A bit more on the nature of science

It’s been wet, so not suitable for using chainsaws on steep slopes. I still got out Sunday and played 18 holes of golf, but did not play well with a heavy wet jacket.

Been a busy few days blogging.
Also been spending a bit more time on John Taylor Gatto – Fascinating chap.


Two Truths – continued

Hi Star

You made two assertions in your last post which to my understanding are false:
“we have Ted, who claims to be a different kind of scientist”; and
“his beliefs still depend on a process or a method that is flawed”.

So far as I am aware, I am just another scientist in a very long tradition of scientists, nothing particularly new or special – for whom reality is the ultimate arbiter of what is so, and beliefs must be adjusted to match it when they are found to be out of step.

In my experience it is those of the religious mindset and background who tend to characterise scientists in their own model, as they have no real conception of what science really is – they see it as dogma after their own model.

I have seen nothing in what you have said to indicate that there is any “flaw” in science. You simply keep repeating the assertion, as if saying it over and over again somehow makes it so. It doesn’t. Offer some evidence.

It seems very clear, from the fact that you characterised me as “a different kind of scientist” that you do not understand either me or science (or perhaps both).

If your understanding of science is so clearly false, then it is probable that many of your other beliefs are also false.
Thus it seems probable your assertion that “his beliefs still depend on a process or a method that is flawed” is also probably false.

All the evidence I have examined to date is consistent with the structure and understanding that I have at present.

If you can see a flaw – then please state it – explicitly, so that it is possible to investigate and determine if it really is a flaw, or whether it is simply an artifact of a modality of comprehension that is itself fundamentally flawed (ie demonstrably not aligned with observable reality).

As to your opening assertion, it seems to confuse and collapse many different yet related things.
We have neural nets, and neural nets are habit forming machines in a sense. So yes, we form habits at every level of thought.
At another level, we make distinctions, and every distinction has costs and benefits. Having a distinction our brains tend to force anything that is a near fit into that distinction, whether or not it really is a fit – eg if we have a distinction “Good”/”Bad” then our brains will force everything into one or other of those boxes. If we have a distinction “Infinite possibility” then we can simply accept everything as it is, without trying to force it into an either-or good/bad distinction.
Distinctions are not really beliefs, they are lower level, and they have many characteristics of beliefs.

All higher level distinctions require abstractions. Some abstractions are recursive. Our brains are hard wired to avoid falling into “Halting problem” traps (Alan Turing defined a class of problems that have no solutions, and a problem solving machine that encounters such a problem cannot possibly resolve it). Evolution has equipped us with mechanisms to stop considering problems past a certain point. Unfortunately that point has been set by the sort of problems that our ancestors used to encounter in the savannas of our evolutionary past. Unfortunately that means that most people don’t stay with many of the more difficult problems of logic to actually solve them – their halting mechanism cuts in first.

Yes it is a mode of being that some people do wear their beliefs as if they are absolutely true, and other modes of being are also possible.
It is actually possible to be open to question any and every belief, and it is not possible to perform such a questioning process every time. So in practice, we use them as is, most of the time. It is not possible to do anything else.

There is a sense in which the methods of science and religion are the same – both use human brains, and it is the intuitive faculty, the side effect of the way brains store and retrieve information as interference patterns, that allows us to make distinctions. For the religious, such intuitions are the word of God and are evidence of the existence of God, or of some deeper greater awareness. For the scientist, it is simply evidence of the existence of pattern in action. So in that sense, and that sense alone, science and religion are similar – both exist in the human mind.

It seems very clear to me, that what you assert in “I have been influenced by the TSK vision, and therefore, many of my structures of belief have merged into the river of awareness” is simply trying to come to terms with what “holographic association” is, without taking the time to do the hard yards to understand all the different disciplines that are required to build a model of understanding that makes it clear.
Yes you have seen something.
Yes you have the ghost of an image.
Yes you have an experience that is outside the dogma of your previous existence.
But please – do not be so arrogant as to assume that it takes you beyond the realm of science or understanding, without offering a shred of evidence in support.

Physics has shown that our perception of “solid” is mediated by “field effects”. On the macro scale the simple concept of “solid” is an effective first order approximation. On finer inspection the concept needs to be refined, to explain the observations at this finer level. I suspect that process might in reality prove to have infinite levels in depth (the mud beneath the poles of our houses).

In so far as TSK seems to be encouraging you to ignore science and to see science as in any meaningful way to be similar to religion, it seems to be a very dangerous meme (idea).

Science is all about aligning our ideas to reality (which reality includes the infinite realm of the possible).

Anything that promotes ignoring reality at any level is inherently dangerous (at many levels).
If it does not involve ignoring reality, then it is simply science, by another name.

Yes Star – you accurately quoted me – I claimed to be “a true scientist” not “the true scientist”.

I am one member of a set that has many members.
Not all people who claim to be scientists think as I do. Many are dogmatic.

The definition of science that you offered has two major themes of interpretation.

One theme is about dogma of accepted explanations. This is the theme that most of a religious persuasion usually cleave to – as it is familiar to them. Many in the profession of science have such an understanding.

The other theme is about a meta method – which is not any sort of fixed methodology, but rather a search for the best available methodologies that deliver the best available information and understanding about the nature of reality. I am in this second group of scientists. So are most of the scientists that I admire in the history of science.

It is not something new – it is as old as science itself.

If you think that science is a system of belief, then you are very wrong in a sense.

There is of course a trivial sense in which all scientists are human beings, and every human being has a set of beliefs.

Science is something separate from scientists.

Science is the inquiry into what is so.

The inquiry involves many different sorts of processes. One of those processes is intuition, another analysis, another testing, another contemplation, ……

Various people have tried to define “The scientific method”, but few appreciate that all such attempts are doomed to failure. There is not, nor can their ever be, any such thing. Kurt Goedel’s incompleteness theorem gives a theoretical basis for my earlier assertion.

The first line of the Fickleness of Truth link you referenced demonstrates an ignorance of science:
“Many results that are rigorously proved and accepted start shrinking in later studies”

There is no such thing as “rigorous proof” in science.
There is only falsification, or failure to be falsified; and only probabilities of that.
The idea of proof belongs to the domains of logic and mathematics, not to the domain of reality or science.

Science deals only with probabilities.

Science doesn’t prove anything.

It can only demonstrate what is false (beyond reasonable doubt), and thus eliminate the false from the range of options considered as possible.

Science in this sense is ultimately about distinguishing the possible.

It is easy when experiments remove all but one possible explanation – and it is rarely so clear cut.

Often we are left with multiple possible interpretations to choose from. Such is most certainly the case with QM. In such cases, some people form into dogmatic camps, while others of us simply sit with the possibilities that exist, awaiting some intuition that will enable us to distinguish a test.

When a true scientist is faced with a situation where every available hypothesis has been falsified, it is usually an indication that a new paradigm is required for understanding.

A true scientist is guided by reality, not driven by dogma or belief.

Sure we have beliefs, humans must have beliefs, and they are not sacred or unquestionable in any sense.

Sure we can become very confident of beliefs that have survived repeated tests; and we still need to look closely at the results of every new test, just in case the result is not the expected one.
That is part of the discipline of science.

Followed by

Starlight/tlcoriginals said:
Jeeze Ted, they do research why then? If not to determine what is true or not true about reality. Jeeze…

For the most part, most of the great research seems to have been done simply out of the love of exploration.
It has not been done to set out to prove some notion right or wrong.
For the most part, great research has been done simply for the sake of doing research, of collecting information, having fun, exploring, contemplating. Often times, in this process, people have intuitions, new insights, into how it is that reality is arranged, that are different from the insights of people who came before them.

This is how science works, and always has.

It is also true that some people, who call themselves philosophers of science, have attempted to codify science, and many people have set down codifications and rules of what they claim to be “The scientific method” or “The philosophy of science”.
In my understanding most such show a bit too much hubris, too much attachment to “rules and regulations”, to “power and control”.

In my understanding, science is best done for the love of the process. For the love of immersing one’s self in some aspect of reality that one finds fascinating (for whatever reason), then to apply the best tools that one can find, and to invent newer and better ones, to allow oneself to broaden and deepen one’s understanding and appreciation of what is there.

If one can do this in a way that is repeatable and can replicate it for others, all the better; if not then do it for the sheer joy of it.

The only thing that for me has come close to the bliss of distinguishing a new paradigm of understanding is the bliss of having great sex with a woman that I am utterly and completely in love with (my wife Ailsa).

In this sense it has nothing whatsoever to do with proving anything right or wrong. Simply the sheer joy, the beauty, the majesty of an new infinity comprehended.
Then comes the hard work – finding some way of making it available to others.

[Followed by]

Starlight/tlcoriginals said:
You continually contradict yourself Ted. But that was a lovely view of science.

Consider Star

There does exist a paradigm within which everything I have said is utterly consistent.

That is the paradigm that I am using.

That I have difficulty in communicating from that paradigm to others who are using other paradigms is something I acknowledged from the start.

[followed by]

Starlight/tlcoriginals said:
uh, so those scientist that worked and continue to work on the theory of evolution did not work on the theory to prove that evolution was how mankind evolved? They just sang kumbaya around their research and oh yeah, they didn’t care whether they got a pay check or not either…right?

b4real Ted.

So, science is not what you said it was. It doesn’t care about establishing theories that tell us what is so about reality. You’re a trip.*

When Darwin set out on his great voyage aboard the Beagle he had to pay for his passage, he was not paid.
He did his great work, “On the Origin of Species” entirely by his own funds – he was aristocracy – independently wealthy, and could afford such things.

Such has been the case for a great deal of the original research that has been done.

These individuals care very much that what they are saying is accurate – it is a matter of great personal integrity for them, and it is the joy of being, the integrity of being, that calls them to be who they are, and do what they do – not being “right” or getting a pay-cheque.

Accuracy, alignment with reality, is a very different concept from being “right”.
Following one’s own bliss is not necessarily related to earning money – though for a fortunate few it is.

It need not be all about “telling” anyone “what is so” about reality.
At it’s best it is about creating understandings that allows minds to see the “what is so” of reality – acknowledging that there are levels to everything, and understandings that work at one level may break down at some deeper or higher level.

Can you see the distinction?

The Fickleness of Truth…

I started with an email:

In my understanding, it is essentially unrelated to what we are discussing (everything is related in a sense, and this is only distantly related to what we are discussing).

The issues raised in Fickleness of truth seem in my understanding to have much more to do with the power of belief in the minds of individuals, in a sense that is very closely related to the placebo effect. But right now it seems like too many hours work to even begin to try and explain what I understand of that effect. Take a look at the work of John Sarno – NY School of medicine as a starter.

If you are willing to accept my assertion that they are essentially unrelated, I would rather leave it at that for now.

[but we didn’t leave it at that – and it continued]

Starlight/tlcoriginals said:
I find it odd, that science is primarily concerned with objective reality, but depends on subjective reality to obtain it’s results, and yet still cannot explain consciousness (subjective reality). So, the very thing they are using to get all of their results, is never questioned. Now that is the flaw in the scientific method/model in a nutshell!

Hi Star

Consider that it is barely 50 years since we discovered the structure of DNA.
It is just a decade since we worked out the structure of the first complete human genome.
It is just 30 years since Richard Dawkins did the second great work of evolution “The Selfish Gene” (Note he was a tenured professor at Oxford, and thus paid for his teaching, and free to do whatever research he wanted).

As to the third post above.
It just does not make any sense to me.
The author has a very poor understanding of the scientific method, and an even poorer understanding of cognition.

A closer analogy is to compare the study of brains and bodies to the physics of building a computer, and the understanding of sentience as a quaternary level property of advanced software running on the computer.

There is a relationship.
The software needs a computer, and it needs the computer to have an operating system, and beyond that it needs the other levels of software development.

It is not possible to understand the complexities of the software systems merely by studying the hardware, it requires other conceptual tools.

The analogy is only loose.
Our brains are based on very different principals to electronic computers.
The operating system has evolved by natural selection over many hundreds of thousands of years.
The systems work on very different principals, because of the difference in processor properties.
The complexity involved is beyond any human mind to enumerate in detail, only in the very broadest of general outlines.

If the above makes no sense to you, I am not surprised.
It makes sense to me.
It is a solution to the hard problem.

It requires a conceptual understanding of things from physics, to biochemistry, to epistemology, to systems theory, to computer theory and practice, that very few possess.

Hence I have been unable to communicate to another human being on this topic.
I am no longer surprised by this.
Nor am I resigned.

[followed by]

uh, the above made complete sense to me Ted, but you did not address the fact that the methods and models that science use are flawed and/or limited by the very fact that consiousness (subjective) is used to obtain results concerning an objective reality, yet apparently, no one but you, understands consciousness.

Besides that, if you were to measure anything and get results, you could not do it without your consciousness, which is bias, any which way you look at it, and so, it would affect the results of whatever experiment you were conducting.

Scientific models are limited/flawed.

Why do you consider that a flaw?

It is simply a property – not a flaw.

Models/understandings are maps, they are not the thing themselves.
All maps are limited representations – how can they logically be anything else?

How else would you expect it to be?

What does your “ideal” consciousness look like – if it isn’t the one you have?

[Reply to Andrews question of how do I define science in 50 words or less]

Science is really simple to me.

It is the exploration of what is so (which includes what is, what has been, and what might become).

It is the creation and use of tools to broaden and deepen our understanding of our existence; and all of the associated disciplines that go with it.

It is an ever evolving, ever changing journey.

It seems to me that the journey may be infinite, and the levels of awareness and understanding also infinite.

As such it resists any attempt to formally bound or constrain it.

A few more than 50 words, but I don’t think I could get it much shorter and do it any sort of justice.

[Continued with]

Andrew said:
All I’m proving here is the greatest fool can ask a question the wisest sage cannot answer.

The Catholic Church decided that it had determined what was so, in the most universal sense, that’s why it called itself that – catholic meaning universal I was told by a Catholic priest.

The Muslims faith is predicated on the belief the Jews and Christians failed to recognise what is so, and I was told by a Muslim that the Islamic faith is very sympathetic to scientific and technological endeavour.

In order to prove anything to anyone you have to find common ground of foundational belief.

Without a common reference point I can’t see how anyone would know what you’re talking about.

You know what you’re talking about but how can you be confident the universal truth you’re imparting is being to be interpreted in the same way that you understand it?

I don’t think you can be.

Some will and they become Tedists.

Others may think Star makes more sense so in effect they are Starists.

The intellectually challenged imbecile element may think I make sense, and they become morons.

Straight away people are divided by their understanding of what is so.

I believe that what is so must be universal in nature to the point that it is unambiguously clear to all.

Science cannot give us that because it is constantly adapting to what it holds to be absolute with an ever evolving foundational belief system.

Hi Andrew

Why do you remain attached to this idea of dogma?

I have already explicitly stated, many times in this thread alone, that I have no interest in dogma.
Why do you keep bringing it up as an issue? (And this is a serious question. It would help me a lot for you to give me the most honest answer you can.)

You are correct in a sense, that we need a common reference or starting point, and we have that – we all start out with a human genome, and we all start on planet earth, breathing air, drinking water, eating a mixtures of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and minerals.
That is sufficient commonality for reference.

I am not imparting any sort of universal truth.
I am not making any such claim.

What I am claiming is that no sort of universal truth is even theoretically possible, let alone present in practice.

What I am claiming is that the fun, the bliss, is in the search.

What I am claiming is that we could have a billion times the earth’s current population, each searching for the remainder of time, and still not have exhausted the possibilities. There would still be more to discover, more of interest, more to explore – without anyone taking the time to share what they had found with anyone else.

People always have, and always will be, divided in their understanding of what is so, and there is not any requirement for that to be a source of conflict.
It is only a source of conflict if anyone is deluded enough to claim that their particular understanding is “the right one”, rather than simply being the one that they have found most useful to date.

It becomes a source of conflict when scarcity exists of level 1 and level 2 Maslow needs, and there is competition for survival; yet we already have the technology available to create abundance for all, for all the low level (survival) needs, and can thus remove that source of conflict (we wont until we do away with money, but that is another thread).

People may tend to associate in communities of generally similar sorts of understandings, and in a world of appropriate technology and ample abundance, there is not any necessary systemic pressure toward conflict.

Science does not hold anything to be absolute.
Some individual scientists may.

This scientist certainly does not, and has not since age 6.

I have certainly had specific sets of operant beliefs at different times in my life, and I have not, since age 6, considered any of them to be absolute in any sense of the word.

I have been aware of the logical necessity for them to change, to evolve, as the limits of my understanding were slowly removed by experience (and replaced by newer yet broader limits – for ever and ever – Ahmen).

As it is not logically possible to enumerate a single infinity, let alone an infinity of infinities, how could it logically be any other way?

Knowledge must always, and of logical necessity, be less than perfect, if it deals with even a single infinity, and it is very easy to establish that possibility must consist of at least one (and with a little bit of work it is easy to prove that there must actually be an infinite number of infinities within the space of the possible).

Anyone who claims “The one true understanding” which makes all others false, must of necessity be doing so without proof, and must therefore be suffering an attack of hubris – and ought to be reminded of such as gently as circumstances require.

That may upset a few individual’s power structures, but that really is not something I am particularly concerned about.
Time they grew a little.

Wall Post in response to a post from Star

Hi Star

Happy for you to post any links you want.

I too enjoyed most of the discussion, and it seems we have big differences in epistemology between us.

You wrote “The third post is dealing with the idea that science measures objective reality. But they use subjective reality to do so, and yet, consciousness or subjective reality, what they use to measure and get all their results, is never questioned.”

Leaving aside the fact that the “is never questioned” bit is clearly false, there seems to be a massive epistemological gap.

All experience is subjective, by definition.
In a deeper sense, all knowledge, including the very idea of anything objective is in a very real sense, subjective; because awareness is itself subjective in the sense of the experience of it.

That simply is the ontology of the situation.

It simply is what is so, in a sense.

No fault, no problem, it is simply part of the structure of the matrix of existence of awareness.

There is also another epistemological sense in which we can examine our own experience, and gain awareness of the the ways in which we came to have awareness of some things. Some of us are able to recall existence without awareness of some “things” and classes of things.

We agree on the existence of others, and we find ourselves immersed in cultural relationships with others. We share language (though not necessarily meaning) with others.

I see science exploring every aspect of being, including the subjective.

What you seem to be wanting me to agree with you is a “flaw” or a “limit” is so only from a particular perspective. It is a very long time since I used that perspective.

Exactly what is your epistemology? How is it that you think you know anything?
I know what mine is, and it owes a lot to Ayn Rand, though it is different in a couple of aspects.

[Star replied and we continued]

My epistemology is open~ended. There are no solid structures to hold as truth within the infinite realm of knowledge…only endless possibilities and infinite potential. There is not even an absolute knowing of how I know what I know, just an ongoing adventure of inquiry and experiencing and opening up of the many explanations and interpretations that box and label experience and prevent a more freeing way of being and knowing in time and space. It is through those interpretations and explanations that we freeze into fixed positions that I find the ontology of being is limited.
Even when we separate things into subjective and objective, we limit meaning and experience.

I see science exploring every aspect of being, including the subjective.

I think I can agree with you concerning this now that you have explained it.

If you see no limit in your scientific understanding then wonderful! I find that the model it uses to know anything it knows is limited.*

I think you misunderstand me Star.
My epistemology is certainly open ended. It has a beginning, but no end. It has no absolutes.

We have a lot of evidence about the nature of development.
As with all development, it builds from the simple to the more complex; both at the physical level, and at the level of awareness and conceptualisation and abstraction.

There are no “absolutes” in this sense to my epistemology. It simply starts with simple observations and distinctions, and builds upon them. Each successive layer transcending and including the layer from which it arises.

The base layer is given by physical reality (the body – genetic evolution over 4 billion years). The next layer is given by language (mind – by cultural mimetic evolution over at least 100,000 years). Then from early and simple distinctions embedded in the matrix supplied by culture come ever more abstract distinctions and relationships, developing within our brains, and we get to experience being. In this sense it is, of course, open ended.

Acknowledging that there are both physical and cultural layers involved does not attempt to put any absolute limits on what those layers are, it simply acknowledges that something is there, about which we have some information, and it seems probable that our information will always be limited in the sense that there will always be more to be known by further exploration.

I am not proposing any sort of “Solid structure” in any sort of absolute sense; and there will be structure.

I am wondering if you know what your structure is, and if you are willing to share?

You have written many times words equivalent to “If you see no limit in your scientific understanding then wonderful! I find that the model it uses to know anything it knows is limited” but you have not as yet demonstrated to me by words that understand what that model is.

Comment on I Am Human…Being… by Star

I love the general thrust of this post, and it does contain a couple of errors, and a couple of limits that need not be there.

You use the term “a powerful yet undefinable knowing energy”, and later “I have a mind that is amazing beyond understanding”.
You seem to use those terms in a way that is directly contradictory.

I assert that your mind is amazing and is actually capable of understanding the general principles of the levels of systems that give it being.

Saying that is not the same thing as saying that it is possible for any mind to comprehend the totality of its being in every detail – that detail is so vast as to be beyond the ability of any consciousness to grasp in detail. Our ability to understand is limited to general “maps” and principles, not detailed specifics capable of giving predictions.

Thus understanding those principles gives us a general map as to how we are as we are, yet does not give us any sort of absolute predictive power.

I agree that our minds, while finite, are infinitely powerful, that there are deep level connections to all that does and has existed, and to all that is possible (which is infinite – even if what is bought into being is finite).

You say “Our best minds have struggled to explain not only where I came from, but also what I am…they have fallen short in their conclusions…for I am more…”
This is interesting as there are many senses to it.

There is a sense in which our best minds have very powerful high level maps to the many levels of system that are part of the structure of our awareness, and as to how that awareness arose from inanimate and unaware matter – and the various points of transition.

In that sense, we certainly understand awareness (quite contrary to your assertion that “Even science has been amiss in their explanations of the miracle of my being and knowing”). Certainly not many people do understand, as it takes a very long time to build the sets of abstractions, from many different disciplines, that are required to hold that understanding.

There is another sense in which there are just too many variables, at too many levels, and the connections run too deep, for any of it to be predictable in any sort of absolute sense, and I suspect that will always be so. So in that sense, yes, we are beyond knowing in precise detail, and we are certainly knowable in principle.

As to there being anything that is “the energy that is life” – I think we can say with great confidence that there is no such “energy” as any sort of distinct thing. Connectedness, deep level connectedness, at many levels, that is most certainly so.

That knowledge in no way limits us, quite the contrary.
That knowledge gives us the certainty that we do in fact have unlimited (infinite) potential.
That knowledge also gives us total confidence that we will never be totally predictable.

[followed by]

I know you claim “by that is that the mind is beyond being understood by science”, and I assert that I am living breathing proof to the contrary.

Just saying something does not make it so.

I am not saying that you have to do the work to gain such an understanding.
It would be nice if you would simply stop making assertions for which you have no evidence.

Just be prepared to say “I don’t know” when that is the case.
If you have a feeling about something, then express that feeling by all means.

Saying “It feels to me like science will never explain awareness” might be accurate.
Saying “the mind is beyond being understood by science” is something you are not qualified to do. At least at the level of principle I have already explained, the sense that most people accept in day to day usage.

[followed again by]

Star, you misinterpret me.

All I am saying, is that as an explanatory framework, science far exceeds anything that preceeded it. {Science in this sense is an open system dedicated to the exploration of what is and what is possible, and includes the ongoing creation and refinement of new tools and systems to aid the inquiry. It is not a fixed and defined “thing” – it is an ongoing, and to a large degree, personal, journey.}

Science does not tell anyone what to choose.

Science does not have anything to say about how you employ your infinite creativity (except in the sense of actions that impact survival), though it may offer you some tools, and it does have rather a lot to say about what sorts of actions are compatible with long term peaceful and secure survival.

I am trying to give you, and everyone else, the greatest degree of freedom possible, while allowing all of us, and the rest of life on this planet, to coexist.

And I get that not many people are interested in putting in the decades of work required to gain the abstractions necessary to do that.

[followed by]

Consciousness is not infinite – it is finite. It is the potential that is infinite, without limit, not the existent.

I have made no statements on this thread about TSK.

You specifically asked me to come here, and comment – that is the only reason I did.

I commented on the words you wrote, with specific reference every time.

I am not forcing anything on anyone – just responding to a request for communication. Please be accurate.

I am quite certain that I don’t “know it all” about anyone in particular.
I am also quite certain that I do understand the general form of the systems that allow awareness to arise from inanimate matter.
That is all.

[Followed by]

My last comment.

A computer is a finite thing, yet there is no limit on the organisation of characters that one can represent using it. And at any point in time, the content of it’s memory is finite.

In exactly that way, we can separate a finite consciousness from its infinite potential.

{And for the sake of completeness, let me be explicitly clear that I an not claiming that the human brain is any any significant way a direct analog of a computer – they are very different systems, based on very different principles.}

What you have made very clear is that what you mean when you use the word “science” is not at all what I mean by the same term.

I suspect that is true of many of the words used.

Most groups redefine common words to take on specialist meanings, it is easier than developing whole new terms.
And there is also a sense in which meanings in different groups diverge over time anyway – it explains many forms of cultural diversity.

I’m happy to stop discussing, I did that yesterday – then you restarted again today.
I will only revisit and comment on your site if explicitly asked – as I was this time.

Comment on Star’s Journey of Being

It is so strange how little you know of me Star.

You say “you wait for time to change things” – yet in my “waiting” I have done so many things, learned about myself, about relationship, about love and loss, sacrifice and gain, about many different disciplines of science, logic, mathematics, engineering, systems; while also being involved in community and politics at local regional and national levels. I have written legislation, and worked as a policeman, started businesses and worked as a teacher, dug for worms, and piloted all manner of vehicles, 1,2,3,4,6,8,and 10 wheels, boats and aircraft, powered and unpowered, fixed, inlflated and rotor wing; I have walked, swum, run, cycled, observed, experienced, enjoyed, laughed, cried ….

My “waiting” has not been an idleness “for time to change things“; it has been a living, an experiencing, as well as a preparation, for a time of my choosing.

In a letter

Appreciate the confirmation – your assessment mirrors mine.

In large measure I continued because it is sometimes powerful to go right back to basics, and explicitly write things out. I still still see huge areas that need filling in, and the overall pattern is clearly there.

It brings to mind a discussion I had with the headmaster of my primary school when I was about 12 (he was my teacher also – Trevor Blanks). We were talking about maths, and he was trying to get me to write down the workings, instead of just writing down the answers, and I said to him, but I don’t have any workings, I just have the answers, and he looked at me strangely. I usually got 100% in maths tests, but I did after that start to show some interest in learning and using the patterns of the “workings” – prior to that I had simply relied on my intuition to give me the answers.
Now I try and do both, and sometimes there just isn’t enough time to go through all the “workings”.

Back in the early 80s, when I was breaking copy protection on games I had bought for my TRS80, the other guys in the club would often just sit and watch me work (hunched over a debugger with hex digits flashing across the screen), and sometimes ask why I did this or that – to which all I could say was something like “it feels like there is something happening in that bit of code, so I am just having a look at it in this way” (my brain allowed me to translate the hex digits directly into pictures of the CPU registers and memory space, and see the information flowing and the transformations happening).

I am definitely a scientist, and I am a highly intuitive scientist.

Reality is my final arbiter in all disputes, and I am willing to ride a hunch quite a long way in search of evidence either way.
I am not restricted to using the ways of the past; I’ll use whatever seems to work.

My studies of evolution have shown me just how subtle some of the mechanisms it exploits are, and the weird paths it follows to get places – climbing Mt Improbable is often a very weird journey, exploiting any and all mechanisms along the way – with a myriad overlapping probability functions at play.

Thanks again. Be Great!



About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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2 Responses to A bit more on the nature of science

  1. A boatload of excellent information to ponder — thank you for keeping my brain churning 🙂


  2. Hi Laurie
    Thanks for “hanging in there” and keeping reading – it is so very much appreciated.


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