Dear Russell, your lines are enlightening to me. Some of them I find hard to accept, but you talk authoritatively so I give them my consideration.
Our acquaintance goes further than on the NECSI list, you commented privately on my SciRel writing (missing the point, quite opposite to Tim, who saw in it: only as he wrote: "it is about religion and memes" while you refused "to be called a religious person" as a scientist. Both opinions fail to see the point I was making about the comparison of "belief" on different grounds) - we "met" on this list before your visit to NECSI. ('Plenitude') The Necsi complex-science list is really mixed, as you said, many particpants mix the "complexity-thinking" (I wish I had a better word for it) with the convoluted, complicated systems - usually called 'complex systems' - in the historical (linguistic, conventional) meaning of the word. As to this list: - so far I missed the > "Ensemble theories of..."< before the ">everything<", definitely did not associate it with TOE, which I always looked at with awe, because to draw a TOE we should know "everything" first. Looking at the progressing epistemic development of our (scientific) cognitive inventory over the decades (millennia?) our 'everything' is enriching - new and new elements are discovered in the progress of time, while a formal TOE, as an 'equation-formulated' (quantized, mathematically expressed) THEORY would not allow the inclusion of such - (unless maybe with substantial changes or reformulations). I don't call my 'speculations' a theory, not even a hypothesis, my 'story' of generating universes from a Plenitude is called 'a narrative', a proposition to put our observations into a followable framework for us (for me?). It is a vision of "everything" - already discovered or not, all influencing all, beyond our capabilities of the mind to organize known and unknown properly. What (conventional?) science does is to formulate models of treatable segments/compositions and study the characteristics of them, within the reduced limitations of the boundaries set for such models. It is highly successful and productive. This I call (my) scientific reductionism. The total inclusion - (un)discovered so far - goes into my "scientific agnosticism", because we have no way to include into formulations the so far unknown and unlimited variables with influencing factors unknown. That would eliminate those paradoxes of which some physicists say "I can live with them". I just do not find acceptable to make corrections for the presently unknown inventory on the basis of the presently known inventory, in an anticipation, or by mathematical techniques. This is the foundation how I read this list and found exciting ideas (observer moment, multiverse, the rabbit, etc.) in reading it. In your 2nd par you wrote a 'redundancy' about 'complex science' (which is different from my domain): >"...I'm not saying that they're wrong, but I am saying > that I didn't have a clue what they were talking about, and that no > amount of reading their postings helped me to make any kind of > sense...< Of course. Most people 'don't have a clue' and so it does not make sense to them. On "that" list, some talk in engineering, some in mathematical biology, some Peircianese, some systems sci., some post-Darwinian evolutionese, some philosophy, some plain common sense language, etc. etc. so you could pick a strange one easily. Most are non-responsive to my particular kind of speculation either. Your 3rd par is plain list-wisdom, similar to what I proposed earlier in the question of (why not) moderating this (and other) lists in a topically narroww way. As Tim wrote: inappropriate posts can be taken apart by other list-members in no time. And they do. Sorry for having bored most of you with my thoughts in a different view from what you people like. I am not a physicist, a long time ago in my (chemical) Ph.D. I had physics mandatory (but what physics does a chemist know?) plus math as elective (same remark) and later my D.Sc. was in polymers, (applied reductionism!) and my views changed over the past 1½ decades by a specific natural science philosophy. Starting with Bohm. I don't want to persuade anybody into accepting my views. I wrote about them because "it just came up". Sometimes it is interesting to see another view. In cases I wrote to list-members in private, when I had a remark "out of the regular bounds" of the list and I usually got a friendly (topical) response. (Including Russell, who was mostly (not always so) friendly <G>) Now I learned to put a special filter on my mouse - to make any (rare, if any) comment palatable to the general audience of this list. John Mikes ----- Original Message ----- From: "Russell Standish" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> Cc: "Tim May" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2003 7:06 PM Subject: Re: Science > Your expression "complexity-thinking" reminded me that I first came > across you in a different forum, namely NECSI's complex-science > list. Indeed the various terms you quote after that would be more > appropriate for that list than the "everything" list. The everything > list was not intended for discussing every possible topic, but rather > "Ensemble theories of everything" or "Ensemble TOEs". This is quite a > focussed topic, which has by and large been adhered to by the list > participants. > > The big problem with complex-science was that there were several > prolific people there who would use the terminology of complex systems > in ways totally different to how they're conventionally employed > complex systems. I'm not saying that they're wrong, but I am saying > that I didn't have a clue what they were talking about, and that no > amount of reading their postings helped me to make any kind of > sense. I once complained on that list about there being two languages > on that discussion list. > > Ultimately, and perhaps a little sadly, I have had to take the > pragmatic strategy of censoring those individuals - simply deleting > their postings without reading them, as I just don't benefit from > reading them. > > Cheers > > John M wrote: > > Idea I have, wording is hard. I may mention some key-phrases without > > contextual explanations (and without asking Wei Dai to reformulate the list > > in favor of these <G>) as stirring around lately in select speculations: > > -- "complexity-thinking", -- extending the limits of reductionism: > > induction-buildup, to deduction-analysis, -- extending the limited models > > of reductionist science, -- natural systems as networks of networks, -- > > total interconnectedness -- etc., but I am afraid that whatever I mention > > opens another Pandora's box of worms. > > We (working in these lines) have still arguments how to understand (then > > formulate) concepts like impredicative, endogenous, emergent, etc., beside > > the re-identification of 'older' terms galore. > > > > Sorry to have aggrevated you > > > > John Mikes > > > > > -------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- > A/Prof Russell Standish Director > High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile) > UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 (") > Australia [EMAIL PROTECTED] > Room 2075, Red Centre http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks > International prefix +612, Interstate prefix 02 > -------------------------------------------------------------------------- --