Critique of TSW Part 15b Neomechanics
Bill continues to have difficulty accepting "The Ten Assumptions of Science" as he boosts systems philosophy in his review of Chapter 5 on “Neomechanics: The Reduction.”
I am ever so grateful to Bill Westmiller, whose comments are marked "BW: ". The quotes marked TSW are from "The Scientific Worldview" and my comments are marked "[GB: ".
Neomechanics: The Reduction
TSW: "The submicrocosms are speeded up, and we say that the microcosm has gained internal 'energy' (or enthalpy, H, in the lexicon of thermodynamics). This increased internal motion is measured as an increase in mass."
BW: It's still just a transfer of motion from one object to another, but I'm baffled by your apparent endorsement of the notion that motion itself produces an increase in mass. That's a Special Relativity concept, which is badly mistaken.
[GB: You are wrong. The equation E=mc2 is correct, as has been proven experimentally many times. Although it’s common indeterministic interpretation as the conversion of matter into energy is false, as I explained in the Blog on how the transfer of motion pertains to E=mc2. You are correct that the equation makes no sense without aether.]
TSW: "... a hot teakettle has more internal motion and weighs more than a cold one."
BW: It does have more energy, but that's an increase in *motion*, not mass. One object may absorb the energetic particles inducing an increase in motion, but the increase in motion becomes a feature of the object itself, whether or not the incident energetic particle mass is absorbed.
[GB: Sorry Bill, but that is incorrect, as I explained in the Blog mentioned above and in this one. The upshot: Mass is resistance to acceleration. When a submicrocosm absorbs motion across the microcosmic boundary, its momentum increases. Measurements of mass must confront this increased momentum, registering an increase in mass. The actual amount of matter never changes. This is well known, as explained in the reference on thermodynamics that I cited in the sentence just before the one you quoted. Mass dependence on temperature is the reason that standard weights and measures must be carefully controlled for temperature.]
BW: The "compounding" of object mass, by the addition of mass from contact with energetic particles, is particularly evident in linear accelerators, only because the mass inherent in magnetic energy mass "consolidates" with the original particle undergoing acceleration. It isn't the velocity *per se* that causes increased mass, only the acceleration induced by contact, which results in an accumulation of the magnetic "field" mass into the particle.
[GB: We agree: “It isn't the velocity *per se* that causes increased mass, only the acceleration induced by contact”!]
TSW: "... as Newton observed but stated in a different form, the microcosm and macrocosm undergo equal and opposite reactions."
BW: It isn't a different form, it's totally inconsistent with Newton's Law. He never saw any distinction between "micro" and "macro" contexts: the laws applied to every object. His Second Law stipulated "equal and opposite reactions" to a collision between two distinct, solid objects ("bodies"), not to any composition of objects ... which he addressed in elasticity, viscosity, and kinetic waves. He would never say that the collision of those composites had an equal effect on both, since his formulas clearly distinguish the mass density and relative velocity of each composite set.
[GB: Huh? By now you should have understood that Newton’s “object” was just an abstraction of what I call a “microcosm.” I redefine the “macrocosm” as everything outside of a particular microcosm. You seem to be especially hung up on size. The only stipulation here is that the macrocosm is the environment of the microcosm and must always be larger than the particular microcosm of concern. Thus, the observable universe is a microcosm within a macrocosm that is infinite in size. In any case, we only consider the most important features of the microcosm and its macrocosm in predicting the future. Thus, the bat may be considered the macrocosm of the microcosm of the baseball, or vice versa. We can never consider all the features of either the microcosm or the macrocosm, because they are infinite.
You are correct that Newton considered his two microcosms to be “solid objects” or “bodies” having ideal equal and opposite reactions. Even though such things never existed, the equations worked anyway, providing suitable approximations for centuries. The fact that classical mechanics actually was working with composites and not “solid bodies” eventually yielded to relativity, which Einstein interpreted in an indeterministic way. E=mc2 only works on composites, microcosms containing submicrocosms, as I have explained many times. I imagine that your resistance to that equation stems from the fact that it could not apply to the solid, finite particles (Unimids) of your Finite Particle Theory.]
TSW: "Without the differences in the motions of matter on either side of the univironmental boundary, we could not discern a microcosm at all."
BW: I don't recall you mentioning the "univironmental boundary" between micro and macro. You don't define any boundary conditions that would allow us to distinguish the micro from the macro. As far as I can tell, the boundary is purely subjective, usually anthropogenic. You seem to recognize different "levels", but I see no reason why one couldn't designate the "sub-sub-submicro" as a *macrocosm*, relative to the tinier "sub-sub-sub-submicrocosm".
[GB: The “univironmental boundary” of univironmental determinism is identical to the “system boundary” of systems philosophy. In both cases, those boundaries are chosen by the investigator. They are indeed clearly imaginary, because infinity really does not allow for finite boundaries. Your last sentence is correct. In science, we can change our focus at the drop of a hat. Today I might be studying a piece of granite, while tomorrow I might be studying a piece of biotite within that piece of granite. I can switch from the microcosm or system “granite” to the submicrocosm “biotite,” whereupon the biotite now becomes the microcosm or system. The choice of microcosm, system, or focus is dependent the aims of a particular research project, which inevitably must be prompted by the particular question to be answered.]
TSW: "All microcosms at all times are increasing or decreasing in mass, velocity, density, volume, entropy, and apparent order."
BW: There are certainly *many* portions of reality that are in flux, but you haven't provided an argument supporting the idea that *every* characteristic of *all* objects in reality are constantly in flux. Granted, any object composed of atoms is constantly in a state of internal motion, but that doesn't affect any of the characteristics that you list.
[GB: Bill, by now you should know that is merely an assumption: Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion). As an indeterminist, you would never believe that no matter how much evidence I provided. Some of your previous comments have indicated as much. I provided a short section providing the evidence for inseparability, but I don’t think that 1,000 pages would ever convince someone who still believes that a particular portion of the universe is without motion.]
TSW: "... the microcosm pulsates with the macrocosm, expanding and contracting. The space-time position of the univironmental boundary is determined neither by the microcosm nor by the macrocosm, but by both in a reciprocal relationship."
BW: Again, you haven't said how we could determine whether this is true or false, because you haven't said what constitutes a "boundary" between micro and macro. How could we tell whether the boundary "pulsates" or not?
[GB: Remember, we have already assumed inseparability, so there can be no boundary, whether imagined or real that is not in motion. This also is elucidated by the Sixth Assumption of Science, complementarity (All things are subject to divergence and convergence from other things). And as I have stated over and over, none of these fundamental assumptions are completely provable because the universe is infinite. Only a believer in finity would dare to ask for such a thing.
I am quite familiar with the difficulties folks have with boundaries. In earth science, we used to come across this all the time when dealing with young engineers, who normally deal with quite precise boundaries in doing math, preparing drawings, and building structures. It was hard to convince some of them that earthquake faults do not follow perfectly straight lines or that the boundaries between geological and soil units could be tens of meters wide. A desk-bound mathematician would never get it.]
TSW: "The microcosm moves through the macrocosm under its own inertial motion, but it does so only to the degree that the macrocosm does not resist this motion."
BW: There could be no such thing as "inertial motion" if "all microcosms at all times" have fluctuating velocity. You can't have it both ways. Either the object has inertial motion, which may encounter "resistance" from the macrocosm, or it never has inertial motion. You've asserted two statements that are logically incoherent.
[GB: That is the problem with idealism. No part of the universe is an all or none thing. The object hypothesized in Newton’s First Law of Motion travelled through absolute (perfectly empty) space under its own inertia. Just because space did not turn out that way does not mean that inertial motion is impossible. If the macrocosm consists of huge trees, then inertial motion might be limited to a few seconds; if filled only with tiny aether particles, any delay probably would be insignificant. The point of the statement was to emphasize that what happens to a microcosm is not dependent only on the microcosm or only on the macrocosm, but on both together acting as a univironment.]
TSW: "Univironmental equilibrium, thus, is the 'goal' toward which all behavior is directed."
BW: Sounds an awful lot like teleology, which you condemned earlier in the book.
[GB: That is why I put quotes around “goal.” Teleology is the business of ascribing human desires to inanimate things. A rock falling off a cliff has no teleological “goal” to be at rest on the ground; the ground has no teleological “goal” to provide the resting place. Nonetheless, univironmental equilibrium (i.e., least motion) will be the result. This will become clear later in the book, where we will see that the “goal” of animate behavior amounts to the same thing.]
TSW: "... the univironment contains an infinite number of things in constant motion and most are not involved in any particular interaction."
BW: A contradiction of your earlier assertion that all things are always interacting.
[GB: How is that a contradiction? Do you still think this means that all things in the universe are interacting with all other things at the same time?]
TSW: "Admittedly, neomechanics is a mere cartoon of reality."
BW: It's hard to tell whether this is self-deprecating humor or a generic rejection of all abstract principles.
[GB: It is neither. Remember the title of this chapter is: “Neomechanics: The Reduction.” We have already assumed that all microcosms are infinitely complex. Neither classical mechanics nor neomechanics could include all these qualities in their deliberations. As such, we can only include a few of them. This amounts to an abstraction or reduction. Whatever we come up with will be an unavoidable “cartoon” of reality. It is important for us to remember this at all times. We need to avoid the hubris of some classical mechanics who, imbued with finity, proclaimed themselves able to produce complete descriptions of that which is actually infinite.]
TSW: "Motion is a relation between the microcosm and the macrocosm."
BW: Contrary to your previous statement that "each portion of the universe continually changes position relative to all other portions of the universe," which says that motion is a relation between "portions", or microcosms.
[GB: Bill, I hope you get the point that the macrocosm also contains microcosms, which for clarification I generally designate as “supermicrocosms” because they are outside the microcosm of concern.]
BW: I think this is the primary problem I'm having with your proposition: definitions are vague and frequently contradictory from one paragraph to another.
[GB: Hopefully, your difficulties with this will diminish in future chapters as you get used to the deterministic assumptions. Of course, any indeterministic assumption you use will automatically produce what you believe to be a contradiction. It takes a while to come to terms with this. A real indeterminist never does.]
Next: Univironmental Determinism: The Expansion