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Everything posted by geordief

  1. If you don't understand some of my post then either I have badly explained it or it has no strong relevance to your life, I guess.
  2. In the spirit of contribution (the question may be unanswerable) does the observation that we can have it too easy hold any water? Also is it possible that we can all adopt our own rigid way of viewing the world when very young and the needle can get stuck because it seems to work but only minimally well? I remember telling myself a long time ago that it was sufficient to do no harm. I realise that this is a dangerously deficient approach but it seems to "work" for me and obviously I just have it too easy - nothing forces me to change. I think that is the lesson that applies to me personally : you only get out of life in proportion to what you put in (but that may not apply to other people in other situations).
  3. They are great videos. A shame about the picture quality.
  4. When I was young we used to knock on neighbours' doors and run away as a low level form of anti social behaviour. On one occasion they followed us into our own garden where we cowered in the dark. We could see them but they could not see us. We got the message though and that was the last time we did it....
  5. Can we do that? Will that give us (in theory) a means of assigning a date to each event as calculated from the time when all events shared the same "time"? Would that would give us a definition of universal simultaneity ? Would that be useful?
  6. I have been meaning to ask a similar question but from the opposite standpoint. It goes like this .Regardless of whether the scales can be written down in a mathematical way does the scale involved create a qualitative (and justifiable) shift in how we view the universe? It seems to me that no matter what scale is agreed to be quantifiable that this is only an opening gambit and really there is no limit to the scale that possibly applies. That "no limit" is what I ,personally find myself reconciled to and ,as I said I wonder if this should bring about a qualitative change in a view of the universe (maybe described as an acceptance of the "unknowable") or whether we are just talking about the same ,just bigger . To answer the OP ,then I would say "yes it really is that big (bigger) ,yes it really is that small (and smaller) and (if you think about it ) then be very afraid"
  7. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/spurious 1. Lacking authenticity or validity in essence or origin; not genuine: spurious poems attributed to Shakespeare. 2. Not trustworthy; dubious or fallacious: spurious reasoning; a spurious justification. 3. Archaic Born to unwed parents. More than "wrong" . A put down surely Doesn't "fallacious" mean "deceitful"?.
  8. Which of my arguments are spurious (you do know that spurious means deceitful ,don't you?) Perhaps you just meant spurious as "wrong" (as it is often used) . Then which of my arguments are "wrong" . (I do not think I have made many) Perhaps you are right that my "distinction" was philosophical . So what? Am I not allowed to make a distinction that can be called "philosophical" ?
  9. I am quite happy with the concept of infinity in the physical world but I don't think this can be shown mathematically. I draw a distinction between the physical world and"ideas about it" (call me old fashioned). Acme's definition of "real" , I notice is prefaced as "Philosophical" and so presumably is there defined as a term applicable to philosophical discussion (which I avoid) .
  10. Ok so it is English after all. I was taking "this" to refer to the statement as a whole . I don't think , though that the "measurement " of an (mathematical) infinite set allows us to extrapolate into the physical world. I had not come across the concept of "measuring sets" before.
  11. So parse your statement. What does "this" refer to ? ("this statement" or "this set" )
  12. Since you ask SB, no I have no objection to your seemingly sidetracking my thread . I am happy that my original question has been well answered in the main by michel123456 and , in any case I am well used to butting in on other peoples' threads in an off topic way where it is allowed or tolerated.
  13. Interesting (and relevant) but I don't think Asimov had a future as a comedy script writer based on that evidence.
  14. I follow you but I am still interested as to why there seem to be 2 separate paths to the same result. Why was it that Newton's formula "worked" ? Is it enough to say that it did ? I don't suppose he took an inventory of all possible simple or fairly simple mathematical formulas ,tried them all and discarded those that failed leaving him with one that did work. By the way ,without meaning to come across like A Hopkins (no disgrace either) , "love your cartoons" Edit : I didn't pay attention to the second part of your reply where you brought in the idea of "useful models". Ophiolite will have my hide as he has noted that I tend to "cherry pick" answers to suit my bias......(unless you post edited )
  15. Sorry I don't follow. I know he got it "right" in his own context but "got it wrong" is layman's speak for "he was later proved wrong" ,isn't it?
  16. Well I am thinking of the military context where you have to calculate the place on the earth where a cannon ball would come to land. It's trajectory can be described mathematically (discarding wind and air conditions) by a parabola . This must have been know by Newton . and the formula ,as I recall contains the term for acceleration as well as the initial speed of the trajectile. This formula is the closest one that I learned (many years ago) to the formula to gravitational attraction based on mass and distance. I wondered if there was a connection between the two formulae or would it be because I learned both around the same time academically? Actually I think there is an interesting description of this trajectory by Feynman where he explains how his tutor gave a different reasoning behind the trajectory (I could try and dig it out if you like but I think it is quite well known) Edit: found it http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/II_19.html
  17. I am just wondering , in a historical way how Newton came up with his gravitational formula. Was it just so simple a mathematical formula that he said to himself "let's give this a go" and "Oh it seems to work" or did he approach it in a logical way? I would find it interesting to know especially as he got it wrong . So , presumably any logic he followed (if he did) would have to have been faulty too. Was he able to measure parabolic trajectories and did that lead him to the formula for mutually attracting bodies?
  18. Is this theoretically possible ? Would it not need to have been more than extremely dense? More like one object? Or can "objects" be the wrong way to look at things? Can all all things be "connected" somehow even when conditions are not "extremely dense" ?
  19. An upside to the "climate change"/global warming issue is that it brings all communities around the world together in a common enterprise. This is similar to the risk of global self destruction which was felt even more keenly before the USSR broke up. Of course the obstacles to working together are so huge that the cure is almost worse than the disease (and in fact working in splendid isolation has its upsides too except for the fact that it no longer seems to be an option) The upsides such as grape harvests in France are real but beg the question whether we would be better off if they did not exist like a fly in the ointment to distract us from the pressing and urgent (time limited) task in hand.
  20. Poor Strange. He has to share his term of abuse with Ohiolite.
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