'It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,' said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott
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Braininvat wrote:Accuracy and validity is reinforced by successful interactions with external reality.

Braininvat » March 15th, 2017, 5:25 pm wrote:The question remains: what is the substrate? what is this software running ON? For me, there has to be a level below that, which is prelogical and premathematical and somehow provides a platform for "It from bit" to be coded and run.

Braininvat » March 15th, 2017, 8:40 am wrote:Well, as I was stirring in my vat this morning, it crossed my mind that the square root of minus one is not a value I can count on my toes (er, I mean my virtual toes). It does seem to stray a bit from what we call external reality, though quantum mechanics find it useful. Some math can be a convenient fiction. Will ponder further.
The idea that all matter is made up of tiny, indivisible particles, or atoms, is believed to have originated with the Greek philosopher Leucippus of Miletus and his student Democritus of Abdera in the 5th century B.C. (The word atom comes from the Greek word atomos, which means “indivisible.”)
Atomic Theory  Infoplease
www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0905226.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrete_mathematics
Research in discrete mathematics increased in the latter half of the twentieth century partly due to the development of digital computers which operate in discrete steps and store data in discrete bits. Concepts and notations from discrete mathematics are useful in studying and describing objects and problems in branches of computer science, such as computer algorithms, programming languages, cryptography, automated theorem proving, and software development. Conversely, computer implementations are significant in applying ideas from discrete mathematics to realworld problems, such as in operations research.
Graeme M » March 12th, 2017, 5:25 am wrote:When I think about this, it seems to me that all we can ever know is what our senses present to us. Our sense of the universe is purely representational  that is, both sensory knowledge and factual knowledge can only be encodings in neural patterns. We also cannot observe any facts about the universe to which our sensory apparatus are not tuned. Even the instruments we build to measure the universe can only deliver to us representations that are sympathetic to our sensory apparatus  they must perforce "interpret' the universe.
It follows then that mathematics  an inner symbolic language of representational content  can only describe relationships between neural encodings. Doesn't this mean then that mathematics is no more "real" than any other internal representative state? That is, mathematics describes inner states and relationships, not external ones. Sure, there will be substantial coincidence between the two as our perceptual systems and neural machinery are "tuned" to deliver a reasonable facsimile of the world about us, but there is a finite bound to this.
Graeme M » March 12th, 2017, 5:25 am wrote:How can mathematics objectively describe true arrangements and relationships of the external universe?
mitchellmckain » March 20th, 2017, 10:12 am wrote:Graeme M » March 12th, 2017, 5:25 am wrote:When I think about this, it seems to me that all we can ever know is what our senses present to us. Our sense of the universe is purely representational  that is, both sensory knowledge and factual knowledge can only be encodings in neural patterns. We also cannot observe any facts about the universe to which our sensory apparatus are not tuned. Even the instruments we build to measure the universe can only deliver to us representations that are sympathetic to our sensory apparatus  they must perforce "interpret' the universe.
It follows then that mathematics  an inner symbolic language of representational content  can only describe relationships between neural encodings. Doesn't this mean then that mathematics is no more "real" than any other internal representative state? That is, mathematics describes inner states and relationships, not external ones. Sure, there will be substantial coincidence between the two as our perceptual systems and neural machinery are "tuned" to deliver a reasonable facsimile of the world about us, but there is a finite bound to this.
No, it does not follow. Just because books are composed of paper and ink does mean that these confine what a book can communicate. DNA demonstrates how the encoding of information can vastly transcend the limitations of its own substance, and the representational capacity of human language far surpasses the abilities of DNA. Nor to the origins impose any such limitations because this is not a mechanical extension but part of the highly creative process of life which constantly learns, adapts and tries new things.Graeme M » March 12th, 2017, 5:25 am wrote:How can mathematics objectively describe true arrangements and relationships of the external universe?
It does this by testing the precise agreement between description and the reality in a way that is independent of a particular person. Anyone can follow written procedures to verify for themselves how much they agree.
Quote Dave... To capture new readers one must Hook them. Get their Interest.
neuro » April 14th, 2017, 8:27 am wrote:my overall impression is that mathematics essentially is the set of all possible symbolic systems, where a symbolic system is defined as a set of rules and relations that define the role and possible functions of each symbol in the system itself.
Many mathematical systems have been developed that had nothing to do with perceptual reality, far before it (at times) happened that they turned useful to model physical aspects newly discovered thanks to technological and scientific advances.
An intriguing article was published by Rovelli a few years ago: Michelangelo's Stone: an Argument against Platonism in Mathematics.
The author faced there the problem of whether mathematics possess an ontological status in that it exists per se. His conclusion was that as long as mathematics is comprized of all possible sets of symbolic systems (i.e. logical systems, as described above) it doesn't "exist" as such, and it rather is built along the road every time we think of any new symbolic/logical system which intrigues us or can be applied to some purpose.
In a sense, it is as if we defined the desert as an extensive landscape in which one can walk along any path they can imagine, and then one came about claiming that "the desert IS the set of all possible paths on the sand", and another guy finally claimed "the set of all possible paths on the sand ontologically exists on its own".
I would conclude then that mathematics is a set of logical tools to help us "understand" reality (epistemology).
However, since it allows us to model any real as well as unreal/impossible system, it does not add any ontological (actual existence) value to the conclusions we reach by examining reality through such tools.
Athena » April 17th, 2017, 8:06 pm wrote:There is at least one tribe with no word for father, therefore no concept of fathers, therefore fathers can not be real to them
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