Re: virus: the universe

Robin Faichney (
Tue, 18 May 1999 19:02:40 +0100

Eric writes
>To TheHermit:
>I sensed a fair amount of negative tones in your last post -- and I'm
>sorry if I am the cause. I think I understand your position fairly
>well, although I still disagree with it.
>Your position:
>The universe is the set of {all things}. The set of all things
>necessairly includes the set of {imaginary things}, and the set of
>{all ideas}, etc. Your position is derived out of symbolic logic and
>set theory.
>My position:
>The universe is the set of {all *existing* things}. This set does not
>include the set of {imaginary things}, becuase they do not exist (by
>definition). This set does include the set of {all ideas}, becuase
>ideas are encoded in matter/energy, and matter/energy exists. My
>position is derived from a common sense view of the word universe.

I have to stick my oar in here to say that an analysis of "reality"/"the universe" in terms of information would appear to solve all such problems. Imaginary things, ideals, ideas and such are items of subjective information. These patterns are real in the sense that Eric says ideas are, i.e. being encoded in brains, if not also books etc. But it's a different kind of reality, requiring information processing to reveal it, which is why it's subjective -- it depends on the right sort of processing being done on it. Unlike objective information, belonging to simple physical things, which just exists with no processing required.

All of which is, of course, a great excuse to plug my site again: :-)