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all knowledge in the universe already exists

Written by jeremy hammond on sunday, 6/2/2002

Let me begin first by asking the question: is mathematics an invention or a discovery?

I believe it to be a discovery. Think about it... when the first guy thought of mathematics, did he create new laws of reality, or did he simply discover existing ones?

If I have two apples, and someone gives me two more apples, I have four apples. This would remain true even before Joe Math physically wrote out "2 + 2 = 4". If Joe Math would have wrote "2 + 2 = 3", that wouldn't change the fact that there would be four apples to begin with.

These examples are obviously based on our assumption that Joe Math is using the same number symbols(1, 2, etc) as we commonly do. A system of numbers is a concept created by man that is used to describe the laws of reality, but the underlying system still exists. Mathematics is simply a system that is used to make our life less complex for communication's sake.

The laws of reality doesn't change over time(hypothetically, that is). Now consider the following. The television makes use of and obeys the laws of physics, however it is a fairly recent 'invention'. This means that before the television was invented, there was already the possibility of it's existance.

Now think of an invention that doesn't exist. I'm going to ignore technological details here, but let's say that in the future there will be this box that turns apple cider into solid gold. If that would be true, then at this moment there is the possibility for it's existance - that is, the laws of reality are already in place. The universe is just waiting for someone to discover it. Therefore, all knowledge in the universe already exists.

That's why I believe mankind to be unconscious. Sure, we think we have free will - but we all go to work, we go to school, we eat our meals three times a day, we sleep at night, we're awake at day, we drive around in little mechanical vehicles, and we otherwise live our 'normal' lives. Everyone works on routine. Yet we exist like this even though there are so many questions that go unanswered - such as the nature of the universe, why there is suffering in this world, is there a god, why there are people who earn money faster then they can spend it while so many people go starving, what happens after death, why are innocent people allowed to die, is there such a thing as free will, and so on. There are so many unresolved problems, and no one seems to think about these things anymore.

There is so much information, so many possibilities, so much more to reality then what most people see.

At any given time, all knowledge in the universe exists, but why is it that we are completely unaware?

article discussion

posted by malcolmmasher on Wednesday, 7/3/2002:

I've said this before, and I'll say it again... math is an invention. The laws of math do not violate the laws of reality. They exist outside the laws of reality. Math includes points, which have one dimension, and lines, which have two. It's impossible to create anything "concrete" of less than three dimensions... anything in the material world exists, no matter how slightly, in three dimensions (possibly more). Yet math includes one- and two-dimensional objects. Thus, mathematics exists outside reality.

posted by Ted O'Hayer on Saturday, 7/20/2002:

It does not already exist, it has the possibility to exist. Existance is when something is physically there.

So, math has existed for a long time. It was discovered.

However, your Cider-Gold machine does not exist, why? Because it is not physically there. Nobody can discover it, it needs to be created first.

The possibility of it's existence was there however, not the machine itself.

Excuse me if i'm not making any sense, i'm writing this at 4:00 AM.

posted by malcolmmasher on Monday, 7/29/2002:

Math was invented, not discovered. It didn't exist, and then it did. That's different from "nobody knew it existed, and then they did." The possibility of math may have existed, but not math itself.

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