“Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves. ” Churchill
Category error: Every assertion has built in premises, assumptions about the nature of the Real. If the assumption is wrong, then the containing assertion or claim can’t be right. In philosophy and formal logic, and it has its equivalents in science and business management, Category Error is the term for having stated or defined a problem so poorly that it becomes impossible to solve that problem, through dialectic or any other means. Our experience, connection to the Real, as embodied, individualized, localized beings is the first of these. Link
“This finding adheres to a general pattern that imagining a given action or sensation is likely to be neurologically analogous to physically carrying out that action or experiencing that particular stimulus.” Link
“That’s why we’re here: the passing of time has no meaning unless experienced by conscious beings.” James Lileks
…or consciousness, truth, beauty. Time and these are universal but must be individualized, localized to be meaningful.
God hides in plain sight. He does not do the things man does, think, etc., but he is (there) when we do them.
Michael Hanlon on theory of “pocket universes” This sounds a lot like Aristotle: “If it is allowed by the basic physical laws (which, in this scenario, will be constant across all universes), it must happen. This idea from the Multiverse theory. And from Michael Hanlon on string theory: “The many worlds interpretation of quantum physics….states that all quantum possibilities are, in fact, real. When we roll the dice of quantum mechanics, each possible result comes true in its own parallel timeline. If this sounds mad, consider its main rival: the idea that reality results from the conscious gaze. Things only happen, quantum states only resolve themselves, because we look at them. As Einstein is said to have asked, with some sarcasm, would a sidelong glance by a mouse suffice?”
Me: The north pole can’t be definitely located, seen, but we know its there.
Hawking: If Einstein’s general theory of relativity is correct, the universe began with a singularity called the big bang. Now because it was a singularity, all the laws of physics broke down. And therefore we cannot predict how the universe began. A few years ago I was at a conference on cosmology that was held in the Vatican. And at the end of the conference the participants were granted an audience with the Pope. The Pope said it was fine for them to inquire into the early history of the universe, but they should not ask questions about the big bang itself… because that was the work of God. However, at that conference I proposed that Einstein’s general theory of relativity would have to be modified to take quantum mechanics into account. And that modification would mean that there was no singularity. Space time would be finite in extent, but with no singularities. In this picture, space time would be like the surface of the earth. It’s finite in extent, but it doesn’t have any boundary or edge or singularities.
Interviewer: SO IT WOULDN’T BE POSSIBLE TO SAY THAT REALLY THE UNIVERSE HAS A BEGINNING OR END, OR WHAT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO SAY ABOUT BEGINNING AND CAUSATION?
The universe… the universe would have a beginning and an end in the same sense that degrees of latitude have a beginning and an end at the north and south poles respectively. There isn’t any point with a latitude 91 degrees north. And similarly, there isn’t any point in the universe which is before the big bang. And the, but the north pole is a perfectly regular point of the earth’s surface, it’s not a singular point. And similarly, I believe that the big bang was a perfectly regular point of space time. And all the laws of physics would hold at the big bang. And if that is the case, we can completely predict the state of the universe from the laws of physics.
ALL OF THEORETICAL PHYSICS SEEMS TO BE DIRECTED TOWARDS THE EVENTUAL GOAL, THAT’S A UNIFIED FIELD THEORY, AN UNDERSTANDING OF FUNDAMENTAL LAWS THAT UNIFY ALL OF NATURE, INCLUDING MANKIND. WILL WE EVER FIND SUCH A THEORY, AND IF SO, WHAT COULD BE THE CONSEQUENCES?
I think it’s an open question as to whether we will find a complete unified theory. All I can say is that we don’t seem to have one at the moment.
YOU WERE SAYING THAT THERE MAYBE SUCH A THING . . .
We may never find a complete unified theory, but I think that there is a 50-50 chance that we’ll do so by the end of the century.
WHAT WOULD BE THE CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH A THEORY? WOULD WE THEN KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT PHYSICAL REALITY?
In principle, but not in practice. Because the equations are very difficult to solve in any but the simplest situations. We already know the laws of physics that underlie the behaviour of matter in normal circumstances. So in principle, we should be able to predict all of physics, all of chemistry and biology. But we’ve not had much success in predicting human behaviour from mathematical equations.
My commentary: Science posits the Real, the source of meaning and purpose, in an absolute other. It’s over the horizon and is called something like “complete unified theory” and would resolve the general theory of relativity with the (theories of) quantum mechanics, the physics of the very large with that of the very small. There are no concrete objects, but waves in force fields. Every discovery leads to new postulates as the absolute other is approached but never quite reached. Like going the speed of light requires ever more energy as one approaches light speed, to make the final leap requires all the known energy in the universe. I postulate that to calculate the grand unified theory similarly requires ever greater calculus and that eventually you run out of calculus coincidentally at the same moment you reach the ultimate theory. Ironically the evidence can’t be finally owned because it hides in plain sight. You can’t find it because the premise you don’t already have it is false.
What’s interesting is the notion that if its possible it will eventuate. Aristotle postulated this, too, and noted that unimaginable horrors were necessary conditions. Also notable is the absence of anything not quantifiable from these types of proceedings. Sean Carroll, for instance, dismisses philosophical insights relating to consciousness, the soul, and religious notions of transfiguration, for instance, as flowery speech. Science generally doesn’t consider anything that can’t be measured. Thus measurement becomes the sine qua non of knowledge. But knowledge isn’t the only path to understanding. Indeed it can be an impediment. It seems to me a grand unified theory would actually account for time, beauty, love, truth, and such coming to have meaning when actualized in a field of consciousness of a sentient life form. My personal grand notion, call it theory if you want, is consciousness is the instrument of the soul and the issue of Grace working through the emotions, through mind, to affect the apotheosis of matter.
If that’s too much to swallow then here is a simpe formula that is known to work: “Praise no day until evening, no wife until buried, no sword until tested, no maid until bedded, no ice until crossed, no ale until drunk.”
Is it really cold empty nothingness? When we “Gaze steadfastly at stars which though distant are yet present to the mind” do we bring the star to the mind or realize the star where it is as already in “our” mind? I’ve lost my note on who first made this observation though Parmenides made a similar statement. Another interesting notion in this regard is from quantum physics, reality results from the conscious gaze. I’d suggest James Lileks has it right when he says “Thats why we’re here: the passing of time has no meaning unless experienced by conscious beings.” Replace “time” with space, or for that matter beauty, truth, love, God, or, The Whole Universe, and we might realize we confer individuality on much more than just this body in which we find ourselves. The Universe might consist mostly of the void but its an interesting void.
Ponder the incomprehensible Otherness of the opposite…
woe has its wisdom, sorrow enlightens the soul.