Review of Tegmarks “Our Mathicmatical Universe”

TrumpedCat1

Tegmark Review

for a critical review of Max Tegmark’s book “Our Mathematical Universe”

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4 thoughts on “Review of Tegmarks “Our Mathicmatical Universe”

  1. Hi Arthur,

    I read your review and I actually agree with almost all of it. As I said, I am a big proponent of the MUH, but I do not really regard it as scientific. I think it is something that must be true for philosophical, a priori reasons.

    Also, I don’t really think that “consciousness is the way information feels when it’s being processed” is nonsense. I think it is broadly correct, at least for certain kinds of information being processed in a certain way (i.e. the way information flows through a human brain). That whenever information is being processed in this way, the same feelings and experiences will be evoked.

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  2. I think the ‘information’ is consciousness is gibberish because he imputes consciousness to the information, not to the ‘processing’. Information is static and consciousness dynamic, so they are not commiserate.

    In passing in the book and more recently he floats the idea the ‘consciousness’ is ‘another state of matter’. Shades of Teihard de Chardin and Bergson (sp?). I’m not sure what he means, but it sounds like vitalism.

    What do you think of ‘consciousness as a state of matter’? Of course, this doesn’t make MUH right or wrong.

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    1. I’m not really a Tegmark apologist in general. As I said on my blog, I came to the MUH independently for my own reasons.

      As such I don’t really buy into the computronium/perceptronium stuff, but I’m probably inclined to regard it more charitably than you. I don’t see it as a proposal that is true or false. Rather, it’s a way of framing the question which we can either like or not like. As a way of stating that systems must have certain properties to be conscious (such as a way of recording information), it’s not completely unreasonable, but also perhaps of limited utility.

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      1. erceptronium seems like a silly idea to me, but I haven’t read what he says about it (other than the passing reference in the MUH book).

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