On 7/23/2011 3:37 PM, Jason Resch wrote:



On Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:

    On 7/22/2011 10:46 AM, Jason Resch wrote:


    On Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 3:30 AM, Stephen P. King
    <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:

        On 7/22/2011 2:11 AM, Jason Resch wrote:


        On Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 12:44 AM, Stephen P. King
        <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:

            On 7/22/2011 1:24 AM, Jason Resch wrote:


                All the relevant parts of relativity which imply
                block time have been confirmed.  The above is like
                arguing against gravity because Newton's theory
                wasn't compatible with the observations of Mercury's
                orbit.

            Hi Jason,

               Could you be more specific? Exactly which "relevant
parts which imply block time have been confirmed" and how?

        Special relativity, time dilation due to speed, non
        simultaneity of events reported by observers in different
        reference frames, and so on.

        And to Brent's point, regarding the conflict between
        relativity and QM, that issue is with GR, SR is not in
        conflict with QM.

        This paper explains it well:
        http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/2408/

        Jason

        Hi Jason,

            I will check that paper, thanks! But here is the thing
        about the implications of relativity of simultaneity: Since
        it prohibits any form of absolute synchronization of events,
        this in turn restricts how the entire space-time manifold can
        be considered as parceled up into space-like and time like
        regions.


    Imagine that spacetime is a 3 dimensional instead of four
    dimensional.  Now take any object's velocity through that space
    time, and consider a plane perpendicular to the direction of that
    velocity.  The content of that plane is considered the "present"
    for that reference frame.  This is more clear if you consider
    euclidean space time rather than Minkowski space.  The only
    difference you need to make to convert spacetime to Euclidean is
    to imagine that every object's velocity through space time is c.
    /Relativity Visualized/ is a good book which explains this view,
    but this site also explains it:
    http://www.relativitysimplified.com/ .  It enables an intuitive
    understanding of all the strange effects like time dilation and
    length contraction.  Since we see only the three dimensional
    "shadow" of objects, an object with a different velocity is
    rotated in space time.  It is like having an umbrella pointed
    straight at the sun vs. it being tilted, if it is tilted its
    shadow becomes compressed along the direction it is tilted.

        In other words, there cannot exist a single Cauchy
        hypersurface what acts as the set of initial (or final)
        conditions for a GR field equation for the entire universe.


    The fact that relativity iplies a unique present for every
    reference frame is one of the main arguments for block time.  How
    can the car driving past you have a present containing different
    real objects than yours?  Presentism assumes the present is the
    set of real objects at a given period of time, but what is real
    to you now in this moment is different from what is real to me in
    the same moment if we are moving relative to each other (even if
    we are at the same location).  See:
    
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Rietdijk%E2%80%93Putnam_argument

    The paper I cited also goes on to counter objections made to that
    argument.

    Thanks,

    Jason

--
    Hi Jason,


Stephen,

Thanks for your comments. I will not reply to everything you mentioned, because I think Jesse did a good job of adressing most of the issues you raised.

        None of those papers address the concern of narratability that
    I am considering. In fact they all assume narratability. I am
    pointing out that thinking of time as a dimension has a big
    problem! It only works if all the events in time are
    pre-specifiable. This also involves strong determinism which is
    ruled out by QM. See
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/#StaDetPhyThe
    for a general overview and
    tph.tuwien.ac.at/~svozil/publ/1994-calude.pdf
    <http://tph.tuwien.ac.at/%7Esvozil/publ/1994-calude.pdf> for a
    discussion that involves computationalism.


Determinism and locality are only lost in the collapse theories. Under MWI and similar theories, physics is local and deterministic.


        The idea that time is a dimension assumes that the events
    making up the points of the dimension are not only isomorphic to
    the positive Reals but also somehow can freely borrow the well
    order of the reals.


Imagine space time as an apple. Now I ask you the question "Which seed comes first?" There is no objective answer, the seed that comes first depends entirely on the angle at which you approach the apple. The same is true of events in space time, there conclusion of which event occurred first depends entirely on the angle at which one is travelling through space time. Time, under Euclidean relativity is exactly like any spatial dimension, the reason it seems different from the other dimensions (we can't change direction through it, go backwards, change our velocity through it) is because there is a physical law that all objects must always travel at the speed of light. The dimension of time is merely the one parallel to the observer's direction at the speed of light. This is why two objects in relative motion to each other have slightly different interpretations of what the dimension of time is. It is why in Feynman diagrams, one can rotate or swap dimensions of space or time and the physical interaction remains entirely possible. Since length contraction occurs in the dimension of time, from the perspective of an observer their dimension of time is 0-length (this is intuitive because if everything has to move at c one cannot speed up or slow down to travel freely through the dimension of time).

    Please do not think that I am trying to knock Special or General
    Relativity, they both represent time in terms of local readings of
    clocks and therefore bypass the question that I am considering.
    The block universe idea assumes a unique and global ordering of
    events, the actual math of SR and GR do not!


In the context of the everything, there exist an infinite number of different block universes, and an infinite number of them contain you as you exist in this moment. Just as you can be recreated (and brought back to life) in a different time or place, using different material, you may also be "recreated" in these other universes. Thus from one second to the next, you can travel between these universes, between vast times, between vast distances. You can never be sure where you are or where you will be. This is the reason for the apparent indeterminism in physics. For details, see this paper, which explains how the simple theory that our universe is infinitely large, leads directly to the weidness of quantum mechanics: http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.1066

Jason

--
Hi Jason,

    Please see my last response to Jesse.

I like that Aguirre <http://arxiv.org/find/quant-ph/1/au:+Aguirre_A/0/1/0/all/0/1>, Tegmark <http://arxiv.org/find/quant-ph/1/au:+Tegmark_M/0/1/0/all/0/1> and Layzer <http://arxiv.org/find/quant-ph/1/au:+Layzer_D/0/1/0/all/0/1> paper ! I only take exception to its tacit assumption of spacetime substantivalism. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spacetime-holearg/#PriSpaSub It assumes an infinite number of spacetimes instead of just one and so does not address the problem that I am trying to point out. I am arguing that spacetime is not a substance what we are somehow embedded in but something that emerges from the interactions of many QM systems; it is what their observables have in common. I take QM to be a theory of observers and GR is a theory of how observations are organized. A theory is a explanatory model and its concepts should never be considered as objectively existing 'things'. If there is a one-to-one correlation between the entities of a theory and entities within our phenomenal experience then that is the hallmark of a good theory, but the theory is never the phenomena itself.

Onward!

Stephen

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