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Introduction to the CTMU

dylancatlow
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12/23/2015 10:20:19 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
The real universe has always been theoretically treated as an object, and specifically as the composite type of object known as a set. But an object or set exists in space and time, and reality does not. Because the real universe by definition contains all that is real, there is no "external reality" (or space, or time) in which it can exist or have been "created". We can talk about lesser regions of the real universe in such a light, but not about the real universe as a whole. Nor, for identical reasons, can we think of the universe as the sum of its parts, for these parts exist solely within a spacetime manifold identified with the whole and cannot explain the manifold itself. This rules out pluralistic explanations of reality, forcing us to seek an explanation at once monic (because nonpluralistic) and holistic (because the basic conditions for existence are embodied in the manifold, which equals the whole). Obviously, the first step towards such an explanation is to bring monism and holism into coincidence.

When theorizing about an all-inclusive reality, the first and most important principle is containment, which simply tells us what we should and should not be considering. Containment principles, already well known in cosmology, generally take the form of tautologies; e.g., "The physical universe contains all and only that which is physical." The predicate "physical", like all predicates, here corresponds to a structured set, "the physical universe" (because the universe has structure and contains objects, it is a structured set). But this usage of tautology is somewhat loose, for it technically amounts to a predicate-logical equivalent of propositional tautology called autology, meaning self-description. Specifically, the predicate physical is being defined on topological containment in the physical universe, which is tacitly defined on and descriptively contained in the predicate physical, so that the self-definition of "physical" is a two-step operation involving both topological and descriptive containment. While this principle, which we might regard as a statement of "physicalism", is often confused with materialism on the grounds that "physical" equals "material", the material may in fact be only a part of what makes up the physical. Similarly, the physical may only be a part of what makes up the real. Because the content of reality is a matter of science as opposed to mere semantics, this issue can be resolved only by rational or empirical evidence, not by assumption alone.

Can a containment principle for the real universe be formulated by analogy with that just given for the physical universe? Let's try it: "The real universe contains all and only that which is real." Again, we have a tautology, or more accurately an autology, which defines the real on inclusion in the real universe, which is itself defined on the predicate real. This reflects semantic duality, a logical equation of predication and inclusion whereby perceiving or semantically predicating an attribute of an object amounts to perceiving or predicating the object's topological inclusion in the set or space dualistically corresponding to the predicate. According to semantic duality, the predication of the attribute real on the real universe from within the real universe makes reality a self-defining predicate, which is analogous to a self-including set. An all-inclusive set, which is by definition self-inclusive as well, is called "the set of all sets". Because it is all-descriptive as well as self-descriptive, the reality predicate corresponds to the set of all sets. And because the self-definition of reality involves both descriptive and topological containment, it is a two-stage hybrid of universal autology and the set of all sets.

Now for a brief word on sets. Mathematicians view set theory as fundamental. Anything can be considered an object, even a space or a process, and wherever there are objects, there is a set to contain them. This "something" may be a relation, a space or an algebraic system, but it is also a set; its relational, spatial or algebraic structure simply makes it a structured set. So mathematicians view sets, broadly including null, singleton, finite and infinite sets, as fundamental objects basic to meaningful descriptions of reality. It follows that reality itself should be a set"in fact, the largest set of all. But every set, even the largest one, has a powerset which contains it, and that which contains it must be larger (a contradiction). The obvious solution: define an extension of set theory incorporating two senses of "containment" which work together in such a way that the largest set can be defined as "containing" its powerset in one sense while being contained by its powerset in the other. Thus, it topologically includes itself in the act of descriptively including itself in the act of topologically including itself..., and so on, in the course of which it obviously becomes more than just a set.

In the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe or CTMU, the set of all sets, and the real universe to which it corresponds, take the name (SCSPL) of the required extension of set theory. SCSPL, which stands for Self-Configuring Self-Processing Language, is just a totally intrinsic, i.e. completely self-contained, language that is comprehensively and coherently (self-distributively) self-descriptive, and can thus be model-theoretically identified as its own universe or referent domain. Theory and object go by the same name because unlike conventional ZF or NBG set theory, SCSPL hologically infuses sets and their elements with the distributed (syntactic, metalogical) component of the theoretical framework containing and governing them, namely SCSPL syntax itself, replacing ordinary set-theoretic objects with SCSPL syntactic operators. The CTMU is so-named because the SCSPL universe, like the set of all sets, distributively embodies the logical syntax of its own descriptive mathematical language. It is thus not only self-descriptive in nature; where logic denotes the rules of cognition (reasoning, inference), it is self-cognitive as well. (The terms "SCSPL" and "hology" are explained further below; to skip immediately to the explanations, just click on the above links.)

An act is a temporal process, and self-inclusion is a spatial relation. The act of self-inclusion is thus "where time becomes space"; for the set of all sets, there can be no more fundamental process. No matter what else happens in the evolving universe, it must be temporally embedded in this dualistic self-inclusion operation. In the CTMU, the self-inclusion process is known as conspansion and occurs at the distributed, Lorentz-invariant conspansion rate c, a time-space conversion factor already familiar as the speed of light in vacuo (conspansion consists of two alternative phases accounting for the wave and particle properties of matter and affording a logical explanation for accelerating cosmic expansion). When we imagine a dynamic self-including set, we think of a set growing larger and larger in order to engulf itself from without. But since there is no "without" relative to the real universe, external growth or reference is not an option; there can be no external set or external descriptor. Instead, self-inclusion and self-description must occur inwardly as the universe stratifies into a temporal sequence of states, each state topologically and computationally contained in the one preceding it (where the conventionally limited term computation is understood to refer to a more powerful SCSPL-based concept, protocomputation, involving spatiotemporal parallelism). On the present level of discourse, this inward self-inclusion is the conspansive basis of what we call spacetime.

Continued Below...
dylancatlow
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12/23/2015 10:20:32 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Every object in spacetime includes the entirety of spacetime as a state-transition syntax according to which its next state is created. This guarantees the mutual consistency of states and the overall unity of the dynamic entity the real universe. And because the sole real interpretation of the set-theoretic entity "the set of all sets" is the entire real universe, the associated foundational paradoxes are resolved in kind (by attributing mathematical structure like that of the universe to the pure, uninterpreted set-theoretic version of the set of all sets). Concisely, resolving the set-of-all-sets paradox requires that (1) an endomorphism or self-similarity mapping D:S-->r"S be defined for the set of all sets S and its internal points r; (2) there exist two complementary senses of inclusion, one topological [S "t D(S)] and one predicative [D(S) "d S], that allow the set to descriptively "include itself" from within, i.e. from a state of topological self-inclusion (where "t denotes topological or set-theoretic inclusion and "d denotes descriptive inclusion, e.g. the inclusion in a language of its referents); and (3) the input S of D be global and structural, while the output D(S) = (r "d S) be internal to S and play a syntactic role. In short, the set-theoretic and cosmological embodiments of the self-inclusion paradox are resolved by properly relating the self-inclusive object to the descriptive syntax in terms of which it is necessarily expressed, thus effecting true self-containment: "the universe (set of all sets) is that which topologically contains that which descriptively contains the universe (set of all sets)."

This characterizes a system that consistently perceives itself and develops its own structure from within via hology, a 2-stage form of self-similarity roughly analogous to holography. (Hology is a logico-cybernetic form of self-similarity in which the global structure of a self-contained, self-interactive system doubles as its distributed self-transductive syntax; it is justified by the obvious fact that in a self-contained system, no other structure is available for that purpose.) The associated conspansive mapping D is called incoversion in the spatiotemporally inward direction and coinversion in the reverse (outward, D-1) direction. Incoversion carries global structure inward as state-recognition and state-transformation syntax, while coinversion projects syntactic structure outward in such a way as to recognize existing structure and determine future states in conformance with it. Incoversion is associated with an operation called requantization, while coinversion is associated with a complementary operation called inner expansion. The alternation of these operations, often referred to as wave-particle duality, comprises the conspansion process. The Principle of Conspansive Duality then says that what appears as cosmic expansion from an interior (local) viewpoint appears as material and temporal contraction from a global viewpoint. Because metric concepts like "size" and "duration" are undefined with respect to the universe as a whole, the spacetime metric is defined strictly intrinsically, and the usual limit of cosmological regress, a pointlike cosmic singularity, becomes the closed spacetime algebra already identified as SCSPL.

Thus, the real universe is not a static set, but a dynamic process resolving the self-inclusion paradox. Equivalently, because any real explanation of reality is contained in reality itself, reality gives rise to a paradox unless regarded as an inclusory self-mapping. This is why, for example, category theory is increasingly preferred to set theory as a means of addressing the foundations of mathematics; it centers on invariant relations or mappings between covariant or contravariant (dually related) objects rather than on static objects themselves. For similar reasons, a focus on the relative invariants of semantic processes is also well-suited to the formulation of evolving theories in which the definitions of objects and sets are subject to change; thus, we can speak of time and space as equivalent to cognition and information with respect to the invariant semantic relation processes, as in "time processes space" and "cognition processes information". But when we define reality as a process, we must reformulate containment accordingly. Concisely, reality theory becomes a study of SCSPL autology naturally formulated in terms of mappings. This is done by adjoining to logic certain metalogical principles, formulated in terms of mappings, that enable reality to be described as an autological (self-descriptive, self-recognizing/self-processing) system.

The first such principle is MAP, acronymic for Metaphysical Autology Principle. Let S be the real universe, and let T = T(S) be its theoretical description or "TOE". MAP, designed to endow T and S with mathematical closure, simply states that T and S are closed with respect to all internally relevant operations, including recognition and description. In terms of mappings, this means that all inclusional or descriptive mappings of S are automorphisms (e.g., permutations or foldings) or endomorphisms (self-injections). MAP is implied by the unlimited scope, up to perceptual relevance, of the universal quantifier implicitly attached to reality by the containment principle. With closure thereby established, we can apply techniques of logical reduction to S without worrying about whether the lack of some external necessity will spoil the reduction. In effect, MAP makes T(S) "exclusive enough" to describe S by excluding as a descriptor of S anything not in S. But there still remains the necessity of providing S with a mechanism of self-description.

This mechanism is provided by another metalogical principle, the M=R or Mind Equals Reality Principle, that identifies S with the extended cognitive syntax D(S) of the theorist. This syntax (system of cognitive rules) not only determines the theorist's perception of the universe, but bounds his cognitive processes and is ultimately the limit of his theorization (this relates to the observation that all we can directly know of reality are our perceptions of it). The reasoning is simple; S determines the composition and behavior of objects (or subsystems) s in S, and thus comprises the general syntax (structural and functional rules of S) of which s obeys a specific restriction. Thus, where s is an ideal observer/theorist in S, S is the syntax of its own observation and explanation by s. This is directly analogous to "the real universe contains all and only that which is real", but differently stated: "S contains all and only objects s whose extended syntax is isomorphic to S." M=R identifies S with the veridical limit of any partial theory T of S [limT(S) = D(S)], thus making S "inclusive enough" to describe itself. That is, nothing relevant to S is excluded from S @ D(S).

Continued Below...
dylancatlow
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12/23/2015 10:20:53 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Mathematically, the M=R Principle is expressed as follows. The universe obviously has a structure S. According to the logic outlined above, this structure is self-similar; S distributes over S, where "distributes over S" means "exists without constraint on location or scale within S". In other words, the universe is a perfectly self-similar system whose overall structure is replicated everywhere within it as a general state-recognition and state-transition syntax (as understood in an extended computational sense). The self-distribution of S, called hology, follows from the containment principle, i.e. the tautological fact that everything within the real universe must be described by the predicate "real" and thus fall within the constraints of global structure. That this structure is completely self-distributed implies that it is locally indistinguishable for subsystems s; it could only be discerned against its absence, and it is nowhere absent in S. Spacetime is thus transparent from within, its syntactic structure invisible to its contents on the classical (macroscopic) level. Localized systems generally express and utilize only a part of this syntax on any given scale, as determined by their specific structures. I.e., where there exists a hological incoversion endomorphism D:S"{r"S} carrying the whole structure of S into every internal point and region of S, objects (quantum-geometrodynamically) embedded in S take their recognition and state-transformation syntaxes directly from the ambient spatiotemporal background up to isomorphism. Objects thus utilize only those aspects of D(S) of which they are structural and functional representations.

The inverse D-1 of this map (coinversion) describes how an arbitrary local system s within S recognizes S at the object level and obeys the appropriate "laws", ultimately giving rise to human perception. This reflects the fact that S is a self-perceptual system, with various levels of self-perception emerging within interactive subsystems s (where perception is just a refined form of interaction based on recognition in an extended computational sense). Thus, with respect to any class {s} of subsystems of S, we can define a homomorphic submap d of the endomorphism D: d:S"{s} expressing only that part of D to which {s} is isomorphic. In general, the si are coherent or physically self-interactive systems exhibiting dynamical and informational closure; they have sometimes-inaccessible internal structures and dynamics (particularly on the quantum scale), and are distinguishable from each other by means of informational boundaries contained in syntax and comprising a "spacetime metric".

According to the above definitions, the global self-perceptor S is amenable to a theological interpretation, and its contents {s} to "generalized cognitors" including subatomic particles, sentient organisms, and every material system in between. Unfortunately, above the object level, the validity of s-cognition - the internal processing of sentient subsystems s - depends on the specific cognitive functionability of a given s...the extent to which s can implicitly represent higher-order relations of S. In General Relativity, S is regarded as given and complete; the laws of mathematics and science are taken as pre-existing. On the quantum scale, on the other hand, laws governing the states and distributions of matter and energy do not always have sufficient powers of restriction to fully determine quantum behavior, requiring probabilistic augmentation in the course of quantum wavefunction collapse. This prevents a given s, indeed anything other than S, from enclosing a complete nomology (set of laws); while a complete set of laws would amount to a complete deterministic history of the universe, calling the universe "completely deterministic" amounts to asserting the existence of prior determinative constraints. But this is a logical absurdity, since if these constraints were real, they would be included in reality rather than prior or external to it (by the containment principle). It follows that the universe freely determines its own constraints, the establishment of nomology and the creation of its physical (observable) content being effectively simultaneous and recursive. The incoversive distribution of this relationship is the basis of free will, by virtue of which the universe is freely created by sentient agents existing within it.

Let's elaborate a bit. Consider the universe as a completely evolved perceptual system, including all of the perceptions that will ultimately comprise it. We cannot know all of those perceptions specifically, but to the extent that they are interactively connected, we can refer to them en masse. The set of "laws" obeyed by the universe is just a minimal set of logical relations that suffices to make these perceptions noncontradictory, i.e. mutually consistent, and a distributed set of laws is just a set of laws formulated in such a way that the formulation can be read by any part of the system S. Obviously, for perceptions to be connected by laws, the laws themselves must be internally connected according to a syntax, and the ultimate syntax of nomological connectedness must be globally valid; whatever the laws may be at any stage of system evolution, all parts of S must be able to unambiguously read them, execute and be acted upon by them, and recognize and be recognized as their referents ("unambiguously" implies that 2-valued logic is a primary ingredient of nomology; its involvement is described by a third metalogical principle designed to ensure consistency, namely MU or Multiplex Unity). This implies that the action and content of the laws are merged together in each part of the system as a single (but dual-aspect) quantity, infocognition. The connectedness and consistency of infocognition is maintained by refinement and homogenization as nomological languages are superseded by extensional metalanguages in order to create and/or explain new data; because the "theory" SCSPL model-theoretically equates itself to the real universe, its "creation" and causal "explanation" operations are to a certain extent identical, and the SCSPL universe can be considered to create or configure itself by means of "self-theorization" or "self-explanation".

Continued Below...
dylancatlow
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12/23/2015 10:21:19 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
The simplest way to explain "connected" in this context is that every part of the (object-level) system relates to other parts within an overall structural description of the system itself (to interpret "parts", think of events rather than objects; objects are in a sense defined on events in a spatiotemporal setting). Obviously, any part which fails to meet this criterion does not conform to a description of the system and thus is not included in it, i.e. not "connected to" the system (on the other hand, if we were to insist that it is included or connected, then we would have to modify the systemic description accordingly). For this description to be utile, it should be maximally compact, employing compact predictive generalizations in a regular way appropriate to structural categories (e.g., employing general "laws of physics"). Because such laws, when formulated in an "if conditions (a,b,c") exist, then (X and Y or Z) applies" way, encode the structure of the entire system and are universally applicable within it, the system is "self-distributed". In other words, every part of the system can consistently interact with every other part while maintaining an integral identity according to this ("TOE") formulation. Spatiotemporal relations can be skeletally depicted as edges in a graph whose vertices are events (physical interactions), i.e. spacetime "points". In this sense, graph-theoretic connectivity applies. But all those object-level connections must themselves be connected by more basic connections, the basic connections must be connected by even more basic connections, and so on. Eventually - perhaps sooner than later - we reach a basic level of connectivity whose syntax comprises a (partially undecidable) "ultimate nomology" for the level of reality we"re discussing.

Is this nomology, and the cognitive syntax in which it is expressed, wholly embodied by matter? In one sense the answer is yes, because S is distributed over each and every material s"S as the reality-syntax D(S). Thus, every axiom and theorem of mathematics can be considered implicit in material syntax and potentially exemplified by an appropriate material pattern, e.g. a firing of cerebral neurons. Against holism - the idea that the universe is more than the sum of its parts - one can further object that the holistic entity in question is still a material ensemble, thus insinuating that even if the universe is not the "sum" of its parts, it is still a determinate function of its parts. However, this fails to explain the mutual consistency of object-syntaxes, without the enforcement of which reality would disintegrate due to perceptual inconsistency. This enforcement function takes matter as its argument and must therefore be reposed in spacetime itself, the universal substrate in which matter is unconditionally embedded (and as a geometrodynamic or quantum-mechanical excitation of which matter is explained). So the background has logical ascendancy over derivative matter, and this permits it to have aspects, like the power to enforce consistency, not expressible by localized interactions of compact material objects (i.e., within the bounds of materialism as invoked regarding a putative lack of "material evidence" for God, excluding the entire material universe).

On the other hand, might cognitive syntax reside in an external "ideal" realm analogous to Plato's world of Parmenidean forms? Plato"s ideal abstract reality is explicitly set apart from actual concrete reality, the former being an eternal world of pure form and light, and the latter consisting of a cave on whose dirty walls shift murky, contaminated shadows of the ideal world above. However, if they are both separate and in mutual correspondence, these two realities both occupy a more basic joint reality enforcing the correspondence and providing the metric of separation. If this more basic reality is then juxtaposed to another, then there must be a more basic reality still, and so on until finally we reach the most basic level of all. At this level, there will (by definition) be no separation between the abstract and concrete phases, because there will be no more basic reality to provide it or enforce a remote correspondence across it. This is the inevitable logical terminus of "Plato"s regress". But it is also the reality specified by the containment principle, the scope of whose universal quantifier is unlimited up to perceptual relevance! Since it is absurd to adopt a hypothesis whose natural logical extension is a negation of that hypothesis, we must assume that the ideal plane coincides with this one"but again, not in a way necessarily accessible to identifiable physical operations. Rather, physical reality is embedded in a more general or "abstract" ideal reality equating to the reality-syntax D(S), and the syntax D(S) is in turn embedded in physical reality by incoversion. Thus, if D(S) contains supraphysical components, they are embedded in S right along with their physical counterparts (indeed, this convention is already in restricted use in string theory and M-theory, where unseen higher dimensions get "rolled up" to sub-Planck diameter).

What does this say about God? First, if God is real, then God inheres in the comprehensive reality syntax, and this syntax inheres in matter. Ergo, God inheres in matter, and indeed in its spacetime substrate as defined on material and supramaterial levels. This amounts to pantheism, the thesis that God is omnipresent with respect to the material universe. Now, if the universe were pluralistic or reducible to its parts, this would make God, Who coincides with the universe itself, a pluralistic entity with no internal cohesion. But because the mutual syntactic consistency of parts is enforced by a unitary holistic manifold with logical ascendancy over the parts themselves - because the universe is a dual-aspected monic entity consisting of essentially homogeneous, self-consistent infocognition - God retains monotheistic unity despite being distributed over reality at large. Thus, we have a new kind of theology that might be called monopantheism, or even more descriptively, holopantheism. Second, God is indeed real, for a coherent entity identified with a self-perceptual universe is self-perceptual in nature, and this endows it with various levels of self-awareness and sentience, or constructive, creative intelligence. Indeed, without a guiding Entity whose Self-awareness equates to the coherence of self-perceptual spacetime, a self-perceptual universe could not coherently self-configure. Holopantheism is the logical, metatheological umbrella beneath which the great religions of mankind are unknowingly situated.

Continued Below...
dylancatlow
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12/23/2015 10:21:34 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Why, if there exists a spiritual metalanguage in which to establish the brotherhood of man through the unity of sentience, are men perpetually at each others' throats? Unfortunately, most human brains, which comprise a particular highly-evolved subset of the set of all reality-subsystems, do not fire in strict S-isomorphism much above the object level. Where we define one aspect of "intelligence" as the amount of global structure functionally represented by a given s"S, brains of low intelligence are generally out of accord with the global syntax D(S). This limits their capacity to form true representations of S (global reality) by syntactic autology [d(S) "d d(S)] and make rational ethical calculations. In this sense, the vast majority of men are not well-enough equipped, conceptually speaking, to form perfectly rational worldviews and societies; they are deficient in education and intellect, albeit remediably so in most cases. This is why force has ruled in the world of man"why might has always made right, despite its marked tendency to violate the optimization of global utility derived by summing over the sentient agents of S with respect to space and time.

Now, in the course of employing deadly force to rule their fellows, the very worst element of humanity " the butchers, the violators, i.e. those of whom some modern leaders and politicians are merely slightly-chastened copies " began to consider ways of maintaining power. They lit on religion, an authoritarian priesthood of which can be used to set the minds and actions of a populace for or against any given aspect of the political status quo. Others, jealous of the power thereby consolidated, began to use religion to gather their own "sheep", promising special entitlements to those who would join them"mutually conflicting promises now setting the promisees at each other"s throats.

But although religion has often been employed for evil by cynics appreciative of its power, several things bear notice. (1) The abuse of religion, and the God concept, has always been driven by human politics, and no one is justified in blaming the God concept, whether or not they hold it to be real, for the abuses committed by evil men in its name. Abusus non tollit usum. (2) A religion must provide at least emotional utility for its believers, and any religion that stands the test of time has obviously been doing so. (3) A credible religion must contain elements of truth and undecidability, but no elements that are verifiably false (for that could be used to overthrow the religion and its sponsors). So by design, religious beliefs generally cannot be refuted by rational or empirical means.

Does the reverse apply? Can a denial of God be refuted by rational or empirical means? The short answer is yes; the refutation follows the reasoning outlined above. That is, the above reasoning constitutes not just a logical framework for reality theory, but the outline of a logical proof of God's existence and the basis of a "logical theology". While the framework serves other useful purposes as well, e.g. the analysis of mind and consciousness, we'll save those for another time.

- Chris Langan -
ShabShoral
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12/23/2015 10:35:01 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
- what?
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spacetime
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12/23/2015 10:50:11 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
What exactly motivated you to even start trying to understand the CTMU?

I can't even bring myself to read past the first 2 paragraphs of this summary version...
Call me King Pootie Tang.
dylancatlow
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12/23/2015 10:57:50 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/23/2015 10:50:11 PM, spacetime wrote:
What exactly motivated you to even start trying to understand the CTMU?

I can't even bring myself to read past the first 2 paragraphs of this summary version...

It's not like when I first discovered it I immediately tried to understand it in detail. Actually, when I first found it, I barely understood anything. But I kept coming back to it and after a while I found myself understanding his ideas and agreeing with everything he said, so I read more and more.
BlueDreams
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12/23/2015 11:14:00 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/23/2015 10:57:50 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/23/2015 10:50:11 PM, spacetime wrote:
What exactly motivated you to even start trying to understand the CTMU?

I can't even bring myself to read past the first 2 paragraphs of this summary version...

It's not like when I first discovered it I immediately tried to understand it in detail. Actually, when I first found it, I barely understood anything. But I kept coming back to it and after a while I found myself understanding his ideas and agreeing with everything he said, so I read more and more.

I don't believe you understand it.
BlueDreams
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12/23/2015 11:18:17 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Now, in the course of employing deadly force to rule their fellows, the very worst element of humanity " the butchers, the violators, i.e. those of whom some modern leaders and politicians are merely slightly-chastened copies " began to consider ways of maintaining power. They lit on religion, an authoritarian priesthood of which can be used to set the minds and actions of a populace for or against any given aspect of the political status quo. Others, jealous of the power thereby consolidated, began to use religion to gather their own "sheep", promising special entitlements to those who would join them"mutually conflicting promises now setting the promisees at each other"s throats.

This is an embarrassingly simplistic explanation.
dylancatlow
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12/23/2015 11:28:23 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/23/2015 11:15:38 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
Also, this isn't an introduction.

It's a comprehensive introduction. It covers a lot of ideas (by no means all of them) but doesn't spend that much time on each thing. In fact, Langan even considers the main CTMU paper to be "introductory", as stated in that very paper.
dylancatlow
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12/23/2015 11:30:55 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/23/2015 11:18:17 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
Now, in the course of employing deadly force to rule their fellows, the very worst element of humanity " the butchers, the violators, i.e. those of whom some modern leaders and politicians are merely slightly-chastened copies " began to consider ways of maintaining power. They lit on religion, an authoritarian priesthood of which can be used to set the minds and actions of a populace for or against any given aspect of the political status quo. Others, jealous of the power thereby consolidated, began to use religion to gather their own "sheep", promising special entitlements to those who would join them"mutually conflicting promises now setting the promisees at each other"s throats.

This is an embarrassingly simplistic explanation.

Considering that it doesn't purport to be a complete explanation, you can't really call it simplistic. At worst, it's false.
BlueDreams
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12/23/2015 11:31:24 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
m.: At 12/23/2015 11:28:23 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/23/2015 11:15:38 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
Also, this isn't an introduction.

It's a comprehensive introduction. It covers a lot of ideas (by no means all of them) but doesn't spend that much time on each thing. In fact, Langan even considers the main CTMU paper to be "introductory", as stated in that very paper.

An introduction should function as a beginning explanation of the work, explaining all of its terms and central questions to the reader. This isn't an introduction. It's just a truncated version with the same lack of explanation his original introduction suffers from
000ike
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12/23/2015 11:37:55 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/23/2015 11:14:00 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 12/23/2015 10:57:50 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/23/2015 10:50:11 PM, spacetime wrote:
What exactly motivated you to even start trying to understand the CTMU?

I can't even bring myself to read past the first 2 paragraphs of this summary version...

It's not like when I first discovered it I immediately tried to understand it in detail. Actually, when I first found it, I barely understood anything. But I kept coming back to it and after a while I found myself understanding his ideas and agreeing with everything he said, so I read more and more.

I don't believe you understand it.

You don't believe Dylan grasps the CTMU, or that the CTMU contains anything to grasp in the first place?

Another way of asking this is, are you insulting Dylan or Christopher Langan?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
dylancatlow
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12/23/2015 11:50:10 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/23/2015 11:31:24 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
m.: At 12/23/2015 11:28:23 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/23/2015 11:15:38 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
Also, this isn't an introduction.

It's a comprehensive introduction. It covers a lot of ideas (by no means all of them) but doesn't spend that much time on each thing. In fact, Langan even considers the main CTMU paper to be "introductory", as stated in that very paper.

An introduction should function as a beginning explanation of the work, explaining all of its terms and central questions to the reader. This isn't an introduction. It's just a truncated version with the same lack of explanation his original introduction suffers from

He does begin with a central "question", namely the essential principle or "rule" that ought to guide all future theorization. In the second paragraph he identifies it as containment, and then proceeds to extract the implications.

He doesn't define all of his terms because it's not necessary to know the meaning of every term he uses in order to be "introduced" to his theory. However, he does define quite a few of the main terms and principles.

Examples:

1. SCSPL, which stands for Self-Configuring Self-Processing Language, is just a totally intrinsic, i.e. completely self-contained, language that is comprehensively and coherently (self-distributively) self-descriptive, and can thus be model-theoretically identified as its own universe or referent domain.

2. (Hology is a logico-cybernetic form of self-similarity in which the global structure of a self-contained, self-interactive system doubles as its distributed self-transductive syntax; it is justified by the obvious fact that in a self-contained system, no other structure is available for that purpose.) T

3. The first such principle is MAP, acronymic for Metaphysical Autology Principle. Let S be the real universe, and let T = T(S) be its theoretical description or "TOE". MAP, designed to endow T and S with mathematical closure, simply states that T and S are closed with respect to all internally relevant operations, including recognition and description.

So yes, this is a "beginning explanation" of his work insofar it explains it but leaves room for explanations that are more in depth, or in other words begins to explain it.
dylancatlow
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12/23/2015 11:59:46 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/23/2015 11:14:00 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 12/23/2015 10:57:50 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/23/2015 10:50:11 PM, spacetime wrote:
What exactly motivated you to even start trying to understand the CTMU?

I can't even bring myself to read past the first 2 paragraphs of this summary version...

It's not like when I first discovered it I immediately tried to understand it in detail. Actually, when I first found it, I barely understood anything. But I kept coming back to it and after a while I found myself understanding his ideas and agreeing with everything he said, so I read more and more.

I don't believe you understand it.

Depends on what you mean by "understand". My understanding lies somewhere between "nothing" and "complete", which is more than can be said for the vast majority of its critics. If there is something in particular you would like explained to you, I would be happy to try to describe it in my own words.
BlueDreams
Posts: 199
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12/24/2015 12:00:53 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/23/2015 11:30:55 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/23/2015 11:18:17 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
Now, in the course of employing deadly force to rule their fellows, the very worst element of humanity " the butchers, the violators, i.e. those of whom some modern leaders and politicians are merely slightly-chastened copies " began to consider ways of maintaining power. They lit on religion, an authoritarian priesthood of which can be used to set the minds and actions of a populace for or against any given aspect of the political status quo. Others, jealous of the power thereby consolidated, began to use religion to gather their own "sheep", promising special entitlements to those who would join them"mutually conflicting promises now setting the promisees at each other"s throats.

This is an embarrassingly simplistic explanation.

Considering that it doesn't purport to be a complete explanation, you can't really call it simplistic. At worst, it's false.

If you're trying to write history, then any good historian knows you should be as clear as possible about the extent to which your statements are supportable. I'm not going to make qualifications for him. He needs to do it himself, and you superimposing assumptions into his writing doesn't help that.
BlueDreams
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12/24/2015 12:03:25 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/23/2015 11:37:55 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/23/2015 11:14:00 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 12/23/2015 10:57:50 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/23/2015 10:50:11 PM, spacetime wrote:
What exactly motivated you to even start trying to understand the CTMU?

I can't even bring myself to read past the first 2 paragraphs of this summary version...

It's not like when I first discovered it I immediately tried to understand it in detail. Actually, when I first found it, I barely understood anything. But I kept coming back to it and after a while I found myself understanding his ideas and agreeing with everything he said, so I read more and more.

I don't believe you understand it.

You don't believe Dylan grasps the CTMU, or that the CTMU contains anything to grasp in the first place?

Another way of asking this is, are you insulting Dylan or Christopher Langan?

I'm not going to answer your second question, because it's ridiculous, but in regards to the first question, I contend both options to an extent.
dylancatlow
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12/24/2015 12:13:25 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/24/2015 12:00:53 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 12/23/2015 11:30:55 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/23/2015 11:18:17 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
Now, in the course of employing deadly force to rule their fellows, the very worst element of humanity " the butchers, the violators, i.e. those of whom some modern leaders and politicians are merely slightly-chastened copies " began to consider ways of maintaining power. They lit on religion, an authoritarian priesthood of which can be used to set the minds and actions of a populace for or against any given aspect of the political status quo. Others, jealous of the power thereby consolidated, began to use religion to gather their own "sheep", promising special entitlements to those who would join them"mutually conflicting promises now setting the promisees at each other"s throats.

This is an embarrassingly simplistic explanation.

Considering that it doesn't purport to be a complete explanation, you can't really call it simplistic. At worst, it's false.

If you're trying to write history, then any good historian knows you should be as clear as possible about the extent to which your statements are supportable. I'm not going to make qualifications for him. He needs to do it himself, and you superimposing assumptions into his writing doesn't help that.

I'm not "superimposing assumptions" into his writing, you're the one who's doing that. You can make a claim about history without suggesting that it is true in every instance since the beginning of time. Is it "simplistic" to claim that the media are fear-mongering since one can point to cases where the media are the opposite? Only if the person making that claim suggests that's the entire story. In describing the ways religion has been abused by corrupt leaders, Langan is not implying, for example, that they are the only ones to blame for the atrocities committed in the name of religion, as anyone without a grudge against him would be able to tell you.
BlueDreams
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12/24/2015 12:42:06 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/24/2015 12:13:25 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/24/2015 12:00:53 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 12/23/2015 11:30:55 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/23/2015 11:18:17 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
Now, in the course of employing deadly force to rule their fellows, the very worst element of humanity " the butchers, the violators, i.e. those of whom some modern leaders and politicians are merely slightly-chastened copies " began to consider ways of maintaining power. They lit on religion, an authoritarian priesthood of which can be used to set the minds and actions of a populace for or against any given aspect of the political status quo. Others, jealous of the power thereby consolidated, began to use religion to gather their own "sheep", promising special entitlements to those who would join them"mutually conflicting promises now setting the promisees at each other"s throats.

This is an embarrassingly simplistic explanation.

Considering that it doesn't purport to be a complete explanation, you can't really call it simplistic. At worst, it's false.

If you're trying to write history, then any good historian knows you should be as clear as possible about the extent to which your statements are supportable. I'm not going to make qualifications for him. He needs to do it himself, and you superimposing assumptions into his writing doesn't help that.

I'm not "superimposing assumptions" into his writing, you're the one who's doing that. You can make a claim about history without suggesting that it is true in every instance since the beginning of time. Is it "simplistic" to claim that the media are fear-mongering since one can point to cases where the media are the opposite? Only if the person making that claim suggests that's the entire story. In describing the ways religion has been abused by corrupt leaders, Langan is not implying, for example, that they are the only ones to blame for the atrocities committed in the name of religion, as anyone without a grudge against him would be able to tell you.

Let me clarify all of this, because, with respect, you evidently don't know much about historiography. In writing history, when one tries to explain the factors behind an event or a process, or characterize these events and processes, they need to make it clear the extent to which the evidence supports their claims and qualify any exceptions. This is an important part of writing history because it improves the precision and accuracy of the answers provided. It's not simply noting that your answer hasn't been true for all time, and the fact that you would characterize something so important to historiography in such a trivial way is an indication to me that you don't understand the importance of my criticism. From the rule I described above, if one is to write good history, they need to make sure they are as specific and clear as possible about the scope of their claims. Langan fails to do so. In an analysis lacking any kind of historical nuance, he harps on a single factor behind religion without qualifying his claims in terms of the other functions played by religion other than people's selfish motivations. That's bad history. A good historian would have qualified that there are many other factors involved.

Now, here's where you start superimposing your own assumptions into his text. You justify his analysis by saying that it doesn't purport to be a complete explanation. Where does he state this? He doesn't. It's your own invention. You can assume he doesn't think that's the only factor, but he doesn't write it. If Langan was any good at historiography, he would have. I remember my AP World History teacher turning down students' requests for a higher grade on essays because they attacked the teacher's criticisms by saying things to the tune of "What I meant to say was....". His retort was always the same: "Yes, but is that what you wrote?". We can't make assumptions about what the author meant, as much as we'd like to. Once we start entering that territory, we know we're in some bad waters indeed, and that's the territory your defense is firmly planted in.

"To what extent?" should always be answered in making a historical claim, and Langan doesn't do that. He thinks he's a super genius whose professors couldn't teach him anything, but ironically, he wouldn't be such a crappy historiographer if he had listened to them.

A true lesson in humility.
dylancatlow
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12/24/2015 1:20:50 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/24/2015 12:42:06 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 12/24/2015 12:13:25 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/24/2015 12:00:53 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 12/23/2015 11:30:55 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/23/2015 11:18:17 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
Now, in the course of employing deadly force to rule their fellows, the very worst element of humanity " the butchers, the violators, i.e. those of whom some modern leaders and politicians are merely slightly-chastened copies " began to consider ways of maintaining power. They lit on religion, an authoritarian priesthood of which can be used to set the minds and actions of a populace for or against any given aspect of the political status quo. Others, jealous of the power thereby consolidated, began to use religion to gather their own "sheep", promising special entitlements to those who would join them"mutually conflicting promises now setting the promisees at each other"s throats.

This is an embarrassingly simplistic explanation.

Considering that it doesn't purport to be a complete explanation, you can't really call it simplistic. At worst, it's false.

If you're trying to write history, then any good historian knows you should be as clear as possible about the extent to which your statements are supportable. I'm not going to make qualifications for him. He needs to do it himself, and you superimposing assumptions into his writing doesn't help that.

I'm not "superimposing assumptions" into his writing, you're the one who's doing that. You can make a claim about history without suggesting that it is true in every instance since the beginning of time. Is it "simplistic" to claim that the media are fear-mongering since one can point to cases where the media are the opposite? Only if the person making that claim suggests that's the entire story. In describing the ways religion has been abused by corrupt leaders, Langan is not implying, for example, that they are the only ones to blame for the atrocities committed in the name of religion, as anyone without a grudge against him would be able to tell you.

Let me clarify all of this, because, with respect, you evidently don't know much about historiography. In writing history, when one tries to explain the factors behind an event or a process, or characterize these events and processes, they need to make it clear the extent to which the evidence supports their claims and qualify any exceptions. This is an important part of writing history because it improves the precision and accuracy of the answers provided. It's not simply noting that your answer hasn't been true for all time, and the fact that you would characterize something so important to historiography in such a trivial way is an indication to me that you don't understand the importance of my criticism. From the rule I described above, if one is to write good history, they need to make sure they are as specific and clear as possible about the scope of their claims. Langan fails to do so. In an analysis lacking any kind of historical nuance, he harps on a single factor behind religion without qualifying his claims in terms of the other functions played by religion other than people's selfish motivations. That's bad history. A good historian would have qualified that there are many other factors involved.

Now, here's where you start superimposing your own assumptions into his text. You justify his analysis by saying that it doesn't purport to be a complete explanation. Where does he state this? He doesn't. It's your own invention. You can assume he doesn't think that's the only factor, but he doesn't write it. If Langan was any good at historiography, he would have. I remember my AP World History teacher turning down students' requests for a higher grade on essays because they attacked the teacher's criticisms by saying things to the tune of "What I meant to say was....". His retort was always the same: "Yes, but is that what you wrote?". We can't make assumptions about what the author meant, as much as we'd like to. Once we start entering that territory, we know we're in some bad waters indeed, and that's the territory your defense is firmly planted in.

"To what extent?" should always be answered in making a historical claim, and Langan doesn't do that. He thinks he's a super genius whose professors couldn't teach him anything, but ironically, he wouldn't be such a crappy historiographer if he had listened to them.

A true lesson in humility.

Langan is not a historian, and this paper is not a history paper. The comment about history was made in passing and obviously wasn't intended to be a full analysis of the situation, given that it was only a single paragraph.

"You justify his analysis by saying that it doesn't purport to be a complete explanation. Where does he state this? He doesn't. It's your own invention."

The point is not that it claims to be incomplete, the point is that it doesn't claim to be complete, instead leaving it ambiguous. This means that your assertion that it's a "simplistic viewpoint" cannot be justified until you show that his viewpoint is actually the unnuanced version you ascribe to him. And since this issue is never clarified in the paper, anything you say is at best conjecture. Instead of keeping to the content of his theory, you're finding the most petty things to object to. It really is ridiculous.
BlueDreams
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12/24/2015 1:40:27 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
The point is not that it claims to be incomplete, the point is that it doesn't claim to be complete, instead leaving it ambiguous.

Exactly. He doesn't say anything either way, thus leaving out two crucial parts of historiography: scope and clarity.

Thank you for conceding that my criticism is correct.

This means that your assertion that it's a "simplistic viewpoint" cannot be justified until you show that his viewpoint is actually the unnuanced version you ascribe to him
And since this issue is never clarified in the paper

You don't get it. It's simplistic exactly because of his failure to be unambiguous.

This means that your assertion that it's a "simplistic viewpoint" cannot be justified until you show that his viewpoint is actually the unnuanced version you ascribe to him.

The text is simplistic because it doesn't have scope. You admitted as much earlier in this post. There's really nothing more to talk about now.

Instead of keeping to the content of his theory, you're finding the most petty things to object to. It really is ridiculous.

As I've continued to expect, your downplaying of my criticism as petty just indicates to me that you, like Langan, don't understand the importance of proper historiography in talking about history.
BlueDreams
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12/24/2015 1:48:37 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
Also, let's note the mind-boggling hilarity of defending a piece of writing by appealing to one of its flaws. The argument amounts to "You can't call his explanation simplistic because it's too badly written to make that claim justifiable'. Classic.
BlueDreams
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12/24/2015 1:51:24 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
Dylan accused me of not keeping to the content of Langan's paper because I started discussing history. If this is true, then Langan, by bringing up history in his paper, also struggles to stick to the content.
dylancatlow
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12/24/2015 2:04:48 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/24/2015 1:40:27 AM, BlueDreams wrote:

This means that your assertion that it's a "simplistic viewpoint" cannot be justified until you show that his viewpoint is actually the unnuanced version you ascribe to him
And since this issue is never clarified in the paper

You don't get it. It's simplistic exactly because of his failure to be unambiguous.
You don't seem to understand the difference between "simple" and "simplistic". Something can be simple without being simplistic if it doesn't purport to be the entire story. If Langan thought thousands of years of religious history could be completely reduced to a single paragraph, he probably would have made that clear, considering how extraordinary that would be if true. Since that's never even mentioned, we can take for granted that it's not meant to be the final word on this issue. In order for Langan's claim to be simplistic, it would have to present an incomplete version of the situation. But it's not clear that "the situation" is even being talked about. Again, there's a difference between saying that X is true (religion being hijacked by corrupt leaders) and saying that the situation is perfectly captured by X and that no qualifications or exceptions are in order.
dylancatlow
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12/24/2015 2:10:02 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/24/2015 1:51:24 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
Dylan accused me of not keeping to the content of Langan's paper because I started discussing history. If this is true, then Langan, by bringing up history in his paper, also struggles to stick to the content.

The difference is a matter of focus. Langan's mention of history is made in passing, and hardly distracts from or competes with the main thrust of his argument. You, on the other hand, have decided to focus on one of the only claims in the entire paper that is not essential to the main topic at hand. Those are not equivalent.
BlueDreams
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12/24/2015 2:14:03 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/24/2015 2:10:02 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/24/2015 1:51:24 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
Dylan accused me of not keeping to the content of Langan's paper because I started discussing history. If this is true, then Langan, by bringing up history in his paper, also struggles to stick to the content.

The difference is a matter of focus. Langan's mention of history is made in passing, and hardly distracts from or competes with the main thrust of his argument. You, on the other hand, have decided to focus on one of the only claims in the entire paper that is not essential to the main topic at hand. Those are not equivalent.

This is just whining. You presented us with a paper, and presumably you wanted feedback on it. This paper makes a multitude of claims, and all of these claims are fair game. I addressed one of them, but you don't get to be upset that I picked the one you didn't want me to pick. I am not obligated to talk about what you want to talk about. I will talk about what I want to talk about, and you've obviously decided to join me in discussing the subject despite its apparent pettiness.
BlueDreams
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12/24/2015 2:20:35 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/24/2015 2:04:48 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/24/2015 1:40:27 AM, BlueDreams wrote:

This means that your assertion that it's a "simplistic viewpoint" cannot be justified until you show that his viewpoint is actually the unnuanced version you ascribe to him
And since this issue is never clarified in the paper

You don't get it. It's simplistic exactly because of his failure to be unambiguous.
You don't seem to understand the difference between "simple" and "simplistic". Something can be simple without being simplistic if it doesn't purport to be the entire story. If Langan thought thousands of years of religious history could be completely reduced to a single paragraph, he probably would have made that clear, considering how extraordinary that would be if true. Since that's never even mentioned, we can take for granted that it's not meant to be the final word on this issue. In order for Langan's claim to be simplistic, it would have to present an incomplete version of the situation. But it's not clear that "the situation" is even being talked about. Again, there's a difference between saying that X is true (religion being hijacked by corrupt leaders) and saying that the situation is perfectly captured by X and that no qualifications or exceptions are in order.

We don't need to start using variables, Dylan. The issue at hand isn't that complex. Good historical writers clarify the scope and extent of their statements, and you and I both agree he didn't do that. Like I just said, there's really not much more to discuss past that.