[PD] [OT] map vs territory (was Re: CVs)

Chris McCormick chris at mccormick.cx
Mon May 23 06:21:58 CEST 2011

On Sun, May 22, 2011 at 01:37:19PM -0400, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
> On Thu, 19 May 2011, Chris McCormick wrote:
>> On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 12:38:37PM -0400, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
>>> On Wed, 11 May 2011, Chris McCormick wrote:
>>>> At the very least they exist physically encoded in the brain chemistry
>>>> of somebody who is thinking about those concepts. Brains are part of
>>>> physical reality, right?
>>> Yeah, but the map is not the territory.
>> I am not convinced they are different in the case of things that "we  
>> can't perceive ... from the physical world."
> All this to be able to cleverly claim « Santa Claus really exists » with 
> a big satisfied grin on your face ? ;)
> There's a practical reason why people make a difference between a rock, a 
> brain thinking about a rock, a brain thinking about a brain thinking 
> about a rock, and a brain thinking about the set of all possible brains 
> thinking in all different manners about all different kinds of rocks... 
> even though each of those cases must be embodied by some part of the 
> physical world... and even though all of those cases are referring to 
> rocks.

Ok wait, I see what you are saying and you are quite right.

My perspective is that in the case of e.g. sqrt(-1) the "territory" does not exist. There is merely the map that is inside our heads and that map can be used to correctly predict real and observable things that happen in reality. The things that happen in reality should not be mistake for actually being sqrt(-1) though. They are merely observations that are predicted correctly by the map most of the time.

I don't think sqrt(-1) exists independently of the hardware (brains) to run it.

Bryan and I took the other conversation off list so as not to bore people. I would be quite happy to do that here as this is very OT!




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