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Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)

My post seems to have vanished. I guess it was too much.

Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)

As an effect of action, time would be more like temperature, than space. Time is to temperature, what frequency is to amplitude. It is just that while amplitudes en mass expresses as temperature, frequency en mass expresses as noise and thus from a physicist's point of view, chaos and disorder. Therefore to measure time, only one oscillation is isolated and its frequency measured. Yet the overall effect of change is still cumulative, like temperature. It is potential, to actual, to residual. With time as an effect of action, we don't have to reject the present as a state of simultaneity, nor dismiss its inherent asymmetry, since the inertia of action is not bipolar. As action, a faster clock will simply use up its available energy faster and so fall into the past faster, or require more energy to sustain it. The tortoise is still plodding along, long after the hare has died.

Keep in mind that narrative and causal logic are based on this sequencing effect and therefore history and civilization. Yet it is not sequence of form which is causal, but transmission of energy. Yesterday doesn't cause today. The sun shining on a spinning planet creates this effect we who exist at one point on this planet experience as days. Thus we tend to rationalize narrative connections between events that are not always as clear as we think.

There are various philosophical debates around this issue, such as free will vs. determinism, yet if we look at it as future becoming past, it makes more sense, as probability precedes actuality. There is the classical deterministic argument that the laws of nature will provide only one course of action, determined by the eternal laws of nature, therefore the future must ultimately be as determined as the past, or the quantum Everrittian argument that the past remains as probabilistic as the future and so must branch out into multiworlds with every possibility. As for the first, while the laws might be fully deterministic, since information can only travel at a finite speed, the input into any event only arrives with the occurrence of that event and so cannot be fully known prior to it, therefore the outcome cannot be fully determined prior to the event. As for the Everritt view, while the wave doesn’t fully collapse, the past does not physically exist anyway and that energy is just being transmitted onto other events in the physical present and the connections that are made, simply divert the energy in other directions. Essentially the future is being woven from strands pulled from the past, in cosmic feedback loops.

To will is to determine. We put our intellectual capacities into distinguishing between alternatives and that process decides our actions. To simply randomly chose would be a complete lack of expression of will. We affect our external world, as it affects us. If that feedback didn’t exist, we would have no connection, or effect on our world. We are part of the process. Both cause and effect. It is these feedback loops which really power the process. Consider that in the factory, the creation of profits and jobs can be more important to some than the actual product. Reality is not fundamentally linear, as it is that tapestry being woven from strands pulled out of what been woven. It is energy, not form, which determines the future. Energy is cause, form is effect.

While western thought tends to objectivize and thus atomize every aspect, eastern thought tends to be more contextual, so while we in the west pride ourselves in being individualistic and eastern beliefs as more conformist, this quantification works to separate entities from context and so lose broader meaning. As a singular object, a brick is interchangeable with any other, but in context, it is unique in its place in the universe and supports the wall around it, giving meaning to it.

The wave also goes to the function of our brain. It is divided into two hemispheres, with the left being the linear rational/rationalizing side, while the right is the emotional, intuitive, non-linear, essentially scalar function. Think heat or pressure and how these concepts are often applied to our emotions. One side is a clock and the other is a thermostat. So one side reacts cumulatively with our environment, while the other side necessarily plots a course through it. This navigational function translates to narrative and explains why plants don't need that sequential strobe light of cognition and operate thermodynamically.

Basically I see reality is the dichotomy of energy and form. Energy manifests form and form defines energy. For instance, waves are an expression of energy whose primary descriptive properties are frequency and amplitude. We have evolved a central nervous system to process information, divided into those two hemispheres to process these two attributes and the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems to process the energy to thermally grow and dynamically move us.

Then at the universal level, there are galaxies, in which structure forms out of energy and falls inward, becoming ever more dense and radiating out enormous amounts of energy, which feeds back into more structure. It is a convection cycle of expanding energy and collapsing mass.

Meanwhile if space is stripped of all physical attributes, it simply retains the non-physical properties of infinity and equilibrium and so doesn't need a causal explanation. It is the absolute and the infinite.

None of which really explains the essential nature of awareness, so possibly we can accept it as an elemental axiom of nature, with thought and organisms as the form it manifests. Thus life constantly radiates onward, as the forms it manifests are born, live and die.

Admittedly I'm a bit cautious posting this, since I've covered a lot of topics in a short space and am mostly used to dealing with questions to only parts of this, so I suspect the immediate reaction, at least from my experience, is that it will be automatically rejected, as the tendency is to go into short circuit mode from tmi. But this site does promote logic over models, so here goes...

Ach! comment too long. Even the program doesn't like tmi. Try cutting it in half.

Regards, John Merryman

Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)

I registered here some years ago, yet didn't really stick around because of personal time constraints and it being a very dense format. Mostly I've been posting, as well as entering the annual essay contests at FQXI, for the last half dozen years. To a certain extent, I find I've essentially developed my own cosmology, in the old sense of the word, ie. the nature of everything, not just distinctly celestial. While this might seem pretentious, it's probably due more to my own significant limitations of opportunity, talent, attention span, etc. and need to edit information into basic patterns, rather than striving to extract significance from every detail. Safe to say, it doesn't attract much consideration, even from those who found it difficult to refute. Primarily because it does question various hallowed theories and assumptions. As such I'm posting this as a short version for anyone interested in a different view of reality. Although many of my original interests were sociological and political, I came to realize they were not addressable from a rational point of view and so migrated to philosophy and then physics, as a way to grasp the underlaying factors. Which I then found to be laden with many sociological impulses as well. Since much of the following originally occurred to me in an effort to make sense of physics and cosmology of the cosmos, before leading back into the cosmic, I will start with various issues I see in Big Bang Theory, in order to be directly confrontational;

When it was first discovered that all those distant galaxies appear to be moving directly away from us, it was reasoned that this cosmic expansion was a relativistic expansion of space and that every point would appear as the center. The flaw in this argument is that the speed of light would have to increase proportionally, in order to remain constant to this dimension of space, for it to be relativistic. Unfortunately that would negate explaining redshift, since the light would be "energized." The argument is that light is just being carried along by this expansion and the speed of light is only measured in local frames. Yet the proof of this expansion is the redshift of that very light! So if those galaxies are moving away, such that it will take light longer to cross this distance, that presupposes a stable dimension of space, as measured by the speed of light, against which to measure this expansion, based on the redshift of that very same light. If anything, this would make the stable dimension, as determined by the speed of light, the denominator and the expansion the numerator and so it would not be an expansion of space, but an increasing amount of stable space, which gets us back to the original issue of appearing at the center of a stable frame.

The fact is that we are at the center of our view of the universe and so an optical explanation for redshift would be a simple solution. Consider that gravity is "equivalent" to acceleration, but the surface of the planet is not apparently rushing out in all directions to keep us stuck to it. Could it be there is some cosmic effect that is equivalent to recession, as the source of redshift, without those distant galaxies actually flying away? The assumption is that after the Big Bang, the rate of redshift would drop off evenly, but what they found is that it drops of quickly, then flattens out as it gets closer to us, so the need for dark energy to explain this steady rate of expansion/redshift. Yet if we look at it from the other direction, as an optical effect outward from our point of view, which compounds on itself, this curve upward from the relatively stable increase to ever increasing redshift is the hockey stick effect of it going parabolic. According to Einstein's original calculations, gravity would cause space to eventually collapse to a point and so he added the cosmological constant to balance this. Now gravity is the prevalent force in galaxies and the space between galaxies appears to expand. What seems to be overlooked is that if these two effects are in balance, then what is expanding between galaxies, is collapsing into them at an equal rate, resulting in overall flat space. Which would make Einstein's original fudge extremely prescient and what we have would appear to be a galactic convection cycle of expanding radiation and contracting mass. So it is only because the light from the most distant galaxies can only travel between intervening galaxies and thus only in this "expanded" space, that it is redshifted in the manner which it is.

As for spacetime, as individual beings, we experience change as a sequence of events and so think of time as the point of the present moving from past to future, which physics codifies by reducing time to measures of duration between events. Yet the underlaying reality is that change is forming and dissolving these events, such that it is they which go future to past. Now duration does not exist outside the present, but is simply the state of the present, as these markers form and dissolve. To wit, the earth does not travel some dimension from yesterday to tomorrow. Rather tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth turns. One way to think of this is in a factory, where the product goes from start to finish, while the production line points the other direction, consuming raw material and expelling finished product. This also is how life functions, as the individual goes from birth to death, while the species is constantly moving onto new generations and shedding the old. The arrow of time for structure and units is toward the past, while the arrow of time for the process is toward the future. As well as our thought processes are constantly absorbing new information and creating fresh thoughts, while the old ones fade into the past and the jumble of our non-linear memories. Physics recognizes that clocks beat at different rates in different physical conditions, but than assigns the "fabric of spacetime" to explain why. If we were to think of time as simply a measure of action, it would be no mystery why clocks beat at different rates, because they are different actions and every action is its own clock. Yes, measures of duration and distance are related. Think how similar measuring the space between two waves is to measuring the rate they pass a mark. Yet so to are measures of pressure, temperature and volume intimately bound, but we don't confuse them and insist pressure or temperature are extensions of volume, because they are not the basis of our rational thought process.