Sunday, October 24, 2010

Time is not like that.

Humans learn about time when they are about five years old from the monster that lives under their bed.

Actually, I think that we piece together our idea of what time is, as we are developing, from the days inexhorably going by, birthdays, christmasses, thanksgivings and so on, corresponding to an opening up of our minds, an expansion of personal possibilities, down to time to get up, eating times etc.

We learn to look forward to, or dread an event by counting down to it, as if it were, because it is, in fact, a kind of prediction.

But what is time? What is time like? When we reach a certain state of education we learn that time is not as straightforward a process as we have, up 'til now, imagined.

We are told that time is relative to movement. For example two clocks set to the same time, if one is accelerated relative to the other one, the time-frame will change, things happen slower for one, or less time goes by for one, depending on the perspective you want to use.

This is a kind of useless fact for most of us. I hardly think that I'd be willing to be accelerated around the Sun in order for less time to go by in comparison to everyone else.

Nevertheless, in thought experiments about this phenomenon, we're inclined to be puzzled about the idea that, if we get in a vehicle that accelerates away from the Earth, we can come back, "in the future".

I think this puzzlement is, while an honest and fair reaction, a mixing of the idea that one is 'travelling' and that one is returning to a planet where more time has passed.

Simply because we ALWAYS live in this one time-frame, it is very difficult to imagine that there are countless time-frames 'out there', each relative to ours, depending on how fast the object in question is accelerating compared to us.

Basically, time is not a thing. Time is not lack of a thing. Time is simply the rate of events going by, in the local environment.

When we treat fairly steady events, such as a clock ticking by or a body ageing as the basis from which we measure events, and we've learned to do this since taking our first breath remember, then we imbue time with an essence that it does not have, universally.

Or to put it another way, time does not have a universal rhythm, just a relative rhythm.

I'm wondering what this means for the ideas that the universe is 'so many' billions of years old, but that's a question for another day, boys and girls. (Won't you be my neighbor?)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Philosophy is drivel.

This is an exerpt from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy here:-

"Like many philosophically interesting notions, existence is at once familiar and rather elusive."

No. No it's not, you pompous ass.(Well it is if you want to include God as 'existing', which you do.)

"Although we have no more trouble with using the verb ‘exists’ than with the two-times table, there is more than a little difficulty in saying just what existence is."

I don't think that we do.

"Existing seems to be at least as mundane as walking or being hungry. Yet, when we say ‘Tom is hungry’ or ‘Tom is walking’, it may be news to those not in Tom's vicinity, whereas ‘Tom exists’ would be news to no one who knew Tom, and merely puzzling to anyone who did not."

Keep in mind that there's a supposedly, really fuckin' smart guy behind this entry into this encyclopedia! Nevertheless, it seems obvious to me that, "Tom exists." could be an elliptical, implying that he 'still' lives and such, so used in that manner it WOULD be news to anyone who knew Tom but wasn't sure about his state of existence. Similarly, it might be clarifying to someone that didn't know if 'Tom' in a story was real or fictitious etc.

" Again, we know what it is like to be hungry or to walk, but what is it like to exist, what kind of experience is that?"

Once again, 'Who are these people?'

" Is it perhaps the experience of being oneself, of being identical with oneself? Yet again, we can readily indicate what is meant by Tom's walking, but surely Tom's existing is not something we can indicate to anyone."

REALLY? We cannot 'indicate' to anyone that Tom exists because you, you pompous ass think that you have frittered away any meaning in the sentence, "Tom exists."???

" On the face of it, there would seem to be no way at all in which we can explain what existing is."

Bullshit! Existing is being, and includes a lot of implication. For example Tom, is usually the name of another human being, likely a male, and emphasizing that he 'exists' is saying that he's not imaginary or fictional.

"It may be tempting to think that ‘Tom exists’ means merely ‘Tom is real’. In fact, this could be distinctly appealing, for ‘real’ is what has been called an ‘excluder’ predicate, meaning thereby that it attributes nothing positive to Tom, but operates in a purely negative fashion simply to exclude Tom from being imaginary, mythical, fictional, and the like."

Okay, shithead, fine then. That would make 'exists' an 'excluder' predicate meaning etc. etc. no?

" To say that ‘exists’ meant ‘is real’ would be to say inter alia that it attributed nothing positive to Tom; and that would do much to relieve our frustration at being so fluent in our use of ‘exists’ despite having no idea of its attributing anything positive to Tom."

I'm thinking that since we think, in what i call 'thoughts'(write that down if you have to) and these thoughts don't necessarilly correspond to facts and reality, to communicate that something 'exists' certainly does attribute the positivity of Tom 'existing'.

"It would be a relief to discover that ‘exists’ attributes nothing positive to him at all."

This is following your other reasoning which I already disagree with.

"Unfortunately, this won't do; for among all the negatives that ‘is real’ might be applying to Tom would be not only ‘not imaginary’, ‘not mythical’, etc., but also ‘not nonexistent’."

Not nonexistent = not unreal. (simple)

" Now, suppose a seer predicted that in two years that a son would be born to Bill and Mary, and that he would be called ‘Tom’. When the prediction was finally fulfilled, we might imagine the seer announcing triumphantly ‘At last Tom exists, exactly as I predicted he would’. If ‘exists’ were an excluder like ‘is real’, then the seer could only be understood as excluding something from Tom; and in this case it would be non-existence."

This is what I'm talking about. This fuckin' jerk-off can't 'figure' what 'to exist' means but he's introducing stories with 'people who can foretell the future' now, as IF they exist outside of fiction, as if they are REAL??? What is this guy's agenda here?

" As said by the seer, therefore, ‘At last Tom exists’ could only mean ‘At last Tom is not-nonexistent’. And if he really were to mean that, we should be entitled to ask him just when Tom could ever have been said to be nonexistent, i.e. never to have existed. In fact, before he existed Tom could never even have been referred to, and hence at that time nothing at all could have been attributed to him, not even the property of being nonexistent."

Now he's denying the entire idea of predicting the future which he himself brought up in the first place!

" Promising as it may have seemed, therefore, ‘Tom exists’ is not to be understood simply as ‘Tom is real’."


"Of course, the failure of attempts to understand ‘exists’ as ‘is real’ leaves plenty of room for other suggestions, each proposing to substitute one or more terms for ‘exists’, and thereby to show why our original disquiet about it and existence has been sadly misplaced."

Now follows a list of alternatives, we'd be disappointed to learn, NOT!

" If one thinks that ‘exists’ is readily dispensable in favour of some other (less troublesome) expression, then there will be no difficulty in dismissing the thought of there being some such property or attribute as existence."

It's a wonder this jerk can communicate anything at all as he has no trouble using words like 'is', 'being' and 'existence' as though they are well understood to us.

" Alternatively, if one thinks that ‘exists’ is not to be dispensed with in this way, then one might be inclined to continue pursuing the puzzle of just what existence is."

There's no puzzle! You just invoked a puzzle by spouting this half-sense drivel.

"It is probably now reasonably clear that the question of existence is inextricably intertwined with the question of ‘exists’."

Well, you could have knocked me over with a non-existent feather at this point!