Saturday, March 27, 2021

Unlocking pure truth

I love unlocking pure truth from the universe.

There are different types of fearlessness. I'm really good at being intellectually fearless. People can be inconsistent and possibly dangerous, but STEM is a realm where I have very little fear.
To solve very stuck problems with many unknowns, I tend to zoom out and back in, looking at and testing the problem space from its edges. This approach frequently knits new or different concepts into existing knowledge nodes. Then the problem-solving can often jump to a new way of framing and yield new knowledge.

I confess I sometimes seek fundamental concepts relentlessly.

Take the distance between two points, simple, right? What about looking at it from the algebra: distance magnitude multiplied by (units (distance in a common frame of reference) over time). All that extra thought violates Occam's razor; why bother?

The distance can be represented by the time traveled (unless bent by a massively heavy object), as shown by mathematical manipulations. A distance can be represented by the time light travels between two points.
And that travel can be represented in the time domain, or spatial domain, or even radius or diameter divided by two plus a direction, but it's all the same meaning. Ultimately the photon went from here to there. Given the numerous ways to express distance, it would caution one to keep track of which method is doing the accounting.

Physics can be confusing because we have many ways to represent the same knowledge, and it may not be clear which method is in use.

This process of natural science inquiry is very beautiful to me. It reignites living.

Engineers would say you can't violate Occam's razor just for a selfish need of beauty. That will lead to Rube Goldberg machines at worst or at best something inefficient.

To them, I say the universe is so enormous; there are so many wonders unexplained; why be confined to known patterns?

But maybe this passion should die out? If computers can do it faster and even brute force all possible solutions to crack knowledge, do humans need this desire? If we lose the wonder, this delight in the pursuit of knowledge, would life suffer? So many don't care as it is.

Would we become virtual thought potatoes?

I admire the Occam's razor devotees, they are natural engineers, but that's not what inspires me to live.

CC-BY-SA-4.0 2021 - Shannon A. Fiume