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Monday, September 10, 2007

The entire enterprise of the Uncertainty Principle is an attempt to bring some kind of exactness

Matthew Dallman (website) is a composer, poet, and aesthetics scholar.
Matthew Says: August 22nd, 2007 at 10:42 am While I see your point, you miss the implication. Which is that treating, say, the Bible contemplatively, as metaphysical, as commentary on life’s most profound issues — treating literature in that way is in fact an act of faith, unto itself. I can cite several specific books of the Bible (and have previously) that have greatly clarified and helped my life, essentially. But the Bible is so filled and overflowing that I could spend the rest of my days, every day, absorbing its stories and the implications of those stories, and it still wouldn’t be tapped of insight. This depth is what separates the chaff of “mere literature” from the wheat of genuine “sacred literature” — people again and again finding meaning in the Book’s mysteries.
Whether I think the Bible is the “word of God” would depend on how each of us define that. For example, the Bible certainly tells of the character of God, “gives word of God”, so to speak, i.e., informs us. And I believe the character “God”, in all that characters depicted shades of character, represents something at the root of all human life, past, present and future. I also believe the character of God is something that no one can fully understand, and thus always remains mysterious in the Bible’s anthologized stories.
“Faith” of any kind is by definition a leap beyond what we can prove through the instruments of exact measurement. Why the kind of leap I’ve described above requires anything like “magical thinking” continues to, as I said, utterly baffle me. But thanks for the comment; I added a line to my original post to clarify my view.
Matthew Says: September 9th, 2007 at 10:59 am Hi Gimbalock,
Well, the definition is meant to be pithy. It also comes from Plato. And I don’t think I’ve made a misstatement at all.
Note it does not suggest that a person practicing science, as exact measurement, cannot also bring perspectives from other disciplines into play (such as exact measurement/science + natural philosophy; or + art; or + fashion theory). It would be rather hard not to, though not impossible or even unusual. I further don’t think your words about uncertainty are wrong, but nor conflicting with the definition I offered. Practicing exact measurement does not mean one’s measurements will be exact all the time; or that “exact” will change over time; for science it is a process over years to compare one’s science with another’s, attempting the same experiments several times, verifying, refuting, etc. What we thought to be exact measurements are later found by others to be less exact than necessary, and so on. Exactness is provisional. Perfect “exactness” is theoretical, no?
And I think you can recognize that the entire enterprise of the Uncertainty Principle is an attempt to bring some kind of exactness — more exact understanding rather than less to a given system, even through the back door as Heisenberg does. If employing Heisenberg brings more clarity (even clarity about uncertainty, or a sense of knowing what we do not know), then it is has brought more exactness, hasn’t it.
I would submit that I could have added words of this to my original post, to be more, ehem, exact. thanks for the comment, md The Daily Goose

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