Where is "here"?

So what's really going on?

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Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:10 pm

raw_thought wrote:“Advocates argue that, like it or not, the multiverse may well be the only viable non¬religious explanation for what is often called the “fine-tuning problem”—the baffling observation that the laws of the universe seem custom-tailored to favor the emergence of life.’
You assume that the the notion of the "laws of the universe" is a valid concept but this is bullshit. The so-called "laws of physics", along with the vast suite of mathematical constants needed to patch them together are nothing more than the inventions of the upright ape.

You simply don't understand the nature of determinism and that's all there is to it. If the events of the universe were determined by physical law then it would be possible to predict the future, which it is patently NOT. The future is a blank slate because the universe is SELF-DETERMINING and it is this process of self-determination which physics seeks to model. You've got cause and effect back to front.

The reason why the laws of physics specify for the universe we observe instead of for some other universe is because if they didn't they'd be fucking wrong and we'd have to change them. Such is the nature of the bloody obvious.

To think this Goldilocks nonsense through properly you need to think like a biologist, not a like a physicist. A biologist sees a biosphere as something which simply caused itself to be the way it is and not as something which was designed to be the way it is because of some illusory "laws".

That the universe was created in accordance with a suite of laws whose origins lie external to it is a load of creationist bollocks but it is intrinsic to the methodology of physics because Newton adopted this as an a priori assumption.

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Greta
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Greta » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:34 am

Obvious Leo wrote:My dog is the same dog today as she was yesterday not because she is physically composed in the same way because she simply isn't.
These kinds of conversations happen because reality is inherently paradoxical, where multiple realities coexist depending on scale, be it quantum, molecular, insectoid, mammalian, planetary, galactic ad infinitum. These "dimensions" intersect and overlap in all sorts of ways and I you rightly point out that the reality we observe and experience is only the reality we see - there are numerous possible interpretations of any given event.

Still, cosmic bodies have had a long history of interacting gravitationally and sometimes smashing each other into smithereens, and this was happening long before they had an audience. The audience doesn't make events, they just provide an interpretation.

The poetry of reality dissolving into the past is attractive, but the dissolution is not performed uniformly and that results in lumpiness. The lumps are not random but they have evolved to specific types of forms, matter shaped by memes, by information.

Still, we are largely on the same page in that we acknowledge the likelihood of multiple universe production being at the heart of seemingly fortuitous biocentrism - a natural rather than supernatural answer. Either way, we all figure that multiple universes over countless iterations can form entities like us.
No physicist would argue that the distance to my home was not x kms, with x describing either the distance as calculated by GPS or the arc of the Earth's surface between two points - take your pick. Given that such a small distance wouldn't require reference to light speed, physicists would not refer to that distance in terms of time because they wouldn't know my speed of travel.
Obvious Leo wrote:True. At such a scale distances are calculated for convenience as distances but a metre is nevertheless officially defined as a time interval on a light clock. All the models of physics are regarded as effective models only and therefore approximations only. I'm often critical of the procedural flaws in academic physics but not usually of the physicists who wield the tools. In general they know perfectly well that the models they work with are only predictive tools which have no explanatory authority, so what pisses me off is that they seldom bother to make this clear to the general lay public, many of whom then see science as a belief system no different from any other.
We don't need metres to measure - the fundamental of distance remains. We could find a long stick and decide that was a unit of measure. So there'd be x thousand sticks between me and home that is pure distance, no time required. By contrast, there might be y million sticks between you and the Moon - but y would not be a constant due to the Moon's orbit and that measure would be be dependent on time.
You can fairly say that spatial dimensions are not what we think they are due to their relativistic nature, but you can't say that they are not reality. I don't see why entities should need be significant or noticeable at all scales in order to be considered real.
Obvious Leo wrote:I think this is simply an issue of semantics and making a distinction between that which is fundamentally real and that which is emergently real. At the Planck scale my dog is just little informational bits being processed at the speed of light. Although this is the ding an sich of the dog it says nothing about her dogginess, which is a property which emerges at a far higher level of informational complexity. However all the interwoven informational hierarchies which constitute the dog cannot be said to be objectively real because as observers we can change them simply by choosing to model the physical insides of the dog differently. The reality of the dog is specified by the observer of it.
What is "emergently real" must in some way be fundamentally real in one sense already, or it wouldn't have emerged. Something else or nothing would have emerged. The emergent can only logically reflect and expand on the nature of its source. The term "emergence" is basically a black boxing placeholder concept for "new things pop up and we don't know what all that's about". Just like its entities and objects, reality is developing and becoming more eloquent.
Greta wrote:Space is present at quantum levels, hence electron orbitals. My understanding is it's Planck scale where space is supposedly meaningless.
Obvious Leo wrote:No. Electron orbitals are purely mathematical objects. They are generally defined as a probability function of three different components, these being energy, angular momentum and a particular vector component. In a physics popularisation you might occasionally see a geek say something spatial like an electron is to its nucleus as Pluto is to the sun but this is very bad imagery and a rather foolish thing to do. It actually makes no sense at all to speak of the dynamic relationships between the various sub-atomic particles as spatial distances when in fact what counts is the time interval between one event and the next. This is why the absence of gravity in the SM is such a serious problem because time and gravity are the same thing at the Planck scale.
There are radial distances from the nucleus of an atom at which there is a probability that you will find an electron of a particular state.

These orbitals represent different distances from the nucleus (and the fact that there are particular orbitals rather than an infinite number of them has been of interest). Thus the famous analogy of the baseball and the football stadium, with the outer limits of the stadium imagined as a spherical probability cloud representing the relative scale of the nucleus and one of its orbital's radial distances.

Edits: typos only
Last edited by Greta on Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:41 am

Greta wrote:The audience doesn't make events, they just provide an interpretation.
This is simply a statement of the bloody obvious but it reveals a profound truth about QM which has never been resolved. Nobody seriously regards QM as literally true anymore but if one were to do so then the above statement is in fact false. The role of the human observer has been progressively shoved into the too-hard basket ever since the 1927 Solvay conference because nobody has ever seriously tried to understand what "collapsing a wave function" actually means. It means "having a look" and nothing more, but having a look is a conscious act. We don't see with our eyes but with our minds. Our eyes are only information receivers and it's the way the information is processed which determines the nature of our observation. Curiously Heisenberg was the quantum pioneer who possibly understood this best of all although he was confused about quite a few other things. It is actually the spatio-temporal extension of the sub-atomic particles which gives rise to ALL of the counter-intuitive absurdities in the QM model because in fact there is simply no such thing as a particle's spatial location. Bell's inequality theorem and the various hidden variables ideas try to deal with this mathematically but this doesn't address the real problem. The problem is not that Heisenberg was wrong with his uncertainty principle but rather that it was too bloody obvious. QM is based on SR and SR ignores gravity and thus is simply not relativistic enough to model the subatomic world. If there is no such thing as state of absolute rest for a physical entity in the universe then there can be no such thing as an absolute location. We can't specify both the location and the momentum of a particle at the same time for the simple reason that it can't have both at the same time. However when we "take a look" or "collapse a wave function" we are effectively taking s snapshot and freezing a moment of a past reality. We have frozen our atom like a cadaver on a slab in order to fix a particle's location when the atom is actually a living thing definable only by its changes. Hawking can never "breathe fire" into these equations because Minkowski froze the universe into a timeless block in order to spatially locate the "objects" in it. At the sub-atomic scale this can be done probabilistically with astonishing accuracy simply because the particles are moving at very close to the speed of light but this obscures the truth of the atom which is that the particles only have extension in time. The SM will NEVER be able to model this under its current paradigm because it ignores gravity and GR shows us quite unambiguously that time and gravity are two different expressions of the same thing.
Greta wrote: The poetry of reality dissolving into the past is attractive, but the dissolution is not performed uniformly and that results in lumpiness. The lumps are not random but they have evolved to specific types of forms, matter shaped by memes, by information.
The universe is entirely deterministic and nothing in it happens randomly at any scale. However the linear determinism of Newton's created universe is not the same sort of determinism as the chaotic determinism of a self-organising system. Linearly determined systems DEVOLVE from the complex to the simple and non-linearly determined ones EVOLVE from the simple to the complex. That our universe is evolving is from the simple to the complex is a proposition which I regard as self-evident so Newton was simply WRONG. Our universe is self-creating.
Greta wrote:multiple universes over countless iterations can form entities like us.
My philosophy defines a universe which is eternal. The Universal Turing Machine is both cyclical and self-programming but it can't make the same reality twice so this is essentially a multiverse model where the infinite index of possibilities is realised sequentially rather than in parallel. Max Tegmark explored a somewhat similar idea a while ago in one of his many creative flights of fancy.
Greta wrote:What is "emergently real" must in some way be fundamentally real in one sense already, or it wouldn't have emerged.
Quite so. I don't dispute the existence of a fundamental and objective reality but merely stress that the way we model such a reality is completely in the eye of the beholder. There may not be a literally infinite number of different ways of modelling this fundamentally real world but in any practical sense we may as well regard this index of possibilities as infinite. I like to use the thought experiment of the trillions of hypothetical other intelligent species in our universe who either have been, are, or will be having conversations similar to this one. Not one of these species will model reality in the same way as any other. Our atoms, molecules, particles, waves, fields, forces, constants and laws of physics are uniquely our own. Furthermore there is every likelihood that within a century all of these eternal verities will have long gone the way of phlogiston to be replaced by a new set of ideas. So finely tuned are our laws of physics that we can tune them out of existence at the drop of a hat.
Greta wrote: Just like its entities and objects, reality is developing and becoming more eloquent.
What further proof do we need than this very conversation. The evolving universe has mandated its own comprehensibility, which Einstein regarded as the greatest mystery of them all. Albert was unquestionably a genius but he absolutely did not understand the theory of evolution. Evolving systems become more informationally complex for the simple reason that they cannot do otherwise. There is no particular reason why homo sapiens should have won the chocolates by climbing to the top of the tree of sentience on our planet but the cosmic conditions were such that somebody was going to. If it hadn't been for a stray asteroid one of the dinosaurs probably would have beaten us to it. Shit happens is the most profound truth of nature so we just got lucky. Furthermore if we wipe ourselves out in our own hubris there is ample time for another species to evolve with the capacity to comprehend the universe. In fact some astrobiologists reckon this could theoretically happen a hundred more times just on this very planet before it becomes too uncomfortably warm. Homo would do well to show a bit of humility and realise that he's not so special and that the universe will continue to evolve just fine with or without him.
Greta wrote: There are radial distances from the nucleus of an atom at which there is a probability that you will find an electron of a particular state.

These orbitals represent different distances from the nucleus (and the fact that there are particular orbitals rather than an infinite number of them has been of interest). Thus the famous analogy of the baseball and the football stadium, with the outer limits of the stadium imagined as a spherical probability cloud representing the relative scale of the nucleus and one of its orbital's radial distances.
Any particle physicist will agree that these representations are mathematical/metaphorical statements and not physical statements.

raw_thought
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:13 pm

"You assume that the the notion of the "laws of the universe" is a valid concept but this is bullshit. The so-called "laws of physics", along with the vast suite of mathematical constants needed to patch them together are nothing more than the inventions of the upright ape."
Obvious leo
I disagree. You are saying that science has no power to explain ANYTHING about our world or universe.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:28 pm

raw_thought wrote: You are saying that science has no power to explain ANYTHING about our world or universe.
I am merely expressing the mainstream and prevailing view in the philosophy of knowledge as outlined by Kant. Science is not capable of explaining the universe but merely of modelling its phenomena, so this epistemology is the property of the scientist and not of the universe. This was also the view of Niels Bohr and the other pioneers of early 20th century physics and it was most emphatically the view of Albert Einstein. Your so-called laws of physics are a myth and there is absolutely no reason why our universe should be modelled according to them rather than according to some other model. So much for Goldilocks.

It was always a dumb idea for physics to sack the philosophers because this is very basic philosophy.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:32 pm

raw thought. I've always reckoned that one you could tell everything one needed to know about a person's capacity for reason by asking one of the most common and oldest questions in philosophy.

Was mathematics discovered or invented? How would you answer?

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:21 am

I am familiar with that problem. There are arguments on both sides. However, lets take the formalist position for now (since you obviously disagee with the idea that math describes reality.
True, the chain of symbols "1+1=2" are invented by humans and do not resemble reality in the sense that one rock and another rock do not resemble the before mentioned pattern of ink (1+1=2). However, to say that since nothing physical resembles modus tollens, modus tollens does not help us understand reality is silly.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:24 am

Actually, Kant did not dismiss analytical knowledge. Science combines analytical knowledge with empirical knowledge. Kant would obviously endorse that.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:36 am

Using your argument,the statement, "the cat is on the mat" cannot describe reality because the word "cat" does not resemble a 4 legged mammal that purrrs.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:14 am

Raw thought. You forgot something.
Obvious Leo wrote:Was mathematics discovered or invented? How would you answer?

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:17 pm

raw_thought wrote:I am familiar with that problem. There are arguments on both sides. However, lets take the formalist position for now (since you obviously disagee with the idea that math describes reality.
True, the chain of symbols "1+1=2" are invented by humans and do not resemble reality in the sense that one rock and another rock do not resemble the before mentioned pattern of ink (1+1=2). However, to say that since nothing physical resembles modus tollens, modus tollens does not help us understand reality is silly.
You should read posts.
My answer was that the debate is not settled. However, if what you posted was related to the topic we are discussing (I suppose I was stupid for thinking it was related to what we were talking about), the only point you could possibly be making was that both positions show that math does not describe reality. Since the nominalist position is the only one of the two that according to you takes that position I showed that it does not.
Your whole motive was to prove me stupid? Is that all you got, personal attacks? Its as if I said," Sanders is the best candidate ". And you "refuted" my proposition by asking, " What is the capital of Paraguay ".

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:35 pm

It is interesting how the brain works. I did not see the connection between "nominalism" and "formalism " until I read what I just wrote. I considered editing that post. However, I then thought that I dont care if Leo makes the anal objection that "formalism " and "nominalism " are not interchangeable in all cases. They are in the context of our debate.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:37 pm

raw_thought wrote:My answer was that the debate is not settled.
You obviously understand the significance of the question or else you'd answer it. Mathematics is either discovered or invented and I seek to know what is your position in this debate?

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:40 pm

It is not setteled. Do you want me to take a position before all the facts are in?
How many times must I repeat myself? Do you actually read my posts or just skim over them?
I am an agnostic on unresolved questions.
But lets get back on topic, please.
Last edited by raw_thought on Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:41 pm

My point is that even if it is invented that does not mean that it doesnt describe reality. English was invented. But that does not mean that books never describe reality.

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