Time Travel Contradictions


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I went to the Wikipedia article on “C” and they mentioned that the ever increasing speed of computers will one day be limited by light and electrical impulse speed. I am sure we will work out a parallel, parallel, parallel processing technique, and I remember taking a class in electrical engineering (just the bare basics, required for another course) and they mentioned Quantum Mechanic computing, just don’t ask me to explain it.

Does light and motion cease inside a black hole? Does time? I wonder what a photon would look like at rest. Of course to view it, my viewing apparatus, or I would need to be at rest. And squashed.

Can anyone recommend some hard scifi that is up to date using the speed of light as a story line or prop?

Peter

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Does light and motion cease inside a black hole? Does time? I wonder what a photon would look like at rest. Of course to view it, my viewing apparatus, or I would need to be at rest. And squashed.

Nobody knows and nobody can know for sure since no information comes out of a Black Hole. No one can go in and live. On close approach to the event horizon one is "spaghetified". No instrument can survive entry either. That is why it is called a Black Hole.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Heck, black holes might be green for all we know... just none of that beautiful green light escapes!

Some people talk about whether all the black holes in the universe can be threaded together, but the issue is quite patchy. Everytime someone talks about it, all the other scientists button-up!

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Heck, black holes might be green for all we know... just none of that beautiful green light escapes!

Some people talk about whether all the black holes in the universe can be threaded together, but the issue is quite patchy. Everytime someone talks about it, all the other scientists button-up!

Some even question black holes as the correct answer -

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Some even question black holes as the correct answer -

That video contains a lot of nonsensical statements. Perhaps it would be an interesting subject for a sociologist to find out why so many Objectivists are fond of crackpot theories. Do they really think that modern physics is "corrupt"?

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  • 10 years later...
On 1/25/2010 at 3:46 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

The hypothesis first got traction from the observation of red shift of light from distant galaxies spotted by Ed Hubble with the 100 inch telescope. It was from that observation that it became obvious the cosmos was expanding. Now run that backwards and you have the Big Bang or at least a set of ideas heading in that direction. It was the theoretical cosmologist Le Maittre who presumed the Universe grew from small object. He presumed this for metaphysical (not experimental) reasons. But Hubble's discovery gave Le Maittre a boost and convinced Einstein that he (Einstein) made a big mistake in placing a fudge factor in the General Relativity Field Equations to ensure a steady state Cosmos. The rest is history. Both theory and experiment were very, very busy.

Is *time* real or just a concept based on observation? While browsing I came across the following letters concerning Objectivism and *time.* Michael Hardy is, or was a professor at M.I.T., if I remember correctly. Very interesting. I don’t remember quoting these letters before though I have discussed the concept of time. How would you fit “time” into objectivism? Peter

From: "David S. Boyer" To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Objectivism and Time Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2004 09:46:02 -0500. I've recently finished reading Piekoff's Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.  While re-reading the first Chapter on Metaphysics, it occurred to me that there is no discussion of time.  Perhaps there is nothing important to be gained from integrating a metaphysical concept of time, however, I wanted to elaborate some thoughts about time.

First time is change and change is time.  Time is a phenomena realized by consciousness that is a function of change.  Without change, time isn't experienced.  However, more critically without change consciousness would not be experienced.  Time is a prerequisite of consciousness. Time (and thus the concept of change) appear to be fundamental to the law of causality.  Without change (or action) there is no causation.  But as soon as you assume change, you have causation.  Anyway, I thought it provided something significant to the discussion. I'd be curious to hear other's thoughts, or to learn of any references to any Objectivist discussions of time. David S. Boyer

From: Josh Jaffe To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Objectivism and Time Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 14:02:37 -0800. David Boyer raises an interesting observation that time is tied to change and to causation.  The fact that time exists is evidently a corollary of the axiom of causality.

I have little to add...  I don't recall much of a discussion of time in Objectivism, except to note that "The universe has always existed." is a principle of Objectivist metaphysics.

There can be no cause for causation [itself] because you can't have causes before you have causation.  (And what I have just said is not an argument, but a demonstration that causation is axiomatic.)  Similarly, there is no such thing as "before" time because "before" is a relation within time.

I'm not sure how much beyond this belongs in metaphysics, however. It seems to me that delving into the nature / properties of time will quickly reach topics such as how entities interact in time -- which really is the province of science (as is the study of most of causation). But the _fact_ of time is a metaphysical principle. -- Josh Jaffe

From: "Dawson Bethrick" To: objectivism Subject: RE: OWL: Objectivism and Time Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 18:23:52 -0800. Hello David and Josh, I read with interest your messages regarding the Objectivist conception of time, and I wanted to make a few comments which you may find helpful.

It was asked why Peikoff does not discuss the concept of time in his chapter on 'Reality' in OPAR. I suspect the reason why he did not discuss time in this chapter is that he probably did not think this was an appropriate point at which to introduce discussion of this concept. I'm sorry that I cannot remember where it was that I heard or read this, but I understand that the Objectivist conception of time is that it is not a metaphysical concept, but an epistemological concept. I remember this distinction being made especially, because when I first heard it, it startled me. Most thinkers these days tend to treat time (along with space) as if they were metaphysical, as if they were entities even. That's not what I understand Objectivism to be doing.

Under the headword 'Time' in the Ayn Rand Lexicon, Peikoff is quoted, saying "Time is a measurement of motion; as such it is a type of relationship." As I understand it, time is considered to be epistemological because it is a category of measurement; what it measures (motion, causality, change, etc.) is metaphysical.

Though I cannot cite where I heard or read this distinction put forward like this (again, my apologies - a result of reading a lot), Rand's words seem to confirm this:

"The units of the concept 'consciousness' are every state or process of awareness that one experience, has ever experienced, or will ever experience (as well as similar units, a similar faculty, which one infers in other living entities). The measurements omitted from axiomatic concepts are all the measurements of all the existents they subsume; what is retained, metaphysically, is only a fundamental fact; what is retained, *epistemologically*, is only one category of measurement, omitting its particulars: _time_ - i.e., the fundamental fact is retained independent of any particular moment of awareness." [ITOE, 2nd Ed., p. 56.]

I think what is important about integrating the concept of time is to understand its proper place in the knowledge hierarchy: time is not an irreducible primary, for it presupposes motion (action, causality, etc.), and thus it must presuppose existence (since you cannot have motion, action or causality without something which moves or acts). (See for instance the discussion between Rand and Professors A, B, and E in the Appendix of ITOE, pp. 256-260.) This is not how many philosophers employ the term, however. Many couple the term with space (you've probably heard of "the space-time continuum"), but I think this can be very misleading, at least so far as I have come to understand these terms. David Harriman published an interesting lecture recording called "Physicists Lost in Space," where he discusses the misuse of the concept 'space' (it may be there that he elucidates the distinction about the concept time that I mentioned above, but I'm not sure of that). Anyway, I hope that helps. Dawson Bethrick San Francisco

From: "David S. Boyer" Reply-To: david boyer To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Objectivism and Time Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 15:59:12 -0500. Dawson Bethrick responds that "As I understand it, time is considered to be epistemological because it is a category of measurement; what it measures (motion, causality, change, etc.) is metaphysical." and later "[T]ime is not an irreducible primary, for it presupposes motion (action, causality, etc.), and thus it must presuppose existence (since you cannot have motion, action or causality without something which moves or acts)."

The measurement: time, takes not only change but cyclic and regular change.  And determining that cyclic change is regular is not possible without at least two instances of changing datum that can be compared to each other.  Thus providing a type of recursive regularity.  In other words, one can never tell if a change is regular by simply observing the change in isolation.  However, one can determine that two repeating or cyclic changes are regular with relationship to each other thus inferring that the two either change in isolation is regular.   For example comparing the time it takes light to travel a specified distance and the time it takes an apple to drop ten feet.  One could determine through experiment that the two times relative to each other have a relatively precise relationship.

A presumption of the existence of change, its regularity, and its comparability would seem to be necessary to the existence of consciousness, concept formation, etc.    That the universe has a dynamic nature seems to be necessary for time measurement and to bring the law of causality into existence.  OR possibly that the law of causality is a corollary of the metaphysically given fact that reality changes. Time (as measurement) is always demonstrated as a rate of change.  1 second is meaningless, unless one describes it in relationship to a metaphysically verifiable change that one uses as a constant to demonstrate that this concept "1 second" has passed.  Change is metaphysical, measurement of it is epistemological.

I meant that change (action, causality, motion) is a metaphysical property of existence which consciousness depends on, without change, consciousness has no meaning.  Reflecting on or perceiving an unchanging entity, means no sensory data would change, no sensory data would be transferred, light would not move.  It just seems that when one says "something exists" it seems that every perception relies on change.  Change is a metaphysical fact of existence.   Is causality a different way of saying change?  Or is causality a way of saying that change is regular and predictable? David S. Boyer

From: Michael Hardy To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Objectivism and time Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 18:19:55 -0500 (EST). The notion that time is a measurement, rather than that time is the thing that is measured, has long irritated me, but I haven't thought about it much and remain amenable to persuasion.

In his 12-lecture basic course Peikoff (with Rand in the audience, essentially supervising) said "The universe does not exist in time; time exists in the universe."  He further said that that is what it means to say the universe is eternal; "eternal" means existing outside of time; it does not mean existing at all times.  This view goes back at least to (brace yourselves) Augustine of Hippo, known as Saint Augustine, who wrote that God is outside of time; that time is a part of the universe that God created and not something within which God lived.  That was Augustine's answer to those who wondered what God did in all the countless eons before creating the universe: there are no "eons" except those that exist _within_ the universe. (Of course, I don't mean to suggest that Peikoff, or Rand, endorsed Augustine's theology.)

It seems to me that numbers and the relationships among them are eternal in that sense: they are not within time, but outside of it.  The fact that 21 is a composite number -- the product of 3 and 7 -- whereas 19 is prime, is not something that happens at any particular time or at all times, but is not within time at all. Mike Hardy PS: No, time is NOT a "phenomena"; perhaps it is a _phenomenon_.

From: "Ralph Blanchette" To: "OWL" <objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Re: Objectivism and time Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 11:34:55 -0500. February 17, 2004 Michael Hardy wrote: >It seems to me that numbers and the relationships among them are eternal in that sense: they are not within time, but outside of it.  The fact that 21 is a composite number -- the product of 3 and 7 -- whereas 19 is prime, is not something that happens at any particular time or at all times, but is not within time at all.

Which sounds like a species of metaphysical idealism to me, Michael, creating a category of abstract real entities.  How else would numbers exist outside of time?  Numbers do not exist apart from the minds that think them. Numbers are concepts. Concepts exist in time, in the brains of those who use them. What the concepts _represent_ need not exist in any concrete way, of course, so the concept of an infinite series of numbers is unlike the concept of two apples, in that the latter refers to concrete things in the world while the former refers to things that exist only in thought.

On the other hand, maybe you agree with my comments and you are simply claiming that human consciousness has an eternal quality, in that while it exists in time, it can imagine (conceptualize) timelessness. In this sense, not only our numbers, but we ourselves are all eternal for we can all be in direct contact with what exists in our environment and in our minds right now and we can know that the fact of our being is eternal. You may not have always existed in the past, and you may not always exist in the future, but you always _will have_ existed. Our consciousness is such that we understand that this remains fact even if we imagine our universe imploding into nothingness.  It "remains fact" even in the absence of remains.  In this sense then, your existence is eternal -- as is the prime-ness of 19. Ralph

From: Weingarten To: Objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Objectivism and time Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 08:24:57 -0500. Ralph Blanchette takes issue with Michael Hardy’s view that “number…is not within time at all.” He points out that numbers could not have been created outside of time, or apart from the minds that think them. Ralph recognizes that the concept of numbers need not relate to concrete things, but says they are dependent on thought. Thus he grounds numbers on the facts of reality, even though he provides a notion of what is eternal (such as the fact that one existed is eternal).

That approach takes the origin of numbers into account when characterizing its ontology. It is akin to grounding the mind on the brain, since without a brain the mind could not exist. Yet analyzing the reasonability of an argument requires dealing with the mind as if the brain didn’t exist. The ontology of ideals is that they exclude their origins. When AR sets up her axioms, or when any axiomatic system is devised, one pretends that the axioms had no parents. One takes the axioms as given, and applies them and only them. It is irrelevant whether these axioms are AR’s, Galois’, were created by Martians, or by nothing whatsoever. It is of course understood that there were explicit and necessary realities, but the essence of the ideal is to exist beyond any reality. (The mathematician may assume that an axiomatic system existed for eternity even if it were never discovered.)

Those who operate with numbers by dependence on reality, fail to take advantage of the many creations which stem from disregarding, and even violating, what is believed to be reality. They oppose the creation of all sorts of ideals which in time (despite their bizarre nature) turn out to be very useful.

However, at issue is the theory of being outside of time. Mathematicians have found it illuminating and inspiring to deal with an imaginary realm that exists nowhere, or in an ideal realm, or only in the mind of God. *What is wrong with someone pretending that there are such castles in the sky, if he ends up in some manner collecting rent on them, and distributing that wealth to the rest of us?* Those who object to the theory of something being outside of time seem to suggest that the theory ought to be denied because of its faulty roots, despite its healthy fruits. I submit that if something provides worthy fruits, one oughtn’t worry about its roots.

Finally, let us note the disparity between the mathematician’s view of being outside of time, and the physicist’s view of eternity. Physicists speak of laws of nature, of physical constants, and invariants. Yet they consider that these could change. Sometimes they perform Gedanken experiments wherein a physical constant is changed by a scintilla, and a completely different universe unfolds. Some in fact claim that at certain points, such as the onset of the Big Bang or on entering a Black Hole, time ceases to exist, and different laws apply. Consequently, when they speak of invariants or the eternal, they are acceding to what is factual. *The mathematician seeks a greater freedom of imagination, which is not constrained by any existence at all.* Weingarten

From: Michael Hardy To: objectivism Subject: OWL: The eternity of numbers Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 19:21:18 -0500 (EST). Ralph Blanchette wrote: >Numbers do not exist apart from the minds that think them. Numbers are concepts. I am _very_ far from persuaded that numbers are concepts, and what I find here is a mere assertion with no argument, as if this were the most uncontroversial thing in the world. What the concepts _represent_ need not exist in any concrete way,   Perhaps not in a _concrete_ way, but still in an _objective_ way. the concept of an infinite series of numbers

(Presumably you mean "an infinite _sequence_ of numbers". Once upon a time my mind would have been thrown into momentary confusion by the fact that non-mathematicians talk funny; now it merely sounds odd.) >is unlike the concept of two apples, in that the latter refers to concrete things in the world while the former refers to things that exist only in thought.

I still think that even when concreteness is not needed, objectivity still is.  Unfortunately, this is a difficult topic and I'm fairly rushed; maybe more later ...-- Mike Hardy

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