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Old 14th September 2021, 07:53 AM   #241
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Talk about overthinking something! I can see how in Ancient Greece, Zeno’s paradoxes would seem profound. And sure, if I’m high as hell, Zeno is some deep ****. But any clear thinking modern person should be able to see right through that nonsense.
Honestly I'm not sure it's nonsense. I get about as far as "that can't be right, motion obviously happens" and then I skip ahead to "thank God I'm not a theoretical mathematician, burdened with trying to figure out what's really going on."
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Old 14th September 2021, 08:10 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
As I've said before (though it may have been in the other thread), they already knew better even in Zeno's time. The Eleatic school (of which Zeno was one of the revered founders) were the ancient equivalent of flat-earthers. They were the guys arguing nonsense just to say it's the other way around than the existing knowledge was.
Since they were teaching that motion was an illusion, did they have an alternative explanation?
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Old 14th September 2021, 08:24 AM   #243
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I'm pretty sure mathematicians are already aware that maths can describe anything, including stuff that's not real, and including stuff that's not the right model for the problem at hand. That's its strength, in fact.

And that conversely choosing a different model doesn't change reality.

I mean, trivial example, if I'm reconstructing the Trafalgar Square as a 3d model for a game (e.g., I'm making a Fallout: London mod), it will be probably be based on triangles. It will have texture coordinates. The tiles on the floor will probably be a repeating texture instead of individual items. It will probably use normal maps and parallax mapping for the edges of those tiles, or even for the engravings on the monument: basically it will be flat, and just use rendering techniques to make it LOOK 3d when it's actually not. It will probably use level of detail techniques to switch to lower detail models when viewed from far away.

But I would need to be a real idiot to think that that model actually changes reality to be that way. Like, that it means the actual Trafalgar Square is actually made of triangles.

Seems to me like thinking that if one chose a series to model movement, it means an arrow actually moves that way, is exactly that kind of confusion, innit?
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Old 14th September 2021, 08:25 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Since they were teaching that motion was an illusion, did they have an alternative explanation?
Pretty sure that movement actually being real is the default starting point even for primitive tribesmen.
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Old 14th September 2021, 08:26 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Since they were teaching that motion was an illusion, did they have an alternative explanation?
It's been a long long time since I read up on that stuff, but I don't recall that people like Zeno and the other Sophists came up with alternative explanations.

Of course we're handicapped in a way because so much of what we know or think we know of those ancients comes from Plato, who, along with Socrates, was a mortal enemy of the Sophists. I think tricky paradoxes and puzzles were kind of their stock in trade, whereas Socrates, if we believe the literature, was no friend of uncertainty.

I imagine it's possible that someone like Zeno was pointing out the difference between things, and did not really believe that motion is an illusion, or that he had some alternative explanation (some kind of theistic or spiritual idea), or that he was in the situation of Hume, having come up with a theory that he knew looked good but also knew could not explain reality, hoping someone after him would reconcile it. Or maybe he really was an obnoxious Sophist in the durable sense of the term, enjoying being the one who dropped the turd in the amphora. But I doubt we'll ever know for sure.
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Old 14th September 2021, 08:33 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Since they were teaching that motion was an illusion, did they have an alternative explanation?
Admission of ignorance is the beginning of wisdom. It's perfectly cromulent to not (yet) grok a thing completely, but still grok it well enough to legitimately ask if it works the way you think it works.

"I dunno what motion really is, but it seems like the intuitive explanation is logically sound but contradicts observations, so it's probably not that. Hopefully some day we'll figure out what goes in that gap."

What's ironic is that even today we don't know what motion "really is". We have figured out that integration allows for what we observe, in a way that infinite summing does not. But that doesn't actually tell us whether motion is integration in action, or something else that is merely modeled by integration.
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Old 14th September 2021, 09:01 AM   #247
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Repeat after me: the model isn't a voodoo doll. Doing weird stuff to the model doesn't affect the thing being modeled.

That goes for integrals and movement too. Integrals aren't movement, they're just how you calculate stuff for a certain model of movement.
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Old 14th September 2021, 09:08 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Repeat after me: the model isn't a voodoo doll. Doing weird stuff to the model doesn't affect the thing being modeled.

That goes for integrals and movement too. Integrals aren't movement, they're just how you calculate stuff for a certain model of movement.
Yes, we know. Is there anything I can say that will convince you that I know this and am not disputing it?

I was addressing Meadmaker's question about whether Zeno had an alternative model of motion. Specifically the implication (possibly imagined by me) that disputing one model requires one to have an alternative model on offer. That's not necessarily true. Sometimes dispute simply indicates that it's time to start looking for another model.
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Old 14th September 2021, 09:11 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Repeat after me: the model isn't a voodoo doll. Doing weird stuff to the model doesn't affect the thing being modeled.

That goes for integrals and movement too. Integrals aren't movement, they're just how you calculate stuff for a certain model of movement.
That's sort of how I see it. There's nothing "going on" with modeling the motion. The Observer is calling "stop" to take a new measurement, which, just like continuing to add 1 into infinity, is halving into infinity. Sort of like by saying that by continuing to add one step to a travelers destination, he will never reach it.
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Old 14th September 2021, 09:11 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Repeat after me: the model isn't a voodoo doll. Doing weird stuff to the model doesn't affect the thing being modeled.

That goes for integrals and movement too. Integrals aren't movement, they're just how you calculate stuff for a certain model of movement.
So you're saying we shouldn't take simple problems, reword them over and over until we break them on a linguistic level, then never answer them and pretend it's a useful, nay vital, methodology for determining truth?

Madness. Sure madness. I bid you a good day Sir. I SAID GOOD DAY SIR!
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Old 14th September 2021, 09:54 AM   #251
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I have no clue what Zeno was thinking, but I doubt he thought motion was impossible or an illusion. I assume he's pointing out an error, of conflating something we see, actual motion through space; with a series of abstractions/ideas.
The 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 way points don't actually exist - these points are abstractions, ideas the arrow does not actually have to traverse.
This error, of conflating a process with a series of abstractions is not uncommon nor limited to motion - - and it's why some problems appear (initially) unsolvable, we can't get from a series of abstractions/ideas to the actual phenomenon.
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Old 14th September 2021, 10:10 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
I have no clue what Zeno was thinking, but I doubt he thought motion was impossible or an illusion. I assume he's pointing out an error, of conflating something we see, actual motion through space; with a series of abstractions/ideas.
The 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 way points don't actually exist - these points are abstractions, ideas the arrow does not actually have to traverse.
This error, of conflating a process with a series of abstractions is not uncommon nor limited to motion - - and it's why some problems appear (initially) unsolvable, we can't get from a series of abstractions/ideas to the actual phenomenon.
From what I've read, that wasn't what he was doing. He actually thought motion was an illusion, and his paradoxes showed it. He still managed to walk to the market to buy olive oil, but he wasn't sure exactly what was happening when he did it.

However, we really don't know much about him and his way of thought, and much of what we do know comes from detractors, so it's very difficult to judge accurately.


Eta: and, I'm not very knowledgeable about zeno, sophists, or many related topics. Hans seems to know much more, so anyone reading this should accept his word over mine. My knowledge of zeno comes from this thread, Wikipedia, and an eighty year old comic book.
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Old 14th September 2021, 10:15 AM   #253
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Zeno was just a proto-solipsist, another person screeching about how you couldn't prove reality was real but would still duck if you threw a rock at their head.

But the problem with a lot of early philosophers are how hard it is to tell how much of what we know about them is real and how much is them just playing a character that Socrates made up in order to have imaginary people to argue against.
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Old 14th September 2021, 10:27 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What's ironic is that even today we don't know what motion "really is". We have figured out that integration allows for what we observe, in a way that infinite summing does not. But that doesn't actually tell us whether motion is integration in action, or something else that is merely modeled by integration.
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Repeat after me: the model isn't a voodoo doll. Doing weird stuff to the model doesn't affect the thing being modeled.

That goes for integrals and movement too. Integrals aren't movement, they're just how you calculate stuff for a certain model of movement.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Yes, we know. Is there anything I can say that will convince you that I know this and am not disputing it?
How about not saying "We don't know this" and then disputing it?

Dave
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Old 14th September 2021, 11:24 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
From what I've read, that wasn't what he was doing. He actually thought motion was an illusion, and his paradoxes showed it. He still managed to walk to the market to buy olive oil, but he wasn't sure exactly what was happening when he did it.
He kinda was. Basically the position of the Eleatic school is... dunno, have you seen the Matrix? Kinda like that. You may perceive that you're driving to the market, but actually you're stuck in a pod.

Well, ok, back then they wouldn't think about it in terms of computers, but more in terms of shadows on a wall. Like you might think you see a rabbit (as a shadow on a wall.) That's your perception. The real thing is a guy behind you holding his hands together in front of a camp fire. That's the reality behind that perception.

Remember that crucial distinction from the Matrix, though: there has to be something that you're perceiving. You know, an actual thing causing those shadows on a wall.

In the case of the Eleatic school, basically you may perceive the arrow separating from your bow, or moving to target, but that's just your perception. What is behind it all, is an unmoving, indivisible, unchanging, eternal one being. You just somehow perceive parts of it as moving, changing, separating, combining, etc.

I don't think there's any surviving explanation as to how that distorted perception happened. You were just supposed to believe that it's more logical than the alternative, because Zeno handwaved some misuses of zero and infinity.

But anyway, as such, you couldn't go to Zeno and say, "look, I just saw you walking from your house to the market, but an amphora of olive oil, and carry it back home" and expect it to count as a disproof. Sure, you saw him move, but that's just your perception. In reality neither he, nor that amphora ever moved. Nor were even separate items.
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Old 14th September 2021, 11:43 AM   #256
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Also, I'd like to add that people actually only ever hear about the 'paradoxes' that at least sound like worth devoting any thought to. Actually there were a lot more arguments than that, and some you probably never heard of unless you're seriously into philosophy, because they're truly idiotic. Like, just Zeno paradoxes, there are actually nine surviving, and we have reason to believe there were more.

Here's one that even the ancients had no problem figuring out is idiotic: A single grain of millet falling down makes no sound. But a thousand grains of millet falling down make a sound. That means that a thousand zeroes can equal something non-zero, which is absurd.

And as I was saying, even the ancients had no trouble figuring out the counter: dude, a grain falling makes very little sound, but that's not the same as NO sound.

Or here's one that's based on just an idiotic word play: If everything that exists has a place, then place too will have a place, and so on ad infinitum.

In case you're having trouble parsing it, basically the expanded version if: if something that exists has a place, then you can say that the place exists where that object is. So place itself has a place. (Since it exists, hence it has a place.) So now the place where the place is exists, therefore there's a place where there's the place where there's the place. Repeat ad nauseam.

Or, for those who have been arguing, basically, "the arrow being in the 1/2 place doesn't mean it stopped there", the actual paradox of the arrow by Zeno actually says: yes, it does. In fact if in any moment in time, you can say the arrow is in one place, it means it's not moving. So now you take the next moment in time, and it's not moving in that moment either. And so on, for the whole movement interval. At any point in it, the arrow was not moving. So for the whole interval, the arrow wasn't actually moving.

(As a bonus idiocy, even in rational numbers, which is what the ancients were using, the notion of having a definite 'next' moment in time, and enumerating the interval that way, was nonsense.)


So, dunno, it may be just a case of me being a snarky barstard, but it seems to me like the most parsimonious explanation is that Zeno really was an idiot
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Old 14th September 2021, 11:56 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
So, dunno, it may be just a case of me being a snarky barstard, but it seems to me like the most parsimonious explanation is that Zeno really was an idiot : p
Depends which Zeno we're talking about.

If it's the Zeno that comes down to us through a few scraps of apocrypha written by apparent detractors after his death, then yeah, that guy kinda looks like an idiot. But that guy is a very limited caricature of an actual thinking human being. And that caricature is so obviously being an idiot on this point that I think it raises legitimate questions of how accurate the caricature really is.

So I'd say that perhaps the most parsimonious explanation is that we don't have enough info to decide, one way or the other. And also I'd observe that most of the people who make it a profession or hobby to noodle about these things aren't such obvious idiots as Plato makes out Zeno to be.
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Old 14th September 2021, 12:35 PM   #258
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The same could be said about quite a few flat earthers, innit? Surely, nobody could actually be that stupid, especially if they've put this much time and thought into it
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Old 14th September 2021, 12:49 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Also, I'd like to add that people actually only ever hear about the 'paradoxes' that at least sound like worth devoting any thought to. Actually there were a lot more arguments than that, and some you probably never heard of unless you're seriously into philosophy, because they're truly idiotic. Like, just Zeno paradoxes, there are actually nine surviving, and we have reason to believe there were more.

Here's one that even the ancients had no problem figuring out is idiotic: A single grain of millet falling down makes no sound. But a thousand grains of millet falling down make a sound. That means that a thousand zeroes can equal something non-zero, which is absurd.

And as I was saying, even the ancients had no trouble figuring out the counter: dude, a grain falling makes very little sound, but that's not the same as NO sound.

Or here's one that's based on just an idiotic word play: If everything that exists has a place, then place too will have a place, and so on ad infinitum.

In case you're having trouble parsing it, basically the expanded version if: if something that exists has a place, then you can say that the place exists where that object is. So place itself has a place. (Since it exists, hence it has a place.) So now the place where the place is exists, therefore there's a place where there's the place where there's the place. Repeat ad nauseam.

Or, for those who have been arguing, basically, "the arrow being in the 1/2 place doesn't mean it stopped there", the actual paradox of the arrow by Zeno actually says: yes, it does. In fact if in any moment in time, you can say the arrow is in one place, it means it's not moving. So now you take the next moment in time, and it's not moving in that moment either. And so on, for the whole movement interval. At any point in it, the arrow was not moving. So for the whole interval, the arrow wasn't actually moving.

(As a bonus idiocy, even in rational numbers, which is what the ancients were using, the notion of having a definite 'next' moment in time, and enumerating the interval that way, was nonsense.)


So, dunno, it may be just a case of me being a snarky barstard, but it seems to me like the most parsimonious explanation is that Zeno really was an idiot
This is exactly why there is no paradox. Motion is a measurement of space displaced through time. As soon as you say "a moment in time", you are negating time. It doesn't have individual moments to be isolated; that belief that it does is the illusion that Zeno's horse **** flows from.
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Old 14th September 2021, 12:54 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The same could be said about quite a few flat earthers, innit? Surely, nobody could actually be that stupid, especially if they've put this much time and thought into it : p
We actually have a lot of information about contemporary flat earthers that we don't have about Zeno. That's my point.

---

Also, I've said more than once that for almost everyone, almost all the time, flat-Eartherism is a perfectly cromulent way to go through life. Now you know enough about me and my argument to understand that I'm not idiotically espousing a Flat Earth hypothesis.

But some snarky bastard with a personal dislike for me could certainly take a fragment of my argument and parlay it into "haha look at this idiot", fifty years hence.

---

Also, I think the most parsimonious explanation for most flat-earthers, based on the information available, is that they're probably trolls or LARPers, not idiots per se.

It's possible that Plato's Zeno, a serious epistemologist who was improbably bad at it, never even existed.

---

ETA: Also, "innit" is grammatically incorrect in this context. I suspect it's also colloquially incorrect, but who knows how grammatically deviant kids are these days.
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Old 14th September 2021, 01:12 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
But some snarky bastard with a personal dislike for me could certainly take a fragment of my argument and parlay it into "haha look at this idiot", fifty years hence.
Fifty years? Why not today?

If Zeno and Plato were forum members, Zeno would probably be complaining, "That's a straw man!"

But, since we only know the Zeno that history records, we will have to pretend it's the real Zeno, even though it's really just a shadow on the wall of the real Zeno.
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Old 14th September 2021, 01:18 PM   #262
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Well hell like I said earlier in this thread Edwin Schrodinger created the "Cat in a box in a quantum superpostition" thing not as a way to argue it was true but as, basically, a parable to show how absurd the whole Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics was because obviously the cat can't be alive and dead at the same time and it was functionally completely reduced to it's current pop-culture version with his lifetime.
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Old 14th September 2021, 01:31 PM   #263
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Fifty years? Why not today?

If Zeno and Plato were forum members, Zeno would probably be complaining, "That's a straw man!"

But, since we only know the Zeno that history records, we will have to pretend it's the real Zeno, even though it's really just a shadow on the wall of the real Zeno.
Or it's just a shadow on the wall of Plato's fist up a sheep's bladder.
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Old 14th September 2021, 01:40 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well hell like I said earlier in this thread Edwin Schrodinger created the "Cat in a box in a quantum superpostition" thing not as a way to argue it was true but as, basically, a parable to show how absurd the whole Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics was because obviously the cat can't be alive and dead at the same time and it was functionally completely reduced to it's current pop-culture version with his lifetime.
"Schroedinger is obviously an idiot."

- Plato 3000, probably
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Old 14th September 2021, 01:51 PM   #265
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Not quite on the same level (and there's some disagreement on this) but according to some the term "Big Bang" was coined in 1949 in a BBC interview with astronomer Fred Hoyle, who meant the term to sound mocking to the then newly proposed theory of very rapid expansion of the early universe.

"These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past."

Although later Hoyle would claim he did not mean the term to be dismissive, but only to point out the extreme difference between the new theory and the then mostly accepted "Steady-State" theory.

There's some suggestion (again not certain) that the term "Black Hole" was originally more popular among scientist who didn't believe the such things were possible, while serious proponents of the idea tended to use the term "Black Star" or "Dark Star" or even "Gravitationally Collapsed Stellar Object." (For instance "Black Star" is what the object is called on an episode of the original run of Star Trek, as "Black Hole" didn't become the more popular term until into the 70s.)
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Old 14th September 2021, 02:26 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Not quite on the same level (and there's some disagreement on this) but according to some the term "Big Bang" was coined in 1949 in a BBC interview with astronomer Fred Hoyle, who meant the term to sound mocking to the then newly proposed theory of very rapid expansion of the early universe.

"These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past."

Although later Hoyle would claim he did not mean the term to be dismissive, but only to point out the extreme difference between the new theory and the then mostly accepted "Steady-State" theory.

There's some suggestion (again not certain) that the term "Black Hole" was originally more popular among scientist who didn't believe the such things were possible, while serious proponents of the idea tended to use the term "Black Star" or "Dark Star" or even "Gravitationally Collapsed Stellar Object." (For instance "Black Star" is what the object is called on an episode of the original run of Star Trek, as "Black Hole" didn't become the more popular term until into the 70s.)
What's funny to me about this is that we've actually seen the Big Bang strawmanned as idiocy in the face of reality, by crackpots, here on this very forum.
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Old 14th September 2021, 03:01 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
But, since we only know the Zeno that history records, we will have to pretend it's the real Zeno, even though it's really just a shadow on the wall of the real Zeno.
No, we don't really have to pretend HansMustermann is right to take Plato, Aristotle, and Zeno's other detractors at face value.

We could choose to take a skeptical view of the matter, as is taken by many contemporary scholars.

For example:
Quote:
That said, it is also the majority opinion that—with certain qualifications—Zeno’s paradoxes reveal some problems that cannot be resolved without the full resources of mathematics as worked out in the Nineteenth century (and perhaps beyond). This is not (necessarily) to say that modern mathematics is required to answer any of the problems that Zeno explicitly wanted to raise; arguably Aristotle and other ancients had replies that would—or should—have satisfied Zeno. (Nor shall we make any particular claims about Zeno’s influence on the history of mathematics.) However, as mathematics developed, and more thought was given to the paradoxes, new difficulties arose from them; these difficulties require modern mathematics for their resolution. These new difficulties arise partly in response to the evolution in our understanding of what mathematical rigor demands: solutions that would satisfy Zeno’s standards of rigor would not satisfy ours.
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Old 14th September 2021, 04:46 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Depends which Zeno we're talking about.

If it's the Zeno that comes down to us through a few scraps of apocrypha written by apparent detractors after his death, then yeah, that guy kinda looks like an idiot. But that guy is a very limited caricature of an actual thinking human being. And that caricature is so obviously being an idiot on this point that I think it raises legitimate questions of how accurate the caricature really is.

So I'd say that perhaps the most parsimonious explanation is that we don't have enough info to decide, one way or the other. And also I'd observe that most of the people who make it a profession or hobby to noodle about these things aren't such obvious idiots as Plato makes out Zeno to be.

More than that…

Is Zeno, as we know him, a real person? Maybe, maybe not. We really only know him through what others have written. How do we know he wasn’t some pastiche of many people? Or an invention used as a strawman by Plato, et al? As far as I know there are no writings from Zeno hisself.

The more I think about it and the obscuring effect of the mists of time…I don’t think the dude actually existed. I don’t even know, for sure that Plato and Socrates existed as we know them. We don’t even know for sure who actually wrote the Bible. How can we have any certainty about entities even older than that?
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Old 14th September 2021, 05:13 PM   #269
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It's like the Socratic Dialog. I half suspect they were toy scenarios invented by Plato, not any real didactic tool developed by Socrates or anyone else to do any real work. I don't think they do work, outside of Plato's fictional scenarios.

A thousand years from now laymen on red face insta chan space gram book will be talking about the the importance of traveling salesmen in 20th century American mathematics, and the national crisis in planning their optimal routes. And there'll be some curmudgeon like me, saying maybe the traveling salesman was always a fiction. Then I'll do two trains leaving two different stations, and say that was probably also not a real problem anyone actually worried about.
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Old 14th September 2021, 05:18 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's like the Socratic Dialog. I half suspect they were toy scenarios invented by Plato, not any real didactic tool developed by Socrates or anyone else to do any real work. I don't think they do work, outside of Plato's fictional scenarios.

A thousand years from now laymen on red face insta chan space gram book will be talking about the the importance of traveling salesmen in 20th century American mathematics, and the national crisis in planning their optimal routes. And there'll be some curmudgeon like me, saying maybe the traveling salesman was always a fiction. Then I'll do two trains leaving two different stations, and say that was probably also not a real problem anyone actually worried about.
With apologies to Galaxy Quest:

[Trying to explain Philosophy to the Thermians]
Gwen DeMarco: They're not ALL "historical documents." Surely, you don't think the Trolley Problem really...
[All the Thermians moan in despair]
Mathesar: Those poor people.
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Old 14th September 2021, 05:27 PM   #271
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Still can't see you all, but I may start a new thread in science and mathematics for this particular issue.

Originally Posted by myriad
The countably infinite set {2, 2.9, 2.99, 2.999, 2.9999, ...} contains the number 3. Specifically, it contains 2.999...
I said I didn't see the relevance but I guess this illustrates the problem with what you are saying.

No, that countably infinite set does not contain 3 because it does not contain 2.9999....

It only contains terms with finitely many 9s after the decimal place. If you think about it then if it contained 2.9999.... then what would be the following term? If there is no following term then how is it an infinite sequence?

(ETA to put it another way if 2.999... was in that sequence then how many digits after the decimal place would its immediate predecessor in the sequence have?)

(Incidentally if someone made this point already I apologise, but I was not paying attention to any side discussions at the time since I was at the time trying to explain a straightforward fact about high school maths that everybody was not getting)
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Old 14th September 2021, 05:27 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
With apologies to Galaxy Quest:

[Trying to explain Philosophy to the Thermians]
Gwen DeMarco: They're not ALL "historical documents." Surely, you don't think the Trolley Problem really...
[All the Thermians moan in despair]
Mathesar: Those poor people.
Haha yes! Of course Galaxy Quest did it better.

... And then you realize that when it comes to evaluating Zeno's Paradox and the Socratic Dialog, we're the Thermians.

I guess that means Robin is playing the part of the insane Tyrant who's taking the entire thing far too seriously.
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Old 14th September 2021, 05:29 PM   #273
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It make no difference if Zeno existed or not. For convenience the common convention has always been to use "Zeno" to refer to the author of the paradoxes usually attributed to him. Saves lots of typing.
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Old 14th September 2021, 05:42 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It make no difference if Zeno existed or not. For convenience the common convention has always been to use "Zeno" to refer to the author of the paradoxes usually attributed to him. Saves lots of typing.
Fair enough. But that Zeno looks like a complete idiot. Tell us again why you're pressing his arguments? You're basically the Zeno in this dialog. It's probably in your best interest to support the argument that he was a real person who wasn't an idiot.
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Old 14th September 2021, 06:00 PM   #275
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So after 7 pages and 3 threads we've landed on "Hey so turns out that the guy that Socrates probably made up 90% of so he could talk down to it in a one-man stage show of him winning an argument that Plato wrote about probably didn't actually have a good point and we probably don't need to still be talking about it 2500 years later."

Time well spent.
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Old 14th September 2021, 06:04 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
So after 7 pages and 3 threads we've landed on "Hey so turns out that the guy that Socrates probably made up 90% of so he could talk down to it in a one-man stage show of him winning an argument that Plato wrote about probably didn't actually have a good point and we probably don't need to still be talking about it 2500 years later."

Time well spent.
If it makes you feel any better, no forward motion has been achieved.
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Old 14th September 2021, 06:05 PM   #277
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Next Topic: "Do chairs exist?"

(Yes, I just watched the new Vsauce. Wonderful as always.)
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Old 14th September 2021, 07:22 PM   #278
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The fact is that the convergent series does not show that the journey completes. It shows the journey going on to infinity (otherwise what is it summing?) it can only offer the information that the sum of all the infinitely remaining parts is equal to the distance remaining.

I don't know why people quibble endlessly over the premise that the task of completing every halfway will never complete.

Attempting to deny the soundness of the argument is silly. Try telling a mathematician that you could successively divide in half an interval on the set of real numbers and the process would stop.

As I have been saying the argument rather straightforwardly shows that the concept of travelling through an infinitely divisible path can be shown to be contradictory. It is contradictory. At least one of you has said so even before this thread began.

The conclusion, attributed to Zeno, that motion is an illusion (which in context of the assumptions would be 'motion through an infinitely divisible space is an illusion') is perfectly satisfying and so there really has been no paradox about this since antiquity.
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Old 14th September 2021, 07:49 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
This is exactly why there is no paradox. Motion is a measurement of space displaced through time. As soon as you say "a moment in time", you are negating time. It doesn't have individual moments to be isolated; that belief that it does is the illusion that Zeno's horse **** flows from.
Can you point me to anywhere at all, either in this thread or elsewhere that the concept of a "moment of time" figures in Zeno's argument?

It almost sounds to me as though we are talking about a different argument.

The fact that in order to travel a full path requires that we first travel half of that path is completely true and does not depend in any way upon the concept of a "moment in time"

"Moment in time" is something you made up, not Zeno. I can't recall even the mention of time in the dichotomy paradoxes.

The fact is that if you make up horse **** that Zeno never said and arbitrarily attribute it to Zeno then it is not Zeno's horse ****, it is your horse ****.
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The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

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Old 14th September 2021, 07:54 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Can you point me to anywhere at all, either in this thread or elsewhere that the concept of a "moment of time" figures in Zeno's argument?
Second sentence of post 1 in this thread.
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