Here's a short essay-stub I found myself writing about a year after I noticed the phenomena in myself. Its a matter that I think deserves a place in the reality-cracker's stream of thought - a kind of "meta-reality" cracking...
Disjoint application of beliefs.
(The bane of educators)
1. Introductory Ramblings
Do you believe in the hard sciences? Physics? Have you ever looked up into the night sky and tried to picture that each star is so incredibly far away, and that each is incredibly so much larger than this tiny planet we call home? I would encourage everyone to actually go outside and do so. When you are done, come back in and think about how small of a speck on the surface of the planet you must appear from that distance.
Look at your hand. Do you believe that it's really just a cloud of atoms? Smack it against a wall. Explain to me why it doesn't disperse into a flesh-tone fog.
Think of E = mc^2, which, solved for m, is: m = E / c^2; meaning that mass (and therefore matter) is proportional to the amount of energy travelling at a given speed. Coarse example: Shoot a bullet fast enough and it will turn into light. This has just said that a bullet can pass through glass without breaking it, so long as it is travels at a high enough velocity.
All of these things are well received in theory and theoretical application, yet when one applies them to actual situations they seem almost ridiculously absurd.
2. Theory of Disjoint Beliefs
The above examples illustrate a few examples of common things that people believe, but never apply in "real" life. Of these, my particular favorite topic is the second: atomic theory. Look around you; do you _really_ believe that everything you see is just a cloud of independent tiny little spheres which are bonded together by an unexplainable force which is invisible, occupies no space, and consumes no energy to maintain its strength? Can this theory of atoms explain and predict many things about the real world? Yes. Does that mean that it's necessarily true? No. Here's an example: (sorry, I love absurd examples)
Take your average public library (if people still even remember that they exist). To one who knows nothing of the processes within the library, based only on observation, the process of books returning to their proper places could be explained as follows: Each book has a bond to its shelf. This bond is invisible, intangible, and requires no energy to maintain. When a book is left in the library, the force of the bond causes the book to draw nearer to its proper place. Left for enough time, the book will settle into its final place. Using our theory, it is possible to predict the behaviors of books within the library. Let’s do an experiment to verify: Remove a book. I have chosen Aristotle's Categories, translated into English. We will refer to this book as "the subject". I removed the subject from its proper place, noting the energy required removing it from its position between two other books. I exerted a force on the subject to transfer it to a table across the library. I left the library determined to return in two days. On my return the book had transferred itself back to its proper position, exactly as our theory had predicted. This did not require any addition of energy on our part, so it must be a natural process of the library. Okay, enough of this...
This is merely my way of causing one to admit that there is at least reasonable doubt that "scientific method" ensures accurate analysis. I feel that people have begun to reason on two distinct levels. One level is for common sense, and day to day living; the other for complex reasoning and evaluation. To risk beating atomic theory to death as an example: on the "real life level" (RLL) atomic theory is false, objects are real, solid things. Cut a tomato with a sharp knife and there is no chance of a fission reaction. But on the "theoretical analysis level" (TAL) atomic theory makes sense as a way to logically explain a wAhole plethora of occurrences. I believe that people naturally function in only one of the levels at any given time.
An interesting problem in metaphysics involves spatial position. How do you define what it is for two distinct objects to touch? Everyone believes that things can touch. A good portion of Kinetics involves objects transferring energy by colliding. The most common first attempt is to say that there is zero distance between the surfaces of the two objects. For this we need a definition of Distance. Distance is the number of repetitions of a standard rule that fit between the surfaces. How do we measure the distance? By placing our rule in contact with one object and measuring until we contact the other? Do you see how the argument has just become circular? To define contact, we need distance. To measure distance we need contact. Another attempt is to say that contact occurs when the two surfaces merge, joining the object into a single unit. I can find no explanation of this that can satisfy the following two questions:
1.) If merging is possible on the surface, why not through the entire objects? Why don't they smash together into a homogenous lump?
2.) If they so readily merge, why do they so readily split along the same boundaries?
Note that on the RLL, you believed that objects can touch, and still do; while on the TAL you cannot explain how it is possible. I would hope one would not discredit the theory if they are able to solve the contact problem, as it is but one quick explanation to give a general idea of the type of situation generated by seperate RLL and TAL. Look and you'll discover more.
What is the meaning of this? (And what is the point of this discussion?) The discussion is to raise awareness of the tendency to process different types of information in different ways. Read the essays on the psychology behind advertising. Don't think of them as "wow, I bet they could do that" in TAL mode, realize them as "holy crap!, they're actually doing this stuff to people" (RLL mode). When you go to the grocery store, consciously recall what you've read in +ORC's "Supermarket Enslaving Tricks" and verify that it is true in RLL mode. Take analytically challenging things and apply them to real life situations, and take the obvious and standard things and subject them to analysis. Evaluate things in both modes, that way when you read that only 30% of consumers ever fill out rebates, you understand why rebate forms are never anywhere near the products to which they apply, why they have so many steps on how to return them, and require so many other materials (UPCs, Register Receipts, no staples, circle the date, underline the item, etc.) The latter of which you know by RLL, the statistics perceived by TAL. I've limited my discussion to commercial examples, because they really are easy targets; but you can see how the process affects everything you believe. For most any question, there are two different ways it can be asked to receive two different answers from you. Do you believe there are solid objects? Do you believe that objects are clouds of atoms? Did you save a dollar by using a coupon to buy the name brand, or did you waste a dollar because the off-brand identical product was two dollars cheaper? In the last case, TAL says the products are identical...but does RLL concur?
5. Closing Quibble
It is this situation which has frustrated all teachers for all times. The old +HCU site is gone because (IMO) people read "Don't be a leech: contribute"(TAL), but heard "He wasn't talking to me, just the people who _really_ leech stuff - I don't take enough to require a contribution" (RLL).
People will read about HC printer cartridges (TAL) but will think "Ooooh, half price!" (RLL). Historians and political figures will read about the Holocaust (TAL), but deny that it happened (RLL). Working class families know (or maybe don't know... see Statistical cracking basics) the odds of winning the lottery (TAL - 1:400,000,000,000) but will still spend scarce money because "somebody's gotta win" (RLL). If the two parts would be used together, people could be free of many of the enslavement tricks used against them. I have done this topic not even half of the justice it deserves, but my schedule does not permit the luxury of time for philosophy. I hope someone will flesh it out with a Phase 2, or at least some better examples than I could muster on the fly.
There are no things which do not exist.
What, then, exists? Everything does.
I'll explain why, when you smack your hand against a wall, it doesn't
"disperse into a flesh-tone fog." First of all, my hand is not in a gaseous
form, and I hope yours isn't either. You can turn it into a fog if you can hit
it against the wall hard enough; but then you wouldn't be able to tell anybody
about it ;]
Now I hope Einstein never read this paper for he would be angry. The equation E=mc^2 relates the REST mass of a particle to its energy. In other words it shows that mass is a form of energy, not that it is traveling at a speed(it is independent of the speed) or that it will turn into light. If a bullet did pass through a window without breaking it, you would violate the Law of Conservation of Momentum. All these can be verified at a local library, local physics professor or the internet. Please don't talk about physics if you don't know any physics.
Hi I browse you site from time to time looking for valuable info, seeking to learn what I do not yet know or to find new ways of looking at some things. However what is written in the file (http://www.searchlores.org/realicra/pantfisi.htm) I read is truly disgusting. You should read it and then read my comment on each paragraph as the info in it is not only totally absurd but also un-scientific and completely wrong. 1. Your hand IS a cloud of atoms. The reason why it doesn't disperse into a flesh-tone fog is easily explained. Lets work our way down. Your hand is a collection of tissues. These tissues are made of cells. Cells are made of molecules. They are made of atoms which are composed out of nucleons and electrons, which are composed out of smaller particles, quarks and yes even smaller ones. Anyway, the atoms are being held together by the EN value (electro negativity) and the "desire" for any atom to achieve octet structure. It then shares electrons to obtain 8 electrons on the outer "layer" of its electron layer configuration. In short they are being held together by simple polarity difference. If you want to know WHY electrons are negative and protons are positive, study quantum mechanics. Everything is perfectly explained and proved. 2. As I said any force is basically a matter of polarity. Even molecules bind together because of a polarity thing. This force is not unexplainable. 3. You do not need contact to measure distance. You can calculate it. You only need contact when measuring with a ruler. 1)Cohesion forces. Another way of binding, a polarity thing again. 2)Yes ok ... However the idea of the separate way of thinking is absurd... read further Conclusion: Actually there is an explaination for everything. It is not just a new "mode" of thinking. It is merely a more deeper way of thinking. It is the way of "why". The RLL way described is more of a way to think for "blind" people who are either stupid, uneducated (a sad thing, but what can we do about it) or just trying to find a pattern in a situation where there is none. (like seeing figures in clouds). There is no way if classifying ways of thinking and living. The fact is your apple IS a cloud of atoms but who cares... when you eat it. You shall see that as science evolves further there IS an explanation for everything, you just have to find it. Webhead
A few "comments" which might be worth appending onto the essay itself.
I would first like to say that I thought the essay was quite remarkable and
feel compelled to judge it on its scientific accuracy since I did not consider that was
the necessary point. The issue (if I understand -Pantheon correctly) concerns
two differerent ways in which we (humans) intepret the world around us. Which -Pantheon
is nice enough to name for us [-RLL- & -TAL-]. Now, there are a few issues that
I would like to outline which I think the essay addresses well.
That common sense (or morelike beliefs about the world arising from our
with it) does not always interesect convieniently with modern scientific theory.
To say that modern scientific theory can account for physical nature does not remedy
this issue. For instance, modern scientific theory can predict the motion of the planets but
it cannot tell you that an ethical concern is valid. In other words, modern science does not
call for value judgements. One does not argue about the movement of planets in moral
or ethical terms but strictly by the facts, i.e., mathematical knowledge. The reason I
mention this on the one hand is because the "critics" of -Pantheon's essay have taken
a small part of the writing out of the greater context.
NB > #4,5. One _OBSERVES_ (such as +orc's essay on supermarkets) a certain order -- what for most might appear as chaos (if you enter a supermarket you might think so to). In this case (for +orc) the dignity of the exercise belongs to the observation or experience of having understood mostly _INVISIBLE_ causes and intent underneathe the exterior of the hustle and bustle of people buying their food -- most of whom are indifferent to the truth in any sense.
This in my opinion is on par with predicting an eclipse through mathematical reasoning, _again_
a matter of reasoning about visible effects to invisible causes in order to show an intelligable
order. An experience I would bet accompanies a certain satisifaction/pleasure.
But to go on... The observation (along with the possibility of speculating
about the nature
of things) CAN and OFTEN does accompany a judgement. For instance, in +orc's essay
one gets the impression (particularly given his choice of words, e.g., slave***) that he
does not care for this particular order and wishes to perturb it. This is a value judgement;
one that accompanies a rather sophisticated understanding. So, the issue I think
which forms the whole of the essay is the desire for liberation or freedom. Science cannot
give this desire meaning -- particulalry in the context of what -Pantheon and +orc are
writing about. In effect to have a theoretical mind (in the modern scientific sense)
which connects directly to the "RLL" is almost impossible in my honest opinion. Not
unless a person can account for himself (a particular, or his own particularity) with
regard the "whole", i.e., the whole of nature. To posit about the universe without
placing oneself and one's beliefs in it is to be incoherent with regard to self-knowledge.
Again, +orc's essay has meaning in terms of his dislike of what he observes. He advocates action in the face of what he observes and this gives the observation meaning both in terms of how a supermarket functions and how he functions as an observer, i.e., given his value judgement.
I certainly do not think that one can be truly scientific unless one accounts (not expressly for the external world, or Nature itself) for onself in terms of any universal theory one wishes to advance, i.e., one's particularity in relation to the universal (however understood).
I would normally not waste time to refute arguments against my essay's examples, but in this case, they directly relate (IMO) to not being able to SEARCH INFORMATIONS FOR THEMSELVES, and therefore must rely on whatever out-of-date or lacking informations provided by their secondary or post-secondary education. I suppose this could be posted also as a searching essay...maybe title it: Lessons in Practicality: Search or Suffer :-) . Well, probably not, but hopefully it will get people working on the RLL/TAL thing rather than wasting their time [and now mine] bothering with physics. :-) .
P.S. You’ll have to forgive my writing this with MS Word and converting to HTML, I didn’t have time to do 10 pages by hand. :-( (I did, however, go through and do some touch-up work.)
--- Begin Refute ---
1 Introductory Remarks
Some commentaries have been made on my "Disjoint application of Beliefs" essay. Though neither of them directly relate to the issues being discussed in the essay, I will take time to make a point with them.
Normally I would not comment on attempts to debunk the examples in my essays, since reality crackers never take things at face value, and will research and discover that my examples and arguments are in fact solid. In this case, however, seeing that Fravia+ has converted his site to a "searching site", I will show a practical reason to learn to search: Avoiding making a fool of yourself.
(Stepping up onto soapbox…)
2 E-Prime's commentary on my "Disjoint application of beliefs" essay-stub
The first commentary, thus my first target. Seeing that E-Prime has listed a "physics professor" as a source of learning physics, I assume that he is an undergraduate student. The fact that he has taken such offense to my essay, and he believes that he has a good understanding of Einstein’s theories, I will place him as a Physics major, probably a first-semester sophomore (due to literal familiarity with E=mc^2, and he's at least heard the name "Law of Conservation of Momentum")
E-Prime has made commentary "explaining" principles of physics that he believes my examples violated. The explanations he gives are correct (and in fact compatible with my examples), but he incorrectly limits their application, and that is how he derives his conclusion that my examples are incorrect. Professors often simplify explanations for undergrads, often giving technically incorrect "abstractions" of physics principles, until sufficient background is acquired to understand the "real" workings. For this reason, undergrads should seek for themselves clarification of issues when they find apparent contradictions to what they have been taught.
2.1 E-Prime's Argument
E-Prime has said:
Now I hope Einstein never read this paper for he would be angry. The equation E=mc^2 relates the REST mass of a particle to its energy. In other words it shows that mass is a form of energy, not that it is traveling at a speed (it is independent of the speed)or that it will turn into light. If a bullet did pass through a window without breaking it, you would violate the Law of Conservation of Momentum. All these can be verified at a local library, local physics professor or the Internet. Please don't talk about physics if you don't know any physics.
2.2 Comments, Counter-examples
E-Prime has unfortunately not followed his own advice at verifying his opinion on the Internet (or other sources, such as any theoretical physicists, science journals, or libraries, for that matter.) I have documented my sources because I believe that academic discussion is far more valuable than opinion and unwarranted insults. (Also to show that a quick search can keep one from revealing their own ignorance of a particular topic... : )
E-Prime says that E=mc^2 does not imply that matter can be converted to light. E-prime has read only what the formula explicitly states, but not what it implies (or those things that necessarily follow, given the univocality of mathematics).
Quoted from: http://newton.ex.ac.uk/aip/physnews.337.html#2
REAL PHOTONS CREATE MATTER. Einstein's equation E=mc^2 formulates the idea that matter can be converted into light and vice versa. The vice-versa part, though, hasn't been so easy to bring about in the lab. But now physicists at SLAC have produced electron-positron pairs from the scattering of two "real" photons (as opposed to the "virtual" photons that mediate the electromagnetic scattering of charged particles). To begin, light from a terawatt laser is sent into SLAC's highly focused beam of 47-GeV electrons. Some of the laser photons are scattered backwards, and in so doing convert into high-energy gamma ray photons. Some of these, in turn, scatter from other laser photons, affording the first ever creation of matter from light-on- light scattering of real photons in a lab. (D.L. Burke et al., Physical Review Letters, 1 September 1997.)
Links to MANY MANY more sources of this information: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/exp/e144/popular.html
2.3 Parting Remarks
I wonder if he's still willing to say: "Please don't talk about physics if you don't know any physics"? : )
As to E-prime's comments about others of my examples, he may feel free to email me and I will be happy to impart some philosophical "theory of knowledge" to use with his hobby of physics. The "hand" example requires too much setup-work to discuss here.
I only used three search strings before I found plenty of examples to support my position...pretty easily done, could've saved alot of face.
3 Webhead's commentary on my "Disjoint application of beliefs" essay-stub
The second commentary by Webhead is arranged as commentary on each paragraph in my essay. I shall afford him the same courtesy as I explain the problems I have with his explanations.
Webhead seems most likely to be a Chemistry student, though probably one who has had some introductory physics classes as part of his curriculum. His stressing of the issue that your hand IS a cloud of atoms as an unwillingness to even consider an alternate view, suggests a newer student, and the remark that Quantum Mechanics has explained and proven everything show at best a sophomore’s background in physics.
Webhead’s comments are (again) based on certain formulations and concepts that do not actually exist in physics, physicists have just created them in order to have a way to talk about certain phenomena. Even some of these are mis-attributed to areas of physics to which they do not apply.
Webhead has unfortunately not taken the point of the article, either. It seems that he thinks I intended to endorse thinking in RLL mode by itself; this is not the case. Anyway, I will again reveal the mistaken assumptions made by one who was too lazy to search information out before assuming that their beliefs are correct to the exclusion of another’s.
3.1 Webhead’s Argument
Webhead has told us:
Hi I browse you site from time to time looking for valuable info, seeking to learn what I do not yet know or to find new ways of looking at some things. However what is written in the file (http://www.searchlores.org/realicra/pantfisi.htm) I read is truly disgusting. You should read it and then read my comment on each paragraph as the info in it is not only totally absurd but also un-scientific and completely wrong. 1. Your hand IS a cloud of atoms. The reason why it doesn't disperse into a flesh-tone fog is easily explained. Let’s work our way down. Your hand is a collection of tissues. These tissues are made of cells. Cells are made of molecules. They are made of atoms, which are composed out of nucleons and electrons, which are composed out of smaller particles, quarks and yes even smaller ones. Anyway, the atoms are being held together by the EN value (Electro negativity) and the "desire" for any atom to achieve octet structure. It then shares electrons to obtain 8 electrons on the outer "layer" of its electron layer configuration. In short they are being held together by simple polarity difference. If you want to know WHY electrons are negative and protons are positive, study quantum mechanics. Everything is perfectly explained and proved. 2. As I said any force is basically a matter of polarity. Even molecules bind together because of a polarity thing. This force is not unexplainable. 3. You do not need contact to measure distance. You can calculate it. You only need contact when measuring with a ruler. 1)Cohesion forces. Another way of binding, a polarity thing again. 2)Yes ok ... However the idea of the separate way of thinking is absurd... read further Conclusion: Actually there is an explanation for everything. It is not just a new "mode" of thinking. It is merely a more deeper way of thinking. It is the way of "why". The RLL way described is more of a way to think for "blind" people who are either stupid, uneducated (a sad thing, but what can we do about it) or just trying to find a pattern in a situation where there is none. (like seeing figures in clouds). There is no way if classifying ways of thinking and living. The fact is your apple IS a cloud of atoms but who cares... when you eat it. You shall see that as science evolves further there IS an explanation for everything, you just have to find it. Webhead
3.2 Comments and Counterexamples
There are so many things I want to address in Webhead’s commentary that I will copy his argument into this section and interject my comments and references within. The original text will be left in blue (and some parts highlighted in red), while my comments will follow them in black.
I would again like to point out that post-secondary educational instructors do often teach incorrect "abstractions" of physics principles to introductory students, correcting them once the students have acquired sufficient background to be able to comprehend what is viewed as the actual workings. I believe this is where Webhead has acquired some of his positions. Anyway, let’s get on with it:
Hi I browse you site from time to time looking for valuable info, seeking to learn what I do not yet know or to find new ways of looking at some things. However what is written in the file (http://www.searchlores.org/realicra/pantfisi.htm) I read is truly disgusting. You should read it and then read my comment on each paragraph as the info in it is not only totally absurd but also un-scientific and completely wrong.
Well, we’ll let the reader decide on the merit of either paper. Reality crackers don’t like people to tell them how to take info : )
1. Your hand IS a cloud of atoms.
I never stated otherwise, I just pointed out that while on one level, people believe atomic theory, but when they think about the apple they’re eating, or the chair they’re sitting on, they don’t generally feel that the concepts apply there as well. (people don’t naturally realize the implications of the univocality of the mathematical statements that express their beliefs). If you’d like to find an argument on this point, explain to me how you are 100% certain that atoms exist. Then think about the fact that matter can be converted to light (see the links above in the E-Prime refute). Light has no bonds between photons, yet is it not still the same matter that was bonded a minute ago? Then explain how it is that atoms as physical particles can overlap to form the experimentally created Bose-Einstein Condensate when their motion is stopped (i.e. they are as massive as they can be, with respect to E=mc^2). But, this has nothing to do with my essay, so you can feel free to email me your comments on this. (the link is on the main essay-stub).
"The 2,000 rubidium atoms forming the Condensate are in a strange condition, existing in a kind of smeared-out, overlapping stew."
The reason why it doesn't disperse into a flesh-tone fog iseasily explained. Let’s work our way down. Your hand is a collection of tissues. These tissues are made of cells. Cells are made of molecules. They are made of atoms which are composed out of nucleons and electrons, which are composed out of smaller particles, quarks and yes even smaller ones.
Well, so far we agree…of course accepting the literal existence of such particles only for conceptual use in order to theorize…
Anyway, the atoms are being held together by the EN value (electro negativity)
I think not. EN is not even a real thing, but don’t take just my word on it:
• Electronegativity (EN) is a concept used to characterize bonds.
• It is a calculated property, not a fundamental physical property.
• The EN of an atom is the capacity of an atom to attract electrons to itself.
Quoted from: http://chemweb.calpoly.edu/
There are many ways to define Electronegativity, and each definition is
useful in its own way. The concept of Electronegativity
was introduced by Linus Pauling who based his values on data derived from bond energies.
Simply put, EN is a term given to an UNEXPLAINED phenomena that has been observed. EN does not explain how atoms are held together. Rather, the observation that atoms do hold together required the creation of EN.
and the "desire" for any atom to achieve octet structure.
Desire? Since when can atoms have desires? Please, when explaining a phenomenon, don’t use abstractions. Explain the cause and method of fulfillment of this "desire". Let me make two scenarios:
1.) There is a thing which has no physical form, or properties, called a "bond", that contains (somehow, since it’s non-physical) the atoms, and holds them in fixed position relative to one another, or exerts a force to move them into this position if they attempt to stray.
Since there is nothing between atoms (just void), what is the mechanism by which one atom interacts with another? Your answer will be "Electrically". How does a difference in electrical charge affect another atom across an absolute void? This CANNOT be explained – for the simple reason that it deals with an intangible, invisible thing that does not exist in any corporeal sense. We cannot study what we cannot see. You will reply "but we don’t need to see it, we can measure it". Remember my Library example. You can observe the end result through calculation, but there are any number of incorrect theories that successfully predict the outcome. Here’s one: God moves each atom where he wants it.
2.) The other scenario is to say that it’s the polarity of the quarks that cause the atoms to bond. Then it’s the polarity of the sub-quark particles that hold the quarks together (Superstrings?). To have polarity, you must have at least two things with different bias combined. What this implies is that everything must be made up of at least two distinct other things (because you say that everything is held together by polarity.) If this is the case, there can be no base particle (infinite regress, because a base particle cannot be divided, thus it has no polarity and cannot be attracted to another object, to form a polar material), thus there is no matter. I don’t think any physicist would agree, and you yourself would object to the implication of your own statement.
In any case, here’s an interesting page to peruse if you’re one who believe that atomic theory has no plausible doubts: http://www.friesian.com/space-2.htm <-- Very interesting…you will notice that the trend prevailing in theoretical physics is away from viewing matter and energy as separate entities. And with matter goes bonds, quarks, etc. They are, however, interesting models to predict phenomena.
It then shares electrons to obtain 8 electrons on the outer "layer" of its electron layer configuration. In short they are being held together by simple polarity difference.
Surely after researching your position, you’ve realized that atomic theorists do not think that atoms actually exist in [Bohr] orbits, but that orbits are areas where there is a decent probability of finding an electron around a nucleus.
Quoted from: http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/physics/u8a3phy.html
Quantum theory describes a region surrounding the nucleus, which has the highest probability of locating an electron. These orbital "clouds" have some unusual and interesting shapes.
Note that "clouds" is in quotes. Here’s some clarification:
An atom does not behave like a weight hanging on a spring and oscillating. Nor does it behave like a miniature representation of the solar system with little planets going around in orbits. Nor does it appear to be somewhat like a cloud or fog of some sort surrounding the nucleus. It behaves like nothing you have ever seen before.
If you want to know WHY electrons are negative and protons are positive, study quantum mechanics. Everything is perfectly explained and proved.
This does not sound perfectly explained and solved:
…the mathematical formalism underlying the quantum mechanical method revealed a number of disturbing philosophical questions and paradoxes. These questions were, and still are, the subject of lively debate among physicists and philosophers alike.
I’m sorry, but this is one of the most outrageous statements I have heard. For one example, Schrödinger himself felt that QM was ludicrous. Here’s a rather comical discussion of famous a paradox he created to show this:http://www.galactic-guide.com/articles/8R56.html (Schrödinger’s Cat)
Were you aware that QM is viewed to directly violate the General Theory of Relativity (until the advent of Super String Theory)? If you want to talk about not applying to the real world those things that you believe theoretically, check out Superstring theory:
and also read "The Elegant Universe", ISBN: 0393046885. You can read more about it at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0393046885/annotatedaahandbA/1 03-5466034-2131018 <-- a truly fantastic book. Not really any mathematical or physics background required.
Also, QM cannot be used to explain things (same mistake as the EN example you used above.) Here’s Bohr’s view:
AsBohr understood it, quantum mechanics cannot be comprehended on its own terms, but only understood superficially on the basis of the observable processes it describes
Quantum theory is _only_ predictive and descriptive – not explanatory.
QM has _not_ been proven. It has refuted many arguments to its implausibility, but so can my Library example. What you’re considering proof is merely an ability to be applied to situations. Of course I could just as easily say that my book is both where I left it and it has returned to the shelf because both events have equal probability. And that it is only when you go to see the book, that one of the books ceases to exist. Does this prove that books have bonds to library shelves? No! but by your method of proof, you would have to say Yes. (I’ve used the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM for this example)
If everything were explained by QM, why would people still be researching Physics? Why is there still no GUT? (Grand Unification Theory). Generally QM theory comes down to predicting probable cases for things, since actual cases cannot be known (the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle). The Copenhagen Interpretation goes as far as to say that each probable case _actually_ exists until you observe the phenomena, which in turn destroys all but one case by Heisenberg’s Theory. I.e. all of the other actualized possible cases de-actualize, leaving you with the correct case.
The view he [Bohr] proposed as the second basic tenet of the Copenhagen interpretation was that reality is created only by the act of observation.
Are you sure you want to believe that?
So in Schrödinger’s experiment, the cat was both simultaneously dead and alive at the same time, until you looked, then the live cat was suddenly annihilated, or vise versa. This is non-intuitive at best. Here is a really loose example: Do you believe that I am your mother until you look at her, then I cease to be your mother? There is a certain probability that the DNA of your mother is an exact match of mine (of course caused by the probability of atoms being in the right position, etc.), and that her life experiences would be identical to mine. Since there is a probability, there is actuality according the Copenhagen interpretation of QM. Therefore I am your mother as well as everyone else’s, until you go to observe. You now are again unhappy with your theory, or do not believe this to be implied by QM, in which case most QM theorists will argue with you. And again, QM can not believed to explain the actual workings of these things, but only as a model imagined to make predictions. (otherwise you’ve got distinct objects occupying more than one place, and you’d better be prepared to argue for multi-dimensional space (more than 3 dimensions, more like 10) to support this, but how can you create experiments in 3-space to test for 10-space?, etc.)
2. As I said any force is basically a matter of polarity.
Really? What is the polarity responsible for gravity? (Since there seems to be only attraction, no repulsion) Also, how does this polarity act through a void? How is energy transferred?
Even molecules bind together because of a polarity thing. This force is not unexplainable.
See the above section on the nature of "force" for discussion of this.
3. You do not need contact to measure distance. You can calculate it. You only need contact when measuring with a ruler.
I would believe that your calculation of distance will require other measurements. If they are measurements of position, or distance, the problem is obvious. Otherwise you may have a valid way to establish contact (though probably not as the problem is over 2000 years old). Measurements of position cannot be used to calculate distance because position is defined as a distance in a direction from a point of origin. Thus position is a derivative measure of distance, and the argument will have become circular.
1)Cohesion forces. Another way of binding, a polarity thing again.
2)Yes ok ...
Cohesion is a good example of a solution my first test for an explanation of contact, but as predicted, it fails the second test. (theory: no explanation can satisfy both tests)
However the idea of the separate way of thinking is absurd...
This is exactly the point I was making. It is strange that people tend to think in two distinct modes (one for everyday life, one for complex reasoning). I urge people to make every attempt to stop this habit. See my essay "Disjoint application of beliefs" at: http://www.searchlores.org/realicra/pantfisi.htm
read further Conclusion: Actually there is an explanation for everything.
Very true. Of this I am sure, otherwise philosophy and science are quite misguided.
It is not just a new "mode" of thinking.
Nobody said it was.
It is merely a more deeper way of thinking. It is the way of "why". The RLL way described is more of a way to think for "blind" people who are either stupid, uneducated (a sad thing, but what can we do about it) or just trying to find a pattern in a situation where there is none. (like seeing figures in clouds).
Somewhat true, but people do it none the less.
There is no way if classifying ways of thinking and living.
Psychologists would disagree very strongly. Matter of fact I think you do not believe this either. E.g. people may live morally or not. If you deny that there is a distinction, you cannot be angry with someone who does you wrong, because there is no standard that they should be living up to. Thus if someone were to assault and rob you, you should not be angry or upset because there is no classification of right and wrong in the way people live and act.
The fact is your apple IS a cloud of atoms but who cares... when you eat it.
Who cares? Is there any better occupation of thought than to figuring out the very nature of the universe?
You shall see that as science evolves further there IS an explanation for everything, you just have to find it. Webhead
Science or Philosophy…They seem to be converging fairly rapidly…with the advent (20 years ago) of Hawking’s String Theory and all… : )
3.3 Closing remarks
Webhead just misread my intent. We both agree that the separation of RLL and TAL should not be. I do not, however, agree with some of his generalizations about physics principles and concepts. It seems that while he has some background in physics, he is still using the "technically incorrect abstractions" that have been presented by his professors. Though I will not ridicule his comments, I will suggest that he look into the gritty little details, such as the mechanism for the propagation of charge related forces through a void, the details regarding an atom’s desire for electrons, how a polarity can arise from a homogenous base substance, and especially the real-world implications of Quantum Mechanics that he has not researched "a priori" to belief.
Well, though I’ve turned out to be rather long-winded, I hope I have shown both that my examples for "Disjoint application of belief" are correct, as well as that searching can reveal all sorts of information that can keep one from making too-naïve-of-statements on publicly displayed discussions. The real key is to learn how to search, so that you can quickly verify what you are about to say when you are "dying to quickly refute an argument". As a matter of fact, I found that I held some incorrect opinions when I began to write this refute. I am very glad that I followed my own advice and verified everything I have written, lest I waste all of my time refuting arguments, or be forced to someday admit that I was wrong [eeek!] :-). A third point that comes from Webhead’s commentary: read the article and be sure you have correctly extracted the author’s point before you [unsuccessfully or not] try to trash his argument and then begin to describe how he should believe the point that he was making in the first place.
Hopefully all of my links will work far into the future, if not, I have quoted most of the parts that pertain to my discussion (and have even done so in the context that they were given in).
The sad part about this whole discussion is that the two people to whom it most strongly applies will probably never read it (E-Prime, and Webhead). Maybe Fravia+ will be kind enough to notify them of it. To the rest of the readers, let this be a lesson to prevent you from making this type of mistake: SEARCH and COMPREHEND before you POST.
(Now stepping off of my soapbox)
As an humble and disclaiming foreword, I'd like to say "Excuse me for my poor english and annoying smileys" :) 1-Commenting Pantheon's essay Congrats to -Pantheon, I think this essay is extremely interesting. IMO, Webhead and E-Prime missed the important point in it. If we wish to talk about physics theories, there are plenty of places on the net where it's the main topic (search them ;) What is the important point then? It's how it explains our civilisation by showing that most people use two models (TAL & RLL) alternatively to analyse the world around them. The theoritical model is supposed to be much better and powerful, since it allowed us to build very useful things (satellits, buildings, cars,...). The real life model is supposed to be bad, reserved to 'vulgus pecum', the uneducated bottom of society. And there comes the best sentence of the essay, IMHO, : "Note that on the RLL, you believed that objects can touch, and still do; while on the TAL you cannot explain how it is possible." The real life model can be much more useful than the theoritical one! A model is useful when it allows us to predict the world. When I touch the wall, I only need to know that my hand won't pass through it. With the theoritical model, I would have to search hours to conclude that there are huge chances that it will be so, and little chances that my hand will go through. This shows that in this case, the real life model is much better (try, and you'll see that your hand doesn't go through :) I wanted to insist on the fact that the theoritical model *isn't* the best one. It has its uses. (I think I'm not adding anything to -Pantheon's essay so far) 2-Words, words and words I've made extensive use of the word 'model'. I owe you a little definition, and explanation of what I mean by model. I'd say that a model is something we create in order to interpret the world, and act in a way that will produce the results we want to see. Wow, that is broad, and thus a bit useless :) I think Theoritical Analysis Model and Real Life Model would be more accurate than TAL and RLL, since 'level' gives (me) a feeling of something superior and something inferior, while 'model' makes me think of parallel things, that can overlap, just like different views of something. No model is better, they are different, and useful for different purposes. 3-May I call this Phase 2 of the essay? Time to go a bit further by generalising the essay. The big statement here is that there are much much more than two models. Each one of us has its own model(s) through which he sees the world. Most of them are more or less the same, and we could say that we all use the RLM and TAM, or personnal variants of them. This is due to the fact that we've all been educated in a very similar way, have grown up with more or less the same news, items, needs. But an african tribal shaman has got (an)other model(s), and the same is true for a Veda practiser. There also are the models which aren't used anymore (middle-age peasant, stone age warrior) and the huge amount of models nobody ever thought about. 4-What to do with this? The more models we are able to use, the more approaches we can take when facing a problem, and the more chances we have solving it. I hope you'll agree with me here. If not, then the following won't be of much use, but if you do, then let's delve a bit deeper, while keeping in mind this goal : maximizing the number of available models. Listen to excentrics, read weird books, meet foreigners, travel, multiply experiences. Each time you meet someone thinking differently, try to see the world his way. This is your first look at a new model! Don't tear it down with the analysis tools of your model (with thinkings like "supersition is ridiculous", "this contradicts the most elementary laws of physics"). Try to accept it. Think it is true. Express it through the views of the other models you know, then express your models with the views of the new one. Example : discovering an animist model user (animists give a personnality to unanimated things), I say "This guy thinks by embodying his own personnality into the objects he interacts with.", TAM view. Then "Heh why not... Sometimes things make me believe that objects are angry, friendly, but just during a fraction of second. That guy is thinking it all the time", RLM view (well this is for *my* variant of TAM and RLM). Next, I imagine I'm an animist discovering a TAM user. "This guy has educated very smart objects, but he's unable to understand them, talk with them, worship them... And then he's suprised to be afraid of his own feelings!". Then, I discover a RLM user. "This guy rejected his own soul, and then rejected the soul of objects, and that's why he lives with angry objects, who make him sad (thinking of the subway, gray buildings, etc...)". This example is a bit personnal, surely you wouldn't say the same things with your variants of the TAM and RLM, but I tried to show a method, not the result. This methods allows me to possess foreign models a little better. Then it is possible to use them in the everyday life, which develops them and may ultimately allow you to use them as easily as the ones you grew with. This may be named the "roleplaying method". 4.5-Going a bit too far Bleh the method above sucks... I'm unable to grasp very weird models with it. Hmmm ok. Let's go a bit deeper then... Some models can't be expressed with words, and thus the method showed in (4) doesn't work, when you express a model with the words of another one, you only see the surface of it. Then you'll have to use the very tools of the model, if it's not the language, it may be another form of art (thinking about ancient tribes using wood sculptures to communicate), or something I can't imagine right now because I don't know which model you are trying to possess :) In this special case... Use that special form of expression, of course! Be an artist :) That does take a lot of time, but can you spend your time in a better way than one allowing you to learn new things? That went far, since I recommend you to spend years experimenting new models. Too far maybe, but going too far is good, since it allows to find the good-middle (Buddhist model :) This may be called the "Theater method" maybe. 5-Hey dude, ain't your essay self-contradictory? This essay is written with a mix of TAM/RLM point of view. Thus it may seem self-contradictory because it is about other models. Well, not at all. The essay is about acquiring new models from the ones we know. I used the ones i think you, dear reader, will possess (I may be wrong), which are the ones I started from. At some time in my life I felt stuck in my models, and then I developped ways to build new models from mine. That's I tried to share here. But we could express this essay from another model! And it would be a great exercise. 6-Time to conclude These are my two cents, I should say it again, these are my two cents. I'm not saying it twice because I fear personnal attacks, but because if you disagree, I think you should try to view the world the way I view it, and possess this new point of view using the roleplaying method :) It is always frustrating to write an essay about such a broad subject since I had to refrain myself from saying everything I think, because I don't want to be boring, and because it takes time for me to write in english. As a last word, let's remember this multi-model model is only a model, and thus part of itself :) chimaera "Sans lecteur enthousiaste, un livre meurt" - Henri Miller (same for essays)
To begin with, I would like to discuss the reasons why I disagree with
this issue as discussed by -Pantheon.
> Look at your hand. Do you believe that it's really just a cloud of
> atoms? Smack it against a wall. Explain to me why it doesn't disperse
> into a flesh-tone fog.
The reason is that you would have to smack your hand against a wall really hard in order to cause it to change state from solid to gas. This is due to the various inter- and intramolecular forces involved. Consult another source for further explanation.
> Think of E = mc^2, which, solved for m, is: m = E / c^2; meaning that
> mass (and therefore matter) is proportional to the amount of energy
> travelling at a given speed. Coarse example: Shoot a bullet fast enough
> and it will turn into light. This has just said that a bullet can pass
> through glass without breaking it, so long as it is travels at a high enough velocity.
This understanding/explanation of Einstein's General Theorem of Relativity is flawed. If you were to shoot a bullet fast enough it would not turn into light. If you were to somehow violate the laws of physics and fire the bullet at the speed of light, it would have infinite mass, not turn into energy/light.
> 2. Theory of Disjoint Beliefs
> The above examples illustrate a few examples of common things that
> people believe, but never apply in "real" life. Of these, my particular
> favorite topic is the second: atomic theory. Look around you; do
> you _really_ believe that everything you see is just a cloud of independent
> tiny little spheres which are bonded together by an unexplainable force which
> is invisible, occupies no space, and consumes no energy to maintain its strength?
> Can this theory of atoms explain and predict many things about the real world?
> Yes. Does that mean that it's necessarily true? No.
No I do not necessarily believe that everything I see is just a cloud of independant tiny spheres which are bonded together by an unexplainable force which is invisible, occupies no space, and consumes no energy to maintain its strength. Without getting into a discussion about atomic theory, the simple fact is that this theory does fit the facts. Is it, however, a "correct" theory? The real answer is a) probably no b) it doesn't really matter. A theory is really something that simply explains how things work by giving a model which fits the currently known facts and predicts accurately the unknown facts. When the theory begins to differ from observations, we come up with a new one. And so on down the line.
You may think that because of what I have described about scientific theories, that science doesn't really know what it is talking about. But we do the same thing every day in "real life". For example, we may see an accident on the highway. At first glace, it may seem to be a two car crash. This is our initial "theory". As we drive closer (ie. make new observations), we see that a pedestrian was involved. We thus revise our theory. Upon making further observations, we may "discover", for example, that this is not a real accident, but a stunt staged for a movie (ok not a really good example, but it serves my purpose). Our theory is continually revised based on new observations made.
Now, onto RLL/TAL. I would like to propose the idea that RLL and TAL are really the same thing, but simply on different levels. To illustrate: Take an office building. From the outside at a distance, you view one object. As you get closer, you see that it has several floors. If you look even close, each floor is composed of various rooms. Getting even closer, you see that each room has various items in it. And so on down the line. The point is, you can view anything on a variety of levels, and some observations/facts make much more sense on one level than on another level. This is not because they are flawed, it is simply that some levels will give a simplistic view that is not complex enough, while other levels will give a view that is too complex. Another example: a car crash. On a molecular level, one can describe a car crash, but it would be so complex the description would be useless. Thus, when reporting an accident, you do not describe it in terms of the motion of atoms and molecules! You report it on the appropriate level.
What -Pantheon calls RLL is simply the level that we directly perceive the world at. TAL, on the other hand, is the level(s) that we perceive the world at via the use of microscopes, telescopes, computers, and even our minds/imaginations. Everything that is describable at the RLL is describable at the TAL and vice-versa. Whether it makes sense to so, however, is an entirely different question. For example, pouring bleach on clothing: on the atomic/molecular level, this is observed as various chemical reactions. On the directly perceived level, this is observed as a change of the color to white.
There are also levels of thinking. In many countries around the world, prices often look like *9.99 instead of *10.00 (replace * with whatever your local currency is). Most people know that this is simply designed to trick you into thinking it is cheaper than it really is. They know this on a fairly high level of thinking. However, on a lower level, they still subconsciously think it is cheaper, and therefore more readily buy it. Only when they consider buying it on the higher level will they see through the marketing scam.
We must continually assess the levels of thinking and perception that we are working on when attempting any sort of reality cracking or reversing, or indeed when doing anything. By merely determining what levels we are working on, we already provide ourselves with information about what exactly we are examining.