• alcontali
    826
    Some physicists are trying to find a way around the infinitely dense point of the universe starting.DanielP

    An infinitely dense starting point for the universe is indeed clearly an issue. Either they figure out how all the matter of the universe could be contained in something the size of a tennis ball or else they discover how the expansion of the universe leads to an expansion in matter-energy, because the current approach really doesn't add up.

    So do you think the observable universe started with an infinitely dense point?DanielP

    Well, no. Without some good explanation as to why that kind of matter-energy densities would be possible, and why exactly it is no longer possible, I have a problem with the current approach. In my opinion, the infinitely-dense story simply does not add up. So, I am still waiting for an explanation from theoretical physicists as to why and how it would all add up, because at the moment, it doesn't.

    What about before that, do you think there was something like the Big Bounce, or the membranes in a higher dimension that hit each other and cause Big Bangs every several billions of years?DanielP

    I really have no clue about that. It sounds very speculative, though.

    Furthermore, it doesn't sound like there would be anything to experimentally test or at least observe in that story. In that sense, the story may even be epistemically unsound.
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k


    I see. A tendency towards balance. :chin:

    What about the initial imbalance that drives the entire process? I'll give you an example. Take a battery/cell. It has a positive and a negative. The voltage (imbalance) between the positive and negative lights a bulb. The moment balance/equilibrium between the negative and positive is attained the bulb goes off.

    In this case we must remember that the current must be within a certain range - too much and the bulb will burn out, too less and the bulb doesn't shine. This is the balance you're talking about.

    This is something I wanted to write earlier but it wasn't clear enough for me. Now it is. So, let me explain the situation as I understand it.

    To initiate or begin something, anything, we need an imbalance. However, to maintain/continue whatever that thing is we need balance. In my battery-bulb analogy, an imbalance (voltage) is necessary for the bulb to glow but to maintain the the glow for as long as possible we need balance (a specific value of current, temperature, etc.).

    Interestingly, we need to maintain the imbalance (voltage) to keep the bulb glowing.

    We could look at it as imbalance having a range and different phenomena finding an existence, through balance, at different points along that range. The driving force which begins the entire process of all existence is imbalance but to maintain existence at any point on the imbalance-range we need balance.
  • 3017amen
    965
    When you say our sense of wonder is a priori, innate, and unrelated to experience, do you ever question that?DanielP

    Sure. One could say it's Existential, in that, it just is. There is no explanation. Certainly, one could speculate and theorize that this innate sense of wonder, as a feature of our conscious existence, could be a Metaphysical component of Being. Just as other metaphysical components of our consciousness; love, colors, ineffable experiences, the will, intuition and/or to some extent other unexplained phenomena that lack complete physical properties to adequately describe same.

    Kant gave it a name, in the realm of Noumenon - unknowable through the senses. The nature of a thing; nature of Being, nature of consciousness, nature of existence. It's all beyond logical explanation. It is partially derived from the question: why is there something and not nothing. Or, some call it the question of creation ex-nihilo.


    -
    Do you think that when we discover and explore things, two things are going on - we are curious and filled with wonder, and the universe is wanting us to discover things about it?DanielP

    Interesting...reminds me of Einstein's and Spinoza's various forms of Pantheism.

    Homeostasis, Emergence, Taoism/Yin Yang and other related concepts, suggest your notion of 'Balance' remains alive and well. Thus one should not dichotomize their thinking; but instead try to integrate, where possible.
  • Coben
    1.1k
    That certainly makes sense in our universe, but must a universe move from instability to stability? IOW I am not sure this actually rebuts the OP, but rather simply says 'this is the way things work here' which the op is not arguing against.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.2k
    An unstable system will change - that's what being unstable is.Banno

    A system is necessarily stable. That's what being a system is, a whole with temporal extension, and to exist as a whole requires stability in the relations of the parts. That is a balance. A "system" is an ideal, a model by which we judge the relations between things.

    The fact that we can describe the degree to which the balance is not perfect (eternal temporal extension) in terms of instability does not mean that the balance is not there. Balance is implied by the descriptive term "system" and "unstable" refers to the imperfections of that balance.. .
  • ovdtogt
    380
    Everything is Vibration: A phenomenon whereby oscillations occur about an equilibrium point. People, society, beliefs, atoms, history, nature...Yin/Yang,
    You have to find your equilibrium point in life.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    If balance were the underpinning of our universe, then there would be as much evil as goodness, and people would accept that.

    There would be an equal number of bridges that would collapse in rush our to the number of bridges that don't collapse.

    There would be an equal number of starving children to the number of well-fed children.

    There would be an equal number of people in prison as out.

    There would be an equal number of volcanic actions to non-volcanic actions.

    There would be an equal number of burnt cookies to well-baked cookies.

    There would be an equal number of good Hollywood movies to the number of bad Hollywood movies.

    There would be an equal number of bad judgments in criminal courts, that is, an equal number of innocent people would be incarcerated or electrocuted as the number of people who are actually guilty of crimes.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    Consequently, balance is a perception, and human judgment thrown on the cosmos, like a straight-jacket. There is no balance; there is constant compensation for unfulfilled stoppage to move, there is always movement where there is no thing to stop the movement. You can call this a balanced act, but it's meaningless to come to this conclusion... at the same time, if it gives you pleasure, then why not, it's benign enough to make no difference in anything else.
  • god must be atheist
    1.1k
    Everything is Vibration: A phenomenon whereby oscillations occur about an equilibrium point. People, society, beliefs, atoms, history, nature...Yin/Yang,
    You have to find your equilibrium point in life.
    ovdtogt

    I would say everything could be viewed as a pocket-pussy, not as a vibrator. Everything is fair game to go after sexually, as long as it moves. This I think is a useful philosophy. The first of its kind!

    Thank you, sister, @ovdtogt! You opened my eyes and philosophically paved the way to creating an ideology for my behaviour!
  • DanielP
    20

    Love the analogy about the battery. Yes, it shows a starting point of imbalance, and a movement towards balance. I think, and can't prove it, but with the examples in my first entry - the tendency for balance across the universe is far stronger than the tendency for imbalance - i.e. a relatively even spread of matter across the universe, the even applicability of the fundamental laws of nature across all positions in the universe, etc. What do you think of that point?

    Here's also another thought on the imbalanced battery starting point. A battery with a negative and positive side is very balanced in the sense that it has two different sides to it, one that has lots of electrons and one that doesn't. A hallmark of balance is diversity, this battery has lots of balance because it contains differences.

    But if everything moves to balance, shouldn't everything have balanced out by now, all imbalances have ceased to exist, and our universe come to standstill? I think that might be one of your next points, so let me answer.

    The universe is either finite in regards to spacetime, or infinite. Let's assume it is infinite. Now imagine an infinite universe filled with an infinite variety and quantity of "things" operating within an infinite time frame. Let's say this infinite spacetime tends towards balance like our universe appears to. This universe will always have local imbalances, because once a certain system has balanced out, then something from outside that system from the broader infinity comes in, a local imbalance is created, and then balance is re-established, only to have it happen over and over again. So that's the theory on why imbalances still occur in an infinite, eternal universe, but still the arrow of balance irons things out.
  • DanielP
    20

    Thanks for the comments. Perhaps we can talk about a definition of balance. What about balance containing stability, moderation, and diversity?

    In that case, a balanced distribution of people in the same population above - types of bridges, differently-fed children, and movies - tend to show a standard bell curve - in other moderation - in distributions. In other words, most bridges perform the way they are designed, to last x number of years, and some outliers last way longer and way shorter. Same with how well children are fed - most are fed decently well and the outliers are too well fed and too little fed.

    Here's a question. If this is not a balanced world, then why is a fundamental force of nature such as gravity always seem to be so constant and stable? Have you experienced random zones of non-gravity on earth where the stable laws of nature break down?
  • DanielP
    20

    Similar to string theory. That the building blocks of the universe are strings.

    Do you think the universe, just like us, is always moving towards and seeking equilibrium?
  • DanielP
    20

    I think that many times, the movement is from instability to stability, such as the Big Bang explosion, where little to none of our current laws of physics work, to our current more stable universe.

    But I think you have a point. In some instances, things devolve into instability. A country's politics, a person's health, etc. But I think those instabilities, or imbalances, are wrapped up in a higher, broader picture of a movement towards balance. Take someone getting sick and dying. I think the fact that every living creature dies someone is amazing display of balance. All humans - all known life in fact - have the same fate - death. What an equalizer, a balancer. So if a single person dies, it is imbalanced for them, but for the broader picture of the cosmos, it is a movement towards balance towards all life.
  • ovdtogt
    380
    It think the Big Bang starts off with a huge imbalance and decays from
    neg-entropy to entropy. Everything in the Universe is an oscillation. Instead of a battery consider a spring that you have pressed together or pulled apart. When you let it loose it starts to vibrate. However you can also use it to apply a force (energy) to another system. Because the Universe is expanding the amount of energy is slowly being spread out over a larger and larger volume (in effect the energy is dissipating). Life is also a kind of battery able to absorb energy from its surroundings.
    All things decay from a high energy (high degree of imbalance) level to the complete dissipation of energy.(flat-lining, energy death). I look at the Universe as a kind of 'wind-up clock' slowly losing its energy potential.
    Eventually all energy is so spread out the process ends.
  • Banno
    6.6k
    A system is necessarily stable.Metaphysician Undercover

    No it isn't.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.2k

    Then what do you think a system is? I think a system is a whole, which is composed of parts. And, for the parts to exist as a whole it is necessary that there is some sort of balance. Otherwise you'd have a random collection of objects and not a whole nor a "system". To speak of a system without any balance is contradictory nonsense. For a system to have any temporal extension (therefore existence), there must be balance in the internal forces.

    You do believe that there are internal forces within a complex whole don't you?
  • ovdtogt
    380

    Only closed systems (objects) are internally balanced and motionless and only the input of energy causes imbalance (motion). Open systems leak energy and require the input of energy to retain it's balance (life).
  • Banno
    6.6k
    I can't see this argument as worth the time, Meta. Check it on google, or argue with @ovdtogt who seems keen.

    Yep.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.2k

    I know the difference between an open system and a closed system. This makes no difference to whether or not a system, as "a system" has an internal balance. A system is a coherent whole, and without a balance between internal forces, there is no coherency. An open system is still inherently balanced or else it could not be called a system, it would just be objects interacting in a random way, no coherent whole.

    Perhaps you are referencing a different understanding of "balance" from me. It is not necessary that a system's parts be motionless for that system to be balanced, only that the motions be balanced.

    Check it on googleBanno

    From Wikipedia on "system":
    A system is a group of interacting or interrelated entities that form a unified whole.

    What I am trying to explain to you is that for interrelated entities to form a unified whole there is necessarily a balance in the interactions between these entities. It's very obvious, and common sense really. If there is no balance, there is no unified whole, just interacting entities. You may insist on denying this fact, without any support for your denial, that's your prerogative.
  • ovdtogt
    380
    A balanced system is any system that persists in time to eternity. Because we live in an expanding Universe the sum total of everything is decay (i.e increasing in entropy) and therefor nothing is permanently in balance. We are slowly decaying towards the heat death of the Universe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe
  • Banno
    6.6k
    You seem to be using "balance" in a new way - to mean something like "interrelation".

    Be my guest. But don't expect me to follow you.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.2k

    No "balance" as it appears to be used in this thread means equal proportions, or in the case of a system, equilibrium. In order that a group of entities may exist as a unified whole, there must be equilibrium in their interactions. Without that equilibrium there is no reason why the group of entities can be called a unified whole.

    A balanced system is any system that persists in time to eternity.ovdtogt

    You're not addressing what I am saying. An eternal system is an "ideal" balance, but a state of equilibrium need not last forever to have existence for a period of time. That a state of equilibrium must last forever to be balanced is pure nonsense.

    Because we live in an expanding Universe the sum total of everything is decay (i.e increasing in entropy) and therefor nothing is permanently in balance.ovdtogt

    Who said anything about a "permanent balance"?
  • ovdtogt
    380
    I am very much a believer in using balance as a metaphor to understand 'reality' but fail to see why defining a 'system' is in any way enlightening.
  • Banno
    6.6k
    Without that equilibrium there is no reason why the group of entities can be called a unified whole.Metaphysician Undercover

    That's just wrong. Systems that are not in a state of equilibrium are a commonplace.
  • DanielP
    20


    Unstable systems exist. But are much less likely to last than stable systems.
  • DanielP
    20


    Help me understand entropy better. If it is a movement from order to disorder, then how does a seemingly disorderly event like the Big Bang turn into the order around us. In that case, the universe goes from high entropy to lower entropy now.

    Also, on the quantum level, it seems like entropy is defined as the number of possible states matter can take. The higher energy, the more potential states, and the higher entropy. So also in that case, the universe moving towards less entropy.
  • DanielP
    20


    I like your definition of a system, Metaphysician Undercover. And maybe what I was going for was once a systems loses stability or balance, it might lose its status as a system.


    Here's another question, guys. Take an infinite, eternal system. Basically infinite spacetime. If that exists and we are part of it, is it necessarily perfectly balanced? Remember, with all the examples of seeming imbalance in the world around us, we are looking at short time frames in small spaces. Imagine expanding our view to maximum time and space. Does the universe become perfectly balanced?
  • ovdtogt
    380
    The Big Bang start highly ordered with a high level of energy (low entropy). As the Universe cools down energy coagulates into matter: first pure light and then the heavier elements hydrogen, helium...etc. As it cools down from it's highly ordered high energy state in the same way as steam as it loses energy turns to water and then into ice so the Universe becomes more disordered (as all the different elements are formed it becomes more chaotic, increased entropy). If you could cool it down to absolute zero it would cease to exist. That is where our Universe is heading according to latest theory.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.2k
    I am very much a believer in using balance as a metaphor to understand 'reality' but fail to see why defining a 'system' is in any way enlightening.ovdtogt

    Let me get this straight. You come here directing talk about open and closed systems in my direction, and now you say that you have no interest in understanding what a system is. How precious is your naïve mind?

    Systems that are not in a state of equilibrium are a commonplaceBanno

    That a system does not have a particular form of equilibrium does not mean that it doesn't have another form of equilibrium. If a system is not in some form of equilibrium then it is not a system. But there may be numerous types of equilibrium which a particular system doesn't partake in. Something completely without any form of equilibrium whatsoever, might be a transitional condition, intermediate between systems, accounting for the corruption and generation of systems, but this is not a system itself.

    Unstable systems exist. But are much less likely to last than stable systems.DanielP

    A system must "last" for a period of time or else it does not exist. If it lasts for a minute, a second, or an hour, it has the equilibrium required to qualify as that specified system, for that amount of time. "Last" is a relative term, so we might be able to measure degrees of instability in relation to temporal extension. However, as I explained already, there is a fundamental balance implied by the concept of "system" and to the extent that the balance will not last forever, we say that the system (balance) is unstable.

    I like your definition of a system, Metaphysician Undercover. And maybe what I was going for was once a systems loses stability or balance, it might lose its status as a system.DanielP

    Thanks Daniel, I'm glad that someone here can understand reason.
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