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Thanks For The References

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Posted by Paul R. Martin on July 30, 2002 04:17:49 UTC

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for those references. They look like what I need. I have printed them off and will try to read them this week. The equations didn't print completely so I will have to go through and hand write them from the screen.

***Another thing you said I find pretty silly. You said something about Ed Witten being the only guy besides DD who could understand his derivation.***

If I remember right, I didn't say that. What I remember saying is that I think it would take someone of the intellectual stature of Ed Witten to understand what Dick discovered.

***I won't get into that other than to ask: Do you realy believe this***

Yes. I think there are a lot of people who can understand the math in his derivation. That is not the challenge. What I think he has discovered is something about the fundamental nature of existence -- the kind of thing philosophers talk about without being able to be analytical about it, and the kind of thing I think physicists typically dismiss as unimportant, or outside the scope of their interest. I think that what makes it so difficult for Dick to explain what he has found is (1) Dick is no philosopher so he can't discuss the ideas in a way acceptable to philosophers, (2) Dick left the academy and runs into the stonewall as a result of that, (3) in his esasperation, he has written some pretty incendiary things that understandably put off many people who take a look at his work.

My personal opinion is that Dick has discovered a theorem which belongs in Statistical Analysis and which has to do with fundamental constraints on arbitrary sets of numbers. Just as Pythagoras suspected about the Pythagorean theorem, and I think maybe even moreso in Dick's case, I think Dick's "theorem" tells us something profound and fundamental about the possible ways a universe may operate, i.e. fundamental restrictions on what the laws of physics may be.

If I am right, mathematicians should look at Dick's work, but, unfortunately, few if any mathematicians are interested in the philosophical implications of theorems.

So, to finally get to the point, I think that what is required is someone like Bertrand Russell (only alive) who can understand and appreciate the math and also see and understand the philosophical implications. Since Russell is dead, and since I don't know any such person, and since from what I have read about Witten, he seemed to be an example of the type of person who I would like to see read Dick's paper. I only used him as an example, and my reference to something like intellectual stature, or some such words, was meant to summarize what I just wrote to you.

Now, even after that explanation, you may still find my ideas pretty silly. They may be. But I still have fun thinking about these things.

***did you get such a notion from DD?***

No. In fact, Dick adamantly denies that he has discovered a mathematical theorem. And when we discuss the philosophical implications of his work, we seem to pass like two ships in the night.

Warm regards,


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