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I guess we can always compare to what is the case. So if we know what having energy is, we can distinguish that from when there isn't energy (otherwise the term energy would be kind of pointless, if we just said there was energy no matter what we were looking at ). And then you would just do that with space, time, and so on. If saying something has space involves saying x, then just look at the situations where we wouldn't say x. I guess to make those claims would involve some sort of framework, but whatever he was talking about wouldn't be something that had matter, energy, space etc. I don't know though.
I agree. So I think his stressing of nothing being nothing at all, NO REALLY I MEAN NOTHING kind of talk was incorrect. He just meant devoid of things we commonly think of as fundamental elements of existence such as time and space.
Because to add to this, I mean, surely, we know what he's talking about when he says a point of nothingness, right? I know that I would never "find" it. I know that it wouldn't feel warm, hot, etc. I know it would never move and attack me. So it seems like it's not crazy to talk about true nothingness, even if we use a framework to do so.
"He just meant devoid of things we commonly think of as fundamental elements of existence such as time and space."
Yeah. And I don't think it's silly to think about the existence of the number 3 just because we can't feel it or touch it. So what? It's clearly still something worth talking about. And it does seem like we are imagining "something" when thinking about "nothing," it's just something different from what we're used to talking about. I don't think that means it's invalid.
As far as interesting concepts like "what is it we're thinking of when we imagine nothingness?" It's interesting what language can express. I thought I read this last night, but now I can't find it...
But I thought I read "a number which no human will ever think of."
It's queer because it's a thought about a thought no one will ever have
No, I didn't mean nothingness is invalid. Just that it's not very manageable by our way of thinking. I think we always mean nothing in reference to something. As in "this box is empty" but we know it has air inside. But if we try to think of literally nothing, it's not what we're used to (as you said). The language isn't descriptive enough and it's completely outside of our experience. So we do things like I did and try to add adjectives like "true" nothing... whatever that's supposed to mean.
I guess that's why philosophers write such thick books. You need a chapter just to define a word they're going to use 5 chapters later in a statement haha.
"But I thought I read "a number which no human will ever think of.""
Yup! I saw that in a Bertrand Russel passage, although he probably didn't invent that example. He used that to argue that, we don't just think of things in terms of their actual instances, we sometimes only understand things with abstract concepts. Because some people want to say, all we mean by "3" is just that it's a word we use whenever we see three boxes, three birds, etc, that we only use the word when paired with a physical observation, and that "three" has no meaning in itself.
But then we can come up with examples where we are literally not describing any real physical instance that is occurring, yet we understand what that sentence means. We literally can't be just describing us seeing a number that no one ever thought of, else it wouldn't be such a number, but we definitely understand what that sentence means.
But yeah, it's really cool how sophisticated human language is. Our understanding goes way beyond just individual physical objects or occurences.
"I think we always mean nothing in reference to something"
It certainly seems that way. But again there are those statements that don't refer to any presentable object (in your number example) yet seem to be a legitimate claim. The problem is, if we want the "nothing" that includes no references, we have to come across it without using reference :) It seems like we can sort of understand true nothingness, it's just that when we try to "represent it" or "point to it" then we defeat its purpose (because it's something that isn't pointed to).
Sort of like how we kind of understand infinity, yet we sometimes still wonder, what's at the end? Even though the whole point of infinity is that there is no end.
So I can say that there is some true nothingness, but I can't tell you anything about it, and that's why it's there :) Perhaps in realizing what makes us fail in understanding true nothingness, is what'll help us understand it. Even if we'll never be able to represent it.
Yeah I think the "number no one thought of" thing appeared in Russel's "The Problems of Philosophy" or something like that. It's probably available somewhere, maybe I'll start digging into that haha.
Where did I read it! I don't remember lol.[edit, oh, it was here (link) in one of your topics]
I confused it for being here:
This article was posted in a different chess.com forumhttp://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/11/noam-chomsky-on-where-artificial-intelligence-went-wrong/261637/?single_page=true
And it gets into language a bit. Interestingly they talk about how it's likely that when, what we think of as thought, first evolved that language wasn't necessary because most people couldn't think. So interestingly our language isn't optimized for communication, it's more dependent on how we internally process information.
A quote from the link:
There are things you just can't say, for some reason. So if I say, "The mechanics fixed the cars". And you say, "They wondered if the mechanics fixed the cars." You can ask questions about the cars, "How many cars did they wonder if the mechanics fixed?" More or less okay. Suppose you want to ask a question about the mechanics. "How many mechanics did they wonder if fixed the cars?" Somehow it doesn't work, can't say that. It's a fine thought, but you can't say it. Well, if you look into it in detail, the most efficient computational rules prevent you from saying it. But for expressing thought, for communication, it'd be better if you could say it -- so that's a conflict.
There's far less than a 1/3200 chance. The 1/3200 is the number of points a 1300 will score. That's more likely to be two draws than one win.
And even that doesn't give the odds accurately.
In order to calculate this, you have to include the number of times a 2700 will play a 1300 in a game that will matter.
If you consider all of that, the answer becomes "astronomically small".
Once again, I am argueing with idiots. 1/3200 is the odds that a 1300 will defeat a 2700 rated player according to the person (ARPAD ELO) who invented the rating system, and the win expectancies. Yes, it is 1/3163. Go find the freakin website, read and do the math yourself.
And quit arguing with me. Your argument is with the inventor of the rating system. For the record, I am both an Actuary and a math major............. gawd.
Oh, and yes. 1/3200 is the expected number of points the lower rated player will win in a single match. meaning, if they play 3200 games in a row, the 1300 will be expected to get one point. Not one rating point, one game point.
I refer you again to #3175.
Sometimes my playing strength is 1000 and sometimes it is 2000. And everywhere in between. I don't use engines. So why does my rating strength have a huge range like this???
The ELO system is not based on any laws of nature, it is simply a formula based on estimates and probabilities. While is works quite well in predicting outcomes between players whose ratings are reasonably close, there is no particular reason to think that it will predict results with the same degree of accuracy when we consider extreme rating differences, like 1400 points!
My guess, based on absolutely no research, is that under normal tournament conditions a 1300 player will never win a game from a 2700 player. The difference in skill is so extreme that the 2700 player would be a substantial favorite at rook odds. In the Christiansen - Karpov game that I saw cited earlier, Karpov would not have resigned after 12.Qd1 if he was playing a 1300 player. He would play on with every expectation of winning
Lasker... you are absolutely right. Never. If you've read previous posts, the only arguement is the monkey and typewriter nonsense that trys to say otherwise. I have gone as far as 100 vs 3000 and a few say yea.. a possibility! How the mind can work!
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