I apologize for attempting to publish poorly edited versions of this note.
A few dozen lines below, Dr. Dick's ideas continue and are beginning to be more interesting to me. After this brief response, surely not doing justice to his entire essay, I've included a couple of short blurbs about the ideas of "natural vs. artificial" which I think, Dr. Dick, do parallel some of what you're saying.
at http://www.astronomy.net/forums/god/messages/31311.shtml, Dr. Dick wrote:
"Knowledge is Power" and under that it says, "and the most popular abuse of that power is to use it to hide stupidity".
Ha ha ha ! That is very clever. I really appreciate it.
Dr. Dick wrote:
At the very center of the difficulty is the idea of belief.
I agree the consequences of belief are phenomena we can't ignore. If math ignores them, the math is incomplete.
Dr. Dick wrote:
Against this impenetrable barrier to rational thought, I put forth the challenge that billions upon billions of animals function quite well in the total absence of "beliefs" as understood by these philosophers. How do they manage this feat?
Dr. Dick wrote
1.) Squirrel decisions: whenever the number of elements which must be considered vastly exceed what we can consciously think of and we must depend on our subconscious mind to provide the conclusion.
2.) Logical decisions: whenever the number of important elements are small enough that one can be aware of all of them on a conscious level, and one believes the elements are valid (please notice the squirrel decisions sneak in there) then we can make a "correct" logical decision.
(snip: Will you please clarify: Is it "squirrel" thinking which uses beliefs, or "logical"
thinking that uses beliefs?)
I now realize you have constructed a very substantial series of thoughts.
For now, my reply is to ask if you will read these:
The well-trained brain is an outstanding "device" for structuring
information in a formal system -- which the physical universe is.
(With a few exceptions, DNA processes and atomic behavior
Q. Is human thought incomputable?
A. Error rate can be measured, if tentatively, in formal systems of
Formal human decisions clearly impact biology on many levels.
But people also use "organic systems" of thought, like a bird
which builds a nest from odds and ends. Such systems are _ordered to
serve primate political considerations and interact with "appetites"
(also organic systems).
If we exclusively use formal thought to govern our
appetites and order our societies, then . . . freedom of debate,
the precise measurement thereof, and creativity could presumably
coexist in human thought. But we do not know whether we could
survive without those organic, error-creating systems.
Human societies are "controlled" by hierarchies of
self-indulgent dominant primates, which, unlike most of nature,
deliberately use formal systems to create false thought perceptions
and manipulate information to degrade other formal systems.
That creates such a high error rate that error measurement becomes futile;
and "informal" systems of every kind proliferate.
The _variable_ of consciousness becomes unmanageably
"non-topological" in such systems. (Unless someone can
objectively observe the "patterns of deliberate error creation" ?)
a good engineer is a pessimist about "luck," and the questions not raised
now are not forgiven when the stresses kick in later. A high mental state
is important to fostering good stewardship of Earth. A mass consumption
culture is not sustainable. A high mental state could make human life
sustainable, but let's not keep assuming it's going to be alright. We gotta
make it be alright. And it's not as easy for bio-brains and bio-people in
real life as the numbers make it on paper.
Evolution was a long cruel wasteful process...individuals counted for so
little. Let's not let nature correct our work before we go over it carefully ourselves.
To say high population growth can be sustained at a high level of comfort is not to say it *will* be sustained at a high level of comfort.