THINKERS 1st FEB 2011: SOLIPSISM.

Giles Kuhn and Stephen Quander at Thinkers

Extropia DaSilva: Right..Welcome to Thinkers!
[2011/02/01 15:32]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: lol
[2011/02/01 15:32]  Archmage Atlantis: Welcome to those who think, and my cat, who thinks he thinks
[2011/02/01 15:33]  Extropia DaSilva: Today we are discussing Solispsism. Now, like most philosophies it comes in various forms, so I will briefly describe a couple, and then we shall consider what each says…
[2011/02/01 15:33]  Extropia DaSilva: In ‘Metaphysical Solipsism, the self is the only existing reality and everything else including the external world and all other people are part of that self.
In ‘Epistemological solipsism’, only one’s own sensory data and mental content can be the basis for knowledge. Either an external world exists or only the self exists. It is impossible to prove either way.
[2011/02/01 15:34]  Ivy Sunkiller: hello Stephen
[2011/02/01 15:34]  Extropia DaSilva: I find it very hard to accept the first one. But the second..seems reasonable enough to me.
[2011/02/01 15:34]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: /me wants more options
[2011/02/01 15:34]  Stephen Quander: hello
[2011/02/01 15:34]  Extropia DaSilva: Hi!
[2011/02/01 15:35]  Luisa Bourgoin: I didn’t grasp any of the two above … totally eluding. hopefully this talk will fix it
[2011/02/01 15:35]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: What about mmmh…. the self doesn’t exist intrinsically as an entity, so solipsism based on the requirement that there is a self is not possible?
[2011/02/01 15:36]  Archmage Atlantis: That requires logic as a tool Gwyn
[2011/02/01 15:36]  Ivy Sunkiller: what is existance? 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:36]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Logic is a pretty good tool, I think 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:36]  Extropia DaSilva: As a thought experiment I find solispsism is like ‘well I KNOW Gwyn exists external of me, so solipsism is false. But how am I aware of Gwyn? I perceive her within my own subjective awareness. So how do I KNOW she has any existence outside of my subjective awareness?’.
[2011/02/01 15:36]  Archmage Atlantis: Works for you, mylady
[2011/02/01 15:37]  Luisa Bourgoin: so far, well mostly, at least this sensorial experience which got triggered by surroundings let’s one assume if these surroundings beeing “consistent” at least. One might be tempted calling them real. No wormholes, no parapsychical effects
[2011/02/01 15:37]  Archmage Atlantis: Logic beheaded my forebears
[2011/02/01 15:37]  Stephen Quander: You can’t know. Solipsism is a perfectly defensive position, but it is very very uninteresting.
[2011/02/01 15:37]  Extropia DaSilva: So each of us cannot refute it, at the end of the day. But if that is so, why speak of ‘each of us’?
[2011/02/01 15:37]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: No, not really, Stephen — I mean, it’s possible to attack it.
[2011/02/01 15:38]  Stephen Quander: I would be interested in hearing an argument against it.
[2011/02/01 15:38]  Luisa Bourgoin: how to make it shatter?
[2011/02/01 15:38]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: For instance, theistic philosophies can get rid of solipsim pretty easily
[2011/02/01 15:38]  Luisa Bourgoin: we should try to destroy Solipsism 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:38]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: But let’s attempt the following non-theistic approach…
[2011/02/01 15:38]  Ivy Sunkiller: in order to create knowledge we have to make some assumption, such as that our seneses aren’t lying to us
[2011/02/01 15:38]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Suppose that my figments of imagination are actually cleverer than I am.
[2011/02/01 15:39]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Now I have to postulate that I’m not aware of my own limits somehow, i.e. that something “clouds” my mind so that I can imagine things more clever than me
[2011/02/01 15:39]  Stephen Quander: Sometimes in my dreams, characters and even myself do things that are much cleverer than me in waking life.
[2011/02/01 15:39]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Occam’s razor would say, “too many entities, make it simpler”
[2011/02/01 15:39]  Extropia DaSilva: Thing is, it says ‘the self’ is all that really exists. But does that have to be *my* self? What about Spinoza’s Ethics which supposes everything is an aspect of God?
[2011/02/01 15:40]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: See, Spinoza’s an excellent example of a theistic approach to dispel solipsism
[2011/02/01 15:40]  Stephen Quander: It doesn’t dispel anything. It is merely a stance.
[2011/02/01 15:40]  Ivy Sunkiller: I actually come up with clever solutions during shallow dreaming, guess there is something about it that allows for more out-of-the-box thinking
[2011/02/01 15:40]  Archmage Atlantis: Occam’s razor and Moore’s law…..same box of thought
[2011/02/01 15:40]  Aeni Silvercloud: Stephen, you perceive yourself as clevered than you are in your dreams; it doesn’t mean that you really are.
[2011/02/01 15:40]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Right, Stephen — then you have to postulate that your mind is not aware of the limits of its solipsistic view — some entities (even yourself) appear to have knowledge that you’re not aware of.
[2011/02/01 15:41]  Stephen Quander: I think the key word there is “appear”
[2011/02/01 15:41]  Extropia DaSilva: And when you drean you sometimes encounter other people. They must be aspects of your own consciousness, but in the dream they come across very much like autonomous people.
[2011/02/01 15:41]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: so mmh, if you’re aware of other things more clever than you… I’d conclude that the solipstistic view is too narrow for tha
[2011/02/01 15:42]  Stephen Quander: I don’t think you can budge a dedicated solipsist.
[2011/02/01 15:42]  Lem Skall: I’m not sure this is on topic but even if I am self-aware and I know I am thinking, how do I know that I actually exist and I’m not just a script written by someone else?
[2011/02/01 15:42]  Stephen Quander: And I don’t think its worth the effort to try.
[2011/02/01 15:42]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: *or* — a view based on a self existing in a solipsitic world is not correct 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:42]  Ivy Sunkiller: hello Jacek
[2011/02/01 15:42]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: heh Stephen, you’re right on that!
[2011/02/01 15:43]  Luisa Bourgoin: “out-of-the-box thinking” … hm I got that, too. there is some unconscious genius working on your problems. solving
[2011/02/01 15:43]  Stephen Quander: The better approach, IMHO, is to ask where the solipsistic stance leads…
[2011/02/01 15:43]  Jacek Shuftan: hello all who came
[2011/02/01 15:43]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: You mean, anyone besides you? hehe
[2011/02/01 15:43]  Stephen Quander: Yeah, it doesn’t seem to lead very far.
[2011/02/01 15:44]  Stephen Quander: While defensible, it is barren.
[2011/02/01 15:44]  Extropia DaSilva: Ok Stephen but when people presume to tell me what is ‘really the case’ I do think they should remember what the weaker version of solipsism says..NOBODY knows what is ‘real’ only what their sensory data and mental content tells them.
[2011/02/01 15:44]  DonJuan Writer: I remember a cousin of mine, violently slapping his legs in the garden.. I asked him what he was doing and he said “The ants are annoying me” I asked him, “Are the ants annoying you or are you annoyed with ants?” your question on where the stance leads reminded me of this
[2011/02/01 15:44]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: But there was a good point raised — how do I know that I’m the same person awake and asleep, if the sleeping self seems to have far more knowledge than I have? 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:44]  Lem Skall: btw, which form of solipsism is The Matrix?
[2011/02/01 15:45]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’d say it’s shared hallucination…
[2011/02/01 15:45]  Ivy Sunkiller: There is this saying that if something is known to be impossible to do, one day someone who doesn’t know about it will show and do it – maybe we get those clever ideas not because we are more clever when dreaming, but quite contrary? 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:45]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Not solipsism at all. Just like real life 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:45]  Lem Skall: ah right
[2011/02/01 15:45]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: aha Ivy. Right on the spot, I’d say 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:46]  Gilles Kuhn: well about the matrix example there is a better one using contemporary though experiment : hillary putnam brain in a vat
[2011/02/01 15:46]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: That argument also explains why, even during waking hours, you sometimes get ‘inspiration’ or ‘insights’ outside-of-the-box…
[2011/02/01 15:46]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: ah yes, the brain in a vat
[2011/02/01 15:46]  Stephen Quander: I think maybe you might be able to budge a dedicated solipsist by working on this issue of self-knowledge; if nothing exists outside of the solipsist’s mind then there still might be value for him or her to “play out” that interior dialogue to see where it leads.
[2011/02/01 15:46]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: now that’s a tougher nut to crack 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:47]  Ivy Sunkiller: not because your ability to get out of the box is greater, but because you don’t remember the box is there
[2011/02/01 15:47]  Ivy Sunkiller: /me chuckles
[2011/02/01 15:47]  Gilles Kuhn: it is indeed even if descartes systematic doubt lead to a form of solipsism that his summon of st anselme argument solve not
[2011/02/01 15:47]  DonJuan Writer: /me imagines an Altruistic pride festival that encourages solipists out of the closet
[2011/02/01 15:48]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: So the die-hard solipsist will spend their time having fun trying to figure out if all figments of their imagination are really that much cledverer? 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:48]  Stephen Quander: But, I do recognize the parallels between solipsism and Spinoza’s panpsychic notions.
[2011/02/01 15:48]  Stephen Quander: Is panpsychism equivalent to solipsism?
[2011/02/01 15:48]  Stephen Quander: Interesting… hadn’t thought of that.
[2011/02/01 15:48]  Gilles Kuhn: the problem of solipsism is that is a unbeatable posture but too a totally useless and improvable one
[2011/02/01 15:49]  Stephen Quander: I agree, Giles.
[2011/02/01 15:49]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, Spinoza (like many others) just conclude that if we can recognise things ‘greater than ourselves’ (more perfect, more intelligent, more powerful, etc.) and that we don’t see those qualities in our own selves, they must be external
[2011/02/01 15:49]  Archmage Atlantis: The center of civilaztion is explding on tv
[2011/02/01 15:49]  Jacek Shuftan: if you create a theory there must be a cross experiment that can prove ( or not ) it, I can not see any experiment regarding solipsyzm
[2011/02/01 15:49]  Archmage Atlantis: Like 9/a
[2011/02/01 15:49]  Gilles Kuhn: its a metaphysic question you could use it to make a kantian example of the unsolvability of metaphysic
[2011/02/01 15:49]  Archmage Atlantis: I go to watch
[2011/02/01 15:50]  Extropia DaSilva: But Gwyn, it is not uncommon for creatives to feel their art is somehow creating itself. It can sometimes feel like ‘well I did this, but I do not know how’. So maybe it is possiblle for aspects of oneself to appear to a particular state of mind to be ‘cleverer than oneself’?
[2011/02/01 15:50]  Archmage Atlantis: Blessings and namaste
[2011/02/01 15:50]  Gilles Kuhn: gwyn thats a transformation of st anselme argument i mentionned as used by descartes to the same effect totally unconvincing
[2011/02/01 15:50]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Aye, most people have that experience, Extie; that’s why some philosophers postulate that there is “something out there” that has the power to manifest that state of mind.
[2011/02/01 15:51]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Indeed, Gilles 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:51]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I rather prefer the other approach…. solipsism requires a self to exist 🙂 But, alas, is there really something like an intrinsically existing self?
[2011/02/01 15:51]  DonJuan Writer: maybe some creative people who can neither take credit nor criticism are hoping it comes from somewhere else?
[2011/02/01 15:52]  Extropia DaSilva: But even if there is something ‘out there’, the only means I have to understand it, is my own mental content and my own sensory data. So some form of solipsism seems to me a good base to start from.
[2011/02/01 15:52]  Ivy Sunkiller: Extropia: I do that all the time, I call it “crafting”, when you don’t really know what you want to make so you make more of less random things, verify them and filter out bad ideas. Evolution is very very sophisticated model of that, and it requires 0 cleverness to work (we just add cleverness to verification process)
[2011/02/01 15:52]  Gilles Kuhn: well gwin the cogito me cogitare is unescapable before alzenheimer touch you….
[2011/02/01 15:53]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: nah nah
[2011/02/01 15:53]  Ivy Sunkiller: That is: you can make something that you can’t design (for whatever reason, might not be in mood) by simple experimenting
[2011/02/01 15:53]  Extropia DaSilva: Me too. When I am writing an essay or somerhing, I study, study, study my research notes and then it is like ‘click’! and the essay just pours out of me.
[2011/02/01 15:53]  Stephen Quander: Sorry, getting called away…
[2011/02/01 15:53]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I disagree, the cogito argument only equates “thinking processes” with “existance”
[2011/02/01 15:53]  Ivy Sunkiller: byes Stephen
[2011/02/01 15:53]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: It says little else about the rest
[2011/02/01 15:53]  Extropia DaSilva: Bye!
[2011/02/01 15:53]  Gilles Kuhn: i mentionned the husserlian variant justly to avoid that objection
[2011/02/01 15:54]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh, you have to explain it to me fuller, I’m afraid….
[2011/02/01 15:54]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’m not familiar with it.
[2011/02/01 15:54]  Extropia DaSilva: Nor I.
[2011/02/01 15:54]  Gilles Kuhn: descartes said cogito sum : i think i am
[2011/02/01 15:55]  Gilles Kuhn: husserl nuanced it to cogito me cogitare sum : i think me thinking , i am
[2011/02/01 15:55]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ok so far
[2011/02/01 15:55]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: e.g. defining “existence” as “thinking process”
[2011/02/01 15:55]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ah
[2011/02/01 15:55]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s better, I agree!
[2011/02/01 15:55]  Ivy Sunkiller: no, please, no, no more thinking rocks!
[2011/02/01 15:56]  Gilles Kuhn: the only thing we can assert is the thinking nothing more
[2011/02/01 15:56]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I prefer something different… “Something thinks that I think; therefore I am” That doesn’t equate “something that thinks” with “myself”, deliberately so
[2011/02/01 15:56]  Gilles Kuhn: in fact the perception of the thinking as husserl pointed out
[2011/02/01 15:56]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: It just equates “existence of self” as something that was thought og
[2011/02/01 15:56]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: *of
[2011/02/01 15:57]  Ivy Sunkiller: Gwyn: if christian thinks that god thinks, then god exists? 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:57]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Definitely for Christians, yes 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:57]  Lem Skall: how do we know we think and we’re not just following a preordained script?
[2011/02/01 15:57]  Gilles Kuhn: we can only say that we perceive our own thinking and our own perception and those are existing whatever that mean
[2011/02/01 15:57]  Ivy Sunkiller: clever 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:57]  Extropia DaSilva: But in Descarte’s philosophy, the only thing I cannot doubt is that *I* am thinking. Not ‘some person’, *ME*.
[2011/02/01 15:58]  Extropia DaSilva: We do not know, Lem.
[2011/02/01 15:58]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Indeed, which is the first thing I immediately doubt… 🙂
[2011/02/01 15:58]  Gilles Kuhn: husserl pointed out that it was more about perception
[2011/02/01 15:58]  Luisa Bourgoin: Gilles made a point … if one wanna say ” i think me thinking , i am” better wrap that into ancient italian!
[2011/02/01 15:58]  Lem Skall: you mean latin?
[2011/02/01 15:58]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I agree with Husserl on that. I just add, something has the perception of thinking; we label the assembly of thoights as “self” for reasons of convenience
[2011/02/01 15:58]  Extropia DaSilva: I say there is no difference between free will, and no free will coupled with an inabilty to know the precisely how the future will turn out.
[2011/02/01 15:59]  Gilles Kuhn: ouch free will is far away from those essential consideration
[2011/02/01 15:59]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe
[2011/02/01 15:59]  Extropia DaSilva: Just responding to Lem, Giles.
[2011/02/01 15:59]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Free will… requires training 😉
[2011/02/01 16:00]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: On the other hand — I’ll borrow Extropia’s own philosophy as an argument against solipsism
[2011/02/01 16:00]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Here it goes…
[2011/02/01 16:00]  Extropia DaSilva: *Listens*
[2011/02/01 16:00]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Let’s postulate solipsism for a while
[2011/02/01 16:01]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: and a mechanism that makes my mind ‘cloud’ sometimes, so that I’m not aware of everything
[2011/02/01 16:01]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Now… every time I meet someone else,
[2011/02/01 16:01]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I sense that their experience of my self is slightly different from my own,
[2011/02/01 16:01]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: and that applies to all figments of my imagination that I meet
[2011/02/01 16:02]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Each and every one has a slightly different perception of my own self
[2011/02/01 16:02]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Worse than that…
[2011/02/01 16:02]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: … a new figment of my imagination pops into existence in my solipsistic world,
[2011/02/01 16:02]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: now suddenly I behave slightly differently because of that imaginary person
[2011/02/01 16:03]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: (the same happens in dreams, btw — all the time)
[2011/02/01 16:03]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: so… what can I say about this ‘self’?
[2011/02/01 16:03]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Apparently, it changes when it gets in touch with other figments of my imagination
[2011/02/01 16:03]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: and new ones will, in turn, influence the way I react
[2011/02/01 16:03]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: So the only thing I can see is…. a mutual relationship
[2011/02/01 16:04]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Parts of my “self” are echoed on those imagined people in the solpisistic world
[2011/02/01 16:04]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Parts of those imagined people are also part of my ‘self’
[2011/02/01 16:05]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: So… I cannot say I have an intrinsically existing self, or all imagined persons would react the same way to it
[2011/02/01 16:05]  Ivy Sunkiller: I think Gwyn grasped the topic pefectly given the monologue
[2011/02/01 16:05]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: (note again: even on a dream that doesn’t happen)
[2011/02/01 16:05]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: lol Ivy ty
[2011/02/01 16:05]  Ivy Sunkiller: /me smiles
[2011/02/01 16:05]  Lem Skall: btw, she wrote that while sleeping
[2011/02/01 16:05]  Ivy Sunkiller: haha
[2011/02/01 16:06]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Mmh I don’t think so 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:06]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Unliek most of you, during my dreams I’m not cleverer lol
[2011/02/01 16:06]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I wish I were; it would make things soooo much easier!
[2011/02/01 16:06]  Gilles Kuhn: in a neurological way you can conceive consciosu experience (when awake) as a dream guided by the senses
[2011/02/01 16:07]  Extropia DaSilva: Wellll..some writers of fiction claim their characters somehow ‘break free’ and resist the author’s efforts to change the narrative. It is almost as if the character takes on a life of its own. I am thinking this throws some doubt on Gwyn’s refutation of solipsism.
[2011/02/01 16:07]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Anyway, the point of the argument is that a solipsistic view of the world which has to account for selves, imaginary or not, to interrelate and interact, having no intrinsic existence except as a convenient label when we communicate, has far too many entities — Occam would have a field day on that
[2011/02/01 16:07]  Luisa Bourgoin: what I do hate most about my dreams: I dream them! why do they tend to elude any control?
[2011/02/01 16:08]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie, you put it well… writers of FICTION…. 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:08]  Gilles Kuhn: luisa it is possible to control your dreaming not always and it require practice but it is possible
[2011/02/01 16:08]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Luisa, that’s a question of training…. do we have any lucid dreamers here today?
[2011/02/01 16:09]  Luisa Bourgoin: the comic “Tintin” brought it’s writer into deep misery. Taking over his live, career and all…
[2011/02/01 16:09]  DonJuan Writer: I can be sometimes
[2011/02/01 16:09]  Ivy Sunkiller: I’m not a lucid dreamer, trained at least, but I can get some control, especially when I wake up early in the morning and stay in bed to sleep some more 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:09]  DonJuan Writer: trying to fly again in my dreams.. had a minor success today  °͜°
[2011/02/01 16:10]  Ivy Sunkiller: sounds like fun 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:10]  Luisa Bourgoin: ooooh no! that’s sleep taing over *you*, not you taking over controll of your dreams 😛
[2011/02/01 16:10]  DonJuan Writer: got stuck against my kitchen ceiling
[2011/02/01 16:10]  Extropia DaSilva: But you would think that an author would know EXACTLY how his/her characters are going to behave. They think their thoughts, after all. But no. Sometimes, the author does not know what their character is going to do. They have to ‘discover’ it as they write the story. So why can we not also say the ‘characters cannot know the author’? Why SHOULD all people who are figments of Gwyn’s imagination have the exact same sense of who Gwyn is?
[2011/02/01 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Anyway, that’s another good example. If we can train lucid dreaming, and that definitely works with a proper training taught by an appropriate teacher, the question then is — why can’t I do the same in my waking state, if I’m in a solipsistic world? 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie, authors just say that to sell more…lol
[2011/02/01 16:11]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: there is no evidence claiming that what they actually say is what they experience 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:11]  DonJuan Writer: there are many filters.. having a flexible morality loosens up the creations
[2011/02/01 16:11]  Extropia DaSilva: But it is possible Gwyn. They just need to have developed the same state-of-mind that causes some children to confuse aspects of their self with some external figure, and so have ‘imaginary friends’.
[2011/02/01 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh., You mean hallucinations.
[2011/02/01 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Sure, ok 😉
[2011/02/01 16:12]  Extropia DaSilva: Yeah…but willed somehow.
[2011/02/01 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh, sure, that’s pretty easy to do 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: as easy as lucid dreaming.
[2011/02/01 16:13]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: As you mentioned, kids do it all the time 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:13]  Extropia DaSilva: Hello Sama
[2011/02/01 16:13]  Samahikari Resident: hello
[2011/02/01 16:13]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: The big question that you should be asking then, Extie, is how we know that the world is not a hallucination created by my mind?
[2011/02/01 16:13]  Ivy Sunkiller: hello Samahikari
[2011/02/01 16:13]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’d say the answer is really that it’s nothing else BUT a hallucination 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:14]  Extropia DaSilva: Because my mind is independent of yours.
[2011/02/01 16:14]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Right! So if we share the same hallucination, we cannot call it ‘hallucination’
[2011/02/01 16:15]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: (well, we can, but it has a different meaning 🙂 )
[2011/02/01 16:15]  Extropia DaSilva: If you share an hallucination, does it become like what O Brien says to Smith in 1984? ‘If I believe I float, and you believe it, it happens’?
[2011/02/01 16:16]  Luisa Bourgoin: probably gravity has to believe it, too
[2011/02/01 16:16]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I would say yes, extie — if everybody believes something happens, it happens to them all.
[2011/02/01 16:16]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Like, say, SL 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:16]  Luisa Bourgoin: the surroundings we percieve can be devastating predictible 😦
[2011/02/01 16:17]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Indeed hehe
[2011/02/01 16:17]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: we need more magic 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:17]  Luisa Bourgoin: otherwise, we wouldn’t have phsics to do research in
[2011/02/01 16:18]  Luisa Bourgoin: oh, we do magic! as much as we are capable to archive. at least, as advanced technology that it’s almost impossible to distinguate from real magic
[2011/02/01 16:18]  Extropia DaSilva: How do parents fit into the solipsist picture? or grandparents? Or anyone born prior to oneself?
[2011/02/01 16:18]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: still, there are some areas of physics where there are interesting side-effects of ‘believing’ things to happen 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:19]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: well, most of us don’t remember actually being born… 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:19]  Luisa Bourgoin: …in medieval ages, you just would have placed them laboratory coats on a stake
[2011/02/01 16:20]  Extropia DaSilva: Oh, there are some great visual, audio and cognitive illusions that can demonstrate to anyone that one is not in direct contact with reality, but only a useful fiction that works well enough in most cases. A fiction created by your mind.
[2011/02/01 16:20]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: But it’s a good question, Extie. From a solipsistic perspective, is time eternal, or does it have a beginning and an end?
[2011/02/01 16:20]  Extropia DaSilva: Yes. In our case the end is 11 minutes from now.
[2011/02/01 16:21]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: We just don’t remember anything before we’re born, and we don’t have anything to remember with after we’re dead 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:22]  Luisa Bourgoin: Gwyn, you can’t know the later jsut now
[2011/02/01 16:22]  Luisa Bourgoin: you need to be dead to be sure about that
[2011/02/01 16:22]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: True, true 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:22]  Extropia DaSilva: Seriously though…Imagine a universe that consists of two dots like this . . and they stay like that forever. No change. Would time have any meaning in this universe? Is time like the space between THESE LETTERS, something that does not exist independent of them?
[2011/02/01 16:22]  Luisa Bourgoin: I’ll try out that “beeing dead” thing one day
[2011/02/01 16:22]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nah. Time has to exist in dependence of things 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:23]  Extropia DaSilva: Well I do not have the mental dexterity to argue with you on that point, Gwyn:)
[2011/02/01 16:24]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh yes you do — think about how relativity or quantum physics would work without an observer as reference
[2011/02/01 16:24]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Fortunately, in this universe at least, we have plenty of observers to make sure that relativity and quantum physics work 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:26]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: i have to say, this Thinkers meeting is so slow that I’m almost believing in solipsism today…. 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:26]  Zobeid Zuma: An “observer” in quantum mechanics can be anything that’s affected.
[2011/02/01 16:26]  Extropia DaSilva: Not together, though. The two theories cannot be unified. Well, I say ‘cannot’..nobody has yet figured out HOW. Which is weird because in their realms ‘the scale of the universe’ for GR and ‘the scale of the subatomic’ for QM, they are incredibly precise.
[2011/02/01 16:26]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Both theories require observers to work; with or without quotation marks <winks at Zo>
[2011/02/01 16:27]  Extropia DaSilva: So they both WORK. But if you use QM in the GR framework, you get nonsense infinities.
[2011/02/01 16:27]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Note to Zo: I never bought that; it postulates that “anything” has at least cognitive abilities to make quantum mechanics work.
[2011/02/01 16:27]  Zobeid Zuma: It doesn’t seem meaningful.
[2011/02/01 16:27]  Zobeid Zuma: Cognitive abilities?
[2011/02/01 16:28]  Zobeid Zuma: How do you define “cognitive abilities” in physics? That’s silly. 😛
[2011/02/01 16:28]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Yeppers. The notion of “observing” requires the ability to observe
[2011/02/01 16:28]  Zobeid Zuma: No.
[2011/02/01 16:28]  Zobeid Zuma: I don’t believe it.
[2011/02/01 16:28]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Then you’re just playing with words 😉
[2011/02/01 16:28]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Note — “you” is a plural you, not you personally, dear Zo 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:29]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Also, it shouldn’t require *belief*
[2011/02/01 16:29]  Extropia DaSilva: Anyway to get back on topic…can anything exist wihout a consciousness to be aware it exists? If not, does consciousness preceed the universe or must the two have coexistence right from the beginning (if there was one?). Are we aspects of that consciousness?
[2011/02/01 16:29]  Zobeid Zuma: Maybe “observer” is the wrong word then, but unfortunately we’re stuck with it.
[2011/02/01 16:29]  Zobeid Zuma: Sort of like how to an astrophysicist a “metal” is anything heavier than helium. 😛
[2011/02/01 16:30]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Right. the interesting thing, Zo, is that originally when the theories were formulated, they had conscious observers in mind; but since this pushed the whole of physics into the abyss of the Anthropic Principle, newer revisions of those two theories postulated that what is meant by an “observer” can be pretty much anything, even a particle, for the math to work.
[2011/02/01 16:31]  Luisa Bourgoin: there’s that saying about a tree in the woods falling. does it happen, if nobody hearing the noise?
[2011/02/01 16:31]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: e.g. to avoid the Anthropic Principle, physics theorists proposed panpsychism 😛
[2011/02/01 16:31]  Luisa Bourgoin: surely it does, since the tree is laying not standing afterwards
[2011/02/01 16:31]  Extropia DaSilva: But in some QP interpretations ‘measurement’ can be anything from one particle bumping into another, to a physicist saying ‘the cat is alive’. It does not HAVE to be a conscious observer. So you could do away with all mind, and so long as there are two particles to rub together, the universe exists.
[2011/02/01 16:31]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: The answer to that, Luisa, depends on your view of the world 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:31]  Zobeid Zuma: All things in the universe are connected. The cat is a good example. . .
[2011/02/01 16:32]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie, right, that’s attributing psychic powers to particles 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:32]  Zobeid Zuma: In order to keep the cat’s state indeterminate, you have to assume some kind of “perfect box” that totally isolates it from the rest of the universe. Which is absurd.
[2011/02/01 16:32]  Luisa Bourgoin: actually, ‘Schrödinger’ makes a good name for a cat
[2011/02/01 16:32]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’m fine with any crazy belief systems, mind you 🙂 It’s just that people have to see what kind of universes they’re proposing.
[2011/02/01 16:33]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Luisa: you can say that the tree falling and the tree on the ground are causally connected
[2011/02/01 16:33]  Samahikari Resident: the tree can falls but the meaning and ressonance of it is questionable
[2011/02/01 16:34]  Extropia DaSilva: OO my time is almost up, any concluding statements?
[2011/02/01 16:34]  Zobeid Zuma: If a tree falls in the forest. . . the other trees will hear it — for some value of “hear” anyhow.
[2011/02/01 16:34]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: The “noise” it makes is just a very good assumption, but cannot really be determined without an observer 🙂 Nevertheless, it’s the simpler explanation, so I’d get Occam on that too
[2011/02/01 16:34]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Rght, zo 🙂 Panpsychism again 🙂
[2011/02/01 16:34]  Zobeid Zuma: I do not like these big words. 😛
[2011/02/01 16:34]  Zobeid Zuma: :-p
[2011/02/01 16:34]  Extropia DaSilva: OK my time is up!
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2 Responses to THINKERS 1st FEB 2011: SOLIPSISM.

  1. Archmage Atlantis says:

    Please, oh please, will someone help Extie post a readable log……..Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeasssssssssssssssssse.
    Arc

  2. Heya Arch. I had a bit of a fiddle around, and this is the tidiest I can manage.

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