Is mass a number?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by arfa brane, Apr 14, 2022.

  1. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    In physics there are quantities; numbers of particles, say.

    Everything is related, or relational. That includes "meaningful" relations. For instance the ones between those particles, whose number is known within some limit of measurement.

    Mass and charge are what they are. This is about as meaningful as you can get. You can ask why electrons have charge or mass or where it comes from, but asking what it is isn't really meaningful, it doesn't seem to go anywhere useful.

    Meaning is something abstract, right? Information by itself doesn't convey any meaning, it's "just a pattern" right?
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    But it is the particles that have inherently relational values or potential to do work.
    What is meaningful is how they interact and under what conditions.
    I agree, until you combine their inherent values and what you get is greater than the sum of the parts. Certain patterns acquire "emergent" properties that are not contained in the constituent parts.
    No, the information contained in the pattern determines its potential relational value or potential.

    The same number of H2O molecules can become expressed in 3 different states (vapor, liquid, solid) depending on the environmental temperature that is causal to the molecules rearranging into different patterns, each with a different "emergent" combinatory value.

    Water vapor you can breathe
    Liquid water you can drown in
    Solid ice you can skate on

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    The three physical states of water are water vapor, liquid water, and ice. In this picture we see both the liquid and solid states of water. We cannot see water vapor. What we see when we look at steam or clouds is tiny droplets of liquid water dispersed in the atmosphere.
    In a solid, the atoms or molecules are very tightly bound. But in a liquid the binding is not very strong. In gaseous state the binding is even weaker.

    And interestingly in the liquid state, water acquires another emergent property of "wetness", even as Hydrogen and Oxygen particles are "dry" objects.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Ok, So what determines the information "contained in" the pattern? Who says there is any information?

    What kind of information? Or is there only one kind?
    Maybe you're hinting at the three states of water being some kind of patterning? Some kind of structure, er, emerges?
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I consider anything that has an eventual causal influence as being or containing information, such as potential, which according to Bohm is the enfolded Implicate order before it becomes unfolded in reality as the Explicated order.

    I use the term pattern as defined in Chaos Theory.

    continued in thread "Is consciousness to be found in quantum processes in microtubules.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    • Please post on topic.
    I demonstrated the self-forming patterns of water molecules depending on temperature and the emergent properties as the molecules arrange themselves in specific density patterns.

    Can you explain how "wetness" emerges from a self-organizing molecular pattern forming a liquid.

    How about window frost. How do you make an ice fern?

    Window Ferns and Frost Flowers: The sublime beauty of winter

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    “The Kitchen Window,” photograph. Artist: Barry Lobdell. This work is on display as part of the solo exhibit “Ice Castles and Frozen Windows” at NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery in Saranac Lake, NY. Sample the exhibit

    Would you say that these emergent patterns contain information? I do!

    IMO, mass is an emergent property of atomic density patterns. The denser the greater the mass and the greater the distortion of the host spacetime geometry.

    The mass of a black hole singularity (a super-dense pattern) is causal to a radical gravitational distortion of spacetime itself.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Reported for thread hijacking. Yet again.
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    You just don't understand the function of analogy in discussions, do you?

    I don't see your explanation if mass is a number or an emergent property.

    All I see from you is myopic obstruction.
    We are having a wonderful discussion. Why do you insist on dictating what is permissible?
    The actual participants in the discussion don't seem to object. You are just playing spoiler. Stop it!
  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Avogadro's number is . . . just a number. Well, it's just a number that just defines something about amounts of matter.

    But it's a number so it says the same thing about amounts of anything. These don't need to be physical, because . . . a number isn't a physical thing either.

    So why don't we know Avogadro's number beyond a limit of accuracy? Why don't the missing decimal places matter, in experimental physics?
    What, if any, connection could there be to information theories?
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Those are all human interpretive problems with trying to symbolize natural relational values.

    All these problems disappear by using the generic identifier as relational values, which humans have symbolized and codified into numbers and equations.

    All of those are abstractions.
    What remains true is the cognition that the universe consists of objects with relational values interacting and being processed via logical mathematical functions.

    input (value) --> function (logical process) --> output (value)

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    Schematic depiction of a function described metaphorically as a "machine" or "black box" that for each input yields a corresponding output

    Everything else is man-made.

    Is there more?
  13. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    I would have said it's a counting problem, but whatever.
    Nope. You lost me. Avogadro's number isn't a relation, but it is based on a relation. It's like a computable number, except for a certain limitation on that computation. Maybe it's the same limitation for any computation.

    Moreover, how complex is the algorithm that computes the number? maybe the complexity has something to do with . . . whatever it is we're trying to discuss.
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Moderator note: Write4U has been warned for off-topic posting.

    Due to accumulated warning points, he will be taking a somewhat lengthy break from sciforums. This might seem excessive, but members should be aware of our warnings and bans policy, which is available in the Site Feedback subforum. Too many active warning points - which usually follow repeated warnings for similar actions - will inevitably result in longer automatic bans.
    exchemist likes this.
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    The difference between you and me is that I have given cogent reasons for my position, whereas all you have is a belief - a faith that I must be wrong, for some yet-to-be-specified reason (that I haven't already debunked but which you aren't able or willing to reveal).
    Like what? Do you have some new accusations about "mistakes" that I haven't already debunked at some length earlier in the thread?
    I know. That might be an ego problem.
    I don't much care what you believe, at this point. I have tried, mostly, to remain focused on the thread topic, rather than to consider vague questions like "what something physical is". That seems irrelevant to the status of mass in physics. You have so far proven incapable of giving any cogent definition of "physical".
    200+ posts into this thread and you're now going with that claim? After spending so much time insisting that you know what mass is (or what it isn't)? Really?
    It's a pity you can't or won't explain why I can't know.
    I can't say I'm surprised. You haven't really been paying attention to what I've said, throughout this thread. You've made no real effort to understand. You've spent your time looking for reasons to be angry, instead.
    Instead of just repeating your empty claims, you really ought to attempt to justify them.[/quote][/quote]
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2022
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    What on earth is an "accumulative potential of atomic density patterns"?

    That's just something you made up, isn't it?
    You have never, on this forum, used the word "potential" in its technical, correct, physical sense, if I recall correctly. Whenever you use that word, the rest of what comes with it is almost invariably junk.
    Clearly, you're way out of your depth. Best to stay out of this thread, probably.
    There you go, off on a mystical excursion into your imagination. This has nothing to do with what we're talking about in this thread.
  17. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    • Please do not flame other members. Mind your language.
    Because what you think we're talking about is up to you. You decide.

    Fuck off, you plonker.
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Moderator note: arfa brane has been warned for name calling, flaming another member and inappropriate language.
  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Whiew's the dickhid naow, eh? [Joss Ackland, Lethal Weapon 2]
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Actually, I'm pretty sure Arf gets it; that's enough to make a we. Moreover, anyone else following along can easily understand that the question sought affirmation of a superficial talking point; if addressing the question whether Arf was being "incredibly obtuse" or if there was "a problem with [your] communication on this topic" "wasn't exactly a response to the specific question [you] asked, regarding a 'reality check'", then sure, you weren't really interested in actual analytical answers, but seeking something else.

    Where in paragraph 2? You think I'm right, but about what: At some unknown time you said something to Arf about some unknown error he made; that's you failing to recognize the circumstance. The rest of the paragraph, the sentences about a crisis of ego, believing himself to be the smartest person in the room, and doubling down in the face of error or inferior understanding, is puffery and projection derived from that something and sometime that remains unknown.

    Well, there was the thread about talking to God; see #117↗ in that thread, and my response at #179↗; I explicitly noted some of your behavior, such as guarding against your own straw man, a ridiculous pretense of literalism, and deliberately misrepresenting what you respond to in order to suit your preferred response, and even lying about your own behavior regarding what we have discussed before or not.

    The performance continues in #185↗ in that thread; you simply insisted on your straw man. You focus on the words "particular standards", responding that you have "never prevented anyone"; that line was the straw man. When we check back with #115↗, we find explicit references that you explicitly omit in #117; having excluded those references, you invoke a straw standard, declaring you "have never prevented anybody here from discussing their particular notion of God, and thus admonishing, "so please don't try to put that lie out there". Yes, James, that was very honest of you, to puff up your moral admonishment on the basis of your own fallacy. In #185, you go on to declare, "What's missing is any suggested mechanism of my supposedly-oppressive ways", but the reason it is missing is because you chose to omit it. Yes, James, that was very honest of you, to complain that what you discarded is absent from the record. You declared, "That's a lie", but what you quoted omits the actual examples showing it's not. "My response didn't suit your meta-narrative," you continue, "so here you are writing walls of text complaining." Except you omitted the examples. Yes, James, so utterly not dishonest.

    That thread is just one example, James, and that particular post, #3688490/185, is absurdly dishonest. And you have behaved this way for years.

    Y'know, we just went through the thing about you asking and me answering and that's not what you meant and all that, so it's a coin toss between wondering why you're so confused or just shrugging because, well, that's James.

    You have a habit of ignoring the examples I provide. In fact, there's a bit about that earlier in this post.

    It was an ironic snip, to be certain, but sure, whatever.

    I will simply reiterate↗ what I said a few months ago:

    • I know on some level it feels good to have at someone like that, but it would probably work better when the point actually applies. I mean, there is the thread on discussing religion↗, compiling resources and perspectives; or maybe that other thread about religion itself↗; I might even try to have some fun↗ with the study of history; or maybe contribute↗ usefully↗ to↗ other↗ people's↗ threads↗; even when I disagree with someone, it's easy enough to include relevant↗ historical↗ analysis↗.

    That's just a quick list. "Jump in and show us all how it ought to be done!" probably sounds better when there isn't an extant record to point to.​

    Anyway, yeah, you seem to have missed it last time, since here you are pushing the same old bit.

    Remember, you've been at this for years, and part of what we consider in the example at hand is that you ignore the examples provided. How far back do you want to go, James? It's not just religion; there's lots to talk about.

    Part of the reason that reads like petulant, confused muttering is what you omitted from the quote.

    That probably reads better if you haven't skipped over the detail in order to set up your retort.

    Let us consider:

    Well, I think it is interesting to observe what you have omitted, like when I said it is unclear whether you are able to recognize certain distinctions. You skipped that detail, and managed to counter with an utter lack of distinctions.

    So, what do I think, James? I think you spent a lot of effort answering a point I had set aside, and also reinforcing doubt about your ability to recognize certain distinctions. The actual point is that people somehow offend your sensibilities or aesthetics, and you front up with a bunch of straw. It's kind of common. Other people can be right or wrong, James, but the straw is a problem of its own.

  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The devil of the detail is actually the word "stops".

    James, you can stop me if you choose to.

    I cannot stop you even if circumstance were to suggest I must.

    You are aware of this, and were when you wrote that.

    To remind: Your straw pretenses are not polite; they are, in fact, disruptive, provocative, and rude. You skipped that detail, James. Nobody can stop you from being disruptive, provocative, and rude. Like I said, it doesn't mean certain responses are appropriate, but as other people's frustration builds, there isn't really anything they can do.

    Meanwhile, your performance by omission is, well, driven by omission.

    And consider what you omitted: It's not going to stop, is it?

    I'm sure you think that means something.


    There is a common saying, rendered differently according to its occasion, but it involves victory and defeat, and something about jaws and snatch. Snatching. I mean, snatching.

    Anyway, no, that's not quite what you do. Your version is more like pissing away high ground, or eroding your own foundation. And it can be fascinating to watch.

    If we presuppose Arfa Brane isn't simply awry but utterly wrong, there is still a strong possibility that you answered him by burning straw; if your response was fallacious, and led to some typical self-gratification, yeah, that might upset him. By comparison, you can't tell me why he's angry.

    So, then, what is it, mass as a number, something about a bottle, time and information—okay, so there is a reason why I recalled↑ the information anecdote. But if we look back to the elastic surfaces↗ discussion, that seems to be about something in particular. Do you really not remember what it is? Maybe I'm not much of a scientist, but I still haven't seen the original potsherd and thus, vis à vis your reality check↑, a cloud remains over the actual answer.

    Like I said in the sketch↑, it's part of your style. I've seen you do this, before. We've disputed about it, before. It's in your disagreement with Sarkus; it came up in a public dispute with a complaining member last year, an occasion on which you had every high-ground initiative but traded away for vice; it's as ridiculous and even offensive as ever, behavior witnessed and endured for years, and, yes, I've yelled at you about it a lot. It's absurd and disruptive behavior, and if it was a comedy routine I might tell you it still needs work, remind that timing is everything, that the bit can't be forced, and, moreover, at some point people diving into some routine need to come up for air. And that's if. The thing is, at some point I believe you, and you'd still complain about what that means.

    It's one thing if Arf said two plus two is five, but if your response is to wag at him over something you imagine about how he makes his tea, then you've smacked him, and perhaps twice, for the wrong reason. And consider that the bit with the bottle looks not so dissimilar from other times when you faltered or struggled with what should have been easy. There was a time when you mislabeled someone you were running around in circles with, and the thing is that while, sure, okay, he's not a Christian, I don't necessarily believe him insofar he was to you in the moment a sort of convenient contrarian who isn't any of the roles he plays, and isn't any of the things he seems to support because he is just protecting against the injustice of its opposition, in this case, you. That is, maybe it's true, but it's also the point he needed and something he might say even if it was not true. But you got into that moment because you were too focused on your own straw.

    And I razz you about the One Thread, sure, but again, you struggled with a trollish bit about pantheism because you were trying to make everything fit a particular discursive template. And, sure, this bit with the bottle was you overdoing it and leaving yourself open to getting knocked like that, and maybe that is what it is, and so what, except then you went and asked, and, sure, we get that it wasn't a genuine question, but inasmuch as you might have some curiosity about my arse, or think I'm riled up, well, consider that we're supposed to believe you cannot discern the difference between Sarkus and Vociferous, or Tiassa and Jan Ardena; see #154↑. It's true, I don't actually believe you.

    Or, kind of like the thread about talking to God, when you said said↗: "There is no problem with people starting threads on a discussion forum, even if you don't like them". I don't actually believe you really thought that was the problem, because I don't really believe you're actually that stupid. It's not like the irony is complex; that was just you insisting on your straw.

    Like I said: There is almost always a problem with your communication; it's part of your style.¹ It's one thing if I have long thought it was a deliberate decision, that you knew, but it's also true that at some point I have no choice but to believe your pretense of unawareness; even still, it's asking a lot to believe you really are that confused, unlucky, incurious, or even stupid. At some point, it seems unlikely that you don't have at least some clue what you're doing; your manner of straw is one of your defining stylistic aspects.

    So even as Arf decides whether or not to self-destruct by bashing himself against the rocks, remember, this sort of episode will occur again because you treat people this way.


    If you wonder why, at this point, I'm even bothering, the obvious joke here is that so am I. But it's also true we've had a couple more occasions to consider the circumstance, and there are a number of issues that can be seen intersecting, here.

    And the funny story that goes here has to do with how, after needing only a short second post, I scribbled some paragraphs, never settled on anything, and as time passed the posts fell by the wayside, but this is Sciforums, and passing time has a way, and here we are because that's just how it goes.

    Part of the reason I'm bothering is because at some point someone filed a report. That is, apparently somebody thought you would not notice being told to fuck off. And then, well, right. Turns out, the ongoing circumstance has a way of persisting. That point, however, gets a little more complicated, the sort of thing that can easily get pushed aside while we worry about your feelings.

    And #190↑ did ask for some answers, even if at least one challenge simply demanded anew what you had previously been given. Meanwhile, sure, it does not please you when I challenge your behavior, but these performances of yours are extraordinary, or at least they ought to be.


    ¹ Does the semicolon confuse you? Let us try it this way, then: There is almost always a problem with your communication because a problem with communication is part of your style.​

  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Is "mass" a symbolic type of number?

    How about:

    Does that count?

    Can inherent properties (potentials) of elements be represented as algebraic symbols or relational values (numbers)?
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Is this a slow week for you or something? Feeling bored?

    I can't think of any other good reason why you might suddenly feel the need to respond to a post I made three months ago, simply to post the n-th iteration of your personal crusade on what you think my problems are.

    It is touching that you're again jumping in to defend poor little arfa, who hasn't been active in this thread for a while now (and neither has anybody else). Perhaps he'll appreciate your going into bat for him yet again. I'm not convinced that you're not just using him as an excuse, however.

    It looks like you haven't done your homework in trying to follow the on-topic arguments I have made here. If you don't yet understand the point of my "bottle" analogy, I can only advise you to go back and read the thread again. This time, forget about trying to find excuses to make ad hominem attacks on me; instead, read it with a view to understanding the point of dispute between myself and arfa brane. Not the stupid ad hominem stuff, the on-topic discussion.

    As for the rest of your post, it seems you just want another round of the same stuff we discussed at some length in the thread you so helpfully linked, about talking to God. I responded to you there in quite a lot of detail, starting at post #185 and continuing in other posts over the next few pages. I see no reason to repeat myself just because you have too much free time on your hands.
    Specifically, I asked you to find ONE example of me blaming everyone else for my behaviour. I note that you have not produced the goods. Instead, you tried to distract. Enough said.
    What are you talking about?
    Ironic, that, given that your entire aim with this is to rudely provoke. And yes, technically you're disrupting the on-topic discussion, although there hasn't been much of that in this thread in the past 3 months.
    arfa? He stopped 3 months ago. You just woke up and thought you should continue with this, here, for some reason. Bored, I'm thinking.
    To comment in any useful way, you'd need first to understand the discussion that arfa and I were having. You can't point to any straw man at this point, because you have demonstrated that you don't understand what my position is on the thread topic. So, all we get from you are these pointless, provocative and rude insinuations.
    I told you. But more to the point: is he a baby? Why not ask him why he was angry? He might not appreciate your presuming to speak on his behalf. Also, I did tell you, of course, why I think he was angry. Don't pretend I didn't.
    Yeah, Tiassa. The on-topic dispute I had with arfa in this thread was about something or other, certainly. The thing is, you'd need to follow the on-topic discussion to understand what it was about. Clearly, you haven't done that, because that's not what you're here for, is it?
    As history records in this very thread, my first response was to tell arfa why he is wrong. He doesn't like being told why he is wrong, it turns out. He became a bit nasty and said some things he shouldn't have said, and then my response was to call out his bad behaviour, or to "wag at him", if that's what that means. It wasn't about anything I merely imagined, I assure you. The record is here for all to read.
    You don't really understand that bit, so you're not in a good position to comment.
    Ah, another Tiassa anecdote, reframed to fit the narrative. I'll skip it, especially since, again, there are no references we can use to check the veracity of your account.
    Again, you'd really need to follow and understand the discussion to be in a position to make an informed judgment. But you haven't and you don't, so you can't.
    By your own admission, you don't believe that. Nor have I asked anybody else to believe any such thing. Why bother, then, with this empty rhetorical flourish? (Why bother with any of this, seeing as it's pretty much all empty rhetorical flourish on your part?)
    Here's a suggestion: I'll communicate my way; you communicate your way. I'm not looking to emulate your particular style any time soon. Lots of other people here have expressed similar sentiments, for what they are worth.

    I don't much give a damn what you think of my "style", Tiassa. You're very welcome to hold whatever opinions you want about me or anybody else. I can hardly stop that. But I'd appreciate it if you kept your opinions on my "style" to yourself. I'd appreciate it even more if you'd stop telling lies about me. Do you think you can do either of those things, or - better yet - both? You already look petty and vindictive. Isn't enough enough?
    He already decided. This thread has been quiet for a while now. Too quiet for your liking, it seems. You thought you needed to stir the pot and rekindle the fire, right?
    This sort of episode where you tell lots of lies about me and tell us all your thoughts on my "style" and try to rehash ancient conversations you and I have had, you mean?

    I don't think this has anything to do with my treating "people" a certain way. This is all about you and what you require.
    I don't wonder. This is a pattern with you. I have come to expect regular reiterations of your criticisms and complaints, filled with inappropriate and inaccurate characterisations of myself, my motives and my record of posts here. You really should find another hobby. What you're doing is not nice, for starters. Trying to hurt other people in order to puff yourself up doesn't make you a good person.
    I don't believe you.

    What are you referring to, though. Are you referring to Sarkus's report from yesterday, which had nothing to do with this thread? Or is this a report from months ago that you're suddenly feigning concern about?
    Not Sarkus's report, then? Which?

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