Welcome to Objectivism Online Forum

Welcome to Objectivism Online, a forum for discussing the philosophy of Ayn Rand. For full access, register via Facebook or email.

softwareNerd

The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

Rate this topic

95 posts in this topic

15 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

Many such as Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Locke, Leibniz, etc. were wrestling with new concepts of form, substance, matter, force, gravity, motion etc. but they were still using the words and concepts of the Scholastics. They had one foot in the Medieval Religious world and one foot in the forthcoming Modern Scientific one.  That's why it's so had to classify any one scientists as believing in such-and-such - they were in the process of creating the knowledge that we now take for granted.

This is very relevant and insightful. Thank you for this thought. It really brings forth Kant's doing in a new light. Yes, a transition, you are right.

Edited by Ilya Startsev
extended the quote

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

On the other hand, I am still confused over Locke's metaphysical particle that has no extension.

Where do you source this idea?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, New Buddha said:

Where do you source this idea?

I was told it by a professor, and it stuck with me because it goes against of what I generally thought of Locke, even though I have yet to read any of Locke too. (All my conjectures here are formed by the intuitive fit within the Diagram. The ironic thing is that I have yet to get a philosopher wrong.)

Here is an example of contextual thinking in my own methodology: An explanation that I currently favor is that Locke could have said such a thing because, for example, he wrote many other strange things, such as the thought experiments of a prince and a cobbler changing bodies and an occurrence of cloning through a teleportation device (see IEP on Nozick, sec. 4). This also favors a conclusion that rationalism and empiricism are pseudoterms because you can never find a 100% rationalist (e.g. what about Descartes' experiments on animals?) or a 100% empiricist (as Locke evidently wasn't).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, New Buddha said:

You can pretty much pick out of thin air any name of any scientist, mathematician, theologian, etc. from that period and Google their Name + Lucretius + Democritus + Epicurus + Atomism and find multiple hits - usually in the original words, writings and texts of the scientists themselves.

The conclusions I hold from my research is that labels, influences, and theologies are independent from philosophy. The fabric of the history of philosophy is full of dynamical interactions between philosophers. As an example, let's briefly examine five of them: 1) Berkeley, 2) Descartes (interchangeable with Leibniz), 3) Kant, 4) Hume, and 5) Newton (interchangeable with Locke). All five are within different types of philosophies or philosophical traditions (formalized into categories) with different Positions, Directions, and/or Scopes. Here is a cut from the Diagram, reflecting the structures of these five philosophers (philosophies). Note also that these structures are not dependent on time (or space or horizontal representation) and thus are metaphysical (it doesn't matter whether Democritus is found 2 million years into the future and Kant 2 million years in the past, the point is that they are included within the same category). To relate to Peikoff: 1 & 2 are MIS, 3 & 4 are DIS, and 5 is INT.

CRHex_edit.jpg.53214252ca65c6f5f2eb0da1895e4ef8.jpg

Note their differences. They were all influenced by materialists, perhaps, as you mention, but nonetheless they have differences that are significant. I wrote before on this thread that I believe Descartes and Hume had the greatest influence on Kant. The reason I wrote that is that the substance of Descartes and Hume indeed could have genuinely affected Kant because they all share Kant's Scope. In contrast, Newton and Berkeley do not share Kant's Scope and hence Kant could have only been affected by (his or his mentor's) interpretations of their works rather than the substance of their work.

Now, I know some of you may be saying: but wait, Hume was following Berkeley's tradition! Well, not really. It's like saying that Kant was following Newton's tradition, but he really wasn't, as Boydstun's article shows. Instead, Hume was following a radically reduced version (an interpretation) of Berkeley's philosophy. The significant difference between these two so-called empiricists is that Hume was basically a skeptic and Berkeley wasn't. For an example, consider Berkeley's 'conflict' with Malebranche, who claimed that all ideas and all of reality are only known by God, not by people. Berkeley was furious. He said that nothing contradicted his philosophy more because he believed that we can know everything, since, according to him, everything is simply our ideas. Now, if only he compared Malebranche and Hume then the differences would have been much more pronounced, showing that actually he had much less conflict with the first than with the second. This is an example of how one (Hume) was influenced by Berkeley but did not keep the substance of that philosophy. Influences like these lead to faulty labels (as Hume called himself an idealist because of Berkeley), showing that not only labels but also influences can be in name only and understood incompletely indeed.

A question: does anyone know whether Berkeley and Hume ever met or corresponded, and if so what they told or wrote to each other? I am interested in whether they found more similarities or conflicts between them.

Re Atomic theory article: "Einstein provides, after 2,300 years, the proof of the accuracy of Democritus’s insight: matter is granular." - This is fascinating, considering that Einstein at first, following Mach, didn't believe in atoms, and then that his views match more Platonic than Democritean philosophy. Talk about how suppression of information works out at the end!

"the loss of the works of Democritus in their entirety is the greatest intellectual tragedy to ensue from the collapse of the old classical civilisation" - I would say the same about the loss of the works of Anaximander, the author of the first philosophical tractate.

"We have been left with all of Aristotle" - this is false. His dialogues are not extant.

"Perhaps if all the works of Democritus had survived, and nothing of Aristotle’s, the intellectual history of our civilisation would have been better." That's a jump to a conclusion. It would have been different, for sure, but with Democritus we would have had science progress much more beyond spiritual evolution and so we would have lost our humanity much sooner. Democritus was anti-spiritual, a kind of scientist-robot we see today quite often (I would call Richard Feynman as one, although he was a sarcastic s.o.b.). If there was no Aristotle, there would be no civilization, as we would have disintegrated in conflicts, deteriorating climate, and wars, whose weaponry and effects were caused by scientists and engineers of a materialist calling. No one destroys matter more than materialists themselves do. (See collider and fission experiments.)

"The closure of the ancient schools such as those of Athens and Alexandria, and the destruction of all the texts not in accordance with Christian ideas..." -  I see an underhand anti-Christian tendency here. First, Alexandrian library was set on fire by a Muslim once. Second, Christian Scholastics, by their meticulous and organized reasoning, caused much change in the scientific front. It's just that change in the Middle Ages was slow because science and religion (spirituality) were in continuous interaction, dialogue, and harmony (like we see in tolerant and proper political and academic work, since such evolution is slow). Today's postmodernist tendency (portraying the so-called "life" in the article) is the product of the deterioration of that harmony at a quickening pace leading us to who-knows-where.

"The sense of the profound unity of things, derived from the knowledge that we are all made of the same substance as are the stars, and the sea" - That's not "unity" but plurality. Atoms divide, not unite, especially in death.

"We are all sprung from heavenly seed. All alike have the same father..." (qt. from Lucretius) - that's some use of religious/spiritual language to displace religion/spirituality by means of reducing the 'divine plan' to the decentralizing ground of being, like that of Giordano Bruno, who, like other materialists, didn't believe in the absolute center of the universe.

"For Lucretius, religion is ignorance: reason is the torch that enlightens." - The author is evidently agreeing with Lucretius, ignoring that the premodern constituted reasonable religion, modern - reasonable science, and postmodern - irrationality that claims science must concern itself only with fragments and never unity (unless such unity is ludicrous, as in some of ideas of David Deutsch).

Rovelli's skewed interpretation of the bygone era: there was "little attention to nature; the idea that forms preceding things determine the structure of the world". First, there was plenty of attention to nature (indeed nature, and not matter), as shows the idea of form. People back then thought that nature was a whole and not a chaotic and random plurality of independent fragments all battling each other in order to survive but ultimately end their mingling struggles in absolute death. That's the trouble with reading non-academic work like that from AEON: it reflects too much the prejudices of an author. In this case, the author is an easy pick for a materialist and thus a DIS.

It's also funny how the author portrays "fear of death" as an evil. As Stephen Jay Gould argued, fear of death is natural for beings with emotions. Only robots do not fear death, robots that only care for disintegration in order to have a peek into matter. And is that peek worth it, or would humanity not handle it after all, without a proper spiritual experience preceding it and preparing us for it?

At the end, it's so much Rovelli's poetry for mean ends. The idea should not be merely how you rhetorically describe the fabric of your thoughts but also the substance of that which you favor.

All praise the truth in Rovelli's words: "And there is the simple idea of the finite divisibility of things – the granular quality of the world. It is the idea that stops the infinite between our fingers. This idea is at the root of the atomic hypothesis, but it has returned with augmented force in quantum mechanics." One thing that needs pointing out is that scientists do not stop at dividing the finite things ad infinitum (at their "fingers"). Concerning all their fantasies of trying to disintegrate the very fabric of space and time (by calling it a 'reconciliation' of relativity and quantum mechanics), there is no such thing as 'quantum gravity', no 'gravitons', no 'inflatons', and other imperfectly imaginary ways of destroying the world we live in. The reconciliation of relativity and quantum mechanics is fruitfully continuing through string theory, so there is no need for any Democritean jumpstart of whatever anti-spiritual processes the author has in mind. I support things properly and slowly done, not things rushed through because of some inspirational authority.

"With quantum gravity, the last barrier will fall" - the last barriers of reason, spirituality, and humanity, I suppose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Rovelli's skewed interpretation of the bygone era: there was "little attention to nature; the idea that forms preceding things determine the structure of the world".

 

You are missing the key word in the sentence "forms".  Rovelli is talking about the FORM|SUBSTANCE distinction which is present in Aristotle and Aquinas, but not Democritus.  To Democritus (and by this I mean Atomists) FORM and SUBSTANCE are one.  I think if you read Locke and Newton, you would better understand them and the relevance of the above points.

Edited by New Buddha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

That's the trouble with reading non-academic work like that from AEON: it reflects too much the prejudices of an author.

Rovelli is the author of several books of which the AEON article is an extract.

4 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

I would say the same about the loss of the works of Anaximander, the author of the first philosophical tra

Rovelli might agree with you.  https://www.amazon.com/Anaximander-Carlo-Rovelli/dp/159416262X

4 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Concerning all their fantasies of trying to disintegrate the very fabric of space and time (by calling it a 'reconciliation' of relativity and quantum mechanics), there is no such thing as 'quantum gravity', no

Rovelli is one of the founders of Loop Quantum Gravity (and Relational Quantum Mechanics).  

From the above link:

Quantum Gravity is the problem of combining Einstein's general relativity with quantum mechanics.  This is one of the major open problems in fundamental physics.    The main activity of the Quantum Gravity group of the CPT is the development of the loop approach to quantum gravity, both in its canonical form and in the spinfoam formalism.  A review article on loop quantum gravity has appeared on the electronic journal Living Reviews in Relativity. You can find the article on here.   A review of the spinfoam formalism is here. Other activities of the group include quantum cosmology and foundations of quantum mechanics.

Rovelli has worked out the mathematic/physics and made empirically testable predictions, unlike String Theory.

Rovelli is not just a science journalist or arm chair philosopher - he's an honest-to-goodness, in-the-trenches physicists who is also well versed in history and philosophy.

http://www.cpt.univ-mrs.fr/~rovelli/

 

Edited by New Buddha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

You are missing the key word in the sentence "forms".

Actually I quite grasped this. That's why I wrote that they perceived nature as a whole. The only way something can be a whole is if it is determined by its form of essence. Hence the failure of Kant's epistemology. I am also aware that Newton and Locke didn't use the essentialist thinking of Aristotle; however, they still retained essences by other means, as things in themselves and centers of mass, somethings that directly inhere to objects and have a unifying (integrative) nature.

Quantum gravity is a false flag problem operating in physics to promote the kind of disintegration I spoke of. In order to realize that there is no gravity, as such, on the quantum level, one needs to make a single mental operation: distinguish quantum and cosmic levels. Once you do, you'd realize that just because they find gravity on the cosmic level, it doesn't necessarily follow that quantum level will have it too. Searching for gravity as such on the quantum level is like searching for Santa Claus. No matter how much you believe in it (him), you won't find the actual thing (person), but you may find imitators.

Frankly, I don't understand what the big deal is with not accepting string theory. The intuitive aspect of string theory is that it finds gravity in the connection of quantum and cosmic levels, not on each level alone. Now, a connection would have gravity, surely, as you have gravity on one end of this line. Without this connection, however, you cannot find gravity among quanta, no matter how much you'd try to reduce the entire cosmos to quantum phenomena: your ultimate result is a failure, which, of course, if you are a DIS, you'd cover up to suit your purposes and continue to go at it or maybe even LIE about it (gasp! some scientists lie about global warming data because they believe in it so much and want others to believe (i.e. be deceived)!).

42 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

quantum cosmology

This is the B.S. that I am talking about. Santa Claus. Only with a different name. It's like saying that 1 (quantum) = 14 (cosmos). In reality, those of us who are reasonable enough should know the absolute truth that 1 =/= 14, or that 14 =/= 1. In fact, it is necessarily so that 14 can never equal 1, so cosmos can never equal quantum. Are you an Objectivist, New Buddha, or what? Why be deceived by these people, when Rand or Peikoff never would?

Now, concerning empirical predictions of string theory. People like Rovelli indeed have claimed that it is impossible to show that multiverse exists. However, we also thought other things were impossible to show, such as that atoms exist or what happens at the moment of the Big Bang. It takes time to find a way to prove or show something. Today, there is no way to prove that multiverse exists, but that doesn't exclude the possibility that in the future we could find such an apparatus (whether mathematical or experimental) that would help some genius prove this by showing that multiverse exists. At least it shouldn't be as hard as finding a graviton or an inflaton, in which so many anti-string theorists believe so vehemently. It would help, however, to find such a (logical) frame of reference that would allow one to see how a string-theory multiverse (vs. gravitons or inflatons) is possible. All it is is a grander scale universe, say, a 16, compared to our very limited observable one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Are you an Objectivist, New Buddha, or what? Why be deceived by these people, when Rand or Peikoff never would?

From David Harriman's The Logical Leap, P. 254.

Regarding String Theory:

If you think this theory [String Theory] sounds too good to be true, you are right.  String theory is a magic trick.  It does not make problems actually disappear; it merely hides them in a different place.  It is a hiding place where very few people would look: the geometry of eleven-dimensional spacetime.  According to string theorists, the complexity of the world does not arise from the nature of matter, but from the complexity of space considered as a thing in itself.  The three-dimensional world we perceive is supplemented by seven additional spatial dimensions that are curled up into structures too small to perceive.  Thus the unification supposedly achieved by the theory is an illusion.  One physicist, Lee Smolin, puts the point this way:

"The constants that denote the masses of the particles and the strengths of the forces are being traded for constants that denote the geometry of the extra six [now seven] dimensions..... Nothing was constrained or reduced.  And because there were a huge number of choices for the geometry of the extra dimension, the number of free constants went up, not down." - end quote

String theorists are lost in the world of geometrical ideas that they have invented, and they cannot find their way back to the real world.  The arbitrary nature of their creation has led to the problem of "nonuniqueness": There is not one string theory, but a countless number, with no way to choose among them.  None of these theories makes any predictions that have been confirmed by observation.  And despite the extraordinary freedom with which these theories are created, they all contradict the observation data; for example, they predict nonexistent pairs of particles with equal mass and nonexistent long-range forces.  As a result, string theory evokes a mixed reaction--one does not know whether to laugh at the absurdity or cry at the tragedy of it.

I highlighted the name, Lee Smolin, because it just so happens that Rovelli and Smolin have worked closely together on Relational Quantum Mechanics and Loop Quantum Gravity.  They are working within the constraints of observations already made in both QM and Relativity.  They are not inventing hypothesis out of thin air.  They understand the difference between mathematics and mechanics, unlike String theorists.

While I don't want my quote from Harriman to be seen as a proof via an Argument from Authority, it's a non-sequitur that you would question my being and "Objectivists" because I happen to think that Rovelli and Smolin are on the right track and you don't.

Edited by New Buddha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stopped reading Harriman after two of his passages. The first one is his inaccurate attribution of rationalism and 'secularism' to Aristotle:

Quote

The impersonal metaphysics was the great—and historically recent—achievement of the Greeks, specifically of Aristotle’s secularism and advocacy of reason. It was this approach that led to the clear Greek distinction between the animate and the inanimate, which included the fact that consciousness can belong only to the animate. (Ch. 1, "Perceiving First-Level Causal Connections")

That's deception concerning knowing who Aristotle really was (if you were ever serious about studying him). The second passage showed the complete failure of Harriman's entire project of The Logical Leap (edited by Peikoff):

Quote

…the bridge from observation to generalization is not one premise, or even a hundred premises, but the total of one’s knowledge properly integrated. (Ch. 1, "The Structure of Inductive Reasoning")

This is an overgeneralization that is flawed at the root. First of all, there is no way of knowing everything that's going on, as integrations are complex and multi-leveled. Secondly, only someone who is looking top-down (from an authoritative position) could even attempt to judge such absolute knowledge possible to acquire in this lifetime. And thirdly, Harriman contradicts himself when he starts to enumerate various points and aspects of integration, even though in this quote he evidently says it is not necessary to do so, when you are dealing with a (nebulous) "total."

Frankly, and additionally, neither Harriman (M.S.) nor Peikoff (PhD in philosophy) grasp the current work in quantum mechanics and the interpretations of this theory, which are not all fantasies, contrary to what these men would like us to believe. One obvious flaw of The DIM is its consistency in getting all the advanced physical facts wrong. (Ask any professional physicist and they will laugh Peikoff's Ch. 6 out of discussion.)

Now, as for the quoted attacks on string theory:

57 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

[1] There is not one string theory, but a countless number, with no way to choose among them. [2] None of these theories makes any predictions that have been confirmed by observation.  [3a] And despite the extraordinary freedom with which these theories are created, they all contradict the observation data; [3b] for example, they predict nonexistent pairs of particles with equal mass and nonexistent long-range forces.

About each point:

1) That is called the false vacua of the multiverse, a complexity of a much greater scale than we before could even imagine about our reality (and some unfortunately still can't, even after given rigorous formalizations).

2) I've already said in the previous comment that observation of a multiverse is not impossible a priori; the theory is very new and so ahead of its time that experimental science of a greater scale still needs to catch up to it. Perhaps starting to develop one's imagination won't hurt before we tackle the advanced problems of physics with this theory.

3a) Even though its far-reaching conclusions have yet to be proven, string theory (in toto) depends only on observable evidence already gathered thanks to quantum and relativity theories. In contrast to what some may believe, string theory doesn't postulate any new and undiscovered forces (such as gravitons) or fields (such as inflatons). Instead, it only describes all the currently known evidence and data about both the quantum and the cosmic scales (distinguishing the two). Without yet being able to observe the internal structure of particles, string theory postulates particles as strings, that is, strings being particles themselves, particle motion and quantum numbers attributed to how strings behave. Each unique string structure corresponds to factual data of individual particles (electrons, quarks, etc.). Hence, each particle from The Standard Model is visualized as a string. This visualization is crucial, both mathematically and intuitively, to be able to grasp problems of the universe that we would otherwise fail to even approach.

3b) I am not sure if you realize that Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance' came out to be true and is a fact today known as quantum entanglement. Without the string theory's explanation of particle motions in multiple dimensions, there is no intuitive way of explaining quantum entanglement. Hence, it is the strength of the string theory in taking account of actual, otherwise unexplainable phenomena on not only quantum level but also on the cosmic level (such as black holes).

Concerning advanced physics that you seem to favor without actually understanding what it entails, here is something:

Quote

LQG [Loop quantum gravity] begins with relativity and tries to add quantum features, while string theory, conversely, begins with quantum field theory and tries to add gravity (from Wiki on LQG).

The inductive approach shared by integrators is to go ground up. In this case, ground-up, and not top-down, is the view of string theory. LQG, in its very description, contradicts integration.

On the other hand, let me be more sympathetic. There is a new, more or less promising theory that combines spacetime quantization and multiple dimensions.

Roberts seems to integratively grasp how spacetime can be properly quantized without atomistic reduction of LQG, and he also simplifies (or dumbs down) the 11 dimensions from the M-theory extension of string theory. Now, his view is interesting and may provide new ideas and perspectives on old problems, but I doubt it could count for more, as it is still very limiting, compared to competing theories. In any case, I will leave you with your own thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ilya Startsev said:

That's deception concerning knowing who Aristotle really was (if you were ever serious about studying him)

I'm getting tired of this type of ad hominem attack either directed at me or anyone you disagree with.  In the previous post you questioned if I'm an Objectivist because I'm being "deceived" by Rovelli, and state that is something that Peikoff would never happen to him.    When I show evidence to the contrary - since he approved Harriman's book - you then say that Peikoff and Harriman aren't qualified to understand current work in QM.  You can't have it both ways.

Edited by New Buddha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Ilya Startsev said:

…the bridge from observation to generalization is not one premise, or even a hundred premises, but the total of one’s knowledge properly integrated. (Ch. 1, "The Structure of Inductive Reasoning")

 

56 minutes ago, Ilya Startsev said:

This is an overgeneralization that is flawed at the root. First of all, there is no way of knowing everything that's going on, as integrations are complex and multi-leveled. Secondly, only someone who is looking top-down (from an authoritative position) could even attempt to judge such absolute knowledge possible to acquire in this lifetim

I do agree with this.  It caught my eye too the first time I read it and, in marginal notes, I underlined it and wrote, "disagree".

I have many disagreements with H.'s book, but I did read the entire thing and do agree with his take on ST.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

This is the B.S. that I am talking about. Santa Claus. Only with a different name. It's like saying that 1 (quantum) = 14 (cosmos). In reality, those of us who are reasonable enough should know the absolute truth that 1 =/= 14, or that 14 =/= 1. In fact, it is necessarily so that 14 can never equal 1, so cosmos can never equal quantum.

 

3 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Quantum gravity is a false flag problem operating in physics to promote the kind of disintegration I spoke of. In order to realize that there is no gravity, as such, on the quantum level, one needs to make a single mental operation: distinguish quantum and cosmic levels. Once you do, you'd realize that just because they find gravity on the cosmic level, it doesn't necessarily follow that quantum level will have it too. Searching for gravity as such on the quantum level is like searching for Santa Claus. No matter how much you believe in it (him), you won't find the actual thing (person), but you may find imitators.

No a theory of quantum gravity must exist. Explaining the physics of black holes would be impossible without it. Way too many explanations pop out of the equations, things like the holographic principle or bouncing branes causing the phase transition that we today see as "The Big Bang", etc., that it is virtually certain that we on the right track with M- theory.

I'm an Objectivist and also certain that the various Objectivist intellectuals who attempt to shoot down string theory are always attacking a straw man that they simply don't understand while taking an extremely rationalist view point regarding physics that doesn't jive with reality at high energies. 

Ilya Startsev likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, New Buddha said:

I'm getting tired of this type of ad hominem attack either directed at me or anyone you disagree with.  In the previous post you questioned if I'm an Objectivist because I'm being "deceived" by Rovelli, and state that is something that Peikoff would never happen to him.    When I show evidence to the contrary - since he approved Harriman's book - you then say that Peikoff and Harriman aren't qualified to understand current work in QM.  You can't have it both ways.

New Buddha, I sincerely apologize concerning ad hominem attacks. I try to delete them when I proofread my comments, but some do get through, based on emotions I feel at the moment. Notice also, although that doesn't excuse me one bit, that they are indirect attacks. I would never directly attack anyone on this forum!

Yes, there is also a contradiction on my part (based also on emotions, rather than proper reasoning). When you brought up LQG I was a bit surprised because I've never heard about it before, and since I disagreed with the Atomic article I decided to attack the theory too, not realizing that my disagreement was with its philosophy, not science, of this particular writer. (It's funny, though, that he also confuses philosophy with science, as in his book on Anaximander.) In any case, we should stick to philosophy here, as I am not a professional scientist, just an amateur like Peikoff is.

The 'deception' part is a rhetorical tactic I've used too often, so I will try to hold off on that. I respect Peikoff greatly (much more so than Rovelli), and when the contradiction was obvious I hated attacking him. I am also surprised that Lee Smolin "approved" of Harriman's book (that's indeed quite a shift in the scientific community if that is indeed so!), as I didn't grasp that from your previous comment. Could you reference exactly the "approval"?

9 hours ago, EC said:

No a theory of quantum gravity must exist.

Only a posteriori as an explanation, yes, as happens in M-theory (necessitating the presence of gravity by the structure of strings). In any case, as I quoted from Wikipedia, gravity is added after quantum evidence was coded into strings.

9 hours ago, EC said:

Explaining the physics of black holes would be impossible without it.

Yes, and here I once again refer to string theory. Notice that Einstein's and Hawking's original explanations (equations, descriptions) had nothing to do with actual quanta. The idea that information is not lost in black holes and that holographic principle is fruitful in understanding them comes from Leonard Susskind, one of co-founders of string theory (and the principle exponent, I would say). In the Diagram I've added him as an integrator of a completely new kind, undiscovered yet by Peikoff or any of Objectivists. But seeing that someone on this forum is actually approving of him is another great surprise (of today)!

New Buddha likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, EC said:

This is excellent news. It shows evidence of a segment of the connection between quantum and cosmic levels (here on earth). Two things I want to elaborate on for you specifically, EC, as you are new to this discussion: I argued against the Loop quantum gravity, a theory that competes with string theory but bases itself also on quantum gravity (but philosophically vastly different). Also, when I mentioned that gravity for strings is an a posteriori fact (and even than a fact of mathematics, not an empirical fact), I want to stress that a posteriori doesn't exclude necessary conclusions, as Saul Kripke wonderfully argued, contrary to what all Kantians believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

I am also surprised that Lee Smolin "approved" of Harriman's book (that's indeed quite a shift in the scientific community if that is indeed so!), as I didn't grasp that from your previous comment. Could you reference exactly the "approval"?

Smolin didn't approve of Harriman's book - I doubt he's even read it.  As I understand the history of how The Logical Leap came to be, Peikoff hired (or ARI did) Harriman to co-author a book on induction in science -- but the project ended up becoming Harriman's in its entirety, with Peikoff's endorsement.  Peikoff was instrumental in its development, but probably because of the complex, technical nature of the subject matter, Peikoff realized that it would be disingenuous for him to claim to be a co-author of such a book. (Someone please feel free to correct me if my take on the history of the book is wrong.)

I have lots of problems with the book, but it's still worth reading.

Wrt to String Theory, I knew who Smolin was many years before TLL was even written.  And I was aware of the "String Wars" in science that Smolin's book The Trouble with Physics initiated.

I've also followed the blog of a prominent string theorist for about 8 years too - Czech Physicist Lubos Motl, The Reference Frame - whom I have a great deal of respect for in part because of his opposition to Global Warming and his support of Vaclav Klaus and Free Market Economics.  He has many articles critiquing both Smolin and Rovelli - in great technical detail - that you might be interested in.

8 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

I respect Peikoff greatly (much more so than Rovelli)

You had never even heard of Rovelli before I mentioned him, and I know that you haven't had time to review anything that he's published since yesterday - so it's wrong to claim that you don't "respect" him until you understand him.  This is just the type of "attack" against people that I see as unproductive in this discussion.  Rovelli's Relational Quantum Mechanics is technical, but it can be followed if you have some understanding of the topic.  Here is a link to his 2008 paper that I suggest you read if you want to learn more.  RQM .

Edited by New Buddha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you could also explain, as I am confused on this topic, what led to Peikoff's break off with Harriman. I mean, Harriman is with TAS now. Did Peikoff finally realize that Harriman was off on the topics of the book? Or was it something different?

I downloaded Rovelli's article, but I am not sure I'd be interested in reading science any time soon. I am all about philosophy right now, and I can tell you right front: I do not respect Rovelli's philosophy. It's not an attack. It's a matter of fact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best video I've ever seen against climate change is this:

I highly recommend watching it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Ilya Startsev said:

The best video I've ever seen against climate change is this:

That's Richard Lindzen, a man who is fighting the good fight.  Here is a link on Lubos' blog about a talk Lindzen gave in Prague which Klaus also attended.

Richard Lindzen's talk in Prague

I am still a bit overloaded (also because the new phone I bought yesterday had a defective charging/battery and speaker so I returned it). So let me post some material that deviates from the most typical genre. John Archer wanted some report about Lindzen's talk in Prague. Here you have a fast translation of an initial draft of a report in Czech that I have to write.

Here's a link to some ARI's contributions to the issue.

Edited by New Buddha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/19/2017 at 0:24 PM, Ilya Startsev said:

The impersonal metaphysics was the great—and historically recent—achievement of the Greeks, specifically of Aristotle’s secularism and advocacy of reason. It was this approach that led to the clear Greek distinction between the animate and the inanimate, which included the fact that consciousness can belong only to the animate. (Ch. 1, "Perceiving First-Level Causal Connections")

What did you find wrong with Harriman's above quote?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.