On Time and Archaeology

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

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Arising_uk
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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Arising_uk » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:52 pm

Hi Met,
Metazoan wrote:...My point about English was meant to be tongue in cheek, as an interloper here I could hardly express the true nature of my frustration.
:) But as an 'interloper' you can be 'tongue in cheek'? The true nature being?
'My perceived reality' refers to what I think I perceive, that is, through the five senses.
Through those senses time appears smooth, I do not sense jumps, reversals or pauses. ...
I'm unsure about how you are using "smooth" here? As I have experience via motorcycle accidents that whilst 'time' never pauses or reverses it certainly slows and accelerates.
...All clocks I watch run smoothly at the same rate. Through direct observation I think I see time passing and so events happening.
Again I'm unsure of the "smooth" as the running action can alter with the hand passing I'd say. Its how you tell a well-made watch. Also, a common feature of all clocks is that they run down? So you have time causing events? If so where do you think time is? My take, I think, is like Hume's, there's just 'events', 'time' is because we are conscious and mortal, measured time is because we are self-conscious and maybe mortal. This does not mean that time is not real, just that it does not exist in the sense we measure it. Or something like this.
...Events are undeniable in the context of my perceived reality simply due to them being the signposts by which I measure time passing.
I agree events are undeniable in the context of a perceived reality. Not sure why they have to be signposts to sometime? As I'm not sure that measuring time is the same thing as what it is to be the thing that has 'time' as its being. Or something like this.
In no way do I think that this is any sort of proof that time exists, simply that in the context of my unaided perception I find it difficult to refute.

In my cosy classical Newtonian neighbourhood all is well with time.
I'm unsure what you are describing with respect to time as a classical Newtonian neighbourhood? And if it is what is it you consider to be the larger world of 'time'?
OK OK I'll tell you anything you want to know, just stop hitting me with paragraphs like that.
:lol:
I thought there was, hence my misunderstanding with Nikolai.
Like I said, from my perspective. What you and Nik get up to is your business :)
You say that like it's a bad thing.
Or you hear it as such? :)
...Err no. Purely an amateurish garden shed type experiment.
I'm British, Fred in The Shed is an exemplar.
Similar things, latency correction shifts your perception of when something happens to a time more consistent with your expectations, event correlation makes sure you perceive events as being consistent. As an example, imagine watching yourself p**** your finger with a pin. All three events tie up, you feel yourself moving the pin towards your finger, you see it happening and you feel it touch. There is no perceptible mismatch.(Don't try this at home, it's not how I did it.)
I tried a safer version and got a whole bunch of perceptions, but three ways of doing it visually, focusing upon the thumb and finger holding the poking implement, on the finger to be poked, on a 'background' 'point' between(bound to be more). Gave some nice experiences but the 'background' one gave a visual 'disconnect' as double-image occurs before 'touch' 'settles' it. Liked that, without the pain, I could notice how 'touch' is an progessively 'even' event between the 'arms'.
The actual incident that precipitated the experiment was where there was a sudden breakdown of this type of correlation where I was expecting a simple degradation.
You belted a nail through your finger?
Rigorous science? Not at all, but something I am going to explore further when I get the time. The most interesting bit was that it appears that perception of when specific events occur can be shifted further than the time between perceptible events. This sounds goofy to me as if I have to hang around to wait for my perception to catch up then I'm in danger of doing things before I think about them. Somewhere I maybe be wrong, but then I only do this for fun so what does it matter?
You'd have to explain more? "shifted further" where?
If you are going to actually think about what I write rather than just read it, I'll have be more rigorous and maybe even stop making it up as I go along.
:lol: But why? I thought that was whats called thinking?
What I am trying to say is that with an uncritical and unaided eye this world looks like a cosy classical Newtonian neighbourhood. Aided by instruments that improve our ability to measure our perceived world, we see we are mistaken. Things to not make sense the way they used to.
Ah! I think these are the 'scientific blinkers' that the Germans thought could be a danger. To the "uncritical and unaided eye this world looks like" it does. Its those who have Science that think that it "looks like a cosy classical Newtonian neighbourhood". My take is that we do not use our instruments to "improve our ability to measure our perceived world" but to transform the unperceived world into perception with which we can understand our perceived world. Or some such.
Ah, a direct question. It is stupidly big but not in a xyzt sense, it is not physical in any sense, and it is static. Unhelpful I know but I'm trying.
Fair do's but it sounds like its based upon theories from Science? Still, you are describing to me the experience of a scientist trying to make sense of a simulation or maybe emulation? This way you get the both types of 'physical'.
My, admittedly fuzzy, understanding was that QED didn't say that it was particles but that it could be interpreted physically as particles in one view and waves in another. This is what causes so much grief in the double slit experiment. In some other sense I was getting the impression that particles were being thought of as little knots in the fabric of space time. So I'm not convinced of the 'particle' bit.
Could be, I'm not a Physicist. My understanding is mainly based upon Feynman's explanation of QED for the layman, or the "Strange Theory of Light and Matter", and from what I got its all photons and electrons. Now I agree that QM might be saying something different with respect to electrons but its as not well proved and tested as QED, and at base QM is particle maths, so I'll wait a bit I think.
My memory has it that it was either you or Richard who was saying that there were five axioms. I never did get around to asking what they were. For sure you are not wrong about the maths. I hate maths almost as much as I hate the search engine on this forum.
NO!! Nothing is as bad as that error message that the search engine produces. I'm convinced that its been deliberately designed for philosophy forums and especially to torment those philosophers with an interest in computing.
Not sure how to say this, I don't think the universe exists, so, err, no.
I think you need to think about what "exists" means?
Sadly not, the Planck second is simply the time it takes light to travel the Planck length. I cannot comment on anything that is going on at less than the Planck length. To me, talking about something smaller is just inserting more turtles into the soup.
:lol: Oh Well. How are you using light as this measure? Or are you partitioning Light into its theoretically smallest unit and imagining its 'length'? Or is this the smallest 'electron' but light is still small enough to measure it?
I get the feeling that this would be better placed in the other 'Nothing exists outside the mind' thread as basically my position on time would generally cover space and matter as well.
Ah! So, you are an Instrumentalist with respect to Science?
Arising's law: Any thread that mentions Quantum Mechanics or a computer will eventually precipitate the notion
:lol: Ya got me! But fair do's I've always stated that its me 'mad metaphysic', but I love Fredkins Digital Philosophy and his Digital Mechanics and think that it is a logical extension of Konrad Zuse's Calculating Space with respect to Physics. Of course we could start chatting about how mathematical proofs are largely in the hands of automata now.
Yours,
a_uk

Nikolai
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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Nikolai » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:48 pm

Hi Arising - sorry about delay.
Who controverts that 'time passes' and we die?
Some people, and I count myself in these ranks, have experiences that controvert the passage of time and where feelings of familiarity are gone. Not having feelings of familiarity is the same as not experiencing time. Once this has happened, even when one returns to the temporal world time has been relegated to being just one perspective among a number, that comes and goes and is no longer viewed as a given.
What is it that surprised you [about being 33 yo]?
It was surprising because it was contrary to how things felt. If i've lived for 33 springs, how is it that I haven't noticed these bright yello daffs before. But I must have noticed them. Yes maybe I did, but the memory is hazy and feels like I'm making it up - forcing it to come.
Or you are re-experiencing what you felt when you first saw things?

Can you choose this state you talk about?
It hasn't occurred to me to explain the feeling as being like a 'flashback' to a past event but obviously I can't rule it out and its an interesting notion. No, I can't choose it at all but that freshness thing is really quite common now so there is no sense that its not there anymore. In other words there is no sense that I am moving from one state to another - whether willed or not. I've noticed that jounreys into town, routine things that bore my wife and kids, don't bore me at all and I look forward to them.
If you had a way of remembering last years daffs what would it do for you? Or, in what way don't you somehow not do it?
If someone talks about an event from childhood that you had forgotten about - you either get it in a vivid flash, or you find yourself almost constructing it in a way that feels a bit like fabrication. My memories of last years daffs feel unstaisfying like a fabrication - the most compelling thing is the novelty I'm getting right now.
Sounds fun, can you turn it on and off?
Like I said, I can try and discount the notion that these daffodils are novel, but it feels like a hollow achievement and not quite right. Any attempt to turn it on and off is therefore mostly unsuccessful.
What do you mean by "meaninglessness"?
Goodness and free will become meaningless when one sees that they are no different from their opposite.
You could choose to do this but then we'd not both be talking about a "fossil".
No, we'd be talking about a swirly rock. And I would refuse to call it a fossil if a fossil is, by definition, an old thing. And I'd refuse to call it a rock if a rock is by definition old too.
But my take is that its an error to allow experiences to have authority over oneself. So my question is, can you turn this feeling on and off?
This is a complex statement that presupposes that there is a self in control. Without this self you simply view things as a series of experiences all of which are equally compelling. Time comes and goes - things seem temporal then eternal. It just so happens that with me the temporal world is interspersed with experiences where everything seems utterly novel. I'm in no position to assert which of these perspectives has authority - and as such I am in no mind to discount the notion that the daffs are really, actually novel. The sensation was as real as the computer before me now.
What techniques did you use upon the 'body-state' to get to the 'mind-state' that you are describing? Zen meditation I assume is part of it? Yoga? Diet?
The trouble is we've had this conversation before and you didn't agree with me. Yes it is true that I meditate daily, and many of these experiences occur in meditation, but I am unwilling to call this a technique as such - as I have tried teaching meditation to many people and they don't feel any of this stuf and they generally want nothing to do with it. So meditation, and the desire to meditate is in itself characteristic of a certain worldview - and those with that worldview tend to view things as I do.

I think basically this is a correlation-causation issue. When you look for techniques you are looking for causes. I, on the other hand, see nothing but associations. Meditation is associated with the way I view the world - but so are lots of things - and speaking personally I have always viewed philosphical thought as being associated in my own life in just as powerful a way. Philosophy has made me open, or has mirrored the opening, of a broader array of perspectives on the world. And these intellectual perspectives have been mirrored experientially as well.

I have wondered whether my sense of novelty is made possible because my intellect is not constrained by rigid categories of interpretation. Where some people see a good, kind act - I can see 'malevolent' outcomes lurking. When people see an ugly retail park, I can see beauty in all the bright coloursl - I don't have pre-conceived ideas about how dreadful retail parks are destroying. nature or whatever (what is nature, what is destroying?)

So because I think capaciously, perhaps I see capaciously too. And the capacious mind perceives such a vibrant scene before it that its uniqueness overrides any sense of familiarity. The rigid mind, which only sees what it expects to see, will see a very familiar scene - will remember all the precedents - and will experience a strong sense of time and memory. But I really am not interested in recommending or endorsing my worldview to anyone - you could only understand it if you're already in it. Yes I do get the feeling that it makes me happier than pretty much everyone I know, but this is either my illusion or my own good luck.

best, Nikolai

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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Arising_uk » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:03 am

Nikolai wrote:Some people, and I count myself in these ranks, have experiences that controvert the passage of time and where feelings of familiarity are gone.
Not too me. As you are assuming this 'passage of time' and then 'losing' these "feelings of familiarity" and then writing a 'metaphysic' to explain youself?
Not having feelings of familiarity is the same as not experiencing time. Once this has happened, even when one returns to the temporal world time has been relegated to being just one perspective among a number, that comes and goes and is no longer viewed as a given.
You'd have to explain what you mean by "familiarity" before I could understand what you meant by "experiencing time"? So whilst I'd agree that, "Once this has happened, even when one returns to the temporal world time has been relegated to being just one perspective among a number, that comes and goes and is no longer viewed as a given." I'm unsure about what you are describing as the initial experience nor how ones 'gets' there?
It was surprising because it was contrary to how things felt.
Sorry? What was "contrary" to how things "felt"?
If i've lived for 33 springs, how is it that I haven't noticed these bright yello daffs before.
Because you've not bothered to pay attention?
But I must have noticed them. Yes maybe I did, but the memory is hazy and feels like I'm making it up - forcing it to come.
You need to think about what 'memory' is?
It hasn't occurred to me to explain the feeling as being like a 'flashback' to a past event but obviously I can't rule it out and its an interesting notion.
I'm in fucking awe that an avowed professional clinical psychologist uses the terms that you just have?
No, I can't choose it at all but that freshness thing is really quite common now so there is no sense that its not there anymore. In other words there is no sense that I am moving from one state to another - whether willed or not. I've noticed that jounreys into town, routine things that bore my wife and kids, don't bore me at all and I look forward to them.
What the fuck are you? Have you managed no links between your 'western training' and your 'eastern bent' to explain why this experience occurs?
If someone talks about an event from childhood that you had forgotten about - you either get it in a vivid flash, or you find yourself almost constructing it in a way that feels a bit like fabrication. My memories of last years daffs feel unstaisfying like a fabrication - the most compelling thing is the novelty I'm getting right now.
No! You get a "vivid flash" or you 'find' "yourself almost constructing it in a way that feels a bit like fabrication.". So your 'memories' and your current interpretations are 'giving' you this "novelty I'm getting right now".
Like I said, I can try and discount the notion that these daffodils are novel, but it feels like a hollow achievement and not quite right. Any attempt to turn it on and off is therefore mostly unsuccessful.
Too me you are missing that the notions are 'novel' is missing that they cannot be the original? So you are missing what 'turned-on' these things in the first place but I take it that we might be discussing the same thing.
Goodness and free will become meaningless when one sees that they are no different from their opposite.
To me, you sound like the 'goatboy' in your incoherence.
No, we'd be talking about a swirly rock. And I would refuse to call it a fossil if a fossil is, by definition, an old thing. And I'd refuse to call it a rock if a rock is by definition old too.
Babble. What the fuck is a 'swirly rock'? What are you noticiing the 'swirly' to be? I show you a fossilised 'rock' and you are arguing what?
This is a complex statement that presupposes that there is a self in control.
No, its a simple question.
Without this self you simply view things as a series of experiences all of which are equally compelling.
What 'self' are you talking about?
Time comes and goes - things seem temporal then eternal. It just so happens that with me the temporal world is interspersed with experiences where everything seems utterly novel. I'm in no position to assert which of these perspectives has authority - and as such I am in no mind to discount the notion that the daffs are really, actually novel. The sensation was as real as the computer before me now.
Too me, your 'problem' is that you assume that 'time' does exist and as such cannot understand how 'events' occur, as such you then get confused about who is the authority over how 'time' occurs to an entity who has to live and die within events.
The trouble is we've had this conversation before and you didn't agree with me.
You think your interpretation of 'buddhism' is this conversation?
Yes it is true that I meditate daily, and many of these experiences occur in meditation, but I am unwilling to call this a technique as such - as I have tried teaching meditation to many people and they don't feel any of this stuf and they generally want nothing to do with it. So meditation, and the desire to meditate is in itself characteristic of a certain worldview - and those with that worldview tend to view things as I do.
No! It means you have not understood your 'experiences' enough to turn them into a pedagogy. That you wish to turn your experience of not being a teacher of your experiences and that you the wish to make a metaphysic out of them, points to me that you do not actually understand your experiences, which does not say that they do not exist.
I think basically this is a correlation-causation issue. When you look for techniques you are looking for causes. I, on the other hand, see nothing but associations. Meditation is associated with the way I view the world - but so are lots of things - and speaking personally I have always viewed philosphical thought as being associated in my own life in just as powerful a way. Philosophy has made me open, or has mirrored the opening, of a broader array of perspectives on the world. And these intellectual perspectives have been mirrored experientially as well.
Too me you have not paid attention to how you have arrived at these conclusions. You ahve also allowed your philosophical 'thoughts' to obscure your 'experiences' and 'ideas'.
I have wondered whether my sense of novelty is made possible because my intellect is not constrained by rigid categories of interpretation. Where some people see a good, kind act - I can see 'malevolent' outcomes lurking. When people see an ugly retail park, I can see beauty in all the bright coloursl - I don't have pre-conceived ideas about how dreadful retail parks are destroying. nature or whatever (what is nature, what is destroying?)
You mean that you think yopur view is unique? It is. Is it original? No, as its a kludge of others ideas. Not that I think mine aren't but that yours are the more obvious in this 'game' of 'meme' philosophy.
So because I think capaciously, perhaps I see capaciously too.
you are assumimg a lot.
And the capacious mind perceives such a vibrant scene before it that its uniqueness overrides any sense of familiarity. The rigid mind, which only sees what it expects to see, will see a very familiar scene - will remember all the precedents - and will experience a strong sense of time and memory.
Yadda, yadda.
But I really am not interested in recommending or endorsing my worldview to anyone - you could only understand it if you're already in it.
So how did you 'get into it'?
Yes I do get the feeling that it makes me happier than pretty much everyone I know, but this is either my illusion or my own good luck.
Good for you.
Yours,
a_uk

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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Metazoan » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:46 pm

Hi Arising,
My point about English was meant to be tongue in cheek, as an interloper here I could hardly express the true nature of my frustration.
:) But as an 'interloper' you can be 'tongue in cheek'? The true nature being?
So it seems.:)

On reflection, the true nature of my frustrations is simply the difference between how things appear to be and how I would like them to be. I'll get over it.
You wrote:I'm unsure about how you are using "smooth" here? As I have experience via motorcycle accidents that whilst 'time' never pauses or reverses it certainly slows and accelerates.
Maybe change 'smooth' for 'consistent' to remove the vagaries of perception. Or think of spacetime and swap the time axis for one of the space axis and think of distance being smooth.
You wrote:.... So you have time causing events?...
No, as I have said elsewhere I have had to discard causality and am left with consistency. Events are consistent with being a certain time apart as far as I perceive.
...If so where do you think time is? My take, I think, is like Hume's, there's just 'events', 'time' is because we are conscious and mortal, measured time is because we are self-conscious and maybe mortal.
I cannot think why mortality has anything to do with it. I know very little of (Ok, almost entirely ignorant of) Hume and stuff philosophical, knowledge and me are only casual acquaintances.

Time and events would seem inseparable to me, if you have one, you have the other and vice versa. I do see consciousness as being the key to the question and the perception of these to be a feature of the mind rather than any external reality.
This does not mean that time is not real, just that it does not exist in the sense we measure it. Or something like this.
I'm starting to hate the word 'real' almost as much as 'exist'

As far as reality is concerned, I see time as being as real as space.
I wrote:...Events are undeniable in the context of my perceived reality simply due to them being the signposts by which I measure time passing.
You wrote:I agree events are undeniable in the context of a perceived reality. Not sure why they have to be signposts to sometime?...
My statements were a little too general, obviously not all clocks run smoothly and not all events can be used to measure time. I would argue that the shortcomings of any clock or choice of event is due to the instrument rather than the nature of time.
...As I'm not sure that measuring time is the same thing as what it is to be the thing that has 'time' as its being.
My view is that measuring time is to being time as measuring distance is to being space.

...

There was lots of other stuff in the previous posts but if I don't stop now I will never reply at all. Just a few more choice bits.
You wrote:I think you need to think about what "exists" means?
Indeed, and I think it gets even worse when trying to get two people to agree on one meaning in the same conversation.

So, I ask myself, does the first natural number exist?
Does the square root of minus one exist?
Does my computer exist?

Then I ask of myself, are the above real?

And then, what property of the above bestows existence and reality upon them?

The answer seems to be: that depends...

The model of the nature of being that I hold in my mind does not require existence or reality; unfortunately this may cause me to say that things don't exist when they clearly do.

So it would seem that I am being sloppy about context.

The universe I perceive is real, does exist and is purely notional.

My entry into this thread was due to thinking Nikolai was talking about perceiving the timeless nature of 'everything', which matches my current understanding.
Latterly I got the impression he was talking about perceiving 'everything' timelessly, which is a concept contradictory to my model and so equally interesting.

Boiling down what I was trying to say, my thoughts are:-

a) The fundamental nature of 'everything' is static, non physical and time passing is an illusion.
b) Perception/experience takes time to happen; that is, the experience of 'now' takes some significant length of time as measured by true clocks.

I wrote:I get the feeling that this would be better placed in the other 'Nothing exists outside the mind' thread as basically my position on time would generally cover space and matter as well.
To which you wrote: Ah! So, you are an Instrumentalist with respect to Science?
Sorry, I do not understand quite what you mean by this.


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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by nameless » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:32 am

Nikolai wrote:On Time and Archaeology
On Time and Archaeology;
The million year old fossil that has just been unearthed did not exist prior to being perceived (assuming that it has not been perceived by a bacteria or a worm or...) by the archaelogist.

Mike Strand
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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Mike Strand » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:52 pm

This is not a reply to anyone specifically, nor to any specific point, just a few observations about time.

I don't understand time, and can hardly talk about it or describe my conception of it. But I know my actions imply I believe it exists, or at least that it's a concept I need to implicitly worry about as I live. There are my words and thoughts, and then there is what I do. A couple of illustrations:

I face a project that looks like it will take four or five hours to complete (no kidding, there is 3 feet of snow outside my house right now, in Arlington, Virginia). I did some last night, did some this morning, and plan to do more as the snowfall subsides. Whether they are reality or mere constructs of my mind, I remember my recent past (I'm feeling its effects in my muscles and joints), am enjoying the present (cup of tea with a chocolate chip cookie), and am planning the near future with some dread (more shoveling -- the snow is heavy this time, high moisture content). Based on my memory of other such events, I wager that I will complete the task, balancing and accounting for past with present with future, so as not to seriously interfere with other future projects, like packing for a move. The sidewalks will be shoveled, the ice and snow cleared from the heat pump, a place cleared for my spoiled small pet dogs to pee and poop, etc, etc, hope this isn't too boring for you all. Ah yes, the man of action. But I enjoy having a few minutes right now to enjoy my tea and read some interesting thoughts about whether time exists or not, and in what sense.

Second example: I've been known to misplace objects -- keys, credit card, the like. I fancy myself to be somewhat of a detective. I think about past movements and places I've been (from my less-than-perfect memory and perception). With luck I can retrace my past movements, with the expectation of locating the object in the future. Not always, according to memory, but quite often.

Once again, I can't say what time is, or what "past", "present" and "future" means, or in what sense they exist, if at all. But like a fool, I go ahead and do things as if I do know and understand. And usually it works! And if it doesn't work, there is usually someone around glad enough to explain to me where I went wrong.

Maybe someone participating in this topic discussion can shed some philosophical insight into how or why I'm doing what I'm doing with time, and I'll come back to the computer and read it when I've had enough of the snow out there. So I'm planning the future in the present, with the hopes of enjoyable reading.

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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Nikolai » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:24 pm

You see a pile of snow three feet high. There are two interfused ways of experiencing it:

1) Purely experientially - you see it but there is no reflection nor thought about it. You just interact with it - maybe you dig, maybe you don't - but whatever you do is mindless and spontaneous. Just as we can drive ourselves home without thinking about it, so you can experience the pile of snow without thought, and without thoughts of time.
2) Intellectually - this is where the pile of snow is imbued with meaning. It has a history, and a role in your life. It upsets you, or delights you. You have all sorts of ideas and theories about it, from its chemical composition to its weight and quantity. You have ideas where it came from and where it's going.

In the first view, time is nowhere. Because you don't think about it the snow is entirely fresh and novel. Nothing has existed before and there is nothing else but the snow.

In the second view, time is absolutely intrinsic. Snow cannot be intellectually understood without the concept of time. As long as you are thinking intellectually about snow, Time will rear its head.

The philosopher knows that Time is paradoxical and baffling (as is everything at heart). But he shall remain baffled as long as he tries to understand things intellectually - that is, using the second of the two ways.

As I remarked in the thread, it is only those who are able to experience reality directly who can resolve the problem of Time. And of course the resolution, as is often the way in philosophy, is the recognition that it was a pseudo-problem in the first place. The solution is the understanding that there is no solution.

Those who spend time in prayer or meditation are the ones who experience reality directly. These are the mystics. And by achieving a felt sense of eternity, or timelessness, they surpass the philosopher - who only gets so far as to intellectually realise that Time isn't quite what the average person thinks it is .

Best, Nikolai

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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Mike Strand » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:30 am

Thanks! Enjoyed your thoughts. At first I was thinking about the snow and not liking it. Once I got into the repetitive shoveling, it became almost
like a meditation, with no real awareness of the passage of time. Then I started to get tired and hungry, and time reared its head again.

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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by bus2bondi » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:46 am

time is what happens to stop everything from happening all at once?

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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by nameless » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:06 am

bus2bondi wrote:time is what happens to stop everything from happening all at once?
But everything does happen all at once, like a compressed file. 'Time' is a perception in 'thought' that decompresses the files to Consciousness.

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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Arising_uk » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:12 pm

Metazoan wrote:...Maybe change 'smooth' for 'consistent' to remove the vagaries of perception. Or think of spacetime and swap the time axis for one of the space axis and think of distance being smooth.
Sorry, to deep for me. I think I get the idea that time is a consistent experience but this idea of swapping "time axis for one of the space axis" I do not understand?
No, as I have said elsewhere I have had to discard causality and am left with consistency. Events are consistent with being a certain time apart as far as I perceive.
Okay, that kind of makes sense to me as a definition of events. But what happens to the time an event takes? Is it that an event is a combination of two events? I.e. one ending and one starting, defines a third, 'the event'?
I cannot think why mortality has anything to do with it. I know very little of (Ok, almost entirely ignorant of) Hume and stuff philosophical, knowledge and me are only casual acquaintances.
Ok, well Hume agreed with you I think in that he could not 'see' any 'causality' between events, just the two events.
For myself it is the being of a thing that dies that we have Time. If we did not die would Time be the same? Would it just be an endless succession of events?
Time and events would seem inseparable to me, if you have one, you have the other and vice versa. I do see consciousness as being the key to the question and the perception of these to be a feature of the mind rather than any external reality.
This is the problem I think as when we say Time what do we mean? In general I think we mean measurement of events passing I'd guess, and this needs consciousness I'd guess again. But if there were no conscious recognition of 'time passing' by measuring it, then what is Time? Events only I'd guess, as in no Time perceptible. Or some such.
I'm starting to hate the word 'real' almost as much as 'exist'
You and me both.
As far as reality is concerned, I see time as being as real as space.
In what sense? For me its only in the sense that I have a Body.
My statements were a little too general, obviously not all clocks run smoothly and not all events can be used to measure time. I would argue that the shortcomings of any clock or choice of event is due to the instrument rather than the nature of time.
But what 'nature of time' is the issue I'd guess?
My view is that measuring time is to being time as measuring distance is to being space.

...
That they both use some kind of 'rule' I'll agree but I'd be interested in where the 'fixed body' is?
Indeed, and I think it gets even worse when trying to get two people to agree on one meaning in the same conversation.
We agree.
So, I ask myself, does the first natural number exist?
Does the square root of minus one exist?
Does my computer exist?

Then I ask of myself, are the above real?
I'd be interested in how you do assign them to reality? I'd go for no, no, yes in the sense of the first two being properties of a Body with Symbolism and the third being a thing the body can overtly sense. That the first two are 'real' in the sense of 'existing' just shows that I have a limited understanding of what these words refer too?
And then, what property of the above bestows existence and reality upon them?
It appears to be us?
...
Boiling down what I was trying to say, my thoughts are:-

a) The fundamental nature of 'everything' is static, non physical and time passing is an illusion.
b) Perception/experience takes time to happen; that is, the experience of 'now' takes some significant length of time as measured by true clocks.
Depends what you mean by (a)? We could be a 'sim' running upon some 'hardware', as such the hardware would be 'static' and 'non-physical' to our understanding but it'd still be 'running' a 'clock-speed' that may be unmeasurable by 'true clocks'?

Although I agree with you that 'now' is non-existent other than being the moment defined by our most accurate 'clocks'.

Sorry, I do not understand quite what you mean by this.
Its been a while for me, so my best memory is its the idea that Science(Physics) does nothing other than correlate phenomena by its instruments, so a scientific phenomena is explained by others being able to make the measurements and 'dials' do the same thing time and time again for any individual.

Metazoan
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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Metazoan » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:41 pm

Hi Arising,
You wrote:Sorry, to deep for me. I think I get the idea that time is a consistent experience but this idea of swapping "time axis for one of the space axis" I do not understand?
One way I imagine spacetime is to consider it as a four dimensional space with everything in it moving at the speed of light. Measuring time is then simply a matter of measuring distance, one second is approximately 3x10^8 meters long.
Okay, that kind of makes sense to me as a definition of events. But what happens to the time an event takes? Is it that an event is a combination of two events? I.e. one ending and one starting, defines a third, 'the event'?
This would appear to highlight the problem I see with words. 'Event' would seem to have to carry several meanings to varying levels of precision. On the one hand it could be describing a party which can be pinned down to a date and happening over many hours, on the other hand it could describe a proton moving at near light speed passing a detector. Its meaning can also be more esoteric.

I do not see the term 'event' affecting that which 'is'. Simply, the more precisely you wish to define an event, the more precisely you have to define what you mean by 'event'. The word 'event' is a tool and it is advisable to use a tool suitable for the job in hand.

How long does an event take? This simply comes down to the precision that is required. Define your event such that it can be measured and pick your measurement instrument to suit. At the Planck scale you do run into the problem of things getting a little lumpy, however, at that scale you have a whole lot of much bigger problems to worry about.
Ok, well Hume agreed with you I think in that he could not 'see' any 'causality' between events, just the two events.
For myself it is the being of a thing that dies that we have Time. If we did not die would Time be the same? Would it just be an endless succession of events?
In a world where falling trees make sounds unconditionally I 'see' 'causality' between 'events'. Unfortunately, that cosy world had to go because, like it or not, this world I perceive is as goofy as Escher's and it simply cannot work the way I used to think it did.
My disposal of causality is much more to do with trying to dispose of its accumulated meaning than suggesting there was no connection between the state of a universe at time t and its state at any other time. I think the idea 'consistent' serves me better.

I see immortality may change ones view on time but I don't see it changing the nature of time for those who are not. Immortality appears to me a more complex subject than time and so introducing it, although very interesting, may just complicate this thread.
I wrote:Time and events would seem inseparable to me, if you have one, you have the other and vice versa. I do see consciousness as being the key to the question and the perception of these to be a feature of the mind rather than any external reality.
To which you wrote:This is the problem I think as when we say Time what do we mean? In general I think we mean measurement of events passing I'd guess, and this needs consciousness I'd guess again. But if there were no conscious recognition of 'time passing' by measuring it, then what is Time? Events only I'd guess, as in no Time perceptible. Or some such.
I do not see how to separate the two so easily, looking at it your way, removing time from events would make all events simultaneous and indistinguishable, removing events from time makes time immeasurable and unperceivable. To me they are locked together, both a necessary concept for perception.
As far as reality is concerned, I see time as being as real as space.
In what sense? For me its only in the sense that I have a Body.
Ah, I was simply trying to cop out by equating their reality without trying to define it.
I do not see a huge value in a rigid definition as in the end I only see words as facilitators for the exchange of concepts. The value of definition would seem to me to depend upon the results of their use, be that for good or ill.
I would argue that the shortcomings of any clock or choice of event is due to the instrument rather than the nature of time.
But what 'nature of time' is the issue I'd guess?
Slightly unsure of your meaning here. What is the nature of time? Is that the question?
Do you see it as having a different nature to space and distance?
My view is that measuring time is to being time as measuring distance is to being space.
That they both use some kind of 'rule' I'll agree but I'd be interested in where the 'fixed body' is?
Please expand on the 'fixed body' bit. I don't see what you mean.
So, I ask myself, does the first natural number exist?
Does the square root of minus one exist?
Does my computer exist?
Then I ask of myself, are the above real?
I'd be interested in how you do assign them to reality? I'd go for no, no, yes in the sense of the first two being properties of a Body with Symbolism and the third being a thing the body can overtly sense. That the first two are 'real' in the sense of 'existing' just shows that I have a limited understanding of what these words refer too?
I am regretting using those as examples now that you turn them on me.
First pass gets: yes, yes, no.
Second pass I get: yes, yes, yes.
I cannot get: no, no, yes.
I see the numbers having a more fundamental existence than my computer.
Ask me one on sport.
Is there any value in having an absolute definition of 'real' and 'exist' or will their use always be a means to an end?
And then, what property of the above bestows existence and reality upon them?
It appears to be us?
Where do you stand on the tree falling in the uninhabited forest? Do sounds exist if no one hears them? Do the trees even exist? Or do you see the question as purely rhetorical? Are we drifting off topic?
Boiling down what I was trying to say, my thoughts are:-
a) The fundamental nature of 'everything' is static, non physical and time passing is an illusion.
b) Perception/experience takes time to happen; that is, the experience of 'now' takes some significant length of time as measured by true clocks.
Depends what you mean by (a)? We could be a 'sim' running upon some 'hardware', as such the hardware would be 'static' and 'non-physical' to our understanding but it'd still be 'running' a 'clock-speed' that may be unmeasurable by 'true clocks'?
LOL, I wouldn't want to refute the possibility. However, as a solution it is only trying to sweep the problem under the carpet. You simply end up trying to explain how the hardware can exist, who built it and what happened before that.
It would appear to add more complexity than it removes.
It doesn't seem to move any closer to answering the fundamental question: 'How is it that I think I exist?'
Although I agree with you that 'now' is non-existent other than being the moment defined by our most accurate 'clocks'.
My point is that the perceived 'now' is a lot longer than that. For sure my 'now' holds events which are clearly not simultaneous but simply appear to be.
Its been a while for me, so my best memory is its the idea that Science(Physics) does nothing other than correlate phenomena by its instruments, so a scientific phenomena is explained by others being able to make the measurements and 'dials' do the same thing time and time again for any individual.
'does nothing other than' does come across to me as a pejorative. I do see Science as establishing relationships between things evident in perceived reality rather than directly establishing what stuff is made of. However, I see this process having an impact in almost every area of life. It is through the confirmations of scientific experiment that have forced me to discard my cosy view of the world and accept a new way of looking at things. Theory is all well and good but when something does something that it just can't do, it takes a whole lot of denial to not accept that my old reality is broken.



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chaz wyman
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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by chaz wyman » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:19 pm

The concept of historical progress of mankind cannot be sundered from the concept of its progresion through a homogenous, empty time. A critique of the concept of such a progression must be the basis of any criticism of the concept of progress itslef.
Walter Benjamin.

History has always treated the past as a bricolage of themes upon which the present and possible future has been justified. There is no delusion here, only critique. The fossil was once a figured stone put into the earth by the devil to challenge the truth of the bible. When Robespierre mobilised his political changes he also mobilised ancient Rome and at once asserted and blasted the continuum of history, thus incarnating Rome in the body of the French Revolution. Where is the delusion?

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Arising_uk
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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Arising_uk » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:55 pm

Hi Met,
Metazoan wrote:One way I imagine spacetime is to consider it as a four dimensional space with everything in it moving at the speed of light. Measuring time is then simply a matter of measuring distance, one second is approximately 3x10^8 meters long.
Okay, thats an interesting view. Is it a physicists? For myself, I much doubt that anyone can imagine a "four dimensional space". Would it not more be that its a 3-D space with one of the 'time' dimensions taking a space place? Does one of the 'space' dimensions have to move?
This would appear to highlight the problem I see with words. 'Event' would seem to have to carry several meanings to varying levels of precision. On the one hand it could be describing a party which can be pinned down to a date and happening over many hours, on the other hand it could describe a proton moving at near light speed passing a detector. Its meaning can also be more esoteric.
:lol: I doubt we'll get much more esoteric outside of the space between these two meanings. But what do you mean by 'precision'? 'Shortness of event'? As a "proton moving at near light speed passing a detector" is still an event? Cl..ick :) Although the 'photomultiper effect' has always bothered me as its does not actually measure 'a photon'?
I do not see the term 'event' affecting that which 'is'. Simply, the more precisely you wish to define an event, the more precisely you have to define what you mean by 'event'. The word 'event' is a tool and it is advisable to use a tool suitable for the job in hand.
As is all language but as you scare-quote "is" we agree that this is also under definition. So I'm not sure that not understanding what 'events' 'are' would not affect that which is.
How long does an event take? This simply comes down to the precision that is required. Define your event such that it can be measured and pick your measurement instrument to suit. At the Planck scale you do run into the problem of things getting a little lumpy, however, at that scale you have a whole lot of much bigger problems to worry about.
I think I agree with the 'length' of an event but I wonder where that leaves your 'time' if any event can be an eternity depending upon the measuring instrument?
In a world where falling trees make sounds unconditionally I 'see' 'causality' between 'events'. Unfortunately, that cosy world had to go because, like it or not, this world I perceive is as goofy as Escher's and it simply cannot work the way I used to think it did.
Do trees do this? Hume took a close look and said your 'causality' between 'events', based upon perception, was false, so in the 'cozy world' of philosophy this idea went a while back(not that everyone has agreed or anything :) ).
My disposal of causality is much more to do with trying to dispose of its accumulated meaning than suggesting there was no connection between the state of a universe at time t and its state at any other time. I think the idea 'consistent' serves me better.
Sounds fine with me, how about 'highly probable' as well?
I see immortality may change ones view on time but I don't see it changing the nature of time for those who are not. Immortality appears to me a more complex subject than time and so introducing it, although very interesting, may just complicate this thread.
Maybe, but if you agree that it doesn't change the view for the non-immortal then what does that say about its 'nature'?
I wrote:I do not see how to separate the two so easily, looking at it your way, removing time from events would make all events simultaneous and indistinguishable, removing events from time makes time immeasurable and unperceivable. To me they are locked together, both a necessary concept for perception.
It was probably too glib as my head hurts when 'thinking' about Time and Space, as the 'thoughts' are nearly unthinkable for me. But, if as you say 'events' are just measurements, then we appear to be able to have many, many events being simultaneous too right now, and a lot pretty much 'indistinguishable', unless we decide to include them in the class of measured ones? (aarggghh!!)
Ah, I was simply trying to cop out by equating their reality without trying to define it. I do not see a huge value in a rigid definition as in the end I only see words as facilitators for the exchange of concepts. The value of definition would seem to me to depend upon the results of their use, be that for good or ill.
Fair enough.
Slightly unsure of your meaning here. What is the nature of time? Is that the question? Do you see it as having a different nature to space and distance?
Do you know!? I don't know? :D But at this moment I just can't get it out of my head that if I had an immortal body 'distance' and 'time' would not matter much?
Please expand on the 'fixed body' bit. I don't see what you mean.
If you can measure time in space units then where is the 'fixed-body of reference' that Einstein says physicists must consider, with respect to 'time' that is?
So, I ask myself, does the first natural number exist?
Does the square root of minus one exist?
Does my computer exist?
Then I ask of myself, are the above real?

I am regretting using those as examples now that you turn them on me.
:lol: Not turning, I answered the questions for myself.
...I cannot get: no, no, yes.
I see the numbers having a more fundamental existence than my computer.
Platonist eh! :)
Okay, I got "no, no, yes" by assuming that the first two are products that would not exist unless there were mind, i.e. they exist nowhere expect in our heads, whereas the last is a physical thing(but I understand the shaky ground here).
Ask me one on sport.
When did West Ham last win the F.A. Cup and are we going down this season?
Is there any value in having an absolute definition of 'real' and 'exist' or will their use always be a means to an end?
Can you have an 'absolute' definition in Language? And yes, I sort of think language is always a means to an end.
Where do you stand on the tree falling in the uninhabited forest?
A conundrum and a paradox! :D
So, barring the paradox, you don't stand on falling trees in uninhabited forests, nor under them. Including it, its 'uninhabited' so there is no where to stand upon it as who'd be doing the standing.
Do sounds exist if no one hears them? Do the trees even exist? Or do you see the question as purely rhetorical? Are we drifting off topic?
Nuff japing,
the way I understand this is that trees with no living thing to 'hear' them would make all the 'noises' that they do when falling down, effectively compressive 'sounds'. So do 'objects' exist when we're not there, yes, in the sense that if we were there the object would look exactly as it would if we weren't, or some such nonsense.
Here's a more common-one, if they don't exist when you are not there then how do you account for change, i.e. a candle or fire burning down. It seems a bit to much for the human brain to calculate, although if its all a sim then I can see that the program could save resources by calculating things this way, I just doubt that its not somewhere in 'memory' :)
LOL, I wouldn't want to refute the possibility. However, as a solution it is only trying to sweep the problem under the carpet. You simply end up trying to explain how the hardware can exist, who built it and what happened before that.
It would appear to add more complexity than it removes.
Occams razor is not always applicable, but I agree that much as I like the metaphysics it can propose, I too think it fairly unlikely, but would note that whilst Physics does appear to be hunting for a TOE, the Planck length may just be irreduciably 'fuzzy', if so then complexity would seem to rule?
It doesn't seem to move any closer to answering the fundamental question: 'How is it that I think I exist?'
From which position? The Physicist's or the Man's? Personally, if its the Science answer we are considering then Biology is going to answer this one not Physics. For myself, its because we have a Language is an answer to this 'how' question.
My point is that the perceived 'now' is a lot longer than that. For sure my 'now' holds events which are clearly not simultaneous but simply appear to be.
I think you may benefit from some 'sitting still' :lol:
For myself, 'now' is another puzzle too me, apart from being wherever I am that is.
'does nothing other than' does come across to me as a pejorative.
What would you expect from Philosophy of Science :D
I do see Science as establishing relationships between things evident in perceived reality rather than directly establishing what stuff is made of. However, I see this process having an impact in almost every area of life. It is through the confirmations of scientific experiment that have forced me to discard my cosy view of the world and accept a new way of looking at things. Theory is all well and good but when something does something that it just can't do, it takes a whole lot of denial to not accept that my old reality is broken.
Again, check-out the Zenites if its bothering you :) but if its a professional philosophizing then I think you may in trouble reconciling the Math with the Language but wish you luck.

Metazoan
Posts: 96
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Re: On Time and Archaeology

Post by Metazoan » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:48 pm

Hi Arising,
I wrote:One way I imagine spacetime is to consider it as a four dimensional space with everything in it moving at the speed of light. Measuring time is then simply a matter of measuring distance, one second is approximately 3x10^8 meters long.
To which you wrote:Okay, thats an interesting view. Is it a physicists?
I do not recall exactly where I picked that one up from; it was a long time ago. I use it because it works for me.
For myself, I much doubt that anyone can imagine a "four dimensional space".
How would "four dimensional space" look differently to any other n dimensional space? I've never seen any kind of space, only things occupying said space. Ooo errr I just came over all pedantic, sorry about that.
Would it not more be that its a 3-D space with one of the 'time' dimensions taking a space place? Does one of the 'space' dimensions have to move?
If by imagine you mean visualising, then I would agree that the visualisation is a three dimensional representation. However, that space in which you place the objects visualised does not need to be Euclidian. It is important to keep in mind that although the visualisations appear to be 3 dimensional objects in a 3 dimensional space they may not follow the rules one is used to.

It may be best to just try a few visualisations and see how we get on.

So in the spacetime example you could simply dispose of the x axis and replace it with the time axis t. A stationary particle would then be seen doing c m^s xwards.

Now imagine two particles at the origin at time t = 0. One stationary, the other one is made to describe a unit circle in the y,z spacial plane. It can now be seen that the stationary particle draws a line and the dizzy particle describes a helix along the time axis (that is the x axis).

So far so good.

Remembering that the particles are constrained to move at the speed of light in this model, this means that when the particles meet again at y=0,z=0 they are not at the same place on the x (time) axis, the helical path meaning less progress along the t (x) axis for the dizzy particle. That is, the dizzy particle is younger than the stationary particle even though they were the same age when the experiment started.

So much for theory, now the practical. (Don't actually do this, you might hurt yourself, just visualise it.) Standing with an arm down at your side, rotate your arm so your hand describes a circle, from thigh, out in front, over your head and back behind you and back to your thigh.

From the earlier visualisation, it is clear that your hand is now slightly less old than your shoulder relative to their ages before the experiment.

As your hand moved in two dimensions only, this is easy to see.

Now you are happy with Euclidian transforms, lets go non Euclidian. Imagine a football (ok, a soccer ball) and draw the three spacial axies with the origin at the centre and extending as far into space as you are comfortable with. You should now have a ball with six lines coming out of it going into space.

Now, keeping the lines perpendicular to the ball surface, make a small hole in the ball and turn it inside out. Don't forget to take the universe inside the ball at the same time. Spookily nothing appears to have changed much, you have a ball with six lines extending out into what was the middle of the ball and also meeting in the centre of the ball which is now the universe.

Nothing has really changed but you can now see that there is no edge to the universe, it is just a finite but unbounded volume. You should see that the axies actually touch and are continuous at the centre, there is nothing magic about that point any more than there was about the centre of the original ball.

I find flipping the universe into a manageable size allows me to manage the somewhat larger constructs.


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