Attempting to define some limits for Human Knowledge and interpretive skill
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15-06-2015, 11:27 AM
Attempting to define some limits for Human Knowledge and interpretive skill
I've been thinking about the way humans experience the world and the the perceived nature of our minds and I've come up with some limitations in regards to humans ability to understand things, I'm just trying to start some discussion here so here's some initial thoughts.

1. Total self knowledge is impossible.

The brain has only so much informational capacity, and the information required to create that capacity is necessarily more than that, ultimately the mind cannot truly self analyze in the same way a computer cannot simulate itself.

2. The brain is classical and macro scale, quantum will always be alien to us

The brain is too large for quantum effects to be relevant, which means we will unfortunately never be able to intuitively reason in quantum logic, classical and probabilistic analogies and models are all we can intuitively think in.

3. We think in qualitative terms not quantitative

If I say X is likely, you understand this almost instantly, it generates a feeling in you, a kind of feeling of likelihood if you will about X.

If I say P(X)=0.7 it'l take you a moment to kind of gauge in your head just how likely 70% sounds to you, what feeling to get from it. The human mind can learn to do numeracy but it's ultimately a device that runs on fuzzy logic, quick decisions and rough comparisons. It doesn't do precise, because we didn't need that to survive. For that reason it is not wise to present raw numbers, rather visual representations of numbers, and a verbal explanation.

4. Language makes precision difficult as it's built for everyday use

Take "It is raining" as a structure of grammar. If we deconstruct it the sentence means, "There is some it that is doing the action of raining". What is the it that is doing the raining? There isn't one really, but language requires a subject and we just kind of shove it in there so the sentence makes sense. This is fine for everyday conversation but it leads to some imprecision.

Take the cogito "I think therefore I am". The grammar requires an I as subject, but considering the argument is trying to prove an I this makes the reasoning circular. All that can really be said is "Thoughts, therefore thinker". Which seems to assume some idea of cause and effect, which one cannot really assume if one is doubting the self, why not simply thoughts?

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15-06-2015, 11:45 AM
RE: Attempting to define some limits for Human Knowledge and interpretive skill
(15-06-2015 11:27 AM)tear151 Wrote:  I've been thinking about the way humans experience the world and the the perceived nature of our minds and I've come up with some limitations in regards to humans ability to understand things, I'm just trying to start some discussion here so here's some initial thoughts.

1. Total self knowledge is impossible.

The brain has only so much informational capacity, and the information required to create that capacity is necessarily more than that, ultimately the mind cannot truly self analyze in the same way a computer cannot simulate itself.

We know humans brains function FAR below their capacity. We really don't know what the limits are at this point. Traumatic Savant Syndrome raises the question of whether it's "inducable".


(15-06-2015 11:27 AM)tear151 Wrote:  2. The brain is classical and macro scale, quantum will always be alien to us
The brain is too large for quantum effects to be relevant, which means we will unfortunately never be able to intuitively reason in quantum logic, classical and probabilistic analogies and models are all we can intuitively think in.

Unless a Unification Theory (GUT) can be worked out.

(15-06-2015 11:27 AM)tear151 Wrote:  3. We think in qualitative terms not quantitative

If I say X is likely, you understand this almost instantly, it generates a feeling in you, a kind of feeling of likelihood if you will about X.

If I say P(X)=0.7 it'l take you a moment to kind of gauge in your head just how likely 70% sounds to you, what feeling to get from it. The human mind can learn to do numeracy but it's ultimately a device that runs on fuzzy logic, quick decisions and rough comparisons. It doesn't do precise, because we didn't need that to survive. For that reason it is not wise to present raw numbers, rather visual representations of numbers, and a verbal explanation.

Some, maybe even most ... not "we (all)"

(15-06-2015 11:27 AM)tear151 Wrote:  why not simply thoughts?

Because thought do not arise independently of a specific brain ... ever.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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15-06-2015, 11:54 AM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2015 12:00 PM by tear151.)
RE: Attempting to define some limits for Human Knowledge and interpretive skill
(15-06-2015 11:45 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(15-06-2015 11:27 AM)tear151 Wrote:  I've been thinking about the way humans experience the world and the the perceived nature of our minds and I've come up with some limitations in regards to humans ability to understand things, I'm just trying to start some discussion here so here's some initial thoughts.

1. Total self knowledge is impossible.

The brain has only so much informational capacity, and the information required to create that capacity is necessarily more than that, ultimately the mind cannot truly self analyze in the same way a computer cannot simulate itself.

We know humans brains function FAR below their capacity. We really don't know what the limits are at this point. Traumatic Savant Syndrome raises the question of whether it's "inducable".


(15-06-2015 11:27 AM)tear151 Wrote:  2. The brain is classical and macro scale, quantum will always be alien to us
The brain is too large for quantum effects to be relevant, which means we will unfortunately never be able to intuitively reason in quantum logic, classical and probabilistic analogies and models are all we can intuitively think in.

Unless a Unification Theory (GUT) can be worked out.

(15-06-2015 11:27 AM)tear151 Wrote:  3. We think in qualitative terms not quantitative

If I say X is likely, you understand this almost instantly, it generates a feeling in you, a kind of feeling of likelihood if you will about X.

If I say P(X)=0.7 it'l take you a moment to kind of gauge in your head just how likely 70% sounds to you, what feeling to get from it. The human mind can learn to do numeracy but it's ultimately a device that runs on fuzzy logic, quick decisions and rough comparisons. It doesn't do precise, because we didn't need that to survive. For that reason it is not wise to present raw numbers, rather visual representations of numbers, and a verbal explanation.

Some, maybe even most ... not "we (all)"

(15-06-2015 11:27 AM)tear151 Wrote:  why not simply thoughts?

Because thought do not arise independently of a specific brain ... ever.

A few responses

1. It doesn't matter what the capacity is, a brain cannot completly know itself, that would be like a computer running a simulation of itself. Or putting a box inside itself, if a storage system is part of the system it's trying to store information on, it would, even with perfect efficiency as a storage device use up it's entire space simply on defining itself by definition.

2. We can describe it mathematically, but what I'm talking about is Humans "Getting it", similarly we can describe 4 dimensional shapes but its impossible to visualise them, humans cant create a super state to visualise a quantum problem.

3. I'm not saying you can't look at numbers and compare them, but you will be converting the numbers into human qualitative ideas first, have you ever seen numbers so huge or small you've completly lost a sense of scale? That's what I'm talking about, the lack of the ability to work from numbers like a computer would.

4. Descarte was using a method of doubt everything, at this point he wasn't even asserting the universe existed. Cause and effect has to be doubted too when he's literally saying the only piece of knowledge you have is of a self. On this level of fundamental, doubt everything, the jump from effect (Thoughts) to cause (Thinker) can't be made as cause and effect has not been established yet as you have started from literally nothing, the grammar of requiring a subject obscured this.

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15-06-2015, 12:19 PM
RE: Attempting to define some limits for Human Knowledge and interpretive skill
(15-06-2015 11:54 AM)tear151 Wrote:  2. We can describe it mathematically, but what I'm talking about is Humans "Getting it", similarly we can describe 4 dimensional shapes but its impossible to visualize them, humans cant create a super state to visualize a quantum problem.

Just a point but some people can visualize such things.

For example, all of Escher's illustrations were things he'd originally conceptualized within his own mind before he attempted to re-create said image via the printed form.

Indeed, one of his lasting laments was that he had visions within his mind that he could out figure out how to draw.

Much cheers to all.
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15-06-2015, 12:29 PM
RE: Attempting to define some limits for Human Knowledge and interpretive skill
A computer could run a perfect simulation of itself. You haven't defined any of your terms. What does "know" mean ? Storage devices can make exact copies, and NEVER run out of space. It the original has a finite munber of connections/parts, then a perfect finite copy is possible.

"Getting it" is subjective.

"I'm talking about, the lack of the ability to work from numbers like a computer would." ..... describes some people. Not all people.

"Descarte was using a method of doubt everything, at this point he wasn't even asserting the universe existed. Cause and effect has to be doubted too when he's literally saying the only piece of knowledge you have is of a self. On this level of fundamental, doubt everything, the jump from effect (Thoughts) to cause (Thinker) can't be made as cause and effect has not been established yet as you have started from literally nothing, the grammar of requiring a subject obscured this."


This Solopsism is remarkably similar to what we've seen all this past weekend.
Consider
No one is "starting from literally nothing" today. We know a lot. We don't have to start from there. We are not Descarte. Brains cause thoughts. We know that for sure.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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15-06-2015, 12:30 PM
RE: Attempting to define some limits for Human Knowledge and interpretive skill
(15-06-2015 12:19 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  Indeed, one of his lasting laments was that he had visions within his mind that he could out figure out how to draw.

Much cheers to all.
Kind of wish he'd lived when 3D printers came out.
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15-06-2015, 12:52 PM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2015 01:03 PM by tear151.)
RE: Attempting to define some limits for Human Knowledge and interpretive skill
(15-06-2015 12:29 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  A computer could run a perfect simulation of itself. You haven't defined any of your terms. What does "know" mean ? Storage devices can make exact copies, and NEVER run out of space. It the original has a finite munber of connections/parts, then a perfect finite copy is possible.

"Getting it" is subjective.

"I'm talking about, the lack of the ability to work from numbers like a computer would." ..... describes some people. Not all people.

"Descarte was using a method of doubt everything, at this point he wasn't even asserting the universe existed. Cause and effect has to be doubted too when he's literally saying the only piece of knowledge you have is of a self. On this level of fundamental, doubt everything, the jump from effect (Thoughts) to cause (Thinker) can't be made as cause and effect has not been established yet as you have started from literally nothing, the grammar of requiring a subject obscured this."


This Solopsism is remarkably similar to what we've seen all this past weekend.
Consider
No one is "starting from literally nothing" today. We know a lot. We don't have to start from there. We are not Descarte. Brains cause thoughts. We know that for sure.

In regards to Descarte, I was merely pointing out the fallacy he'd made using his own method, you're right it's pointless solipsism, but I'm merely pointing out how the categories of grammar are not necessarily those of reality, and the fallacy Descarte made, it's that his method begs the question "Why not just thoughts?", not me actually thinking "Just thoughts".

I'll try a different way of explaining the information thing.

Have you played the game minecraft? If so have you seen those redstone computers people have made with some ram and a cpu? Is it possible for someone to make a redstone computer in minecraft that is more powerful than the system that is running minecraft and have a higher memory capacitance than the computer it's running on? Of course not! At 100% efficiency for the storage on this computer within a computer, one byte of actual storage becomes one byte of storage on my virtual machine. To the same extent the conscious thought patterns and memories of a human are but a fraction of the brains overall power, a machine within the machine. A smaller part of the machine cannot contain within it the entirety of the information of the larger, it's basic maths.

The conscious mind cannot be aware of the rest of the mind at once simply because a non trivial subset cannot contain within it the set it is a part of.

C is inside B, B is inside A similarly

A cannot be contained inside C

In terms of the maths thing. The human mind doesn't work in binary on and off, it works in gradients and varying currents. It's just not compatible with so called "hard binary logic" like maths without some clever trickery to turn it into gradients and varying currents in the cognitive areas of the brain, we adapt to maths, a computer deals with it as it's base language, we have to learn maths. When I say the mind isn't quantitative it's qualitative I'm talking about the organic nature of the machine and that it's essentially built for qualitative adaption.

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15-06-2015, 01:30 PM
RE: Attempting to define some limits for Human Knowledge and interpretive skill
We know enough to realize that we don't know enough about what we don't know.

[Image: knowing-is-half-the-battlejpg1425907458645.jpeg]

TBH I didn't read the OP, but I'm assuming this applies somehow.
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