how to know whether you and you 1 second ago are essentially one and the same?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Secret, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member


    I once took a seminar with Mike Lieber on Gregory Bateson's "steps to an ecology of the mind". Have you ever read something, and been confused as to what it is that you just read? Such a work is Bateson's "ecology". I read, then re-read, then re-read, and got no where, really darned confusing even with known reference points. So, i headed to the library and checked out everything they had by Bateson, and asked for works not in the library. Starting with his first published works, I read everything he had published, including commentaries on other works, and slowly followed the ecology and changing style of his "mind". It was a darned good thing that I had spent time with Bucky Fuller previously, as more perspectives to known reference points added alternate perspectives to Bateson's own words.
    Slowly, and I mean s l o w l y, I began to "feel" the path of the narrative, until, finally, I could read "ecology" without having to read and re-read, and re-read.

    Mike was an eclectic, brilliant, eccentric professor whose mind was seemingly going off in a dozen different directions at any given moment. He was the sort of professor, who, when you asked him a question, would rattle off a reading list of 12-20 books. 27 people had signed up for that seminar, on the first day, 19 showed up, by day 3 we were down to 5 and the following week, just 2 students and mike. Curious, i went to the office and asked my favorite secretary "Why 25 out of 27 had dropped the seminar?" and she said, "They found out who the teacher was".
    Later on: One of my sculpting models was a 70 year old guitar man. I went to the bar wherein he was performing, and up on the stage accompanying him was Mike Lieber playing a mean banjo and wild piano. It turns out that the guitar man was staying in mike's house while in Chicago(small world).

    (I'm off to check the trot line--more later)
    (caught 2 fish a 5 pound channel catfish and a bigger carp, filleted the cat and breaded with a mix of cornmeal, rye, soy, and rice flour with salt and spices- and fried up the smaller pieces in olive oil---so much for breaking my fast.)

    back to: and re-read...etc.
    Bateson took me on a journey that led back to Skinner, Meade, Laing, and LaoTzu, and on to everything the library had by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki. with each step, I understood gregory bateson just a little bit better. Finally, everything he had written, including "ecology" made perfect sense which I understood on a very intuitive level to the point where I knew the subject of the next paragraph before reading it.
    So, end of term and it was time to write a paper derived from the studies.
    To be a "full time student" at that University, 12 credit hours per term were required. At 18 hours, the computer kicked all out, and I usually carried an average of 34 hours(this becomes important shortly).

    Now, we are nearing the point of this narrative.

    OK. So I composed a 17 page paper entitled "Zen in the art of schizophrenia", and handed it in. A couple days later, mike handed the paper back to me asking me to "clarify or elaborate on" certain parts of the paper. So back to a rewrite. I didn't type then, and still do not do it well, so I always had to hunt up a typist to produce legible copy. Rewritten and re-typed, I handed in a paper of 23-25 pages. This is now entering "finals week" and I'm darned busy with other classes, other papers, other tests. A couple days later, Mike handed me back the paper all marked up in red and green ink demanding that I "clarify or elaborate on"... .
    Gee DARN!
    So back to another rewrite. This time, no typist who was conversant in the lexicons of the fields under study was available. One of my regulars sent me to a beach along lake michigan in search of a woman with henna hair----found her sunning herself on a lounge chair, and began to beg and plead for her to type the paper ("anything it takes, money, cunnilingus, voluntary servitude, anything---you name it").Finally, she agreed(sigh). So, there we were in the wee hours with her typing and me proof reading. Not knowing the lexicon, she had a tendency to replace words with which she was unfamiliar with those she knew. Gee Darn.-------In this paper, I borrowed an entire paragraph from Bateson that referenced the words and works of the above mentioned, in bateson's own peculiar style.
    Finally, the paper seemed done and I thanked the typist and we fell into a much needed slumber.
    The following morning, I handed in a 27 page paper, that I thought almost anyone could understand. Oops.
    The next day, mike handed me back the paper-------all full of red and green ink. He had large brackets around the bateson paragraph with large printed letters proclaiming "THIS IS WHOLLY UNINTELLIGIBLE!!!!!" Oh my fucking god---gee goddamned damn. (she had forgotten to include the quote symbols, and I had missed that) Deep into finals week, over worked with too little sleep, I stood there depressed, despondent, confused, and aghast, beginning to think that i just might be experiencing a laing/suzuki schizophrenic break. Finally, i said "Fuck it mike, just give me an incomplete".

    incompletes turn into "F's if left incomplete, my only F in 5 different universities. I had said all I intended to say, and never revisited it.
    Years later, sitting to supper with mike and his wife ester, (there had been a hiatus in our relationship as they were raising their sons, and becoming ever more "jewish" to the point of referring to me and those like me as goyem or gentiles).
    I brought up the ill fated paper, and said that "I thought that the reason mike had thrown the seminar, was that he did not understand what bateson had been getting at". Ester commented that "that seemed harsh". "But", said I, "not wholly incorrect", to which mike acquiesced.
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  3. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    From Opening Post:
    In general, it might not be possible. In particular cases, it seems very possible. The electron & proton in an isolated hydrogen atom should be the same now & later.

    I think that free hydrogen exists as a molecule: H[sub]2[/sub]. Surely the elementary particles in that molecule are the same now & some time later, although it might be difficult (impossible?) to determine which is which when considering the molecule now & seconds/minutes from now.

    I think that modern electronic devices are capable of emitting single electrons. Until such an electron interacts with an atom, it should be the same electron.
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  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Ok, seriously, at the risk of digging myself a Lieberesque hole.
    desultory philippics aside:

    The second paragraph has to do with "mind", and especially perspective.
    What we think, how we see, how we understand. Conceptions are based on perceptions are based on conceptions are based on perceptions...etc. ad infinitum.
    Each new bit of knowledge or perspective alters the perceptions both of our knowledge and perspectives. We live our lives within patterns and fractals of patterns unified and singular. Each conception, perception, perspective stands alone and is intricately bound within myriad connections with each and every previously held concept, perception and perspective.

    When studying anthropology, being well grounded in the disciplines of psychology, philosophy, comparative mythology, and even habitat and city/community design became important(different lexicons for the same actions). How do we live, why do we cluster in various forms of community, what of that has remained constant throughout the evolution of the species, and our tool kit. What changes are built on other changes, and what constants remain through what changes? Do we, as a species have clusters of psychological blind spots, or taboo which interfere real world perceptions. Do these clusters have recognizable pattern?

    When learning sculpture, learning to see became much more important. We all think we see that which is before our eyes, and yet we actually do not see that which is there to see. Our minds create approximates from received visual information, and create an image that we think we are seeing. We need this mind controlled approximation to filter out unneeded information so that we might react in "real time". But in point of fact, we are usually reacting to figments of our imaginations blended with some portion of "real time" data, and it is that blended data to which we react. When we focus on the details, we lose the grand picture, and objectivity, when we hold the grand picture, we approximate the details. Training one's self to wash away the approximations and actually see, alters much future perspectives, and not just visually.

    I have to come back to the same bottom line:
    Change the perspective and change the person.
    Each bit of new data offers alternate perspectives of perceptions.

    did that clear thing up?
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
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  7. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

    The answer is elusive because it is based on definitions. At what point does a human stop being human? When they trim their fingernails? When they lose an arm? When they're in a persistent vegetative state? When they die? What about a cyborg who, through the miracle of future technology, has everything but his head replaced with biomechatronics? The answer to these questions is all in the definition of "human" and we won't all agree on them.

    In that same sense, a particle at time T_0 continues to be labeled as the same particle at T_1 because we choose to define it as such, but that doesn't mean it's true. QM allows for particles to pop in and out of existence, and QM cannot distinguish between two identical particles. In other words, we could be completely replaced every instant with an identical particle and would be unable to tell; the only thing we can rely on is the (sometimes subjective) definition of what it means to "persistently exist" even though it technically lacks any absolute objective basis.
  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Physicists (as far as the above adjective being employed in a physics forum). I doubt that the cosmos in general and 999...% of its components like small rocks, microbial life, Gliese-876-d and Messier-83 are much into perceiving, discriminating, inferring, conceptualizing, measuring, quantifying and essentially crafting formal understandings and systemic accounts of anything. If a non-artificial [or non-biologically-descended] version of "meaning" is ever spotting floating about concretely in the extrospective world, one should definitely get out the butterfly net and yell optimistically at a friend to contact the Museum Of Extreme Rarities.
  9. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Dywyddr: From your Post #19
    The Opening Post asked two questions.

    My Posts 15 & 22 provide cogent answers to both questions.

    BTW: your name is unusual.

    It is a name I would recognize if I was fluent in some language other than English?

    Is it an encryption?​

    I do not call myself Dinosaur due to being a multi-ton reptile-like creature. I use it because I once used slide rules & mechanical calculators.
  10. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    They did, but, since this was posted in Physics I took the "you" to be a general "concept" and the "particle" to be more meaningful of the actual question.
    How do I know I'm the same person I was yesterday [sup]1[/sup] is certainly more suited to philosophy than physics?

    You usually make cogent posts.

    I've "explained" it a couple of times here on Sci: but the last occasion would be well over 2 (3? 4? - there was long absence) years ago, so the chances of finding them bring to mind snowballs and Hell.
    It's Welsh-ish.

    No, it's a name I came up for a character with while (trying to) write a book.
    My previous explanations here are slightly incorrect. I had (through faulty memory) ascribed the name to my concurrent (with the writing) reading of The Mabinogion. But recently (this year) I came across several volumes of Poul Anderson's Ensign Flandry SF "saga" and, since they were cheap (charity shop!) I decided to relive my youth (some 40 years since last read).
    And discovered something I'd totally and utterly forgotten: Dywyddyr is based as much on Merseian (the aliens who are the main adversaries) as it it's based on Welsh. I have little doubt that Anderson borrowed much from the Welsh for his names, but it was him that inspired my name.
    It's pronounced Tiu-ith-ir.

    Mechanical calculators I never got to use; slide rules I did. I had a clear out last year of some of my old junk equipment to take to the charity shop. I'm fairly sure that some of the staff may recognise the slide rules I passed on, and possibly some of the customers. But I really want to be a fly on the wall when someone looks at, asks about, the (specially-commissioned for me) planimeter! I suspect that its general WTF-is-this-ness, coupled with fact that that one end is a very sharp point and the other approximates a small axe-head, means it was consigned to the bin rather than put out for sale.

    1 Shades of Steve Wright's "While I was sleeping last night aliens stole all my belongings and replaced them with identical duplicates".​
  11. rivers82 Registered Member

    I found a scientific reply to this question you put which is extremely intelligent to my own personal evaluation. It pin-points the exact, crucial dilemma upon which all theories cannot be considered totally irrefutable. I cannot past the direct link to an essay that is extremely revealing, as I am still a new member, but you can type yourself the term implosion theory on youtube search field and learn about the stv implosion theory, as the first topic of the essay gives a definition to the number zero and then follows with the explanation of how information is passed through time in the "number zero" as you put it, or "present tense" as it is more commonly refered to in our language

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  12. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    In general Youtube is worthless as a science resource.

    I can't understand how you decided that the video (assuming I have the correct one: [sup]1[/sup]) is intelligent AT ALL, let alone "extremely" so.
    Zero is not infinity.
    Space(0) x Time(0) x Velocity(0) = Infinity is not only incorrect it's utterly meaningless: semantically, mathematically and scientifically.
    Throwing in terms like "compression of infinity" merely reinforces the impression that whoever (I do hope it's not you) came up with this "theory" doesn't have a single clue about science.

    1 I'm assuming this is the one you meant. All I could find on a "Youtube implosion theory" search was this, a couple of comedy videos and one about Schauberger's (also wrong) claims. At least Schauberger wasn't spouting as much mindless inane drivel as this video does.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  13. rivers82 Registered Member

    Dywyddyr thank you for your reply which from your tone is quite incensed as if you were taking it in a personal way. Well, if you state that "Space(0) x Time(0) x Velocity(0) = Infinity is not only incorrect it's utterly meaningless: semantically, mathematically and scientifically.", then we must assume that the infinity of Einstein being Space and Time is also "utterly meaningless". Can you please sustain your statement: "Zero is not infinity"?

    I do not know until what section you have watched the video, but I assume by your critical tone that you have closed the window almost immediately. It lasts over 2 hours instead. Unlike as I presume you haven't, I have watched/read the whole essay, taking my time and digesting it, as it was indicated to me by a colleague who wanted my opinion. Colleauge or not the more I watched it, the more I was curious to understand what she was trying to get through, in her "English second language". Call me stupid, but the sense of what she is theorizing made perfect sense.

    I cannot but agree with you that she is certainly naive, but your criticizim is to me only circumscribed to a mere profane criticism, as it is not supported by any contradictory theory, that is unassailable.
    This girl, whose name is Guya Mariani, is filling in with an amazing concept on some issues that are still largely and passionately debated.
  14. wellwisher Banned Banned

    You and, you one-second ago, will not be the same, because the living state is in constant state of flux, with our cells exchanging atoms through absorption and expulsion. Our neurons are also designed to be in a state of flux; consciousness, constantly learning and changing with time. Inanimate matter, like rocks tends to stay tighter over time with 1 second change very minimal.

    If you look at a neuron, the neuron expends considerable cellular energy pumping, exchanging and concentrating potassium and sodium ions on opposite sides of the cell membrane, to create a membrane potential. When neurons fire, this built up potential is lowered, only to be restored by the neuron for another cycle. Part of the energy expended for the membrane potential is connected to a lowering of cationic entropy because the cations are segregated and concentrated on opposite sides of the membrane. This creates two concentration gradients. If allowed to move freely the cations would prefer to blend; increase entropy.

    The firing of the neurons not only reduces the membrane electric potential, but it also provides a way for the cationic entropy to increase. With entropy associated with randomness and disorder, the firing of neurons, by increasing cationic entropy, results in subtle changes occurring at millisecond time scales. Second to second we are a little different in terms of our minds due to the impact of all events that will fire the neurons and increase cationic entropy. The neurons will constantly recover back to order, but with slightly different building blocks.

    Water or H2O, in the liquid state, changes its hydrogen protons about every millisecond. Water can create an dynamic equilibrium between H2O and H3O+ and -OH with the entire continuum creating the constant flux of change needed to define life.

  15. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    You are, of course, free to assume an emotional content. It doesn't mean that assumption is correct.

    You're comparing apples and oranges at the very least (and, incidentally, showing you don't much at the same time).
    Regardless of what Einstein actually said (I have no idea what you mean by "the infinity of Einstein being Space and Time") his work was mathematically rigorous and has been shown by experiment to have validity.
    What is claimed in that video... neither.

    Oh wait.
    You ARE aware that the initial claim was that they ARE the same?
    That means, therefore, the onus is the original claimant to support THEIR contention.
    However: zero is a "quantity" of none. Not one. Nothing. None at all. VERY limited - it's defined, specified and specific.
    Infinity though is something without any limit. "Numerically" it's a larger than any number you can up with.

    I watched the start. And several sections most of the the way through.
    By the time I got to "we carry on our information along our own specific dimension of the present thanks to its superconductivity" (1:36:51) I'd had more than enough complete tosh for one day.
    She doesn't know what dimension means, doesn't know what superconductivity means...

    If something starts from false premises it's hardly likely to arrive at a valid conclusion.
    It's full of unsupported claims, misrepresentation (or misunderstanding) of genuine science (for example the Big Bang wasn't an "explosion"), misuse, or outright invention of, terms, etc. etc.
    I don't need to watch the whole thing.
    You don't need to eat the entirety of a meal to justifiably claim that it's undercooked.

    It doesn't make sense, perfect or otherwise. Make your own inferences as to how I regard you.

    Profane criticism?
    Science thrives on criticism. It's how the nonsense and errors get weeded out.

    The point is is that her "theory" (it's not a theory) isn't supported in any way at all.
    It's not up to anyone else to find contradictory evidence, it's ENTIRELY up to her to provide the necessary support for her claims.

    Regardless of whatever issues she addresses that are "largely and passionately debated" it's almost certain that her "answers" are wrong.
  16. rivers82 Registered Member

    Dywyddyr, then I am sorry if I misinterpreted the tone of your reply.
    I sympathize with your objections fully. Her theory is only an original hypothesis, but I liked her idea of the infinitely happenning "implosions" vs one initial big bang- theory that I never supported. she got me wondering about this. For the rest, yes she tries to put pieces together to explain something that she's unable to explain- it is plain that she has never taken any science lesson other than junior high biology (assumption again!!) BUT I might be crazy, I like her idea! I find that for all the above reasons, she is an audacious and brilliant girl.

    as per your statement:
    "However: zero is a "quantity" of none. Not one. Nothing. None at all. VERY limited - it's defined, specified and specific.
    Infinity though is something without any limit. "Numerically" it's a larger than any number you can up with."

    Try to see it her way: if zero is the quantity of none, and none IS infinity..... was it is zero? A boundary around infinity? The container of none, but Infinity cannot be contained...? Well that is exactly what Guya Mariani is stating: Infinity is an unsustainable concept... and I admit I like her observation. All the rest is based on this statement. I like to imagine that many other things that she wrote might not be that wrong.
  17. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Made up nonsense.
    There's nothing to support that claim and no evidence of "implosions".

    Try to see it her way: if zero is the quantity of none, and none IS infinity..... was it is zero?[/quote]
    None is NOT infinity.
    We might as well say "What if a cow is a bicycle?"

    Whatever "unsustainable concept" means. (From what I gather it essentially means "I don't like (or, possibly, don't understand) the idea of infinity so I've invented some nonsense to replace it").
    It's quite clear that she's invented her own terms with meanings (if there actually are any meanings) known only to her.
    If we listen to what she's saying and use the generally-accepted meanings then - whatever her point - is MUST be incorrect.
    Like I said earlier: the claim "Space(0) x Time(0) x Velocity(0) = Infinity" is not only incorrect it's utterly meaningless: semantically, mathematically and scientifically.

    From what I saw she got nothing right.

    It's not science.
    It's not supported (and likely not supportable).
    It's nonsense.
    Based on ignorance, supposition and wishful thinking.
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Just an observation, if I recall correctly both physics and cosmology incorporate a "zero state" condition which is not the same as "zero potential". And it is arguably true that the potential energy for our universe existed before it became manifest in our reality (our limited ability to observe very short or very long wavelengths).

    But I don't understand the OP question. It is much too broad to be addressed in general terms. The entire universe is in a state of change every quantum instant. Nothing stays the same from second to second, IMO.
    There is an expression that "we are the product of our experiences" and we physically as well as mentally experience something constantly, be it awake or asleep.
  19. rivers82 Registered Member

    Write4U wrote: "And it is arguably true that the potential energy for our universe existed before it became manifest in our reality (our limited ability to observe very short or very long wavelengths)"

    Yes, He (or pardon me if you are a She) perfectly pointed out the nodal fact, or "mystery" (as I remember my father used to call it!)- upon which everybody agrees, but is at the same time a crucial onset of discordance and mental construals among theorists.

    This is what I am trying to say- I liked her insight and guts to put up such an essay with the intent of inspiring someone that is able to better elaborate her initial assuption about infinity. Therefore, at Dywyddyr's outraged and stern, severe comment (which is certainly understandable):

    "From what I saw she got nothing right.

    It's not science.
    It's not supported (and likely not supportable).
    It's nonsense.
    Based on ignorance, supposition and wishful thinking."

    I just wish to say that however she did manage to crack my scientist's hardshell with a small hit of philosophical introspection. We must take into account a factor that is not measurable and that is Awareness. Call me blasphemous or irrational, or even romantic, but I feel strong about the idea that we cannot do otherwise- should we like it or not.
    Also, unlike you, I actually appreciate the fact that there are people like her out there that take their time in thinking about these issues and share their views, with the intent of eventually inspiring those who can elaborate their ideas "professionally". We shouldn't snipe at them and at their genuine contribution, I find this discouraging and oppressing.

    Lastly to Write4U: "But I don't understand the OP question. It is much too broad to be addressed in general terms. The entire universe is in a state of change every quantum instant. Nothing stays the same from second to second, IMO"

    Yes exactly!!!!!

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  20. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Could you please spell out exactly the nature of this "nodal fact or mystery" that everyone agrees about?

    There's absolutely nothing wrong at all about having guts and insight - provided you don't pass it off (or try to promote it) as science.
    When something is clearly unsupported (and horrendously incorrect) it's not worth much.

    Then your "scientist's hardshell" was either not particularly hard or not very scientific.
    And what she proposed was philosophy only in a trivial sense.

    We must take it into account with regard to what, exactly?
    Why must we?

    Since it has ZERO scientific validity how is it a "genuine contribution"?
    Regardless of the effort and sincerity behind that that video it's as much a "genuine contribution" to science as a child's mud pie is to the construction of a skyscraper.

    Which has nothing whatsoever to do with the question as posed.
    Write4U tends to wax "philosophical" (with about the same "quality" of philosophy as displayed in the video under question).
  21. rivers82 Registered Member

    Dywyddyr, I realize that I still have a lot to learn, and that I try to have an open mind over ideas that have "zero scientific validity", being thus unable to reply to your lively and intelligent polemics with "quality" answers. Please apologize my ingenuity. Afterall, I am still a student, currently assisting an equipe in Italy on a project regarding synthetic biotechnology (thus certainly incompetent to discuss the matter). You just showed me with colorful and unequivocal expressions that I am not fit to judge alternative ideas... ideas for which I subscrbed to this forum on the first place.

    Maybe I shall just focus back to my old science forums, warding off the idea that mud pies could ever inspire great engineers.
  22. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    In other words you are claiming some familiarity with and expertise/ experience in science.
    Now please point out what in that video even approaches science.
    Is there any evidence (I mean ACTUAL evidence as opposed to claims along the lines of X therefore Y)?
    Does anything in that video describe anything sufficiently well to give testable predictions?
    Does it explain the things that current theories do? As well or better than they do?
    Is there any mathematics to it? (And the one I quoted originally isn't mathematics [sup]1[/sup]).

    1 Of course, again, if you think that it is then please show me.
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps you give me too much credit. But aside from that, I was merely offering an alternative to the discussion of the qualities and values of zero.

    In context of the OP question, am I wrong in saying that there is such a thing as a "zero state condition" and "zero state response" which implies a latent form of energy, also known as potential.

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