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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Antony Ryan: on 8/30/13 at 9:37am UTC, wrote Hi Edwin/Daryl, I'll take a look at this book! It is indeed good to...

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FQXi FORUM
August 23, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: Time is the denominator of existence, and bits come to be in it by Daryl Janzen [refresh]
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Author Daryl Janzen wrote on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 16:04 GMT
Essay Abstract

In discussing his proposal that everything is a conglomerate of answers to yes-no questions—that all of it derives from discrete bits—John Wheeler noted that the physical concept that puts up the greatest resistance to being relegated, in the final analysis, to a world of discrete informational bits, is time. But the concept of time in physics is a mess. This is discussed in detail, and a potential resolution is suggested which clarifies present issues. However, rather than leading to a realisation of Wheeler's dream, time's resistance is only strengthened by a clearer idea of its function in modern physics.

Author Bio

I'm a postdoctoral fellow with the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, where I live with my wife and two kids.

Download Essay PDF File

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 23:49 GMT
Daryl,

Welcome back my friend. I have to leave now but have printed out your essay and very much look forward to reading it. I'm excited that it appears to be an evolution of and elaboration on your last essay, tailored to this important topic.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 00:34 GMT
Hi Ed,

Thanks for the warm welcome back. I haven't had an opportunity to read any of the essays here yet, but from what I see I think there are some great ones that I'm really looking forward to—yours among them of course.

You're right that I've considered other aspects of the problem of the nature of time, along similar lines to what I wrote about in my last essay, but of course relating to the topic of this contest. In 25,000 characters, one can only discuss so much coherently, so there was a lot more that I could bring into this discussion, with different aspects of the problem to look at; but also, I learned a lot through the discussions we all had during the last contest, and was able to draw on what I think is a clearer picture.

For that reason, I really want to thank everyone who discussed that problem during the last contest, acknowledging the influence it had on this essay, and encourage discussion on the nature of time here.

Time is a notoriously difficult concept to parse, and I think it's also the most important one to clearly tackle before physics can truly move forward out of its current deadlock, since it's connected to every major problem we're currently facing—as this essay may illustrate, through Wheeler's own acknowledgement—so I think it's just so important to open a dialogue that allows us to develop our thoughts on time and use it to move past this problem that's been unresolved for far too long.

I hope you enjoy the essay!

Daryl

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 00:37 GMT
broken link

Hopefully this works...

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Paul Reed wrote on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 06:23 GMT
Daryl

“We’re concerned here with what it may mean for something to exist—and specifically, with what it would mean for space-time to exist”.

It is not a matter of spacetime existing, but being a correct model of existence. Which it is not, because there is no time in existence (it also presumes a relationship between a unit of space and a unit of time, which is probably not correct either). There is difference, ie alteration, and the existence of these differences (ie realities) occurs at a rate. Time is concerned with the rate of change, ie a feature of the difference between realities, not a feature of them.

Existence is the physically existent state of whatever comprises it at any given time. Which is a simple statement of a very compex physical circumstance. Existence is only spatial.

Paul

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 13:51 GMT
Hi Paul,

It’s nice to hear from you again. However, I do wish you’d read through and try to understand the content of my essays, rather than (apparently) just sifting through, looking for something to take issue with.

“It is not a matter of spacetime existing…” Isn’t it? There’s a pretty common conception that space-time exists, or that parts of it exist anyway, and I’m trying to speak to that. But do I agree with the idea of space-time as something that exists? Of course I don’t, as I’ve written about in my essay.

I think if you did try to understand the content of the essay, and not just look for something to disagree with, you’d find a lot of similarity in our views; e.g., you wrote that “Existence is only spatial.” In fact, the argument I’ve tried to make in the essay is that a three-dimensional Universe exists, and our four-dimensional physics describes its history. It’s a view known as presentism, and it’s very unpopular; but part of arguing for an unpopular viewpoint is arguing against the popular one—i.e., you’ve got to address it, and not just say that the things people commonly think of are no matter because you feel you’ve got the right idea about things. So I said I was concerned with what it would mean for space-time to exist; “would” being the operative word.

As I said, I think there’s a lot that we would agree on. It’s therefore always very puzzling to have you arguing against me while stating the things I’ve argued for.

Daryl

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Paul Reed replied on Jun. 23, 2013 @ 06:38 GMT
Daryl

“There’s a pretty common conception that space-time exists…”

No, there is a common conception that the concept of space and time, and their relationship, as exemplified in the model spacetime is a correct representation of the form physical existence takes. Which was my point, ie although it is an incorrect model, I am not aware of a common conception that it exists,...

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 23, 2013 @ 13:26 GMT
Paul,

You must surely be aware that people say things called “black holes” exist? Beyond the event horizon of a black hole, there is one timelike and three spacelike coordinates that are all supposed to exist. Objects are supposed to be able to be dropped into a black hole, one after the other, and move through an existing timelike direction, one after the other. This illustrates the...

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 17:25 GMT
Doctor Janzen,

I must say that this is one of the finest essays I have ever read, because this essay has confirmed my theory of the Universe that I charitably expressed in my essay BITTERS. One real Universe is eternally occurring, once.

The proof of this theory was right there in your essay when you wrote: …all of space-time must really be occurring”

I contend that the absolute of time is now. You wrote: Time in the sense of an all-pervading “now” does not exist. Respectfully Doctor Jansen, unique now is occurring once. All-pervading is not unique; therefore all-pervading cannot be occurring.

I do hope you have better luck with Paul than I had.

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 20:55 GMT
Dear Joe,

Thanks very much for your gracious comment. I’ve only managed a cursory look through your essay, but I wanted to say that I like your use of “codswallop”, and think your main argument that each and every event that ever occurs is unique, is a good one.

I wanted to clarify a couple of points that you made in your comment. The first quotation was given in summary of the logical consequences of a view that I don’t agree with. In any case, I think you’ve mistaken me there, because the eventual conclusion of the argument is that according to the view (as commonly acknowledged) time shouldn’t actually pass, as we commonly think of it. I think it does, and I think relativity theory describes that very well, contrary to popular belief.

The second quote you gave is actually something I quoted from Juergen Ehlers, and it’s also something I disagree with. I think there very much is an all-pervading “now”—a three-dimensional Universe—that exists, by which I mean that time passes, with new events occurring throughout space at every instant.

When people like Ehlers say things like “The four-dimensional world simply is, it doesn’t evolve”, I take them to be describing a 4D block reality—all the events that seem to occur throughout eternity—as existing, in the same sense as I think of the 3D Universe as existing, except that the 4D block isn’t supposed to change as the 3D Universe I’m thinking of—the all-pervading “now”—does.

Anyway, I think this one idea—the 3D Universe exists—is probably the same as what you mean when you say “One real Universe is eternally occurring, once”, and that it’s also what Paul means when he says “Existence is only spatial”.

Daryl

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 20:52 GMT
Dear Daryl

Do you not have to be an absolute individual? Only as relative?

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1802

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 21:16 GMT
Dear Hoang cao Hai,

I have to admit that I think I don't understand the question. Sorry for that.

I see from your essay that you must be a realist, since you're arguing for an absolute reality. I've done this as well. I think we probably share a similar viewpoint on a number of issues. I've examined relativistic effects in my essay, and argued that they are indeed consistent with these views that I think we share. I'm arguing against the view that reality is relative, not for it.

I hope that starts to answer your questions.

Best,

Daryl

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 03:30 GMT
Daryl,

I find myself in agreement with most of what you have stated in your objective approach to understanding existence in relation to time. Well done!

I hope you take the time to review my essay which also touched upon some of the topics in your essay as well. The findings as presented in my essay have led me to how causality unifies gravity with the strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces as one super-deterministc force, see:

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1809

Best wishes,

Manuel

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 03:48 GMT
Dear Manuel,

Thanks very much for reading my essay, and for your gracious comment. I will read your essay and comment. And I'll give it a fair rating. But please allow me some time to get to it, as I've got a number of others I have to get to before then.

Best wishes,

Daryl

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 11:30 GMT
Hello, Daryl!

I read your essay with great interest. It is right that in this contest you update problem of the nature of time. How to get out of the vicious circle: «Explain time? Not without explaining existence. Explain existence? Not without explaining time.»…. In my essay, I built a "home" for the time of the absolute form of existence of matter (absolute state). Time has calmed down in this "house" and then it became clear that "time" is a multivalent phenomenon ontological (structural) memory, which is manifested in the "arrow of time" - "vertical" world of generation of new structures. Time and information are one source - the ontological (structural) memory. Matter - is that from which everything is born (Plato), the ontological (structural, cosmic) memory - this is the fact that all generates. Best regards and wishes, Vladimir

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 14:33 GMT
И это верно: «Time is the denominator of existence…»

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 14:34 GMT
And it's true: «Time is the denominator of existence ...»

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 15:18 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Thank you very much for your comments! I'm so glad that you read and appreciated my essay. It's great that you see the relevance of the topic to this particular contest, and I'm glad you've agreed with the argument as well, as you say it's true that time is the denominator of existence.

I haven't managed to read many of the essays here yet, but I thought I'd mention that a point I've tried to make, that there should be some sort of existence to begin with, so that events can occur and information can come to be, is, I think, similarly made in some other essays as well, which you might be interested to read if you haven't yet. For instance, Lawrence Crowell commented on his own essay, that "The core issue is that It From Bit is undecidable, for any schema of that nature is based on an incomplete axiomatic system". Also, Cristi Stoica discusses Wheeler's "law without law" in his essay.

And the first point I discussed in the essay, that space-time shouldn't be thought to exist anyway---which is just a wrong way of thinking about it---is noted as well in the introduction to Edwin Eugene Klingman's excellent essay.

Your essay too sounds very interesting to me, and I very much look forward to reading it!

Thanks again, and best of luck!

Daryl

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jun. 26, 2013 @ 05:03 GMT
Daryl,

I was unaware that Wheeler identified time as most resistant to reformulation as information, but it makes sense. I agree that "the concept of time in physics is a mess." That is why I found your last essay so enlightening. Your last essay was far more complex than this one, which, I believe, is written at just the right level for the contest. (Your current score is ridiculous, and I...

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 19:10 GMT
Hello Edwin,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments on my essay. I have read yours as well, which I was exceptionally well done, and I agree that our views are very compatible. Actually, at a couple of points, and particularly the paragraph on p. 6 above “How does information use structure”, I felt like you may have had some of our previous exchanges in mind when you wrote it. I...

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 20:53 GMT
Daryl,

You are of course correct that I should have re-ordered the map and territory to reflect the order of bit and it. I saw that after I had submitted it. Sorry for the confusion.

I look forward to other questions on my essay when you find time.

With the schedule you have, I'm amazed you find time even to enter the contest. So many of us are old codgers with time on our...

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 04:41 GMT
Dear Daryl,

Augustine's utterance was also quoted by v. Weizsaecker who did also not yet understand what Michael Helland reminded us of:

"Newton wrote that for time to be understood, it should be considered as two different flavors: the relative time depicted by our clocks and other moving/changing systems, and absolute time which is external."

I wonder why I was forced to rediscover Newton's clarifying insight and why my attempt to derive consequences has been facing fierce rejection.

Best regards,

Eckard

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 15:37 GMT
Daryl,

Great essay, again. Important subject, and well handled. I think it should add a lot to understanding, if it were ever published!

However, the ending, where I'd hoped to find the logical tying up of all the unravelled nonsense of past theory, seemed to fall just short. I've read it now 5 times, and think I know what you are saying, but find it incomplete. Not rigorously identifying the apparent last quote, and the Einstein/Newton/New cases didn't help, particularly as the Newtonian description is not quite as I understand it. i.e. I don't think he proposed that light travels at infinite speed from distant events.

There seems some slight underparametrization which leaves matters a little open. This also emerges in the description that Einstein; "retains the assumption that simultaneous events are synchronous in the frame of every observer," Did he really 'say' that? which is quite different to the postulate. Am I so long thinking in an apparently more consistent way that I'm forgetting what happened in the Wonderland of relativistic interpretation?

First I of course agree absolute reality, but not a single absolute 'ether' background. I also agree local propagation speed c (or c/n) and in fact the postulates themselves, if not as interpreted. but let me ask you a question;

In your proposed schema, Let's take THREE clocks C1, C2 and C3 all at the front of the train, C1 inside the train, C2 outside but hanging on a bracket beside the car, and C3 also outside but on a fixed post in the track frame. All three (co-ordinated with his own clock when at rest) send a flash at the same instant.

Will he see the flashes at different times, and if so which first/last? and why.

And will wavelengths be the same?

To aid (or confuse!?) you I have a derivation which suggests there will be differences.

Peter

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 22:07 GMT
Peter,

Thanks very much for spending so much time with my essay, and for your questions and comments. I’m glad you agree with the relevance of the topic, and I appreciate the nice things you had to say about the essay.

The first point I’ll address is where you said “particularly as the Newtonian description is not quite as I understand it. i.e. I don't think he proposed that...

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 22:20 GMT
Peter,

I forgot about the thought experiment. I'm not sure I understand it. Are the two clocks moving with the train and the other attached to a post at rest with respect to the outside? Do they need to be clocks, or are we just thinking of a signal that flashes once from each of them and is observed by someone at the other end of the train? Do the flashes occur, although side-by-side in, say, the y-coordinate, at the same value of x and t, so that in the x-t frame they look like the same event?

It might help if you send me your derivation. I'm very interested to see what you've got.

Thanks,

Daryl

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 15:02 GMT
Daryl,

Thanks. That's a bit clearer (if 'clarity' is really possible in this 100yr fog!)

Your description of my scenario is correct. And let's say two 1ms flashes, giving a 'space-time event'. But they're not observed as either the same time, wavelength or period. I think the solution I propose adds that pinch of magic dust to yours to finally clear the mist;

Flash C1 is IN the train. The train and air are an inertial system through which light propagates at c, (discrete field, = DFM), it's also at rest with the observer so the event remains 1ms, and with no Doppler wavelength change (0 delta lambda).

Flash C2 is outside the train but in the same inertial FRAME (at rest with the observer). Again no delta lambda on observer interaction ("detection"). However, it arrives BEFORE C1! This is because is DID change speed to propagate at c in the frame of the air outside the train, but then changed back on re-entering the original (emitter/detector) frame. That surprisingly is as found and as SR.

Flash C3 (fixed post) ALSO arrives before C1, so with C2, as it also propagates at c in the outside air frame. It then also shifts on meeting the observer frame, but this time there had been no INITIAL shift, so it is found to be blue shifted; i.e. both wavelength lambda AND the 'space-time period' have undergone 'length contraction'. (A flash from behind would be dilated or red shifted).

That rationalisation does take a little thought to assimilate as it will at first be quite unfamiliar (in a near vacuum the 'extinction distance' is greater so we need a far longer train to get rid of the birefringent mix). Careful thinking through should cause the fog to start lifting.

Let me know how you get on.

Peter

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 18:36 GMT
Dear Daryl Janzen,

Your essay might be the one of this contest that has the most already agreeing arguments but simultaneously the most still disagreeing ones as compared with mine. I see this a challenge to check on what we can agree.

Yours sincerely,

Eckard

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 18:39 GMT
Dear Eckard,

That sounds like an excellent challenge, which I very much look forward to following up on. Let us get to the bottom of this!

Best regards,

Daryl

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Michael Helland wrote on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 22:00 GMT
Newton wrote that for time to be understood, it should be considered as two different flavors: the relative time depicted by our clocks and other moving/changing systems, and absolute time which is external.

Its not that "true reality is timeless", but that relative time is meaningless in absolute reality (and vice versa).

My essay attempts to use an algorithm operating on is own time to produce an observer from the complexity of the algorithms computations, wherein the observer makes measurements of a clock and relative time emerges from the measurements.

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 22:35 GMT
Dear Michael,

Thanks for your post. Although I think anything that could ever cause anything else to exist first has to exist itself (and your algorithm does operate on its own time), I find your comment and your essay's abstract intriguing and will try to get to it.

Daryl

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 01:29 GMT
Dear sir,

Thank you for presenting your nice essay. I saw the abstract and will post my comments soon.

So you can produce material from your thinking. . . .

I am requesting you to go through my essay also. And I take this opportunity to say, to come to reality and base your arguments on experimental results.

I failed mainly because I worked against the main stream....

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 17:03 GMT
Dear Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta,

Thanks for your post. Your essay sounds interesting to me, as I think we’ll see eye to eye on some fundamental issues. I hope you do enjoy my essay when you read it!

There was one particular statement you made that raised a red flag for me though. You wrote “The main stream community people want magic from science instead of realty especially in the subject of cosmology. We all know well that cosmology is a subject where speculations rule”, and really I couldn’t disagree with that more. Out of all the areas of physics, I think cosmology is the one that’s done the best to maintain a grasp on reality. I believe this is why, despite being more inclined towards philosophy, as my main interest lies in searching for a clearer and more realistic understanding of nature, I persevered through the “shut up and calculate!/purely hypothetical mathematical derivations leading to descriptions of observable events are all that matter/etc.” attitude in modern physics, to a PhD in cosmology.

Don’t get me wrong: I do think the model is fundamentally flawed, and people are reading too much into the measured parameters; but modellers in every science are prone to doing that, and I think with cosmology the heart’s in the right place. Cosmology aims to describe the large-scale structure of our Universe; to realistically account for the redshifts, etc., of distant galaxies that we believe really exist, despite the fact that we’re only observing images of them that were shone into space millions of years ago---i.e., so we can't really verify that they're actually there "now", in the cosmological sense of "now".

I think the dividing line in this contest is between people who strive for a sensible, realistic, and self-consistent description of nature that would agree with all observations we can make, and those who care more to push the limits of nonsense, to derive a theory of reality that’s not inconsistent—i.e. is technically compatible—with observation, despite possibly being nothing like experience. Personally, I’m in the former camp, and while I can appreciate to some extent the sense of scepticism that motivates the latter, I think it’s been more damaging than anything, and really defeats the purpose of science and philosophy.

The best example I know of is the Macheo-Leibnizian stance that a Universal frame of rest isn’t observable, and is therefore to be rejected from the point of view of relativity. This supports the Einsteinian stance on the relativity of simultaneity, and consequently the description of reality as a block universe in which time doesn’t really flow. According to the sceptical stance, this isn’t strictly inconsistent with experience, and we have no way of proving that all of eternity isn’t real as what we think of in our minds as now, right now, each and every second.

As I argued in this essay, however, this has often led to a very inconsistent way of thinking, in which all of eternity is actually thought of as existing—i.e. another temporal dimension is snuck into the mix—and the whole thing becomes a muddled mess with even more structure, which is even further from being scientifically defendable than the one bit of structure—the ultimate cosmic rest-frame—that they wanted to deny at the outset. In short, those who argue in this way can’t even get their story straight, but that’s generally okay by them because it’s all a bunch of abstract unobservable gibberish, which they think is a good thing because they anyhow take quantum physics to support the idea that reality really is a bunch of nonsense. In short, its stances like the one that there is no cosmic rest-frame, that lead physicists into rabbit holes where they’re happy to play around with math and make a complete mess of things and deny the notion that reality could even possibly make sense.

But then, as I argued in my previous essay, the Macheo-Leibnizian stance is actually DEAD WRONG! For the past 80 years we’ve reasoned from the cosmological data that there is actually a cosmic frame of rest—an absolute rest-frame—and the CMBR provides unprecedented scientific evidence that this is so. The observation of a cosmic rest-frame more than motivates the idea that only the three-dimensional Universe exists, and therefore time actually passes, etc., and the events that occur in the Universe as it exists make up the space-time map of all observables, which we describe with four-dimensional physics.

Sorry if this sounds like I’ve gotten my back up. I really don’t agree with a lot of what cosmology is supposed to have established. But I do think cosmologists have done a better job of *striving* for a realistic and sensible theory than physicists in other areas. Mis-attributing the meaning of measured parameters isn't the same as pushing abstract magic as something better than a sensible description. I still think cosmology is, at its heart, a realist's theory.

Daryl

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 20:06 GMT
I got the link to my previous essay wrong again!

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 23:18 GMT
Dear Datyl,

Thank you very much for an informative post.

I say Thank God , I could provoke anger in some one at least.!!!

I will answer all your questions, and please read the following in this post...

You remove all the "NO"s you will get main stream cosmology. If have any differences on any point we can have eye to eye.

after this FQXi also you can contact me by my id snp.gupta@gmail.com

- - - Dark enrgy , dark matter are calculation mistakes that rules to start with,What do you say?????

Please see, and discuss on any point, you feel not satisfied. . . .

http://vaksdynamicuniversemodel.blogspot.in/2012/11/fundamen
tal-questions-addressed-by.html

Fundamental questions addressed by Dynamic Universe Model



This Model is new Cosmological model fundamentally and mathematically different from Bigbang, Steady state model etc. I am giving below its Foundational points, Present Day unsolved problems, which can’t be solved by other prominent models, New Satellite Mass reduction technology and publications (Four Books published).

Main foundational points of Dynamic Universe Model:

-No Isotropy

-No Homogeneity

-No Space-time continuum

-Non-uniform density of matter, universe is lumpy

-No singularities

-No collisions between bodies

-No blackholes

-No warm holes

-No Bigbang

-No repulsion between distant Galaxies

-Non-empty Universe

-No imaginary or negative time axis

-No imaginary X, Y, Z axes

-No differential and Integral Equations mathematically

-No General Relativity and Model does not reduce to GR on any condition

-No Creation of matter like Bigbang or steady-state models

-No many mini Bigbangs

-No Missing Mass / Dark matter

-No Dark energy

-No Bigbang generated CMB detected

-No Multi-verses

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Author Daryl Janzen wrote on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 20:34 GMT
Dear Eckard,

Following up on my first response to your comment on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 04:41 GMT

I thought you might be interested to discuss the following: consider a situation in which two gunslingers about to duel with laser pistols stand at either end of a train and there’s some gunpowder at the middle that gets lit by a referee. Someone else watches the whole thing from a field outside, and from his perspective the train is moving to the right.

Do the gunslingers see the signal at the same time, or not? According to which perspective? If no, is it still a fair fight (assuming each stands his ground)? How do you reconcile this with there being one common time?

Cheers,

Daryl

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 12:50 GMT
Dear Daryl,

Did you get solution to the above problem?

Please try Dynamic Universe Model with some numerical values, give initial values of velocities, take gravitation into consideration( because you can not experiment in ISOLATION). complete your numerical experiment.

later try changing values of masses and initial values of velocities....

Calculate with different setups and compare your results, if you have done a physical experiment.

I sincerely feel it is better to do experiment physically, or numerically instead of breaking your head on just logic. This way you will solve your problem faster.....

Best

=snp

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 16:33 GMT
Dear Daryl,

Please find my reply here.

Regards,

Eckard

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 19:38 GMT
snp:

This is a very simple experiment, which you are overcomplicating. There is no need to 'break your head' on it, because it's purposely very clear and very simple. And there have been many tests that have confirmed the validity of SR in its applicable domain, although this particular experiment is so simple that it hardly needs to be carried out.

Eckard:

thanks very much for your post! I'll respond to it over there.

Daryl

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Author Daryl Janzen wrote on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 23:27 GMT
To anyone who's interested:

I just added two posts at Eckard's site that I thought I'd put here as well, in case anyone's interested in this discussion we're having and might miss it there. Please feel free to comment.

First of all, here's his reply:

In order to test my understanding of the velocity of light and of simultaneity, Daryl Janzen introduced two gunslingers (this word is not in my dictionary, I just assume receivers of the same signal) who are located on a train with equal distance from the common a source of that signal located in the middle of the train.

Yes, according to the endnotes of my essay, they will see the signal at the same moment. It is reasonable and possible to choose only one co-ordinate system that refers to the train.

An observer on the ground may sees the train moving to the right. This motion does not matter.

Eckard

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 23:28 GMT
Here's my first response:

Eckard,

Thanks for your answer. I’m sorry you felt that I mean to ‘test’ you with this question. I just thought it would be a nice concrete place to start a discussion about relativity and check on what we can agree, as you previously suggested.

And sorry for the confusion over the definition of a ‘gunslinger’. From Wikipedia: Gunfighter and gunslinger /ˈɡʌnslɪŋər/, are 20th-century words, used in cinema or literature, referring to men in the American Old West who had gained a reputation as being dangerous with a gun.

In the scenario I posted, which I adapted from Greene’s ‘Fabric of the Cosmos’, the two men are dueling with laser pistols, so their ‘bullets’ travel at c. And someone observes it all from outside the train. I asked: “Do the gunslingers see the signal at the same time, or not? According to which perspective? If no, is it still a fair fight (assuming each stands his ground)? How do you reconcile this with there being one common time?”

We don’t agree on the answer to the first question, so let’s consider your suggestion 3: “The velocity of light c equals to the distance d between the position of emitter at the moment of emission and the position of receiver at the moment of detection divided by the time of flight t: c=d/t.”

In the frame of the observer outside the train, the signal propagates at c towards both gunslingers, from the place of emission. While the signal is propagating, the guy on the left is approaching that point of emission and the guy to the right is moving away from it. The distance that the light eventually travels in order to reach the guy on the left should therefore be less, in the outside observer’s frame of reference, than the distance that the light eventually travels in order to reach the guy at the right. With c constant, this means, by your suggestion 3, that the signal reaches the guy at the left in less time than it takes to reach the guy to the right.

On the other hand, in the gunslingers’ proper frame of reference on the train, they never move relative to the place where the signal is emitted, so the distance that the light travels is the same in either direction, takes the same amount of time to get to both gunslingers, and is therefore observed by each of them at the same time.

Do you disagree that the signal will be observed synchronously in the gunslingers’ frame, but the gunslinger on the left will see the signal before the one on the right in the frame of the observer standing outside the train? If we can agree on this basic picture, which doesn’t say anything about what’s *really* going on, but only demonstrates the issue that Einstein and others realised, then we can move on to discuss how we would interpret it. The key, in my opinion, has to do with what Paul brought up in his first post above, on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 18:47 GMT. As I keep saying, synchronicity and simultaneity are different things.

Regards,

Daryl

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 23:30 GMT
And here's the second:

Oh I can’t help myself. Can I say already what I think is the problem with Einstein’s proposal that synchronous events are simultaneous? It’s perfectly exemplified in the following quotation from Greene (next three paragraphs):

"So: *if you buy the notion that reality consists of the things in your freeze-frame mental image of right now, and if you agree that your* now *is no more valid than the* now *of someone located far away in space who can move freely, then reality encompasses all of the events of spacetime*. The total loaf exists [he's been chopping up space-time like a loaf of bread]. Just as we envision all of space as *really* being out there, as *really* existing, we should also envision all of time as *really* being out there, as *really* existing, too. Past, present, and future certainly appear to be distinct entities. But, as Einstein once said, "For we convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent." The only thing that's real is the whole of spacetime.

“In this way of thinking, events, regardless of when they happen from any particular perspective, just *are*. They all exist. They eternally occupy their particular point in spacetime. There is no flow. If you were having a great time at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, 1999, you still are, since that is just one immutable location in spacetime. It is tough to accept this description, since our worldview so forcefully distinguishes between past, present, and future. But if we stare intently at this familiar temporal scheme and confront it with the cold hard facts of modern physics, its only place of refuge seems to lie within the human mind.

“Undeniably, our conscious experience seems to sweep through the slices. It is as though our minds provide the projector light referred to earlier, so that moments of time come to life when they are illuminated by the power of consciousness. The flowing sensation from one moment to the next arises from our conscious recognition of change in our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. And the sequence of change seems to have a continuous motion; it seems to unfold into a coherent story… The intuitive image of a projector light that brings each new *now* to life just doesn’t hold up to careful examination. Instead, every moment is illuminated, and every moment remains illuminated. Every moment *is*. Under close scrutiny, the flowing river of time more closely resembles a giant block of ice with every moment forever frozen into place."

People do think of space-time as existing, but not always just as such a frozen block. In the general relativistic picture, objects are more often thought to move around, warping space-time as they go. How often have you heard that when something falls into a black hole, it has to keep falling towards the singularity at r=0 because r is the timelike direction within the event horizon, so even light can’t escape it? It can move in any spatial direction it likes, but even light has to keep going towards r=0. Let me ask you: if one of these gunslingers we’re talking about jumped into a black hole, could he shoot a laser bullet towards r=2m and one towards r=0 (say he’s got two guns and fires them simultaneously in either ‘direction’) so that, although they’d both fall towards the singularity out of necessity, the latter bullet would actually get there ‘first’? Should that be any more possible to do than for you to take a gun and point it towards the past and another and point it towards the future and have the latter make it to 2014 before the former? The whole concept is so completely inconsistent and blatantly wrong!—and it’s truly remarkable that it’s persisted as long as it has.

So, the first point I addressed in my essay—which I couldn’t avoid having to address because nothing else I could say would make any sense from the point of view of the current incorrect paradigm in physics—is the blatant inconsistency in this common way of thinking of space-time as something that exists: due to the “relativity of simultaneity”, people *do* think of space-time as existing, as the Greene quotation illustrates, *but the idea smuggles in an extra dimension that’s not formally part of the theory*! They think of a block universe—all of space-time—as existing, which sneaks in the same sense of temporality as we think of when we think of a block of wood as existing. Just as a 3D block of wood sitting somewhere as time passes is a 4D concept, described by 4D physics with three spatial and one temporal dimensions, a 4D block universe existing as Greene has described it is a *5D* concept, described by four space-time dimensions and one temporal dimension. There’s more unobservable (and completely unjustifiable) structure in this view than there is when we just assume absolute simultaneity and a true rest frame, which is what Einstein rejected from the point of view of parsimony; i.e., he was so parsimonious that his theory led to a conception of reality with *more* added junk than if he’d just accepted what’s *obvious* from the beginning.

But the 5D idea that Greene describes really is a misrepresentation of what Einstein’s SR is actually supposed to imply. So: what does Einstein’s proposal that simultaneity is relative *really* mean? The block universe that’s a logical consequence of the proposal is *just* a 4D slice of that 5D reality. The block universe doesn’t exist; it’s just a temporally singular thing that pops in and out of that ‘existence’ in an instant.

My point is that when one finally understands, and makes this clear distinction, and denies the temporality that our thoughts always want to sneak into the idea, then it should be very clear that the Einsteinian view, that synchronous events should be simultaneous, *must* be wrong. The reason is obvious: *something* exists; there is *some* sense in which time passes, because right now is earlier than right now is earlier than right now, etc.—or at least it’s not all on par as we perceive it. That much is true, even if it’s because all of eternity *exists* in the 5D sense described by Greene, and our consciousnesses simply flow through our worldtubes like a river that flows everywhere and never runs dry. For that consciousness to flow, and the block to exist, that fifth dimension is required. The pure 4D block universe, unadulterated by our thoughts, is impossible to reconcile with any realistic sense of the world, and those who argue for it always do fall back on the 5D concept at one time or other, if not always so overtly as Greene does.

So, what I propose is that only the three-dimensional world around us exists, and there is only one true sense of simultaneity. In the gunslingers example, the signal either reaches them simultaneously or it doesn’t, regardless of whether that is described as synchronous in the chosen frame of reference or not. This bit of structure that’s necessary to form a coherent theory of existence that’s consistent with the apparent flow of time, etc., precludes any informational bits that might come to be. Above all else, without *existence*, bits can’t exist—for bits that exist can’t be the cause of their own existence.

So how do we reconcile the results of the gunslingers example with the notion of absolute simultaneity? Take the outside observer to be perfectly at rest in the cosmic rest-frame. Now consider the perspective of the two gunslingers. Is it so difficult to see that from their perspective, if they’d just lift the blinds so they can see the world around them, then they too would realise that the guy to the left is going to see the signal first, because he meets it part-way between his position at the time of emission and the signal’s position at the time of emission?

Of course it’s not difficult to see that that’s going to be their perception. Just because everything can also be described as if the train were at rest and the Universe were zipping past—just because he can bounce a ball on the floor, or toss it in the air, and have it come right back to his hand—doesn’t mean the gunslingers are unable to come to grips with the fact that they’re actually moving, and the sense that the guy to the left is going to see the signal first.

But this is the rock that the whole relativity church was built upon: Mach’s failed argument that even if there is a cosmic rest frame we could never observe it; Einstein’s wrong argument that it’s just superfluous structure and the theory’s just as good without it. WE HAVE A VERY PRECISE OBSERVATION OF A COSMIC REST-FRAME, and all the relative motion between galaxies, which is very small compared to the speed of light, is full well understood to be motion through the Universe.

So let’s go back to Greene’s statement: *if you buy the notion that reality consists of the things in your freeze-frame mental image of right now, and if you agree that your* now *is no more valid than the* now *of someone located far away in space who can move freely*. This statement has been fed to us for a hundred years, and it’s just plain wrong. For which freeze-frame mental image of right now are we supposed to say is the valid one for the gunslingers to hold: the one with the blinds shut or the one with them open? If the former is no more valid a mental image to them than the latter, and acceptance of the latter in light of all the cosmological evidence we’ve found over the past century is also consistent with the apparent fact that time does flow, then why the **** should we hold the former up as the crown jewel of objective thought, which proves to us without a doubt that there’s no such thing as the passage of time, and all eternity ‘exists’? If the freeze-frame mental image of right now that’s held by the gunslingers when they’ve blocked out the evidence from the world around them leads to an unrealistic description of physical reality when we assume that it’s a true representation of “right now”, then we should instead assume that the true representation of “right now” is the freeze-frame mental image of right now that’s held by the gunslingers when they’ve opened the blinds!

Cheers,

Daryl

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jun. 30, 2013 @ 08:13 GMT
Daryl,

I've enjoyed your exchanges with Eckhard, though I haven't had much time to study your comments above.

I would like to point out an essay that I would very much like your opinion of. Although I believe he takes the classical 'block time' approach, I'm not sure this is relevant to his paper. As I interpret him, I find strong support for my own theory of the (non-linear) C-field. I would be very interested in your appraisal of what I consider a significant essay, as you have far greater expertise in GR than I. The paper is Prof Vishwakarma's. He also references an arXiv paper with slightly different contents than the essay. I hope you find it as interesting as I do.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jun. 30, 2013 @ 08:58 GMT
Thanks, Ed.

I skimmed through his essay earlier and couldn't see how he was proposing something different from teleparallelism, but I'll have another look. Also, I don't see why he's setting the cosmological constant to zero. It doesn't have to (and I think it shouldn't) be interpreted as dark energy, but can be treated as a geometrical constant. The full vacuum Einstein equation is R_ab=Lambda*g_ab.

Daryl

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Israel Perez wrote on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 05:59 GMT
Hi Daryl

It is nice to know that you're in this contest again. As before, you did a great job.

To follow your line of thought I must confess that I had to read your essay twice, but I still do not have clear some parts. I'd be happy if you could help me to clarify them. I'm aware that you are in favor of an absolute system of reference. You also expose in your detail analysis that...

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 22:58 GMT
Hi Israel,

It’s nice to see you here as well! Thanks for reading my essay and commenting. I see much to clarify based on your comments, so I’m glad you’ve given me a chance to do that. I’ll address things point-by-point.

“…based on the mathematical formulation of special relativity (SR) one can conclude that the world doesn't evolve.”

Yes, I’m arguing that one...

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Israel Perez replied on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 08:04 GMT
Hi Daryl

Thanks for your comprehensive reply. I appreciate it. I'd like to comment on your reply in order to clarify some points.

You: Does that make sense?

I must confess that it is not easy to grasp the idea at first sight, but I think after your explanation I got your point and this is why I asked what your notion of time is. In Newton's mechanics time is seen as a linear...

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 14:41 GMT
Hi Israel,

Thanks for your reply. Again, since you’ve written a lot I’ve got a lot to say in response. I really want to be clear about the whole five-dimensionality thing before I can properly respond to a lot of what you’ve said/asked, so I’ll have to submit multiple posts.

First of all, you say that my point that “‘existence’ in itself constitutes a dimension of...

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 18:45 GMT
Daryl,

If given the time and the wits to evaluate over 120 more entries, I have a month to try. My seemingly whimsical title, “It’s good to be the king,” is serious about our subject.

Jim

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 02:39 GMT
Daryl,

I've been somewhat refraining from discussing time in this contest, but thought I'd at least mention this point again. Yes, we as individual entities experience time as a sequence of events, but the non-linear dynamic is change. Not the present moving along some vector from past to future, but change causing what was future to become past. Not the earth traveling a fourth dimension...

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 02:41 GMT
That was me.

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 17:07 GMT
Hi John,

Thanks for commenting. It’s never a bother to hear your opinion. I’m sorry if I’ve ever given you the impression that it has been. If I haven’t been able to properly respond to your comments in the past, it was simply because the Earth spins around every twenty-four hours, rather than thirty-six or fifty or whatever it would actually take for me to get to everything I’d...

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 03:57 GMT
Daryl,

Thank you for responding so thoughtfully. I am a bit defensive because I suppose it doesn't seem complicated to me, though I suppose I've made it complicated by covering all bases. I only use the earth rotating as an example of what amounts to motion creating a clock. We naturally think from one day to the next, yet the actual physical process is a star shining on a rotating planet,...

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 11:29 GMT
Daryl,

" the universe, too, immortal and enduring as it is, changes and never remains the same. For though it has within itself all that it has had, it has it in a different way from that in which it has had it; it keeps changing its arrangement."

Would you say there is a changing present, or that the present "moves" along the "passage of time?"

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 12:27 GMT
A changing present; however, this "change" is not by virtue of constant rearrangement, but simply because it endures. For that reason, regardless of any possible rearrangement, each instant is already different from any other. In that sense, the present is always changing. I think this is what Joe Fisher means as well.

The alternative you suggested, that the present "moves" along the "passage of time", brings to mind a physical dimension along which the present flows. In order for the 3D present to flow along that fourth dimension, all of it would have to exist, and that's really a 5D concept.

But I think existence *is* the fourth dimension, even in the relativistic description--but the only thing that's ever real is the three-dimensional enduring present.

Daryl

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 16:52 GMT
Daryl,

Are they one and the same? It endures because the energy is conserved and time is the measure of regularity, because it is both enduring and in motion.

Existence is the fourth dimension, in that without both the effect of sequence and the concept of narrative, we don't exist. That doesn't make it physically real.

We seem to be on the same page.

You do realize this view refutes the conceptual basis for Big Bang Cosmology? No wormholes, or multiverses either. Just scales beyond our ability to conceive.

Regards,

John

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 19:38 GMT
John,

I've tried to discuss cosmology with you before, but you seem adamant about wanting to misunderstand the standard cosmological model. One of its basic assumptions is that there *is* a cosmic time, a cosmic frame of rest, and all the rest of what we've been talking about. In fact, George Ellis for one is far closer to agreeing with your "moving matter causes its own existence" stance...

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Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 17:46 GMT
Dear Daryl Janzen:

As you said the concept of “time” in physic is a mess, more than that at least since the beginning of written history men did not know what he was measuring, but doing it satisfied the practical need to know the duration of things. Always till now days, people relate the so called “time” to “motion” and attributed to it quite a...

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 18:04 GMT
Dear Héctor,

Thanks for the summary of your essay. It does indeed sound interesting to me, and I look forward to reading it. From what you said, I suspect you would find some interest in the above discussion I've been having with John Merryman--especially the first part.

Thanks for commenting here, and best wishes!

Daryl

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 14:07 GMT
Daryl,

I hope we can continue the string conversation (June 27th) above when you have time. Reading my essay first may allow greater insight if you are able. I value your views, ..I think! and hope you'll see the value in my essay.

I know time is short. My eyes are sore from reading! But I do have your essay down for a much better score in due course, and can't quite understand why it not yet doing better.

Very best of luck.

Peter

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 20:48 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thanks very much for the gentle reminder this morning. I've been struggling to get through a few things, but managed to read and rate your essay today. Well done! It was an interesting read.

And thanks for the supportive words about my essay. It hasn't been nice seeing how many people hate it without bothering to comment why they do, or alternatively simply hate me.

Anyway, maybe it will be better to continue our discussion from above in this thread, since it might be easier to find?

There are a couple of things that concern me in what you wrote. Your proposal of comparing descriptions of different things from different frames of reference doesn't seem right to me. I don't see why you are suggesting that the description of A in frame A should be compared to the description of B in frame B. That seems like comparing apples and oranges, but maybe I'm missing something. I think we can compare A and B in frame A, or A and B in frame B, or even compare the descriptions in frame A to the descriptions in frame B, but comparing A in frame A to B in frame B doesn't make sense to me. Here's what I'm thinking: suppose I took a rubber band and marked off centimetres on it using a ruler, and then used it to measure my foot. Say it's 27 cm. Then I stretch the rubber band out and measure your foot. If it reads 15 cm, would I really be justified in saying my foot is bigger? The other point I don't really see the reason for is considering the Doppler shift at all. Are you saying light should travel faster or slower if it is Doppler shifted? I might still just be missing something.

Best regards,

Daryl

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Peter Jackson replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 10:41 GMT
Daryl,

Thanks. I don't think the low scores are anything personal. I'm sure I've had perhaps a dozen 1 scores, as many others. It may be indicative of the integrity of many in science. As effectively a 'professional' over 3 fields I can see the differences, but I've also seen the honesty and integrity in most, certainly yourself. I've just rated yours, taking it closer to it's deserved...

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 18:24 GMT
Peter,

Thanks for rating, and for continuing to press the point here. We're still not seeing eye-to-eye on--not that that has to be a bad thing, as you've said.

It seems to me that you're conceiving of a "frame" as a space, or a medium through which light propagates. But a frame of reference is just a coordinate system that one uses to describe space. You can run a tape measure along train tracks and use that as the coordinate in your frame of reference, and say that the train is "moving"--or you can run a tape measure along the floor of the train and use that as the coordinate in your frame of reference, so you claim that the outside world is "moving". We can analyse the situation in different frames of reference, and relate those descriptions to each other through covariant coordinate transformations; but when you speak of light entering one frame, etc., it seems that you're thinking of these different frames as different spaces, rather than just different ways of measuring space.

It still seems like you're saying, "A happens with the rubber band unstretched and B happens when it's stretched, so B happens more quickly", but I think you've got to make your measurements either with the band stretched or unstretched. Sorry if it seems like I'm being obtuse; it just seems inconsistent, but I am trying to keep an open mind.

Daryl

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 04:58 GMT
Hi dear Daryl,

I have read your nice work (in first approximation) and have find there many of honestly judgements. Actually I was intrigued when I see you have discussed the problem of ,,time,, with my friend Vladimir R. Both of you are excellent people of course, but I must tell you that about ,,time,, there exist certainly and correct, in my view, definition, which gives Einstein. ,,Time,, is a concrete, energetical parameter of matter and it can be only local. Meantime, you are very right with bringing up this very important question in physics because for most of people the ,,time,, continued seen as something absolute, that going himself and independ from anything. That is why I have decide to rate your work as ,,high,, Hope my work ESSAY text will be interested you and I will get your impression on it.

Best wishes,

George

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 18:58 GMT
Dear George,

Thanks very much for reading and rating my essay. I've read through parts of yours before now, and had intended to post a comment and rate it when I'm able to read through the whole thing, but I wanted to say in response to your comment that I'm glad you were able to appreciate my essay because I see a lot of value in your epistemic viewpoint.

Many thanks again, and best wishes,

Daryl

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George Kirakosyan replied on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 05:10 GMT
Daryl,

I am really happy to meet you. Thank you very much for compliments and kindly words. I understand your critical remarks also. I can say that I have some explanations and answers on these. But, I will tell now you one thing only. I am never pretended to be fully right on the all aspects. The same approach I have use in relation to our deserved pioneers as will. I never accept that any of them must be perceived by us as the indisputable and finitely authority. We must remember always that they was ordinary/normally people first (same as we are) So, we have right to make mistakes and we must not excluded that our teachers also can have it.

Then why I am talking so sure and criticizing on left and right? Matter is - I have use some approach that give me many incredible RESULTS! I am talking sure with this only. (And lot of people just do not take in attention mentioned ,,trifle,,!) Let me just offer you my works (mentioned in references) Try study these. I really believe it will interesting for you. Then you can continue my ideas, reject some points, suggest new modifications that will bring to new RESULTS etc. That is the normally way of development of our knowledge.

My Best wishes,

George

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john stephan selye wrote on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 19:37 GMT
Dear Darryl,

Your treatment of the subject of time is particularly interesting to me, and very thorough, too. In reading your work I realize that I've been considering time, too - though from another perspective.

As you point out, Wheeler was hoping for a 'deeper physics' that would define time properly. Your comparison of the 'block' space-time as opposed to the more sequential flow...

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 02:09 GMT
Dear Daryl,

I have down loaded your essay and soon post my comments on it. Meanwhile, please, go through my essay and post your comments.

Regards and good luck in the contest,

Sreenath BN.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1827

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 11:41 GMT
Dear Daryl,

Very pleased to see time utilised so elegantly here - well done. Your essay is both relevant and interesting. I think you've used excellent arguments and find myself agreeing with them. Hopefully if you have time, you will take a look at my essay which perhaps shows an arrow of time emerging when utilising simplexes of their respective n-dimension to explain entropy.

Best wishes for the contest,

Antony

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john stephan selye wrote on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 15:20 GMT
Hello darryl - Have you had the time to take a look at my post, above?

John

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 15:51 GMT
Hi John,

Yes I did get it as I was preparing for a trip. I've just arrived in Lausanne for a metaphysics of time workshop tomorrow, but I will read your essay. Thanks very much for reading mine, and for rating it (you gave it a 6, right?). I will read yours.

Daryl

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Michel Planat wrote on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 09:39 GMT
Dear Daryl,

I have studied your essay and this gave me further motivation to go back to the related Wheeler's paper you refer to.

I found your essay very well written and interesting.

"Understand the quantum as based on an utterly simple and -- when we see it -- completely obvious idea.

Explain existence by the same idea that explains the quantum...

Reduce time into subjugation to physics."

If you read my essay

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1789

you will see that the Riemmann surface concept, favoured by Hermann Weyl, may be made in a good correspondance with the quantum.

Good luck,

Michel

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Paul Borrill wrote on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 00:44 GMT
Good Paper. Starts off slow, repeats the same stuff about Wheeler found in other essays in this contest. Then goes on to discuss our language issues with the notion of time, and makes some rather interesting points.

I wholeheartedly agree that Minkowski spacetime does not exist. However, the relationship between space and time does exist down the single direction of propagation of quantum particles, not in some empty manifold we call Minkowski space. “Elements of reality” are therefore bounded by the emitter and absorber atoms. This is where an “interval” in time can be considered. In section 3, your claim that “no interval of time exists...” needs a reference.

I am not convinced by the world-line argument. This is just another attempt to regenerate a form of simultaneity surfaces. World-lines do not exist unless something travels along it. I do not find the argument for block universe compelling, even if it is a dynamically warping and molding thing.

The section on Minkowski space was a little jumbled and confusing.

I enjoyed the description “relativity of synchronicity.” Very nice.

This is a strong entry and I gave it a good rating. The author would have done better with a shorter introduction and a focus (in two sections) on the Newtonian and Einsteinian inconsistencies in the relativity of synchronicity, then in the concluding section added the claims of novelty that he wished to make.

All in all, a worthy paper I will look forward to reading other works from this Author.

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 03:44 GMT
Hello Daryl

Richard Feynman in his Nobel Acceptance Speech (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/19
65/feynman-lecture.html)

said: “It always seems odd to me that the fundamental laws of physics, when discovered, can appear in so many different forms that are not apparently identical at first, but with a little mathematical fiddling you can show the...

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 19:34 GMT
Hi Daryl,

Very nice. I agree entirely that no time, no existence! And if you want to talk of existence better you analyse space separately from time instead of using space-time. Exist appears over 80 times in your essay. I wonder what you will say if existence/non-existence can be implemented as a binary choice since you have properly defined what existence means. In a way my essay tries to make something out of this Bit.

All the best in the contest. To be well rated. Almost flawless.

Akinbo

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 22:30 GMT
Dear Akinbo,

Thanks very much for your comment. Sorry it's taken so long to reply, but I've finally managed to read your essay. I thought your analysis of monads was very interesting, and I really liked the way you handled your discussion of historical philosophical views on the topic. I think it's really important that anyone who stands on the shoulders of these giants should know what they were actually thinking and how they arrived at their ideas, since textbooks often either misrepresent things, or just leave out the original reasoning entirely.

Regarding your question about existence/non-existence as a binary choice, I think our views are very different on that point, although I can appreciate what you're going for. It's just that I do think a continual passage of time is fundamental, and prior to any particular thing existing. I can think of a three-dimensional set of monads existing, like the "one-dimensional" set you've drawn at different stages in the two figures in your essay, but I can't think of those two instants if the monads don't exist. And in order for objective time to pass uniformly throughout the Universe, which is what I've argued for in my essay despite relative proper duration, etc., I don't think random discrete particle creation and annihilation in the Universe could be the cause of this uniform absolute duration.

That's why I think 'it from bit' has to fail, despite the possibility that bits (monads) are the fundamental building blocks of everything in the Universe. But I'm no stick in the mud, and as I said I can appreciate your position, and I enjoyed your essay.

Best of luck in the contest,

Daryl

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Jul. 28, 2013 @ 04:25 GMT
Dear Daryl

Time is the denominator of existence....if time is the circle.

Cheers

Yuri

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 21:23 GMT
Dear Yuri,

You know, there is a sense in which I agree with that. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope you liked the essay.

Daryl

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Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 09:07 GMT
Hi Daryl,

Your essay is an interesting read.

I have one question, though. On page 9 you write at the end: "the former interpretation ... ultimately disproves itself by contradiction". From the context I understand that by "the former interpretation" you mean Einstein's interpretation of relativity. Correct me if I'm wrong. But if so, could you elaborate on that? How do you derive a contradiction from Einstein's relativity? Do you mean logical contradiction, or do you mean that it yields a contradiction with an assumed meaning of a term, that is, with a meaning that you give to some term?

I'm interested in the answer.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet wrote on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 20:12 GMT
Hi Daryl,

Your essay is an interesting read.

I have one question, though. On page 9 you write at the end: "the former interpretation … ultimately disproves itself by contradiction". From the context I understand that by "the former interpretation" you mean Einstein's interpretation of relativity. Correct me if I'm wrong. But if so, could you elaborate on that? How do you derive a contradiction from Einstein's relativity? Do you mean logical contradiction, or do you mean that it yields a contradiction with an assumed meaning of a term, that is, with a meaning that you give to some term?

I'm interested in the answer.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 21:19 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

Thanks for reading my essay. You've asked a very good question, which puts me on the spot for having made a very strong claim at the end of my essay, and requires me to be accountable for it, although I had hoped it was justified sufficiently well from what I had previously written in the essay.

I think Einstein's deduction of the relativity of simultaneity is more of a reductio ad absurdum than the derivation of a truly interesting result because he begins with the operational definition of simultaneity, and eventually shows that this is relative, which comes to mean that not only is each particular instant so described "simultaneous" in the representative frame, but really the whole block of events that occur throughout eternity has to be simultaneous all at once.

The standard argument for this is given, e.g., in Ken Wharton's essay, and I've argued against that both here in my essay and again at length on Ken's page. Furthermore, since any meaningful definition of "simultaneity" at an instant already assumes a dynamical passage of time, I've argued for a different position in which passage is really fundamental, whereas Einstein began his first relativity paper by defining "simultaneity", and then went on to derive a picture in which the definition is meaningless anyway, for all intents and purposes.

I hope that clarifies what I meant by that statement.

All the best,

Daryl

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Member Ken Wharton wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 19:35 GMT
Hi Daryl,

Thanks for introducing yourself at the conference this week... and for the interesting conversations!

And while our disagreements *have existed*, I'm getting the feeling that we have many fewer disagreements that *exist*, and perhaps only modest disagreements *will exist* in the future.

Or, in my language, perhaps our views "are" converging. (if not our terminology...) :-)

Interesting essay... although I'm afraid I don't have much more to say about it that I didn't tell you in person, or in discussions on my page.

All the best!

Ken

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 20:50 GMT
Hi Ken,

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Yes, it was really nice to meet you at the conference. I agree that while our views remain ontologically very different, they are physically (i.e., not just empirically) equivalent, which from my point of view is a really good thing. As you know from my essay, and our discussions on- and off-line, that means something to me because I think (and I think you agree) that a lot of people on both sides of the dynamical/adynamical divide have the physical picture completely messed up--e.g., growing block-ers, and people who think of consciousness as crawling upwards along world-lines, or of the block as warping and changing, etc. It's good to have a consistent interpretation of the physics!

No worries about not commenting on the essay directly here. I think we've sufficiently hashed out our views for now, although I do hope to keep in touch, and look forward to more discussion with you about the nature of time in the future.

Good luck in the contest, and best wishes!

Daryl

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Antony Ryan wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 19:48 GMT
Hello Daryl,

I've lost a lot of comments and replies on my thread and many other threads I have commented on over the last few days. This has been a lot of work and I feel like it has been a waste of time and energy. Seems to have happened to others too - if not all.

I WILL ATTEMPT to revisit all threads to check and re-post something.

For now I will rate your essay very highly and hopefully get back to comment later.

Hopefully all the posts will be able to be retrieved by FQXi.

Best wishes,

Antony

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 20:27 GMT
Dear Antony,

Thanks so much! I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to respond to your earlier post before now, but thanks very much for what you wrote there. I'm glad you liked my essay so much, and really appreciate your comment!! I've been really busy the past few weeks, on top of which I was staying in places with really poor wifi, so wasn't able to contribute to the contest much. I've read a few essays today, and yours was the next on my list after the one I'm currently reading, so you can expect to hear from me soon.

All the best,

Daryl

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Antony Ryan replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 04:06 GMT
Dear Daryl,

No worries glad to help.

I can appreciate the situation as I was stuck in the middle of Bulgarian countryside a few weeks ago, with very weak intermittent wifi too!

Also Portugal where I had to read while in cafes - much to my wife's disapproval ;o)

FQXi seems to have fixed the current bug - seems it was a server migration issue.

The earlier rating drought was also a drama on here too! haha.

Hope you like the essay, if you do get the chance - as it isn't very mainstream. No problem if you don't.

Best wishes,

Antony

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Hugh Matlock wrote on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 06:37 GMT
Hi Daryl,

I very much appreciate your close analysis of time, existence, and our models for it. There is one point I would like to pick up on.

> If true reality is timeless, where does the illusion of succession come from?

I have an answer to this implied in my essay Software Cosmos, in which I develop a computational model that addresses several outstanding cosmological puzzles. I hope you get a chance to read the essay, as it provides a specific model for the observer's account of "being" in space and time as well as the timeless realm that links these separate accounts into a coherent whole.

My conclusion (perhaps this will be clearer after you see my model) regarding the "problem of now" is: If we accept the simulation paradigm, then we can think of the physical world as a layer of a multi-layer system. The physical "material" layer operates by the well-defined rules of physics that incorporate concepts of space and time.

But Mind could operate at a different layer than Matter. Conventionally, Matter is taken as the ground of being, and life and mind seen as emergent. But what if it is the other way around? In a model in which Mind and Life are below Matter, then the phenomenology of "now" can be understood in reference to agents in those layers viewing the dance of matter in space and time.

Hugh

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 14:56 GMT
Hugh,

I like that quote from Capek, too. I think it addresses a significant issue with relativity. I am puzzled by your comment, though, because this is an issue that I went on to directly address in my essay, and you've said nothing about that. I don't think reality is timeless, and I think succession is very real, due to a fundamental passage that I attempted to reconcile with relativity in my essay. If your model is both timeless AND incorporates a dynamical flow of consciousness, then I fear you've got an idea like Weyl (there's a famous quotation by him in my essay as well), which is really five-dimensional.

Regards,

Daryl

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eAmazigh M. HANNOU wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 22:34 GMT
Dear Daryl,

We are at the end of this essay contest.

In conclusion, at the question to know if Information is more fundamental than Matter, there is a good reason to answer that Matter is made of an amazing mixture of eInfo and eEnergy, at the same time.

Matter is thus eInfo made with eEnergy rather than answer it is made with eEnergy and eInfo ; because eInfo is eEnergy, and the one does not go without the other one.

eEnergy and eInfo are the two basic Principles of the eUniverse. Nothing can exist if it is not eEnergy, and any object is eInfo, and therefore eEnergy.

And consequently our eReality is eInfo made with eEnergy. And the final verdict is : eReality is virtual, and virtuality is our fundamental eReality.

Good luck to the winners,

And see you soon, with good news on this topic, and the Theory of Everything.

Amazigh H.

I rated your essay.

Please visit My essay.

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Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 19:35 GMT
Dear Daryl,

interesting essay but more importantly I read your comment of Sean Grybs essay.

Therefore I thought that you are maybe interesting in a geometric approach to the accelaerated expansion. May I point your interest on my essay?

Best wishes

Torsten

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Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 20:33 GMT
Dear Daryl,

now I rated your essay with a very high note.

All the best

Torsten

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 20:41 GMT
Thanks Torsten!

I'm part-way through your essay now, reading on my phone on the highway home.

Best, Daryl

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Member Sean Gryb wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 13:34 GMT
Dear Daryl,

Nice meeting you to in Munich. Thanks for the post.

Let's keep in touch. My email is: sean.gryb@gmail.com .

Cheers,

Sean.

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Aug. 8, 2013 @ 10:52 GMT
Daryl,

I'm certainly more than willing to continue that particular conversation.

About where I left off;

"It is still the same problem; The coordinates grow further apart, while the speed of light remains constant. Which is the measure of space in this equation and which is the distance being measured?"

On another note, I'm currently engaged with Tom Ray, at the contests thread, over how this contest can be used as the basis for some sort of proceedings or publicizing the efforts made. So since it seems to be devolving into one of our usual spats, maybe you would like to innocently steer it back onto the subject of how to make the topic topical to a broader audience.

Regards,

John

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Author Daryl Janzen replied on Aug. 10, 2013 @ 00:16 GMT
John,

Thanks for posting, and sorry I didn't get to your discussion with Tom. I think it would be a great thing if some sort of proceedings of these contests could get published.

And sorry to be slow in responding here again. I was hoping to read through our discussion again in order to re-wet my feet, but it seems that I may never get the time, so I'm going to try to wing it. I think I remember the point that I think should make all the difference. It has to do with calling c the 'speed of light', and all this issue with calling the speed of light constant.

I think you'd admit that we're converging on an understanding here. I'm going to ask you to refer back to my last two posts on the 19th of July--the almost-Aha! posts--keeping a few extra points in mind.

In those posts I explained why it makes sense to refer to c as the 'speed of light'. And you'll admit that c is a constant. However, as you've noted there's a real sense in which the speed of light is not constant in an expanding universe. However, c is constant, and null lines are invariant. Those are the invariants in the theory, and in that sense the 'speed of light' is an invariant quantity. But calling the speed of light a constant is a loose way of speaking, and maybe it's just too misleading and confusing when talking about an expanding universe.

Now, please consider the following from the Postulates of special relativity Wikipedia page:

"Also Hermann Minkowski implicitly used both postulates when he introduced the Minkowski space formulation, even though he showed that c can be seen as a space-time constant, and the identification with the speed of light is derived from optics."

Now, thinking of c as a space-time constant and the null lines as invariants of the metric, please have a look at the posts I mentioned, and let me know how that sits.

Daryl

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Antony Ryan wrote on Aug. 11, 2013 @ 17:14 GMT
Hello Daryl,

I've just seen your reply on my thread. I'll ponder the question and re-read your essay in that context, then get back to you. As I said above, it's a great approach to consider time's role in reality!

Regards,

Antony

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Antony Ryan replied on Aug. 19, 2013 @ 16:01 GMT
Hi Daryl,

I've read over your essay several more times.

You wrote:

"If time objectively passes in the way that I've described, as opposed to not passing at all (in the case of a real block universe), then the usual justification for the collapse scenario is invalid, because it takes reality to be synchronous in general reference frames".

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by collapse scenario. Is it wave function collapse? However, I like that you've examined relativity so critically, especially the example of the sun 8 minutes away. Are you saying that reality doesn't exist because of relativity?

Please excuse my ignorance here, as I think you've a very good essay and I'm just struggling with the above question a point a little.

If you can clarify or give an example, I'd love to discuss further!

Best wishes and thanks for the comments on my thread.

Antony

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Anonymous replied on Aug. 20, 2013 @ 22:02 GMT
Hi Antony,

Sorry for not responding right away. I actually had the reply started, but then my computer began acting up so I restarted it. Then I got sidetracked.

Regarding "collapse scenario": No, I meant gravitational collapse scenario. A standard example is in Hawking and Ellis, where they consider spherical collapse by examining a situation in which one of two observers initially...

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 22:44 GMT
Hi Daryl, Tony,

I really like Daryl's statement:

"The way for relativity to make sense is to assume that time truly passes and simultaneity is absolute, regardless of the fact that simultaneous events won't be described as synchronous in just any given reference frame."

Simultaneity is the fact, synchronicity is the communication of the event over distances at the speed of light, obviously synchronous only for equidistant observers, or other equivalent special relations between frames.

I have put enough thought into it to convince myself that there's absolutely no way our universe could "hold together" in stable fashion for 14 giga-year unless simultaneity spans the universe. This is why the "ict" formalism is appropriate (despite MTW). The orthogonality of time is a different order of orthogonality than that between the three spatial dimensions. Thus the signature: (-,+,+,+).

I also agree with Daryl's realist position that things should "make sense". I've often heard that "our brains evolved" in the classical world and we shouldn't expect to make sense of a quantum universe, or relativistic universe, etc." But if consciousness is as I propose in my essay, an inherent property of creation, then one would expect things to make sense.

I've begun reading a new book, "Bankrupting Physics" by Unzicker and Jones, which I recommend other realists.

Thanks for keeping comments going after the voting has closed.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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