Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Born to do Math 85 - "What is the deal with nothing?"

Born to do Math 85 - "What is the deal with nothing?" 
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
May 8, 2018

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, this will be our Jerry Seinfeld show, which is about nothing.

Rick Rosner: [Laughing] Okay and to put that in context, I have got this YouTube thing where I argue with a conservative, my buddy Lance, and he wanted to talk about Christian apologetics, even though we are both Jews but apologetics in general, which is the field of established religious metaphysical explanations for religious principles.

Why the world exists from a religious philosophical point of view, you cannot say the world exists because of God. That leads to more complicated metaphysical issues and often these metaphysical issues have been thought about by religious philosophers.

There is sophisticated philosophical reasoning behind things that attempt to be proofs of the necessity of God. That God created the world. So, anyway, one of the topics Lance brought up was the idea of from nothing comes nothing and this is an idea that is pervasive not only in religion but also in scientific thinking.

It is the principle that unless there is some motivating or creative force that the default state of existence is nothingness. That without something to push things along, without a creator or some physical impetus a loaded vacuum.

A vacuum that is packed with energy for instance in physics, without that the default state of being is no being, is nothing. I increasingly have a problem with this and it has led me to think about the idea which we've talked about.

For one thing, we've talked about the set of all possible worlds. These would be the worlds, the universes, not prohibited by the principles of existence. If you have a complete set of the principles of existence, I do not know if that is even possible, but say you've got a fairly exhaustive set.

All the reasons and rules that the universe can exist, then we know because we exist. That is not a null set. That the set of possible worlds that we and by not too tough extrapolation all the past moments of our world and a bunch of future moments - all those are possible worlds.

So, it is reasonable to assume that the set of all possible worlds if it can be enclosed in a set or encompassed by a set contains perhaps an infinitude of possible worlds, which you would think could be of various sizes because we live in a universe that is huge with something 10 to the 85th protons and then a bunch of other associated particles, a bunch of bunch of protons.  

A bunch of particles with 10 to the 11th galaxies each with roughly 10 to the 11th stars with each star consisting of roughly 10 to the 58th or more particles protons and neutrons; so, a big-ass universe.

Then it is possible for us to imagine a null universe and a number small universes and by extrapolation you can imagine universes of any size in between. That to me suggests a possible principle that is that there may be no upper limit to the size of a possible universe.

That there is no bias against any size universe under the rules of existence, the principles of existence. Universes of any finite size can exist. That doesn't mean that any arbitrarily structured topsy-turvy universe of any size can exist, but under the principles of existence there may be no principle of existence that sets an upper limit for the size of the universe, which seems a richness of existence especially when compared to from nothing comes nothing.

From nothing comes nothing means that unless you do some special trick of creation, you cannot have something because the default state of things is nothing, so you have to do some magic or some special physics to have existence come out of nothingness, which is the default state of things.

This bias, it is a crazy bias; it is a special bias; that exists both in religion and in science that everybody is subject to this bias in favor of nothingness being the default state. I do not know how many other beliefs there are that are cross over beliefs between religion and science.

So, it is pervasive. It is persuasive. But we know it is not a prohibitive rule because we exist. Something happened or there is something about the principles of existence that doesn't stand in the way of existence.

That the “from nothing comes nothing” rule doesn't rule because there is something-ness and if nothingness ruled then there would not be. So, we already have proof that it is possible to have something-ness. 

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner
American Television Writer

According to semi-reputable sources, Rick Rosner has the world’s second-highest IQ. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writer’s Guild Award and Emmy nominations, and was named 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Registry.

He has written for Remote Control, Crank Yankers, The Man Show, The Emmy Awards, The Grammy Awards, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He has also worked as a stripper, a bouncer, a roller-skating waiter, and a nude model. In a TV commercial, Domino’s Pizza named him the World’s Smartest Man.He was also named Best Bouncer in the Denver Area by Westwood Magazine.

He spent the disco era as an undercover high school student. 25 years as a bar bouncer, American fake ID-catcher, 25+ years as a stripper, and nude art model, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television.  He lost on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire over a bad question, and lost the lawsuit. He spent 35+ years on a modified version of Big Bang Theory. Now, he mostly sits around tweeting in a towel. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and daughter.

You can send an email or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing

(Updated September 28, 2016)

He is a Moral Courage Webmaster and Outreach Specialist (Fall, 2016) at the UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center), Interview Columnist for Conatus News, Writer and Executive Administrator for Trusted Clothes, Interview Columnist for Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), Chair of Social Media for the Almas Jiwani Foundation, Councillor for the Athabasca University Student Union, Member of the Learning Analytics Research Group, writer for The Voice MagazineYour Political Party of BCProBCMarijuana Party of CanadaFresh Start Recovery CentreHarvest House Ministries, and Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Editor and Proofreader for Alfred Yi Zhang Photography, Community Journalist/Blogger for Gordon Neighbourhood House, Member-at-Large, Member of the Outreach Committee, the Finance & Fundraising Committee, and the Special Projects & Political Advocacy Committee, and Writer for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Member of the Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab and IMAGe Psychology Lab, Collaborator with Dr. Farhad Dastur in creation of the CriticalThinkingWiki, Board Member, and Foundation Volunteer Committee Member for the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, and Independent Landscaper.

He was a Francisco Ayala Scholar at the UCI Ethics Center, Member of the Psychometric Society Graduate Student Committee, Special Advisor and Writer for ECOSOC at NWMUN, Writer for TransplantFirstAcademy and ProActive Path, Member of AT-CURA Psychology Lab, Contributor for a student policy review, Vice President of Outreach for the Almas Jiwani Foundation, worked with Manahel Thabet on numerous initiatives, Student Member of the Ad–Hoc Executive Compensation Review Committee for the Athabasca University Student Union, Volunteer and Writer for British Columbia Psychological Association, Community Member of the KPU Choir (even performed with them alongside the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Delegate at Harvard World MUN, NWMUN, UBC MUN, and Long Beach Intercollegiate MUN, and Writer and Member of the Communications Committee for The PIPE UP Network.


[1] Four format points for the session article:

  1. Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner.
  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview.
  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability.

For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:

  1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from http://www.lib.sfu.ca/system/files/28281/APA6CitationGuideSFUv3.pdf.
  2. Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from http://www.msvu.ca/site/media/msvu/Transcription%20Guide.pdf.

License and Copyright


In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com and www.rickrosner.org.


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

No comments:

Post a Comment