First Causes

Lester Zick lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net
Thu Sep 16 17:46:04 EST 2004

On 16 Sep 2004 06:18:03 -0700, dralexgreen at yahoo.co.uk (Alex Green) in
comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<41486134.50044038 at netnews.att.net>...
>> On 15 Sep 2004 04:54:32 -0700, dralexgreen at yahoo.co.uk (Alex Green) in
>> comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>I am going to snip all the first part of this reply because I am
>focussing on just this bit. If people would like to see the wider
>context please read the earlier post.

Good idea.

>> >If your 'difference' is a phenomenon then it is things themselves
>> >arranged in space-time and a highly misleading label for this. If it
>> >is an operation then it has a meaning that is similar to the ordinary
>> >meaning of the term and it involves the encoding and transformation of
>> >data.
>> Such things as phenomena, things themselves, operations, encoding, and
>> transformation are only universally definable in terms of differences
>> and differences between differences etc. You seem to have some idea
>> that these kinds of things can be defined independently and exist
>> somewhere in space or time. But they're really only assumptions to the
>> extent they have no demonstrable universality.
>> >Is 'difference' an operation? If not how does it operate?(!)
>> I know I included a comment here on the exclusive-or which seems to
>> have gone missing. The point is that differences are both material
>> circumstances and sentient functions. In both cases they imply
>> contradiction. Material differences are simply differences wherever
>> and however they occur. 
>But how are these 'differences' determined? 

Differences determined by what?

You seem to think everything is definable through some conception of
space-time-etc apart from differences. I've just shown tautological
proof that everything is differences which I assume you agree with or
you would attack the proof instead of questioning the idea. If you
want to model the process and interactions of differences in
computational terms, you can use the XOR instruction suggested
previously. But if you expect me magically to reach outside the idea
of a demonstrable first cause for some way to define the idea through
more conventional ideas you're more familiar with, it can't happen.

What is reasonable is to ask what the consequences of differences and
differences between differences etc. may be and how these are arrived
at mechanically. In differences alone we have material interactions.
In differences between differences we have definitions of sentience,
cognition, consciousness, and abstract knowledge, including space,
matter, and time. If you can tell me any more about the basic idea of
differences, not, contradiction, negation, etc. than is evident in the
mechanization of these ideas in various contexts, without the use of
differences, I would certainly like to know.

>                                                                         If they are just things in
>space-time then why not say this? If they are operations that actually
>test the separation of things and return values such as 'separated' or
>'not separated' then please explain how this would work. If they are a
>conjunction of these two types of thing then please describe how the
>two things are related in the term 'difference'. Preferably without
>saying that they are related by differences or differences of

I still don't see how you can expect me or anyone to step outside a
first cause to describe the first cause in terms of things caused by
the first cause. A first cause can only be defined through its own
agency. But it can't be caused by anything else or it wouldn't be a
first cause.

>There is a real danger here of your argument being tautological. You
>are proposing that all things are in fact differences and in support
>of this just stating endlessly that differences are all things.  When
>asked whether differences are things themselves you reply that they
>are, when asked if things in space-time are differences you respond
>that they are. When asked if differences are operations you respond
>that they are. This would be a huge breakthrough if you could
>differentiate 'difference' from 'all things'.

Well, that would certainly be the trick of the week. What would you
mean by a first cause (not in the historical sense). If you could say
what it is, demonstrate it's primacy, and illustrate its mechanization
in various contexts, by what other means could you describle it?

Apparently you don't pay a whole lot of attention to what I write. My
argument and proof are tautological. But that doesn't mean I simply
reiterate the basic assumption. It's because I use an exhaustive and
tautological proof to demonstrate the omnipresence of differences
through consideration of the inherently self contradictory nature of

>If your 'difference' is not a separate category of thing from 'all
>things' then it is of no more use to us than 'all things' being the
>same as this.

Not true. Differences are not a separate category of thing as you seem
to want. Differences are the category. You just want a separate
category of thing because you only see things; you can't see the
forest for the trees. A separate category of thing would just give you
another thing instead of a mechanical basis for thingness, which is
what you need to get on with the problem of analyzing sentience.

>> Sentient differences, however, also represent
>> results of differences between differences and that mechanism
>> compounded in terms of itself. 
>If you could explain one instance of 'difference' without saying that
>it is the result of difference I might be convinced.  There are joke
>post-modernist software products that can construct arguments such as
>you have been using, where everything turns back on itself in an
>avalanche of deconstruction, and I am beginning to suspect, rather
>belatedly, that you are applying one of these to our posts.

Well, Alex, you unquestionably know more of the current state of the
art in philosophy than I. I gave up trying to handle things that way a
long time ago. This isn't a joke unlike some post modernist ravings.
But it isn't a joke either to say that everything comes back on itself
in mechanical terms. The problem is more how than whether.

For example, consider whether and how differences are a thing. Now I
maintain that differences and differences between differences etc. are
the mechanical basis for all things, both material and sentient. Then
you ask whether differences etc. exist in space and time and I reply
that they do exist in space and time but in the most general sense are
the basis of definition for space and time as well as all other things
including themselves.

Differences form the mechanical basis for all things. There is nothing
that is not defined in terms of them because they are the demonstrable
mechanical basis for the definition of all things. You consider them
tautological and useless and I ask whether the calculus and Turing
mechanics are useless for being tautological in nature.

You ask for some example of a difference and I respond that everything
is an example of differences because everything is the result of
differences in the first place. What we see are differences. What we
think we think of in terms of differences because that is the basis on
which things are thought and seen. Differences and differences between
differences etc. are the mechanics both of material interactions and
sentient being.

I'm not sure what else you could ask for as a first cause. Are
differences things or processes? Well, they're both. Is mechanics a
thing despite being a process? Of course it is. Unless you're trying
to get at some kind of thing like a perceptron, or a cognitron, or a
consceon to account for perception, cognition, and consciousness, I
don't see exactly how you expect me to get at differences as things.

What I can say definitely is that differences alone are material
differences and define spatial and temporal things as well as material
interactions and matter things; and differences between differences
define sentient, cognitive, and conscious things for purely mechanical
reasons and inherit spatial and temporal properties from differences

Regards - Lester

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