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Understanding Reality


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#1 Doctordick

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 02:01 PM

Well, I reviewed this site and decided I might try to reach someone again. (Failure to communicate seems to be my profession.)
 
My interest is essentially presenting an analysis of the question, “can one find any constraints on the collection of all possible explanations of experiences without making any constraints whatsoever on the assumptions embedded in those explanations?”  This question is actually entirely different from the question of what those assumptions are to be.
 
Sir Arthur Eddington brought up the issue in one of his early publication of "New Pathways in Science" first published in 1934. The final paragraph of that book was:
 
"As a conscious being I am involved in a story.  The perceiving part of my mind tells me a story of a world around me. The story tells of familiar objects.  It tells of colours, sounds, scents belonging to these objects; of boundless space in which they have their existence, and of an ever­rolling stream of time bringing change and incident.  It tells of other life than mine busy about its own purposes.  As a scientist I have become mistrustful of this story." 
 
It is interesting to note that the above paragraph was totally removed in his publication of 1935. I was not aware of that fact until years later when I obtained a copy of the 1935 publication. I had somehow lost my 1934 copy.
 
If one reads the rest of the Eddington's publication referenced above, it makes it quite clear that he was well aware of the vast number of unexamined assumptions embedded in any world view and understood the critical issue standing behind the underlying problem.
 
After considerable thought, he defended placing the problem into philosophy and outside the interest of physical scientists.  As Eddington saw the issue, the development of those signs and indications are the necessary opening assumptions and simply can not be avoided.  He thus defends the professional scientists avoidance of the issue as the only rational approach.
 
Roughly 50 years ago I saw a route around that issue and have since tried to communicate my thoughts with utter and complete failure to date.
 
The mechanism around the difficulty is actually quite simple. One merely ignores the actual explanations themselves and instead examines the procedure used to communicate those solutions.
 
I put forth the fact that all communications used by humanity can be seen as a finite collection of explicit ideas (think concepts, words, expressions ... etc.) which can be represented via an arbitrary numerical index. Any specific communication can then be seen as an ordered list of those indices. Something which I choose to represent by the notation (x1,x2,...,xj,...xn) where each xi represents a specific numerical index in the ith position in that list.
 
What is important is that any explanation of anything may be represented by a finite collection of such expressions. Our problem as intelligent entities is to discover the meanings of those explicit expressions being used. We use our experiences to uncover what those meanings are.
 
You should realize that no child is born knowing the language the parent is using. This is something which takes years for the child to decipher. Another issue of profound import is the fact that the actual meaning of an expression changes from expression to expression (a relationship commonly referred to as context). Jokes are built from such effects. Without such changes in meaning, jokes would be almost impossible to fabricate.
 
What is important here is that the entirety of our knowledge can be expressed via a finite collection of such communications (all the books and/or descriptions ever written in the history of man). All we have to do to understand those documents is to learn how to decipher those communications something we have all spent our lives trying to understand. But we manage to do a pretty fair job.
 
There is a very simple issue embedded in that representation with far reaching consequences. The issue arises from the arbitary nature of those numerical indices.
 
First I will introduce an interesting expression P(x1,x2,...,xj,...xn) which I will define to be the probability that (x1,x2,...,xj,...xn) is true; i.e., a communication which should be taken to be valid.
 
The arbitrary nature of those indices leads to a very surprising relationship. Since the indices are arbitrary, exactly the same communications could be expressed by a second collection of indices. That alone is a rather useless observation; however there is a very interesting relationship embedded in a very specific alteration which can be defined.
 
If a specific arbitrary number (which I will call "a") is added to each and every index defined in the communications to be understood, any specific communication, (x1,x2,...,xj,...xn), would be exactly represented by (x1+a,x2+a,...,x+a,...xn+a).
Again that seems to be rather imaterial except for the very interesting relationship which arises from the above probability expression.
 
It must be true that P(x1+a,x2+a,...,x+a,...xn+a) must be exactly the same as the expression P(x1,x2,...,xj,...xn) since the list of relevant concepts are exactly the same. Note that the definitions of those relevant ideas are exactly the same in both representations.
 
A trash fact with no consequences?? Perhaps not. If P(x1,x2,...,xj,...xn) were a mathematical function (which it certainly is not) those two expressions could be transformed into a differential relationship which would have to be valid in all comprehendable explanations of anything. 
 
I have carefully looked at that problem and have a conceptual mechanism for transforming P(x1,x2,...,xj,...xn) into a mathematical expression. I will explain that transformation to anyone who has an interest in understanding the consequences of that transformation.
 
Let me know if you are interested
 
 
 


#2 engcat

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 02:35 PM

can one find any constraints on the collection of all possible explanations of experiences without making any constraints whatsoever on the assumptions embedded in those explanations?”

 

Are the below not the "embedded" constraints?

 

 

What is important is that any explanation of anything may be represented by a finite collection of such expressions

 First I will introduce an interesting expression P(x1,x2,...,xj,...xn) which I will define to be the probability that (x1,x2,...,xj,...xn) is true;

 P(x1+a,x2+a,...,x+a,...xn+a) must be exactly the same as the expression P(x1,x2,...,xj,...xn)


Edited by engcat, 16 May 2018 - 02:36 PM.


#3 Doctordick

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 02:08 PM

No, I would not refer to the issue engcat brings up to be "embedded" constraints.

 

Note that the question was "can one find any constraints on the collection of all possible explanations of experiences without making any constraints whatsoever on the assumptions embedded in those explanations?"  The expression,  (x1,x2,...xj,...xn),  was defined to be an assertion made by an entity trying to explain reality and  P(x1,x2,...xj,...xn) was defined to be the probability the entity which created that assertion believed it was true.

 

These are defined representations, not constraints. That P(x1,x2,...xj,...xn) must be exactly equal to  P(x1+a,x2+a,...xj+a,...xn+a) is a direct consequence of the definitions of the elements used to create assertions. So what you are bringing up are definitions not embedded constraints.

 

If you want to see them as constraints, you must put forth an assertion which cannot be expressed via an ordered collection of defined entities. 



#4 Moronium

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 10:15 PM

If a specific arbitrary number (which I will call "a") is added to each and every index defined in the communications to be understood, any specific communication, (x1,x2,...,xj,...xn), would be exactly represented by (x1+a,x2+a,...,x+a,...xn+a).

 

 

Maybe this is all too abstract for me.  Can you give an example of what you mean here?  It doesn't make any sense to me.  Suppose, for example, that what you call "a" is the word "not."  In that case the two expression would be polar opposites, not duplicates of each other.

.

 

Roughly 50 years ago I saw a route around that issue and have since tried to communicate my thoughts with utter and complete failure to date. The mechanism around the difficulty is actually quite simple. One merely ignores the actual explanations themselves and instead examines the procedure used to communicate those solutions.

 

 

Again, I can't see what you're getting at here.  How does a mere "procedure" (which is nothing substantive) solve the problem and serve to dispense with all assumptions?

 

If P(x1,x2,...,xj,...xn) were a mathematical function (which it certainly is not) those two expressions could be transformed into a differential relationship which would have to be valid in all comprehendable explanations of anything....I have carefully looked at that problem and have a conceptual mechanism for transforming P(x1,x2,...,xj,...xn) into a mathematical expression

 

.

Why would you want to turn it into a mathematical expression?  There have been innumerable philosophers in history, going at least as far back at Pythagoras, who have argued that "reality" is mathematical.  Personally, I never been able to sympathize with that view.


Edited by Moronium, 04 June 2018 - 10:16 PM.


#5 engcat

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 05:59 PM

No, I would not refer to the issue engcat brings up to be "embedded" constraints.

 

Note that the question was "can one find any constraints on the collection of all possible explanations of experiences without making any constraints whatsoever on the assumptions embedded in those explanations?"  The expression,  (x1,x2,...xj,...xn),  was defined to be an assertion made by an entity trying to explain reality and  P(x1,x2,...xj,...xn) was defined to be the probability the entity which created that assertion believed it was true.

 

These are defined representations, not constraints. That P(x1,x2,...xj,...xn) must be exactly equal to  P(x1+a,x2+a,...xj+a,...xn+a) is a direct consequence of the definitions of the elements used to create assertions. So what you are bringing up are definitions not embedded constraints.

 

If you want to see them as constraints, you must put forth an assertion which cannot be expressed via an ordered collection of defined entities. 

 

 

Okay, I'm good on that. I still think that apriori finite set is a constraint, but it's a good constraint, since the finite set will allow for nontrivial values 0 to 1 of probability.  I'm ready for the transformation.



#6 Moronium

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 09:59 PM

I can't tell if you're advocating for something similar to Chomsky's "universal grammar" or not.  As I understand it, UG purports to establish a very formalized account of grammar.  The entire concept has been rejected by many linguists.  This is an excerpt from a paper criticizing the whole notion:

 

Chomsky (1986) sees UG as “an intricate and highly constrained structure” (p. 148) consisting of “various subsystems of principles” (p. 146). These include “X-bar theory, binding theory, Case theory, theta theory, bounding theory … and so forth – each containing certain principles with a limited degree of parametric variation. In addition there are certain overriding principles such as the projection principle, FI (full interpretation), and the principles of licensing… [UG also contains] certain concepts, such as the concept of domain … and the related notions of c-command and government” (p. 102).

 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC4477053/



#7 Super Polymath

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 06:02 AM

No, I would not refer to the issue engcat brings up to be "embedded" constraints.

 

Note that the question was "can one find any constraints on the collection of all possible explanations of experiences without making any constraints whatsoever on the assumptions embedded in those explanations?"  The expression,  (x1,x2,...xj,...xn),  was defined to be an assertion made by an entity trying to explain reality and  P(x1,x2,...xj,...xn) was defined to be the probability the entity which created that assertion believed it was true.

 

These are defined representations, not constraints. That P(x1,x2,...xj,...xn) must be exactly equal to  P(x1+a,x2+a,...xj+a,...xn+a) is a direct consequence of the definitions of the elements used to create assertions. So what you are bringing up are definitions not embedded constraints.

 

If you want to see them as constraints, you must put forth an assertion which cannot be expressed via an ordered collection of defined entities. 

You're asking if infinite knowledge is possible.

 

Well there are theorized entities out there but none like some of my more extreme ideas:

 

http://www.sciencefo...were-simulants/

 

In this thread I discuss with Craig the idea that every possible synaptic connection for homo-sapiens could be farmed in ancestor simulations by strong AI. That's a good way to acquire knowledge building analytics, you're stealing from nearly infinite consciousnesses each with their own unique personal experiences,

 

When we're talking about the limits of processing power, & I brought that up years and years ago before I knew the physics here:

 

http://www.killermov...threadid=581886

 

What was said was that, basically, you'd need a quantum computer to replace every neuron with an artificial counterpart made of superior nanotech. Quantum computing is femptotech though, and some do not believe it's possible because quantum entanglement doesn't send information, nor is that information purported to travel faster than light - it has no velocity - the principle of non-locality means teleportation. However, in this thread:

 

http://www.sciencefo...light/?p=357101

 

It DOES transmit information as one would expect, over time dilated bodies where c is relatively faster than it can be on our scale having a direct correlation with the spin of particles. This was calculated in that thread to be within 4 orders of magnitude faster than light. Such integrated circuit designs could make computers upward of 10^22 FLOPS (nearly as fast as a computer the size of a solar system). To wander a bit off topic on that video, it is likely that matrioshka brains of type III civilizations network and farm alien consciousnesses in simulated realities because they need to know how to farm remote civilizations using information panspermia, via spook action this method is faster than the self-replicating von neumann nanoprobes.

 

Moreover, in that alternative to the standard quantum interpretation, the universe in it's current anthropocentric high-entropy state is a recurring fractal. That means, between any two points in space, there's a 100 percent probability that a civilization has evolved in some microcosm within that infinitesimal region at some point. That civilization has become immortal and has spread like a virus to occupy every microverse that compose the light and everything we're made out of. Think about how much computing power it has?


Edited by Super Polymath, 07 June 2018 - 06:10 AM.


#8 Moronium

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 09:59 AM

Well there are theorized entities out there but none like some of my more extreme ideas:

 

Well, you got that part right, without doubt.



#9 Doctordick

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 01:19 PM

Maybe this is all too abstract for me.  Can you give an example of what you mean here?  It doesn't make any sense to me.  Suppose, for example, that what you call "a" is the word "not."  In that case the two expression would be polar opposites, not duplicates of each other.

.

 

 

Again, I can't see what you're getting at here.  How does a mere "procedure" (which is nothing substantive) solve the problem and serve to dispense with all assumptions?

 

.

Why would you want to turn it into a mathematical expression?  There have been innumerable philosophers in history, going at least as far back at Pythagoras, who have argued that "reality" is mathematical.  Personally, I never been able to sympathize with that view.

 

Yes, you seem to have misinterpreted the roll played by "xi".  What I said was that each xi is a number used to refer to a specific concept necessary to express the set of assertions being examined: i.e. the entire set of concepts required to express all assertions can be a defined number. That would be a specific number you assign to those concepts. Two important issues exist in such a representation. First, the number you choose to represent a specific concept is entirely arbitrary (you can choose any number you wish) but once you choose what number represents that concept, that is the number you must use in any representation of that concept. Second the actual quantity of such numbers is finite as you cannot complete in infinite list of such things. 

 

An example:

 

"Maybe" could be represented by "1"

"'this" could be represented by "2"

"is" could be represented by "3"

"all" could be represented by "500"

"too" could be represented by "7"

"abstract" could be represented by "10"

"for" could be represented by "689"

"me" could be represented by "54"

"." could be represented by "9"

 

If those were the numbers you chose to represent the concepts used in your analysis then the expression

 

(1,2,3,500,7,10,689,54,9) would then represent the assertion " Maybe this is all too abstract for me."

 

This puts learning the language as the first issue to be resolved before you can understand anything another person says to you (a very important issue towards understanding reality). An issue totally omitted by every explanation of learning I have ever read.

 

You can presume you understand the communications once you can understand all specific expressions (x1,x2,...,xj,...xn)  (that would include all (xi) ).

 

Those are numbers you choose. An entirely open issue.

 

If you were to choose another set incremented by any specific number "a" from that original set then  (x+a,x2+a,...,xj+a,...,xn+a) would represent exactly the same assertion originally represented by (x1,x2,...,xj,...xn). That is an embedded fact in the representation itself (those numbers were simply chosen by you to represent the ideas you thought you needed to learn prior to KNOWING WHAT THEY REPRESENT.

 

This gives you a way of representing a language you do not know!!!

 

If this is beyond your comprehension then representation of a universe you are ignorant of is beyond your comprehension.

 

Everyone always wants to start from the point of "knowing" the relevant language. In my head mankind has never had more than one language. The actual problem is that no one exists who knows the entire vocabulary required nor the full set of rules used.

 

Think about it a bit!



#10 Moronium

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 03:58 PM

This puts learning the language as the first issue to be resolved before you can understand anything another person says to you (a very important issue towards understanding reality). An issue totally omitted by every explanation of learning I have ever read.

 

 

 

Really?

 

I just typed 'the role of language in learning" into google and got 470 million results.

 

I was under the impression that such issues have been debated and discussed in great earnest and at great length for many decades.  In "recent" times Wittgenstein started a trend about 100 years ago (1921) with the publication of "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus."

 


Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century...Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus claimed to solve all the major problems of philosophy and was held in especially high esteem by the anti-metaphysical logical positivists....Wittgenstein's later work, principally his Philosophical Investigations, shares this concern with logic and language...This book helped to inspire so-called ordinary language philosophy. This style of doing philosophy has fallen somewhat out of favor, but Wittgenstein's work on rule-following and private language is still considered important.

 

 

 

 

https://www.iep.utm.edu/wittgens/#H5


Edited by Moronium, 07 June 2018 - 04:26 PM.


#11 Super Polymath

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 04:15 PM

At some level, subjective, axiomatic, apart of human language (specifically how it develops) is exclusive to one's own mind. How our language forms, how we perceive the world. What I'm saying is that there could intelligences out there that understand your mind & it's internal language better than it does, along with every variation it could take no matter the scenario effecting it. Choice is an illusion provided my conjectures about the cosmos are correct. Everything is predictable because every event, object, and situation arising in nature has a 1 in 1 chance of repeating eventually. As well as any form matter takes, because matter can only take so many forms.


Edited by Super Polymath, 07 June 2018 - 04:18 PM.


#12 Moronium

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 04:36 PM

I just don't see how all the nuances (context, intonation, inflection, parody, satire, sarcasm, etc.) of words in particular, but especially of "meaning" as expressed by language in general, can be "objectified" and reduced to numbers or any other sort of mechanical "formula."

 

  

 It's been tried, and failed miserably:

 


Logical positivism and logical empiricism, which together formed neopositivism, was a movement in Western philosophy whose central thesis was verificationism, a theory of knowledge which asserted that only statements verifiable through empirical observation are cognitively meaningful. The movement flourished in the 1920s and 1930s in several European centers.

 

Efforts to convert philosophy to this new "scientific philosophy", shared with empirical sciences' best examples, such as Einstein's general theory of relativity, sought to prevent confusion rooted in unclear language and unverifiable claims.

 

Logical positivists were generally committed to "Unified Science", and sought a common language or, in Neurath's phrase, a "universal slang" whereby all scientific propositions could be expressed.  The adequacy of proposals or fragments of proposals for such a language was often asserted on the basis of various "reductions" or "explications" of the terms of one special science to the terms of another, putatively more fundamental. Sometimes these reductions consisted of set-theoretic manipulations of a few logically primitive concepts (as in Carnap's Logical Structure of the World (1928)). Sometimes, these reductions consisted of allegedly analytic or a priori deductive relationships (as in Carnap's "Testability and meaning"). A number of publications over a period of thirty years would attempt to elucidate this concept.

 

By the late 1960s, logical positivism had clearly run its course. Interviewed in the late 1970s, A J Ayer, a founder of the movement, supposed that "the most important" defect "was that nearly all of it was false."  Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper brought in the era of postpositivism.   John Passmore found logical positivism to be "dead, or as dead as a philosophical movement ever becomes".

 

 

 

https://en.wikipedia...tivism#Language]


Edited by Moronium, 07 June 2018 - 06:05 PM.


#13 Super Polymath

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 05:35 PM

I have heard a number of "philosophers" claim that thought is not possible without language.  Would you make that same claim?

 

I always thought that it was a virtually self-refuting proposition.  If you could not think first, then you could never learn a language, I would think.

 

You're right if you're concluding that I am not a good candidate for converting to your theory.  I just think any attempt to reduce language or meaning to numbers is an exercise in futility, I guess.

 

I just don't see how all the nuances (context, intonation, inflection, parody, satire, sarcasm, etc.) of words in particular, but especially of "meaning" as expressed by language in general, can be "objectified" and reduced to numbers or any other sort of mechanical "formula."  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, as they say.

Numbers & operations such as "+" a symbols with designated meanings. Mathematical symbols are linguistic constructs that allow us to realize inherent facts about nature. Nature can be summed up by language, and math yields the closest thing to fact, unchanging values, like the bending of a curve in a perfect circle is always going to the next coordinate in the line by a value of π. These are constants found through MATH.

 

However, I believe you are right, paradoxes still require higher order cognition to be understood properly. Even math has limitations, perception might not, if we allow our cognitive processes to be evolved by our technology (transhumanism).


Edited by Super Polymath, 07 June 2018 - 05:38 PM.


#14 Doctordick

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 12:20 PM

Really?

 

I just typed 'the role of language in learning" into google and got 470 million results.

 

 

What you did was demonstrate that you totally failed to comprehend what I was trying to express.  

 

We both agree that language is absolutely necessary to any discussion of any subject. Your position (and that of Wittgenstein's) is to proceed under the presumption that you understand a known language. What you totally fail to comprehend is that the first step (of avoiding all presumptions) is to find a way of avoiding that presumption.  

 

I googled Wittgenstein and found not a mention of that issue.

 

In fact, I have never met a person who has not made many presumptions as to what is meant by a given word. It is the single most prevalent source of confusion in any body of communications.

 

Have fun -- Dick



#15 Moronium

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 03:57 PM

What you did was demonstrate that you totally failed to comprehend what I was trying to express.  

 

We both agree that language is absolutely necessary to any discussion of any subject. Your position (and that of Wittgenstein's) is to proceed under the presumption that you understand a known language. What you totally fail to comprehend is that the first step (of avoiding all presumptions) is to find a way of avoiding that presumption.  

 

I googled Wittgenstein and found not a mention of that issue.

 

In fact, I have never met a person who has not made many presumptions as to what is meant by a given word. It is the single most prevalent source of confusion in any body of communications.

 

Have fun -- Dick

 

 

What phrase did you google?  What did you find?

 

You can't draw any conclusions without making some assumptions.  That should be self-evident, so I can't see where you think you're going with your x1's and x2's.

 

Try grabbing yourself by your hair and then lifting yourself off the floor.  I have a feelin it won't work out so hot, know what I'm sayin?

 

What assumptions are you making when you conclude that assigning numbers to words will tell you something meaningful?


Edited by Moronium, 08 June 2018 - 10:58 PM.


#16 Moronium

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 06:28 PM

As I understand you, Doc, your mission is to do away with all assumptions and still arrive at a reliable method for ascertaining meaning and truth. You have some mathematically-oriented scheme which you think will accomplish that goal.

 

Do I understand your purpose correctly?


Edited by Moronium, 08 June 2018 - 06:30 PM.


#17 Doctordick

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 11:37 PM

As I understand you, Doc, your mission is to do away with all assumptions and still arrive at a reliable method for ascertaining meaning and truth. You have some mathematically-oriented scheme which you think will accomplish that goal.

 

Do I understand your purpose correctly?

 

No, I do not feel you understand what I am talking about.

 

My issue is rather simple: do there exist any constraints on an explanation of reality which do not require any assumptions at all.  I have discovered an attack which yields some rather astounding conclusions..

 

The only reason I assign numbers to the relevant concepts is to allow me to refer to them without assigning any meaning to them whatsoever. The object is to maintain complete ignorance and at the same consider the possible logical consequences of a finite set of beliefs. (Finite because it is impossible to know an infinite number of beliefs.)

 

I take mathematics to be an artificial logical construct created out of specific definitions thus mathematics avoids the issue of beliefs and is little more than a powerful tool to define fabricated relationships within a given set of numbers.

 

I have a strong suspicion that what I am thinking is beyond your comprehension, but perhaps this conversation is worthwhile. The path I experienced which led me to my results would be quite difficult to explain; however, I do think you could comprehend my results if you could comprehend the presentation itself.

 

Have fun -- Dick