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Aurino: New Guy, New Thread!

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on April 19, 2001 18:09:35 UTC


{Aurino, you have made some posts while I was composing this so I doubt anyone would still think you were me -- sorry everybody! But I will still post it as is.}

Some of the things you are saying sound so much like what I am trying to say that I suspect there may be people who think you are me posting under a different name! It's not me guys; this is another voice.

I, long ago, began to see what I call my subconscious as a separate entity but I cannot compare him to "myself" as you do (TOM). My powers are so small compared to his that, as far as I am concerned (the conscious me) there is absolutely no comparison; we are not even the same species. In fact, it wasn't until I was an adult that it began to occur to me that what I saw as reality could very well be no more than an image created by my subconscious. In fact the more I thought about it the more convinced I became that, on a conscious level, I could not even understand how such an image could come to exist.

The image of reality includes my senses which are part of that reality. The image could not be created without the information of the senses but the information of the senses is not defined unless the senses are defined. It follows that it must be possible to construct a rational usable model of reality given no more than a totally undefined stream of data transformed by a totally undefined process. I know it can be done as my subconscious has done it. (I personally use the word subconscious as a catch-all for anything which seems to have mental connotations which I have not accomplished on a conscious level: similar to you but not identical.) I will try to make that issue clearer. I have a feeling that you may be able to pick up on things that seem to go right over everyone else's head! No one else on this forum seems to comprehend exactly what I am talking about. Some of this is for them also!

To Harv, John, and all the rest (even you Alex):

What follows from here is a continuation of what I have been trying to say to the whole group.

My head is chock full of concepts and ideas. Knowledge and experience implying relations far and away beyond anything I could write down even if I wanted to. No matter how hard I tried, I would forget something. There are things there I have not thought about for years; however, a smell or a sound or another idea will bring something back in a instant and it's "Oh, I had forgotten about that!" These things, ideas, concepts, relations are like a big functioning machine. Millions upon millions of interrelated events each with associated ideas and words attached. The whole seems to be a coherent functioning universe with additional experiences being added every moment. In fact one of the ideas imbedded in that collection is the idea that that whole itself is only a snapshot of a greater whole which has not yet been experienced.

From my interactions with others, I get the impression that they also find themselves with a similar coherent structure of information cast in a mold of ideas and concepts very similar to those in my head. On the other hand, discussion also suggests that there are differences. Not just between myself and them but between them also. Clearly this collection of ideas and concepts cannot be reality because the concept of reality requires uniqueness (here, "reality" is one of the concepts I found in my head, not anything "I" - the conscious me - created so don't expect it to be well defined). The only conclusion reachable from this position is that it must be: that the collection in my head (and the collection in others heads) are mere models of reality.

The problem is, as I said, that I have no memory of ever having created most of those concepts or ideas, not on a rational conscious level anyway! The great majority just appeared; a thought or a realization just arrived. In fact, there are very few if any ideas or concepts that I can remember creating myself on a conscious level.

So, where did this model of the universe come from if I didn't create it on a conscious level? And exactly how did it come to be? -- That is the fundamental problem which bothers me!!-- And seems to bother no one else in the universe!

As mentioned earlier, because that model includes the idea that "thinking up ideas" requires mental activity, I ascribe it to a mental activity (but not my conscious mental activity). Thus it is that I call the source of this model my subconscious. The name and presumed activities seem to be in close accord with the model of reality I have found myself with. If you have what you think is a better name for the source of the model, let me know and I will use your name for the source. God???

As I see it, my subconscious feeds me a "model" of reality: some interpretation of reality which it has created. The major problem I have with people in general is that they want to talk about their model not about how that model came to be. I feel that if you don't know how the model came to be in detail, you don't know where to look for the errors in your model and are relying on chance to point them out (future experiences). If you think your model is error free then I think you are deluded and any discussion serves no purpose.

So I find myself with a model of reality provided by my subconscious. And, I presume that, under my definition, everyone out there finds themselves with a model of reality provided by their subconscious (or God if you prefer that label). If any of you believe you have created this model on a conscious level, then please explain to me your starting point and your procedure.

To proceed then, I do posses a mental model of reality (created by my subconscious) and I use that model to examine the problem of creating models. That mental model is apparently very dependable as a source of expectations and deductions: i.e., my experiences are entirely consistent with that model. One could say my subconscious has done an excellent job!

My problem is that I do not understand how it was done.

Remember, I mean by the word "subconscious" the source of this model of reality. I suspect that you (if you understand what I mean by the word subconscious) will agree that your subconscious has also created an excellent model of reality. I doubt the model is exactly the same as mine but I suspect it is similar enough that we will agree on almost all things (on most all things of any significance anyway).

I hope, at this point, that I am past the first hurdle: explaining to you that I have no argument with your model of reality. As far as I am concerned, that is not the subject of my discourse. My interest is in discussing a particular method of creating a particular model.

I hold that what I have done is original with me. I am aware of no other human being even attacking this problem. (Harv, if you think someone has, then I suspect you do not understand the problem.) I am actually astonished that I did find a useable functioning solution. Believe me, I did not expect that success. I have discovered a method (a specific analytical procedure) which can be used to consciously create a general mental model of any arbitrary source of information.

In particular, I show how (in detail) how it is possible to create a mental model which is capable of representing absolutely any arbitrary collection of data. The model is actually quite simple (nothing more than a collection of points in a Euclidean space which are constrained to never have two in the same place). Such a model can represent any set of numbers and, if any information can be represented by a set of numbers, any information. In particular, it can represent any other model which can be communicated. The results are entirely general!

Aurino, if you need to see what I am talking about, it is posted at:

I am not saying that this is the model your subconscious has presented to you nor am I saying it is the model my subconscious has presented to me. Nor am I saying that it is the only model possible. Fundamentally, I am saying only one thing: there exists no information which cannot be cast into a form such that it may be represented by this model.

Now, in and of itself that paragraph is not surprising at all. As one renown scientist once said to me "so what, one could just as well represent the information as a set of colors, if you establish the method of representing it, you can represent any information you want." (By the way, that was many many years ago, before I had solved the deduced equations!)

It is not even surprising to discover that internal self consistency requires some internal relations when constraints are applied. What is surprising is the specific result of two very simple constraints. The first constraint is that you don't know everything: i.e., there is information not available to you when you create your model. This constraint is the one which ends up essentially requiring all rational answers to any question to be expressible only as probabilities.

No matter what you think you know, there must always exists some probability that any answer to any question is wrong (though that probability might be vanishingly small you can not absolutely prove you have not made an error).

Ok, so far that is not too difficult to accept. Neither does it provide any earthshaking insights into anything. So all answers must be couched in terms of probability. Any rational person already knew that. If one wanted to be entirely objective with everything they said, every honest answer must include an error estimate of some sort. This idea does suggest that the formalism of Quantum Mechanics should have some universal application; however, I think the scientific community had already come to that conclusion quite a while ago (by the rather devious route of successful experimentation).

The second constraint is very simple but the consequences are, in my opinion, truly astounding. That constraint is that there exists absolutely no information outside the data being examined. Notice that this implies the data being examined is the entire universe or, your super-universe, or someone else's "super-super-universe"; i.e., there is absolutely "nothing" excluded from the data. Notice that this is in fact a very subtle pair of constraints.

Think about simultaneously enforcing both constraints: "absolutely nothing exists outside the data to be examined" and "all of the data will never be available to be examined". Creat a mental model which will always be capable of handling that situation!

If you set up an analytical procedure for deducing the probabilities of seeing any set of data given under that circumstance, you will discover that some simple definitions and concepts yield almost all of modern physics. Now that I say is astonishing.

I (the conscious "I") define "reality" to be a set of numbers! I define an "observation" to be a specific subset of reality. I define "time" to be a parameter denoting a specific observation. I define an "object" to be any collection of data the internal patterns of which are sufficiently constant in time to make independent analysis worthwhile. If you read my treatise, you will find that I further define mass, momentum, energy, and other terms in very exact ways. When these things are defined as I have defined them, most of physics turns out to be true by definition: Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Special and General Relativity to just name a few fields.

If all of that is true by definition in my model, it implies that it must also true in your model; unless you can show that your definitions are sufficiently different from mine to throw that conclusion into doubt.

So I say finally, if you cannot prove that physics is true by definition in your mental model of reality then you do not understand your own model. Don't be insulted, I don't understand the mental model my subconscious gave me either, but I do understand the model I have consciously created.

I hope I have communicated something - Dick

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