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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on August 16, 2002 12:46:43 UTC

Hi Aurino,

Some misunderstandings! You seem to be missing the central issue I am trying to discuss.

Aurino: I find it amusing that you have less trouble with "____ exists" than with "reality exists".

You misunderstand my response! I have exactly the same problem with "____ exists" as I do with "reality exists" and furthermore the exact same problem remains in "____^^^^^^". My response was to your comment, not to the bearing it had on my presentation. The central issue being that I have no argument at all with your concerns but rather that they are concerns which must be put off until later because they cannot be handled first.

In order to communicate, it is required that we use the tailor made model of reality created by our subconscious as without it we are dumbfounded. Now as I am sure you are aware, I have major problems with that model. In particular, I have no way of assuring myself that the model is internally self consistent. Thus, though I use it, it is not part of the problem I am discussing. Mathematics gives me the tools I need to construct an internally consistent construct. I have pretty good faith in that aspect of that tailor made model of reality created by my subconscious. If you have no faith in the internal consistency of mathematical constructs then we have nothing to talk about as I have major doubts concerning any other part of that tailor made solution.

My point is that I will consent to use it (as I must because communication is impossible without it), but I will use it only as a vague rudder in an uncertain sea. In fact, that is exactly what I am doing at this very moment. We are not discussing my presentation at all; we are rather discussing the value of discussing my presentation. Now that issue is just a matter of opinion; no more.

On the second point, you did not give me a proposition without a representation.

You gave me several representation "reality exists", "_____ exists" and "_____^^^^^^" . These are all representations. The first one carries with it many vague ideas which have absolutely nothing to do with what I want to discuss. The second carries fewer perhaps but I suspect that the representation "exists" created by my subconscious includes vague references to reality so there is no real reduction. Finally, as you say, the third representation is quite meaningless; however, there are other representations which are easier to keep track of: how about the numbers assigned to the ASCII characters you actually sent or perhaps the bytes which correspond to the screen display or some other equally undefined representation: such as simply "a set of numbers"?

My point is that no matter what you send to me, it can be represented by a set of numbers. But I will still hold that you cannot send me a proposition without a representation! Fundamentally, no matter what you send me, in the final analysis I am free to keep tract of that message in any representation I may find convenient to analysis.

Aurino: Gotcha again! Let me rewrite the above: " I am fully prepared to propose a representation which lacks a proposition "

You are apparently confusing the vague communication engendered by the representation created by my subconscious mind with the issue I wish to discuss. They are very different issues and should not be confused. Our discussion will be chock full of propositions stated in those vague representations created by my subconscious; however they should be regarded as nothing more than sign posts indicating the direction of the logic and have practically no bearing on the logic itself beyond their lead into mathematics.

Aurino: No matter what you say, there's no way around it. It's a fact of life, and the only thing we can do is learn to deal with it. It is possible, but only to a limited extent.

I have no idea what "it" refers to in that sentence!

Aurino: What I'm talking about must be considered even before I read the title of your presentation, even before you tell me the url to your website. Luis understands that issue perfectly, take a look at his last post (I know you're capable of overlooking his rhetoric just as much as you expect us to overlook yours).

I looked around but I do not know which of Luis's posts you are referring to.

What you seem to be discussing is the fact that, in order to communicate, we must use the vague model created by our subconscious minds. With this I will not argue; it's a fact, but a fact I think I have dealt with. On the other hand, I do not think you have dealt with the more subtle fact that any representation you choose is meaningless until you begin to attach meaning to it and that should be done very carefully and deliberately.

Aurino: The problem is not which comes first, the problem is that proposition and representation cannot be dissociated, period.

If that is the case, what is the proposition in: (2, 2345, 12, 34567, 28, 1098 )?

Aurino: [Dick, " I insist that only those logical constructs which can be exactly defined be used."]

I agree with you, except that if you stick to it absolutely all the way from beginning to end all you can possibly get is a circular argument. That's exactly the issue I want you to understand.

" To do otherwise is to invite logical disaster. "

Another fact of life...

I have utterly no argument with that at all! It is central to my entire presentation and I am quite surprised that you could think that I thought otherwise! I thought I made the issue very clear when, at the end of Part III of Chapter 1, I said, "under the constraints I have placed on myself, I should be able to deduce absolutely nothing of significance!!" The fact that the relationships I deduce are relationships the physics community holds to be significant says something very important about their constructs and their way of thinking. In a word, sloppy!!! Very very sloppy!!!


1. Communication is possible! --- Yes, but only through the mechanisms created by our subconscious minds and in terms of concepts created by those minds. Thus it is that a discussion of communication and the issues related to it are far, far, far down the logical line from what I am talking about. That is an issue which, at the moment, can only be discussed in the vague terms of the mental model of reality created by our subconscious minds. I will certainly leave that to others. I do not have any faith to speak of in my ability to unravel such an issue and I have great doubts as to the abilities of others.

I still hold that the first step is to establish a representation. Secondly, what representation I choose to use is a free choice. The usefulness of the representation resides in ease with which the constraints required by internal consistency can be deduced. You can tell me that [in your opinion] my representation is useless, but you cannot tell me it is wrong; not without pointing out an inconsistency!

One of the nice things about my representation is that all my deductions can be checked in detail. Can any of the scientists make a claim even beginning to approach that?

What I have presented is NOT a theory! It is no more than a different way of looking at the information we have to work with. What I have to say is a very very small part of what I "???know???". The rest is far beyond my ability to analyze and, as I think I have commented earlier, is best left to my subconscious to handle. That remainder constitutes 99.99% of what intellectuals talk about; however, that .01% (or less which I can analyze) covers roughly 99% of the industry which makes modern life possible. As such, I think it is worth looking at.

Have fun -- Dick

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