Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 29, 2013 - 07:12pm PT
Does this alarm you?

Not in the least.
My goal after death is to feed the worms & flowers. No more, no less.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
Ed
i being an idiot in your lingo can only try and keep up.

I would have thought there were a couple of causes;

Temperature change causes ice to melt allowing unbalanced rock to move.
The motion of rock caused by gravity?
The cause of Marlows knock on the noggin would be (as Werner might put it), bad karma.
_
My question from this:

I approach this a little different because my training is based on a few fundamental/universal truths, one of which concerns the utter impermanence of all things, states, feelings, thoughts, experiences, and so forth. They all just come and go, like clouds through the sky.
I heard sound travels forever? Do sound waves last indefinitely?

Someone here posted a link to a scientific research of rocks absorbing and retaining
sound waves. Maybe someday we could extract all the words that were said by climbers
on ElCap. That would be entertainment!

If I'm way off I'm not surprised. I appreciate your patience.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:31pm PT
I didn't suspect you were... I am trying to disabuse you of a false notion you have, that of your definition of "cause" which you see in my alleged (and admitted) reductionism.


Gez, Ed, you're bungling this handsomely. You're attempting to disabuse me of something I am not saying, then dishing out a string of equations to sidestep the simple questions I - and my friend - keep asking you till we're blue in the face.

What is determinism, and what is determined? Reductionism commonly means one can "reduce" an event to a sequence of events in time and space, implying a connectedness, or in your language, an "exchange of information" at the cross roads. Forget "causes," philosophical or otherwise. To quote Turner's famous paper, "What went bang."

And yes, I secretly read much of that stuff. It gets jammed down my throat by "friends."

JL

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
Do you think there is an environment/places/things that exist outside of 'experience'? Or is "experience" the only thing?
--


Experience is not a "thing," it's a process. The CONTENT or qualia of experience can be objectified by our evaluating minds as having quantifiable values, or at any rate, is approachable to some extent in symbolic form, like language. The tricky part here is that our evaluating minds do not serve us up a perfect facsimile of "reality," but which nevertheless let us proceed through time and space in this experiment of life with some modicum of predictability. Meaning that the environment/places/things your evaluating mind say exist, independentally "out there," because we have cognitive models and numerical evaluations that exhibit predictable outcomes, is of a totally different order than what are brains and numbers tell us. The illusion is, as mentioned, that the universe is like a vast and complex movie set with some very quirky and counterintuitive features, but which nevertheless exists as a real "thing" out there in a form that remains selfsame regardless of whatever life form might be there - or not - to be aware of it. We call this the "motion picture" illusion. Meaning the illusion is that the universe - with all of it's quirky and non-linear, chaotic, random features co-staring - is simply what it is, as described by our numbers, et al. Whatever life forms might stumble into the theater of time to "screen" said movie will of course witness things differently, according to their sense apperati and the way their consciousness processes data. But the film itself remains what it is.

In fact, this is the opposite of what happens. Reality does exist whether we as individuals are here to witness it nor not, but our interpretations of reality have more to do with the way we evolved and how our brains process and quantify "stuff" than with reality itself. This is why an obsession with the stuff, the things, the movable feast of life will never get at the deeper issues of the unborn.

JL
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 29, 2013 - 09:19pm PT
^^^^^BRAVO! That was REAL,(LY) GOOD!!!!





Edit: this feels like a high volley ping-pong match.
Ed - 16
Largo - 17

Your serve Ed
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 30, 2013 - 07:51am PT
This is why an obsession with the stuff, the things, the movable feast of life will never get at the deeper issues of the unborn.

This is a consistent finale to a lot of Largo's posts, phrased in varying ways. It's intriguing, suggesting that this sea-change in perspective holds the key to all sorts of qualitative breakthroughs, but it's also become a cliffhanger that never gets resolved. What are these deeper issues, and to whose benefit is their resolution? Is there a map for that, or is it by definition something that can be hinted at but never explained in terms of conventional modes of reality?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Mar 30, 2013 - 08:03am PT
it doesn't have to be about reducing...

Nor does "determinism" have to be about predicting.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 30, 2013 - 09:43am PT
determinism is having specified the initial conditions of some system, you can predict the final conditions of that system

it doesn't have to be about reducing the system to something "step by step"

reductionism is breaking the system down into subsystems which typically are simpler, we might say "more fundamental" whose interactions result in the behavior of the complex system


To be answered later. Not today, but I'll ask the question.

Ok. Attempting to speak your language (inexpertly), "final conditions" can be reduced to "initial conditions. That is (A ≤ B) the problem A can be reduced to the problem B. Subscripts can be added to the ≤ to indicate the specie or kind of reduction. If I remember my "maths" correctly - and it's been a coon's age - this is part of computational complexity theory. We possibly could push this into Turin or Karp reduction, I think, but this would only complicate things.

For me, the important question concerns the sequence and the time vector. While step by step might not be provable, there nevertheless is a sequence of "interactions," and that sequence shares a linear CONNECTION in time, be it at the point of information exchange, or when the sh#t actually hits the fan, and if one were to juggle the linear sequence of Ed's "conditons," the final conditions, End of Proof, QED, or whatever, would not follow from the Initial Conditions.

In other words, the determined sequence of conditions are connected. If not, then by what means is one condition - initial or otherwise - determined to flow into the following condition? What binds the interaction of conditions in a determined system whereby initial results in final?

HAPPY EASTER FRIENDS.

JL
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 30, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
In other cases, like the Kreb cycle, between Oxaloacetate acid and Ketoglyceric acid there is a loss of 2 carbon atoms (if I remember correctly, and I might not). This does not happen between Succinate and Fumarate, so there is a sequence. That doesn't imply a cause, only a connectedness in time and space between two acids in the Kreb cycle

Where do you come up with this stuff, El Presumido? The Krebs cycle is highly quantitative stuff. I looked it up and read through it. Wiki is incredible, but you toss out words that I don't think you can define.

I just have to ask a question. Do you have scientist friends who help you along in this thread, having you post things that aren't even your intellectual property?

It's OK to do this. You should just tell us. I am pretty certain that you don't remember this stuff from biology or math or physics classes. You've said as much.

Again. That doesn't preclude you from voicing your absolute truths, El Presumido. That is all cool. Just tell us if you are cribbing some of your posts. I remember you describing your car pool of physicists a while back.

It is bad to use information that you don't understand.

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 30, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Reductionism is just a way to approach a problem. To fully understand something, you need to bone up on your reading and try to understand every aspect of the problem. A mechanic is a reductionist. Much of medicine is reductionist.

It comes in handy when trying to understand a complex system. If you don't understand component parts, which for me might be a certain quality of sand grains, then it is nigh impossible to paint the whole picture. So reductionism can be the easiest path.

Determinism is different. Like Ed said, if you know all initial conditions and physical properties to a system, then you can predict the outcome. There is a chain of physical processes which lead to an inevitable conclusion.

The atomic bomb was designed that way. There were multiple groups working on different parts, even some new ones that were discovered in the process, but the outcome was this horrific thing that goes boom.

Now try that with the weather.

In geology, I had to go through a fair amount of work on turbulent flow. Some are also found in meteorology, like the Reynolds Number.

Turbulence might be fully deterministic some day, but not yet. Sure, you can do the basics, but people still put actual objects into flow tunnels in order to get empirical data.

Things like turbulence can't be studied very well with a deterministic method. Processes such as this are usually studied in a statistical fashion.

There are other processes like this, so regarding reductionism and determinism, or statistics, they are all tools in the toolkit.

That is all that these things are. Tools in the toolkit in an effort to understand something in nature.

Modern Neuroscience is faced with a problem much like this. Countless individual neurons with many trillions of connections firing off. Soon the time will come when the brain is more understood, but my guess is that it will be very statistical. Occurrences of brain diseases are already studied statistically.

Look at mapping the human genome. When it was accomplished not long ago, it took banks of supercomputers working for months to solve it. Now you can go to a hospital, get the genome of your particular cancer mutation mapped, and treat that specific cancer. I saw it done at MD Anderson in Houston, and I think that they now have 3 very fast supercomputers to keep up with the demand for cancer genome mapping.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 30, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
Reality does exist whether we as individuals are here to witness it nor not, but our interpretations of reality have more to do with the way we evolved and how our brains process and quantify "stuff" than with reality itself

Perhaps so. But wasn't this point made thousands of posts ago?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 30, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
Yeah,

That was in Part B, section 8, of The Limits of Subjective Experience.

We all experience reality through our senses. Using the "Poor Quality of Eyewitness Testimony" argument, it is settled.

The only way to get down and dirty objective is to use a rigorous method and a very well defined language in which to convey or discuss it. A language that leaves no room for error.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 30, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
A lotta good definitions on this page..

Lotta good maps.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 30, 2013 - 02:09pm PT
BB, you would need to take a week off and read the entire thread.

El Presumido had his own thread, called "What is Mind?" He pretty much dominated the conversation and befuddled most of us.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1593650&msg=1593650#msg1593650

When that thread fell into oblivion, he came over to this thread and staked his flag.

You have to read the first thread, then skip over to this thread around the time that that one died.

This discussion has been going on for so long that anyone who walks into this place blind is going to almost certainly cover old ground.

We can hope, though.
WBraun

climber
Mar 30, 2013 - 02:43pm PT
The only way to get down and dirty objective is to use a rigorous method and a very well defined language in which to convey or discuss it.

A language that leaves no room for error.

Modern defect man does not have this.

Everything modern man touches is defective.

Modern man is forced to be stupid and defective.

Modern man is a prisoner and there's no escape except ONE.

Papillon escaped while all the other idiot prisoners said it can't be done and no one knows.

Stupid jailbird prisoners run the world and tell the world no one knows.

All while taxing the poor prisoners of the world with 6 billion dollar smash tubes.

Just see ......
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 30, 2013 - 03:05pm PT
Base, I do remember that stuff. Just because I don't blow a science horn doesn't mean I am totally ignorant on the subject, or that I need "help" or coaching on the basic notions. Like the basics of even the most arcane theories cannot be wrangled by a curious mind. What’s more, none of the science I've ever presented on this thread is anything more than pedestrian stuff any yokel can lean in undergraduate school. The Kreb cycle stuff I remembered from high school physiology class, when I was still thinking of going the medicine route. That’s just knucklehead recitation, used as an example, so it’s hardly something worth mentioning IMO. But you’re not the first silly rabbit of accusing me of “not understanding” what I am in fact saying. As often as this happens I invite people to ask me questions but of course few ever do, or else they are questions to which they already have the “right” answer in their heads. So hard does the “top dog” hierarchy run through this thread. The same thing went on at my grad school when dudes like Boehm, Priebrim (SP?) and Alverez came to preach. Fists fights almost broke out about who knew what and how ignorant the others were. Often it was like two bald men fighting over a comb. Silly, really.
Now Ed, admit that your last post was just an explanation as to what science does to compensate for the fact that one cannot simultaneously know velocity and location (Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal). That much said, even your buddy BASE had the wherewithal to say that within your phase space, betwixt the initial and final conditions, there lie a chain of physical events leading to an inevitable conclusion = the final condition, i.e., the rock impacting Marlow's bean. All I have asked from you is to explain your understanding of how these events, or exchanges of information, as you call them, are related to each other in a determined way. Or if you don't know, or can't prove as much, what is your belief as to why a final condition is determined to follow from an initial condition - in any example you choose.
Now Cintue asked:

This is why an obsession with the stuff, the things, the movable feast of life will never get at the deeper issues of the unborn.

This is a consistent finale to a lot of Largo's posts, phrased in varying ways. It's intriguing, suggesting that this sea-change in perspective holds the key to all sorts of qualitative breakthroughs, but it's also become a cliffhanger that never gets resolved. What are these deeper issues, and to whose benefit is their resolution? Is there a map for that, or is it by definition something that can be hinted at but never explained in terms of conventional modes of reality?

This succinct statement, which surprised me coming from Cintue, whose capacity for blue wind matches my own, pretty much nails the quandary people inevitably face when one mode of inquiry (objectification) comes up short, but is pressed into service anyhow. You end up answering your own questions with non-answers, blaming me for the hodgepodge, and never question that your mode of inquiry might be ill-fitted to the task. As if we wouldn’t use quantifying in the subjective realm if it held out ANY promise of returns on the investment. Of course we would.

The reason we don’t is that it bears no fruit. And when Cintune says the adventure “never gets resolved,” we know immediately that his notion of “resolution” is nothing more than how a quadratic equation gets factored or maybe this (for BASE): If x*x + 2x - 35 = 0, then x = ?

What’s more, he asks: What are these deeper issues, and to whose benefit is their resolution? Note that that thorny resolution persists. Hoping that existential challenges get “resolved” posits life as something to solve, and that the right answer will . . . what, exactly? This is hoping that some piece of content (the “right answer”) will finally answer the mystery of living by supplying a valid reason or cognitive breakdown to “it all.”
And always the search for that answer to conform to “conventional modes of reality.”

In fact the most conventional mode of reality for a human being is the one we actually live in, our subjective/experiential bubble. The discursive mind tricks us into thinking that we can objectify any thing, but of course we can’t objectify ourselves because we cannot kiss our own lips. To do so we’d have to be separate from and inside our own skin at the same time.

Inside our skin, to get a clean look at our lives, we simply cannot follow the dictums of the discursive mind in demanding a quantitative data stream that will supply the right answers. If this mode had any chance of working, do you really believe that of the many millions of people who have pursued subjective adventures, not one has ever tried “conventional modes?” We all did. But if you truly believe that the objective and subjective are selfsame, it’s a one-size-fits-all fandango all the way.

JL
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 30, 2013 - 03:08pm PT
Sorry, Werner. I didn't understand that.

No kidding. No offense. You know that I like you as a human being.

Explain a little. The only religion that we hear about is the Abrahamic ones.

On the topic of religion, I have the opportunity to go to a for real Indian Sundance in a month or so. I've been discussing this with my Pawnee friend, whose chest is covered in scars, and we both agree that my reverence for the earth qualifies me. The ceremony would simply convey that.

I'm not sure if my new knee will hold up to three days of dancing, but I'm going to find out.

Some sundances prohibit whites and some don't. This one is close to Navajo land, and the sundance was never a Navajo thing. It was mainly the plains tribes. They still have a good annual sundance, though.

So does anyone want me to go for it? The dancing consists of walking around the tree while gently stomping your feet...for three days. I think it is an experience that I would enjoy.

We had it all planned out last year. I had read the book, "Black Elk Speaks," which anyone who CAN read SHOULD read. It is an amazing book.

I was all ready to do it last summer, but my knee was screwed. I got half of it replaced shortly thereafter. So it fell through.

If this is my only chance, I'm hoping to get pierced.
WBraun

climber
Mar 30, 2013 - 03:55pm PT
Base

You don't have to understand anything I say.

It's not necessary. If one understands then they do.

If not then another life maybe?

I don't get offended here.

Sometimes I give certain individuals sh!t, but not because I'm offended.

Why should I be offended?

Anyways ... I hope if you go to the Indian event you have a good time.

Right now there's a huge cloud burst pouring rain going on and it's biblical proportion.

Where the fuk is klimmers Ark? We're all gonna drown now.

There's rivers going down the street. Lighting bolts and thunder.

F*#king awesome!!!!

It was sunny this morning and I went to the cookie and did some pitches.

It was warm and real nice.

Good luck with your knee. Bad knees really suck .....

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 30, 2013 - 04:13pm PT
Largo wrote:

Hoping that existential challenges get “resolved” posits life as something to solve, and that the right answer will . . . what, exactly? This is hoping that some piece of content (the “right answer”) will finally answer the mystery of living by supplying a valid reason or cognitive breakdown to “it all.”

And yet the question arose precisely because he wrote:

get at the deeper issues

So, I'm back to the beginning: "what, exactly" is there to be "got at"? If the question can be parried by saying that it was phrased with wrong expectations, then how was the statement that raised the question in the first place not also phrased wrongly?

Looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, here, I guess. Once the very notion of existence is accepted as an ambiguous construct, then is "nothing" just the default answer? Ouroboros. Happy Easter. Time for dinner.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
I understand every thing Werner is saying in his posts
That's why I look forward to the comedy
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