In ancient Greek, Natural Philosophy was the study of our world. It was later developed into two branches: Physics which studies publicly observable natural phenomena; and Metaphysics which studies nonphysical fundamental mechanisms that underlie the observed phenomena.
Physics laid the foundation for science which has branched out many disciplines but also limited itself to study only publicly observable phenomena that are repeatable and verifiable independently.
The so-called scientific methodology has been well-established to carry out scientific studies. This involves observing and collecting data, proposing the hypothesis that makes predictions, and testing the hypothesis by experiment.
The study of computation, despite being labelled ‘Computer Science’, is very different from science and scientific methodology. Although not widely used, the term ’Computics’ should be a more appropriate term for this discipline.
The proposed Platonic computation system does not exist physically; it is postulated to exist in the Platonic realm that is proposed to be the fundamental mechanism underlying perceived existence. Therefore the term ’ Metacomputics’ is adopted.
It is not possible to access the Platonic realm by our normal senses or by using current physical instruments. However, we can not deny the existence of abstract entities such as numbers, geometric shapes and other ‘universals’.
For instance, numbers are not physical objects, no one has bumped into the number 2 or tripped over the number 3, we cannot find the number 4 in the kitchen cupboard; and yet we do things with numbers all the time. We count with them, we measure with them, we formulate our scientific theories with them. Without the existence of numbers, we wouldn’t have physics, without physics there wouldn’t be science.
Numbers has a reality independent of physical reality. They have to be located somewhere outside space and time, i.e., in Platonic realm.
Most of us only perceive physical existence as a shared reality in our normal waking state, based on which materialist science is built. A small minority of people, however, also perceive nonphysical existence. Some ESP adepts perceive nonphysical calculators and even nonphysical search engines. For those ESP adepts, the nonphysical calculator is a shared objective reality.
The problem is that ESP is incompatible with materialist science, so the mainstream scientific community will not accept the perception of a nonphysical calculator.
It is hoped that post-materialist science will expand the scope of research beyond physical existence and be able to accommodate ESP so that adepts can be regarded as an expert witnesses and their perception can be treated as evidence.
If the existence of a nonphysical calculator and nonphysical search engine is accepted, we then have supporting evidence for the existence of the Platonic computer.
According to Immanuel Kant, the true nature of the universe, or the universe in itself, is unknowable. If it is unknowable, whatever we postulate the universe is cannot be true.
If an elephant is unknowable to blind people, what they understand about an elephant can only be metaphors such as a fan, pillar, tube, etc.
In science, we rely heavily on metaphors to build models of the universe. The metaphors are picked from concepts we are already familiar with. These concepts evolve through time too.
In the mechanical era, we had conceptual metaphors such as clocks and watches, so we modelled the macro universe as a clock-like machine. When human society was electrified, we had electricity as a conceptual metaphor, so we modelled the micro-universe as electrically charged particles. In the information age, we have new metaphors such as the computer, information processing, and virtual reality, based on which we can build a new model of reality.
None of our models is proven to be true and none of them can be proven to be true. Arguing if the universe is made of particles or a computer-generated output is like arguing among the blind if an elephant is a fan or a pillar.
In comparison, some models are more logically coherent than others; some explain more observations and experiences than others; some are more useful than others; some models lead to clarity and others to confusion.
Consider which is more logical.
A chunk of matter /energy popping out of nothing, or an idea/mental object popping out of a blank mind? We observe the former only in magic shows; whereas we experience the latter personally, directly, and daily.
Consider which has more clarity and parsimony.
A particle animal zoo with hundreds of species; or binary Y/N.
Consider which is more useful.
A string in the 10th dimension that makes no predictions and cannot be verified; or a transcendental computation system that can be modelled using a physical computer.
Ultimately, it ought to be a personal choice which model to use in a given situation and circumstance.
Yes. The Platonic computer model makes many testable predictions, such as:
(a) Time and space are discreet, rather than continuous.
If the 3D space and its contents are the processing output of a digital computation, then the Platonic computer can only operate on a discrete clock and renders a discrete 3D space.
This necessary consequence of the model can be falsified in principle by our ever-increasing measurement capability.
(b) Objects do not have causal power.
If the universe is rendered by the Platonic computer, then the computer program is the real cause of anything in existence and any changes in the universe. Objects then do not have the capacity to cause changes.
If/when we prove that objects cause changes, the Platonic computer model is falsified.
(c) Properties are caused by programming from the top down, rather than emerging from the bottom up.
The properties of entities are the output of the Platonic computation. They cannot be reduced to the particles from which they are made of.
If/when we prove that properties can emerge from the arrangement of fundamental particles, the Platonic computer model is falsified.
(d) Human subjectivity is derived from metaconsciousness. It is not emerging from the activities of the neurons in the brain.
This prediction is being tested by multibillion-dollar brain science research programs around the world. If/when the mainstream materialist science research programs are successful in proving that human subjectivity emerges from brain activities, then the platonic computer model is falsified.
(e) Neurons do not cause subjective conscious experiences.
Neurons, being objects themselves, do not have the capacity to cause subjective conscious experiences.
This prediction is being tested by multibillion-dollar brain science research programs around the world. If/when the mainstream materialist science research programs are successful in proving that consciousness experiences emerge from brain activities, then the platonic computer model is falsified.