Reality

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Spellbound, May 25, 2015.

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  1. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Paul Zielinski comments on Chris Langan's CTMU (9/5/14)........

    Having carefully reviewed Chris Langan's CTMU synopsis (annotated copy attached), with a sympathetic and open minded attitude, here is my overall take on the contents.
    What is the general approach taken by the CTMU? Essentially, using what appear to be Kantian methods of abstraction from existing knowledge, the CTMU attempts to revive what amounts to a hybrid of logicism and formalism in the traditional foundations of mathematics, claiming to be able to derive set theory (and therefore the whole of mathematics) entirely from logical tautologies. It then expands the scope of this hybrid logicist/formalist thesis to the entire framework of objective reality (arrived at by what the CTMU calls the "scientific method"), by "syntactical" rules of inference that are abstracted from certain accepted scientific theories (as specifically interpreted by J. A. Wheeler). It is then simply asserted without any proof based on computational-linguistic considerations that a set of syntactical rules can be found from which the whole of objective reality, interpreted according to Wheeler's principles, can be developed as a "grammar of reality" with the aid of a self-generating, self-reflecting syntactical machine, the so-called "SCSPL". The "SCSPL" comprises the basic syntax of reality augmented by a "supertautological structure", which latter dynamically and reflexively unfolds the truth content of set of fundamental absolute truths (logical axioms) in the form of logical tautologies, so as to optimize something called "general utility" in an inherently teleological manner. This leads to a purely syntactical definition of cognitive reality in which the world essentially designs itself, and in which intelligence unfolds in an autonomous goal-oriented process of cosmic evolution by self-selection.


    http://best-possible.wikia.com/wiki/PZ_comments_on_Langan's_CTMU

    The SCSPL syntactical machine is not incompatible with reality otherwise Langan would not have included it in his model.
     
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  3. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Rather than using Langan's CTMU all the time in these 'reality' threads, you might instead link to something like this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Un...the_Natural_Sciences#Max_Tegmark.27s_response

    CTMU itself is a response to this idea, which probably does deserve more philosophical scrutiny.

    Some forums actually complain when there is too much activity related to such CTMU philosophy threads. I like that you have pared the idea down somewhat in the title this time. If serious discussion of the nature of reality vs cognition were going to catch on, I would think it would already have happened.
     
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  5. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. The CTMU is a significant theory.
     
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  7. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    This leads to a purely syntactical definition of cognitive reality in which the world essentially designs itself, and in which intelligence unfolds in an autonomous goal-oriented process of cosmic evolution by self-selection.

    Reality.
     
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  8. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    It's not even a hypothesis, it's just pseudoscience.
     
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  9. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Actually it is fully coming out of the woodwork. Further verifications of the CTMU have been recently discovered to be real.

    Predictions made by the CTMU:
    1. The apparent accelerating expansion of the universe (confirmed)
    2. The existence of the Planck Length (confirmed)
    3. Quantum Uncertainty (confirmed)...
    4. Retrocausation (confirmed)
    5. General Relativity (confirmed)
    6. The finite and fixed speed of light (confirmed)
    7. Quantum Entanglement (confirmed)
    8. Wave-Particle Duality (confirmed)
    9. The quantum observer effect (confirmed)
     
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  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    It's crank philosophy in my opinion, with a hint of psychiatric illness thrown in.

    I'm not interested.
     
  11. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    It's philosophy. You may remember that it was Popper (a philosopher) who today is the only individual credited with a definitive demarcation of science vs pseudoscience.
     
  12. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Let me understand this. Your claim is that CTMU has validated all of the above?

    Did you know that late last year, Cannadian physicists verified that wave particle duality was another way of stating the uncertainty principle? So #3 and #8 are equivalent.

    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-quantum-physics-complicated.html
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  13. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Has CTMU been used successfully to BUILD any knowledge base from scratch? Could we use it to, say, demarcate philosophy from pseudo-philosophy?
     
  14. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Indeed. But I do not know the specifics of its influence in certain areas and I hesitate to delve into things of which I have no expertise. I do know however that it has much to say about Philosophy and artificial intelligence. For instance, the CTMU defines evil as a divergence from the universe's benevolent self-designing tendency. This refers to the invisible reality of consciousness and mental programming.

    Here is an example of a more detailed discussion from another forum:

    "As for time traveling, there's really no reason why that's preferable to preventing the evil in the first place, and I don't see an explanation for why that's the most reasonable conclusion when one sees evil. It seems off to me that a deity that is omniscient would allow said evil in the first place, and if he did, even if it's just in an alternate timeline, it shows a lack of benevolence on his part."

    CTMU: "For essentially logical reasons, reality incorporates variously-bounded levels of freedom. Accordingly, bad things can happen, even to good people...This amounts to self-generative freedom, hologically providing reality with a "self-simulative scratchpad" on which to compare the aggregate utility of multiple self-configurations for self-optimization purposes."

    http://www.debate.org/debates/God-is-real/25/comments/3/
     
  15. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    I did not see in your list of things predicted by CTMU:

    10) time travel
    11) existence of a deity
    12) alternate timelines (parallel universes or a multiverse)

    Or did I miss something?

    Nor was there a definition of good vs. evil, nor of any other absolutes, such as truth. Omission of these is one reason I do not generally discuss philosophy. It makes a big deal about defining terms except for these, without which, philosophy is pretty much useless.
     
  16. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    I see Chris has addressed (copyright 1998-2005) absolutes here:
    http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/OnAbsoluteTruth.html

    The reality is that there is no such thing as absolute truth, even in the mathematical sense, for the instant mathematical truth is converted into real world problems, the mathematical ideal everyone agrees on is lost.

    For example 2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples.

    Try it. All four of those apples will have different weights, sizes, and coloration, not to mention taste. Should a rotten apple be counted as an apple? Counting apples as units does not capture this, and this is only the beginning. How many different kinds of apples are there? Have the apples been treated with pesticides, or are they from GMO crops (in which case, some people would hesitate to even call them "apples"). What if you present this equation to something that counts in a smaller radix, like binary? How absolute a truth is that? Bean counting never captures the entire truth about anything, and this is pretty much all that mathematics can accomplish.

    And it doesn't even matter what concepts like truth you try to reconcile with the physical world, for truth is only a value. It is one thing about a situation that we tend to pay attention to, compared to dozens of others that we couldn't care less about, and which are ignored, even though they might also be the "truth". For humans, the truth about something is usually something that has a survival value associated with it, such as where to find apples.

    Good vs. Evil is something that is, like truth, is not absolute, but relative. Converting the most substantial amount of the biomass of the planet Earth into human beings is not a universal good, particularly for the sake of losing non-renewable resources and species. I'm not just talking about rain forests. Nor are factors which place limits on increasing populations of humans, such as war, plagues, and pestilence, necessarily evil because they accomplish this end in an unseemly manner. Good and evil, like truth, are only values.

    Care to argue about the reality of any of this? As far as I can see, CTMU largely ignores such weighty philosophy.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  17. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    I think that Flying Spaghetti Monsterism also "predicts" those things, too.
     
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  18. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Of course. Used his noodle, no doubt.
     
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  19. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Another name for absolute truth is absolute certainty or perfect truth. It cannot be defeated by anything. Evil is imperfect, this is why it is impermanent and therefore transient. But a reality nevertheless.

    A person may fail to notice the blurring of the lines between relative evil vs. relative good as opposed to absolute evil vs. absolute good. I am talking of the diabolical and the divine. Descartes talks about the evil genius who attempts to mask the truth in lies. Hence a person may fall for it by failing to notice the blurring of lines between lie and truth. Where at the absolute ends they exist in a more exemplified and obvious way. A statement or set of words may claim to be expressing truth, but only lie, and so clouding the mind of the reader unless the reader can see through it. Actions, just like words, are real, but more palpable and obvious, so the nature of its status as either good or evil can be pointed out more readily. The programming of the human mind using words may cause evil or good actions. Again, think of Descartes evil genius when considering how one can program a person's mind.
     
  20. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    As you seem unable to define your terms, they mean nothing we could agree on, evidently. There are no absolutes, other than a cognitive model which does not interest me, basically because I couldn't care less about what most others believe, nor how they came by believing it. This is prudent because there is always at least twice as much disinformation as there is actual informative content. And to this end, a certain amount of willful ignorance is still essential to intelligence. The internet has made this situation worse, but praise the Google anyway.

    If your plan is to model the universe, it's not a great idea to try and do so by putting together bits and scraps of what most other random people, especially those calling themselves philosophers believe. Collect your ideas from people who know their subject areas and have models that can enable you to do something, take you somewhere you've never been or explain something that is useful. This would exclude the work of most philosophers and almost the entire academic discipline known as philosophy. As far as I can tell, CTMU, like philosophy, is not about building a reliable model of much of anything and largely consists of self-referential, ambiguous and redundant content that has no value to anyone. It's the same old hat the likes of Aristotle wore, and it's worn very thin.

    This will be my final post to any thread that contains the word or refers to "Reality" that is started by Spellbound.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I think you need to differentiate between "predictions made by the CTMU" and "can be explained by the CTMU".
    There have, to date, been no actual predictions made by the CTMU. Predictions happen before the event, not after.
    No doubt the CTMU can explain these things in its own immutable tautological way, but that does not equate to prediction.
    Models also have to fit observations of what they are modelling. Therefore it is no surprise that it can explain those things that are already part of established science, because if it couldn't it wouldn't be a very good model.
    But models also make actual predictions - they extrapolate to previously unobserved conditions to arrive at a falsifiable claim.
    The CTMU does not do this but rather takes observations after-the-event and says "yup - this is allowed within my model". Which isn't surprising if, as many feel, the CTMU is ultimately merely a tautology that says "reality is what is... and if it is then it is reality". Thus anything that is can fit this model - since anything that is, is by definition, reality.

    So they are not "verifications of the CTMU" - any more than they are verifications of "God did it" as an explanation.
     
  22. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    It is then simply asserted without any proof based on computational-linguistic considerations that a set of syntactical rules can be found from which the whole of objective reality, interpreted according to Wheeler's principles, can be developed as a "grammar of reality" with the aid of a self-generating, self-reflecting syntactical machine, the so-called "SCSPL".

    http://best-possible.wikia.com/wiki/PZ_comments_on_Langan's_CTMU

    Reality is standard.
     
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  23. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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