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  1. #61

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    The following post is likely to be long, so I am going to try to sumarize both at the begining and at the end.

    The main point I am making, is that:
    Even though I acknowledge that the logic/rationality we humans use is inherently limited by our own human experiences and analogies we can draw from them, it is tapped into a "universal" rationality (the consistency of reality).

    Other intelligent belings in the universe (if they exist) will necessarily tap in to the same "universal" rationality despite their own rationality being limited to their experiences and analogies drawn from them.
    It is absolutely vital to use this rationality rather forcefully to gain understanding. It is not just a matter of "tempering" empericism. Rationality leads the emperical process (but can at no point let the emperical process go).
    Archamedes and Euclid discovered many truths with little aid of empericsm (though certainly informed by experience).
    Now, I agree that the rationality, was gained through experience/genetics...but I think there is something deeper.
    IMO, something that forced the genetics to go a certain direction, and perhaps I am out of my depth taking that tac.

    So, instead, I will take a more "experience-based" tac.


    I will start with my own "inconsistent" experiences as child (and some as an adult), move on to my laboratory experiences and readings of philosophy of science, etc.

    Perhaps, people who have never experience objects being near and far at the same time, big and small (along the same dimension) at the same time, etc. cannot appreatiate the "lack-of-reality-due-to-lack-of-rationality" to the smae level.
    When I was very young perhaps 6-7 years old, I had a series of experiences over a week, that we very strange.
    One day, I could, for the whole day "see" the backs of people who were sitting right in front of me. I believe I was halucinating.
    I tried to take control of my "sight" because I wanted to see how accurate it way. I could move to look down on people who were much taller than me.
    I actually asked my uncle once if I could see his bald spot, because I saw a mark on it from my "other sight."
    I wanted to confirm/disprove if what I was seeing was indeed real.
    I was roundly admonished for asking such a question.
    Later, I went to visit a school that my aunt taught.
    At this point, I was theorizing that I was able to have this "other sight" because I had spent so much time in the places where it happened that I simply constructed it from memories.
    There was a small corner in the schoolroom where I was certain I had never seen, the top of a shelf at the side of a room. So I decided to start my "other sight" there since I was fairly familiar with the schoolroom as well.
    It worked, and I decided to guide my other sight to the top of that bookshelf.
    I was amazed! it worked! I was seeing the top of the bookshelf!! Then thud. I kind-of slipped, because the shelf was starting to buckle under my weight.
    I was physically on top of the shelf, and my aunt ran over to pull me down before it broke completely.
    She asked me how I had gotten there, and some of the students said I had just climbed up there. A very simple, rational explanation.
    I had no recollection of climbing, I thought I was just guiding my "other sight," but what really happened is rather clear, and it was rationality that determined what it was.
    As an adult, I have wierd episodes (thought very rarely) where I will percieve something as simultaneously being near and far, big and small, pulsating but static, followed often by nausea, vertigo, or a headache.
    There was even one time in my early twenties when it happened while I was driving (very scary, but I knew it was a halucitionation that would pass). I was passing between two sets of traffic posts, and all of a sudden they became twenty feet tall to me (though somehow, I could still tell their actual heights too).
    Luckily, the dimension between the posts was consistent.

    If I trusted these experiences over my own rationality, I am not sure what the consequences would have been.
    I think my own ability to block out consiously the things that didn't make sense is what eventually "fixed" my perceptions.
    Here singular experiences did nothing but cause confussion. They certainly did not overturn rationality.

    Before college, I had a couple of laboratory experiences where professional scientists did work.
    I spent some time in a biomedical research lab as a tecnician.
    The scientist I was producing cultures for was an immunotherapy reasearcher was researching the Efficacy of Locally Delivered Polyclonal Immunoglobulin against Pseudomonas aeruginosa Peritonitis in a Murine Model.
    I never actually injected rabbits, but produced plenty of cultures in Trypticase Soy Agar.
    I screwed-up in so many ways in producing the broth and applying it to Petri Dishes alone (that is before I did anything with the Pseudomonas itself), that I wonder if any of what I did was usable.
    The scientist threw out a lot of data/experiences simply by looking at cultures, based both on his prior experience and his rationality.
    These new experiences were really "non-results" and I have found since that these "non-results", i.e. ignored experiences make up the brunt of the scientific endevour.
    That is why it takes so long for scientists to produce results; the majority of experiences are non-results, experimental screw-ups.
    I also spent a good summer at the U.S. Geological Survey seperating Conodonts (a microscopic index fossil) used to date soil/dirt samples.
    Here again, I made many mistakes, and the scientist was able to tell I was completely off in my classification, based only on a cursory look at the number of fossils in each ctoegory because he had aready determined a rough range based on other soil indeces.
    I had to redo the classification based on re-examining how I evaluated the shapes and features. Once again, "non-results".

    Then there was college, which was comprised largely of lab-experiences. Again, many students came up with "non-results" when they did experiments.
    In our modern physics class, we did the Milikan Oil drop experiment Almost all the students found the charge of an electron to be less than the expected quantized value.
    Does that mean, that we disproves quantization of charge, and/or found that it is quantized at a smaller value?
    No. It turned out the TA used a make of voltmeter that wasn't very stable, so we were measuring a lot of "noise." Again, a "non-result."
    I could go on...

    But think about it. Why are lab practical exam grades in the hard science based on experimental error? Why doesn't the new expereince overturn the theoretical result.
    Why do we hold deviation from the theoretical result as a negative for the student?

    Since then I have had most of my professional lab experiences dealing with electircal phenomenon. Even among professionals, most experience/experimental-results that deviate significantly from what is expected rationally are "non-results."
    It is fairly rare to overturn something long held to be true based on new experience. But if we can make it repeatable, that is another story.
    We have large skews in sillicon wafers from time-to-time, but it doesn't invalidate our 6-sigma controls on our fab, because there is often systematic/operator error to account for this descrepency.
    We have plenty of false failures when screening parts because the wrong screen was run, or a socket used in the test board came loose, and on and on...

    I am hoping, at least, people don't place as high a value on empersicm, that the belief is that it only needs to be "tempered" by rationalism, instead of lead by it.

    One of the learnings about "statistical noise" is that it should be eliminated, not enhanced because that is what the data said.
    If people are willing to suffer through a discussion on statistics, I can also (attempt to) explain why I believe what is "rational" is best represented by the current estimator, and an experince is represented by a data point. How one choses the next esitmator is something I found very elucidating.

    Anyway, as far as I can show based on my own experience, I believe a great deal of experiences are actually "non-results," and ought to be ignored.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #62
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    It seems to me that you are intuiting a lot of things and since I have not had your experiences, I can't comment on the reasoning you have established to explain those things.

    I did post right before you though on why it seemed to me that your perspective is backwards from the biological sense.

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...09-post60.html

    I think the conception you have of the world is very rationalistic. I tend to take issue with that kind of thought process because people believe they can reason the "rationality of the universe" and obtain universal truths by which to live by from their very limited experience. Once that reaches the level of human morality and ethics as it did with Ayn Rand, it becomes insidious because it begins to ignore counter experiences. It negates anything counter to its own reasoning as "non results" and in effect, people create a world in their own head that is not representative of the real world. Experiences are what form and test reason, and once people accept only reason because they accept in their own minds that it is flawless and derived from the physical universe and begin ignoring experiences, the end result is nothing short of a psychosis.

    The question you have to ask yourself, is are you certain beyond all doubt that human reason isn't but just a piece of a representation of the physical universe. Is it not possible that since we evolved on this planet, within the limited parameters of this planet, that our conception of the universe is restricted to the perceptions we have gained from this planet. In essence, what I am saying is that human reasoning may be only a microscopic portion of "universal rationality". And even our individual reasoning may be only a microscopic portion of all of "human rationality". As individuals we need experience in order to obtain as much of "human rationality" as possible, and as a species we need further evolution to obtain more "universal rationality".

    The greatest flaw of rationalists is they assume that they can use their limited reasoning to obtain all reasoning in the universe. The reality is only through experience can we obtain to ability to reason and any further capacity to reason.

    It is an illusion to assume that reason spawns reason, when it is clear from reality that reason can only be spawned from experience. One must experience something in order to understand it and utilize it.

    Disprove the above statement and you may have an argument, but otherwise, all things come back to experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    It seems to me that you are intuiting a lot of things and since I have not had your experiences, I can't comment on the reasoning you have established to explain those things.

    I did post right before you though on why it seemed to me that your perspective is backwards from the biological sense.

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...09-post60.html
    I guess we were posting at the same time (though I took a while), and mine ended up on a new page. I missed it.

    But I see my view as compatable with biology, not backwards from it. Yes, experience begets human reason. I have never disagreed with you on that.

    What I an saying is that it is reality that begets experience, and that experience in itself is "unrefined." It gets "integrated," even in very simple organisms, because there is a reality being "modeled." If that "model" is incosistent, then there will be issues, because the reality bing modeled is consistent. Yes, what matters is the correspondence between the "model" and reality, so some inconsistency in the "model" is acceptable. But it is a sign of something a-miss. That is all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I think the conception you have of the world is very rationalistic. I tend to take issue with that kind of thought process because people believe they can reason the "rationality of the universe" and obtain universal truths by which to live by from their very limited experience. Once that reaches the level of human morality and ethics as it did with Ayn Rand, it becomes insidious because it begins to ignore counter experiences. It negates anything counter to its own reasoning as "non results" and in effect, people create a world in their own head that is not representative of the real world. Experiences are what form and test reason, and once people except only reason because they accept in their own minds that it is flawless and derived from the physical universe and begin ignoring experiences, the end result is nothing short of a psychosis.
    As I've mentioned before, I don't agree with Aynn Rand. I don't claim that all experiences are "non-results." I was saying that most experiences that deviate significantly for rational expectation are "non-results." Most experiences in general, in fact, line-up quite directly with rationality.

    If your friend came by and started telling you that she saw a little green extra-teretial, are you inclined to belive that she saw an extra-terestial, or search for more terestial reasons (like a costume or something)?

    This is different, say, from someone coming by and saying they just ate a really hot peperocini from Papa John's despite you never having had one.

    One is a lot less belivable than the other. Do you agree with me here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    The question you have to ask yourself, is are you certain beyond all doubt that human reason isn't but just a piece of a representation of the physical universe. Is it not possible that since we evolved on this planet, withing the limited parameters of this planet, that our conception of the universe is restricted to the perceptions we have gained from this planet. In essence, what I am saying is that human reasoning may be only a microscopic portion of "universal rationality". And even our individual reasoning may be only a microscopic portion of all of "human rationality". As individuals we need experience in order to obtain as much of "human rationality" as possible, and as a species we need further evolution to obtain more "universal rationality".
    Actually, that is exactly what I believe: that my own rationality is a minisclue part of "human rationality" which is in turn a miniscule part of "univeral rationality."

    What I am saying, is the the more experiece I gain, the more it seems true to me that there is a "universal rationality." In addition, the more experience I gain, the more it seems true that the universal rationality is consistent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    The greatest flaw of rationalists is they assume that they can use their limited reasoning to obtain all reasoning in the universe. The reality is only through experience can we obtain to ability to reason and any further capacity to reason.
    Well, this rationalist has believed that his reasoning is limited by his experience for a long time. You are preeching to the choir here.

    But I need to thow out an equal caution to empericists. Just because rationality is limited by experience, it is NOT confined to the experiences. Many scientists and technologists predicted and envisioned discoveries that they were not arround to experience.

    Is Feynmann around still to see every experience that confirms Quantum Chromo-dynamics? But he still understood them, because he pridicted those outcomes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    It is an illusion to assume that reason spawns reason, when it is clear from reality that reason can only be spawned from experience. One must experience something in order to understand it and utilize it.

    Disprove the above statement and you may have an argument, but otherwise, all things come back to experience.
    Human reason does spawn new reason. That is what the pursuit of pure mathematics is. It is true that the basic axiams are spawened by experience, but beyond that, and incredible amount of it continues on reason alone.

    Again, is Euler around to experience and use the network routing algorithms that are based on his graph theory work? No, but it is his understanding that through reason that allows such algorithms to be implemented.

    What is your take on what poor mathematicians actualy do? Do they have to "experience" a Klien bottle to formulate theories on it? (I have no doubt it would help, but...) They only need the experience needed for the axioms, and experience needed to manipulate mathematical objects. It is analogy and reason that allow the rest.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    But I need to thow out an equal caution to empericists. Just because rationality is limited by experience, it is NOT confined to the experiences. Many scientists and technologists predicted and envisioned discoveries that they were not arround to experience.

    Is Feynmann around still to see every experience that confirms Quantum Chromo-dynamics? But he still understood them, because he pridicted those outcomes.

    Human reason does spawn new reason. That is what the pursuit of pure mathematics is. It is true that the basic axiams are spawened by experience, but beyond that, and incredible amount of it continues on reason alone.

    Again, is Euler around to experience and use the network routing algorithms that are based on his graph theory work? No, but it is his understanding that through reason that allows such algorithms to be implemented.

    What is your take on what poor mathematicians actualy do? Do they have to "experience" a Klien bottle to formulate theories on it? (I have no doubt it would help, but...) They only need the experience needed for the axioms, and experience needed to manipulate mathematical objects. It is analogy and reason that allow the rest.
    Then it seems this is where we disagree, because I believe that human reason is confined to experience. We can, intuit, or guess, based on our reasoning outside of our experience, but that is all it is.

    I've already clarified in previous posts what I thought "higher reasoning" really is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo
    Well I believe in God even though I have never experienced him, so perhaps that proves I am capable of understanding concepts that defy reason largely above the plane of experience. What do you think? I suppose it is also possible that I'm guessing at a possibility, but won't I look like the genius if I am proven right? Maybe that is all higher reasoning really is...people making guesses based on the available information. If they are proven right for those guesses, it would sure make them seem like they were capable of reasoning beyond their own experience, but the reality is they were just the lucky ones who had enough experience to make the right guess. So what does Occam's Razor suggest for you? Do you think some people are capable of superhuman reasoning that transcends experience or do you think some people are just better guessers than others when it comes to interpreting the experience they have?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo
    Well I guess we will just have to agree to disagree when it comes to the potential of human beings to reason. What I meant by asking you to apply the concept of Occam's Razor was to consider if the two options were equal, which would be the simpler explanation, because that one is most likely to be true. I reason that the simpler explanation is that people are capable of inventing extraordinary concepts in their mind, based completely on intuition and the available information. However, I imagine that these are still only hunches and visions of what might be true, not a superhuman ability to reason beyond experience. They just seem that way in retrospect after they have been proven.

    In essence, many of Einstein's theories would have just been leaps of faith on his part based on what he reasoned could be true, and as they have been proven true, it makes him appear as if he had superhuman capacities to reason, when in actuality, he simply had amazing intuition, much of which he derived from his reasoning from the available information.
    This is how it works. First we experience, then we intuit based on that experience and form ideas, and then we reason from those intuitions and form concepts and philosophies, and then we either prove or disprove those concepts and philosophies through methodology and experimentation, which is science. That is the process by which everything is learned and nothing is learned from a deviation in that process.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Then it seems this is where we disagree, because I believe that human reason is confined to experience. We can, intuit, or guess, based on our reasoning outside of our experience, but that is all it is.
    The problem with the above statement is that it makes no distiction between throwing darts at set of random statements and a carefully constructed theory.

    I could reverse it, and say that believing your experience is also only a hunch. Was I actually seeing the back of people from in-front as a kid? I think not.

    What is to say that all our experiences are nothing more than "The Matrix" feeding us information to keep us appeased as fuel cells for robots?

    Yes, a rationally constructed theory is still a guess (as is believing in experiences). But it more that "Just a Theory".

    I have a book recommendation for you also. Just A Theory.

    Why do you make use of Occam's razor Kiddo? Is the efficacy of Occam's not just a hunch?
    Why do you prefer to believe in evolution instead of Intelligent Design? Is that not just a hunch? Isn't evolution, "just a theory?"

    To me: certainty(unacheivable) > rational fully tested theory > rational fully testable theory > hunch > guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    This is how it works. First we experience, then we intuit based on that experience and form ideas, and then we reason from those intuitions and form concepts and philosophies, and then we either prove or disprove those concepts and philosophies through methodology and experimentation, which is science. That is the process by which everything is learned and nothing is learned from a deviation in that process.
    Very few things are "proven" in my understatnging...and I don't see it as linear like that. It is much more complex than that.

    You experience, we form ideas, those ideas may lead us more ideas and experiences, we can attempt to create theories, and continue to experience things, and modify the theory, form more intuitions, gather still more experience, test a bit, form experiences from the test, create a tehory of what happened in the test, compare the theory of what happened in the test with what you had costructed before the test, for furhter ideas (all the while experienceing more and more) ....

    The whole things is rather messy.

    Again, do you deny the existence of illusions?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #66
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    I would say my "hunch" about experience is supported by more evidence than your "hunch" about reasoning.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Why do you make use of Occam's razor Kiddo? Is the efficacy of Occam's not just a hunch?
    Why do you prefer to believe in evolution instead of Intelligent Design? Is that not just a hunch? Isn't evolution, "just a theory?"
    Occam's razor is just a hunch and it isn't always correct. Evolution is supported by more evidence than intelligent design is.

    To me: certainty(unacheivable) > rational fully tested theory > rational fully testable theory > hunch > guess.
    I agree. But every rational fully tested theory began as a guess from experience.

    Very few things are "proven" in my understatnging...and I don't see it as linear like that. It is much more complex than that.

    You experience, we form ideas, those ideas may lead us more ideas and experiences, we can attempt to create theories, and continue to experience things, and modify the theory, form more intuitions, gather still more experience, test a bit, form experiences from the test, create a tehory of what happened in the test, compare the theory of what happened in the test with what you had costructed before the test, for furhter ideas (all the while experienceing more and more) ....

    The whole things is rather messy.
    I agree, it isn't as linear as I demonstrated, but the process still stands. All knowledge is accumulated by that path.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I would say my "hunch" about experience is supported by more evidence than your "hunch" about reasoning.
    I agree with that too... and since...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I agree. But every rational fully tested theory began as a guess from experience.
    You agreed with my (rather metaphorical) inequality...

    So... It seems were in agreement all along anyway...

    Funny how that works. Just had to work through the semantics

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  8. #68
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    Eh? I musta missed it. You still think reason can spawn reason and I still think reason can only be spawned from experience. I guess you musta found the middle ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Eh? I musta missed it. You still think reason can spawn reason and I still think reason can only be spawned from experience. I guess you musta found the middle ground.
    Really? I thought this was a matter of semantics too. I thought you were saying that the experiences get refined into ideas that get refined into theories and philosophies (which we acknowledged as still being hunches).

    Well. Now I have to ask more questions:

    What is it you belive pure mathematicians do?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Really? I thought this was a matter of semantics too. I thought you were saying that the experiences get refined into ideas that get refined into theories and philosophies (which we acknowledged as still being hunches).

    Well. Now I have to ask more questions:

    What is it you belive pure mathematicians do?
    I think they intuit based on their reasoning and form theories which are later tested and proven or disproved. In essence, they make statements like, "If this is held as true...then this must be true..." and make guesses about probable outcomes. And even if they are correct, they still need to verify it with experience (as through methodology and experimentation), otherwise it is just a guess.

    The short answer is...they speculate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

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