Re: Science

From: Tim May <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 16:13:15 -0800

On Saturday, January 11, 2003, at 03:11 PM, John M wrote:

> This list - several years ago - took a free approach, alas lately more
> and
> more conventional opinions slip in, regrettable for me, because I hold
> that
> the conventional "science establishment" holds feverishly to old
> addages,
> acquired in times when the epistemic cognitive inventory was much less
> than
> available today (which is much less than that of tomorrow). Even the
> "topics
> of the future" build on ancient observations and their explanations
> (formalism), in order to conform with the scientists' earlier books,
> teachings, pupils, discussions.

Given that there is no moderation, no censorship, it is clear that talk
about "this list...took" is missing the point. "This list" is really
"the comments of those subscribed and contributing."

As always, if you believe people are talking about the wrong things,
your best approach to is to persuasively make your own points which you
believe fit your conception of what subscribers to the list "should" be
talking about.

I have no understanding of what you mean by saying "alas lately more
and more conventional opinions slip in."

If you think my views are too conventional, for example, or that I
should not be posting to this list, I suppose you can ask Wei Dai to
remove me. I believe nearly all of my posts are in the spirit of the
list's charter, discussing as I do MWI, Tegmark/Egan, possible worlds,
modal logic, etc.

(I seldom if ever discuss the Schmidhuber thesis, and the "COMP"
thesis, as these are not currently interesting to me. I notice plenty
of other people discussing them, and I read their comments with _some_
interest, anticipating the eventual day when the COMP stuff is more
germane to me.)

> In MOST cases the methodology works in practical ways, builds
> technology, up
> to the point when "understanding" comes in. This is a many negated
> term,
> many so called scientists satisfy themselves with practical results
> (for
> tenure, awards, etc.)
> Few researchers take the stance to "free" their mind from learned
> prejudice
> and check the 'well composed' edifice of the scientific doctrines for
> sustainability under the newly evolved vistas. There were several on
> this
> list.

I cannot understand your point here. But if the "several" who were once
here are no longer posting, I am not stopping them.

> The new ideas were quickly absorbed into the existing formalistic mill
> -
> calculative obsolescence and semantic impropriety, which confused
> many.
> New science is like Tao: who says "I developed a theory within it"
> does not
> know what he talks about. Science is on the crossroad: (I wold not say
> bifurcation, because I have negative arguments against this concept)
> and we
> know only that something 'new' is in the dreams, we need more thinking
> before we can identify "what".

Again, I have no idea what you are talking about here.

> Speaking of "science" usually means "old science". This list started
> out to
> serve the "new science".
> It woulod be a shame to slip back into the conventionalities.

Talk to Wei Dai. I write what I think is true and important.

--Tim May
Received on Sat Jan 11 2003 - 19:15:46 PST

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