“Mégis virágzik errefelé az aranylen, nagyon sok aranylen. Nem kérdezi, hogy mi ennek az értelme […] Amíg él, addig tökéletes és szép akar lenni, s arcát a nap felé fordítja.” (Kosztolányi Dezső)
“Yet blooms hereabout the golden flax, lots of golden flax. It doesn’t ask whether there’s any sense in doing so […] As long as it lives, it wishes to be perfect and beautiful, and turns its face toward the sun.” (Dezső Kosztolányi)
Framework: partial implementation to impose a specific design.
Probability is a symmetry-based, empirically reinforced expectation.
The path of science leads through stable landmark theories that withstood testing for a long time.
Speculation: making an argument that is based on questionable assumptions and/or inferences.
Model: represents the important properties we are interested in.
Modeling: building a model of reality, so that an existing theory can be applied to it.
Radical fallibility: whenever we acquire some useful knowledge, we tend to extend it to areas where it is no longer applicable.* (George Soros)
Something is alive if it’s aware of itself. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)
Rule: something that has been arranged to keep happening.
The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. (John von Neumann)
There’s no sense in being precise when you don’t even know what you’re talking about. (John von Neumann)
Paradigm: all those ideas and methods that proved to be useful for contemporary scientific research. (Ubiquity)
Unawareness gives rise to stable laws of human behavior, similar to the physical laws of inanimate objects.
Physical laws are farther from awareness than social laws, that’s why they are more stable.
In mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them. (John von Neumann)
Beauty is felt upon sensing a deep law of nature.** (A physicist)
Happiness is felt upon achieving something.
To be able to enjoy an artwork, the beholder must have sufficient previous experience.
“Experienced” definition: it’s in accordance with everybody’s experience so far.
Bertrand paradox: first design a feasible experiment, then make it converge to arrive at the right model as the limiting case.
Complexity is a sign of unrecognized simplicity.
Capitalism is good as long as there are not too many rich people.
State: the actual realization of a holistic property.
Culture: the way a group of people think about the values of those things permanently present in their life.
Philosophy: approaching yet hardly understood problems through logical reasoning, while knowing that at present it’s not possible to test or verify the resulting theory.
Politicians never err. If they say something that is not true, they lie.
Scientific law: the sameness present in a certain kind of phenomena.
Knowledge → law → understanding.
History: discovering and recording important past events and facts, and trying to understand the nature of their evolution.
Oriental way: aims at perceiving and understanding the world as one indivisible entity.
Western way: the whole consists of parts that can be examined and understood independently.
Similarity = sameness.*
Question of science: WHY?
Question of engineering: HOW?
If two uncertain events look exactly the same after omitting those properties which have no influence on the outcome, then they are equally probable.
The source of creativity is a clear mind.
Scientific methodology: one must make testable statements.
Simplified scientific methodology: one must think logically.
Profit: increase in the value one owns, due to participation in an economic activity.
Fair profit: a profit that is in line with the contribution to the value created by the economic activity.
Fair price: price that results in fair profit.
A fractal depicts the balance of antagonist forces.
Law of large numbers: repeating the experiment endlessly gives rise to proportions converging to 1.
Kolmogorov’s theory does not define probability itself, but states axioms about it.
Among all the 0-1 sequences of length N, the proportion of those containing between 50-ε and 50+ε percent of 0’s and 1’s converges to 1 if N converges to infinity, for any fixed ε>0.
Scientific research: aim is to gain better understanding.
Engineering research: aim is to achieve better performance.
Throughput: the amount of work done, divided by the time needed.
Performance: the “goodness” of the work done, in terms of some measure (e.g. throughput, accuracy, etc.).
Efficiency: performance weighed against the resources needed to achieve it.
To be able to come up with provable statements, theoreticians tend to simplify reality until it is comprehendible in full detail.
Investigation: finding out facts about something, by examining things that bear or may bear a relation to it.
Mathematical laws possess the illusion of indisputability.*
Research: searching for relevant existing knowledge on a subject, and, on the basis of that, trying to discover new knowledge about it.
Logical reasoning: using inferences that seem plausible and don’t violate the laws of logic.
Interface: through which something can be contacted.
Structure: parts (black box with identity) and their relationships.
System: (there exist) rules that relate the entities to each other.
Inexact definition: can be useful to express subconscious knowledge about something not yet understood.
Market: the set of actors who participate in buying/selling a certain kind of product or service.
Operating system: a program that serves as an interface to, and controls the use of, the computer’s resources.
A brilliant mind excels in processing experiences. Without experiences, it’s worth nothing.
Institution: a subsystem of society that is devised, maintained, and generally accepted by the people.
Infrastructure: a fixed underlying structure that is involved in every activity (of a kind).
Wisdom: being able to see the right action in every situation.
Architecture: externally visible, permanent structure(s).
100 years ago, I did not exist. Now I do. Why should I be prohibited from coming to existence again 100 years later? Eventually, it has already happened (at least) once.
What about those whom God has failed to create?
The world is like the Mandelbrot set: even faraway things possess similarities.*
Why is there something rather than nothing? (The ultimate question of philosophy.)
Knowledge: stored true thoughts.
Methodology: rationale that serves as the common basis of concrete, related methods.
Technology: collection of related, general-purpose core production or processing techniques.
Strategy: high-level, overall plan to achieve something.
Tactic: concrete action plan to follow, in order to achieve a strategic goal.
Plan: conception on what one wants to do, or how one wants to do something.
Exact science: its concepts, definitions and statements are unambiguous.
Things are perceived as a set of properties.
Abstraction: the perception of a reduced set of properties, or the result thereof.
Analysis: examining the details to gain understanding.
Economy: the system of dealing with resources to satisfy people’s needs.
Engineering: to get something to work by applying an exact approach.
Theory: assumptions and their logic-based elaboration.
Resource: it’s needed and gets used up when performing an activity.
Controlling: trying to ensure that rules are observed.
Mission: the purpose of the existence of a company.
Data: (a) recorded fact(s) about an entity or entities, or (b) the resulting records that are created.
Science: the joint effort of a group of people to continuously improve our understanding of the world.
Art: the spontaneous perception and original expression of inexplicable beauty.*
If nothing is random, why do so many things look random?
Dilettantism creates jobs. Thus it’s a natural defense against unemployment.
The illusion of free will is a product of evolution.
Even if we observe the “same” thing, its properties we perceive may be different every time, depending on the circumstances.
Things are products of perception.
Perception is always abstract, but we are not always aware of it.*
Designing: thinking out the details of something to be created, up to the point when a satisfactory and feasible abstraction has been reached.
Constructivism is the gateway to multi-valued logic. (false → more likely false → undecided → more likely true → true)
There is no way to mark an arbitrary irrational point on a non-Archimedean linear continuum. Only the infinitesimally small interval determined by the corresponding (rational) Dedekind cut can be marked.
Although multitude can be used to analyze magnitude, the two are fundamentally different things.
Physics: the experimental and intellectual discovery of the quality-preserving interactions of matter.
Life is also like a dream: we don’t know how we’ve got there. (Inception)
Every model is wrong by intention, in order to make it accessible to intellectual discovery.
Point-like particle: occupies exactly one coordinate.
Any phenomenon of nature can be described via an analogy taken from our direct experiences.
A model is an analogy that works.
There are axioms which one sees and those which one does not see. (Henri Poincaré)
IQ = logical problem solving ability. It’s pretty useless when one doesn’t know what the problem is.
It is by logic that we prove, but by intuition that we discover. (Henri Poincaré)
Understanding: knowing the reasons for and consequences of something.
The more we know, the more there is to discover.
Who shoves whom around inside the careenium? (Douglas R. Hofstadter)
We have a clear presentation of the poetic situation without interference from the poet’s ego. (Chung-yuan Chang)
Natural laws are statistical truths. (Carl G. Jung)
The philosophical principle that underlies our conception of natural law is causality. (Carl G. Jung)
The clock of our will is synchronized with the clock of our physical movement. (Arnold Geulincx)
Keep removing the properties, and in the end everything collapses into one.
The theories of empirical sciences are all about ideal objects.
There are no accidents. (Grand Master Oogway)
If two objects are the same, any property of one is a property of the other. (Leibniz’s Law)
There are truths we can see, truths we could see if we wanted to, and truths we just agree upon.
Law: something that is a necessity to always happen.
Philosophy is a relaxed form of mathematics. Mathematics is a restricted form of philosophy.
If we put the different categories in one, then the differences of category cease to exist. (Chuangtse)
Is it the hand that raises the glass, or is it the mere thought?*
The basis of communication is common experiences. The basis of common experiences is abstraction.
Abstraction is a kind of blurred perception.
Introducing limitations entails the appearance of new concepts and laws; or just new illusions as some might say.*
He who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know. (Laotse)
Gravity is a fictitious force.
A scientific theory is about illusions that still look real.
People want to hear truths which broaden rather than restrict them, which do not obscure but enlighten, which do not run off them like water, but penetrate them to the marrow. (Carl G. Jung)
Kindness cannot be taught by harshness. (Raymond M. Smullyan)
We need to have a firmly based, three-dimensional life of our own before we can experience the wisdom of the East as a living thing. (Carl G. Jung)
As rigor increases and ambiguity decreases, the theory, like a drop of water, gradually detaches from reality and ends up having its own life in our mind.
Meaning is created when sounds of a language initiate an anticipated response. (Transnational College of LEX)
Nature is the realization of the simplest mathematically imaginable things. (Albert Einstein)
The primary source of scientific progress is the realization that something does not or cannot exist the way it is currently assumed.
The belief in a reality independent of the observing individual is the basis of every natural science. (Albert Einstein)
Inertial frame: a reference frame in which no force is needed to keep a particle at rest.
The space of a rigid object whose particles all experience zero net force is inertial.
Closed surface: the geometrical object determined by a solid’s boundary points. Open surface: a connected proper part of a closed surface. Closed line: the geometrical object determined by a surface’s boundary points. Open line: a connected proper part of a closed line. Connected: cannot be divided into two disjoint, non-touching proper parts.
Imaginable things are not precise; precise things are not imaginable.
Developed civilizations in our universe did not destroy themselves: they’ve left.
The ultimate theory of everything cannot have axioms.*
Mathematics is a collection of stories.*
“Real”: something that can be touched. Or rather, something we can smash with a hammer.
The physicist is interested in discovering the laws of inanimate nature. (Eugene P. Wigner)
Intuition: a thought about our world comes to our mind, by an apparently incomplete process of inference.
Every thought about our world is intuitive to some degree.
No theory is true, there are only circumstances under which they cannot be falsified.
Theories about mathematical ideas start either with initial assumptions (axioms) about the ideas we sense, or with initial definitions that make up the ideas themselves or a model thereof.
A monad has no midpoint.
Relationship: a property that spans two or more entities.
What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know. (Saint Augustine)
To answer a question which should not be answered is to fail to recognize the inner reality.** (Chuangtse)
Space and time are like the taste of a banana. (Terry Rudolph)
Nature is stranger and more wonderful than we had once thought or could possible have imagined. (N. David Mermin)
The generalized Lorentz transformations do constitute a physical theory, but it’s not special relativity.
In physics: neglect, measure, then compare results against theory.
Are there illusions that are impossible for us to reveal?
Evidently it is a mistake to demand too strictly that new physical theories should fit some preconceived philosophical standard. (Steven Weinberg)
Einstein believed that the ultimate laws of nature must comply with earthly constraints.
À la Noether’s theorem: for every assumption there is a variable whose out-of-the-ordinary values reveal that the assumption is incorrect.
To know it is to cut it up. (Chuangtse)
The farther one pursues knowledge, the less one knows. (Laotse)
Whenever there is an unrivaled story which cannot be refuted for the time being, we tend to label it as reality.*
Creativity and intuition are like brick and mortar: the former diversifies, the latter connects.
Objective physical reality is like the aether: nobody has ever seen it, and all phenomena can be explained without it.
I am unbounded because I have infinite quantities of boundaries. (A.J. Christian)
If the Lorentz factor is not equal to 1, then causality implies that possible signal speed has a supremum V. If in K’ the speed of a signal that is perpendicular to the x’-axis converges to V, then its corresponding speed in K has to converge to V too, where K’ is moving relative to K along the x-axis at some speed v > 0. From this it follows that the Lorentz factor is 1 / sqrt(1 – v2 / V2).
After all, what people call knowledge is either the generally accepted belief, or just encyclopedic facts. (A.J. Christian)
We gain understanding by explaining phenomena in terms of things that we don‘t understand.
Give it to yourself, give it to others, and others will give it to you too.
Stable equilibrium theory: it’s difficult to find circumstances under which the theory does not look correct.
Scientific progress jumps from one stable equilibrium theory to the other. In a stable equilibrium, natural laws follow general principles; different stable equilibriums have different general principles.
All understanding begins with our not accepting the world as it appears. (Alan Kay)
Constructivism is flawed: fiction and reality are a matter of perspective, there is no objective dividing line.
Cosmology is the prototypical example of radical fallibility.
The world around us is just as classical as quantum mechanical.
Instead of truths which penetrate to the marrow, science offers turtles all the way down.
We all exist just like absolute time does.
Religion is to firmly believe in something that, according to Taoism, cannot be the ultimate truth.
When the lowest type hear of Tao, they make a religion out of it.
Proof and pattern are not the essence of mathematics, but the means of it.
What we see is invisible.*
Rather, the statement is proved when they (the mathematicians) feel that their minds can directly perceive its truth. (Scott Aaronson)
Even what seem like very abstract concepts are really just very attenuated images. (Edward Slingerland)
The nature of humans is to be unnatural. (Edward Slingerland)
At last it came to me that modus ponens was suspect!
Every concept has its inherent contradiction, which is gradually reached as time goes by, and works its way up until it destroys the original concept.
Oversimplification is a means to counteract overfitting.
Those who know little tend to oversimplify. Those who know a lot are prone to overfitting, or rather, radical fallibility.
You can’t x-ray someone and show that they have human rights. (Edward Slingerland)
The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. (Niels Bohr)
“Strange loops” attract consciousness from their environment, like air flowing into the lungs. As the density of consciousness becomes higher and higher than that in the surroundings, the strange loop will seem more and more as if it was a separate conscious entity, like a developing drop of water. When the strange loop perishes, the consciousness in it dissolves back into its environment.
Under increasing scrutiny, in ever greater depth, time has lost layers one after another, piece by piece. (Carlo Rovelli)
Perhaps poetry is another of science’s deepest roots: the capacity to see beyond the visible. (Carlo Rovelli)
The notion of ‘particularity’ is born only at the moment we begin to see the universe in a blurred and approximate way. (Carlo Rovelli)
Before experiments, measurements, mathematics and rigorous deductions, science is above all about visions. (Carlo Rovelli)
Scientists behave as if they were always just one step away from the ultimate truth.
Even those ideas which have been held for a very long time and which have been very accurately verified might be wrong. (Richard P. Feynman)
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. (Niels Bohr)
C. Chang (1963), Creativity and Taoism: A Study of Chinese Philosophy, Art and Poetry
A.J. Christian (2003), Mit keresett Isten a nappalimban?
C.G. Jung (1952), R.F.C. Hull [trans.] (1955), Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle
R. Leighton, R.P. Feynman (1985), “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character
Y. Lin (1948), The Wisdom of Laotse
C. Rovelli (2017), The Order of Time
R.M. Smullyan (1977), The Tao Is Silent
G. Soros (2009), The Crash of 2008 and What it Means: The New Paradigm for Financial Markets
Weninger A. (1988), Az idő partján – Jóga és személyiség