Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

oli (
10 Sep 1996 13:49:09 +0100

Silveroak ( wrote:
: Paul Gorman ( wrote:
: Ah, but how then o we gather prof on my mental state? Also, all my
: observations which were dramatic (as compared to possible extreem coincidence
: in my lab studies) were effects on me personally- which actually leaves two
: modeles with one heavilly prefered by secondary inconclusive evidence.

I'd be willing to assume you were being honest about your mental state.
You are willing to admit (I'm having trouble parsing what you wrote) that
your evidence is at best inconclusive... but why then make the claim?

: Now, assume that we hook up a lie detector to me, and then measured
: acceleration due to gravity of nearby objects, and myself. We might get a
: positive correlation, but the ability to induce repeatability to an extreem
: mental state (and an unussual one at that- it wasn't fear so much as focused
: apprehension) would undermine both the efficiency of the expiriment, and make
: it essentially unreapeatable, since it is reflective of an indiviual rather
: than a general principle.

I don't understand. Are you denying that you exist in the universe? If
not why should your experience be /of neccessity/ unrepeatable? It
would seem reasonable to assume that /any/ stress placed on you would
cause an effect. We could do a refined variation of the experiment
you suggest but it seems to me that your only purpose in writing the
above is to build yourself an out.

Let me be more clear. You seem to be denying that these things can be
proven more or less likely to be true /in principle/. Which means you
are basically engaging in argument by assertion.

: As to my acceleration on the fall from a bike, I measured it due
: to the fact that I *didn't* fall, but rather moved in the *opposite* direction.
: I would say that that is a rather radical alteration in the effects of
: gravity.

I take it you came back to earth? I've flown off bikes too. Gravity
does catch up though. Are you asserting that this was not the case
when you fell?

: What proof would you find acceptable? Remember, this is not something
: I have claimed concious control of, it is an unussual phenominon. As such, it
: may not fit within your model of repeatability- your model assumes that
: everything is the result of a set of constant laws, and anything which falls
: outside those "laws" in the real sense- i.e. an event occurs which simply does
: not conform to an "objective" nature's rules of physics vs. not being within
: your understood measurements of those laws, all you can do is claim that the
: event did not occur, while it is perfectly obvious to those who witnessed the
: event that it did!

No. Again you are misunderstanding a basic scientific principle to wit:
when your model and reality disagree, reality wins. If I were to /observe/
something which was inexplicable without the invocation of some supernatural
entity or process I would have to change my views. But I have never
observed such an event.

So you are incorrect in ascribing this quality of blindness to me.

As to what proof I would consider acceptible: you are advancing a
synthetic proposition (that your mental state influences the force
of gravity). You have given some details of this (that it is not
under the control of your concious mind). You seem to be stating that
it is in principle impossible to establish the truth of this proposition.

I state that any proposition which is not at least /in principle/
subject to some form of verification is meaningless (since we can never
establish whether it is even likely to be true).

: Which is pretty much what you did in the above, isn't it?

Not really. I seem to be repeatedly going over the same ground.
You appear to be basing your argument on a number of misconceptions of
science (that it seeks ultimate truths, that models are more important
than observed results, that unverifiable hypotheses should have the
same scientific standing as verifiable ones) and on an inability to
distinguish between an empirical and a metaphysical hypothesis.

: Meaningless to a point. However, it is also one of the assumptions
: in any test performed that said entities do not exist- because, as you have
: said, an assumption to the contrary would be "meaningless"

Please read what I wrote. 'Meaningless' refers to the fact that we cannot
/in any way/ establish whether such entities exist or not. We have no
way of telling. And if we cannot tell, what difference does it make.
I am not denying that some sort of metaphysical entity /could/ exist
just stating that the existence of such entities in no way changes the
truth value of the statement: science proceeds from the assumption that
what we observe is real. This is the point you are trying to refute.

: But in fact it is not meaningless, and metaphysical hypothesis are
: just as important as the physical ones. It might be nice to think that any
: entity that you can define out of existance is not one to be troubled by,
: but this is as dangerous as ignoring oncoming traffic to determine where
: the road is laid- or perhaps ignoring the construction workers building
: the road- it is easier, since the road does not move, and it's presence
: is continual. One doesn't think they saw a road and then look up and it
: is gone, as one might with a moving car or person, but the cars and people
: are just as important as the road.
: In this case, the road are these laws of nature that your precious
: science obsesses in, while the traffic and workers are all the other
: sentient entities you so casually dismiss as meaningless.

False analogy. If the workers and traffic are observable then your
argument above collapses since you are discussing metaphysical entities
(which are in principle unobservable). If on the other hand you are
saying that these entities are observable -- well then the proposition
yields testable hypotheses and we can establish whether it is likely to
be true or not.

: : then ask a mountaineer.

: And if they are honest, they will describe in poetic words the beauty
: of the vision from the mountaintop, or the sense of accomplishment when
: they have succeeded against the task they set before themselves.

I was thinking more along the lines of 'because it's there'. Oh well :P

: Or if they are too worried that a scientific type might question these
: values, then they will answer "because it is there" which is an answer
: which cannot be ebated in terms of value because it is intended entirely as
: a way to not answer the question.

Questions of value. Interesting. I would assert that all such statements
are relative to the individual observer and are in fact simply statements
of opinion. Thus, the proposition 'The view from this mountaintop is
beautiful' is simply a reformulation of the proposition '/I find/ the view
from this mountaintop to be beautiful'.

You seem incapable of distinguishing between statement of value and
statements of quantity. It's really not that difficult.

: : I'm familiar with the two slit experiment and it's implications. I'm not
: : so sure about your description of it however. If the computer records the
: : data and then erases it before it is observed the how do you know it was
: : recorded? I'm also curious as to the thought process which regards a
: : verification of one of the cornerstones of modern science as a vindication
: : of their thesis (which seems to be: Science doesn't work).

: Because my "thesis" is that science *appears* to work because it
: is believed in- that human observation can make the determination between
: how reallity will shape itself in regards to an event demonstrates that
: expectation plays a role in that development, regardless of the presumed
: "objectivity" of the observers, and that additionally there *is* a need
: to consider the events of sentient beings upon an expiriment.

I'm aware of what your thesis is. Now I want something more substantial
than argument by assertion. I have also pointed out /repeatedly/ that
from a scientific viewpoint, whether the universe is objective or
subjective is entirely irrelevant if you cannot tell the difference.

: Perhaps it is a difference in how we observe?

Does that yield testable hypotheses? If not then any non-sequiter has the
same value as what you just wrote.

: In theory, on a macro scale coul not a principle remarkably similar
: to the quantum effect occur, but since each event is observed by a multitude
: of people, it would then be the prevailing belief which would prevail?

Actually, yes. If all the molecules in a cup of tea decided to go up
all at once, then your tea would jump out of the cup. Statistically
unlikely though.

Why assume this when there are so many other theories that account for
the observations /and/ can be empirically tested? You've chosen a
mythology and you are welcome to it. But don't pretend it is in some
way equivalent to a tested empirical hypothesis. It is equivalent
to other myths (the existence of gods/godesses, theories of beauty).

: After all, do not most people believe in gravity?

Were they not sticking to the earth before Newton?

: Now the scientist, sitting alone in their labratory, makes supposedly
: "objective" observations. Perhaps there is a small team- the point is
: irrelevant. They observe, while in a different state of mind from the general
: populace, events which cause them to model a new variation upon the old ways
: of assuming that reality worked. As their views become accepted, more people
: begin assume the new model works, and reality starts to behave in this fashion.
: Practically, this model offers very little benefit to science, since
: it kicks away the primary support of science: the objectivity of both science
: and nature.

You persist in this argument that science /requires/ objectivity. But the
fact is that science only really requires observation. If there is no
practical way of telling the difference between two alternate models
(and in the case of QM which you seem to be basing this section
on there are at least /5/ consistent interpretations) then there is
effectively no difference.

How do you /know/ other people exist? Answer: you don't. You assume
they do based on their acting as people are meant to act.

: Or as one person put it "if a tree falls in a forest, and nobody
: observes it, is there really a forest?"

Probably. Esse est percepti is a very extreme interpretation of reality.
I'm disturbed by the fact that you seem to regard one interpretation of
QM as the be all and end all of reality. You don't feel this is inconsistent
with your position?