There is no absolute chaos

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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#301  Postby BWE » Jun 19, 2022 2:59 am

jamest wrote:
BWE wrote:Yeah. Reality was the wrong word for sure. My laziness often gets the best of me

This thread, in the philosophy forum, is about absolute chaos.

I'm not sure why you're here if you don't want to talk about reality nor chaos as an absolute concept thereof, because being the thread starter I kinda intended that to be the case. ;)

I'm happy to talk about both. But we need some definitions, don't you think?
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#302  Postby BWE » Jun 19, 2022 3:01 am

jamest wrote:
BWE wrote:Yeah. Reality was the wrong word for sure. My laziness often gets the best of me

This thread, in the philosophy forum, is about absolute chaos.

I'm not sure why you're here if you don't want to talk about reality nor chaos as an absolute concept thereof, because being the thread starter I kinda intended that to be the case. ;)

I mean, reality as an ontological term is kinda meaningless IMO. How could we possibly fully untangle signal from source and receiver?
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#303  Postby BWE » Jun 19, 2022 3:07 am

and source from prior signal?
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#304  Postby BWE » Jun 19, 2022 4:49 am

Jamest, you might be under some mistaken ideas about me as someone who is just out to denigrate your position or to score points or whatever like that. You asked for abuse so I offered some because I try to oblige unusual requests. But, and I might be confusing you with someone else since I don't frequent ratskep enough to really make firm impressions, I seem to recall that you have some preferred ontological positions, maybe some flavor of idealism? At any rate, if you assume that I am hostile to idealism or maybe some other semi mystical perspectives, you are wrong. I am not super persuadable in terms of ontological positions being 'correct' or 'true' in some kind of objective fashion but I am quite open to different ways of structuring experience and enjoy seeing what kinds of models they might dictate and thinking through the possible utility a particular model might provide. My own personal philosophy that I ponder when I ponder philosophy is quite whack to most people.

So, I get that each of us is moved by a unique experience and I have no problem with whack philosophy (outside of positions that dictate violence as large scale social solutions). I'm actually perfectly willing to follow your particular flavor of ontological whack and grant it equal footing with any other ontological position.

I kind of enjoy tossing out some of the odd theorems my own system produces and seeing if I can defend them. My average fluctuates. But you said that

Firstly, let us consider the meaning of absolute order - what would that entail? Well, it would necessarily entail that the whole system/environment be 'self' explanatory, which means that the system as a whole must have a singular explanation for the order therein."

But this is not how dynamic systems work. Absolute order is one with no history. You can't look at a pendulum and know how many times it has swung. You can however, look at a slug and see what direction it came from because it changed the system behind it.

So if you mean, by self explanatory, that the system has fallen into a repeating periodicity which can be apprehended, your torch casts very little light. There is a concept called 'the edge of chaos', first clearly articulated (I believe) by a computer scientist, Chris Langton, but it's roots go back at least to the early 1970s and Prigogine's dissipative structures, probably further. This concept, very generally, says that there is a sweet spot in an energy gradient where order spontaneously emerges. Below the threshold interactions tend to equilibrium, order, death, history is quickly erased. Above the threshold, no order can emerge because it is swept away in the flood. But right at the threshold, order not only spontaneously emerges, but then it actually adapts to basically continue to exist on that edge, even as the edge moves. The philosophical problem there is that the emergent structures are utterly scale dependent and can only be clearly identified by a mind that is processing information at that scale. This makes a fractal nightmare where every scale exists as an almost totally independent universe that is both affecting every other and affected by every other but with no way to see the exchange from any individual perspective and fully meaningless at dramatically different perspectives.

I am not putting that forward as an ontological statement, merely as a useful model. It illustrates one objection that the "whole system" is potentially not a useful idea.


... Implied within this statement is that the existence of any order within a system be necessarily self-explanatory. That would even apply to the order inherent within what we call quantum mechanics.


Now you have run squarely into the objection I actually intended to raise in my first post. Emergent order is self explanatory only in that we can say that order emerges in dynamic systems wherever the conditions are right. You cannot explain this order in any normal mathematical way. It is not an ontological claim because it relies exclusively on our own perception to identify boundaries and define elements within the system.

However, once order emerges in a dynamic adaptive system, it begins to encode its history. So in that sense you might say it is self explanatory in that logic is the decoder for reading its history.

Would you clarify where my questions go awry?
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#305  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 19, 2022 6:05 am

jamest wrote:
BWE wrote:Yeah. Reality was the wrong word for sure. My laziness often gets the best of me

This thread, in the philosophy forum, is about absolute chaos.


The existence of a thread in a given subforum places no requirements on anyone or anything.

But if it were to, you would of course be expected to understand the terminology you're using, and to be willing to change your mind when confronted with new information. If this were actually philosophy, you would be obliged to define your terms, you would be obliged to employ the principle of charity, and you would be thrown out if you kept being an asshole to people and poisoning the well so abusively.


You have provided no working definition of 'absolute chaos'.

Your usage of the term is not academic, it's lay. For you to get answers to whatever questions you have concerning this, you're going to need a much more functional comprehension than any you've shown here, and of course the real kicker is that you're going to have to be prepared - at least in principle - to change your mind.


jamest wrote:I'm not sure why you're here if you don't want to talk about reality nor chaos as an absolute concept thereof, because being the thread starter I kinda intended that to be the case. ;)


You're trolling. He did want to talk about it - you can see by the fact that he wrote his opinion. You then mischaracterized his opinion, and used that mischaracterization to be obnoxious to him - you're still doing it.


I've explained to you a very clear and workable definition of order and chaos, and that is equilibrium and disequilibrium. Much as with other opposing notional attributes of our universe, one part of the paired concept more naturally fits an idea of absoluteness. For example, it's easy to define 'absolute dark' because it is the complete absence of light - but what is 'absolute light'? It is easy to define 'absolute cold' as it is the absence of heat, but what is 'absolute heat'? We have only theoretical answers to what the maximum temperature and light is - but even a child can understand the dark and cold side of the spectrum.

So it is with equilibrium and disequilibrium.

I've already explained above what maximal equilibrium entails and even gave you examples. Maximal equilibrium means that there are no other possible configurations for the system to be in - it's homogeneous.

But what is maximal disequilibrium? Disequilibrium means that there are many possible configurations, and the system is multivarious. So would then an 'absolute' version of this mean that ALL configurations are possible, and all contained within is disparate?

If so, then the concept of 'absolute chaos' isn't something that can even notionally exist within our universe. A 'lot' of disequilibrium, but not maximal, because only a suite of configurations are possible in accordance with natural forces, and the component pieces of our universe share characteristics and interactions resulting from those shared characteristics.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#306  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 19, 2022 6:09 am

Absolute order is one with no history.


This is an interesting observation. It's not so much that it has no history, it's just that its history - any and all history - is no longer discernible because the entire system has homogenized including any prior states that led to perfect equilibrium.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#307  Postby BWE » Jun 19, 2022 6:46 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Absolute order is one with no history.


This is an interesting observation. It's not so much that it has no history, it's just that its history - any and all history - is no longer discernible because the entire system has homogenized including any prior states that led to perfect equilibrium.

It is often considered a relatively deep philosophical question whether, say, a time crystal has a history, or an electromagnetic wave- and for different reasons but within the same category. Entropy is a super weird thing to me. If I had an argument for god as an ontological construct, the argument would include entropy because there really are no closed systems from our vantage point. Causality is utterly artifactual and follows exclusively from the existence of the observer and yet... It really does seem to be a law.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#308  Postby BWE » Jun 19, 2022 6:55 am

Then again, the parallel postulate seemed to be a law for a long time.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#309  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 19, 2022 9:03 am

jamest wrote:absolute chaos is a crock because it only applies to 'nothing', so does not apply at all, whereas absolute order can only apply to God.


Absolute chaos is a crock because it's not been defined as something real - rather, it's been defined as something unreal, and therefore of course it can't apply to anything - but that doesn't mean it applies to 'nothing' in the sense of <devoid of stuff>. 'Chaos', whether the ancient philosophical concept or modern day scientific and informed understanding of the idea (better read as 'disequilibrium') is not and can not be a property of no things - it can only be a property of a distribution of things and their relative interactions.

The problem is that the premise is flawed, and that flaw in the premise conveys subscription to a model of the universe that is simply not supported by our modern knowledge of the physical world.

The introduction of the term 'God' there is inescapably expository of the factors at play here. While it is not a required feature of the modern believer in our traditional monotheistic religions, it is still a readily identifiable trope of the kind of believer who thinks that their religion's preferred book is the last word of knowledge. Any objective findings about the world achieved via any method MUST adhere to the narrative demands of their holy text.

This form of belief is probably best embodied and exposed by Henry Morris, the founder of modern Creationism.

Henry Morris wrote:No geological difficulties, real or imagined, can be allowed to take precedence over the clear statements and necessary inferences of Scripture.


For Morris, and for people who believe in the same manner as Morris, the text (and their interpretation of that text) is literally the gospel, a word that to them means both

gos·pel
/ˈɡäspəl/
1.
the teaching or divine revelation of Christ/God.

2.
a thing that is axiomatically true.

So of course, being the divinely mandated description of God's own creation, the Bible is axiomatically true - the barometer, yardstick, litmus test and the entire concept of measurement by which to evaluate other evidence. Thus, if other evidence appears to be in conflict with this gospel, then the evidence is obviously false, or eventually we'll see the evidence the right way so that it conforms to the gospel.

This is exactly the same approach you have jamest, albeit that your gospel is individualist (ironically anti-Christian in that sense) and self-centred - the proponent and evaluator of the gospel is you, according to you. Thus you can't grasp why other people robustly and substantively disagree with you except to keep telling yourself that it's because their real world knowledge that you can't contend with is false, and that they'll eventually see the evidence the right way, which is of course the way you see it even while giving every appearance of mentally shirking away whenever something substantive is brought to bear. This keeps protecting you from honest self-analysis of your contributions in threads like these. You have expressed some degree of pride in getting a qualification in Philosophy, you talk of yourself as a philosopher, you frequently insist to other people that they can benefit from your knowledge, but I submit with some certainty bred of familiarity that any philosopher reading your work would not recognize themselves, their occupations, or their callings in the content of those posts.

If your position is not up for discussion, if there is no chance that you may be wrong, or that this may be uncovered through your interactions with other people, then you shouldn't bother with those people as they mean nothing to you at all - but when you choose to engage them, they also sense how contemptuous of them and respond in kind. You're the chap who can break the cycle - no one else.


Absolute chaos is, in effect, a strawman. It's got nothing to do with our modern knowledge about the universe. It's a conflation of ancient concepts (Platonic absolutes like 'chaos') + pop cultural references + pre-existing religious belief.

But what's truly bizarre, in the sense of convincing rational skeptics that your God contention is rational, reasonable, acceptable... is to define your God as possessing the property of 'absolute order'. This then would be a god that can effect no change, can experience no change - can not be a creator god.

Absolute order is characterized as wholly static because motion and interactions etc., are not 'absolute' - they violate the maximal 'absolute' position stated. In order to move or interact in this universe, energy differentials must exist, there must be difference, inhomogeneities, gradients of potential.

What you label 'chaos' is this 'difference', this potential for work to occur, this space for stuff to happen - it is a kind of constrained, ordered chaos, but that can't mean anything according to the way you view the world where chaos and order are mutually opposing forces. This then exposes the problem of using ancient concepts to discuss modern knowledge. I value our literary traditions and the history of thought across the world, but I also know that humanity is in the middle of a Golden Age of knowledge acquisition, and that even what we've found out in the last decade was an increase of knowledge orders of magnitude greater than any experienced in the history of our species. Ancient concepts are useful as metaphors, but we must know what those metaphors actually signify.

A system that is in maximal equilibrium is a wholly static system - nothing can ever take place there unless something outside interacts with it.

A system that is in maximal disequilibrium is not one I can personally envisage, and that could plausibly be a failing on my part, but it seems logically impossible because it simply cannot exist - at least from our universe's perspective, the greater the disequilibria, the more force that results to equilibrate, so a system of maximal disequilibrium cannot exist as it could never come about by any known process all of which are themselves experiencing the force of equilibration, and even if one could cause such a state to exist artificially, it would instantly upon its creation start not being in maximal disequilibrium. It's essentially a contradiction in terms.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#310  Postby BWE » Jun 19, 2022 6:19 pm

I think the modern term is singularity
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#311  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 20, 2022 4:09 am

BWE wrote:Then again, the parallel postulate seemed to be a law for a long time.


There's another postulate, of course, which is that mathematics can inform philosophy.

Sorry, nope. Belly-button fluff informs philosophy, which is not about assessing and incorporating facts, but is about how to identify when reasoning has failed, and facts just don't help with that. Because: denial. Can I pick 'em, or what?

If we keep contesting philosophical points with facts, we have discovered neither facts nor philosophy, let alone improved them.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#312  Postby BWE » Jun 20, 2022 7:57 am

That's Remarkably dim
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#313  Postby jamest » Jun 20, 2022 10:39 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
BWE wrote:Then again, the parallel postulate seemed to be a law for a long time.


There's another postulate, of course, which is that mathematics can inform philosophy.

Sorry, nope. Belly-button fluff informs philosophy, which is not about assessing and incorporating facts, but is about how to identify when reasoning has failed, and facts just don't help with that. Because: denial. Can I pick 'em, or what?

If we keep contesting philosophical points with facts, we have discovered neither facts nor philosophy, let alone improved them.

Joe Biden is president of the USA.
Bugs Bunny achieved a rank of Master Sergeant in the US marines.

Both facts. Both meaningless/irrelevant from the perspective of contemplating reality with an open mind.

I challenge you to present a list or group of 'facts' (a short list will suffice) which have ANY relevance whatsoever to such an endeavour.

Let me save your head from imploding with the effort, for there's not a single fact about the whole universe which has any such relevance.


You can't just sweep philosophy under the rug on the basis of facts or lack thereof. Have a word with yourself.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#314  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 20, 2022 11:45 am

I am not at all clear on the point you're trying to make... what is the endeavour?

Is your main point: 'philosophy has value'?
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#315  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 20, 2022 11:47 am

Let me save your head from imploding with the effort, for there's not a single fact about the whole universe which has any such relevance.


Not that I understand what you're trying to argue, but regardless of what that is, the above is clearly not just false, but outright daft too.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#316  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 20, 2022 11:52 am

contemplating reality with an open mind


Incidentally, you're saying here that reality is independent of mind.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#317  Postby jamest » Jun 20, 2022 12:23 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
contemplating reality with an open mind


Incidentally, you're saying here that reality is independent of mind.

No, I'm saying that reality is independent of (transcends) facts about our observed universe. That there are no such facts relevant in any endeavour to contemplate reality (try naming one!). Also, that any such endeavour can only proceed upon the basis of reason alone... philosophy. Bottom line:

The ontological value of facts about the observed universe is zero.

Few, seemingly, ever fully realise this fact. A fact not about the world, but about the limits of empirical knowledge. A fact unveiled by reason alone.

The true value of philosophy goes right over most people's head because they have not considered this, or understood it.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#318  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 20, 2022 1:50 pm

jamest wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
contemplating reality with an open mind


Incidentally, you're saying here that reality is independent of mind.


No, I'm saying that reality is independent of (transcends) facts about our observed universe.


Discerned by....?

Pure thought.... a quality apparently dependent on the observed universe? Or 'thought' is from outside the realm of knowledge? If so, it doesn't seem in the slightest bit odd to you to erect a postulate that can't be tested only to support it with an 'explanation' that can't be tested? For me, these amount to nothing more than statements of faith, not amenable to anyone other than a 'believer'.


jamest wrote: That there are no such facts relevant in any endeavour to contemplate reality (try naming one!)


It's another example of me not really understanding what you're saying.

Every means of 'contemplating reality' is derived from observations.


jamest wrote: Also, that any such endeavour can only proceed upon the basis of reason alone... philosophy.


I mean, in the most banal sense, sure. We have to use our thoughts to think about things, and philosophy is essentially the study of our thinking, particularly with respect to how cogently we're thinking about things.

But the idea that one thinks in the absence of observable 'reality' isn't something that strikes me as a sensible contention. Quite the contrary - it appears to directly contradict observation, and amounts to nothing more than another statement of faith. To believe it, all you need do is believe it.


jamest wrote:Bottom line:

The ontological value of facts about the observed universe is zero.


The ontological value of facts is zero? Have you tried walking out of a 3rd floor window recently? An observable fact about 'reality' should absolutely inform and direct one's ontology, else it's not philosophy you're doing.... maybe you're talking about poetry? But even that employs observations, else it'd be impossible to communicate ideas to one another.

I just don't think you're making any sense here.



jamest wrote:Few, seemingly, ever fully realise this fact.


i.e. not actually a fact



jamest wrote: A fact not about the world, but about the limits of empirical knowledge. A fact unveiled by reason alone.


A false fact - a make-believe fact, a dragon whirling in the air breathing sulfurous haze.


jamest wrote:The true value of philosophy goes right over most people's head because they have not considered this, or understood it.


Or else, with no wells poisoned, other people don't concur with your certainty, and having availed themselves of the sum of philosophical discussion from ancient to present times, recognize no trend of philosophy corroborating your statements which you've attempted to decree into the status of facts. Facts, which you also declare, are basically unknown to all but a special few.

I really don't think that you do philosophy jamest, nor am I even convinced that you know what it is. I have studied essentially all the most well known philosophers from many different traditions - you don't share positions or methodologies with any of them, you don't acknowledge the history and evolution of philosophical thought, but more importantly, you just don't sound like any of them. You don't sound like you're using philosophy to arrive at your statements. Rather, for me, you seem to use the word 'philosophy' as a proxy to boost the perceived merit of an assertion regardless of its empirical or logical merit in place of actually providing substantive logical reason for accepting those statements, whereas my take on philosophy is that both philosophers and philosophy employ some established process (often faulty historically) of attempting to discern what can truthfully be said about the universe.
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#319  Postby Fenrir » Jun 20, 2022 3:54 pm

jamest wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
contemplating reality with an open mind


Incidentally, you're saying here that reality is independent of mind.

No, I'm saying that reality is independent of (transcends) facts about our observed universe. ...


reality
/rɪˈalɪti/

1.
the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
"he refuses to face reality"


Hmmmmm
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Re: There is no absolute chaos

#320  Postby jamest » Jun 20, 2022 4:00 pm

Fenrir wrote:
jamest wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
contemplating reality with an open mind


Incidentally, you're saying here that reality is independent of mind.

No, I'm saying that reality is independent of (transcends) facts about our observed universe. ...


reality
/rɪˈalɪti/

1.
the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
"he refuses to face reality"


Hmmmmm

The one thing missing from that definition is that which actually exists.
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