[ExI] Which direction does the arrow of time point in Conway's Game of Life?

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sat Jan 4 21:14:03 UTC 2020

On Sat, Jan 4, 2020 at 2:33 PM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Ignorant, idle, and possibly stupid question:  why not?  When the Big
> Bang occurred, didn't everything go out from there?  Has too much time
> passed such that we cannot reverse the motions of the galaxies and find out
> where that is?

The Big Bang wasn't like a modern day explosion where matter expanded into
empty space, the Big Bang created empty space which expanded into nothing.
So the Big Bang happened where I am and where you are and where everybody
is, there is no unique place where the Big Bang happened. But there is a
unique time when it happened, 13.8 billion years ago.

In addition to that I can think of 4 other differences between space and

1) None of the 3 spatial dimensions has a preferred direction but the time
dimension does, from the past to the future. The Second Law of
Thermodynamics can explain part of the reason for that.  Entropy will be
higher tomorrow than today because there are just more ways to be
disorganized than organized so if things are going to be different tomorrow
then things will almost certainly be more disorganized tomorrow (have a
larger Entropy) than today. However by that exact same line of reasoning
you'd have to falsely conclude that yesterday the Entropy was lower than
today too, UNLESS you take into account initial conditions. For reasons
that nobody understands in the first instant of the Big Bang the universe
must have been in a very low Entropy state and it's been increasing ever
since. In fact I think the Big Bang should have been predicted in the mid
19th century as soon as the laws of thermodynamics became clear.

2) I can imagine a consciousness existing in a time without a place but not
in a place without time.

3) For reasons nobody understands there are 3 spatial dimensions but only
one time dimension.

4) A straight line path on a flat surface or a geodesic on a curved surface
is always the shortest distance between 2 points in space, but a straight
line in flat Minkowski space or a geodesic in curved spacetime will always
be the longest proper time distance, that is to say a clock following that
path will show the longest time duration, any other path will show a
shorter elapsed time. A straight line or geodesic is also the path taken by
a body that is not being accelerated by a force, and in General Relativity
gravity is not considered a force. That's why you've got to use
non-Euclidean geometry in General Relativity, a minus sign for the time
dimension creeps into Pythagoras's Theorem for calculating the distance s
in Spacetime and it becomes s^2= x^2 +y^2 +z^2 - ct^2 where c is the speed
of light.

Or to put it another way, you want the spacetime distance to be
proportional to the difficulty of making a trip, and the larger the spacial
distance is the harder it is to make a trip, but the larger amount of time
you have to make a trip the easier it is. So when figuring the spacetime
distance the spacial dimensions have a positive sign but the time dimension
has a negative sign.

 John K Clark
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