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Posted by Harvey on March 12, 2002 02:04:47 UTC

Hi Dick,

***Please wait until I have composed my comments to the issue of definition and assignment!***

While I'm waiting I'd like to go to the bar and have a drink (i.e., I'll respond to what you've posted so far).

***H: Dick, you are controlling this dialogue. D: I didn't say I wasn't! What I said was that I wanted this ridiculous trash out of the way before discussing what I have to say!***

The way that you remove trash is by showing that a counterargument is off-base, and showing why it is off-base.

***H: 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. D: Whether or not an error exists and whether or not you believe an error exists are totally different issues which have almost nothing to do with one another!***

Okay, I admit that I misunderstood you. I would agree to that statement in the sense that you may believe that green men inhabit Mars, but that doesn't mean that green men inhabit Mars.

***H: 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. D: Again, I will say that there exists no evidence whatsoever that belief has anything to do with truth! And again, either you haven't thought the issue out or bringing idea up is no more than a debating ploy to cloud the issue.***

I understand you in a new light. Just to save a little face, I was saying there exists a correlation between belief and what we later find to be true. I was talking epistemology all the way (both in terms of belief and in terms of verification). You are talking about the differences between epistemology and ontology. I apologize for my misunderstanding.

***H: 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". D: The two statements are not contradictory at all. The validity of mathematics is taken as understood. It is used as a tool to connect the definitions I begin with. What I have done, "shown that these definitions lead to the *fact* most of what is called the "laws of physics" cannot be false, stands on its own merits and makes no claim on any other authority.***

What about the authority of your definitions? When you define 'time' you must have some authority for defining time as you do. Even if you say that we should just accept your definition for argument's sake, why should we accept the definition of time in your presentation as equivalent to the definition of the time variable in those physics equations. You might try to answer that in your next post.

***H: So just eliminate those terms from your paper and submit the paper to a math journal. D: ???? So just eliminate what I am saying and submit ??? The only thing I can conclude from this statement is that you have utterly no concept of what I am doing.***

No, instead of referring to terms like 'reality', 'senses', etc which is scattered throughout your paper, you should reword it so that a lattice represents the basic model. Using a lattice you can reconstruct all of the same equations and do the math from that point. No need to make your model having to say anything about reality.

***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. H: We are discussing your presentation (not mathematics), right? D: My presentation cannot be understood in the absence of mathematics! If it could I would have no need for the mathematics.***

You said in the post prior: "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" (my emphasis)

Your presentation talks in terms of information, reality, senses, observation, etc. When you mentioned that your model is 100% general, it means that it is 100% general to the things of the world. Notice that things of the world is about your presentation and not your mathematics. Mathematics is a game, it says nothing of the world. You use the mathematical game to say something meaningful about the world by interweaving it with your presentation (or terms and how you present those terms as meaningful).

***H: (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, D: That is 100% beside the central issue! What I said was 1.- "look, if you analyze any data set from this perspective, these relationships must be true (it is purely a consequence of how the examination is organized and nothing else)" and 2.- "if you identify the terms this way, those *required* relationships are laws of physics".***

The key phrase is "if you identify the terms this way". The problem is that 'this way' has the cards stacked in your favor. The other interpretations have no meaning, whereas 'this way' has meaning only because science has identified it as meaningful. If you didn't have the luxury of scientific knowledge, then all of your interpretations would be meaningless. You are merely working the problem backward with interesting results.

***Since any data may be viewed from that perspective, it follows, as the night the day, that any arbitrary set of data may be seen as obeying the laws of physics and the fact has absolutely no bearing on reality (it is a tautology)! It is purely a consequence of the assignments.***

Or, it could be that you made the assignments just what they are so you could construct the laws of physics. It could be pure coincidence. Take another set of equations, change the terms and assignments slightly, and you might have been able to construct another model also generating the laws of physics. The point is that if you already know what is correct (from physics), you can reconstruct the inputs (terms) so that you get the correct outputs. Science is riddled with this mistake and it takes clever method of making predictions to get around it (and even then it is still a valid concern). The reason why predictions can largely get around this problem is because predictions are something that you cannot plan for or take into consideration when working backward with the correct information.

Perhaps an analogy is helpful. In criminal trials (especially on T.V.) it is common for both sides (defense and prosecution) to form alternative views why the person is innocent or guilty. Each provides a totally different scenario that explains the evidence. A great T.V. attorney will arrive at the current evidence so well that the case is clearly won. The great cliche in T.V. trials is the evidence that turns up at the last minute that exposes the client as guilty or innocent. What this demonstrates is that each model was built around the current evidence, once the new evidence comes available, one side in particular is critically damaged because that particular model didn't account for that possibility.

Similarly, your model is like an attorney's case that is built around the known laws of physics, but makes no new predictions that validate it as offering evidence that it accounts for more than what is known (i.e., a good attorney could not anticipate the evidence). What is clear from your 'case' is that you did not account for the physics beyond 1960's. We shouldn't expect this to be the case if your view really said something fundamental about the 'this way'.

***H: (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, D: That statement is simply a false statement! It demonstrates your lack of comprehension of those definitions!***

Dick, by your definition of time it doesn't appear to exist if humans aren't around to be aware of it. What is there to lack comprehension about? Science talks in terms of counterfactuals that apply even if humans weren't around (whereas your definition applies only if humans are around).

***H: 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), D: That statement simply doesn't make any sense at all!***

Sure it does. By playing with cellular automata certain researchers are able to generate some of the laws of physics. Now, is it coincidence? Maybe. But, maybe not. Maybe the reason that playing with cellular automata leads to modelling physical laws is because there is something much more fundamental at play. We don't know why the laws of physics are the way they are versus some other way. Simply by setting up the conditions (e.g., playing with wavefunctions) maybe you are inadvertently modelling conditions which cause quantum physics (Dirac's function, Schrodinger's equation, etc) to also being modelled. Who knows? This could very well be the basis of your model (this is my personal opinion as to what you have inadvertently stumbled upon).

***H: (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. D: Please explain how that is not compatible to the claim of my paper! I don't think you have the slightest idea what the claim of my paper is.***

It is not compatible because your paper's main claim is that most of the laws of physics are tautologically true as a result of the way key terms are defined. What if instead the laws of physics are true because the laws of math are true? Definitions and tautologies may have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

***H: (otherwise mathematicians would be the discoverers of physics laws instead of physicists). D: Harv, haven't you noticed that most discoverers of physics laws are excellent mathematicians?***

Yes, but not necessarily good mathematicians. A good physicist must be fairly competent in mathematics, but the key is that a physicist must be keen on using the math to generate relationships with observables and make predictions as a result of that process. Mathematicians aren't generally concerned with physical observables.

***H: 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). D: And I hold that you do not understand what I have done therefore you can not yet judge the what validation is required.***

Well, you didn't address the issue. How do you avoid terms like 'spiritual energy' from being treated as just as legitimate variable representatives as the way you treated your terms?

***H: If you are providing human inventions, then it should do something. D: It makes the Universe (that is everything) a lot easier to understand!***

Define what you mean by 'understand'. Usually when you understand something you are able to demonstrate that understanding by doing something useful that you couldn't do before. Besides have knowledge, what can you do with it?

***H: It is not a matter of there being 'rules', it is a matter of what falls in the range of possibility. D: Yeah I know! You hold that it is not possible that I am right so it serves no purpose to look!***

No, we can take the time to look, but I think it is important to understand why something is apparently impossible before we become too optimistic in our search. For example, we should understand how hard it would be to find a rock from Mars before we start looking around the neighborhood to find one.

***H: 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. D: Not understanding the nature of mathematics, I would suggest you refrain from making such absurd statements.***

Here's another assumption that you have bought into hook, line, and sinker. It is certainly outside your scope of knowledge to know whether an alien civilization has a 'mathematical' expertise that is completely contradictory to a human body of mathematics. But, if you wish, give me your argument as to why this is faulty reason and I'll show you the unproven assumptions that are used to construct your conclusions. Your ad hominem argument is not impressive.

Warm regards, Harv

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