Dr. Stephen Braude – your memories aren’t in your brain|318|

Interesting responses...

Seems like "skeptic" is just a label anyone can take on so long as they maintain a religious faith their views are the rational ones?

Makes me wonder about pass-rate if tests in science & introductory logic were administered as pop-quizzes among those with memberships at the varied skeptical organizations...
Well ain't that rich.
 
Guess you probably got some giggles from your intended audience. I walked into that one. I'll leave your posts alone. Thanks for some good discussions though.
I think an intellectual "skeptic" label must be grounded to a topic. Other than that - a skeptic is just a judgement regarding a personally trait. For myself, I am skeptical of paranormal claims. On the other hand I have warranted belief that Braude is right about the currently evolving conceptualization of memory as a process. It is simply not measurable in terms of physical units.

What is the crazy part - is that other units of measures used in delineating reality - are not accepted as equal complimentary variables. Skepticism of information science because it is "beyond" or additive to physical theory is illogical. How are we to model the process of memory, without the units of measure for meaning and communication being the basic variables?
 
I think an intellectual "skeptic" label must be grounded to a topic. Other than that - a skeptic is just a judgement regarding a personally trait. For myself, I am skeptical of paranormal claims. On the other hand I have warranted belief that Braude is right about the currently evolving conceptualization of memory as a process. It is simply not measurable in terms of physical units.

What is the crazy part - is that other units of measures used in delineating reality - are not accepted as equal complimentary variables. Skepticism of information science because it is "beyond" or additive to physical theory is illogical. How are we to model the process of memory, without the units of measure for meaning and communication being the basic variables?
I think you are using skepticsm here in a different manner: that of indicating doubt. That's not the way I'm using it: which is more that of a methodological approach to the evaluation of claims. In the sense that I am using it it is subject neutral and independent of one's conclusions, or whether one agrees or disagrees with the proposition.

In other words, you can apply a sceptical analysis to information science and conclude that information science is sound.

I understand that some people attempt to load the term skeptic with certain baggage. That's not how I use it. I'm not sure what personality trait you are referring to but the definition I presented is idenpendent of personality.

As for information theory, I've been slowly learning about it, but I haven't yet read any materials that are critical of it so I'm not keyed into the debate you as referring to. As I think you know, I'm quite partial to the importance of information and the role it plays. Personally, I see it as different sides of the same coin as physics, basically describing different properties of the same stuff that is the subject of physics. I see the two sciences as complementary, not as contradictory though I admit I still have a lot to learn about it so my views may change as I delve deeper into it. My views on this are still at the preliminary stage. Just giving you a sense of where I'm presently leaning on this issue at this time. I have no idea what others think of my position, I don't think I've read anyone else present my view, it's something I've put together from my various readings. I have no idea whether anyone else sees it the same way. Like I said, I leave a lot of room for development of my views on this.
 
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I think an intellectual "skeptic" label must be grounded to a topic. Other than that - a skeptic is just a judgement regarding a personally trait. For myself, I am skeptical of paranormal claims. On the other hand I have warranted belief that Braude is right about the currently evolving conceptualization of memory as a process. It is simply not measurable in terms of physical units.
Excellent point.

Bitbol is an Idealist, skeptical of materialism which he argues outruns our empirical knowledge.

Lanier calls himself a kind of minimal dualist, as he skeptical of computationalism.

Feser is a Catholic Thomist philosopher, skeptical of naturalism's brute fact explanations.

As an atheist Chomsky is skeptical of God but he's also skeptical of mechanistic explanation and certainty about the nature of matter.

Tallis is also an atheist but skeptical of materialist explanations in neuroscience.

Braude is (last I heard) a Neutral Monist skeptical of memories being stored in the brain as well as mechanistic explanations (see A Defense of Folk Psychology from Crimes of Reason). He's also somewhat skeptical of post-mortem survival.

And so on....the point being that the attempt to elide skepticism and naturalism together is nothing more than a marketing campaign.
 
No, goal posting has been done. I await for evidence, not stories. This has been my position for a very long time.
The trouble is that if you follow that idea to its logical conclusion, you don't believe anything.

For example, if someone comes along and tells you that the Higgs Boson has finally been discovered, do you tell him that you want evidence not stories? You probably express trust that all the evidence has been weighed correctly and so you believe what you have been told. If someone points out that the LHC cost about $13 Billion, so they had to find something otherwise their arses would be on the line, you probably dismiss that line of reasoning in one way or another.

I think there is a lot of evidence that people do encounter experiences that are really hard to explain, and the evidence chain is much shorter than the evidence for the Higgs Boson (which incidentally, is only supposed to exist for 10^(-25) of a second!), and yet I suspect you will accept a mere story about its discovery!

Davis
 
The Higgs Boson is a somewhat unusual topic. Most of science starts with some observation, and then tries to devise a theory to explain the observation. The Higgs was the reverse of that process. It started with a theory, and the task then was to devise some observations to explain the theory.

That may sound like the same activity, but in many way it leaves the Higgs in a very weak position, as just about any observation could be chosen as satisfying the requirements. Just because some particular data was chosen, doesn't really add any weight to the story. What if some new theory comes along where the Higgs particle was no longer required, what would happen to those observations? Would they represent an obstacle in the way of the new theory, or would they be quietly dismissed as mere random noise?
 
The Higgs Boson is a somewhat unusual topic. Most of science starts with some observation, and then tries to devise a theory to explain the observation. The Higgs was the reverse of that process. It started with a theory, and the task then was to devise some observations to explain the theory.

That may sound like the same activity, but in many way it leaves the Higgs in a very weak position, as just about any observation could be chosen as satisfying the requirements. Just because some particular data was chosen, doesn't really add any weight to the story. What if some new theory comes along where the Higgs particle was no longer required, what would happen to those observations? Would they represent an obstacle in the way of the new theory, or would they be quietly dismissed as mere random noise?
Science work has two distinct processes. Collecting measurable data in a way that it can reveal natural patterns. Analyzing the data and find meaningful relations in the patterns.

I admire and respect the unsung folks who do the data collection! The newsworthy credit goes to folks doing the second and their work permits a lot of noise in the channel, as to the reliability of the conclusions. The case is - as you say Typoz - the math pointed to a probable data point, before a database was created. I am not skeptical that there is a real natural structure discovered at 125 – 127 GeV Higgs mass. I am skeptical that the current standard model correctly understands this particle as currently defined (whatever a particle is in physical theory).

My personal curiosity is pointed at - why we can feel so sure about math analysis being trustworthy - without understanding how maths are so effective in science. I think there is a reason for math being direct knowledge of reality and I am not skeptical about the reality of math objects being a subset of informational objects. (D. Gillies)
http://philpapers.org/rec/GILIRA-2

This paper takes up a suggestion made by Floridi that the digital revolution is bringing about a profound change in our metaphysics. The paper aims to bring some older views from philosophy of mathematics to bear on this problem. The older views are concerned principally with mathematical realism—that is the claim that mathematical entities such as numbers exist. The new context for the discussion is informational realism, where the problem shifts to the question of the reality of information. Mathematical realism is perhaps a special case of informational realism. D. Gillies
 
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Guess you probably got some giggles from your intended audience. I walked into that one. I'll leave your posts alone. Thanks for some good discussions though.
Ah, missed this post.

So inquiries of self-identified skeptics' qualifications leads to being ignored...interesting...
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

Scofftic was the term coined by another poster - I rather like it.
Nice.

Of course it's always easier to criticise research rather than actually do some.
I actually can appreciate a critic of research, but they shouldn't take (IMO likely fake) umbrage when the lens of skepticism is brought to focus on them. If someone is going to cast aspersion on the quality of parapsychology research one would think they might, at the least, be able to support a claim of having the minimal math requirements necessary for the work?

Similarly with critical thinking or any other kind of claimed expertise.
 
The trouble is that if you follow that idea to its logical conclusion, you don't believe anything.
Look at it from this perspective. I don't want to believe something is true, I want to know something is true.

For example, if someone comes along and tells you that the Higgs Boson has finally been discovered, do you tell him that you want evidence not stories? You probably express trust that all the evidence has been weighed correctly and so you believe what you have been told. If someone points out that the LHC cost about $13 Billion, so they had to find something otherwise their arses would be on the line, you probably dismiss that line of reasoning in one way or another.
Physicists don't relate stories they produce results. Nobody's arse would be on the line. No, they didn't have to find anything. I've seen many physicists working there, before the LHC became operational, say they would be just as pleased not to find found the Higgs particle because that it means the theory ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Model ) is wrong, however the Higgs was discovered indicating physicists have a very good grasp of how this universe works.

I think there is a lot of evidence that people do encounter experiences that are really hard to explain, and the evidence chain is much shorter than the evidence for the Higgs Boson (which incidentally, is only supposed to exist for 10^(-25) of a second!), and yet I suspect you will accept a mere story about its discovery!

Davis
Having an multi-national team of physicists state with very high confidence something was discovered where theory predicted it should be has much more weight than one person's anecdote or even a thousand persons since all of those anecdotes will be different without any way to corroborate.
 
The Higgs Boson is a somewhat unusual topic. Most of science starts with some observation, and then tries to devise a theory to explain the observation. The Higgs was the reverse of that process. It started with a theory, and the task then was to devise some observations to explain the theory.

That may sound like the same activity, but in many way it leaves the Higgs in a very weak position, as just about any observation could be chosen as satisfying the requirements. Just because some particular data was chosen, doesn't really add any weight to the story. What if some new theory comes along where the Higgs particle was no longer required, what would happen to those observations? Would they represent an obstacle in the way of the new theory, or would they be quietly dismissed as mere random noise?
The Standard model would have to be modified perhaps discarded, however that does not appear likely.
Here's an article from wired magazine discussing why the Higgs is an important find. http://www.wired.com/2015/11/physicists-are-desperate-to-be-wrong-about-the-higgs-boson/

Another discussing what the LHC and frankly all other colliders before it are actually for.
http://www.quantumdiaries.org/2011/10/03/did-we-build-the-lhc-just-to-find-the-higgs/
 
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Not everyone accepts the Higgs discovery as a genuine shoring up of the Standard Model, or at the least they think it leaves many things unanswered:

1) Quantum Realism, Chapter 1: The physical world as a virtual reality (more on why Whitworth says physics is a "hollow science" here.)

"It is not generally realized that the new structures of quantum theory and relativity are built on the old foundation of physical realism. If the physical world is real, trying to smash matter into its basic bits in particle accelerators makes sense. Yet the idea of a continuous universe made up of elementary point particles makes no more sense than a complete universe that always was. An object with an inherent mass needs a substance that extends in space. So it has left and right parts that by the same logic have still finer parts, and so on ad infinitum. The current response is that the universe consists of point particles with no extent, but how can something with no extent have mass? And since a billion points of no extent take up no more space than one, how then do extended objects form? It was then necessary to invent invisible fields continuous in space to keep these “points of no extent” apart by force. Finally, as every force needs a particle cause, the fields had to act by creating virtual particle agents, e.g. virtual photons. This masterpiece of circularity is immune to science, as a virtual photon is just a physical photon that can never be observed, as it is created and destroyed in the effect instant. Only physicists can see them, in equations and Feynman diagrams, which is good enough.

All was well, until new effects like neutron decay implied new forces and new invisible fields25 whose virtual particles had mass. The solution, in what was by now a well-oiled machine, was that another field created the virtual particles of the first field, and so the Higgs search began. The Higgs boson is the virtual particle created by an invisible field to explain another virtual particle created by another invisible field to explain an actual effect (neutron decay). Given dark energy and dark matter, it explains at best 4% of the mass of the universe, but the standard model needs it, so when after fifty years CERN found a million, million, million, millionth of a second signal in the possible range, physics was relieved. There is no evidence this “particle” has any effect on mass at all, but the standard model survives."
2) Open Challenges of the Higgs Sector

Despite being generously supported by experimental data, the Standard Model for particle physics (SM) has many unsettled questions. At least for the time being, the discovery of the Higgs boson - a crucial step in the validation of the SM – does not take us any closer to answering these questions. With no clear roadmap in sight, the Higgs sector of particle physics remains a largely unexplored territory.

An incomplete record of outstanding issues is listed below. As the Higgs sector is, by design, an integral part of the SM, it is our view that many SM-related issues necessarily overlap with the Higgs-related ones. For the sake of brevity, only a limited number of references are included here.
3) The $6 billion LHC Circus

Science has become an international circus. And opening day for “The Greatest Show on Earth” has arrived. In the 27 km main circus ring we have the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project, starting up after $6 billion dollars and thirty years of development. Before the show the clowns have warmed up the audience with fantastic stories of what we might see. But why should we take clowns seriously?
 
There is also this interesting book:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Higgs-Fake-Particle-Physicists-Committee-ebook/dp/B00FOU0CXG

The author seems very well informed about HEP, even though he isn't an insider, and he seems to make a good case that the LHC probably just sees noise and artefacts!

His style is a bit abrasive, but he covers a lot of ground. One particular gem, is that the actual (supposed) particles live 10^(-25) of a second, and all that reach the detectors is electrons, photons (and maybe positrons, I can't remember offhand). The problem is that huge numbers of collisions are taking place simultaneously, so the statistics are awful - he estimates one particle in 10^12 is interesting! I have seen that figure challenged, but nobody gives a better figure.

Anyway, the amount of raw data is so huge that it has to be filtered by electronics before it is stored! All of that leaves me with very little belief in the output of this vastly expensive experiment!

David
 
There was a new article I read, about something along the lines of what David posted

One particular gem, is that the actual (supposed) particles live 10^(-25) of a second, and all that reach the detectors is electrons, photons (and maybe positrons, I can't remember offhand). The problem is that huge numbers of collisions are taking place simultaneously, so the statistics are awful - he estimates one particle in 10^12 is interesting! I have seen that figure challenged, but nobody gives a better figure.
The article mentioned they possibly found something new, but remained skeptical because the statistics are awful and there are a lot of false alarms
 
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