Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 13521 - 13540 of total 23145 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 25, 2013 - 07:15pm PT
Behavioral analysis is already kind of...y'know... a thing.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 25, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
Behavioral analysis is already kind of...y'know... a thing.

Yeah, profiling and all of that. But you have to wonder what the underlying beliefs are per how far the data can carry us on that front. If your are a "hard" determinist, everything everyone ever did was determined beforehand, and we could predict with 100% accuracy what Marlow or BASE might do had we sufficient data, including chaotic and random factors. People scream that such a model is a caricature, that it is way more nuanced and subtle than this while providing nothing more than mechanical and reductionistic factors going by different names.

Put differently, where lies the limit of a probabalistic model? At what piint does it break down, and why (beyond just more probabalistic input)?

JL

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 25, 2013 - 08:31pm PT
Chaotic and random factors can make even highly probable predictions go south pretty quickly, without pushing any limits at all. These sorts of things are always expressed in terms of statistical probability, not omniscience.
jstan

climber
Mar 25, 2013 - 08:33pm PT
It is interesting to note John S.'s use of probabilistic logic and probabilism in reference to
science being able to predict the behavior of this or that, at least on a surface, material level, and
that the verity of said prediction determines if a theory is right or wrong.

Since I was named I claim the right to nit pick. It is a fundamental nit however.

if a theory is right or wrong

"Right" and "wrong" are absolutes. It is entirely possible there is no such thing as an absolute.
This is apparently true for physical theories. Every theory of which I know has been improved and
its accuracy in predicting experimental results has been materially increased subsequent to its
initial publication. If an absolute is identified, it will probably be the exception that proves the
rule.


I would also caution against philosophical introspection on probabilism. When the quantum was
shown to be so successful that it could no longer just be ignored everyone got into philosophical
debates to resolve its divergence from our day to day experience. Then there came a statement
attributed to the Copenhagen school of Niels Bohr advising everyone to

"shut up and compute."

Feynman did the computing and participated in work showing quantum electrodynamics
works beyond anyone's initial hopes.

I would deign to suggest the meaning of probabilism will ultimately be exposed

only through computing.

In this regard excellent instruction can be found in the Robb Memorial Lectures given by
Feynman in Auckland. He points out at the start that it will all sound "nutty" and that each person
should stay in the hunt for understanding even when they simply don't understand. He says, "I
don't understand it either."

(Quite simply it cannot be "understood" from day to day experience.)

He said, "I want you to keep coming and work through this with me."

Feynman demonstrates in the lectures the devotion to pedagogy for which he is so famed. Justly.

WBraun

climber
Mar 25, 2013 - 09:01pm PT
"Right" and "wrong" are absolutes. It is entirely possible there is no such thing as an absolute.


They are simultaneously relative and absolute.

When materially infected they are relative.

When spiritually correct they are absolute .......
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Mar 25, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
Waiting for this in 7D

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 25, 2013 - 09:05pm PT
I would deign to suggest the meaning of probabilism will ultimately be exposed

only through computing.


I would agree, so long as your field of study is surface layer materials. I can also appreciate the cautionary tales advising to never go beyond the line that computing can accurately reach, lest one can never really "know" anything, absolutely or otherwise.

But I would deign to suggest that explorers were never stopped by such warnings - that they should be so horribly wrong without their slide rules, on terrain so slippery that it has little bearing on our day to day lives.

If probabilism is a valid position, it must reach beyond physics and up the ladder into meta-functions. My previous question was basically asking that once you're in that areana, do you believe valid answers would likewise be attained "only through computing?" Put differently, at what point in the escalating complexity of things do you see computing/probabilism basically running it's course? And why? Or are you saying it only applies to quantum level happenings, and the predictions cease at the threshold of the meta, wherever that might be.

I don't look at this as some abstract philosophical notion (God save thy numbers!), but of the strictly practical order of things.

JL
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 25, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
We must wonder how far the probabalistic model can be pushed in determining, say, human behavior.

The social sciences had high hopes a150 years ago that we would be able to plug variables of human behavior into equations and come out with predictable outcomes just like the hard sciences. In Anthropology we have data on over 5,000 known societies compared point by point (the HRAF files) and the only two constants we could find are every society has an incest taboo, and all of human life can be divided into one of six subsistence modes.

Bottom line behavior from a social point of view is that every known society forbids mothers to have sex with sons. A few allow fathers and daughters, royalty claiming divinity (Pharoahs, Incas, Hawaiians) has married sisters and brothers on occasion and 1/3 of the world's societies prefer to marry first cousins. Then we discovered that apes and monkeys also have mother-son taboos enforced by the mothers of course. Strike one for biology.

The six subsistence modes - hunting & gathering, pastoralism, horticulture, agriculture, industrialism and info age, share more in common with other people in similar modes than with the level above or below them (calculated in terms of energy expended per calorie imbibed). Despite the dizzying array of diversity, the people living within each level share similar ideas about religion, politics, and family. When a group transitions to another stage however, all aspects of that society change, often very rapidly, to the religion, politics, and family forms of the next stage in a kind of ecological determinism.The confusing and frightening situation for humans is to be at the top level as we currently are, with no role models of what lies ahead.

Another thing to be noted is that each level is more complex and less self sufficient than the one before, leaving one to wonder at the final outcome. Currently Americans consume 6.4 calories of fossil fuels for every calorie of food produced for example. In a planetary catastrophe, we may be the first to go and the hunter gatherers and simple horticulturalists the ones to survive.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 25, 2013 - 09:37pm PT

In its original form, an expanding Einstein model had an attractive, economic elegance. Alas, it has since run into serious difficulties, which have been cured only by sticking on some ugly bandages: inflation to cover horizon and flatness problems; overwhelming amounts of dark matter to provide internal structure; and dark energy, whatever that might be, to explain the seemingly recent acceleration.

Don, I like the way you slice and dice! You are a Great addition to the table!
There are many wonderful chefs preparing a plate for this smorgasbord.
The cirque of characters is phenomenal !

There's SOOO many questions. Like, sitting in our (spinning)solar system, taking pics through our spinning Milky Way towards other "Milky Ways". IF we were spinning away from them,
wouldn't that cause "red shift"?

OR, the problem of the Big Bang theoryist and Evolutionist. They believe all matter was was so condensed that it AQUIRED energy to bust apart. Just like we acquire gravity being two balls of mass. After the BB, it's easy(?) the see the energies exerted from propelled mater.
But, what happened the minute(billions yrs ) before The "Big" Banged? Where from did this propulsion come?

Is the BB theory, a theory of; everything in the universe came from one spot.
Or, A theory of when energy meets matter?

I feel the last few pages have been AWESOME!
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 25, 2013 - 09:45pm PT
here you go, Blue

take your time reading, it's pretty darn interesting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 25, 2013 - 09:54pm PT

They are simultaneously relative and absolute.

When materially infected they are relative.

When spiritually correct they are absolute .......

That was the best one in awhile Werner!
Where did you Wiki that?

Jus Kid'in
BB
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 26, 2013 - 12:37am PT
The Bible said 6 days then a rest on No. 7
the bible says a day is 24 hours, one rotation of Sun (earth)

Isn't it funny how the Bible has every sentence and chapter numbered?
I guess that's for us to make sure we are both pointing at the same thing~

I can point you to the enlightenment of God did "work" for 6 "days". Creating the Earth
and all life on it. After putting all this to motion, and SEEING it was Good. God took the 7th
day to sit down and rest. And hasn't done any "work" on Earth ever since the 6th day.
So He is still in that 7th day of rest. If the Earh is 6k yrs old, then that day is to. If the Earth
is 4 billion yrs old then the 7th day is 4billion yrs. long

There's another unique thing about the Bible. It takes the WHOLE bible to understand
one sentence.

Drf, that last flower is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L-!

Give Prais'in Unto JAH'
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 26, 2013 - 01:13am PT
I would agree, so long as your field of study is surface layer materials

Oh God, are we to be restricted to this deplorable facade of reality!

Never to reach the hidden knowledge that only decades of studious meditation would reveal?

Where's a good metafunction when you need it?


;>(
MH2

climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 12:21pm PT
This might answer all your questions, jogill.






http://vimeo.com/41325185
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 26, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
I would agree, so long as your field of study is surface layer materials

Oh God, are we to be restricted to this deplorable facade of reality!

Never to reach the hidden knowledge that only decades of studious meditation would reveal?
-


I was thinking more along the lines of the lives we all actually live and experience. No need to meditate for ages to have our subjective world, which is where we live and of which we are conscious. We are not conscious of living in a quantum or atomic world. Even Dork Dawkins got that right.

So my point was that if John S. is onto something (and he often is) with his probabilism, then why not push it up the ladder to the meta level where we coexist and see what comes of our predictions.

In fact doing so is something we do all the time, in general ways. We know if we drink a fifth of Jack every night we are heading for alcoholism, and if all we eat are doughnuts, as Fruity does, then diabetes is in the cards for us.

So where might this lead us? How far down the line can we predict the outcome? Where might the model fail, and why? Where are the limits of probabalism?

Also, if I turned this around, and asked, "Never to reach the hidden knowledge that only decades of studious measuring would reveal?" why would some consider it qualitatively different than John's initial quote on meditation?

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 26, 2013 - 01:14pm PT
How far down the line can we predict the outcome? Where might the model fail, and why? Where are the limits of probabalism?

The question as stated is meaningless because it presumes an unattainable 100% accuracy rate. If you step it down to calculate varying percentages of accuracy it becomes massively more complicated (see here, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_problem ), but would result in a more meaningful practical analysis.

- Unless of course it's just a troll predicated on a forgone mondo-zendo-supremo outlook :-)
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 26, 2013 - 02:33pm PT
Thanks, MH2 !

A breath of fresh air.

;>)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 26, 2013 - 02:49pm PT
How far down the line can we predict the outcome? Where might the model fail, and why? Where are the limits of probabalism?

The question as stated is meaningless because it presumes an unattainable 100% accuracy rate.


What's meaningless is your assumption that I was hoping for a 100% accuracy rate.

Put differently, at what point down the line would prababilism cease to provide meaningful (i.e., useful) results. You could interpret this many ways, but if probable conclusions could be drawn from antecedent factors - do this and that happens a majority of the time - it's hard to imagine this wouldn't be useful.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
It holds that in the absence of certainty, probably probability is the best criterion

I am assuming the quote above is probably the more or less working definition of probalism.?

Since the absence of certainty is probably the status quo condition of the human mind, probalism appears to be one of the main features of human experience and of exploration of the physical world.
Probability thinking works fairly well in that context...probably most of the time. Just ask stockbrokers and poker players.

In science. Same thing.
A prediction is put forth in the form of a theory , then tested, and if the prediction holds , then an element of certainty has been determined. That percentage of the result which remains undetermined becomes addressed in the next series of theories and tests.(that is , if the grant money hasn't run out)
Of course there are implacable uncertainties that seemingly cannot be overcome.
Perhaps the condition of uncertainty is built into the universe. The sine qua non of all that exists. (That last line is better spoken in a reverb echo chamber)

Hitherto , biological life , including humans, have only been able to carve out little arenas of apparent certainty. Maybe this is what life is: these organisms munching there way to and from reliable certainties, surrounded by a mostly implacably uncertain universe. Lol.


jstan

climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 04:25pm PT
The future is, in a number of ways, pretty clear.

People and their behaviors are fairly malleable. I don't have to talk about corporate spending on marketing campaigns, the reliance political parties place on fear and anger to lock down the minds of supporters or on the importance Jefferson gave to public education. You just have to look at the great success rate we have with toilet training children. Only a very few of us are 17 year old rock climbers. There the toilet training rate is lower than average, but hey. No one is perfect.

Human behavior is what is termed an "extrinsic variable." Such variables respond in concert with other factors. Like the pressure in a volume of gas depends upon the number of moles, and the temperature. In many ways we are like a gas and we become even more so as our density increases. We undergo ever more frequent collisions with each other, making anger an increasingly salable emotion.

(Emotion is welded at the hip to the desire for survival. When you have put people into an emotional state, they become your slave.)

What about the future? Jeff Hawkins tells of a conference he attended devoted to study of the brain. There were 36,000 attendees, all working on the brain. We did not even need to know about Obama's recently announced Federal initiative to understand the brain better, to know that this area of study will become an order of magnitude larger than was the voyage to the moon. Perhaps two orders larger. And don't forget that we now can gather data showing all the sites people are visiting on the internet. And that companies know exactly to whom to direct their advertising. In future a great deal more will be known as to why people do what they do,

We can't quantify human behavior?

We are already.

Edit:
Perhaps the condition of uncertainty is built into the universe.

When you look at how the quantum is becoming more and more at the center of nature, you have to see the trend. We humans love certainty as we feel it assures our personal survival. We have contempt for animals because we have certainty and they don't.

The universe does not have a to do list with us anywhere on it.

We need to get comfortable with that.
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