Sentences (#74)

Whatever else time travel may entail, it does not involve changing the past.

— Larry Dwyer (cited here).

September 30, 2016admin 23 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Templexity

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23 Responses to this entry

  • Brett Stevens Says:

    Time is a blockchain.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    Good point, but flipped – blockchains are timelike.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’ll take both.

    [Reply]

    Uriel Alexis Reply:

    thus, (backward) time travel is like “receding the clock” to a previous registered state?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    No, that’s impossible.

    It’s either a true circuit, presupposing irreversibility (radical version), or — minimally — an action of the future upon the past, but one that has always (already) occurred, and thus does not count as a revision.

    Artxell Knaphni Reply:

    It seems that David Masten has written the definitive tale of ‘Time’ as a ‘blockchain’.

    “Holding Time in Your Pocket” – dwmasten https://dwmasten.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/holding-time-in-your-pocket/

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2016 at 3:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • pyrrhus Says:

    How would we know if it did?

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2016 at 4:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • Erebus Says:

    Likely an untrue assertion, if the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics is true.

    If MWI is untrue, then either (a) changing the past is indeed impossible, or (b) time travel is simply impossible, or (c) time travel is possible in a small way (like sending particles backwards or forward in time) but is not possible in a macroscopically-meaningful way.

    …And if we’re in a simulation, then all bets are off.

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    Leaning heavily on one particular interpretation of quantum mechanics is de facto religion. Also strictly speaking, a MWI of time travel isn’t actually time travel but sliding between parallel universes, altering the original runs into the same issues and any tampering with our own from outside universes already happened.

    Someone thought it would be funny to have a simulated mind thinking about solipsism. They have it reset when it thinks about something else and it runs inside a display at an art museum.

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    I don’t disagree. In fact, displays of strong attachment to particular interpretations of quantum mechanics seem very odd to me — for instance, in Yudkowsky’s vehement defenses of MWI. I believe that an “agnostic” attitude is the proper attitude to take: As things stand right now, we can’t know the true nature of reality to any degree of certainty, and arguments on logical or aesthetic grounds are ultimately worthless.

    With that said, MWI, if correct, does make it awfully convenient to do things which are (superficially) logically impossible — like putting a bullet in grandpa’s brain, or helping out Ramses II with his pyramids. Sure, our protagonist might have slipped into an alternate universe…

    …But the truth might be far stranger than even that. The simulation argument gives more than a few bizarre possibilities. Logical first principles and axiomatic statements simply aren’t much help here.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Convergent waves definitely happen. If we call them ‘time-travel’ (an action of the future upon the past), then it’s a dogma to be fanatically defended. There’s simply nothing left worth thinking about at all, if this reality isn’t recognized. (A universe populated only by divergent waves is unworthy of cognitive engagement.)

    There are also, as you note, many further exotic options and elaborations of time-anomaly merit consideration. Simulation fall-out is one of the most entertaining — and even plausible — actually.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2016 at 5:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • Artxell Knaphni Says:

    “His answer to the rhetorical question is an emphatic no. Time travel à la Wells is not just impossible, it is logically impossible.”

    {AK}: No. He’s wrong. It isn’t logically impossible.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “It is a contradiction in terms. In an argument that runs for four dense pages, Hospers proves this by power of reason.”

    {AK}: No. He’s wrong. If it seems to be a “contradiction in terms”, that’s only because Hospers is accepting conventional terminological conceptions of chronology as the final hypostatised word on temporal possibility. He’s thinking in a dogmatic & fixated way, about time, as if Time were an inert ‘thing’ or block. That’s okay, as a theoretical modeling. but it’s stupid as metaphysics of time.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “How can we be in the 20th century A.D. and the 30th century B.C. at the same time? Here already is one contradiction … It is not logically possible to be in one century of time and in another century of time at the same time.” You may pause to wonder (Hospers doesn’t) whether a trap is lurking in that deceptively common expression, “at the same time.” The present and the past are different times, therefore they are not the same time, nor at the same time. Q.E.D. That was suspiciously easy.”

    {AK}: I actually wrote about this, in a fun way, in the 1980s.

    “Recalling Professor Wilfred Kaufmann’s notions concerning Time, Artxell pondered their implications, then said: “Cranthimus, are the Past, Present, and Future, simultaneous?
    “In order that the terms Past, Present, and Future retain their meanings, I would have to say, that they are not simultaneous. If they were, the word ‘simultaneous’ would lose its meaning as Simultaneity is a concomitant of Time, and without the temporal distinctions, Past, Present, and Future, there is no Time, as we understand it.”
    “Oh,” said Artxell, rather disappointed. He had been nurturing hopes that Saint Sophia Avenue numbered amongst its miracles the concept of Time Travel. But his hopes were not in vain, for Cranthimus laughed and said: “My dear Artxell, Language is one thing and Time is often another. I would rather say that the Past, Present, and Future are equally accessible. This is different from saying that different times are happening at the same time, which is what different times are ‘simultaneous’ means. The phrase ‘equally accessible’ avoids an emphasis of the paradoxical.” (“A Divine Avenue”: 1988; Chap.5, ‘Cranthimus Jaxley, Temporal Technician, At Your Service’; p.43)

    The rest of the article looks interesting, combining Physics & Philosophy nicely. Most of the alleged ‘difficulty’ attaching to the area, is due to the dogmatic & fixated ways that the metaphysics of time has been thought about in the Occidental tradition. The substantive metaphysics of the West, as it has actually been practiced, is a huge block to clear thought & logic; we can see that in the strained convolutions of its religious doctrines (Christian & Islamic); & even in secular thinking which follows, ‘essentially’, the same stunted lines.

    If I get ‘time’, lol, might write a bit more about it. but really, this is not new ‘stuff’, lol.

    NL, don’t know if you read this: “Secretions of Eternity: The Secrecy of Eternal Agency” (http://visionfiction.theotechne.com/WordPress/?p=713“), but it explains why your objections were wrong, or at least misplaced – they derive from that substantive tradition, which is only good for speculative modelling, not actual thinking.

    [Reply]

    Artxell Knaphni Reply:

    substantive = substantialist, or substance-based
    substantive works, too, though

    [Reply]

    Nicean Necropolitical Reply:

    Glad to see you here again, Mr. Knaphni.

    [Reply]

    Artxell Knaphni Reply:

    Thank you, Nicean.

    “The Gospel According to Thomas777” looks interesting, though I’m not really a politico.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Extremely intriguing, but extraordinarily opaque. I wouldn’t have been able to reconstruct any sense at all of what I am saying from your account here, so I have to assume that’s true for everyone you talk about, including yourself.

    [Reply]

    Artxell Knaphni Reply:

    There’s a point where ‘deconstruction’ & ‘reconstruction’ become identical in effect; to do ‘one’ is to be able to do the ‘other’.
    If you’re saying that it’s true that you can’t reconstruct what you, others, and I, say, from my account, that’s an observation concerning your ability to reconstruct & of my account.
    If you’re suggesting that your inability to reconstruct your own thesis from my account is likely to be the case for others & myself, with regard to our own theses, is that a justified projection?
    On the one hand, you are unable to reconstruct your thesis out of my account; on the other, you assume that we share the same reconstructive ability, or inability, as the case may be. Bit contradictory.
    You’re trying to say that it’s so opaque, even the writer doesn’t understand it, so there’s no sense there at all. But you’re unable to demonstrate that with citations.

    There are a number of interlocking arguments there, & I left one line trailing, deliberately. Yes, I could explain it further, but I shouldn’t need to, not to anyone who knows philosophy.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 30th, 2016 at 5:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • Worm Says:

    ‘My favourite sentence in Anti Oedipus is: “No, we’ve never seen a schizophrenic”’

    Gilles Deleuze “Letter to a Harsh Critic” (1973)

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 1st, 2016 at 1:19 am Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    Rupert Spira on time –

    “All experience takes place now.
    Now is normally conceived of as a fraction of time between the two endless expanses of the past and future. In other words the ‘now’ is considered to be a moment of minute duration – hence the phrase, the ‘present moment’ – moving along a line of time.
    The now is undoubtedly known or experienced. But what about time?
    Time is the duration between two events, but what is our actual experience of this duration? It is only a thought or an image, and all thoughts and images take place now, never in a past or future.
    In other words, we truly only know now; we never actually know a past or future. If we don’t actually know a past or future, how can we know time? We cannot!
    And if we do not know time, how do we know that the now in which the current experience is taking place is not the same now in which all experience takes place?
    It is only a thought that tells us that this now is different from that now. And that thought is existing now. We simply cannot escape the now. Nor is there any time preset in which another now could exist.
    Try to step out of the now. Try to take a step out of the now into the past by one second. Can we do it? Try to step one minute into the future. Where do we go? Where could we go?
    In fact we find that this now is the only now there ever is. It is eternally now.
    This now is not going anywhere in time. There is no time present in which it could travel forwards or backwards. The now is not a moment in time. It has nothing to do with time. It is not made of time-stuff.
    What is the now made of? The now is ever-present and so it can only be made out of something that is also ever-present. What in our experience is ever-present? The mind, the body, the world? No, only our self!
    The now is our self. We are not present in the now. We are the now. The now is not a container that contains our self along with everything else. It is our self, eternal presence.”

    Though this phenomenological appeal to direct experience immediately strikes me as distinctly dodgy, I somehow can’t quite articulate why at the moment. However, I’ll be going to see Spira himself on Monday, so hopefully that will help.

    [Reply]

    John Hannon Reply:

    Saw Spira yesterday, and got to see at first hand exactly how the appeal to direct experience works in his teaching. First of all – as the beginning of the video below makes clear – Spira is not a philosopher, and isn’t even particularly interested in philosophy. Neither is he interested much in science, as I found out yesterday when I asked him about the neurophysiological correlates of non-dual awareness. He’d clearly never even heard of neuroplasticity, and simply stuck to the line that, rather than producing consciousness, the brain is merely another image occurring within consciousness.
    But as he says –

    “The true teaching is not in the words, it is in the understanding from which the words proceed and with which they are permeated.
    The words are just the packaging of the teaching. They are important only in so far as they lead back to their place of origin. As such, and in the hands of a skilled teacher, a very wide variety of means and expressions will be used depending on the current situation.
    In the end, all words should be forgotten, leaving only the experience to which they refer, the eternally present and unlimited nature of our essential being.”

    The old “finger-pointing-at-the-Moon” trope in other words.
    Still strikes me as a bit dodgy though.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLt9Yy6FIvE

    [Reply]

    Artxell Knaphni Reply:

    You might like this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9LuunwKReM

    There’s a longer version, too.

    I have linked the video before.

    [Reply]

    John Hannon Reply:

    Thanks for the interesting link Artxell.
    Comparable ideas have also been presented by Bernardo Kastrup, who can be seen here from 1.14.50 (the whole thing is well worth watching if anyone has the spare time) –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIFkSIfbObA

    Posted on October 1st, 2016 at 9:22 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2016/10/02) - Social Matter Says:

    […] Nick Land has an homage (with a cool pic) to Dark Energy. Also a sentence he and I definitely agree on. […]

    Posted on October 5th, 2016 at 9:03 am Reply | Quote

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