7
   

What's more true: 2+2=4 or II+II=IV?

 
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 10:53 am
@izzythepush,
I am a close enough Chimp alright what made you wonder? I want in!
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 11:25 am
@maxdancona,
Here is the last on topic post.
maxdancona wrote:

I take your point about "acdemia" being like a church, although I would broaden it to institutional science. Science is being done by expert scientists in industry, government and academia.

So, can we say that "institutional science" acts like a church? I accept that this is a valid argument., I am saying that non-scientists need to listen to actual scientists, as determined by the degree and the position they hold. Yes, I accept that this is an awkward argument for me to be making.

However, what is the alternative?

To discuss things like "curvature of space" you must understand differential calculus. There is no other way around it. It takes time and hard work to reach an understanding of this stuff.

So what happens is that expert scientists say something they discovered about the "curvature" of space. This is interpreted by a journalist, then it is reinterpreted by the reader (with maybe another step in-between).

The science you understand is not real science. It is an interpretation of an interpretation of the actual science.

I have been on both sides of this conversation when an expert in a field talks to a non-expert. When I started a new job I got into an argument about the nature of infinity with a new co-worker. I argued with him about this.. .until it became clear that he understood this field of math (number theory) at a level I couldn't comprehend. It turns out that (unknown to me) he was a PhD in mathematics specializing in number theory (abelian groups or some stuff that I have never studied).

Once I realized that he was the expert, I backed down. It became clear that he knew the mathematics that I didn't even know applied to this. I had made a simplification to something I thought I knew, but I was wrong.

The thing is I had to trust him. He showed where I was wrong, and then started to describe what was right. Honestly I could understand if I wanted to, but it would take me a couple of years to really understand.

This is the Dunning Kruger curve. Dunning-Kruger pointed out that people without expertise can be very confident of their knowledge (even though the confidence is unwarranted).

https://miro.medium.com/max/1934/1*1LKc58hFbQDsq3351agKOA.jpeg

In science, students enter their first year at the top of that first peak. By the sophomore year you are in the valley (and many students drop out at this time).

There are no shortcuts. You have to do the work.

izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 11:31 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fair enough.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 11:36 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Once I realized that he was the expert, I backed down.


You're very selective about when you back down. I wouldn't call myself an expert, but I know considerably more about Doctor Who than you, yet you've still not backed down.

I think you're talking nonsense again.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 11:47 am
@maxdancona,
the DK curve I had presented me once was hen you are approaching the second ascendent point, youve just had your diss approved and signed and compas all done and had a job offer that barely touches where your research (of the last several years) even is asymptotic.
I had a foxhole bud at grad school and he finished a really fine piece of p chem nineralogy about enrgy levels in crystal chem.
His first job offer was to head up an entire"Particle size distribution research lab" for a major chem company.Even he had no idea what the hell it was really about. Imagine accepting a job offer just for the money??

My friend just retired as a professor with a chair at a major Ivy.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 11:51 am
@izzythepush,
Quote:
I wouldn't call myself an expert on Doctor Who


You are funny Izzy. I don't think I have every disagreed with you on any factual point about Doctor Who.

You are just objecting to my subjective opinion of the current season. I don't think that justifies you stalking me from thread to unrelated thread. There is already a thread on Doctor Who.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 12:56 pm
@maxdancona,
In the last few days this and the Doctor Who thread are the only ones I've engaged with you. They're not the only ones you've contributed to, hardly the behaviour of a stalker.

You've not answered any of the questions I asked about Doctor Who or responded to any of the points I've made about it.

You don't have to disagree to be totally clueless about something.

And you're right. I am funny, that's why my routine got a round of applause at this place.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/57a565fa4b75fa446594a46e6c0dc176edbbf903.jpg
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  3  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 02:59 pm
And he rather stupidly tells verifiable lies.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 03:05 pm
@RABEL222,
Rabel! Glad you could make it! We can't have an Izzy fanboy meeting without you.

I think we have all the self-righteous liberal White men here now... oh did someone invite RealMusic?

Just to make sure we list all the reasons we are obsessed with Max ...

Max is a mysogynist, a liar, a fascist, a crybaby, a poor engineer, a moron, a rape apologist, a Trump voter, an elitist and a conservative .... Is that all?
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 03:20 pm
@maxdancona,
Now that Izzy fanboy club has done it's business... is there anyone who wants to discuss the topic of the thread?
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 04:46 pm
Just because no women have joined this conversation yet doesn't mean they won't. I have binders full of women!
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  3  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 04:53 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
...is that all?


You forgot, "quite possibly mentally unhinged".

...and "apparently bald"!


Uh-oh...posted too soon following izzy. This'll surely wreck max's evening.
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 05:58 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I take your point about "acdemia" being like a church, although I would broaden it to institutional science. Science is being done by expert scientists in industry, government and academia.

So, can we say that "institutional science" acts like a church? I accept that this is a valid argument., I am saying that non-scientists need to listen to actual scientists, as determined by the degree and the position they hold. Yes, I accept that this is an awkward argument for me to be making.

However, what is the alternative?

It's not that people shouldn't listen/read and actively/critically think about what they hear/read. It's that you are arguing for an authoritarian system of received knowledge just like what early scientists were rebelling against religion for, only you want academic degrees to determine who are the priests and their rank instead of the pope.

maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 06:57 pm
@livinglava,
I get your point Lava, and it is a valid one. Yes, I am arguing that science is done by a group of experts who have knowledge that most people don't have, and who determine what is correct or incorrect. I think your use of the word "authoritarian" is a little harsh, but I don't deny your point.

There are several problems with your point of view.

1. There is no other way. Science is complicated (notice the tie in the the Dunning-Kruger.) You can not understand modern Physics (or Chemistry or any of collection of hard sciences) without mastering differential calculus.

This isn't some horrible conspiracy. It is just reality.

2. People can not just read on their own and "critically think about what they hear/read". They simply don't have the intellectual tools to understand what they are reading.

- Real scientists write mathematical papers. That is real science. But, these papers are not accessible to people who don't have an education in advanced mathematics. (Anyone can get a copy, but only scientists get anything of value from them).

- Then journalists take the science from talking to the scientist or reading the paper, and they interpret it and put it into words. Then non-scientists read these words and interpret again.

- Non-scientists end up with an understanding based on an interpretation of an interpretation. That isn't the same as an understanding of science.

3. Critical thinking requires external feedback. If you think up things by yourself without any external criticism, you will have no way to counter your own biases.

The advantage of an education is that you have to present your ideas to other people who can pick them apart. Of course, once you learn enough mathematics, you have an unbiased way to decide who is correct... you do out the math and other people will point out your mistakes.

4. When you get an education you reach a point where you can confirm the answers for yourself. I can tell you the result of a differential equation. However, if you don't understand differential calculus you have to take my word for it. Once you learn differential calculus, then when I tell you something you can check it for yourself.

One of the important reasons for getting an education is so that you can check the answers for yourself. But there are no shortcuts to get to this point.

You say "authoritarian". I would call it "authoritative".

livinglava
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 07:54 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I get your point Lava, and it is a valid one. Yes, I am arguing that science is done by a group of experts who have knowledge that most people don't have, and who determine what is correct or incorrect. I think your use of the word "authoritarian" is a little harsh, but I don't deny your point.

You don't like the 'harsh' sound of 'authoritarian,' because you want people to mindlessly accept scientific facts as dogma and worship academic degrees like priests and you know that if they see it for the authoritarianism it is, they will question why it is better than other forms of authoritarianism that lull people into sheeple-mode and otherwise discourage active, critical thought.

Quote:
1. There is no other way. Science is complicated (notice the tie in the the Dunning-Kruger.) You can not understand modern Physics (or Chemistry or any of collection of hard sciences) without mastering differential calculus.

All you prove every time you say this is that you don't really understand physics except as a regime of complex mathematics.

Physics and all science is natural philosophy. Math is a tool for processing data. Knowledge and understanding go beyond the math.

Math can also be summed up in ways that facilitate understanding for people who don't understand the math. You don't have to measure and calculate changes in pressure/temperature/volume to understand Boyle's law. You just have to understand the mechanics that cause them to be connected in a way that doesn't allow volume, pressure, and temperature to all increase or decrease together without some corresponding gain or loss of energy from the closed system.

Quote:
2. People can not just read on their own and "critically think about what they hear/read". They simply don't have the intellectual tools to understand what they are reading.

Not true. Empirical observations and experiments are used to demonstrate to general audiences how a principle is supported or refuted by evidence.

Anyone can question something they read. Michelson-Morley experiments, for example, supposedly proved the non-existence of luminiferous ether, but someone could think of a reason how the ether could be present without affecting the speed of radio transmissions around the Earth and the burden would be shifted to believers to show why Michelson's-Morley's experiment excluded that hypothesis in their experimental design.

That doesn't mean that any credentialed scientist will actually bother to accept that burden when they can just take it easy and teach accepted dogma to people paying to gain credentials in that dogma in order to make money with it themselves.

Quote:
Real scientists write mathematical papers. That is real science. But, these papers are not accessible to people who don't have an education in advanced mathematics. (Anyone can get a copy, but only scientists get anything of value from them).

When you say things like this, it is like saying that "real plumbers are licensed and bonded." It doesn't say anything about the essence of plumbing, which is to get water to flow properly through pipes without leaks, backups, pressure problems, etc.

Quote:
- Then journalists take the science from talking to the scientist or reading the paper, and they interpret it and put it into words. Then non-scientists read these words and interpret again.

- Non-scientists end up with an understanding based on an interpretation of an interpretation. That isn't the same as an understanding of science.

You are not thinking about what you're saying. If a scientist once published a paper about how ice-water remains at 0C until all ice is melted and only then begins rising to higher temps, that conclusion can be 'interpreted' in a way that is understandable to a non-expert and the non-expert could repeat the experiment by putting a pan of well-mixed ice water on a stove and watching the temperature while stirring the mixture until it was all melted and began to warm up.

Not all science is rocket science, so to speak.

Quote:
3. Critical thinking requires external feedback. If you think up things by yourself without any external criticism, you will have no way to counter your own biases.

Not true. Critical thinking just requires questioning how and why. If someone tells you that ice water stays 0C until all the ice is melted, you can think about why the water temp can't go up without causing more ice to melt.

Quote:
The advantage of an education is that you have to present your ideas to other people who can pick them apart. Of course, once you learn enough mathematics, you have an unbiased way to decide who is correct... you do out the math and other people will point out your mistakes.

It's not that there's no validity to what you're saying, but it's just not the whole picture. You are worshiping a narrow view of how science can be done and arguing against other methods, like saying that using arabic numerals are truer than using roman numerals, as per the thread title.

Quote:
4. When you get an education you reach a point where you can confirm the answers for yourself. I can tell you the result of a differential equation. However, if you don't understand differential calculus you have to take my word for it. Once you learn differential calculus, then when I tell you something you can check it for yourself.

Even without being able to do calculus myself, I can listen to mathematicians explain how they apply calculus to calculating things like distance, acceleration, and speed all using the same curve/equation. Even if a person hasn't practiced doing that math themselves, they can see how it works, the same as you can see how a play on the football field works without being able to function as a player on the field using that play.

Quote:
One of the important reasons for getting an education is so that you can check the answers for yourself. But there are no shortcuts to get to this point.

You say "authoritarian". I would call it "authoritative".

You say "getting an education" as if everything anyone learns by any means isn't a form of education. If you grew up in a primitive village and studied the behavior of insects and plants and learned to identify differences between different varieties, you would have been educating yourself and doing scientific research.

Everyone's education is in a partial state at every point in their lives, and all science is only tentatively valid until some question comes along that pushes it beyond its current limits.

You are trying to ascribe absolute status distinctions between educated and uneducated and between scientists and non-scientists, but the reality is that both science and education are names for general processes that have emerged as part of human life outside of the formal institutions some people regard as the exclusive domains of science and education.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 08:22 pm
@livinglava,
1. You are belaboring the point about the word "authoritarian". I have conceded the point.

2. I would like to have some way to distinguish "institutional science" (i.e. what is taught in University and practiced by expert scientists) from the type of science you are talking about. I never find discussions about the meanings of terms to be that interesting. Is "institutional science" an acceptable term to denote what I mean by "expert scienct"?

3. We disagree about critical thinking needing external feedback. Human beings are too susceptible to bias. Having your ideas challenged by peers and professors is an important part in the education process. Is there any way I can convince you that this is true? I currently work as an engineer... the feedback and criticism I get from peers is still critical in my work.

4. I disagree with your ideas that understanding a description of math is anywhere near as good as being able to do the math for yourself.

5. I kind of agree with you that education is a continuous process. And you can learn about nature without a formal education. Sure, you can melt ice without knowing math, but if you are talking about the curvature of space... you kind of need to know that mathematical definition of curvature in n-space.

6. In industry, people with PhDs are critical. When a company starts to make a technological product, one of the first things they do is hire one or more expert scientists (where an PhD is important). The PhD scientist will make at least $200K (they are expensive). And these scientists are not always good engineers. But they experts in a field and they are trained to think about problems on a higher level.

They are worth every dollar.

maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 08:29 pm
@maxdancona,
I don't think your Roman Numeral example is a very good example. There is a mapping function, a deterministic algorithm, that will translate between one number system and another. This isn't an "interpretation" and there is no precision lost between one system and the other. However there is a loss of precision when you go from a mathematical formula to a description of the formula.

For example, the word "exponentially" is a very precise mathematical term. When you say a population is increasing mathematically, it means that the increase follows a very strict mathematical rule. However, the common use of the term "increase exponentially" simply means that it is increasing at a very fast rate, or a rate that is accelerating.

Something can be increasing at a fast rate and getting ever faster. This can be called an exponential rate in English even though mathematically it is not following an exponential function.

With English, you don't know which meaning of the word applies. It could be sure it means one thing without really understanding that it quite a different function than a mathematically exponential function.

English leads to misunderstanding where as a mathematical function is unambiguous. It used to be a pet peeve of mine that people would use "growing exponentially" to simply mean a rapid growth. Lately I have accepted that this is a common English term that isn't the same as the mathematical concept.

0 Replies
 
adelialauren
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 11:29 pm
the truth is 2+2=4 anda II+II+IIII
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Fri 14 Feb, 2020 04:21 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

1. You are belaboring the point about the word "authoritarian". I have conceded the point.

Then stop pushing the authoritarian POV that ignores science as something fundamental that goes beyond academic institutions and/or other social institutions designed to organize and structure it.

Quote:
2. I would like to have some way to distinguish "institutional science" (i.e. what is taught in University and practiced by expert scientists) from the type of science you are talking about. I never find discussions about the meanings of terms to be that interesting. Is "institutional science" an acceptable term to denote what I mean by "expert scienct"?

Yes, 'institutional science,' describes science that has been institutionalized for better and/or worse. Institutionalization can have both benefits and drawbacks. Gaining access to equipment, private/expensive data, and salaried colleagues/mentors, can support scientific work as well as causing problems for it. You should be sensitive to the fact that everything has a downside and not always be biased toward insisting the good of it outweighs the bad, because there may be ways to do better science in many cases by de-institutionalizing it and/or deconstructing certain institutional biases/patterns at the institutional level.

Quote:
3. We disagree about critical thinking needing external feedback. Human beings are too susceptible to bias. Having your ideas challenged by peers and professors is an important part in the education process. Is there any way I can convince you that this is true? I currently work as an engineer... the feedback and criticism I get from peers is still critical in my work.

If you dismiss things you learn by critical thinking when 'external feedback' fails to validate them, you are just re-submitting to potentially-biased authority. Think about Galileo submitting his critical thinking regarding heliocentrism to church authorities and hearing that he should disregard it because, e.g. simpler and more elegant modeling of the solar system doesn't make it more true.

If he would dismiss his own critical sensibilities because of 'external feedback,' he would ultimately be selling out the truth in exchange for social validation. That is the opposite of truth.

Quote:
4. I disagree with your ideas that understanding a description of math is anywhere near as good as being able to do the math for yourself.

You are probably just a math person who fetishizes and worships math because you are good at it and you see what a powerful tool for status distinction it is because of how many people can be weeded out of academic competition by means of math testing.

You need to see the bigger picture, which is that many people who are good at math also want job-protection, so they are biased against teaching science, etc. in ways that circumvent the math because it would cause problems for them if math-weak people could compete for traditionally math-dependent jobs based on other qualifications.

Quote:
5. I kind of agree with you that education is a continuous process. And you can learn about nature without a formal education. Sure, you can melt ice without knowing math, but if you are talking about the curvature of space... you kind of need to know that mathematical definition of curvature in n-space.

Einstein said that if you can't explain something simply, you don't understand it well enough yourself. You underestimate the ability of intelligent people to explain things in ways that are understandable to people with different forms of intelligence. I'm not saying there aren't people who will fundamentally misunderstand things no matter how you explain them, because I have seen that happen plenty, but I am saying that there are different ways of understanding things through translation to different 'languages,' and math/(symbolic equations) are just one language among others. I get very tired of people defending math and attack me for failing to worship it as supreme, because it is just a bias like any other that people hold toward something elite that they can claim is necessary and thus exclude those without the skill.

Quote:
6. In industry, people with PhDs are critical. When a company starts to make a technological product, one of the first things they do is hire one or more expert scientists (where an PhD is important). The PhD scientist will make at least $200K (they are expensive). And these scientists are not always good engineers. But they experts in a field and they are trained to think about problems on a higher level.

They are worth every dollar

You are just marketing academia. I'm sorry but I don't like listening to advertising, whether it's for soap or academia.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Feb, 2020 06:57 am
@livinglava,
Galileo is not a good example of the point you are trying to make. Galileo was highly educated and spent his life in academia. He studied at the University of Pisa where in 1589 he was appointed as the chair of mathematics.

Galileo was part of institutional science and what you are calling "academia". He was a student who worked hard with other students to master his craft. After he had mastered mathematics, he then gained acclaim and recognition in the academic and scientific worlds.

Almost every great name in science in Galileo was highly educated and part of institutional science; Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Bohr. Marie Curie is perhaps an exception... but even went through the education process. She studied math, worked with professors, did lab work and got feedback from peers.

You have to reach a level of real expertise, and in science this includes mathematics, before you can make any advance in science.




 

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