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Author Topic: Is everyone the product of their Age
Teshi
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Well, I'm not entirely on board with the physical laws applying to human interaction idea. And by not entirely I mean, aside from a useful metaphor, there is no relation.

However: entropy and communication? Well, um, my best guess would be the equivalent of broken telephone which, in this thread could have something to do with the fact that ideas change even when there is no new information being added.

Why, what do you think entropy has to do with human communication and why ask the question?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
When I said that you were on the right track I meant that you look at problems from all sides.
I don't necessarily disagree, mind you. But how do you know what the right track is?
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Teshi
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Oh, the broken telephone thing already came up in this thread.
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TomDavidson
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I was speaking more about him personally, not as a general principle. [Smile]
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Oshki
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Vyrus

quote:
Even the sight of another human, as it had seen itself, would completely throw it out of balance.

You would be nothing without human, animal, world and social contact-you are shaped by your environment.

As for the acted upon by an outside force thing, this isn't entirely true.

We really are individually all alone sitting on top of our own wet neural network which processes all the data that we receive through our senses.

So I agree with what you said except for the last statement (with a qualifier). Because everything that happens outside of us, is an outside force. We have a choice, and that is to be consciously aware of this fact.

“You would be nothing without human, animal, world and social contact-you are shaped by your environment.”

We are shaped by our environment because we have to react to it. We are also shaped by the data that we receive from that environment but we have a choice. We can critically examine the data we receive or download it without examination. If the data that makes up our individual data base goes unexamined then we are truly shaped by our environment.

“As for the acted upon by an outside force thing, this isn't entirely true.”

The qualifier: “this isn’t entirely true.” Speaks to the choices we can make in reacting to any out side force. Just making a choice is a reaction even if the choice is to ignore the outside force.

This raises another question. What criteria can we use to examine the data? Math uses logic; there is classical logic to eternalize. Reduce everything to like terms to make sure that we are not comparing apples to oranges. Examine original sources. Expand into other areas of learning to get a different perspective.

In an earlier post I put in a link for philosophy students (No one should ever stop being a student.) so that they could examine some countering arguments. I did not say that I approved of those countering arguments only that they existed. (And is probably not part of any curriculum) Perhaps by comparing both sides objectively the individual could identify flaws on both sides and become an original thinker.

Boxes, Oh for crying out loud! Good grief! The first expression was my Dads favorite. The second was the favorite expression of my best friends Dad.

• From Wiki encyclopedia: “Second law of thermodynamics, about entropy:
"The total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value."

So, how can the second law of thermal dynamics be applied to human societies and to communication?

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Oshki
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Is politicial correctness entropy?

Christ said: "Be either hot or Cold" perhaps because that communicates? So being luke warm in the religous sense is entropy.

"Say what you mean and mean what you say." George S. Patton JR. (not rush limbaugh)

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Teshi
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As I said above:

quote:
Well, I'm not entirely on board with the physical laws applying to human interaction idea. And by not entirely I mean, aside from a useful metaphor, there is no relation.

However: entropy and communication? Well, um, my best guess would be the equivalent of broken telephone which, in this thread could have something to do with the fact that ideas change even when there is no new information being added.

Entropy, in my opinion, is not necessarily a negative force except in the most basic physical sense.

When applied metaphorically, I also find it difficult to resolve entropy as being an entirely negative force. The increasing disorder of a system can be a source of renewal. If societies simply became more and more ordered, no new ideas would ever be introduced.

I said before on the thread that I believed one way to escape from "boxes" is to forget what they contain. Without our metaphorical entropy, I do not believe this would happen. As we go along, things get lost and modified, and as they change new things can be introduced.

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Oshki
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Teshi

It is true that as entropy increases, possibilities increase (interaction of hot and cold molecules) even though clear communication declines as does the possibility of work.

For work or communication there needs to be a clear message (hot or cold) and goal that can be recognised against a background of noise.

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Oshki
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Everyone

I have come to the conclusion that the analytical can not come to terms with an intuitive understanding of the meaning of box. The Intuitive can not come to an understanding of something analytically stated and insist on making it into something metaphysical. I see this as avoidance of the fact that we each are all alone in our own skull (wet neural network or brain) receiving all data through the senses. Only from this perspective can anything that I have said make any sense whatsoever. If one can face this obvious fact of individual isolation then maybe it can be recognized that this state of personal isolation is the root cause from which human actions are the effect.

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TomDavidson
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*giggle* Oh, you're adorable.
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Oshki
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TomDavidson

I am not sure what to make of that.

Only God is adorable or as the saying goes, only God is good. I am Roman Catholic and believe that we are all divine sparks created in the image and likeness of God. I also don’t give a rats ass how He did it. We are made of clay or mother earth and if life began in the clay I don’t care. It also doesn’t matter to me that I have a wet neural network as my operating platform. It is miraculous enough that a ball of fat can project intelligence with will, understanding, and emotion that is able to perceive the material universe and do work. It is that intelligence, with its three parts, that is made in the image and likeness of the Triune God.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
It is miraculous enough that a ball of fat can project intelligence....
Clearly, you have never met my ball of fat, which projects nothing but forwards.
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Vyrus
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I don't think entropy is an accurate comparison for human communication, because, like most things in science or math, entropy represents an absolute idea.

Although I don't profess to be a science whiz, from my understanding, there is no such thing as "partial" entropy once it's reached its maximum value.

Whereas, in communication, which, for the purpose of this I'll be looking at neurologically, there is no "definite".

Therefore the "broken telephone" metaphor is not accurate. Even in severe states of neurological breakdown (I'll be talking solely of mental disorders and dimentia) there are still mental processes going on, even if it's on a very small level.

You can still communicate with the mentally ill, those with neurological disorders, whether those illnesses and disorders are genetic or caused by pathos developing throughout your life. (ie, abusive childhood, or marriage, a severe traumatic experience like adultery, or going through a natural disaster or being in a war.)

The only step at which you would be completely unable to communicate would be catatonic, which I still don't think is accurate because those that are catatonic can break out of that state, although rarely and with some difficulty.

The only extreme would be brain dead, which, is legally considered the standard for whether or not a person is "living", and dead bodies, to the best of my knowledge, can only stagnate, not communicate.

So, I would have to say there are no absolutes in communication.

I hope this doesn't contradict my first post, but honestly I had to do a little research before I had what I felt was a decent grasp on the concepts of which ya'll were speaking.

And, my problem tends to be thinking up these well-planned ideas, and then the vast majority of the time conveying them poorly.

What I was attempting to say before with the "you could argue that...defensiveness..." etc. was not whether or not it was a form of communication, but whether or not interaction effected you, or rather, changed you in any way.

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Teshi
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Good god!

EDIT:

quote:
Therefore the "broken telephone" metaphor is not accurate. Even in severe states of neurological breakdown (I'll be talking solely of mental disorders and dementia) there are still mental processes going on, even if it's on a very small level.
Well, I wasn't talking about neurological disorders but the children's game sometimes called Chinese Whispers where perfectly healthy people pass on messages that become distorted as they go.

For example, if I describe to you you a historical event, you communicate it to another person and so on we eventually lose much of the truth of the story. Yes it has little to do with actual entropy but as I have said, I agree with you that applying physical processes to human interaction is useful only as a loose metaphor.

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Vyrus
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Okay...so what you're saying is that I was *slightly off*...

Okay...maybe a little more than slightly...

Damn...how did I miss that one?

*emphatic facepalm*

Wow...okay...so...probably should of read those last few posts a little more heavily...okay, a LOT more heavily...

Disregard my last post, ladies and gentleman.

[Blushing]

Edit: And I find this terribly ironic right after my comment about needing to make my posts more comprehensive.

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Oshki
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Can you find any Equivalence between the Second Law of Thermal Dynamics and the rise and eventual fall of nations through out history?
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Teshi
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*thermodynamics.

Are we doing your homework for you?

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Oshki
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Nope, I am well beyond that but never stopped being a student.
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Oshki
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My first trimester I was allowed up to 23 credit hours but only chose 21.
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Teshi
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Your first trimester of...?
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Oshki
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college
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Teshi
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Is that good?
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Oshki
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That was quite a while ago but I’m not so far along that I would find it necessary to say “O Tempora o mores!” not quite yet.
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Teshi
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My question was about the credit hours comment. I didn't really understand it.
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Oshki
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In comming freshmen were allowed a maximum of 15 credit hours but 13 was recommended.
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Teshi
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Neat. What's your degree in?
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TomDavidson
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Thermodynamics, BTW.

And, no, the law of entropy doesn't apply to social structures. That's not the way it works. Attempts to apply it to metaphysical things are always pretty blush-inducing.

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Oshki
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But if isolation were recognised as the root cause of human actions and those actions as effects then Psychology could actually become a science. But then since changing someones mind also changes their sense of reality it is really a tuff nut to crack. (sorry)(smile)
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Oshki
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Wiki: Metaphysics
quote:
In some cases, subjects of metaphysical scholarship have been found to be entirely physical and natural, thus making them part of physics proper (cf. Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity).

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Oshki
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TomDavidson
quote:
Thermodynamics, BTW.

And, no, the law of entropy doesn't apply to social structures. That's not the way it works. Attempts to apply it to metaphysical things are always pretty blush-inducing.

Ancient to modern societies can be viewed from the outside as social machines fueled by universal human drives. For instance the Roman Empire which after its initial stages fueled by nationalism continued to conquer the world by making citizens out of the conquered lands and giving them seats in the Senate. They had a very clear Idea of who they were and where they were going. This Roman Empire chugged along for centuries. Human energy was high, communication and goals clearly defined.

Then something happened they turned the Senate into a more or less honorary position and became a dictatorship. They lost their cohesive national identity. The citizens became restless and the Coliseums and carnivals that ringed the outside of the coliseums (were used to entertain (divert) the increasingly restless population. The roman armed forces were supplemented by mercenary forces. The cohesive family structures rotted away as hedonism became wide spread. Aimless, weak, and selfish and without cohesive national purpose Rome fell.

quote:
Wiki: Metaphysics

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In some cases, subjects of metaphysical scholarship have been found to be entirely physical and natural, thus making them part of physics proper (cf. Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity).

So I ask again trusting in your metaphysicial and common sense:

Can you find any Equivalence between the Second Law of Thermal Dynamics and the rise and eventual fall of nations through out history?

[ March 15, 2009, 06:51 AM: Message edited by: Oshki ]

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beleaguered
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I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm in over my head here. In the small amounts of research I've done on this topic, with regards to an answer, I can say without a doubt it's a definite Maybe.

I would say yes nations could fall as the levels of entropy continually rise. The reason this is a definite maybe for me, is because at some point the levels of entropy in thermodynamics would have to reach a limit. I don't have the knowledge or experience with thermodynamics as to what the maximum limit might become, and what affect the level of entropy might have on a nation.

Although- I would say the energy as referred to with the increasing levels of entropy would change. Energy never just disappears, right? It only changes direction or turns into something else. I would say rising entropy within thermodynamics, the mear randomness that comes from the changing energy could cause for the fall of nations, but the creation of new nations, or new something else able to use the energy.

That's all I've got on this, I'm tapping out- someone with more intelligence please continue.

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TomDavidson
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Oshki, I have to admit that I'm finding it really hard to take you seriously, not least because you clearly take yourself very seriously while simultaneously not understanding the distinction between Thermal Dynamics and Thermodynamics. [Smile]
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fugu13
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Oshki: the second law of thermodynamics only applies to closed, isolated systems. It never applies to anything else. And that sort of system is not a metaphor. It has a technical, scientific meaning which never, ever applies to a social situation.

If you want to draw metaphors, feel free, but actually applying the law itself to social situations is nonsense. And realize that drawing metaphors of this kind without a careful, reasoned argument about what's actually happening that isn't metaphorical is just you asserting what the world is like without a care for actually finding out what the world is like. People will treat such rambling as the product of those it typically comes from: children imitating reasoned scholarship without engaging in it.

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Oshki
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I haven’t spent much time at all on the subject of economics but enough time to see that there are a vast number of variables and little charts and graphs etc. I was wondering if there is any sophisticated economic software. In many ways the complexity and variables are similar in extent and complexity as to those found in meteorology which also tracks changing conditions all over the world. Low pressure centers, currents across the oceans, humidity, temperature, and so on.

Has anyone (economists) thought to grab that weather software and using equivalence and ratio assign economic values (economic data) to that already sophisticated software? You would need Economists, computer programmers and meteorologist and perhaps statisticians to work together on the programming but there may be a Nobel Prize waiting for the group that could pull that off.

I would like to see the economic storm on TV and watch the local economic weather station. (Smile)
It could use the same global imagery but show a current of money going to China the rise and fall of exchange rates and that sort of thing.

The particulars would be up to the economists in conjunction with mathematicians and programmers. Things that rise and fall in the weather like barometric pressure all the weather variables replaced with economic variable and equivalents. The changing economic conditions would be slow compared to the weather but with the software in place one could go back a month and play it forward like they do on the weather stations to show the track of a hurricane and may be able to forecast where the world economy is going.

Of course economics is a human activity so I hope we don't run into metaphysical problems.

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fugu13
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If you really want to discuss this, I can discuss it, but I'm not going to bother if you're just going to randomly switch subjects when someone challenges your understanding.
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Hobbes
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Oshki, the problem here is that it feels to some that you're making comments based on fields of study you don't fully understand. If that's the case, don't worry so much about it; a lot of us here are beginners in a lot of fields. No reason you can't still participate in exactly this discussion, just don't speak in definitives quite so much. I like to think that I know a little about everything, but I recognize that I know very little about any(one)thing [Smile] , so I try to make my comments reflect that by asking questions rather than making statements when I don't know.

For instance: would it be meaningful to try to translate weather software to model economic behavior? To which my answer would be no, as they are two very different things. Weather software is quite sophisticated and quite specific. Though the programs themselves are complex the actual equations they're modeling are not. What becomes complex is trying to model the atmosphere with enough precision which comes down to more of a computer-power, data-gathering problem than it does physical understanding or interaction problem. Economics might be related to weather's energy balance equations if thought of as the flow of money across the world but the math unforuntaly wont translate that easily. As an example, money has no problem flowing against a pressure gradient (i.e. the rich get richer and the poor get poorer). Now there are some incredibly sophisticated economic models out there many developed for private industry either to predict their own sector of interest or to in general try to help investments. I think it should be obvious how successful these programs are at any significant long term predictions but people are working on it!

P.S. if you take offense to me saying you're not informed on all these subject certainly I apologize. My advice would be to then directly answer those who feel you're working from an incorrect understanding of these fields by explaining why you think it's a meaningful application. [Cool]

Hobbes [Smile]

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Oshki
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Thank you Hobbes.
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beleaguered
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fugu,

I'm interested in hearing what you have to say on this topic- not the economics topic, but the entropy and thermodynamics topics we were before discussing.

Do you have a science or phylosophy major then? As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm not strong in this discussion, but this topic interests me and I would like to know more.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Oshki:
But if isolation were recognised as the root cause of human actions and those actions as effects then Psychology could actually become a science.

Tell me, are you aware that psychology is already a science?

If this instead represents a rejection of the psychological sciences as being scientific, do you have an explanation for it?

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fugu13
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The entropy and thermodynamics topic is pretty much exhausted. The concept just isn't very applicable to social phenomena (not at all for the actual laws of thermodynamics, and not very well as a metaphor). Do you have some specific questions you'd like answered?
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Oshki
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Samprimary


Originally posted by Oshki:
But if isolation were recognised as the root cause of human actions and those actions as effects then Psychology could actually become a science.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tell me, are you aware that psychology is already a science?

If this instead represents a rejection of the psychological sciences as being scientific, do you have an explanation for it?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.arachnoid.com/psychology/

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fugu13
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That article has a lot of stupid errors of logic, such as this:

quote:
Based on this table and extrapolating into the future using appropriate regression methods, in 100 years there will be more than 3600 conditions meriting treatment as mental illnesses. To put it another way, there will be more mental states identified as abnormal than there are known, distinct mental states. In short, no behavior will be normal.
I wouldn't trust it for anything.
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MrSquicky
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The author doesn't seem to understand basics of psychology either. For example:
quote:
#

Many clinical psychologists believe the value of their primary therapeutic tool (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) (CBT) has been scientifically verified. But this isn't true — here is what the American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines have to say about CBT:

"Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy are the psychotherapeutic approaches that have the best documented efficacy in the literature for the specific treatment of major depressive disorder, although rigorous studies evaluating the efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy have not been published". (emphasis supplied)

The problem with this statement, the basic bit of knowledge that is taught in every intro to Psych course, is that CBT is not a psychodynamic psychotherapy. Rather, it is an entirely different school of psychotherapy that directly opposes psychodynamic.

edit: Actually, it goes beyond that. What that statement actually says is that CBT has been established, through peer-reviewed surveys and experiments, to be on average the most effective treatment of a major depressive disorder, but that the efficacy of psychodynamic therapy has not been examined in rigorous, published studies. The statement meant the exact opposite of what he took it as. /edit

---

Psychology is a much more complex field than many of its detractors seem to realize. The question of whether the field as a whole is a science or not is not one that really can be answered. It's mu.

The core of the field pretty much adheres to scientific epistemology, but ultimately, there is a whole lot of gray areas, let alone schools and applications of thought that don't hold themselves to this epistemology.

Along with this, there are a great many limitations that make doing strict science unethical or impossible in many areas. In my experience, one of the consequences of this is a heightened understanding among the serious psychologists of what the limits of scientific epistemology actually are and what can and cannot be said (at given confidence intervals) from the available information.

All in all, it's a very complex and I think interesting topic, which I have yet to see the "Psychology is not a science" people ever come close to doing justice.

[ March 16, 2009, 01:21 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]

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Oshki
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Law of Psychology?
http://www.human-nature.com/nibbs/03/lacerra.html

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Oshki:
Law of Psychology?
http://www.human-nature.com/nibbs/03/lacerra.html

Anyone can find articles and sites asserting things on the internet. I can find websites asserting that the earth is clearly flat, for instance. Merely posting something like an assertion that the NE model of the mind teaches us something about psychology in relation to entropy.

You posted this link, but I'm not sure you really understand what's contained within. What's your description of the 'findings' you're offering us as proof of the non-scientific nature of psychology?

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Oshki
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I would like to talk about entropy. The Isolated system that the Second law of Thermo Dynamics addresses is a thought experiment. Any heat sinks or sources of heat or outside variables had to be removed in order to get rid of variables. Perhaps the proof of entropy can only be proved in an isolated system? But does that mean that it can only be applied to an isolated system? Doesn’t high entropy exist when every thing is more or less equal? (Equal dispersion of hot and cold molecules) Could you call high entropy synonymous with stability? So the effect on the earth with its cold polar caps and hot equator with temperatures and air pressures that are unbalanced or unstable (or entropy is low) but the drive of nature to achieve stability is high then that differential causes (work) force or movement toward stability. Would you say that the movements toward stability are always vectors outside of an isolated system?

If the word entropy is so exclusive in its meaning that it only applies to that isolated system then perhaps we need a new word that expresses the same action outside that system?

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fugu13
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Entropy exists in every system. You were (and are? I can't tell, your thoughts are too scattered) talking about the second law of thermodynamics, which does not read "entropy exists" as you seem to think, but talks about how entropy varies with time (in a certain way).

Entropy can be phrased in many ways, but one way to approach it is that in a high entropy state, there is less energy available that can do external work, and in a low entropy state, there is more energy available that can do external work.

The entropy of the earth decreases because we have a huge energy input that can be stored for doing work: the sun. Our decreasing entropy is possible because the sun is gradually dying.

I can't make any sense of your question here:

quote:
Would you say that the movements toward stability are always vectors outside of an isolated system?
Perhaps an example, or rephrasing it to be specific instead of trying to sound big would help.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Oshki:
I would like to talk about entropy. The Isolated system that the Second law of Thermo Dynamics addresses is a thought experiment.

Covering two points,

1. No, this makes no sense and is not true, and
2. Why are you capitalizing and splitting up the word 'thermodynamics' into 'Thermo Dynamics?'

thermodynamics is the study of the conversion of heat energy. Thermo Dynamics is a boiler manufacturer in Pennsylvania.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Could you call high entropy synonymous with stability?
Not really, no.
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malanthrop
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Not sure if grammatical criticisms are useful. I question how "far outside the box" one can reach without aknowleding we live in a closed system. The Earth itself is almost a closed system, although extremely complex. Of course the sun is an outside influence, so lets just step out the system even further. At it's limits, the universe is a closed system. I'm not talking about cooling loops or steam cycles we can easilly grasp in our limited minds. To an ant are we gods? Is a sperm cell an independent creature? We can't possibly comprehend the true balance of the universe.
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