Thursday, March 21, 2019

actual infinite falling (all-)together &/or chaosmos COLLAPSE

Musée d'Orsay/January 2018 (for more A/Z photography see portfolio here);
Clara Colosimo in Fellini's Prova d'orchestra;
Arquipélago dos Pombos Correios (o soverdouro);
The great abyss inframince (by A/Z, for more see here);

"... the term quantum mechanics is very much a misnomer. It should, perhaps, be called quantum nonmechanics..."
David Bohm
"But he wants The Cold like he wants His Junk—NOT OUTSIDE where it does him no good but INSIDE so he can sit around with a spine like a frozen hydraulic jack..." 
William S. Burroughs
"Ihr verehrt mich: aber wie, wenn eure Verehrung eines Tages umfällt?"
"Ich komme aus Höhen, die kein Vogel je erflog, ich kenne Abgründe, in die noch kein Fuß sich verirrt hat..."
"Vor mir giebt es diese Umsetzung des dionysischen in ein philosophisches Pathos nicht."
"... ein vollkommnes Ausser-sich-sein mit dem distinktesten Bewusstsein einer Unzahl feiner Schauder und Überrieselungen bis in die Fusszehen; eine Glückstiefe, in der das Schmerzlichste und Düsterste nicht als Gegensatz wirkt, sondern als bedingt, als herausgefordert, sondern als eine nothwendige Farbe innerhalb eines solchen Lichtüberflusses; ein Instinkt rhythmischer Verhältnisse, der weite Räume von Formen überspannt..."
"... la majorité est travaillé par une minorité proliférante et non dénombrable qui risque de détruire la majorité dans son concept même, c'est-à-dire en tant qu'axiome... le étrange concept de non-blanc ne constitue pas un ensemble dénombrable... Le propre de la minorité, c'est de faire valoir la puissance du non-dénombrable, même quand elle est composée d'un seul membre. C'est la formule des multiplicités. Non-blanc, nous avons tous à le devenir, que nous soyons blancs, jaunes ou noirs."
Deleuze & Guattari
"Eighteenth-century masters achieved most pleasing effects with forgrounds of warm brown and fading distances of cool, silvery blues... Constable wanted to try out the effect of respecting the local color of grass somewhat more, in his Wivenhoe Park he is seen pushing the range more in the direction of bright greens. Only in the direction of, it is a transposition, not a copy."
Ernst H. Gombrich (Art and Illusion)
"Oboukhoff acumule alors en un étroit espace les demi-tons; la sensation est déchirante, horripilante... Avec le glissando, c'est tout l'infini du monde sonore qui fait irruption dans la musique tempérée..."
Boris de Schloezer (1925)
"Note the parallels between ordinary awareness, classical physics, and the natural and counting integers..."
Dean Radin (Real Magic) 


This is AGAINST Carlo Rovelli's dictum or pseudo-problem: "visto que tudo se atrai, a única maneira de um Universo finito não desmoronar sobre si mesmo é que se expanda" [since all things attract one another, the only way a finite Universe can avoid collapse is to expand] (A realidade não é o que parece, p. 105)—but why should one use the term "finite" (or even "infinite") to describe a universe with no definite borders (like a 3-sphere, or something even more complex)? The infinite is not equivalent to the huge. The infinite is simply (according to Dedekind) what can be matched up to its own parts (the only reason to deny this is hysteria, paradox-freakishness). The universe (the chaosmos) both expands & collapse! As a whole and at the length of its space-time infinitesimals (or epsilon-delta limits, whatever), the macro/micro contractions, the revolving ruminations (what Rovelli confusedly calls "granulations," as if they were incompatible with any notion of continuity) of an autophagic real-virtual Einsteinian mollusk. If you have three fundamental constants (as Rovelli suggests, A realidade não é o que parece, p. 229), velocity [of light], information and Planck's length (c, ħ, ℓp), what matters is the relation among them (which might be revealed in established, finite proportions) not each one of their supposedly fixed (absolute) values (and even the relation might vary, fluctuate). Otherwise you behave like a very stupid painter arguing over the positive value of (what we call) green or brown in the transposition of tonal gradations to canvas.

Main Hall:

Time out of joints or the excessive solution (academically and sophistically called 'the measurement problem'): 
"If quantum state evolution proceeds via the Schrödinger equation or some other linear equation, then, as we have seen in the previous section, typical experiments will lead to quantum states that are superpositions of terms corresponding to distinct experimental outcomes. It is sometimes said that this conflicts with our experience, according to which experimental outcome variables, such as pointer readings, always have definite values. This is a misleading way of putting the issue, as it is not immediately clear how to interpret states of this sort as physical states of a system that includes experimental apparatus, and, if we can’t say what it would be like to observe the apparatus to be in such a state, it makes no sense to say that we never observe it to be in a state like that," Wayne Myrvold's "Philosophical Issues in Quantum Mechanics," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
"... von Neumann makes the logical structure of quantum theory very clear by identifying two very different processes, which he calls process 1 and process 2... Process 2 is the analogue in quantum theory of the process in classic physics that takes the state of a system at one time to its state at a later time. This process 2, like its classic analogue, is local and deterministic. However, process 2 by itself is not the whole story: it generates a host of ‘physical worlds’, most of which do not agree with our human experience. For example, if process 2 were, from the time of the big bang, the only process in nature, then the quantum state (centre point) of the moon would represent a structure smeared out over a large part of the sky, and each human body–brain would likewise be represented by a structure smeared out continuously over a huge region. Process 2 generates a cloud of possible worlds, instead of the one world we actually experience...," Jeffrey M. Schwartz's, Henry P. Stapp's and Mario Beauregard's "Quantum physics in neuroscience and psychology: a neurophysical model of mind–brain interaction," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (2005).
"... a seminal discovery by Heisenberg... in order to get a satisfactory quantum generalization of a classic theory one must replace various numbers in the classic theory by actions (operators). A key difference between numbers and actions is that if A and B are two actions then AB represents the action obtained by performing the action A upon the action B. If A and B are two different actions then generally AB is different from BA: the order in which actions are performed matters. But for numbers the order does not matter: AB=BA. The difference between quantum physics and its classic approximation resides in the fact that in the quantum case certain differences AB–BA are proportional to a number measured by Max Planck in 1900, and called Planck’s constant. Setting those differences to zero gives the classic approximation," Jeffrey M. Schwartz's, Henry P. Stapp's and Mario Beauregard's "Quantum physics in neuroscience and psychology: a neurophysical model of mind–brain interaction," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (2005).
"At their narrowest points, calcium ion channels are less than a nanometre in diameter... The narrowness of the channel restricts the lateral spatial dimension. Consequently, the lateral velocity is forced by the quantum uncertainty principle to become large. This causes the quantum cloud of possibilities associated with the calcium ion to fan out over an increasing area as it moves away from the tiny channel to the target region... This spreading of this ion wave packet means that the ion may or may not be absorbed on the small triggering site. Accordingly, the contents of the vesicle may or may not be released... the quantum state of the brain splits into a vast host of classically conceived possibilities, one for each possible combination of the release-or-no-release options at each of the nerve terminals... a huge smear of classically conceived possibilities," Jeffrey M. Schwartz's, Henry P. Stapp's and Mario Beauregard's "Quantum physics in neuroscience and psychology: a neurophysical model of mind–brain interaction," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (2005).
"... waves make diffraction patterns precisely because multiple waves can be at the same place at the same time, and a given wave can be at multiple places at the same time... by definition particles are localized entities that take up space, they can be here or there, but not in two places at once. However it turns out that particles can produce diffraction patterns under specific circumstances... a given particle can be in a state of superposition... to be in a state of superposition between two positions, for exemple, is not to be here or there or even here and there, but rather it is to be indeterminately here-there. That is, it is not simply that the position is unknown, but rather there is no fact of the matter to whether it is here or there... it is a matter of ontological indeterminacy and not merely epistemological uncertainty... patterns of difference... are arguably at the core or what matter is and are at the heart of how quantum physics understands the world... the quantum probabilities are calculated by taken account of all the possible paths connecting the points. In other words, a given particle that starts out here and winds up there is understood as is understood to be in a superposition of all possible paths between two points. Or in its four dimensional quantum field theory elaboration, all possible space-time histories... the very meaning of superposition is that all possible histories are happening together, they all coexist and mutually contribute to this overall pattern or else there wouldn't be a diffraction pattern..." Karen Barad's "Troubling Time's & Ecologies of Nothingness," European Graduate School Video Lectures (YouTube), my transcription.
"Quantum physics opens up another possibility beyond the relatively familiar phenomena of spatial diffraction, namely, temporal diffraction. The existence of temporal diffraction is due to a less well-known indeterminacy principle than the usual position/momentum indeterminacy principle... something call the energy/time indeterminacy principle. This indeterminacy principle plays a key role in quantum field theory... temporalities are not merely multiple, but rather temporalities are specifically entangled and threaded through one another such that there is no determinate answer to the question what time is it? Karen Barad's "Troubling Time's & Ecologies of Nothingness," European Graduate School Video Lectures (YouTube), my transcription.
"During the waning decades of the 20th century, the most murdering century by some accounts in history, the notion that the past might be open to revision through a quantum erasure came to the fore.  The quantum erasure experiment is a variation of the two slit diffraction experiment, an experiment  which Feynman said contains all the mysteries of quantum physics. Against this fantastic claim of the possibility of erasure, I will claim that in paying close attention to the material labours entailed the claim of erasure possibility fades, at least full erasure, while at the same time bringing to the forth a relational ontology sensibility to questions of time, memory and history... the nature of time and being, or rather time-being itself is in question and can't be assumed. What this experiment tells us is not simply that a given particle would have done something different in the past, but that the very nature of its being, its ontology, in the past remains open to future reworkings... In particular I argue that this experiment offers empirical evidence for a relational ontology or perhaps more accurately a hauntology as against a metaphysics of presence... Remarkably this experiment makes evident that entanglement survives the measurement process and further more that material traces of attempts at erasure can be found in tracing the entanglements... While the past is never finished, and the future is not what would unfold, the world holds or rather is the memories of its iterated reconfigurings" Karen Barad's "Troubling Time's & Ecologies of Nothingness," European Graduate School Video Lectures (YouTube), my transcription.
"If classical physics insists that the void has no matter and no energy, the quantum principle of ontological indeterminacy, and particularly the indeterminacy relation between energy and time, pose into question the existence of such a zero energy, zero matter state... the indeterminacy principle allows for fluctuations of the vacuum... the vacuum is far from empty, it is fill with all possible indeterminate yearnings of space-time mattering... we can understand vacuum fluctuation in terms of virtual particles. Virtual particles are the quanta of the vacuum fluctuations... the void is a spectral ground, not even nothing can be free of ghosts... there is infinite number of possibilities, but not everything is possible. The vacuum isn't empty but neither is anything in it... particles together with their antiparticles and pairs can be created out of the vacuum by putting the right amount of energy into the vacuum... So, similarly, particles together with their antiparticles and pairs can go back into the vacuum, emitting the excess energy" Karen Barad's "Troubling Time's & Ecologies of Nothingness," European Graduate School Video Lectures (YouTube), my transcription.

Labyrinthine corridors, rooms: 

"This was on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning I awoke early and read the two papers. Bohm, in simple clear language, declared that indeed there were conceptual problems in both macro- and microphysics, and that they were not to be swept under the carpet... And, further, Bohm suggested that the root of those problems was the fact that conceptualizations in physics had for centuries been based on the use of lenses which objectify (indeed the lenses of telescopes and microscopes are called objectives). Lenses make objects, particles," Karl Pribram's "The Implicate Brain";
"An equally important step in understanding came at a meeting at the University of California in Berkley, in which Henry Stapp and Geoffrey Chew of the Department of Physics pointed out that most of quantum physics, including their bootstrap formulations based on Heisenberg's scatter matrices, were described in a domain which is the Fourier transform of the spacetime domain. This was of great interest to me because Russell and Karen DeValois of the same university had shown that the spatial frequency encoding displayed by cells of the visual cortex was best described as a Fourier transform of the input pattern. ***The Fourier theorem states that any pattern, no matter how complex, can be analyzed into regular waveform components of different frequencies, amplitudes, and (phase) relations among frequencies. Further, given such components, the original pattern can be reconstructed. This theorem was the basis for Gabor's invention of holography," Karl Pribram's "The Implicate Brain";

[***when different wave patterns meet, they add up to form new patterns; you can analyse complex wave patterns as if they were a superposition of more simple waves, which have, for instance a definite, uniforme wavelength; the illustration at left is taken from the site of professor John D. Norton (Pittsburg University): "Einstein for Everyone"; it is important to note that real wave patterns studied in physics are much more complex than this two dimensional representation, and that they are ultimately formed by something that is neither strictly speaking a wave nor a particle as these are classically understood; I shall also say that not all John D. Norton's  explanations given in the referred site seem very enlightening to me]
(see picture above)

From Maxwell's equations, we should expect an infinite number of frequencies of electromagnetic waves (or radiation, which includes visible light, and waves whose frequencies are bellow the one which produces the red colour, such as radio waves, and also waves whose frequencies are above the one which produces the violet colour, such gama rays). All these electromagnetic waves travel at what is called the speed of light (the frequencies can vary because the wavelength also varies proportionally) and constitute the electromagnetic spectrum. High frequency means also high photon energy. The photon energy is related to how single atoms of different material objects can absorb and emit electromagnetic waves, which happens always in quantum discrete amounts. As concrete musical instruments, atoms can produce oscillations only in certain restricted ways, and they do so very energetically. The physical production of what we perceive as forms and colours has to do, however, more directly with the way electromagnetic waves travel much more freely and continuously in space, through, for instance, air or water, interfering (constructively or destructively) with one another, interacting with molecules—and we are talking about electromagnetic waves of lower energy and frequencies, which are visible. What we see, although, isn't everything.
Does the continuum (infinitely divisible) preclude plurality? Does the discrete precludes unity? Of course no! Except for the lack of imagination of the purist & prudish. But thanks gosh, in philosophy we also have Leibniz's "Natura non facit saltus," and Peirce's synechism (everything is connected), the immemorial and unending, irreducible battles between the one and the many. Why should people be so afraid of a conundrum of straight lines, curves, and points (which besides going for these one- and two-dimensions, can be extrapolated to n-)? Infinitesimals, differentials, and limits, what is the real difference? Epsilon-delta definition (Cauchy, Bolzano, Weierstrass) and nonstandard analysis (Abraham Robinson) are all in the end perfectly compatible. Add to that synthetic differential geometry or the smooth infinitesimal (F. W. Lawvere), whatever! The actual infinite—everything else starts from it! Just don't be afraid of lingo—the science wars are an affair of securing university bonus in times of economic havoc. And don't forget that continuity doesn't have to be only local, that is, the chaosmos is full of nonlocal connections, the innermost separations! What matters is attitude, not content or specific formulations.

["Whenever a point x is within δ units of c, f(x) is within ε units of L," graphic and definition from the Wikipedia's epsilon-delta entry ] 
["Infinitesimals (ε) and infinites (ω) on the hyperreal number line (1/ε = ω/1)," graphic and definition from Wikipedia's hyperreal number entry]
(see picture above)

"Cusanus... took the circle to be an infinilateral regular polygon, that is, a regular polygon with an infinite number of (infinitesimally short) sides... The idea of considering a curve as an infinilateral polygon was employed by a number of later thinkers, for instance, Kepler, Galileo and Leibniz... Traditionally, geometry is the branch of mathematics concerned with the continuous and arithmetic (or algebra) with the discrete. The infinitesimal calculus that took form in the 16th and 17th centuries, which had as its primary subject matter continuous variation, may be seen as a kind of synthesis of the continuous and the discrete, with infinitesimals bridging the gap between the two. The widespread use of indivisibles and infinitesimals in the analysis of continuous variation by the mathematicians of the time testifies to the affirmation of a kind of mathematical atomism which, while logically questionable, made possible the spectacular mathematical advances with which the calculus is associated. It was thus to be the infinitesimal, rather than the infinite, that served as the mathematical stepping stone between the continuous and the discrete," John L. Bell's "Continuity and Infinitesimals" (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) [I like this passage very much, and this is a very useful article, but I'm not subscribing in detail to all ideas Bell developed there];
"... science needs calculus; calculus needs the continuum; the continuum needs a very careful definition; and the best definition requires there to be actual infinities (not merely potential infinities) in the micro-structure and the overall macro-structure of the continuum... Informally expressed [for Dedekind], any infinite set can be matched up to a part of itself; so the whole is equivalent to a part. This is a surprising definition because, before this definition was adopted, the idea that actually infinite wholes are equinumerous with some of their parts was taken as clear evidence that the concept of actual infinity is inherently paradoxical... [Cantor's] new idea [similar to Dedekind's] is that the potentially infinite set presupposes an actually infinite one. If this is correct, then Aristotle’s two notions of the potential infinite and actual infinite have been redefined and clarified," Bradley Dowden's "The Infinite" (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy) [I like this passage very much, and this is a very useful article, but I'm not subscribing in detail to all ideas Dowden developed there];

"... in Quantum Electrodynamics... processes of much greater complexity [than a simple electron-electron scattering] could intervene in the scattering process. For example, the exchanged photon could convert to an electron-positron pair which would subsequently recombine... or one of the incoming electrons might emit a photon and reabsorb it on the way out... in general, the exchange of arbitrarily large numbers of photons, electrons and positrons can contribute to electromagnetic interactions... very complicated multiparticle exchanges have to be taken into account in the analysis of physical systems. Indeed, no exact solutions to the Quantum Electrodynamics are known, nor have such solutions ever been shown rigorously to exist [but precise approximations are possible]," Andrew Pickering's Constructing Quarks (p. 63);
"... in quantum field theory all forces are mediated by particle exchange... It is equally important to stress that the exchanged particles... are not observable... To explain why this is so, it is necessary to make a distinction between 'real' and 'virtual' particles... particles with unphysical values of energy and momentum are said to be 'virtual' or 'off mass-shell' particles. In classical physics they could not exist at all... In quantum physics, in consequence of the Uncertainty Principle, virtual particles can exist, but only for an infinitesimal and experimentally undetectable length of time. In fact, the lifetime of a virtual particle is inversely dependent upon how far its mass diverges from its physical value," Andrew Pickering's Constructing Quarks (p. 64-65);
"In quantum mechanics the particles themselves can be represented as fields. An electron, for example, can be consid­ered a packet of waves with some finite extension in space. Conversely, it is of­ten convenient to represent a quantum­ mechanical field as if it were a particle. The interaction of two particles through their interpenetrating fields can then be summed up by saying the two par­ticles exchange a third particle, which is called the quantum of the field. For example, when two electrons, each sur­rounded by an electromagnetic field, ap­proach each other and bounce apart, they are said to exchange a photon, the quantum of the electromagnetic field. The exchanged quantum has only an ephemeral existence... The larger their energy, the briefer their existence. The range of an interaction is related to the mass of the exchanged quantum. If the field quantum has a large mass, more energy must be borrowed in order to support its existence, and the debt must be repaid sooner lest the discrep­ancy be discovered. The distance the particle can travel before it must be reabsorbed is thereby reduced and so the corresponding force has a short range. In the special case where the exchanged quantum is massless [such as a photon] the range is infinite," Gerard 't Hooft's "Gauge Theories of the Forces between Elementary Particles" (Scientific American, vol. 242, n. 6, 1980, pp. 104-141);
"It was not immediately apparent that quantum electrodynamics could qualify as a physically acceptable theory. One problem arose repeatedly in any at­tempt to calculate the result of even the simplest electromagnetic interac­tions, such as the interaction between two electrons. The likeliest sequence of events in such an encounter is that one electron emits a single virtual photon and the other electron absorbs it. Many more complicated exchanges are also possible, however; indeed, their number is infinite. For example, the electrons could interact by exchanging two pho­tons, or three, and so on. The total prob­ability of the interaction is determined by the sum of the contributions of all the possible events... Perhaps the best defense of the theo­ry is simply that it works very well. It has yielded results that are in agree­ment with experiments to a n accuracy of about one part in a billion, which makes quantum electrodynamics the most accurate physical theory ever de­ vised," Gerard 't Hooft's "Gauge Theories of the Forces between Elementary Particles" (Scientific American, vol. 242, n. 6, 1980, pp. 104-141);
"If an electron enters a medi­um composed of molecules that have positively and negatively charged ends, for example, it will polarize the molecules. The electron will repel their negative ends and attract their positive ends, in effect screening itself in positive charge. The result of the polarization is to reduce the electron's effective charge by an amount that in­ creases with distance... The uncertainty principle of Werner Heisenberg suggests... that the vacuum is not empty. Accord­ing to the principle, uncertainty about the energy of a system increases as it is examined on progressively shorter time scales. Particles may violate the law of the conservation of energy for unobservably brief instants; in effect, they may materialize from nothing­ness. In QED [Quantum Electrodynamics] the vacuum is seen as a complicated and seething medium in which pairs of charged "virtual" parti­cles, particularly electrons and posi­trons, have a fleeting existence. These ephemeral vacuum fluctuations are polarizable just as are the molecules of a gas or a liquid. Accordingly QED predicts that in a vacuum too electric charge will be screened and effectively reduced at large distances," Chris Quigg's Elementary Particles and Forces (Scientific American, vol. 252, n. 4, 1985, pp. 84-95);
"A nuvem de probabilidades que acompanha os elétrons entre uma interação e outra é um pouco parecida com um campo. Mas os campos de Faraday e Maxwell, por sua vez, são feitos de grãos: os fótons. Não apenas as partículas estão em certo sentido difusas no espaço como campos, mas também os campos interagem como partículas. As noções de campo e de partícula, separadas por Faraday e Maxwell, acabam convergindo na mecânica quântica. A forma como isso acontece na teoria é elegante: as equações de Dirac determinam quais valores cada variável pode assumir. Aplicadas à energia das linhas de Faraday, dizem-nos que essa energia pode assumir apenas certos valores e não outros... As ondas eletromagnéticas são de fato vibrações das linhas de Faraday, mas também, em pequena escala, enxames de fótons... Por outro lado, também os elétrons e todas as partículas de que é feito o mundo são 'quanta' de um campo... semelhante ao de Faraday e Maxwell," Carlo Rovelli's A realidade não é o que parece  (Objetiva, 2014, p. 125);
"A 'nuvem' que representa os pontos do espaço onde é provável encontrar o elétron é descrita por um objeto matemático chamado 'função de onda.'O físico austríaco Erwin Schrödinger escreveu uma equação que mostra como essa função de onda evolui no tempo. Schrödinger esperava que a 'onda' explicasse as estranhezas da mecânica quântica... Ainda hoje alguns tentam entender a mecânica quântica pensando que a realidade é a onda de Schrödinger. Mas Heisenberg e Dirac logo compreenderam que esse caminho é equivocado. A função [de onda] não está no espaço físico, está em um espaço abstrato formado por todas as possíveis [virtuais!] configurações do sistema... A realidade do elétron não é uma onda [?]: é esse aparecer intermitente nas colisões," Carlo Rovelli's A realidade não é o que parece  (Objetiva, 2014, p. 271);


"When we say that we wish to make sense of something we meant o put it into spacetime terms, the terms of Euclidean geometry, clock time, etc. The Fourier transform domain is potential to this sensory domain. The waveforms which compose the order present in the electromagnetic sea which fills the universe make up an interpenetrating organization similar to that which characterizes the waveforms "broadly cast" by our radio and television stations. Capturing a momentary cut across these airwaves would constitute their hologram. The broadcasts are distributed and at any location they are enfolded among one another. In order to make sense of this cacophany of sights and sounds, one must tune in on one and tune out the others. Radios and television sets provide such tuners. Sense organs provide the mechanisms by which organisms tune into the cacophany which constitutes the quantum potential organization of the elecromagnetic energy which fills the universe," Karl Pribram's "The Implicate Brain";
"... the cloud chamber photograph does not reveal a “solid” particle leaving a track. Rather it reveals the continual unfolding of process with droplets forming at the points where the process manifests itself. Since in this view the particle is no longer a point-like entity, the reason for quantum particle interference becomes easier to understand. When a particle encounters a pair of slits, the motion of the particle is conditioned by the slits even though they are separated by a distance that is greater than any size that could be given to the particle. The slits act as an obstruction to the unfolding process, thus generating a set of motions that gives rise to the interference pattern," Basil J. Hiley's "Mind and matter: aspects of the implicate order described through algebra" (in K. H. Pribram's and J. King's Learning as Self-Organisation, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996, pp. 569-86);
"Let us... ask what the algebraic structure tells you about the underlying phase space. Because the algebra is non-commutative there is no single underlying manifold. That is a mathematical result. Thus if we take the algebra as primary then there is no underlying manifold we can call the phase space. But we already know this. At present we say this arises because of the 'uncertainty principle,' but nothing is 'uncertain,'" Basil Hiley's "From the Heisenberg Picture to Bohm: a New Perspective on Active Information and its relation to Shannon Information" (in A. Khrennikov, Proc. Conf. Quantum Theory: reconsideration of foundations, Sweden, Växjö University Press, pp. 141-162, 2002).
"What Gelfand showed was that you could either start with an a priori given manifold and construct a commutative algebra of functions upon it or one could start with a given commutative algebra and deduce the properties of a unique underlying manifold. If the algebra is non-commutative it is no longer possible to find a unique underlying manifold. The physicist’s equivalent of this is the uncertainty principle when the eigenvalues of operators are regarded as the only relevant physical variables. What the mathematics of non-commutative geometry tells us is that in the case of a non-commutative algebra all we can do is to find a collection of shadow manifolds... The appearance of shadow manifolds is a necessary consequence of the non-commutative structure of the quantum formalism," Basil Hiley's "Phase Space Descriptions of Quantum Phenomena" (in A. Khrennikov, Quantum theory: Reconsiderations of Foundations, Vaxjo University Press, 2003).

the odd transformation of Der Herr Warum (Gödel with Resnais);
the only three types of ingenuity;
why self-help books are not to be dismissed;
the most auspicious tetrahedron;
what is REAL space? what is REAL number?
Timothy Leary in the 1990s;
5G?! Get real...
list of charming scientists/engineers;
pick a soul (ass you wish);
- en profane: Orsay & Centre Pompidou;
view from Berthe Trépat's apartment;
list des déclencheurs musicaux;
Dark Consciousness;
The Doors of Perception;
Structuralism, Poststructuralism;
List des figures du chaos primordial (Deleuze);
Brazilian Perspectivism;
Piano Playing (Kochevitsky);
- L'Affirmation de l'âne (review of Smolin/Unger's The Singular Universe);
And also:

Friday, February 15, 2019

two sentences, the dogma of semantic uniformity & alchemy (or how not to use the method of shouting to close a window)

Der fürchterliche Pauli as a young student (picture taken from the Internet/CERN);
Antonio Cândido on Sérgio Buarque de Holanda;
The Devil & Father Amorth (William Friedkin, 2018);

"But those infinities are perhaps not inevitable... I regard Peirce's hypostatization as name magic, Wittgenstein's alchemy."
Ian Hacking
"En faisant de la volonté l'essence des choses ou le monde vu du dedans, on refuse en principe la distinction de deux mondes: c'est le même monde qui est sensible et suprasensible."
"Le monde n'est ni vrai, ni réel, mais vivant."
Gilles Deleuze (Nietzsche et la philosophie)
"... ich bin, um es in Räthselform auszudrücken, als mein Vater bereits gestorben, als meine Mutter lebe ich noch und werde alt."
"People sometimes say that the way things happen in the movies is unreal, but actually it's the way things happen to you in life that's unreal."
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
"Too many shadows whispering voices
Faces on posters too many choices..."
Pet Shop Boys

Two sentences:
"There are at least three perfect numbers greater than 17."
"There are at least three large cities older than New York."
- from Ian Hacking's Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all (Cambridge, 2014, p. 216-17);
From the dogma of semantic uniformity: 
Both sentences are to be analysed in the same way [also from Hacking's Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics, p. 217, but Hacking doesn't subscribe to the dogma, he derides it]. 
What is semantic uniformity, standard semantics, denotational semantics? Something that is at odds with a minimal insightful understanding of mathematics. Something that is at odds with a minimal insightful understanding of "natural languages" (and moreover, who said that languages such as English not to speak Portuguese or Polish and even Hungarian are supposed to be natural?!): 
"Nobody who takes Wittgenstein seriously is likely to agree to denotational [or referential] semantics applied to mathematics," Hacking's Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics, p. 218 [and even more important: "As his philosophy evolved, Wittgenstein absolutely rebelled against the uniformity-of- semantics premise"] [aside on Sir Peter Frederick Strawson: "expressions have meanings, while we use some expressions to refer," "Strawson's lesson, that words do not refer, but that speakers use words to refer, seems to have been largely forgotten," Hacking, p. 219];

Brewing the alchemy [but that against semantic uniformity & in favour of Python Gored Naturalism]: 

"Ich schätze den Werth von Menschen, von Rassen darnach ab, wie nothwendig sie den Gott nicht abgetrennt vom Satyr zu verstehen wissen..."
"Et que de dieux sont encore possibles! Je ne douterais point de l'existence de toutes sortes de dieux..."
Nietzsche (traduit par Klossowski)
"And maybe wisdom and madness do look very similar, at some point."
Monica Gagliano (Do Plants Have Something to Say? NYTimes)
"Mais tout cela est suffisant pour faire toucher du doigt une différence bien plus grande encore, celle qui sépare l'Occident moderne de tous ces peuples du présent et du passé qui n'ont pas jugé nécessaire de procéder à une naturalisation du monde."
Philippe Descola
"Nem mesmo sabemos onde habita agora o que é vivo, o que ele é, como se chama."
Memórias do Subsolo (tradução Boris Schnaiderman)

- what is 17?
- what is New York?
- what is a perfect number?
- what is a large city?
- what are numbers?
- what are cities?
- what is an object?
- what is an entity?
→ there are things, real things (although not all things are like that) which we are acquainted with and with which we don't have causal relations [for example, some mathematical stuff &/or phenomena related to non-locality];

"... it is very much a philosopher's view that the only objects there are are physical or material objects, or regions of space-time, or whatever it is that philosophers tell us... to maintain that there aren't any numbers at all because numbers are abstract and not physical objects seems like a demented way to show respect for physics, which of course everyone admires," George Boolos, as quoted by Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all.
"We are of divine species," Dedekind as quoted by Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all.

***More on the dogma of semantic uniformity, or an expatiation on how to accommodate Python Gored Naturalism with Styles of Scientific Reasoning & Pedestrian Reality: "... when facing this possibility of using the notion of styles of thinking to address so diversified kinds of human undertakings, a special point must be considered. Hacking is not saying that in order to point to truth or falsehood every proposition depends on some kind of style of thinking. He “rejects any uniform all-purpose semantics,” and the “idea that a uniform theory of truth or of meaning should apply across the board to an entire language”... In contrast to sentences that would depend on styles of thinking in order to point to truth or falsehood, Hacking refers to “the boring utterances that crop up in almost any language, and which make radical translation relatively easy.” He refers to “propositions that have a sense for almost all human beings,” and to the “boring domains of ‘observations’ that we share with all people as people.” As an example of such an observation, Hacking suggests the proposition “my skin is warm”... It is possible to sustain that even the most apparently obvious propositions are in any case theory-laden. But the conflation of Hacking’s distinction between more and less sophisticated kinds of propositions would imply a very implausible oversimplification of the way real people use language. Under normal viewing conditions, no one would even think much less utter a proposition such as this table is brown, so obvious people take to be its meaning... Someone could perfectly say, however, this chair is made of Brazilian rosewood, and this would make sense exactly for denoting some kind of expertise. We can understand the first sentence as not depending on any specific style whatsoever, and capable of being understood straightforwardly by most people just by the use of the most elementary discursive and perceptual abilities. The second sentence demands the use of other skills, which do not have to be styles of thinking, but only a slightly more elaborated and technical use of elementary discursive and perceptual abilities. Finally, another sentence could be added in order to extend the comparison: the heat which has the refrangibility of the red rays is occasioned by the light of those rays... This latter sentence demands the use of styles of thinking, because it mentions concepts and types of objects (refrangibility, rays) which would not even exist for people unless they are engaged in certain specific and complex practices by which these concepts and objects are made possible... Ultimately, the problem with saying that everything is theory-laden [this is the core of Hacking's criticism of theory-laden armchair infatuation] is that this position undermines elementary distinctions that constitute human discursive practices—elementary distinctions such as between on the one hand saying, telling, giving an account of something, and on the other hand doing something. A person might just say to another that he or she feels cold and wants the window to be closed, but unless one goes over there and effectively interacts with the window the cold will not merely disappear just by saying close the window no matter how loudly you shout. Perhaps the cold goes away if you are Brian de Palma’s Carrie (1976), but what makes Carrie a Carrie either in movies or in real life (supposing there might be such a thing) is that her thought and talk are imbued with a special sui generis power that is faraway more effective than ordinary people’s thought and talk (and even limbs). You would still need distinctions between thinking, saying, and doing in order to make any sense of Carrie. Differences between things such as mental states, sentences, and external objects are all constitutive and germane to what is here called styles of thinking. Without such elementary distinctions, there is not much to be done with a sentence such as the heat which has the refrangibility of the red rays is occasioned by the light of those rays," Alessandro Zir, Luso-Brazilian Encounters of the Sixteenth-Century (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011, p. 6-7). 

Getting Wolfgang Pauli & the naive Portuguese, as a plus: 

"Generally speaking scientists are no Carries, though there might have been a few registered but far less noxious cases such as Wolfgang Pauli and the Pauli effect," Alessandro Zir, The Sixteenth-Century Corpus of the Portuguese Colonizers of Brazil (Dalhousie, PhD thesis) [the paragraph of this sentence (which refers also to Ludwik Fleck) wasn't incorporated in the book Luso-Brazilian Encounters published in 2011 by FDU Press—an incident not necessarily ranking as a fatal blow to die Geissel Gottes' scholarship supposing it exists].
"Sérgio Buarque de Holanda remarks that the Portuguese were naive realist people. Their realism would come exactly from their credulity, which would be, as he defines it, “a radical gentleness and passivity in face of reality” that “does not deny Nature infinite possibilities” and the supernatural... If this is correct, the Portuguese would be people capable of recognizing the most strange things in nature, without having to deny all the humdrum propositions that make sense to most people, including people having no sensibility whatsoever to apparitions of monsters and the devil. Besides seeing devils and monsters, the Portuguese would not have any difficulty and do not invoke anything spiritual in order to answer a simple question such as are you cold? They also never use the method of shouting in order to close windows," Alessandro Zir, Luso-Brazilian Encounters of the Sixteenth-Century (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011, p. 6-7). 

More on Pauli: 
"Pauli was never what our expert in didactics would call a good lecturer. Nevertheless he was an inspiring and intoxicating teacher. In particular when he was not too well prepared (this happened not infrequently), one could experience the spirit in statu nascendi, and this was awesome. With his ruthless demand for precision and lucidity Pauli never intended to hurt his students or colleagues. His sharp tongue notwithstanding, his criticism was always honest and reflected not only his dislike of half-truths but also his demonic depths... In despite of his critical stance, he was certainly not one of these petty reasoning minds which cannot endure any paradoxes," Harald Atmanspacher's & Hans Primas's "The Hidden Side of Wolfgang Pauli," Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3, 2, 1996, pp. 112-26. 

More on fairies & witches:
"I'm hitting art from both sides of the brain. I used to be really into math and science in school, I was a bit of a nerd. I was into quantum physics and all the strange magic that exists there. All of the ideas that an intuitive mind might come up with can be proven on a microscopic scientific level. I saw my fairy godmother the other day. We were talking about the future and I was stressed out, and she was like, "Just remember you're a witch." It was so cool to hear her say that in a chill way, just a casual thing to say. Ever since I was little I believed in stuff beyond what I could see. You could also just call that having an imagination, but I believed so much in it and how to manifest all of my dreams," India Salvor Menuez (Vice interview);

See also:
- actual infinite falling (against Carlo Rovelli's pseudo-problem);
- the odd transformation of Der Herr Warum (Gödel with Resnais);
the only three types of ingenuity;
- why self-help books are not to be dismissed;
- the most auspicious tetrahedron;
- what is REAL space? what is REAL number?
- Timothy Leary in the 1990s;
- 5G?! Get real...
- list of charming scientists/engineers;
- pick a soul (ass you wish);
- view from Berthe Trépat's apartment;
- list des déclencheurs musicaux;
Dark Consciousness;
- The Doors of Perception;
Structuralism, Poststructuralism;
List des figures du chaos primordial (Deleuze);
- Brazilian Perspectivism (Viveiros de Castro vs. Haroldo de Campos);
- Piano Playing (Kochevitsky);
- L'Affirmation de l'âne (review of Smolin/Unger's The Singular Universe);
And also:

Monday, February 11, 2019

the odd transformation of Der Herr Warum

L'Année Dernière à Marienbad (Alain Resnais/Grillet 1961);
The Great Abyss Inframince (A/Z 2018, for more see here);

"... the blindness of humanity to all the beauty and wonder of the Universe is due to this illusion of straightness. It is significant that Riemann, Bolyai and Lobatchewsky seem to have been the mathematical prophets of the New Revelation..."
Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth
"... when you work with people who misunderstand you, instead of getting transmissions you get transmutations, and that's much more interesting in the long run..."
Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
"Causal thinking never yields accurate description of metabolic processes (limitations of existing language)."
William S. Burroughs
"Man muß die Größe seines Magens kennen... Das Tempo des Stoffwechsels steht in einem genauen Verhältniß zur Beweglichkeit oder Lahmheit der Füße des Geistes; der 'Geist' selbst ist ja nur eine Art dieses Stoffwechsels."
"Zur Aufgabe einer Umwerthung der Werthe waren vielleicht mehr Vermögen nöthig, als je in einem Einzelnen bei einander gewohnt haben, vor Allem auch Gegensätze von Vermögen, ohne daß diese sich stören, zerstören dürften."
"Weber singulariza o seu tratamento da série radicalizando o princípio do espelho: ele procura configurações intervalares de doze sons que já sejam, elas mesmas, a condensação de um espaço simétrico, ao mesmo tempo que labiríntico e sem centro (uma série que já contenha, em avesso do avesso, os seus próprios espelhos)."
José Miguel Wisnik

"Marienbad: the name conjures up images of expensively dressed men and women walking leisurely on wide white paths through expansive manicured gardens, large fountains spewing the mineral-rich waters high into the air... The Gödel family is likely to have stayed at the elegant Baroque-style hotel at the springs, where many famous people have enjoyed their holidays, among them King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, King Otto I of Greece, the Persian Shah Nasredding, Edward VII of Britain, as well as Goethe, Mark Twain, and Sigmund Freud, to name but a few.
As Kurt described the experience many years later, at Marienbad he underwent a transformation. Until the Gödel expected to pursue his interests in the humanities, social studies, and languages, as an educated man of the period. But walking the long corridors of the elegant hotel, strolling through the lavish parks, and soaking in the steaming mineral waters, he was suddenly changed..."
- Amir D. Aczel, The Mystery of the Aleph (WSP 2000).

"... [as revealed by Stefan Zweig in The World of Yesterday] before World War I, 'A ballet dancer ... was available for any man at any hour in Vienna for two hundred crowns.' [But] to marry someone with such associations could destroy even a well–established career," John W. Dawson, Logical Dilemmas (A. K. Peters, 1997).
"[Morgenstern] was astonished... to learn that Gödel took an interest in ghosts, and he was very dismayed by Gödel’s choice of wife, whom he described as 'a Viennese washerwoman type: garrulous uncultured, [and] strong-willed,'" John Dawson, Logical Dilemmas.
Dawson tells also that Gödel didn't care much for classical music and preferred popular songs. But according to him Gödel was interested in Modern art, television and Kafka, and believed in afterlife.
In The Mystery of Aleph, Amir D. Aczel characterizes Gödel's incompleteness theorem as follows: "there will always be propositions that cannot be proven within the system. Even if a theorem is true, it may be mathematically impossible to prove." This is fair enough, but what Aczel says next is completely wrong: "The human mind, existing within a limited universe, cannot perceive an immense entity that extends beyond the confines of the system." It is completely wrong because what is beyond the system is not bigger but smaller. The outside is inside, and the biggest is the smallest.

"Vladmir Voevodsky worried in a lecture at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study that mathematics as we know it, and as analysed in present-day Foundations of Mathematics, might be inconsistent... that would, perhaps, be liberating... Most philosophers and logicians have jeered at Wittgenstein's asking, what's so great about consistency? Could we not do perfectly good mathematics from an inconsistent basis?" Ian Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all? (Cambridge, 2014).

"Alain Connes is a Platonist. He thinks there is a totality of arithmetical truths, simply given with the number series itself. Thanks to Gödel we know that totality cannot be characterized by any recursive axiom system adequate to express its own syntax. This is not an argument for Platonism. It is an enrichment of Platonism with a new depth of understanding. As an attitude to reality and to incompleteness, this seems to me to be impeccable. But to avoid misunderstanding... as an argument for the existence of an archaic arithmetical reality, with all its truths intact, it begs the question" Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics.

Consistency & Totality:
"Nothing capable of proof ought to be accepted in science without proof," Richard Dedekind, as quoted in Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics.

Rêve et perception extracorporelle:
"Même s'il est souvent déclenché involontairement par une sensation physique, le souvenir permet de se dématérialiser, d'échapper en partie aux déterminations temporelles et spatiales... Quant au rêve, il nous offre un témoignage plus vigoureux encore du dédoublement puisque la vivacité des images que l'on en rapporte semble mal s'accorder ave l'état d'inertie corporelle qui en est la condition. Moins courantes, enfin, sont ces situations de dissociation extrême induites par les hallucinations, les insensibilités temporaires comme l'extase ou la catalepsie, voir ces expériences de perception extracorporelle associées à la prise de psychotropes ou aux cas de quasi-mort..."
Philippe Descola, Par-delà nature et culture

See also:
- actual infinite falling (against Carlo Rovelli's pseudo-problem);
- the dogma of semantic uniformity & Python Gored Naturalism;
the only three types of ingenuity;

Sunday, February 10, 2019

the only three types of ingenuity when the parameter is infinity: the limited, the false & the genuine

Bernhard Bolzano, picture taken from the Internet;

"... la majorité est travaillé par une minorité proliférante et non dénombrable qui risque de détruire la majorité dans son concept même, c'est-à-dire en tant qu'axiome... le étrange concept de non-blanc ne constitue pas un ensemble dénombrable... Le propre de la minorité, c'est de faire valoir la puissance du non-dénombrable, même quand elle est composée d'un seul membre. C'est la formule des multiplicités. Femme, nous avons tous à le devenir, que nous soyons masculins ou féminins. Non-blanc, nous avons tous à le devenir, que nous soyons blancs, jaunes ou noirs."
Deleuze & Guattari
"Denken wir uns nun einen äußersten Fall: daß ein Buch von lauter Erlebnissen redet, die gänzlich außerhalb der Möglichkeit einer häufigen oder auch nur seltneren Erfahrung liegen, — daß es die erste Sprache für eine neue Reihe von Erfahrungen ist. In diesem Falle wird einfach Nichts gehört, mit der akustischen Täuschung, daß, wo Nichts gehört wird, auch Nichts da ist... Dies ist zuletzt meine durchschnittliche Erfahrung und, wenn man will, die Originalität meiner Erfahrung."
"Ich komme aus Höhen, die kein Vogel je erflog, ich kenne Abgründe, in die noch kein Fuß sich verirrt hat..."
"Man büßt es teuer, unsterblich zu sein..."
"... one of the two professors assigned to assess his thesis, doubtless bewildered by the extent of its expertise and scholarship, declared it incomprehensible and threatened not to approve it."
Malcolm Hayes (Anton von Webern) 
"Note the parallels between ordinary awareness, classical physics, and the natural and counting integers..."
Dean Radin (Real Magic)
"Au-delà de l'erreur, au-delà de la bêtise elle-même: une certaine bassesse de l'âme..."
"... interrompidas não porque terminassem, mas porque ninguém podia levá-las a um fim."
Clarice Lispector

In his The Mystery of the Aleph, Amir D. Aczel writes: "Infinity is an intimidating concept—one where our everyday intuition no longer servers to guide us."
We start by finding our three types by identifying two more general types: the ones who stick to everyday intuition, the ones who dare to face infinity's paradoxes. 
I argue that, in any case, the paradoxes related to infinity are real
Then to stick to everyday intuition is limited or false ingenuity. To face infinity, genuine ingenuity.
The most clear and distinct example of limited ingenuity is to be found in Descartes. He preferred to stick to everyday intuition, but acknowledged that infinity is (and has to be) real.
False ingenuity, which should rather be called bêtise or deliberate ingenuousness is the case of a person who not only sticks to everyday intuition but denies that the paradoxes of infinity can be real and really hates them. There are so many examples of this lamentable case, we fortunately won't need to give any names. It might just as well be the rule. And since alle Schweiger sind dyspeptisch, choose your own favourite member of whatever academic Kroneckian priesthood you happen to be acquainted with, reverenced scientists (several might do the job), inveterate analytic philosophers, hard-nosed economists, bureaucrats &/or famous CEOs. Choose and say it out & aloud.
Very ordinary people don't count because they are all geniuses in a very Warholian peculiar way: by never raising such questions on their own. Thanks gosh, they definitely don't belong to any of our three categories.

Examples of genuine ingenuity are the followings (under construction list) [it was hard to agree on a truly certified list, so we left a few ghostly holes in the form of question marks]:
- Nicolas of Cusa;
- Giordano Bruno;
- Galileo Galilei (?);
- G. W. Leibniz (?);
- Salomon Maimon;
- Bernhard Bolzano;
- Bernhard Riemann (?);
- Kingdon Clifford (?);
- Karl Weierstrass;
- Nietzsche (?);
- Sonja Kowalewski (?);
- Gösta Mittag-Leffler (?);
- Richard Dedekind;
- Georg Cantor;
- Raymond Roussel (?);
- Henri Bergson (?);
- Der Herr Warum; 
- Claude Lévi-Strauss (?);
- Jacques Lacan (?);
- Georges Bataille (?);
- Maurice Blanchot (?);
- Pierre Klossowski (?);
- Gilles Deleuze (?);
- Jacques Derrida (?);
- Melanie Klein (?);
- Julia Kristeva (?);
- me;

Amir Aczel also provides a parable about the fate of genuine ingenuity by giving an account of Bernhard Bolzano's life:
"In 1805, Bolzano was ordained a priest and nominated to the chair of the department of the philosophy of religion at the University of Prague. Bolzano had wanted the position for several years but had been passed over for promotion by lesser-qualified but better-connected individuals... A mere decade and a half after his installment as chair, Bolzano was summarily fired and stripped of his priestly rank... One B. Frint had written a textbook which he had hoped would be used by Bolzano in his courses. But Bolzano, in his new position, resisted the pressure and did not adopt the book. Frint successfully turned people against the new chair of the philosophy of religion department. The slow but systematic case against Bolzano was built in a series of state papers documenting what officials considered objectionable elements in Bolzano's sermons. The most offensive infraction was Bolzano's preaching peace to the students... When the first attacks on him occurred, Bolzano had the support of the Archbishop of Prague, and this helped him evade any serious consequences" The Mystery of the Aleph (WSP, 2000).
To this it may be interesting to juxtapose the following passage from Nietzsche: "Il y a des vies où les difficultés touchent au prodige; ce sont les vied des penseurs. Et il faut prêter l'oreille à ce qui nous est raconté à leur sujet, car on y découvre des possibilités de vie, dont le seul récit nous donne de la joie et de la force, et verse une lumière sur la vie de leurs successeurs. Il y a là autant d'invention, de réflexion, de hardiesse, de désespoir et d'espérance que dans les voyages des grands navigateurs; et, à vrai dire, ce sont aussi des voyages d'exploration dans les domaines les plus reculés et les plus périlleux de la vie..." (as quoted by Deleuze in Nietzsche et la philosophie).
Also, from Ecce Homo: "Wenn trotzdem an mir manche kleine und große Missethat verübt worden ist, so war nicht der 'Wille', am wenigsten der böse Wille Grund davon: eher schon hätte ich mich —ich deutete es eben an — über den guten Willen zu beklagen, der keinen kleinen Unfug in meinem Leben angerichtet hat."

Poincaré & Wittgenstein:

On Wittgenstein and finitism &/or on the difference between the infinite and the huge (see also here): 
"Wittgenstein’s famous matching of finitism and behaviourism, united by their denial of the existence of something (infinite sets and inner states, respectively), in the correct but badly executed attempt to avoid confusion (that between the infinite and a very large quantity, and that between an inner state and a private entity), shows, on this point, the agreement and, at the same time, the distance between the Austrian philosopher’s position and finitism. The denial of the existence of infinite sets is a mistaken way to draw a grammatical distinction which, though it may be opportune, should be done differently: by showing that the grammar of the word “infinite” cannot in the slightest be clarified by taking into account only the picture of something huge, a picture which usually accompanies the use of the word. As Wittgenstien affirms in one of his lectures in 1939: “If one were to justify a finitist position in mathematics, one should say just that in mathematics ‘infinite’ does not mean anything huge. To say ‘There’s nothing infinite’ is in a sense nonsensical and ridiculous. But it does make sense to say we are not talking of anything huge here”... Wittgenstein moves some criticisms against the platonistic interpretation of the true import of Cantor’s proof; nevertheless they do not originate in any way from a presupposed identification of legitimate mathematics with finitist mathematics and, even less so, from the violation, by Cantor’s proof, of the requirements imposed by strict finitism. Once the appropriate clarifications have been made about what, in his opinion, it really demonstrates, Cantor’s proof is more than good enough for Wittgenstein, in spite of the certainly non-finite nature of the “objects” it deals with... proofs which are finitistically (not only strict finitistically) unacceptable are actually accepted by Wittgenstein or are not questioned on the basis of the restriction of admissible mathematical procedures to the finitary ones," Pasquale Frascolla, Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mathematics (Routledge 1994).
***Russel & Quine with irony: "[they] were born to be nominalists even if the hard knocks of mathematical and philosophical experience shattered childhood complacency. (Russell actually began as an idealist in the Hegelian manner of late Victorian England, but that was his infancy, not his childhood)," Ian Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all (Cambridge 2014).

See also:
And also:

Friday, February 08, 2019

why self-help books are NOT to be dismissed & why parapsychology is anti-establishment

Der fürchterliche Pauli as a young student (picture taken from the Internet/CERN);
Rupert Sheldrake's TED talk;
Stephen E. Braude interview (Closer to True);
Stephen E. Braude interview (with Jeffrey Mishlove);

"... unless his incantations should chance to be thwarted and foiled by the more potent charms of another sorcerer..."
A. C.
"Au lendemain de cette nuit, le petit Joseph est pris soudain de malaises et de crampes, et meurt en peu d'heures."
Nietzsche (traduction by Klossowski)
"... guru é um cara que mostra o caminho. Eu sempre fui a favor de que cada um de nós saiba o caminho que deva seguir. A vida nos dá todas as ferramentas, faz a gente encontrar as pessoas certas, no momento certo, o problema é reconhecer."
Paulo Coelho (BBC interview)
"Trabalhava séria, calada, os braços ao longo do corpo. Não precisava aproximar-se de Arlete para brincar com ela... desejo-poder-milagre, desde pequena. A fórmula se realizava tantas vezes: sentir a coisa sem possuí-la."
Clarice Lispector

"I kept the TV on all the time, especially while people were telling me their problems, and the television I found to be just diverting enough so the problems people told me didn't really affect me any more. It was some kind of magic."
"An actress friend told me that after she didn't want money any more and after she didn't want jewels any more, that's when she got money and jewels. I guess it's for our own good that it always happens that way, because after you stop wanting things is when having them won't make you go crazy... Everything becomes distorted when something you really want is sitting in your lap."
"Everybody has problems, but the thing is to not make a problem about your Problem. For example, if you have no money and you worry about it all the time, you'll get an ulcer and have a real problem and you still won't have any money..."
A. W.
"Wenn trotzdem an mir manche kleine und große Missethat verübt worden ist, so war nicht der 'Wille', am wenigsten der böse Wille Grund davon: eher schon hätte ich mich — ich deutete es eben an — über den guten Willen zu beklagen, der keinen kleinen Unfug in meinem Leben angerichtet hat."
"Insgleichen gehört in diese Zwischenzeit jener Hymnus auf das Leben (für gemischten Chor und Orchester), dessen Partitur vor zwei Jahren bei E. W. Fritsch in Leipzig erschienen ist: ein vielleicht nicht unbedeutendes Symptom für den Zustand dieses Jahres, wo das jasagende Pathos par excellence, von mir das tragische Pathos genannt, im höchsten Grade mir innewohnte."

"Berg wrote to his wife: 'after the first and last movements, I felt exactly as one would after an adrenalin injection. I could not stand up.' Two days later Schoenberg and his wife were also present. 'I sat with Schoenberg,' Berg wrote to Helene. 'He had not thought it possible. Webern's achievement is such that all doubts about his ability, even those of Mathilde, were swept away to be replaced by unreserved admiration... The triumvirate of Schoenberg, Webern and Berg was admittedly something of a mutual admiration society: an understandable situation, given the hostility that their music had almost always encountered outside a friendly circle of supporters. Even so, neutral reports of the two concerts indicate that the performances were indeed remarkable..."
Malcolm Hayes (Anton von Webern)

"This in some respects augments who and what we think we are. If telepathy is true, it means that what you think of as your private thoughts aren't so private after all. It means that you have to think of your mind as mostly located in here but spread out a little bit in both space and time. And if it is spread out in space and time it means that your thought and other people's thoughts commingle at some stage. That creates a very dramatic change in terms of our personal ontology about who and what we think we are. Another thing is that it challenges the view which says we are completely isolated, we live in a mechanistic world in which mind is brain, and in a completely pointless existence. You see this sometimes in people who have been to the neurosciences in a while, specially students, they become really depressed, because the world view that is presented is 'you are a meaningless zombie, there is not going on and everything is pointless, there is no meaning for anything.' Or as Francis Crick wrote in his book, 'you are nothing but a pack of neurones,'" [my transcription of Dean Radin's "Science and the taboo of psi", a 2008 Google Tech Talk, see Youtube video above  (one learns, by the way, from the first question raised by the audience, that the Google's tech-fanatics corporation-suckers are looking as always just for hightech applications, that is, new ways to freakishly control things and make big money out of everything, since this is the only thing that matters to them in the entire universe; Radin seems to have a different perspective)];

placebo domino:

"The tendency for prophecies to be self-fulfilling is well known in the realms of economics, politics, and religion. It is also a matter of practical psychology. Various ways of using these powers are the bases of countless self-help books, showing how avoiding negative attitudes and adopting positive ones help to bring about remarkable successes in politics, business, and love. Likewise confidence and optimism play an important part in the practice of medicine and healing—and in sports, fighting, and many other activities" Rupert Sheldrake, Seven Experiments That Could Change the World (Riverhead Books, 1995). 
"A survey of a wide range of drug trials has revealed that placebos are, on average, about a third to a half as effective as specific medication—a big effect for blank pills that cost almost nothing. But placebos are not just blank pills. They can also be forms of blank counseling or psychotherapy, or even blank surgery... in medical research, placebo effects are generally regarded as a nuisance. But perhaps the negative attitudes of physicians to placebos is just as well, since it is the other side of the coin of their faith in the special efficacy of their own techniques, which therefore tend to work better—because of the placebo effect!" Sheldrake, Seven Experiments.

"In his analysis of the many documents we have about such practices, Levi-Strauss underlines that the fallaciousness involved in them is at the same time acknowledged and simply ignored, brushed aside, by the shamans themselves. What matters to the shamans is the effect they produce in the imagination of the sick, no matter if the instrument they use is a fake one. Actually a clear distinction of what is fake and what is not fake is obstinately eluded by the very characteristics of the procedure... [Walter Cannon's] classic paper “Voodoo Death,” begins exactly with a reference to Portuguese colonizers such as Soares de Souza, who “observed instances of death among the [Brazilian] Tupinambás Indians induced by fright when men were condemned and sentenced by a so-called medicine man” (Cannon, 1942: 169). Although Cannon attributed the cause of such effects to the superstition of the primitive mind (primitive men really believe in witchcraft), he nonetheless acknowledged these effects to be real, and he was very impressed by them, for they can be quite astonishing. Healthy people can die in less than twenty-four hours, if they believe with enough strength that they have been bewitched or if they discover they have eaten some (normal and not poisonous) food they associate with certain well- established taboos in their culture (Cannon, 1942: 170). It should be understood however that the superstition in question would be better characterized not as a naive belief in some falseness at the expense of what reality would truly be. What the shamans do is to theatrically blur fiction and ordinary reality in order to conjure some power coming from what would be a more fundamental source of reality which is not visible and cannot be immediately given. They could thus, correspondingly, accuse someone such as Cannon of actually being more superstitious than they are, exactly because of Cannon’s inability to treat ordinary and visible reality as the fiction it truly is when compared to what would be its fundamental source," Alessandro Zir, Luso-Brazilian Encounters of the Sixteenth-Century (Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 2011).


"In the physical sciences, although there has been very little empirical research on experimenter effects, there have been many sophisticated discussions of the role of the observer in quantum theory... if the active influence of the experimenter's mind is taken seriously, then many possibilities open up—even the possibility that the observer's mind may have psychokinetic powers," Rupert Sheldrake, Seven Experiments.
"If [subjects with psychic powers] are anxious, uncomfortable, or treated in a formal and detached way by the scientific investigators, they do not perform so well. In fact they may show no significant psychic powers at all... The pioneering parapsychologist J. B. Rhine actually quantified this effect in a series of trials with a gifted subject, Hubert Pearce, having noticed that when someone called in to see Pearce at work his scores at once dropped down," Rupert Sheldrake, Seven Experiments.
"There is a good reason for the conventional taboo against parapsychology, making it a kind of outcast from established science. The existence of psychic phenomena would seriously endanger the illusion of objectivity," Rupert Sheldrake, Seven Experiments.
"An experimenter preparing his apparatus, getting his animals ready, and then leaving them with some feeling of assurance that the experiment will run and the animals will appropriately 'do their thing' cannot but remind us of certain aspects of magic, ritual, or perhaps petitionary prayer... Such circumstances may provide an optimum opportunity for psychokinetic intervention," R. G. Stamford, "An experimentally testable model for spontaneous psi occurrences" (Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 66, as quoted by Sheldrake in Seven Experiments).
"Generally speaking scientists are no Carries, though there might have been a few registered but far less noxious cases such as Wolfgang Pauli and the Pauli effect," Alessandro Zir, The Sixteenth-Century Corpus of the Portuguese Colonizers of Brazil (Dalhousie, PhD thesis) [the paragraph of this sentence (which refers also to Ludwik Fleck) unfortunately wasn't incorporated in the book Luso-Brazilian Encounters published in 2011 by FDU Press].
"I have here reached the limits of what might be knowable in the framework of contemporary knowledge, and I have even approached the realm of 'magic'..." die Geissel Gottes, as quoted in Harald Atmanspacher's & Hans Primas's "The Hidden Side of Wolfgang Pauli," Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3, 2, 1996, pp. 112-26. 

A tale of how bitterness caused by envious people can make an off guard good fellow to crack:
"Cantor was embarrassed to be associated with a second-rate school... He expected to be called any day to take up a professor ship at the University of Berlin. But Kronecker sensed that if he mounted a strong opposition—and made the attack personal—eventually Cantor would crack... Kronecker was vilifying Cantor, calling him a charlatan and a corrupter of youth, and referring to his work as 'humbug.' Cantor was besieged, lonely, angry, and frustrated... Cantor became more enraged. He sought to retaliate against Kronecker, and in despair came up with a bizarre plan. He was now convinced that he could never obtain a professorship in Berlin since Kronecker, entrenched and powerful, would always stand in his way. So Cantor decided to apply for a professorship anyway, for the mere purpose of annoying his enemy... Cantor wrote Mittag-Leffler of his ploy and its results: 'I knew precisely the immediate effect this would have, that in fact Kronecker would flare up as if stung by a scorpion, and with his reserve troops would strike up such a howl that Berlin would think it had been transported to the sandy deserts of Africa, with its lions, tigers, and hyenas. It seems that I have actually achieved this goal!' But Kronecker's turn to strike back at Cantor. Kronecker wrote to Mittag-Leffler asking to publish in his journal, Acta Mathematica. Kronecker was shrewdly trying to push Cantor out of the only mathematical journal that had a sympathetic editor interested in his work. Cantor suspected that Kronecker's paper would constitute an attack on his own work published in Acta Mathematica, the journal he considered his home turf, and would discredit him there, where it would hurt him the most. In frustration and fear, Cantor wrote to his friend Mittag-Leffler threatening to stop sending him his work... As it turned out, Kronecker had no paper to send, he had simply pretended to want to publish in the journal in order to upset Cantor... Cantor's response eroded his relationship with one of his few remaining fiends, Mittag-Leffler... The strain of these battles, which Cantor never stood a chance of winning, was taking its toll on his health. In May 1884, Cantor had his first nervous breakdown, lasting over a month..." Amir D. Aczel, The Mystery of the Aleph (WSP 2000).

"When I received a grant in 1968 from the Royal Society to go and study tropical plants in Malaysia, at the University of Malaya, I traveled through India on the way there. I found India a very exciting place to be, and as I traveled through that country I encountered gurus and ashrams and temples, which opened my eyes to a range of phenomena I was completely unfamiliar with. When I got back to England I got interested in exploring consciousness, and I had various psychedelic experiences, which convinced me that the mind was vastly greater than anything I'd been told about in my scientific education," Rupert Sheldrake's interview (TBS);
"... contemporary physics imbues the venerable and therapeutically useful term ‘psychodynamic’ with rigorous neurophysical efficacy. This new theory of the mind–brain connection is supportive of clinical practice. Belief in the efficacy of mental effort in emotional self-regulation is needed to subjectively access the phenomena (e.g. belief in the efficacy of effort is required to sustain mindfulness during stressful events)," "Quantum physics in neuroscience and psychology: a neurophysical model of mind–brain interaction," by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, Henry P. Stapp and Mario Beauregard (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 2005);
"The question of the observer and observed was raised, for example, to say that they were not really separate. I felt from quantum mechanics this must be very significant. Krishnamurti was applying it to the human being himself, saying that the human being as observer was not different from human being as observed... these two are actually one. The confusion that they are separate is the cause of tremendous misery, at least that was saying. I had sort of an intuitive feeling this was right. He was also hinting at something much deeper, some ground, some emptiness in a wholeness ground which everything came, which if we could contact that, then we would sort of rise beyond all these daily problems into a totally different area..." David Bohm, conversation with Maurice Wilkins;
"Gurdjieff used to invite people to eat with him and he would prepare enormous elaborate meals and drink, and even those who did not want, he would press on them. He would get them to go along with him against their will, showing that they really had no will. He did not say that, but the ultimate meaning of it was they had not any. Through this, they would be awakened into looking at their real reactions, what is really going on," David Bohm, conversation with Maurice Wilkins;
"Not that I favored thought, but I am saying that thought would win and produce all sorts of destructive effects because it could just keep at it, like Stalin, day after day, putting in his men here and there and sort of knocking out everybody else. When I felt it was really necessary to really understand the workings of thought, the nature of thought beyond just simply the content, but actually the process, how it operates and this irrational destructive way," David Bohm, conversation with Maurice Wilkins;
"... thought imposes a show in consciousness, a show of reality. Every thought contains not only the image and the imagination, but also all sorts of feelings and neural chemistry. The thought that somebody is your enemy will contain various neuro chemicals that will stir you up. Comforting thoughts will produce endorphins and you feel nice. Then you remove those comforting thoughts and the brain demands to have them back. You are sort of hooked on them... we call them props... as in the case of morphine..." David Bohm, conversation with Maurice Wilkins;
"... there would be a way of being without this self-centered thought, which the mind would be intelligent, quiet, alert, and silent... It is like a sleepwalker, as Ouspensky was saying, that the sleepwalker is dreaming that he is awake and looking at it and directing it, and so on. The point is therefore you need an awareness, an attention to all this, to see the actual process of putting on the show as such, because the show is put on in such a way to conceal the fact that it is a show... The props are part of it. Also, insensitivity is part of it, and dullness... science is part of the props for the show, religion is another part" David Bohm, conversation with Maurice Wilkins;

***An aside on Ian Hacking, Charles Sanders Peirce & Stephen Braude (since alle Schweiger sind dyspeptisch):
In his relatively well-known article about telepathy and statistics [Telepathy: Origins of Randomization in Experimental Design/ Isis, vol. 79, no. 3, Sep. 1988, pp. 427-45], Hacking portraits Peirce as being very unsympathetic to the way probability was used in parapsychological studies such as Gurney, Myers & Frank Podmore's Phantasms of the Living (1886). That is fair enough. He quotes this passage from a criticism Peirce published in the Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical Research [I: 150-157, Dec. 1887]: "[the authors of Phantasms of the Living] cipher out some very enormous odds in favor of the hypothesis of ghosts. I shall not cite these numbers, which captivate the ignorant, but which repel thinking men, who know that no human certitude reaches such figures as trillions, or even billions to one." Peirce then proceeded giving many detailed reasons why the authors' probabilistic inferences (grounded on an analysis of 31 favourable cases out of 300.000) was simply preposterous. But one should note that Peirce is not writing against the idea defended by the authors, and he doesn't give the impression of being himself a skeptic, quite on the contrary. At some point he says the following (which Hacking doesn't quote): "Although there is not a single one of the 31 cases considered which can be accepted for the purpose of the argument, yet some of them may be genuine for all that. It can only be guess-work to say how many; but in my opinion not more than two or three." A few years later than he wrote the paper on telepathy, Hacking wrote another one [Some Reasons for not Taking Parapsychology Very Seriously/ Dialogue, vol. 32, issue 3, Summer 1993, pp. 587-594] which is considered to be much more explicitly critical of parapsychology, and has been qualified as "pseudo-skeptical" (for dismissing parapsychology outrightly without a more careful and substantial analysis of the literature). The point is tricky and bitter. This 1993 Hacking's paper is a reaction to Stephen Braude's reaction to the way the mainstream academia would have regularly mishandled scientific evidence in favour of psychic phenomena. Hackings' stance seems slippery (as I suggest in another place, in relation to other related subjects). In Rewriting the Soul (1996) he reassesses similar issues (criticising other of Braude's books) and says: "One way to silence a topic of research is to treat it as a curiosity or turn it into a marvel. Science abhors a marvel, not because marvels are vacuous, empty of meaning, but because they are too full of meaning, of hints, of feeling. Marvels are meanings out fo control. You can expel a topic from science by making it a marvel. Conversely, if you are forced to look a marvel in the face, the thing to do is to bring it into the laboratory. There it will languish and die until the laboratory itself is cast out of science." If this is a criticism of marvels it is also a criticism of science. At least in a Feyerabendian perspective. The Brazilian philosopher who first brought my attention to the work of Hacking (while I was still an undergraduate), Anna Carolina K. P. Regner, had her work supervised by Feyerabend at Berkeley. I will never be able to see Hacking's philosophy without these peculiar glasses. Everything Hacking says about scientific realism sounds to me, always, as an opportunity for amplification of the eccentricities of a Feyerabend. And I always dream people like Feyerabend will win with revenge against their detractors (which Hacking somewhat also is or at least sometimes poses to be). In what matters Anna Carolina, besides being a very serious, obsessive but also open-minded scholar, she is an ethical person who ended being ostracized in Brazilian mainstream academic environment, but who never compromised her principles and standards.

Other very interesting and important articles and papers (the ones by Jessica Utts seem specially valuable):
- "Is Precognition Real? Cornell University Lab Releases Powerful New Evidence that the Human Mind can Perceive the Future," by Ben Goertzel (Humanity Plus Magazine);
- "Replication and Meta-Analysis in Parapsychology," by Jessica Utts (Statistical Science, vol. 6, n. 4, 1991, 363-403);
- "The Significance of Statistics in Mind-Matter Research," by Jessica Utts (Journal of Scientific Exploration, vol. 13, n. 4, 1999, p. 615-638);
- "The Paranormal: the evidence and its implications for consciousness," by Jessica Utts & Brian D. Josephson (originally published in Times Higher Education Supplement, April 5th 1996);
- "The Physics of Mind and Thought," Brian D. Josephson (Preprint of article to be published in the Festschrift celebrating the 90th birthday of Henry P. Stapp) [see also Josephson's "How Observers Create Reality"];
- "Biological Utilization of Quantum Non-Locality," Brian D. Josephson & Fotini Pallikari-Viras (Foundations of Physics 21(2), 1991, p. 197-207);
- "Evidence for Consciousness-Related Anomalies in Random Physical Systems," Dean I. Radin & Roger D. Nelson (Foundations of Physics, vol. 19, n. 12, 1989);
- "Electrocortical Activity Prior to Unpredictable Stimuli in Meditators and Nonmeditators," Dean I. Radin, Cassandra Vieten, Leena Michel, and Arnaud Delorme (Explore, September/October 2011, Vol. 7, No. 5);
- "Mind control, levitation and no pain: the race to find a superman in sport," Ed Hawkins (The Guardian, 18 Apr 2019);

And also:
Interactive while indifferent—Kinds & Phantasmagoria circa 1900;

*****List of books on "the power of affirmations" and "positive thinking"
(taken from Dean Radin's Real Magic, Harmony/Penguin 2018, p. 69-72):
- James Allen, As a Man Thinketh (1903);
- Roy Herbert Jarrett, It Works! (1926);
- Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence (1936);
- Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich (1937);
- Neville Goddard,  How to Manifest Your Desires (1948);
- Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking (1952);
- Earl Nightingale, The Strangest Secret (1956);
- Frederick Bailes, Hidden Power fof Human Problems (1957); 
- Joseph Murphy, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (1963);
- Esther Hicks, Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires (2004);
- Rhonda Byrne, The Secret (2007);
- Larry Dossey, The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things (2007);
- Richard Bandler, The Secrets to Quick and Lasting Life Change with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (2008);
- Lissa Rankin, Mind over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself (2013);

More from Radin's book:
- on the "Universal Self" [which can be referred to in several ways, such as "cosmic consciousness," or "the source and Ground of all being," as says Aldous Huxley in The Devils of Loudun (Harper, 2009, p. 70, 90]:
"... the goal of meditation across many traditions is to achieve a state of awareness where one gains the realization that the personal self and the Universal Self are one (in my shorthand, [c] = [C])... Learn to quiet your mind. See the world as it is, not as it appears to be when viewed through multiple layers of cultural conditioning..." (Radin, p. 76-77);
- on affirmations:
"Imagine that [the goal] has already been achieved in the future and it is inexorably headed your way. Write the goal on a piece of paper to focus your attention... Don't share your goal with others; they may inject doubt" (Radin, p. 78);
- on sigils:
"One meaning of the verb draw is to devise a picture or a symbol; the other is to pull together...(Radin, p. 80);
A point raised by Radin is that magic depends fundamentally upon two things: "maintaining strong belief" [even if you have a psi ability, you have to believe in it in order for it to manifest] and "secrecy" (p. 82, 122-24). I think this must be related also to moral issues, in the following sense: if you are an ethical person, a belief can be strengthened to the exact extent that it connects with willing something that is more profound and impact positively (potentializes) the life of others besides your own. This kind of belief can be more clearly assumed, intensified and it is not something you need to parade about. This is why I also believe that reading substantial, critical literature (like say Dostojevski, Proust, Joyce, Thomas Mann, Machado de Assis & many others) or the works of authentic philosophers and mystics (Spinoza, Swedenborg, etc.), in the long run stabilizes the ground for one to will things more properly, enhancing significantly the chance of the will to produce synchronicities and other environmental effects.
According to Radin, the most fragile point of our current scientific worldview is its understanding of consciousness (p. 184-85). And he enlists three tenets that hinder the development of a more comprehensive approach: (1) realism (understood in the sense that objects have to have properties completely independent from observers), (2) locality, and (3) causality (which presupposes a linear, simplistic conception of time as an arrow).
Behind the issue of realism might be what others have called the dogma of semantic uniformity. And it is possible to argue that people nowadays stick to ideas such as locality and to narrow conceptions of time only out of mere intellectual stubbornness. On the other hand, I prefer to bet on the fact that dichotomies such as mind/matter, intellect/will are in some way or another legitimately to persist (not to imply that Radin wouldn't agree). That is because their opposite concepts are indeed pervasive and entangled but ultimately cannot be collapsed. Reality might be information, but information itself is whimsical