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 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:12 am

Greta wrote: Science can't possibly be used for macro explanations because it works from the bottom up. To depart from that approach is generally criticised as "unscientific",
This is only regarded as a true statement in physics and not in ANY of the other sciences. Newton's methodology is purely reductionist but in no other science is this methodology used. Biology, for instance, relies on the fundamental truth that casuality in the natural world is both a bottom-up and a top-down phenomenon but this is just as true for physics as it is for any other science. It is quite true to say that the behaviour of atoms within a molecule will cause the molecule to behave in a particular way. However it is equally true to say that the molecule has physical properties which its constituent atoms don't have and that these EMERGENT properties cause reciprocal changes in the behaviour of the constituent atoms. In this way it is more intuitively correct to think of the relationship between atoms and molecules as a dynamic process rather than as simple "building blocks" of matter.
Exactly the same argument applies to the atom and its constituent sub-atomic particles so we shouldn't be thinking of the atom as an object at all because the atom is an EVENT. Furthermore because some changes occur within the atom at the speed of light we should be thinking of the atom as an event which is occurring at the speed of light. This is the ancient Ship of Theseus story which completely demolishes our traditional understanding of the "object". Since an atom is changing itself into a different atom at the speed of light it simply makes no sense to think of it as an "object" or a "building block". An atom is simply an emergent hierarchy of informational complexity embedded within a non-linear dynamic system.

Newton's wholly reductionist methodology is completely incapable of modelling this more intuitively coherent narrative of a reality which is continuously being made.
Greta wrote: if we have a infinite sequence of moments, it begs the question as to whether it's only an infinite sequence of information and energy or if there's something else in the mix
I prefer to think of energy as an emergent form of information in much the same way that matter is but there is ABSOLUTELY something else in the mix. This process modelling allows for gravity to manifest itself and gravity is the elephant in the room of physics because GR tells us that gravity and time are simply two different expressions of the same thing. They bear a precise mathematical relationship to each other which is inversely logarithmic in its nature and which obtains all the way down to the Planck scale. This inverse relationship provides the fundamental asymmetry needed for a self-causal informational universe because it applies from the Planck scale all the way up to the cosmological scale. It is the only meta-law needed to account for every observable phenomenon in the entire universe and it is a truth bigger than god because it even accounts for us. Self-causal systems evolve from the simple to the complex purely because they cannot do otherwise and the most obvious example of this in nature is our own planetary biosphere.

This bit might take a bit to get your head around but it is absolutely true. The reason why you are bound to the surface of the earth is because time passes more quickly at your head than it does at your feet. I'll concede that this takes a bit of thinking through but it doesn't take an awful lot of physics to see why this should be so. It also explains why falling bodies accelerate.

It also explains why the universe appears to be expanding, as well as why this expansion appears to be accelerating. It also explains why the less massive galaxies, like ours, are flying apart but this is a major digression into a totally new cosmology which I better avoid in this topic. However it does relate to the OP because it does answer the question "where is here". The truth of relativity is that there is no here. There is only a Now and our moments Now pass at a truly astonishing speed. Literally trillions of trillions of trillions of Planck intervals pass every single second of our lives and each of these intervals exists solely in its own temporal referential frame. We ride the crest of a continuously emerging wave of time which is carrying us into the future at the speed of light. We observe only its wake and it is this wake which spacetime physics is modelling.

Descartes and Newton assumed the Aristotelian space as a background within which the events of the universe could occur but a process reality needs no stage on which to perform its eternal magic. The stage is only what we observe and what we observe is a holographic representation of events which exist no longer.
Greta wrote: It appears to be growing, developing and, presumably, dying
It is evolving, that's all, and it will continue to evolve until it can evolve no further. When that happens it will undergo a phase shift somewhat analogous to flipping over on a Moebius ribbon. Spacetime physics hints at a rather similar idea with its bang/crunch paradigm where the entire universe collapses into a black hole and starts all over again. Alan Turing modelled this exquisitely in the Universal Turing Machine, the eternal reality maker which programmes its own input and never repeats the same reality twice.
Greta wrote:a cosmic equivalent blastula invaginating?
This is a very confronting mental image which I'd ask you to elaborate on. Is it a girlie thing?

This model is of a universe sufficient to its own existence and makes no statement about other universes for the simple reason that any such statement is unverifiable by definition. it makes no statement about god for the same reason but both the multiverse hypothesis and the god hypothesis can be discarded in this paradigm on the grounds of insufficient reason. The philosophy of the bloody obvious proceeds from the assumption that Simplicity is Truth and that that which is unnecessary cannot be.

raw_thought
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:03 pm

Leo,
Are you saying,
1. We are too stupid to ever understand reality.
Or,
2. There is no explanation.
#2 is weirder then any Twilight Zone. However, I came up with an argument for it
If there is an end to explanations then that original explanation has no explanation. Which means that there is no explanation for why there is something rather then nothing. (like Hawking's fire, it has no explanation) *
If there is an infinite chain of explanations that explains nothing. Imagine that we explain the earth's position by saying that it rests on an elephant and that elephant on an elephant...That does not explain why they are elephants and not lets say rocks. The infinite (God or not) explains nothing!
* This is similar to asking what wood is. Cellulose fibers. What are cellulose fibers.? Lets say it ends with the definition X. X then has no definition. Then the penultimate explanation is meaningless...until the concept wood is meaningless.
The idea that it is not that we are too stupid to understand reality, it is that there is NO EXPLANATION for anything is mind boggling.
We can find purpose but never meaning. The difference is, purpose is about achieving goals, meaning is understanding. The meaning of a dog is 4 legged mammal that barks.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:31 pm

raw_thought wrote:Are you saying,
1. We are too stupid to ever understand reality.
Quite the reverse. I'm saying that we all intuitively already know exactly what reality is but we're overthinking it. Firstly a unification of concepts. In my philosophy the terms "reality", "existence" and "the universe" are entirely synonymous terms and I intend that this statement be taken literally. Thus to understand the nature of existence I merely need to understand the nature of my own because I'm not so arrogant as to assume that there's anything special about me. I am in and off the stuff of the universe itself and thus what is true for me must be true for all of reality.

What then is the nature of my own existence? This is a question which every human mind can and does answer throughout its life. The emergent construct which is me is not an object but a process. My Self has never remained the same for two consecutive Planck intervals of my entire life because this is the speed at which I am turning into a new Leo. At any given step along this journey I can only define myself in terms of my location in time because I am constantly on the move from a dead past to an unknowable future via the nexus of the present. If this is true for me then so it must be true for every entity of matter and energy in the universe, but this hardly bleeding edge new philosophy.

"All things originate from one another and vanish into one another according to necessity and in conformity with the order of time"...Anaximander ... "On Nature".

In the philosophy of the bloody obvious our universe is nothing more than a journey of information through time. It is the simplest possible entity imaginable because it is nothing more than an eternal sequence of events following one upon the other in an orderly, causal and generative fashion.The universe is the way it is because that's the way it made itself and that is absolutely ALL there is to it. What physics does is simply model how this came about but it does this under Newton's false assumption of teleological purpose. At no scale of reality, from the Planck scale to the cosmological, does reality serve to execute a divine purpose so to accept Newton's a priori assumption of a universe determined by a suite of laws is to define our universe as unknowable, which is exactly what physics does.
raw_thought wrote: Which means that there is no explanation for why there is something rather then nothing.
We don't need one because I regard this as the stupidest question in human history. "Ex nihilo, nihil fit" is one of the most ancient first principles in metaphysics and there is simply no valid reason to discard it. Nothing does not exist because something does and arguing about first causes is an unworthy exercise for an examined mind. Translated into the Australian vernacular this just means that "Larry Krauss is a fuckwit" and once we get that we can simply accept the notion of an eternal universe on the grounds of Occam economy.
raw_thought wrote:The infinite (God or not) explains nothing!
Exactly. Whether it be god or the multiverse it makes no difference. Once we place our explanations for reality beyond the domain of reality we place them beyond the reach of either science or philosophy and into the realm of the supernatural. An explanation which explains everything is an explanation which explains nothing and any philosopher willing to entertain such a capitulation to belief should reach for his hemlock without delay.
The scientist may as well just chuck all his hi-tech crap in the bin and go fishing.

raw_thought wrote:The idea that it is not that we are too stupid to understand reality, it is that there is NO EXPLANATION for anything is mind boggling.
It's rather less conceptually challenging to say that there is no ONE explanation for anything rather than to say that there is none at all. However what you say is essentially true. The way we choose to explain the world around us is exclusively a matter of conceptual taste and there is simply no "right" way or "wrong" way of doing this.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:49 pm

Asking the question, " why is there something and not nothing" is a stupid question? Why? The only reason it can be stupid is if the question is meaningless. So the question is meaningless?
I do not see why you think any answer must involve God.

raw_thought
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:50 pm

So you are a postmodernist. There is no reality. Only various interpretations of reality.
Which is very close to Berkeley's idealism. Except that you substitute man for God. Note that I am not a theist. I am saying that if only our understanding of reality is real there is no objective reality.
If every understanding of reality is equally true. What if one interpretation says, "A" and another says," not "A"?
Last edited by raw_thought on Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

raw_thought
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:55 pm

I am talking about ontology not epistemology. I believe that there is a reality even if we cannot comprehend it. That is why if there is no answer (not that we cannot comprehend it) * Ifeel that is Twilight Zone territory.
* To the question, why is there something and not nothing.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:07 pm

If I understand why I exist (evolution etc) that does not mean (and is unrelated to the question) why there is something and not nothing. In other words, even if I understand evolution, I still do not understand how the universe was created.
PS: I believe in evolution. The evidence makes evolution obvious.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:14 pm

Perhaps there is an area where the principle of sufficient reason does not apply. But that area is stranger and more mystical (beyond reason) then any religion.
Religion has explanations (tho false) and so can be valid or not*. However, to say that there is no explanation is far more bizarre.
* There is a difference between valid and true.
Here is a valid and yet untrue argument.
1. All Martains eat snakes.
2. Bob is a Martian.
3. Therefore Bob eats snakes.
Here is an argument that is invalid and yet true.
1. Nixon was president.
2. Eisenhower was president.
3. Therefore Carter was president.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:18 pm

Perhaps the existentialists were right! Reality is absurd (meaningless ). There is no explanation for reality! Do not try to find it because it does not exist!!!
There is no answer (theological or physics ) as to how there can be something and not nothing.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:57 pm

I do not think that reality, existence and universe are synonymous terms.
Existence substantiates a variable. I think subjects substantiate predicates.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:23 pm

raw_thought wrote:Asking the question, " why is there something and not nothing" is a stupid question? Why? The only reason it can be stupid is if the question is meaningless. So the question is meaningless?
I do not see why you think any answer must involve God.
This is just a question of language use because I regard all meaningless questions as stupid. I absolutely do NOT think that any supernatural explanation for the universe must necessarily involve god. That our entire cosmos is a simulation created by some other form of uber-intelligence is equally likely to be true and equally impossible to establish. As a philosopher I have no interest in questions for which there can be no answers, even in principle. Something from nothing is such a question.
raw_thought wrote:I am saying that if only our understanding of reality is real there is no objective reality.
I'm saying the exact opposite. I'm saying that there absolutely IS such a thing as an objective reality but that the way we model it is entirely a construct of our own consciousness. I thought I'd made the point that in my view it truly doesn't matter how we do this. A quark is just a quark because that's the way we've intersubjectively agreed to model a particular class of observations. When we manage to think up a better way of doing this, as we inevitably will, then the quark can piss off back into the luminiferous aether from whence it came. Physicists are only in the prediction business so they may conflate their maps with their territories for as long as it remains convenient to do so but philosophers are in the explaining business and thus they may not conflate their maps with their territories under any circumstances.
raw_thought wrote:I am talking about ontology not epistemology.
I hope I've clarified my position on this because what I'm talking about in my philosophy is the ontology which underpins our epistemic models of physics. Essentially this boils down to the correct definition of determinism which Newton (and thus physics) defines as linear and which I define as non-linear. Newton defined the universe as the creation of a divine being and I define it as self-creating.
raw_thought wrote: In other words, even if I understand evolution, I still do not understand how the universe was created.
That's because you're posing an oxymoron as a question. A created reality executes a pre-determined programme and thus does not evolve. An evolving reality just makes it up as it goes along.
raw_thought wrote:Perhaps there is an area where the principle of sufficient reason does not apply.
If I had ever imagined for a single instant that this was true I would have done the hemlock trick ages ago. Being the plaything of an omnipotent being is not to my existential taste.
raw_thought wrote: However, to say that there is no explanation is far more bizarre.
That's only because you ask yourself the wrong question. Ask yourself why the hell should there be only a single way of explaining our universe? Imagine all the trillions of sentient civilisations which will evolve and become extinct throughout our cosmos between now and the Big Crunch. My bet is that there is a ZERO probability that any two of these hypothetical civilisations will model the universe in the same way and yet all of them will be potentially capable of colonising it. The sooner we realise that there's nothing particularly special about homo sapiens then not only will this help us in surviving the next century it should also help us in understanding the nature of reality.

WE ALL GET TO MAKE OUR OWN VERSION OF IT AND WE CAN CHANGE OUR MINDS AS OFTEN AS WE BLOODY WELL LIKE.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:26 pm

raw_thought wrote:I do not think that reality, existence and universe are synonymous terms.
Existence substantiates a variable. I think subjects substantiate predicates.
I have no idea what this means so I chose not to comment on it. Perhaps you'd care to clarify.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:29 pm

Why do you think that someone that believes in the principle of sufficient reason necessarily believes in God?

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:39 pm

Existence is what substantiates a predicate. For example, there can be the property * of "being a cube 3x3x3. However a cube 3x3x3 if it is not substantiated is not real.
* predicate.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:52 pm

Sorry! Duh on my part!
Instantiated not substantiated!

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