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How do you approach understanding the universe?

I have a question for you. How do you even approach understanding the universe?

It's a strange question, but I'm asking it because so many people exist in a state of just being satisfied with whatever other people give them, or whatever the universe gives them even though the correctness, validity, consistency and completeness of those understandings is dubious.

A lot of times when people say they understand the world, what they really mean is they've systematised it strongly enough so they can use a lot of heuristics and assumptions. I think they are useful for understanding a situation, or a context, but fall utterly short, especially in consistency and completeness.

Another element of this, is most people are unable to separate or tease out the difference between context and claim- often enough because some claims exist only in that context, being null and void in any other context, and other times because claims don't hold up no matter the context.

Another angle of this. To what degree is Mathematics this "immutable Jewel that the universe can't damage" when it's just an idea built upon Axioms that Gödel's incompleteness theorem shows how they cannot be used to prove all true and false statements for that system(in other words, a fundamental shortcoming in systems and the systematising understanding of the universe). I certainly don't think Mathematics is this high powered lens to understanding the universe as it's far too reductionist, and loses all those unprovable truths and falsehoods... But it's also because the axioms are the only thing tying it back to relevance in our universe and if those axioms are shown irrelevant to our universe(such as Euclid's axioms for Euclidean geometry since our universe's geometry is subtly non-Euclidean).

So from this I don't think Mathematics works for completeness or even being a relevant claim to the universe's context and not it's own system's context.

If we consider Kierkegaard's Either/Or... It goes a step further. It's a false dichotomy between faith and aesthetics, as aesthetics is a faith in the axioms and systems you've built up, their relevance to the Universe's context and their consistency and correctness... Built upon faith.

So it becomes no basis upon which to declare faith upon some flawed Understanding of the Universe. However seeing that understanding of the universe is an objective you can approach... How then? How can you measure the correctness of your understanding? You can certainly poke holes in your system but a system approximates the universe, but isn't it. Thusly systematising is approximation while blindfolded.

I conclude with a different dichotomy to consider : You can declare faith, or declare bankruptcy on faith- and either way it's a broken compass to understanding the universe.

Published on 2024/03/04

Articles from blogs I follow around the net

Writing a Unix clone in about a month

I needed a bit of a break from “real work” recently, so I started a new programming project that was low-stakes and purely recreational. On April 21st, I set out to see how much of a Unix-like operating system for x86_64 targets that I could put together in …

via Drew DeVault's blog May 24, 2024


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via Fabien Sanglard April 21, 2024

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