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geordief last won the day on August 31 2018

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  1. An engineer (as per my understanding) works within the parameters of what has been learned to work and reapplies them to new situations. It seemed to me like you were implicitly applying that description to science in general. By "back engineer" I was thinking of people who break open a watch to learn how it works inside. That seems to fit in with how particle physics is practiced ,smashing cosmic watches with a huge sledgehammer and poring over where the pieces fall. I appreciate I may not be very clear but it may not be a comment of too much consequence.....
  2. So all scientists are, qua scientists engineers - "back engineers"? New ,exciting developments in the field are just serendipitous lucky jackpots. It's a percentage game with random payouts...
  3. Would you say that scientific models can tell us what a particular reality is not? (repeating this process and deducting one misconception after (oops😒 ) another might allow us an acquaintance with the particular understanding we may be seeking?) As I said ,before ,I did find Michel's link very interesting ,but that may because my level of understanding is fairly low. Can we say anything about that which we refer to as "time" that we can be very confident is incorrect (and should that be enough for something as fundamental as it seems to be?)
  4. How do Sanders and Biden match up in terms of (a) beating Trump and (b) winning the Houses? Will either's supporters consider switching based on those criteria? Have to say ,I am now very impressed by Biden based on his last town hall.
  5. How is J Caesar different from any other event in the past? His atoms are dispersed and ,it is said we all have a few. His experience of being alive is another matter but that is not what this thread is about ,is it?
  6. I am not qualified to comment here on the BU (I am aware of the concept but have a lot to learn) Just to try and explain what I was trying to say in my last post(perhaps a repetition),the model of spacetime seems to make extraordinarily precise predictions that were quite unthinkable not so long ago. The interpretation of all this is another area ,possibly more important and possibly less so (unless we can subject any interpretation to experimental verification or disproof then any number of alternative interpretations might be theoretically possible) What I was musing out loud was whether the often brought up distinction between "time as measured by clocks" and the subjective idea of time that we have might have some kind of an input into the way relativity might be interpreted as either a Block Universe or ,perhaps as some may be inclined to see it as a Universe that is continuously recreating itself at every step of the way. There is probably nothing in it ..... Edit : I hope I am right to say that the Block Universe is an interpretation of Relativity and not actually fundamental to it
  7. No you didn't talk about returning to a "same location". That was a bit of a bee in my bonnet. I wonder if it helps at all to introduce a notion of subjective time to the discussion (perhaps off topic) The relativity model does call out to be interpreted (although its predicted results do not) and perhaps we cannot help introducing this subjective understanding of time into our interpretation. This is for me a very confusing topic but I found that French video quite illuminating . I see that we are in philosophy so I am not sure whether confusion is an asset or a hindrance.
  8. Is that the scenario any different from our gut belief that the Sun is as we see it "now" and not 8 light minutes in the past? Does the former scenario not just play out on a smaller scale than the latter? (did the illusion of presenters happen in the past or Some kind of a subjective present? Is a subjective present by definition illusory or is it just a separate reality?)
  9. Is there a layman's guide to the mathematics of calculating the spacetime curvature of a body of mass M inhabiting a flat space? Suppose we take the mathematics of calculating the curvature at any point as given (it's not ,of course ;I don't understand that yet except that it seems to be a tensor) how does one ,in broad terms proceed from there to describe the curvature of the body on its surface ,in its interior and extending beyond? Does one integrate all the individual points of curvature?
  10. Warning rabbit holes ahead; is the illusion(of experiencing the present) in the present? Is the illusion a hole or a reality? Does time never stand still and so no "moment in time" exists as a separate entity?
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_general_relativity#Sir_Arthur_Eddington "In the early years after Einstein's theory was published, Sir Arthur Eddington lent his considerable prestige in the British scientific establishment in an effort to champion the work of this German scientist. Because the theory was so complex and abstruse (even today it is popularly considered the pinnacle of scientific thinking; in the early years it was even more so), it was rumored that only three people in the world understood it. There was an illuminating, though probably apocryphal, anecdote about this. As related by Ludwik Silberstein,[20] during one of Eddington's lectures he asked "Professor Eddington, you must be one of three persons in the world who understands general relativity." Eddington paused, unable to answer. Silberstein continued "Don't be modest, Eddington!" Finally, Eddington replied "On the contrary, I'm trying to think who the third person is." I was wondering whether,at that perhaps stage any failure to experimentally confirm the theory might have been a serious setback or whether there were other paths to acceptance in the scientific establishment and outside it via alternative dramatic experiments.
  12. What if eclipses of the Sun by the Moon were not complete as we now have them. Because,say it's orbit had increased over time and so appeared small compared to the size of the Sun as seen from Earth. Suppose this was the case and Einstein had just proposed General Relativity (1915 I think it was)....would GR have been taken seriously or did everything depend on the experimental confirmation of his predictions carried out by Eddington. Might GR have just attracted a dwindling cult following or were there other dramatic confirmations available that would have ensured this did not happen? I have read one of Einstein's contemporaneous publications where he calls for the measurements to be undertaken at the forthcoming eclipse (quite a dramatic and vivid read )
  13. geordief

    The Observer

    I thought the mathematical construct "i" as the square root of minus one was a logical impossibility at first ( still don't really understand it) Same with curvature of spacetime it seems impossible and yet the model works. We can't afford to ignore the seemingly illogical ,Khomeini,the election of Trump etc You have made your point that unlikely things should attract less attention .This is one of the very few times I have raised this topic on this forum (if at all) Strange has half convinced me that there is no practical benefit in the question..
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