The Nature of Reality

I’m putting up some wood ceiling, so I’m in the shop more lately, and that’s more YouTube, and that’s more CFI posts. Lucky you. I put a similar religious/science one in religion and will put this one in science.

This is a Buddhist and Physicist, like the book, The Quantum and the Lotus, but updated to 2017. Sean Carroll gets the first 20 minutes, and the 20 minute mark is what this post is about. He’s talking about the embarrassing thing scientists or others have said, that we know everything, pretty much always turns out bad. The opposite is also bad, that we know nothing, and anything goes, anything is possible. These are the topics of a lot of posts on forums like this.

What I see, the dichotomy, is people who hang around and contribute to the conversation, you know who you are, and people who come and go and throw out something that’s been said before. They are usually less self-aware and most of them are gone, so not reading this.

For me, I like to think I have a good understanding of what Carroll says we know, and I’m open to new information. That’s probably a result of trying out Christianity for 17 years, having it fail, and needing to develop a new worldview at age 40. I could have just picked a different one, like being on the side of the stage with the Buddhist guy. I kinda like where I’m at.

Before I forget - 8 min in = OSI Standard layer
All People Seem To Need Data Processing
Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away

… I’ll see where it goes, but I’ll get back to this.

Why is the universe mathematical?

Simple, because if there weren’t a profound underlying symmetry, everything would have collapsed into chaos, long before molecules had a chance to evolve gravity.

W4U, That symmetry is traceable through mathematics. Mathematics is not the source, it’s an artifact of the source. :+1:

Get clear with the difference between the MAP, and the TERRITORY.

Just the first nine minutes of that video - 20-29:00 an exact description of being lost within our Mindscape and loosing all sight of our evolutionary origins - as though acknowledging the profundities inherent in our evolutionary origins is optional. {Well okay it was optional, and people chose to ignore, but look what that has achieved for mankind, billionaire’s flying their dicks into space, while we are destroying our life support system so fast, . . . well. . . odds are in ten years populations will be a fraction of what they are now. With more winnowing to come.

I mean really what do you think is going to happen when the Colorado River runs dry or the California snowpacks don’t return for a couple years, then when the rain returns it might well be in the form of torrential atmospheric rivers that flood the state and ravage the landscape even worse than the droughts and fires.

There is no other way for this situation to go. With dozens of other equality ominous horrors evolving before our eyes throughout the globe.

… So, I reckon, we might as well climb within our Mindscapes. Thank goodness each of us only has one life to give.

Oh but I digress, and now I gotta get to bed. Celebrating a happy day tomorrow on a couple scores. Like I said, enjoy each day to the best of your abilities, the rest will sort itself out. :raising_hand_man:t3:

The book American Gods had a really good comment on that. It was about how myth is the map. If you expand the map, it becomes so large it is the territory and that’s not useful. Then it’s just reality and your back to trying to figure how to navigate it. Something like that, it’s been a while.

Oh boy what a book that was. Listened to it on a long drive once.

You get three guesses as to which scene is indelibly etched into my mind.


I’m drawing a blank CC

I am sorry I have never read it

Maybe I missed it earlier in the video, but to me it seemed that Alan never really put his stake into the ground - so to speak - until the last question.
He kept saying “The Asians have studied for 1000’s of years and have empirical evidence.”
But he never got to describing it until the end, about dropping down into a continuum.

Most of the rest of the time Alan kept telling others’ stories and their quotes and such. I suppose the point was that there are many stories and many layers to “reality” that do not necessarily rule each other out.

And to Sean’s point about the iPhone, reminded me of my early learnings of tech support - APSTNDP - Each is a layer in a “Model” that relies on the adjacent layer. But there are “specialists” for each layer.

I agree with Sean’s point that we more or less have it all figured out - from one point of view of reality, but I also think there is “more than this”.

As for “We are just mathematics” … wouldn’t those “mathematics” and equations need to run somewhere or on something?

Without calculus we would not be able to describe reality to the level we can observe it.

Did we invent calculus, or discover it?

[quote=“lausten, post:4, topic:8418”]
The book American Gods

[quote=“morgankane01, post:7, topic:8418, full:true”]
I am sorry I have never read it

They made a TV series of the book. Some heavy stuff in there.

Audio book Part 1 and 2;

Right, but I’d suggest most of that more, is contained within our minds, as opposed to more ‘out there’ to be discovered.

Somehow I think the scene that blew me away, won’t find it’s way into a movie.
But, I’m going to stay coy and not spell it out.

It’s actually not my kind of book, but he had a hook and is a good storyteller, so occasionally I wondered, why the heck am I listening to this babble, but then again, I didn’t want to turn it off for wondering where the heck the author was going to go next, so listened to all of it.

Afterwards, there’s an interview with the author on the audio version and at least that helped put the whole thing into a bit little context, which, if left to my resources, I’d have probably never put together.

I first heard about it with the 10th anniversary special edition audio book. Not sure if that is your link. The TV series is done with collaboration of the author, but it does depart from the book, sometimes adding depth, but we’ll see if they just drag it out. I’m in that long wait between seasons now.

Are you asking, or just putting that up for discussion. This is something theoretical physicists and pure mathematicians discuss, without concluding anything.

I didn’t know it was such a big deal.
I just thought about it in the context that mathematics describe a model.
The “better” the math, the better the model.

I think it is the language to describe the model. So we invented the language.

I don’t think nature cares about the differential equation to describe the position of a weight bouncing on the end of a spring at any given point in time. But my prof. did! :grinning:

[quote=“mrmhead, post:9, topic:8418”]
Did we invent calculus, or discover it?

Many cosmologist will tell you that they’re discovering universal mathematics and that the mathematics were there before humans “found” them. Human science only symbolizes and codifies how the natural world works.

But it may be said that discovering and codifying natural mathematics is man’s greatest scientific accomplishment. It allows us to understand the Universe.

This does not mean we know everything. There are some very fundamental questions that remain unanswered, but that’s mainly because they were so small and so big that we were not able to observe them at all. But the mathematics themselves suggest that there is more and that it is not supernatural.

If it were supernatural, we would never be able to access that world anyway!

W4U, I’ve been thinking about that universe is math thing, much more because you keep pushing it.
Then finally last week I had a break through that went beyond my obvious, rather broad stroke:
another example of the Abrahamic shackled way of looking reality, that is, blindingly ego centric.

It’s an outgrowth of something I’ve written about in regards to climate scientists and dispersions cast on their GCM’s and other models and measurements and data. Contrarian claim scientist are fudging data. Yet the moment one starts learning about A) the complexity of what’s being measured and mapped, the data " global heat and moisture distribution patterns" and such - B) the incredible variety of data collection and processing and sharing.

The shear complexity means, that anyone trying to fudge the data, would cause the data processing to implode on itself into pile of random chaos. Like a guitars feedback near a mic.

My breakthrough last week was realizing that the universe was the same way.

As is so often pointed out. There are so many specific narrow parameters without which we could not exist.

Meaning there’s an unavoidable underlying harmonic, or it would fall apart into chaos . . . well - then comes folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity in motion through time.

Of course, any harmony is almost by human definition mathematical. But the mathematical is the veil of our understanding, born our human thoughts and placed over something a tad too big and complex for us to totally figure out.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:17, topic:8418”]
Of course, any harmony is almost by human definition mathematical. But the mathematical is the veil of our understanding, born our human thoughts and placed over something a tad too big and complex for us to totally figure out.

I like that a lot. There is probably much more than what we know about, but what we do know is “quantifiable”, which to me suggests that most likely what we do not know yet is also quantifiable. Else none of it could work.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:17, topic:8418”]
Meaning there’s an unavoidable underlying harmonic, or it would fall apart into chaos . . . well - then comes folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity in motion through time.

IMO, that is a very elegant way of describing it… :sunglasses:

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That’s what I’m trying to get to. Thanks for pushing me. :+1: