From: Mitchell Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Nov 27 2002 - 01:40:31 MST
><<1. Cyber-Platonism: reality is made of 'formal systems'>>
>There is a modification or variation to this thesis, that at the Planck or
>sub-Planck level to the universe, by Stephen Wolfram, the basic particles
>in actuality, programs. In essence, that programs are the ultimate basis of
>This would capitulate your Cyber-Platonism, mayhaps?
I don't know what you mean by "capitulate", but I would certainly
classify the idea that reality is made of computer programs as a
form of cyber-Platonism.
Suppose fundamental physics turned out to be described by the
Game of Life. What would that mean? It would mean that the universe
was made of two-state entities which are causally coupled to each
other in a certain way. If someone wanted to say that such a
universe was "made of finite-state machines", each running the
basic state-transition law as their "program" - I would find that
a lot more reasonable. But the idea that the universe is made of
software that has no hardware... it's like Pythagoras, "all is
number". His heart was in the right place, but it would have been
more accurate to say "All is particle" or "All is field", with the numbers
playing a supporting role. I think our contemporary
attempts to make a fundamental information ontology are going
to require a similar compromise with materialisty before they get
off the ground.
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