Author Topic: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?  (Read 894 times)

Offline Cavebear

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2018, 02:25:02 PM »
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You are not allowed to view links. Register or LoginLOL

Even college professors can be idiots...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online Baruch

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2018, 08:58:04 PM »
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Even college professors can be idiots...

Started with Plato, and his edible children's modeling clay ;-)
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Online Baruch

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2018, 09:01:31 PM »
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Wikipedia? Really?

No, Beavis & Butthead.  But I liked Funk & Wagnalls better.

Encyclopedia Britannica is a British colonial plot!
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Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2018, 01:58:17 PM »
I'm of the opinion that the universe is nothing but mathematics, at the most fundamental level.


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Quote
In physics and cosmology, the mathematical universe hypothesis (MUH), also known as the ultimate ensemble theory, is a speculative "theory of everything" (TOE) proposed by cosmologist Max Tegmark
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"The Republicans went from Abraham Lincoln to Sarah Palin to Donald Trump. No wonder they don't believe in evolution."
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Online Baruch

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2018, 06:55:59 PM »
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I'm of the opinion that the universe is nothing but mathematics, at the most fundamental level.


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For a nihilist, it is base 0, all the way down ;-)

Pythagoras was a nut case.
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Offline trdsf

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2018, 01:22:42 AM »
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I'm of the opinion that the universe is nothing but mathematics, at the most fundamental level.


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It's an interesting idea, and I actually wouldn't be surprised if it points toward some interesting physics along the way, but I simply do not see how you get from a mathematical construct, even one describing a physical entity, to the actual physical entity.  The General Relativity field equation describes gravitation, it's not gravitation itself.

I will agree, of course, that the universe can be described mathematically, probably all the way down, and to high precision.  But I'll need to see a lot more before I'll seriously consider the possibility of reality being made of math.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Offline SGOS

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2018, 05:51:16 AM »
Mathematics as fiction sounds like loose use to me.  As a philosophical topic where axioms are invented, and sematic creativity abounds maybe, but the math that describes reality falls apart in the unreal world.  For those who can't stand authority, reality is the ultimate authority and greatest challenge.  It cannot be defeated by what is not real.  It can be defied with words, but after all the wishful speculation, it will still be there.  And it applies to mathematicians as well as philosophers.

Offline Sal1981

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2018, 06:42:26 AM »
Reality is what's left after you've stopped believing. I would think this is the same deal with mathematics and language.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Online Baruch

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2018, 07:18:40 AM »
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Mathematics as fiction sounds like loose use to me.  As a philosophical topic where axioms are invented, and sematic creativity abounds maybe, but the math that describes reality falls apart in the unreal world.  For those who can't stand authority, reality is the ultimate authority and greatest challenge.  It cannot be defeated by what is not real.  It can be defied with words, but after all the wishful speculation, it will still be there.  And it applies to mathematicians as well as philosophers.

Ayn Rand would agree with you.  Ironic isn't it?

You can ignore reality, but not the effects of ignoring reality.  Please tell Maduro.  In reality, almost all humans are innumerate, so no wonder economics is a scary ride.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2018, 12:36:37 AM »
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I'm of the opinion that the universe is nothing but mathematics, at the most fundamental level.


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Maths are no more than our best guesses at interpretations of reality.  And I do think there IS reality.  In the future, maths will change to better reflect what we know about reality.  I don't have the slightest idea if we will EVER find maths (or other ways) to finally reflect reality, but I'm sure that our current maths are wrong. 

Here's a thought.  What is the speed of light ISN'T the best constant.  What if the universal inflation via dark energy is really "IT".  That would change everything, wouldn't it?
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Draconic Aiur

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2018, 01:50:19 AM »
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No, Beavis & Butthead.  But I liked Funk & Wagnalls better.

Encyclopedia Britannica is a British colonial plot!

As always the douche clown are we?

Offline Cavebear

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2018, 02:07:04 AM »
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As always the douche clown are we?

There is just really no accounting for Baruch.  As best I can understand him, he has 3 goals;  Jokes, post count, and sarcasm without meaning.  There is always Some Person on every site like that.

They are unstoppable when there are weak admins and they annoy most of the serious posters.  I personally have to work around most of his posts to find legitimate ones to reply to from the serious posters.  Sometimes, there is nothing more frustrating than coming online and finding the last few dozen utterly meaningless posts all from Baruch.  I have to check each one to see if there was a previous poster with a sensible post.  Those, I respond to.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online Baruch

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2018, 06:17:42 AM »
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There is just really no accounting for Baruch.  As best I can understand him, he has 3 goals;  Jokes, post count, and sarcasm without meaning.  There is always Some Person on every site like that.

They are unstoppable when there are weak admins and they annoy most of the serious posters.  I personally have to work around most of his posts to find legitimate ones to reply to from the serious posters.  Sometimes, there is nothing more frustrating than coming online and finding the last few dozen utterly meaningless posts all from Baruch.  I have to check each one to see if there was a previous poster with a sensible post.  Those, I respond to.

As an Uber-Admin ... as you frequently desire .. you would make all posters do 100 push ups or else.  Rather Germanic that.

See, the admins do allow moderate ad hominem ... thought I am not fond of getting personal myself.  Your contribution is ...

Curmugeon
Geriatricism
Fur Ball

Not that there is anything wrong with being even older than I am.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 06:19:43 AM by Baruch »
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Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2018, 07:13:21 AM »
Mathematics and logic both start with axioms. If that's what you mean by "useful fiction" then they're a useful fiction.

But the problem is... you can't even make a distinction between fictional and non-fictional without first accepting the fundamental axioms of logic. And we only need the fundamental axioms of logic to get at least basic numeracy going. As mathematics is basically logic with numbers.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Did you know that mathematics is just a useful fiction?
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2018, 07:25:57 AM »
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Mathematics and logic both start with axioms. If that's what you mean by "useful fiction" then they're a useful fiction.

But the problem is... you can't even make a distinction between fictional and non-fictional without first accepting the fundamental axioms of logic. And we only need the fundamental axioms of logic to get at least basic numeracy going. As mathematics is basically logic with numbers.

I accept basic axioms.  1+1=2, plane triangles are 180 degrees, etc. 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

 

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