On the subject of “Eternalism” and the “Block Universe” theory...

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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seeds
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On the subject of “Eternalism” and the “Block Universe” theory...

Post by seeds »

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...I recently viewed a “Big Think” video on YouTube titled:

“Time: Do the past, present, and future exist all at once?” - (here’s the link: https://youtu.be/5vzymaIabWI).

In the video, neuroscientist Dean Buonomano, who is the author of the book:

“Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time”

...stated the following:
Dean Buonomano wrote: “...the standard view in physics is that...(and this comes in large part from relativity)...that we live in an ‘eternalist universe’ - in a ‘block universe’ in which the past, present, and future is equally real...”
It is quite obvious that a so-called “block universe” in which it is proposed that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously, is based on a purely materialistic view of reality.

And as is typical with hardcore materialism, it is a view that seems to completely ignore the possibility that mind and consciousness might actually reside in a context of reality that exists above and outside of the fabric of matter (i.e., above and outside of the informationally-based substance from which the “block” is formed).

Now with that being said, I suggest that the problem with thinking that the past and future of a human mind somehow exist within the fabric of a block universe, can be compared to thinking that the actual actors in the movie “Gone with the Wind,” somehow exist within the informationally-based etchings on the surface of a DVD of the movie.

Image

In other words, the gist of eternalism and a block universe seems to imply that if you could somehow locate the correct field of information within the quantum underpinning of the universe and then somehow manage to interpolate yourself within that field,...

(kind of like jumping into a specific area of information on the DVD that represents an earlier scene in the story)

...you would then, in essence, be traveling back in time and thus be able to walk around in 1930s Hollywood and literally be able to interact with the actual living minds and consciousnesses of the long since dead humans - Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.

Now. assuming that I am interpreting the theory properly, does anyone here actually believe such nonsense is possible?

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(Btw, this DVD analogy is also a good way of visualizing the mind/body issue and the hard problem of consciousness.)
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henry quirk
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Re: On the subject of “Eternalism” and the “Block Universe” theory...

Post by henry quirk »

avengers: endgame explained it better, and -- no -- it's not possible
seeds
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Re: On the subject of “Eternalism” and the “Block Universe” theory...

Post by seeds »

henry quirk wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:12 pm avengers: endgame explained it better,...
Cool. Perhaps I’ll check it out.

However, if the movie doesn’t explain or present eternalism and the block universe theory in such a way that exposes the impossibility of the past, present, and future all existing simultaneously (with all being equally real),...

...then whatever it did explain (for the purpose of fantasy storytelling), is pure nonsense.

(Btw, if someone paid me as much as the writers for a multi-million dollar movie get paid, then perhaps I would have put a little more effort into the project.)
henry quirk wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:12 pm ...and -- no -- it's not possible
Agreed.

And that’s precisely the point I was implying in the OP. Yet, apparently, there are those who believe that it is possible.
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seeds
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Re: On the subject of “Eternalism” and the “Block Universe” theory...

Post by seeds »

Cerveny wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:37 pm viewtopic.php?p=470052#p470052
For the sake of convenience for other readers, I took the liberty of taking what you linked to in uwot’s Aether thread and reposted it here:
Cerveny wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:52 am
Sculptor wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:58 am
Cerveny wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:31 pm It seems clear that the past / history must exist. Many physical phenomena / effects strictly depend on the rate of changes. This information must be stored / accessible somewhere, to the causality / physics can work. This information is expressed by the tensions in latest structure of history.
PS: Similar (orthogonal) deformations in the internal structure of History cause, for example, the gravitational force ...
Wadda ya mean "history exists?"

"History" has two clear and distinct meanings.
History/past exists as a matrix/pattern for next Planck’s time sediments of time...
I have no problem with imagining that somewhere within the quantum underpinning of this universe there exists some kind of intact and re-experienceable record of the patterns of information that once represented everything that ever presented itself as a phenomenal feature of the material world.

However, my main objection with the block universe theory is against those who propose that if one could locate such intact and re-experienceable records,...

(i.e., locate the fields of quantum information that once underpinned and delineated the body of Jesus, or of Joan of Arc, for example)

...they would also be locating and interacting with the actual minds (consciousnesses/souls) of the persons who once animated those bodies.

Such an assumption is (as I pointed out in the OP) based on a purely materialistic take on reality wherein it is presumed that the essence that comprises mind and consciousness (life) is no different than the essence that comprises photons and electrons.

And as you should well know, the jury is still out on that.
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Re: On the subject of “Eternalism” and the “Block Universe” theory...

Post by Cerveny »

Let me add that the quantum world is, I believe, always at the top. It's a (still uncertain) "presence" to be settled ... BTW, Is it possible that insiders (shamans?) can somehow receive certain information (only from the "future") - the past is already frozen :( But this information cannot yet be structured, it can apear only in some context as intuition ...
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Re: On the subject of “Eternalism” and the “Block Universe” theory...

Post by seeds »

Cerveny wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:12 pm Let me add that the quantum world is, I believe, always at the top.
I’m not sure of what you mean by the quantum world always being “at the top.” What does that mean?
Cerveny wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:12 pm It's a (still uncertain) "presence" to be settled ...
If I am interpreting your suggestion properly, then I guess I would have to say no to that.

What I mean is that because the features of the universe always appear to us in their definitive forms whenever we look, it means that something in their quantum underpinning is most definitely “settled”...

...(as in not as “uncertain” as it is sometimes portrayed in particular interpretations of quantum mechanics).

The only thing that is not settled is the random and influencing effect that the freewill of living consciousness has on the present and future status of those seemingly fixed features of reality.
Cerveny wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:12 pm BTW, Is it possible that insiders (shamans?) can somehow receive certain information (only from the "future") - the past is already frozen :( But this information cannot yet be structured, it can apear only in some context as intuition ...
Clearly, all we can do is speculate on these matters. However, if I were to offer some crazy guesses regarding such things as “intuitive” glimpses of future events,...

...then perhaps it has something to do with how the clockwork (machine-like) precision with which the cogs and gears of the universe (the suns and planets) seem to have a kind of pre-destination baked into their future positions and movements. All of which might be associated with...

(dare I say it)

...something akin to “astrology” :shock: wherein based on the cyclical (and inevitable) future positions of the stars and planets relative to each other, certain types of events are likely (perhaps even “programmed”?) to take place,...

...which, in turn, is somehow vaguely picked-up on by certain minds like shamans, or even the writers of the Simpsons in 1997...

Image

...in vague predictive visions.

Or, looking at this from a spiritual perspective, then perhaps there exists a Creative Intelligence presiding over the universe (God) whom (according to Berkeleyanism) the entire universe is this Being’s mind – a Being who has a general outline of major future events already mapped-out.

And because all human minds are basically “chips off the old block” of the greater mind of the universe, then some of us (for whatever reason) are allowed to partake in glimpses of the plan, again, in vague visions of the future...

...(take, for example, the book of Revelation in the Bible, or Nostradamus’ quatrains).

And seeing how we have now crossed over into the arcane and esoteric realms of thought, then the idea of a block universe,...

(wherein all of the information representing everything that “is and ever was” is contained within the fabric of the block)

...is somewhat reminiscent of Theosophy's concept of the “Akashic Records.”

Again, this is all just fun and fanciful speculation that was triggered by your mention of the word “shamans.” :D
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Re: On the subject of “Eternalism” and the “Block Universe” theory...

Post by Cerveny »

“at top” meant at top of the time (dimension), a just condensing new Planck’s time layer ... Quantum interaction (“measurement”), some kind of finding “resonance” begins with uncertain result. After it occurs, its unreverisible result becomes top (the last Planc’s layer) of history...
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