What we ought to do?

This is probably the hardest question of them all. You are told by other what you should do all the time, but is it the right thing to do? It is always easier to answer on what you should do in order to reach a certain goal, but to answer what you ought to do includes you knowing what to aim for. It is claimed to be a subjective question meaning that if you follow your own moral compass you should by definition do the right thing.

Believing it’s right doesn’t make it right!

This phrase that you might have heard before suggests the opposite. So what should you base your morality on? One thing that is clear is that answering this question as objectively as possible ought to be the right thing to do. If you haven’t realized it yet, this is meta morality. What is right to do is to answer what is right to do! Even though it is fun to think like this it does not lead us anywhere.

So, let us step back and try to define our moral pillars without circular arguments. The idea is that it should be logically impossible to disagree with my basis for morality. Then we can build on that to deduce what we ought to do.

Let us start with what matters. Experiences matter and things that lead to experiences! If there isn’t anyone there to experience the fruits of your actions, your actions wont matter. You yourself counts as an observer so if your experiences changes based on your actions, those actions matter. They might lead to good or bad experiences but the important point is that only experiences are valuable. Things have no value other then the indirect effect it has on our mood.

What we need now is a number that measures how good or bad the observer feels. If we act in such a way to increase this number we are doing something good. It needs to incorporate moods over time so that doing something that feels bad now might be good since it increases someones well-being later. If you happen to be a mouse you might not feel as much as a human, so the number should be larger for entities with a higher kind of consciousness. I will formalize what this number is in more detail soon, but in order for you to understand it, it is good to read about what it depends on first. I would like to emphasize that this kind of morality is not exclusive for humans. Aliens from another planet should be able to base their morality on the same principles that I will present for you here.

Assume that you can quantify the well-being of a conscious individual at any time. This might not be possible to do very objectively today. However, in the future we might be able to explain what pain and pleasure are and how they relate to consciousness. It might allow us to quantify how good someone feels. With that in mind I would like formulate the principle of moral actions as follows:

You ought to act in order to maximize the expected total weighted well-being of all conscious creatures integrated over all of future.

Expected is short for the “expectation value of ” and is a term used frequently in statistics. It means that you need to multiply each infinitesimal term in the integral with the probability that that scenario will take place. For instance, let us say that you have two choices that will lead to two different outcomes. Either you will go to soccer practice and skip studying to the test tomorrow or you stay at home to study. The first one leads to an increase in well-being, quantified with the number 30, with 90% due to share joy of playing soccer. It may on the other hand result in the terrible feeling of failing your test (quantified as -50) with 30%. However, if I skip soccer i might have a 20% chance of feeling as good during the evening but reduces the chance of failing the test with 20%. If you are the only one affected by this choice and if we assume that failing the test does not lead to anything else that make you feel worse in the future, we ought to choose the first alternative since:

0.9·30 – 0.3·50>0.2·30 – 0.1·50 which simplifies to  27-15>6-5 or 12>1

You probably don’t know all the potential futures and with what likelihood they will happen, so you conform to intelligent guesses. Since the probability of something happening further away in the future is less likely you should care less about it. However, if there is a small probability of something really bad happening it will be weighted in.

The other weight is for the level of consciousness that the individual that you are adding has so that an insect does not carry as much weight as a human. If a future computer is created that has a higher consciousness than a human, its well-being is weighted higher.  It is up for future scientist to figure out what level of consciousness that an individual possesses.

I hoped this sparked some ideas about what you could do with your life. You might want to argue against it, then please do so. It sparked me to think about how you could think about a political party and perhaps starting one on my own. More on that in my next post!

 

 

 

 

 

Three Worlds

Everything that we value originates from one out of three worlds. These worlds are the Physical, mental and the platonic worlds. We experience the mental world live in the physical one and form our thoughts in the platonic world.

worldspenrose

The image is taken from Roger Penrose’s book the road to reality, a complete guide to the laws of the universe. It illustrates how each world are nesting in to the other. We might represent a physical system by a platonic model constructed in the mental world of beings that themselves are a small part of the physical world.

Each world contributes to our values through:

  • Physical: Knowledge and opportunities
  • Mental: Experiences by conscious beings
  • Platonic: Language and Logic

We are bound to these three worlds and understanding them is essential to get what you want out of life. By observing a system in the physical world, we can form models in our minds that are simplified ideal versions of these systems. We can share these models through languages and argue about their meaning and importance with logic.

Many people today do not understand these parts or take them for granted. This leads to incorrect conclusions and worse experiences. My advice to you is to try to recognize where your strengths and weaknesses are and try to improve on them.

First, we want to break free from the bubbles we are born into. It is hard since, being inside a bubble most often means that you are unaware of the fact that you are unaware – It might help to have other point it out to you. The more you read about a subject the more you will know that you don’t know. Don’t be afraid of increasing the ratio between the things you know you don’t know and the things you know. To believe in a lie is worse than being sceptic about a truth. Try to break free from prejudices, religions and norms. Explore you close environment deeply and try to visit new cities and meet people from other cultures.

If you are the slave of your feelings and anything you do is dependent on your current mood, please STOP. Stop and feel, try to isolate sensations. My little finger is now touching the arms of my coat, or I am not smiling right now, why not? What drove me to this emotional state. Try to understand what mood you are in and find your strengths and limitations in these situations. Try to force yourself to overcome your weaknesses and build on those strengths. Learn to navigate your emotions better by first knowing where you are. This does not mean that you should remove emotions all together, listen to your emotions instead, think and then act. Think first and acting second. Your life will improve if you think more about how you feel more often.

If you seldom use math try investigating new concepts and find out how they relate to the world you live in. You can write down simple problems in math and solve them for the sake of solving them. Make up your own sign language or learn an existing one so that you can communicate with your friends across a noisy dance floor. Drawing, dancing or playing an instrument are forms of communication. Explore, learn and have fun!

This became more like a pep-talk then a scientific text. I hope what you read here can be the catalyst for you to make positive changes in your life. Let me know what you think and how reading this text made you feel. When I started writing I was happy, in the middle I was tired and in the end a bit stressed, so I will round of here. Take care!

Vad är bra beachvolleyträning?

Bildresultat för beachvolley ball

This post will be written in Swedish.

Jag tänkte jag skulle dela med mig av lite beachvolleytankar som cirkulerar i min filosofiska hjärna. Ni kan kommentera eller komplettera och gärna argumentera emot det ni inte tror på.

Att bli bra på beachvolley innebär att man vinner oftare mot motstånd som inte har blivit bättre. Problemet är förstås att detta är svårt att mäta. Är det viktigaste att träna på matchlika situationer och att en kastad boll som aldrig inträffar i match är dömd att bidra till ineffektiv träning. I USA är ofta filosofin att man blir bra på match om man spelar många matcher så de tränar genom att spela. En annan filosofi är att nötning är det viktigaste, d.v.s att göra slag tillräckligt många gånger oavsett teknik med placering som enda feedback. Detta är lite min ide av vad brassarna spenderar mest tid på utan att egentligen ha erfarenhet i frågan.

Efter 7 år som coach på alla nivåer från nybörjare till challenger så har jag lärt mig att det finns en dimension till. Förutom kvalitet och kvantitet som beskriver träningstyperna ovan så har vi tidsaspekten. När vill jag va som bäst? Vill jag maximera sannolikheten att ta en internationell medalj eller handlar det om att knipa så många tourvinster som möjligt innan man lägger shortsen på hyllan. Ska jag vara bra hela året runt eller vill jag toppa formen till SM. Man behöver också fundera på vilka mål som den tänkta träningsutövaren har. Vill de vinna open grön eller vill de ta sig till OS. Även teknik och rörelse är olika bra beroende på vilket motstånd man möter. T. ex. så lär vi alltid ut att backa från nät med händerna högt med avsikten att ta high defence. Om man sällan möter ett lag som slår hårt så ser jag inte vitsen med att lära ut detta. Att ha händerna lågt i detta avseende sänker tyngdpunkten vilket gör det snabbare att ta sig till de placerade anfallen. För att förstå bra träning behöver man också första hur tiden bör prioriteras, att lägga 10 h per dag på att träna teknik kanske tröttar ut en mentalt och ger dålig motivation. Detta leder kanske till att man tvärt slutar med sporten. Allt handlar om prioritering, vad vill jag lägga min tid på. När man väl står på sanden eller i gymmet vill man dock veta vad effektiv träning är.

Så bra träning är träning som får dig att uppnå dina mål. Om du tror beachvolley är en viktig komponent i ditt liv och att vinna fler matcher, resa mer utomlands, få uppskattning från andra beachspelare eller något annat mål är något som gör dig lyckligare så är det klart att du vill träna för detta specifika mål. För mig tror jag att oavsett målen så är det motivationen och den personliga utvecklingen som är det som ger lyckan och inte målen i sig även om målen är viktiga för att driva oss. Ett för högt mål kan få oss att tappa motivation och ett för lågt lämnar oss förvirrade när detta mål är nått.

Att uppnå målen är alltså inte så viktigt i min värd men att se att man är på väg mot målet är viktigt. Det är därför viktigt med feedback på sin träning. För att inte lura oss själva så vill vi att denna feedback är objektiv och konkret. För att lättare styra sin träning så att man jobbar på det där skon klämmer eller med andra ord vidga flaskhalsen behöver man dela upp beachvolley i mindre delar som kan mätas separat. Problemet är förstås att beachvolley kan delas upp i så många olika sätt. Här är några sätt som man kan dela upp sporten:

Moment:

  • Serve & Mottag
    • Float
    • Spinn
  • Pass
    • Sideout
    • Transition
  • Anfall
    • Shot
    • Spike
  • Försvar
    • Block
    • Blockback
    • High defence
    • Spikeförsvar
    • Shotförsvar

Beståndsdelar:

  • Var ska bollen?
    • Inom Laget
      • Överenskommelse
    • Utom laget
      • Variation
      • Lediga ytor
  • Hur får jag bollen dit?
    • Bollträff
    • Koordination
    • Periferiseende
  • Var kommer bollen?
    • Naturlig spridning
    • Var tydlig inom laget
    • Läsa motståndarens anfall
    • Väderinverkan
  • Hur tar jag mig dit?
    • Snabbhet
    • Balans
    • Förberedelse

Aspekter:

  • Fysik
    • Spänst
    • Snabbhet
    • Styrka
    • Kondition
  • Psykologi
    • Mental förberedelse
    • Kommunikation
    • Självkontroll
    • Självförtroende
  • Teknik
    • Bagger
    • Finger
    • Armdrag
    • Ansats
    • Kasta sig
    • Block/blockback
  • Taktik
    • Statestik
    • Motståndare Styrka/Svagheter
    • Väderspecifik

Det är långt ifrån en komplett lista, men belyser beachvolley från olika sidor och vad som krävs av utövaren. Det gäller att hitta ett sätt att fördela upp sporten på så att det går att mäta sin utveckling. I många fall är det nästan bara matcher inom tävlan som kan ge detta. Vinner man så har man gjort något bra och förlorar man så behöver man ändra något. Detta är en väldigt ineffektiv feedback då man inte vet var flaskhalsen ligger. För vissa kanske flaskhalsen är dålig mental förberedelse eller dåligt självförtroende och om inget görs på den fronten förblir spelaren på ungefär samma nivå. För andra kanske spänsten är det största problemet. Att dålig spänst är flaskhalsen i din träning är väldigt osannolikt då höjden på slaget till största del beror på din teknik och inte din spänst. Hur mycket krävs i spänstträning respektive teknikträning för att i genomsnitt öka slaghöjden med 5 cm. Jag skulle fokusera på tekniken och bibehålla spänsten än tvärt om. Det handlar i slutändan om hur mycket tid man vill lägga på sporten och hur man bör prioritera sin tid för att känna att man är på väg mot sina mål.

Med detta i åtanke är det vettigt att ge förslag på några delar av beachvolley som går att mäta konkret och relativt objektivt.

  1. Precision
    1. Serve
    2. Mottag på enkel serve
    3. Pass från bra mottag
    4. Anfall från bra pass
  2. Hastighet
    1. Serve
    2. Anfall
  3. Fysik
    1. Kondition
    2. Spänst
    3. Snabbhet

Det går att mäta precision genom att kratta banan och efter ca 50 servar fota nedslagsmärkerna och räkna ut spridningen på servarna i förhållande till banans storlek. Det går också att markera ytor och räkna hur många servar som faller inom vs. utom denna ram. Om man inte har hastighetskamera går att filma serven från stolpen och beräkna hastigheten vinkelrätt mot nät genom att mäta hur långt bollen rör sig mellan två bildsekvenser under filmning. Hur många pixlar som bollen upptar i höjd är en duglig avståndsmätare i detta avseende. Fysiska egenskaper kan också enkelt testas. Man kan givetvis mäta hur bra mottag man har på bra servar men detta blir genast svårt då det i högre grad beror på hur bra serven är och vilken typ av serve det är. Det kan vara intressant att göra detta utomhus där vädret varierar men då behöver man ha en vindhastighetsmätare. Det går även att mäta pulsen under match för att se hur konditionsträningen ger resultat. Det är förstås en fördel att mäta fysiska egenskaper i samband med utövandet. Spänsten går att mäta genom att se höjden på höften i ett hopp. Spänst på hårt underlag t.ex. är inte samma sak som spänst på sand t.ex. Problemet här är förstås att olika sandtyper ger olika spänst så det är viktigt att göra mätningarna i samma sand som tidigare. Snabbhet kan förstår också mätas men eftersom snabbhet och teknik för att springa är så korrelerade så är det svårt att veta vad det är som vi blir bättre på.

När det gäller att förstå vilken träning som är mest effektiv så är statistik ett jättebra verktyg. Att föra statistik under match innebär att man förstår vilka moment som hade kunnat resultera i en vunnen poäng istället för en förlorad. Om vi börjar med sideout-effektiviteten. Givet att andra laget får en enkel gratisboll var på plan ska denna placeras för att motståndaren ska ha så liten effektivitet som möjligt. Svaret på detta är oftast långt bak i banan då detta innebär längre sträckor som både boll och spelare behöver förflyttas innan de kommer till ett bra anfall. Att sedan döda bollen beror på hur bra motståndaren är, men att komma till bra anfall är mer objektivt. Om man i slutändan vet att vinstchanserna är säg 10 procent från att lägga över en gratisboll och att chansen att missa från samma läge är 90 procent så är det direkt en fördel att lägga över en gratisboll en att chansa med ett svårt slag.

Statistik kan förstås också användas för att förstå specifika motståndares taktik och spelstil och använda informationen till din fördel. Men återigen om denna kunskap inte är det som ger dig störst fördel under en match så är det bättre att du lägger tiden på något annat. På hög nivå när tekniken och fysiken inte kan förbättras märkvärt så kommer statistiken för motståndaren väga högre i din förmåga att vinna matcher, men innan dess kanske det inte är värt att lägga tiden på detta.

För de flesta är dock inte flaskhalsen några små tekniska detaljer eller precisionen utan viljan och motivationen att träna. Övningar man kan göra oftare och som inte är tråkiga är alltså att föredra emot övningar som är svåra där man sällan lyckas. Principen är att man vill ha så tuffa och utmanande övningar som möjligt utan att man tappar glädjen eller motivationen. Vanligtvis krävs det att man lyckas med 70% av övningarna för att man ska bibehålla motivationen. För en blandad grupp är detta alltså en bra referens. Det är också mycket bättre att börja lätt och göra övningen svårare om så behövs än tvärt om.

För att vi ska slippa använda hjärnan för mycket när vi spelar så vill vi nöta in bra vanor. D.v.s vanor som får oss att vinna bollarna. Detta kan vi göra genom att konstruera situationer där anfallaren vet var han eller hon ska slå. Men där försvararen prioriterar en annan boll. Istället för att man vinner vid rätt val så vinner man med rätt teknik. Principen är att man försöker skapa en situation där ett givet slag vinner bollen. Du kan skapa det på flera olika så att vi lär oss i vilka situationer som ett givet slag är det bästa. Nackdelen med detta är att vi inte får så många bollar att spela på, men man kan istället tänka på att det är en utmaning för försvararen och vi repeterar detta många gånger. Detta är en princip som jag inte har sett mycket av i träningssammanhang. Vore intressant att se om träningen blir bättre även om det aktiva valet tas bort från träningen. Att träna på att göra val kanske är för viktigt och att nycklarna är för otydliga för att vi ska göra anfallsvalet till vanor.

För de som inte har tid att åka till en beachhall eller förutsättningarna för att träna i organiserad form med en tränare som kan ge feedback så finns det en massa alternativ som gör dig bättre. Här är det nötning med naturlig feedback viktigt. Några exempel på bra övningar som man kan göra hemma är att stå still och spela bagger till sig själv med olika knävinklar. Hur många kan du göra utan att flytta på dig? Hur många bagger som studsar i taket kan du göra? Gör fingerslag mot väggen eller bagger mot väggen. Gå längs med en fasad och passa framåt i takt med att du går och samtidigt hålla bollen så nära väggen som möjligt utan att den nuddar. Det går bra att bolla från en arm till den andra utan att direkt titta på bollen vilket tränar periferiseendet och bolltouchen. Bara att bolla med sig själv utomhus eller mot vägg inomhus ger bättre bolltouch så länge du funderar på var du lägger bollen och får feedback på hur väl du lyckades med detta.

Om tiden finns är det klart att vi vill ha övningar så spellika som möjligt där det momentet vi vill träna på förekommer så ofta som möjligt. Bra övningar är att utmana sig själv så att om man vinner bollen är det tillräcklig feedback för att man har gjort något bra. Att t.ex. ta bort ytor och tvinga anfallaren att gå åt vissa håll gör att man vinner ofta när man gör rätt tekniskt. Att göra rätt tekniskt är det vi eftersträvar men om ingen coach finns i närheten med ett bra öga för teknik så krävs det mycket av övningarna. Tyvärr har många tränare en tendens att instruera mindre ju friare spelet är vilket är ett misstag.

För att avsluta denna diskussion vill jag dela med mig med några principer som har hjälpt när jag undervisar beachvolley. Dessa kanske kan hjälpa dig när du tränar.

Viktors guldnycklar:

  • Bakom bollen
    • Du ser målet
    • Lättare att korrigera framåt
  • Tidig förberedelse
    • Ger mer tid åt bollberöring
  • Bibehåll balansen och riktning
    • Undviker att kroppen accelererar under bollträffen
    • Visa din partner vad du passar
  • Aktiv med motsatt arm
    • Vid försvar för att inte svinga
    • Vid anfall för pendla upp rätt hand
    • Vid digs för att ta stöd från sanden och få kraft uppåt
  • Följsam
    • Styr bollen dit du vill ha den
  • Lugn
    • Gör dig mer explosiv
    • Gör inget onödigt
  • Kommunicera
    • Vem som tar bollen
    • Var vill jag ha passen
    • Hur ser försvaret ut
  • Less is more!
    • Säger sig själv…

Ge gärna förslag på andra principer ni tror är tillämpbara i många situationer och är enkla att utföra samt effektiva i beachvolley. Det finns mycket andra detaljer och tips jag kan ge, och ni får gärna diskutera dem här i bloggen.

Slutligen, Beachvolley är en fantastiskt komplex sport framförallt eftersom jag har undervisat i den länge. Jag tvivlar inte på att andra sporter har samma komplexitet när vi går in på djupet. Så denna diskussion berör inte bara beachvolley utan kan tillämpas på många olika bollsporter. Känner du att detta är användbart för dig i andra sporter får du gärna berätta vilken sport och på vilket sätt.

Tack!

How to generate text with python from within the document itself.

Today I have something different to share. In my daily work I use the python programming language mostly in data analysis but also to control and read data from devices in my lab. I recently changed from using notepad++ to sublime text 3 when editing my code. This enabled me to build code from within the editor itself and also allows for easy modification of key-binding shortcuts. It is also straight forward to add new packages that enhances your coding experience.

I am planning to use sublime and latex to write my PhD-thesis and I find some of the logic in latex over complicated and inefficient. Especially when it comes to defining variables, conditionals and other functions. I searched the web and came across the pytex package for latex. It allows for including python code within the latex document. If you are as comfortable with python as I am this can save you a lot of time. However, when installing the package I realised that its source code was over complicated and that it wasn’t usable if I wanted to include python within other programming languages. Consequently I made my own little python script that I would like to share with you that makes this possible and is in my view a lot simpler.

Here is the code: (I had to screen shot it in parts for it to work for some reason) but I can send you the file be email if you want it)

compile1compile2compile3syntax-highlighting

The example code for usage can be seen here (using the new syntax for python snippets added to the Latex.sublime-syntax file)code.png

The output file looks like this:

code_output.png

This is then compiled with pdflatex and opened with acrobat reader. The beutiful thing is that this works with any code you are writing and not just latex. Remember to compile it using the compile.py file shown in full above.

If you have comment on how to improve the code or questions on its content and its usage be free to add them in comments to this post.

Hope this can help you in some way and see you soon!

My kind of Language

We all have a notion of what language is, but since it is such an obvious part of our lives we hardly ever think of it more deeply. In this text I will try to explore the wonders and mysteries around language and try to convey my idea of what language is by means of the written English language. Since any human language is subjective in nature, I can only hope that you will obtain an idea as intriguing as mine.

To begin with, the word language is ambiguous, so a proper introduction to my kind of language is appropriate.  I like to share with you the kind of language that can be seen as any combination of distinguishable interpretation schemes of sensory inputs. If that didn’t make sense you simply don’t share the language I use to interpret that sentence. In order to let more English reading people in on my idea, I will try to explain what I mean in little more detail. My idea of language is something more general than most people think of when they come across the word language. For most people, language is something we human speak, write or listen to when communicating. My kind of language is a property that all entities have. I talk about the entity’s complete interpretation taken from all sensory inputs put together, but also any combination of separable interpretation schemes associated with isolated sensory inputs. The sensory inputs can be as simple as the wall of a box or as delicate as the eye of a person. By interpretation I simply mean the rule from which the entity bases its reaction. The reaction can simple be to do nothing, change its internal structure or respond with any detectable output, such as movements or sounds. Kicking a box means applying a force as a function of time on the wall of it, which creates vibrations that propagate through the material of the box, and the box moves. The box has a language that translates force to movement which is true for all free entities. The more complicated the entity is the more separable perception-to-action schemes will emerge, especially when it comes to life. This means that the environment speaks to you which you interpret with you visual and auditory perception language, but to keep it simple let us restrict our-self to the language used in intended communication.

The intended communication can be direct in the form of physical fields that propagate from one area in space to another place later in time. Fields are basically some property of something that changes over space and time. Talking for instance involve air pressure variations over space and time that another person, or animal for that matter, can transform to electrical signals in their ear. Our language determines what these signals mean to you. It can also be indirect in the form of visual or structural imprints on a some kind of abstract canvas. The canvas can be anything that holds information that later can be perceived. It can be a magnetic memories, a empty document, a painting or perhaps the human body as in the case for tattoos. It might be directly related to direct types of communication as in the case for recorded voice or a unique type of language that involves symbols as for the written language.

Another dimension of language is its subjectivity. The more subjective it is the more freedom we have in its interpretation, which an be used to make something more important for the recipient. For example, the goal of abstract art might be to create something that has many interpretations, thus making the recipient likely to choose a interpretation that is meaningful to him or her. This is often how horoscopes are created – Make them general so that we might interpret them to fit our lives but specific enough to carry information. On the other end we have precise languages such as math and computer code. Any error might invalidate a whole instruction or calculation. It is invaluable for conveying detailed information as in the case of instructing someone on how to build a bridge. If details are not important it is often more efficient to use a less objective language. Music, which contains detailed instruction on how to play a certain instrument might also have subjective aspects such as the timber in your voice when one sings or the feelings you get from hearing an accord.

There might be rules to the language that needs to be followed for the canvas to be interpretable. Another name for these rules are the syntax. A syntax tells the sender how to combine word or symbols in order for the instruction to carry meaning. With out syntax, any combination of symbols have meaning and thus can easily be miss understood. Computers have often a very strict syntax making it safe from accidently corrupt large parts of data. On the other hand, some languages even have many meanings of the same words based on how they are told. You can basically do this on any sentence, and it is often a quite fun exercise. Take this sentence for example: “I want you to stay at home tomorrow”. By emphasizing a word you add underlying meaning to the sentence. Imagine that you speak out the sentence with emphasis on the boldfaced word bellow. The interpretation that I make of these changes is marked to the right below:

  • I want you to stay at home tomorrow” – I and not someone else wants you to stay at home tomorrow.
  • “I want you to stay at home tomorrow” – I want you and not anyone else to stay at home tomorrow
  • “I want you to stay at home tomorrow” – I want you to stay at home tomorrow and not any other day.

I imagine that you have had fun with this exercise with someone before. It illuminates the ambiguity of natural languages and that other senses are needed to resolve these ambiguities. It comes natural to us, but try to make a computer understand irony and you will understand its difficulty.

There is obviously much more one can say about languages and in especially details about a particular language. But this might be enough to give you a sense of all the wonders that language entails.

Let me know your thoughts on the subject especially if you disagree! What aspects of a language do you find important? Have you created your own language perhaps? Do you know of any language that we never speak about but is nevertheless an essential part of our lives? Don’t hesitate to comment and tell the readers all about it.

language

 

 

Who should I teach?

I am sometimes thinking about becoming a teacher but I do not know who yet. I could teach kids who are young enough to not have inherited many of the negative habits or fears that there parent bring from their time. The culture or ideologies earlier in time have a tendency to be less moral in our eyes. Partly because we used to rely more on our animal instincts and feelings then many do today but also because of recent rise of technology enabling us to learn from not only your parent but from thousands of people around the world. I want to believe that we become better for each generation.

Parents, often unknowingly, force there view of the world upon their children giving them incorrect perspective of things. Incorrect because not many parent have the will to continue learning about the world after they finish school and since our knowledge of the world changes as rapidly as ever before we tend to fill our kids with miss leading information. I can’t blame them, our world is so full of “alternative facts” and “biased news companies”. Companies that rather spice up the truth for many rather then the truth for a few.

I may want to teach these kids that not everything they read on the internet or in a news paper reflects reality. Not even what they perceive with there own senses must be how things really are. If something can teach kids to be sceptic it would be to show how their own senses can trick them. I could teach them that just as reporters filter what they hear by interest and colors what they see with their opinions, our brain will filter our senses and interpret its meaning based on earlier experiences. Young kids can’t learn anything from these words alone, their brain has not matured enough to make such comparisons. This brings me to why I might want to teach young adults rather then kids.

Being there for older kids that already have formed most of there ideologies and have the skills to make complex comparisons gives me another type of challenge. The challenge now is to give them the tools in order for them to find out for them selves what is true. I will give them the experiments and tools to handle real situations hopefully to give them new perspective. It is important to know that learning new perspective always leads you closer to the truth. Perspective makes you compare and find out what is a matter of opinion and what is not. The more views of something you have the better you can narrow down its objective nature meaning the aspects of something independent of perspective. It relates to everything in life. Do not form prejudices about someone that you have met once or heard about a couple of times. Why not eat, walk and talk together before forming your view of someone. When you are corrected you grow as a person, you have hopefully learned something. By being argued out of a particular view, you are actually the winner. By winning I mean that you learn something. This relies on you being critical enough so that you can’t be argued in to nonsense.

A good advice I heard once is: Seek first to understand, then to be understood (cited from: Seven habit’s of highly successful people).

I might also want to continue teaching at university level. Having the knowledge and being able to teach something that not many other people can teach gives a feeling of belonging. The feeling of being needed is a strong feeling and if you are needed it is even better. I would if possible start a course in classical physics. I would in the course relates our intuition to our world and make it derivable from simple thought-experiments. I would give some beautiful mathematical tools and

What reality is!

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I have found a set of arguments that lead to an idea of reality that I haven’t read about anywhere. It is for me a pleasing idea and the only plausible reality I can think of. I have not yet seen how this framework of thinking leads to anything novel that can be empirically tested. However, it yields new perspective on fundamental questions such as:

  • What role does the observer take in our cosmos?
  • Can one explain the collapse of the wave function?
  • What is time?
  • How did the universe come into being?
  • Why is the universe expanding?

I do not have detailed answers for these question in form or rigid mathematical proofs. Even though this framework might one day facilitate these proofs, if they exists, the purpose here is to embed the answers with in this framework which as you will see makes them rather intuitive. I want to say that this is not science, science are based in empirical evidence and reasoning. This is mostly philosophy and some part logic. Nevertheless, it might sometimes be important to step out of ones comfort zone to get to new insight. This is an attempt to do just this. If you disagree to what I have to say, please let me know. I want you to be sceptical while having an open mind and see where it takes you.


Let us start by understanding the concept ad hoc and how it relates to what I have to say. The expression is latin and translates to “for this” and its meaning is often used to describe a situation where one adds information without justification in order for a model to reflect the outcome of experiments. It is often an effective way to get something that works without understanding why. In science however, understanding is very important since it leads to further discoveries or more general models. An example of an ad hoc theory is the standard model of particle physics. The standard model together with the general theory relativity are the most accurate models we have today. However, it relies on adding something called the Yukawa coupling to its underlying symmetric theory in order for it to reflect nature. This together with its inability to explain gravity strongly suggests that something completely different is needed to encompass all of physics.

How does this relate to my thoughts on reality? I argue that any theory that involve ad hoc explanations must be incomplete. Every measurable constant in nature must be a direct result of its underlying theory, otherwise why did it take on that specific value and not any other. Another way of putting it is that reality is like it is because it has to be that way if it isn’t designed. If reality could exist in two possible ways but it turns out that reality is one of these cases, reality must have a creator. But if reality have a creator the model of reality must include the reality of the creator so we didn’t get anywhere. It could of course be that there are some infinite recursive designer scenario, but that too is a reality that we have to include in our models if we are to understand everything.

It all leads back to one reality that must be in the way it is. An apparent paradox is at our hands tha we might call the all and nothing paradox. If the universe has to be in the way it is, we could falsify this claim by saying that nothing is a possible reality. That nothing exists is actually a very reasonable reality it is very simple to explain and it has no information in it, clearly we are not living in this universe which falsifies the claim that reality is what it is because there is no other alternative. However, there is a remedy. Assuming that information is everything that exists – there is only 1 reality that has the same amount of information in it as nothing, namely everything.

Everything that can exist under some logical framework must exists and if information is everything, everything equates to nothing. It is hard to grasp what this really mean. An analogy to this is how we think of infinite random sequences such as the decimals of π=3.14159265358979… There is no information stored in this string of numbers, as far as we know, other than ever higher accuracy of the ratio between the circumference and the diameter of circle in flat space. The reason for this is that any possible sequence of numbers, however long, lies somewhere in the decimals of π. There is a fun webpage that uses this fact, check it out!. There is in some way no information stored in an infinite random sequences just as there is no information stored in no sequence at all. It is not completely true because a sequence will have a position within the decimals. A less similar but accurate example is the amount of information stored in a set of drawn card from a deck of 52 cards. For each new way you can do something you add one unit of information so drawing all cards from a deck will result in the same information as drawing no cards if we disregard drawing order. In the same way, nothing has no information just as everything can’t carry any information.

The conclusion we can draw from this is that everything exists. Reality is everything and nothing simultaneously. We can represent it with a mathematical object of perfect symmetry. Anything we do to this object will have no measurable effects, because if it could be changed we must use ad hoc arguments to explain why it is in one way rather than the other. The tricky part here is to explain why we do not see this perfectly symmetric universe. In our view we can store huge amount of information in very small spaces so how can this reflect reality. The reason is that we are a part of the system, leading us to the notion of an observer. Being an observer inside a system must break some symmetry that an outside observer perceives. In fact, I argue that an observer is defined by the symmetry it breaks. Let us use a thought experiment to clarify this idea.

Imagine that you and your identical twin is in a perfectly circular room, outside the room there is a person watching both of you. What ever you do, your twin will mimic. If you go right your twin goes right according to him. Now, let us add some information to the system. The outside observer names both of you, he writes down: “RIGHT” is to the right and “LEFT” is to the left in his view. The same type of information is now added by you. You name yourself as “I” and your twin as “YOU”. After this we isolate the outside observer from the participants so that he no longer can see what they are doing. In the same way we blindfold you and your twin so that you do not know where you are going or from where you came. After a while everybody can see again. For the outside observer your initial naming information is lost. However, since you are an observer in the system you will still be able to name you and your twin with the name you gave them. Obviously your twin will have the same naming but the important part is that in your case, the information is not lost. From an outside observer the system is symmetric with respect to mixing. However, from your point of view the system is not symmetric in the sense that you can separate “I” from “YOU” after mixing. It is an interesting thought experiment but it is not perfectly analogous. Another example of this phenomenon is the collision of two electrons. Two electrons are moving towards one another, at first you can separate the two particles but once they collided you do not know if they simple got moved of course or if they got repelled back to where ever they came from at the same angles as if they passed by each other. From the electrons point of view you will know the forces acting on you and you will make no mistake on where you are heading. It is impossible to determine which electron went in what direction for an outside observer but being the electron leaves no doubt.

Quantum physics experiments show that once you become a part of the system you are investigating, the symmetry of being in superposition of many possible states breaks. It is called the collapse of the wave function, I just call it becoming a part of the system. The bigger the system is, the harder it is to isolate the system from the outside world. In fact the whole universe is in superposition of being all possible universes but many symmetries have already broken giving us a world full of structure and information. What do I mean by already broken? It hints that symmetry was less broken at some earlier point in time. So what is time in this framework of everything I am trying to explain to you. I see time as being defined by how many symmetries that are broken. Time is known to be relative the observer, I will take it further and say that time of an observer is the amount of symmetries an observer breaks in order to experience what it experiences. If an observer has broken more symmetries it exists later in time. An observer moves in time by breaking symmetries, for each step in time the symmetry of undetermined possible futures breaks to the actual future you happen experience. All other possible futures are similarly experiences by other observers. You, at some time will end up in all these future states at a later time, but the notion of you or the definition of you at that point does not include those other potential futures.

Every observer have one unique history but must include all possible futures. If we go back far enough we might get to time zero or the observer from which all present observers are broken off from. This observer is reality. It is a perfect symmetric object that can’t be in any other way. It might be that big bang as we see it from the photons it produced is some aspect of this symmetric reality. Time might isolate us from the system enough in order for us to investigate its symmetries in the same way we can understand symmetries in isolated quantum systems in our labs. We can also extrapolate in the other direction. An observer that has broken all symmetries exist at the end of time. This observer can be said to be the fundamental building block of reality that when put together in different ways make up the structures of our universe.

The idea that time is symmetry-breaking is a reformulation of the second law of thermodynamics. Taken directly from Wikipedia the second law states that the total entropy can never decrease over time for an isolated system. Entropy is another word for disorder or the total number of distinguishable ways that a system can be in. It is a measure of how much information that can be stored in a system or in other words how many symmetries that are broken. You see, what I have to say does not invalidate any other laws of nature. It simply reframes them and makes them all fit to the bigger picture. The final and most powerful realisation of this framework is that many of the best techniques today to predict the future is to create a symmetric object and then break that symmetry in various ways. It is not stated in this way in the books but it is isomorphic to what researches do to calculate probabilities of future events given som initial conditions. A scientist would say that the action contains all of physics and therefor all of reality. The action is the integral of the lagrangian density over all of space-time. The action is what one would call a functional. It takes quantum fields and produce a single number, the integration symmetrizes fields to create an action and by applying different field derivatives on that action, thus breaking those symmetries, we get propagators. Propagators are one of the most useful objects particle physics and they all relates to building and breaking symmetries.

Finally, to explain why the universe expands, we simply recognize that space must be created when symmetry breaks. A circle for instance does not contain space before you introduce a coordinate which breaks the rotation symmetry of the circle since the coordinates will change by doing so. Expansion means that more space is created, so since time is defined by symmetry-breaking and space is created in that process we can conclude that space expands with time. How fast it expands might relates to what types of symmetries that are broken. If the universe only can split in to two possible future at each time we would see an exponential growth of new spaces. What ever we define as a unit of space one can easily see, depending on the structure of the symmetries that have been broken, that the rate of expansion could accelerate.

A language to describe these symmetrical systems might not be possible to obtain for observers within the system if we are to believe Gödels incompleteness theorem. We might not find all symmetries of reality but by finding an object that predicts all experiments when its symmetries are broken in the right way we do have a very useful model. The details in how this symmetries interact and produces consciousness and physical laws is still a mystery but using this framework as a guide we might be able to create better languages and techniques to achieve better experiences in and understand more of our infinitely symmetric universe.