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Reply To Dick: Part I

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Posted by Harvey on March 7, 2002 19:51:06 UTC


***D: You continue to astonish me in your ability to ignore what I say and drag the conversation over into peripheral issues with little to no import! H: I just reply to the issues as they are presented. I'm letting you control the flow of the discussion as you lay out your 'case'. D: Oh, I understand what you think you are doing and I do agree that, so long as these peripheral issues cloud your mind, you will never be able to follow what I am saying. What I am attempting to do is to make you aware as to why these issues are of no import.***

Dick, you are controlling this dialogue. You say 'what do you think about red?' and I answer. You say 'do you think Babe Ruth was better than Barry Bonds?' and I answer. Good argument is being able to force others who disagree into a bind so that they cannot reply in a manner which is consistent with their own arguments. I consider it crying when someone comes back in a complaint that is not a logical argument. No crying - just content!

***D: One of the fundamental issues of my position is that it is an *error* to believe that your confidence has any bearing on the issue of whether or not an error exists! It is always possible you have been stupid maybe you should take that into account in your thoughts. The real issue here is that I know how to do that and you do not. H: Hmm... You think it is an error to believe that confidence has a bearing on whether an error exists? How confident are you that you are correct on this position? D: I am fairly confident that I have made errors and that I will probably make errors in the future. I am absolutely confident that it is irrational to think that your confidence has any bearing at all on whether or not an error exists; in other words, it is incumbent on any intelligent perspective to include the possibility of error (completely independent of opinion). You have either not thought your statement out or you are intentionally trying to cloud the issues! The issue is very simple: a rational model of the Universe must include the possibility of error. If it does not, it cannot qualify as rational.***

My objection is this statement by you: "[o}ne of the fundamental issues of my position is that it is an *error* to believe that your confidence has any bearing on the issue of whether or not an error exists!" If you really mean what that says, then you are saying that confidence has nothing to do with whether an error exists. That would be a ridiculous notion since you need confidence of your position to believe that even that position was not in error. Obviously confidence has a great deal of bearing on whether an error exists - the relationship can even be a probablistic one (e.g., there is a 98.7% probability of such n' such). In any case, it appears that you are not holding that position as your clarification shows.

***You have either not thought your statement out or you are intentionally trying to cloud the issues!***

I want to take a second and point out something. In your original statement ("[o}ne of the fundamental issues of my position is that it is an *error* to believe that your confidence has any bearing on the issue of whether or not an error exists!") you said a statement which surely cannot be taken literally. Yet, you come back with a comment that is negative against me (i.e., I haven't thought out my reply or I'm just intentionally clouding the issue). I want to bring your attention to this because I think this lowers your credibility as a debater. My view is that you should make sure that your response is properly understood before making such kind of negative comments (at least, as much as possible). In this situation, you wrote something that literally means a ridiculous position and I was chastized for taking your statement literally! Second's over, let's move on.

***H: What about Thales? D: So what about Thales? Clearly he didn't comprehend the problem I have solved (if he had, the whole scientific community would be aware of it). I have no idea what he did nor do I have any interest in it and I am certainly not going to take the time to find out. What I have done stands on its own merits and makes no claim on any authority other than the accepted rules of mathematics. H: Mathematics is a game (as Wittgenstein said). Mathematics says nothing about reality, so I don't see how you can think that mathematics is any authority on this subject manner. Where in mathematics do you have definitions of terms like: reality, senses, mental image, observation, etc.? This isn't mathematics. D: Did you not read what I said? I said that I accepted mathematics as known and would leave all arguments about the subject to others. When I defined "reality", "senses", "observation", and other terms, I did this only because I felt a definition of what I was talking about was required. These issues are part of my presentation and not a part of mathematics. I used these words for a very simple reason: as I show in the further development (Chapters 2, 3 and 4), assignment of these defined concepts to the common usage of the terms results in exactly the relationships found in your mental model of reality. As I pointed out earlier, you seem to confuse the issues of definition and assignment.***

Notice the contradiction in both replies: (1) "What I have done stands on its own merits and makes no claim on any authority other than the accepted rules of mathematics." (2) "These issues are part of my presentation and not a part of mathematics".

Really, Dick!!

***When I defined "reality", "senses", "observation", and other terms, I did this only because I felt a definition of what I was talking about was required. These issues are part of my presentation and not a part of mathematics.***

I agree they are not part of the mathematics, but as I said, mathematics is a game. So just eliminate those terms from your paper and submit the paper to a math journal. Note: In the future I'd like to use your distinguishment between 'presentation' and mathematics as separate issues.

***H: Okay, let me restate it. How do you know the terms that you consider important in your model are a valid category to distinguish? D: 1. My model is absolutely 100% general. There exists no information which cannot be so represented! The model distinguishes absolutely nothing! All collections of concepts, all collections of ideas, all collections of data (it makes no difference what you want to call it) is isomorphic to a collection of numbers.***

Are we talking about your presentation or your mathematics (game)? If we are talking about your presentation (as I am assuming), then I don't care how general your model is after you've reached your conclusions, I am concerned about your interpretation and importance placed on certain terms. The mathematics doesn't care what terms you identify with the math variables. Your term 't' could stand for daisycups as far as the math is concerned. What I want to know is on what ground you made 't' equal to your definition of time and not daisycups. In addition, how do you justify your particular definitions (a week ago you said they were the same as how they are used in science, but recently you've backed off from that statement).

***I think it is clear that you do not comprehend the nature of my "unknowable data". That information consists the reason why the "knowable data" is what it is (the embodiment of the rules which yield that "knowable data")! The whole is nothing more than more of the same (the net result is just a big collection of information, data, numbers whatever)! I show that, in this entirely general model of information, certain very particular relationships must be valid (they are mathematically deduced from the constraint that the result must be internally self consistent). That result is compactly expressed as what I refer to as my fundamental equation. It has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with all possible descriptions of reality (that is information). I refer to it as the Universe (what I meant by reality) because of the fact that if any information at all is omitted from the "knowable data" then the deduction fails.***

We are discussing your presentation (not mathematics), right? Well, your presentation has terms that you define and assign human meaning (which is aside from the math). My contention is that you made your mistake in the presentation when you began defining and assigning those meanings.

Just as a case in point, when you defined time as being awareness-dependent, you are talking about something different than how Schrodinger's equation assigns the time variable. In a sense, you derived the Schrodinger time-evolution equation, but the meaning is entirely different since your definition of time is entirely different. It would be like defining energy as spiritual energy, mass as spiritual energy, and c as the speed of spiritual light as it travels in a spiritual vacuum, and then using Einstein's equation (E=mc^2) as a spiritual principle. Church might be more technically interesting with such kind of analogy, but every physicist on the planet would surely scorn it (including you, I hope). You can't change the meaning of the definitions because it changes the meaning of the equations of physics. In that sense, you haven't derived even one known physics result from your paper! [I don't mean that as an insult, but as a conclusive statement - don't take it the wrong way].

***H: You are assuming that you have attached the right meaning of the variables in your equations (starting with 1.1, 1.2, etc). However, how do you validate those terms? D: 2. The equation is true so long as the information is "complete" as I have defined the term "complete". The equation cannot be false as it is directly deduced from the definitions of the terms. It is tautologically correct!***

Your definition and assignment of the terms with the variables is what is assumed and is not justified. Your whole thesis rests on those invalid assumptions.

***Now, what in the world do I notice? That if you "attach" (or assign) the meanings I display, you get exactly classical mechanics. How do I validate those terms???? Look at what was done. I showed a very particular mathematical relationship had to be valid within any conceivable collection of information! Just what is it which has to be true?? Well guys, if you attach the particular meanings I quote to the variables of my fundamental equation then it turns out that "what has to be true" is "most of physics". If that isn't an indicator that the attachment of the meanings is correct, I do not know what is!***

Aha! Here is your validation statement for you presentation! This is what you want you want to use to validate your choice of variable assignments. Here's what's wrong (although not exhaustive): (1) If you have the right results to start with, it is fairly straightforward to recreate the results using other means if you have the time and you are creative enough to do it, (2) the mathematics allows multiple meanings (e.g., t=daisycups), so it isn't a straightforward process of knowing the meaning of the mathematics as you suggest, (3) your physics results are based on definitions of terms that do not altogether agree with your definitions in your presentation, so there isn't any justification to say that you derived the same physics equations, (4) it is not known the effect of playing with mathematics so as to create physics (e.g., setting up wavefunctions might be what causes you to obtain certain physics equations), (5) the actual meaning of your mathematics (versus your presentation) might be that physics is a consequence of mathematics - which is not compatible to the claim of your paper.

Therefore, your validation method is not sufficient. In fact, it cannot be used.

***H: We could, I think, take all of your equations and reinterpret the meaning of every variable. What would stop us? What would restrict the meaning of any one particular variable? Yet, we would get the same mathematical results with a totally different meaning to your model. D: Very very true! In fact that is exactly the reason why it is rational to speak of "the momentum" of price changes in the market. To paraphrase Newton, things that are changing will continue to change unless something influences their behavior! Things that are not changing will not change unless something influences their behavior. That is the fundamental idea behind causality (behind explanation itself)!***

I'm glad that we agree on this important issue. The consequence, then, is that what must be very carefully validated is the variable assignment. Making use of E=mc^2 to talk about the relationship of spiritual energy to spiritual mass (etc) is ridiculous, and says nothing useful. This is the function of science via experimentation (otherwise mathematicians would be the discoverers of physics laws instead of physicists). That's why I say your model is not properly validated since it does not rely on experimentation but rather your own defined terms (which could be spiritual energy if we so selected to do it this way).

***H: Your model is not pragmatic (or instrumentalist) since has no pragmatic value. D:
Looking for love in all the wrong places!!! If being instrumentalist is your definition of pragmatic value, then I guess it has no pragmatic value! So what? Who cares!***

If you are providing human inventions, then it should do something. Otherwise, what is it? It is nothing.

***H: discover what it is we know and what part of what we think we know which is myth. D: If you understood what I was doing, you would comprehend that statement! I am sorry you do not!***

Your model doesn't work for the reasons cited prior, which is why you don't understand my statement.

***H: You cannot construct a mental image non-tainted by those experiences that make us who we are. D: Why not? Is it against the rules to think about things?***

It is not a matter of there being 'rules', it is a matter of what falls in the range of possibility. Every thought you have is a consequence of what came before, would you agree? How can you have a thought that is not tainted by those experiences which compose that thought? Stop and think! (I'm sure those words sound just as degrading when said to you as they seemed to me when you titled your post with those words).

***H: The same is true of math, you cannot eliminate the 'epistemological trail' of mathematicians that led them to the analytical 'truths' of math. D: How I got to where I am has no bearing at all on where I find myself. So there is an 'epistemological trail'! So what? Who cares?? I don't see where that has any significance at all.***

You may not care, but that epistemological trail is part of whatever assumptions you make of the word (including what math axioms you consider valid). If we made contact with an alien civilization they might have a math that is completely contradictory to our math. You might try to communicate your 'consistent model' with them, and they might say that your math is based on contradictory results and your model is not consistent. We are born having our own unique 'epistemological trail' and there is no way to see it differently since we grew up with that epistemological perspective. It may not be so for others.

***H: Well, what if that appearance is wrong? What if it turns out that an observation isn't a member of the set of examined subsets of a set of numbers? D: Simple, you are not talking about what I am talking about! Again, you seem to be confusing the issue of definition and assignment. Definition is "this is what I am talking about" and assignment is "that is an example of what I am talking about". I have "defined" exactly what I mean by an "observation". I have further shown that my defined observation maps (that is, may be assigned to) the standard accepted concept of an observation (in fact, that is why I used the word).***

Okay, let's pursue that idea that a definition is different than an assignment. Let's say that you define a term, that term has terms as part of that main term. Do you define all of those terms (e.g., of, it, the, is, etc)? No, you rely on the meaning of those terms being known. How are they known. People acquire language through assignment with their surroundings. Whenever you define something, you are taking terms that people know by their 'assignment with their surroundings' with the idea of creating a new concept (e.g., an abstract concept). Ultimately, everything reduces to assignments (if do the child games of 'what does that mean', or 'how do you know that', etc).

To be continued...

Warm regards, Harv

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