Re: virus: anon's post

Alex Williams (
Sun, 5 Jan 1997 17:17:41 -0500 (EST)

> > Anon: Would you quote (and list) your sources please?

Better yet and rather than quote references to books you may not have
and wouldn't have access to, I hit the Net and did some digging. Read
It doesn't go into detail on the double-split experiment and the
revelations, but it does mention it in the process of a much deeper
analysis of the MWI and quantum mechanics. It also goes into far more
detail than anything I have time to type up regarding a field not my

[I heartily suggest everyone that's been following this discussion on
the ML read that text. It explains things like what constitutes a
`world' and when do worlds split better than I.]

> > of discourse that way. I wonder why the word "metaphysics" has become such
> > a hot button. The Copenhagen interpretation (Neils Bohr's) is a mysterious
> > one, and is favored today over Einstein's. Williams uses the word
> > "counter-intuitive" to describe such interpretations of quantum mechanics.
> > Yet intuition is arguably how these interpretations arose.
> >
> > Without some "sense of metaphysics" (please pardon the phrase if it excites
> > you) I don't know where physics would be today.

It would probably be much the same place as it is today, just more

The reason that metaphysics raise the ire of the disputants in these
sorts of discussions is because metaphysics are essentially
non-scientific and non-rational. There is no experiment that you can
conjure that tests the existance of God. Likewise, reverting to
vitalism by accepting the Copenhagen interpretation has no basis in
science because it assumes difference between observer and
non-observer that has no grounding in anything but wishful thinking.

> > Anon replies: Correct, "multidisciplinarians" are single people.
> > "Multidisciplinary groups" are groups of people. And the more cooperative
> > we are, the less error-prone and more competent we become. We agree. So
> > why the argumentative tone?

Because you're interpreting the entrails of geese and calling it
science, essentially. A memetic (memetics, you know, the subject of
this ML) argument can be made that a certain degree of contention is
/necessary/ for the development of fully coherent theory.

> > Why couldn't we call the Many World's Hypothesis "metaphysical" if we were
> > so inclined? I think we owe this philosophy to Giordano Bruno, a 16th
> > century poet, and yet it is used by respectable theoretical physicists today.

The MWI is really composed of two parts; one which is purely an
artifact of the mathematics and rules which leads to testable
possibilities and the second which is metaphysical dithering over
`what it means.' The latter is not science nor should it be confused
with science.

> > The point I was making about the ancestors of Aristotle had nothing to do
> > with whether they had BMWs or horse-driven chariots. Intuition, imagination
> > and storytelling have always played a role in human development and
> > discovery. It is part of human nature. Thus, perhaps it is genetic.

A genetic predisposition toward structuring internal models in terms
of our language would have to be an extremely recent development in
evolutionary terms and is something I don't believe is genetically
based. I strongly suspect that such culturally-based developmental
structure is a direct result of our minds' facility for abstraction
and the ability to host a rapidly changing memesphere. Such an
explanation addresses why it can change so quickly from cultural-base
to -base and situation to situation better than the analysis that its
based in genetic propensity.

> > My assertion is that an approach of 100'% Logica can also be contrived, that
> > we have been playing some kind of Freudian game of denial to pretend
> > otherwise rather than taking a more holistic (but still highly rational,
> > intellectual and objective) view. Paradoxically, when we stigmatize,
> > isolate or marginalize the "intuitive" aspects of the natural world, we tend
> > to encourage pseudo-scientific crazes such as UFO-hunts and X-Files
> > nonsense. The scientific world is interesting enough. And yet we don't
> > allow people a natural outlet by following Francis Bacon's legacy so
> > strictly. We have to concede that the 100% Logica approach delivers a
> > description of the world that is at best incomplete.

That the majority of the unscientifically trained and foolish cling to
foolish things when presented with facts which suggest they are
responsible for their own situations and that things beyond their
control do not move to some `greater order' does not surprise me, but
I've been a misanthropist for decades now. I disagree that a more
holistic approach is somehow more `complete' than the process that has
given you a network with which to dispute with me, medicine that has
improved the quality of your life and a cheap means of transportation
that can move you hundreds of kilometers within hours of your whim.

A 100% Logica approach can completely describe the entirety of the
physical universe. When it comes to dealing with human emotion and
psychology, you're no longer dealing with the physical universe but
the memetic one, and you should use the tools appropriate to the
domain. The problem is that people, especially those pretending to
multidisciplinary studies or holistic approaches like to confuse the
two techniques in an effort to rectify the unrectifiable.