Logically, nothing should exist.

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Neopolitan
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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Neopolitan » January 5th, 2015, 5:38 am

I would have preferred to have added this to my last post, but what the heck ...

I had some time to tot up the figures in my head and came to the conclusion that, each year, our heads travel more than a kilometre than our feet (assuming an average height difference between head and feet of 50cm - which is quite conservative).
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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Misty » January 5th, 2015, 6:10 am

Neopolitan wrote:I would have preferred to have added this to my last post, but what the heck ...

I had some time to tot up the figures in my head and came to the conclusion that, each year, our heads travel more than a kilometre than our feet (assuming an average height difference between head and feet of 50cm - which is quite conservative).
How far do our arms travel per year? Our thoughts probably would win the what travels the furthest race.
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Obvious Leo » January 5th, 2015, 6:23 am

Misty wrote: Our thoughts probably would win the what travels the furthest race.
The furthest and the quickest I would hazard. MRI imagery shows that thoughts travel amazingly quickly through the neural network. Not to mention lots of them at once.

Regards Leo

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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Neopolitan » January 5th, 2015, 11:45 am

Misty wrote:
neopolitan wrote:I would have preferred to have added this to my last post, but what the heck ...

I had some time to tot up the figures in my head and came to the conclusion that, each year, our heads travel more than a kilometre than our feet (assuming an average height difference between head and feet of 50cm - which is quite conservative).
How far do our arms travel per year? Our thoughts probably would win the what travels the furthest race.
Well, there is the problem of sampling (equivalent to how deeply we zoom in on a coastline). If we sample once every day, and maintain the assumptions, the head will have travelled more than the feet - so long as we accept that the Earth is rotating. If we sample every second, the feet will have moved more (back and forth as well as the rotation) and the hands will likely have travelled more than the head as well (waving all over the place). I don't really think that we can count "thoughts" since they don't really travel at all - silly mistake there Leo, you've stepped outside your paradigm even by suggesting that neural impulses travel. However, if we were to allowed to sample a blood cell every millisecond then of course the blood cell will have travelled further than our heads, hands and feet (travelling all around the body which is itself on the surface of a planet that is rotating).

I choose a blood cell because it's bounded, localised and persistent, unlike a thought.

(The length of a country's coastline, by the way, is dependent on how you measure it. If you measure every kilometre, you are going to get a much smaller value than you would if you measured every metre.)
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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Misty » January 5th, 2015, 3:44 pm

Leo and Neo,

I said thoughts because they can be about space, infinity, etc., I was just throwing it out there as I really don't know. It sounded good at the time!!

Misty
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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Obvious Leo » January 5th, 2015, 5:15 pm

Misty wrote:Leo and Neo,

I said thoughts because they can be about space, infinity, etc., I was just throwing it out there as I really don't know. It sounded good at the time!!

Misty
It was actually quite astute, Misty, because many folk with only a passing interest in science seem to think that thoughts are not physical. This assumption is false.

Regards Leo

-- Updated January 6th, 2015, 8:21 am to add the following --
Neopolitan wrote:You've got things **** about as well. The effects that we perceive as gravity affect the rate at which clocks run, it's not the rate at which clocks run that keeps you stuck to the planet.
This statement is illogical and unphysical. To say that gravity affects clocks is no different from saying that clocks affect gravity, a principle in physics which dates back to Newton.

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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Neopolitan » January 5th, 2015, 6:56 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:
neopolitan wrote:You've got things **** about as well. The effects that we perceive as gravity affect the rate at which clocks run, it's not the rate at which clocks run that keeps you stuck to the planet.
This statement is illogical and unphysical. To say that gravity affects clocks is no different from saying that clocks affect gravity, a principle in physics which dates back to Newton.
Rather than getting sidetracked into a discussion about symptoms not being causes (closely linked to correlation not being causation) and what clocks actually do, I will stand by and await your dissertation on gravitational lensing.
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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Obvious Leo » January 5th, 2015, 9:05 pm

Neo. You referred to the flaw in both Newton's and Einstein's models for planetary motion and correctly identified its nature. Poincare knew it a lot better, as highlighted in his work on the three-body problem. It is absolutely a problem of physics per se, and not solely one of mathematics, because as Poincare revealed neither Newton's absolute time nor Minkwoski's co-ordinate time can model a moving object. They only model snapshots of a moving object.

I never said that chaos theory refutes the existence of space. I said that chaos theory has nothing to say about space. The physical existence of space has been adequately refuted by philosophy. Likewise psychology and neuroscience do not refute the existence of space because they have nothing to say about space in this physical sense. These sciences simply point out that spaces are a construct of our consciousness which are created by us to MAP our world. Interestingly last year's Nobel prize for medicine was awarded to a team who elaborated the neurological mechanism for this. That we map our world rather than directly observe it is a proposition beyond dispute which predates Plato. Having this confirmed by 21st century science is helpful but quite unnecessary since it is bloody obvious.

I use the term non-linear determinism in exactly the same sense as everybody else does. Whether you choose to call it chaos theory, cybernetics, complexity theory, evolution, systems theory, or some other analogous term is your own affair. Linear determinism is goal-directed and non-linear-determinism is not. Non-linear determinism can only be modelled fractally and the the fact that fractals have caught the imagination of the fruitloops is not my fault and not my concern.

You're quite right about Kant but Kant is not god. He does define his noumenon as unknowable for the very reason that I gave above. Only phenomena are directly accessible to our consciousness. Plato said the same thing with his Ideals and Forms. However Kant was a Newtonian who knew nothing of non-linear causation and the notion of emergence in the sense that these things are understood today. What I'm suggesting in this paradigm is that phenomena are that which we observe, and thus epistemological, and these can be modelled using linear determinism and Newtonian classical mathematics. However the underpinning ontology for these phenomena is that which Kant defined as unknowable and this is what I dispute. Specifically what I'm saying is that our epistemic models of physics have an underpinning ontology which is not linearly deterministic, as Newton thought and Einstein thought, but non-linearly deterministic as Poincare thought. By the way the three-body problem was finally solved with fractal geometry and now its principles have been extended to larger and more complex systems. Poincare had no hope of solving it, although he laid the foundations for its eventual solution with his topological theorems. Without Poincare it's quite possible that information theory could have taken much longer to evolve because Turing depended heavily on his work. It goes without saying that computation is another science which has no need of spaces. The three-body problem and its solution make no reference to space and yet it deals with cosmological objects. How do you reckon that could be if space is a physical property of the universe?

Regrettably the rest of your lengthy post is wanting in content. Simply saying what I refute by refuting what I say does not constitute an argument and thus much of it is unworthy of a response. However you do pre-empt much of my model when you ridicule me on the the notion of a chaotic computer, which is a perfectly precise definition of my model. Your ridicule is of no concern to me but is unbecoming in light of your scant understanding of non-linear systems theory .

I think this will work a lot better if you isolate particular aspects of my paradigm for clarification rather than try and sweep across the whole thing in one go. I'm trying to be methodical and I've really only just begun. All I've done so far is lay down the basic metaphysical framework for the model so please don't try and skip to the ending. Physics doesn't have a metaphysical framework but this model is unusable without it so I regarded this as an important first step.

Moving right along. I feel that I've adequately explained the apparent expansion of the universe in my responses to Greta and Vijay but I'm happy to elaborate if you don't get it. I'll now move on to what is regarded as the definitive proof of GR, the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. If you can punch a hole in this I'll eat my keyboard.

Bear in mind that what I'm offering here is an explanatory framework for observed phenomena, not new physics. What I say refutes nothing that physics says but merely offers a vastly simpler way to think it through. We start with an axiomatic assumption which physics denies. THE PASSAGE OF TIME IS PHYSICALLY REAL. Time really and truly does pass. This offers us the simplest imaginable definition of time and one which was given to us by the greatest time-denier of then all, Albert Einstein. Time is what clocks measure Specifically clocks measure the speed at which time passes, a speed which is entirely determined by gravity and which obtains all the way down to the quantum level. A clock on my desk will tick more quickly than a clock on the floor. A clock on the carpet will tick more quickly than a clock on the bare floorboards beside it. A clock on the electron will tick more quickly than a clock on its host nucleus. This is quantum gravity but the precise details must come later. For the present this is all we need to understand. Every physical entity exists solely in its own temporal referential frame. Nothing controversial said thus far I trust since this is doctrinal physics.

We now turn to the most misunderstood concept in physics, the constant speed of light. In fact physics has never claimed that the speed of light is a constant. It merely claims that it is observed to be a constant in the referential frame of the observer, a non-trivial distinction with profound implications. Measure the speed of light anywhere in the universe and you'll get a value of 300 million m/sec, AS MEASURED LOCALLY. This means that the speed of light is the most inconstant speed in the universe because time is interwoven with gravity all the way down to the quantum level. No two clocks in the universe can be synchronised. If v=d/t, and t is a movable feast, then v cannot be a constant, a mathematical truth which a child could understand. I'm well aware that physics circumvents this problem with the Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction theorem but my model is ruthless with Occam's razor. The Lorentz transformation is forcing reality to conform with observation by brute mathematical force and is therefore unscientific. Its implications are demonstrably absurd although its predictive authority is unquestionable. In other words it is epistemically sound and ontologically nonsensical, like most of physics.

We should all recall the bent stick in the water experiment from high school science as a demonstration of the refractive properties of light. Since light travels more slowly in water than it does in air the observer observes the stick in the water bending. Lo and behold he takes the stick out of the water and it's perfectly straight. The effect is illusory because of the differential speed of light in the two different media.

In a spaceless universe all motion is in the time dimension only which makes gravitational lensing a precisely analogous phenomenon. The light from a distant quasar travels through time to the observer but it doesn't travel at a constant speed. The speed of light is determined by the speed at which time passes because light cannot travel faster than time. The speed at which time passes is determined by gravity and this is the first of the major unifications in my paradigm. Einstein unified time and gravity in GR but this model unifies both of them with the speed of light. The speed of light and the speed at which time passes are one and the same thing. Obviously the same conclusion can be drawn from the thought experiment I put to Greta but in the case of gravitational lensing this conclusion offers us a perfectly natural explanation for the apparent bending of light. Since the light from the quasar travels through time to the observer the presence of an intervening galaxy will slow it down. Time passes more slowly within galaxies than it does between them and light cannot travel faster than time. It is this slowing down of the light which the observer observes as bent light, just as it is the slowing down of the light that causes the apparent bending of the stick in water.

This explanation contradicts no laws of physics but it's a vastly simpler way of interpreting a phenomenon. Physics says that the light bends because it follows the trajectory of a curved space. A curved space is a mathematical object and not a physical one and therefore this explanation for gravitational lensing is non-mechanical. Even in principle it is utterly impossible to explain how empty space can achieve this remarkable feat without any physical properties. Einstein therefore had no qualms about defining GR as an action at a distance paradigm, as Newton's was, and then added this important qualifier when he published his paper.

"Spacetime should never be regarded as physically real"....Albert Einstein (1915)

I've promised a universe which a child could understand, Neo, and I'm delivering on my promise. What is wrong with this explanation? it is both logical and physical and contradicts no physical law. It honours the universal principle of Occam economy and needs no additional parameters to be fed into it from observation. On the grounds of logic alone it is sufficient to refute the ontological conclusions of the spacetime paradigm and yet it leaves its epistemic authority untouched. The explanation offered by physics can be repaired with the addition of two tiny little words so this is a little housekeeping. Light does not bend around an intervening galaxy because it follows the curvature of space. This is what light does.

Light appears to bend around an intervening galaxy AS IF it follows the curvature of space. All it actually does is slow down. I can also show that the other canonical doctrines of physics are "as if" models and assert that the reason why this is so is because space does not physically exist, a statement which I intend to be taken literally.

Regards Leo

-- Updated January 6th, 2015, 12:15 pm to add the following --
Obvious Leo wrote:The physical existence of space has been adequately refuted by philosophy.
I should have added this. It was also adequately refuted by Michelson and Morley.

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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Neopolitan » January 5th, 2015, 11:10 pm

There's a lot there, Leo, so I do want to take some time to digest it. For the moment however, I want point out:
  • that our positions may not be too dissimilar (apart from your ludicrous claim that space does not exist, which if taken literally, as you claim we should, is a total nonsense). I'm actually quite amenable to the key idea that "(t)he speed of light and the speed at which time passes are one and the same thing" (although there remain some niggling interpretation and wording issues),
  • you keep providing unattributed quotations from the big cheese. Please provide details of where Einstein said or wrote as you claim "Spacetime should never be regarded as physically real". A google of the phrase just brings up numerous threads in which you have made the claim that Einstein said or wrote this,
  • there are a couple of issues with the three-body problem. As you point out, there are solutions (although you refer to solution singular while there are about 16 families of solutions). These solutions get around the purchase problem, in other words the problem of where to start. However, what they don't solve is the problem of inaccuracy. Given three bodies of known mass (and no other masses), we certainly do have the tools to solve the problem. However, I did point to problems with predicting the movement of bodies of solar system (which is actually an n-body problem in which the number n is unknown since we've not counted all the asteroids and so on). The inaccuracies in the masses and the assumptions required to simplify the problem (for example we could just ignore the asteroids, or only count the larger ones) mean that it is impossible to predict the movement of bodies of the solar system far into the future. I don't believe that we disagree on this (other than I think that the disposition of the bodies in the solar system is better described spatially), and
  • children must be very advanced where you live. The children in my neighbourhood can certainly navigate their way around social media and spread the most ridiculous memes more quickly than any adults can, but when it comes to contemplating the how light acts as it wends it way to us from distant quasars ... well, when I try to talk to them about it they tend to glaze over. I can only suspect that there is an element of hyperbole when you claim that your paradigm provides a model of the universe that is simple enough for children to understand.
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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Obvious Leo » January 5th, 2015, 11:55 pm

I can't offer sources for most of my Einstein quotes because most of them have been acquired over many years from many sources. As you know the man was eminently quotable and these are the sorts of things I just jot down for later use. I don't offer such quotes in support of my argument but merely to illustrate that my ideas are not as left-field as you seem to paint them. I even have quite a few from Heisenberg, a metaphysically confused man if ever there was one, which basically contradict everything he ever did in his professional career. Bohr was deeply perceptive also and Wheeler was nothing short of a genius. What all these guys were saying is that they knew perfectly well that these models were wrong because they all contradict each other. However because the models were so predictively powerful there simply HAD to be an underpinning ontology which accounts for their success.

Yep. I agree completely with your precis of the n-body problem. Predicting planetary orbits beyond a certain level of precision is impossible, even in principle. I'm not convinced that a fractal approach would help in any predictive sense because the required data is not available, as you point out. It was solely because of the 3 body problem that Poincare flatly rejected Einstein's approach, describing it as unphysical. He was right. It is unphysical because it offers no mechanism for gravity and in this respect is no better than Newton's.

"Prediction is difficult, particularly of the future"....Yogi Berra

Children in my country are no different from those in yours, except in the case of my own grandchildren who are the smartest, most beautiful, kind, creative, compassionate, thoughtful children in the known universe. Certainly I was indulging in a bit of hyperbole in suggesting that the details of this paradigm would be accessible to a child but I maintain that the metaphysics of it is accessible to a child. I define a universe which is continuously coming into existence but if you ask a child "what is reality" he'll say "reality is what's happening all around me". The child is right. Reality is what's happening all around you and that's ALL it is. Physics denies the existence of passing time thus the dynamic notion of something happening is impossible to model.

Regards Leo

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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Misty » January 6th, 2015, 6:15 am

Leo,

You said that space does not physically exist. What is between two points of measure?

Misty
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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Obvious Leo » January 6th, 2015, 6:37 am

Misty wrote:Leo,

You said that space does not physically exist. What is between two points of measure?

Misty
Time. Instead of defining my universe in terms of objects moving in space I define it in terms of events occurring in time. Thus instead of regarding the sun as an entity that exists 93 million miles away I regard it as an entity that existed 8.3 minutes ago. This may sound like an odd way of looking at things but it's perfectly logical and in perfect accord with physical law. However it has profound consequences for physics. When we convert a temporal interval into a spatial distance we spatialise time, which is exactly what Minkowski did with Einstein's model for Special Relativity. However if space is not physical, which every philosopher in history has claimed, then when we spatialise time we conflate the physical with the non-physical. Thus instead of having physical models of the universe we have mathematical models of the observer's understanding of the universe. Kant would say that this is insufficient for truth and given that our current models of physics make no sense we'd have to say that Manny was on the money.

Regards Leo

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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Misty » January 6th, 2015, 6:52 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
Misty wrote:Leo,

You said that space does not physically exist. What is between two points of measure?

Misty
Time. Instead of defining my universe in terms of objects moving in space I define it in terms of events occurring in time. Thus instead of regarding the sun as an entity that exists 93 million miles away I regard it as an entity that existed 8.3 minutes ago. This may sound like an odd way of looking at things but it's perfectly logical and in perfect accord with physical law. However it has profound consequences for physics. When we convert a temporal interval into a spatial distance we spatialise time, which is exactly what Minkowski did with Einstein's model for Special Relativity. However if space is not physical, which every philosopher in history has claimed, then when we spatialise time we conflate the physical with the non-physical. Thus instead of having physical models of the universe we have mathematical models of the observer's understanding of the universe. Kant would say that this is insufficient for truth and given that our current models of physics make no sense we'd have to say that Manny was on the money.

Regards Leo
I do believe time is the unfolding of events. Forgive my ignorance, but is space/time in the heavens the same kind of space in a room? We measure a room to fit furniture into - how is that time?
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

I am Lion, hear me ROAR! Meow.

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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Obvious Leo » January 6th, 2015, 7:25 am

Misty. The speed of light is mind-bogglingly fast but it is finite. Just as we only see the sun as it was we also see the furniture in our room as it was. We're doing exactly the same thing, namely spatialising time. Bear this in mind. When we imagine that we're observing our spaces we're actually doing no such thing. We're calculating them. Humans think they're very good at this but actually we're very bad at it and some of us are much worse at it than others. We're probably the worst spatialisers of time in the mammalian world. Because we have no predators other than other humans it's a skill which had only a low evolutionary imperative. Birds of prey are easily the best.

Regards Leo

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Re: Logically, nothing should exist.

Post by Neopolitan » January 6th, 2015, 7:36 am

Without space, the "speed of light" is a nonsense, Leo. I can't quite grasp why you don't realise that. It's almost like you've spent years convincing yourself of something and the only way you can now express it is that "it's bloody obvious". But it isn't. It's far from obvious.

(By the way, I am aware that saying that we travel through time at the "speed of light" may appear to have a similar issue, but it just means that travelling through 1 second of time per second of time (at spatial rest) is equivalent to travelling through space at 299792458m/s (at temporal rest).)
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