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Author Topic: If god is a mathmatical formula, is it safe to say that Bitcoin is backed by god  (Read 2239 times)
notme
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June 25, 2012, 02:25:30 PM
 #21

Math is just a subset of language.

When people say "Bitcoin is backed by mathematics", they don't mean the language.

You are talking about "representation", but I think the topic is "form". Mathematics as a language is just a projection of forms that exist regardless. These forms, or let's say mathematical facts, are what we are talking about. Cryptography would work the same it does now if all humanity disappeared, and even if we have never existed, it would function the same.

However though, Bitcoin's security depends on scarcity of computing power and some assumptions of human behavior, which is why the claim "Bitcoin is backed by mathematics" is ultimately wrong anyway.


While there are physical forms within the human brain that map pretty well to mathematics, there is no direct evidence outside of our minds of the existence of mathematical forms.  We have been pretty successful at predicting the behavior of nature with mathematics, but old theories since disproven successfully predicted a subset of natural behavior as well.

Can you show me how nature uses cryptography outside of humanity?  If it isn't used by nature apart from humans, how can if function at all without humans?

I agree there is more to bitcoin backing than math.  Physics and psychology are certainly involved.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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jim618
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June 25, 2012, 05:20:30 PM
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Can you show me how nature uses cryptography outside of humanity?  If it isn't used by nature apart from humans, how can if function at all without humans?

I was reading Applied Cryptography (Schneier) recently about zero knowledge proofs. (It is section 5.1, The zero-knowledge cave - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-knowledge_proof.)

Peggy is trying to convince Victor that she knows a magic word in such a way that Victor is utterly convinced (but without telling him the magic word).

It struck me that this is not so far removed from the honest signals males strive to give to females of their species in their mating rictuals. These are (unfakeable) signals of fitness that convince the female of the male's inner motivation/ reproductive fitness.

I am lucky to live right by water and so see lots of bird mating rictuals - swans necking, moorhens diligently making their nests etc. Every species has its own way of convincing their potential mates that they are the real deal.

The female of a species effectively repeatingly challenges the male to prove their fitness. This is pretty similar to Victor repeatedly asking Peggy to prove she knows the magic word.

tl;dr;
It is crypto, not love, that makes the world go round.

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memvola
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June 25, 2012, 07:13:54 PM
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While there are physical forms within the human brain that map pretty well to mathematics, there is no direct evidence outside of our minds of the existence of mathematical forms.

Depends on what kind of metaphysics you submit to. For instance, Frege makes a good argument for the existence of numbers. When you really dive into the subject, I actually find it very hard to argue otherwise. (Also, "evidence" is kind of a higher level notion.)

As an example, you won't find anything that would perfectly give you the number pi in nature; however you constantly see things that revolve around it and statistically converge to it. Why pi, if it is only an idea that only exists in our minds?

The truth is, pi is the name we assign to a fact of nature. Its existence is more convincing to me than most other things I accept as existing. I have no reason to believe that the relations inherent to geometric shapes the universe consistently produces happened somehow after humanity's arrival.

Can you show me how nature uses cryptography outside of humanity?  If it isn't used by nature apart from humans, how can if function at all without humans?

I find this question tangential. Does the nature make use of wheels for example? But it is still a fact that round objects rotating on straight surfaces make movement easier where there is a lot of friction, and the ideal round shape for this is the circle. Now, nature could use this fact (probably it does but I don't know enough biology to provide an example) or it might not. Does it change the fact?

You could argue that cryptography is more abstract, and I'd say that nature is making effective use of it through Bitcoin, and the debate won't go anywhere until I spend a few million years travelling through the galaxy to bring you the perfect example outside humanity. Either way, is it more relevant than the mathematical tricks proteins use? If you put a prime number of balls in a basket and send it to space, will aliens be able to divide them equally among themselves without breaking one?
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June 25, 2012, 07:49:27 PM
 #24

Got mitt uns

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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June 25, 2012, 10:49:09 PM
 #25

Jim and monvola said my thoughts better than i could. This is really getting interesting.
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June 25, 2012, 11:45:07 PM
 #26

Math is just a subset of language.

When people say "Bitcoin is backed by mathematics", they don't mean the language.

You are talking about "representation", but I think the topic is "form". Mathematics as a language is just a projection of forms that exist regardless. These forms, or let's say mathematical facts, are what we are talking about. Cryptography would work the same it does now if all humanity disappeared, and even if we have never existed, it would function the same.

However though, Bitcoin's security depends on scarcity of computing power and some assumptions of human behavior, which is why the claim "Bitcoin is backed by mathematics" is ultimately wrong anyway.


I believe the OP tried to make the analogy between math and god, and if there is something more fundamental than math, then math isn't god.  Besides, would god 'only' have form and thus 'only' have definition (i.e. limitations, boundaries, etc.)?  This would negate the omnipotence theory...

notme
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June 26, 2012, 02:38:14 AM
 #27

If you put a prime number of balls in a basket and send it to space, will aliens be able to divide them equally among themselves without breaking one?

Sure, they would put them all in a "safe" location and hand out certificates worth # of balls/# of aliens.  If someone ever acquired enough certificates for a whole ball through trade they could cash it in for one of the balls.  Just like gold used to be divided without physical division.

As for the rest of it, I'm satisfied with the answers.  I sometimes just like to throw up positions I don't fully believe just to see how people handle the thought experiment.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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June 26, 2012, 03:16:30 AM
 #28

In Crypto We Trust...

http://www.bitmit.net/en/trade/i/289-bitcoin-in-crypto-we-trust-vinyl-sticker



Also, if god is a math formula, it would be quite complex... Bitcoin would be fraction him. Therefore, I suspect, Bitcoin would be the penis of God.

Just placed an order for that sticker, I live in country Queensland and its hard to talk with farmers about Bitcoin where most are not PC savvy. At least I can advertise and hopefully get a few who may go home and do a search on Bitcoin.
cbeast
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Let's talk governance, lipstick, and pigs.


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June 26, 2012, 03:27:34 AM
 #29

Also, if god is a math formula, it would be quite complex... Bitcoin would be fraction him. Therefore, I suspect, Bitcoin would be the penis of God.
I think Bitcoin would be God's bellybutton.  Grin

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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