The limits of understanding

#1
Here's an interesting discussion about the limits of our understanding, starting from Godel's incompleteness theorem and branching into various tangential topics:


Consciousness is also discussed and as usual (and sadly), the speakers seem to be have a pretty rudimental understanding of the problem, which is disappointing for philosophers and people that contemplate ultimate questions.

But hey... our understanding has limits, no doubt :)

Panelists are:

» Gregory Chaitin, mathematician

» Rebecca Goldstein ,philosopher

» Mario Livio, astrophisicist

» Marvin Minsky, cognitive scientist
 
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#2
93 minutes are a little daunting for me right now, but will get back to you if I end up watching this, Bucky. Have watched a couple of lectures by Rebecca Goldstein, I like her work (and style). Pity about the poor coverage of consciousness, it's the most important subject. Thanks for sharing.
 
#4
It was an interesting discussion, although it seemed to get a little silly and noisy towards the end - almost as if they had all had a little tipple!

I suppose I felt a little frustrated with it. The question about how it was that mathematics no longer had a good definition after Gödel, yet it rules the roost in physics nowadays, was posed, but never really answered.

Minsky seemed to miss the point about qualia - which is how you get experience out of a set of physical interactions - or even from a computer program!

I think Rebecca Goldstein did get the qualia problem - even though she claimed not to be a dualist - by which I think she meant a materialist.

I would have liked to have suggested to them that the end of science might not be as people imagine. People wouldn't just sit about scratching their heads and saying they don't understand. Instead science would just become less reliable, less relevant, more full of hype, more confused, more like fairy tales.

Remember that string theory has predicted nothing that has actually been tested, and yet people like Mario Livio talk about some of its concepts - such as the multiverse - as if they were rock solid concepts like thermodynamics!

David
 
#5
Remember that string theory has predicted nothing that has actually been tested, and yet people like Mario Livio talk about some of its concepts - such as the multiverse - as if they were rock solid concepts like thermodynamics!
As I've offered in threads dedicate to that - the multiverse is an actuality. (No, I don't expect/want you to accept that on my say-so :) ) Actual knowledge of that is ancient. Also in physics the multiverse has many models - most of which are not based on string theory. In fact the original models predated actual string theory by at least a decade.

Actuality isn't based on strong physical evidence. The more physical a level one is dealing with the easier it is to produce associations that most see as "rock solid." Applying the same materialist approach to levels at, or close to, which consciousness emerges as a physical expression will always be an error.
 
#6
As I've offered in threads dedicate to that - the multiverse is an actuality. (No, I don't expect/want you to accept that on my say-so :) ) Actual knowledge of that is ancient. Also in physics the multiverse has many models - most of which are not based on string theory. In fact the original models predated actual string theory by at least a decade.

Actuality isn't based on strong physical evidence. The more physical a level one is dealing with the easier it is to produce associations that most see as "rock solid." Applying the same materialist approach to levels at, or close to, which consciousness emerges as a physical expression will always be an error.
Well there is a model based on the Many Worlds model of QM, which is much earlier than string theory.

I don't rule out esoteric knowledge - though it is obviously hard to evaluate - but that doesn't really invalidate my comment.

David
 
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#7
Well there is a model based on the Many Worlds model of QM, which is much earlier than string theory.

I don't rule out esoteric knowledge - though it is obviously hard to evaluate - but that doesn't really invalidate my comment.
Depends on what you mean by "invalidate." :) You've admitted physicists' models of the multiverse does predate string theory. And you haven't responded to my point that there is no "rock solid" (by most people's perspective) when exploring the less overtly physical levels of existence.
 
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