Am I Crazy?

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platorepublic
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 05:26 am
@TurboLung,
Is there any need to be angry? Progression of science has inevitably lead to the CERN collider - in a way the investment of high energy colliders predictable.

Of course, non-scientists would not agree about spending money on the collider, as they do not believe understanding the subatomic particles would bring any benefit to them. So it's fair argument.

I don't know. This experiment may or may not bring results that may not bring a net benefit society I mean who knows, studying radioactivity of nuclei led to hydrogen bombs that killed a lot of people. But however the upside is more understanding of atoms and we could ultilise this in nuclear energy, and also other branches of science like drug discovery.

It's hard to say at this point. We will have to hope for the best.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 05:27 am
@TurboLung,
platorepublic wrote:
is there any need to be angry?


Excuse me?!?! What did you just say?!?!?! Grrrrr.

Very Happy
 
Zetetic11235
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 05:37 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;174609 wrote:
Not at all. Not in the least. I think it discredits materialism, which is a big deal.

---------- Post added 06-08-2010 at 09:17 PM ----------

QM has also undermined the idea that reality exists independent of an observer. But this only vindicates Schopenhauer and Kant, and as we are philosophers, that really ought not come as a surprise.


I would be VERY VERY careful making such extrapolations from physics. As far as I know this is only speculation made on the peculiar Copenhagen interpretation of QM. I also believe there is much confusion in taking the Copenhagen interpretation to macroscopic conclusions about the observer independence of reality.

The mathematical theories are derived from data and guide intuition. Intuition may guide theories, but intuition often fails before data does. The point I'm trying to make is that without the mathematical theories and detailed physical understanding, your intuition on the matter will be flawed. Why not, if you feel it is truly important and interesting: download and read read mechanics and electromagnetism and then about relativity and then QM (I hear Griffiths is standard). Perhaps then read about the Copenhagen interpretation and then maybe your intuition will be penetrating enough to develop your philosophical point with conviction.

 
HexHammer
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 06:09 am
@TurboLung,
The whole matter seems undecided, none can really say if it leads to something useful or are just a big waste of money. But the principle of doing something rather than nothing, is good, to search and understand.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 06:59 am
@Zetetic11235,
(The forum software irretrievably deleted several paragraphs of text, and I'm not going to type all that lot in again, so I will have to be brief.)

QM has shown us that not only is the universe not just a bunch of atoms bouncing into one another like billiard balls, but it isn't even a bunch of little things even smaller than atoms bouncing around like billiard balls.

Indeed, if QM even allows us to go on thinking of the universe as made up of things and stuff at all, independently of any observing consciousness, then that fact has not yet filtered down to the level of us hoi polloi.

So, in the light (waves or particles?) of QM, how are we to think of the relationship between consciousness and the physical world?

It is all very well to decry "extrapolations from physics", but that rather assumes that we already have an adequate philosophy, possibly one already extrapolated from physics, or possibly one arrived at in some other way.

Apart from jeeprs, no-one in this thread seems to want to admit that QM poses a problem for philosophy.

Perhaps that reluctance derives from genuine modesty, a belief that it is hard to know what the problem is unless one knows the mathematical theories and experimental results of QM? But the shouts of "idiot" and "stick with creationism, wizards and voodoo-dolls and leave science to us" suggest that modesty is not the problem here.

Perhaps some of us could do with taking a leaf out of the book (specifically, The Character of Physical Law) of Richard Feynman, the World's Smartest Man before Ed Witten took his crown (only kidding, but you get the idea), when he wrote, "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics."
 
Zetetic11235
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 07:15 am
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;174643 wrote:
(The forum software irretrievably deleted several paragraphs of text, and I'm not going to type all that lot in again, so I will have to be brief.)

QM has shown us that not only is the universe not just a bunch of atoms bouncing into one another like billiard balls, but it isn't even a bunch of little things even smaller than atoms bouncing around like billiard balls.

Indeed, if QM even allows us to go on thinking of the universe as made up of things and stuff at all, independently of any observing consciousness, then that fact has not yet filtered down to the level of us hoi polloi.

So, in the light (waves or particles?) of QM, how are we to think of the relationship between consciousness and the physical world?

It is all very well to decry "extrapolations from physics", but that rather assumes that we already have an adequate philosophy, possibly one already extrapolated from physics, or possibly one arrived at in some other way.

Apart from jeeprs, no-one in this thread seems to want to admit that QM poses a problem for philosophy.

Perhaps that reluctance derives from genuine modesty, a belief that it is hard to know what the problem is unless one knows the mathematical theories and experimental results of QM? But the shouts of "idiot" and "stick with creationism, wizards and voodoo-dolls and leave science to us" suggest that modesty is not the problem here.


I think that it should be the problem here, and it would be if all of us were honest about it. I've not seen one post on this forum that would indicate a level of knowledge of physics detailed enough to make an educated claim about QM, much less a very well thought out philosophical exposition on the consequences of the subject. I have seen some much more detailed discussions on physics forums, but none here.

Also, conflating my attempt to dissuade willy nilly extrapolations from a system that (perfect or not, correct or not) is not fully understood by the one making such extrapolations with some presumption of philosophical absolution on my part is absurd. No one on here is well enough educated in physics to really bring a coherent opinion to the table. It is all undergirded by light reading and general interest. What is required is real dedication to scholarship. This is subject matter that is too dense to discuss generally without an immense amount of background knowledge. Hence all of the threads pertaining to this sort of subject are tantamount to cursory idea-fumbling. Too little is said and too much is written. Most of the people discussing bring in some strange idea resulting from a misunderstanding due to the slipshod manner in which they approach this very precise subject matter.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 07:38 am
@Zetetic11235,
Zetetic11235;174644 wrote:
Also, conflating my attempt to dissuade willy nilly extrapolations from a system that (perfect or not, correct or not) is not fully understood by the one making such extrapolations with some presumption of philosophical absolution on my part is absurd. No one on here is well enough educated in physics to really bring a coherent opinion to the table. It is all undergirded by light reading and general interest. What is required is real dedication to scholarship. This is subject matter that is too dense to discuss generally without an immense amount of background knowledge. Hence all of the threads pertaining to this sort of subject are tantamount to cursory idea-fumbling. Too little is said and too much is written. Most of the people discussing bring in some strange idea resulting from a misunderstanding due to the slipshod manner in which they approach this very precise subject matter.

What you don't seem to realise is that an appropriately modest refusal on the part of some people to describe other people as "idiots" on the basis of a confused philosophy extrapolated from the state of physics preceding quantum mechanics would reduce almost the entire forum to silence!

And it is jeeprs, in this thread, who has shown himself most clearly aware of this fact; yet it is him on whom you choose to focus your criticism.

Speaking for myself, I am aware of my ignorance of quantum mechanics. I mean to rectify that ignorance, if I can. However, as you obviously realise, that requires years of preparation. Also, I'm not sure if even you realise just how much preparation is involved, if you take seriously every philosophical problem raised by the mathematics you encounter on the way. However, I do look forward to having, years from now, some actual competence to discuss the topic in depth.

I am also aware that some unscrupulous or silly people exploit a general vague awareness of the mysterious nature of quantum mechanics to foist all kind of nonsensical waffle on a gullible public. But it is quite clear to me that jeeprs is not one of these. So you should at least make clear, if you are going to criticise him, that you are not confusing his position with some other position, which does not deserve any philosophical respect.

Finally, are you arguing that silence is the best option on this topic, for all of us here? If so, I would disagree; I would urge modesty and respect, but not a total lack of self-respect simply on account of not possessing a PhD in quantum physics.

P.S. I was not accusing you personally of "philosophical absolutism". From those of your posts I have seen, I get the impression that you are a true scholar.
 
TurboLung
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 07:53 am
@Zetetic11235,
[QUOTE=jeeprs;174595]Yes, Ernest Rutherford. Perhaps the long line of idiots you were referring to was Nobel winners? Because he was one of them. And I am saying that when the atom was split, it ceased to be an atom - that is not physics, it is philosophy, and I will defend it.[/QUOTE]

Huh? If I split a clown in half, it also ceases to be a live clown. WTF are you talking about? How is this philosophy? What are you talking about? WTF?

[QUOTE=Zetetic11235;174596]Sorry, but I don't think you know what you are talking about. [/QUOTE]
Zetetic11235;174596 wrote:
Rutherford was responsible for the colloquial visualization of the atom. Rutherford model - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To the OP, I agree that it's pretty ignorant to say that it doesn't matter. That is simply a false statement. All of science eventually finds itself in the center of public attention in the form of technology. Whether it's a new weapon that threatens your security (or ensures it) or a new toy/gadget. The origin of mass may not interest them, and probably for the better as it seems as though it would be quite difficult to understand the vibrant mathematical interaction of physical objects without the proper training and/or personal dedication to gaining such knowledge.

I would say that the difficulty of physics can be explained in easier terms using analogies. The difficulty of the matter should not be a wall to everyone understanding the implications of the grounds gained in physics/cosmology etc.

I would also ask you this, since you do seem to think this knowledge has special pertinance: When was the last time you studied foreign affairs and quickly done an in depth analysis to come to a highly informed opinion utilizing the intuition you have gained from the vast knowledge you have of history and politics/political science?

Can you say that you diligently pursue every area that is worth caring about, or only those that personally interest you? Have you placed your areas of interest on a pedestal, and forgotten that there are other important issues?

The origins of the universe cannot be classed as anything but of the utmost importance, regardless if it is an interest to me or not. I have an interest in a lot of other things, like video games, history, collecting original Transformers etc, but, I would not consider any of these things important to the human race as I would the origins of the universe.

Are you as well versed in the theories and facts of international politics and the ethical implications thereof as you are in physical theory and fact? If not, why?

Because compared to the origins of the universe, these matters pale into insignificance. It would be like comparing E=Mc2 with Brittney Spears.

If so, we could move on to the next area of intellectual pursuit that affects us in one way or another.

Or maybe you are complaining about these certain persons not showing at least token interest in anything academic or even anything generally intellectual no matte how pertinent it is to them. That is some sort of mind-state that I have trouble identifying with, but I can roughly understand it. I would assume it has some sort of familial/social basis. Parents didn't read to them as kids or something, I suppose. To find more intellectual things interesting, it seems like you have to break a sort of mental barrier that would allow you to be more self-critical. Insofar as you are self critical, you would naturally be critical of others; wanting to hold them up to the same ideals that you hold yourself. Hence, frustration with those who still possess this mental barrier.

No, it has nothing to do with me but more to do with the mere fact that anyone would not want to know where everything comes from. I can't get my head around it. I still consider them stupid.

I am tempted to associate the barrier with automatic thinking, quick social judgments and confirmation seeking behaviors. A person like this, it seems, would be easily persuaded when removed from group support.

Perhaps the tendency to be self critical stems from some fundamental point of opposition that sets the self critical person apart from some majority of persons. It has often been said that the more intellectual personalities are alienated; is this by virtue of their facility with learning and reason or by a tendency towards learning and practicing reason, a habit given impetus by some more fundamental aspect of the person? Perhaps a bit of both.

Yes, interesting.

I've found that many intellectual persons I've met give the impression of attempting to justify some aspect of themselves with external means, thereby raising that aspect of themselves outside of the realm of subjective criticism. I must admit that even in the case of myself, I give experimental support to this (and hence am biased towards it).

Although I disagree, my interest is piqued in your analysis.

 
Twirlip
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 08:35 am
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;174654 wrote:
Huh? If I split a clown in half, it also ceases to be a live clown. WTF are you talking about? How is this philosophy? What are you talking about? WTF?

Please calm down.

I don't think that jeeprs (or anyone else in the thread) is siding with those idiots, as you rightly describe them, who see no point in doing experiments in high-energy physics.

In answer to your question: you're not crazy - so try not to act like you are!
 
TurboLung
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 09:32 am
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;174667 wrote:
Please calm down.

I don't think that jeeprs (or anyone else in the thread) is siding with those idiots, as you rightly describe them, who see no point in doing experiments in high-energy physics.

In answer to your question: you're not crazy - so try not to act like you are!


Okay. I will calm down. I always get like this after smoking crack. Anyway, I don't get the whole phylosophy thing. What is the connection with what we are talking about?

www.godsayskill.blogspot.com
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 09:44 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;174568 wrote:
There are no atoms. Some bloke called Rutherford proved that in (I think) 1927.

Remember, 'atom' means 'indivisible'. We now have a 'particle zoo', which is not 'an atom'. Furthermore until the last piece turns up, we really don't have a complete zoo.


Well, this is sort of off topic because we were discussing it in another thread. But jeeprs, you see what happens when you use a word in a way that doesn't match the common usage definition? A page of arguing, insinuations of UFO belief Very Happy
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 09:54 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;174562 wrote:
And you may think God doesn't exist, but I can say the same things about atoms, so there!


Are we seriously going to start playing this game again? Sure I have never seen an atom, not a single one. I don't even personally know anyone who has seen one. However; their existence can be tested, but perhaps you are not aware of this fact. Not only that but by referencing their existence I can infer other things which happen to be true as well. What am I talking about? Chemistry. Have you ever taken chemistry jeeprs? There are so many things that we can attribute to atoms that when we actually make real life predictions about the behavior of certain chemicals that we can actually determine their result. Sure this does not mean that atoms exist, but since we can make such predictions and the process is well understood, their inferred existence has a basis. Yet when it comes to god, none of this ever happens or takes place. Sure people make predictions or assumptions about god's behavior yet there is absolutely nothing that supports those assumptions. That is the difference here.

I should probably remind you that we have a way of determining the size of the atom. By closely observing the movement of plant pollen in water we could calculate the interaction of the molecules. Why? Because water is nothing but molecules and the pollen itself is nothing but molecules. So how they interacted when bumping into each other referenced their size. Imagine if you have a gym full of beach balls and you drop in some dodge balls. If you couldn't see the beach balls but could only observe the motion of the dodge balls, you could actually calculate the diameter of the beach balls by how the dodge balls bounced around. This is exactly what we did.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 09:55 am
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;174693 wrote:
But jeeprs, you see what happens when you use a word in a way that doesn't match the common usage definition? A page of arguing, insinuations of UFO belief Very Happy

Rather like what happens when you use the acronym 'UFO' to mean 'Unidentified Flying Object' - a page of arguing, insinuations of LGM belief! Smile

---------- Post added 06-08-2010 at 05:00 PM ----------
Krumple;174697 wrote:
Are we seriously going to start playing this game again? Sure I have never seen an atom, not a single one. I don't even personally know anyone who has seen one. However; their existence can be tested, but perhaps you are not aware of this fact.

Hey, I've got a book with some photographs of atoms! Hans Christian von Baeyer, Taming the Atom: The Emergence of the Visible Microworld. And no doubt things have come on apace since that book was published (1992). Anyone got any URLs for nice pictures of atoms?

Of course, all this is entirely beside jeeprs's point, as anyone with a grain of sense (in short supply, apparently) can see. But when has that ever stopped the insults flying and the straw men toppling?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 10:15 am
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;174643 wrote:
Apart from jeeprs, no-one in this thread seems to want to admit that QM poses a problem for philosophy.
Surely, almost everyone understands that QM raises philosophical problems. If you doubt this, then look here: Table of Contents or here: PhilSci Archive - Subject: Physics
The philosophy of physics is still by far the most productive, in terms of original articles, of any field in the philosophy of science, and QM is the most productive field within the philosophy of physics.
So, what, of any interest, are you trying to say?

---------- Post added 06-09-2010 at 01:20 AM ----------

Twirlip;174667 wrote:
those idiots, as you rightly describe them, who see no point in doing experiments in high-energy physics.
Okay, demonstrate that the physicists, who hold the position that these experiments are a waste of money and dont demonstrate anything significant, are idiots.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 11:01 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;174700 wrote:
Surely, almost everyone understands that QM raises philosophical problems. If you doubt this, then look here: Table of Contents or here: PhilSci Archive - Subject: Physics
The philosophy of physics is still by far the most productive, in terms of original articles, of any field in the philosophy of science, and QM is the most productive field within the philosophy of physics.
So, what, of any interest, are you trying to say?

---------- Post added 06-09-2010 at 01:20 AM ----------

Okay, demonstrate that the physicists, who hold the position that these experiments are a waste of money and dont demonstrate anything significant, are idiots.

jeeprs (or anyone), what is the Zen way to respond to this? I'm serious. I'm completely at a loss. It is clear that anything I might say in response will be wilfully misconstrued. I have discarded several possible replies, all of which promise only to lead further into a wilderness of bickering sidetracks, all heat and noise, and no light.

I don't want to add ughaibu to my Ignore List, because he has at least posted useful references in the past, e.g. to that paper about nominalisation of QM. However, any attempt at actual discussion with him, as with several other members of this forum, has always proved fruitless.

I feel (for the umpteenth time) that I am wasting my time on this forum. It just seems to take time and energy away that would be far better spent on reading and silent thinking, more or less what I was always accustomed to doing before.

I really don't have the patience of a saint. I put some thought and effort into my posts here, but I get very little back. My merely human patience is fast running out.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 11:15 am
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;174707 wrote:
I really don't have the patience of a saint. I put some thought and effort into my posts here, but I get very little back.
Well, what is your reader supposed to conjecture that you might mean by "a problem for philosophy"? If you're pointing out that QM raises philosophical problems, this seems to be an entirely trivial observation. The only alternative interpretation that I can think of is that you're claiming that QM poses a threat to the existence of philosophy as an activity. Is this latter what you're suggesting? If so, Jeeprs doesn't seem to me to have suggested this, and I'd like to see a supporting argument.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 12:07 pm
@ughaibu,
Hi All,
There is only one particle in the entire universe - It is resposible for all energy and all matter, it only appears to be many different things at once because of it's ability to locate itself at all available locations. The residual wake is what we would see if we could surpass it's rate of motion. We can't, because we are enveloped in its integral function.
So you're all wrong - This is where speculation gets you - Just accept the unacceptable and move on.
As for the OP - How can you catch a particle that is the entire universe in motion? waste of time, money and thought.

Anyway, have a lovely day all.
Mark...
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 12:18 pm
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;174707 wrote:
jeeprs (or anyone), what is the Zen way to respond to this? I'm serious. I'm completely at a loss. It is clear that anything I might say in response will be wilfully misconstrued. I have discarded several possible replies, all of which promise only to lead further into a wilderness of bickering sidetracks, all heat and noise, and no light.

I don't want to add ughaibu to my Ignore List, because he has at least posted useful references in the past, e.g. to that paper about nominalisation of QM. However, any attempt at actual discussion with him, as with several other members of this forum, has always proved fruitless.

I feel (for the umpteenth time) that I am wasting my time on this forum. It just seems to take time and energy away that would be far better spent on reading and silent thinking, more or less what I was always accustomed to doing before.

I really don't have the patience of a saint. I put some thought and effort into my posts here, but I get very little back. My merely human patience is fast running out.


Is this a complaint that we wont just accept your statements as if we are suppose to submit to your intellect? What do you expect? You have to have patience with these sorts of matters or else don't get involved with them to start with. You will rarely ever change anyone's mind but that is not the point of philosophy. If it were the point then it is doing a lousy job. Just look at how many philosophers there have been, with drastically opposing ideas in some cases. If we were to just blindly accept someone's philosophy where would we be? So we have to analyze and criticize philosophy or else we cheapen it down to just the same thing as faith in religion.

I find it funny when a person want's to put someone on ignore because they disagree with their statements.

"Yeah the way to victory is through censorship!":sarcastic:
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 12:23 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;174721 wrote:
Is this a complaint that we wont just accept your statements as if we are suppose to submit to your intellect?

No.

You're not doing yourself, or the forum, any favour with this response.
Krumple;174721 wrote:

I find it funny when a person want's to put someone on ignore because they disagree with their statements.

Don't be silly.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 12:38 pm
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;174725 wrote:
No.


Well I don't get what your complaint was about then. It seemed to me that you were complaining that no one was changing their mind according to your statements. So it this forum is a "waste of your time".

Twirlip;174725 wrote:

You're not doing yourself, or the forum, any favour with this response.


Well maybe I misunderstood what you meant. Perhaps you could explain your position a little more?

Twirlip;174725 wrote:

Don't be silly.


Yeah it is silly to censor people through ignore feature just because you don't agree with their arguments.
 
 

 
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