15 April 2020

Statistical fudging

My Movement and Time in the Cyberworld includes an Appendix on quantum mechanics in which I undertake to show that the core phenomenon of quantum indeterminacy in the movement of sub-atomic entities (photons, electrons, etc.) is based on a misconception of time as one-dimensionally linear and constrained rather than three-dimensionally open and free. Quantum physicists convinced themselves that they (starting with Heisenberg and Schrödinger) had stumbled experimentally on a strange phenomenon of the very small that violated the physical law of efficient causality that relies essentially on the conception of one-dimensional, linear time. By reconceiving time as three-dimensionally free, the character of movement as governed by linear causality breaks down irretrievably. That is, the conception of efficient causality results from a narrowing of the mind to a tunnel vision that is hell bent on exercising absolute power over movement. The upshot of the Appendix is to learn (slowly) to see that all movement and change, including of the macroscopic kind, are subject to indeterminacy. This goes far beyond merely Humean scepticism about efficient causality or a seemingly relaxed, but blinkered, pragmatic, 'good enough' American attitude.

Now I come to a little addendum to the Appendix in my book: modern science implicitly acknowledges and practises a disbelief in the thorough-going applicability of the axiomatic belief in linear, efficient causality. Modern science, namely, cannot rely on doing an experiment just once, thus investing blind faith in the necessity of efficient causality. How so? One needs to take a look at what a scientific experiment — whether it be in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceutics, psychology, sociology, economics or elsewhere — is and what it practically entails, viz., a set-up in which an experiment is carried out many times (to derive data from statistically significant samples) under experimentally designed conditions, no matter what they might be (whether it be in the laboratory or in the field or in a survey of a population), so as to arrive at statistically reliable and above all statistically significant results. That is to say, all results of scientific experiments are announced with the indispensable tag that they are within the allowable margins of statistical error as measured by the standard deviation of the data of the various samples measured. The data are interpreted by mathematical statistics in theoretical models to calculate acceptable error levels in a reckoning with probabilities expressed in assumed probability distribution functions, hence, paradoxically, a calculating with errors. For instance, when testing the efficacy of a new drug, the data from a sample of those administered with the drug compared to the data collected from a well-defined control group have to be different to a statistically significant degree that allows for error, i.e. non-causality.  There are always so-called outliers in the data that are deemed to be statistically insignificant, despite the ostensibly 'iron' law of causal necessity.

The need for statistical measurement and calculation derives ultimately not merely from experimental error that can easily be explained away in a common sense, empirical fashion, without delving any deeper, but from the very indeterminacy of the movement/change being scientifically observed itself, e.g. the efficacy or non-efficacy of a new drug. What underlies the practice of statistical fudging ultimately is the truth of phenomena of movement and change itself, viz. its indeterminacy. In truth, all movement and change have a temporally three-dimensional freedom of movement, a truth not accessible by experiment but by thinking through the deepest and simplest phenomena.

For modern (quantum) physics, thinking as it does willy-nilly from the unquestioned paradigm of subject/object ontology, the so-called 'collapse' of quantum indeterminacy through observational measurement is a consequence its thinking, in terms of relativity, that all observations by an observer-subject are only enabled by this observer-subject receiving at a certain present-instant in one-dimensional time an electromagnetic signal carrying the information at the speed of light from the object under observation, namely, a sub-atomic entity of some kind (electron, photon, etc.). As if such a sub-atomic entity were describable as assuming a position in a given instant at a given instantaneous velocity or momentum. Such temporal instants, however, 'exist' only in an ontological preconception of linear, successive time composed of instants 'flowing' through present 'now-instants', and they are calculable in an infinitesimal calculus differentiating along an assumed linear, real time. If, however, all movable, changeable beings, no matter how small or large, occupy a temporally three-dimensional openness that is the 'same' as our psyche, then it makes no sense to fixate the mind on a position or velocity in a present instant. In particular, the infinitesimal calculus employed to calculate movement and change is no longer possible. Movement and change are only such in our shared, temporally open mind, and this mind is radically other than any conception of individual consciousness. Movement and change in temporally three-dimensional mind have dimensions for the imagination.

Finally I note as an aside that freedom of movement can be captured from one perspective in learning to see that all movement in 3D-time can be interpreted as dialectically contradictory, but that is another story.

02 April 2020

It's the plutocracy, stupid

— that bitter,
crabby fruit
of your undiluted,
love of money —
was your undoing.

The intoxication
turned you
fanatically factious, 
unspeakably violent
and ugly.

Were you
thus predestined
already at conception,
wearing a rough-hewn mask
of staid piety
as cover?

The disguise is today
shot through
by repulsive pock marks
of hypocrisy,
a spectacle
for all to see.

ol' No. 1;
your gorilla
pecuniary power
is powerless
to stay
your decline.