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Old 14th November 2012, 07:47 PM   #481
Dancing David
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
I was in a local tavern and while i was expounding on the difficulty of proving extrinsic reality and the unreliability of the senses a companion took my beer and drank it saying "Thus I refute thee".
I am glad, your friends are nicer than mine, they would have pee'd on my foot and laughed.
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Old 14th November 2012, 09:06 PM   #482
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
is is the aggregate of cells, a single cell does not matter, there will always be some number n below which the aggregate will no longer exhibit whatever the defined characteristic is.

However in organic creatures the boundary will always be rather broad there will be margins on a spectrum where you will rate the appearance, less appearance, minimal appearance and no appearance of a behavior.

But it all depends upon the defined level of behavior that you examine.

The real problem with mereological nihilism is that it forgets that aggregates are real and that each sub element of a set has a dependent history. A photon is like another photon, but photons are not all the same.

What determines how to draw the line of when one object is one thing and not another thing?Specifically a human. Is it just decided by pragamatism? When i say pragamatism I refering to the flawed assumption of are discrimation facuilities. Or is there an right scientific answer?

What does photons not being the same have to do with anything?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 14th November 2012, 09:18 PM   #483
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
What determines how to draw the line of when one object is one thing and not another thing?Specifically a human. Is it just decided by pragamatism? When i say pragamatism I refering to the flawed assumption of are discrimation facuilities. Or is there an right scientific answer?

What does photons not being the same have to do with anything?

Thanks for your help.
If you can't figure out the difference between objects then I'd suggest eyeglasses and not philosophy.

You seem to be Just Asking Questions and Ignoring Answers.

Last edited by tsig; 14th November 2012 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 14th November 2012, 10:13 PM   #484
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sorry I phrased it wrong. When does an object become unrecognizable and is no longer the item it once was. Take a human. Remove a cell. Repeat the process until you are left with nothing. I assume the answer is when you no longer are consious. Dancing David responded. But it all depends upon the defined level of behavior that you examine.

So my next question is who defines the level of behaviour that you examine?

The obvious answer is humans. But what makes humans pick consiousness as opposed to a brain dead individual? They are both living? Is there a scientific way or is it just an opinion? If it just an opinion what makes an object exist besides it just being an opinion?

What does photons not being the same have to do with anything?

Last edited by levi; 14th November 2012 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 15th November 2012, 12:28 AM   #485
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
sorry I phrased it wrong. When does an object become unrecognizable and is no longer the item it once was. Take a human. Remove a cell. Repeat the process until you are left with nothing. I assume the answer is when you no longer are consious. Dancing David responded. But it all depends upon the defined level of behavior that you examine.

So my next question is who defines the level of behaviour that you examine?

The obvious answer is humans. But what makes humans pick consiousness as opposed to a brain dead individual? They are both living? Is there a scientific way or is it just an opinion? If it just an opinion what makes an object exist besides it just being an opinion?

What does photons not being the same have to do with anything?
I think it is just a matter of practicality; Our language has evolved on the basis of what we generally need it to do, that's why it breaks down in special cases.
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Old 15th November 2012, 02:57 AM   #486
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
sorry I phrased it wrong. When does an object become unrecognizable and is no longer the item it once was. Take a human. Remove a cell. Repeat the process until you are left with nothing. I assume the answer is when you no longer are consious. Dancing David responded. But it all depends upon the defined level of behavior that you examine.

So my next question is who defines the level of behaviour that you examine?

The obvious answer is humans. But what makes humans pick consiousness as opposed to a brain dead individual? They are both living? Is there a scientific way or is it just an opinion? If it just an opinion what makes an object exist besides it just being an opinion?

What does photons not being the same have to do with anything?
The human body contains about 100 trillion cells. Taking them away one at a time would take a very long time indeed.
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Old 15th November 2012, 05:05 AM   #487
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If I dismantle my garden one atom at a time, when will it cease to be a garden?
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:50 AM   #488
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
If I dismantle my garden one atom at a time, when will it cease to be a garden?
Depends how specific your description of what your garden is is. If you are specific enough, as soon as you remove the first atom, it's no longer your garden but your garden less one atom.

(Which, I will claim, now makes it my garden, so quit picking my tomatoes!)
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:55 AM   #489
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Depends how specific your description of what your garden is is. If you are specific enough, as soon as you remove the first atom, it's no longer your garden but your garden less one atom.

(Which, I will claim, now makes it my garden, so quit picking my tomatoes!)
It's 2.400 square yards. No tomatoes. It looks more like the set for Apocalypse Now. If I remove one atom will it still be emerging?
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:57 AM   #490
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
It's 2.400 square yards. No tomatoes. It looks more like the set for Apocalypse Now. If I remove one atom will it still be emerging?
Mine looks like the jungle scenes in the first Predator movie.
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:29 AM   #491
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Mine looks like the jungle scenes in the first Predator movie.
Does it emerge?
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Old 15th November 2012, 01:47 PM   #492
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Correct.

The mereological nihilist would then ask you, "What's this thing you are calling a thinking human again?" From there, you get back into the cloud example.

Remember, the whole thing depends on definitions and the weakness of the way we categorize the world. If they are going to deny that you or I exist, denying the category "thinking human" isn't hard.

If you just want to focus on what I said about emergence though, I'd ask a less radical question -- what property does a thinking human have that a dog or a bacteria doesn't have? In other words, is there a chain of reductionism I can follow down to the individual cell to say, "Look closer, here is the property you have identified as 'thinking human' but smaller in scope and scale, and not so easy to see."

I might point out things like "reacts to stimuli" or "takes in and processes energy" or some other facet of what it means to be a thinking human. Another approach would be along the lines of the sorties paradox -- I start taking away cells to find out when the category "thinking human" turns into "non-thinking human" and claim the last cell removed had the property in question.
Can someone answer marplots post? I think he raises some good points.
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Old 15th November 2012, 01:58 PM   #493
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Can someone answer marplots post? I think he raises some good points.
If I understand correctly, the first point is that if you choose a particular perspective to argue from, you can claim that a thinking human doesn't exist.

The second is that the emergent properties of human beings should be compared to other things within the same perspective, so that we can consider what makes them important.

One idea I'd like to bring up:

Determinism implies that humans don't make decisions, but rather, react to stimuli in a mechanical manner. I would say that these mechanical reactions are the same as the decisions, the two descriptions are simply observations of the same thing from different perspectives.
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Old 15th November 2012, 02:17 PM   #494
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Originally Posted by Twiler View Post

Determinism implies that humans don't make decisions, but rather, react to stimuli in a mechanical manner. I would say that these mechanical reactions are the same as the decisions, the two descriptions are simply observations of the same thing from different perspectives.
I would tend to disagree with that. Humans sometimes react in unpredictable ways to stimuli. Quantum mechanical reactions?
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Old 15th November 2012, 02:20 PM   #495
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Agree with Twiler.

Also wanted to point out that the illusion of emergence is used by the Intelligent Design crowd as an example of irreducible complexity with the additional claim that the emergent property is planned and not inherent in the reduced case. This is the context in which I first thought there might be a problem with emergence as it is commonly painted.
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Old 16th November 2012, 10:41 AM   #496
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
What determines how to draw the line of when one object is one thing and not another thing?Specifically a human. Is it just decided by pragamatism? When i say pragamatism I refering to the flawed assumption of are discrimation facuilities. Or is there an right scientific answer?

What does photons not being the same have to do with anything?

Thanks for your help.
It is a matter of scale, if you look at your body there are parts that you exchange quite frequently, water, sodium and calcium for example. So in terms of those molecules and atoms there is a lot of change over. Now you bones take about seven years to turn over but they do.

Where you draw the line is up to you, a human is a human but not the same human they were they day before.

The bit about the photons has to do with the whole 'comprised of elemental particles' of mereological nihilism. even if you take that position, each elemental particles has contingent history and therefore aggregates are different from each other.
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Old 16th November 2012, 10:42 AM   #497
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
sorry I phrased it wrong. When does an object become unrecognizable and is no longer the item it once was. Take a human. Remove a cell. Repeat the process until you are left with nothing. I assume the answer is when you no longer are consious. Dancing David responded. But it all depends upon the defined level of behavior that you examine.

So my next question is who defines the level of behaviour that you examine?

The obvious answer is humans. But what makes humans pick consiousness as opposed to a brain dead individual? They are both living? Is there a scientific way or is it just an opinion? If it just an opinion what makes an object exist besides it just being an opinion?

What does photons not being the same have to do with anything?
There are no answers only more questions.

Personal preference and definition used in discussions are all you have.
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Old 17th November 2012, 03:12 PM   #498
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post

The bit about the photons has to do with the whole 'comprised of elemental particles' of mereological nihilism. even if you take that position, each elemental particles has contingent history and therefore aggregates are different from each other.
Is Dancing David implying that everytime you change a particle
you change? Is he correct?


In a store if you stand in 5 items or less line you will not have a problem in the line. How is a six pack of beer different than a shoe on the topic of emergence? Are shoes or a six pack similar to human on the topic of emergence?

If you lose a cell why doesn’t a new object come into existence? The only response is function. Once
Something changes does the function change? Where do you draw the boundary when something
Stops functioning?

Using the sorites paradox how do you define when a human even if conscious is no different than a dog and no longer is a human? I think there is the mirror test. But I think very few dogs can pass it. Are the dogs that pass it human?
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Old 18th November 2012, 04:40 PM   #499
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Can someone please answer the questions in my previous post?

Thanks
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Old 18th November 2012, 05:24 PM   #500
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It is a lot more work to answer a question than to ask it.
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Old 18th November 2012, 05:25 PM   #501
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Can someone please answer the questions in my previous post?

Thanks
Why bother answering such nonsensical questions? I will tell you one thing. Six packs, shoes and everything else in the real world have nothing to do with this ''emergence'' nonsense.

Last edited by dafydd; 18th November 2012 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 18th November 2012, 06:08 PM   #502
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Is Dancing David implying that everytime you change a particle
you change? Is he correct?
Gosh levi, why don't you stop and think for a minute before posing questions that have obvious answers?

Yes the set of an 'entity'changes when teh constituent parts of that set change.

The questions is, at what level of scale are you choosing to define an identity of an object.

It is freaking arbitrary no matter what.
Quote:


In a store if you stand in 5 items or less line you will not have a problem in the line. How is a six pack of beer different than a shoe on the topic of emergence? Are shoes or a six pack similar to human on the topic of emergence?
I really don't care. A six pack is considered a single unit for the unenforced rules of checkout.

Everything is the same in some ways and different in others.
Quote:

If you lose a cell why doesn’t a new object come into existence? The only response is function. Once
Something changes does the function change? Where do you draw the boundary when something
Stops functioning?

Using the sorites paradox how do you define when a human even if conscious is no different than a dog and no longer is a human? I think there is the mirror test. But I think very few dogs can pass it. Are the dogs that pass it human?
You seem to really have a problem with boundaries, perhaps you are answering your question by mish moshing such things together.

Maybe it depends on how you define consciousness. A dog is not a human.

But dogs can meet some of the medical criteria for consciousness, but it is hard to ask them if they are oriented to person place and time.

Words only have the meaning assigned to them in context.
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Old 18th November 2012, 06:16 PM   #503
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Can someone please answer the questions in my previous post?

Thanks
Does a dog have a buddha nature?
What about a teacup?
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Old 18th November 2012, 06:37 PM   #504
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Does a dog have a buddha nature?
What about a teacup?
If a dog pisses in a teacup does tea exist?
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Old 18th November 2012, 06:39 PM   #505
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Personally I don't believe in buddha nature.

No one answered this question seriously. Can someone?

In a store if you stand in 5 items or less line you will not have a problem in the line. How is a six pack of beer different than a shoe on the topic of emergence? Are shoes or a six pack similar to human on the topic of emergence?

Could a human ever be on the same intelligence of a household dog? No snide remarks.

Last edited by levi; 18th November 2012 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 18th November 2012, 09:37 PM   #506
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I didn't accurately express myself in the last post so here is another attempt.

You have a shoe, it is considered one item. You have six-pack it is considered one item. You have a human it is one item. This is because of emergence. Do all 3 items use emergence in the same way? How are six pack of beer one item? Or even one beer the same? You have beer bottle and liquid. Are they one item? You have a shoe and all its parts how are they one item? At least humans function in a defined way. They are not just some weird grouping of item they go beyond the parts. In these 3 examples are humans the only item that emergence applies? Does this make more sense?

Last edited by levi; 18th November 2012 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 19th November 2012, 12:00 AM   #507
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I didn't accurately express myself in the last post so here is another attempt.

You have a shoe, it is considered one item. You have six-pack it is considered one item. You have a human it is one item. This is because of emergence. Do all 3 items use emergence in the same way? How are six pack of beer one item? Or even one beer the same? You have beer bottle and liquid. Are they one item? You have a shoe and all its parts how are they one item? At least humans function in a defined way. They are not just some weird grouping of item they go beyond the parts. In these 3 examples are humans the only item that emergence applies? Does this make more sense?
You can still say that the hand of a human is one item, or that the foot of a human is one item.

I think we might be at cross-purposes. Can you tell us what you think 'emergence' is supposed to be?
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Old 19th November 2012, 02:23 AM   #508
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I didn't accurately express myself in the last post so here is another attempt.

You have a shoe, it is considered one item. You have six-pack it is considered one item. You have a human it is one item. This is because of emergence. Do all 3 items use emergence in the same way? How are six pack of beer one item? Or even one beer the same? You have beer bottle and liquid. Are they one item? You have a shoe and all its parts how are they one item? At least humans function in a defined way. They are not just some weird grouping of item they go beyond the parts. In these 3 examples are humans the only item that emergence applies? Does this make more sense?
I'm left wondering if you have an underlying problem with the existence of collective nouns. Your question has been answered several times already - it depends upon the level you do it at.
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Old 19th November 2012, 11:02 AM   #509
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I didn't accurately express myself in the last post so here is another attempt.

You have a shoe, it is considered one item. You have six-pack it is considered one item. You have a human it is one item. This is because of emergence. Do all 3 items use emergence in the same way? How are six pack of beer one item? Or even one beer the same? You have beer bottle and liquid. Are they one item? You have a shoe and all its parts how are they one item? At least humans function in a defined way. They are not just some weird grouping of item they go beyond the parts. In these 3 examples are humans the only item that emergence applies? Does this make more sense?

Okay, let's answer the six-pack question first, because we'll build on and generalize that answer to address sorites.

Why is a six-pack considered one item in the supermarket express checkout line? Because the checker passes it over the scanner (or, in days of yore, entered the price on the cash register keys) and pushes it onto the bagging shelf and puts it into a bag once. That's partly because the six cans or bottles (I'll assume cans hereinafter) in the six-pack are all attached together, but more important is the fact that the six-pack has a single composite price. The reason for the number of items requirement in the express checkout is to limit the number of times the checker must enter a price into the register, while the people behind in line are waiting for their turn. The number of individual or separable items in the unit (whether cans in a six-pack, or cupcakes in a box of cupcakes, or corn flakes in a box of corn flakes) is totally irrelevant to how much work the checker must do to complete the purchase, which is what matters in the express checkout line.

The price of a six-pack is an emergent property of the cans of beer, when they are packaged into a six-pack. Not only might that price differ from the sum of the prices of the individual cans, the individual cans might not even have a price (depending on store policy and, often, on local laws as well), any more than an individual corn flake has a price.

With that in mind, I offer the following definition of emergence, which I believe is a bit different from the conventional definition. Emergence is a decrease in the amount of information needed to sufficiently describe a quantity of things, relative to the total amount needed to describe the individual things. The six-pack has one price, one expiration date, one stock number, and so forth, instead of six of each (one per can). It is exactly that reduction in descriptive information that allows the checker to ring it up quickly, which is what makes it count as one item for the five-item limit.

To describe the motion of a single molecule of a given type of gas at a given time, we need, besides the formula for what the molecule is composed of, six numbers: three for the position, and three for the velocity. (I'm simplifying by leaving out e.g. any rotation and vibration of the molecule.) If we have two molecules, we need another six numbers. And so forth.

However, if we have a billion such molecules in a container, we can describe them in a different way. Because their individual positions and velocities change all the time, and are beyond our perception and our full comprehension anyhow, we're better off using data that not only statistically summarizes those positions and velocities, but also relates directly to certain macroscopic qualities we observe for our container of gas: a pressure and a temperature. We also need the original data on the composition of the molecules, and a bunch of additional numbers for describing the shape and position of the container. That still adds up to far fewer numbers than the six-billion-plus we would need under the original individual position-and-velocity descriptive schema.

Our abbreviated pressure-and-temperature scheme contains less information than a tabulation of the positions etc. of each molecule. Informally, the total amount of information we would need for the full tabulation is called the entropy. And thus, informally, entropy is also an approximate measure of how much information our description of the gas based on the emergent properties of pressure and temperature is leaving out.

Wait, what? Emergence relates directly to entropy? Indeed. And this explains why emergent phenomena so often appear to defy the second law of thermodynamics by appearing to decrease the amount of information needed to describe the state of the system. Actually, a universe of condensed atoms has higher entropy than the universe of high-energy photons it formed from, a living biosphere has a higher entropy than the gas and rocks it formed and evolved from, and so forth, in accordance with the second law. But that's because we tend to look at only the information we use to describe the state of each system in a useful way. Most of the entropy is in the information we're disregarding at each level of emergence.

(Howard Bloom managed to write an entire book, The God Problem, based on misunderstanding this. He states: "The universe isn't winding down; it's winding up," which is a good description of the apparent effects of successive levels of emergence as we perceive them -- e.g. the universe of atoms is more complex than the universe of photons, the living biosphere is more complex than the preceding abiotic rocks and gas, and so forth. But Bloom mistakenly interprets this as contradicting and disproving the second law of thermodynamics; a common enough mistake but one not usually made in critically acclaimed books! Thinking of entropy as the information disregarded but still existing at each level of emergence would help avoid this error.)

Okay, let's take our vessel of gas and sorites the hell out of it. One at a time we remove our billion molecules from the vessel. At some point there are a thousand molecules left, then a hundred, then ten, then just one. The classic sorites paradox asks the supposedly unanswerable question: which specific molecule's removal transforms the system from a volume of gas (possessing a pressure and temperature), to a small collection of individual molecules?

The standard answer is, of course, that there is no such individual molecule. The contents of the container are both a collection of individual molecules, and a volume of gas, at all times. When there are many molecules, it is usually more useful to describe them as a volume of gas; when there are few, it might be more useful to describe them as a number of individual molecules. The fewer molecules (as long as there are more than zero), the more the emergent properties of pressure and temperature fluctuate with time around a mean value. However, those fluctuations happen to some degree no matter how much gas there is; they may be too small or fast to be measured in practice, but they occur even with our billion molecules; pressure and temperature are actually always mean values with fluctuations around them. At the other extreme, there is nothing stopping us from considering a billion molecules of gas (that's actually still a minute quantity in everyday terms) as a billion separate entities each with its own position and trajectory. It's just that it is rarely useful to put the effort into doing so.

However, if you insist, we can (with a lot of work) determine a specific answer, based on the definition of emergence I offered above. The volume of gas becomes a collection of individual molecules when the number of them becomes small enough that the amount of information needed to describe the individual molecules becomes less than the amount of information needed to describe the volume of gas. The latter summarizes the properties of all the molecules, so for a large number of molecules it's far less data, but there is some "overhead" needed there that is not needed for individual molecules, such as (at a minimum) the size and temperature of the container.

Same thing with the pile of gravel. At some small size of heap, the amount of data needed to describe the heap (its height, breadth, shape, size or mass distribution of the gravel, etc.) becomes greater than the amount of data needed to describe each piece of gravel individually. That size (or number of pieces) is a justifiable answer to the sorites, if you insist on an answer.

As a practical matter, computer programmers (and engineers in general) deal with the equivalent of sorites problems all the time. How many distinct but related pieces of data need to be kept track of, before it becomes more effective to represent them as an array or other data structure, rather than as distinct single-value variables? How many times must a similar (but perhaps not identical) operation have to be repeated before it becomes more effective to use a loop procedure instead of separate steps? How many times must similar routines be developed before it becomes a good investment to build a generalized routine, or a generalized tool for creating various such routines? The answers depend greatly on the extent of variation that must be encompassed. (One might consider treating a mass of sand, gravel, and cobbles as a single heap, but a mass of bicycles, gravel, and orange juice would require a much more complex notion of what a heap is and how to manage it.)

Respectfully,
Myriad
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Old 19th November 2012, 01:48 PM   #510
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Old 20th November 2012, 08:59 PM   #511
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post

Our abbreviated pressure-and-temperature scheme contains less information than a tabulation of the positions etc. of each molecule. Informally, the total amount of information we would need for the full tabulation is called the entropy. And thus, informally, entropy is also an approximate measure of how much information our description of the gas based on the emergent properties of pressure and temperature is leaving out.

Wait, what? Emergence relates directly to entropy? Indeed. And this explains why emergent phenomena so often appear to defy the second law of thermodynamics by appearing to decrease the amount of information needed to describe the state of the system. Actually, a universe of condensed atoms has higher entropy than the universe of high-energy photons it formed from, a living biosphere has a higher entropy than the gas and rocks it formed and evolved from, and so forth, in accordance with the second law. But that's because we tend to look at only the information we use to describe the state of each system in a useful way. Most of the entropy is in the information we're disregarding at each level of emergence.

(Howard Bloom managed to write an entire book, The God Problem, based on misunderstanding this. He states: "The universe isn't winding down; it's winding up," which is a good description of the apparent effects of successive levels of emergence as we perceive them -- e.g. the universe of atoms is more complex than the universe of photons, the living biosphere is more complex than the preceding abiotic rocks and gas, and so forth. But Bloom mistakenly interprets this as contradicting and disproving the second law of thermodynamics; a common enough mistake but one not usually made in critically acclaimed books! Thinking of entropy as the information disregarded but still existing at each level of emergence would help avoid this error.)



Respectfully,
Myriad
The part i quoted of myriad post I am having trouble understanding ther rest I understand can someone explain it?

I also have a few questions.



Sorry for repeating some stuff.

If you were to walk around the universe it would appear flat. But we perceive the universe as flat does not make it flat. The universe curves at certain points according to Einstein. The point I am making is that info might not always be accurate even if it takes less information. Does this argue against Myriad's emergence?

Or is Myriad, expressing that systems can be measured as wholes and parts the only advantage is less processing power so humans view things as whole. If you could put on a special pair of glasses and could perceive fundamental particles and regular particles how would you decide between wholes and parts? I am trying to say is there a connection between the wholes humans view, that they can be measured accurately as one item with accuracy. This would be exactly the same if you took the parts and added them to get the whole. Would you end up getting the same properties as the parts and the whole?

Or is it only an easier processing power and all items can’t be measured as wholes?

What if you were selling a human and drink in a packaged together would it count as one item? It certainly seems like you can take any random items humans perceive combine them and count them as one item. Does this argue against Myriad's emergence?

Does a cereal count as one item, do you just forget about the parts? Specifically a single cornflake or is it like a group of humans separate but also one object?

I assume myriad’s definition of emergence can be used to argue against mereological nihilism, correct?

Last edited by levi; 20th November 2012 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 21st November 2012, 03:20 AM   #512
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Originally Posted by levi View Post

What if you were selling a human and drink in a packaged together ?
Selling a human is slavery, old bean. Not allowed, frightfully infra dig.

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Old 21st November 2012, 04:52 AM   #513
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
The part i quoted of myriad post I am having trouble understanding ther rest I understand can someone explain it?
As I see it Myriad is explaining how humans describe physical phenomena such as atoms or clouds in easy to use ways (a language). Due to the kind of mind we humans have (through evolution) we have developed a linguistic system which deals with the physical phenomena we observe around us, on the human scale. In order to do this effectively a human has to ignore the majority of physical activity and circumstance around him/herself, as there is to much of it and most is of no use in day to day living. Thus we are only conscious of a small amount of the information about the world we live in, for example in our living room. That information is describing physical systems in our living room which are of use in keeping warm and dry, obtaining food, social interaction etc. Normal human behavior.

Through scientific or philosophical analysis of the living room we can observe activity and circumstance outside of this normal information. We might for example discover that the table is a collection of atoms held in a certain shape by certain forces and that the table is an emergent property of the circumstance of those atoms and the result of the activity of numerous events such as the growth of the tree that the wood came from.

Indeed on further examination the room would be found to contain a vast amount of scientifically and philosophically interesting information. One might realise that the information we are normally aware of about our living room is only a minute fraction of the reality. In fact we ourselves are a part of that vastly complex phenomena. The form we and therefore our minds take and ,of a consequence of this, the way we observe and analyse our living rooms is entirely determined by our evolution as animals.

When we come to questions of existence such as the Op we must initially examine our origin and nature and factor this in to any conclusions we might reach. For example the notion that you or me,or we, or I are existing separate beings may be no more than an emergent property of evolution, which was advantageous for our survival and this may not actually be the case.

At the end of the day we as humans cannot examine existence in any other way than through the prism (goldfish bowl) provided to us by evolution. A prism not designed primarily to tackle such issues.
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:34 AM   #514
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But we exist, no matter what some philosophers say.
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:57 AM   #515
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
But we exist, no matter what some philosophers say.
Who exists?

The "we" you are familiar with may be little more than an illusion beneficial for the survival of the species. Most life forms don't recognise themselves as separate beings. Be it separate from their environment, other life forms or their relations.

Also as we cannot comment on what exists outside our little comfort zone. Which may result in the illusion of existence as it appears to us. Our world could well be an upside down, inside out reflection of a more fundamental (precursor) reality going backwards in time( from our perspective). Who knows?

All we can say with any logical foundation is that something exists, but we can't say what.
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Old 21st November 2012, 08:30 AM   #516
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Who exists?
We do. If you didn't exist then you would have a hard time posting here. The rest of your post was the usual vague ramblings. I will only say that what exists is the universe and everything in it. I realize that is not mystical enough for you, but it's the reality of the situation.

Last edited by dafydd; 21st November 2012 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 21st November 2012, 09:35 AM   #517
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Who exists?

The "we" you are familiar with may be little more than an illusion beneficial for the survival of the species.1. Most life forms don't recognise themselves as separate beings. Be it separate from their environment, other life forms or their relations.

Also as we cannot comment on what exists outside our little comfort zone. Which may result in the illusion of existence as it appears to us. Our world could well be an upside down, inside out reflection of a more fundamental (precursor) reality going backwards in time( from our perspective). Who knows?

All we can say with any logical foundation is that something exists, but we can't say what.
1. How do you know that?

We could also be Silurian Mud Worms who only think we're human. Who knows?

Last edited by tsig; 21st November 2012 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 21st November 2012, 10:01 AM   #518
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
1. How do you know that?

We could also be Silurian Mud Worms who only think we're human. Who knows?
Or we could just be humans?
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Old 21st November 2012, 11:55 AM   #519
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
Or we could just be humans?
That would depend on the meaning of "be".
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Old 21st November 2012, 12:06 PM   #520
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Who exists?

The "we" you are familiar with may be little more than an illusion beneficial for the survival of the species. Most life forms don't recognise themselves as separate beings. Be it separate from their environment, other life forms or their relations.

Also as we cannot comment on what exists outside our little comfort zone. Which may result in the illusion of existence as it appears to us. Our world could well be an upside down, inside out reflection of a more fundamental (precursor) reality going backwards in time( from our perspective). Who knows?

All we can say with any logical foundation is that something exists, but we can't say what.
What we can also do is say: 'If logic works, then a priori knowledge exists.', and also 'If science works, then scientific knowledge exists.'

And in common parlance, both those assumptions are considered to be unspoken, for ease of communication.

We should remember that we're making these assumptions, but we shouldn't fixate too much on the fact that they are assumptions.
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