[time 622] Re: [time 618] Philosophy vs mathematics

Stephen P. King (stephenk1@home.com)
Thu, 26 Aug 1999 16:34:54 -0400

Dear Matti,

Matti Pitkanen wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Aug 1999, Stephen P. King wrote:
> > We have the example of the pre-Galileo-Copernicus cosmology as an
> > example! The models that are used to explain phenomena tend, as history
> > well illustrates, to follow a socio-political consensus. I remember
> > reading that it is know that the Big Bang theory is inherently
> > problematic, "it is just that no other alternative is palatable". The
> > Big Bang theory seems to be an extension of the religion based
> > cosmogonies that reassured the masses that the Universe has created for
> > humans by some ever loving Father. There is an emotional appeal to the
> > notion that the Universe, like our selves, has a finite beginning and
> > end and that we can trust our "common sense" to reassure us from our
> > insecurities.
> Actually the course of history was quite differenent.
> Big Bang solution were completely unexpected. Einstein himself was
> very disappointed and was ready to introduce cosmological constant in
> order to get static universe without beginning.

        Umm, I think that it is not surprising that the tacit assumptions from
which GR has developed (Classical mathematics) lead to this Big Bang. It
is a secular version of ex nihilo creation of existence! That Einstein
was "very disappointed" makes sense when we understand his emotional
> What you meantion about socio-political consensus is true in short time
> scale: when inflationary models came in fashion it soon became clear that
> they do not really work: there was inflation of not quite working
> inflationary models. There are still people tinkering these models. TGD
> inspired cosmology has existed for more than ten years now and certainly
> many colleagues know about it but nothing happens because of
> socio-political situation in particle physics which has made impossible
> any progress after the string models became the official Truth (again
> it take only few years to unofficially realize that they do not work but
> who would dare to defy Witten).

        Yes, indeed!
> I believe that in long time scale we have left the pre-Galileo-Copernicus
> times. Scientific method forces sooner or later to give up dead theories.
> For instance, there are *very* few young people working with string models
> and it is not difficult to guess the reason.

        Interesting. What do you think that they are working on? Judging from
what I am reading on the sci.physics.research, it is tending toward a
axiomatic rethinking of current theories. I have seen sporadic signs of
interest in information theoretical approaches, such as Frieden, but
over all there seems to be a reassessment of the "basics" going on. I
think this is good!
> > > GRT model is not complete. Inflationary scenario is in difficulties.
> > > I believe however that the geometrization of gravitation is correct:
> > > what is needed is to generalized spacetime concept: spacetime
> > > as a 4-surface and manysheeted spacetime concept are my medicines
> > > to the diseases of cosmology.
> > The biggest problem we have, Matti, is that we do not understand the
> > basic concepts that you are using. I still do not understand what Kahler
> > action or NMP. :-( I believe that you see something that we are missing,
> > but the price of knowledge is the responsibility to explain yourself.
> The problem is that you are philosopher rather than
> theoretical physicists by education. There
> is nothing mysterious involved. Basic concepts of Riemannian geometry,
> fiber bundle theory, some elementary topology, basic variational
> principles. I could explain for centuries without
> any result if my audience has not never performed actual calculations
> in classical and quantum field theories and do not have practical grasp
> on the mathematics behind these concepts.

        Please, Matti, could you just try me? Perhaps if you could just discuss
"basic variational
principles", it would help us. You see, I am not alone in not
understanding your tacit assumptions and thinking. I am trying hard to
infer the "why" and "how" of your conclusions so that I can understand
you. I do not share your pessimism!
> What is lacking is what psychologists would perhaps call implicit
> knowledge, which one does not get without working hardly, doing
> calculations, guessing solution ansatze to field equation, etc... I spend
> 12 years in this business and learned to know Kaehler action
> like a good friend. It is very difficult to teach some-one to walk
> by giving mere verbal instructions about great principles of walking.

        Absolutely! Your are very familiar with Kahler action, but I and other
are not. While it is difficult to walk given only verbal instructions,
we are talking about mental activity that is closely aligned with the
verbal symbols making, even to the point of being identical. Mathematics
is after all a symbolic manipulating process! Just give us a chance,
please. :-)
> But there is alternative possibility: to concentrate on philosophy in
> philosophical discussions. Forget the details of Kahler action and strong
> NMP and think only what these variational principle dictate:
> dynamics of classical and subjective time evolution.

        I am having a hard time bisimulating your thoughts = I can not
understand your tacit assumptions, thus can not follow your logical
process. You are not familiar with the work of people such as M. C.
Mackey and thus do not see the logical problems that exist in "dynamics
of classical evolution"! We are left with the picture explained by Mark
Hopkins that I forwarded [time 620]! And this is completely

> > When I propose a dualism, i am burdened to explain why I believe this is
> > so. I can not just say: "because I (or some "authority") said so! If we
> > are going to accept the "medicine" of manysheeted spacetime, we need to
> > understand why. BTW, you are not the only one proposing manysheeted
> > spacetime...
> It seems that quite many people are proposing manysheeted spacetime
> concept nowadays! Since I am not allowed to publish
> anything anyone of course can steal my ideas freely. Is this person
> possibly Sarfatti?

        No, I am trying to find the reference, I believe that it is in the book
The Scientist Speculates. "I.J. Good: "Winding Space" in "The Scientist
Speculates" I.J. Good ed." I am very conscious of how others tend to use
the ideas of others with out giving them credit!
        I will post a quote separately.

> We have been during last 4-5 years in same disccusion groups with Dr.
> Sarfatti and has been trying to steal my ideas all the time. Of course,
> only after not even-wrongizing them with his characteristic manner
> in every possible discussion group. He has not forgot to declare
> that I am a mad man also. The last hit was wormhole
> concept: someone in qmind group referred to Sarfatti and me as
> discovered of particle like wormholes! For roughly year ago Sarfatti
> told in qmind that he had suggested manysheeted spacetime for 15
> years ago! I could not believe my ears! The discussions with Sarfatti
> had demonstrated that he does not know absolutely anything even about
> elementary Riemann geometry, to say anything about topology! Couple of
> years ago Sarfatti began to talk about geometrodynamics and configuration
> space as his own inventions as also about the importance of quantum
> entanglement. I even found speculation about importance of neutrinos
> in biology in some discussion group! Well, Sarfatti is pop scientists and
> no one in his right mind takes him seriously so that I am not worried
> about Sarfatti.

        I am not surprised!

> But Sarfatti is not the only one. Nobelist Josephson was with me in ECHO
> III conference held in Finland last year. My work
> together with person who had financiated me to the conference was about
> quantum self organization, totally new concept. In last Flagstaff
> conference Josephson had talk about quantum self organization, he
> mentioned even papers of participants of ECHO III conference but carefully
> avoided mentioning our work! This is the situation in science nowadays.
> Perhaps the best characterization for big and pop sciences would be as
> the Noblest known forms of organized crime.
        I find that it is a waste of time to worry about "intellectual theft".
I am mainly concerned with developing new ideas and free discussion. I
am influenced by Bohm in this respect.

> > Wow, I would think that if we "forget General Relativity in
> > cosmological length scales" the whole Big Bang baby goes out the window
> > as well! Can we start with the experimental facts, as Heisenberg
> > teaches, and start over?
> Certainly. But I am convinced that the basic principles of General
> Relativity remain. As I mentioned manysheeted spacetime surface concept
> solves nicely not only the problems of cosmology but also the anomalies
> of particle physics. Much bigger problem is the mystery of particle
> masses: Higgs mechanism is only able to reproduce particle masses
> but TGD predicts mass scales and masses and accuracy is better than
> per cent. The scandal of century is that theory with this predictive
> power cannot published: but this is socio-politics of big science to-day.
> String models are the TOE now.

        Yes, and I expect this cycle to continue into the future... The main
problem I have is that I don't see how TGD calculations work. I see no
explicit equations, or "if-then" propositions, just a very complicated
story.. I am sure that this is completely in my mind as I do not have
the tacit intuitions that you do.

> > The problem is that "rest" is not an absolute notion! This "fixing" is
> > what I call subjective and contingent upon local restraints...
> 'Rest' is precisely defined mathematical notion: calculate
> the classical four momentum of 3-surface and find the frame in
> which 3-momentum vanishes. There is nothing subjective in it.

        That is not what I mean by "subjective"! These "classical 4-momenta of
3-surface", are they not infinitely many? Each having a framing in which
the 3-momentum vanishes? I have been saying that it is this framing that
constitutes the "self's" point of reference. The "center of
consciousness"! Thus if there are infinitely many disjoint framings with
vanishing 3-momenta ("self does not perceive itself to move"), them that
implies that there are an infinity of disjoint selves! I am identifying
them with Hitoshi's LS!

> > Could we get the same prediction from a model that assumes that the
> > anisotropy is related to an stochastic fluctuation in the average of the
> > observations of interaction observers? This is my idea... I see that the
> > "cosmos" that we observe has such and such properties because the Local
> > Systems can agree enough. We have a consensus reality!
> I would answer no. What experimentalists strive at is to eliminate
> stochastic fluctuations.

        That is inherently a cause of problems! It speaks to a prejudice that
fluctuations are "avoidable". I do not think so! I think that Peter
Wegner's discussion of the effects "secondary observers" is a better
treatment. In fact, Frieden's work uses the fluctuations are a way to
construct physics, e.g. observers can perceive patterns of behavior by
comparing predicted to measured statistics. If we eliminate
fluctuations, we eliminate the possibility of observation!
> > There is more than mathematical consistency involved! Consistency
> > merely implies existence, not observable by us "fact"! Look at how
> > Hitoshi uses the R-W metric to explain the "illusion" of an expanding
> > universe! Why can't we face the fact that we each use our own clock and
> > ruler to define our poset of observations? What is so scary? "recent
> > estimates", by who and based upon what? I know that I am being childish,
> > but really, when do the observational facts count less than some
> > markings on a chalkboard?
> > I will not get into the problem that I have with singularities and
> > "nulls"!
> Of course there is more than consistency involved. Conscistency and
> simplicity are however basic requirements on theories.

        Yes, they are the basic building blocks, well at least "necessity and
consistency"; "simplicity" is subjective" but we can get objective
approximations by considering it in terms of information compression!
> I have nothing against clocks and rulers. We have discussed this topic
> in length and my proposal is that the concept of clock involves
> construction of theory of consciousness, mere set-theoretic or geometric
> concepts are not enough.

        But my argument is that if we can not have clocks and rulers, we can
not derive meaning at all! I am saying, and I believe that Hitoshi is
also, that "clocking" and "gauging" are "what" consciousness does. We
could even say that consciousness is the process of clocking and gauging
by each LS. We can think of symbols are pairs of points taken from Set
and Antiset (qua Pratt's definition in ratmech.ps) The trick is to
understand the mechanism of how they are matched to each other. I argue
that this is a process that is dualistic, in the sense of vectors and
linear functionals. The process of matching is manifested in matter as
thermodynamic entropy, thus the arrow of time in the physical sense. In
the information perspective, we have the construction of precedence. We
see this when we consider how the informational contents of physical
events is ordered such that no paradoxes are allowed! Why do we not see
objects appear and disappear, or time machines or perpetual motions?
Because they are examples of logical precedence contradictions!
        Instead of assuming that the Universe is a space-time manifold that
"came into being" by some freak reason, we consider that the Universe is
infinite and populated with an infinite number of observers, each only
capable of a finite number of experiences. It is the interactions of the
observers that construct space-times. I believe that the group
theoretical aspect of space-time is what matters, the organizations of
the posets of observations follows the Poincare group etceteras, we
really do not need to assume a space-time existing a priori, as Hopkins
        The Chu_8 spaces supposedly have these symmetry groups!
> I take seriously the 'recent estimates', say for mass density of the
> universe: the accuracy of recent day physics is amazing. For instance,
> what they do in CERN, looks almost magic to me and I feel deep awe.
> It is easy to play with hypothesis and theories but experimental
> work at this level is something extremely difficult, already because it
> requires collaboration of thousands of highly intelligent individuals.

        Ever heard of "Volksgiest" Umm, I am not sure of the spelling... the
effects and behavior of large groups of people acting in concert?
> What I do not take too seriously are theories and models. I remember
> my last particle physics conference: about neutrinos held in Finland.
> There were models after models: every modeller explained some pieces
> of data and 'forgot' those things the model could not explain.
> The big problems of theoretical physics are now on theoretical side.
> Holistic view is simply missing and very few remember the meaning of
> intellectual honesty. The reasons for this is that good science
> is nowadays defined as optimized production of publications.

        Yes! But we still need to be careful! No single observer can apprehend
> > What about the old mathematical property of transitivity? We either
> > have a "before" and "after" or nothing at all! To postulate that
> > existence "began" is a monstrous contradiction!
> I agree completely. I have been talking all the time about difference
> of subjective and geometric time: with respect to geometric time
> nothing 'begins', it just exists. This new view does not
> change basic structure of physics: physics has managed in ingenious
> manner to circumvent the problems caused by the lacking theory of
> consciousness. The new things come on the side of consciousness:
> quantum mechanics ceases to be mysterious toolbox of calculational
> recipes.

        I agree. The problem I have is that it seems that you are saying that
geometry has specific properties, e.g. inner products, metrics,
connections, identities and I am saying that all of these properties are
contingent to observations, to particular experiences. There can be no
particular properties independent of observation, only, literally,
everything simultaneously. There is no ordering at all, no meaning
inherent. Just noise, pure randomness!
> One must be realistic: the physicists of past have done brilliant
> work, the basic theories, even cosmology, are surprisingly detailed
> and tested in many manners. There is no return to pre-Einstein times.
> We cannot throw away, we must generalize.

        We winnow the chaff from the grain...
> > > What is wrong with the identification of psychological time experienced
> > > by conscious observers with geometric time extrapolated to the notion
> > > that some kind of time=constant front='now' propagates in geometric
> > > spacetime. This identification indeed leads to your question what
> > > caused the initial values at the moment of big bang, At least to the
> > > problem what dictated the initial values.
> > Yes, Matti, but that is not the point! if there were no "psychological
> > time" possible, these questions would not "exist"! Why don't we just
> > consider that we are projecting an actuality, independent of the
> > observers involved, and this projection acts to "fix" "initial values"
> > that are consistent with the poset of observations of the interacting
> > observers? There is no need to assume that there is a space-time with
> > definite particle trajectories outside of observation, all that is
> > needed is to understand that posets of observations are ordered both by
> > physical causality (laws of motion, conservation laws, etc.) and logical
> > consistency/precedence restrictions.
> As I explained above, geometric time is absolutely crucial for entire
> physics done hitherto. Physics has been able to circumvent all
> difficulties caused by the lack of proper theory of consciousness bu
> giving up geometric time would leave absolutely nothing.

        I am saying, with Hitoshi and Frieden that "physics is observed
patterns of behavior", without observation the idea of patterns is

> Giving up the spacetime out there would mean return to pre-Newtonian
> days and start from scratch! If some super mathematician can reproduce
> recent day physics withouth ever mentioning geometric spacetime, I can
> only admire: this would be heroic deed.

        There is no need to be so pessimistic. We recover geometric space-time,
but it is seen as a pattern of behavior not an a priori synthetic. The
Poincare and Lorentz groups are patterns of behavior, not "things" in
themselves, but actually all "objects" are "patterns of behavior". There
is no "stuff", Marmet's "kickability" only serves to distinguish that is
concrete to a given observer, not what "exists". Concreteness is
> I have gone during last twenty years through entire physics,
> looked what new TGD implies in quark, hadron, nuclear,.... levels
> and learned that I must be realist: this construct is something which I
> can only generalize, not throw away.

        Sure, this is a very laudable accomplishment, but you also need be able
to explain yourself to others. Reductionism has its place, like
Feymann's "easy pieces"
> The idea of Pratt is nice but its applications might be at totally
> different level: in computing rather than consciousness and basic physics.
> How to reproduce the effective action describing CP breaking in
> kaon system or Cabibbi-Maskawa-Kobayashi matrix describing the mixing of
> quarks from this idea? This one should be able to do.

        You are being impatient. We first need to work out the implications of
Chu_8 spaces!
> Putting it still differently. Theoretical physics has always created
> its mathematics. Taking piece of mathematics and building physics from
> it has not worked. The sad story of quantum groups is excellent
> example of this.

        I disagree! What about Einstein's use of Riemannian geometry or
physicist use of Galois and Lie groups? The math came first! What have
you been reading? It is when physicist do not have good holistic
intuitions or good philosophical underpinnings that "sad stories" occur!

>In TGD I learned the same lesson: functional integral
> approach simply did not make sense at all. This forced to discover
> configuration space geometry. Later came p-adic mass calculations
> and gradual realization that entire quantum TGD involves p-adics in
> essential manner. Some simple counter arguments against p-adic
> evolution implied by unitarity and simple argument inspired
> by p-adic length scale hypothesis led to the discovery of infinite
> primes.

        All of this is excellent, but that is not my point. We must be able to
answer the problems of computation. Karl Svozil's work is a good start!
> I spend a lot of time by discovering counter arguments against my own
> mental constructs. This method might be very productive also
> in Pratt's case. Does fundamental mind-matter causation allow
> genuine free will or does it imply that the evolutions of mind and
> matter fix each other uniquely: if this is the case then one has
> just materialism and mind becomes epiphenomenon?

        Yes, we have free will! It shows up in "how" "the evolutions of mind
and matter fix each other". It is local, in Hitoshi's sense! There is no
"unique" fixing in finite time! It takes Eternity to accomplish the
matching of all states of Mind with all events of Body!

> Does this theory
> explain passive and active aspects of consciousness? Or is the theory
> able to circumvent basic counterarguments of Chalmers: what differentiates
> between matter and mind in so deep manner that we can really call
> mind 'mind' and matter 'matter' and not vice versa?

        Let us discuss the specifics of Pratt's work!
> > Instead of assuming that there exists some divine entity "out there"
> > making sure that Laws are obeyed, why can't we consider that local
> > logical considerations are necessary and sufficient?
> I am not sure what you mean by some divine entity out there.
> Perhaps our refer to the concepts of objective reality, configuration
> space, imbedding space and spacetime as dynamical concept.

        Yes, you treat them as pre-selected.
> The problem is that entire science relies on the idea
> that there is something out there, the objective reality. This was the
> great discovery of Galileo and we know the consequences. I am ready to
> believe that Galileo was almost right: the only new thing is that that
> something out there (as also in here) changes in every moment of
> consciousness.

        That The Universe exists is not in doubt, it is the particular
properties of its parts. THese are the contents of observations,
measurements and experiences in general. The Universe does not "know"
what it is like to be me in such and such a situation prior to my
specific experience! The moments of consciousness are the "giving of
names", the definition of "what is it like to be", the generation of
        "Objective reality" is the Universe. Yes, it is "out there" and
everywhere and everywhen! The main point is that it is EVERYTHING, and
thus has no particular properties. There is nothing that it is not! Do I
make any sense here? It can not be aware of itself, because of this last
aspect. Consciousness requires that there be something "other".
> One can perhaps build nice philosophy without the idea of
> objective reality (realities) assumption but I simply have no idea how to
> do any physics without this assumption.

        Yes. Am I making sense?
> I have nothing against locality.

        Have you read and understood Hitoshi's definition of locality?

> Entire TGD relies on locality appropriately generalized. Quantum TGD
> is local with respect to configuration space. Kahler action is local
> variational principle. It is good to think what locality is: before
> one can event formulate this concept one has assumed a lot.

        This is a subject for discussion in itself!

> One has assumed space and topology telling what the concept of nearness
> is. Already these assumptions means someting out there.
> If one takes your idea to logical exteme, one can make only one
> conclusion, stop totally attempts to understand the world and just
> experience it.

        Wow, I had no idea that that was how my words could be interpreted!

> > > The correct question to ask is what is the mechanism causing
> > > the conents of our conscious experience to be concentrated around
> > > definite moment T of geometric time (as it seems) and why the
> > > value of T increases at least statistically. This unavoidably leads to
> > > a theory of consciousness. which cannot be done yet publicly.
> > This is one of the aspects of Pratt's dualism! The connection between
> > time and consciousness becomes obvious when we consider that "time" is
> > meaningless independent of observation! When we require a "mechanism" to
> > "cause the contents of our ... experience to be concentrated around...",
> > we are tacitly assuming that there is a unique T increasing ("at least
> > statistically").
> Yes. I am assuming geometric time. I do not believe that mere
> irreversible subjective time measured just as ticks
> (as it seems to be in Pratt's theory) without any other
> properties can explain the geometric aspects of psychological time:
> complexity and macroscopy do not bring in these geometric aspects of
> psychological time. This would be magic which rarely works in this
> bad world.

        Please, Matti, read http://boole.stanford.edu/chuguide.html#ph94 and
http://tph.tuwien.ac.at/~svozil/publ/maryland.ps and
> My materialistic colleagues often say that consciousness somehow
> 'emerges' when system becomes sufficiently complicated. This is wishful
> thinking and does not say anything about consciousness. Similar wishful
> thinking is the idea about discrete net of points which somehow gives rise
> to continuous spacetime at 'macroscopic' level and that Riemannian
> geometry in some miraculous manner establishes itself. I do
> not believe in this kind of hat tricks.

        Sure, that is the easy way to avoid the "hard problem" of modeling the
observer of the behavior along with the behavior.

> > Why? Is it not enough to consider that each observer
> > has a clock and can make observations (of each other!) and that classes
> > of observers that have similar enough observations tend (statistically)
> > to be able to agree? This "mechanism" looks suspiciously, to me, like
> > "God"!
> The basic problem is 'observer' as something pregiven: natural in
> dualistic approach where you have mind and matter
> as something a priori given. Selves however get drowsy and can sleep
> and die. One useful potential objection against dualistic approach is
> how to describe what it is to be unconscious
> observer in dualistic framework.

        No, the observer is not "pregiven". The observer is "bootstrapped" into
being by partial orderings of observations. Umm, I guess that I need to
be more precise on that an "observation" is, to be clear! But, in order
to make sense of my thinking it is necessary that you understand how
circularity is acceptable. The discussion of Non-well Founded sets
theory in Peter's paper http://www.cs.brown.edu/~pw/papers/math1.ps is
the best place to start.



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