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Thread: Math Equations: Metaphors of Science

  1. #1 Math Equations: Metaphors of Science 
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    Math Equations: Metaphors of Science

    Nature passes through regularity into abrupt changes and back into regularity. Nature is often like a tornado or an earth quake. Science defines these abrupt changes as being nonlinear aspects of reality.

    Until a few decades ago the natural sciences ignored these nonlinear aspects of reality and focused only upon the linear aspects of nature. This focus has proven to be very profitable for our development of technology; but this success is achieved at a price.

    By ignoring the nonlinear aspects of reality we have often shoved into the far background much of reality and also in creating a citizenry that became enchanted with this mode of behavior and has lost consciousness of many very important aspects of reality.


    Meteorologists use math equations to develop models that simulate climate change, which help them to predict the weather. We all know that weather prediction is, at best, an inexact science. Humans have learned to send space ships to mars but we have difficulty predicting the weather beyond 48 hours.

    The weather model equations are iterative equations that use input data about variables such as wind, temperature, etc. to determine the weather to come. Such equations have feedback loops that take variables from the present output as input for the next calculation.

    In linear equations these values, simulating natures processes, change in an orderly way; the cause/effect processes are lawful and orderly, just as Newton’s mechanics informs us. A nonlinear equation is an entirely different kind of animal, which informs us that nature is occasionally an outlaw that jumps the tracks and creates chaos. Sometimes nature produces tornadoes and earthquakes.

    Our society has tended to ignore those aspects of reality that are nonlinear. Today we are visiting what might be considered a nonlinear moment; our financial structure appears to be in an earthquake mode. This catastrophe may present us with an opportunity to recognize the nature of nonlinearity and thus it might help us to understand the nature of what may be in our future.


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  3. #2  
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    Coincidentally enough, I am currently reading, The Black Swan, “The Impact of The Highly Improbable” (Nassim Taleb).

    I dunno if I can recommend it… it’s style is… well.

    But it’s point is that we worry too much about things we think we can predict, which (the book says, we mostly can’t anyway), and don’t plan for the “Black Swans”.. But how do you ‘plan’ for those?


    Review:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...lack-swan.aspx


    The bottom line is that we can't know what we don't know. And while it might seem hard to operate in such an environment, acknowledging that you don't know everything can actually give you a leg up on those people who instead prefer to proceed through life confidently knowing the wrong things.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexer


    The bottom line is that we can't know what we don't know. And while it might seem hard to operate in such an environment, acknowledging that you don't know everything can actually give you a leg up on those people who instead prefer to proceed through life confidently knowing the wrong things.
    We CAN Know What We Don’t Know

    If we wonder off the beaten path we can discover what we have not ‘seen’ before. If we only study that which enhances our present state then we will never know what we don’t know.

    Hobbies are ways in which many individuals express their individuality. Those matters that excite an individual interest and curiosity are those very things that allow the individual him or her to self-understanding and also for others to understand them. Interests define individuality and help to provide meaning to life. We all look for some ideology, philosophy or religion to provide meaning to life.

    When examining psychosis the psychiatrist advises either the establishment of an interpersonal evolvement or for finding interests and perhaps new patterns of thought.

    None of us have discovered our full potentialities or have fully explored in depth those we have discovered. Self-development and self-expression are relatively new ideas in human history. The arts are one means for this self-expression. The artist may find drawing or constructing sculptures as a means for self-discovery. The self-learner may find essay writing of equal importance. Consciousness of individuality was first become a possibility in the middle Ages. The Renaissance and further the Reformation enhanced the development of individual identification.

    As technology developed there grew a further enhancement of the perception of the individual. It was in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1674 that the word “self” took on the present modern meaning of “a permanent subject of successive and varying states of consciousness”. “Self” as an instance of compounds with other words appeared over this period of time. Self-knowledge (1613), self-examination (1647). Self-interest (1649).

    The word “individual” moved from the indivisible and collective to the divisible and distinctive. In this we see the development of an understanding of self-consciousness thus illustrating the dramatic change taking place in our developing understanding of the self as a distinct subject not just a cipher in a community. This was part of the Renaissance.

    I recommend that each of us develop the hobby of an intellectual life. We could add to our regular routine the development of an invigorating intellectual life wherein we sought disinterested knowledge; knowledge that is not for the purpose of some immediate need but something that stirs our curiosity, which we seek to understand for the simple reason that we feel a need to understand a particular domain of knowledge.


    If we wonder off the beaten path we can discover what we have not ‘seen’ before. If we only study that which enhances our present state then we will never know what we don’t know.

    Hobbies are ways in which many individuals express their individuality. Those matters that excite an individual interest and curiosity are those very things that allow the individual him or her to self-understanding and also for others to understand them. Interests define individuality and help to provide meaning to life. We all look for some ideology, philosophy or religion to provide meaning to life.

    When examining psychosis the psychiatrist advises either the establishment of an interpersonal evolvement or for finding interests and perhaps new patterns of thought.

    None of us have discovered our full potentialities or have fully explored in depth those we have discovered. Self-development and self-expression are relatively new ideas in human history. The arts are one means for this self-expression. The artist may find drawing or constructing sculptures as a means for self-discovery. The self-learner may find essay writing of equal importance. Consciousness of individuality was first become a possibility in the middle Ages. The Renaissance and further the Reformation enhanced the development of individual identification.

    I recommend that each of us develop the hobby of an intellectual life. We could add to our regular routine the development of an invigorating intellectual life wherein we sought disinterested knowledge; knowledge that is not for the purpose of some immediate need but something that stirs our curiosity, which we seek to understand for the simple reason that we feel a need to understand a particular domain of knowledge.
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    If this about “hobbies”?

    What do people do, for a ‘living’ in (what I say is the de-fault human condition)- hunter-gather society?
    They fish, hunt, weave, trap, make jewellery, mostly what we now consider “leisure” activities.

    We work in an office, a refinery, a call centre, to get two weeks a year (in the case of our blighted American brethren) to be allowed to go on vacation to - fish,. Hunt, weave, trap or make jewellery.


    Now we have to work, to be allowed to –work.


    Our working lives are a Dickensianly unimaginable horror, for pre-agricultural people.

    And me.
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  6. #5  
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    How are you going to convince people that their every waking minute shouldn’t be focused on money/status?
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexer
    How are you going to convince people that their every waking minute shouldn’t be focused on money/status?
    Unfortunatly our (American) culture does that for us.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    I recommend that each of us develop the hobby of an intellectual life. We could add to our regular routine the development of an invigorating intellectual life wherein we sought disinterested knowledge; knowledge that is not for the purpose of some immediate need but something that stirs our curiosity, which we seek to understand for the simple reason that we feel a need to understand a particular domain of knowledge.
    Don't you think that the majority of regular posters on this forum have been doing exactly that for some time?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    I recommend that each of us develop the hobby of an intellectual life. We could add to our regular routine the development of an invigorating intellectual life wherein we sought disinterested knowledge; knowledge that is not for the purpose of some immediate need but something that stirs our curiosity, which we seek to understand for the simple reason that we feel a need to understand a particular domain of knowledge.
    Don't you think that the majority of regular posters on this forum have been doing exactly that for some time?
    I see little evidence of it.

    I had once concluded it to be natural that when confronted by a new idea humans tended to do a turtle; withdraw into their shell until the coast was clear.

    After some time posting in cyberspace I have modified my view somewhat. I think that we tend to display two types of turtle responses to our encounter with new ideas.

    The terrapin withdraws quickly into its shell and the snapping turtle hisses, spits, and snaps when such an encounter happens. I suspect that cyberspace has allowed many people to display a more vulgar attitude than they would in face-to-face encounters.

    I think that age is a factor in this equation. The young tend to be snappers and the older tend to be terrapins. I think that our teachers and professors have imprinted on the minds of their pupils that there is a legitimacy aspect to knowledge. That knowledge introduced by the teacher is legit and the rest should be avoided when possible.

    Instead of graduates eager to learn and to earn we have constructed an educational system that qualifies citizens for a life of mindless production and consumption. Instead of turtles we need cats as a model for schooling.

    A cat travels through the forest alert and curious to all that is in her range of perception. Instead of withdrawing into a shell the cat stealthily examines everything in its path. After a quick examination the cat very well may dart away for cover. The cat is, I think, more likely to survive in a dynamic and dangerous world than is the turtle.

    Everyone is ignorant of 99.9999…% of the knowledge in the world. Understanding this fact I think is the first step toward setting each one of us free from any embarrassment we might feel about our ignorance. We should use our ignorance as a catalyst for discovering the joy of learning to understand what ever portion of the world’s knowledge that interests us.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    I see little evidence of it.
    Then you need to open your ruddy eyes. Kalster, Spurious Monkey, Paralith, Guitarist, Janus, MarnixR, Dishmaster, lynxfox, Pong, Mitchell McKain and a many more are engaged in discussion, questioning, debating and the supply of answers across a broad range of topics for no other reason that the intellectual stimulation it provides.

    They are the ones who are employing critical thinking. From you all I ever see - and I say this aware it may offend, but those who give offense should expect some comeback - all I ever see from you is self indulgent, single agenda monologues. I have never seen you contribute to a single discussion outwith your own posts. (And in those you sometimes have to be goaded into a response that isn't just more waffle.)

    Instead of urging people to engage in critical thinking, I suggest you sit back and take a long hard look and sort yourself out first.

    Please don't bother replying. I'm not interested in the self righteous excuses you'll dream up to justify yourself. You're on Ignore from here on in.

    John
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