Several regulars have requested that I put together a short OP and I’ve agreed to do so out of deference to them. Let me be clear from the outset that this is not my preferred course of action. I would rather discuss in a more interactive way so that I can learn from criticism and modify my thoughts as I go along. OPs are a little too final for my tastes.
I want to emphasize that everything I say here is tentative and is subject to modification or withdraw as feedback is received,
It’s important to understand that I speak for no one but myself it is likely that my understanding of particular terms and concepts will differ from others with interest in ID. I also want to apologize for the general poor quality of this piece I am terrible at detail and I did not put the effort in I should have due mainly to laziness and lack of desire.
With that out of the way:
For the purpose of this discussion I would like to expand upon the work of Phill Mcguire found here and stipulate that cognition can be seen as lossless data compression in which information is integrated in a non-algorithmic process. The output of this process is a unified coherent whole abstract concept that from here forward I will refer to as a specification/target. Mcguire’s work thus far deals with unified consciousness as a whole but I believe his incites are equally valid when dealing with integrated information as associated with individual concepts.
I am sure that there are those who will object to the understanding of cognition that I’m using for various reasons but in the interest of brevity I’m treating it an an axiomatic starting point here. If you are unwilling to accept this proviso for the sake of argument perhaps we can discuss it later in another place instead of bogging down this particular discussion.
From a practical perspective cognition works something like this: in my mind I losslessly integrate information that comprise the defining boundary attributes of a particular target; for instance,”house” has such information as “has four walls”, “waterproof roof”, “home for family”, “warm place to sleep”, as well as various other data integrated into the simple unified “target” of a house that exists in my mind. The process by which I do this can not be described algorithmically. from the outside it is a black box but it yields a specified target output: the concept of “house”.
Once I have internalize what a house is I can proceed to categorize objects I come across into two groups: those that are houses and those that are not. You might notice the similarity of this notion to the Platonic forms in that the target House is not a physical structure existing somewhere but an abstraction.
With that in mind, it seems reasonable to me to posit that the process of design would simply be the inverse of cognition.
When we design something we begin with a pre-existing specific target in mind and through various means we attempt to decompress it’s information into an approximation of that target. For instance I might start with the target of house and through various means proceed to approximate the specification I have in my mind into a physical object. I might hire a contractor nail and cut boards etc . The fruit of my labor is not a completed house until it matches the original target sufficiently to satisfy me. However, no matter how much effort I put into the approximation, it will never completely match the picture of an ideal house that I see in my mind. This is I believe because of the non-algorithmic nature of the process by which targets originate. Models can never match their specification exactly.
Another good example of the designing process would be the act of composing a message.
When I began to write this OP I had an idea of the target concept I wanted to share with the reader and I have proceeded to go about decompressing that information in a way that I hoped that could be understood. If I am successful after some contemplation a target will be present in your mind that is similar to the one that exists in mine. If the communication was perfect the two targets would be identical.
The bottom line is that each designed object is the result of a process that has at its heart an input that is the result of the non-algorithmic process of cognition (the target). The tee shirt equation would look like this
Complex Specified Information is the result of a noncomputable function. If the core of the design process (CSI) is non-computable then the process in its entirety can not be completely described algorithmically,
This insight immediately suggests a way to objectively determine if an object is the result of design. Simply put if an algorithmic process can fully explain an object then it is not designed. I think this is a very intuitive conclusion, I would argue that humans are hardwired to tentatively infer design for processes that we can’t fully explain in a step by step manner. The better we can explain an object algorithmically the weaker our design inference becomes. If we can completely explain it in this way then design is ruled out.
At some point I hope to describe some ways that we can be more objective in our determinations of whether an object/event can be fully explained algorithmically but as there is a lot of ground covered here so I will put it off for a bit. There are also several questions that will need to be addressed before this approach can be justifiably adopted generally such as how comprehensive an explanation must be to rule out design or conversely when we can be confident that no algorithmic explanation is forthcoming.
If possible I would like to explore these in the future perhaps in the comments section. It will depend on the tenor of feed back I receive.
Of course they aren’t equivalent. One’s lossy and the other isn’t!
No I haven’t yet because I’ve been thinking about the relationship of algorithmic conversion to cognition and I am beginning to be skeptical that you have any guarantee of preserving the target when you convert an original string algorithmically to something else. If you bypass cognition the target is in danger of getting lost in the noise.
For instance I quickly ran the sonnet represented in your string through a English to Spanish translation algorithm then from Spanish to Greek then back to English and what I got would never get through step two of my method as it stands now.
I would therefore not be able to reject the null that it was not designed
Check it out
I LOVE my DEPTH AND THE Platos and height my soul I Borei na ftásei WHEN nióthei Éxo FROM EYES FOR THE skopoús ypértatou Óntos AND idanikís Haritos . I LOVE EVERY se Imera Pio Calm anánki, THE SUN AND THE LIGHT OF Keríon. I LOVE FREE In AS THE MAN FOR THE RIGHT paschízei . I LOVE fresh AS apostréfontai tone épaino. I LOVE my PASSION THAT OLD Stin lýpes mou kai THE FAITH OF paidikís my ilikías. I LOVE YOU I LOVE MY ONE fánike Be with chánei Lost my Ágioi. I LOVE THE BREATHING , Chamógela, dákrya, apo oli ti zoi mou; Kai, a GOD na epiléxoun, WILL I LOVE YOU BETTER , alla meta ton OF DEATH .
As you can see it’s hardly a lossless compression of the original sonnet. If that is the sort of jumble that we get with hexadecimal equivalents it’s pretty much fruitless to go through the motions of my method.
My method depends on the observer being able to get some idea of the target the string represents. It seems that conversion algorithms make that task difficult.
I’m pretty sure the observer could not reconstruct the sonnet from the quote above. I already know the translation algorithm is incapable of doing so.
Keep in mind my method is about design detection not cryptography.
I suppose I might be able to discern some structure in the above quote but the noise would require a very long string indeed to be sure.
I need to think about this some. I’ll get back to you
It should not take that long. Just represent an object or event you want to check out as a numeric string. There are tons of such strings already available you could just copy and paste.
Once again I would very much like it if you would try this method for yourself. It’s fun and exciting when you realize you have discovered a global pattern in a designed string. It’s like reading a small part of the designers mind in a sense
That’s because translation isn’t lossless!
It isn’t. A string can be converted from binary to hexadecimal and back again a thousand times without any loss or distortion of information. It’s lossless, unlike human language translation.
Fifth, please spend some time studying how to convert numbers from one base to another. It’s not difficult, and it will help you understand why the process is lossless.
Plus it’s something you’ll need to understand if you go ahead with your plans to learn programming.
fifth, to Patrick:
Patrick isn’t talking about trying your method. He’s talking about developing software that can emulate the observer in your method. That isn’t trivial.
Read the comments again:
Converting from binary to hexadecimal is about the same as grouping the binary digits in groups of 4 consecutive digits. It should not distort the string in any important way. Converting to decimal is more complex and does more stirring up of patterns that might be present.
But crucially, the conversion from binary to decimal and back can be done losslessly.
The effect of the choice of representation on fifth’s method is a serious flaw, but not because it entails information loss.
Suppose I started my conversion to hexadecimal one bit to the right of the beginning of the original string. Could I still convert back and forth without distorting the message?
The reason I ask is that I don’t how I the observer is supposed to know if the first bit he has is the real first bit in the string. unless I know something about the string before I begin
I do appreciate the advice you are giving me however I find it to be a tad disingenuous given your criticisms repeatedly demonstrate that haven’t bothered to even try to understand what is being discussed here to anything beyond a very shallow level.
I laugh at the numbers of times you have declared yourself the victor here while still having no idea what the supposed argument is even about.
I would be much more likely to take the advise of someone who actually tried to understand what I was trying to say. Your compatriots are at least giving that a go.
If base coersion messes up your analysis, you have a serious conceptual problem.
If you start one bit to the right of the beginning of the original string, you’ll be throwing the first bit away. You definitely don’t want to do that.
Are you trying to ask about a scenario in which the number of bits isn’t evenly divisible by four? In that case you’ll do what’s known as “padding” — you’ll add bits (usually zeroes) either to the beginning or to the end of the string, depending on your chosen convention, so that the number of bits becomes divisible by four.
Once you’ve added the padding bits, converting to hexadecimal and back won’t change anything.
If you want to keep track of how many padding bits you’ve added so that you can remove them when you convert the hexadecimal string back to binary, then you can do that as well. Just add a hex digit at the beginning of the string specifying how many padding bits you added.
How can I possibly know that the first bit I have is the actual first bit?
When I look in the game I never look at the first bit I have. To do so would be cheating. All I would need to do is memorize the first bit and I would never have to look for global patterns.
In order for me as the observer to convert a binary string to hexadecimal I would need to start at an arbitrary point some were to the right of the beginning I have and as you have alluded to do such a thing would not be good.
What could have possible gave you that Idea? This sort of out of left field assumption is even more evidence that you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. If I know the first bit I could just stop my conversion whenever I wanted to I don’t need all the digits in that case and padding is unnecessary.
The problem is that it is impossible for me as the observer to know were to begin unless I have some knowledge of the string. If I have prior knowledge of the string the method won’t work. It’s cheating.
You have a design detection method that doesn’t work. You are unsuccessfully trying to figure out why. You are handicapped by the fact that you don’t understand the concepts you are working with.
You came here asking for feedback, and you’ve gotten it: very specific feedback correcting the mistakes you are making.
You have described yourself thus:
If you think that someone who is terrible at detail, lazy, and doesn’t understand the concepts can afford to ignore feedback from those who do, then proceed at your own risk. This thread hasn’t gone very well for you. I think you need more help, not less.
And if you find it intolerable to accept corrections from ID critics, then why not take my suggestion?
Good grief, fifth. The first bit of the string is the first bit of the string.
If instead you are trying to ask me how you know that the first bit of the string is the first bit of a hexadecimal digit, the answer is that either
a) you make it the first bit, and you add the padding to the end of the string; or
b) you store the bits first, counting them as you go, and then you add the padding to the beginning of the string.
The observer doesn’t convert the string, fifth. The observer just looks at the line graphs.
Don’t you understand your own procedure?
Here’s a Khan Academy video on binary to hexadecimal conversions.
Note the three blanks he inserted at the beginning of the number. Those represent the three padding bits:
_ _ _ 1 0110 1110
If you’re receiving the bits in order from left to right, the only way to decide how many padding bits you need is to first count the total number of bits, then figure out how much you need to add to make the number evenly divisible by four. In this case it takes 3 bits, so he used 3 bits of padding.
In this case the observer did indeed convert the string. Recall that Patrick originally posted his strings in binary. I had to convert
This brings up another interesting question. If Patrick chooses to convert a random binary string into hexadecimal beginning at a particular bit would the resulting string be random or designed?
None of these questions are necessarily deal breakers but they need to be thought about before and not after the observer examines the strings.
Again this amounts to forbidden prior knowledge of the string and introduces possible noise to what I see in the game .
Here is another wrinkle
suppose I had just two bits
Those could depending on how I chose to pad be read as
In order to be read by my game the “C” would need additional conversion to a numeric 3 (depending on the particular alpha to numeric coding I chose to use)
How does the 3 of (1100) relate to the 3 of (0011)? How do they both relate to 6 and 8?
I hope you can see the potential for noise to creep in with conversion. Add that noise to the binary nature of the original representation and it makes for some complications that need to be thought through before we proceed.
The game was not designed with this sort of thing in mind. It’s seems odd to be testing in this way before we have sufficiently demonstrated it’s utility with good old base ten strings.
Only because you were playing the role of the experimenter and the role of the observer. If you were doing this for real, in a lab, then the experimenter would do the conversions, and the observer would only see the line graphs.
This points out another serious flaw with your method. Is the string ‘011’ random, or is it designed? It can be either, depending on how the string was produced. You are treating randomness as an intrinsic property of a string, but it isn’t.
I was referring to demonstrating that software can be used to categorize the time series data in the finance game as well or better than humans.
I look forward to your conclusions about my remaining four strings. If you end up doing better than random chance, I may find your process interesting enough to try.
It strikes me that The Method can say nothing about the intrinsic properties of strings. Nor can it say anything about the intrinsic properties of differences between strings. (The differences can be expressed as a shorter string.)
You simply can’t say anything about how a string was created by examining the string.
Although if it’s clear text in a human language, one could rationally guess a human origin. Or an origin derived from human activity.
But I haven’t heard much about the Voynich Manuscript. Saying something about that would be interesting.
No, because the experimenter does the conversion, not the observer.
The “noise” is limited to a single hexadecimal digit at most, and there will be no “noise” at all if the number of bits is evenly divisible by four. Also, the experimenter can choose whether the padding is at the beginning or the end.
“C” is a digit in the hexadecimal system, just like “7” is. It can be read like any other digit if your software understands hexadecimal. You are using a spreadsheet, right? Chances are your software understands hex.
This problem is inherent in your method, and it can crop up even with decimal strings. It’s why I say that your method is overly influenced by the choice of representation.
Suppose that you’re dealing with a series of measurements:
You form a decimal string that looks like this:
Your software dutifully plots each digit on a line graph, but then the pattern of the graph doesn’t reflect the pattern of the measurements. A “1” to “9” transition on the graph looks equally large whether it comes from “190.45” or “610.19”.
Your method doesn’t work even in base 10, because you’re plotting individual digits rather than grouping the digits meaningfully and plotting the values of the meaningful chunks.
Okay. I’m going to test my understanding of what’s going on.
Given a list of measurements (forget, for a moment, strings and base conversions and coded versions) one might be able to tell whether deviations from “the original” are random noise or the result of tampering.
That would be an interesting and useful capability.
This may not be in the universe 5th is trying to inhabit, but if it isn’t I am at something of a loss. Some other interpretations lead down blind alleys.
I get that now. I look forward to seeing how you do. I am very interested as you can tell. Don’t forget you will need to demonstrate the software’s capabilities on various different data not just one.
I confess I really need to study up on hexadecimal before proceeding. As of now your comment is Greek to me.You might be making a valid point but I am unable to judge at this point
Why on earth would I do this? In my game the points on the graph need to look exactly like this
The per-reviewed paper in the OP demonstrates that In the “finance game” the observer is able to tell if the market that is represented in by the string functions randomly or not.
This is valuable information. If a market is random then we can never do better at prediction than random chance. If a market is not random prediction is theoretically possible.
By the same token If we can determine that a market functions algorithmically then perfect prediction is theoretically possible.
Between those extremes of completely unpredictable random and absolutely predictable algorithms lies the sweet-spot of design.
Sorry — I accidentally left one decimal point in there. It should look like this:
My point is that you no longer know where each number begins and ends. You just have a mashed-together string of decimal digits.
You are close but not quite there. My method looks at a list of measurements and attempts to put process that produced the object they represent into one of three buckets. random / algorithmic / designed
I can’t think of a situation where I would have an “original” and a copy but be unsure of how the copy was produced.
This is not about the proprieties of the string but the proprieties of the process that produced the object/event the string represents.
The process that produced 1100 might be random or not.
The process that produced 3.14159265359 is most likely not random.
No, because you’ve specified that the starting point is always a numeric string:
That’s what Patrick gave you.
maybe my specification was incomplete or inadequate .
Is not “179.11,130.9,288.76,301,274.4” a numeric string?
If not what would you call it?
I don’t object to the phrase ‘numeric string’ per se, but throughout the thread you’ve been using ‘numeric string’ to mean simply a sequence of digits like the ones Patrick gave you. We can expand the definition to cover scenarios like mine, but there’s still a problem. See below.
I would probably just call it a sequence of numbers.
Here’s the problem. Suppose we’re back to dealing with the sonnet. Should it be represented as a series of characters, a series of words, a series of lines, or stanzas, or what? What should be plotted on the line graph? The ASCII values for each character? If the chunks are words or lines or stanzas, what numeric value should they be considered to have for plotting purposes?
The plots will look quite different depending on how the information is “chunked”.
In your method the observer has no prior information about the string, the process, or the object/event being represented.
If the observer doesn’t know how the string “011” was produced, how can he or she classify it as random or nonrandom?
We can represent it in any number of ways. Each way represents a different “resolution”. Our representations are constrained by our available resources and own on preferences. The conclusions we draw in this method are only as good as the measurement we use.
This is no different from the limits we have when we seek to infer design in everyday life.
If we looked at Mount Rushmore or Michelangelo’s David very closely say at the molecular level we would probably miss that it is designed. But we go with what we have. On the other hand we would miss the design in a flask of synthetic liquid we didn’t look at the molecular level.
We go with the resolution we have and it seems to work. Ok. My method does not change that.
My method depends on the assumption that the way an object was produced leaves a trace in the object itself.
We can test this assumption to see if it is valid.
That is sort of what I’m doing each time I test my method on different strings. If my conclusion matches reality the assumption is supported if my conclusion is incorrect it undermines it.
What is the “trace” that tells you whether “011” was produced randomly or nonrandomly?
All of the sonnet representations I mentioned are available to you, plus many more that I didn’t mention. Should one be preferred over another? What do you do when design is indicated at one “resolution” but not at another?
What “measurements” are being made of the sonnet? How do you know they’re the right ones?
We don’t use your method in everyday life.
When we have more than one “resolution”, how do you decide which one to use?
No, it doesn’t. You failed to identify Patrick’s sonnet as designed.
I would prefer the resolution that is available and easy and we are curious about. But I don’t think there is any magic resolution.
You infer design at one resolution and not at another just like we do in everyday life with things like Mount Rushmore and synthetic liquid.
I don’t see a trace one way or the other with “011” so we can’t reject the null with that string.
I do see a trace with 8675309 and 3.1415926535 so I would tend to infer design in those cases if the odds were long enough.
I think I have provided sufficient justification for that failure. His strings were not in the format they needed to be in an unmodified game that was designed for a “sequence of numbers”.
But I agree If this method is going to gain acceptance critics will need to see a higher success rate than the 2 out of 4 that you all have seen thus far.
My confidence is mostly because I’ve done this with lots of different strings.
Good grief, fifth. Evidently without realizing it, you’ve just told us that your method depends on a false assumption.
That’s right, and we did so:
Not only don’t you see one — there can’t be one, because “011” produced randomly is identical to “011” produced algorithmically. The same is true for any finite string. If two strings are identical, any “trace” present in one must be present in the other. Therefore the trace cannot be used to distinguish random from nonrandom strings.
Your assumption is false, yet you told us that your method depends on it.
You’ve just nuked your own method.
There you go with the “your method fails because of X” whack a mole routine. I have to laugh.
We have went over this objection many times already so it will be easy to smack down again.
This is simply the produced verses explained beef revisited.
The string 8675309 can be produced algorithmically. But it can not be explained by algorithmic processes. This is a key nugget to understand
For example a particular instance of 8675309 might come from the algorithm. “8675308 + 1”.
However there is much more information in 8675309 than there is in “8675308 + 1” In fact the extra information in 8675309 can never be explained by any algroythym whatsoever.
That extra information is the “trace” that allows me to know that 8675309 is designed. I’ve been calling it the “target” here.
The trace consists of among other things the fact that Jenny will answer if you dial the string in question.
At this point we can expect the same back and forth that we had the other times about my definition of “explain” till you abandon this objection once again and move on to “your method fails because of Y”
That you are returning to previous objections that have already been answered is valuable information to me. It tells me that you can think of no new ones to offer against the method.
No, it isn’t. These are your words:
That assumption is false.
You’ve made your bed. Now lie in it.
I think this topic needs a reboot. I suggest Fifth set aside some time to organize his presentation with some thought given to communicating his ideas.
I am confused as to whether the method operates on single strings, pairs of strings, differences between strings, or what.
I do not understand why base conversations are a problem. It suggests to me that the method only works if you already know a lot about how the string was produced. I thought the method was supposed to determine that.
What do targets have to do with anything? Knowing the definition of pi doesn’t give you a number.
There is the mysterious business of forecasting, which might actually be interesting. But I don’t see any connection to design detection. Could we please have an example of how the method is useful in a specific case?
You originally said a numeric string, which is what I provided.
Will you be testing your game on the remaining four strings?
A sequence of (real?) numbers is not at all the same thing as a string. We have spent hundreds of posts trying to untangle idiosyncratic terminology. Fifth asked for constructive feedback, and this is the priority. Learn standard names for things. Do not expect your audience to adapt.
You talk about graphs. Is your method intended to analyze a series of data points? Is that what you use it for at work?
With all due respect, you have yet to provide an operational definition of “explain” as you use it. I dropped out of that part of the discussion to focus on generating strings and working on a learning algorithm for the finance game, but it’s an important part of your argument that is still lacking.
Darnit, petrushka, it’s suggestions like this that will prevent this thread from dragging on for another thousand comments with no resolution.
By “thought given to communicating,” I mean thought given to using standard terminology. things like “random,” “lossless,” “string,” “numeric,” and so forth.
Graphs represent a series of data points. This is significantly different from the concept of strings. Since Fifth is not a programmer, he seems unfamiliar with the terms that programmers take for granted.
I was a pretty low level programmer, but I spent years doing things like mining Word documents and html documents for data. Converting unformatted data to names and addresses for mailing lists, regularizing spreadsheets that didn’t bother to put the same data in the same columns, and such.
I pretty much dropped out of mathematics with college algebra, but I was a go to guy for parsing strings.
I find much of what Fifth says to be ambiguous, incoherent, or self-contradictory.
I’ve been making similar suggestions throughout the thread, to no avail. And the problem isn’t just communication, but also the (in)coherence of the ideas themselves.
He can’t even keep his method straight. I keep having to refer him to his own statement of the procedure, most recently when he confused the role of the experimenter with that of the observer.
I think this thread has just about fulfilled it’s purpose. I came here to see if I could tidy up my thoughts and I have done that.
An off the top of my head review of what has been accomplished here.
1)I demonstrated that the method works with the OMagain’s strigs.
2) I discovered that critics are apparently not interested in actually testing this sort of thing out for themselves.
3) I have explored what the definitional stumbling blocks will be If and when I try to put together an actual argument.
4) I got a handle on modifications I will need to make to tryout binary strings.
5) With the help of Patrick I understood a second testable prediction that my method entails.
6) Despite Keiths bluster no deal-breaker objections were presented to make me rethink this approach. In fact for the most part this discussion has given me faith that I’m on the right track
7) My prediction that no minds would be changed has been tested and verified.
8) I was concerned that claiming that design was the inverse of cognition would raise objections I’m surprised that none materialized.
That is a lot for a little idle time on the internet.
I think at this point I will spend some time modifying my game so that It can handle binary like Patrick provided and working on coding it all into a shareable app so I can get to some more rigorous hypothesis testing.
Once that is done I’ll think about gathering my thoughts and findings into one place and perhaps we can give it another go at that point
I assumed that you would have read the paper that serves as the basis of my approach and gotten an idea of what I was looking for. I’m sorry about the presumption
Yes but I need to modify the game as I said and because they are binary I have less confidence that I can get a good result. But it will be fun to try
Don’t kid yourself, fifth. This thread has been a disaster for you.
Read it again with your face-saving glasses removed.