# Imagine a sentence that is constructed backwards to infinity.

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by davidelkins, Mar 14, 2017.

1. ### davidelkinsRegistered Senior Member

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• The onus is on poster to prove that this contributes positively to shared discussion
Imagine a sentence that is constructed backwards to infinity, where words are added one by one. DE

3. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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You can only go back as far as the big bang

If you contend you can continue going past the big bang you still cannot reach backwards to Infinity

What would be the first word?

What language?

Are words added with a goal in mind to produce a rational sentence?

Your language seems to indicate a start point of NOW (ie the LAST word) and adding words heading for the first word???

Enough enough

The post makes as much sense as parachutes on a submarine

First and last from Moi

5. ### originTrump is the best argument against a democracy.Valued Senior Member

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OK, I imagined that. Now what?

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7. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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8. ### kx000Valued Senior Member

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Heaven and paradise are singular :/

9. ### C CConsular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy"Valued Senior Member

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"Backward" is ambiguous and could variously mean the words are being "constructed" in reverse order, as a mirror-imaging appearance, in the temporal direction of the past, etc...

Even if the expressions contained in the sequence did not have to make sense, there would still be a finite number of combinations in English or another Euro language which would eventually have to repeat so as to continue endlessly (appealing to Frege's “unpredictably many” or "uncalculably many" doesn't detour or slay the inevitability). One infers, however, that to qualify as a "word" and a "sentence" to begin with, that some level of semantics and syntax is intended (i.e., the total gibberish route isn't acceptable and could be rejected).

Taking that into account, the sentence might intermittently switch and choose from among a hypothetical infinite number of languages employing different alphabets (which is to say, new languages could be continuously invented). However, it likewise seems a stretch that the pool of different shapes and designs and patterns recruited as distinct character sets for such differing symbolic systems could truly be an inexhaustible one.

Thus it seems that the sequence can be said to inherently embrace repeats, even if initially claimed otherwise and it requiring staggeringly vast tracts or intervals for those replications to finally start occurring (especially with the aid of ingenuity).

Needless to say, something having an infinite character would not refer to a completed condition of be-ing, but to an open-ended process of increasing some type of magnitude (via addition, division, etc). For it to be a completed condition or measurement would contradictorily make it finite, regardless of the incredible quantity, size, etc.

Something could be claimed to be humanly "immeasurable" in practice (receiving a mundane meaning of infinite in that respect). But to be "immeasurable" in even theory (that is, not even an omnipotent god or whatever could do it), requires an everlasting status of being incomplete; turning the affair into an open-ended process.

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Good effort!

11. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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Doesn't German, among other languages, build like that routinely?

12. ### EquinoxRegistered Member

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To what end/purpose exactly?

Most thought experiments have some sort of purpose behind them, what is yours if you don't mind me asking?

13. ### someguy1Registered Senior Member

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I just spent the morning writing down all the digits of pi in reverse order. I ended up with $\dots 6295141.3$. Now I'm going to take a nap.

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Why?

15. ### someguy1Registered Senior Member

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To provide an example for this thread.

16. ### EquinoxRegistered Member

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If you can recite Pi backwards I think your talents could be used elsewhere

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Hah!

18. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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Well he would deserves the Nobel Prize for mathmatics at the lest

Since no-one has ever settled pi to the last digit

19. ### someguy1Registered Senior Member

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Just to make sure I did it right, I did it again today. This time I went from start to finish, but wrote the decimal expression right to left. I got $\dots 6295141.3$, showing that I had it right the first time.

Or if anyone has, they're not sayin'!

20. ### EquinoxRegistered Member

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Was it hard to do that?

FYI: You can do this reverse with a simple macro in Excel.

But you have used very few numbers in Pi i during your reversal.

And I'm still trying to understand the need or the purpose behind it. Could you explain more?

Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
21. ### someguy1Registered Senior Member

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In all seriousness, the reverse order of the natural numbers, what they call $\omega^*$ or sometimes $^*\omega$, was the very first thing that popped into my head when I saw the title of the OP. Clearly a personal issue

22. ### YazataValued Senior Member

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I can imagine a long communication, a long text string let's say where some of the character set might be punctuation such as spaces. And I can imagine such a text string being infinitely long.

So maybe the question then is whether its meaning could ever be knowable if we only had a finite portion of the string. Thinking about that problem, I start to think of infinite series in mathematics. Would the string converge on a particular linguistic message as a sort of limit?

23. ### SarkusHippomonstrosesquippedalo phobeValued Senior Member

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If it did it would undoubtedly be a message about how inane this thread is.