Thinking about Thinking and about Intelligence—the the real not the ‘artificial’

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Thinking about Thinking and about Intelligence—the the real not the ‘artificial’

1proximity1
Editat: maig 2, 2019, 7:03 am

I've only recently learned about Shane Parrish(*) and his internet blog, Farnam Street (FS), which contains a podcast page of interviews with some very interesting people.

Parrish describes his blog this way,



"helps you master the best of what other people have already figured out. Together we will develop the mental models to understand how the world works, make better decisions, and live a more meaningful life.

"In a world full of noise and expiring information, FS is a place to step back and think about time-tested ideas. Not only will will help you remember how curious you were but we’ll help you think in a multidisciplinary way."



As you'd learn from listening to Sam Harris's podcast interview with Parrish here, #155 - MENTAL MODELS | A Conversation with Shane Parrish, Parrish took an entry-level job with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), which in some ways is similar to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), only two weeks prior to September 11, 2001 and he remained with the intelligence agency ever since. While there, he pursued an MBA in an attempt to learn to make better decisions; but he rather quickly found that one is not really taught this in the course of obtaining an MBA—nor do other formal studies, extremely rare exceptions apart.

So he began a blog to practice thinking about the problem of how to make better decisions. There is, of course, a whole field know as "decision theory" and, in philosophy, the matter of "heuristics."

Eliezer Yudkowsky's blog considers many of the same things and one finds there many fascinating papers on varied aspects of thinking and intelligence. Yudkowsky is a research fellow at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute and the author of Rationality: From AI to Zombies and
Inadequate Equilibria: Where and How Civilizations Get Stuck

_________________________

(*) Not to be confused with the fictional character in an Australian television series, "Home and Away". Shane Parrish is co-author, with Rhiannon Beaubien of The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts



I posted this thread out a concern for the view that, while contemporary society "has a lot of very fancy and impressive tech-toys," people are not at all necessarily making better decisions because of them and the quite poor decisions often regard very important things.

We're often making really shitty decisions and having to live with them. I live in a big city which is practically a "poster-child" for this dilemma. London is not only an example of stunning stupidity, it's an example of amazingly badly-organized stunning stupidity.

And it's only getting worse (in many of the ways that matter most to me, at any rate). The tech-toys are perhaps shinier and more impressive-looking but they often make other things worse, not better, for society at large. But who the fuck cares about that? "There's millions in it!"

Beware the hype.

The following is just a trivial example. It is not intended to be taken as a blanket condemnation of the organization noted below or its key people. On the contrary, the interesting point here is that these are very intelligent people who are, as they see things, really sincerely trying to "make the world a better place."

a cite from their "About" pages:



"Cities: For the first time in history, more people are living in cities than rural areas. This trend is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. By 2030, an estimated five billion people will live in urban areas. International tourist arrivals will rise from 1.1 billion in 2014 to 1.8 billion by 2030. Travel between cities will surge accordingly.

... "By 2030, an estimated five billion people will live in urban areas. International tourist arrivals will rise from 1.1 billion in 2014 to 1.8 billion by 2030. Travel between cities will surge accordingly." ...

"The biggest technology companies in the world (Apple, Google, Uber) are working on transportation infrastructure and mapping technology." ...

... "Notable new companies: Uber, (read about) WeWork, Waze, Airbnb, Hyperloop."



Yeah, and, just this morning, to cover less than 4 miles, I needed nearly an hour on surface-street public transport. (Could a chauffeur-driven limousine have gotten me from A to B much faster?)

My point is that my transportation averaged less than five-miles-per-hour. A marathon-runner could have covered the same distance on foot, using no short-cuts, taking the same path as the surface transport I used and that runner should have arrived a good twenty-minutes or more in advance. Of course, my time is not "money". I have no money. But, as all I have is time, losing it means losing the only thing I have to work with.

Multiply this idiotically-wasted time by millions of people who have to budget commuting-time into their daily work-lives. Because transit is so stupidly arranged, because this place, already over-crowded, is in a manic rush to cram more and more people into the same overcrowded space, it's going to get worse. That is largely because market-forces determine practically everything, all issues, in this nightmarish place.

Property-values reflect the insanity of this state of affairs and contribute to a vicious-circle of insane misery: since things are so expensive, people put a premium on time and distance. Because they put a premium on time and distance, location—proximity to key people and things—drives and underlies many considerations and thus there is a built-in incentive to compete against others for the best proximity, which in turn drives the cost-per-m2 up and up, making this place one in which living and working is extremely expensive; thus, less wealthy people are "priced-out," as the more and more wealthy replace them (physically) in the living-and-working space. And access to these more and more wealthy people creates a market-driven interest in reaching and attracting these wealthy people.

Is it sheer coincidence that "Uber," "WeWork" and "Airbnb" sprang up in such an environment?

What's the actual general quality-of-life* for many millions of people—rather than just the most-fortunate 500, or 1000 or 5000 people—is these circumstances versus some alternative set of circumstances?



"Americans are among the most stressed people in the world, according to a new survey. And that’s just the start of it.

"Last year, Americans reported feeling stress, anger and worry at the highest levels in a decade, according to the survey, part of an annual Gallup poll of more than 150,000 people around the world, released on Thursday.

“ 'What really stood out for the U.S. is the increase in the negative experiences,' said Julie Ray, Gallup’s managing editor for world news. 'This was kind of a surprise to us when we saw the numbers head in this direction.' ”

_____________________

* "Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report"



Other further reading :

Thinking Fast and Slow
Thinking Fast and Slow (Touchstone reference link)

End of normal the great crisis and the future of growth
End of normal the great crisis and the future of growth (Touchstone reference link)

The Stupidity Paradox The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work
The Stupidity Paradox The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work (Touchstone reference link)

What They Teach You at Harvard Business School My Two Years Inside the Cauldron of Capitalism (also published under the title, Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at H.B.S.)
What They Teach You at Harvard Business School My Two Years Inside the Cauldron of Capitalism (Touchstone reference link)

Life's a Pitch: What the World's Best Sales People Can Teach Us All
Life's a Pitch: What the World's Best Sales People Can Teach Us All (Touchstone reference link)

Mimesis and theory essays on literature and criticism, 1953-2005
Mimesis and theory essays on literature and criticism, 1953-2005 (Touchstone reference link)

The Creative Thinking Handbook Your Step-by-Step Guide to Problem Solving in Business
The Creative Thinking Handbook Your Step-by-Step Guide to Problem Solving in Business (Touchstone reference link)

The Misbehavior of Markets A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence
The Misbehavior of Markets A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence (Touchstone reference link)


__________________



On hyper-rationality's social risks:


Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944

Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944 (Touchstone reference link)

Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West
Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West (Touchstone reference link)

2pgmcc
abr. 30, 2019, 6:10 am

I have starred this thread and will be coming back to check the references and the podcast.

I worked in the field of management consultancy for over thirty years. I have seen many "new ideas" and wondrous approaches to improve performance or make better decisions. In every case I would look at the "new" methodology, approach, or big idea and ask, "What does this give us that is new and is of benefit?" In the majority of cases the reality was it was a re-packaging of an old idea, or it was an approach/system/concept that focused on a single aspect of a business/organisation/operation and improved a narrow set of performance measures and totally ignored a universe full of other factors.

Thank you for starting the thread. I hope to follow it closely and make the time to read, listen and learn.

3proximity1
Editat: abr. 30, 2019, 8:46 am

>2 pgmcc:

Thank you.

I just added a bit of the motivating back-story in order to explain what is surely the obvious frustration in my observations.

With your experience ("worked in the field of management consultancy for over thirty years") I'd be very interested in reading your view of things as it should certainly be one I have not been able to acquire and probably have a hard time imagining. I can't say how much I'd agree with your views but I'd be interested in them whether I agree or not.

___________________________

Thanks to your interest in his work, I had a look at the author Thomas Ligotti's pages at this site. Now I'm interested in his writing. Thanks!

4pgmcc
abr. 30, 2019, 8:26 am

>3 proximity1:
I can't say how much I'd agree with your views but I'd be interested in them whether I agree or not.

You have reminded me of a phrase a friend of mine quoted to me. I have no idea who originally said it but it is applicable here.

"I will not fight with you for having a different opinion but I will fight to defend your right to have a different opinion."

That being said, and having read your addition to post #1, I do not think we will differ much on the topic you described. You will not be surprised that the same pattern is visible in other cities all over the world. Just month ago our property manager walked into my office, pointed to one of my filing cabinets (I have two) and said, "That would cost €12,500 a year have in that position at today's rates for a square metre of office space in Dublin".

More later. I need to do some work to justify keeping my filing cabinet. :-)

P.S. With four children between the ages of 22 and 34 I am well aware of the horrendous cost of accommodation and how hard it is for people to get a place to live. The government here is putting in place initiatives to solve the housing crisis, but the main party (equivalent of the Tories) is only putting in initiatives that increase demand but do nothing to increase supply, hence further upward pressure on home prices.

5proximity1
Editat: maig 2, 2019, 6:27 am

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6DugsBooks
maig 1, 2019, 1:03 pm

>5 proximity1: For people like myself playing catch up {have yet to read a complete link}:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristics_in_judgment_and_decision-making

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

Reminds me of how Cramer, the stock guru, would brag about how his wife would figuratively slap him aside the head and remind him to follow a plan and not make emotional choices on the stock market.

7proximity1
Editat: maig 2, 2019, 6:28 am

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8proximity1
Editat: maig 3, 2019, 10:21 am

Other than following the work and discussions between leading researchers in the field of A.I., people like Eliezer Yudkowsky and Shane Parrish at their own blogs or those of others, such as Sam Harris, I really have little I can contribute to this topic. It's an interest of mine but just one of the several I follow and read about as an interested layman. I don't make any methodical study of developments in A.I. since I need that time to study the "Shakespeare Authorship Question."

Briefly, the way I see it is that Sam Harris is mistaken to regard the nature of organic matter (O.M.), developed over eons of natural evolution and, in the process, giving us everything we know or think about the meaning and operation of both the concept of "intelligence" and "artificial", as not essentially different from inorganic matter.

Organic matter holds an inherent potential to evolve naturally into animate forms which react to stimuli while inorganic matter shows absolutely no such potential.

The mechanical manipulation of data human imputs through the use of an abacus is not essentially different than the manipulation of data imputs via a super-computer. Only the operating devices are different and these account for the enormous differences in computational speed and, of course, data "storage", of which the abacus has none.

But an abacus, like any digital computer, however powerful, has no experiential relationship to the data--none whatsoever. Organic matter's reactive capacity to stimulus gives it a special capacity to experience stimuli as data-imputs where higher forms of organic matter are both alive and have some degree, however rudimentary, of "consciousness"--which can be anything from non-self-aware sense-receptions to what we know as human consciousness.

In higher forms of O.M. all data use is in and through direct experiential contact which implies a real-world-time-centered relationship between data and the entity manipulating it. Indeed, O.M. qualifies as existentially an "entity" where Inorganic matter does not.

Organic matter, living protoplasm, reduced to its constituent elements, is irrevocably altered--in other words, its essential characteristics are "destroyed" in the reduction of its elementary constituents to their simpler forms. That is not true of inorganic matter which, reduced to essential elements, can be naturally or artificially reconstituted to conditions which are materially (i.e. by their composition) indistinguishable from other samples of the same material.

Simply put, reduced to your elemental chemistry, your physical being is destroyed beyond recovery by any process, natural or artificial. With that destruction goes your intelligence and the capacity for it. This is common to all intelligent O.M. and distinguishes it from inorganic matter--computers, with all their hardware and software included.

Electrical impulses over a neural network of synapses hold an intelligence-potential which is both inherent in and unique to this O.M. tissue and it's a potential which we have no reason to suppose is other than completely absent in the contrived machine solid-state circuitry of digital computers.

Machine data manipulation does not take place "experientially" within the machine's constituent parts. The machine is not an "entity", it has no "conception" of anything going on any "where" as it is not cognizant of existence, its own or any other "thing's", not capable of time-sensitivity, not capable of the simplest sense-perception, no matter how many "times" a data manipulation is "run." One single mathematical operation, a single sum operation, is indistinguishable, as far as the computer is concerned, from a series of billions of the same kind of operation done serially and cumulatively. Indeed, as with everything other concept and term by which we understand these, "cumulative" means nothing within the data-operations machinery itself.

9pgmcc
maig 3, 2019, 9:12 am

The Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose presents all the science behind his argument that we do not have the scientific knowledge to create real awareness and intelligence in a machine. I think your explanation is much more succinct; Penrose reprised virtually all known mathematics and physics before presenting his main thesis.

The Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford was published in 2015 and is a good overview of where the technology had reached at that stage and was comprehensive enough to be still up-to-date. It main premise was that technology would lead to more and more automation with the result being mass unemployment across the world. While it was intended to present that sociological argument he provided enough facts and figures to show how technology has developed and what its latest capabilities are that is can act as an update on the state-of-the-art.

I strongly recommend {The Rise of the Robots. The Emperor's New Mind would be useful if you feel like revising the world of mathematics and physics. I got about half way through it before deciding I wanted a life.

By the way, if you are not familiar with Roger Penrose you might be familiar with someone whom he supervised at college: Stephen Hawkins.

10proximity1
Editat: maig 3, 2019, 10:19 am

>9 pgmcc:

At amazon.com, at the page which presents Martin Ford’s The Rise of Robots, “migedy” writes as follows,

“I have taught Artificial Intelligence (AI) for 3 decades at a major university. … About 8 years ago I lost faith in the buggy whip argument. I realized that, as the technology of AI advanced, a point would be reached in which intelligent software and general-purpose robots could perform all tasks (both mental and physical) that are currently achievable only by highly educated humans. Once one intelligent robot exists with a high level of general intelligence, it can be mass produced. There have been many advances in AI in recent years (in neural networks, planning and learning systems). Machine learning systems can now learn a number of complex cognitive tasks simply by observing the past performance of human experts.” …



I don't doubt for a moment that people are conceiving, designing, building, testing, and adopting for routine uses robotics and robots, the devices themselves which operate "robotically." And of course this has been going on for decades and "we're" getting "better and better" at it.

Nor do I doubt that these trends have made tremendous changes in the world of work, causing the loss, (i.e. the elimination of human workers) of many kinds of paid or unpaid work by the human workers' replacement by robots.

All that has happened and there's unfortunately every reason to suppose that it's going to continue to happen. That is, people are going to continue to conceive, design, build, test, and adopt for routine uses more and more robotics and robots.

But none of these robots shall actually do anything nor, of course, care to do anything until someone turns them "on" and maintains them operationally. It is argued, as a hypothesis, that eventually other robots can do this conception, design, construction and deployment "themselves", without either human intervention or, what's more important to my point, human motivation.

My question for the professor is "why would any robots want to do these things?—unless, that is, their programs encoded in them an automatic and self-initiated 'interest', 'motive,' 'desire' ?"

We come with these naturally because unless we attend to our bodily needs, we'll die. And, unlike computers or operating-system software, we have an "instinctual" drive to both survive and reproduce.

So, suppose you were (or one was) given the world's most advanced computing machines and the most advanced artificial intelligence programming with them. And, just for the sake of argument, suppose this machine could, by use of its programs, "solve" any math problem, "answer" correctly any fact-based question, and, create operational designs and plans by which other machines could be built, networked, and put into any conceivable use.

Why, given all of that, would the computer, without some intervening human-issued commands to start its working, other than, that is, simply switching on the electric current so that it "could," function, (but, at this stage, it hasn't) could receive and compute regarding any data-imput—why would it want to do any of these things? No one has at this point launched any program; only the electrical power has been turned on. If one likes, one could add that the system has "booted". But no commands have been issued and, unless there were some which launched automatically with the "boot", how would these be added and made automatic on booting? —except by some human intervention?

Its programs "enable" it to "play chess" and to "win" "games" "against" "all-comers"— but not from the computer's point of view, because, despite its having "all the 'intelligence in the world'", it doesn't possess either a "point-of-view" or any desire at all to engage spontaneously in a game of chess.

Unless I'm mistaken, even the most advanced computers don't spontaneously choose to play (or not to play) games of chess while no one is watching. They have to be prompted to "play."

There's thus a problem there somewhere.

11pgmcc
maig 3, 2019, 10:47 am

>10 proximity1: I agree with your motivation point. Ford describes some software techniques used in AI (and I hate to use the work "Intelligence" in relation to programmed machines) development whereby programmes clock up positive and negative scores depending on how beneficial or otherwise their actions are in relation to moving towards meeting their objectives. It is all in the machine learning space. He described how developers are hired to carry out programming work and their approaches are monitored by the learning machines that lead to the system learning (auto-programming) to be able to carry out such tasks in future thereby reducing the need to hire developers. He also makes the point that many solicitors' offices are using computers to analyse cases leaving new solicitors feeding the machines or collating output from the machines rather than working through the law itself. His point is that the machines can learn/be programmed to do high value work which nullifies the traditional response to automation; i.e. retrain. That is fine if a manual labour job is automated; there were many areas where a person who was made redundant due to automation could up-skill and find employment elsewhere. Fords point is that we are starting to automate some of the most highly skilled jobs and thereby creating mass unemployment on a global scale and we need to think about this now.

He mentions the global reach of computer systems and the fact that people in China or Russia can work remotely to do the same jobs their American or British counterparts will be hoping to get.

With the systems able to do the higher valued jobs there will be fewer jobs to go around and more people from many places who will have the capability to do the jobs. The number of high level jobs will reduce and people will be desperate to get what they want and they will be competing with on-line job seekers who do the work remotely and will not even need to travel to a corporate office to do their job.

12DugsBooks
maig 3, 2019, 10:25 pm

>8 proximity1: "Organic matter, living protoplasm, reduced to its constituent elements, is irrevocably altered--in other words, its essential characteristics are "destroyed" in the reduction of its elementary constituents to their simpler forms. That is not true of inorganic matter which, reduced to essential elements, can be naturally or artificially reconstituted to conditions which are materially (i.e. by their composition) indistinguishable from other samples of the same material."

Just nitpicking here but as they say in the song Woodstock :

We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden

That includes the computers and people. I guess you could extend that out to the weird concept of "information being destroyed by entering a black hole" where people got upset because that violates some rule of physics/cosmos but they figured out a way around it recently I hear. {As a surprise to no one I admit I know very little about any of that}.

Craig Venter has mentioned the concept of DNA being a computer code, which many people disagree with at length but that concept applied to your idea of :

"Machine data manipulation does not take place "experientially" within the machine's constituent parts. The machine is not an "entity", it has no "conception" of anything going on any "where" as it is not cognizant of existence, its own or any other "thing's", not capable of time-sensitivity, not capable of the simplest sense-perception, no matter how many "times" a data manipulation is "run." One single mathematical operation, a single sum operation, is indistinguishable, as far as the computer is concerned, from a series of billions of the same kind of operation done serially and cumulatively. Indeed, as with everything other concept and term by which we understand these, "cumulative" means nothing within the data-operations machinery itself."

Give a computer time to evolve and build/extend its own physical and neural software infrastructure maybe you will get real time responses. Especially over long, organic evolutionary, periods of time where only the computers who adapt still exist. Yep, plenty of SF stories have been there. As for consciousness that is all in your definition I guess as humans have many different types of that which buy expensive cars for psychologists and the dividing line between animal and people is debated.

Given all that I think the Turning test will evolve and I am very glad that some of those "deep learning" A.I.s are able to pick up patterns that human biases seem to blind the perception of to researchers.

...best I can do without several more years of education ;-)

13proximity1
Editat: maig 4, 2019, 7:26 am

>12 DugsBooks:

You tell us,

"Give a computer time to evolve and build/extend its own physical and neural software infrastructure maybe you will get real time responses."

You say that but you leave out the convincing argument for why we ought to believe this is true. I suspect that you think it's true because you need to believe that organic matter which has proven to be capable of evolving into states which react to stimuli with no pre-loaded operating program to direct it to do this is not inherently different from the kind which did evolve.

Let's try a thought-experiment.

While there are sentient creatures extant, we can assert the "existence" of "time". Why? Because it is implied in the nature of life and living organism. How about just inert organic matter—carbon-based "stuff" which is not sentient, which cannot react to any external stimuli—supposing there were such stimuli (e.g. light, heat, gravity) as a given for the purposes of this example. Would there then "still be" "time"? Not as I see it, no. Remove all sentient, stimuli-receptive matter and we expel "time" as a feature of the physical universe with it.

So, in the thought experiment, we imagine that, although there used to exist high intelligence in the universe in the form of organic life-forms (which conceived, designed, built and operated the computers and the software which ran on them), there are no longer any such things as that anywhere in the universe which can act upon these machines--the inventors of which are now dead and gone.

In that scenario as just described, I ask you: is there "time"? I don't think there is and I don't see why you should, either. Do you have an argument to convince me that, absent all life-forms as we understand these, conscious or not, "intelligent" or not, there is still something called—but, note, there is nothing to "call it" this— "time" ?

My point is that, in the scenario, though the machines may be sitting right there where their human supervisors left them, there is no "time" in which they can operate. So, in the strictest of terms, we actually can't do as you propose and, "Give a computer time to evolve." There isn't any. No "evolution" and no "time" in which it can take place. Both of these presuppose organic matter of the sort from which all intelligence ultimately sprang.

We may not be able to explain yet precisely why this should be the case, but it seems to me, in the absence of a convincing argument to the contrary, that it is the case.

The following suggestion is the best I can do for a start on the "why" —for some reason, again, not clear or understood, "time" must, at the very least, be "experienced" or, is, indeed, virtually the same "thing" as "experience". That is still a quite low-order requirement when you think about it (no pun intended) because it does not presuppose anything with any sort of consciousness; literally any life-form, however simple in its characteristics, suffices to provide the universe with something which is "experiencing" existence.

Thus, it could be put differently: "time" is "experienced" by something which, conscious or not, is sentient—an amoeba would do. Maybe even archaea(1) would do (and I think it would do). Any single-celled life would do. But inanimate matter—which is what computer-machinery is*—won't do. Again, I am at a loss when it comes to explaining why this should be the case but I can come up with no "escape" from it as a matter of logic.

_____________________________

* we can't maintain that simply running an electric current through circuitry suffices to qualify something as "animate." If that were the case, the toaster would be an animate object. But we don't think it's other than absurd to be angry at the toaster simply because the toast was burnt-black.

______________________________

(1) Proc. Nati. Acad. Sci. USA
Vol. 87, pp. 4576-4579, June 1990
Evolution

Towards a natural system of organisms: Proposal for the domains
Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya

(Euryarchaeota/Crenarchaeota/kingdom/evolution)


By CARL R. WOESE (1928-2012),
formerly of the Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois, 131 Burrill Hall, Urbana, IL 61801;

OTTO KANDLER, (1920-2017)
Botanisches Institut der Universitat Munchen, Menzinger Strasse 67,
8000 Munich 19, Federal Republic of Germany;

and

MARK L. WHEELIS, Emeritus professor, senior lecturer, SOE,
Department of Microbiology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

14proximity1
maig 5, 2019, 6:59 am



More "bee"-like ?



(Photo Source/credit: Wikipedia: CC BY 2.0 File:Todd Huffman - Lattice (by).jpg | Created: 16 July 2007 )

Do some technological developments—and, among them, some of the most 'important' developments— when coupled with social behaviors which are demonstrably related to, or which seem to flow from, those developments, suggest that the most technologically-"advanced" human societies are becoming, in some ways and in certain senses, more "Beehive-like" in character?

That's intended to be taken metaphorically, not intended as true, strictly-speaking; I don't mean to suggest that technologically-advanced society is in danger of coming to resemble beehives' castes, where individuals fall into one of only three types, "drones" (whether typically male-only (in the case of honeybees) or not), "workers" (whether typically female-only or not) and "queens".







15DugsBooks
Editat: maig 7, 2019, 1:17 pm

>13 proximity1: Time is experienced by both animate and inanimate in that time affects both - unless you believe we are a hologram projection and then you have to check on there being time in the other cosmos.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2522482/Is-universe-hologram-Phy...

16proximity1
maig 7, 2019, 5:47 am


>15 DugsBooks:

I don't buy Juan's thesis.

My point was not that inanimate matter behaves or is acted on differently according to whether or not there exist sentient creatures ; it was rather that, unless there are such creatures, "time" as a concept or "even" a "phenomenon" is utterly meaningless and, as such (i.e. as "meaningless") also virtually as well as literally "non-existent."

The universe's being a hologram projection--with or without sentient matter--doesn't follow from that.



In a larger sense, the theory suggests that the entire universe can be seen as a 'two-dimensional structure projected onto a cosmological horizon' - or in simpler terms, a projection.

If we could understand the laws that govern physics on that distant surface, the principle suggests we would grasp all there is to know about reality.



So, I'd wonder--assuming, as is done here in this hypothesis--if two dimensions are "sufficient" for the existence of the universe, why should fundamental physical conditions also imply (and, so, "project") anything else anywhere, at any time?

The thesis violates "Ockham's razor" doesn't it? I don't see here what Professor Maldacena's view (described sympathetically in Lee Smolin's book, The Trouble With Physics) adds in any helpful solutions enigmas that aren't encumbered with compounded complications.

17proximity1
Editat: maig 17, 2019, 5:26 am


A hammer, a pulley, a sled, and a lever are all a type of tool which have something in common. Each of them, in its various ways, works as a “force-multiplier” for the person who uses it correctly, properly. That is, force-multipliers may enhance the performance of those using them in the course of doing certain kinds of work which, without the tool, should be either more difficult or, in some cases, otherwise impossible.

We would do better, I believe, if we returned to the older habit of thinking about computers in this way—as force-multipliers, tools which, if used properly, can enhance humans’ performance of certain tasks; for, it’s an interesting and telling thing that, we do not make the mistake of thinking that a hammer, a pulley, a sled or a lever actually changes our own native strength making and leaving us stronger, per se . We can do more of certain kinds of work with these tools but, once we put them away, we have only the same strengths and weaknesses, the same capacities, as we had before we picked them up to perform some work. They have not left us changed, permanently stronger than we were before.

Looked at and used properly as tools, computers, like other force-multipliers, may help us do certain kinds of things: they may help us to calculate, or to record, copy, sort and compare sets of data—including vast quantities of data that, otherwise, should be too great to handle conveniently. They don’t, however, act on or alter our ”intelligence”—all tempting appearances to the contrary—making us somehow definitively more “intelligent” than we were before we performed the tasks done with them. It is undoubtedly true that, in the course of our use of computers, we can sometimes acquire new knowledge, sometimes learn new facts, sometimes learn something new about old facts and sometimes learn new ways of doing things; but in doing these, we use the intelligence we brought to the tasks concerned.

People collectively are not significantly more intelligent today than they were when the first computers were conceived and built. The now-and-decades-old widespread use of computers—whether these are networked or stand-alone machines, whether they are super computers or lap-tops—has not only not made us “smarter,” their use, and, especially their abuse, have in some ways contributed to our confusion in grasping distinctions, recognizing contradictory facts or data, contributing in this way to clouding our judgment, making us sloppier and lazier in certain intellectual tasks, leading us to overestimate our capacities for using our intelligence and for judging and for analyzing issues and controversies.

Previous generations had done a far more careful job of keeping in mind what was a popular saying of early generations of electric card-reading computers and, later, digital computers: “GIGO”: “garbage-‘in,’ garbage ‘out.’ ” Behind this phrase lay the understanding that data was worthless unless two key tasks had been done properly. First, the programmers required a sound, correct, working hypothesis, a theoretical relationship, which linked the data to the conclusions which were drawn from it. That, in turn, required that the results of the computer calculations or comparisons were properly interpreted by those reading them, those people, researchers, for whom (and sometimes or often by whom) the computing tasks were designed and used in the first place. A computer cannot, in the first analysis, do this for the researchers. That understanding must be supplied by human agency.

The widespread use of high-powered computing and especially of networked computer systems as the basis for nearly instantaneous communication and data-retrieval has refashioned our relationship to information, changed, for the worse in many cases, our expectations and our patience-level when it comes to finding, interpreting and using information. The habits of careful, painstaking judgment have suffered in the process. We are tempted to expect and to resort to short-cut methods. Speed has overtaken care as a virtue.

Because we have so much more data, so much more information at our disposal, we allow ourselves to believe the tempting conceit that we know more, that we are smarter than we were before and, most of all, that our knowledge is surer, more secure, more certain, because, so we think, there is so much data behind it, “supporting it.” “Studies show…” and, since they do, why bother to read them? Why bother to re-run them for verification? As it happens, many research results cannot be duplicated by subsequent trials. (But that is anecdotal conjecture; I have no verified research to support this. (1) ;^) )

The tendencies described above have also, I believe, contributed to a current tendency to see many kinds of social, political and economic issues as being finally tractable through a now-fashionable approach which might be described as the “planner’s-mentality.” The root of the problem is supposedly that not enough good planning went into the matter at early stages. Had this been done, the difficulties facing us should have been avoided. That’s because, ultimately, we’re supposedly smart enough, using our magnificent computing power, to foresee and prevent these difficulties before they come up. Practically everything which challenges us—which is typically shorthand for “those of us in charge”—is supposedly amenable to resolution through seminars, discussion panels, podcasts and TED Talks led by the best “cutting-edge” thinkers, Aspen retreats, Davos summits. If we just get enough of the right clever minds to focus on problems A. B, C, etc., there is nothing that cannot be solved—and social, economic and political order need not be disturbed in the process. Our troubles shall be analyzed and corrected by the same sets of experts whose work and habits of thinking created them or helped to perpetuate them. The Aspen Institute ® (tm) will send The Five Best Ideas of the Day (tm) each weekday, right to your in-box.

The computing-power now at the disposal of the people and organizations with the means to afford it places more and more control over what becomes considered a norm, an acceptable practice, and this can easily mean greater and greater capacity for surveillance and checking-&-control—places these in the hands of a privileged set of elite institutions, groups and individuals. Society comes to adopt their priorities for the simple reason that they possess the technical capacity to make them dominant.

Thus, higher and higher computing power brings with it greater capacities for surveillance and control, inviting an insidious pathology of regimentation—as much or more mental as physical in character. This regimentation, so far from being widely and successfully resisted, is more likely to be simply taken as part of or, indeed, as simply synonymous with, “progress.” Thus, it shall be more embraced than resisted and those who do resist shall be designated and defined as anti-social deviants, “Luddites,” one of the most damning things a person may be called in the culture of perpetual computer progress.

There's been what, predictably, is being described in the mainstream British press as an epidemic of "knife crime." With the computing power that has been readily available for years, this phenomenon could have been (and, for all I know, was) modeled and predicted as the likely consequence of a number of well-known trends in drastically cutting government social-support programs. Thus, any "super-human" computer intelligence, in theory, had there been one, should have foreseen and warned us about this. Instead, we ought to have recognized its likelihood ourselves. And some, a few, did. Their warnings weren't heeded. There is no "app" for that.

_____________________________

(1) Data availability, reusability, and analytic reproducibility: evaluating the impact of a mandatory open data policy at the journal Cognition by Tom E. Hardwicke, et al; Published:15 August 2018 | https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.180448 (.pdf : open access)

”Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” | John P. A. Ioannidis | Published: August 30, 2005
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124 | (open access ; .pdf )

Journal Nature
| NEWS FEATURE | 1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility Survey sheds light on the ‘crisis’ rocking research. | Monya Baker | 25 May 2016 Corrected: | 28 July 2016 (open access ; .pdf )


( for more examples, search on the string “frequency of non-replicable research data” )

JOURNAL ARTICLE
“Going beyond Panaceas” | by Elinor Ostrom, Marco A. Janssen and John M. Anderies |
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) | Vol. 104, No. 39 (Sep. 25, 2007), pp. 15176-15178 (3 pages)
|
Published by: National Academy of Sciences | https://www.jstor.org/stable/25449108

“Complexity of Coupled Human and Natural Systems” by Jianguo Liu, et al
DOI: 10.1126/science.1144004 |  Science vol. 317 (5844): pp. 1513-6 · October 2007
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5970448_Complexity_of_Coupled_Human_and...

Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise | By Saras D. Sarasvath

Goedelian_arguments_against_AI%20(1).pdf

https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/LessWrong_Wiki

https://aiimpacts.org/

__________________________

( A Musical Learning Algorithm | David Cope
Posted Online March 13, 2006
https://doi.org/10.1162/0148926041790685
© 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Computer Music Journal
Volume 28 | Issue 3 | Fall 2004 | p.12-27 )
__________________________

Unbounded Rationality (© 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands)

by Melvin F. Shakun, Leonard N. Stern School of BusinessNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

In Group Decision and Negotiation
March 2001, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 97–118 | Cite as "Unbounded Rationality" https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1008708222157#citeas

Topical tags for this paper : bounded and unbounded rationality; intelligence;
right decision/negotiation; connectedness; consciousness; spirituality; purposeful complex adaptive systems (PCAS); Evolutionary Systems Design (ESD); multiagent systems; natural (human) and artificial agents;
__________________________

The Chinese Room Argument
(In (online) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ) : First published Fri Mar 19, 2004; substantive revision Wed Apr 9, 2014)

___________________________

Scientific American magazine: (Cross Check) “Do Big New Brain Projects Make Sense When We Don't Even Know the ‘Neural Code’?” | By John Horgan on March 23, 2013

18sallypursell
gen. 12, 2020, 11:26 am

>13 proximity1: I think you are arguing that the passage of time, or a direction of time, is an inherent property of the perceiving of it. I don't see why this should be the case. There would still be entropy, wouldn't there be? Would machines, including AI, not decay, rust, experience metal fatigue, wear away interlocking or reciprocating parts? They may not perceive "time" but processes associated with time are still occurring I believe. I admit to greatly less education than you--and I can certainly understand your viewpoint on the wonderful archaea--but if changes in membrane potentials and usage of resources make for the perception of time by these organisms, I don't see much difference in machines. What is different is not the existence of "time", it is the labeling of it, surely.

I believe it is not time that is nonexistent, it is merely the word, as is the perception, in the universe you imagine.

19proximity1
Editat: gen. 12, 2020, 12:49 pm

>18 sallypursell:

"don't see much difference in machines. What is different is not the existence of "time", it is the labeling of it, surely"
______________________________

I think you imagine a world in which, more or less suddenly, all sentient intelligent beings such as those of our genus Homo have disappeared, ceased to exist anywhere, but not before leaving behind the world we know today with its modern computing equipment or some even more advanced form of it.

With that picture in "mind," (but, notice, the "minds" are our own, in this, our "present", and not in the imagined-future of your interrogation here) you ask, (given this scene) with all our artifacts left lying around,


"Would machines, including AI, not decay, rust, experience metal fatigue, wear away interlocking or reciprocating parts? They may not perceive "time" but processes associated with time are still occurring I believe."


In other words, of course, this presupposes that "time" "goes on" "without us", that is, without anyone or anything capable of its (time's) conception. And why should this be? Because, as I understand your assumptions, in addition to our inanimate artifacts, there has also been left behind a "point of view" which corresponds with, if not ours (Homo sapiens), then at least with something at least resembling that. But with, as a condition, no remaining naturally intelligent life, just where should or could such a "point of view" reside and persist?

You might try your own thought-experiments to test your assumptions.

Here, for example,

With only machine-A.I. data-sets (which include alphabetic text strings such as this one: "time", (in whatever language one prefers, "temps", "Die Zeit", "tempo", "Χρόνος" etc.) what could such alphabetic data-strings "signify"? and, more to the point, to what or to whom could such data-strings possibly be "significant" supposing the A.I. computer had a surviving power supply and could "speak" audibly?

Or, to take another hypothetical, what mother of a new-born bothers to discourse to her infant of a few days, a few weeks or a few months on the topic of "time"? None that I can imagine since no such infant possesses an intelligence which is "ripe" for that explanation--despite remarkable capacities inherent in new-born infants. They cannot, for example, conceptualize or, to use your term, "label", "gravity". They don't and can't "know" what this phenomenon "is", but they can feel it, sense it, even without the capacity to mentally conceptualize it.

But there are no such infants in this scenario. There is nothing left of sentient intelligence which could conceive or grasp any "significance" in any "idea" whatsoever.

And, with that, there disappears the "point of view" in totality. No "point of view" does or could continue, unlike the inanimate objects left behind. And, absent a point of view, no concept of time can even theoretically exist. If, for no other reason, because theories themselves presuppose temporal conceptions and we've just found that there are none in this scene.

So, lacking point of view, "things," "concepts," such as "movement," "motion," "direction," "speed", "rate", and all processes which imply them (rust, metal-fatigue, "entropy") are no longer meaningful either as ideas or as "physical events" since each and every one of these by necessity presupposes an extant "point of view". But there are no "observers" and without them, no point of view---as I suppose that. If we imagine that the physical events "happen", we fail to notice the implied presence of "time" as a concept in the very term, "happen." How can anything "happen" outside a framework of "time"? And, without any mind, where is such a framework?

20sallypursell
Editat: gen. 12, 2020, 6:20 pm

>19 proximity1: This is an expanded version of the "If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?" which is a non-question. Of course, it depends on the definition of "sound".

I went to consult my husband about your thinking, wanting to be sure I gave you all the thinking space your opinion deserves. He is a very thoughtful man, with science learning, and IT experience. I listened to everything he had to say, and went over your arguments both alone and together with him more than once.

I know there are both solipsists and other theoretical thinkers who consider that life is very little like our experience of it. But I still don't believe that you need either an observer or a point of view for a process to proceed. If that were true, then how did the Earth come to exist in its current form ~5 billion years after the big bang? There was no consciousness to perceive it until 4.? billion years had passed, and yet the cosmos is in a form that is very different from its original form. Unless you believe in God being the perceiver, almost all that had no observer. I know there are theories that say that mathematics shows that time has no preferred direction, and therefore, there is no "arrow of time" going from the past to the future, but that doesn't seem to be what you are suggesting.

Let us agree to disagree. I respect your opinion, but cannot share it.

edited for correction of typographical errors.

21proximity1
Editat: gen. 13, 2020, 5:49 am

>20 sallypursell: This is an expanded version of the "If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?"

Not at all. I don't for a moment doubt that whether or not anyone is there to see or hear them, physical events have their effects. Thus, the tree's fall certainly makes a sound. But you're overlooking the fact that, in every forest there are living creatures which can hear sounds. Before there was dry land, sentient beings at sea could and did hear, see, etc.

So there is no valid analogy with the "if a tree falls in a forest" case.


But I still don't believe that you need either an observer or a point of view for a process to proceed. If that were true, then how did the Earth come to exist in its current form ~5 billion years after the big bang? There was no consciousness to perceive it until 4.? billion years had passed, and yet the cosmos is in a form that is very different from its original form. Unless you believe in God being the perceiver, almost all that had no observer.


But, I also grant it that in a universe devoid of life forms there are "sounds." Space is not a perfect vaccuum.

There are "processes", for lack of a better term. Your objections aren't what I had contended:

"I still don't believe that you need either an observer or a point of view for a process to proceed."

Right.

"If that were true, then how did the Earth come to exist in its current form ~5 billion years* after the big bang?"

My guess is that it happened through a circular process of "bang," "expansion", "collapse," "bang," "expansion", "collapse," etc. (rinse and repeat.)

"There was no consciousness to perceive it until 4.?"

None "needed".

RE: "~5 billion years"

You do know that this figure is entirely coincidental, right? It's a feature of a number of things: the size of the Earth, its distance from and rotation around our Sun, and the estimated rate (which is neither known with certainty nor has always been correctly gaged) of the (current or "long-term") expansion of the universe.

All these are arbitrary to the extent that they depend completely on our terrestrial circumstances.

No one from Saturn, Uranus or Jupiter could have a coherent conversation with any of us about any such "process" or its "duration" without first somehow arriving at a common-view stand-point about time-measurement--for there is no such thing which is universally-valid.

If he'd done nothing else, Einstein's work put to rest the idea that there is anything constant in "time". Space-time is elastic. It can stretch out or compress and in varying conditions, it "passes" more or less "quickly" or "slowly". What did your husband do with such data?

I don't contend that there are no physical events absent some observer(s). My point is that "time" is, as a concept--and Einstein's and others' work have shown this--an anthropocentric concept or, at the very most, the conceptual fruit of what we are pleased to call "higher intelligence," our own and that of certain other intelligent life. There is no independent and objective "time", it is all subjective. And, from that, we can deduce that, without a subject, "it" would be a meaningless concept.

Not all the intelligent life in the universe would agree on the specific terrestrial value of "C", though it is supposed to be universally-constant: our value for it is terrestrially-based. From earth, the speed of light (through a near-vaccuum ("empty" space) is (approx.) "exact value is defined as 299792458 metres per second. It is exact because by international agreement a metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of ​¹⁄₂₉₉₇₉₂₄₅₈ second." (Wikipedia)

But, depending on gravitational forces, such an agreed length, a "metre" can be stretched or compressed. Close enough to a black hole's event horizon, a metre stretches out more and more. If it becomes pulled inside, its stretch extends (according to theory) beyond our capacities to measure. In universal collapse phase, the same "metre" is "crushed" down to a "size" that is, well, so dense that, again, our measures aren't meaningfully useful. Again, this is all according to (my far from perfect understanding of) some disputed and disputable current theories. (I'm outlining here some aspects of some of my preferred versions of some of them.)

22restu777
gen. 15, 2020, 3:43 am

S'ha suprimit aquest usuari en ser considerat brossa.

23sallypursell
gen. 28, 2020, 4:18 pm

>21 proximity1: This last seems to me to be a change from your earlier-expressed opinion, so it must be that I didn't understand you before. I agree with most all that you say here. I still maintain that "time" is a real item, and that the fact that Venusians might have a different name for it changes nothing. Of course aliens would have a different definition of C. But I would guess it would accord with ours if adequate translation were possible. Naturally, extreme physical conditions change some of the characteristics of time; this does not negate the concept. We cannot talk about a change without having an item defined as "time" to compare. I would contend that a metre does not exist in the collapse phase of the "heartbeat universe", but I thought that had been proven impossible by our understanding that the universe is continuing to fly apart past the point where there is enough matter close enough to the rest to pull it back to the compression phase. Surely none of that really matters. If we were to change the definition of a metre to a different size, it would change nothing about our conventional view of time or of speed, we would just express it differently.

Does this discussion benefit us? Let us be cordial co-members of this highly esteemed community. You may continue to have your views, and I shall keep mine, whether they are the same or very different. I have enjoyed, or, at any event, appreciated our conversation. Take care and take courage.

24proximity1
Editat: gen. 30, 2020, 8:32 am

"I still maintain that "time" is a real item, and that the fact that Venusians might have a different name for it changes nothing"

________________

I'm quite ready to accept my part of the responsibility of making my point of view clear and understandable. I don't always succeed and even more often than outright failure--at least I hope it's more often--I don't do as good a job of it as I might. And there are limits to others' patience and interest. (That's because, as I've already granted, we --and any other sufficiently-intelligent life, Venusians included, make "time" a life/intelligence-contingent function.)

Whenever any such intelligence is posited as a "given", as you do (again) when you re-introduce a time-cognizant creature, (in the latest example, they're Venusians rather than Earthlings), you're merely restating and re-imposing conditions which I've already granted as preconditions of any "reality" of "time": to (sufficiently intelligent) perceivers, there is bound to seem to be an objective reality to "time".

So, given your reply, I haven't used the reasoning and examples which have made this distinction clear to you.

You want to assert that "time" has an objective reality--one which is independent of any intelligence's observation or cognizance of it. But you don't explain why anyone ought to feel obliged to accept that as a logical necessity. And, in restating your position, you re-introduce as a "given" just such an intelligence--living on Venus.

The stubborn question is, unless we grant as a pre-condition some sort of intelligence as cognizant of this objectively real "time", why should we suppose it exists in the absence of any such intelligence at all?

Imagine, if you can, an "infinite" cycle of "bang and expansion" followed by "collapse" and, between which "bang" and terminated-"collapse," nothing physically relatable to "intelligence" survives from one cycle to its successor--- unless, that is, we're simply going label the maximum pre-bang density itself as "intelligence".

Where, other than "interior to" some such cycles of expansion-and-collapse, does "time" meaningfully exist? "Heaven"? --and why ought we suppose that it does?

You don't have an answer for this any more than I do. I may be mistaken about it but I wonder if you're not seeking some basis on which to argue that "Heaven" must exist as a logical necessity of there being "time"--since its place is assumed to be in this undefined interval between "bang" and the terminus of "collapse."

Unless we presuppose some intelligence which abides externally to this cycle, I fail to see where “time” has a place outside the cycle's “existence”. Or, in other words, the cycle itself is, strictly speaking, “timeless”, without reference point in any manner of “space”, of “time,” or of “space-time”.

"No 'calculator,' no 'calculation'."

25sallypursell
abr. 4, 2020, 1:47 am

"but I wonder if you're not seeking some basis on which to argue that "Heaven" must exist as a logical necessity of there being "time"--since its place is assumed to be in this undefined interval between "bang" and the terminus of "collapse.""

Heaven forfend! What does this have to do with the existence of "Heaven"? I am agnostic, maybe even atheistic, but lacking certainty, so I term it "agnostic". I cannot see any necessity of this nebulous and, I think, pointless myth, that of Heaven.

By the way, by the little I know, this cyclical bang and collapse seems to be very unlikely. I have heard it called "the heartbeat universe", which seems an evocative term to me. But rather, it appears the matter will continue to rarify as it continues to fly apart. This implies either some catastrophic end, or the "heat-death" of the universe. I picture Virgil and Dante observing it, in complete contradiction to the negative entropy at this scene. Can you see it?

26proximity1
Editat: abr. 5, 2020, 6:09 am

... "rather, it appears the matter will continue to rarify as it continues to fly apart. This implies either some catastrophic end, or the "heat-death" of the universe. I picture Virgil and Dante observing it, in complete contradiction to the negative entropy at this scene. Can you see it?"

As a flight of fancy, of course I could picture it.

I wonder what you've read in the critical responses of cosmologists to this hypothesis by which "matter will continue to rarify as it continues to fly apart" until "some catastrophic end, or the 'heat-death' of the universe."

For me, it fails a logic so essential that "even" "physics" cannot escape.

Either you view the universe as finite or not--i.e. literally, physically "infinite." There really is no 'middle-ground' on this. Unless "time" is not "always" and "everywhere" just some "local" phenomenon, then "time", which is a discrete process by nature, must "be" "everywhere" and all at once the "same" 'throughout' "infinity"--but this is a logical contradiction in terms :

"infinity" cannot, by definition, have any character which is 'throughout' "it".

The "quotation-marks" are there to point up the limitations of our very semantics and language in discussing these things.

ETA:

Look, let's get back to basics:

the hypothesis that the universe is "infinite" (a layman's term which simply means "without limit","endless," and is, AFAIK, undefined in astrophysics) has nothing in actual physical evidence to support it. It is sheer conjecture; much-beloved conjecture but conjecture nonetheless. Is there any actual physical evidence for the hypothesis itself? Where? Please don't confuse "inflationary models" with the term "infinite." I accept that the universe can and does "expand" or "inflate." That does not logically imply anything necessarily about "infinity".

So why do you assume, upon zero evidence for it that the universe is "infinite"?

27sallypursell
abr. 6, 2020, 6:19 pm

Oh, my, let's just agree to disagree. I don't remember saying "infinite" but if I did, then I apologize for imprecision. I refuse to continue this "argument". Surely it is not worth our time? Please be well, stay safe wherever you are--we are all of us confronting how finite we all are. I am a health care professional, and friends of mine have died. This, otherwise, feels trivial. I wish you well.

28proximity1
Editat: abr. 8, 2020, 4:55 am

>27 sallypursell:

"I am a health care professional," ...

I hope your thinking done in your profession is better than what I've seen here. But, frankly, I cannot think of any reason to expect that it should be.

You didn't use the term "infinity" per se but that term is logically implied in your stated views, most recently, here:

" it appears the matter will continue to rarify as it continues to fly apart. This implies either some catastrophic end, or the "heat-death" of the universe."

A strange picture, that. We were discussing the validity of a view, yours, of "time" as an essential aspect of reality itself. As I understood your position, there is "time" whether or not anything "else" exists. Thus, you don't explain how "heat death," a hypothesis I credit as meaningful, alters anything about your existential view of "time". Why should, could or does a granted heat-death of the universe mean either a fundamental change in the existence of time or even the "catastrophic" end of the universe? (Surely, at such a point, "catastrophe" (..."catastrophe is the final resolution in a poem or narrative plot, which unravels the intrigue and brings the piece to a close") has long lost its significance. Who or what, at the heat-death of the universe, experiences "catastrophe"?

You've exited the discussion leaving us with a universe in time, still inflating. What reason is there, in your picture, to suppose that this inflation ever ceases? You've suggested nothing to us for that eventuality. As I see your position, you've implied and assumed that the universal inflation has no end-point. It must, then, logically, be "infinite," whether you use the term or not. So you carry things, assumptions, in your argument about which you're apparently not even aware.

I don't see how or why, in your positions as you've stated them, "time" 's continuance requires heat since you've already indicated that it doesn't require either matter or motion at all. With no limiting feature or factor, the universe's inflation, logically, should continue without end. That's another way of saying it is "infinite."

__________________________

... "friends of mine have died. This, otherwise, feels trivial."

I'm hard-pressed to understand how exercises in the pursuit of clear, sound, reasonng could be trivial if human life itself holds any non-trivial interest for you. Are you seriously suggesting that these lost lives of your friends, family or acquaintances should have been either longer or more usefully-spent by dispensing as much as possible with such thinking as we've been attempting here?: namely. the exercise of the best thinking one can attain or the pursuit of that?


You know that Socrates, offered a clear path by dear friends to escape his death-sentence, dismissed their attempt to save his life. Instead, he remained committed, by conviction, to accepting his sentence of death despite seeing it as unreasonably grounded. What he understood was that, denied the liberty to think, reason, debate, challenge and discuss--in short, to "philosophize-- there was for him no point in carrying on with life itself.

"I wish you well."

Thank you. Farewell to you, too.

29SandraArdnas
abr. 8, 2020, 8:54 pm

Quite obviously, the pursuit of clear reasoning for its own sake is trivial at a time of crisis. If that eludes you, your reasoning isn't as clear as you think and you'd be able to grasp it only when personally affected in a way that would force you to focus on pressing problems and relinquish anything inconsequential.

30wcarter
abr. 8, 2020, 9:37 pm

OK guys, these messages are getting too personal.
Attack the topic, not the person.

31proximity1
Editat: abr. 10, 2020, 6:27 am



While the main topic here--thinking in general--is or has gotten a bit lost in a tangent that deals with "time", I've found an article here, in Quanta magazine, "Does Time Really Flow?" (by Natalie Wolchover, Quanta magazine Senior Writer/Editor | April 7, 2020), which presents a basic account of the work and also has several links to more detailed information.

The article's focus is on some recent work on the nature of physics and of time as a phenomenon of physical nature by the Swiss physicist Nicolas Gisin and bears very much on what we've been discussing and some or maybe even much or most of it may lend more support to SallyPursell's views than to mine.

That also seems to be particularly the case in this earlier (full Open-access) paper by Gisin from 2016: "Time Really Passes, Science Can’t Deny That" | 05 February 2016



Abstract: "Today’s science provides quite a lean picture of time as a mere geometric evolution parameter. I argue that time is much richer. In particular, I argue that besides the geometric time, there is creative time, when objective chance events happen. The existence of the latter follows straightfrom the existence of free-will. Following the french philosopher Lequyer, I argue that free-will is aprerequisite for the possibility to have rational argumentations, hence can’t be denied. Consequently, science can’t deny the existence of creative time and thus that time really passes."



____________________________________

Talk presented at the Conference: "Time in Physics" at the ETH-Zurich, September 2015.

7 pages

Subjects:
History and Philosophy of Physics (physics.hist-ph);
Quantum Physics (quant-ph)
DOI:
10.1007/978-3-319-68655-4
Report number:
in Time in Physics, eds. R. Renner & S. Stupar, Springer, pp 1-15 (2017)
Cite as: arXiv:1602.01497 physics.hist-ph
(or arXiv:1602.01497v1 physics.hist-ph for this version)




This latter is a highly speculative paper with a markedly philosophical tone and approach to the issues. I am not yet convinced that the reasoning presented--as far as I've read and understood it at this point--is quite right. Moreover, my position through this discussion is that "time", the conceptual construct, as distinct from what Gisin regards as a strictly physical entity, is a contingent and emergent phenomenon which is predicated on its being observed and experienced by sentient intelligence without which it makes no sense to suppose exists in as a concept, an idea. True, "time" did arise in and emerge from the physics and physical development of the universe we "know" and in which we evolved. And I agree that these-- that is, "our own" universe's physical preconditions-- made that emergence inevitable (as we understand "inevitability"). But I do not think that this means that any and every physical universe's emergence makes the appearance of time an inevitability of all physical nature per se.

As for the more recently-published paper described in the Quanta article, I still don't have any good or clear grasp of the major points and part of that is because I won't be able to get access to full-texts until the libraries re-open.

Anyone who's been bored by the main topic but is interested in the time-discussion and argument should find the linked article and the linked references in it very interesting.

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Mathematical languages shape our understanding of time in physics by Nicolas Gisin | Nature Physics, volume 16, pages114–116(2020) | (access required)

Physics without determinism: Alternative interpretations of classical physics | Flavio Del Santo and Nicolas Gisin | Physical Review A (Phys. Rev. A) 100, 062107 – Published 5 December 2019 (access required)

Indeterminism in Physics, Classical Chaos and Bohmian Mechanics: Are Real Numbers Really Real? | Nicolas Gisin | Springer Scientific journals (Journal) Erkenntnis (2019) | Published: 23 October 2019 (Open Access article)

32proximity1
Editat: abr. 21, 2020, 9:38 am

Back to the "thinking" thing.

Exercise: Find the or a glaring reasoning-error in this presentation. (On the positive side, the presentation ends with a reminder about a very important "thinking"-thing to bear in mind.)

There may be more than one, of course, but I have one in particular in mind. As an exercise, while many of us are sitting around procrastinating, you're invited to have a break and procrastinte with this diversion.

(video) From "RealClear Science"

Posted By Steven Pomeroy
On Date April 8, 2020

What if the Universe isn't Uniform? | (running time 00:05:10)

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(from Ars Technica) In some versions of quantum gravity, time itself condenses into existence | Can we craft a theory in which space and time aren’t assumed to exist? | by Conor Purcell | 4/20/2020, 12:30 PM

(I don't necessarily subscribe to alll of the theories and hypotheses presented in the article's reveiw of theoretical work.)

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