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Author Topic:   The Power of Belief
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8479
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 16 of 61 (666210)
06-24-2012 10:44 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Panda
06-24-2012 8:24 AM


Re: Connected
Panda writes:

Perhaps this example might explain the problems I have with your idea:
In the Olympics there is the 100m event where the fastest athletes compete for gold.
They are all 100% dedicated and driven and confident.
So why doesn't the race end in a draw?

Perhaps the analogy of the downhill skiers is more relevant.
In that sport the race happens over several minutes but the winner often wins by hundredths of a second. In that respect the winner is simply luckier than the closest looser; he just avoided that one invisible bump that made the difference.

But i can absolutely guarantee that the loser will beat me by a large margin every time - that isn't luck and no amount of trying to convince myself that i can win can change that.

On the other hand, if all other things are equal, the winner is more likely to be someone who believes that he can win, rather that someone who belives that he never can.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Panda, posted 06-24-2012 8:24 AM Panda has taken no action

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 19517
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 17 of 61 (666218)
06-24-2012 4:23 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Dogmafood
06-24-2012 12:17 AM


Dogmafood writes:

There are limits to what you can do but are there limits to what can be done?


Individual self-confidence is one thing but some things can't be done alone. The two guys climbing the tree might both have gotten higher with a little cooperation.

If you want to go to the moon, you have to inspire others to self-confidence and confidence in you. You have to be a Kennedy - or a Hitler.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Dogmafood, posted 06-24-2012 12:17 AM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
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Dogmafood
Member (Idle past 323 days)
Posts: 1815
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 18 of 61 (666235)
06-24-2012 11:32 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Panda
06-24-2012 8:24 AM


Re: Connected
Well, since I am not eternal, that seems an irrelevant question.

Let me put it this way. If enough people believe that some particular thing is possible and continue to work toward it's realization until they achieve success, anything is possible.

Does the fact that it is unfalsifiable make it a fallacy or just useless or both?

What would you have said if the climber with vertigo had successfully climbed the tree?

I would say that his confidence in his ability was up to the task.

What would you have said if the confident climber had fallen from the tree?

I would say "Ooh fuck, that must have hurt!" and also that it wouldn't serve as a good example for what I am trying to flesh out.

(Foolishly he uses a math analogy) If you were trying to write an equation to define the extent of all possible realities, what part would a person's attitude take in it? How much can your level of conviction expand the sphere of all possible realities?

There is a bit of an articulation problem here on my part. I don't mean making things that are actually impossible possible. I mean making things that we perceive as impossible possible. (ABE; is this dualism?) The possibility of the thing relies on your participation. It is your belief in the thing that moves it from impossible to possible.

I think that the problem with your theory is that it doesn't make any real predictions and it is unfalsifiable.
At best you are left with the vague claim that a confident attitude might have a positive (but unspecific) affect on some aspect of your life.

Yeah 'theory' is way too strong a word. Notion is probably more accurate.

I see that it is a vague claim but also that there is a real and tangible effect on our reality caused solely by our attitude towards it. How big is that effect?

tbh: I am having trouble differentiating between your idea and confirmation bias.

So am I.

Edited by Dogmafood, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Panda, posted 06-24-2012 8:24 AM Panda has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Panda, posted 06-25-2012 4:50 AM Dogmafood has replied

  
Dogmafood
Member (Idle past 323 days)
Posts: 1815
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 19 of 61 (666236)
06-24-2012 11:35 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Modulous
06-24-2012 9:50 AM


The one (reality) I think I inhabit is dependent on my state of mind. The one I actually inhabit is completely independent of my state of mind.

Isn't that dualism?

You can't change the future. It's as impossible as changing the past.
All you can do is take actions that will alter your predictions about the future.

That is probably another topic but interesting. What do you mean?

I point back at some of the potential counter examples I raised before: FTL, perpetual motion and seeing bones under skin and flesh.

FTL and PM are examples of things that we perceive to be impossible now. There are good indications that they will always be impossible but we are not certain are we? Why were so many physicists interested in the speedy Italian neutrinos?

This is in contrast to your OP

I should back track on my statement "It is clear to me that if I believe something with enough conviction that I can make it so.". See my reply to Panda. (ABE; although it seems to have been true for me. It has a lot to do with what I actually believe with conviction. As per Panda, it may just be confirmation bias.)

quote:
If enough people believe that some particular thing is possible and continue to work toward it's realization until they achieve success, anything is possible.

You agree that there is some utility to belief. What are it's limits?

Edited by Dogmafood, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Modulous, posted 06-24-2012 9:50 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Modulous, posted 06-25-2012 9:24 AM Dogmafood has replied

  
Dogmafood
Member (Idle past 323 days)
Posts: 1815
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 20 of 61 (666237)
06-24-2012 11:43 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by ringo
06-24-2012 4:23 PM


If you want to go to the moon, you have to inspire others to self-confidence and confidence in you. You have to be a Kennedy - or a Hitler.

Yes I take your point but see my other replies.

And just look at what Hitler acheived by convincing people to agree with him.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by ringo, posted 06-24-2012 4:23 PM ringo has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by ringo, posted 06-25-2012 1:51 PM Dogmafood has seen this message

  
Dogmafood
Member (Idle past 323 days)
Posts: 1815
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 21 of 61 (666240)
06-25-2012 12:21 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Modulous
06-24-2012 9:50 AM


In as much as your life is a series of moments that you perceive, isn't your attitude toward it significantly important?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Modulous, posted 06-24-2012 9:50 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
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Dogmafood
Member (Idle past 323 days)
Posts: 1815
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 22 of 61 (666241)
06-25-2012 12:35 AM


This may seem like an off shoot but why are there no big leaps in this progression of 1 mile times? Are we at the end of the progression? When will we be at the end?

quote:
The first world record in the mile for men (athletics) was recognized by the International Amateur Athletics Federation, now known as the International Association of Athletics Federations, in 1913.

To June 21, 2009, the IAAF has ratified 32 world records in the event.[5]
Time Auto Athlete Nationality Date Venue
4:14.4 John Paul Jones United States 31 May 1913[5] Allston, Mass.
4:12.6 Norman Taber United States 16 July 1915[5] Allston, Mass.
4:10.4 Paavo Nurmi Finland 23 August 1923[5] Stockholm
4:09.2 Jules Ladoumègue France 4 October 1931[5] Paris
4:07.6 Jack Lovelock New Zealand 15 July 1933[5] Princeton, N.J.
4:06.8 Glenn Cunningham United States 16 June 1934[5] Princeton, N.J.
4:06.4 Sydney Wooderson United Kingdom 28 August 1937[5] Motspur Park
4:06.2 Gunder Hägg Sweden 1 July 1942[5] Göteborg
4:06.2 Arne Andersson Sweden 10 July 1942[5] Stockholm
4:04.6 Gunder Hägg Sweden 4 September 1942[5] Stockholm
4:02.6 Arne Andersson Sweden 1 July 1943[5] Göteborg
4:01.6 Arne Andersson Sweden 18 July 1944[5] Malmö
4:01.4 Gunder Hägg Sweden 17 July 1945[5] Malmö
3:59.4 Roger Bannister United Kingdom 6 May 1954[5] Oxford
3:58.0 John Landy Australia 21 June 1954[5] Turku
3:57.2 Derek Ibbotson United Kingdom 19 July 1957[5] London
3:54.5 Herb Elliott Australia 6 August 1958[5] Santry, Dublin
3:54.4 Peter Snell New Zealand 27 January 1962[5] Wanganui
3:54.1 3:54.04 Peter Snell New Zealand 17 November 1964[5] Auckland
3:53.6 Michel Jazy France 9 June 1965[5] Rennes
3:51.3 Jim Ryun United States 17 July 1966[5] Berkeley, Cal.
3:51.1 Jim Ryun United States 23 June 1967[5] Bakersfield, Cal.
3:51.0 Filbert Bayi Tanzania 17 May 1975[5] Kingston
3:49.4 John Walker New Zealand 12 August 1975[5] Göteborg
3:49.0 3:48.95 Sebastian Coe United Kingdom 17 July 1979[5] Oslo
3:48.8 Steve Ovett United Kingdom 1 July 1980[5] Oslo
3:48.53 Sebastian Coe United Kingdom 19 August 1981[5] Zürich
3:48.40 Steve Ovett United Kingdom 26 August 1981[5] Koblenz
3:47.33 Sebastian Coe United Kingdom 28 August 1981[5] Bruxelles
3:46.32 Steve Cram United Kingdom 27 July 1985[5] Oslo
3:44.39 Noureddine Morceli Algeria 5 September 1993[5] Rieti
3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj Morocco 7 July 1999[5] Rome



Replies to this message:
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Panda
Member (Idle past 2942 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 23 of 61 (666248)
06-25-2012 4:50 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Dogmafood
06-24-2012 11:32 PM


Re: Connected
DM writes:

Let me put it this way. If enough people believe that some particular thing is possible and continue to work toward it's realization until they achieve success, anything is possible.


I am still unconvinced by 'anything is possible'.
I don't see a group of 10000 people being able to teach a goldfish to fly a jet - however much they are convinced that they can succeed.

DM writes:

I would say that his confidence in his ability was up to the task.


A climber with vertigo could fall from the tree a random number of times.
But you would argue that he has a varying amount of confidence each time?
That definitely sounds like the sharp-shooter fallacy to me.

DM writes:

...and also that it wouldn't serve as a good example for what I am trying to flesh out.


Yes.
You are standing under the tree waiting for the confident climber to succeed so that you can point at him and say "See? I was correct!" - while ignoring him when he falls.
Definitely confirmation bias.

DM writes:

If you were trying to write an equation to define the extent of all possible realities, what part would a person's attitude take in it? How much can your level of conviction expand the sphere of all possible realities?


Isn't that what you are trying to show?
I agree that it would be greater than zero, but as I said in my previous reply, "the odds of me going to the Moon is greatly increased by me 'wishing' to go to the Moon" but I don't see our own personal confidence being able to push the boundaries of what is possible.

imh: something is either possible or it is not - but you are not likely to achieve the possible if you don't try.
But you can also achieve the possible if you don't try (i.e. accidentally inventing an artificial sweetener).

DM writes:

I see that it is a vague claim but also that there is a real and tangible effect on our reality caused solely by our attitude towards it. How big is that effect?


Confidence definitely affects our interactions with other people, but it is not always a positive effect: confidence can be viewed as arrogance.
But I still don't see it changing what is actually possible.

Hmmm...quite rambling.
Ok - let me try and draw my points into a more cohesive statement of my thoughts...

Confidence can affect our lives (both positively and negatively).
Confidence doesn't change what is actually possible.
If someone tries to do something, then that 'something' is more likely to happen - regardless of their confidence.
But a confident person might spend longer trying to do that 'something' - increasing their chances of success.

Hopefully that makes sense.


CRYSTALS!!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Dogmafood, posted 06-24-2012 11:32 PM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Dogmafood, posted 06-26-2012 6:06 AM Panda has taken no action

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1333 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(1)
Message 24 of 61 (666254)
06-25-2012 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Dogmafood
06-24-2012 11:35 PM


Isn't that dualism?

In dualism mental objects are in some sense reflections of real things. Alternatively it might refer to the notion that there are two states of being, the physical and the spiritual (sometimes: the mental).
Just because I am identifying two things, it does not make it dualism.

I am identifying a model of reality that exists within my brain, which is used to make decisions. This is in contrast to actual reality which is completely independent of the flawed model I have of it in my brain.

There isn't a 'my reality'. There is a 'my model of reality' and 'reality itself'.

That is probably another topic but interesting. What do you mean?

Well what are you changing the future from and what are you changing it into?

The future is what will happen.

But you can change your predictions about the future. For instance, let us say 'I predict y, if I do not do x; I do not want y, therefore I will do x'. When you do x, it is now what was once 'the future' and it transpires that in the future you did x. Nothing you did changed the future, as the future was 'you do x', and you did in fact 'do x'.

FTL and PM are examples of things that we perceive to be impossible now. There are good indications that they will always be impossible but we are not certain are we?

As I originally said, emphasis added:

quote:
The thing you believe with conviction may simply have no technological solution. For instance: Perpetual motion or FTL travel. These may have have a solution or not. No amount of belief will change the universe so that it becomes possible.

We cannot know for certain what is impossible, but I think it is perfectly reasonable to conclude that there are some things we can imagine, even believe in, which are in fact prohibited by the fundamental way in which reality operates. I used FTL and PM as examples to avoid sounding vague or over general.

You agree that there is some utility to belief. What are it's limits?

You have a certain capacity, a certain capability to perform a task. This is dictated to you by fundamental facts: Gravity, your muscle strength, oxygen content of the atmosphere, flexibility, intelligence, memories etc.

Let us call your full capacity, c.

Certain tasks require a certain level of capacity to successfully complete them. A cat is not going to write a play in iambic pentameter, it lacks the capacity. We'll call the required capacity, k.

Then we have your present capacity, p. While Usain Bolt has the general capacity to run fast, he won't if he's tied to a truck. Again various factors come into play here, but the one of interest here is 'belief one has k'.

p = c - x

X is a variable which represent things which are for some reason hampering you from operating at full capacity.

One might be able to reduce x, partially, by fostering a strong belief in your capacity to perform at k.

However, if p < k and x=0 then no amount of extra belief is going to cause you to succeed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Dogmafood, posted 06-24-2012 11:35 PM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Dogmafood, posted 06-26-2012 6:13 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1333 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 25 of 61 (666256)
06-25-2012 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Dogmafood
06-25-2012 12:21 AM


In as much as your life is a series of moments that you perceive, isn't your attitude toward it significantly important?

Important to whom, and why do you ask?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Dogmafood, posted 06-25-2012 12:21 AM Dogmafood has seen this message

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 19517
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 26 of 61 (666282)
06-25-2012 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Dogmafood
06-24-2012 11:43 PM


Dogmafood writes:

And just look at what Hitler acheived by convincing people to agree with him.


That was my point. Hitler had to have an insane level of self-confidence to take on the world but people like that are a dime a dozen. You need the ability to infect others with self-confidence before you can achieve big things, good or bad. Charles Manson was a small-scale Hitler who would probably have been much less "successful" on his own. Kennedy was perhaps less megalomaniacal but no less infectious.

Edited by ringo, : Speling.

Edited by ringo, : Moe spelling.


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 Message 20 by Dogmafood, posted 06-24-2012 11:43 PM Dogmafood has seen this message

  
Huntard
Member (Idle past 1524 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 27 of 61 (666304)
06-25-2012 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Dogmafood
06-25-2012 12:35 AM


Dogmafood writes:

This may seem like an off shoot but why are there no big leaps in this progression of 1 mile times? Are we at the end of the progression? When will we be at the end?


I don't know when we will be at the end, but there are simple physical limitations to the current human body that prohibit certain things from being done. For instance, it is impossible for the mile to be run in under 2 minutes (yes, extreme, I know), with the current human physique. No matter how hard you train, and how perfect your genes are, no one will ever, ever, ever run the mile in under 2 minutes. It would have to take significant enhancing technologies (be they genetic or purely technical) for this to be possible. However, small incremental improvements of the world record will continue to happen. For how long, is hard to say.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Dogmafood, posted 06-25-2012 12:35 AM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
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Dogmafood
Member (Idle past 323 days)
Posts: 1815
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 28 of 61 (666336)
06-26-2012 6:06 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Panda
06-25-2012 4:50 AM


Re: Connected
I don't see a group of 10000 people being able to teach a goldfish to fly a jet - however much they are convinced that they can succeed.

I don't see 10000 people believing that they can teach a goldfish to fly a jet although I have heard that they are good learners. Contrast that with 10000 people believing that they can build a quantum computer. You would say that the quantum computer is either possible or impossible regardless of what anybody believes about it's possibility. I am saying that the realization of a quantum computer is, in fact, impossible if no one believes it enough to make it happen. The quantum computer must first exist in someone's imagination before it can exist in reality.

Yes.
You are standing under the tree waiting for the confident climber to succeed so that you can point at him and say "See? I was correct!" - while ignoring him when he falls.
Definitely confirmation bias.

Or I am waiting to see if he falls to determine his level of confidence. I guess I would need a corroborating method to determine his confidence level before the climb.

imh: something is either possible or it is not - but you are not likely to achieve the possible if you don't try.
But you can also achieve the possible if you don't try

Sure you can fall out of bed without trying or discover x-rays while looking for something else. I am not saying that nothing will happen if no one believes it.

If someone tries to do something, then that 'something' is more likely to happen - regardless of their confidence.

How many things do you try to do with absolutely no belief that you can succeed?

But a confident person might spend longer trying to do that 'something' - increasing their chances of success.

Exactly. It's all just a crap shoot and your belief increases your odds of success. Lots of belief=lots of increase.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Panda, posted 06-25-2012 4:50 AM Panda has taken no action

  
Dogmafood
Member (Idle past 323 days)
Posts: 1815
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 29 of 61 (666338)
06-26-2012 6:13 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Modulous
06-25-2012 9:24 AM


Just because I am identifying two things, it does not make it dualism.
I am identifying a model of reality that exists within my brain, which is used to make decisions. This is in contrast to actual reality which is completely independent of the flawed model I have of it in my brain.

You are identifying 2 states of existence. The one that you think that you inhabit and the one that you do inhabit. Is that not the same as thinking that you exist spiritually as well as physically?

We cannot know for certain what is impossible, but I think it is perfectly reasonable to conclude that there are some things we can imagine, even believe in, which are in fact prohibited by the fundamental way in which reality operates.

Absolutely but you dont believe in things that you also believe are impossible?

A bit of an epiphany here. Is it the possibility of a thing that makes you believe in it?

One might be able to reduce x, partially, by fostering a strong belief in your capacity to perform at k.
However, if p < k and x=0 then no amount of extra belief is going to cause you to succeed.

Beautifully concise.

Is it significant that your belief is part of the variable that includes gravity and oxygen content?

In as much as your life is a series of moments that you perceive, isn't your attitude toward it significantly important?

Important to whom, and why do you ask?

Important to you.

If you choose to believe something because it makes you feel better, hasn't that belief altered your reality?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Modulous, posted 06-25-2012 9:24 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Modulous, posted 06-26-2012 10:31 AM Dogmafood has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1333 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(3)
Message 30 of 61 (666348)
06-26-2012 10:31 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Dogmafood
06-26-2012 6:13 AM


The treachery of models
You are identifying 2 states of existence. The one that you think that you inhabit and the one that you do inhabit. Is that not the same as thinking that you exist spiritually as well as physically?


The Treachery of Images, René Magritte

Magritte is identifying two things. The pipe, and a picture of the pipe. He asserts that the picture of a pipe is not itself a pipe.

Likewise, I'm simply identifying two things. Reality and the model of reality in my head. They are both made up of physical things (just as a painting and a pipe are both physical things), so it's not metaphysical dualism.

I'm not suggesting that the model of reality exists spiritually. It exists physically - as a result of certain brain structures.

Absolutely but you dont believe in things that you also believe are impossible?

Quite right.

Is it the possibility of a thing that makes you believe in it?

No, it's your personal assessment of the possibility of a thing that makes you believe in it. Your assessment may be erroneous.

Is it significant that your belief is part of the variable that includes gravity and oxygen content?

No, it was just to make it simpler to write it out. I just lumped all variables into a 'supervariable'.

isn't your attitude toward {life} significantly important?
Important to whom, and why do you ask?

Important to you.

Me personally? Sure, but I don't think it is necessarily important to everyone.

If you choose to believe something because it makes you feel better, hasn't that belief altered your reality?

I would say it has altered your model of reality. The reality that you inhabit has not been altered (other than say, your brain).

Just as if Magritte may have originally painted a hat, but then altered to into a pipe - all he is doing is altering his painting of reality - he has not actually transformed a hat into a pipe. He has changed a picture of a hat into a picture of a pipe.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Dogmafood, posted 06-26-2012 6:13 AM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Dogmafood, posted 06-27-2012 8:56 PM Modulous has replied

  
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