Colyvan, Mark

Mark Colyvan

Professor of Philosophy and Philosophy of Mathematics
Department of Philosophy
University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW, 2006. Australia

YouTubeThe World’s Most Incredible Mind

The article that brought Mark Colyvan’s work to our attention:

 First email:  Saturday, 23 Feb 2019, at 10:25 am

Dear Prof. Dr. Mark Colyvan:

I am so old I remember many times sitting next to Hilary Putnam at the lectures of the Boston Colloquium of Philosophy of Science and on one occasion joining him at the home of W.V.O. Quine for dinner with a small group of graduate students and faculty. I have been circling back and, of course, discovered your Stanford article and I had to say, “Thank you.”

Then I went to your home page and CV and I am very impressed. You might be able to help me discern the proper approach to a problem of mathematics and logic.

It arose in 2011 out of work with my nephew’s geometry classes. We went inside the. tetrahedron and octaherdon,, by dividing the edges by 2, connecting the new vertices; in 45 steps we were looking at particles (physics) and in another 67 steps we were looking at the Planck Wall. We multiplied by 2, and in 90 steps we were out to the approximate age and size of the universe: It was a treat.

It was also quite baffling to overnight become so idiosyncratic. Of course, it was helpful to discover Kees Boeke’s base-10 scale of the universe. It was good to discover MIT/Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek’s 2001 work, Scaling Mt. Planck. But the simple process of doubling those units and then emerging with a chart of 202 notations.  That chart — has raised more questions than given us assurances.

What do we do with this madness? Does it mean anything?

Of course, we think meaning can easily be instantiated, but real meaning must be substantiated. What do we do with it? Are the first 64 notations particularly interesting because nobody has ever imagined that they are there? Each is defined by actual numbers, doublings of the Planck base units.

Might you help us a bit with your deep knowledge of logic, mathematics, and mathematical logic? I hope so. Thank you.

Most sincerely,

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