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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    First of all haha, I just want to say yeah I know we agree quite a bit haha I hope I did not come across as hostile or whatever just trying to clarify what it means for myself in my own mind partially. I guess what I am getting at is that knowledge is not just something you can come at by pondering it -HAS- to be learned through multiple channels in order to be complete. As human beings we -cannot- (or not in a fashion that is observable to our senses) experience quantum mechanics in a tangible and physical way. I believe this needs to change in order for people to "get it" and in order for society to evolve in a way that takes into consideration the knowledge we have discovered through science so that for instance it becomes institutionalized into law. What I mean by this is that the justice system for example currently does not take into account a person's neurology in sentencing and that makes a difference because different kinds of punishment might be more effective or not depending on a person's development and so forth. We are punishing some people who are -physically incapable- of having the punishment affect their behavior, but perhaps they might respond better to more targeted positive stimuli. Simultaneously, we give egregious punishment to some when it may not be necessary because they would respond to a more nominal pressure. Additionally, I think it could change things like the economy by realizing that what motivates people is not money, cars, or sex per se but dopamine rewards in certain channels which tend to be activated by certain rewards for most (obviously we do not have the sophistication to implement this yet). The major point is in order to change how we think about the world and how it behaves and why it behaves the way it does we have to change the way we -interact- with reality on a day to day basis that changes the assumptions we all have about "how things are." The reason I think this is true is because neurons change and develop with behavior not with thought and when people take new actions they invent new thoughts to begin to justify those actions as the neurons which control the behavior begin to activate and dominate the kind of interaction the organism has with its environment more. So, I agree with you "They've made their point, it's time to move on." and additionally, now that we know more about how the mind interacts with reality and that soul and body are not part of some metaphysical duality that does not interact then in order to create thought that has internal meaning and is reflective of reality we must CREATE the interactions that tie things together through a change in our interaction which in turn changes the levels of interconnectivity and data transmission throughout the system so that some semblance of an image of what we might call a holistic unified universe might emerge though our observation of the ties between all the "parts." (because when we create highly controlled closed systems to monitor observables we tend to mitigate the effect of the system on the isolated part of it when what is needed is to see it "in play" with it's environment and monitor is passively much like we do with observable phenomena that is too large to contain like approximating that masses of galaxies by redshift and other variables or the cosmic background radiation to get an idea of the energy state of the initial universe etc).
    Yeah, I know what you are getting at. I am fascinated by the same sorts of things.

    How the patterns, in some sense, are more important than the parts that make up the pattern. For instance, the bits stored on CD have different physical form from the bits saved on a flash drive or the bits on a magnetic drive. However, the same file can be stored in all three media and transferred between all three media. So in some sense, the physical manifestation is completely irrelevant.

    I was a computer engineer for 11 years. I know that there are intelligent people, some of whom are physicists and engineers, who struggle with this concept. I am not one of them.

    Also, I don't believe I alluded to anything precluding this form of understanding. An exemplary physical manifestation does not mean that other manifestations do not or cannot exist. But I think it is dangerous to stick to a correlation level of understanding. Not wanting to seek mechanistic details, is, in some sense, an intellectual cop-out. At least one manifestation is needed for intellectual rigor. More may exist.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "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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    I certainly hope so. I hope it will firmly disappear up its own ass, which is where it has always shown a clear inclination of belonging.

    Speaking of which...
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    The funny thing is, Nietzsche was actually also very orange meme.
    I guess that would make you beige meme?
    At least, the complexion of a thread turns distinctly beige-ish once you appear:
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Haven't I been saying this the entire time I've been here?
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Actually, you're wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Yes, you are.


    ....
    However, why should we care? I get the sense you [ygolo] are railing against something which you, apparently, believe to be unimportant if not already dead as an intellectual movement. [?]

    I don't think it is dead. I think it has left its traces all around the toilet bowl of contemporary popular culture, especially in America. And it won't come off without a lot of scrubbing.

    I also don't think it was all bad. Something was needed to prick the elitist bubble of modernism, and what could be more fitting, in terms of a conventional narrative, than a post- something or other?

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I think the biggest problem that postmodernism had was its over focus on words. As if it were practical to describe or "model" things with words alone.
    I don't think that was/is the biggest problem. You seem to be implying that it simply lacked precision, when the shortcomings are more fundamental - a lack of direction.

    It seems to me, (and Z's picture illustrates this better then words alone can) that human "progress" lurches from action to reaction like the swings of a pendulum, but unlike his illustration/model, there is not constant forward momentum, (interesting to see the pendulum shift from "self" to "other" in each iteration though - a rudimentary representation of our essentially bimodal consciousness) sometimes there is regression. I believe we currently occupy the dawn of a regressive period, very much centred on "self", it is an Age of Narcissism. But there will be new renaissances to come, and no doubt, still darker ages will follow. Wherever we happen to pop up in history, we must simply play the hand we're dealt, and hopefully find time to laugh at our own folly.

    You've heard that "a picture is worth a thousand words", right? I think this is a severe underestimate. I think, nowadays, a picture is worth around 20 million words. To add to that, I think a measurement is worth about 12 words per significant figure plus another 18 or so words due to the dynamic range of measurements available (more on that, if this discussion continues).
    This passage is diverting. It goes some way to (unintentionally) undermine your own argument. Not everything qualitative can be quantified. You miss the power of the metaphor by taking it too literally, (indeed, metaphor is one of those qualitative things that cannot be quantified). One cannot ascribe a numerical value to the "correctness" of a metaphor. It lives in the realm of approximation and relationship. In reality, a picture is worth an infinity of words, because its meaning changes with the observer and each new observer will have something more to say. It is senseless to suggest that "nowadays" we need more words to describe a picture than we used to. Does a Leonardo evoke more words or less than a Rothko? It's a senseless, pointless comparison. Words are simply a (poor) medium for ideas. Evolving out of music and metaphor, but less rich than either, language attempts (and fails) to achieve a precision which does not exist anywhere in reality.

    I think questions that resemble, "How close?' and "How far?" are quite a bit more flexible. Depending on the precision of your measurement or estimation, there are a great many possible answers...not just possible answers, but acceptable, and accepted answers. "The ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is 3" is accepted and acceptable in many contexts, as is "The ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is 3.14" and "The ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is 3.14159265359". If you wanted to use 3.2 instead, that wouldn't be so bad either.
    If we allow numbers and measurements to have equal footing in meaning to words so that the numbers in all contexts meant something to people (the same way that 2 PM or $6 means something to people), and we allow a quantitative reasoning to have meaning (not reduced to a 2-bit multiple choice of words), I think we will recognize post-modernism to be the ridiculously limiting paradigm that it is.
    Are you arguing for more precision, or less? For context-sensitive precision? How does that differ from the scenarios you describe, with which we are already familiar?

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    So this notion of "paradigm shift", and "normal science" vs. "revolutionary science", especially, seems to be rather overblown to me. Especially, since the scientists that seem to make the most "revolutionary" contributions are the same ones that seem to make the most "normal" contributions also.
    Some of your objection, then, centres on how science is disseminated. Again your preoccupation with precision in language (despite already acknowledging/deriding language's capacity for precision...)
    We are talking about critics and journalists, whose job is not to be precise, but rather sensationalistic. People who are not genuinely creative but merely parasitise the creativity of others are not the measure of our culture (even if they are the measurerers...)
    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Nobody actually shifting a paradigm needs to declare she is doing so. A revolutionary idea is self-evident...you should not have to call it as such.
    Indeed. But the hangers-on and commentators must do so- to give themselves a reason to get up in the morning and not sink into a depressing realisation of the futility of their own existence.

    Your example of Big Data is a good one. This field is currently attracting a lot of amateur interest. As always happens in such circumstances, there is much more nonsense and hyperbole circulating than reasoned, careful, exposition. That's because the former sells more copy. This is just the economics of stupidity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Haight View Post
    Correct, but it is our dominant form of communication for obvious reasons.
    It's not actually all that obvious. Countless millions of other species have gotten by without it, for example.
    Non-verbal communication is severely limited.
    So is verbal communication. One might argue, more so. For example, would you rather assemble a piece of furniture using entirely diagrammatic instructions, or a set written entirely in Chinese? Pictures are universal; languages divide. In fact, I'd suggest that the diagrams are going to be more useful even than instructions written in English - pages of "Insert flange F into bracket B" and such. (And don't bother retorting you're Jewish and don't do furniture assembly.)
    The only way for it to be mass-communicated - or transportable, if you will - is via pictures in books or on the internets. Then, of course, we would have words to describe those pictures. I think you see where I am going.
    Pictorial representations existed (and continue to exist) without the necessity for words.

    Like this, for example.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    However, why should we care? I get the sense you [ygolo] are railing against something which you, apparently, believe to be unimportant if not already dead as an intellectual movement. [?]

    I don't think it is dead. I think it has left its traces all around the toilet bowl of contemporary popular culture, especially in America. And it won't come off without a lot of scrubbing.

    I also don't think it was all bad. Something was needed to prick the elitist bubble of modernism, and what could be more fitting, in terms of a conventional narrative, than a post- something or other?
    I don't think post-modernism is dead. Neither do I think modernism is dead, nor do I think the notion that earth is flat is dead. I used to a bit of hyperbole to start because that is the language of the post-modernist. The "elitist bubble" seems more stable now than before post-modernism.

    All these pressures, criticisms, "ages" are going on simultaneously. What is different or changing is the amount of influence of these movements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I don't think that was/is the biggest problem. You seem to be implying that it simply lacked precision, when the shortcomings are more fundamental - a lack of direction.
    There is a lack of precision, but that is not what I was getting at. My point mainly, was that post-modernism was using black-and-white thinking to criticize black-and-white thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    It seems to me, (and Z's picture illustrates this better then words alone can) that human "progress" lurches from action to reaction like the swings of a pendulum, but unlike his illustration/model, there is not constant forward momentum, (interesting to see the pendulum shift from "self" to "other" in each iteration though - a rudimentary representation of our essentially bimodal consciousness) sometimes there is regression. I believe we currently occupy the dawn of a regressive period, very much centred on "self", it is an Age of Narcissism. But there will be new renaissances to come, and no doubt, still darker ages will follow. Wherever we happen to pop up in history, we must simply play the hand we're dealt, and hopefully find time to laugh at our own folly.
    You'll find little disagreement from me regarding these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    This passage is diverting. It goes some way to (unintentionally) undermine your own argument. Not everything qualitative can be quantified. You miss the power of the metaphor by taking it too literally, (indeed, metaphor is one of those qualitative things that cannot be quantified). One cannot ascribe a numerical value to the "correctness" of a metaphor. It lives in the realm of approximation and relationship. In reality, a picture is worth an infinity of words, because its meaning changes with the observer and each new observer will have something more to say. It is senseless to suggest that "nowadays" we need more words to describe a picture than we used to. Does a Leonardo evoke more words or less than a Rothko? It's a senseless, pointless comparison. Words are simply a (poor) medium for ideas. Evolving out of music and metaphor, but less rich than either, language attempts (and fails) to achieve a precision which does not exist anywhere in reality.
    Everything qualitative can be quantified, and everything quantitative can be rendered in qualitative form. One can add numerical "correctness" to metaphors, and people do. The realm of approximation and relationship are easily quantifiable. In fact, it is my belief that it is in quantitative form that we have the most freedom.

    The question of how much value these quantification endeavors add to our views of the world is a different matter. But these are different types of descriptions, a type of description largely inaccessible to our innumerate public, and even in some sense to our relatively numerate public. I believe you are yourself capable of understanding what I am saying, but it seems to me you are locked into a true or false sort of framework that I was criticizing.

    You say a lot of my quantitative metaphors and impressions are senseless, but have you actually compared? What is the dynamic range of our experiences when we look at a picture now, from a picture in the past? On average, for an old faded and worn picture, to a new and crisp picture, what gives us more information? Even an older digital still versus a newer digital still? What is the range of subjects that could potentially show up in a picture, vs. what we had before? We can now probe the depths of the nanoscale and the vastness of the cosmos. Verbal descriptions pale in comparison to the images of these things in both rational and poetic frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Are you arguing for more precision, or less? For context-sensitive precision? How does that differ from the scenarios you describe, with which we are already familiar?
    Precision has little to do with my point, if anything.

    My main point here is that we are free to be whimsical. Our quantitative descriptions can still have an artistic sort of truth, while maintaining some of the "scientific" sort of truth. This is a false dichotomy, whose falseness is best expressed numerically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Some of your objection, then, centres on how science is disseminated. Again your preoccupation with precision in language (despite already acknowledging/deriding language's capacity for precision...)
    We are talking about critics and journalists, whose job is not to be precise, but rather sensationalistic. People who are not genuinely creative but merely parasitise the creativity of others are not the measure of our culture (even if they are the measurerers...)
    Indeed. But the hangers-on and commentators must do so- to give themselves a reason to get up in the morning and not sink into a depressing realisation of the futility of their own existence.
    I think the problems regarding science reporting are there. But, I was specifically alluding to Thomas Kuhn here. If you want to include him among the "sensationalistic", it may be quite fitting. The dichotomy of the "genuinely creative" vs. the "parasites" was exactly the type of thing I was saying is overblown among the devotees of post-modernism. (I hope at this point, you understand that my idea was about style, modes and amounts of information and that "precision" was not what I had in mind...even if quantification can give precision.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Your example of Big Data is a good one. This field is currently attracting a lot of amateur interest. As always happens in such circumstances, there is much more nonsense and hyperbole circulating than reasoned, careful, exposition. That's because the former sells more copy. This is just the economics of stupidity.
    I was just thinking what it would be like to develop and profit from an economics of stupidity...then I realized I would become a vampire. If only, the attitudes I criticized were limited only to journalists. There are many people I've met who fall into the same way of thinking...which finds its extreme form in: http://www.wired.com/science/discove...6-07/pb_theory

    Chris Anderson makes some incredibly dubious claims in that article. For example: "In short, the more we learn about biology, the further we find ourselves from a model that can explain it." for example...we only need to look at things like Mitchell's Chemostatic Hypothesis for how important and I would say, more central modeling has become for things like understanding mutations and disease (in fact modeling using a program called Rosetta has made great strides in the past couple of years in the search for a cure for influenza...I'll try to dig up the article). The more we learn about biology, the more detailed and elaborate our models have become...pretty much like all other sciences of physically real things...we learn more and more about causes and effects.

    I, frankly, don't care if our machines learn all the correlations.

    WE need to learn, and when we do, we call that knowledge a model (ore if we are fancy "theory")...even if it is a cartoonish, qualitatitive, and poorly described one. Modeling has been around since we could perceive--it is part of who we are...perhaps it has only been a disciplined process since science began, but unless we are gone, models are going to be around.

    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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    What's Happening?

    In the West, authoritarian institutions based on print are coming to an end. We are seeing the end of the banks, the churches and the military.

    In their place are rising creative institutions based on electric presence.

    We no longer trust our institutions of authority based on print, and our creative institutions based on electric presence are being born as we watch.

    For instance, the Australian Royal Commission into Child Abuse will damage many institutions of authority based on print, such as the church, orphanages, the military, the scouts, schools and many more.

    And as we say goodbye to these authoritarian institutions based on abuse and bullying, we say hello to creative institutions in electric presence, quite like Central.

  5. #65
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    There is a lack of precision, but that is not what I was getting at. My point mainly, was that post-modernism was using black-and-white thinking to criticize black-and-white thinking.
    Oh. I didn't get that from your earlier posts at all. Is it your belief then that you are one of the few thinkers who doesn't fall into the trap of "black and white thinking"? Because it seems to me that your statements are pretty black and white, but perhaps this is all just a matter of projection? (Whether yours or mine, I can't be sure...)

    For example:
    Everything qualitative can be quantified, and everything quantitative can be rendered in qualitative form. One can add numerical "correctness" to metaphors, and people do. The realm of approximation and relationship are easily quantifiable. In fact, it is my belief that it is in quantitative form that we have the most freedom.
    I disagree. I'd like to see a proof of this. Given your belief, it shouldn't be too much to ask.

    I think it was Einstein who said: "Not everything that counts can be counted; not everything that can be counted, counts."
    It seems to me that in your critique of the high priests of Big Data, you agree with him on this point, at least to some extent.

    You say a lot of my quantitative metaphors and impressions are senseless, but have you actually compared? What is the dynamic range of our experiences when we look at a picture now, from a picture in the past? On average, for an old faded and worn picture, to a new and crisp picture, what gives us more information? Even an older digital still versus a newer digital still? What is the range of subjects that could potentially show up in a picture, vs. what we had before? We can now probe the depths of the nanoscale and the vastness of the cosmos. Verbal descriptions pale in comparison to the images of these things in both rational and poetic frames.
    You are adopting a very clinical view of "information". Does a picture with a higher resolution have more intrinsic merit than one with lower resolution? I cannot endorse such a view. It may contain vastly more pixels, but what of that? More is not always better.
    Medium is not message, and can be immaterial to it - didn't you already make this point?
    A technical description of a picture tells us absolutely nothing of importance about its artistry.
    Precision has little to do with my point, if anything.
    I wonder why you seem to stress it so then?

    My main point here is that we are free to be whimsical. Our quantitative descriptions can still have an artistic sort of truth, while maintaining some of the "scientific" sort of truth. This is a false dichotomy, whose falseness is best expressed numerically.
    So why is this a "better" form of whimsicality?

    I was just thinking what it would be like to develop and profit from an economics of stupidity...then I realized I would become a vampire.
    See Mark Zuckerberg.

    Chris Anderson makes some incredibly dubious claims in that article. For example: "In short, the more we learn about biology, the further we find ourselves from a model that can explain it." for example...we only need to look at things like Mitchell's Chemostatic Hypothesis for how important and I would say, more central modeling has become for things like understanding mutations and disease (in fact modeling using a program called Rosetta has made great strides in the past couple of years in the search for a cure for influenza...I'll try to dig up the article). The more we learn about biology, the more detailed and elaborate our models have become...pretty much like all other sciences of physically real things...we learn more and more about causes and effects.

    I, frankly, don't care if our machines learn all the correlations.

    WE need to learn, and when we do, we call that knowledge a model (ore if we are fancy "theory")...even if it is a cartoonish, qualitatitive, and poorly described one. Modeling has been around since we could perceive--it is part of who we are...perhaps it has only been a disciplined process since science began, but unless we are gone, models are going to be around.
    No matter how sophisticated the model, "the map is not the territory". I don't think it is dangerous to acknowledge this truism. It can be dangerously deluded not to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Oh. I didn't get that from your earlier posts at all. Is it your belief then that you are one of the few thinkers who doesn't fall into the trap of "black and white thinking"? Because it seems to me that your statements are pretty black and white, but perhaps this is all just a matter of projection? (Whether yours or mine, I can't be sure...)
    There is probably a mix of all those things. But I place part of the blame on me not using "≈" often enough

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    For example:
    I disagree. I'd like to see a proof of this. Given your belief, it shouldn't be too much to ask.

    I think it was Einstein who said: "Not everything that counts can be counted; not everything that can be counted, counts."
    It seems to me that in your critique of the high priests of Big Data, you agree with him on this point, at least to some extent.
    Like I was saying, the actual value of doing the conversion is a different thing. But one conversion of qualitative to quantitative is quite straightforward, take a representation of the qualitative description (like the words on this page, or the spoken words of speech) and convert it to a signal/waveform format. Analog to digital conversion also exists. But there are other more intuitive examples. For instance, converting the qualitative descriptions color mixing into a color wheel, or an RGB vector space.

    As for metaphor: Metaphor is the basis of mathematics. Analogies to being inside and outside objects lead to the notion of sets. Assigning corresponding objects to each other is basis of counting. Analogies to real life shapes lead to geometry. All of these things are instances of capturing metaphor quantitatively. The correctness of these metaphors are tested in the relationships the metaphorical mathematical objects suggest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    You are adopting a very clinical view of "information". Does a picture with a higher resolution have more intrinsic merit than one with lower resolution? I cannot endorse such a view. It may contain vastly more pixels, but what of that? More is not always better.
    Medium is not message, and can be immaterial to it - didn't you already make this point?
    A technical description of a picture tells us absolutely nothing of importance about its artistry.
    Clinical and technical are not the words I would use. But I suppose I but the wrong example first. I think it is important to look at the range of experiences and phenomenon described by words as opposed to pictures. We are having more an more experiences that words fail to be adequate do describe, but pictorial or diagramatic representations are.
    I am talking about things like the following:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlXRapQW4q0


    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I wonder why you seem to stress it so then?
    I don't know. Did I even mention the word precise or precision in this thread before you brought it up? I think a lot of people just associate numbers with precision. I don't. I'd be surprised if you did. But I am not sure how it came up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    So why is this a "better" form of whimsicality?
    It is just an alternative form of whimsicality.

    But I think it is better at showing the false dichotomy between a rational description and an artistic description of the relationships we see. It gives us a sliding scale for something like what pi is. I can chose it to be 4 for my own artistic purposes, but the amount of license I took in doing this is of course different from if I was trying to build something that works based on curvature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    See Mark Zuckerberg.
    lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    No matter how sophisticated the model, "the map is not the territory". I don't think it is dangerous to acknowledge this truism. It can be dangerously deluded not to.
    I agree. I was just saying, "Don't pretend you aren't using a map too." (by "you" I don't mean you personally, but some abstract entity using the "map is not the territory" argument to justify his own viewpoint)

    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

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Like I was saying, the actual value of doing the conversion is a different thing. But one conversion of qualitative to quantitative is quite straightforward, take a representation of the qualitative description (like the words on this page, or the spoken words of speech) and convert it to a signal/waveform format. Analog to digital conversion also exists. But there are other more intuitive examples. For instance, converting the qualitative descriptions color mixing into a color wheel, or an RGB vector space.
    Such conversions invariably involve a loss of fidelity...

    How does this concept accommodate the qualia of personal experience and individual associations bound up with the idea of "red", for example?

    As for metaphor: Metaphor is the basis of mathematics.
    It does not follow that mathematics is the basis of metaphor.

    We are having more an more experiences that words fail to be adequate do describe, but pictorial or diagramatic representations are.
    This is a horses for courses argument. It is also related to individual differences. I suspect you are a visual learner, but images do not have the same power to convey information to everyone. Many people will be baffled by the videos you include in this thread as examples of clarity. Some people are auditory learners, others kinaesthetic.

    I don't know. Did I even mention the word precise or precision in this thread before you brought it up?
    You mentioned it in your first post, in which you imply that the problem with models is that they lack rigour, and this derives from a reliance upon language rather than mathematics. Whereas I see it as a fundamental problem / feature of models. Mathematics is not complete after all, so nothing built on its foundations will inherit this property.

    I agree. I was just saying, "Don't pretend you aren't using a map too."
    In which case, incompleteness is an inescapable (and to a certain extent desirable) property of models.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Such conversions invariably involve a loss of fidelity...
    The D-to-A conversion tends not to loose much information directly (mathematically there is no loss, but physically there is), the the analog transfer can loose information. In the examples I was citing, I think much more fidelity is lost in putting the qualitative ideas in to words than the conversion to physical signal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    How does this concept accommodate the qualia of personal experience and individual associations bound up with the idea of "red", for example?
    Well, in this case, it has to do with the qualia of mixing red with other colors. Even if every person perceives the qualia slightly differently, the experiences can be mapped.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    It does not follow that mathematics is the basis of metaphor.
    Certainly. But the three examples of "belonging", "equality", and "shape" are captured by sets, numbers, and geometry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    This is a horses for courses argument. It is also related to individual differences. I suspect you are a visual learner, but images do not have the same power to convey information to everyone. Many people will be baffled by the videos you include in this thread as examples of clarity. Some people are auditory learners, others kinaesthetic.
    Before I started my first teaching experience, I looked into this. It turns out the Learning Styles notion shares a similar distinction to MBTI. The scientific evidence for people having strong preferences is dubious. The belief is that the reason teaching in different modalities works is not because you are reaching different people with different preferences, but you are helping the same people surmount different conceptual difficulties.

    http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curri...y_debunke.html
    Even the study they mentioned before wasn't the first debunking learning styles. Jennifer Cromley's quite definitive review written in 2000 even mentioned this.

    The fact is that thinking about certain activities lend themselves to certain modalities. Consider a short person and a tall person. They both plant their right leg at the same time, after which the tall person takes two steps for every three steps the short person takes. How many steps (of the tall person) would it take before they both plant their legs at the same time? There is a modality well suited for thinking about this. Imagine that a spider has to crawl only on surfaces to get from one point to another. There is a modality that is better suited for this.

    It is a horses for courses argument. But in this case, the horses is the modalities, and the courses are activities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    You mentioned it in your first post, in which you imply that the problem with models is that they lack rigour, and this derives from a reliance upon language rather than mathematics. Whereas I see it as a fundamental problem / feature of models. Mathematics is not complete after all, so nothing built on its foundations will inherit this property.
    Ah yes, I did use the word "precision" in my discussion about the freedom you had to choose it (the whimsy section). But I certainly did not want it to be central. Posting from my phone makes it difficult to do a thread search.

    I did not mean to imply that models lack rigor but mathematics did not. After all, I believe mathematics is just another modeling language (the post in the Big Data thread you agreed with mentioned this pretty explicitly). So I agree with what you are saying about models, but not your characterization of my first post.

    I think the first time I used the word rigor was when I was discussing with UniqueMixture about computational models in general vs. physically based models. This was very much a tangential discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    In which case, incompleteness is an inescapable (and to a certain extent desirable) property of models.
    Yes. Certainly. No disagreement here.

    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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