About... how we can learn about the world, how to test hypothesis, and the basics of science. What is science?
Previously titled- "How does do science?"
SIDE NOTES / OUTTAKES/ ADDITIONAL STUFF
Concerning Universal Ideas
If the pen falls just once, then it has instantly falsified all other “universal” actions the pen could take. The pen can’t always go up, we’ve falsified that idea. So if there is a universal idea about the behaviour as the pen, can we deduce it as verified then maybe?
Maybe, but we can’t assume that this is a universal idea. If in space the pen wouldn’t fall and this idea is untrue.
How about more simply :”gravity will always work”?
But I think we then have to verify the idea that… there are universal phenomena. Just because we’ve never seen something go against these basic phenomena and the rules we build about them (I don’t know of any documented examples to the counter of this). But this one truly is unfalsifiable idea I think.
Concerning vague hypothesis
There are so many kinds of hypothesis. “Carrots can shrink lumps”. One kind of carrot shrinks all kinds of lumps? All kinds of carrots shrink one kind of lump?
Why don’t we take the hypothesis: “carrots shrink most lumps”, or “carrots can shrink some lumps”?
It’s because these are very vague visions of the world. We can shift how we think about our data to either verify or falsify them. And if we do verify or falsify them, really what have we learned? Like with horoscopes. I pulled this out of the Globe and Mail:
“Some people have been rather critical of you in recent weeks but over the next few days you will be able to show that you were right and they were wrong. They won’t thank you for it, of course, but you will be smiling.”
So if anybody said anything wrong about you, even a little, the first idea is verified in your mind. And the second part as long as you feel like you’re right at some point in the next few days, even a little, that part of the horoscope is verified in your mind. And your mind may further justify it like, “maybe it happened and I missed it”.
Although we do it day to day because it could be useful. If rain sometimes comes after thunder then we just put away horse meat regardless and we’ll be doing ok.
How about the hypothesis that carrots shrink 90% of lump?
This is more concrete. Kind of like hypothesizing that a dice will role a five 1/6th of the time.
But it’s different in the case with lump, because we don’t know what the “dice” look like. “Carrots only shrink 90% of lumps” without observational basis for it is a strange hypothesis. Maybe if we consistently see carrots only shrinking 90% of lumps we could hold that an observation and investigate.
With actual dice, there is observational basis to hold the idea.
Concerning quantum physics
Quantum physics may be a world where detecting the thing, changes what is observed on a fundamental level. Not just an interfering detection method like… trying to detect the position of a bus by throwing buses at it. It’s apparently a much more fundamental observation quirk.
But it is so in predictable and repeatable ways. The fact that observing, affects what we see… would just be the observation in this case. The apparent effect of the observation is the observation.
…..although maybe I just don’t understand quantum physics.
Concerning Objective Truth
The brain in a vat thought experiment I think is meant to make us think that there may be no objective truth. You know, don't even assume what you see is the same as what others see. I really hesitated to ever show the outside world (with the white background) and wanted the "truth" or "facts" to always be in the golden circles as a construct in the mind. But I did show the outside world because I feel like it's how we think about the world. I think you could go your whole life never thinking about how the world is only experienced by your brain, never thinking about whether your experiences are genuine or the same as other people, and still come out fine. And what's the alternative? Making reality whatever you want? We can go ride a walrus to an ice cream tree.
Concerning other kinds of “brain pictures”
There’s other concepts and thoughts and ideas we can have like fantasy and fiction. And other sentences we can build like questions or commands. Not just statements and ideas about the way the world is.
Our brains also do more than look at and build concepts of the world. Like make us move around and eat spray cheese.
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