In order for information to be processed, you need a transducer to process it. In order for a transducer to process the information, it must recognize the information as information to be processed (i.e., the information must be accepted). This is why reality as a whole exhibits self-awareness.

    Let's take your example: we know that since any two given particles that exist are real (as is their interaction) that one part of reality is recognizing another as information to process (and conversely, as the particles mutually affect each other). Since this occurs everywhere in a connected reality (or as Langan is fond of saying: 'distributively'), reality is entirely self-aware. This particular example may be 'mundane' in your view, but I don't think it's a stretch to see how it constitutes an elementary form of self-awareness.
     
  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I didn't say it was non-sensical, I said it was dressed in a garb of verbal nonsensificism. Are you suggesting you don't know what nonsensificism means??

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    No, I can recognise what you have said as being ultimately equivalent to it. You have interpreted Langan but I would still have no idea if your interpretation is accurate or just a wild guess.
    If it is accurate then it begs the question why Langan doesn't also use plain English to explain himself better, so that others might understand him.
     
  12. cdipoce Registered Member

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    No, you said it was "saladificational garbs of verbal nonsensificism". Since you're quite fond of insinuating that things are 'word salads', it is probably useful to know what it means: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_salad

    So is what I said intelligible or unintelligible (i.e., non-sensical)?

    And he does explain it in plain English--that's what has determined my interpretation of it. If you're asking why he doesn't just leave it as a loose and colloquial notion, then you're missing the entire point of the CTMU. It is a theory of reality and when one wants to create a theory, one must formalize one's ideas. So Langan formalized this notion of 'difference-in-sameness' as an algebraic relationship and assigned this relationship a name (i.e., syndiffeonesis). You could argue that it was a poor choice of name, but, tastes aside, it would've been misleading if he branded a novel technical feature of his theory with a widely-used term. It would have inevitably lead to the following criticism: he's re-defining words to prove his theory.

    Yes, it's a neologism. And it is a hallmark of cranks. It also a hallmark of new ideas (ever read a paper in modern physics?). So neologisms can be the sign of crankery as well as original insights. Gasp! Now we have to determine where the CTMU fits. A reasonable person would then proceed to evaluate the theory itself, but why on earth would you do that when it's so much easier to use other logically-baseless 'litmus tests' (e.g., it hasn't been published in a prestigious academic journal, ergo it's bunk)??? Brilliant.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  13. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    We can use anything as a computing device, even things like DNA. The DNA doesn't know it's processes are being used to compute something. Only the reader of the output is truly self-aware. Note that Langan is trying to use this notion to prove that the universe is not only self-aware, but God. He's saying that because particles can interact and process information, then the universe constitutes a being that is aware of everything that happens inside it. But there is no such universal "transducer", or central locus of processing that could contextualize this information.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Did Spellbound ask you to come post here?

    Why is it so important that 'CTMU' dominate the philosophy forum on Sciforums?

    The whole 'CTMU' subject is more reminiscent of religious evangelism than philosophy.

    Is Spellbound 'driving at' a 'property', or is he making a simple logical error?

    When he observes that 'X is real', he assumes that implies that 'reality is X'.

    It seems to me that the word 'reality' is a little ambiguous, it can mean at least two things here.

    On one hand, it might refer to the universal set, to the sum total of everything that we believe is real. On the other hand, it might refer to the property of being real (if 'property' is the right word), to whatever it is that all real things hypothetically share in common that accounts for them being real.

    Either way, Spellbound's assumption doesn't appear to be plausible or informative. It certainly doesn't bring us any closer to understanding what it means for something to be real.

    Quartz is a mineral (a member of the larger class of minerals), but being a mineral isn't synonymous with being quartz. (What about feldspar?)

    And if we accepted Spellbound's flawed assumption, if 'Reality is X' really was true for any X, provided that X is real, then what informative content would there in grandly announcing that 'Reality is X!' What would it be telling us that we didn't already know? (That X is real.)

    These kind of word-games don't bring us any closer to understanding what it means for something to be real.

    Playing a different kind of word game, introducing impenetrably obscure pseudo-technical vocabulary (syndiffeonesis!) doesn't clarify things either.

    Oh, it's been ringing for a long time now.

    What does 'algebraically define' mean in this context?

    Why should we believe that? (And in what sense is it a 'property'?) It might have some plausibility regarding magnitudes (different masses are still masses). But it doesn't seem to be true regarding different categories of being.

    Reality is a 'common medium'? That's a strong metaphysical assertion that may or may not be true.

    Another opaque neologism.

    'Unbound telesis' sounds like a pretentious modern restatement of the ancient Presocratic Greek concept of the 'arche', the original substance out of which all of observed reality supposedly emerged. (Langan seems to want to equate his 'unbounded telesis' with the anything-goes omnipotence of the Judeo-Christian God.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arche

    In particular, it sounds like Anaximander's characterization of the arche as 'apeiron', literally 'no perimeter', 'unbounded', 'formless'.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apeiron_(cosmology)

    That still doesn't imply that all things are one in Spellbound's sense. Different discrete parts of reality are defined as what they are by their different forms. That introduces the matter-form distinction ('hylomorphism'). While thinkers like Aristotle may have imagined matter as pure potentiality, as being able to accept any form, the forms that matter assumes are multiple and diverse. In this ancient Greek scheme, reality is the coming together of matter and form.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  15. cdipoce Registered Member

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    You're all over the place. You're now introducing 'knowledge' into the discussion and I'm not clear on what you mean by "know" (just as cognition is stratified into levels in the CTMU, you would correspondingly do the same for knowledge). As I said, in a connected reality where two particles (which are real) are interacting (which is real) following a set of rules (which are real) that determine the course of their interaction, you have an example of reality recognizing itself as information to be processed and then processing it (i.e., reality is both the input, output and the tentative 'black box').

    So in the example of DNA (I'm not a biologist, so I'm going to be painfully general on the dynamics of this process), a cell must recognize (i.e., 'know') the DNA code as input in order for the cell to interpret it as instructions at all. This is only possible if this code conforms to the cell's own internal structure (i.e., within the cell's internal machinery, the input transitions the cell's starting state into an accepting state). Otherwise, the cell couldn't 'read' the instructions to determine which amino acid to build (i.e., yield output).
     
  16. cdipoce Registered Member

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    No. I don't know who he is.

    IMO, both.

    I don't speak for Spellbound and so I'm not going to defend his definition of reality.

    In the CTMU (see http://main.megafoundation.org/Langan_CTMU_092902.pdf ) reality has two alternate (but equivalent) definitions:

    1. Reality is all that is real
    2. Reality is the perceptual aggregate including (1) all scientific observations that ever were and ever will be, and (2) the entire abstract and/or cognitive explanatory infrastructure of perception (where the abstract is a syntactic generalization of the concrete standing for ideas, concepts or cognitive structures distributing over physical instances which conform to them as content conforms to syntax).


    It means defines within the context of an algebraic structure. What is an algebraic structure? It is a structured set, i.e., a set with operations and relations defined on that set. In this case, we are talking about a particular relation: syndiffeonesis.


    Then that difference would be contained in the medium consisting of all categories of beings (or, you if prefer, the category of categories of beings).

    In as much as any difference between two things is real, then that difference in contained in reality (clearly follows from definition 1 above).
     
  17. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    There is no set of rules that particles obey. The rules are things that humans invent to describe what they think is likely to occur.

    Also, I'm not talking about life, I'm talking about disembodied DNA, used in laboratory conditions to figure out math problems. So that means there is no cell required to read any instructions. These particle interactions are passive.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  18. cdipoce Registered Member

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    I'm speaking in very general terms of computation, so changing the hardware of the automata (e.g., changing from silicon to DNA) merely changes the particular physical instantiation of information processing, not the dynamics of it.

    Similarly, a particle interaction is just a physical instantiation of a rule or set of rules.
     
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    No they aren't. Particles don't follow rules. Rules or physical laws are human inventions. They are our attempt to make generalizations about physical behavior. They are useful because they make predictions that tend to come true.
     
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Then what induced you to decend upon us? Why are you evangelizing us with the Langan-gospel?
     
  21. cdipoce Registered Member

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    You are parting company with more than just Langan on this point (e.g., many physicists and mathematicians). If we pursued this topic any further it would become a discussion regarding the ontological status of mathematics and this isn't my thread so I'd rather not address your claim here (I am, however, very interested in this topic and would gladly discuss it with you elsewhere).
     
  22. cdipoce Registered Member

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    I'm simply defending his theory, not evangelizing--you're intentionally characterizing my arguments as having religious undertones in order to disparage me (which is ironic, since you accused me of using rhetoric). I've confined my CTMU-comments to a CTMU-thread. I don't know why you are so suspicious of my motives. I am interested in science and philosophy (including the CTMU) and I found this thread via a Google search. There's nothing sinister about it.
     
  23. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    No, I'm not, this is basic philosophy of science. Computational structures are not self-aware unless they are programmed to be. Particles themselves don't follow a program.
     

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