Maybe not the right place to ask. Or maybe exactly the right place to
ask, since I think there are some here interested in this sort of thing?
Anyway, be gentle with me :-) We're told that nothing can exceed the
speed of light (maybe that's an oversimplification for idiots like me).
We're also told that the universe is exanding (again, maybe that's an
oversimplification etc.). Now, the universe is rather big, so it seems
to me that two things on opposite sides of it could /easily/ be
travelling away from each other faster than the speed of light. The
only way I can resolve this is to imagine that actually it's space
itself that's expanding, and if you had some sort of cosmic tape
measure, then you wouldn't measure any movement at all. Is that
'really' what's happening? Is the universe not expanding in what I
think is the conventional sense? Everything I can find to read about it
just says it's expanding, and doesn't go beyond that.
No. Its all pictures in your head trying to make sense of sensory data,
up to and including dials moving and digital data.
The greatest mistake that nearly everybody makes in this life, is to
confuse pictures in their heads with what's really there.
Ok we cant relate to what's there without pictures in our heads., but
the problem only arises when we regard those pictures are real in
themselves, rather than a 'story about life, the universe and everything'.
Calling a bolt of lightning an electrical phenomena rather than a God's
missile, may yield some interesting predictions about how it behaves,
but it doesn't make it any more or less 'true'.
AIUI, which isn't a lot, the 'universe;' is 'expanding' but the bits
'furthest away' are very very near the speed of light, so the signals
from them are so deeply red shifted they are probably in the audio spectrum.
“But what a weak barrier is truth when it stands in the way of an
I used to watch 'Horizon' programs about this, until deciding they were
all completely nebulous. Nice graphics and lots of filler. I watched
some Brian Cox, until realising he'd gone all the way to Corsica or
Sardinia just to tell us that everything is just 'moment in time', at
which point I switched off. I tried reading Stephen Hawking, and it was
pretty much the same. Weird 'facts' and no explanation. I got pdf
files of Einstein's theories, and didn't get further than the
'Riemannian Manifolds' on page 1. I suspect it is completely beyond me,
and I should just leave it at that :-)
That is why I try to insist that Korzybski's insight ("the map is not
the territory") is perhaps the most condensed form of a metaphysical
position that understands the notion that the world we deal with is a
*mapping* of what's really there, not what *is* really there.
Our whole world view is in fačt a *theory* about what the world is.
And nearly all human conflict embodies some aspect of the fact that no
two people have exactly the same pictures in their heads.
Science doesn't take us to the truth, but it does allow the worst and
most useless ideas to be discarded and the ones that actually work, to
I've only met with one philosopher who seemed to really understand that
and he's dead now. Hilary Putnam.
"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They
always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them"
On Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:26:13 -0700, Halmyre wrote:
He never claimed they were. It seems fairly obvious to me that he meant
"in the audio spectrum of frequencies", as in, with a long enough wire
antenna, you can feed such a VLF EM signal directly into an audio
amplifier driving a speaker so enabling one to listen directly to the VLF
radio waves without reliance on a detector stage. The detector stage, in
this case, being the listener's own ears.
 A quarter wave ground plane antenna would only need to be about 37Km
long in order to resonate at 2KHz and 15Km long for a 5KHz radio wave.
He is still completely wrong though. The 3K *microwave* background is so
named for a reason. You cannot see back further than the surface of last
scattering where the universe first becomes transparent at about a
redshift Z ~= 1500 and a temperature of 3000K give or take.
Only neutrinos would allow us to see past the region where the universe
becomes opaque to electromagnetic radiation. It is entirely possible
that the extent of the universe is so great that there are photons in
very distant regions that can never reach us because the space between
us and the emitter is expanding faster than light can close the gap.
The maths actually isn't that hard, you can probably find a good
explanation on a university first year physics site. (It was A level in
my day). See "closing speeds" in Halmyre's Wiki link. It's all about
points of view!
MM. You sort of don't need it.
An inertial frame is simply 'how stuff is when left to itself'
i.e. not accelerated. Or freely falling in a gravitational field.
Relativity IIRC simply states that you cant exceed the speed of light in
one inertial frame, but of course there are an infinite number of
inertial frames, and things in one frame may seem to exceed the light
speed when viewed from another.
But I am not an expert so don't call me out on that explanation.
What you have to understand that what relativity did was blow the idea
of 'one space, absolute in dimension;' out of the water.
Rather we have space created by mass. with mass being a form of energy.
So mass/energy/space/time becomes a rather crappy way of looking at
something, that we don't really understand.
Penrose gets easier to read when you realise the maths is just 'ways of
describing stuff we don't understand' and try not to worry about whether
what it seems to say in terms of what is 'really there' is apparent
nonsense or not.
Personally I like to think of the world of our perceptions as something
like an intersection of 'whatever is the case', with our consciousnesses.
The pictures so produced owe as much to our consciousness and its nature
as they do to what is 'really there' whatever that means...
And that's why Gods appear and are anthropic. They are what we stick
over the great mystery of the fact there not only is there a universe,
but we seem to be aware of it, and of ourselves as beings who are aware
of it. That is a very very strange fact.
And that goes back to the original post.
What is *really there* is not only unknown, but it is also in the limit
Even if we were completely detached from it and could measure all of it
to infinite decimal places, we still would be leaving out one enormous
elephant in the room, ourselves. Or at least out conscious minds.
Our very understanding of the basic nature of the world is ultimately
pretty much a Judaeo Christian one (I would include Islam, but its
really not up there, philosophy wise) that is, we are able to be
'detached observers' of phenomena precisely because we understand the
notion of 'pure spirit' or 'holy ghost' (consciousness) as distinct from
'the material world' of e.g. physics.
"The great thing about Glasgow is that if there's a nuclear attack it'll
look exactly the same afterwards."
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