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On the outskirts of a large metropolis, a group of highly intelligent college students was given a project: to investigate the "strange" behaviour of electromagnetic (EM) waves in the frequency range around 1.9 GHz, without being told that this frequency range is used for the digital mobile phone network. To quantify their observations students have chosen two parameters: the frequency and the intensity of EM oscillations. Using receivers, scanners and spectrum analysers they soon concluded that the EM waves in the above frequency range behaved in an unpredictable random way. They found that at any particular frequency the intensity of EM oscillations was highly uncertain. They also noticed, that there was a high degree of certainty that at "some" frequency a particular intensity level actually occurred at any given time. The problem was that it was impossible to predict at "which" frequency it happened at any given moment. They also encountered serious problems with the accuracy of their measurements. For example they noticed that their frequency estimates appeared "blurred" because the EM waves appeared in "lumps" or "bursts" that were very brief. Inspired by "quantum mechanics", highly promoted in the 20-th century, students decided to adopt a similar approach. They defined their own "uncertainty principle", established bounds for their "uncertainty" and adopted a clever statistical approach, focusing on predicting the "probability" of observable events. After a few months of work, the students had become very proud of their "theory", because it could actually predict probabilities of many events in their frequency band. They had become quite convinced that their theory actually "described the Reality". Statistically speaking - it DID... Did you notice, however, that by adopting a statistical approach our students have completely MISSED millions of very real intelligent conversations? Isn’t it obvious that their conclusion has been determined and limited by their imagination? Our students just couldn’t imagine that what appeared to them as "random" was actually the consequence of a very intelligently encoded information transfer. As a result - they didn’t even try to decode anything. Let’s analyse in more detail why and how our students developed their belief in a "random process". The primary reason for their belief was that they couldn’t make any deterministic predictions about the EM waves they observed. Note that there was nothing "random" in the EM waves. In reality, millions of people were making billions of intelligent CHOICES in their individual conversations every hour. For the purpose of the information transfer, all these choices were being continuously encoded into EM waves several thousand times per second. Our students had failed to imagine and explore this possibility, so they concluded that they had observed a "random" process. Don’t you feel uneasy about the fact that the entire science on Earth in the 21-st century is built around the "uncertainty principle"? Aren’t we missing something truly important about the Universe? "Not appearances, but what is behind them is the most important".
a group of highly intelligent college students ...
Originally posted by azurecara
I believe that is the point of this article.
The ultimate point is that we very possibly, are misinterpreting the world around us.
If a group of college students can misinterpret data to the degree that they did in this experiment, then by that standard what are we as a human race also misinterpreting?
This article is illustrating one example of something that could be occuring daily, could have been occuring for years. When you get down to the bottom line, we are human beings. On the spectral range of things we know we could possibly be seeing, we are very limited with our vision.
How do we make sure we don't repeat this mistake? Just about impossible. But to attempt it?
First: Assume that you do not know anything for certain. Anything.
Second: Most truths are just general consenus. We all agree that grass is green - those of us who don't are "color blind".
Third: Ask yourself what the difference is between the possibility of an idea and the probability of an idea. (Do not close your mind).