Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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jstan

climber
Mar 6, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
As best I can see, Andy has solved the John Long problem. John's only reality is experiential. Reality is fully defined by what is going on in his mind. He is a writer and his goal is simply to gather words together that generate a certain experience within himself. He assumes that his writing transfers that experience to others. It does not of course. The writing does generate an experience in others. But the fact no one can fully describe an experience (John himself does not even try) we have no way to determine whether his assumption is correct.

Hilbert Space may come up just because he commutes with String Theorists and he has to listen to discussions of this every day. They generate an experience in him, which is his reality.

Until Andy explained this, it never occurred to me anyone would take a metric no one can define, as a reality that can be shared between individuals. A priori it does not work. It is like using a Euclidean space when you have no idea where the axes point or what their scales are. You may have a real vector in mind, but you can't plot it. So we have had these incredible strings of words on ST.

There is no light at the end of this tunnel.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 6, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
incredible strings of words

yes

maybe we could plot them like the Bible code, and see if they predict what just happened
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 6, 2013 - 05:54pm PT
As best I can see, Andy has solved the John Long problem

Just goes to show how dense I am. I had no idea he was a problem to start with!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 6, 2013 - 06:07pm PT
John's only reality is experiential. Reality is fully defined by what is going on in his mind.
---


You've lost your way here John. Phenomenologists long ago settled the fact that all human's reality is experiential. What else might it be? However much your evaluating mind might try and objectify things inside and outside of your skin boundary, it can only become real to you as content in your experience. An equation can only be made real to you or can only register as qualia - as content flowing before your awareness. And that, by any definition, is an experience had by a subject.

To have something other than a subjective experience, to know or brush against something beyond the content of your own awareness, is not a doable thing for humans. It seems in some strange way that some of you who are especially fused with your rational mind that the goal is to somehow extinguish the messy subjective aspects of being human and to have a kind of brain in a dish take on what you beleive is "external" or objective reality. But that "take" would have to be passed before your awareness and you're right back to being the subject ingressing said "take."

Reality is not defined by what is going on in my mind, which is in constant flow or flux, as it is for every human being. Such ephemeral stuff can hardly be held as real.

JL

I use Hilbert space not because I get bombarded by my science friends, but as an example of a provisional cognitive tool that allows the exploration of physical reality with predictable results. An organizing principal.
MH2

climber
Mar 6, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
The first step in solving the John Long problem is to realize that there is no John Long problem.



Don Paul,

How about reading a thermometer? Is that a more-objective-but-still-partly-subjective experience of temperature?
jstan

climber
Mar 6, 2013 - 08:23pm PT
The first step in solving the John Long problem is to realize that there is no John Long problem.

Pardon my wordage. The problem is that we have had thousands of posts with no real improvement or evolution in the discussion.

With his statement
Phenomenologists long ago settled the fact that all human's reality is experiential.

John agrees to my basic premise, totally.

He does not discuss my other premise that a reality based only upon experiential data is an entirely personal reality. It is not a reality for two or more individuals.The common definition of reality is that it is independent of the observer.

I do not view this as a pejorative finding at all. I view it as a resolution of the question why it is we seem locked in an endless loop. IMO the structure of the question is now made apparent.

John's suggestion that I have "lost my way" is now entirely understandable. "Lost my way" means something to him. Because the phase produces in John the feeling he has regarding our conversation. Means nothing to me without an enumeration of the data as to how and where I am lost.

Years ago John could add no details as to why he felt there was some non-material extension to humans. His statement was based upon how making that statement made him feel. It felt right. That's great. But it fails to form the basis for any discussion between two different people.

Don Paul,

How about reading a thermometer? Is that a more-objective-but-still-partly-subjective experience of temperature?

Reading of a thermometer is made objective by calibrating the thermometer and by comparing the readings made by two or more observers. And then by publishing the report in a peer reviewed journal where a large number of people practiced in the art can make comment based upon their experience and attempt to reproduce the measurement, where necessary.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 6, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
The first step in solving the John Long problem is to realize that there is no John Long problem.


Quantifying IS the process of addressing a problem, so to speak, meaning a discrete thing with measurable dimension. That is material reality. The John long problem is the utter impossibility of using the quantifying model as an end all tool for exploring our fundamental reality - the experiential. It is only a problem if you insist on what works only in a limited way.

The problem is that many people are convinced that it is possible to explore all of reality via a one-size-tits-all. Note that no one has ever agreed that quantifying has any limitations, even when they default into saying "in the material world."

JL
MH2

climber
Mar 6, 2013 - 08:33pm PT
Well, yes. The hypothesis of a non-material basis for experience pretty much begins and ends with the hypothesis. Whatever an individual observer may feel.


I was kind of surprised recently, though, to have an aspect of my own reality yanked out from under me. It was so natural to me that I hadn't even given it a thought. Maybe John can help?

Largo often has said that the evaluating mind likes to work with numbers, or at least measurable quantities. So what is a number? Take a good simple integer like 3. You can point to an example of 3 but can you define 3 well enough so that there will be no ambiguity in what you mean? Or do we just calculate with numbers and not worry too much about what they are?

Is 3 a physical thing? If not, then what is it?

We don't really need to go as far as a Hilbert space.
jstan

climber
Mar 6, 2013 - 08:42pm PT
Note that no one has ever agreed that quantifying has any limitations,

This is seriously in error. Fundamentally in error. When the people at the LHC made the decision to announce their discovery of a new boson, they made it based upon statistical analysis of the data assuring them of statistical confidence at the five sigma level.

The decision was entirely determined by knowledge of the inaccuracies in the data and the support that flawed data provided for the announced conclusion.

All data is flawed. To one degree or another.

There is an old saw.

Theorists are the only ones who believe their theory.

Experimentalists are the only ones who don't believe their data.

So John. you have a lot of friends who also make your mistake.

Edit:
MH2:
The first tablets recovered in cuneiform were billings made to customers who had received deliveries of product. This was in Sumer 4000 years before X. Since there was successful trade the meanings of those indentations were apparently agreed upon between vendors and customers.

The Hindu Arabic number system was introduced to Europe in the fifth (V) century and was used in combination with the abacus. In some parts of the world an abacus is still used and in the hands of an expert can sometimes be faster than a computer. Here too, agreement in the use of numbers was apparently extensive.

Numbers are symbols. If people are in agreement as to the meaning of those symbols, they can play a role in civilization. To see what happens when agreement does not exist one need look no further than our House of Representatves.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 6, 2013 - 09:07pm PT
The problem is that many people are convinced that it is possible to explore all of reality via a one-size-tits


All right enough bullshit already. Its one thing to intimidate us with Hildergerg Spaces but don't for a second think we'll ever settle for one size tits.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Mar 6, 2013 - 09:12pm PT
Where are we going here?

How is my awareness limited? How similar is your awareness to mine..Why can't I see through your eyes?

Does your green look like my green?
MH2

climber
Mar 6, 2013 - 09:20pm PT
Numbers are symbols. If people are in agreement as to the meaning of those symbols


"People" may be in agreement but mathematicians may go a little deeper than the symbols:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalence_class

and then get on with life.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 6, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
Largo is seeing if the phrase "bullshit baffles brains" is true.
jstan

climber
Mar 6, 2013 - 10:50pm PT
I was considering that possibility a year or two ago. But it would take a lot of imagination to decide that. So I am thinking he is as he is and there is no other way for him to be.

Werner had some sage advice years ago and I am going with it.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 7, 2013 - 05:15am PT
What about reading a thermometer.

Will give me something to think about. It's a more complex question than it appears because the thermometer isnt the temperature nor is it a symbol for the temperature, it makes the example indirect. But the result is going to be that the temperature is whatever it is, and if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, it proves the pope probably does sh#t in the woods after all.

Is 3 a physical thing?

No. Show me two identical things, let alone three. Show me a right angle, that's exactly 90 degrees. It's real though isn't it?
MH2

climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 08:19am PT
Plato could have done that for you Don Paul, but you have to look inside your head to see the demonstrably objective (i.e. independent of a given observer) mathematical reality.
WBraun

climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 10:07am PT
The Hilbert Space is none other than in Sanskrit "lokas"

They are spheres of consciousness.

They all exist on the earth as well as within us.

They've been known since day one.

The modern materialists cave men are just beginning to find out about these although it's been known for millions and millions of years.

You don't need a 9 billion dollar smash tube to understand.

Actually the 9 billion dollar smash tube will never see it.

The highest loka is Sataloka and can not and never be accessed by any material means .....
MH2

climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 10:14am PT
Truth is stranger and more satisfying than fiction.


Other temperature questions for consciousness:


Why does it often feel good to walk into a sauna, but after a while it feels bad and you leave?

Why do most people prefer warm showers to cold?

Does a cold shower feel any different after a sauna than it did before?


Is it better to try and understand temperature perception as objective versus subjective, or better to see temperature perception as messages helping us to promote our survival?

Until a better understanding comes along, I like to view consciousness as a sophisticated predictive property of the brain, using past experience, modeling, imagination, and who knows what else to see into the future. Natural selection rewards predictive ability in certain branches of the tree of life, mainly where predators and prey are roughly evenly matched in brain power.

With humans natural selection may have gone too far. Now that we have re-made our environment to suit us our predictive capacities seem unable to adjust to the new challenges presented by large numbers of people needing to cooperate while competing with each other.

At least there is that subjective bubble where we can watch life on a small screen.
WBraun

climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 10:18am PT
I like to view consciousness as a sophisticated predictive property of the brain

It's not from the brain.

But that is the defective direction that you are all heading.

Sorry .....
MH2

climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 10:20am PT
No need to be sorry, Werner. Some of us are still stuck in a trial and error kind of learning. I appreciate any help that I get.
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