On Mon, Jul 25, 2005 at 07:06:50PM -0700, Lee Corbin wrote:
> > For most of us in this list, the 3+1 dimensional spacetime we inhabit,
> > with its stars and galaxies etc is an appearance, phenomena emerging
> > out of constraints imposed by the process of observation.
> Right there is the problem. Let's focus on what you are *referring*
> to in your first sentence: "the 3+1 spacetime with its stars and
> galaxies".  We must keep clear the difference between what you are
> *referring* to and our observations of it, or our perceptions of it.
> They're not at all the same thing.
> So when you use the dread "is" and write "For most of us... the
> spacetime *is* an appearance", we've already gone over the edge.
> No. The spacetime that you probably meant is *not* an appearance,
> and we should not talk about it as if it is an appearance. *It*
> is whatever is out there. Yes, our understanding of it may be poor.
> Yes, it may not be at all as we *think*.  In fact, it cannot in
> in any literal sense *be* what we *think*.

The trouble is, _is_ is exactly what I do mean. 3+1 spacetime is an
appearance, an emergent thing, an illusion perhaps (although I detest
that term). Whatever the "territory" may be, what most people think of
as reality is the "map", not the territory.


*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
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A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics                                    0425 253119 (")
UNSW SYDNEY 2052                         [EMAIL PROTECTED]             
Australia                                http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
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