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There is no such thing as "there is no such thing"

ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 15,732 Valuable Player
edited July 16 in Off-Topic
Philosophy!
During Pandemic 2020, I've been able to get caught up on all sorts of reading. I recently re-visted the old favorite subject of Philosophy, and came across a fun list:

Some favorites:
Big Freeze.
Big Freeze is the theory of the final state that our universe is heading toward. The universe has a limited supply of energy. According to this theory, when that energy finally runs out, the universe will devolve into a frozen state. The thermal energy produced by the motion of the particles will gradually wear out, which means that eventually, this particle motion will slow down and, presumably, one day, everything will stop.

A bit doom and gloom, since this means that even in a multi-verse, everything eventually stops, freezes, and dies. Although... what about the Law of motion? Everything in motion stays in motion until acted upon by an external force, right? Yet this theory says... everything in motion stays in motion until it runs out of thermal energy, which is an internal force. Hmmm.


Solipsism.
Solipsism is a philosophical theory, which asserts that nothing exists but the individual’s consciousness.

I find this one fascinating, as it emphasizes the power of the mind. It also helps understand how different people experience Virtual Reality; since no two people experience things the same way, and how one person experiences something cannot be known by another. We can only attempt to share these experiences through analogy.


Idealism
George Berkeley, the father of Idealism, argued that everything exists as an idea in someone’s mind.
All things are real but only in your mind? I like the attempt at disproving this, by kicking a rock with your eyes closed.

Presentism vs Eternalism

In one, only the present is real because we cannot exist in the past nor future; thus the past and future are imagined concepts. Whereas in the other, time is multi-layered, and all layers of time exist simultaneously. Where we exist is determined by the observer.

Eternalism is a personal favorite of mine. Although it poses the problem of free will potentially being an illusion; since the future already exists.


Fictional realism.
This branch of the theory argues that given an infinite number of universes, everything must exist somewhere. So, all of our favorite fiction and fantasy may be descriptive of an alternate universe, one where all the right pieces came into place to make it happen.

I like this idea because it relies on the concept of the Multi-verse coupled with the endless possibilities of infinity.


While I put this in the Off-Topic thread, I did start to thinking... how awesome would it be if a VR App was created that allowed people to exist in each of these philosophical worlds?

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Comments

  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 5,631 Volunteer Moderator
    I studied my share of philosophy back in university. I found it was a nice complement and counterpoint to all the science courses that were required for my engineering degree. 

    The Big Freeze: conservation of energy means it can’t run out. I think the more likely end state of the universe, as the black holes at the centres of galaxies gobble up everything, is collapse to a singularity, followed by another Big Bang and the birth of a new universe. Whether it’s identical to the previous one or wildly different, we will never know. 

    Solipsism and idealism are not useful for understanding anything (except selfishness). They’re self-indulgent mental masterbation, in my opinion. 

    Eternalism is interesting, and I think it can coexist with free will, as contradictory as that sounds. As chronologically-confined individuals, we can look at past events and see that choices were made and resulted in consequences. Despite us being able to see the whole flow of it, those choices were still real and immediate to the people at that point in time. An observer free to move in time can see the same thing, but for all events and all times. Our choices, actions and consequences still exist and are real to us, but they are also all laid out in time. Time is just another dimension of space, but we can only see it in sequential slices.

    I used to play around with rendering fourth-dimensional mathematical objects which could be defined by a non-linear equation and represented as a 3D object changing over time. The resulting animation looked like a blob appearing out of nothing, writhing around for a while, then disappearing. It was really just a 4D object that was fully defined, but seen one 3D slice at a time. Here’s an example I found on YouTube:


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  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 15,732 Valuable Player
    edited July 16
    nalex66 said:
    The Big Freeze: conservation of energy means it can’t run out. I think the more likely end state of the universe, as the black holes at the centres of galaxies gobble up everything, is collapse to a singularity, followed by another Big Bang and the birth of a new universe. Whether it’s identical to the previous one or wildly different, we will never know.


    Agreed on the idea behind the big bang. I recently saw some videos on the theory behind White Holes. They have never been confirmed, but they are theoretically true based on the math behind black holes. So where everything goes in to a Black Hole, everything is forced out of a White Hole. My first thought was... isn't that what the Big Bang is?


    Solipsism and idealism are not useful for understanding anything (except selfishness). They’re self-indulgent mental masterbation, in my opinion.

    Nice!



    Eternalism is interesting, and I think it can coexist with free will, as contradictory as that sounds. As chronologically-confined individuals, we can look at past events and see that choices were made and resulted in consequences. Despite us being able to see the whole flow of it, those choices were still real and immediate to the people at that point in time. An observer free to move in time can see the same thing, but for all events and all times. Our choices, actions and consequences still exist and are real to us, but they are also all laid out in time. Time is just another dimension of space, but we can only see it in sequential slices.


    Hmm, so if I'm understanding this correctly, that would mean that each decision tree creates its own time thread? Thus, free will is possible because we will follow different decision trees in time based on the choices we make? I can agree with that, however, it does create "choice" as some sort of measurable manifestation. I can see where Time and Space can be woven in to separate threads, but adding Choice as a thread seems to be an attempt to create a measurement of something that can't be measured. Choice, action, and consequence are things that "take place within a specific space during a particular moment in time." We would need to explore what exactly gives "choice" the power to create new Time and Space threads.

    The way I see Eternalism, is that all consequences and learning from those consequences has already taken place. So whatever choices we think we're making of our own free will, have already been made and we're following a single thread (in reality) where we only imagine what other paths we could have taken; but those other paths were never woven in to Time and Space because we never made those other choices.

    I need my tin foil hat. Brb.

    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 5,631 Volunteer Moderator
    Zenbane said:
    ...Hmm, so if I'm understanding this correctly, that would mean that each decision tree creates its own time thread? Thus, free will is possible because we will follow different decision trees in time based on the choices we make? I can agree with that, however, it does create "choice" as some sort of measurable manifestation. I can see where Time and Space can be woven in to separate threads, but adding Choice as a thread seems to be an attempt to create a measurement of something that can't be measured. Choice, action, and consequence are things that "take place within a specific space during a particular moment in time." We would need to explore what exactly gives "choice" the power to create new Time and Space threads.

    The way I see Eternalism, is that all consequences and learning from those consequences has already taken place. So whatever choices we think we're making of our own free will, have already been made and we're following a single thread (in reality) where we only imagine what other paths we could have taken; but those other paths were never woven in to Time and Space because we never made those other choices.

    I need my tin foil hat. Brb.

    I believe that we can imagine alternate timelines to be additional dimensions of space; just as time is an axis along which the 3D universe progresses, we can mathematically define an unlimited number of dimensions which would represent other paths that our universe could take.

    I think, when we talk about alternate time threads, it might be more useful to think about actions rather than choices. Choices are only thoughts in my own head until I turn them into actions that can have some impact in the world. Every action has the potential to branch to a different timeline, but most actions are small and insignificant and don't change any outcomes. Some actions may seem equally inconsequential, but can have some impact in the world that can lead to major timeline diversions. I picture this as analogous to a fractal pattern. Sometimes the pattern just goes along repeating similar shapes, then suddenly something leads to huge changes on a whole different scale. Does that make sense?



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  • lensmandavelensmandave Posts: 375
    Trinity
    Why is a mouse when it spins?
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  • RuneSR2RuneSR2 Posts: 5,905 Valuable Player
    edited July 18
    Awesome thread, also there's this event today:



     - it's free - I've got a "ticket" (not sure you really need that), but the family is forcing me to do time at the beach today, not sure I'll make it...

    https://www.infinitepotential.com/science/?utm_source=Science%20Event&utm_medium=IP%20Email%20Marketing&utm_campaign=Curated



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