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It's about Time

If I understand the universe correctly (and I don't) this should make a lot of sense (but it won't).

Reading about the fascinating subject of time, one is struck by how it is all related to motion and trajectories, and then after Einstein to relativity, or the relationships between various trajectories, speeds, and points of view.  For me, through the filter of enormous simplification,  this may be seen as the Newton/Apple or "analog" approach.

But there is also the very new science of quantum physics which is perhaps a more "digital" approach.  Bits and bytes appearing, disappearing.  Statistical probabilities of locations instead of actual, mappable points of a graph, just the way data is stored to memory in a computer, but we have no idea where.

Some points just now brought up on the crowleycrow.livejournal pages seem numinous to me, and I  will try to amplify them here.
First off, the idea of an "event" surely implies the existence of consciousness.  I would also think that that an 'event consciousness" would be a species-specific thing.  An event for a frog must be different than an event for a human, even if both are perceiving a white room where a red ball is dropped through the ceiling to the floor.

Consciousness of an event also presupposes memory because it is congruent with witnessing, and then discriminating that something has changed.  Thus events are markers of time for consciousness, that is to say, an event change is a tick in the consciousness clock.  I think it may be revelatory to ponder, however, that these ticks are out of phase, differently timed, than clicks tied to an actual clock.  In fact, I am saying, unlike a real clock, the conciousness clock does not run until the next event change is noted.

JC's Engine Summer kiss regression can only be described as its successive imagined event changes.

Another way to say this is that we need clocks because the hardware of our meat brains do not keep good time.  Much study in psychology has been done on how time events are delayed or transposed by our minds, totally beneath our awareness.  It is subtle, but as I say, we are not a good clock..  No wonder Proust was in search of lost time!

This in turn says something odd about our relationship to physics.  If we are really keeping different time in our minds, then should that not be extrapolated, like Einstein's equations prove, to the idea that we are somehow on a different trajectory or have a different point of view than that of the surrounding matter we think we coexist with?  This may seem obviously true in the trivial sense, but I am suggesting something more profound.

Roger Penrose has speculated that there are quantum aspects to our brains. I am not a mathematician and can produce no equations related to the mathematics of  human consciousness or mortality, but Penrose's speculation seems to open the door to new possiblities.


Trying to follow the analog/digital idea above--. Is our consciousness somehow, being a more quantum physics, or digital-like process, beyond, not tied to, but merely observing a cage of analog material stuff we think we are limited by, but only because we must process it or relate to it in a strict linear fashion?

If the universe we perceive is a holographic projection, all of time exists entire from beginning to end.  Is our consciousness then just the necessary needle moving across events one at a time, as consciousness must, to release the recording?

 Are our souls then more like the sound of music from an old Victrola, no more alive for all their noise, than the wax graves that hold their traces? Are we are immortal then only in inert substance, because we are part of the recording and cannot be destroyed?.

If the current universe is a replaying, then perhaps it has suffered some loss of dimensions, is only a part, or a reflection of its original form.  Maybe we were the very gods that created this recorded universe to give us some kind of "immortality," but at ironically at the very cost to us of knowing it.

All the talk about information being preserved and not destroyed by black holes seems to say to me that our individual thoughts and knowledge once recorded somewhere cannot be destroyed either.  This is encouraging but frightening as we have no idea where exactly in this process we are. Where, how, our current information might be stored, and whether it could stay organized in anything akin to its former, or another existence, is a thrilling question. But what if we are already the stored data? Then this is heaven and we are probably stuck here to play over and over whenever the universal jukebox gets a booth seat request for number 42.  Wow, I surprise myself. I think that's the only and best explanation for Doug Adams' enigmatic #42 solution to life, the universe, and everything that I have ever seen! I wish Adams were still around to say if I got it right.  We all miss you Doug!

Would it not be ironic that folks like us who write books about Flatland-- the imagined 2-D world, might themselves be limited to a bigger but analogous subset of the true universal dimensions?  If our 3d physics describes only a part of the universe the same way Euclid describes only 2d paper, then we are comical creatures indeed, and maybe the only thing able to reach the further dimensions is our laughter...


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 21st, 2008 11:07 am (UTC)
We are already the stored data. The reason there's no death is that all time is now, including all the time when we are not. Suddenly perceiving that is the Moment in Eternity thing (Ive never actually had it,only intimated it.)

It's now been shown that visual perception is something like 20% immediate input into the visual cortex via the optic nerve. 80% of what happens in looking at something happens in regions of the brain where things are logged -- i.e. 80% is stored data supplied in every instant to make complete pictures we can use to act on. Like you say: memory is necessary to knowing an event is an event, not only in reflection but in the immediate. I have to supply "ball" and "ceiling" and "room" in order to perceive at all. No wonder we can see ghosts.

Sep. 21st, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Still, I find it hard to believe that our experience of free will is false, that we could be so easily duped. It makes me wonder too if our black hole victrola is played for the benefit of greater beings who enjoy us the way we enjoy our golden age of radio tapes?
Sep. 21st, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
No wonder we also make up our own belief systems, since we can not be sure of having any greater grasp of the universe, perhaps, than mayflies have of the American legal system.

Sep. 24th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
I wrote something like this over at joculum but maybe you'd like to ponder it too. If the universe is a recording and it can be replayed, can we determine whether we are living through a replay or not? I guess we can not, because determining that we are within a repetition is an event that would not have taken place during the "live run", thus the replay would not be really one. Also, if the universe is non deterministic, the replay would be predetermined, because everything would already have happened. To me it seems that these questions cannot be answered from within the system. That means that we cannot know.
Have you ever read "Timequake" by Kurt Vonnegut? or "Morel's Island" by Adolfo Bioy Casares? both take an interesting approach to the matter and the latter has a very nice foreword by Borges.
Sep. 24th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that! It's a nice paradox, isn't it trying to figure out how much we can possibly know from inside a system? Kurt Godel(add umlaut) applies here too, perhaps most enjoyably treated in D. Hofstadter's book: Godel, Escher, Bach. Now that's a hippie-fest! Godel comes from the other side, limiting formal proofs. He would say we could posit that a bigger system is blocked from our view, and that such a theory can't be disproved.

I have just read John Crowley's Great Work of Time, and frankly, I am still trying to sort out the orthogonal thinking, but in view of your remark I think he shows some sensitivity to what the participants would fail to understand within the story, that the reader, outside the system will be able to figure out. Maybe. Thanks, JC for letting us play the immortals!

I will look into your references eagerly. I need to finish reading Vonnegut, having read only Slaugherhouse Five, and Cat's Cradle years ago.
Mea Culpa.

Personally, I don't think this is a replay. Mostly, because I don't believe my mind is locked in the system. Can't prove it, but don't believe it.

(Reply to this)(Parent)
Sep. 30th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
The Invention of Morel arrived today from Amazon.com and I just now finished reading it. I find it remarkable that it so completely covers the discussion that was begun on crowleycrow's lj pages, almost as if it were inspired by the thread. It accomplishes its effects believably, without seeming to over-stretch its leap into future technology.

It is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read, tying in with my adventure game sensibilities too. Reminds one of trying to get arcane machinery up and running on the isle of Myst. Whether in created worlds by Morel, or Atrus, it's great just to be there and explore.

Such a great work of "French fiction." I will be enjoying it over and over, eternally!

Thanks for the suggestion!
Sep. 30th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
Hey, glad to hear you liked it. Your enthusiasm makes me want to read it again soon, it's been a while, as you will have noticed I'd even messed up the title.
But what do you mean by French fiction? It's not a formulation I'm familiar with.
Sep. 30th, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC)
I suppose because Casares' father is of French descent, Faustine and Morel speak French, he (the narrator) carries a French book around with him to read on the island, and, at the end, Verlaine poetry is quoted. That, and the outsider quality, the desperate, suicidal love, and extreme cultural isolation of the narrator. It just feels French to me.

Of course I am also reminded of Poe, Doestoyevski, Goethe, Kafka, and Borges, so...

Faustine... the name itself is interesting as it twists Goethe's Faust story. She is trapped by the devil unwittingly in this paradise. The desire of the narrator to be freed by her gives entrance not to the real heaven, but an artificial one.

Sep. 30th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I do really need to read it again soon.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
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