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Reality

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    Posted: 13 Dec 2014 at 02:42
A prominent British scientist has floated the notion that we may, just may, be a part of a vast computer simulation, and not real beings at all. We may be acting out former lives, or doing variations of real entities, or perhaps myriad variations of these, or even artificially  conceived roles.......perhaps billions of such........run for......who knows what?

Hey, it would tie up some loose ends. At the macro end of the scale, we look out into the universe, vast we assume, and see......nada. Sure, lot's of electromagnetic radiation, but not other folks who look like they are not a part of a software package. At the micro end of the scale, we look at quantum mechanics, and see activities better assigned to Marvel Comics than to contemporary human understanding. Things pop into, and out of existence, leaving no hints as to how or why.

What do you think? What are the odds? If this were actually happening, how would we judge?


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/science/14tier.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2014 at 04:46
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

A prominent British scientist has floated the notion that we may, just may, be a part of a vast computer simulation, and not real beings at all. We may be acting out former lives, or doing variations of real entities, or perhaps myriad variations of these, or even artificially  conceived roles.......perhaps billions of such........run for......who knows what?

Hey, it would tie up some loose ends. At the macro end of the scale, we look out into the universe, vast we assume, and see......nada. Sure, lot's of electromagnetic radiation, but not other folks who look like they are not a part of a software package. At the micro end of the scale, we look at quantum mechanics, and see activities better assigned to Marvel Comics than to contemporary human understanding. Things pop into, and out of existence, leaving no hints as to how or why.

What do you think? What are the odds? If this were actually happening, how would we judge?


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/science/14tier.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0



An interesting proposition Captain.

It could provide answers to some of the earths great mysteries, as well as promoting a theory that the various wars and conflicts are simply skill levels in the great game.

Personally, I still lean towards the proposition that earth has been visited by aliens thousands of years ago and that it was the aliens who are responsible for some of the great constructions, as well as scientific discoveries which were far in advance of human knowledge of the time.





I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2014 at 08:42
Perhaps it says more about a period, this one, than about "reality". Since computers seems to be such a "big thing" - for now - everything is to have some relation to this thing, as if it was of such universal importance. Some decades ago it was "spacetravel" that was seen as this "big thing", and then of course everything on earth had to do with "alien visits", as if people of the past were incapable of anything (why then are their descendants, we humans of today, more capable, if we are?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2014 at 16:04
Isn't that the concept in the movie "Matrix"? - a long while since I saw it, but I think it is...   Smile

   
   If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.    (Albert Einstein)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2014 at 00:10
Originally posted by Northman Northman wrote:

Isn't that the concept in the movie "Matrix"? - a long while since I saw it, but I think it is...   Smile



Reality is a state of mind, and some folks live in a different state.

What's real to me may be quite unreal to you, so I think I'll stick to my alien theories for the time being.   
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2015 at 11:23
Some people now believe that the universe we observe is a rendition of information held at the periphery. I do not even pretend to understand this concept other than we're living in a virtual experience.

"Reality is a state of mind"? Uh oh. Sadly that statement cannot be justified. Since reality is an interpretation of the universe we observe and interact with, reality is subjective.


http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2015 at 01:48
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

Some people now believe that the universe we observe is a rendition of information held at the periphery. I do not even pretend to understand this concept other than we're living in a virtual experience.

"Reality is a state of mind"? Uh oh. Sadly that statement cannot be justified. Since reality is an interpretation of the universe we observe and interact with, reality is subjective.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote Powered by OxfordDictionaries · © Oxford University Press
reality
[ rɪˈalɪti ]

NOUN

1.the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them:

"he refuses to face reality"

synonyms: the real world · real life · actuality · truth · physical existence ·


But each of us is an individual, unique in our states of mind, our education, knowledge and interpretation of what's going on around us. We form opinions based on tribal "norms" and our knowledge of the world around us, and this varies greatly from individual to individual.

Yes, reality is the actual state of how things around us really exist, but it is in the interpretation of the individual where reality can warp.

Reality, in my mind, is accepting what and how things are, while leaving open the possibility that some things may eventuate not to be as they are currently viewed. It is for this reason many "sciences" are referred to as "Arts".
















Edited by toyomotor - 05 Jan 2015 at 01:50
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote literaryClarity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2015 at 02:05
There is no outer periphery.  It is just another part of the universe that we can't see.  Although what you said would apply to the surface of a black hole.  Since the reality that exists on the surface of the black hole is a neverending function which makes reality cease to exist.
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2015 at 12:22
Originally posted by literaryClarity literaryClarity wrote:

There is no outer periphery.  It is just another part of the universe that we can't see.  Although what you said would apply to the surface of a black hole.  Since the reality that exists on the surface of the black hole is a neverending function which makes reality cease to exist.



If we can't see it, does it really exist?

If the surface of the black hole is never ending function, then it must exist.

This discussion is so frought with contradictions it shouldn't really be taking place.   
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote literaryClarity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2015 at 06:24
It does exist.  The space intervening between our observable universe and other spaces is just expanding space.  The technical aspects are what I don't quite understand but it does exist.  The areas which we can't see just holds things which fly apart from us due to the space in between expanding so fast that the light would never reach us.  As for the black holes that too exists but the dimension to their existence doesn't parallel anything else because they are antithesis to regular existence.
http://hwyst.hangzhou.com.cn/wmyzh/content/2013-10/09/content_4920423.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Malcolm33 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2015 at 06:39
   I am more convinced by The Holographic Universe as explained by the late Michael Talbot.   My own observations strongly suggest that what we see and think is real cannot be so.   Watch out for coincidences and see if you can think of any other explanation.   It also appears that we can change scenes just by thinking of them for a moment or two. If this is what has just happened then it also seems that previous recordings are also permanently changed.   So there may be something to the theory that observation has an effect on sub-atomic particles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2015 at 20:46
You guys are in deep water...   
Seriously, I don't think we ever will find "the truth" of reality because the truth is not a given but changes all the time - and what seemingly is the truth in this world can be so different form what we might observe in another place - or at another time.
I'm sure many animals have a different "truth" because they experience the world quite differently from us and from one another.

Let me give you a simple example of what I mean...  
If your eyes and brain can perceive 10 frames (impressions) per second, the world would look much different for a being who can perceive 200 fps.
- or how would you see the world if the speed of light was a merely 3 meter per second.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2015 at 02:32
OK, how about this. Some scientists suggest that the universe is not only expanding, but multiplying exponentially. Some of the odder aspects of quantum mechanics seem to demand that alternative universes hive off every time some sort of action is taken, or decision made. One turns right, a certain universe is now created; one turns left, a universe different only in infinitesimally small ways is brought into being. But where to fit all these expanding units?

Maybe the "universe", or what we can see and/or surmise of it to date, really is all about us, almost in a medieval fashion. We are expanding and expanding things, from every White House press announcement, to every dog chasing and grabbing a ball. Because it is expanding, for reasons inexplicable, from what we know. We, maybe, are blowing up the space near us with our activities, and likely space too far to be seen. In other regions.....who knows? Maybe some other beings are creating their own rapidly expanding, and multiple, bubbles of reality.

When we start to verge towards the infinite, I think there is no doubt the life can become quite odd. Just to  utter the equivalent of things like "we're not in Kansas anymore Toto", hardly covers the bill.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote literaryClarity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2015 at 16:20
The speed of light is much faster than 3 meters per second something like 3 times ten to the 8 meters per second.  3 meters per second doesn't even begin to compare so that is a really insufficient way of altering explanation of perspective on reality.  If you had said something like what would happen if you breathed in toxic fumes as opposed to oxygen to survive that might be a way of looking at things differently.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2015 at 16:59
Originally posted by literaryClarity literaryClarity wrote:

The speed of light is much faster than 3 meters per second something like 3 times ten to the 8 meters per second.  3 meters per second doesn't even begin to compare so that is a really insufficient way of altering explanation of perspective on reality.  If you had said something like what would happen if you breathed in toxic fumes as opposed to oxygen to survive that might be a way of looking at things differently.

You didn't get the question - I was not claiming the speed of light to be 3 m/s instead of 300.000 km/sec - I was ASKING how you would perceive the world if it was 3 m/s.
I can guarantee you - your sense of reality would change drastically. We are so used to the speed of light as it is, that most people cannot even envision what changes would occur for them if it was any different.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2015 at 02:32
Hey, you guys have left me behind. I joined this forum for enjoyment and education, not to tax my brain. Wink
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2015 at 04:58
Originally posted by Northman Northman wrote:


Originally posted by literaryClarity literaryClarity wrote:

The speed of light is much faster than 3 meters per second something like 3 times ten to the 8 meters per second.  3 meters per second doesn't even begin to compare so that is a really insufficient way of altering explanation of perspective on reality.  If you had said something like what would happen if you breathed in toxic fumes as opposed to oxygen to survive that might be a way of looking at things differently.



You didn't get the question - I was not claiming the speed of light to be 3 m/s instead of 300.000 km/sec - I was ASKING how you would perceive the world if it was 3 m/s.
I can guarantee you - your sense of reality would change drastically. We are so used to the speed of light as it is, that most people cannot even envision what changes would occur for them if it was any different.

~ North


Just to be technical...
As the speed of light is the constant from which everything else is measured. If the speed of light was 3m/s, everything would have to scale by 10^8 times slower, so I probably wouldn't notice the difference. If it was other than this, the universe would break.

Maybe the speed of light is 3m/s but we never noticed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2015 at 05:14
Robin Williams early on had an audio-recording, "Reality, What a Concept!"

There are two forms of drama, ways of looking at the world, tragedy and comedy,
Williams life was one, his death was the other.  He was both tragic and comic, bitter sweet. 

Comedy is both lower and higher than tragedy.  Comic man is lower than the tragic man, 
a buffoon, but the perspective of comedy is one of the gods, looking down on man's folly.
Taking a break from life's pains, laughing at it.

We can pretend that we understand physics, but most people are able to get a good joke.

Robin Williams, [from RWC]= "let's put mister hamster in the microwave, whoop! pop goes the weasel."

Resquat in Pace. but let's continue to laugh:)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2015 at 17:42
Quote Comic man is lower than the tragic man,

a buffoon, but the perspective of comedy is one of the gods, looking down on man's folly.

Taking a break from life's pains, laughing at it.


What about the wise fool? Who else gets away with exposing man's 'folly'? There are reports of court Fools dating back thousands of years in Egypt. Islam has a kind of venerated idea of those touched by God with physical deformity or mental challenges. I think it may be higher to be a fool, if higher means living in an exceptional reality.
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2015 at 22:39
A fool or joker, a jester is in a way both above the king and below nobility, even peasants.  Ivanhoe has
a good portrayal of a jester.
In Medieval Christianity, they would thank mentally ill people for taking on the demons, and then they would permanently cast them out of the church.  Or you had the ship of fools on the rivers, where water was supposed to be a cure and sometimes was.
But I was thinking of old comedy, the kind of comedy in old Attic drama, Aristophanes.  In one comedy, the women, sick of the men fighting, go on a sex strike in order to stop the Peloponnesian War (Lysistrata).  In response to someone putting on this play, in the 40s or 50s, a warrant was issued for, amongst other people, the playwrite, Aristophanes who had been dead at least 2300 years.  In another, 'the Birds' decide to intercept the smoke and smells of sacrifice going up to the gods.  Very silly stuff.

I think reality has a sense of humor, I like coincidental comedy the best, at a strip mall there was a sign that said no skateboards or bicyclists on the sidewalk.  Right below it it said "violators will be towed."  I think some skateboarders would _love_ to be towed.
There was a picture in a photomagazine of a Shell station on fire, maybe in Vietnam or Indonesia?? except the smoke and flames bellowed up and obscured the 'S' in Shell, making the sign say 'hell.'
It is almost as if someone up or down there is commenting on things.  Reality should be something that
_can_ manifest itself on a personal level.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2015 at 02:21
But what is reality?


I often wonder why I try.
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The Oxford definition is a pretty good starting place:

the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

now to tweak this a bit, the state of things is how things are, but also what they are "as they actually exist."  A knife is a knife, by virtue of its ability to cut, cutting is how it acts, and what it does.  But really, a knife is only a knife when it is being used as such by someone who knows how to use it, to make it a tool that is part of themselves.  Otherwise, it is an object sitting 'over there' apart from ourselves.  

These things "exist" or "stand forth," they are not indiscriminate background "noise" (audio or otherwise).  They have existence and thus an identity.  They are "actual" as opposed to virtual or imaginary.  They are neither simulations (imitations of something real), nor are they simulacra (imitations of something unreal, like a musical performance where all the instruments are pre-recorded and then mixed digitally).  to me, Taylor Swift's music is not "real," maybe she has talent, but I wouldn't know.  Boy bands are usually quite artificial, not 'real' either.

This view of "reality" presupposes that there is a consciousness involved in the state of things, structuring and taking in the things.  That without a consciousness, things don't "stand forth" (a play on ex-sistare if I remember my Latin correctly).  One can also talk about a reality which is separate from consciousness, but then one immediately runs into the problem of if reality is separate, then how can it ever get into consciousness in the first place.  This view of reality is from Heidegger's Being and Time, fairly watered-down.

Now they say as opposed to idealistic or notional ideas.  Plato would consider himself a realist regardless of what they say about idealistic ideas, so probably would Bishop Berkeley or Hegel.

Clear as mud, or was I successful in giving you more to think about?  Let me know and I will try to clarify (my mama always told me that I was _very_trying_<grin>)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2015 at 08:26
Why Physicists Are Saying Consciousness Is A State Of Matter, Like a Solid, A Liquid Or A Gas

"A new way of thinking about consciousness is sweeping through science like wildfire. Now physicists are using it to formulate the problem of consciousness in concrete mathematical terms for the first time"

https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/why-physicists-are-saying-consciousness-is-a-state-of-matter-like-a-solid-a-liquid-or-a-gas-5e7ed624986d


The idea that reality was relative to the observer is not a new idea.  For the last hundred years physicists have given it a degree of credibility even if we thought that empiricism had defeated Berkeley a few centuries earlier.  The question you have to ask though is why did we need a Hadron Collider to probe the mysteries of the universe if there was any other way to understand the reality than by empirical investigation.  After all Einstein was something of a mystic and never experimented and he was wrong about quantum mechanics.  If consciousness is a state of reality then why does it consistently fail to understand itself even in the minds of histories greatest thinkers.  We didn't build the Hadron Collider to tell us that reality was not what we thought it was we already had guessed as much.  That is the hard of the issue as consciousness is not reliable nor consistent and the reality it tries to perceive has always proved to be most accurately defined when it is removed by empiricism.  

We experiment to make the subjective objective.  In an experiment the object tells us what is real not our subjective conscious preconceptions which apparently are not confined to reality.  Surely however consciousness is a real thing that does not exist independent of physical reality.  Consciousness and physical reality may influence each other but all evidence suggests consciousness is a weak physical force.

Many scientist reject spirituality and considering how wrong mystics seem to often get reality it is no wonder.  I prefer to think however that mystics are just asking and trying to answer the wrong questions.            


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2015 at 22:46

You know, _when_ you have a hammer, if you think of the hammer, the nail and the wood each as objects, that is when you hit your thumb.  If you are learning to drive a manual transmission, get on a hill going up, stop and then start again, releasing the clutch and applying the gas.  btw, someone just pulled up behind you.  It is when you are thinking of the different parts separate from each other, that you either rev the engine or stall the car, by doing the gas too quickly or too slowly.  If you are writing, it is best if you have a minimal awareness of the pen, anything more than that is distraction.  If you are paying attention to the pen (because it is too big or your hand is sore), it is hard to also pay attention to the writing.  You can't really use tools, when you are interpreting them as objects.  It is only after "taking" them out of the class of objects, that you can properly utilize them.

I am not sure why you are criticizing mystics.  I doubt that you are very familiar with their work.  But you're right, they don't need a hadron collider to tell them what is real.  Personally, I think that each way has its place.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2015 at 03:06
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

The Oxford definition is a pretty good starting place:

the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

now to tweak this a bit, the state of things is how things are, but also what they are "as they actually exist."  A knife is a knife, by virtue of its ability to cut, cutting is how it acts, and what it does.  But really, a knife is only a knife when it is being used as such by someone who knows how to use it, to make it a tool that is part of themselves.  Otherwise, it is an object sitting 'over there' apart from ourselves.  

These things "exist" or "stand forth," they are not indiscriminate background "noise" (audio or otherwise).  They have existence and thus an identity.  They are "actual" as opposed to virtual or imaginary.  They are neither simulations (imitations of something real), nor are they simulacra (imitations of something unreal, like a musical performance where all the instruments are pre-recorded and then mixed digitally).  to me, Taylor Swift's music is not "real," maybe she has talent, but I wouldn't know.  Boy bands are usually quite artificial, not 'real' either.

This view of "reality" presupposes that there is a consciousness involved in the state of things, structuring and taking in the things.  That without a consciousness, things don't "stand forth" (a play on ex-sistare if I remember my Latin correctly).  One can also talk about a reality which is separate from consciousness, but then one immediately runs into the problem of if reality is separate, then how can it ever get into consciousness in the first place.  This view of reality is from Heidegger's Being and Time, fairly watered-down.

Now they say as opposed to idealistic or notional ideas.  Plato would consider himself a realist regardless of what they say about idealistic ideas, so probably would Bishop Berkeley or Hegel.

Clear as mud, or was I successful in giving you more to think about?  Let me know and I will try to clarify (my mama always told me that I was _very_trying_<grin>)

I read a quote somewhere that said nothing is real until it has been measured. I find that quite enigmatic.

And of course, one mans (humans) dream is anothers reality, or so they say.

Mud? As clear as, yes! Wacko
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2015 at 05:24
Or maybe (it is) Nothing (that) is real until it has been measured.  But let's not get distracted by Nothing.
on the other hand, let's;)

I don't know if you have ever felt like you were staring into an abyss.  It is not just an emotional feeling, it is often a matter of asking the question, "what is it all for?"  Nietzsche talks about staring into the abyss, and the abyss staring back.  _That_ is Nothing.  The abyss staring back often acts as the siren call for suicides.

Protagoras of Abdera, the sophist, said, "man is the measure of all things, of what is, that it is, of what is not, that it is not."  I don't think he was holding a ruler at the time, the sophists were known for their discovery and exploration of subjectivity, in some ways, Socrates was part of the sophistic movement.

Some people believe that the qualitative can be reduced to the quantitative.  Others believe that the choice between quality and quantity is itself a qualitative decision.  Do you pig out on oreos or do you go for a nice chocolate mousse?  How exactly do you measure a Van Gogh?

The following is just a neat little story:)
->  ->
Amongst other things, Protagoras taught speech and argumentation.  A student of Protagoras said he would pay Protagoras after he won his first lawsuit.  But he stalled and stalled and would not pay, so Protagoras sued him.  If Protagoras won, the student would have to pay, but if the student won, then he would have won his first lawsuit, and thus _then_ he also would have to pay.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2015 at 11:19
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I am not sure why you are criticizing mystics.  I doubt that you are very familiar with their work.  But you're right, they don't need a hadron collider to tell them what is real.  Personally, I think that each way has its place.

I was criticizing the scientist mystic the other kinds I mostly ignore. 

If you would like additional comments I will provide them but I have no problem with people who believe in "god" or other "super natural" phenomenon unless it's a specific that has already been falsified.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2015 at 04:31
Can you give an example of this scientist mystic that you criticize?
I always thought that Einstein had a mystic side to his personality, would you count him as a scientist mystic, and if not, why not?

I can understand the mystic to some degree, I think people think they can understand the scientist, but really, most don't have the mathematics and so the understanding of reality that they get from the scientist is illusory.  It is not the scientists' fault, except to the extent that the scientists are doing self-promotion.  People say, "I know what a black hole is, it is an object so massive that not even light can escape its gravity."  But then you ask them what 'object,' 'mass,' 'light,' and 'gravity' are.  The physicist is able to explain those things and back them up with mathematics.  But for most people, their explanation will break down pretty darn fast.  So there is an advantage to the mystic's understanding in that it doesn't rely on mathematics (well, that is not completely true, Pythagoras and Kepler were both mystics and mathematicians).  
Of course, some people try to explain mysticism through scientific concepts, all that really does is make it so there are two things, instead of one that they don't understand.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2015 at 05:45
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Can you give an example of this scientist mystic that you criticize?
I always thought that Einstein had a mystic side to his personality, would you count him as a scientist mystic, and if not, why not?

I can understand the mystic to some degree, I think people think they can understand the scientist, but really, most don't have the mathematics and so the understanding of reality that they get from the scientist is illusory.  It is not the scientists' fault, except to the extent that the scientists are doing self-promotion.  People say, "I know what a black hole is, it is an object so massive that not even light can escape its gravity."  But then you ask them what 'object,' 'mass,' 'light,' and 'gravity' are.  The physicist is able to explain those things and back them up with mathematics.  But for most people, their explanation will break down pretty darn fast.  So there is an advantage to the mystic's understanding in that it doesn't rely on mathematics (well, that is not completely true, Pythagoras and Kepler were both mystics and mathematicians).  
Of course, some people try to explain mysticism through scientific concepts, all that really does is make it so there are two things, instead of one that they don't understand.

I was certainly thinking of theoretical physicists when I said I was critical of the scientist mystic.

When you said people without a shared understanding of the language of math were not able to understand scientists I found it a bit odd as any language can be translated.  More importantly it is just a distraction from the original point I was making about how quantum mechanics has changed our world view.  For me the indeterministic nature of quantum mechanics has given licence to physicists to be mystical.  Perhaps this trend started with Einstein even though he was wrong about quantum physics.

Einstein said that imagination was more important than the math in his discoveries.  Einstein however was notoriously reluctant to share credit with the mathematicians and experimental physicists who helped him formulate his proofs. If you read Einstein you would get the impression that relativity just popped into his head out of the void.  The truth is more prosaic as other physicist were close or had already came to similar conclusions and it was from 200 years of experiments and observations in the literature that Einstein drew his conclusions.

Quantum physics has given licence to all sorts of dreamers to question the deterministic nature of reality.  As toyomotor has quoted however nothing is "real" until it is measured deterministically.  The trend to question the dependence on experimental science to answer the basic questions regarding the nature of reality can be seen in a quote from Stephen Wolfram.  "But what I suspect is that from the experimental results we have, we already know much more than enough to determine what the correct ultimate theory is"   There seems to be a real tendency for the very bright to have a faith in their own intellect that takes on a mythical dimension.  This rejection of the collective, cultural dimension of human intelligence should seem strange to even the most casual observer but instead it is accepted and reinforced by the general population's hero worship of great minds.  Not only do we seem to have a need to make our political leaders "gods" but the same seems to apply to our intellectuals.  This tendency is so strong that it has even sent some researchers off in search of the god gene.

At the tiny scale of quantum physics the world may no longer be deterministic but at the scale at which human operate there is no evidence that determinism is dead.  That does not mean that god is dead only that we do not need god as an explanation for every conceivable event that we witness.  To the extent that mystics see the world as an orderly and predictable reality their views are consistent with experimental observations.  A mind however that is not subject to sensory perception will soon go insane.  We are as trapped within the limits of physical reality and our collective intelligence as we have ever been even if the true nature of reality proves to be indeterminate

  


Edited by wolfhnd - 26 Jul 2015 at 05:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2015 at 05:37
Just as there is no such thing as a little bit pregnant, I am not sure that there is anything that is a little bit indeterminate.  If determinacy breaks down at a certain level, well then it breaks down.  Science doesn't necessarily know what to do with that, it is easier to assume a determinacy, because that is what you usually get, there probably is a psychological need for that, a need that in everyday life, paves over contrary evidence.  Mystics, however, and in this I tend to mean true mystics, "religious" mystics don't really see the world as being for us, but rather, they see us being for the world, and they more open regarding weird phenomena.    This may seem naive, but there is an advantage to going on about life with attitude of innocence embracing everything, instead of cynicism.  I say, "attitude of innocence," but make no mistake behind that attitude is a shrewd mind.  I would say that the Dalai Lama is this way, and so is the Pope, albeit each in their own fashion.  Of course, each of them has thousands of years of tradition to back them up.
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