Quora – world view

Quora – If you had to pick just one paradigm, which paradigm do you think best represents your world view? What are 3 personal examples that support the argument that you believe this paradigm?

[ 2/6/20 ]

Reality seems to be complex beyond our ability to deal with in detail, thus we all must make simplified models of it at various levels (both subconscious and conscious).

What sort of model is most useful will be very much dependent on context. The more rapid the response required, the simpler the model must be, often reducing complex infinities to simple binaries like right/wrong, true/false, good/bad, friend/foe; and most often much of that is done by subconscious processes we are not even aware of.


When I look at numbers, there are real numbers and imaginary numbers.

If we consider just the real numbers, then there are rational numbers (integers {whole numbers} and fractions {number that can be made by diving integers}) and irrational numbers (numbers that cannot be made by dividing integers).

An example of an irrational number is Pi – the ratio of the circumference of a flat circle to its diameter. This number cannot be calculated exactly, but it may be calculated to any desired degree of precision. Thus no calculation involving anything cyclic can ever be entirely accurate. It can be close enough to be useful, but that is a very different sort of thing.

When I look at the complexity of life, the biochemistry of how life works, the best explanations we have of it are based in the principles of quantum mechanics, and in quantum mechanics nothing can be known with absolute certainty, as all things are expressed in terms of probabilities.

When I look at the process of evolution, it selects what works best from the variations present across the contexts present in any set of space and time. For a thing to survive and be selected, it does not need to be any sort of perfection, it just needs to be better than the alternatives present, summed over all the different contexts present.

All of our understandings seem to be like this.

The more certain we are that we are right, the less likely we are to be accurate.

The more we acknowledge fundamental uncertainty and unknowability, the more closely we may approach what seems to be present.

It now seems clear beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, that complex life at all new levels is based upon new levels of cooperation.

Thus the old idea that evolution is all about competition is about as wrong as it is possible to get.

A modern understanding of evolution demonstrates clearly that both complexity and freedom are based in cooperation, and find their highest expressions and greatest security in cooperative contexts. Competitive contexts tend to remove freedom. complexity and security, and drive systems to some set of minima on the available complexity landscape – eventually leading to collapse (as there is insufficient variability present to deal with the change that always happens at some point in complex systems).

What that means in practice, is that all real expressions of freedom demand responsibility if they are to survive – and that responsibility must have both social and environmental aspects to it. How that looks in any particular context will always contain uncertainties, as there will always be multiple approaches to optimality available.

Real freedom always results in diversity, and such diversity must be respected.

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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