What do all things have in common?

Posts tagged “Reductionism

Limits of Category Theory and Semiotics

Category Theory 01

They are wonderful tools to explain much of our world, but lack ‘The Right Stuff’ to handle the metaphysical underpinnings of anything near a Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language , or a Philosophy of Learning.

This is, because Category Theory specialises on roughly half of the Noosphere. It does a wonderful job on exteriority, but cannot sufficiently describe nor comprehensively access interiority.

Interiority Exteriority

Therefore, as is the case with Semiotics, has limited metaphysical value with respect to philosophy in general.

Semiotics 2


For example: philosophies of mind, language, or learning are not possible using only category theoretical tools and/or semiotics.

Here is an example of one attempt which fails in this regard: http://nickrossiter.org.uk/proce…

(and here: VisualizationFoundationsIEEE)

Here are two problems (of many) in the paper:

4.4.2 Knowledge is the Terminal Object of Visualisation states:

“The ultimate purpose of the visualisation process is to gain Knowledge of the original System. When this succeeds (when the diagram commutes) then the result is a ‘truth’ relationship between the Knowledge and the System. When this process breaks down and we fail to deduce correct conclusions then the diagram does not commute.”

I want to also comment on Figure 3 (which also exposes missing or false premises in the paper), but I will wait until I have discussed the assertions in the quote above which the authors of this paper reference, accept, and wish to justify/confirm.

1) The purpose of a representation is NOT to gain knowledge; rather, to express knowledge. Also, truth has nothing to do with knowledge except when that value is imposed upon it for some purpose. Truth value is a value that knowledge may or not ‘attend’ (participate in).

1a) The ‘truth value’ of the System (‘system’ is a false paradigm [later, perhaps] and a term that I also vehemently disagree with) does not always enter into the ‘dialogue’ between any knowledge that is represented and the observer interpreting that knowledge.

2) The interpretation of a representation is not to “deduce correct conclusions”; rather, to understand the meaning (semantics and epistemology) of what is represented. ‘Correct’ understanding is not exclusive to understanding nor is it necessary or sufficient for understanding a representation, because that understanding finds expression in the observer.

2a) ‘Correct’, as used in this paragraph, is coming from the outside (via the choice of which data [see Fig. 3] is represented to the observer) and may have no correspondence (hence may never ever commute) whatever to what that term means for the observer.

The authors are only talking about ontologies. That is a contrived and provincial look at the subject they are supposing to examine.

There may (and usually are) artefacts inherent in any collection and collation of data. The observer is forced to make ‘right’ (‘correct’) conclusions from that data which those who collected it have ‘seeded’ (tainted) with their own volition.

‘System’ (systematising) anything is Reductionism. This disqualifies the procedure at its outset.

They are proving essentially that manipulation leads to a ‘correct’ (their chosen version) representation of a ‘truth’ value.

I could tie my shoelaces into some kind of knot and think it were a ‘correct’ way to do so if the arrows indicate this. This is why paying too much attention to a navigation system can have one finding themselves at the bottom of a river!

The paper contains assumptions that are overlooked and terms that are never adequately defined! How can you name variables without defining their meaning? They then serve no purpose and must be removed from domain of discourse.

Categorical structures are highly portable, but they can describe/express only part of what is there. There are structure, dynamics, and resonance that ontology and functionalism completely turns a blind eye to.

The qualities of Truth, Goodness, Beauty, Clarity,… (even Falsehood, Badness, Ugliness, Obscurity,…) can be defined and identified within a knowledge representation if the representation is not restricted to ontology alone.

In order to express these qualities in semiotics and category theory, they must first be ontologised funtionally (reduced). Trying to grasp them with tools restricted to semiotics and category theory is like grasping into thin air.

That is actually the point I’m trying to make. Category Theory, and even Semiotics, each have their utility, but they are no match for the challenge of a complete representation of knowledge.

Really! Nothing Is ‘Real’

Is anything RealAnother example of the ‘neo-snake-oil salesmen’ peddling you trendy pabulum and neo-Babylon confusion. My current project Mathesis Universalis http://mathesis-universalis.com will bring an end to this menagerie of nonsense and subtle programming.

I could write a book on this.
Don’t believe everything put forward in this… set of perspectives. This is a work in process so stay tuned… updates are coming very shortly.

I’m happy that he allows for more than 5 senses as this is a common error made by science and philosophy up to this time. I’ve taken issue with it elsewhere numerous times. Also I’m pleased that he is allowing for Neuroplasticity (Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz http://www.jeffreymschwartz.com/ has been leading this new model for over 10 years.)

Up to @04:27 I take issue with two important assumptions he makes:
1) That sensory information is the only way we ‘register’ reality.
2) He is a physicalist pure through. If he can’t measure and quantify it, then it doesn’t exist for him… This leads to what is known as causal ambiguity (among other things).

@04:57– He says that memory is stored all over the brain. This is incorrect. The effects of the phenomena of memory are manifested in various areas of the brain. There is no sufficient and necessary proof that memory is stored there! They PRESUME it to be stored there, because they can not allow or imagine anything non-physical being able to store any kind of knowledge.

@05:09“How many memories can you fit inside your head? What is the storage capacity of the human brain?” he asks.

In addition to the presumption that memories are stored there, he then ignores the capacity of other areas of the body to imprint the effects of memory: the digestive tract, the endocrine and immune ‘systems’,… even to cell membranes (in cases of addiction, for example)!!!

@05:23“But given the amount of neurons in the human brain involved with memory…” (the first presumption that memories are stored there) “and the number of connections a single neuron can make…” (he’s turning this whole perspective on memory into a numerical problem!) which is reductionism.

@05:27– He then refers to the work of Paul Reber, professor of psychology at Northwestern University who explained his ‘research’ into answering that question. here’s the link. I will break that further stream of presumptions down next.
(the question is asked about middle of the 1st page of the article which contains 2 pages)

Paul Reber makes a joke and then says:
“The human brain consists of about one billion neurons. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillion connections. If each neuron could only help store a single memory, running out of space would be a problem. You might have only a few gigabytes of storage space, similar to the space in an iPod or a USB flash drive.”

“Yet neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain’s memory storage capacity to something closer to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage.”

These presumptions and observations are full of ambiguity and guesswork. Given that we are not reading a thesis on the subject, we can allow him a little slack, but even the conclusions he has arrived at are nothing substantial. More below as he reveals his lack of knowledge next.

“The brain’s exact storage capacity for memories is difficult to calculate. First, we do not know how to measure the size of a memory. Second, certain memories involve more details and thus take up more space; other memories are forgotten and thus free up space. Additionally, some information is just not worth remembering in the first place.

He not only doesn’t know to measure memories (which he admits), he cannot even tell you what they are precisely! He offers here also no reason for us to believe that memory is reducible to information!

@05:50“The world is real… right?” (I almost don’t want to know what’s coming next!)

And then it really gets wild…

@05:59– With his: “How do you know?” question he begins to question the existence of rocket scientists. He moves to Sun centric ideas (we’ve heard this one before) to show how wrong humanity has been in the past.

He seems to ignore or not be aware of the fact that that many pre-science explorers as far back as ancient Alexandria knew better and had documented this idea as being false. This ‘error’ of humanity reveals more about dogma of a church/religion/tradition than of humanity/reality as it truly is.

@06:29“Do we… or will we ever know true reality?” is for him the next question to ask and then offers us to accept the possibility that we may only know what is approximately true.

@06:37 “Discovering more and more useful theories every day,  but never actually reaching true objective actual reality.”

This question is based upon so much imprecision, ignorance, and arrogance that it isn’t even useful!

First of all: we cannot know “true objective actual reality” in all of its ‘essence’, because we must form a perspective around that which we observe in order to ‘see’ anything meaningful. As soon as a perspective comes into ‘being’, we lose objectivity. (ignorance, assumption)

He doesn’t define what ‘reality’ for him is. (imprecision)

He doesn’t explain what the difference between ‘true’ and ‘actual’ might be. (imprecision, assumption)

Theories are NOT discovered, rather created (implicit arrogance). They can only be discovered if they were already known/formulated at some time.

Also; theories do not stand on their own; rather, they depend upon continued affirmation by being questioned for as long as they exist. We DO NOT store knowledge in our answers; rather, in our questions.