Chris Langan Thread

Discussion in 'Φ v.3 The GREAT AWAKENING' started by david, Aug 30, 2016.

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  1. Rose

    Rose InPHInet Rose Φ Administrator

  2. Rose

    Rose InPHInet Rose Φ Administrator

  3. Rose

    Rose InPHInet Rose Φ Administrator

    Full 3.35 hr. Audiobook:
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  4. Rose

    Rose InPHInet Rose Φ Administrator

  5. david

    david Member

    This is a pretty good back and fourth enunciating some of the problems with his theory. In my opinion these problems are real, he does address them, some of them could use more introspection, others he does manage to deal with.... Its funny because David Hume would be a great thinker for Chris to use to address his critics. His lack of philosophical breadth comes through here and more suprising is that his critics, who advance their arguments should also know of the most important scientific critique in all the philosophy of science.
    • Rubix
      August 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm
      First, to Jeremy and Tim, then onto grilling Langan a bit. This will be long, so apologies in advance:

      There are obviously going to be problems of induction. But that's what science is all about. You test, you observe, you measure, you create frameworks, and you extrapolate to test predictions. Even when induction doesn't work, any other predictions would have been arbitrary guesses. At least induction has evidence to back it up, and we have more reason to put stock in it when it's able to provide consistent results from which we measure truth. It's silly to imply that because X is incomplete, we therefore have a good, automatic reason to claim X is wrong or that Y is true, especially when X is far more supported by evidence than Y is.

      Now, back to Langan. He asserts his CTMU *does* provide you with absolute truths about reality that circumvent induction problems. He approaches the problem from logic, claiming that existence itself is dependent on certain logical tautologies that *must* be true in order for reality to have any sort of meaningful interpretation.

      The problem is that this sort of approach has long since been debunked. Logic and mathematics alone don't equate to knowledge, let alone absolute knowledge. They are just tools, but like all tools, they can be misused. We base our logic and math off of premises/axioms, but the point is that the premises *are derived from truths we make about our natural world.* In other words, logic and math are only as strong as the framework for the world that underlies them. Aristotle is often seen as a juggernaut of logic, and yet he arrived at a staggering number of incorrect conclusions about our universe because he was operating under false premises due to scientific ignorance. Reality dictates how we define our logic, not necessarily the other way around. Quantum mechanics is an insanely obvious example of this.

      Besides, building a theory of everything off logical tautologies is a bad idea because tautologies still require context. Consider the tautology of the law of excluded middles: P or not P. Given that P is either true or false, P or not P must always be true no matter what. Bertrand Russell had a famous counterexample of "The present King of France is bald" where France actually has no King in reality to begin with. So even if we want to rationalize that statement and come to the conclusion that it's either true, false, or both true and false at the same time, the tautology isn't helping us approach any degree of new understanding of truth because there's no King of France! At that point, it's a word game where tautologies are somehow made even more useless than they already are.

      The CTMU, to me, just seems to be an attempt to sidestep big questions and claim victory by just making everything either self-causing or attached to itself. For instance, Langan invokes an "unbound telesis" which is a "medium of pure ontological possibility" or "pure randomness" that isn't bound by any particular set of laws, where the possibilities that manifest into reality are only those that have sufficient structure to make existential sense (anything else is unreality). In other words, he asserts that our reality is an inevitable consequence of the UBT via telic recursion and that reality is not "made from nothing" or "made externally" but rather self-caused. This is what he means by "recursion." It's like asking where Locke's compass from the TV show "LOST" came from if it's only spending time being passed back and forth between Locke and Alpert across a span of 30-something years via time travel for all eternity. It didn't "come" from anywhere -- it's just always been that way.

      But then where did the self-causing loop structure/mechanism come from? Why must it be self-causing? Why does the UBT exist and why must it exist (why can't nothing exist?)? All Langan has done here is reworded God/existence itself into an "unbound telesis." He might argue that reality doesn't "come" from UBT because it's "self-causing," but this is just a convenient sidestep. It's like answering a question by writing down "The answer to this problem." Just because you label something as self-causing recursion doesn't mean you suddenly solve the "paradox" of creatio ex nihilo. It's like when Langan "solved" Newcomb's Paradox by basically answering "You solve this paradox by asserting it's not a paradox and that Newcomb's Demon is the real deal, because during the trial runs, he won three times in a row, which is convincing." In other words, it's as if he tries to simply find odd loopholes in paradoxical frameworks to justify unsound or invalid solutions.

      I feel like the reason Langan defends his theory so vehemently is because he feels like when people attack the CTMU, he takes it as an attack on logic, where people are "dumb" because it doesn't make sense to claim a tautology is false when it's true by definition. The real issue here is that a logical system may make sense in its own framework, but it may also be a poor definition for reality and result in meaningless untruths. That's what people are attacking, here. Invoking a UBT to act as a set of all possible realities is a lot like invoking naive set theory.

      Of course, Langan has intentionally obfuscated his CTMU, so even though I might think I understand what he's trying to say, he can use the obfuscation as an excuse to come back and just call me an idiot some more without bothering to elaborate or give easily-understood examples. Either way, the CTMU doesn't prove ID to be true. Besides, we don't need it to explain complexity. It's unfalsifiable anyway and devoid of evidence. You can defend an unfalsifiable theory to the grave and correctly claim that nobody has ever proven you wrong, but that doesn't mean you're advocating something that actually added anything of worth to our understanding or was actually true.

    • [​IMG] Chris Langan
      August 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm
      Anonymous: “I hasten to add that I am in no way affiliated with him and that some of the things I say may not even correspond to his views. However, I think that I am at least slightly better informed about the CTMU than many of its critics.”

      I agree on both counts – the above evaluation of my ideas and utterances using the Wikipedia Crankometer is pretty accurate in most respects (with a couple of question marks, both of which would seem to work in my favor).

      Regarding “Rubix”, let’s back it up a little.

      Rubix: “By 'forced', I mean it's evidence that is true for you, true for me, and true for everyone.”

      Replicated observation provides hard scientific evidence of perceptual content. But as soon as one calls it “evidence” of anything but its own existence, one is exceeding the bounds of observation alone. This is why one can *prove* absolutely nothing on an empirical (scientific) basis but the bare existence of one's raw data; one inevitably runs into the problem of induction. All that one can do is probabilistically confirm a given (explanatory or predictive) theory within certain bounds to a certain depth.

      The depth criterion is where materialists typically fall short; their applications of Occam’s razor implicitly exclude entire levels of explanation including ontology. Materialists often claim that ontology is scientifically irrelevant on the supposed grounds that for scientific purposes, matter and nature “just exist”. But as soon as one gives up on explanatory closure and stops short of explaining existence itself, that’s the end of one’s explanation, and to the extent that science is explanatory, the end of one’s scientific support. One is left standing not on science, but on bald assumptions, and this obviously limits the level of theorization for which one is equipped.

      Unfortunately for materialists, they have no idea how to endow their scientific “explanations” with the necessary degrees of closure and thereby overcome this limitation. As only the CTMU can do that, it is a necessary ingredient of science. (So is everything that the CTMU logically implies, including you-know-Who.)

      I need merely add that specific questions about how the CTMU pulls this off, assuming that they have not already been answered elsewhere, are to be asked only by honest, qualified, and highly credentialed people. That way, everything's on the up and up, and I don't have to worry about accidental misattribution.

      Rubix: “You imply that the same same of evidence can result in multiple interpretations, which is true. But typically we limit our explanations to what is sufficient and consistent, hence Occam's Razor. If my explanation correctly explains/predicts things, it will win out over another explanation that adds superfluous frameworks that add no new information (especially in absence of evidence). Again, it's like arguing that a hot kettle of water boiling on a stove could be "evidence" that fairies are involved. We don't have any reason to believe that, especially when we have other more consistent explanations that don't require such things.”

      I hate to have to break this to you, but rare, hidden, or nonexistent aspects of reality, e.g. “fairies”, are not necessarily either syntactically or semantically inconsistent, and cannot be conclusively ruled out except in specific bounded contexts. The most that one can say for sure is that fairies are unobserved and/or observationally unreplicated within a bounded set of data, and no mere application of Occam’s razor can resolve the issue. After all, Occam’s razor is merely a fallible rule of thumb.

      One of the main technical problems with Occam’s razor is that it can’t be applied in a vacuum, but only within a supporting explanatory framework. If that framework is itself flawed or incomplete, then Occam’s razor can be worse than useless. This is a problem for materialism; the existence of matter itself can’t be explained within a purely materialistic framework, and this nullifies Occam’s razor as a rationale for materialism.

      Uncertainty cannot be confined to the ontological level of explanation without simply assuming that ontology is unnecessary and severing it from reality. To improve on this assumption, one would need some kind of high-level mathematical proof. But of course, such a proof is well beyond the intellectual capacity of any materialist (which is why some materialists regard it as impossible).

      Rubix: “Same goes for Intelligent Design. We can explain evolution without it. We can explain complexity without it. You might point to QM as an example of "evidence with multiple interpretations," but the difference is that they remain agnostic due to lack of deeper evidence and understanding, and they're *falsifiable*, unlike ID.”

      Wrong again. Evolution and complexity cannot be falsified. Not only is natural selection equivalent to the logical and biological fact that organisms must conform to their natural environments – no possible observation statement can negate so inevitable an observation - but falsification and the human minds which employ it themselves reflect evolution and emergence. Thus, any instance of falsification affirms the mechanisms to be “falsified”. (Of course, one is free to claim that falsification, like reality itself, “just exists”. But not only does this imply a truncated ontology devolving to unjustified assumptions, it simultaneously implies a kind of mathematical Platonism which contradicts the truncation.) Falsification can be consistently accomplished only with respect to specific hypotheses.

      Rubix is also wrong that interpretations of quantum mechanics can necessarily be falsified. That’s because QM may have multiple models permitting multiple consistent interpretations, at least down to a certain explanatory depth. To obtain the deepest possible interpretation of QM, one would need a comprehensive theory of deep reality on which to form its image … deeper and more general than QM itself, at least as QM is normally understood (as a set of mathematical concepts and procedures that predict the results of certain experiments involving microscopic phenomena without fully explaining them or being explained by them, particularly with regard to wave function collapse, entanglement, and nonlocality).

      See? This is what I mean. Nearly every sentence that comes out of the mouth of a CTMU critic, or for that matter an ID critic, is either wrongheaded or simply wrong. Just as we established above with Mark, there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with their mistakes and misconceptions.

      That’s why I insist on making them identify themselves and put their reputations on the line. Believe me, it’s the only way to make them think a little before hitting the send key, and get them to catch at least a few of their own mistakes so that I won’t have to spend eternity doing it for them.

      Now enough.
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  6. david

    david Member

    These are nice sources. I had run into these, but the recent one on the ranch I had not seen Rose. He is sincere, I was a bouncer for many years and remember exactly the same fine points of the job: In a noisy crazy environment, when sanity prevails, you can be alone with your thoughts! I even had a notebook lol. Just always made sure my back was up against a wall. The noise actually has an opposite effect of being calming, could never explain that... And its not only cowboys that can be real aholes in a bar! My crowd was inner harbor Baltimore, a fine mix of sailors, college students, and everything in between.
  7. david

    david Member

    Ha I remember that gif! He has a lot of cybernetic looping...It a prominant part of his theories and its often made to have parity with self causation....Not exactly the same thing lol. Chris' theory has problems...don't we all, and one of the big ones for me is how he can't quite abscond from causation totally and how his theory of everything is from the generation of the grand theories.... Theories that explain it all, Hegel, Kant, Freud, DEsmond Morris, Skinner, etc etc.

    But heres my point: a lot of his diagraming, like the one you picked, show coherence in a manner that many of his verbal remonstrations, seemingly cannot.
  8. Shadowself

    Shadowself Shadow Speaker

    Ha! about four weeks ago I ran into this dude....not literally....but his paper. Jack Sarfatti nicked one of his animated gifs becasue it's a pictorial version of the back reaction of a wave function....or at least that is how he interpreted it. Then I ran into the paper out of curiosity. Anyhow I thought the gif was pretty cool and I might use it sometime.

    So I'll share it with you here and perhaps Rose can use it as a header for the thread....maybe? It's pretty cool just the same. It's from his CTMU paper.


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  9. Rose

    Rose InPHInet Rose Φ Administrator


    Pt #2: "Academy is a Heartless Cold Bureaucracy"
    Very Good ideas in his notebook...
    But, His memory was irretrievably erased after dealing with physical violence,,,
    Let's face facts, I wish everyone could be kind and wonderful to each other...
    But, it's not the kind of world we live in yet.

    "To succeed, you have to learn to kiss up, to kiss your way up the ladder of success"
    Q: How do you change that balance of power?
    "I think it needs to be changed at the individual level. We need to reshape the image of what it means to be a human being. We have to create a new kind of person."
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  10. david

    david Member

    A gentleman by the association "Rubix" posting on a blog thread (see below) compiled a decent bibliography of some of Langan's work. This is an old thread and I don't know how to join the group, so I should thank Rubix. By compiling this work now, the information is down in solid format. Obviously people can peruse, I can also eventually give some background on Langan...Again, anyone feel free to do the same!

    The main thing is, I wanted to take advantage of this information because I am a big fan of Langan's and...I feel as though his main piece of work, though thought provoking and brilliant, has many rough spots that initially, until one gets to know what Langan is up to, prevent one from seeing how lucid and perceptive Langan is. Its a similar thing for me with Asimov lol! I happen to have seen Isaac lecture and he was brilliant, I never liked his science fiction, but his science writing I have always enjoyed. I do enjoy CTMU (his theory of everything) so its not a perfect analogy, but here is some intro stuff for Langan. Anyone feel free to introduce him, If not I will do so shortly.

    This is the thread this information came from, I believe it is a blog. The title is "another-crank-comes-to-visit-the-cognitive-theoretic-model-of-the-universe"

    Rubix is responding to someone who questions Chris' own status as producing work when asking for credentials from others... or course the reason Langan does this is not as supposed, but thats for another time. Here is a bibliography of his work in CTMU and other pieces he has produced.

    Link soup: (this site, of course)

    (Inactive Links Removed- Rose)

    PS: I would just suggest that before one tackle Langdan, have an open mind and realise that Intelligent design has been coopted by the religious right. There is more to theories of this nature.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2016