## What is the structure of uncertainty?

Known unknowns and unknown unknowns!

Moderators: AMod, iMod

The Voice of Time
Posts: 2234
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Norway

### What is the structure of uncertainty?

What is the structure of uncertainty?

How can we model it? How do we divide it up? How do we understand it as a thing in and of itself?
Harbal
Posts: 4344
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:03 pm
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

The Voice of Time wrote:What is the structure of uncertainty?

How can we model it? How do we divide it up? How do we understand it as a thing in and of itself?
Well what do you think?
Obvious Leo
Posts: 4007
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 1:05 am
Location: Australia

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

The very fact that the concept of uncertainty exists is a complete and adequate proof that the Newtonian world-view of a universe predicated on a suite of "laws of physics" is a myth. There are no such laws.
Dubious
Posts: 2491
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

The Voice of Time wrote:What is the structure of uncertainty?

How can we model it? How do we divide it up? How do we understand it as a thing in and of itself?
You take your 3rd question and merge it with the first by the process of integration not division as per your 2nd question. What do I mean?

To understand uncertainty in and of itself you already have to be aware of some of its ingredients without which there is no awareness of what to be uncertain about. If you want to form an equation you have know some of it's terms.

How do we divide it up! It's already divided up the project being to put it together piecemeal regardless of how long it takes. If presumed to be successful it yields the model which is not guaranteed to be correct but nevertheless manifest a greater degree of certainty. Certainty in this context merely implying a higher degree of probability.

That's my view...for now. Sarcastic comments welcome!
Harbal
Posts: 4344
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:03 pm
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

Dubious wrote:
You take your 3rd question and merge it with the first by the process of integration not division as per your 2nd question. What do I mean?

To understand uncertainty in and of itself you already have to be aware of some of its ingredients without which there is no awareness of what to be uncertain about. If you want to form an equation you have know some of it's terms.

How do we divide it up! It's already divided up the project being to put it together piecemeal regardless of how long it takes. If presumed to be successful it yields the model which is not guaranteed to be correct but nevertheless manifest a greater degree of certainty. Certainty in this context merely implying a higher degree of probability.

That's my view...for now. Sarcastic comments welcome!
Yes, I was about to say more or less the same thing but you've saved me the trouble.
Dubious
Posts: 2491
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

Harbal wrote:
Dubious wrote:
You take your 3rd question and merge it with the first by the process of integration not division as per your 2nd question. What do I mean?

To understand uncertainty in and of itself you already have to be aware of some of its ingredients without which there is no awareness of what to be uncertain about. If you want to form an equation you have know some of it's terms.

How do we divide it up! It's already divided up the project being to put it together piecemeal regardless of how long it takes. If presumed to be successful it yields the model which is not guaranteed to be correct but nevertheless manifest a greater degree of certainty. Certainty in this context merely implying a higher degree of probability.

That's my view...for now. Sarcastic comments welcome!
Yes, I was about to say more or less the same thing but you've saved me the trouble.
I'm nothing if not obliging.
wirius
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:33 pm

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

I would take two ways of defining uncertainty. Logical and "emotional" uncertainty. To define, a logical analysis is a breaking down of an observation or conclusion into steps. Logical certainty would be a logical conclusion that one has not missed any logical steps in their analysis. Logical uncertainty would be admitting there are logical assumptions or gaps in that thinking.

Emotional certainty is a digest of the big picture. For example, one may come to a conclusion, but have a nagging feeling that conclusion is lacking somewhere. Emotional certainty means you are not likely to analyze something logically, as that takes a lot of thinking and effort. A lack of emotional certainty may cause you to examine something logically to see if you can find logical certainty, and restore emotional certainty.
Last edited by wirius on Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Impenitent
Posts: 2914
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:04 pm

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

chaos theory?

-Imp
yiostheoy
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:49 pm
Location: California USSA

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

wirius wrote:I would take two ways of defining uncertainty. Logical and "emotional" uncertainty. To define, a logical analysis is a breaking down of an observation or conclusion into steps. Logical certainty would be a logical conclusion that one has not missed any logical steps in their analysis. Logical uncertainty would be admitting there are logical assumptions or gaps in that thinking.

Emotional certainty is a digest of the big picture. For example, one may come to a conclusion, but have a nagging feeling that conclusion is lacking somewhere. Emotional certainty means you are not likely to analyze something logically, as that takes a lot of thinking and effort. A lack of emotional certainty may cause you to examine something logically to see if you can find logical certainty, and restore emotional certainty.
I don't think the O/P ever got any kind of straight answer so this is a good thread to resurrect.

The O/P is still around so I am surprised he/she did not bump his own thread.

Anyway, uncertainty to me is any situation or circumstance in the Universe or on the Earth where the cause or outcome is unknown.

The clearest case is any contest between two or more opposing forces.

The Universe itself appears to be dynamic but stable, at least from the perspective of human history.

The Earth itself also appears to be dynamic but stable as well.

Humankind with its bombs and poisons seems to have the ability like no other species to alter the course of the Earth, but probably not to a major degree. The Southern Hemisphere seems to be fairly pristine still, being largely composed of sea water with 3 continents dipping down into it -- the tip of Africa, the tip of Latin America, and Australia. Thus a major conflagration in the Northern Hemisphere would be survived by those living in the Southern. In that sense the Earth is still immune from total destruction.

So with that as a concept of uncertainty on a macro scale -- of the Universe and of the Earth -- uncertainty on a micro scale is simply the ability of all living things to survive their own circumstances.

There are also intellectual aspects of uncertainty. These involve being able to affix a cause and effect relationship to all observed phenomena.

Our science has helped us hypothesize about those physical circumstances.

And Philosophy helps us do so for the intangible as well.

Uncertainty is therefore anything that Philosophy cannot resolve.

We know we each exist but we don't know why.

We know we are each mortal but we don't know what was happening with us before or births nor do we yet know what happens after our deaths.

We know we are here but we do not know how we got here.

Those are the major issues of the intellectual aspects of uncertainty with Philosophy.

Religion is popular of course because it gives answers to these questions, and as long as Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and the others were not liars there is some hope of reconciliation of this uncertainty within the folds of religion.

The atheist and agnostic live with no such comfort. They must face oblivion alone.
wirius
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:33 pm

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

That's a nice abstract analysis yiostheoy.
Harbal
Posts: 4344
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:03 pm
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

The Voice of Time wrote:What is the structure of uncertainty?
Well I'm not really sure (sometimes I wonder how I think them up).
Harbal
Posts: 4344
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:03 pm
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

yiostheoy wrote: Anyway, uncertainty to me is any situation or circumstance in the Universe or on the Earth where the cause or outcome is unknown.
Straight in there with an incisive analysis.
The Universe itself appears to be dynamic but stable, at least from the perspective of human history.
This could mean anything or it could mean nothing. I'm opting for nothing.
The Earth itself also appears to be dynamic but stable as well.
Apparently, it does actually have a slight wobble.
Humankind with its bombs and poisons seems to have the ability like no other species to alter the course of the Earth
So we could break out of our orbit round the Sun and go for a spine across the Milky Way? Cool.
uncertainty on a micro scale is simply the ability of all living things to survive their own circumstances.
I think you're being unduly optimistic if you are hoping no one reads this and thinks, what the fuck is he talking about.
The atheist and agnostic live with no such comfort. They must face oblivion alone.
They have each other. Don't they?

And congratulations, you managed all that writing without mentioning tabula rasa once.
The Voice of Time
Posts: 2234
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Norway

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

I still don't understand uncertainty. It is blowing my mind how hard it is to wrap my head about it. I'd love for you all to try some more.

The concept of uncertainty as probability - I don't think that works. Probability is probability, uncertainty is uncertainty.
Hobbes' Choice
Posts: 8364
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:45 am

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

The Voice of Time wrote:What is the structure of uncertainty?

How can we model it? How do we divide it up? How do we understand it as a thing in and of itself?
It s the same as the colour of a fart.
Dalek Prime
Posts: 4922
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:48 am
Location: Living in a tree with Polly.

### Re: What is the structure of uncertainty?

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
The Voice of Time wrote:What is the structure of uncertainty?

How can we model it? How do we divide it up? How do we understand it as a thing in and of itself?
It s the same as the colour of a fart.
Would that be a wet or dry fart?