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A Note To Alan

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Posted by Paul R. Martin on January 3, 2002 20:21:27 UTC

Hi Alan,

I only got a third or so of the way through your 99 items, and my comments on them would have to be a repeat of what I have already told you.

You're welcome to the Penrose reference. Since you haven't read it, I am really glad I suggested it. I don't mean to give the ending away, but I can't resist. On page 414 (of my paperback edition of "Shadows of the Mind") Penrose sketches out the three components he sees of all that is. These components are the Mental World, the Platonic World, and the Physical World. He points out a cyclic and symmetric relationship among them. Each of them contains vast complexity, but for each one, a teeny-tiny subset of it sort of gives rise to (or at least seems to have the potential to) just one of the other components, in a way reminiscent of rock-paper-scissors. Starting (arbitrarily) with the Physical World, we see that it is vast -- consisting of sheets of galaxies -- but a tiny little subset of that vast universe, down here on earth, are these brains of ours which give rise to the Mental World. The Mental World, in turn, consists of a vast collection of ideas -- all those I listed in a - o in a post to Harv. A tiny little subset of those ideas are the definitions and theorems of mathematical theories which give rise to the Platonic World. The Platonic World, in turn, consists of a vast collection of these "forms" -- we can only imagine the vastness of this set of "forms". A tiny little subset of those forms are the Laws of Physics, or the mathematical equations that describe them. As Alex keeps pointing out, these mathematical equations give rise to the Physical World, thus completing Penrose's three-node loop.

Anyway, I just thought I'd mention that as some food for thought. I gotta run now -- I am eager to begin reading Langon's paper.

Warm regards,


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