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Who Says What Anything Means?

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on November 25, 2002 11:11:43 UTC

Hi Mike,

Yes, I still occasionally peruse this forum as it has, in the past, produced some insights into how you all think. I think I have a much clearer idea as to why science advances so slowly. This forum has convinced me that the world is saturated with simple minded people.

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Mike: Dr. Stafford's "The Foundations of Physical ..." have many interesting issues, but they don't dictate on matters of conscience or politics.
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There was never any intention to dictate on matters of conscience or politics. The issue was a question of "foundations". If your beliefs have no foundations, they are no more than a story and have no more relevence than any other story. In particular, if those beliefs are internally inconsistent, then they are doubly worthless. What I show, in detail, is that it really makes no difference what your beliefs are anyway: whatever your "story" is, I can map that story into the story I tell in my paper and at least my story is internally consistent! The real problem is that, without an understanding of mathematics, my story cannot be followed: it is simply beyond your comprehension.

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Mike: The only philosophical implications I can detect at this time are:
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If you can detect no more than these three ideas, then you are indeed simple minded. If you could follow my presentation, you would comprehend that causality itself is a figment of your imagination: a very significant philosophical implication.

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Mike: Unless you can do advanced math, there are some matters you cannot discuss in detail.
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You have the cart in front of the horse! The issue is, if advanced mathematics is beyond your comprehension, then you are too intellectually simple minded to comprehend very much. Mathematics is perhaps the simplest collection of concepts comprehendable by the human mind. The issues you want to think you understand are far more complex than any advanced mathematics and your simple minded explanations of those issues are clearly not worth the effort of rational thought. I suggest you read "The Captain Kirk Principle"

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?colID=13&articleID=000DA692-A539-1DC9-AF71809EC588EEDF

Intuition is a far more powerful mechanism than rational thought when it comes to issues of " conscience or politics". Rational thought on these issues is rather worthless (particularly when you realize the complete absence of a rational foundation).

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Mike: Even if you cannot do advanced math, you can still determine the meaning of life for yourself.
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So, you can make up a story which makes you feel like you understand something. Such activity (with no foundation) is akin to mental masturbation. It feels good but does it really serve any purpose?

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Mike: Human beings still have a lot to learn about about Time, Relativity, and Physics.
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If they cannot even define what they are talking about, what makes you think there is any possibility of learning anything?

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Mike: Scientists who think nonmathematicians are unqualified to discuss the ramifications of science should at least plan to duplicate the knowledge of those whose advice they disdain before attempting to tell what science means.
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If the ramifications demanded by mathematics are beyond your comprehension, what makes you think your "knowledge" is of any real significance? In particular, why should I take you seriously?

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Mike: Scientists lack knowledge of some things, including subjective cultural information. We should not presume to discard seemingly unscientific culture without knowing its contents.
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I am not suggesting any culture should be discarded. All I am saying is that any claim to "understand" such a thing is entirely spurious! It amounts to no more than a "feeling" that you understand. Understand and accept that and maybe you can learn to enjoy life.

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Mike: I have not been to see the math department and am not meeting the expectations of a few other persons either.
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If you cannot comprehend mathematics than going to the math department is probably a waste of time: you won't understand their logic anyway.

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Mike: But I never meant to be so dilatory.
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"dilatory": 1) causing or tending to cause delay; meant to gain time, defer action etc. 2) inclined to delay; slow or late in doing things.

I do not understand! In what way are you being "dilatory"? If something is beyond your capabilities, then "dilatory" is not the correct adjective.

I suggest that you do not worry about things which are beyond your comprehension.

Have fun -- Dick


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