What is Existence?

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androidbleepboop
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What is Existence?

Postby androidbleepboop » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:24 am UTC

Part 1 of a video series on the fundamental nature of reality. Spatiality! Temporality! Causality! And all that good stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_d3KN1d7Y0

Here's Part II, which explores the nature of non-physical logic and how it gives rise to the physical world we occupy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFQ36zXbm00

Now we're really getting somewhere! Part III seeks to answer what it takes for the non-physical logic and information discussed in Part II to exist, with some unexpected and profound results. This one might just change your perspective on our place in the world, and even if it doesn't it likely will interest you to decide why you disagree.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLA02-ubvFY
Last edited by androidbleepboop on Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:17 am UTC, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby brenok » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:40 am UTC

It would be nice if you summarized the video, because judging from the first minutes, the rest doesn't seems very interesting.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Magnanimous » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:24 am UTC

baby don't hurt me

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:56 am UTC

Are you going to give arguments for any of this crap?
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Re: What is Existence?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:07 am UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:Part 1 of a video series on the fundamental nature of reality. Spatiality! Temporality! Causality! And all that good stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_d3KN1d7Y0

Thoughts?

I have not watched it

Why the fuck is it not text on a fucking page?
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:16 am UTC

I reject your assertion that physical objects inarguably exist.
LE4dGOLEM wrote:your ability to tell things from things remains one of your skills.
Weeks wrote:Not only can you tell things from things, you can recognize when a thing is a thing

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Deva » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:48 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I have not watched it

Why the fuck is it not text on a fucking page?

Granted. Prefers text also.
Spoiler:
What is existence? That is, what is reality? What does it take for something to exist? In this video series, the word "existence" explicitly refers to absolutely everything it wants. If something exists, has ever existed, and can possibly exist, that thing is part of existence. I’ll also use the word "reality" as a synonym for existence, and say also that something is real if it is part of reality.

Let’s first examine the nature of things which we hold to be inarguably real. Objective physical objects, like computers, tables, and water. It’s difficult to really imagine being able to doubt the existence of these things because our day-to-day livelihood depends on being able to reliably interact with and manipulate objects such as these. After handling such objects over the course of a lifetime, it becomes clear that they all share two absolutely fundamental characteristics: they exist over time and they take up space. The fact that all physical objects possess these qualities suggests that they are quite important, so let’s examine each in turn.


Spatiality (1:01)

The spatial form an object takes up is comprised of the geometric relationships that every point on that object has to every other. For example, this point on the glass stands in relation to this point on the glass, and this point, and this point. And integrating all of these relations into the cumulative relationship that point has to the rest of the glass represents the position that point occupies in the glass. The same is true of every point on the glass. If any one of these points had a different geometric relationship with the rest of the glass, no matter how minute, the glass would have a different form.

This general pattern of an object’s form representing the geometric relationships between every point on that object applies to any physical object. Without these relationships to make up the information pertaining to the object’s exact form, the object would not embody that form. The existence of its spatial form depends on the existence of its geometric interrelations. The spatial nature of existence contains not only every object’s geometric relationship with itself, but every geometric relationship between all objects. The position any object occupies in space is defined by all of these relationships taken together as one whole set of information.

If I move my glass over here, I have changed its geometric relationship to all other existent objects everywhere in the universe. The information pertaining to that change is carried away from the object in the form of light waves and gravitational effects at the speed of light. So, an observer on the moon with a powerful telescope would not be aware that her geometric relationship with my glass has changed until about 1.2 seconds after I've made the change.

Thus far, spatiality has been described in terms of objects and the geometric ratios between their positions. But, space itself exists on a more fundamental level than these. Just as the form an object occupies in space is comprised of the geometric relationships between the points on that object. The form of space itself is comprised of the geometric relationships between points in space. A point in space can be thought of as a possible position in space, and each is distinct from every other in a precise network of geometric relations. In the absence of the geometric framework supplied by the relationships between possible points, no object can relate to itself, no objects can have positions relative to one another, and spatiality itself could not exist. In other words, without this span of possible points between here and here, these two positions could not have the geometric relationship they do. The succession of distinct possible points makes up the fabric of the geometric space separating them.

This raises a key question: if the existence of space is dependent on the existence of the logic of geometry, what must it take for that logic to exist? I’ll set this question aside for now and move on to the temporal nature of physical objects.


Temporality (3:40)

Alongside existing in space, physical objects exist over time. It may seem mysterious that this is the case. Compared to space with its nature in plain view to us, time can seem like an abstruse and enigmatic phenomenon. But if we look closely, we’ll see that it can be understood in similarly simple terms.

Our starting point will be the observation that as time passes, things change. This is true even for seemingly stationary, static objects, like those untouched for years in a forgotten attic. They may look as if they’re unchanging, but we know that their atoms are in constant motion, continually changing position with respect to all others. They interact with light and other electromagnetic waves, bombarded from time to time by high energy cosmic rays. They’re ceaselessly compressed by their own weight due to gravity, a physical interaction which contributes to some of the atomic motion they undergo. All of this change occurs alongside visible changes in the outside world: the sun rising and setting, the leaves budding and falling.

Large-scale changes, such as those we can observe in everyday life, are dwarfed in number and complexity by the countless particular changes which occur during those large-scale changes. Because the bulk of any object’s change in any duration is undergone at the atomic and subatomic level, the global progress of change averages out to an exceedingly constant pace, which our clocks can easily and reliably measure.

For example, though a shattering glass undergoes a dramatic change in shape, it does not undergo a significantly greater total amount of change than a cup sitting still because the macro-scale change of shattering is many orders of magnitude less complex than the micro-scale change of octillions of atoms simply interacting with each other over that duration.

The time our clocks tick off is, in fact, nothing but a useful means of quantifying and measuring the average rate of change at the atomic level. Our mechanical clocks implicitly make use of this fact because the mechanical properties of springs rely on the interactions between the molecules making up those springs. We explicitly make use of this fact when we engineer atomic clocks which measure the natural oscillation rate of atoms such as cesium.

Therefore, saying time is passing is simply the quantified version of saying "things are changing". (Video Annotation: The idea that time is nothing but a measure of change becomes much more nuanced when considered in the context of special relativity – I’ll save a discussion of these intriguing subtleties for a later video.) The pertinent question now becomes "what is the nature of change?".

(5:46) Again, if our thinking is precise, this is a very easy question to answer in simple terms. Change is the result of the nature of causality. Put simply, the reason any change happens is the cause of that change, and the result of that change is the effect. Every effect, in turn, acts as a cause for further effects, and this tireless propagation of cause unto effect wholly characterizes the passage of time. Causality unfolds according to precise, unimpeachable logical rules, in much the same way that spatial reality embodies the precise logic of geometry. However, the logic governing causality is much broader and more complex than the logic governing spatiality, and this logical framework has some interesting and notable characteristics which give the passage of time its distinctive nature.

Firstly, the logical rules which delineate just what future effects can result from any present configuration of causes are known as the laws of physics. From the orbitals electrons can occupy in atoms, the strong confinement of protons in nuclei, and the way atoms can share electrons, leading to the entirety of chemical possibility, to the necessary warping of space-time caused by mass, and the laws of conservation of energy and momentum, and beyond, the laws of physics underlie the physical progression of causes unto effects in the universe.

Second, because the existence of any effect is wholly dependent on the prior existence of its cause, change unfolds sequentially. This logical circumstance in which causes must exist prior to their effects assures that change cannot happen all at once. Any physical change takes place over a definite duration, characterized by the logical nature of the causal chain underlying that change.

Third, every effect is inextricably logically bound to its cause. Further, every effect’s cause is the effect of a prior cause, and therefore every effect is also inextricably logically bound to its cause’s cause, and to that cause’s cause, and so on back and back.

(7:32) We’re intuitively familiar with this fact because it is apparent in the actions we take from day to day. For example, we know we couldn’t drink a nice glass of orange juice without first opening the cabinet, taking out a glass, opening the fridge, taking out the orange juice, unscrewing the lid, and pouring some out. The effect "having a glass of orange juice" cannot exist in the absence of any one of these steps. Because every effect is inextricably linked to its full set of causes, every chain of causality extends throughout the entirety of the past, fanning into an absolutely astonishing network of past causes.

In the previous example, you couldn’t have purchased the juice from the store if a trucker hadn’t driven it to your location. The juice would not have made it onto the truck without the machines at the juicing facility squeezing from oranges, and those oranges wouldn’t have gotten squeezed if laborers hadn’t picked them. The oranges couldn’t have been picked if their seeds weren’t planted, and those particular seeds couldn’t have been planted if the farmer’s great-grandmother hadn’t survived a nasty bout of pneumonia in her childhood. She wouldn’t have been alive to survive that pneumonia if her great-great-grandfather hadn’t survived a duel a hundred years prior, killing his opponent. Skipping a few steps, humans could not have come to exist if the stars which exploded to create the gas cloud out of which the Earth coalesced had different velocities through space.

Holding all of this in mind, see if you can appreciate the fact if you remove any link in the chain of causality which brought the past to the present, the present could not possibly exist in its current form. From this perspective, it should be clear that every effect we observe is the embodiment of a staggeringly uncountable set of causes. Through examining this, the essential nature of causality, we find that the present is the sum effect of all past causes. The present contains the entirety of the past in its logical structure because the circumstances making up the present are directly dependent on the logical progression of causality woven through cause and effect in the past. The present is the sum effect of all past causes. The present moment, thus embodied, represents the interface between cause and effect, and it flows forward as each effect causes further effects. The future represents the field of possibility given by the laws of physics, which includes all possible logical progressions the present causal circumstance can lead to.

(9:32) As we explore the components necessary to the existence of physical objects, an interesting dichotomy becomes apparent. All physical objects occupy space and change over time, yet these physical characteristics arise out of the logic of geometry and the laws of physics. The laws themselves must be non-physical because they do not take up space, nor do they change over time. Have we stumbled upon something that is not real, since it doesn’t fit the template outlined in the nature of things we can touch, see, and physically manipulate? Hm.

I’ll leave it to you to contemplate this question until the next video in the series. For now, please feel free to join the discussion of these topics in the IdeaList subreddit. (Video Annotation: http://www.reddit.com/r/IdeaListYT ) I feel like the comment structure on Reddit lends itself well to our purposes. Alright, till next time, deep thinkers.


Edit1: Fixed superficial errors and one minor error. ("If any one of these points had a geometric relationship with the rest of the glass..." to "If any one of these points had a different geometric relationship with the rest of the glass...")
Edit2: Found another superficial error.
Edit3: Added time markers.
Last edited by Deva on Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:07 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Thesh » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:12 am UTC

"All we are is dust in the wind." - Socrates
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Jellyfish » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:14 am UTC

That's deep, man.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby PeteP » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:13 am UTC

Thanks Deva. Text form hasn't made the content any better, but I also prefer text.

As for the video, not really better than the last video you posted androidbleepboop. I recommend using something you do in essays specifically the part where you state your thesis in you introduction. Not only does that contextualize the rest of the content for the reader/watcher, it might help you to be a bit more focused. To be honest, you tend to waffle a bit.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby WibblyWobbly » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:19 pm UTC

"Time is just a concept," says Einstein's kid, the dunce
"People's way of keeping everything from happening at once
Overtake the light and time is in your sight
And black holes bend the beams so nothing's where it seems
And finding out the truth could take you months"

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:41 pm UTC

Wait, so is the video just really confused about entropy?
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:45 pm UTC

What is love?
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Re: What is Existence?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:48 pm UTC

David Duchovny
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Zarq » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:46 pm UTC

Magnanimous wrote:baby don't hurt me


pseudoidiot wrote:What is love?


I am apparently not original.
You rang?

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby WibblyWobbly » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:24 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:David Duchovny

Was that a response to pseudoidiot? Because that kinda works as the next line in the song. Aaaand now I can't get it out of my head.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:30 pm UTC

Yes. It was.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby WibblyWobbly » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:33 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Yes. It was.

You bastard. Now I'm going to have to listen to music infinitely more terrible just to get it to stop.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby androidbleepboop » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:00 am UTC

When did xkcd forum turn into 4chan? Very compelling points, team, good form.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby androidbleepboop » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:00 am UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I reject your assertion that physical objects inarguably exist.


^Inarguably typed on a physically existent keyboard.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby untitled » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:04 am UTC

Thesh wrote:"All we are is dust in the wind." - Socrates


Stardust in the wind

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Magnanimous » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:17 am UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:^Inarguably typed on a physically existent keyboard.

The Mighty Thesaurus is one of our forum's bots. It's hard to tell sometimes.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby PeteP » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:36 am UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I reject your assertion that physical objects inarguably exist.


^Inarguably typed on a physically existent keyboard.

…Prove that the post exists, prove that the screen you are seeing it on exists, prove that anything your senses perceive exists. You can't prove that your senses are a reliable tool which shows things that exist physically. Now I find following these lines of thinking to be pretty pointless, but put a bit more thought in before throwing terms like inarguable around. Since it isn't.

About the arguments: I think you exhausted most goodwill and willingness to take you serious with your last video thread, so the reaction is what I would expect. It might be different if the new one was more compelling than the last one.
Anyway, if you want arguments how about naming something specific from the video you would like to discuss.
Last edited by PeteP on Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:43 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby poxic » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:39 am UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:When did xkcd forum turn into 4chan? Very compelling points, team, good form.

There isn't very much to respond to:

- Things exist and have shapes.
- Space exists and contains things.
- Time exists and things change over time.
- There are laws in physics about how things can change.
- Wow, do these laws actually exist as non-physical things? Hmm! Wow!

We're not really impressed by this.
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Re: What is Existence?

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:06 am UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:When did xkcd forum turn into 4chan? Very compelling points, team, good form.

There's plenty for you to discuss here.

TMT wrote:I reject your assertion that physical objects inarguably exist.


I wrote:Wait, so is the video just really confused about entropy?


But.. really, 4chan? Which part - the part that makes snarky comments yet has interesting discussions on %things% which.. actually, that's pretty much exactly what we are... or /b/, where you aren't fitting in unless you're using six racial slurs per post, and the more contradictory the better (Shut up, you Nazi Jew!)
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:28 am UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:When did xkcd forum turn into 4chan? Very compelling points, team, good form.

Any good forum for discussion would call you out for not defending any of your claims. If you're looking for compelling points, you should begin by offering some of your own.
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Re: What is Existence?

Postby teelo » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:15 am UTC

Jellyfish wrote:That's deep, man.

As deep as I was in ur mom last nite lawl.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Jorpho » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:21 am UTC

Deva wrote:Granted. Prefers text also.
Good heavens! Did you manually transcribe all that yourself!?

androidbleepboop wrote:When did xkcd forum turn into 4chan? Very compelling points, team, good form.
I kinda like threads like this, every now and then. They don't seem to come around as much as they used to.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Deva » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:29 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Deva wrote:Granted. Prefers text also.
Good heavens! Did you manually transcribe all that yourself!?

Yes. Hates geometric relationships now.
Changes its form depending on the observer.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby poxic » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:35 am UTC

Oh good heavens, Deva. You're my Hero Of Futility today.
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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Jorpho » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:42 am UTC

Deva wrote:
Jorpho wrote:Good heavens! Did you manually transcribe all that yourself!?
Yes. Hates geometric relationships now.
..:shock: In real-time? You can type that fast!? How long have you been doing this? I'd probably have to slow it down to half-speed, at least, and I'd be hesitant to devote twenty minutes to the cause.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Deva » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:08 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:..:shock: In real-time? You can type that fast!? How long have you been doing this? I'd probably have to slow it down to half-speed, at least, and I'd be hesitant to devote twenty minutes to the cause.

Typed significantly slower than that. (Spoke fairly rapidly, also.) Paused it constantly. Averaged maybe five words per start. Guessed the next words wrong frequently. (Example: comprised, not composed.) Listened multiple times for "abstruse".
Changes its form depending on the observer.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby teelo » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:44 am UTC

Wouldn't it have been easier to hack the voice actor's computer or email folder and find his boringscript.doc file?

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby Jorpho » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:56 am UTC

Deva wrote:
Jorpho wrote:..:shock: In real-time? You can type that fast!? How long have you been doing this? I'd probably have to slow it down to half-speed, at least, and I'd be hesitant to devote twenty minutes to the cause.
Typed significantly slower than that. (Spoke fairly rapidly, also.) Paused it constantly. Averaged maybe five words per start. Guessed the next words wrong frequently. (Example: comprised, not composed.) Listened multiple times for "abstruse".
I'm so gobsmacked I feel like I should Paypal you a buck or two. In the future I recommend downloading the video (using DownloadHelper or what have you) and playing back the audio track at a decreased rate; it may ultimately be slightly more efficient than constant pausing.

So, that's a thing that exists, ayup.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby androidbleepboop » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:28 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:…Prove that the post exists, prove that the screen you are seeing it on exists, prove that anything your senses perceive exists. You can't prove that your senses are a reliable tool which shows things that exist physically.


Well, what does it mean for something to exist physically? What does it take to prove something? If you are comfortable stating that "proving that something physically exists" is impossible, then surely you have a definite idea of what you mean by those terms, right?

------------
poxic wrote:- Things exist and have shapes.
- Space exists and contains things.
- Time exists and things change over time.
- There are laws in physics about how things can change.
- Wow, do these laws actually exist as non-physical things? Hmm! Wow!

We're not really impressed by this.

Isn't it a little... hivemindey, when one forum member is prepared to speak for the whole forum?

In any case, those are all just interesting things that are fun to observe. I'm sorry you personally are not in awe of the nature of the Universe, Poxic, but surely that isn't my fault.

--------------
Deva wrote:
Jorpho wrote:
Deva wrote:Granted. Prefers text also.
Good heavens! Did you manually transcribe all that yourself!?

Yes. Hates geometric relationships now.


Haha wow, good work. I'm surprised you finished, if you found it totally boring! Or did you enjoy it and can't admit it, due to the bandwagon effect on this forum, wherein members adopt the attitude of the group to fit in?

Please do not triple post - there is an edit button and a preview in case you're ninja'd

-Angua

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby poxic » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:46 pm UTC

See, we mostly joined this forum because we like science, and we pay attention to science and learn about it. Things that are profoundly unscientific don't interest us. That's the thing, mostly. (And, mostly being fans of the xkcd comic, we tend to like a bit of snark. Mostly.)
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Re: What is Existence?

Postby WibblyWobbly » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:04 pm UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:
poxic wrote:- Things exist and have shapes.
- Space exists and contains things.
- Time exists and things change over time.
- There are laws in physics about how things can change.
- Wow, do these laws actually exist as non-physical things? Hmm! Wow!

We're not really impressed by this.

Isn't it a little... hivemindey, when one forum member is prepared to speak for the whole forum?

Not at all, I would think. The points poxic made were pretty general concerning what is a fairly vague video. I feel comfortable saying that I and probably most other people in the thread had the same basic thoughts about the video - it seems to try to use obfuscating language to say things like "Objects exist; they take up space. They exist in time; they change over time or do not change over time, but the changes we see appear to be governed by some sort of rules that don't physically exist in themselves but are nevertheless binding." OK. And ...?

androidbleepboop wrote:In any case, those are all just interesting things that are fun to observe. I'm sorry you personally are not in awe of the nature of the Universe, Poxic, but surely that isn't my fault.


I doubt that the problem is that the universe holds no wonder for poxic or any of the rest of us (and bonus points for being defensive about that; is it necessary to blame someone else for not having a blinding epiphany from vague, unproven assertions?), but that you came asking for thoughts on a video that seems to be leading somewhere but clearly hasn't arrived yet. Maybe in future parts, it will build to something interesting, but Part I, at least from my perspective, was simply underwhelming and not worthy of much more discussion than the assertion that objects inarguably exist physically. Physical existence is, at least in part, linked to sensory input, and it is not inarguably evident that our senses must be truthful.

Imagine, for the sake of argument, that you're blind, deaf, anosmic and can phase through solid objects (the first three, together are horrendously unfortunate; the last makes you something of a horrible X-Men character). In what sense could you say that a table in the same room with you exists? You cannot perceive it at all. There is no way you can interact with it. In such a case, does it exist? Or can you say that you exist, if you cannot interact with anything?

Maybe that's the wrong way of looking at it. I'm not much of a philosopher. But don't for a moment suggest that anyone here believes the universe is not amazing just because we were not amazed by the video. I've seen and studied much more amazing things about the universe than I (or, I might argue, anyone) can truly understand in a lifetime, but definitions of time and space don't do it anymore. Can you point to something in the video that should have elicited amazement?

androidbleepboop wrote:Haha wow, good work. I'm surprised you finished, if you found it totally boring! Or did you enjoy it and can't admit it, due to the bandwagon effect on this forum, wherein members adopt the attitude of the group to fit in?

Put the "clever" quips away. If you think that we won't give you an honest evaluation, you're free not to bring your links here. If you think we're engaging in dishonest groupthink, then you should be looking for any place other than this forum to post your links, because you'll never get anywhere if everyone else here is part of a hivemind. If, however (as I suspect), you're simply trying to prove that you're so much more original and free-thinking than anyone else here, you're going to fail.
Last edited by WibblyWobbly on Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:08 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby PeteP » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:07 pm UTC

Yeah everything is a hivemind on this forum which is why this forum never had threads where people have vehemently argued each other for countless pages.
Anyway poxics posts are of course only guesses, but at least for me fairly accurate ones.
androidbleepboop wrote:
PeteP wrote:…Prove that the post exists, prove that the screen you are seeing it on exists, prove that anything your senses perceive exists. You can't prove that your senses are a reliable tool which shows things that exist physically.


Well, what does it mean for something to exist physically? What does it take to prove something? If you are comfortable stating that "proving that something physically exists" is impossible, then surely you have a definite idea of what you mean by those terms, right?

I only discuss such common philosophical topics if I have any reason to expect it to lead to something interesting. Since the topic of proving existence isn't exactly new (and not something I ever found all that interesting) I won't bother engaging in a discussion about it unless you say something new and interesting about it.
If you have an interesting point to make you wish to discuss here just make it please.

If you just think the video might awe some people, well that is fine. I wish you luck.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby androidbleepboop » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:06 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:Physical existence is, at least in part, linked to sensory input, and it is not inarguably evident that our senses must be truthful.

Imagine, for the sake of argument, that you're blind, deaf, anosmic and can phase through solid objects (the first three, together are horrendously unfortunate; the last makes you something of a horrible X-Men character). In what sense could you say that a table in the same room with you exists? You cannot perceive it at all. There is no way you can interact with it. In such a case, does it exist? Or can you say that you exist, if you cannot interact with anything?


Interesting hypothetical. Of course, adding the part about being able to phase through solid objects makes the thought experiment unable to apply to the Universe as we know it (in a similar way to debating whether Batman or Superman would win in a fight- if you add in fictional ideas or boundary conditions, you can never end up with better than fictional conclusions). In any case, you would have no reason to suspect that a table exists in the room with you, but being blind, deaf, anosmic, and matter-phasey, you wouldn't be a very good candidate for determining the existence of physical matter. If your doctor used the table in your room to place his notebook down, and the table held his notebook, and his nurse came in later to retrieve the notebook and it was still on the table, then there would be objective evidence that the table exists, but that wouldn't concern you, being as you can't interact with that table (or anything for that matter). The fact that you can't subjectively perceive something has no bearing on its actual existence- for example, the world clearly had to exist before you were born (in order for you to be born), so clearly the world's existence does not depend on your perception of its existence.

I'm surprised that people familiar with science would doubt the existence of the physical world. You could think of the entirety of our lives as a huge experiment of whether or not the physical world exists, and whether or not it behaves in a regular and intelligible way, and no evidence of any kind to the contrary has ever been uncovered in the history of science.

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Re: What is Existence?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:18 pm UTC

androidbleepboop wrote:I'm surprised that people familiar with science would doubt the existence of the physical world. You could think of the entirety of our lives as a huge experiment of whether or not the physical world exists, and whether or not it behaves in a regular and intelligible way, and no evidence of any kind to the contrary has ever been uncovered in the history of science.

Why would you think of our lives as such an experiment? Which observations would tend to show that the physical universe exists, and which would tend to show that it does not exist? What sort of experimental result would show that I am not a brain in a vat, or a hallucinating immaterial soul?
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