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Explanations are paintings

  1. Apr 7, 2006 #1
    Explanations are paintings or drawings. If in the future we somehow lived inside a computer simulation where objects popped into existence from nowhere and then dissappeared or where we could walk on water if we said a magic formula and any other extravagant miraculous phenomena existed, then we would create a science and a description and explanations of cause and effect based on this.

    So the science or explanations (the causes and effects, the organizing principles etc.) would be a function of the universe we were observing. Change the rules of the universe and the science will change. Extrapolate this to the oddest and most creative combinations of phenomena we could design in the simulator and you would have a Science that would become an Art, a design, an invention, arbitrary with no intrinsic truth other than we are locked inside that particular universe through the simulation.

    Now imagine that we are really living inside a simulator where a god or an alien race is designing the reality we observe and hence our Science. In this case isn't science just a painting, an art form ? What difference than does it make if we are inside a simulator or if this is the bare reality, isn't it just a quirk combination of elements, cause and effects, just like any quirk Painting (like the more abstract paintings) ? Reality/physics/universe could be (in a simulator) or could have been (in other possible universes) anything imaginable, hence even science is at the most fundamental level truly Arbitrary. In this sense, seen from a far enough angle everything is just an Art form, Art is Science.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2006 #2
    Seriously, imagine that you are (and always have been) really living inside a simulator where a god or an alien race is designing the reality you observe. Now how would you go about defining that "reality" and how would you explain it? Remember, until you define something (and that would be absolutely anything) it is "undefined". Thus your problem is one of constructing a rational model of a totally unknown universe given nothing but a totally undefined stream of data which has been transcribed by a totally undefined process.

    Our mental image of the universe is constructed from data received through mechanisms (our senses) which are also part of that image. I think any scientist in the world would hold it as obvious that one could not possibly model the universe until after some information about that universe were obtained. The problem with this position is that we cannot possibly model our senses (the fundamental source of that information) until after we have modeled the universe.

    I have thought about that problem and I think I have found a very profound solution. If you are truly interested in thinking about the subject, perhaps we could discuss the details of a logical deduction I have posted on the world wide web. Have a look at my paper http://home.jam.rr.com/dicksfiles/Explain/Explain.htm [Broken]. If you can comprehend that presentation, I would like to discus the solutions to the wave equation therein deduced.

    I think there are some rather serious errors in the common assumptions people make when they think about such a problem.

    Have fun -- Dick
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  4. Apr 8, 2006 #3
    Interesting. It shows how logic-mathematics can be so general as to include and model anything imaginable. To truly get to something different or new we would have to literally get out of the box; modify our neural circuits, mental neural networks, their connections to emotions, new complex and maybe extremely amplified sense organs, intense pleasure (and many other completely new-odd-weird sensations-feelings) and sentiments and any other infinite combination of modified - designed brains. When this happens all our present day science will appear insignificant, we will be in the TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY.

    Contradictions are bounded and constrained by the laws of physics. We can always force and assign 3=4, A is also not A, and any wild ideas as much as possible and assign them as true. We can everything. The problems emerge only when applied to reality-physics. Then again if we can paint any picture and draw any sequence of symbols and assign any or all meanings, then physics allows us any and all contradictions on a Metaphysical-Artistic level. So are metaphysical contradictions just "fake" contradictions or are they real even though the physics generating them cannot be contradictory ? Or is the deepest fundament of reality-physics PURE CONTRADICTIONS ?

    I watch X-files, I read "The Edge of Infinity" (Davies), I like science fiction.
  5. Apr 8, 2006 #4
    That's true but you have to look further as you miss the entire result being presented there.
    The final point is that you cannot get out of the box; a much more profound statement. In order to understand the issue, you must be able to solve that equation at the end of the paper.
    All the concepts you list are aspects of your presumed solutions to the problem of understanding the universe. You have the cart entirely on the wrong side of the cart. The approach is to find solutions to the equation and then define things in terms of those solutions. Until you do that, all you have to work with is undefined data and your "neural circuits, etc." are defined concepts. That is, you must first show that the things you have defined do indeed correspond to solutions to that equation; otherwise, they are not necessarily internally self consistent concepts.
    Not true, when one solves that equation, one discovers entities definable in terms of those solutions which leads to behavioral predictions of those defined entities and, low and behold, modern physics arises out of the mist like a ghost ship. That is, one discovers that that the laws of physics arise piece by piece from the constraints inherent in the definition of "an explanation".
    Sure, you can assign any or all meanings but if the finished construct is internally self consistent, the entire set of symbols can be reinterpreted to represent significant aspects of modern physics. If, in the end, all the "stuff" you have created has no internal contradictions, it is nothing more than modern physics expressed in a different language.
    I don't think you have understood the derivation or you are presuming that equation places no constraints on an acceptable explanation.
    What I am putting forth is not science fiction. It is a very objective scientific work and, if you wish to understand the consequences, you need to examine the derivation carefully.

    Have fun -- Dick
  6. Apr 15, 2006 #5
    I understand perfectly, the universe does not need to employ the set of rules that determines its logic the it does. In fact, the universe does not even need to emply rules that will create observers to understand it, just like we cannot understand anything not employing the logic we can understand. It in fact puzzles me as to why the existing universe settled into its existing system of logic. Is there some force or effect that in essence causes it to 'crystallize' into its current state?

    On your point about Art, yes, i agree there are some relationships with science. We can afford to find beauty in both, and to me any appreciation of a sense of beauty is a kind of art. However, in this case, the distinct disimilarity is that art is created by ourselves to satisfy our own sensibilities, but the universe is created without us having a hand in it.

    And yet we can still appreciate beauty within the structure of the universe.

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