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Bring Dr. Dick Up Top

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Posted by Tim on September 6, 2003 22:40:41 UTC

as i've often stated in this forum, i'm a layman with a scientific academic background. the extent of my formal academic training was a BS chemistry major with most other emphasis in math and physics. that was nearly thirty years ago. i've maintained my interests in the field of science on my own since then. while i don't work in a field that is scientific in nature i have found that looking at work problems from a scientific perspective has been a great advantage over the years.
with the advent of the internet i've come across a good many alternative type views of issues in the science world. most i'd categorize as entirely kookie, others as half true and others as kind of up for grabs.
i've been in the process of reviewing Dr. Dick's paper "Foundations of Physical Reality" for a good number of months now (and i'm still just on the first chapter) i must say at this point i'm concluding that his ideas are nothing short of revolutionary and truly ground breaking. never in my years of academic training or in my years of study on my own have i ever come across the idea that "reality can be defined as a set of numbers". i myself have often been in awe of how mathematics 'maps' into the physical world. there have been books written on this subject (a really good one for the layman being "Mathematics and the Phsical World" by Morris Kline). but never in any academic course or any book or website that i've come across has it been stated that "reality can be defined as a set of numbers".
further Dr. Dick's exposition on the ideas of 'knowable data' and 'unknowable data' are unique propositions. perhaps i don't fully understand these concepts but i'm working on it and i am finding it a fruitfull exercise. these cocepts i think relate well (but are not fully summed up by) the concepts found in mathematics of known and unknown variables. further i sense that these concepts are related to what is one of my favorite concepts in physics namely the uncertainty principle in that if some data could be categorized as 'knowable data' then it is certain, whereas data categorized as 'unknowable data' is in the realm of uncertainty. these ways of thinking about fundamental reality (which are virtually necessary) lead naturally into the fundamental probablistic equations that Dr. Dick presents. this i find provides one with a nice insightful feel for what we can hope to understand about nature and the problems it poses for us.
further more i have found in my little corner of the work a day world that the application of the above mentioned concepts that Dr. Dick has put forth are in fact useful in dealing with real world problems. actually what my experience has been was that i gradually realized that the normal process's that i'd been applying when solving problems at work actually contained as problem solving steps the concepts of reducing the reality of my problem to numbers, collecting knowable data and incorporting unknowable data. essentially i've found that i'm often able to deal with real world problems with out considering each and every convoluted fact involved but instead representing the facts by numbers and then manipulating the numbers i'm often efficiently able to and correctly able to solve complex problems. which is very much the same process Dr. Dick describes in the first chapter of Fundamentals of Physical reality.
i must say that when one is faced with complex real world problem solving it is nice to have a 'game plan' if you will that one has in one's back pocket such that you already know how to approach the problem with out going through so much blind confusion. i truly belief Dr. Dick's approach is just such a 'game plan' for solving problems.

regards, tim

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