# Quasi-Paradoxical Curiosities; Riddles of a sort

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Can something constantly change and remain the same?

Apparently yes. Take a look at moving pictures of the famous Red Spot on Jupiter. Or look at the spiral of water that forms as the water goes down the drain. The water is moving, the spiral remains (almost) constant. In a sufficiently viscous fluid the spiral would hardly wiggle at all. What you have is a lovely example of dynamic stability.

One cannot tell if something is changing unless there is a constant something to compare it to. So change requires constancy. Strange, but not so strange.

Heraklites may have been on to something after all.

The conjunction of constantly changing material and constantly constant shape (or form) is an exemplar of Aristotle, seeking the being of a thing in the combination of its material and form.

Here is another. Let a body move uniformly along a straight line. Now construct a sequence of points equally space, P1, P2, P3 ... and so on. Let P be a point not on the line. Now consider the triangle PP1P2. PP2P3, and so on. Since we assumed uniformity of motion the triangles generated by the motion PP1P2, PP2P3, etc all have equal areas. Now consider Kepler's for elliptical orbits. The radius from a focus sweeps out equal areas in equal times. In short motion under gravitation along an elliptical orbit displays the same sort of uniformity that motion along a straight line at constant velocity produces. Is this trying to tell us something? Hmmm....

If you have some other similar curiosities please share them.

La plus ca change, la plus la meme chose. The more it changes the more it stays the same.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf
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Can something constantly change and remain the same?

Apparently yes. Take a look at moving pictures of the famous Red Spot on Jupiter. Or look at the spiral of water that forms as the water goes down the drain. The water is moving, the spiral remains (almost) constant. In a sufficiently viscous fluid the spiral would hardly wiggle at all. What you have is a lovely example of dynamic stability.

One cannot tell if something is changing unless there is a constant something to compare it to. So change requires constancy. Strange, but not so strange.

Heraklites may have been on to something after all.

The conjunction of constantly changing material and constantly constant shape (or form) is an exemplar of Aristotle, seeking the being of a thing in the combination of its material and form.

Here is another. Let a body move uniformly along a straight line. Now construct a sequence of points equally space, P1, P2, P3 ... and so on. Let P be a point not on the line. Now consider the triangle PP1P2. PP2P3, and so on. Since we assumed uniformity of motion the triangles generated by the motion PP1P2, PP2P3, etc all have equal areas. Now consider Kepler's for elliptical orbits. The radius from a focus sweeps out equal areas in equal times. In short motion under gravitation along an elliptical orbit displays the same sort of uniformity that motion along a straight line at constant velocity produces. Is this trying to tell us something? Hmmm....

If you have some other similar curiosities please share them.

La plus ca change, la plus la meme chose. The more it changes the more it stays the same.

Ba'al Chatzaf

This is the ' no river has ever been crossed twice' concept. Seriously...are you putting us on with this stuff? I mean, I've been reading the same sort of stuff from you in every single thread. Maybe I'm irritable and if so bake me up some post christmas cookies.

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This is the ' no river has ever been crossed twice' concept. Seriously...are you putting us on with this stuff? I mean, I've been reading the same sort of stuff from you in every single thread. Maybe I'm irritable and if so bake me up some post christmas cookies.

In a way. I think the only "real" things are particular entities, the truly indivisible hunks of primordial matter and energy and the invariants under the known symmetries and co-ordinate transformations. The key to Heraklites puzzle is Noether's Theorem. It comes down to what quantities do not change, when the co-ordinate system is changed (invariants) and what quantities are conserved for the various symmetries.

Co-ordinate systems are artifacts so the idea is to eliminate the peculiarities of co-ordinate systems from basic physical theories. This is referred to as co-variance in the literature. No system of physical laws should depend on the particular man-made co-ordinate systems within which measurements are made.

I have always found the Red Spot of Jupiter fascinating. It is Nature's way of saying that for ensembles and emergent systems, Heraklites was dead on right. The burden of physics is to find permanence in change. Aristotle dealt primarily with this in his book -Physics- (which ought to be translated as -Nature- or -Natural Science- from the Greek word Phusis [sorry, I don't have Greek fonts]).

Ba'al Chatzaf

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• 2 weeks later...

~ Robert Nozick alluded to this problem in his PHILOSOPHICAL EXPLANATIONS. He argued that the 'identity' of that which changes across time (like a seed to an oak-tree/dandelion or a caterpillar to a moth/butterfly, or a human-DNA-zygote to an Einstein/Hitler) is based on nothing inherently 'material' (as we presently mean it) but, is a time-history line (akin to Einstein's 'space-time' history) OF a materially-(and/or functionally-)changing entity. The implication is that time-history is THE 'connectingness' of a given entity, however and whyever it 'changed' from its past to the present. --- Thought provoking idea of 'identity' methinks, where we're talking about deeper 'substantiality' than mere water-droplet-flowing rivers.

~ I'd say we're talking 'Ontology', but, that's already another thread.

LLAP

J:D

PS: Then, of course, there's Theseus' Ship :devil:

Edited by John Dailey
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PS: Then, of course, there's Theseus' Ship :devil:

I tell this as The Parable of Feinstein's Yacht. It is a brain buster. It is also the the source of several ST plots where the matter transporter malfunctions. Nozick deals with this too. So which is the "real" Will Riker?

In the old ST series Kirk is separated into his "good" half and his "evil" half (like Jekyll and Hyde). Neither of them are the "real" Kirk but together they are.

Aristotle sort of resolved the question of change as the union of form with matter, neither of which existed alone. The matter changes, but the primary substance remains throughout the change. Aristotle deals with this question extensively in -Physics- and -Metaphysics-.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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~ Actually, in ST-TOS, one ep (forget name) has Spock hisself getting 'transporter-cloned' and there's two of him (them?) running around; their short (TV, ya know) discussions with each other (and an explication of the nature of 'identity' regarding each-vs-other therein!) was...hell...FASCINATING (the actual 'plot' focused elsewhere, but...); a program ahead of its time, absolutely. James Blish anthologized all those programs and did a great job on this ep re this subject of 'identity' and 'difference'...and the relevence of 'change' therein.

~ However, I covered my views on all these subjects (including 'beaming' and 'transporter-clones') here

LLAP

J:D

PS: You might want to scroll through my prelude about "A is A" and go to "post #40"

PPS: I refer to Nozick's PHILOSOPHICAL EXPLANATIONS as POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS; my bad.

Edited by John Dailey

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