A generative theory of time and space

Rosa,
I will give a more detailed response later, but essentially you seem to be assuming a a constant output-- which is really an assumption or an expectation of the result. And therefore, in the scenario of an experience that is new, you have an issue here, yes?
 
Your theory reminds me of two points I've always believed in. That the universe has no beginning nor end (not really anyway, it's cyclical). And that people are incapable of imagining things that are wholly new. I'll take each one at a time.

People have little difficulty imaginging time being infinite forwards, but a lot of difficulty imagining time being infinite backwards. The idea that time is possibly non-linear may fall in here somewhere. Personally, I don't see a problem with time being infinite forward, backward or sideways... and that's what I believe that it's infinite and cyclical. A little off topic maybe.

Here's the other idea. Humans have a lot of difficulty imagining anything wholly unique. It's always an amalgamation of things they seen or experienced before. The Loch Ness monster is simply an amalgamation of different beasts and so forth, most specifically the Plesiosaur. Also with things like dragons, which I imagine came about due to fossils being found. Very rarely do you see something really unique... that's why I like space exploration, we see wholly new things all the time out there.
 
RosaMagika said:
A generative theory of time and space

We can compare these models/frames, but we cannot align them without adjusting their respective ratios to a certain chosen ratio.
Which also means that a time-frame A can become meaningless when compared to time-frame B. Or in other words -- this happens: our lives on Earth seem meaningless when compared to eternity; or one hour may not seem much compared to a whole week, but it is a lot if you are at the dentist.

The third suggestion is that neither the past nor the future exist: we generate them out of COOs that we get in the present.
For example: Present COOs: School, this morning, history lesson about the Romans. COOs for the past: 6th century BC -- 5th century AD.
It is the immediate present COOs that allow and force us to live in the present -- and also bring us back into it if we drift apart.

Please discuss, make comments.


The principle is sound (our perception of time and space is both relative and subjective), but I lsoe track near the end, once the "act of perception" comes to mean "what is being percieved." Stating that the past and future exist only in relation to their respective T coordinates and vertical grid positions in our minds, is problematic. Its proper to say that our understanding of the passage of time is limited to what our perceptions have shown us, but improper to say that reality is in turn dictated by our perceptions.

Using the Roman history lesson example:

Prior to the lesson, Student Johnny would have been unable to tell you whether the Pax Romana spanned the duration of his recess, or sixty five million years. If Johnnies teacher was a nimwit, Johnny would walk away from this lesson believing that the Pax Romana spanned the years 1914 - 1919. Does your theorem purport make such a case FACT, even for Johnny (which in turns assumes facts themselves are subjective)? Of course not. Similarly, someone without any conceptual notion for the passage of time, access to a clock, and a particularly severe case of narcolepsi, may conclude that an earthen day lasts one hour (the time he spent awake and awares, and assumeing that one hour is defined as sixty minutes as measured on a clock our subject does not have). Does this make it so?

The key when conducting empyrical examination of the world at large is to provide for, and remove, errors of perception. Atomic revolutions are predictable; the decay of dead carbon is predictable. Etcetera. But, I may be "missing the point," as it were, and running along on my own tangent. If so, do correct me! :p
 
Fountainhed,

I will give a more detailed response later, but essentially you seem to be assuming a a constant output-- which is really an assumption or an expectation of the result. And therefore, in the scenario of an experience that is new, you have an issue here, yes?

No, I am not assuming a constant output.
But you need to elaborate on your comment, please.
 
Kami,

Thanks for the thoughts. :)

People have little difficulty imaginging time being infinite forwards, but a lot of difficulty imagining time being infinite backwards. The idea that time is possibly non-linear may fall in here somewhere. Personally, I don't see a problem with time being infinite forward, backward or sideways... and that's what I believe that it's infinite and cyclical. A little off topic maybe.

Very interesting POV, I haven't thought of it that way. But yes, there is this practical problem with infinities, so I tried to approach time and space from a POV where those problems don't sem to arise.


Here's the other idea. Humans have a lot of difficulty imagining anything wholly unique. It's always an amalgamation of things they seen or experienced before. The Loch Ness monster is simply an amalgamation of different beasts and so forth, most specifically the Plesiosaur. Also with things like dragons, which I imagine came about due to fossils being found. Very rarely do you see something really unique... that's why I like space exploration, we see wholly new things all the time out there.

Do we really see wholly new things out there? Isn't what we see in space still an "amalgamation of things we've seen before"?
 
talk2farley,

Thank you for the critical input. I think I understand where you were aiming at, so please read the whole post first. :)

Stating that the past and future exist only in relation to their respective T coordinates and vertical grid positions in our minds, is problematic.

That there *is* a past and a future is a social agreement. A widely accpted agreement, but still an agreement. It is also a matter of social agreement *what* this past and future are like.

The simplest example, take the Christian cosmogony. While some empirical data may speak against it -- who is to say that this empirical data is the alpha and omega of reality?

Its proper to say that our understanding of the passage of time is limited to what our perceptions have shown us, but improper to say that reality is in turn dictated by our perceptions.

Well, what we think that reality is, is a matter of our perceptions, isn't it?

Of course, our perceptions are conditioned by our knowledge and our past exeprience. This knowledge that we have, and the experiences that we can make, are largely a matter of the society that we are "tuned into".

And in our society, the following goes for perception, as you said: "The key when conducting empyrical examination of the world at large is to provide for, and remove, errors of perception. Atomic revolutions are predictable; the decay of dead carbon is predictable. Etcetera."

The real problem with reality is: Which reality are we talking about?
The real one, the actual one, the non-subjective one, das Ding an sich -- or the reality as I see it/as James sees it/as Anna sees it?
Are there two realities? More? Only one? Is there an absolute reality?

The way I see it, but I'm not sure I got this point across well enough though, I tried to avoid this whole thing with absolute realitie(s), and stated the theory of T and S so that it works regardless of what "absolute reality" may be.
I solved the problem with *social agreement* and *tuning into a society*.

Prior to the lesson, Student Johnny would have been unable to tell you whether the Pax Romana spanned the duration of his recess, or sixty five million years. If Johnnies teacher was a nimwit, Johnny would walk away from this lesson believing that the Pax Romana spanned the years 1914 - 1919. Does your theorem purport make such a case FACT, even for Johnny (which in turns assumes facts themselves are subjective)? Of course not.

What is a "fact"? A fact is something that a certain society agreed and accepted to be as such. "Facts" are very changeable things, as history shows. It used to be a fact that spinach is extremely rich with iron, but then it turned out otherwise ... For the Chinese, it is a fact that the hand of a gorilla is an aphrodisiac ...

Similarly, someone without any conceptual notion for the passage of time, access to a clock, and a particularly severe case of narcolepsi, may conclude that an earthen day lasts one hour (the time he spent awake and awares, and assumeing that one hour is defined as sixty minutes as measured on a clock our subject does not have). Does this make it so?

For this person, yes, at first. But they are members of a society, and this society says that a day has 24 hours (...), so this person "corrects" his or her reality and tunes it in with what the society accepts as normal.

The key when conducting empyrical examination of the world at large is to provide for, and remove, errors of perception.

I wouldn't exactly say *remove* errors of perception. If anything, a certain society *agrees* upon a certain picture/model of the world. And then, as we are born and *tune into* that society, we do remove our individual "erorrs of perception". "No, stars are not pinned to the sky ..."


I'd like to see what you think, so give me some feedback, please. :)
 
"That there *is* a past and a future is a social agreement. A widely accpted agreement, but still an agreement. It is also a matter of social agreement *what* this past and future are like."

This is where you and I seem to differ. That things were and will be is not subject to agreemnt. Does the sun take a moment to consider our shared expectations that it will rise tomorrow morning? What *is* subject to "agreement" (though I would call it observed, rather than popular, agreement) is our *understanding* of what was and will be. Science is only science insofar as it makes predictions; one can predict that the sun will not rise tomorrow. Society at large, for whatever odd reason, may come to agree with this prediction. When the sun does rise, however, this prediction (and the theorem that spawned it) must either be changed or done away with altogether. Its the "web of belief," (Quine, was it?) something you seem to reference extensively.

"The simplest example, take the Christian cosmogony. While some empirical data may speak against it -- who is to say that this empirical data is the alpha and omega of reality?"

As rational beigns, the human species has a responsibility to accept as fact only those things readily supported by established evidence. A bad paraphrase of Socrates.

"Well, what we think that reality is, is a matter of our perceptions, isn't it?"

Yes, I agree. They keyword, however, is *think.* What we think reality is, is not necesarrily so!

"The real problem with reality is: Which reality are we talking about?
The real one, the actual one, the non-subjective one, das Ding an sich -- or the reality as I see it/as James sees it/as Anna sees it?
Are there two realities? More? Only one? Is there an absolute reality?"

By definition, there can be only one reality. Also by definition, it is perception, a seperate animal entirely, which is both subjective and individual. We must cautiously differentiate the two.

"What is a "fact"? A fact is something that a certain society agreed and accepted to be as such. "Facts" are very changeable things, as history shows. It used to be a fact that spinach is extremely rich with iron, but then it turned out otherwise ... For the Chinese, it is a fact that the hand of a gorilla is an aphrodisiac ..."

Perhaps "fact" was a poor choice of words. For the sake of argument, definite it as probable truths. Note the word probable; all science is an inherently inductive exercise (since science is glamorous prediction). Because they are *probably* true, they are subject to change. However, the more established truths (the heart of our web of belief, mathematics for example) are deductive: the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion.

"For this person, yes, at first. But they are members of a society, and this society says that a day has 24 hours (...), so this person "corrects" his or her reality and tunes it in with what the society accepts as normal."

And if this society had never existed, would the time it took the earth to revolve completely along its own axis change?

"I wouldn't exactly say *remove* errors of perception. If anything, a certain society *agrees* upon a certain picture/model of the world. And then, as we are born and *tune into* that society, we do remove our individual "erorrs of perception". 'No, stars are not pinned to the sky ...' "

Again, yes, fact and truth, as used in science, are subject to change. However, this has little to do with popular will nor common sense. Common sense is NOT a scientific process, which, coincidentally, is why it so often is wrong.
 
talk2farley,



This is where you and I seem to differ. That things were and will be is not subject to agreemnt. Does the sun take a moment to consider our shared expectations that it will rise tomorrow morning? What *is* subject to "agreement" (though I would call it observed, rather than popular, agreement) is our *understanding* of what was and will be.

Yes, good point for clarification: it is about our *understanding* of what was, is or will be. And this understanding is a matter of agreement, in the end -- don't you think?
I'll get back to this later in the post.


Its the "web of belief," (Quine, was it?) something you seem to reference extensively.

Yes, thank you for reminding me of Quine. :) I need to brush up my knowledge on his theories. Man, that man is the master of spinning stuff 'round and 'round. But I do agree with him, mostly.


"Well, what we think that reality is, is a matter of our perceptions, isn't it?"

Yes, I agree. They keyword, however, is *think.* What we think reality is, is not necesarrily so!

Exactly! This is what I am building on. And this is why I integrated that premise of social agreement about the understanding of things.

I always like to stress: We don't *know* or *understand* the world and ourselves in the strict sense of the words "know" and "understand". We are only acquainted with the world and ourselves, and we are able to live with them.


By definition, there can be only one reality. Also by definition, it is perception, a seperate animal entirely, which is both subjective and individual. We must cautiously differentiate the two.

You see, this is where it gets all tangled up into social agreements.

That we use Occham's Rasor as a tool, is a social agreement in our society. For example, the way we conceive the movement of the planets is based on Occham's Rasor.

There are other ways to explain the movements of the planets, which would give the exact same picture we get to see from Earth. But, Occham's Rasor is implemented and this is why the Universe is to us what it is ... for now.


And if this society had never existed, would the time it took the earth to revolve completely along its own axis change?

If this society had never existed -- the things would be whatever they are ...
And even if there is a society, the things are still what they are -- but different societies *understand* them differently.

Take calenders, for example: not all have a year of 365 (...!!) days.


Again, yes, fact and truth, as used in science, are subject to change. However, this has little to do with popular will nor common sense. Common sense is NOT a scientific process, which, coincidentally, is why it so often is wrong.

When I use "social agreement" I am *not* referring to "common sense" alone.
Examples of social agreements -- in the widest sense:
"We use Occham's Rasor."
"Science makes new findings, and we incorporate these new findings into our belief structure."
"Formal logics are the principles by which we construct and understand arguments."
...

Note that in a, say, Christian cosmogony and the society that lives by it, the statement "Formal logics are the principles by which we construct and understand arguments." is not a socially accepted premise!


Who are we to say that the Christian cosmogony is wrong? Or right?
It *works* for Christians, and this is what makes is viable and socially obligatory in a Christian society.

I wanted to be as unbiased as possible with my theory, this is why I didn't specify official science as THE measure of our understanding of things.

In a society where science is regarded as the ultimately obligatory approach to truly (" ") understand reality, science has the upper hand in saying what is or is not.

In a society where a certain religion is regarded as the ultimately obligatory approach to truly (" ") understand reality, this very religion has the upper hand in saying what is or is not.

Of course, in today's western world, things are a tad more complicated ... and mixed up.
 
By the by, *thankyou* for introduceing me to the *...* system of emphasis. It works wonders. On to the good stuff.

"Yes, good point for clarification: it is about our *understanding* of what was, is or will be. And this understanding is a matter of agreement, in the end -- don't you think?"

Yes, exactly! I think we are on the verge of consensus; if we can simply agree that the topic of our understanding (within this argument, defined as "reality") is *not* subject to agreement. Seperate the two; one is absolute, one is not. :)

"Yes, thank you for reminding me of Quine. :) I need to brush up my knowledge on his theories. Man, that man is the master of spinning stuff 'round and 'round. But I do agree with him, mostly."

However inadvertently, you could be a student of his, based on your observed philosophies! I prefer to meld his theorems and.... Griffiths, was it? Who said that mans scientific progress was measured as a point on a line segment, with the end of that segment being "reality."

"You see, this is where it gets all tangled up into social agreements.

That we use Occham's Rasor as a tool, is a social agreement in our society. For example, the way we conceive the movement of the planets is based on Occham's Rasor.

There are other ways to explain the movements of the planets, which would give the exact same picture we get to see from Earth. But, Occham's Rasor is implemented and this is why the Universe is to us what it is ... for now."

The manner in which we adopted Keplerian celestial motion may have required the application of Occams Razor. However, in this age of orbital imagery and space excursions, hardly subject to debate.


"Take calenders, for example: not all have a year of 365 (...!!) days."

Correct, but all proport to measure the same span of time. A meter and three feet are equidistant, more or less. Calendars are no different. Note also that some calendars are more accurate than others!


"Who are we to say that the Christian cosmogony is wrong? Or right?
It *works* for Christians, and this is what makes is viable and socially obligatory in a Christian society."

"The church tells me that the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen its shadow on the moon. And I trust a shadow more than I trust the church!"

- Ferdinand Magellan

It is not *we* who discount the church, or any other proported theorem or theorizer for the manners of the universe. It is *reality* which does so for us. The truth, as Mulder says, is out there.
 
talk2farley,


By the by, *thankyou* for introduceing me to the *...* system of emphasis. It works wonders. On to the good stuff.

Yeah, the * * system works wonders, it is actually from the prehistoric times before MS Office, and to put a word between asterisks then meant bold.
But there is a new problem now, as the * * have a new meaning too: *shrug*, *giggle*, ...* * are used to indicate the meta-text, so I'm actually thinking of dropping that * * system. Or to replace it with *** ***. Uh huh.


Yes, exactly! I think we are on the verge of consensus; if we can simply agree that the topic of our understanding (within this argument, defined as "reality") is *not* subject to agreement. Seperate the two; one is absolute, one is not.

Of course. One is absolute, the other one isn't; that's how my system works.

The only problem is that some say that they know exactly what and how the absolute *is*, and this is where it gets creepy to discuss matters ...


The manner in which we adopted Keplerian celestial motion may have required the application of Occams Razor. However, in this age of orbital imagery and space excursions, hardly subject to debate.

Surely, but what enabled us to get to this age of orbital imagery and space excursion was accepting Occham's Razor at some point in the past. So, at some point in the past, Occham's Razor was an issue of agreement.


A meter and three feet are equidistant, more or less.

Yes. But that one distance (the absolute) has 1 unit of something, or 3 units of something else. The problem is how to translate, how to transform one measurement system into the other. And why should yards be better than meters? Why should meters be better than yards? In the end, it was a matter of agreement, the gentlemen sat down in Paris, and said, "We need to make some order in our measurement system."

Calendars are no different. Note also that some calendars are more accurate than others!

That's what I had in mind. Some calenders make better predictions than others.
But it takes a society quite along time to accept a more accurate (accurate in the sense of making predictions that comply with later observations) version of something.


"The church tells me that the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen its shadow on the moon. And I trust a shadow more than I trust the church!"

- Ferdinand Magellan

I was only trying to be consequently relative and unbiased. And I mean "relative" in the sense of 'relational', 'content-bound', 'receiving meaning through being interconnected with other elements of the system'.
I don't mean "relative" in the sense of 'always context-bound and therefore worthless and useless".


It is not *we* who discount the church, or any other proported theorem or theorizer for the manners of the universe. It is *reality* which does so for us. The truth, as Mulder says, is out there.

Still, we cannot say that *within* the Church, *their* own truths are not accepted or acceptable.

All I'm trying to do is to be as unbiased as possible here, and allow for any interpretation of things. What I am after is a theory of space and time that can be applicable in any belief system.

Also, simply because science makes theories whose predictions are in accordance with later observations, that doesn't give science its obligatory value yet.
It is *us*, with our *attitude*, that we accept science as the ultimate tool to deal with reality. It is up to us whether we *value* science or not. The value of science is not something that can go without saying.

When talking about science, we should be conscious of the philosophy of science too, IMO.
 
"No: What we DO know is that coordinates CAN be there. Just like books in the library.

But as long as we aren't able to give *actual* coordinates, we cannot make up a space/time situation. That is: we may know that there are books in the library, but as long as we don't actually take a certain book to our hands, we don't know what that certain book is.

Theories of time and space that present them as linear and continous eventually put up speculae Herculis at some point, saying: so far, but no further. And that was bothering me: they set up a transitory logic, and then say that it simply ends somewhere. A generative approach avoids that.

“ did that make ANY sense to anyone??? if it didnt, tell me and ill re write it. ”

I understood it, it was a good pont to clarify."


ok then, kool, about the library example, would we be able to help people think about things, by creating a dewy-style system for arranging the co-ordinates??
 
Alain,

ok then, kool, about the library example, would we be able to help people think about things, by creating a dewy-style system for arranging the co-ordinates??

You need to elaborate on this a bit, please. I didn't understand what a "dewy-style system" should be. :confused:
 
oh right, soz.

non-fiction books in libraries are orginized by the dewey system

"The Dewey system has ten main classes, which are listed below.

000 Generalities
100 Philosophy and Psychology
200 Religion
300 Social Science
400 Language
500 Natural Science and Mathematics
600 Technology (Applied Sciences)
700 Arts
800 Literature
900 Geography and History
Each of the above classes each have ten divisions. These divisions are further divided--and then further divided. Each division becomes more specific. The more numbers, the more specific the subject. In this way, the Dewey classification system progresses from the general to the specific. For a detailed summary for each number see theDewey Decimal Classification System The decimal place is used to make the number even more specific."
 
Oh, I see now. In Europe, this system is called differently, sometimes the "CIP" ...

Anyhow, this isn't what I had in mind when I was talking about coordinates, although your idea puts a nice categorizing spin on it. :)

Basically it was the problem of *general* and *special* terms. Like when you cannot have a "any triangle" -- even though math works with "any triangles". Whenever you actually deal with a triangle, it is actually that very special triangle you have drawn on the paper, not just any.

Or the same is when we assume that in a book, there are words in it. But unless we open the book, we don't know what words exactly, and we cannot read them. The same is with coordinates: we can assume that they are there, but we cannot do anything with them -- unless we actually get to know them ("open the book and ead the word").

I hope this will be more clear. :)
 
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