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History possibility

 
 
Wozz
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 02:47 pm
Is it possibly for history to never have a present? This may be better suited for a different section (metaphysics) but it also deals with History as well. My idea is that there cannot be a present because as every second passes present becomes past. That would mean there is only a past and future. Now, we know History has the tendency to reoccur but if we use my idea that there is only past and future wouldn't we be able to calculate the future? Also, science advancements would play a role in this as well. Science can do 1 of two things, 1 being it increases the degree of impact on the historical event when it reoccurs. 2 being that science has the ability to eliminate possible world events from reoccuring such as the black plague..etc etc. Any ideas? Hopefully I'm not crazy.
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VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 03:11 pm
@Wozz,
Great topic! So to give an analogy here, if you had a long rope (representing time) and had the front (future) and the back (past), you would basically say that the division between the two is razor thin, that an immediate future becomes an immediate past? Would you say that this is a probable interpretation/analogy?

To illustrate the example, you have a timeline with a past and a future;

Quote:
PAST|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|FUTURE


And in your account, you would have a specific point somewhere on the line where you have the future becoming the past;
Quote:

PAST|---------------------------------------------->|<-------------------------------------------------|FUTURE

And to figure in your other stipulations, you suppose that by conceiving of past/future like this, you would be able to calculate (or essentially foretell) the future.
Quote:

PAST|---------(A + B=C)----------------------->|<--------------------( A+B=C)------------------------|FUTURE

LOL! I really can see a lot of problems with the illustration. But based off of the essential elements of the analogy, I wonder about a few things which you may think are useful to the development of your theory (or potentially hilarious...equally as good LOL!). Would it be good to assume that in stead of a given point in time (in the analogy represented as >|< ), could it be that each of the dashes that make up the timeline are in fact the points of reference of time? In other words, I would wonder whether or not that would imply that time is motionless though, since if time is composed of an immeasurable amount of points in time, we run into the zeno's paradox issue. But here it really wouldn't be an issue though because it seems as though you would like to have some way of taking a past point in time and apply it to a future point in time.

So to go back to the analogy again, instead of this;
Quote:

PAST|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|FUTURE

You get something like this;
Quote:

PAST |>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<| FUTURE

And all you need to do is focus on a locus point instead of accounting for the a large amount of cause and effect.

As an interesting addition and potential problem to my approach to your theory (incidentally making me think of this subject the way I do), I read a section of Godel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid in which Hofstadter supposed a falsidical paradox, that is, (taken from my blog),

Quote:


Mostly to say (roughly) that infinity (or the application of time) could as I have stated it have a beginning and ending issue, or even a point of reference issue if each segment is inherently insular.
0 Replies
 
Wozz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 03:44 pm
@Wozz,
I like your analogy/representation with the rope. Every time you do a motion every tiny fragment of time becomes a past instantly to the rope. For us humans we don't consider time that tiny but if we took the rope and moved it from one room to another then we would be able to considerably say "I moved it yesterday" or to something to the extent. I'm not sure I understand the rest of what you're saying though Vid =/
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 05:01 pm
@Wozz,
Wozz;170120 wrote:
I like your analogy/representation with the rope. Every time you do a motion every tiny fragment of time becomes a past instantly to the rope. For us humans we don't consider time that tiny but if we took the rope and moved it from one room to another then we would be able to considerably say "I moved it yesterday" or to something to the extent.


Would you say that everything you do becomes isolated in the kind of way you could literraly take it out of a larger whole and transplant it somewhere else (like the future in your view)?

Something that may be helpful are other conceptions of roughly the same thing. Take Gottfried Liebniz for example and the characteristics of a Monad. A monad is essentially a compact version of reality, containing the past (present) and future in a compact little particle (for the sake of analogy). Within that monad, you basically have a filmstirp, which has a specific play-out of reality (a possible reality - or more like a "world" in Leibniz's view). The universe, Leibniz suggests, is filled to the brim with these possible worlds, but the world we experience is the one which reflects the world most accurately.

Could it be said then in light of Leibniz's conception (losely) of time and occurrence that much like your own conception, when you do even a simple motion, this is in a sense a marker, a "possible world" in which it has happened, but is also possible (at least theoretically) to single out because we believe that there exists such a monad that has recorded the event for future use? This is an attempt to reconcile what you may be trying to imply with the tangibility of time as well (i.e. moving the rope to another room, etc.).
Wozz;170120 wrote:
I'm not sure I understand the rest of what you're saying though Vid =/


LOL! Sorry about that, I'm roughing it so my thoughts are definitely not in order on this topic. This is definitely an abstract exercise. What I had mentioned about the GEB issue was my very rough way of trying to address the other issues with theorizing on time to put the entire argument in context and offer a counter-premise for consideration (because honestly, I know I'm not right, so it would make sense to second guess myself). In the example where I supposed time was;
Quote:

PAST |>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<>|<| FUTURE

It struck me as though there had to be at least some service given to the past and the present in themselves before working on the middle. GEB lends a notion that time could be thought of as infinite (logically consistent), but to put a specific point on it, be that a beginning or an end, would be incompatible with the concept (both mathematical and conceptual). It seems that this would also apply to partitioned parts of time as well, since, at least superficially, we have a cut-out of a specific part of time we would like to access in the future. In many respects, I think I had Leibniz on my mind as well.
davidm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 05:09 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
How can time move? What is moving? How does the future become the past?

It seems much easier to assume that all times are equally real, and what we call the present is an indexical, like "here" is an indexical location in space. What we call "here" is just where we happen to be at any given time, and what we call "now" is just when we happen to be in any given space.
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 06:14 pm
@davidm,
davidm;170155 wrote:
How can time move? What is moving? How does the future become the past?

It seems much easier to assume that all times are equally real, and what we call the present is an indexical, like "here" is an indexical location in space. What we call "here" is just where we happen to be at any given time, and what we call "now" is just when we happen to be in any given space.


That would be something though, if time moved and everything around a given thing moved. I suppose that would be a point chalked up for relativity!

But take Zeno's paradox for example. It states that to get from point A to point B, you have to go half way. But in order for you to get half way, you have to go half way. And in order to go half way, you half to go half way, etc etc etc. In essence, you have an argument for non-motion, since you are logically getting no-where by going half way of half way of half way etc. Most commonly, this is done in the form of an archer shooting an arrow, so the example is illustrated as such (see below).

"Here" in the case of Zeno's paradox is relative to the point where it does not move, even when there is some attempt to get from A to B! LOL!
davidm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 06:20 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Zeno's paradox is a problem only if we assume that space and time are continous; i.e., non-discrete. But we have evidence that time and space are discrete; may well be quantized, and the shortest possible interval of time would be the Planck time.

If that were the case, motion might be an illusion anyway; what we call change from moment to moment would really be like stills in a movie that give the illusion of motion and change when run through a projector. That's the physicist Julian Barbour's take on it, anway.

---------- Post added 05-28-2010 at 08:21 PM ----------

Wozz, are you familiar with McTaggert's disproof of the existence of time, and with the ontology of block spacetime?
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 06:53 pm
@davidm,
Or even more simply a static view of time. I wonder though if time would have to be continuous for it to be considered a problem (at least in the case of Zeno). The zeno paradox could be seen as something that is set within limited parameters, but reveals an issue with subjective interpretation, that is, that temporal change is illusory (as you ad mentioned yourself).

As opposed to this, the dynamic view of time (like that of Aristotle and even Heraclitus) is essentially a chain that is continually lengthened, that the future is the only real thing, and the past and the present lack sufficient reality. Which is interesting that you would bring up McTaggart though. As I am aware of his work, he had a strong stance against dynamic time, as I have read him, positing a flowing version of time, that the future becomes the past becomes the present but inevitably concludes at the point where all past, present, and future parts of time are part of every event.

It is definitely a fun corner of philosophy though.
davidm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 07:02 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
I recommend Chapter 8 of Prof. Norman Swartz's book, Beyond Experience. The chapter is the most thorough philosophical treatment of space and time I've ever come across (including a proffered disproof of McTaggert's argument for the unreality of time). The chapter (and the rest of the book) is downloadable from his Web site. The chapter is linked below:

Space and Time

Speaking of time, it has been several hours since I activated my creative writing group, and when I click on the link to it, I still get "page not found." Sad
0 Replies
 
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 07:09 pm
@Wozz,
Suppose the world is time-symmetric, then looking into the future, and into the past is consistent with the laws. How might intention form? Would the intention of desiring something be asymmetric in time? If the answer is yes, then what can we deduce? How might a though form? Does the formative of an intention single out a direction in time. So, it makes no sense to change to past from the future, since the intention to change the past would not form if you can change the past. Why would there be intention at all? If things are as you say, we would not have any desire to change the past, for it is a contradiction.
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