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Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Thomas Ray: on 9/21/17 at 20:33pm UTC, wrote The crux is that the reality of an individual consciousness is far greater...

Thomas Ray: on 9/21/17 at 20:22pm UTC, wrote Lorraine, "reality" = "content of consciousness"? I don't think there is...

Lorraine Ford: on 9/21/17 at 14:25pm UTC, wrote Tom, First you must symbolise reality, or the content of consciousness, in...

Thomas Ray: on 9/21/17 at 2:08am UTC, wrote Lorraine, "All communication “[has] to be 'interpreted' to make...

Lorraine Ford: on 9/20/17 at 21:35pm UTC, wrote Gary, How would you describe or define "agency"; and how would you...

Lorraine Ford: on 9/20/17 at 21:29pm UTC, wrote Tom, Re your previous posts: All communication “[has] to be...

Thomas Ray: on 9/20/17 at 19:22pm UTC, wrote Lorraine, Do any of these physicists/philosophers support your view that...

Lorraine Ford: on 9/20/17 at 19:14pm UTC, wrote Tom, The quote was from 2 physicists in 2014, not from philosopher David...


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FQXi BLOGS
September 22, 2017

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Wandering Towards a Goal: Winners Announcement [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Jul. 4, 2017 @ 13:08 GMT
We asked the question: how do mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intentions. So how does it happen? Well, we’re not going to just tell you the answer. You’ll have to read it for yourself — in our winning essays, which we are now happy to announce!

We have an unusual outcome this time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the contest question turns out to be rather controversial, with not just the essayists but also the panelists holding quite diverging views. Despite a lot of effort and good-faith attempts to find common ground, in the end the jury was deadlocked along several dimensions. In the end they decided the fairest representation of their collective opinions would be — a tie for first (and second) place. In fact, a 3-way tie.

Sharing the top spot are the entries from Larissa Albantakis (A Tale of Two Animats), Carlo Rovelli (Meaning and Intentionality = Information + Evolution), and Jochen Szangolies (Von Neumann Minds). The panel elected to pool the prize money for the top 3 spots, a total of $20,000, and split it evenly. Thus each of our 3 top winners will receive $6,666.

Visit our page of winners to also see our third and fourth prize winners, and find links to each winning essay. Also awarded was a special “community choice” award for the entry from George Ellis (Wandering Towards a Goal), which was well liked by many and, thanks to George’s involvement, had high levels of community engagement and forum interaction, which is a lot of what makes these contests worthwhile.

We look forward to our next contest, which we hope to announce soon.

Thanks to our sponsors, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, for making it possible. We also thank our diligent review panel. And last of all, we give great thanks to all of our entrants — we appreciate the effort you put into writing the entries, as well as reading and discussing them. We hope you will join us again for the next one.

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Jul. 4, 2017 @ 17:31 GMT
Congratulations to all the winners! Well done! I see that Dr. Ellis has 321 posts in his forum. That is certainly a large number and it appears to be the largest of any of the forums. That certainly merits special consideration. I would like to point out another aspect of community interaction. Dr. Ellis made postings in very few forums other than his own. Dr. Klingman made postings in many forums that would otherwise receive little attention.

Congratulations to the Winners and Best Regards to All,

Gary Simpson

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 4, 2017 @ 21:20 GMT
A mystical religious belief has infected the physics community, a belief in magic and miracles. This is the belief in “emergence”, the belief that new laws, algorithms, new deterministic powers over physical matter, can naturally “emerge” from an existing deterministic system of numb, dumb particles.

For 50 years, complexity/”emergence” research has produced nothing but philosophical waffle and hopeful spin. But now physicists have caught the disease, the belief in mystery, miracles and magic, despite the fact that there can never be a theoretical model whereby new equations could naturally emerge from an existing equation-ruled deterministic system of numb, dumb particles. In fact, equations are always added to a model system, from outside the system, they never emerge from a model system.

The physicists’ new prize-winning belief in miracles sits oddly with the fact that a multitude of physicists and philosophers have recently toured the world evangelising the idea that underlying reality is a purely deterministic system of numb, dumb particles.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 5, 2017 @ 22:16 GMT
I would have politely congratulated the winners, but it's truth that matters, not who wins contests.

It’s clear that in reality new rules (representable as laws/equations and algorithms) do emerge as you progress from particles to atoms, atoms to molecules, and molecules to living things. But deterministic “mindless mathematical laws” cannot themselves emerge/evolve, they cannot give rise to anything, let alone “give rise to aims and intentions”: so “mindless mathematical laws” cannot be the foundations of reality.

Instead, it is what causes/creates these rules, including initial-numeric-values-for-variables rules, that are the foundations of reality. The options are: miracles/ magic; or a “God”; but the only feasible option is that particles, atoms and molecules are not quite the numb, dumb entities that they have been assumed to be.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 6, 2017 @ 23:27 GMT
It seems that law-of-nature rules have power over reality: new rules are new powers over reality.

One way to understand new rules is as new categories of information. A new equation-rule is a new category of information (i.e. a new equation variable) expressed in terms of relationships between existing categories of information (i.e. existing equation variables).

Another type of new rule is that which assigns a new numeric value to an existing variable: i.e. a discontinuity of numeric values occurs.

New algorithm-rules (e.g. the theoretical Markov brain models) are different because algorithms “sit above” equations. The basis for algorithm-rules exists in the universe because it seems clear that law-of-nature equation-rules must exist in the following way: Law1 AND Law2 AND Law3…..

Consciousness is awareness of rules i.e. awareness of categories of information; “free will” is the creation of new rules: both consciousness and “free will” are an inherent part of a rule-based system; neither consciousness nor “free will” can “emerge” from a rule-based system; i.e. “aims and intentions” cannot naturally “emerge” from a rule-based system.

Would anyone like to dispute what I have said? I would be glad if anyone could explain why they think that what I have said above is absolute nonsense.

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Domenico Oricchio wrote on Jul. 5, 2017 @ 20:58 GMT
As always an excellent contest.

Great questions with great answers.

Thank you to all those have partecipated in the perfect organization.

I, and others, look forward to the next contest.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Jul. 5, 2017 @ 21:40 GMT
Congratulations to the winners. I haven't read all of the winning essays but have enjoyed the ones I have. The page of winners link is useful for accessing them easily, thanks for that. I read another this morning.

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Don Limuti wrote on Jul. 7, 2017 @ 02:35 GMT
Hi Brendan,

A most interesting contest that I enjoyed competing in. My intention was to win ....Oh well at least I think I gave some of the judges a little challenge.

1. Larissa Albantakis took first prize. You got it right!

2. Carlo Rovelli also took first prise, in spite of the fact that he did not respond to posts, and was not active in the contest. I cannot avoid the implication that he had an (unfair?) advantage because he is a notable personality in physics and friend of Max Tegmark.

3. Lorraine Ford should have been awarded a special prize for being the devil's advocate, and pointing out how physics is turning into religion. You do not believe in the multiverse, it's a sin not to! She really did add a lot of spice to the contest.

4. The judging panel deserves a lot of praise. If I were asked to be a panel member (heaven forbid) I would have screamed and run away as fast as I could. They did a very good job.

What ya got in store for the next contest?

Don Limuti

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 7, 2017 @ 22:51 GMT
Thanks for the thought Don :-)

I guess I’m just trying to say that we (and other living things etc.) are not strangers/foreigners to the universe: collectively, we are reality, we are the universe. I.e. laws-of-nature rule the universe, but we (particles, atoms, molecules, living things) made the rules, and continue to make localised rules (within the context of existing rules). :-)

Carlo Rovelli and other physicists and philosophers (except the Qbists like Christopher Fuchs [1]), evangelise a view of reality whereby we are 100% victims of law-of-nature rules: not a good message to people facing tough problems e.g. climate change.

Cheers,

Lorraine

1. Notwithstanding Bohr, the Reasons for QBism, Christopher A. Fuchs, https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.03483v1 ; QBism: Quantum Theory as a Hero's Handbook, Christopher A. Fuchs & Blake C. Stacey, https://arxiv.org/abs/1612.07308

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 7, 2017 @ 23:50 GMT
P.S.

Re "make the planet great again":

France plans to ban all gasoline or diesel cars to "make the planet great again" [1].

Physicists like Carlo Rovelli or Sabine Hossenfelder would like you to believe that such a plan was the inevitable outcome of deterministic laws-of-nature and/or randomness operating since the beginning of time. They would in effect tell you that people don't have the law-of-nature-lawful power to act to make a difference to reality: they say that it's only "mindless mathematical laws" and/or randomness that acts !

Lorraine :-)

1. https://www.treehugger.com/cars/m-hulot-declares-all-traffic
-france-will-be-electric-2040.html

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Heinrich Luediger wrote on Jul. 7, 2017 @ 11:10 GMT
Lorraine,

The rule or algorithm at the root of reality is problematic. First, it collides with free will, because the rule is positive (take civil law as an example). Positive law, however, is a matter of taste; max. speed on highways is 75 mph in the US and not limited in Germany. Conversely, the ownership of guns is strictly regulated in Germany, but free in the US. Second, the rule collides with what is called the infinite depth of human experience, in other words, no ‘blue screen’ – never. This is why humans can survive in never previously experienced situations and environments - in which (positive!) machine learning must (and always will) terribly fail. Third, already Wittgenstein had noticed that a rule and following that rule cannot possibly be the same thing, for otherwise that rule would not be accessible to debate. All these problems evaporate as soon as the rule is conceived of negatively, namely, as a prohibition or (in physics) as a conservation law, symmetry or invariance, with the immediate effect of becoming universally applicable. That is, what we call human rule-based behavior is not a matter of LOGIC at all, because LOGIC builds on identity, i.e. is positive and hence not universal.

The universe, I would like to think, APPEARS regular for the reason of invariances. Hence it follows: no observer, no universe!

H.H.J.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 7, 2017 @ 14:38 GMT
Heinrich,

I am saying that "free will" (= "choice", = creativity) is the creation of a new law-of-nature-lawful rule, a rule that has actual power over physical reality. E.g. a rule that you could mathematically represent as the assignment of a new numeric value to an existing variable i.e. there is a quantum discontinuity of numeric value for a local fundamental-level variable representing physical reality. "Free will" is the creation of a new law-of-nature-lawful rule.

Reality is a deterministic system based on rules. It is clear that the emergence of atoms from particles; molecules from atoms; and living things from molecules requires new rules. I am saying that new rules can never naturally emerge from a deterministic rule-based system: the FQXi essayists who suggest that new rules, or anything new, can naturally emerge from a deterministic rule-based system of numb, dumb particles believe in magic and miracles.

Fact: rules have to be "added" to a system, they never ever emerge from a system. I am saying that it is things (particles, atoms, molecules and living things) that have the ability to create rules, and it is things that have created all initial-numeric-value rules, and law-of-nature rules in the universe-system. Rules did not emerge by magic, or by miracles, or due to the intervention of a "God".

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 14, 2017 @ 23:34 GMT
Physics latest absurd caper is indoctrinating babies [1] – not to believe in a God that will punish you if you are naughty – but to believe that their every little action is 100% dictated by iron-clad laws-of-nature and/or mindless randomness. Physics wants babies and little children to believe that they are always completely strait-jacketed, they are not free to navigate towards a goal, not free to find creative solutions to tough problems like climate change. Because physics says that reality is such that only mindless laws-of-nature and mindless randomness have power over reality – people themselves can never have any power over reality. This is a stupendously stupid message to indoctrinate little children with, but it just shows the lost, decadent state of physics, a physics that believes that we human beings are strangers in our own universe.

1. https://csferrie.com/2016/11/19/quantum-physics-for-babies

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 16, 2017 @ 01:48 GMT
Re “wandering towards a goal” of mitigating climate change and halting further species extinction:

This is how physics envisages climate change mitigation, and the species extinction crisis, will be handled:

1. The whims and vagaries of the complex interaction of fundamental-level laws-of-nature plus fundamental-level randomness, on a universe-wide scale, will automatically handle all situations.

2. Under the influence of point 1 (above) particles have automatically self-assembled into higher-level entities that: A) have automatically acquired the consciousness that climate change and species extinction is happening; B) have automatically acquired the ability to imagine that they can act to mitigate climate change and halt further species extinction, even though its only point 1 (above) that is happening.

That’s it. That’s how physics envisages climate change mitigation, and the species extinction crisis, will be handled: automatically and spontaneously.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 16, 2017 @ 21:56 GMT
In other words, physics is saying that there is nothing that human beings can do about climate change and the species extinction crisis: what will be will be; the laws-of-nature and randomness will determine what happens (though people might deceive themselves into thinking that they have the power to affect physical reality).

President Donald Trump mightn’t believe in climate change, but Trump-counterpart physics firmly believes that nothing can be done about it. They are a lovely couple.

When will the aging adolescent boys of politics and physics grow up?

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Philip Gibbs wrote on Jul. 16, 2017 @ 08:29 GMT
Congratulations to the winners. This was a challenging topic which led to a very diverse response. I learnt a lot from writing my essay, the comments from the community and from many of the other essays, including those that did not win or get rated highly.

Thank you to the organisers and sponsors for the unique opportunity for everyone to participate. I can't believe we are approaching the 10th year of these contests and I look forward to the next round.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 18, 2017 @ 00:15 GMT
Physics has a dirty secret to hide that it doesn’t want the nice people of the world to know about:

Physics doesn’t believe that human beings caused climate change and the species extinction crisis, or that human beings can do anything about climate change and the species extinction crisis, because physics doesn’t believe that human beings have any power whatsoever to affect physical reality.

Physics believes that it is only the whims and vagaries of the complex interaction of fundamental-level laws-of-nature plus fundamental-level randomness that determines what happens in the world, and that people deceive themselves if they think that they personally could have any power to affect physical reality.

When will physics and physicists grow up? When will physics and physicists confront and deal with the nature of the real world, the world where people and living things have the power to affect physical reality? (But a chair, a car, a robot or a billiard ball doesn’t have the power to affect physical reality: at most, these objects merely augment or extend human power.) This power cannot “jump” from laws-of-nature to human beings unless lawful power is inherent to things: particles, atoms, molecules and living things.

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Jul. 18, 2017 @ 01:00 GMT
Lorraine,

Can you articulate a testable hypothesis? If so, what is it? I will interpret silence to mean "No".

You might not like the patriarchy of old, dead, white guys but that patriarchy has made it to the moon and the planets. And built some pretty cool stuff.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 18, 2017 @ 01:55 GMT
Gary,

I can see that you fail to understand what I'm talking about.

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 18, 2017 @ 02:58 GMT
So Gary,

Another way to put it would be to say that physics has a philosophy about the nature of reality. Shock! Horror! Yes, physics has a philosophy about the nature of reality which assumes e.g.:

Mindless particles, atoms and molecules; “mindless mathematical laws” [1]; “emergence” of new rules/laws from an existing deterministic universe-system of mindless particles; human beings and other living things have no power whatsoever to affect physical reality – it is merely the action of the “laws” and “randomness”.

I’m saying that physics’ philosophy about the nature of reality doesn’t stack up.

1. FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster, Jul. 4, 2017 @ 13:08 GMT, http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2935

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Shaikh Raisuddin wrote on Jul. 18, 2017 @ 07:47 GMT
Objective is defeated if "Mechanics of Computer Virus" is ignored.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 19, 2017 @ 23:57 GMT
Gary,

Obviously, plenty of people are happy to believe in an emasculated version of “free will”, where what they do has no power to make any difference whatsoever to reality, e.g. the climate of the planet.

Physics and philosophy believe in this emasculated version of “free will”: they believe that it is only the whims and vagaries of the complex interaction of fundamental-level law-of-nature rules plus fundamental-level randomness that determines what happens in the world, and that people don’t have the power to make rules.

A free will that has the power to make a difference to reality is clearly logically impossible in such a scenario. That is why physics and philosophy say that people deceive themselves if they think that they personally could have any power to affect physical reality.

If you are happy to believe that you are emasculated, that what you do has no power to make any difference whatsoever to reality, then go for it!

But a free will that has the power to make a difference to reality requires a change in philosophy about the nature of reality, not a change in the rules (the rules are the only bit that experiments can work with). The change in philosophy is that things (particles, atoms, molecules, and thereby, living things ) are the source of rules; things have the power to make rules.

Lorraine

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Jul. 20, 2017 @ 02:32 GMT
Lorraine,

What experiment do you propose? This is a simple question. If you have no answer then you are not performing science.

I'm not trying to be an a##. I am simply stating a fact. I have free will. I also live in a universe where objects are governed by physical law. I can kick a rock off the top of a cliff and it falls. That does not mean I will choose to jump.

So what is your experiment? BTW, JF does not have an experimental test either.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 20, 2017 @ 23:44 GMT
Gary,

20th century physics has shown that the universe is only understandable in terms of (what are called) “observers”, where observers are clearly irreducible entities, primitives of the universe-system. There can be no experiment to prove that an observer exists: it has been inferred that “an observer” must exist. Your rigid, outdated, view that everything is provable by experiment is wrong: clearly there are crucially important parts of reality that are not representable via mathematical equations – i.e. they can only be inferred.

The particle itself is not representable as a mathematical equation: it is only information about the particle, e.g. mass, that is symbolically representable in terms of a relationship (i.e. a mathematical equation).

I’m saying that “free will”/ “choice”/ creativity is the creation of a new relationship/ rule. The resultant rule can be symbolically represented as a mathematical equation, but the creativity/ cause of the rule is not itself representable as a mathematical equation: it can only be inferred.

Physics and philosophy, and you, can only ever deduce an emasculated version of free will, because of the failure to consider the cause of the rules that determine the structure of the universe-system.

Physics is unnaturally silent about climate change and the species extinction crisis because physics’ view of reality is that people have no causal power over reality whatsoever i.e. no power to make rules.

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Jul. 21, 2017 @ 03:16 GMT
Lorraine,

This is the most clear and unambiguous post you have made on the subject. Many thanks. Unfortunately, as with Joe Fisher - Realist, this is also where we part company.

Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Jul. 22, 2017 @ 02:05 GMT
Lorraine,

Allow me to offer one final thought. I ate a large supper today. That tends to make me sleepy. Nature was telling me to take a nap and for a few minutes I did in fact lie down to nap. Then I decided to get up, go upstairs, and practice piano.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 22, 2017 @ 14:38 GMT
Dear Cristi, Georgina,

Let’s tell the November 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn that physics doesn’t believe that human beings caused climate change and the species extinction crisis, or that human beings can do anything about climate change and the species extinction crisis.

Let’s tell the November 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn that physics doesn’t believe that human beings have any power whatsoever to affect physical reality.

Let’s tell the November 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn that physics believes that it is only the whims and vagaries of the complex interaction of fundamental-level laws-of-nature plus fundamental-level randomness that determines what happens in the world, and that people deceive themselves if they think that they personally could have any power to affect physical reality.

When will physics and physicists confront and deal with the nature of the real world, the world where people and living things have the power to affect physical reality?

This power cannot “jump” from laws-of-nature to human beings unless some degree of lawful power, i.e. limited ability to create one-off local rules, is already inherent in things: particles, atoms, molecules and living things.

Regards,

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 22, 2017 @ 14:42 GMT
Cristi,

You say: “But if there is any shred of free-will within the constraints of the physical laws, we use it as much as we can”. But you have not conjectured about how such a system could work.

You are seemingly describing a system where there was “possibility”, i.e. room to move, within the limits of existing laws-of-nature, and where living things actually had the power to make these moves.

Why is it that physics will conjecture about multiverses, but not conjecture about something a little closer to the lived reality of human beings?

Regards,

Lorraine

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Cristinel Stoica replied on Jul. 22, 2017 @ 17:46 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

Did I ever said to you anything about climate change?

All I said to you was that from my personal experience most physicists believe in free-will, and even those who don't, they still exercise it as if they actually believe.

You were worried that everyone here believes in mindless determinism and that we can't change things, and I showed you otherwise. That's all. Then, instead of being happy that your worries were unfounded and that they believe we can change things, you moved to a completely different topic as if this was we were talking about, and you talk as if I said that "physics doesn’t believe that human beings caused climate change and the species extinction crisis, or that human beings can do anything about climate change and the species extinction crisis". How can you put in my mouth things I never said and are remote from anything I said just like this?

From what I know, there is a wide consensus among scientists that climate change is caused by humans.

How do you even know about climate change if not from scientists?

And about free-will, I don't know to explain you if and how it works, but I exercise it like anyone else. We don't have an objective proof of if and how it works, but I think this can be part of what I called in my essay "subjective science". But your idea that you can't use it without having a theory about it is like saying that before understanding biology we couldn't breath.

Scientists are doing their best to find solutions to the climate change problem using the best knowledge they have about the laws of nature, so I think you are being unfair.

If you are able to decree a local physical law to solve the climate change problem, please do so, we would be grateful.

Best wishes,

Cristi

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 22, 2017 @ 22:59 GMT
Hi to both of you,

Hope you are well.I believe strongly that we can solve thse mainb problems with concrete gloabal solutions. The climate is a result of our past industiralisation more this and that.The adaptation becomes the main essential for the well of all.It is too late and we must prevent.The actual reality is like it is and we must inbd solutions to improve and save this planet.We can save it in imrpoving the main foundamentals permitting to reAch these points of equilibriums.The first is to imp^rove this global ecology and the grounds. We know that this climate is a reality and that our ecology is on a bad road;We know also that it lacks jobs and a lot of harmonisations.The solutions exist and we have the keys in hands.The hour is serious and we must act by adapted sciences;The composting at big global scale and the vegetal multiplication more the hamronisation of cosystems become an essential?The jobs , water, food, energy must be correlated.It seems foundamental and so important considering our universal logic and its laws.We cannot live without harmonised ecosystems and their foundamentals interactions.The most important is to balance"this palnet after all.

Best

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 24, 2017 @ 23:15 GMT
In November 2017, world leaders will gather for the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn. This vitally important conference exists because of the knowledge that human beings have power over reality (i.e. human beings have caused climate change), and the conference is predicated on the conviction that human beings have power over reality (i.e. human beings can act to avert climate change).

So why are the theories of physics, and the assumptions of physics, formulated in such a way that makes human power over reality an impossibility???

Bear in mind that physicists have deliberately engineered theories like the MWI [1], with their associated mathematical equations, in an attempt to account for quantum phenomena. And physicists have dreamed up the existence of a hypothetical entity called “the wave function”, with its associated mathematics, in an attempt to account for these quantum phenomena.

So why do physicists not attempt to hypothesise a theoretical basis for, or an interpretation of reality that accounts for, living things’ power over reality?

Answer: Such a theory would offend physics’ deeply entrenched beliefs that only abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” [2] and “randomness” have power over physical reality. Clearly, such a power cannot “jump” from laws-of-nature to human beings unless some degree of lawful power is already inherent in things: particles, atoms, molecules and living things.

1. The Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics

2. FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster, Jul. 4, 2017 @ 13:08 GMT, http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2935

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Jul. 25, 2017 @ 14:24 GMT
"So why are the theories of physics, and the assumptions of physics, formulated in such a way that makes human power over reality an impossibility???"

Because that is not a scientifically formulated question.

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Jul. 25, 2017 @ 14:58 GMT
Tom.

Obviously, you are part of the oppressive patriarchy. Next you'll be expecting a testable hypothesis:-)

I am beginning to think that sanity is losing the war.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Jul. 25, 2017 @ 17:28 GMT
Gary.

I ceded the war--and my sanity--to Lorraine a while ago. :-)

Best,

Tom

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 25, 2017 @ 22:48 GMT
Physics, in its arrogance, disagrees with the wisdom of the people of the world. Physics says that people have no measure of power over reality: i.e. that people cannot have contributed to climate change, and that people cannot act to avert climate change.

Physics says that nothing but abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” [1] and “randomness” have power over physical reality

Physics seems to have forgotten that all theories of reality, even physics theories of reality, are created by human beings: they are only valid if they stand up to scrutiny. Physics idea that people have no measure of power over reality doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

1. FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster, Jul. 4, 2017 @ 13:08 GMT, http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2935

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 26, 2017 @ 22:56 GMT
Doubting Thomas Ray [1], and Gary Simpson, founding member of PHALLUS [2], and Georgina Woodward [3], seem to think that a reality in which human beings have genuine power over nature is impossible.

The idea of genuine power over nature contrasts with: 1) the idea that people merely deceive themselves into thinking that they personally have the power to affect physical reality; or 2) a vague, unarticulated assumption that matter (human beings) with genuine power over nature could “emerge” from matter (particles) without power over nature.

But if reality is such that human beings do not have a measure of genuine power over nature then it cannot be said that people have contributed to climate change, or that people can act to avert climate change. If reality is such that that nothing but abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” [4] and “randomness” have genuine power over physical reality, then under no circumstances can this power over physical reality miraculously “jump” from laws-of-nature to human beings.

So I contend that some degree of lawful power is already inherent in things i.e. particles, atoms, molecules and living things: at the beginning of the universe things had the power to create laws-of-nature (we represent the results with equations); but more importantly, nowadays things have the power to, in effect, re-initialise variable numeric values (we can represent the result of a quantum event with a new initial-value equation representing a one-off local “selected” outcome for one of the system variables).

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 26, 2017 @ 22:57 GMT
References:

1. “I ceded the war--and my sanity--to Lorraine a while ago”, Thomas Howard Ray replied on Jul. 25, 2017 @ 17:28 GMT, http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2935

2. “I must take exception to your flagrant man-hatred. As a founding member of the Physics History And Logic League of the United States, I will firmly state that the members of PHALLUS are committed to finding the physical truth of the physical universe. We search far and wide for the straight truth by using all the tools at our disposal. Sadly, all who wish to join PHALLUS cannot do so as we do have rigid requirements”, Gary D. Simpson replied on Mar. 28, 2017 @ 03:44 GMT, http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2694

3. “i don't have power over reality”, Georgina Woodward replied on Jul. 22, 2017 @ 02:25 GMT, http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2935

4. FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster, Jul. 4, 2017 @ 13:08 GMT, http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2935

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jul. 27, 2017 @ 00:14 GMT
Lorraine, power over nature and power over reality don't seem to have the same meaning to me. Certainly human beings can have power over the perception of reality by others by control of information. It is the art of magicians and craft of propagandists. Bending of light rays around an object can cloak it. Animals that use mimicry rely on providing information that will mislead a predator. Animals that use camouflage do so avoiding detection. If instead of perception you mean foundational reality I think we have to work within the constraints and possibilities. Technology though alters what those constraints and possibilities are. It is evident that people have altered materials and states of matter and combined and constructed, to do things previously impossible. We can work with material reality in new ways, to the benefit or detriment of natural systems.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jul. 27, 2017 @ 00:51 GMT
Lorraine, I think that the notion of linear cause and effect at a singular scale limits our perception of how events unfold. In a linear causal sequence only "significant" known knowns are included and a lot is left out. It seems that there are multiple influences and scales of influence. Evidence for the possibility of producing different outcomes is the conscious ability to come to decisions. For that ability to evolve it should have a survival advantage, otherwise there would be no cost benefit. Consciously thinking organisms would be at a significant energy cost disadvantage if it did not have any benefit. In that case, all actions could be automatic as in simple life forms, life support functions, reflexes and much of our motor activity, saving energy.That is not what we see.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 31, 2017 @ 15:27 GMT
Jonathan,

Physics papers, in science magazines, journals, and arxiv, paint a consistent picture of the way physics and physicists really view reality:

1. Particles (which are tacitly assumed to be utterly numb, dumb and powerless) are totally controlled by

2. Abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” and

3. “Randomness”.

Physics says that abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness” have total power over reality: i.e. human beings do not have any power over reality. So physics is in effect saying that people cannot have contributed to climate change, and that people cannot act to avert climate change. There is no confusion about what physics is actually saying about the nature of reality.

Roger Penrose’s hypothesis that “only intelligent possibilities emerge”, that “the universe makes intelligent choices”, would mean that you would need to add a point 4 to the above list:

4. The equivalent of a God is making sure that only good things/ “intelligent choices” come out of the above randomness.

But I’m yet to be convinced that the world is all sweetness and light and “intelligent choices”!

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Jul. 31, 2017 @ 15:53 GMT
"I’m yet to be convinced that the world is all sweetness and light and 'intelligent choices'!"

'Sweetness and light' or 'numb and dumb'. Those are the only choices?

Guess which one I'm choosing.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 1, 2017 @ 01:33 GMT
Tom,

Replying to your previous post:

Seemingly one can’t definitely prove anything about the first principles/initial setup of (what is symbolically representable as) a deterministic mathematical system from “within” that mathematical system. Because the first principles/initial setup is “given”/ “added” to the mathematical system, as if from an external source....

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 1, 2017 @ 01:35 GMT
Tom, Jonathan,

What some physicists say they believe means nothing, unless they have a theory of reality to back up what they believe. The fact is, only the QBist view would seem to back up the assertion that people have power over reality, i.e. that people have contributed to climate change, and that people can act to avert climate change.

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 4, 2017 @ 23:00 GMT
Jonathan,

P.S.

Normally, all the numeric values for the variables representing a physical outcome are determined by the “mathematical laws”.

But the “free will” of living things is different. “Free will” has 2 aspects:

1. one or more of the numeric values for the variables representing a physical outcome “jump” to new unpredictable numeric values (“unpredictable” in the sense that no “mathematical law” determined these numeric values for the variables); and

2. the living thing caused each new numeric value for the variables.

Any such discontinuity in numeric value for a variable means that the variable numeric value has been “re-initialised”. This situation can only be represented as the addition of a new initial-value equation (representing the new numeric value for the variable) to a local part of the universe-system.

So the living thing has in effect:

1. created a new rule/equation; and

2. added the new rule to the universe-system.

So “free will” is the same as agency is the same as creativity is the same as human power over reality.

Lorraine

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 7, 2017 @ 23:44 GMT
I need to tease away what is of value here...

Physical outcomes are uniquely determined by physical parameters, in my view, but nature's Physics must adhere to rules we identify as part of Mathematics in order to create shareable or repeatable order within the universe. That outcomes can't be predicted does NOT imply that they are not determined by mathematical laws, however. As I tried to explain in my last FQXi essay; the portion of Math commonly in use by physicists today is only a small portion of what nature employs in her handiwork. I am averse to the view that simple equations are necessarily more fundamental or elementary to Physics, expressed by Simon DeDeo and others.

However; I find it pretty common for folks whose specialty is not theoretical Physics to imagine that what Physics shows us is that the universe IS entirely predictable or fixed. Likewise; it is common for people to view Math as a realm where all numbers do is sit there, while we compare their value. This is true for a surprisingly small portion of the totality of Maths, and this was the main message of my contest essay about elephants. The elephant in the room is that people don't want to deal with a reality where things are floating until they have a determined value, or can jump about unpredictably without needing a level of agency. But that's the Math I've been focusing on in my studies.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 7, 2017 @ 23:55 GMT
Let me clarify more...

While the property of agency can certainly be explained by the introduction of new rules, it does not imply that this is the only explanation. I think you are simply presenting a case consistent with your views, but though you adequately demonstrate it does explain some things, you do not clearly show why this rules out other explanations. It is said that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, so I think your claims that Physics will not admit conscious agency are ill supported.

If it were my job to investigate the quantum origin of consciousness or free will; I would look first in the microcausal realm, or consider variations on what Penrose and others like Stapp have proposed, before I gave much attention to the Quantum Bayesian view. It does not give me a thread to follow, for how to research such things further, as compared to the relevance of microcausal elements in Quantum Physics. So this is where I would put the majority of my emphasis, given the opportunity to research it.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 8, 2017 @ 02:11 GMT
Jonathan,

See my reply below

Lorraine

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Joe Fisher wrote on Aug. 5, 2017 @ 13:33 GMT
Fortunately, every real sensible person does know that Nature must have provided us with the simplest visible physical reality obtainable. The real Universe consists only of one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light, All mathematical information am abstract unnatural contrivance.. The only thing all but one of the essayists in this competition produced was more pretentious codswallop about invisible influences.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 8, 2017 @ 02:08 GMT
Sorry Jonathan,

What with all the verbiage, you seem to have (perhaps deliberately?) lost the point of what I was saying:

Physics says that abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness” have total power over reality: i.e. human beings do not have any power over reality.

It doesn’t matter if “microcausal interactions” occur, because they are still deterministic: the system is still ruled by abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness”, so it cannot be said that human beings have any power over reality.

So physics is in effect saying that people cannot have contributed to climate change, and that people cannot act to avert climate change.

And there is no confusion about what YOU are saying: you are saying that people cannot have contributed to climate change, and that people cannot act to avert climate change.

Lorraine

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 8, 2017 @ 02:51 GMT
I did not miss a beat...

Simply put, I reject the statement that 'Physics says that abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness” have total power over reality.'

You have obviously missed my point, but I will sign off for now and further analyze your response before I reply further. I think it is all about the middle ground between does the wavefunction collapse or not. For the record; I think that Penrose got that part right, and that something microcausal allows consciousness and life to enter the picture in an explicit way. I'm sorry you don't see that. Nor do I think it depends on the specific explanation with microtubules as put forth in the collaboration with Hameroff. There is a more general mechanism.

Bye for now!

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 8, 2017 @ 03:32 GMT
Gee whiz Lorraine!

Let me bring you up to speed. Yes Physics states that interactions are deterministic in the aggregate, but allows individual agents freedom of choice. Yes the laws of Physics state that humans and all others must comply with the cosmological flow of time, and yet they give us each the freedom to craft our own timelines. It is largely a matter of choices, and partly a matter of consciousness having the power to influence probabilities, but there is not a purely deterministic nor a totally free condition to deal with in the universe. Instead; all possibilities arise from a combination of pre-determined and selective or elective elements. Living beings can exploit this boundary region and have more freedom to choose.

Now I am of the opinion that this does give people more power than they realize to effect change. In fact; if we realized how much power we do have, there would already be more progress than we observe, toward keeping the global climate within livable norms for humans, or even toward making the planet closer to the ideal or norm for natural life to prosper. We have a long way to go admittedly, but I know that Science will offer answers, even while bringing other complications as well. By learning more, we will grow more. We can only hope it is fast enough to effect the change that is really needed. But it will not be Physics that makes us unable to create meaningful change.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 8, 2017 @ 13:49 GMT
Dear Jonathan,

Please stop writing about complex abstract codswallop. Please try to understand Only Nature could have produced the simplest visible physical condition obtainable. The real Universe consists of one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.. There have never been any invisible atoms. There has never been any invisible space. Infinity is immeasurable.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 8, 2017 @ 06:02 GMT
What absolute rubbish Jonathan!

Physics does not "[allow] individual agents freedom of choice". For example the Many Worlds theory of reality allows no freedom of choice: it is all just the actions of the laws. "Microcausal interactions" allows no freedom of choice: it is all just the actions of the laws.

Physics does not specify agents with the power to affect reality: it's not in the physics books, articles and papers, Jonathan, its all "mindless mathematical laws" and "random" outcomes. Jonathan, either you clearly specify agents upfront or you don't, and physics doesn't specify agents.

I'm sorry that you don't see that, and that you have such romantic views about physics.

Lorraine

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 8, 2017 @ 20:53 GMT
In contrast...

I see Physics as full of life, and ripe with possibilities, while seeing the work of most Life Science folks as being hopelessly mired in reductionistic materialism. You have your own peculiar form of romanticism Lorraine, and see hope in things I feel are hopeless. But oddly it is in some of the very things you see as lifeless that I find clear evidence that it is Physics and Math which set the stage for life, and that Biology is only a vehicle for taking what is already present in the abstract - the potential for life - and bringing it to fruition.

One does not have to specify agents up front, if agency itself is already a well-defined attribute. As I see it; the qualities that define us arise as abstractions first and then find expression in material forms. Life could not arise, at all, unless the conditions favorable for life forms were favored by natural law. If the universe was not alive, or not conducive to life, we would not be here. And as I said in my essay; it appears that what is engendered by nature is the evolution of consciousness. The reason you see Physics as lifeless is because you see only the material side of reality as real.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 9, 2017 @ 13:29 GMT
Dear Jonathan,

It is physically impossible for one to see abstract information about “physics being full of life” Each real eye can only see real surface no matter in which direction that real eye looks. Please stop writing about complex abstract codswallop. Please try to understand Only Nature could have produced the simplest visible physical condition obtainable. The real Universe consists of one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.. There have never been any invisible atoms. There has never been any invisible space. Infinity is immeasurable.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 8, 2017 @ 23:54 GMT
Shockingly, physics does not support the idea that people could have contributed to climate change or that people have the power to act to avert climate change. This is because physics has no agents (like people or living things) or even proto-agents that have power over reality.

Physics says that everything that happens is due to abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness”: only abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness” have power over reality. There is no such thing as agency in all of physics, and no possibility that agents with power over reality could “emerge” or “self organise” because deterministic “emergence” and “self organisation” are failed ideas that don’t work without the introduction of new information into the system from an external source.

I notice that all the reactionary old men posting to this blog are out in force, patting each other on the back, united in the idea that human agency could miraculously, deterministically emerge from non-agency. Well I’ve got news for you guys: such a thing has never been shown to occur, and can never be shown to occur because such a thing is logically impossible. I’m saying that agency cannot miraculously jump from something that abstractly exists to living things.

Isn’t it time that physics joined the real world, and noticed that agency exists, i.e. that agents (e.g. human beings) with power over physical reality really do exist?

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 8, 2017 @ 23:56 GMT
“Despite the ubiquity of emergent behaviour there remains no deep understanding of emergence. At each level of complexity, new laws, properties and phenomena arise and herein lies the problem.

Properties describing one level of a complex system do not necessarily explain another level, despite how intrinsically connected the two may be. Understanding the emergence of the structure of molecules does not necessarily allow one to predict the emergence of cellular biology.

… emergence remains one of the grand challenges of science.”


Emergence: the remarkable simplicity of complexity, 1 October 2014, by Andy Martin (Senior lecturer (Physics), University of Melbourne), and Kristian Helmerson (Professor of Physics, Monash University), https://theconversation.com/emergence-the-remarkable-simplic
ity-of-complexity-30973

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Aug. 9, 2017 @ 00:45 GMT
" ... deterministic 'emergence' and 'self organisation' are failed ideas that don’t work without the introduction of new information into the system from an external source."

Lorraine, you are working with entirely mistaken notions and therefore make no sense.

Like evolution, self organization is an observed physical phenomenon. As all biology depends on the Darwinian theory and its permutations to give it unity and coherence, self organization also depends on a uniting framework under the broad umbrella of complex systems science.

Emergence describes scale dependent collective behavior within a system network. I am quite taken aback what you quote, as it is well known that emergence is scale dependent; different properties emerge at different scales. I expect that you are quoting him out of context.

At any rate, what you call 'new information' comes to the distributed system in the form of feedback, both positive and negative varieties. Information is conserved.

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John R. Cox replied on Aug. 9, 2017 @ 01:27 GMT
Lorraine,

Old yes, but it has some compensations. :-) jrc

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 9, 2017 @ 15:15 GMT
The “strong emergence” [1] of rules that govern the chemistry of saturated hydrocarbons [2], and the strong emergence of cells and other living things out of atoms and molecules, is clearly a fact.

The problem is that strong emergence cannot be explained theoretically because nothing unexpected ever emerges out of a model deterministic complex system, unless new rules...

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Aug. 9, 2017 @ 15:18 GMT
Unfortunately agency is not enough...

Nor can Joe or anyone else have it both ways, by saying that humans have nothing to do with climate change and simultaneously citing various things humans did do, which likely did adversely affect the Earth's climate. The tricky bit is that individual choices can cancel each other out, such that sensibility is dwarfed by the clamor of conflicting...

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this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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John R. Cox replied on Aug. 9, 2017 @ 16:24 GMT
Gotta agree, Jonathan.

It's the political nut that is the toughest one to crack. Populations only listen when their stomachs speak. best - jrc

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Aug. 10, 2017 @ 01:52 GMT
Jonathan,

"While we like to say 'things are changing,' the quantum accurate view is that 'changes are thinging' (ref. - Kodish and Kodish)."

And the classical accurate view is that 'changes are changing.' :-) Our experience is continuous.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 9, 2017 @ 23:58 GMT
Jonathan and Tom,

The physics pantheon consists of nothing but abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness”: only abstractly-existing “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness” have power over reality.

Physics has no “agents” in its pantheon. So, from the point of view of physics, the emergence of living things is only explainable as (what is called) “weak emergence”. Weak emergence is merely a human summarization of a more complex situation in which nothing but the action and effects of “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness” is occurring.

When Jonathan asserts that: “the aggregate of change arises out of a great number of individual choices and actions”, the background to this assertion is his view of a weakly emergent reality in which nothing but the action and effects of “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness” is occurring.

In other words, Jonathan’s “choice” is a pseudo-choice because according to him nothing but the action and effects of “mindless mathematical laws” and “randomness” is occurring. Despite his words, Jonathan’s view of reality does not support the idea that people could have contributed to climate change or that people have the power to act to avert climate change.

The fact is that the emergence of complex molecules and living things is an explanatory dilemma for physics because it is clear that new “rules” have emerged, but it is also clear that new rules can never emerge from model deterministic systems, no matter how complex they are.

Lorraine

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 10, 2017 @ 00:38 GMT
If mathematical laws are not mindless...

Then Math allows individuals' true freedom of choice to manifest. Nor is it according to me that 'only the action of mindless laws and randomness are occurring.' I have not used that terminology. Those are your words Lorraine, or your copying from the wording of the essay contest question.

If you choose to believe that Math is mindless, so be it. That doesn't make it true, nor did I ever say it is so. I have asserted instead that Math is a kind of mindfulness, and I can offer examples. So 'mathematical laws' are not mindless, and even if they were; this does not imply they result in totally random output.

If you assert that Physics is defined solely by mindless laws and randomness, you can believe that too, Lorraine. But I have not said it is so, nor do I think it is true. You may remember that I argued against these subjects being mindless or random, in my essay this time. I rather feel that randomness is an illusion, because we can't create a physical system that gives a completely random output.

I have consistently asserted that neither Math nor Physics are devoid of life, but rather are necessary precursors to the emergence of intelligence. If what I am really saying is that Math and Physics are needed for life as we know it to exist; it is not truthful to state the opposite. So you may claim to believe what you will, Lorraine; but please do not make specious claims about my statements - as though I said the opposite of what I really did.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 10, 2017 @ 01:14 GMT
I think you need to read...

The Reflexive Universe by Arthur Young, Lorraine. Or at least read about Young's theory of process, which explicitly explains how emergence naturally proceeds through stages. It is admittedly not a mainstream Physics view, that Young espouses, but neither is my view of Physics totally in line with the mainstream. I tend to follow what is happening at the frontiers of knowledge, where things are still a bit fuzzy, rather than waiting to hear the verdict of the experts. But this work is largely in accord with my research, and it was prominently cited in this year's essay.

One thing you may not be taking into consideration, Lorraine, is that publishers often put pressure on academic authors to frame their ideas in terms which tend to support the mainstream view - even when their results call that view into question. Scientific American published an article by Baez and Huerta entitled "The Strangest Numbers in String Theory" even though they wanted to call it "The Strangest Numbers in the Universe," and though the authors mentioned Strings only peripherally in their original submission. Then of course; Lubos Motl complained afterward that they used the Strings connection erroneously - though it was the editors choice of emphasis, not the authors'.

So what physicists know about reality, in their own minds, does not always come out in the printed article. This is why I talk to scientists in person, and ask pointed questions, rather than just reading what they wrote.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 10, 2017 @ 01:47 GMT
According to Young,

Quantum uncertainty is the root of free will, providing the possibility for things to vary, which can create variation. There is some experimental evidence to support this view. Likewise in the view of Penrose and Hameroff; life exerts a subtle influence which exploits quantum uncertainty in microscale structures to allow quantum uncertainty to be reduced through conscious choice. That is; uncertainty is the possibility to effect change, through the power of choosing that reduces it along specific lines. Thus; the possibility for change is what leads to changes. While we like to say 'things are changing,' the quantum accurate view is that 'changes are thinging' (ref. - Kodish and Kodish).

But on emergence; Young's view (and mine) is that the universe or physical form must attain a certain level of fixity for life forms to arise. There must be a stable base from which to build outward or upward, some dependable configuration of physical forms with the necessary attributes, before the qualities we identify with living things can emerge. First particles, then atoms, before molecules can form. It is really quite an elegant framework, where the degrees of freedom are bound to create the basis for organic chemistry, which as George Ellis also claims is the basic building block for life to be emergent. So there is some overlap with the view of mainstream authors, in Young's work - which is impressive for its time and despite the fact Young's knowledge of advanced Physics and Biology was limited.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 10, 2017 @ 23:54 GMT
Jonathan,

If you and Tom are not part of a secret Masonic Lodge, then you ought to be. I am dismayed to see that you guys seem to be talking about the equivalent of a “Great Geometer of the Universe”, the “God” of Freemasonry. I.e. you are talking about a universe which is pre-designed [1], and Tom seems to be convinced that no new rules ever occur [2].

I, on the other hand, am talking about the inherent freedom of the universe i.e. the inherent freedom of the things of the universe to create the rules, within the limits of existing rules. I am talking about a universe where people have power over reality, where (collectively and unwittingly) people have actually caused climate change, and where people have the power to do something about climate change.

If you are talking about freedom, then you are talking about agents, but you specify no agents with power over reality.

Lorraine.

1. “The theory of process is first and foremost a contemporary statement of teleology-the study of evidences of design in nature or the idea that natural processes are directed toward an end or shaped by a purpose . . . evolution-the ascent from matter-requires the mastery, control, and use of each of the levels of the fourfold structure inherent in the universe . . . all of the evidence suggests that the theory of process is a precise conceptual map of evolution and a sound theoretical base for a New Age paradigm”.

THE THEORY OF PROCESS 1, by Jack Saloma & Ruth Young, http://www.arthuryoung.com/the1exc.html

2. “But yet you [i.e. Lorraine] believe in 'new rules'”, Thomas Howard Ray replied on Aug. 10, 2017 @ 15:11 GMT

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 11, 2017 @ 00:00 GMT
Since I had the NBN installed, my line keeps on dropping out: above post was from me, Lorraine

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 11, 2017 @ 13:09 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

When that happens copy the comment then report the post as being inappropriate and remove it using the number 42 code. Log in to the FQXI,org site, and then paste the comment and it will appear in your name.

Glad to be of help,

Joe Fisher

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Aug. 11, 2017 @ 13:24 GMT
"Tom seems to be convinced that no new rules ever occur"

And you are convinced that conservation laws don't exist. If you think conservation laws are violated -- prove it. You must have learned how to go about making conjectures and proving theorems at university. Stop wasting our time.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 11, 2017 @ 22:43 GMT
Jonathan,

I think your esoteric view of reality is of a “God” external to reality that subjectively experiences/knows and creates everything, and that only certain “highly evolved” human beings can partake of the knowledge and powers of this “God”, e.g. yourself. The aspect of reality that creates and knows is not the same as what is created and known. This seems to be similar to e.g. the male-only Masonic Lodge view of reality, of special species (humans) and special male people at the pinnacle of reality. Male-dominated physics is like this: it’s a view of reality that is almost past it’s “use-by date”.

My “esoteric” view on the other hand is inclusive: “God” is everything (proto-particles to living things): they subjectively experience/know and create everything. The aspect of reality that creates and knows is not the same as what is created and known. What is created and known is relationship i.e. categories i.e. information. This information/relationship is representable by science as equations: “mathematical laws”, variable numerical value equations, and algorithms (mainly in living things). All knowledge/information is an edifice of relationship, “turtles all the way down”, and this is why information/subjective experience is always contextual [1]. Ultimately, subjective experience IS the relationship to the rest of reality; subjective experience is not a representation of a separately-existing reality [1]. Perhaps this is a “feminine” view of reality.

Lorraine

1. This is in contrast to the binary digital view of information, where so-called “information” is merely a symbolic representation of information, and where so-called “information” is always separate from context.

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 12, 2017 @ 12:13 GMT
Dear Lorraine Ford,

Which came first, visible Natural reality, or humanly contrived abstract information about the behavior of invisible atoms?

Only Nature could have produced the simplest visible physical condition obtainable. The real Universe consists of one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.. There have never been any invisible atoms. There has never been any invisible space. Infinity is immeasurable.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 12, 2017 @ 23:59 GMT
It should be uncontroversial that the aspect of reality that creates and knows is not logically the same as what is created and known.

It is logically necessary that an aspect of reality created [1] what we represent as “mathematical laws” because: no “mathematical law” of nature is logically necessary; the existence of “mathematical laws” is not logically necessary; and the existence of a universe is not logically necessary.

Similarly, it is logically necessary that this aspect of reality must, in some sense, “know” about these “laws”.

But in addition, I’m contending that to create a vibrant universe, as opposed to an abject puppet, it is logically necessary that the aspect of reality that creates and knows is particulate and not God-like.

So I’m saying that agents (i.e. things that have power over reality) are a logically necessary aspect of our universe, and that physics has failed to recognize the existence of agents.

Because physics has failed to recognize the existence of agents: physics can never claim that people have power over reality; physics can never claim that people have the power to contribute to climate change; and physics can never claim that people have the power to do anything about climate change.

1. Create: “Bring (something) into existence”, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/create .

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 13, 2017 @ 13:08 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

There are no aspects of reality. Nature provided us with the simplest visible reality obtainable. The real visible Universe consists only of one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Aug. 13, 2017 @ 13:44 GMT
Lorraine,

Though I may be an old man, I am far from reactionary. Among my strongest influences are the aforementioned Bertrand Russell, strongly pro-feminist. Had I only been wise enough to accept his other choice--pacifist--my life would have been much different.

After berating you for cut and paste, I here cut and paste a previous discussion that showed such promise--I took your...

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John R. Cox replied on Aug. 13, 2017 @ 14:26 GMT
Sorry, Tom,

I am lacking enough background that I hadn't recognized the extent my question posed. Poking around, it quickly became obvious that Russell's acumen was such that my innocent curiosity would probably be a good question for a post-grad dissertation subject. Duhhh :-) jrc

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 13, 2017 @ 21:23 GMT
“Within the field of climate science, there is virtually no debate about the basic cause of climate change. The vast majority of researchers long ago determined that human activity — chiefly the burning of fossil fuels — is causing the planet to warm.” [1]

But no matter that climate science is warning people to change their ways or face the climate consequences, because physics does...

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 14, 2017 @ 14:29 GMT
Dear Lorraine Ford,

This is not a social club where friendly members can trade anecdotes. This site has been set up to try to find the answer to the question of what reality am. Now please answer my question: Which came first, visible Natural reality, or humanly contrived abstract information about the behavior of invisible atoms?

Only Nature could have produced the simplest visible physical condition obtainable. The real Universe consists of one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.. There have never been any invisible atoms. There has never been any invisible space. Infinity is immeasurable.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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iphone support number wrote on Aug. 14, 2017 @ 11:33 GMT
Since I had the NBN installed, my line keeps on dropping out: above post was from me, Lorraine.

iphone Tech Support

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 14, 2017 @ 14:31 GMT
Dear Lorraine Ford,

This is not a social club where friendly members can trade anecdotes. This site has been set up to try to find the answer to the question of what reality am. Now please answer my question: Which came first, visible Natural reality, or humanly contrived abstract information about the behavior of invisible atoms?

Only Nature could have produced the simplest visible physical condition obtainable. The real Universe consists of one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.. There have never been any invisible atoms. There has never been any invisible space. Infinity is immeasurable.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Aug. 14, 2017 @ 14:52 GMT
"This is not a social club where friendly members can trade anecdotes."

Well, of course it is, Joe. Share an anecdote with us, and be welcome.

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 15, 2017 @ 14:24 GMT
Dear Thomas,

I do not quite know how accurate this information is, however, my father always insisted that you could always lead a horse to water, but your pencil must be lead..

Now that I have shared this anecdote with you, culd one of you answer this question: Which came first, visible Natural reality, or humanly contrived abstract information about the behavior of invisible atoms?

Only Nature could have produced the simplest visible physical condition obtainable. The real Universe consists of one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.. There have never been any invisible atoms. There has never been any invisible space. Infinity is immeasurable.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 15, 2017 @ 23:21 GMT
Tom, Georgina,

The emergence of atoms from particles requires new rules that weren’t there when only particles existed: atoms embody new rules i.e. new information – atoms are not fully deducible from particles even in the simplest case of the hydrogen atom. And anyway, it is mathematically impossible for stable new rules that have power over outcomes in a system to deterministically emerge from the old rules that have power over outcomes in a system.

Similarly, living things and complex molecules are not deducible from simple molecules. The algorithm-like rules that seem to characterize the internal workings of living things are not deducible from non-algorithms.

It is rarely, if ever, mentioned in all the confident talk about “emergence” and “self-organisation” that the theory does not model the “difficult bits” of actual reality.

The theory of “emergence” and “self-organisation” is nothing but belief in miracles. This is because the existence of new rules and new algorithms cannot be explained.

Lorraine

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Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 16, 2017 @ 01:16 GMT
Lorraine, you have said "algorithm-like"; But is it? Embryo-genesis for example is controlled by the timing and gradient of concentrations of various growth factors at sites of development. The 'messages' giving 'instructions' are chemicals.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 16, 2017 @ 04:13 GMT
Yes Georgina,

You won’t see the atom by looking at a particle, and you won’t see the organism by looking at molecular interactions.

This extra level of “organisational control”/constraint found in atoms and in organisms, that are not found in their component parts, and are not implied by their component parts, is the very issue I’m talking about

Lorraine

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Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 16, 2017 @ 04:44 GMT
Lorraine, that is called emergence, the very concept you have been arguing against. More complex systems can do things simpler systems can't but what they do doesn't require extra laws of physics.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 17, 2017 @ 08:21 GMT
Georgina,

I’m not looking for “answers” from you. I’m asking you because I’m trying to analyse the tripe (sorry) that you consistently come up with e.g. about “emergence”.

It is significant that you can’t even explain what you mean by “emergence”. I’m not asking for dictionary definitions, I’m asking what you mean by “emergence”. I have repeatedly explained what I mean, but you seem completely unable to describe something that you seem to be quite definite about.

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 17, 2017 @ 08:22 GMT
Tom,

I note that you are incapable of explaining or describing the elements of “self-organisation”, which is strange because you seem to have very definite views about this subject.

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 17, 2017 @ 08:24 GMT
American AI researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky got it right in his criticism of emergence entitled The Futility of Emergence:

“"Emergence" is commonly used as an explanation in its own right.

“I have lost track of how many times I have heard people say, "Intelligence is an emergent phenomenon!" as if that explained intelligence. This usage fits all the checklist items for a mysterious answer to a mysterious question. What do you know, after you have said that intelligence is "emergent"? You can make no new predictions. You do not know anything about the behavior of real-world minds that you did not know before. It feels like you believe a new fact, but you don't anticipate any different outcomes. Your curiosity feels sated, but it has not been fed. The hypothesis has no moving parts—there's no detailed internal model to manipulate. Those who proffer the hypothesis of "emergence" confess their ignorance of the internals, and take pride in it; they contrast the science of "emergence" to other sciences merely mundane.

“And even after the answer of "Why? Emergence!" is given, the phenomenon is still a mystery and possesses the same sacred impenetrability it had at the start.”

http://lesswrong.com/lw/iv/the_futility_of_emergenc
e/

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Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 17, 2017 @ 09:25 GMT
Lorraine 16.2017 23.42 you asked 5 questions. "precisely how would you characterise “emergence”; precisely how would you characterise “more complex systems”; precisely how would you characterise “simpler systems”; precisely how would you characterise a “system”; and precisely how would you characterise what these “more complex systems” can “do”? That seems a lot to ask in one go, and I might be hard pressed to cover it in an essay.

Your "I’m trying to analyse the tripe (sorry) that you consistently come up with e.g. about “emergence”.' is very rude, the apology in it makes no difference as it seems insincere to me. You acknowledge 'tripe' is inappropriate but say it anyway.

I strongly object to you cutting and pasting my comments together so that what I have said is out of context and pasted together into your own misinterpretation of the words meaning. IE "You contend that “. . . that is called emergence. . . More complex systems can do things simpler systems can't but what they do doesn't require extra laws of physics.” [1] You have pasted together two unrelated sentences.

"That is called emergence" was referring to your "This extra level of “organisational control”/constraint found in atoms and in organisms, that are not found in their component parts, and are not implied by their component parts, is the very issue I’m talking about"Lorraine. I object to you dong that to my words and then referencing it as if you are quoting what I actually said. It is wrong and misleading. If you paid attention to the reply in the context it was given you would see that I have said what I consider emergence to be, so your insulting complaint about what I can't or won't do is actually resulting from your own lack of attention to what is being written.

Consider this the end of our conversation. Georgina

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 17, 2017 @ 15:16 GMT
Georgina,

No one is disputing that life has somehow emerged out of complex molecules.

But your “emergence” is an explanatory black box; you can’t even describe the kernel of what it is that is supposed to have “emerged”; but that seemingly never made you pause for thought about your ideas about reality.

You ought to be outraged with yourself, not with me.

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 17, 2017 @ 15:18 GMT
Tom,

One must conclude that “self-organisation” can’t explain anything:

You can’t even give an account of how you think that “variety, opportunity and self-limitation” works: you can’t even give an account of your pet theory.

Instead, all you can do is criticise what I say.

Lorraine

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 18, 2017 @ 14:46 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

No visible finite “Multi-cellular organisms have ever “emerged” from single finite invisible cells; No visible finite single-cellular organisms have ever “emerged” from invisible finite molecules; No invisible finite molecules have ever “emerged” from invisible finite atoms; and no invisible finite atoms have ever “emerged” from invisible finite particles.”

Nature made sure that there would only ever be one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that was always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

There is no physical way that the a diverse collection of finite invisible phenomena could operate for a supposed finite duration of time in infinity.

Please trust me on this, I have a science researcher’s identification number.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 18, 2017 @ 01:19 GMT
Multi-cellular organisms have “emerged” from single cells; single-cellular organisms have “emerged” from molecules; molecules have “emerged” from atoms; and atoms have “emerged” from particles.

These particles, atoms, molecules, and cells and other living things are driven by “mathematical laws”, but not 100% driven by “mathematical laws”.

Here’s how I see the reasons why cellular organisms can “emerge” from particles, atoms and molecules, and why these entities are agents that have power over reality, so that human beings have the power to act to avert climate change:

1. Quantum coherence is the basic feature of reality whereby one, or more than one, particle, atom, molecule or cell can act as one entity/agent.

2. Quantum decoherence is the basic feature of reality whereby (what might be represented as) local variable numeric values can be reset to new numeric values BY the entity/agent. This is, actually, the creation of a new rule, a type of law, that has power over reality.

3. Living things are agents that have algorithmic methods of extracting summary information from raw information e.g. out of millions of photon interactions with the eye, the organism can quickly deduce whether a shape is predator or prey. These “algorithms” are also a type of rule/law that is created by the entity: algorithms don’t just “deterministically occur”.

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 18, 2017 @ 14:43 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

No visible finite “Multi-cellular organisms have ever “emerged” from single finite invisible cells; No visible finite single-cellular organisms have ever “emerged” from invisible finite molecules; No invisible finite molecules have ever “emerged” from invisible finite atoms; and no invisible finite atoms have ever “emerged” from invisible finite particles.”

Nature made sure that there would only ever be one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that was always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

There is no physical way that the a diverse collection of finite invisible phenomena could operate for a supposed finite duration of time in infinity.

Please trust me on this, I have a science researcher’s identification number.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 18, 2017 @ 23:44 GMT
Forget about criticizing Trump: most physicists and most of the people that post to the FQXi Community do not believe that human beings have any power over nature at all: they believe that only “mindless mathematical laws” are operating. According to these people, human beings do not have agency: it’s just the “mindless mathematical laws” giving the surface appearance of agency.

So according to most physicists and most of the people that post to the FQXi Community, human beings do not have the power to affect the climate in any way. No doubt many of these people would like to criticize Trump, but in fact they are no different to Trump.

Alone amongst the sciences, physics doesn’t actually believe that anthropogenic climate change is possible.

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Aug. 19, 2017 @ 01:15 GMT
Lorraine,

I choose not to criticize POTUS DJT. Instead, I choose to support him.

Feel free to rant:-)

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

MAGA

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 19, 2017 @ 02:40 GMT
Gary,

Re: “most of the people that post to the FQXi Community do not believe that human beings have any power over nature at all”:

One of the most blatant and appalling examples of anthropogenic climate change denial was Georgina Woodward's: “i don't have power over reality” [1]. Donald Trump couldn’t have put the anthropogenic climate change denial position better.

Georgina seemed to think that she could somehow “act”, i.e. somehow cause outcomes, without having any power over real physical outcomes. This type of doublethink is more appropriate to George Orwell's 1984.

If, despite her protestations, Georgina Woodward does in fact “have power over reality”, then she is an agent, a type of entity completely unknown to today’s physics.

Isn’t it time that physics woke up to the fact that agents are in inherent part of reality, something that cannot “emerge” from non-agency?

Lorraine

1. Georgina Woodward replied on Jul. 22, 2017 @ 02:25 GMT:

“Lorraine, i don't have power over reality. I act within the constraints and possibilities of reality.”

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Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 19, 2017 @ 02:59 GMT
Lorraine, that is a blatant and appalling example of taking a persons words out of the context in which they were said and using it to seriously misrepresent their views. That is not the way to have a debate about science and its advancement. It is dishonest rhetoric.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 19, 2017 @ 23:27 GMT
Georgina,

Re Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 19, 2017 @ 10:31 GMT:

If you are saying that living things have a genuine, small degree of power over nature, then that is a position that I agree with. The power of a person to choose different biscuits implies that the person has a genuine degree of power over nature, IF you are asserting that this choice is not a mindless-random-choice, and not a deterministic-faux–choice. Only if people have a genuine, small degree of power over nature, can you say that genuine anthropogenic climate change is occurring.

The problem is that this is a momentous assertion because physics has no agents [1], physics only has what Brendan Foster calls “mindless mathematical laws”.

So you’ve got a degree of “mind” as opposed to physics’ lack of mind, you’ve got agents with a degree of power as opposed to physics’ lack of agents, and you’ve got a subjective frame of reference attached to a thing as opposed to physics’ abstract frames of reference.

I’m saying that these 3 aspects cannot “emerge” from their opposites.

Lorraine

1. Agent: “A person or thing that takes an active role or produces a specified effect”, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/agent .

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 20, 2017 @ 13:38 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

Why did you think Georgina Woodward wrote: “If you are saying that living things have a genuine, small degree of power over nature, then that is a position that I agree with”?

Nature’s only one single eternal power was to provide the single simplest visible physical construct obtainable.. All visible animate and inanimate phenomena belong to a single infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Joe Fisher wrote on Aug. 20, 2017 @ 14:13 GMT
Dear Thomas Howard Ray,

You wrote: “Let's break this down: "... diverse collection of finite invisible phenomena ..." You're talking about a mixed, countable set of discrete somethings that have measured effects (phenomena) that can't be seen. Have you heard of atoms? Subatomic particles?”

I have never audio taped any of my writing, so whatever information you heard was not furnished by me.

I have read about invisible finite atoms and invisible finite Subatomic particles that supposedly behave in erratic finite different ways during a finite measurable period of time. Real Nature provided one single unified visible infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light. You can believe in visible natural reality, or you can believe in humanly contrived literal codswallop about finite invisible phenomena...

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 20, 2017 @ 23:24 GMT
I do believe that Georgina Woodward believes that she is like a pixel in a Mandelbrot set zoom: totally ruled by forces beyond her control, where even the thing she might call “choice” (“[getting] different biscuits for the lunch break” [1]) is a faux-choice because it too is totally ruled by forces beyond her control.

So while Georgina Woodward, and most of the people who post to the FQXi Community, might claim that they believe that today’s climate change is largely caused by human activity, they actually believe that climate change is caused by forces totally beyond their control, because they believe that human activity is totally ruled by forces beyond their control.

Physics, Georgina Woodward, and most of the people who post to the FQXi Community, do not believe that reality is such that human beings actually have agency, where agency is a measure of genuine power over reality. IF reality is such that living things have genuine power over reality, then that’s the nature of reality: that’s physics, that’s something that physics has to account for.

Only in the case that human beings have agency, i.e. a measure of genuine power over reality, can it be claimed that today’s climate change is largely caused by human activity.

1. Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 19, 2017 @ 10:31 GMT

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Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 21, 2017 @ 01:21 GMT
Lorraine, it is strange that you have beliefs about my beliefs that are your own contrived imaginings and nothing to do with my own thoughts. It isn't a reasonable argument to complain about what you think other people think. Other people don't all think like you, or in he way you imagine. Please refrain from using me in your rhetoric. If you don't do that I will report posts mentioning my name or quotes of things I have said taken out of context as inappropriate. I have received no apology for your previous misrepresentation of my opinions. Rather than complain every time it happens I will report the posts as inappropriate, because it is not OK as far as I'm concerned.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 21, 2017 @ 04:51 GMT
Georgina,

When I see inconsistencies in what I think people are saying I will challenge it, and I will quote it.

So I am saying that you are engaging in doublethink with your view about climate change because on the one hand you are saying that you are totally ruled by forces beyond your control (i.e. you have NO power over reality), and on the other hand you seem to believe that climate change could be caused by people who have no actual power over reality.

Either “[getting] different biscuits for the lunch break”[1], or what is called “choice”, is a measure of power over reality, or not. Seemingly you believe it is NOT power over reality.

I must continue to challenge what you say, because you seem to hold 2 opposing views.

Lorraine

1. 'Act within' is not the same as 'have power over'

Example: I can act within an organisation (eg. to get different biscuits for the lunch break.) That does not mean I have power over the organisation.

I hope that shows there is a subtle but important difference. I can do things within reality but don't have power over it. I do not see that as 'doublethink' but clear understanding of personal limitations and the English language.
,

Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 19, 2017 @ 10:31 GMT

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Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 21, 2017 @ 08:03 GMT
Lorraine! I have said nothing to you about the Mandelbrot set, yet you say "I do believe that Georgina Woodward believes that she is like a pixel in a Mandelbrot set zoom: totally ruled by forces beyond her control," You are projecting your own odd ideas onto your imaginings of my thoughts, and then presenting it as an argument. I have never considered myself in that way. Please stop it and try to understand that it is not OK to carry on that way. That is why I have raised my objections. I do not want to converse, I would just like you to respect my wishes to be left out of your rhetoric. Your 'doublethink' accusation was addressed by my reply 19. 2017 10.31 GMT

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Aug. 23, 2017 @ 00:05 GMT
If I may continue here...

I think your view, Lorraine, is precisely opposite to my thoughts on where volition must come from - if we are to have true freedom of choice. I do not base my own theory on the work of Young, and I don't imagine that what he has written about is something he created, nor do I think it is the final word, but I can and should exploit the fact that he has...

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 23, 2017 @ 14:49 GMT
Dear Jonathan J. Dickau’

You do not have any abstract “Freedom of Choice.” You do have a real visible complete surface. There has never been any visible proof that invisible finite molecules, invisible finite atoms and/or finite invisible quantum particles have ever existed in three finite dimensions for a finite duration of measured time.. This am because VISIBLE reality consists of one single unified infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light eternally.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 23, 2017 @ 15:48 GMT
You are at least partly correct Joe..

I have a complete outer surface, like a ball, but there are openings to let food and air in (as well as visible light...) and to let the products of living out. So our real complete surface is like a container for life. But is it not true that the main value of a jar, bottle, or other vessel is that it provides empty space to fill?

Of course, emptiness is invisible, and so is the air that would fill a jar or bottle, before we put something else in it. But the wonder of a container is that it holds a specific amount, and it does it via the portion of the vessel that's not there, and is in fact only empty space - so of course it will always remain invisible, Joe. And yet it is the invisible part that gives a container value.

One could say the same for a house, or for a different place of habitation - a human body. Because it has a real complete surface, it does have the capacity to contain all the processes that support life. But even the portion one can't see at the surface does continue to exist, and in fact it is still there when you can't see it, and it does not somehow magically appear when after death a body is dissected.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 24, 2017 @ 01:18 GMT
Jonathan,

I have replied below.

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Aug. 23, 2017 @ 16:32 GMT
Let's address the question squarely Lorraine...

If you feel strongly that particles or other fundamental entities must act as agents, for humans to have the freedom of choice to injure or repair the Earth's climate; I'd like to hear your reasons why, and to see some evidence that this view is reasonable. You have continued to strike down all other hypotheses, but it seems to be more a dogmatic insistence that only genuine agency at the simplest levels of particulate nature could do the trick, allowing more complex entities at a higher level of organization to possess true freedom to influence our reality.

I feel strongly that this view is false, and that it's demonstrable particles display limited agency at best. I attribute any agency particles do display to the fact that they remain energy, even when bound into forms, and that they still follow the laws pertaining to energetic emanations. That is; every particle is an energetic emanation, and it is energy that displays the power to act or to create action. Particles are bound energy packets pushed and pulled by fields, which are the source of their motion.

It is of course possible to anthropomorphize, or even to put silly faces on particles - if you write a comic strip. I heard one joke that bears re-telling here. Just before they both disappeared in a flash of light, one particle approaching the other was heard to say. "Gee are you sure you're not an Electron? You look just like me; but normally I'm repelled by my own kind." And the other replied "No. I'm positive." So maybe it is a matter of choice for individual particles, but most physicists don't think that is realistic.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 23, 2017 @ 16:40 GMT
I left out the best part...

Of course; if I knew how to tell a joke I'd have let the Electron say "I'm repelled by my own kind, but I feel strangely attracted to you.." It's like they say; opposites attract, but when they come together the relationship doesn't always end well.

Most Physics folks would call it a force of nature, and let it go at that.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 24, 2017 @ 01:16 GMT
Jonathan,

1. “Emergence” is a black box: it has no theoretical support, no “internal moving parts” as Eliezer Yudkowsky [1] puts it. Belief in “emergence” is a belief in magic.

But I’m saying that for living things to emerge from particles, then the “internal moving parts” are that new local rules have had to be input to the universe-system, BY “agents”.

I’m saying that systems are 100% defined by their rules, and that nothing new can emerge until “agents” add new rules to the system, as if from as external source: no new rules naturally emerge from the system itself.

2. Energy is an aspect of physical reality that is ruled by what Brendan Foster calls “mindless mathematical laws”, and there can also be an inherent uncertainty in its measurement. The point is that energy is merely, what we would represent as, a variable.

You say that “the human form or other entity can direct more energy than a lifeless one”. But the power to “direct . . . energy” is logically distinct to the energy itself. You yourself admit it, by the way you express your views, that these 2 aspects are logically VERY distinct.

3. Jonathan, I am not attributing human-level agency to particles, atoms and molecules. I’m contending that, when they exist, particles and living things have different levels of agency.

Lorraine

1. http://lesswrong.com/lw/iv/the_futility_of_emergence/

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 24, 2017 @ 14:58 GMT
Dear Lorraine Ford.

You wrote: “But I’m saying that for living things to emerge from particles, then the “internal moving parts” are that new local rules have had to be input to the universe-system, BY “agents”.”

All living beings and non-living things have a complete surface. As I have explained to Jonathan J. Dickau: It is physically impossible for Nature to ever be partially correct. Please concentrate, I am telling you that Nature must have provided the simplest visible reality obtainable. Although your surface appears to have a hole to allow food to enter, all supposed items of food and drink have to have a complete surface, as does all waste products, because only one single unified VISIBLE infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light has ever existed. Do you honestly believe that only theoretical scientists ought to know more about reality than Nature does?

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Aug. 29, 2017 @ 04:33 GMT
I am thankful Lorraine...

Your steadfast opposition has forced me to articulate some ideas that otherwise would not have come to light, or might not have been pursued so vigorously. I hope that my thoughts on how best to research the nature of conscious choice will someday be of value to those whose work it is to research such matters in earnest. I have been in touch with folks who do pursue such knowledge seriously, but we will have to wait and see if there is any interest in my ideas on the subject.

Your insistence on agents that add new rules makes the idea you are a reductionist suspect, to my mind, and the term additive synthesis comes to mind as a descriptive term instead. The reductionist mindset tends to peel the layers away, which bespeaks the paradigm of formant synthesis - that some see as the opposite of the additive variety. Nonetheless; agency of the kind you describe might leave clues or evidence - to distinguish a living universe from a dead reality (devoid of fundamental agency).

Michael Goodband, a former FQXi author, has written a fair amount (I think a whole book) about Agent Physics you might want to check out. But it also comes to mind that Daryl Jay Leiter wrote an FQXi essay about modifying Quantum Electrodynamics to incorporate the notion that each particle measures or probes every other it encounters - which was poorly understood. He spoke about imposing an Abelian (meaning commutative or symmetric) gauge group on the standard QED equations, but most people don't see that is mutual measurement.

So there has been some discussion of related issues on this forum.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 29, 2017 @ 14:48 GMT
Dear Jonathan J. Dickau,

Natural infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light does not require any sort of “research into the nature of conscious choice” whatsoever. Why do you persist in trying to justify pretentious complex abstractions about invisible phenomena? Have you no conscience about distorting truth whatsoever?

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 29, 2017 @ 16:03 GMT
Jonathan,

We are living in a universe-system where new information is constantly being injected into the universe:

“Decoherence effectively creates new bits of information, bits which previously did not exist. In other words, quantum mechanics, via decoherence, is constantly injecting new bits of information into the world. Every detail that we see around us, every vein on a leaf, every whorl on a fingerprint, every star in the sky, can be traced back to some bit that quantum mechanics created”. [1]

But unlike physicist Seth Lloyd, I contend that it is things (particles, atoms, molecules and living things) that have the power to create the new information (this is what “free will” is), and these discontinuities in the numeric value of variables, these creation events, are known as “quantum mechanics”.

A system is defined by its rules; the rules and the numeric values for variables are the only information. New information (new rules, and discontinuities in/new numbers for variables) does not and cannot just arise/ “emerge” out of deterministic systems, no matter how “complex” they seem to be. It is as simple as that. It is time to face the hard facts about (systems that can be represented as) mathematical systems.

Lorraine

1. The Computational Universe, chapter by Seth Lloyd, in Information and the Nature of Reality edited by Paul Davies and Niels Henrik Gregersen, 2010.

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Joe Fisher replied on Aug. 30, 2017 @ 14:31 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

You and Jonathan are stubbornly commenting about an invisible universe-system (sic) where new inaccurate information is constantly unnecessarily being injected into your abstract conceptions of the universe..

Every real person-including you and Jonathan- am actually living attached to a real visible Natural infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Fisher, Realist

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Joe Fisher wrote on Aug. 31, 2017 @ 14:33 GMT
Dear Physicists,

The first mistake y’all made was when you decided that Nature had to have complex secrets without bothering to find any evidence that this was so. Only humanly contrived conjecture am capable of sustaining complex speculation Nature had to furnish reality for all living beings and all non-living things. Nature’s visible simplicity is utterly extravagant. Every real surface of every real person place and thing am actually existing securely attached to a real visible Natural infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Aug. 31, 2017 @ 22:07 GMT
According to physics, Hurricane Harvey, and the floods in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, and other climate change effects are 100% due to “mindless mathematical laws” and quantum randomness.

According to physics, human beings do not have agency, do not have the power to affect physical reality, do not have free will: it’s only “mindless mathematical laws” and quantum randomness that can affect physical reality.

Physics has no theoretical basis whatsoever for the proposition that human beings, as opposed to “mindless mathematical laws”, could have the power to affect physical reality.

Physics stands proudly and defiantly besides Donald Trump as anthropogenic climate change deniers.

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 1, 2017 @ 14:57 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

There was a protective atmospheric shield around the earth that prevented destructive radiation from the sun from reaching the planet’s surface. The ignorant physicists at NASA fired heat bearing rockets into the sky that punched holes in the protective shield and now the earth’s ozone layer is completely compromised. Admirals of several Industrial Military Complexes ordered atomic powered submarines to patrol permanently under the icecaps. At any moment there are over two hundred thousand jet planes in the sky spritzing the clouds with kerosene spray. Over two thousand atomic and hydrogen test explosions have been performed by the wonderful physicists. When the global burning of coal, oil, and gas am added, it is clear that it is human beings who are responsible for the heating of our planet.

It will not matter in the end, because fortunately, The earth’s climate am infinite, because it am affected only by the visible physical condition of infinite surface.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 1, 2017 @ 15:45 GMT
Joe,

I agree with you that "it is human beings who are responsible for the heating of our planet".

Unfortunately, physics theory does not support the proposition that human beings have any personal power to affect physical reality; physics believes that only "mindless mathematical laws" have the power to affect physical reality, i.e. it is the "mindless mathematical laws" that are "responsible for the heating of our planet".

Clearly, physics theory is wrong, because human beings do in fact have the personal power to affect physical reality.

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 1, 2017 @ 05:09 GMT
Jonathan,

Since you and Tom refuse to be anything but vague about exactly what it is that “varies” [1], I’ll put you out of your misery: you are claiming that forms and shapes, e.g. circles [2], are the things that vary.

These shapes are graphical representations of rules from the point of view of an observer. So you are claiming that there is something important about the different shapes that are seen when rules are graphically represented.

But much more than that, you are implying that in the beginning there were nothing but shapes, and that: 1) the axes of the graph (which represent variables/parameters/categories); 2) the rules; and 3) the numbers, all bootstrap themselves out of the shape [3].

Lorraine

1. “Things vary”, Thomas Howard Ray replied on Aug. 28, 2017 @ 00:21 GMT

2. “First there must be the possibility to vary. Then variations may arise, and will automatically when energy is present. When variations become closed forms, they can be called things. The simplest closed form is the circle. . .”, Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 31, 2017 @ 17:02 GMT

3. “…The simplest closed form is the circle, which is defined by only one parameter. But the same one-parameter formula - let's make it r = 1 also defines a range of spheres and hyperspheres. . .”, Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Aug. 31, 2017 @ 17:02 GMT

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 1, 2017 @ 15:20 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

It is physically impossible for any eye to have ever have seen a finite isolated shape. It would be physically impossible any human to produce a different plurality of finite shapes for Nature had to furnish reality for all living beings and all non-living things. Nature’s visible simplicity is utterly extravagant. Every real surface of every real person place and thing am actually existing securely attached to a real visible Natural infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Joe Fisher, Realist



Joe Fisher, Realist

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 1, 2017 @ 23:42 GMT
The Taj Mahal, the pyramids in Egypt and central America, the cave paintings in Lascaux, and the ancient rock art in Australia, were not 100% a consequence of “mindless mathematical laws”: human beings and other living things are agents that have genuine creative power to change physical reality. And human beings genuinely do have the power to act to avert dangerous climate change: what happens to physical reality is not 100% due to “mindless mathematical laws”.

No topology, no complexity, nothing, can cause this ability to change physical reality to “jump” from the “mathematical laws” and “emerge” in human beings and other living things unless a measure of agency is already inherent in physical things right down to atoms and particles. (Naturally the internal relationship structure of whole things matters: whole things like chairs and dead bodies do not have agency.)

Isn’t it time that theoretical physics caught up with ALL the evidence from reality? Isn’t it time that theoretical physics caught up with the fact that things (particles, atoms, molecules, and living things) are agents with the power to affect physical reality (seemingly they create their own mini “laws”)? Agents are not the victims of the “mathematical laws”: agents are the creators of the laws that structure the universe.

But except for QBist physicists like Christopher Fuchs, theoretical physics seems determined to stick to a view of reality in which everything that happens, including climate change, is 100% due to “mindless mathematical laws”.

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 2, 2017 @ 14:53 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

At long last you have managed to understand what I have been commenting on for the past few weeks. You were absolutely correct yesterday when you wrote: “The Taj Mahal, the pyramids in Egypt and central America, the cave paintings in Lascaux, and the ancient rock art in Australia, were not 100% a consequence of “mindless mathematical laws” Of course the Taj Mahal, the pyramids in Egypt and central America, the cave paintings in Lascaux, and the ancient rock art in Australia and every person who has ever observed then has had a surface.

Humanly contrived Mathematical laws are mindless because they only concern supposed complex agglomerations of finite invisible plural phenomena. These laws were finitely created and are of finite duration and applicability and only understood by mathematicians.

Nature had to furnish reality for all living beings and all non-living things. Nature’s visible simplicity is utterly extravagant. Every real surface of every real person place and thing am actually existing securely attached to a real visible Natural infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Sep. 5, 2017 @ 21:37 GMT
I think you are mistaken Lorraine...

I do not see clear evidence that the bulk of the theoretical Physics community is mired in a lifeless view of reality, nor do I see Fuchs as the shining beacon of Physics with human values, amid a sea of uncaring and uninformed people. You make very broad assertions about what physicists believe, that are apparently based on your own notions of what does and does not constitute a valid model to create or incorporate agency. I am not sure that many physicists would feel this is a fair characterization of what they do believe on the subject.

So I reject your pronouncements that the Physics community is clinging to a view of reality where true freedom of choice is not possible. And I also reject your assertion that Fuchs and the QBists are the only people doing serious Physics who admit to the real possibility of choice. Further; I think it is cruel of you to make untrue statements about where the Physics community stands on the subject, just because many reject your notion that inherent agency is a necessary component of reality on the particulate level. We know that agency can arise by other means, so to reject this knowledge out of hand is to lie about what physicists know and believe.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 00:24 GMT
Jonathan,

Re "We know that agency can arise by other means":

What a load of rubbish.

"[T]he bulk of the theoretical Physics community" IS in fact "mired in a lifeless view of reality", and seemingly also mired in a belief that complexity causes magical emergence.

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 2, 2017 @ 22:13 GMT
Is there any essential difference between a human being and a billiard ball at an atomic/particle level?

According to physics, there is no essential difference between a human being and a billiard ball: every physical outcome at an atomic/particle level is 100% determined by “mindless mathematical laws” and quantum randomness. So, according to physics, human beings are no more responsible for climate change than billiard balls are.

Physics has no agents that can play a part in determining outcomes at an atomic/particle level.

For an agent to play a part in determining outcomes at an atomic/particle level would require that an agent is a thing that has the power to make rules/ “laws” that determine outcomes at an atomic/particle level. If you assert that human beings are responsible for climate change, and billiard balls are not, then you have to hypothesise that human beings are agents that have the personal power to make rules/ “laws” that play a part in determining outcomes at an atomic/particle level.

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 3, 2017 @ 14:35 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

There am no physical difference between the real visible surface of a real human being and the real visible surface of a real billiard ball. Invisible finite atom/particles have never existed. Only humanly contrived finite codswallop information about invisible atomic/particles has ever been published This utterly complex finite information am supposedly only understood by highly paid human professionals.

Nature’s visible simplicity am universally understood. Every real surface of every real person place and thing am actually existing securely attached to a real visible Natural unified infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Sep. 8, 2017 @ 17:15 GMT
This comment is a little scary Lorraine...

There have been plenty of experiments, over the years, including tests of psychics by the military and intelligence communities of various governments. It is known that experiments with remote viewing turned out much useful information and were encouraging enough to be continued for many years. But the level of agency you suggest is something...

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 10, 2017 @ 00:50 GMT
Jonathan,

You do indulge in a lot of nonsensical speculation, e.g. that genuine “free will” would “hasten the destruction of the human race”.

It might be “a little scary” to you, but if particle- and atomic-level outcomes are not affected by “free will”, then there is no “free will”/agency. Simple as that.

Lorraine

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Sep. 5, 2017 @ 12:21 GMT
Lorraine,

I have a question for you.

If you reject the requirement of empirical proof to validate a theory or hypothesis, then how would you determine which theories or hypotheses are correct? Here, "correct" should be understood to mean "make accurate predictions given current observations".

And please, do not recite your usual verbiage.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 5, 2017 @ 14:34 GMT
Dear Gary D. Simpson

I have two questions for you. 1,) Am reality finite? 2.) Am reality infinite?

I maintain that only Nature could have permanently produced the simplest visible physical construct obtainable. The real Universe consists only of one single visible unified infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Man has only produced a ghastly amount of finite information concerning an invisible God and finite invisible atoms.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 5, 2017 @ 15:42 GMT
Gary,

Your “usual verbiage” is to demand “empirical proof to validate a theory or hypothesis” :-)

I don’t “reject the requirement of empirical proof to validate a theory or hypothesis”. But what if reality is such that:

1) the seemingly random outcomes of quantum mechanics (where there is an abrupt discontinuity in what we would represent as the numeric value of a variable) is simply due to (what we would represent as) a new local equation being injected into the system, an equation which resets the numeric value of the variable; and

2) “agents” e.g. particles or atoms created (what we would represent as) the new equation, as opposed to the “random” outcome having no cause.

I.e. what if reality is such that 1) it is not even theoretically possible to always predict the numeric value of a variable because new information has been injected into the system; and 2) there are aspects of reality (creation) that are not representable as a mathematical equation.

You seem to assume that reality is such that it is always possible to make “accurate predictions” about it, but I’m contending that reality is such that it is not always possible to make “accurate predictions” about it.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Sep. 5, 2017 @ 19:58 GMT
Lorraine,

My "usual verbiage" is more commonly focused upon quaternions and alternative geometries ... but I do insist upon empirical validation.

You did not answer my question. How would you distinguish between theory A and theory B. I suspect that you have no answer to this question and that is the point. Your musings are fundamentally non-scientific. Maybe they are true and maybe they are false. There is no way to determine the answer.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 5, 2017 @ 23:58 GMT
Gary,

What if my 2 abovementioned aspects are not some unimportant detail, but the heart of the matter, the driver of the system, the key to understanding reality, and what underlies people’s claims of possessing free will?

What if reality is such that my view of reality can’t be “proved” except by indirect “evidence” like 1) people’s claims of possessing free will; and 2) the claim that it is the free choices of masses of people that caused climate change not the deterministic effect of “mindless mathematical laws”?

I DID answer your question, but perhaps you didn’t like the answer. “How would you distinguish between theory A and theory B”? I’m saying that science can spend centuries barking up the wrong tree (theory A) because they can’t quite prove theory B.

I’m saying that there are aspects of reality which can’t be represented by equations, and therefore can’t be measured and perhaps can only be “proved” indirectly. I’m saying that there are inherent limits to the scientific method because the scientific method assumes that absolutely every aspect of reality can be measured, enabling theories to be proved.

You are saying that it doesn’t matter if science comes up with the wrong answer, as long as the wrong answer was obtained via the scientific method.


Regards,

Lorraine

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 04:00 GMT
Lorraine,

You have NOT answered my question. You are not able to choose between theory A and theory B. The best you can do is state that theory A does not work therefore theory B must be correct. Unfortunately, there is also a theory C, D, E, F, etc. etc. So, how do you tell which one is correct? You cannot. You simply argue that Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem should be combined with the Scientific Method and that doing so implies that science can never be complete. At some point that might become true but it is not demonstrated that we have reached that juncture yet.

BTW, the scientific method cannot produce a wrong answer because the answer is validated by empirical evidence. Do you not understand this? Perhaps there is a reason why the "patriarchy" dominates science:-)

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 03:59 GMT
If humanity is to survive...

We must acknowledge that our predecessors have degraded the environment, and we must take steps to reduce the impact of past insults to nature, while guarding against further impacts upon the natural environment which sustains us. We must both preserve our heritage and safeguard the future of humanity, and the main challenge in doing this is to educate people about the complexities of climate change. Unless we start making some changes soon, it will mean we'll face an increasing frequency of catastrophic events.

This time, it affects me personally. I was scheduled to head to Florida in the morning, but now that plan is scuttled by hurricane Irma, which is already one for the record books. It had sustained winds of 185 MPH earlier today, making it a category 5 storm, and it is likely to hit parts of Florida with 145 MPH winds. But unless people understand that global warming means global mixing will also increase, there will be no way to convince them the two are connected. This is the relevance of the non-linear thermodynamic entropy examples in the conversation above.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 04:23 GMT
So I think...

It is not mainly a matter of primal agency being required, for humans to effect a positive change on the climate - for a change - and reverse some of the damage. It is a proper understanding of how humans can or do change things for the worse, and how we could improve the environment while accomplishing many of the same objectives. We have been guilty of many negative changes, as a race, but most individuals are only slightly culpable for the damage wrought from the start of the industrial age to the present. But there have been agents of change.

Planting trees can create lasting change, that will help the environment over time, and long after we are gone. But we don't all need to be like the villagers that chained themselves to a tree to keep it from being cut down, in the story from India. We can all do a part in small ways, and we can offset some amount of the degradation without ever having to combat it more directly. I think your question, Lorraine, is more about the freedom of humanity to choose, or the ability of us as individuals to influence the larger choices that shape the fate of the human race.

So individual agency is the easy part, because simple acts like planting seeds or trees can help in big ways over time. But influencing collective behaviors to make humanity more mindful over time is another matter.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 05:04 GMT
Lorraine,

One other thing ... The Scientific Method does not tell us what is true. It tells us what is false. Any hypothesis that is not rejected MIGHT be true but could be rejected in the future. I will argue that this uncertainty is sufficient to satisfy Gödel.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 14:10 GMT
Dear Gary D. Simpson

I have two questions for you. 1,) Am reality finite? 2.) Am reality infinite?

I maintain that only Nature could have permanently produced the simplest visible physical construct obtainable. The real Universe consists only of one single visible unified infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Man has only produced a ghastly amount of finite information concerning an invisible God and finite invisible atoms.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 14:18 GMT
"1,) Am reality finite? 2.) Am reality infinite?"

Am you?

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John R. Cox replied on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 18:22 GMT
66 replies is a bit long in the tooth, how about jumping to this thread?

When it comes to variation being the progenitor of change, it requires an assumption about physical reality somewhere. We have to start someplace. I think where mathematical physics can agree, is that the math we have invented is at least close enough to reality that it offers a means of testability. It may be in reality, that there is something we might call *geometry* where the finite and absolute values that can be obtained in measurement of rectilinear space, and those continuous functions that result in measurement of spherical space; somehow can be made to commute. Or it may well be that our evolved human capacity of perception has equipped us to be correct in discovering the irrationality of *pi*, and that the true progenitor of change is that stress between what mathematically we would call a curved line and a straight line. The Speed of Time & the Origin of Energy. jrc

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 14:11 GMT
Lorraine,

Here is an alternate interpretation of the combination of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem with the Scientific Method ....

I think that the combination implies that there will eventually be two or more theories that accurately describe reality and that the Scientific Method will be unable to choose between them. That is precisely the situation currently faced by science. QM and GR are both empirically true and the Scientific Method cannot choose between them.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 14:22 GMT
Gary,

Good point.

That in fact, was the case with microwave background radiation. The Big Bang theory predicted it. The steady state theory did not.

Conjectures are killed off by data. As Frost put it poetically, "Nothing gold can stay."

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 15:29 GMT
Excellently relevant!

The undecidability factor may actually be a feature of the natural world, because it reveals a sensitive dependence on subtle initial assumptions and the kinds of information we seek. I am working on a paper now that talks about the compass of Quantum Mechanics, because I find there is about equal value in theories that have conflicting assumptions, rather than seeing one as right and the other wrong.

We have collapse models like Statevector Reduction and Continuous Spontaneous Localization, which assert that quantum systems lose their coherency automatically because the wavefunction spontaneously collapses. Then there is Decoherence Theory, which says that the wavefunction never actually collapses, but is seen to have components peeled away from one system or reference frame, to be then coupled with another system.

The kinds of information yielded by the two schools of thought is different both quantitatively and qualitatively, because the two measure systems are incompatible - but both are useful and helpful forms of analysis. It is, in some ways like asserting that wave/particle duality is fundamental, and that we can analyze all of a system's properties using only the wavelike or particle-like view as a guide.

So we can address the same properties of a given system in two or more different ways, but obviously one form of analysis makes more sense than the other - if what you are looking for is information in the category where it yields clear answers. So I don't see a conflict between those in the Decoherence Theory camp and people working in the SR or CSL frameworks, but rather that a different outlook yields different kinds of answers that are also true.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Sep. 6, 2017 @ 15:49 GMT
As for GR and QM...

Marcel Marie LeBel wrote an excellent essay for FQXi a few years back, where he talks about how choices and assumptions made in defining QM and GR force certain variables into the category of metaphysical explorations. There are conflicting assumptions which make it impossible to ask for information from the two frameworks identically.

A biggie, of course, is the nature of time. Relativity asserts that extents in space and time are equivalent and interchangeable, so that we can talk about spacetime instead of space and time, in many cases. Quantum Mechanics asserts instead that the measure of time is unchanging or constant, so it proceeds like a clock automatically. So each disallows a basic assumption of the other.

Again; I don't think this makes one view right and the other wrong. We are just trying to apply incompatible measures - if we want to decide between them - and that doesn't work. Or instead it forces some discussions to enter the realm of Natural Metaphysics instead of proper Physics. I see a clear resolution, but I'd rather set that out in a paper than in a blog post.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 7, 2017 @ 03:23 GMT
What can and what can’t be proved by the scientific method?

1. The foundation stone of the scientific method is the ability to represent subjective information/ subjective experience via symbols: spoken sounds (words) that have an agreed meaning amongst a group of people; and written symbols that have an agreed meaning amongst a group of people. The foundation stone of the scientific method is the symbolic representation of reality, mediated by human consciousness.

2. Due to experimentation and the symbolic representation of reality, it has become clear that at a fundamental level, strict relationships exist between fundamental categories of reality. What is measurable (representable by numbers) is the fundamental categories. What is not measurable, but has to be inferred, and seemingly confirmed by experiment, are the relationships between the fundamental categories. More correctly, when it comes to fundamental-level events, both the fundamental relationships, and the numbers that represent the fundamental categories of information, are inferred from their measurable effects. The scientific method: 1) infers fundamental categories of information; 2) infers fundamental relationships between these categories; and 3) seeks to prove the inferences via experiment and mathematical/logical methods. (Note that the mathematical methods used for scientific/logical deduction must be assumed to be separate to the relationships of interest i.e. the relationships that are assumed to actually exist in reality).

3. The scientific method derives from human subjective experience. The scientific method cannot be used to explain human subjective experience.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 7, 2017 @ 03:25 GMT
4. The scientific method has discovered fundamental relationships and fundamental categories. The scientific method cannot logically explain the cause of: 1) relationships; 2) the most fundamental categories (note that categories ARE relationships: categories are just a different way of looking at relationships); and 3) what we represent by numbers.

5. Quantum mechanics throws a spanner in the works of the scientific method because the numbers abruptly “jump” for no known reason. Nevertheless, scientists have been working on the issue for 100 years without success, trying to find fiendish general system-wide relationships which could cause the numbers associated with a local variable/category to appear to abruptly jump. But the simplest way to represent this jump in numeric values of a local variable is to hypothesise that: 1) a new individual local relationship has been created; 2) this relationship consists of the assignation of a new numeric value to the variable. But, as in 4. above, the scientific method can never explain the appearance of new relationships in the system.

6. The understanding of cause is what the physics project is all about, and yet the scientific method cannot deliver an explanation of ultimate cause in the following areas: 1) consciousness/subjective experience; 2) the existence of relationships (representable as “mathematical laws”, and numbers). Physics must look at the bigger picture i.e. living things and their effects on the physical world (e.g. climate change), in order to infer the ultimate cause of relationships. Agents might be defined as conscious entities that have a measure of power to cause/create local fundamental-level relationships. Ultimately, agents throw a bit of a spanner in the works of the scientific method.

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sridattadev kancharla replied on Sep. 7, 2017 @ 12:59 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

I totally agree with you, until science expands it's horizon to include consciousness or SOUL (Source Of Universal Light) and it's effects on reality, it will be lingering in the darkness.

Love,

Sridattadev.

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 7, 2017 @ 14:55 GMT
Dear Sridattadev,

Please be informed that it am physically impossible for any real person to “understand” reality. You see Nature devised the simplest visible physical construct of reality obtainable. Nature’s visible simplicity am universally understood. Every real surface of every real person place and thing am actually existing securely attached to a real visible Natural unified infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

The only thing you have produced with your comment am a complex finite piece of codswallop abstract unrealistic information.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Sep. 7, 2017 @ 12:54 GMT
Dear All,

Please see the proof of Riemann Hypothesis and its implications...

ISA function describes Riemann sphere and is the true analytic continuation of Riemann zeta function

ISA(S) = Sign(Re(s)) * Sign(Im(s)) * Cos(Re(s) * Pi) * e Power (Im(s) * i * Pi)

​ISA(1+1/2i) = Sign(Re(1+1/2i)) * Sign(Im(1+1/2i)) * Cos(Re(1+1/2i) * Pi) * e Power(Im(1+1/2i) * i * Pi)...

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attachments: 1_ISA.jpg

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 7, 2017 @ 14:56 GMT
Dear Sridattadev,

Please be informed that it am physically impossible for any real person to “understand” reality. You see Nature devised the simplest visible physical construct of reality obtainable. Nature’s visible simplicity am universally understood. Every real surface of every real person place and thing am actually existing securely attached to a real visible Natural unified infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

The only thing you have produced with your comment am a complex finite piece of codswallop abstract unrealistic information.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Sep. 9, 2017 @ 13:34 GMT
Lorraine,

I've started a new thread so this will be easy to find and easy to understand. You have repeatedly written about agency and new "one-off rules". The problem here is not that you have not articulated your argument or that you have not stated your argument enough times with enough clarity. Speaking only for myself, the problem is that I REJECT your argument. Maybe it is true or maybe it is not. Without a means of demonstrating proof there is simply no way to know. And if you want to invoke Gödel then you must spend a LOT more effort on your formal logic.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 9, 2017 @ 14:05 GMT
Gary,

I have never "invoke[d] Gödel", because what I am saying has nothing to do with Gödel's incompleteness theorem: I'm not saying that there are mathematical statements that are unprovable.

Instead, I am arguing that there are elements of the universe which are not representable by equations at all, because these elements (agents) are the cause of the relationships that are representable as equations. I am contending that the scientific method is limited because it can't include these aspects of reality: “free will”/creativity and subjective experience.

Lorraine

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Sep. 9, 2017 @ 15:44 GMT
Lorraine,

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. If there is a mapping from agent to relationship to physical law, then you are invoking Gödel whether you realize it or not. You need to do a lot more to demonstrate your argument. And frankly, I can't even imagine what that would look like. That is the nature of a break-through concept. Its creator bears the burden of proof and it must be proven in such a way that lowly mortals can get it. You are not there and repeating the same thing won't change that.

You remind me of Mrs. Clinton ... it is not that she was not heard or that she was not understood. She was weighed and judged wanting.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 10, 2017 @ 01:14 GMT
Gary,

I have replied below.

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 10, 2017 @ 01:12 GMT
Gary,

Re Gary D. Simpson replied on Sep. 9, 2017 @ 15:44 GMT:

This is the exact point: there is NO "mapping from agent to relationship to physical law". There is no "invoking Gödel" involved.

You say "You [Lorraine] remind me of Mrs. Clinton ... it is not that she was not heard or that she was not understood. She was weighed and judged wanting", but you Gary, remind me of a total idiot.

Lorraine

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Sep. 10, 2017 @ 05:50 GMT
Lorraine,

You amuse me. If you have no mapping then you have even less than I gave you credit for. Gödel at least gives you some possibility of success. Your argument is so lightweight that it floats in air.

You should hang out with Joe Fisher. You two have a lot in common.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 10, 2017 @ 08:53 GMT
Gary,

You’re a bit of an object of amusement yourself, you being “a founding member of the Physics History And Logic League of the United States” (PHALLUS) [1].

There is no logical reason why a law – any law, even if the law is representable as an equation that equates to zero – there is no logical reason why ANY law, or a collection of laws, should ever come into existence. The appearance of laws/rules is non-Gödellian. The fact that laws DO exist indicates that the universe comprised non-Gödellian aspects from the start. Do you want to claim that the non-Gödellian aspects shut down shortly after the Big Bang?

Lorraine

1. “Lorraine, I must take exception to your flagrant man-hatred. As a founding member of the Physics History And Logic League of the United States, I will firmly state that the members of PHALLUS are committed to finding the physical truth of the physical universe. We search far and wide for the straight truth by using all the tools at our disposal. Sadly, all who wish to join PHALLUS cannot do so as we do have rigid requirements. Best Regards and Good Luck, Gary Simpson”, Gary D. Simpson replied on Mar. 28, 2017 @ 03:44 GMT, http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2694 .

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 10, 2017 @ 13:52 GMT
Dear Gary,

Lorraine am in excellent company “hanging” out with me, and I appreciate your noticing of it. As I have astutely pointed out, nature must have produced the simplest visible physical construct of the real Universe obtainable. The real visible Universe must consist of only one unified infinite visible surface occurring in one infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light. This simple visible construct obviously took place long before man appeared on the planet, and as surface must be infinite in all respects, this must mean that infinite surface am of infinite eternal duration. Although man has provided us with a seeming infinite amount of finite information concerning finite measurement of invisible atoms, judging by the attitude of the possessors of atomic bombs, the only thing finite about humankind am its continuance.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 12, 2017 @ 23:09 GMT
Re Thomas Howard Ray replied on Sep. 12, 2017 @ 16:14 GMT, "Honestly, Lorraine, I don't know why you post on a science site":

The above was Thomas Ray's feeble and puny reply when I challenged him to be specific:

Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 12, 2017 @ 13:19 GMT:

Tom,

Re “Of course agency and creativity exist”: I’m guessing that what you mean by agency and creativity is not necessarily the same as what I mean by agency and creativity. Would you care to give more detail about what you mean by “agency and creativity”, and how you would identify an agent?

Re “you provide no way to separate fact from superstition”, “You won't get credit from objective science”: My view is that the theory of “emergence” clearly is superstition, and should not be given credit by “objective science”!! Especially because the theory is unable to specify what it is that is supposed to emerge, let alone how it emerges!!

Lorraine

P.S. You may think that the meaning of what you say is perfectly obvious and self-explanatory, but I don’t think the meaning of your words is obvious or self-explanatory. I’m mystified about what you meant by: “When you disregard the terms of that existence, however, you pay no respect to the source of those attributes. Nieis Bohr had some good advice: “Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think.””

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 13, 2017 @ 14:40 GMT
Dear Lorraine Ford,

The Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi)

FAQ

MISSION

To catalyze, support, and disseminate RESEARCH on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly NEW frontiers and innovative ideas integral to A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF REALITY but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

My research has concluded that NATURE must have constructed the simplest visible physical Universe obtainable. The real Universe must consist of only one single unified visible infinite surface occurring eternally in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Unfortunately, the Foundational Questions Institute’s author of its MISSION lied when he or she wrote of its protocol. Not only has the executive board made no attempt to accept my research, they have offered no funding to help with its dissemination whatsoever.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 13, 2017 @ 00:31 GMT
Very nice physicists believe that human beings have the power to affect physical reality, and thereby (collectively) have the power to cause climate change. But schizophrenically [1] these physicists also believe that nothing but “mindless mathematical laws” have the power to affect physical reality, and that human beings have no personal agency/ “free will”.

Clearly, human beings do have the power to affect physical reality and cause climate change. But it is noticeable that physics is not able to provide any definition of exactly what agency/ “free will” might be; or what an agent might be.

Seemingly, some physicists assume that agency/ “free will” can somehow “emerge”. But it is noticeable that physics is not able to provide any definition of exactly what “emergence” might be; and physics is not able to provide any logical rationale for “emergence”.

Seemingly, physics is not capable of defining “emergence” or agency/ “free will”. But perhaps it is the case that agency/ “free will” is a primitive of the universe-system.

1. Schizophrenic (informal): “holding opinions about something that seem to oppose each other, http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english
/schizophrenic_2

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 13, 2017 @ 14:41 GMT
Dear Lorraine Ford,

The Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi)

FAQ

MISSION

To catalyze, support, and disseminate RESEARCH on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly NEW frontiers and innovative ideas integral to A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF REALITY but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

My research has concluded that NATURE must have constructed the simplest visible physical Universe obtainable. The real Universe must consist of only one single unified visible infinite surface occurring eternally in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Unfortunately, the Foundational Questions Institute’s author of its MISSION lied when he or she wrote of its protocol. Not only has the executive board made no attempt to accept my research, they have offered no funding to help with its dissemination whatsoever.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 13, 2017 @ 21:50 GMT
Agency/ “free will” is a quantum event where a person or a particle adjusts their own position relative to the rest of reality: for a person, agency/ “free will” is moving, walking and talking; all the other details are taken care of by the “mathematical laws”. These outcomes look “random” from the point of view of an observer because the observer cannot precisely predict the particle’s or person’s outcomes.

Human beings have the above measure of personal power to affect their own physical outcomes at a particle- and atomic-level, and human beings thereby have the genuine power to collectively contribute to climate change, and the genuine power to collectively act to abate climate change. This is as opposed to the case where ALL particle- and atomic-level outcomes are 100% due to “mindless mathematical laws” and “mindless randomness”, in which case it is nothing but the “mindless mathematical laws” and “mindless randomness” which have caused climate change.

Agency/ “free will” is PHYSICS because agency/ “free will” is about changes to physical reality brought about by the agency/ “free will” of particles and people.

“Wandering Towards a Goal” of abating climate change is about the agency/ “free will” of people, NOT about outcomes that are 100% due to “mindless mathematical laws” and “mindless randomness”.

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Joe Fisher replied on Sep. 14, 2017 @ 14:25 GMT
Dear Lorraine Ford,

VISIBLE REALITY DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY INVISIBLE ELEMENTS.

The Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi)

FAQ

MISSION

To catalyze, support, and disseminate RESEARCH on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly NEW frontiers and innovative ideas integral to A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF REALITY but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

My research has concluded that NATURE must have constructed the simplest visible physical Universe obtainable. The real Universe must consist of only one single unified visible infinite surface occurring eternally in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Unfortunately, the Foundational Questions Institute’s author of its MISSION lied when he or she wrote of its protocol. Not only has the executive board made no attempt to accept my research, they have offered no funding to help with its dissemination whatsoever.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 15, 2017 @ 01:48 GMT
Tom,

Because of the new "I'm not a robot"/reCAPTCHA verification, I can't seem to reply in the original thread.

Unlike the theory of “emergence” which has no way of defining what is supposed to “emerge” or what are the moving parts of the “emergence” process, I have attempted to define what I think must logically happen. A scientific experiment starts with definitions (not that I propose any scientific experiments). “Emergence” can have no definitions because the only way of defining what happens is via equations: what “emerges” can never be independent of the equations, and nothing miraculous or unexpected can ever “emerge”. No system of nothing but deterministic equations can evolve, nothing can emerge unless more equations are added to the system, though this logical fact conflicts with the hopes and dreams of “emergentists”. The issue is equations themselves: what are equations and how did they get there? This might seem impossible, but I believe that it is necessary to attempt to understand what sort of underlying reality the equations might represent, in order to understand the emergence of living things from particles, atoms and molecules.

Re “you surely [recognize] the mystical power you invest in the quantum jump”:

There are physicists like Lawrence Krauss that tour the world preaching the physics’ gospel that reality is necessarily a certain way, and it is only a matter of tweaking the equations and finding all the particles before the final theory of reality is set in stone. There is an invalid assumption that reality is necessarily a certain way: i.e. there is an assumption that agents (things that can independently move themselves relative to the rest of physical reality) can’t possibly exist. But I’m contending that it is necessary to look at what sort of underlying reality the equations and particles might represent.

Lorraine

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Joe Fisher wrote on Sep. 15, 2017 @ 14:17 GMT
Dear Lorraine Ford,

Visible reality does not contain invisible quantum particles.

The Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi)

FAQ

MISSION

To catalyze, support, and disseminate RESEARCH on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly NEW frontiers and innovative ideas integral to A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF REALITY but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

My research has concluded that NATURE must have constructed the simplest visible physical Universe obtainable. The real Universe must consist of only one single unified visible infinite surface occurring eternally in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Unfortunately, the Foundational Questions Institute’s author of its MISSION lied when he or she wrote of its protocol. Not only has the executive board made no attempt to accept my research, they have offered no funding to help with its dissemination whatsoever.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 15, 2017 @ 18:55 GMT
Lorraine,

"Unlike the theory of 'emergence' which has no way of defining what is supposed to 'emerge' or what are the moving parts of the 'emergence' process, I have attempted to define what I think must logically happen."

You can't. Emergence is scale-dependent--different things emerge at different scales.

Try Gleick, Chaos, and Strogatz, Sync, to get a handle on complex systems. The science is quite well defined.

" ... I’m contending that it is necessary to look at what sort of underlying reality the equations and particles might represent."

You're assuming there is an underlying reality, whatever that means. It's undefined.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Sep. 16, 2017 @ 12:48 GMT
Dear Thomas Howard Ray.

Visible reality cannot have any finite independent invisible components such as your finite abstract definition of Lorraine’s finite abstract estimation of the finite emergence of finite invisible phenomena.

The introductory paragraph to the About FQXI section of the Foundational Questions Institute’s FQXi.org website reads:

The Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi)

FAQ

MISSION

To catalyze, support, and disseminate RESEARCH on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly NEW frontiers and innovative ideas integral to A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF REALITY but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources. (Emphasis added)

My research has concluded that NATURE must have constructed the simplest visible physical Universe obtainable. The real Universe must consist of only one single unified visible infinite surface occurring eternally in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Joseph William Fisher, Realist

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 16, 2017 @ 15:43 GMT
Dear Joseph William Fisher, Realist,

Aren't all definitions finite abstractions?

Are you calling for the abolition of definitions? Of language itself?

Then stop posting your finite abstract definitions using language symbols.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 17, 2017 @ 00:05 GMT
Tom,

When it comes to the “emergence” of things, it is not true that the “science is quite well defined” because the theoretical “science” is only about “weak emergence” [1]. Nothing unexpected emerges from the theory:

1) A theoretical complex system is a whole without parts i.e. it can never be said that a part “emerges” from it and acquires a separate existence:...

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 17, 2017 @ 00:30 GMT
Lorraine,

"The 'underlying reality' is the subject of science – it is what is measured, and represented symbolically via equations, variables and numbers."

Then let's see your work.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Sep. 17, 2017 @ 12:59 GMT
Dear Thomas Howard Ray,

I am not calling for anything. Good God! Can you not read? Nature must have produced the simplest construction of the real Universe obtainable. Nature must have produced one single unified eternal infinite surface occurring in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

All humans seem to have produced am unnatural finite abstract information.

Joseph William Fisher, Realist

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 17, 2017 @ 19:54 GMT
Joe,

What makes you think we live in the simplest structure attainable?

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 17, 2017 @ 23:29 GMT
Tom,

I have extensively revised my previous post.

Lorraine

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 18, 2017 @ 02:36 GMT
Lorraine:

"A hurricane is not a true 'thing'."

Then there are no true things.

"A hurricane and fine weather equally 'emerge' from the whole weather system."

Right. There are also degrees of good weather and hurricanes, within the continuous weather system. They are differentiable--discrete systems of systems--that's what emergence means. You are arguing a straw man; I encourage you to study complex systems, and learn how feedback affects a system, rather than assuming you know that the structure is hierarchical and linear. It isn't.

"If the universe is merely a complex deterministic system, i.e. with 'weak emergence', then it can’t be said that a human being could contribute to climate change, it can only be said that the whole universe-system deterministically caused climate change, and human beings do not have the power to do anything about it."

I don't know if the world is deterministic or not. Complex systems science is not synonymous with philosophical determinism. However, it is a trivial thing that human beings contribute to climate change.

Chalmers? I leave it to you to explain how he supports your argument, such as it is.

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 18, 2017 @ 02:53 GMT
I'll help a little. I assume that we agree on this as the crux of the Chalmer's paper: " ... if there are phenomena whose existence is not deducible from the facts about the exact distribution of particles and fields throughout space and time (along with the laws of physics), then this suggests that new fundamental laws of nature are needed to explain these phenomena."

Right?

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Joe Fisher wrote on Sep. 18, 2017 @ 14:50 GMT
Dear Thomas Howard Ray,

I do not have to think about what kind of structure “we” live in. Human thought am finite abstract information. Reality occurred millions of years before man ever appeared on this planet. It logically follows that Nature must have provided some sort of eternal reality. As human thought about invisible atomic structure am quite complicated and understood by only a few scientist, I know that only one single unified VISIBLE infinite surface occurring in one single dimension that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light must be the simplest Natural construct of the real visible Universe obtainable.

Joseph William Fisher

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 19, 2017 @ 13:43 GMT
Tom,

A hurricane is not a true thing, just like fine weather is not a true thing: they are both just different types of weather [1]. They are not information-self-integrated things like particles, atoms, molecules and living things are.

Re “feedback”: climate feedback mechanisms are just higher-level descriptions of lower-level events, including events involving greenhouse gases....

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 19, 2017 @ 23:00 GMT
Tom,

What causes, what knows about, what holds in place “mathematical laws”/ rules/ numbers are the subjects/ things/ agents themselves (particles, atoms, molecules and living things). Everything else is just “weather”: what the whole complex system of things looks like from an “objective” point of view.

Lorraine

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 20, 2017 @ 11:35 GMT
Lorraine,

However attractive your POV is to quantum worshippers, I find it just as mystical as quantum theory itself. You could have used the mathematical structure of quantum mechanics--such as it is--that I am more comfortable attacking for what it is: an ugly, ad hoc collection of mathematical musings gleaned from the results of experiments that have to be 'interpreted' to make sense.

Subjective views, such as Quantum Bayesianism, do not serve the advancement of science. They surrender objective science to personal belief. They lead to what John Horgan called 'ironic science', with no anchor in the real world.

"What causes, what knows about, what holds in place 'mathematical laws'/ rules/ numbers are the subjects/ things/ agents themselves (particles, atoms, molecules and living things). Everything else is just 'weather': what the whole complex system of things looks like from an 'objective' point of view."

Thanks for a perfect illustration of personal belief over realism.

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Sep. 20, 2017 @ 14:11 GMT
All,

In the last essay contest, I presented an argument for a 5-D universe. There are 4 known forces in nature (strong, weak, electro-magnetic, and gravity). The forces act as governing equations. Therefore, a 5-D system will have one degree of freedom. Is this sufficient for "agency"?

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 20, 2017 @ 17:21 GMT
David Chalmers: "Despite the ubiquity of emergent behaviour there remains no deep understanding of emergence. At each level of complexity, new laws, properties and phenomena arise and herein lies the problem."

Not a problem, an opportunity to explain complex behavior as a scale-dependent phenomenon.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 20, 2017 @ 19:14 GMT
Tom,

The quote was from 2 physicists in 2014, not from philosopher David Chalmers in 2006. I was saying that the quote, in effect, backed up what David Chalmers said.

This is the quote from physicists Andy Martin (Associate professor (Physics), University of Melbourne), and Kristian Helmerson (Professor of Physics, Monash University)[1, 2, 3]:

“Despite the ubiquity of...

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 20, 2017 @ 19:22 GMT
Lorraine,

Do any of these physicists/philosophers support your view that contains no model, no mathematics?

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 20, 2017 @ 21:29 GMT
Tom,

Re your previous posts:

All communication “[has] to be 'interpreted' to make sense”!!! Everything that is written or spoken uses word symbols, and mathematical and other symbols, that merely represent what is in the consciousness of the other person, and in turn might symbolically represent aspects of physical reality. The numbers obtained in a physics experiment merely represent the aspect of physical reality being investigated. You can’t avoid 1) some sort of symbolic representation, and 2) interpretation of what the representation means.

You might think that quantum theory is “mystical”. But despite the above-mentioned limitations due to representation, experiments have shown that physical reality does not conform to your demands of what it should be like. Physicist Niels Bohr reportedly said: “Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it” [1]. Seemingly, one of the “shocking”, “mystical”, aspects of quantum theory is that physical reality is not quite the deterministic system it was assumed to be. The physicists back then, and you today, assumed that reality must be a certain way, but maybe physical reality is showing (via experiments) that it is not like that. The 100% objectively true, 100% deterministically predictable view of reality has had to be discarded.

Lorraine

1. “As quoted in Meeting the Universe Halfway (2007) by Karen Michelle Barad, p. 254, with a footnote citing The Philosophical Writings of Niels Bohr (1998)”, https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Niels_Bohr

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 20, 2017 @ 21:35 GMT
Gary,

How would you describe or define "agency"; and how would you describe or define the "free will" presumably given by your "one degree of freedom"?

Lorraine

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 21, 2017 @ 02:08 GMT
Lorraine,

"All communication “[has] to be 'interpreted' to make sense”!!!"

Not a scientific theory. The mathematics--being independent of the phenomenon--must abide objective standards to which we can all agree, and by which we can come to the same conclusion.

The theory, in other words, is primary. If it doesn't make a closed logical judgment, it's incoherent.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 21, 2017 @ 14:25 GMT
Tom,

First you must symbolise reality, or the content of consciousness, in an agreed way. Only then can you devise a scientific theory or write a mathematical equation. The theory is secondary, and depends on pre-existing symbolic representation.

And what do these symbols mean? You can't conclude that (what we would represent as) the "lawful" mathematical relationships that are found in nature are independent of the consciousness of things (particles, atoms, molecules, and living things). Mathematical relationships have no existence independent of consciousness.

Lorraine

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 21, 2017 @ 20:22 GMT
Lorraine,

"reality" = "content of consciousness"? I don't think there is any way we can agree on this, without theory.

"Mathematical relationships have no existence independent of consciousness."

And you don't see the contradiction between this statement, and "reality is the content of consciousness?" Whose consciousness?

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 21, 2017 @ 20:33 GMT
The crux is that the reality of an individual consciousness is far greater than the universal consciousness symbolized in mathematics, which is objective.

So it's to no profit that we speak of "reality."

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