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  1. Yesterday
  2. Physical ought to mean merely causal for the philosophically minded, or else one run's the risk of committing oneself to dictating what the ontology of the universe is from a bedroom or porcelain throne based on a non-physicist understanding of physics.
  3. I read all that, and that's fine, but now I'm left wondering what you would say is in between an electron and a neutron. If spacetime is only a relationship, rather than some directly (albeit with tools) observable phenomena of something, then it seems like we have gaps of existence, i.e. nonexistence, throughout the universe. It would be like a propagating wave. Or maybe stretching. But then at some point it probably gets absurd, the smaller scale you get. The article that Grames linked about zero point energy gives some idea of how a true vacuum is (plausibly and up for debate) literally impossible, without assuming some material medium.
  4. There is something here that does not match my view of time. Yes, things of the past and things of the future do not exist. There is only what is happening now. In a sense, past things caused things now, through a chain of actions. But we cannot likewise claim a causal relationship between things now and things in the future, because the future hasn't happened; there is no effect that has been caused. The future is only a present idea in someone's head. If anything, the effect is the present idea, which would make the cause past choices.
  5. If everything moved together, collisions could not occur and momentum could not transfer. Also, we would have to assume that everything has been moving together throughout all of history, otherwise how did everything initially start moving? Swapping places is interesting, but doesn't it imply permeability, which implies space? What would "physical" mean in this view? To me, physical refers to the body of matter, whereas material refers to the substance of matter. Physical focuses on the thing as a whole; material focuses on the thing as a composition.
  6. I'm still considering your substantial replies, but I'll try to address a few points. This seems right. I'm using "medium" analogously. Basically, I'm struck by how physical media can be measured from high density to low density (solids, liquids, and gases). Then there is a perfect vacuum of space, which has zero density. Of course it's not a perfect vacuum anymore once material enters the space, and it's not a medium if nothing is in it. So, yeah, I have to think about that some more. If space is an immaterial, boundless existent, maybe we can only be aware of it indirectly through its dimensional relationships with matter. Also, when I say that an object is in space, I don't mean to differentiate it with the impossibility of being outside space. I intend to contrast it with being in matter, such as a physical medium of solid, liquid, or gas. I'm describing an environmental condition, not a spatial relationship. It's confusing, though, since I'm envisioning concurrent environmental conditions, where physical media exist simultaneously with and in space. Does that make sense? I should've said cubic foot instead of square foot, since we don't live in only two dimensions. I don't think space is stuff. Certainly not material stuff. To me, "stuff" suggests individual things. I don't mean a quantity of space things. A cubic foot of space would be a particular region of space. The region would have a spatial relationship to other regions or objects. I see the problem of spatial regions being relative to the position of material objects. But is that because space is a relationship, or because we can only know space through its relationships? Does calling it an environment help? I imagine that your two particles would act differently in a physical medium versus a perfect vacuum. They would be affected by other particles in a physical medium, but not in the vacuum. Distance is not the only external factor involved in the particles' interaction. Whether there is environmental resistance or other forces acting on them matters.
  7. Last week
  8. I was not going to do this but just one more. If there were only two entities, I would say the distances between them are a relationship.... it is a specific distance at any one time but we also know at various times they can be at other distances and in general they could be at any distance but there must exist some distance relationship between them. That relationship is absolute in its existence but can potentially be any number of possibilities. What we happen to define and conceive of as space includes the particular relationships as well as all the possible ones. In other words, the way we think about space includes both the absolute particular relationship of the now: the distance they have between them now, and the potential distance relationships they could have in future as well as the previous distance relationships they had in the past. It should be noted that the distance between these two entities is a single relational existent which changes, not an infinity of relationship existents which rapidly pop into and out of existence. Consider space to be just as much of a construct as our concept of time. [In fact space as a concept is all wrapped up with time because things move in space over time... spatial relationships change] Things change and move and we conceive of time to understand and predict how these changes and movements occur. Time is defined and conceived of as including the past, present, and future. The events of the past existed .... they do not exist... but things of the now have a causal relationship with the past, they are a direct result via causality or simply continuity ... of things in the past... likewise things of the now have a relationship to things of the future ... the events of which do not exist now, but for which potentialities do exist (because of the relationship of now to the future). The sliver of now exists, the past does not exist... it existed, the future does not exist now, it will exist... so does time exist? Yes. Does our concept of time include potentialities... and things that are no more? Yes.
  9. Notable Commentary "As an overall principle, whenever 'somebody else' pays for your health care, inevitably 'somebody else' will decide what medical care you may (or may not) receive."She based a crusade to change our lives on a "joke." Do we want her joking around with our ability to seek medical care? (Image via Wikipedia, public domain.) -- Paul Hsieh, in "Health Care vs. Liberty in Singapore" at Forbes. "Because the Fed operates according to a myth, it's crucial to know how that myth works in practice." -- Richard Salsman, in "Buffett Falsely Assumes the Phillips Curve Is True" at The Daily Capitalist. "I was just banned for a month by Facebook for promoting my book, Peaceful Death Threats, which is filled with screenshots of rape threats and death threats made to me on Facebook by Muslims in response to my Mohammad cartoons..." -- Bosch Fawstin, in "If Facebook Were Actually Concerned With Violent and Dangerous People on Its Platform..." at FrontPage Magazine. "The Ruling Elite designs and enforces but rarely experiences the regulations and taxes that close plants and chase jobs overseas." -- C. Bradley Thompson, in "Donald Trump and the Revolt of the Unseen" (2017) at The American Conservative. "We must now carefully consider the possibility that there was, all along, more method and less madness in Trump's campaign than he was given credit for." -- C. Bradley Thompson, in "So Much Winning: How Trump Became President" (2017) at CRB Online. -- CAVLink to Original
  10. You were basically saying that all things that exist have a location, but not all locations have things. ("Thing" stated loosely): "BUT it is not true that every "there" needs to be occupied." What I don't get is your claim that there could be locations without things. If that were true, you would need to consider spacetime as something conceptual or representational (i.e., is a construct).
  11. Now space is a conditional existent? In any case the “there” is not the “what” that is there... A is A. Moreover for the “Location (x,y,z,t)” to exist, and exist BECAUSE of “whatever is there” it cannot BE the “whatever is there” anymore than it can be the cause of its own existence. A is A Imho rather than a conditional existent, it is an absolute and relational existent. If we disagree at this point I see no way to reach agreement, which is unfortunate because I usually agree with you. Anyway, it was fun!
  12. Location (x,y,z,t) only exists because of whatever is there.
  13. The article seems to state that energy “exists” (I’ll use the term loosely) every where. That implies energy or matter fields or something existing everywhere. The energy, those fields or that something which are everywhere, are not the “wheres” at which they are. E(x,y,z,t) M(x,y,z,t) or any quantity Q(x,y,z,t) at any location in spacetime (x,y,z,t) IS not the location of (x,y,z,t)... it is something AT the location (x,y,z,t)
  14. Space-time is not merely a relationship, it is an existent in itself. For all we know it may even be compound existent, made of more fundamental existents. Wikipedia can provide an introduction to the topic with the article Zero-point Energy .
  15. Entities are in Space-time relationships... whatever attributes or entities are observed anywhere, they are in those Space-time relationships, they are not Space-time itself.
  16. Space-time has measurable attributes in addition to curvature. If it has attributes then it is an existent. Space-time is not a type of nothing, nor is it a discrete entity.
  17. Are you saying “space” is filled with something and therefore not empty? or Are you saying space is filled with itself? or Are you saying there is no space to fill to begin with? or Are you saying there is space, you can’t fill it, but there is always something in it? You used the word “empty”, what is the meaning of the concept to which the word ( as you use it) refers? If you merely said that there are electric fields permeating throughout all of space, that would seem true. You seem to be saying something else. You base you conclusion that space is not “empty” because of the permeability and permitivity of what... compared to what?
  18. "Empty space" does indeed have attributes. The permittivity of free space is a physical constant relating to an electric field's ability to spread through empty space. The permeability of free space is a physical constant relating to a magnetic field's ability to spread through empty space. It just so happens that the speed of light, sometimes itself regarded as an independent physical constant, is actually predicted and calculated as the inverse of the square root of the product of the permittivity (Greek epsilon )and permeability (Greek mu). In the equation below the subscript 0 denotes the attribute of empty space. Space filled with some other material will have different values and a different propagation speed of light. c0=1/√μ0ε0 Space is not empty.
  19. What would a measurement of a "there" consist in? It could not consist in measuring things "there", because you would be measuring THINGS which happen to BE "there", and you would not be directly measuring the THERE. You could not measure some "attribute" or "property", since "attributes" and "properties" are attributes and properties of THINGs, and don't want to measure things that happen to be there, you want to measure the sheer "there". Here comes the difficult part, if there is a measurable thing that IS THE THERE, where is it AT? Is the "there" a thing AT the "there" .. i.e. is it AT itself? What kind of thing can be AT itself and what does that mean? If not "being there" but "being THE THERE", where is it? Nowhere? Where is the nowhere? But you want to measure a THERE so it must be a WHAT... and a WHAT always is SOMEWHERE... A philosophically coherent conception of "space" as a measurable thing rather than a measurable relationship is something I have yet to see.
  20. Does it really need to be thought of as a relationship though? I mean, wouldn't it still be fair to consider it physical, in the same way that information is physical, and exists independently of any conceptual operation? This would mean that being physical depends upon a "there", or must be grounded to something possibly measurable (spacetime is measurable in principle). Not that I mean occupying space, occupying space implies matter; I'm saying that matter is not the only kind of physical thing. My earlier thought was how atoms are mostly empty of matter. We don't say that there is nothing between the electron and neutron, except to say that there is nothing we can touch. I know that although the position of an electron can only be estimated with a probability, because of the uncertainty principle for things of that small a magnitude, there is some phenomena going on in the entire spread of where electrons could go. That might be an electric field, or other kind of field, which isn't matter, but observable and physical. My angle here is partly psychology. In terms of observing the world and the mental operations that go on in your brain at the neural level, space and time are unified. Your hippocampus processes space and time in the same way and in the same sense. For sure, the existence of a mental operation doesn't therefore mean that the conceptual representation itself is physical. But I can explore the idea. If space and time can be observed as one, even if we don't have absolute certainty what happens at a specific space and time, then I don't think there can observations without something physical. Uncertainty is baked into quantum mechanics, that's where limits of understanding can occur. But it looks like spacetime isn't near the quantum level, both for physics and psychology. It's really at or near the perceptual level, so perceptual evidence is fair. As one of the earlier posts said, the OP just sounds like a reformulation of relativity. The premise is that all physically real things are measurable in principle. The issue I have is an informationless location, spacetime that cannot be measured in principle. And of course, I question if spacetime should be thought of as a relationship. We might agree, but the precision I want is very difficult to express. I've only recently really started to dive into quantum mechanics, so there might be some errors in there.
  21. Yes .. but not in the way you think. I have stated that space is not a something which in turn is occupied by a nothing. Your next statement is incorrect in my opinion. It is true that nothing cannot be anywhere... but it is also true that every "there" can happen not to have anything. The error I think, is your premise that each "there" requires occupation, and your consequent distaste for its "occupation" with a "nothing". It is TRUE that a "nothing" cannot OCCUPY anything. BUT it is not true that every "there" needs to be occupied. Thinking of space as a relationship completely solves the conceptual and aesthetic issue... The "there" defined as two meters to the left of the top of the basketball, WAS a relationship fulfilled by the golfball (say two days ago) but since you removed the golfball, the atmosphere filled that relationship, until two hours ago you removed the atmosphere (using a cold bell jar to evacuate as much air as possible and then cause the remaining gases to condense at near absolute zero...), after turning off the lights, every few milliseconds, a cosmic ray, or an atom from the very sparse vapor pressure in the bell will occupied the relationship of "there" i.e. two meters to the left of the top of the basketball, at other specific times nothing else in the universe happened to have that relationship with the top of the basketball, better put, each and every other thing in the universe had relationships to the top of the basketball which were other than "there"... there being no more things in the universe ... we conclude there are more "theres" than there are things. Be assured, the "there" will be occupied when and if a next entity happens to have that relationship with the top of the basketball... so it makes sense to conceive of the "there" always, at some times as a potential relationship and at other times as an actual one.
  22. It would be like ether, and would basically be classical physics in all contexts. The problem I think is assuming that space is "empty" (SL addresses this I think). Maybe empty of matter, but that doesn't mean nothing is there. What is there? I don't know enough about quantum mechanics to say, but there is something physical everywhere, and every where. But even if there is no room to move as in your counterfactual example, couldn't everything move together? Things could swap places, or momentum could transfer. That's what classical physics would say probably before quantum mechanics. So in a way, yes, there has to be something non-tangible going on, except it would be because we need to account for how things are so dynamic.
  23. Your concept of "medium" cannot form the basis for the concept "space" if your concept "medium" already relies upon (perhaps subconsciously) your preconceived notions of space. A medium after all, is something which is homogeneous and "occupies" space... eventually this reduces to space occupying itself and space is space, neither of which is particularly helpful in your endeavor. Yes "outside of space" is an anti-concept, yes, but this does not imply that everything is technically IN space. No thing can be without any spatial relationship whatever to any other thing. The terms "outside of" or "inside of" space are somewhat misleading, since space is a relationship. In a sense "A outside of B" and "A inside of B" are applicable only to existents A and B, and "outside" and "inside" are themselves spatial relationships. That said. common usage, of spaces in spaces is completely analogous to saying distances are greater or smaller or that a length of one thing could not span the entirety of the length of another thing so one "distance" could "fit inside" another... but "distance" as such does not fit in or occupy anything. Spaces, volumes, areas, distances, and positions designate existing or possible relationships between things. Space in multiple dimensions is a consequence of the three degrees of freedom of distance between things. Distance is a vector quantity, it has an x component, a y component and a z component. A square foot is a quantity in mathematics as is volume. They are no more measurements of *stuff* or a quantity of stuff, than distance between any two things is a measure of a "length" of *stuff*. We speak of how "much" distance, or there being "more" distance between things, but that does not imply "more stuff" of any kind. It merely designates a relationship whose magnitude varies. A two dimensional relationship (or a relationship with two degrees of freedom) and a three dimensional relationship (or a relationship with three degrees of freedom) also can be measured and magnitudes measured and assigned, but there is no "stuff" involved. Between you and the door you can say the distance is equivalent to 20 feet, which also means 20 1 foot rulers could span the distance. Now a stuff like water can occupy a 1-foot cube because of the constraints on the spatial relationships of the atoms and molecules, imposed by the forces of the electron shells, covalent bonds, etc create. They to not pass through one another, nor the walls of a container, so a certain amount (number or mass) of water molecules occupy a measured space of say a cubic foot. A pool in your back yard might be defined as having a volume of 2000 cubic feet, which also means 2000 units of 1 cubic foot of water could "fill" the pool. The relationships between all of the material composing the walls of the pool are such that they span 2000 cubic feet. There is no dichotomy between distance and space. ?? If reality wasn't what it is... it would not be reality... Consider the imaginary case of two particles which can have a relationship distance... if they have attributes, like mass or electric charge, they will attract and maybe repulse each other... these forces depend upon the distance, so the forces felt by them change as the distance changes... nothing observed about these two particles requires the concept of some medium... distance fully suffices.
  24. It also chimes with MisterSwig’s insistence that “…space is not material”. We appear to be getting closer together in our concepts of space. But I still struggle with the notion of space as a sort of matterless medium for matter. I agree that no entity is outside of space, i.e., material objects must be in space. Any physical thing takes up and moves through space. But does this mean that space must have matter, or things, in it? I question whether space is a real relationship. Distance, yes. But space seems like something more fundamental. How is a square foot of space relational? There is the square foot of space that relates to my position in my room in California on the planet Earth as it spins and orbits the Sun. Then there is the square foot of space that I just passed through while riding the Earth through the galaxy. Isn't the former idea mistaking airspace for space-space? Is the space through which entire celestial bodies and clusters move also relational in nature? I consider the hypothetical of matter filling all of space. If that were the case, how could anything move? Wouldn't motion be impossible if reality were a solid mass of material particles? Doesn't existence necessarily require a nonmaterial medium for the movement of material stuff?
  25. ProPublica and "prefilled filing" ProPublica Targets TurboTax Again
  26. We live in a moment (that feels like an age) of declining decorum, intrusive government, and advancing technology. These three factors have, in my estimation, combined to make the land line telephone worse than useless to many people, at least in America. Somewhere, I recall someone quite aptly liken the land line to "a fire alarm anyone in the world can set off in your home at any time." Image by ElasticComputerFarm, via Pixabay, license.I work from home and, between my cell phone and Google Voice, most of my telephone needs are taken care of. I have a land line at all for two reasons: (1) my wife needs the redundancy of the land line for her job when she is at home; and (2) I have a medical condition that could conceivably require one of my young children to make an emergency call. The second is easier with the hand set of the land line, and redundancy is good there, too. So I need a land line when my wife is home, but on call; and when my kids (but no other adults) are home. I am on the National Do Not Call Registry, but my phone rings off the hook during the day. What to do? In the spirit of benevolence towards others with similar predicaments, here is how I deal with my land line telephone during my work days: Make sure my cell phone number is the only (or preferred) number listed for educators, child care providers, and anyone else who might need to reach me in an emergency; Provide my Google Voice number to anyone who might need to reach me for business purposes; and Unplug my land line. (See below.) Unplugging the land line is not trivial! Here is how I do this. (NOTE: Order and rigorous adherence to routine are important.) Have the following entry in planner for the start of any work day: Unplug land line. (Often, someone will volunteer to remind you, but sometimes, they're late.) Check for the following entry in your planner for the end of the work day: Plug in and test land line. Write PHONE on a Post-It Note and affix to bathroom mirror. (Use any smooth, uncluttered surface you WILL see in the morning and in the evening of any day you are home. Use a new piece each day to ensure working adhesive.); Place cover reading UNPLUGGED over phone. Unplug the land line. Work in relative peace. At end of work day, plug in land line and listen for dial tone. Remove cover from phone. Discard post-it note. Have the following step as a part of your evening review or routine: Test land line. (Often, some random volunteer will do this for you.) If you have a call that, for some reason, you want to take on the land line, set an appointment for it and treat the times around the call like the end and beginning of a work day. Make sure the other party knows you will be unavailable at that number outside some sensible time window. Phones are supposed to be convenient for their owners, not for trespassers and other criminals. The opposite is true, and this industry seems ready for a well-deserved comeuppance by an enterprising soul somewhere. That can't come soon enough for me. -- CAVLink to Original
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