I assume this is the Friday post you referred me to. I'll try to respond
"Norman K. McPhail" wrote:
> John J Kineman wrote:
> > I understand your point. "Complexity" means something mechanical and
> > complicated to most people.
> This was not my point. I feel complexity, as a notion, is confusing in
> two ways:
> First, the differences between the complex and the simple are often
> relative and of necessity lack specificity except with respect to the
> context within which they are used.
> Second, The word carries a lot of baggage not the least of which is all
> the recent musing surrounding what many call "complexity theory." Do
> you really want to bring all this stuff into your thesis?
These are good points Norm, and I don't disagree. For these reasons I
accept Rosen's definition of complexity because it is clear and
rigorous. The others seem to be just part of a muddle. But my approach
is to clarify the concept rather than replace it, because I don't know
what to replace it with. Most concepts start out rather fuzzy in the
beginning and over time get sorted out, or at least sort out into
definitive camps. Evolution was certainly a fuzzy concept and still is
in some respects, but it is hardly dispensible.
> > What I mean (and Rosen, I believe) is
> > "ontological complexity" or complexity in the definitions of reality.
> To my way of thinking, modifying the context of "ontology" by saying
> that it can range through a vague spectrum from simple to complex is
> even more confusing.
Not sure what theory you are referring to here. My view is that all
ontologies are naturally complex.
Keep in mind that ontology just means the
> metaphysical nature of existence or being as opposed to physical
> existence or being.
I mean ontology in terms of "origin" or "cause" which is the scientific
>Can you tell me what is complex about metaphysical
The relationship between being and realization.
> And what degree of certainty can you offer?
In my mind, nearly 100%. I write papers to test this certainty and
> I maintain that non
> physical phenomena may very well be simple, but just more difficult for
> us to understand.
We would have to agree on the definition of "simple" first.
> > There's no magic in the word itself, but we don't really have another
> > one, and communication is quite often a matter of agreeing on the
> > meaning, or various meanings, of words, rather than introducing new
> > ones.
> Sometimes inventing a new word is a lot better. This may be a good case
> in point. Any suggestions?
My suggestion is to add the appropriate modifier to clarify one's
meaning. I say "ontological complexity" or "Rosen-complexity," or
"fundamental complexity." you're the one arguing for a different word,
so what do you suggest?
> > > Why must the realm "...where creative thought exists." go beyond the
> > > "...source of computability and observation...?" This seems to infer
> > > that creative thought can't exist in the classical scientific
> > > endeavors. Am I missing something here?
> > >
> > I meant: go TO the "source of computability and observation," which is
> > BEYOND the classical computable structures (syntax).
> > I'm talking about the source of creative thought here.
> What is "...the source of creative thought...?"
I think it is life itself at a fundamental level, which involves more
than the world of pure measurement.
> > I do not believe
> > that creative thought can come from a classical structure. Naturally we
> > can use creative thought, which we have by whatever means, to think
> > about anything, including classical ideas. I'm addressing "how do we
> > think" not "what do we think."
> I'm just asking you to be much more specific about "how we think?"
That's going to take much more work. We're really discussing the
beginnings of that work - on what foundation the theories should be
> say that we have a strong bias to think in a problem and solution
> framework. I claim that this is mostly an "or" logic framework. In
> addition, our visual processing and language are fundamentally "or"
> logic based. This is what you like to call the classical perception and
> what Don referred to as a syntax based objective perspective.
> But I also think we can very easily think in an "and" logic frame of
> reference. From what I gather from some of your recent posts here, you
> agree citing things like free will, art, emotional experience etc.
Yes, again. The dichotomy is also related to analysis vs. synthesis;
deduction vs. induction or inspiration
> > > > There is
> > > > nothing in classical mechanics that can add up to abstraction. If it
> > > > did, it would violate causality rules and would no longer be classical.
> > >
> > > Are you saying that we will never understand the roots of abstraction if
> > > we insist on finding classical causes?
Yes, absolutely, except by abstracting beyond the sum of those causes.
Does this mean that there are no
> > > classical causes to what we may think of as an abstraction?
No. Classical causes can be involved along with abstraction. In fact
they are necessary to register and retrieve a thought, I think.
> > > the notion of abstraction relate to what I usually call non physical
> > > phenomena?
> > As you know, I do not disparage classical models as being useless. I am
> > rather skeptical that we can every have anything else that is formal. My
> > "abstract" equates to your "non-physical" I think. My "classical"
> > equates to your "physical." Then "classical" commutes with "computable."
> > That is most often the same domain as "formal." I'm open to
> > demonstrations of a non-computable formalism, which is what I think
> > Mikuleckey and Rosen preach in category theory, and I've attempted to
> > get out of the box too using a complex number model for the generation
> > of space-time itself; but when we write something down it is one thing,
> > not simultaneously multiple things, so the model itself becomes again a
> > simple representation of something. Perhpas Don can comment on this
> > better, but it seems that all models that can be formally expressed, are
> > in some way simple.
> Don, where are you when we need you?
================================= Have to go. I'll comment on the rest
later - JJK
> > So then to get at ontological complexity, one has to
> > implicate a larger domain from the set of all simple models.
> Why not say that in order to integrate the non physical realms with what
> you call the classical domain, all we need to do is start trying to do
> > That is
> > what I think we are seeing in quantum uncertainty, and in the source of
> > relativity. But again, caution. these are just my impressions from
> > attempting to think about all that I've read. I don't claim it to be an
> > established view that everyone should obviously recognize.
> > >
> > > > Simulations are possible, but not the real thing.
> > >
> > > Not the real abstraction? Does this mean that we can never even
> > > approximate the realm of non physical abstraction except in some limited
> > > simulation? Why is this so?
> > >
> > No, we can approximate anything we can imagine. I'm just saying it won't
> > be identical to the real thing. Its still a model with modeling
> > limitations. It will still be limited in what it can simulate or
> > predict.
> But you seem to agree that we can create models of both physical and non
> physical phenomena. And, of course, we can work to integrate them into
> a careful meta model that will hopefully improve our understanding of
> both the physical and non physical realms. I think we agree that any
> division between these realms is an artificial construct that in and of
> itself makes it more difficult to improve our understanding of our
> selves, each other and the universe we are a part of.
> > > > But this has to be
> > > > inferred from the evidence, there can be no direct evidence for the
> > > > domain of evidence itself.
> > >
> > > I guess I just do not understand what you mean by evidence let alone the
> > > "...domain of evidence."
> > By "evidence" I mean scientific data which are comprised of
> > measurements. Since measurements require space-time dimensions, that is
> > the "domain of measurement" - our space-time continuum. I'm saying that
> > as long as we remain within a particular space-time set of dimensions,
> > we will see classical behaviors. The non-classical behaviors come from
> > our ability to jump between different space-times, different "worlds" if
> > you will.
> I think you're also saying that we need to use different thought modes
> as we attempt to jump from the physical to the non physical realm.
> > Space and time are entirely relative and their defininition is
> > arbitrary. Classical concepts are based on space-time definition. So
> > something non-classical has to be operating at the level of space-time
> > definition. That's all I'm saying.
> I disagree. I say we have several thought modes we can use to
> understand what you call non classical and I call non physical realms.
> > >
> > > > There is much evidence from multiple
> > > > classical domains in quantum mech., psychology, and even cosmology.
> > >
> > > Now you say there is evidence. Is this outside the domain of evidence?
> > >
> > Good point. It was perhaps sloppy wording on my part. Let me explain
> > what I mean. Evidence exists within a classical domain. But if we
> > realize there are multiple classical domains, then the evidence in each
> > can be quite discontinuous, as in quantum phenomena.
> I'm not at all sure about the notion of multiple parallel worlds or
> universes. I think it is an attempt to explain or describe the
> dimensionless domains of the non physical in a physical or what you call
> classical frame of reference. To me this is silly and perhaps a little
> like the complex models that were used to explain the motion of the
> planets around the earth prior to the realization that the sun was at
> the center of the solar system.
> > You measure a
> > positive spin, then a negative spin and these appear to be randomly
> > distributed results violating classical causality. Whereas, what I think
> > is a better way to see it is as the independence of the system from our
> > space-time coordinate reference. If the whole measuring system is not
> > aligned with ours, except when we interact (through observation) than it
> > isn't the object that is changing, collapsing the quantum wave function,
> > so much as it is the measuring system. In fact there is no "object" to
> > collapse. It is created by the agreement on measuring systems. So the
> > evidence from multiple domains, taken as a whole, indicates uncertainty
> > in the traditional view. Go one step farther and it indicates a
> > continuum of classical domains from which we select in the act of
> > perception. In a way, I'm arguing a "many worlds" theory, but it is not
> > the many worlds of Everett.
> Posit a non measuring system or thought mode and you can easily
> eliminate the need for "many worlds." It's so simple. Perhaps too
> > > > We
> > > > know there isn't just one classical frame of reference that can be
> > > > applied to everything. Relativity and quantum both demonstrate that.
> > >
> > > Now I think I can understand what these sentences say. There are
> > > multiple frames of reference. Presumably, these multiple frames would
> > > infer multiple views. Relativity and QM give us a window on two of
> > > these frames of reference.
> > Yes, except for your last sentence. EAch gives us a view into an
> > infinite number of frames of reference. QM I think comes about at the
> > limits of relativity, so they are basically revealing the same thing -
> > an ontological complexity.
> Would you be willing to substitute an integrated model and understanding
> of the physical and non physical relationship for "ontological
> > >
> > > > >From there you have to ask where the multiple domains come from, and
> > > > that is the inferred "reality" domain.
> > >
> > > I don't understand why you posit a "reality" domain as the source of the
> > > apparent multiple domains. Does this mean that there "must" be a single
> > > source for these multiple realms?
> > Yes. It is an artifact of generating knowledge (which is about
> > differences) that it necessarily implies an opposite where there is no
> > knowledge, just existence (no difference).
> When you say that knowledge is about differences, are you implying that
> all differences must be physical? If there can be non physical
> differences, then perhaps we can learn to understand them. Note that I
> like to use "understanding" rather than "know" because "know" implies at
> least some degree of certainty and I am of the opinion that we can't
> "know" anything for certain.
> > "Knowing" anything involves
> > creating this dichotomy, so as a consequence, we always will see a
> > singularity in knowledge, which is an undifferentiated whole that cannot
> > be described. ("knowing" through direct experience is another matter -
> > I'm speaking here of "knowing" in the intellectual sense).
> To me, understanding all this confusion means "knowing not knowing."
> > >
> > > > In that sense quantum and
> > > > relativity have a common root in space-time definition itself. That is a
> > > > very logical place to look for a root for perception and thus
> > > > consciousness.
> > >
> > > I don't have a clue why you think we ought to look for the root of
> > > perception and consciousness in the space/time definition. Are you
> > > saying that because we generally think in space/time coordinates that
> > > this is the basis of the way we perceive the world around us? And why
> > > does this have anything to do with the notion of consciousness?
> > The concept called "space-time" defines a causal domain in which we can
> > order and record information and define objects that behave causally, as
> > defined in space-time. Anything that appears a-causal (not classically
> > predictable or calculable) in this domain, necessarily is an exception
> > to it. Thought is not classically predictable, neither are quantum
> > states. But rather than persisting in thinking of "reality" as classical
> > and thought or QM as an exception, I think of the thought-realization
> > relationship as the reality.
> Are you saying that a-causal thought/consciousness is reality and that
> predictable, mechanical, calculable, measurable, observable macro
> physical objects and events are not? Or are you saying that the
> physical realm is just a part of this consciousness reality? Either
> way, I interpret this to be a common confusion of logical types.
> I keep trying to get you to change some of the terms you use because I
> think you're on to something. To put it another way, for me, as long as
> you insist on clinging to the notion that consciousness is an integral
> part of some complex ontological wholeness, you will continue to trap
> your self in a tangle of meaningless popular jargon. What's more, I
> think you just end up sounding like a typical self appointed new age pop
> scientist guru. It trivializes your ideas and may cause others to
> dismiss them out of hand.
> >It is just more meaningful to define
> > "reality" to include the largest set of phenomena known, and so
> > classical space-time itself then becomes a result of other realities.
> If you are suggesting here that this larger set includes both physical
> and non physical phenomena, then I agree that locational space/times
> becomes a part as opposed to the whole.
> > >
> > > > That root must extend beyond the domain of object/state
> > > > definition and thus computability.
> > >
> > > As you know, I like to call this epistemology "or" logic.
> > >
> > I see it as separation ("or") vs. wholeness ("and").
> Not quite. Keep in mind that, in my view, both "or" logic and "and"
> logic are simply different kinds of thought modes. They are each
> different ways of human understanding that have evolved over millions of
> years of time as our ancestors were forced to deal with multiple
> habitats and ecosystems. Viewed as a whole, I think they are generally
> in sync with some of the different ways that the physical and non
> physical realms behave. Thus, differences play a part in both realms
> and of course in the thought modes and models we use when trying to gain
> a better understanding of, for lack of a better phrase, the way things
> > > > Goedel's incompleteness indicates a
> > > > larger domain.
> > >
> > > Agreed.
> > >
> > OK, that's the domain of consciousness I'm talking about.
> What does this larger domain have to do with consciousness?
> > > > Personal human experience also indicates
> > > > a larger domain than what has repeatable measurements.
> > >
> > > Of course!
> > >
> > > > Space-time
> > > > relativity indicates that the measurements are relative
> > > > depending on the degree of overall system isolation along a continuum.
> > > > Quantum
> > > > phenomena indicate space-time freedom when systems achieve
> > > > isolation outside of that continuum, i.e., the superposition of multiple
> > > > space-time
> > > > coordinates, hence giving statistical probabilities for measures rather
> > > > than repeatable measures.
> > >
> > > I may be wrong, but it seems to me that you're still operating within
> > > the "or" logic frame of reference here. In the non physical realms,
> > > there are no coordinates per se.
> > >
> > Agreed. And in that realm we can't therefore describe anything.
> Just because there are no coordinates, doesn't mean there are no
> differences. So I do not agree that we can't describe anything in the
> non physical realms.
> > Since
> > our goal is description (or else why talk?) we are then moving back and
> > forth between the non-physical and the physical.
> Again we disagree. In some ways it is much more difficult to describe
> the non physical realms, however, we can and do describe these phenomena
> all the time. I offer the field of mathematics as a prime example.
> There are many other examples from the way we regularly exchange
> information on our non physical experiences and feelings. Isn't the
> interpersonal exchange and interpretation of information the most common
> thing we humans are concerned with?
> > It is life and
> > consciousness that has the ability to do that. There is no point in
> > attempting to describe a non-physical domain without including the
> > physical.
> If you're saying that we can't have one without the other, then we
> agree. All I would add is that I would like the first sentence better
> if you replaced consciousness with thought and awareness.
> > Just as conscious creative thought, and quantum phenomena, are
> > involve an exception to classical "physical" causality (predictability
> > and computability), description, on the other hand, is an exception to
> > your "non-physical" realm.
> Here is where we part company. I think description is perfectly
> compatible with the non physical realm. I will grant you, though, that
> the fact that our language system is largely an "or" logic based system
> makes using it to describe the non physical realm more difficult. But
> as we've both noted, there are many other ways we humans use to
> communicate with each other. And they should not be forgotten when it
> comes to these descriptions of non physical phenomena you're referring
> > I see these two realms as the realms Rosen
> > diagramed in his modeling relation, except with that diagram now
> > refering to nature rather than science.
> Perhaps we can get some help from Don here. But I don't think that the
> modeling relation has much to do with whether we're modeling the
> physical or the non physical realms or any combination thereof.
> > > > I interpret that as multiple realizable space-time coordinates
> > > > "superposed" - i.e., different space-time
> > > > coordinate systems that are not calibrated to each other and thus exist
> > > > independently as "possibilities" for realization. We find realization or
> > > > registration of events
> > > > when we select a coordinate system (there being no actual "collapse"
> > > > phenomena that changes
> > > > the natural system).
> > >
> > > Now I'm certain that you're still operating within our "or" logic frame
> > > of reference. You've just added several possible "real" coordinate
> > > systems, but you haven't gone beyond the need for these coordinates. Am
> > > I wrong?
> > I think you are mistaken, probably because I talk so much about the
> > realized part of the relationship. The un-realized potential, which is
> > in your non-physical domain, cannot contain any distinctions at all, as
> > you say, and therefore no descriptions, concepts, or "things" as such.
> Again, I must point out that the non physical realm contains all sorts
> of non physical differences and distinctions. And, as I've said, we are
> perfectly capable of modeling them in a number of different ways.
> > So what is it? We can only describe it in terms of what it realizes in
> > the physical domains.
> Sorry to have to disagree again.
> > We can't describe it directly, which is why most
> > scientists choose to ignore it.
> I don't think this is why most scientists choose to ignore the non
> physical realms. They do it because they can't verify the validity of
> their conjectures, hypotheses and theories without ultimately referring
> back to physical phenomena. That, by definition, is empirical science
> in contrast to metaphysics, religion, politics, love, the law or any
> other realm that is rooted mostly in non physical realms.
> > But it is part of the relationship with
> > realized systems, as Rosen describes.
> You and I have a different idea about the meaning of Rosen's insights
> into the larger realities of what Rosen called "complex systems."
> > >
> > > > Once coordinates are established (our frame of
> > > > measurement) the measures then appear
> > > > classical. Keep the same continuum, the established measuring system,
> > > > and you keep the classical
> > > > behavior. Complexity in a deep sense, then, is complexity of entire
> > > > space-time (causality) coordinates.
> > >
> > > Complexity adds nothing to this discussion. It only seems complex
> > > because you are still trapped in our typical human "or" logic blind
> > > spot.
> > I understand that you don't like the word. But words are only there to
> > indicate meanings. My meaning does go beyond the classical concept of
> > complexity, as I've explained.
> > >
> > > > The complexity mentioned in your
> > > > message is classical and achieved from complication (high number of
> > > > relations within a pre-defined classical domain), not complexity
> > > > (relations between classical domains, or
> > > > with the origin of classical domains).
> > >
> > > Agreed.
> > Well, then it does add something to the discussion.
> > >
> Complexity is of some use when dealing with arguments that come from
> individuals who are staunch "nothing but" physicalists. Beyond that, I
> think it causes more confusion and heat than light.
> > > > So I would call this ontological
> > > > complexity to make it clear that
> > > > we are talking about something fundamentally different than the garden
> > > > variety of just mixing things up
> > > > until they look confused.
> > >
> > > Now we seem to agree.
> > We did before, but you just want it in your terms, as we all do.
> Please don't dismiss my way of saying things as merely an ego trip or
> quest for personal recognition. It is an ad homonim argument that is
> beneath you.
> > But still I object to the notion of complexity
> > > here. I don't think it adds anything to our understanding of our own
> > > blind spot and what it does to our understanding of our selves, each
> > > other and the world around us.
> > I agree that even my concept of "complexity" (which I think is the same
> > as Rosen's) is a classical concept of the "blind spot" you refer to.
> My use of the metaphor of our "blind spot" is mainly qualitative and is
> about as far away from the concept of complexity as it can get.
> > But
> > so is the term "blind spot." In fact, all concepts must be expressed in
> > classical terms, even relationships.
> Again, this is simply not correct in my view. We are not limited to
> expressing ourselves in "classical" terms. See above.
> > You can't throw away the realized
> > dimensions that allow representation of thought. They are necessary to
> > know we are thinking and to discuss what we are thinking.
> The mistake here is the assumption that we need to "know" we are
> thinking. What does this "need to know" have to do with discussing what
> we are thinking? I would claim that we don't need to "know" anything.
> In fact, I would go so far as to say that we are much better off if we
> realize that there is nothing we can "know" for certain.
> >Every model
> > exists in a realized domain and thus is incomplete in this regard.
> Here you're describing the non physical realm of thought. I had a
> feeling that you could do this. So can everyone else.
> > >
> > > > Classical systems exist in a single
> > > > measurement system, hence cannot
> > > > take advantage of the true complexity of multiple reference frames.
> > >
> > > I like the notion of multiple frames of reference. But I don't think
> > > that the notion of a single measurement system has much to do with
> > > dealing with multiple interrelated physical and non physical realms.
> > > Again, "...true complexity..." takes us down another blind alley.
> > >
> > I don't think "blind spot" is any better, though I like it. Ontological
> > complexity is a more precise concept (with an associated model) that
> > tries to explain the source of the blind spot.
> To my way of thinking, "ontological complexity" is about as far away
> from explaining our "blind spot" as anything I can imagine.
> > Can we say nothing about
> > what's in the blind spot?
> Yes. We can say that the worst thing about our blind spot is that it
> keeps us from understanding that we have a blind spot. It's like the
> blind spot we all have where the optical nerve enters our eye ball
> through the retina. We all know it's there, but under ordinary every
> day circumstances we are totally oblivious to it.
> Staying with the blind spot metaphor, what isn't in it is an awareness
> of the realm of non visual, non physical differences. Keep in mind that
> our visual systems process data in a locational context that maps the
> locational surroundings we must navigate through. Translation, we see
> things in an "or" logic frame of reference. Thus we miss many of the
> non locational "and" logic components of the world we live in. But we
> do have ways to overcome these limitations of space and time. In fact,
> one of our strongest assets turns out to be non physical ways of
> thinking and imagining. Thus we can easily imagine our way
> past the space/time constraints of the macro physical objects and events
> that surround us.
> I maintain that without these non physical "and" logic thought modes,
> our forebears would never have been able to overcome the time
> constraints inherent in the slow genetic processes of Darwinian
> evolution. These constraints involved using thought to quickly adapt
> to their fast changing surroundings. In other words, they used non
> locational thought modes to break through what I call the "genetic speed
> of change barrier."
> > > > It
> > > > is that aspect that I think is intimately involved in perception and
> > > > consciousness.
> > >
> > > If you drop the notion of consciousness, I think you will improve the
> > > prospects for learning more about the relationships between multiple
> > > frames of reference and multiple views. You may recall that in my view,
> > > "consciousness" is simply a confusion of logical types. I also think
> > > that the scientific quest to discover the essence of consciousness is a
> > > throwback from the hippy think of the '60s. Don't get me started.
> > >
> > Well, conversation is only useful if you talk about what people are
> > interested in. A lot of people are interested in consciousness and how
> > to explain it. I now see it as a fundamental reality, so it doesn't need
> > much explanation, but that is not the common view. I want to be able to
> > describe what it looks like through different filters, and understand
> > what the filters do.
> I think as long as you continue to insist on making consciousness the
> centerpiece of your construct, you're committing yourself to the dungeon
> of pop science misinformation. I would go so far as to say that most
> serious thinkers will dismiss your arguments after the first few
> sentences. I don't want to see your ideas relegated to the fringe of
> the consciousness kooks and the complexity geeks.
> > > > But the evidence is not analytical, it is synthetic. You
> > > > have to put all the pieces of science together to see it. Then the
> > > > evidence is overwhelming.
> > >
> > > I agree, and I think we can achieve similar glimpses of this whole that
> > > we humans have so much trouble comprehending in many other ways.
> > >
> > Sure. I think I glimpse it in art in mere "being" with nature, in
> > meditation, and in other pure experiences. Of course. And scientists
> > tend to forget about those endeavors as if the goal of scientific
> > description is everything, or will somehow consume those other
> > experiences.
> Now you're back in the zone of understanding that we share and can agree
Posting to email@example.com from "John J Kineman" <John.J.Kineman@noaa.gov>
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Nov 22 2000 - 21:14:14 GMT