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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13591
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    So, I'd like to recap, (for the purposes of understanding), the different ways we can collectively identify, by which us humans arrive at meanings for 'truth'.

    So far, I think we've come up with:

    1) a simple pure preference, or choice - made for no particular reasons (a belief);
    2) logical process (rules driven) - eg: math, formal logic;
    3) scientific process (or objective testing) - eg: the 'truth' is no better than the last best tested theory.

    I think I've dug up another, although it is closely associated with logical reasoning:
    4) the notorious 'self evident' truth (known to be true by way common understanding - eg: axioms).

    I also think (4) underpins the acceptance of our own consciousness - upon which the concept of Mind Dependent Reality depends(?)
    If so, then I think it follows that 'self evident truths' have in-common meanings assigned in both logic and science processes(?)
    Yes, I think that's a pretty good list. It's hard to know what to make of that #4, but I agree that many people do regard some truths to be "self-evident", and that very phrase even features prominently in the birth of a well-known nation.

  2. #13592
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yes, I think that's a pretty good list. It's hard to know what to make of that #4, but I agree that many people do regard some truths to be "self-evident", and that very phrase even features prominently in the birth of a well-known nation.
    ... and the statement in which it appears, is currently having its meaning put to the test too, I think .. which would then seem to disqualify it as being self-evident(?)

  3. #13593
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    That's the trouble with "self evident" truths-- so mind dependent.

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    I think the self evident truth can be seen in the growth of consciousness in an infant, where we see “theory of mind” developing at about three years, and at the same time for the same reasons the mind is developing “theory of reality” if I can coin that phrase which is another way of saying MDR. We then forget those early years where we are so vulnerable to our cultural surroundings, and that is how self evident truth gets built into our minds.
    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

  5. #13595
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    Yes, I think one gains by watching these concepts as they develop in young minds, my guess is there is a lot we can learn about ourselves by watching infants, For example, we think it's amusing to watch an infant play "peek-a-boo" because the infant thinks the person disappears and is amazed and overjoyed when they return. Since we have built a concept of reality that is essentially designed to remove all sense of surprise, we would not ourselves be entertained by that game, but perhaps it is we who are missing something there, rather than the infant. We tend to lose track of how remarkable it is that reality has the attributes it does-- we make the mistake of thinking our models "explain" attributes of reality such as pervasiveness and consistency, but actually our models cannot explain those attributes, they can only be equipped with them-- which is something quite different. The infant still knows enough to be amazed-- we use our models to extinguish that which actually should be quite amazing.

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    On a different tack:
    Here's another interesting and noteworthy externally sourced viewpoint:
    Without the assumption of objectivity inherent to the measurement process, one cannot reasonably conclude an apple weighs 100g.
    This came up in the context of the idea that science must assume the notion of an (inherently) 'objective universe' in order to draw meaningful conclusions.

    I think this might align with Len Moran's previously argued point of MDR thinking needing to distinguish itself from pure Idealism, in order to be able draw meaningful conclusions?

    (The meaning of 'Objectivity', (intrinsic or relative), here is key ... as is the notion of 'non-mental' (and 'mental') attributes in the reality building process).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    You mean it has the exact same predictive power? Yup, that's the whole point. It's "just as preferable" because it's exactly the same model in every scientific way, except that only one includes a dose of personal honesty.
    How True Ken G.

    I honestly could not consider a model that always regards the time as now without any discrete distinction between the past and the future. In the software development world that model is equivalent to just having one backup folder called "latest".

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    How True Ken G.

    I honestly could not consider a model that always regards the time as now without any discrete distinction between the past and the future. In the software development world that model is equivalent to just having one backup folder called "latest".
    I still don't think you realise that time can easily be viewed as being a mind dependent dimension .. with lots of evidence for that proposition, thereof(?)

    I keep getting the whiff that you seem to think its 'a given' that the time dimension is accepted as being mind independent (without any question and without any evidence) .. and then as a result of this, you refer to events over a given timeframe, somehow, as evidence for the oxymoron 'SMIR'?

  9. #13599
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Here's another interesting and noteworthy externally sourced viewpoint: "Without the assumption of objectivity inherent to the measurement process, one cannot reasonably conclude an apple weighs 100g."
    Yeah, it would be hard for me to disagree with that more. Objectivity is certainly not based on any "assumptions", it is built very carefully on top of a mountain of evidence.
    This came up in the context of the idea that science must assume the notion of an (inherently) 'objective universe' in order to draw meaningful conclusions.
    Again, yuck, that nonsense completely mischaracterizes science as a belief system based on assumptions that "must be true", rather than careful work of demonstrating what is efficacious.
    I think this might align with Len Moran's previously argued point of MDR thinking needing to distinguish itself from pure Idealism, in order to be able draw meaningful conclusions?
    I think Len was talking more about a consistent philosophical basis, rather than claims on what science "needs" in order to function. But science does not need assumptions, it needs explorations. I'll give a classic example, the London cholera outbreak of 1854 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1854_B...olera_outbreak), where people who made assumptions about cholera got nowhere, whereas Dr. Snow got away from assumptions and did the hard legwork of actually investigating evidence for what the cause was. He interviewed victims, as well as people who escaped the disease, to piece together an account of what was going on that was pretty much free of assumptions about how cholera should work. (They had no idea disease could be carried in water, they assumed it had to be airborne.)
    (The meaning of 'Objectivity', (intrinsic or relative), here is key ... as is the notion of 'non-mental' (and 'mental') attributes in the reality building process).
    Objectivity is about accessibility-- it is essentially a study in similarity of minds. We can tell this because of all the minds that "don't count".

  10. #13600
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    How True Ken G.

    I honestly could not consider a model that always regards the time as now without any discrete distinction between the past and the future. In the software development world that model is equivalent to just having one backup folder called "latest".
    Yes, the common concept of time is pretty unworkable, it's just not very carefully considered but it works in a kind of vague way for most people. I think your computer science analogy is apt!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yeah, it would be hard for me to disagree with that more. Objectivity is certainly not based on any "assumptions", it is built very carefully on top of a mountain of evidence.
    But see the process being used there isn't science .. Its logic .. and so it needs to start with some sort of assumed 'truth'. This is what I was raising in this thread previously.
    The assumption here is that an objective universe exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Again, yuck, that nonsense completely mischaracterizes science as a belief system based on assumptions that "must be true", rather than careful work of demonstrating what is efficacious.
    I think to the originator of the argument, it is efficacious .. ie: its efficiacious in so far as the base assumption then results in the meaning they're looking for from the word 'objectivity'.

    I'm glad that we're seeing the same thing here though .. but there's no way anyone can convince these folk that the logic they're applying here isn't science .. Its logic! And it doesn't start with an operational definition of objectivity, rather its one that's assumed 'true' (for the purpose of the logical sequence which follows).
    I think the logic is sound, but how it starts out, shows it cannot be the scientific method!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    I think Len was talking more about a consistent philosophical basis, rather than claims on what science "needs" in order to function. But science does not need assumptions, it needs explorations. I'll give a classic example, the London cholera outbreak of 1854 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1854_B...olera_outbreak), where people who made assumptions about cholera got nowhere, whereas Dr. Snow got away from assumptions and did the hard legwork of actually investigating evidence for what the cause was. He interviewed victims, as well as people who escaped the disease, to piece together an account of what was going on that was pretty much free of assumptions about how cholera should work. (They had no idea disease could be carried in water, they assumed it had to be airborne.)
    Yes ..that's a great example ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Objectivity is about accessibility-- it is essentially a study in similarity of minds. We can tell this because of all the minds that "don't count".
    The odd thing is that the above objective 'apple weight' argument was raised by someone who declares themselves as an 'Agnostic'. Beats me how they reconcile the basis of this argument with the 'not sure about God' premise of most Agnostics?!
    (I mean what's the difference between the truth of an assumed 'objective universe' and the truth of an assumed 'God', when an Agnostic is supposed to be unsure about 'God'? .. How can one base something as important as objectivity on something which is assumed to be true? .. Aaarrrgghh!)

  12. #13602
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    I cannot know about most agnostics but for me it is a long way from not being sure about anything, it is being sure we cannot know about many fundamental questions including the god or gods thing. since it is a recently coined word, its meaning may not have settled. It is within science that one can be unsure. The weight of an apple is just an observation extended in mind to a “theory of apples”
    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

  13. #13603
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    But see the process being used there isn't science .. Its logic .. and so it needs to start with some sort of assumed 'truth'. This is what I was raising in this thread previously.
    And the key point is, science is different from logic, though science does use logic as a tool, like it uses rulers and clocks as tools because it has found it useful to do so. I don't see any "assumed truths" in science.
    The assumption here is that an objective universe exists.
    That's not an assumption of science, it comes up for people grasping for some logical reason that science works, but science does not need a reason to work, it only needs evidence that it works. Or, in this case, evidence in the existence of an objective universe, which really means evidence that the concepts of "objective", "existence", and "universe" have some working overlap. It's certainly true that if those three concepts could not be framed in any way to show a working overlap, say as might be exactly the perception of a completely insane mind, then science would not work for that mind. But whether it works or not, there's still no assumption that it should work, or that it will work, and indeed for an insane mind it won't. Nor is there any assumption there for a sane mind-- there is only evidence that, for the sane mind, it does work (for its goals of achieving understanding of and power over objective outcomes). Science is not assumed to work, it is demonstrated to work, and it is used for the latter reason-- not the former.
    I think to the originator of the argument, it is efficacious .. ie: its efficiacious in so far as the base assumption then results in the meaning they're looking for from the word 'objectivity'.
    But yes, it's wrong, because it's not scientific. The scientist does not assume something and then build their words around the assumptions. Instead, they try something, find it does or doesn't work, and try again if needed, and then build their words around what does work. You can see this process actually play out in the history not only of scientific discovery, but the history of the discovery of science. No assumptions anywhere, which is why I find that quote so completely wrong about the nature of science, it seems to be blind to its entire history, wishing to pretend it has always been something that in fact it has never been!
    I'm glad that we're seeing the same thing here though .. but there's no way anyone can convince these folk that the logic they're applying here isn't science .. Its logic! And it doesn't start with an operational definition of objectivity, rather its one that's assumed 'true' (for the purpose of the logical sequence which follows).
    Science couldn't possibly start with an "assumed true" definition of objectivity. If it did, it would have to get quite lucky to actually happen, by accident, on a working meaning of objectivity. Instead, science had to do quite a lot of work to arrive on an operational meaning of objectivity, a process it still struggles over any time you see a debate about what belongs in a science book in Texas (which is the place where the content of all US science books gets decided). Does the person making that argument actually think the issue there is assumptions about what is objective? People who want to regard it as scientific to say that the Earth is 6000 years old are completely fine with assuming the objectivity of their version. Goodness no, objectivity is about what actually works to regard as objective, versus what can be demonstrated to be a personal opinion that is not at all objective.
    I think the logic is sound, but how it starts out, shows it cannot be the scientific method!?
    Yes the problem isn't the logic, because logic by itself is empty. The problem is the foundation of the logic-- science wouldn't work if its foundation, prior to logic, was an assumption. Indeed, we can see in the history of science how assumptions had to be discarded for just this reason-- assumptions don't work because you need to get lucky. They often don't even work in mathematics, let alone science-- even in mathematics there needed to be some tinkering of the axioms before a working system was found. Take geometry, for instance-- for millennia, it was thought that Euclidean geometry was based on true assumptions. It was then shown by Riemann that those assumptions need not be regarded as true, and it was shown by Einstein that they shouldn't be. Einstein was doing the scientific part-- the demonstration of the fallibility of assumptions. In mathematics, assumptions are merely pieces of a proof. In science,assumptions are nothing more than a prioritization of what questions you are planning on putting off until later because you regard them as less crucial for immediate attention.
    The odd thing is that the above objective 'apple weight' argument was raised by someone who declares themselves as an 'Agnostic'. Beats me how they reconcile the basis of this argument with the 'not sure about God' premise of most Agnostics?!
    Yes, I think they have the entire concept of the weight of an apple completely wrong. It sounds like they are saying that the concept of an apple weight is a useless notion until you make the assumption that apples actually do possess an objective weight. That's nonsense, apples clearly don't possess any such quality, yet the concept is still useful. So the question we should be asking is, why does it work so well to imagine that applies possess a weight, and why the measurement of said weight can be regarded as something objective? Clearly none of that holds until one has already a concept of useful degree of precision, the key concept that underpins all of quantitative science yet seems to be so poorly understood by so many would-be scientific thinkers. You even see this problem in the language of "measurement uncertainty" (suggesting there is a true measurement outcome but we are uncertain what it is) and "measurement error" (implying there is a correct answer but that it is not achieved in practice). It was never correct, even before quantum mechanics, to take those wordings literally because they both involve beliefs that science never needs and never uses.
    (I mean what's the difference between the truth of an assumed 'objective universe' and the truth of an assumed 'God', when an Agnostic is supposed to be unsure about 'God'? .. How can one base something as important as objectivity on something which is assumed to be true? .. Aaarrrgghh!)
    Yup, totally inconsistent. It's not agnosticism, it's merely a different choice of belief system.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Dec-31 at 12:34 PM.

  14. #13604
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    I cannot know about most agnostics but for me it is a long way from not being sure about anything, it is being sure we cannot know about many fundamental questions including the god or gods thing. since it is a recently coined word, its meaning may not have settled. It is within science that one can be unsure. The weight of an apple is just an observation extended in mind to a “theory of apples”
    In a similar vein, the way I would define agnosticism is an extreme appreciation for the necessity of employing simplifications and idealizations, in order to make progress. In that light, agnosticism is an appreciation of the importance of working concepts, a recognition which then encourages us not to take these working concepts too literally. It's an extreme suspicion against over-extrapolation.

  15. #13605
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    In a similar vein, the way I would define agnosticism is an extreme appreciation for the necessity of employing simplifications and idealizations, in order to make progress. In that light, agnosticism is an appreciation of the importance of working concepts, a recognition which then encourages us not to take these working concepts too literally. It's an extreme suspicion against over-extrapolation.
    Yes that’s a good way of putting it. One manifestation is that when faced with an uncertain situation, it behoves us to carry as many explanatory concepts or models as we possibly can. That is the Human advantage of having exteroceptive models as well as interoceptive models. And a cortex capable of parallel concepts to be kept in mind. That’s a poker going to be invented!
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    That's not an assumption of science, it comes up for people grasping for some logical reason that science works, but science does not need a reason to work, it only needs evidence that it works. Or, in this case, evidence in the existence of an objective universe, which really means evidence that the concepts of "objective", "existence", and "universe" have some working overlap. It's certainly true that if those three concepts could not be framed in any way to show a working overlap, say as might be exactly the perception of a completely insane mind, then science would not work for that mind. But whether it works or not, there's still no assumption that it should work, or that it will work, and indeed for an insane mind it won't. Nor is there any assumption there for a sane mind-- there is only evidence that, for the sane mind, it does work (for its goals of achieving understanding of and power over objective outcomes). Science is not assumed to work, it is demonstrated to work, and it is used for the latter reason-- not the former.
    That a really good MDR way of tackling this issue ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Yes the problem isn't the logic, because logic by itself is empty. The problem is the foundation of the logic-- science wouldn't work if its foundation, prior to logic, was an assumption. Indeed, we can see in the history of science how assumptions had to be discarded for just this reason-- assumptions don't work because you need to get lucky. They often don't even work in mathematics, let alone science-- even in mathematics there needed to be some tinkering of the axioms before a working system was found. Take geometry, for instance-- for millennia, it was thought that Euclidean geometry was based on true assumptions. It was then shown by Riemann that those assumptions need not be regarded as true, and it was shown by Einstein that they shouldn't be. Einstein was doing the scientific part-- the demonstration of the fallibility of assumptions. In mathematics, assumptions are merely pieces of a proof. In science, assumptions are nothing more than a prioritization of what questions you are planning on putting off until later because you regard them as less crucial for immediate attention.
    Yep .. (agreed).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Yes, I think they have the entire concept of the weight of an apple completely wrong. It sounds like they are saying that the concept of an apple weight is a useless notion until you make the assumption that apples actually do possess an objective weight. That's nonsense, apples clearly don't possess any such quality, yet the concept is still useful. So the question we should be asking is, why does it work so well to imagine that applies possess a weight, and why the measurement of said weight can be regarded as something objective? Clearly none of that holds until one has already a concept of useful degree of precision, the key concept that underpins all of quantitative science yet seems to be so poorly understood by so many would-be scientific thinkers. You even see this problem in the language of "measurement uncertainty" (suggesting there is a true measurement outcome but we are uncertain what it is) and "measurement error" (implying there is a correct answer but that it is not achieved in practice). It was never correct, even before quantum mechanics, to take those wordings literally because they both involve beliefs that science never needs and never uses.
    You and I have had our differences when it comes to the distinctions of accuracy and precision in the quantum world .. I think because quantum physics is all about exploring the extremes and is more heavily guided by theory due to the extraordinary (human) difficulty of measuring its depths. Ie: beyond the HUP, is predicted as empirically unexplorable territory. This is a guiding principle for QM and needs to be ever present in such non-research types of quantum conversations, I think - it frames its context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    On a different tack:
    Here's another interesting and noteworthy externally sourced viewpoint:

    "Without the assumption of objectivity inherent to the measurement process, one cannot reasonably conclude an apple weighs 100g."

    This came up in the context of the idea that science must assume the notion of an (inherently) 'objective universe' in order to draw meaningful conclusions.

    I think this might align with Len Moran's previously argued point of MDR thinking needing to distinguish itself from pure Idealism, in order to be able draw meaningful conclusions?
    I'm not sure that I see an alignment with my point concerning idealism, so I thought just to clarify the argument I put forward in recent posts and see where that gets me.

    I think of objectivity as a property that cannot be altered by a state of mind, preference or simply thought. Within the belief structure of pure realism, that objectivity refers to Mind Independence with our brains and sensory facilities being passive responders to these various objective MI sources. That umbrella of objectivist realism also includes notions of space and time as being "real" and elevates the notion of counterfactuality as being a genuine component of "reality" ("reality" being that which feeds our sensory faculties and our mind from which we build a picture that very closely resembles that "reality"). Within the belief structure of pure idealism (or radical idealism), that objectivity refers purely to the way we order things in our mind, it rejects entirely the "thing in itself" notion.

    I have a belief structure that rejects radical idealism but also rejects pure realism - I believe that by and large, most of our reality is phenomena but not all - I believe in an element of realism that constrains an anarchic mind and delivers a manifestation of objectivity.

    I don't see that any scientific model including the MDR model has a "need" to assume objectivity, rather we look for it within our reality as a basis for building models that give us predictive utility. I think that objectivity, regardless of how one might view it within realism or idealism is a trustworthy and a real "nuts and bolts" part of empirical reality (fortunately), is used very successfully by science and underpins the basis of a reality that we all take advantage of in our daily lives. So I don't feel the need for the model of MDR to distinguish itself from pure idealism in order to obtain meaningful conclusions on the basis that pure idealism would not allow such a need (a need to assume objectivity) to be realised, pure idealism or pure realism or any belief structure has no relevance to the process of building a testable scientific model, objectivity builds itself into the model as a whole - it is the ultimate key to whether the model passes or fails it's verification within empirical reality.

    The argument I was putting forward concerning MDR and idealism was only connected with what I perceived as a tendancy towards placing seemingly "immune to thought" elements within the model as being of "all is mind". The element I was mostly concerned with is that which concerns objectivity, the element that seems to indicate we cannot "make" a model pass or fail it's test within empirical reality - whether it passes or fails seems to be in the hands of "something" other than all that we currently know about our minds and certainly lay outside of the current scientific remit of the MDR model. What concerned me was this "all is mind" viewpoint placing such elements of the model within an umbrella of mind that actually was no different to someone advocating radical idealism yet claiming the model to be a scientific model. The path to such a viewpoint in some ways is logical because any such distinction between "mental" and "non mental" (or however one wishes to label the distinction) ultimately has to "pass" through a mental state. But nevertheless, it is still the job of science to build as many models as it can based upon the supporting evidence at any particular time in its development and testing. The evidence suggests at present that we can build two models concerning the element I refer to and as I outlined in my previous post, one of these models can legitimately refer to a "something" outside of the mind but entirely subject to a descriptive process of a MDR. As pointed out by Ken, the notion of a "something" external to the mind would be a minimal part of the model, the main aspect would be to model those areas of our reality where the evidence shows that we can have no influence on those areas by thought alone (such as influencing the pass or fail outcome of a model being tested).

    So that was the point I was trying to make, the MDR model cannot (at present) account for some fundamental aspects of objectivity in terms of mind dependence that involves every single scientific model ever verified within empirical reality - that's quite a large area of our reality that is excluded from the mind dependent remit of the model. But we can model this area and included in that modeling can be a non descriptive MI element. We can also alternatively model this element as being entirely mind dependent without offering any mechanism for this mind dependence. But the fact that we have the two competing models retains the scientific integrity of the MDR model when dealing with the whole gambit of our reality. If we simply consigned this element to being entirely mind dependent without the evidence to support that position and ignored the potential of a model that included a non descriptive MI element then that to me seems no more than embracing radical idealism in the guise of a scientific model.

    This was my only connection of the MDR model to radical idealism, so whilst it is the case that I consider MDR needs to distinguish itself entirely from radical idealism in order to draw meaningful conclusions, that need is not connected with "the idea that science must assume the notion of an (inherently) 'objective universe' in order to draw meaningful conclusions". If you do think that need is connected with the above notion, then I need to work out why my argument comes across like that and if I am missing something here.
    Last edited by Len Moran; 2020-Jan-01 at 07:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    I'm not sure that I see an alignment with my point concerning idealism, so I thought just to clarify the argument I put forward in recent posts and see where that gets me.

    I think of objectivity as a property that cannot be altered by a state of mind, preference or simply thought. Within the belief structure of pure realism, that objectivity refers to Mind Independence with our brains and sensory facilities being passive responders to these various objective MI sources. That umbrella of objectivist realism also includes notions of space and time as being "real" and elevates the notion of counterfactuality as being a genuine component of "reality" ("reality" being that which feeds our sensory faculties and our mind from which we build a picture that very closely resembles that "reality"). Within the belief structure of pure idealism (or radical idealism), that objectivity refers purely to the way we order things in our mind, it rejects entirely the "thing in itself" notion.

    I have a belief structure that rejects radical idealism but also rejects pure realism - I believe that by and large, most of our reality is phenomena but not all - I believe in an element of realism that constrains an anarchic mind and delivers a manifestation of objectivity.

    I don't see that any scientific model including the MDR model has a "need" to assume objectivity, rather we look for it within our reality as a basis for building models that give us predictive utility. I think that objectivity, regardless of how one might view it within realism or idealism is a trustworthy and a real "nuts and bolts" part of empirical reality (fortunately), is used very successfully by science and underpins the basis of a reality that we all take advantage of in our daily lives. So I don't feel the need for the model of MDR to distinguish itself from pure idealism in order to obtain meaningful conclusions on the basis that pure idealism would not allow such a need (a need to assume objectivity) to be realised, pure idealism or pure realism or any belief structure has no relevance to the process of building a testable scientific model, objectivity builds itself into the model as a whole - it is the ultimate key to whether the model passes or fails it's verification within empirical reality.

    The argument I was putting forward concerning MDR and idealism was only connected with what I perceived as a tendancy towards placing seemingly "immune to thought" elements within the model as being of "all is mind". The element I was mostly concerned with is that which concerns objectivity, the element that seems to indicate we cannot "make" a model pass or fail it's test within empirical reality - whether it passes or fails seems to be in the hands of "something" other than all that we currently know about our minds and certainly lay outside of the current scientific remit of the MDR model. What concerned me was this "all is mind" viewpoint placing such elements of the model within an umbrella of mind that actually was no different to someone advocating radical idealism yet claiming the model to be a scientific model. The path to such a viewpoint in some ways is logical because any such distinction between "mental" and "non mental" (or however one wishes to label the distinction) ultimately has to "pass" through a mental state. But nevertheless, it is still the job of science to build as many models as it can based upon the supporting evidence at any particular time in its development and testing. The evidence suggests at present that we can build two models concerning the element I refer to and as I outlined in my previous post, one of these models can legitimately refer to a "something" outside of the mind but entirely subject to a descriptive process of a MDR. As pointed out by Ken, the notion of a "something" external to the mind would be a minimal part of the model, the main aspect would be to model those areas of our reality where the evidence shows that we can have no influence on those areas by thought alone (such as influencing the pass or fail outcome of a model being tested).

    So that was the point I was trying to make, the MDR model cannot (at present) account for some fundamental aspects of objectivity in terms of mind dependence that involves every single scientific model ever verified within empirical reality - that's quite a large area of our reality that is excluded from the mind dependent remit of the model. But we can model this area and included in that modeling can be a non descriptive MI element. We can also alternatively model this element as being entirely mind dependent without offering any mechanism for this mind dependence. But the fact that we have the two competing models retains the scientific integrity of the MDR model when dealing with the whole gambit of our reality. If we simply consigned this element to being entirely mind dependent without the evidence to support that position and ignored the potential of a model that included a non descriptive MI element then that to me seems no more than embracing radical idealism in the guise of a scientific model.

    This was my only connection of the MDR model to radical idealism, so whilst it is the case that I consider MDR needs to distinguish itself entirely from radical idealism in order to draw meaningful conclusions, that need is not connected with "the idea that science must assume the notion of an (inherently) 'objective universe' in order to draw meaningful conclusions". If you do think that need is connected with the above notion, then I need to work out why my argument comes across like that and if I am missing something here.
    Thanks kindly for your extensive clarification there Len .. much appreciated.
    It seems to me that your initial position waayyy back in time in this thread, was that you saw a need for what you termed 'pointers' (and then left it at that). I think you've stayed on that same course throughout this thread and now I'm taking what you say above here, as a (slight) elaboration on that same idea(?)

    I am still not so sure there might not be a contextual connection with Ken's 'non mental' elements, (or your 'non descriptive MI element'), and the meaning (or 'takeaways') from science's empirical reality conclusions .. but you've made it clear that this is not what you're saying .. (and I respect and acknowledge that).

    At this point, I don't have a clue as to whether there might be a connection or not either, but I'll be on the lookout for it from the other conversations I'm involved in.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I still don't think you realise that time can easily be viewed as being a mind dependent dimension .. with lots of evidence for that proposition, thereof(?)
    I haven't stated that time was a mind independent dimension that's why I referred to a future SMIR as a NULL set and a past SMIR as the set of elements that were either added or removed (via the Scientific Method) from a past SMDR over a discrete period of time.

  20. #13610
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yes, I think one gains by watching these concepts as they develop in young minds, my guess is there is a lot we can learn about ourselves by watching infants, For example, we think it's amusing to watch an infant play "peek-a-boo" because the infant thinks the person disappears and is amazed and overjoyed when they return. Since we have built a concept of reality that is essentially designed to remove all sense of surprise, we would not ourselves be entertained by that game, but perhaps it is we who are missing something there, rather than the infant. We tend to lose track of how remarkable it is that reality has the attributes it does-- we make the mistake of thinking our models "explain" attributes of reality such as pervasiveness and consistency, but actually our models cannot explain those attributes, they can only be equipped with them-- which is something quite different. The infant still knows enough to be amazed-- we use our models to extinguish that which actually should be quite amazing.
    The way I have been thinking about this is what is known as the ‘binding problem’ in cognitive science.
    i.e. how the mind puts together a concept of reality from various senses- sight/touch/smell/taste etc. We know what an apple looks like, tastes like, sounds like (crunch) etc.
    For AI researchers, the ‘binding problem’ is a problem needing to be solved so it can be implemented.
    For human MDR proponents, binding is the problem that humans need to undo in order to understand MDR.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bindin...em?wprov=sfti1
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

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    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    The way I have been thinking about this is what is known as the ‘binding problem’ in cognitive science.
    i.e. how the mind puts together a concept of reality from various senses- sight/touch/smell/taste etc. We know what an apple looks like, tastes like, sounds like (crunch) etc.
    For AI researchers, the ‘binding problem’ is a problem needing to be solved so it can be implemented.
    For human MDR proponents, binding is the problem that humans need to undo in order to understand MDR.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bindin...em?wprov=sfti1
    And of course all of the senses themselves are subject to this process, it's one very complex closed loop of MDR. A mistake that has often been made in this thread is to "exempt" the sensory faculties from the process, as if they reside in some kind of realm that is immune from MDR.

    Personally I don't think it is ever going to be possible to undo this "binding" simply because we are an inseparable part of it, we are not standing outside of it in a detached manner ready with scalpels, if we were able to "unbind" it, we would be unbinding ourselves in the process.

  22. #13612
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    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    The way I have been thinking about this is what is known as the ‘binding problem’ in cognitive science.
    i.e. how the mind puts to
    For AI researchers, the ‘binding problem’ is a problem needing to be solved so it can be implemented.
    For human MDR proponents, binding is the problem that humans need to undo in order to understand MDR.
    I agree with what you are saying here, but I would not put it that we need to "undo" it, we merely need to recognize that we did it in the first place. It's a bit like the process of following the scientific method-- a scientist can get so used to doing it that they forget what the method even is, or worse, forget that they are even following a method at all, they think they are "just learning stuff" after awhile. There is no need to "undo" the scientific method to understand the scientific method, there is only a need to not forget it's even there. That's what MIR believers do so automatically-- forget the mind is even involved. It's not surprising-- we train ourselves to constantly overlook everything that we don't think matters, and that works great-- until it does matter.

    The reason we don't need to "undo" the binding is that binding is not a bug, it's a feature. It's like making models that involve idealizations and simplifications-- there's no need to undo the simplifications, there's only a need to keep track of the assumptions that are going in there, such that they can be relaxed if and when that becomes useful to do. It's like what relativity does to Newtonian mechanics-- it doesn't undo the latter, because the latter still works when it works, but it does tell you when you won't get away with it and will need something better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I agree with what you are saying here, but I would not put it that we need to "undo" it, we merely need to recognize that we did it in the first place. It's a bit like the process of following the scientific method-- a scientist can get so used to doing it that they forget what the method even is, or worse, forget that they are even following a method at all, they think they are "just learning stuff" after awhile. There is no need to "undo" the scientific method to understand the scientific method, there is only a need to not forget it's even there. That's what MIR believers do so automatically-- forget the mind is even involved. It's not surprising-- we train ourselves to constantly overlook everything that we don't think matters, and that works great-- until it does matter.

    The reason we don't need to "undo" the binding is that binding is not a bug, it's a feature. It's like making models that involve idealizations and simplifications-- there's no need to undo the simplifications, there's only a need to keep track of the assumptions that are going in there, such that they can be relaxed if and when that becomes useful to do. It's like what relativity does to Newtonian mechanics-- it doesn't undo the latter, because the latter still works when it works, but it does tell you when you won't get away with it and will need something better.
    No need to get into what 'undo' might mean here, but reassigning the meaning of 'objectivity' from mind independence to mind dependence takes a lot of effort .. (like untying a tight knot, I suppose).

    This latest chapter in this thread has me wondering whether the effort one is up against in even attempting this feat, might stem from a very strong need to maintain relatedness amongst human minds (the binding force, of the binding problem?) .. all at the expense of embedding the belief of mind independent objectivity in science, I might add(?)
    I think that's also the same motivation underpinning the God concept, after all(?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    No need to get into what 'undo' might mean here, but reassigning the meaning of 'objectivity' from mind independence to mind dependence takes a lot of effort .. (like untying a tight knot, I suppose).
    I'm not sure I would say it takes effort, more like honesty. "Objective" never meant mind independent, that was always a kind of lie we told ourselves. This is clear-- many minds don't count as "objective." So how could it not depend on the mind if some minds don't get to count? Insane minds, infant minds, extremely unintelligent minds, even minds that cling so tightly to prejudicial beliefs that they cannot be "objective", none of these are permitted to spoil "objectivity" even if they completely disagree. We even see this in our language: "it's your own child so you can't be objective about their behavior." How many times have we seen something like that said-- yet we can imagine that objectivity is mind independent? So we should never have told anyone that the kind of objectivity that science aspires to is a mind independent approach to anything, that was always sheer nonsense. Instead, step one is to understand the mind dependent requirements of objectivity, such that science can work.

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    The binding problem, as Plant says, is exactly this question of how consciousness has survival advantage but makes a belief in MIR probable. We do not just form a comprehensive model of an apple, we model where apples are to found and a life history of apples, so we know where to look to find an apple. An AI without that consciousness has to receive all the possible data and search for an image match to find an apple. Knowing where to look is both predictive and process time saving for us but also directly leads to a model of the world that is quite impressive given that it contains orders of magnitude more information than any of our "real time" data inputs. So it's no surprise that people assume their model is indeed an MIR and then that some features of the model suggest gods because they cannot model where the first apple came from. The binding ability is the scaffold for consciousness and then the assumption of MIR just jumps out in the way we analyse through history. It is an important step to reach a model where models can be understood in this abstract way. We can then challenge a plurality of dogmas as old false models or untestable beliefs.
    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

  26. #13616
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I agree with what you are saying here, but I would not put it that we need to "undo" it, we merely need to recognize that we did it in the first place. It's a bit like the process of following the scientific method-- a scientist can get so used to doing it that they forget what the method even is, or worse, forget that they are even following a method at all, they think they are "just learning stuff" after awhile. There is no need to "undo" the scientific method to understand the scientific method, there is only a need to not forget it's even there. That's what MIR believers do so automatically-- forget the mind is even involved. It's not surprising-- we train ourselves to constantly overlook everything that we don't think matters, and that works great-- until it does matter.

    The reason we don't need to "undo" the binding is that binding is not a bug, it's a feature. It's like making models that involve idealizations and simplifications-- there's no need to undo the simplifications, there's only a need to keep track of the assumptions that are going in there, such that they can be relaxed if and when that becomes useful to do. It's like what relativity does to Newtonian mechanics-- it doesn't undo the latter, because the latter still works when it works, but it does tell you when you won't get away with it and will need something better.
    yes i didn’t really mean ‘undo’ binding/segregation ..... perhaps ‘acknowledge’ would have been better.
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

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    Indeed this is probably one of the main reasons we value great art and great literature-- they give us glimpses "outside the binding," those brief peeks over the wall of our cherished but all-too-temporary fortresses of safety and comfort. Too often science and art are perceived as being in opposition, or at least unconnected. I would say they are simply different approaches to achieving survival and advancement-- one is centered primarily around intellect, the other primarily around emotion, but neither should be thought of as providing a complete story on its own. Perhaps it's analogous to our relationship with routine-- we all create routines to help us manage and simplify our lives, which in turn helps us to survive. But we always hear "there's more to life than 9 to 5", as if routines were things handed to us that we need to break from, rather than patterns we entered into entirely of our own device.

  28. #13618
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Indeed this is probably one of the main reasons we value great art and great literature-- they give us glimpses "outside the binding," those brief peeks over the wall of our cherished but all-too-temporary fortresses of safety and comfort. Too often science and art are perceived as being in opposition, or at least unconnected. I would say they are simply different approaches to achieving survival and advancement-- one is centered primarily around intellect, the other primarily around emotion, but neither should be thought of as providing a complete story on its own. Perhaps it's analogous to our relationship with routine-- we all create routines to help us manage and simplify our lives, which in turn helps us to survive. But we always hear "there's more to life than 9 to 5", as if routines were things handed to us that we need to break from, rather than patterns we entered into entirely of our own device.
    I am reminded how optical illusions can give us both literal and metaphorical ‘insight’ into how our visual cortex makes models of edges, distance, color.
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

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    I'm always looking for more succinct ways of summarising MDR thinking. I recently came across this quote from the sci-fi author Philip K Dick:

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".

    Nicely summarises recent, somewhat lengthy posts about the 'non-mental elements' of MDR, I think(?)

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    Dick's quote doesn't say there is a reality.

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