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The sum of our perceptions make up reality

by All-St4r
Tags: perceptions, reality
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Coldcall
#19
Dec11-09, 04:39 AM
P: 275
Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
You're mixing my reply to the OP with my reply to you. Though, I suppose you did agree with the OP when he said:

"The term "reality" is merely the sum of our perceptions, nothing more."

I took "our" to mean us, as in human, since they'll be the only ones sharing the post. Either way, it's still, in my opinion, a completely ridiculous notion.

Your post is an overreaction. I have not willfullly misinterpreted anything, and you'd easily had a chance to clear up any discrepancies without making ridiculous accusations. Instead, you've presented yourself as a bit of a nut.

You've misinterpreted quantum mechanics. An observer does not have to be a human, or even a biological system. Have you ever studied qm formally?
Its no overreaction to hold you to your initial misrepresentation of what i said. Its a cheap and intellectually dishonest approach to debate. You addressed your comments to me, and you unambiguously framed your question to me as if i was claiming that no reality exists without humans. Had you meant to take on the OP you would have addressed your comments to him/her.

Why not just apologise instead of backpeddling with a really flimsy and illogical excuse. How am i supposed to take you seriously when you try that crap on?

Easy answer is I will just ignore you until you apologise for misrepresenting what i said.
Chronos
#20
Dec11-09, 04:54 AM
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There is no absolute proof, or denial of any observation. We rely on observation and logic - which cannot be proven or disproven. We live in a fuzzy universe.
WaveJumper
#21
Dec11-09, 05:00 AM
P: 649
Quote Quote by Pythagorean
You've misinterpreted quantum mechanics. An observer does not have to be a human, or even a biological system. Have you ever studied qm formally?

Pythagorean, I wonder what your idea is of whatever it is(fundamental and invariant) that exist out there?

If it is quantum fields, what do you conceive of a quantum field(what ontological meaning do you ascribe to mathematical QF's)? Would you be comfortable with using the word "exist" for a phenomenon that only has its properties in relation to other phenomena and would you be comfortable with assigning existence for something that has no solid structure(e.g. our relative universe)? Would events(information about events) be considered real and observer-independent?
Pythagorean
#22
Dec11-09, 05:34 AM
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Quote Quote by WaveJumper View Post
Pythagorean, I wonder what your idea is of whatever it is(fundamental and invariant) that exist out there?

If it is quantum fields, what do you conceive of a quantum field?
I don't see the world in quantum view, that's for sure. QM is very difficult to grasp in an intuitive way, and the more we find pleasing ways to encompass the whole theory in a way that we understand and identify with, the more we begin to make personal interpretations.

The world is a very confusing and strange place. Anytime we build a theory/model about it, (even on our own time when we're stereotyping, categorizing, or learning information) we're torn between generalization and specializing. The more you generalize, the more information you lose, and it becomes easier to mistake your case for the general since the resolution is so large, and you're flabbergasted when you find fundamental flaws in your generalized theory. As you specialize your model, it becomes more limited in the cases it applies to and becomes less intuitive as part of the general picture.

We tend to make generalizations in philosophy about physics. Of course, it's a lose-lose situation, because once you slide more towards the specialized models, you begin to lose feeling for the generalizations that make it a concept easier to understand on a fundamental, intuitive level.


Would you be comfortable with using the word "exist" for a phenomenon that only has its properties in relation to other phenomena?
yes, events happen between objects. Weather "exists". Weather is not an object. It's a series of events between many, many objects.

Would you be comfortable with assigning existence for something that has no solid structure(e.g. our relative universe)?
Like Energy or Velocity? Yes.

Would events(information about events) be considered real and observer-independent?
Events, yes. Information is an ambiguous word.
WaveJumper
#23
Dec12-09, 01:43 PM
P: 649
Quote Quote by Pythagorean
I don't see the world in quantum view, that's for sure. QM is very difficult to grasp in an intuitive way, and the more we find pleasing ways to encompass the whole theory in a way that we understand and identify with, the more we begin to make personal interpretations.

The world is a very confusing and strange place. Anytime we build a theory/model about it, (even on our own time when we're stereotyping, categorizing, or learning information) we're torn between generalization and specializing. The more you generalize, the more information you lose, and it becomes easier to mistake your case for the general since the resolution is so large, and you're flabbergasted when you find fundamental flaws in your generalized theory. As you specialize your model, it becomes more limited in the cases it applies to and becomes less intuitive as part of the general picture.

We tend to make generalizations in philosophy about physics. Of course, it's a lose-lose situation, because once you slide more towards the specialized models, you begin to lose feeling for the generalizations that make it a concept easier to understand on a fundamental, intuitive level.

Sounds like you are saying that reality is not(thoroughly) comprehensible.




yes, events happen between objects. Weather "exists". Weather is not an object. It's a series of events between many, many objects.

My question wasn't referring to the common-sense reality of objects and weather. I was interested to know your idea of the underlying nature of what you call objects and, in case you are a naive realist, what about GR, QM and cosmology?


Would you be comfortable with assigning existence for something that has no solid structure(e.g. our relative universe)?
Like Energy or Velocity? Yes.

If the universe is really a structureless, relative energy soup of possibilities, we must address the issue of our own weird classical reality. How come? Why do we see this perfectly structured reality that appears so real to the casual eye? You insist on doing away with the observer, but if there is NO observer to objectify the electron, atom, molecule, etc.(prescribe it definite position, momentum, time, mass, energy, speed...in space), what would those "objects" be without us, the observers? (I presume you are familiar with the double slit experiement with highly ordered and structured objects such as c60 molecule, passing as waves when unobserved/unmeasured through the slits, http://www.fkf.mpg.de/andersen/fullerene/symmetry.html).

Suppose there were no observers in this relative energy soup of possibilities(the probability density of a bound-state electron at infinity is never zero). What, in your view, is the ontological status of the phenomenon that gives rise to what we commonly accept as common-sense reality?



Would events(information about events) be considered real and observer-independent?

Events, yes. Information is an ambiguous word.

OK, I will assume for a moment that waves are real. What does it tell us about the events(what you like to call 'objects') that get manifested through them?
ValenceE
#24
Dec12-09, 02:15 PM
P: 141
Hello all,

WaveJumper, you typed

what would those "objects" be without us the observers?
They certainly wouldn’t ‘look’ anything like they are now, that’s for sure. However, other than the human made objects, they’d still be there as THEY ARE THERE , being energetic entities in interaction with each other, obeying universal laws, each having their very own existence, properties, origin and evolution.

They were created by universal mechanisms just like you were created by a human specific mechanism, obeying universal and man made laws, having your own existence, properties, origin and evolution.


Regards,
VE



P.S. :

Maybe I shouldn't share this and no offense, but Coldcall, please, come out of it, it seems you got it wrong…

There were six posts between your and Pythagorean’s first posts. His post header is directed at the OP’s question, not your reply. The second part of his post is directed to you and you’ve already answered. It is you who has put together both his responses in a single quote…
WaveJumper
#25
Dec12-09, 02:26 PM
P: 649
Quote Quote by ValenceE
They certainly wouldn’t ‘look’ anything like they are now, that’s for sure. However, other than the human made objects, they’d still be there as THEY ARE THERE , being energetic entities in interaction with each other, obeying universal laws, each having their very own existence, properties, origin and evolution.

This contradicts SR, QM and cosmology. What do you mean by "they"? Their physical properties are dependent on the observer's FOR. How wide is the universe without making the unwarranted assumption of a preferred frame of reference? Where are the superpositional states(loosely speaking - 'waves') that you believe are "there"(that really stretch to infinity)? What does "there" mean outside the usual, common-sense view of the reality of your eyes, ears and smell?

Does an unmeasured/unobserved c60 molecule have definite physical properties?
Pythagorean
#26
Dec12-09, 03:08 PM
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Quote Quote by WaveJumper View Post
My question wasn't referring to the common-sense reality of objects and weather. I was interested to know your idea of the underlying nature of what you call objects and, in case you are a naive realist, what about GR, QM and cosmology?
You've somewhat answered it. In the first sentence of your reply, you said "Sounds like you are saying that reality is not(thoroughly) comprehensible." Which I am. That's miles apart from saying reality only exists because of our perception...

My point is not that we're right about our interpretations or that we have a complete view, but that something exist independent of our observations. I don't deny that our human observations are a result of the interaction between us and that something. We may very well have a skewed concept of what we're measuring, but we can consistently measure it, and we can construct a world view that allows us to operate in reality. (I'm calling reality the thing that we're interacting with by the way, not our interpretation of it).

For instance, I don't think waves are real. I think the phenomena that gives rise to what we measure as waves are real. It would be impractical to say "the phenomena that gives rise to" in front of ever physical concept we discuss, and furthermore, it's irrelevant when you're discussing it in the context of physical science. There are many physical concepts that are (more or less) a mathematical trick, such as the magnetic vector potential. I can't tell you whether one exists or not, I can hardly understand what it is! But it helps me to understand my observations (or interactions, if you will) in a consistent way.

IIRC correctlly, in QM, even a mirror can be an observer.
ValenceE
#27
Dec12-09, 03:11 PM
P: 141
This contradicts SR, QM and cosmology. What do you mean by "they"? Their physical properties are dependent on the observer's FOR. How wide is the universe without making the unwarranted assumption of a preferred frame of reference? Where are the superpositional waves that you believe are "there"(that really stretch to infinity)? What does "there" mean outside the common-sense view of reality of your eyes, ears and smell?

‘They’ are the objects, the same ones as in “ Their physical properties… ”.
Are you sure that their physical properties are really dependent on the observer’s FOR?

Wouldn’t it rather relate to their perceived properties as seen by the observer? Imo, the real constituents of what we recognize as objects exist independently and only appear as they do to any and all observers in their own FOR.

As far as 'where', well, just like you say referring to infinity and the proposition that there are no observers, the energetic entities are nowhere in particular, so I should’ve said “ they’d still exist as THEY EXIST… “


Regards,
VE
ValenceE
#28
Dec12-09, 03:21 PM
P: 141
Does an unmeasured/unobserved c60 molecule have definite physical properties?
Do you mean definite as in fixed ? if yes, then no it doesn't.

It does have ever evolving physical properties, in constant interaction with its environnment.



VE
WaveJumper
#29
Dec12-09, 03:29 PM
P: 649
Quote Quote by ValenceE View Post
‘They’ are the objects, the same ones as in “ Their physical properties… ”.
Are you sure that their physical properties are really dependent on the observer’s FOR?

Wouldn’t it rather relate to their perceived properties as seen by the observer? Imo, the real constituents of what we recognize as objects exist independently and only appear as they do to any and all observers in their own FOR.


No, this is incorrect. Length contraction is real, time does not appear to pass slower, but it does pass slower(clocks tick slower), mass of moving objects really becomes infinite at c, all the other property transformations are also real and they are FOR dependent.

As far as 'where', well, just like you say referring to infinity and the proposition that there are no observers, the energetic entities are nowhere in particular, so I should’ve said “ they’d still exist as THEY EXIST… “

Sounds about right for what is known from physics, and a more detailed answer is the holy grail of science.
WaveJumper
#30
Dec12-09, 03:38 PM
P: 649
Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
You've somewhat answered it. In the first sentence of your reply, you said "Sounds like you are saying that reality is not(thoroughly) comprehensible." Which I am. That's miles apart from saying reality only exists because of our perception...

My point is not that we're right about our interpretations or that we have a complete view, but that something exist independent of our observations. I don't deny that our human observations are a result of the interaction between us and that something. We may very well have a skewed concept of what we're measuring, but we can consistently measure it, and we can construct a world view that allows us to operate in reality. (I'm calling reality the thing that we're interacting with by the way, not our interpretation of it).

For instance, I don't think waves are real. I think the phenomena that gives rise to what we measure as waves are real. It would be impractical to say "the phenomena that gives rise to" in front of ever physical concept we discuss, and furthermore, it's irrelevant when you're discussing it in the context of physical science. There are many physical concepts that are (more or less) a mathematical trick, such as the magnetic vector potential. I can't tell you whether one exists or not, I can hardly understand what it is! But it helps me to understand my observations (or interactions, if you will) in a consistent way.

IIRC correctlly, in QM, even a mirror can be an observer.

This is certainly a valid and logical way to look at the ontology of reality as depicted by contemporary physics.


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