You may be surprised about the title of this lecture, because the whole project is named “Why Science is Right”
I primarily try to show you the development of the concept of science and the relation between science and reality from a historical perspective.
However, we paid some extra attention to the question “Why is reality mathematical” and we saw that according to Pythagoras this is the case indeed.
He used numbers as magical-metaphysical entities, which described the structure of the universe, while Aristotle paid more attention to the way we conceptually describe reality.
Both approaches existed next to each other in those early days.In fact they are the roots of two lines of thinking since then.
On the one hand one assumed that our universe is mathematical and the first instance of this was found in astronomy.
And on the other hand one assumed that out conceptual thought processes could be formalized, which was instantiated by the Aristotelian logic..
This all related for me to what is happening today. Quintessential in this is the philosophical question of the relation between language and reality.
In science it is assumed that language represents reality and this reality is described in the specific languages of symbolic logic and mathematics.
Ordinary language is regarded to be an inadequate tool for real scientific description of reality, because it too difficult to reach unambiguous interpretations.
Thus we can create a mathematical model of our world or at least of a smal part of our reality. And due to the increased computer power, we may even be inclined to put our faith into these models.
But as John Adam of Princeton University says, “the ‘art’ of good modeling relies on (i) a sound understanding and appreciation of the problem…;
(ii) a realistic, but not unnecessarily mathematical representation of the important phenomena; (iii) finding useful solutions, preferably quantitative ones,
and (iv) interpretation of the mathematical results—yielding insights, predictions, …, and so on. Sometimes the mathematics used can be very simple…;
indeed, the usefulness of a mathematical model should not be judged by the sophistication of the mathematics, but by its predictive capability, among other factors. Mathematical models are not necessarily ‘‘right’’ …”
Back to the question how mathematical reality is, we read here terms like “sound understanding”, “realistic representation” and “interpretation of results”.
For such actions mathematics is not sufficient. The most recent and painful proof is “The mathematical equation that caused the banks to crash”.
The Black-Scholes equation was the mathematical justification for the trading in derivatives, that plunged the world's banks into catastrophe.
Here http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/feb/12/black-scholes-equation-credit-crunch you find an interesting article about this Black-Scholes equation.
But what made me wonder even more was what I read in my newspaper a week ago. The article begins like this:
“Not far from the Dutch border, in the German town of Jülich, is a special machine. Black columns with thousands of green lights stand in the shed.
I count seven of these columns. The thing uses non-stop energy as many as three thousand households together.
This is JUQUEEN, the second fastest supercomputer in Europe. And soon there is a brain in this supercomputer. Not literally: it is, to be precise, the intention, that it will able to simulate the human brain.
Henry Markram, neurobioloog aan de École Polytechnique Fédérale (EPFL) in Swiss Lausanne is the big man behind the project, which will cost hundreds of millions of euros.
Will such a computer and the language, which is used to activate it, be a proper model of reality. I don’t believe in such a project. Here science is wrong.., ignoring fundamental philosophical questions.
Thank you……. ^_^
[13:17] ZANICIA Chau: WOW Thank you Harman
[13:17] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you professor!
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:18] herman Bergson: If you have any question or remark...the floor is yours :-)
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: the name Black-Scholes got me wondering, Black holes equation maybee is a more suiting name for it after what happened
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:18] Loo Zeta: The question is when will computers become sentient in the inevitable singularity of human and computing?
[13:19] Lizzy Pleides: I never heard of this project in Jülich
[13:19] herman Bergson: That is the name it got, Bejiita ^_^
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: hehe ok
[13:19] herman Bergson: Is called The Human Brain Project, Lizzy
[13:19] herman Bergson: Brand new.....
[13:19] herman Bergson: and utter nonsense in my opinion.....
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: think ‘ve read something about that, the tricky part is a machine can never think like we can
[13:20] herman Bergson: 500+ scientists have signed a petition not to waste money on it....EU money!
[13:20] ZANICIA Chau: Quite a frightening concept among those who take it seriously
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: a computer is just a machine consisting of billions of electrical switches
[13:20] ZANICIA Chau: on all levels
[13:20] herman Bergson: yes Zan....
[13:20] herman Bergson: Waht I wanted to say today is...
[13:20] Lizzy Pleides: if it is EU money then it doesn't matter, lol
[13:21] herman Bergson: that we can make models of reality and play with them....but they are not reality
[13:21] Loo Zeta: People in computing leadership like... Steve Jobs, Dwight Prowty, and others have 'downloaded' their brains into neural networking already
[13:21] ZANICIA Chau: as we;re doing at the moment
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: it depends on how you will go on at simulating the brain
[13:21] herman Bergson: Fairy tales Loo...
[13:21] herman Bergson: We not even know what the brain is...
[13:21] Loo Zeta: nope I know Dwight
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: no
[13:22] Loo Zeta: he has done it....
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: thats true
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: but i don’t think a computer can feel in any way for example
[13:22] Lizzy Pleides: probably only a human being can understand another human being
[13:22] herman Bergson: No...Loo..he has linked with some machinery and that machinery may have copied something of what happens in the brain...
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: so can u simulate feelings in a good way then?
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: with a machine
[13:23] herman Bergson: But believe me.....uploading to WHAT?? wont bring back his consciousness
[13:23] ZANICIA Chau: I think the truth is that the scientists involved in the project have actually lost sight of reality, as we generally see it
[13:23] Loo Zeta: Well as a lot of them are autistic can we know the difference?
[13:23] herman Bergson: I think so too, Zan...
[13:23] herman Bergson: Just imagine....it works.....
[13:23] herman Bergson: and the computer says....wow I think, so I am!!!
[13:24] ZANICIA Chau: hehehe
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: question is however how do we feel, its all but chemistry and electrical impulses here too
[13:24] herman Bergson: Would switching of the power after w working day be murder?
[13:24] Loo Zeta: /nods
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: but we are analog, computers are digital
[13:24] Lizzy Pleides: laughs*
[13:24] herman Bergson: and switching o the power the next day....are we dealing with the same mind then???
[13:24] ZANICIA Chau: yikes
[13:25] Loo Zeta: ahh we are more than analogue... we are complex biofeedback mechanisms
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: hmm interesting
[13:25] herman Bergson: Does the conscious computer have human rights???
[13:25] Lizzy Pleides: yes Loo
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Loo we are.....
[13:25] herman Bergson: and a "mind" stored in those things on the picture behind me is not
[13:26] Lizzy Pleides: a computer can only be a copy but never be the original
[13:26] ZANICIA Chau: Hahah imagine a robot with a placard saying....rights for computers. Computers rule!
[13:26] Loo Zeta: :)
[13:26] herman Bergson: But it is going to absorb millions of euros.....which could heave been spent on better research
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:26] Loo Zeta: 'we are thus we exist'
[13:27] herman Bergson: We already had HAL in Space Odyssee, Zan ^_^
[13:27] herman Bergson: HAL
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: but thats a sci fi
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: not reality
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: a good sci fi though
[13:27] Loo Zeta: closer than you think
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: with a legendary soundtrack
[13:28] Loo Zeta: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity
[13:28] herman Bergson: Artificial Intelligence from the 90 hasn’t brought us what it promised....
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: no
[13:28] ZANICIA Chau: It's only equiv to the waste of pursuing settlements on the moon etc. The world should rally against all this stuff
[13:28] herman Bergson: and now this project
[13:28] Loo Zeta: it isdeveloping explananatory
[13:28] herman Bergson: I agree Zan...
[13:28] Loo Zeta: faster and faster...
[13:29] herman Bergson: you mean exponential, Loo?
[13:29] Loo Zeta: sorry I guess my spelling useless...... and admits I English
[13:29] herman Bergson: np.....we are multi-lingual here ^_^
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: when it comes to experiments like LHC some good knowledge comes out of the thing at least
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: with this mind simulator we don’t even know if it will give any results at all
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: seems to complicated
[13:30] Loo Zeta: Will we be able to pull the plug on it?
[13:30] Lizzy Pleides: nevertheless the idea is interesting. If you copy somebody's brain you can ask the computer after his death what he would have thaught about a matter
[13:30] herman Bergson: No....but they cover their action by claiming to need ten years or so....
[13:31] ZANICIA Chau: creepy thought, Lizzy!
[13:31] Lizzy Pleides: yes Zan
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes....finally his wife could ask him....did you cheat on me or not......answer or I pull the plug :-)
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: loool
[13:31] ZANICIA Chau: lol
[13:32] ZANICIA Chau: hahahaha
[13:32] Beertje Beaumont: hahahah
[13:32] Lizzy Pleides: ehehe
[13:32] herman Bergson: I think it is utter nonsense....
[13:32] herman Bergson: to begin with...
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: but maybe he will just come back again when power restores unless u erase the drive
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: like any other computer program
[13:32] herman Bergson: on a philosophical level we have not even a clue how to understand consciousness
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: interesting thought
[13:33] herman Bergson: Mathematical models of reality have clear shortcominfgs...
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: I guess so
[13:33] herman Bergson: we don’t need to worry about that....
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: someone first of all have to make the formulas, u can do misscalculation and then formula is worthless
[13:34] herman Bergson: when you begin to see the model as reality, things go simply wrong...
[13:34] herman Bergson: But the mind in the computer idea is beyond common sense...
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: seem far fetched
[13:35] herman Bergson: It is like we also have tried to create life.....
[13:35] herman Bergson: We put all chemical together....create the right environment....
[13:35] Loo Zeta: Vidz .... ie husband contends there is no such thing as common sense
[13:35] ZANICIA Chau: lol
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:36] herman Bergson: Ok Loo, I might agree with you but it is a different chapter :-)
[13:36] Loo Zeta: and after 28 years of marriage I agree he has none
[13:36] ZANICIA Chau: hahahahaha
[13:36] herman Bergson: lol
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: loool
[13:36] Beertje Beaumont: lol ㋡
[13:36] Lizzy Pleides: lol
[13:37] herman Bergson: But what I wanted to say is that they even never have been able to create a single LIVING cell....
[13:37] herman Bergson: so how do you think you can create aLIVING brain with computers???
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: thats not going to work
[13:38] Lizzy Pleides: not with computers
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: its a machine ao impossible
[13:38] Lizzy Pleides: probably with cell cultures?
[13:38] herman Bergson: Look at the scheme here.....
[13:38] Loo Zeta: Oh hang on that cell tech thingy not that far off.......
[13:38] herman Bergson: That is what they always say, Loo
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: while life is about chemistry and that is not inside ccomputers
[13:38] herman Bergson: Look at the scheme....
[13:39] herman Bergson: Problem of interest ----> SIMPLIFICATIONS....
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: wwoooow my head spins now
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:39] ZANICIA Chau: They ARE replicating like hell though. Whole organs can be replicated but just for healing. The brain is quite something else
[13:39] Loo Zeta: at the moment computing is wires and electricity.....
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:39] herman Bergson: that kills all 1 to 1 relation with reality
[13:39] Loo Zeta: but.... in the future?
[13:40] herman Bergson: Yes Zan....they can do such things....but to begin with ..they need LIVING cells...stem cells
[13:40] herman Bergson: not dead matter
[13:40] ZANICIA Chau: yes
[13:40] Beertje Beaumont: no one can see in the future, maybe we don't need selfthinking computers at all
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: metal silica and electricity can never become alive
[13:41] Loo Zeta: Stem cells can be stored and cultured, I collect them
[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes Loo that is what the Artificial Intelligence people always said.....just wait till we have better and faster computers
[13:41] ZANICIA Chau: you kill me, Loo. So funny
[13:41] Loo Zeta: *explains I am a midwife and takes cord samples*
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:42] Loo Zeta: My colleague is a pHD in stem cell research gave it up to look after Mums and babies
[13:43] herman Bergson: II guess the message of today is clear :-))
[13:43] ZANICIA Chau: now that's waste
[13:43] Loo Zeta: He would say 'no'
[13:44] herman Bergson: Who is 'he' and to what statement, Loo? :-)
[13:44] Loo Zeta: Sorry he is a male midwife whom was a stem cell researcher and never regrets changing his job
[13:44] herman Bergson: I see...
[13:44] bergfrau Apfelbaum: that was so interesting! the idea is frightening.... but progress, nonetheless great. ty herman & class!
[13:45] herman Bergson: Guess I have delivered my baby again myself today...again....:-)
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:45] Loo Zeta: :)
[13:45] ZANICIA Chau: hehehe
[13:45] herman Bergson: So thank you all for your participation:-)
[13:45] Loo Zeta: Thanks
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: great class again!
[13:45] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...
[13:45] ZANICIA Chau: Bravo Herman once again
[13:45] Beertje Beaumont: Thank you Herman ㋡
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: ok cu soon again
[[13:45] herman Bergson: Thank you Zan
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: time to let my brain spin down a bit
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: with some nice jazz
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:46] ZANICIA Chau: Bye everybody
[13:46] Beertje Beaumont: have a goodnight all:) sweat dreams
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: bye
[13:47] Lizzy Pleides: good night everybody!