“All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
A very close approximation to something 😉
And I couldn’t help grinning at the reductionist explanation of the holistic approach.
And it seems to me to be only part of the picture.
It seems that quantum mechanics seems to be pointing to a reality that only approximates causality, and is more of a fundamental balance between order and chaos, in having probabilistic boundaries on randomness at the lowest levels. And that is at time scales of less than 10^-40 of a second. To put that sort of number in a human context, if you take the smallest time unit that a skilled human can perceive, it is about 1/100th of a second. If you take all the time that has existed in the history of our universe (some 3 times older than than this planet), then that is only 10^20 units of human time, so you have to subdivide each of those into the same number of parts again. So from the perspective of the smallest stuff we can currently measure, in terms of the smallest time units that are meaningful to that stuff, then they have lived the age of the universe squared, in the smallest time a human can perceive. So it is not surprising that their behaviour appears to very closely approximate causal behaviour, because the probability distributions of their existence are very densely populated in the smallest time we can notice.
It seems very likely to me that we actually live in a universe that is profoundly and permanently mysterious and unpredictable at many different levels and for many different reasons (a whole ecology of reasons), and at the same time is sufficiently approximating causality at the scales of normal human existence that the difference is not detectable by our most accurate instruments to date, and thus we can develop engineering to deliver the sorts of technologies we are both using to create, transmit and read these messages, at the same time as we have free will and eternal mystery.
And I find Jordan Peterson’s explanations of the evolutionary embodied emergence of cognition and the mythology surrounding it to be the best I have encountered to date (though of course I have a few quibbles, he appears to be the best approximation to an understanding of that problem currently generally available).
Another key to approximating an understanding to the puzzle that is us is the role of cooperation in evolution, and the exponentially expanding role of cooperation in the higher levels of complex systems.
And all that leads to one of the most profound of mysteries, the very notion of freedom.
So yeah – great post; and there doesn’t appear to be any end to the journey into complexity; and no guarantees of anything either.
I am honoured to have met you as a fellow traveler on a path without end.