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peter
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 6:29 am    Post subject: Too Many Questions Reply with quote

(This is going to be a mess and I apologize in advance.)

At last (I think) I have an answer to that age old question I had as a child, "But what's outside the edge of the universe?", that answer being (drum roll) ...... The Quantum Field!

Apparently our universe was born as one of the bubbles that pop into and out of existence in the quantum field, the vast majority of which never get any bigger than zilch before imploding back into nothingness. For some reason ours (and possibly an infinite number of others) didn't and instead just grew on and up into what we have today.
But be that as it may, apparently that is where the certainty (?) ends and we move into the serious world of the 'ad hoc's'. If the book I've been reading is anything like correct the whole rest of the base of theoretical physics is laced with stuff that is shoved in there , something like Ptolomy's cycles and epicycles, just to hold the theories together. First of these is apparently the 'inflationary theory' of the growth of the universe in its early stages which is a mathematical construct with no experimental verification (nor I think the author said, does it allow for any) of any kind. It's an ad hoc addition that simply accounts for the universe we see today in the face of no other explanation for it's being.
Then we have the 'standard model'. Hundreds of 'fundamental particles' that in order to work requires (if I get it correctly) an equal number of ad hoc supersymmetrical particles, none of which have ever been verified by even the smallest smidgen of experimental evidence, and is held on to for little other reason than without it we'd loose even the modest moves toward unification of the four basic forces that we have to date achieved. This however is a bastion of solidity when set against the alternative M theory with its dimensions we can never see and it's superstrings we can never verify. This theory is ad hoc from the first breath you take in beginning to explain it and is entertained again for no other reason than were Ptolomy's cycles and epicycles - because of its explanatory power. It is instrumentalism gone mad.

Like the Prince of old methinks there is something rotten in the heart of Denmark!

(Actually I'm playing devils advocate; I have massive respect for what the guys in the field have achieved in pushing forward our understanding of our being; they've nocked the philosophy guys into a cocked hat in this respect, but there are big questions to answer and one can't help wondering if we aren't approaching one of Kuhn's periods of 'revolutionary science' where the anomalies are beginning to strain the framework to breaking point and what is needed is an Einstein working away in the wings to come up with a new paradigm?)
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow 😮 so much here
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are certainly things missing/not right.
But y'know, everyone has known that forever.
That truth is practically the definition of "not news."
The people who discovered/invented what we have now KNEW, even before they were finished with the early steps, that that was so.

Not sure I'd trust the author, though, whoever it is.
Because ad hoc isn't all there is. And he/she is likely wrong about much more considering he/she is wrong about the early inflation. A host of seen and measured facts/observations of the universe as it actually is are the reason for the inflation proposal. It is the only thing we have that DOES explain real, physical, examined states and conditions. Yea, it's "only" an explanation [[ONLY? REally??? Explanatory power may not be enough, or complete...but pursuing explanatory power is the only way to get anywhere...do you want to chase things that DON't "explain" anything??? I know you don't. But think about what that sentence means, epistemologically/methodologically---if/when you follow the explanatory things, you can---almost certainly will---be wrong/incorrect.
But you are MERELY incorrect.
If you follow something other than explanatory paths, you won't be merely wrong, you will be, and remain, inescapably ignorant...only random and pure luck with horribly long odds will save you]].

And you can kinda/sorta call it ad hoc, but you REALLY have to exponentially inflate the definition/purpose of ad hoc to do it...because these things DON't just account for what we've seen and jam them into a box---they PREDICT what will happen, things that will be discovered, things that will be true if the current knowns are correct. Very, very successfully in a fair number of cases.
And it's being tested and challenged Every. Single. Day.
[[[And I've also become distrustful of anyone's claims that "Theory X can't be tested." Because people take that as a challenge and almost immediately start finding ways to test the untestable. Even now, people are coming up with ways to test String and Brane and Multiverse. AFAIK, they don't have the tech/techniques complete yet...but they can see the paths to them.]]]

OTOH---I do think a big new paradigm/frame is probably in the offing. There are SO many bizarre-yet-concrete things coming out of math and physics, and strange/unanticipated connections being found in previously disparate fields...and we now are right on the edge of having the computing power to hook all the things together.
I think we already have the AI techniques...all we need is the raw size and speed, merely a mechanical problem.

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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting B 🤔


... and AFAIK 🤷‍♀️
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but there is no denying that using the two ways of seeing the universe we have - that of light or that of gravity - yeild stupendously different results as to the quantity of mass in it. Galaxies spin at the wrong rate for their calculated mass, the universe accelerates in its expansion when it should not; there is no way of squaring these circles unless some of the big pillars fall. The lack of consensus about some of the really big issues in physics must be indicative that at least perhaps all is not well. Could one of the problems be that if the pure side of the field runs ahead of the applied - no wrong, I have to say the theoretical ahead of the experimental, it can race down long corridors of speculation that ultimately lead to nowhere without the mediating/restraining influence of the latter to contain it?
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Yes, but there is no denying that using the two ways of seeing the universe we have - that of light or that of gravity - yeild stupendously different results as to the quantity of mass in it. Galaxies spin at the wrong rate for their calculated mass, the universe accelerates in its expansion when it should not; there is no way of squaring these circles unless some of the big pillars fall. The lack of consensus about some of the really big issues in physics must be indicative that at least perhaps all is not well. Could one of the problems be that if the pure side of the field runs ahead of the applied - no wrong, I have to say the theoretical ahead of the experimental, it can race down long corridors of speculation that ultimately lead to nowhere without the mediating/restraining influence of the latter to contain it?


Well, as I said, I think something[s] big is coming and probably sooner rather than later.
Your exploration of ad hoc and explanatory [or the writers---whichever], just seemed a bit much...an pretty incorrect.
It's the OPPOSITE of the Ptolemaic times...for almost 2 millennia, pretty much everyone, including nearly all the people who knew enough to have a rational/scientific basis, thought it was RIGHT...[[they had no reason for thinking that, however. They just could draw it that way...]] And it had near-zero explanatory power. A bit more than Thor or Genesis---but only the merest sliver more.

But---almost everyone with deep knowledge since [and including] Einstein has known there's something wrong with what they invented. From practically day 1.

We're just now getting to the point where we can start figuring the problems out. [I have medium expectations for the next collider upgrade, high expectation for several observatory projects coming soon, and unrestrained excitement for the upgrade to the gravity machinery.]

And with P.---the "theory" utterly failed it's very first actual test/measurement.
Our current ones...even WITH the problems... have passed ginormous numbers of tests...and utterly transformed the world.

We're just, I think, dealing with a different universe/definition of wrong/incorrect now, in at least 2 ways:
We have [at least those of us who think science is a thing, and it works better than others like Thor and Genesis and such]
1) A completely different mind-set---not just a different perspective, but sets of perspectives, and an understanding what perspectives ARE and how they function.
2)A different "family" of error. Partly because of a pretty deep understanding/awareness of the errors themselves [known unknowns and what that means]. And partly [this is my speculation, based on how damn effective and test-worthy/successful our tests have proven among other things] because we aren't on a phlogiston track. Phlo was totally overthrown and relegated to absurdity...because there was no there there. No phlo phlo-ing.
Our coming revolution won't do that, I don't think. It won't say "Quantum shit is shit," it will INCLUDE Quantum and tell us why/how it happens. Phlogiston isn't even metaphorically, or pragmatically useful...quantum, like gravity a la Newton/Einstein remains "functional"

NOTE: I could very easily be totally wrong...and I would be basically completely ecstatic if I was and lived to see it. Contrary to impressions many folk have of me, those who know me well and have seen it know that NOTHING gets me fired up and ready to party like being shown something that demonstrates absolutely how fucking wrong I was.
[[[[[OFF TOPIC!!!!]]]]
---SO, Come ON, someone, change my life! Prove to me that the first Star Wars Trilogy wasn't merely pretty good effects, cliche story, and morally repugnant. [[I'm pretty sure, in the whole SF/F world so far, only David Brin agrees with part of that.]]
Prove to me that the Rolling Stones have EVER been great. Even ONCE.
The BEST song on any album wasn't even the best song of that year.
The BEST album not even top 10 in any year.
Let alone historically great. Laughing

Also, it occurs to me that in the consciousness/reason and variations threads, part of the reason I can't get behind some takes is they seem, to me, to be Phlogistonic in nature. maybe they aren't---but that's how it looks/feels to me]]

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Well if you'd seen the opening of the Knebworth Park Stones gig in ......1979?......you'd already have the lie to that one V, but I digress!

I'm happy to concede that I may have got a fair bit of what the guy said wrong between my reading and posting - but I'm pretty sure that in the following I'm not far off it; the standard model with it's supersymmetry et al, and the superstring/M theory explanation of the quantum level of being are different and opposing theories. This (to my mind) means that if one is ........ then the other isn't. This being the case you then scrap all of the explanatory power of the one deemed to be 'not' unless you are simply happy to accept it (and then why not the rest of science) as a predictive tool rather than a description of (or at least approaching) reality.

I also feel a bit protectionist toward the ptolomeic system; it did work - well a bit at least I think. And the guys were working with one hand tied behind their back. Keep the earth in the center or burn at the stake. Ummmm...... D'you know I always did lean towards a Homocentric universe when the chips were down!

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now me, I believe in an egocentric universe. Very Happy

When I die it will all stop existing. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually youre not wrong
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