Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Known unknowns and unknown unknowns!

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Obvious Leo
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:59 pm

PoeticUniverse wrote: As for Parmenides, he well might have said that there is unity in multiplicity. His great insight that 'zero' can't even be meant is what gave rise to all of my philosophical extensions, but he neglected to note that a 'one' of full solidity cannot be either (or else not a thing could move), and so such infinite density fails and brings down with it any notion of infinity (as being uncapped and thus not being extant).
I have a great respect for dear old Parmenides, as you may recall from Why not NOT, but his logic was not impeccable. I fully agree with what he had to say about the non-existence of the physical space but I could never follow him down the path of the non-existent all-at-once time. Where in the universe could we possibly frame a dynamic reality under such a paradigm and what on earth are we to do with gravity? If time is not physical then gravity can't be physical either because one is merely an expression of the other. It would also leave poor Jack swinging in the breeze with this arresting statement.

"Time is what stops everything in the universe from happening at once"...John Archibald Wheeler.

In the interests of making sense I think it's wise to assume that time is exactly what it appears to be.

uwot
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by uwot » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:13 am

Obvious Leo wrote:Matter, energy and time MUST have a smallest possible bit which unites them and which is no further divisible.
Not according to my model. I've no idea where the Big Bang came from, for all I know some god put it there, or it was created in the laboratory of some alien super race; maybe it just happened. Whatever; it looks as if something a bit like the Magic Porridge Pot took place, with Big Bang stuff exploding into existence. Porridge probably isn't the best analogy, but I think it is fair to attribute 'physicality' to this stuff and like a tidal wave of porridge there are waves and eddies in it, those waves and eddies are what we recognise as energy and matter. The difference to porridge is that every piece of Big Bang stuff is expanding, even today, which goes some way to explaining the colossal energy even tiny bits of matter contain. An image I sometimes muster is a box of Catherine Wheels that some clot threw a match into. There are all different sizes of fireworks, but some are just the right size to get entangled in eternal pirouettes with others: them's yer quarks and electrons. It's not that the porridge can't be divided, in fact if you look at the debris from atom smashers (there's a pic in my blog: http://willibouwman.blogspot.co.uk/2015 ... de-of.html ) it quite clearly can, it's just that most of the eddies/particles disentangle themselves and are lost in the porridge.
Anyway, I don't know how you think gravity works, but in my model, matter is basically condensations of Big Bang stuff. Since every point in the universe is filled with expanding BB Stuff (a la Parmenides), it is denser the closer to matter you are. That density falls according to an inverse square, wouldn't you know? Since BB Stuff has 'mechanical' properties, waves/matter travelling through it are refracted. Given that atoms are a bunch of particles tumbling over each other, each constituent is refracted as it goes left and again as it goes right (for simplicity). The nets force is a result of the combined refraction towards the source of the higher density of BB Stuff. As a consequence, gravity is a localised phenomenon; beyond a certain distance, the expansion overcomes the refraction and two objects start repelling, which in my view is all Dark Energy is.
As for time, that's just the on going expansion.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:54 am

uwot wrote: I don't know how you think gravity works,
I don't think gravity "works" at all. As far as I'm concerned gravity is just an alternative way of expressing time and therefore it simply IS. In my philosophy the inversely logarithmic mathematical relationship between gravity and time is the "ding und sich" of Everything in a single continuum which is the causER of the universe rather than a causEE of it.

What you describe is merely another epistemic representation of gravity whereas what I'm talking about is the ontology which underpins it.

uwot
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by uwot » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:20 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:
uwot wrote: I don't know how you think gravity works,
I don't think gravity "works" at all. As far as I'm concerned gravity is just an alternative way of expressing time and therefore it simply IS. In my philosophy the inversely logarithmic mathematical relationship between gravity and time is the "ding und sich" of Everything in a single continuum which is the causER of the universe rather than a causEE of it.

What you describe is merely another epistemic representation of gravity whereas what I'm talking about is the ontology which underpins it.
Have to disagree with you there, OL. I think my ontology is explicit: the universe is made of Big Bang Stuff. Not only that; here's how it works. From what I gather, a similarly potted version of your philosophy would be along the lines of nothing 'physical' actually exists and it doesn't work. I simply don't see how a mathematical relationship can be the ding an sich of anything that gives rise to experiential phenomena.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:32 pm

uwot wrote: I simply don't see how a mathematical relationship can be the ding an sich of anything that gives rise to experiential phenomena.
It's more than just a mathematical relationship. The gravity/time continuum is also a physical fractal template onto which an informational universe writes itself. It's rather like Wheeler's "it from bit" cosmos where the bits can be thought of as binary logic gates which manifest as zero-dimensional points on a continuously emerging gravity/time wave. These "bits" have two physical properties, namely their information content and the duration of their existence.

PoeticUniverse
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by PoeticUniverse » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:31 am

Anyone certain?

uwot
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by uwot » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:47 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:It's more than just a mathematical relationship. The gravity/time continuum is also a physical fractal template onto which an informational universe writes itself.
We're going to have to go slowly with this, OL. What that suggests to me is that there is some 'lattice', a framework on which digital yes/no information appears at some point around the Planck scale. (I thought fractal was 'turtles all the way down') That being so, how is the 'information' communicated?
Obvious Leo wrote:It's rather like Wheeler's "it from bit" cosmos where the bits can be thought of as binary logic gates which manifest as zero-dimensional points on a continuously emerging gravity/time wave.

So is the wave in the lattice, or is it the ding an sich?
Obvious Leo wrote:These "bits" have two physical properties, namely their information content and the duration of their existence.
I'm not sure what you mean by physical. To me having no physical extension is the same as not physical existing.

uwot
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by uwot » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:49 pm

PoeticUniverse wrote:Anyone certain?
Yup. Something is certainly the case. F@*ked if I know what it is, though.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:07 pm

uwot wrote:What that suggests to me is that there is some 'lattice', a framework on which digital yes/no information appears at some point around the Planck scale.
No. The grav/time wave is merely a mathematical object like any other wave in physics, thus the fractal continuum has no background framework. The physical world is quantised into a single fundamental unit, but this unit is a time interval which has no spatial extension and in my philosophy I call this unit the monad. The easiest way to think of the monad is as a unit of information/energy which acts as a binary logic gate by changing into a new monad in each iteration and that these iterations are analogous to Planck intervals. Think of Conway's Game of Life being played out solely in the time dimension as a useful way of visualising this and you may be able to get a mental picture of a universe MAKING ITSELF. The monads ENCODE FOR particles which ENCODE FOR atoms which ENCODE FOR molecules etc and the whole cosmos continuously constructs itself at the speed of light like a gigantic Mandelbrot set. With you and me inside it having a chat, uwot, because we must never allow ourselves to forget where the observer is in this scenario. The observer observes all this from the inside looking out, where chaos looks like randomness.
uwot wrote:(I thought fractal was 'turtles all the way down')
Indeed fractals are turtles all the way down but not all the way down to infinity or Zeno's arrow never reaches its target. There must be a smallest possible unit of time of finite physical duration in which we can meaningfully say that something has actually happened. The wave of time stutters into existence rather than flows into existence but it stutters at an inconstant speed because the duration of the existence of each monad is determined by the cosmic metronome of gravity all the way down to the Planck scale. This is a model for a universe with a boundary where reality exists ONLY on the boundary and the boundary is easily defined as the moment NOW. The observer observes only a holographic projection of this moment but ironically this makes the speed of light the most inconstant speed in the universe which would give Einstein a good belly laugh. Naturally from within the Mandelbrot set you and I are seeing something different because we are watching a delayed telecast of the cosmic drama instead of the live event. Instead of observing the real world we can observe only a holographic representation of it because in a non-Newtonian universe the observer is on the boundary with the rest of physical reality and from this referential frame all that is observable is our own past, a referential frame inaccessible to physics. we live in the wake of passing time.
uwot wrote:So is the wave in the lattice, or is it the ding an sich?
The wave is the ding an sich but it is misleading to think of a wave as a physical entity. Each monad exists solely in its own temporal referential frame so it's probably best to think of them simply as point-like entities whose information/energy content changes in each Planck interval. It's not an easy thing to visualise because our minds are not tuned to doing it but this model simply needs no assumption of a physically real spatial extension for these informational points/logic gates. The Cartesian space which we are so intimately familiar with is merely a construct of our own consciousness because what we are doing is spatialising time, just as Minkowski did in SR.
uwot wrote:To me having no physical extension is the same as not physical existing.
Me too. We are in absolute agreement on this and this is my single most powerful argument against the physical existence of the Cartesian space. As Leibniz pointed out, in order for an entity to be definable as physically real it must have both a physical extension and observable physical properties and a mathematical co-ordinate system can never meet such a requirement. The great Persian philosopher/mathematicians knew this perfectly well over half a millennium earlier and they were quite explicit about it.

SPACE DOES NOT EXIST. Matter and energy have extension in time alone and we all know intuitively that this is so. Understanding the existence of the universe is simply a matter of understanding the existence of the self because the self is in and of the ding an sich. If my own existence can only be defined in terms of a journey through time then how could the existence of any other physical entity be different?

Obvious Leo
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:36 pm

PoeticUniverse wrote:Anyone certain?
An interesting fact of history on the matter of certainty. Isaac Newton never for a single moment imagined that the universe was physically real. This may strike us as more than passing strange in our modern secular lives but such a stance was by no means unusual for educated men of his era. Newton got his view of the universe from Aquinas via Descartes and these blokes were in no doubt that the universe was an artefact of the mind of god. This was not a metaphorical position for Newton but an absolutely literal one and he even went so far as to define the three Cartesian dimensions as god's "senses". Newton quite clearly and deliberately defined the science of physics as one which was modelling the mind of god and he explicitly said so.

In 21st century information theory we have a very precise way of defining the sort of universe which Newton was modelling. It is generally defined as a "virtual reality", although the word "simulation" is also very much in vogue. In modern outdoor light shows, as well as in Star Trek, such simulated realities are usually just called holograms. Physics was designed to model a hologram, which is why its models make no fucking sense.

Nicomedes
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by Nicomedes » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:24 pm

Lawrence Crocker wrote:Of course many things are certain in the way that we ordinarily use the word “certain.” It is certain that you are reading this now, that you do not have five heads, that 2 + 2 = 4. I argue, however, that in a more demanding sense, the sense that should be applied when we are evaluating the effect on our beliefs of new evidence using Bayesian updating, nothing should be regarded as absolutely certain. “2 + 2 = 4” is necessarily true, but it is not certainly true – Bayesian pioneer Lindley to the contrary notwithstanding. The detailed argument is in my blog LawrenceCrocker.blogspot.com.
What follows is a response to what I thought OP was saying, not what he was actually saying, but anyway:

I don't accept your premise that some things are absolutely certain, and some things are not, because anything's possible, no matter how improbable.
2 + 2 could = 3, humanity might just be too collectively dumb to realize it.
You know that feeling you get, when you thought you were right, but you weren't, we might be collectively getting that feeling about said equation, or every equation.

What does it even mean to be right, or unright, do you even know?
Will being able to articulate it help, or hinder?
Does being self-conscious always aid one in one's activities, or is there such a thing as getting in our own way?
Is all language not comparative/contrastive, would comparing/contrasting one thing with yet another, categorizing, labeling, not be better than experiencing it more directly?

Additionally, 2 + 2 = 4 is true in the same way that pawns cannot move backward in chess is true, it's not an objective truth about the world, it's a conceptual convention, we use for parsing the objective world, which cannot really, truly be parsed, or compartmentalized.
There are many ways to represent the world that are equally valid, Tupac's rappings is one, Beyoncé's gigglings is one more.
It's just a game we invented, and play, a conceptual, quantitative game, I suspect other sentient creatures have games of their own, on this planet and elsewhere, that we're not privy to.
We might not even recognize what they're doing even if they tried to show us.

No matter how much 2 looks like 2, and sounds like 2, or, thinks like 2, it's not 2, no 2 2s have ever been, are, or ever will be the same, and since the first 2 has been written and thought, it vanished, and no 2 has been accurately reproduced since, in writing, thinking or speaking.
As 2 as this next 2 could be, it could always be infinitely more like the first 2.
That we think of it as the same 2 as the first 2, is our problem, other more sentient life forms would be far more discriminating.
In a world 222 times more 2 like than our world, no 2 on our world would pass for a 2 on their world.

That we divide the world into a thinking self, and unthinking objects that make impressions upon us, is also our problem.
We ourselves are an impression upon ourselves, or rather parts being impressed upon other parts, which may be more or less hallucinatory.
What is it like to see your own eyes without the aid of a mirror?
Without another, there is no you.
Reality is relative, a relationship, our properties are how we affect and are effected by other things, there is no thing of itself out there, you'll go mad if you look for it, it's a happening, things of themselves is just an amusing byproduct or quirk of the way our brain/mind thinks, it has about as much reality as the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy...even less.

Man simply comes hardwired with certain ways of thinking and feeling about the world, and while we can reprogram ourselves to some extent, individually, and collectively via new language games, these 'new' programs will simply be reconfigurations of more of the same, and not necessarily better, or worse, but situationally more or less useful for whatever we wish to convey or accomplish.
Like a computer program is fundamentally 1s and 0s, although you can combine the 1s and 0s in all sorts of ways to form some other things, we have a mind/brain program, that differs/doesn't differ between individuals, and that's really all we're capable of doing.
So there's really no point in questioning how you think or feel fundamentally, at your roots, just think how you think, and learn to live with it.

Risto
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Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Post by Risto » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:14 pm

Isn't it necessary to agree on some foundational beliefs in order to possibly reach any certainty? If you don't want to agree on particular basic beliefs, it doesn't look like any certainty is possible. I could say subjectively certain things, which I could still not be able to describe objectively. For example the concept of "I think, therefore I am", so I am certain that I experience and I exist whatever that "I" means. But how can I prove this subjective certainty unless there are some foundational beliefs? For example, we have conventions for language and mathematics, but if we don't want to accept these conventions, then doesn't all possibility of certainty fade? How can I even explain what experience is if I can't accept the definition of experience or want to accept that there could be a definition? Doesn't knowledge depend on some assumptions?

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