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    1. #1
      Xei
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      Fabulous Box Physicist



      There is a physicist who has lived in a dark box his entire life. He is fabulous. I heard he proved Fermat's Last Theorem in ten lines after contemplating for a weekend, but that's just a rumour.

      Fabulous box physicist can also solve the differential equations of general relativity in his head with ease. He shunts the symbols and mentally obtains the equations that describe whatever spacetime object he is wondering about.

      Here is a unit moment cube:

      (1 0 0 0) (0 1 0 0) (0 0 1 0) (0 0 0 1)

      Doesn't look much like a cube, does it? It's just a string of symbols... barely even one dimensional you might say, let alone four. This is fabulous box physicist's problem. He is so absorbed in his work that he has no awareness of his three dimensional body at all, alongside his shoelaces being untied since birth. His box is very dark. He has never seen a three dimensional object. In fact he has absolutely no concept of space at all. But the equations work out. They work out so well that he has worked out the large scale structure of the universe from basic principles in fact. It makes no sense in physical terms, it is just strings of symbols, but he knows it to be true regardless.

      We are not fabulous box physicist. We have a clear concept of what spacetime is like. But spacetime is not everything, for it does not explain everything. For example, why do we exist? That is certainly something that neither you or he could explain, for I have just told you a lie:

      We are all fabulous box physicists. Time and space are tangible, but there are other variables which we are completely blind to. In total these explain the questions of existence flawlessly. They must, for if they did not we would not logically have come to be; reductio ad absurdum. Perhaps the answer will not be tangible to us... but surely we can shunt symbols?

      Just a brief insight I had about the resolution of the paradoxes of existence. I encourage you to deny its insightfulness below.
      Last edited by Xei; 10-07-2008 at 01:38 AM.

    2. #2
      Look away wendylove's Avatar
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      This is a low for you Xei.

      It makes no sense in physical terms, it is just strings of symbols, but he knows it to be true regardless.


      Firstly, if you have no sensory experience, then you cannot build up axioms, unless you argue that there is a biological understand, for example animals have concepts of numbers so they know if they are out matched.

      Lastly, it is possible to deduce relativity from thought, however without experimental evidence then you will not have any good reason for believing it is correct.

      We are all fabulous box physicists. Time and space are tangible, but there are other variables which we are completely blind to. In total these explain the questions of existence flawlessly.
      Well, space and time are not really tangible, they can be expressed as mathematical equations. We can't experience four dimensions, and entropy forces us to experience time only one way. Xei, please make yourself less vague.

      They must, for if they did not we would not logically have come to be; reductio ad absurdum. Perhaps the answer will not be tangible to us... but surely we can shunt symbols?
      Circular reasoning is bad i.e. it is true, because it is true. A good example is time, according a article of newscientist if there was no time then reality could still exist. Also, I heard that organism or life could arise if you took away gravity.

      Also, I don't know what you mean shunt the symbols. If you're talking about making mathematical axioms and seeing what happens, then those axioms need to be from nature, as Hilbert's program was a failure.

      We observe nature then see its patterns then turn it into mathematics. Ironically, its only the past century or so that this has turned around, for the worse.

      Fabulous box physicist can also solve the differential equations of general relativity in his head with ease. He shunts the symbols and mentally obtains the equations that describe whatever spacetime object he is wondering about.
      Are you drunk Xei?

      Here is a unit moment cube:

      (1 0 0 0) (0 1 0 0) (0 0 1 0) (0 0 0 1)

      Doesn't look much like a cube, does it? It's just a string of symbols... barely even one dimensional you might say, let alone four.
      That is wrong. Firstly, a cube is three dimensional not four.

      (1,0,0)(0,1,0)(0,0,1)(0,0,0)(1,1,1)(1,1,0)(1,0,1)( 0,1,1)

      Thats a cube. Also, even if you did change the top to three dimensions, it wouldn't be a cube. It would be a triange. All you have is a square in four dimensions, which is not a cube.

      Saying that I'm pretty sure if there was a object like that, it would look like a triangle in three dimensions. What of the most confusing things I heard from mathematician is that objects can be like 2.3 dimensions.
      Last edited by wendylove; 10-07-2008 at 02:14 AM.
      Xaqaria
      The planet Earth exhibits all of these properties and therefore can be considered alive and its own single organism by the scientific definition.
      7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms.
      does the planet Earth reproduce, well no unless you count the moon.

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post


      There is a physicist who has lived in a dark box his entire life. He is fabulous. I heard he proved Fermat's Last Theorem in ten lines after contemplating for a weekend, but that's just a rumour.

      Fabulous box physicist can also solve the differential equations of general relativity in his head with ease. He shunts the symbols and mentally obtains the equations that describe whatever spacetime object he is wondering about.

      Here is a unit moment cube:

      (1 0 0 0) (0 1 0 0) (0 0 1 0) (0 0 0 1)

      Doesn't look much like a cube, does it? It's just a string of symbols... barely even one dimensional you might say, let alone four. This is fabulous box physicist's problem. He is so absorbed in his work that he has no awareness of his three dimensional body at all, alongside his shoelaces being untied since birth. His box is very dark. He has never seen a three dimensional object. In fact he has absolutely no concept of space at all. But the equations work out. They work out so well that he has worked out the large scale structure of the universe from basic principles in fact. It makes no sense in physical terms, it is just strings of symbols, but he knows it to be true regardless.

      We are not fabulous box physicist. We have a clear concept of what spacetime is like. But spacetime is not everything, for it does not explain everything. For example, why do we exist? That is certainly something that neither you or he could explain, for I have just told you a lie:

      We are all fabulous box physicists. Time and space are tangible, but there are other variables which we are completely blind to. In total these explain the questions of existence flawlessly. They must, for if they did not we would not logically have come to be; reductio ad absurdum. Perhaps the answer will not be tangible to us... but surely we can shunt symbols?

      Just a brief insight I had about the resolution of the paradoxes of existence. I encourage you to deny its insightfulness below.
      But if he's trapped in the box, wouldn't he die of starvation? And who taught him physics, then?

      Where, may I ask, does he go to tthe bathroom?

    4. #4
      Sleeping Dragon juroara's Avatar
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      ah wendylove and seismosaur!! your philosophical arguments are outstanding

      and if someone warned you not to build a house on sand, what sort of smart ass comment would you come up with? "well what if I had AC? dur?"









    5. #5
      - Neruo's Avatar
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      Space-time is awesome.
      “What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call 'thought'” -Hume

    6. #6
      Xei
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      Thanks Seismosaur for pointing out the metaphor isn't very realistic, cos I was really aiming for gritty realism in that post.
      That is wrong. Firstly, a cube is three dimensional not four.
      I said moment cube, ie secondmeter^3, or a cube in spacetime. I didn't bother writing the whole thing out because it would've taken ages.
      Firstly, if you have no sensory experience, then you cannot build up axioms, unless you argue that there is a biological understand, for example animals have concepts of numbers so they know if they are out matched.

      Lastly, it is possible to deduce relativity from thought, however without experimental evidence then you will not have any good reason for believing it is correct.
      Actually I would disagree with your last point as it seems to contradict your first, but I think I do agree with your first one. So perhaps we cannot find out the truth from within this universe. I suppose my main point was that what may seem paradoxial in this universe can in fact have a logical resolution, but we simply cannot comprehend. Perhaps it cannot be deduced.
      Well, space and time are not really tangible, they can be expressed as mathematical equations. We can't experience four dimensions, and entropy forces us to experience time only one way. Xei, please make yourself less vague.
      All I meant is that we have a clear experience of space and time. You are contradicting yourself in a sense; remember, it is a necessity for them to be tangible in order to build up the axioms before we create the equations.
      Circular reasoning is bad i.e. it is true, because it is true. A good example is time, according a article of newscientist if there was no time then reality could still exist. Also, I heard that organism or life could arise if you took away gravity.

      Also, I don't know what you mean shunt the symbols. If you're talking about making mathematical axioms and seeing what happens, then those axioms need to be from nature, as Hilbert's program was a failure.

      We observe nature then see its patterns then turn it into mathematics. Ironically, its only the past century or so that this has turned around, for the worse.
      Where is the circular reasoning? My statement was that it there must be a logical reason for us existing because otherwise we would not exist. I don't see how time or gravity comes into it.

      Shunt symbols just meant doing maths. A 3D rotation can be perfectly described by a 'one dimensional' matrix; a set of symbols.

      What do you mean by the last bit? The TOE and string theory?

    7. #7
      Look away wendylove's Avatar
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      I said moment cube, ie secondmeter^3, or a cube in spacetime. I didn't bother writing the whole thing out because it would've taken ages.
      4!+8 different combinations.

      So perhaps we cannot find out the truth from within this universe.
      I disagree. Going by experimental evidence then its not a great leap to finding the mathematics involved then finally deduction reasoning to find the theory of everything. I think the failure of most TOE's is that they predict similar stuff or can't be disprove, or even worse the underline mathematical structure is unknown for example string theory.

      I suppose my main point was that what may seem paradoxial in this universe can in fact have a logical resolution, but we simply cannot comprehend. Perhaps it cannot be deduced.
      I'm pretty sure you can deduce something given a certain set of axioms. Maybe I will prove this in the future. Anyway, comprehend is a poor description, as for example I can't comprehend five dimensions. Now this could be true of layman, however for a mathematician they could prove stuff although mathematical stuff in five or even infinite dimensions. A mathematical proof of something to me is comprehending something or understanding something.

      My statement was that it there must be a logical reason for us existing because otherwise we would not exist.
      So let me get this, you're using something to prove that something must exist. Which, is kind of circular to me. Anyway, the assumption that stuff most have a logical reason, is for not provable. Going back to the comment that the universe might not be deductable, well then you would have to accept that logic might not apply.

      I pretty sure that there is a correct set of axioms or you need to disallow stuff like proof by contradiction. I don't like proof by contradictions as it leads to stuff like this
      there is someone in the pub such that, if he or she is drinking, then everyone in the pub is drinking
      Which, I find strange as I wouldn't agree to it.

      Shunt symbols just meant doing maths. A 3D rotation can be perfectly described by a 'one dimensional' matrix; a set of symbols.
      If a person had no concept of dimension, then I can't see how the person would even agree with Euclid. For example a line can be drawn through two points would be meaningless if we were in fact one dimensional.

      Symbols come from axioms, which come from nature. Matrices are not a set of symbols, as they do exist. Mathematics is not a language, it is real.

      What do you mean by the last bit? The TOE and string theory?
      Yeah. However, I like to call it M theory or Masturbation theory.
      Last edited by wendylove; 10-07-2008 at 07:56 PM.
      Xaqaria
      The planet Earth exhibits all of these properties and therefore can be considered alive and its own single organism by the scientific definition.
      7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms.
      does the planet Earth reproduce, well no unless you count the moon.

    8. #8
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      4!+8 different combinations.
      Tesseract has 16 verticies minus the vertex at the origin is 15 vectors?
      I disagree. Going by experimental evidence then its not a great leap to finding the mathematics involved then finally deduction reasoning to find the theory of everything. I think the failure of most TOE's is that they predict similar stuff or can't be disprove, or even worse the underline mathematical structure is unknown for example string theory.
      But what if there are variables which are not tangible in this universe yet part of the multiverse? Then they cannot possibly form our axioms yet still they are elements of the truth.
      I'm pretty sure you can deduce something given a certain set of axioms. Maybe I will prove this in the future. Anyway, comprehend is a poor description, as for example I can't comprehend five dimensions. Now this could be true of layman, however for a mathematician they could prove stuff although mathematical stuff in five or even infinite dimensions. A mathematical proof of something to me is comprehending something or understanding something.
      Yes that is the point of axioms of course, such as the axioms of Euclid or the hyperbolic axioms; to form an internally coherent system of truths. But anyway... do we form axioms from the reality we experience or not? Because, if so, I don't see how a five dimensional space is justified? I am getting mixed messages...
      So let me get this, you're using something to prove that something must exist. Which, is kind of circular to me. Anyway, the assumption that stuff most have a logical reason, is for not provable. Going back to the comment that the universe might not be deductable, well then you would have to accept that logic might not apply.

      I pretty sure that there is a correct set of axioms or you need to disallow stuff like proof by contradiction. I don't like proof by contradictions as it leads to stuff like this
      I don't see how that is relevant... and how exactly do you prove that?? Surely the proof is faulty.

      I don't see how what I said was cyclical. To put it fully,

      - Define logic to be that which is the reason for all occurences
      - The universe is an occurence
      - Hence the universe has a logical reason
      If a person had no concept of dimension, then I can't see how the person would even agree with Euclid. For example a line can be drawn through two points would be meaningless if we were in fact one dimensional.

      Symbols come from axioms, which come from nature. Matrices are not a set of symbols, as they do exist. Mathematics is not a language, it is real.
      But I thought you said we can prove things in five dimensions? We certainly cannot comprehend that... I'm confused as to what your actual angle is here.

      In my opinion you do not need to live in 2D to solve 2x+y=3, x+2y=3.

      Where do matricies exist?
      Yeah. However, I like to call it M theory or Masturbation theory.
      What's wrong with M theory?

    9. #9
      Look away wendylove's Avatar
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      Tesseract has 16 verticies minus the vertex at the origin is 15 vectors?
      You mean hypercube. Xei, you're mathematics is not right.

      But what if there are variables which are not tangible in this universe yet part of the multiverse? Then they cannot possibly form our axioms yet still they are elements of the truth.
      I reject the multiverse idear, espically when theres the idear of it being beyound physics or mathematics. Also, I question what you mean by truth? Axioms are not mean't to be the truth, but real.

      Yes that is the point of axioms of course, such as the axioms of Euclid or the hyperbolic axioms; to form an internally coherent system of truths.
      I disagree, Axioms are not mean't to be just systems. Firstly, its not known and not provable that a particular set of axiom would be not contradictory, so I can't see how it leads to truth.

      Because, if so, I don't see how a five dimensional space is justified? I am getting mixed messages...
      You can use axioms and then expand it into higher dimensions. So that would give justification for five dimensional spaces. Euclid axioms or pythagors theorem work in higher dimensions, given certain axioms.

      - Define logic to be that which is the reason for all occurences
      - The universe is an occurence
      - Hence the universe has a logical reason
      Firstly, making a axiom about logic and how it applies to the universe or occurence. Logic has it problems, for example completeness or consistency. So I can't see the reason of why you would base the universe on logic.

      I don't think the universe has a logical reason. I particular don't think mathematics has a logical reason or is based on logic, since Hilbert and formalist school of thought was proven wrong.

      But I thought you said we can prove things in five dimensions? We certainly cannot comprehend that... I'm confused as to what your actual angle is here.
      Yes we can. Again, going back to logic. If you can understand the logic behind something you can comprehend it.

      For example
      -I know how five dimensions are built up from logical axiom.
      -I can comprehend logic
      -Therefore I can comprehend five dimensions.

      It is not possible to visualize five dimensions(however, there is a way to break it down to three dimensional pictures) but it still possible to comprehend it or understand it.

      Where do matricies exist?
      In atoms. Its funny you brought up that, because I was reading a article about an argument between Bohr and Einstein. Einstein critized Bohr by saying that atoms are real not just strings of numbers in a matric(which, refers to Bohr using matrices to describe atoms).

      Anyway, everything is mathematics. Mathematics is used to represent patterns, so in a sense matricies do exist in the patterns in the universe.
      Xaqaria
      The planet Earth exhibits all of these properties and therefore can be considered alive and its own single organism by the scientific definition.
      7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms.
      does the planet Earth reproduce, well no unless you count the moon.

    10. #10
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      You mean hypercube. Xei, you're mathematics is not right.
      Please look these things up before lecturing me. A hypercube is an n-dimensional analog of a square. A tesseract is the 4-dimensional analog.
      I reject the multiverse idear, espically when theres the idear of it being beyound physics or mathematics. Also, I question what you mean by truth? Axioms are not mean't to be the truth, but real.
      How do you explain the fine tuning of the universe? Personally my studies have led me to conclude that there is almost definitely fine tuning. That's my only reason for believing in a multiverse.

      I think truth is synonymous with reality.
      You can use axioms and then expand it into higher dimensions. So that would give justification for five dimensional spaces. Euclid axioms or pythagors theorem work in higher dimensions, given certain axioms.
      Fair enough, although I'm not sure if that's entirely possible, especially if you only have one case of the variable (eg extending time to complex time) instead of three to work with (three spacial dimensions to four).
      Yes we can. Again, going back to logic. If you can understand the logic behind something you can comprehend it.

      For example
      -I know how five dimensions are built up from logical axiom.
      -I can comprehend logic
      -Therefore I can comprehend five dimensions.

      It is not possible to visualize five dimensions(however, there is a way to break it down to three dimensional pictures) but it still possible to comprehend it or understand it.
      Fair enough, although I was personally referring to intuition and visualisation when I said comprehension.
      In atoms. Its funny you brought up that, because I was reading a article about an argument between Bohr and Einstein. Einstein critized Bohr by saying that atoms are real not just strings of numbers in a matric(which, refers to Bohr using matrices to describe atoms).

      Anyway, everything is mathematics. Mathematics is used to represent patterns, so in a sense matricies do exist in the patterns in the universe.
      I agree strongly with you there. I have recently concluded that platonic reality is an inescapable consequence of reductionism. Then again I have also concluded that reductionism is flawed (I believe this is a consequence of functionalism).

    11. #11
      Look away wendylove's Avatar
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      Please look these things up before lecturing me.
      Sorry, it just you're using something that is physics or old.

      How do you explain the fine tuning of the universe? Personally my studies have led me to conclude that there is almost definitely fine tuning.
      I disagree that the universe is fine tune. Kind of like the example of flipping a coin.

      Say I got a coin and it is unbiased. Now say I flip it thousand times, and I get heads everytime. Although that is really unlikely, you don't need to invoke a multiverse to explain this.

      See the universe just looks fine tune, however it is not. A good example is chaos theory or the butterfly effect.

      (eg extending time to complex time) instead of three to work with (three spacial dimensions to four).
      Depends, you're mashing stuff together. Complex numbers are built by geometry, complex number are themselves just numbers with geometry attached to them. To anwser you're question it can. Alot of physics is just complex numbers.

      I have recently concluded that platonic reality is an inescapable consequence of reductionism. Then again I have also concluded that reductionism is flawed (I believe this is a consequence of functionalism).
      Platonism is flawed too. Espically concerning deeper truth. One of the problems of reductionism is this, if mathematics is just deduction then mathematics itself would offer no surprises or it would be uncreative, as everything would exist in its axioms.

      Platonism does not anwser how mathematics arose, if you assume it exist. You have to assume that mathematics is.
      Xaqaria
      The planet Earth exhibits all of these properties and therefore can be considered alive and its own single organism by the scientific definition.
      7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms.
      does the planet Earth reproduce, well no unless you count the moon.

    12. #12
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      A physicist in a box! The problem - his knowledge is all derived from inner fantasies rather than experience; everything he knows is invented by his mind rather than deducted.
      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Please look these things up before lecturing me. A hypercube is an n-dimensional analog of a square. A tesseract is the 4-dimensional analog.
      Nice copy/paste from wikipedia there.

      How do you explain the fine tuning of the universe? Personally my studies have led me to conclude that there is almost definitely fine tuning. That's my only reason for believing in a multiverse.

      I think truth is synonymous with reality.
      I would not use the terminology "fine tuning" as it connotes "design" in the universe. It also is an example (one of many, actually) of you being vague in this discussion.

      Truth is not entirely synonymous with reality, though both share the quality of being unknowable.
      Quote Originally Posted by wendylove
      Sorry, it just you're using something that is physics or old.
      Tesseracts/hypercubes are neither; could it be that you just don't know what they are?

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      Quote Originally Posted by juroara View Post
      ah wendylove and seismosaur!! your philosophical arguments are outstanding

      and if someone warned you not to build a house on sand, what sort of smart ass comment would you come up with? "well what if I had AC? dur?"








      Well, wouldn't you be worried if someone was talking about a person in a box his whole life? That's like, abuse to the max.

    14. #14
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      I didn't copy and paste anything from Wikipeda... I'm going into a career in maths so it's not surprising I know the difference between a hypercube and a tesseract. I guess you didn't though? :\
      I disagree that the universe is fine tune. Kind of like the example of flipping a coin.

      Say I got a coin and it is unbiased. Now say I flip it thousand times, and I get heads everytime. Although that is really unlikely, you don't need to invoke a multiverse to explain this.

      See the universe just looks fine tune, however it is not. A good example is chaos theory or the butterfly effect.
      I'm not sure if the analogy is right. Central to my belief in multiverse theory is the anthropic principle; we can only exist in universes which are fine tuned. If the variables are not tuned for our specific needs (theism) then the chance of there ever being a universe in which we exist if there is only one universe is very small, whereas if there are a huge number of universes (which is really no more or less likely than one since we know nothing about that which is outside our universe) then the chance of our ever existing is high. As we do exist then the second seems more likely. The coin analogy doesn't seem correct because there is no anthropic element.

      How is chaos theory involved? I know little of it.
      Last edited by Xei; 10-09-2008 at 09:55 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      I didn't copy and paste anything from Wikipeda... I'm going into a career in maths so it's not surprising I know the difference between a hypercube and a tesseract. I guess you didn't though? :\
      I thought they both referred to 4-dimensional cubes. And the wikipedia comment was a joke - your description was just eerily similar to wikipedia's

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      Quote Originally Posted by hungrymanz View Post
      I thought they both referred to 4-dimensional cubes. And the wikipedia comment was a joke - your description was just eerily similar to wikipedia's
      That would be because Wikipeidians stole it from a Physics textbook, which Xei happens to be studying.

    17. #17
      Xei
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      Well, I can't personally think of many other ways of phrasing 'n-dimensional square analog'. But hey, who cares.

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