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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #11671
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I think that words as shortcuts is really too much of a shortcut and we really need to talk about the information and the qualities of such communication. Internal communication is actually a different animal all together, which may or may not be subject to definition if everyone has a different means of internal dialog and such dialogs are imperceptible to others.
    You give a good example of just how profound mind dependence can truly be. I think most people think in more linear terms, like there is a single scale of intelligence and minds they don't recognize must be very low on that scale, but it just doesn't hold up to careful investigation.

  2. #11672
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    You give a good example of just how profound mind dependence can truly be. I think most people think in more linear terms, like there is a single scale of intelligence and minds they don't recognize must be very low on that scale, but it just doesn't hold up to careful investigation.
    Yes, I agree. Sort of.

    I have worked with children that have multiple issues, such as autism and paralyzation to the blind with a bonus terminal deletion disorder. Generally, they have their stuff put together better than most average people. At least they're logical and consistent. I am never going back to customer service, there is something seriously wrong with people who have access to and can dial a phone.
    Solfe

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  3. #11673
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    You give a good example of just how profound mind dependence can truly be. I think most people think in more linear terms, like there is a single scale of intelligence and minds they don't recognize must be very low on that scale, but it just doesn't hold up to careful investigation.
    I'm fine with mine dependance as a concept, providing it does not subsume the idea of existence. Two things can exist separately, but dependently.

    There is a place for linear thinking here:

    Euclid's Postulates: Book I
    1. A straight line segment can be drawn joining any two points.

    2. Any straight line segment can be extended indefinitely in a straight line.
    3. Given any straight line segment, a circle can be drawn having the segment as radius and one endpoint as center.

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/EuclidsPostulates.html
    Despite "separation" (the points) there exists simultaneousness (the line).

    I regard the above, consistent with the self-evidence of existence (the observer as one point and the observed as the other point), as a self-evident mathematical proof. Furthermore, given that Euclidian geometry:

    Euclid was the first to show how these propositions could fit into a comprehensive deductive and logical system.[2] The Elements begins with plane geometry, still taught in secondary school as the first axiomatic system and the first examples of formal proof. It goes on to the solid geometry of three dimensions. Much of the Elements states results of what are now called algebra and number theory, explained in geometrical language.[3]
    For more than two thousand years, the adjective "Euclidean" was unnecessary because no other sort of geometry had been conceived. Euclid's axioms seemed so intuitively obvious (with the possible exception of the parallel postulate) that any theorem proved from them was deemed true in an absolute, often metaphysical, sense. Today, however, many other self-consistentnon-Euclidean geometries are known, the first ones having been discovered in the early 19th century. An implication of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity is that physical space itself is not Euclidean, and Euclidean space is a good approximation for it only where the gravitational field is weak.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclidean_geometry

    (Relativity is actually the approximation, is my conclusion, not Euclidean geometry, but ignore that point for the time being.)


    I also regard it as a mathematical proof for quantum entanglement, suggesting the further implication that entanglement can occur with an infinite number of points (see postulates 2 and 3 above and PYE) theoretically and an indefinite number actually. I'll save that for another thread, some other time (I'm still working on the details) but it does have philosophical implications, coupled with physics, including what this thread is about according to the OP:

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I'm going to say one thing and then I will keep silent:

    What we perceive is the only way we have of perceiving reality. We have to use it as a basis for determining what's real because it's all we've got.

    This thread is intended as a lightning rod. Any and all further arguments about reality and mind should be directed here.
    In other words, the observation effect (problem) in quantum physics, which is tied up with quantum entanglement, I believe, and as a consequence, with the potential or actual power/role of our own observation/consciousness/existence.
    Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2017-Mar-27 at 07:38 AM.
    "It's the rabbit hole that matters, not the blackhole, the wormhole or any other hole," the wolf said.
    "But, what's in the hole, Mr. Wolf?", came the question after a long pause.
    "Infinite approximations deciding everything exactly with just enough uncertainty." The wolf howled with some difficulty.
    "What about the rabbit?", was the next question.
    "Oh, he's long gone!", the wolf declared instantly.

  4. #11674
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    But you are "referring to the objects" by using words, that's what requires mental constructs. You think you are not referring to mental constructs, because you don't see that what you mean by "objects in the outside world" is a mental construct. We can all observe that it is a mental construct, we can see just how your mind is generating that concept. What you are doing is using your mind to generate a mental construct, and then pretending that is not what you are doing. It's just like someone who claims that space and time are not mental constructs, they are physical entities that exist independently of our minds, except that along comes relativity and knocks that argument completely on its keester.
    You misunderstand me. I am saying that there is a difference between the mental construct of an object created by my mind interpreting sensorial input, to a word or symbol created by my mind for purposes of communication. Actually having a tiger in front of me is one thing. Using the word tiger in a sentence is another thing.

  5. #11675
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Generally, they have their stuff put together better than most average people. At least they're logical and consistent. I am never going back to customer service, there is something seriously wrong with people who have access to and can dial a phone.
    I see a science fiction story coming on-- one where autistic people invent a means of communication that more average people have no access to and cannot understand, and the new communication ends up being so superior it determines the direction taken in the evolution of human culture.

  6. #11676
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    You misunderstand me. I am saying that there is a difference between the mental construct of an object created by my mind interpreting sensorial input, to a word or symbol created by my mind for purposes of communication.
    Forget the symbols, no one is talking about the symbols. When I talk about the words "planet" and "exist", I have never been talking about the symbols, I have always been talking about the meanings of those words to our minds. For example, none of my remarks are intended for people who do not understand English, even though such people can see the symbols as easily as anyone who does understand English. That's how to purge any discussion of the symbols-- remove any elements that are the same for an English speaker and a non-English speaker.
    Actually having a tiger in front of me is one thing. Using the word tiger in a sentence is another thing.
    Indeed, those are two very different mental constructs. That they are both mental constructs should be very obvious from the fact that we are talking about them even though neither of us actually have a tiger in front of us. That means these can be observed to be mental constructs.

  7. #11677
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canis Lupus View Post
    I'm fine with mine dependance as a concept, providing it does not subsume the idea of existence. Two things can exist separately, but dependently.
    I'm saying the idea of existence is mind dependent, that's all. Each mind still has its idea of existence, and it can be as precise or as vague as that mind chooses to make it (both have pros and cons-- precision reduces how unifying a notion is, vagueness reduces how powerful an idea is). Observing the mind dependence of a concept does not invalidate that concept, any more than observing stellar parallax and its implications for the orbit of the Earth invalidates the Earth. Science is about believing that the truth is always valuable.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2017-Mar-27 at 10:42 AM.

  8. #11678
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I see a science fiction story coming on-- one where autistic people invent a means of communication that more average people have no access to and cannot understand, and the new communication ends up being so superior it determines the direction taken in the evolution of human culture.
    I think Harlan Ellison wrote that story, but I can't recall the name of it.
    Solfe

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    Caution: I may contain caffeine.

  9. #11679
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    Figures!

  10. #11680
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Forget the symbols, no one is talking about the symbols. When I talk about the words "planet" and "exist", I have never been talking about the symbols, I have always been talking about the meanings of those words to our minds. For example, none of my remarks are intended for people who do not understand English, even though such people can see the symbols as easily as anyone who does understand English. That's how to purge any discussion of the symbols-- remove any elements that are the same for an English speaker and a non-English speaker.
    Indeed, those are two very different mental constructs. That they are both mental constructs should be very obvious from the fact that we are talking about them even though neither of us actually have a tiger in front of us. That means these can be observed to be mental constructs.
    you may not be talking about symbols, but I am. 8 symbolizes a number, for example.

    Now I really have no idea what you mean: I go to a zoo, get too close to a tiger, and it claws me is not like my saying "I saw a tiger" when talking to a friend.

  11. #11681
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    you may not be talking about symbols, but I am. 8 symbolizes a number, for example.
    But symbols are irrelevant to this thread, so if you are talking about them, you are off topic.
    Now I really have no idea what you mean: I go to a zoo, get too close to a tiger, and it claws me is not like my saying "I saw a tiger" when talking to a friend.
    What I'm telling you is that you are not actually at a zoo, correct? Therefore, everything you just said is clearly a mental construct. You are telling a story that exists in exactly one place: your mind. Every word you used conjures some kind of mental image for you, and a somewhat different mental image for anyone who reads it. This is precisely how mental constructs work, it is precisely how MDR works. The workings of how you create an MDR are unfolding before our eyes, we need only observe it happening, and we could dig into it further by asking you questions about what you are doing. Perhaps you are conjuring memories from your life, memories that no one else has exactly the same. Perhaps you are creating abstract notions, putting together pieces to create a vision that you have not ever actually experienced yourself. These are all tactics of MDR creation, and are very observable and testable.

    For example, what we could easily test is that "being clawed by a tiger" means something a little different to everyone using that phrase. People who have actually been clawed by tigers will have quite different associations as those who have not, and even those people all experienced something different, so all mean something different by the phrase. What counts as being clawed, for example, will be different. The point is, there is no such thing as "being clawed by a tiger" that is handed to us by the universe, it is up to our minds to say what that is, and we do that by attributing meanings to the words and combining them in the ways we combine meaning. It's all done in our minds, and differently by different minds, but our minds are similar enough and our experiences are similar enough that communication is possible, even if not precise communication.

    Stuff happens. Whether you think that the stuff that is happening is independent of our minds or not is of no consequence to a scientific understanding of that stuff, because it is an untestable personal belief. What matters to scientific understanding is what can be tested, and that's just one thing: mental models. You just gave a perfect example of a mental model when you described a hypothetical event that has never happened to you, as if it was a real event that actually "could" happen, hypothetically. There is no more obvious mental manipulation of MDR than the concept of a hypothetical event! It is certainly a device that scientific thinking uses all the time, which is one of the ways we can see that science is always about creating an MDR.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2017-Mar-27 at 02:55 PM.

  12. #11682
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    So numbers are off topic in a science thread?

    I happened to be in a zoo yesterday by chance. I saw a tiger. No, it did not claw me. Why would being clawed by a tiger have a different meaning for a different person? Many persons will have been clawed by a cat or a dog, so they can imagine what it is like to be clawed by a tiger. Being clawed is not an abstract notion. You can not reduce of life to sbstract notions.

    I said seeing a tiger in person is different to telling someone thst I saw a tiger.

    so what happens if a car runs over me? Do I console myself saying it is a mental model??

  13. #11683
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    All these posts slay me.

    Is there an abstract for this thread, or has the surface only been scratched?
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  14. #11684
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    All these posts slay me.

    Is there an abstract for this thread, or has the surface only been scratched?
    Treat it like "Days Of Our Lives" or a syndicated TV show on a loop. That way you can basically pick it up anytime, give or take the odd fractal point(s). I like to think of it as a tree, with the occasional flower blossoming.

    It's just like life really, but in a thread (nutshell).

    There's your abstract, I reckon, in a nutshell.

    Sorry, I needed an excuse to use the drummer smilie.
    Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2017-Mar-27 at 11:22 PM.
    "It's the rabbit hole that matters, not the blackhole, the wormhole or any other hole," the wolf said.
    "But, what's in the hole, Mr. Wolf?", came the question after a long pause.
    "Infinite approximations deciding everything exactly with just enough uncertainty." The wolf howled with some difficulty.
    "What about the rabbit?", was the next question.
    "Oh, he's long gone!", the wolf declared instantly.

  15. #11685
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    All these posts slay me.

    Is there an abstract for this thread, or has the surface only been scratched?
    This thread has only just begun... It has more lives than a cat. Just when you think harmony reigns, an after thought by a participant gets it rolling again. I fear for some of us it is addictive and we would be disappointed were it to end.

  16. #11686
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    So numbers are off topic in a science thread?
    What is off topic is not numbers, it is the symbol for a number. No one cares about that, what is on topic is only the concept of a number, and to what extent is that similar or different to a tiger. Simply: if we have 8 tigers, is the 8 any less real than the tigers?
    Why would being clawed by a tiger have a different meaning for a different person?
    The better question to ask is, why would it have the same meaning? But either way to ask it, the question is a good way to begin to understand what meaning is, and where it comes from.
    Many persons will have been clawed by a cat or a dog, so they can imagine what it is like to be clawed by a tiger.
    Precisely, you are describing how minds build up an MDR. A key tactic is generalization-- we take one experience that we have had and generalize it to help us imagine experiences we have not had. This is a form of abstraction, it's part of how thinking works. It's a crucial part of what we mean by "reality", only many people seem inclined to ignore its role.
    Being clawed is not an abstract notion.
    You just told me why it is. If someone has been clawed by a cat, and extrapolates to being clawed by a tiger, that is part of the meaning of what abstraction is, like seeing roundish objects and abstracting that to the concept of a circle.

    You can not reduce of life to sbstract notions.
    And you reach that conclusion how? (Via abstract notions. All conclusions are abstract, logic itself is abstract.) By the way, no one ever claimed you could reduce life to abstract notions, what is claimed is that what you mean when you talk about "life" is already an abstract notion. This is easily testable, in fact, you only have to test it.
    I said seeing a tiger in person is different to telling someone thst I saw a tiger.
    Ah yes, which is also why being clawed by a tiger is different from telling someone to imagine being clawed by a tiger. Yet you used the latter situation to gain understanding about the reality of being clawed by a tiger. That's MDR, in a nutshell.
    so what happens if a car runs over me? Do I console myself saying it is a mental model??
    Better would be to use your mental models of that experience to avoid having it.
    Last edited by Ken G; Yesterday at 02:12 PM.

  17. #11687
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    What is off topic is not numbers, it is the symbol for a number. No one cares about that, what is on topic is only the concept of a number, and to what extent is that similar or different to a tiger. Simply: if we have 8 tigers, is the 8 any less real than the tigers?
    Tigers are real, 8 tigers are real. 8 is not real. 8 what?
    .......
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Better would be to use your mental models of that experience to avoid having it.
    If mental, why avoid it?

  18. #11688
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Tigers are real, 8 tigers are real. 8 is not real. 8 what?
    So the stripes on the tiger are not real, but the tiger is? Or are the stripes real, but not the number of stripes? How about the color, or width, of the stripes, are those real, or not?
    If mental, why avoid it?
    That's kind of a silly question. Is pain mental? So by your reasoning, we should not try to avoid pain. Is mental illness mental? So by your reasoning, we should not avoid mental illness either.

  19. #11689
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    This thread has only just begun... It has more lives than a cat. Just when you think harmony reigns, an after thought by a participant gets it rolling again. I fear for some of us it is addictive and we would be disappointed were it to end.
    But we seem to be the same distance apart as before. My favourite particle has been the electron since years ago at school I repeated the oil drop experiment of Millikan and made that graph of voltages in discrete steps so I could witness a single electron on a shining oil drop. Of course I knew I could not see the actual electron, and no one can, but it was a super explanation of a basic but fundamental experiment. So I remember the experience but still I cannot know if that was real or if the explanation is real. The model works for me but my mind can never get past the phenomenon. Do you see that? Do you hold that the electron is as real as the tiger? Or do you believe it's as real? Or can you say you know it's as real?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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