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Try This, Dr. Dick?

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Posted by Alan on March 30, 2002 06:28:49 UTC

Hi Dr. Dick,

I do not have a computer. It costs me terribly to participate, and I am quite poor. Today I am fortunate to use someone's computer, so no fee this time. But given that the exercise usually comes at a cost, I need to progress very, very, fast in understanding your work. It is frustrating to see you go around in endless circles.

Harv I think is challenging your claim of "being assumption free"; i.e. your philosophical claims seem to go overboard- it is because you CLAIMED so much, that much is expected!

Thus Harv makes valid complaints from time to time; but that distracts from the simple task of understanding the little game you play in your paper- it is that game I wish to understand very quickly. I think my reply to Harv will clarify how you think.

I'm going to post my full reply to your excellent post "Harv, You Might read This Too" which was in reply to my "Unknown Problem? What You Can Do To Prepare...". I think you will find that my understanding of "your game" has progressed rapidly. A few more thoughtful responses from you and I think this matter can be progressed a long way!

Regarding your above post:

The delay in my reply is due to not having a computer.

Quoting: "PS Alan, please do not make any attempt to add to this or explain it. I want only complaints."

Here is a complaint: why be so narrow minded? Why be like a horse with blinkers on, when many others have done work which connects with your work? Please be more open-minded; you do not ignore the other pieces when you do a jigsaw puzzle- you keep a look-out for broad patterns that connect.

Censorship is a foundation stone of dictatorship and repression, is it not?

"This is the way I would like to look at the problem. I am open to any complaint as to why this is not a valid position to operate from!"
Please, no comments as to why it won't work, that is not an issue."

I am aware that you like to look at the problem in a particular way. I am aware that "why it won't work" is not the issue you want to focus on.

I too wish to focus on this game you play.

(Sometimes though, you smuggle in extravagant claims as if they are undeniably-correct. Those claims must be identified and faced at some stage, even as a side-issue.)

What is not valid about your way of looking at the problem? One thing that is not valid is this: it is not valid as in not sensible, if speed is a value here, to completely ignore the other ways of looking at your work!

For people to understand your way, that you like, a bridge must be built between their ways and your way.

Quoting: "The question is, does there exist any information which cannot be viewed from this perspective? The value of the perspective is another issue!"

I agree the value of the perspective is another issue; so long as no value-of-that-perspective type CLAIMS get smuggled in while you are supposedly not dealing with that value!

As to your question: it depends on your definition of "information", "viewed", and "this perspective". One may claim that any information can be 'viewed' from any perspective; but some perspectives may be more interesting than others.

You want complaints? I disagree in several places with your comments in your post (specially those comments that go beyond your little game in your paper!)

On the popular "need to know"; your comments remind me of a book I heard about by Ivan Illich: "Deschooling Society".

"Most all "intellectuals" I have ever met seem totally unable to accept the fact that they don't know what it is all about and never will know. If you look around you I think you will discover that the happiest people have accepted that fact."

It is true that you can find happy people who are not worried about "knowing it all" and just "swim" happily in the ocean of life.
But there are also people who are very happy to carry out the advice "Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. Ask and it shall be given you."

Quoting: ..."the fact that they don't know what it is all about and never will know."

Above, have you not stated as FACT, something which is not part of your paper, and which is actually a personal THEORY (which you may have arrived at because of your paper)?

This is a major complaint: that personal theories are being presented as facts! Fair comment?

Not everybody agrees with, what seems to be a defeatest, negative, perspective! Please allow people to dispute that claim of yours!

I believe that I can know, once did know, to a large extent once again do know, and in another dimension you might say 'do know'; what it is all about.

By "it" I presume you are referring to "life, the universe, and everything". I also contend that, based on my own recollections of that age; that newborn babies also know! And that if you recalled your experiences of being 1-day old or less, you would know!

It is strikingly obvious to me: here you have adult humans wondering what it is all about; those same humans have an obvious blank in their recall; they know that to understand something it helps to know the history of it; so surely time to add two and two together and ask: why the blank in recall? And what insights may be waiting to be found, by discovering what lies beyond that barrier?

Fair enough?

I broke that barrier. Anyone can break it, as far as I can figure. Main ingredients: do not deny or repress in yourself anything you ever felt, thought, experienced or did; be open to the awareness of even tiny, fleeting phenomena (that may even have no name); what counts is Existence, notice what exists, thus "every voice gets a hearing" i.e. no repression; it helps if you are loved (let be) by others.

Helps to notice how infinitely gentle reality is; because reality includes all your thoughts and awarenesses; so if you don't like something about reality, as reality includes your very sense "that you don't like something", reality is infinitely gentle to you as it buffers you with your own thoughts.

Now, my guess is that what your paper allegedly shows is that the patterns of physics laws emerge
WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING EXCEPT KNOWING ITSELF. And in the context of your paper, "knowing" seems to be "arbitrary defining" which I call "pattern matching" or "joining the dots".

That is a big discovery; that the laws of physics are associated with the act of dreaming up a definition (pattern match) in a field of possibilities, and looking at the effects that arbitrary definition has on the possibilities.

That is a very cool discovery.

"Man has continually swung between thinking rational is great and thinking emotional is great. Both positions are madness and both always fail in the end that's why the pendulum swings! Accept the fact that you will never really know much of anything and you will be a lot happier. Maybe not as rich and powerful but a lot happier! Ignorance is indeed bliss but learning can be fun! "

I disagree! Ingnorance can be death! And I prefer to live! My approach combines both rational and emotional; I am rational about being emotional! For me, knowledge has indeed been bliss, extraordinary bliss. The sheer exhilaration of BEING that a baby feels- I recommend re-experiencing that! Please consider this alternative view!

Letting myself be, regaining whole chunks of "me" from my baby-past; has delivered happiness beyond price. Ten billion dollars is not even in the contest! Hope you can see there is a reasonable idea here!

Well, I guess we agree that being rich and powerful is not guaranteed to make you happy; and that ignorance (of some kind) can be bliss. But I must say, babies are not ignorant. A lot of what adults call "knowledge" just makes things very complicated that babies understand directly without words. After all, when you walk in the mountains or ride a bike, your body is doing more calculations than scientists can keep up with!

So maybe we agree that some types of "knowing" actually involve obfuscating or confusing; or translating into complicated math and words; stuff that is known directly and instinctively.

.."get by without thinking"; - ever noticed that sports people sometimes have their finest achievments in a state they afterwards describe as "nothing went through my mind" or "unconscious" or "I was just seeing the ball"?

W. Timothy Galwey, in his books like "The Inner Game Of Skiing", "The Inner Game Of Music", "The Inner Game Of Tennis"; talks of the childlike art of "relaxed concentration".

Your "subconscious" is very clever, true; it need not be so "sub"!

"So I guess this tirade has to do with the fact that you all expect too much!"

All I expect is; that since you revealed that many of the things I say are right on the money (even if not logically well defended); so as to save me money, I sure would appreciate knowing if in your honest opinion I am getting somewhere in making sense of your paper. And if not, to-the-point criticism would help. And, please allow people the freedom to disagree, especially with those things that you assert as facts but look like theories! You are free to keep your view; please allow others their view and this need not block knowing your game in your paper.

Lighting a candle in the darkness is fair enough, please help people see that candle.

Because you venture into philosophy, I strongly recommend you try to get hold of the 2nd edition of "An Introduction To Philosophical Analysis" by John Hospers; as that book may clarify how certain words are used in philosophy. You would find Harv easier to understand; for example there are 10 pages just on "the problem of induction".

Regarding "meaning"; your paper seems to say that "meaning" is in the matching of patterns, the interaction. You say that information is "that it is"; O.K. so it is correctly represented by the word "distinction", that which is distinct, which exists. Or you could use the word "existent".

I do not see that you have adequately demonstrated why there cannot be an infinite number of concepts.
"Correct" can involve values; a fundamental value is non-contradiction- a correct solution must be non-contradictory.


"As I say, I know a little math. It is clear to me that being finite, the concepts to be defined can be numbered."

Why cannot there be an infinity of concepts?
Or do you just require that each concept has a finite boundary?

"That's pretty nice because, now I can speak about those concepts without actually attaching any meaning to them (you see, whatever meaning I may attach to them, I have to face the fact that the attachment may be erroneous). Thus, it makes no difference at all what those concepts may be, I can think about the numbers attached to them instead."

Why not just say: take a finite number of concepts; and deal only with patterns of numbers of these concepts? The rest doesn't seem necessary
for your argument.

You talk of attaching meaning to "concepts" which you said are "information with meaning" but are yet to be "defined". So your "concepts" are (meaningful) networks of basic information; these networks are to be "defined". "Defined" by matching them with other such networks?

"If follows that, any solution I propose is based on "information" to which numbers have been assigned!"

What are you saying here? That the numbers that are assigned to "information" are not DIRECTLY assigned to it; but only VIA THE CONCEPTS that give meaning to the information?

Are you counting basic information units; counting networks of those basic units (called "concepts"), or numbering both?

To me this looks like you have numbered what I would call NETWORKS of information; so your paper is about patterns and interactions of meaningful information? About what I call "information networks"? Thus your paper is about the law of non-contradiction.

That makes a lot of sense. Can you try and understand my take on this?

"Now, can anyone out there explain to me why I should bother keeping this idea of "information" separate from the idea of the numbers attached to it?"

For the purpose of playing with numerical patterns, it seems O.K.; but that is just for that purpose.

"This is the source of my definition "Reality is a Set of Numbers!"

I think that is an error; known as a "category error". By saying what you said, people think you are insisting dogmatically that for every purpose reality is a set of numbers; not just for the purpose of playing number-games.

Why can you not say instead: I shall deal with, for the purpose of this paper, a countable perspective of reality; and suppose reality to be a set of numbers for this paper.
What is wrong with that? It does not change anything in your paper of essential argument, does it?

Why make dogmatic claims that go beyond the necessary purpose of the paper?

It is not a valid position to operate from; to go beyond the necessary perspective in your paper and make unsubstantiated sweeping claims that go far beyond! Fair enough?



In your post you say that you have attached numbers to concepts (you call "information to which meaning is attached") as well as you say you have attached numbers to "information".

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