|Subject: What is a Context?
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 14:46:28 +0300
From: Dimi Chakalov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Kevin H Knuth <email@example.com>,
Dear Dr. Knuth,
I wonder how we are to formulate Q&A in the case of undecidable propositions [Ernst P. Specker, Die Logik nicht gleichzeitig entscheidbarer Aussagen, Dialectica 14, 54-55, 239-246 (1960)]. Here the complete "catalogue" (wave function) includes counterfactual, and subsequently undecidable, propositions introduced to model "the omniscience (comprehensive knowledge) of God" (Ernst Specker).
What if this "comprehensive knowledge" is the 'context'? It seems to me that 'context' (=quantum state 'out there') could have a physical correlate. The very fact that we can operate with posets and clearly distinguish between incomparable -- like apples and oranges -- objects suggests to me that we, humans, operate with something that is "outside" the elements of the set: the 'context'. More at
Please be assured that I will keep your feedback strictly private and confidential.
I like your quote from Solomon Ibn Gabirol, "A wise man's question contains half the answer". Here's another one, from "A Choice of Pearls": "Man is only wise during the time that he searches for wisdom; when he imagines he has completely attained it, he is a fool."
Note: If we model the universe as a human brain, the brain correlates of what we call 'context' -- not their subjective presentation in our mind -- should be sought in our current Weltbild. There are no 'tiny little minds' in the quantum realm nor "protoconsciousness", as speculated by Bernard d'Espagnat.
What we call 'context' is a physical stuff. Just think of the whole universe as a huge brain, and put aside the question of its mental or spiritual correlates: quantum gravity might be able to answer the question of the physical correlates of God, and nothing else. If God is ONE, we should be able to identify His physical correlates/imprint in modern theoretical physics, but nothing else. (If we were able to prove the existence of God, all our religious beliefs, anti-theism included, would be reduced to science and math. We would reach 'the end of science', in sharp contradiction to Gödel's Theorem.)
Another example of the physical existence of the phenomenon of 'context' in the universe-as-a-brain is Einstein's GR, and particularly the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems. These theorems imply (but not prove) that the so-called singularities generically occur in solutions of Einstein's equations, but they are very vague about the nature of these singularities. Bottom line is some very unclear 'geodesic incompleteness' leading to either "collapse" or breakdown of causality (formation of a Cauchy horizon).
Why am I writing this, knowing very well that nobody will reply? Because we all have our silent metaphysical inclinations in our mind, and they inevitably show up in our 'hard science' research. Theoretical physicists may find it difficult to verbalize their metaphysical and religious beliefs, but they too keep them in their mind. Hence everything they produce and cast in math reflects their thinking.
It is utterly important to keep our thinking as clear as possible, and our mind as open as possible. This is what metaphysics is all about, and this is the reason why I'm writing these lines, this web site, and this CD ROM. Surely nobody will reply. Once brainwashed with wrong metaphysics, people do not like and do not want to question their beliefs. That's it.
I very much hope to hear from my students sometime in the future. They are, however, still very young, probably age 11-18. They will grow up and will be puzzled with the Coincidence Problem, "the subtle balance observed today between ordinary matter and the cosmological constant" (Julien Lesgourgues, An overview of Cosmology, astro-ph/0409426 v1, p. 57; see also Sec. 2.4.4). Once they go to college, they will find out that "we live right in the middle of the spike of the delta function. If the dark energy had appeared earlier it would have interfered with structure formation: if later, we would still be unaware of it" (Paul Frampton, astro-ph/0409166 v3).