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Sunday, February 16, 2014

If Pythagoras had not lived, or if his work had been destroyed, someone else eventually would have discovered the same Pythagorean theorem. Moreover, this theorem means the same thing to everyone today as it meant 2,500 years ago, and will mean the same thing to everyone a thousand years from now -- no matter what advances occur in technology or what new evidence emerges. Mathematical knowledge is unlike any other knowledge. Its truths are objective, necessary and timeless.

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Corky

 

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What kinds of things are mathematical entities and theorems, that they are knowable in this way? Do they exist somewhere, a set of immaterial objects in the enchanted gardens of the Platonic world, waiting to be discovered? Or are they mere creations of the human mind?

But one fanciful possibility is that we live in a computer simulation based on the laws of mathematics -- not in what we commonly take to be the real world. According to this theory, some highly advanced computer programmer of the future has devised this simulation, and we are unknowingly part of it. Thus when we discover a mathematical truth, we are simply discovering aspects of the code that the programmer used.

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"What kinds of things are mathematical entities and theorems, that they are knowable in this way? Do they exist somewhere, a set of immaterial objects in the enchanted gardens of the Platonic world, waiting to be discovered? Or are they mere creations of the human mind?

This question has divided thinkers for centuries. It seems spooky to suggest that mathematical entities actually exist in and of themselves. But if math is only a product of the human imagination, how do we all end up agreeing on exactly the same math? Some might argue that mathematical entities are like chess pieces, elaborate fictions in a game invented by humans.

But unlike chess, mathematics is indispensable to scientific theories describing our universe. And yet there are many mathematical concepts -- from esoteric numerical systems to infinite-dimensional spaces -- that we don't currently find in the world around us. In what sense do they exist?

We don't know. But one fanciful possibility is that we live in a computer simulation based on the laws of mathematics -- not in what we commonly take to be the real world.

According to this theory, some highly advanced computer programmer of the future has devised this simulation, and we are unknowingly part of it. Thus when we discover a mathematical truth, we are simply discovering aspects of the code that the programmer used."

A future programmer having created a computer simulation, fanciful as that might be, does solve the conundrum described.... as would an ancient "programmer".

Mathematics, DNA, the BBT... all too elegant for happenstance out of chaos, which is why we get theories like this one about the universe being a computer simulation.

And why scientists were at first appalled by the BBT with it's near instantaneous existence out of nothing.

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-16 11:50 AM | Reply | Flag:

Of course, the simulation argument then leaves one asking the usual litany of questions about it. Is someone simulating the simulator? Where did they come from? At what point did it all begin? As a theory, it's interesting. Could even play into the concept that we're all information on the horizon of the universe and explain non-locality. At the same time - maths are already inherently literally metaphysical, as in meta physical, but this seems like taking that too far and implying meaning to mere observation.

#2 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-02-16 01:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

- implying meaning to mere observation.

In the quantum world, we know observation can affect reality.

And if we believe Hawking et al, then the same effect is possible in throughout the physical universe.

#3 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-16 01:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

In the quantum world, we know observation can affect reality.

#3 | POSTED BY CORKY AT 2014-02-16 01:20 PM | FLAG: Failed quantum mechanics.

How 1928 of you, clueless.

#4 | Posted by Zatoichi at 2014-02-16 01:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

"You simply include the observer in the wave function."
~Weinberg

lol

#5 | Posted by Zatoichi at 2014-02-16 01:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

Quantum Theory Demonstrated: Observation Affects Reality

www.sciencedaily.com

www.google.com

Have another belt of whatever you are guzzling, blind man.

#6 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-16 01:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

Chrome - Artificial Human

#7 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2014-02-16 02:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

Introduction to Philosophical Logic/Arguments

en.wikibooks.org

for beginners

#9 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-16 06:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

Maybe God see's us like characters in a video game.

#10 | Posted by Tor at 2014-02-16 07:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

#8 | POSTED BY CENSORED AT 2014-02-16 06:42 PM | FLAG: As they said of Bush: incurious.

When we're at the level of science of trying to ultimately understand the nature of our universe, it's not just philosophy anymore. Not anymore at least, than to call something like "is light emitted over a continuous band, or in quantum packets?" mere philosophy. As that was followed by developing a laser. Which can be used, among other things, to quickly read data, and gave us CD's, DVD's, and the disk drive likely in the computer you wrote that from. Understanding leads to use and development, greater ability to harness the natural world. Your comment makes me think of people authoritatively announcing no one would ever make a heavier than air flying vehicle.

#11 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-02-16 07:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

#11 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-02-16 07:05 PM |

Look, it's old hat. I understand that scientists are still working out how to exploit such theories, but I've moved on to more pressing matters like figuring out where all the dust bunnies under my bed come from (all I've got so far is that they seem to grow at an exponential rate).

#12 | Posted by censored at 2014-02-16 07:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

I say the opposite. Mathematics is a set of models, perfect within their bounded assumptions. Eventually, every mathematical system man has discovered or invented (you choose) has been found to have predictive value somewhere on some scale in the universe. But whether by paper and pencil or computer simulation the model is not reality. It is a very useful predictive tool. It has allowed the Dutch to tame the Atlantic, us to go to the moon, Apple to build the I-Pod and GM to build cars. On and on it goes, without mathematics everything in the real world falls apart. what we need more than anything are tested accurate economic models. This failure is causing endless needless human misery. It is an outcome deliberately engineered by the elite 1%. They do not want any realistic economic modeling, since it will cost them money.

#13 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-02-16 07:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

#12

Let me know when you figure out into which dimension goes one of every pair of socks.

#13

At least it's not a, "Conspiracy!".

#14 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-16 08:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

not in the sense that you're thinking of but yes it is.

#15 | Posted by pragmatous at 2014-02-16 09:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

corky,

Depends which "it' you're talking about. If the 1% don't conspire, nobody does.

#16 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-02-16 09:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

I doubt they conspire, actually. They don't need to, with such convergent interests.

#17 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-02-16 10:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

This is along the same lines of the philosophical idea that the universe only exists because you think it does, as in, does anything exist if you're not sensing it?

#18 | Posted by northguy3 at 2014-02-16 10:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

-I doubt they conspire, actually. They don't need to, with such convergent interests.

Bingo! The money system is so stacked their favor that they have no need to conspire... and conspiracies are, in general, best left to very small groups of experts, not 1 percent of the population, competing corporate interests, or lastly and always leastly, large bureaucratic governments.

#19 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-16 10:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

#18

Yeah, it's been around for some time.


www.simulation-argument.com

"The Simulation Argument is perhaps the first interesting argument for the existence of a Creator in 2000 years."

David Pearce (exaggerated compliment)

#20 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-16 10:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

So, God's a pimply-faced adolescent eating Doritos in his mom's basement? Excuse me while I break a few "commandments"

#21 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-02-16 10:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

Chances are its not some pimply faced kid but some incredibly high level artificial general intelligence.

#22 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-02-16 10:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

#21: when He runs the debugger, you're toast.

#23 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-02-16 10:55 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Purchase of Faith via Pascals Wager (a reitze statement)

#24 | Posted by reitze at 2014-02-16 11:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

"commandments"

Suggestions, lol.

BTW

David Pearce (exaggerated compliment)

en.wikipedia.org(philosopher)

Transhumanism

en.wikipedia.org

#25 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-16 11:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

#22 | POSTED BY RSTYBEACH11

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

-A.C. Clarke

#26 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-02-17 01:16 AM | Reply | Flag:

conspire
1. to agree together, especially secretly, to do something wrong,evil, or illegal.
2. to act or work together toward the same result or goal.

Whether the 1% have to conspire or not they do. What else are 20,000 DC lobbyists doing every day? Rewriting our tax code to provide a 15% tax on Capital gains required a conspiracy. Obamacare is a conspiracy engineered by the health insurance industry. Rioting in the Ukraine is a conspiracy by the State Department to destabilize that nation. The invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Gaddafi and other officials around the world, many elected Democratically, require conspiracies. Every elected official in this country needs a team of conspirators to get elected. In "I Claudius" we see an example of a powerful mother who conspires to seat her son as Emperor of Rome by poisoning everyone else. The 1% have almost nothing else to do. They certainly don't have any time to actually work, that's what all the minions are for.

#27 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-02-17 07:45 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 4

Sorry cork. Zat is correct.

en.wikipedia.org(physics)

Observing affects reality because we are physically altering it in the way we observe.

Photons affect electrons. Or in order to "see" something we have to do it indirectly by making that particle slam into something and measuring the vibrations.

#28 | Posted by klifferd at 2014-02-17 09:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

Sorry, Kliff, I think not.

www.americanscientist.org

#29 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-17 10:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

The answer is 42, lets hope the world isn't destroyed before the question is found...

#30 | Posted by boyracer_x at 2014-02-17 10:23 AM | Reply | Flag:

"So long, and thanks for all the fish."

#31 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-17 10:24 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 2

The invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Gaddafi and other officials around the world, many elected Democratically, require conspiracies.

In the sense that the existence of the American Empire is generally denied, while the British and French Empires were publicly celebrated, yes.

Otherwise, it has been official policy since the American Revolution.

#32 | Posted by northguy3 at 2014-02-17 11:37 AM | Reply | Flag:

Photons affect electrons. Or in order to "see" something we have to do it indirectly by making that particle slam into something and measuring the vibrations.

#28 | POSTED BY KLIFFERD AT 2014-02-17 09:18 AM | FLAG:

That is the origin of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, yes. But measuring wave/particle duality and non-locality does get a lot weirder than that. You can entangle two electrons, send them in opposite directions, and get wavelike behavior out of both. Measure particle behavior on one and you will get it on the other though - even if you give the measured one a longer path, meaning you measured it after the other had quit traveling and lost coherence. Meaning that non-locality is in time as well as space.

It doesn't mean anything magical, or prove God is hiding somewhere in between the waves and particles, but it does show we fundamentally do not understand something about the very nature of the reality we reside in. Which is really fascinating and magical to me in its own right.

#33 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-02-17 12:24 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

If you believe in a Creator God then in essence you believe we are all in His Glorious Simulation.

#34 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-02-17 01:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

OR, are we all self-replicating "simulations" compiling our experience? Aren't humans in particular seem especially "designed" to design ai? Our limited senses and capacity to correlate specifically visual stimulation is unparallelled compared with all other life on this planet. We are completely different in this regard, even our close evolutionary cousin primates do not have anything like our capacity for input.

#35 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2014-02-17 05:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

An interesting thesis that reveals more about the relationship between math and science than anything else.

For the scientist the material world is the only real thing--math is the language to help us quantify it.

For the mathematicians (of the article) the only real thing is the math--the material world is a phantasm created by it.

Both math and science are epistomological tools. Unfortunately-- as the old saying goes--when the only tool you have in your box is a hammer, everything becomes a nail.

#36 | Posted by Grendel at 2014-02-17 08:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

#23 Funny

#37 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-02-17 11:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

"In the quantum world, we know observation can affect reality..."

Corky, not trying to argue but I thought this was applied to chaos theory not quantum theory. Or is it applied to both?

"The answer is 42, lets hope the world isn't destroyed before the question is found..."

BoyRacerX, the question has already been asked: Doctor Who?

#38 | Posted by Concrete_Blonde at 2014-02-18 04:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

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