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That Was Sort Of My Feeling Too.

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on March 27, 2002 21:31:20 UTC

But, I will respond anyway as Harv has brought it up at least 4 times now!


I have decided to respond as best I can to your 12 steps!

Okay, I'm all for studying the problem. Let me focus on that problem by asking you a few questions.

I can not comprehend how asking these questions in any way help you focus on the problem I proposed.

***What I am talking about is at the very basic level of the problem of "solving a problem". It is a problem which no one ever considers; in fact, I suspect that I may be the first person to even think about considering it. It is the forgone conclusion of everyone that absolutely nothing can be done towards the solving of a problem prior to knowing what the problem is (everyone postpones thinking about solving a problem until they have some idea what the problem is: i.e., they presume nothing can be done if "what the problem is" is unknown). I hold that presumption to be false! You will never be able to understand my thoughts if you cannot consider such a problem.***

I don't understand why you quoted me on this when you did not respond to a single thing I said there!

Let's say that you were born yesterday at 6:00AM. You woke up and you see all that is before you, your first sensation is that of being aware of yourself (if your first thought is normally to think about where the coffee is, then try to suppress that thought and just think of this simple self-aware sensation). If you would like to see a movie on what that might be like, then I suggest you see the movie "Momento" which came out last year and is now available on DVD.

First, you are proposing a hypothesis which certainly has no evidence to support it at all.

Now, in this scenario why are you asking about problems? You don't even know what a problem is. All you 'know' is this self-aware sensation.

I have no idea! It is your scenario and has no connection to any experience I have had.

With this as your only given, tell me step by step (1-??) on how to arrive at equation 1-1 in your paper, and answer how the 'problem' you see arises, answer how it becomes defined so that equation 1.1 is meaningful.

Before you can even begin to comprehend my paper, you must at least comprehend the concept of an unknown problem. If you think the existence of an unknown problem is impossible, you certainly live in a different world than I do.

Just to get you started, I'll give you how I think you come to equation 1.1:

(1) Wake up at 6:00AM (you have no clue it is 6:00AM or that you 'woke up')

I usually look at the clock when I wake up so as to know if I can go back to sleep again or not!

(2) Light and images are coming at you.

Not much! At 6:00 AM, the room is pretty dark except for the numbers on the digital alarm.

(3) You have a self-aware sensation that you are distinct from the images coming at you.

I'll buy that!

(4) You begin to analyze this sensation through inductive thought (not deductive thought).

And what sensation was that? The clock?

(5) After 5 minutes of inductive analysis you come to the conclusion that you exist and that you are able to influence as well as communicate with the environment around you.

No, I am afraid I was aware of that about the same time I woke up! It didn't take me 5 minutes.

(6) You find in your inductive interaction with the world that the world plays by certain 'rules'. To make it easier for yourself, you call these 'rules' the logical rules of the Universe (everything you are experiencing - including yourself).

Well now, I certainly didn't wake up worry about those issues! I was more apt to be thinking about what day of the week it was.

(7) Quickly, you grab a paper and pencil that you have inductively found useful to keep track of your thoughts, and you sketch out all the rules of both logic and mathematics known to humanity (you are not aware that this is a difficult task and that you are very smart). You also notice that at some point in your sketching of these rules that the rules are very abstract and have nothing to do with the reason you began the game. You become bored with that and this is why you stopped at 2002 math/logic knowledge (although you could have gone much further in your games).

You are certainly joking! You can not believe there is any possibility that I am aware of all the rules of both logic and mathematics. In fact, I find it highly doubtful that that mankind has yet even discovered all the possible rules of logic and mathematics. Your hypothesis becomes more and more meaningless with every line.

(8) Upon stopping the games in (7) you realize that there exists a problem between inductive and deductive reasoning. You notice that when you play the games of (7) that you are sure of the answer because you have something which you call proof. But, when you think about the inductive reasoning used in (4) and (5), you become very bothered that your inductive solution to a problem is not certain like the 'proofs' of your games in

Oh, here you are trying to bring up this Hume problem! I don't really see where it bears on what I am concerned with!

(7). This bothers you greatly for a few hours.

Not me! I'm not bothered by it much at all.

(9) Eureka! You say to yourself that you will apply the games of (7) from step (1) of your awakening, and instead of the games being meaningless they will give you exactly what you really want to know. What you really want to know is assurance that all of your most reliable inductive conclusions are as reliable as the game proofs that you found in (7) - which by now comprises all the physics up until the 1940's.

I have no idea at all of what you are talking about!

(10) After translating the most basic interpretations of (2) into the game formulas of (7), you quickly formulate equation 1.1. Nanoseconds later you arrive at four chapters of equations until finishing at equation 4.31.

It appears to me that, not only can you not comprehend the starting point of my presentation, given the starting point, you can not comprehend the logic which leads to the further chapters.

(11) You notice that the inductive conclusions (which you labelled 'laws of physics') are deductively concluded from your efforts in (10).

No, what I notice is that it is impossible to set up a self consistent closed system of concepts which do not obey those particular laws. A rather surprising result.

(12) You conclude that physics is tautological and spend the next 40 years trying to convince everyone what you found (but no one understands you).

No, I concluded that certain aspects of physics are tautological. And I spent the next 40 years of my life enjoying myself. I have spent very little time trying to convince anyone of anything. There are a lot more important things in life than physics!

Now, your turn. Take your red pencil and rewrite the 12 steps.

I have been trying to explain how I got to where I am but, in the process, I have discovered that you lack some simple concepts which are critical to understanding my thoughts. The idea of information minus meaning being a primary concept which seems to completely elude you. And, at the moment, the simple idea of looking at the question "is there anything I can do?" Now I am not going to argue with you about the value of what I want to do but I certainly feel you are extremely shortsighted to take the position that I cannot even think about the idea or rather that you certainly are not going to think about it.

Have a ball -- Dick

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