Tag Archives: science

The Evolution on Concepts

6 Apr

The concept of a claw hammer did not just pop into the human mind from out of non-existence.

First was the concept of a rock.

Somewhere someone realized you could pound with a rock. Perhaps this person broke nuts open with a rock.
The first stage of the concept of a hammer was born.

Somewhere someone threw a rock at something. Perhaps it was a nut in a tree. Trying to knock it down.
The first stage of the concept of a rocket was born.

Somewhere someone used a stick. Perhaps it was to dig beetles out of the ground.
The first stages of the concept of a fork and a spear were born.

Somewhere someone put a rock on the end of a stick.
The second stage of the concept of a hammer was born.

Just as humanity evolved as a species so did humanities concepts.

And here is a crucial fact:
Every concept humanity has ever developed has survival value.
I have never found a single concept that did not have survival value at the time it was conceived. Some of those concepts have had counter survival value when circumstances changed and select humans refused to revise their concepts. But every human concept has survival value in the right circumstances.

I state that concepts evolve.
This is easily demonstrated. Scientific concepts show a clear path of evolution.

Other creatures also have concepts.
Look at dogs and cats. They both have a concept of what is food and what is not food. They share a concept of humanity as a source of food and shelter.
Obviously there was a time when humans were not sources of food and shelter for either dogs or cats. At that time dogs and cats would not have this concept of humans. This concept had to grow over time.
This simple demonstration shows not only that animals do have concepts but also shows that their concepts also evolve.
In this we are not alone.

We can look at a bug as having a concept of what food is. Of what a predator is. In the case of ants and bees they must have some concept of home and community. Perhaps nothing like we humans have, but something that suffices.

It can be said that certain plants, those that turn their leaves or flowers toward the sun as it passes, have some rudimentary concept of pleasure if nothing else. It might be nothing more than warmth.

Each creature has exactly the number, or set (if you will) of concepts that it needs to survive.

The Concept Line™ starts at the vaguest sensory awareness.
A plant has, through warmth, light, or some other means, a sensory awareness of the sun. We know this because so many plants visibly react to the sun.
Whether the plant has any sensory memory of the sun when it is not present is something we cannot determine with any current or proposed technology I am aware of. However it has been demonstrated that plants discharge measurable energy when in the presence of someone who has abused them, say torn off their limbs.
Thus we can contend that plants have a rudimentary concept of pain and pleasure.

Moving along the concept line we can show that insects have a rudimentary concept of food and predator.
We know this simply because any bug will go after that which it considers food, be it a leaf or another bug, and will avoid, and or fight, those things that will in turn eat them.

Many fish live in schools. Some insects live in hives. This indicates a rudimentary sense of community.
Primates go so far as to show complex social structure and even politics.

Humanities concepts have not only evolved, but can be traced through anthropology.

Even more interestingly the human evolution of concepts can be demonstrated in its children. A baby has the most minimum concepts possible for a human being to have. As the child develops physical abilities and experience more concepts develop. For example babies are not born with depth perception, it develops later, and even then it takes time and experience for a child to judge exactly how far away an object is. Then even more time to judge how much time it will take the object, say a car, to reach them at a given speed.

However having a concept is not sufficient.

In fact having a concept, in and of itself, is only a survival mechanism only up to a point in the evolutionary ladder.
At some point what is done with concepts is more important than having concepts.

Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
I say the unexamined concept is not worth having.

So at the far end of our Concept Line™ , not at the very end, we mark a point at which concepts are not simply held, they are manipulated.

 

 

 
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The law of Non-Contradiction.

27 Jul

The law of Non-Contradiction.

 

Nothing can both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same respect; or no statement is both true and false.

 

Let us start with the easy one.

 

To a Map Thinker™ truth is virtually nonexistent. Those truths that do exist are ephemeral. This state of being existed at this specific time at this specific place. The most enduring truths are relationships and they are complete abstractions.

For example Pi.

Unfortunately the exact truth of Pi can never be known to the final digit and if it were it would be useless knowledge.

 

As Steven Hawking points out: In mathematics it is often the case where two different, even opposite, models can explain the same phenomena. Which one you use is a matter of choice or convenience. One of his sentences I love is that all P-branes are created equal.

Truth is not an issue.

Usefulness is.

To a Map Thinker the simplest solution that yields a useful result is the best solution.

 

Now on to: Nothing can both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same respect.

 

Aristotle expressed this as A(A and not A).

 

Lets examine this a bit. In poor Aristotle’s defense, ( I do pick on him a LOT) he had no way of guessing our formula for A: An = Rn = (RsiRpi )n -> Q = I <- Pn . Science of the time, while more advanced than many people believe, was not what it is today.

What he was looking at as A was Q = I.

In simple words he saw the forest and thought it was the thing itself. He did not see the trees that made it up. Sort of the opposite of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

In complexer terms he saw the qualities expressed by(RsiRpi )n and thought this I(dentity) was in fact the thing itself.

 

And yes, I do know “proper grammar” does not include “complexer”. Someday I will write a “Map Thinker’s Guide to Creative Grammar™” Just because I can.

 

R -> Q = I <- P

 

R = Ripn

 

 

Lets take a closer look at R.

 

R = (RsiRpi )n means that A (Tree for example) is both the sum of its parts and the proportion of those parts. Thus to reiterate what was said before: It is possible to hold a rock in one hand and a glass of sea water in the other that both contain exactly the same ingredients. The only difference being the proportions of those ingredients.

 

But just like a stew can contain salt or not contain salt, or contain oregano or not contain oregano and still be identifiable as stew, so can sea water and a rock can contain or not contain different ingredients and still be identifiable as both a rock and sea water.

 

Tiny differences in the DNA of trees tells a scientist which tree was involved in the crime.

 

Some scientists tell us an interesting possibility about emus.

 

It seems that birds and reptiles are virtually the same creatures. Every feathered friend that exists is a potential scaly monster from bygone eras — If you knew how to flip the right switch.

Therefore an Emu is a potential tiny dinosaur of the same size and shape.

 

Is that true?

It remains to be proven.

 

Gene splicing, cloning, DNA fiddling… this could get confusing.

 

So the law of non-contradiction that Aristotle was so fond of is in reality a pleasant fiction that bears no relationship to the world of reality — Only the world of appearance.

 

Once we replace A = A with  we are forced to replace  NOT (A and not A) with A = An and Rn where An equals slight variations in A (possibly over time) Rn. When Rip as perceived by Aristotle had a large enough difference he saw A as something entirely different.

Let us say A = grass.

If grass is given the right nutrients it will provide your lawn with a richer, more bountiful color to show off your skill and your house.

Thus A = An.

Very slight variations in the same grass over time and environment (a hefty word meaning place / space).

Your neighbor has a different breed of grass.

A = Aªn.

Where A is A but shows a wide variation. Enough to be a separate variety.

A = (RsiRpi )

Where A = any potential state of A both known and unknown.

An example of this could be instead of feeding the lawn a diet that produces a more robust color the homeowner instead forgets to water the grass and it becomes dry and brown and eventually dies off.

Or it could be the neighbor’s cow eats it and it changes state completely.

 

Aristotle never considered time, space, or process in any of his laws. With modern knowledge of how the world works we cannot ignore them. Any change, even the slightest, in time, space, or process, will have an effect on A no matter what A is.

 

A is only A at a specific place, during a specific time, while no process is happening.

Thus A is ONLY A while you are pointing at it.

As soon as you have turned your back on it it has changed.

 

The grass, A, is changing at some microscopic level even as you point at it.

Thus An -> I <-P.

 

I will name the Perceiver George.

This comes from an enjoyable Fantasy novel titled “The Dragon and the George”  by Gordon R. Dickson.

It is a reply to The Ultimate Prisoner Riddle. ( I will get into the Ultimate Prisoner Riddle and its social aspects another time.) The oldest of these I know of is Sinbad. But Sinbad the Sailor and Sinbad the wealthy and Sinbad the Pauper are all the same. And this is very transparent.

Jim Eckert on the other hand enters a world of magic as the Dragon Gorbash. And is forced into another Point of View entirely.

George is a suitable name for our Perceiver.

We, as does George, must face constant change in our Point of View.

 

An -> I <-P.

Where there is a slight difference, even a profoundly noticeable difference such as color change or growing too tall, George is able to maintain continuity. He can say, “My grass sure looks better after I added that new ingredient to it. But it is growing faster so I got to cut it this weekend.”

 

 

Thus George can think about, and talk about, the grass in front of his house that he calls a lawn as though it existed in Aristotle’s simplistic universe.

 

And there is nothing wrong with that.

 

Remember a basic principle of Map Thinking:

Always use the simplest map that serves the purpose.

 

Just because George knows, or should know, that at some level A -> I <- P does not mean that he has to use it every time he draws a breath.

 

Here is another basic principle of Map Thinking.

 

The human mind, in order to function, simplifies everything. There is no way the human mind can encompass all the complexities of the universe. Even if it could it would have to focus on one aspect at a time in order to function as a human being.

 

In art you are taught the basic shapes. Circle, square, rectangles, triangles, ovals, — None of these shapes exist in nature.

They are mental simplifications the mind uses to deal with all the complex information presented by a confusing universe.

Does not matter.

If you learn to draw, and learn to see, basic shapes, you will always be able to produce a picture.

No tree or bush that ever existed was ever exactly ball-shaped or exactly triangular-shaped — But the mind will process them as such. Even houses built by humans do not form exact squares and rectangles, but the mind sees them as such.

 

Thus the law of non-contradiction must be replaced with,

A ≠ -> I <- P

A does not equal the Identity it projects to the Perceiver.

 

A is both A and Not A.

 

At one and the same time.

 

You should notice that nowhere in here have I directly discussed particle physics or quantum physics / mechanics. Both are implied. It would be hard for me to discuss reason or science without some references. But everything I have discussed has been on the macro level.

Aristotle could have seen it.

Anyone since Aristotle could have seen it.

Some did.

Those who did were quickly drowned out by those who worshipped Aristotle as the Thinker of all Thinkers. Just last week I met a man whose basic attitude is, “Aristotle said it. I believe it. That settles it.”

 

Had Aristotle not been so simplistic, or had his adherents not been so fanatical, Quantum Physics would not be such a shock to the average person. Because the activity at the Macro level is NOT that different from that at the Micro level — If you take the time to look.

 

 

 

(C) 2013, All Rights Reserved

 

The Fourth Law of Identity

29 Jun

TIME

The Great Contradiction

Agent of Change

Anchor of Continuity

 

A = AT <- PT

 

Once Time is added we have to conclude that A ≠ A.

That is Yesterday’s A is not Today’s A and Tomorrow’s A will be a different A still.

A0 is the lawn that was planted. It was not yet a lawn.

A1 is the lawn that I cut yesterday.

A2 is the lawn I have today.

 

Before we move on lets look at A0. 

Why start with 0 instead of using 1, the first example of A?

Because 0 has a value. The value is the unrealized potential. 

 Take one molecule of gold. It is gold. It has all the properties of gold. 

But it has no use. Indeed a hundred are of no use. How many molecules does it take to be useful? A thousand? Ten thousand? A million?

Let us say the smallest useful amount of gold that can be readily identified is one flake. That is a lot of molecules. That amount can be counted as one. The smallest useful amount of zero gold is the amount it is profitable to extract into useful amounts of one. Gold is in lots of places. There is gold in the oceans. But it would cost more to extract it than it would be worth. 

Oil is the same. In California a capped well might have a million gallons of zero oil in it. Someday the situation will probably change.

One fertile egg is one zero chicken or one-third of a zero omelette. 

One chicken is 365.25 zero eggs a year.

One grass seed is one zero grass.

You might want to consider this type of zero a “special case zero” but somewhere in the future when I get into Complexity Theory and the Magic of Emergence (Novelty be thy name-o) the idea of Zero equaling a potential of unknown outcome may seem normal, and the concept of Zero having a value may seem a lot less special. In a way it isn’t that special now. Think of adding 0.2 and 0.4. We now have 0.6. All three have value, but none of the three is 1 yet. They are still all three 0. 

In the mean time let us consider Zero to be potential rated from Zero potential to absolute potential when it becomes One.

And believe it or not, to me that makes perfect sense.

 

 

To get back to the subject:

A = A0…AFor the life of A.

Where each gradient from 0… is a discreet change that is detectable in some way over time. It may only be detectable using technology, but it still counts.

 

Yet we know that A is still A. 

 

At the same time we know that A is not A yet, it is only potential A.

We know a grass seed is both not grass and is grass at the same time.

 

Once we factor in Time we must recognize the Difference in A from Time Zero through Time for each section of Time measured. 

But:

Once we factor in Time we must recognize the Continuity of A as the same A that experienced the Difference. 

 

Yesterday’s Child could not walk.

Today’s Child took its first step.

Tomorrow’s Child will run.

 

Thus A, and our knowledge of A, is in fact Anchored in Continuity. 

We know nothing about anything until we know its past state, its present state, and are able to have expectations about its future state.

 

Thus: 

A = RD/T = I <- P

 

Where the Difference in the Recipe of A over periods of Time becomes the Identity of A as understood by P. 

 

In other words A is not only not A over time, but the changes undergone by A becomes the Identity of A as Perceived and Processed by the Perceiver. 

 

Thus allowing Aristotle to believe that A = A in spite of so much evidence to the contrary. 

 

Thus Aristotle is not an idiot. 

He simply did not take Socrates advice to heart. 

The unexamined A is not worth looking at. 

 

It also explains why stories, anecdotes, and Maps, are so important to human thinking. Without Anchoring to something, Time, Place, Concept, there is no continuity, and therefore no real understanding. 

It explains why people with complete maps that are well anchored, which compares to Deep Structure in linguistics, are more stable mentally and emotionally than people with Fragmented, disjointed, unanchored maps. 

 

Noam Chomsky, and others, have tried to account for how the two sentences:

Jack kissed Jill

And 

Jill was kissed by Jack

 

Can both be interpreted by the human mind as roughly equivalent. 

(They are not equivalent and do not mean the same thing, but that is a secret to be revealed later.)

For the minute we will simple accept that both sentences describe the same event. 

The question is “How does the Human Mind know this?”

The answer depends on Anchors.

If you do not know what a “kiss” is you have no anchors. 

To have a kiss explained to you is to be able to attain some understanding of kiss-ness, but it is free floating knowledge, unanchored, forgettable, and unexperienced.

To see people kissing is a visual anchor.

To completely anchor the concept of kissing a person has to kiss and be kissed. Once it is anchored a map, a model, a physical, mental, emotional, reference has been developed and is retainable and recallable.

If a person has only experienced one type of kissing, say that of parent to child, then the map / model is incomplete and the person’s kissing vocabulary is undeveloped. They may not fully understand what happened when Jack kissed, Jill was kissed. 

When the words are heard, or seen, a map is recalled, a model is compared too, and experience replayed, a video clip is viewed — Any or all of these things happen as fast as the human mind can operate. So fast the Perceiver is probably not aware of it. It does not matter how it is said, this same — NON WORD reference is made. 

It is important to realize that WORDS are not referenced.

Once we get past this Aristotelean Block™ to reason, everything makes — Not just sense — But simple, easy to understand sense.

 

The idea that Surface Structure Words refer to Deep Structure Words makes no sense.

Words refer to events as experienced by the Perceiver. 

A = AT/D <- P

 

Words describe the Qualities that make up the Identity as understood by the Perceiver. 

 

W -> A = Qn <- P

Words describe A which are the Qualities received, understood, perceived, and processed by the Perceiver.

 

When the situation is reversed:

P -> Qn (A) <- W

The Perceiver reports the (Noticed and Understood) Qualities of (A) using Words. 

 

In all cases the physical, perceived, experience, of P is referred too.

 

Deep Structure is the Experience of a thing or event by the Perceiver. 

 

Thus: 

Jack kissed Jill

Jill was kissed by Jack

Jack and Jill were kissing

 

Are all experienced by the Perceiver as similar (but not exact) experiences.

 

The fourth law of Identity can be expressed as:

A = EE/T <- P

Where A equals the (past) Experience and (future) Expectations of A over Time as Understood (Perceived and Processed) by P, the Perceiver. 

 

When A EE/T <- P in some significant way, then P -> A.

 

In English: When  A does not live up to future expectations in some significant way then the Person tends to deny that A is actually A even though A is still A in all other respects. 

 

Thus a stunted rose may no longer be a rose to a prize-winning gardener. A homosexual child may no longer be a son, or a pregnant child a daughter, to a zealot father. Or a thousand other rejections both petty and traumatic for any number of reasoning “From Expectations”.

 

I have stated before and no doubt will state again.

There is no way to separate the study of Language or the study of Philosophy from either Science or Psychology.

Experience is often not as remembered. 

Expectations are often unreasonable and demanding.

Reactions when Expectations are not met are often unreasonable. 

There is a distinct proportion here:

The more unreasonable the expectation the more unreasonable the reaction. 

Oddly this often becomes a cycle. The same unreasonable expectations happen again and again and the same unreasonable reactions happen afterward. 

I give Christmas as an example. 

Post Christmas Depression. 

You would think after one or two years of disappointment the Perceiver would change their Expectations. 

But that does not happen.

 

Back to A.

Our expanded formula:

A = DRip/T ->DQn/T  = I (EE) <- P

Where A is the Recipe composed of Ingredients and Proportions  that change D with Time. This Recipe produces perceivable Qualities that also change D with Time. This is the Identity which includes Past Experiences and Future Expectations that is Perceived and Processed by P. 

 

The Past Experiences and Future Expectations are so incorporated in the human mind that Aristotle, and future philosophers, were able to ignore them completely and insist that A = A rather than the what A really is.

A, any given A, is a process. 

The Qualities that process expresses produces an Identity. 

The Perception itself is a process. 

The Perceiver, in turn, processes the information. 

 

Reality itself is a Process.

Perception of Reality is a Process.

 

A <- P

 

A is not A. 

A does not exist.

A only exists when and how it is Perceived and Processed by P.

 

 

(C) 2013, All Rights Reserved

 

Aristotle was an idiot (part 2)

25 May

The law of non contradiction.

This is often written in the following dumb format:

Not (A and not A)

This takes a simple statement in English, inverts it, and then expresses it in math form. Nice way to complicate the issue for people who are not math informed.

This works great with Americans whose schooling has somehow taught them, “I’m no good at math.”

How an entire nation of people can be programmed into that five word sentence by so many teachers spending eight hours a day five days a week for twelve years would be easier to understand if most math weren’t relatively simple and if the job of teachers weren’t expected to educate the public.

Of course the same teacher will quickly point out that the above sentence fails grammatically even though its communication is clear.

Someday I will write a Map Thinker’s Guide to Grammar™. But not today.

So let’s make it simple English and simple math.

Either A exists or A does not exist.

It cannot be both at once.

There is a problem with this.

The Law of the Excluded Middle, which we will deal with next makes that statement.

Either (A or not A)

They make the same basic statement but they mean different things. That is why they are expressed differently. Seen as neither one makes much sense to a Map Thinker™ it doesn’t really matter but we will go over the distinction just because.

Not (A or Not A) means that a thing cannot both exist and not exist at the same time in the same way. Or you can say a statement cannot be both true and false at the same time.

I used the word “way” while most translations I have read say “respect”. I doubt if either one carries the exact meaning of the original. Even if you speak modern Greek I am not convinced you would be certain exactly what the same word meant 2,300 years ago.

Today we know, from quantum physics that some pretty large particles can in fact exist in more than one place at the same time in the same way. The largest I have heard of is a drumstick. The kind made of wood you play a drum with, not the kind from chicken you eat.

But lets take something larger.

Two things I love. Water and Trees.

A tree on a knoll either exists there or it does not. It (at present knowledge) cannot both be there and not be there at the same time. It may not be there tomorrow, it may be cut down, or zapped by lightning.

Unless of course you subscribe to the Quantum concept of parallel universes in which case there will be a universe where the tree is on the knoll and another where it does not exist there. How about the one where the knoll itself does not exist there.

But lets call that reaching.

The question arises, “Does the tree exist at all?”

In point of reality it does not.

The tree is a product of Emergence. That is the tree is built of simple building blocks that are built of even simpler building blocks that are composed of non-particles that are also non-waves.

Ready?

That may sound confusing.

It is.

It is a combination of my understanding of particle physics and complexity theory.

The tree itself is an expression of a combination of relationships that exist in reality in such a way as to produce a species we call “tree” and this is a particular member of that species.

So the tree is really a figment of our imaginations. We aren’t completely sure what is out there. We are sure that this particular combination of universal building blocks is identifiable as both a species and an individual and we call them trees.

So no matter how you look at a tree using modern knowledge it both exists and does not exist at the same time.

And we are talking about something we can cut down to build houses, handcuff ourselves to so others cannot cut them down to build houses, climb, kick, or hug.

In reality the tree does not really exist.

But we can treat it as though it exists in the same way as Aristotle conceived of it.

Things do not get easier when we tackle concepts instead of objects we can touch, hear, taste, hold, smell, see, kiss, or rub on.

A thing can only be true or false if it is narrowly defined. If the parameters are sufficiently delineated. The problem is that once a term is so narrowly defined that it can be true or false it must be agreed upon by two or more people.

In Aristotelean logic most arguments happen because those involved did not agree on their terms, their definitions.

Thus if we agree that Aristotle was the wisest man in history there is little we have to argue about.

There is little point in any discussion between us.

If we agree that Socrates was the wisest man in history then we also have little to disagree about.

There is little point in any discussion between us.

If you believe Aristotle was the wisest man in history and I believe Socrates was the wisest man in history then we disagree about everything.

There is little point in any discussion between us.

Aristotle wanted answers.

Aristotle constructed methods that would force agreements between people who disagreed. If you followed his rules only one truth could exist and the winner of the argument was the one who had demonstrated his was the true argument.

Socrates realized that what people believe to be true is seldom true and that what people believe they know to be real very seldom is. Socrates realized that what is considered knowledge is, like the tree discussed above, a fiction. It does not really exist.

Aristotle represents certainty.

Socrates represents chaos.

Aristotle, like any good preacher, gave the people what they wanted. A feeling of superiority over all lesser beings. These included animals, foreigners, women, and deaf people. He provided simple, easy to master, rules that reinforced this feeling.

Socrates, like any good scientist, sought to find the boundaries of what is known. You cannot explore any concept until you know where the limit of that concept is.

Here we have the basis of logic, both as a workable system of thought, and logic as a failure of reason.

If you believe Aristotle was God’s human gift to Reason, then I am an idiot and there is no point in your paying any attention to anything I have to say.

Your belief is your truth.

If you believe, as I do, that Aristotle did little or nothing to advance humanity and stifled human progress with lousy reasoning, then you must recognize Socrates as a martyr.

Our belief is our truth.

What matters is not that our truth is different.

What matters is that neither of us has the right to force the other to change our truth.

There is no truth.

There is only belief.

And our beliefs are maps.

The maps are not the territories.

Our maps, no matter how useful, are in some way wrong.

If we ask the right questions we may discover where our maps have gone awry.

The law of non-contradiction makes no sense.

 

 

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