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Reality exists in a very large grey area between random occurence and sure thing.


tar
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There is, in my estimation a 100% chance that the Sun will rise tomorrow.   I may die, it might be cloudy, there could be nuclear winter, a meteor bound to split the Earth could be on its way, but the only thing that could stop the Earth from turning away from the Sun tonight, and toward the Sun again tomorrow is some Cosmic burst that would be so powerful and violent as to blow the Earth or Sun to bits, in which case we would not be around to notice I was wrong, as the definition of tomorrow would be moot. and the burst would have arrived at the speed of light, with no warning and brought the turning of Earth, or the integrity of the Earth immediately to a halt.   So no big meteor is on its way, and we currently, today, do not have the technology to halt the spins already in progress.

Like a ball on its way to the center field bleachers, there are things that could happen to change its course, but as the electronic sensors that judge the distance the ball traveled based on the exit velocity and angle off the bat, the distance is known to a high degree of certainty right off the bat.

So reality is not completely random nor is it completely deterministic.  There are long term entities which stand against the wind and rain and cosmic winds and the small scale forces, to where the flightlyness of an electron around its nucleus where one cannot assess both the position and momentum at any moment, becomes a sure thing, in that the electron will stay with the nucleus, 'till a replacement arrives...well not all the time, and ions form, and atoms randomly decay and such, but in general, as haphazard as the arrangement seems at the atomic level, there is something well enough established in the silicon and calcium and oxygen atoms and such that exist in the railway overpass that has been there every day since it was built a hundred years ago to suggest that the random actions of the electrons are not going to cause the overpass to disappear overnight.

Any entity in the universe is in the presence of every other entity.  A match I lit when I was 13 and I held to the sky on a dark night sent out photons that are currently 50 lyrs from where the Earth was, that night.   Should one of those photons hit a sensor, or an atom 50 lys from here, it would not be a random event.  Some lifeform on Earth, caused it.

Regards, TAR

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And yet, if your sample of Si had some Si-32 atoms in it, you could not predict which one of them would decay next. If you shot a Si atom (or a photon) through an appropriately-sized double-slit, you could not predict where it will end up.

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reality is not completely random nor is it completely deterministic

Has anyone seriously suggested otherwise?

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15 minutes ago, swansont said:

And yet, if your sample of Si had some Si-32 atoms in it, you could not predict which one of them would decay next. If you shot a Si atom (or a photon) through an appropriately-sized double-slit, you could not predict where it will end up.

Has anyone seriously suggested otherwise?

Occasionally.   Some have said it is random and undirected.  Others have said it must have been put into motion by a programmer.  It appears to be something in between an accident and a plan.

Regards, TAR

Edited by tar
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It is neither random nor determined.  Each event is determined by preceding events which are never really predictable.  Every event has a virtually infinite number of possible outcomes.  The number is so large as to make its computation meaningless. 

A device might arrive while you're in the shadow of the planet tonight from a distant star system that will stop the earth's rotation, pulverize the planet, or merely turn off the sun.  An asteroid could interfere with your prediction.  There are likely  virtually infinite number of events that could make your prediction untrue.  If one of these transpires there will be a virtually infinite number of outcomes. 

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tar

Reality exists in a very large grey area between random occurence and sure thing.

I do like the sentiment of the title so +1.

In particular I like the reference to grey areas, and that you have designated it 'very large'

IMHO far too many arguments develop simply because two (or more) folks take oppositely polarised positions and cannot admit to that grey area.

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Obviously, reality isn't ''random'' because randomness isn't a real ''thing''. It is only applicable to an ignorant observer. For example, a coin might have a ~50% chance of landing on either side for your or me, but only because we don't know at which angle it was flipped, with which force, velocity etc. If this information was known to us, we would know how it would land with a probability of 1.

Same goes for the rest of the universe. Every reaction was caused by an opposite action which we may or may not be aware of, but it is present nevertheless. It may be random to us mere mortals, but it isn't ''actually'' ''random''.There is nothing mysterious there.

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12 hours ago, cladking said:

It is neither random nor determined.  Each event is determined by preceding events which are never really predictable.  Every event has a virtually infinite number of possible outcomes.  The number is so large as to make its computation meaningless. 

A device might arrive while you're in the shadow of the planet tonight from a distant star system that will stop the earth's rotation, pulverize the planet, or merely turn off the sun.  An asteroid could interfere with your prediction.  There are likely  virtually infinite number of events that could make your prediction untrue.  If one of these transpires there will be a virtually infinite number of outcomes. 

Cladking,

I did not think about the device arriving, so you are right, I can't claim 100%, but I had thought about the asteroid, and we have been tracking all the big ones that would do significant damage to the planet, and there are none schedule to interfere between today and tomorrow.   That is the basis of my claim, that we would see the punch coming, so we would know when it was possible that tomorrow would not come, and since we don't see an asteroid ruining tomorrow, we can take that 1 in a billion thing off the list.  Not the list for ever, but the list for tomorrow.  Same perhaps for the device coming from a distant star system to turn off the Sun.  It would have to be huge, and would have to be traveling at less than the speed of light, and may or may not be cloaked. so we would either see it coming, or see a big shadow approaching, or see the orbit of Pluto thrown Soff by the devices gravity. or something.  Things that huge usually can't sneak up on a solar system, I would think.   So my question would be, if you have a way that the Earth , or a particular place on the Earth, away from the pole tilted toward the Sun and not experiencing a night tonight, could possibly not experience a night, followed by a day, in the appropriate manner dictated by its latitude, this night, and this day's tomorrow...then with 8 billion people looking, with today's technology and equipment, that "way" would be noticed approaching, and we would have more than 24 hour notice.   Since we have not received the warning, I claim there is no big enough event  possible, to disturb my claim.  Except for a cosmic blast coming at us at the speed of light.  And even a normal cosmic blast would not turn off the Sun, and even if the oceans were vaporized, the planet would still turn and even if there were nobody left alive, up above the clouds the Sun would continue to shine on half the spinning globe.  

The point being, you don't have an infinite number of events that can occur.  Only the events that fit the place can happen.  There is no magic available, it has to add up and be consistent with all the other stuff the universe does.  It has to follow the laws of physics, it maybe can do stuff we were not expecting, but it can't do impossible things.   Your mind can have it do impossible things, but the waking world, does not operate on a whim.  Everything has to fit together.  So perhaps in your mind, you can imagine an infinite number of outcomes, if you jump( without a device to prevent your splattering), out of a 10 story window unto an empty street, but I think reality will only provide you with one outcome.

Regards, TAR

 

And a civilization on another star system would have to have evolved over time to their state of capability and size and to acquire the knowledge and reason to snuff out our Sun.  They only have had the same 13.8 billion years we have had, using the same elements created in approximately the same amount of generations of stars and such.  That is, if such a group were so close,  they developed within "our" environment and we might have noticed their activity, before the day they decided to snuff out our Sun.  My claim is that New Jersey, U.S.A., Earth, Solar System, Milkyway Galaxy will experience the morning of  8/15/2017.  Absolutely no question about it. (check back in 45 minutes for confirmation of my claim)

Edited by tar
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9 hours ago, Lord Antares said:

Obviously, reality isn't ''random'' because randomness isn't a real ''thing''. It is only applicable to an ignorant observer. For example, a coin might have a ~50% chance of landing on either side for your or me, but only because we don't know at which angle it was flipped, with which force, velocity etc. If this information was known to us, we would know how it would land with a probability of 1.

Same goes for the rest of the universe. Every reaction was caused by an opposite action which we may or may not be aware of, but it is present nevertheless. It may be random to us mere mortals, but it isn't ''actually'' ''random''.There is nothing mysterious there.

Lord Antares,

I get your point, but we don't have anything but ignorant observers to keep an eye on the place.

That given, everything is actually mysterious to us.

Regards, TAR

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26 minutes ago, tar said:

Cladking,

I did not think about the device arriving, so you are right, I can't claim 100%, but I had thought about the asteroid, and we have been tracking all the big ones that would do significant damage to the planet, and there are none schedule to interfere between today and tomorrow.   That is the basis of my claim, that we would see the punch coming, so we would know when it was possible that tomorrow would not come, and since we don't see an asteroid ruining tomorrow, we can take that 1 in a billion thing off the list.  Not the list for ever, but the list for tomorrow.  Same perhaps for the device coming from a distant star system to turn off the Sun.  It would have to be huge, and would have to be traveling at less than the speed of light, and may or may not be cloaked. so we would either see it coming, or see a big shadow approaching, or see the orbit of Pluto thrown Soff by the devices gravity. or something.  Things that huge usually can't sneak up on a solar system, I would think.   So my question would be, if you have a way that the Earth , or a particular place on the Earth, away from the pole tilted toward the Sun and not experiencing a night tonight, could possibly not experience a night, followed by a day, in the appropriate manner dictated by its latitude, this night, and this day's tomorrow...then with 8 billion people looking, with today's technology and equipment, that "way" would be noticed approaching, and we would have more than 24 hour notice.   Since we have not received the warning, I claim there is no big enough event  possible, to disturb my claim.  Except for a cosmic blast coming at us at the speed of light.  And even a normal cosmic blast would not turn off the Sun, and even if the oceans were vaporized, the planet would still turn and even if there were nobody left alive, up above the clouds the Sun would continue to shine on half the spinning globe.  

The point being, you don't have an infinite number of events that can occur.  Only the events that fit the place can happen.  There is no magic available, it has to add up and be consistent with all the other stuff the universe does.  It has to follow the laws of physics, it maybe can do stuff we were not expecting, but it can't do impossible things.   Your mind can have it do impossible things, but the waking world, does not operate on a whim.  Everything has to fit together.  So perhaps in your mind, you can imagine an infinite number of outcomes, if you jump( without a device to prevent your splattering), out of a 10 story window unto an empty street, but I think reality will only provide you with one outcome.

Regards, TAR

The sun exploding would take 8 1/2 minutes to wipe us all out.

Why would you believe there is no force, natural or otherwise, that could target the sun, the earth, or the entire cosmos.  What happens if you go back a hundred years and kill your grandfather?  Maybe there is no more universe. What if the "laws of physics" get tweaked by some means and all matter in the region flies apart? 

Nothing has ever been certain. Nature behaves no laws and this is just human hubris to imagine we can determine its limitations.  Even if it did behave laws it's painfully obvious that we don't know what these laws are.  We don't even know what keeps this section of the universe from just flying apart.  All events are "impossible" because the odds against them occurring are impossibly large numbers. 

Yes, the sun will most likely come up at 5:59 AM local time tomorrow but to say there's a 100% chance of it is to ignore the nature of reality. 

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4 minutes ago, cladking said:

The sun exploding would take 8 1/2 minutes to wipe us all out.

Why would you believe there is no force, natural or otherwise, that could target the sun, the earth, or the entire cosmos.  What happens if you go back a hundred years and kill your grandfather?  Maybe there is no more universe. What if the "laws of physics" get tweaked by some means and all matter in the region flies apart? 

Nothing has ever been certain. Nature behaves no laws and this is just human hubris to imagine we can determine its limitations.  Even if it did behave laws it's painfully obvious that we don't know what these laws are.  We don't even know what keeps this section of the universe from just flying apart.  All events are "impossible" because the odds against them occurring are impossibly large numbers. 

Yes, the sun will most likely come up at 5:59 AM local time tomorrow but to say there's a 100% chance of it is to ignore the nature of reality. 

cladking,

The nature of reality is for it to be here tomorrow, regardless of what we think of it, or how intact the Earth might be or whether the Sun will be shining the same.  Something of the Earth will survive any occurrence, and the Sun cannot physically burn all its fuel by tomorrow.  Reality is pretty solid stuff.  Pretty far from random chance.

Regards, TAR

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there must be some warning signs for things like that

as there would be a sign if the cosmos were about to blow...

and anyway as far as we know most of the universe could have already blown...we would not know about what happened to a neighbor galaxy for a million years

 

Edited by tar
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6 hours ago, tar said:

Lord Antares,

I get your point, but we don't have anything but ignorant observers to keep an eye on the place.

That given, everything is actually mysterious to us.

Regards, TAR

Exactly,  but my point is, randomness is an arbitrary term, given as a statistical probability measure for what we don't know. If we did know, nothing would be random to us, hence the nature of the universe cannot be random. Things CANNOT be unpredictable in a technical way (except for arguably QM, but will not go into that), because if they could, the laws of physics couldn't exist and the sole purpose of laws (to standardize and always measure a predictable result) would be defeated. Therefore, reality is not random. Do you agree?

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3 hours ago, Lord Antares said:

Exactly,  but my point is, randomness is an arbitrary term, given as a statistical probability measure for what we don't know. If we did know, nothing would be random to us, hence the nature of the universe cannot be random. Things CANNOT be unpredictable in a technical way (except for arguably QM, but will not go into that), because if they could, the laws of physics couldn't exist and the sole purpose of laws (to standardize and always measure a predictable result) would be defeated. Therefore, reality is not random. Do you agree?

Lord Antares,

Not exactly.  There is a twist in your logic where I veer.  When you say "if we did know" you are assuming a godlike stance where all the stuff coming in to the Earth, all the photons, all the cosmic rays, all the gravity waves, are already known.   My understanding of humans as point of focus entities and my understanding of the place as not having done yet what it is going to do next, forbids a human, and to my mind, every point in the universe, from experiencing the place all at once, except in the "old news" way we do experience it.  Therefore in my understanding of the place, everything is currently out of reach...until it gets here.  The star we see pulsing is pulsing now, but it is on its 1,000,000,000th pulse and we see its 9,999,456,983th pulse.  What its 9,999,456,999th pulse is going to look like, is mysterious to us, except in the fact that because we experienced and timed and measured 9,999,456,982 and it was similar to the prior pulse 9,999,456,981 and this looked a lot like how 9,999,456,983 is looking we can rightly predict that this particular star is going to have a pulse 9,999,456,984 that bears some resemblance to the prior pulse, and foretells how, sort of 9,999,456,985 is going to look.  So we cannot be god, and the universe gets to us exactly at the pace, the speed of light, the speed of comets, the speed of asteroids, the speed of solar wind, that it gets to us, and the getting to us is actually  an occurrence in an of itself, the photon gets focused on the back of our eye and rods and cones respond to its impulse, and we witness that part of the universe where years ago an electron fell into a lower orbit around its nucleus and emitted a photon....

So yes, if we knew the flight of every photon in the universe we could calculate what looking in any direction at anytime is going to look like...but we don't know, and the way the universe looks and acts, is BECAUSE it does things the way it does them, and things are separated by space and time in the exact manner that they are, which does not change much from moment to moment.   Everything changes constantly, but there are elements, big things, like the Earth and the Sun, that do not change much within a human lifetime, and it is our timescale that matters to us, and it is our position in time and space that matters to us, and it is the arrival of the rest of the place at our location that we witness.  

Regards, TAR

The laws of physics are partially put together based on the congruence we see, the match we see between what the universe did yesterday compared to what it is doing today.  The things that change we take as motion or growth or decay or whatever, the things that stay the same we consider invariant "rules" that the universe follows.   You walk in one direction on a   sphere and you wind up back where you started after traveling the circumference...Every time.   Not random.

Edited by tar
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A "google" is a tiny little number of virtually infinitesimal size comparted to the number of possible futures that apply to even a cubic meter of matter in  a few nanoseconds. 

The fact that the sun came up at 5:59 right on schedule hardly proves you were correct about anything at all. 

Everything affects everything else. 

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1 hour ago, cladking said:

A "google" is a tiny little number of virtually infinitesimal size comparted to the number of possible futures that apply to even a cubic meter of matter in  a few nanoseconds. 

The fact that the sun came up at 5:59 right on schedule hardly proves you were correct about anything at all. 

Everything affects everything else. 

cladking,

what I want to be correct about is that reality is a large grey area between random occurrence and reliable repeating sure things

which so far seems to be an unchallenged, unremarkable, agreed to claim

Regards, TAR

So if so many things are possible within that random cubic meter of matter, why does the railway bridge stay a railway bridge for 100 years?

 

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21 hours ago, Lord Antares said:

Obviously, reality isn't ''random'' because randomness isn't a real ''thing''. It is only applicable to an ignorant observer. For example, a coin might have a ~50% chance of landing on either side for your or me, but only because we don't know at which angle it was flipped, with which force, velocity etc. If this information was known to us, we would know how it would land with a probability of 1.

Same goes for the rest of the universe. Every reaction was caused by an opposite action which we may or may not be aware of, but it is present nevertheless. It may be random to us mere mortals, but it isn't ''actually'' ''random''.There is nothing mysterious there.

I'd like to bring your attention to something known as quantum mechanics.

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5 hours ago, tar said:

Lord Antares,

Not exactly.  ...

I understand what you are saying but I don't see your point. I did agree that, for all intents and purposes of humans, things are random. I'm simply pointing out that randomness isn't an objective, exact ''thing'' which can be agreed upon. What may be random for humans might not be random at all for some possible alien beings. We do agree here.

3 hours ago, swansont said:

I'd like to bring your attention to something known as quantum mechanics.

I did say ''except for QM, arguably'' in my next post.

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tar

So if so many things are possible within that random cubic meter of matter, why does the railway bridge stay a railway bridge for 100 years?

So what happens after 100 years?

Do tell.

:)

Edited by studiot
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5 hours ago, Lord Antares said:

I understand what you are saying but I don't see your point. I did agree that, for all intents and purposes of humans, things are random. I'm simply pointing out that randomness isn't an objective, exact ''thing'' which can be agreed upon. What may be random for humans might not be random at all for some possible alien beings. We do agree here.

I did say ''except for QM, arguably'' in my next post.

Lord Antares,

I am not in agreement, because of the isotropic principle.  Even another race similar to ours, but with better senses and memory and far advanced in technology and such would only be able to witness the place a photon at a time, same as we do.  That is they would have to be alive on a grander scale than us, to know what the universe is doing someplace where they are not, and I am not sure what that would look like, or be like.  Like if you were god and knew everything, what would that be like, just everything at once, there would be no distinction between things, no cause and effect, no sense of space, no sense of time...it would be sort of like unity, no self, because you would be everything.   Does not seem workable to me.  I don't believe in god, and have reasoned long ago against there being a race that evolved from the universe that would be better than the place, or capable of building a computer that would be able to compute the position and momentum of every quark.  How about the quarks you would need to operate the computer?  In a sense the universe is already making manifest every combination that it has so far tried, so recording this and playing it back makes no sense.  Would be redundant, and no creature, that evolved in the place, would be able to contain the whole shebang.   So no, there is not a race to which the universe would not be immense and long lived, way beyond their ability to witness it  all at once in any other manner than we witness it all at once, with close stuff reporting immediately and far away stuff reporting with a lag, and really far away stuff not able to report at all.

Regards, TAR

5 hours ago, studiot said:

So what happens after 100 years?

Do tell.

:)

studiot,

It crumbles or breaks or gets torn down and replaced.  But it lasted very many electron orbits, as something a human is able to see every day in the same sure thing manner.

Regards, TAR

Edited by tar
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23 hours ago, Lord Antares said:

Exactly,  but my point is, randomness is an arbitrary term, given as a statistical probability measure for what we don't know. If we did know, nothing would be random to us, hence the nature of the universe cannot be random. Things CANNOT be unpredictable in a technical way (except for arguably QM, but will not go into that), because if they could, the laws of physics couldn't exist and the sole purpose of laws (to standardize and always measure a predictable result) would be defeated. Therefore, reality is not random. Do you agree?

Quote

Historically, the uncertainty principle has been confused[5][6] with a somewhat similar effect in physics, called the observer effect, which notes that measurements of certain systems cannot be made without affecting the systems, that is, without changing something in a system. Heisenberg utilized such an observer effect at the quantum level (see below) as a physical "explanation" of quantum uncertainty.[7] It has since become clearer, however, that the uncertainty principle is inherent in the properties of all wave-like systems,[8] and that it arises in quantum mechanics simply due to the matter wave nature of all quantum objects. Thus, the uncertainty principle actually states a fundamental property of quantum systems, and is not a statement about the observational success of current technology.[9] 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle

 

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