Another boring existential ponderance....
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17-05-2014, 09:40 AM
RE: Another boring existential ponderance....
(17-05-2014 02:34 AM)bemore Wrote:  Is there a limit on size?

Could you potentially keep on looking at smaller and smaller things with ever increasing in power microscopes for infinity?

Would that then be true for the opposite?

I've posted this link on the scale of things before but it is so cool here it is again.

http://htwins.net/scale2/?bordercolor=white

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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17-05-2014, 10:03 AM
RE: Another boring existential ponderance....
[Image: Go+home+Giraffe+You+re+drunk....+Descrip...202108.jpg]

Onward, my faithful steed!
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17-05-2014, 10:41 AM
RE: Another boring existential ponderance....
It's simple: Nothing is nothing, and nothing is nowhere, and nowhere is nothing.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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17-05-2014, 11:09 AM
RE: Another boring existential ponderance....
Hello again, Airportkid.

(17-05-2014 09:28 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(17-05-2014 06:25 AM)living thing Wrote:  ... I don't think it is possible to exist without occupying some space, and that is why I generally attach the notion of "occupying some volume" to the verb "exist". But I am not sure of what you mean by "any greater dimensional space".

I disagree:
I don't see how you can disagree with my statements. Do I think it is possible to exist without occupying some space? No. I may be wrong, but I don't think it is possible, so my claim of personal non-conviction is still appropriate. Do I not generally attach the notion of "occupying some volume" to the verb "exist"? I do attach it, and I insist on it almost every time I do. Once again I may be wrong by doing so, but the claim that I do is still a true claim. Or do I understand exactly what you mean by "any greater dimensional space"? Unfortunately I am not sure I do, so my manifestation of ignorance still holds. I am sure that you have your personal view about these topics, which I thank you for sharing with us, but I don't think you can honestly disagree with my statements.

(17-05-2014 09:28 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  existence must be possible without existing IN something, in what I was calling a "greater dimensional space",
I may agree with you if you define what you understand by existence. Many "things" occur without occupying any space; for example love. I'd say love occurs when a living being puts the interests of a different living being before his or her own, but I wouldn't say love occupies any space. That is why I wouldn't say that love exists; I generally say that love occurs, it happens.

(17-05-2014 09:28 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  else existence would require an infinite succession of "housings", whatever ultra-dimensional form those "housings" would have. (I don't think even the multi-verse TOE purports an infinite succession, like a never ending Russian doll; all its universes exist in parallel).

At some level the last "house" exists without needing itself to be housed.

It's a difficult concept to explain because we don't have a vocabulary for it yet, so we have to wave our rhetorical hands a lot.
And I hope that you will keep trying to explain what you mean, because I'm not sure what those ultra-dimensional "housings" may be.

But if we want to understand each other, I think better than waving our rhetotical hands a lot would be if we defined the notions we attach to words and then used those words consistently. That is why I often describe the notion I attach to the verb "exist" (occupying some non-zero three-dimensional space) and then I try not to use it in reference to things that do not occupy any volume.

(17-05-2014 09:28 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(17-05-2014 06:25 AM)living thing Wrote:  ... I don't think it can be said that our field of vision occupies an enclosing space, because I don't see in what sense that space can be said to be occupied.

Exactly. THAT's why I felt it makes a better analogy than a spatial one. Field of vision is its own "house"; it doesn't exist in some larger space.
But it occurs within the context of time; it is information conveyed by the motion of many molecules and ions throughout our nervous systems, and motion always takes time to happen.

I agree in that fields of vision do not exist in space, they happen over time. But they happen as a specific set of existing structures moves, so I am not sure the underlying structures cannot be seen as the "housing" for fields of vision, because I'm not sure of what you mean by "housing".

(17-05-2014 09:28 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  You can see why rhetorical hand waving is awkward: you thought I'd meant something almost the opposite of what I'd intended. We need more vocabulary.
Or, at least, clarify the vocabulary we use. If the words we resort to can be read with more than one meaning, then it is useful to specify what meaning is the one attempted to be conveyed. And the same applies to reading them; if someone declares a specific use for a specific word, reading the word with a different meaning than intended will not achieve communication.

(17-05-2014 09:28 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  I've looked for some on eBay but apparently no one's got any extra to sell. And trying to make your own fresh vocabulary doesn't produce reliable results.
Do you find the problem in unreliability? Whenever I make up words, the problem I find in them is that they all sound stupid.

(17-05-2014 09:28 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  The only hope is getting conversations like this more into the mainstream. But to do that means displacing conversations about what Brad Pitt and his latest squeeze last fought about over breakfast and there's very little hope of ever doing that.
I think I know what you mean, I'm glad there are resources such as this forum where the seemingly few people who are interested in these subjects can gather. But it is amazing the number of people who couldn't care less. Oh, well, one neat thing about human beings is our variety.

Have fun, Airportkid, thanks for the chat.
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17-05-2014, 07:52 PM
RE: Another boring existential ponderance....
You and I exist in a larger dimension, or housing, we call the universe. We are a component of that universe just as much as housed by it, but if we existed absent an enclosing universe, we would have the problem of reckoning the hard edge of the outside surface of our skin, an obvious interface between two "dimensionalities", the physical self, and that which is outside the physical self. We could wave our arm and say "the outside is that dimension within which I can wave my arm". So OUR existence insofar as OUR physical construction goes DOES require an enclosing dimension. It turns out that dimension is spacial, just as our physical selves are also spacial.

But I do not agree that the universe necessarily has an "outside" dimension that IT occupies. The universe most assuredly exists in all the common meanings of that word, but it does not necessarily exist IN something larger. It has no external skin surface. It has no border.

I believe that's a logical necessity. Otherwise, if the universe DID occupy some larger dimensionality, was housed in some greater "space", then we'd face the same issue for THAT "ultra-universe": what encloses IT? Ad infinitum.

At some level there's an "ultiverse" (see, I'm making up words now), which is its own "container", there is no outside for it, there is no place for it, it just is. That's existence without something to exist in. While it is certainly possible our universe does inhabit some larger dimensionality, Occam's razor hews those speculations out of our theories.

My field of vision analogy is intended only as an analogy, it doesn't get us anywhere to dissect the actual properties of field of vision. It was intended to show a phenomenon that was both finite and borderless that wasn't physical. I'm not suggesting that field of vision is a simile of the universe, only that they share certain existential properties that I hope help bring understanding of my point.

Thanks very much for your insights.
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17-05-2014, 08:28 PM
RE: Another boring existential ponderance....
Thank you guys for actually responding to that mind fart of an OP. Glad to know that I'm not the only one who randomly ponders these things. Also humbled by the detailed responses. I am now even more perplexed than when I wrote it! Rolleyes

(17-05-2014 06:25 AM)living thing Wrote:  I don't think it is possible to exist without occupying some space...

This is exactly where the problem lies. What is this "space"? Does it exist? If so, what kind of existence is it? It obviously can't exist in the same manner that "existence" exists, if existence is existing inside of it. Or can it? Consider

Even if it could or does, it still exists in some capacity therefore the same conundrum applies between where it exists and where it does not.

There was reference to this space as a "housing" (goddamn I'm heavy on the quotes with this one, sorry). Good analogy, but the problem persists.

As far as existence being referred to as non-zero, if existence as we know it is indeed finite as has been said, there would have to be at some point a definite change from non-zero to zero. However, it's already been postulated that zero doesn't actually exist, so that would be an impossibility. Well....as far as our comprehension is concerned anyway. Or at least mine.

So I'm back to square one, looking for zero. Tongue

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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17-05-2014, 09:18 PM
RE: Another boring existential ponderance....
(17-05-2014 08:28 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  ... it's already been postulated that zero doesn't actually exist ... So I'm back to square one, looking for zero.

Zero does exist. The average of 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 is NOT the same as the average of 1,2,3,4,5,6. If zero didn't exist there'd be no injunction against trying to use it as a denominator. Zero is often regarded as one of the greatest inventions of history. There ain't nothing greater than zero being nothing.

And if you want to get your hands on zero, you'll find plenty for sale at most hardware stores in wood, brass, brushed steel or plastic, in all sizes. No need to look, an assistant will take you right to them. Zero, at two for one! Such a deal! Big Grin
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17-05-2014, 09:27 PM
RE: Another boring existential ponderance....
It's important to define terms.

What is meant by:
universe
existence
nothing
space


For Universe
This is blurred between
- the expansion of matter/energy as a result of the big bang.
- all energy/matter in existence

For existence
We are talking about an instantiation of energy/matter aren't we?
Matter is simply a form of energy. Energy comes in many forms, such as heat, kinetic energy, potential energy, photons, phonons, excited states of electrons, electromagnetic fields...
Existence is the presence of energy in whatever form.

For nothing
We are talking about the absence of energy.
Within our observable universe there are no places which are absent of energy of all forms.
So what about beyond the boundaries of our universe? Surely our universe is only 14 billion years old and if light cannot travel faster than 300,000 KM/second then there are distances from the big bang event that light hasn't had the time to travel yet, so does this mean that there is potentially a part of space where there is no energy?

For space
We are talking about spacial dimensions, not three dimensional (x,y,z) but at least four dimensional SpaceTime. But this is still just a spacial concept rather than a form of energy (an existence) isn't it?
It takes energy to have space (distance) between two particles. It takes energy to maintain space between two particles. If you trow a rock up into the sky then it slows down, eventually stops and then comes back down. Gravity right? but what does that mean?
As the rock moves away from the Earth it gains potential energy. Where does this energy come from? It comes from the rock's kinetic energy. As it gains potential energy, it loses kinetic energy. This shows that you cannot simply separate two particles without applying or accounting for energy. The separation is an increase in potential energy. This energy must come from somewhere. The distance between two particles represents a heightened energy state.
You cannot account for distance beyond all energy (beyond our universe) without having other energy/particles beyond.
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17-05-2014, 10:26 PM
RE: Another boring existential ponderance....
(17-05-2014 09:18 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(17-05-2014 08:28 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  ... it's already been postulated that zero doesn't actually exist ... So I'm back to square one, looking for zero.

Zero does exist. The average of 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 is NOT the same as the average of 1,2,3,4,5,6. If zero didn't exist there'd be no injunction against trying to use it as a denominator. Zero is often regarded as one of the greatest inventions of history. There ain't nothing greater than zero being nothing.

And if you want to get your hands on zero, you'll find plenty for sale at most hardware stores in wood, brass, brushed steel or plastic, in all sizes. No need to look, an assistant will take you right to them. Zero, at two for one! Such a deal! Big Grin

Indeed. Tongue

You're right, of course. Definition of terms is just as important as hand waving in this discussion, or maybe I'm drinking again. Angel

Bear with me. There is an important existence of zero in maths. But I speak in gists. I love reading and trying to understand and interpret all of you smart SOB's when you go back and forth on this shit, and I'd like to think that I pretty much get the gist of what you all are saying, even if I can't quite nail down the details.

So yes, you're right. But when I typed "zero" I was talking about the proverbial zero. Nada, zero, none, zilch, nothing.............................nothing. The conceptual nothing, not the mathematical nothing. I get the gist of the relationship between reality and the mathematical zero, but I'm still struggling with the relationship between reality and whether or not the term "nothing" is a tenable concept in a discussion of what existence is.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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17-05-2014, 10:32 PM
RE: Another boring existential ponderance....
(16-05-2014 09:51 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Got to thinking about nothing again, I know I've brought it up before but it's an intriguing subject to me. I like to think about "nothing" because it's a word used so often, but with a meaning so absolutely impossible to grasp if you really think about it. Where is nothing?....It's nowhere, because by definition it doesn't exist.

When I start thinking about nothing...I replace the word nothing with "everything". Tongue


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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