A Meta-“Argument” About Arguments

I’m not sure how describe what exactly this is other than a stream-of-consciousness that occurred after someone had intellectually stimulated me. It’s been a really long time since anyone has done that. Ah, intellectual stimulation! Even better than sexual stimulation, in my opinion. Knowledge is wonderful, and I love thinking.

This arose after the person brought up God.

To be honest I’m not sure where I was going with this. Such is the nature of Stream-of-Consciousness.

Again, do realize this is directed towards the individual on ExperienceProject who had brought this up, so if things seem odd in the syntax or sounds out of context (I tried avoiding such), that’s why.

Here’s how I see arguments.

On the bottom-most tier, we have the completely subjective. Things that are literally impossible to prove due to its very nature. We often call this type of thing “philosophy.” Here we have things like “Is reality really real?” Take nihilism for example. No matter what I do, I can’t be sure if I’m the only conscious being in the universe, and everything I experience and discover is just an illusion produced by a consciousness that is me, and that my senses are mere illusions. This among other entirely unprovables, form the bottom-most tier, and are the absolute most subjective things in “existence” (if existence is really a thing).

Then we have things like the concept of consciousness. We can possibly find out what consciousness is and where it resides in our brain (I actually have a very good idea of what it is. It goes against our current postulate that it has to do with the complexity of the system and instead deals with the ability to have short term memory. To explain would take a while, but I’ve already devised an experiment for it I’ll eventually carry out). We can understand what causes consciousness, but we can’t directly prove consciousness itself. I know I’m conscious. I think therefore I am. But I can’t prove to you, nor you can’t prove to me, your own consciousness. It is very easy to program a computer to say “I am conscious.”

Heck, all you need is these two lines of BASIC:

Print “I am conscious.”

End

And oftentimes you don’t even need the second bit. As AI gets sufficiently advanced, a computer would be able to formulate an argument on its own arguing its own conscious–but it can equally argue and defend that it is an iguana. I personally do believe computers are conscious. Whether it recognizes my presence or understands what I’m doing, or acknowledges my interaction with it at all past “hey, I’m getting some input telling me to do something, I should do that,” is a completely different story, but it has short term memory that’s far more complex than our own (we can barely remember more than a few strings in our short term memory… I often joke about how I have a 2kb RAM), and that lasts much longer. I’m pretty sure short term memory is the key to consciousness in humans (if I do prove this, what will this say about the ethics behind killing someone that literally doesn’t have a short term memory), and it might differ for a laptop due to the difference between the way the short-term memories work, but my main point is that one way or another, nothing can prove consciousness directly even if we can find out where it resides.

On the next tier, we start to drift away from philosophy and more into every day arguments. “What color is better, blue or red?” Even though evolutionarily red is far more a warning color than any other color, and if people are scared of a color (namely me) it’s usually red (although I only fear red lights), there’s no way to truly objectively define which color is better in any meaningful way, as the arguments usually relate to the gestalt principle (imagine three black circles on a white background, each with a 60 degree segment taken out of it in a particular way–or is it that a white equilateral triangle was dropped onto the three dots… there’s no way to tell since it’s what one perceives). Does red look the same to me as it does to you? Do you love or hate the scent of hardware stores? These are arguments that cannot be defined objectively simply because of the seemingly superficial point that everyone experiences this world differently.

Next tier would be something like “Which is better, Digimon or Pokemon?” Now this has a few objective points one could argue to directly show how one’s better than the other, even though it’s a weak argument; however it remains largely subjective. For example, most Digimon are direct rip-offs off of Pokemon, among others. I can’t really think of a reason Digimon would be objectively better in any way to Pokemon, but I’m sure there’s probably one or something. We can see this in how Pokemon takes the world by storm while few know what a Digimon is anymore. Again, a weak argument that is still highly subjective in nature, most of the objective points being how Digimon rips off and attempts to emulate Pokemon. (Objective because it’s a directly provable statement, e.g. in the case of Agumon being a clear rip off of Charmander).

On the next tier we have mostly objective, but somewhat subjective matters, as is in the case of the sciences we know some things about. In this case, we can say something along the lines of “We don’t know all it can be, but we do know what it can’t be.” Take for the instance reptiles. We don’t nearly know all the reptilian species in the world, but we know dragons can’t exist because they violate the laws of physics in so many ways. I could see how something could potentially breathe fire (glands full of flammable liquid that squirts really far and combusts when it reacts with some other chemical or oxygen), but the dragons of fairy tales are clearly impossible (I have a dumbass friend that insists they’re real–that’s why I use this as an example).

Then on the next tier, we have highly objective but hard to completely prove. Evolution is a very good example here. We have a LOT of indirect evidence that shows how species are interrelated and we can directly see natural selection at work, but it’d take several hundred to a thousand millenia to see it at work directly. These are things that do have a very definite answer, and even though we don’t have direct proof of it, one would have to be an utter fool to refute the evidence for a particular stance, unless they themselves provided a direct counterexample to it.

On the next tier we get to the next stage–things that do have a definite, completely objective solution we know little about, like a brand new problem. These can also be arguments that have a finite, discrete, and defined set of possibilities, (i.e. no maybe, and the options are clearly listed and cover all possible outcomes). Here we get into the realm where only math, and occasionally other rulesets (although the entirely objective rulesets are actually at the core nothing more than math that’s been prettied up). Take Fermat’s Last Theorem. We now think Fermat never did have a proof, but just postulated it and leave mathematicians figure it out. It left mathematicians scratching their heads for three centuries, and at long last in ’94 it was solved, with math that was unheard of during Fermat’s time. In Fermat’s time, we could have equal groups of people with equal evidence pointing in both directions stating “Yes, there is a solution” or “No there is no solution.” Here we take sides on things that are absolute truths that don’t even need the universe to exist to hold true.

On the next tier, we have absolute objective truths that have massive evidence for one side, but there’s still reasonable and quite possible ways for it to be the other. Take for example, the Collatz Conjecture. Most mathematicians think it holds true. The Collatz Conjecture is dauntingly simple of a question. Pick any whole number greater than 1. If it’s even, divide it by two. If it’s odd, triple it and add one. You’ll get a new number. Repeat it over and over again, and you’ll eventually reach 1. Even a second grader could understand it, but it’s a problem that’s been evading mathematicians for so long, and it’s on the Clay Institute’s “Top Most Wanted” list, with a million dollars and a medal for its head, proven wrong or right. Most evidence points to it being true, but just one counterexample could prove it wrong. We know it holds for all such numbers up to a billion, but it is very well possible that, say, 18478347529347523984 could prove it wrong (now I need to see what the Collatz trajectory for that is out of curiosity, but most online ones only accept 12 digits… eh it’s not hard at all to code this… I’ll do such).

Then on the topmost tier, you have the proven absolute truths. There is no denying these truths are the truth, the truth, and nothing but the whole truth, and these are truths that not even the bottom-most tier will affect–even if literally nothing exists, math would still exist because it is conceptual, and concepts are information that can apply to reality but don’t necessarily need reality to exist to hold true. To say these truths are not the truths would be one of the most idiotic things to do, as there’s absolutely no way for these truths to be false by definition. Everything, anything, and things that we don’t even have words for or could even conceive of–very literally EVERYTHING, even nothing–pure nothingness, that which literally is not anything which if we put a name to would be something, breaks down to being set theory, in some cases, paradoxically. Paradoxes do not violate logic–they instead create a logical latch. “The previous statement is true. The following statement is false.” Logical latches can be physical, too–they’re absolutely necessary parts of computer hardware, actually. But everything in this top tier is absolute PROVEN truth, and anything in this tier has a definite answer, and it is literally impossible to disprove it. Things in this tier include the Pythagorean Theorem, proof of irrational numbers, proof that some infinities are bigger than others (Cantor’s Diagonal Proof, and Hilbert’s Infinite Hotel Scenario, if you’re interested).

I guess I could call the bottom-most tier Tier IX and the top most tier Tier I and such. They’re roughly categorized by a combination of how easy it is to prove something, how objective it is, and how much we currently understand of it. I’ve arranged it in such a way that the higher the tier number, the more acceptable it is to pick sides given one has a substantiated logically-sound argument (i.e. “Red is the best color because it just is” does not work, and even in Tier II even if something is highly likely to be true, you can’t just say something like “The Collatz Conjecture is true because it just is.” Also, the argument has to be logically sound–even if the argument ends up proving false, it is possible for it to still be logical in its own extent, if that makes any sense). Do note that certain arguments can change tiers, except for Tier IX and Tier I arguments by definition. It is very rare for anything to change more than one or two tiers, and it’s only in the case for tiers that differ solely in our level of understanding. For example, if the Collatz Conjecture gets proven, it becomes a Tier I truth, and permanently stays that way. For all but the top three tiers, Tier IX arguments affect them and deconstruct them into arbitrary nonspecifics, but it breaks them down in such a way that would make any position meaningless to our existence (or non-existence, or some superposition of such). If we don’t exist, or if I’m the only one that exists, what does it matter whether red or blue is the superior color? With the top three tiers, i.e. absolute truths i.e. mathematical truths, because mathematics is the absolute most meta (to define how meta or to continue the sentence using a reference point or adjective or similar would be to attempt to define the nature of reality; the best I can do is define these using layman terms to be independent of whatever it is this all is).

The “truth” of religion is a Tier IV argument that very heavily favors religion being false, due to how contradictory and illogical it is. However, the pure concept of God i.e. there being a penultimate creator (penultimate to mathematics itself, as the God itself, being an entity, would still be defined by a set of rules that which is the absolute truths of mathematics–i.e. the true “God” is literally maths) is a Tier III argument that we have insufficient evidence to neither prove nor disprove.

Here’s the slightly shorter TL;DR version of all of this applied to religion as objectively as possible. Such does not necessarily reflect upon my exact beliefs, but instead is based on how possible something is from an objective viewpoint based on our current understanding and pure logic:

Is religion the truth (including any and all ideas that we actually mean something in this universe and that any God, if one exists, interacts with us in any meaningful way in our perspective)? No, it’s self-contradictory, far too variant, highly illogical, and goes against objective reality. If reality doesn’t exist, then it wouldn’t matter one way or another. We have sufficient counterevidence against religion. Is God as nothing more than a creator, the truth? We can’t be sure about that, although we’re pretty sure the God(s) don’t really give a crap about us or is anything like we’d perceive them to be from statistical reasoning alone. God could easily be nothing more than a conceptual necessity of reality, or could be a physical entity comparable to a programmer with varying motives. I could go quite in depth into the topic of “Assuming God exists and created this universe, what is it, what was its motives in creating the universe, what is it observing, etc. etc.” What does God look like? Could be anything. Some weird alien, something we can’t describe, a space unicorn monkey toad–whatever it is, it has statistically no chance of looking anything remotely human. Any one thing I describe has statistically no chance of even remotely describing what a God would look like. The statement “God built us in his image” can be directly proven false. We are imperfect. If God built us in his image, then God must be imperfect. Because by definition, God is perfect, then God cannot look like us without being imperfect i.e. it would not be God, as it would be imperfect. It is sometimes fun to picture God as a vagina, as many would argue that vaginas are the epitome of perfection, haha! Hey, intellectuals can make sex jokes too!

The extremely TL;DR version of THAT:

Is religion the truth? Nope because it goes against logic.

Is God as nothing more than a creator the truth? We’re not sure.

Well, that’s my two cents on this. Yes, two cents–this only scratches the surface of all I could say on this.

—–

To be even more meta, I suppose this argument is a Tier V style argument. I try to be as objective as possible all the time, and I suppose I was slightly less objective in this case because the length of the post happened on accident, and I didn’t completely add in all I could have to each stance so some things seem undefended, and went off on many tangents.

I suppose these Tiers are more along the lines of a cross between Classes and Types, although since they are somewhat ordered, “Tier” isn’t too wrong of a term to use.

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A Meta-“Argument” About Arguments

A Note To Admissions Offices That Might Be Reading This (Particularly MIT) And A Ramble Because I’m Feeling A Stream-Of-Consciousness Style Rant Coming On

Because we had a substitute in calculus today, and we weren’t really doing anything, I spent the entire period explaining fractals, Flatland, the Collatz Conjecture, and wormholes to a classmate. If ever we invent a Portal Gun, I’m sure it’s gonna be MIT that makes it. If so, I hope I get accepted–that way I can work on this! But no, quantum computers are just as mindblowingly awesome! And… and… and… they allow cats in the dorms…

Admissions office of MIT, if you’re reading this (as I’ve requested you look at my blog, and if you are the admissions office, then you clearly are reading this), I hope you see how badly I want in, haha! Admissions offices of other colleges I’m applying to just in case MIT doesn’t see that I have genuine passion (and the fact I literally had a nervous breakdown when I found out my mom had sent the wrong SAT scores at first, but I’d probably have a bigger one if I don’t get accepted and probably go cry in a corner somewhere for the rest of my life since I didn’t achieve my biggest dream since childhood) for math/cosmology/quantum mechanics, well, sure I want to go to MIT more than your college by a huge amount (followed by CalTech–so hi there CalTech admissions office if you’re reading this–yay for breaking the fourth wall!), but heck, if I think I’m good enough for MIT, then surely you’d think I’d succeed at your college too, right? I mean, you’re talking to a girl that loves math more than you’d like to know.

Oh, and MIT (and some other colleges), if you’re reading this, then I forgot to mention in my application that the Math Honors Society of my school is taking us to a math competition. Oh, I’ve been longing to go to one for years! Wait a minute, I just realized–I’m wearing my 6th grade MathCounts shirt, haha! I went to it every year in middle school. Oh and I do high voltage stuff. I just didn’t think I should link to my YouTube channel, since I haven’t been able to upload things to there recently, so I didn’t want to make it seem like I’m not doing anything. But if you want to see, it’s awesomelightning [Mandelbrot Set]. I don’t think I can express enough how badly I want to get into MIT. I’m literally having dreams of going there. It’s *literally* my dream to go there. I mean, recently I’ve been dreaming of frantically working on college applications (among other really strange things that make 0 sense). But you know what I mean. I mean, c’mon… I sleep with my calculator and took him to homecoming, and he’ll also be my prom date… I made him a little duct tape tuxedo and everything! I even slept with my oscilloscope once, but it was too cumbersome to sleep comfortably with.

Ah, I’ll stop rambling right now… it’s 1AM. I’m such a night owl… which in the long run is a good thing, I guess, since I want to study spaaaaaaaace! And it’s quiet, so I can do mathstuffs too. Oh I dream of solving a Millennium Prize Problem one day… Navier-Stokes in particular, since that’s related to turbulence and chaos theory, which is right up my alley.

I love it when free-will people at school try to argue with me. They try to form an argument on the spot, without realizing they’re talking to someone that’s been a determinist since she was 12, and has been into the heavy side of free-will vs. determinism thing for almost two years, and has studied its mathematics for a year. Oh, I whip out my phone and show them Conway’s Game of Life and the Mandelbrot Set… and I constantly call them out on the logical fallacy of personal incredulity… I’ve received 9s on all of my AP Lang essays after the 3rd quarter (all but one of them), likely including on the AP Lang exam (all but one of them). I completely goofed on one of the essays, getting at most a 1 or 2 on it, and because I suck at the multiple choice as given, I must have received an 8 or 9 on both of my other essays (which I spent all my time on, since those are what I’m the best at). I know how to debate and argue. Sadly there’s no debate team that I know of at my school. I also found out only recently that there’s a debate class… half of the electives in my school aren’t even on the form…

On a random note, my brother got that one 41MP camera phone. The thing isn’t a phone with an amazing camera. It’s an amazing camera with a phone. How the hell does that thing take better photos than a DSLR? Oh, so I’m the photographer in the family and he’s the one that gets the phone with the amazing camera? I don’t care about the phone (though I do like Cortana). I just want a damn good camera! It has a fricken shutter and everything, though! But… 41MP… that’s better than amazing… that’s downright goddamn sexy. You’re reading something from someone who’s very first screen name ever (since she was 9) was “TheTechnoGirl.” In fact, that’s still my CollegeBoard username, haha! Once a nerd, always a nerd.

I’m so brown and nerdy. But when I mow the front lawn, I’m on a power mower, and not in preppy clothing. Although I do wish I had more collared shirts to wear on business dress days. I need to make my own version of that Weird-Al parody.

Pardon me while I go take macro photographs of random objects in my room.

A Note To Admissions Offices That Might Be Reading This (Particularly MIT) And A Ramble Because I’m Feeling A Stream-Of-Consciousness Style Rant Coming On

A Poem And A Lament

I feel like writing something from scratch for here. I’m going to find a random essay topic generator and write about that, if I find it interesting.

None of them are interesting…

Ah, I’ll just start writing and see what I end up writing about, stream-of-consciousness style.
Or maybe I’ll write a poem.


“The Convoluted Path”

I walk this convoluted path
I don’t know where it goes.
But where it leads
I’ll do good deeds
I’ll leave something to show.

Along this convoluted path
It seems I’ve lost my way.
Not all is lost
For through this cost
I’ll find new things astray.

I took this convoluted path
Along it I will find
new things to see
my brain set free
to ponder things sublime.

I muse this convoluted path
For through its twists and turns
The answers lay
Along the way
These answers I will learn.

I walk this convoluted path
I now know where to be
I crack the code
that paved this road
of pure discovery.


45 minute poem… I’ve been wanting to write a poem that revolved around the sentence “I walk this convoluted path.”  The convoluted path is supposed to represent the many possibilities and options there are for me to take in life. Of course, I cannot predict which path I’ll walk along, since there are so many different paths to take I might decide to switch my plan of action further on. I’m also bound to take a wrong turn here and there–I am human, after all. All I can do is guide myself towards a possible end-behavior–and of course, Chaos reigns, and the tiny unintentional things might build up and end up changing the end behavior entirely. But I assert that whichever path I take–whatever life throws at me and whichever path I amble down, I promise to achieve something. I refuse to leave this world until I significantly contribute to it. I take a very intricate and difficult path–it’s a path that one could call a “black diamond” level path due to its difficulty; however these paths are often the most scenic, and where new things to discover lie. And that, to me, is what makes this path worth taking. I love to think [citation needed], and it is along this path where I can do my best thinking.

This poem is also part lament. I took a horrible turn for the worse in 10th grades. Long story short, two very rude teachers and a plethora of family issues caused me to desire escape. Unfortunately, this caused my grades to drop–I simply didn’t study or do my homework, on top of the fact that I’m a bad test taker. This dinged my GPA. During periods of high stress, such as third quarter in 11th grade and first quarter this year (on top of the college applications stress, I seem to have developed Bipolar II from what it seems–although I’m yet to formally test this–and this caused a major period of depression during much of first quarter…). This makes me look incompetent, even though in the right environment, I’m perfectly competent. The sad thing is that not only have I greatly reduced the probability for me getting into MIT–my dream college since I was two–I’ve also dinged my chances of getting into my backup college of a much lower rate–UF (now don’t get me wrong, UF is pretty good when it comes to research and rather good academically though obviously of no comparison to MIT… it’s just that the student body size is too big and many of my rude classmates may end up there too… something I won’t be able to deal with for four years). Of course I will try to do something with my life regardless of where I go. But I wouldn’t be working to my full potential.

Part of why I created this blog, as mentioned before, is to put what I can’t put on my applications… particularly the MIT application… to show what I didn’t show in my grades…  in the hopes that they might read through even a few posts that I’ve made (that’s why I reiterate myself so often… of course they can’t read through ALL of my posts; only a select few) to get an explanation of my grades and why, if things did go as planned, I would have been a perfect candidate for MIT. There’s only so much I can write in 250 characters for that one essay section of which I wanted to say so much in… 250 characters is not nearly enough for me to write about how much my GPA pains me… and how I’m still currently unable to correct it, because a majority of my stress comes from family problems that all I can do is escape from and shut out by doing what I love: spreading knowledge to people across the internet.

Very rarely will I write anything to show off. If I had intended to “show off,” I’d be talking about myself and my so-called “achievements” and how I “know this subject” matter-of-factly far more than I would have the topic in question. Most of my posts are elicited by some comment I receive, or through a stream-of-consciousness. People accuse me of being pretentious just because I like talking about so-called “pretentious topics.” Again, I know I’ve said this several times, but just… I seriously wish for the admissions office to know this and just how  much it’s been stabbing my heart…

I honestly don’t know what to say anymore… I’ve… I’ve destroyed my chances, and I *realize* this, yet it creates a snowball effect where I get too depressed to do my homework and… this has lasted since 10th grade… my life… my life…

I’m just going to shut up now. I’m just rambling. Sometimes I wish I was just my cat. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. No MIT. Just those letters plus a u is all that he needs to be labeled by, since “Mitu” is his name (it’s short for mittens, since he looks like he’s wearing paw-gloves). All he needs to care about is the shake of his treat bag and food cans and his name… he’s sleeping by my feet now, smiling… he’s probably dreaming about catching squirrels or something…

But cats can’t do math. So no. I love math too much to give it up just to avoid the stresses of life.

As Walt Disney said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Perhaps I’m not Mitu, but I’m certainly a curious cat. Maybe Curiosity killed the cat, but that cat was lucky to have been on Mars. 

What’s done has been done. I can’t change the past, and of course my past will affect how my future plays out. I shouldn’t hold onto my past and worry about what I could have done over and over again. Once is enough–with that, I learn how to not make that mistake again in the future, and how I can make the best of what I’ve got. I should think about what I’m going to do–and I have been, but I shouldn’t let my past weigh me down.

Because dammit, if I already discovered a brand new type of fractal, I know I’m going to do something with my life. 😛

A Poem And A Lament

Think

This post is very recent.
All I can think of saying is that I just let things go in this one, and just went on and on and on, because it was, after all, a stream of consciousness to try and explain all that goes on in my head (and what better way to do that than stream of consciousness).

Original Post Date: October 11, 2014
Original Post: http://bit.ly/1vjqEAz


Sometimes I’ll get a reply to a post, which I reply back with what starts out as a long comment, then ends up being too long to post as a comment, so I decide to post it as an experience, and allow it to be as long as it turns out to be.

When I do that, I’m essentially typing up a stream-of-consciousness, where I type whatever comes to my mind at the time, even if it seems like I’m jumping from topic to topic, and then eventually reach a conclusion that sums up everything I’ve mentioned through all the verbosity and redundancy and inconsistency of the text just to make it appear consistent while having definite deliberation as does the rest of the passage.

This is perhaps the longest passage I’ve ever written for EP, and I’d particularly like you to pay attention to the very last paragraph at the least, if this is TL;DR for you.
Continue reading “Think”

Think