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# Understanding Reality

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1.  As far as probability goes, how could we ever propose that the odds of a coin coming up "heads" is 50% without first making any number of assumptions about coins, chance, etc.  How could you assign a "probability" to anything without first making some assumptions about what it is and what things affect it?

It could certainly be argued that, once a coin is flipped and in the air, there are no "odds" about how it will turn up.  It's no longer even a matter of "chance."  If you knew all the variables, you would know if it would heads or tails as soon as it left the hand.

They have built machines that will make a coin come up heads every single flip, if you want it to.  That could, in theory, just happen by "chance," but, chances are that chances are it aint no chance.

Even the notion of "randomness" involves assumptions.

Probability theory itself is chock-full of assumptions it makes as a basis for arriving at it's "results."

Edited by Moronium

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Well, OK:

1.  As far as probability goes, how could we ever propose that the odds of a coin coming up "heads" is 50% without first making any number of assumptions about coins, chance, etc.  How could you assign a "probability" to anything without first making some assumptions about what it is and what things affect it?

2.  I'm sure my attitude pertaining to the connection between math and "fact" is somewhat different than Doc's.  For that reason alone, I would have far less interest in searching for some "general equation."

3.  I still don't know what problem he is trying to solve.  To the extent that he is purporting to eliminate all assumptions, it seems to me that he has, by proposing (however vague the form) a "theory" to solve the purported problem, already failed in that attempt.

To me, "eliminating" all assumptions does not mean:  "Just grant me and, accept, assumptions 1, 2, and 3 from me and everything else will following logically.  You won't have to make any "more" assumptions after that."

1.  He has not gotten that far.  He just set up the question.

2.  Math is just a language, and in this case the chosen language of probability.

3.  From the first post "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?”  . . . 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; i.e., a communication which should be taken to be valid.

As far as your last statement:

Are you at all interested in the constraints existing on that representation? Can you conceive of any???  Or is the circumstance totally beyond your comprehension?

Edited by engcat
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Doctordick, on 10 Jun 2018 - 2:20 PM, said:

Are you at all interested in the constraints existing on that representation? Can you conceive of any???  Or is the circumstance totally beyond your comprehension?

Did you pay any attention to my response to that question, Engcat?  I asked Doc a couple of questions which, as usual, he refused to answer.

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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.

Looking at just this part, you might think Doc's aim is to discover "truth" or at least some probability of it.  Is THAT his mission?

Elsewhere, he merely talks about "constraints."  What would knowing the "constraints" tell you about truth?

Again, I can't figure out what problem he is purporting to solve.

My first impression was that he was trying to solve the "problem" created by being forced to make assumptions.  As I've already said, I think he has failed at that from the get-go, when he introduces x1's and x2''s as a means of gleaning truth.  The mere claim entails the adoption of a huge number of assumptions.

The thread title alone ("Understanding Reality"), apart from being extremely ambitious, would presuppose that Doc knows exactly what "reality" is.  Does he know all that without making any assumptions, I wonder?

Edited by Moronium
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Did you pay any attention to my response to that question, Engcat?  I asked Doc a couple of questions which, as usual, he refused to answer.

Yes, and your reply was actually funny, it raised another possibility, in between true and false, or yes and no.  You said you don't know what "good" it would be if you found any constraints, which is nonsensical within the question.  The probability looks for true values, or true/false values, and you reply was basically "I don't care," a third value,  :-)

It's not helpful.  It's his analysis, and he asked for help with constraints.  If you see any constraints this early in analysis you can raise them in terms of the representation, and that's it.

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Yes, and your reply was actually funny, it raised another possibility, in between true and false, or yes and no.  You said you don't know what "good" it would be if you found any constraints, which is nonsensical within the question.  The probability looks for true values, or true/false values, and you reply was basically "I don't care," a third value,  :-)

It's not helpful.  It's his analysis, and he asked for help with constraints.  If you see any constraints this early in analysis you can raise them in terms of the representation, and that's it.

Actually, he asked me, personally, if I had any interest in the constraints, as I understood him.  My answer to that was basically--no, not that I can presently see.  What good would it do me to know them?

If someone asked me if I had any interest in watching an episode the latest fashionable sitcom on TV, I might say no.  If they changed the question to:  Would you be interested in getting paid \$1,000 to watch it, my answer would change.

Edited by Moronium
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That's funny :-)

no, not that I can presently see.  What good would it do me to know them?

That question maybe be precisely the constraint he is looking for.

Edited by engcat
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What is it you're seeking?  Meaning?  Truth? Practice doing math?

I still haven't received any answer to this question.  I suspect that the third one may be correct, but I still don't know.

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I still haven't received any answer to this question.  I suspect that the third one may be correct, but I still don't know.

What is it you're seeking?  Meaning?  Truth? Practice doing math?

Analysis itself, he is doing an analysis of the problem he set up, as he said explicitly in his first post.  That analysis is meaning, truth, math, all that and it will end in some conclusion..  That's what analysis is.  But we have not gotten there yet.

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Last week I saw a homey of mine out on the sidewalk with some big jars of pennies.  He was trying to stack them, one on top of another, but after he got so high, they kept falling over.

I asked him:  "What the hell are you doing there, Porkchop?"

He said:  "Moron, I'm trying to see how many pennies it takes to make a stack 4 feet high.  You want to help me?"

I said:  "Naw, I think I'll pass on that.  Let me know how it comes out, though, eh, Porkchop?"

Edited by Moronium
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That's fine.  You did not keep pounding on him how stupid he is for doing that.

Richard Feynman often said in his lectures, all scientists basically do is the counting, so, it's probably not so pointless.

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Analysis itself, he is doing an analysis of the problem he set up, as he said explicitly in his first post.  That analysis is meaning, truth, math, all that and it will end in some conclusion..  That's what analysis is.  But we have not gotten there yet.

Well, I'll confess, I wouldn't mind "understanding reality."  My problem is that I've been promised that before, starting with than Indian Yogi fraud, when I was 17 years old.  That bastard still owes me my \$400 back.

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That's fine.  You did not keep pounding on him how stupid he is for doing that.

Well, true, but ya know what?  As I was walking away Porkchop kept screaming at me, cussing me out.  Saying things like:  "Moron, you stupid mofo, you're not interested in thinking, like me.  Don't come back this way, fool!"

Edited by Moronium
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Well, I'll confess, I wouldn't mind "understanding reality."  My problem is that I've been promised that before, starting with than Indian Yogi fraud, when I was 17 years old.  That bastard still owes me my \$400 back.

There is no money involved.  Plus, scientists post analysis all the time on ArXiv.  Nobody is trying to swindle anyone.  They are just presenting their analysis.  That's the only method we have, through analysis and presentation of analysis.

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There is no money involved.  Plus, scientists post analysis all the time on ArXiv.  Nobody is trying to swindle anyone.  They are just presenting their analysis.  That's the only method we have, through analysis and presentation of analysis.

Yeah, I have no problem with that.  That's all good.  But that doesn't mean I'm personally interested in reading every single paper published at ArXiv.

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2.  I'm sure my attitude pertaining to the connection between math and "fact" is somewhat different than Doc's.  For that reason alone, I would have far less interest in searching for some "general equation."

String theory is a case in point.  Countless "researchers" (i.e. mathematicians) have spent countless billions of dollars over the course of many decades trying to discover a "theory of everything" in the form of a "general equation."

They have tried using 7 dimensions, 10 dimensions, 11 dimensions and everything in between.   They have undoubtedly worn out thousand of "scientific calculators" and computer software programs.

For what?  It turns out that an infinite number of "general equatons" (all of which are hopelessly untestable, by the way) can generate the exact same "answer."  What "probability" do you assign to any one of these being "true?"   What is the profit in this, other than keeping mathematicians gainfully employed?

Right or wrong, I can tell you right up front that I have no interest in pursuing string theory.  If I had been running things all those research resources would have been allocated to physics, not math.

Edited by Moronium
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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)...the entire set of concepts required to express all assertions can be a defined number...the actual quantity of such numbers is finite as you cannot complete in infinite list of such things.

I can take any infinite set (say the set of all real numbers) and count off some limited portion of them (say 100 trillion).  I would then have a finite number.  However, that would not make the set itself finite.

Linguistics symbols can be combined in an infinite number of ways.  One assumption here seems to be that everything that has ever been said includes everything that could possibly be said.  That assumption is dubious.  Nor is it necessary that the "entirety of our knowledge" has been expressed in writing.  I know some things that I would never say or write down.  I don't want to be sitting in Old Sparky, know what I'm sayin?

Edited by Moronium

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