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Old March 15th, 2017, 02:30 PM   #41
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Getting back to the topic of the thread:

"They're melting! They're melting! All our beautiful notions are melting!"

The polar ice caps are breaking up, the economy is breaking up, politics are breaking up, and, now, even physics is breaking up! Finally, we are being forced to confront a new world!

The universe is real; philosophers and post modernists pout.

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What the several researchers found was that there were more photons in some places than there should have been and fewer in others. The stunning result, though, was that in some places the number of photons was actually less than zero. Fewer than zero particles being present usually means that you have antiparticles instead. But there is no such thing as an antiphoton (photons are their own antiparticles, and are pure energy in any case), so that cannot apply here.

The only mathematically consistent explanation known for this result is therefore Hardy's. The weird things he predicted are real.... Dr Yokota and his colleagues went so far as to call their results "preposterous".
The world turns out to be real, after all! But it is a real world that is very, very weird!

Wheeler-Feynman Absorber Theory involves waves, propagating from the future with waves propagating in the present, "mixing" and creating our "particle" reality as a "sum of complex-wave quantum interferences."

This is a departure from the "quantum fuzziness" of the past which involved "concrete real particles" whose existence were always positive probability contributions (inner products with real values). Negative particle probabilities are now an "observed reality"' indicating an alternative interpretation to so called "particle" phenomena, as spatial and temporal complex waves interacting in spacetime, in order to resolve the obvious retrodiction anomalies that are actually measured.

In the standard interpretation of Quantum Theory, the probabilities can never be negative and they must "add up". What we have are negative probabilities and they "add up". The negative probabilities are logical impossibilities in probability theory, clearly Quantum Mechanics is not a probability theory. It is "something else".

Quantum mechanics is often explained as a theory of probabilities and statistics, but this is very misleading. In statistics, you never have negative probabilities (for how can you have a probability of less than zero?), and certainly not probabilities that are complex numbers! (that is, numbers composed of regular positive and negative real numbers, and imaginary numbers [ involving the square root of minus one ]) But complex probability components are the bread and butter of quantum mechanics. Usually the imaginary components cancel out and you are left with garden-variety positive probabilities for such things as position and momentum measurements, but now we see that it ain't always so!

Complex components of a physical system should not seem to be overly mysterious. Minkowski space-time in relativity theory and electromagnetism are analysed into real and imaginary mathematical components. Electric fields and magnetic fields are not identical, but they are related mathematically in precise ways and they can turn into each other. The same is true of space and time. Equations with complex numbers are a way of keeping electricity and magnetism distinct, but related. The great divide heretofore between electromagnetic theory and quantum theory is that electric and magnetic fields are considered to be actual components of the external world, but the complex components of probability fields have been regarded as heuristic devices, convenient fictions that made mathematical calculation convenient, but were not actual entities in the external world. The experimental results of Dr. Yokota and his colleagues have destroyed this comforting illusion.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 02:35 PM   #42
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Here is a diagram of Hardy's original proposed experiment, which involved electrons and positrons, rather than photons:



The brown cylinders are detectors; the gray disks are mirrors; the blue disks are interferometers ("beam-splitters"). An electron and a positron (anti-electron) are introduced into the system at the same time. Each particle goes through an interferometer and is split into two quantum states; one state represents the particle travelling along the outer pathway, the other state represents it travelling along the inner pathway. If the particles travel the inner pathway, they reach an "annihilation area". If both electron and positron travel the inner pathways, they may annihilate each other and will not affect the detectors. It is also possible that they will survive their "close encounter", but in that case, their quantum states will have been "disturbed".

The electron can only be detected at C- and D-, the positron at C+ and D+. Near their associated detectors, each particle will encounter another interferometer. If the two states of each particle have been undisturbed, they cause Detector C to register an impact. If a quantum state has been disturbed, Detector D registers an impact.

Quantum Mechanics predicts probabilities for various outcomes: a probability for mutual annihilation, and probabilities for various combinations of detectors firing simultaneously:

C+ and C-
C+ and D-
C- and D+
D- and D+

It is the combination D- and D+ that causes the trouble. There will be a well-defined percentage of cases where D- and D+ fire simultaneously. The outer-arm quantum states are always undisturbed; therefore, if Detector D- registers an impact, the inner-arm electron state must have been disturbed, and that can only occur if it is 100% certain that the positron was in the "annihilation area". Likewise, if Detector D+ registers an impact, the inner-arm positron state must have been disturbed, and that can only occur if it is 100% certain that the electron was in the "annihilation area". If both Detector D- and Detector D+ are activated, it is 100% certain that both the electron and the positron were in the "annihilation area" at the same time. But this means that they would have annihilated each other, and none of the detectors would have been activated! But both D- and D+ were activated!! This is the heart of the contradiction.

The paradox can be solved only if the probability is -1 for the case of both particles taking the outer pathway! This means that it is more of an impossibility than impossible!

"...a region with a negative number of photons (a hole blacker than black) would have interesting temperature and pressure, I guess."
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Old March 20th, 2017, 03:22 PM   #43
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In a previous posting, I wrote,

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I wish to describe a half-way house for those without training in philosophy on a journey to the understanding of the thought of Plato. It is false to Plato in one supremely important aspect, yet can still be useful.
There, I treated the Forms as if they were abstractions from experience. THIS IS NOT PLATO'S VIEW.

Many philosophers have treated the Forms as if they were abstractions from experience, AND THEY SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

THE FORMS ARE NOT UNIVERSALS; THEY ARE NOT ABSTRACTIONS FROM EXPERIENCE!

Plato says this over and over; he says it ever so clearly in the Allegory of the Cave!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave

TRANSLATION OF THE TEXT OF THE ALLEGORY

There is even a clay animation of the Allegory, for heaven's sake!

ANIMATION OF PLATO'S ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE

The fact that even doctors of philosophy can't get this simple fact right says much about the distorted, stereotypical delusions of our time!

For Plato, the Forms were not less concrete than the physical world of experience, BUT MORE CONCRETE!

This can not be stressed too much!!!

The physical world of our experience is a dim, wavering image, a shadow, of the solid, enduring REAL world of the Forms! This is very, very clear from the Allegory of the Cave!

C. S. Lewis is a writer whom I like, but who exasperates me no end. The reason is that almost everything in his timid, theistic worldview that is good and attractive comes from Plato!

He wrote an amusing little book called, The Great Divorce, that gives his slant on the Forms of Plato.

Ghosts from Hell are given a holiday in which they are brought to the borderlands of Heaven, which is a kind of twilight before dawn. There, everything is much, much more solid than the phantasmal substance of the ghosts: plant stems and leaves are immovable; blades of grass are unbendable crystal needles to their feet; every drop of rain, every flying insect, is like a bullet that tears through the bodies of the ghosts; the surface of a stream is a solid, flowing, rippling floor to their feet; and when the Sun rises, its beams are solid blocks, moving at an incredible velocity, smashing and crushing the ghosts!
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Old March 21st, 2017, 05:58 AM   #44
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MUMFORD & SONS LYRICS

"The Cave"


in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you've left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

‘Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I'll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker's land

So make your siren's call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

‘Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it's meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again
Thanks from numan
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Old March 21st, 2017, 06:03 AM   #45
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- MARILYN MANSON

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Old March 21st, 2017, 06:04 AM   #46
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Quote:
So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker's land
The notion mumford and sons point to is coming out of the cave doesn't allow us to see things as they are in fact distortions of our viewpoint persist.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 06:06 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by arcturus88 View Post
The notion mumford and sons point to is coming out of the cave doesn't allow us to see things as they are in fact distortions of our viewpoint persist.
We see that A LOT with numan!
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Old March 21st, 2017, 06:07 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numan View Post
'

C. S. Lewis is a writer whom I like, but who exasperates me no end. The reason is that almost everything in his timid, theistic worldview that is good and attractive comes from Plato!

He wrote an amusing little book called, The Great Divorce, that gives his slant on the Forms of Plato.

Ghosts from Hell are given a holiday in which they are brought to the borderlands of Heaven, which is a kind of twilight before dawn. There, everything is much, much more solid than the phantasmal substance of the ghosts: plant stems and leaves are immovable; blades of grass are unbendable crystal needles to their feet; every drop of rain, every flying insect, is like a bullet that tears through the bodies of the ghosts; the surface of a stream is a solid, flowing, rippling floor to their feet; and when the Sun rises, its beams are solid blocks, moving at an incredible velocity, smashing and crushing the ghosts!
.

I'm a big fan of Lewis and liked the book. I think the theme is less platonian and more that the reality of heaven may make the present on earth seem spiritual and ghostly by comparison.

Last edited by arcturus88; March 21st, 2017 at 08:02 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 06:09 AM   #49
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We see that A LOT with numan!


I like him and enjoy having an intellect on board here.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:42 AM   #50
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I like him and enjoy having an intellect on board here.
Ditto (to me )
Thanks from arcturus88
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Old March 21st, 2017, 02:02 PM   #51
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Quote:
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I'm a big fan of Lewis and liked the book. I think the theme is less plutonian and more that the reality of heaven may make the present on earth seem spiritual and ghostly by comparison.
I agree with you.

I like the comparison of dreams with waking "reality." Terrible things happen in dreams; why are we not scarred by these terrible events? It is because, after we have awakened, we realize that the dreams were not real --- or at least have a much lesser reality than the waking world.

Similarly, the basic nature of "True Reality" is so far beyond what we experience in our mortal life that it reduces our waking lives to the status of a kind of "waking dream," not quite real.

If one is bothered by the "problem of evil" (as I am not, since I follow the traditional view that evil is a privation of the Good, and not a substantial reality in itself), then the evil in our lives is like the evil in dreams, a kind of fading delirium that dissolves in the Light of Reality.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 02:07 PM   #52
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Old March 21st, 2017, 04:06 PM   #53
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Old March 23rd, 2017, 03:40 PM   #54
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From the point of view of phenomenology, it appears that the universe, or at least an environment [whether external or not], is of primary importance, and that an Observer could not possibly exist without it, for what could the Observer observe without the data of experience?

From the point of view of epistemology [study of knowledge], it seems the Observer is primary, for how could the universe have a definite existence, how could qualia [the "suchness" or "thisness" of things] exist without being perceived by an Observer? [When a tree falls in a deserted forest, does it make a sound?]

Of course, there are philosophical way-stations between existence and non-existence. One of them is the concept of "subsistence": that entities may be conceived as potentialities, rather than actualities. Thus the external universe may be conceived as having some reality, even in the absence of any observer. For 65 million years the dinosaurs "subsisted": the fossils obeyed all the laws of physics, until snoopy hominid apes drew them back out of their subsistent potentiality into their present state of actuality.

Finally, from the point of view of ontology [study of existence], the external universe and the Observer may be considered to have equal degrees of Reality, supporting each other in a dialectical fashion. Each may be Existents, but of different states or "moments" of Reality. A universe of definite qualities may be impossible without the two supporting each other.
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Old March 24th, 2017, 04:04 PM   #55
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I am not a "materialist" in the crude fashion of so many people who pride themselves on escaping from the follies of religion and other types of superstition. One of the reasons is that "matter" has never been defined as a clear concept. The way that it imposes on our senses disappears in a few short orders of magnitude down into the micro world.

When we try to understand a material object, we find that it dissolves into a warp of electromagnetic fields on a woof of curved space. These, in turn, when subjected to analysis, reveal new "existences" and new Forms: elementary particles, conservation laws, units of "action" and quantum fields. Each time we try to tease out what is before our eyes, we find that it disappears to reveal a new content functioning through new Forms.

What physics reveals to us is not the "matter" of naive intuition, but an immense concatenation of Forms---in the Platonic sense. Few prejudiced people ever stop to consider what an immense predictive triumph this is for the Platonic theory---stretching over twenty-five hundred years, during which, to most people, there was precious little "evidence" that the Theory of Forms was true.
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Old March 24th, 2017, 11:15 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numan View Post
'
I am not a "materialist" in the crude fashion of so many people who pride themselves on escaping from the follies of religion and other types of superstition. One of the reasons is that "matter" has never been defined as a clear concept. The way that it imposes on our senses disappears in a few short orders of magnitude down into the micro world.

When we try to understand a material object, we find that it dissolves into a warp of electromagnetic fields on a woof of curved space. These, in turn, when subjected to analysis, reveal new "existences" and new Forms: elementary particles, conservation laws, units of "action" and quantum fields. Each time we try to tease out what is before our eyes, we find that it disappears to reveal a new content functioning through new Forms.

What physics reveals to us is not the "matter" of naive intuition, but an immense concatenation of Forms---in the Platonic sense. Few prejudiced people ever stop to consider what an immense predictive triumph this is for the Platonic theory---stretching over twenty-five hundred years, during which, to most people, there was precious little "evidence" that the Theory of Forms was true.
.
One can be (and must be) a "Materialist" in our macro material world. This does not mean ignoring the realities of the micro as they obviously exist together.
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Old March 25th, 2017, 12:47 PM   #57
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Whenever I hold the opposite poles of two magnets together, I feel a slight frisson of awe that I am, in some sense, in contact with the forces of the micro world. Of course, whenever I touch anything I am in contact with those same forces, but the amplification of magnetic forces seems much more striking.
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Old March 25th, 2017, 01:24 PM   #58
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Quote:
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'
Whenever I hold the opposite poles of two magnets together, I feel a slight frisson of awe that I am, in some sense, in contact with the forces of the micro world. Of course, whenever I touch anything I am in contact with those same forces, but the amplification of magnetic forces seems much more striking.
.
Try it with some LSD for enhanced effect.
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Old March 27th, 2017, 02:19 PM   #59
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I think that the concept of "Being" is accepted by most people far too uncritically, and requires profound analysis.

When you look at the concept of "Being" closely, it tends to fall apart into a variety of disparate concepts.

In common, everyday language we say, "That is a table"; That is a desert mirage"; That is the definition of a circle"; or, "That's a shame!" We never consider what miracles that simple little "is" performs for our convenience.

Name a visible object which is not made of matter, has no substance or weight, has no specific location in space, and which has a front side but no back. Impossible? A rainbow.

It "is" strange what enormous dissimilarities the little word "is" can obscure. A table, a rainbow, a circle, a mathematical theorem, a desire, an awareness --- all these things seem to exist, yet what do they really have in common? Little, if anything.

One way of dealing with this problem might be to create two different classes of concepts: defined and indicative.

As examples of defined words, we might take "circle", " the square root of minus one", "entropy", etc. Within a particular frame of reference, they have very clear and well-defined meanings.

"Indicative" words are words like "good", "art", "beauty", "God", "mind", and, I would suggest, words like "being" and even "matter".

These words are notoriously difficult to define, and I suggest that their usefulness comes precisely from their lack of clarity, their vagueness, and perhaps even from their logical incoherence.

What I call "indicative" words are like arrows pointing out a direction along which to travel. Their very lack of meaning may make them suitable to be "pointers" in a large variety of frames of reference.

For example, the word "God", even if it is totally meaningless and has no objective referent, has been historically a kind of metaphor or conceptual seed which has suggested concepts of infinity, concepts of causality, etc. which might not have developed without the impetus of this metaphor.

I think we should look more closely at the differences between "defined" and "indicative" concepts, and we should consider the possibility that even meaningless ideas may serve a function in producing meaning. Perhaps the same is also true of meaningless activities.

But we must keep in mind that there are great dangers in confusing the functions of defining and indicating.

There is a story about a student who did not know what the moon is. He went to a teacher and asked, "I've heard people talk about the moon, but I don't know what they mean. What is the moon?"

As an answer, the teacher lifted his hand and pointed to the moon shining in the night-time sky. But the student looked only at the pointing finger and thought that it was the moon! So not only did he mistake the finger for the moon, but he also confused the concepts "dark" and "bright", since he thought that the dark finger was the bright moon!
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Old March 27th, 2017, 02:36 PM   #60
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Among all the people of the world, Westerners seem to be the most absorbed in their egos, and among Westerners, Americans seem to be those who are generally most absorbed in seeing life as a series of transactions engaged in for profit. I must admit that I find such an attitude to be very low and debased, and not one worthy to be a part of a true human life. I think it is fit only for the pig-sty.

Such a lot depends on one's point of view. Life is often like one of those ambiguous pictures that looks one way if one's brain processes the image in a certain fashion, and looks like a completely different thing if perceived under a different mode of processing the image.



If one is not overly concerned with one's ego, so many of these moral "problems" just disappear from the picture. I have often done things of benefit for other people, in ways that more self-absorbed people thought were reckless and damaging to myself. I find it amazing how often such actions have worked to my benefit, often in quite surprising ways. I am quite sure that calculations of self-benefit were absent from my motivations, nor, in many cases, could they have been foreseen. What I did seemed as natural as breathing --- feeling my way to a little more harmony and beauty in my environment.

I opine that the more that one perceives harmony and beauty and truth, the more does self-gratification vanish from one's relations with the universe --- it becomes trivial and unimportant.

Though I find their views repugnant and harmful, I am also amused at the attitudes of those who 'think' that "the guy who accumulates the most toys, wins." A moment's clear reflection tells you that when you die, that is the end of personal existence. What is the significance of accumulating toys, conquests, and personal gratification? The moment you have breathed your last breath, they are all as if they had never been.

As the Buddhists say, all things are "as illusions in the sky, a fault of vision, as a lamp, a mock show, dew drops, or a bubble, a dream, a lightning flash, or cloud...." All these things have their place in the pageant of existence, but to imagine that there is anything enduring about them is ridiculous.

I do not know what is the ultimate nature of existence, but I sense that there is something wonderful, harmonious and beautiful in the enduring mystery of Truth. I certainly cannot prove this to the satisfaction of a logician; one cannot hold the sun or moon in one's hand; the best one can do is to lift one's hand and point to them shining in the sky.

I received a lasting impression when I visited the city museum of Taibei, Taiwan. There were a number of ancient ceramic plaques with images impressed upon them, scenes of Buddhist mythology and symbolism, expressive of Buddhist doctrine and philosophy. These plaques were very ancient, dating from the Tang Dynasty, more than a thousand years old. Originally, they were plastered on the outer façade of Buddhist temples. What was interesting about them was that they contained human ashes mixed in with the clay out of which they were made. When devout Buddhists died, they had their bodies cremated, and the remaining ashes were incorporated in these plaques, so that even in death they could continue to proclaim the essential, eternal truth of Buddhism: the transcience of all things. There is a wonderful, paradoxical, Chinese quality to what they did. Eternal truth proclaimed by the dead ashes of vanished men? What is in fact enduring, and what must pass and fade? Very few of these plaques remain, a mere handful in a glass case in a museum. At some point in time, not one of them will remain. Yet the strange, paradoxical, eternal truth that all things pass away will remain, ready to pop up out of non-existence whenever there is a mind able to perceive it.

Also, what they did took more courage than might appear. In traditional China, it was considered vital to bury family members with proper rites and in propitious locations. The future happiness of an entire family was considered to depend on this. The people who mixed their ashes into plaques did something that was roughly equivalent to us throwing the bodies of our dead parents by the side of the road for dogs to eat. They apparently thought proclaiming Truth to be more important than following social convention.

Was what they did altruistic, or not? I think the question blushes to annihilation in a world view in which Truth is real, and ego an illusion.
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