iSoul In the beginning is reality

3D time + 1D space, pace, and celerity

Although there are three dimensions of space and three dimensions of time, I have pointed out before that we measure movement as either 3D space + 1D time (3+1) or 1D space + 3D time (1+3) or 1D space + 1D time (1+1). The (1+3) perspective is the focus of this post.

The measurement of movement in which time is multidimensional but space is not requires that instead of speed and velocity, one must use pace and what I have called celerity. That is, movement is measured by the change in time (duration) per unit of movement in space (length or distance). Pace is the directionless version of this.

For example, instead of speed in meters per second, one would use pace in seconds per meter or the like. This is not exactly the inverse of speed because the dependent units are different. Speed normally means the space speed, that is, the distance traveled in a fixed period of time. The time speed is a fixed travel distance per the corresponding travel time (which is strange because the independent variable is in the numerator). The pace is the time speed inverted, which puts the independent variable back in the denominator.

Celerity is the directional version of pace. An inertial system is a frame of reference that is at rest (zero velocity) or moves with a constant linear velocity. This can be expanded to include a frame of reference that is at zero or constant linear celerity.

Zero celerity means there is no change in time (duration) per unit of distance moved. We easily understand no change in distance per unit of time but this is strange. We have to remember that here the independent unit of motion is distance, not duration. In this context the distance measures the flow of movement (misleadingly called the flow of time).

So zero celerity means there is no change in time (duration) while a unit of distance passes, as by a “distance clock” like the odometer of an automobile moving at a constant rate. I have written about this here.

In classical (3+1) physics, time has an absolute meaning, independent of an observer. For a classical version of (1+3) physics space has an absolute meaning, independent of the observer. That is, either time or space continue indefinitely, and always serve as an independent variable, never as a dependent variable.

So there is always available information about an independent, inertial movement that provides a standard reference to measure any other movement. For absolute time this is called a clock or watch. For absolute space it could be called a distance clock (discussed here, here, and here). Then movement could always be measured by reference to this independent, standard movement.

Three dimensional clock

I have a “metric cube” which is a decimeter-sized cube that was used in the 1990s to promote the metric system:


It was useful to hold 90mm discs but could also be used as a 3D ruler to measure length in three dimensions at the same time. One could instead use a 1D ruler three times to do that.

The situation is similar with clocks, or rather stop-clocks, which like stopwatches can measure a movement from beginning to end. One stop-clock could be used to measure the duration of a movement in each direction. But there could be a 3D (or 2D) stop-clock that measures duration in all directions.

Today the easiest way to do that would be a GPS-enabled smartphone with an app to record the duration of movement in each direction, N, S, E, or W. Alternately, a GPS device with an electronic compass and a clock could be used. Or a device attached to a vehicle could measure the speed and duration of movement in each direction.

3D clock

Yes, a 3D clock is possible. You heard it here first.

Is All Truth God’s Truth?

“All truth is God’s truth” is a common paraphrase of Augustine of Hippo’s writings, such as On Christian Doctrine, (II.18):

“A person who is a good and true Christian should realize that truth belongs to his Lord, wherever it is found, gathering and acknowledging it even in pagan literature, but rejecting superstitious vanities and deploring and avoiding those who ‘though they knew God did not glorify him as God or give thanks but became enfeebled in their own thoughts and plunged their senseless minds into darkness. Claiming to be wise they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for the image of corruptible mortals and animals and reptiles’ [Rom. 1:21-3].”

But that is different from the meaning today that “Christians should recognize that whatever people say is true, must be true for God, too.”

In that vein, I append an excerpt from The End of “Christian Psychology” by Martin and Deidre Bobgan. EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA, 1997, pp. 45-47:

Is All Truth God’s Truth?

Individuals who want to make psychological theories and therapies available to Christians and who attempt to integrate such theories and techniques with Scripture justify these practices by saying, “All truth is God’s truth.” At first such a statement sounds plausible and even true. However, we need to look at what might be included on each side of the equation of “all truth = God’s truth.”

First of all, what is truth? While there are several definitions of truth, one generally assumes that truth represents that which is true, real, and actual. Truth is the perfect expression of that which is. If what is put into the category of “all truth” is limited to “the perfect expression of that which is,” then that would be “God’s truth.” However, the assortment of ideas, opinions, and even apparent facts under the designation of “all truth” reduces truth to meaning “imperfect human perception of that which is.”

The broad field of psychology at best involves human observation and interpretation of Creation and therefore is subject to human error and the blindness of the unregenerate heart as described in Ephesians 4:18, “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.”

Psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies have the further problem of subjective imagination also proceeding from unregenerate individuals. They represent a further departure from expressing that which truly is. Instead, they present some subjective observation, reasoned analysis, creative imagination, and much distortion. If these ideas are included under the declaration, “All truth is God’s truth,” one must conclude that those who use the expression have greatly misunderstood the nature of truth, let alone God’s truth.

In raising human observation, interpretation, and opinions to the same level and authority as God’s truth revealed through Jesus and in the written Word of God, those who promote psychology among Christians demonstrate their high view of human opinion and their low view of Scripture.

In his discussion of “all truth is God’s truth,” John Moffat says, “I think that, in many ways, this slogan is the verbal equivalent of a graven image; something that appears to represent truth but does not.”3 He explains:

None of the people that use this “all truth” expression actually say that they consider man’s thoughts equal to God’s revealed Word, it just happens to work that way in practice; just as at first the graven images were not meant to replace God, only to represent Him.4

Then to show where “all truth is God’s truth” thinking can lead a person, Moffat says:

I can imagine Nadab and Abihu talking before the early worship service in the wilderness. One says to the other, “All fire is God’s fire. God made all fire; therefore it is all of him.” Or while Moses was up on Mount Sinai, the children of Israel could have said to Aaron, “All worship of God is God’s worship.” These analogies have the same deceptive sound of being logical at first glance, but they are full of the same ambiguity and deceit as the expression “all truth is God’s truth.”5

In contrast to the broad category labeled “all truth” by those who want to include what humans perceive through their senses, achieve through their reason, conceive in their minds, receive from one another, and interweave with Scripture, the specific category of “God’s truth” includes only what is perfectly and flawlessly true. God Himself is true and He has made known His truth through His Son, who referred to Himself as the truth (John 14:6); through His written Word, which perfectly states what is true (John 17:17); and through the Holy Spirit, who is called the Spirit of Truth who will guide believers into all truth (John 16:13). With all that God has provided in His Son, His Word, and His Holy Spirit, one wonders why people are so enamored with the psychological opinions of men.

All humans have partial perception, fragmentary knowledge, and incomplete morality through common grace and general revelation. While these are gifts common to all mankind, they are contaminated by human depravity. Whatever truth people have perceived is contaminated by their unrighteousness. Apart from special revelation and special grace, all stand guilty before God, because they hold whatever truth they have gained through general revelation or common grace in a state of unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). Do such people appear to be reliable sources for Christians to seek counsel for godly living? Indeed, general revelation and common grace serve as very weak and even dangerous justifications for dipping into psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies, all of which were conceived and developed by unredeemed minds.

  1. John D. Moffat, “Is ‘All Truth God’s Truth’?” The Christian Conscience (May 1997), p. 27.
  2. Ibid., p. 28.
  3. Ibid.

3D time in ancient culture

I’m returning to a topic I wrote about here: time in ancient culture and thought.

Look at Genesis 1, verse 3:
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.

Now a modern person is thinking spatially and expecting God to separate the place of light from the place of darkness. So the next verse would be expected to say something like, “God called the light Sunnyland, and the darkness he called Shadyland.” But instead Genesis is written in a temporal way, and it says “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” Later, space arises within time, contrary to the modern way of imagining that space came first and time was added.

Modern people describe how far away a place is by referring a length but it seems this way of speaking wasn’t common until the Roman road system. Before that (and even during the Roman era) distances were given in terms of how many day’s journey it was, that is, the travel time of a typical traveler. Also, maps were rare and crude so spatial representations were lacking. People’s mental maps must have been in units of time (duration), not space (distance).

Moderns look at the (night) sky as outer space, a vast spatial expanse. But for ancient people the sky was first of all a calendar and a clock: the positions of the heavenly bodies told them the time of the year, the time of the month, and the time of day. The sky was also an aid to navigation so maps were not necessary. The sky, the calendar, and navigation were united in the zodiac.

Ancients used a geostationary (geocentric) frame of reference, which is characterized by a zero speed, that is, all speeds were relative to the frame, as though it were absolute. This is the complement to Galilean relativity: space is a scalar but time is multidimensional. Space is a river, and time is the sky.

In that case the characteristic (modal) speed c is zero, or equivalently, the characteristic pace is infinite, and the gamma factor is one. To make this fully relativistic requires recognizing the finite pace (1/c) of light in 1D space and 3D time (see here). Tachyons galore!

What difference does this make? Moderns think of the universe primarily in spatial terms, and wonder how the vast expanse could be created in a short time. But ancients thought of the universe primarily in temporal terms, and were amazed by the order of the heavens and the God of that order.

Les Déplorables

2016 presidential candidate Clinton’s remark that half of her opponent’s supporters are “a basket of deplorables”, which means they are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic”, triggered strong negative reactions. Calling millions of ordinary citizens such names shows more about the speaker than it does about the apparent referents.

There must be a new acronym here; how about “SHRIX” for these phob-isms? (Phob-ism here means an ideologically-defined phobia or ism.) This acronym encapsulates the progressive narrative about America: that Americans are SHRIX, and can never do enough to earn a non-SHRIX descriptor. (So salvation from SHRIX is by faith alone? Hardly. Progressivism is works-based.)

Daniel Henniger’s Sept. 14th Wall Street Journal op-ed piece on Les Déplorables called it “the revolt of the politically incorrect”. People have had enough of this name-calling. Like many others I do not consider myself to be at all SHRIX but I’m sure a progressive would consider me SHRIX in their eyes. At a minimum there is a breakdown of communication. But there’s also a breakdown of what society – and politics – is about.

2016 presidential candidate Trump’s deplorable side has received much press. That makes it easier to write off his supporters. But people with a variety of political views are very cynical about politics, about politicians, and about the political system. They want an “outsider”, someone who is not a politician, who speaks from their heart, and who challenges the political status quo. Well, here’s your candidate. Beware of what you ask for.

Red is commonly associated with the Left and républicanisme, but in the US today it is associated with the Republican Party. At this point the Left is the Establishment and the next revolution will have to come from another direction. What that direction is no-one knows but the birth pangs are beginning.

One does not have to go back far in history to find views that today would be very SHRIX were very mainstream. Our ancestors were SHRIX. We’re sons and daughters of the SHRIX. Does that mean the generations of today can look down on their ancestors? Hardly. If our ancestors knew what people today were doing, they would be quick to condemn us for many things — and they would be right. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)

Relativity at any speed

This is a summary of posts (such as here and here) about the application of relativity theory to transportation. This is different from applying theories of physics to other subjects such as economics since here it is real relativity, not some analogy. However, the application is an approximation, but that is the nature of transportation, which has both physical and social aspects.

Transportation (or transport) modes are means of transporting goods and/or people. The common modes are roads (including motorized and non-motorized modes), railroad (passenger and freight), pipeline, maritime (ferry and shipping modes), air (aviation), etc. One can consider information a good and the telecommunication of information as a form of transportation. In that sense any signal or high-speed particle can be considered a mode of transportation.

Transportation is subject to a variety of obstacles, including excess volume per available capacity (called congestion) and stoppages caused by crashes, storms, construction, or other disruptions (which may also cause congestion). There may be complicating factors such as the mixing of modes (e.g., bike and pedestrian traffic).

The minimum, maximum (free-flow), or typical speeds of a transportation mode are characteristic of the transportation mode as a system, rather than the speed of a particular vehicle or particle (even though a particular vehicle or particle might have this value in a particular context). As such, these characteristic or modal speeds are constants within the transportation system under consideration.

There are contexts in which a speed characteristic of a transportation mode (perhaps under congestion) is a constant, at least for a certain period of time. In these contexts relativity theory plays a role similar to high-speed physics with the speed of light in a vacuum. Such characteristic speeds are constants that are independent of the speed of particular objects (vehicles) in that mode.

So, for example, a free-flow highway speed may be considered a constant over a region or transportation network. Then in this context such a constant speed would play the role of c, the speed of light in a vacuum. This speed would relate space and time. The Lorentz transform would be needed to determine relative speeds.

The characteristic speed may be a maximum speed within the mode or it may be less than the maximum, such as a typical speed, in which case some vehicle speeds greater than the typical speed would be expected. This may be different from physics, in which tachyons may not exist. In any case, relativity theory can cover these cases, which would arise in transportation.

History and science once again

I’ve written about history and science before (here, here, here, and here)  because I think it’s important to understand their differences and relationship.

History and science are complementary, which means they are in some way opposite but they fit together to make a whole. It also means they cannot be merged into one another, but have a separate identity even as they work together.

History is about particulars. Science is about universals. They are similar in that they contain both particulars and universals, but their focus is different. The goal of history is to establish particulars. The goal of science is to establish universals.

Science is about what can or must happen. History is about what actually happened. The particulars of an experiment are the history of what actually happened. The universals of an experiment are the science of what could or must have happened. The particulars of a series of events are the history of what actually happened. The universals of a series of events are the science of what could or must have happened.

History has the final say on what actually happened because its goal is to establish the particulars of what actually happened. Science has the final say on what could or must have happened because its goal is to establish what could or must have happened. Science cannot annul history. Scientists cannot say, for example, that the French Revolution never happened because their theories don’t allow it. Historians cannot say, for example, that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is false because their histories don’t include it.

What if there’s a conflict between history and science? What if history determines that something actually happened that science says is not possible? As far as the particulars of what actually happened, history has the lead and so the position of history is final. As far as the universals of what actually happened, science has the lead and so the position of science is final.

This would be a paradox but not a contradiction. Science and history would not be talking about the same things in the same the way. A particular that actually happened but does not fit the universals of science would be an example of the incompleteness of science. A universal that was more narrow than the particulars of history would be an example of the inconsistency of history.

Science is incomplete, not only in the sense that the limits of a theory are not known until the theory is superseded, but also in the sense that science must be consistent and so reject anything that doesn’t fit its universals. History is inconsistent, not only in the sense that the sources of history conflict with one another, but also in the sense that history must incorporate particular changes that actually happened.

1D space and 3D time

What would it mean for space to be one-dimensional? It would be similar to 1D time. Imagine a clock, except that instead of marking durations, it marks distances. It’s like an odometer for a vehicle that moves at a constant speed and never stops. Like this with units of distance (meters, kilometers, miles, etc.):


Imagine a spacecraft has been sent on a trip that will extend beyond the solar system (like Voyager 1 or 2), and there’s an online odometer of how far it has traveled so far. That’s what 1D space looks like. You could say, “The spacecraft was at 42000 gigameters from the sun as I completed kindergarten. That was many kilometers ago. Here’s it’s at 48375 Gm.”

A point on the Earth’s equator travels 40,075 km per day. Hours could be marked as 1/24th of this travel distance, or 1670 km per hour. “What distance is it?” could replace “What time is it?”

The 1D space + 3D time world has two transformations, similar to the Galilei and the Lorentz transformations. In the Galilei-like 1D space + 3D time world space is absolute: everyone marks the same position in space, everyone is using the same distance “clock”. I call it a “tread-clock,” which combines treadmill + clock because the image is that a treadmill keeps a distance counter running the way a clock keeps time. See here for more information.

Update: What should we call a distance clock? I suggest odologe (o′∙do∙loge) from Greek odo(s), way/path/road + (horo)loge, clock.

Characteristic speeds

In a sense every speed is a local conversion of space and time. But a characteristic speed (or modal speed) has the following properties:

(1) The speed is relative to a mode of travel or movement.

(2) The speed reflects the travel conditions of the mode, with or without additional conditions such as congestion.

(3) The speed serves as a general conversion between space and time for some region or universally.

Such a speed is characteristic, that is, it characterizes the mode and the travel characteristics. It may be a standard speed, such as the speed of light in a vacuum. It may be the free flow speed. It may be a typical speed, such as the average or mean speed of a mode of travel. It may simply be a reference speed, which is an estimated or conventionally used speed to relate distance traveled and travel time.

There is a corresponding characteristic pace (or modal pace), which is mathematically the inverse of the characteristic speed, but with units of space (length, distance) instead of time. Speeds less than the characteristic speed may be called submodal speeds, and those greater than the characteristic speed may be called supermodal speeds. The best known examples are the subluminal and superluminal speeds, respectively.

The characteristic speed has previously been called the standard or reference speed but characteristic speed is a better term. Some previous posts may be edited accordingly.

6D space-time compresses into 4D

Observation changes conceptions. A full conceptual space-time is pre-observation, not a priori in Kant’s terms because it comes after many observations and experiments. It is a categorical induction: a conceptional scheme that makes observational sense and forms the basis for deduction. That is how science operates.

With a conception of space-time in hand, one may observe and then place the observations into the space-time conception. What happens then is that the space-time may simplify or compress. An observation of velocity makes 6D space-time into 4D: 3D space + 1D time. An observation of celerity makes 6D space-time into a different 4D: 1D space + 3D time.

The Lorentz transformation is built on either the Galilei transformation, which is 3D space + 1D time, or its complementary form, which is 1D space + 3D time. So even though the Lorentz transformation is properly 3D space + 3D time, it may be compressed into four dimensions in two ways.

Then is there a 6D space-time uncertainty principle, analogous to the one in quantum mechanics? In a sense. The full conceptual scheme is 6D, with 3D space + 3D time. But observation may entail a choice that reduces the dimensionality of space-time. One choice is whether space or time is the independent variable. Or whether space or time is directional. In an observation, they cannot be both at once.