What is the value of ILP posts?

This is the main board for discussing philosophy - formal, informal and in between.

Moderator: Only_Humean

Forum rules
Forum Philosophy

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Mr Reasonable » Thu May 26, 2011 7:49 pm

There is a way online to appraise a website. Find out what ILP is worth and divide it by the number of posts and I think that'll give you the number you need.
You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.
Dating a stripper is like eating a noisy bag of chips in church. Everyone looks at you in disgust, but deep down they want some too.

Support the innocence project on AmazonSmile instead of Turd's African savior biker dude.
http://www.innocenceproject.org/
User avatar
Mr Reasonable
resident contrarian
 
Posts: 23753
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:54 am
Location: pimping a hole straight through the stratosphere itself

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Silhouette » Fri May 27, 2011 10:46 pm

Twiffy wrote:When I hear the criticism "analytic philosophy is boring", I think of the criticism "math is boring". Neither are objectively true -- why should finding the truth be exciting?

Why would I be looking for objective truth? I think we already covered that there are multiple truths, only some of which are narrow and reduced enough to be limited to a single truth. If I loved wisdom, I'd want an array of truths to draw from - a single truth has a bottom that contains plenty of wisdom, beyond which you cannot go unless you think outside that truth. So do you gather all that wisdom and then stop? - limiting yourself from broader wisdom? - that's where we get poor philosophers who will never create anything, who will never reveal anything exciting.

Anyone beyond the understanding of a single truth has much more wisdom to gain from searching for the exciting than the objective. This is a thread about value, which goes beyond the limited value of finding the objective end of things.

Twiffy wrote:Dennett has made a lot of contributions to acceptance of atheism. He's made contributions to the acceptance of science

In terms of limited use that's fine by me. Christians bore me and science results in non-boring stuff being made. Though there is still an abundance of boring scientific stuff being churned out, and a lot of residual Christian thinking in secularism - which is solvable through contributions toward economics. When's Dennett gonna branch out to that?

At the moment, like all analytical philosophers, he's just bandwagonning - still forcing old methods and traditions through to complete exhaustion rather than looking at what happens after that. There's probably still some milk left for them, but in terms of influence.... well, no analytical philosophers are going down in history with nearly the same impact as Plato etc.

Twiffy wrote:Analytic philosophy shares several traits with math. This stems from the analytic method. You lose excitement via this method -- but you gain everything else. Precision, accuracy, reliability.

Things have moved on from precision, accuracy and reliability - with chaos and fractals and all that. The excitement used to be in analytic method hundreds of years ago. It's not exciting anymore because things have moved on, though despite that - boring conservatives can't see further and move on, and you get the equivalent of continuous re-makes of the same films that add in some faddish new addition and nothing more. Only the dregs of wisdom are left.

Since I love philosophy, I want to be part of its movement into new exciting realms.
~So sayeth your benevolent sovereign lord~
User avatar
Silhouette
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2999
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:27 am
Location: Existence

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Twiffy » Fri May 27, 2011 10:55 pm

Sil, I disagree with most of what you say, but I fear our disagreement is either irreconcilable or semantic, and either way doesn't sound like a fun conversation. But I can say something -- dare I say "objective" -- on one point:

Things have moved on from precision, accuracy and reliability - with chaos and fractals and all that.


In all science professions, this is completely wrong. The emphasis is absolutely on those three things. In any field of science, people want to say as much as they can, with the most accuracy possible, about interesting or relevant topics. Chaos theory says (very informally of course) that sometimes there will be systems (e.g. weather) where if you have less than perfect knowledge, you can only predict so far in the future before your predictions are wildly incorrect. That's fine -- the emphasis by weather scientists is still on predicting as far as possible, as well as possible (although of course you might not know that to look at recent weather accuracy trends. But that's a different story).

In non-analytic post-modern Judith Butler type philosophy, yes, precision and accuracy and reliability, and hell, all semblance of rationality and common sense sometimes go out the window. But in every field of science, I can assure you, we still want to say as much as we can, as accurately as possible, about whatever we can.
Twiffy
Thinker
 
Posts: 724
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:40 am

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Silhouette » Fri May 27, 2011 11:50 pm

Twiffy wrote:Sil, I disagree with most of what you say, but I fear our disagreement is either irreconcilable or semantic, and either way doesn't sound like a fun conversation.

This is a shame. I find lots of value in trying to bridge gaps between different interpretations. Of course, this is exactly in line with my current approach to wisdom - connecting different truths with varying degress of success. I think you've indicated the same sentiment of cutting our losses once before - so my offer may not be of mutual interest. In which case, yes - I will accept if you want to leave it at simple disagreement.

Twiffy wrote:In all science professions, this is completely wrong. In any field of science, people want to say as much as they can, with the most accuracy possible, about interesting or relevant topics.

I am aware of this - despite movements away from reductionist science, many scientists wish to remain faithful towards the value to be gained from what can be reduced with any reasonable accuracy.

There is still some predictability in this, and this is useful in a general way. Despite the fact that variance in results stays the same no matter how much you refine your methods, relative consistency remains and can be harnessed and applied to all sorts of new technologies. And as long as scientists remember they are technically only dealing in generalities that are only applicable to a limited amount of experience, then they will know their place and admit that there is more to be dealt with without science. Elsewhere is where the newness is to be found, and the excitement. I think it's somewhat perverse to knowingly limit one's love (of wisdom) - but on this matter we apparently differ.

The value of ILP posts is in that some of us do not limit our love of wisdom, and thus may touch on something new and exciting. But this assumes you value excitement over the old and conservative, and that you do not like to limit your love. And obviously there is no objective consensus on this one, just like there is no objective truth anywhere (unless that's how you need to interpret things).
~So sayeth your benevolent sovereign lord~
User avatar
Silhouette
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2999
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:27 am
Location: Existence

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Twiffy » Sat May 28, 2011 3:05 am

This is a shame. I find lots of value in trying to bridge gaps between different interpretations. Of course, this is exactly in line with my current approach to wisdom - connecting different truths with varying degress of success. I think you've indicated the same sentiment of cutting our losses once before - so my offer may not be of mutual interest.


Well, you've swayed me. Somewhat. Let's try this and see how it goes!

So, I'll start by saying what I believe and why, sticking to material that I find to be relevant to our past two posts.

First, objective vs. subjective truths. I believe that we (as people) are all part of a universe that has its own laws. I believe these laws are independent from what we believe those laws are. (If I drop an apple, and believe hard enough that it will float, it will still fall.) I don't believe this with 100% certainty because that would be silly, but I believe it to a great degree, because this idea fits everything I've experienced, and everything that other people tell me they experience.

Because of this, I believe that there is a realm that I can call "objective truth" which consists of all the statements that are true "about the universe". Laws of physics would be objectively true. Even though there are probably other universes with different laws of physics, let's just stick to this universe for the sake of conversation. Sentences like "Twiffy likes math" are also objectively true. Sentences like "Santa Claus exists" are objectively false.

Then there is the realm of subjectivity. Every person has a variety of beliefs. Some of these beliefs reflect, or contradict, objective facts. Some people believe in Santa, or believe that Twiffy does not like math, or believe that evolution does not take place. But others of these beliefs are "opinions", beliefs the individual has that are neither objectively true nor objectively false, but something else entirely. "Cilantro is disgusting." would be one of these statements. The term "disgusting" doesn't even have meaning to the universe. That claim has no objective truth value. But subjectively, it is true for me, and false for many others. Presumably the sentence "Twiffy thinks Cilantro is disgusting" is objectively true. Presumably all moral claims (Murder is bad etc.) are subjective truths.

So we have this subjective / objective divide. Of course I'm sure you've thought about all this before, but the reason I bring it up is because I think the distinction is very important, and is helpful when we talk about "multiple truths". To my mind there are only objective and subjective truths, and when you say "multiple truths", I think "subjective truth". I think "differing moral beliefs", "differing cultural backgrounds", etc. Things that make people different, but cannot meaningfully be classified as objectively right or objectively wrong.

Enter science. Science could reasonably be defined as the study of objective truth. All science is about objective truth in this sense; math studies objective truth that is independent from the laws of physics, and relies solely on logic. Physics studies the most fundamental objective truths that depend on the laws of physics. Chemistry and Biology study emergent properties of physical systems. Psychology, even higher, and so on.

Most of the humanities study aspects of subjective truth. What it's like to be from a certain culture. The morality of war, the emotions of love.

Philosophy is an interesting mix. Historically, it's been filled with both. Metaphysics, abstractly, is mathematics applied to traditional philosophical questions. But some philosophers historically have focused on more subjective matters, such as morality, art, beauty, wisdom, and so on.

So with this perspective in mind, here are some of my responses.

Why would I be looking for objective truth? I think we already covered that there are multiple truths, only some of which are narrow and reduced enough to be limited to a single truth.


Objective truth is scientific truth, which is remarkably important and useful. Subjective truth is also important, but since it depends on the individual, my looking for the subjective truths of others is only useful up to a point. It's useful to know what categories of belief are probably subjective, but once you know that, knowing the exact details of someone's subjective beliefs are often very uninteresting. Do you like vegetables? Are you a libertarian? How often do you choose to bathe? Much less interesting than many questions of objective truth. Chaos theory and fractals are objective truth. Black holes. Computers. Quantum mechanics.

This isn't to say subjective truth isn't important -- as I've said, it is. But I think a lot of post-modern viewpoints would degrade science to a religion, or to subjective truth, or to something dispensible and inferior to the beautiful machine of culture. I disagree with all of this. Ironically, the denigration of science is something that only those who live surrounded by the luxuries that science has produced, and who are therefore insulated from the harshness of having to cultivate your own food and manually maintain your own existence, can claim.
Twiffy
Thinker
 
Posts: 724
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:40 am

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Lucis Trust » Sat May 28, 2011 6:44 am

I think they have inherent value, like the sun.
It has been said there is a fine line between genius and insanity..
but there is an even finer line between sanity and stupidity.
User avatar
Lucis Trust
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1528
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:50 am
Location: Elsewhere

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Silhouette » Sat May 28, 2011 4:59 pm

Lucis Trust wrote:I think they have inherent value, like the sun.

No you don't, LT. Don't go being a troll now.

Twiffy wrote:I believe that we (as people) are all part of a universe that has its own laws. I believe these laws are independent from what we believe those laws are. I believe it to a great degree, because this idea fits everything I've experienced, and everything that other people tell me they experience.

Thank you for indulging me. Here's my rebuttal. A little lengthy, my apologies - see what you think:

The above quote relies on some major assumptions:
1. Our senses sense some external world that we can sense a sensory picture of - once it has been transformed into an internal interpretation.
2. Given "1", these senses provide sufficient information of this external world as opposed to a very limited interpretation of it, such that we are "actually" mostly misled relative to a more complete sensory picture.
3. The communicability of this sensory information shows everyone to have the same, or similar "enough" sensory picture - and people with sensory "deficiencies/anomalies" have an incomplete picture as opposed to a more complete picture. i.e. the general consensus is reliable.
4. The consistencies that our senses indicate as reliably recurrent are "laws"/"truths" rather than simply what is most useful in terms of prediction.

Twiffy wrote:Because of this, I believe that there is a realm that I can call "objective truth" which consists of all the statements that are true "about the universe". Laws of physics would be objectively true. Even though there are probably other universes with different laws of physics, let's just stick to this universe for the sake of conversation. Sentences like "Twiffy likes math" are also objectively true. Sentences like "Santa Claus exists" are objectively false.

With regard to assumptions 1 and 2, I am inclined to reject the notion of "an external world" that we have no immediate information about - only mediate information, mediated through our senses. It is only one's own internal sensory picture that every person is witness to - the "external world" is only implied by the apparent general consensus mentioned in assumption 3. There is no Knox's "God in the Quad", privy to immediate information of everything in order to verify the accuracy of each individual's mediate information.

With regard to assumption 3, just because most people find they can communicate about their individual interpretations does not make any collective agreement necessarily "true". Although it is certainly useful to treat it as though it were. The word "truth" actually derives from loyalty - in this case, loyalty to the group consensus. Not surprising due to the social nature of humans, particularly concerning their reproduction being sexual.

These 3 assumptions reveal that "Objective Truth" is merely implied, subject to a social consensus that is assumed to be accurate due to agreement between not-necessarily-related subjective interpretations, and that this - along with the apparent use of this implication (as covered in assumption 4) - can amount to something we can call Objective Truth.

Obviously none of this directly implies there is necessarily no Objective Truth, though it shows that any conception at all of Objective Truth is reliant on Subjective Truths. To then claim that Objective Truth preceded Subjective Truths is to mistake cause for consequence. And any higher valuation of Objective Truth over Subjective truth is based on the social tendency of valuing consensus over direct individual knowledge - which is, of course, useful.

So all this, if accepted, has crushing implications on your paragraphs subsequent to the above quote.

Twiffy wrote:Enter science. Science could reasonably be defined as the study of objective truth. All science is about objective truth in this sense; math studies objective truth that is independent from the laws of physics, and relies solely on logic. Physics studies the most fundamental objective truths that depend on the laws of physics. Chemistry and Biology study emergent properties of physical systems. Psychology, even higher, and so on.

Most of the humanities study aspects of subjective truth. What it's like to be from a certain culture. The morality of war, the emotions of love.

Philosophy is an interesting mix. Historically, it's been filled with both. Metaphysics, abstractly, is mathematics applied to traditional philosophical questions. But some philosophers historically have focused on more subjective matters, such as morality, art, beauty, wisdom, and so on.

With what I have to say in mind, Psychology's "higher" emergence from the more fundamental Chemistry and Biology, and the even more fundamental Mathematics and Physics, is actually inverted.

Philosophically, it is necessary to question why would one want to think mathematically or scientifically - or even philosophically at all. This is a Psychological question, placing Psychology at the base, followed by Philosophy, followed by Mathematics and then the Sciences.

Subjective truths such as Culture, attitudes to war and love are moved further down with it - though it is in my opinion that Economics may in fact precede each of these things and all Psychology, Philosophy, Mathematics and Science etc. However, it is possibly necessary to question this with the Psychological question "why Economics?" And further, it may be necessary to equate Psychology with Philosophy as the love/value/wisdom in questioning intentional origins - and possibly to even equate Economics with Philosophy too, since neither the reliance of Philosophy and Psychology on Economic circumstance nor the question "why Economics" seems to be more fundamental than the other.

Cultural matters, and biases toward assumptions based on Social circumstances are each subject to Economic circumstance, as in the following quotes:

Twiffy wrote:Objective truth is scientific truth, which is remarkably important and useful. Subjective truth is also important, but since it depends on the individual, my looking for the subjective truths of others is only useful up to a point. It's useful to know what categories of belief are probably subjective, but once you know that, knowing the exact details of someone's subjective beliefs are often very uninteresting. Do you like vegetables? Are you a libertarian? How often do you choose to bathe? Much less interesting than many questions of objective truth. Chaos theory and fractals are objective truth. Black holes. Computers. Quantum mechanics.

I have bolded the key words that betray Social bias in terms of value. The "importance", "interestingness" and "usefulness" are predicated on utilitarian belief - that is there is an inherent bias toward what effects most people in the widest social sense. This explains your bias toward "objective" truth.

Twiffy wrote:I think a lot of post-modern viewpoints would degrade science to a religion, or to subjective truth, or to something dispensible and inferior to the beautiful machine of culture. I disagree with all of this. Ironically, the denigration of science is something that only those who live surrounded by the luxuries that science has produced, and who are therefore insulated from the harshness of having to cultivate your own food and manually maintain your own existence, can claim.

I have "degraded" Science to Psychology etc. (and I would do the same for religion) - Psychology in the sense of subjective valuation (rather than "truth").

Economics fits into all this with the comment about those who live in luxury denigrating Science.
I have begun to discuss this point in another thread (about photons of all things). I correlate the predictive, more widely social use of Science with those who value control and the elimination of unpredictability more than excitement and lack of grounding. It is in fact in the interests of those who value excitement and lack of grounding to reject Science and the general belief in the "external world" that operates independently of anyone's perception of it. And it is an Economic observation that the challenge for people is increasingly becoming to avert boredom rather than to merely survive at all. Comfort and predictability are coming to be taken for granted because of the sheer richness that historically preceding scientific movements of control and predictability has afforded us.

Science is becoming increasingly directed toward entertainment, and your average consumers are increasingly uninterested in the Science of any of this - only in the excitement and danger that scientifically manufactured technologies can offer them. So Science becomes revealed as Economically dependent, rather than objectively eternally "more important". Though the valuation of excitement and danger would in all probability quickly disappear if scientifically created comforts disappeared. But rather than jumping to the conclusion that Science is therefore more fundamental than Economics, it must be noted that Science was only ever able to get off the ground at all due to certain Economic conditions being satisfied. So they are each related, with Science as a symptom of a certain Economic situation.

Likewise, the increasing decadence in Philosophy is also apparently proportional to the Economic richness that we know today.

Are we banging our heads against the walls yet? :P
~So sayeth your benevolent sovereign lord~
User avatar
Silhouette
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2999
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:27 am
Location: Existence

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby turtle » Sat May 28, 2011 5:22 pm

I find ILP helpful...I learn from some of you....
But as usual there is too much bad behavior..
I would prefer a kinder, gentler ILP....
turtle
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 8005
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:41 pm

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Lucis Trust » Sat May 28, 2011 5:31 pm

No you don't, LT. Don't go being a troll now.

Does a mall rat eat chilli fries?
It has been said there is a fine line between genius and insanity..
but there is an even finer line between sanity and stupidity.
User avatar
Lucis Trust
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1528
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:50 am
Location: Elsewhere

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Twiffy » Sun May 29, 2011 5:05 am

Sil, a fair amount of what you say I agree with, and is of course the basis of Decartes' doubt. The reason why I introduced my beliefs the way I did is because I recognize, of course, that there is no reliable argument for objective truth. All I can say is what I experience, and there's no reason why my experiences correlate with any "external world" in any sense. Fundamentally there is no way for me to show that there is such a thing as objective reality. I acknowledge all of this, and I know that philosophically that's an important thing to acknowledge.

But once it's acknowledged, it has to be moved past. Here's why: if you can't shrug your shoulders and say "I can't prove it, but I've got to assume it's there", you can't get ANYWHERE. You're stuck with perceptions that have no basis to anything that could be called "objective". Those perceptions seem to indicate that other entities similar to yourself exist, but of course that's unreliable, and you have no philosophically good reason to believe that that's the case. If we really, truly held that level of doubt, we'd be solipsists, and we wouldn't be bothering to have this conversation because that would be a conversation with your perceptions, which is useless.

In any pragmatic sense, we have to assume that there is an objective reality, with other people, and that one's senses, on average, give some indication of some part of this objective truth. If we don't assume this, we can't even talk meaningfully about science (after all, what is "science" to a solipsist?) or heirarchies of human endeavor or any such thing.

If we agree that there is an objective reality, and we agree that it has the property of predictability (e.g. all else equal, the same initial conditions result in the same cause) (again, not because a universe has to have this property, but because ours seems to, and if we don't assume that we again don't get anywhere), then the rest of what I say follows, to varying degrees. Science becomes the study of objective truth.

You point out that a lot of my normative statements have a utilitarian bias. Absolutely. Utilitarianism is a beautiful theory that I have attacked from all sides and never found fault with. Clearly you disagree; but since we can both (presumably?) agree that morality is subjective anyway, there isn't a big point debating it, except in terms of what matches most closely to rules necessary for societal stabilization, and rules compatible with evolutionary psychology, neither of which I'm guessing you're interested in.

(And if you don't agree that morality is subjective, we can probably stop there too, since I doubt we'd get anywhere reconciling that difference.)

I correlate the predictive, more widely social use of Science with those who value control and the elimination of unpredictability more than excitement and lack of grounding. It is in fact in the interests of those who value excitement and lack of grounding to reject Science and the general belief in the "external world" that operates independently of anyone's perception of it.


Uh oh, are you one of those "science kills mystery" people? I can't summon up any respect for this point of view, simply because I think anyone who claims this has never actually gotten their hands dirty with science, or met real scientists. I'm a scientist, and I can tell you that the people who work in my field are precisely those with the sort of minds that most people admire in books but don't have themselves. I don't mean geniuses beyond all measure or anything silly like that -- I mean that scientists are people who are genuinely excited by mystery and the unknown. They throw themselves into this mystery face-first, and don't come out again until they've gotten dirty, explored everything, and seen all the wonder they can find.

On the other hand, people who seem to think that science kills the mystery, I find -- and no personal offense is intended -- to have a very limited capacity for curiosity. You see a bolt of lightning strike through the air, and you think, the mystery! Is some god angry? Is the sky rending apart? Then you learn that, no, in fact clouds are rubbing together so violently that hundreds of trillions of infinitesimal particles of electricity are surging between the ground and the air, heating the air so quickly that the expansion of the heat causes a heart-stopping boom. To a mind with true curiosity, this should only increase the wonder. How amazing, that such a phenomenon can happen! What are these infinitesimal charged particles? By what mechanism do they travel? Why does rapid expansion of air cause a boom rather than woosh? Why does their travel heat the air? To a mind with real intelligence and curiosity, any answer opens up a hundred new questions, and only increases the mystery. But so many people hear the explanation, and say "oh" as if that explanation settles the matter, and turn away in disappointment. How sad and limiting for them, to lack the fire to quest further into the unknown.

No, as someone who grew up in a culture that cared nothing for science, and then became a scientist myself, I can tell you that those who have dismissed science as "destroying wonder" never seem to have a spark of creativity or brilliance -- and that scientists, more than most of the artists, philosophers, or poets I've met, often have a wonderful combination of vivid imagination for what could, somehow, somewhere, be possible, and the adventurous drive to explore untrodden ground. They leave their dry-sounding reports behind for those too timid or cowardly or unimaginative to seek for light in the same fashion.
Twiffy
Thinker
 
Posts: 724
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:40 am

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby lizbethrose » Mon May 30, 2011 2:53 am

Twiffy, you asked about the value of ILP posts--my answer is the discussion you've been having with Sil. I'm not a scientist, nor am I a philosopher, so I hope no one takes offense at what I say. We don't know each other here, which often makes what some people say here difficult to understand, especially when they use subjective language. (I'm an English/literature MA--you'd think I would be able to understand subjective language. My favorite author is, however, Jane Austen because of the precision with which she uses language.)

It's my opinion that the only way subjective language can come close to being understood is if the reader/listener has an idea of the subjective mind creating that language. You are easier for me to understand because of the precision you have with the language you use. This is something I've tried to say, here, but you've been more successful than I in saying it. Thank you.

I've always been fascinated with science and regret I never learned the languages of science and mathematics early on. In the photon thread, I gave my visualization of what I think a photon is and asked if it came close to scientific 'reality'--unfortunately, for me, answers came from philosophers rather than scientists, so I'm still not sure. I'd still like to know.

This is why I like Dennett--while I may not completely understand his concepts (Consciousness Explained isn't an easy bed-time read), I can, for the most part, understand his language. Fortunately, my husband--a mechanical engineer who specialized in gas dynamics in school--has also read the book and can talk to me about it. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'll have to re-read many sections to get an idea of some of the concepts. And Dennett uses what I call 'plain language.'

This, then, is the value of ILP for me. Every so often, something will be said that rings a tiny bell in my mind, ushering in new thought, which I relish. I thank both you and Sil for this thread--and everyone else here who have taken the time to bear with me and to try to use 'plain language' in responding to me.
"Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
— Lewis Carroll
lizbethrose
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3535
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:55 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby James S Saint » Mon May 30, 2011 3:16 am

Our mutual responsibility is to say things such that they are easily understood.
And to understand things so that they can be easily said.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 24443
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Twiffy » Mon May 30, 2011 4:21 am

Liz, excellent post, I really couldn't agree more. So many people -- and very often philosophers -- seem to either not recognize the value of plain speech, or possibly even to rely on obscure speech to give themselves an aura of authority.

Kant is a good example of this. A good contemporary example is Judith Butler, a Berkeley academic that I think embodies the antithesis of rationality and plain speech. To see why, check out her wikipedia page (below), specifically the "Commentary on Style" section.

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

I'm glad that ILP provides you with glimmers of insight, and if it does so, it's worth every electron. I completely agree with your comments on Dennett.
Twiffy
Thinker
 
Posts: 724
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:40 am

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby SuperCulture » Mon May 30, 2011 4:35 am

@Twiffy

The reason you are disappointed is because an internet forum attracts people from all ages and different backgrounds. And formal training or formal education does not ensure one is not infected with bad ideas. The whole of intellectual history is littered with stupid-geniuses who thought they knew everything, consider how George Cantor was mocked by his peers.

From Wikipedia:

Writing decades after Cantor's death, Wittgenstein lamented that mathematics is "ridden through and through with the pernicious idioms of set theory," which he dismissed as "utter nonsense" that is "laughable" and "wrong".[8] Cantor's recurring bouts of depression from 1884 to the end of his life were once blamed on the hostile attitude of many of his contemporaries,[9] but these episodes can now be seen as probable manifestations of a bipolar disorder.[10]

Would you have been one to mock George cantor because you couldn't get his ideas? You're under the false assumption that you're infinitely capable of grasping other peoples perspectives, ideas and their "truth" and "worth" but science shows this is not the case.

If you're interested in truth you should learn more about the limits of human reasoning.

http://bit.ly/dYaWUc

A good book for you
http://www.amazon.com/Where-Mathematics ... 465037712/

I want you to entertain the idea that we are all morons, and that there are ideas and truths that our minds cannot fathom given the physical limitations of our minds. The same way we can't teach a monkey about quantum theory, the idea that you or our institutions have a monopoly on the forms of truth is absurd.

A better idea is to understand that each person's mind is running a simulation (model) of the world, and each persons simulation of the world is severely incomplete. The process of translating thoughts between these seperate unviverses known as our minds is not a trivial undertaking. Spoken language is not enough to convey ideas.

We all know that everyone is not equal in intelligence, but we also know that intelligence is not linear well defined phenomenon. There are many people who may have a low IQ but have superior observational/analytical skills when it comes to different areas of knowledge. Truth is a process that is not linear, because in order to attain understanding one needs time and resources and the right physical processes going on in ones mind. We underestimate the influence of natural biological processes putting a limit on what kinds of things we can easily understand and what kind of connections and insights we can make. We are very limited beings and we need to understand that physical laws govern the process of what we can understand.
Last edited by SuperCulture on Mon May 30, 2011 5:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
If anyone accuses you of making an error or undefined statement, that error must exist and they must know it exists and where. So they have to show the error, otherwise they don't know.

"Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty." Plato
SuperCulture
Thinker
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:37 am

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby James S Saint » Mon May 30, 2011 4:56 am

:text-yeahthat:
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 24443
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Twiffy » Mon May 30, 2011 6:04 am

SuperCulture, I'm not clear on what point you're trying to make. Let me address a few specifics, and then I'll progress to a "bigger picture" discussion.

formal training or formal education does not ensure one is not infected with bad ideas.


No, it certainly does not. But it makes it much, much, much, much, much less likely. For example, anyone with real mathematical training can differentiate a proof from an argument a mile away. Very few people on this forum could. And that is a remarkably important distinction if you want to settle an issue. So I agree with you -- those with training are not gods. But on average, those trained in science are far better at rational proceedings than those who are not trained. Here's one you've likely seen that most people get wrong. Even scientists get this one wrong a fair amount, but of course several orders of magnitude less than non-scientists.

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

If you're interested in truth you should learn more about the limits of human reasoning.


Hmm, I guess advertising that one is a mathematician sows the seeds for assumptions that you're not anything else. You should be careful about that -- I know a lot about a variety of fields. Mathematics mostly, and next, physics, philosophy, and neurobiology, all virtually to the same degree. (At the bottom of that list is visual art and history, so if you want to make assertions in areas about which I know little, those are good ones to shoot for.)

I'm well acquainted with the fact that the decision-making process, as a human facility, is dependent on other faculties in order to "function properly". (In fact, some perceived component of reason is far more fallible than the video suggests: there is a part of the brain dedicated to coming up with rational-sounding explanations for activities. This part of the brain often doesn't seem to care for whether or not those reasons are true; only that they are plausible. This was made painfully obvious in patients who would have a severed corpus callosum, the part of the brain joining the left and right hemisphere. Because of this damage, the two hemispheres couldn't communicate. The patient may be shown a card in his left eye reading "If you slap yourself right now, I will pay you $100". The corresponding right arm would slap the patient in the face; but when asked why, the patient would come up with some vaguely plausible but wrong excuse, like "there was a fly on my face". This is because the explanatory part of his brain didn't have access to the information on the card, or the processing that occurred between cause and effect.)

But despite this, the video you linked, while technically correct in most details, was incorrect and overblown in its analysis. Perhaps the biggest problem with the video snippet is the conflation of "reason" and "decision-making". For example, the speaker claims that Democrats think that if they present the facts to people, the people will come to the correct conclusion on their own, but that people don't truly work that way. This is obviously correct. This is not because most people have faulty reason, but rather because most people have a whole preponderance of decision-making faculties at their neurological disposal. These faculties are quite literally continually at war with each other to varying degrees, and there are devoted parts of the brain (such as the abovementioned segment) devoted to taking the decision the individual has arrived at, and trying to make that decision seem like the product of a unified consciousness. (In reality people are anything but a single unified consciousness, a fact that is rather disturbing when you think about it.) When you present the facts to someone and they don't agree, it usually isn't because there's anything wrong with their ability to reason. It's because all the other decision-making factors (mostly emotion) overwhelm the voice of reason.

Obviously examples of this are numerous. A man deciding whether or not to cheat on his wife. Short-term gratification says yes, long-term gratification (and rationality) says no. Which wins depends very strongly on the details of the situation, and even more strongly on the individual himself.

However, these multiple decision-making factors shouldn't be confused with rationality, itself a very nearly isolated decision-making module. When you short out emotions, decision-making becomes very, very difficult. This is a point the speaker made, using the term "reason". But he was using the wrong term. Rationality itself actually becomes easier.

There's a fantastic example of this discovered in the last 5 years. Many people dismiss the moral theory of utilitarianism on either some vague emotional reason, or some precise logical reason. However, there are studies showing that people with damage to the emotional section of their brains tend to default to utilitarian judgments. In effect, there is evidence suggesting that there is a decision-making module that prefers utilitarianism, and that this tends to be true for all people. But the emotion module (among others) conflict with it. If you remove the part of the brain that prefers people you know over people you don't know, for example, making a cold cost-benefit analysis is much easier. Utilitarianism is not a product of pure reason, of course, but you get the idea.

http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/12958

Think about rationality not as something wholly subjective, but rather as a machine. When it's working correctly, the person can predict the effect his actions will have with a good degree of accuracy. (If I slap this person, he will get angry.) He can solve math problems that are in his usual scope. He can identify arguments that follow from premises, and those that do not. When the machine is broken, one or more of these traits gets lost. And the machine is dependent on the proper function of many components, but that's not an unreasonable requirement.

A good book for you


Uh, not really. The idea in this book is cute, but they limit themselves to such a tiny part of mathematics that the suggestion that their thesis covers all of math is laughable. One could plausibly claim that math begins in the way they claim -- and even that would be sketchy -- but to claim that higher math works in that fashion too is absurd. How about manifolds, or harmonic functions, or L-series, or the Jones polynomial? One would have an immensely difficult time justifying their thesis with these concepts. Here's a more detailed criticism that I mostly agree with:

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.136.3658&rep=rep1&type=pdf

I want you to entertain the idea that we are all morons, and that there are ideas and truths that our minds cannot fathom given the physical limitations of our minds.


The moniker "morons" is unnecessary, but your point is obvious, of course. There certainly could be such ideas. In fact, I think we can all agree that there are facets of such ideas that we can illustrate directly. I know very well what the number 3 means. I can picture 3 things as a single mental flash. But I can't picture 10 things without thinking of, say, 2 groups of 5. I can't do that for 100 things without effort, and I'm sure I can't do that for 10,000 things at all.

But this is where the remarkable abstracting ability of the human mind comes into play. I can't picture 10,000 things. But I can figure out patterns of numbers based on numbers I can picture. From that I can derive the field of number theory. And from that I can tell you all sorts of wonderful things about the number 10,000 --- things you wouldn't know even if you could picture 10,000 apples in an orchard. In fact, I assert that these facets are all there are. The notion of an idea about which we can fathom nothing is inherently self-contradictory. If X is an idea about which we know nothing, we automatically know something about X. Not a total victory by any means, but a partial one, and that's nice.

But here's where I get to the big picture. What are you getting at with your post? What assertion are you trying to defend? It sounds like you're saying this:

1) I don't like ILP because people are insufficiently rational / insufficiently trained
2) Training isn't necessarily useful
3) Rationality isn't dependable
4) ...? Maybe that my criticism of ILP is invalid?

I agree with (1) wholeheartedly, (2) in principle but not even remotely in practice, same with (3), and I don't see where you're going with (4). In principle, all things can be doubted. In practice, we should gauge the extent of our doubt based on observation. The neurobiological facts that seem to undermine reason are very interesting, and very applicable in many areas of human endeavor. But to claim that they wholly undermine the value or validity of reason is absurd. The field of math is (in theory (nice amusing bit of self-reference there)) pure reason. And it really is perfect. If you have any math training at all, you realize that math is absolutely flawless. The people who practice it are not, of course. But math is a shining example of the sustainability, reliability, and productivity of reason. The fact that you're writing posts on a computer connected to the internet should be breathtaking if you really understand what went into it. Training in rationality and in science produces such marvelous results, not only from science as an institution, but in the individuals themselves, that it really is a shame such training isn't more widespread.
Twiffy
Thinker
 
Posts: 724
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:40 am

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby James S Saint » Mon May 30, 2011 6:34 am

Twiffy wrote:But it makes it much, much, much, much, much less likely.

You need to consider taking about 4 of those "much"s out of there just to get a realistic picture and your feet on the ground.

You are seriously sounding exactly like a Catholic or Mormon priest professing the holy truth of the Church.

You have so deeply accepted so many ideas as perfectly true, that you have totally buried the flaws with over confidence. The same people who you think to be so perfectly right are no different than all those before them that were perfectly wrong.

"What I believe is absolutely true. What I don't know about, might or might not be."

Twiffy wrote:For example, anyone with real mathematical training can differentiate a proof from an argument a mile away. Very few people on this forum could. And that is a remarkably important distinction if you want to settle an issue.
Such an emarrassing thing to say for someone who couldn't even distinguish a definition from an equation. A "proof" REQUIRES definitions (real ones, not merely equations). And you claim such expertise in physics yet couldn't even tell me what time is?!? Your definition was "Time == time". Even Einstein, when they were first trying to figure such a thing out had a better definition than that and that was over 100 years ago.

Get some perspective. How can you be so over impressed with yourself and yet not even be able to attempt a solution to the Stopped Clock Paradox? Merely the things that I know would double what you have already displayed that you don't know... amazing. [-(
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 24443
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby SuperCulture » Mon May 30, 2011 6:54 am

SuperCulture, I'm not clear on what point you're trying to make.


I'm trying to make the point that your understanding of the world is LIMITED by the constraints placed on meausrability, i.e. you think that mathematics is truth. Mathematics is a language for recording observations, mathematics is true in the contexts in which it is true. Truth's have contextual bounds which are not obvious.

Mathematics is powerful way of measuring and grasping the world, no doubt about it but mathematics is ALSO just a modelling language we use to help us think about the world. Take the idea of "one apple" we know that the apple is made of billions of atoms and subatomic particles yet we refer to the whole as 'one apple' in this way mathematics is not reality. It is a way for us to model complexity.

The problem with formal education is the cult of mathematics. Everyone wants to try to turn everything into equations and while that helps us understanding the universe. Remember that it is DESCRIPTIVE, we are using mathematics to describe an underlying truth that is _already there_.

The same way we use language to describe something like color. Color is 'complex' but we aggregate the imperfect data of our senses into a model that is usable. Think of it another way, there are millions of mathematical ways to construct a fork but you only need a finite subset of forks to understand the essence of what a fork is.

I understand your desire for clarity to understand 'the bare model', but just know that it is a model based on the limits of what you've been taught is "the right way to understand truth or make true statements about the world".

Math is just one path to attaining truth. If you do not belive this consider - everyday everyone driving on the highway is more then capable making use of imperfect truth to survive and navigate around cars and trucks, even though they don't have a 'mathematically rigorous' understanding of their environment.

The desire for perfect data is good when you're trying to understand processes in the world, but if you were actually to describe those complex processes with natural language (i.e. name each atom and each position) you'd quickly reach computational limits and a complexity for describing reality which is _not necessary to function in reality_.

It's not the rigor or mathematics that matters it is WHAT IS MOST RELEVANT. Mathematics is only useful in so far as it is based on sound observations. Without sound evidence mathematics becomes an exercise in imaginative speculation of artificial constructed worlds that only exist in one's mind.

What you're not getting is that there are VALID MODELS OF TRUTH THAT ARE NOT MATHEMATICAL IN ORIGIN, nor do they require any kind of numeracy or formal training to understand.

You need to start exploring evidence of how other people experience reality, I give you daniel tammet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbASOcqc1Ss

He's doing mathematics in a way that is not how you were taught at all. You really aren't scientifically literate enough to grasp that there are many ways of modelling truth that are mathematically valid that do not take a symbolic mathematical form at all. Since mathematics is just another language by which we use to model the world.
Last edited by SuperCulture on Mon May 30, 2011 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
If anyone accuses you of making an error or undefined statement, that error must exist and they must know it exists and where. So they have to show the error, otherwise they don't know.

"Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty." Plato
SuperCulture
Thinker
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:37 am

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby James S Saint » Mon May 30, 2011 7:04 am

SuperCulture wrote:It's not the rigor or mathematics that matters it is WHAT IS MOST RELEVANT, mathematics is only useful in so far it is based on sound observations [and defined concepts]. Without sound evidence mathematics becomes an exercise in imaginative speculation of artificial constructed worlds that only exist in one's mind.

Wow, I'm starting to like this guy. :mrgreen:
=D>
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 24443
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby lizbethrose » Mon May 30, 2011 7:15 am

I love this quote from wiki, re Judith Butler:

In 1998, Denis Dutton's journal Philosophy and Literature gave Butler First Prize in its "Bad Writing Competition," which claims to "celebrate bad writing from the most stylistically lamentable passages found in scholarly books and articles." Butler's 94 word long sentence, published in the journal Diacritics, for which she received the award was:

The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

Dutton discontinued the contest after being criticized for its apparently hostile spirit. Butler responded to Dutton's criticism, with a letter to the London Review of Books and an op-ed piece for the New York Times. She argued that writing clearly can make the author too reliant on common sense and as such make language lose its potential to "shape the world" and shake up the status quo.

Stanley N. Kurtz, in turn, argued against Butler's op-ed in a letter to the New York Times titled, "Bad Writing Has No Defense." Stephen K. Roney also responded that "many—indeed, most—generally recognized “great thinkers” have been clear and lucid in their writing [...] Is Butler claiming to be deeper than all of them?"


To answer some other things raised on these forums--the ideas of 'moral' and 'ethical' being anything other that subjective thinking cannot be valid. When I came here, I repeated a story of an on-line friend who's family had lived what would be called by many totally 'amoral' lives. That included the story of an older brother currently serving a life sentence for murder. Each of them--father and two brothers--felt it was their 'moral right' to live as they did--flaunting the law and other peoples 'rights.' I was, and still am, amazed my on-line friend survived and overcame his environment.

What we see and experience can be nothing other than subjective--but that shouldn't hinder thought. It should, however, hinder subjective thought stated as universal 'fact.' This is only my opinion, of course.

BTW, SC, the man's name is Dennett, not Tennett.
"Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
— Lewis Carroll
lizbethrose
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3535
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:55 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby lizbethrose » Mon May 30, 2011 7:23 am

Everyone here should at least recognize ad hominem when they see it. :roll:
"Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
— Lewis Carroll
lizbethrose
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3535
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:55 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby SuperCulture » Mon May 30, 2011 8:15 am

lizbethrose wrote:BTW, SC, the man's name is Dennett, not Tennett.


Liz... sweetheart, you need to get your eyes checked :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Tammet
If anyone accuses you of making an error or undefined statement, that error must exist and they must know it exists and where. So they have to show the error, otherwise they don't know.

"Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty." Plato
SuperCulture
Thinker
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:37 am

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby nameta9 » Mon May 30, 2011 10:14 am

Twiffy wrote:Enter science. Science could reasonably be defined as the study of objective truth. All science is about objective truth in this sense; math studies objective truth that is independent from the laws of physics, and relies solely on logic. Physics studies the most fundamental objective truths that depend on the laws of physics. Chemistry and Biology study emergent properties of physical systems. Psychology, even higher, and so on.



Objective truth like science makes me imagine that a contraption could be built such that it can receive new information from new sense organs, can put it into a new modified computer like mind - brain - memory, can react with this information (with new emotions and feelings states ? new pain pleasure states ? or new entities analogous / similar or as recursively related ?), in analogy to how we react to our environment and life, and effectively "live" in a new universe with new laws of physics that no longer have anything to do with us, can't be communicated to us, can't relate to us, since we can't be inside the contraption and outside looking in at the same time.

So you say, but objective science let you design the contraption, although the new experience of existence is being performed by the contraption inside the contraption, so in a sense, you are its "god", or you are the "laws of physics" that designed it and made it exist in reference to some kinds of externals, absolutes and interdictions, inhibitions and constraints. True, but we always aggregate and put together distinct things into one thing, just to make believe they are one, so we kind of invent that they are related, or that they are one entity, when in all truth they are totally independent, not related, there is no metaphysical bond between the items we are putting together, therefore separate them. I am thinking along the lines of a sequence of manipulations and causes and effects that we performed with our mind in our universe and with our Matter P that created contraption A, that is now experiencing a new universe.

But P and A are totally independent, who cares which came first, who cares about cause and effect, it is irrelevant: the relevant point is that A is now in a new universe with a new set of laws of physics experiencing new things we can never imagine, they may be having a ball way past anything we can possibly conceive.

But now since P is distinct from A, then P could be anything at all, that is you could just pour wild chemicals in a brain and send wild electronic signals in the new brain, and design or just put it together in any old way, even the most crazy and absurd way, and the new thing A will live in a new universe with new laws of physics. Got it now ? that is what should be done, and even if you never know or even if the thingy A is experiencing nothing or everything who cares, it is the possibility that fires the imagination. That is the Instant Singularity as you just immediately change the neural networks and design of the brain real fast without thinking about anything, just put anything inside it, any design goes, be really wrong, make all kinds of mistakes, just do it man, do it, you can do it.

Now, design me a new modified mind, please, even very simple like this (the complexity can be condensed inside the deeply mysterious symbols) :

WHHWHEGGRR T (IIIUU) ) -----------

You can also invent your own bible if you want...
nameta9
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 10:42 am

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby nameta9 » Mon May 30, 2011 11:37 am

"Fundamentally there is no way for me to show that there is such a thing as objective reality. I acknowledge all of this, and I know that philosophically that's an important thing to acknowledge."

And you should "show" this to who ? Or what ? And why should you want to "show" this to "it" that you want to show it to ? And what if you showed it to "it", but the "it" lies to you and says, "yes, I have now seen objective reality, thank you, but deep inside he is thinking, I haven't seen anything, the guy is a crackpot" , would you ever know ? could you ever know ? do you want to know ? And if you knew, could you be sure that you knew it ? And what would you do with it ? How would you use it, what is the "intentionality of use" ? But essentially do you really care, aren't you just talking to yourself anyways ? Another infinite recursion of impossible - intractable problems (or are they even problems and not experiences of the mind playing games with itself ?).

This is the way to show that there is objective reality: just say it. Now who cares if the other mind accepts it, doesn't, if it is even true, if you even care to believe in it, if the other mind is even alive or real, everything is just a sequence of symbols that make believe that they are real.

Wake up, you are in a simulator.
nameta9
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 10:42 am

Re: What is the value of ILP posts?

Postby Twiffy » Mon May 30, 2011 5:23 pm

James:

I'm sure you remember that we've been down this path before, and it didn't end all that well for you. This is just another warning that I'll be ignoring you on this thread, too, unless you

1) Speak without ad hominem
2) Justify your assertions instead of just stating them
3) Acknowledge when a point has been settled, even if the conclusion is that you were wrong.


SuperCulture:

I believe it's probably no longer worth our time to exchange ideas. I'll briefly say why.

In many ways you speak as if you have authoritative knowledge -- on topics where you clearly have anything but. Here are some quick examples.

Mathematics is a language for recording observations


There isn't a mathematician in the world who would agree with this. Perhaps you somehow know more than all those trained in the relevant subject put together, but I'm sure you'll agree it's much more likely that you're simply wrong. The vast wealth of math has no plausible observational correlations. I can give you detailed examples to justify this as well if you're interested. Here's a quick one:

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

Your error here undermines a great deal of your later claims, but not all of them. As for the rest, I can assure you that I have never said truth may only be ascertained or expressed mathematically, nor do I believe it. But a lot of your specifics suffer from your incorrect claims about what mathematics is. Math is the study of what truths logically follow from what axioms. Mathematicians obviously have collections of axioms, and sorts of truths, that they prefer as people; however as a field, it is nothing more than pure logic.

Mathematics is only useful in so far as it is based on sound observations. Without sound evidence mathematics becomes an exercise in imaginative speculation of artificial constructed worlds that only exist in one's mind.


Again, this is absolutely and thoroughly false. Statistically, this may even be the opposite of true. Probably the most pragmatically useful field of physics is quantum mechanics -- after all, it gave us all the electronics we know and love. This field depends on math that has no direct observational basis at all. High-dimensional manifolds, complex differential equations, and other constructs that are very natural in a purely logical setting, but don't have direct observational correlates.

The application of math to the rest of science is this: math is true, and perfect, in a purely logical system. Certain math follows from certain axioms. Physical scientists determine which axioms, or situations, their studies describe, and then employ the relevant mathematics to arrive at conclusions they would not otherwise have known.

He's doing mathematics in a way that is not how you were taught at all.


Again, this just suggests to me that you have no idea what mathematics is. Tammet is a human calculator. He is computing simple numerical operations. He is not doing mathematics. Not even remotely close.

You really aren't scientifically literate enough to grasp that there are many ways of modelling truth that are mathematically valid that do not take a symbolic mathematical form at all.


I believe I addressed this point above. But SuperCulture, this is an unfortunately and unnecessarily presumptuous and provocative sentence. It seems odd to me that someone (and I'm assuming here, so please correct me if I'm wrong) with no scientific training would criticize a professional scientist for being scientifically illiterate. In both your posts now, you've made presumptions about me that turned out to be about as false as you can get.

So I think the upshot, SuperCulture, is this. It seems to me that you don't know anything of substance about math, or really about science in general, and yet you speak with a tone of authority as if you're an expert. This is a useful set of traits for coming across as knowledgeable to those who are not, while not having to become knowledgeable yourself. But it is a terribly destructive combination of traits if you're trying to sustain a conversation with someone who is knowledgeable, or if you're trying to become knowledgeable yourself. Useful conversations are predicated on both parties having a reasonable awareness of what they do know and what they don't know, and proceeding from there.

You can feel free to continue this conversational thread, but like with James Saint, who has similar conversational difficulties, if you want me to respond, you're going to have to be more reasonable in your discussions. If you're going to make claims about mathematics, prefacing them with "I was under the impression" would be a good start, or else it sounds like someone with no mathematical training is trying to teach a mathematician about the nature of math. Backing up your claims with more examples and arguments, rather than just asserting them, is essential. If you'd rather not go to that trouble, I think it's reasonable to end our chat here.
Twiffy
Thinker
 
Posts: 724
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:40 am

PreviousNext

Return to Philosophy



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot]