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The First, I Think

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Posted by Aurino Souza on October 16, 2002 17:30:13 UTC

Hi Mike,

It's refreshing to have some intelligent conversation for a change. I can't speak for Dick, but since I'm sure he won't speak for himself then I think I'm free to express my understanding of his ideas. I do so not because I find his ideas interesting per se, but because he does raise important questions such as the ones you are asking.

So it is my understanding that his paper is an attempt to prove that "our systems of equations in physics are _not made necessary by a specific shape of things". I feel confident in saying that because he has stated several times that physics apply to any arbitrary set of numbers.

Now notice that "any arbitrary set of numbers" includes weird ones like an infinite collection of nothing but 9's, an infinite collection of nothing but 0's, universes where you can never observe the same phenomena twice, and so on and on. The funny thing is that Dick is "right", because physics can be true for those sets as much as it is true for our universe. The funnier thing is that Dick is missing the point completely but won't acknowledge it; he thinks we are the naive ones.

Quoting you:

"If there _is an individual character to our universe that makes some internally consistent physics systems workable and others not, that is a second case"

That IS the case, and it's NOT a matter of opinion or belief.

I am predisposed to believe in the second, though belief might not be necessary or pertinent to the actual state of affairs. I might change my beliefs, but I would be interested in actually finding out which one is truer

As I said, it's not a matter of belief. If the universe had no intrinsic constraints, then how do we explain the fact that most of our actions are constrained? Why can't we fly, teleport, talk to the dead, read people's minds, etc., just by thinking about it? Even a newborn understands that the universe has rules. If the universe had no rules, why did God give us reason?

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