On Tuesday, April 2, 2013 10:59:35 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>  On 4/2/2013 6:44 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> On Tuesday, April 2, 2013 8:07:48 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote: 
>>  On 4/2/2013 3:54 PM, John Mikes wrote:
>> Dear Stathis, 
>> your lengthy reply to Craig is a bit longer than I can manage to reply in 
>> all facets so here is a condensed opinion:
>>  Your position about the 'material' world (atoms, etc.) seems a bit 
>> mechanistic: like us, the (call it:) inanimates are also different no 
>> matter how identical we think they are in those lines we observe by our 
>> instruments and reductionist means. 
>> You ask about Na-ions: well, even atoms/ions are different to a wider 
>> scrutiny than enclosed in our physical sciences. Just  think about the 
>> fission-sequence - unpredictable WHICH one will undergo it next. It maybe 
>> differential within the atomic nucleus, may be in the circumstances and 
>> their so far not established impact on the individual atoms (ions?) leading 
>> to a "next one". 
>> That would imply a hidden variable in the atom which determined when it 
>> decayed.  Local hidden variables have been ruled out by numerous 
>> experiments.  Non-local hidden variables (as in Bohm's quantum mechanics) 
>> are not ruled out in non-relativistic experiments but it doesn't appear 
>> possible to extend them to quantum field theory in which the number of 
>> particles is not conserved.
>>  We know only a portion of the totality and just think that everything 
>> has been covered. 
>> I am not representing Craig, I make remarks upon your ideas of everything 
>> being predictably identical to its similars. 
>>  The (so far) "known facts" are neither: not 'known' and not 'facts'. 
>> Characteristics are restricted to yesterday's inventory and many potentials 
>> are not even dreamed of. 
>> We can manipulate a lot of circumstances, but be ready for others that 
>> may show up tomorrow - beyond our control.
>>  I agree with Craig (in his response to this same long post):
>>  "...Nothing is absolutely identical to anything else. Nothing is even   
>>     identical to itself from moment to moment. Identical is a local 
>> approximation contingent upon the comprehensiveness of sense capacities. If 
>> your senses aren't very discerning, then lots of things seem identical...."
>> The Schrodinger equation only works if the interchange of two bosons 
>> makes no difference - so it is implicit in the success of quantum mechanics 
>> that they are identical. 
> Does being interchangeable necessarily mean identical? 
> It does if the number of states that count toward the entropy doesn't 
> increase when you consider interchanges.  Cars obey Maxwell-Boltzman 
> statistics, elementary particles don't.

If two things have exactly the same, then they are interchangeable in the 
sense of using it for ballast in a ship, but it doesn't make the things 
interchangeable in every way that can be measured, it doesn't make them 
interchangeable in every way that is imaginable, and it certainly does not 
make them identical. Just because microcosmic observations are precisely 
consistent does not mean that all phenomena can be explained in those 
terms. Identical is a myth. There is no identical. A does not = A. The A 
that follows the = can be distinguished from the previous A, both in the 
order in which they were typed and in their relation to the rest of the 
text. The assumption that A = A is an important idea for logic, but it does 
not follow that the cosmos is made of phenomena which follow that narrow 

>  If I am driving in traffic, my car could be exchanged with any other on 
> the road and be observed to behave in the same way, yet my experience is 
> that the car which I am driving is very different from every other car in 
> the universe. If we close our eyes to the reality of subjectivity, then we 
> can't be very surprised when we fail to see how reality could be subjective.
>   Similarly the solution changes sign if fermions are interchanged and 
>> that requires that the two fermions be identical.  Otherwise bosons 
>> wouldn't obey bose-einstein statistics and fermions wouldn't obey 
>> fermi-dirac statistics, they would both obey Maxwell-Boltzman statistics - 
>> but experiment shows they don't.
>>  I would add: no TWO events have identical circumstances to face, 
>> even if you do no detect inividual differences in the observed data of 
>> participating entities, the influencing circumstances are different from 
>> instance to instance and call for changes in processes. Bio, or not. 
>> But that becomes an all-purpose excuse for anything-goes.  No 
>> generalization is possible, no pattern can be extrapolated.
> Not true. Any generalization is permitted as long as it is recognized as 
> such and not mistaken for a literal and exhaustive description of nature. 
> You mean any generalization at all?  Or any generalization that passes all 
> empirical tests.  

Any generalization that makes enough sense to be useful or appreciated. 
Something can be true and wise without it passing all empirical tests. Red 
is to blue as summer is to winter. It's bad to hunt your neighbors for 


> No generalization every needs to be nor is likely to be an exhaustive 
> description of nature, the whole point of generalizing is to abstract away 
> particulars.

Exactly, but consciousness is entirely particular. Nothing can be 
abstracted about it at all. There is literally no substitute for experience.

>  If your generalization makes consciousness undetectable, 
> You've never provided any way to detect consciousness. 

This is the ridiculous demand to rediscover what has already been 
discovered and which can never be undiscovered. I am consciousness, and 
presumably, so are you. It only could matter to me that you are conscious 
if I am already conscious and if consciousness cares about what is and what 
is not conscious. That is all the proof that is necessary or possible.

> I and others have proposed that the way to detect consciousness is by 
> observing behavior - but you have rejected this saying that one would have 
> to observe that the conscious being was produced "organically" by growing 
> from a cell - which is just invoking magic.

No, observing that the being is biological would not allow you to detect 
consciousness either. If you use the word magic, then you get referred to 
my common criticisms post: http://multisenserealism.com/the-competition/

The distinction of biological organisms from inorganic matter is just a 
hint that what lies behind both is so vastly incompatible that it is 
tantamount to a second universe nested within the first. It is not the 
biology which is the cause of biological quality consciousness, it is the 
symptom of a particular story in the cosmos of which we are an expression.

>  then that generalization is no good for addressing consciousness, but it 
> may very well work for all kinds of precision engineering purposes.
>>   Yet the success of empiricism and science is evidence that there are 
>> regularities in nature and not every event is unique, replication is 
>> possible.
> But the failures of empiricism and science to bring about a sane and 
> sustainable way of life for our species are evidence that we cannot afford 
> to assume that regularity is the ultimate truth.
> Empiricism and science are responsible for providing us with knowledge of 
> the world - not the wise use of knowledge.

The presumption here is that providing knowledge without wisdom is 
sustainable, and that science can do nothing to improve itself. Science is 
not an innocent bystander, but it has exported the model of voyeuristic 
detachment to civilization, and it is not going well anymore.

> You're quite welcome to go the Amazon and join the Yanomano and live 
> without the insane use of the internet and computers and modern medicine.  
> There's apparently no danger that you will infect them with any knowledge 
> either scientific or mathematical.

Eh, most of them probably are probably getting ready to sell their axes on 
the internet soon or working for some clearcutting company. 


> Brent
> Craig
>> Brent
>>  This is one little corner how agnosticism frees up my mind (beware: not 
>> "freezes"!!).
>> John Mikes
>>  -- 
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