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Can something come from nothing?


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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 6:21:49 AM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
Randall R Young says:

[I wonder what Amazon didn't like about your post ?]

Who knows. I felt it was within the ball park of being relevant. This is a discussion about a philosophical subject.

I put book links in my messages. They may be hitting on that.

There's a button to report messages. Maybe someone turned me in.

My days may be numbered on these forums. I'll probably get kicked off eventually. It wouldn't surprise me. I say whatever I feel like.

Jeff Marzano

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 12:21:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 15, 2012 12:23:17 AM PDT
Here's the first part, from my tracking mail.:
===============================
Jul 14, 2012 10:30:52 AM PDT Jeff Marzano says:
Randall R Young says:
[If so, they might have noticed what a great deal IBM stock was, back in 1943.]

Well if you believe Al Bielek what you said isn't that far from the truth.

They got to 1983 and arrived at the now infamous Montauk army base where they were greeted by an elderly looking gentleman who introduced himself as Dr. John von Neumann. They didn't believe this since they had just left von Neumann in 1943 and he was a much younger man.

But as they looked at the magazines, the color TV, the helicopters, and the various other things that had changed so much over 40 years, they eventually realized that it was all true.

von Neumann informed them that they were participating in a time travel experiment and they could be sent to any time period past or future.

However a few...
==============

Do you have any relevant theories about Amazon, and the Men In Black? Is the Censorbot like that Neralizer gizmo? Trying to erase all memory of your post?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 12:19:26 AM PDT
Jeff,
I wonder what Amazon didn't like about your post?
That censorbot annoys the h e l l out of me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 10:30:52 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 14, 2012 12:10:24 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 1:02:54 AM PDT
JM: <<They believe they participated in the experiment and were transported from 1943 to 1983 and then back again.>>

Did they happen to pick up a copy of the Wall Street Journal when they were in 1983? If so, they might have noticed what a great deal IBM stock was, back in 1943.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 4:38:50 PM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
Randall R Young says:

[For instance, would I be OK using this as my rigorous definition of "sentience" ?]

According to Al Bielek Einstein stated that if people build a machine and make it powerful enough and sophisticated enough it will come alive.

Bielek says this is what happened during The Philadelphia Experiment. The time machine apparatus became self aware and started defending itself and they couldn't shut down the experiment using normal methods like removing the machine's power supply. They had to physically smash the time machine with axes.

The Philadelphia Experiment has today become part of the lore of flying saucers and the infamous Montauk Project. I would say this is Satanic in nature. Why that happened I don't know but the subject of flying saucers in general is very sinister with the alien abductions, Men In Black, cattle mutilations, and various other strange and dangerous things.

If somehow I can ever make a movie about The Philadelphia Experiment I would consult with Al Bielek and his brother Duncan Cameron. They believe they participated in the experiment and were transported from 1943 to 1983 and then back again.

Jeff Marzano

The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time

Encounter in the Pleiades: An Inside Look at UFOs

The Philadelphia Experiment: Invisibility Time Travel and Mind Control - The Shocking Truth

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 4:31:17 PM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
Randall R Young says:

[And since you're all about logical rigor, how about giving me a few rigorous definitions of "memory", "sentience", and "object", such that I can be sure that my car's computer is not actually a sentient object with memory, and hence, capable of measurement, in your sense ?]

Memory is a mysterious subject which involves the different levels of consciousness which are the conscious, subconscious, and super conscious.

There are memories which people cannot access at the conscious level but which can be accessed at the subconscious level using hypnosis. In some cases the mind has created barriers so that the conscious mind cannot remember those things.

Past life memories is another area that some people believe can be reached at the subconscious level. The theory there is the subconscious remembers all of our past life experiences going back to some beginning. But the term 'past' life may be misleading in this context. The subconscious may see all of our life experiences including the future or at least possible futures.

Some people believe that before we are born we see our life's plan laid out in front of us. Consciously we don't remember this plan. But the super conscious does remember and it gives us glimpses of this plan in the form of intuition.

Ideas such as past lives and our life's plan are based on a belief in reincarnation. We have both a physical body and a spiritual body. Another name for the spiritual body is the soul. The soul can be reincarnated many times and enters this physical world through the process of being born.

Jeff Marzano

Past Life Regression: A Guide for Practitioners

Same Soul, Many Bodies: Discover the Healing Power of Future Lives through Progression Therapy

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 1:37:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 5, 2012 1:46:51 AM PDT
For instance, would I be OK using this as my rigorous definition of "sentience"?

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

(I'm going to guess that my car's computer has an SQ of somewhere between a plant [-2] and a Cray-1 [+9]. It talks & listens responsively, knows when I haven't fastened my seatbelt, and has all kinds of arcana about the state of the car engine which I'd probably have to go to trade school for a year or two to learn.)

For instance, WIKI says:

"In psychology, memory is the processes by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved."

Surely, my car's computer does all these things with the speedometer readings.

And I'm pretty sure my car's computer counts as an "object".

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 1:25:10 AM PDT
But you made up your own definition. Why is that more rigorous or rational than my offer?

Also, I didn't make mine up. I am just letting you know which one I subscribe to.

And since you're all about logical rigor, how about giving me a few rigorous definitions of "memory", "sentience", and "object", such that I can be sure that my car's computer is not actually a sentient object with memory, and hence, capable of measurement, in your sense?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 7:56:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 4, 2012 5:13:11 AM PDT
Symplokę says:
"I certainly don't intend to get you all worked up."

I'm not worked up at all, in fact, I'm cool as a cucumber.

"In forums like this, we all too often resort to trotting out dictionary definitions for (as MA observes) what might be semantic disagreements. Maybe that's what you are expecting me to do, in this instance."

This has nothing to do with pedantry and dictionaries, but *consistency* and *rigor,* two hallmarks of rational thought and discussion. There are many ways to speak: poetically, intimately, playfully to your pet, etc., and rationally, that is, using speech according to certain rules we've hammered out over time ("axioms"). We have to figure out what kind of speech we are using, and if it turns out we intend to use reason/logic, then we have no choice but to play the game by its rules. No rules; no game! One of the rules is that we must define our terms; the old "A=A" rule.

You see, on one hand, both you and MA demand that Ron show the goods numerically (as if math is unassailable), while on the other hand, pooh-poohing Ron's requests for rigor and consistency from you two in terms of formal reasoning (to define "nothing" and "something"). MA's "answer" to Ron is to trot out Krauss, as if Krauss cannot be questioned. Ron dares question and rightfully points out that Krauss' claims are nonsensical in so many ways. In fact, Krauss makes so many reifications it's nearly impossible to decipher what he's saying. Here a noun, there a verb. And he has the arrogance to make fun of Theists!

"For me, a speedometer is measuring all the time, regardless of my knowledge of what it says at any given moment."

Prime example. It seems you want to create your own definitions (i.e. "For me...") while holding to the rules of a different game altogether (mathematics). Do you see now why I'm skeptical of your claims and ask you to define your terms? I simply wish to know how you are speaking of, approaching, our topic.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2012 8:26:16 PM PDT
I'm not accusing you! (I thought we were engaging in a friendly exchange of views!) I'm simply offering the suggestion that considering the problem more directly might be helpful in seeing the issue from my POV, or at least give you a slightly different perspective on the matter. I certainly don't intend to get you all worked up.

<<Measurement = __________?>>

In forums like this, we all too often resort to trotting out dictionary definitions for (as MA observes) what might be semantic disagreements. Maybe that's what you are expecting me to do, in this instance. But I assume without comment that both of us are fully capable of reading and comprehending all the dictionaries there are on the internet, and probably have fairly sizable hard-copy volumes at our desks, in case the power fails. Above, you provided your own quasi-definition that introduced some concepts like 'memory', 'sentience', and a discussion of who benefits from the measurement, whether it is known to us, and so on. My position is that these extra ideas aren't crucial to the raw concept of measurement that I hold in my mind.

For me, a speedometer is measuring all the time, regardless of my knowledge of what it says at any given moment. If it was attached to a recording instrument--a computer, for example, with 'memory'--I could look back through the history of the recording, and determine what the measurement was at any point in the record, and engage my sentience (such as it is) and awareness as necessary. None of this would in any way change the contents of the computerized record; only my knowledge of it.

You want to assign this act of transferring the data in the computer to my brain/mind to your basic concept of what a measurement is, and I want to distinguish between the mechanisms that generate the data (which I may or may not become aware of at some point), and this process of becoming humanly aware of them (which I consider to be an essentially mechanical process going on in my brain, much as it is in the computer, albeit with a good deal more complication and subtlety, if not reliability).

If, for the purposes of this discussion, you want to reserve the lexical token 'measurement' solely for this total process of acquiring data--with or without extra physical instrumentality beyond that which we keep in our skulls--and ultimately becoming aware (consciously aware?) of the results, then this is OK by me. However, this leaves me at a disadvantage, because now I need to know what you might think is a good word for what the computer is doing when IT records this information in its memory, processes the information... (But wait! Is that 'information', or 'data'? That is, is 'information' somehow also a human sentience-involving idea?) ...and presents it in human-readable format. Any suggestions?

>>>

Now, it might be that you don't consider any of the forgoing a "rationally consistent" approach to the issue. For myself, I would say that the idea of "human concepts", and at what point they come to full fruition in the rat's nest of neurophysiology we sport within our skulls is fraught with a similar peril: Do our retinas do the perceiving of the position of the speedometer needle? Our visual cortex? Perhaps some semantic processor circuit in Broca's area or Wernike's area? Does it wait until every possible brain center is updated? Or maybe until we output the speech act of claiming awareness of said needle position? (or at least, report it to ourselves in our internal 'talking to ourselves' mode?)

For what it's worth, I see all these many sub-functions as part of the process of convincing ourselves that something has impinged itself upon our "consciousness" & memory, and that there are levels of awareness that maybe don't involve them all, but nonetheless involve "measurement" in your sense of the word. (And what happens to the "measurement" when we forget about it? Does it stop existing? Did it ever? Who knows, once we forget?)

All in all, it's a messy business, relying on our brain/minds for "rationally consistent" definitions of complex mental processes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2012 11:43:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 1, 2012 7:28:07 PM PDT
Symplokę says:
A shadow cannot measure, but it seems many people are invested in the notion that our measurements = reality. But, no matter how much fist-pounding, keyboard tickling: measurement = human concepts, not reality. Concepts are not things.

Do you recall my post a while back when you thought I might be "having you on?" I wasn't. People believe that stuff because certain celebrities say it. This includes many so-called "skeptics" who laugh derisively at Theists but who never demand rigorous, consistently defined terms from their favorite pin-up PhD. Rigor and consistency of terminology is one of the hallmarks of rationality! Yet, their skepticism screeches to halt when Dr. _______ speaks.

Oh, by the way, here's a picture of my wife and I vacationing in Krauss' 2D Universe: http://www.dicts.info/img/ud/human.png

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2012 11:00:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 1, 2012 11:43:44 AM PDT
Symplokę says:
No, Michael it's not. Why? Because science is supposed to be rigorous, is it not? Yet, here you are seemingly a champion of slippery language and would rather chime in about emoticons than define terms consistently. The "it's only semantics" tactic doesn't work when it comes to rational inquiry and explanation. It's no wonder you believe in Friar Krauss' creatio ex nihilo fable.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2012 10:57:16 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 1, 2012 3:31:06 PM PDT
Symplokę says:
OK, Randall. Shadows measure? Really? Don't you realize "time" and "day" are *human* concepts? "Day" doesn't exist, nor does "time." The earth revolves around the sun regardless of our conceptual partitions; "measurements." It's light here, dark there, but it still doesn't make "time" an object.

"We both know that your measurement WITHOUT such instruments would hardly count as a measurement at all,"

Your concern regarding instrumentality is a side-show. Why? Because those instruments are built/used (engineered) according to our *concepts,* that is, they have meaning (measurement; what we judge to be "efficient"; etc.) to us. If we suddenly disappeared those instruments would no longer measure anything at all since they are meaningless. They'd simply be the objects they are, as would the objects they once measured (if still in existence).

You are simply changing the subject and reifying concepts (ex: "speed," "time"). But, since you seem to be accusing me of not answering directly, let's see if you can define your term in a rationally consistent manner:

Measurement = __________?

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 10:22:58 AM PDT
Isn't this a rather pointless semantic quibble over the exact meaning of the word "measure"?

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 10:16:04 AM PDT
Ron says:
I'm not at all sure that something is being measured if there is no one around for whom measurement is if interest. How does a shadow measure the time of day? For whom? What is the time of day? Who does the measuring?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2012 9:50:33 AM PDT
I think a vine measures the light that it grows toward. I think genes remember the stuff that works, and re-impliment it in succeeding generations. Is everything with genes sentient?

Perhaps if you attempted to answer the speedometer question directly, my point would come to you. We both know that you are going to use the instrumentality available to come up with your final judgement. We both know that your measurement WITHOUT such instruments would hardly count as a measurement at all, as you define it, but more of a gut feeling.

The speedometer always points somewhere, whether I remember it or not, and whether a human invented it, or not. A shadow measures the time of day, regardless if it is the shadow of a straw growing in the mud, or a sundial fashioned for the purpose by Eratosthenes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2012 5:29:57 AM PDT
Symplokę says:
Hello Randall-

I don't see how this is relevant. It makes no difference what tools we create/use (engineer) in order for us to measure. Measurement still relies upon *our* rules (concepts of relation, such as axioms, etc) and those, in turn, rely on memory. Engineering, reading, understanding, etc., are all activities requiring memory, and thus only relevant to sentient beings.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 10:05:53 PM PDT
Let me know if you need a film score. Weird and unsettling music is my specialty!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 7:04:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 30, 2012 11:49:00 PM PDT
Symplokę,

Do you measure the speed of your car? Or does your speedometer? Perhaps both, I guess, but the one I usually go with is the speedometer.

Who remembers how many miles the car has traveled? Again, I rely on my odometer for this information. Its memory, though very impoverished in almost every way, is particularly good in this one area.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 9:25:40 AM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
Randall R Young says:

[Have you ever attempted this ?]

Well I have written many books that are out on http://amazon.com. But I wrote them in past lives. Now I have to pay for them !

I know some things about those theories but there's other people who know a lot more. Isn't that always the case with how much we know ?

That's what Homer Simpson told his son Bart one time. When you're a kid people say you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. But it's not true. There's always someone smarter than you who can do it better.

Homer may have gotten that attitude from his own father. As a kid Homer told his father that he wanted to become the president of the United States. But his father said that the U.S. has systems in place to make sure that someone like him never becomes president.

I guess the answer is to work as a team with those other people and combine all our knowledge to create something.

But you're right this quest for truth I've been on must be leading to some destination. My research has shown that the old saying 'truth is stranger than fiction' is often true.

I could see it leading into making movies. My dream is to make movies about some of my favorite conspiracy theories, especially the Kennedy assassination. The Philadelphia Experiment is another one.

I can see sometimes where people have a good idea for a movie but they screw it up. I recently caught the Hollywood version of the Haunting In Connecticut story. This is a true story that is more frightening than work of fiction ever could be. But in this Hollywood clunker they only preserved the most basic aspects of the true story and filled up the movie will all sorts of superficial stuff about ghosts, seances, etc..

That may happen because the people making the movie either don't really understand the subject matter or they are too afraid to delve into it for fear that even just making a movie about it could open doors into the spirit world.

I could make a movie based on my experiences with demonic forces that happened last October. I have enough material right now to do it.

There's a lot of interest in the world right now about the dreaded December 21, 2012 date, the pyramids, Atlantis, and many other similar areas. The phenomenal success of the Harry Potter books and movies indicates that even kids have an interest in the supernatural. Perhaps I can make movies that are like Harry Potter for adults.

Well who knows anything's possible.

My other dream is to make a series of movies based on the Johnny Quest animated series from the 1960s. Every Saturday morning TV shows like that transported kids to other worlds to go on great adventures.

So who would I get to play Johnny Quest ? The great Lord Jesus Christ Himself. And I can play Race Bannon, CIA operative and Johnny's personal body guard.

I could also make a movie about the Marian apparitions at Fatima.

Jeff Marzano

Jonny Quest - The Complete First Season

Space Ghost and Dino Boy: The Complete Series

Spider-Man - The '67 Collection (6 Volume Animated Set)

Voltron - Defender of the Universe - Collection One: Blue Lion

The Pink Panther Classic Cartoon Collection

Looney Tunes: Spotlight Collection/Premiere Collection

The Men Who Killed Kennedy

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 4:29:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 30, 2012 5:13:34 AM PDT
Symplokę says:
How does a rock measure being struck and knocked down? It may be knocked about, but it definitely doesn't measure.

"Measurement" is a reification of the verb "measuring," "to measure," an *activity* of rule making by comparison and contrast, both of which are wholly dependent upon memory, a feature only found in sentient objects. Non-sentient objects don't make and follow rules, the "laws of physics" notwithstanding (the latter are *human* inventions, for *our* benefit.) That sentience entails some capacity for measuring within itself, I wouldn't argue, but to say that objects qua objects "measure" is the stuff of science-fiction.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 4:03:17 PM PDT
I think your impression of measurement is overly narrow. It surely does't require sentience. Sentience, on the other hand, requires measurement.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 3:40:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2012 3:43:10 PM PDT
Symplokę says:
Being knocked down is motion, a surface to surface contact, between objects; a consummated event. Measurement, on the other hand is a *sentient* activity, and thus, can never be without some degree of 'subjectivity.' Sentient objects (like us) may indeed measure, but this has no bearing upon the existence of water, fire, or my friend's sister's fat ass, for that matter.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 2:54:50 PM PDT
But being knocked down is a measurement. As is being squished, or burnt. Anything you can sense can only be sensed by virtue of your sensory apparatus' function as a measuring device. You don't actually know if fire is a real thing, excepting in that it burns you, and it knocks around dye molecules in your retina. What you know is that those molecules were knocked about, and even that you only know indirectly; it could be that some bone spur was poking your optic nerve, just so. The 'objectifying' (the creation of objects in your mind's eye) of these sensa is 'really' a series of heuristics that your brain has evolved that work well enough to keep you alive, even though they are occasionally demonstrably false.
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Discussion in:  Philosophy forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  209
Initial post:  Sep 20, 2011
Latest post:  Jul 15, 2012

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