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The Correct Interpretation

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Posted by Harvey on May 15, 2003 21:16:58 UTC

Tim,

I'm sorry, but I chased Dick away. Not on purpose, but I asked him to define his terms. How was I to know that was like throwing water on the 'wicked witch' (although Dick is more like Glenda).

***"If there is information implicitly embedded in the data, it must be presumed that there are patterns of data which are possible and patterns of data which are not possible."***

The key word here is 'embedded'. It assumes that either some language exists embedded in the data, or no such language exists. It doesn't provide any other choice. If only life were that simple. For example, if you look at a color palette, you might see 'red' embedded in the palette with a reference that says 'red'. However, in reality you might go to the store and buy another palette and see that the 'red' shown on that palette does not match the 'red' in the former palette. What does this say about the color red and whether it actually exists or not?

It says that humans use tools and those tools are used for informational purposes. It doesn't mean that our tools tell us what actually exists (eg, that red exists, and it looks like this). Rather, it gives us an ability to use that data for our own survival and benefit. In the case of Dick's quote, what he is saying has absolutely nothing to do with the options that actually exist. He's assuming that some data either is or isn't information (i.e., some pattern of data either is or isn't possible), however what limits possibility? Dick's whole paper is based on the notion that mathematics limit what is possible. However, what limits mathematics? The axioms do! Who selects the axioms? Humans do! Why do humans select certain axioms? Because it is our experience of what is possible and what is not possible! Do you see the irony, he is limiting what is possible ultimately as it is grounded in our experience, and yet he starts his paper off by distrusting our experience!!!

'Nuff said.

Harv

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