[extropy-chat] Role of Observer is not Relevant

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Wed Mar 28 04:33:02 UTC 2007

On 3/27/07, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
> Jef writes
> > I try to share a more sophisticated epistemology...and support this
> > firstly by declaring that *all* observation is indirect...

[Restoring some relevant context]
... *all* observation is indirect (we have no simple direct unbiased
access to reality, because we're embedded in it)...

> Different conventions, I guess.

Clearly more than conventions, as I have described, and as you likely
know since you and I have gone around around this loop more than once.

>To me, objects are seen by
> someone or something, and that's all.  To you, perhaps that's
> just an everyday abbreviation for "the photons bouncing off
> the car are seen", and in turn, that is probably shorthand for
> something even more indirect that involves more truths about
> the seer (such as nerve endings or retinas).

It's significant that you accept that there can be distortion in the
sensory channels but fail to accept--or even consider--that when I say
fnord "we have no simple direct unbiased
access to reality, because we're embedded in it," fnord I mean that
these biases run throughout the entire system that you consider you.
It's as if that key statement (which you omitted from your redaction)
didn't fit your reality so it had no meaning for you.

>  ("There are *no*
> direct observations", you write.  Are there direct references, I
> wonder, just for the sake of curiosity?)

Yes, of course, within context.  Just as you can have perfectly
effective references within the context of code that you write.  Just
as we can have perfectively effective communication between us as long
as we stay within a mutual context.

> As Sunny Auyang wrote in her great physics/philosophy
> book "How Is Quantum Field Theory Possible",
>     "I have never seen a sense impression in my life."

She makes a valid point; there is no such privileged point of view
within the system.  But the system known as Sunny Auyang has certainly
processed many sense impressions.

- Jef

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list