Archive for the ‘Epistemology’ Category

Science: Discovery Or Construction? Discovery Of Construction!

April 13, 2016

In his book “To Explain The World: The Discovery Of Modern Science”, Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg asserts that modern science was DISCOVERED. Modern science was out there, under a bush, and a couple of physicists Weinberg esteem (Galileo, Newton), lifted the bush, and uncovered “modern science”.

This may not look like it, but that subtitle itself, that science was discovered, is a speculation on what reality is. In other words, it is a piece of bold philosophy… which, thanks to modern scientific advances in biology, can be philosophically shown to be, most probably, erroneous.

Indeed: is not the mind constructed? Modern experiments in neurobiology have shown this.

The Eye Is Only All-Seeing Because It Is Full Of Ideas And Theories About What It Sees

The Eye Is Only All-Seeing Because It Is Full Of Ideas And Theories About What It Sees

A kitten shown only a very distorted version of the world does not learn to see correctly.

(In an interesting case of cecity, Weinberg disparages the inventor of analytic geometry, Descartes, who made modern mathematics possible, including infinitesimal calculus, and Newton’s little activities: no Descartes, no Newton. However, once Descartes had invented analytic geometry, and another Frenchman deduced the correct universal attraction law, the work made by Newton was a matter of at most a couple of decades, since Kepler’s laws were already known. Kepler erroneously thought the attraction was 1/distance, when it’s actually 1/square of distance…)

Weinberg tried to clarify the subtitle of his book (‘the discovery of modern science’): science was not just ‘constructed’ but actually ‘discovered’. In truth, one should be careful. Take agriculture. Was it discovered, or invented? Both. Most agricultural products were not just discovered, but also literally engineered, through domestication. (A process which is still poorly understood: how can one get from a wild tree which could poison a human to death by eating twenty nuts, to a nutritious modern almond tree? Is not that an achievement more awesome than Newton’s? And the fact is, millions, nowadays, know how Newton did it, but none how Neolithic farmers made what was deadly, edible.)

Our apparent discoveries modify our brains, so, in a sense, they are constructions. Neurological constructions.

Now let’s ponder this: when something which has been constructed “discovers” something else, has that something else been uncovered, or constructed?

Are then what we think of the things of our world and the architecture our minds are made of, discovered or constructed?

No doubt, some will say, a bridge is constructed. Clearly so, when it is made by hand (as even Heidegger will understand). But, animating these hands are minds. Not just the ones of the builders, but the minds of those who made the minds of the builders. Because cultures, transmitted by languages, make minds.

Furthermore, what is the difference between a bridge made of stones, and a bridge between two neurons, or two systems of neurons? Philosophically speaking, not much.

The point is that we feel, or think we observed,  that things of the world are some way, and from that, we build bridges between neurons, or systems thereof.

Appearances are not just deceiving. Appearances we perceive lead to constructions of, and in, our minds. Shallow makes deep.

The process cannot be any different with “science”. From appearances, that we call “experiences”, we build explanations, connections between neurons, or systems thereof. So what did we truly discover, when we made a scientific discovery?

What we discovered is that we can build a mind in ways not suspected before. And that, somehow, it fits the real world better, meaning we can increase our powers on matter. This is all what modern science is. The same old same old which has made us evolve ever closer to the gods we are becoming at an accelerating pace. For better or worse.

Patrice Ayme

BEING FROM DOING: EFFECTIVE ONTOLOGY, Brain & Consciousness

December 29, 2015

Thesis: Quantum Waves themselves are what information is (partly) made of. Consciousness being Quantum, shows up as information. Reciprocally, information gets Quantum translated, and then builds the brain, then the mind, thus consciousness. So the brain is a machine debating with the Quantum. Let me explain a bit, while expounding on the way the theory of General Relativity of Ontological Effectiveness, “GROE”:

***

What is the relationship between the brain and consciousness? Some will point out we have to define our terms: what is the brain, what is consciousness? We can roll out an effective definition of the brain (it’s where most neurons are). But consciousness eludes definition.

Still, that does not mean we cannot say more. And, from saying more, we will define more.

Relationships between definitions, axioms, logic and knowledge are a matter of theory:

Take Euclid: he starts with points. What is a point? Euclid does not say, he does not know, he has to start somewhere. However where that where exactly is may be itself full of untoward consequences (in the 1960s, mathematicians working in Algebraic Geometry found points caused problems; they have caused problems in Set Theory too; vast efforts were directed at, and around points). Effectiveness defines. Consider this:

Effective Ontology: I Compute, Therefore That's What I Am

Effective Ontology: I Compute, Therefore That’s What I Am

Schematic of a nanoparticle network (about 200 nanometres in diameter). By applying electrical signals at the electrodes (yellow), and using artificial evolution, this disordered network can be configured into useful electronic circuits.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-09-electronic-circuits-artificial-evolution.html#jCp

All right, more on my General Relativity of Ontological Effectiveness:

Modern physics talks of the electron. What is it? Well, we don’t know, strictly speaking. But fuzzy thinking, we do have a theory of the electron, and it’s so precise, it can be put in equations. So it’s the theory of the electron which defines the electron. As the former could, and did vary, so did the latter (at some point physicist Wheeler and his student Feynman suggested the entire universe what peopled by just one electron going back and forth in time.

Hence the important notion: concepts are defined by EFFECTIVE THEORIES OF THEIR INTERACTION with other concepts (General Relativity of Ontological Effectiveness: GROE).

***

NATURALLY Occurring Patterns Of Matter Can Recognize Patterns, Make Logic:

Random assemblies of gold nanoparticles can perform sophisticated calculations. Thus Nature can start computing, all by itself. There is no need for the carefully arranged patterns of silicon.

Classical computers rely on ordered circuits where electric charges follow preprogrammed rules, but this strategy limits how efficient they can be. Plans have to be made, in advance, but the possibilities become vast in numbers at such a pace that the human brain is unable to envision all the possibilities. The alternative is to do as evolution itself creates intelligence: by a selection of the fittest. In this case, a selection of the fittest electronic circuits.

(Selection of the fittest was well-known to the Ancient Greeks, 25 centuries ago, 10 centuries before the Christian superstition. The Ancient Greeks, used artificial and natural selection explicitly to create new breeds of domestic animals. However, Anglo-Saxons prefer to name things after themselves, so they can feel they exist; thus selection of the fittest is known by Anglo-Saxons as “Darwinian”. Hence soon we will hear about “Darwinian electronics”, for sure!)

“The best microprocessors you can buy in a store now can do 10 to the power 11 (10^11; one hundred billions) operations per second and use a few hundred watts,” says Wilfred van der Wiel of the University of Twente in the Netherlands, a leader of the gold circuitry effort. “The human brain can do orders of magnitude more and uses only 10 to 20 watts.  That’s a huge gap in efficiency.”

To close the gap, one goes back to basics. The first electronic computers, in the 1940s, tried to mimic what were thought at the time to be brain operations. So the European Union and the USA are trying more of the same, to develop “brain-like” computers that do computations naturally without their innards having been specifically laid out for the purpose. For a few years, the candidate  material that can reliably perform real calculations has been found to be gold.

Van der Wiel and colleagues have observed that clumps of gold grains handle bits of information (=electric charge) in the same way that existing microprocessors do.

Clump of grains computing operate as a unit, in parallel, much as it seems neurons do in the brain. This should improve pattern recognition. A pattern, after all, is characterized by dimension higher than one, and so is a clump operating together. A mask to recognize a mask.

Patterns are everywhere, logics itself are patterns.

***

WE ARE WHAT WE DO:

So what am I saying, philosophically? I am proposing a (new) foundation for ontology which makes explicit what scientists and prehistoric men have been doing all along. 

The theory of the nature of being is ontology, the “Logic of Being”. Many philosophers, or pseudo-philosophers have wrapped themselves up in knots about what “Being”. (For example, Heidegger, trained as a Catholic seminarian, who later blossomed as a fanatical professional Nazi, wrote a famous book called “Zein und Zeit”, Being and Time. Heidegger tries at some point to obscurely mumble feelings not far removed from some explicit notions in the present essay.)

Things are defined by what they do. And they do what they do in relation with other things.

Where does it stop? Well, it does not. What we have done is define being by effectiveness. This is what mathematicians have been doing all along. Defining things by how they work produce things, and theories, which work. The obvious example is mathematics: it maybe a castle in the sky, but this castle is bristling with guns, and its canon balls are exquisitely precise, thanks to the science of ballistics, a mathematical creation.

Things are what they do. Fundamental things do few things, sophisticated things do many things, and thus have many ways of being.

Some will say: ‘all right, you have presented an offering to the gods of wisdom, so now can we get back to the practical, such as the problems Europe faces?’

Be reassured, creatures of little faith: Effective Ontology is very practical. First of all, that’s what all of physics and mathematics, and actually all of science rest (and it defines them beyond Karl Popper’s feeble attempt).

Moreover, watch Europe. Some, including learned, yet nearly hysterical commenters who have graced this site, are desperately yelling to be spared from a “Federal Europe“, the dreaded “European Superstate“. The theory of Effective Ontology focuses on the essence of Europe. According to Effective Ontology, Europe is what it does.

And  what does Europe do? Treaties. A treaty, in Latin, is “foedus. Its genitive is foederis, and it gives foederatus, hence the French fédéral and from there, 150 years later in the USA, “federal”. Europe makes treaties (with the Swiss (Con)federation alone, the Europe Union has more than 600 treaties). Thus Europe IS a Federal State.

Effective Ontology has been the driver of Relativity, Quantum Physics, and Quantum Field Theory. And this is precisely why those theories have made so many uncomfortable.

Patrice Ayme’

HAPPINESS A DUTY, Good & Smart

August 26, 2015

Forget Sisyphus’ Dreary Myth, Embrace The Happiness Strategy:

Far from being a sin, could happiness be not just fun, but a duty? I will propose that happiness is, indeed, a duty. Happiness is both a cerebral and social necessity. Let’s start with its social link.

When an animal suffers, or at least, when an animal is not happy, it is likely that it is either under aggression, and, or, needs to get into some significant action (taking some risk to go somewhere unusual, even if that animal is only an herbivore).

In either case, action, and, a fortiori, suffering put the animal, human or not, into an aggressive neurohormonal state, or cocktail of aggressive states (notice in passing that it is not always a bad thing: action, or even suffering, are often needed for everybody’s good!). Thus, someone’s unhappiness often ends up as somebody’s else suffering. Unhappiness is not just immoral, and asocial, unhappiness starts a chain reaction of unhappiness.

No Laugh, No Love, Nor Mind In Full

No Laugh, No Love, Nor Mind In Full

In human life, suffering is ubiquitous, unavoidable: born in pain, die in pain, with quite a bit of pain, Sturm und Angst, aging and degeneracy in between. So suffering always stands at the ready. Ready to help us not to settle too hopelessly into routine. Suffering, or the threat thereof, is always ready to enrich our minds, be it only with appendicitis, or a broken ankle, we don’t need to encourage it too much.

Happiness, though, precisely because of the ubiquitousness of suffering, is more tricky: it requires more of our enthusiastic cooperation, and encouragement. Happiness calls onto creativity to exist, and overwhelm the pain out there. Not by eschewing the world, as monks and Buddhists propose, but by engaging it enough, to bring up the neurohormones of happiness (Endo cannabinoids, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphin, GABA, Serotonin, Adrenaline, Nitrogen Oxide, “laughing gas“, etc.).

Happiness cannot tolerate too much moderation (consider the Adrenaline above, a chemical known to make a dead heart jump into action, or Dopamine, which cocaine, methamphetamines, boost, to create effect).

Moderation is debilitating, especially in large quantities. Happiness instead embraces immoderately the best aspects that life has to offer, and run away with them. (Creation, in particular necessitates to run away; as our society tries to run away from the encroachment of robots and plutocrats, creation will be needed ever more. Socially good creation is entangled with happiness, while unhappiness is entangled with war hormones and neural patterns and organs.)

But what of the other cerebral consequences of happiness? Happiness is a facilitator of survival. Epidemiological statistics show this.

Wisdom is, first of all, about being as smart in one’s behavior, as one can be, given the circumstances. An example is the six passengers in the Thalys train who just fought the heavily armed terrorist. They acted wisely, and, in this case, it meant that they acted decisively, fiercely, and with maximum violence: first two Frenchmen engaged the fanatic in combat, as it came out of the toilet. A Franco-American professor in his fifties, grabbed the AK 47 automatic machine gun, and ran away with it, and got shot through his entire left side for his trouble. Then the two U.S. servicemen, helped by another American, and a Brit followed, while the terrorist’s two guns jammed. The latter four heroes already got the Legion of Honor. As the 62 year old Brit pointed out, jumping on the terrorist, and hitting his head and choking him until he got unconscious, was the wise thing to do. Sometimes, extreme physical violence is the right activity to bring survival. This is a truism. Yet, in that case, happy meant punchy.

But what does the will to survival in the individual or the society have to do with? Happiness. Who wants to defend a sad life?

Salvador Dali noticed that the Nazis’ will to start a world war had to do with the desire to lose it. I agree. It was not just hatred, cupidity, and the stampeding of the herd, which characterized Nazism. Germans had long been unhappy, and had long built a cultural anthropology of unhappiness (thanks to the fascist and racist political system which ruled them, much of it straight from Eighteenth Century hyper-militaristic dictatorial Prussia and its ingrained hatred against Jews and Poles). German unhappiness brought forth the cultivation of a war-like society (a poisonous, but delicious fruit of which is higher efficiency).

Something striking about the four Anglo-Saxon heroes of the train above, is that they all seem happy in life. This is reflected by the inner strength they exhibited after the harrowing circumstances they had been through.

Without that inner happiness, the four heroes would have valued their lives less, thus valued life in general less, hence would have been less keen to defend theirs, and other people’s, lives (remember the connection of happiness with Adrenaline).

Happiness is not just a luxury, a reward, it’s a safety, even a security. not just for the individual, but for the community at large.

Socrates said the unexamined life was not worth living. Indeed, it never was, and never will. For a human being, to live is to examine. But with what is life examined? Intelligence. And the better examination is rendered possible only by greater intelligence. And what brings maximum intelligence? Experiencing the world in full.

The Romans knew this well. Even in their baths, they had a frigidarium, an ice-cold bath. And a caldarium, a very hot bath. Life, even at the baths, was not just all about the tepidarium, the tepid bath.

Sadness, unhappiness, or the tepidarium, a tepid life, only brings the input of just part of the world. Thus they make minds which are only partial (for example, only war-like). Such half minds are legions. Hitler was typical: more or less a quasi orphan, failed artist, bum, and then a shell-shocked, gazed soldier, his experience from the world, lots of unhappiness, and war, was all what his mind was made from (Stalin, or Lenin had somewhat similar war-like, dejected, unhappy backgrounds).

Sadness brings up the war-like instincts, hence the fascist reflex (to make one out of the many). Here is the answer Estienne de La Boétie was looking for, when he wondered why people accepted to live in servitude to an oligarchy. In Discours de la servitude volontaire ou le Contr’un (Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, or the Anti-Dictator), La Boétie asserted that tyrants had power because people granted it to them. I have proposed a mechanism to explain why it is so. And lack of happiness is central to it.

Happiness brings other aspects to the interaction with the world, which sadness can never reveal. Happy aspects, unhappiness alone never brings. Happiness allows to learn more form the world, it makes the mind in full.

The happy mind is a mind in full.

In a nuclear chain reaction, each nuclear fission, which is caused by a neutron’s impact, in turn creates, in the average, more than one neutron, which strike other nuclei, etc. Nobel Laureate Irene Curie discovered the chain reaction in the particular case of Uranium 235 in 1937 (although many sexist males preferred to attribute the discovery to Otto Hahn, who got the Nobel for it, it’s clearly Irene who taught Otto, through years of heated epistolary exchanges).

Unhappiness has a much more devastating amplification potential than its equivalent with radionuclides. Indeed an unhappy human being can make many other human beings suffer. Not just a couple. This is all the more true in a representative democracy, that is, an oligarchy. After he was elected Chancellor in January 1933, the pathologically unhappy Adolf Hitler was in good position to make hundreds of millions suffer, and not just his niece (who escaped through suicide, with her uncle’s gun).

If happiness is so important socially and for the blossoming of the individual mind, should not it be viewed as more than a right, but even as a moral duty?

The preceding was inspired by the neurohormonal theory of the mind, according to which neurohormonal states do not just characterize the mind, but are determined, with immense inertia, by exterior and inner circumstances. Given the neurohormonal theory of mind, it’s rather self-obvious that happiness is a duty. Without it, it is not that obvious. It’s probably why the notion, that happiness is a moral duty, not just for kicks, seems to have been ignored by the main philosophical ideologies.

Happiness is right in all ways. It even enables to learn. How? The road to truth is paved with errors, painfully learned. Only happiness makes us willing to embrace errors with an open mind. And wish for more, more errors, as we wish to learn more, learning to happily bounce from pains and disappointments to some new, unexpected, more exciting, freshly instructive errors.

No pain, no gain, yet, no happy, no bouncy. If one wants further gains, one has to accept further pain, and that’s possible only with a sunny, happy disposition. To learn ever more, means to be able to suffer pains gladly, ready to bring some more. Happiness is not just about preferring fun to dread, or about blocking reprisals of hatred against doom and gloom. Happiness is an epistemological need.

Patrice Ayme’

 

With Physics Like That, Who Needs Reality?

June 9, 2015

The quest for reality has been exemplified by science. However:

From a recent New York Times op-ed, “A Crisis at the Edge of Physics:”

“DO physicists need empirical evidence to confirm their theories?

You may think that the answer is an obvious yes, experimental confirmation being the very heart of science. But a growing controversy at the frontiers of physics and cosmology suggests that the situation is not so simple.”

In December 2014 famous physicists George Ellis and Joseph Silk, published in the journal Nature…Scientific Method: Defend the Integrity of Physics…Attempts to exempt speculative theories of the Universe from experimental verification undermine science.”

Science is immensely old. I pointed this out for dogs in “Very Ancient Relationships“. The Ancient Greeks had more than six breeds of cattle which had been evolved in Greece, specifically, to genetically modify them in a suitable manner:

Obtained By Ancient Greece Artificial & Natural Selections

Obtained By Ancient Greece Artificial & Natural Selections

[The Greeks were famous for their mix of natural and artificial selection of cattle.]

Ellis and Silk wrote that:

“This year, debates in physics circles took a worrying turn. Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe, some researchers called for a change in how theoretical physics is done. They began to argue — explicitly — that if a theory is sufficiently elegant and explanatory, it need not be tested experimentally, breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical. We disagree. As the philosopher of science Karl Popper argued: a theory must be falsifiable to be scientific.

Actually, Ellis and Silk are completely wrong there. The theory that the Earth turned around the Sun, originated by Aristarchus of Samos (a Greek island in sight of Anatolia, presently swamped by refugees). Its competitor was the geocentric theory. However, there was a strong argument against geocentrism: it stretched credulity. Indeed, the Greeks could compute that the Sun was much much larger than the Earth. It made sense that the little thing turned around the big thing as Buridan pointed out (around 1330 CE). To this geocentrists could only reply with silly arguments such as: man and his creator are big, etc.

So Karl Popper was also wrong. In the most spectacular case.

The Heliocentric Theory was a full blown scientific theory, so was the Geocentric Epicycles. However only a careful study of the illumination of the phases of Venus showed definitively that the the latter was wrong. This happened only in the mid-Seventeenth Century.

Ellis and Silk: “Chief among the ‘elegance will suffice’ advocates are some string theorists. Because string theory is supposedly the ‘only game in town’ capable of unifying the four fundamental forces, they believe that it must contain a grain of truth even though it relies on extra dimensions that we can never observe. Some cosmologists, too, are seeking to abandon experimental verification of grand hypotheses that invoke imperceptible domains such as the kaleidoscopic multiverse (comprising myriad universes), the ‘many worlds’ version of quantum reality (in which observations spawn parallel branches of reality) and pre-Big Bang concepts.”

In other words, many leading physicists are arguing for leaving behind the search for evidence, the old fashion way, leaving no stone unturned, just like smart prehistoric men did. Instead:

“These unprovable hypotheses are quite different from those that relate directly to the real world and that are testable through observations — such as the standard model of particle physics and the existence of dark matter and dark energy. As we see it, theoretical physics risks becoming a no-man’s-land between mathematics, physics and philosophy that does not truly meet the requirements of any.

The issue of testability has been lurking for a decade. String theory and multiverse theory have been criticized in popular books1, 2, 3 and articles…. In March 2014, one of the founders of inflation theory, theorist Paul Steinhardt wrote5 in Nature that “the theory of inflationary cosmology is no longer scientific because it is so flexible that it can accommodate any observational result”.

As I said above, Popper was wrong: falsifiability is neither necessary, nor sufficient to qualify a theory as scientific.

Another example of untestable theory was biological evolution through natural selection: they Greeks knew it to be true. One can read the theory explicitly stated in Lucretius’ giant poem about the universe. However the Greeks did not. know how to test it. The only tests they knew were indirect, they had to do with ARTIFICIAL selection.

Still biological evolution was a valid scientific theory, although untestable for millennia, and perhaps even hundreds of thousand of millennia. Many a shaman is bound to have stumbled upon it.

New York Times: “Implicit in such a maneuver is a philosophical question: How are we to determine whether a theory is true if it cannot be validated experimentally? Should we abandon it just because, at a given level of technological capacity, empirical support might be impossible? If not, how long should we wait for such experimental machinery before moving on: ten years? Fifty years? Centuries? …

Are superstrings and the multiverse, painstakingly theorized by hundreds of brilliant scientists, anything more than modern-day epicycles?”

Not even that. Epicycles were useful and observable. They actually are true in some sense, because they reflect Fourier Analysis of periodic motions.

Today’s most brandished “scientific” theories have nothing good about them, and worse of all, they don’t pass the smell test. Just as the Geocentric Theory did not pass the smell test. Just much worse. Theories were a gazillion universes get created in every cubic millimeters are just insane. Arguable even more insane as the worst from Daesh.

And guess what? Both insanities are related. If all what our supposedly best minds, our most rational, most scientific minds can produce, and brandish, is sheer insanity, why can’t Islam Fundamentalists, Saudi despots, North Korean dictators, and hordes of degenerated plutocrats not be crazy too?

So why not go with the flow? There are jobs to be had there. Saudi Arabia is looking for more eight more executioners to execute those who “insult Islam“. No experience necessary. Just a willingness to whip and “amputate”.

Patrice Ayme’

Humans: Naturally Born Scientists

June 5, 2015

Philosophers, through the ages, have tried to distinguish man from beast. The soul was suggested as a possible distinction (that was an old Middle Age theory, later adopted by Descartes). Tool usage was proposed (Bergson). And then language was offered as characteristic of humans. But animals were found to have theories of mind, tools, and language. How is man going to feel proud and different?

What about science? Does the inbred ability to produce it characterize us? I think so.

What Is Science? It Is Not To Be Confused With Scientific Theories:

Science is the body of certain facts. Science is the body of facts which have been proven experimentally to be true.

Curiously, many people do not get this simple statement. Is it because primary school is not taught adequately?

We Have Been Scientists, All Along, Ever More

We Have Been Scientists, All Along, Ever More

Science is the body of certain facts. Science is the body of facts which have been proven experimentally to be true. How hard is it to understand this?

Newtonian Mechanics for example is science because, within its domain of application, all its predictions are, and have been proven to be, indeed, what is observed.

Same thing for classical thermodynamics: facts are predicted, and observed to be true, time and time again. Same thing for continental drift: it predicts that continents are moving, and they are observed to move, indeed. At the exact rate predicted.

Biological evolution, too, is science. It says species have evolved. This is indeed what is observed. Thus, evolution is science. It’s not just a theory. Biological science says even more: that species are still evolving, as observed.

And so on:

Science is the body of facts which have been proven time and time again, to be indeed, occurring.

Then there are so-called “scientific” theories.

Scientific Theories Are Not Science, But, First, Theories:

Theory means: a point of view. Theories are not just facts anymore, but a way to organize them according to a perspective. That calls onto pieces of logic which are not proven. A “scientific” theory can be made of a mumbo-jumbo of facts, and completely unproven, even outrageous hypotheses.

Evolution is science. But scientific theories of how this evolution exactly happens are debatable, and debated. They are not sure. They are just theories. (Is evolution just from “natural selection”, haphazardly, or is there more, such that intelligent steering by Quantum epigenetics, as I believe?)

Most Quantum mechanics is science: it’s a set of rules, a logos, which has been checked, time and time again. However, as soon as one steps a bit away from it, it becomes uncertain (for example the Many Interacting World, MIW, a theory is handy, but it assumes that particles are points; that latter point is not a proven, certain fact).

String Theory, Supersymmetry, Multiverse, for example, are theories which include some “scientific” or “mathematical” facts. But they cannot even be checked, let alone capable of making predictions which are observed.

So those “scientific theories” are not “science”. They make a body of knowledge of some sort, like a game. But they are not allowing to make predictions observed in nature.

***

Subtleties:

There are so-called “demarcation problems“, always. It happens within science: Newtonian Mechanics makes superbly exact predictions about where space probes go as engineers use planets as slings to launch them further. However, if one wants to find out about GPS drift, one has to use the more general version of gravitation of Einstein (the latter reduces exactly to Newtonian Mechanics inside the solar system; so the theory changes from Newton, for rockets, to General Relativity (GR), for GPS).

A more subtle demarcation is found, within the body of any given science. For example, part of Einstein theory of gravitation is science, as it predicts exactly what is exactly observed (say with the Geo Positioning System). However, the same set of ideas when applied to, say, Black Holes, comes short: it runs out of enough ideas to make exact predictions, runs out of experiments to be checked, and observed facts.

Thus the theory of gravitation, GR, is science (the closest one stays to Newton), and also a hoped-for scientific theory (but not as disconnected from reality as String Theory, Susy, Multiverse, etc.). However, GR, as a general scientific theory, has disappointed: the unified theory which Einstein tried to develop did not work. (Instead it morphed into something else the general fiber space theory with Ehresman connections, known as Gauge Theory, also know as Quantum Field Theory, etc.)

Thus:

Science is what we know for sure:

How do we know that a logic is true, for sure? By conducting experiments.

By that token, archery was a science (launched just right, an arrow goes where it’s supposed to). Archery later blossomed into gunnery, ballistics, Newtonian Mechanics. Nowadays we would not consider archery as a science, but it’s among the simplest cases of dynamics.

For millions of years, our ancestors have used plants to help with their health. (Ethology has shown many animals do this, not just upper primates.) At this point, around 60% of our medical drugs come from plants.

The European iceman was found carrying general purpose antibiotics. Not by accident. He died more than 5,000 years ago.

And so on. Science is what is sure. We have been sure for a long, a very long time. If we were not so sure, we could not do much.

An artisan making a work perfectly is a scientist, in the particular domain in which this artisan excels. A prehistoric man striking a stone, just so that the force would split a crystal perfectly along pre-determined planes, was a scientist. A rock scientist. He, or she, was engaging in an application of a science we now know as crystallography. (And also in the theory of the mechanical forces, vector calculus.)

Humanity has blossomed, because humanity has learned how to establish, for sure, certain truths which required artificially devised experiments, and the proclivity to push the last frontier of truth, ever more, by being ever more subtle.

We evolved to become an intentionally scientific, that is, prone to experiment, species.

SCIENCE IS US.

And philosophy and its philosophical method, in all that? It’s the category of all the wild guesses, absolutely indispensable to suggest the next experiments, to feed tomorrow’s truths.

***

Science Is Starting To Address Ethics, And Theory Of Mind:

Long the rage smoldered between the so called “humanities” and science. How obsolete. Clearly science is making inroads in the humanities, and clearly the humanities can ask pointed questions to physics, biology, even engineering. Let’s consider the first point, how science is informing humanities.

There is a science called ethology. It comes from “ethos” which means character. Ethology is the logic of character. Ethos also gave the notion of ethics.

Ethology originally was the study of character of animals, from their objective behavior. A number of methods pertaining to the field were developed, Nobel Prizes in biology and medicine were awarded to ethologists.

Then, in the following decades, it dawned on ethologists that the methods of ethology could be extended to the study of the human character.

This is why I am surprised when I hear that one needs a metaphysics to have an ethics. Instead, ethics is something that is determined by the bottom up (instead of top down).

First, through trial, error, and natural selection, human ethology evolved in the last 500 million years. Nature played scientist to evolve us.

Second, human beings observe, and make theories, even social and ethical theories, and then they apply what is basically the scientific method to them.

The scientific method consists in establishing with reasonable certainty facts. As it becomes ever more subtle, it can address ever more sophisticated domains, which used to be exclusively philosophical.

An example? The Theory of Mind. That is a subject long exclusively philosophical. However, scientific research published in recent years showed that children exposed to a second language have, in the average, a better theory of mind. Here is a fresh example, published in 2015:

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21652258-children-exposed-several-languages-are-better-seeing-through-others-eyes-do

Here is an abstract of the research:

HUMAN beings are not born with the knowledge that others possess minds with different contents. Children develop such a “theory of mind” gradually, and even adults have it only imperfectly. But a study by Samantha Fan and Zoe Liberman at the University of Chicago, published in Psychological Science, finds that bilingual children, and also those simply exposed to another language on a regular basis, have an edge at the business of getting inside others’ minds… Some objects were blocked from the experimenter’s sight, a fact the children could clearly see. With a large, a medium and a small car visible to the child, but the small car hidden from the adult, the adult would ask “I see a small car” and ask the child to move it. Both bilingual and those in the exposure group moved the medium-sized car (the smallest the experimenter could see) about 75% of the time, against 50% for the monolinguals. The successful children were less likely even to glance at the car the experimenter could not see.

Why is this happening? Multilingual children observe that different languages provide with different perspectives, thus different theories (theory means literally, to “see” (horan) a “view” (thea)). So multilingual children are more apt to consider which view others see, when considering others.

Multilingual children have a theory of theories of behavior, and we can prove it scientifically. Epistemics” is now a science. And it informs morality.

We are the scientific species. No science, no man. Now, more than ever. And at last smart enough to understand what it means. It means: “Plus Oultre!”, as emperor Charles Quint put it, five centuries ago. Wherever we arrived, in place, time, or understanding, we have to go beyond. It’s not just what ecology requires, it’s what we are.

Patrice Ayme’

Emotional Thinking Is Superior Thinking

March 11, 2015

By claiming that emotional thinking is superior, I do not mean that “logical” thinking ought to be rejected. I am just saying what I am saying, and no more. Not, just the opposite, “logical” thinking ought to be embraced. However, there are many “logical” types of thought possible.

Emotional and logical thinking can be physiologically distinguished in the brain (the latter is mostly about axons; the former about the rest).

Any “logical” thinking is literally, a chain made of points. (And there are no points in nature, said a Quantum Angel who passed by; let’s ignore her, for now!)

Elliptic Geometry In Action: Greeks, 240 BCE, Understood The Difference Between Latitude & Geodesic (Great Circle)

Elliptic Geometry In Action: Greeks, 240 BCE, Understood The Difference Between Latitude & Geodesic (Great Circle)

Some say that hard logic, and mathematics is how to implement “correct thinking”. Those who say this, do not know modern logic, as practiced in logic departments of the most prestigious universities.

In truth, overall, logicians spent their careers proposing putative, potential foundations for logic. Ergo, there is no overall agreement, from the specialists of the field themselves, about what constitute acceptable foundations for “logic”.

It is the same situation in mathematics.

Actually dozens of prestigious mathematicians (mostly French) launched themselves, in the 1950s into a project to make mathematics rigorous. They called their effort “Bourbaki”.

Meanwhile some even more prestigious mathematicians, or at least the best of them all, Grothendieck, splendidly ignored their efforts, and, instead, founded mathematics on Category Theory.

Many mathematicians were aghast, because they had no idea whatsoever what Category Theory could be about. They derided it as “Abstract Nonsense”.

Instead it was rather “Abstract Sense”.

But let’s take a better known example: Euclid.

There are two types of fallacies in Euclid.

The simplest one is the logical fallacy of deducing, from emotion, what the axioms did not imply. Euclid felt that two circles which looked like they should intersect, did intersect. Emotionally seductive, but not a consequence of his axioms.

Euclid’s worst fallacy was to exclude most of geometry, namely what’s not in a plane. It’s all the more striking as “Non-Euclidean” geometry had been considered just prior. So Euclid closed minds, and that’s as incorrect as incorrect can be.

To come back to logic as studied by logicians: the logicS considered therein, are much general than those used in mathematics. Yet, as no conclusion was reached, this implies that mathematics itself is illogical. That, of course, is a conclusion mathematicians detest. And the proof of their pudding is found in physics, computer science, engineering.

So what to do, to determine correct arguments? Well, direct towards any argument an abrasive, offensive malevolence, trying to poke holes, just as a mountain lion canines try to pass between vertebras to dislocate a spine.

That’s one approach. The other, more constructive, but less safe, is to hope for the best, and launched logical chains in the multiverses of unchained axiomatics.

Given the proper axioms, (most of) an argument can generally be saved. The best arguments often deserve better axiomatics (so it was with Leibnitz’s infinitesimals).

So, de facto, people have longed been using not just “inverse probability”, but “inverse logic”. In “inverse logic”, axioms are derived from what one FEELS ought to be a correct argument.

Emotions driving axiomatics is more metalogical, than axiomatics driving emotions.

***

To the preceding philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci replied (in part) that:

“Patrice, 

“…Hence, to think critically, one needs enough facts. Namely all relevant facts.”

Enough facts is not the same as all the relevant facts, as incorrectly implied by the use of “namely.” 

“It is arrogant to think that other people are prone to “logical fallacies”.”

It is an observation, and facts are not arrogant. 

“A Quantum Wave evaluates the entirety of possible outcomes, then computes how probable they are.”

Are you presenting quantum waves as agents? They don’t evaluate and compute, they just behave according to the laws of physics.

“just as with the Quantum, this means to think teleologically, no holds barred”

The quantum doesn’t think, as far as I know. 

“Emotional Thinking Is Superior Thinking” 

I have no idea what you mean by that. Superior in what sense? And where’s the bright line between reason and emotion?

“Any “logical” thinking is literally, a chain made of points”

No, definitely not “literally.” 

It may not follow from the axioms, but I am having a hard time being emotionally seductive by intersecting circles. 

“Euclid’s worst fallacy was to exclude most of geometry, namely what’s not in a plane.”

That’s an historically bizarre claim to make. Like saying that Newton’s worst fallacy was to exclude considerations of general relativity. C’mon. 

“as no conclusion was reached, this implies that mathematics itself is illogical” 

Uhm, no. 

“to hope for the best, and launch logical chains in the multiverses of unchained axiomatics” 

Very poetic, I have no idea what that means, though.”

***

Massimo Pigliucci is professor of philosophy at CUNY in New York, and has doctorates both in biology and philosophy. However, truth does not care about having one, or two thousands doctorates. It would take too long to address all of Massimo’s errors (basically all of his retorts above). Let me just consider two points where he clings to Common Wisdom like a barnacle to a rock. The question of Non-Euclidean geometry, and of the Quantum. He published most of the answer below on his site:

Dear Massimo:

Impertinence and amusement help thought. Thank you for providing both. Unmotivated thought is not worth having.

The Greeks discovered Non-Euclidean geometry. It’s hidden in plain sight. It is a wonder that, to this day, so many intellectuals repeat Gauss’ self-serving absurdities on the subject (Gauss disingenuously claimed that he had discovered it all before Janos Bolyai, but did not publish it because he feared the “cries of the Beotians”… aka the peasants; Gauss does not tell you that a professor of jurisprudence had sketched to him how Non-Euclidean geometry worked… in 1818! We have the correspondence.).

The truth is simpler: Gauss did not think of the possibility of Non-Euclidean geometry (although he strongly suspected Euclidean geometry was not logical). Such a fame greedster could not apparently resist the allure of claiming the greatest prize…

It is pretty abysmal that most mathematicians are not thinking enough, and honest enough, to be publicly aware of Gauss’ shenanigans (Gauss is one of the few Muhammads of mathematics). But that fits the fact that they want mathematics to be an ethereal church, the immense priests of which they are. To admit Gauss got some of his ideas from a vulgar lawyers, is, assuredly, too painful.

That would be too admit the “Prince of Mathematics” was corrupt, thus, all mathematicians too (and, indeed, most of them are! Always that power thing; to recognize ideas have come out of the hierarchy in mathematics is injurious to the hierarchy… And by extension to Massimo.)

So why do I claim the Greeks invented Non-Euclidean geometry? Because they did; it’s a fact. It is like having the tallest mountain in the world in one’s garden, and not having noticed it: priests, and princes, are good at this, thus, most mathematicians.

The Greek astronomer Ptolemy wrote in his Geography (circa 150 CE):

“It has been demonstrated by mathematics that the surface of the land and water is in its entirety a sphere…and that any plane which passes through the centre makes at its surface, that is, at the surface of the Earth and of the sky, great circles.”

Not just this, but, nearly 400 years earlier, Eratosthenes had determined the size of Earth (missing by just 15%).

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

How? The Greeks used spherical geometry.

Great circles are the “straight lines” of spherical geometry. This is a consequence of the properties of a sphere, in which the shortest distances on the surface are great circle routes. Such curves are said to be “intrinsically” straight.

Better: Eusebius of Caesarea proposed 149 million kilometers for the distance of the Sun! (Exactly the modern value.)

Gauss, should he be around, would whine that the Greeks did not know what they were doing. But the Greeks were no fools. They knew what they were doing.

Socrates killed enemies in battle. Contemporary mathematicians were not afraid of the Beotians, contrarily to Gauss.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) was keen to demonstrate that logic could be many things. Aristotle was concerned upon the dependency of logic on the axioms one used. Thus Aristotle’s Non-Euclidean work is contained in his works on Ethics.

A thoroughly modern approach.

The philosopher Imre Toth observed the blatant presence of Non-Euclidean geometry in the “Corpus Aristotelicum” in 1967.

Aristotle exposed the existence of geometries different from plane geometry. The approach is found in no less than SIX different parts of Aristotle’s works. Aristotle outright says that, in a general geometry, the sum of the angles of a triangle can be equal to, or more than, or less than, two right angles.

One cannot be any clearer about the existence on Non-Euclidean geometry.

Actually Aristotle introduced an axiom, Aristotle’s Axiom, a theorem in Euclidean and Hyperbolic geometry (it is false in Elliptic geometry, thus false on a sphere).

Related to Aristotle’s Axiom is Archimedes’ Axiom (which belongs to modern Model Theory).

One actually finds non trivial, beautiful NON-Euclidean theorems in Aristotle (one of my preferred frienemies).

Non-Euclidean geometry was most natural: look at a sphere, look at a saddle, look at a pillow. In Ethika ad Eudemum, Aristotle rolls out the spectacular example of a quadrangle with the maximum eight right angles sum for its interior angles.

Do Quantum Wave think? Good question, I have been asking it to myself for all too many decades.

Agent: from Latin “agentem”, what sets in motion. Quantum waves are the laws of physics: given a space, they evaluate, compute. This is the whole idea of the Quantum Computer. So far, they have been uncooperative. Insulting them, won’t help.

Patrice Ayme’

Big Bang Proof Turns To Dust

September 22, 2014

Dust peppers outer space, around the enormous Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way is much more massive than any other galaxy in the fifty galaxy strong Local Group (only the giant Andromeda has a comparable mass). So, naturally, it has a lot of dust. The dimly radiating dust grains are aligned with our galaxy’s magnetic field. The galactic magnetic field’s swirling gives a polarization to the dust glow, just as a crystal’s alignment polarizes reflected light.

Last March, cosmic inflation enthusiasts claimed to have seen ripples at the origin of time. They claimed to have used a telescope that was sensitive enough. Yet they used a sort of postcard lifted from the European telescope Planck, to evaluate how much galactic dust there was, polarizing the light. That was, at best amateurish, or scientific fraud, and, at worst, a scam on the tax paying public, who wants to be enlightened, not defrauded.

We Fraud, Therefore We Sink. How Inflation > Cosmic Polarization

We Fraud, Therefore We Sink. How Inflation > Cosmic Polarization

[That was the hope from Harvard’s Kovac; it just bit the dust. At least the picture is pretty.]

The Planck researchers were flabbergasted by the behavior of their American colleagues. They knew the dust could mimic the predicted signal from the Big Bang. No doubt the “Publish Or Perish” syndrome was at work again: say whatever to become a celebrity, being a celebrity is what a career is about. Damn careful thinking. Many a Harvard professor has appeared to believe that, whatever they say, whatever they do, it will be accepted. Unfortunately, they have often been proven right. And not just in physics, but economics, finance, politics, morality, philosophy. That makes Harvard the keystone of plutocratic propaganda.

Now, it turns out that this swirling pattern touted as evidence of primordial gravitational waves — ripples in space and time from the universe’s explosive birth — could all come from magnetically aligned Milky Way dust. A new analysis of data from the Planck space telescope concludes that the tiny silicate and carbonate particles of interstellar space could account for as much as 100 percent of the signal detected by the BICEP2 telescope and announced to big light and great banging this spring.

Do we need Cosmic Inflation, and its many absurdities? Of course not:

***

NO NEED FOR INFLATION: DARK ENERGY IMPLIES 100 BILLION YEAR UNIVERSE:

Now that we have Dark Energy (or Phantom Energy), we simply do not need Inflation Theory.

Dark Energy is a fact. Inflation theory a far-fetched stream of ideas which leads to universes exploding in every way, all the time, all over the place, a blatant absurdity, if there ever was one.

Indeed, having an uncountable number of universes on every pinhead is even more incredible than having to count how many angels sit on a pinhead, as some Medieval naïve religious types used to ponder.

In the scenario of the Big Bang we have now, space expansion accelerates in an hyper exponential way for a while (“inflation”), then decelerates until close to the present era, before re-accelerating from Dark Energy. This is weird, and logically contrived.

The most logically economical theory, from the barest known facts, is that cosmic expansion is completely due to Dark Energy. In that case, the universe is more like 100 billion years old. Nuclear synthesis of helium, lithium, etc. are generally rolled out to claim the Big Bang had to have synthesized them. However, those light elements could have been created thanks to some of the energetic phenomena observed since the Big Bang theory was elaborated (such as galactic core Black Holes).

The 3 degree K radiation could be due, in part to other phenomena than cosmic expansion. However, expanding for 100 billion years could be enough of an explanation.

Here we are faced with two theories explaining just as much. However, one uses an axiom (inflation) that is not a fact, but a fancy idea… And which is not even needed. Clearly Occam Razor ought to be applied, and Inflation and its Big Bang, decapitated.

***

And why does all this matter, for broader thinkers? First there is the poetry of it all. That enormous galaxy, our home, makes hearts melt with the possibilities, and perspectives.

The old name for galaxies was “island universes”. Kant worked on that for his thesis. The size of the Milky Way is baffling. It contains stars which are 13.6 billion years old (just 6,000 light years away, and uncomfortably close, if you ask me, to the presumed birth of the universe according to the Big Bang. It’s like a Freudian slip: ’Oh, and our Milky Way is old as the universe…’).

Secondly, and more importantly, scientists are supposed to roll out the most impressive, innovative, yet rigorous thinking. Yet, from Unobservable Strings, to Wishful Supersymmetry, to much Crazy Cosmology, there is a bad smell, and a poor show out there. Of course, the degradation of public logic suits the plutocracy just fine.

Thus, although it does not look like it, much the over-excitement in some areas of extremely speculative physics has much to do, you guessed it, with the fancy multiverses in finance, gouging We The People. Namely, if we learn to tolerate irrationality in physics, so will we, all over, as physics is supposed to be the shining example on a hill.

Hence the desire to impose the greatest rationality, and the strictest probity in physics, from the most general philosophical point of view. And for those who want to insure a sustainable civilization, and enough of the biosphere to survive to make it so.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: the essence of the preceding scientific ideas was sent to several popular physics and science sites. None of the sites published it. I was witness, in the past, of reviewers stealing ideas during the peer review process, or suppressing ideas which showed them to be wrong. This systemic censorship could be somewhat related.

1914, IMPRINTING: Emotions Rule III

January 9, 2014

Abstract: There is a dominant tradition, especially in the USA, to not see 1914 for what it was: a war of aggression, a war crime, a crime against humanity of the greatest proportions.

Both the aggression, and its denial, are cases of emotions dominating reason. It’s historically, psychologically, and philosophically instructive, even fascinating.

What people have been exposed to first, they believe more deeply. And of course emotions are the reasons that come first. It’s sheer sedimentary neurobiology. If you think anew, what happened in one’s mind first tends to still leave the deepest emotional layers intact. Often the deepest is what is thought to profit one’s nation, tribe, or religion first.

***

Bad Boys Be Bad Boys: Leaders of  the Kaiserreich Imprinting Themselves In Versailles, 1871.

Bad Boys Be Bad Boys: Leaders of the Kaiserreich Imprinting Themselves In Versailles, 1871.

[When Minds Goose Step, The Goose Soon Cooks; Polyglot Bismarck In White, Center.]

People get emotionally attached to cuddly bears, foods, habits, etc. Just because they were exposed to them, first. The same happens with ideas, or even songs. As the guitarist, singer, composer Keith Richards observed, people make out first in a car, while a song plays on the radio, and, thereafter, forever, they will feel it’s the best song in the world.

Konrad Lorentz systematically studied this phenomenon of imprinting, and got the medicine-biology Nobel for it. Ducklings follow whatever they are exposed to first. It’s not difficult to guess what happens:

New neural circuitry is created by the first exposition to whatever shows up, and thereafter, having being created stays roughly the same. Similarly for the cognitive and emotional circuitry of entire nations. Once in place, it’s nearly impossible to rewrite.

Common wisdom on World War One in the USA does not see the facts as they happened, because they contradict the deepest emotions learned first on the subject: the war was an accident (Sarajevo), the nations of Europe were all the same vicious bunch (hence the USA was right to get rich from the war), the USA tried to bring back peace (but the terrible Versailles Treaty ruined it).

What’s imprinting? Obviously, imprinting is the building of neural networks. Where there was none before, there are some after. Once there are some, new ones are difficult to build; just as it is difficult to build new structures out, or above, old ones. The ethology (Lorentz and company) enlightens the neurobiology, and the establishment of all emotions, hence values. The hierarchy of values has to do with chronological order.

Considering the way imprinting has to work neurologically, an immediate very important philosophical consequence arises: if one wants to be philosophically correct, one will have to be extremely careful about the nature of first exposition… to anything, whatsoever. As what comes first tends to be neurologically irreversible. For the youth, or for oneself, or for any excited tribal member, anywhere out there.

Socrates pontificated that the unexamined life was not worth living, I will counter-pontificate with the following, more stringent declaration:

The unexamined experience is not worth having.

Nationalism is an example of duckling behavior. The tendency of young males to go to war after getting orders to do so, maybe viewed as a tendency strongly manifested by young ducklings. Goose stepping into war is a consequence of imprinting of impressionable youth.

My acid views of Dylan and Oprah Winfrey, two entertainers, were poorly considered by some, perhaps trying to spare pets they are attached to, from blame. More modest people tend to live grand lives through the great. Thus the popularity of celebrities. And the necessity to adore & lionize them (to make them great, hence admirable). Same for nations. Nations are the ultimate celebrities.

Thus many lionize the “Germany” of 1914.

One of the honorable commenters on this site, Old Geezer Pilot, expressed succinctly the Common American Wisdom on “Germany” by claiming that: “Doesn’t anyone suspect the BRITISH for having pushed Germany into starting WWI? After all, Germany was on track to out-produce Britain in Dreadnought class ships very soon…”

No, there was absolutely no way that the Kaiser could catch up with Britain in battleships. Why? Because Britain had basically no army. All British military spending was on the Royal Navy. Germany had the world’s mightiest army, made to crush and encircle the formidable French army, the world’s second mightiest. That cost so much money, very little was left for the Kriegsmarine.

I explained, in the “Plot Against France” and in “Emotions Prime Reason II” what happened in 1914. The concept “the British” and “Germany” are NOT comparable. “Germany” did not exist really as a nation. “Germany” was just as an hysteria of poorly designed robots. “Germany” was a dictatorial plutocracy of the spastic and delirious type. Britain was a plutocracy, sure, but under a thick representative democracy’s layer. An evil dictatorship in Germany, a sort-of democracy in Britain: one cannot compare.

I excruciatingly explained in minute details many times that the American leadership goaded the Kaiser into war. The USA had interest for an attack of “Germany” on the rest of Europe. Britain, or France, had a very good reason to avoid war: time was working in their favor, as they were tapping their global empires into giant co-prosperity spheres. Moreover those democracies could not organize a conspiracy, as they societies were too open. And the fact is, they did not conspire.

But the handful of military men at the head of “Germany” could conspire, there were no democratic institutions to check them, and they did conspire, nobody could stop them. We have the documents, we have the facts. We have the attack. “Germany” attacked, “Germany” did the war crimes, within days of said attack.

The explicit analysis by Molkte and company, is that “Germany” was losing the economic, hence military, race. They were correct. That was precisely due to what they clang to, the plutocracy they led. Quite a bit the same situation as in the USSR, North Korea, and maybe soon, China.

The attachment to the Kaiserreich is one of the most striking of those which afflict the West (a variant of this is the attachment of Jews to Keynes, who was pro-Nazi…).

Loving the Reich is the other side of the coin that equates France and Britain, two democracies, to a bloody dictatorship. Thus identifying plutocracy and democracy as the same.

The Kaiserreich, also known as the Second Reich, was the ridiculous dictatorship established by Bismarck as the “German empire” in 1871 at Versailles, in a manly ceremony (see above). In this attachment, the blame for the First World War is spread equally, by platitudes about bloodthirsty Europeans.

That legend is particularly important for the USA’s tragic history, as it excuses the embargo shirking, fortune making attitude of the USA, selling to the Kaiser what he needed to pursue the war. That complicity of the USA and the Kaiser endured until the day came to charge to the rescue of victory, lest Britain and France would keep on ruling the world all by themselves.

As I have explained many times, WWI was not an accident, but a determined conspiracy. And wittingly or not, the leadership of the USA was on the side of the bad guys.

France, Belgium, Britain, and even Russia were completely innocent of the war. Britain, to start with, did not even have an army (or more exactly, the entire British army was no more than one single French army corps).

The French government was so unprepared for war, that all ministers of the government were either completely out of France, as the Prime Minister and the President were, or far away in vacation, when the Kaiserreich mobilized. An under-secretary of agriculture had to launch the French general mobilization.

Reading French or British newspapers, one week before the “German” attack, show no inkling at war.

Nobody could suspect that General von Molkte, the “Prussian chief of Staff”, head of the Kaiserreich army conspiring with four others, had declared in a war council of 1912:

General von Moltke: “I consider a war inevitable—the sooner, the better. But we should do a better job of gaining popular support for a war against Russia, in line with the Kaiser’s remarks.” His Majesty confirmed this and asked the secretary of state to use the press to work toward this end.”

One does not need to artificially create “popular support” if one’s country is attacked, so Molkte intended to attack.

That mass homicidal general was a distant relative, so I knew the inside stories from my astronomer uncle, who was his (grand)son in law; clearly Molkte caused the war, the point man of a dirty mood that had grown over two generations. Molkte, in his fascist dumbness, expected a quick and shattering victory over the French armies. He did not expect that the French would fight like crazy to preserve (their) freedom and democracy.

The French nearly destroyed the main German armies at the First Battle of the Marne, a counter-offensive on the fifth week of the “German” attack (a shattering victory would have been achieved, if the British army corps had been speedier). Afterwards, Molkte fell apart psychologically: he had started the war that was going to destroy the satanic order of things that he wanted to see rule the world with.

Wilhem II being all over the map psychologically, Molkte and his co-conspirators sent him incommunicado to a vacation home in July, with a crafty lie. They were afraid that, at the last moment, the Kaiser, grandson of Queen Victoria, would stop the planned invasion. Thus they kept him in the dark about what their true intent was (although, once he finally learned from his generals that they were going to attack the world, the Kaiser approved).

What of the assassination in Sarajevo in all this? It’s the standard fare of the (naïve) textbooks. It is much loved, as it provides a mechanism for the thesis of the “accidental” war. The heir of the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated, in a conspiracy from a number of students, guided by elements of the Serb “Black Hand”, who were part of the secret Serb services (acting on their own, without government authorization).

The Archduke was a grim character, not very popular, all the more as he was grimly determined to maintain peace. To boot, he was best friend with the German Kaiser Wilhem. The Archduke’s assassination was a godsend for the war Party of Molkte and company: they got a casus belli, of sorts, or, at least, Austro-Hungary did, and, at the same time, the tragedy removed the greatest enemy of war among the Central Powers’ plutocratic oligarchs.

So determined were the assassins leading the “German” military that, when they encountered unexpected resistance in Belgium from the Belgians and the French, they went insane. They had not expected this. They threw millions of soldiers through Belgium, expecting to quickly break-through, and encircle the French armies (Schliefen plan). That did not happen. French resistance became nearly suicidal: one day 27,000 French soldiers died in combat. Orders were given from above, by the Prussian General Staff, to mass massacre civilians. People such as general Ludendorff came to personally supervise combat. We have reports of two year old girls being assassinated.

Unsurprisingly, Ludendorff, a war criminal in 1914 already, was the most determined founder of the Nazi Party. After Bavarian soldiers fired a volley of gunfire into the top Nazis, in 1923, some were killed, and all fled, including Hitler… All, except general Ludendorff, who kept marching towards the troops.

Much of the preceding are inconvenient truths, because they keep bringing us back to the question of why did the USA help the Kaiserreich? Is the same old same old much older than has been suspected?

Some will say: ”So what?” But the same impulse that leads the American secret services to spy on democracy, the same Dark Side, was already fully in evidence a century ago.

Not only did the USA leadership goad the Kaiser into war, by promising an alliance, but it delivered said alliance: the USA provided the Kaiser’s henchmen with raw materials for explosives until 1917, making a national fortune in the process.

Socrates thought he lived according to: ”Unexamined politics is not worth having.”

However, he was tried because he had neglected a higher calling. The more pertinent: ”Unexamined emotions are not worth having.” The emotional system of an individual, just as that of a nation, or even that of current of thought, if they are not examined, are not worth having.

The emotions the ruling class conferred to the People in Germany, down below, were all wrong, deeply evil. Nietzsche understood this perfectly. The turn took only a few years. Nietzsche saw his friend and fellow musician Richard Wagner take a turn for the worst. Courageously Nietzsche denounced Wagner to the world in “Nietzsche Contra Wagner”. The most acute madness of the German People lasted from 1871 to 1945.

However, that same madness is still going in those who fail to distinguish between the fascist, mass murdering aggressors in 1914, and their victims. So the difference still has to be taught. No doubt the Germans have been much instructed on the subject. However, in the USA the moods, methods, ingrained emotions, and culture that made possible the betrayal of the Republic in 1914, 1915, 1916 and 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1941 are still beyond any suspicion.

German judges have decided to put on trial a SS who was only 19 when he obeyed orders at Oradour Sur Glane, contributing to the assassination, mostly by torture, of 700 innocent civilians, many women and children. 247 women and 205 children were burned alive in a church.

It’s not just about justice. It’s about education: soldiers cannot obey criminal orders, and contribute to a war crime. That brings a present-day quandary. Private Manning exposed to the world the killing of innocent civilians by the U.S. Army. Who was the criminal here? Manning, who did not obey orders, and revealed the crime (not really an accident, the recording show), or those who condemned him for not partaking in a criminal cover-up? Once again, under Obama, the Choom Gang president, all values are being inverted.

Exactly the game the Kaiserreich played, until the apocalyptic end of 1945.

Conclusion: To think anew, one has to break down the deepest emotional layers. What can do this? High emotions and passions. Pain. Even pain can be fine, if it is what’s needed to take out erroneous neurology (example: Germany suffered so much in WWII, that it made drastic reforms of its soul; Japan did not suffer as much, by a full order of magnitude, and thus did not improve its soul as much!)

Pain can help to define goodness when, or where, nothing else will. Thus pain helps create a valuable world. If emotion primes reason, only greater emotion will move in the sense of greater reason.

Imprinting passes by emotion first, as emotion is the universal, primary learning system. But it does not stop here. It then goes down all the way to genetics, though epigenetics (=”Lamarckism”). Apparently, pain can change one’s DNA: http://www.mcgill.ca/…/chronic-pain-alters-dna-marking… (Thanks to Alexi Helligar for the link).

Learning is everywhere, and all the way, as long as we open our hearts to it.

Patrice Aymé

***

Warning: My correct point of view is that the cause of WWI, was Nazism, Version 1.1. That opinion was obviously not shared by Bertrand Russel, the well known philosopher and logician. Why? Russell was one of the top Lords in Britain, and, obviously was very emotionally attached to the plutocratic principle that had made the grandson of Queen Victoria the dictator of Germany. If the Kaiser had won in the summer of 1914, the glory of Russell would have risen even higher. Of small things even great minds are made!

TRUTH AS ENERGY

December 18, 2013

Energy is the central concept in physics. Could it also be the central concept to determine truth?

High Energy Physics is, well, about high energy, as its name indicates. All of Quantum Field Theory consists into speculative manipulations about how energy is thought to behave as it flows. This is the theory that, in its most ambitious versions, claim to determine the truth of the world (grandiosely called the TOE: Theory Of Everything).

Don’t laugh! The Ancient Greek philosophers looked at nature to find out truth. What else? So do I.

The Greater Depression (copyright Tyranosopher) is about the lack of decent, rewarding, well paid work. What’s another name for work? Energy. Thus the Greater Depression is all about energy, or the lack thereof, showing up in dearth of work (that is, energy!)

The CO2 crisis is all about energy: we produce most of our energy by burning coal, a method invented by the Romans. Then a stroke of genius, now a perverse twist on the burning of wood by Homo Erectus.

Even love, according to standard evolutionary psychobiology, has to do with energy: it’s about selecting who we view as the most energetic, dominant, provider of life.

Thus, in a sense, everywhere we turn, energy determines the reality, the truth of the world.

Yet, one does not catch flies with the truth. Honey, though, works. Here this word, this concept, again: work.

What has meaning is what works. Get it? A deeper truth than it looks: it relates veracity with the physics of energy. Literally. Philosophy for our age.

Alexi Helligar:What is truth? We like to think truth is obvious. But the profundity of obvious truths are so difficult to grasp that it takes sometimes multiple lifetimes of wisdom.

We think truth is all that matters. In this we are mistaken. More important than truth is meaning. It is meaning which tell us the next step we must take. The contents of our various religions may not be true, but they are meaningful. The meaningful lie is far more effective to significant action than meaningless truth.”

Patrice Aymé: The truth known to Keynes: ‘in the long run we are all dead’ is very true, but it’s also very much meaningless, when one is engaged in that game known as life. So Alexi, you are very right.

Euclidean geometry is true. But, pushed too far, it becomes meaningless elucubration about Byzantine theorems. There are better things to do (such as the basic theorems of non-Euclidean geometry). Thus, better ways to use one’s energy.

Truth is not obvious, indeed. Great logicians (say Tarski, a Polish (-American) who blossomed two generations after Bertrand Russell) worked hard to establish a better theory of truth. What truth is still pretty much up in the air.

I got logic from Alexander the Great: if it’s too complicated, cut the Gordian knot. Thus, instead of the how-many-angels-on-that-pinhead theories of truth, I propose instead my META theory. META theories are local logical frames that allow to make linear logic in the vast universe of truth. META stands for Maximally Evident Truth Applied. (1)

From my point of view, most modern mathematics is not anymore true than angels on a pin. It’s as irrelevant as angels on a pin. Someday soon most mathematicians will guess and fear increasingly that this is true. Meanwhile they loudly cling to their mom Plato, like frightened new-born monkeys (as my friend Penrose does).

The best argument those who cling to Plato have is, precisely, meaning. The math they have done mean something, somewhere, they argue. “Look at our beautiful theorems,” they say ecstatically.

It’s exactly the same problem as with well-known superstitions. No proof for what they say, but they say it together, sing it together, so they believe it. Whatever “it” is. Belief is much comfortable: it saves energy. Instead of creating one’s own neurological circuitry, one learn to sing it from others (as the Nazis put it: Sieg Heil!) That’s the charm of tribes, their brain energy-saving side.

I propose to forget the error of infinity, this “corruption of the youth“, as a mathematician contemporary of Georg Cantor put it. I propose to concentrate on more meaningful mathematics, precisely. Solve hypersonic laminar flow. Forget what requires ZFC to prove.

Some could sneer that I talk about energy to justify truth, and now I talk about meaning, thus I am all over the place, thoroughly confused.

But not so.

The brain is an energy machine. The brain has interest to believe.

Belief is energy cheap; it basically consists, most often in just repeating what one has heard. As the Wolf put it to the Lamb: ‘On me l’a dit, il faut que je me venge, one has told me that I must avenge myself’. Once the Wolf has asserted the primacy of belief, he can devour whatever he so desires.

Believing is much less energy consuming than thoroughly demonstrating (that’s energy demanding, as it requires to have checked every single logical jump). The brain finds more meaning in models of the universe that require less energy to believe.

For example, once you have decided god explained everything, there is nothing else to figure out. One can be like a dog, and believe everything. So the popularity of god has to do with energy conservation.

A plane is built from the most delicate architecture of entangled truths. Truth is literally what works, i. e., conducts energy with meaning.

Some will object that I make a superficial reasoning by proximity, a topo-logy: a logic of place. Thinking has to do with energy, energy has to do with thinking, so they are the same. No.

What’s a thought? Well, a set of joint brain assemblies calling onto action. (A particular case is an idea, which can be expressed in words, that is, which can be digitalized, and thus can be communicated by voice or the like.)

It requires energy to set-up and be inspected by consciousness, to be made into a communicable whole (even if it’s only self-communication). So the establishment of a thought, and even its sustainability, require energy.

Now, not all and any energy display will be a thought. However, when is a truth correct? When it allows energy to flow in a way that is deemed correct. That is, when it has correct meaning.  The later notion is simply tied up, ultimately, to survival of the species.

Thus the architecture of energy, not only describes thoughts, but validates them.

Let’s go back to the idea of High Energy Physics (Quantum Field Theory,  QED, QCD, TOE, Super Strings, etc.). Why is it called “High”? Because it’s about high frequencies (the first idea of the Quantum is that energy comes in packets determined by the frequency: E = hv).

So what are we facing here? That thinking is about Brain Energy Physics. That implies both meaning and pleasure, both derivatives to optimizing energy flow.

Truth is the discourse that optimizes the servitude of energy to the survival of the species.

At least, so I propose.

I think, therefore I energize.

Patrice Aymé

***

Notes: (1) Reading old proofs, I found, to my amazement, that META is close in mentality to the initial proof of Georg Cantor on the uncountability of the real numbers; except I stand that on its head. Fields Medal Tim Gowers has been trying to contradict my reasoning, but I think is objection is devoid of powerful meaning.

***

Economy ought to be founded on Energy (I’ve insisted, to give economics, and thus society the rigorous foundations society needs it to have). In particular AWE, Absolute Worth Energy.

Absolute Worth is, ultimately, determined by survival. There is a science uniting psychology and economics, that justifies one with the other, and vice versa. The preceding goes much further, as it unites the whole thing, and thinking itself, as a subset of energy physics.

When Denial Is Big Business.

October 18, 2009

HARD TO SEE WHAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST TO SEE.

 

Naturally, a number of greenhouse deniers observe a decrease of global temps in the last 30 years. Here is the real global data:

File:Satellite Temperatures.png

The graph shows an increase of average global temperatures of half a degree Celsius in less than 30 years (this translates into many times that as the poles, and nearly no augmentation of temperature elsewhere; but the poles are the Earth’s icebox: demolish the icebox, and the rest will rot, with water all over you don’t want to have it).

Greenhouse deniers can look at a graph such as this one, and see a decrease. Nobody has said they were very bright. Actually, they are paid to be dumb. More exactly, they are paid more, and become more famous, the more they misinterpret the obvious.

As I explained in my post of May 31, 2009, a possible explanation for the plateau on the right is the decrease of the sun’s activity in the last 30 years, which works against the greenhouse effect. Watch the red line below:

 

File:Solar-cycle-data.png

For reasons unknown, a fluctuation of irradiance of the sun shows up as a rise of temperature 3 to 4 times greater than what one would expect from the straight input of solar energy: non linear phenomena are at work that we do not understand, but such is the fact.

Another fact, related, or not, is that, for reasons unknown, natural methane production went flat for 10 years.

After a moratorium of 10 years, methane’s density is picking up again. Methane came out of the Arctic ocean in 2007. What happened in 2007? 2007 had the warmest Arctic ocean ever.

In 2008, the ocean was a tiny bit colder, so the CH4 stayed put in the ocean, sort of, but it escaped instead from the tundra… Methane is, of course, as I explained before, the number one cause of worry: it has the potential of increasing global temperatures an inconceivable amount, in a few years.

Greenhouse deniers are well paid: they go on TV, etc. They have interest to deny the fact that the graph above is going up, from down on the left, up to the right.

The same happened when Galileo showed to his friends the cardinals, and his friend the pope, what could be seen in his telescope, namely mountains on the moon. The cardinals looked into the telescope, and they saw no mountains, no shadows of the mountains. Nothing.

The cardinals just saw a perfect sphere, as their forefathers from their institutionalized superstition had taught them the moon was. Why? Because they had a vested interest in the institution they were heading. A fortiori the same for little nobodies who would be nothing, if they did not claim absurdities as the truth.

Thus the greenhouse deniers see the graph above as slanting down, from left to right. They see what they have interest to see.

OK, there are important fluctuations in the graph above. But those are always observed, and have to be smoothed out, to observe trends. It’s the same as in the financial, or commodities markets.

Yearly fluctuations relate to sunspots (in ways not understood), or volcanic eruptions (Pinatubo, a volcano in the Philippines injected a gigantic veil of sulfates in the high atmosphere, decreasing solar heating on the ground enormously, and lowering global temps brutally by more than half a degree Celsius: volcanoes can do way, way worse; Tambora, a volcano that exploded in Indonesia in 1814, caused famine inducing frosts in Europe the following summer).

OK, back to 2009. From the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), October 2009:

“At the end of the Arctic summer, more ice cover remained this year than during the previous record-setting low years of 2007 and 2008. However… September 2009 sea ice extent was the third lowest since the start of satellite records in 1979, and the past five years have seen the five lowest ice extents in the satellite record.

NSIDC Director and Senior Scientist Mark Serreze said, “It’s nice to see a little recovery over the past couple years, but there’s no reason to think that we’re headed back to conditions seen back in the 1970s. We still expect to see ice-free summers sometime in the next few decades.”

The average ice extent over the month of September, a reference comparison for climate studies, was 5.36 million square kilometers…  1.68 million square kilometers (649,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 September average. Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 11.2 percent per decade, relative to the 1979 to 2000 average.

Sea surface temperatures in the Arctic this season remained higher than normal, but slightly lower than the past two years, according to data from Mike Steele at the University of Washington in Seattle. The cooler conditions, which resulted largely from cloudy skies during late summer, slowed ice loss compared to the past two years. In addition, atmospheric patterns in August and September helped to spread out the ice pack, keeping extent higher. 

… Only 19 percent of the ice cover was over 2 years old, the least in the satellite record and far below the 1981-2000 average of 52 percent. Earlier this summer, NASA researcher Ron Kwok and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle published satellite data showing that ice thickness declined by 0.68 meters (2.2 feet) between 2004 and 2008.”

As I pointed out in old essays on a generalization of mine of the Equipartition of Energy theorem, a rise in heat can be expressed in many other ways than heat. After all, heat which is microscopic dynamic energy, can be converted in other forms of energy.

As the heat goes up, new energy sinks can open up. This may explain why the temperature rises observed seem to plateau, with different plateaus in different places (a higher heat plateau was reached in Alaska a full decade before a similar one in Europe in 1998). In other words, although solar irradiance is enough to explain the recent global plateau in temperatures, it may not be a proof of a stagnation of the energy input from the greenhouse into the biosphere.

When in doubt, it’s best to assume the worst; that’s how our ancestors survived enough in the jungle to allow us to be around today. The worst is only natural: only fools, or the corrupt, would believe that a rise of Greenhouse Gases from 280 parts per million to 450 ppm (where we are today) is business as usual.

The block of ice known as Antarctica is unstable at 425 ppm.

***

Patrice Ayme.

***

P/S 1: Some will appreciate the facts and graphs above, but mourn the human touch. So here it is.

I was walking two days ago in a forest, where, as child, and that was not so long ago, there used to be a glacier. Now the glacier is an unbelievable 2 miles away, 2,000 feet up, and there are thousands of tall trees instead. Most of the heating is in the mountains, and at the poles. As the warming theory says it should be.

P/S 2: Venus, Earth and Mars surface temperatures are dominated by the evolution of their greenhouses. So it will be on all inhabitable planets. A greenhouse is as natural as an atmosphere. A problem we have now is that the only natural greenhouse gases are water vapor, H2O, CO2, and traces of CH4. Unfortunately, we have added other, much more potent, man made greenhouse gases to this mix.