Reality is an Information Transducer

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

  1. cdipoce Registered Member

    To be clear, I was referring to your assertion: "[r]ules or physical laws are human inventions". And in as much as physical laws are formulated in the language of mathematics, you are really affirming the Intuitionist conception of mathematics. This is very much not an established truth in the philosophy of mathematics (nor philosophy of science).
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    So given that you haven't shown you understand the word nonsensificism, do you even know what saladificational means? Or are you just extracting the root "salad" and making assumptions? And since you think I'm "quite fond of insinuating", care to mention more than one or two examples?
    What you said is quite intelligible, thanks. Hence the ability to see that it is equivalent to the comsomlogical argument. Do you think I could have reached that conclusion without understanding you?
    Plain English generally avoids neologisms, does it not? I'm not sure it can be both. You say he uses plain English and then you extol the virtues and necessities of his neologisms. Which is it?
    I'm not asking that. Merely making the observation that he does not use plain English and almost making a point of using complex language when there is likely no need, making his work extremely difficult to understand, almost deliberately so. One can still formalise one's ideas and use plain English. But thanks for the strawman: the field was looking so barren without it.
    I would suggest he already is re-defining words when he claims the universe is self-aware, for example. His vision of self-awareness appears akin to a mere p-zombie, acting out of instinct rather than any actual awareness.
    Wow, so now you're trying to guess my arguments for me. Let me just grab a seat so I can catch the enlightening banter between you and yourself.
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  5. cdipoce Registered Member

    Actually, unlike my example of intelligibility, this isn't a real dichotomy--he does both...and in the very same paper to boot ( ).

    Strawman? You haven't even read the paper (which we've now established beyond a shadow of a doubt by the above) and yet you have strongly formed opinion of his use of language...but never let facts and substance get in the way of your biting and snappy remarks.

    As for me employing strawman argumentation, I made it clear that he does define his neologism in plain English, and the motivation for still having the neologism in anticipation of the following point (which I'll quote again):'re welcome.

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    Well we've already seen that I anticipate your keyhole philosophical insights and cookie-cutter rebuttals, so it probably would be more productive to have me speak for you.

    And lest I be accused of ad hominem, your arguments have thus far been a citing of philosophical buzzwords and terms like "cosmoloigcal argument" and "p-zombie" with not much in the way of explaining your reasoning or tying any of it together to resemble a point.
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  7. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

  8. cdipoce Registered Member

  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    You and Spellbound both seem to think that you already possess the secrets of the universe.


    If you don't like it, perhaps you need to take it up with Langan.

    His speculations obviously have religious implications and motivations. He freely admits that. He says that his 'CTMU' was motivated in part by his desire to harmonize his metaphorical reading of the Bible with scientific thought. He is supposed to have produced a mathematic 'proof' of the existence of God.

    Spellbound has certainly been presenting 'CTMU' as a species of pantheism and insists that it is path to God-realization.

    In order to express frustration. You appear to have no idea what you are walking into. Spellbound has been preaching Langan's gospel almost daily, for years now, using a whole succession of user-name sock-puppets. (Why the moderators let him do that, when others are banned for sock-puppetry, is one of the mysteries.)

    The thing is, I don't think that anybody here on Sciforums is really that interested in 'CTMU'. The reason it shows up on Google searches is because Spellbound keeps flogging it day after day. I think that most people here just want it to finally stop.
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  10. cdipoce Registered Member

    I don't think that's fair. I don't possess any secrets. I'm not even an authority on the CTMU, but I have studied it for awhile and thought I could clear up some misconceptions about it.

    I do agree that a fruitful discussion is becoming less-and-less likely since this thread appears to be devolving into a pissing-contest with someone who has confused a bare association with an argument (almost like the human-embodiment of a Wikipedia 'related links' subsection...except, in this case, all the links are dead). He seems more interested in a Twitter-styled slugfest.

    So I'll leave you all alone, but for those of you who are interested, feel free to checkout
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Christopher Langan certainly believes that he does. He writes:

    "Among the questions that are answered within the framework of the CTMU: What is the nature of humanity's relationship with God? What is our relationship with each other on individual and cultural levels? Do human beings possess free will? Is there life after death? Is there a physical basis for spirituality? Where did the universe come from? Is there such a thing as absolute good or absolute evil? These are just a few of the burning philosophical dilemmas that mankind has pondered since its infancy. When these dilemmas are finally considered in the advanced framework of a true TOE like the CTMU, their answers fall into place as though under the influence of an attractive force. The mystery melts away, but not the wonder."​
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I think we have a rather different idea of what constitutes plain English.
    Yes, a strawman. When you answer questions that haven't been asked, what else should I refer to them as?
    I have indeed read it, from which I even inform my opinions, but don't let your own misconceptions stop you from jumping to wrong conclusions. Your ability to establish "beyond a shadow of doubt" the which isn't true is a good trick though. Can you teach it to me, please?
    As said, we must have very different notions of what constitutes plain English. Oh, no doubt there are large sections that are relatively plain, and I'm sure that you are as capable as anyone of pointing some examples out if asked. But yes, your strawman is still a strawman as at no point did I ask for him to leave his theory as a "loose and colloquial notion".
    Ah, yes, arguing strawmen is a wonderful example of anticipating responses... anticipate as you yourself would respond. Things might run more smoothly if you just wait for the other person to respond.
    Apologies if you feel those "buzzwords" to be insufficient as and when raised to be a point (which I thought would be fairly obviously made given what those terms relate to). Here's an idea: if in doubt as to what is meant by the word/term, and/or its relevancy, try asking.
    Simples, really.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  13. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    But if "reality" is everything that is real (as previously argued by Spellbound) how can Unbound Telesis be the medium containing both reality and non-reality without itself being unreal?
    If the medium exists it is real (reality contains everything that exists, right?).
    If it is real then it can not be what links reality with non-reality.
    Similarly if it links reality with non-reality then it can not be real.
    If it is not real then... ???

    I know Sarkus can be a touch confrontational (he seems to enjoy picking apart arguments that contain logical fallacies) but by ignoring him you would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
    As Yazata suggested, he can be rather astute, and I can see exactly what he means when he says that this CTMU seems to be just another version of the Cosmological argument:
    It follows a regress and then requires a singularity that is not beholden to anything that is set up within the regress, as the only means of extracting itself.
    The Cosmological argument uses an uncaused "first cause" as its singularity, otherwise labelled as God.
    This is its means of extraction, while requiring that everything else is caused.
    The CTMU seems to require this syndiffeoneic regress until we get to UBT.
    So why should we treat it with any more respect than the Cosmological argument?
    What else does it offer?
    Is it scientific?
    Does it offer prediction, or is it only something that can be demonstrated to agree with reality after the fact?

    As for his notion of similarity of the supposed "self-awareness" of reality with p-zombies, I get this too.
    Through the notion Sarkus is presumably suggesting that reality only has an appearance of self-awareness, of experience, of qualia, of sentience and all those other things that those p-zombies lack.
    Build an android that can mimic human behaviour and are we sure it has self-awareness, or is it just very good programming that has anticipated every eventuality of needing to look as though it does?
    Reality seems to be just that - mechanistic, instinctive (to give it a biological bent).
    Care to show how Langan's CTMU suggests otherwise?
    Other than through a specific definition of "self awareness" that is perhaps at odds to the mainstream understanding?
    I'm not disagreeing that reality might be self-aware, it must be understood.
    Only that I can't yet see how the CTMU leads us to that conclusion while retaining my current understanding of what it means to be self-aware.
  14. cdipoce Registered Member

    It's a good question. Langan has characterized UBT as a 'prereality'. As reality self-configures, it differentiates that which it is (i.e., what is real) from which it is not (i.e., what is unreal). Unbound Telesis (as opposed to reality, which is bound Telesis) is ontological potential whence reality derives its freedom.

    He hasn't detected any logical fallacies whatsoever. Insinuating that something is a word salad despite understanding its content would be an example of a logical fallacy.

    Because one deals with causal regression and the other deals with syndiffeonic regression. The former begs the question. The latter does not.

    I knew what parallel was being drawn, but it's a tenuous one (hence my 'related links' remark). UBT is undifferentiated potential. So the regression terminates at UBT. In fact, this is how we can infer UBT from reality. So it's not a variation of the cosmological argument, despite some of its superficial similarities in the structure of its argumentation.

    UBT offers the discernibleness of logic/reality (i.e., we can distinguish it from non-logic/non-reality).

    Is UBT scientific? It is hard to know what this question exactly means. Do you mean: (a) does UBT have the characteristics typically associated with scientific methodology or (b) is its formulation motivated by the scientific method?

    If (a), UBT accommodates non-reality. Scientific theories do not. So from the very outset, you can see that UBT is not scientific.

    If (b), then the answer is yes, assuming logic is included in your conception of the scientific method.

    It is important to remember that Chris classifies the CTMU as a metaphysical theory of reality. So rationalism primarily motivates its ideas, not empiricism (of course, Chris does rely on the assumption that we are perceiving reality, so I guess that could be construed as an 'empirical basis').

    I already explained how reality is engaging in self-recognition everywhere (see my comments on DNA/computation). A term like "self-aware" is stratified (since "self" is a stratified predicate). On some levels (i.e. strata), CTMU-notions of "self-awareness"/"consciousness" may very well not correspond to their mainstream counterparts. This doesn't make it incoherent or trivial. We are likely going to have to accept certain generalizations when the content of the theory is the entirety of reality.

    And we know reality possesses qualia/subjective experience since we are real and we possesses qualia/subjective experience, and so reality is distinct from a p-zombie.

    I doubt you have to do away with your understanding of self-awareness. In the CTMU, however, it's important to keep in mind that "self" and "cognition" are terms that are generalized and stratified.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  15. cdipoce Registered Member

    As an aside, Yazata cannot accuse me of engaging in unsolicited evangelizing as I was responding to a series of questions directed at me.
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    The ambiguities remain.

    a) "Reality is all that is..." suggests that 'reality' is a collection, in this case the universe's universal set of all real things.

    b) "...all that is real" suggests that 'reality' is some kind of mysterious property that everything real arguably possesses, distinguishing real things from whatever isn't real.

    There also seems to be a third interpretation of what 'reality' means that's often promoted by Spellbound

    c) Reality is a substance, the original and most general 'stuff' out of which everything else emerges, the substrate that everything real continues to be consist of.

    That certainly muddies the waters. How is the idealism of 2. "equivalent" to the realism of 1.?

    Now we seem to have several more spins on the meaning of 'reality'.

    d) Reality is the perceptual aggregate. Presumably that means the world of subjective experience, now being distinguished from the objective world around us and given its own peculiar ontological status. (Even if we make this move, we would still seem face the question of distinguishing between veridicial perception and perceptual illusion.)

    e) Reality as an idealized perceptual aggregate. Not just percepts, but 'scientific observations'. And not just real life scientific observations, but "all scientific observations that ever were and ever will be".

    f) Reality as "the entire abstract and/or cognitive explanatory infrastructure of perception". Apparently this one is identifying reality with theories and conceptual models. (What about myths and speculations?)

    It seems to me that the concept of 'reality' is just as mysterious as it's always been. I don't see that this cosmic mystery has been solved.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  17. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    So is this UBT real or not?
    It might be deemed a "prereality" but surely this "prereality", the UBT, is real or it is not.
    It seems to be a binary proposition.
    Yet you wish us to accept that it is neither?
    If it is not real, but not un-real, then how can it be part of the universe, which by definition is the set of all real things?

    Furthermore, if reality, as I understand the CTMU describes it, contains everything that is real, was real, will be real, then how can it alter what it is from one moment to
    the next: at one moment it is everything that is real, was real, will be real... and the next moment it is everything that is real, was real, will be real.
    It seems a closed shop.
    I.e. if the UBT is "prereality", but reality is already everything that is real, was real, will be real etc - the UBT seems effectively redundant.

    Then again, if I am mistaken about what the CTMU considers reality to be (I may have incorrectly interpreted your "perceptual aggregate") then please clarify.
    I'm not sure he did understand the content, though.
    He seemed to understand your interpretation of it, however.
    But anyway, any perceptions and/or realities of strawmen are between you and him.
    It may not be quite so blatant, but I see no convincing difference: the CTMU raises the notion of a medium that exists before differentiation into supposed reality and non-reality.
    That seems to beg the question of whether the medium is real or not.
    If it is not part of reality then how can it be considered as part of any theory of said reality?
    And it it is part of reality then how can it be what it is claimed to be?
    It is far from tenuous, and no doubt your hollow dismissal of it was noted.
    You say that the UBT is undifferentiated potential, but then God is the first cause and so the regression of the CA terminates at God.
    This is how we can infer God from anything else: if it has a cause, it's not God.
    So it seems you are dismissing the comparison on grounds of it being mere "superficial similarity" yet you are offering nothing to persuade, nothing to clarify even, that does not merely reinforce the comparison as being valid.
    Why do we need the UBT for this when reality seems to do this already?
    I was more thinking along the lines of (a) - is it falsifiable, does it offer predictive ability.
    Being motivated by the scientific method is laudable, but doesn't get you the banana.

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    Even philosophical theories have to (or at least should, if they are to be taken seriously at all) abide by logic.
    But your admission of (a) is possibly one of the reasons it gets such short shrift at this website.
    This is a science forum at heart, even if it does have a philosophy section, and if it can't be falsified then you may as well be making up stories about ghosts and goblins.

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    Construed in the weakest possible way, I hope. Empirical basis of science is the testing of the theory, making predictions, not just using such an empirical basis as an assumption.
    A p-zombie with a worm on its hand, then.

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    While parts of the whole can exhibit self-awareness, that doesn't make the whole necessarily self-aware.
    I'm beginning to understand that.
    It doesn't mean I agree with it, though.
    It smacks of wanting to use headline-grabbing phrases to make it seem more than it is, even if that is not the case.
    To me, the notion that an input to a process leading to an output requires self awareness, or even any awareness at all, is a hurdle.
  18. cdipoce Registered Member


    It's a logical fallacy (the fallacy of composition to be exact) wholly attributable to Spellbound (if that indeed was his argument).

    I hate to mind-read, but it could be that Spellbound is (clumsily) trying to articulate the principle of hology (from the 56-page paper: "a form of self-similarity whereby the overall structure of the universe is everywhere distributed within it as accepting and transductive syntax"). I suppose you could say: if X is real, then reality is in X, but this would be a very specific, non-standard use of the word in and I'm just spitballing here.

    Very true.

    I provided the alternate definition (2) because it gives a definition of reality in plain English (relatively speaking), whereas this definition (1) is an autology (i.e., it is self-descriptive) and is needed for theoretical purposes even if it isn't the most edifying definition. What is real is defined as that which is included in the set of the reality, where reality is defined by the predicate real. Langan formalizes this duality by extending standard set theory with a 2nd form of containment. A set topologically contains its elements, while these same elements descriptively contain their set. This is one of the mathematical properties that make SCSPL unique.

    In the CTMU, the most basic constituent of reality is 'infocognition'. This is a dual-aspect (it has a cognitive/transductive aspect and an informational/transduced aspect) monic substance.

    Well it only appears to be several more ‘spins’ because you have broken up one definition into its different components and interpreted each component as standing on its own as a complete definition of reality. To be clear, the components taken together constitute one definition of reality.

    Illusions do not underlie true scientific observations and theories (by definition). Where the former would be isomorphic solely to the neural correlates of those brains entertaining those illusions, true scientific observations and their corresponding theories would be isomorphic to some objective aspect of reality. And distinctions like ‘subjective vs. objective’ or ‘theory vs. external world’ are not absolute in a reality comprised of infocognition.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  19. cdipoce Registered Member


    UBT is not real, where reality is understood to be bound telesis (or infocognition). This is a subtle point and one in which I too sought clarification. We can think of reality/existence itself being stratified, where UBT is infinite potential (zero constraint and thus ‘unbound’) and reality (identified with an algebraic structure known as the Self-Configuring, Self-Processing Language OR SCSPL) as bound (i.e., actualized) telesis (i.e., potential). UBT contains no information as it lacks constraint and thus has no structure or content.

    Reality is evolving (or, self-configuring). UBT isn’t redundant because reality requires the potential for its configuration in order to configure at all.

    You say “exists before” effectively introducing a temporal dimension outside of reality which would violate the definition of reality in a CTMU-context. UBT is logically inferred from the bounded-reality.

    UBT is the absence of information. It contains both reality/logic and non-reality/non-logic. There are thus no distinctions to be made in UBT, and so it is undifferentiated. Again, the similarity is that both arguments involve a regression. You’re merely repeating this superficial similarity and identifying the weakness in the cosmological argument and assuming that there’s a weakness in the conception of UBT by transitivity. That’s just a sloppy argument.

    Logic derives its coherent identity by its contrast with paradox/non-logic. Without UBT, logic cannot be distinguished from that which it is not. And you would then have no basis for perception itself, since the informational distinction between A and ~A would dissolve.

    You say you’re thinking along the lines of the (a)-interpretation, but then go on to elaborate on what appears to be the (b)-interpretation. UBT is a logical necessity. Without it (as stated above), you have no basis for logic and thus no basis for the scientific method. Science depends on logic. So while this may be a science forum at its heart, it then necessarily has a space for logic as well. And Popperian falsifiability is a dictum concerning empirical (as opposed to rational) theories and doesn’t apply to the CTMU.

    You’re conflating two of my responses. I first referred you to my comments as to why reality is everywhere self-aware. And then second, I gave you the reason as to how we know reality is distinct from a p-zombie.

    You then pulled switcheroo by claiming that my reasoning for concluding that reality is distinct from a p-zombie served as my basis for the claim that reality is everywhere self-aware. If that was intentional then I'd appreciate it if you didn't contort my arguments to score debate points.
  20. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    It doesn't sound in the least bit scientific.
  21. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    So theUBT is not real, contains no information and has no structure or content.
    If you asked me to define "nothing" I'm not sure I could have come up with a better response.
    Why is this "potential" not merely part of reality, the part that distinguishes all that is/was and all that will be, I.e. It is potential that separates the future from its past?
    If one defines reality as all there was, is and will be then it is necessarily unchanging.
    If you want to keep repeating that theUBT is needed mantra-esque then do so, but please actually add some substance to your argument.
    Then it was a poor choice of words from me.
    Exchange it with "is requisite for", and the questions remain, currently unanswered.
    And the UBT is logically inferred just as God is inferred from the cosmological argument.
    Yet you continue to dismiss that similarity on the grounds of nothing but being superficial.
    The sloppy argument is dismissing the similarity as superficial and providing nothing else.
    It is the introduction of a realm, for want of a better phrase, that is not allowed within its manner of regression that is at the heart of the similarity.
    One requires causation until it arrives at the realm of the uncaused.
    One requires differentiation until the realm no differentiation.
    You clearly disagree, and I have no issue with that, but please do more than just say "it's superficial only"!
    The question here is why the distinction between A and ~A is not inherent within reality?
    Why is it necessary to invoke the UBT to achieve this?
    You can claim that the UBT is a logical necessity but I see no evidence of it.
    I'll ask again: why can reality not contain within it all that is necessary to achieve what you claim the UBT offers?
    Then I would suggest you are being inconsistent.
    If reality is everywhere self-aware then surely your response should be that the p-zombie IS self-aware, not that it is distinct from reality?
    After all, the p-zombie acts/reacts - I.e. Processes information, and thus, per you, is self-aware, albeit at a stratified level.
    No offence, but you are coming across as paranoid.
  22. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

    So reality is actualized potential due to being pre-existent in a deterministic sense where each potential gets actualized within a different universe? Where UBT can be considered the actualized future of a potential determined by the past? Hence choice and uncertainty exist?
  23. cdipoce Registered Member

    True. Where zero information corresponds to "nothing", then UBT could be deemed as "nothing". The only problem is that, somewhat ironically, "nothing" is a loaded term in the vernacular and so I hesitate to call it "nothingness" from the outset.

    Because UBT is infinite potential (your question restricts "potential" only to that potential which is actualized at some point), i.e., it 'includes' potential which will never be actualized.

    In the CTMU, the system is atemporal from a global perspective, but not from our localized view (i.e., our mental categories).

    We are perceiving reality and this implies (not straightforwardly, mind you) UBT (for reasons cited above and below).

    So how could it then fall outside of any theory of reality? A theory (a consistent one, at least) is a collection of sentences formulated within a specified language that describes its universe (our coherent reality, in this case). A theory either explicitly or implicitly containing a sentence of the form "A and ~A" is inconsistent and thus empty (it has no interpretation in our coherent reality), which means it wouldn't really be much of a theory at all, let alone one of reality. A theory implicitly requires UBT, however, to be consistent since consistency is defined by absence of contradiction and so without a meaningful notion of contradiction (which would be the case if logic were indistinguishable from non-logic) theorization is an impossibility.

    But you haven't established that UBT is disallowed by the 'manner of regression' in the way that an 'uncaused cause' (identified with God) is in the cosmological argument (and you couldn't establish it either). Where 'X must be caused by some Y distinct from X' is one of the very premises of the cosmological argument (at least in standard formulations of it) which ends up being contradicted by its conclusion, no such counterpart exists in the syndiffeonic regression (the assumption that "one requires differentiation" was shoehorned in there by you). You've simply assumed that special pleading is present in both cases by a specious isomorphic relationship between the two regressions (that's what makes it sloppy). So it remains a false analogy motivated by superficial similarities.

    But even in the absence of a coherent argument, I'll add that in order to make any distinction one must appeal to (binary) logic (i.e., you require syntax to beget discernible structures). What distinctions can you make in a medium 'containing' both logic and non-logic (i.e., without syntactic integrity holding it all together)? If you follow this, then it's clear that UBT is undifferentiated.

    If we let A represent some part of reality then ~A cannot be part of reality and so ~A is part of non-reality. So the distinction is inherent to the fact that reality can be perceived, but also inherent to this is the entailment of a non-reality (and thus UBT).

    Why is it a logical necessity? If there is no medium to 'hold' both logic and non-logic, then logic itself has no coherent identity as it tantamount to logic having no negation of itself (i.e., paradox) by which it can distinguish itself. And no logic means no (perceptual) reality.

    Reality possesses qualia and p-zombies do not. Thus they are distinct. How's that inconsistent? You simply tripped up by conflating two separate points (if it truly was an unintentional gaffe) and are now accusing me of making the claim that p-zombies are not self-aware whatsoever (i.e., corresponding to no sense/stratum of the term "self-awareness") in order to save face (my response should have been "a p-zombie is self-aware in a sense" had your question been "is a p-zombie self-aware?", but it wasn't and it's dishonest to pretend otherwise).

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