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Old 05-12-2009, 03:22 PM   #21
VulcanRevenge
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

Exactly one of my points Izzy, thanks for clearing that up.

Devonin, "So it sounds like, in fact, the child in your example who cannot do this -does- actually have a serious disability. Understanding the "deep logic" behind this (which the child probably doesn't anyway) in no way mitigates the fact that this is a skill that everyone needs to have to function properly in society."

-This is somewhat missing the point, the child is purely for example and in no way does the child exist in the real world. The idea isn't that the child understands the logic, (the child actually doesn't understand, and yes has a problem) the child is only to be understood to have a different perception of the world, it isn't supposed to be an actual being. Perhaps the illustration would make more sense to you if the creature being interviewed was from another world and had an entirely different set of terms, units, and ways to measure the universe.

That is beside the point however. I already said I didn't present the idea perfectly and I was open for suggestions so thank you.

Also Devonin, I mentioned at the beginning of my post that I wouldn't be surprised by a lack of surprise among readers. You already understand the idea I'm trying to explain. I've met enough of who you refer to as "stupid" people to know that at least from what I have observed, it is a problem in society.

You also keep forgetting that I already said that probably "the most accurately someone could predict an event is about 99%." I meant that to be a very high percentage, because "uncertainty should be understood as something that applies to all things but only to a somewhat limited degree." I'd like to clarify also that it is much higher in different situations and much lower in others. The problems arise when we fail to recognize the uncertainty.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:28 PM   #22
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

Quote:
Perhaps the illustration would make more sense to you
No, I'm not stupid, the example made perfect sense to me. My point is that your example didn't actually support what you were trying to say anyway, and that the child doesn't actually show any sign of understanding a "deeper logic" in anything, but is just suffering from a disability.

Let me put it another way: Understanding that things we call "the same" aren't actually "identical" doesn't actually tell us anything at all practical or useful.

All you're really saying is "Inductive logic is less strong than deductive logic" which is a pretty standard concept. Yes we know that even if something works exactly the same way X times in a row, at time X+1 it may in fact do something completely different. The point is, after X is large enough, it is a safe assumption to act as though it will continue to work that way.

Put yet another way: If we actually acted as though we had absolutely no means by which to accurately predict the outcome of any action, we would be pretty much completely unable to do -anything- that was at all useful. If I considered that for each button I pressed on my keyboard, the signal being communicated to my computer might not be exactly the same as the last time I pushed the button, and thus generate an entirely seperate letter on the screen, it would take me dramatically longer to type anything because I would constantly have to be checking that the output was actually the one I wanted.

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You also keep forgetting that I already said that probably "the most accurately someone could predict an event is about 99%."
No I didn't forget that at all. The point is "a very high percentage" is generally enough for -most- possible things about which we would need to make a prediction to make a prediction based on previous evidence.

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The problems arise when we fail to recognize the uncertainty.
If we didn't recognize the uncertainty we wouldn't put peanut allergy warnings on items that are supposed to contain no peanuts.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:43 PM   #23
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

How is a different perspective unhelpful or unpractical? You're 25 Devonin, this may be something that you've known and understood your whole life. As for me and many others, who've grown up believing in the American Dream, Santa Clause, and some kind of system that's supposed to return the same output as it's input, this can be quite a new perspective.

A lot of people out there believe that if they work hard enough and if they dream big enough, they can achieve whatever they want. What I've come to realize is that the world is not a system, it isn't a big machine that guarantees or gives certainty to anything. A whole lot more than what some people understand is that the real world is much more fluid than that, and more left up to chance, luck, and forces that are out of our control.

"If we actually acted as though we had absolutely no means by which to accurately predict the outcome of any action, we would be pretty much completely unable to do -anything- that was at all useful."

-Yes, you are absolutely correct in this, this is why I mentioned in the original post, that "If understood incorrectly however, this idea can destroy emotions such as confidence, hope, and love." what I meant by that is exactly what you are talking about, that if we let the idea of uncertainty overwhelm us and make us unable to place any confidence whatsoever in any object in the real world then of course it would make you unable to function in the real world.

That is why, and I repeat again, "uncertainty should be understood as something that applies to all things but only to a somewhat limited degree." So that it can be understood to apply especially to things that are less and less under our control. Specifically, our happiness should be less dependent on things that are less certain.

Yes, I'm pretty sure I know what you're thinking and it's probably something along the lines of, "well everyone already knows that" but what about all those people that get so upset when they don't get things they want? Or what about those people who get angry when they lose? What about all those people who get upset over the weather? Or what about all those people who feel entitled from the economic system?

Many people don't realize that life is more than numbers. We can't always depend on things that are created by mankind, like government, McDonalds, computers, science, statistics. You can be pretty certain that the keys on your keyboard will type the same letters that you press consistently, but has your computer ever randomly shut down on you while typing an essay, or your internet connection fail while you're writing a post? Then by chance did you slam your fist on the desk, shout a few expletives and grumble as you turned it back on? Even if you haven't done it yourself, I'm almost positive you've witnessed a similar event somewhere.

However, you know this is a minor example. The problems really begin when people believe they are entitled, think they know everything, or feel justified in casting someone's opinions and ideas aside because of how certain they are of their own.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:25 PM   #24
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

Quote:
How is a different perspective unhelpful or unpractical?
A different perspective is confusing, and can be wrong. What you're basically saying is that all ideas can hold an acceptable meaning. This is wrong. For example:

Father to son:

Father: Son, you can never lie.
Son: Okay dad.
Father: Not once can you ever lie. Not under any circumstance. Never lie, for that it is wrong to do so and will always will be.

Father to son (FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE):

Father: Son, you can never lie.
Son: Okay dad.
Father: WELL...you can lie SOMETIMES, but only if you want to.
Son: Really?
Father: Yes, but only when you think it is right. Otherwise, never lie.

The second example is an example of looking at things at a different perspective. The first is following an absolute value. If we have nothing that has absolute value, then value becomes meaningless. When values become meaningless, then we see that everything is acceptable...no matter how horrible it might be. I'm sure what Hitler did in World War II was wrong...but if you try to find a reason why his crimes were justified, you would be looking at that as a different perspective...and that, my friend, is wrong.

Long story short, don't be a relativist. Those are my 2 cents (It's more like a dollar given the length though) on this issue. I can't argue anything else worth a damn.

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Old 05-12-2009, 11:38 PM   #25
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

Quote:
A lot of people out there believe that if they work hard enough and if they dream big enough, they can achieve whatever they want. What I've come to realize is that the world is not a system, it isn't a big machine that guarantees or gives certainty to anything. A whole lot more than what some people understand is that the real world is much more fluid than that, and more left up to chance, luck, and forces that are out of our control.
Add in actually possessing the skill and ability required to be successful at what they try, and you're not especially incorrect.

The problem has come from the idea that hard work alone guarentees you success which is not in fact the case. Though I'm not sure what the unreality of the american dream has to do with the idea that not all things of the "same" type are in fact "identical"

At best, someone who looks at somebody else who worked hard and was successful and says "If I work just as hard, I'll be just as successful" is just another example highlighting that some people happen to confuse 'same' and 'identical' but that's not a fault of society.

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but what about all those people that get so upset when they don't get things they want?
Desire is the root of all suffering. That has nothing to do with thinking sameness is identicality, or that all inputs of a type will generate identical outputs. That has to do with the fact that as thinking beings, we desire for our wants to be fulfilled. It's a high-quality survival trait. The ones for whom their desires are made manifest the most often, they will be the most successful and most likely to continue their line. Being upset when you don't "get what you want" doesn't stem from illogic, it is just the emotional reaction, and suggesting that "proper understanding" of the fact that there is unpredictability in nature will somehow -remove- negative emotional reactions just shows, to me, a poor understanding of intrinsic human and animal nature.

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Or what about those people who get angry when they lose?
You mean, people who get angry when they lose for reasons which are not based on failing in a test of skill against an opponent with a superior skill? Frankly, I would be -more- inclined to be angry if I lost for a stupid reason like an ill-timed gust of wind, or a poor random draw. Those -are- the times when you should get angry. When you shoudln't get angry is at the predicatable, logical loss to someone with superior abilities.

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What about all those people who get upset over the weather?
I think by and large, people don't get upset about the weather. They get upset about inaccurate weather prediction from meterologists. But they'll be the first to tell you that any prediction over 24 hours into the future is an educated guess at best. Furthermore, rather than get upset about the weather, most people get upset because whatever they were planning to do was made impossible -by- the weather. It's disappointment at an unfulfilled desire again, not a raging at the cruel whims of fate.

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Many people don't realize that life is more than numbers.
I'd suggest quite the opposite, that not -enough- people realise the degree to which life -is- numbers. The problem is that they expect these numbers to be nice to them, when in fact, numbers don't care.

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We can't always depend on things that are created by mankind, like government, McDonalds, computers, science, statistics.
I object to the inclusion of 'science' and 'statistics' in that list. Either one, if used correctly, generates true information, and by its very nature is inherantly self-correcting for mistakes given enough time and proper application of itself.

Quote:
has your computer ever randomly shut down on you while typing an essay, or your internet connection fail while you're writing a post? Then by chance did you slam your fist on the desk, shout a few expletives and grumble as you turned it back on?
What exactly are you suggesting? Expressing negative emotion when negative things happen is bad? I'd be better served in practicality as well as mental health to simply ignore my negative emotions and tell myself "It was only random chance causing a reaction that I happen to not prefer, ah well, maybe the next random chance will be better." and then carry on with my day? You -could- do that, but cathartic expressions of emotion of all sorts are far better for your overall mental health in my opinion.

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The problems really begin when people believe they are entitled, think they know everything, or feel justified in casting someone's opinions and ideas aside because of how certain they are of their own.
Once again, what does this actually have to do with your earlier points on the non-identicality of things we often count as being samey? The problem with -what- begins when someone believes they are entitled? Sometimes you -are- entitled, sometimes you're owed, and sometimes you are so certain of your position because you know it to be correct.

I'd cast aside someone's position that the earth is actually made of cheese, or that the ocean is actually blueberry jello, because those positions are absurd, and so are many others. So you can't possibly be talking universal rules here, because many opinions and positions are -not- worth paying attention to.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:54 AM   #26
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

Can I quote that post for my siggy, Devonin?
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:18 PM   #27
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

"I remember awhile back I created a thread about time and how I didn't think it existed. I argued my point for awhile, but I don't believe anyone really understood what i was getting at. This is the same thing though. Time and even the first three dimensions are just concepts that we created and defined. They don't really exist since we made them to be used to solve problems that are probably also entirely artificial. Just have to accept that everyone is probably wrong about everything."

Ah, but if a tree falls in the woods, and no one's around to hear it does it make a sound? By your logic, if it does then everyone's wrong about everything, and if it doesn't then everyones right about everything. Either position is stupid.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:38 PM   #28
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

Sorry your statement makes no sense and is very irrelevant to my statement.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:30 PM   #29
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

What's interesting Saik0Shinigami, is that even though you completely agree with Devonin, you still at least understand the basic part of what I'm trying to explain. "By definition categories sort similar objects together and different objects apart. A category doesn't necessarily mean that the scope of it's objects are exactly the same (in any sense of the word)" This is the root of my argument, that there are dissimilarities between two objects that we categorize as the same down to even the atomic level. Now this is only the root of my argument which I believe expands to other things. When we try to measure and analyze objects and organisms or larger things than molecules, the dissimilarities increase, increasing uncertainty.

I think I understand why it's difficult to get my point across and it's because my train of thought is that "things are less certain than you think they are." Which unfortunately is only true for some people. Others already understand that there is uncertainty in the real world and no matter how insignificantly you recognize it, I believe it is important to recognize it. For most of the people who are debating in here, you already understand the concept I'm trying to explain and if I were in your position I have little doubt that I would think it was irrelevant as well since I already understand it.

Perhaps I am suffering from a strange type of local cultural relativism, but it has been my experience, in at least what I have observed, that there are a lot of people who do not even accept uncertainty in the slightest bit. Instead of blaming mankind's creations for frustrations in their lives they blame outside forces like luck or deity when altogether it could very well be the uncertainties in the system. I'm not saying this is the only reason why people do this, I'm only suggesting that a comprehension of uncertainty can aid someone in understanding a very real and applicable reason for why things happen.

I'll give a real life example as my previous fictitious one was not that clear. The Challenger space shuttle at the time of it's construction in 1981 was probably seen as the pinnacle of the ability of scientists, engineers, and researchers to create a spacecraft that would be able to go into space and return with the crew alive and the spacecraft mostly intact. Unfortunately in 2003 we saw that that ability was probably not as sound as we thought it was. The disaster was said to have been caused by a brief-case sized piece of foam that had broken off and struck the leading edge of the left wing causing damage to the thermal protection system of the craft. Interestingly enough it was also said that similar previous episodes had happened that had caused no serious damage.

Sociologist Diane Vaughan termed this as a "normalization of deviance." The crew thought that, even at this high level of uncertainty, since it had happened before with no serious negative effects it would act the same way during this event. They were assuming that the effects of previous similar events would continue to be consistent, which sounds like a valid assumption. The error in logical processing comes when you are at this high level of uncertainty (such as new technology like space craft and their mechanical components) and you do not consider other options.

Of course there are also reports of people who actually knew of mechanical problems in the craft that could lead to this problem, such as the failure of the O-ring joints, but the craft was still launched anyway against safety regulations. This goes along with another point I'm trying to make, that some people fail to comprehend that government and businesses are made of people, not perfect robots. Since this is true there is quite a bit of uncertainty in our system that many people do not realize.

I apologize if it seems I'm going off topic, but I believe that this idea has many applications in several areas. Also, I believe that if it isn't understood (and I believe most of the posters of this thread already actually do understand the concept) it can have very negative effects, that expand beyond trying to land a space shuttle, which I have previously tried to explain.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:37 PM   #30
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

Edit: Eh, nevermind.

Last edited by devonin; 05-13-2009 at 07:41 PM..
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:38 PM   #31
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

I don't know why you are replying with whole paragraphs to out of context sentences devonin. I think the main point to what he is saying is that nothing we do is actually certain because the methods we use are completely artificial in nature. Life doesn't revolve around numbers because the number systems we use aren't real. Yes everyone would agree that they help us solve uncertainties within the confines of our own artificial problems. But that doesn't necessarily mean it is right.

I don't see what you are actually trying to point out by rebutting so many random metaphors. Seems like you are debating something offtopic.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:24 PM   #32
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

I address my responses to each statement. My use of quote tags just makes it actually clear to the reader which are my words, which are someone else's etc. You'll find that Vulcan did precisely the same thing, except putting my words in "quotation marks" without using the quote tags.

Responding to each statement takes nothing out of context because I respond to each statement in the context of the greater point.

I'm responding to issues I see with what is being said. I respond with requests for clarification of things that seem irellevant to their overall point, and I respond with my reactions to interrogative statements being made. I don't see any issue with doing any of those things.

If I'm "rebutting so many random metaphors" and this is problematic to you, the solution would be for you to advise Vulcan to stop -using- so many random metaphors, and I won't have any to respond to anymore.
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:58 AM   #33
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

I missed the last couple post just from some kind of weird way my window openend up but i think my post will still hit on the same basic principles.

I think you are all taking the OP in a realistic way instead of the conceptual way it was meant to be taken. The analogies are irrelevant, merely a way of showing the principle he is trying to get across. It has nothing to do with the similarities between two objects but rather a comparison of similarities and their 'alternate perspective' comparisons in relation to humans in general.

Think of it in terms of how we...think, as well as in how we interpret those mathematical numbers. I think he hit on his main point in how he described emotions (which seems to ironically be the thing most of you have skipped over). We in every day will often times use our categorization systems to categorize emotions with assumed circumstances behind them. "He's just upset because his girlfriend broke up with him" - Harmless enough, but could completely be wrong. Even if you know he exhibits and X emotion and you know Y incident happened to him, no matter what you know about the natural tendencies of humans he will not act the same as another person in the same situation. You can even bring it to the mathematical situations that seems to be craved here. Consider what goes through your mind when you read statistics. Even though those statistics were developed through a system of grouping you cannot accurately say that it applies that way that is assumed. For example, someone who sees a medical procedure with high success rates and comes to the conclusion that it is safe for them and gets massively taken surprise and angry when it goes differently for them. This is because every situation is different and JUST BECAUSE there is a statistic for something, there is no inherent correlation towards a new individual variable. That test has its flaws because it doesnt take everything into consideration so it would be a fallacy to even have the assumed notion that "nothing will go wrong". Apply it to any sort of social, medical, financial, etc. situations you like, relying on assumed notions of security based off of a system can only be described in terms of "likely" or "not likely" at best.
Now as far as applying this to something that you can do you have to relate it back to your reactions and emotions. What causes the emtion of anger? Unmet expectations (usually). Well just look around you at the people and how they react to things. Some people have high expectations and get angry when something doesnt go their way (usually based on whatever system they relied on to produce whatever result they expected) whereas someone of different expectations will act differently in the same situation. Anger, frustration, and all other emtions of the type can be remedied if it takes a different perspective. I would argue that one of the biggest problems with the world is its intollerance and expectations. One of the best way to solve many of our social problems is to take it to the personal level and dissect why people react in the way that they do.

I believe that what the OP was suggesting is that we as humans rely on systems (mathematical, categorization, etc.) too much when we come to our conclusions. What should be seen is that all of these systems are inherently flawed because they do not take everything into account considering NOTHING is exactly the same. So it is useless to get upset when you arrive at your unmet expectation when in truth you should have maybe not had that expectation to begin with (or at least taken a different perspective on the matter). No one said categorizing is a bad thing, just that it is a system that can be improved by means of taking a different perspective.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:20 AM   #34
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

Quote:
Even if you know he exhibits and X emotion and you know Y incident happened to him, no matter what you know about the natural tendencies of humans he will not act the same as another person in the same situation.
One assumes if you are drawing conclusions about the emotional state of a person, you are basing them on your knowledge of -that person's- emotional tendencies and history rather than saying "I'd be upset if my girlfriend broke up with me, he's upset, therefore his girlfriend broke up with him." I mean, we're assuming in this example that he's both upset and his girlfriend broke up with him, as well as assuming that I -know- his girlfriend broke up with him? And also that I at least know him more than 'not at all'?

Quote:
For example, someone who sees a medical procedure with high success rates and comes to the conclusion that it is safe for them and gets massively taken surprise and angry when it goes differently for them.
Right, but being upset that something with a 1 in 1000 failure rate failed for you isn't the same as being upset that something with a 1 in 1000 failure rate failed at all. I'm pretty sure that most people can and do become aware of the fact that something with a failure rate -has failed- and very well -may fail them- I've seen people going to undergo "standard procedures" with incredibly low failure rates take all the time beforehand to work out exactly what will happen if the procedure fails. And I think the majority of people about to undergo a serious procedure like that do the same.

Also, if you went into the hospital for something pretty standard, say an appendectomy or something similar, and it got botched, you woudln't be at all angry? You don't think you -should- be at all angry? YOu think life for everyone would be better if we just accepted things going wrong that had no particular business going wrong?

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Some people have high expectations and get angry when something doesnt go their way (usually based on whatever system they relied on to produce whatever result they expected) whereas someone of different expectations will act differently in the same situation. Anger, frustration, and all other emtions of the type can be remedied if it takes a different perspective.
This sounds like you're saying "Always assume the worst" because if we NEVER have ANY expectations, our expectations can never be let down. But it is precisely -high expectations- and -lofty goals- that have allowed us to advance as far as we have. If everybody gave up when the first thing didn't go their way, just shrugged it off and went to do something else, how many scientific, technological, and creative breakthroughs just wouldn't have happened? People seeing something they want fail, getting pissed off, and redoubling their efforts is how important things get done. Sure it might feel nicer for each individual to just set the bar really low, so they are never upset when things go sour, but ugh, I could never live such a blasť life.

Last edited by devonin; 05-15-2009 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:00 AM   #35
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

As much as I understand what the thread creator is getting at, it's an overvaluation of the probabilistic nature of the universe to assume 1 + 1 = Invalid, which is what I have a serious problem with. It's a nonsensical claim, and if you want to get your point about an uncertain universe across it's probably best to use another example.


Every formal theory, axiom etc of mathematics is by definition, a language. Everything that can be described or conceived, including every structure or process is isomorphic to a description or definition in language. For example, if you can grasp or perceive some conceptualization, you can name it and give it a definition as well.

Every sentient creature, i.e. you, constantly affirm the linguistic structure of reality by exploiting this isomorphism to make even a single perception. Cognition and perception are languages on their own as well.


Basically, what I'm saying here is that every perception you make only confirms that you're wrong and that this discussion is semantic nonsense. 1+1 = 2 is simply an extrapolation of the perceived universe onto a definition in language. Language and mathematics are something you depend on to make and evaluate even a single perception. To reject this idea you have to reject reality itself.

Arguing about whether or not the universe is unstructured and probabilistic is completely unrelated to 1+1 = 2. On one hand, we have a formal language system that maps a concept onto a definition in language, which is what 1+1 = 2 is. On the other hand, we're arguing that the universe is sometimes unpredictable, in which the vast majority of people here are replying with 'Well, no ****', because the two are unrelated concepts.

If you're still not getting it, this is equivalent to claiming that the following picture is not necessarily an apple, because the universe is unpredictable, despite the fact our language has defined it as such: http://pocketnow.com/html/portal/new...resh-apple.jpg

So really, there's no debate here. It has been said before, so it's basically kicking the dead horse, but if you have new ideas to discuss it's probably best to put them into a new thread or something that doesn't have a crap title.



Sadly, this is the only thriving thread in CT right now XD
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:36 AM   #36
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

I think I understand your argument, Saik0Shinigami. "But really, why bother anticipating those circumstances? Just hit backspace and continue on :P" I completely agree with you on this idea. I'm not trying to say we should be paranoid and worry about uncertainty in objects or situations where uncertainty is rather low. Sadly I have to repeat this again, that "this is why uncertainty should be understood as something that applies to all things but only to a somewhat limited degree." Understand that we should feel confident in the certainty of objects of very low uncertainty, but still at least understand and know that it still has uncertainty. If you feel you can't accept that concept without being paranoid then perhaps a rereading and a rethinking on the concept could help.

Now, as to your argument Reach, you are correct in saying that according to mathematical terms and definitions 1 + 1 would equal 2. However, here is the question, what is the representation of the number 1 in the real world? It could be anything right? Now, you could be referring to something that doesn't actually physically exist in the real world, but when using the number one to refer to an object that takes up space you are referring to something that is an object of either matter or energy.

-Before I continue with this idea, let's establish a basic algebraic concept. According to mathematical definitions, what would x + y equal? Of course, you learned in perhaps 5th grade that "x" and "y" are not similar terms and thus cannot be added. So you would conclude that x + y would equal just that, it would equal x + y because you cannot add variables that are not similar.

I'm suggesting that since no two objects are similar, they are not like numbers that can be added or subtracted, they are more like variables in more than one sense; the fact that they don't necessarily have a value, and also that when you add x + x you get 2x not just 2. At the end of the equation you still have a variable to work out and define. I believe that variable to be the amount of uncertainty that the specific object has (or the level of uncertainty associated with the object). The title should be understood that in reality 1 is a variable that is unlike any other object, so the equation 1 + 1 could be seen as x + y. (Yes, yes, x + y isn't necessarily invalid, it was meant to spark your intellect and interest in how I could consider this equation to have a different result than the presumed one) Since numbers are not always exact in the real world, they have an element of uncertainty to them. This is one reason why in chemistry, or engineering classes teachers allow for a margin of error on your homework assignment answers; it's because in the -real world-, mathematical equations and numbers can get you close, but not always are they exact.

Once again, you bring up a very valid point that in some objects the level of uncertainty is quite low as to cause mathematical reasoning to be very helpful and accurate enough. However, it is only completely accurate, useful, and applicable to real life when the level of uncertainty is so low as to render the variable of uncertainty to be insignificant enough to make, very close to, all case results to be the same. This is true for situations and objects of relatively low uncertainty. For example, yes, if you press the "a" key on your keyboard when your computer is hooked up and your devices work relatively well then you can be confident that an "a" will be registered on your computer.

The main reason why this concept is difficult to understand, I imagine, is because most of your examples are of objects and situations that I consider to have a low level of uncertainty. Where the problems and fallacy of which I speak of comes from, is when we consider these numbers to be accurate in objects and situations of higher uncertainty. For example, trying to predict human behavior. We see this all the time, researchers and marketers think a product will do phenomenally well, and sometimes they are correct. Other times they are completely and utterly wrong. There are many people who do not understand this concept and do not consider the bias, mathematical errors, and uncertainty involved in these studies. This is the fallacy I am trying to help people understand and correct, but only if they are under the influence of it (which, like I've said before, I don't believe many of the posters here are under the influence of this fallacy. This is probably making it hard for them to see the relevancy and usefulness of it).
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Old 07-3-2009, 03:58 PM   #37
dsliscoo
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

Quote:
Originally Posted by VulcanRevenge View Post
The main reason why this concept is difficult to understand, I imagine, is because most of your examples are of objects and situations that I consider to have a low level of uncertainty. Where the problems and fallacy of which I speak of comes from, is when we consider these numbers to be accurate in objects and situations of higher uncertainty. For example, trying to predict human behavior.
its Illogical to be logical in that basing anything on any previous event is wrong because everything has changed with the progression of time. although it might help in any case where unpredictability is appropriate, these thoughts are hinderances to a working mind.

I would like to just point out there is no other working system by which to go by. Defining something as low level of uncertainty shows you dont even believe in your own argument. You know we aren't omniscient, although taking account for everything isn't absurd, problem solving simply shows what you should pay attention to. Its like this, if you want to account for every factor involved.

"I have two apples in this hand and 3 apples in this hand, how many apples do i have?"

and the kid says, "well lets look at all the factors first teacher, you have 2 apples in your left hand and 3 apples in your right hand a beard on your face and a nose inbetween your eyes. we didnt account for one thing"

"and whats that"

"kim jung eil. What if today is a bad day for him and hes already crazy angry and a servant girl gave him a dud grenade to use for fishing in the pond. Then today he finds out also that one of his ships was searched by the UN. He is going to launch a nuke and then you will have no apples."

"well we are in flordia, his nuclear strike range cant reach us here."

"well you forgot, what if the sun mivrowaves the world and you have no apples."

... enough of that story.

ANother thing, Human behavior is quite predictable. How many times have you interacted with someone in your life and they pulled out a shotgun and just starting hurting people?(sorry to re-traumatize those who have) or any other absurd thing that can possibly happen. its very unlikely. Social intuition comes around when you realize that you have an effect on people in your environment. or what about trying to pick up on someone?

Or i guess what you mean if you gave a human a choice in a maze, they are at the start a walkway to the left and a walkway to the right. how can you predict where they will go? Well its said that most people will choose their dominant hands direction when picking which way to go. and over 70% of the earth is "right-handed". Where do you think the man will pick.

Both of these are "high uncertainty" situations. Yet, there are still ways to grasp what is going to happen as an observer.
'
what i am getting at.
Can you offer another system besides math and words that will show accurately how to predict "low uncertainty" problems and "high uncertainty" problems? OH wait people did, its called Luck Chama and Intuition... I will stick to numbers and words.
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Old 07-4-2009, 01:45 PM   #38
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

For what its worth, if you can not simply state what you are claiming in 2 or 3 sentences then you are probably being close minded in what you are saying.

Allowing your argument to be lost in the jungle of words and thoughts makes a weak point.

Edit: Directed mainly at op, but I feel like it is good general advice, as pretencious as it sounds
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Old 07-7-2009, 05:01 PM   #39
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

When a lot of questions are asked, a lot of answering is needed. I try to eliminate the need for the, "but what about..? and what about...?" Anyway, I know this thread is old, but I received this article in my psychology class about the IAT (Implicit Association Test) that somewhat illustrates my point a little better than I can. The first page is the MOST relevant to my point. If you personally don't think it relates to my argument, that's alright, it's a good read anyway.

http://faculty.washington.edu/agg/pd...tage7.2007.pdf
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:53 PM   #40
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Default Re: 1 + 1 = Invalid: cannot add distinct objects

I am gonna have to disagree with all of you. There is no such thing as uncertainty. There are plenty of things that we do not understand, but everything we experience is a reaction occurring from an endless chain of previous reactions. This is true for every thing. Every "random" event that occurs is a result of the forces acting on every bit of matter in the universe at a given time. This is true for consciousness, emotion, and every thought that we have. For this reason I don't think that anything is "uncertain." With a thorough enough understanding of these forces I think everything could be predicted.

After all, with the rudimentary understanding we currently have we can already predict much about our planet, our bodies, and the rest of the universe. I guess that means that I believe in predestination, but I still think that we have "free-will." I know that is a contradiction, but I think that one will respond to external stimuli in a way that one sees fit. You really can't control it though, it is just a chemical reaction in your brain.

So, whether or not the kid can categorize, or whether or not there is something to argue in this thread, or whether this response is relevant, it really doesnt matter. People will read this, or not read it, and think what they want to think based on what they have experienced. After all, if you were born deaf, blind, dumb, numb, and lacked the ability to taste or smell, what would your idea of the universe be? Every thought is just a reaction to an external stimulus.
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