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I think I’m finally starting to get to a point where I can make some references to things I believe in. I have lots of ideas about philosophy, science, ethics, and the univerise in general, but they’re all just a big mess in my head. I’m never able to argue anything coherently and I’ve always hated that.

Though there are things that they all say that I disagree with, I’m finally discovering that men like Bertrand Russell, David Bohm, and Alfred Korzybski had ideas that fit very well with what I think I probably believe.

One problem I’ve had quite a lot with how physics tends to work is that there’s far too much emphasis on the mathematics. It seems as though many people take it to be that the universe works the way it does because it is governed by math. It’s certainly an elegant idea, and I’m certaintly not going to deny that the universe behaves very much in accordance with mathematics, but I cringe at the idea that it is governed by it. Never does an electron solve for its equations of motion before deciding which way to move.

I think this is where Korzybski’s general semantics can really come into play. Mathematics could be considered a map of the universe, but of course is not the universe itself. Yet I’m not sure if I’m willing to commit entirely to this. Physics — mathematics — might be unique in being the only map that, once we had a unified theory, you could get all the information you needed about the universe is you just poke at it long enough.

Random FAQ Comments (5)

5 Responses to ““This is not a pipe””

  1. pherrari says:

    I’m commenting here because I refuse to encourage your shameless linkage to your nebula blog.

    I believe that math is a discription, and you can get into the same philosophical questions that come with any other description. Wondering if “the color green” would exist if we somehow destroyed every object that is green is the same as wondering if light didn’t exist would c still equal f*lambda.

    Just like with colors they depend on how they are defined. Some cultures don’t differentiate between green and yellow, they’re just different shades of the same color. One thing that I still never got about physics is how force is always measured in newtons, which depends on mass, and you use them even if you’re talking about charged particles where the electromagnetic force is what matters. Force is still expressed as if it’s acting on a mass. Unless I’m missing something big, I always thought you could just re express everything in terms of coulombs.

    That was longer/dorkier than expected. Chew on that.

    Also, what philosophy courses are you taking next year? I’m taking intro to deductive logic as an elective because if I don’t have at least one substantial elective I will drink myself into oblivion. You should take it too!

  2. GP says:

    haha…. I saw f*lambda and thought “fucking lambda!”.

    The *really* weight thing is that you can express *anything* in a combination of mass, length, and time. Even electric charge.

    I considered Intro to deductive logic. You should take Intro to moral philosophy instead. Then we can have arguments about whether or not its moral for you to sleep with your professor.

  3. pherrari says:

    noooo take intro to deductive!

    I’m actually considering moral too. While deductive would be more usefull, it is at 9:30. Sooooo we’ll see.

  4. pherrari says:

    And that’s what I meant! If I remember correctly, the Ampere is considered an SI unit while coulomb is derived from it, but the ampere is technically defined as how much wires move due to the electric fields they create, which is expressed in mass length and time. I always wondered why you couldn’t make the coulomb the original unit, and using the same process define mass in terms of charge, length, and time. I’ve never gotten a straight answer to that.

  5. GP says:

    What time is deductive then? Winter semester I’m taking contemporary moral issues, so maybe the first moral one is extra… and if it’s later in the day, that settles it.

    You could easily called coulomb the basic unit and go from there. An ampere is a coulomb per second. Whatever.

    Oh, by the way, I don’t believe in different colours. HA!

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