iSoul In the beginning is reality

# Switching space and time

You can measure distance by time. How far away is it? Oh about 20 minutes. But it doesn’t work the other way. When do you get off work? Around 3 miles.
Jerry Seinfeld

Actually, you can measure time by distance, as was done above but expressing the time by distance requires that time be seen as changes of place. The sun and stars would represent different places throughout the day and night, rather than different times. A circular clock with hands would be seen as pointing to different places on the rim, and measured by the circumferential distance. Or time could be correlated with the distance traveled by a space probe leaving the solar system.

It’s easy to think of space and time as the inverse of each other because that is what it would take to turn an equation with one as the independent variable into the other. For example, an equation with time as the independent variable, r(t), if invertible, would become t(r). That is correct as far as it goes but that does not reflect the full symmetry of space and time in the context of a characteristic (modal) speed, a conversion factor between space and time such as the speed of light.

Space and time are symmetric because space can be measured by any asynchronous variable and time can be measured by any synchronous variable, and there is a symmetry between synchronous and asynchronous motions. Why? Because motion is motion, whether it is utilized for synchronous or asynchronous purposes.

One can measure a distance by a travel time because a distance represents a distance traveled, which is always associated with some travel time. Similarly, one can measure a time by a distance traveled because a time represents a travel time, which is always associated with some distance traveled.

Every speed corresponds to a pace with the change in spatial position measured by a travel time and the change in time measured by a distance traveled. And so on with velocity, acceleration, and every measure of motion.

For example, multiplying time by the speed of light converts it to distance, as is often done in relativity. The corresponding light travel time or distance traveled can measure both space and time. The synchronous and asynchronous nature, respectively, of space and time do not change. But the type of units can be either linear or circular.

# The new right

The new left arose in the 1960s-1970s as a movement to broaden the labor union, civil rights, and socialism of the old left. In the U.S. it was more and more successful, culminating in the administration of President Obama, the institution of same-sex marriage, and the normalization of the sexual revolution.

Meanwhile, the working class was increasingly left behind. They started to stray from their Democratic Party loyalty by voting for Reagan in the 1980s, and drifted into the Republican Party fold until the floodgates broke with their support for Trump in 2016.

The old right is now at a crossroads. The internationalists, the free marketers, the ideological right are now estranged from their former party. They have already started drifting away, toward the Libertarian or the Democratic Party. The rest are adjusting to the working class take-over of the Republican Party.

A new right is forming behind President-elect Trump’s move toward a new nationalism, putting national priorities ahead of ideology about immigration, trade, and foreign policy. The Democratic Party has returned to its 19th century roots as the party of the establishment. The rich, the powerful, the elite are thoroughly behind it. The vulgar masses, “the deplorables,” those people are setting down roots in the Republication Party.

The 1960s are finally over.

# What is broken?

On the eve of the U.S. national election that is considered by many to be symptomatic of a broken political system, I want to reflect on what it is that is broken.

A consistent majority say they are unhappy with either major Presidential candidate. How could this happen? Why were they nominated?

The one-liner “Washington is broken” says more about the speaker than anything definite about the political system. It hearkens back to “the government is the problem” as a political position. Does that mean something should be fixed or replaced or destroyed?

Some are in a smash and burn mode. We see this in the eruption of urban riots about police treatment of suspects. It seems to be present in some anti-Washington speech. Should we smash the Lincoln Monument? Trash the Capitol? Burn the White House?

Some blame “the elite” – leading politicians, mass media, big corporations, billionaires, powerful unions, influential intellectuals or celebrities. Is this revolutionary rhetoric – switch the top and the bottom parts of society? Do people really despise each other?

Some are frustrated by “inaction” or “gridlock” – by politics not solving problems that fester for years, by bad laws persisting, by good laws not passing. Others are fed up with “hypocrisy” (hypocracy?), by politicians that lie or say one thing and do another.

Some are sick and tired of graft, of corruption, of “pay for play” – by greed masquerading as public service, by insiders helping insiders, with the rest of us getting the shaft. Others are just plain tired of politics, politics, politics, and want it all to end. Can’t we just get on with our lives?

In response, I first return to a point I’ve made before that we currently have a partial vote, not a full vote of up-or-down on each candidate. We have enough democracy to get people’s attention, but not enough democracy for people to express their views. So they’re disappointed.

A full vote would lead to more centrist candidates. One faction wouldn’t be enough for a candidate to stand out. Candidates who are acceptable to the largest number of people would be selected. Primary elections with many candidates should select the candidate approved by the widest majority rather the one with the greatest plurality.

A full vote would allow “third-parties” to get meaningful votes rather than trying to be spoilers. People wouldn’t be conflicted between voting for a candidate they don’t agree with very much who has a chance to win versus voting for a candidate who has almost no chance to win. They could vote for both.

The second point is that the entertainment media have an excessive role in politics, and most news is entertainment. The drive for headlines and updates, the focus on the sensational or unusual, and the hyping of celebrities and scandals lead away from political discourse. “The issues” are not the media issues – they are real issues that are now or will be up to the elected leaders to deal with.

The mass media treat the President like a dictator whose word is law. There is little connection between Presidential “debates” and what a President actually has authority to do on their own. Almost everything the media focuses on depends as much or more on Congress than the President.

Political education has declined. Civics isn’t taught in state schools anymore. People are ignorant of the separation of powers, the power of the purse, and the limits of authority. And so little abuses of power are overlooked until they become big ones.

We can go back to the basics of a constitutional republic or we can keep sliding toward dictatorship. We can’t do both. And that depends on what happens after election day.

# Unlimited banks of explanation

In his 1869 Presidential Address to the Geological Society of London on the subject of Geological Reform TH Huxley said:

Catastrophism has insisted upon the existence of a practically unlimited bank of force, on which the theorist might draw; and it has cherished the idea of the development of the earth from a state in which its form, and the forces which it exerted, were very different from those we now know. That such difference of form and power once existed is a necessary part of the doctrine of evolution.

Uniformitarianism, on the other hand, has with equal justice insisted upon a practically unlimited bank of time, ready to discount any quantity of hypothetical paper. It has kept before our eyes the power of the infinitely little, time being granted, and has compelled us to exhaust known causes before flying to the unknown.

He went on to say that Evolution “embraces all that is sound in both” of them. If only that were true. Instead evolutionary theories draw from “a practically unlimited bank” of force and time.

Explanation is easy with an unlimited bank of resources to draw from. With two unlimited banks, force and time, one can explain just about anything. The problem of explanation is solved. The problem then is that explanation is too easy.

Consider if one had “a practically unlimited bank” of money to draw from to explain contemporary events. You could easily show how money controls everything — just chercher l’argent (look for the money trail) and you’ll find suggestive evidence everywhere. Pick your boogeyman and match them with money since there’s “a practically unlimited bank” of liquidity floating around.

Good explanations require something better. They require a balancing of solution spaces and solutions. An equation that is easy to solve for complex numbers may be very difficult to solve for integers, which is the challenge of Diophantine Equations.

What is the right domain of solutions? The one that is real. People don’t believe in speeds greater than the speed of light because that would lead to imaginary values for space and time. Restricting the domain is necessary to maintain correspondence to reality.

Somehow many people accept deep time, deep force, deep multiverses, etc. Meanwhile science gets deeper in debt to inflated explanations and goes off the deep end.

# Interpretation of math and science

There’s a common understanding that most writings need to be interpreted — especially those of a religious or philosophical nature. But mathematical and scientific writings are similar and need to be interpreted, too.

Consider that mathematicians and scientists write as if they were creating a world. Mathematicians say things like, “Let there be a line and a point not lying on it such that …” Or scientists will say, “Occam’s razor is a principle of science” as if they can assert principles ex nihilo. How should these creations be interpreted?

Mathematicians write as if infinity were next door: “As x approaches infinity …” Scientists write as if the entire universe were in view: “The universal theory of gravitation states …” But universal theories turn out to have limitations. And the One who is actually infinite never appears in mathematics. So what do these locutions really mean?

Before the discovery or invention (which one?) of non-Euclidean geometry and its application to physics, it was common for people to think that Euclidean geometry described the space we live in. It is said that most mathematicians are Platonists, and believe that mathematical entities literally exist. Since the 19th century, the literal interpretation of science has been in ascendancy, in which nature is all that exists (i.e., scientific naturalism, see here).

Some say modern science was an unintended consequence of the Reformation’s rejection of levels of meaning in the Bible, which led to a more literal interpretation of God’s other book, the book of nature. The conclusion from all this is that mathematics and science need to be interpreted as much as religious or philosophical writings. What’s your interpretation?

# Renaissance for today

What does it take for a renaissance? A willingness to go back and take another path. That is, a willingness to go back in history and take the words, thoughts, and actions of others as applying to the present. Ad fontes was the cry of the Renaissance, and later the Reformation, which looked to the sources of civilization and religion.

The “now generation” will never have a renaissance. Those who think the present is superior or who merely ignore the past will never have a renaissance. They are too self-satisfied, self-uncritical, and self-focused.

Progressive disciplines have a problem here because they have an inherent bias toward more recent knowledge and practice, which are taken to be superior to anything prior. How can they reconsider the past which in some ways has been rejected?

A renaissance is spurred by a reconsideration of the past, which could arise because of new discoveries about the past such as recovery of lost or forgotten manuscripts, or from a crisis in the present, which leads people to reconsider another way forward. The latter is the situation of today. Many, even a majority depending on what is asked, agree that contemporary civilization is in crisis, that things are going in the wrong direction.

What can be done? We can reconsider what has been rejected. Some are doing this in regard to Christianity, and are rejecting Christianity for other religions or the religion of “none”. The question then is whether what is rejected is a certain variety of Christianity or Christianity in toto. I think it is the former because critics of Christianity are often using Christian criteria to reject Christianity.

It should not be a matter of mere rejection but of openness to other ways of thinking, with an implied critique that current ways of thinking are not adequate. But it must be aimed at something that is a major component of current thought and action. Otherwise, it will lead only to an alternate way of doing things, rather than a challenge to current ways.

For example, a major component of current thought and action is naturalism, which arose in the 19th century, especially from the influence of Thomas Huxley, and took hold in the 20th century. Those challenging the limitation of the natural sciences to naturalistic causes today are the intelligent design theorists and those working in the Goethean approach to science.

The foundation of the modern world is anchored in the rejection of geocentrism and the acceptance of a mechanistic view of the world, as modified by quantum and relativistic theories. This includes the establishment of absolute time — now modified by relativity but otherwise intact — within a 3D spatial universe. I have challenged some of this but more work needs to be done to open the door to a renaissance of civilization.

# Lorentz transformation for 3D time

It is worth returning to my post on Lorentz and Co-Lorentz transformations in order to make the point that the Lorentz transformation is sufficient for 3D time. Superluminal speeds are not required for 3D time, contrary to what others have said, such as here.

What is required for 3D time (with 1D space) is the use of measures relating measured changes in time to independent changes in space. Pace, legerity, and expedience are needed instead of speed, velocity, and acceleration. See glossary above for definitions of terms.

The conception of space is then simplified to a one-dimensional distance from some conventional origin point. This conception of space is analogous to the common conception of time, as something that flows on independently of us. That is what it means to be an independent variable: it’s out of our control.

# Space and time expanded

Space-time is relativistic 3D space + 1D time. It obscures the 3D nature of time. The opposite is time-space with 3D time + 1D space, which obscures the 3D nature of space. Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages.

To avoid the disadvantage of obscuring 3D space or 3D time use 3D space + 3D time with an invariant interval and without measures such as speed or pace that require combining dimensions.

The invariant interval with coordinates in 3D space (r) and 3D time (t) between two events 1 and 2 (second subscript) is:

(t11 – t12)² + (t21 – t22 )² + (t31 – t32 )² – (r11 – r12)² – (r21 – r22 )² – (r31 – r32 )²,

which can be plus or minus depending on the sign convention. Here c² is a conversion constant that does not favor spatial over temporal coordinates.

The invariance of the interval under linear coordinate transformations between inertial frames follows from the invariance of

c² t11² + c² t21² + c² t31² – r11² – r21² – t31²

for any point event. This quadratic form can be used to define a bilinear form

u · v = t11² t12² + t21² t22² + t31² t32² – r11² r12² – r21² r22² – r31² r32²,

which is often written in matrix form. The signature is then (+ + + – – –).

# Pace of light

Excerpts from How is the speed of light measured? According to Philip Gibbs:

Before the seventeenth century, it was generally thought that light is transmitted instantaneously.  This was supported by the observation that there is no noticeable lag in the position of the Earth’s shadow on the Moon during a lunar eclipse, which would otherwise be expected if c were finite.

Instantaneously means a pace of zero. This is a basis for the Galilean transformation.

The first successful measurement of c was made by Olaus Roemer in 1676.  He noticed that, depending on the Earth–Sun–Jupiter geometry, there could be a difference of up to 1000 seconds between the predicted times of the eclipses of Jupiter’s moons, and the actual times that these eclipses were observed.  He correctly surmised that this is due to the varying length of time it takes for light to travel from Jupiter to Earth as the distance between these two planets varies.

This was actually the pace of light since the measured travel time was dependent on the known distance.

In 1728 James Bradley made another estimate by observing stellar aberration, being the apparent displacement of stars due to the motion of the Earth around the Sun.  He observed a star in Draco and found that its apparent position changed throughout the year.  All stellar positions are affected equally in this way.  … Bradley measured this angle for starlight, and knowing the speed of the Earth around the Sun, he found a value for the speed of light of 301,000 km/s.

The distance that the stars appear to move is proportional to the speed that the Earth moves divided by the speed of light, which is equivalent to the pace of light divided by the Earth’s orbital pace.

The first measurement of c that didn’t make use of the heavens was by Armand Fizeau in 1849.  He used a beam of light reflected from a mirror 8 km away.  The beam was aimed at the teeth of a rapidly spinning wheel.  The speed of the wheel was increased until its motion was such that the light’s two-way passage coincided with a movement of the wheel’s circumference by one tooth.  This gave a value for c of 315,000 km/s.  Leon Foucault improved on this result a year later using rotating mirrors, which gave the much more accurate value of 298,000 km/s.

Again, this was actually the pace of light since the measured travel time was dependent on the known distance.

According to the conventionality of simultaneity, the speed of light is actually the harmonic mean speed of the two-way speed of light. The harmonic mean is used because the length of the trips is the same. The pace of light is actually the arithmetic mean pace of the two-way pace of light.

The speed of light adopted as an international standard in 1983 is 299 792.458 km/s, which is equivalent to a pace of light that is 3.335 640 952 s/Gm.

# Terminology for space and time, part 3

This is part 3 of an open series of posts on terminology; see part 1 and part 2.

As another way of indicating the dimensions of space and time, let space-time mean unified 3D space + 1D time, and let time-space mean unified 3D time + 1D space.

Consequently, Galilean time-space requires what I’m calling the co-Galilean transformation. And Lorentz time-space requires what I’m calling the co-Lorentz transformation.

The appropriate way of measuring the rate of movement in space-time is speed and velocity, since time is the independent variable. Pace is equivalent to the inverse of speed but their independent variables differ.

The appropriate way of measuring the rate of movement in time-space is pace and legerity, since space (length) is the independent variable. Speed is equivalent to the inverse of pace but their independent variables differ.