Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Page by page discussion of the comic.

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby 0beron » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:12 am

Mrtyuh wrote:Stuff I don't need to quote since he knows what we're talking about.

First, I think you're taking what is actually an analogy to explain the effect mass has on the "fabric" of space around it, and interpreting it as law. Physicists often use (and in some cases NEED to use) analogies to describe phenomenon that are not strictly physical in nature. More-over, the topic he's discussing is the relationship between TIME and space, not space/gravity by themselves.
And finally, yes I referenced a wikipedia article because that's the most easily accessible format...but it is all written from long established knowledge of gravitation as established by scientists including Newton, Einstein, and accepted/proven by modern physicists. While individuals such as Dr. Kaku might have their own way of describing it, I don't think ANY of them will deny that gravitation is an attractive force between any 2 objects.
Sorry for slamming your whole post based on this, I did go back and re-read and you made other good plot-point I like. But on this small aspect, you're just wrong (or at best, we're both right and they're different ways of saying the same thing), sorry.
"I'm afraid I don't understand. And also afraid that I do."
GJC wrote:Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
There's gotta be a good joke in here somewhere.
User avatar
0beron
YOTD + Pins Supporter!
YOTD + Pins Supporter!
 
Posts: 2945
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:52 pm
Location: Morlock Wells

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:18 am

0beron wrote:And finally, yes I referenced a wikipedia article because that's the most easily accessible format...but it is all written from long established knowledge of gravitation as established by scientists including Newton, Einstein, and accepted/proven by modern physicists. While individuals such as Dr. Kaku might have their own way of describing it, I don't think ANY of them will deny that gravitation is an attractive force between any 2 objects.


Here's the rub- Newtonian gravity works well enough most of the time to model what we see irl as gravity, and also the interpretation I know of it that's more modern (after Einstein) is not that far a departure from the concept actually. So I get (and agree with) what you're saying, gravity behaves like an attractive force. Also, I get where the "space pushes" thing comes from.

What I don't get, and this may be due to a gap in my knowledge, is why Kaku is keen on distancing gravity from pulling forces. Why would it be wrong to think about it in those terms. Maybe it's something about force unification and the models thereof, and the way they usually handle forces, and how those ways need to change to fit gravity in. I honestly don't know.

And, btw, I'm not finding out from Kaku, and it wouldn't be a justification, in my mind, to bash others who regard gravity as a force.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
User avatar
BLANDCorporatio
Tool + YOTD Supporter!
Tool + YOTD Supporter!
 
Posts: 3446
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 5:24 am

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby rlc » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:23 am

Dunbar wrote:
Bah, this sours all of Book 1 for me. No longer were those individuals making actual decisions that mattered. Everyone was just a puppet on a string, with only limited ability to make choices, as in the end the omnipotent hands of Fate were insuring the outcome. It taints all of Parson's cleverness...inspiration? Or Fate whispering in his ear?


We found this out late in Book 1. Wanda tells Parson she was fated to possess an arkentool. Parson asks "And you knew all of this would happen?" and Wanda responds, "Not this way."
rlc
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:00 pm

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby drachefly » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:35 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
drachefly wrote:{irt. who's Wanda's player} Annie, from Darths and Droids.


Do her parents know what she's up to on the interwebz?


Are you thinking of Sally (Jar-Jar, C3-P0, Yoda)? I'm talking about Annie (Anakin Skywalker, Princess Leia). Annie is definitely adult - may have been in college during Phantom Menace.

BlandCorporatio wrote:What I don't get, and this may be due to a gap in my knowledge, is why Kaku is keen on distancing gravity from pulling forces. Why would it be wrong to think about it in those terms.


Dark Energy seems a lot more comprehensible if you think of it as empty space pushing on stuff. Then the accelerating expansion of the universe suddenly makes sense.

I'm not sure that other elements fit when you look at it that way... like, why would the inflation era stop?
Last edited by drachefly on Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
drachefly
 
Posts: 1592
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:36 pm

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:45 am

drachefly wrote:Are you thinking of Sally (Jar-Jar, C3-P0, Yoda)? I'm talking about Annie (Anakin Skywalker, Princess Leia). Annie is definitely adult - may have been in college during Phantom Menace.


*face-slap* Ah, yes, that I was. Confusion.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
User avatar
BLANDCorporatio
Tool + YOTD Supporter!
Tool + YOTD Supporter!
 
Posts: 3446
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 5:24 am

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby barawn » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:58 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:What I don't get, and this may be due to a gap in my knowledge, is why Kaku is keen on distancing gravity from pulling forces. Why would it be wrong to think about it in those terms. Maybe it's something about force unification and the models thereof, and the way they usually handle forces, and how those ways need to change to fit gravity in. I honestly don't know.


Gravity's doofy. It's mainly related to dark energy - the fact that when you've got empty space, it pushes matter away from it. Which makes more empty space, so it pushes it more. And more. And more. So everything starts accelerating away from each other.

It mainly has to do with how you think about gravity. If you think of it as "what masses do to each other, through space and time" it's purely attractive. If you think of it as "what space-time can do to matter" then it can be attractive, repulsive, or whatever the heck else you want. Heck, gravity can cause faster-than-light travel in that case. It can probably make little bunny rabbits too, for all I know - there's not much call for research grants for the little bunny-rabbit generating metric. However, in order to get the "repulsive" part, you need 'weird matter' - basically, something with negative energy density. Normally you would say "this is stupid, that stuff doesn't exist." Except the observed acceleration of the universe means that it does exist.

Anyway, though, thinking about forces as "pulling" or "pushing" or whatever is a little overly simplistic. Really, there are only two forces you're familiar with on a normal day - gravity and the electromagnetic force. And in your common experience, the electromagnetic force pushes and pulls, and gravity pulls. But on a much smaller scale, forces do things much weirder than that, and the "uncommon" forces - like the weak and strong force - basically can't be described with a "push/pull" analogy at all.

Forces can either be ways that particles interact with each other, or they can be ways that space-time interact with particles. Same difference. Most likely Kaku's trying to stress the "space pushing" part because it makes dark energy a little easier to understand. Space always pushes, so no matter means space pushes harder, etc. But again, it's just an analogy. Doesn't really mean anything.
barawn
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:16 pm

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby Balerion » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:02 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:This might look oxymoronic to a non-compatibilist, and alas, from my compatibilist orbit, your position looks just as contradictory. What would you rather have? Non-determinism? Flipping a truly random coin when making choices? How is that conducive to responsibility or moral agency or any other things we associate with free will? Or maybe you want choices influenced by one's motivations, desires, attitudes and so on. Do you want those to exist in a vacuum, independent of the environment one is in? If they are dependent on that environment, don't we return to a disguised determinism? Maybe you want a mix, like some deliberation mechanism providing a list of choices, with probability assignments to each, and one is chosen randomly from them. But that's just the random coin substituting itself for the agent once more.


I would disagree on that being the only mechanism available. I personally like the non-determinism in one small part idea. All sorts of externals guide you to a branching point, but it is your will that chooses which branch to go down. I think that is where i have a difference of opinion; you are equating the non-determinism with randomness, where i see the non-determinism as the spot the person's will gets to kick in. I don't flip a coin, that is the point where I make an actual choice. And yeah, external factors may have guided which paths I have available at that point, but they can't force me down one.

With regards to the Fate thing, I don't see this as "Fate is forcing outcomes". Someone got a glimpse of a future event. That doesn't mean anyone has to lose will; it just means someone can wind the clock ahead and take a peek at how things turned out, then come back with an imperfect memory of how all that turned out. I think the "there are tons of paths to get there" claim from Delphie is a rationalization of sorts. "I know the final event, but not those in between. That means those events are less certain than the final event." It's faulty logic, from an adept class.
Balerion
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 1:12 am

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby barawn » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:05 pm

Mrtyuh wrote:While I am not a physicist, I think it is pretty safe to assume that Dr. Michio Kaku knows more about how gravity works than you, me or the guy that wrote that Wikipedia entry.


I am a physicist, and let me say pretty clearly - it is a very bad idea to elevate popular science physicists, like Michio Kaku, Stephen Hawking, or Niel deGrasse Tyson to "these guys are authorities and every weird analogy they give must be right."

Pop sci physicists are typically theorists (if they're active physicists) or just trying to drum up interest in physics, which means they focus on "weird" stuff, like the crazier theoretical physics (like string theory, etc.). You have to understand, there is very little actual data backing up the crazy stuff these guys say. In some cases there's no data. They're just trying to make the little data they have look pretty in a way that they like. Or just putting out some crazy idea they've got. Roger Penrose was famous for having really nutty ideas that he made popular with absolutely no evidence.

Every few years or so, an actual result comes out from experimentalists that basically throws half of the wacky theories down the drain. Then you never hear about them again. So, really, don't give too much credit to what the theorists say. In a nutshell, we don't know how the hell gravity works. Only that it does. Anyone who says they do is fooling themselves.
barawn
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:16 pm

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:11 pm

barawn wrote:If you think of it as "what space-time can do to matter" then it can be attractive, repulsive, or whatever the heck else you want. Heck, gravity can cause faster-than-light travel in that case. It can probably make little bunny rabbits too, for all I know - there's not much call for research grants for the little bunny-rabbit generating metric.


Indeed, there's no reason that the geometry will be such that things drift apart. In common experience, it doesn't appear to be, but rather is limited to the attractive case. So that's why I was at a loss as to why the need for stamping out the heresy of gravity as attractive force. Now, two posts on an internet forum later I can't say I get it either, but drachefly and you have brought some reasons/starting points to help shed the first rays of light on the topic for me.

barawn wrote:Roger Penrose was famous for having really nutty ideas that he made popular with absolutely no evidence.


Oi, no bashin' of me mate R. Pen! At least he writes proper books with genuine efforts to get stuff out without dumbing them down.

(Even though, yeah, he's probably crazy. But good-crazy.)

Balerion wrote:I personally like the non-determinism in one small part idea. All sorts of externals guide you to a branching point, but it is your will that chooses which branch to go down. I think that is where i have a difference of opinion; you are equating the non-determinism with randomness, where i see the non-determinism as the spot the person's will gets to kick in. I don't flip a coin, that is the point where I make an actual choice.


I just don't think I get it. You come to the branching point, you make your choice ... how? How is it functionally different from flipping the coin if "free" of outside influence?
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
User avatar
BLANDCorporatio
Tool + YOTD Supporter!
Tool + YOTD Supporter!
 
Posts: 3446
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 5:24 am

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby barawn » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:04 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Indeed, there's no reason that the geometry will be such that things drift apart. In common experience, it doesn't appear to be, but rather is limited to the attractive case. So that's why I was at a loss as to why the need for stamping out the heresy of gravity as attractive force. Now, two posts on an internet forum later I can't say I get it either, but drachefly and you have brought some reasons/starting points to help shed the first rays of light on the topic for me.


No, there is reason that the geometry will be such that things drift apart. That's one of the results that experimentalists have actually measured. We know that space is, within a fraction of a percent, flat. Exactly flat. Like, Euclidean flat. We also know there isn't anywhere near enough matter in the universe to make it flat. This is also measured very, very well. So the remaining energy is in space itself, and that generates the "space pushes" part. This is measured. There is some interaction that causes things to drift apart.

Now, the silly part is still calling that interaction "gravity" or saying "space pushes." It doesn't have to be 'the energy of empty space.' It could be some other pervasive energy. We don't know. Gravity's just too effing weak.

Oh, also, regarding Penrose: He's taught a class I've taken. He walks through the halls of a dorm full of college students in his underwear to pick up the paper (this I know, from personal experience - the University guest apartments were inside my dorm). A lot of his ideas are a special kind of nuts, with absolutely no experimental evidence behind them. But this is part of my point. Don't believe that just because a scientist can communicate well with the public, or make an analogy that you understand, that what they say is sane.
barawn
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:16 pm

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby badninja » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:11 pm

I still do not understand why Wanda will not throw her self off the tower? it is not about the clothing but what? Wanda is fated to do something but could Wanda be a possible player? She and Parson seem to have an interest of several people all who say that they are important. Could this mean that some players are more important then other players? Wanda needs to find out why she is to be so important fast if she wants to doge any more pain and suffering.
I came, I saw, I had fun!
badninja
YOTD + Erfabet + Pins Supporter!
YOTD + Erfabet + Pins Supporter!
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:46 am
Location: Tatooine

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby 0beron » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:28 pm

badninja wrote:I still do not understand why Wanda will not throw her self off the tower?

I believe it's because she hasn't bought into Fate yet. She may fume and huff about the apparent Free Will/Luck/Fate contradiction, and she may hate the fact that Delphie is right when she says "But you won't"...
But by very nature of the fact that she's fighting the idea of Fate means that deep down she believes she could still croak if she jumped. So, the very fact that she disbelieves Fate/Predictamancy MAKES her predictable in certain ways.
"I'm afraid I don't understand. And also afraid that I do."
GJC wrote:Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
There's gotta be a good joke in here somewhere.
User avatar
0beron
YOTD + Pins Supporter!
YOTD + Pins Supporter!
 
Posts: 2945
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:52 pm
Location: Morlock Wells

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby warriortribble » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:07 pm

Along with what 0beron I'd say there's also a practical reason. Even without Fate, jumping off the tower would really just be a test of luck, and can't be of any use, even for suicide due to it's randomness. If Wanda wants to kill herself, she'd probably beat herself to low HP, drink the deadliest poison she could get her hands on, cast the nastiest Shockamancy spell on herself and the ground, while standing on thin ice naked. Gotta go for overkill if you want to escape Fate after all.

Hmm... this makes me wanna speculate. Will Wanda try to commit suicde in the future only to fail no matter how fool proof she makes her attempt?
User avatar
warriortribble
Tool + YOTD + Erfabet Supporter!
Tool + YOTD + Erfabet Supporter!
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 8:15 pm

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby gobe » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:32 pm

onlyme wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:Nope. If they die, they can always load a savegame :P Also, while "side-quests" are typical, also typical is an overarching quest which even if it has a multiple choice ending, is fairly well defined.


In a multi-player setup or a player connected to some game running on a server there are no savesgames.
Even if there is a save-game, the player migh chose to not open it.


This made me think of a few twists on how to interpret Erfworld.

---

The save game thing is a special power of players. It lets one go back in time, change what happened there, and then keep going. In the eyes of the inhabitants of the game, the story unfolds in only the way it actually happens. There never was that other version in which the player dies or underachieves. Thus, a player with save game access is a retconjurer, in erf terms. Since Rob is the only one with access to retconjuration, I conclude that either there are no players in erf, or the players have no save game access.

But why not consider that the players and player characters are a different thing altogether (putting aside the fact that Parson is shown to be teleported in for a moment): the player character is an Erf unit, thinks like an Erf unit, acts within the same boundaries as Erf units, etc.; and his decisions are the player's, and this could be why Parson thinks outside the box (though I don't want to enter the free will debate either).

---

Another idea is that Fate serves that purpose instead, possibly simulating or explaining save games in the eyes of erf units. This being said, Wanda might be an NPC that isn't allowed to die. If she did die before she's supposed or allowed to, you'd get an 'objective failed/game over' message and the world would end (and reload for the player). Those units clearly have a predetermined Fate!

Considering that Erf is (probably) a computer game made alive with sentient units, we can imagine that the inhabitants of such a world would name the invincibility of an important NPC or player until they complete what they are meant to: Fate. It's also why one can read what they will eventually do: it's unavoidable.

I think this might be how we ought to think about Fate in Erfworld, and that Wanda is very likely an "important NPC" (or quest NPC as onlyme, imo correctly, calls her).
gobe
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:49 am

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby Balerion » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:49 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:I just don't think I get it. You come to the branching point, you make your choice ... how? How is it functionally different from flipping the coin if "free" of outside influence?


On the actual mechanics? If i could demonstrate that, I think i've proved a soul or something similar :). From the perspective of the observer, there probably isn't a functional difference in how those branches are selected, whether by coin flip or by some function of our will. I would say it matters much more to the individual making the choice: because it means there was something that they did.

If everything is deterministic, or even non-deterministic with a coin flip, I honestly don't think we fit the definition for a sentient being. We are just machines winding along that happen to give a convincing illusion of higher thought. I don't think that is the way the science is going to play out when all is said and done, but at this point there really isn't enough scientific evidence for it to be more than opinion either way.

And really, my personal experience isn't that its a coin flip. Neither are my decisions the product of external factors entirely. There is a part of me that consciously decides to take an action. Any model that doesn't contain that ability just seems to defy what I perceive as reality, so I am not going to go along with it unless there is some serious science showing that my brain is constructing an impressive illusion of choice.
Balerion
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 1:12 am

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby jkosta » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:04 pm

Balerion wrote:On the actual mechanics? If i could demonstrate that, I think i've proved a soul or something similar :). From the perspective of the observer, there probably isn't a functional difference in how those branches are selected, whether by coin flip or by some function of our will. I would say it matters much more to the individual making the choice: because it means there was something that they did.

If everything is deterministic, or even non-deterministic with a coin flip, I honestly don't think we fit the definition for a sentient being. We are just machines winding along that happen to give a convincing illusion of higher thought. I don't think that is the way the science is going to play out when all is said and done, but at this point there really isn't enough scientific evidence for it to be more than opinion either way.

And really, my personal experience isn't that its a coin flip. Neither are my decisions the product of external factors entirely. There is a part of me that consciously decides to take an action. Any model that doesn't contain that ability just seems to defy what I perceive as reality, so I am not going to go along with it unless there is some serious science showing that my brain is constructing an impressive illusion of choice.

Eh, philosophically, there's a ridiculously simple answer to the free will as defined as, "capacity for choice without external factors". Pick a word to encapsulate "thing without external factors", like "universe". Pick a word to encapsulate "thing with capacity for choice", like "self". Equalize. Self = universe. Done. And just to tweak barawn's nose, Fritjof Capra, Tao of Physics. /flees
jkosta
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:41 am

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby Raza » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:00 pm

Morni wrote:Wanda has fate.. we know that she needs to survive to become part of book 1 & 2. So her not dying is of no suprise.

You might be on to something here. Fate in Erfworld appears to work exactly like reader foreknowledge. We know that certain things are yet to happen to certain characters, but things are kept interesting because we don't know the path and horrible, glorious or surprising things may still happen in between.

I wonder if this is intentional or coincidental.

Morni wrote:Wanda latest fate was to get an arkentool.. she got one.. Now her fate might have been accomplish and so she could die in book 2. She did a lot of killing in book 2 so her number is getting closer to 0 extremly fast.

Does it work like that?

The way I understood it, she (or rather, the Erfworld around her) started out with a dept equaling her value, and the deaths of living units (or other positives being 'returned to 0') in relation to her are what pays this depth off.

Killing might actually be good for her survivability-by-numbers. Decrypting, on the other hand, probably worsens things a lot.
Last edited by Raza on Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Raza
 
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 9:03 am

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby Mrtyuh » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:55 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Yes, he does. No, this doesn't mean his shows aren't usually full of bollocks as a result of some ill-conceived notion of dumbing stuff down/putting a sensationalist/speculative spin on things.

"Gravity doesn't pull; space pushes": ok, what does this mean? I know (a part of) what he means, but I don't think it comes across at all, which is why I'm no fan of his (or any) popsci.

0beron wrote:First, I think you're taking what is actually an analogy to explain the effect mass has on the "fabric" of space around it, and interpreting it as law. Physicists often use (and in some cases NEED to use) analogies to describe phenomenon that are not strictly physical in nature. More-over, the topic he's discussing is the relationship between TIME and space, not space/gravity by themselves.
And finally, yes I referenced a wikipedia article because that's the most easily accessible format...but it is all written from long established knowledge of gravitation as established by scientists including Newton, Einstein, and accepted/proven by modern physicists. While individuals such as Dr. Kaku might have their own way of describing it, I don't think ANY of them will deny that gravitation is an attractive force between any 2 objects.
Sorry for slamming your whole post based on this, I did go back and re-read and you made other good plot-point I like. But on this small aspect, you're just wrong (or at best, we're both right and they're different ways of saying the same thing), sorry.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Here's the rub- Newtonian gravity works well enough most of the time to model what we see irl as gravity, and also the interpretation I know of it that's more modern (after Einstein) is not that far a departure from the concept actually. So I get (and agree with) what you're saying, gravity behaves like an attractive force. Also, I get where the "space pushes" thing comes from.

What I don't get, and this may be due to a gap in my knowledge, is why Kaku is keen on distancing gravity from pulling forces. Why would it be wrong to think about it in those terms. Maybe it's something about force unification and the models thereof, and the way they usually handle forces, and how those ways need to change to fit gravity in. I honestly don't know.

And, btw, I'm not finding out from Kaku, and it wouldn't be a justification, in my mind, to bash others who regard gravity as a force.

barawn wrote:I am a physicist, and let me say pretty clearly - it is a very bad idea to elevate popular science physicists, like Michio Kaku, Stephen Hawking, or Niel deGrasse Tyson to "these guys are authorities and every weird analogy they give must be right."

Pop sci physicists are typically theorists (if they're active physicists) or just trying to drum up interest in physics, which means they focus on "weird" stuff, like the crazier theoretical physics (like string theory, etc.). You have to understand, there is very little actual data backing up the crazy stuff these guys say. In some cases there's no data. They're just trying to make the little data they have look pretty in a way that they like. Or just putting out some crazy idea they've got. Roger Penrose was famous for having really nutty ideas that he made popular with absolutely no evidence.

Every few years or so, an actual result comes out from experimentalists that basically throws half of the wacky theories down the drain. Then you never hear about them again. So, really, don't give too much credit to what the theorists say. In a nutshell, we don't know how the hell gravity works. Only that it does. Anyone who says they do is fooling themselves.

I considered doing this as a PM, since it's off topic, but I'm trying to get input from 3 of you, so I thought that would be impractical. I know my posts get annoyingly long, so I will attempt to be concise, although such attempts often lead to the post above. So, I seem to have committed a logical fallacy, perhaps one of you can point out where I went wrong.

The scientific method is based on inductive reasoning. By it's very nature, it can only disprove things. It can never prove anything, because that would require disproving every other possibility, which is impractical if not impossible. So, scientists create theories and models to explain observable occurances. They create experiments to test them. If the experiments support the theory, it is still a theory, but it has support. If results contradict the theory, the theory is scrapped or revised. Here is an example. It was believed neutrinos have no mass, so they travel at the speed of light. Since they travel at the speed of light, time does not exist for them, and they never change. There are three types of neutrinos. The sun generates N electron neutrinos in a given span of time, and it only generates electron neutrinos. When scientists attempted to detect them, they were only detecting N/3 electron neutrinos from the sun. For a long time, scientist thought there was an error with the experiment. When they tested for muon and tau neutrinos as well, they found N/3 of them coming from the sun as well. So, the theory was revised so that neutrinos do have some mass, so time does exist for them, so the electon neutrinos coming from the sun can become the other types while traveling to the Earth. Also, neutrinos have been observed travelling faster than light, which, if it is supported, will mean the theory of relativity may need to be refined. Even a widely accepted theory, such as evolution through natural selection, is still a theory and can never be proven. Still, we all believe something. Every thought is my head is parroted from elsewhere, even if I can't remember from where. I adopt and accept the theories and beliefs that make sense to me and are explained/argued well to me. The alternative is to believe that we can't know anything and we can't prove anything which it seems to me would render any discussion moot.

Newtonian physics, according to my understanding, holds that space is empty. It is simply a place for matter to do its thing. Gravity propagates instantaneously. There is no attempt to explain how or why it does it. It is the scientific equivalent of "a wizard did it." It works very well, but there are discrepancies, the classic one being the perihelion precession of Mercury. General Relativity, with the concept of curved space-time, seems to me to be the most widely accepted and supported theory that attempts to explain the how of gravity. The basis is that space is not empty. Space is its own stuff with its own properties. Gravity propagates at the speed of light. What we observe as acceleration due to gravity is a relativistic effect caused by the observation of the inertial movement in a straight line of an object by a non-inertial observer. It is caused by space itself due to the distortions of space caused by mass. While there are discripancies in General Relativity as well, there is also a great deal of support, including the perihelion precession of Mercury, the apparent movement of stars during a solar eclipse and the frame-dragging effect observed by Francis Everitt's satellite.

Newtonian Gravity is very intuitive. I fit our perceptions. The very phrase "gravitational pull" has become idiomatic in English. I prefer the model that attempts to answer the questions Newton didn't answer, how and why. General Relativity is the most acceptable model to me that answers those questions. The difference between someone's perceptions and the best explaination of which I'm aware for the actual cause was the point I was trying to make. In a predetermined world, a family may be hiking. There is a landslide that kills all but one of them. The survivor blames a cruel god or fate. That is perception. In reality, the family was hiking at that moment because of foregone, predictable chemical reactions in their brains. The landslide happened at that moment due to soil composition, water saturation, the presence or absence of roots and other geological processes. While the survivor perceives fate as a malicious entity, fate is actually the solution of a complex equation. I wasn't trying to attack the assertion that gravity pulls, though. At the time, I just thought it was a clever opening to my response.

Dr. Michio Kaku is the co-founder of string field theory. Of course he has an agenda. He wants to get his theory to have as wide an acceptance as possible. He enjoys being a talking held. Television shows enjoy him being a talking head. After the earthquake in Japan, he did a circuit of the news shows describing what a nuclear meltdown was. Still, I wasn't using him as a source for his own theories. I was using his explaination of Eistein's, which, I'll admit, I made the assumption he had a good grasp on. I like his explaination, even if he is giving it his own spin. The fact that space-time is its own thing was a hard one for me to originally to wrap my head around, and I suspect it is a problem for others. Space has its own observable properties, such as dark energy, which barawn mentioned. While one can discuss geodesics, gravitomagnetism or the observed acceleration in universal expansion, it is hard to understand without accepting that space-time is its own stuff, or at least it was for me. When I parrot Kaku by saying space pushes you down, it is a dumbed-down explanation, but I like because it clearly demonstrates that space-time is something that has its own properties and exerts an observable force, even if it is a relative force. Once I was able to understand space-time as a thing, I was able to understand things such as gravitational lensing and dark energy's role in universal expansion. While I may not buy everything the pop sci guys are selling, such as string field theory or quantum gravity, I think they do have value as a gateway to more basic concepts such as General Relativity.

I don't claim to be an expert on anything. I would describe myself, intellectually, as a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. I find almost everything fascinating. I read articles on physics, which leads to articles on astrophysics, which lead to articles on astronomy, which leads to articles on space exploration, which leads to articles on space suit construction, which leads to articles on textiles, which leads to articles on fashion. New things constantly catch my interest, so I move on to a new topic before mastering the old, only to eventually return at a later date. I know a show on PBS is not a peer-reviewed journal. The first thing I thought of was to find a clip on YouTube, but I found the transcript instead. It was just the first citation that popped into my head. Still, I can accept anyone's views. I may find them unlikely or prefer a different model, but I can accept the possibility they are right. A non-existence of evidence is not evidence of non-existence. Also, perceptions skews observations. I find it plausible that aliens have visited Earth. I find it equally plausible that space is too vast and no species has ever advanced enough to visit here. As I said in the beginning, we can never prove anything. So, I apologize that it appeared I was attacking those that support Gravitational Attraction. I apologize for bashing the Wikipedia article without reading it (although, in my defense, I've witnessed far too many people citing articles there as evidence that were just wrong. Although, that was much more a problem ten years ago than today.) Finally, I apologize to 0beron. I perceived your response as dismissive and rude, so I responded in kind. It was both uncalled for and broke the One Rule. So, I am sorry.

Still, I can't understand when my brain melted. It all seemed so clear in my head, but I obviously messed up somewhere since something got lost in the translation. I'm not even sure if that makes sense. :oops:

As for the characters as PCs in a video game analogy, there are video games where the PC can't die. If they normally would die, they just get scars or lose money. There are also games where there is an inescapable event where the PC dies no matter what. That would remove the need to have a save function. Wanda could be a PC in a game the developers designed so the PC can't die until they decided he will die. Still, the analog to a quest NPC that has immunity until a scripted event is equally as valid.
मृत्युः सर्वहरश्चाहमुद्भवश्च भविष्यताम् ।
User avatar
Mrtyuh
Tool + YOTD Supporter!
Tool + YOTD Supporter!
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:50 pm
Location: The Early Racoon Camp

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby 0beron » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:46 pm

All put behind us and not a problem. In a way my initial post countering you was a little dismissive, though I tried to keep it factual rather than combative (and apparently failed). So I'm also sorry for coming off as dismissive and rude, it wasn't my intent (in fact, generally speaking I like a lot of what you post).

Anyway, if I may be so bold as to say...."gravity" discussion closed! haha. Water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned, and since it is unrelated we can leave it as that.
"I'm afraid I don't understand. And also afraid that I do."
GJC wrote:Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
There's gotta be a good joke in here somewhere.
User avatar
0beron
YOTD + Pins Supporter!
YOTD + Pins Supporter!
 
Posts: 2945
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:52 pm
Location: Morlock Wells

Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 024

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:41 am

Mrtyuh wrote:What we observe as acceleration due to gravity is a relativistic effect caused by the observation of the inertial movement in a straight line of an object by a non-inertial observer.


This looks somewhat confusing to me. Do you mean an actual straight line, do you need to observe anything beside an exterior "unexplained" constant force to be able to decide you're either under gravity or under acceleration, would "inertial" observers assume there is no gravity acting on them or anything else? Are you referring to the fact that the weighlessness of space is actually free-fall?

The classical interpretation of General Relativity is that gravity changes the metric, which determines the shape of space(-time), which is a fancy way of saying that it determines what the shortest paths are. The idea has much older roots than Einstein, but that's another rant.

About your overarching point, as in where you "went wrong", as you say, I'd guess it's not so much the trust in an authority (a dubious one imo but hey I'm a fan of Penrose) so much as trusting enough but with incomplete information, so that you attempt to correct someone else without knowing why your version is correct. That's how bizzare habits take hold.

Balerion wrote:On the actual mechanics? If i could demonstrate that, I think i've proved a soul or something similar :).


So let's say we have a soul. Then what? Does it have inner structure? Does it, or its component parts, obey certain laws? Is it random? Is it completely wrong to analyse the supposed soul as any other system? Why?

Balerion wrote:If everything is deterministic, or even non-deterministic with a coin flip, I honestly don't think we fit the definition for a sentient being.


This is why these debates are so hard on everyone involved, because, for example, I can see the words but they form sentences from another planet. I don't know how any definition of "sentience" describes a system that is completely free from rules and at the same time subject to coherent motivations and all that psychological machinery. And, to me there's no conflict. You are the decider, you are the machine. Some machines fly, others make beer cans, you live.

And the illusion of you making choices is not an illusion. I bet you don't identify with the ground beneath your feet. You could look at anything and could easily decide, and you'll stick with that decision, what in the universe is you and what isn't. Your decisions tend to come from that part that you identify as yourself. (Barring external coercion from I dunno, social authority and other contingencies that in principle may not be there and are not immutable laws of logic or physics).

barawn wrote:No, there is reason that the geometry will be such that things drift apart. That's one of the results that experimentalists have actually measured. We know that space is, within a fraction of a percent, flat. Exactly flat. Like, Euclidean flat.


The "Euclid was right to within measurement error" thing I knew, if you'll forgive the simplification.

barawn wrote:We also know there isn't anywhere near enough matter in the universe to make it flat. This is also measured very, very well. So the remaining energy is in space itself, and that generates the "space pushes" part. This is measured. There is some interaction that causes things to drift apart.


Now this is what confuses me. My understanding was, the more (Sun-like) matter, the more spacetime curves in on itself and the universe becomes "closed", and would undergo a crunch sometime in the futute. Last I checked, the history of the ideas was, initially a crunch was hypothesized, then it was discovered there isn't enough matter to allow this, then the mysterious repelling force was observed.

So you're saying, the default of spacetime is, well, hyperbolic, "wide-open", with (Sun-like) matter pulling on itself attempting to close it in, but only meeting it half-way at flatness being the first hypothesis. But then it turned out there's not enough of that to flatten it. Ok, but then how would a pushing force help?

barawn wrote:Oh, also, regarding Penrose: He's taught a class I've taken. He walks through the halls of a dorm full of college students in his underwear to pick up the paper (this I know, from personal experience - the University guest apartments were inside my dorm). A lot of his ideas are a special kind of nuts, with absolutely no experimental evidence behind them. But this is part of my point. Don't believe that just because a scientist can communicate well with the public, or make an analogy that you understand, that what they say is sane.


Completely agree with the greater point, as well as the specific one that Penrose is crazy. I like him though, because I share one of his belfry-bats (Platonism) and because even if he goes on wild theoretical tangents as theorists are wont to do apparently for some time now, he has the patience, trust in the reader, and honesty, to explain the proven ideas that came before on their terms, as in he's not afraid of terrorizing the casual reader with maths.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
User avatar
BLANDCorporatio
Tool + YOTD Supporter!
Tool + YOTD Supporter!
 
Posts: 3446
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 5:24 am

PreviousNext

Return to Reactions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests