DailyDirt: Math & The Mind

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Math is simultaneously illusory and real. On the one hand, it's a set of arbitrary symbols and chosen rules that can be modified and manipulated as we see fit, since it's just a human invention; on the other hand, the patterns it identifies and describes have intrinsic reality and significance. The same could almost be said about the concept of the human mind — so where the two intersect, there are fascinating things to be learned:

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  1. icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 5 Jun 2014 @ 11:13pm

    Deterministic non-determinism?

    Brains non-computable? Whatever in the world would have given anyone the idea it would be?

    This is just me talking here, but I would never have assumed anything else; and find myself astonished anyone did think otherwise.

    Whether we are pursuing the Higgs boson or just discovering that bromine is the 28th element essential to life, we eventually find that nature has done it first and done it better.

    Computable processes are those that can be reproduced with a Turing machine. Turing machines are fine for computers--we use them all the time--but very pitiful for real life processes that involve such minor niceties as mathematical chaos. But not only do life processes live with chaos, they thrive on it and (in many cases) use it to their advantage.

    It is pure conceit to think we could reproduce a brain with a Turing-complete machine of any kind. When to reproduce it, we would have to reproduce the non-deterministic mathematical chaos that is intrinsic in all life.

    Non-deterministic on an intrinsically deterministic machine? Not likely.

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