• Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    Forgive me if I will, but I did start to skim at the point of quantum mechanics proofs. I see why you included them, and that is enough for me.Philosophim

    Yes, if I had not including them, my theory would have been completely indistinguishable from vapourware, and I would not have been able to detail it as much as I did, as requiring that the two ends meet entails the necessity of a certain rigour.

    2. Your idea of resolution is to treat knowledge not as a hard and fast map of "what is knowledge", but as a formula. You note that knowledge can change by the very definitions we establish, and the models that we use. The only way to accurately cover knowledge, is to incorporate them into a system of, lets call it "contexts". In a simple sense, the science of English and the science of Spainish are identical when translated.Philosophim

    Yes that is essentially correct. Adding the complete context to each truth, including all assumptions and logical rules of deduction that are utilized to prove it, negates the possibility of challenging said truth. One can challenge the context, but not that the context entails the true. In such case, that a given truth is (or isn't) entailed by a given context becomes a unit of knowledge.


    3. You go even further however. You note that due to different observers and models, observers and models might conclude results that are logical within their own model, but perhaps contradict in other models. For example, what is "heavy" for a person who weighs 100 pounds versus someone who lifts weights for a living and weighs 200 pounds are different, but consistently valid within their own models.Philosophim

    Yes, both definitions exists and can be integrated fully into a halting image. The appearance of a contradiction is because formal axiomatic representations are a poor construction to describe reality and they do not (normally) tolerate competing definitions within the same axiomatic basis. However, a halting image would support both definitions without problems:

    fn is_heavy(person: Person)->bool{
     if person.weight>=100{
      return true;
     }
     return false;
    }
    

    and

    fn is_heavy2(person: Person)->bool{
     if person.weight>=200{
      return true;
     }
     return false;
    }
    

    The scientific method can be applied to either definition to recursively enumerate all person who are heavy according to is_heavy, but also according to is_heavy2. You get one (different) set of person per definition. People are still free to argue which of the two definitions (if any) is correct, but the scientific method is powerless to help you with that determination.

    I think it is probably fair to see that the 'best' definition for a concept such has heaviness is an aesthetic, but that the set of all possible definitions of the concept is the subject of knowledge and the scientific method...

    4. A key with the current view of science is it has no means to handle the differences in 2 and 3. But if we view science as a formula of knowledge, one that consists of the entirety of observers and models, we can have co-existing conclusions in particular times. So for example in the early 1900's, the "accepted" view of physics might have been at odds with several other views of physics. But those other views of physics were part of the ongoing discoveries that lead to the views of physics today. And today there are plenty of other models and observers who have their own complete ideas of science that may or may not conflict with "accepted" science. This again leads credence to your idea that science and knowledge are a system, and not an answer.Philosophim

    Here I am not too sure I see where you are going, perhaps it is your choice of example. Let me make a few pointers and see if it clarifies anything. I am not really interested in using my methodology to eliminate conflict per se (if anything I have encountered more conflict than ever my suggesting any of this), although in time it could plausibly be a side-effect of my construction. My method is more Cartesian in nature; I am trying to find that which is indubitable, or as I say infallible, so that that I can used this structure to define the system the laws of physics operate on. Thus, eventually deriving the universe with logical certainty and ultimately explain why it exists even to the solipsist.

    Edit: Ah, I think I understand your point. Yes, I am not trying to find specific answers to specific scientific questions with my system; rather I am trying to correctly model science within mathematical space, so that it is equivalent how it is being done in nature. But, now done formally as opposed to naively. The system allows for competing views and theories. For example, the practice of science, as it currently stands, with all of its competing theories and contradictory hypothesis and assumptions, is a solution of the formal system (minus any non-formalizable concepts some may use).

    5. Now here is where I know I need your clarification (opposed to not knowing for the previous points). As observers are necessary within your model, you run into the problem of...something. To rectify this you propose a universal observer in a mathematical sense. Could you try to sum up what the problem was that made you feel the need to include a universal observer? Thanks!Philosophim

    Ah, what a question! I will assume that by universal observer you mean my concept of the singleton observer (which is as universal of an idea as they come).

    My system only needs a singleton observer, and would probably admit paradoxes if you were to postulate more than just one, or at least a myriad of difficulties. If you had more than one (by postulation), you would have to deal with some kind of observer signalling so that they remain in sync with respect to the available knowledge of the universe as it changes, you would have to embed them into the same manifest but at different point in space-time, so you need light-cone type of constructions and a notion of space-time, and further they have different sub-sets of knowledge just because their light cones do not necessarily match, right of the bat... it is a complete mess. It is the equivalent of having a pony shit all over a Picasso. That is not to say that you cannot have other observers... of course you can, but the other observers are found by inspecting the halting image and finding evidence for them. This is similar to how, according to Piaget and infant solipsism, a newborn baby eventually accepts evidence for the existence of others, by building up the evidence for it over time. The existence of others is not obtained via postulation, but as the result of scientific inquiry just like any other form of knowledge. Finally, I note that if I was the last person on Earth, I would still expect physical reality to be there and to still be bounded by the laws of physics... so my setup can need at most only one observer (by postulation) to derive the fundamental physics. The alternative is, if there was two guys left, but one them dies, then the universe collapses because it needs at least two observers... it would be a tough sale.

    The derivation from a singleton observer also allows me to increase the power of my claims quite substantially. For instance, there exists a myriad of philosophical framework which admits only the self (solipsism, Cartesian philosophy, etc). Having a singleton observer allows me to produce a derivation of all known physics acceptable to those frameworks as well, thus maximizing my scope. Finally, with a singleton observer I gain the claim of indubitability for my starting axiom, whereas if I were to have more than one observer, someone could always object by stating he or she doesn't believe in the existence of others therefore reject my argument.

    However, if you follow my prescription, you get all the signalling and the light cones, and space-time and all of quantum gravity for free; everything fits super nicely even with other evidence-derived (but not postulated) observer. The fact that other observers are evidence-derived is why they nicely fit into the structure automatically later on.
  • tim wood
    8.1k
    First, the simplest infallible statement.

    Let us define a program TM for a UTM:
    fn main() -> bool{
    return true;}

    Then, we define its input p=null (in this case the empty input). The pair (TM, p) halts on UTM, thus is an element of infallible knowledge.
    Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    Why do you come to an English language philosophy site and in response to a question write code? You do get it that whatever you do with a system, e.g., a machine and code, is infallible - whatever that is - within the constraints of that system.

    Why not try Godel's approach, this from his paper. "Before we go into details, let us first sketch the main ideas of the proof, naturally without making any claims to rigor." Which he does. Try it that way. Translate the thing into English so we can see an infallible statement. Two or three sentences at most? Nor do I know what an "element" of infallible knowledge is.
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    Why do you come to an English language philosophy site and in response to a question write code?tim wood

    :rofl: It doesn't make sense! :rofl:
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    You do get it that whatever you do with a system, e.g., a machine and code, is infallible - whatever that is - within the constraints of that system.tim wood

    Yes, I do get that; its precisely the reason I am using it, and not English. How is "of course it's infallible" a weakness? Anything infallible is infallible for a reason, so of course it is. If the main counter argument to my theory is "of course, its infallible, duh!" then I would say we did pretty good. If you gave you an arbitrarily complex program code, it wouldn't be so obvious anymore. Can you guarantee that the linux codebase always halt?

    Why do you come to an English language philosophy site and in response to a question write code?tim wood

    My goal is to describe reality correctly, and that is simply what it takes to do so.

    I could simply ask you, why not just do it with code? Its better in every way... It forces you to structure all thoughts in an infallible manner... you'd be mad not to use it.

    I will also point out that you demanded I produce an explicit infallible statement... knowing that it is a program before hand, then object on the grounds that I gave you a program. How do I know if I had given you an English statement, you would not have simply said that yet again I have refused to produce an explicit infallible statement... ?
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350


    If you claim that me bringing code to the argument entails infallibility because of course code is infallible, then you have just revealed to me your weakness and a guaranteed path to success... I'd be crazy not to bring only code after that reveal.
  • KaimBasha
    3
    My goal is to describe reality correctly, and that is simply what it takes to do so.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    The point is that you don't describe physical reality.
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    The point is that you don't describe physical reality.KaimBasha

    You really don't get it do you? :)

    I am constructing an agnostic basis and I derive physics from that neutral/agnostic basis, thus dissolving the paradox.

    I have outsmarted the problem to such a high degree even a statement of the solution flies in your faces! (no disrespect intended, I understand it is subtle...)

    Le me explain: If say, 40% of philosophers are idealist, and 60% are realist (or any other percentages), and after 2000 years they still argue because it is an open problem. How do you win? You create a basis agnostic to idealism-vs-realism, and show that it entails the universe via fundamental physics. Then you grab 100%. Case closed. With that said, do you seriously still think that saying "you don't described physical reality" is a valid objection?! I am describing reality, the whole of it including whatever you think is physical or mental, and anything else in between or even describable - and I do so agnostically.
  • tim wood
    8.1k
    From your replies to me and to others some things emerge as clear. First, that you're a smart guy. But not in this case to be confused with what you're claiming. And that because while you claim a system that can do everything, from your replies here it appears that it cannot do anything. And it does not help that you claim indifference to the possibility of possessing a proof with a million dollar prize attached, never mind benefits to humanity.

    As it happens, I do not "get" code. I am pretty good with English, and with respect to language, you're on my turf. Your example of code was short. I have no doubt it's translatable into English in a short paragraph, even with another short paragraph noting subtleties that might not be apparent. But you consistently - I am not aware of any exceptions - revert to obscurity and indecipherable language, as you have done with my request. Evading as you go movement towards clarity. .

    And so I wonder if you've got anything at all, and suspect you do not. Because you deal with infinities, likely any proof is non-constructive. And it seems to operate under a great if. Grant it and all else follows.

    in sum, we did not seek you out to speak to you, but you came to speak to us. Or so it seems. But you have not done it but have instead seemed to avoid it at every turn. Not a good look at all.

    Btw, if anyone else gets Mr. H-T's theory, please be kind enough to reply here. I accept correction if I can have some understanding of it.
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350


    Do you understand that a program that always return true, halts infallibly? No code here, just English. Do you accept that this is an example of an infallible statement, yes or no? I am not asking you if you think this is a useful thing to know or not, just if it is an infallible statement or not.
  • RogueAI
    845


    Let's get back to consciousness for a bit. What does your theory say about Mary's Room?
  • RogueAI
    845
    Agreed. A good theory should be able to give clear answers in jargon-free language.
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    Let's get back to consciousness for a bit. What does your theory say about Mary's Room?RogueAI

    It will state something along these lines: The singleton observer can experience colours (because I do), but the scientific method is unable to explain why. This is fine because the singleton observer is a more fundamental concept then both physics and science; hence why it entails them both while itself is entailed by neither. It is why it must be postulated, and not derived as a consequence of the laws of physics. Physics is entailed by the observer, not the other way around.
  • RogueAI
    845
    It will state something along these lines: The singleton observer can experience colours (because I do),but the scientific method is unable to explain why. This is fine because the singleton observer is a more fundamental concept then both physics and science; hence why it entails them both while it is been entailed by neither.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    Your theory might be infallible, but it never seems to say anything about anything!
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    Your theory might be infallible, but it never seems to say anything about anything!RogueAI

    It doesn't take a stand that will create a weakness for itself. It is unable to do so because reality doesn't have weaknesses, and my system is merely a correct description of reality. It does recover the theory of everything, and that is definitely something, and it does so precisely because it never deludes itself along the way.

    The main thing it says, is that if you use a singleton observer, and apply the prescription of the paper, you get the theory of everything along with a paradox-free interpretation of all of reality. I would think that this is 'something'.

    It just means that colours, as a qualia, are not part of the theory of everything in physics. (but photon wavelengths are). Essentially qualias "are" the observer; they are not entailed by it.
  • tim wood
    8.1k
    Do you understand that a program that always return true, halts infallibly? No code here, just English. To accept that this is an example of an infallible statement, yes or no?Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    Only if it's defined that way. And I suppose only if it's programmed that way. It leaves the question as to what the actual infallible statement being made here is. Is it that the program halts, when it halts, is an infallible statement? If that, then a fact - a statement that something that happened, happened. That may seem tautological, but because it is an historical statement, it isn't, and in any case as an historical statement is certainly not infallible.

    So under this lens, which is a pretty good lens so far, just what the infallible statement is, is not in focus.
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350


    That is a good point, which is why we get an observer in the first place. Which programs are or are not part of the halting image is information (Claude Shannon's definition / not the same as knowledge). This is the quantity that we maximize to obtain the laws of physics.

    The term infallible refers to the construction of the statements themselves, not to their membership to the halting image. Whereas information refers to their membership to it.

    The observer is 'basically' defined as the guy who knows this information.
  • tim wood
    8.1k
    I do not see where Shannon defined information. I see he is said to have defined quantity of information. I assume that means he was concerned with, in a text reading in part, "Six tasty fish..," not how many fish or how they might taste, but instead the "s" "i" "x" " " "t" "a" and so forth. That is, raw text and its representation (and how to represent it efficiently).

    So you want to maximize the number of programs you have that halt. The fact that they halt saying something, and the something said, because program execution can be thought of as recursive, said indubitably as in some way reflective of the input. Yes? No?

    Three problems so far:

    1) The number of possible programs is large
    2) Some arbitrary limit has to be set on execution time
    3) While a program may well halt, and that fact and the text that memorializes the halting may be in-themselves "infallible," what justifies supposing that what is said is "infallible."

    So far it appears that the programs that halt produce strings of text, some of which will be expressions of so-called physical laws. Who separates wheat from chaff, and on what standards? (Assuming the output is the product of value - if not, then what is?)
  • RogueAI
    845
    What does your theory say about which interpretation of QM is correct?

    ETA: I appreciate you putting your theory out there and talking about it.
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    So you want to maximize the number of programs you have that halt.tim wood

    That would be incorrect, as there are infinitely many program that halt (in principle), and also (in reality) the programs that have or haven't halted have done so irrespectively of whether I may feel more or less should have halted. I cannot maximize (or modify) the quantity of halted programs as it is part of the 'given' (intuitively, it represents the knowledge available in the universe instantaneously).

    What I wish to maximize is the quantity of information associated with the state of knowledge of the observer. The state of knowledge of the observer is a sub-tuple of the halting image. I do not maximize anything at the level of the full halting imagine itself, just the entropy of the pick of a sub-tuple from it.

    So far it appears that the programs that halt produce strings of text, some of which will be expressions of so-called physical laws. Who separates wheat from chaff, and on what standards? (Assuming the output is the product of value - if not, then what is?)tim wood

    It is not where the value is; the constraints entailed on a measure space by those definitions is the value, because it causes the probability measure to become the laws of physics.

    Let me try to give a more concrete example; Say the universe has 3 halted programs (p1,p2,p3). The observer' state of knowledge is p1. What you do then is you define a measure space over (p1,p2,p3). To do so you list all the possible sub-tuples of (p1,p2,p3). You get p1,p2,p3,(p1,p2),(p1,p3),(p2,p3),(p3,p1), (p2,p1), etc... Each of these tuples you then assign a probability between 0 and 1. The sum over all tuples must of course be equal to one. This is called a measure space over a halting space.

    The observer being a measure space simply means that the observer could have, in principle, measured any sub-tuple of knowledge, even if in reality he may have measured say p1. But how does one measures anything, if not by using measuring instruments to do so? One would thus expect that the observer to know p1 has to perform a sequence of measurements on (p1,p2,p3) to bring it to p1. But! We have just said that we recover everything from axiom 1... how can we talk about measuring instruments already? Thats the beauty of maximizing the entropy; it allows us to come at it from the other side without having to specify those instruments before hand. It allows us to recover, automatically, a model (in which the instrumentation is derived) that allows the observer to make the measurements that are necessary to produce the state of knowledge he has of the halting image. That instrument already has a name; it is called the observable universe and it is the unique measuring structure which holds for all possible tuples of knowledge and for that definition of the observer.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.1k
    For instance, one imagines alternative universes, and demands to know why they may or may not be real, thus creating paradoxes.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    They're not paradoxes, merely hypotheses. A paradox is a conclusion that contradicts the premise it derived from. The multiverse problem is merely that it cannot be experimentally verified (pending future indirect means of verification). So...

    All paradoxes are ultimately the consequence of describing reality slightly differently than what it is, because people seem unsatisfied with simply describing it.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    The role of physics isn't to record historic facts about experimental apparatus. That's history's job. The role is to predict _future_ experimental outcomes. Can your theory do this in principle?
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    A paradox is a conclusion that contradicts the premise it derived from.Kenosha Kid

    Well that is just a false statement, but let's not get pedantic.


    The role of physics isn't to record historic facts about experimental apparatus. That's history's job. The role is to predict _future_ experimental outcomes. Can your theory do this in principle?Kenosha Kid

    Of course it does, its the theory of everything; already recovers yang-mills and quantum gravity, and all the predictive power that this entails.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.1k
    Well that is just a false statement, but let's not get pedantic.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    No, let's!

    Of course it does, its the theory of everything; already recovers yang-mills and quantum gravity, and all the predictive power that this entails.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay

    Great, so design an experiment to test it and publish! Although (being pedantic), it "recovering" quantum gravity doesn't say anything about predicting future experimental outcomes. If it did, we would currently be able to test the quantum gravity it recovers.
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    Great, so design an experiment to test it and publish! Although (being pedantic), it "recovering" quantum gravity doesn't say anything about predicting future experimental outcomes. If it did, we would currently be able to test the quantum gravity it recovers.Kenosha Kid

    The last 12 pages of the paper are exactly that.
  • tim wood
    8.1k
    It is not where the value is; the constraints entailed on a measure space by those definitions is the value, because it causes the probability measure to become the laws of physics.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    This is not English.

    Let me try to give a more concrete example; Say the universe has 3 halted programs (p1,p2,p3). The observer's state of knowledge is p1. What you do then is you define a measure space over (p1,p2,p3).Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    How does an observer "define a measure space" over exactly something he does not know about?

    To do so you list all the possible sub-tuples of (p1,p2,p3). You get p1,p2,p3,(p1,p2),(p1,p3),(p2,p3),(p3,p1), (p2,p1), etc... Each of these tuples you then assign a probability between 0 and 1. The sum over all tuples must of course be equal to one. This is called a measure space over a halting space.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    Why must it sum to one? It seems to me that would be a matter of definition; that is, a matter of selection, and that possibly significant.

    Each of these tuples you then assign a probability between 0 and 1. The sum over all tuples must of course be equal to one. This is called a measure space over a halting space. The observer being a measure space simply means that the observer could have, in principle, measured any sub-tuple of knowledge, even if in reality he may have measured say p1.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    The measure space then not connected to that which is measured, except as that which was measured? Which means the quiddities of the thing measured are all about the one measuring - you get that, yes?

    One would thus expect that the observer to know p1 has to perform a sequence of measurements on (p1,p2,p3) to bring it to p1.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    Again how? This does not even make sense in respect of the above.

    That instrument already has a name; it is called the observable universe and it is the unique measuring structure which holds for all possible tuples of knowledge and for that definition of the observer.Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    Very fancy and clever. It would seem that all you done here is noted the possibility of a possible science of the universe, and confused that possibility of a possible science with a science itself.

    E.g., "Well, the universe contains all there is. We can know the universe; we can know all there is. The way to know all there is is by running a very large number of computer programs for a very long time, and we can be confident that of those that halt, among those will be the laws of the universe - all of them!" Is this about right? If it is I see some problems here.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.1k
    If you have a viable experimental test for a quantum gravity, why are you burying it in a vast (presumably rejected) philosophical exercise in an initio theory? Publish that bit!
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    If you have a viable experimental test for a quantum gravity, why are you burying it in a vast (presumably rejected) philosophical exercise in an initio theory? Publish that bit!Kenosha Kid

    I am only interested in a TOTAL solution to the problem of existence, which is FAR more significant that merely quantum gravity. Its a nice bonus however, to confirm that I am on the right track.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.1k
    You haven't confirmed you're on the right track. To do that, get your experimental design peer reviewed, published (it would end up in a top journal), and applied.
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    What do you think I'm having these conversations for... to sit on it and do nothing? It is to find bottlenecks in clarity, so that it can be improved to eventually be published. The requirement on clarity are proportional to the departure from standard intuition. My stuff is very counter-intuitive, thus requires significant back and forth to iron out all the bottlenecks.
  • Alexandre Harvey-Tremblay
    350
    When one requests a simplified sketch, it is usually customary to be more forgiving of the language and terms utilized, as they are often picked for pedagogical reason.

    How does an observer "define a measure space" over exactly something he does not know about?tim wood

    It's an axiom. We just define it. Before me, no body knew about it and they still lived. Hypothetically, you could disagree with the axiom by stating that you do not exists as an observer. We only have your word to go by anyhow, as we cannot verify the claim scientifically.

    Why must it sum to one? It seems to me that would be a matter of definition; that is, a matter of selection, and that possibly significant.tim wood

    We need information to describe the state of knowledge the observer has, because it is a sub-tuple of a larger tuple and not the full tuple itself; and from Claude Shannon we know that the quantity of information relates to a random selection of an element from a set. The sum to one requirement follow from this.


    E.g., "Well, the universe contains all there is. We can know the universe; we can know all there is. The way to know all there is is by running a very large number of computer programs for a very long time, and we can be confident that of those that halt, among those will be the laws of the universe - all of them!" Is this about right? If it is I see some problems here.tim wood

    Not even close, you still missed it. I do not find the laws of physics by executing specific programs; I find them from the necessity that all there is, is expressible as programs and the constraints entailed by said description. Completely different. There is no choice in the laws but the recovered laws of physics, regardless of which programs are run.


    The measure space then not connected to that which is measured, except as that which was measured? Which means the quiddities of the thing measured are all about the one measuring - you get that, yes?tim wood


    I thought that was the beauty of the whole argument. The observable universe exists as the logically necessary side-product of observation.

    You may say it sounds tautological, but do not neglect that when I use those words I refer to the explicit mathematical theory of everything. When I say the observable universe, I mean precisely the set of all physical equations I recover, not just in a superficial language manner. That makes it non-tautological, or at the very least highly non-trivial.
  • Cartuna
    179
    With all respect for your theory, but it's a philosophical theory of everything. Philosophical theories that claim to have found the origins of all physics normally take the most fundamental physical theories available at the moment, especially the math associated with it, and the, by axiom, retrospectively claim that there simply can't be no other physics than the one it makes use of in the first See here
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.