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Opinions on the fundamental nature of reality.

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#52 Doctordick



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Posted 28 September 2016 - 08:53 AM

On the contrary, I have thought about it and that is exactly why I made the remarks I did about the the strictly provisional and cautious nature of any truth claims in science. In fact, it has been my experience that science generally avoids speaking about "truth". It talks about models, it talks about observations being "consistent with" theory, but it tends not to make any claims to truth as such. 


I note that your overall tone seems to be one of regarding everyone but yourself as an idiot. This is generally a sign of someone who is unbalanced. I am prepared to engage in discussion with you, but would be grateful if you could try to be a little less dismissive of my attempts to grapple with whatever it is you are trying to say.

Absolutely everyone apparently misses the point I am trying to bring up! 
In order to comprehend any thought one must comprehend the language used to present that thought and one is not born knowing a language! The most briliant scientist who ever existed was born as ignorant. It takes as good length of time for him (or her) to comprehend the language they will use to express their thoughts. My point is the fact that the "language is arbitrary".
When one learns the relevant language, one has a fair idea of what each relevent word means. The symbol used for that word is arbitrary. -- That is why humanity has created so many different languages. It is that freedom I wish to discuss. I will try to give a simple minded example of what I am talking about.
If you know the language (English for example), you know what the word "this" means. You also know what the word "that" means. In this case, the word "dictionary" constitutes a collection of words which are defined. What I am talking about is the arbitrary nature of that representation.
Consider the thought "This is a cow!" or "That car went by.". In some other language, those thoughts would be represented with different symbology. My point is the arbitrary nature of that symbology.
If one understands a specific language, they should be able to construct a "dictionary" of the words needed. The first significant point is that the number of words required is finite. (Construction of an infinite dictionary is not a possibility!) The second point is that the representation of those words is arbitary. 
For example, given the entries of a dictionary:
  This -- [the definition of that word!]
    is   -- [the definition of that word!]
    a    -- [the definition of that word!]
  cow  -- [the definition of that word!]
  That -- [the definition of that word!]
   car  -- [the definition of that word!]
  went -- [the definition of that word!]
    by   -- [the definition of that word!]
       !   -- [the definition of that symbol!]
       .   -- [the definition of that symbol!]
a space  [the definition of that symbol!]
That collection of "seven words and three symbols" is clearly only a minute fraction of what any useful language requires; however the representation of those words is a rather straight forward issue. If I were presenting a different language, those "representations" would be different. My point being that the representations themselves are absolutely arbitrary!
Suppose one understands mathematical representation and decided to represent the relevant words with numeric labels (which I usually refer to as "indices" in my presentations). In that case, a dictionary representation of the above concepts could easily be:
  223   -- [the definition of that word!]   Originally "This"
  16     -- [the definition of that word!]        "     "is"
  2237 -- [the definition of that word!]        "     "a"
  1       -- [the definition of that word!]        "     "cow"
  756   -- [the definition of that word!]        "     "that" 
  39     -- [the definition of that word!]        "     "car"
  256   -- [the definition of that word!]        "     "went"
  99     -- [the definition of that word!]        "     "by"
  242   -- [the definition of that symbol!]     "     "!" 
  12     -- [the definition of that symbol!]     "     "."
  6094 -- [the definition of that symbol!]     "     "a space"
and the two "thoughts", "This is a cow!" and "That car went by." could then be represented by
         (223,6094,16,6094,2237,6094,1,242) and (756,6094,39,6094,256,6094,99,12)
It follows that, if one comprehended the language (was capable of following and/or constructing a dictionary), absolutely any thought, in the language of interest, could be represented by an expression of the form: [math](x_1,x_2,\cdots,x_n)[/math]
The most significant issue embedded in the above example is the fact that the "indices" in such a representation are absolutely arbitrary. One can assign any number one wishes to each required concept and still represent any thought expressible in that language via an expression of the form: [math](x_1,x_2,\cdots,x_n)[/math]
The above realization yields some rather astounding consequences. If one were to use the expression [math]P(x_1,x_2,\cdots,x_n)[/math] to represent the probability the thought represented by [math](x_1,x_2,\cdots,x_n)[/math] were "true" then comprehending any explanation could be seen as "knowing" the value of the expression [math]P(x_1,x_2,\cdots,x_n)[/math] within the relevant language.
The arbitrary nature of those indices implies that one could add any number "which I will represent with c" to each and every numerical index in a given representation (including the entire dictionary) without changing the represented thought in any way! That implies that [math](x_1+c,x_2+c,\cdots,x_n+c)[/math] would represent exactly the same thought previously represented by [math](x_1,x_2,\cdots,x_n)[/math].
It follows directly that the probability a thought is true would be exactly the same in both representations. That fact requires that [math]P(x_1+c,x_2+c,\cdots,x_n+c)-P(x_1,x_2,\cdots,x_n)[/math] must exactly vanish.
One can immediately go one step further and assert that, in the universal representation I have just presented, 
[math]\lim_{\Delta c \to 0}\frac{P(x_1+c,x_2+c,\cdots,x_n+c)}{\Delta c} \equiv  0[/math]
This (together with some subtle analysis) leads to an almost unbelievable constraint on absolutely all explanations which can be comprehended as valid.
What I have been trying to find for some fifty years is someone who can comprehend what I have just put forth here. Somehow they always misinterpret what I am saying. 
If anyone can comprehend the above presentation, I would love to discuss the subject.
Thanks -- Dick