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A new kind of science


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On 28/10/2019 at 10:01, The Masked Tulip said:

Our molecules and cells create something greater than their individual components though - our conscious selves.

Stephen Wolfram is extremely clever, but he is also seen as a maverick and perhaps a bit unrigorous.
He has produced a free book, A New Kind of Science.
Two of his ideas, from my reading a few lines of other people's paraphrases, seem to be that the universe is deterministic, but the quickest route to finding out the state a point in time is to run the universe model forward, so the future remains unknown until it happens because there is no shortcut to the result.
The other is that consciousness is a fundamental property of matter. This sort of follows from the future not being open, so our feeling of free will must be illusory. I quite like this idea. Making it fundamental helps explain why it has remained so elusive and hard to even describe. A corollary of this would be that everything is 'alive' or  intelligent to some degree, in asmuch as we are.

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35 minutes ago, Nippy said:

Stephen Wolfram is extremely clever, but he is also seen as a maverick and perhaps a bit unrigorous.
He has produced a free book, A New Kind of Science.
Two of his ideas, from my reading a few lines of other people's paraphrases, seem to be that the universe is deterministic, but the quickest route to finding out the state a point in time is to run the universe model forward, so the future remains unknown until it happens because there is no shortcut to the result.
The other is that consciousness is a fundamental property of matter. This sort of follows from the future not being open, so our feeling of free will must be illusory. I quite like this idea. Making it fundamental helps explain why it has remained so elusive and hard to even describe. A corollary of this would be that everything is 'alive' or  intelligent to some degree, in asmuch as we are.

 

I've posted this essay at least once before, partly because I love horses and galloping with them, they are exilarated being ridden at speed as much as I'm exhilarated by riding them. and so paper's title

Do horses gallop in their sleep has always appealed to me, but it's a good essay irrespective.

https://www.theosophical.org/publications/quest-magazine/1326-do-horses-gallop-in-their-sleep-the-problem-of-animal-consciousness

On the topic of us just being a bunch of differentiated cells, I'm always puzzled how little curiosity people have about their life support system, their body. I mentioned in another post that most people wouldn't know where their spleen is located or what it does, or many other organs. One reply I had was that other animals had got by fine throughout their evolution without knowing this  kind of information. That's true. But we have curiosity and self-awareness, so I find it strange. Perhaps people that don't care about their spleen or its location just lack consciouness or self-awareness, zombies for another word.

 

 

Edited by Hopeful
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10 minutes ago, Roger_Mellie said:

Everything that ever happened or ever will happen from our perspective all took place in a single infinitesimal instant. 

Funny, that is also something Boethius wrote about 1,500 years ago - the philosophical (and religious) notion of eternity. Once again this is nothing new.

Edited by Panther
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6 minutes ago, Panther said:

Funny, that is also something Boethius wrote about 1,500 years ago - the philosophical (and religious) notion of eternity. Once again this is nothing new.

Don't get me wrong, I would never claim it's particularly new. 

It is odd though. The universe we're living in might have already ended an infinitely long time ago.

Edited by Roger_Mellie
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9 minutes ago, Roger_Mellie said:

There is no time as we experience it

I think you could lump time in there with consciousness. What on earth is it? Has anyone ever seen it, felt it, touched it? How would you describe it? Yet even hardened empiricists seem to accept it.

I was a bit disappointed when my favourite physicist wrote:
    Time is linear
    Memory's a stranger
    History's for fools

however, he redeemed himself by speaking up for Julian Assange who is held in prison despite no conviction for any crime, and not having done anything contravening UK law! Beat that Bob and Bono.

 

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1 hour ago, Hopeful said:

On the topic of us just being a bunch of differentiated cells, I'm always puzzled how little curiosity people have about their life support system, their body. I mentioned in another post that most people wouldn't know where their spleen is located or what it does, or many other organs. One reply I had was that other animals had got by fine throughout their evolution without knowing this  kind of information. That's true. But we have curiosity and self-awareness, so I find it strange. Perhaps people that don't care about their spleen or its location just lack consciouness or self-awareness, zombies for another word.

You can include me in that grouping.

I suppose it's more that I don't want to know.  I'm healthy and everything works so I don't want to start questioning it.

I've always had a dislike of anything to do with medicine or hospitals and when Doctor was flagged as a possible career that was an absolute "no" from me as I can't think of anything worse than spending my days around sickness and death.

Similarly I have never understood how anyone can regard medical dramas (Holby, Casualty) as entertainment.

It's possible that my antipathy to all things medical is rooted in a deep fear of my own mortality.

I'd say we all have that fear to some degree: how many people would have a genetic test done if it might tell you that you have a serious condition and will die around a particular age?

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13 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Similarly I have never understood how anyone can regard medical dramas (Holby, Casualty) as entertainment.

It is driven by the fear of death...your heart leaps a little when you realise it isn't you. Similary, the schadenfreude you feel when an acquaintance dies or you read the obituaries from your Alma Mater and see one who matriculated in the 1980s.

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3 minutes ago, Nippy said:

It is driven by the fear of death...your heart leaps a little when you realise it isn't you. Similary, the schadenfreude you feel when an acquaintance dies or you read the obituaries from your Alma Mater and see one who matriculated in the 1980s.

My old college used to have a policy of listing as dead anyone where the college magazine was returned as not known and there was no forwarding address.

A fof was listed from my year; IIRC he would have been late twenties. I asked someone who knew him better and he had heard that he had been knocked off his bike and killed.

The next year it turned out that he wasn't dead despite the local colour added by rumour; the college changed its policy.

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30 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

You can include me in that grouping.

I suppose it's more that I don't want to know.  I'm healthy and everything works so I don't want to start questioning it.

I've always had a dislike of anything to do with medicine or hospitals and when Doctor was flagged as a possible career that was an absolute "no" from me as I can't think of anything worse than spending my days around sickness and death.

Similarly I have never understood how anyone can regard medical dramas (Holby, Casualty) as entertainment.

It's possible that my antipathy to all things medical is rooted in a deep fear of my own mortality.

I'd say we all have that fear to some degree: how many people would have a genetic test done if it might tell you that you have a serious condition and will die around a particular age?

But do you consider it 'medical?'

Do you have curiosity about the rest of the natural world, for example ahve you ever noticed crown shyness and pondered it, or watched a hummingbrd hawmoth and thought abut eveything 'going on' to keep it stationary and its proboscis in the nectar.

It's your body, your personal anatomy, it's what keeps you alive, aren't your curious about it?  We know enough now to spot when things go wrong and avoid hypochondria, we can be in tune with it.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Hopeful said:

But do you consider it 'medical?'

Do you have curiosity about the rest of the natural world, for example ahve you ever noticed crown shyness and pondered it, or watched a hummingbrd hawmoth and thought abut eveything 'going on' to keep it stationary and its proboscis in the nectar.

It's your body, your personal anatomy, it's what keeps you alive, aren't your curious about it?  We know enough now to spot when things go wrong and avoid hypochondria, we can be in tune with it.

There is a dreadfully-titled book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, with a big chunk of it about a motorcycle tour.

The author rides an older bike and is checking and adjusting it on a daily basis. He knows how to set the valve clearances and does so.

His companion rides a new model BMW which is serviced precisely to schedule. He has no idea how it works and has never maintained it himself.

His confidence in his machine resides within the quality he feels he has bought and keeping to the service schedule; his underlying assumption from this is that it won't go wrong so he doesn't need to know how it works.

I'm the latter when it comes to my body.  Though I do tinker with my car.

I view the natural world as a general wonder; though the only systems in which I'm really interested in knowing how they work is weather, wind and tide.

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2 hours ago, Roger_Mellie said:

Since I first learnt about relativity I've always thought lack of free will was obvious. There is no time as we experience it, there is probably no universe in any meaningful sense.

Everything that ever happened or ever will happen from our perspective all took place in a single infinitesimal instant. 

I have puzzled over this (as many have). If the singularity from which the universe sprung from was dimensionless and feeatureless, where do all the irregularities in the universe spring from? Why is the universe not completely homogenous?

I think that chance, probability, whatever you call it, is built into everything in the universe as much as charge and mass. They seem to be fundamental constants, like the probability of decay of particles.

Chaos mathematics fascinates me, though much of it is beyond my understanding. I recently learned about the Feigenbaum Constants δ and  α, that dictate behaviour in chaotic systems. They are as fundamental to how the universe behaves as e and pi. Even chaos is deterministic.

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2 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

Similarly I have never understood how anyone can regard medical dramas (Holby, Casualty) as entertainment.

 

Holby is more like the political wing of Casualty. It's essentially a Momentum party political broadcast but laid on so thickly that it's beyond parody.

You should watch it; it's hilarious.

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1 hour ago, Hopeful said:

I've always wondered what the Universe is 'in'

Is it in one of these, for example

gg773_gg774-gg775-mason-mixing.jpg

We are a coronavirus in a droplet known as the universe sneezed out by an entity known as god. For god our universe lasted a moment, for us it's billions of years and counting. B|

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3 hours ago, Hopeful said:

It's your body, your personal anatomy, it's what keeps you alive, aren't your curious about it?  We know enough now to spot when things go wrong and avoid hypochondria, we can be in tune with it.

 

 

I'm surprised the 1%ers actually still die.

Should be simple to solve most causes of death from body failure old age by creating a redundant system for the body to ensure the brain is never without the required level of oxygen and energy. Some sort of blood dialysis (which with enough money and research could be minaturised to the size of gills behind the ears xD) to process the blood and add what is missing if the normal body process isn't working well enough or at all.

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4 hours ago, BoSon said:

I'm surprised the 1%ers actually still die.

Maybe they aren't dying? But you won't get to know about it. The most important thing about the elixir of life is to keep it secret from the hoi polloi cos a) they'll hunt you down for it and b) you don't want them living forever, too. In principle, there is no reason we couldn't be immortal in the non-highlander sense.

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6 hours ago, Happy Renting said:

I have puzzled over this (as many have). If the singularity from which the universe sprung from was dimensionless and feeatureless, where do all the irregularities in the universe spring from? Why is the universe not completely homogenous?

I think that chance, probability, whatever you call it, is built into everything in the universe as much as charge and mass. They seem to be fundamental constants, like the probability of decay of particles.

Chaos mathematics fascinates me, though much of it is beyond my understanding. I recently learned about the Feigenbaum constants , that dictate behaviour in chaotic systems. They are as fundamental to how the universe behaves as e and pi. Even chaos is deterministic.

As usual I only dipped my feet into understanding by reading a book on Chaos - it really is fascinating, and from what I heard in said book was largely neglected or not taken serious until the last few decades as a branch of science / mathematics.   

Unfortunately my brain starts hurting after delving into it but I get the impression so much of it is pertinent to everything.  Things like fractals were spell binding but the way they are both chaotic and ordered is equally unreal.  And I was amazed that iirc no stright lines or i think circles actually exist in nature...they are just estimates we make - then it gets weirder when you zoom in and more fractals and indents are found - just keeps on going.

Nowadays they use chaos stuff for a lot don't they - designing for aerodynamics, forecasting the weather etc etc.  Anyway saved a yt video from the numberphile channel to watch on these constants for more headaches.

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6 hours ago, Hopeful said:

I've always wondered what the Universe is 'in'

 

Me too. Over the years when reading, listening or watching stuff about the universe my question has always been.....yeah, okay, interesting but how did the universe begin, where from, where does the universe end, what else is out there, what does it all mean.

It truly is mind boggling. It’s posited the universe evolved from a “Big Bang”....from nothing. What is nothing? I’ve no idea.

For years I thought about it a lot, read stuff etc...plus thinking about conscious awareness. Made me fret a lot at times.

Thankfully I realise now I don’t know the origin of the universe, no idea about conscious awareness and don’t think I ever will. Bastard....you made me think about it all again with that post xD

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