What is it about woo that upsets you?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wegs, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I think that's the definition of woo.

    I mean, it's not woo until it's passed off as science.
     
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  3. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    This discussion reminds me of a saying ''we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.''
     
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I forgot about the pixie dust. I think that is the secret but that's not woo is it? I'm just bringing it up as a possibility. I think the nature of the Universe may actually be pixie dust, or a least the "missing" dark matter.

    Dm=Pd * 2^pd
     
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  7. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    I bet Tegmark knows about it. :-}
     
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  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The blind spot of that approach involves assessing a proposal by its weakest proposers - rightfully dismissing the irrational and unlearned fantasy spinners, but failing to address the strongest arguments available for those positions - arguments of which the learned would otherwise be the most capable formulators.
    That is a blind spot of the well-educated, the sociologically allied with real expertise and sober exposition. And it almost inevitably strands them in the shoals of unacknowledged ignorance - for which they claim scientific support.

    So it fits the labeling features, the field marks of woo, as presented here. Nevertheless, that is almost never labeled "woo", apparently because it lacks the sociological alliances that seem to be required for that label. That aspect of woo labeling should be held more in awareness, more clearly acknowledged, maybe.

    Example: Thousands of high-credentialed and genuinely educated scientific types have endorsed entirely invalid and unsupported positions on GMOs, Aquatic Apes, nuclear power, trans fats, artificial food colors and sweeteners, and the like, apparently on the basis that the contrary positions are often held by irrational and ignorant people for deeply foolish and unscientific reasons.
     
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    If it is missing, how do we know that its there? Tea leaves?
     
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  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    GR clearly points to an inherently mathematical structure of spacetime geometry and its relative orderly nature of emergent values and functions (patterns).

    The one thing that stands in the way of the concept of a deterministic mathematical universe is QM, i.e. "uncertainty", which seems to show that matter does not necessarily interacts in a purely deterministic fashion. But as Einstein posited; "God does not play dice" , which was not a comment on God, but on how the universe functions.

    But then, we must also admit we don't really know if QM is a random event or if there are more subtle values and functions involved. We just don't know a whole lot about superposition at quantum level at all, do we?

    The only conclusion can be that if the universe turned out to be "mathematical" we would not have to change any of our symbolic representations and we would be relatively correct from our perspective.
    OTOH, if everything turned out to occur as "random" events, none of our mathematics could apply, isn't that obvious?

    I'm sorry, but I think any attempt at describing the universe other than as an object with measurable mathematical aspects (potentials) immediately places it in the category of woo.

    In view of the evidence, no one can claim that the universe does not have mathematical properties. The only question is how much of it is mathematical in essence.

    As Tegmark say;" most scientists say the universe has some mathematical properties, I say the universe has only mathematical properties. Thus the question is not if the universe has mathematical properties, but only to what degree mathematics are responsible for everything that happens in the universe. And that changes the "landscape".
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    And we all agree.
    We describe the universe as an object with measurable mathematical aspects.
    That's what we do.
     
  12. river

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    Agreed .

    Mathematical nothing , is physically impossible .

    True

    But once the mathematical 1 and 2 Dimensional become a real source of thought of reality , reality , becomes mathematical , rather than as it should be , three dimensionally physically based .
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Quantum theory is as deterministic as any other. It just reveals (via more careful description) an unexpected nature of the determined universe - what we describe as coherent probabilities, rather than so-called cause/effect chains, do the determining. Probabilities are of course excellent determiners underlying the appearance of cause/effect - as the dominating authority of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics established long ago. But somehow that does not satisfy everyone.

    That said: we don't generally refer to appeals to cause and effect, abstract billiard ball interactions as the only "real" kind, and declarations that nothing in a determined universe has any more freedom of action than a brick, as "woo".

    Why not? Honest question - I don't mean to imply we should; it's just that the line between woo and useful thought seems kind of vague at the moment. The tendency to draw it outside of all science, as if the expounders of science were thereby rendered immune to woo or automatically separated from it, seems to need careful reconsideration.
     
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  14. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure woo started with a simple definition - unscientific concepts trying to be passed off as science. It's not religion, or folklore, or mythical legends. If someone claims to see Big Foot, that's not woo, in my opinion. That's just a lie. There's a difference between woo and outright lies, but they all get swept into the same box.
     
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Yes and no. Many Big Foot sightings are lies, many are "mistaken" identity but someone capable of such beliefs in the first place. "I saw something big in the woods and it was moving and it wasn't like anything I've ever seen before". That doesn't have to be a lie. Many people think they see alien spaceships from Mars.
     
  16. river

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    There is a difference . Woo is about what some people can't understand . Not lies .
     
  17. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    lol ''mistaken identity''

    And it just gets labeled ''big foot.'' My thing with Big Foot is, don't these things reproduce? Why aren't we seeing more of them? Why doesn't anyone see families of them, dashing through the woods? This vapid legend has been going on forever it seems, are we to believe that Big Foot is still single?
     
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  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    IMO, woo is that which cannot be realized in the physical world. We can imagine all kinds of scenarios, which are interesting but not possible in nature.
     
  19. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    Could you explain further?
     
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  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Pink Unicorns are a favorite imaginary friend of many girls, but they are woo.
    Of course with advancing AI technology, we can simulate a lot of stuff that would otherwise be impossible in nature.
     
  21. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    Oh wow, I was totally off base in my mind with where I thought you were going. haha Okay, I'd agree!
     
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  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Christ has been creating "miracles" for 2,000 years now, people have been talking to God for a long time but no one sees him either.
     

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