Aurino, thanks for the reply.
Since you agree that Dick's use of the word "reality" is arbritrary and uneccessary; and given that it obviously muddles things because the word has another well-known meaning; I would expect you to have enough sense to recommend that he ditches the word and just uses "A set of numbers".
But note my reply to him about the "Egyptian scenario" that I re-posted; where I caught him swapping his "reality" with the everyday "reality".
Having caught Dick interchanging his meaning with the usual meaning; the case is clear for using a different word.
I am well aware of the nature of abstract thinking; Harv is correct that even abstract thinking relies on patterns obtained from reality.
How you arrange those patterns (eg. in Disney's movie : "Monster's Inc") is where the abstract comes in.
To make claims as bold as Dick makes he must investigate the foundation of maths; otherwise his castle might be built on "Godel-sand".
Quote: "Do you, Alan, understand that an abstract problem, by its very nature, has nothing to do with reality?"
Reality is everything that EXISTS. Therefore even an abstract problem is ITSELF a REAL ABSTRACT PROBLEM.
Philosophy doesn't stop at Dick's paper; I'm ahead of his paper in some ways but seem to be misinterpreted as lagging behind.
Quote: "All these people here claiming to know what reality is or isn't are wasting their time. They are talking about what they know about reality, not about reality itself. Anyone who thinks their knowledge of reality is not different from reality itself is fooling himself."
You seem to be forgetting that "knowledge" is just a relationship between the "knower" and the "known". "Reality" being "all that IS" includes the REALITY that person X makes claim C that they know TK some knowledge K. All those relationships constitute REAL relationships, even if the claim C is false or their knowledge TK is muddled.
Relations EXIST and ARE REALITY.
Awareness EXISTS. Awareness of honesty EXISTS.
Awareness of "kidding yourself" EXISTS. You can not completely destroy these by fancy logic games; REALITY includes ALL that exists (even every abstract thought, its purpose, its rationale, its game-playing).
Quote: "How about you, Alan? Have you discovered a method to avoid fooling yourself? Before you set out to claim that you have discovered something about reality, have you first thought about ways in which you could possibly be fooling yourself? "
Good point; answer is: yes. I have discovered a method to avoid fooling yourself. I published it at Counterbalance. Basically: do not deny anything you ever thought, felt, or experienced at any age; no matter how silly it seems to you-at-one-age relative you-at-another-age. Seek a state of infinite honesty. Allow total recall (haven't opened those floodgates yet). Notice what exists. Existence is what counts, however tiny a phenomenon is, even if it is just a fleeting indescribable awareness: do not deny it. Notice it.
When I figured that out I did think about ways that I could possibly be fooling myself. I realised the importance of being aware of standards, aware of all manner of trips and traps. Total honesty and detailed awareness cuts through many a trap.
Your point about: ">> Why smuggle his ideas in a Trojan Horse? < br>
Because he's trying to make the point that that's exactly what physicists do!"
I say that is an excellent point there: if that is Dick's game then it would be nice if he had told us that he was deliberately using a Trojan horse (and not denying doing so) to demonstrate what physicists allegedly have done. But Niels Bohr in his writings seems to have been deeply aware of this (claiming that physics was not about "reality" but "only about what we can say about reality".)
A problem for Dick here: the "Zeus did it" mental model failed to allow creation of rockets and planetary probes; "modern science" mental model did allow such development. So apparantly scientists (despite tautologies) know something the ancients didn't?
I know that a definition is an "agreement"; I also know that re-using old words with new definitions allows matters to be muddled and should be discouraged.
I hope Dick agrees with your words:
"You'll see it makes no difference at all to his argument."
Your comments about the music debate: this is familiar territory: I came across that type of scenario as an example in a textbook called "An Introduction To Reasoning". I do have the logic; I am just sometimes still advancing, other times further ahead than people realise.