Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id UAA08743 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Tue, 17 Apr 2001 20:48:41 +0100 From: <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 14:51:14 -0500 Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT Subject: Re: The Tipping Point Message-ID: <3ADC5862.25994.30C1CB@localhost> In-reply-to: <20010417151350.A2079@ii01.org> References: <20010417131744.AAA15955@firstname.lastname@example.org>; from email@example.com on Tue, Apr 17, 2001 at 09:17:26AM -0400 X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Win32 (v3.12c) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
On 17 Apr 2001, at 15:13, Robin Faichney wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 17, 2001 at 09:17:26AM -0400, Wade T.Smith wrote:
> > Joe said-
> > > That is because, unlike the TV, we are dynamically recursive, and
> > > feed back (and forward). A TV cannot change the picture sent to
> > > it by a camera, but we can take actions which result in perceptual
> > > change, just as all perception involves some action.
> > That TV/camera dynamic can also be made to feedback, (and change the
> > picture sent to it), by pointing the camera at the monitor.
> > Controlling the 'tipping points' of luminosity and color can result
> > in some rather beautifully kinetic images.
> True. I've done that myself. But does that makes it a better analogy
> in this case?
Of course it does, though still not perfect, as the camera and the
TV cannot decide where on the screen to focus; this requires the
freely willed choice of one of us human causal nexi.
> > Robin said-
> > >Surely each [grain] is directly affected only by its immediate
> > >neighbours
> > Surely each grain is also directly affected by its location in the
> > universe- gravity, pressure of the mass around it, even perhaps
> > tidal forces, at extreme levels of influence.
> Of course. But, as usual, I was taking the word "significantly" as
Surely the support given by the rest of the grains in an interrelated
pile of them is significant; along with the gravitational coefficient
that both knits them together as a gestalt and establishes the
slope of the tipping point, indeed, the MOST significant.
> > The idea that this is a universe of causes, one cause leading to
> > another, cause into cause, with some result waiting for us at some
> > omega point,
> I don't get that last bit. What means "some result waiting for us at
> some omega point"?
The Big Crunch?
> > interesting- leading me to wonder if 'effect' is not the illusion.
> Only if you take "ultimate" to be implied, and if so, then "cause" is
> equally illusory. These are mere links in a chain, or, slightly more
> accurately, nodes in a net of influence, which in one sense is simply
> the settling of the universe into the state of maximum entropy.
Can't have that; that'd be unsuperdeterministic. Everything is
always ordered in a superdeterministic universe; the shackles of
causality imprison forever <snicker>.
> > >So how can you also claim that events on one level influence those
> > >on another, when the former *is* the latter?
> > At any reasonable level of explanation, calling the universe the
> > ultimate cause is unwise, if not untrue.
> That's absolutely true. This only works at the very highest level,
> and of course, as I keep saying over and over again, the concept of
> causation only really works -- or, at least, works best -- if both
> cause and effect are at the same level. The universe (at one moment)
> causes only the universe (at the next moment).
And everything in it, such as the P-E pairs? I do not consider there
being a universe-spawned phase space, in which P-E pairs may or
may not appear at any particular spacetime location, to be a
sufficient argument for their causation.
> Actually, there is a very close parallel between the claims that (a) a
> conscious decision causes neural activity, and (b) the universe causes
> any particular event within it -- despite Joe's disparagment of the
> latter notion. Both are top-down causation, and both, in my view, are
> entirely *in*valid.
Then you repudiate the Buddhist doctrine of co-dependent
origination, which asserts precisely what you just denied. If one
tosses a whole ball, all of the ball's parts tend to tag along, even if
you weren't touching them during your toss. (P-E pairs are an
exception because they're not connected to anything else but each
other). If you choose to look at something, your visual cortex is
selectively accessed, and neural pathways are used as a matter of
course, but the decision to do so both logically and empirically
precedes the selective pathway stimulation.
> Having said which, I'm perfectly happy with conscious activity causing
> neural activity where that can be seen as diagonal causation, i.e.
> normal, horizontal causation *plus* conceptual framework translation.
> At first glance, that *might* also be a way in which the universe
> could be considered to cause particular events, but I tend to feel
> rather sceptical about the real utility of such a tactic.
I've been sceptical about that doctrine for many years (at least its
claim to universality), but it has existed, like a bad memedream, for
many more. But wholes DO decide the course of the parts
comprising them, just as those comprising parts in turn influence
the direction of the whole. It's been mereologically known for lo
these many years, and now we have beau coup PET-scans to
corroborate same for the course and efficacy of human
consciousness; PET-scans which Robin continues to dismiss,
dispute, misinterpret, misconstrue, and/or ignore.
> Perhaps its only use would be relatively rhetorical, saying something
> like "given quantum non-locality, the universe as a whole (at one
> point in time) can be considered to cause every event within it (at
> the next point in time)". Or, discounting the quantum bit, influence
> is limited to a volume defined by the distance coverable by light
> within the time period concerned. But then we're no longer dealing
> with the universe as a whole.
Gravity, as a field, seems to be instantaneous, and extends
indefinitely. Also, the microwave radiation from the Big Bang is
coextensive with the universe; here, a part is spatiotemporally
coextensive with the whole.
> > But there is also some real reason for
> > this scientific ape to deal with the universe from a single
> > perspective.
> Why should any particular perspective be given precedence?
If, and only if, its adoption is more useful to
understanding/explaining that which is being studied than its
absence, or the adoption of an alternative view.
> > Such I think is the reason people like gods so much, although any
> > unified theory is godlike. Bringing all explanations, levels, and
> > causes together is the want of consilience, since scientific
> > perspective is 360.
> Sometimes the only way to reconcile differences is to acknowledge and
> accept them, because trying to force a merger between dissimilars
> leads to dissension and the exaggeration of difference.
Let's hear it for wavicles.
> Robin Faichney
> Get your Meta-Information from http://www.ii01.org
> (CAUTION: contains philosophy, may cause heads to spin)
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