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RE: [existlist] two slit experiment

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  • eduard
    james, Thanks for the comment ... I have great difficulty with the idea that an electron or photon knows . I just cant accept the idea that something is
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 3, 2002
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      james,

      Thanks for the comment ...

      I have great difficulty with the idea that an
      electron or photon "knows". I just cant accept
      the idea that something is going on here in some
      fashion of intelligence. It not only is difficult
      from the point of view of making the element into
      some kind of sentient being, but it also is
      egotistical of humans ... as if the universe is
      waiting for only us to "look" at it and thus
      determine its fate.

      The new age crowd has latched onto Quantum physics
      as if to prove the existence of some
      interconnection throughout the universe. I just
      don't believe it. Anyway, this will take a lot
      more study ... perhaps I will have something new
      to say later on. It is not the math that bothers
      me, but the interpretation that is put on it.

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2002 11:21 AM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [existlist] two slit experiment

      eduard,

      that is the 'strange' part.
      the double slit experiment demand that the wave
      aspect of light to be
      revealed. some other experiment reveal the
      particle nature of light
      (photon).

      it is for want of better words. this is really
      something mysterious about
      light. i am not suggesting it is a sentient being,
      but it somehow 'knows'
      which experiments is to be performed, and then it
      reveals its wave or light
      characteristic according to that experiment
      design setup.

      in the case of Schrodinger's Cat, it somehows
      limbo between alive and dead,
      not quite either, until a observer 'observe' and
      set its fate.

      to me, this somehow suggest that our way of
      understanding our reality may
      have its limit, or range of applicability.

      james.
    • james tan
      eduard, dont worry about u not understanding quantum mechanics; it is said that no one less than einstein has difficulty accepting it. there were numerous
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 4, 2002
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        eduard, dont worry about u not understanding quantum mechanics; it is said
        that no one less than einstein has 'difficulty' accepting it. there were
        numerous debates between einstein and neil bohrs precisely because of its
        very 'out of ordinary' nature.

        this quantum mechanics used to intrigue me, but unless one is a theoretical
        physicist with adequate training, what one knows about it is at best from
        some secondary sources (and not from professionals at that). i would rather
        leave it alone since i dont have the training basis in higher physics to
        intelligently discuss it.

        sorry, cant go any further on this topic, else it will commit me to dig up
        my texts again and scan through those lines after lines, books after books
        of equations. doesnt sound very appealing, huh? and at the end of the day,
        so what if i understand them? life goes on pretty much the same (except that
        one would have missed out many dates with hot, living babes by then, if that
        is a good exchange for some cold, intellectual understanding of equations
        and abstract concepts about subatomic particles).

        james.


        From: eduard <yeoman@...>
        Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [existlist] two slit experiment
        Date: Tue, 03 Sep 2002 15:54:59 -0400

        james,

        Thanks for the comment ...

        I have great difficulty with the idea that an
        electron or photon "knows". I just cant accept
        the idea that something is going on here in some
        fashion of intelligence. It not only is difficult
        from the point of view of making the element into
        some kind of sentient being, but it also is
        egotistical of humans ... as if the universe is
        waiting for only us to "look" at it and thus
        determine its fate.

        The new age crowd has latched onto Quantum physics
        as if to prove the existence of some
        interconnection throughout the universe. I just
        don't believe it. Anyway, this will take a lot
        more study ... perhaps I will have something new
        to say later on. It is not the math that bothers
        me, but the interpretation that is put on it.

        eduard

        -----Original Message-----
        From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2002 11:21 AM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [existlist] two slit experiment

        eduard,

        that is the 'strange' part.
        the double slit experiment demand that the wave
        aspect of light to be
        revealed. some other experiment reveal the
        particle nature of light
        (photon).

        it is for want of better words. this is really
        something mysterious about
        light. i am not suggesting it is a sentient being,
        but it somehow 'knows'
        which experiments is to be performed, and then it
        reveals its wave or light
        characteristic according to that experiment
        design setup.

        in the case of Schrodinger's Cat, it somehows
        limbo between alive and dead,
        not quite either, until a observer 'observe' and
        set its fate.

        to me, this somehow suggest that our way of
        understanding our reality may
        have its limit, or range of applicability.

        james.



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      • elbookdoc
        It is. The universe is fated to our perspective. Like a tree
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 4, 2002
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          <<... as if the universe is waiting for only us to "look" at it and
          thus determine its fate.>>

          It is.

          The universe is fated to our perspective. Like a tree that falls the
          existence of the universe is only noticed by being (imagined or
          otherwise).

          What 'Duard really doesn't like is that he can't staple an equation
          to something and put it in a catalog. It's an exception to all the
          rules. Yuck.

          Pine Needle
          -----------------------
        • eduard
          james, I agree that it does not make much difference in our everyday life. Of course, at my age, the priority is to get up in the morning, rather than a
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 4, 2002
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            james,

            I agree that it does not make much difference in
            our everyday life. Of course, at my age, the
            priority is to get up in the morning, rather than
            a concern for hot, lively babes ... :-))

            As much as I can understand from reading a few
            books on Quantum Mechanics is that the major
            barrier to Einstein and others was the inability
            to resolve the idea that an element could have two
            different forms of characteristic ... either as a
            wave or a particle. In large part because of
            their training in classical physics. I don't see
            this as a barrier today, since we have accepted
            that this is possible.

            What bugs me is the emphasis upon the concept that
            an element "knows" what is going on elsewhere.
            And that this is affected by the "observer". John
            Wheeler is taking this to the extreme; in that,
            because we as humans are the result of some
            process within the universe, it is our "looking"
            that creates the universe. From a philosophical
            perspective, I find this very difficult to accept.
            What if the evolution of life only produced a bug
            ... perhaps a lowly fruit fly. Would then the
            "looking" by this fly, be the cause of the
            universe, in the absence of human beings??
            Something is very wrong here.

            I will see if I can formulate some answer, based
            on my further reading.

            eduard

            -----Original Message-----
            From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
            Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 9:52 AM
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [existlist] two slit experiment

            eduard, dont worry about u not understanding
            quantum mechanics; it is said
            that no one less than einstein has 'difficulty'
            accepting it. there were
            numerous debates between einstein and neil bohrs
            precisely because of its
            very 'out of ordinary' nature.

            this quantum mechanics used to intrigue me, but
            unless one is a theoretical
            physicist with adequate training, what one knows
            about it is at best from
            some secondary sources (and not from professionals
            at that). i would rather
            leave it alone since i dont have the training
            basis in higher physics to
            intelligently discuss it.

            sorry, cant go any further on this topic, else it
            will commit me to dig up
            my texts again and scan through those lines after
            lines, books after books
            of equations. doesnt sound very appealing, huh?
            and at the end of the day,
            so what if i understand them? life goes on pretty
            much the same (except that
            one would have missed out many dates with hot,
            living babes by then, if that
            is a good exchange for some cold, intellectual
            understanding of equations
            and abstract concepts about subatomic particles).

            james.
          • eduard
            elbookdoc, Ah ... the old bookdoc. Attacking the messenger instead of the issue. I would presume from your little comment, that you believe that trees never
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 4, 2002
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              elbookdoc,

              Ah ... the old bookdoc. Attacking the messenger
              instead of the issue.

              I would presume from your little comment, that you
              believe that trees never fall, because no one is
              around to see it happen.

              eduard
              p.s. What is a "troat"??

              -----Original Message-----
              From: elbookdoc [mailto:thebookdoc@...]
              Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 10:52 AM
              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [existlist] Re: two slits in the troat
              experiment


              <<... as if the universe is waiting for only us to
              "look" at it and
              thus determine its fate.>>

              It is.

              The universe is fated to our perspective. Like a
              tree that falls the
              existence of the universe is only noticed by being
              (imagined or
              otherwise).

              What 'Duard really doesn't like is that he can't
              staple an equation
              to something and put it in a catalog. It's an
              exception to all the
              rules. Yuck.

              Pine Needle
            • elbookdoc
              ... What I would imagine is that to me it would never really matter or become material in my world. It doesn t matter. The things that do are those things that
              Message 6 of 16 , Sep 4, 2002
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                > I would presume from your little comment, that you
                > believe that trees never fall, because no one is
                > around to see it happen.

                What I would imagine is that to me it would never really matter or
                become material in my world. It doesn't matter. The things that do
                are those things that become part of my perception. If I have no
                perception whatever of an event, it might as well not have happened.
                That can be a direct, indirect or intellectual perception.

                If something is never perceived, it is conceivable that it never
                happened.

                > p.s. What is a "troat"??

                Brooklynese for throat.

                "Wash dicar wal I slit dis gouy's troat."

                Little Imagination
                ------------------------------------------
              • eduard
                elbookdoc, Yes, I can understand that point of view. Things that I dont see happen are not part of my immediate world and I suppose that if dont see some
                Message 7 of 16 , Sep 4, 2002
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                  elbookdoc,

                  Yes, I can understand that point of view. Things
                  that I dont see happen are not part of my
                  immediate world and I suppose that if dont see
                  some eventual evidence of a tree falling [wood
                  flooring, paper pages of my book, etc..] , then I
                  might think that it never happened. But doesn't
                  that create a certain difficulty?? Surely there
                  are a lot of things that you dont see happen, and
                  yet are of importance to one's well being.

                  Thankyou for your explanation of "troat" ...

                  eduard

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: elbookdoc [mailto:thebookdoc@...]
                  Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 4:45 PM
                  To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [existlist] Re: troat experiment


                  > I would presume from your little comment, that
                  you
                  > believe that trees never fall, because no one is
                  > around to see it happen.

                  What I would imagine is that to me it would never
                  really matter or
                  become material in my world. It doesn't matter.
                  The things that do
                  are those things that become part of my
                  perception. If I have no
                  perception whatever of an event, it might as well
                  not have happened.
                  That can be a direct, indirect or intellectual
                  perception.

                  If something is never perceived, it is conceivable
                  that it never
                  happened.

                  > p.s. What is a "troat"??

                  Brooklynese for throat.

                  "Wash dicar wal I slit dis gouy's troat."

                  Little Imagination
                • George Walton
                  Ed, I wouldn t worry about whether or not you can hear the tree fall, okay? But, if one falls, hits you on the head and you don t feel it, that might be cause
                  Message 8 of 16 , Sep 4, 2002
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                    Ed,

                    I wouldn't worry about whether or not you can hear the
                    tree fall, okay? But, if one falls, hits you on the
                    head and you don't feel it, that might be cause for
                    considerable more concern. In other words, it might
                    have killed you.

                    Let me know if that happens, okay?

                    Biggie



                    --- eduard <yeoman@...> wrote:
                    > elbookdoc,
                    >
                    > Yes, I can understand that point of view. Things
                    > that I dont see happen are not part of my
                    > immediate world and I suppose that if dont see
                    > some eventual evidence of a tree falling [wood
                    > flooring, paper pages of my book, etc..] , then I
                    > might think that it never happened. But doesn't
                    > that create a certain difficulty?? Surely there
                    > are a lot of things that you dont see happen, and
                    > yet are of importance to one's well being.
                    >
                    > Thankyou for your explanation of "troat" ...
                    >
                    > eduard
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: elbookdoc [mailto:thebookdoc@...]
                    > Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 4:45 PM
                    > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [existlist] Re: troat experiment
                    >
                    >
                    > > I would presume from your little comment, that
                    > you
                    > > believe that trees never fall, because no one is
                    > > around to see it happen.
                    >
                    > What I would imagine is that to me it would never
                    > really matter or
                    > become material in my world. It doesn't matter.
                    > The things that do
                    > are those things that become part of my
                    > perception. If I have no
                    > perception whatever of an event, it might as well
                    > not have happened.
                    > That can be a direct, indirect or intellectual
                    > perception.
                    >
                    > If something is never perceived, it is conceivable
                    > that it never
                    > happened.
                    >
                    > > p.s. What is a "troat"??
                    >
                    > Brooklynese for throat.
                    >
                    > "Wash dicar wal I slit dis gouy's troat."
                    >
                    > Little Imagination
                    >
                    >
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                  • eduard
                    George, I will definitely take that to heart. I am almost finished my book. John Gibbon, is now speaking of alternate universes. In other words the cat, in
                    Message 9 of 16 , Sep 4, 2002
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                      George,

                      I will definitely take that to heart.

                      I am almost finished my book. John Gibbon, is now
                      speaking of alternate universes. In other words
                      the cat, in the box is both dead and alive and
                      each occurs in an alternate universe. Every
                      decision point branches to another universe which
                      once created will exist at the same time, but
                      those which are not ours, are unknown to us.
                      Gibbon is referring to a paper by Everett that was
                      [at the time] supported by Wheeler. Although this
                      seems to resolve the difficulty of the two slit
                      experiment, it creates a lot of metaphysical
                      baggage which perhaps is even more difficult. In
                      effect, it is saying that, in our universe, the
                      electron goes through one hole and some observer
                      in another universe sees it going through the
                      other hole. The wave function does not collapse
                      but simply presents the choice of the particle to
                      each universe. In this manner the particle does
                      not need to "know" of the two holes, in the sense
                      that it makes a unique choice. It makes both
                      choices and each carries on its own universe. You
                      can see how this results in a greater difficulty
                      of visualization. After the electron makes its
                      particular choice, the observer may either switch
                      the experiment off or leave it on. Or he could
                      put on his red tie or blue tie. Or he could walk
                      out of the building or go to the cafeteria. The
                      number of universes to accommodate all these
                      choices and branching is mind boggling ...

                      eduard

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: George Walton
                      [mailto:iambiguously@...]
                      Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 6:26 PM
                      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [existlist] if a tree falls and I
                      dont see it happen


                      Ed,

                      I wouldn't worry about whether or not you can hear
                      the
                      tree fall, okay? But, if one falls, hits you on
                      the
                      head and you don't feel it, that might be cause
                      for
                      considerable more concern. In other words, it
                      might
                      have killed you.

                      Let me know if that happens, okay?

                      Biggie
                    • elbookdoc
                      We ll not get back to clams for this diatribe, but I believe that flies will do. Say there is a man who needs to change his oil. He is a bit hung over and
                      Message 10 of 16 , Sep 5, 2002
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                        We'll not get back to clams for this diatribe, but I believe that
                        flies will do.

                        Say there is a man who needs to change his oil. He is a bit hung over
                        and perhaps irritable as this is not a thing that he'd really wanted
                        to do in this state and to get the beer to sooth the ache, he needs
                        to have the car -- whose which he'd set to drain. To make matters
                        worse, the heat is hot and the wind is still and he smells from not
                        showering, catching the attention of a fly.

                        The fly hovers in craft above the fellow as he is about to pour, like
                        flys do. The fellow puts down the oil to shush the fly and, done
                        shushing, reaches for the oil quart...laying his hands on another,
                        not the original open one. He snaps the new top thinking he'd done it
                        already and starts to pour. He refuses to stop this time as the fly
                        has at him. Waving hands wildly he trashes the original quart, which
                        floods the driveway in its excrement -- so to speak. The fellow
                        continues to pour as the puddle of oil seems to grow, thinking to
                        himself he'll replace the quart he spilled when he gets to the quick-
                        n-go. He was one quart short to start with and figured what he had
                        would get him there, he'd get some beer and oil and be back.

                        Done pouring, the fellow forgets about the fly which has gone away.
                        He hops in the car and starts to drive off...leaving a small trail of
                        oil, and almost 3 entire quarts of oil in a puddle on the driveway,
                        as he forgot to put the plug back in the pan. A few minutes down the
                        road, the engine siezes. Cars pile up in a waiting stream behind, and
                        tempers rise. Some cross the double yellow to pass. On one of these
                        cars, a bicycle improperly strapped to the rack falls to the side of
                        the road and is damaged. The father circles the car back and picks up
                        the bike, and decides to haul it right then to the bike shop so as
                        not to ruin the plans for the afternoon.

                        At the bike shop, the mechanic who sets to work on the bike is a bit
                        of a perfectionist. He's straightened what was bent and goes through
                        a few pains to touch up the paint. It only takes a few moments more.
                        He's got an appointment with a realtor to look at a new appartment
                        that is only a few minutes from the shop. He'll be a few minutes
                        late, but no big deal. He checks out the family and sends them on
                        their way, then hops in his car and bounds off. He was going to take
                        his bike, but, being late already, he decided not to push his luck
                        with the realtor.

                        He sees the apartment and likes it. He puts in a down-payment. On the
                        way back from the apartment, he makes a wrong turn. He honks his horn
                        at an old woman who seems to be pulling out of her driveway without
                        stopping to look. She hears the horn and stops. She curses youth,
                        takes a moment to calm down, then slowly starts on her way again. A
                        few moments later she kills a young father at an intersection by
                        running a light that she thought she would make.

                        Before I go on, let me point out that this is not at all where this
                        story ends. But I end it here.

                        What caused the death?

                        The woman never saw the fly. The fellow in the shop never saw the
                        fly. The fellow who brought his bike to the shop never saw the fly.
                        The dead fellow never saw the fly. The fellow whose car engine has
                        seized has forgotten the fly.

                        In essence the idea of the fly does not matter, but the fly, for me,
                        symbolizes quantum mechanics. It is a random behavior which sets off
                        a stream of behaviors, which, by chance can be said to manifest into
                        something else. It is not predictable as to whether the fly caused
                        the death, as there are many points where the events might have
                        happened in a similar way. For example, the fly may not have bothered
                        the fellow while he changed his oil, yet because he arived on time to
                        the meeting with the realtor, the realtor was more chatty and
                        personable, and the two spent longer discussing the apartment and
                        other interests, yet the fellow still managed to leave to get back to
                        work at exactly the same time, still encountering the woman with a
                        honk of the horn, still resulting in the death of the young father.

                        What I also find interesting here is that many things might have
                        happened anyway. The car may have seized had the plug gone in the pan
                        and the oil been retained -- regardless of the fly. The bike may have
                        fallen from the car necessitating the trip to the shop because it was
                        poorly tied. The fellow from the shop might have passed the woman in
                        many different series of events (e.g., being on-time and on his bike,
                        he took the wrong turn and delayed her by riding behind and shouting,
                        rather than using the horn). The woman, not distracted by the horn
                        may have though of something she forgot, then felt it unimportant and
                        continued on. The fellow that died might have cut himself shaving and
                        in taking just 5 seconds to dab on a bit of tissue may have saved
                        himself from his early fate -- or created a different one that
                        occurred at the same time for some other reason. And at any point
                        some other variable might be introduced to change the series of
                        events.

                        There are decisions that effect the outcome as well as calculations,
                        and both are not always critical. Observation matters (woman hears
                        horn), previous outcomes matter (fellow drinks the night before), and
                        the cycle does not end, while new events appear. Everything effects
                        everything else to a greater or lesser extent as the timeline moves
                        forward. And should the young father turn out to be the fellow whose
                        car had seized, coming back from where he'd already accepted a rental
                        car, events can effectively lie dormant to affect later, larger
                        changes. And can do so unpredictably.

                        There is both no reason to assume the result is predictable, and no
                        reason to assume it is not probable (depending on the nature and
                        complexity of behaviors). There is also no reason to assume
                        calculations are not just dumb luck and a decent approximation of a
                        probable result. To say one knows what happens is a lie.

                        It is following the exceptions that give clues to actual, rather than
                        probable, behaviors and outcomes. Yet, even following these, you can
                        never know.

                        Sails Untied
                        --------------------------------------------
                      • eduard
                        elbookdoc,
                        Message 11 of 16 , Sep 5, 2002
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                          elbookdoc,

                          << In essence the idea of the fly does not matter,
                          but the fly, for me, symbolizes quantum mechanics.
                          It is a random behavior which sets off a stream of
                          behaviors, which, by chance can be said to
                          manifest into something else >>

                          If the fly is representative of quantum mechanics,
                          then it itself is a probability function. It can
                          be any number of possibilities, from a live fly to
                          a dead fly, to the fly that is caught in a spiders
                          web. The man who is changing oil, collapses the
                          function such as to create the single fly that
                          distracts his attention. The point made by John
                          Gibbon is that this single fly is that known in
                          our universe, along with all the subsequent events
                          that cascade from that encounter in the driveway.
                          The other states of this fly carry on in other
                          universes. Perhaps in the universe in which the
                          fly is caught in a spider's web, the oil changer
                          is not distracted, and his car does not stop, such
                          that he runs down the old lady and thus saves the
                          father who goes on to write a text book on
                          Existentialism.

                          eduard
                        • elbookdoc
                          Message 12 of 16 , Sep 6, 2002
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                            << The point made by John
                            > Gibbon is that this single fly is that known in
                            > our universe, along with all the subsequent events
                            > that cascade from that encounter in the driveway.

                            I don't mean to be cocky, but I somehow knew what I was going
                            to say as soon as you responded and that it would affect exactly
                            this:

                            The fellow who had been drinking was a heavy, habitual drinker.
                            He was prone to delirium. The fly was not real.

                            Now you'll tell me it doesn't make a difference.

                            I have a little trouble with the idea that all possible events *exist*,
                            and that there are multiple universi (?) necessarily. Isn't that
                            POTENTIAL that exists, rather than necessarily assuming other
                            universes do? A pretty grand assumption -- especially for one
                            like yourself (missouri be damned). I would be all with you if you
                            were discussing perspective (each individual perspective is a
                            universe), but to 'collapse' things: If the universe is not observed
                            (or imagined), does it make a sound?

                            Your perspective on Gibbon makes him sound like a duck.

                            P. Littlebrain
                            ----------------------------------------------------
                          • eduard
                            elbookdoc, Yes, I have the
                            Message 13 of 16 , Sep 6, 2002
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                              elbookdoc,

                              << I have a little trouble with the idea that all
                              possible events *exist*, and that there are
                              multiple universi (?) necessarily. >>

                              Yes, I have the same problem with the idea that
                              there are multiple universes. It seems much to
                              complex. But then it seems to provide an answer to
                              the difficulty of dealing with the superposition
                              of states. I suspect, however, that it has it has
                              a certain attraction because it matches the
                              mathematics. Actually, this whole thing is well
                              beyond me and I guess I shall have to read some
                              more books.

                              I am now into a book, "God and the New Physics" by
                              Paul Davies. What struck me whilst reading it
                              last night, was the idea that the within the
                              present universe, there is an inherent tendency
                              for localized order out of the surrounding chaos.
                              I don't have a specific quote, as this is more in
                              the way of an impression I obtain in the reading.
                              Although the universe, in general, tends towards
                              overall chaos [high entropy], the formation of
                              stars, galaxies, and life itself is towards order
                              [low entropy]. I recall reading about the
                              philosophical/religious outlook of the ancient
                              Sumerians. In that they initiated the dualist
                              idea of good and evil which I would put in terms
                              of order and chaos respectively. The Egyptians
                              had the same sort of outlook, with the pharaoh
                              being the protector of society against chaos.
                              From there one could develop a personal philosophy
                              based upon our purpose as being to maintain and
                              propagate order. This seems more pleasing than a
                              simple purpose of propagating ourselves, as
                              humans, through reproduction and such. Perhaps
                              one could also look at it from an Existentialist
                              viewpoint in that our choices produce ever
                              increasing order. It fits as well with the idea
                              that our choices are made for everyone.

                              << Your perspective on Gibbon makes him sound like
                              a duck.>>

                              I don't understand this last comment.

                              eduard
                            • elbookdoc
                              Message 14 of 16 , Sep 6, 2002
                              • 0 Attachment
                                << Your perspective on Gibbon makes him sound like
                                > a duck.>>
                                >
                                > I don't understand this last comment.>>

                                Ducks go Quack.

                                Mr. Mallard
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