Wednesday, February 12, 2014

If My Woo Is True, What Does That Make You?

Woo Woo, Boo Hoo, Who are You to not see the Woo? What would you do if the Woo saw you? If you saw the Woo, and It saw you, then you'd be right here where I am, too.

Do you know, it's a funny thing... a lot of the times when the dog wakes up and then the wife does too, or when the dog wakes up and he wakes the wife, I tell her "sorry, it happened again" and she sighs and then listens to me as I tell her what it was like this time, then she usually says something like "the poor dog, I wish you wouldn't do that"...

Back when I was waking my son up in the other room at 4 am or so every fucking time, she used to tell me "please try not to wake him up tonight, I need to sleep...." We even agreed that if I were doing salvia meditations that it was ok to turn off his monitor for a while, because if I can't hear him stir, I never think about him waking up, and when I think about him waking up and hear him when he stirs in his sleep, that's when and why I'd wake him up.. the feedback of hearing his little noises in that state and hoping they weren't the sounds of him awakening was what seemed to feed the cycle, create worry on my part, and causing him to wake up...

The "miraculous" has become mundane in my house. "Honey, stop waking the baby up with your mind, I need my sleep tonight..." lol.... Then I go talk to my atheist friends whom I respect an awful lot and try to figure out how to talk to them about it and not get the standard automated response, but it just isn't possible. What a strange thing life is.

We atheists agree that a god is almost infinitely unlikely, but it's odd, I think, that for some reason that level of certainty is automatically transferred to anything that seems too strange to be true. Happens in science, too. Every great discovery is always met with scorn and derision, then argumentation, and then and only then acceptance, but in the form of pretending to have never disagreed with it. Lol.

The simple (in concept) idea that this reality is actually a dreamlike state that interacts with it's participants, is considered as unlikely as talking snakes and unicorns (which I recently learned are also in the Bible!). It's never factored into that doubt that, by it's very nature, if it were so, we would not be able to tell. It would literally fulfill our expectations when we doubt in it. It would deceive us.

And it's not like what we're seeing in science right now is any more credible than the idea of reality being a communal dreamlike state.

I mean, how familiar are you all with the current front-runner nowadays among cosmologists and quantum physicists, the theory with the most "followers?" It's the Level III multiverse, where every single time we make a decision (or a waveform collapses, which turns out to be the same thing in the sense that decisions are linked to waveform collapse of ions and so forth) the whole universe splits and one of us goes one way and the other one goes the other! Two universes where there was only one!

Or an infinite number go one way and an infinite number go the other! Or infinite numbers of us, infinite "me's" do every possible variation of that decision, making the waveform collapse itself an illusion!

Or the whole universe is a mathematical object! (The Level IV Multiverse)

That last is a real one that is not as popular but it's not laughed at either anymore! (Max Tegmark, "The Mathematical Universe.") (I just read it.)

And there's many other variations on this, one more wild than the other. Compared to the simple sentence "reality is a kind of dream" quantum physics is now the REAL WOO!

If reality is a mathematical object (quite possible I think) or a multiverse that just prints up zillions of complete universes every microsecond, then now we're forced to ask, how is that credible and a dream reality just obviously fucking nuts? As to the mathematical option, if true, how does living in a mathematical construct as sentient mathematical objects ourselves feel so real to us? How can it? And how far is all of this from it being a dreamlike thing, really? Math alone can apparently have real existence in this universe, even form it! Universes can split into infinite parallel copies every millisecond!

Stuff like that can go on in an imagination, but certainly not in our reality! What are they even thinking? That's craziness...

Why, it's almost like their saying that the Universe is like a Big Brain or something...



  1. Well, since you're asking. I don't believe in such things as 'mathematical objects'.
    You see mathematics is concepts, ideas, notions, where we use the basic idea of sets, any group of very normal objects, like birds or stones, and we make a number system.
    From that more abstract notion of numbers, as opposed to numbers of things, we can move forward. There is no a priori knowledge of numbers, 8 seagulls or 8 rocks or 8 trees are how one teaches kids to learn about math and we need this basic, from sets of things to numbers to accumulate mathematical skill.
    A mathematical object would be an absurdity, the idea that there are 'perfect forms' out in supernatural-land.
    Unless that guy is talking about something completely different?

  2. No, it's nothing like that. Not like arithmetic. Like really complex fractals maybe. You have to realize, in this scenario, time is totally illusory. Actually, that's a given with most of these multiverse theories, so get used to that right away. You're actually a very complex squiggling man-profile-shaped-in-cross-section line starting at your birth and ending at your death. The time part is perceptual, not actual. And if that isn't enough, the whole idea that a "mathematical object" can exist requires realizing that we're reality-biased. (my term of course)
    All particles are only capable of being described (accurately) by mathematical terms. They have no other properties other than their mathematical descriptions. No surfaces, no textures, no solidity even, just a mathematical description of how they interact and what differentiates them from other mathematical particles. This holds true for quarks and other smaller things as well, nothing describes them but mathematical properties. The differences between the elements even is purely mathematical. The complexity increases as we go up each level, making it harder for us to see that it's all math at our macroscopic level, but at no point in that evolution from particle to us does it ever change in basic nature. Space itself has only mathematical properties. Everything you can say about it, is based in it's mathematical properties. All the symmetries in this reality, the fact that mathematics describes it all so well. There's a lot more to it than that of course. A whole book. I'd suggest it to you. It was very good. You may not agree with it even after reading it, but you'd definitely learn a lot as I did. It involves the multiverse of course, since that's standard fare nowadays, and Level III multiverses where reality splits (or seems to) at each even where a particle's waveform collapses (or seems to) and then simply realizing that when you think of infinite alternate versions of reality all being created in practically every one of your next moments, then, when I go right at the fork in the road, an infinite number of me went both right and left. I just happened to be one of the infinite ones that went right. Lucky (or unlucky) me!
    Infinity is not a number, I learned that here. Do you see that the very basis of the validity of statistical probability itself is hidden in the concept of infinite alternate universes? If my chances of winning the lottery are one in a million, that translates into when I buy that ticket, I instantly create a literally infinite number of universes in which, for every 999,999 universes in which I lose, there is one in which I win. So when I buy it, and I step into the next moment, the moment where I see if I won, as my one reality fractures into infinite ones, I can predict that by random chance my next universe will have a one out of one million chance of being one in which I won.

    Infinite number of "next moments," one one-millionth of them in which I win, I buy the ticket, see if I won, knowing that it's a one in a million chance that I did because for every 999,999 of me that lost, 1 won it. That's how probability is tied to quantum physics! It's invoked by the multiverse. The multiverse *causes* probability itself to come into being!

    1. (or seems to) at each even where a particle's waveform collapses

      Event. Not 'even.' Dammit.

  3. So then, when I improve my skills at table tennis over ten years, I went through ten years of moments in which I was improving muscle tone and co-ordination and so forth. I directed myself to do that, directed my future to be one in which I was a better table tennis player. What about that? At each moment of those ten years, my actions in each current moment changed my future, so how can time not flow? How can it be an illusion? I affected it by practicing!
    All outcomes were realized. All possible ones. An infinity of them. (not a number)
    In some, I died on the first day. In some I died on the second day. In some I broke both legs on the first day. And so on. All possibilities are realized. The only difference, is the frequency of occurrence of each outcome in that infinity of results.
    Did I affect the frequency of my personal outcome? Yes. But I have to remember, in this timeline I practiced, in others I didn't bother to so much, in others I am naturally clumsy, so all outcomes are realized. I am but one of many timelines. How did I affect my timeline? Conditions in "this moment" in my personal timeline will affect the waveform collapse of the next moment for me. If I toss a coin, to simplify it, only two possible outcomes are possible due to the physics (mathematics) of the coin shape and so forth. Infinite universes created, but exactly 50% of them are heads and 50% of them are tails, because of the mathematics of a flat disk tossed in a gravity well (all mathematical things!). The physics of ME, my own mathematics, are involved in the unfolding of all of my next moments. My math leads to the next most logical real mathematical moment in my timeline.

    But all of the infinite number of "me's" out there in Hilbert space (purely mathematical in nature of course) are real in every way. I could be any one of them, at any time, no way for me to tell. So it appears random to me, when it isn't.

    PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a rant.

  4. Now a little thought experiment. I'm guessing that even after my stellar presentation (actually kinda sad compared to the book) you're still not swayed, and so you dismiss the concept.

    Do you dismiss it with the same level of dismissal that you do Yahweh and Jesus and the debbil?

    I mean, evidentiarily, if that's even a word, it's orders of magnitude more likely to be true than any Theos, surely.

    So is it unicorn and talking snake level of disbelief we're talking here, or somewhat less? Because if the former, you need to think about that, I'm pretty sure.

  5. Do I think personally that the Universe is a mathematical object? I think Tegmark makes a very good case for it. However in everything he wrote, I couldn't help but noting to myself, that it would all make more sense if an even more basic description of the Universe, one even more close to the source as it were than the mathematical Universe idea, would be that it's only possible that the Universe is a mathematical object *because* the Universe is mind-like in the first place.

    I have many options though. I don't 100% believe in any of them, and some of them might even be true at the same time... life is interesting!

  6. I had this idea before I read the book, you realize:
    I figured that if had any merit, someone would have thought of it, and they had. That's why I bought the book, because I suspected that it would be a good place to find such information. Hugh Everett, specifically. Tegmark called him brilliant for it, on a par with Einstein. I'm flattered of course... lol..

  7. Also do you see similarities between my salvia visions and quantum physics, specifically type III multiverses? I mean, that's what I'm seeing. Admittedly possible confirmation bias, but it's very convincing. I have to assign it more weight due to ancillary things like dogs and wives waking up...

  8. Brian:
    At risk of getting tangled up in your ongoing dialogue with Ian, it seems to me that if the multiverse is an infinite series of every possibility every time some "action" takes place, once said "cusp" in probability has occurred all of the other alternatives no longer "exist" or are at least irrelevant to the particular reality that one has "chosen". In other words, what difference does it make to me that "I" have angled off in infinite realities, other than the particular one my "mind" (as you put it) or mathematical reality has chosen to befall "me"? This is all very intriguing, of course, but I am thus far unable to see what difference it makes to any individua "mind/persoanl reality".

    1. If you just live your life as usual, then no difference, I guess. To me, it matters what it all really is. I'm just like that. I want to know. I've always wanted to know.
      Also, if every next moment has my universe splitting into infinite variations of my present moment, and reality happens to be as I think it is, 'consciousness-interactive' as it were, then that brings in the possibility that I can influence what kind of next moment/universe I will be in when it happens by tailoring my expectations to my desired outcome. So there's that. Of course I experiment with that too, and the results cumulatively are pretty impressive. Confirmation bias to you of course. Nothing I can do about that.

  9. I'm not getting the idea of non-number-based mathematics, Brian.

    1. It's not non-numbers-based, it's just super-complex so it's not obvious that numbers are so basically involved.
      I know this sounds dismissive but that's not how I mean it: Read the book and then talk to me, if you want to be on equal footing here. Then at least you could point out to me where it's all messed up and I just might agree with you if I see validity in it.
      I only say this because I can only explain it very poorly, even though I 'get' the basic concept of it. It's not an easy thing to put into words. A whole book is actually required.
      Nobody ever said the Truth would be easy for us humans to grasp.

    2. I think the problem lies in how we think of mathematics. As an abstract thing. I agree, it's hard to think of it having an objective reality in and of itself, but that's the idea, that we only *believe* it's not objectively real in the sense of actually existing at the foundation of the universe. We're biased by how our limited senses can perceive it. Our senses were not evolved to do so, it's not "pro-basic-survival" so it was left out.

  10. I think you're doing an end run around the problem I have with this entire notion.
    I don't know how you can conceive of mathematics without numbers.
    Fractals are mathematical formulae deeply entrenched in the notion of numbers and simple calculations using, numbers, of course.
    Eric tried to baffle us with the non-sensical idea that a closed system could indeed increase it's available energy if only one added work, assuming that we didn't know that work is energy over time.
    I'm not interested in WHO hypothesized this 'numberless mathematics'(arithmetic is a basic concept of mathematics), there's no getting away from that.
    Once again, perhaps the guy's philosophy includes the notion that numbers are a priori, numbers are 'perfect objects' sprinkled across reality, across existence itself!
    But I don't believe anything is a priori, except existence itself, which cannot be denied since a denial would be self-refuting. Who denies existence must exist to deny it. That kind of thing.

  11. Well then, if you can't believe it, at least recognize that some serious scientists who know a lot more about math than we do, can. Not an appeal to authority so much as it is pointing out how wild their 'beliefs' are, even compared to mine.

  12. So leaving the mathematical object thing behind us then, what about Type III multiverse? All that reality-cloning every microsecond, a literally infinite number of alternate universes 'created' all the time.
    Too far-fetched still? Because if you reject this, you've put yourself into the "Quantum Physics Luddites" group. It really is the majority opinion.

  13. "Daring, Radical. Innovative. A game changer. If Dr. Tegmark is correct, this represents a paradigm shift in the relationship between physics and mathematics, forcing us to rewrite our textbooks. A must read for anyone deeply concerned about our universe." —Prof. Michio Kaku, author of Physics of the Future

  14. BBC Focus: "MAX TEGMARK IS a professor of physics at MIT and a leading expert on theories of the Universe. But he's also arguably the nearest we have to a successor to Richard Feynman, the bongo-playing, wise-cracking physicist who proved it is possible to be smart, savvy and subversive at the same time. Tegmark has carved out a career as a physicist willing to ponder mind-boggling issues like the existence of multiple universes, yet without being dismissed as a crackpot by his peers. As he admits in this engrossing account of his career and thinking, this has enabled him to stay under the radar of the scientific establishment. But now `Mad Max' has been given the freedom of an entire book. And he hasn't wasted it. Around half of it is a lucid tour d'horizon of what we know about the Universe. The rest is an exhilarating expedition far beyond conventional thinking, in search of the true meaning of reality. Don't be fooled: Tegmark is a very smart physicist, not a hand-waving philosopher, so the going gets tough in parts. But his insights and conclusions are staggering - and perhaps even crazy enough to be true." —Robert Matthews, BBC Focus magazine


    1. Nice article. I agree with all of it. What's the point? That there was always something? Agreed. I've agreed with that for some time now. Am I in that rabbit hole? Only in your estimation. I'm speculative, and willing to speculate on things that you are not. I assign probabilities to things being true in my mind rather than fall in love with them to the extent that I think that I KNOW they're true. I can accept that the Mathematical Object thing might utterly replace my thoughts of consciousness being the ground of all being! It acts enough like consciousness being involved that it's quite possible that it's the truth and my ideas are false. That doesn't hurt my feelings at all! I find it fascinating, not threatening to my worldview, because I intentionally keep my worldview in a state of flux, uncrystallized if you will. I'm not nor have I ever insisted that my Big Brain is true; I've merely defended that you can't just declare it false out of hand due to it violating your version of 'common sense.' That does bother me, I admit.

  16. Essentially, particles are tiny bits of mathematics. Take an hexagonal crystal such as corundum. If we look at it's atomic structure we see a 'crystal lattice,; a three-dimensional regular arrangement of it's atoms that retain the hexagonal symmetry of the macroscopic crystal even at the micro levels. So it's a mathematical arrangement of tiny bits of mathematics, essentially. We just don't see it that way, because (if all this is true) we ourselves are also complex arrangements of tiny bits of math, and we perceive other such objects as 'real' to us. This is classic reality-bias.

  17. Of course your appeals to authority and not appeals to authority.
    Is there some kind of mechanism explained that you're not letting on about?
    What I seem to be hearing from you, Brian, is, "Open your mind, open your mind, open your mind(and on and on and on)."
    Call me a luddite if you will, Brian, I don't see any science in these scientists' musings or math in these mathematicians musings.
    Also, just because there are a couple of bright sparks who have 'nutty' ideas doesn't make them right, no more than them having nutty ideas makes you right.
    If it's beyond predicting anything it's useless to science, by it's supposed nature.

  18. Until I pressed home the issue, Brian, you were quite prepared to propose a system of mathematics that didn't deal with numbers! Doesn't that seem odd to you that I have to keep on telling you until it's clear then, what do you do, "Well, let's try another one, (you fucking luddite!), one that you don't know the supposed basic theory or conjecture or whatever he pulls out of his ass to draw us a picture.
    You read that 'mathematical object' book, and like I say, unless he's suggesting that ideas, notions and conceptions are objective, out there floating around in some supernatural realm, and it's not clear that he doesn't come from that perspective, some philosophers do, then I disagree with him entirely.
    If he is, I disagree with him on that issue.
    Not sure why you think I'm being 'luddite' to simply disagree with the options as I see them.

    1. Jesus Christ, just read the book. You're like "I don't know it yet, haven't read his case, have just heard your sad version of it, but that's enough for me because I'm special that way."
      C'mon! This is SCIENCE here. You're rejecting science now without considering it. I mean, how can you consider something that you've only heard a distorted outline of? I'm not a physicist, man. Reject it on lack of actual merits if you can, but not on my spotty attempt to repeat the whole fucking book in four paragraphs.

    2. Also, I take your umbrage at 'being called a Luddite' as confirmation that you also do not believe nor are you willing to consider any multiverse-containing theory. I mean, that's what I hypothetically attached it to. I did say "if you don't believe"...
      I'm not kidding, it's mainstream QP now, very few reject it. That was my point. Not that you were a Luddite, but that if you did reject that, then you were the equivalent of one in scientific mainstream thought. You'd be on the "fringe!" lol.

    3. I mean, do you live in Newtonian space? Are you rejecting quantum physics, with its lasers and computers and cellphones? It's a package. You can't have QP without multiple realities. Multiple realities are not a theory! They are the predictions of a theory, of many theories, all called "Quantum Physics." Take them away, and the rest falls apart!

  19. I see you has having beliefs. Now, before you insist that atheism is merely the absence of belief, I will say that in your case (and many others) it's only the absence of belief in God, not absence of belief that you are RIGHT in all similar sounding areas of thought, all strange foreign speculations that do not fit in with your worldview. That's your belief. No insult intended. You defend it vociferously and cannot be touched by anything foreign to your worldview. I mean, I'm not asking for you to believe in the mathematical object thing but I don't think you can summarily dismiss it as you do considering that you're not a physicist with all that training. I prefer to remain open, because someday perhaps the real truth will come out, and if it sounds strange to me, I don't want that to prevent me from being able to adjust enough to see it. I'm weird that way.

  20. I'll make you a deal. You tell me that you reject all "many worlds" interpretations of quantum physics, and I will stop trying to reach you with any of my speculations.

    Sound good?

    I mean, if you reject that out of hand, then it's hopeless for me anyhow.

  21. Yea Brian, I'm old. I'm going to live out my life not imagining humans will someday go to Mars or have sussed out the nature of reality.
    Wished they'd go to the Moon, I think they could do it before I croak, set up a base, an elevator(see if it works), a railgun, some decent telescopes, that kind of thing. Some hands on science.
    This 'sitting in a tin can barely out in space' seems like a waste of money to me.

    1. Well, what can I say if you admit that to me? I'm sorry that I brought it all up. Peace.

  22. If being called a Luddite offended you, keep in mind that for years now, whenever I've talked about my odd speculations, you've treated me just like a Christian. No different, scorn included.

    I'll take Luddite over Christian any day.

  23. Not only that, talking about the math guy and the physicist guy's books. If it takes entire books to explain their hypotheses, to me, they're like theological apologists who could take an entire book to explain why God didn't actually sacrifice Himself to Himself to atone for our sins which He himself invented, by working it around to seem reasonable but in the end it's just exactly like that except not as bluntly put, then it's more or less bullshit.
    What good are these guy's hypotheses if they cannot be tested in any way?
    Half their books should be concerned with how they might be tested, if they're 'science', right?
    A 'scientist' can 'say' anything at all, right? But just because they've convinced themselves doesn't mean it's actually science at all.

  24. How about the old, "We could be projections of two dimensional beings on the surface of a black hole!"
    WTF? So there is a three dimensional 'reality'(which the black hole 'dwells in') but not us, no, for no good reason at all we are simply projections.
    Maybe the black hole itself is a projection in another 3D reality too? Why not?
    And what is this mysterious 'projector'? Where did it come from, how does this operate?
    You'd never know from listening to this guy all day long. I sat through an hour show, and he could have gone on and on... never actually saying.

  25. I greet everything with skepticism, but saying that scientists are just convincing themselves of something that isn't true, based on your (apparently astronomical) knowledge of science as a layman, is to me, absurd and paranoid to the point of trutherism.

  26. When they say 'projection' they're not talking bout it like a projected image on a screen you know. They're talking about "that is how it seems to us because we're in it and can't perceive it from the outside." Like, we're actually two-dimensional beings that see their world as three-dimensional, that sort of thing. At least that's what I've always gotten out of it. Plus, this is only one of many theories, and not nearly as popular as the Type III Multiverse idea.

  27. If it takes entire books to explain their hypotheses, to me, they're like theological apologists...
    You're in good company. Our Tea Party Congress says the same about Obama's health care plan. It's just so complex, it can't be true.
    Isn't that one of those famous fallacies? Nah, couldn't be, not from you...

    1. "Appeal to complexity" Found it.
      I really need to learn all of these. Lots of logical fallacies. Interesting stuff.

  28. I think it's almost cute how you can dismiss a theory about the true nature of reality by saying that it's too complex to be true; you apparently need it to fit on a T-shirt.. lolol...

  29. Obama's health care plan is not a scientific hypothesis now, Brian.
    Do you not agree that people can write whole books on subjects and never really say anything about them?
    And what do I get from you? But these guys are SCIENTISTS! They're speculating, they're being imaginative, they might be dabbling in philosophy(God forbid, but it may well be true!).
    I listened to one mathematician that Pat Robertson had on the 700 club swear that the Bible was mathematically accurate! WTF would that even mean?

    1. Do you not agree that people can write whole books on subjects and never really say anything about them?
      -Of course. Doesn't score you any points in this context though.

    Subtitle: Christian mathematician Ivan Panin proves the Bible Is Divinely Inspired Using the Incontrovertible Science of Mathematics and Its Corollary Study, Laws of Probabilities"
    Isn't it wonderful?

    1. "Christian mathematician Ivan Panin"

      When I hear that, it's like hearing "Bovine philosopher Bessie Milkteats..."

  31. I regret to inform you that the institution of science as it were, is structured such that there is a serious general consensus known as it's mainstream, as opposed to its outlying anomalies and oddities known as it's fringe. This is made possible by this thing known as 'publishing their work to peer review.' I'll grant that the Mathematical Universe idea is somewhere in between, but the Type III Multiverse is solidly set at the very middle of the mainstream. Your Bible boy there is out of the stream flopping on the bank, for crying out loud. Have some perspective here.

    So there's that.

  32. Question. What's wrong with an open plutocracy? Wouldn't you be happier if it were right out in plain view?
    Or, would you rather continue to be patronized? Imagining that you really live in a democracy?

    1. I read that earlier today! Awful. I would be happier if it were right out in plain view, because that's the problem; people aren't SEEING it! It's too well buried in that huge mountain of rightwing bullshit. And they keep shoveling more on top of it as we're trying to scrape it away...

  33. Just wondering if I can 'get away' with making that last comment without Brian trying to figure out how I'm dissing him?
    As I said, I post up comments that I think we'll enjoy. Gawd forbid they seem to have any connection with any ongoing discussion, right Brian?

  34. Don't be a snot, sir peeb. I'm in a fine mood, and bear you no ill will. I could tell (this time) that it didn't relate. In fact I considered the possibility that you were changing the subject. Which at this point, would be fine... you were kinda floundering anyhow.


  35. Let's see...

    Just wanted to tally up.

    It was too complex/needed a whole book to explain it. Oh, and anybody can write a book. (gives example of book that calls itself science written by a religio-tard)

    These are theist arguments, are they not? I've seem Mike make them. Just an FYI in case you didn't see it, my friend.

  36. Oh, and confusing (conflating, actually) actual scientists with those on the fringe... you stole that one from the Global Climate Change deniers!

  37. What good are these guy's hypotheses if they cannot be tested in any way?
    Interestingly enough, that's not true of the Type IV Multiverse (mathematical construct.) It's actually testable, by observing symmetries in this universe. Which we're doing of course. Definitely science, and that one's the most bizarre of all.

  38. Also, parts of the others are testable, predictions they make about this universe. Just because you can't test the multiverse part of what it predicts, doesn't matter if other parts of it are testable and it's a coherent theory like Type III Multiverse is (you can't take out any part of it or it all falls apart). So, sorry to say, still science.

    1. For example, Einstein's relativity theory predicted black holes, totally untestable at the time, but we accepted them (at least tentatively) because other parts of the *coherent* theory were testable and were found to be true, so we had to take the whole package.

  39. Oh, and you brought in another theory that we weren't talking about just because it sounds nuts. And I agree with you on that one, the surface of the black hole thing. More conflation though. There's also the one where this is all a computer simulation, was that the next red herring you were gonna throw at me? 'Cause I don't buy that one, either. I limited this to multiverse theories in the beginning. (Mathematical Object is a multiverse theory too).

  40. Oh, there's this too:
    "Until I pressed home the issue, Brian, you were quite prepared to propose a system of mathematics that didn't deal with numbers!"
    I don't see where I did that. I re-read this whole comments section. Where did I say numbers were not involved? Just that they're not obvious when extended to this kind of complexity. Did I miss it?

  41. Come ON, Brian. I objected to the notion of the universe as a mathematical object unless the mathematician buys into the metaphysical notion of objective concepts, morals, Plato's perfect forms:-

    If it's that then, fine, I object to it on those grounds, since I think that's some total metaphysical baloney.
    Now you seemed to know what the story was and told me it was much more complex than this, nothing to do with numbers, more like fractals.

    I objected to this because fractals, while very interesting are simple iterative formulae, plugging the numbers in over and over until the solution either stabilizes or zips off towards infinity.

    I don't believe I said much about multi-verse but I did get carried along with your shot-gun blast style of arguing/debating(we're not actually having a formal debate).
    I'm sorry if my style of writing annoys you Brian, I just try to say what I think, you could add, 'no offense intended', or, 'that's just my opinion' and like that.

    Seems to me that you 'say' that you like to post these kinds of topics because you value our different opinions then you complain bitterly when you get it.
    I'm not reading your posts and giving you my two-bits worth to upset you Brian.
    Believe me buddy, when I say I'm not. OTOH, I'm not going to not tell you what I think because you might ad hominem me(luddite e.g.).

    I'm not thinking, "Just light the blue touch-paper..", although reading your reaction, sometimes, you'd think I was.

  42. Just re-read it all again. Nope. I never said anything like that. I said "fractal" and that's where YOU went with it, assuming somehow that I was differentiating a fractal from numbers. That was not what I said. Not at all. And he wasn't giving numbers an existence of their own, he was saying that things obey mathematical rules for a reason, because it's all math.
    Take the set of all real numbers. Do they exist in nature? No. Do things exist in nature that we can count and thus derive the set of all natural numbers? Yes. So their existence is because the universe has things in it that are countable, right? The universe implies that numbers are real in that sense only. Same with far more complex mathematical entities. We make up the words for what already exists "out there." But they existed before we made up those words, no? Mr. Tegmark is merely postulating that the reason for that is possibly because the universe itself is essentially 'numbers-based' and not real like we think it is, because hey, we're numbers-based too. When things exist (like say a black hole or a proton) that have NO QUALITIES that are not mathematical qualities, it is possible to say that they're mathematical objects. It is possible that they have no other qualities (they don't) that are in any way "real" as we like to think of that word. And that makes sense when you realize that a rock is only one-quadrillionth "matter" and the rest empty space, no?

    All our "qualia" are reducible to mathematics. Soft bunny fur is reducible to mathematics! That is because all its constituent parts are mathematical objects.

    1. My exact quote:
      "No, it's nothing like that. Not like arithmetic. Like really complex fractals maybe."

      A differentiation in complexity, not in kind! See?

  43. I read the whole book and platonic solids are mentioned once (historically) but are not integral to the argument he's making. He's not basing it on those ideas. So, nope.

  44. I'm sorry if my style of writing annoys you Brian, I just try to say what I think, you could add, 'no offense intended', or, 'that's just my opinion' and like that.
    Are you offended when I commit a logical fallacy?

    I wasn't offended in the least, and that's kind-of a dodge, isn't it, the idea that I'm offended? I was pointing out, accurately I think, where you made fallacious statements to me in your informal argumentation there. I'm hardly offended at you for handing me the debate like that. :-)

  45. You're conflating "complain bitterly" with "argue vociferously."

  46. Platos idea of forms 'existing' was that they existed not in space but as a perfect concept, if I'm reading that right. Like as an idealized archetype.

    Tegmark doesn't go there. Not once in his book. Unrelated.

  47. Just to clarify my recent comments: He mentioned platonic *solids,* that one time, talking about the history of this kind of thought. The article you referenced, about platonic ideal forms or whatever, he didn't go there at all. That's very different from platonic solids, which are about the geometry of polyhedrons.

  48. Also, 'just light the blue touch-paper?' Had no idea what that meant. Lol.

  49. Also Ian, as strange as the Internet is for these sort of thing, I consider you a kind of friend, and I'm slowly learning that I do not wish to get upset with you, so I actually haven't been. Seriously, not one little bit. I'm enjoying this. You've taught me the idiocy of letting it get to me personally, and I think I'm actually learning that lesson. So hey, peace, bro.

  50. Maybe I shouldn't have made that 'luddite' comment, but I did hinge it on you refusing to consider any multiverse theories as possibly true. I honestly never thought that such was actually the case. Sorry. I hope that you know that I consider you one of the smartest people I know; that's why I throw this shit at you...


    What do you think of this guy?

  52. Oh yea, fireworks!
    Light the blue touch-paper... and STAND BACK! LOL

  53. "Thanks for the comment. Your questions are well taken. I have an MA is philosophy, with extensive studies in mathematic, logic, physics, etc. I have corresponded/consulted with physicists and mathematicians in various fields for 20 years on these subjects. If you watch this video, "The Evolution of Time", you will see two credible physicists that support my research/theories. I also get substantial support from other well known physicists in experimental and theoretical physics. I do not know what Susskind's take on these videos is, however, I can say with confidence I've stirred up something in the Black Hole wars since Hawking appears to have responded in his own way. None the less, this is all brand new material :)"

    This is the guy who made the video talking. A philosopher! You'd imagine, well, in fact I'd imagine that he was a physicist/mathematician, right?
    Meh, maybe he's 'fringe' now, I dunno.

  54. I haven't watch more than a few minutes but I'd bet fringe. If he's hoping Hawking is noticing his ideas, and not sure what Suskind thinks, he sounds fringey. I mean, if he had something good, they'd notice.
    I've heard similar things, antiparticles traveling backwards in time. Not from mainstream people though.
    I don't like to categorize people but I am dubious that any philosopher can come up with the right answer. Still, could happen I suppose.

  55. "Hawking appears to have responded in his own way..."

    "hhhhhhhnnnnnnkkkkkkkkkk...ssss.....ssss hhhhuuhhhnnnn..."

  56. Came across the name Malachi this morning, spelled a little differently but pronounced the same.
    This got me thinking, the last book of the O.T., where, in the Good Book, the Good Lord tells us(or at least the Jews) in no uncertain terms, that if they don't knuckle under, HE will, (he WILL) 'come down and smite thee with a curse'.

    I wonder which side of your brain you have to keep the GOODNESS of the Good Book and the GOODNESS of God in mind and of course the other side of your brain must have the obvious, "Getting threatened with a Divine(most divine) CURSE, is not, in fact, a GOOD THING?
    Would it be opposite sides for lefties?
    I know the 'tude that most Christians will 'cop'.
    "You're just mocking us now! And the LORD will not be MOCKED!"
    I'll be like, "So, I knew it, you think YOU're the 'lord'."
    "Nono, just a representative, a Republican representative. The LORD(all caps. like that) is so rich beyond compare, and it's not 'him' that we worship, it's his money!"
    "I can see that. The rich will not be mocked, but it's their job to mock the poor."(it's not like they have to work hard for their hard inherited money, am I right?)

  57. What kills me is that it was a Roman cult, hated by the Romans in general, especially those in power, and then one Roman Emperor with a mom who was in the cult, sees the possibilities. Unite the people (by force if necessary), eliminate all the other faiths (they're not designed to control people) and use a generally good archetype in Jesus Christ for evil ends like making war and pogroms and conquering new territory and such.
    So it became literally "Are you willing to die for the prince of peace? "YEAH!"
    Are you willing to kill for him?
    "Um, okay, sure!"
    Then, hop to it!

  58. It was literally designed to be used by those in power to manipulate and control the masses. That's why it (and it's bastard cousin Islam) are still so good for that purpose today.

  59. The rich always seem to think of the poor as parasites and takers, when ironically that's usually how they themselves got and stayed rich. Today the biggest parasites are in congress and CEOs of corporations, but they think they're little kings whose table scraps keep the country running.

  60. Slaveowners famously always thought of slaves as lazy. Pretty funny when you realize they were fucking slaves. Like a slave should have a healthy work ethic or something.

  61. ".. and we will kill for the good of the fight for the right to be right!"

    I have 'loved' this song forever.

  62. "We slit the Catholic throat and stoned the poor with slogans such as, "Wish you were here!", "Love is all you need!", Kick out the Jams!" etc.
    Slogans. LOL

  63. "I was watching the dog pooping, hunched over with his tail in the air, sniffing the air and glancing my way, nervously, and I was thinking, "Good boy.", since I didn't want him crapping on the floor, you know, crapping on the floor is a bad thing, even though we have faux hard-wood flooring and it takes me 6 seconds to get some ass-wipe, pick it up, back to the bowl and flush it(no, I didn't time it).
    I comforted the dog, "Good boy. you're my good boy, I will not let lions and tigers and bears bother your pooping!" (he looked at me, dubiously)
    I've been looked at dubiously many times, so I know all about that.
    Anyway, "'Twas brillig and the slithey toves did gyre and gymbol in the wabes..", I was thinking, when I glanced at no particular spot in the greyness of the sky, it's an ability I have when taking the dog for his business, it's just his job five days a week(haha, he actually poops every day), but, you know, Elton John.

    So, I glanced at the sky and saw the Millennium Falcon!(or at least that's what I thought I saw)
    Upon further consideration I thought that the 'prawns' from 'District Nine' had stepped through the door of fiction/reality and, "Jings!", there they were, a mixture of all the latest sci-fi movies space-ships, you know, Alien, District 9, Star Wars, Star Trek and Dark Star.(free plugs!)

    The dog, Mozie, decided that if I felt fine with this, he was actually okay with it too, and his calm, cool collectednosity rubbed off on me a bit.
    After much hissing, banging, coughing and cooing, the enormous ship landed.
    That's when we met the Slogans.
    [now continue the story from here]

  64. That there could be a slogan, I suppose.

  65. Guess you have to open your mind, empathize and have imagination.
    Or else it's all down to mushrooms or something similar.

  66. So what's your real point with the slogans? How our society is shallower than a puddle? Yep. I'd agree. The parallels between slogans and selling shit to people and the fact that religion does it too?

  67. Oh, and don't worry, this time I'm aware that your most recent (mushrooms) comment above wasn't related to me in any way. Not even the 'something similar.' Lol...

  68. Empathizing is good, no? Having imagination too, no? Open minds better than closed ones... funny how it's all good, but when put together sounds bad somehow. I guess what I consider balanced has a lot of that in it, but also the other side, logical, reasonable, able to think critically. I want both, I guess. I realize that's not what you'd desire so much, but that's how I like being. People are different.

  69. The story about The Slogans is suposed to be a story which you're supposed to write the next paragraph.
    Imagine you're reading a book, and the first paragraph explains how the protagonist was taking his dog for a crap, a spaceship landed, now 'what happens next?'... you write what happens next. See?

    Watch this guy, I think he is saying what your math universe guy is saying.
    You might have to watch twice, he is not a very eloquent speaker, perhaps he's a bit excited?

    1. Unfortunately when I want to watch a movie it usually takes me about a week. So it'll take me a while to watch all of this.

  70. I have a serious question B. Have your experiences with skepticism toward your theories of the universe, made you more empathetic toward Christians?

    1. You would think so, but not really. I'm treating them nicer lately (on Twitter) but that's because I read "A Manual For Creating Atheists" and it espouses the Socratic method, and that made sense to me.
      More empathy? No. I know why you guys reject them. They're not objective enough. I can respect that. Have that problem myself from time to time. Plus, they're counterintuitive.

      Sometimes I do think some or even many atheists might also have mild beliefs in the sense of believing they can't be wrong, but I get those too. Too much woo in the world. Need to be firm, as a policy even.

      Theists with their bible stuff, I cannot respect that in any way. No critical thinking. They are not open to conversation even. Not truly. It's always their way or hatred ensues rapidly. They're sick people. I don't see my critics as sick like that. Convinced they're right? Sure, but not sick.

  71. I really like the way this guy(on the last video there, is stuttering, stammering, saying what he doesn't mean and correcting himself, all kind of nervous stuff.
    But the 'best' is when he's at a crucial part of his explanation and starts shuffling his 'films'(or whatever they're called) because he's not on the right one.
    Instead of having them ready, he's just plows on, 'oops, wrong film'.. shuffle.. shuffle.. we see one for more than a second.. that must have been the one he's on about then.. oops, wrong film.. and I'm lelt wondering if he is doing this deliberately. They're already the equations he has told us are not too bad, but ACTUALLY juggling them as he is talking, trying to clarify, he confuses.

  72. Hilarious stuff on a skeptic page on the Facebook.
    Someone posted up the story about the U.N. condemning the Catholic Church as a rogue state since they have their own rules for dealing with child abusers, slavery etc.
    Knee jerk response from the local snootier-than-thou Catholic(or Anglican, who cares really) self-appointed Devil's Advocate.
    She feels that this news item should be posted up and discussed on Unbelievable if we seriously want 'discussion' with an army of Catholics more than willing to disingenuously equate Catholic support of abuse with every instance of abuse in the non-Catholic 'world'.

    "You'd get fact-checked int' the next millenium.."

    Wow, as if we believe there is no other abuse but Catholic abuse and as if they believe every instance of uncovered abuse is being covered up by an organization to the extent their organization does!
    They can provide many instances of equally abominable behavior and that 'somehow' mitigates their atrocious deeds?
    Call me a skeptic, but I'm not going for it.
    Simply because, given the right forum you have tons of people willing to shovel tons of shit at it, doesn't make it 'better'.
    It's the poor kids(children of Catholic) or no who are left without justice even after their victimizers have been caught, that is the solvable problem, not that there ARE pedophiles 'worldwide', that is a closely related problem.
    No abusers anywhere means that there'd be no Catholic abusers, but that's not likely to happen.
    We can rub that sore spot that the hierarchy is covering up instead of delivering abusers to secular justice, though.

  73. Can they not see that if it were some baby-sitter abusing their children they wouldn't recommend informing the local Bishop and be happy if that Bishop simply told that baby-sitter to go get a job baby-sitting in some other town.


  75. "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. "
    —Albert Einstein

  76. WTF happened to you Brian? I can only imagine that I've dazzled you with so much brilliance that you have slices of cucumber over your eyes! LOL
    Naw, actually I'm worried about you?
    Breaker one nine, come back good buddy?

  77. Hi, I'm still around. Just get busy a lot lately. Plus I'm reading more books. And recovering from the sunburn I got from the scintillation of your stellar intellect.

  78. Caught the back half of the Nye-Hamm debate last night for first time. Nye was much better at this shit than I thought he would be. Very nice. He spiral-sliced and then baked Hamm. No contest.

  79. Been following Mitch McCaterpillar and Alice-in-Wonderland Grimes race in KY. Interesting. Old Hookah has to swing far right in primary and then take that hard left turn back to center-right afterwards. Like Romney did so well.

    Can you say Etch-A-Sketch?

  80. So, my buddy Chuck has gone completely off the rails with this Existics stuff.
    There's that 3 hour monstrosity which I watched 5 mins. of, but there's a much shorter overview.
    The trouble I have with Wince is that he's a philosopher and he bases his Existics on that.
    Premise one:- Existence is.
    Now where have we heard that one before? So I go off on my own tangent telling Chuck that that's exactly what Ayn Rand says because her Existence exists is exactly the same as 'existence is'.
    But nope, according to Chuck, I'm wrong, 'existence is' isn't the same as 'existence exists', simply on account of my feeble brain-power compared to the Great Wince.
    In the end I just made him angry, so that worked out well. I tried to explain what it was I thought of existence, with it's three dimensions of time, I was going to get around to, 'I'm not real clear how 'present' is a dimension', but Chuck wasn't going for it, I, apparently full of crap and existics has NOTHING to do with extra dimensions of time.
    Apparently we watched different videos or Chuck has been doing magic mushrooms or .. I dunno.


    This is interesting The blogger tears Gavin Wince several 'new ones', but Gavin fight's back in the commentary!

    Here's a 5 min. video. (enjoy!) You might like it.

  82. Wince doesn't ring true. Smells like bullshit to me.


    There's some 'first-responding' for you.
    What to do with a homeless guy for stealing a cup o' java?
    Let's look to the 'Land of the FREE' for guidance.
    Oh, you EXECUTE him?
    That can't be right. Surely you looked to the 'Land of the Death Squad' by mistake?


    Here's a piece on a scumbag teacher bullying an Asian-American kid for being Buddhist.
    Atrocious, xenophobic, bigoted nonsense.

  85. Awful. They have no shame. Hell, they're proud of being assholes.

  86. Been very busy lately, sorry... haven't been around. Wife had molar extraction today, and so on.

  87. Thanks. She's doing well. This is our vacation so of course we have more to do than when we're not on vacation. All the things we've put off till we had the time, we're doing. Doctors, dentists, other appts, cleaning, laundry, a bunch of other drudgery...

  88. Ah well, as a Great American once said, "Get 'er done!"

  89. Yes, that walking talking symbol of our decline.

  90. Thought that was Honey-Boo-boo?

  91. There are many walking talking symbols of our decline. Plus a lot of institutional ones like Twitter. I've been on it a couple months, and just got suspended, for what I have no idea. It's run by idiot children as far as I can see, with capricious, inconstant rules that they don't even define for you, and filled with mouthbreathing idiots that should be in special nursing homes for those for whom personal hygiene is a mystery.

  92. LOL
    I got suspended from Yahoo Answers years ago.
    Fuck Yahoo.

  93. I literally said goodbye to one friend and decided to leave but then noticed I'd been re-instated. Again, no reason. My enthusiasm for it is almost gone now. It's stupid.

  94. Pboy, did you see that clip of the Canadian woman doctor being interviewed by some republican putz congressman or senator or whatever? She destroyed him with facts. Very impressive! It took a Canadian to come here and show Democrats how it's done and how effective it can be. Whoa.

  95. LOL, that was fucking 'A', right?

  96. "Isn't it true that 40 some thousand Canadians die every (so often) because they're on a waiting list?"
    "No, but it IS true that 40 something Americans die every(so often) because the can't even GET ON a waiting list."
    I don't see Canadians rushing to vote to kill universal health care. No one in their right mind wants to risk that their kid might die of lack of money to care for him/her. No one.
    "Strictly speaking, if you can't afford it, you should just suck it up and die, and be proud of that, saluting all the way!"
    Really? Except for 'your' boy/girl, right?

  97. forty something thousand.. heh

  98. She was both awesome and kinda hot. I hope our dems take the hint and stop being such pussies.

  99. I like this site about Asherah, Yahweh's wife, written out by later priests.

  100. That's something I'd never heard of before. Very interesting. Thanks for finding it. It figures, they wipe out the feminine side of God.

  101. I've been refining my argument that Christianity is filled with so many contradictions, subtle and obvious, that it must be deliberate. It's not that they can't 'harmonize' the text, it's that they don't want to, and right-wng politics mirrors this.
    Notice what the right are against recently. Obama is such a wimp, why couldn't he be more like Putin? Jon Stewart caught this one, just a while back Obama was no good because he is a tyrant.
    Putting the two right-wing talking points together, Obama becomes the one, the only Total PUSSY, total wimp TYRANT to have ever existed.
    The Bible is full of this kind of stuff too.
    All God wants you to do is love HIM as much as HE loves you, that's all. He will 'allow you' to choose eternal damnation instead though.

    I'm not sure how many loving mothers and fathers would 'allow' their children to choose eternal damnation, keeping in mind that they(the moms and dads) MADE the Hell in the first place and could choose to unmake it.

    That complete nonsense, that complete travesty of the meaning of the word 'love' is part of what it means to be a Christian.
    "I'll only love you if you agree with me 100%, otherwise you are my enemy."
    A war-god NEEDS heroes and villains, he requires you to be with him or against him.
    American Christianity is defined by what they are against, who they are against, you couldn't even argue the rank and file out of this.
    Who in their right mind would go to a redneck bar and try to argue some yokel out of their idea that God and Jesus are the ultimate in goodness and kindness using quotes from their Sacred Scripture itself?
    Odds are you'd be warned to get out of their sight as fast as you can move before they take you out back and beat you to a bloody pulp! This, don't forget, in the very name of the ULTIMATE in goodness and kindness!

    It's Confusion Technique, double-think, all the way down the line.

    As far as politics goes, there isn't two sides, two clear choices even. There's the left's point of view, whatever that happens to be, then the right oppose it, EVEN IF THAT's EXACTLY WHAT THEY WOULD DO, EXACTLY WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IN THE PAST!

    "I can think that what we have done in the past defines us as a group, but if you do that same thing, it's the worst idea we've ever heard!"
    That kind of thing.

  102. NEW POST IS UP! Cosmos, or rather the anti-Cosmos religious hatred, on display.