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Everything posted by Eise

  1. Well, that is a difference: I think enough complexity to 'implement Joycean machines' is sufficient. No deep physics needed. I think I am more of a reductionist than you picture me... 😉. I think it is not such a bad analogy. Especially because on the level of individual particles pressure does not even exist. You do not look for 'deep physics' to explain pressure, do you? To explain pressure we must look at the collective behaviour of many particles, of which we know how they behave. In the case of our consciousness, I think we do not have to look deeper than the chemistry of the brain, and possibly even less deep: maybe only the formal ways neurons function really matter. If the latter is the case, then consciousness can possible exist based on other objects than neurons, as long as they formally work together as neurons.
  2. The best philosophical joke I heard in a long time! I wholeheartedly disagree. Easiest reason for my disagreement is that we only see conscious behaviour in organisms that have sufficiently complex (neural) structures. So the only 'requirement' for physics is that it allows such complex structures to exist. So complex chemistry seems a sufficient condition for such structures. Yep, and therefore you do not need 'deep physics'. What you need in Dennett's view is a complex structure of anything that can implement what he calls a 'Joycean machine' (pity enough the only really existing 'Joycean machines' we know are implemented in neural structures). There is a 'darwinian struggle' between the many 'drafts' of intentions, observations, thoughts etc, and only those that leave a trace in my actions and/or memory are conscious. And that is surely not a simple linear, serial 'stream of consciousness'. Consequence of this idea that there is no exact place in the brain where consciousness happens, not even an exact time. In his Consciousness Explained Dennett presents many examples where the brain is fooled in the real timely order of events. So no, no command centre where all the sensory input comes in, and all the motorical output comes from. So Dennett uses a 'spiritual basis' to explain consciousness? Can you point me to articles/book passages that show he does so? If you think that this is an example of 'spirituality', it seems to me you have not even started to understand what spirituality is about. And when you equate 'Nirvana' with 'God' then you cannot be a precise thinker as well. Sorry for the long wait. Now you know what to think đŸ€Ș Short note about free will: Dennett has a strong naturalist world view, and at the same time he is one of the biggest defenders of free will. But compatibilist free will of course, not one that needs some 'spiritual mumbo-jumbo'.
  3. I have a question about the mRNA vaccines. As far as I understand, one of the advantages of the mRNA vaccines is that the RNA can be synthesised pretty easily. So what is the problem to change the RNA, so that it produces better immunisation against the newer COVID strains? E.g. base it on the RNA that is responsible for the spike protein of the Delta variant. Is this organisational (new RNA, so new vaccine, so new process of approval), or are there more technical problems? And another question: why base the mRNA vaccine on the spike protein? The only requirement for a vaccine is that the virus cannot multiply in the human body, not that no single body cell can be infected by the virus. Wouldn't there be parts of the virus that have a slower tendency to mutate? The immediate possible advantage of mutations that effect the spike protein might stand under heavier evolutionary pressure as other mutations, e.g. of the envelope of the virus.
  4. I think Joigus made an excellent job here. Not giving the absolute, technical correct explanation, but trying to pickup from the estimated level where the questioner stands. Joigus presented the Einstein Equation, which really has (kind of) the form he presents. On one side stands a mathematical description of the curvature of spacetime ("Geometry"), and on the other side the possible sources of that curvature ("Matter"). Maybe one could say that "Geometry = Gravity" is a postulate of general relativity, but is definitely not the Einstein Equation itself.
  5. You must distinguish between the many different contributions E made to physics. But I assume you mean relativity: special- and general relativity. For special relativity, the time was ripe for its discovery. Several physicists before (Fitzgerald, Lorentz, Poincaré, and several others) already guessed the correct formulas. It was even Poincaré that called the Lorentz transformations that way. But Fitzgerald and Lorentz used more or less ad hoc assumptions to derive them, e.g to explain the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment. Poincaré's views already circled around the concept of 'relativity', but could not overcome the idea that there is no absolute frame of reference (i.e. a frame that is in absolute rest). E had some help of friends, but their role was more or less that of a 'resonance board'. Explaining his views and problems, E came at the solution himself. It is different in general relativity. E saw an inconsistency between his own theory of special relativity and Newton's law of gravity. He discovered after a few years that he needed descriptions of curved spaces, and asked his old friend Marcel Grossman how curved spaces could be described mathematically, and it was he who introduced E to differential geometry, of which E found that it was 'notoriously difficult'. in 1915, E got stuck, and visited David Hilbert, a specialist in differential geometry. After their discussion E found the solution in a few weeks, at more or less the same time as Hilbert found it too. But Hilbert later said, humorously, 'Every street boy in Göttingen knows more about differential geometry than Einstein: but Einstein had the physical intuitions that led him to the right formulation of the problem'. There are articles in Wikipedia about the development of the 2 RTs: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_special_relativity - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_general_relativity
  6. No, no, this is not the way it works. Say you are mining real, physical gold. That also costs a lot of energy (and labour). If you can't earn those costs back with the gold you are selling on the market, you would consider to close the mine. With Bitcoin it is the same: your mining costs energy, infrastructure (especially powerful computers). But then, if you have created a new Bitcoin, you go to the market with it. If your costs were $15'000, and the Bitcoin is worth $20'000 at the moment you have earned $5'000. But if the Bitcoin is $10'000, you have to accept a loss. And you might consider to 'close the mine', i.e. do not 'calculate' Bitcoins anymore. Or did you clear that point up already? I did not read every posting.
  7. More or less. But I think I should wait for MPMin's reaction. You see, if you introduce too technical details, there is the risk of a 'conceptual overload'. Either MPMin understands what I mean, or (s)he asks more detailed questions him (her?) self. You see, sometimes my toes curve, not due to space curvature, but because I see that a curious beginner gets confronted with all kinds of technical details that he cannot see through. So this is a didactic principle of mine: try to connect as much as possible to the level of understanding that the questioner has. This risk is exactly shown here. You and Swansont get in a detailed discussion, that might just demotivate the questioner. I would always try to avoid that. And if the technical discussion is interesting enough, one could start a new thread. In the end, MPMin wanted to know if the (none)-infinity of the universe has something to with its (none-)flatness. I think I did sufficiently reacted on that question. Exactly.
  8. No. 'Flat' means that e.g. parallel lines stay parallel, no matter how far you compare their distance between them. Best example is two light beams. When these do not converge or diverge, the universe is flat. It is difficult to imagine how a positive curved universe can be infinite because it is closed in itself, like the surface of a sphere. But with negative curvature and flat space that problem does not arise. Just take care that the universe seems to be flat on average. Locally, due to mass and energy, the flat universe can be curved.
  9. Recently Ethan Siegel has an article about it: starts with a bang.
  10. I am not a CC expert either, but I picked up, that also financial transactions cost a lot of energy. AFAIK this is because enough of the delocalised blockchains must confirm the transaction before it is definite. Googling I found this comparison: From here.
  11. Yep. It is called gravitational redshift.
  12. This makes no sense. We know 'Newton' is not valid for velocities that are comparable with light speed. So at one side you apply 'Newton' (E = 1/2mv^2), on the other side you apply relativity by saying that the speed of light is speed limit. You need to use relativity from the beginning, and then you will see that a proton accelerated to 7 TeV flies just a tiny fraction slower than c.
  13. In addition to MigL comment on time dilation: at the event horizon of a black hole time dilation for an observer on a big distance goes to infinity. That means the frequency of an EM wave goes to zero, and the remote observer will not see any EM radiation.
  14. See it this way: getting out of a gravitational field costs energy. Objects with mass lose kinetic energy, which means they slow down. Light also has energy, but it is not dependent on its speed, because it always has the same speed. But the energy of light is related to its frequency. So light 'loses frequency', which means its frequency goes down, i.e. it becomes redder. Now imagine a light beam with less energy than needed to get out of the gravity field. It would have no energy anymore, which for a wave simply means it does not exist anymore. At the event horizon EM radiation just has not enough energy to escape. Physically maybe not completely correct, but it might help to develop your 'physical intuition'... It is true, using daily intuitions it is impossible to understand modern physics. Throwing away physical theories because it does not fit your intuitions is the worst you can do. (In fact, it is one of the strongest motivations of so many 'crackpot theories' that are also posted on this forum).
  15. Ethan Siegel in 'Start with a Bang': Why You Should Doubt ‘New Physics’ From The Latest Muon g-2 Results It throws doubt about the correctness of the theoretical calculation of the value of g-2. So there might not be a discrepancy between experiment and theory, because the calculation is not rock solid. But hey, how many articles appeared with new physics explaining neutrinos traveling faster than light? Hundreds? But it was an experimental error. This time I set my bets on a wrong calculation.
  16. Of course, I forgive you: even stronger, anyone can correct my English. Wasn't it you who said you wanted to know English perfectly, at least on your deathbed? As long as the stream of the discussion is not disturbed, any correction is welcome. You know, there are so many ways that the same, or nearly the same (especially in none English ears) sounds can be written in English. My favourite is the [i:]: peace piece pee release receive retrieve But life, live, and yes, lose and loose are difficult too to remember. But I try to improove! The one about the police is also an eye-opener. The astonishment of the American police officer is great to see! That is one question further. The question as asked, takes a kind of "we all know what we mean by 'justice'" as starting point. But yes, if you want to get to the presupposition of the question, that one should be answered too. You slowly are getting a philosophical inclination MigL... Good to see!
  17. Don't expect too much from me... Ethics never was a main topic for me. I would say, as any sensible person, just the risk of giving capital punishment to an innocent should be reason enough to refrain from it. And AFAIK deterrence seldom works. So I think incarceration might be the best solution, in the first place simply because we put somebody away who has proven to be dangerous, in the second place we, i.e. society must attach consequences to people who do not want to play by the rules. However, if a society does not take the chance to rehabilitate the offender, it is not much use. Just putting somebody in jail, specially when it is overfilled, you create offenders and possibly more radical ones too. In this respect, it seems to me that there is a huge difference between prisons here in Europe, and in the USA. Most of the times rehabilitation is the aim. Therefore we might take some risks, letting out somebody who will still act criminally (which hurts extremely when its is murder on innocent people), but I think a lot more crimes are committed by ex-inmates who were radicalised by their life in prison. To get a glimpse of the difference between the USA and Scandinavia, there is a short series about 'the Norden'. This is the episode about prisons (the others are just as interesting): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfEsz812Q1I To get back at capital punishment: there are also examples of murderers who felt much remorse about their killing, and ended up meeting the family of the victim, or became meditators, even meditation teachers to their fellow inmates. These are pretty extreme examples of course, but just killing a criminal, or putting him/her in jail purely as punishment I find useless, and not something a civilised society should do. Punishment yes, but for the betterment of offender and society. A loose-loose is the last we want, no?
  18. Then the world is absurd. See a ball and feathers falling in vacuum:
  19. Wow, 'sphere of existence'... Where can I find that sphere? I did not say that daydreaming or its interpretations do not exist. I said that their existence is different from that of physical objects, because when there were no humans (or other similar conscious entities), there would not be daydreaming.
  20. Janus is right, it was an argument from Galileo against the Aristotelian view on falling objects. In Aristotelian physics, an object twice as heavy as another, falls twice as fast. Galileo's argument works against that viewpoint, but not against Newton's, in which all objects fall with the same velocity (or better acceleration), independent on their mass, and therefore independent on their weight in the same gravitation field. So you are physically and historically wrong. Just to add, Galileo is the first person known, who said that all objects fall the same way, independent of their mass.
  21. Sigh. Are you intentionally misunderstanding me? What when there is no Queen of Britain? Then there are no balancing policies of her either. They do not depend on me, or you, but definitely on HM Elizabeth. Electrons on the other hand, would continue to exist even if no human would be there to detect them. So different kind of things exist in different ways. That is my whole point. There is no general EXISTENCE, except if you use such wavy definitions that I used as a reaction on Alex Mercer's post . Existence is not an attribute, as being white, or being rich, etc.
  22. I fully agree, but you are not reacting on what I actually said. And you have not refuted anything, you have just contradicted some view without a single argument. Just look at it this way: if something, principally, cannot play a role in our lives, can you then say it exists? And then I am not looking at historical accidents. E.g. a photon produced by a star in a galaxy billions light years away, arriving at one of its planets surely does not play a role in our lives. But photons definitely effect our lives very much (how else could you read this?). So photons exist, even if we happen not to observe them because they do not reach us. Your view seems exactly what I warned about: to reduce the meaning of 'existence' to one category (physical existence in this case). But I mentioned many more. If we take your view, 'existence' meaning 'existing independently', then a whole lot of 'things' we normally see as existing, wouldn't: holes, shadows, juridical laws, laws of nature, institutions, thoughts, feelings. None of these exist independently. If I were Descartes, I would say, yes, namely the mind. But I am not. ('Res extensa' i.e. everything that takes place in space vs 'res cogitans', the mind). I just reacted to Studiot's question, which was about time. But surely you are right that much what applies to time, also applies to space. A possible answer to your question could be 'mathematical truths'. But that, as said, is a complete new topic in itself. I do not want to go there now.
  23. Sure, for many 'things' existence means 'existing in time'. But there are a few exceptions, which I think I mentioned already: mathematical truths, laws of nature to name just two. And as said, time itself.
  24. Sorry, I am too lazy to look up the exact place where you made the link. But I think only for some categories existence and time are related. Surely for physical processes, but it becomes difficult when you think about laws of nature, and then that which I left out: mathematics. And then think about time itself. There you could get in a definitional loop. (And if this does not fit to your link, then please refer to it, or say it again, maybe a little bit different after my exposé.)
  25. 'Existence' is a word with 9 letters. And if you want to know about the concept behind the word, I think I showed that it depends on the context: existence of what? If you want a general definition you would get something like 'something exists if it can play a role in somebody's life'. And here you see something else: 'existence' is the substantivation of the verb 'to exist'. So the existence of what are you interested in? To give again another example: space and time. One could call them the 'stage' on which causal processes occur (Pity that Markus is away now, he surely had to say something about it from the viewpoint of general relativity...). But they themselves do not exist in the same way as physical objects or processes exist in space and time. Space does not punch a ball, neither does time. Asking for THE general, meaning of EXISTENCE, leads to nothing other than all kind of philosophical apories, getting people confused. And if you insist on one meaning, it will lead to some bad metaphysics.
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