Tuesday, November 29, 2011
What Philosophy can Learn from Physics
What Philosophy can Learn from Physics L. Edgar Otto November 29, 2011
My mind took a day off and this morning only the germ of a thought presented itself for possible development and general understanding.
What philosophy can learn from our physics as a sterile philosophy - one that takes sides for general paradigms which have conflicts where they are not conserved save in the totality, logically- the core ideas of Teleology (anathema to science in general these days) and Mechanism (a determinism) and the more or less social ideas of statistics and change in perhaps their realm as the unnameable God, all such attempts at a unification between the ideas of Charge (and chirality of its expressed existence) or parity (sign and complex mathematical analysis) and Time (of which the issue is raised generally as to what is continuous or not among these views when they are mixed or privileged as foundational to each other).
Yet nature in the totality seems to persist despite our preferences for (really partial) theories. In fact a given point or field or singularity complex or not, does not know what unification it persists in or what it excludes. We can say that causative causation can be a unity then debate the consequences and correspondences of what is the mechanism as necessity and that of interpretations of grounding chance. We can in fact strive for the unity of the raw relativistic views and the quantum views with a cost to so unify them into the dynamic changes that works with prediction for what some see or what actually is teleology.
There can be a fourth physical concept (Peter Rowlands) which may be something like mass, M or some other similar idea of substance or inertia where we distinguish what is the continuous and the discontinuous, and the non-necessary and the ultimate unknown as if perhaps there is a true empty vacuum as part of the theory of everything. This is a problem mainly of extending physics. But there are other combinations of core physics from these three (or four views) including the physics question itself of the nature of a 4th or 5th entity.
What our Lubos fails to see today is that there can be numbers as alternative and from my view more fundamental than quantum numbers. The quasic are more fundamental and they go well beyond whatever we do (and it is a worthy thing to develop and do in its last century time before quantum relativity of 1929 by Eddington by which the actual revolutionary documents reach an impasse and some are reluctant to sign their names on them). In the spirit of enquiry we may ask again, are there still further fundamental numbers as foundational, if not then show why- not avoid the issue.
How long have I been playing the guitar- is a usual question that really has no answer... when did I first pic it up? did I practice in my mind? did I get formal training and if so did I do anything more beyond that? Perhaps it is genetic to some extent and I somehow have learned from my fathers? Perhaps in two different places theologically I am created from my own direction to some future. Maybe to a great extent physics and philosophy are much older than we can claim our engagement with and that the ancients were perhaps not as stupid and different than we.
So, we do not want to stand almost naked in a swimsuit contest- that gets old- so it is all about the accessories isn't it. Oh we can have padded areas so as to perk up the jello but in the end the simple naked truth should come out once the lover is lured in- it is mostly about our own imaginations anyway. So why do we need such elaborate illustrations and formula and worship of our saints of science but to show some priestly view or political view- to defend it on principle against all comers right or wrong. The naked truth to which we were born into this world is invisible to some people whose idea of beauty is not even skin deep.
The age of Jewish physics is over, not that it did not add interest and inspired, at least for the children in the temple to be proud of themselves. But let us not make a generation of victims in their mentality (so said the rabbi on public radio who got a lot of flak for it from callers). Lubos in a reply to a comment quoted the saying over the Nazi concentration camps "Arbeit Macht Frei" ... Work makes you free? But let us understand this is as much propaganda as the so called "Protestant work ethic- which amounts to self reliance without slaves (is it really the fault of the slaves one is a slaves- Slav? no pun or slur intended here.) in the democratic states- but is this not the way, workers of the world unite, that one can redeem themselves from almost any running afoul of the communist totalitarian states? That and perhaps public confession as surely as freely given as the Inquisition exacted by torture.
Yet this is politics, of which we have to think about its relation to science as raising or contaminating the spirit of humanity. (Is it science to assert there is IQ and by a Jewish man making the theory they are on top, next the Chinese, the the whites, then the black way down on the bottom?) But science is my concern- sure we promote risky enterprises like nuclear energy thinking we take our chances or that we do not know how to do it safely or to calculate to some level of cost and benefit of the unexpected- but in truth there is the evil of conspiracy to only build them half ass- who cares what the public thinks of the engineers and scientists for it is for the greater good, for national security, or some such concept. Nevertheless, after the fall of communism in the Czech republic it was a very dirty place environmentally (to which my PhD relatives spent time there to advise and help them clean up) why would someone accept the unhealthy environment others left and so continue it? Is that science? Is that caution for the general level of public awareness came too late?
But the work can make you free, as the truth can make us free, as we do not allow humans to do what lesser animals and machines can do better. In the society where evidently it is for the common welfare of all that a few have the nobility of privilege, as with the nobility of old- that class does reward merit outside its class- maybe for novelty- or maybe that if we do not have such a standard of historical review the society and states and people die. But what is a few million to the cost benefit- and in theory can we really sustain things in the quality and length of life and resources unlimited for all? Yet we can be too afraid when we buy into false scarcity or the need to prevent diseases we do not understand which in the end makes no difference anyway for we are diverted from the promise of science.
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Another thing on my mind today is the amazement that the new multiworld ideas are of general interest like the string landscape of universes. Such models are of course inspiring or worrisome to some people (of which I just now find some people discussing, perhaps having seen Green on Nova or maybe reading the book.) All I can say about that is that such visions in my system are very much more complex so it is not overwhelming nor inspiring to see these lesser visions and generalizations of what may be the multiverse- and perhaps in the experienced totality that such applies right before our eyes- as if to hold the new multiverse in our hands like once we held the earth, or universe, or galaxy as well the poetic eternity. But I wonder if there can be an extension beyond my own visions to the powers of visions- but I do not know. Each point in an imagined multiverse is a multiverse and in each of them we erect the continua of such a span within the depths of them- and that includes our consciousness and dreams and so on...
It all comes down to the moment we look at the stars at night and feel lost and overwhelmed or very much inspired and above or at one with the complexity and beauty of it all. Some of us are born without the vertigo and shock of imagining such spans and depth so to be lost or perhaps find our way home again yet never wear out our welcome nor have our passion in love grow stale such that our revolution cannot be permanent.
Besides, a little bit of chaos and diversity is good for the immune system- I note the quality of work has gone up in the postings of the bloggers.
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