decoration decoration

When you want to know more...
For layout only
Site Map
About Groklaw
Legal Research
ApplevSamsung p.2
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Gordon v MS
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
MS Litigations
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
OOXML Appeals
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v Novell
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Contact PJ

Click here to email PJ. You won't find me on Facebook Donate Paypal

User Functions



Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.

What's New

No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

4Hrs Steven Hawking last night... nothing is concrete, balance of positive & negative maintained | 102 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
4Hrs Steven Hawking last night... nothing is concrete, balance of positive & negative maintained
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 10 2012 @ 05:53 PM EDT
Things get muddled even within one man's lifetime. Are you absolute certain
about all that happened to you yesterday?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

4Hrs Steven Hawking last night... nothing is concrete, balance of positive & negative maintained
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 10 2012 @ 08:03 PM EDT
Some say "if it hasn't been observed is isn't reality"
now not going in to the word reality,
but i think all you can tell from not observing
that it is a unknown blob.

So by observing you can't tell it has changed
cos you didn't know the original state to begin with.

And now don't come with the double slit without
explaining why observing waves in water just keeps
behaving as normal even if all the people of the world
are watching it.

That we can't observe particles without disturbing them,
is the same as trying to to determine the elephant migration
by shooting cannonballs on them


[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

4Hrs Steven Hawking last night... nothing is concrete, balance of positive & negative maintained
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 12 2012 @ 01:07 AM EDT
> Sorry, EVERYthing in this universe is a matter of
> belief,other than what we personally experience.

To approach the understanding that this is preposterous,
consider why Johnson responded to the similar claim by
Bishop Berkeley by kicking a stone (apparently hard enough
to cause himself pain), and exclaiming, "I refute it thus!"

To get closer to this understanding, please go the closest
concrete or brick wall you can find, hit it as hard as you
can with your bare closed fist, and come back. We'll wait.

* * *

Of _course_ you didn't _actually_ go and do that because you
_knew_ what the result would be: You would injure yourself;
you would almost certainly break bones in your hand and
bleed. The reality of you and wall is _not_ a matter of
belief; it is What Is, and Creature You--assuming that you
are not deranged; there _are_ people who injure themselves
on purpose just to drive others nuts--is too intelligent to
let Superficially Conscious You do something so stupid. If
you're in a car crash and rupture your spleen, you can well
and truly die of that injury without ever knowing that you
sustained it.

More fundamentally, you are forgetting that the raw
materials of which you are made--the substance of the earth
under your feet, the constituents of the sun in your sky--
and of course the constituents of the phenomenon we call
_sky_ and the cluster of chemicals, signals, and events we
call _person_--did not come to be because you believed them
or believed in them. The raw materials you all share in
common existed for uncountable years before they were
arranged in the configurations of body and sky and star.
(Fun fact: Go put your finger on something made of, or
plated with, gold. You are touching a metal that did not
originate, that could not have originated, in the solar
system. Sol can nucleosynthesize elements no heavier than
iron. But then, Sol's hydrogen had to originate--whence?
Hint: Not in or through belief.)

What Science is ever after in its operation to determine
nonfantastic properties, causes, and effects is an
understanding of objective reality--that is, an
understanding of properties, causes, and effects that
obtain, that Be, notwithstanding the agency of Observer.
"Aha," you respond, "at base this is the age-old question of
whether or not there is sound when a tree falls in a forest
and no one is there to hear it."

"Yes," I respond, "and the only surprising thing about that
time-sucking conundrum is that it is not handily, soberly
and cogently discounted for each and every one of us _in
grade school_ with the help of a sideways glance into the
daylit sky and a smidge of elementary physics." As you step
outside into the sunlight, you are being irradiated by old
light--light that (based on our understanding of the speed
of light in a vacuum) left the vicinity of Sol about 8
minutes before it arrived to compel you to look away and
heat your skin. What's this? There was a _delay_ between the
emission of the light and your perception of it? Why, yes--
because we know _for certain_, across multiple experimenters
working for over a hundred years across scads of
experiments, that the propagation of light is not
instantaneous. Gadzooks! That means that the light must have
existed for _at least 8 minutes_ _before_ we just happened
to experience its reality.

Holy smokes! The reality of Universe is _not_ relative; only
its perception is. If I look up and experience on my retinas
light from a star 50,000 light years away, I am encountering
my end of a chain of photonic events set into motion _before
all recorded human history_. For all of the time between the
emission of that light and its arrival in my neighborhood,
it _had_ to have existed sans Observer and Observedness for
me to ultimately be able to encounter it all this time
later. Likewise for the sound of the tree in the forest;
only the time scales and details of emission and perception
differ. We shall have to figure out why this Observer fellow
keeps, is prone to, mischaracterizing his position as

So now you know...the _rest_ of the story: That whenever
anyone says "truth is relative," you can fully agree--
because truth is but an attempt to represent, to report,
What Is in symbols, and symbols are not, can never be, what
they represent. Luckily, they need not be so to be very
useful indeed.

And as for human Consciousness being in any way ascendent,
the guarantor, the arbiter of human experience, now you will
have to figure out how it is that when you touch something
hot enough to burn you withdraw your hand lightning-fast,
_long_ before you cognize the pain and even longer before
you fully grok the danger. Woe is us! (Or not, actually.)
Consciousness is merely a tool of Organism, not its owner,
not its architect.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )