May 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm #7321
Dark Photons, Bio-photons…May 8, 2013 at 11:10 pm #7324
That does not necessarily mean that they do not exist. They may or they may not. Some may, some may not.
Well, it’s impossible to prove the existence of anything, apart from my own consciousness. So I cannot know for sure that you really exist. Maybe you just exist in my mind. Which means, given the doubt, there is no point arguing with you, cause I may in fact just be arguing with myself, actually. Are you me?May 8, 2013 at 11:35 pm #7326
What do you mean, it’s ‘impossible to prove the existence of anything’ ?
Okay, so science ( as per Descartes ) let’s assume, as a working hypothesis, that such and such exists, and proceed, and see how we get on… final, absolute proof is unnecessary, can wait until later.
That is the modern scientific method. Certainty, is not required. Much relies upon statistical probability.
Your own consciousness ? That’s even WORSE. How can you or anyone prove that that exists, when nobody can even define what it is, or where it is located, even agree what the fuck they are talking about ?
The modern scientific project began with Descartes and his radical scepticism, when he did indeed doubt all these things, so it is worth reading his line of enquiry, because, for one thing, he got his insights from an angel, which is fascinating, also, he was a total nutcase, also, IMO, he got it wrong, and we’ve been stuck with his mistakes ever since. Partly because of the political situation re the Catholic Church. But I’ve gone into all this before elsewhere, i don’t want to go through it all again.
Look, we can have a broad working hypothesis regarding empirical reality, that there is ‘something’ out there. As Dr Johnson said when he refuted Bishop Berkeley by kicking a rock. I kick a rock, you kick it, anybody else can repeat the experiment. We can carry it back to the lab, weigh it, grind it into dust, to test samples, dissolve the fucker in sulphuric acid. That’s science. That’s empiricism. That’s the easy part. Building models of reality in our minds, using abstractions is rather different. Nobody is quite sure whether we invent mathematics or whether we discover mathematics. Just because a whole lot of people share the same ideas, doesn’t mean that those ideas are an accurate model of ‘what is’.
‘What is’ is ultimately, probably, completely unknowable. I think Lee Smollins is on the right track, trying to start a new paradigm, from scratch, talking about a meta-law, and so forth, but I have not listened to the second lecture yet. And anyway, that stuff is so difficult and challenging, that nobody is going to get it right first go, if ever.May 9, 2013 at 10:04 am #7327
Think of it like this.
You want to make a representation of something, say, a tree. That is, you want to re- present, present in another form. Like taking a photograph, is representing, using silver iodide on card, or nowadays, printer ink on paper.
So, we want to represent the Universe. So, what are we going to use ? Cheese ? Granite ? Pieces of driftwood ?
We want to map reality, or ‘what is’, or the Universe. We can’t do it 1 : 1, it would be too big and we don’t know how. We have to make a re-presentation, a model.
So, how can we do that ? What material can we use as our fabric ? What substance is available to us ?
We decide to use human brain tissue.
How does that work ?May 10, 2013 at 12:54 am #7332
As far as I know, we have no other mapping tool than our brain. It seems fruitless complaining about the limitations of that tool. I don’t understand why you set the bar higher than we can possibly reach?May 10, 2013 at 1:12 am #7333
Ok, so I’m reading what wiki says about reality. Thing is, the reality I’m interested in, is the observable one. Either via the five senses, or via instruments that detect stuff the senses doesn’t pick up. It’s fascinating to know that we are surrounded by “invincible” waves, probably a dense fog of them, and we do not sense them. Wonder what other things we are surrounded by that we haven’t detected yet?May 10, 2013 at 1:23 am #7334
The question of direct or “naïve” realism, as opposed to indirect or “representational” realism, arises in the philosophy of perception and of mind out of the debate over the nature of conscious experience; the epistemological question of whether the world we see around us is the real world itself or merely an internal perceptual copy of that world generated by neural processes in our brain.
We already know that some animals perceive the world differently from us: dogs hear sounds we don’t, and are more refined re smell. Some birds have eyesight we can only envy. So the world humans perceive is a limited version of reality. We already know that.
Why am I pointing out the obvious….May 10, 2013 at 1:32 am #7335
( This is a reply to your previous comment, the next two wiki things were cross posted.)
So ‘we’ are separate from our brains ? Our brains are tools ? Where do these ideas suddenly spring from ? Any evidence for either of those assumptions ?
I am not COMPLAINING about anything. I am thinking about the matter in hand.
How do you know, a priori, what we can possibly reach ?
Why do you assume already that there is some obstacle that cannot be overcome before you have even made any attempt to see or understand what difficulties there are ?
If there is ANY complaint, it is that everybody is too lazy and too sloppy in their thinking to even notice the hazards that beset us when we try to understand stuff.
Look how, already, the violence you do, the gross distortion to thought, to the proposition, by speaking of the brain as a tool. As if it was a machine, or a hammer, equipment, some sort of a device…. I know that we are forced to use words and language, there is no choice, but we can be conscious of the choice. There is no awareness, by direct perception, phenomenologically, of using ‘a tool’, is there, when we think about the world, or when we try to comprehend reality, or when we speak about the cosmos as a system.
There isn’t any sense of being some separate being that possesses ‘a brain’, which is used as a device to ‘map’, is there.
What we have done, is to posit two things, a perceiver, and a perceived. And that is, I think, quite acceptable, because it conforms, roughly and partially at least, to experience. A ‘me’, and an ‘external reality’.
And then we attempt to understand that reality. But, what I am saying is, rather than just gloss over the fundamental problems, like Feynman does, as if they don’t matter, I think the investigation should be rigorous, as Wittgenstein attempted, taking note of every step.
Nobody does this anymore. Everybody cops out and quotes fucking Plato or whoever. That’s why philosophy is so dead and boring. Nobody wants to think.May 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm #7357
I. Theoretical Models
Nearly three decades of intense experimentation leave little doubt that the anomalous physical phenomena appearing in the PEAR studies are valid, and are significantly correlated with such subjective variables as intention, meaning, resonance, and uncertainty. The stark inconsistencies of these results with established physical and psychological presumptions place extraordinary demands on the development of competent new theoretical models for constructive dialogue with the empirical data. But since the contemporary scientific approach leaves little room for such subjective correlates in its mechanistic representations of reality, it follows that science as we know it either must exclude itself from study of such phenomena, even when they precipitate objectively observable physical effects, or broaden its methodology and conceptual vocabulary to embrace subjective experience in some systematic way.
The primary importance of operator intention and emotional resonance with the task at hand, along with the operator-specific structure evident in the data, the absence of traditional learning patterns, and the lack of explicit space and time dependence clearly predicate that no direct application or minor alteration of existing physical or psychological frameworks will suffice. Rather, nothing less than a generously expanded scientific model of reality, one that allows consciousness a proactive role in the establishment of its experience of the physical world, will be required. The challenges and caveats of such a “Science of the Subjective” are explored in detail in several of our publications.May 13, 2013 at 9:19 am #7361
On differences in thinking: hearing numbers or seeing numbers?May 13, 2013 at 11:04 am #7362May 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm #7364May 24, 2013 at 11:21 am #7431
Now they’re just messing with us. Physicists have long known that quantum mechanics allows for a subtle connection between quantum particles called entanglement, in which measuring one particle can instantly set the otherwise uncertain condition, or “state,” of another particle—even if it’s light years away. Now, experimenters in Israel have shown that they can entangle two photons that don’t even exist at the same time.May 28, 2013 at 8:08 pm #7465
The Universe might not make sense…July 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm #7929
This strains credulity…
Researchers stop and store light for 60 seconds….
An analogy might be shining a flashlight into a dark room through a door, then shutting the door, waiting for a minute than opening a door on the other side of the room to let the light out.July 31, 2013 at 1:26 pm #8000
A very serious game
According to Christian, Plantard long wondered how we could help raise the spiritual consciousness of an individual. The analysis of his writings allows him to reconstruct the answer he found, fueling his activities for decades: the trick is to place the existence of a person at the heart of a story of initiation in which the protagonist plays the role of the main hero.
Without calling it in this way, the esotericist laid the foundations for a “game” that would have never come to an end, to which anyone could participate, feeling free to add something and to act as a protagonist. A very serious game, from his point of view, rich in deep spiritual implications:April 18, 2014 at 2:54 am #12131
We do not live in the Now, we live in the Past. The Now is gone before the brain registers it. …well, that’s what he saysMay 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm #12625
What scientific idea is ready for retirement?
climatologist with NASAs Goddard Institute
More precisely, the notion that there are simple answers to complex problems. The universe is complicated. Whether you are interested in the functioning of a cell, the ecosystem in Amazonia, the climate of the Earth or the solar dynamo, almost all of the systems and their impacts on our lives are complex and multi-faceted. It is natural for us to ask simple questions about these systems, and many of our greatest insights have come from the profound examination of such simple questions. However, the answers that have come back are never as simple. The answer in the real world is never “42”.
Yet collectively we keep acting as though there are simple answers. We continually read about the search for the one method that will allow us to cut through the confusion, the one piece of data that tell us the ‘truth’, or the final experiment that will ‘prove’ the hypothesis. But almost all scientists will agree that these are fool’s errands—that science is method for producing incrementally more useful approximations to reality, not a path to absolute truth.
In contrast, our public discourse is dominated by voices who equate clarity with seeing things as either good or bad, day or night, black or white. They are not simply ignoring the shades of gray, but are missing out on the whole wonderful multi-hued spectrum. By demanding simple answers to complex questions we rob the questions of the qualities that make them interesting, reducing them to cliched props for other agendas.
Scientists sometimes play into this limiting frame when we craft our press releases or pitch our popular science books, and in truth it is hard to avoid. But we should be more vigilant. The world is complex, and we need to embrace that complexity to have any hope of finding any kind of robust answers to the simple questions that we, inevitably, will continue to ask.June 20, 2014 at 11:03 pm #13548
…Yet the new research on priming makes it clear that we are not alone in our own consciousness. We have company, an invisible partner who has strong reactions about the world that don’t always agree with our own, but whose instincts, these studies clearly show, are at least as likely to be helpful, and attentive to others, as they are to be disruptive.
My invinsible partner is called “John”, by the way.June 29, 2014 at 3:33 pm #13754June 29, 2014 at 6:47 pm #13757
Thanks, that’s interesting.June 30, 2014 at 10:09 pm #13790
In a groundbreaking experiment, the Paris researchers used the droplet setup to demonstrate single- and double-slit interference. They discovered that when a droplet bounces toward a pair of openings in a damlike barrier, it passes through only one slit or the other, while the pilot wave passes through both. Repeated trials show that the overlapping wavefronts of the pilot wave steer the droplets to certain places and never to locations in between — an apparent replication of the interference pattern in the quantum double-slit experiment that Feynman described as “impossible … to explain in any classical way.” And just as measuring the trajectories of particles seems to “collapse” their simultaneous realities, disturbing the pilot wave in the bouncing-droplet experiment destroys the interference pattern.July 2, 2014 at 11:47 am #13833
How to defend yourself against a scientist
SCIENTISTS CAN USUALLY RUN CONCEPTUAL RINGS around those with non-scientific beliefs or who have had paranormal experiences because science has come to occupy the high-ground of objective truth in the minds of both scientists and non-scientists alike. So scientists only have to appeal to contradiction with scientific theory and belief to be able to authoritatively brand non-scientific beliefs as creative fantasy and paranormal experience as delusion or illusion.
This article teaches mental kung fu: how to defend yourself against such scientific attack. It does this by showing the flaws in the belief that science objectively represents reality, a belief that insidiously undermines any experience or belief that science cannot explain or model. And by learning to defend yourself against such challenging opponents — they do not get tougher than some scientists — we learn to defend ourselves against all fundamentalists who try to force-feed us their rigid perspectives.
justtobenicelinkJuly 3, 2014 at 7:21 pm #13872
There is a 90 year old lady in the nursing home, Runa. She is not demented, but forgets. She is fragile, but can move around on her own with a walker, even if veeery slooowly. She often gets upset and calls for help because: “I cannot find my nitroglycerine pills, I think someone has been in my room and stolen them?”. Or she calls for help because “that man there (Birger, a demented 90 year old in a wheelchair) is looking at me in a funny way. He wants something from me. Maybe his wife would not like it if I told her?”. Or she thinks she may have dropped all her credit cards and taxi card in the garbage, and has us checking through all garbage bags in the big collector… until she suddenly finds them in the walker pocket after all (where they usually are), and is “so sorry for the trouble I created and all the extra work”. She’ll have two, three dramas a day.
I think her perception of the nursing home reality is pretty exiting. Burglars, thieves, adultery, sex pressure…
And I’ve given up trying to reality-orient her. Why? She entertains herself this way, and keeps boredom away.
I think conspiracy theorists and NTE believers are a little the same. And I’ve given up trying to reality-orient them. Why? They entertain themselves and keep boredom away 🙂July 4, 2014 at 4:30 am #13875
Waving the insanity charge around while speaking about people who are engaged in politically protected speech is meant to have a chilling effect, while the actual calculated use and abuse of political psychiatry can have the very real result of silencing voices of dissent that should be heard by the people. Those who care about the rights of citizens should take a close look at this issue, for it is operating as a Trojan Horse, which has been sneaked in under radar and has the very real potential to undermine the values that many people hold dear. In other words, I would pay attention to this warning, if I were you, especially if you are operating in the blogosphere in a political manner and don’t happen to be a bought and paid for shill or government troll that promotes this maneuver or attempts to discredit others in order to abuse people with this system.July 4, 2014 at 7:23 pm #13896
Are you for real?
Now, a group of researchers has extended previous work to show that, yes, under a wide range of conditions, these two points of view do differ. They show that the wave function must in some sense represent the observed system rather than what the observer knows about the system.
Their work essentially boils down to creating a measure of how much two probability distribution functions overlap. They use this latest research to argue that no matter what wave function is used and what it represents, the measurement results must remain the same. That is, over multiple measurements, we should obtain the same probability distribution function. So even if the wave functions are indistinguishable, do they all reproduce the measurement results?July 9, 2014 at 10:57 am #13970
The illusion of validity – Kahneman
Because our impressions of how well each soldier performed were generally coherent and clear, our formal predictions were just as definite. We rarely experienced doubt or conflicting impressions. We were quite willing to declare: “This one will never make it,” “That fellow is rather mediocre, but should do O.K.” or “He will be a star.” We felt no need to question our forecasts, moderate them or equivocate. If challenged, however, we were fully prepared to admit, “But of course anything could happen.”
We were willing to make that admission because, as it turned out, despite our certainty about the potential of individual candidates, our forecasts were largely useless. The evidence was overwhelming. Every few months we had a feedback session in which we could compare our evaluations of future cadets with the judgments of their commanders at the officer-training school. The story was always the same: our ability to predict performance at the school was negligible. Our forecasts were better than blind guesses, but not by much.
We were downcast for a while after receiving the discouraging news. But this was the army. Useful or not, there was a routine to be followed, and there were orders to be obeyed. Another batch of candidates would arrive the next day. We took them to the obstacle field, we faced them with the wall, they lifted the log and within a few minutes we saw their true natures revealed, as clearly as ever. The dismal truth about the quality of our predictions had no effect whatsoever on how we evaluated new candidates and very little effect on the confidence we had in our judgments and predictions.July 14, 2014 at 8:44 pm #14062
This will irk Norwegian educational authorities. In their world, genetic differences are irrelevant.
About half of kids’ learning ability is in their DNA, study says
“Twins are like a natural experiment,” said Robert Plomin, a psychologist at Kings College London who worked on the study. Identical twins share 100 percent of their DNA and fraternal twins share 50 percent (on average), but all siblings presumably experience similar degrees of parental attentiveness, economic opportunity and so on. Different pairs of twins, in contrast, grow up in unique environments.
The researchers administered a set of math and verbal tests to the children and then compared the performance of different sets of twins. They found that the twins’ scores – no matter if they were high or low – were twice as similar among pairs of identical twins as among pairs of fraternal twins. The results indicated that approximately half the children’s math and reading ability stemmed from their genetic makeup.
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-07-kids-ability-dna.htmlJuly 15, 2014 at 4:23 am #14067
they follow the forms,,… but they haven’t got anywhere – yet.
we get experts on everything that sound scientific.. they’re not scientific.. they sit at the typewriter and make up stuff as if it’s science.. but hasn’t been tested yet.
there’s all kinds of myths and psuedo sciences all over.
i may be quite wrong.. but i don’t think i’m wrong
see i have the advantage of having found out how hard it is to get to really know something… how careful you have to be about checking yours experiments, how easy it is to make mistakes and fool yourself.
i know what it means to know something..
i see how they get their info
i have a great suspicion that they don’t know.. they haven’t done the checks,… the care..
and they intimidate people by it..
i think so.. i don’t know the world very well.. but that’s what i thinkJuly 18, 2014 at 12:07 am #14099
Is this Fakkir a Faker?
Sorry if this isn’t the most appropriate place to post this here on your site. A very interesting thread, wish I had time to read it all.
I’m guessing you will have an opinion on this apparent phenomenon. Just wondering what it is, since you seem to have a capacity for detecting BS.
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