We need more discussion of Tegmark's mathematical universe hypothesis

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by James R, Nov 18, 2023.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Ah, we are speaking from different perspectives.
    I did not say that it is not complicated in physical expression, enormous by its sheer size alone. How many atoms are there in the universe?
    Are we a multiverse?

    In a mathematical universe, the individual mathematical relational processes are not inherently complicated. And that is why it works!
    Natural selection at its most fundamental level. The quantum collapse of superposed potentials in a dynamic environment.

    Are galaxies a product of thought or mathematics?
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Nothing you have posted here has any bearing on the notion of "mathematical object" that James R mentioned. He said "DNA is not a 'mathematical object'". This, I'm presuming given the context and the thread title, is in reference to what Tegmark argues for - the "everything is a mathematical structure" idea.
    There are three options here:
    1. You didn't understand that what James R was referencing was what Tegmark argues for, and took what James R to mean as being along the lines of "behaves according to mathematics", despite this being a discussion about Tegmark's MUH
    2. You don't understand what Tegmark means by a "mathematical object", and take it to mean as being along the lines of "behaves according to mathematics"
    3. You did understand both what James R refers, and what Tegmark means, but wilfully chose to ignore them.
    If there are other options, apologies for omitting them.
    And if I ironically misunderstood what James R was referring to, then again apologies.

    Needless to say, what you posted is just more pretty much irrelevant stuff about things behaving in a mathematical manner. None of which is disputed. Did James R mean that DNA does not behave in a manner that could be modelled by mathematics, for example? No. He said that it was not a "mathematical object", which in context is referencing Tegmark's notion that it is nothing but mathematics. I.e. no underlying fundamental physical stuff - just mathematics. You seem to be omitting any comprehension that this is what Tegmark's MUH argues for (if indeed it actually argues for it, or after a point just asserts it?).

    Is any of this sinking in?

    The problem with you, Write4U - and excuse me while I go ad hominem, but it is relevant to this discussion as here we are in part discussing whether you should be allowed to discuss MUH in any official thread for such, so you as a person is relevant - is that you have a pet idea, that everything is governed by / behaves according to mathematics. This in itself is absolutely fine. It is also, I wager, something that is not disputed at all by anyone here, and probably not by any scientist - the laws of physics suggest that the universe is mathematical in nature. It is, in essence, a rather trivial idea, a given, if you will. Axiomatic, perhaps. And while you holding this idea is not a problem, your trying to turn every thread toward that idea is. Because ultimately it just isn't relevant. You pointing at things and going "Ooh, look! Maths at work! Told you!" is, while technically true, generally not relevant to the thread in question.
    This is then compounded with your fixation on the MUH, something you clearly do not comprehend, at least not in terms of what separates it from your own idea. You don't seem to grasp that Tegmark goes further than your idea to assert/argue that everything is a mathematical object / structure. It is that jump that is key. Not the "everything behaves according to maths" idea that you keep pushing, and which is tiresome because it really is so trivial - at least to science. Yet you keep pushing Tegmark's name as if what you are pushing for is what Tegmark pushes for. It isn't. And this discussion is regarding what Tegmark pushes for. You don't seem to comprehend what Tegmark is pushing for, as all you see is "everything behaves according to maths!".
    And, no, posting videos of Tegmark or others showing that they comprehend what he's talking about does not mean that you comprehend.

    So, please, no more demonstration that you don't comprehend what you're pushing, and no more pushing that which you don't comprehend. Please.
    Pinball1970 likes this.
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  5. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    From the PDF that Yazata posted a link to: https://arxiv.org/pdf/0704.0646/

    This makes no sense to me. I don't have a clue as to what this means. How can our external reality BE mathematics?
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Well now, we have come a long way from Tegmark is a charlatan.

    And my proposition (in agreement with Tegmark) is true then, no?
    Why do you see the need for ad hominem when I was never wrong in PRINCIPLE?

    And DNA is a pattern and therefore a mathematical structure. Moreover , the coding is a mathematical pattern in essence.
    You say I cannot speak knowledgeably about the actual physics, but then you agree with me that in principle the universe is mathematical in essence.

    I told you a long time ago, that I don't need to know the actual physics in order to understand that its all mathematical.

    I could rag on you for not being a knowledgeable psychologist, yet you see fit to label me mentally incompetent without scientific knowledge of the mind.

    Are you a psychologist qualified to judge my mental capacity? What do you know about me ?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2023
  8. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    For the sweet love of Jesus let it go. Absolutely nothing you have posted has anything to do with Tegmark.
    "DNA is a mathematical object" is a totally meaningless statement wrt what we are discussing.
    Also is ISN'T a mathematical object, neither is a cell organelle or tissue or organ or population.
    It makes absolutely no sense to discuss it this way.
    We are going through his thesis which makes strong claims none of which mention DNA so just quit already.
    At least 3 posters have tried to explain this.
  9. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    The paper is outlining mathematical foundations but I am yet to get the part where a square root can be found in the universe.
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Convert everything into relational values interacting via generic mathematical principles.
  11. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I have never said that Tegmark is a charlatan. You do know that posters here are not sockpuppets of a single person, right? If James R has referred to Tegmark as a charlatan, that is for you to raise with James R.
    Furthermore, while every scientist will agree that the universe is mathematical in nature, very few would consider the universe, reality itself, to not just be mathematical in nature (i.e. maths describes the relationship between particles etc) but for reality itself to be a mathematical structure. Do you even comprehend the difference?
    Your proposition is in agreement with pretty much all scientists. I do not know of any that would dispute such a trivial and almost axiomatic (heck, if people want to tell me its axiomatic then, sure, why not!) proposition. You pulling Tegmark's name out as if you agree with him is ****ing nonsense. You agree with me, with James R, with your high school teacher, with every scientist working in science just as much as you agree with Tegmark in this regard.
    Do you not understand this?
    All scientists agree X.
    Scientist A agrees X but also argues for Y.
    You go out of your way, for whatever reason, to say that you agree with A that X.
    We then discuss what A says about Y, and you continue to bleat on about X, saying that you're somehow vindicated because [insert example of X], and thus your agreement with scientist A, your constant referencing of scientist A, is somehow acceptable... ignoring the fact that you seem to know naff-all about what he is saying about Y, for which this specific thread is purposed.
    The fact that you asked this question answers it as well. The principle you are claiming to be correct about is a triviality. You're bleating on about that which (I'm reasonably sure) every scientist accepts without question. And yet you make such a song and dance about it. If this is the "common denominator" you're constantly looking for then you're late to the party. This is now a given. Move on. We're discussing other issues.
    NO! A pattern does not equate to a "mathematical structure". You really do need to understand that Tegmarks "mathematical structure" isn't just about the relationship between constituent physical elements, but is the physical elements as well. You haven't progressed your thinking beyond the maths simply being descriptive of the relationships. Yet you reference / follow / worship someone who, in context, only has importance for equating the maths to the reality itself. Maths is not just relational but the actual. According to the MUH there is no separate matter - just maths.

    This is why the ad hominem is relevant to this discussion - because you throw Tegmark's name around as if he is arguing your case, or as if he supports your arguments in some intellectual way.
    Let me put it another way:
    Let's assume that all humans think we are more intelligent than dogs.
    And let's say that Darwin came up with the idea of natural selection - hotly disputed at the time.
    This whole thing between you and Tegmark is like saying that you agree with Darwin, and like you throwing Darwin's name around as if what you are proposing is only accepted by such rarefied intelligences as Darwin. Yet all you're arguing for is that humans are more intelligent than dogs. It's a given. You throwing Darwin's name around is... well, I'm not sure of the pyschological explanation. It's like you're trying to link yourself to their intelligence because you agree with something that everyone agrees with.
    I say that you are not speaking knowledgeably about what Tegmark is arguing for. Hint: he is not arguing for the universe being mathematical in nature (i.e. that all physical matter behaves according to mathematical laws). He is arguing for something beyond that. And that is the difference.
    There is a difference between "all is mathematical" in as much as all physical matter interacts according to laws that are mathematical (which every scientist - someone correct me if I'm wrong - treats as axiomatic / a given, and "all is mathematical" in the sense that Tegmark uses it that even "physical matter" is nothing but a mathematical structure. I.e. there is no distinction between mathematical struture and the physical. They are one and the same (or at least that's the gist in simplistic terms). You really do seem to fail to grasp this distinction.
    You could rag on me for that, yet you don't know my profession, qualifications, education etc. Just so you know: I couldn't care less what education/profession/qualifications other people have. That is utterly irrelevant to what they have written in this forum, and the arguments they have made on a subject.
    Furthermore, I have not labelled you "incompetent". Ignorant, perhaps, but then that is just a function of what we know. We are all ignorant to some significant degree or other.
    Whether I am a qualified psychologist or not, I am merely responding to what I read before me, and trying to help you understand your obvious shortcomings comprehending that what you post is not relevant to this, or many other, threads. As to why you post such irrelevant material, no, I am not going there. I am not responding to you as a qualified psychologist, only as someone who would rather you stop posting such irrelevancies. But your inability to seem to comprehend that what you post is too often irrelevant is somewhat telling with regard your mental capacity, sure.
    Pinball1970 likes this.
  13. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Word salad.
    Pinball1970 likes this.
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    And there it is.
    Anthropomorphizing. That is like saying a duck doesn't lay golden eggs, therefore ducks don't lay eggs.

    That is human theoretical invention
    . The universe does not need to do square roots to function mathematically.
    What do you think?
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I did not say that you called Tegmark a charlatan. I was a general remark. I'm sure James got the message.
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Yes, I do.
    But do you see your contradiction?
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    What do you think it means.
    relational = concerning the way in which two or more things are connected.
    values = let K be a physical constant.
    The value of K is defined as the number of units of the specific physical quantity that go to make up K
    generic = relating to, or noting a genus, class, group, or kind; not specific; general.
    mathematical= relating to, or according with mathematics. 2. a. : rigorously exact : precise.
    principles = the foundation for a system of beliefs or behavior or a chain of reasoning.

    Make a well-balanced word salad and add a dressing, you get a gourmet dish.
    btw, "word -salad" = a mathematical object.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2023
  18. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    I am now ignoring Write4u. So banning is not necessary for me at least.
    Contributions to Tegmark have been zero.
  19. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Really? What's it's value?
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    What you are missing is that I do not deal with detail or even in fractured science. I try to imagine a single principle that explains the observed regularities, constants that are axiomatic by general consensus, but are not invented or created.

    IMO, Universal constants are by definition mathematical in essence. "Gravity" is a mathematical geometric object. A "Fractal" is a mathematical object. A "Quantum" is a mathematical object.

    OK, my question is: What else is required than the laws that govern our reality? The logical tendency for balance and rest in a dynamic environment. Ironically, the pendulum of a clock proves the mathematical nature of "everything" in the universe.

    Mathematics does NOT need a "mathematician" to guide the process of self-organization into regular patterns.
    I believe Tegmark is trying to figure out the potential consequences of unleashing AI into human society.

    p.s. A CPA Degree takes a 6-year course, a Doctorate.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2023
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    How many equations do you want?

    If you had read my posts you would have seen that according to Tegmark a word-salad is a mathematical object, an arrangement of physically values into a "composite" sum (pattern) of quarks and atoms, with an emergent value of offering satisfaction, a mathematical homeostatic function, in the person consuming the salad..

    Cause and Effect is a function of Mathematics, or is Mathematics a function of Cause and Effect? I'm not sure. Does it matter?
    5 Cause and Effect Examples and Explanations - Mashup Math
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2023
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Sorry, but it's clear to me, and to most who have followed your involvement in this thread, that you don't.
    Care to point out what you see as my contradiction? Or am I to just guess what it is? Or just accept that there is one because you say so??
    And in so doing you miss two rather important things:
    1. that the general single principle that you are fixated on is one that is, as I have suggested, axiomatic among scientists
    2. that the general principle that you are fixated on is NOT what Tegmark is arguing for in his MUH. His MUH goes so far beyond that. But you are stuck talking about what is, in essence, irrelevant to the discussion because it is a given.
    Irrelevant to the discussion.
    Do you see any difference between the following:
    A: physical particles obeying laws that can be expressed mathematically
    B: physical particles a mathematical structure - i.e. that physical matter is nothing but maths - no fundamental particle / stuff but just mathematics

    Feel free to explain what you see as the difference, or to say that there is no difference if you see none.
    Correct. But irrelevant.
    He might well be, but that would be an entirely separate discussion, and certainly irrelevant here.
    Apologies, I'm not sure what this is in reference to? Is this you stating your academic qualification? If so, so what? Does that mean we should accept by default that you understand Tegmark? That you are not simply being irrelevant in this discussion? That you are somehow to be considered as or more intelligent than others here? Sorry, but I'm at a loss as to what you're trying to say? Also be aware that a 6-year degree course is not a doctorate. I'm assuming that the 6-years includes the time needed to get a degree, and then a further number of years to qualify as a CPA, upon which you get a professional qualification? If so then note that this qualification is not a doctorate. It is no where near being the standard required for a doctorate. It doesn't mean you are in any way scientific, rather likely just numerate. It means you know double-entry bookkeeping, how to form a set of accounts (balance sheet, profit & loss - or I&E, depending on what you want to call it - and cash flow), probably how to work out some variance analysis, and understand a bit of tax legislation, all so you don't sound stupid when being charged out at vast sums to offer advice to a partner's client.
    Shock news: here it is irrelevant. It does not mean you understand Tegmark. Or even the physics, maths, philosophy, whatever, that he uses in his arguments.

    Look, the basic situation is this:
    ALL scientists agree the universe is mathematical in nature - i.e. that physical matter interacts according to physical laws, laws which are mathematical. It is so widely accepted as to be a given. It is trivial. Axiomatic, even.
    As such noone states the trivial and tries to pass it off as some great revelation. It isn't. For you it might be, and if that is the case then, sure, welcome to science, and good luck with catching up. What you're shouting about, and disrupting threads about, really is trivial. Yet you continue to disrupt threads with it. It's not really any different than if you posted in every thread about how language is important, and how everything we communicate is via language, and how the actual topic of the thread is really all about the language. The language issue (at that level) is trivial. And irrelevant to the actual subject of the thread. Yet you hark on about it again and again and again and...

    All we ask, Write4U, is that you post something relevant to the subject matter you keep referencing. To do that, though, you need to understand what it is you're referencing. And to date you have shown no sign of that.
    Pinball1970 likes this.
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    So, here we are again, a week after I posted posts #151 and #152, which you almost entirely ignored. What have you done in this thread in the past week? You have merely confirmed for your readers once again that you don't understand the very topic of discussion that you tried to raise - namely, Tegmark's MUH.

    Your posts have been full of the usual irrelevancies, and you've been piling on the word salad.

    As I said before, I have to assume that, at this stage in these discussions, you're just posting any old thing, in the hope of keeping the discussion going and having people think that your views on the topic are somehow educated and relevant. Half the time, I get the impression that you don't even care whether your posts make any sense at all. That's especially true when you just string words together in a semi-random way and try to pretend that they mean something technical.

    I'll go through your latest posts just for shits and giggles. It's a rainy Saturday night where I am and it passes the time, so what the heck.
    On what basis do I make the argument that DNA is not a mathematical object? I make it on the basis that DNA is a molecule, and molecules are not mathematical objects, like I told you before.

    To be clear: I don't believe that anything made of matter is a "mathematical object". Therefore, molecules aren't mathematical objects. Planets aren't mathematical objects. You aren't a mathematical object. And so on and so forth.

    You have not yet, to my knowledge, even attempted to construct an argument for why I ought to believe that something made of matter is a "mathematical object", in all of the time you have supposedly been wanting to support Tegmark's MUH. You haven't given me any argument in favour of the MUH - either from yourself or even from Tegmark. Yet, that doesn't stop you from repeating your claim ad nauseam, not to mention trying to inject it into every single thread you post on this board.

    Nothing in what you extracted from that article addresses your claim that DNA is a mathematical object. The article isn't even about that. You didn't understand what it's about, did you?
    Stop pretending that the random articles you hoover up from the interwebs can do your thinking for you. They cannot.
    Probably not. But you don't know what consciousness is, anyway. That's just another red-herring attempt at distraction, from you.
    You need to get to first base. Show how thinking is a mathematical process. Then we can discuss your nextt question.

    Meanwhile, I am of the opinion that my physical brain is what processes my thinking. If you can show that's wrong, I will happily change my thinking.
    Did I not address this in post #151, just a little up from here?

    Do you think I'm stupid? Do you think all your readers here are stupid? Do you really think that the people here are having problems understanding where you're coming from? Do you believe that your thinking and analysis (?) on this topic is so advanced that it means that most of the time you're just operating on a far more advanced level than myself and your other readers here? That the problem, therefore, is that you constantly need to talk down to us, to try to bring us all up to speed on where you're coming from?

    Failing to grasp where you're coming from is not the problem here, Write4U. I understand that just fine, I assure you. Where you're coming from is a place of almost complete ignorance about the subject you say you want to discuss. That is continually evidenced by your posts on (and, more often, off) the topic.
    I'm sure that Tegmark will be pleased to hear from you that his mathematical universe is not inherently complicated, and that it doesn't need square roots.

    It's a wonder that you were able to deduce these things - somehow! - while also proclaiming that you don't need to actually understand any mathematics.
    Your second sentence does not describe natural selection, or anything to do with it. Moreover, "superposed potentials" are not something that "collapses" in quantum mechanics.

    You should stop just making stuff up when you're not sure of yourself and want to try to appear clever.
    Have the words "Tegmark is a charlatan" appeared in anybody's post on this forum, other than yours? Who here do you think has claimed that Tegmark is a charlatan?

    Being wrong is not equivalent to being a charlatan. Is that another word whose meaning you don't understand?
    No. DNA is not a pattern.

    The tiles on your bathroom wall are not a pattern. A watch is not a pattern. You are not a pattern. Nothing that is made of matter is a pattern.
    The coding? Well, this sort of thing is a sort of pattern, I guess: "attggtta". But that's not DNA.
    I will address this in a separate reply - not directed to you. I think that, even after all this time, you have no idea what I actually think about such matters.
    It isn't all mathematical. You might like to consider why "physics" and "mathematics" are two different fields of study in a university. If physics was maths, and vice versa, there'd be no reason to distinguish the two. Universities tend to have separate departments for Mathematics and Physics. Do you have any thoughts at all on why that is?
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2023

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