Iterative “why”

Recently I have been thinking about a war of ideas between Tesla and Einstein. I would like to structure the differences between their approaches so that it is more established in a more logical (therein, more interconnected) manner.

Einstein is thought to have given foundations to general theory of relativity, one of the most advanced theorems that right now allows more topology, i.e. attemps at more in-depth of the underlying rules ruling the universe. Even though it is almost certainly prone to contradictions and not entirely true, it has already been used and might be used in the future to desribe certain phenomenons. That is, the invention of the model is close to what the information we have obtained so far about the universe.

On the other side, Nikola Tesla, a reclusive icon of invention stands again using  logic in a sense how mathematics uses it. He puts it in the following words:

“Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. “

Then, Tesla used a sharper expression when talking about the general relativity:

 ‘…[a] magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king…., its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists…’.

Why that happened? Lets first understand what is beneath the mathematics. Mathematics is built on logic that was (at least, to some extent) used by Nikola Tesla. In mathematics we build models based on the earlier established results using logic and axioms, Nikola Tesla did not work with these axioms.

In mathematics we obtain new results by deduction based on earlier established results, we build using blocks in environments (models) that have been there structured by us in the first place. Those have been evolving for ages and there were times when some of those suffered from inner contradictions (e.g. naive set theory).

In mathematics we often talk about the very distant objects, not necessarily ones that can always exist in the known universe, but as long as no contradictions are found, we build new blocks, models, construct theories that are there to describe the universe. The abstraction, thus remoteness, involved in mathematics is closer to the axioms and claimed based on the axioms (and low level blocks) rather than the end-products. Tesla was closer to end-products.

Tesla made this choice to be on the “intelligent” engineering side due to the fact that delivering aworking solution is defined on the engineering side, not on the mathematical side. The mathematical model might allow low level data based solutions, even the working end-products, such as the eliptic curves, the RSA, the El-Gamal, FFT, oriented boudning boxes, fast derivative algorithms, compression algorithms, data accessing algorithms, data processing  algorithms, routing protocols etc. Still, in cases of advanced tech tools we should strart closer to the end-product rather than the general model. Moreover, for the general model about the universe we don’t have enough strong axioms (nor, potentially, logic) so it is likely to be very far from what really should be used to understand the universe.

Nikola Tesla did not find, what is important, number theory or algorithms unimportant, he just referred to the end-products and for those the experimentation is often important, as even if the experiment is not what is true in general, it is extremely difficult to find what is true in the general case, given that the also create the axioms and cannot be sure about those either. In this vein, the logic in problem solving might also advise to do so.

The test

When thinking about that I decided to create a site that will help us re-thinking different statements that shape our actions in our life. It will help us better understand that the wording that we currently use is not accurate nor structured enough to help us communicate effecively.

The test is all about saying something like: “Today I went shopping and bought milk.” and then asking yourself iterative “why” and answering it. In this example it would be:

“Today I went shopping.”

why? “Because I felt very hungry and needed milk”

why? “I felt hungry because my organism was not delivered the expected amount of food” (is that true that it is the reason? is it justifiable? why should people eat? should people eat vegetables? should people eat animals? are humans also animals?)

why? “I did not go to sleep until 3am and therefore did not eat anything, and had nothing in the fridge.” (why?)

etc. etc. at some point you will find out that you don’t know what to answer. it happens to me very fast. check out yourself.


About misha

Imagine a story that one can't believe. Hi. Life changes here. Small things only.
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