The Universe as an Analog Circuit

We intuitively describe an object’s ‘tendency’ to remain as it is, in terms of how it was before. Talking of Time and memory, we perceive the past, but in a physically objective world outside of us, if everything is transformations, then Time is bogus – illusory. We only perceive it as a ‘rate of change’, but a change-per-change is all that really exists, and so our notion of Time is relative, obtained by comparison between two rates of change.
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Time and Change

Stop. Stop every single thing. Freeze. Freeze Time itself.

For us, as humans, we wouldn’t be able to see anything because the photons have stopped and therefore aren’t reaching our retinas, but even more, our own neurons have stopped.

That doesn’t mean nothing exists absolutely – Everything still is, just frozen – but it does mean that nothing ‘intelligibly’ exists – i.e. we can’t say that anything exists.

This illustrates the distinction between static difference (existence) and dynamic difference. The latter I playfully renamed ‘persistence’ to “per-existence”, intending to load the word with two meanings: ‘per’ as in ‘miles per gallon’, here meaning ‘change per change’; and ‘per’ as shortened ‘persistence’, thus meaning ‘persistent existence’.

But let’s stay in this static existence for just a bit. We’ve only been here for one ten-umptillionths of a microsecond. Oh, wait, my mistake. We’ve actually been frozen like this for seventy-eight gazillion millennia!

This illustrates the following: Without ‘change-per-change’ our reality ceases.

But what about ‘Real’ reality – the one that exists regardless of consciousness? Surely there must be something that remains, no?

Well, boundaries still exist, just as the boundaries between colours in a static painting, and those boundaries are still transformations. Or are they?

“Static” functions – one-shot transformations are absolutely meaningless! f(x)=x2, for example, has an input, ‘x’, and an output ‘f(x)’.  f is absolutely meaningless in an absolutely static state because it’s truly either-or: either we have the input, (‘before’ the transformation, in which case there is no transformation because it has not yet ‘been’) or we have the output (‘after’ the transformation – a concept that is only relevant because we have memory of ‘before’, which is clearly impossible in the absolute static instant – so again there is no transformation because it has already ‘been’).

But, and I don’t want to seem glib here, it is a simple fact that stasis means no-change, and change means transformation, and so, stasis – absolute and total stasis – means absolute and objective (i.e. independent of whether there is a conscious ‘observer’ or not) non-existence. Nothing exists Statically (in both senses: “Nothingness” is Static, and “No Thing exists in stasis”).

Since we exist, and since there is change, then there is no absolute stasis. This means that the only stasis possible is relative stasis: i.e. either repetitive change or self-cancelling change -> a dynamic ‘not-not’.

Strangely, this also means there is no static, one-shot difference – only continuous difference. Something is different only ‘so long as’ it is – and then it is not, unless it is ‘differently different’ – different in another way.

As an aside:

This ties back to my thoughts on the Real Projected Line (I hate that name!):

A is ‘not’ nothing. B is ‘not’ A and ‘not’ nothing. Here, B is ‘differently different’ to A because if it was simply ‘not different’ to A, then it would be A.

Also, this means that there was no ‘static’ before-big-bang, and there will be no static ‘heat-death’ at the end.

This means that a state of absolute annihilation (the Dynamic not-not of the entire Universe) will have the lowest possible entropy (i.e. the entire system has only one configuration where it can be considered the same) and yet will also have the highest possible entropy because every configuration of the Universe leads to the same state.

This mind-blowing ‘truth’ is HUGE: “Energy is neither created nor destroyed”

This states that energy is eternal (has no beginning and no end) – it always has been and always will be – which means that Absolute Static Non-Existence has never been nor ever will be. Non-Existence is absolutely impossible! Absolute Stasis is impossible.

Transformations exist because they always have and always will – Energy is(are) transformation(s).

 

So let us consider Total Continuous Annihilation -> the only (the Truest Possible) True Zero. This, if all transformations were vectors, could be a state where all vectors were paired-off with their opposite, resulting in continuous no-change.

We have a conflict here: how can continuous no-change be considered in any way different from Absolute Static (that thing we’ve just established is impossible)? No Change is the definition of Absolute Static.

If the ‘output’ of a function is the same as the ‘input’, can we really consider there to have been a function at all? I think not. There neither ‘was’ nor ‘will be’ since the input and the output are the same.

Let us now investigate the Dynamic: Let us consider a transformation so absolute that no matter how fast you ‘query’ it, the result will always be wrong – it will always be ‘not’ what you think it is, it is immeasurable. Absolute Dynamic change is Absolutely ‘Not’ itself. This transformation’s output is Absolutely Undeterminable, which means its input is also Absolutely Undeterminable.

Here again we seem to be faced with no-change where the input and the output are the same – (except that it’s not).

Well, I will leave you with this thought: What if the entirety of Reality is the self-Reflection, “Not”, whereby locally everything is continuously changing so that at no ‘point’ can Reality-as-a-whole be ‘frozen’ and ‘said to be x or y or z‘ – i.e. that it is immeasurably different at every instant? And what if, at its smallest core, Reality was composed of “Not-Not”s -> the ‘atoms’ of Reality. To split one of these (i.e. all of existence stretched-out and ‘exhausted’ at the end of the Universe) would re-start a new Big Bang (or two?). Chew on that, and I’ll continue to work on this new topic of scale – how to distinguish between Reality-as-a-whole and Reality-as-an-atom. Leave me your thoughts!

The Incredible Persistence of Life

persistence_of_nature_cropped

I saw a long tangle (several meters) of creeper vines outside that have grown along the ground and begun to spread over a large expanse of sheet metal. And it got me thinking: left alone for twenty or thirty years, and this sheet of metal will be completely hidden by vegetation. First the tangled vines will trap and accumulate dead leaves (preventing them from being washed elsewhere in the rains), dust and all sorts of organic material. This will form a kind of ‘mud’ or soil within which future seeds can grow – from dandelion seeds to seeds dropped in bird poop or whatever. These seeds will grow and their roots will spread across the sheet of metal, thickening and holding the soil ‘mat’ together even more. The metal underneath will keep this living biomass separate from the rest of the Earth so that we could hypothetically lift it off years later.

Life is the truly impressive, perpetually changing, form of ex-sistence as I’ve been looking at it. Persistence – genuine persistence, not apparent persistence – it seems to me, is made possible by perpetual ‘difference’ or change, so that Life is somehow more persistent (“per ex-sistence”) than the rest. Of course, it could be argued quite rightly that the metal sheet is just as persistent as the biomass, but it does seem somehow of a ‘lower order’ don’t you think? Like repetitive change being less impressive that non-repeating change. The atoms vibrate back and forth within the crystalline structure of the metal – a repetitive process and quite boring. But the organic matter has vibrating atoms, surely, but also moving atoms, bouncing atoms, and an exchange of atoms, incessantly!

Being persistent does not make it unstoppable. If it stops here, on planet Earth, I am fairly certain that there will be Life elsewhere, and perpetually (or at the very least until the end of the Universe). But that being said, our Life is precious to us because it is the only life we will encounter within our lifetime – hopefully we’ll explore other planets, but I certainly won’t live to see it – and so we have a responsibility to encourage its growth, nurture its variety and maintain its balanced environment.

What do you think? Does living matter somehow have more je-ne-sais-quoi than non-living matter?

Set theory, Mereology, boundaries and continuity

With this notion of wuji, or apeiron, or continuum, or whatever, the whole idea of set theory never sat well with me. The null set (the set which has no members) doesn’t quite make the cut. Consider the continuum – perfect homogeneous Everything – and you realize, like the definition of apeiron, it is limitless, or has no boundaries. Thus it cannot be contained and so cannot be a member of a Set – ‘the set of Everything’ for example. Then I thought about the boundaries. These boundaries are the only way to distinguish something within the apeiron. So instead of thinking of sets, I thought of boundaries within a limitless whole. Being infinite, the first boundary is actually a bisection, splitting everything in the middle. without actually ‘cutting’ anything.

Think of it like a strip of paper with black on the reverse side, white on the other side facing you. If you give that paper a half-twist, you are now differentiating the strip into half-white, half-black. The first thing in a continuum would be a Point which, in 1D, requires two boundaries So a second half-twist (I would opt for an un-twist actually but I’ll get to that) is needed. Sure enough, you now have a ‘segment’ of the strip-continuum which is clearly black in the middle and white on either side. So what we know about a Point’s position in a line is that it is not the point to its left and not the point to its right. The twist and un-twist is so that you have the truth value ‘within’ the boundaries:

---|>0---0<|---   (my crude graphic of two NOT gates facing each other)

This got me thinking further: What is the smallest number of boundaries required to enclose a 2D region? I realized that three line segments joined as an equilateral triangle was the most basic enclosable region. So a 2D region is enclosed by three 1D regions. Then a 3D region is enclosed by four 2D regions. This was a trend that allowed me to reaffirm my earlier concept: a 0D ‘region’ is ‘enclosed’ by one transformation – the zero-D Reflection, Not.

Let nB = the minimal set of boundaries required to enclose a region in the nth dimension. |nB| is the number of boundaries within that set. nBm where m is the index of nB sets

0B={Not}, |0B|=1

1B={0B1, 0B2}, |1B|=2

2B={1B1, 1B2, 1B3}, |2B|=3

3B={2B1, 2B2, 2B3, 2B4}, |3B|=4

nB={n-1B1, n-1B2, n-1B3, …, n-1Bn+1}, |nB|=n+1

So the smallest 3D region is delimited by four 2D regions. This is, of course, the tetrahedron, which can be made by four planar ‘cuts’. A triangle can be ‘cut’ out of paper using three cuts. A segment of string can be made with two ‘cuts’.

So, also, I discovered another field of study in mathematics called Mereology – the study of wholes and their parts. There is mention of Alfred North Whitehead – a strong proponent of Process Philosophy, which is very strongly similar to the rationale that I’m using on this site. Everything is a process, or act of transformation.

Well, once again, this is a short entry, but more to think about… Hope you enjoyed it!

Nature’s Frugality

It’s a well-known fact that Nature is frugal, that things are the way they are with very little kerfuffle – they always seem to be made just right, with just enough stuff or effort. Often, it seems to be something amazing, praiseworthy.

But it occurs to me, not only is it obvious, but inevitable – kind of like that smart-alecky quip “You always find the thing you lost in the last place you’ll look” – things are the way they are because if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be the way they are!

Does that take away any of Nature’s praise-worthiness? Possibly, but not for me – I’m still in awe, still find it amazing that that’s the way Reality works. It’s a very satisfying “well, duh!

In the realm of transformations and ex-sistence, it makes complete sense, because existence only requires enough energy to be different, enough quantitative change to stand-out from all other changes. Any more, and whatever ex-sists would be something else. I guess there’s not much more to be said about this.

A Breakthrough?

If you’ve read along this far, you’ll have noticed how mercurial these matters can be. And, like mercury, madness isn’t that far away…

Well, I feel like I’ve hit something with such resonating truth, such obvious obviousness, that I know this is it! Now, to extract it while avoiding insanity is the hardest part – I don’t want to get high on my own fumes, so to speak. If, at any point, you feel like I’ve strayed into crazy-town, please, please let me know where you think that fork in the path lies – where did I begin to talk nonsense?

OK, let’s get started:

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