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Old 02-28-2006, 07:59 AM   #31
Rhinoqulous
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First you have to define time. I see it as no more than the delta between configurations.

A bouncing ball has no inherent property of motion. Each successive image captured by your eyes builds on the previous image to reinforce the sense that the ball is moving. There is nowhere that the ball exists previously to the considered moment, other than as a memories in your mind and maybe the air molecules it interacted with.

Time dilation is a difference in the measured rate of time between two entities, hence the term relativity.

The timeless theory is more aligned with quantum logic, and does not require a pre-defined shape space within which to operate.
Yes, but as I stated above, couldn't you make the same argument for space (I had no idea there were so many Kantian's here :P)? The only contemporary physicist I've read who endorses timeless theory is Julian Barbour, so I can't claim to be an expert on the subject.

I should state I'm a Presentist, a theory where time exists, but only the present moment of time has ontological status, the past and the future are non-existent.
That's like being a time-agnostic. C'mon, Rhino, give it up! :)

Barbour puts forth the best layman's description of timelesness. His book is a good start. You might have recognized my bouncing ball example as his kingfisher in flight example.
Time-agnostic? Blasphomy! I actually believe that time exists, you silly Kantian.

You never answered my question on whether you think that space exists. You could construct an argument similar to your bouncing ball/kingfisher in flight but for space. The great thing is, this was done already 2500 years ago! One of Zeno's paradox's was about how you can never reach a destination because before you go the complete distance, you need to go half the distance, and before that half that, etc., etc. So space must be an illusion, as if it existed you would never actually be able to get anywhere.

How do you answer this? Zeno's thought experiment seems as valid as Barbour's, so is all of time and space an illusion (and since it's actually space-time, it would seem if one were illusory the other, by definition, would be as well)?

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:33 AM   #32
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Zeno's paradox resolved here. http://www.mathacademy.com/pr/prime/articles/zeno_tort/

Basically, Zeno was mistaken about some of the mathematical implications of infinite series. Not too suprising, considering tthe Greeks were having to invent a lot of their maths as the problems came up.

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Old 02-28-2006, 09:03 AM   #33
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Zeno's paradox resolved here. http://www.mathacademy.com/pr/prime/articles/zeno_tort/

Basically, Zeno was mistaken about some of the mathematical implications of infinite series. Not too suprising, considering tthe Greeks were having to invent a lot of their maths as the problems came up.
Yes, I'm familiar with various solutions to Zeno's paradox's, but this solution will not help Ten. Here's a quote from the link:

Now the resolution to Zeno's Paradox is easy. Obviously, it will take me some fixed time to cross half the distance to the other side of the room, say 2 seconds. How long will it take to cross half the remaining distance? Half as long only 1 second. Covering half of the remaining distance (an eighth of the total) will take only half a second. And so one. And once I have covered all the infinitely many sub-distances and added up all the time it took to traverse them? Only 4 seconds, and here I am, on the other side of the room after all.

The solution appeals to the existence of Time to banish the paradox, and Time is something that Ten is claiming is illusory. You're not off the hook Ten. Give me a solution to Zeno that doesn't appeal to the exstence of time.

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 02-28-2006, 09:16 AM   #34
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but tenspace, the motion of your ball will precisely follow the least action principle, which contains an explicit statement of the behaviour of the ball as a function of time. In that sense the motion of the ball itself contains the "memory" of where it has been
True, but the motion is not tangible, therefore it cannot store memory. Time is so intertwined in our existence that it's hard to give it up. The motion is nothing more than the realization of the next consecutive best-matching probability of the considered shape space, and as the ball's motion through time can be derived from Newton's formulae, the balls motion can also be derived using Schrodinger's tiime-independent wavefunction... not the best tool in the box, but no different than using Newtonian mechanics for gross calculations, and relativity theory for the granularity.

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Old 02-28-2006, 09:22 AM   #35
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All this talk of time not existing makes me nervous. Is there any way to test this idea or is it purely conceptual? The point I was trying to make (poorly) is that if the idea of time as a dimension is helpful (and it certainly is with the concept of velocity shared in four dimensions) and practical (GPS wouldn't work without it), why bother with making such a claim as "time doesn't exist". Does it make more sense that way in situations I haven't heard of? Is there a thought experiment we can do that might distinguish between no-time and time?
Time can still be considered a dimension in the timeless theories; it's just the way we string the moments together that make the difference. This, to me anyway, is as crucial to our understanding of reality as relativity.

As for empirical observations and testing, or even thought experiments, go back to the "space loaf" visualization, where the length of the loaf represents time, and each 'slice' is a moment in time. In this analogy, relative motion between two observers delineates the angle of the slice (greater motion, the greater the angle from perpendicular; at rest would be a normal slice).

It's easy to comprehend this example showing time as a dimension, but now, consider what links each slice together. If there's a worldline running through the loaf from past to future, and each moment is a point on this line, what links the points? What is the physical mechanism that makes time flow?

I posit that it is nothing more than, as mentioned in my reply to Choobus, the next best-matching configuration of our shape space.

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Old 02-28-2006, 09:26 AM   #36
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Yes, but as I stated above, couldn't you make the same argument for space (I had no idea there were so many Kantian's here :P)? The only contemporary physicist I've read who endorses timeless theory is Julian Barbour, so I can't claim to be an expert on the subject.

I should state I'm a Presentist, a theory where time exists, but only the present moment of time has ontological status, the past and the future are non-existent.
That's like being a time-agnostic. C'mon, Rhino, give it up! :)

Barbour puts forth the best layman's description of timelesness. His book is a good start. You might have recognized my bouncing ball example as his kingfisher in flight example.
Time-agnostic? Blasphomy! I actually believe that time exists, you silly Kantian.

You never answered my question on whether you think that space exists. You could construct an argument similar to your bouncing ball/kingfisher in flight but for space. The great thing is, this was done already 2500 years ago! One of Zeno's paradox's was about how you can never reach a destination because before you go the complete distance, you need to go half the distance, and before that half that, etc., etc. So space must be an illusion, as if it existed you would never actually be able to get anywhere.

How do you answer this? Zeno's thought experiment seems as valid as Barbour's, so is all of time and space an illusion (and since it's actually space-time, it would seem if one were illusory the other, by definition, would be as well)?
Okay, maybe you're a time-theist. :D

Space exists as a configuration of the matter/energy in our universe. In this argument, the ball's atoms are being reconfigured each moment. The atoms are real, the reconfiguration is real, and the ball's position is predicted by the ball's previous position through best-matching.

Zeno's paradox ignores quantization. My example requires it.

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Old 02-28-2006, 09:29 AM   #37
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Zeno's paradox resolved here. http://www.mathacademy.com/pr/prime/articles/zeno_tort/

Basically, Zeno was mistaken about some of the mathematical implications of infinite series. Not too suprising, considering tthe Greeks were having to invent a lot of their maths as the problems came up.
Yes, I'm familiar with various solutions to Zeno's paradox's, but this solution will not help Ten. Here's a quote from the link:

Now the resolution to Zeno's Paradox is easy. Obviously, it will take me some fixed time to cross half the distance to the other side of the room, say 2 seconds. How long will it take to cross half the remaining distance? Half as long only 1 second. Covering half of the remaining distance (an eighth of the total) will take only half a second. And so one. And once I have covered all the infinitely many sub-distances and added up all the time it took to traverse them? Only 4 seconds, and here I am, on the other side of the room after all.

The solution appeals to the existence of Time to banish the paradox, and Time is something that Ten is claiming is illusory. You're not off the hook Ten. Give me a solution to Zeno that doesn't appeal to the exstence of time.
Show me an example of Zeno's paradox where his logic holds when the time duration being examined is Planck time. Zeno's paradox relies on the seemingly infiniteness of reduced space, and is therefore invalid at Planck scales. Hell, Democritus coulda taught him that.

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Old 02-28-2006, 10:34 AM   #38
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Okay, maybe you're a time-theist.

Space exists as a configuration of the matter/energy in our universe. In this argument, the ball's atoms are being reconfigured each moment. The atoms are real, the reconfiguration is real, and the ball's position is predicted by the ball's previous position through best-matching.

Zeno's paradox ignores quantization. My example requires it.
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Show me an example of Zeno's paradox where his logic holds when the time duration being examined is Planck time. Zeno's paradox relies on the seemingly infiniteness of reduced space, and is therefore invalid at Planck scales. Hell, Democritus coulda taught him that.
Problems I have with this:
1- You're taking the stance of having access to an Archimedean point (an objective point of reference/observation) to be able to construct your "time-loafs" or "snapshots/moments of matter/energy configurations". There is no such point one has access to in order to construct (even conceptually) such a configuration of the universe.
2- This theory has ontological excess. If there is no time, only different configurations that are "linked" somehow through "best-matching", all of existence, past-present-future, has equal ontological status. If this is true, then "Where is Sept. 26th, 1977 right now?" is a legitimate question with an answer that is truth-functional. Each "moment" in this configuration has a problem of location that proponents of Barbour's (and others) theories need to deal with. Under a "Timely" (:P) universe, this problem can be resolved by appealing to a "when", relegating "Sept. 26th, 1977" "location" to the "past" (don't you love "scare" quotes?).
3- It is unclear how one particular "moment of configuration" follows from another particular MoC. The snapshots of the ball/bird in motion can be arranged into a history through "best-matching", but this assumes that all of the snapshots all-ready existing for them to be ordered (which leads to the ontological excess in 2). This also assumes that order only exists as "mental phenomena", meaning the construction of a history of the distant past applies only to the phenomena of a mental construction of the history, not to the universe itself (you have moved reference from "things actually in the universe" to "propositions constructed about the universe"). (Also, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound?)
4- I don't have time to address the points on Zeno and the Planck scale at the moment, I'll return to this later today or this evening.

Now, isn't this more fun than running around in circles with Carico? :D

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 03-01-2006, 03:45 AM   #39
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going back to time travel, if it were possible has anyone actually thought that they would have to travel back to the place in SPACE that actual event happened, space is rapidly expanding and i assume we are moving with it, surly this is a logical thing to think, Not to mention we are orbiting the sun at a great rate of Knotts!
The time its taken to write this, i am probably thousands of miles away from when i first started writing! thus rendering time travel imposible.
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Old 03-01-2006, 07:49 AM   #40
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going back to time travel, if it were possible has anyone actually thought that they would have to travel back to the place in SPACE that actual event happened, space is rapidly expanding and i assume we are moving with it, surly this is a logical thing to think, Not to mention we are orbiting the sun at a great rate of Knotts!
The time its taken to write this, i am probably thousands of miles away from when i first started writing! thus rendering time travel imposible.
I once wrote on a short story about time travel in which actual time travel was only possible after a huge transmitter beacon the size of the Washington Monument was built in Arizona. Time travelers could only travel to a point along the timeline at which the beacon was operational, because otherwise they would reappear in the same point in space, which would not, of course, be anywhere close to the surface of the Earth. The beacon allowed the time machine to locate the Earth and reposition the time machine before it re-entered the timeline.

The story ended with a hapless time traveler trying to go too far into the future in an effort to learn how humanity goes extinct. The time traveler overshoots and winds up at a point in the timeline after which the beacon had failed. He ends up floating through the darkness of space because he can't power his time machine enough to jump back.

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Old 03-01-2006, 09:03 AM   #41
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Zeno's paradox resolved here. http://www.mathacademy.com/pr/prime/articles/zeno_tort/

Basically, Zeno was mistaken about some of the mathematical implications of infinite series. Not too suprising, considering tthe Greeks were having to invent a lot of their maths as the problems came up.
Yes, I'm familiar with various solutions to Zeno's paradox's, but this solution will not help Ten. Here's a quote from the link:

Now the resolution to Zeno's Paradox is easy. Obviously, it will take me some fixed time to cross half the distance to the other side of the room, say 2 seconds. How long will it take to cross half the remaining distance? Half as long only 1 second. Covering half of the remaining distance (an eighth of the total) will take only half a second. And so one. And once I have covered all the infinitely many sub-distances and added up all the time it took to traverse them? Only 4 seconds, and here I am, on the other side of the room after all.

The solution appeals to the existence of Time to banish the paradox, and Time is something that Ten is claiming is illusory. You're not off the hook Ten. Give me a solution to Zeno that doesn't appeal to the exstence of time.
how about the fact that space is not a contiuum and therefore cannot be infinitely divided. As soon as you have a minimum distance the paradox goes away.

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Old 03-01-2006, 09:34 AM   #42
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So Anthony, what i understand is, if there was a theoretical GPS system for the universe which recorded time (as we know it) and events, then we could theoretically send our selves back to that point? presuming of course the technology will ever exist!
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Old 03-01-2006, 09:45 AM   #43
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Sorry I didn't finish addressing this last night, I had a friend drop by and as I'm a good host, we smokumed um peace pipe through the night. :P

On Zeno, I think we can leave this to the side. I agree that understanding the universe as having a minimum distance (The Planck length) puts Zeno to rest.

I still have other problems with Barbour's theory of timelessness (and such theories in general). We actually experience time passing; if this is an illusion, what is causing us to have the illusion? Also, if the "constructed histories" are only mental phenomena, and no such "temporal history" exists in the universe, this seems like putting the cart before the horse. What we are is our consciousness, mind or whatever, that is the result of our brain functioning through time. If time is a construct of our minds, how does the process of mind come about in the first place?

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 03-01-2006, 10:05 AM   #44
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So Anthony, what i understand is, if there was a theoretical GPS system for the universe which recorded time (as we know it) and events, then we could theoretically send our selves back to that point? presuming of course the technology will ever exist!
Only in fiction. Those moments of past-time (or, more correctly, those events which we only remember in the past tense) no longer exist in anyway that would make traveling to them possible. They only exist insofar as you or I can remember them.

If you somehow figured out a way to translate human neural activity into a physical representation of a past event, then maybe you'd be onto something. But you'd still be looking at a memory of the event and not the event itself; the memory would almost certainly be different than the actual event in at least minor ways, and it would still exist only in the "present" as a physical reconstruction of a memory of a past event.

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Old 03-01-2006, 01:41 PM   #45
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Sorry I didn't finish addressing this last night, I had a friend drop by and as I'm a good host, we smokumed um peace pipe through the night. :P

On Zeno, I think we can leave this to the side. I agree that understanding the universe as having a minimum distance (The Planck length) puts Zeno to rest.

I still have other problems with Barbour's theory of timelessness (and such theories in general). We actually experience time passing; if this is an illusion, what is causing us to have the illusion? Also, if the "constructed histories" are only mental phenomena, and no such "temporal history" exists in the universe, this seems like putting the cart before the horse. What we are is our consciousness, mind or whatever, that is the result of our brain functioning through time. If time is a construct of our minds, how does the process of mind come about in the first place?
The answer to your first question is most likely tied deeply with consciousness. I have to drop it at that point, for lack of better education. ;)

For the second, don't forget that the historical past is not only in our minds. It is also in the configuration of the shape space. Think of the air molecules displaced by the beating of the kingfisher's wings or the bouncing ball. They are recorders of history as well. Anything that can cause decoherence records history and adds information.

Our past is not a string of events. It is cumulative based on past histories. We accumulate the past - in our minds, in the configuration of reality around us.

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