Re: neccesity of mental memes

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 21:51:28 GMT

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    Subject: Re: neccesity of mental memes
    Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 13:51:28 -0800
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    >But spacetime does nothing.  It is a meme.  A set of measurements
    >the motion of one thing with the motion of something else, most often
    >rotation of the earth around its axis and subdivisons thereof -- i.e.
    >minutes, seconds, nanoseconds, hertz, megahertz, etc.  All of these are
    >comparisons of the earth's motion with what we are measuring.  The
    >measurement itself only exists as an abstraction in our minds.  Light
    >doesn't care how fast it travels compared to how fast the earth rotates.
    >The feet and miles we compare it to are comparisons with some English
    >So when you say time does this or time does that, you're confusing
    >subjective reality, which we create inside our heads, with the objects
    >are thinking about.  Galaxies, stars, light waves, etc., have nothing to
    >with the earth's rotation or the king's feet.  Or even the rods we
    >to define a meter because it was "more precise" and fit more easily into
    >base ten counting system.
    >This personification of time based on our experience leads to such
    >as "going back in time," as if yesterday were a place and tomorrow
    >more than just a prediction.  If you could jump to where the earth,
    >which is
    >traveling around the sun, which is traveling around a galaxy, which is
    >traveling with a group of galaxies toward some unknown destination, will
    >after one more rotations of the planet, it won't be there.  You would
    >yourself standing in airless space.  It would be the same if you jumpped
    >backwards to where earth was yesterday.  You wouldn't find it.  Time is
    >function of how we perceive the universe, not the universe itself.
    >we are
    >measuring time in the ordinary sense here on Earth, we do percieve it as a
    >funtion of how we see the earth. But comparing spacetime frames is not the
    >same as comparing say length with length. Were i travelling at light speed
    >and you were here on the Earth, we would both have the perception that a
    >metre was a metre etc. When we sit down and compare our watches my watch
    >will be slow compared to yours. therefore whatever our perceptions of how
    >think the universe is, something measurable will have occurred.
    >With regards time travel and the earth moving and landing in empty space, i
    >think this is wrong, as you are separating time and space, and as i
    >understand it they are indivisible. One does not exist without the other.
    I was talking about the movement of earth and the rest of the universe,
    which is what time measures. I wasn't separating them. But mainly I was
    talking about how we use the concepts in coversation and refer to
    measurements as if they were objects or places. Motion would exist whether
    we measure it or not. But the measurement of motion would not exist without
    us. Space would exist whether we measure it or not. But spacetime is a way
    we invented of looking at the universe and thinking about it. It is not the
    universe itself.

    New ways of looking at it will no doubt be invented in the future. Ways
    that will change our perceptions just as Einstein's revelation changed them.
      But our perceptions consist of what we do with the data we receive through
    our senses and how we use it to build a map of the universe inside our
    heads. When we start manipulating the map to come up with new theories, we
    shouldn't confuse our theories with what we are theorizing about. Even
    Hawking has said he doesn't yet believe in time travel, although he takes an
    agnostic position on the issue. I may be wrong, but my position is more
    definite. ;-)>


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