Re: [OPE-L] is algebra dialectical and vice versa?

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Thu Sep 15 2005 - 04:52:18 EDT





 But straightaway there's a simple answer to objections such as:

        He says:
        Any theoretical explanations and predictions of social processes
require taking 
        into account intelligent behaviour of the actors involved. (iii)
Hence, computer
        simulation of social processes requires an algorithm to simulate
        behaviour of the actors involved.

Replace "social processes" with "physical processes" and "intelligent
behaviour of the actors involved" with "quantum mechanics", and re-read
the paragraph. It would then be an argument for denying classical

Yet we know that classical mechanics is a very successful predictive
theory (upto very small and very large scales) and talks about real
entities, such as forces, momentum etc. Computer simulations of physical
processes (e.g., for industrial design, computer games etc.) employ
classical mechanics. There's no need to simulate the quantum level upon
which the classical ontology is ultimately implemented because this is
an unnecessary level of detail for most purposes.



I think one can also attack his thesis from the other side - that of
statistical mechanics. One does

not need to simulate gases down to the particle level to make useful
bulk predictions in the way

that thermodynamics does. That obtains the Gibb's Boltzman energy
distribution without one

having to simulate every particular configuration of a gas. Similarly
you obtain the same sort

of distributions for cash holdings making some very simple assumptions
about the social structure

of capitalist relations.


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