Posted by: graemebird | August 3, 2007

TIME…. (And The Theory Of Velocity-Absolutism).

From Catallaxy:

“if there’s no TIME how can there even be a SPEED of light? why are we then having this argument.”

Well let me make the caveat right here that there is no use trying to get by without the concept of time. Its a waste of time and me having to use the concept in the very next sentence proves my point.

We’d only be playing silly-buggers to try and do without the concept. Its what you might call a TIME-SAVING concept. And the fact that I had to use it in its own description of the type of concept time is proves my point there also.


Sharing common cause and ganging up against me.

I am not a believer. But in my dotage I’ve seen that some believers can be far more rational then their atheistic counterparts and so I don’t want to undercut religious belief in any way.

But in this one case I must tell religious people not to take common cause with these errant science-workers. For science is valuable and ought to stick to its own sound methodology.

Augustine I think had many similiar ideas to contemporary physics about time and his ideas would readily slot in with the idea of a four dimensional God who would see through us and even our thoughts in the same way as we three-dimensional beings can imagine seeing through the individuals in the mythical mathematical, two-dimensional world of flatland.

Though it might be tempting for the followers of Aquinas to have common cause with the errant science-workers on such matters I think you should refrain from this…. and if anything attempt to monopolise such speculations for yourselves.
Because these scientists are on the public-tit payroll. And we expect them to stick to the method.


Well for one thing the method involves making arbitrary assumptions to get at least three simplified working predictive models and I would say hopefully as many as six.

One model is no good.

Two models divide things into good guys and heretics and both models may be substantially or totally wrong.

And you need at least three to design a cost-effective research-program in any case.

So you want arbitrary assumptions. But you want to KNOW that these assumptions are arbitrary and you ought to not build on these arbitrary assumptions at more then one step if you still have other leads to follow.

Arbitrary assumptions.

That brings us back to time.


We must boil things down to primary concepts and derivative concepts.
And it appears that our leading paradigm is that time is a derivative concept.

It appears to be merely a function of regular motion and simultaneity.


NOW. RIGHT NOW. Right now is the only happening thang.

Everything that is happening in the universe is happening at the same time.

If it isn’t happening at the same time as something that is currently happening then it isn’t happening at all. And is already finished happening or may happen later or it isn’t a real happening thing at all.

Simultaneity is a PRIMARY concept and no arbitrary assumptions need to be made here. Since whats happening now comprises all those things that are happening simultaneously everywhere.

We see there are many things in motion at all levels of size and scope. The moon goes round the earth and in the old days the people….. they would tell time by the number of moons between events that happened at different times. That were not simultaneous to eachother nor the case where one action followed hard up against the other.

The earth rotates and people would tell time by the numbers of days and nights.

The earth travels around the sun and the old folks would tell time by the seasons and they would say that it had been many winters since the last time I saw you and they would frame things in this way.

We see if we think about it that once we’ve factorised things down to simultaneity and regular movement there is no reason to believe there is a thing called time at all.

Its a necessary concept.

But there is nothing to say that time exists as a thing seperate and distinct from regular motion and simultaneity.

Its seems that time relies on movement and simultaneity and not the other way around.

Now this may be wrong.

Time may be a green liquid that lies just beneath the shell of the tortoise that holds up the Universe…

…..But when a scientist centres himself for the task of model-building he should at least know what assumptions of his are arbitrary and which are primary assumptions…. and he ought try not to build more then two steps on the arbitrary stuff.

We already have built on speed, regular movement and so forth to get time.
We want to be cautious about building more on this derivative concept or we’ll likely come unstuck or get bogged down.

Here’s an opposing view. Used to tie up wider models. You might suggest that it is proof that what I say above is dead wrong. But only if you are the sort of person that thinks the first model of best fit that comes along with a hoopla of publicity represents the revealed truth.

The mainstream view of relativity ought to be renamed “The Theory of Velocity Absolutism.”

Its an absolutist theory both internally and in the way its supporters try and justify it.

The velocity-absolutism is so pronounced that it is supposed to overide the law of identity and the law of non-contradiction.

But in the real world velocity is a relative concept.


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