• Razorback kitten
    64
    So, when you say ‘SOMETHING’ here, do you mean it must always be a physical, tangible something applying or receiving forces, or could it be a conceptual, abstract or subjective experience of ‘something’ that interacts with a physical something and in doing so effects an applied force?Possibility

    Matter/energy is real and very tangible. The idea that any effect on it can come from something that's neither is ridiculous. Do you really believe concepts or experiences have a physical weight to them somehow? Please expand.
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    The quantum foam is not quite our usual 'something' when it remains as virtual pairs coming and going without anything else more persistent amounting, nor is it exactly nothing. It seems like 'possibility' sitting around in Eternity's waiting room. Then some rare event occurs, since probability eventually gets around to its happening.
  • Possibility
    622
    Matter/energy is real and very tangible. The idea that any effect on it can come from something that's neither is ridiculous. Do you really believe concepts or experiences have a physical weight to them somehow? Please expand.Razorback kitten

    Not a physical weight. But our awareness of the existence of concepts and experiences (as relations between events and objects in time) nevertheless impacts on how we perceive and interact with these real events and tangible objects.

    And when we recognise that these tangible objects are basically relations between energy events, and that we are basically an interrelated system of relations between energy events, then the idea that any effect can come from a relation between relations between relations between energy events isn’t so ridiculous after all...
  • Possibility
    622
    No. Concepts aren't potential anything, and they're not just energy. Nothing is just energy.

    Concepts are particular brain states, in particular individuals.
    Terrapin Station

    So how do you explain a photon? Is it a concept or a physical process?

    I’m just trying to get a sense of where you’re coming from, to see where I still have work to do.

    I’m not too clear on what you mean by ‘brain states’ either, so you might need to explain that one to me as well. As I understand it, the theory of brain states (as patterns of synchronous neural firings on the electrical face of the brain?) is not entirely incompatible with this theory of potentiality. I don’t know enough about it to be sure, though.
  • BrianW
    874
    THE TAO AND ITS NAME

    1. Naming things enables us to differentiate between them, but names are words, and words easily give rise to confusion. They do not replace the thing or direct experience of the thing which they name, but only represent or describe it.
    Consider a thing such as a strawberry. If we wish to find the word 'strawberry', we look in a dictionary; if we wish to find a description of a strawberry, we look in an encyclopaedia. But if we are hungry, we do not go to the library, but to the field where fine strawberries may be found. If we do not know where there is such a field, we might seek guidance as to where fine strawberries may be found. A book on the Tao is like such a guide. It can point us in the direction of the strawberry patch, but cannot provide the fruit itself. It can give an idea of the taste of Tao, but of itself, has no taste to compare with direct experience of the Tao.

    Consider now three things: There is the universal principle which enables all things to be, and to flourish naturally; there is the name 'Tao', by which that universal principle is known; and there are words which describe the manifestations of the Tao.
    Even the name 'Tao' is only a convenience, and should not be confused with the universal principle which bears that name, for such a principle embraces all things, so cannot be accurately named nor adequately described. This means that Tao cannot be understood, for it is infinite, whereas the mind of man is finite, and that which is finite cannot encompass that which is infinite.

    Although we cannot understand Tao, we are not prevented from having knowledge of it, for understanding stems from one of the two forms of knowledge.
    It stems from that which is called cognitive knowledge, the knowledge born of words and numbers, and other similar devices. The other form of knowledge, conative knowledge, needs no words or other such devices, for it is the form of knowledge born of direct personal experience. So it is that conative knowledge is also known as experiential knowledge. Cognitive and experiential knowledge both have their roots in reality, but reality is complex, and complexity is more of a barrier to cognitive knowledge than it is to experiential knowledge, for when we seek cognitive knowledge of a thing, that is, understanding of it, the knowledge we gain of that thing is understanding only of its manifestations, which is not knowledge of the thing itself.
    We may seek to understand a thing, rather than to experience it, because, in a world beset with man made dangers, it is frequently safer to understand than to experience.
    Tao is not man made, and there is nothing in it to fear. So it is that we may experience Tao without fear. When we cease to seek cognitive knowledge, that is, cease to seek understanding of a thing, we can gain experiential knowledge of that thing. This is why it is said that understanding Tao is not the same as knowing Tao; that understanding Tao is only to know that which it manifests, and that knowing Tao is to be one with the universal principle which is Tao. This is to say that knowledge of Tao is not the same as understanding Tao. To know Tao is to experience both Tao and the manifestations of that universal principle. As human beings, we are born as manifestations of Tao.

    If this seems complex, the reason is because Tao is both simple and complex. It is complex when we try to understand it, and simple when we allow ourselves to experience it. Trying to understand Tao is like closing the shutters of a window before looking for a shadow. We might close the shutters to prevent anyone from discovering our treasure, but the same shutters prevent the moonlight from entering the room. All there is in the room is darkness, and in total darkness we cannot find the shadow, no matter how hard or diligently we seek.
    We call one thing a shadow, and another darkness, but the shadow is darkness, and the darkness shadow, for in reality, both darkness and shadow are absence of light, yet we call one shadow and the other darkness. The shadow is darkness in the midst of light, but within total darkness, the shadow seems to disappear, for darkness is a shadow within shadows. We may think that the shadow has been destroyed when all light is removed, but it has not been wiped away; in reality it has grown, but we need light even to see that form of darkness which we call a shadow.

    Such is the pursuit of the universal principle called Tao, that if we seek to understand it, we prevent the very means by which it may be found, for the only way in which we might find Tao is through the experience of Tao. We find Tao when we do not seek it, and when we seek it, it leaves us, just as the silver moonlight leaves the room when we close the shutters. We find and know Tao when we allow ourselves to find and know it, just as the moonlight returns when we allow it to return.

    We do not need to seek Tao as we seek physical treasures such as jade or gold. We do not need to seek Tao as we seek such treasures as fame or titles. We do not need to seek the treasure of Tao, for although the greatest of treasures, it is also the most common. Perhaps it is because it is so common that so few men find it; they seek it only in mysterious and secret places, in chasms and caves, and in the workplace of the alchemist. The Tao is not hidden in these places, and is hidden only from those who frequent and inhabit them, secretively, and with the shutters closed.

    Just as darkness may be known as the absence of light, so too may light be known as the absence of darkness. When we experience darkness and light as having the same source, we are close to the Tao, for Tao is the source of both darkness and light, just as it is also the source of all other natural things. When we experience ourselves as part of Tao, as a shadow or reflection of the universal principle, we have found it, for it is said that "Experience of Tao is Tao".
    — The Tao Te Ching (An Introduction by Stan Rosenthal)

    .
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    The quantum foam is not quite our usual 'something' when it remains as virtual pairs coming and going without anything else more persistent amounting, nor is it exactly nothing. It seems like 'possibility' sitting around in Eternity's waiting room. Then some rare event occurs, since probability eventually gets around to its happening.PoeticUniverse

    I agree. The bedrock of what it's all made of would be the random quantum fluctuations.
  • Gnomon
    140
    And when we recognise that these tangible objects are basically relations between energy events, and that we are basically an interrelated system of relations between energy events, then the idea that any effect can come from a relation between relations between relations between energy events isn’t so ridiculous after all...Possibility

    In my personal worldview thesis, I have concluded that everything in reality, both matter and mind, is made of various forms of shape-shifting Information. And ultimately all information boils down to relationships. In abstract mathematics, we call those interrelations "Ratios". Energy/Matter is what we call "physical" and Mind/Math is called "metaphysical", but it's all on the same continuum, from Ideal to Real. This notion may sound like spooky Panpsychism, but it's actually derived from scientific Quantum Theory. And elemental Information is not necessarily conscious, though human self-consciousness is presumed to be a product of Information processing.

    I'd be interested to know where you got the idea that "these tangible objects are basically relations between energy events", I may want to use it in my further exploration of the Enformationism thesis.

    Enformationism : http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page8.html
  • Possibility
    622
    In my personal worldview thesis, I have concluded that everything in reality, both matter and mind, is made of various forms of shape-shifting Information. And ultimately all information boils down to relationships. In abstract mathematics, we call those interrelations "Ratios". Energy/Matter is what we call "physical" and Mind/Math is called "metaphysical", but it's all on the same continuum, from Ideal to Real. This notion may sound like spooky Panpsychism, but it's actually derived from scientific Quantum Theory. And elemental Information is not necessarily conscious, though human self-consciousness is presumed to be a product of Information processing.Gnomon

    I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve noticed that our understanding of potential energy, consciousness, information and relationships are able to connect now in ways we perhaps haven’t been open to previously, thanks to quantum theory.

    I'd be interested to know where you got the idea that "these tangible objects are basically relations between energy events", I may want to use it in my further exploration of the Enformationism thesis.Gnomon

    Alfred North Whitehead’s early approach to process philosophy aimed to develop a process cosmology where ‘events’ (not things) and ‘relations’ (not separate objects) are fundamental, and to account for the ontological relationship between process and substance, between subjectivity and objectivity. I don’t think he quite got there, but I think his work forms a useful base to develop this idea, if you can follow his neologisms. Here’s an interesting discussion.

    But Carlo Rovelli’s approach from modern physics brings this idea of ‘relations between events’ into the quantum loop gravity side of current attempts at a ToE - I think you’ll find his books ‘The Order of Time’ and ‘Reality Is Not What You Think’ to be useful, particularly in relation to your thesis. I like the way he describes how Shannon’s Information Theory relates to Quantum Theory.

    I think the relationships between the concepts of potentiality, potential energy, energy and matter are key to understanding what everything is made of in relation to what we experience of reality. If we can’t explain the structures of these relationships - whether it be conceptually with words, through diagrams or mathematical formulae - then we don’t have a scientifically useful answer.

    For me, it’s not so much about events or substance, but about interaction with multi-dimensional relationships of information. But to demonstrate how we nevertheless experience a universe that is grounded in substance and time is a lesson for me in navigating discourse - because mapping six-dimensional relationships requires mathematical ability I don’t have.
  • Daniel
    23

    Everything that we considere to exist is limited by some shape or pattern; to exist is to have a limit. Then, I'd say that matter results from the actualization of some kind of limit, and that matter is that which is affected by the limitation.
  • Gnomon
    140
    Alfred North Whitehead’s . . . if you can follow his neologisms. .Possibility
    I found it difficult to follow ANW's neologisms. That's why I have a glossary for my own made-up terms, such as Enformationism as a 21st century update to Materialism.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page8.html

    Here’s an interesting discussion.Possibility
    I read a book by Tam Hunt, the interviewer : Eco Ego Eros. He discusses ANW among other Information related topics. These new ideas are making Idealism seems plausible again, after centuries of dominance by Materialism. In keeping with my BothAnd principle though, I think our world is both Ideal and Real, both immaterial and material, but Information is at the root of everything. The bottom line for me is that it's all made of Enformation, in the form of Math, Energy, Ideas, and Matter. Yet, even more basic is BEING : the power to be, and to become.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page10.html

    I think the relationships between the concepts of potentiality, potential energy, energy and matter are key to understanding what everything is made of in relation to what we experience of reality.Possibility
    I have put all those phenomena together in a concept I call EnFormAction.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page8.html
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    we nevertheless experience a universe that is grounded in substance and timePossibility

    At our level, the useful message is of stuff in time, as that is what works around here, even as not basic but as emergent from no space or time way down at Rovelli's base level of covariant quantum fields pervading.

    There are other messages where we exist. Various oppositional or transitional pairs appear everywhere. Past to Future is one-way transitional, while electric to magnetic to electric, etc. is either way transitional, and better known as a self-generating or self-continuing electromagnetic wave.

    And, while fields may seems to have a lot of sameness, lumps in these fields, as matter particles, stand out from the flatter portions of the fields, making matter as to be taken as oppositional to space.

    Some other are more as balanced opposites, such as stuff versus gravity or the weak nuclear force, being good for dispersion/changeability, versus the strong nuclear force, as good for stability.

    Metaphysics, though, is more about the messenger (the implementation) than the message.
  • Relativist
    851
    QM has virtual particles fluctuating in and out of existence.PoeticUniverse
    That's only approximately true.

    Here's the QFT view of things.

    Matter is composed of particles. The set of known particles comprise the standard model of particle physics.

    Particles are not anything like free floating ball bearings (as the imagination might lead us to think). Rather, they are disturbances in quantum fields. There is a quantum fields associated with each elementary particle (e.g. there is an up-quark field, a Higgs-field, etc). There is exactly one of each type of field, and each exists throughout space. These quantum fields are considered the fundamental components of existence.

    Obviously, particles interact with one another. But since particles are actually quantized disturbances in fields, these can be considered interactions between quantum fields. But quantum fields also interact with one another in non-quantized ways. Such interactions are treated mathematically as "virtual particles."

    So when it is said that virtual particles pop in and out of existence, it's actually just referring to interactions between fields that occur because the fields are waves and therefore fluctuate.

    Matt Strassler has a great article describing virtual particles here.
  • Possibility
    622
    Metaphysics, though, is more about the messenger (the implementation) than the message.PoeticUniverse

    Yes, that’s what I said: HOW a six dimensional universe manifests in our experience as ‘stuff in time’.

    But to demonstrate how we nevertheless experience a universe that is grounded in substance and time...Possibility
  • Possibility
    622
    I have put all those phenomena together in a concept I call EnFormAction.Gnomon

    From a quick and cursory read through this (and in my humble and developing opinion), three things: I don’t think the Enformer, G*d, is necessary to define separately (ANW’s boat anchor, too, IMO). I also suggest you take a more detailed look at entropy and its relevance to information: Rovelli refers to entropy as ‘missing information’, and sees it as more vital to the universe than energy. Thirdly, perhaps look at exploring multi-dimensional relations in information processing (although I’m not sure where you would find literature on this). If I’m not mistaken, ratios are only one-dimensional relationships of information - computers, as far as I understand, are unable to fully integrate information beyond ratios. But the way I see it, integrated information processing in chemistry appears to be two-dimensional, in biochemistry three-dimensional, and in the brain it seems to be 4D at least, 5D correlation and integration of information allowing for the development of self-consciousness...

    Yet, even more basic is BEING : the power to be, and to become.Gnomon

    Personally, I refer to this as potentiality: the capacity to develop, achieve and succeed; the ‘nothing’ from which something (everything) emerges. This links conceptually to Aristotle’s misunderstood dunamis, to potential energy in classical physics, as well as to potentiality in QM.

    Some of your own neologisms gave me a chuckle, though...:grin:
  • Gnomon
    140
    I don’t think the Enformer, G*d, is necessary to define separatelyPossibility
    Separately from what? That neologism, like most of the others, is a play on the concept of Information as the universal cause in the world. My G*D concept is similar to Spinoza's PanTheism, but goes beyond the space-time world into Enfernity (eternity/infinity). The name for that all-encompassing non-materialist theology is PanEnDeism. Other functional descriptions of G*D are "ALL", "BEING", etc. In other words, not a humanoid king, but the unlimited power of creation. I don't know anything about G*D, other than the logical necessity for everything in this world to come from something outside this finite-temporary universe.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page16.html

    suggest you take a more detailed look at entropy and its relevance to informationPossibility
    Take a look at the glossary entry for "Enformy", which is my name for what scientists call "neg-entropy". Since Entropy is negative from the human perspective, I think of Enformy as a positive creative force.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page8.html

    exploring multi-dimensional relationsPossibility
    Mathematical ratios are not simply two-dimensional. They can be multi-dimensional, as in the 3D ratios of space, and the 4D ratios of space-time.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_information_theory

    Personally, I refer to this as potentiality:Possibility
    Yes, BEING is infinite potential. But it would take Intention to make something Actual. I assume that G*D is intentional, but I don't know how that would work in the absence of space-time. Maybe G*D must always be embodied in a physical universe. Hey, I'm just guessing here. :wink:

    Some of your own neologisms gave me a chucklePossibility
    I'm glad you saw the humor in my little wordplay. I'm serious about the project, but I don't take myself too seriously. :smile:


    PS__Enformationism is not a religious doctrine. It's intended to be a philosophical precursor to a scientific worldview.
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    potentialityPossibility

    ‘Possibility’ is what’s fundamental,
    For all that is be must first be possible.
    This ‘Potential’ for All is the default,
    Since a Not can’t be, nor even be meant.

    The necessity of no One and no None
    Makes for no absolutes, which means
    That time, space, matter, and motion
    Have no intrinsic, indivisible qualities.

    Something ever is and must be, for nothing cannot.
    Energy restrained by time paces the way a lot,
    This lot neither frozen nor totally reactive to be,
    Forming all and any that is possible, eventually.
  • thewonder
    412

    It's not a wave. We can just perform Physics experiments by identifying light as waves. The field is the ideterminable potentiality. It's not really a field either. We can just conceptualize potentiality as there being a field. Everything is just stardust. It's all interconnected energy and the energy is just fire. Everything is made of fire and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that you have free will.

    Edit: Spinoza was right and there is only one substance which is energy. There is only energy and the void. Mostly everything is the void, but it's like the void doesn't exist at all because all of the energy effects all of the rest of all of the energy indefinitely. What is energy? I don't really know. Calling it "fire" was the best that I could come up with on the spot. It's sort of like What the **** Do We Know?, but ultimately much more scientific.

    Edit 2: Energy is too complex for human beings to understand in their lifetime. Calling it all fire is like calling it all rocks. Energy is a way of describing what is existent. In a sense, there is no such thing as empty space, there is only what is existent, or rather that what is existent creates what we understand as "space" which only seems to exist.

    Edit 3: There is no void. Epicurus was only half-right. There is only the 'endless' 'field' of energy.

    Edit 4: The void seems to exist enough to speak of it as existent. It can still be meaningful to discuss the void in spite of that it ultimately does not exist.

    Edit 5: Particles that approach 'true' Absolute Zero phase out of existence and become what is like the void. A particle can only approach 'true' Absolute Zero.

    Edit 6: There is an actual 'true' Absolute Zero, but to discover this is impossible. We can only understand existent energy. The void is unknowable.

    Edit 7: The Void does not exist. Because it does not exist, there is no reason to attempt to study it. Energy is what exists. The purpose of Science should then become to study energy.

    Postcript: Like, there is only the pure presence of energy and space only seems to exist. Time also only seems to exist. Every pure presence is an eternity. The eternal return is a physical reality. There is only that the potentiality of the energy is made manifest in every single moment.

    Postrcript cont.: There is only one universe. We just can't conceptualize the infinite modality of of our own universe. String theory, however, is really onto something by replacing point-like particles with one-dimensional objects called strings. Everything exists as a singularity.

    Final edit: That's all that I have to say about this if anyone was just waiting for me to quit rambling.
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    there is only the pure presence of energy and space only seems to exist.thewonder

    Energy is a beauty and a brilliance,
    Flashing up in its destructance,
    For everything isn’t here to stay its “best”;
    It’s merely here to die in its sublimeness.

    Like slow fires making their brands, it breeds,
    Yet ever consumes and moves on, as more it feeds,
    Then spreads forth anew, this unpurposed dispersion,
    An inexorable emergence with little reversion,

    Ever becoming of its glorious excursions,
    Bearing the change that patient time restrains,
    While feasting upon the glorious decayed remains
    In its progressive march through losses for gains.


  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    There is only that the potentiality of the energy is made manifest in every single moment.thewonder

    Heaven’s Great Wheel e’er whirls its energy,
    It having to turn and return, to be,
    Transforming, as ne’er still—eternally,
    Into life’s temporary pattern trees.

    Eterne’s transitions doom forms’ permanence;
    But the time required for their constructance
    Restrains for a while the shapes’ destructance;
    Thus they can slowly traverse life’s distance.
  • thewonder
    412

    Is that written in iambic pentameter?
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    Is that written in iambic pentameter?thewonder

    All of my quatrain verses have the same number of syllables, usually ten, but they don't aim to be iambic.
  • thewonder
    412


    Interesting. Do you make these videos?
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    Interesting. Do you make these videos?thewonder

    Yes, I make them all. Used iclone for the last one.

    I suspect that the Eternal Energy can never be still, for we note that our reality never remains as anything particular even for an instant (little did we know that it changes a 'zillion' times a second). In other words, the Eternal is continuously transitioning, as if, it, too, cannot be anything particular, which goes along with that an Eternal would have no point for a design to be put into it in the first place which it never had.

    Yet, the Eternal needs to remain the same, somehow, in some basic sense, such as topologically, or the 'same' is to not be anything particular—and thus everything, either all at once or act by act.
  • thewonder
    412

    Cool.

    I feel like you're right, but that the sum total of energy always is manifest as something particular. Each and every moment is a different singularity.
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    I feel like you're right, but that the sum total of energy always is manifest as something particular.thewonder

    Yes, as conserved, although it isn't conserved in Relativity in an expanding universe; however, quantum gravity hasn't had its say about that yet.

    It would be troublesome, though, as you say, if all the energy there were was here in the universe as a specific amount, there having been no point to specify it; so, perhaps there is more energy from the greater Cosmos in which our Bang occurred, our amount being circumstantial.

    Or else zero overall. Or not. We don't know.

    I’m the All and the One, present-Omni,
    For I’m eternal and can neither be
    Created nor destroyed, having not a cause,
    As the Ground of All—I am Energy.

    The universe weighs nothing at all: zero,
    Plus, it is electrically neutral.
    The positive kinetic energy of ‘stuff’
    Cancels the negative potential energy of gravity.

    At Cosmos’ birth, positive energy
    Became matter, countered by gravity,
    Whose attractive embrace was negative;
    Strangely, their sum adds to nullity.

    Each and every moment is a different singularity.thewonder

    As in Presentism, that the universe is wholly born anew at every 'now'?
  • thewonder
    412
    As in Presentism, that the universe is wholly born anew at every 'now'?PoeticUniverse
    Yes, each and every moment is like a different universe, however, there only exists what exists now.
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    Yes, each and every moment is like a different universe, however, there only exists what exists now.thewonder

    This is indeed presentism, which I like because it is the message of the universe to us, but it has some problems that I can't currently resolve. Also, this 'message' might just be an emergence or even not true but helps us function meaningfully and/or usefully (which I realize seems paradoxical).

    Lee Smolin likes it, too, calling it 'temporal naturalism', calling eternalism to be 'timeless naturalism'. He notes that qualia are ever only about the 'now' and that Einstein's GR can be interpreted differently and still work, via 'shape dynamics'.

    Truth is that we're not sure about the mode of time, and that holds us up in some areas.
  • thewonder
    412

    I may be a Presentist. I've honestly only really given this this speculative thought.

    What do you think of my theory that space doesn't exist? I just cooked that up, but now I think that I might be onto something.
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