Skip to content

Various things this evening (a virtual interview)

December 16, 2010

Mohan, mdashf

It’s a Thursday evening here in my home (so I guess at some other places in the physical vicinity of this vast planet). A friend quite away who is also in the same time zone as mine writes a lot of philosophy. I can resist myself from a need to clarify my perceptions about what the friend possibly copies from places. OK the friend guy is capable of writing his philosophy and I do not tolerate philosophy as a matter of feelings. They somehow direct me to continue to pay attention to something that’s outdated but always prongs the most vicious thoughts in your head.

As Hawking recently points out Philosophy is dead, it is not keeping up with itself. So keeping a pace with science, in itself, is a matter of great deal of exercise, it’s the unwillingness of a bunch of chaps who are prepared to hear rather than listen, to reason, rather than words. I can compare them with a bunch of chaps, who are well-meaning grass cutters. Boy, pay attention to the grasshopper and write a poem or a country music and win for yourself more pleasure and fame than an association with scientific principles and falsities does. Be a Hero. Try. 1, 2, 3. Run. But to philosophize faults of nature as failures of science is like saying the best sliding door you have is a whack.

(I do that, I think natures fault are whack, I am tired with finding reason, why do you believe I have gotten to that level)

Its another matter the great scientists and engineers and design people they all tried all the other ways they could and found over strenuous deal of decades that the ones that are precisely respectful of the faults of nature are the ones that survived reason to produce the best. The ones that followed a faultfinding mechanism of the philosophers are the ones that were very successful because the philosophers were absent; they appeared 100 years later, after success was obtained, so the mechanisms did not exist, in other words there was a great deal of effort to avoid technical mistakes that could be held as a fault of science rather than a fault of nature.

My friend philosopher Mentu Dear has sent me a lecture on the character of science, which I will append here and without any philosophical rationale describe what I see here

When scientists use the idea of parsimony, it only has meaning in a very specific context of inquiry. A number of background assumptions are required for parsimony to connect with plausibility in a particular research problem. The reasonableness of parsimony in one research context may have nothing to do with its reasonableness in another. It is a mistake to think that there is a single global principle that spans diverse subject matter.

When I come up with an elaborate description about what’s troublesome in one research problem it sheds light on how difficult this one problem is. Most people get that idea. To say it does not hold necessarily in another research problem is fine. There may not even be a research problem; they may not even be solving a god damn problem. They may be drinking a lot of coffee and beer on taxpayer’s money. So government must slice the research budget by 0.001% not by say 10% or 15% without going into details of the problem. If the problem is really difficult eg the problems on which George Smoot worked, the govt may enhance his research budget and make it unprecedentedly large. If one has demonstrated to solve a complex problem he deserves funding more than anybody does. That hints towards a contentious situation because everyone wants to convey that he or she is making a dent in our knowledgebase. It’s easy to see reason. I propose Government must constitute of locals and those that do not necessarily have advance degrees, because that way they will train themselves in the details of scientific peer review system and advise the same to governments. It works by contrast. This way also the government ensures that optimal usage of resources of a community is in place. If we have one Harvard returnee he is getting a huge salary so why he must not produce at the top of his brand name. If he colludes with big names and big papers to show that he is producing outstanding work then this must be considered canvassing as long as his contribution and independence isn’t reflected in the work. Government must never allow wastage of citizen’s resources and hard money and counter the suave design of the scientists to attract funding for fictitious programs. Make everything discussed threadbare. State the problems you are facing more precisely so more light can be shed and what seems to be the real issue. Have open online platforms to bring transformation and transparency.

As a methodological principle, you cannot help toward a rational decision between competing explanations of the same empirical facts. One problem in formulating an explicit general principle is that complexity and simplicity are perspective notions whose meaning depends on the context of application and the user’s prior understanding. In the absence of an objective criterion for simplicity and complexity a principle does not support an objective epistemology.

The problem of deciding between competing explanations for empirical facts cannot be solved by formal tools. Simplicity principles can be useful heuristics in formulating hypotheses, but they do not make a contribution to the selection of theories. A theory that is compatible with one person’s worldview will be considered simple, clear, logical, and evident, whereas what is contrary to that worldview will quickly be rejected as an overly complex explanation with senseless additional hypotheses. Hence the principle in this way becomes a “mirror of prejudice.”

Fine, but we have many vastly experienced people whose skills, training, experience, affiliations, width, depth, character is a right fit to a multitude of problems. When some one with a powerful clutch over a system subverts the system this can be dealt with the same in mind. That such a person may exhibit a parasitical attachment, which is taken advantage by suave and greedy folks who have a clutch over the system. What we need to do is to take a hint and remove such people from power, like we do in public offices. In the Indian scenario this is a ridiculous aspect as most of the so-called scientists have a family and political connection at least they form one to survive. Indian subjectivity must be understood threadbare and discussed on online platforms.

However, while it is useful as a heuristic in developing models of reaction mechanisms, it has been shown to fail as a criterion for selecting among published models. In this context, Einstein himself expressed a certain caution when he formulated Einstein’s Constraint: “Everything should be kept as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

Elsewhere, Einstein harks back to the theological roots with his famous put-down: ‘The Good Lord may be subtle, but he is not malicious.’ Newtonian, Hamiltonian, and Lagrangian classical mechanics are equivalent. Likewise, Newton’s idea of light particles seemed simpler than Young’s idea of waves, so many favored it; however in this case, as it turned out, neither the wave- nor the particle-explanation alone suffices, since light behaves like waves as well as like particles. There is no demand for simplicity principles to arbitrate between wave and matrix formulations of quantum mechanics. Science often does not demand arbitration or selection criteria between models, which make the same testable predictions.

Good understanding. We need to discuss more on our TV about science. But I am afraid; TV is not a directly accessible media to science since most present day science action can Not really be captured on TV without producing age old prejudices about science and scientists at the same time. Internet is a fair practice. But look how swift, institutions and organizations have become to subvert the challenge of transparent media. Right to information isn’t alone a successful approach to such malice. We need more powerful scrutiny from Government and citizen without compromise. Who checks the compromised is another aspect we need to be immediately careful. Let a debate ensue. Science often passes the tests of democracy. Let well meaning and honest people change our lives for better. Just a while ago I was talking to another of our dear high school friend who I told this following idea, most organizations in India have come to terms with understanding the value of corporatization and brand creation. What they need is brand value creation rather than just a brand name. Most organizations that are enjoying Government generosity in this country are actually superficial in their value. This needs to change.

There is little empirical evidence that the world is actually simple or that simple accounts are more likely than complex ones to be true. So my dear friend simplicity principles are useful philosophical preferences for choosing a more likely theory from among several possibilities that are each consistent with available data. Many scientists generally do not accept these arguments, and prefer to rely on explanations that deal with the same phenomena within the confines of existing scientific models. So I conclude with one Ayn Rand’s words: “Concepts are not to be multiplied beyond necessity—the corollary of which is: nor are they to be integrated in disregard of necessity.

Good Philosophy, we don’t have Ayn Rand in India but we have a plenty of people who read her books excluding myself, I never read her, because I never heard about her until it was really late, So most people know how to subvert an argument rather than take Rand by her implication and enlighten us on some social issues that have clouded our progress and psyche and this they can do through their own work, if it is in them.


Post a comment
  1. Anon #
    December 18, 2010

    Ayn Rand was a woman 😛

  2. Manmohan Dash #
    December 18, 2010

    Thanks for the correction buddy, Its so unfortunate when I miss the gender…But I do not know how I really missed it, its possible I always liked her popularity and imagined her to be a male progeny

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: