Why is everything so "2" ?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by maruschx, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. maruschx Registered Member

    Hello all,

    I'm new to this forum and this is my first posting, so I'm hoping that this is the right thread. I have a question on a topic I've been thinking about for quite a long time now, and I hope you can help me to sort out some of the thoughts I have.

    My assumption, I'd like to start with are around perception of reality and are more or less based on Wittgensteins early work (questions at the end):

    1. The world we can speak about only exists as language, initially in the mind of single persons and - as intersubjectivity – as a compromise and over time in the minds of many persons, documented in writing and formulas.

    2. This seems to be true for things that you can touch, smell, hear etc., things I only can imagine, abstract things, categories as well as methodologies (logic, etc).

    3. With the help of science, theories and also phantasy this world is getting larger and larger, but it will always continue existing as language only; instruments doesn't help, because everything what is new (and can't be seen e.g. by the naked eye) will also need a name.

    4. If there is a world beyond language it is automatically beyond our horizon of perception and cognition; the speculation about it is of course part of the world, but there is no beyond.

    5. Because – in that sense – the world is existing as language only, the meaning of every single term only exists as function of all other terms, what also means, that an isolated term would mean nothing.

    6. The development of meaning and the whole system of language is driven - as everything else - by evolution.

    Simplified, the reality we're perceiving (as humans) is an individual construction, verified and aligned with others over long time, driven by evolution and based on language. Now let's come to my question or observation:

    7. Within this language based world many things are organized in groups of two, or in other words, when structuring this world it seemed to be very useful to structure it in opposites (small/big, hot/cold, etc.). This seems also to be true for any kind of arguing, as logic is working in that way (true, false); we unfortunately often think like us/the others and differentiate between a me and not me. Btw, I don't think that the dominant gender differentiation male/female is the root cause for it, I instead would add this to the list of observations.

    8. With begin of the digitalization it became clear, that you can reduce all kind of information to zeros and ones, again a pair of two, encoding our complete reality (if you follow the assumptions above).

    9. First question now is, is this a valid observation and if yes, what is the reason for it ?

    Of course I thought about it myself and was wondering, if our astronomical setup could have something to do with it. Our planet has only one sun, therefore we have a regular change aof day and night, light on and off if you like. Assuming that this setup is much older than the beginning of any kind of perception, could it be – again assuming that everything was created from the same primordial soup – that this principal was implemented on very basic level over a very long time. We additionally also have only one moon, surprisingly with nearly the same size as the sun when looking at the sky what is kind of a coincidence - or a root cause as well. This moon is also fully visible or not, not in the same way, as day and night, but in a way maybe verifying a deeper principle.

    10. So my second question, could it be, that they way we think (in pairs) and build our reality, is a result of our astronomical setup ?

    I hope that question is not too weird. I'm completely aware that we're not only thinking in pairs today, we have evolved. But it's still deeply in us, and if we talk logic or think about digitalization it is surprisingly relevant.

    Thanks for reading, any thoughts ?

    Yazata likes this.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    My thoughts

    The whole post is weird

    Sorry as this is your first post and I have answered as I find it

    Wait until others give their views

    Regardless hope you stay and add to the mix


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. wellwisher Banned Banned

    I have done this thought experiment on many occasions. It should help answer your questions. Picture gathering one person from every language of the world; 6909 know languages, and bringing them all into a large lecture hall. On the stage, I place a cat on a table. I then ask each person, one by one, what they see? They will all see the same thing; cat, but each person will have a different sound or noise to represent the cat. There is a universal visual language, while spoken language is subjective with no universal standard.

    Verbal language separates us, at some level, while the visual language unifies us. However, we cannot easily transfer the visual language, directly, between two people, unless we both see the same thing. Verbal language is very useful for transferring information, where we can't both be in the same place. However, because it is subjective, it has loss and entropy, which is why we can't all agree.

    The net affect is there is a visual language where all can agree. This is based on light that reflects off reality onto our eyes, with the human eyes and brain designed to process this data in a certain natural way. If we use the middleman, called verbal language, the natural light signals undergo entropy and loss; we all have an opinion and not one set of visual facts.

    Many people learn only by reading, while others learn by doing. The doers tend to use more of the visual language. They are able to better process reality and the visual imagination, using a visual translation, instead of verbal translations. The visual is universal, so that type of innovation tends to help everyone. If innovations is based on verbal language is gets more subjective and tends to be cliquish and faddish with a market share appeal.

    A good example of the difference is connected to President Trump. Most of the left uses the verbal medium to describe him. Based on the subjectivity of verbal language, he has become a cartoon character and evil villain. This is based on not using visual data to draw a more universal conclusion. Whatever visual that is being used, is cherry picked to support the verbal caricature. PC is more important to a verbal language person, than it is to a visual language person. If we call a cat a dog or a furline , this does not change the visuals of the cat, but it can alter the subjective meaning and add confusion. The visual language person is not be impacted the same way. PC may be a good barometer to tell the difference.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. maruschx Registered Member

    I'll stay

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Could you (Michael 345) perhaps be a little bit more specific, I'd try to explain my thoughts in other words then.

    What's the first statement that feels weird to you ?
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  8. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

    We typically work in a base 10 number system. Computers work in a base 2 number system due to way transistors work. Any mathematical operation done in base 10 can be done in base 2, it is just much uglier. If reality can be fully described in base 2 it can be described in base 10. So can reality be described fully by math?

    Lets look at a simple discussion between Wellwisher and a liberal, can everything going on in that interaction be described using math (base 10 or 2)? I would say the answer is no. With the math that we have at our disposal it is not possible to completely describe reality. Don't get me wrong, computers and math are extremely powerful and useful for discovering and/or describing much of reality, just not all of reality.
  9. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Reality is based on 3-D and 4-D and not just 2-D or cause and affect, plus random. For example, if you look at an ecosystem, each components takes care of itself. The tree is designed to grow by itself. But its also providing output, like fruit, that helps other aspects of the ecosystem. The tree may also lose its leaves in the fall, which helps the soil bacteria months in the future. It is integrated in both space and time.

    Since we communicate science theory with verbal language , the entropy and loss, due to the use of verbal language, reduces our perception of the natural 3-D and 4-D, to 2-D; cause and affect, plus randomness. Computers use variations of the verbal language. This is not like cells and animals which use a more 3-D and 4-D language based on the EM forces within organics materials in water.

    The computer models may work in the context of a subjective a verbal landscape of 2+D, logic and a randomizer function. But reality will need the visual language if the goal is less loss and therefore the removal of the randomizer; 2+D becomes 3-D.

    As Origin pointed out I have endless ideas about liberalism. I take a 3-D visual concept or ball and break it down into a large number of 2-D logic planes; circles, with the same center. Language is used to slow the 3-D visual down so it can be easier to express with language. But I am limited to 2+D. The hope is others will assemble the 3-D from its many 2-D planes to get a visual concept that one may feel at an intuitive level.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  10. maruschx Registered Member

    I'd agree to the statement, with math we're not able to completely describe reality, but the reality described by math, words, writing is the only reality we have and will have. As soon as something can be described it is part of the reality (also true for speculations like this), something you can't describe is simply not existing. So we're extending our reality every day (by fiction, science, discussions, ideas) and what we have then as a result is the full reality of that point in time. There is something we don't have words for today, but this will always be beyond reality. The system of language we are using is always complete, but changing continiously and growing. And this is also true for what we call reality, as reality is a construction of our minds. It's like a balloon in the nothingness we're pumping up all together from the inside, with no chance of ever knowing what is outside of it.
    That's how I understand Wittgensteins famous quotes "The limits of my language means the limits of my world" & "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent".
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Everything is so 2 because it is the minimum required differentiator to describe anything.
    Everything can be described by building up a collection of binary values.

    The Moon is visible: True/False

    Any more complex variance can always be reduced to a collection of binary choices:

    The Moon is new: True/False
    The Moon is waxing: True/False
    The Moon is in its first quarter: True/False


    Actually, I lie. The minimum required differentiator is one. If a property doesn't to apply, you just don't list it.

    The Moon is visible.
    The Moon is waxing.

    This provides as much information as the binary description, yet is more economical.
  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    I'm happy you are staying and pleased you asked for me to be more specific

    A request like that keeps my 3 neurone brain active

    The world we speak about exist PERIOD

    To state it exist only as language is flat out WRONG

    Language is used to communicate and function as a tool (not its only function) between people to assist in cooperation

    To be a effective tool there must be agreement between people exactly (frequently close enough is good enough) WHAT is being talked about

    If I say CHAIR you picture in your mind a generic chair

    If I give me examples of 6 chairs I am sure you can produce in your mind 6 versions of chairs

    To me that falsifies your assertion about groups of 2 when a single item can be manifested in at least 6 versions

    Also you picked VALUE judgements (big/small - hot/cold) as being a group of 2

    If you use big and small as an example

    calling the Universe BIG and

    the atom SMALL it

    should become apparent that there are

    billions of thingy bobs in the Universe

    which are bigger than others

    while at the same time smaller than others

    Can I suggest you take a critical relook and rethink of your post after pondering other members and my input and see if that provides you with a answer you seek?

    My guess is our input doesn't

    Does it produce more questions?

    My guess is it does

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Welcome to the board, Marcus. I liked your first post. Thanks for posting it.

    I disagree pretty strongly with that one. I'm a realist, not an idealist. So I'd rather say that the world that we speak about exists in whatever way the world exists. (That's still largely undetermined.) But our speech about the world does consist of language. So there's the problem of understanding what speech and its meaning are, and how they model the world.

    I'm not sure what to make of abstract being. Mathematical structures seem to have some kind of objective reality, since mathematicians the world around all recognize the same proofs. Mathematical relationships seem to be discovered, not imagined. The abstract relationships between events that we call the 'laws of physics' seem to have objective existence too. So I don't want to restrict reality to a simple materialist physicalism. But having said that, I don't really know how to account for these more abstract kinds of being or even how to account for how we humans know about them.

    I'd prefer to say that we are learning more and more about a world whose existence isn't dependent on us at all and would exist whether we are here or not. As we learn more, our conceptual models grow in content and complexity and our textbooks grow ever thicker. But the contents of the textbooks isn't the world that science seeks to describe and (hopefully) explain.

    That sounds like Kant. I don't buy it.

    I think that one way to escape from an infinite regress of verbal definitions might be ostensively. By pointing to what we are talking about while saying 'that's an A'. Otherwise we are stuck saying 'an A is a B', 'a B is a C' and on forever, where A, B and C are verbal expressions like definitions in a dictionary.

    How would evolution occur in a reality that's entirely our own verbal/conceptual construct? What would evolutionary fitness consist of? How would selection occur?

    Every time we identify an X, every time we create a concept (or a word meaning or whatever it is) that's less inclusive than 'everything', we are contrasting X with ~X. (Where ~X would be the rest of 'everything' not encompassed by X.)

    I'm inclined to think that our logic is something deeper than that. It captures something important about how reality really is on a deep fundamental level . I don't think that it's just an accident of how the heavens appear to us or even of how human beings think. (Of course we do think that way, but probably because the universe behaves that way, logically, so that thinking the same way has survival value.)

    But I can't explain the deep metaphysical foundations of logic. That's still profoundly mysterious to me.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
    Magical Realist likes this.
  14. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Reality or world as a general concept is invented / acquired over time, perhaps.[footnote] There are still the immediate, local, and limited sensations which a newborn encounters, even if it doesn't intellectually understand them yet as part of some greater idea called "world". Some of its behavioral reactions indicate that there's an innate stance of at least treating the visual, aural, tactile, and olfactory manifestations as a minimal external environment. (Or there are automatic sensorimotor responses to stimulations.)

    Metaphysical traditions moved "real" up to an abstract level, demoting the extrospective half of our experiences into a representation, illusion, and so-forth of an ultimate world. Instead, if we just return "real" back to the immediate presentations and resist the belief that consciousness is an effort to represent either a knowable or unknowable archetype (something other than the sensible items of the exhibited environment), then we have contact with the "real" again.

    Figurative analogy: For instance, in the context of science or even commonsense experimentation -- the brain is the cause of a dream or its temporary, erratic world; but the latter is certainly not an attempt to represent the dream's cause. The dream landscape does not require a "duplication" at another level (where it would be something radically different from what it appears to be even if representation was the goal).

    Hallucinations and imaginary affairs can still be distinguished since "real things" are inter-subjectively available to others, do not obey our will / wishes alone, and arguably conform to overarching regularities or principles of governance (as opposed to being arbitrary or completely unpredictable).

    The assorted meta-phenomenal doctrines (including scientific realism) can be deemed our differing interpretations of an "internal story" which the exhibited world's activities are conforming to (i.e., as if there's yet another version of this realm or a provenance for it). They can be pragmatically and sporadically selected / rejected according to any particular doctrine's usefulness or lack of such in a work discipline, circumstances of one's personal life, everyday affairs, etc.
    • [footnote] Erwin Schrodinger: The world is a construct of our sensations, perceptions, memories. It is convenient to regard it as existing objectively on its own. But it certainly does not become manifest by its mere existence. Its becoming manifest is conditional on very special goings-on in very special parts of this very world, namely on certain events that happen in a brain. That is an inordinately peculiar kind of implication, which prompts the question: What particular properties distinguish these brain processes and enable them to produce the manifestation? Can we guess which material processes have this power, which not? Or simple: What kind of material process is directly associated with consciousness? --What is Life? Mind and Matter
    - - -
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
    Magical Realist likes this.
  15. river

    The soul . The soul is not a metaphysical concept . The soul is a real energy being . And we all have it .
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Evidence please. Or it's not true.
  17. river

    There are many books about the afterlife .
  18. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    How many Joules in a soul please?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    There are many books about Superman.

    Funny thing. Books don't have to be true to sell.
  20. river

    Books based on the truth of evidence of the afterlife do sell .
  21. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member


    Do please provide this truth of evidence of which thou speakith

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  22. river


    Michael Newton's book , " Journey of Souls " has sold 300,000 copies .
  23. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    I did

    (does a double check - yep)

    request evidence

    What is provided?

    A book sales report

    Evidence is not what it used to be

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    DaveC426913 likes this.

Share This Page