Re: MD Lila's Child

Date: Tue Aug 05 2003 - 20:56:40 BST

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    Hi Platt, Squonk, all,

    Platt said:
    > I'm entirely sympathetic to your aesthetic emphasis of the MOQ. I think
    > you're on to something very important, but find your explanations hard
    > to follow. For example:
    >> There are no subjects and objects in the MoQ.
    >> Therefore, there cannot be any objectivity, or subjectivity either.
    > There are plenty of subjects and objects in the MOQ. Pirsig admits as
    > much. One can barely utter a sentence without employing subjects and
    > objects. Our language is fundamentally based on the S/O split. I don't
    > think denying this is helpful in promoting understanding of the MOQ.

    I agree. I think "objects" can be kept in MOQ thinking understood as
    patterns of value rather than as the much more esoteric though more
    generally accepted concept of "substance."

    I'm not ruling out Squonk's "no subjects and objects in the MOQ," either,
    but like Platt, I can't see what that could mean.

    squonk: Hi Steve, we talk about static and Dynamic value.

    >> So, a search for objectivity is futile, and supposing subjective quality
    >> presupposes a subject.
    > Objectivity, as Steve has eloquently pointed out, is based on
    > measurement. Far from being futile, measurement (objectivity) is the
    > basis of science which has brought untold benefits to mankind.

    Last week I visited an astro-physicist friend of mine named Chris who worked
    on the recently published research on "dark energy." (You may have seen my
    friend's boss on Letterman talking about it.)

    My wife was asking what "dark energy" or "dark matter" really is. (My ears
    perked up at the words "really is.") Chris explained that we just don't
    know. You can't see it, that's why we call it "dark." We only know it
    exists by measuring it's effects. (Dark matter is inferred by the dimple it
    makes in the fabric of space-time or something like that). My wife began to
    ask about possible theories for what it "really is."

    I interrupted, stating that all we can ever have are effects, and my wife
    immediately warned Chris that I was about to "get all philosophical." You
    can't ever talk about what something "really is", I said, beyond the
    measurements and predictions you can make and verify about it. The "it" is
    inferred from the measurements. My wife objected, what about that plant
    over there. That's not just an effect, it's really there.

    I asked, "but would you say it's really green? What is it made of? Atoms?
    Green atoms??"

    I was eventually able to convince my astro-physicist friend of my point of
    view (My wife is a tougher sell), but I found it interesting that
    scientists are struggling with such questions (what it "really is") in what
    seems to me to be a philosophically unsophisticated way rather than being
    content with finding new and better ways to make measurements and then
    making and verifying predictions.


    squonk: Well, exactly. Measurement is relative. If c is changing, as
    scientists now feel it is, then E = mc X c is out the window too. There can never be
    an objective constant by which to measure anything.

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