On Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 6:55 PM, LizR <lizj...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 19 December 2013 12:16, Stephen Paul King
>> What else is a mathematical theory, such as SR, GR and QM, for but to
>> a particular calculation"? This is the problem, we figure out ways to make
>> ourselves believe that we can "know" all that there is to know about the
>> world given some theory (mathematical or other). Can we gaze upon the
>> space of solutions of SR, etc? No! But we can get some pretty good ideas
>> exploring exactly how the "particular calculations" work. One has to plug
>> in a set of numbers that include the specification of the inertial frame of
>> reference (which involves the masses and velocities of the objects that are
>> considered in the calculation). One then "turns the crank" and out pops a
>> solution that is true* for that particular inertial frame*.
>> My point is not about any kind of "specialness", *the same condition
>> follows for any frame that is consistent with the math*. There is no
>> such thing, mathematically, as a "view from nowhere" or, equivalently, for
>> a "god's eye point of view." God is dead and so is his "view".
>> For QM, things are even more restrictive: one has to assume that the
>> Hilbert space of the wave function is *finite* and a choice of the basis
>> of that space <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basis_(linear_algebra)> must
>> be done. That's the math...
>> That isn't quite correct. The "view from nowhere" *is *the equations.
LOL, nice semantic trick. A mathematical system is a "view". Seriously!
That argument is rubbish. Nagel was great on some of his stuff, but that
argument have serious problems.
For example, we find here
"Human beings have the unique ability to view the world in a detached way:
We can think about the world in terms that transcend our own experience or
interest, and consider the world from a vantage point that is, in Nagel's
words, "nowhere in particular." At the same time, each of us is a
particular person in a particular place, each with his own "personal" view
of the world, a view that we can recognize as just one aspect of the whole.
How do we reconcile these two standpoints--intellectually, morally, and
practically? To what extent are they irreconcilable and to what extent can
they be integrated? Thomas Nagel's ambitious and lively book tackles this
fundamental issue, arguing that our divided nature is the root of a whole
range of philosophical problems, touching, as it does, every aspect of
human life. He deals with its manifestations in such fields of philosophy
as: the mind-body problem, personal identity, knowledge and skepticism,
thought and reality, free will, ethics, the relation between moral and
other values, the meaning of life, and death. *Excessive objectification
has been a malady of recent analytic philosophy, claims Nagel, it has led
to implausible forms of reductionism in the philosophy of mind and
elsewhere. The solution is not to inhibit the objectifying impulse, but to
insist that it learn to live alongside the internal perspectives that
cannot be either discarded or objectified. Reconciliation between the two
standpoints, in the end, is not always possible.*"
(with my added italics)
>>> I think the use of the word "bias" in the context of reference frames
>>> and suchlike is misleading.
>> Not at all. It is a bias. Anything a choice is made from a non-singular
>> collection of possibilities, the result is some subset of that collection.
>> If no member is "left out" then we could say that the choice is unbiased,
>> but what kind of choice is the one that pulls a "I'lll take them all!" when
>> "all of them" can not be simultaneously chosen? Nature works that way,
>> there is no such thing as an unbiased choice, therefore...
>> "Bias" as normally used has various psychological implications that don't
> apply to calculations in physics. It might be better to use a word without
> such connotations (frame of reference or basis, for example).
Semantics... Could you offer a better word?
>>>>>> That change can be identified with a static pattern in a higher
>>>>>> dimensional space is OK, so long as we don't ignore the fact that it is
>>>>>> as transitory entities, that are interpreting that map. The map is never
>>>>>> the territory. When we try to use a timeless interpretation of the
>>>>>> universe, we can only do so by abstracting our own sapience out of the
>>>>>> universe: this is cheating don't you think?
>>>>>> No I don't see any cheating. Everything we can say about the universe
>>>>> is our interpretation, so bringing that up seems at best tangential and at
>>>>> worst a non sequitur.
>>>> Ah, but neglecting the "interpretation" and its selection bias - as if
>>>> it did not exist!- is the problem I am pointing out.
>>> As far as I'm aware it doesn't exist in the theory, only when a specific
>>> observer is making a specific measurement.
>> OK, it doesn't exist in the theory, so where is it coming from?
> From when a specific observer makes a specific measurement. The theory
> covers all possible "selection biases". Theories try very hard to be
> general in that sense.
OK, so there it is: "...when a specific observer makes a specific
measurement". There does not exist an entity that can have states of
knowledge of something that cannot exist. There is no god and no view that
it, if it could exist, could have. Any reasoning that assumes otherwise is
wrong from the bang.
>>>>> We don't "extract sapience" (whatever that means) by inventing
>>>>> mathematical explanations - I would say we apply sapience. Adding verbiage
>>>>> about change and interaction adds exactly nothing to the description of
>>>>> world we obtain from SR, GR and QM. Nothing else is required to account
>>>>> our experience of change beyond an embedded pattern in space-time, and if
>>>>> anyone is going to claim that something else is required, it's up to them
>>>>> to explain why.
>>>> Part of my research is looking at space-time as an emergent ordering of
>>>> events. People like Renata
>>>> Loll<http://www.hef.ru.nl/~rloll/Web/research/research.html>and Kevin
>>>> Knuth <http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.0881> have some pretty good arguments
>>>> against the idea that space-time is something that "we are embedded in".
>>>> This "fishbowl" or "container" conceptualization of space-time is just
>>>> another version of the Laplacean vision...
>>> I don't know about Kevin Knuth, what is he suggesting? Renate Loll is I
>>> believe an exponent of CDT, which as far as I know doesn't make any changes
>>> to the notion that events and so on are embedded in space time.
>> Read Kevin's paper that I linked to his name. Its neat! There is a video
>> of a talk that he gave on the subject. The Q&A session at the end is very
> The abstract is enough to tell me that it doesn't make any changes to the
> idea of events being embedded in space time. Indeed he's trying to recover
> that concept from his chains of events. It sounds similar to CDT in that
Watch it. Kevin reasons very slowly and carefully to a very astonishing
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Stephen Paul King
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