## The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

General philosophy discussions. If you are not sure where to place your thread, please post it here. Share favorite quotes, discuss philosophers, and other topics.

### Re: Unraveling Invariance

Faradave » 13 May 2020, 08:02 wrote:
Burt Jordaan wrote:The years in 'light years/year' cancel, leaving you with dimensionless 'light'.

Not really (Jorrie?) Light years are distance. Years are duration (a.k.a. time). Light years/year is proportional to meters/second.

This is getting very tedious. Speed expressed in light-years/year, or light-sec/sec, or Planck length/Planck time is geometrical and dimensionless. Speed expressed in meters/second is dimension-full, because then we use time expressed in a different unit than distance. Yes, the conversion factor is the dimension-full constant c, which implies going from a dimensionless to a conventional unit for speed.

Faradave » 13 May 2020, 08:02 wrote:Intervals (d) are invariant, agreed by all inertial observers because they are the same in every inertial frame. Duration (t) is relative, specific to each inertial frame (e.g. their measured durations for light from an emitter to its absorber). Interval speed (d/t) is therefore not inherently invariant.

You have not answered where speed comes in for events with different, yet fixed spatial separation in each inertial frame. This (non-existent) "speed" is actually always zero, despite the futile derivations that you have done and which I hastily tried to refute by a wrong step, I admit. One cannot defend or refute a nonsensical concept.

Maybe you should just have called it the "Faradave parameter" and have left it at that. With that you should then also have defined a new form of "contact", and... and...
I don't know how far the new definitions would have had to carry on, but it would probably have meant a whole new fringe "FaraScience"... ;-)

BurtJordaan
Forum Moderator

Posts: 2877
Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Location: South Africa
Blog: View Blog (9)

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

hyksos » 13 May 2020, 12:29 wrote:
BurtJordaan » May 10th, 2020, 11:55 pm wrote:Maybe you have a connection that gives free access to the 1927 paper?

I don't have it.

However, this is where I ended up.

https://opencommons.uconn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1464&context=srhonors_theses

Relevant material appears on page 16. They leave out the parameters on a for brevity/clarity. a=a(t) But they take the derivative w.r.t. t , meaning that å must be parameterized by t .

The thesis by Zachary Cohen is a fairly standard treatment, except that he added the cosmological constant as a sort of afterthought in section 4, under "Recent developments", without even mentioning or referencing the work Einstein, Friedmann and Lemaître did way-back in the 1920s.

He shows exactly the same equation (p. 20/30) that I have given as the second Friedmann equation in http://www.sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=350727#p350727

I did find the attached translated, more accessible article that Lemaître published in 1931. It shows that he had the modern interpretation, just in a different format and less general.
So the point is that accelerating expansion is not a modern interpretation.
Attachments
1931MNRAS__91__483L.pdf
English translation 1931

BurtJordaan
Forum Moderator

Posts: 2877
Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Location: South Africa
Blog: View Blog (9)

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

Sorry for the delay, phyti. The equation you supplied (given the 2's are exponents) happens to define a . True, an expression for a sphere in 3D takes the form: ∆x²+∆y²+∆z² = ∆r², where ∆r is the radius. I'm talking about 4D, where the radius of a sphere would entail all 4 dimensional components e.g. ∆x²+∆y²+∆z²+∆t²= ∆r².

If Einstein's invariant interval were rotated about its center in all directions, the ends would trace out a sphere. It's invariant since it doesn't change over time, events don't move. Thus no need of a 'time' coordinate, which is assigned by each observer according to their local clock, essentially for id purposes.
An event has no property labeled 'time'. If I eat lunch at the same place 5 days in a row, each lunch needs an identifier to distinguish it from the others. My cell phone assists me with a calendar.
phyti
Member

Posts: 103
Joined: 04 Jul 2006

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

BurtJordaan;

That is true for movement in opposite-parallel directions, but what about two perpendicular directions, like in the Michelson-Morley null result? AFAIK, it requires Lorentz contraction, which depends on the clock-sync method, which again depends on the one-way speed of light. So the usual explanation is circular.

In the graphic, light signals are blue, measurements are light gray.
On the left, U is the ref. frame with a description of A establishing an axis of simultaneity per the SR convention.
For clock synch purposes, place clocks at R1 and R2 and a master clock at h.
The unit separation of the of reflection R2 relative to A, is reduced as a result of length contraction (lc) at speed .5c. This is required if lc is a reciprocal observation. Without lc, U would measure no lc for A, and A would measure 2 orders of gamma lc for U.
Compensation for time dilation is indicated in red.

On the right, A is the ref. frame. Per SR, 1905 paper, par.1,
2x(distance)/(round trip time)=c. A calculates the reflection event as (R2).
That is what an observer in a pseudo rest frame would expect.
If light speed relative to the observer is used as preferred by LET supporters, R2 is the reflection event, but with the same round trip time. It has to be since the same terms 1-v and 1+v are used in transforming from t to t'.
This takes us to the subject of closing speed/gap speed. When two things are involved, light with a speed of c and an object with a speed of v, the initial spatial gap can increase or decrease at 1+/-v, but there is nothing physical moving at that speed.

Sometimes you start down a road, not knowing where it goes.
Notice the reflection event R2 occurs at different times but at the same location m in the U frame. The A-frame points to the real underlying issue. The observer can only be certain of emission and detection for 2-way light transmissions, but not for reflections. To quote Einstein:
"We have not defined a common ``time'' for A and B, for the latter cannot be defined at all unless we establish by definition that the ``time'' required by light to travel from A to B equals the ``time'' it requires to travel from B to A."
On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies', Albert Einstein, 1905

"That light requires the same time to traverse the same path A to M as for the path B to M is in reality neither a supposition nor a hypothesis about the physical nature of light, but a stipulation which I can make of my own freewill in order to arrive at a definition of simultaneity."
Relativity The Special and the General Theory
Albert Einstein 1961 Crown Publishers Inc. pg 23

It is not possible to measure 1-way light speed, since an observer cannot be at emission
and detection. If using a second clock, he is dependent on synchronization, which is a simulated simultaneity, because he cannot detect his own speed in space.
There are many experiments that have narrowed the range of anisotropy of light in space to a few parts per million. The 2nd postulate should be safe.

https://app.box.com/s/foykcqbioxcg8vg8l2ek1pmh538izmya
phyti
Member

Posts: 103
Joined: 04 Jul 2006

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

phyti » 13 May 2020, 20:25 wrote:There are many experiments that have narrowed the range of anisotropy of light in space to a few parts per million. The 2nd postulate should be safe.

Agreed, but these are still parallel - anti-parallel beams. It does not explain a rotated Michelson-Morley setup's null result in any intuitive way.

To me this is the equivalent to the "central mystery" of the two-slit quantum experiment. That's why I called it the "central mystery of SR".

BurtJordaan
Forum Moderator

Posts: 2877
Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Location: South Africa
Blog: View Blog (9)

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

BurtJordaan;

The MMX was to detect the velocity of Earth in the ether. I don't see any connection to the speed of light. The issue was one of distance. All directions in the plane of the lab were tested.
Here is a different version of the MMX without rotation.

phyti
Member

Posts: 103
Joined: 04 Jul 2006

### Re: Accelerated Pace?

Burt Jordaan wrote:Speed expressed … geometrical and dimensionless.

Faradave » November 12th, 2019, 12:45 pm wrote:This does nothing to take away from bangstrom's view that limit c should be considered a dimensionless universal constant. If time and space are both considered as separators of events then the ratio of separation/separation = 1 has no real units.

Faradave » May 12th, 2020, 3:50 pm wrote:units of length/time which are important when other terms in the equation also employ them.
I'm fine with speeds given as dimensionless geometric slopes, so long as consistently applied through any algebraic expression. At the very least, all speeds would be dimensionless ratios. It's probably best to leave it at that.

Burt Jordaan wrote:You have not answered where speed comes in for events with different, yet fixed spatial separation in each inertial frame. This (non-existent) "speed" is actually always zero…
I find that confusing. My home and the local convenience store have fixed spatial locations, yet I have a speed (∆x/∆t) going between them. If the store is in my home (∆x=0), my speed would be zero (as you say, a "non-existent speed") since I'm already there from the start.

Spacetime events can have different spatial coordinates yet have zero interval (lightlike) separation. An absorber appears on the future light cone of its emitter. If I define interval speed as ∆d/∆t, when ∆d is zero (lightlike), the interval speed is indeed "non-existent" at zero. This also explains the "instantaneous" acceleration (to zero speed) of light quanta.

"In a light-like interval, ... events define a spacetime interval of zero ...the spacetime interval between two events on the world line of something moving at the speed of light is zero"

I construe this to mean the absorption event was already there at the emission event for a light quantum. Since ∆t is relative, the only interval speed (∆d/∆t) that all inertial observers agree on is 0/∆t, making c uniquely invariant. This also explains the instantaneous acceleration of light quanta. Physics offers no other explanation for the existence or invariance of speed limit c.

"Where light goes from a given point is always separated by a zero interval. …for if the interval is the same in both systems [inertial frames], i.e. zero in one and zero in the other, then to state that the propagation speed of light is invariant is the same as saying that the interval is zero." – Feynman p.99

"One special feature of the cosmos has a grip on all operations of every star atom and quasar. It figures explicitly in the laws of nature concerning gravity, electricity and the sub-atomic forces. It is the ever-constant speed of light – the magic quantity 'c'. Why is the speed of light constant?Calder p.100

"Why is the speed of light the same in all reference frames? I don’t know the answer to that question, and I don’t even know how to approach it. … The constancy [invariance] of the speed of light is unexplained." – Styer p.21

Resident Member

Posts: 2004
Joined: 10 Oct 2012
Location: Times Square (T2)

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

phyti » 14 May 2020, 21:14 wrote:BurtJordaan;

The MMX was to detect the velocity of Earth in the ether. I don't see any connection to the speed of light. The issue was one of distance. All directions in the plane of the lab were tested.
Here is a different version of the MMX without rotation.

How do you explain the null result without Lorentz contraction?
The page you referenced wrote:Round trip time tr for a given speed, varies with the angle theta. This is equivalent to the MM experiment but without rotation.

My point is that Lorentz contraction is explained in SR by the definition of simultaneity (clock synchronization), which involves the assumption that light propagation is isotropic in each inertial frame. So it explains the constancy of the one-way, but not the two-way speed of light in all directions relative to the universe at large.

Like the gravitational constant G, we cannot derive the invariant speed of light as equal to c. We simply find it by observation. If we do not accept something like Faradave's explanation, which I don't think is valid, we don't have an explanation for it.

BurtJordaan
Forum Moderator

Posts: 2877
Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Location: South Africa
Blog: View Blog (9)

### Re: Accelerated Pace?

Faradave » 14 May 2020, 21:35 wrote:
Burt Jordaan wrote:You have not answered where speed comes in for events with different, yet fixed spatial separation in each inertial frame. This (non-existent) "speed" is actually always zero…

I find that confusing. My home and the local convenience store have fixed spatial locations, yet I have a speed (∆x/∆t) going between them. If the store is in my home (∆x=0), my speed would be zero (as you say, a "non-existent speed") since I'm already there from the start.

Your home and your local convenience store are not events. Time ticks on for both. Spacetime intervals are defined in terms of events, for which neither space, nor time changes.
Maybe we should also leave this at that...

BurtJordaan
Forum Moderator

Posts: 2877
Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Location: South Africa
Blog: View Blog (9)

### Re: Accelerated Pace?

BurtJordaan wrote:Maybe we should also leave this at that...

No, don't leave it there...I'm enjoying this discussion. :)

Actually, it is one of the most interesting threads I have read here recently. At least you and Faradave are actually addressing each other's points, even though not agreeing with them. I find it an enlightening discussion!
Positor
Active Member

Posts: 1182
Joined: 05 Feb 2010
 TheVat liked this post

### Re: Accelerating Negitor

Positor » May 14th, 2020, 8:30 pm wrote:
BurtJordaan wrote:Maybe we should also leave this at that...

No, don't leave it there...I'm enjoying this discussion. :)

What discussion?
Faradave keeps repeating his stance ad nauseam - that a null-interval between two distant locations is "co-location" "exactly zero contact" and from there reaches his conclusions.
I think BurtJordaan has been remarkably patient while Faradave seems to be on a mission to bait and trap, and have his gotcha moments.
Actually, it is one of the most interesting threads I have read here recently. At least you and Faradave are actually addressing each other's points, even though not agreeing with them. I find it an enlightening discussion!

Then maybe you should start a new thread just for that.
rajnz00
Member

Posts: 384
Joined: 28 Dec 2016

### Re: Accelerating Negitor

rajnz00 » 15 May 2020, 07:30 wrote:
Positor » May 14th, 2020, 8:30 pm wrote:
Actually, it is one of the most interesting threads I have read here recently. At least you and Faradave are actually addressing each other's points, even though not agreeing with them. I find it an enlightening discussion!

Then maybe you should start a new thread just for that.

We were actually hijacking rajnz00's thread and I will start a new one - whether in Physics or Personal Theories, I will have to see. Then the block universe can evolve more orderly here. ;-)

BurtJordaan
Forum Moderator

Posts: 2877
Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Location: South Africa
Blog: View Blog (9)

### Re: Accelerated Pace?

OK, thanks. In the meantime:

Faradave » May 14th, 2020, 8:35 pm wrote:
Burt Jordaan wrote:Speed expressed … geometrical and dimensionless.

Faradave » November 12th, 2019, 12:45 pm wrote:This does nothing to take away from bangstrom's view that limit c should be considered a dimensionless universal constant. If time and space are both considered as separators of events then the ratio of separation/separation = 1 has no real units.

Faradave » May 12th, 2020, 3:50 pm wrote:units of length/time which are important when other terms in the equation also employ them.
I'm fine with speeds given as dimensionless geometric slopes, so long as consistently applied through any algebraic expression. At the very least, all speeds would be dimensionless ratios. It's probably best to leave it at that.

It seems to me that this point has not been satisfactorily resolved between Jorrie and Faradave.
Positor
Active Member

Posts: 1182
Joined: 05 Feb 2010

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

The 'new thread' has appeared Under Physics as Events, Intervals and Speed.

BurtJordaan
Forum Moderator

Posts: 2877
Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Location: South Africa
Blog: View Blog (9)

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

Read the paper a few times, see new concepts but don't understand what sustains them, source of energy, etc. How or why does a pinhole form? Is the 'rope' an extension of 'string theory'? Einstein already dealt with gravity as a field and mass as its energy source. True, the process needs elaboration, so why not work on that. Maybe space has a structure yet to be discovered, supporting Einstein's ether.
Overall the contents seem to be overly complicated.

Here is what can be extracted from existing SR theory.
On the left, a typical spacetime graphic, with the U-frame as a reference, observing anaut A in motion in direction x. A sends a light signal (blue) that reflects from the end of a stick (event R) and returns to A (event D). A assigns time of R as h, half of light transit time, per SR convention.
In 4D, things are moving in spacetime, the area contained by the Ut and Ux axes.

The spacetime graphic is very useful in simplifying cases to the essential elements and showing multiple relations visually, as in the 'picture is worth many words' adage.
My objections are the use of metaphorical interpretations, moving in time, 4-vectors, infinite mass, etc., as if they are the reality, when they are just the methods of analysis.

https://app.box.com/s/o1qpkjkt7ilklnz63no6itt9s0ceui1j

In reality, A and the light are moving as shown by the arrows at the bottom.
The red line indicates t', the time indicated on the A-clock. In transferring the interval t' to the At line or 'time line', the units would be expanded (dilated), as typically shown with tick marks. This means A and the A-clock are moving in one spatial dimension, in the x direction, leaving a 2D plane perpendicular to x, as shown on the right. The clock is generating its own local time (there is no universal time), so 'time' doesn't need a dimension.

https://app.box.com/s/somn42vezm5057knmpkdhv2hw22dku3t

Then there is perception space, represented in the light cone graphic, with observer U at the apex, which technically would be a small circle. For U the present is a brief interval of a few milliseconds of mental processing of sensory input. The 2D plane, with an object e in motion in the x direction, is projected onto the light cone, representing a history of e over time. Object e approaches from a distance, passes U with a minimum separation of d, then recedes to an increasing distance. The images of e require more light transit time to either side of P, the direction perpendicular to x. For U, the past is synonymous with distance, and e could move in the reverse direction. There is no future light cone since U can't have awareness of events that haven't happened.
Note the path of e is a hyperbola on the cone, and the only instance of distance varying in a linear mode is on the x axis. The typical case would be a hyperbola with hyperbolic time values. This was the case before SR.

https://app.box.com/s/52oddzqn3agfsgpxln5548rbx262qdmn

In addition to the t&x axes folding scissors style, the perceived world of the near light speed observer shrinks toward a limit of zero.
phyti
Member

Posts: 103
Joined: 04 Jul 2006

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

phyti » May 15th, 2020, 1:05 pm wrote:Faradave;....
Overall the contents seem to be overly complicated....

Brevity is the essence of anything.

If something can be stated in a simpler manner, then any error(s) in an intricate, complicated, convoluted, longwinded argument, using it can be exposed.
There is no future light cone since U can't have awareness of events that haven't happened.

Seems to me there is no future in his theory, though he argues that the future exists.

I could be wrong though. Maybe he should take it to Nature. Who knows there maybe a Nobel prize there.
rajnz00
Member

Posts: 384
Joined: 28 Dec 2016

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

OK, I wrote this last Saturday, so the “nows” mentioned are earlier than the “now” as I post this, but that is perfectly OK, as my earlier-than “nows” have just as much existence as their later-than “nows.” :-)

Question for the audience, if those who believe in the present are labelled presentists, what do you call those who believe in the Block Universe? I leave it to you to be creative here.

This tells me two things. First, you have not read my posts, certainly not for comprehension. But you’ve already demonstrated this by repeatedly either mischaracterizing or ignoring my arguments.

If you had read my posts, or read them for comprehension, you’d know that the word you are looking for is ETERNALISTS — eternalists believe in eternalism (the block universe). I’ve only used these words about two dozen times. And Petkov uses them in his paper, too.

The second thing it tells me is that you are totally unfamiliar with this topic, about a debate that goes back to the ancient Greeks. The first eternalist was Parmenides (though he did not call himself that). For if you knew about the topic, you would already know the word “eternalism.”

Before I make sweeping pronouncements about a subject, or even comment on it, I like to study it first, usually in depth. But that’s just me.

Now you write this:

I have consistently maintained that the present moment, the Now, alone exists, not the past or the future, for every object or individual. Your Now is fleeting, and it recedes into the past.

This Now is unique for every object. My Now is not your Now.

If this means anything at all, it sounds like Stein’s claim, which even presentists don’t like and which Petkov rebutted. But it seems to me that you do not even know what the existential claims of either presentism or eternalism actually are. In the case of eternalism, you repeatedly claim that if it were true, we ought to be able to somehow “experience” the past and future along with the present, or become fortune tellers or some such, but I have already explained that this is NOT a claim of eternalism, and you just ignored that explanation too.

The difference between the presentist and the eternalist is not epistemological. It is ontological/existential.

Things presentists and eternalists agree on:

That all we ever do, from moment to moment, is experience the NOW.

2. That each of us has memories of the past but not the future.

3. That each of us has, in the trivial sense you write above, our own “now.” For example, right now, I am at Coney Island, experiencing wonderful sand, sun, surf, beer, free WiFi, but also a blasted high wind that is ruining everything. You are somewhere else, having your own “now” experiences that differ from mine.

If this is all you mean by “presentism,” then we are in full agreement. But actual presentism goes far beyond this.

Actual presentism makes a profound ontological/existential claim. A presentist would put it this way: “In a moment I am going to snap my fingers. When I do, I claim that we live in a universal single space with a universal agreed-upon time. This means that when I snap my fingers, there are events happening in China, on Mars, on planets in the Andromeda galaxy, indeed, every single place in the universe, that happen simultaneously with the snap of my fingers. Ready?”

SNAP!

Now, of course, the presentist will not claim that he can know what is happening “now” on Mars, or in Andromeda, when he snaps his fingers. We have no access to the data. He will just claim that something is happening there, and everywhere else, that occurs simultaneously with the snapping of his fingers.

This is what you need to be defending, if you are a presentist. The presentist claims that there are distant present events, everywhere in the universe, that occur simultaneously with the finger snap. This is presentism’s core foundational claim, the exact definition or presentism.

The problem for the presentist is that special relativity shows that its core foundational claim, its very definition, is inconsistent with SR.

SR shows that there are NO objectively real distant present events. If you want to talk about distant present events, you have to specify a frame — a plane of simultaneity. Since there can be an infinite number of different planes of simultaneity, there can be an infinite number of different NOWS, for different observers in relative motion.

Again, these different NOWS are not the same as the trivial observation that my “now” at Coney Island contains different experiences than your “now,” wherever you happen to be. Even though your “now” experiences and my “now” experiences are different, a presentist-favoring observer on Mars with his own “now” experiences could snap his tentacles, and claim that his tentacle snap, my enduring a bloody wind, and you doing whatever you are doing, happened simultaneously, because the only events that exist, for the presentist, are simultaneous for everyone. Special relativity shows that this is not so — in fact, there are an infinite number of different temporal relations. Therefore, presentism makes an existential claim that is inconsistent with SR.

SR, however, is completely consistent with eternalism — the eternalist simply notes that infinite planes of simultaneity are infinite different slices of an existent 4D block universe.

Let’s again remember that the presentist claims that the past and future do not exist. So we return again to Einstein’s train model. Amy, on the train, sees a flash at the front of the train. Mary, on the ground, sees a flash at the front of the train, and another flash at the back of the train, simultaneously. Amy, sometime later, sees the flash at the back of the train.

Now according to the presentist, only the present exists, and not the past or future. This claim is straightforwardly leads to a conclusion that contradicts itself, which is that that flash at the back of the train both exists, and does not exist.

It exists, because a record of it exists at Mary’s eyes in her present. It does not exist, because the light at Amy’s eyes is in Amy’s future, but the presentist says the future does not exist and so the flash at the back of the train for Mary and then somewhat later at Amy’s eyes cannot exist. So it both exists, and does not exist, according to the presentist line of reasoning, even if the presentist does not notice this obvious contradiction.

You might counter that the presentist claims only that the flash does not (yet) exist for Amy, but will exist, when the future (for her) flash at her eyes somehow becomes part of her ever-changing present. But this evades the central problem, which is that you are claiming that an event that exists for Mary is nevertheless nonexistent because is in Amy’s future and the future does not exist. It cannot be the case that an event both exists and does not exist.

If the flash at the back of the train exists for Mary, and it does, then it exists, period. For her, at her eyes, it exists simultaneously with the flash at the front of the train when that flash is at her eyes. If presentism were true — that only the present exists — then it follows that the two flashes would be simultaneous for both Amy and Mary. They’re not.

Since the back flash exists for Mary, it must also exist for Amy. For her, the flash meets her eyes later than the flash at the front of the train. The flash meeting her eyes exists in her future, which refutes the presentist claim that no future objects or events can exist because the future does not exist. Therefore presentism is false.

It’s irrelevant if Amy were to die before she sees the flash. The relevant point is that the flash will happen at the back of the train, at a time later than Amy saw the flash at the front of the train. And because Mary saw the flash at the back simultaneous with the flash at the front, it is obvious that the back flash exists, even if Amy never sees it because she dies or goes blind or whatever. Since the flash exists by virtue of the fact that Mary sees it, and since it must exist later for Amy, whether she sees it or not, it follows that the future (and the past) exist along with the present.

It is not I, as you charged earlier, but you, who are redefining presentism for your own purposes. To say that only “now” exists, is to say that there is a universal space with a universal plane of simultaneity that all observers agree on, as I explained above. That is the presentist stance. If you doubt this, I invite you to peruse the literature of presentists themselves. Their general response to SR is that it will be shown to be false and presentism will thus be shown to be true, or that metaphysical claims about reality should take precedence over scientific claims, so that even if SR shows presentism is false it should nevertheless be seen as metaphysically true.

Now you write:

So that’s it folks. Be of good cheer. Your future is open and it is for you to create with your choices. It has not been decided for you. This is the gift I leave for you. :)

You have ignored my careful modal logical demonstrations that an “open future” is not necessary for free will. It would be fine if you disagreed with my arguments, and tried to rebut them, but you just ignore them, and simply pretend that no one has rebutted your claim that an open future is necessary for free will.

If she does believe that, [the block universe is real] she doesn’t say so in that post.

She says it in the OTHER blog post of hers I linked, “Now and Then,” in which she offers her views on WHY there seems to be a uniquely distinguished present, even though she says there isn’t.

… she says that SR is the only model that can resolve the debate on whether the world is three-dimensional or four-dimensional.

Yes, she does say that, and then she says that SR does not resolve the debate in favor of eternalism. However, she also says she is an eternalist — a believer in the block world — so clearly she does not feel that SR has resolved the debate in favor of presentism. So, here, I think, is what Sabine is saying: One must make a distinction between four-dimensionalism and eternalism, a careful distinction the eternalist often does not make, conflating the two as meaning the same thing. She is saying that SR shows that the world is four-dimensional, but it does not follow from this that four-dimensionalism entails eternalism (the block universe). How can this be so? Well, if you would actually like to study, for the first time, the subject you so freely discourse on, I suggest that you read this paper. From that paper:

[one presentist response to special relativity] denies that SR, properly interpreted, involves or entails an assertion to the effect that there cannot be any absolute, i.e. observer-independent, simultaneity relation S. In fact, proponents of this strategy insist, what SR does prohibit is only that any such absolute simultaneity could not be detected in principle and would hence remain empirically completely inaccessible. Thus, SR does not preclude the existence of an absolute, non-empirical S. Since such an S does exist, though undetectably so, there is no problem in identifying the spatially distant events which are co-present with the here-now. To be sure, this identification cannot be executed in practice, as S must remain behind a principled veil of ignorance, but the possibility that it exists assures the presentist that there can be a privileged simultaneity relation and thus an objectively distinguished present. So if SR is interpreted as to only imply that there cannot exist an absolute S which can also be detected, but not to entail that there cannot be an absolute non-empirical S, then presentism remains compatible with SR and arguably with all of physics.

Bold by me.

Of course this strategy, which I think is the only feasible strategy in defense of presentism, reduces presentism to an article of faith, and certainly it has nothing to do with science. I should think most people would understand what desperate shape presentism is in vis-a-vis modern physics, if it is reduced to making untestable faith claims. But (I think) the above is what Sabine is driving at. And she may be right, if one accepts the above faith-based statement, that strictly Petkov is wrong only in making a block universe a strict entailment of SR, even though it certainly supports the block model. You have made no arguments like this, and if you had, you would have been conceding that eternalism. is plausibly true, just not strictly entailed by SR. I would add that the philosopher Bradley Monton, a presentist whose work on time and other subjects I admire, also argues something like the above, but adds that he thinks a quantum theory of gravity superseding SR and GR might lay bare a preferred frame to vindicate presentism empirically and make it actually scientific. I believe I alluded to this earlier and, as I said then, I say now: we shall have to wait and see. I brought up Monton earlier with respect to my own residual qualms about eternalism.

By the way, Sabine is also a quantum superdeterminist, which means she thinks that even if presentism is true, there is NO open future and NO free will. Presentism does not (necessarily) guarantee the free will that you crave, and eternalism does not (necessarily) preclude it, as I have taken pains to explain.
davidm
Member

Posts: 771
Joined: 05 Feb 2011
 TheVat liked this post

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

davidm » May 15th, 2020, 7:07 pm wrote:
Question for the audience, if those who believe in the present are labelled presentists, what do you call those who believe in the Block Universe? I leave it to you to be creative here.

This tells me two things. First, you have not read my posts, certainly not for comprehension. But you’ve already demonstrated this by repeatedly either mischaracterizing or ignoring my arguments.

I apologise, that was tongue-in-cheek

Yours is long and detailed post and I will have to read it carefully to respond properly to it.

On a quick reading, however, it seems some of the crosstalk is possibly due to misunderstandings over definitions. Once you have made clear what you mean, (and I do likewise), it seems that we may be more in agreement than not.
This is what you need to be defending, if you are a presentist. The presentist claims that there are distant present events, everywhere in the universe, that occur simultaneously with the finger snap. This is presentism’s core foundational claim, the exact definition or presentism.

If there is any issue I can find with your post, it is the above.

I defined what my beliefs were, you labelled them as presentist. I understand that this maybe a well defined term, but I can only defend my position, though it may differ from the standard/ accepted definition of the term.
The problem for the presentist is that special relativity shows that its core foundational claim, its very definition, is inconsistent with SR.

I disagree with the above. But I will have to address this specific issue in a later post, due to paucity of time at the moment.

PS in my Now, the sun is shining and it is a beautiful day :)
rajnz00
Member

Posts: 384
Joined: 28 Dec 2016

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

BurtJordaan;

How do you explain the null result without Lorentz contraction?

[You can't, since the simultaneity of measurement and reciprocity depend on length contraction (lc), which is just another manifestation of time dilation.]

https://app.box.com/s/knbmklq4n6o05q0q1cwurgeppnhg398n
[On the left without lc, A (black) is the designated ref. with B (green) passing at the origin. Both have rods of length d.
A measures the length of the B-rod on Ax as d, which equals the A-rod.
B measures the length of the A-rod on Bx as e, which is shorter by (1/()2Not reciprocal.
On the right with lc,
A measures the length of the B-rod on Ax as shorter by 1/(.
B measures the length of the A-rod on Bx as e, which is shorter by 1/(.
Reciprocal descriptions.]
My point is that Lorentz contraction is explained in SR by the definition of simultaneity (clock synchronization), which involves the assumption that light propagation is isotropic in each inertial frame. So it explains the constancy of the one-way, but not the two-way speed of light in all directions relative to the universe at large.

1. I quoted Einstein who made the speed of light constant by definition.
2. My May 10 post showed any variation in the outbound and/or inbound propagation is not detectable due to the symmetry.
3. Space has an invisible and unknown structure which determines the propagation speed of light.
4. Light speed is independent of its source, so we shouldn't expect variations.

It's a multiple choice question.
phyti
Member

Posts: 103
Joined: 04 Jul 2006

Re: c You Later

phyti: Thrilled you read my article!! To avoid distraction here, I'll copy your post to a new thread called "Gravity as Separational Insufficiency". Please allow me two days, as warm weather has come with a list of outdoor chores.

rajnz00 » May 15th, 2020, 1:30 am wrote:Faradave keeps repeating his stance ad nauseam - that a null-interval between two distant locations is "co-location" "exactly zero contact" and from there reaches his conclusions.
Very good! I'm glad you got that. I'll carry on at the Jorrie's new thread but recall my justification for introducing the concept here.
Faradave wrote:As pertains to this thread, direct contact between an emitter (say, 10 billion years ago) and an absorber (say, 10 billion years hence) by light should satisfy any skeptic regarding the coexistence of past and future.

That would make our discussion entirely moot. Far from fanciful personal conjecture, this is a mature, readily-falsifiable hypothesis. One of the few examples of true particle-to-particle contact (superimposed points) occurs with annihilation of charge conjugates. If zero interval separation in 4D is real direct physical contact, then transmission of a light quantum from an emitting electron to an absorbing positron would result in their remote annihilation (while spatially separate!) Further, the electron would annihilate prior to the positron by precisely ∆t=∆x/c.

Interval contact between electron and positron resulting in spooky annihilation at a distance! This would be evident by twin gamma emissions not emerging from a classical vertex.

ALPHA has actually illuminated antihydrogen atoms (with orbital positrons)! Alas, despite a decade with over 100 attempts* to communicate this, ALPHA continues without measuring characteristic gamma emissions (≈511 keV) from either the anti-H (difficult) or the light source (easy). I wonder if Sabine might influence such matters. Hmmm…

*e-mails to all known investigators, letters to Nature and to investigators by FedEx, posts on ALPHA (SPCF & other) discussions, article publication, YouTube animation, etc.,

Resident Member

Posts: 2004
Joined: 10 Oct 2012
Location: Times Square (T2)

### Re: Rebuffs

Faradave » 16 May 2020, 20:33 wrote:*e-mails to all known investigators, letters to Nature and to investigators by FedEx, posts on ALPHA (SPCF & other) discussions, article publication, YouTube animation, etc.,

Dave, What did you make of all these rebuffs?

BurtJordaan
Forum Moderator

Posts: 2877
Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Location: South Africa
Blog: View Blog (9)

### Re: Articles of Impeachment

BurtJordaan wrote:Dave, What did you make of all these rebuffs?

My working impression, based on no replies from above and my reception here (as well as being banned elsewhere) is that ALPHA investigators find the notion preposterous.

That may bring some satisfaction to my valued critics here. However, I've given these ideas more due diligence than the average crank. Not just in study and debate. I vetted the concepts with a well-credentialed physicist referred to me by none other than ...what a coincidence... Sabine Hossenfelder.

To date I've had nine paid one-on-one Skype sessions with Dr. Christian. It takes me 2 weeks preparation, including PowerPoint slides, for each. The format is an oral defense of a thesis (obviously, not for credit). Dr. Christian asks questions freely and summarizes before closing. I always log careful notes.

When I mentioned that there is quite a bit of pushback on things like interval contact, chronaxial spin, curved-space, radial-time or interval-time coordinates. His answer was, "That's OK. Don't listen to them." (Of course I listen. He meant, don't be disheartened.) When I mentioned the many attempted contacts with ALPHA, he said, "They're very busy. They haven't read any of them. Your best bet is to publish."

When he asked, "Why don't we see this interval contact?", I answered, "Because it's speed (c) dependent." He thought a few seconds and said, "That's a good answer!" It was he who encouraged me to publish the 5 articles and I still owe him 3 more.

Resident Member

Posts: 2004
Joined: 10 Oct 2012
Location: Times Square (T2)

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

The problem with Vixra is that it's considered more or less equivalent to the trash can.

If the good doctor was prepared to listen for a fee, maybe he will be willing to endorse a more valuable ArXiv article or two at a fee. This will be a good test.

BurtJordaan
Forum Moderator

Posts: 2877
Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Location: South Africa
Blog: View Blog (9)

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

davidm » May 15th, 2020, 7:07 pm wrote:...
If you had read my posts, or read them for comprehension, you’d know that the word you are looking for is ETERNALISTS — eternalists believe in eternalism (the block universe). I’ve only used these words about two dozen times. And Petkov uses them in his paper, too.
....
Now you write this:
I have consistently maintained that the present moment, the Now, alone exists, not the past or the future, for every object or individual. Your Now is fleeting, and it recedes into the past.

This Now is unique for every object. My Now is not your Now.

If this means anything at all, it sounds like Stein’s claim, which even presentists don’t like and which Petkov rebutted.

It’s not hard to understand. Stated in perfectly understandable simple language,

With respect, I do not need to know about Stein’s claim, or what exactly Petkov rebutted or how he rebutted it or if indeed he rebutted what he claimed to have rebutted. All I need to know about is my definition of Presentism, which also happens to be the same as Sabine Hossenfeld's, to the exception of my definition of Now, which is unique to every object and not all points along a line or surface of simultaneity.
But it seems to me that you do not even know what the existential claims of either presentism or eternalism actually are. In the case of eternalism, you repeatedly claim that if it were true, we ought to be able to somehow “experience” the past and future along with the present, or become fortune tellers or some such, but I have already explained that this is NOT a claim of eternalism, and you just ignored that explanation too.

I did not ignore it. But I have said that it should have some proof beyond just world lines in a diagram.

We have proof that the past existed in the evidence it leaves when it existed in the present, skeletons, bones, fossils. None of the future.

The claim that the future exists is an extraordinary claim, it demands extraordinary evidence. It has none.
Things presentists and eternalists agree on:
1. That all we ever do, from moment to moment, is experience the NOW.
2. That each of us has memories of the past but not the future.
3. That each of us has, in the trivial sense you write above, our own “now.” For example, right now, I am at Coney Island, experiencing wonderful sand, sun, surf, beer, free WiFi, but also a blasted high wind that is ruining everything. You are somewhere else, having your own “now” experiences that differ from mine.

If this is all you mean by “presentism,” then we are in full agreement. But actual presentism goes far beyond this.

Why do you go into a lengthy explanation of what, you say, “actual presentism” says? How is all that at all relevant to my definition of presentism? Which is also btw, the definition given by Sabine Hosenfelder, which she explicitly says is not incompatible with SR
A presentist would put it this way: “In a moment I am going to snap my fingers. When I do, I claim that we live in a universal single space with a universal agreed-upon time. This means that when I snap my fingers, there are events happening in China, on Mars, on planets in the Andromeda galaxy, indeed, every single place in the universe, that happen simultaneously with the snap of my fingers. Ready?”
SNAP!
Now, of course, the presentist will not claim that he can know what is happening “now” on Mars, or in Andromeda, when he snaps his fingers. We have no access to the data. He will just claim that something is happening there, and everywhere else, that occurs simultaneously with the snapping of his fingers.

Not what I claim at all.

The conclusion I draw from SR and Einstein’s thought experiment is that there is nothing special or meaningful about the apparent simultaneity of events far removed from each other.

Events in the past viewed by an observer as simultaneous, in one frame of reference, is not simultaneous in another frame of reference.

There is no inconsistency with this and my definition of presentism, (and that of Sabine Hosenfelder also, btw).

In contrast to my conclusion, from the evidence, that there is no meaningful conclusion from the apparent simultaneity of distant events, those who use simultaneity to argue any conclusion from it, are imputing some sort of meaning from a meaningless observation of simultaneity, from one frame of reference, in direct contradiction to SR.

I talked earlier about a Fleamaster drawing a conclusion from pulling out it's legs made his flea deaf. Someone has reached the wrong deductions from SR
This is what you need to be defending, if you are a presentist. The presentist claims that there are distant present events, everywhere in the universe, that occur simultaneously with the finger snap. This is presentism’s core foundational claim, the exact definition or presentism.

With respect, why should I defend something that I am not saying, but in fact explicitly denying?
The problem for the presentist is that special relativity shows that its core foundational claim, its very definition, is inconsistent with SR.

Of course, the way construct your “presentist”, and define his beliefs perfectly crafted to be not only inconsistent, but totally contradicted by SR
SR shows that there are NO objectively real distant present events. If you want to talk about distant present events, you have to specify a frame — a plane of simultaneity. Since there can be an infinite number of different planes of simultaneity, there can be an infinite number of different NOWS, for different observers in relative motion.

Correct. But note that the Now I have defined is different from that and has nothing to say about simultaneity. I
..SR, however, is completely consistent with eternalism — the eternalist simply notes that infinite planes of simultaneity are infinite different slices of an existent 4D block universe.

SR, as Sabine Hosenfelder also notes, does not say anything about anything “existing”.

It would be perfectly reasonable to not assume that a creature that we observe, on a distant planet, with our super-telescope, 1,000 light years from us, is still existing.

Why then do you assume that the two lightning strikes, on either end of the train, are still existing at the time of their observation? Why do you assume that any observation of any past event is still existing?
Let’s again remember that the presentist claims that the past and future do not exist. So we return again to Einstein’s train model. Amy, on the train, sees a flash at the front of the train. Mary, on the ground, sees a flash at the front of the train, and another flash at the back of the train, simultaneously. Amy, sometime later, sees the flash at the back of the train.
Now according to the presentist, only the present exists, and not the past or future. This claim is straightforwardly leads to a conclusion that contradicts itself, which is that that flash at the back of the train both exists, and does not exist. It exists, because a record of it exists at Mary’s eyes in her present.

A record is not existence. A movie of Charlie Chaplain is also a record and does not prove he is still existing.
It does not exist, because the light at Amy’s eyes is in Amy’s future, but the presentist says the future does not exist and so the flash at the back of the train for Mary and then somewhat later at Amy’s eyes cannot exist. So it both exists, and does not exist, according to the presentist line of reasoning, even if the presentist does not notice this obvious contradiction.

No, it does not exist because it occurred in the past at the time of observation by either party. It has nothing to do with anyone’s future. I have shown this in quite detail earlier, which you may not have read.
You might counter that the presentist claims only that the flash does not (yet) exist for Amy, but will exist, when the future (for her) flash at her eyes somehow becomes part of her ever-changing present. But this evades the central problem, which is that you are claiming that an event that exists for Mary is nevertheless nonexistent because is in Amy’s future and the future does not exist. It cannot be the case that an event both exists and does not exist.

How do you reach that conclusion? The flash at the back and front of the train do not exist at the time of observations by both Mary and Amy.

I'm afraid I will have to end it here.

The lightning strike does not exist because it occurred in the past at the time of observation by either party. It has nothing to do with anyone’s future. I have shown this in quite detail earlier, which you may not have read.
rajnz00
Member

Posts: 384
Joined: 28 Dec 2016

### Re: Can't Get No Satisfaction

BurtJordaan wrote:The problem with Vixra is that it's considered more or less equivalent to the trash can.
The idea is that, in doing routine thorough literature searches, ALPHA investigators will come across even my lowly viXra articles (especially the one with "ALPHA" beginning the title).

For my career in clinical research, on the way to giving one of many, many lectures, I would not just have to review every existing piece of professional literature (including translations, abstracts etc.). On the way out the door to the airport, Marketing would hand me an up-to-the-minute satchel, typically an 18"stack (2-sided) of press clippings assembled by a PR-firm at great expense. That represented every public mention of the drug I was addressing and its competitors in the past week. All news clips, magazines, text of TV & radio etc. I was expected to review all of it before the plane landed. Then check the news stands, CNN on TV and USA Today before setting foot in front of an audience (often a noted university). Thankfully, there was a lot of redundancy.

One can't expect to become THE world's expert in any topic and be unwilling to wade through "the trash" (as well as the good stuff). I hope ALPHA feels the same way.

BurtJordaan wrote:If the good doctor was prepared to listen for a fee, maybe he will be willing to endorse a more valuable ArXiv article or two at a fee. This will be a good test.
Prior to the sessions, I had already gained endorsements from arXiv (much to my delight) from unpaid cold contacts in the respective fields (the way we're supposed to). arXiv wrote "Congratulations, you've been endorsed! Please submit your manuscript" ...in such and such format. It was only a few days later, I received notice "Endorsement is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for publication." arXiv went on to say it does not recognize me as currently affiliated with an accredited research organization. (I'd already retired from clinical research).

Despite every reasonable effort, I'm sure I will never meet the lofty standards of SPCF readers as long as I have anything new to offer. Perhaps we should let these nice folks continue their discussion undistracted.
Last edited by Faradave on May 17th, 2020, 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Resident Member

Posts: 2004
Joined: 10 Oct 2012
Location: Times Square (T2)

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

Not what I claim at all.

Then you’re not a presentist. I don’t know what it is you think you’re defending, but it is not presentism.
Of course, the way construct your “presentist”…

The way I “construct” the “presentist” is the correct description of what the presentist believes. I don’t know what it is you think you’re defending, but it is not presentism.

… and define his beliefs perfectly crafted to be not only inconsistent, but totally contradicted by SR.

I did not “define” the presentist’s beliefs, I accurately described them. And yes, those beliefs are totally contradicted by SR. That is the whole point!

The problem is, you still don’t know what presentism claims. You won’t read any of the source literature, will you? You didn’t read the most recent paper I linked, which describes what presentists believe (just as I described what they believe), did you? If you had the read the paper, which accurately characterizes presentist beliefs, and then goes through and each and every possible presentist response to the challenge posed to it by SR, you would have found that the author describes the prospects for presentism as “grim.”

And no, you have not argued like Sabine has — not at all. At least, unlike you, she knows what presentism is. As far as her stuff about existence claims, Sabine, as I noted, will also say that science does not prove that apples exist. Her views are outlier views — which doesn’t mean that they are wrong, just that they are outliers. I any case, why are you making an appeal to authority? I thought you didn’t like that.

However, I will take your latest post as your concession. Since you now recognize that presentism as I describe it is totally contradicted by SR, and since presentism as I describe it is exactly what presentism is, then you have agreed with my position: SR fatally contradicts presentism.
davidm
Member

Posts: 771
Joined: 05 Feb 2011

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

davidm;

It exists, because a record of it exists at Mary’s eyes in her present. It does not exist, because the light at Amy’s eyes is in Amy’s future, but the presentist says the future does not exist and so the flash at the back of the train for Mary and then somewhat later at Amy’s eyes cannot exist. So it both exists, and does not exist, according to the presentist line of reasoning, even if the presentist does not notice this obvious contradiction.

More nonsensical effort in semantics. The tenses of time, past, present, and future, are relative to the observer and not to a universal time. The spatial location and time of an event is determined by the observer.

https://app.box.com/s/a8pt8x4wj1i5tl1crtdzwuq51pg8i9a6

Events 1 and 2 are flashes of light originating at the front and back of the train. Events 1 and 2 exist, but Amy and Mary are not aware of them.
Amy at the midpoint of the train becomes aware of flash 2 at event 3.
Mary on the platform, becomes aware of flash 1 and 2 at event 4.
Amy becomes aware of flash 1 at event 5.
This example shows the existence of events does not depend on human awareness.
There is an abundance of evidence of events occurring before human existence.
We are seeing images of those events today, but the image is not the event.
phyti
Member

Posts: 103
Joined: 04 Jul 2006

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

davidm » May 17th, 2020, 12:31 pm wrote:
Not what I claim at all.

Then you’re not a presentist. I don’t know what it is you think you’re defending, but it is not presentism.

What I am defending is that the present only exists, briefly, fleetingly, but finitely, for you and me, not the past, nor the future. Call it, label it, what you will.

I have said it many times. Not difficult to understand.
rajnz00
Member

Posts: 384
Joined: 28 Dec 2016

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

phyti » May 17th, 2020, 1:09 pm wrote:davidm;
It exists, because a record of it exists at Mary’s eyes in her present. It does not exist, because the light at Amy’s eyes is in Amy’s future, but the presentist says the future does not exist and so the flash at the back of the train for Mary and then somewhat later at Amy’s eyes cannot exist. So it both exists, and does not exist, according to the presentist line of reasoning, even if the presentist does not notice this obvious contradiction.

..... The tenses of time, past, present, and future, are relative to the observer and not to a universal time. The spatial location and time of an event is determined by the observer.

https://app.box.com/s/a8pt8x4wj1i5tl1crtdzwuq51pg8i9a6

Events 1 and 2 are flashes of light originating at the front and back of the train. Events 1 and 2 exist, but Amy and Mary are not aware of them.
Amy at the midpoint of the train becomes aware of flash 2 at event 3.
Mary on the platform, becomes aware of flash 1 and 2 at event 4.
Amy becomes aware of flash 1 at event 5.
This example shows the existence of events does not depend on human awareness.
There is an abundance of evidence of events occurring before human existence.
We are seeing images of those events today, but the image is not the event.

As usual a clear, concise, perfectly understandable, and brief deconstruction of the argument.

Thank you.
rajnz00
Member

Posts: 384
Joined: 28 Dec 2016

### Re: The Block Universe and The Flow of Time

I won't comment specifically on posts, as my time for message boards is extremely limited right now, but a general reminder:

If you comment on a post which includes pertinent citations to the literature, you are expected to read those cited papers. This is an essential part of keeping up with any field and being able to participate intelligently in a discussion. This is not up for debate. Please respect SCF guidelines.

TheVat

Posts: 7884
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills

PreviousNext

### Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests