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Knowledge of everythingby Imparcticle
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#1
Oct2305, 12:34 AM

P: 566

Is it possible to know everything?
If it is possible, then is it dependent on time? that is, for a defined moment in time (say a second), one person can know all that there is to know about the universe. since the universe is constantly changing, the future state cannot be stated definitely and one person cannot know what comes next in the future. In answer to my original question, I would assume no. My logic (which I feel has error) rests on the fact that in order to know everything, you must know with certainty that you know everything you don't know in order to make the comparison of how much you know. this is a paradox, therefore it is impossible. 


#2
Oct2305, 09:21 AM

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#3
Oct2305, 11:44 AM

P: 1,603

So far we have only tried to specify the position of the cueball and found this impossible  and now we also need to know "everything"? MF 


#4
Oct2305, 11:55 AM

Sci Advisor
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P: 1,101

Knowledge of everything
Sounds like a similar question as to whether a "true" theory of everything is possible. The 'true' meaning that you obtain the knowledge needed to solve all scientific, philosophic and religious questions. I'd believe we can approach such answers by increasing our knowledge, but our best answers always only saturate near/towards the 'knowledge of everything'.



#5
Oct2305, 12:16 PM

P: 1,603

In the final analysis, we are always a part of the universe we are trying to measure. This means that our perspective will always colour the "truth" that we perceive. Put into scientific terms : There is an epistemic horizon, characterised by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, beyond which we can never see. Ultimate objective truth can always be pursued, but never reached. MF 


#6
Oct2405, 12:56 AM

P: 155

Is it possible to know everything?
No! The same mind that is 'home to' ('creates' via concept, perception, memory, etc...) that which is being studied, is also formulating new things to study (as it has formulated the previous items for study); new problems to solve, as that is what the mind does; creates 'problems' (the 'material' universe)and 'solves' them (tries to understand it). The only universe you can 'know' is the one within your mind, and you can never know if there exists any actual 'in itself' thing in front of your nose! I see it working as an everspiral; imagining new 'particles' to discover, and then, lo and behold, discovering them; as an ever expanding dream.. Hence the 'consciousness' of the experimenter being integral within the experiment. So, 'Knowing' anything, in an absolute sense is not even possible, but knowing everything? Hardly. One cannot ultimately know everything if one cannot ultimately, absolutely 'know' anything! All else is vanity... ego... 


#7
Oct2605, 10:16 AM

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You may notice that this thread has been pruned significantly. Please, let's try to keep the discussion at a high level of philosophical merit.



#8
Oct2805, 02:07 AM

P: 30

The only knowing everything
is understanding all at once that the everpresent impermanence(creation) is all there is. Don't throw books at me. ~~~ 


#9
Nov505, 08:33 PM

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#10
Nov505, 08:41 PM

P: 15,319

In Newton's universe it is, at least in principle, possible to know the position and direction of every atom (and photon) to be arbitrary degree of accuracy. Knowing this means you also know every moment in the past and every moment in the future (a la a billiards shot writ large). HUP asserts that, even in principle, it is impossible to know everything. 


#11
Nov605, 12:02 AM

P: 1,603

MF 


#12
Nov605, 12:14 AM

P: 15,319

On the other hand, HUP says explicitly, and in principle, that this level of knowledge cannot be achieved. 


#13
Nov605, 12:43 AM

P: 1,603

To encode the position and velocity of one electron at one point in time, you would need at least 6 real numbers. Not 6 integers  6 real numbers (one each for X, Y, Z coordinates, one each for dX, dY, dZ components of velocity). This probably would not be enough information, but let's stick with these 6 real numbers for the electron. The same needs to be done for every other electron and every other particle in the universe. Where are you going to store that information? If there are (sheer guess here) 10^120 particles in the universe you need to store 6 x 10^120 real numbers using those same particles...... it's impossible in principle (there is not enough storage space). Compression can only be applied where there is redundancy in information. We have no reason to believe that there is any redundancy in any of the 6 real numbers required for each particle  or do you know otherwise? Even if you could reduce all of the information required to just one real number, it still couldn't be stored. There is not enough storage space in a finite universe to store a complete real number. Unless you want to propose that all the information needed for the entire universe could be reduced to a single integer? MF 


#14
Nov605, 01:43 AM

P: 30

Do you see how logic(thought) about the nonexistant is all false? 


#15
Nov605, 01:46 AM

P: 30

For example, you use the
word "conclude"...that word implies permanence. Permanence does not exist. All philosophy is nonsense. . 


#16
Nov605, 11:09 AM

P: 15,319

One example of compression where there is no redundancy: Two particles in space require those six coordinates to X decimal places of precision. That does not mean you need six numbers with X decimal places of precision. Recording merely the DELTA of the second particle (wrt the first) requires a way smaller number. Whether or not that's sufficient compression to overcime storage restrictions isn't the point. The point is, I've performed an arbitrary amount of compression without losing any data. Now, the overarching point here is this: We could discuss back and forth whether it's possible or not possible to record the info, but no matter which one of us appears to have the last word on the subject, it is always possible that there is something more to add ("Eureka, I came up with a better compression algorithm!") after a week, or a century. But there is no explicit, in principle, reason why it can't be done. Whereas HUP says there is. 


#17
Nov605, 01:35 PM

P: 1,603

With 10^120 particles, talking deltas simply reduces the number of real numbers to 6 x ((10^120)  1). Not much of a saving! In fact no saving at all when you remember that we are dealing with infinite precision reals  and (infinity  X) = (infinity) You still need an infinite storage space to store a real number  even if you could reduce all 6 x 10^120 reals to one real. Unless you can compress the real number to an integer? Are you claiming this? MF 


#18
Nov705, 09:05 AM

P: 15,319

We are not dealing with infinities  that is a straw man. Restate your case without them. (BTW, no one  except you  said anything about integers either.)
It is not necessary to record values to an infinite level of precision. It is only necessary to record them to an arbitrary level of precision. 'Arbitrary', in this case, being defined as "high enough to enable extrapolation of all future and all past trajectories and interactions". Again, impossible in practice, but not in principle. And again, as remains the case, debatable. Whereas, HUP (granting that it holds true), is not debatable, as it states the principle explicitly. 


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