What is it about woo that upsets you?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wegs, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Better than mine. I was going to claim that the universe was based on colours or flavours, all you have to do is develop a colour/flavour palette to understand it. Positive ions are red, negative ions are blue. Our 'math' simply interprets the colours. Does it change our understanding of the world? No, but it adds more entities.
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Forces do not "express themselves". Forces do not do mathematics at all.
    In a real world sense, forces do not exist. They are fictions analogous to the colors of the rainbow, introduced by humans, often for the purpose of analysis via mathematics.
     
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    20,090
    Perhaps you should write a book called "The English (language) Universe", see how many copies it'll sell in Denmark or China.

    What are you trying to prove, that the concept of a mathematical universe is woo? And you're just being polite in offering that Tegmark is not woo?
    That Tegmark in reality IS a joke who doesn't know the difference between mathematics and English? Or at least, that my interpretation of Tegmark is woo, correct?

    OK, I can accept that I'm falling short on explaining how I understand Tegmark.

    Perhaps this podcast may help. I'm sure no one will listen to this but perhaps dropping the name will take the focus off me and place it in the hands of a scientist who's expertise is unquestionable and who has some very nice things to say about Tegmark and the book. Note that they are not talking about an English (language) Universe, but about a Mathematical Universe, i.e a universe with only mathematical properties!

    Sam Harris with Max Tegmark 1 : Our Mathematical Universe



    https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-...ping-up-in-math-physics-and-biology-20180823/
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  7. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I like how iceaura put it. But, I also see your viewpoint, too. It's not everyday that someone talks about math and how it makes them feel. Kudos for teaching me something new, Write4U.

    But, Sam Harris. I'll have to skip that video. He's coming around lately, to delivering a more positive message regarding gender issues/differences, but still not quite there.
     
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    A lot, if my last name was Hawking or Gould; people in Denmark read English quite well.

    However, why not translate them to Danish, if you are going to sell them in Denmark? Wouldn't that make more sense?
    A universe that is math is woo, as has been demonstrated countless times.
    A universe that is pretty well described by some of our math? Not woo at all.

    But the two are not the same.
    It is not woo; it is just not 100% accurate. Change your wording just a bit - from a universe that IS math to a universe that is DESCRIBED by math - and it would be accurate.
     
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    20,090
    Thanks for begging and answering the obvious question.
    How is it that we can even begin to describe it? How can we describe anything, unless there is something to describe?
    And what do you name that which you are describing as mathematical values and functions?

    Note: I specifically stipulated the universe does not use numbers, it processes physical values in accordance with certain specific empirical mathematical functions.

    Again, there are two different definitions of mathematics. Universal mathematics employed by the universe, and Human mathematics which describe the way the universe employs its universal mathematics.
    How was that woo demonstrated?
    And what in this equation is not woo?
    I agree, the map is not the territory.
    But one does not begin with a map. First there is the territory and its properties.

    Interestingly, in cosmology, theoretical physics do begin with a mathematical map and when the maths are correct, the mathematical map will be confirmed when the actual territory is observed. This is according to cosmoligists. Wanna argue with an astro-physicist?
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Why is that begging the question? It is just as valid to describe it in Danish.
    Because both of us can read and write in English.
    With English names. Note that I am not going to use functions; I am going to use more direct language, like "mass warps spacetime." See? No mathematical functions or values.
    If you are going to define "universal mathematics" as "the way the universe operates" then fine - but in that case I am just as justified in defining "universal English" the same way, and with as much validity.
     
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    20,090
    Interesting that alphabetical language is not used in scientific proofs, other than as a general narrative.
    Then why do we need human maths? You think a calculator can process mathematical equations in English?
    OK, ask a computer what you just described. "mass warps spacetime a long time and different everywhere in the universe". How much does it warp in the solar-system? It has a sun with planets floating around in the warped spaetime. Can you provide me with an quantitative equation?
    The computer will respond with ; "I can't do that, Dave"

    If you are going to define "universal mathematics" as "the way the universe operates" then fine - but in that case I am just as justified in defining "universal English" the same way, and with as much validity.[/QUOTE] No, that is just not true.

    You're still caught up in the net of Human mathematics, rather than considering what universal processes they describe.

    However, if you want to posit that the universe is able to process mathematical information (communication) and that is an observed property of the universe, I would agree with that.
    But asserting that the universe processes information in English is woo. Humans use English.
    The universe uses mathematical processing of "values and functions" in a very precise manner depending on environmental conditions. It doesn't know it does that, but that's how it does it. And that is not woo but demonstrated fact.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    The inhuman universe (as far as we know) does not process values or functions mathematically. I provided some examples from elementary calculus, of the kinds of things it does not do.
    This is one way of pointing out that the universe does not see itself except through humans and whatever similar beings may exist.
    It is not possible to do that without knowing that one is doing that. The abstraction, simplification, approximation, and adherence to rule, are conscious by necessity.
    Humans use mathematics. Before they used the specialty written notation we are familiar with today, they did their mathematics in their speaking and writing language - Greek, English, whatever. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclidean_geometry
    Mathematics and English are interconvertible - anything that "processes" using mathematics can "process" using English.
     
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Right, the universe does not use Human mathematics, it uses Universal mathematics. How often do I have to say it?
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Really? That's theism. The universal intelligence, God
     
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Will you please stop comparing universal mathematical processes with human symbolic representations of these processes. Why do you keep insisting on looking at this from a subjective human perspective?
    Try objective reasoning.
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    21,646
    Read any article in Nature. Full of English words.
    Because if you're an engineer, math is VERY useful.
    Of course it can. There's even a clock that shows the time in English words rather than numbers. "It is half past seven" for example. It would, of course, be super awkward for most math, which is why we use Arabic numerals and standard mathematical notations to do math most of the time.
    Not sure why, but OK.
    A LOT!
    Yes. The gravity is sufficient to balance the momentum of the planets that is trying to drive them in straight lines away from the Sun, such that they describe circular or elliptical orbits around the Sun.
    A good computer (say, Alexa) will recite the Wikipedia article on gravitation which is (wait for it) ENGLISH WORDS!
    As is "the universe uses math to process information."
    And math!
     
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    20,090
    Wow.
     
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Yep, Human math!
     
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    20,090
    It seems to give up it secrets through math, which we can observe and codify with human math.
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    What you have to explain is why you are calling stuff that does not resemble human mathematics "mathematics".
    You keep calling them both "mathematics" - it's not me doing the comparing.
     
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    20,090
    All with mathematical precision.
     
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I am not comparing versions of math. I am stating there are human maths (symbolice representations of universal values and functions), and there is universal math which is the physical expression of universal processing of relative values and constant functions.

    It is what prompts Tegmark to speak of a "mathematical universe". He is not speaking of human maths, but universal mathematical behaviors, also known as patterns.
     
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    Since the math involved generates approximations, it's obvious that much greater than mathematical precision is attained by the real world.
    You are using the term "mathematics" for two different things, that do not appear to resemble each other very closely. Why?
     

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