I had to close down the original comment thread discussing my rant about the crankery of Chris Langan’s CTMU.

The cost in server time to repeatedly retrieve that massive comment thread was getting excessive. All of Scientopia’s server costs are still coming out of my pocket, and I can’t afford a higher server bill. Since the server usage was approaching the point at which we’d need to up the resources (and thus, the bill), something had to be done.

So I shut down comments on that post. Interested parties are welcome to continue the discussion in the comment-thread under this post.

## 337 thoughts on “The Annoying CTMU Thread”

I’ll kick things off:

Responding to mereotelic’s response:

“More like a self-simulating (self-configuring), self-actualizing (self-processing) quantum protocomputer (self-contained algebraic language). Call Langan cranky or unconventional, but he is not as totally off the wall…there is some meaning behind all those words, whether or not people care to find it is another question. ”

Do you see why these answers are not satisfactory? You have to define, exactly, what you mean by self-simulation, or self-configuring, or self-processing, or what a “quantum protocomputer” is and what it means to be “self-contained,” and you have to do this *****clearly***** instead of responding with clouds of fuzz each time.

I already outlined earlier why it doesn’t make sense to call something “self-contained.” A set can only “contain” itself in the sense that it has subsets. But a set doesn’t “contain” its own set. That’s naive set theory.

1. P. George Stewart

Thanks for the opportunity to continue our crank vs (what IS the opposite of “crank”?) ramblings Mark 🙂

SHADONIS: I already outlined earlier why it doesn’t make sense to call something “self-contained.” A set can only “contain” itself in the sense that it has subsets. But a set doesn’t “contain” its own set. That’s naive set theory.

GEORGE: But that’s where Langan’s two types of “containment” are supposed to come in, isn’t it? i.e. according to him reality is that which topologically contains (i.e. contains in the way a jar would contain marbles, say) itself in the act of describing (the other kind of “containment”) itself. One is the objective, “matter” side of reality (being informing), the other is the subjective, “mental” side of reality (being informed). Literally two sides of the same coin (neutral monism).

1. Tim

George,

But that is not enough! That monism becomes a One incapable of i’deal change: qua matter/materialism. It couldn’t birth – anything! And yet totally indefinite: yuck!!! A little more complexity is DEMANDED by the standard REAL!!!!! “I am”!!!!!!! Why bury your “coin” in the “ground” 😉

2. Tim

Numerologists go in to weird deep corners of MIND to fish out mystical meanings for numbers. Do you want to follow THEM? This is where simple stuff ends up. This is why complexity is so precious. Langan (and I, and iso/mero-telesis, etc.) already value complexity over the ghost that is simplicity. Pirsig thrashed this ghost – almost; but you might read how this ghost gets HIS thrashing. The pirsigians would, quite correctly, point out that you are stuck in SOM’s (Subject-Object MetaphysicS) delusion.

The problem is that you want the fundament to be other to you; you want to relate to an object (idol). But the fundamental “particle” is neither simple, nor is it other than the complex&i’deal, faith/e-ING, “I am”. And a simple set theory can capture neither my metaphysic, nor Langan’s. You insistence that He conform to You is vain&futile. There is a hurdle You still must cross if you are to attain to Success; and you preclude the “ladder” you need to overcome it.

Exact definitions are IMPOSSIBLE. There is a Quality Relationship that escapes exact definition.

Where Langan and I disagree – I still think – is regarding telesis. And the reason I still think we disagree is because I think we disagree about the nature of the syndiffeonic-media. I say plural. If it is not plural, then there can never be i’deal change to the media, and materialism “conquers”.

Now, that there MUST be the potential for i’deal change to the media, do you agree? Or, what will you tell me precludes it?

The potential is infinite extensively (another “I am” can come into being), and it is definite intensively (how many ever “I am” there are, now, that is the fundamental model of MY now). “UnBound Telesis” doesn’t capture that for me. Bound-Yet-Potent Telesis

Understanding comes in relating to another “I am”; relating is comprehended in “Word”. You cannot KNOW another “I am”, so thee physic, too, must have its NESSY name/character.

what Iso/mereo-telesis says is beautiful; and it even shows the beauty of one “I am” RELATING to another “I am”!!:

“More like a self-simulating (self-configuring), self-actualizing (self-processing) quantum protocomputer (self-contained algebraic language)”

But, Iso/Mereo-telesis, can I ask what the “proto” is about (I’m merely unfamiliar.)?

Tim

1. MarkCC Post author

No.

Until recently, Scientopia didn’t have a formal legal status.

For legal reasons, I couldn’t take any money then, because if I had, I would have had increased liability had we been sued. (Taking money would have made us, legally, a business; since we hadn’t filed any papers of incorporation, we would have been a simple partnership, with all of the legal liability that that entails.)

We finally filed the paperwork about a month ago, so that we are now a limited liability partnership. So now, we can raise money.

But by design, Scientopia is a community. I can’t just take money to cover our costs on my own – anyone giving money is giving it to scientopia, and it’s up to the scientopia membership to decide how they want to handle that.

There’s a committee of scientopians working out how we want to go about taking in enough money to cover our costs.

1. MarkCC Post author

It’s a lot more complicated to become a charity.

Basically, to be a charity, you need to be formed, legally, as a company. So that piece of it is pretty much the same whether you’re trying to make a profit or not. But if you’re a charity, you also need to do a bunch of additional paperwork to show that you really aren’t make a profit.

For us, for the moment, the additional paperwork and tax-work to be a recognized charitable educational organization are just too much work.

But it’s not a binding choice, in the sense that we can always file paperwork and become a legal non-profit later if it makes sense.

1. Tim

Damn those “Jews” who claim to be “Jews” (e.g. Rev 2:9) but are “lying” (Rev 3:9)! Laws hard for us, yet “they” have no real love for their “laws”: THEY ignore&trample them as THEY see fit.

Tim

2. MarkCC Post author

You’re treading on mighty thin ice asshole… you’re a hairsbreadth away from getting banned. Don’t push me.

3. Tim

Mark,

I don’t know why you should have been offended. I’m sorry if you were. I know you are jewish, but “Jew” is not Jew, etc. Can you tell my WHY you were bothered, so that I can be more sensitive to it in the future? I definitely don’t want to be banned.

Thanks for the warning,
Tim

4. MarkCC Post author

Are you really stupid enough to think that taking an historic antisemitic slur, and putting quotes around “jew” somehow renders it non-antisemitic?

Give me a fucking break.

5. Tim

Mark,

dude, perhaps I’ve unsensitive to that stuff, but the reason why I felt no pause of offense, and the reason why I think that such language was used by Jews / those who loved the ideal of Judaism themselves (consider the bible verses), was because there was something valuable signified by the term in the first, and those who are lying about it deserve to be pointed out – specifically to prevent them from muddling things all up. Much like “capitalism”, “liberal”, and “conservative” no longer mean what they were intended to mean, but something very much like the opposite. In fact, that you could imagine that I was using that term anti-semitically …

But even if I had meant offense – I definitely meant something of praise to those who are not lawless – I’m surprised that you so took it to heart. I wonder why?

Tim

2. Dave M

“Annoying”? No, glorious! Stupendous! Fantabulous! Scrumtrilescent! Long may it thread! (But if you need a handout for its upkeep, do be sure to ask.)

1. Tim

Dave,

whether you love me or hate me, or don’t know what you make of me, thanks for piping this in! 🙂

Tim

“But that’s where Langan’s two types of “containment” are supposed to come in, isn’t it? i.e. according to him reality is that which topologically contains (i.e. contains in the way a jar would contain marbles, say) itself in the act of describing (the other kind of “containment”) itself. One is the objective, “matter” side of reality (being informing), the other is the subjective, “mental” side of reality (being informed). Literally two sides of the same coin (neutral monism).”

“Reality contains itself in the act of describing itself”? This doesn’t sound like a real type of “containment” at all. Just because things in reality can describe/perceive other elements of reality (I am made of atoms and electrons and all sorts of goodies that allow me to perceive other atoms and electrons and all sorts of goodies) doesn’t mean it needs another type of “containment.”

1. P. George Stewart

“Reality contains itself in the act of describing itself”? This doesn’t sound like a real type of “containment” at all. Just because things in reality can describe/perceive other elements of reality (I am made of atoms and electrons and all sorts of goodies that allow me to perceive other atoms and electrons and all sorts of goodies) doesn’t mean it needs another type of “containment.”

But it clearly IS another type of containment! When you understand reality as reality, that manner of encompassing/inclusion/containment (what CML is calling “descriptive”) is different from the manner in which you are encompassed/included/contained by the world (what CML is calling “topological”) and its laws. It isn’t just word play to say this twofold thing is happening – it really is happening, perceivably, all around us, in even the simplest experience, even in the shaping of genotype by environment. We know it intuitively (because we can use words like “reality” logically), but how to put it into words?

If the picture you’re drawing of reality is to be complete and consistent, it HAS to include 1) the fact that it’s being experienced, perceived (that things interact, bash up against each other, are attracted, repulsed, but engaged with each other in some way), and 2) the fact that the logic of the world is even cognizable at all. And yet you have to do both these things without infinite regress or paradox.

Re. 2) I used to be of the opinion that we just spin various-shaped filters/nets and throw them over reality, and what we catch we catch – therefore no mystery about how the world conforms to our logic (spun net); it conforms because those are the bits that happen to conform to the shape of our filter (also of course the lottery argument, I used to hold that contra the Anthropic Principle). But recently I’ve become dissatisfied with that position, and have been more and more filled with wonder at how understanding or knowledge are possible at all. Because even if reality does conform to our filter by accident, how come conforming was EVER a possibility? How come there is logic to the Universe, “laws”, etc. AT ALL? Even if it’s a lottery, why should one of the options in the lottery be that what exists will come to cognize itself?

That’s no small thing, after all …

4. John Fringe

Spending additional money to continue this nonsense would be a very elegant proof that the universe has no meaning at all (so it’s not a language).

I don’t know if there is a god, but, if there is, please, please, stop this thread!

5. mereotelic

So my whole point here isn’t to say whether Langan is ultimately right or wrong, but that he there are many relevant issues which could give greater context to his writing, but for one reason or another he didn’t mention and others didn’t care to investigate. I believe in the independent investigation of reality and truth, those who are really qualified to judge his work should already be familiar with similar works on related topics, so far I haven’t seen anyone even try to dig deeper than their own belly buttons.

“The new approach that we will be exploring in this paper, which might be colorfully rendered as “reality theory is wedded to language theory and they beget a synthesis”, has the advantage that it leaves the current picture of reality virtually intact. It merely creates a logical mirror image of the current picture (its conspansive dual), merges the symmetric halves of the resulting picture, and attempts to extract meaningful implications.” – Langan

“These functionalist accounts of the mind entail that the mind can be incorporated into structural realism. They claim that the mind possesses a structure,
albeit a higher-level structure than that of the brain. All functionalist accounts
accept that the mind supervenes on the brain, but they reject the idea that the
higher-level structure can be defined in terms of the lower-level structure. One
can accept that the mind is essentially subjective, but one can still hold that it
possesses a structure, a distinct structure from the structure of the brain. The
structure may well be a non-spatial structure, which cannot be reduced to any
of the structures which characterise the brain, but it is, nevertheless, the struc-
ture of subjective experience. Intentional mental states are not observable by
means of the sense organs, are directly accessible only to their owners, and do
not occupy space, yet they nevertheless possess a structure which functionalism
and the RTM sets out to capture. The proposal made in this paper entails that
this structure is part of the dual structure of the physical universe.” – The Duality of the Universe (References: Horst, S. (2005). The Computational Theory of Mind, Heller, M. (2004a). Algebraic self-duality as the ‘ultimate explanation’, Heller, M. (2004b). Can the universe explain itself?, Majid, S. (2000). Foundations of Quantum Group Theory, Majid, S. (2007). Algebraic approach to quantum gravity I: Relative realism, Schwartz, R. (1995). Representation, Tegmark, M. (1998). Is `the theory of everything’ merely the ultimate ensemble theory?)

1. Tim

Mereotelic,

sick find for me!, “The new approach that we will be exploring in this paper, which might be colorfully rendered as “reality theory is wedded to language theory and they beget a synthesis”, has the advantage that it leaves the current picture of reality virtually intact. It merely creates a logical mirror image of the current picture (its conspansive dual), merges the symmetric halves of the resulting picture, and attempts to extract meaningful implications.” – Langan

First, we see that Langan is “begetting” his theory/synthesis from a wedding of to things he takes, from his time here, as a priori, at least effectively. We see that he may even admit defeat by saying that he “leaves the current picture of reality virtually intact”. What is the extent of this “virtual”? And what is this “merely” vis-a-vis “merely creates a logical mirror”? A mirror itself is not complex enough to produce an image! But for an “image” to create his “image”, to, alternately, also be the mirror!, is this not an image of (thee) complex.

Does not Langan reject complex for materialism afterall? Don’t You too?

so when you said, “so far I haven’t seen anyone even try to dig deeper than their own belly buttons.”, doesn’t this just show that you, too, are still “barking up the wrong tree”?

I still think highly of you,
Tim

2. mereotelic

You only mentioned science and metaphysics, what about reason and theology? As I mentioned before, these are the qualio-perceptual, emo-telic, logico-mathematical and space-time-object syntaxes respectively…which are the four model-theoretically relevant components of the human-cognitive syntax.

Anyway, are you at all familiar with relational biology?

6. Tim

George, Mark, all,

First I’d just like to thank Mark! Bravo on your solution, my lord!

Now George,

It was really frustrating to be not-able to respond to your post of Nov 30th, 2011 9:09 pm! (Thanks again, Mark) You said some really nice things; but such nice things make for the greatest stumbling blocks! you said, “In a way “experience” isn’t actually meaningful at all.” Complex-experience is ALWAYS meaningful! Only, the FULL meaning is un-knowable! Huge difference!!! To be sure, one might know both how meanING works, and THAT it works, but you can only know the works so well. The relationships between “I am”, – which are the syndiffeonic ones integral to the physic, – are a matter of LIVING faith/e. You are, – though you do not know it like I do, – a quanta of syndiffeonic-media. There is no other media!!!!! YOU hold YOU together through i’deal change. As you are thee “media” (I prefer i’dea), complex under any name, you experience (super-phenomenally) all effects between media. If there be another “I am”, he be “in” YOU. Similarly, you are in me. Taken out to the full, this is the physic. But notice, YOU are truly infinite: YOU cannot fully know YOU! If for no other reason, this would be guaranteed by the fact that counting is an infinte (and decidedly definite) potential. To be sure, the only “thing” that can legitimately be counted is thee complex noumenal-faith/e-phenomenal-“I am”; they are the only true media. And, to be sure, this cannot be what Langan meant by the UBT; in the noumenal realm, “N” is decidedly definite, bounded. Then, as above, so below. Counting in this way is truly discrete; at one moment of will I have N other “I am” about me in my MIND, the next moment of will N is one more. Which is to say, to the noumenal MIND the temporal act of conception (vis-a-vis birth) is an i’deal CHANGE of a “static (phenomenal time inclusive)” conception!

Do you see how this plays through your post?

you said, next, “That’s why I’ve always had problems with Idealism – like any other metaphysics, it’s a synecdoche (using name of part for whole). In ordinary discourse, “experience” usually connotes the experience of one thing of something else that’s different from it, whereas what metaphysics is pointing to is how reality “experiences” reality :)”

and, at to close, “The upshot of all this being that yes, you are right, in fact neither “whole” NOR “experience” are absolutely beyond reproach. But they have a part to play in this kind of discourse.”

I’dealism is precisely that which is NOT like any other so-called metaphysic! It is TRUE!!! You can “CONFIRM” this – but only if you tame faith/e!!!!!

There is no other media, tame yourself! Harmony can only come #\$cleanLY\$# to the tame (\$#clean#\$)!

“I am” is not a synecdoche. It is not like “Universe” or “Reality”. An “I am” holds himself together through i’deal change because he is complex enough to do so, and because he is not complex enough not to do so! You are the media who creates media and comprehends media! We are all in this together, yes, but independently: there is no universal perspective:: only the universal way to relate!

The BIG point then, again, and relation to your last line, while “experience” may not be, as you say, “beyond reproach”, “whole” absolutely is; or, when “whole” is not-beyond reproach, it is absolutely irreproachable (and “experience” is, concomitantly, utterly reproached (that is, made “static” as i’deal conception {of an ACT of will [faith/e]}).

Let’s see how this finds you,
Tim

1. P. George Stewart

TIM: “I am” is not a synecdoche. It is not like “Universe” or “Reality”. An “I am” holds himself together through i’deal change because he is complex enough to do so, and because he is not complex enough not to do so! You are the media who creates media and comprehends media! We are all in this together, yes, but independently: there is no universal perspective:: only the universal way to relate!

GEORGE: But “I am” is a kind of synecdoche. The word “I” has a meaning in ordinary public language (sort of the equivalent of raising your hand in public).

So any metaphyics that uses “I” as a foundational concept is doing the same thing as any other metaphysics, and pointing out that the logic of a favoured concept can be in some sense projected onto the Whole. Any use of “I” that doesn’t have a “You”, “He”, She” or “It” is projecting a kind of global solipsism over the whole. And that does have a certain logic to it, but like ordinary solipsism there’s something wrong with it (not saying I can put my finger on exactly what’s wrong, it’s just my intuition).

Put it this way, the possibility of “I” (self-reference) in the universe and the possibility of “that” or “it” (other-reference) in the universe have to arise together from some common source. One can conceive of all as “I” and “other” as naught; but one can also conceive of all as “other” and “I” as naught too, so both are incomplete.

1. Tim

George,

you said, “So any metaphyics that uses “I” as a foundational concept is doing the same thing as any other metaphysics, and pointing out that the logic of a favoured concept can be in some sense projected onto the Whole.”

Not quite! What Whole? I keep telling you there is no such “whole”. The projection reaches only another “I am”! Perhaps many such – but each individual! There is no part-whole relation; only relations between one “I am” and another “I am”.

no “global solipsism”.

Why does there have to be, as you say, “the possibility of “that” or “it” (other-reference) in the universe”? There doesn’t! There isn’t!!! There are only plural “I am”. When I walk, my own body walks on my own body. When I eat, my own body eats my own body? Much like when Langan says there can be no reality outside reality, whatever you can recognize is not other than you: you can only infer about the other “I am”.

Does this help?
Tim

“Those who are really qualified to judge his work should already be familiar with similar works on related topics, so far I haven’t seen anyone even try to dig deeper than their own belly buttons”

There are plenty of people, myself included, who have a pretty good understanding of science. It’s a different realm than metaphysics, so if people haven’t been “familiar” with certain topics, it’s only because it”s probably not very scientific. Metaphysics is interesting but it fails miserably in so many ways, scientifically.

So when you go around talking about self-simulating, self-configuring quantum protocomputers without any further elaboration, all I can do is assume you’re trying to hijack the idea of a participatory or holographic universe, which are ideas that are, again, not original to Christopher, and are certainly able to be discussed with jargon that is well-known and well-understood. No need for gibberish.

1. Tim

I replied to you above, and I hope you will consider it. I am NOT-crazy!

But, now, you said, “So when you go around talking about self-simulating, self-configuring quantum protocomputers without any further elaboration, all I can do is assume you’re trying to hijack the idea of a participatory or holographic universe, which are ideas that are, again, not original to Christopher, and are certainly able to be discussed with jargon that is well-known and well-understood. No need for gibberish.”

You are speaking of two ways to communicate, one is From God, through the character of his Son, and OF the jews: “gibberish” as you coin it. The other is the way of the gentiles: “prodigalism” as I coin it. No prodigalist will ever know. Only the prodigalist who returns to his gebberish roots will. That the metaphysic should come first (a la “those who die in Christ”) is of no great surprise!

So, for thee successful physic to come (wearing her *fine* linen,), either a successful metaphysician who is also skilled in physic will have to lay claim to that “cross”, or else an exceedingly impressive gentile will have to come close enough to find the “ladder”, be converted (have his Father throw him a kick-ass “party” to celebrate his return), and then share the bounty of joy overflowing his “heart”.

MORE: you mention “participatory [universe]” and “holographic universe”. That you have not found to read the successful physic (which, to be sure, when it comes, you will still have to succeed with thee metaphysic to understand it.) is at least evidence that the capability of the physicists with their own language has not – of itself – provided the capacity to SUCCEED! (Is there someone out there sitting on such success?) When thee physic comes, not only will it “confirm” thee metaphysic, but it will uphold much of the gibberish that was said about HIS participatory and holographic nature.

Tim

8. mereotelic

Tim,

Remember the palindrome example I mentioned before…

Expanding Rubber Sheet Universe as a Self-Representational Entity…or ERSUSRE.

I replied to your comment above.

mereotelic:

“You only mentioned science and metaphysics, what about reason and theology? As I mentioned before, these are the qualio-perceptual, emo-telic, logico-mathematical and space-time-object syntaxes respectively…which are the four model-theoretically relevant components of the human-cognitive syntax.”

I feel like you aren’t listening to what I’m saying. What you’re saying is gibberish. Space-time-object syntax doesn’t make sense. Space and time aren’t syntaxes. There’s no such thing as a human-cognitive syntax. Syntax has a very specific definition, and you have to use it correctly if you want people to understand you.

Tim:

Why are you trying to talk like some kind of Shakespearian playwright?

Anyways, I am not talking about two ways to communicate. I’m saying if you’re going to explain undefined words with more undefined words, nobody is ever going to get anywhere. Calling reality a set of all sets that contains itself, or that the universe is a self-simulating protocomputer, blahblah, says absolutely nothing. It’s incredibly vague and doesn’t explain anything.

It’s like if I told you the universe was actually a non-semiupdatable solinoidal operand. What is that? Well, it’s a sort of metaconscious supersymmetrical differential engine. What is that? Well, it has to do with uniperipheral nanocognitive boundary-renormalization. What is that? Well, its…

I mean, it’s an endless cycle. That’s why many people think Christoper is full of it. Just google his name and the first thing you see on the autocomplete is “fraud.”

1. Tim

I will try to try to help you try to try to clean up your gibberish if you want.

Do you think I reflect well on Shakespeare?; I couldn’t/havn’t tried recently to read him myself.

If you think that something like “self-simulating” is too vague, know that we who don’t have worked hard to try to make sense of it. That we haven’t produced the physic in her fine linen is no reason to faith/e that she, when she does finally wear her fine linen, won’t fully redeem that term. Scientist talk – very precisely – about things which they do not know: in this is a clue!

Importantly, when you say, “Anyways, I am not talking about two ways to communicate.”, you have helped clean up my gibberish admirably: thanks! There is but the one way to communicate, but, since someone knows very well how to communicate in that one way, in truth, the materialist’s ATTEMPTS to communicate another way, with lies, can still be “interpreted” for value. Thanks again!

Tim

“Scientist talk – very precisely – about things which they do not know: in this is a clue!”

So what if we were born a few hundred years ago and I asked you what reality was, you’d be able to tell me all about quantum physics and relativity?

How about now? Do you know more than the scientists? Or are you going to defend the fact that you obvious do not by saying “Well, it doesn’t matter, but here’s what reality is anyway”? This sort of reasoning doesn’t look any different from outright making things up or choosing one possibility out of many and trying to argue that you know what you’re talking about.

1. Tim

Howison compiled the book “the limits of evolutions, and other essays, illustrating the metaphysical theory of personal idealism” in 1901. He compiled it from the essays, – which hold together, – which he had been working on throughout the latter 1800’s. Einstein did not have his “amazing year” until 1905. Howison, as metaphysician, saw the “silhouette” of spacetime before the physicist, for but one example.

Similarly, I too see the “silhouette” of what must come better than the physicists (and even than Howison did, I might add). If they would read me, and understand me, they would progress much faster.

Tim

Again, I think you’re utterly crazy.

All this post tells me is that you’re another science-hating crank who will try to undercut the contributions of brilliant scientific minds by making it sound like irrelevant philosophers were the real drivers of knowledge and innovation. It’s simply not true anymore.

“Silhouette” here is just a euphemism for “blind guess.” You can always go back, and with hindsight pick out people who got a few things right with guesses alone. It’s easy to ignore everyone else who guessed wrong.

Howison didn’t “see the silhouette” of spacetime before Einstein. A lot of people in that era were discussing the ideas. It’s Einstein who built upon what Maxwell started and made amazing contributions and predictions that hold true, even today, under all sorts of extreme stress-tests.

If you think you can see so clearly, then what “silhouette” do you see today and why? How could a scientist progress much faster by listening to you? Specific examples, please.

2. Tim

of course you think I’m crazy.

If you think I hate science, you simply aren’t bothered by contrary evidence. I love science. And I am HER defender (here)! I don’t suppose you think yourself a scientist, do you?

“Silhouette” is no euphemism! There is nothing “blind” nor “guess” about it. Merely, I haven’t seen all the details – imagine getting an ultrasound of your child in womb: you can even know if he is has a penis or if she doesn’t, but that picture does not quite fill out the experience. My picture will be affirmed when thee physic finally arrives.

Have you read Howison?! If not, why do you GUESS? Not only did he see the silhouette better than Einstein ever did! Yes, I mean that; Howison saw it from above whereas Einstein was still TRYING to break out! Howison also saw that phenomena must be merely phenomenal! You think this a crazy though so you exclude it, but a real scientist – one who relentlessly looks for ways in which he might be wrong before opening his mouth (yes, I have done that) – would consider it.

Not only is such a recognition the understanding needed to make sense of the participatory (quantum) nature of REAL, it is also the understanding that upholds my offering that the phenomenal IS the lower dimensional holographic of the higher-dimensional idea. That’s one. If you think I’m going to go through listwise for you you are deluded. If I wanted thee physic to come like that I would be after it myself, greedily. If you want better to see the silhouette, study me, not just here, but at my “home institution” as well; walk in my shoes; I have left them right there for you.

Tim

10. sentient agent

While searching for internal inconsistencies within the CTMU papers, I found this on page 51 of the CTMU pdf

http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Langan_CTMU_092902.pdf

quote:

This is unsurprising, for intelligence itself is a natural phenomenon that could never have emerged in humans and animals were it not already a latent property of the medium of emergence.

This could be a mistake in reasoning related to fallacy of composition?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition

quote:

The fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole (or even of every proper part).

Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Intelligent humans may be part of the universe, but that doesn’t mean the universe is intelligent.

2. P. George Stewart

SENTIENT AGENT: This could be a mistake in reasoning related to fallacy of composition?

GEORGE: Look at it this way. What is this “part” you’re talking about? A human being is energetically and physically inseperable from the rest of the Universe. A human being could not live on its own floating in nothingness, it requires something from each “level” of the Universe to keep it going, right down to the all-pervasive physical laws that constrain everything that exists. So that perceiving intelligence is quite literally the perceiving intelligence of the Universe. We are just under the illusion that it “belongs” to some vague thing we think exists behind the eyes, but that’s an illusion. Our perception is literally and simply the Universe’s perception of itself. (Think of Wheeler’s “U” – of think of a giant blob with a multitude of eyestalks peeping up above the blob looking at each other and at the blob – THAT is the situation we are in.)

The “part/whole” distinction is itself illusory – what we have is a “whole/whole” interaction.

The possibility, the potential of that, of the Universe perceiving itself, had to be there from yea time (“latent”).

George: All that’s saying is “It’s two types of containment because reality contains you and you are contained in reality.” That’s just plain old containment.

Just because we can perceive doesn’t mean it requires a different type of containment either. Reality IS just a bunch of matter in space following various laws. That framework is what allows us to be alive in the first place. Cognition is *generated* by those interactions. Again, this sounds like it all traces back to the Hard Problem of Consciousness and not anything about containment and whatnot.

It reminds me of that Douglas Adams quote where a puddle of water is so amazed that the hole fits it quite perfectly. Just because we can perceive doesn’t mean there was any design or intention behind the universe. We wouldn’t be able to perceive in the first place or be sentient if the conditions weren’t right for it. It’s possible there are many other universes, or it’s possible that we only have one universe that undergoes all sorts of changes, or what have you. We just wouldn’t know about them because the only universes we know about are the ones that allow for sentience to rise at some point.

1. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: All that’s saying is “It’s two types of containment because reality contains you and you are contained in reality.” That’s just plain old containment.

GEORGE: But doesn’t “plain old containment” give rise to paradox? So either the universe is inherently paradoxical and there’s no sense to it all, or it’s not just “plain old containment”, and there’s something intrinsic to the universe that results in that for which one of many names is “matter”, on the one hand, and that for which one of many names is “mind”, on the other, both of which together ALLOW a non-paradoxical kind of self-containment.

SHADONIS: It’s possible there are many other universes, or it’s possible that we only have one universe that undergoes all sorts of changes, or what have you.

GEORGE: but other universes would still be part of reality.

Yes, George, I agree with Wheeler’s blob just fine. We’re all like a disconnected hivemind; extensions of the universe. We are “a way for the cosmos to know itself” as Carl Sagan once said.

But that does NOT mean the universe is intelligent. It just means the universe can generate intelligent entities within itself. You are confusing a function of a part with a function of a whole. If you want to call all humans “the universe” then that’s just word play. If you want to call sentient life “the universe” you may as well call a sand castle “the beach.” IS a castle the beach? Technically, it’s sand, which is part of the beach. Similarly, we are humans… PART of the universe. The attributes of a part don’t necessarily carry over to the whole.

1. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: The attributes of a part don’t necessarily carry over to the whole.

GEORGE: But that’s just it, it’s not a part/whole thing, it’s a whole/whole thing.

If the “machinery” of the whole is necessary for yours or my cognition of the whole (as I presume you agree it is), then it’s the whole’s perception of the whole.

The eyestalk isn’t a “part” of the blob, it’s the blob’s eyestalk, it’s extruded by the blob.

You didn’t think virtually every mystic who has ever lived was talking bollocks did you? 🙂 Shadonis, George, the “parts”, we are the illusions, the truth is that there’s only one Great Big Thing here, contemplating its own navel. (“Great Big Thing” being William James’ joking summation of Monism 🙂 ).

And, furthermore (Langan is saying), that’s the only way it logically could be, that’s the only logical way anything could both be (physically) and be “lit up” (into consciousness, into being known) at all – if it’s one and the same thing that’s configuring itself (in patterns) and processing itself (reading those patterns).

Well I’d say this is just incorrect, then. It seems like you’re sidestepping the issue by saying “It’s not a part of the whole, it’s a whole of the whole!” Again, it’s like arguing that a sand castle is a beach. You’re trying to say that sentient beings ARE the universe, and therefore any attribute you can put to a sentient being you can therefore put to the universe. It’s word play.

That’s where Langan screws up. He takes a possible interpretation and says it’s logically true. You just… can’t do that. Possibility does not equal truth. If that were the case, then Zeus is true, Allah is true, and hidden wings in my feet are true.

It’s still one type of containment. Otherwise, it’s like saying it requires two types of containment to explain how sand castles are part of the beach but the beach contains many sand castles. Both expressions are saying the exact same thing. If you want to claim they are different, then you start getting wasteful axioms of logic where we can say X containing A does not imply that A is contained by X, despite tautology. It’s inconsistent and meaningless.

Do you think sand castles are beaches?

1. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: Do you think sand castles are beaches?

GEORGE: of course not, but they are made of beach, and their sandcastle-iness is a property of the beach (plus interaction with a child, but of course there’s nothing outside reality, so the metaphor won’t stretch that far – we’re talking about the beach spontaneously creating its own sandcastles here 🙂 ).

However, I do agree that if Langan thinks he’s proving a sort of “Overmind” from this, that’s getting into dodgy territory. That’s where MY criticism of him would probably wedge itself in.

I would say that your or my intelligence “belong” to the Universe, and it’s the Universe that’s “awake” in you or I (and that’s sufficiently mind-blowing and ought to be conducive to a sense of spiritual/humanistic dignity and responsibility in itself), but that doesn’t imply that there’s a sense in which (over and above our several intelligences) there’s an omniscient mind with a sense of purpose.

In fact I’d say that the thing that’s omnipresent and omnipotent is the DUMBEST thing (yes/no switching at some vastly deep level). Yes, we partake in that, and our partaking of that level plus all the more sophisticated levels (laws of physics, biology, etc.) are the pyramid on which intelligence is built, and yes that possibility had to be inherent in reality from yea time; but none of that necessarily implies that there’s any thing that’s smarter than us in the Universe. It may simply be the case that we are as smart as the Universe has gotten so far (which is, to be sure, a depressing thought 🙂 ).

Another way of saying this: I can accept a simple teleology that gives the Universe a fairly simple sense of conatus (desire to be) at the start, but I can’t accept (yet) an idea of anything more specific and “planned” (e.g. that we, in particular, were meant to be).

Of course, at this point Langan would point to UBT (unbound telesis), which would by definition be the possibility of the most complex, most refined self-conscious universe with just precisely us (and what comes after us) as a desired result), and he’d probably say he’s got an argument for why this possibility MUST come to be.

Actually, Langan’s CTMU can be understood from one point of view (and he has has admitted this himself) as a refinement of Anselm – an extended Ontological Argument, trying to “get right” what the OA was actually pointing to (basing it not on “conceivability” but in some sense on this “raw possibility” of UBT).

If Langan can pull off a new OA, then I’d have to eat my hat, but we’ll have to wait and see.

“But doesn’t “plain old containment” give rise to paradox? So either the universe is inherently paradoxical and there’s no sense to it all, or it’s not just “plain old containment”, and there’s something intrinsic to the universe that results in that for which one of many names is “matter”, on the one hand, and that for which one of many names is “mind”, on the other, both of which together ALLOW a non-paradoxical kind of self-containment.”

And yes, other universes would still be part of “reality.” It just means you wouldn’t find yourself awakening in such a universe because conditions disallow it.

1. MarkCC Post author

To clarify what I think is a bit of miscommunication:

Containment only causes a paradox if is defined in a way which allows an object to contain itself as a distinct member object. That’s the basic inconsistency of naive set theory – it allows that kind of self-containment.

If you assert that the universe is an object, and that by the definition of the universe, it must contain all objects including itself, then you’ll hit a containment paradox. If you assert that the universe is a container of all objects, but is not a containable object itself, then there’s no paradox.

I agree with this, but my point is that it doesn’t make sense to call the universe “two types of containment.” If the universe is a sort of “container” then it may result in an infinite regress paradox, sure (what contains the container?), but it’s also possible that the universe is infinite and not really a bound container at all.

1. P. George Stewart

And yet a complete science would still have to deal with the fact, the perceivable, observable fact, that the observer of the universe is a part of the Universe.

The observer of reality (whose ambition it is to cognize the whole, and who is evidently capable of cognizing the whole) is a piece of reality.

So reality is containing itself in SOME sense. In what sense? The descriptive sense – even as the observer (who is real) is himself contained (by the real) in the topological sense.

I really don’t see what the problem is with this way of talking, it’s just a description of what is verifiably happening, part of a process of getting clear about how to talk about reality logically, without paradox.

14. mereotelic

Are you a linguist or a scientist?

MarkCC,

What definition of an object are you using?

“What is an object?

This paper combines two semantic approaches to object theory. It restructures the objects-as-observed processes approach developed mainly by the first and third authors in view of the objects-as-sheaves approach of the second author, first published nearly two decades ago.

Sheaf theory developed in mathematics for studying relationships between local and global phenomena, and has been applied in algebraic geometry, differential geometry, analysis, and even logic.” – A Categorical Theory of Objects as Observed Processes

“This paper proposes a new model theoretic approach to concurrency based on sheaves.” – Sheaf semantics for Concurrent Interacting Objects (a paper by Joseph Goguen, which formulates the behaviour of systems of concurrent interacting objects categorically. Goguen uses sheaves to represent the behaviours of individual objects, and limits to combine the behaviours of objects into that of the system. The approach is very general, and is not restricted to “objects” in the sense of object-oriented programming, or indeed to computation.” – nLab)

”Joseph Goguen is one of the most prominent computer scientists worldwide. His numerous research contributions span many topics and have changed the way we think about many concepts. Our views about data types, programming languages, software specification and verification, computational behavior, logics in computer science, semiotics, interface design, multimedia, and consciousness, to mention just some of the areas, have all been enriched in fundamental ways by his ideas.

The papers address a broad variety of topics from meaning, meta-logic, specification and composition, behavior and formal languages, as well as models, deduction, and computation.” – Algebra, meaning, and computation

”Awareness of a conscious entity can exist without elements; therefore, the general notion of an object of a category is employed. One of the characterization of understanding is: for a given local information (awareness) there exists a global information whose restriction is the given information. For such mental activities, category and sheaf theories are employed to formulate consciousness. We will show that the cohomology (more general precohomology) object, a subquotient object, better represents the essence of a conscious entity than an object itself. We will also give a definition of an observation to formulate the collapse of the wave and the wave property.” – Sheaf Cohomology of Conscious Entity

1. MarkCC Post author

(A) I’m not trying to do object theory, which is an entirely different field.

(B) What is with you and spam-dumping pasts from other sites?

(C) What the heck do you think those pastes have to do with this discussion other than the fact that they contain the word “object”?

(D) I would think that it’s pretty obvious what I meant from context. I was talking about something in set theory, and specifically talking about whether or not the universe was something that can be included in a set. In set theory, we distinguish between different kinds of entities. In general, we frequently talk about three things: objects (which are, generally speaking, atomic entities that can be included in either sets or classes), classes (which are arbitrary collections of objects, sets, and classes), and sets (which are a restricted kind of class, which can be specified using predicates).

Of course, in real, classic, set theory, you don’t have anything but sets classes. You build up everything else using them. So in a set-theoretic construction, a number is a set. So you map abstractions over the sets to allow you to make distinctions based on what you’re modeling.

When you talk about whether or not something is an object, you’re focusing on whether or not it can be included in a set. When you’re talking about whether or not something is a set, you’re focusing on how you can describe it using predicates; when you’re talking about whether or not something is a class… well, you don’t really talk about that, because in set theory, pretty much everything is a class.

That’s the context I was speaking in – so what I was trying to get at was whether or not the universe is considered an entity that can be a member of a set. If it is, and you claim that it’s a member of itself, then you’ve built an inconsistency, and you might as well stop talking. But if it isn’t, then it can’t be a member of any set – including itself – so it’s not particularly worth talking about, but it’s also not inconsistent.

1. mereotelic

MarkCC,

You are (possibly intentionally) not using the term object in the sense Langan intended. It’s unfortunate that you consider my links totally irrelevant to Langan’s work, while much of you audience suffers over commentary of much less relevance to the deeper implications of the CTMU itself. You can wave your hands at declare intellectual superiority over Langan until you feel truly satisfied, and you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

MarkCC: *objects (which are, generally speaking, atomic entities that can be included in either sets or classes)*

Langan: *The real universe has always been theoretically treated as an object, and specifically as the composite type of object known as a set.*

An object is a mathematical structure in a category.

A morphism is a map between two objects in an abstract category.

“Thus, the real universe is not a static set, but a dynamic process resolving the self-inclusion paradox. Equivalently, because any real explanation of reality is contained in reality itself, reality gives rise to a paradox unless regarded as an inclusory self-mapping. This is why, for example, category theory is increasingly preferred to set theory as a means of addressing the foundations of mathematics; it centers on invariant relations or mappings between covariant or contravariant (dually related) objects rather than on static objects themselves. For similar reasons, a focus on the relative invariants of semantic processes is also well-suited to the formulation of evolving theories in which the definitions of objects and sets are subject to change; thus, we can speak of time and space as equivalent to cognition and information with respect to the invariant semantic relation processes, as in “time processes space” and “cognition processes information”. But when we define reality as a process, we must reformulate containment accordingly.” – Langan

“A Chu space is a binary relation =| from a set A to an antiset X defined
as a set which transforms via converse functions. Chu spaces admit
a great many interpretations by virtue of realizing all small concrete categories and most large ones arising in mathematical and computational practice. Of particular interest for computer science is their interpretation as computational processes, which takes A to be a schedule of events distributed in time, X to be an automaton of states forming an information system in the sense of Scott, and the pairs (a, x) in the =| relation to be the individual transcriptions of the making of history. The traditional homogeneous binary relations of transition on X and precedence on A are recovered as respectively the right and left residuals of the heterogeneous binary relation =| with itself. The natural algebra of Chu spaces is that of linear logic, made a process algebra by the process interpretation.” – Chu Spaces and their Interpretation as Concurrent Objects

“Instead of treating states and attributes as independent concepts, we coordinate them via the proportion type:individual::attribute:state.” – Concurrent Ontology and the Extensional Conception of Attribute

“Reality thus consists of a single “substance”, infocognition, with two aspects corresponding to transduction and being transduced.

Because states express topologically while the syntactic structures of their underlying operators express descriptively, attributive duality is sometimes called state-syntax duality.” – Langan

Alternative definitions of “object”:

▸ noun: a tangible and visible entity; an entity that can cast a shadow
▸ noun: the focus of cognitions or feelings
▸ noun: (grammar) a constituent that is acted upon
▸ noun: the goal intended to be attained (and which is believed to be attainable)

15. mereotelic

The Space-Time-Object syntax is closely related to indexicality in my humble opinion, only the author really knows. Goguen’s work on institution-independent model theory is in some way related.

“In the future, a reconstructed form of Buddhism will be merely one aspect of a single religion based on the power and infallibility of God’s first and most unbreakable law, logic.” – Langan

Institutions, Madhyamaka, and Universal Model Theory:

“In linguistics and in philosophy of language, an indexical behavior or utterance points to (or indicates) some state of affairs. For example, I refers to whoever is speaking; now refers to the time at which that word is uttered; and here refers to the place of utterance. For Charles Sanders Peirce, indexicality is one of three sign modalities (see further down), and is a phenomenon far broader than language; that which, independently of interpretation, points to something — such as smoke (an index of fire) or a pointing finger — works indexically for interpretation. Social indexicality in the human realm has been regarded as including any sign (clothing, speech variety, table manners) that points to, and helps create, social identity.”

What does this have to do with “STO syntax” at all? Indexical behavior is basically one thing indicating another. This doesn’t answer my question.

Syntax involves the grammar or rules governing the language (for instance, “C++ syntax”) or the construction rules for, say, logical entities. Things that are syntactically valid are constructions that follow the rules. This is different from semantics, which is about the interpretation/meaning of the syntax. “Hungry oil is rectangular” is syntactically valid but semantically meaningless.

Space, time, and objects aren’t “rules” or “grammar” or “syntax.” This harks back to the confusion you guys have over the fact that reality is not a “language.” You can use language to describe things within reality, but that doesn’t mean reality is itself a language. Similarly, STO is not syntax.

1. mereotelic

You should pick up a book on Carnap’s work sometime…syntax is basically a set of rules, these could be the rules of thought, the rules of physics, or both.

“We want to regard it *the phenomenal syntax* as empirical, but the phenomenologists want to regard it as a priori, or at least as knowable from a single instance, hence not empirical in the usual sense. But in reality there is only a gradual, if of course a rather large, difference between empiricity of the physical syntax and that of the phenomenal syntax.” – Carnap

“This syntax (system of cognitive rules) not only determines the theorist’s perception of the universe, but bounds his cognitive processes and is ultimately the limit of his theorization (this relates to the observation that all we can directly know of reality are our perceptions of it). The reasoning is simple; S determines the composition and behavior of objects (or subsystems) s in S, and thus comprises the general syntax (structural and functional rules of S) of which s obeys a specific restriction. Thus, where s is an ideal observer/theorist in S, S is the syntax of its own observation and explanation by s.” – Langan, Intro to the CTMU

“Everything that can be described or conceived, including every structure or process or law, is isomorphic to a description or definition and therefore qualifies as a language, and every sentient creature constantly affirms the linguistic structure of nature by exploiting syntactic isomorphism to perceive, conceptualize and refer to it. Even cognition and perception are languages based on what Kant might have called “phenomenal syntax”. With logic and mathematics counted among its most fundamental syntactic ingredients, language defines the very structure of information. This is more than an empirical truth; it is a rational and scientific necessity.

The goal of providing a scientific model and mechanism for the evolution of complex systems ultimately requires a supporting theory of reality of which perception itself is the model (or theory-to-universe mapping). Where information is the abstract currency of perception, such a theory must incorporate the theory of information while extending the information concept to incorporate reflexive self-processing in order to achieve an intrinsic (self-contained) description of reality. This extension is associated with a limiting formulation of model theory identifying mental and physical reality, resulting in a reflexively self-generating, self-modeling theory of reality identical to this universe on the syntactic level.” – Langan, New Kind of Reality Theory

“In the CTMU, reality is viewed as a profoundly self-contained, self-referential kind of “language”, and languages have syntaxes. Because self-reference is an abstract generalization of consciousness – consciousness is the attribute by virtue of which we possess self-awareness – conscious agents are “sublanguages” possessing their own cognitive syntaxes. Now, global consciousness is based on a complete cognitive syntax in which our own incomplete syntax can be embedded, and this makes human consciousness transparent to it; in contrast, our ability to access the global level is restricted due to our syntactic limitations.” – Langan, Q&A

16. sentient agent

In short, according to Christopher Langan’s CTMU principle of linguistic reducibility, reality conforms to the algebraic definition of a language in that it incorporates the representations of objects, spatial relations and attributes, along with associated time-like functions.

Lee Smolin makes an interesting analogy in his book “Three roads to Quantum Gravity”

quote:

” The geometry of a universe is very like the grammatical structure of a sentence. Just as a sentence has no structure and no existence apart from the relationships between the words, space has no existence apart from the relationships that hold between the things in the universe. If you change a sentence by taking some words out, or changing their order, its grammatical structure changes. Similarly, the geometry of space changes when the things in the universe change their relationships to one another. ”

Lee Smolin has outright said though that we use mathematics to DESCRIBE reality. That’s totally different from saying that reality IS the mathematics or that reality IS a language.

Of course the geometry of space changes when things in the universe change. That goes without saying. But, again, that doesn’t make reality a language. It means we describe reality through the language of mathematics.

Uhhh… I have no idea why you think that link possibly supports your stance, here.

How about I give you something straight:

Watch from 1:04:25 or so until 1:07:00 or so

1. mereotelic

Actually he is supporting the process approach to metaphysics, which is the core of Langan’s CTMU.

17. mereotelic

MarkCC,

The idea of dual self-containment isn’t limited to Langan’s work…so why aren’t you throwing mud at them as well? I’m convinced you think Langan is some kind of fundamentalist, and that for everyone’s sake he must be destroyed…when in fact his views aren’t that unique, albeit expressed uniquely.

“In Section 1, using the ideas of the past two chapters, I will present the radical but necessary idea that self and reality are belief systems. Then, in Section 2, I will place this concept in the context of the theory of hypersets and situation semantics, giving for the first time a formal model of the universe in which mind and reality reciprocally contain one another. This “universal network” model extends the concept of the dual network, and explains how the cognitive equation might actually be considered as a universal equation.

Finally, in Sections 3-5, I will put forth a few speculative suggestions regarding how one might reconcile this idea with our contemporary understanding of the physical world. I will confront the well-known paradoxes of quantum mechanics, and argue that the resolution of these paradoxes may lie in the idea that the world is made of pattern. If this idea is correct, it will provide a basis for integrating the idea that reality is a belief system with modern physical science.” – Chaotic Logic

Reflexive Autopoietic Systems Theory:
http://archonic.net/autobook.5/refautol.pdf

18. sentient agent

The physicist Eugene Wigner writes about the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unreasonable_Effectiveness_of_Mathematics_in_the_Natural_Sciences

Max Tegmark takes this further and postulates that the physical world is isomorphic to a mathematical structure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unreasonable_Effectiveness_of_Mathematics_in_the_Natural_Sciences#Max_Tegmark.27s_response

Max Tegmark also theorizes that all structures that exist mathematically also exist physically.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_universe_hypothesis

Christopher Langan writes that a mathematical structure is a language:

http://megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Langan_CTMU_092902.pdf

quote, page 2:

“Of all mathematical structures, language is the most general, powerful and necessary. Not only is every formal or working theory of science and mathematics by definition a language, but science and mathematics in whole and in sum are languages. Everything that can be described or conceived, including every structure or process or law, is isomorphic to a description or definition and therefore qualifies as a language…”

quote, page 19:

“Because perception is a sensory intersect of mind and reality, perception is impossible without cognition, and to this extent the cognitive predicate reality equates to its perceptual content. On the level of cognitive and perceptual syntax, language is necessarily isomorphic to that which it describes; in a perceptual reality like that which exists around us, it is tautologically true that the basic language of cognition and perception is syntactically isomorphic to reality (though illusion and falsehood become possible on the semantic level). “

19. mereotelic

So I understand that Langan writes in a way which confuses many people, but it’s clear the general direction in which he moved has begun to find broader appeal these days, for those who are interested in recent developments this article serves as a good start.

“One of the main questions discussed was whether and how modern techniques coming from logic, computer science and information theory might be combined with state-of-the-art insights in the philosophy of physics to gain a better understanding of the main foundational issues and open problems in modern physics.

Another noticeable trend is an ever-growing amalgam of logic and formal theories of computation and processes—perhaps the bulk of logic research as pursued today—ranging from modal logics (spatial logic, dynamic logic and temporal logic of actions) to proof theory-inspired linear logic and other resource-sensitive logics, game logics, process algebras, coalgebraic logics, etcetera. Finally, there has also been an extension of descriptive coverage in another direction, with what has been called a “dynamic turn” toward interaction and communication between intelligent agents, bringing logic in touch with artificial intelligence, game theory, social choice theory, linguistics, cognitive science, and other disciplines modeling human behaviour in an exact manner.

The papers in this volume testify to the vitality of logic in this modern sense. For
instance, modal and spatial logics can provide efficient formal tools to talk about the
qualitative temporal and spatial evolution of dynamical systems. These logics can
handle a large variety of interactive properties of processes and they can also be used to formalize various conceptions of space.

All logical methods in this volume reach beyond traditional styles of formalizing
physical theories. It is our hope that by promoting work in this direction, physicists,
philosophers of physics and logicians can come closer together, and find that they
have much more common ground than is often supposed.”

Theory structure – Model theory – Formal language – Dynamic logic – Computation – Agency

merotelic: No, he’s not. You seem to have this habit of saying something is true even though the data/proof does not support what you’re arguing. You do this with every question I ask you. I ask you for an example of X and you give me something completely unrelated and act like you’ve supported X. Lee Smolin is *not* supporting what Christopher Langan’s approach. You are saying something that is outright lying/false at this point.

I’ll post the quotes directly so others can see:

[[[[[
LEE SMOLIN: “May I give you an argument that we DON’T live in the Matrix? Very simple argument. There’s a property that the real world right down here has that no mathematical equation has, no solution of an equation has, no abstract object has. Here in the real world, there is always some moment, which is one of a series of passing moments. A mathematical equation doesn’t have a flow of time in it; it just IS. This means, to me, that the ancient metaphysical fantasy that we “ARE just mathematics” cannot be true, because in a world that was just mathematics, there would be no moments of time.”

JIM GATES: “You keep using the word ‘is’ and I’m talking about the word ‘describe.’ The point is that it’s fun to talk about some deep metaphysical essence that sits behind physics, but for some of us, it’s about finding an accurate way to DESCRIBE where we live.”

LEE SMOLIN: “That’s beautiful, that’s fine, I admire that… but that’s all I’m objecting to, is that it doesnt mean we live in the mathematics. It just means mathematics is descriptive of an aspect of our universe.”

BRIAN GREENE (later, answering the same question): “To me, mathematics is really the language of pattern. It’s self-consistent ways of embodying pattern, and that’s ultimately what we do. We’re pattern-recognition machines, we try to codify the patterns we see in the world around us in math and that way we try to describe the universe around us. Does this mean we ARE the mathematics? I don’t know, it becomes really hard to really know exactly what that really means, but we have found, so far, that math so far is a potent tool for making predictions that we can test and confirm.”
]]]]]

In other words, they would not support Langan’s approach that reality IS a language and all this sort of thing. They outright dismiss the metaphysical notions and focus on using math as a TOOL to DESCRIBE reality, which is totally different from saying that reality IS the same as the tool. It’s just a model, and models aren’t guaranteed to be a 100% identical, at all… that’s why we call it a model.

You want to talk about things like space-object-time syntax whereas Lee Smolin here is outright saying that this sort of ancient notion can’t be true because math just IS, and does not inherently contain time properties. We can model time IN the equations and calculate effects over various time states, but it does not have the same property of timeflow. Time isn’t a syntax. Space is not a syntax. You’re abusing the definitions of syntax and language when you use them like that.

Anyways, it’s pretty obviously laid out that these guys do NOT support what you are arguing.

1. John Fringe

Are you appealing to an actual observation (the actual content of the video) to argue a metaphysical question? You materialist! XD

1. Tim

you poor saps. hate life if you prefer, but know that you risk infecting others… And know that such things aren’t the un-real subjective stuff you imagine they are. (your standard of “evidence” is destroying you.)

you are religious; and in your such, you are also very poor saps.

You are alive now. Now. Now. … Are you gonna’ keep choosing your religion? Are you not even gonna’ admit that you are choosing just that, your religion?

Tim

1. Mark C. Chu-Carroll

You’re seriously crazy.

Where on earth did you get the idea that everyone who disagrees with you must hate life?

Seriously, you can’t actually respond to their arguments, so you just draw ridiculous, unsupported, insulting conclusions about people who disagree with you?

It’s a non-sequitur, and frankly, a very insulting one.

Tim: How can you possibly say I am religious when I’ve said, plainly, that I am agnostic? You guys are the ones defending ideas like God and weird metaphysical solipsistic quackery.

I sincerely feel like I’m having a discussion with fifth graders who have no clue what they’re talking about. I ask for examples and explanation and you guys can offer nothing but vague, hollow responses and unrelated bullcrap, then act like you’ve proven your arguments.

3. Tim

Mark,

you aren’t qualified to judge my reasoned position. And you would be wise to quit throwing around words like “crazy”.

Where on earth did you get the idea that I think that everyone who disagrees with me hates life? That is a crazy leap. (To be sure, my comment was made to the scoffing duo. I had thoroughly crushed John before, and specifically on the point about “life” as it is lived in the moment. Shadonis pointed us to another (pair of) “authority” who made a similar point (Lee), and John …)

Furthermore, when I have not responded to an argument here?! I think that I have responded to EVERY one! Not that there have been many. But, Mark, why don’t you take up THEIR argument.

What conclusion did I “just draw”? That they are religious? That’s unavoidable. That they are poor saps? That’s well supported.

It’s funny how easily you get insulted, Mark. Tends to be a sign of weakness.

Tim

4. Tim

How can I say you’re religious? Though you refuse to recognize it, you are. So it’s real easy. Like Pirsig said, “no one can avoid metaphysics.” The more you refuse to actively decide, the more immature you tend to default.

you said, “when I’ve said, plainly, that I am agnostic?”

you can name your religion whatever you like. (I will tend to pay attention more to the fruit, so you know.)

You said, “You guys are the ones defending ideas like God and weird metaphysical solipsistic quackery.”

I have told you before that I believe in a plurality of “I am”, so I would appreciate it if you would quit labeling me as “solipsistic”. Furthermore, I have heard you utter words that show that you do not limit yourself to evidence and proof (the funniest of the like was John’s (actually): “Now, let’s stop free assertions, please. Show me why do you say the World is …” – 12/5/11 3:40 pm. If you don’t get it, “World” is a his God – 100% free assertion.)

You said, “I sincerely feel like I’m having a discussion with fifth graders”

I will go at your pace.

you said, “who have no clue what they’re talking about. I ask for examples and explanation and you guys can offer nothing but vague, hollow responses and unrelated bullcrap, then act like you’ve proven your arguments.”

Quit lumping me in with others. When have I failed you? If you address me and I fail you, then you can complain. But you seem afraid to engage me, at least have the courtesy to be honest about that. But perhaps I will have to wait for the day you finally are willing to admit that you (too) are religious, and that you function by faith/e.

Tim

5. John Fringe

[Facepalm]

(Now, boys, you see, drug abuse is a bad thing for your mental health. Tim has no cure, but there still hope for you. XD)

6. Tim

John,

I guess political crap like this is the only way you can try to recover from your previous embarrassment.

shame on you,
Tim

7. Tim

John,

to be sure, I want that you should be able to overcome your shame. A lady named Brene Brown has some interesting research on shame, if you are interested. How long have you had these standards of evidence that allow you to preclude TRUTH!? You do though! You are maiming the part of you that is best suited to handle the responsibility of moving forward, and of moving forward despite the fact that you have no proof of (the imagined) excellence in your creations. Religious people might play the fool (sometimes): deal with it (you religious “I am”). But why stay trapped as such a lowly fool? Are you that afraid of scienTISTS?

“And I thought that if we met, I would only start confessing, and they’d know that I was scared, they would know that I was guessing, but the wall came down and there they stood before me, with their stumbling and their mumbling, and their calling out just like me.”

Dar Williams, at 2:37:

John, (Shadonis, Mark,) I don’t think you know what good science looks like. The process doesn’t look like the “finished” product. Somehow you have come to appreciate the “finished” product so much that you would kill as nasty and unworthy the process that produces it! A standard (of evidence) cuts both ways, you should know; you can only say so much. Good scientists know when they must stop; you keep going. You use your standards of evidence to preclude TRUTH. Good scientists know that they cannot do that. Lee and Jim in the video above showed how in command they were of their limits: learn to rein yourselves in!

I hope you can put shame behind you – as everyone who attains to success and maturity must!

If you cannot rule out the possibility that religion may be the key, you should be honest about that – as any good scientist would. And you CANNOT!:

I am speaking the truth (and not only that, my hand is hardly waving).

Tim

21. sentient agent

My posts don’t seem to be getting through.

Math is extremely effective in the natural sciences …and mathematics IS is a language.

A simulated reality is real for the simulations within it …philosophically speaking 😉

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unreasonable_Effectiveness_of_Mathematics_in_the_Natural_Sciences

quote:

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences is the title of an article published in 1960 by the physicist Eugene Wigner.[1] In the paper, Wigner observed that the mathematical structure of a physics theory often points the way to further advances in that theory and even to empirical predictions, and argued that this is not just a coincidence and therefore must reflect some larger and deeper truth about both mathematics and physics.

1. John Fringe

Don’t forget that there are aspects of Nature that math can not describe currently.

For example a concrete and already shown example, you can not describe currently when a particular wavefunction will collapse to an eigenfunction, and to what eigenfunction exactly. It seems to be a random process.

By random we basically mean that we know no math describing the process, and we don’t know if math can describe the process.

And that’s the core of the problem, which you seem to dismiss as a little detail no worth mentioning. “Math is good, I like math, math is useful, so [logical jump] the universe is the math”. That’s in the line of “The concept of a god is good, I like the concept, the concept is useful, [logical jump] so god exists”. That’s not a proof. That’s a desire, maybe an intuition. But nothing more.

Even if you say math is a language, you can not identify this with the universe being a language at least until you prove the universe can be completely described with math. Good luck finding a comprehensive mathematical model and proving it’s completely valid (I don’t see how science could do this, you can not rule a new observation), but until then it’s just a belief of yours. We don’t know if we really live in a mathematical universe.

In any case, this thread is deviating a lot from the original topic. The topic was: Langan says he has proved logically things he hasn’t. Mark post didn’t say “it’s impossible that there is a god”, or “it’s impossible that the universe is completely describable by a language”. No. He said “Langan reasoning is wrong”.

Now, even his “supporters” seem to admit that he has just said some controversial things and that others will “complete” his ideas with “proofs”. (Most of them even directly contradict Langan with their own vague opinions). But Langan wasn’t expressing his opinions: he pretends to give proofs.

Does anybody still remember this? Is this the right forum to express your metaphysical dreams, unrelated to Langan claims?

22. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: Even if you say math is a language, you can not identify this with the universe being a language at least until you prove the universe can be completely described with math. Good luck finding a comprehensive mathematical model and proving it’s completely valid (I don’t see how science could do this, you can not rule a new observation), but until then it’s just a belief of yours. We don’t know if we really live in a mathematical universe.

GEORGE: But a “new observation” means the new thing must be part of reality, therefore coherent with the math already used to describe stuff so far.

If a thing is perceivable, it must be within reality’s “language” as Langan is using the term. Things happen in patterns, sequences, etc.,in a law-governed way, that is the “language” nature of them (also think of Schrodinger’s “aperiodic crystal” prediction of DNA).

This seems like an odd thing to say because language per se requires a mind, etc. But think about it: a good materialist will say that “mind” is an emergent or epiphenomenal property of matter. i.e. MATTER (the bit of reality that’s the “mind”) IS GENERATING LANGUAGE ANYWAY, even in the case of ordinary human language. Just as any mathematical system whatsoever is being generated by matter (i.e. it’s like that metalanguage/encoding thing, like with Godel, and somebody mentioned a chap called Turner somewhere above).

It is not, and cannot be, that we generate human language from some secret mysterious recess in our precious, novel, randomly appearing selves. When language is generated, that’s the Universe generating it anyway (including the whole gamut of conditions from biology to sociology); and when a perception is understood, the sequencing and patterning coming into perception is just the generation of a similar structured thing from the other side (from the side of the perceived matter).

1. John Fringe

“If a thing is perceivable, it must be within reality’s “language” as Langan is using the term. Things happen in patterns, sequences, etc.,in a law-governed way, that is the “language” nature of them (also think of Schrodinger’s “aperiodic crystal” prediction of DNA).”

No, George, and no matter how many times you (you in general, not only you) say this, it will not become true just by repetition.

You don’t know if things happen in a law-governed way. You don’t know if wavefunction collapse is governed by a law which can describe it precisely. That’s precisely what I’m saying. By just saying the opposite you’re not proving it.

I also like determinism. Assuming Nature is governed by laws is actually very productive. But we could perfectly live in the World of the Myths, where phenomena is completely random. Where quantum processes are actually random (this is, not completely determined by math). You can not prove the opposite, sorry. And of course not by just saying and hoping we don’t live in it.

Now, let’s stop free assertions, please. Show me why do you say the World is governed by law (for example, in the case of quantum wavefunction collapse), or stop it, please.

Because all you have is a mental model of the World, maybe a mathematical model which is not comprehensive, and you’re taking the model for the modeled. Even when all your models are (and probably will ever be) incomplete.

1. John Fringe

By the way, all these has already being said a million times before in this very same thread. Just by saying the world is completely mathematical, ignoring the arguments showing why you can’t say that, and repeating it again the assertion will not become true.

2. Mark C. Chu-Carroll

This seems like an odd thing to say because language per se requires a mind, etc. But think about it: a good materialist will say that “mind” is an emergent or epiphenomenal property of matter. i.e. MATTER (the bit of reality that’s the “mind”) IS GENERATING LANGUAGE ANYWAY, even in the case of ordinary human language. Just as any mathematical system whatsoever is being generated by matter (i.e. it’s like that metalanguage/encoding thing, like with Godel, and somebody mentioned a chap called Turner somewhere above).

This is, quite simply, not true.

“Language”, in the mathematical sense, does not require a mind.

In the definition specifically quoted by Langan, language does not require a mind. (I’m not at all sure that Chris understands that, but his ignorance doesn’t change anything.)

This is a fairly common rookie mistake – confusing language with ideas like meaning. In spoken (aka “natural”) languages, there is a meaning associated with the language. But meaning isn’t necessary for a language – in math, there are plenty of languages without meaning; and there are plenty of things describable as languages in the mathematical sense which absolutely do not require a mind.

Asserting that language requires a mind is a way of sneaking your desired conclusion in to a premise. It’s also basically one of the commonest ways that creationists try to mislead people. One of the sleaziest creationist “proofs” that evolution can’t work is to say that DNA is a language. In a mathematical sense, that’s true. But then, they sneak in “and a language requires a mind, therefore DNA can’t be the result of evolution without God”. That’s exactly what you’re doing.

It doesn’t work.

1. P. George Stewart

MARK: This is a fairly common rookie mistake – confusing language with ideas like meaning. In spoken (aka “natural”) languages, there is a meaning associated with the language. But meaning isn’t necessary for a language – in math, there are plenty of languages without meaning; and there are plenty of things describable as languages in the mathematical sense which absolutely do not require a mind.

GEORGE: Aren’t you confusing meaning with referent (ordinary language) or interpretation (mathematical language)? There are mathematical languages without interpretation (i.e. without pinning the variables down to anything useful – or, in ordinary language terms, without referents), but that doesn’t mean they don’t have meaning. That would be like saying “unicorn” is meaningless because it has no referent. The meaning IS the shapes of bare logic, otherwise mathematicians wouldn’t be understanding ANYTHING when they talk to each other about un-interpreted mathematical languages.

Look at the whole story: the physical world simply “peaks” at a certain knotty level of sophistication in your brain and my brain, but it’s still the whole physical world “doing intelligence” (the brain couldn’t “be intelligent” in a vacuum).

Including producing any possible (meaningful) form of mathematical structure.

If it’s the whole universe doing the “intelligence” in your brain, then you HAVE to call the universe “intelligent” – and not just “intelligent in you or me”, but intelligent full stop, in fact of the greatest intelligence (because it “peaks” in you, and me, and him, and possibly other sentient beings who mirror it, not just in you).

The differences between you as a human animal “part” and the “whole” are not such that the Fallacy of Composition apply, they are entirely superficial (there is no essential difference in kind between what’s on one side of the skin boundary and the other). The world forms one concatenated system, and any particular knot of matter (like a brain) that mirrors (encodes) the whole is the whole’s knot.

Now as to the ID stuff, I don’t care much about that. I’m totally down with the New Synthesis, and it seems to me to be the case that the general principle of “generate-and-test” is itself the way that not just biology works, but the mind itself, and reality as a whole, in its conatus to be (or express and know its infinite potential). Things that appear and can be perceived or experienced have to fit logically together.

1. Mark C. Chu-Carroll

No. Go read a text on computation theory, where they discuss the theory of mathematical language.

Mathematical languages don’t have to have any meaning at all. Meaning is a totally separate issue.

a -> “foo” | “(” a “)”

is a mathematical language. It doesn’t have any meaning: it just defines strings of meaningless symbols. In a mathematical sense, it’s no less a language than english.

In math, a language is nothing but a collection of sequences of symbols. The symbols don’t have to mean anything. The sequences don’t have to mean anything.

This is a very important, very profound fact in math. When we define a language, it doesn’t have to have one specific meaning. In fact, a big part of Godel relates to this: what Godel did was show that if you take any mathematical system as a language, if that system is expressive enough that one possible semantic model of the language can express Peano arithmetic, then there’s another equally valid semantic model of the language which supports the kind of meta-reasoning that forces incompleteness.

(That’s a really awful way of stating it, but it gets the point across. A model is an assignment from a mathematical language to some kind of meaning; and there’s no way of preventing a language from supporting multiple interpretations – even at the same time. The language doesn’t have an intrinsic meaning.)

1. P. George Stewart

MARK: Mathematical languages don’t have to have any meaning at all.

GEORGE: I thought it was “formal languages” that don’t have any meaning until semantically interpreted as you say? Then they can be maths, computer languages, human languages.

At any rate, whatever one calls whatever, the point still stands that the process in matter that we call “the human mind” is just one specialized and sophisticated version of a ubiquitous process of generating patterns that fit the world, can mirror the world, and provide stuff for the world to chew on; and this ability (to understand and radiate something TO understand) is obviously a property of the whole of reality, not just of one arbitrary (e.g. skin boundary) “part”.

23. Fedor

I think this may be the first time Chris Langan has ever been legitimately defeated in a debate.

1. P. George Stewart

FEDOR: I think this may be the first time Chris Langan has ever been legitimately defeated in a debate.

GEORGE: Just noticed this supremely silly comment.

There has been no “debate”, since Mark never started off with any kind of understanding of Chris’ position. All he’s done is flog a strawman.

What’s actually happened here is that some smart, educated people have come to Chris’ writings with a bunch of preconceived ideas about what they think he MUST mean because he’s associated with ID, and they’ve flogged their strawman to death. At the same time, they’ve gotten their knickers in a twist about the high IQ hype surrounding Langan (“no, no, I refuse to believe some trailer-trash autodidact can be smarter than ME!!! I’m EDUCATED!!!! I have several DEGREES!!!! And a well-paid JOB!!!!”). Meanwhile Chris has, on the one hand, responded to the strawman-flogging and high-IQ-baiting with the contempt it deserves, but on the other hand, has also unfortunately strayed into some rather unbecoming online trash-talk (my advice to Chris: “measure twice, cut once”).

And then a bunch of us have had a bit of fun defending and attacking our own ideas of what Langan means.

That’s ALL that’s happened here, nothing more, nothing less.

1. John Fringe

That’s not what has happened here.

People have actually disect several of Langan reasonings, calling it nonsequitur, Langan saying they’re complete, and people showing a lot of possibilities assuming the premises and not consistent with the conclusions. This is, people have shown that Langan’s reasoning is logically wrong.

This were it was possible, in concrete things (set reasoning, inconsistent definitions, determinism, etc.). Langan said he had a logical proof of god’s existence, and people showed the reasoning is wrong. Logic is a concrete thing, and I doubt you can argue this. But if you want, make a concrete comment.

Where it was not possible, in the metaphysical questions, like in speculative reasoning about open concepts like intelligence and cognition, well, the debate is going on, and anyone should judge himself. But, as I said, this is more a matter of opinion. You believe some things, I believe another ones. Well, OK, but they’re just opinions. But that’s not what Langan was speaking about.

(By the way, “no, no, I refuse to believe some trailer-trash autodidact can be smarter than ME!!! I’m EDUCATED!!!! I have several DEGREES!!!! And a well-paid JOB!!!!” is actually a preconceived idea of yours. I, for example, never say anything about my intelligence relative to anyone. You’re just making up arguments from nowhere, which is “preconceiving”).

George: Disagree. I don’t think it’s a strawman to attack someone’s theory because it’s an intelligent-design theory. Intelligent design has problems that are well known and understood, and therefore any theory that tries to build itself off that foundation is going to be open to those same problems. If I make a really extravagant theory based on a base assumption that the world is flat, everything that follows is going to be problematic.

I don’t think any of us care that Christopher is an autodidact or whatever. From what I read, he was the one who kept making a point out of it, and he was the one who wouldn’t stick to the debate at all.

3. Fedor

“GEORGE: Just noticed this supremely silly comment.”

Well maybe this isn’t the first time he lost a debate. I heard he was defeated pretty badly some years ago in a debate over at the ARN forum by a user who went by the name “dayton”

“There has been no “debate”, since Mark never started off with any kind of understanding of Chris’ position. All he’s done is flog a strawman.”

There was a debate in that other thread that wen’t on for over 1,000 pages in which Langan seemed to get pummeled by Rubix (and a few others) time and time again. I know it was probably unfair since they were all sort of ganging up on him at once, but he took a pretty bad beating. Chris shook up the bee hive, and when you shake up a bee hive you’re gonna get stung a few times. You may even be forced to retreat momentarily until your wounds heal, which is what Langan has done here. And now that Langan’s posts can only get through with Mark’s approval, it seems as though all he can do now is watch helplessly as his “theory” gets pummeled some more.

24. mereotelic

You missed the point Smolin was making about static (“ancient metaphysical fantasy” of the Pre-Socratics such as Pythagoras) vs. the process metaphysics which may be characterized as path-dependent non-Abelian dynamics.

“The guiding idea of its approach is that natural existence consists in and is best understood in terms of processes rather than things — of modes of change rather than fixed stabilities. For processists, change of every sort — physical, organic, psychological — is the pervasive and predominant feature of the real.

Process philosophy diametrically opposes the view — as old as Parmenides and Zeno and the Atomists of Pre-Socratic Greece — that denies processes or downgrades them in the order of being or of understanding by subordinating them to substantial things. By contrast, process philosophy pivots on the thesis that the processual nature of existence is a fundamental fact with which any adequate metaphysic must come to terms.” – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

“In The Life of the Cosmos, Dr. Smolin attempts to answer why our Universe is the way it is through a new idea called the cosmological natural selection principle. He uses processes and NOT equations to try to accomplish this. Our existence is explained in terms of history rather than by general principles. ” – Book Review for Life of the Cosmos

“The CTMU has a meta-Darwinian message: the universe evolves by hological self-replication and self-selection. Furthermore, because the universe is natural, its self-selection amounts to a cosmic form of natural selection. But by the nature of this selection process, it also bears description as intelligent self-design (the universe is “intelligent” because this is precisely what it must be in order to solve the problem of self-selection, the master-problem in terms of which all lesser problems are necessarily formulated).” – Langan

You guys are pretty much Creationists.

mereotelic: I didn’t miss any point; the point is that Lee Smolin is not arguing in your favor. You tried to make the point that Smolin was condoning the idea that reality was a language, and I showed you direct, video proof that you took him out of context and that he does NOT advocate your stance. You can’t just ignore this by changing the subject and making it sound like you meant something different, lol.

Anyways, cosmological natural selection is not native to the CTMU. It’s a concept we can discuss within various disciplines, and, again, without all the crazytalk.

There is no proof that the universe is “intelligent” and knows what it must be in order to solve the problem of self-selection. Natural selection is blind. It doesn’t look ahead; it just GOES. Whatever it becomes, it becomes. If it’s stable, it lives on. If not, it ceases to exist. You guys are invoking the same logic that creationists use, which is basically thinking something is intelligently designed because you don’t like the idea of it being unguided.

George: No, no, and no. You make it sound like “reality” is a bedsheet, and if I stick my hand under this sheet and make a sentient “sock-puppet” out of it, the attributes of the puppet are attributable to the sheet. You say things like “skin boundaries” are just arbitrary, but they’re not. The way everything functions within a human is completely different from how non-human things function. It’s all made out of the same stuff, but they’re put together differently. Some arrangements will be defined as “intelligent,” and others will not.

It seems like this is your guys’ argument chain of logic:
1. Humans are intelligent
2. Humans are part of the universe
3. Therefore the universe is intelligent
4. Because the universe couldn’t just be here spontaneously, it must have been guided
5. It guided itself, because the universe is intelligent
6. Therefore God exists

Seriously, I can’t stress how mundane this sort of logic is.

1. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: George: No, no, and no. You make it sound like “reality” is a bedsheet, and if I stick my hand under this sheet and make a sentient “sock-puppet” out of it, the attributes of the puppet are attributable to the sheet.

GEORGE: And here you are making out that the “hand” is something different from the bedsheet 🙂 It’s ALL bed sheet, and particularly complex rumples that are able to mirror/encode the rest of the bed sheet (including other complex rumples) are simply WHAT WE CALL INTELLIGENT.

If you say anything else, you must be holding out for “mind” being of some other kind of “substance” (i.e. a “hand”) – i.e. you must be a dualist. (Actually, and amusingly, one might say, in a trope, that you’re regressing to Dualism in order to avoid confronting the fact that you are God 🙂 What happened to all that the brave reductionism? Oh, as soon as we rigorously follow through its implications to the end, we run back to Dualism – is that it?)

No, there is nothing here but bedsheet, and any complex rumple, no matter how complex, how “mobile” across the bedsheet it may be, IT’S THE BEDSHEET’S RUMPLE.

The rumple in the bedsheet of matter that we call “the brain” could not be what we call “intelligent” on its own in a vacuum, right? In fact, it would pretty quickly cease to exist in that form at all. In order to BE what we call “intelligent”, the rumple LOGICALLY REQUIRES the rest of the bedsheet (it needs the rest of the bedsheet, including right down to the most basic laws of physics that everything else is subject to, both to support the coherence of its structure so that it can perform intelligent operations, and to have something to be intelligent in relation to – i.e. another part of itself).

SHADONIS: You say things like “skin boundaries” are just arbitrary, but they’re not. The way everything functions within a human is completely different from how non-human things function. It’s all made out of the same stuff, but they’re put together differently.

GEORGE: How “completely different”? There is no “completely” about it, it is not a different kind of substance, it’s the same “thing”, the same “stuff” as everything else, just arranged differently.

You are simply over-impressed by a social construct of “self”. It’s arbitrary. So is “animal”. These are just locally convenient, pragmatic divisions of something that is essentially (and logically CAN ONLY BE) just one thing. There is no human being that can stand on its own without the rest of the world, there is no animal that can stand on its own without the rest of the world, there is no INTELLIGENCE that can stand on its own without the rest of the world.

The world (the Universe, Reality) is the only thing that stands on its own without anything else.

Any intelligence is (and logically can only be) the Universe’s intelligence, and the Universe’s cognizance of itself (i.e. of a streaming portion of its infinite possibility).

SHADONIS: Some arrangements will be defined as “intelligent,” and others will not.

GEORGE: Yes, but not in and of themselves, not intrinsically, and not out of relation to the rest of the “stuff”. The only reason this isn’t taken into account in ordinary discourse – or even biological or neurological discourse – is for convenience. But metaphysics and ontology go beyond convenience and pragmatism, to try and establish what must necessarily be the case (in order for what ingresses as experience, including UNEXPECTED experience, to ingress as it does).

1. John Fringe

I believe you start right, and then get wrong by generalization, George. I’m explaining myself.

You’re saying some sensible things. You’re interpreting intelligence as a physical process, well under the reign of physical laws. I see this as very probable (assuming this has let us to predict a lot of the behavior of the World). So you’re assuming a physical mechanical universe.

In essence, you’re saying

– humans are under the laws of physics
– humans are intelligent
– the universe works under the same laws
– as the same kind of processes govern the universe and the human brain, the universe is intelligent

I can see two problems here.

First, what’s intelligence? If you’re just calling intelligence to any physical process just because the human mind is the result of a physical process, then OK, but you’re probably misscomunicating. If intelligence is just “under the same laws of physics than a brain”, yes, the universe is intelligent. But it would not mean much. In this case, you will be identifying “intelligent” = “physical”, using a language that would confuse much people with the usual connotations of “intelligence”. And you’re not saying anything more than “the universe is under the laws of physics”, where “physics” is the destillation of laws we see work. So you’re basically say nothing.

If you interpret intelligence as something more, like a particular set of processes that “seem” to make us enjoy art, for example, or predict things, well, we don’t know if any of this happens outside our brains. In any case, we probably enjoy art or predict things in a deterministic way (probably), result of our natural selection, in a mechanical process. It probably don’t have a deeper meaning than that. Yes, it’s great, but probably not from a mechanical perspective. So, if you’re identifying intelligence with this particular set of processes, the universe as a whole does not need to be intelligent, and in any case it would not be a great thing.

I’m not explaining myself too well, but it would be something like this. The motherboard of my computer has some “self-awareness”. It knows its temperature, it knows its clock frequency. The motherboard measures this, and acts “intelligently”, cutting energy when a hard disk is not used. But my computer as a whole does not have this same kind of “self-awareness” and “intelligence”, despite contain the motherboard. And, of course, this kind of “self-awareness” and “intelligence” is nothing special. We can mass manufacture those motherboards.

In a third meaning, if you interpret intelligence as “being better fit to survive and replicate”, in a kind of natural intelligence, maybe under some limitations (like being better fit resulting from complexity and not obvious physical properties; this way you would not call a very fast human “intelligent” despite being able to survive better than a slower one; but you would call a human able to build a tool more intelligent than one not able, because this ability arises from complexity), then this is a very relative definition. Apart from “arising from complexity”, which is not an objective thing, you would not be able to measure intelligence, but intelligence of one entity with respect to another. A human can be more intelligent than a bacteria under this criteria, but a human would be no intelligence per se. It’s a comparative definition. This is one that likes me. Under this definition, the whole intelligence of the universe carries no meaning. It’s a void concept.

So, you see, your reasoning depends on what you understand by intelligence, George, so it’s incomplete and not definitive. I just put three examples, not knowing what you understand by “being intelligent” or “self-cognitive”.

This is not a small problem. Here is people arguing about intelligence and I’m sure nobody knows what it really means. I would call this situation bad.

So, what do you understand by intelligence, so we can actually argue if the universe is intelligent?

And, once with your definition, is the universe intelligent? And then, what you infer from it being intelligent? Because there are pretty void definitions of intelligence, so maybe you can assert it’s intelligence, but say nothing with that.

The second problem is the same people has signaled. I signaled it too in the previous text. You are not allowed to generalize the characteristics of a part to the whole.

I agree with John’s reasoning.

George:

My point is that yes, I agree that a rumple can’t exist without the bedsheet. But it does not help much to say that the sheet’s properties mean the entire sheet has those properties. If you want to argue that the universe is intelligent because intelligent beings within the universe exist (and because the two are causally connected to each other), fine. You can treat the universe as one giant “entity” if you want, and all sub-components included.

I would just argue that it’s not a helpful distinction at all, and you have to be careful as to what you extrapolate from that.

It’s just word play to justify an incorrect conclusion later; that because the universe is “intelligent” (in terms of the individual sentient beings it gives rise to), it suddenly has the ability to guide itself in cosmological selection (which is a totally different kind of “intelligence”), therefore justifying “God.”

Even if I were to agree with you that the universe is intelligent solely because it gives rise to intelligent extensions, so what? That does not give you any slack in saying anything else about where the universe “came from” or how cosmological self-selection works. That, in itself, is another sort of attribution fallacy.

More generally, you have to define, exactly, what you guys mean by “intelligence” and “God” and so forth, and you have to do so very, very clearly.

1. Tuukka Virtaperko

My point is that yes, I agree that a rumple can’t exist without the bedsheet. But it does not help much to say that the sheet’s properties mean the entire sheet has those properties. If you want to argue that the universe is intelligent because intelligent beings within the universe exist (and because the two are causally connected to each other), fine. You can treat the universe as one giant “entity” if you want, and all sub-components included.

I would just argue that it’s not a helpful distinction at all, and you have to be careful as to what you extrapolate from that.

I think it is helpful! Maybe you might need to see this?

It’s just word play to justify an incorrect conclusion later; that because the universe is “intelligent” (in terms of the individual sentient beings it gives rise to), it suddenly has the ability to guide itself in cosmological selection (which is a totally different kind of “intelligence”), therefore justifying “God.”

But this isn’t different from the rest of philosophy! Why don’t you read a doctoral dissertation by Jüri Eintalu called The Problem of Induction: The Presuppositions Revisited (2001). It portrays the problem of induction, in my opinion, as really crazy word play too. Pages and pages of attempts to define relevance, and none work, and the problem has been subjected to intense scrutiny for three centuries. And it’s two millenia old. So are you against the CTMU or all of metaphysics?

More generally, you have to define, exactly, what you guys mean by “intelligence” and “God” and so forth, and you have to do so very, very clearly.

I’m just dangling my feet in the water here… would you say you understand this? If you understand formal logic, you can also see this.

2. John Fringe

Tuuka, I would ask you and the rest (there are a lot of people here doing it here) to actually write your arguments here. Just referring us to another work is very erudite and all, but it doesn’t work very well in a forum.

I’m sure there are a lot of knowledge there, but you, who read your references, could resume the arguments here, so we can actually discuss them.

Don’t misinterpret me, but I believe it would work better.

(As a justification for this request, I refer you to the complete works of Aristotle, who justified the need to present arguments XD)

As for your question, in my particular case I don’t like group thinking. I’m against the arguments presented here which I criticized. I also explained why I don’t like them.

3. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: I would just argue that it’s not a helpful distinction at all, and you have to be careful as to what you extrapolate from that.

It’s just word play to justify an incorrect conclusion later; that because the universe is “intelligent” (in terms of the individual sentient beings it gives rise to), it suddenly has the ability to guide itself in cosmological selection (which is a totally different kind of “intelligence”), therefore justifying “God.”

GEORGE: Yes, I do partly agree with you here, as I said in a previous post. I’m NOT sure about whether the considerations I’ve been outlining (which I think are probably crude versions of PART of what Langan’s thinking is about) can be pushed further into the “God” line.

Or, put it this way: given the baggage associated with the “God” concept, one wonders if it’s helpful to call the omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence of the “stuff” of reality by the name of an ancient concept like “God”.

But think about this: what’s being spoken of here is the “philosopher’s God”, not “the Abrahamic God”, nor even the “Hindu God”. i.e. the entity under consideration (reality, or “deus sive natura”) HAS NO CHARACTERISTICS OTHER THAN THOSE THREE.

One way of looking at it is this: think of the evolution of sight. At some point, just a vague sense of looming coming from light sensitive patches, eventually a moderately precise and useful sense of what’s around, based on several sophisticated types of biological mechanism for registering light.

Religion: at some point, just a vague sense of kinship with reality at a deep level, playing out as an echo of the feeling of love and trust that a child has for its parents. Eventually, a sophisticated …

Is the vague sense of kinship and “at-homeness” that religious people (I don’t mean fanatics, but the kinds of “nice” religious people one meets, whose religion seems to benefit them) have – is that a MISTAKE?

As I’ve been pointing out, even in the driest scientific sense IT IS NOT A MISTAKE. We really are all made of “star stuff”, and the deeper and deeper you look, the more we are all “family”. It’s logical, ineluctable, and a possible basis for future ethics.

If you can find a way of talking about reality that both scientific people and religious people could agree on – that would actually be a great boon. I think that’s what Langan’s after. And it’s not so far from what all great philosophers of the past were after – points of agreement based on self-evidence and ineluctable logic, that would enable human beings to feel more at home in the universe, less hostile, less alienated, and be able to at least agree to disagree.

All it requires is for both sides to give up a certain amount of hostility to the other camp – for religious people to stop interpreting scepticism as personal, and for the scientifically-inclined to stop seeing religion as the very devil.

4. John Fringe

I would say you’re very wrong here, George.

“We really are all made of “star stuff”, and the deeper and deeper you look, the more we are all “family”. It’s logical, ineluctable, and a possible basis for future ethics.”

“[…] I think that’s what Langan’s after. And it’s not so far from what all great philosophers of the past were after – points of agreement based on self-evidence and ineluctable logic, that would enable human beings to feel more at home in the universe, less hostile, less alienated, and be able to at least agree to disagree.”

I strongly believes you’re a victim of wishful thinking here. You’re prejudging Langan’s intentions with too much good faith.

First, Langan is not trying to improve the communication between scientists and religious people. Just hear what he says about Darwin and toilets, and judge yourself. And “proving things” with incorrect logic and claiming to be right and calling shit to every scientist and academic is not in my manual of good will. I’m not judging scientist nor academics here. I’m just saying improving the relationship is not his objective, or he is specially bad at it.

Again, he has made more that this. He explicitly says he has proven god existence, and a lot of things. If you look at his logic, it’s completely made up. He just invent the conclusions. This is not “he tried to inprove communication”.

Also, Langan wanting a new ethic based on the concept of we being all one with the universe and all that… Where did you get that idea? I really believe you come with that idea beforehand and, as you don’t understand what Langan says, you decided he must be defending your position.

No, sorry, is not Langan who believes that. I, for example, believes in such an ethic. I’m humble, and I don’t feel more than anyone. I believes in nature, like many scientist, and respect it. This is very beautiful, but it’s not what Langan is speaking about.

But Langan, on the contrary, believes in an ethic based on an elite which is allowed to reproduce and he denies reproduction to those he doesn’t consider of the intelligent elite. He believes in eugenics in this sense. He also believes he personally should control World resources, and govern.

Don’t believe me. Just look at interviews of him in YouTube and judge yourself. He says all that very explicitly. Those videos have been linked here.

Is this the ethic you want? I don’t know, but I don’t see where all that “we come from the same and we’re just one” is. Certainly, it’s not the ethic I want, if you ask me.

5. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: Also, Langan wanting a new ethic based on the concept of we being all one with the universe and all that… Where did you get that idea? I really believe you come with that idea beforehand and, as you don’t understand what Langan says, you decided he must be defending your position.

GEORGE: Re bridging science and religion, Langan says:-

“Thus, the attempt to formulate a comprehensive theory of reality, the CTMU, finally leads to spiritual understanding, producing a basis for the unification of science and theology. The traditional Cartesian divider between body and mind, science and spirituality, is penetrated by logical reasoning of a higher order than ordinary scientific reasoning, but no less scientific than any other kind of mathematical truth. Accordingly, it serves as the long-awaited gateway between science and humanism, a bridge of reason over what has long seemed an impassable gulf.”

Re. the more general hippy-dippy point:-

“Within each SCSPL system, subsystems sharing critical aspects of global structure will also manifest the self-configuration imperative of their inclusive SCSPL; that is, they exist for the purpose of self-actualization or self-configuration, and in self-configuring, contribute to the Self-configuration of the SCSPL as a whole. Human beings are such subsystems. The “purpose” of their lives, and the “meaning” of their existences, is therefore to self-actualize in a way consistent with global Self-actualization or teleology…i.e., in a way that maximizes global utility, including the utility of their fellow subsystems. Their existential justification is to help the universe, AKA God, express its nature in a positive and Self-beneficial way.”

JOHN FRINGE: But Langan, on the contrary, believes in an ethic based on an elite which is allowed to reproduce and he denies reproduction to those he doesn’t consider of the intelligent elite. He believes in eugenics in this sense. He also believes he personally should control World resources, and govern.

GEORGE: That’s not his ethic, that’s his pragmatic solution to the problems facing the world at the moment.

I disagree with it too, but not quite in the way you do. I think we SHOULD have eugenics, but I disagree that it should be under the control of a central authority (except in the sense that anything potentially dangerous needs some safeguards). At the present state of technology (and for the foreseeable future) any central direction, even by a hugely intelligent few, would suffer from the same problem Communism had in trying to run economies – it is unable to gather centrally all the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions, a lot of the necessary knowledge is distributed and/or tacit (e.g. embodied in individuals’ habits of mind and body, and a result of their own “bildung”).

IOW, I trust ordinary people – i.e. parents – to utilize the tools science will provide in a largely responsible way, to reduce the total of suffering in the world due to congenital physical or mental dysfunctions, while still leaving room for enough variation to keep things spicy. I also trust the ability of ordinary people to use physical and cognitive enhancement techniques to get smarter, fitter, stronger, etc., without too much screwing up.

There will be problems this way, but the alternative (central control) is likely to be far more disastrous (mistakes made in a distributed fashion are less disastrous to the whole than a mistake made by such a central authority, no matter how well-intentioned).

The long and the short of it is that 7 billion brains figuring out what’s good for 7 billion people is ALWAYS going to be better than any lesser number of brains trying to decide what’s good for 7 billion people – especially some piddly number like a few hundred.

So yes, that side of Chris’ thought I vehemently disagree with, but I don’t think it’s mandated by his philosophy. No PARTICULAR pragmatic solution to the world’s problems would be.

There’s nothing in the CTMU that would lead to his conclusion of eugenics, despite what Christopher says (in his video he says the CTMU is somehow able to provide a universal system of ethics, which is ludicrous).

The only way you are going to get everyone to agree on something that easily and consistently is by eliminating/silencing people who disagree, which seems to be exactly what his philosophy is (only let the fit breed, only let the “high-iq” rule). This doesn’t even take into account the fact that a smart person is not necessarily a good leader, although I do agree that good leaders must also be smart.

Not sure how Christopher can say the CTMU teaches people to “be kind to one another” and “help make the world a better place”… maybe for the people who survive the cut.

The whole thing just seems like a fiercely-guarded ego-stroking, to me.

7. John Fringe

It’s as if you’re saying you don’t have any actual argument, George. And I’m quoting you on this.

2. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: So, what do you understand by intelligence, so we can actually argue if the universe is intelligent?

GEORGE: something like “capable of registering, mirroring, encoding what exists”. (“registering” and “mirroring” are a rough and ready way of capturing what it subjectively feels like for us, “encoding” is a stab at the mechanism). One might want to add something like “… and RESPONDING intelligently”, but that’s just what I’d call “arbitrary” or “incidental”, that sort of thing is just relevant to biological intelligence, OUR PAROCHIAL VERSION of the “general” intelligence. “Intelligent response” (avoiding tigers, building shelters, etc.) makes sense only in the context of the parochial requirements arising from the capability of differential reproduction of DNA via the bodies that crystallize around it (and/or whatever alien analogues we might come across in the future).

JOHN FRINGE: You are not allowed to generalize the characteristics of a part to the whole.

GEORGE: Agreed, and I don’t think I’m doing that, since the characteristic in question LOGICALLY HAS TO BE a characteristic of the whole (it logically and materially requires the whole in order to exist); it could not exist in isolation such that it COULD be a property SOLELY of a part that’s THEN putatively generalizable to the whole.

What is “intelligent” – the brain? No, the brain needs a nervous system. Is it the brain and nervous system? No, the brain and nervous system need a rich chemical “bath” to work in. Is it the brain and nervous system and chemical “bath”? No, they need a body to generate and sustain them. Is it the brain and nervous system and chemical “bath” and body? No, they need extension into the environment (food, tools, etc.) to survive and thrive. Is it the brain and nervous system and chemical “bath” and body and food and tools? No, they need a certain stability and continuity in the environment (physical laws, chemical laws, etc., leading to cyclic weather patterns, geology, ecology, etc., etc.) (There’s also a parallel chain in the line of “software” (as it were) – going to family, friends, culture.)

So ultimately, human intelligence is reality “peaking” in islands of complexity that are capable of registering, cognizing, encoding reality in a highly sophisticated and idiosyncratic way, but that way is nothing but a development of simpler and simpler ways, of … of what? Of reality registering, cognizing, encoding itself.

So far so good. So far we have Daoism – this is just “the way of things”, (“De” being the “word”, the tendency-to-patterning) and our spades are turned, and as a matter of tact and delicacy, we can dig no further (and nor do we need to, in order to get on with the business of avoiding tigers).

The \$64,000 question is, is this (the capability of reality to register and reflect itself in all sorts of ways from simple bumping-into all the way up to Einstein) just a stupendous accident, or is this capability, in howsoever specific biological, silicone-basd, etc., etc., forms, a LOGICALLY NECESSARY aspect, feature or property of reality?

Is it a sheer lottery that the universe has ended up being able to be the kind of universe in which things do … (the one “thing” that’s everything is doing, from sheer bumping-into all the way up to Einstein)?

Or is it instrinsically logically necessary that ANY reality, to be worthy of the name, would end up being self-cognizing?

My bet? I’m still not completely sure. This kind of metaphysical thinking I’ve been in and out of a few times in my life, and I’ve been out of it for a long time (as a Dennett man, more or less on you guys’ wavelength), and only just getting back into it. But, in my current metaphysical mood, I would think the above IS intrinsically logically necessary. Quickly and dirtily: from the fact that nothing (in any dimension) would still equal infinite possibility, and the – in my view perfectly reasonable 🙂 – supposition that you’d think that, at SOME point, infinite possibility would get curious about itself.

1. John Fringe

The more I read you the more I’m convinced that what you’re actually saying is just “intelligence exists in the universe, so at least part of the universe is intelligent”. This is very obvious (counting that intelligence is a word trying to describe something we observe).

You just say it in a very cool way: the Universe is intelligent and self-cognitive.

Then there is the other problem. What do you believe this implies and why, of significance.

About intelligence, you interpret it as the capability of registering, mirroring and encoding what exists.

I could argue that that is not a property of the whole universe. I could argue that “registering”, “mirroring” and “encoding” are open words you can apply to almost anything. I could argue that, for example in the frame of quantum mechanics, you can not replicate exactly a part of the World, so mirroring does not mean copying exactly. It’s just an open word you can interpret as you want.

I could say you’ve not solve much by defining intelligence that way, because you have done with so much open words you still can apply it to anything. Just tell me some system I can not apply that, due to the vagueness.

But I just prefer to ask again: what can you infer of significance from that empty assertion?

You’re just speculating vague concept without concreteness (I don’t ask for exact definitions, just I want ideas concrete enough to know an example where they’re not applicable), in my opinion.

2. MarkCC Post author

JOHN FRINGE: So, what do you understand by intelligence, so we can actually argue if the universe is intelligent?

GEORGE: something like “capable of registering, mirroring, encoding what exists”. (“registering” and “mirroring” are a rough and ready way of capturing what it subjectively feels like for us, “encoding” is a stab at the mechanism).

The problem here is that that definition is pretty much meaningless. It’s just wordplay. Intelligence is “registering” what exists. What does it mean to “register” something? What does it mean to “mirror” something? What does it mean to “encode”? “register”, if I’ve been understanding your arguments, is the ability of an intelligent entity to cognitively interpret the universe around it. “Mirroring” is the ability of an intelligent entity to create a cognitive model of reality based on its interpretations. “encoding” is the ability of an intelligent entity to take the mirrored model and incorporate information from its interpretation into its behavior.

Ultimately, those are all really weasel-words. What they really mean is “intelligence is the property of intelligent things that makes them intelligent”. Which is fine for pragmatic discussions – we know what intelligent behavior looks like. But for scientific arguments about the necessary and essential properties of the universe and how it works, that’s a cop-out. It’s pretending to have an answer when all you have is wordplay.

3. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: I could argue that that is not a property of the whole universe. I could argue that “registering”, “mirroring” and “encoding” are open words you can apply to almost anything.

GEORGE: That’s kind of the point. THIS IS NOT ABOUT DISCOVERING SOMETHING NEW. If you’re looking for something novel in metaphysics, you’re looking in the wrong place, it’s all been said before. It was said by Pythagoras, by Parmenides, by the Rishis of ancient India, and by nearly every philosopher since then, each in their own way. But nobody listens, just as nobody’s listening to Langan now.

As I said waaaay back in the thread, what’s being looked at is if there’s some “thing” that everything in reality is “doing” that’s deeply analogous.

Is there something deeply analogous between what’s going on when I see a tree and what’s going on when two rocks are bumping into each other? If so, that’s the “thing” REALITY is doing.

JOHN FRINGE: But I just prefer to ask again: what can you infer of significance from that […] assertion?

GEORGE: That we are all divine beings and should comport ourselves accordingly.

No, seriously, that’s it 🙂 Reality is extraordinarily vast, terrifying and beautiful beyond measure, and YOU ARE THAT. The “you” you think you are is (not exactly an illlusion but) only relatively, functionally existent. What’s ABSOLUTEY existent, what requires nothing else for its support, what has always necessarily existed and always necessarily exists, what never changes, what has no room for any “you” that’s separate, that’s NOT reality, is reality itself – and YOU ARE THAT. You reading these words is THAT, you feeding the cat is THAT, me typing these words is THAT, me thinking about dinner is THAT. Our sun giving us life is THAT. Eta Carinae going hypernova will be THAT. Every. Single. Thing. Going. On. In. This. Universe. At. Every. Scale. Is. THAT.

There’s only one reality.

Since everyone and everything is THAT – why can’t we all just get along? 😉

4. P. George Stewart

MARK: The problem here is that that definition is pretty much meaningless. It’s just wordplay. Intelligence is “registering” what exists. What does it mean to “register” something? What does it mean to “mirror” something? What does it mean to “encode”?

GEORGE: It means what you’re doing right now 🙂

But, to be more responsive: I’m thinking of “registering” as more to do with picking out of figure against background (on a sheer physical level, with something like bumping-up-against), with “mirroring” more to do with a general functional (and not necessarily always conscious) modelling of the whole world (on a sheer physical level, the pattern of wear on a rock from sun and wind), and “encoding” as (e.g.) the way a colour might be encoded as a train of neuronal “spikes” (at a sheer physical level, something like the way physical objects embody physical laws).

To address you more generally: you do realise that you can ask “but what does it MEAN?” of any definition? All that happens is that we stop at a certain point where it’s convenient. You want to go further, to talk down and dirty about specific mechanisms? But I don’t need to go that far, for my purposes.

Any word can be defined by other words. However, the dictionary only has so many words. (And for that matter, the encyclopedia only has so many entries.) (Incidentally, this is what Langan calls the “MAP”.)

And guess what? All the words ultimately mean the same thing.

As grandfather Parmenides said:-

“Its name shall be everything —
every single name that mortals have invented
convinced they all are true: birth and death,
existence, non-existence, change of place, alteration of bright color.”

5. John Fringe

George, the problem with citing old philosophers is that you can always find one whose theories you can interpret as supporting your ideas.

And this is what you’re doing here. You have some beliefs (that we all should get along. I agree, it’s a good philosophy), and then you’re trying to fit Langan’s incorrect inferences to your ideas. And your desire to find support for your theories is so strong you can not see Langan’s real work.

I was going to write a long diatribe about how your reasoning is wrong. About how parts of the universe *codifying* other parts and *replicating* others does not imply we are *divine* and we should all *get along*, for some meanings of *codifying*, *divine*, *replicating* and *getting along* that would have any semantics (I was not saying this is not new, I was saying this does not carry any meaning).

But, as I see all this too obvious and I believe most people see one things does not imply the other, I will stop there.

Really, I tried to explain to a virus that we’re the same and that this implies that we should be getting along. The virus didn’t understand, and made me sick anyway. An illogical virus? XD

No, a virus that has a good evolutionarily stable strategy. That we’re all the same implies we’re all using the same resources, and that replicating being that has a good strategy for getting resources fast and replicate fast will convert more resources to itself. And, unafortunately, killing others to get their resources is sometimes a good strategy in this sense. Those beings that do this may reproduce more, so there will be more of them. We’re all being the same produced a lot of wars.

Sometimes not, and cooperation is the more stable strategy. And I’m not saying we should conform with wars because they’re naturally ocurring. I’m saying we all being the same does not imply we getting along, sadly. And to modify this we should modify the stability of the strategy, I believe.

But again, I’m not centering on this. I really don’t believe I need to refute your reasoning. It’s non-sequitur. You’re just looking for support on an incorrect place.

What I will really say in this post is that I’m very surprised that you take Langan as a supporter of your ideas. Why? What makes a person do this?

I still can’t believe how you can say a guy who says only an elite should be allowed to procreate (understanding by elite those who he decide) to be defending that we’re all essentially the same. He defends fascism and you say he defends good faith just because he is rejected by masses. Unexplainable to me. He defends control over the rest, and you defend equality.

He clearly explained (even in this discussion) that he considers most people to be worse than him. He explained that we shouldn’t let then reproduce. You looked at his interviews. He is not humble, believing he is the most intelligent person. He distinguishes himself, and you take that as “we’re all equal”?

Yet you interpret that he is a beautiful person wanting peace and harmony.

What the hell makes you think he wants we all to get along?

Simply that he is not accepted, and other philosophers aren’t, so he must be saying this? What?

(And there are better places to look for support of your ideas, by the way)

6. Tim

John,

I had half hoped that I would come to see this site going on like “normal”, so that I could enjoy a (temporary) reprieve a la LP (in the video I suggest by them) “so, I let go: watching you”. {and I really do suggest that you try to watch these videos in the spirit [in which they were created] of their representing, truly, the character of divinity (to at least very high DEGREE ).}

But the fact that only you posted … perhaps I still have some responsibility to YOU. I’m sorry if my tough love has hurt you. I only know you so well. I tried what I could first; I thought it love to not quit trying just because I had only “tough love” left to try.

you said (to George), “George, the problem with citing old philosophers is that you can always find one whose theories you can interpret as supporting your ideas.”

John, this is not an “old” problem! The same problem exists even “now”! I think you get this. But such truth is “hard” to take. You can never know another “I am”, whether of “old” or of “now”. In fact, you can never even KNOW (fully) yourself. !!! Yet relation works. Or is there still not enough evidence for you? But, John, you have to be responsible for YOUR own ideas. You scoff at this as unscientific (at least in our contemporary, pitiful, state of achievement before PHYSICS).

You point to two things, which I suspect in your mind are things which which that “naive nincumpoop, Tim, can’t even begin to handle, the jackass”. You mentioned viruses and war.

you said:

“Really, I tried to explain to a virus that we’re the same and that this implies that we should be getting along. The virus didn’t understand, and made me sick anyway. An illogical virus? XD”

not bad. But I might have tried something more like:

listen here virus (I don’t know too much about viral reproduction, so I’m not at all predisposed to any particular attempt to conceptualize {qua “system” and “surroundings”} a “boundary” which shows [but derivatively] that, yes, some quantized “I am” is fairly represented (in part) within such a model).

again:

listen here, virus (of whatever capacity you truly be), I am too. Some of this stuff you do to me “hurts”. And, at some point, I see no justification for me to hold back my wrath for your transgressing good social decency. But, before I act, is there more I should know of you? Is there some way I am failing good social decency towards you? I am happy to serve you too, but I won’t help you to be an asshole. Virus, if you are intent on being an asshole, and if I know that I have done my best to try to sympathize with you (I too might like the life of a virus), virus, know that I will not only feel light of guilt, but I will EVEN feel like I am LOVING you, through the “toughness” (toughness even unto death), if I should “war” against you.

are you getting the picture any better with this, John? Because you went on:

“No, a virus that has a good evolutionarily stable strategy. That we’re all the same implies we’re all using the same resources, and that replicating being that has a good strategy for getting resources fast and replicate fast will convert more resources to itself. And, unafortunately, killing others to get their resources is sometimes a good strategy in this sense. Those beings that do this may reproduce more, so there will be more of them. We’re all being the same produced a lot of wars.”

This is a lot of handwavy junk. Not to discourage you. But to encourage you to work THROUGH it. To encourage you to keep searching for the ROCK. Or at least to enliven your (forlorn?) hope that such a ROCK is out there; and that it doesn’t take a genius physicis to find it – or, is Demi Lovato a genius physicist?

when you said, “that replicating being that has a good strategy for getting resources fast and replicate fast will convert more resources to itself.”

Tell me you are not imposing a telos? Tell me that you don’t make decisions in the moment that implicitly incorporate this wanton AIM? In such great capacity, God serves. Whether a virus be serving or greeding, do you choose to serve, or do you choose to greed?

you went on, pretty nicely, “Sometimes not, and cooperation is the more stable strategy. And I’m not saying we should conform with wars because they’re naturally ocurring. I’m saying we all being the same does not imply we getting along, sadly. And to modify this we should modify the stability of the strategy, I believe.”

But the power of co-operation is not so much it’s “stability” (which is certainly a nice place to sleep), but it’s potentiality for the utmost of dynamism!

you have said “we all being the same”, and I must correct you. To say such a thing is to fall into the simplicity of materialism! Living “I am” are living and real because they are the (minimally) complex “things”. (“I am” is the “confirmation” that simplicity doesn’t bottom out, because simplicity was an illusory rabbit hole from the start!). Noumenally it is not so terrible to say we are the same (equivalent is better), but spiritually (where our spiritual potency is, at rock bottom, also of the same “type”), we do differentiate. IOW, since quanta of “I am” are the only “thing” that can be properly counted, there is a real “set” of N “I am”. However, that “set” can only be elevated to REAL by the living process; and that living process entails the “redundancy” that it is to have – precisely – N proprietary perspectives on the nature of that real, living “set”. So I say truly, the better you serve, the better you can serve; this is the valuable resource *above*. John, though you may HATE the fact that you are constantly put to such a “religious” test, it is straight lie to say that you are not so put, or to say that you don’t answer, just because you refuse to answer aloud (explicitly).

the “stability of the strategy”. And you say you aren’t adding in something more?! You add in a whole god-damned strategy! For some “collective” even!

John, the “stability” is OF God. you take it for granted, qua simple material. This “collective” you take for granted is built up of individual “I am”. Strong. Dedicated. Etc. & etc. You have never known the stability (and certainly not the power or glory) of “I am”. “I am” fear the opposite problem: stability in crap. What you call a stable arrangement, hoping for random chance to produce improvement, we call a cage inhibiting it. “I am” who have succeeded know that all that lovely world of advancement is made of “glass” and “paper”. IOW, while the foundation is ROCK, the progress is glass. Your insensitivity is risky. Your fear of “risk” only entrenches your inability to operate dynamically, exacerbating the real risk.

a little off topic now, you said, “I still can’t believe how you can say a guy who says only an elite should be allowed to procreate (understanding by elite those who he decide) to be defending that we’re all essentially the same. He defends fascism and you say he defends good faith just because he is rejected by masses. Unexplainable to me. He defends control over the rest, and you defend equality.

He clearly explained (even in this discussion) that he considers most people to be worse than him. He explained that we shouldn’t let then reproduce. You looked at his interviews. He is not humble, believing he is the most intelligent person. He distinguishes himself, and you take that as “we’re all equal”?”

yes John, I don’t like Langan’s personality much either. (But, again, I’d not pass sentence, seeing that I might easily turn sour myself.) Anyway, I think Langan’s behavior here demonstrates that he could not have succeeded. If he had seen the liberating glory of the truth of plural “I am”, he would have been humbled into service. His pantheistic – degree of kingness / Godlyness – is terrible and has to be crushed. Even if in “war”. Even if we had to destroy EVERYTHING down to bedrock!

John, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “the battle lines are being drawn”? Do you see that every “I am” really does decide, “to [serve], or not to [serve], that is the question”. If many take rather to greeding, still, a server will serve. But we serve from the Rock. The image simply entails some key inversion (symmetry). At some point “death” becomes a good idea. And those greeding, because they know not how to stand on their “feet”, have the carpet pulled out from under them.

Can you war against your “enemies” specifically out of love FOR YOUR ENEMIES?

The question is, when do the servers draw that line? Do you want to see that, or do you want to choose to try to avoid OUR having to come to that?

Here’s another video you might (seriously) entertain:

Ke\$ha – Blow:

Tim

7. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: George, the problem with citing old philosophers is that you can always find one whose theories you can interpret as supporting your ideas.

GEORGE: Well, it’s not as if I inaptly cited Democritus, is it? 😉

JOHN FRINGE: And this is what you’re doing here. You have some beliefs (that we all should get along. I agree, it’s a good philosophy), and then you’re trying to fit Langan’s incorrect inferences to your ideas. And your desire to find support for your theories is so strong you can not see Langan’s real work.

GEORGE: Actually, during my life I’ve often held off reading thinkers who by repute might be thinking along the same lines as me, just so as not to be “contaminated” by their thought. I’ve been tossing ideas back and forth for years now (and as I said, up till recently felt myself to be solidly in Dennett’s camp for most things, especially wrt his understanding of how Darwinian thinking, generally, seems to destroy teleological thinking). But recently I’ve been reading a lot more of the older philosophers, and becoming more and more uncomfortable with my former Garrett Hardin-to-Dan-Dennett-inspired cocksureness.

JOHN FRINGE: I was going to write a long diatribe about how your reasoning is wrong. About how parts of the universe *codifying* other parts and *replicating* others does not imply we are *divine* and we should all *get along*, for some meanings of *codifying*, *divine*, *replicating* and *getting along* that would have any semantics (I was not saying this is not new, I was saying this does not carry any meaning).

But, as I see all this too obvious and I believe most people see one things does not imply the other, I will stop there.

GEORGE: What’s obvious is that you can’t get “ought” from “is”. With that I agree. The most you can get from “is” is “can”, which constrains “ought”.

But that’s where I was careful you see – I didn’t say “we ought to all get along”, I used the phrase that expresses a certain kind of common human yearning. “Why can’t we?”

The conclusion of us being viceroys of reality itself, of us being divine beings, is that THERE IS NO REASON WHY WE CAN’T, ultimately, all just get along. Reality says: go for it.

IOW, we can’t hide anymore once we know the truth, we can’t indulge in our bogus rationalizations for continuing the struggle to maintain a secret place away from God’s scrutiny (as it were 🙂 – but as Langan says, that old language has metaphorical truth).

IOW, with enlightenment, reasons for contention fade, and reasons to co-operate loom larger. Contention is a result of stupidity, as you neatly illustrate here:-

JOHN FRINGE: Really, I tried to explain to a virus that we’re the same and that this implies that we should be getting along. The virus didn’t understand, and made me sick anyway. An illogical virus? XD

GEORGE Well OF COURSE the virus’ deadliness IS a failure of reasoning – of perception and of reasoning. A failure that might well result in the virus’ ELIMINATION FROM REALITY in the not too distant future.

JOHN FRINGE: Sometimes not, and cooperation is the more stable strategy. And I’m not saying we should conform with wars because they’re naturally ocurring. I’m saying we all being the same does not imply we getting along, sadly. And to modify this we should modify the stability of the strategy, I believe.

GEORGE: Co-operation is ALWAYS the most stable strategy in the long run. Surely you must have heard of TIT-FOR-TAT?

Isn’t it peculiar that we live in a universe in which EVEN BLIND UNREASONING ENTITIES will eventually be forced to co-operate?

This isn’t in our genes, it’s DEEPER than our genes, it’s in the very fabric of reality itself. We mustn’t be too disheartened if it takes a few million years of fumbling around before life gets it right.

(But even during the fumbling, the virus presented an opportunity for reality to sharpen its wits.)

JOHN FRINGE: I still can’t believe how you can say a guy who says only an elite should be allowed to procreate (understanding by elite those who he decide) to be defending that we’re all essentially the same. He defends fascism and you say he defends good faith just because he is rejected by masses. Unexplainable to me. He defends control over the rest, and you defend equality.

GEORGE: And I can’t believe how people aren’t able to keep context in mind. Does the fact that he said these things after being asked in a television interview “ok, you’re in charge, what would you do?” mitigate nothing?

How many people reading this could say that their own “if I ruled the world” proununciamenti wouldn’t be equally open to ridicule of various kinds?

Let’s face it, if Langan did get his way, it certainly would create a peaceful global situation pretty damn quickly, wouldn’t it? Sure, at the cost of the elimination of dissenting genes and their carriers, but then utopians of the past haven’t been averse to breaking a few omelettes, have they? What price global utopia?

The problem here isn’t necessarily with Langan’s solution in particular, it’s with the question, and with the whole notion of someone, or some group of people “being in charge”. ANY SOLUTION WOULD BE RIDICULOUS. Mostly because of the limited knowledge problem I outlined in my last post – a problem the importance of which still escapes our leading lights today, despite a 20th century that illustrated the problem to the nth degree of detail.

But apart from all that, I have an instinct to defend the underdog, and I really feel that Langan has been unfairly attacked here. This is an obviously intelligent person who was shown little consideration in the course of his life by other people, yet he still harbours a desire to make the world a better place (however misguidedly) and he still has a true philosopher’s feeling. I have a lot of sympathy for him. I certainly wouldn’t trust him with the world presidency, but I still like him.

Also, to the extent that he is doing something practical to “save the world”, it amounts to nothing more sinister than attempting to create an alternative to the academy as the best human representative of intellectual leadership. This is a good thing. The academy as such works to some extent, but due to the nature of its ties with politics (previously the Church, obviously), it doesn’t do as well a job as it ideally ought to. Some competition would be good. Of course he doesn’t have a hope in hell, but I admire him for trying.

The problems with IQ tests are well known, but whether they’re any worse as a selector for intellectual leadership than the problems with a system that involves a good deal of arse-licking and the ability to self-promote, is an open question.

8. John Fringe

So you believe most people would make such evil things as denying procreation to whatever population they want, destroying genome variation for our species (and probably the whole species with such blind stupid behavior, because genes good for a situation are bad for other, and, you know, everything changes), deciding what people deserve to be erased from this world… and you call this the price of global utopia?

Utopia for Langan. Not for those denied procreation and freedom. I can’t believe there are much fascist prepotent people with this kind of dangerous thinking. Are you concious what are you defending? O_o

Maybe any solution will be ridiculous, but Langan solution is not only ridiculous, is pure evil. And some people (maybe even most people) will not do evil, at least conciously. Some people do not think to be superior to others.

Superior at what? More intelligent? For what?

I really am surprised of how easily fascist thinking spread. I didn’t expected that. You are accepting that Langan can decide who lives? Incredible.

You still insist in that he want to make the World a better place. I’m ending the discussion here. For me, a World where one person decides who lives, who procreates, with a leader who says fredom is not a right, that World is not a better place.

Disagreeing here, I don’t see the point to continue. You want something I would not tolerate.

(With respect to the virus, you didn’t understand the example. If you have limited resources and several organisms transforming substances into replicas, it’s not a matter of reasoning that they compete. Competency is just the same process of a being transforming substances into replicas. So is an inherent process. The sentence “there is no reason why we can’t” does not have much meaning in this context. Bah, I just don’t want to continue).

9. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: So you believe most people would make such evil things as denying procreation to whatever population they want, destroying genome variation for our species (and probably the whole species with such blind stupid behavior, because genes good for a situation are bad for other, and, you know, everything changes), deciding what people deserve to be erased from this world… and you call this the price of global utopia?

GEORGE: For some people these kinds of horrors and others like them obviously would be a price worth paying in their eyes, yes.

But the point is ANY “if I ruled the world” proposition would come out with some bad stuff. If you think otherwise, you’re fooling yourself. The problem isn’t with the answers, it’s with the question itself.

JOHN FRINGE: Utopia for Langan. Not for those denied procreation and freedom. I can’t believe there are much fascist prepotent people with this kind of dangerous thinking. Are you concious what are you defending? O_o

GEORGE: I’m not defending it, in fact I’ve already attacked it twice. You’re losing your sense of perspective here, and only bearing out what I think the mindset of some of you who have attacked Langan have. It raises some red flags for you, and off you charge, willy-nilly, into non-responsive “critiques”. All total ad-hominem bullshit, no different from “Heidegger was a Nazi so his philosophy must be crap”.

Heidegger was a Nazi for a time, and that may have affected some of his philosophy, but not NECESSARILY all of it, and not necessarily all his life. People make stupid mistakes, people change.

Similarly with Langan, yes he’s a bit of a sperge with suppressed nerdrage and some kooky political ideas, but his philosophy is at least interesting, at least in the grand tradition, and at least has some close similarities with some other contemporary ideas from more “respectable” thinkers (as mereotelic has been pointing out).

JOHN FRINGE: Maybe any solution will be ridiculous, but Langan solution is not only ridiculous, is pure evil. And some people (maybe even most people) will not do evil, at least conciously. Some people do not think to be superior to others.

Superior at what? More intelligent? For what?

GEORGE: Indeed. But there are obviously many people on both sides of the political spectrum who would have ideas that, if implemented, would end in tears for SOME, but with the belief that the greater good would be served somewhere further down the line.

Again, the problem isn’t with those answers, it’s with the question, and the very idea that centralized global control would be of any value whatsoever for any purpose except the destruction of civilization.

JOHN FRINGE: I really am surprised of how easily fascist thinking spread. I didn’t expected that. You are accepting that Langan can decide who lives? Incredible.

GEORGE: Again, perspective – in terms of the question, any decisions made from a utopian “if I ruled the world” perspective would result in people deciding who lives and dies. Whether the basis is fascistic or socialist makes no difference (there’s actually very little difference between these ideologies in essence anyway, they are both anti-individualist).

I don’t accept fascist ideas any more than I accept socialist ideas any more than I accept their more modern “eco” variants. All of them are a crock of shit. I’m a classical liberal of the anarchist tendency. Langan’s “if I ruled the world” scenario would be horrific, but any utopian idea put into global practice would be equally horrific (except in the circumstances of, say, a planet of enthusiasts of the idea, and even then, probably only in certain further limited technological circumstances).

JOHN FRINGE: (With respect to the virus, you didn’t understand the example. If you have limited resources and several organisms transforming substances into replicas, it’s not a matter of reasoning that they compete. Competency is just the same process of a being transforming substances into replicas. So is an inherent process. The sentence “there is no reason why we can’t” does not have much meaning in this context. Bah, I just don’t want to continue).

GEORGE: On the contrary, it IS a process of reasoning that they compete, only reasoning carried out by a certain level of computation in the universe (biological) that uses different substances for the machinery of its calculation from the kind of reasoning carried on within the brain (albeit by an analogous eliminative process of “generate-and-test” with neurons and the chemical soup they live in).

All computational, all patterned clickety-clack.

What, you didn’t think “reasoning” was some special process that could only be carried out by a ghost in the machine, did you?

It’s amazing, really, in a lot of these discourses, you supposedly hard-headed people keep surreptitiously holding out for that special ghost-in-the-machineyness. On the one hand, you want to be able to browbeat the woo-woo with your hard-headedness and the meaninglessness of it all, but when faced with the logic of your choice, you retreat to magical thinking.

In reality, both you and the religionists waver off-track and have only part of the story.

Yes, the universe is an intelligent object, but no, that intelligence isn’t a blown-up version of the old ghost in the machine idea, it’s clickety-clack from top to bottom.

10. John Fringe

You’re completely wrong, and you try to hide it by cliché argumentation.

The problem is, I’m not judging Heidegger philosophy based on he being Nazi during a time. I’m judging Heidegger Nazism based on he being Nazi during a time.

I’m not judging CTMU based on Langan’s fascist ideology. I’m judging Langan’s fascist ideology based on Langan’s fascist ideology. Should I not do this?

You said the intention of Langan was to bring us an ethic of equality, and I showed you what his real ethic is. With this ideology, I see it’s clear he did not pretend equality with CTMU. You were speaking of his intentions (with a non-sequitur reasoning, all being the same does still not imply that we all should be getting along), and I show you his real intentions. End of the story.

But I’m not judging CTMU here. You’re just being a demagogue here. The rest of the post is the same. I’m tired of that. Well, everybody is free to be fooled.

In any case, I don’t want to argue this anymore. I’m very sad you think everybody will propose they would kill some people for a “greater good”, and that this is just the result of a bad question. The question may not have a good answer, but, again, Langan’s answer is not only bad, is evil. And, despite you insisting on the contrary, some people would not give an evil answer. And I’m free of considering an evil answer evil. The problem is in the answer. He could have answered a simple “I don’t know”. That would not be evil.

I’m not arguing: for me, a person wanting to make people disappear is evil. For you, this person is one of the group, and the problem is in asking. You’re repeating yourself, I’m repeating myself. Nothing more to add.

11. John Fringe

Really, I can not understand how demagogue you’re being here.

You said Langan ethic is equality and all that. There is no place in CTMU where he says this, so you were just speculating and putting your words in his mouth. I tell you “no, Langan ethic is this, hear at him”. And you say I’m attacking ad-hominen! I’m showing you a video where he speaks about his ethic when we were talking about his ethic. You showed me nothing, just speculating about what his ethic would you like to be. And seeing the video, you say that’s not his ethic, but his practical solution (not being practical at all). And I’m attacking ad-hominen because I argue based on his words, not on my wishful thinking like you.

Funny.

12. John Fringe

You start arguing about Langan’s ethic without referring to any actual place where Langan speaks about his ethic, but on your speculations about his intentions. I say “your speculating”, and refer you to an actual comment reflecting his ethic. And I’m attacking ad-hominen!

Sorry for repeating myself so much. It’s just too shocking for me.

13. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: You’re completely wrong, and you try to hide it by cliché argumentation.

GEORGE: Trust me, if I thought I was wrong I wouldn’t try to hide it.

JOHN FRINGE: I’m not judging CTMU based on Langan’s fascist ideology. I’m judging Langan’s fascist ideology based on Langan’s fascist ideology. Should I not do this?

GEORGE: You’re not basing it on his “fascist ideology”, you’re basing it on a silly segment of a television interview. Not just that, but you and probably some of the other “critics” here have gone off half-cocked into “critiquing” Langan based on your emotional response to your own shallow interpretation of what he said. It’s clear, AS your anger has been revealed, that your motivation all along has been to despise his metaphysics on account of an error you see in his ethics; yet you don’t even understand his ethics when it’s quoted to you, and use an off-the-cuff example of his politics as your ad hominem basis for judgement of his metaphysics, without even charitably questioning whether it’s truly representative of his ethics, and not just him being mistaken in his politics (and thereby not actually being consistent with his own ethics).

JOHN FRINGE: You said the intention of Langan was to bring us an ethic of equality

GEORGE: Actually, no, not quite, that’s your jumping to conclusions. The quote I gave you should show you sufficiently clearly that Langan thinks we’re all in exactly the same position (i.e. equal) vis a vis reality – i.e. we’re contributing to reality’s self-actualization (the sequential bringing forth of what is eternally and forever possible – “UBT” in Langan’s system), by our own process of discovery (of what’s possible). We are free in that sense, and equal in that sense. That, to me, is the plain meaning of the text I quoted you.

Here’s another bit of text from Langan:-

“Why, if there exists a spiritual metalanguage in which to establish the brotherhood of man through the unity of sentience, are men perpetually at each others’ throats? ”

The reason, he thinks, is simply the relatively low general level of intelligence. Put simply, most human beings are still fairly brutish. If it were not so, force would not have ruled for so long, etc., etc.

Are you seriously going to tell me you don’t agree that this is EXACTLY CORRECT? You yourself, in another post on this page, equate intelligence with understanding (specifically, understanding those of lower or frail intelligence) and compassion!!!

But apart from that, let me draw your closer attention to the words:-

“a spiritual metalanguage in which to establish the brotherhood of man through the unity of sentience”

Whether rightly or wrongly, this is what Langan THINKS he has, this is the actual basis of his ethic.

And MY CRITICISM of his television pronunciamenti is: the generally utilitarian basis of his “if I ruled the world” response (to a silly tv interview question, remember), would be breached by his political prescriptions. They would not in fact result in a lesser quantum of suffering overall (because of the knowledge problem I outlined several posts ago, and consequent inability of his political prescriptions to attain sufficient positive utility IN RESULT to outweigh the negatives you mention and rightly decry WHICH WOULD BE THE COST).

JOHN FRINGE: I’m very sad you think everybody will propose they would kill some people for a “greater good”, and that this is just the result of a bad question.

GEORGE: Of course they will, and of course it is (the question betrays a bad sense of politics, arising from the “folk politics/economics” we inherit from our ancestral environment, an apt sense of politics and economics for a large, open, technologically interdependent society of relative strangers interacting has yet to develop).

Do you think Lenin was a bad guy? Actually he was a very decent, humane human being; or seemed to be, to start with. Even Stalin professed a robust socialist anarchism in his earlier writings. All good clean fun when they got in power then, you’d think.

But no – actually what was implicit in their ideologies (their failure – ironically – to understand how society actually works, and their lack of a clear understanding of what would replace already-rolling capitalist production, therefore the inevitable necessity, at some time, to break some eggs) became explicit.

Again, most utilitarian positions would inevitably sanction the sacrifice of a few to the needs of the many. I venture to suggest that EVEN YOU, sitting on your august throne, could conceive of situations in which the lives of a few might need to be sacrificed to the needs of the many.

At least Langan has the virtue of being clear-headed about what he wants. Just as some extreme “green” people are – they would recommend restricting breeding and/or culling the human population.

All in the name of a better world to come.

Pfeh, Idiots.

JOHN FRINGE: Sorry for repeating myself so much. It’s just too shocking for me.

GEORGE: I hope I’ve showed above how I think you’re mistaken. The only ethical (as opposed to political) stuff we can find of Langan’s is a few bits in the Q&A, and scattered here and there on the web. They are all along the same lines: the idea that the CTMU justifies something like “the brotherhood of man through the unity of sentience”.

The telly interview thing is you exaggerating the importance of what is anyway a political as opposed to an ethical prescription.

I have also pointed out that any ethic with a utilitarian component is likely to justify some “worst case scenario” where some people may be killed for a greater good (even though I don’t think Langan goes QUITE so far as saying that, nor what you say he says). Bear in mind that Langan thinks the world is in imminent danger – again nothing you ought to get your knickers in a twist about especially, as many “reputable” people would say the same thing, and might be prepared to justify sacrifice in that regard.

And that it has clearly influenced the way you approached Langan from the beginning.

My guess is that a few others here have taken a similar route in their thinking, and come with similar prejudice. Mark’s OP fairly reeks of it from the beginning.

14. MarkCC Post author

The reason, he thinks, is simply the relatively low general level of intelligence. Put simply, most human beings are still fairly brutish. If it were not so, force would not have ruled for so long, etc., etc.

Are you seriously going to tell me you don’t agree that this is EXACTLY CORRECT? You yourself, in another post on this page, equate intelligence with understanding (specifically, understanding those of lower or frail intelligence) and compassion!!!

I can’t speak for John Fringe or anyone but myself, but: Yes, I will tell you that I do not agree with that, not at all. In fact, I’d say it’s a pretty typical example of exactly the kind of attitude that ultimately results in exactly the kind of horrible actions that characterize so much of human history.

Look through history. Just look. Look at the number of horrific slaughters, at histories of torture, abuse, discrimination… Are the leaders of all of those stupid? Was Hitler stupid? no. He was incredibly evil, but stupid? Not a chance. Pol pot? Was he stupid? no. In terms of raw intellect, he was very smart. But he was a thoroughly despicable, evil person who was responsible for some of the most hideous documented abuses of human beings. Mao? Definitely not stupid. Stalin? Definitely not stupid. You can go around the world, back and forth through time, and you’ll find huge numbers of extremely intelligent people who use their intelligence for the most hideous purposes.

Hell, even on a small scale: the majority of sociopaths have above-average intelligence.

Raw intelligence is not a guarantee against evil.

In fact, the kind of reasoning that Langan uses is pretty typical of the motivation behind many of the most despicable acts. Go and look at the cultural revolution; at the holocaust; at the slaughter in Rwanda – you’ll find that the people who initiated it had, arguably, very similar ideas to what Chris espouses in that video. *Our* people are better; all of the bad things in the world are the fault of some *other* people who aren’t as good as us. So to fix the world, to make it a better place for all humanity, we must eliminate them. The “them” might be people who don’t do as well on IQ tests; people with different skin colors; people who have been “contaminated” by evil ideas; people with contaminated blood. But it always comes back to one theme: *we* are the solution, and *they* are the problem.

Intelligence is no different.

15. John Fringe

“It’s clear, AS your anger has been revealed, that your motivation all along has been to despise his metaphysics on account of an error you see in his ethics”

No, my anger has not proved that, because when I criticized CTMU, I give arguments. In fact, only recently I saw the video. In fact, I have said nothing about ethics until you started the topic. I don’t consider CTMU related in any way with Langan ethic, as others (like Shadonis) have said.

You’re just fast at “proving” my approach to CTMU is based on my hate for fascist people by simply asserting it because I don’t actually like Langan ethics. It’s funny, because you can (correctly) separate one person philosophy from him being a Nazi, so you’re concious of the fallacy, and you use it yourself by stating that my criticism of CTMU is based on my anger just because I don’t like Langan’s unrelated ethic.

And, having explicitly exposed this kind of fallacy to accuse me (despite I haven’t employed it, I didn’t relate CTMU with Langan’s ethic), you use it against me and tell me you’re not concious of your error.

It doesn’t matter that I have been explaining what’s wrong with CTMU with arguments, why the arguments are non-sequitur (even Langan attacked me in an argument and stop when I showed him several possibilities compatible with his premises and incompatible with his conclusions).

But you don’t need to refute my arguments. Just claiming I judged CTMU by anger is enough. No matter what I say. And, not to loose a second, you refute everyone else arguments by claiming the rest of critics are doing the same. No need to hear arguments.

But that’s no demagoguery. It’s very good reasoning.

And to claim Langan is a very beautiful person despite wanting to decide who deserves what right, you just need to assert I would kill people. Great. Genius. Very good argument.

Well, as no matter what I say you have your argument (that I’m angry, everyone else is, and I would do what you need me to do for Langan to be a wonderful person), I’ll say nothing.

But don’t fool people. This is pure demagoguery.

16. John Fringe

Mark, I’m with you on that. Intelligence is not compassion. And George knows very well that I didn’t equate them. He just claim so because it’s convenient for him.

All I said intelligence does not preclude communication, as some suggest. I also suggested that communication and empathy require intelligence (not an special intelligence, of course), and not the opposite. That’s far from equating them.

17. Tim

I differentiate between “intelligence” and “reason”. The former I might best describe as sunglasses. Sometimes it’s real nice to wear shades, but if you also know how to take them off, then there is a greater number of ways of arranging the system of sight. If it ever gets real dark for you, I hope you will consider that you might see better without the shades.

Tim

18. P. George Stewart

MARK: Look through history. Just look. Look at the number of horrific slaughters, at histories of torture, abuse, discrimination… Are the leaders of all of those stupid? Was Hitler stupid? no. He was incredibly evil, but stupid? Not a chance. Pol pot? Was he stupid? no. In terms of raw intellect, he was very smart. But he was a thoroughly despicable, evil person who was responsible for some of the most hideous documented abuses of human beings. Mao? Definitely not stupid. Stalin? Definitely not stupid. You can go around the world, back and forth through time, and you’ll find huge numbers of extremely intelligent people who use their intelligence for the most hideous purposes.

GEORGE: Sure, and their minions, lackeys, disciples, followers …?

MARK: Raw intelligence is not a guarantee against evil.

GEORGE: That’s not quite what I was saying, it’s something more like what John Fringe was saying, I was only quoting him back against himself to try and connect those two apparently hermetically sealed compartments in his mind (a certain thought is ok if he thinks it, but if Langan thinks it, it must be irredeemably evil).

Raw intelligence is indeed not a guarantee against evil when you come to individuals. But the GENERAL LOW LEVEL OF INTELLIGENCE IS A BIG PROBLEM. The history of evil isn’t just comprised of the “big hits”, it’s comprised of everyday low-level brutality of man on man (of the kind that Langan encountered, for example), it’s comprised of seedy, awful disgusting goings-on perpetrated by vile, stupid people. It’s comprised of masses of people taking the short-term rather than the long-term view. It’s comprised of people falling for the paper-thin rationalizations of demagogues.

Now when it comes to the question of “what is to be done” about all this, that’s arguable, and I don’t agree with Langan’s prescription any more than you guys; but there’s no point in you shrieking with horror at an idea the truth of which is obvious, even though it’s not PC to say it. Fuck PC, philosophers are supposed to look at the truth and at the real causes of things. If they don’t, nobody else will.

MARK: *Our* people are better; all of the bad things in the world are the fault of some *other* people who aren’t as good as us. So to fix the world, to make it a better place for all humanity, we must eliminate them. The “them” might be people who don’t do as well on IQ tests; people with different skin colors; people who have been “contaminated” by evil ideas; people with contaminated blood. But it always comes back to one theme: *we* are the solution, and *they* are the problem.

Intelligence is no different.

GEORGE: It is, inasmuch as it’s something that’s relevant to everyone, we all need it, and we could all do with more of it.

Of course I agree with most of what you’re saying in that paragraph – but is all that a manifestation of intelligence or stupidity? Is it intelligence or stupidity when a rascist divides people on account of colour, a socialist divides people on account of economic function in society, or a modern-day “liberal” divides people on account of whether they’ve got sunburnt necks or not?

19. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: You’re just fast at “proving” my approach to CTMU is based on my hate for fascist people by simply asserting it because I don’t actually like Langan ethics.

GEORGE: What are you talking about? You don’t even understand Langan’s ethics, even when I quoted it to you!

Your initial arguments against his metaphysics were as off-point as Mark’s (as Langan showed, in several detailed responses that were totally ignored by the both of you).

However, IF you hadn’t encountered his politics until recently (after your entry on the big thread), then I apologize for mischaracterizing your motivation in coming to the board.

JOHN FRINGE: And to claim Langan is a very beautiful person despite wanting to decide who deserves what right, you just need to assert I would kill people. Great. Genius. Very good argument.

GEORGE: This is pure demagoguery. 😉

20. John Fringe

MARK: Raw intelligence is not a guarantee against evil.

GEORGE: That’s not quite what I was saying, it’s something more like what John Fringe was saying, I was only quoting him back against himself

And what quotes are those? Can we see them?

No, George, don’t fool people. You’re doing with my the same as with Langan. You’re claiming Langan to say whatever is convenient to you. And now you’re claiming myself to say whatever is convenient to you.

You know what I said. If you have a problem with memory, you can reread here:

I say intelligence does not preclude communication. In fact, communication requires what people understand commonly with intelligence. The rest is you misrepresenting me to defend your misrepresentation of Langan’s ideas.

I already say it. The problem with you being so fallacious and demagogue as you are is that what I said is written, and anyone wanting to see can go, read my comment, and see you’re lying. Lie about Langan if you want, but stop lying about me.

21. John Fringe

You accuse me of demagoguery, George? Come on, George.

In a couple of comments you have showed us Langan is the benefactor of the World, only wanting to destroy some people to obtain what he calls a greater good, but this is not evil, just a practical thing. Doing this has nothing to do with his ethical thinking. And that we should not judge Nazi people’s unrelated ideas with them being Nazi, but we should judge me as if everything I say is driven by my blind hate towards Langan’s ethic, except if I can prove I didn’t see Langan’s claims. If I saw them, there is nothing to do: all I say is driven by my hate, no matter what I say. By generalization, he showed us that we should all end questioning Langan’s ideas, because I particularly don’t like Langan’s ethic, so everybody should accept his theories. So everybody is wrong because I believe Langan thinks what he says, but I’m exagerating Langan’s comments. He also proved that I would be a genocide if I’m given the opportunity. In fact, he demostrated that everyone is. He also proved that I equated intelligence with being a good person despite I saying nothing in that respect, and use it against me, by quoting me, without the quotes.

You accuse me of demagoguery? Want quotations of yours for everything above?

22. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: I say intelligence does not preclude communication.

GEORGE: Indeed, that’s the main THEME of your post.

However, in the post Mark was responding to, I paraphrased you thus:

“You yourself, in another post on this page, equate intelligence with understanding (specifically, understanding those of lower or frail intelligence) and compassion!!!”

That seems to me to be a fairly accurate paraphrase from memory of what you said (I didn’t look it up at the time):-

“The capacity to understand what other beings think and the capacity to let them understand you, sometimes by assuming their places to understand them, being capable of empathy, […] this requires one not to be intelligent.”

Since the passage is ironic, I take this to mean that intelligence is necessary for understanding and empathy, specifically in the direction of higher to lower intelligence – i.e. the natural responsibility on the part of the more intelligent to exercise that capacity for understanding and empathy in communication with those less intelligent.

Granted the premise that empathy and understanding are important counter-agents against evil (would you agree with that? I am taking this for granted, I admit, from the general tone of your conversation), you are saying that intelligence, and specifically the exercise of understanding and empathy on the part of the highly intelligent, is (as I said) “something like” a necessity for diminishing evil in the world.

I happen to think this is pretty close to the truth; however, Mark had focussed in his post on notoriously evil people, presumably as an attempted counter-example; but it wasn’t really all that important a part of my argument that the “stupid” exists on the leadership side, but rather that an important part of the problem is with the GENERAL level of intelligence in the bulk of society. Nasty leaders (whether themselves smart of stupid) need followers, minions, cowards, the lazy, the hedonistic (short-term thinkers), to let them pass and gain power, etc., and I think it’s there, in a general lack of intelligence in the population overall (relative to what might be required to help end human suffering), that the main problem lies.

This I was distinguishing slightly from your position, which seems to place more emphasis on the ability of the more intelligent to ameliorate things by the exercise of empathy and understanding.

23. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: In a couple of comments you have showed us Langan is the benefactor of the World, only wanting to destroy some people to obtain what he calls a greater good, but this is not evil, just a practical thing. Doing this has nothing to do with his ethical thinking.

GEORGE: No, I have said that he obviously has good intentions in his ethics, but that his political prescription goes against his own ethics. (Incidentally, I also pointed out that this is a more charitable interpretation of Langan than yours, which it is. Especially bearing in mind that he’s had a relatively more brutalized life than most of us.)

JOHN FRINGE: all I say is driven by my hate, no matter what I say.

GEORGE: No, I SUSPECTED that was the case with regard specifically to Langan; it SEEMED TO ME to be that way. Your turning up the gas here seemed to be an indication of what you had really thought all along – you gave the impression of someone whose barely-suppressed hate in your conversations with Langan was just now coming out more openly in conversation with me.

I have retracted that, in response to your claim that you only came across Langan’s tv interview after you first started talking to him here. (However, I’m recalling that the OP was started quite a long time ago, so your earlier responses to Langan might actually be quite old relative to your discovery of the tv interview, and subsequent responses.)

JOHN FRINGE: He also proved that I would be a genocide if I’m given the opportunity. In fact, he demostrated that everyone is.

GEORGE: No, I said that any utilitarian ethic will find some conditions in which it’s allowable to sacrifice a small number of people to the greater good in some way. I also said that if you were in an “If I ruled the world” position (“on your august throne”), you would probably find that there would be a certain point where you, too, would be prepared to make that choice, with that responsibility.

Remember, ex hypothesi, we’re no longer pissing about with dream worlds here, we’re talking about the possibility of actually eliminating evil and suffering in the world by some decisive means that only someone in charge of the whole could enact.

So, you are on your throne: what would you do? What would anybody do? Sooner or later, I think you would likely be faced with some kind of cold, utilitarian calculation of lesser vs. more suffering, and that you – as anyone – would be prepared to make that bargain if you believed the cost (some suffering for some) really was worth the benefit (utopia from here on in).

JOHN FRINGE: He also proved that I equated intelligence with being a good person despite I saying nothing in that respect, and use it against me, by quoting me, without the quotes.

GEORGE: I hope I’ve clarified that above. My quote from your post shows that you think intelligence leads to understanding and compassion, just as I said you did. (Before you go shooting off on another tangent, let me point out to you that I am NOT saying that you think intelligence is SUFFICIENT for compassion and understanding; rather you think that it’s a NECESSARY feature of intelligence, that it results in compassion and understanding – otherwise you wouldn’t have been able in your post to use what you said to insinuate that Langan probably really isn’t all that clever, would you? 😉 )

24. John Fringe

So I say intelligence does not preclude communication, and you understand that I say that intelligence equates understanding and compassion, and you see this interpretation as “fairly accurate” enough to “quoting me back against myself”. I wouldn’t call the two assertions “slighty distinguished”. Need I to explain the differences?

I assert that a car does not preclude traveling across the city. In fact, it may even help. Am I equating having a car with traveling across the country? Am I saying it’s impossible to have a car and not traveling across the country? No, they’re different things.

And I see very difficult you can’t see the fallacy here. I believe you’re doing this consciously.

I also see very difficult that you can’t see the fallacy (and demagogue) in saying that, because I don’t like A, then my criticism of B and probably everybody’s else is due to A. You have to be pretty naive to think that many people will fall for this one. And obviously you were not speaking to me when you said this (it would be pretty silly to tell me this).

I agree with some of your conclusions (only with some of them). That’s not the problem. The problem is that you first make the conclusion, and then you look for anything resembling an evidence, to the point to committing some fallacies and accusing me of ad-hominem attack (Shadonis explained you very well why I didn’t commit it, so I’ll not repeat it).

I would recommend you to be a more objective thinker (and to study some basic propositional logic – ¬A->B does not equate AB. This is not demagoguery, you really mistook them!).

25. John Fringe

Brrr, I wrote the logic wrong 🙁

I mean, saying it’s not always true (a->(¬b)) is not the same as (ab)

For example, a=intelligence and b=communication/compassion, or whatever.

26. John Fringe

I quit writing logic symbols here. The software interprets my symbols as he wants 🙁 You get the idea.

27. John Fringe

George1: “You yourself, in another post on this page, equate intelligence with understanding (…) and compassion!!!”

George2: “MARK: Raw intelligence is not a guarantee against evil.
GEORGE: That’s not quite what I was saying, it’s something more like what John Fringe was saying, I was only quoting him back against himself”

George3: “let me point out to you that I am NOT saying that you think intelligence is SUFFICIENT for compassion and understanding”

I believe we have a serious problem of communication here. I really can not see how you can say (1) and (2) and then (3). Maybe equate and your explanation in two do not mean what I believe they mean. Should I buy a new English dictionary?

Come on, guy!

28. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: So I say intelligence does not preclude communication, and you understand that I say that intelligence equates understanding and compassion,

GEORGE: Let’s break it down.

Sentient Agent (for example – this looks to me like the post that mainly led to your response) says: “There seems to be a failure to communicate ideas on his part, probably due to his extremely hi IQ…”

You say (ironically) “Yes, because communication is not an intellectual activity. It’s purely physical. So intelligent people are naturally bad at communication. XD”

There would be no point in you saying this unless you (very sensibly 🙂 ) thought that communication IS an intellectual activity (and not just physical). There would be no humour to the irony. Irony depends on meaning the opposite of what you say.

The opposite of “is not an intellectual activity” is “IS an intellectual activity”

Then later you go on to say (also ironically):-

“The capacity to understand what other beings think and the capacity to let them understand you, sometimes by assuming their places to understand them, being capable of empathy, […] this requires one not to be intelligent.”

This is (again) a positive claim in ironic form. It goes beyond “does not preclude” to “is necessary for” (“requires”).

Note also the passionate wording of that passage and those above – this looks like something you believe strongly (i.e. it’s almost like intelligent people have a kind of DUTY of understanding and compassion – as I said, this is something I agree with).

OK, perhaps my “equate” was too strong and offhand, I admit, but I don’t think you can deny you are making a positive claim above.

Incidentally, if you were responding to Sentient Agent, a “does not preclude” argument would be non-responsive.

As Shadonis saw, there MAY be reasons why highly intelligent people have difficulty communicating (or being compassionate, come to that), and that seems to be what Sentient Agent was referring to. High IQ may be a bit like a highly tuned engine, requiring a narrow range of conditions to function well – more easily put “out of kilter” if those conditions don’t obtain. Also there seems to be a tantalizing link of some sort between Autism/Aspergers and High IQ (via “idiots savants”).

i.e. Sentient Agent wasn’t saying “intelligence precludes communication” (because of course obviously it GENERALLY doesn’t, generally it enhances communication), he was saying something more like “HIGH intelligence (sometimes brings problems with it, that) may preclude communication”

JOHN FRINGE: The problem is that you first make the conclusion, and then you look for anything resembling an evidence, to the point to committing some fallacies and accusing me of ad-hominem attack (Shadonis explained you very well why I didn’t commit it, so I’ll not repeat it).

GEORGE: Yes, I’ll be sure to come to you when I want my style of argument analyzed 😉

JOHN FRINGE: I would recommend you to be a more objective thinker (and to study some basic propositional logic – ¬A->B does not equate AB. This is not demagoguery, you really mistook them!).

GEORGE: And if I ever feel I need some tuition in objective thinking, I will definitely heed your recommendation 🙂

29. John Fringe

“Note also the passionate wording of that passage and those above – this looks like something you believe strongly (i.e. it’s almost like intelligent people have a kind of DUTY of understanding and compassion – as I said, this is something I agree with).”

I’ve repeated it to you so many times I almost feel like an idiot. I’m not the topic of this thread. You keep focusing on your fallacies, again and again, misrepresenting arguments to your convenience.

I’m not going to argue with you this anymore. This is the last time. I have to stop at some point. I also consider it very idiotic to have to argue with you what I’m saying, with you trying to tell me what I pretend to say. I know what I wanted to say, and everybody else can look at the post.

Nothing in my post implies or suggest that intelligent people have any kind of duty of understanding the rest. And even if I though that, which I didn’t express or siggest ion that post, that’s far from thinking what you said I said (that they’re equal).

I was passionate in my wording because I see very absurd saying that an high IQ can be the cause of an inability to communicate a simple idea we’re already speaking about. Savants have a lot of problems unrelated to IQ, and they’re probably the cause of communication problems. In any case, correlation does not mean causation.

Can we stop this? You’re misrepresenting my position fallaciously, I said to you, I showed you my post, and nowhere in my post I implied what you’re saying. Accept it or not. All the rest is your invention, which you only can try to justify with your “it’s almost like” or “I’m quoting him” without actually quoting anything. I know what I said, it’s written and everybody can read it. It’s also written your misrepresentation of my position, which I already quoted several times.

So let’s stop this stupid topic now, and let’s not pollute the thread anymore with you trying to convince me of what I think and me referring you to my actual post.

I don’t believe anyone is interested in this.

30. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: I’ve repeated it to you so many times I almost feel like an idiot. I’m not the topic of this thread.

GEORGE: Ah but you’re as puzzling to me as you claim I am to you.

For instance, I’m curious that here, in response to my last post which tries to break down what was going on, with minimum rhetoric, and a genuine attempt to clarify, you don’t respond to what I’m saying at all, but go on another little rant.

This is like the situation with Langan here, where he made I think 3 quite long and detailed posts breaking down what Mark had said and criticizing it. All he got in response was more ritualistic posturing, merely repeating the OP points.

The fact is, you’ve been caught with your pants down here. In a heated moment, you let slip some actual beliefs you have, but instead of standing by your belief, you backtrack in an attempt to make out that I’m the bad guy by covering your ass with a vaguely plausible denial (a vaguely plausible denial that reflexively makes your post inept as a response to someone like Sentient Agent).

Do you actually care about the truth (e.g. of what Langan or I, or any of the others defending him here are saying), or about scoring cheap sophomoric debating points? (Not that you’ve actually succeeded in the latter.)

I notice you (and the others on your “side” here) have taken a very similar tack with Tim and some of the others. When it gets too difficult to actually THINK about what he’s saying, you retreat into “you’re just mad” crap.

I’ll let you in on a little secret here: philosophy isn’t something you can just run through at university, have a few stoned arguments with your chums, get put down a few times by professors for elementary mistakes, and then think you understand it. PHILOSOPHY MAKES YOUR BRAIN HURT. It’s a lifetime passion, with incredibly deep problems that have engaged people far more brilliant than you or I for centuries.

The current “fashionable” philosophy always makes out that it has clearly understood all previous philosophy, but it hardly ever has. 100 years from now, the current textbooks with their neat little pigeonholing of “arguments” of past philosophers will seem as quaint as Eduard Erdmann seems now. There is progress, but it’s very, very slow.

JOHN FRINGE: I’m not going to argue with you this anymore. This is the last time. I have to stop at some point. I also consider it very idiotic to have to argue with you what I’m saying, with you trying to tell me what I pretend to say. I know what I wanted to say, and everybody else can look at the post.

GEORGE: I’ve quoted what you said; if you wanted to say something different, you should have said it.

JOHN FRINGE: Nothing in my post implies or suggest that intelligent people have any kind of duty of understanding the rest. And even if I though that, which I didn’t express or siggest ion that post, that’s far from thinking what you said I said (that they’re equal).

GEORGE: But you do “express or suggest it”, in the quotes I’ve quoted. If not, then SHOW ME HOW, and stop this bluster.

Show me how:-

“The capacity to understand what other beings think and the capacity to let them understand you, sometimes by assuming their places to understand them, being capable of empathy, […] this requires one not to be intelligent.”

(and the passages above it) is NOT a positive claim made in ironic form, that pleads for the intelligent person to take up their responsibility (and by implication, says that either a) Langan is irresponsible, or b) actually not ingelligent).

On the “equal” point I concede, it was too off the cuff and too strong.

JOHN FRINGE: I was passionate in my wording because I see very absurd saying that an high IQ can be the cause of an inability to communicate a simple idea we’re already speaking about.

GEORGE: What does this mean? That you’re so upset with Langan’s “if I ruled the world” prescriptions that you can’t understand why he doesn’t see that his being prepared to make a tough utilitarian choice in that position makes him “evil” in John Fringe’s eyes?

Pfft. Here’s the truth you’re trying to pussyfoot around without saying it in so many words: you think Langan is less intelligent than you, you think I am less intelligent than you, you think anyone who agrees with Langan on any substantive point is less intelligent than you.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

JOHN FRINGE: Savants have a lot of problems unrelated to IQ, and they’re probably the cause of communication problems. In any case, correlation does not mean causation.

GEORGE: Did I say it did? But correlation is interesting enough for a sentence like “Perhaps he’s not able to communicate his ideas because of his extremely high IQ” to not be as immediately nonsensical as you seem to want to make it.

And there is some correlation, e.g. http://psychcentral.com/lib/2010/intelligence-linked-to-bipolar-disorder/

JOHN FRINGE: Can we stop this?

GEORGE: Why are you asking me? You’re the one who keeps it going. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

No, you are one of the people who’s been impugning Langan’s intelligence, and the intelligence of us crank “followers” here (did you think I’d let THAT slip?), either YOU back up your bold attitude, and fight this to the bitter end or YOU give up.

3. John Fringe

What would you think if the rest of us start using those “it’s almost like if you’re trying to say…”of yours at our convenience?

This *ENTIRE* discussion is a waste of time. All these pro-Christopher guys can only “win” their arguments by dragging the arguments elsewhere and making the debates super-messy and convoluted, constantly misrepresenting your position and attacking strawmen.

2. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: What would you think if the rest of us start using those “it’s almost like if you’re trying to say…”of yours at our convenience?

GEORGE: If it was a sincere attempt at bridging the gap between man and man in communication (“what’s he really saying?”), I wouldn’t mind.

Clarity in communication depends on defined terms, but clarity thereby loses semantic richness (it’s clear at the cost of being “about” something very, very specific). But ordinary language discussion is semantically richer (it’s potentially “about” more things), at the potential loss of clarity. But that just means you have to feel each other out a little, joust a bit, take it like a dance, or like music, so that some clarity can come.

It’s also the same, on a bigger scale, with philosophy in general, over the centuries. Philosophy is actually a grand discussion down the ages, between fine minds, on difficult problems, that cannot and will not be settled by attempts to prematurely define terms so that we can just say SOME goddamn thing clearly and get home in time for supper.

What I see here is people not granting that Langan has a place in that tradition. You guys all want to get home to supper too soon.

3. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: This *ENTIRE* discussion is a waste of time. All these pro-Christopher guys can only “win” their arguments by dragging the arguments elsewhere and making the debates super-messy and convoluted, constantly misrepresenting your position and attacking strawmen.

GEORGE: There is no “elsewhere” apart from EVERYTHING, REALITY, THE UNIVERSE, etc. Everything is about everything – we only look for our lost keys under the lamppost (science) because of our limitations. Maybe we’ll eventually manage to creep out into the darkness and look in the right place. Maybe some of us (philosophers) are trying to get some night vision by looking hard into the darkness.

This is not about “winning” anything. It’s about maybe finding out some truth, hopefully together, maybe getting some insights, maybe clarifying one’s own thought in combat with others. Do you consider that a “waste of time”?

We are all free to pick and choose whom we will debate with. But if one finds the discussion getting too difficult or taking up too much time, it’s far more honourable to just say so, rather than (e.g.) call someone “mad” because you can’t be bothered parsing their arguments.

26. mereotelic

You’re still ignoring the topic, it’s called “processes”…there are many kinds, blind, anticipatory, intelligent…

27. mereotelic

Memory and anticipation are at the heart of intelligent processes. All the powers of man are hereditary in origin, the result of nature’s blind processes (due to first-order Markovian laws of nature)…except the intellect, which exhibit non-Markovian, transitive causality.

“Guided missles, for example, appear to search actively for their target, and when they have it in range they seem to pursue it, taking account of its evasive twists and turns, and sometimes even ‘predicting’ or ‘anticipating them’. The details of how this is done is not worth getting into. They involve negative feedback of various kinds, ‘feed-forward’, and other principles well understood by engineers and now known to be extensively involved in the working of living bodies.” – The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins

“Anticipatory behavior involves the concept of feedforward [5] , rather than feedback. The distinction between feedforward and feedback is important, and is as follows.

The essence of feedback control is that it is error-actuated ; in other words, the stimulus to corrective action is the discrepancy between the system’s actual present state and the state the system should be in. Stated otherwise, a feedback control system must already be departing from its nominal behavior before control begins to be exercised.

In a feedforward system, on the other hand, system behavior is preset, according to some model relating present inputs to their predicted outcomes. The essence of a feedforward system, then, is that the present change of state is determined by an anticipated future state, derived in accordance with some internal model of the world.” – Robert Rosen’s anticipatory systems

“As the slug’s primitive example shows, our awareness of time depends on the extent to which our mental models of reality reflect change. To see an object change, one must recall its former state for comparison to its present state, and to do that, one must recall one’s former perception of it. Because perception is an interaction between self and environment, this amounts to bringing one’s former self into conjunction with one’s present self. That past and present selves can be brought into conjunction across a temporal interval implies that momentary selves remain sufficiently alike to be conjoined; that they can intersect at any given moment to compare content means that the intersection is changeless. So when self is generalized as the intersection of all momentary selves, it acquires a property called time invariance. It is the rock of perception, the unchanging observation post from which the net of temporal connections is cast and to which it remains anchored. Indeed, it is the fabric from which the net is woven, its relationship with the environment serving as the universal template for all temporal relationships.” – A Very Brief History of Time, Langan

1. MarkCC Post author

If you want to quote long passages of an existing work, just post a link. Copying multiple paragraphs from a copyrighted text is not an acceptable practice. It’s got the potential to get me into trouble.

Doing it once or twice as an introduction to your own explanation or response to a quoted work is OK. Quoting passages of copyrighted work without any of your own writing is absolutely not; nor is repeatedly quoting extensive passages.

Stop it, or I’m going to have to start editing your comments to remove the copyrighted prose. (I won’t do that without appropriately noting that I made the change, but I will do it.)

If the ideas from the quoted work are important enough for you to copy and paste them, then they’re important enough for you to put a link and a sentence of explanation. Aside from the fact that that will allow me to avoid any legal trouble, it’s also just basic decency that if you actually want to participate in a debate, you should do so in your own words.

1. P. George Stewart

FWIW I agree with Mark, even though I’m sort of on Mereotelic’s “side” of these arguments. Plus, Mereotelic has been asked politely numerous times to stop churning out the copy pasta.

Also, personally, I find it much more engaging when someone thinks aloud and afresh in front of me, rather than quoting other peoples’ thoughts. Successive chunks of quotes of other peoples’ thoughts make my mind glaze over. I understand Mereotelic is trying to show that other, “respectable” thinkers have been having similar thoughts to Langan (incidentally, I was particularly impressed with the Majid quote), but as Mark says, that point could be made by pasting links and short explanations.

2. Tim

Mereotelic, Mark,

again, mereotelesis, nice work. Mark, to be sure, I don’t think that your request in the above to be too great; but you should recognize that mereotelesis HAS already taken in your complaint and suggestion: this is not the huge “spam” wall type thing that isotelesis had been producing back when he first joined. This is well chosen, intelligently cropped, highly topical excerpting. He has been doing well (putting in that little extra effort) for a while now. If there is risk of copyright infringement in this particular post of his, then that is to denounce the practice of copyright altogether! But if you can’t see the pertinence and the cohesion of mereotelic’s post … Well, hopefully you, mereotelic, can find the right way to water it down, just enough, and not too much …

Tim

Tuukka Virtaperko: Personally, I think metaphysics is just interesting discussion, but nothing more than that. It becomes a problem when you try to derive truths out of it, because I think the concept of a metaphysical truth is largely worthless in most contexts. Metaphysics typically finds itself dealing with possibilities and NOT truths. Epistemologically, we’re stuck with certain limits and I don’t think it helps to pretend like we can ignore them at will.

Is it true that there are alternate dimensions full of fairies? Possibly, sure. But if we can’t ever know that to be true through either direct experience or evidence, I see little point in wasting time over a “truth” that’s no different from that idea being false in the first place. There’s no difference between those two scenarios, relative to us.

With respect to the CTMU, I think it’s an especially funny instance of someone trying to pass off metaphysics as truth, but using a lot of confusing wordplay to muddle the fact that if you were to simplify the ideas, they’d be unoriginal and mundane.

Most people might read a page or two, skip around, then quit and go do something else with their day because the paper is useless to the layman who can’t understand it, useless to the scientist who actually knows what he’s talking about, and only useful to the metaphysician who can’t contribute anything other than quirky discussions in bars and lounges.

1. Tim

you say, “But if we can’t ever know that to be true through either direct experience or evidence,”

the problem, Shadonis, is that you have precluded a great part of experience. You have taken to a religion that does not permit you to experience certain things, and then you say that those things are beyond experience altogether. Example?

you said, “useless to the scientist who actually knows what he’s talking about, and only useful to the metaphysician who can’t contribute anything other than quirky discussions in bars and lounges.”

for one, no scientist has ever (yet) come to know what he is talking about. The game keeps them coming. For two, here is another example of you sticking your neck out beyond the limits of honesty, pre-ordaining that metaphysics (thee tool for success) is incapable of success. You can pick on lesser metaphysicians, and, if YOU like, claim that their failures are – then – generalizable to all metaphysicians, but … Jesus, Howison, Me: you will have to handle us (too)! Good luck!

Tim

Tim: I’m not “precluding” anything.

There is a difference between precluding something and waiting until the facts come in. I’m not going to say X is true unless there is good reason to support it. Otherwise the definition of truth loses all meaning. It’s like arguing that Zeus’ existence is true. What on earth does that even mean? Why is Zeus true? Why not Allah? Why not the Christian god? It’s all guesswork. If you’re going to say one possibility is true, then why not all of them? Why pick one but not another? There’s no good reason for any of it. Possibilities are better left as possibilities on the backburner to be ignored until there’s good reason to retrieve them.

Is the alternate fairy universe real? Again, it could be. There could be fairies under my couch. I don’t deny possibilities, but that doesn’t mean I have to think those things are actually true. I’m not going to SERIOUSLY THINK there are fairies under my couch and then act like this is a fact. It’s just crazy. Same goes for much of metaphysics. All it can really do is talk about possibilities and “what if”s. Unless you have a good reason to support something, it’s untestable and unattainable… so why bother with it and why say it’s true when you can’t possibly know if it’s true OR false? You don’t know, so why pretend like you can know?

And lol @ scientists not knowing what they’re talking about. What on earth do you think you’re using right now to even access this blog? Seriously, you’re either a huge troll, or an idiot if you’re serious.

1. Tim

despite your “intention” to not preclude possibility, you do. Honesty is real hard work, and you have shown that you have not developed the proper habit.

continuing, you said, “Same goes for much of metaphysics. All it can really do is talk about possibilities and “what if”s.”

is the “much of” qualifier supposed to be implicit in the second sentence here too? Much of science is straight garbage. Seriously, back in abouts 2004 I read a little thing in this journal called “Science” about how some large portion (something like 75% as I recall) of their articles were debunked within some short time after publishing (3 or 5 years?). And, you may know, “Science” is the creme-de-la-creme of science journals. Anyway, the point is, if your “much” of is to carry over to the second sentence, why are you wasting our time? If it isn’t, here again is an example of you precluding possibility: that success at metaphysics might be a real … possibility.

You went on, “And lol @ scientists not knowing what they’re talking about. What on earth do you think you’re using right now to even access this blog? Seriously, you’re either a huge troll, or an idiot if you’re serious.”

For not counting you as hopeless, I might deserve the title “idiot”.

you said, “Possibilities are better left as possibilities on the backburner to be ignored until there’s good reason to retrieve them.”

The thing is, Shadonis, this is not only terrible advice, it is advice you never cease failing to observe! Every moment. Now. Now. Now. … You make potent decisions with less than complete information. You are always leaping into the unknown (despite yourself, I guess). The one thing you do know, “I am”, allows you to hold yourself together through this “crazyness”. If you really took your own advice, you would stop time. You would “wait” for miraculous enlightenment. (Not recognizing that such a change would require that capacity which you had PRECLUDED, institutionally.)

Shadonis, you’re playing the science hipster. Real scientists know that science is just an aid to making decisions, and certainly not a sufficient ground to generate them. And the good scientists … ! Well, they even recognize positive arguments that “confirm” this! Look again at what Lee said in the video YOU provided! (I mean the part that led HIM to pragmatic use of “multiverse”, due to the limitations of the method of science itself vis-a-vis these BIG questions.)

Shadonis, not that you will consider seriously this stuff that you really should consider seriously, but compare this with “normal” vision. You can “see” a lot, but “focus” on little. But, Shadonis, science is the fuzzy peripheral part, not the in focus part! Religion is the in focus part, even for those who spend their time in dumpsters only. I love science. You hate the thought that I am the one who loves her like she wants to be loved. The value to your peripheral vision is that you can rule out the need to attend to much of it; you can focus where you like (before the ever coming unknown), securely and confidently. Even the best of scienTISTS do that intuitively (and the better the more they have practiced / developed).

If you truly left possibility on the back burner, you would leave everything on back burners. Life is risky. Decisions must be made on less than complete “focus”.

But I’ll leave you to your fairies,
Tim

You’re legitimately crazy and you don’t understand how science works at all.

I’m done speaking with you.

2. Tim

again this shows how cavalier you are in making claims to fact, how cavalier you are vis-a-vis honesty.

I’m relieved if you are truly done speaking with me, but such relief is only momentary because I still have to live with you. Your superficiality is terrifying. Even to say “how science works”! scienTISTS work!!!

Like I said, you hate the TRUTH. Preclude it. Say you don’t prelude (whatsoever). And recline. And then make fun of your betters.

you call me crazy without ever having made a single substantive point against me. Where is the spirit of science in that?

I am who I claim to be,
a (accomplished) scientist in part,

I guess you have written off success in (this) life, and not just for you, but for everyone?
I suppose you’ll continue to prefer the role of poser?

with a reserve of hope,
Tim

3. MarkCC Post author

Tim:

You are one of the most arrogant, obnoxious, and thoroughly empty-headed individuals I’ve encountered in the years of writing this blog.

Just because someone disagrees with you, it does not mean that they “hate” the truth.

And to accuse someone else of superficiality? When you’ve never bothered to do *anything* here except superficial rambling?

The main thing that you’ve done here is talk about how brilliant and wonderful you are. You’ve compared yourself to Jesus, to Einstein. You’ve talked about how all of science would progress faster if scientists would just listen to you – while simultaneously refusing to talk about anything close to substantial. In fact, the bulk of your ideas seem to be nothing more than wordplays and punctuation tricks.

You’re truly a worthy follower of Chris Langan – a content free babbler with delusions of grandiosity who insults his opponents when he can’t actually respond to anything that they’re saying.

4. Tim

Mark,

you said, “You are one of the most arrogant, obnoxious, and thoroughly empty-headed individuals I’ve encountered in the years of writing this blog.”

I’ve fully admitted to my arrogance. “obnoxious”, I suppose you have some scientifically verifiable evidence or proof of this? “empty-headed” only speaks of your estimation of me, and I expect nothing more (or less) from you. But I can hope…

you said, “Just because someone disagrees with you, it does not mean that they “hate” the truth.”

you said, “And to accuse someone else of superficiality? When you’ve never bothered to do *anything* here except superficial rambling?”

you have never understood me. You are unfit to judge. Or, why don’t you try to tell me even what you think I am selling here? Show me where I have erred? Where have I said a single thing that contradicts TRUTH?

you said, “The main thing that you’ve done here is talk about how brilliant and wonderful you are.”

you’re a liar. Or you are speaking way to casually. I have never tried to paint myself brilliant or wonderful. When Chris demanded to know who people were, I refused, despite the fact that I had the resume to back me. I have always pointed to others who have led me to where I am, Howison foremost. The point that I am defending is thee i’dea; it is brilliant; it is wonderful. Though I defend IT with all I have, I am far happier to think that I be thought of as a jackass. In fact, I do everything to make sure that I be seen in the worst light possible. But not lies. Not deception. The only reason I even mention my favor is because you trolls, unable to bring even one solid point of question to my metaphysic (except , if I give you a really long leash, that I haven’t yet produced thee physic in her finery {formal end presentation}), you trolls resort to the games of politicians. Defaming the other person’s character. And I have given you plenty of arms for that; but I cannot tolerate the thought that some CURIOUS reader may think that I have no scientific expertise.

Fuck you. I got a 4.0 GPA in chemical engineering at RPI. I won the Coonley prize for my senior design project. I went to Cal for grad-school (ranked 2nd behind MIT the year I went). I won the NSSA’s prize (actually it was split with another dude) for outstanding student research one year. Somewhat regretfully, I put my name to certain published articles (though I did refuse to be author to the paper that was my main research – which was published despite my requests that it not be). I did also quit that! Call me “crazy”, but don’t tell me I don’t have any chops for hard-science.

You said, “You’ve compared yourself to Jesus, to Einstein.”

I’ve also compared myself to dogs and plants.

you said, “You’ve talked about how all of science would progress faster if scientists would just listen to you”

I stand by it.

you said, ” – while simultaneously refusing to talk about anything close to substantial.”

you are trapped in a mind-set that has everything backwards. I’m sorry that I have found no better way to get you too see rightly. I have mentioned before that until I had comprehended Howison, all I say of Jesus was nice talk from a sincere and beautiful ethicist. But, having understood Howison, I now see that Jesus (consider the Gospel of John), was not just talking nice and poetic, but hard-core metaphysics. Mark, I don’t know that my writings will remain, but if they do, someone will – after the physic be revealed in her finery – see that I too was speaking hard-core substance with nearly every word. At least when I wasn’t being distracted with …

Mark, that you don’t see me, and that you don’t see any way to say even the first substantive contra-point, should lead you to (at least) consider … But you don’t have a professor telling you that you should consider me seriously, so you leap to your position of ruling me out from the start.

you said, “In fact, the bulk of your ideas seem to be nothing more than wordplays and punctuation tricks.”

again, generalizations of generalizations, not even the hint of an example. Defend yourself!

you said, “You’re truly a worthy follower of Chris Langan – a content free babbler with delusions of grandiosity who insults his opponents when he can’t actually respond to anything that they’re saying.”

I crushed John and Rubix when they TRIED to say … something. You have never tried. And, the only one – as far as I can recall at the moment – who ever raised a point directly toward my metaphysics was George, with his “synecdote” (spelling?) thing.

Mark, if you can raise a point, raise one!

But I don’t think you have even bothered to try to understand, so you don’t even know HOW to go about even trying to raise a point. Are you gonna take up John and Shadonis’ lead and compare what I offer to a fairy? Are you gonna continue to refuse to see that your ideas really do have their fairies!?

Tim

George: “If you can find a way of talking about reality that both scientific people and religious people could agree on – that would actually be a great boon. ”

IMO, the only way to talk about reality is to talk about reality. If you’re going to toss religious stuff into it, you’re no longer talking about reality, which is something we all share and experience. This is best achieved through education, since many religious people just don’t know enough science to understand where they came from and how things work.

Ultimately, my point is that all this discussion on intelligence is useless. We can agree humans are intelligent. Is the universe intelligent? Only insofar as it has human extensions, which are intelligent. But this is ultimately saying the same thing. So, what’s the point? What is gained in calling the universe intelligent?

This is not the same as implying that the universe is somehow a huge, central mind of its own that can think its own thoughts and process some kind of godlike hyperreality, and is capable of cosmological self-selection and whatnot. Calling the universe “intelligent” serves no purpose other than to establish some misleading ground: “Okay, so the universe is ‘intelligent.’ Therefore intelligent design is valid. Since intelligent design is valid, we can then claim all these other aspects of intelligent design are true.”

It uses a skewed definition of the word to justify an interpretation that relies on a totally different definition of the same word. It’s misleading.

1. Tim

Jackass,

you said, “This is best achieved through education, since many religious people just don’t know enough science to understand where they came from and how things work.”

who’s gonna do the educating? As if I hadn’t totally crushed this point in my conversation with Rubix: no scientist can account for “how things work”!!!!! Lee and Jim hardly had to exchange words to get across that they were on the same page there (see your own presentation above!)!!! The maths yield a time that is only “descriptive” (NOT explanatory)! The maths give a sort of timeless time, never the experience of a moment. We don’t live IN the matrix!

Tim

Seriously, something’s wrong with you.

Of course it’s all descriptive. The only one claiming to have absolute truth here are metaphysical crackpots, not scientists.

You’re attacking a strawman; nobody is making that point. “How things work” is obviously in terms of description. But you again make the fallacy that just because science is a description for how things work, somehow that means it’s all useless and truth can be whatever you want. You can’t do any better than the description.

Of course, you’re deluding yourself and think metaphysicians can somehow see things more clearly than the scientists can. If this is true, then we should have seen more scientific advancements come from people who weren’t scientists. But we don’t see that; we see advancement coming from scientists, and metaphysicians dragging their heels, always behind, pretending like they knew all along.

Again, if you think you’re ahead of the scientists: What’s the answer to unification? How do you properly unite general relativity and quantum mechanics?

1. Tim

I don’t think I will play the idiot (try to help you) much longer.

you say, “Of course it’s all descriptive.”, but then go on to show that you have no idea how “descriptive” and “explanatory” are totally different beasts.

(you said,) “”How things work” is obviously in terms of description.” — but that is not obvious at all. All the arrogant thinkers, whether physicist or metaphysician, have the hope of getting past mere description to “how things work”.

you said, “But you again make the fallacy that just because science is a description for how things work,”

science is NOT a description for HOW things work! God-damn it! “Things” seem to work. People (seem to) want to understand How and Why. So far, the physicists can only describe what SEEMS!!! You make the same god-damned mistake as John and Rubix – whom I thoroughly corrected – way back. You see the description, which good scientists are quite careful in maintaining as mere description, and you make the (absurd) religious leap that such a nice description is tantamount to explanation. That a description that fits together so well, is MATERIALLY inevitable! You make a big deal about the absurdity of believing in fairies, but such a fairy is exactly where you found your religion! You never question your material universe. You never put it on the back burner – even though you have no evidence for it. And, in your so doing, you certainly end up precluding as impossible the TRUTH!

you asked, “Again, if you think you’re ahead of the scientists: What’s the answer to unification? How do you properly unite general relativity and quantum mechanics?”

But first, when you said, “Of course, you’re deluding yourself and think metaphysicians can somehow see things more clearly than the scientists can. If this is true, then we should have seen more scientific advancements come from people who weren’t scientists.” — this is absurd. By the same argument I should say that NFL teams should have no coaches because they never step up and make the big play on the field. What you fail to understand is that a “scientist” … well, as you imagine it, there never has been one and there never will be one. As you imagine it, a “scientist” is an inanimate and changeless “creature”. Real life scientists, Shadonis, do science specifically by doing more than science (and you prove this by your absurd leap of faith / act of induction about the nature of “science”).

Pirsig, in what has turned out to be one of my favorite chapters of ZAMM, chapter 22 (my p.239), highlights the mathematician Poincare:

“No, Poincare concluded, a scientist does not choose at random the facts he observes. …

Then Poincare illustrated how a fact is discovered. … but now he penetrated narrowly into his own personal experience with the mathematical functions that established his early fame.

For fifteen days, he said, he strove to prove that there couldn’t be any such functions. Every day he seated himself at his work-table, stayed an hour or two, tried a great number of combinations and reached no results.

Then one evening, contrary to his custom, he drank black coffee and couldn’t sleep. Ideas arose in crowds. He felt them collide until pairs interlocked, so to speak, making a stable combination.

The next morning he had only to write out the results. A wave of crystallization had taken place.

He described how a second wave of crystallization, guided by analogies to established mathematics, produced what he later named the “Theta-Fuchian Series.” He left Caen, where he was living, to go on a geologic excursion. The changes of travel made him forget mathematics. He was about to enter a bus, and at the moment when he put his foot on the step, the idea came to him, without anything in his former thoughts having paved the way for it, that the transformations he had used to define the Fuchian functions were identical with those of non-Euclidean geometry. He didn’t verify the idea, he said, he just went on with a conversation on the bus; but he felt a perfect certainty. Later he verified the results at his leisure.

A later discovery occurred while he was walking by a seaside bluff. It came to him with just the same characteristics of brevity, suddenness and immediate certainty. Another major discovery occurred while he was walking down a street. Others eulogized this process as the mysterious workings of genius, but Poincare was not content with such a shallow explanation. He tried to fathom more deeply what happened.

Mathematics, he said, isn’t merely a question of applying rules, any more tahn science. It doesn’t merely make the most combinations possible according to certain fixed laws. The combinations so obtained would be exceedingly numerous, useless and cumbersome. The true work of the inventor consists in choosing among these combinations so as to eliminate the useless ones, or rather, to avoid the trouble of making them, …

Poincare then hypothesized that this selection is made by what he called the “subliminal self,” … Mathematical solutions are selected by the subliminal self on the basis of “mathematical beauty,” of the harmony of numbers and forms, of geometric elegance. “This is a true esthetic feeling which all mathematicians know,” Poincare said, “but of which the profane are so ignorant as often to be tempted to smile.”

Poincare’s contemporaries refused to acknowledge that facts are preselected because they thought that to do so would destroy the validity of the scientific method. They presumed that “preselected facts” meant that truth is “whatever you like” and called his ideas conventionalism. They vigorously ignored the truth that their own “principle of objectivity” is not itself an observable fact – and therefore by their own criteria should be put in a state of suspended animation.”

So, to your question of unification, of uniting general relativity and quantum mechanics. First, why should I care to do this? Second, how could my failure to do this even begin to evidence that I was “behind” the scientists? Shadonis, if this is what you want, you do it! Why should I care to see Her? Or, why shouldn’t I care to see her at leisure, after continuing with my “bus ride” (conversations, excursion, etc.)?

But, to be sure, I have already told you. There is one real i’dea, “I am”. There are plural such. Each proprietary. The relationships between “I am” are the explanation of the harmony you misconceive as “Universe”. If you can put down this physic formally, – where all other “I am” are “in” each (PROPRIETARY) “I am”, – you will have it. Shadonis, if you want HER, go and get her. Because even if I had wanted Her, and if I had gotten Her, you would still have to understand Her for yourself?

Tim

2. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: What is gained in calling the universe intelligent?

GEORGE: Finding yourself at home in it, releasing the necessarily-actively-maintained false belief that you stand apart from it in some peculiar way.

SHADONIS: This is not the same as implying that the universe is somehow a huge, central mind of its own that can think its own thoughts and process some kind of godlike hyperreality, and is capable of cosmological self-selection and whatnot. Calling the universe “intelligent” serves no purpose other than to establish some misleading ground: “Okay, so the universe is ‘intelligent.’ Therefore intelligent design is valid. Since intelligent design is valid, we can then claim all these other aspects of intelligent design are true.”
It uses a skewed definition of the word to justify an interpretation that relies on a totally different definition of the same word. It’s misleading.

GEORGE: As I’ve said, I do agree with you in part about this. I think it’s fair (i.e. not obviously nonsensical, open to question) to propose that there’s some kind of very simple and very basic teleology to the universe (i.e. its conatus to discover what it is), and I think it’s fair (ditto) to try and enumerate some kind of basic apriori stuff (metaphysics, ontology) relating to this. But I don’t think there’s much to be said to connect these insights to some kind of “Overmind” that’s fundamentally more intelligent than its most intelligent components. That may yet be a DeChardinian outcome to all this, but THAT PARTICULAR FORM can’t be the aim of universal teleology. Nor do I think Langan’s support of ID can stretch any further than the most abstract level of sorting out the definition of “fitness” by bringing some sense that what’s going in the “other half” (the selection pressure) of the universe is somehow, at some deep logical level, connected to the “generate” portion of nature’s ubiquitous “generate-and-test” procedure for generating compossible actualizations out of a background of infinite possibility.

Teleology implies something has an end state or end goal in mind, which implies design. Teleology isn’t needed, nor is there proof of it.

1. Tim

the end state is never other than the beginning state: “I am”. But to go through such an finite/particular i’deal change, opens the i’dea up.

Tim

2. P. George Stewart

There’s no proof of it, but the Anthropic Principle is at least suggestive enough for the idea of teleology of some kind in the universe not to be ruled out of intelligent discourse entirely. The general course of human history also seems to have a directionality that one might not expect. The embeddedness of the “betterness” of co-operation (TIT FOR TAT) is also suggestive of … something.

It could be a lottery, or it could be some kind of teleology, at the moment I don’t think we can really be totally confident either way.

“How things work” is obviously in terms of description. — but that is not obvious at all.”
“you say, “Of course it’s all descriptive.”, but then go on to show that you have no idea how “descriptive” and “explanatory” are totally different beasts.”

This is what I mean. You don’t understand how scientists operate and you don’t understand how science works.

and btw it IS obvious because the scientific method specifically calls for falsifiability. It’s literally built into the thing, so the fact that you’re acting like people don’t understandd the difference between description and “how something works” is just stupid. It’s stupid. Nobody is making that mistake but you.

Good science is falsifiable. That means science never claims anything is 100% true. It offers the best, consistent predictions that agrees with evidence and other frameworks. It doesn’t claim absolute truths. Scientists understand this fine.

I’m not going to read the rest but it’s beyond obvious that you’re a solipsist, so I’m not sure why you’re implying different.

1. Tim

I caved to using my bona fides in science above. You can check the out at your leisure (I posted a route in my conversation with George {early on in his arrival} to a route to “finding” me).

You cannot legitimately doubt that I understand science and the methods of scientists (in large part).

Science is not enough. Which you kinda showed. But you refuse to admit that, – science being wholly inadequate to the task of actually living, – there is a wiser route! As you live, you need more than science to LIVE!

not only was I a decent scientist; I am a great metaphysician.

Doubt if you like.
Ignore me if you like.
Call me crazy if you are crazy.
But please admit that – as you live – you do so by more than “how science works”!

All the best,
Tim

1. Tim

Do you really wanna’ continue to be the guy who says?:

“gee, I don’t know. But not knowing, and not even being as good a scientist as all those great scientists who still cannot succeed to knowing themselves … I’ll just wait.”

“and maybe make some of some other LOSERS to assuage my sense of inadequacy, (and to fill my boredom).”

Do you love that guy? Do you love how the world run by the immature and unsuccessful {and even the cynical – arggghhhh!} goes?

The problem with your crappy materialist fill-in is that you even doubt “I am”! There is “confirmation” against such doubt!

But you have to earn it. You.

And you rule out even BEGINNING. As un-scientific! You poor sap!

What’s so terrible?:

even if your saviour comes along. and even if he can lead you to understand the presentation (which you do seem to put a lot of faith in already – is it warranted?), what good is such a unified physics gonna’ be when the question of REAL import is one’s relationships with other “I am”?!

If you can’t (scientifically) rule out the possibility that MY metaphysic might be THEE REAL DEAL; and since it is no such hard-to-conceive theory of a “fairy”; but is only that “I am” is real; deeper than any such “matter”; and that relations amongst such (PLURAL!) “I am” are also: not only VERY real, and not only more POTENT than any such hard boundary OF REAL; but that this is thee thing which the most arrogant of the working scientists are actually all in a tizzy trying to find.

And you should remember that you should know that you too are still looking! You should know that I think you crazy for having so ludicrously dismissed what I offer. Shadonis, you should know that I am the one holding myself to the strict standards of science. Every word I speak. I have never claimed scientific verification, for my claim. The real stuff of science is more than verification. If I am dis-verified, I am ever ready to abandon it. Much like you have been unable to even consider vis-a-vis “universe”. I have given you reasons; you have given me none (if I give you credit for the fact that I haven’t provided a verified physic; then you have to admit that neither have you). The reason I have succeeded, Shadonis, is in no small part due to the fact that I am far superior to you in remaining scientifically honest. laugh if you like; we both know that’s just a public face.

I am honest. I have my heart set on JUSTICE. When “I am” is fundament, and relations are vital, these things show their real-NESS! Faith/e as you will.

That “I am” is beyond “verification” is reason for joy. That “I am” is within “confirmation” – even “metaphysically&scientifically”! – is means for rest&peace.

You call me crazy for abandoning as hopeless the “hope” of SCIENCE; I call you crazy, not for looking where you know it is hopeless, which would certainly NOT be crazy, but for refusing to look where there might be hope – just cause you would hate to admit that you had been wrong. That your dishonesty did actually come back to bite you. That those pangs of conscience, though not materially isolatable!, actually WERE meaningful!

iow, TRUTH is LIVING TRUTH. (COMPLEX.) When you try to confine it to the derivative representation, not only are you pursuing IMPOSSIBLE, but you concomitantly preclude the living aspect which is utterly integral to the making real thee complex. Which complex is you; if you have ALL the other “I am” in you {God preeminently}. Perhaps you are incapable of considering the concept “you” in any light other than as a flesh bag? I don’t suppose you have ever been abused? Violated? Raped?

Shadonis, Mark accused me of some manner of delusion of grandeur… but I see that the real delusion is the delusion that is the denunciation of that minimal “grandeur”. How lost do you have to be to rather believe “I am not”?

Don’t be mistaken:

This is my attempt to convert you. Yes, from your religion to mine. You say it’s crazy to believe “I am” unless and until it verified by the physicists. I say, blessed are those who have not seen but have believed. But perhaps you are a believer after all, but hate the fact that such a grandiose vision, rather than making you a conquering king, makes you a servant to all?

let cynicism be brought to light,

Tim

P.S. Mark, I hope you will not ban me; I want to remain minimally responsible for my public relations. But you are my lord. If you can rest any impulse to tyranny, I think that I will lay low now (presuming there is still no interest?). Thanks for the forum. I enjoyed serving (as best I could).

1. Tim

all,

actually, let me leave off with this. Back on the old thread I had posted a little concert. You would deny these “I am” – though I see so clearly that they are in tune (in tune with living truth {I am [is valuable; particularly in relation]}). Right? These all are contemptible people flouting all principles of good science – harummpppffff – believing “I am” despite the fact that science only shows quantum and relativistic behavior — really knowing nothing 100% —– religious buffoons, those. Right? Tell me these people are crazy? That there is nothing real to them?

end of this post:

http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2011/02/11/another-crank-comes-to-visit-the-cognitive-theoretic-model-of-the-universe/#comment-28934

Tell me that you’ll continue to believe it impossible to have more than one page in the book of life?

Tim

1. Tim

some, at this time, may better appreciate this perspective:

Demi Lovato – Skyscraper:

Tim

31. teleoplection

I’ll finish with this…one thing I disagree with Langan about.

“Langan: As I think I explained, every human being is an endomorphic image of the mind of God. So, yes. Not with the power of God, not with the extent of God, I would still have to be humble in sight of God. But, I would have a certain theic identity. I would share an ultimate essence with God himself.”

I don’t think Langan or anything in creation shares an ultimate essence with God himself.

Category Theory and Biology:
http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/category/2007/11/category_theory_and_biology.html

1. Tim

teleoplection,

I suppose your reverence for God has you afraid to consider your similarities. To be sure, it is a fearful thing to address. But your reverence, or whatever it is, has you believing in a God who is less than REAL. Though he may have far more capacity than another, his depth is not so … beyond. In fact, the shallows are far more dangerous than the depths! (That’s where, for instance, waves break.)

Find me a REAL (i’dea) other than “I am”.

Otherwise, you will have to admit that – at least I – have some “certain ‘theic’ identity” with God. To be sure, I offer that every “I am” is precisely equivalent noumenally (we all have equal ACCESS {not to be confused with capacity} to MIND {the MIND of God!}); God is noumenally equivalent not just to me, but to that dog! Spiritually we are all similarly potent: we can “explore” our noumenal MIND, we can create (a derivative phenomenal representation) via our potent will. Differences can only come UPON such similar footing.

The big question is still about the nature of the syndiffeonic medium. (And the realm of telesis.)

Tim

32. teleoplection

This depends on whether by “essence” Langan refers to Multiplex Unity or Unbound Telesis, while it is possible to manifest the former intrinsically, the latter is inaccessible and cannot be known in an infocognitively bounded form, and hence this distinction between bounded and unbounded is what differentiates the “essences” of agency (MU) and source (UBT).

1. Tim

teleoplection,

Should I consider this “source (UBT)” to be your offering of an i’dea that is not “I am”?

I consider Langan’s offering his UBT as tantamount to an admission of failure. (This is not to say that it isn’t a hugely impressive “failure”!)

The great thing about Howison is that he showed why God must be a real PERSON. Though the “omni’s” go away, nothing was lost! God is really A person. I am really A person. That dog is really A person. For this to be true (which it is – though science can never PROVE it), the relationships must be real — and at the same time, the relationships cannot be OBJECTIVE. Relationship between real and distinct “I am” is not to be hammered down by either one. Even if God be one of the two.

We are the likeness of God. Not even God can trample that. This means that the faith/e we must use is the same type of faith/e God himself must use!

Consider Jesus’ invitation to join him AND his Father.?

And Mohammed’s fine reminders about the fact that not only is God A (person) God, but that every “I am” is personally responsible for his relationship with his God.?

Tim

1. Tim

To be sure,

I do/did have three complaints about Howison. One was regarding his conception of God. I think God decidedly not-perfect. (perfection is, much like beautiful tautologies are not, self-contradictory. Funny, that.)

Tim

33. teleoplection

Tim,

I was forcibly raised as a “Christian” until the age of 15, I’ve seen both the good and the bad of it, the genuine to the corrupt, and I definitely have had my fill of what’s left of it, I probably know more about the Bible than your average Christian.

Actually that was what first attracted me to the CTMU as a teen a decade ago, it did not come across as religion but philosophy. I’ve since realized that the issue of religion is inevitable, the closest I found as a result of independent research was the Baha’i Faith. I’m sure Langan considers all predecessors obsolete, however I doubt that what the CTMU offers is independent of the what came before. The only real difference I found between them was over the issue of reflecting the “essence” vs. “attributes” of God…however I think this disagreement could be resolved through clarification of certain concepts in the CTMU, such as whether God is MU or UBT. For Baha’is (and earlier philosophers influenced by Islam) this would be similar to the distinction between the Primal Will or Holy Spirit (rays of light) and God (Sun), with Creation being the mirror of attributes NOT the essence of God.

“Therefore, because human beings inherently mirror the attributes of God, although to varying degrees, another way one can understand the attributes of God is through the mirror-like soul of a human being. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, for example, reflected with utmost clarity the qualities of wisdom and knowledge through his writings and utterances, whilst also demonstrating love, kindness and tolerance through his behavior towards all he met. However, like the mirror, one soul can acquire defects which obscure the image within, such as racism, prejudice, selfishness and the like, and one must be careful not to attribute these defects to God Himself. Bahá’u’lláh explains, whilst quoting the Qur’an:

A pure heart is as a mirror; cleanse it with the burnish of love and severance from all save God, that the true sun may shine within it and the eternal morning dawn.” –
Tim,

I was forcibly raised as a “Christian” until the age of 15, I’ve seen both the good and the bad of it, the genuine to the corrupt, and I definitely have had my fill of what’s left of it, I probably know more about the Bible than your average Christian.

Actually that was what first attracted me to the CTMU as a teen a decade ago, it did not come across as religion but philosophy. I’ve since realized that the issue of religion is inevitable, the closest I found was the Baha’i Faith. The only real difference I found between them was over the issue of reflecting the “essence” vs. “attributes” of God…however I think this disagreement could be resolved through clarification of certain concepts in the CTMU, such as whether God is MU or UBT. For Baha’is (and earlier philosophers influenced by Islam) this would be similar to the distinction between the Primal Will or Holy Spirit (rays of light) and God (Sun), with Creation being the mirror of attributes NOT the essence of God.

“Therefore, because human beings inherently mirror the attributes of God, although to varying degrees, another way one can understand the attributes of God is through the mirror-like soul of a human being. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, for example, reflected with utmost clarity the qualities of wisdom and knowledge through his writings and utterances, whilst also demonstrating love, kindness and tolerance through his behavior towards all he met. However, like the mirror, one soul can acquire defects which obscure the image within, such as racism, prejudice, selfishness and the like, and one must be careful not to attribute these defects to God Himself. Bahá’u’lláh explains, whilst quoting the Qur’an:

A pure heart is as a mirror; cleanse it with the burnish of love and severance from all save God, that the true sun may shine within it and the eternal morning dawn.”
http://www.bahaiperspectives.com/category/bahai-concepts/

1. Tim

teleoplection,

I very much appreciate your post!

But I don’t want you to misunderstand my conception of God. Nor of the relationship I “espouse” with him.

I am not very familiar with artists of “Islamic” influence, but, with what little I am aware, I am certain that one could find many examples of genuine and deep relation with God. However, even in the example you provided, I think your artist falls into the trap of attributing to God a “name” not-quite-befitting his true glory.

Perfection is not befitting God because … it is not a real i’dea! It precludes change. Is God to be a person incapable of change? In capable of learning? Incapable of relating to a new “I am”? Is God to be an absolute incapable of Joy? Of love? These things are found despite imperfection.

teleoplection, imagine a real relationship between two truly inviolate “I am”. Neither knows the other so well. How could “perfect” relate? That God carries the cross “first” does not mean he must also carry the cross “only”.

Everyone I have met, “christians” particularly, are not “there”. But that does not mean that their efforts have not been instrumental! And it certainly does not mean that they are unworthy of being served by God!!!

If I can convince you that God is worthy of his glorious name … and that he is worthy of it specifically because he truly is a person, relating with other “I am” only in the same imperfect way, yet so gloriously …

Do you not see why (Jesus’) the message of forgiveness and service is the message of thee way? Is it impossible to think of the “christians” and the “pagans” sitting together and “drawing warmth out of the cold” (more Dar Williams)?

Don’t you see that the step we really have to make is specifically the one to including God, confidently, in our relations? How can that happen if you or he were other than in-dividual “I am”?

Seriously, teleoplection, take a look at that Linkin Park video:

Do you really insist on a God that would not be in service to these boys? Do you really insist on a God who would not deign to delite in this fruit of relation? (Do you think I’m crazy to see God – actually self-expressive – within this (“finished” piece of) art? Why trip SOOO much over perfection? (To be sure, there is good reason not to stop; but to wait to start until perfection has already arrived … ? Crazy!)

Teleoplection, I was raised with a catholic upbringing. Went to a k-12 catholic school. Went to a jesuit high-school. Grandparents were pretty earnest about their church; parents lived up to some commitment to make us go to church (most every) week. I made my first communion in 4th grade, I think (there was a fumble in the exchange of the “host”, so I ate it off the carpet 🙂 ). But I, and my best friend, held out of confirmation in 8th grade; 2 of about 60. About that time, in fact, I talked a kid who was saying “I want to be a priest when I grow up” out of it; and I consider that one of my biggest accomplishments to that age.

By college I was perfectly confident that I shouldn’t bother to for answers from such people. I even talked a good friend, one of two that went to church (at least many weeks), out of the hope he had in that path; anther big save I was (and am) proud of.

But the prospects of a life of chemical engineering (even for such a stud as myself 😉 ) …. uggghhhh.

All the while I had never given up my avocation to philosophy.

So now I see the Truth. Really well. though how much is that, really?

Like I’ve said, Jesus and his close disciples did a great job. But the effort fizzled sometime, under “new management”. Thankfully a fizzled effort preserved what they were hoping to attain, though they didn’t quite attain it. Roughly 1900 years, and Howison understood it too. I claim to be of a very small group. But God is not hampered by others’ immaturity! And he is not ashamed to wear the scars of battle. For the battle is to serve those less fortunate than he; those who are still immature.

Though maturity be divine, the divine is not closed to plural. Bettering yourself does not take away from the glory of God: on the contrary! God desires so much for your success and maturity. I know that he has been serving me in my relating to you; and I know that you know that he has been serving you as well.

if you keep serving well I hardly doubt that you become comfortable with a mature, responsible, playful relation with God. Not too much different from the likes of the one directly between You and I.

Tim

34. sentient agent

Christopher Langan appears to have only put rough drafts and minimal outlines of his CTMU on the internet, which is probably a wise decision on his part due to the possibility of theory thievery by unethical academicians.

The conspansive model of space-time is intriguing and interesting in that it describes the universe geometrically including subsequent states as computationally inwardly nested projections – much like continually nested matryoshka dolls. According to the conspansion description, the accelerated expansion of an outwardly expanding space-time – as the size of matter remains constant – is replaced by requantization and shrinking matter as space and time are also rescaled as to preserve the locally observed invariance of the laws of physics, interpretatively speaking, of course 😉

35. Tim

Jeremy Jae,

(I keep saying “one more post”), but I just ran across the name Sri Aurobindo (following up on Tuukka’s recent link to that “you might need to see *this*” “synchronicity” page). I hadn’t remembered your mentioning him, but I looked him up on the old page just to see if he had been mentioned: nice find! (Aug 12, 2011, 8:32 pm; /#comment-28814)

I will have to look into him more closely! But it is obvious that we are talking toward/about the same metaphysic!

For those who don’t like me, nor Howison, nor Jesus, {I do not say nor God,} perhaps Aurobindo is amply qualified too!:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Aurobindo

Tim

1. Tim

What might a mature, responsible, playful mother do: finding no evil in her children?

Being *A* mother: having preference.

But what is a REAL preference?

A proprietary perspective! No matter who views!!!

What can be “built up” with such “mass”?

Perspective, right?

Is there not enough evidence for such evolutions in the landscape of perspective?

Which one would you prefer?

Are you OF (IN) the system; a mere “skinbag”? Or is the system merely the “ground” qua REAL PERSPECTIVE (OF YOU)? – yes, ALL of {YOUR} “it [of which “(‘your’ ) skinbag”is but a measly part]”.

IOW, how much of your perspective is “brahman/noumenal”, as YOURS which cannot be taken, because it is bedrock? And how much is “built up” under the pressure of increasing social preference?

If you would prefer a *better* perspective, do you have the “votes”?

1. Tim

I had meant to preface that with:

“WOW!!!!! The joy of a beautiful leap of faith/e!:”

and to close, of course,

“Tim”

36. sentient agent

Designer babies …a form of antidysgenics, that Christopher Langan speaks about?

singularityhub.com/2009/02/25/designer-babies-like-it-or-not-here-they-come/

quote:

The Fertility Institutes recently stunned the fertility community by being the first company to boldly offer couples the opportunity to screen their embryos not only for diseases and gender, but also for completely benign characteristics such as eye color, hair color, and complexion. The Fertility Institutes proudly claims this is just the tip of the iceberg, and plans to offer almost any conceivable customization as science makes them available. Even as couples from across the globe are flocking in droves to pay the company their life’s savings for a custom baby, opponents are vilifying the company for shattering moral and ethical boundaries. Like it or not, the era of designer babies is officially here and there is no going back.

There is a big difference between genetically tweaking babies/allowing for couples to screen for diseases, and making that decision for other people and preventing them from having the freedom to procreate, which Langan has spoken out against.

The whole point of evolution is that it works naturally. You don’t NEED eugenics. If you’re a sickly type of person, your genes will naturally get filtered out over time if you’re legitimately unfit. Otherwise, why not just do away with the health industry altogether and just let people fend for themselves? It’s pretty ridiculous.

Honestly, the last person you want in charge is someone who thinks you have to “earn” your freedom.

1. sentient agent

I honestly find that part 3 youtube video of Christopher Langan’s eugenics/antidysgenics solution to be extremely disturbing.

There seems to be a failure to communicate ideas on his part, probably due to his extremely hi IQ…

I doubt that. His ideas aren’t deep or original. More likely than not, it’s just his big ego and lack of communication skills.

One person’s comment on his YouTube video I’d say is pretty accurate: “This guy sounds smart to stupid people.”

39. Fedor

This does make me wonder what Langan would do if he were dictator. Do you think he would kill off all academics and CTMU critics? Concentration camps designed specifically for CTMU critics and “acadummies” as he calls them? Mark would probably be his first victim!

I think it’s a bit much to imply some kind of Hitleresque genocide. It’s more a “silent” weed-out by simply not allowing certain kinds of people to reproduce.

40. John Fringe

This guys’ followers are unbelievable.

The guy says directly and clearly he considers most people unintelligent and he would not allow unintelligent people to procreate, saying he would make most people to disappear, and saying he considers freedom is not a right for us the rest, and his followers interpret he is saying he wants all people to love each others and he wants to cure babies, eradicating illness and suffering. Great.

And to justify this absurd interpretation (the assertion is very clear), they say he is bad at communication. And to justify he being bad at communication, they say is because he is very intelligent.

XD XD XD This is just getting to o absurd.

Too things. Let imagine I hit my head resulting in brain damage so I can swallow this guy doesn’t mean what he is saying. This would require a very strong hit. Ok, he is bad at communication, so he is not saying that. From where the hell do people infer he is saying he wants harmony and love and to cure babies? Even if he is not meaning what he is saying, nothing makes me think he is saying the opposite. These people are just making up Langan’s opinions.

Second. How the hell intelligence results in bad communication skills? Not bad, the worst. Really, are people justifying such “ridiculous communication skills” with intelligence?

Yes, because communication is not an intellectual activity. It’s purely physical. So intelligent people are naturally bad at communication. XD

I can communicate with my cat because I’m very stupid. I know what she wants because I’m stupid. I train my dog, making him know what I want him to do, even sometimes against his natural instincts, because I’m pretty silly. I can understand and communicate with people with Alzheimer, who have an altered perception, because I’m a dummy. XD

Really intelligent people are incapable of assuming and understanding other beings have other situations, and they’re incapable of understanding they need to adapt their discourse to their interlocutors. This is what characterizes intelligence. Intelligent people are so intelligent that they can not communicate because others are less intelligent, and others can not adapt, because he is intelligent. So they end speaking of eugenics. XD

Clearly. The capacity to understand what other beings think and the capacity to let them understand you, sometimes by assuming their places to understand them, being capable of empathy, understanding what ways of communication will work and what will not, which needs an understanding of the capacities of the interlocutor, this requires one not to be intelligent. The more intelligent you are, the less ability you have. XD

Oh, my god. Don’t make me laugh. This is ridiculous.

So Langan says he would not allow those he doesn’t like the right to reproduce because he means he like to cure babies but he is very bad at communication because he is very intelligent.

Great.

Now people will start speaking about different types of intelligence. IQ will become relative, etc. Because it doesn’t matter what you show them, or what Langan says, even if he says the opposite of what his followers think. He is right. Another sign of intelligence.

41. sentient agent

The true resolution of Newcomb’s “paradox” ?

santafe.edu/media/workingpapers/11-08-032.pdf

quote:

Our analysis shows that the resolution of Newcomb’s paradox is in fact quite
simple. Newcomb’s paradox takes two incompatible interpretations of a question,
with two diff erent answers, and makes it seem as though they are the same interpretation.

The lesson of Newcomb’s paradox is just the ancient verity that one
must carefully define all one’s terms.

Within Any Possible Universe, No Intellect Can Ever Know It All

scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=limits-on-human-comprehension

To be fair I do think that it’s hard to communicate with people who are are at a far lesser level of intelligence.

I’d consider myself a pretty smart cookie, but there are times where I get incredibly frustrated when trying to explain a basic concept to someone in 1000 different ways only to have them continually miss the point.

THAT BEING SAID: The difference there is that I’ll at least try to explain it 1000 different ways. The burden is still on the smarter person to explain himself in a way that others can understand. This is achievable through numerous examples, clear language, answering questions, etc. If you’re not doing those things, then you’re not really teaching others or aiding their understanding.

It’s like mereotelic’s explanations earlier. You ask him a question and he responds with vague answers and more jargon that isn’t explained. A “self-simulating, self-computing protocomputer” is extraordinarily vague. Such responses are loaded with undefined terms and warrant explanations that aren’t ever given.

So to some degree I suspect this is all intentional. If they simplified their explanations, it’d be a LOT easier to debunk/discredit, and that’s the last thing they want.

1. P. George Stewart

Yes, I think people will say of Langan something similar to this:-

“Though during his lifetime nearly all his work was dismissed as nonsense, some of it has come in later years to be seen in a more favorable light. Although nearly all his grandiose claims were in fact unfounded, his mathematical work contains flashes of deep insight and many important intermediary results.”

Although probably a bit more favourable (i.e. Langan will be found to have been saying idiosyncractically, but fairly precisely in his own way, something that approaches what will be a fairly stable consensus in the next few centuries).

And thanks for pointing out another interesting fringe philosopher in Wronski 🙂

43. Tim

Mark,

bringing the discussion over here:

you said, “You insist on playing with words, and then exploiting the inherent ambiguity in them. The problem isn’t that the concepts are ill defined – but that you’re taking vague non-mathematical definitions of precise mathematical concepts, and then pretending that the problems with the imprecise definitions are the problem of the defined quantity.”

First, I’m not just “playing” with words. Two, like I’ve said, math is no less vague a language than the one I’m using – in fact, if is MORE vague. You – being married to the vague starting in the middles that you faith/e – simply refuse to be honest about your own shortcomings. Science is continually working to eliminate the vagueness that is its beating heart, why do you deny this? Anyway, on to the more poignant matter:

you said, “What’s the temperature of an object?”

you see, Mark, you’d have to be able to define “object” precisely if you really wanted to go anywhere!!! But all you give is:

“It’s a statistical measure …” – “of… that object.”

you are merely transferring the problem, the vagueness.

you went on, “It can be defined incredibly precisely – but that precise definition is a mathematical description of the statistical measure.”

a house built on sand. Precise as it may be. What’s an “object”? (Your “God of the Gaps”.)

Also, had you not been introduced to thermodynamics, and had I come to you and said, “aha, I have this great discovery: no process is possible where the only effect is to transfer heat from a cold body to a warm one”, you most certainly would have said, “imprecise!, etc. and etc.

you said, “Similarly, you’re playing around with the intuitive description of entropy. It’s damned hard to come up with a valid, intuitive, precise description of entropy. But it’s really, really easy to state it mathematically – as I did in the post.”

I showed you the (pretty darn intuitive) statistical mechanical definition. I’m not playing with anything the best scientists aren’t already playing with. I merely espouse a superior understanding of the i’deal change thing at the bottom of thermodynamics.

you said, “Handwaving is when you refuse to actually do things like define your terms precisely in any way. That’s not a problem with the science of thermodynamics. The definitions may not be easy; they may not be intuitive; but they’re very precise.”

Bunk. The model is a work in progress. No one has proferred any precise definition for the temperature of any fundamental “object”. Science keeps digging. Furthermore, I have defined my terms, with great precision, but you want a simple definition, where only a complex one can do the trick.

Tim

Tim: Macroscopic objects are obviously a combination of atoms, and the average kinetic energy of those atoms is how temperature is defined. Seriously, this isn’t hard.

All you’re doing is being annoying. No matter what explanation anyone gives you, you’ll just point to something else and cry foul until you’re virtually saying “What does it mean to say something MOVES? What is TIME? What does it mean to say something IS something?” etc etc etc and all this other such nonsense.

Metaphysics is all about what something “is” whereas science doesn’t really give a rat’s ass about that. It’s why I shared that video where those scientists pretty much dismissed the idea of whether “we are just the mathematics.” Obviously nobody here (or scientists for that matter) are claiming to know what something “is” at the most fundamental level, whatever that would even mean.

It’s a useless point to keep hammering on. I don’t need to know what an atom “is” in order to know that it exists and has certain properties which we can measure and make sense of. Even in quantum physics this is true. In the words of Feynman, it’s like measuring how fast a car is going or when it’ll get from this place to the next, and how it’ll do this under that condition… but all without actually seeing the car.

But all you’re doing is pointing to gap, no matter how small, in a pile of things we do understand and then act as if suddenly that pile is completely irrelevant. It’s like the creationists and how they always point to “gaps” in the evolutionary record, as if having more evidence is a bad thing.

In other words, your “brilliance” and “expertise” is nonsense.

1. Tim

“Macroscopic objects are obviously a combination of atoms, and the average kinetic energy of those atoms is how temperature is defined. Seriously, this isn’t hard.”

other people tell me that their god is obviously … too.

You told me where you decide to quit asking questions, and rest on faith/e:

“All you’re doing is being annoying. No matter what explanation anyone gives you, you’ll just point to something else and cry foul until you’re virtually saying “What does it mean to say something MOVES? What is TIME? What does it mean to say something IS something?” etc etc etc and all this other such nonsense.”

Other people tell me where they decide to stop searching, and rest on faith/e too.

you said, “Metaphysics is all about what something “is” whereas science doesn’t really give a rat’s ass about that.”

Thank you! But why do you always choose the sunglasses? Why don’t you want to see clearly – at least once in your life!? Incredibly, you say:

“It’s why I shared that video where those scientists pretty much dismissed the idea of whether “we are just the mathematics.””

!!! You refuse to admit that those scientists (Jim and Lee, right? {and the two in between them}), with every word, admit that they are just pushing numbers around trying – specifically – to find the way to say what is pas “just the mathematics”! Don’t you see that your video totally backs up my point that good scientists keep all their limitations right at teh heart of their understanding, as clear as they can, so that they will be able to see the solution if they should stumble upon it!? But that, eventually, success will be the being able to answer all those deepest questions about the nature of the likes as information and time? You aren’t defending science, Shadonis! The guys who say “we are *NOT* just the mathematics” are the ones waying “there must be that ‘something more’: keep digging”! Do you see?

you said, “Obviously nobody here (or scientists for that matter) are claiming to know what something “is” at the most fundamental level, whatever that would even mean.”

I am.

you said, “It’s a useless point to keep hammering on. ”

I’m not hammering for nothing! I’m showing you the friggin’ solution. Don’t you want to see it?!

you said, “I don’t need to know what an atom “is” in order to know that it exists and has certain properties which we can measure and make sense of. ”

I wonder, why do you even care about that? Seriously, I’d really like to see a genuine answer; it might help me understand you MUCH better. I hope you’ll share.

you said, “In the words of Feynman, it’s like measuring how fast a car is going or when it’ll get from this place to the next, and how it’ll do this under that condition… but all without actually seeing the car.”

Teh only real “car” is “I am”. Why wouldn’t you want to see that – at least once in your life?!

you said, “But all you’re doing is pointing to gap, no matter how small, in a pile of things we do understand and then act as if suddenly that pile is completely irrelevant.”

That is not ALL I’m doing, goddamnit! 😉 I am showing you how to bridge your gaps! How to summit the mountain of the mind. What the solution is! I point to all your faulty gaps for the hope that you will finally admit that you have them! But I see that you know this already – at least kinda well – but just don’t care!!! It seems crazy that one should not-care. I don’t get it. I mean, I know its treacherous. So I do get it. But haven’t I lit the way a little? Are foreever uncurious about those deep questions? Are you resigned to your god “unseen car”?

Oh yea, about “irrelevant”, I don’t say that. I say derivative. Sunglasses. (I wonder, what if both Einstein and Newton had presented their “mechanics” at the same time as Newton did?) But there is sight without sunglasses; and it is kinda killer! I’m looking for others who might care to see. Perhaps something will “tick”, and you will be curious to see the solution?

you said, “It’s like the creationists and how they always point to “gaps” in the evolutionary record, as if having more evidence is a bad thing.”

You have ignored all the evidence you might gather if you took off your shades. I see without shades.

you said, “In other words, your “brilliance” and “expertise” is nonsense.”

you are not qualified to judge these, since you see from below, and not from above. Furthermore, knowing your limits before “fundamental” questions like what is “matter” or “time”, you should also admit that I haven’t transgressed any of your limits. That is, you have no EVIDENCE that you should preclude my solution. Any good scientist would NEED MUST admit that the could not rule me out.

you reckless lunatic, you call me “nonsense” when you know you are just stabbing in the dark.

Tim

[[[“Don’t you see that your video totally backs up my point that good scientists keep all their limitations right at teh heart of their understanding, as clear as they can, so that they will be able to see the solution if they should stumble upon it!? “]]]

I showed the video to battle against a patently false claim by isotelesis/mereotelic that Smolin somehow supported the idea that reality was a language or that we were just mathematics, etc. You’re attacking a strawman. We already understand that science keeps limitations in mind.

[[[“The guys who say “we are *NOT* just the mathematics” are the ones waying “there must be that ‘something more’: keep digging””]]]

Yes, science is all about the notion of continuing to dig. It doesn’t ever assume it knows the answer 100%; that’s the whole point of falsification.

[[[“Any good scientist would NEED MUST admit that the could not rule me out.”]]]

Science doesn’t rule out hot-tamale demons from alternate-dimension Bokfsdjf, either. Doesn’t mean we should assume it’s true.

My point is that you’re claiming to know the ultimate answers to things when you can’t claim any such thing. You assume that just because science has limitations, that somehow means you can do better. You can’t do better. There may be some questions that science can’t answer. The point is we don’t know yet, and neither do you.

I asked you earlier about quantum physics and relativity, and you avoided the question. If you’re so much better than scientists, then tell me the answer is to the marriage of general relativity and quantum physics, clearly, eloquently, and without handwaving. If you can’t do this, then you’re no better at addressing questions than anyone else, and anything you claim is just guesswork at best and annoyingly stupid at worst.

1. Tim

You said, “I showed the video to battle against a patently false claim by isotelesis/mereotelic that Smolin somehow supported the idea that reality was a language or that we were just mathematics, etc. You’re attacking a strawman. We already understand that science keeps limitations in mind.

First, why you showed the video is irrelevant here. (You couldn’t think that that whole thing was planned just so that you could make some rebuttal 🙂 ) I’m not attacking any straw man; I’m having a completely fresh conversation (I guess you haven’t understood that?). I watched the video, and I am using it to “rebut” you. Your conversation with isotelesis is not the topic here.

Furthermore, perhaps we “all” do understand that science keeps limitations in mind, but the point is, you don’t! Good scientists don’t merely keep their limitations in the back of their mind. They keep them front and center. NON-STOP. You seem to roam about without a care in the world, thinking that you can just add an “but we don’t know that 100%” at the end. This is not science. I can grant you that it is using a tool. But you use it like a clod.

you said, “Yes, science is all about the notion of continuing to dig. It doesn’t ever assume it knows the answer 100%; that’s the whole point of falsification.”

uccckkkk. A clod’s presentation of science.

Science is a search for truth. It, in its highest (philosphy, metaphysics), is the ability to “walk” (think) WHILE recognizing ALL your limitations. Falsifiability is lovely because it permits one to, finally, wrap up a whole lot of potential pictures (which can become hard to hold in your mind), into a much more condensed form, freeing up your capacities, and providing new “ground” for further search.

The Truth cannot be falsified; the only thing that can be “falsified” is the false. What does this suggest to you about the ultimate hope of science?

You said, “Science doesn’t rule out hot-tamale demons from alternate-dimension Bokfsdjf, either. Doesn’t mean we should assume it’s true.”

First, the comment of mine you replied to here was made in response to your statement, “In other words, your “brilliance” and “expertise” is nonsense.” That is, you HAVE ruled me out as “nonsense”. You don’t take your own limitations to heart, but think it sufficient to mention them as an afterthought.

Second, I have never asked, nor wanted, you to assume what I tell you is the Truth. And if you did, I would call you a fool; and try to encourage you to walk honestly WHERE YOU ARE! I already know that you don’t know the Truth. I know it. I want other to join me. I hope to entice you to do the work to get here. However, if you are not going to do that, I’m much happier that you think me a fool! I much rather you playing the jackass completely than assume I’m right and then try to talk about the things I have told you! Keep my presentation clean, perhaps someone will become interested, sometime.

You said, “My point is that you’re claiming to know the ultimate answers …”

I am making such a claim! Mind you, only the “ultimate” answers; there is yet an infinity of sub-ultimate answers that I make no claims about.

you continued, “… when you can’t claim any such thing.”

I can. And, again, if you were an honest scientist you would see the irony! While I CAN make my claim, you cannot make the claim that I can’t make my claim. lol!

you said, “You assume that just because science has limitations, that somehow means you can do better.”

You said, “You can’t do better.”

lol! – You happen to be – kinda – right. I have ALREADY succeeded! I can do no better “ultimately”! But I can still do BETTER.

You said, “There may be some questions that science can’t answer.”

There MUST be some questions that science can’t answer. However, I am convinced (which is not as strong as “confirmed”) that science can come to answer the ultimate question. In order to do so, however, they will have to incorporate the uncertainties that come from the infinite nature of thee I’dea, and the proprietary nature of relations between plural such I’deas (I am). Certain questions, like “what will the future be like”, will forever be beyond answer, but science (scientists) will be able to produce thee physic (none-the-lesss).

You said, “The point is we don’t know yet, and neither do you.”

I know. You don’t know. Why can’t you circumcise your own speech properly. Why can’t you rather just say “I don’t think you know; and I’m not interested in looking at what you offer.”? Is honesty that hard? A habitual liar does not a good scientist make. (and science IS really hampered by this! The best scientists’ jobs is – to high degree -to go about lying to financiers. Way overselling their crap. And though they know that they are “playing the game”, I strongly suspect that, – especially over time, – that shit really hurts them.)

you said, “I asked you earlier about quantum physics and relativity, and you avoided the question. If you’re so much better than scientists, then tell me the answer is to the marriage of general relativity and quantum physics, clearly, eloquently, and without handwaving. If you can’t do this, then you’re no better at addressing questions than anyone else, and anything you claim is just guesswork at best and annoyingly stupid at worst.”

I HAVE given you the solution, thee metaphysic. I have told you where to look for the fertilization of thee physic. Hint, where is my “expertise”? Another hint: what is the nature of an i’deal change? I’m (still) quite happy to leave a good harvest in the field; that the poor scientists might have something to glean. Though you don’t understand it now, perhaps one day.

Lastly, if I were just guessing, I would tell you that I am just guessing. If I had not already surmounted the obstacles, I would be pointing out the obstacles. If I were uncertain, I would be telling you what I think needs investigation. If I was toying around with stuff, I would tell you that I was toying around with stuff. That I tell you I have succeeded, it is because I cannot but tell you that I have succeeded.

Tim

2. Tim

If anyone doubts my sincerity concerning my GREAT (though still imperfect) ability to maintain reservation in thought (and writing), I succeeded at metaphysics when I read Howison earlier this year, April-ish. One can evaluate my thinking (and writing) before I had succeeded at Horse’s MD (Moq-Discuss): moq.org, click the “MOQ_discuss” link at the top, “archives” link on the left, “Main Archive (searchable)”; I started there on Nov 1, 2010, and left in January 2011. As my first post I started the thread “[MD] Is this the inadequacy of the MOQ?”

And then, after I had succeeded, one can view the (publicly available evidence of my) advance of maturity at my “home institution”:

Perhaps I can be done here?

Tim

P.S. George, keep up the good fight! I quite like what I have been reading from you lately … a lot! I too set my hopes for divine anarchy 🙂

Isotelesis, I’m very glad to have had the privilege of reading you. Much thanks! And encouragement. Etc. and etc.

I’m not going to individualize everyone, but thank you all; and I pray that God may find opportunity to bless you all (you too sideswipe 😛 ).

Tim

Continuing the talk between George and John down here because finding the reply-button is annoying:

George, you’re misusing the phrase “ad hominem.” It’s not ad hominem to cast judgment on someone because of their arguments. It’s ad hominem to attack a person’s character *in place* of attacking an argument.

Christopher himself says his ethical views and CTMU are related (although I think it’s tangential). Because the CTMU implies “we’re all the same” we should therefore “we kind to one another to make the world a better place to live.”

However, you can tear apart his ethical views and his CTMU on separate grounds. But nobody here is attacking the CTMU *because* of his ethical views. They’re attacking the CTMU because it’s gibberish that Christopher is passing off as something more. The ethical concerns constitutes another issue that is technically separate, but gives additional context to why Christopher thinks the way he does.

I think MarkCC put it nicely, explaining how Christopher’s thinking is not unlike those who have committed all sorts of atrocities:

[[[“Our* people are better; all of the bad things in the world are the fault of some *other* people who aren’t as good as us. So to fix the world, to make it a better place for all humanity, we must eliminate them. The “them” might be people who don’t do as well on IQ tests; people with different skin colors; people who have been “contaminated” by evil ideas; people with contaminated blood. But it always comes back to one theme: *we* are the solution, and *they* are the problem.”]]]

Slice it up however you want, George, but I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss Christopher’s discussions in his interview as “responses to silly questions” as if he’s not responsible for his views. He could have answered those questions *much* differently, and he didn’t.

His entire interview is full of instances where he points fingers at others. The problems in his life are never under his control; it’s always because of everyone else’s stupidity. And yet, we can look at the other blog post and see how malicious he is. Maybe it’s justified anger. Maybe his father’s abuse turned him into a sociopath, who knows. All I know is that his views are extremely unsettling and they’re not the kind of views you want in someone in power.

1. John Fringe

Shadonis, you’re very bright. Even if anybody does not agree with your reasoning above, they certainly will agree with your stroke of genius: to free us all from looking at the missing reply button XD For that we’re all grateful.

2. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: George, you’re misusing the phrase “ad hominem.” It’s not ad hominem to cast judgment on someone because of their arguments. It’s ad hominem to attack a person’s character *in place* of attacking an argument.

GEORGE: Not quite sure what you mean by “in place of” here but my undersatnding of ad hominem is that it’s to use a person’s character TO attack his argument. Wikipedia: “an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it”

(e.g. “Heidegger was a Nazi, THEREFORE his philosophy must be wrong”)

My impression of the “Another Crank Comes To Visit” comments threads is that the critics start off fairly well, but as soon as Langan refuses to take his beating and starts responding to Mark point by point, you start seeing a lot more ad hominem (i.e. people pointing out things about Langan that mean his philosophy must be crap).

SHADONIS: Christopher himself says his ethical views and CTMU are related (although I think it’s tangential). Because the CTMU implies “we’re all the same” we should therefore “we kind to one another to make the world a better place to live.”

GEORGE: Well, I’m glad you understand this. John seemed to be oblivious, even after I quoted Langan to him.

SHADONIS: However, you can tear apart his ethical views and his CTMU on separate grounds. But nobody here is attacking the CTMU *because* of his ethical views. They’re attacking the CTMU because it’s gibberish that Christopher is passing off as something more. The ethical concerns constitutes another issue that is technically separate, but gives additional context to why Christopher thinks the way he does.

GEORGE: It would be nice if that’s the way it is, but it doesn’t look that way to me. As I said, the conversation STARTS that way, but it soon degenerates as soon as Langan fights back, in some fairly detailed posts, which aren’t actually properly responded to.

SHADONIS: Slice it up however you want, George, but I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss Christopher’s discussions in his interview as “responses to silly questions” as if he’s not responsible for his views. He could have answered those questions *much* differently, and he didn’t.

GEORGE: I’m not trying to exculpate him in the least for his silliness. But the silliness doesn’t quite lie where Mark and John are saying it does, it lies in the fact that his political prescriptions would result in a situation where the benefit (“omelette”) would be too low relative to the cost (“a few broken eggs”).

I hope you understand that the reason I’ve referred Communists so much is because they are utopians who initially showed very nice words and intentions, but found themselves cracking heads while in power.

IOW, given an “if I ruled the world” question, the answer is highly likely to involve some cold utilitarian calculation. Communists were prepared to sacrifice some rich and bourgeousie for their utopia, and did so while in power. Fascists were prepared to sacrifice Jews, Gypsies, etc., for their Utopia, and did so while in power. In modern times, we find some extremist Greens quite sanguine about some kind of mass population cull, and they would no doubt do so, if given power.

Langan is actually not that much different from any of these, he is not “evil” for being prepared to make that ruthless calculation (let us please be a bit grown-up about this); he is simply wrong – and wrong not just on general principles, but wrong in relation to HIS OWN higher ethics and metaphysics. (I also agree with John, or you, or whoever said that we need a good “spread” of ESSs to cope with the unforeseen, and that this is a very general point against any grand plan.)

SHADONIS: His entire interview is full of instances where he points fingers at others. The problems in his life are never under his control; it’s always because of everyone else’s stupidity. And yet, we can look at the other blog post and see how malicious he is. Maybe it’s justified anger. Maybe his father’s abuse turned him into a sociopath, who knows. All I know is that his views are extremely unsettling and they’re not the kind of views you want in someone in power.

GEORGE: I don’t want anyone in power, all “views” in power lead to the same shit. The whole concept of centralized control of the world being a potentially good thing that MIGHT lead to a utopia is a piece of nonsense (because of the twin problems of distributed and tacit knowledge).

Meanwhile, Langan’s metaphysics remains interesting to me; and it still seems to me that people haven’t actually given it a fair reading. It comes down to this, if Langan isn’t a con-artist, then he IS highly intelligent. If someone is highly intelligent, it’s possible they’re more intelligent than you, the critic. Therefore as a principle of charity of interpretation, you’d better think hard about what he’s written, and consider the possibility that it’s unlikely for a highly intelligent person to be making the kinds of obvious, silly mistakes that some poor perpetual motion crank or some religious creationist chump might be making – arguments that we all know the counters to like the backs of our hands.

Either you do that or you don’t try to critique it, far less call its author a “crank”.

I seriously don’t think you can read Langan like you’d read your average dissertation. It seems to me to be extremely dense, very precisely written, condensed and rich in allusions that you need to be able to have going on in your head in parallel while you’re reading it.

How many of you critics have done Langan the grace of reading one of his apparently gibberish passages several times and actually TRYING to see if it means something, rather than just dismissing it as gibberish on first reading?

George:

Right, but nobody is saying “Heidegger was a Nazi therefore his philosophy must be wrong.” John and I have been explaining the equivalent of why being a Nazi is bad, as well as why the philosophy is bad. It’d only be ad hominem if we said “The CTMU is wrong because Christopher supports eugenics.” Nobody is doing that, here. We can address philosophy and personal attributes separately, but the point is that Christopher thinks the two are linked (CTMU implies/supports his personal views via the “we’re all the same” line).

1. P. George Stewart

Woops, missed this one.

SHADONIS: but the point is that Christopher thinks the two are linked (CTMU implies/supports his personal views via the “we’re all the same” line).

GEORGE: Yes, and as I’ve said, I think he’s wrong. I think his “if I ruled the world” prescriptions are out of sync with his metaphysics and professed ethics. His “fascism” seems more like a symptom of psychological trouble than something that consistently flows from his philosophy. There’s something disturbing about the video interview when he gets into that – his tone of voice changes, becomes tremulous, suggestive (to me anyway) of suppressed rage. (Yes John, it’s a common problem 😉 )

The politics that’s actually consistent with his ethics is classical liberalism or libertarianism or something along those lines – at any rate, given his ethics (that we are all “hologram shards” of God freely discovering what’s eternally possible within the constraints of what’s logically consistent), he can’t afford a to take a synoptic utilitarian stance (that could only apply to God proper), and would have to refuse the throne. (I would also add that even if he were able to take a utilitarian stance, as he seems to want to, he wouldn’t be able to achieve his goal because of the Hayek/Polanyi knowledge problems, so the sacrifice wouldn’t be worth it.)

1. MarkCC Post author

Let me get this straight.

When you agree with Langan’s conclusions, he’s completely right, and anyone who criticizes his pronouncements is, inevitably, someone who just didn’t bother to understand them, because his work is so brilliant, profound, thorough, and utterly metaphysically right.

But when you don’t agree with the conclusions that Langan reaches from his own theory, then you can discard it out of hand, on the basis of armchair psychoanalysis?

1. P. George Stewart

MARK: When you agree with Langan’s conclusions, he’s completely right, and anyone who criticizes his pronouncements is, inevitably, someone who just didn’t bother to understand them, because his work is so brilliant, profound, thorough, and utterly metaphysically right.

GEORGE: No – obviously not, since I criticize his pronouncements myself.

MARK: But when you don’t agree with the conclusions that Langan reaches from his own theory, then you can discard it out of hand, on the basis of armchair psychoanalysis?

GEORGE: I discard Langan’s politics after consideration, and coming to the conclusion that it’s not harmonious with his metaphysics and ethics, IOW, I think he’s made a mistake.

I also add some armchair psychoanalysis free of charge – you have a problem with that? 🙂

2. John Fringe

George, it seems almost as if you were saying that all your arguments are so bad you have to rely only on psychological fallacious ad-hominem tricks.

I mean. First, every criticism against Langan from everyone is based only in my anger, and once you said that, it’s this way in every one of your comments, even when it’s clear it’s a big fallacy. Your psichological instincts were fast here.

Then every criticism is really a compliment, once reinterpreted by you in that dance which is semantics in with you establish the meaning by the “it seems as if you wanted to say…”. Thanks you’re such an amazing psychologist so you can distil what we really mean, despite we actually saying other things.

And last, every criticism against Langan’s ideas from everyone is based on my (presumed by you) superiority complex. Yes, I never say anything in that respect, but it’s almost as if I were trying to say it, isn’t it? Your amazing psychological powers let you see this clearly.

In fact, you revealed (and I’m quoting you yourself against you here) that it’s almost as if were trying to say that all your comments are just void pseudopsychological demagogue.

It’s almost as if you were saying you have to try to fool people to look as having a dialogue. I would even say that your father was bad at you when you were a child so you… ah, no, wait. That psychological shit is not my style.

XD XD XD XD XD XD XD

1. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: [bunch of John Fringe trying to be witty 🙂 ]

GEORGE: So John, please show me how the bits I quoted do NOT represent positive claims (in ironic form) that intelligence IS IN FACT required for communication, understanding/compassion. For your convenience, here are the key passages again:-

“I can communicate with my cat because I’m very stupid. I know what she wants because I’m stupid. I train my dog, making him know what I want him to do, even sometimes against his natural instincts, because I’m pretty silly. I can understand and communicate with people with Alzheimer, who have an altered perception, because I’m a dummy. XD”

“Really intelligent people are incapable of assuming and understanding other beings have other situations, and they’re incapable of understanding they need to adapt their discourse to their interlocutors. This is what characterizes intelligence. Intelligent people are so intelligent that they can not communicate because others are less intelligent, and others can not adapt, because he is intelligent. So they end speaking of eugenics. XD”

“Clearly. The capacity to understand what other beings think and the capacity to let them understand you, sometimes by assuming their places to understand them, being capable of empathy, understanding what ways of communication will work and what will not, which needs an understanding of the capacities of the interlocutor, this requires one not to be intelligent. The more intelligent you are, the less ability you have. XD”

1. John Fringe

Still the same game? Oh, my god.

So if I can’t refute that I suggested that intelligence may be required for understanding (I can’t refute that, and I never pretend to deny I suggest that in my post), then you’re allowed to continue saying things like

“My quote from your post shows that you think intelligence leads to understanding and compassion”

“Note also the passionate wording of that passage and those above – this looks like something you believe strongly (i.e. it’s almost like intelligent people have a kind of DUTY of understanding and compassion – as I said, this is something I agree with).”

Would not be more sensible if you ask me to show you how I didn’t say what you say I’m saying? I say A, you say I said B, and if I deny it having said B, you ask me to refute having saying A, or else you will have the right to say I said B.

And, if I laugh at your manipulative arguments, you start to rant about my pants, a superiority complex, me treating Tim as a troll (ahem!), something about communication as your interpretation of things, and something about dance and music.

Let me try to explain people with this example. Someone says “Langan does not travel across the country, probably due to him having a car”.

I laugh at it, because having a car does not preclude one to travel across the country. It may even help.

The you say I equated having a car with traveling across the country, and use that “quote” of me against me.

After much discussion, you change it to I saying that having a car leads to one traveling across the country. I deny having say that.

Then you say you quote me proving I said people with a car have a duty to travel across the country. I began calling you fallacious and manipulative vehemently.

Then you challenge me to prove I never said that a car may help traveling across the country, or else you’ll continue saying that I implied that a person with a car have that duty.

This is what you’re doing. And when continually requested to stop misrepresenting arguments to mean what you want, you start speaking about my “superiority complex”, and you… even have to use Tim as an argument!!!

2. John Fringe

By the way, I explicitly said that I was saying that, remember?

“All I said intelligence does not preclude communication, as some suggest. I also suggested that communication and empathy require intelligence (not an special intelligence, of course), and not the opposite.”

3. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: Still the same game? Oh, my god.

GEORGE: I thought you were done with me? I sense a sad case of masochism to add to the suppressed rage and superiority complex 🙂

JOHN FRINGE: So if I can’t refute that I suggested that intelligence may be required for understanding (I can’t refute that, and I never pretend to deny I suggest that in my post), then you’re allowed to continue saying things like

“My quote from your post shows that you think intelligence leads to understanding and compassion”

GEORGE: Yes I certainly am allowed to say that, especially considering you’ve just said:-

“[…] I also suggested that communication and empathy require intelligence […].”

This whole rigmarole got off the ground because I said to Mark that your position was “something like” intelligence being a guarantee against evil, especially in the context of “leaders of men”. The context was that Mark was forgetting that the real point is about general intelligence in the population (i.e. not just leaders but minions, fellow-travellers, etc.).

That, taken together with this:-

“Note also the passionate wording of that passage and those above – this looks like something you believe strongly (i.e. it’s almost like intelligent people have a kind of DUTY of understanding and compassion – as I said, this is something I agree with).”

(which I am also allowed to say, given that you devoted 3 powerfully worded paragraphs invoking everything from Alzheimers patients to your pet cat), suggests you think intelligent people taking responsibility and being understanding and compassionate, mitigates against evil.

Now DO YOU STAND BY THIS OR NOT? It’s a simple enough question. If you do, then you can have no complaint with what I said other than that it’s a bit exaggerated, which I concede.

If you stand by it, good, I think it’s NEARLY right, but not quite – the general IQ (of nasty leaders’ “useful idiots”) is just as important. It needs to be raised, whether by “anti-dysgenic” selective breeding (I would obviously favour parents’ choice here, since although it would have problems, those problems wouldn’t be so bad as any problems arising from centralized control) or by newfangled drugs or stimulants or nanodevices of the future – whatever is most effective, and has least cost in human suffering.

It doesn’t matter whether I divined your beliefs telepathically or from reading them in the tea leaves. The source and derivation of my belief about your stance are irrelevant except in terms of rhetoric. But I’m not trying to persuade you to BELIEVE what I think you think. Either it’s true or false (within the parameters of the vagaries of ordinary language and charity of interpretation, something you lot seem to have great difficulty with).

JOHN FRINGE: Would not be more sensible if you ask me to show you how I didn’t say what you say I’m saying? I say A, you say I said B, and if I deny it having said B, you ask me to refute having saying A, or else you will have the right to say I said B.

GEORGE: But you’ve just admitted you did say what you were saying!!! (Remember, I’ve conceded the “equates” as too strong, but it was never necessary for my point to Mark that it be that strong, that was just me being a bit carelessly hyperbolic.)

JOHN FRINGE: Let me try to explain people with this example. Someone says “Langan does not travel across the country, probably due to him having a car”.

GEORGE: But nobody said that, they (e.g. Sentient Agent whose post I was using as an example) said something more like “Langan doesn’t travel across the country, possibly due to the fact that while his car is extremely powerful, it might have a fault that renders it useless for cross-country travel”.

That this is a tolerable reading is shown by the fact that Shadonis understood it in that sense too. You are the one who mistook the plausible hypothesis “maybe his extremely high iq causes him problems in communicating” for the silly argument “ooh that’s too deep for the likes of us mere mortals”

Do you really want to claim that your little rant at http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2011/12/01/the-annoying-ctmu-thread/#comment-30144 was THAT irrelevant to what Langan’s defender was saying?

JOHN FRINGE: This is what you’re doing.

GEORGE: No it’s not. The problem with your amusing presentation (of what you think is my equivocation) is that you are under the impression I was concerned AT ALL with your anti-“Langan does not travel across the country, probably due to him having a car” line of argument. That I just dismissed as irrelevant.

What interested me was what you ACTUALLY BELIEVE about intelligence and empathy (and therefore their nature as bulwarks against evil), as revealed in three paragraphs of passionate ranting.

JOHN FRINGE: And when continually requested to stop misrepresenting arguments to mean what you want, you start speaking about my “superiority complex”, and you… even have to use Tim as an argument!!!

GEORGE: Yes, I use Tim as an argument because so far as I can see he’s not at all mad or a troll, he’s just eccentric and a bit difficult to read. I don’t always have time for him myself, but I am often rewarded when I take a few minutes to actually read what he says.

Given that, yours (and Shadonis’, and Mark’s) dismissal of him doesn’t sit well with me, it looks like you just think you’re smarter than him.

Otherwise, why not just say, “Sorry Tim, you’re not making sense to me, I don’t believe you and I don’t have the time to delve into what you have to offer”? You could have done that after a couple of exchanges instead of PRETENDING to listen to what he was saying for umpteen posts and then calling him a nutter.

But no, you go all incredulous and hyperbolic (presumably because initiates of GBMB are the only ones who are allowed to liberally throw around hyperbole while we profane must remain po-facedly literal at all times).

Why? Because you want to look smarter than him, you want to give the impression that you’ve been hearing him out, but that’s only so you can dismiss him. You’d already made up your mind when you couldn’t understand his first few posts.

True or false? Only you and God know 🙂

You guys are so cheesy. Well, actually Shadonis is pretty decent – in fact, even though he’s actually verbally ruder than you guys, he’s much more willing to engage in substantive issues instead of wasting time trying to teach grandmothers how to suck eggs. However, I’ll have to leave my response to him till tomorrow.

4. John Fringe

Can you explain me how

“I also suggested that communication and empathy require intelligence” (which I say)

“My quote from your post shows that you think intelligence leads to understanding and compassion” (which you say I said)???

Can’t you see the difference, really?

A) To buy a pink ferrari requires a lot of money.

Can’t you see the difference, really?

If you want, you can try to answer without all the fallacies about me believing to be the most intelligent person in the World, me believing Tim to be less intelligent than me (there is a difference between that and being a troll), me believing to be more intelligent than Langan, me having problems as a child, and all that. I know, you’re not speaking to me there, only repeating fallacies. ANd I know it’s sometimes effective. By just think that, by now, almost everyone have read it, and those who you can fool are fooled, and those who not have read enough of that. If you want. If you consider it appropiate, can continue.

5. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: Can you explain me how

“I also suggested that communication and empathy require intelligence” (which I say)

“My quote from your post shows that you think intelligence leads to understanding and compassion” (which you say I said)???

Can’t you see the difference, really?

A) To buy a pink ferrari requires a lot of money.

Can’t you see the difference, really?

GEORGE: Sure there’s a difference between A and B, but between what you say you said and what (on that occasion) I say you said, the difference isn’t THAT great.

Consider: in the case of buying a pink ferrari, a lot of money is the ONLY way to get it (unless you steal it 🙂 ), but that would turn your “require” into “require only”, which is too close to “intelligence is SUFFICIENT for understanding and compassion”. Do you want to say that? As I said, I didn’t think you would, so I interpreted “require” a bit more loosely (as in “require, among other things”), to leave other ways for understanding and compassion to enter the picture.

i.e. “require” in the sense of “are helped along by”

so “leads to” in the sense of “helps along”.

To be even more precise, I think (and correct me if I’m wrong) what you mean is that the more intelligent one is, the more likely it is that understanding and compassion are facilitated, enabled or made more effective (because you have a bigger picture, a broader view of affairs). Would that do?

So, again, that, taken with the evident passion, led me to think that you think it also something close to a duty of the more intelligent to make an effort to use their gift to “make the world a better place”, as the saying goes.

Now, I ask you again, do you or do you not think along these lines?

If you do, then what I said to Mark should not be so offensive. You can criticize me for exaggerating, but not for being wrong in any essential way.

I deliberately said “something like” in order to soften what I was saying, but keep it in the ballpark of what Mark was talking about re. leaders – precisely because, although I’d noticed the “requires” (and I think I do use it once or twice in representing what you said), I was uncomfortable with the ambiguity re. sufficiency.

And in that context, my intent was to remind Mark that it’s not just what the leaders do that’s important, but also what the masses who follow them do – i.e. it’s the general level of intelligence that’s the problem.

And the context of that was, that I was trying to show how what Langan says is correct – the general low level of intelligence of the bulk of us (relative to what would probably be required to really turn things around) is a big problem, maybe the biggest overall. It is a major reason why force (rather than communication, mutual understanding, compassion, etc.) is so predominant as a means of settling affairs.

So that aspect of what Langan’s saying isn’t wrong, it’s pretty accurate and sharp. What’s wrong is his prescription for solving that problem (as I said, it goes against his own metaphysics and ethics, and would be ineffective anyway, and not effective enough to justify the sacrifice he’s asking of others).

3. John Fringe

I forget to mention your psychological psychoanalysis of Langan, which you find the same problem (anger) which you diagnosed to me, but in my case it’s almost as if you were saying that I’m blind by anger which is bad, and in Langan’s case it’s as if you were almost saying that he is saying something he does not mean due, poor him, to his anger.

Must I pay you for our therapy sessions? Will they be expensive?

I also enjoy how a video of one person saying (and I’m quoting him here, just not your style, but with actual Langan’s words)

“Freedom is not necessarily a right. It is a privilege that you have to earn”

is expressing a political view compatible with libertarianism, more or less (and I’m quoting wikipedia here, again with actual wikipedia content) “the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society”, or with liberalism, “the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights” (again, by “quotation” I mean actual quotation).

Probably the writer of the wikipedian article was in the middle of a process of divorcing from his wife, and in a legal battle for the custody of his six children, which let him to a mental state of occlusion which made him… Well, I’m not as good with this psychological explanations as George (because of my anger and my superiority complex resulting from my chilhood… hell! this is recursive!), but you get the idea.

1. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: I also enjoy how a video of one person saying (and I’m quoting him here, just not your style, but with actual Langan’s words)

“Freedom is not necessarily a right. It is a privilege that you have to earn”

is expressing a political view compatible with libertarianism, more or less (and I’m quoting wikipedia here, again with actual wikipedia content) “the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society”, or with liberalism, “the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights” (again, by “quotation” I mean actual quotation).

GEORGE: I’d enjoy it if you actually said something on-point once in a while.

Readers who have had the patience or medication required to be able to read through any of what I’ve said about Langan’s politics will be aware that my criticism of Langan’s politics IS that it they’re inconsistent with his ethics, which would (I think) normally lead to a negative-rights-based classical liberal/libertarian type of outcome.

(One thing that was nagging at the back of my mind earlier that I couldn’t remember at the time when talking to John about this, is that Langan explicitly asserts the Golden Mean as the primary ethical principle (unfortunately I think it’s in that little ebook of essays, which I don’t have to hand). It has been remarked that Kant’s Categorical Imperative in its early formulation is a blatant rip-off (oops, sorry, restatement in other terms) of the Golden Mean. IOW the Golden Mean is the same as the Categorical Imperative, the root of a major strand of liberalism (the other strand being of course utilitarianism). In a sense, any ethic that sees us as ESSENTIALLY (metaphysically) equal (bracketing the question of material equality for now) and free , will have to be some sort of “tiling” mechanism, some kind of simple, universal rule allowing for mutual adjustment of free agents, and the flourishing of complexity. Hence, based on his own ethics, his politics is nonsense.)

But never mind all that … hey John, would you care to show me (from your lofty intellectual height) how:-

“Clearly. The capacity to understand what other beings think and the capacity to let them understand you, sometimes by assuming their places to understand them, being capable of empathy, understanding what ways of communication will work and what will not, which needs an understanding of the capacities of the interlocutor, this requires one not to be intelligent. The more intelligent you are, the less ability you have. XD”

is NOT a positive claim, in ironic form, about how communication, understanding and compassion require intelligence (plus a subtextual paean to the duty of the intelligent to “make an effort”, as they say, and, coincidentally but not by accident, also a sideswipe at Langan, insinuating that either he’s negligent of his duty as an intelligent person, or not intelligent)???

And if it’s not a positive claim in ironic form, with some nice subtextual shading, would you care to enlighten me as to what the goddamn hell it is?

[[[“Meanwhile, Langan’s metaphysics remains interesting to me; and it still seems to me that people haven’t actually given it a fair reading. It comes down to this, if Langan isn’t a con-artist, then he IS highly intelligent. If someone is highly intelligent, it’s possible they’re more intelligent than you, the critic. Therefore as a principle of charity of interpretation, you’d better think hard about what he’s written, and consider the possibility that it’s unlikely for a highly intelligent person to be making the kinds of obvious, silly mistakes that some poor perpetual motion crank or some religious creationist chump might be making – arguments that we all know the counters to like the backs of our hands. Either you do that or you don’t try to critique it, far less call its author a “crank”.”]]]

I think that’s the problem though; Christopher IS making obvious, silly mistakes but won’t admit it because he’s already spent so much time on his theory.

Anyone is free to critique anything. If you disagree with a critique, you can defend yourself and try to clarify the misunderstandings. But if your “clarifications” make erroneous assumptions or are flat-out wrong or vague, of course people are going to call you out for it. It’s not ad hominem to do this, especially when Christopher is constantly insulting people.

[[[“How many of you critics have done Langan the grace of reading one of his apparently gibberish passages several times and actually TRYING to see if it means something, rather than just dismissing it as gibberish on first reading?”]]]

In the other blog post I know a couple people took apart the CTMU paragraph by paragraph.

Even if that weren’t true: If something is obvious nonsense, does it really need a thorough debunking? Do I really need to write a twenty-thousand-paragraph essay explaining why Gene Ray’s Time Cube is bogus?

Ultimately, the CTMU comes across as “Really complicated stuff therefore God,” and that’s simply not convincing. If Christopher is truly intelligent and wants people to understand his arguments, he needs to actually clarify himself instead of calling everyone else names and using overcomplicated language. Even complicated ideas can be communicated effectively. If you can’t communicate, then nobody’s going to understand you, no matter how smart you may be. If you’re going to spout confusing shit and insult everyone, you’ll be ignored and discarded to the land of forgotten cranks.

1. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: I think that’s the problem though; Christopher IS making obvious, silly mistakes but won’t admit it because he’s already spent so much time on his theory.

GEORGE: I guess that is possible, but I’m not yet convinced, and I won’t be until someone substantively addresses Chris’ posts here:-

http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2011/02/11/another-crank-comes-to-visit-the-cognitive-theoretic-model-of-the-universe/#comment-27556

http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2011/02/11/another-crank-comes-to-visit-the-cognitive-theoretic-model-of-the-universe/#comment-27603

http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2011/02/11/another-crank-comes-to-visit-the-cognitive-theoretic-model-of-the-universe/#comment-27692

http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2011/02/11/another-crank-comes-to-visit-the-cognitive-theoretic-model-of-the-universe/#comment-28743

http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2011/02/11/another-crank-comes-to-visit-the-cognitive-theoretic-model-of-the-universe/#comment-28745

SHADONIS: Ultimately, the CTMU comes across as “Really complicated stuff therefore God,” and that’s simply not convincing.

GEORGE: lol, well then, why not try coming to grips with the “really complicated stuff” and see if the “therefore” is apt?

I know, I know – as I said in my very first post here, it’s a time thing, let’s face it. Academics and working professional thinkers of various kinds have an automatic filter to the effect that something not in the acceptable lingo they’ve been trained in is unlikely to contain deep truth. Sure it’s possible they might miss out on something idiosyncratic that happens to be brilliant, just unlikely. So people in that position are quite justified in filtering Langan out.

But if you’re really interested in these problems, and do have some time, there’s no excuse not to really try to come to grips with the CTMU (and other philosophical TOEs) – especially if you’re going to be doing a “critique” of it and labelling the author a “crank” 😉

47. teleoplection

Inasmuch as the CTMU can explain how the God created the Primal Will through the causation of the Primal Will itself, and that Langan acknowledges three levels of existence (Global-Agentive-Subordinate or Creator-Command-Creation or God-Kingdom-Nature or Intention-Confirmation-Action)…the message of the CTMU is unavoidably interesting and worth deeper investigation…however because of the way people have treated Langan (probably since childhood), he has really no incentive to share his ideas with people who don’t grant him some respect and the prerogative of creative license which he alone deserves…I am not one who likes to follow others blindly because of their higher-IQs, this is not the reason why I think Langan is worth trying to understand, he is a mind ahead of his time which I believe has been treated unfairly in a way all too common throughout history…that doesn’t mean people should prostrate themselves in a way which is unbecoming of the subject…I think vigorous debate is healthy, but it has to be honest and sincerely about naturally discovering and revealing…for the sake of everyone who cares about the truth.

“So far the terms “universal Mind,” the “First Remembrance, ” the “Will,” and the “Command of God” have been used to designate that universal reality by which God causes the existence of all things. It has many synonyms in the Bahá’í Writings.

The term “Primal Will” is probably more common. Bahá’u’lláh uses it in the Kitab-i-Iqan: “…by His wish, which is the Primal Will itself, all have stepped out of utter nothingness into the realm of being, the world of the visible.” It is also referred to as “the Word of God, which is the Cause of the entire creation,” and “the Command of God which pervadeth all created things.” In other words, these various designations all describe what ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in Some Answered Questions calls “the universal reality,” being “the first thing that emanated from God.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá goes on to explain that this “First mind” or “First Will” precedes time but does not share the essential pre-existence of God, being “nothingness” in relation to God.” – Brief Discussion of the Primal Will in the Baha’i Writings

“The term “letter” is symbolic, as is the Báb’s use of the term Nuqtih (Point) to refer to the Manifestation or Messenger of God, who is the embodiment of the Primal Will (a concept similar to the Logos or “Word” in Christianity). According to the Báb, God created the Primal Will through the causation of the Primal Will itself and then created all things through the causation of the Primal Will; in other words, the Creator of the cosmos and spiritual civilization is the Manifestation of God.” – Letters of the Living

“In the New Testament, John 1 begins as follows: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (my italics). Much controversy has centered on this passage, as it seems to be saying that God is literally equivalent to logos, meaning “word”, “wisdom”, “reason”, or “truth”.

The CTMU is precisely what it takes to validate this assertion while preserving the intuitive conception of God as the all-knowing Creator – or in non-theological terms, the “identity” or “generator” – of reality. Nothing but the CTMU can fully express this biblical “word-being duality” in a consistent logico-mathematical setting.” – Langan, Superscholar Interview

“For example, cellular automaton models typically distinguish between a spatial array, the informational objects existing therein, and the distributed set of temporal state-transition rules by which the array and its contents are regulated. In contrast, SCSPL regards language and processor as aspects of an underlying infocognitive unity. By conspansive (ectomorphism-endomorphism) duality, SCSPL objects contain space and time in as real a sense as that in which spacetime contains the objects, resulting in a partial identification of space, time and matter. ” – Langan

[[[“lol, well then, why not try coming to grips with the “really complicated stuff” and see if the “therefore” is apt?” // I know, I know – as I said in my very first post here, it’s a time thing, let’s face it. Academics and working professional thinkers of various kinds have an automatic filter to the effect that something not in the acceptable lingo they’ve been trained in is unlikely to contain deep truth.]]]

I think it’s more accurate to say that they have an automatic filter towards crackpot thinking. Academics aren’t going to take metaphysical wordplay and toss it in over science, because people actually understand the problems in doing this. And if all you’re doing is repackaging other people’s ideas, you can only get so far, especially if you’re a poor communicator.

Like I said before, many posts in that other thread poked all sorts of holes in Christopher’s theory that he didn’t have a good defense for (a few people brought up his square-root-of-two comment, which is completely LOL and falls along the lines of the crackpot arguments you see from EEE in the other thread here on Scientopia). There’s also the “dual containment” argument, the naive set theory problems, the random assumptions about the “failure/limits” of science, the lack of definition for SCSPL, and assumption that logic alone is sufficient, the misrepresentation of “language” and “intelligence,” etc… the same things we’re addressing in this blog.

You guys, though, act like they’re not problems and just ignore them. People bring up issues and your argument is basically “No, that’s wrong. You don’t understand it. You’re unfit to critique it” and act like you haven’t been refuted. If that’s going to be your response for everything, nobody is going to get anywhere.

It’s even worse because you guys don’t seem to understand English. For instance, by “taking the argument elsewhere,” any normal person would understand that this means “not addressing the arguments directly/changing the subject/addressing something else,” but instead you respond with some weird “There’s no ELSEWHERE other than the universe!” thing. Come on… seriously? I mean, what kind of responses are these? It’s like you’re all being intentionally difficult to speak with. You guys can’t stick to the points.

Do I really need to do a thorough critique of something if it’s obvious BS? Do I really need to pick apart things like Time Cube? Do I really need to explain why bunnies don’t live in your head? There comes a point where all you have to do is attack the key assumptions and everything else follows. Most of the CTMU is so poorly-written that a thorough critique would be difficult if only because you guys would just come back and say “No, you interpreted that wrong” any time you heard something you disliked.

It’s a theory that tries to cheat its way around honest review. If you agree with it, you’re brilliant. If you disagree with it, you’re inept, unfit, don’t understand it, etc. Much like the Feynman story I brought up, you can take each sentence and pick it apart/simplify it. It turns out that what Christopher saying isn’t all that interesting. But no, simplifying it is apparently a disservice to the “dense” and “precise” word-choice. Apparently the way he’s written it is perfect. Apparently it can’t be simplified without losing understanding, even though almost every other subject in existence can be explained in a very clear manner in multiple ways.

[[[there’s no excuse not to really try to come to grips with the CTMU (and other philosophical TOEs) – especially if you’re going to be doing a “critique” of it and labelling the author a “crank”]]]

You can have a theory that’s totally wrong and not be a crank. What makes someone a crank is the way they act and the way they present their arguments. The way you guys treat this theory, as if it’s 100% correct and completely immune to criticism, while making arguments that are ridiculous, is what earns the crackpot title.

49. P. George Stewart

GEORGE: No they most certainly have not. Go to those threads and check the subsequent comments, see how many people actually quote anything Chris has said (either in criticism of Mark’s critique, or in explanation of his ideas), and try to seriously rebut it – as opposed to how many people just repeat the original critique or throw peanuts.

SHADONIS: Academics aren’t going to take metaphysical wordplay and toss it in over science, because people actually understand the problems in doing this.

GEORGE: “Metaphysical wordplay” – you’ve used that term “wordplay” a lot. What does it mean to you? Do you think all metaphysicians of the past were just “playing with words”?

SHADONIS: And if all you’re doing is repackaging other people’s ideas, you can only get so far, especially if you’re a poor communicator.

GEORGE: Langan makes no secret of his debts – Wheeler, Spinoza, etc. And while I agree that Langan in person is a poor communicator in the sense that he launches into flaming too readily, I don’t think his “serious” papers are poorly communicated.

SHADONIS: Like I said before, many posts in that other thread poked all sorts of holes in Christopher’s theory that he didn’t have a good defense for (a few people brought up his square-root-of-two comment, which is completely LOL and falls along the lines of the crackpot arguments you see from EEE in the other thread here on Scientopia).

GEORGE: I don’t see how Rubix’s or Slither’s comments (e.g. about representation of √2 via hypoteneuse) are even relevant to what Chris was saying about “no number continuum”. Please show me how.

SHADONIS: There’s also the “dual containment” argument, the naive set theory problems, the random assumptions about the “failure/limits” of science, the lack of definition for SCSPL, and assumption that logic alone is sufficient, the misrepresentation of “language” and “intelligence,” etc… the same things we’re addressing in this blog.

GEORGE: All I see is you guys repeating that certain things ARE problems for Chris’ theory, and him explaining (specifically in the threads I linked) why he thinks they’re actually NOT, and you guys ignoring his fairly detailed explanations for why he thinks they’re not.

SHADONIS: You guys, though, act like they’re not problems and just ignore them. People bring up issues and your argument is basically “No, that’s wrong. You don’t understand it. You’re unfit to critique it” and act like you haven’t been refuted. If that’s going to be your response for everything, nobody is going to get anywhere.

GEORGE: I’m sure there are some problems with his philosophy, on general principles there are bound to be some; what I doubt is whether any of you have identified them.

SHADONIS: It’s even worse because you guys don’t seem to understand English. For instance, by “taking the argument elsewhere,” any normal person would understand that this means “not addressing the arguments directly/changing the subject/addressing something else,” but instead you respond with some weird “There’s no ELSEWHERE other than the universe!” thing. Come on… seriously? I mean, what kind of responses are these? It’s like you’re all being intentionally difficult to speak with. You guys can’t stick to the points.

GEORGE: lol, have you considered the possibility that what you’re interpreting as “changing the subject” may be people trying to help you triangulate by bringing in other examples? Those other examples refer to the same “thing” (the apriori structure of reality), they are never “changing the subject”.

You can’t have it both ways Shadonis, either you understand Langan, and it’s “old hat”, or you’ve no idea what Langan’s talking about, and it’s all gobbledeygook.

(I take the former position of course – what Langan’s saying is indeed “old hat”, it’s part of a long-disused metaphysical tradition. But I don’t see that as a down-side, I don’t have any particularly strong faith in the new, and I see Langan’s philosophy as a continuation of something old, and something that makes a change from the current philosophical fashion of the close analysis of concepts without any attempt to answer the “big questions”. The fashion will change around again, it always has.)

SHADONIS: Do I really need to do a thorough critique of something if it’s obvious BS? Do I really need to pick apart things like Time Cube? Do I really need to explain why bunnies don’t live in your head? There comes a point where all you have to do is attack the key assumptions and everything else follows.

GEORGE: But (again, in those threads I linked) Langan explained why what Mark was calling “key assumptions” weren’t actually key assumptions of his theory. But Mark kept on insisting, against the author’s own disavowal, that they were key assumptions, apparently without even taking an honest look at Langan’s explanation.

SHADONIS: It’s a theory that tries to cheat its way around honest review. If you agree with it, you’re brilliant. If you disagree with it, you’re inept, unfit, don’t understand it, etc. Much like the Feynman story I brought up, you can take each sentence and pick it apart/simplify it. It turns out that what Christopher saying isn’t all that interesting. But no, simplifying it is apparently a disservice to the “dense” and “precise” word-choice. Apparently the way he’s written it is perfect. Apparently it can’t be simplified without losing understanding, even though almost every other subject in existence can be explained in a very clear manner in multiple ways.

GEORGE: Of course it can be simplified, but any simplification would be more like the kind of simplification you get from “gee whizz” science programs – i.e. it’s a sort of rough gist (I’ve been giving a few myself) and only partial. In the case of metaphysics, you can’t make things clearer by making them simpler, because the subject itself isn’t simple, it’s all of reality, on as many levels as the mind can hold. Metaphysics isn’t a reduction to simpler elements, it’s trying to see the big picture (which includes SOME element of reduction, to be sure).

(And I’m not saying I can hold it all like that – my own rough analogies are my own “gee whizz” equivalents I’m extracting from Langan. I am aware I’d have to understand a lot more of the detail to really understand it. But I’m in the position of having spent a good deal of my life triangulating various philosophies with each other. That’s my way of thinking – on the Spencerian principle that whatever lots of smart people, in good faith, have seen that’s in common, may well be truer than their own several systems.)

SHADONIS: You can have a theory that’s totally wrong and not be a crank. What makes someone a crank is the way they act and the way they present their arguments. The way you guys treat this theory, as if it’s 100% correct and completely immune to criticism, while making arguments that are ridiculous, is what earns the crackpot title.

GEORGE: Your starting to tread on thin ice here Shadonis, don’t give in to the dark side like John Fringe did. None of Langan’s defenders (oops, sorry “followers”) here have made any sort of claim that Langan’s theory is 100% correct or immune to criticism. Mostly we’ve been either trying to defend him against what we see as unfair dismissal, explain what we see in it that’s of value, or show how his thought isn’t all that outre in comparison with other, more “respected” thinkers.

1. John Fringe

When you say I’m on the dark side it’s almost as if you were saying “as I don’t have any argument, I’ll just say he is discredited without actually discrediting him, and I’ll hope people fall for this. If I repeat it enough times, it’ll become true”.

Probably I’ll be ad-hominem attacking you by this XD

1. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: When you say I’m on the dark side it’s almost as if you were saying “as I don’t have any argument, I’ll just say he is discredited without actually discrediting him, and I’ll hope people fall for this. If I repeat it enough times, it’ll become true”.

GEORGE: Nah, I’m not saying that. I’m saying “Darn, that John Fringe, I thought he was a serious thinker, but eventually he showed he’s just another boring, shallow sophist after all. I am disappoint.”

GEORGE: It’ll be easier if you give me a specific example of something you think was never refuted.

[[[Do you think all metaphysicians of the past were just “playing with words”?]]]

In many ways, yes. When you start throwing around concepts like “reality is a language” or “the universe is the set of all sets,” or “self-processing self-simulating protocomputing” or “reality has dual-containment” you’re just putting concepts together even though they don’t actually say or mean anything. That’s what I mean by wordplay. You’re fusing together a bunch of ill-defined/undefined concepts together and acting like it’s saying something deep. It’s like this SCSPL stuff; there’s no example of it anywhere. I ask for an example and everyone ignores it, but acts like “SCSPL” answers the question anyway. If SCSPL is as powerful as you say, you should be able to show a concrete example. Otherwise, you’re just throwing around words and acting like they’re proving something. It’s wordplay.

[[[I don’t see how Rubix’s or Slither’s comments (e.g. about representation of √2 via hypoteneuse) are even relevant to what Chris was saying about “no number continuum”. Please show me how.]]]

Because Christopher said the square root of two has an “abstract existence only.” For one thing, ALL numbers are abstractions.

[[[lol, have you considered the possibility that what you’re interpreting as “changing the subject” may be people trying to help you triangulate by bringing in other examples?]]]

You’re doing it again, lol. There’s a difference between “bringing in other examples” and not addressing what’s being said to you. I’m talking about how you guys misinterpret what others are saying and then take the conversation in other directions without addressing the points raised first.

[[[You can’t have it both ways Shadonis, either you understand Langan, and it’s “old hat”, or you’ve no idea what Langan’s talking about, and it’s all gobbledeygook.]]]

I’m saying that’s part of the problem. It’s gobbledeygook when it doesn’t need to be, and any careful observation/parsing of the gobbledeygook results in something that isn’t even profound or original. That’s why I am saying it’s unnecessarily verbose. I can understand what he’s saying when I read it slowly, but it’s tedious when it shouldn’t be. Sentences are repeated and made much longer than they need to be.

[[[Langan explained why what Mark was calling “key assumptions” weren’t actually key assumptions of his theory. But Mark kept on insisting, against the author’s own disavowal, that they were key assumptions, apparently without even taking an honest look at Langan’s explanation.]]]

Chris brings up the “paradox” of the universe as a set and its powerset and says that a new type of logic is needed. That’s a problem that Mark addressed by saying it’s only a problem if you’re committing naive set theory fallacies. You don’t need a new system of logic for handling naive-set fallacies because naive set fallacies are fallacious! They’re not real! Christopher DOES make key assumptions by claiming that the set-of-all-sets universe thing is a real issue that calls for a new system (SCSPL).

It’s like claiming that the set defined under Russell’s Paradox exists so therefore we need a new way to interpret logic, instead of acknowledging that the set under Russell’s Paradox is simply a paradox that doesn’t have any real-world sense. You’ve done it too with your “dual containment” argument. OBVIOUSLY Christopher is going to argue that his theory doesn’t commit naive set fallacy, but that’s only because he says his system solves such fallacies. And yet his system is made in RESPONSE to those fallacies. THAT’S the problem.

[[[Of course it can be simplified, but any simplification would be more like the kind of simplification you get from “gee whizz” science programs – i.e. it’s a sort of rough gist]]]

And this is what I’m saying is BS. Even if you give someone a rough gist, at least they’ll better understand where the heck you’re coming from, and from there you can give more details. But if your “rough gist” is full of flaws and undefined jargon to begin with, it’s going to get shitcanned, and that’s why you guys refuse so vehemently to offer simple explanations that aren’t vague. It’s like how mereotelic basically thought that it was sufficient to say “Well it’s a self-simulating protocomputer” and acted as if to say “See? You NEED all the extra detail!” when all you have to do is define exactly what you mean by self-simulating or protocomputer, etc. You’re all extraordinarily poor communicators who avoid clear explanations at every turn.

Simplified explanation of the set stuff:

Rational person looks at Russell’s Paradox: “Oh, damn, this doesn’t make any sort of sense. We need to be more careful about what we need to allow in our sets and exclude things that result in logical contradictions so that we can have well-defined sets.”

Nutty crackpot looks at Russell’s Paradox: “Oh, damn, this doesn’t make any sort of sense. We need to update our logic entirely because this paradox DOES have real sense because I can write out an equation for it!”

51. John Fringe

The problem with Langan is that his writings have such a lack of sense that his own followers find it difficult to defend him. Some other cranks here have their followers, who attempt to talk about their theories. But Langan’s have a clear strategy.

As they have no actual content to argue about, they revert to polluting the forum. Tim made a good work in this sense, but he committed a big error as a crank/troll. He showed too fast his nonsense. He just spoke of random topics, so no one was willing to follow him in the conversations.

Now George has taken over the duty. The target is the same: just repeating again and again that Langan work is good, without actually citing it, that it has not being debunked, and that his critics have deceptionated him, because their not honest thinkers. Of course we deceptionate him!

In addition, he tries to discredit personally critics who talk too much by whatever the method. Normally, fallacies and ad-hominem attacks. He claims his critics to believe themselves more intelligent than anyone (curious strategy, knowing what Langan claims about himself), he misrepresent arguments, he claim personal motives, anger, envy. He uses all the fallacies in the book. He repeats all these again and again so anyone looking at the posts have a great probability of seeing one of his rants.

Of course, what he does not is addressing actual CTMU. He will not mention that using an inconsistent theory (or definition of set, which is the same) allows Langan to infer whatever he wants. He will not address Darwin’s evolution not being a tautology because it has resisted falsifiation. He will not address Langan non-sequiturs. He will not talk about inconsistencies or circular logic.

All he does is spreading bad words to discredit people. But he’s doing it intelligently. He began slow, actually talking, before go for all when he believed he could hit us.

Now we have one of those proofs by insistence. You don’t give arguments, but by repeating the same fallacies, you’ll be right by repetition and the criteria of having the last word.

I ask myself how effective these techniques are. I’m conscious that many people fall for those. Most politics is based on these fallacies! But, in the end, and knowing Langan’s nonsense will not get real attention, what’s these guys’ ultimate objective?

On a more important level, what’s the hidden agenda? To really recruit founds for the “mega corporation”? To make noise? Why? Why the heated defense of Langan (it should be of Langan’s ideas, but it’s not) without actually saying anything about CTMU? Why all the fallacies? Why the justification of the errors?

I can only invite people to think by themselves.

1. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: Now George has taken over the duty. The target is the same: just repeating again and again that Langan work is good, without actually citing it, that it has not being debunked, and that his critics have deceptionated him, because their not honest thinkers. Of course we deceptionate him!

GEORGE: John, if you’re going to be so po-faced as to insist on linear precision in my posts re. what you are saying, I don’t think you can, without hypocrisy, use such loose, inflammatory language as “taken over the duty”. I find that quite insulting.

Not only is this whole ridiculous post insulting and demeaning, it’s also verging on paranoid. You can’t SERIOUSLY think there’s some sort of double-teaming conspiracy going on here can you?

Furthermore, you complain “Of course, what he does not is addressing actual CTMU.” But earlier you say “He began slow, actually talking, before go for all when he believed he could hit us.”

I’ll let your attempted insight into my intentions pass, but I have to say the reason why I’ve drifted away from discussing the CTMU with YOU is because I’ve had to fight silly fights with you over mostly trivial matters, with only my exaggeration of your opinion (“equate”) being even a semi-serious matter (which I have conceded). Even then, I have constantly tried to steer the discussion back to Langan by pointing out why the thing that I said that offended you was relevant to Langan. But oh no, you persist in carrying on with your rants and your inappropriate attempts to lecture me on logic.

Now I remind you of something I’ve already said here a few times: I was myself until recently of a similar frame of mind to you guys here, staunchly atheist, materialist, a strong supporter of a Dennettian view on the virtues of the evolutionary paradigm, and with little patience for anything like teleology or ID. Thinking about metaphysics in the way I’m doing now is something I haven’t done for a long, long time. Part of the reason why Langan interests me is because every time I come back to the CTMU I find it makes me consider ideas like teleology and ID a bit more carefully. ID I’m still nowhere near convinced about – but teleology, or at least some kind of ground teleology to the Universe, I’m finding much more interesting than I used to, and that’s partly as a result of reading Langan. Also, I’m not as wary of the God concept as I used to be, certainly not the “God of the philosophers”.

So that’s actually my motivation (which, as I said, I’ve already sketched here). My presence here is more in the way of exploration – to see if I can argue Langan’s side, to see if I can understand Langan better from HIS side by arguing against you critics. And, indeed, to see whether I am actually barking up the wrong tree or not. (I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think it was worth my while to fight against you guys and learn by doing so.)

But it’s also in the spirit of defending the underdog. Since I don’t find Langan nearly enough of a crank to be labelled an outright crank or to be insulted in the way you guys have insulted him, I’m offended enough to defend him, and be a bit annoyed by you people. He’s about 20% crank (mostly the rubbish politics), but I do believe there’s quite a lot of decidedly un-cranky and quite fresh and interesting stuff in there too. (And I’ll attempt to show this as the conversation with Shadonis proceeds – his last post was good and meaty, and as I said, I need to give it some time and consideration.)

Christopher is a crank insofar as he SOUNDS crazy and never admits when he’s wrong or when he fucks up. Whether someone’s a crank because they’re crazy or they’re a crank because they sound like a crank… it all comes across the same.

The reason why Christopher gets so much backlash is because he’s an eccentric, antisocial, defensive sociopath with a disturbingly warped view of the world (like his eerie eugenics speech that screams ignorance of history, biology, and statistics). If you read Outliers, you get a better idea about his backstory. He had a rotten childhood and never learned how to deal with authority or bureaucracy or how to get what he wanted from others. He couldn’t even communicate with his calc teacher, whom he criticized, who in turn assumed Christopher sucked at calculus and was just being bitter (whether or not Christopher is actually good at calculus remains to be seen).

He thought college was going to be his big break, but the bureaucracy was too much for him and he quit. But instead of acknowledging that he screwed up and didn’t know how to deal with college or distance/car issues or how to negotiate properly, he thinks it’s a failure of the college, and projects all that onto academia in general. It’s pretty much the same attitude he had in the Another Crank blog post… the problem’s never on his side of the fence.

Instead of having his intellect refined by applying it to the scientific method and actually contributing something, he directed it towards a ridiculously indecipherable, useless theory that only he knows how to defend. It’s an intellectual game that he’s purposely set up so he can’t lose, since he’s dealing with a form of ontology that isn’t falsifiable. That’s why I think metaphysics appeals to him so much… it’s a great way to sound smart without ever being proven wrong.

I don’t know, the story’s interesting to me, but it’s also very sad. It’s the same feeling almost everyone else has when they interview him. You can tell he’s smart but just so obviously misguided. If only he’d swallow his pride and actually engage people for once and listen instead of debasing them, he might find a way to let his intellect grow and better express itself.

But right now, it’s goobleygok on hyperdrive until he can get his ego under control.

1. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: That’s why I think metaphysics appeals to him so much… it’s a great way to sound smart without ever being proven wrong.

GEORGE: While I agree with the general tenor of your post, I’d disagree with this. The motivation you mention here MAY be active, but it seems to me that even if it is, he’s ALSO doing metaphysics because he’s genuinely interested in it. What you are talking about is stuff that must surely affect his life and his interactions with people, but it seems to me from the CTMU that his private intellectual life is very lively and very engaged.

But as you say, that may be part of the problem – not having engaged with others and argued a lot (as one does in university), maybe his theory is kind of “adrift” in some subtle sense.

Just as a matter of interest, have you read any of William Sidis’ stuff? If you don’t know, he was another extremely high IQ individual (early 20th century) who had some quiet strange ideas, one of which looks at entropy in reverse (e.g. he uses as an example a film of a diver in reverse, and then he talks about how actually the universe has this dual aspect of going forward – the way we normally experience it – and simultaneously going in reverse, i.e. he thinks that the reverse direction is equally real, like a real “death” movement that returns to the source. Quite brain-bending to read.)

52. sentient agent

Christopher Langan has written that the CTMU conspansion model uses Abraham Robinson’s non-standard analysis for the infinitesimal tangent vectors.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-standard_analysis

megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Supernova.html

quote:

In order to work with his vector model of physical reality, Newton had to invent a new kind of mathematical analysis known as infinitesimal calculus. Specifically, he was forced in calculating the velocity of an object at each point of its trajectory to define its “instantaneous rate of change” as a ratio of “infinitesimal” vectors whose lengths were “smaller than any finite quantity, but greater than zero”. Since this is a paradoxical description that does not meaningfully translate into an actual value – the only number usually considered to be smaller than any finite quantity is 0 – it is hard to regard infinitesimal vectors as meaningful objects.

Christopher Langan appears to reject the formalized Weierstrass definition of limit that is taught in freshman calculus classes.

Non-standard analysis is an advanced topic and I do recall talking to some community college professors that did not appear to even know what non-standard analysis was.

An infinitesimal is not a “paradoxical description.” This completely glosses over the entire point of calculus.

Now that I think about it, this does give some context to that “calculus teacher” argument that was in Outliers when he was trying to ask him “Why are you teaching this way? Why do you consider this practice to be relevant to calculus?” (page 100).

Is that what he was arguing? Was he trying to quibble with the teacher over the meaning of infinitesimals and such, and trying to tell him that he was wrong?

If so, that makes a LOT more sense now. The teacher had told him, in response, “You know, there is something you should probably get straight. Some people just don’t have the intellectual firepower to be mathematicians.” If you were a math teacher and some kid was trying to tell you that you were teaching calculus wrong just because the kid didn’t understand the concept of infinity, it’s no wonder…

2. P. George Stewart

SHADONIS: An infinitesimal is not a “paradoxical description.” This completely glosses over the entire point of calculus.

GEORGE: Eh? He’s not saying that at all, he’s saying that “smaller than any finite quantity, but greater than zero” is a paradoxical description for a length of a vector.

1. MarkCC Post author

In calculus, an infinitessimal is a vector whose length is smaller than any finite quantity, but greater than 0.

So, what you just said is that Langan didn’t say that “a length of smaller than any finite quantity but larger thas zero” is a paradoxical description, but that he did, instead, say that “a length of smaller than any finite quantity but larger thas zero” is a paradoxical description.

Can you at least *try* to be consistent?

1. P. George Stewart

MARK: In calculus, an infinitessimal is a vector whose length is smaller than any finite quantity, but greater than 0.

GEORGE: Indeed, therefore an infinitesimal isn’t a DESCRIPTION of anything. It’s a vector, and “smaller than any finite quantity but large than zero” is a (Langan claims paradoxical) description of (a putative) IT.

(Shadonis had said “An infinitesimal is not a “paradoxical description.”” That would indeed make Langan out to be talking nonsense if he’d said that.)

So is “smaller than any finite quantity but larger than zero” a paradoxical description for a (possible kind of) vector or not?

2. John Fringe

And why does he reject Weierstrass approach to the limit? I mean, it doesn’t imply infinitesimals, so the previous paragraph does not seem a critic about that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%28%CE%B5,_%CE%B4%29-definition_of_limit

Lamgan claims to have solved the problems with the universe being a set. The problems he talks about, when you look at his comments, are just the very well known naive set theory problems. With independence of the validity of his solution (just claiming to have solved a problem and talking about different types of containment without developing the consequences is not enough), he is just taking a very naive formulation of some concept (the concept of set) as it was first studied, taking the very well known problems the formulation has, ignoring these problems were studied and solved long ago, and ignoring any modern completed and developed formulation in favor to a pseudo-mathematical do-it-yourself one.

I see the same circumstances. He is speaking of Newton’s calculus, which was the first try at formalize derivatives and all that. But of course, the theory was not mature in Newton times (although Newton knew that his definition was not a true “ratio”). In these last centuries, the theory has been greatly developed, and it’s now solidly established. Weierstrass formulation, in particular, in very powerful, and it doesn’t have any of the loose “infinitesimals” Langan is speaking about.

Of course, one if free to develop an alternative formulation. I’m not speaking bad about non-standard analysis (which is, from the very few notions I have of it, a precise formulation of differential).

But, why does Langan criticise current calculus by speaking about Newton naive approach? Did he miss the last several hundred years of mathematics? Why does he criticise sets by speaking about naive sets?

I have two question with this respect. Where does he use non-standard calculus in CTMU? Have you read anything related to this in Langan’s work, sentient? I will take a look at the article you reference, but from what I read from Langan, I don’t expect much. Does he really use calculus? To the point of formalism that standard calculus is not valid?

And second, what problem does he see about Weierstrass approach? Just claiming Newton’s approach was not mature at first writing is not a criticism about the current state of the art. What problems does he see, if any? It’s just a cranky criticism, as I suspect?

1. sentient agent

A small quote of appendix A

megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Supernova.html

quote:

Analysis is based on the concept of the derivative, an “instantaneous (rate of) change”. Because an “instant” is durationless (of 0 extent) while a “change” is not, this is an oxymoron. Cauchy and Weierstrass tried to resolve this paradox with the concept of “limits”; they failed. This led to the discovery of nonstandard analysis by Abraham Robinson. The CTMU incorporates a conspansive extension of nonstandard analysis in which infinitesimal elements of the hyperreal numbers of NSA are interpreted as having internal structure, i.e. as having nonzero internal extent. Because they are defined as being indistinguishable from 0 in the real numbers R^n, i.e. the real subset of the hyperreals H^n, this permits us to speak of an “instantaneous rate of change”; while the “instant” in question is of 0 external extent in Rn, it is of nonzero internal extent in H^n

Non standard analysis is interesting, yes

mathworld.wolfram.com/NonstandardAnalysis.html

quote:

Nonstandard analysis is a branch of mathematical logic which introduces hyperreal numbers to allow for the existence of “genuine infinitesimals,” which are numbers that are less than 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, …, but greater than 0. Abraham Robinson developed nonstandard analysis in the 1960s. The theory has since been investigated for its own sake and has been applied in areas such as Banach spaces, differential equations, probability theory, mathematical economics, and mathematical physics.

1. John Fringe

But that does not solve any of my questions.

I still don’t know why does he think that Weierstrass failed. He just asserts it.

And he doesn’t not say how does his theory incorporate non-standard analysis. He simply asserts it and then throws some of the naive terminology you can find on an introduction to non-standard analysis.

Any suggestion in this sense?

—–
As an example of what am I saying, suppose I write the following: “the movement of an harmonic oscillator has been traditionally described by classical or quantum mechanics. But mechanic is based on time, which presents the Zeno’s paradox. Later development failed miserably to solve this problems. My theory of harmonic oscillators includes a version of the Bohm interpretation of quantum loop gravity, solving the problem”.

In that paragraph I “discredit” mechanics using a naive problem long solved from the times it wasn’t specially well understood, then I generalize the problem to current times by simply asserting it has never been solved to my satisfaction, and finally affirm I use an “advanced topic” to solve it, but never say in which way I solved it, what use I gave it, or why standard mechanics don’t work.

But it’s clear I didn’t know what’s the problem of using standard mechanics to an oscillator, and it’s clear I didn’t say how to solve this unknown problem with the “advanced” theory.

I see the same situation, except Langan is not even using an advanced topic. He is using an alternative formulation of calculus, which may differ in extreme (advanced) situations from the standard one. Non-standard analysis is only advanced because, to use it differently than standard analysis, you have to apply it to advanced problems.

1. sentient agent

John Fringe,

I am at my “limit” of CTMU knowledge 😉

The epsilon-delta definition of limit has been put on a solid foundation by Weierstrass and leaves nothing up to interpretation or chance. I do not completely understand why Christopher Langan considers it invalid.

My understanding is limited, yes.

Only hints of the true structure of SCSPL have been given to us. So where I am ignorant, I will remain silent.

53. John Fringe

Sentient agent referred me to this Langan article:

megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Supernova.html

where we were speaking about Langan’s rejection of Weierstrass approach to calculus, without really citing his motives. With independence of this conversation, I went on to read the article, which I didn’t see before.

I can’t count how many wrong physical references are there. It’s pure gold. Anyone interested doubting about Langan’s ideas who knows anything about physics and with too much free time should read it. (Well, no, in reality I don’t recommend wasting time like me).

He is just rewriting popular books, and even citing them in his references.

I always find curious how these people claim to be bettering physics and correcting them without making a single prediction or postdiction or computation, nor any method to do them. They just claim to solve “logical problems”. I believe they should be doing some reflections about what knowledge is. This is philosophy, too.

On the funny side, I find it somewhat ridiculous that the article just contains an appendix explaining you how to vaguely derivative x*x. For a paper aiming at explaining a groundbreaking theory explaining dark matter and the apparently anomalous behavior of the universe at an extremely large scale and at correcting the conceptual problems of branes and quantum mechanics, it’s a bit naive. But it’s just a personal appreciation XD. And a great list of references, like “A brief history if time”. You can extract serious physical knowledge from there.

— WARNING: not to read —————————-

>”The aether was an unusual kind of “field” over which the center of mass of the universe was perfectly distributed”

How can a center of mass be perfectly distributed over a field? The center of mass of the Universe, if it can be defined at all, would be a single position. How can a position be distributed?

>”the scientific mainstream sprouted a timely alternative viewpoint in the form of the Cellular Automaton Model of the Universe”
>”Because automata and computational procedures are inherently quantized, this leads to a natural quantization of space and time. Yet another apparent benefit of the CAMU is that if it can be made equivalent to a universal computer”

Yes, it’s a great advantage. The only problem being that this quantization just shares the name with QM “quantization” (and this on purpose), and that nobody has given a cellular working model capable of predicting what we can predict with standard physics. I would love to see a cellular computation that gives me the momentum of the electron with the tens of figures quantum mechanics can (or CTMU giving me one decimal of anything). Langan is just citing a promising (for someones, a subjective point of view) idea as if it were mainstream and as if it actually worked. He then continues his “reasoning” assuming that this model is as good as everything we have.

>”Strictly speaking, Newtonian mechanics and all subsequent theories of physics require a nonstandard universe, i.e. a model that supports the existence of infinitesimals, for their formulation.”
>”they finally satisfied their yearning to understand infinitesimals as timeless mathematical objects”
>”mathematicians took the nonstandard universe and carried it off in the purely abstract direction of nonstandard analysis”

Classical mechanics relies on non-standard analysis? O_o By the way, Newton knew very well that infinitesimals were timeless mathematical objects. He even worked with non-time related derivatives, like spatial derivatives, angle derivatives, etc. Surprise! And most physicist and mathematicians work with standard analysis, you know.

>”Modern physics is based on, and can be described as the evolution of, rectilinear coordinate systems”
>”Newtonian mechanics, relied on a new kind of analytic geometry based on vector modeling and vector analysis of physical motion in Cartesian coordinate systems”

Well, this is not technically true. Classical mechanics do not require a vector space time, and not a Cartesian system with space axis perpendicular to a time axis. Such a space would not be independent of the observer. That’s just not understanding Galilean relativity (despite him referencing it). An affine space (without a privileged point) with some additional structure (like a projection between a point and a time value and a euclidean metric in each instantaneous “space”) would be more correct, becoming a vector space when you provide a connection between “points of spaces” corresponding to different “times”(a reference system, with some restrictions, such as maintaining distances between points).

>”but the evident fact that all of the matter in the universe was not gravitating toward a central point in space”

How is this evident at all?

>”Because of this blurring, Newton’s differential equations are insufficient to describe small-scale interactions of matter and energy”

Well, the blurriness is not the reason. The reason is that it’s a whole new mechanics, because classical mechanics did not work. With quantization or without it.

>”Therefore, in order to adapt the equations of classical mechanics to the nondeterministic, dualistic (wave-versus-particle) nature of matter and energy, the more or less ad hoc theory of quantum mechanics (QM) was hastily developed.”

Classical mechanics is just as “ad hoc” as quantum mechanics. He just doesn’t understand the process. In any case,

>”QM spelled the beginning of the end for Laplacian determinism, a philosophical outgrowth of Newtonianism which held that any temporal state of the universe could be fully predicted from a complete Cartesian description of any other. Not only uncertainty but freedom had reentered the physical arena”
>”So basic is this scenario to the classical worldview that EPR nonlocality seems to hang over it like a Damoclean sword, poised to sunder it like a melon”

What??????? Not only undeterminism, but freedom? Why?

>”Unfortunately, the HUP was not the only quantum-mechanical problem for classical physics and its offshoots. Even worse was a phenomenon called EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) nonlocality”
>”no standard physical theory incorporating common notions of realism, induction and locality contain a resolution of this paradox”

How is that a problem, beyond being highly counter intuitive? Well, certainly it’s a problem for physicist, who now have to adapt to nature and learn new things by observation. But hey! That’s their work. But, why is it a paradox?

And so it goes on.

1. John Fringe

I should be hating Langan’s ethic or politics or whatever very much and have a strong superiority complex, because cellular automata models of current physics are not very developed.

EPR has actually been resolved perfectly well. It turned out to not be a paradox at all.

I feel like that’s Christopher’s problem; he thinks problems aren’t solved when they are, and he sees problems where there are none (“dual containment” and the like).

2. John Fringe

Yes, he sees problems in set theory, in calculus, in EPR, everywhere, where there is none. But the best thing is that he don’t even need to say what the problems are. Some people just assume they’re problems.

But I believe what really confuses his followers are his proposed solutions. He just claim to have solutions by just naming cool sounding names and that’s all you need for people to fall for it.

For example, all the buzzwords about cellular automatas. They are cool. But Langan, after explicitly saying that our better physical models are non-deterministic, he tell us how wonderful cellular automata models are. They’re much better than the rest. And what’s the justification? That they’re Touring complete, so they can simulate any physical model math can! Of course, this is erroneous. They can’t simulate non-deterministic ones. He may not have a great memory, but only some paragraph above he was claiming how wonderful QM is because we have now “freedom”.

I would love to see a cellular automata doing “freedom”.

But that’s not the problem. The problem is that if he is justifying cellular automatas by saying they’re equivalent to computable math, then hat’s the advantage of using them? They’re as good as what we already have, or worse! Certainly, that does not justifies thinking they’re better than our current models.

And just saying they’re quantized so they adapt to QM is exactly the same as saying doing Newton’s computations with 30 significant figures makes all the numbers quantized, so it’s very good for QM.

Well, I can’t continue. It would take a life to say all wrong with that. I just can not say all that is wrong with that paper. But as he as cited quantization, Heissemberg, entanglement, Bell’s theorem, Hawking and all that, people falls into it happily launching ad-hominem attacks.

1. MarkCC Post author

One minor correction:

Cellular automata can do non-determinism. Just like other automata, you can define them with non-deterministic rules.

1. John Fringe

Point taken. You were fast here. I usually forget about them.

In any case, it doesn’t change really my reasoning. They’re just a model of computation, which can not reproduce any physical model (there can be still non-computable models of physics, can’t it?), and there is no modelling advantage in them. They’re an interesting paradigm, but they don’t really contribute anything new.

And, of course, I still want to see an automata doing “freedom”.

2. MarkCC Post author

I know; that’s why I said it was minor.

Cellular automata are fascinating things. But no one has successfully built a CA model – deterministic or non-deterministic – which comes anywhere close to accurately modeling the universe. Lots of people have talked about the idea, because it has some really interesting properties. But despite all of the talk, and nnumerous attempts, no one has been able to make it work.

3. John Fringe

Of course, by “can not reproduce any physical model” I mean “can not reproduce every physical model” ^^;

2. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: >”The aether was an unusual kind of “field” over which the center of mass of the universe was perfectly distributed”

How can a center of mass be perfectly distributed over a field? The center of mass of the Universe, if it can be defined at all, would be a single position. How can a position be distributed?

GEORGE: Infinite universe? “God is an intelligible sphere, whose center is everywhere, and whose circumference is nowhere” (Alain of Lille, Giordano Bruno, Blaise Pascal)

JOHN FRINGE: >”but the evident fact that all of the matter in the universe was not gravitating toward a central point in space”

How is this evident at all?

GEORGE: Hubble? Expanding universe?

JOHN FRINGE: >”QM spelled the beginning of the end for Laplacian determinism, a philosophical outgrowth of Newtonianism which held that any temporal state of the universe could be fully predicted from a complete Cartesian description of any other. Not only uncertainty but freedom had reentered the physical arena”
>”So basic is this scenario to the classical worldview that EPR nonlocality seems to hang over it like a Damoclean sword, poised to sunder it like a melon”

What??????? Not only undeterminism, but freedom? Why?

GEORGE: If determinism and freedom are mutually exclusive opposites, and one or the other has to be the case, then if determinism doesn’t hold, freedom must.

JOHN FRINGE: >”Unfortunately, the HUP was not the only quantum-mechanical problem for classical physics and its offshoots. Even worse was a phenomenon called EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) nonlocality”
>”no standard physical theory incorporating common notions of realism, induction and locality contain a resolution of this paradox”

How is that a problem, beyond being highly counter intuitive? Well, certainly it’s a problem for physicist, who now have to adapt to nature and learn new things by observation. But hey! That’s their work. But, why is it a paradox?

GEORGE: I should imagine because, since reality must be of a piece, the languages used to describe it at every level have to be consistent with each other? If there’s a paradox when you translate advanced scientific concepts into ordinary language, that’s a problem (Langan is saying). Not a problem for the practice of physics, but a problem for a complete, consistent picture of the universe, of reality.

1. John Fringe

Ah, good, asking questions just release you from actually having to say anything. Excuse me for my superiority complex and my hate for Langan’s politics, but asking an unrelated question is not an argument.

– how does an infinite universe makes the center of mass uniformly distributes over a field? An infinite universe could, at most, makes the center of mass undefined. Just asking “infinite universe” is not an answer.

– how does the expansion of the universe make all mass in the universe not gravitating around a common point? If we don’t talk about causality borders from the expansion, all the mass attracts all the mass, so it’s all gravitation around a common point (more or less, not counting propagation times, but with good approximation). Have you heard of the big crunch to a common point due to gravity attraction? Yes, the big crunch model is an expansive model. How does expansion preclude gravitation around a common center of mass? You know, bug crunch, contraction to a common point in an expanding model. Do you even know what gravitating means? Again, just asking is a bad excuse for an argument. If you have an argument, say it. If you don’t, you can continue the ad-hominem, but asking questions as if they were arguments is a bit… naive.

– yes, if determinist and freedom are mutually exclusive, them if there is not one, there is the other. Sadly, there are not mutually exclusive. You know, if I being called John Fringe and freedom are mutually exclusive, then freedom does not exists. But does is a bit lame excuse for an argument.

– how is EPR a problem for a consistent picture of the universe? Hello? Is there anyone there? Can you actually say something? The EPR and entanglement and all that is described by current quantum physics, and is not a problem. It’s a complex behavior, so it’s currently a hot topic of research, but not because it’s a problem, but because we’re starting to understand the consequences. Again and again, just asserting it’s a problem to justify it’s a problem is not an argument.

This is beyond ridiculous. “Hubble expansion?” as an argument against the universality of gravity. Facelpalm x 10000.

1. John Fringe

I can’t determine the winning number of the next lottery, so… I must have the freedom to choose it!!!

1. John Fringe

Not to mention that some paragraphs later Langan forgets about freedom and shows us how cellular automata can simulate any physics, like quantum nondeterministic mechanics.

What’s the question for this one?

2. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: If you have an argument, say it. If you don’t, you can continue the ad-hominem, but asking questions as if they were arguments is a bit… naive.

GEORGE: Generally speaking, a bit of English with a question mark at the end is a called a “question”, not an “argument”.

The questions I raised were things that popped into my head on reading Langan’s phrases, and I just wondered if thinking about those things would give a context in which what he was saying might make sense.

3. P. George Stewart

JOHN FRINGE: And with this, we have just proved that asking “infinite universe?” is not an argument.

GEORGE: lol that’s a bit of a long-winded way of pointing out the obvious.

The way I was thinking about it was that when I read what Langan was saying, it reminded me of the old quote from Pascal (via Bruno, etc., and the Hermetica before that). If the universe is infinite in the extent of its basic “stuff” (“aether” field or whatever), it seems like any point could be its centre, and that might be a way in which its centre of gravity could be anywhere/everywhere (potentially?)

I don’t know if that WAS what Langan had at the back of his mind, but I thought it a possible way of looking at what he was saying that might give it sense.

But now I’ve gotten you all angry again 🙂

54. teleoplection

I just want to clarify I’m not a “follower” of anything, but an “investigator”, there is a point where one has to learn to think for themselves and defend what in one’s best understanding is just, true and fair, and not merely because someone with a supposedly higher station knows better. I think of the CTMU as a special opportunity to find common ground among ideologically opposing groups. What I like about Chris is that he isn’t trying to shove a rehashed version of Christianity or any other religion down anyone’s throat, the CTMU can be appreciated in a non-theological setting, and it doesn’t need to be associated with anything “ectomorphic” to its seed of the complementarity of state-syntax. However even Langan acknowledges Anselm of Canterbury, I happened to find post-Christian sources which could be seen as supportive of his approach. I think the CTMU will be vindicated, however I don’t want to be seen as contributing to an attitude of blind faith towards anybody or anything. In my opinion, faith refers to conscious knowledge/intentions and action which is consistent with such knowledge/intentions, so it would be in bad faith for me to sit around without at least be open about why I think Langan deserves better for what he has sought to explain. I was following his work at least a year before any association with “intelligent design” in his writing, so perhaps I don’t consider that my prime motive for continuing my research on it.

“`Abdu’l-Bahá’s position on this question, namely, the nature of the relation between the essences of things and God, is essentially a continuation of the position of Shaykh Ahmad. In a commentary in Persian on the famed tradition “I was a Hidden Treasure…” reportedly written in Baghdad while he was still a teenager, `Abdu’l-Bahá tactfully argues for the position that God’s “ideas” of things by which He creates them, and which are identical to the realities of the things, are created. His later writings show that he maintained this position until the end of his life. This commentary was addressed to `Alí Shawkat Páshá, who was probably a Sufi and an admirer of the works of Ibn `Arabí.

The text of the tradition upon which `Abdu’l-Bahá is commenting is: “I was a Hidden Treasure and loved to be known. Therefore, I created the creation that I might be known.”[3] `Abdu’l-Bahá divides his elucidation of this tradition into four parts, which correspond to three separate ontological realms. These are (1) the Hidden Treasure, which corresponds to the ontological station of absolute oneness (ahadíyya); (2) the stages of love, which correspond to relationships between each of the ontological levels; (3) timeless creation, which corresponds to the ontological station of unity (wáhidíyya), in other words, the station of unity-multiplicity, in which the essences of things, and the created divine names and attributes, exist distinctly from each other as parts of a unified whole; and (4) creation in time, in which the evolution of particular beings takes place with the ultimate goal of producing perfected human beings capable of knowing their Creator in the fullness of the divine names. In the Bahá’í writings, these three ontological levels are customarily referred to as God, Command (or Primal Will), and creation.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Response to the Doctrine of the Unity of Existence

“There is a continuous history of proofs of the existence of God starting with Aristotle’s well known proof of the existence of an uncaused cause (his prime mover). Aristotle’s proof is based on an infinite regression principle and uses attributional logic. Attributional logic is the logic that deals exclusively with properties of objects. With the appearance of Najat (salvation) by the great Muslim philosopher Avicenna (980-1037) comes the first use of relational logic as a basis of a proof of God’s existence. Avicenna thereby avoids any appeal to Aristotle’s infinite regression principle. Relational logic includes attributional logic but goes beyond the latter by treating also relations or links between two existents. Avicenna’s proof was a small part of an ambitious philosophical program of
reconciling revelation (i.e., the Koran) with science (essentially Greek
philosophy, especially Aristotle). The immediate successor of Avicenna was the Arabic-speaking Jewish Rabbi Maimonides (1134-1204). In his work Guide to the Perplexed, M. presents a reformulation of Avicenna’s proof but reverts to attributional logic and an appeal to Aristotle’s infinite regression principle. Taking Avicenna’s work as a model, Maimonides conceived his own program of reconciling the Torah with Aristotelian philosophy. The famed Catholic philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) followed on the heels of Maimonides, and Thomas’ Summa Theologicae Thomas represents the latter’s attempt to reconcile Greek philosophy with the New Testament of Christianity. The Summa contains three ‘ways’ of knowing (proving) God. Thomas’ ‘third way’ is his formulation of the Avicenna proof and, like M.’s, reverts to attributional logic and appeal to the principle of infinite regression. The treatment of God’s existence by later philosophers such as Descartes, Leibniz, and Kant used attributional logic and appealed to the infinite regression principle, as well as relying on modal logic. The logic of modalities involves such notions as necessary existence or contingent existence, instead of simply existence or non-existence. These modal notions are so vague that there is, even today, no universally agreed upon system of modal logic. Thus, none of Avicenna’s successors used or understood his method. Even Avicenna did not see his method as participating in a new logic but only as a novel way he had found to treat the specific question of God’s existence. The first systematic treatment of relational logic was in Begriffschrift (1879), by G. Frege. Begriffschrift means “concept writing”. Frege’s basic idea was that written language was twice removed from its content, being a transcription of the phonemes of speech, which in turn, represent ideas. Frege originated the notion of a formal language in which each symbol represents exactly one logical idea. Such formal languages now constitute both the theoretical foundations (architecture) and the practical foundations (programming languages) of computer science. The successors to Frege were B. Russell, E. Zermelo, and finally J. von Neumann in doctoral 1925 his thesis in 1925, which, in the opinion of many, carried relational logic to its most refined form.”
http://bahai-library.com/pdf/2011_08/hatcher_logical_proof_god.pdf

“Some of these projects relate to a book I’ve been writing on mathematically proving the existence of God. Surprising as it may seem, this can certainly be done. In fact, save for a few crucial ingredients, it was nearly accomplished by (e.g.) Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century AD. (Sadly, neither Anselm nor his various followers and modern analysts were able to pin down all of the logic and ontology required to fill out and support his essential argument.)” – Langan, Superscholar Interview

55. zenon

I’m getting in a bit late on this, but regarding sets, especially infinite sets, there are some things that may seem like a contradiction, but are, in fact, not a contradiction.

For instance, one infinite set A may be a superset of another infinite set B (i.e. contain all its members), yet, A may not be larger than B.

A demonstration of such occurence is the natural numbers (1,2,3,4…) and the perfect squares of the natural numbers (1,4,9,16…) The perfect squares are each a natrual number themselves, and therefore they all fall within the set of natural numbers. However, there are natural numbers that aren’t perfect squares – e.g. 5.

Therefore the set of natural numbers is a superset of the set of perfect squares.

Yet, for each natural number there is exactly 1 perfect square, and for each perfect square, there is exactly 1 natural number: i.e. 1 1, 2 4, 3 9, 4 16, 525 etc.

This demonstrates an exact 1-to-1 mapping from one set to the other, which means that the two are of equal size.

So, in this ctmu theory the idea that the power set of the largest set (if such a thing can even exist) doesn’t necessarily mean that the power set is larger than the largest set. (again, if such a thing can be shown to exist).

The total lack of strict definitions kills this in my opinion, before you even get past the first paragraph (of the original essay)

Anyway, this might have been mentioned somewhere in the thousands of comments on this topic, and is also probably incredibly off topic from the last thread post.

1. John Fringe

The subject has been mentioned several times. For example, directly in an argument against Langan himself, where I spoke about how you compare infinite sets and several unjustified free assertions Langan makes about set sizes and the inapplicability of Cantor’s theorem to his naive concept of set here

http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2011/02/11/another-crank-comes-to-visit-the-cognitive-theoretic-model-of-the-universe/#comment-29239

and here

http://scientopia.org/blogs/goodmath/2011/02/11/another-crank-comes-to-visit-the-cognitive-theoretic-model-of-the-universe/#comment-29275

Langan, who was arguing with me until them, never answered that. Many people have signaled this, but it’s uncontested.

(I can preview some of the arguments in favor of Langan assertions: “set theory?”)

1. zenon

Yeah, I thought as much. I tried reading some of the original posts, and the arguments that people have given against this theory, but i couldn’t possibly read all of them.

I can’t understand why someone’s argument to dismissing all the flaws in his argument is something as simple as ‘I know better than you’ or ‘You don’t have the credentials for me to even consider arguing against you’.

The thing is, and I’m sure this too has been pointed out, ANYONE can make that sort of argument for their theories. I can create the most whacky and out of place theory, claim it revolutionary, and then refuse to acknowledge problems with it because the people presenting them aren’t as smart as me, or don’t want to show their credentials.

Anyway, I’m coming in towards the end, I’m sure if the thousands of posts haven’t convinced this guy that what he’s made up isn’t quite right, my won’t do the trick.