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Author Topic: Is infinity an illusion?  (Read 68362 times)

lean bean

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #150 on: 22/09/2013 10:29:26 »
My contention is that infinity cannot be measured in units of anything, and eternity cannot be measured in units of time. 

At risk of being accused of repetition, I would say: infinity is not a very big number, in fact it is not a number at all, and eternity is not a very long time, it is not time at all.   That’s probably as close as I can get to answering your question.
I must be missing some deeper  point here...
You seem to be just saying... you can't measure the extent of infinity and you can't measure a total duration period for eternity, is that a surprise?
 
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I assume time, as we perceive it, had a beginning.

Going along with the standard BB model that's right, but as you know ,there are other theories, the eternal inflationary universe idea and others.

Those yoga chappies always seem to END their timeless period! That’s if they say they can go into a ‘timeless’  whatnot.
« Last Edit: 22/09/2013 10:35:18 by lean bean »
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #151 on: 22/09/2013 13:03:23 »
Quote from: JeffreyH
How about an infinite time and dimension that is on the equivalent of a mobius strip. Continuous, joined up and unbounded. You would never get back to the same point even though it is connected.

With a mobius strip, as with a circle, you do come back to the same place.  The time, of course, is different so you could argue that you were looking at different spacetime events each time round, but I'm a bit doubtful about the value of that.  You could claim that your garden was infinite because you could keep walking round it without returning to the same spacetime event.
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #152 on: 22/09/2013 13:07:39 »
Quote from: lean bean
I must be missing some deeper  point here...
You seem to be just saying... you can't measure the extent of infinity and you can't measure a total duration period for eternity

That's exactly what I'm saying.  Tell me what you feel you have missed and let's see if we can sort it out.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #153 on: 22/09/2013 15:06:06 »
Observers, do they need a consciousness, and what defines a consciousness?
As I understand it, an observer is potentially anything involved in a measurement, and, in QM terms, a measurement is an interaction. So a particle can be an 'observer'. In macro-scale physics, the observer just provides a disinterested viewpoint; at micro-scales, the 'observer effect' becomes significant, and in some interpretations of QM, the relation between observer and observed is complicated, even incestuous.

As for what defines a consciousness, I'm not sure what you're really after; a dictionary? those behaviours we identify as conscious? claims of qualia?

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A arrow?
?? what about an arrow?

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If I assumed the universe to be a representation of a quantum computer :) Which isn't that far from the idea of multiple universes created as a wave function breaks down, also assuming that this 'universe' contains it all.

Would a observer need to be 'locked' (to be conscious) under a arrow?
I have no idea what you're talking about.

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How do we define consciousness?
You go first...
« Last Edit: 22/09/2013 15:09:37 by dlorde »
 

lean bean

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #154 on: 22/09/2013 18:49:27 »
Quote from: lean bean
I must be missing some deeper  point here...
You seem to be just saying... you can't measure the extent of infinity and you can't measure a total duration period for eternity 

That's exactly what I'm saying.  Tell me what you feel you have missed and let's see if we can sort it out.
Well, I don't think I have missed anything if that's all your saying, I have always thought of infinity and eternity as unmeasurable, that's why I asked '' is that a surprise?'' Here...

You seem to be just saying... you can't measure the extent of infinity and you can't measure a total duration period for eternity, is that a surprise?
My bold.  :)
 
« Last Edit: 22/09/2013 18:53:15 by lean bean »
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #155 on: 22/09/2013 22:43:17 »
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is that a surprise?

Not to me; and apparently not to you.  I'm inclined to think that no one will admit to being surprised.  :)
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #156 on: 22/09/2013 23:42:22 »
I'm inclined to think that no one will admit to being surprised.  :)
I'm only surprised (as I think lean bean was) that you said it at all...
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #157 on: 23/09/2013 15:21:15 »
Quote from: dlorde
I'm only surprised (as I think lean bean was) that you said it at all...

Perhaps the surprising thing is that I didn't say it sooner!  One thing I have certainly learned from discussing infinity is that however obvious something may seem to me, it is best to make sure others agree before trying to progress. 

This could be the only point on which we have complete agreement.

After all this time, is it safe to say we agree that infinity/eternity is not measurable?

Is someone going to say: there are countable infinities; if you can count them, you can measure them?  :)
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #158 on: 23/09/2013 16:50:47 »
Is someone going to say: there are countable infinities; if you can count them, you can measure them?  :)
Not exactly; there are countable infinities; it means you can count them just as you can count the integers (you can only count them all if you've got infinite time off work).
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #159 on: 23/09/2013 18:53:10 »
Quote from: dlorde
Not exactly

Hence the smiley.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #160 on: 23/09/2013 19:12:00 »
Quote from: JeffreyH
How about an infinite time and dimension that is on the equivalent of a mobius strip. Continuous, joined up and unbounded. You would never get back to the same point even though it is connected.

With a mobius strip, as with a circle, you do come back to the same place.  The time, of course, is different so you could argue that you were looking at different spacetime events each time round, but I'm a bit doubtful about the value of that.  You could claim that your garden was infinite because you could keep walking round it without returning to the same spacetime event.

The point being with an infinite mobius strip you would need an infinite amount of time to get back to where you started. Whilst it would be theoretically possible in reality it would never be achieved.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #161 on: 23/09/2013 20:08:46 »
The point being with an infinite mobius strip you would need an infinite amount of time to get back to where you started. Whilst it would be theoretically possible in reality it would never be achieved.
Isn't the same true of an infinite simple loop? with the mobius strip you have to go round twice to get back to the same point on the same side, but infinite is infinite...
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #162 on: 24/09/2013 03:24:04 »
At this point I'm curious about something. Has any part of this topic not yet been explored? The reason I'm asking is because I'm interested in how these things progress and am wondering if there is a natural end to them. Sometimes it seems as if the same old things are being discussed but the discussion remains only in the area of semantics.

What new stuff has been covered here since last week before I got sick and had to stay off the interent for a while. Thanks!
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #163 on: 24/09/2013 09:56:10 »
... I'm interested in how these things progress and am wondering if there is a natural end to them.
I suspect they go on for ever :)

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Sometimes it seems as if the same old things are being discussed but the discussion remains only in the area of semantics.
Agreeing the semantics is important to understanding what we're talking about.

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What new stuff has been covered here since last week before I got sick and had to stay off the interent for a while. Thanks!
Not a lot. There was some talk about 'nothing' (can it physically exist if it is literally not something?), and time (what does it mean if time starts when the universe begins?) and eternity as timelessness.
 

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #164 on: 24/09/2013 15:40:38 »
... I'm interested in how these things progress and am wondering if there is a natural end to them.
I suspect they go on for ever :)

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Sometimes it seems as if the same old things are being discussed but the discussion remains only in the area of semantics.
Agreeing the semantics is important to understanding what we're talking about.

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What new stuff has been covered here since last week before I got sick and had to stay off the interent for a while. Thanks!
Not a lot. There was some talk about 'nothing' (can it physically exist if it is literally not something?), and time (what does it mean if time starts when the universe begins?) and eternity as timelessness.

Then aren't you just repeating yourself at this point? Don't you get frustrated when it gets to where it is now?
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #165 on: 24/09/2013 15:54:48 »
Then aren't you just repeating yourself at this point?
In different ways, yes.

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Don't you get frustrated when it gets to where it is now?
Yes, a little. On the other hand, with semantically messy subjects like this, I'm never sure I fully understand the other person's view, and they mine, so tackling it in different ways helps. It's also good thinking practice; and if it gets boring, one moves on  :)
 

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #166 on: 24/09/2013 15:59:02 »
Then aren't you just repeating yourself at this point?
In different ways, yes.

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Don't you get frustrated when it gets to where it is now?
Yes, a little. On the other hand, with semantically messy subjects like this, I'm never sure I fully understand the other person's view, and they mine, so tackling it in different ways helps. It's also good thinking practice; and if it gets boring, one moves on  :)
Okay. I guess this is a learning point for me. Other people have much more patients than I do on things like this.

Then again when I was researching the concept of mass in relativity the other people lost their patients and I never did.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #167 on: 24/09/2013 17:40:54 »
Quote from: JeffreyH
How about an infinite time and dimension that is on the equivalent of a mobius strip. Continuous, joined up and unbounded. You would never get back to the same point even though it is connected.

With a mobius strip, as with a circle, you do come back to the same place.  The time, of course, is different so you could argue that you were looking at different spacetime events each time round, but I'm a bit doubtful about the value of that.  You could claim that your garden was infinite because you could keep walking round it without returning to the same spacetime event.

The point being with an infinite mobius strip you would need an infinite amount of time to get back to where you started. Whilst it would be theoretically possible in reality it would never be achieved.

The difference and the interesting thing is that with the infinite mobius strip you have points that are opposite each other on different planes. In this scenario the two points have an interesting property. Gravitational effects experienced on one plane will have an equal and opposite effect on the other. While these can be considered to be an infinite distance apart and to all intents and purposes in a different universe. This results in a multi-dimensional spacetime concept where one universe can easily affect another. This is also one description of strings. Even if the strip were not infinite it could be expanding its spacetime.
« Last Edit: 24/09/2013 17:42:36 by jeffreyH »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #168 on: 24/09/2013 19:21:11 »
The difference and the interesting thing is that with the infinite mobius strip you have points that are opposite each other on different planes. In this scenario the two points have an interesting property. Gravitational effects experienced on one plane will have an equal and opposite effect on the other. While these can be considered to be an infinite distance apart and to all intents and purposes in a different universe. This results in a multi-dimensional spacetime concept where one universe can easily affect another. This is also one description of strings. Even if the strip were not infinite it could be expanding its spacetime.
Mobius String Theory?
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #169 on: 25/09/2013 11:52:19 »
The difference and the interesting thing is that with the infinite mobius strip you have points that are opposite each other on different planes. In this scenario the two points have an interesting property. Gravitational effects experienced on one plane will have an equal and opposite effect on the other. While these can be considered to be an infinite distance apart and to all intents and purposes in a different universe. This results in a multi-dimensional spacetime concept where one universe can easily affect another. This is also one description of strings. Even if the strip were not infinite it could be expanding its spacetime.
Mobius String Theory?
Hey with all the other multi-dimensional string theories around I don't think this is that way out.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #170 on: 25/09/2013 12:03:07 »
BTW This could also incorporate particle spin, quantum angular momentum.
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #171 on: 29/09/2013 23:10:45 »
Just "passing through" with a quick question.

What is the nature of Cantor’s “absolute infinity”?

In terms of mathematical infinities, Cantor established not only that there were many infinities, but that there were infinitely many infinities.  He established that there was no overarching infinity that included all other infinities. 

This he seems to have called “Absolute Infinity”.  What this means is that he designated an “Absolute Infinity”, which he proved did not exist. 

Is there a paradox here?
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #172 on: 30/09/2013 00:01:34 »
It gets a bit confusing - he seems to have also equated it with the concept of God. If you google for it, there's lots of articles about it.
 

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #173 on: 30/09/2013 00:03:56 »
Just "passing through" with a quick question.

What is the nature of Cantor’s “absolute infinity”?

In terms of mathematical infinities, Cantor established not only that there were many infinities, but that there were infinitely many infinities.  He established that there was no overarching infinity that included all other infinities. 

This he seems to have called “Absolute Infinity”.  What this means is that he designated an “Absolute Infinity”, which he proved did not exist. 

Is there a paradox here?

There has to be a limit just because of the size of a finite universe, if that is what we are in. There will be a physical limit past which a numeric cannot be represented as it would require more information than the physical universe can contain.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #174 on: 30/09/2013 00:10:51 »
There has to be a limit just because of the size of a finite universe, if that is what we are in.
If...
 

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Re: Is infinity an illusion?
« Reply #174 on: 30/09/2013 00:10:51 »

 

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