Do mathematical equations supercede or predate the realities they describe?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Kaiduorkhon, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Kaiduorkhon Registered Senior Member

    With sincere respect for the mathematicians Green and Witten, certainly including the self-redeeming value of applied mathematics, please consider the satirically styled import of this thread's interrogative title.

    (Can the status of 'theory' be correctly applied to a systematic ensemble of numbers for which there is no recognized real counterpart?) :

    String Theory's Mathematical Fright of the 4-D Bumble Bee

    Brian Green is a Keen Flying Machine
    Spellbound, I will forever be under the baton of Nova's PBS broadcast Elegant Universe. Physicist Brian Green is a Supreme and Empirical example of what it takes to become an American Idol. Anyone who can begin his fiat in real space-time with a one dimensional loop has my goat, I mean vote. There's no business like show business - like no business I know. The toughest business in the world. No I haven't stood in line to see the movie (stack it higher) yet, but I've read portions of the introduction to his book and all I can say is I've lost my ability to punctuate and misplaced any semblance of scientific inclination in the potent shadow of such a conspicuously talented and charismatic master of ceremonies.

    In lieu of his Nobel Prize, room must be made for him in the house of Pulitzer, with Golden Globes suspended from the ceiling directly above the staging for the Academy Awards Oscar. Physicist Brian Green is as every bit as elegant unto science & mathematics as Mike Tyson is unto pugilism in the international arena. The author is a model of what it takes to make it in the challenging world of political and social vertical ascension today. If Brian Green and his 11 to 26 oscillating and undulating Super Strings don't vibrate all the way to the top of where it's at and stay there for another 30 years, displacing even the mighty big bang and black hole sensations, there is no Rex Reed, Hollywood or God... Meanwhile, the history of physics is kaput. My socks roll up and down in contemplation of the unfathomable depths that Lewis Carroll forsook, in his mathematical expeditions to and from Alice's Wonderland.

    The destiny of science and humanity lies in the architectural ambition of designing a Castle in the Sky, where all that is needed is more bricks, mortar, multi- dimensional universal joints, wiring and an occasional - mathematically manifest - Sky Hook formulae: when occasion behooves it. The Sky Hook's irreproachable mathematics rest on the backs of winged turtles. Forego talk of gravity. Any and all comprehensive understanding yields to highly classified. esoteric equations and formulae and elite societies of authorities ensconced in inscrutable coordinates.

    Bewildered and beguiled public interrogatives may placate themselves with knowing with absolute certainty that the apparent complexities of reality are reducible to something that explains it with a burst of blinding lights that mathematically incapacitate all but the most refined, vibrantly youthful, specially educated and talented observers. A stronger, faster, more sentient class of Masterful Super Scholars than there were before. (Assault & batteries included?)

    The Past, Present and Future is a flash-frozen anachronism.

    As for me, I'm investing in #2 pencils and a tin cup. My goodness gracious in these editorial waves of Future Shock - what Joy of Cooking books will be Magically, Mystically & Mathematically Microwaved by String Theory's 'Mother', next? When Mother ('M theory') needs another string dimension, she summons Father ('F theory') to rustle one up. Hence 10 dimensions beget 11, and if need be, 11 beget 26, and more if you have need for them. Creating a begotten bustle of iconoclastically inbred bastards to rival - or sink - Noah's Ark.

    The Ministry of Plenty has merged with a Star Trek inspired Hollywood Guild, founded in the Top Guns of Geneva & Stockholm, where the answers proliferate in the parameters of a jungle of particular particles inventoried in collisions of ponderous protons. The reinstallment of Einstein's 'abandoned' Cosmological Constant - Lambda /\ - is a public secret wrapped in Dark Matter and Quintessence, while it is forgotten that Einstein (Who?) was returned to working on what he had earlier called the 'biggest blunder' of his life, before he perished at Princeton in '55.

    Without a quantitative prediction in over 30 years the New Age string 'theory' advocates are push-pinned to the academic bulletin board, with the young school following the Ministry of Justice, the mathematicians following the funds and the physicists following the grants. Physics=Math. 2 + 2 = 5.

    The Lost Platoon's objective is to bag a metaphorical lion Einstein spoke of in a parable - of a Unified Field that would unite electromagnetism, gravity and/or quantum theory - and, according to the latest reports from the inscrutable inner circle, quite possibly eliminate any need for gravity altogether.

    Pretenders may fall with confidence upon the old saw of talking about something that they understand no one comprehends in the first place. Only string 'theorists'. Ouija board masters, and certified table levitators will penetrate the matrix of mathematical entanglements, equations and collapsed triple canopy wet woodlands and thick snarling masses of tropical vegetation where Einstein's (!) fabled, Mighty King of the Jungle Makes and Maintains Dr. Green's Mathematically Mystical Magic - the same 'M theory' Medium of Math that reckoned correction, after 'proving' why: a 4-D bumblebee can't fly.

    "All things are possible" with string theory's invoked, smoked & misted Mirrors and Math.

    The extolled lion is too large to be seen in the thick foliage and wilderness right now but the leading scatologists are reporting that soon rare paw prints will be located and the equation and formula slingers will be in gifted sight of the Jungle King's legendary one half inch of tail and then his mighty, hirsute caboose is predicted to emit a roar that may disable all sensory equipment for any further detection of him. The universe (one verse) has been modified by the New Age World Order to mean as many and more universes than there are grains of sand on all the beaches in all the world. The sparkling possibilities are as endless as the New Age revised, revolutionary approach to the 21st century TOE (theory of everything). The *Ministry of Truth & Propaganda (*Co-authored "Battered & Bullied Women Make Better Pancakes & Burgers") has in the meanwhile, cleared the path for the industriously unstoppable safari - by way of dismissing reality, for lack of evidence. The String 'theory' Medium of sub-quantum Mathematics has grounded the 4-D bumble bee, while empowering it's castle in the sky with the ability to fly. Dr. Brian Green and his equations pristine, have beaten a main-stream path: back to the New Age Math. Does space forego time, and prose precede rhyme?

    'There was a young lady named Bright, who was said to move faster than light.
    She departed one day in a relative way, and arrived on the previous night.'

    Does hypothetical mentality predate theoretical reality?

    There will be an answer, let it be? Anything is possible in the 'theorist community' of strings - just attach more spun-out strings wherever needed. Jiggle the loops and dig the vibes. Join the inner-circle exotic equation-cartel and liberate everything? History (and 1984?) may yet escape the past?

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
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  3. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

    This is what you get when you give a Lit Major some drugs and free time.
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  5. eram Sciengineer Valued Senior Member

    His post doesn't even address the nonsensical question put forth in the title .
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  7. Kaiduorkhon Registered Senior Member


    (*Do mathematical equations supercede or predate the realities they describe?)

    Speaking of 'Lit Majors, drugs and free time':
    the above-cited nonsense-slinging critic waxes bereft of even rudimentary-cognitive *reading skills.
  8. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    The Opening Post reminds me of a remark made by a friend of mine:
  9. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    well aaah I guess they come afterwards, so they 'supersede'. mathematical equations are just predictors of reality, not reality its self

    -- every weekend I get really high.
  10. Kaiduorkhon Registered Senior Member

    If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, try baffling them with bulls**t.

    Now there you go, thunder-lizard brain, talking about your anachronistic gene pool again.

    The streamline of your one-up-man-ship verbal judoistic flip-flop effort and station is...
    'When you cannot elucidate, pontificate or educate:
    entertain. P.S. Go for the crotch.'

    ElectricFetus aborts his rat-pack agreed innerCircle mission with:
    well aaah I guess they come afterwards, so they 'supersede'. mathematical equations are just predictors of reality, not reality its self
    -- every weekend I get really high.

    Well aaah, isn't that what the title and initial post says? Aaah, I mean, are you a Lit Major alzo?
  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Evidently you didn't like Elegant Universe. Since it contained no math I'm not sure how that applies to your complaint. Besides, it covered a lot more ground than string theory, giving us a feel for the technical problems involved in any inquiry into phenomena at the scale of a Planck length or so. There's really nothing to gripe about there, since scale is what weirdness is all about anyway. If at the Planck scale there were pink elephants holding classes on their opinions of what a macro scale might be like, would that be any more uncanny than quantization, particle creation/annihilation, or wave function collapse? Besides, the weirdest thing string theory brings to the mix is the possibility of folded dimensions. Considering the fact that scientists passed through their colic phase concerning relativity during the Industrial Age, why should this be any more upsetting? And by that I mean, once you've come to grips with a folding of spacetime per Lorentz rotation, what's the problem with considering as plausible an explanation that leads to Calabi-Yau manifolds?

    Whether or not it's correct remains to be seen. But to summarily dismiss a well-considered theory, if only by caricature, out of angst that it's purely an artifice of math ignores the science that Brian Greene spent several hundred pages explaining without so much as an equals sign. There may be plenty of valid counter-arguments worthy of consideration. But they would not simply dismiss what Greene propounded as an artifice of math. They would present a physical rationale that contradicts his science. So where's the beef? I understand you came here to caricature Greene, but do you have an actual complaint about the physics or are you just showboating?
  12. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The answer is both. Math is only as good as the premises the math is supporting. For example, say we assumed gravity is due to the repulsion of matter from space so matter will separate out when possible, into stars. This is our premise and the root of our conceptual model. We could use a reverse of the existing newtonian equations and come up with basic math to model this. But math along would not prove this is reality.

    One can also look at this in terms of alternative models, for example, which explain cosmology, with each having its own premises and math. They can't all be right at the same time, since they are often mutually exclusive. Each system of math follow from their premises, but not all the premises agree. Human will often live in this philosophical multi-universe,which may be why we assume these all exists. This practical problem is why I like conceptual modeling instead of math modeling. Conceptual modeling will make sure what we assume adds up before we do the math, and then assume the math can even prove mutually exclusive premises.

    There is also one further consideration about math. This was brought to the attention in the 1950's by the art of Escher, but made very clear with modern physics game engines. These demonstrate one can extend the laws of physics beyond reality and achieve very good simulations of alternate reality. This is how you sell these games to the kids. Again it comes back to looking at the foundation premises to make sure these are consistent before we design the math engines. That is, unless we choose to create an alternate reality to make the game more fun or convincing. The Global warming game engines are not predicting too well since there are basic premise problems.

    As an example, say the math game engine allows levitation with respect to gravity. This takes away stresses off construction materials, since this base assumption reduces the pull of gravity on materials. This now implies, we can build rockets of weaker and light materials like aluminum foil. This follows from the foundation premise that is modeled and supported by the game engine math. But it is all hypothetical and contingent on false premises. It will appear to work on paper, as long as we don't have to run a reality experiment. It is good for political science.

    If we look for the flaw by following the complex math, which few can do, we may not find anything wrong with the math. That means the game engine is fine but there is still something not kosher. This is why I often say there is no law within science that requires we calibrate the most important tool of science which is consciousness. Consciousness comes up with premises, with the math, like a faithful horse, following the lead.

    On the other hand, once the conceptual model is sound through logic, reason and data, math makes it possible to simulate and make predictions of reality. If you reverse the procedure, than politics and illusions enter science.
  13. brucep Valued Senior Member

    Well said Id. The discovery in stem cell research is what science is all about. Thanks for posting. If you like what science does you gotta like string theory. Think of all the 'new ways' [dualities and the adS-CFT duality] they discovered to model the theory. Oh it involves a mathematical descriptions of natural phenomena so it must be ......... awesome. Greens did a great job trying to describe string theory without any reference to the language of mathematics.
  14. brucep Valued Senior Member

  15. Kaiduorkhon Registered Senior Member

    Thanks Aqueous Id, well wisher and brucep. Regarding whether I'm show boating or being serious, well, a little bit of both. You know, all work and no play?
    (Though the moniker here is neither Jack, Hack or *Eleventy. *That name, as it is applied to Truly Yours, occurs in several posts on the net and apparently is based on my D.O.B., 7.11.'41)

    I understand and am grateful for, much more about the non-theoretical string theory than before I read the serious posts responding to the OP.
    My maintenance of recreation and the somber interpretation of 'string theory' import is, indeed, as Aqueous Id clarifies, The Elegant Universe makes a specific effort to speak outside the mathematical box...

    Isn't that fairly because it is in fact derived from an abundance of mathematics and bears translation to non-mathematics?

    brucep's post of wellwisher's reply, ending with brucep's singular word (outside the 'Reply With Quote' box) "Delete". Does that mean that brucep dissents wellwisher's entire entry?

    If so, in the words of Aqueous Id, 'What's the beef?'.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014

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