COVID-19 is yesterdays news. The number 200,000 is too large, it becomes abstract: those aren’t people, they’re just a number – a statistic rather than a tragedy. Now we can enjoy the bread and circuses of (national) politics while the tent collapses around us: the election is less than 6 weeks away and a liberal judge inconveniently died. Amidst the politically-motivated hagiography being heaped onto the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Trump has put forth his own candidate: Amy Coney Barrett. For many, this is beyond the pale.
Using the Young’s Modulus of spacetime itself calculated from the recent detection of gravitational waves, I’ve done some rough calculations to come up with a potential quantization of spacetime and a regularization cutoff for quantum field theory scattering calculations.
Ludwig Wittgenstein famously talked about language as an interconnected assemblage of language games that make up a world-picture. A world-picture are all of the assumptions, norms, and grounds that a community holds as certain, and from there certain propositions in the language games the community employs will be either true or false. While I somewhat disagree with Wittgenstein’s conclusion that the truth criteria of any proposition is its proper usage within a language game, rather than the proposition’s correspondence with reality, I think his analysis gives a good framework for examining the epistemic disunity in the culture of the west.
In my most recent post, I argued for the coherence of analyticity by proposing that concepts are things that exist out there in the real world (i.e. are mind independent). I’ve come to rethink this ontology of concepts.
What are the laws of logic, and are they universal? Are the laws of logic something that exists “out there” and our symbolic and syntactical conventions merely a way of describing it? Or do our logical propositions and assertions dictate the truth? This may seem like an easy question to answer, but not everyone agrees.
Cynical Theories, by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, Copyright 2020, Pitchstone Publishing, 352 pages.
Lately I have been teaching myself higher level physics and mathematics – reading books and watching youtube videos on the subject. Here I am going to post some links to the resources I have been using for anyone else who may be interested. These resources are obviously not exhaustive of all the resources out there, but they’re the ones I’ve found to be very helpful. As I continue learning about these subjects, I will periodically update this post.
When we speak of a property or trait instantiated by an object, we take two assumptions into account: the object in question has a property Bo which causes it to interact with the surrounding world in a particular way, and the perceiver has the property Bp which causes them to perceive those interactions in a particular way. This is an asymmetric relationship between perceiver and perceived.
When we say that we possess a table, then we have a tangible idea of what this means: I own an x, such that x is a table, and that specific table present to me now is the referent for the name “table” where x = table. But what about something non-physical, such as love? Or numbers? Or freedom? Or boredom? And so on.
A possible world is a way in which it is logically possible (does not result in contradiction) for reality to exist. There is a possible world in which everything is exactly the same, but it is 1 degree warmer than it is now; there is a possible world in which COVID-19 never existed; there is a possible world in which everything is exactly the same, but there is +1 more person existing right now. What is the nature of these possible worlds, and specifically, what is the nature of my relationship to myself in these possible worlds?
Critical Theory is a methodology of critiquing power relations within society. It takes as axiomatic the new-Marxist analysis of oppressor-oppressed dynamics being inherent in all human relationships. As such, Critical Theory is not about whether such power dynamics exist, but in what ways they manifest. There is little talk about why these dynamics manifest.
The late 19th / early 20th century philosopher and mathematician Gottlob Frege famously came up with the Sense and Reference distinction in order to clarify issues in his logical system. Briefly put, the reference of a word (I’ll use my favorite example of “table”) is the actual object that the word signifies: the referent of the word “table” is the actual, physical table existing out there in the real world. The sense of a word is the way in which it exists as a psychological representation: the sense of “table” is how I conceive the table in my mind. This was important to Frege because examples where we have two (or more) words that signify a single referent can have a different sense, and therefore lead to different inferences, even if the referent is the same. How, though, might we relate these ideas?