[extropy-chat] something rather than nothing

A B austriaaugust at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 18 17:59:59 UTC 2007

Hi Stathis,

Stathis wrote:

... "Have I completely misunderstood something?"

It's possible, but it would mostly be due to a
piss-poor presentation [Or I could just be wrong].
That's not entirely indefensible since I'm finding it
really hard to present this argument in a
straightforward way.

Although it's not conventional, and may even be just
plain weird, if the time-units are discrete
(rational), then using a fraction with a decreasing
denominator is a completely valid way to count-up
time. It also is more applicable for these purposes
since doing it with a fraction allows you to
prespecify (within the number) how long this
hypothetical Universe will last. For example, to
"test" a Universe with a finite lifespan, I would
prespecify it by making the numerator a finite number
(like 3). To test a Universe with an infinite
lifespan, I would prespecify it by making the
numerator positive infinity. You can't do that unless
you use fractions. If you insist that time is
continuous instead of discrete, then the argument
still holds because the passage of 3 infinitely small
time-units is not going to allow a Universe with
internal observers who can see an advancing age of
their Universe. Only a Universe with an infinite
number of infinitely small time-units (ie.
+Infinity/+Infinity) is going to allow internal
observers who can see the passage of time. But the
really weird aspect of it is that in an actual
+Infinity/+Infinity Universe, the fundamental
time-units don't actually have to be infinitely small,
they can be a finite size (it might even be variable
perhaps), not inconsistent with the Planck-Interval
for example.

I know that this still probably makes no sense, but
it's probably about as well as I can do currently. If
you're still curious, ask me about it again in 30
years, after the Singularity. Or at least give me a
little more time to learn some physics and cosmology 

Best Wishes,

Jeffrey Herrlich 


> I still find your use of fractions confusing: I
> assumed you are talking
> about the fraction of the total age of the universe,
> but at times you seem
> to be talking about fractions of time units as well.
> I can see that if time comes in discrete quanta (my
> understanding is that
> physicists are divided as to whether this is the
> case) you can't really have
> a "zero" time, because the first event has to occur
> in the first unit. So in
> the universe you describe, the first event occurs
> during "1", the second
> during "2" and the final during "3". There is time
> for an observer to
> experience 3 states, at most. This would work just
> as well in a block
> universe cosmology (actually, continuous time would
> work just as well in a
> block universe, if you just make the time slices
> infinitesimally small).
> Have I completely misunderstood something?
> Stathis Papaioannou
> > _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org

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