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Posts posted by md65536

  1. I am developing an idea that all of reality is a dream, although it sounds crazy remember when you sleep you rarely doubt it as not real. I believe that this world is a sub-conscious created world. There is an infinite number of dream levels in my opinions and that you can only remember one level below the level you are currently in and each level you rise, events appear less likely in other words the world becomes more rational and more feasible.


    I remember hearing about maybe a Native American or South American tribe that believed that reality is a dream, and that our dreams are an actual reality... or something.


    I recently watched a Werner Herzog movie called Where the Green Ants Dream, involving indigenous Australians who believe that dreams influence reality or mix with it. To have children, they first have to dream of them. The dreams of certain animals affect nature and human existence, etc.



    Personally I believe that most of what we consider to be reality is emergent, but I don't think it has anything to do with dreams, other than what we use to perceive reality is capable of "generating its own sensory data sets" let's say.

  2. Let's just assume for a moment that telepathy is possible. If it was, it would have to occur through some form of electromagnetic transmissions, right? E.g. radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, UV, or x-rays. Now, as far as I know, aluminum foil blocks out all types of electromagnetic waves except x-rays, which require lead. But unless you are receiving

    Proving something about something unknown by assuming that it is only something that is known, is not really useful. This leads to conclusions like "heavier-than-air aircraft are impossible" and "rockets couldn't work in a vacuum". I could assume that all transmission of speech is carried by sound waves and go on to prove that telephones are impossible.


    $Well , maybe I can try to get those 1 100 000 $ . You know Randi is working all his life to find out if I exist. I do not understand what is he going to do when he start tolking with me without oppening his Mouth. I think there are very many people that know about me, I think Randi know about me. This is stupid with Randi. No one is giving 1 milion to someone.

    He can easy give it to some of his friends and tell : "This guy can do something paranormal".

    To give 1 100 000 to someone is ....

    You'd have to devise a test that would prove your abilities and rule out deception. Or, submit to the tests Randi would have already devised (which might be restrictively specific to some feat that he considers to be "telepathy").


    If you have such tests or experiments it would be interesting to hear about them here, though ruling out deception would be difficult.




  3. He seems to be perpetually disappointed.


    That is impossible. It violates conservation of disappointment laws. Otherwise, you could extract disappointment, and use it to power some kind of machine...?


    I'll admit to being frustrated by the speculations forum, too. There just aren't really a lot of people looking for new (and crazy or underdeveloped) ideas to explore and discuss. Those looking for real science in a speculations forum probably don't have the understanding of science needed to do serious collaboration. Those with the understanding already have enough well-developed ideas to think about, and will tend to see what's wrong with your ideas quickly, while anything truly new and valuable could take a lifetime of effort to understand and develop further. You're not going to find collaborators here. Scienceforums.net doesn't pretend that Speculations is really about science, as some of us do.


    The value in the speculations forum is in asking about a crazy idea that can be explained fairly easily by others, and in giving us pseudoscientists some space for self-indulgence with our ideas. Has there ever been a thread here that contained NEW ideas that were USEFUL, with a discussion that actually helped DEVELOP the idea?



  4. After more thought on black hole singularities being coordinate singularities (or if I'm using the term wrong, rather: singularities that disappear depending on where you view them from), I figure that the solution that makes the most sense is that, uh...


    Say you're outside a black hole and that most of its mass is in the singularity, but not all of it is. As you pass the event horizon and approach the singularity, suppose that rather than the singularity disappearing, that more and more of its mass appears as "normal matter" outside the singularity, which itself becomes less massive. You could approach it "forever" as it expands spatially the closer you are to it, and more of its mass would expand out of it until you realize that you're surrounded by a universe that came from the "shrinking" singularity that you're still chasing.


    In order for that to be possible, the mass distribution of a black hole cannot be uniform or homogeneous or whatever. There would not be a hard boundary between outside and inside it (other than the event horizon, which is a precise boundary but there is no physical wall of matter or energy there). It would be distributed along something that looks like f( r ) = 1/r or 1/r2, with the density at 0 undefined (representing the singularity), and the density approaching infinity as r approaches 0.



    Extrapolating this idea from black holes to all matter, we get the following conjecture:


    - All mass is non-homogeneous in terms of energy or mass distribution.

    - All mass has a singularity at its center.


    Basically this would mean that the concentration of any distinct quantity of mass is greatest at its center, and tapers off to blend seamlessly into the surrounding nothingness, rather than there being a distinct boundary between mass and surrounding space. Depending on how you look at the mass, it could be that it has no size and 100% of its mass is contained in a singularity, or half of its mass is, or just a tiny fraction of its mass is contained in the singularity, yet that still represents infinite density for that small mass.



    We can extrapolate further and imagine that any mass can be described as a distinct unit in the same way. On the smallest scale, all particles could be viewed as individual masses with individual singularities. On a larger scale: If you were far enough away or warped space in the right way, all of Earth could be viewed as a combined mass with most of its matter contained in one singularity at its center. If you were outside the universe, most of it would be in one singularity, with some of its mass outside the singularity (and each particle of that outside mass containing its own singularity).



    Then since we're speculating without restraint anyway, why not conjecture that all fundamental forces are due to non-homogeneity of geometry, IE. curvature of spacetime. Just as large-scale curvature effects gravity, small-scale curvature may effect electromagnetism and/or nuclear force.



    Thrown in there is the idea that any mass might be described as a particle, depending on how and from where you viewed it. Thus, particles might be defined as an observer-defined quantization of matter into individual indivisible components. Then, just as a universe might be fully contained in a singularity, or might "spill out" into something with size (eg. a black hole) and divisible mass, so too might an elementary particle be a singularity or a divisible mass, depending on how it is viewed.




    A simplification of this idea might be:

    - All mass results in space-time curvature (already accepted with general relativity?)

    - The point of maximum curvature of any curve in spacetime is always a singularity. (There are no "gentle bumps" in spacetime.)




    Any related or contradictory ideas or evidence? Thanks.

  5. Nope. Twin A would see Earth time to appear running slow during both periods. The impact of the time dilatation factor gamma does not depend on whether two objects approach each other or increase their distance.

    Note that twin A would see earth to jump forward in time during the short period of turning around.



    Drawing an x-over-t diagram in the frame of earth shows the symmetry. You've defined your symmetric scenario in this frame, after all. Drawing x-over-t diagrams in the frame of either twin is probably out of your reach because of the part of the trip where the twins turn around (which I expect to be rather tricky for that purpose).

    No, twin A would not see anybody jump forward in time. I used to think that too... see this thread: http://www.sciencefo...post__p__569630


    Twin A would see B's and Earth's time appearing to run faster at some point. It would calculate that their times are running slower.

    What I mean is, suppose everybody was broadcasting a timing signal every second.

    As twin A approaches Earth, she is moving toward each subsequent signal from Earth and "observes" them at a rate greater than one per second.


    Supposing A could turn around instantly, on the return trip she would see Earth time appearing to run fast (call it an illusion if you must), including the 2 additional years that Earth ages -- this will be seen by A.

    A will see B continue on an outbound journey for some time, during which A and B will be traveling in the same direction at the same speed, thus A will receive signals from B at a "normal" rate of 1 per second. -- Is this correct?

    Then at some point in A's return journey, she will see B turn around, and will receive signals from B at a rate higher than 1 per second (and also higher than the rate from Earth) -- even though B's clock is ticking slower than Earth's which is slower than A's according to A.



    I'm not interested in the "actual time" at B or at Earth, I'm only interested in the appearance of time passing as observed from different perspectives. The "apparent time" is consistent with "actual time" according to the travel speed of light (or any observation) at c. If I can't describe any situation in terms of what an observer will actually see, then my understanding of relativity is not sufficient for the work I'm doing.

  6. gamma = 0.5

    doh.gif I mean gamma = 2... I had the reciprocal.


    Other than that is my post correct?

    Or it doesn't make enough sense???


    Obviously I don't do the math enough, but would a Minkowski diagram show the symmetry as it is observed by the twins or by Earth? Or does no one do relativity calculations based on what is seen vs what is calculated?



  7. Suppose both twins A and B leave Earth in opposite directions and each travel for one year (rocket time) with gamma = 0.5 (relative to Earth), then return at the same speed.


    My understanding of relativity is that they'll both return to find the earth aged 4 years while they've each aged 2. They remain the same age.



    But I can't figure this out in terms of what they'd each observe.

    Twin A would see Earth time appear to run slow as she retreated from it, and then appear to run fast as she approached.

    Would she not also see the same thing happening to Twin B? Twin B would appear to age slowly (slower than Earth) on the outbound trip, and then appear to age fast (faster than Earth) on the return trip.


    However, I realize that to Twin A, her own outbound trip would appear to take 1 year, and the return trip would appear to take 1 year...

    yet to Twin A, B's outbound trip would appear to take more than 1 year, and the return trip much less. This is basically because when A reaches her farthest point, she is 2*0.866 light years rest distance from B's farthest point, so she won't see B reach that point for some time (as the light from such an observation will take time to reach Twin A).



    Have I just answered my own question? Yes, Twin A will see Twin B appear to be aging at a much faster pace than it will see Earth aging, but only for a fraction of the time?

    I trust that it'll work out to A and B aging exactly the same amount, calculated from anyone's perspective.

  8. This is amazing. I don't know what to make of it.


    Do you think Verlinde was talking about images and the sounds of words in his paper? Or do you think it is the key to understanding his work, which he perhaps failed to grasp?


    Do you think that this really has any relation to an actual physical reality or to our understanding of it? If so, how could you demonstrate its physical reality, or what test could disprove it?

    So far all I got out of this is "Some things resemble other things (in shape and/or word sound)". To me, this is completely explainable in terms of how the brain interprets shapes and images, the development of languages, and the statistics of coincidence. None of these need to have any relation to a holographic nature of the universe.


    For over half a year I've resigned to labeling myself a crackpot, but I will stop now. I don't have nearly enough imagination for it. I'm way out of that league.


    But I see a familiar attempt to put complex ideas into simpler understood ones, which leads to analogies that may seem silly at first but can lead to better understanding after a lot of analysis. I think you have a lot of work to do before this will come near to any useful conclusions, and that you will completely change your understanding of all of these topics several times before that happens. Are you prepared to throw away all of this work several times over in order to truly understand it? If not, I fail to see any useful conclusion.

  9. i didn't calculate it but if they were to intersect at point z would they not have met before their speeds would otherwise imply?

    I recently read in Carl Sagan's Cosmos that some of Einstein's early thought experiments leading to special relativity involved imagining such collisions.


    See: http://www.american-buddha.com/journeys.space.time.htm and search for "cart" to skip to the relavent bit.


    The paradoxes and impossible situations happen only without special relativity.



  10. If information is spread out over a holographic screen then the information will be communicated through sound as well as light photon image. Language represent intelligent interpretation of the holographic information that exists within the screen. Primarily the information is derived due to human interpretation of light photon image as well as the sound produced relative to the light photon.( whether or not sound is part of the quality of light or not? Sound IS 'relative to' light.) Perhaps "sound" is NOT SO independent from light, rather sound is a part of the quality of light.

    I don't know what all this is but it's not science.

    The holographic principle is about science. You're taking it very far out of context, ignoring the science, and applying thick layers of interpretation (I suppose we all do that to some degree and must allow for it among us amateur scientists in a speculations forum). But I don't think your ideas have any correlation with the holographic principle that you mention in your original post. Misapplying other theories to your own probably does little more than confuse yourself and others. Admittedly I am guilty of it too.


    I don't plan to read through all of your posts but I think I've seen enough to say that the holographic principle does not back up your claims.




  11. 1)Can any who are familiar with the principles of holography please express their knowledge of these things in the most lucid way possible?

    I know nothing but I feel like babbling.


    First, I don't think it's advisable to imagine a physical hologram. To do so, you will be imagining a specific 2D surface within a 3D geometrical space. It defeats the purpose of considering 3D geometry as emergent if you're picturing it in terms of 3D geometry.

    Instead of imagining a physical hologram, just consider its properties independently of a physical manifestation.


    Here are 2 properties of holograms:

    1. All the 3-dimensional information is encoded in a 2-dimensional surface. What this means is that all the information you can stuff into a 3-dimensional volume, can also fit on some related surface (usually the surface is a sphere around a volume, I think).


    2. Each point on a hologram's surface encodes information from all over the volume.

    If you consider a physical hologram for a moment, think about looking at a single point on it while moving your head all around. That single point will show what all sorts of different parts of the 3d image look like, depending on your point of view. That means that information from all over the 3d model being represented, is encoded into each point on the hologram.

    What this means is that rather than having a single point in the 3D volume map to a single point on the 2D surface and vice-versa, you have all points in the volume mapping to all points on the surface and vice-versa.





    This next part is speculative:

    Suppose you could encode all information in the universe on a 2D surface. Also suppose that different observational perspectives could observe a consistent view of that universe. As with a physical hologram, different points of view observing this 2-dimensional surface will observe something that is consistent with the specific 3-dimensional image represented by the hologram. The hologram is 2D but a 3D image with 3D geometry is emergent. If the universe is similar, then 3D geometry can emerge from the way information is arranged in a 2D universe.


    A hologram or holographic universe can be 2D but look consistently 3D.




  12. I think it's right. My own conjectures lead to a similar idea... I posted about it in Speculations in the past week or so, but I don't have the math or the vocabulary to express the idea as precisely or sensibly. Thanks for the link to the paper. It should help me a lot.


    "Many physicists believe that ... space-time geometry [is] emergent." I believe this is the way to express an idea I've used in all my speculative posts, recently.


    I definitely agree with what I've read (skimmed) in the paper.

  13. Then you have the following principle: If the total entropy of a volume is limited by a factor of the square of its radius, yet the total perceivable entropy of a volume is a factor of the cube of its radius, then the more "stuff" you perceive in a given volume, the smaller it's radius must be perceived.

    Corollary: If the apparent radius of a volume of space is determined by entropy, then the size of the universe could be determined by entropy.

    The fact that the universe is expanding might be due to the way that entropy is increasing.

    The fact that the expansion is accelerating, would have something to do with entropy increasing above some "nominal" rate.



    As a vague guess: Normal energy interactions would increase entropy at a "normal" fixed rate, while the splitting of particles or energy would increase that rate to a new higher but also fixed rate. More particles may mean more opportunities for energy to split further, increasing not only the rate of change of entropy, but the rate at which the rate of change of entropy is changing.

  14. billions of degrees Kelvin.

    A pedantic correction: It's just "billions of kelvin". The kelvin is not referred to or typeset as a degree.

    For simplicity's sake and the fact we are here, assume it did happen as such. Being a pragmatist with nothing to accentuate or back up my reasoning, it's quite possible our world sprang from such a nothingness? If so, then wouldn't it be rational to assume it will return to that same nothingness?

    To assume something is true you'd want reason to accept it as true, such as consistent observation or logical deduction. The idea that it all came from nothing isn't based on assumptions, but on reasoning and evidence.


    It's definitely reasonable to suggest that the universe could return to nothing, but you'd have to provide the reasoning before I'd call it a rational assumption. I don't think "it was like that before so it will return to that state" is a reasonable self-evident argument. That assumes it's not a "one way" process. The laws of entropy describe a one-way process, I think, and seems a more reasonable description of the universe than "it will return to the way it was".


    Say you dropped a box of macaroni. It wouldn't be rational to say "These all came from the box, so I assume they will all end up back in the box at some point."


    I may be wrong, but... The idea of the universe coming from nothing is that the sum of all energy in the universe is zero... it all cancels each other out. If you assumed it was all brought back together, you might assume it would cancel each other out. But what will annihilate all the spread-out matter and energy if the universe expands to the point of heat death?

  15. A typical interpretation of the Schrodinger's cat thought experiment is that in one reality, the cat will die, and in another it will continue to live a long and prosperous life. If every probabilistic event has each outcome realized in a different reality, the butterfly effect implies that any 2 similar realities would quickly become very different. These could be called divergent alternate realities.


    Special relativity can describe a much milder interpretation. If we assume that any cat must at some time die, then relativity of simultaneity tells us that that moment isn't the same for all possible observers. It's possible that for one observer the cat is dead, and for another it is still alive. This is the reality for each observer, however these might be called superficial alternate realities. The details such as timing of events are different in the different reality, but the cat's eventual death and the cause of its death are common. Further, if you bring any 2 observers to the same location and velocity, the description of their separate realities should merge. This might be called convergent alternate realities.


    With these definitions and an acceptance of special relativity, convergent superficial alternate realities are a fact of nature. But are divergent alternate realities also real?




    We are then interested in determining the furthest extent to which alternate realities can diverge. We might do this by separating the properties of the universe into two categories: those that change depending on how they are observed (subjective), and those that don't (objective, absolute, or invariant).


    Subjective aspects of reality:




    Invariant aspects of reality:





    Causality is a significant property in the Schrodinger's cat experiment. If indeed it is invariant, then it is possible for the experiment to be viewed with multiple superficial outcomes by multiple observers, but the state of the cat (dead or alive) as determined by the causal connection between events, would be convergent among different realities. It would either remain alive, or eventually die by the same causes in all realities.


    Schrodinger's experiment relies on quantum phenomena translating to real-world events. Using the above interpretation, however, we can find a disconnect between the two: At the particle scale, we might describe reality according to subjective properties, but then as we back out to a human scale we may inadvertently switch to including an invariant property.


    Much of the nature of particles is subjective. If distance is completely observer-dependent, then particle location, velocity, and even size can be subjective. Particles will be observed differently by different observers. It is possible that 2 observers do not even have the same particles in their respective realities. Yet, if causality is invariant, then particle interactions that cause other observable events must be invariant across multiple realities. Ie. causal relations must be realized in all realities regardless of how they may be differently observed.


    Both quantum mechanics and special relativity can be interpreted as requiring alternate observational realities. They do not require the more extreme interpretations of parallel universes in which we each live out an infinite number of wildly different lives. Since causality is shown to be invariant in special relativity, it is likely that such wild interpretations where causality is subjective, are false. Occam's razor would suggest that parallel universes are unlikely. However, there may be other evidence for parallel universes that I'm not covering.


    In summary, it is possible that the physical details and makeup of different alternate realities are very different, and yet that all realities converge on a single consistent description of the universe.

  16. In that regard I have a request. Will you permit me to put this paper on the Science Forums website? My sole desire is to solicit comments. (It's okay, I am thick skinned.) If you wish to see the paper before hand, I can e-mail it to you. If you so decide then, how would I go about doing it and in which section of the Forum?

    Why not just post a link? There's nothing against that... no need to axe permission. The closest applicable rule I can see is


    7. Advertising and spam is prohibited. We don't mind if you put a link to your site in your signature, but don't go around making dozens of threads about it.

  17. Well it's over my head, but...


    As you mentioned, time is relative. If part of the universe is expanding away from you at a certain speed, that will affect the rate at which clocks tick in that area, as observed by you. The solar system for example is not expanding such that things are moving away from each other at a rate approaching c. So time anywhere in the solar system, viewed from anywhere else in the solar system, would not change much over a billion years due to expansion of the universe. It has expanded at most a light hour or whatever it is, in its history. Time as we know it... all clocks on Earth (including natural pre-man ones) should not be different over a billion years due to relativistic velocity of expansion.


    Also... relativistic velocity only slows down clocks. At relative rest is their fastest; motion toward or away from a clock will slow it. So if expansion is increasing, time (at the furthest reaches of the universe relative to us) is slowing, not increasing its rate.


    A smaller universe in the past should allow for greater density of matter and probably greater gravitational differences, which according to GR would mean slower time in the past (when viewing an area that's in a strong g field from an area with a weaker field).


    If the entire universe is expanding, the solar system would have been smaller in the past (as would Earth, the galaxy, everything), and I'm not sure what kind of effect, if any, that would have on time within the solar system, viewed from within the solar system. Also not a physicist!

  18. If the theory of parallel universes is true then I realized that within this infinite vast sea of universes there is an infinite number of universes in which are exact copies of our universe. So the matter of these universes could be identical to our universe yet you cannot have exact copies in terms of consciousness because if that was true we would experience an infinite number of lives rather than just one. So consciousness has the ability to be individual yet matter cannot be individual so consciousness is not just a random event developed by matter it has its own laws of physics in some sense.

    I don't follow your reasoning that matter and consciousness must behave differently regarding alternate universes.

    Why would one consciousness experience what a copy experiences? Aren't they separate? And if not, why would matter be separate from its copies? Wouldn't you assume that matter on Earth would "experience the gravitational pull of an infinite number of Earths" or something?


    There is probably some interpretation of QM that will let you develop these ideas further, but personally I think the entire idea of parallel universes is unnecessarily complicated and likely false.

  19. An observer crossing a black hole event horizon can calculate the moment they've crossed it, but will not actually see or feel anything special happen at that moment. In terms of visual appearance, observers who fall into the hole perceive the black region constituting the horizon as lying at some apparent distance below them, and never experience crossing this visual horizon.


    And moving in the opposite direction is impossible... "In 1958, David Finkelstein identified the Schwarzschild surface as an event horizon, 'a perfect unidirectional membrane: causal influences can cross it in only one direction'."[1] So in my analogy it's impossible to escape the universe completely, as I described it. In fact in my analogy I assume some kind of equivalence between the outside and inside of an event horizon (as a boundary between 2 universes, one might say), which then must be incorrect if it's one-directional.


    So then it's impossible to compare what would be seen outside, vs inside the EH?

    Still, can we say anything about an observer who was always inside the EH? Outside, we calculate there is a singularity at r=0. Inside, might this not be a singularity?


    I googled it up, and found that what I'm describing is a "coordinate singularity"... a singularity that can disappear with a change of coordinates.


    It appears that the answer is "no":

    "What happens at r = 0? In the Schwarzschild metric, the expressions 2M/r approach infinity as r approaches 0. This is a real, physical singularity, not a coordinate singularity."[2]



    However I'm not fully convinced, because most of the stuff I came across says something like "No one knows what would be seen inside the event horizon" etc, so it could still be a coordinate singularity within the EH.

    Also, the singularity is a point singularity only for non-rotating BHs (otherwise it's a ring singularity), and it's likely that all BHs rotate.

    Also, the singularities are expected to not be real phenomena, but rather "The appearance of singularities in general relativity is commonly perceived as signaling the breakdown of the theory. ... It is generally expected that a theory of quantum gravity will feature black holes without singularities."[3]



    I can still think of 2 alternatives that would let my idea be true (one where the singularity is a coordinate singularity that disappears inside the EH and one where the singularity remains), but I find no evidence to suggest they have any basis in reality.




    1. http://en.wikipedia....hole#Golden_age

    2. http://members.cox.n.../black_hole.htm

    3. http://en.wikipedia....ole#Singularity

  20. If you have two particles A and B, both A and B have a certain uncertainty in position. Would there then not be uncertainty for the distance between A and B?

    Wouldn't it be that the more precisely the distance between A and B is known, the less precisely the change in distance between them is known, and vice versa?


    Is it valid to determine this using the coordinate system of A, so that the position of B is expressed relative to A while A is fixed (relative to itself at least), and the distance between the two is equivalent to the position of B?

  21. 1) all energy travels at all times with a speed of c.

    2) there is a limited number of possible locations within a given volume (ie. quantization of location)

    But you're saying time and distance aren't fundamental, and then listing fundamental things that are related. How can you speak about speed and volume in fundamental aspects if time and distance aren't fundamental?

    EXACTLY! So if we were to list all fundamental aspects of the universe, and time and distance were not defined on there, but everything else was (the definition of speed, volume etc), then I'm suggesting that you could come to any correct conclusion about time and distance, as we observe and/or understand it, based on that.


    Then if you gave these rules to an advanced AI that had no understanding of time and space, but was able to deduce things, it could deduce things like "I get it! Things appear smaller the farther you are from them!" or, as I'm suggesting: "I get it! Spacetime must curve!"


    Or to put it another way, my conjecture is this:

    If you listed everything that is true about the universe, and then one by one removed every statement that could be logically deduced from the other statements (ie you reduced it to fundamentals), you would eventually be able to remove the definition of time and space, as their definition would be completely specified by other more fundamental truths.


    I'm saying they need not exist, even as concepts, independent of the rest of the universe. As real as they are to us, they may just be "semblances" or something, of an underlying nature of the universe.



    I think things like speed and volume would have to be definable in terms of other things (entropy maybe) for this to be correct.





    Okay sorry I've rambled too long now trying to make precise the ethereal philosophical aspects of the conjecture, and my thoughts and words aren't precise enough to do this.


    You said this before:


    If you're going to approach objective reality as objectively defined, what is the point of even bringing up "observation-dependence," "perceptual conceptualization," etc.? If all you mean is that objective physicality determines subjective perception, why raise the issue? As far as I can tell you're not making any defensible claims about subjectivity, only objective material relations.

    I'm separating "observed reality" ie "reality" (subjective, observationally dependent, relative, etc) from "underlying physical nature of the universe" (objective, absolute, ??? yet unknown or at least not yet well understood... speculative!).

    This is also separate from "imaginary" (illusive ie. inconsistently observed or strictly conceptual).


    I don't even know enough of what I'm saying to make defensible claims. The more I write to try to suss it all out, the more confusing it will probably be. It's just a vague idea that's based on conjectures about time and spacetime curvature. It's there that I should focus, where it should be possible to evaluate the conjectures mathematically if I can figure out how. I should leave the philosophy where it is: just a vague idea of the nature of existence, that will always involve flexible interpretation of the science. I can't make any claims about whether or not my philosophical outlook is right.




    This is not related to the conjecture about spacetime curvature, but: My other conjectures, which lead to this one, also leads to an idea that the universe can be described completely as a thermodynamic system with topology but without geometry. No distance or time, possibly as little as 2 dimensions (or even less, maybe fractional), a singularity. This is usually what I'm thinking of when I speak of an "underlying physical nature of the universe". Some weird inconceivable thing that doesn't make sense in our understanding of reality, because it involves removing all the things that define perception (or result from perception), ie involves removing much of what makes up our reality as we perceive it.

  22. Ok, I misunderstood you as referring to perception as a basis for the very fact of distance. I don't think perception is defined by the speed of light as much as it is by the ocular lensing. If you change the lens on a camera, distances appear differently. Objective ideas about distance are based on extra-perceptual science. Sensual, empirical observation is one thing but measurement requires going beyond visual estimation of distance. I don't think there's any necessary consense, though, whether universal or otherwise. You can experiment with this by getting some people together to estimate the distance to various objects. You will probably get divergent estimates, proving that perception does not accurately conform to objective measurement.

    No you were right... I was referring to perception as a basis for the fact of distance. But not in any "imaginary, anything goes" type of way. Only in a very real way.


    For example, if you take a wooden table, you would say that it is solid. And that is reality... it is solid. Depending on how it is perceived, it appears solid (if the wavelength of light used to observe it is blocked by it). The "underlying reality" is that it is made up of tiny particles and is mostly empty space between them, but the perceptual reality which depends on how it is perceived, is that it is solid. That your hand can't pass through the table is real, but not fundamental: It can be traced back to an effect of the fundamental forces (which of course would be considered fundamental). That stuff can't pass through a table "depends"... neutrinos can. Obviously, the impenetrability or solidity of a table is not a fundamental aspect of the universe.


    If you change lenses on a camera, it changes the appearance of distances, but it doesn't change the actual distances. However, if you are moving relative to something, you can change its actual length (this is only noticeable at velocities approaching c). The length of something is real, but its actual value depends on how it is observed.


    You can get different people to estimate the length of a meter stick, and due to errors in perception, they will observe 1m and think it is something else.

    With perfect perception (which I'm assuming in these posts -- I'm talking about the nature of reality rather than the nature of human thought and sensing), you would perceive 1m.

    However, another perfect perceiver may measure 0.5m depending on relative velocity or differing gravitational field.


    The reality is that that meter stick actually IS 1m or 0.5m depending on the observer. Those are both "real distances". But distance isn't fundamental. The closest you can get to an absolute distance is rest distance in the absence of gravity. It could be that this actually is fundamental. I don't think it is but I can't rule it out.



    Perhaps I'm not using the word "perceived" properly... Does it imply an element of human interpretation? I've been using it as if it didn't.

  23. I was thinking about how time and space is consistent no matter how it is observed (related to this post: http://www.sciencefo...rves-spacetime/).


    As an example, suppose you could shrink the universe down to a very small size. It would continue to function consistently with the relationship between time and space being determined by the value c. You may see the universe as small, but others who may perceive it differently may see it as immense.



    I think this is exactly what would happen if you were to somehow "step outside" the universe. You would perceive it as small (as a black hole, I believe), while others inside it would see no change in space or time.


    If you shrunk it this way and could peer inside, you would necessarily see that time seems sped up*... as light still travels at c, a lot more can happen with smaller distances. And yet, the universe would be consistent for all observers, including you outside and everyone inside.


    However, if you were to shrink the universe to a singularity, you would "lose track" of its time... I think its time would become undefined to you. Would it still be possible to have a consistent understanding of the universe?


    As a leap of logic, one might say that if you perceived the universe as a singularity, then it no longer exists consistently for you. If that is true, then there is no way you can perceive information about it. If the universe is viewed as a black hole singularity, then it is at the event horizon that you are no longer able to make observations of it. So would that coincide with the size of the universe? Inside the event horizon, it is observable and thus has size and thus time and is consistent, and outside the horizon it is sizeless and thus unobservable and inconsistent.


    This might also relate to the idea that what is unobservable does not exist. The reality that may be defined within a singularity is not defined outside of it.





    Apologies if this is just a mess of meaningless thoughts. Does anyone follow my reasoning, or have related thoughts? Or am I skipping so far over the details (both in my mind and in this post) that all that's left is nonsense?



    * Edit: I may have that backwards? This gets me every time.

  24. Why not just say that distance is a "social fact," to use Durkheimian language? Is social consensus a sufficient basis to define dimensionality objectively? Or is your whole point that social consensus is due to the objective nature of the retina?

    I don't know, at least not clearly enough to make such statements. I don't think the retina or humanity has any effect on reality.


    I might try to say instead that "distance is not fundamental in the universe".

    My followup about the holographic principle seems to assume that c -- a fixed speed of all energy in the universe -- is fundamental.

    Time and distance can be an illusion or a social fact or real or unreal or whatever, but the main important fact is that however they may be perceived, they are always defined by a fixed relationship between time and distance.


    The original conjecture then goes something like this: Time and distance are perceptual effects consistent with these "fundamental aspects of the universe":

    1) all energy travels at all times with a speed of c.

    2) there is a limited number of possible locations within a given volume (ie. quantization of location)

    3) the total entropy of a volume is limited by the surface area around the volume (consequence of 1 and 2?)

    4) ???


    Thus, you can say what you want about time and space, define them as concretely or as abstractly as you want, but in any way you do, the above fundamental aspects must hold. The conjecture referred to by the title of this thread is that if you have a definition of time and space defined by the above aspects, and it is consistent, then you have spacetime curvature due to mass energy.


    In a sense, "what time and distance are" doesn't matter as much as the fundamental aspects matter.

    Time and distance are simply an expression of the universal consensus of those aspects. So I would say more than social facts, they are universal facts, but consequential rather than fundamental ones. They are defined as a universally consistent perceptual measurement, but that definition defines a local perception that depends on the observer. Hahaha, if you are not confused then that makes one of us who isn't!



    Or in other words... the nature of time and space lies somewhere between an arbitrary perceptual conceptualization of a universe, and an underlying absolute physical reality of the universe. Time and space are defined by the observer and depend on how they are observed, but only to the extent that they are consistent with the fundamental reality they represent.






    4) What is not consistent is not observable

    5) What is not observable does not have a defined existence

    6) Reality is consistent (consequence of 4 and 5?)

  25. Hey, this just might be the best "crazy new theory" I've seen on the whole forums.

    Thanks! :)


    You've really stumbled upon some good philosophical questions here. You may care to partake in some readings on the topic of Philosophy of Science. There are readings on questions like "does it really matter if what we perceive and what reality is is different?" In short, the answer really is no, because if something is unmeasurable, then it doesn't really matter if it is there or not -- its effects are unmeasurable after all.

    I have some differing philosophical ideas but nothing clear enough to be worth presenting, yet. Edit: But then I went and wrote out those ideas anyway, in later posts below. :S


    Blah blah blah, yada yada yada, and you have yourself a different description of the holographic principle, which to paraphrase suggests that the total entropy of a volume is proportional to the surface area around that volume.

    To try to be a bit more precise...


    Suppose you have a certain number of energy quanta at a single location at time 0, and then examine them at a time t.

    Their max speed is c, so you should find that all the energy is contained within a sphere of radius c*t.

    Assuming the quanta can interact or be accelerated, or just that they may bounce off things, we would expect that the total number of possible places for any quanta of energy would be related to the volume of the sphere (each quanta may be anywhere within the sphere).

    However, the only way to get to a particular point on the surface of the sphere is to travel there at c in a straight line. Conversely, if a particle travels in a straight line (no bouncing) it will end up at the surface of the sphere at time t. Therefore, if you find a particle anywhere else inside the volume, that means it bounced (or otherwise diverted), and that means that there is some place on the surface of the sphere that can't be reached by any particle (unless we allow that 2 particles can travel the same path at the same time and diverge, which I guess we must assume is impossible. We might assume that 2 quanta at the same location after time 0 can be considered a single quantum).


    The main thing that affects where these quanta of energy end up, is an assumption that they all travel at c (whether they consist of photons, or as matter made up of oscillating energy that might be considered "energy that bounces several many times within time t"). If the energy could travel at arbitrary speed <= c, they could end up anywhere in the volume and thus the entropy would be proportional to r cubed. But since they travel at a fixed speed, there is only one place a quanta could be at time t, depending on the direction it was traveling when it left the initial location...


    ... That part may make some assumptions about determinism that are not quite true. Regardless...



    Anyway, the point of this is that each of these quanta of energy can either 1) end up on the surface of the imaginary sphere and "fill that spot" at time t, or 2) if not then the quanta is within the sphere and there is an "empty spot" on the sphere where it would be if it had traveled in a straight line. Thus, for each quanta within the sphere, no matter how many we begin with, there is a point on the surface of the sphere that maps uniquely to that quanta. If you want to end up with more quanta inside a sphere than there is room for them on the surface of the sphere, you cannot do so by having all the quanta start at the same place and the same time.



    Yada yada yada Big Bang :D

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