Your impression that I'm contradicting myself is just a consequence of the fact that you don't understand what I'm trying to say. Dick is talking about the logical solution of an abstract problem. I have observed a curious phenomenon in this forum: some people know how to recognize an abstract problem, and some people know how to apply logic to solve problems, but very few people know how to apply logic to solve abstract problems.
Do you, Alan, understand that an abstract problem, by its very nature, has nothing to do with reality? Do you understand that an abstract problem, having nothing to do with reality, must be solved in its own domain, which is that of symbols? Do you also understand that math is the most logical system of symbols ever invented by man? If you understand all that, it should be clear to you that when you have an abstract problem that can be expressed as numbers, the best solution to that problem is a mathematical one.
When dealing with abstract problems one must never lose sight of their nature. I know we are all eager to use our intellectual abilities to figure out how reality works, but the fact is that everything you can think of is an abstraction, it's not the real thing. All these people here claiming to know what reality is or isn't are wasting their time. They are talking about what they know about reality, not about reality itself. Anyone who thinks their knowledge of reality is not different from reality itself is fooling himself.
Now you'd be surprised to learn that fooling yourself is a lot easier than fooling other people. I suppose what Dick's paper is about could be best described as "how not to fool yourself when doing physics".
How about you, Alan? Have you discovered a method to avoid fooling yourself? Before you set out to claim that you have discovered something about reality, have you first thought about ways in which you could possibly be fooling yourself?
>> You say Dick's paper ISN'T about "what reality is" yet you then say his paper STATES something that reality allegedly IS! ("A set of numbers"). > If Dick's paper is nothing to do with reality; then why does he even use the word "reality"? > Why smuggle his ideas in a Trojan Horse? > For the sake of clarity, Dick should heed his own advice and avoid using double definitions! > If he wants to talk about something, for the sake of clarity he should not hijack a word with a well known meaning ("reality").