Today Emily responded:
Phil, that is a wonderful way to describe the difference. How perfect! (It should be taught in certain science and philosophy courses.)
Yesterday she had said:
It’s amazing, Phil, that so many people can bypass empirical considerations in favor of comforting beliefs and abstracted versions of happenings. Then again, interpretation of “reality” is never straightforward. There always are difficulties like Rashomon effect, platform problem, other impediments with relativity, no fixed identity, flaws in classification systems that are not absolute, the circular nature of definitions with each set of characteristics connected to others to delineate their qualities and quantities, etc., etc. :-) , Emily
And I replied:
Right, All those, and others prevent people from agreeing on what “reality” is. Most of all I think it’s our habit of thinking reality is the sense we make of our own information. That’s something we invent, rather than being the things we don’t invent that our information is *about*.
I think it’s our habit of thinking reality is the sense we make,
of our own information
Locating things in the environment that are self-organizing and so clearly not in your head is one approach to separating the imaginary world of ideas from the one we’re observing.
That’s easiest for me by identifying things that all grow as a unit and their basic natural system “life story” of developments (¸¸¸.·´ ¯ `·.¸¸¸). When you identify natural systems that way it’s fairly obvious they’re not in your mind because they both take care of themselves and have multiple scales of organization that are daunting to even classify let alone define and explain… Phil
7/26/09 p.s. – That difference is about the same as between the weather, and the weather report. The environmental systems our lives are part of, the economic and cultural weather, is a quite different world from the mental pictures people chatter about.
The chatter does build a world image, but largely amounts to magical thinking, particularly if it does not include some way of identifying the storms of human events as having their own existence and feeding on their own environments, like the real weather systems do too.