Comments on: How are we different from patterns in data?
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data/
Comments on Ask MetaFilter post How are we different from patterns in data?Sun, 19 Jun 2005 14:56:35 -0800Sun, 19 Jun 2005 14:56:35 -0800en-ushttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss60Question: How are we different from patterns in data?
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data
What are some good writings on the relationship between what we think of as the physical world and the world of mathematical abstractions (the space in which, for example, all possible sequences exist) ? <br /><br /> I think the natural conclusion of a "rationalistic" way of looking at the world is that the physical world can comfortably exist within "the mathiverse" and I would like to know who has taken this position before, and who has argued against it.post:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121Sun, 19 Jun 2005 14:40:56 -0800teleskivingphilosophymathphysicscomputerscienceBy: Rothko
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329558
Roger Penrose's <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780679454434">The Road to Reality</a> (<a href="http://www.sciscoop.com/story/2005/4/10/201121/794">review</a>).comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329558Sun, 19 Jun 2005 14:56:35 -0800RothkoBy: zpousman
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329566
I read a book that deals with calculus in a very nice way, similar to what you need. However, it's not so much about "the real line" versus the "ruler in my laboratory. It's a truly interesting (and well written)book that looks at the conceptual foundations of calculus, and the magic of taking increasingly smaller measurements.<br>
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<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0679747885/ref=pd_sxp_f/104-6406859-2499928?v=glance&s=books">A Tour of the Calculus</a> (Berlinski)<br>
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I see from the page-title, that you wonder how people are different from patterns in data. Some researchers argue that they're not -- check out "machine learning" which is a statistical technique that basically solves problems by assumin that the real world *is* the pattern in the data...comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329566Sun, 19 Jun 2005 15:07:53 -0800zpousmanBy: ITheCosmos
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329570
Flatland, maybe? Too obvious?comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329570Sun, 19 Jun 2005 15:16:03 -0800ITheCosmosBy: teleskiving
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329574
Rothko, zpousman, thanks for your responses. The Penrose book does sound like the kind of thing I'm interested in. What I'm really looking for is people who have argued for or against the idea that the "physical" world exists entirely within the world of mathematical abstractions. Essentially, if we are just patterns in data, and all possible data exists in the world of mathematical abstractions, why invoke a separate physical world?<br>
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On preview, ITheCosmos I haven't read Flatland but I have read Ian Stewart's sequel which is I think where I picked up the term "mathiverse". It's a fun read.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329574Sun, 19 Jun 2005 15:25:19 -0800teleskivingBy: mcguirk
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329575
<a href="http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/toe.pdf">Max Tegmark - "Is 'the theory of everything' merely the ultimate ensemble theory?" (PDF)</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329575Sun, 19 Jun 2005 15:28:37 -0800mcguirkBy: springload
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329580
I guess Wittgenstein's Tractatus can fit in this category.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329580Sun, 19 Jun 2005 15:38:09 -0800springloadBy: nebulawindphone
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329584
<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465037704/102-0105337-0242579?v=glance">Where Mathematics Comes From</a> takes the opposite tack. It argues that what's real is the physical world, and higher mathematics comes from the metaphors we use to deal with the physical world. I'm not sure I agree, but the authors give an interesting argument and lots of concrete examples.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329584Sun, 19 Jun 2005 15:49:28 -0800nebulawindphoneBy: teleskiving
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329587
mcguirk, that is <i>exactly</i> what I wanted! And it should be a good starting point to find related stuff. Thanks.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329587Sun, 19 Jun 2005 15:54:41 -0800teleskivingBy: nervestaple
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329590
<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0691001723/ref=pd_sxp_f/103-2172178-9167009?v=glance&s=books">Infinity and the Mind</a> by Rudy Rucker?comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329590Sun, 19 Jun 2005 15:59:45 -0800nervestapleBy: advil
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329634
perhaps this is too obvious, but:<br>
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<a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=philosophy+of+mathematics&btnG=Search&hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1">google search</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mathematics">wikipedia entry</a> on philosophy of mathematics<br>
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One brief summary (with references) of the philosophical positions that have been taken is <a href="http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Philosophy/UG/Studyguide/maths.html">this one</a>.<br>
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Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy entry on Quine/Putnam's <a href="http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mathphil-indis/">indispensibility argument for mathematical realism</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329634Sun, 19 Jun 2005 17:50:25 -0800advilBy: meehawl
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329639
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-standard_analysis#Applications_to_calculus">Non-standard calculus</a> has some interesting ideas, and challenges the gamut of mathematical realism.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329639Sun, 19 Jun 2005 18:26:54 -0800meehawlBy: jikel_morten
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329654
Yer all effin stoned!<br>
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Seriously though, thanks for this thread...I'm loving these links.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329654Sun, 19 Jun 2005 19:26:42 -0800jikel_mortenBy: yesster
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329822
Absolute must read is Hofstadter's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465026567/002-7416497-4397635?v=glance">Godel Escher Bach</a>.<br>
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Also, if you can find any of Dan Dennett's papers (not books) on pattern recognition, it's good reading too.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329822Mon, 20 Jun 2005 06:31:56 -0800yessterBy: Zed_Lopez
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329887
<a href="http://math.cofc.edu/faculty/kasman/MATHFICT/mfview.php?callnumber=mf52">Mathenauts</a><br>
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"Division by Zero", Ted Chiang, available in his (outstanding) collection <i>Stories of Your Life and Others</i><br>
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Check the rest of this <a href="http://math.cofc.edu/faculty/kasman/MATHFICT/default.html">Mathematical Fiction Home Page</a>.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329887Mon, 20 Jun 2005 09:08:46 -0800Zed_LopezBy: Elsbet
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329932
There's a wonderful piece of dramatic literature dealing with math and thermodynamics; <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0571169341/qid=1119289820/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl14/002-3197403-4475239?v=glance&s=books&n=507846">Arcadia</a> is one of my favorite Tom Stoppard plays.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329932Mon, 20 Jun 2005 11:01:10 -0800ElsbetBy: teleskiving
http://ask.metafilter.com/20121/How-are-we-different-from-patterns-in-data#329967
Just about to drop off the page... thanks to everyone for their suggestions!comment:ask.metafilter.com,2005:site.20121-329967Mon, 20 Jun 2005 12:09:00 -0800teleskiving