Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
Today seems unreal with the Great One gone.

But I have always enjoyed thought experiments, so here is one to provide a little amusement:

I sit at the table eating my breakfast this morning, my wife having gone shopping. The doorbell rings and I get up and answer it, finding a strangely-dressed young man who informs me he is a time traveler and has come from the year 3013, time travel having been perfected in 3012. He is conducting a scientific experiment that involves giving me the winning numbers in Powerball and studying the resulting temporal fallout. He leaves and I rush to a nearby Loaf & Jug and purchase and register my winning number. Then I drive back home, sit down and finish my breakfast and contemplate a rewarding future.

Meanwhile, my visitor has returned to 3013 and he and his colleagues study the results, write a paper, then as previously planned, terminate the experiment.

I am sitting at my table eating my breakfast, reading the newspaper, this morning.

Nothing happens . . .

Did time travel occur, or did it not? Law of the Excluded Middle . . .?


;>)
WBraun

climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:09am PT
LOL .....
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:16am PT
Now THAT was funny.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:28am PT
what did they write their paper on?

On the results of their experiment, which did and did not occur.

It was published and it was not, for it did not exist and readers were and were not entertained.

Don't go on, please . . .

;>\
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:36am PT
Apr 22, 2013 - 04:25pm PT
Today seems unreal with the Great One gone.


Not so gone as all that...he's sitting here in my living room rocking chair discussing appropriate next adventures and open to suggestions from you all...
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:52am PT
I hadn't thought of Layton in a while but the past two days I've had recurring thoughts of him. Today I learned he had passed on. One of the many synchronous events in my life.

Meanwhile, Layton opened up a whole new panorama for me in the material world when I was young and impressionable - one of the important mentors of my life.
MH2

climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:00am PT
Congrats. You understand reality.


No wonder my head hurts.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2013 - 11:10am PT
Time Travel is IMPOSSIBLE

So true
nothing happens.....

Think about how time travel would work if possible, and you will quickly convince yourself that it will never happen, it's impossible...
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2013 - 11:12am PT
Credit: Dr. F.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:25am PT
Base:

As an intern at 3M in corporate marketing research in the early 80s, I wrote a report on the wirelogging market. 3M then made wide rolls of thermofax paper used to represent the rock properties you reference above. The representations then were hash marks. Kinda interesting stuff.

Ed:

I apologize for laughing, but that you were serious was what was funny. (Heck, maybe I'd like to see the paper, too!)

Dr.F.:

You may be limited by logic. Suspend that idea, and doors could open for you. For example, there are things that are non-logical (logic is meaningless), there are things that are illogical, and there are things that are alogical (logical, illogical, and nonlogical altogether). Logic is just a perspective. There are other perspectives.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Yes, I am limited by logic
That is all we have as a tool to figure the possibility of how things would work.
We can dream and fantasize about all kinds of things being true, like gods floating around, and a place like heaven. We now know these things are fantasies, not true.

A Logical mind experiment can prove them Impossible.
Period.

If they worked, then we could use logic to explain them, but since they don't exist, the logic explains why; they are impossible.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:42am PT
Dr. F. you can't fool us. That photo above has nothing to do with your logic although I'm sure you could come up with a logical explanation of it if you wanted to.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2013 - 11:46am PT
My last common ancestor from 900 million years ago, now the insect, found the beauty of flowers irresistible!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:06pm PT
Yes, I am limited by logic
That is all we have as a tool to figure the possibility of how things would work.
We can dream and fantasize about all kinds of things being true, like gods floating around, and a place like heaven. We now know these things are fantasies, not true.


This shows what happens when someone's awareness is fused with the discursive mind - which we need to survive, but which is not our only tool in the box. Note also that Craig's only other option is to have the mind actively "dreaming" up all kinds of other stuff like heaven and Gods. The mind is good at actively pursuing things, but equally good at listening and being receptive to realms not sourced by its own conditioning and biology.

JL

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2013 - 12:11pm PT
Down we go into the rabbit hole of listening to things that may exist or not
that we don't really know anything, blah blah blah

but if we let go, we can dream up all kind of possibilities blah blah

Thanks for waking me up JL
But I still believe nothing means nothing.
jstan

climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:27pm PT
But I still believe nothing means nothing.

As you wish. However it now appears nothing can't be found anywhere. There is always something. Just a minor modification to your previous thinking.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
It's just an expression.

when you find nothingness, there is not something, the something that you thought was nothing turns out to not exist.

Just like a "warm fuzzy feeling"
It's the only real "Physical" outcome from all this mental exploration/speculation/meditating/communing with god.

everything else was a mental experience that can only be communicated through talking or writing about the said experience. There are no other physical/materialistic outcomes.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 23, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
As you wish. However it now appears nothing can't be found anywhere. There is always something. Just a minor modification to your previous thinking.

Or conversely, nothing can be found everywhere, since neither emptiness nor yet forms exist separately, independent of each other.

Questionably the deepest, or one of the deepest insights in Zen is that emptiness (no thing) equals form (things), and form equals emptiness - exactly.

Where Craig is stuck is one, in judging everyone's experience by dint of his own, then universalizing that into a philosophy he is certain is objective, and second, demanding the kind of "proof" about emptiness that exists only in the world of forms. That's like going to the zoo and asking where the God cage is, and lacking one, declaring the whole thing is just a bunch of fuzzy feelings, lol.

Equating fuzzy feelings to any of this is selfsame as equating them to the Laws of Thermodynamics et al. Limbic system blow-back is irrelevant to what is being discussed.

JL


BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 23, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
The more that I think about this vast chasm of difference that Largo has created for us, between the objective and the subjective, I'm coming to the conclusion that it doesn't even exist.

He thinks that he is onto something with his Zen work. OK. That doesn't make it true. He takes a big red pen and crosses out an entire realm of consciousness. This is not a correct description, no matter how many times he goes off on discursive, Hilbert Space, right brain/left brain, or the limbic system.

Even he tries to correlate his experiences with brain anatomy when he uses words like right brain or limbic system. He borrows from physics when he uses words like Hilbert Space.

The thing that links us together is curiosity and thought. I don't think so much in a quantitative sense as in a qualitative sense.

OK. This works like this. That works like that. What is the relationship, if any. I daydream about these things, and every now and then I see something that others haven't. Not often.

Geologists have the reputation of being the wild thinkers compared to the engineers and the geophysicists. We have to be. At any point in time, there are many geologists working the same areas that you are. To understand something first is very difficult. It involves a lot of work. Then you look at the 3 dimensional cube and see something that nobody has, or if they did, they ignored it due to economic reasons in the distant past.

I made most of my money finding zones that others had drilled right through and missed. That involved looking at hundreds of logs each day. At some point the light bulb goes off.

Largo. How do you explain that moment of realization? The moment when the light bulb goes off? It is a heady feeling. If you then find out that you weren't first to discover this, it kind of sucks, but at least you came up with the same idea independently. That just reinforces the prior hypothesis, which is important.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 23, 2013 - 07:44pm PT
Ed asks penetrating questions that my little story in its naivety cannot answer. Actually, I stole the idea from a book by Michael Swanwick. Science fiction authors have tried to reason out the implications of the infamous “Grandfather Paradox” and its variations for generations. Solutions range from asserting that it would be impossible to change (but some say conceivable to influence) history to a many-worlds interpretation – one that I feel has the best chance of surviving the intellectual wars. Incidentally, it seems there is an entire area of philosophy devoted to time travel.

From my perspective, at every “instant” the universe splits into an uncountable number of possible states or universe paths. There seem to be force fields in abundance that influence the choices of paths of which we are conscious. Thus, if it were possible and I were to travel into the past, say 120 years, and kill my grandfather, that would simply create a path different from the one I am on, amidst a complexity unimaginable from human perspective.

I’ve mentioned before Stanisaw Lem’s “Ergodic Theory of History”, in which he hypothesizes that in some circumstances minor variations along the temporal way would not preclude an outcome that is in a sense destined. I look upon the development of Nazi Germany as an example, where in the 1930s were someone to assassinate Hitler the Party or something similar would still develop and wreak havoc. In those times there was a “contractive” factor at work where people and events were strongly influenced by prevailing social thought and minor deviations from recorded history might prove irrelevant.

I have a mathematical model in the complex plane in which over a fixed period of time a sequence of functions carries a point from one place to another (I’ve mentioned this before) operating so that at each chronological step the next member of the sequence pushes the travelling point to a new position. This is a variation on simple iteration, which lies at the heart of chaos theory. Now if there is a kind of uniform “contraction” exhibited by all the functions and if each such individual function has an “attractor” – a point that attracts points around it – and these attractors converge to a single point, alpha, then as intervals of time shrink to zero and the sequence of functions grows without bounds, each function operating at an “instant”, the result is any chosen original point ends up at alpha at the end of the designated time period.

The interesting feature here is that it is immaterial what functions populate the sequence – how the travelling point is moved at each instant - as long as each one has an attractor and the attractors converge to alpha. In a large-scale social setting this means an underlying pull in a certain direction, political or otherwise, may make irrelevant many of the minor details. Of course, there is always the possibility of the exceptional detail derailing things.

Here the hypothetical splitting of universes at each instant is “guided” by a kind of “force”.

When I spoke of my “zeno contours” at some point in this thread, Ed mentioned momentum (lack of) with reference to Zeno’s Arrow and my interpretation of the paradox – no motion at each instant – using the scheme I describe above. Actually, my sequence of functions is simply another way to present the formula from elementary calculus that describes the path of the arrow, determined by initial velocity and orientation. What is in that fundamental formula is there in my process.

Dr. F . . . this is more blah, blah, blah, but I submit it is of sufficient intellectual character to relieve the tedium of much of the debate about the definition and attainment of “nothingness.”
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