New page above

I’ve completed at least a working draft of a new page above – on key themes in understanding what we are:

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
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3 Responses to New page above

  1. William Struve says:

    Hi Ted,

    This is a great start! One topic re infinities I’d love to see covered is the use of real numbers in science. QM gets ‘rid’ of infinities by renormalization, but GR seems to accept ‘singularities’ as real. My intuition says that nature abhors infinity. This also relates to your thoughts on boundaries. As my wife says “My boundries set me free.”
    Keep up your good work and let me know about your book.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marc Sanders says:

    Hello again, Ted.
    I just quickly scanned your new page and had some immediate questions and observations:
    1. Who are your primary, secondary, and tertiary (etc.) target audiences for your proposed book?
    2. Will you be seeking editorial review, or other form of collaborative input/feedback?
    3. In past communications, we’ve briefly, tangentially, attempted to discuss my concerns about ‘human-scale’ (i.e., from the molecular to larger structures) causality vs. the smaller scales where probability rules. That is, as a matter of organization, prioritization of human efforts towards substantive progress. Do you have any intention of attempting to address such concerns in your writing?
    4. I recognize that it’s something that you’ve (individually) been wanting to do for a very long time, but I’d really hope that you could see your way clear to treating the specific concept of “choice” within your section on freedom.

    Hope you and yours are as well as may be ‘reasonably’ expected.

    Marc Sanders

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Marc,

      All good questions.
      I want to target the book to all audiences, which is why it is so difficult to structure, trying to clearly encode the different levels together in a way that they will be available to those who read at whatever level they read it.

      I will certainly be seeking feedback – and will be asking for volunteers later. This blog is a sort of pre-consultation.

      The issue of causality and its relationship to probability does seem to be profound, and impact all levels. Certainly it is unavoidable at the quantum level. Certainly at our level it is possible to operate in many context using the assumption of causality. And I suspect that we could spend a lot more time on this issue. Certainly our ability to communicate using this technology requires sets of systems that very closely approximate causality, and they only work in quite narrow ranges of temperature, voltage, current, electric and magnetic field strength, vibration, etc. Back in the early 80s if I was going to work on a computer issue I carried a soldering iron and set of spare components, and a box of tools. Those issues don’t happen these days, the controls on voltage and current and the accuracy of the fabrication technology are much better.

      And exactly what depth I take that issue to is something I have yet to work through the details of – though it is closely related to the whole order/chaos thing.

      Yeah – choice, and the degrees of freedom that can be instantiated between systems, is a very complex topic – even by my standards of complexity. And I am clear that there can be no absolutes – the requirement for systems to have boundaries to maintain form imposes limits, and within those limits it does seem beyond reasonable doubt that systems can develop degrees of freedom. And to me freedom can only evolve to any significant degree in very complex systems, where the degrees of randomness possible at the boundaries between systems allows degrees of separation and independence (though not complete independence – influence is always present) between the levels of systems. It is all about the degrees of influence, the ability of higher level systems to influence both the boundary conditions and the functioning of lower level systems, and the impact of that over time on the probabilities of any particular outcome. I think I will most likely use my cancer story as an exemplar of the sorts of relationships I am talking about and the sorts of outcomes that are possible. And I suspect that not many people will get it at first reading, it simply is not available from within a hard causality paradigm – one has to relax the boundaries a little, for a time, to get some idea of what might be there. It is very much in the same class of question as “have you stopped beating your grandmother yet” when viewed from a hard causal paradigm.

      I’m not saying it is either right or wrong.

      I am saying that it does seem, on balance of probabilities, to be beyond reasonable doubt. And that statement is predicated upon viewing everything in terms of probabilities. If one cannot get to that starting point, then none of the argument will make any sense.


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