Universe can't be infinite.

So what's really going on?

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Greylorn Ell
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by Greylorn Ell »

TimeSeeker wrote: Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:28 am
Greylorn Ell wrote: Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:23 pm How about you? Do you make any distinction between formulas and principles?
I do, however my background is applied decision theory, complexity and systems engineering so both principles and formulas exist in a broader category in my mind called "tools".

Principles are heuristics necessary for plausible reasoning/real-world decision-making, otherwise all of our formulas would become computationally intractable.

And so only by the grace of Occam's razor do we get to build models which have infinities in them and overlook the fact that we have no clue what "infinity" is or recognize that we can't actually represent infinities computationally. The function predicts (within some domain and some acceptable error bound for prediction). We call it a victory and go home.

It all boils down to this distinction for me: prediction vs control.

If "understanding" was to be measured on a continuum then control (of outcome) is a much higher bar than prediction (of outcome). Physicists care about rough prediction - doctors and engineers care about control and precision-of-action. In the domain of complex systems Occam's razor doesn't always work in practice. In fact doctors are far more likely to lean on Hickam's dictum.

Control requires a higher bar for "understanding" than mere prediction because we don't have the luxury of hiding all the complexity we don't want to tackle behind mathematical symbols.

And so, while a physicist can get away with the principle of parsimony in their field of work - I cannot. Trying to brush complexity under the carpet tends to blow up in my face rather frequently. Out of sight is not out of mind.

Reality is too complex to fit into man-made models. I think most experimental (distinguished from theoretical) physicists understand that?
Okay and thanks for the feedback. You and I have entirely different views of principles vs. formulas, so we'll probably not be able to exchange useful concepts.

My background is physics (which is based upon principles but also lots of formulas developed from those principles), and engineering (mostly formulas). No point trying to explain our differences in perspective. Alas.

I believe that any understanding of the universe, and our own selves, is hindered by cosmologists' adoption of the beliefs of millennia-old Hebrew goat herders as their central, monotheistic version of the beginnings of things. I'll not be able to convince you otherwise, so will not try. Thank you for your thoughts nonetheless.

I've tired of seeing references to Occam's Razor as a useful principle, so initiated a new thread on the topic.

Best regards,
Greylorn
Greylorn Ell
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Luxin wrote: Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:11 pm November 21, 2018
Greylorn Ell wrote: Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:57 am ... J.C. was a pragmatic religionist who never concerned himself with philosophical bullshit.
Greylorn
Hi, I'm going to have God talk to the forum on my behalf, because it may help. Of course you're part of the forum, so you can hear me.

[ God speaks to the forum: ]

Esteemed gods of the forum including god-visitors, the esteemed god Greylorn affirmed that Christ "never concerned himself with philosophical bullshit".

I am curious how the god arrived at this conclusion.
By reading, discussing, and considering the first 3 books of the New Testament, from the perspective of a devout Catholic; then subsequently doing the same with philosophy from the perspective of a dubious physicist but effective engineer.

Out of this process I found a few simple principles that explain lots of fundamental stuff.

Hey, next time you're talking to God, tell the idiot to read my book, and if he understands it, to send another miracle-maker down here to clean up J.C.'s mistakes.

Greylorn Ell
Greylorn Ell
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by Greylorn Ell »

QuantumT wrote: Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:10 pm
Greylorn Ell wrote: Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:13 am QT,
You've disclosed your abysmal ignorance. How is it that we know anything about the finiteness of the quantity of matter?

Is the quantity of energy, which is interchangeable with matter, also finite?

Instead of getting your sorry version of reality from TV or pop-sci magazines, why not either study some physics or get your incompetent butt off this forum? ---Thereby making more space for other fools.

Greylorn
1st: The only abysmal person here is you, sir. I must say, it's very rare to meet someone as rude and arrogant as you. It would be nice if you'd quit behaving like an anus :wink:

2nd: I didn't get my version of reality from pop science. Truth is I had a very bad nights sleep yesterday, so I let my thoughts wander a bit more in a holistic direction, than I would usually do. And truth is also that we much to often complicate things unnecessarily (violating Occam's Razor), so maybe I could be on to something we could all learn from? (Unless you're too arrogant to learn, of course.)

3rd and finally: To answer your "question"; yes, matter/energy in our universe is finite. We just don't know how much there is yet.
QT,

I figured out that for most ignorami, the term "holistic" has been as badly misunderstood as "epic" and "decimated." It is commonly used as a stand-in for "I've studied at least 20 pages of New Age Bullshit."

You've displayed your ignorance by your incompetent, mindless reply to a question you seem not to have read. You claimed that the amount of matter in the universe is finite.

I asked you not about matter, but about energy. Your reply is that of an ignorant pinhead determined to remain so by ignoring anyone who tries to point out your inability to think coherently.

Greylorn
Greylorn Ell
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by Greylorn Ell »

TimeSeeker wrote: Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:28 am Reality is too complex to fit into man-made models. I think most experimental (distinguished from theoretical) physicists understand that?
An afterthought-- Man-made models are both complex and simplistic. Perhaps "reality" is too simple, too obvious, to fit into our extravagant models, every one of them, religion and cosmology, derived from the beliefs of ancient Hebrew goat herders.

Greylorn
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QuantumT
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by QuantumT »

Greylorn Ell wrote: Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:22 pm QT,

I figured out that for most ignorami, the term "holistic" has been as badly misunderstood as "epic" and "decimated." It is commonly used as a stand-in for "I've studied at least 20 pages of New Age Bullshit."

You've displayed your ignorance by your incompetent, mindless reply to a question you seem not to have read. You claimed that the amount of matter in the universe is finite.

I asked you not about matter, but about energy. Your reply is that of an ignorant pinhead determined to remain so by ignoring anyone who tries to point out your inability to think coherently.

Greylorn
Whatever, Greyturd. Not wasting anymore time on you. Hope you have a nice life in your own conceited reality.
TimeSeeker
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by TimeSeeker »

Greylorn Ell wrote: Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:29 pm An afterthought-- Man-made models are both complex and simplistic. Perhaps "reality" is too simple, too obvious, to fit into our extravagant models, every one of them, religion and cosmology, derived from the beliefs of ancient Hebrew goat herders.

Greylorn
If it so turns out that we are in a clockwork universe and it's all the product of simple rules + cellular automaton over 14 billion years it is still computationally intractable to us. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_30

I am a pragmatist first and foremost - I care about prediction/control. THEREFORE I care about "understanding" (what does that even mean? :) ) reality. Not the other way around.

(self-)determinism is a human value. If it turns out to be a property of "reality", but it is intractable to us hairless apes - who cares?
TimeSeeker
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by TimeSeeker »

Greylorn Ell wrote: Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:23 pm Okay and thanks for the feedback. You and I have entirely different views of principles vs. formulas, so we'll probably not be able to exchange useful concepts.
Since you use the word "useful"...

I am a die-hard pragmatist/instrumentalist. Useful concepts (whether called principles or formulas) is all I really care about in the end. "If it doesn't work it's not true" was Feynman's brand of pragmatism I think.

To this end I have many principles in my toolbox.

When to use a particular principle? That's a hard question ;)
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RG1
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by RG1 »

Since it is impossible for the universe (space/time/matter) to be created, then if the universe exists, it has "always existed". -- i.e. is infinite.
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by -1- »

Greylorn Ell wrote: Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:22 pm
QT,

I figured out that for most ignorami, the term "holistic" has been as badly misunderstood as "epic" and "decimated." It is commonly used as a stand-in for "I've studied at least 20 pages of New Age Bullshit."

You've displayed your ignorance by your incompetent, mindless reply to a question you seem not to have read. You claimed that the amount of matter in the universe is finite.

I asked you not about matter, but about energy. Your reply is that of an ignorant pinhead determined to remain so by ignoring anyone who tries to point out your inability to think coherently.

Greylorn
You are a real charmer, aren't you.
Walker
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by Walker »

Greylorn Ell wrote: Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:49 am
Walker wrote: Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:09 am There's room for the senseless and all else in infinity.

After all, we are in the middle of a Dark Matter Hurricane, or maybe it's the edge we're in the middle of, and the edge of the middle is worse, like the edge of a hurricane eye.
Walker,
WTF are you talking about? You sound like a religious pinhead. How much dope do you need before writing your meaningless drivel?
Greylorn
How could you possibly be ignorant of the Dark Hurricane?

Or, do you simply dare to contest the authority of Science?

You actually have the hubris to unbelieve the Religion of Science?
Danger Will Robinson!

:D

You also have something in common with this other observer.

The World Is in the Middle of a Reproducibility Crisis in the Sciences
https://pjmedia.com/trending/the-world- ... -sciences/

This is not casting shade on the real scientists, who, yes, might take government money, but work very hard at making their study rigorous and absolutely reproducible. Heck no. Those people are important. They’re also a dying breed. The system encourages “science-to-order” generating things like the hokey hockey stick graph and thousands upon thousands of studies that are the equivalent of “climate science” or worse, rather than studies that are actually useful and applicable.

“This is, in general, because government gets what it pays for, and what it pays for is the conclusions it wants. This is, of course, worse in the softer sciences, but it’s very bad in all sciences. Which is why the world is in the middle of a reproducibility crisis (though these guys would rather we called it a problem), i.e. studies that when examined are wholly made up, or severely fudged.”


*

The reason for the crisis?
Folks were raised on those iconic Einstein posters, and think they can get by with thought experiments.


Is a problem without a solution, actually a problem?
Atla
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by Atla »

Greylorn Ell wrote: Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:58 am The renormalization piece brought my back to my first QM class, wherein I decided that the mathematics behind QM was complete BS. After taking a different career path, I might even have figured out why.
Greylorn Ell wrote: large body of experimental evidence in the field of parapsychology
By the way, the key to parapsychology is QM, quantum biology.

It's a completely taboo topic. My conjecture is: after it was becoming obvious that several parapsychological effects are miniscule but very real, some powers that be banned the entire topic in the West.
Age
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by Age »

RG1 wrote: Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:12 pm Since it is impossible for the universe (space/time/matter) to be created, then if the universe exists, it has "always existed". -- i.e. is infinite.
Although a more correct terminology for the conclusion here would be the word 'eternal', this does not detract from the beauty of truth, in its simplicity.

The simple fact that; if, for every action there is a reaction, is true, then, there is no beginning nor was there no end.

If some thing is reacting with some thing else, which there obviously is, then that ALWAYS IS, (has, and will). That is eternally.

And,

If 'Universe' means ALL-THERE-IS, then there, obviously, can not be a border nor limit to ALL-THERE-IS. That is infinitely.

Therefore, the simple truth IS the Universe is eternal and infinite.

This, however, is based upon there being no sound, valid argument for a beginning of, and/or a limit to, ALL-THERE-IS, nor no sound, valid counter argument. If such an argument can be proposed, then let us see it. Otherwise the simple truth remains intact for all to see.
Greylorn Ell
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Atla wrote: Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:55 am
Greylorn Ell wrote: Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:58 am The renormalization piece brought my back to my first QM class, wherein I decided that the mathematics behind QM was complete BS. After taking a different career path, I might even have figured out why.
Greylorn Ell wrote: large body of experimental evidence in the field of parapsychology
By the way, the key to parapsychology is QM, quantum biology.

It's a completely taboo topic. My conjecture is: after it was becoming obvious that several parapsychological effects are miniscule but very real, some powers that be banned the entire topic in the West.
Atla,

Your statement looks to me like complete BS, but thank you for your reply nonetheless.

Do you actually understand quantum mechanics, or have you merely watched some documentary channel bullshit? Have you experimented with various aspects of the paranormal? Can you explain in detail how QM biology explains photosynthesis, or any aspect of human mental behavior? If so, tell us about your experiments or STFU.

Greylorn
Atla
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by Atla »

Greylorn Ell wrote: Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:36 am Atla,

Your statement looks to me like complete BS, but thank you for your reply nonetheless.

Do you actually understand quantum mechanics, or have you merely watched some documentary channel bullshit? Have you experimented with various aspects of the paranormal? Can you explain in detail how QM biology explains photosynthesis, or any aspect of human mental behavior? If so, tell us about your experiments or STFU.

Greylorn
Just saying, you decided that the mathemathics behind QM was complete BS, even though a third of the world's economy is based on it. :)

I've been thinking about QM for nearly a decade but of course I don't fully understand it. (And been interested in normal psychology all my life too.) Based on these I have some vague theory how several of the parapsychological effects might work.

The most straightforward ones are: how people notice when they are being watched, and other "abnormal" effects having to do with our attention. And how people close to each other can sometimes instantly sense that the other one died, some twins even sense each other's moods. Not interested in discussing them though, I just don't see why one would dismiss QM.

(I don't understand photosynthesis. It does look like quantum behaviour, some claim it is, some claim it's quasi-quantum.
If it's quantum behaviour then as far as I understand it, it either breaks all probability/randomness, or our universe is almost infinitely more improbable and we can't (yet?) recreate this kind of non-random behaviour in a laboratory for some reason.
So I tend to favour the quasi-quantum behaviour camp nowadays, I think.)

Anyway I'm off, our views don't intersect.
TimeSeeker
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Re: Universe can't be infinite.

Post by TimeSeeker »

Atla wrote: Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:02 am I've been thinking about QM for nearly a decade but of course I don't fully understand it.
https://philosophynow.org/issues/46/New ... aser_Sword
To many of the Greeks, the connection with reality was too tenuous to be worth bothering about. Axioms were regarded as ‘self-evident truths’, dredged by pure thought from reality, and the philosophers didn’t believe the axioms could be other than they were. Believing that they were abstracted from real things like pegs and ropes was far too mundane. So Plato came to articulate the idea that all the important truths about the world could either be known to the inner eye directly, or deduced from them by pure reason. A more conservative man might have concluded that there were mathematical truths which could be derived from just about any set of rules, and observational truths about reality, and that the two were not in general the same. But intoxicated by ‘Greek Magic’ as mathematics has been called, Plato went the whole hog.

Most people, no doubt, decided that this might be true in principle, but if you wanted to know which horse could run faster, it was a lot cheaper, quicker and less intellectually taxing to race them than to sit and think about it an awful lot. Those people who had lost all their money betting on horses and also had a disposition to think, felt it was a better to solve the problem by pure thought, and looked down on those who owned the horses or bet on them. This habit has continued to the present time.
Thinking (or "pure reason") or any other armchair intellectualism without empiricism does not produce anything an engineer or an experimental physicist would call 'understanding' ;)
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