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 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:15 am

raw_thought wrote:Why do you think that someone that believes in the principle of sufficient reason necessarily believes in God?
Where did I say this? I said the exact opposite right HERE.
Obvious Leo wrote:"Ex nihilo, nihil fit" is one of the most ancient first principles in metaphysics and there is simply no valid reason to discard it.
and HERE
Obvious Leo wrote:The universe is the way it is because that's the way it made itself and that is absolutely ALL there is to it.
and HERE
Obvious Leo wrote: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.
and HERE
Obvious Leo wrote: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
Do you know what the PSR actually is?

raw_thought
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:03 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
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."
Leo
Where did you imply that anyone that believes in the principle of sufficient reason must necessarily believe in God? See above!

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:08 am

Um yes, PSR (principle of sufficient reason) means that everything has an explanation. However, you implied that explanations are only useful fictions.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:13 am

Most people think that theists believe in PSR. Perhaps a theist's position is invalid or not true, but its rather obvious that theists believe in PSR.
However, that does not mean that an atheist cannot believe in psr.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:30 am

Ok, I was sloppy in my last 3 posts. I admit that.
Let me try to be clearer.
You implied that if one does not believe in psr one must be a theist.
Actually, theists are strong believers in psr. That is one of their arguments for the existence of God. The chain of explanations must end somewhere.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:38 am

Actually, I have not taken a theist position or an atheist position. I am simply saying that there must be an explanation beyond useful fiction. If that knowledge is beyond us has nothing to do with if there is a God or not.
Perhaps I misunderstood you. But you seemed to be implying that since I believe in psr I must be advocating a theist position.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:43 am

From nothing, nothing can emerge. But there is something (reality, universe etc). If we "explain " in an equation how, * that explains nothing! What breathes fire into the equation? By definition that cannot be another equation (infinite regress).
* something can come from nothing.

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Greta
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Greta » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:48 am

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
Obvious Leo wrote: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.
Gravity and time. Things increasingly coming together until they reach of point where they can't hold together any longer and then they break apart, only for the process to start again. Where does subjective experience come into this? It would seem superfluous and would appear to fail your hardline Occam's Razor approach.
Obvious Leo wrote: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.
Thanks Leo. Great post and much food for thought. Still, I need help with the idea of how we are gravitationally attracted to the Earth (or whatever larger body) because of the different tempo of time between our head and feet.
a cosmic equivalent blastula invaginating?
Obvious Leo wrote: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.
You sound like a big chicken - did you faint when your wife was delivering? :)

Seriously, I got the idea from reading Richard Dawkins's "The Greatest Show on Earth" (pp 107-108's description of embryonic growth): http://zamalik.weebly.com/uploads/5/6/1 ... awkins.pdf

"Invagination" is a great word! :) - and concept - turning inside out. Supernovas. Bankruptcy. Life and death. In birth the outside is drawn into an emerging entity and continues through development until after about age 30 when the environment starts to reclaim the resources borrowed for the span of a life.

As you know, I am interested in reality's tendency to produce imperfect fractals -, "as above, so below". So I was considering analogies between the birth of our universe and the birth of living things. A more geo/biocentric than phsyics-centric - story of reality is emerging for me. Major events like cosmic inflation, embryonic growth and death are changes of state rather than the introduction of "something into nothing" or vice versa because there was always "something" beforehand. The nature of that "something before" is the issue in question. We have systems within systems within systems, some persist, some break down.

So we have the story of our solar system, a young star surrounded by the gas and dust it collected from its parent supernova's "invagination". The dust cloud is fairly homogeneous but over time the areas of greatest density attract more material to themselves. After a period of blind tussling between emerging planetoids, planets emerge that either attract or destroy the remaining material around them in a process referred to as the planet "clearing its space", a definition of planets that resulted in the demotion of Pluto, which had failed to clear its space of Ceres and other planetoids.

Then we have the young Earth and the spread of organic life forms. For billions of years there has been a relatively balanced homogeneity in nature - until humans learned to manipulate information. Now humanity is "clearing its space" in nature like the planets did. Further, wealth distribution in human societies is following a similar dynamic, with massively wealthy corporations "clearing space" around them (ie. either absorbing the assets of anything around them or bankrupting them). It would seem that humans are in the process of splitting into two species - en naturale and technologically enhanced.

Yet little of this acknowledges the other elephant in the room - subjective experience. As per Chalmers, the growth of systems from subatomic scale to larger more complex entities does not require an internal subjective experience, just action and reaction.

raw_thought
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:55 am

Oh no! Not the qualia debate again. Just a few weeks ago that debate ended. Obviously qualia exist. Pain hurts ! It is not only C fibers firing. C fibers firing might cause pain but by definition C fibers (and only C fibers firing) does not feel like anything. What something feels like is the definition of qualia.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:10 am

raw_thought wrote:Um yes, PSR (principle of sufficient reason) means that everything has an explanation.
No. This is not what the Principle of Sufficient Reason means. The PSR has nothing to say about the nature of explanations but refers primarily to the nature of existence. Its basic principles date back to the pre-Socratics and these were more formally elaborated under the Athenian schools led by Socrates, Plato and then Aristotle into what came to be known as the universal doctrine of causality. Essentially all the PSR means is that nothing can be said to exist unless it has been caused to exist so the PSR is nothing more than a statement asserting the primacy of determinism. All effects must be preceded by a cause.

Since the Enlightenment the PSR has been formulated in countless different ways but its application in the philosophy of science is generally credited to Leibniz, the founder of information theory and the first thinker to seriously formalise the laws of thought which subsequently came to underpin all the various schools of logic.

A broader understanding of the PSR also includes the Law of Parsimony, which is sometimes referred to as Occam's razor, and this law is one of the central planks of the scientific method. It is this aspect of the PSR which refers to matters of explanation and it is a law which can be very simply and elegantly stated. When two possible explanations are possible to explain an observed phenomenon then the SIMPLER of the two explanations must ALWAYS be preferred. However this critically important statement of scientific principle can make no statement about the truth value of the explanation.

The last word on the application of the PSR in human reasoning and thus the nature of an explanation is traditionally credited to Kant, who sadly observed the honourable German tradition of ensuring that his philosophy was unreadable. Although it wouldn't win him any literary prizes this is how he formalised the problem of inductive reasoning in the Jasche lectures on logic.


“(...) Truth, it is said, consists in the agreement of cognition with its object. In consequence of this mere nominal definition, my cognition, to count as true, is supposed to agree with its object. Now I can compare the object with my cognition, however, only by cognising it. Hence my cognition is supposed to confirm itself, which is far short of being sufficient for truth. For since the object is outside me, the cognition in me, all I can ever pass judgement on is whether my cognition of the object agrees with my cognition of the object”.

The point which Kant makes here is that the scientist cannot model reality. He can only model a particular procedure of thought which he must first define as his narrative of reality. In the universe which Einstein was convinced could eventually be explained to his barmaid this means that physics cannot model what's going on in the universe. Physics can only model what the physicist THINKS is going on in the universe.

Needless to say if the physicist's narrative includes the possibility of an uncaused event then this narrative is FALSE, a metaphysical first principle which Einstein remained inflexibly wedded to until his dying day and which is nowadays almost universally accepted by the entire priesthood.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:30 am

????
The principle of sufficient reason = the idea that everything has an explanation or cause. I will send links/sites.
Unfortunately, I only have a tablet now.
For now google the free dictionary, sufficient reason.
Perhaps, you do not think that finding the cause is an explanation???
I think you are playing semantic games and not being serious.

raw_thought
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:44 am

Or even better, google, Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy, sufficient reason.
This will educate you as to what the principle of sufficient reason means.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:46 am

Or even better, google, Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy, sufficient reason.
This will educate you as to what the principle of sufficient reason means.
Eventually, I will provide links and quotes that show that the principle of sufficient reason means that everything has an explanation.

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:13 am

Greta wrote:Gravity and time. Things increasingly coming together until they reach of point where they can't hold together any longer and then they break apart, only for the process to start again.
Yes. This is the basic cosmological principle of the cyclical universe as modelled in the Universal Turing Machine. Each cycle of the universe starts out in a maximum entropy state (not infinite) and evolves self-causally towards a minimum entropy state (also not infinite). This is what all dissipative structures do simply because they cannot do otherwise. Evolution operates contrary to the second law of thermodynamics because the entire system tends from the simple to the complex and the fact that our universe is doing exactly this is supported by 13.8 billion years worth of evidence.
Greta wrote:Where does subjective experience come into this? It would seem superfluous and would appear to fail your hardline Occam's Razor approach.
I don't know how you can draw this conclusion. Although I make no metaphysical distinction between "life" and "non-life" I'm willing to accept the prosaic distinction as it is understood in the common usage. Chemists and biologists make no such life/non-life distinctions and are in no doubt that the systems they study are information systems and that such systems evolve from the simple to the complex in exactly the way I define above. Under the right external conditions life and mind MUST evolve in our cosmos because it simply cannot be otherwise. This is a mandated consequence of the meta-law of cause and effect and requires no other law or teleological principle.

Obviously we can draw no firm conclusions from a sample size of one but surely we are obliged to assume that the evolution of life and mind in our cosmos has been, is, and will continue to be ubiquitous. To suggest otherwise and claim that our own planet earth is in some way unique would place the burden of proof squarely on whoever would dare make such an extraordinary claim.

Therefore to suggest that a self-causal universe mandates its own comprehensibility is proven by the fact that, in principle, at least one informational sub-structure within it can comprehend it. In fact this truth is what Einstein always found the most utterly baffling.

"The most incomprehensible thing about our universe is the fact that it is comprehensible"....Albert Einstein.

The reason why Albert found this baffling is because he simply had no conceptual grasp whatsoever of chaotic determinism. He proved this with his various papers on Brownian motion and the fact that he won a Nobel prize for this work is symptomatic of the reductionist cul-de-sac in which physics was ensnared at the time. Henri Poincare, the true father of relativity, had a very deep intuitive understanding of non-Newtonian determinism, which is why he utterly rejected the spacetime paradigm from the outset.
Greta wrote: Still, I need help with the idea of how we are gravitationally attracted to the Earth (or whatever larger body) because of the different tempo of time between our head and feet.
You'll never get it until you manage to locate yourself only in a gravity/time continuum, just like you'll never understand entanglement either unless you can manage this little conceptual feat, You have to throw the luminiferous aether down the shithouse and think the world without it, Greta. It's not all that easy but it's well worth the effort because every single counter-intuitive absurdity in physics simply vanishes and leaves only Wheeler's universe of the most sublime austerity.
Greta wrote: You sound like a big chicken - did you faint when your wife was delivering? :)
No. I was out in the carpark smoking cigarettes.
Greta wrote:As you know, I am interested in reality's tendency to produce imperfect fractals -, "as above, so below".
This is why you should be able to get where I'm coming from. The grav/time continuum is a fractal dimension and all the various informational hierarchies within it are embedded within each other like matryoshka dolls. The universe is just a big Mandelbrot set and you can even locate yourself within it as a self-similarity, where are you both all of it and part of it. It's simply far too elegant to be wrong but I'll remind you that it does yield a testable hypothesis which would falsify current theory. This is not a mere navel-gazing exercise.
Greta wrote: As per Chalmers, the growth of systems from subatomic scale to larger more complex entities does not require an internal subjective experience, just action and reaction.


I actually know David Chalmers personally and find him a very charming bloke. However I wouldn't give you two bob for his dualist take on the world. In my opinion Chalmers doesn't know his epistemological arse from his ontological elbow because I categorically do NOT think my thoughts. I am a dynamic PROCESS and thus I AM my thoughts. I am NOT (a) Being but simply Being.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Greta » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:21 pm

Greta wrote:Where does subjective experience come into this? It would seem superfluous and would appear to fail your hardline Occam's Razor approach.
Obvious Leo wrote:I don't know how you can draw this conclusion. Although I make no metaphysical distinction between "life" and "non-life" I'm willing to accept the prosaic distinction as it is understood in the common usage. Chemists and biologists make no such life/non-life distinctions and are in no doubt that the systems they study are information systems and that such systems evolve from the simple to the complex in exactly the way I define above. Under the right external conditions life and mind MUST evolve in our cosmos because it simply cannot be otherwise. This is a mandated consequence of the meta-law of cause and effect and requires no other law or teleological principle.
I have also had the impression that there's no hard line between life and non-life, but there's no reason for life to have a sense of experience, to have qualia. Life would survive better if it didn't experience anything and instead simply operated informationally, selecting optimal approaches for every situation like a well programmed computer.
Greta wrote: Still, I need help with the idea of how we are gravitationally attracted to the Earth (or whatever larger body) because of the different tempo of time between our head and feet.
Obvious Leo wrote:You'll never get it until you manage to locate yourself only in a gravity/time continuum, just like you'll never understand entanglement either unless you can manage this little conceptual feat, You have to throw the luminiferous aether down the shithouse and think the world without it, Greta. It's not all that easy but it's well worth the effort because every single counter-intuitive absurdity in physics simply vanishes and leaves only Wheeler's universe of the most sublime austerity.
I was thinking about this. You referred to subatomic particles travelling at the speed of light, yet without space how can anything travel at light speed? Even relative space seems a problem in your exclusively grav/time model. I'm okay with reality basically constantly forming and breaking up over time from Planck scale or smaller to larger and larger scales - be it what we call life, planets, stars, galaxies, superclusters or the entire cosmic web. Even talk of larger scales brings relative space into the picture. To be aggregated by gravity is to be compressed into a smaller and denser space, like gas and dust clouds that eventually formed the planets and other entities.
Greta wrote:You sound like a big chicken - did you faint when your wife was delivering? :)
Obvious Leo wrote:No. I was out in the carpark smoking cigarettes.
Spoken like a real Chuck Norris!
Greta wrote:As you know, I am interested in reality's tendency to produce imperfect fractals -, "as above, so below".
Obvious Leo wrote:This is why you should be able to get where I'm coming from. The grav/time continuum is a fractal dimension and all the various informational hierarchies within it are embedded within each other like matryoshka dolls. The universe is just a big Mandelbrot set and you can even locate yourself within it as a self-similarity, where are you both all of it and part of it. It's simply far too elegant to be wrong but I'll remind you that it does yield a testable hypothesis which would falsify current theory. This is not a mere navel-gazing exercise.
I still have some issues. Obviously I still have questions about qualia and space. I'm also not satisfied with "it's hard to get your hear around" non-explanation with gravity being one's top and bottom in different time zones. It's up to you to find a way to get your concepts across if you want to spread your memes.

If you don't mind me saying so, your "Philosophy of the Bloody Obvious" needs a whole lot more paragraph breaks and generally try to help readers out, to quote Kurt Vonnegut's advice to writers:
Readers have to identify thousands of little marks on paper, and make sense of them immediately. They have to read, an art so difficult that most people don’t really master it even after having studied it all through grade school and high school — twelve long years.

So this discussion must finally acknowledge that our stylistic options as writers are neither numerous nor glamorous, since our readers are bound to be such imperfect artists. Our audience requires us to be sympathetic and patient teachers, ever willing to simplify and clarify, whereas we would rather soar high above the crowd, singing like nightingales.

You used informal language so it's not as though you were aiming for academic purity. I wouldn't say this if I didn't think you had ideas that more people should be talking about.

Greta wrote: As per Chalmers, the growth of systems from subatomic scale to larger more complex entities does not require an internal subjective experience, just action and reaction.
Obvious Leo wrote:I actually know David Chalmers personally and find him a very charming bloke. However I wouldn't give you two bob for his dualist take on the world. In my opinion Chalmers doesn't know his epistemological arse from his ontological elbow because I categorically do NOT think my thoughts. I am a dynamic PROCESS and thus I AM my thoughts. I am NOT (a) Being but simply Being.
You are too sure of your position IMO. When you think of the advances that will be made in the future, what makes you think that you have fully cracked the mystery just 7,000 years after we started organising agriculture. Are you so sure that our descendants in a million years will say, "Most of them didn't have a clue but, hey, this guy's on to something"? I don't mean to be critical, just to challenge some ideas.

Are we just our thoughts? We are also ecosystems to microbes - we're their whole world. We are relationships. We are not just the now but we also carry, and are shaped by, the past in the form of information. I suspect that time is not so definitive and that the past does not just disappear.

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