1166: "Argument"

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:49 pm UTC

Gargravarr wrote:The thread at freeenergyforum.com is a bit disappointing. No resistence at all. ...
Well, at least they're doing that part of perpetual motion machines correctly.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby bmonk » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:09 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
webgrunt wrote:
...toast doesn't have the ability to right itself


I'm sure many people have thought of this before, but what about gluing two cats together, back-to-back?


Doesn't work for the same reason why it's not enough to butter the toast from both sides - to the cat it doesn't matter whose legs it lands on, as long as the connected cats land on their legs. Similarly, the toast wants to land on a side with butter, so if you butter both sides, it will happily fall down on either side.

So the trick then is to drop unbuttered toast?
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:04 pm UTC

Then you just get antigravity toast that refuses to fall at all.

Though I suppose that could possibly be put to use in some kind of perpetual motion scheme or another...
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby vector010 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:25 am UTC

Toast without butter would just fall indiscriminately. As far as I've always been told it is "Buttered toast always lands butter side down." That eliminates any condition where the toast is not buttered.

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby DavidRoss » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:20 am UTC

webgiant wrote:I took an applied science class last semester, "Generators, Transformers, and Motors", in which the teacher and one of the students were convinced that a solar cell capable of producing enough energy to power a light bulb could be powered by that same light bulb to produce the energy needed to make the light bulb generate enough power in the solar cell to power the light bulb. The teacher was not an unintelligent man, and understood basic principles of electricity and induction, but refused to accept that a solar cell only capable of converting 15% of the light striking it into electricity was not able to power a light bulb producing 100% of the light striking the solar cell in a continuous perpetual motion-like process.

I think this goes to show why most climate-change deniers are in science fields completely unrelated to climate change: you can be an incredibly smart expert in one science field, and still believe pseudoscience about another scientific field.


I wouldn't have been so charitable to the teacher. He was not a smart expert in any scientific field.

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby vector010 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:07 am UTC

DavidRoss wrote:
webgiant wrote:I took an applied science class last semester, "Generators, Transformers, and Motors", in which the teacher and one of the students were convinced that a solar cell capable of producing enough energy to power a light bulb could be powered by that same light bulb to produce the energy needed to make the light bulb generate enough power in the solar cell to power the light bulb. The teacher was not an unintelligent man, and understood basic principles of electricity and induction, but refused to accept that a solar cell only capable of converting 15% of the light striking it into electricity was not able to power a light bulb producing 100% of the light striking the solar cell in a continuous perpetual motion-like process.

I think this goes to show why most climate-change deniers are in science fields completely unrelated to climate change: you can be an incredibly smart expert in one science field, and still believe pseudoscience about another scientific field.


I wouldn't have been so charitable to the teacher. He was not a smart expert in any scientific field.


I've gotta agree there. Even somehow coming up with a solar cell that converts 100% of light striking it into electricity couldn't power the light bulb for long. I mean there is energy lost in heat due to resistance for one. You know, that thing that makes light bulbs too hot to touch. I know that and my focus of study is Web Development. LOL

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Max™ » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:58 am UTC

webgiant wrote:I think this goes to show why most climate-change deniers are in science fields completely unrelated to climate change: you can be an incredibly smart expert in one science field, and still believe pseudoscience about another scientific field.

Couldn't that just as easily be applied the other way? Setting aside, y'know, experts in fields related to the climate who don't buy the anthropogenic hypothesis... there are an awful lot of climate-change undeniers (a dumb word made dumberer!) with no scientific background whatsoever.

It's interesting that you chose the example of a teacher confused by things like the thermodynamic limits on a lightbulb powering itself with a solar panel as someone "smart in one field but dumb in another" before making your climate change example, but that discussion is far better suited for the "is it possible to have a rational discussion on global warming" thread.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Klear » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:06 am UTC

vector010 wrote:
DavidRoss wrote:
webgiant wrote:I took an applied science class last semester, "Generators, Transformers, and Motors", in which the teacher and one of the students were convinced that a solar cell capable of producing enough energy to power a light bulb could be powered by that same light bulb to produce the energy needed to make the light bulb generate enough power in the solar cell to power the light bulb. The teacher was not an unintelligent man, and understood basic principles of electricity and induction, but refused to accept that a solar cell only capable of converting 15% of the light striking it into electricity was not able to power a light bulb producing 100% of the light striking the solar cell in a continuous perpetual motion-like process.

I think this goes to show why most climate-change deniers are in science fields completely unrelated to climate change: you can be an incredibly smart expert in one science field, and still believe pseudoscience about another scientific field.


I wouldn't have been so charitable to the teacher. He was not a smart expert in any scientific field.


I've gotta agree there. Even somehow coming up with a solar cell that converts 100% of light striking it into electricity couldn't power the light bulb for long. I mean there is energy lost in heat due to resistance for one. You know, that thing that makes light bulbs too hot to touch. I know that and my focus of study is Web Development. LOL


This reminds me when I was studying philosophy we were for some reason trying to come up with a natural phenomenon where something diminishes steadily and then suddenly stops. One of the other students suggested temperature - it goes down but once it reaches 0K, it stops and can't go lower. He seemed to think that temperature is some kind of attribute of the matter around the particles and the lower it is, the slower the particles move. I was the only one in the room to point out that the speed of the particles IS the temperature.

To be fair, when I explained to them, they understood it and didn't argue.

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby ijuin » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:57 am UTC

DavidRoss wrote:
feldgendler wrote:There is a not-quite-perpetual-but-long-enough experiment that's been running for longer than any existing forum thread:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Electric_Bell


That's for the info. I'll definitely have to stop by and see that bell if I go through Oxford. Interesting that a 170 year old pair of batteries in continuous use last longer than the batteries with the bunny and drum.

Today's batteries are generally much more cheaply constructed than the ones used in the Oxford Electric Bell. They really don't make them like they used to.

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Kit. » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:51 am UTC

orthogon wrote:Yes, but (s)he's got the wrong First Law. The First Law of Thermodynamics is you don't talk about thermodynamics.
(Somebody had to say it).

Well, this reminds me of...

As I was taught in school, Newton's first law of motion claims that inertial reference frames do exist.
However, there is no similar axiom in Thermodynamics.

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Max™ » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:34 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
orthogon wrote:Yes, but (s)he's got the wrong First Law. The First Law of Thermodynamics is you don't talk about thermodynamics.
(Somebody had to say it).

Well, this reminds me of...

As I was taught in school, Newton's first law of motion claims that inertial reference frames do exist.
However, there is no similar axiom in Thermodynamics.

I thought they were: you can't get ahead, you can't break even, and you can't quit.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Kit. » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:52 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
Kit. wrote:As I was taught in school, Newton's first law of motion claims that inertial reference frames do exist.
However, there is no similar axiom in Thermodynamics.

I thought they were: you can't get ahead, you can't break even, and you can't quit.

In a closed system, yes. But they don't even try to claim that at least one such system exists.

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:40 pm UTC

There is a Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics which pretty much amounts to "temperature exists", though.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:00 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:Today's batteries are generally much more cheaply constructed than the ones used in the Oxford Electric Bell. They really don't make them like they used to.

Then again, there might have been a Cambridge Electric Bell, as well as London, Plymouth, Hull, Manchester, Scarborough, Leamington Spa, Swindon and Aberystwyth Electric Bells, but their batteries all gave up in the first year and they were quietly put in the skip. Or given to the rag & bone man. Whatever the Victorian WEEE directive required.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Max™ » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:08 am UTC

Rag and Bone

Kit. wrote:
Max™ wrote:
Kit. wrote:As I was taught in school, Newton's first law of motion claims that inertial reference frames do exist.
However, there is no similar axiom in Thermodynamics.

I thought they were: you can't get ahead, you can't break even, and you can't quit.

In a closed system, yes. But they don't even try to claim that at least one such system exists.

I think it's left as an exercise for the class.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:52 am UTC

Seeing as the "Universe" is by definition a closed system, all we need to prove that closed systems exist is to prove that the Universe exists.

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:57 am UTC

Ha!

Hahah

heh...

No seriously, have fun with that :)
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Max™ » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:12 am UTC

Proof that the universe exists: assume the opposite...

*does so*

Huh, that's odd, it looks like everything is unraveli-
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby ijuin » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:54 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Seeing as the "Universe" is by definition a closed system, all we need to prove that closed systems exist is to prove that the Universe exists.


Saying that it only applies to a closed system is something of a circular argument. A closed system is defined as a system in which energy neither enters nor exits the system. However, how do we determine that energy has neither entered nor left without being "outside" of the system to see the energy on the outside? We do so by determining whether the total energy of the system has increased or decreased. In other words, our ability to determine whether or not we are within a closed system is dependent upon our acceptance of the First Law (i.e. that the energy in a closed system is unchangeable).

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby feldgendler » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:43 am UTC

Don't stop, guys. Just please don't stop.

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby J Thomas » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:39 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Ha!

Hahah

heh...

No seriously, have fun with that :)


Let me try out an argument about that.

If we exist, we must exist within a universe from the definition of universe.

If the universe does not exist then neither do we and we cannot make valid logical arguments.

So if the universe exists and we argue it doesn't, we are wrong. But if the universe does not exist and we argue it doesn't, we are also wrong.

But if the universe exists and we argue that it exists, then we are right.

So let's assume the universe does exist because we can possibly be right if we do that, while we cannot be right if we assume it does not exist.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:45 am UTC

J Thomas wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:Ha!

Hahah

heh...

No seriously, have fun with that :)


Let me try out an argument about that.

If we exist, we must exist within a universe from the definition of universe.

If the universe does not exist then neither do we and we cannot make valid logical arguments.

So if the universe exists and we argue it doesn't, we are wrong. But if the universe does not exist and we argue it doesn't, we are also wrong.

But if the universe exists and we argue that it exists, then we are right.

So let's assume the universe does exist because we can possibly be right if we do that, while we cannot be right if we assume it does not exist.

You know of course I'm going to agree with this argument because it's my own argument. That was your point here of course, but I thought I'd be clear that my comment quoted above was for the sake of humor. Of course I think it can be proven that the universe exists... or, more accurately, that it can be proven that it is self-defeating to believe it does not exist. The joke is, basically, "good luck getting a majority of philosophers to accept your argument", and was partly in reference to my ongoing difficulties getting you to buy this line of reasoning :-)
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:45 am UTC

There's no fucking reason "philosophers of science" should have to accept the argument. It is not philosophical. It is only from a scientific perspective accepting of such a definition of "universe" that the proof even makes sense in the first place. It's a scientific argument, not a philosophical one.

After all, it is a scientific law in the first place. We observe it to be true, but cannot simply assume it is.

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby dudiobugtron » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:40 am UTC

J Thomas wrote:If we exist, we must exist within a universe from the definition of universe.

I'm not convinced this is necessarily true. Why must the universe we exist in match our definition of 'Universe'?
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby J Thomas » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:50 am UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:
J Thomas wrote:If we exist, we must exist within a universe from the definition of universe.

I'm not convinced this is necessarily true. Why must the universe we exist in match our definition of 'Universe'?


It depends on how you think words match up to reality.

If the universe is the sum total of everything that exists, and we exist, then we must be part of the universe.

This is obviously true. The problem comes because "exist" might possibly not mean what I'd naturally think it means. Maybe things can exist in a way that doesn't let you add them together. I don't see how that would work, but I don't understand everything. So my argument needs to be refined.

If we exist, and if existence works the way my preconceptions say it does, then we must be part of the universe.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Max™ » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:27 am UTC

J Thomas wrote:
dudiobugtron wrote:
J Thomas wrote:If we exist, we must exist within a universe from the definition of universe.

I'm not convinced this is necessarily true. Why must the universe we exist in match our definition of 'Universe'?


It depends on how you think words match up to reality.

If the universe is the sum total of everything that exists, and we exist, then we must be part of the universe.

This is obviously true. The problem comes because "exist" might possibly not mean what I'd naturally think it means. Maybe things can exist in a way that doesn't let you add them together. I don't see how that would work, but I don't understand everything. So my argument needs to be refined.

If we exist, and if existence works the way my preconceptions say it does, then we must be part of the universe.

Flaw in this argument: we could very well be in a simulated reality.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:59 am UTC

Max™ wrote:
J Thomas wrote:
dudiobugtron wrote:
J Thomas wrote:If we exist, we must exist within a universe from the definition of universe.

I'm not convinced this is necessarily true. Why must the universe we exist in match our definition of 'Universe'?


It depends on how you think words match up to reality.

If the universe is the sum total of everything that exists, and we exist, then we must be part of the universe.

This is obviously true. The problem comes because "exist" might possibly not mean what I'd naturally think it means. Maybe things can exist in a way that doesn't let you add them together. I don't see how that would work, but I don't understand everything. So my argument needs to be refined.

If we exist, and if existence works the way my preconceptions say it does, then we must be part of the universe.

Flaw in this argument: we could very well be in a simulated reality.

That still implies that you, and therefore something, exists, even if the nature of you is very different from what it seems. (E.g. Even if you're just a computer program, you still exist -- as a computer program, implying there is a computer for that matter. Likewise even if you're just a dream, you still exist -- as a figment of someone else's imagination, implying that they exist. And so on for whatever kind of simulation you might want to talk about).
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby J Thomas » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:16 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Max™ wrote:That still implies that you, and therefore something, exists, even if the nature of you is very different from what it seems. (E.g. Even if you're just a computer program, you still exist -- as a computer program, implying there is a computer for that matter. Likewise even if you're just a dream, you still exist -- as a figment of someone else's imagination, implying that they exist. And so on for whatever kind of simulation you might want to talk about).


Of course, that means the universe might be very different from what you think it is, and your own existence might be very different from what it seems....

But we already knew that.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Max™ » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:07 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Max™ wrote:
J Thomas wrote:
dudiobugtron wrote:
J Thomas wrote:If we exist, we must exist within a universe from the definition of universe.

I'm not convinced this is necessarily true. Why must the universe we exist in match our definition of 'Universe'?


It depends on how you think words match up to reality.

If the universe is the sum total of everything that exists, and we exist, then we must be part of the universe.

This is obviously true. The problem comes because "exist" might possibly not mean what I'd naturally think it means. Maybe things can exist in a way that doesn't let you add them together. I don't see how that would work, but I don't understand everything. So my argument needs to be refined.

If we exist, and if existence works the way my preconceptions say it does, then we must be part of the universe.

Flaw in this argument: we could very well be in a simulated reality.

That still implies that you, and therefore something, exists, even if the nature of you is very different from what it seems. (E.g. Even if you're just a computer program, you still exist -- as a computer program, implying there is a computer for that matter. Likewise even if you're just a dream, you still exist -- as a figment of someone else's imagination, implying that they exist. And so on for whatever kind of simulation you might want to talk about).

Ok then, you could be a Boltzmann brain and I'm just a figment of your imagination.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby dudiobugtron » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:08 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
dudiobugtron wrote:
J Thomas wrote:If we exist, we must exist within a universe from the definition of universe.

I'm not convinced this is necessarily true. Why must the universe we exist in match our definition of 'Universe'?


It depends on how you think words match up to reality.

If the universe is the sum total of everything that exists, and we exist, then we must be part of the universe.

This is obviously true. The problem comes because "exist" might possibly not mean what I'd naturally think it means. Maybe things can exist in a way that doesn't let you add them together. I don't see how that would work, but I don't understand everything. So my argument needs to be refined.

If we exist, and if existence works the way my preconceptions say it does, then we must be part of the universe.

Another part of the definition of the Universe you were using was that it is a closed system. Perhaps there are some things which switch between existence and non-existence? Or some other weird set-up where the Universe isn't closed.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:38 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:Ok then, you could be a Boltzmann brain and I'm just a figment of your imagination.

Then I, and thus something, and thus a universe, still exists.

J Thomas wrote:Of course, that means the universe might be very different from what you think it is, and your own existence might be very different from what it seems....

But we already knew that.

Yep. This line of thought is the refutation I give to Descartes' evil genius and similar arguments casting the existence of anything beyond the self into doubt, and the basis of my reformulation of his cogito. The refutation is basically what I've been saying with Max here: whatever kind of "maybe your understanding of the universe is completely wrong" scenario you might want to pose, there is still something besides yourself feeding you these experiences, and that something is what those experiences represent, and thus the proper referent for "the universe" -- or at least, a part of it. E.g. I might be a dreaming brain in a vat inside the Matrix which is actually all an illusion cast by an all-powerful evil genius, but still the evil genius exists, and perhaps others like him, perhaps a whole world, just as there is a whole (illusory) world in which the Matrix exists in which there are other (simulated, illusory) people and things like the vat in which my brain lies in which there is another (doubly simulated and still illusory) world in which I am asleep and dreaming that there is a computer in a room on which I am typing this message. Even solipsism breaks down, unless you find yourself always "lucid dreaming" as the all-knowing all-powerful god of your world at all times, because there is still if nothing else your "conscious mind" (you) an your "unconscious mind" (the rest of the world of which you have only imperfect awareness and control).

Which leads to my reformulation of the cogito. The one indubitable thing is not "I doubt, I think, I am", rather it is "I experience something". We could in principle just leave it at that and go "ooh ahh" at the experiences without any understanding or guidance of them, but if we want to try to make some sense of them, the first thing we need in our conceptual framework is to posit the existence of an "I" doing the experiences -- and of something being experienced. Figuring out the details of what exactly the nature of "I" and "something" are is the hard work that follows.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Max™ » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:45 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Max™ wrote:Ok then, you could be a Boltzmann brain and I'm just a figment of your imagination.

Then I, and thus something, and thus a universe, still exists.

Not quite, the Boltzmann brain would be something that spontaneously nucleates without the presence of a universe.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:52 am UTC

Max™ wrote:Not quite, the Boltzmann brain would be something that spontaneously nucleates without the presence of a universe.

I understand that, but if it exists by whatever cause (or none if that's possible), then something exists, and thus a totality of everything that exists (a universe) exists -- even if the Boltzmann brain is all there is to that totality.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Max™ » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:57 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Max™ wrote:Not quite, the Boltzmann brain would be something that spontaneously nucleates without the presence of a universe.

I understand that, but if it exists by whatever cause (or none if that's possible), then something exists, and thus a totality of everything that exists (a universe) exists -- even if the Boltzmann brain is all there is to that totality.

Ah, I usually define a universe as a region of spacetime which is causally disconnected from outside influences, so that explains the mismatch here.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby mishka » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:01 am UTC

I thought the universe existed within the multiverse.

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Max™
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Max™ » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:18 am UTC

mishka wrote:I thought the universe existed within the multiverse.

Depends on your taste in theoretical physics,I think.
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mikrit
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby mikrit » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:31 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
bmonk wrote:So the trick then is to drop unbuttered toast?

Then you just get antigravity toast that refuses to fall at all.

Though I suppose that could possibly be put to use in some kind of perpetual motion scheme or another...

My hovercraft is full of toast.
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Febrion wrote: "etc" is latin for "this would look better with more examples, but I can't think of any".

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Max™ » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:08 am UTC

mikrit wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
bmonk wrote:So the trick then is to drop unbuttered toast?

Then you just get antigravity toast that refuses to fall at all.

Though I suppose that could possibly be put to use in some kind of perpetual motion scheme or another...

My hovercraft is full of toast.

My toast is full of Lovecraft... it whispers to me at night, but the worst part is how it just sits there hanging from the ceiling and stares at me with all those eyes... oh but I had only taken the word of those brave men who found that damned many-angled toaster... thing in that horrible city of ice and shadows at the south pole.
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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Kit. » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:04 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Seeing as the "Universe" is by definition a closed system, all we need to prove that closed systems exist is to prove that the Universe exists.

First, it would only work for finite universes, with finite entropy.

Second, it's useless. Newton's first law introduces a framework that could be used anywhere at any time - and at any scale (well, it doesn't always fit the observed data, but that's another story). "Universe as a closed system" is only good to describe a heat death of it. What is needed to legitimize the everydays use of thermodynamics is some sort of statement why we can apply a framework for closed systems to small and obviously non-closed ones (as we can observe what happens with them).

For example, a statement that any physically meaningful function of energy/entropy must be an analytic function might make it legit to use closed-system approximation for "sufficiently well closed" open systems.

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Re: 1166: "Argument"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:36 pm UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:Another part of the definition of the Universe you were using was that it is a closed system. Perhaps there are some things which switch between existence and non-existence? Or some other weird set-up where the Universe isn't closed.

I think the quantity of dark energy is believedby who? to increase with the volume of the universe, without needing other energy to be converted to dark energycitation needed; in which case the universe is not closed in a thermodynamic senseoriginal research. I might be getting my cosmology wrong, but the point is it's a cosmological issue.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.


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