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Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:00 pm
by Greylorn Ell
PROPOSITION: OCCAM'S RAZOR IS A STUPID CRITERION

(Much of this is excerpted from an essay and book draft of mine and as such is copyrighted material. Use it freely with attribution to me, as published on the Philosophy Now Forum, but only if you include this OP in its entirety. Thank you.

The principle commonly referred to by incompetent philosophers as "Occam's Razor" was actually devised by Aristotle, in this form:

We may assume the superiority, other things being equal, of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses.

Aristotle preferred a small quantity of hypotheses, seemingly unconcerned with their quality. Perhaps any concerns were concealed within his "other things..." caveat.

The Greek mathematician Ptolemy (2nd century AD) blew off Aristotle's "other things being equal" qualifier, limited the hypothesis count to one, and stated his personal version thusly:

We consider it a good principle to explain the phenomena by the simplest hypothesis possible.

Thus, perhaps influenced by Hebrew and early Christian monotheism, Ptolemy reduced Aristotle's principle to a single, simplistic criterion.

Ptolemy demonstrated the value of his personal simplification by using it to invent an absurd mathematical model that described the primitive astronomical observations of his time, but got the physics-- the reality of it-- completely wrong. His simplistic hypothesis placed the earth at the center of the entire universe, with all other celestial objects moving in perfect circles around our puny planet.

Of course even naked-eye observations of planetary motion (e.g: the apparently retrograde orbits of Venus and Mercury) contradicted this goofy theory, but Ptolemy fixed that glitch with what might have been the very first pseudo-science kludge, the notion that some ojects moved in circles centered, not around other celestial objects, but around the circumference of larger circles. That circumference was the imagined orbital path a planet was imagined to follow.

Ptolemaic astronomy dealt only with observations, not with any physical cause-effect relationships. He modeled the observations with mathematics and geometry, never explaining any of them, never introducing the concept of force-counterforce relationships. Ptolemy used the perceived value of mathematics to set European science back about 1400 years, by using it to market a phony model of reality that was subsequently adopted by the idiots controlling the Catholic Church.

Ptolemy's absurd mathematical model was justified by his revised version of Aristotle's Razor. As happens, the good old Church stepped in once again thanks to the nitwit philosopher/theologian Richard of Occam with its own take on the principle, that the fewest number of hypotheses determines the best of competing theories. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s ... _of_Ockham

The 20th century philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russel proposed:

Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.

Please take a second, thoughtfully evaluated look at this simple yet profound statement:

Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.

Translated-- Let's figure out how the universe began, and how it works, by using the real information, the physics, that we actually know about it instead of philosophical principles that are subject to the interpretation of those with agendas.

I regard Russel's Razor as the only intelligent philosophical criterion for determining the respective values of opposing hypothesis, physical or metaphysical.

Please do me and others on this forum the favor of not commenting upon this if you are ignorant, stupid, or both. Thank you. :)

Greylorn

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:07 am
by TimeSeeker
All principles are "stupid" (unjustified). All criterions - also. The underlying principle of all physics/science is pragmatic utility: prediction.

The SI units have a circular dependency on each other.

m = h×10^−34 J⋅s
m = f(h,j,t)

j = kg⋅m^2⋅s^−2
j = g(l,m,t)

From E = mcc

g(l,m,t) = f(h,j,t)*c^2

1. The above is recursive.
2. Both are functions of time. What is time?

The very word "prediction" implies "Correct guess at time (t + N)". Which further implies linear time. N of WHAT?
Seconds apparently - which are defined in terms of Cesium 133 :)

And we are happy to turn a blind eye to the fact that QM and GR have different conceptions of time.

All models are wrong. Some are useful...

Principle of least effort/parsimony is merely justification for pragmatism.

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:02 pm
by Impenitent
TimeSeeker wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:07 am

All models are wrong. Some are useful...

some have turned letters for 40 years...

(I don't think Vanna ever wore iron pants, but I could be wrong...)

-Imp

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:24 am
by devans99
There is the argument that the universe was created by something (God?). If it was created by something, it is designed and a well made design is just as complex as needed for the task and no more. So when considering the universe, if you believe in a designer, then Occam's Razor is still applicable.

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:32 pm
by TimeSeeker
devans99 wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:24 am
There is the argument that the universe was created by something (God?). If it was created by something, it is designed and a well made design is just as complex as needed for the task and no more. So when considering the universe, if you believe in a designer, then Occam's Razor is still applicable.
And I can totally buy such an argument. Only an engineer like me can fuck this place up so badly!

I see the design trade-offs, technical debt and budget cuts EVERYWHERE!

What were you thinking?!?!?!? Deadlines! That's what.

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:41 pm
by devans99
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:32 pm
devans99 wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:24 am
There is the argument that the universe was created by something (God?). If it was created by something, it is designed and a well made design is just as complex as needed for the task and no more. So when considering the universe, if you believe in a designer, then Occam's Razor is still applicable.
And I can totally buy such an argument. Only an engineer like me can fuck this place up so badly!

I see the design trade-offs, technical debt and budget cuts EVERYWHERE!

What were you thinking?!?!?!? Deadlines! That's what.
The design looks very Occam's Razor to me. As far as I can tell, time is a circle. At time=0 there is the start and end of the universe. IE the Big Bang and Big Crunch. This is the only way to explain how the Big Bang occurred; the only place in the universe to get sufficient energy and matter for the Big Bang is the Big Crunch, so it seems time must be circular.

It's a very neat design. It's like a giant game of Conway's Game of Life. The stars provide the energy for life and the planets provide the living environment. Once all the energy in the universe is depleted, time circles around to the big bang again and everything repeats.

If I was designing a life supporting universe myself; this is the design I'd use.

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:49 pm
by TimeSeeker
devans99 wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:41 pm
If I was designing a life supporting universe myself; this is the design I'd use.
Work-as-imagined vs work-as-planned vs work-as-disclosed vs work-as-done :lol: :lol: :lol:

The story of technical debt. http://www.safetydifferently.com/the-va ... uman-work/

Or as most practitioners insist. In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:31 am
by Greylorn Ell
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:32 pm
devans99 wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:24 am
There is the argument that the universe was created by something (God?). If it was created by something, it is designed and a well made design is just as complex as needed for the task and no more. So when considering the universe, if you believe in a designer, then Occam's Razor is still applicable.
And I can totally buy such an argument. Only an engineer like me can fuck this place up so badly!

I see the design trade-offs, technical debt and budget cuts EVERYWHERE!

What were you thinking?!?!?!? Deadlines! That's what.
TimeSeeker,
You're an engineer? What do you engineer, exactly? Cat litter boxes?
Greylorn

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:38 am
by Greylorn Ell
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:49 pm
devans99 wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:41 pm
If I was designing a life supporting universe myself; this is the design I'd use.
Work-as-imagined vs work-as-planned vs work-as-disclosed vs work-as-done :lol: :lol: :lol:

The story of technical debt. http://www.safetydifferently.com/the-va ... uman-work/

Or as most practitioners insist. In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.
If you're devans99, I'd sure hate to be hearing from devans01. Please don't even think about designing a universe-- you're not ready for that yet. Maybe you and TS should put your keen minds together and maybe come up with a new and improved clinker remover.

Greylorn

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:43 am
by Greylorn Ell
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:32 pm
devans99 wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:24 am
There is the argument that the universe was created by something (God?). If it was created by something, it is designed and a well made design is just as complex as needed for the task and no more. So when considering the universe, if you believe in a designer, then Occam's Razor is still applicable.
And I can totally buy such an argument. Only an engineer like me can fuck this place up so badly!

I see the design trade-offs, technical debt and budget cuts EVERYWHERE!

What were you thinking?!?!?!? Deadlines! That's what.
Don't try to hijack this thread, dipshit. :(

Stay on point or go away. The moderators don't care, which is why this is forum is rife with jerks like you. But I care. Get a job and move out of you mother's basement so you'll have something useful to do.

Greylorn

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:04 am
by TimeSeeker
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:31 am
TimeSeeker,
You're an engineer? What do you engineer, exactly? Cat litter boxes?
Greylorn
Distributed systems. The kind that make computer science a superset of physics.
Because I've worked with more time-dimensions and more information than you have :)

That physicists run their mouths about information and you haven't even heard of the CAP theorem is a damn shame!

Well, some have. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:24 am
by Greylorn Ell
TimeSeeker wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:04 am
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:31 am
TimeSeeker,
You're an engineer? What do you engineer, exactly? Cat litter boxes?
Greylorn
Distributed systems. The kind that make computer science a superset of physics.
Because I've worked with more time-dimensions and more information than you have :)

That physicists run their mouths about information and you haven't even heard of the CAP theorem is a damn shame!

Well, some have. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics
TS

I got it. Distributive systems-- You are an expert in placing cat-litter boxes in various rooms throughout a house.

I know about digital physics. Let me know when it explains the double-slit experiment and human consciousness.

GL

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:41 am
by TimeSeeker
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:24 am
I know about digital physics. Let me know when it explains the double-slit experiment and human consciousness.
Ooooh. You "know". I guess I've found myself another gnostic :)

What's your criterion for 'explanation'?

And I guess I can hold you accountable to the same standards you impose onto others.
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:53 pm
Define what you mean by "God," and do so precisely. In other words, describe this entity in terms of its properties.
Define what you mean by "knowledge" and "consciousness" and do so precisely. In other words, describe those entities in terms of their properties ;)

I do suspect, however, that you are already running to safety into the hills of philosophical sophistry.

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:25 pm
by Greylorn Ell
devans99 wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:24 am
There is the argument that the universe was created by something (God?). If it was created by something, it is designed and a well made design is just as complex as needed for the task and no more. So when considering the universe, if you believe in a designer, then Occam's Razor is still applicable.
Devans99,

If you were to actually peruse my OP, i.e. take the trouble to understand it, you will realize that I'm proposing a criterion that is superior to Occam''s simplistiic Razor. which is all about minimizing the quantity of hypotheses. As a result we have two stupid hypotheses about the origin of the universe-- either an omnipotent all-powerful God did it, or some nonsensical "physical singularity" spontaneously appeared out of nowhere and blew up, giving us all the mass-energy in the universe plus the principles of interaction and 26 essential "constants" needed to make it work properly.

Both of these "everything from one" hypotheses are extremely complex, and if examined objectively, will be seen to be functionally identical.

Russell's criterion is closer to Aristotle's original in that it is attentive to the QUALITY of the hypotheses. If you actually understood the point of the OP we might have an intelligent conversation, which I would welcome.

Greylorn

Re: Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:54 pm
by TimeSeeker
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:25 pm
Russell's criterion is closer to Aristotle's original in that it is attentive to the QUALITY of the hypotheses. If you actually understood the point of the OP we might have an intelligent conversation, which I would welcome.
Gaylord, are you familiar with the Munchausen trilemma, and the problem of criterion in epistemology?

The only criterion which remotely resembles an objective standard for 'hypothetical QUALITY' is the predictive power of a hypothesis. Does it agree with experiment?

A hypothesis that only explains, yet predicts nothing OR everything is less useful than toilet paper.

And so you have a bit of a problem when it comes to any hypothesis about how the universe "began". You can't test it!

Further. Are you familiar with the Halting problem in computer science? It's not only unsolved, it is UNSOLVABLE.

Now, as far as theories go "God did it" is about as simple as it gets and it explains EVERYTHING, but since it's not good enough for you then clearly you have some other criteria in mind.

What would a "good enough" theory look like? What properties will it have? How will you know that your search for "explaining the beginning of the universe" is over?

When will the search halt?