Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dear Dr. Freud,

I have an answer for your never answered question about what a woman wants. It seems that scientific discoveries and developments since your death offer a little enlightenment about the questions of your day. I don't pretend to be able to explain these things well enough for you or anyone else to understand fully, but I'll try anyway. For lack of a better way of organizing myself I'll start with a list:

1. A Woman Wants Supersymmetry which has to do with particle physics and is sort of self-explanatory by its name. I can't explain it exactly, but I kind of understand it (something about these tiny, little particles wanting to even themselves and each other out by partnering). I like it. I think that it is the state that we all (the whole Universe) would like to attain. We all want our 'superpartner'. (Maybe this is the state of Completion or Heaven or Nirvana at which we are no longer having to make adjustments and stuff?) And really, isn't that what Life is all about? Getting as close to balanced as you can. A woman wants a balanced relationship with a man. She doesn't want to feel like she's doing all of the work. She wants to feel necessary and wanted, and dare I say it, equal in importance and not just an accessory. (Though I wonder if there is ever "perfect" balance would it result in stagnation? Maybe there must be some imbalance required to maintain movement/energy? But that's probably a topic for another time, and I don't want to argue with myself right now.)

2. A Woman Does Not Want the Anthropic (man-centered) Principle which deals with why the Universe (or at least what we know of it) is perfectly suited for our existence. I can't pretend to understand that much about this one either, but I've decided that I don't think it's really necessary or worthwhile to put too much effort into exploring because it's a 'dead end.' It is a dead end because we are an expression (extension) of the Universe. The Universe is not an expression (extension) of us. If the Universe was truly an expression/extension of us (Life) then I think we'd not be asking this question at all. If it was an expression/extension of our consciousness or whatever then we'd understand it much, much better. If it was an expression of us then we'd be much better at altering it. Sure, "I think, therefore I am." But that doesn't mean, "I think, therefore you are." Likewise, a woman does not want the man to be the center of the Universe. A woman wants to be right there with him, partnered. (There is room for two at the center.)

Semi-seriously, doesn't the Anthropic Principle seem like a dog chasing its tail (or a man looking in the mirror)?

So, Dr. Freud, I hope that brings something new to your quest to understand women. My apologies to your physicist colleagues for abusing their terms and ideas. I hope that you can see that women don't envy your penis. We don't feel "incomplete" because we don't have one attached to us. But we do feel incomplete when we aren't in a balanced and harmonious relationship with a man because men and women are meant to be complementary and partnered. Men shouldn't envy women for the ability to 'create' life, and women shouldn't envy men for having the ability to 'support and increase' life. Your "toy models" of women are just far too simple and incomplete in light of modern knowledge. It's unfortunate that still to this day there are conflicts, power struggles, illusions, and delusions about our "other halves."

Anyway, rest in peace.

Sincerely,

Rae Ann

PS I thought you might be interested to know that this Anthropic Principle is the latest 'new wave' (popular) philosophy that has infiltrated many fields of study, particularly psychology and physics. And subsequently, the areas of spirituality and "self-help". Hmm, I guess there wasn't such a thing as "self help" back in your day. Nowadays, there is a glut of disposable books written by "experts" of various qualifications and credentials who tell other people how to live their lives. Anyway, I suspect that this Anthropic stuff is just a philosophical "fad" much like communism that will eventually be shown to be a dead end. But, then, what do I know? I'm just a woman, and a housewife at that! ;-)

6 comments:

island said...

Hi Rae Ann,

It is a dead end because we are an expression (extension) of the Universe. The Universe is not an expression (extension) of us.

I don't think that the AP prohibits an interpretation like this, or I'm in a lot of trouble... ;)

In the same light, as it relates to your post on global warming and our connection to the whole ...

How can we ever possibly truly violate the ecobalance that we contributing members **belong** to?

Global warming counterbalances the long term trend toward glaciation that is predicted by empirically derived Milankovitch modes.

And that balance between diametrically opposing runaway tendencies most definitely does define an anthropic coincidence.

So our tendency to warm the climate can be likened to the instinct of sqirrles burrying nuts for the long winter. Environmental awareness of the possibility for a runaway greenhouse effect just means that we're getting close to having enough nuts.



But FEmales are welcome... ;)

Rae Ann said...

Hi island,

"How can we ever possibly truly violate the ecobalance that we contributing members **belong** to?"

That's pretty much exactly what I mean. I just have a fundamental problem with the anthropic reasoning that I'm sorry I can't fully explain. Maybe it is from an ingrained belief in Something Else or More than what we are. Of course, I like the idea that all the answers are somehow within us just waiting to be discovered, but I still think that we can't say that it is all *for* or *because* of us. Maybe I just don't understand the deeper implications of the anthropic principle?

As for warming and changing the planet I'm not sure I understand your comparison to squirrels and nuts. ;-) Some of the NASA photos that really amazed me were of the massive amounts of whale sperm that 'pollute' the shorelines of the Northwestern US at some times. Of course, this isn't really pollution in the larger sense, but I sure wouldn't go swimming in it. ;-) My point with that is that what looks like a 'runaway greenhouse effect' to us is probably just a natural and expected result of Life. We aren't polluting the earth any more than all that whale sperm. I tried to find those photos but can't remember exactly where they were. I'll try again when I don't have a migraine headache. :-)

And just for clarity, in the global warming post the picture saying "proof positive" was a joke. ;-)

island said...

I still think that we can't say that it is all *for* or *because* of us.

Right, I haven't been disagreeing with you as it agrees with my interpretation of the AP.

Maybe I just don't understand the deeper implications of the anthropic principle?

Well, there are numerous interpretations of the physics, what they call, "variants", of the following physics that first caught physicists attention:

--The observed structure of the universe occurs in dramatic contrast to the modeled expectation... so many fixed balance points that are commonly or "coincidentally" pointing directly toward carbon-based life indicate that there is some good physical reason for it that is somehow "specially" related to the existence of carbon-based life.--

It's perfectly acceptable to interpret that this means that life arrises in many galaxies that evolved under similar conditons as we did, (like trees in our own ecosystem) to perform a specific task to the benefit of the whole, (the physical process of the universe), not ours.

What confuses the issue is the indication that we are being enabled, so people interpret that this means that we are the reason for the universe but in reality it means that we're enabled to be here, to do a job.

But "free-thinkers" believe that we are detacted from the ecosystem, so that's where environmental extremists get their clueless idea that we could possibly pollute our world so badly that we could kill ourselves before mother nature kicked our butts back into line.

My point was that environmental awareness grows as we get closer to the latter happening.

How can we possibly kill ourselves off if we are REQUIRED as necessary contributing members of the ecosystem, especially since it has been long known and well established that ecosystems are *self-regulating*.

Forget the sqirrls, and read Paul Davies new book when it comes out:

The Goldilocks Enigma

island said...

But whatever you do, don't tell LUMO!!!... ;)

Rae Ann said...

Hi island,

"What confuses the issue is the indication that we are being enabled, so people interpret that this means that we are the reason for the universe but in reality it means that we're enabled to be here, to do a job."

I see what you're saying - that as part of the whole we are essential. I agree with that and it seems "scientific" enough. But when you use words like "enable" it begins to sound like an argument for the existence of God. Not that there is anything wrong with that... actually that might soften my view of it. ;-) But really, I need more information. The word "inevitable" comes to mind.

"observed structure of the universe occurs in dramatic contrast to the modeled expectation"

It seems the issue is with the "modeled expectation". I'm not sure what I mean. ;-)

"But whatever you do, don't tell LUMO!!!..."

lol, I'm not afraid of Lubos. ;-)

island said...

I'm only teasing because he used to hate the AP with a serious passion, but he would still say that attempts to explain the structure of the universe from first principles are a waste of time.

The word "inevitable" comes to mind.

And it came right out of Brandon Carter's mouth, too, but it's because time and location become a factor of the evolution of the matter field.

Carter articulated the Anthropic Principle as an ecological correction, so called, of what is now called the Copernican Cosmological Principle. This Principle extends the principle of relativity so as to require that all observers experience the same laws of physics uniformly throughout the universe. Hence at any given time, the universe will be both homogeneous and isotropic, (in 3-D space). This defines a non-applicable principle of mediocrity, one precluding the existence of a mechanism favoring any particular time and location for the appearance of carbon-based life as we know it.

That's what "inevitable" is about.

Copernicus argued that the Earth is not the centre of the solar system, but Carter noted that pure cosmological extensions of this idea are what he called the anticentrist dogma, that led to cosmological formulations like the Perfect Cosmological Principle, which does not result from the evolutionary physics that derives the cosmic coincidences and the otherwise unexplained large scale structuring of the universe that becomes absurdly apparent with the cosmological constant problem. This vexing problem is why the Anthropic Principle has acquired a following among String Theorists trying to choose the correct vacuum solution from the landscape, since no other stability mechanism explaining why this is so has been proposed


Carter's symposium paper, "Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology," included the statement:

"Although our situation is not necessarily central, it is inevitably privileged to some extent"

~

"observed structure of the universe occurs in dramatic contrast to the modeled expectation"

It seems the issue is with the "modeled expectation". I'm not sure what I mean. ;-)

I know what you meant, but the statement cannot be dissected into separate parts that exclude relevant information to the point.

The structure that we end up with is comprised of a multitude of balance points that coincidentally unfold over the history of the universe to produce carbon-based-life at a specific time/location in its history.

The range of magnitude for these coincidences starts with the near-perfect flat stucturing of the universe, all the way down to the balance that exists between global warming and long-term glaciation.

This "goldilocks enigma" makes pin-point testable predictions about life in the observed universe, based soley on the average of extremes that must be unfold in order for life to exist.