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posted by martyb on Tuesday May 06 2014, @02:32PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the second-chances-come-first dept.

Thought experiment proposed to reconcile psychological versus thermodynamic arrows of time:

A pair of physicists has proposed a thought experiment to help reconcile the seeming disparity between the psychological and thermodynamic arrows of time. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review E, Leonard Mlodinow and Todd Brun claim their thought experiment demonstrates that the two seemingly contradictory views of time, must always align.

When ordinary people think about time, they see the past as something that has come before and the future as a great unknown yet to come. We can remember the past, because it has happened already, but not the future, because it hasn't. Physicists, on the other hand see time as able to move either forward or backwards (towards greater entropy), which implies that we should be able to remember events in the future. So, why can't we?

It's because of the way our memories work the two say, and they've created a thought experiment to demonstrate what they mean. Imagine, they write, two chambers connected by an atomic sized tube with a turnstile in it. If there is gas in one of the chambers, individual atoms of it will move through the tube to the other chamber (towards higher entropy) tripping the turnstile as they go, in effect, counting the atoms as they pass by, until both sides have equal numbers of atoms-creating a state of equilibrium.

http://phys.org/news/2014-05-thought-psychological -thermodynamic-arrows.html

Arrow of Time FAQ

http://physics.aps.org/articles/v7/47

http://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysR evE.89.052102

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday May 06 2014, @02:39PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @02:39PM (#40161)

    Last dying gasps of mind body dualism BS. If dualism would just curl up and die for once and finally get out of the way, a lot of human progress could happen. I don't think most indoctrination based religions would be very amused, sucks to be them I guess, eventually they'll dry up and blow away and that'll be a great day.

    If you assume the psychological process only exists because of thermodynamic processes, then its an emergent phenomena and no great surprise "minds" with memories follow a thermodynamic arrow of time.

    If you assume some all knowing "truth" exists and our minds live in souls and all this other mythological dualism blather then you can imagine a non-thermodynamically limited intelligence that doesn't need to follow the arrow of time. But since we have no technology for that other than mysticism, indoctrination, and smoking weed, it doesn't seem we're making much progress there.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DECbot on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:08PM

      by DECbot (832) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:08PM (#40169) Journal

      Ah, but the dualist are making progress. Recreational use is legal in two states, and I heard Illinois is considering legalizing it so they would be able to collect more revenue. I just hope it'll never be required for physics class.

      Soma for the masses! Thinking is overrated!

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:54PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:54PM (#40199)

        I'm sorry, what does pot have to do with mind-body dualism? Societies which had no access to marijuana still developed the idea of mind-body dualism, which would suggest that it's part of human psychology and not the result of drug use.

        --
        Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:09PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:09PM (#40205)

          My tar and feather comments were more directly along the lines of it takes impaired cognitive function to believe in dualism despite the evidence against, lack of evidence for, and the stereotypical meme behaviors of transmission (conversion at the point of a sword, indoctrination/brainwashing of youth, higher popularity amongst the cognitively impaired, etc)

          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by edIII on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:43PM

            by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:43PM (#40242)

            My tar and feather comments were more directly along the lines of it takes impaired cognitive function to believe in dualism despite the evidence against

            Faith is not "impaired cognitive function", and if you are going to be honest as a scientist, there exists no evidence and theories to disprove any of the "dualism bullshit".

            I can't prove I have a soul, and you can't prove I don't.

            What upsets you, and does upset me greatly as well, is that the "problem children" want to never shut up about their faith, tell us how their faith should be running our lives, and engage in the rather dangerous behavior of not understanding that faith means it's not literally true and backed by science. Major decisions that involve us all ideally should be rational and grounded in what we can actually work with in science. It's the only true fair way, and I think it's the foundation of the separation of church and state which is something I very strongly support.

            Just because there exists people with low levels of maturity and sophistication that screw the whole idea of faith up, does not mean you can entirely dismiss all ontological discussions as being products of delusion or physically impaired biology.

            You've used way to broad a brush to attack all of philosophy it seems and see no value in such things. Even if just recognized internally as faith, many philosophies can be quite healthy and provide people with a sense of peace and order. Regardless of what you and I believe, one fact remains. A fact we can both agree upon as rational men. We are going to die. My own faith and journey with "dualism BS" allows me my own coping mechanism for dealing with the end of what I am now.

            I can have both the "dualism BS" and science. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I will submit to you, that many of the greatest scientists that championed science and rationality were men of faith (that doesn't mean a brand name religion). Ontological discussions and thoughts empower us, they inspire us, and drive us towards attainment of knowledge. If you've listened to the stories of these men, how was their journey not influenced by their own personal faith and how does faith hold judgement over their accomplishment?

            While I understand your feelings, you have placed far to harsh a judgment against such ontological activities. They even said it was a thought experiment and weren't trying to represent it as a fundamental truth of nature to be taken at their word.

            Do you exist without ANY beliefs of any kind that are not proven by science to some degree? I highly doubt that. You very much have your own dreams, ideas, and ontological journey going on right now. I choose not to marginalize that or unfairly judge it.

            --
            Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by naubol on Tuesday May 06 2014, @06:26PM

              by naubol (1918) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @06:26PM (#40262)

              What concerns me...

              people think I have to prove something doesn't exist for me to justify not believing in it.
              people do not understand that faith is a method for choosing what to believe that is not compatible with empiricism.
              faith is a popular way to try to understand the self, reality, and what to do about it, but appears to only accidentally get it right, and often is only getting it wrong except that people apply empiricism naturally and get better answers when their faith doesn't override it.

              What upsets me...

              faith as a reason to destroy lives, the inquisition, the crusades, the crucible, justifications for slavery, justifications for homophobia, justifications for racism or other forms of xenophobia, etc.
              faith as reason for war.

              I think science is properly an empirical pursuit that has often been tainted by faith. That people are scientists and have faith does not mean that faith is required for science or even a good thing to mix with science.

              It is not an argument either that we need to be inspired by faith, plenty of monists have accomplished much in science. Yes, there were and are highly important dualists in science (for example, Newton, Pascal, Descartes), it is not an argument that this means we are better off for faith and dualism. It is possible we would be so much more advanced if we had culturally rejected dualism. I believe we cannot know, and you are not making an argument against this supposition.

              Let us say, for the sake of argument, that I have a belief which did not derive from science or from a probabilistic argument. If, upon examining this belief under scrutiny, I cannot construct a valid chain of reasoning for sustaining the belief, I believe that I should stop believing it. I believe that is much more essential than whether or not I hold such beliefs. I choose not to believe in the soul because I cannot construct a valid chain of reasoning.

              All that said, I do wish that we promoted empiricism and demoted the social value of faith, but I am not so bothered as I used to be by the idea that some people value "faith" and "dualistic" thinking. It does not "upset" me.

              • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:15PM

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:15PM (#40282)

                people do not understand that faith is a method for choosing what to believe that is not compatible with empiricism.

                Faith is a choice to believe in something because it feels right. It feels as if there is truth there that could be found, if only you had the data and the reasoning to see it.

                This is why I find faith empowering. It comes from my heart, my dreams, my passion for something. I don't literally mean that I dream of purple Unicorns on the far side of the Moon weaving our fates, or that would be entirely healthy to believe. Scientists have the same dreams and base them upon previous examples of ideas and phenomena that have valid chains of reasoning. In that way, I have faith in the multi-verse theory being true (tied to the Big Bang via radiation?), even though it's just the beginnings of figuring that out.

                The key is to be able to switch hats. You can have faith all you want, but when you are dealing with other people, switch to empiricism.

                Of course that doesn't mean you can take that position to the extreme and allow behavior that is clearly damaging to the commons. It explicitly means dealing with other people and we are not very good at realizing or accepting that our own actions always affect others. So just be intelligent and judicious about it.

                It is not an argument either that we need to be inspired by faith, plenty of monists have accomplished much in science. Yes, there were and are highly important dualists in science (for example, Newton, Pascal, Descartes), it is not an argument that this means we are better off for faith and dualism. It is possible we would be so much more advanced if we had culturally rejected dualism. I believe we cannot know, and you are not making an argument against this supposition.

                You're right, we may never know the true value of either faith or empiricism being applied to our species.

                Just as I seemly can't argue that we should have more faith, you have no basis to argue that pure empiricism is going to be that much better.

                We are human beings fraught with emotions, a severely confined space, common materials that have to be shared, a ridiculous sex drive, and the absolute terrifying knowledge that it's all going to end, but end realllllly soon for you. 100 years. Tops.

                It's a miracle we are here now given the circumstances.

                So I would ask you to consider that ontological pursuits, and faith in different expressions thereof, be considered if anything a coping mechanism to let us balance it all out and not go insane or turn into emotionless and sexless robots.

                There is some value in the behavior.

                faith as a reason to destroy lives, the inquisition, the crusades, the crucible, justifications for slavery, justifications for homophobia, justifications for racism or other forms of xenophobia, etc.
                faith as reason for war.

                You are generalizing and lumping all expressions of faith into one negative category.

                Just because we are evolving with it, and there are so many problems we all have, doesn't dismiss faith. In fact, faith doesn't have ANYTHING to do with most of that anyways. More often than not when we study history we find that faith had not much to do with it, but it was human failings and vice that was involved. Men wanted rooms full of women for carnal pleasure. "Faith" found a way. Yay.

                Faith is just a behavior with a wide spectrum to say the least. If there is anything that I am arguing is that the intellectually minded ontological pursuits are valid, not harmful, and can be helpful when framed properly.

                In some way I almost feel that it is disrespectful to those men you acknowledged as "dualists", as you marginalize them. You assume that their feelings regarding faith were a handicap and they succeeded despite it. I choose to believe, and give them the benefit of the doubt at least, that they were men of enough intelligence to properly use both faith and empiricism by maintaining the balance between the two.

                All that said, I do wish that we promoted empiricism and demoted the social value of faith, but I am not so bothered as I used to be by the idea that some people value "faith" and "dualistic" thinking. It does not "upset" me.

                Let's not mince words. You want the Christians and the Muslims to shut the fuck up, put away their toys, and let the adults concentrate for once on getting the world back on track.

                I get that. Your position of demoting the social value smacks of intolerance though. I would urge you to remember that advocating these kinds of behaviors to marginalize certain people in public, especially in scientific circles, has been to our detriment in many notable cases.

                That's really my main fear to be honest. Is that I get marginalized in public because I am a student of philosophy primarily that has participated in the so-called goofy stuff like mysticism, meditation, and exposure to these older cultures. I can be both a student of philosophy and rigorously apply empiricism in my daily life. I truly love both.

                • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by VLM on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:08PM

                  by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:08PM (#40339)

                  "Scientists have the same dreams and base them upon previous examples of ideas and phenomena that have valid chains of reasoning."

                  Something I've never understood about faith is the whole lack of empathy thing, and relativity, especially geographic relativity.

                  It doesn't matter where you were born or what religion you're born into, the hard sciences all work the same way pretty much for eternity. Magnets do about the same thing here as in China, the NMR spectrum of D20 looks about the same, the specific gravity of water is about the same... And not just facts but ways of thinking. Ochem reaction mechanisms are the same everywhere for everyone no matter your activities on Sunday morning, or lack thereof. If I was popped outta mom in Japan, I could solve equations exactly like I do today, here. Aside from boring economic issues, ancestors and location just don't matter. No matter where you travel, geology "just works", like every hard science.

                  Yet, a biologically identical version of myself can grow up on the other side of the planet and apparently faith means something entirely different to them, up to and including we're supposed to violate the golden rule against the local clone copy in all kinds of unpleasant ways. And supposedly we all have souls but the souls there all hate the souls over here, because souls care a lot about geography, or whatever.

                  And all I can find in common between these faiths is something along the lines of "reason is unnecessary", although that similarity is apparently not enough to allow peaceful coexistence. Generally when two groups of people are killing each other over belief systems, both sides usually have "reason is unnecessary" at the core of both their systems, which is an interesting correlation.

                  Its all very much like watching a bunch of jock sports fans talk about their love of "their" team and hatred of the followers of the other team, and a guy who's uninterested in sports saying the whole thing is an unwise form of interpersonal relationship building and getting a rather hard time about it. You wanna watch the Packers on TV because you really like the Packers and hate the Bears, fine, have fun, but don't expect anyone else, anywhere else, to think it actually means anything or is useful out in the real world. The Bears, after all, are human beings just like us, even if they hate the Packers in retribution.

                  So those committed true believing Christians, if they were born 3000 years ago, they'd be ... Christians? I think not. Welcome to worship of Odin. Or born in Palestine instead of USA, they'd be true believing Islamic suicide bombers, right? So if there is no absolute and all faith means is when and where you were born (vaguely like astrology) then what meaning or worth could it possibly have?

                  Faith sounds kinda like hard drugs. You can play with them to feel better, but its playing with fire and lots have gotten burned.

                  "That's really my main fear to be honest. Is that I get marginalized in public because I am a student of philosophy primarily that has participated in"

                  Don't worry, your guys were gleefully burning our guys at the stake centuries ago not the other way around, but like I wrote, it was centuries ago, and both sides have advanced beyond that. So no worries, at least in a civilized area.

                  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Oligonicella on Tuesday May 06 2014, @11:06PM

                    by Oligonicella (4169) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @11:06PM (#40375)

                    "Something I've never understood about faith is the whole lack of empathy thing, and relativity, especially geographic relativity."

                    That's a broad paint brush loaded with bullshit. Empathy is not associated with either faith or lack thereof. I've known religious people with far more empathy than some atheists I've known. Those people on both sides were both from here and afar.

                    "Faith sounds kinda like hard drugs. You can play with them to feel better, but its playing with fire and lots have gotten burned."

                    Exactly the same can be said for those without.

                    Religious and areligious people have helped greatly and persecuted greatly, and with equal measure and zeal.

                    "Don't worry, your guys were gleefully burning our guys at the stake centuries ago not the other way around..."

                    And ours were doing the same thing (mostly with tanks and firing squads) very recently, like even this last month.

                    "...but like I wrote, it was centuries ago, and both sides have advanced beyond that. So no worries, at least in a civilized area."

                    Like Russia today? Maybe China? Maybe here in the US?

                    Atheists can be just as pompous, close minded and bent on persecution as anyone else. To think otherwise is consciously putting on blinders. Just another way of saying "having faith".

                • (Score: 2) by naubol on Tuesday May 06 2014, @10:01PM

                  by naubol (1918) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @10:01PM (#40359)

                  Uhh, I really want to respond to you in a way that seems almost colorless and without emotion.

                  I don't think faith necessarily leads to all those horrible things listed. I think it has been used to do those things and that is when I'm upset. I was trying to draw this distinction between being upset about faith-related matters and being merely "concerned". So, it wasn't meant to generalize to all uses of faith by any means whatsoever. My apologies for not making that clearer.

                  I don't feel that I agree with how you took my last sentence. I especially don't think it is a question of tolerance, because I make space for you to have your views, etc. I wouldn't attempt to persecute you, prevent you from marrying, or promulgating your ideas in a reasonable fashion. In every sense of the word "tolerate" that I think is important, I would try to tolerate you. It also wouldn't prevent me from becoming friends with you, attending your wedding, or celebrating your success and happiness on this mortal coil.

                  However, I don't believe that I'm being intolerant if I suggest that people arguing out of positions built on faith have a weaker view and shouldn't be, say, denying climate change or evolution. I think tolerating all things in every possible way that the word tolerate can be used is a very bad idea and it is a culture war what we should "tolerate" based on values we think are better for our culture.

                  I also don't believe I'm being intolerant if I think you're less connected to reality because you claim to be a person of faith. I think you almost certainly think the same thing of me, and I'm okay with that nor do I see that possible view by you as one of intolerance.

                  Public marginalization is unavoidable. If you are a trend setter, you have to be okay with this. If your population group is losing credibility for its views, then you will find yourself somewhat marginalized. But, while we should accept this broadly, there are specific things, like burning people at the stake, preventing marriages in the population group, or other such things.... we should not accept these.

                  • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday May 07 2014, @12:28AM

                    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 07 2014, @12:28AM (#40387)

                    However, I don't believe that I'm being intolerant if I suggest that people arguing out of positions built on faith have a weaker view and shouldn't be, say, denying climate change or evolution. I think tolerating all things in every possible way that the word tolerate can be used is a very bad idea and it is a culture war what we should "tolerate" based on values we think are better for our culture.

                    Never argued against that at all, and that's part of the challenge with my position here about how faith and empiricism can coexist. I'm defending the study of philosophy and ontological discussions in general as being intellectual valid and undeserving of the scorn they receive. I feel that is an overreaction to religion and the attempt to correct it goes too far.

                    There is no position

                    Faith does not have positions. Faith is logically precluded from participating in science, and other than an inspiration for new avenues of thought, has no place with empiricism.

                    There is no comparing empiricism with faith in terms of it's benefits towards a cooperative relationship with each other. Empiricism and our abilities to reason lead towards independently reproducible truths, and there is nothing more fair than how that truth is distributed. It's self evident to me that we should use that when making big decisions that affect us all, and all the way down to how we treat other people.

                    I also don't believe I'm being intolerant if I think you're less connected to reality because you claim to be a person of faith

                    I feel that you are. That's a lot of judgement in that statement. A lifetime could be spent trying to argue that and you could read Groonch's post in this thread about how you are acting as a scientific authority on what is real.

                    Especially when related the content of this submission. It's some gentlemen proposing a simple thought experiment attempting to explain or present an idea about how something might work.

                    Public marginalization is unavoidable. If you are a trend setter, you have to be okay with this. If your population group is losing credibility for its views, then you will find yourself somewhat marginalized.

                    My problem with that is that it creates a constant battle about what is correct, and what is incorrect, and then heaping shit loads of judgement on the whole thing.

                    It's simply unnecessary. We may have dialogue about different aspects of our faiths and we may even form groups of like minds. As long as we act like rational adults about it and realize that faith is never about being right, there is no problem.

                    That's why faith isn't the issue, but human behavior is.

                    Greed is a sin. However, greed is also a seemingly emergent behavior. Greed is not based on faith, and humans would act greedy even with all faith removed.

                    Yet how much of religion is involved with greed? All of these truly negative aspects of faith would creep right back into your Utopia of pure science. Instead of an angry God willing to smite greedy little Naubol, it will be a review group of his peers attempting to explain the true consequences of his action with peer reviewed scientific dissertations about the benefits of the proper and equal distribution of the twinkies you took and snarfed down all on your own you bastard.

                    Consider the problems of Net Neutrality. What part of faith is involved in that again? I haven't heard Comcast claiming that God supported their way to bilk us out of more money. Without faith, the people involved are complete assholes all on their own.

                    Are you saying that faith itself leads towards the character flaws that express themselves in ways we often discuss and lament here? This is why I deny the assertion that faith is the cause of all these problems.

                    Faith is a rather large category of distinct groups and is a broad spectrum of how it attempts to interact with empiricism. The organized religions have been undoubtedly harmful, but I will defend the ontological pursuits of our philosophers as valuable to humanity in general and can provide some help in dealing with the human condition.

                    All sides here want to be correct, but I don't think that faith and empiricism without each other will answer our great questions, and lead towards our harmonious coexistence with each other and the universe. That last part may sound a bit treehuggy, but the whole living in harmony thing is rather important in a closed system with limited resources.

                    None of what I am saying means it would be better if you believed in a god, or in the same particular beliefs I have. I'm not saying you have to do that. I'm saying it might be a good idea to believe in something, even if you can't prove it's real yet. Don't be afraid to take that leap of faith that something might turn out be to correct even if you can't see the science yet.

                    Our real challenge is that element of ourselves that can me major assholes and bitches, and having faith, or not having faith, doesn't stop it from affecting our behavior. Faith can give us strength, or it can hobble us, but that is entirely up to us.

              • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ezber Bozmak on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:26PM

                by Ezber Bozmak (764) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:26PM (#40292)

                > people do not understand that faith is a method for choosing what to believe that is not compatible with empiricism.

                100x this. The very definition of faith is a belief that can be neither proven nor disproved. People who try to make faith (whether it be their own or that of others) be verifiable have completely misunderstood the concept.

              • (Score: 1) by Groonch on Tuesday May 06 2014, @08:11PM

                by Groonch (1759) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @08:11PM (#40317)

                Empirical proof is great for the stuff it can reach, but it really only works well on a certain limited kind of repeatable problem. It doesn't even reach all scientific matters (like much of current astrophysics), and much less stuff that's of daily concern to everyone as human beings. For instance, there is no way of empirically proving human beings are sentient. You know they are sentient, because you have privileged reference to your own empirically unverifiable sentience. Then there's the million things we do and have to take on trust in all of our human relationships.

                I get it when a scientific materialist is pissed off about people asserting statements of faith that fly in the face of what we know empirically. However, they misstep when they don't distinguish what we know empirically is not true from stuff that is merely empirically unverifiable. It is an empirical fact the world is older than 6000 years. But it is not an empirically verifiable fact that God or a mind (in the dualistic sense), etc. don't exist. Yes, the burden should be on the proponent, but then, exactly what experiment could prove or disprove these things? If there isn't one, you can't state with scientific authority that they are false.

                You can take an ethical or political stance that unverifiable ideas are suspect, lead to bad things, and should thus be rejected. And I respect that as a personal choice, even if it's to some degree futile. But don't speak with scientific authority on things where there is no scientific authority.

                • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:36PM

                  by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:36PM (#40352)

                  "If there isn't one, you can't state with scientific authority that they are false."

                  You can state with absolute certainty and (scientific) authority that given existing evidence, theories, and experimental results, it is an unscientific statement or unscientific claim.

                  Staying away from the inflammatory "God" discussion, it should be trivial to come up with utterly unscientific statements. This years womens fashion trends are inferior to last years. My favorite sport is superior to your favorite sport. My favorite color is blue. I strongly feel the earth is flat and the globe is a conspiracy theory (note: you can prove its round, but you can't prove much about my feelings). My favorite breed of dog is superior to all others. My source code editor is superior to yours. Clojure is better than Scala.

                  Given sufficient data and criteria you could express a scientific claim about Clojure being better than Scala, but I didn't provide that, so its just noise.

                  • (Score: 1) by Groonch on Tuesday May 06 2014, @11:29PM

                    by Groonch (1759) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @11:29PM (#40379)

                    Stating with absolute scientific authority that a claim is unverifiable or unscientific, however one might understand that, is very different from saying it's false or even meaningless. Having the first one doesn't get you to the second one.

                    If I posited a the existence alternate universe that did not interact in any way with our universe, such a belief would be unverifiable. It is not necessarily untrue, however. Now, this opens an epistemological Pandora's box of how one might distinguish the unverifiable ideas one accepts from the unverifiable ideas one rejects, but that's a value decision based on an intellectual ethos, not scientific disproof.

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by marcello_dl on Wednesday May 07 2014, @09:25AM

                by marcello_dl (2685) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @09:25AM (#40462)

                > What concerns me...
                > people think I have to prove something doesn't exist for me to justify not believing in it.

                Ask them where in the sacred book this vision is outlined.

                Because in Matthew and Luke there is:
                "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet."

                See? "Welcome", "Listen". Two different things from "Believe". Belief can't be anything but personal. You have to avoid falling for incomplete atheist reasonings, and from the social pressure of believers.

                Forcing belief is evil, because it prevents personal belief to occur potentially. So even if I like to bash atheists because their arguments are the C equivalent of out of bounds arrays every time they make an assertion in the domain of transcendent concepts, I think many believers are in much more danger because they had the example of their master and they did not follow it.

              • (Score: 1) by Magic Oddball on Wednesday May 07 2014, @11:32AM

                by Magic Oddball (3847) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @11:32AM (#40486) Journal

                What upsets me...faith as a reason to destroy lives, the inquisition, the crusades, the crucible, justifications for slavery, justifications for homophobia, justifications for racism or other forms of xenophobia, etc. faith as reason for war.

                "Faith" has been used as a reason for those things, but the actual reason in each case was bigotry. As an agnostic, I've seen as much of that among the hardcore atheists as I have among the hardcore religious, and possibly more.

                Faith has been how people explained their urge to protect the lives of children or adults, to risk their lives repeatedly helping runaway slaves reach freedom, and to fight homophobia/racism/xenophobia or other forms of hatred. It's really no different from my urge to do ethical things even when it's to my own detriment, they just put a different label on it.

                On the other side, I've seen a lot of "scientific" non-believers that insisted people like me would be better off being killed as soon as it was clear we couldn't be made 'normal' like them, and that blew off any scientific studies or evidence to the contrary. I've also seen non-believers come up with pseudoscientific BS about how other races are naturally inferior (including as a justification for slavery), or claim gay people need compulsory 'treatment' for their 'disorder.'

                Let's also not forget, for that matter, that clear sexism or misogyny (in the classic sense of clear hostility) is more common in both the atheist and tech communities than it is in the rest of society. Given we're not led by ancient texts as they are, the opposite should apply -- or maybe I should figure if the ancient texts or belief was really the problem, we should be far more egalitarian or far less patriarchal.

                "Faith" in this context is just what religious people like to blame or credit for their urges -- really no different from non-believers like us blaming/crediting our intelligence, parenting, or other things. Both sides are making the claim from the same psychological/emotional stance, and can cause just as much harm or good acting on those impulses; they're emotions either way, and neither side is intrinsically superior to the other.

            • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday May 06 2014, @06:27PM

              by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @06:27PM (#40263)

              "I can't prove I have a soul, and you can't prove I don't."

              That would quite effectively remove it from the realm of rational discussion. It would also remove it from rational philosophical discussion, as any argument can be circumvented by a declaration of belief. It can be studied, but not rationally. At best it puts it somewhere like classical element theory (air, earth, fire, and water) such that a study of it could possibly improve one's quality of life, or even be a coping mechanism in some peculiar form, but using it as a basis of chemical research is highly unlikely to be successful and in a modern world full of decisions to make about chemicals and chemistry and the environment, would likely be a strong net negative. But if classical elemental theory is not true, however theoretically appealing it may be, in practice it adds nothing to reality.

              The appeal to authority bit does not impress me very much. Great thinkers of the past, great politicians, great scientists, all had faith, true. They also owned slaves, and were men. I agree with the factual observation of all three characteristics, and that all three characteristics substantially influenced their lives in general, but disagree that insight or accomplishment or worth requires any or all of the three.

              "unfairly judge it"

              From your discussion of great thinkers, I think you've judged it a net positive for humanity. I've come to an opposite conclusion, that its been a net negative toward humanity, in total, yielding some negative feelings toward it. Probably not going to be able to hash this one out in a short time on SN.

              "screw the whole idea of faith up, does not mean you can entirely dismiss all ontological discussions as being products of delusion or physically impaired biology."

              Has faith ever spontaneously arisen, under careful scrutiny? Enormous quantities of historical evidence show it only spreads at the point of a sword, peer pressure, or by brainwashing, especially of youth. Some delusional, medically mentally ill people have, under observation, created their own peculiar faiths. Usually it doesn't turn out well for them or their victims, and luckily doesn't usually spread via the three transmission mechanisms previously mentioned. That doesn't disprove a faith cannot exist from a positive source and be spread in a positive manner, although its apparently never happened before, or at least not while under observation.

              A large aspect of this debate seems to relate to an aesthetic judgment of occams razor.

              I enjoyed your post and found your arguments interesting, although I disagreed with them. Have a nice day

              • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:20PM

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:20PM (#40286)

                Thank you as well.

                --
                Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
            • (Score: 1) by Groonch on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:39PM

              by Groonch (1759) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:39PM (#40300)

              Not to mention that there is no necessary correlation between "faith" and philosophical dualism. Most religious faiths are dualistic, sure, but then most believe the universe actually exists, so perhaps it's wise not to dismiss *everything* a religious person might believe. The GP acts as if all the philosophical problems have been solved and we are just waiting for a few crazy hold-outs to shut up. There are actually a lot of theoretical problems with monism. For one, saying that consciousness is an emergent property of the mind explains nothing about what what consciousness is or why any physical process should be able to produce it. There's a well known essay by a philosopher Chalmers about "the hard problem" of consciousness that gets into this in detail.

            • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:15PM

              by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:15PM (#40341)

              You can't prove that fairies and unicorns don't exist, but you'd call me crazy if I said I believed in them.

              --
              The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
              • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday May 06 2014, @11:41PM

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @11:41PM (#40381)

                No. I wouldn't.

                Instead, I would tell you that's pretty interesting and sounds rather beautiful. A horse that farts rainbows and has a magical horn that makes you feel better. Fairy dust makes you fly with happy thoughts.

                I would not ridicule you or judge you for that, even though, it sounds like the unsophisticated and uncomplicated dreams of little children to me and others.

                I do that, because I would want you to do that for me.

                Now that being said, I will look at you like you're crazy and I would ridicule you severely if you were trying to tell me the fairies objected to my penchant for eating Cheetos on the couch naked and touching myself.

                So until your faith actually gets in my way and allows you to do stupid stuff with the commons I'm not going to judge you. Ha. Fairies man. You're something else dude.

                --
                Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
          • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday May 06 2014, @10:25PM

            by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @10:25PM (#40366) Journal

            I find your lack of faith disturbing. Pray I am not disturbed further!

            --
            #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
        • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:34PM

          by DECbot (832) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:34PM (#40213) Journal

          I'm making a joke of VLM's comment about progress in regards to dualism. While scientific evidence is moving away from dualism, legalized use of pot is increasing. Thus society is making "progress" towards "understanding" dualism. No longer chained by mysticism and religious dogma, your free thinking pot head can still be a dualist while sticking it to the man.

          --
          cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:30PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:30PM (#40349)

          woosh!

    • (Score: 1) by bill_mcgonigle on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:12PM

      by bill_mcgonigle (1105) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:12PM (#40172)

      If you assume some all knowing "truth" exists

      That one part is looking more feasible - the evidence that our particular universe is a simulation continues to mount. Time's arrow has been suggested as being necessary as a logging function to record the outcome of the simulation. Who knows, the mystics' God maybe a pimply-faced youth sitting at a high school lab bench in a universe where they can remember the future. Most religious people cannot deal with a dualism themselves where a God in our universe isn't in another. They should play SimCity some more.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:19PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:19PM (#40177)

        "Most religious people cannot deal with a dualism themselves where a God in our universe isn't in another."

        Aside from the stereotypical "we hate teens" this is a pretty good summary of why the nuts hated dungeons and dragons so intensely back in the 70s/80s (and I suppose now).

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:22PM

        Go away or I will replace you with a very small perl script. Oh, damn, too late. Nevermind.
        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:15PM

      You may need more coffee there, or possibly less. Their problem here is that they're taking a mathematical model that works and assuming it is The Truth instead of simply a handy way of looking at things that the numbers all fit into. You can, for instance, calculate the energy of a baseball thrown at 95mph running backwards in time to the pitcher's hand. Just because the math works doesn't mean the baseball ever existed in that state of reverse time though.
      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 1) by Oligonicella on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:25PM

        by Oligonicella (4169) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:25PM (#40182)

        This is the greatest blind side of some mathematicians. Never ever will anyone (to use yet another example) find a huge ball of fiery gasses condense themselves back into a puddle of flammable liquid and a match. Math says it's possible. Reality disagrees. Math guys frantically continue to believe it's true. They cannot seem to grasp that what may be true on a molecular level (and in discrete if not singular instances) will not occur on the macro.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by naubol on Tuesday May 06 2014, @06:30PM

          by naubol (1918) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @06:30PM (#40266)

          I think you are being unfair to many mathematicians and physicists who already are cognizant of this issue by being so general in your speech. I doubt you have taken a survey, and your invective is not a good way to promulgate your (or anyone's) perspective.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:25PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:25PM (#40184)

        "Just because the math works doesn't mean the baseball ever existed in that state of reverse time though."

        That math doesn't work at all if you properly simulate the system which includes the chemical reactions in the players muscles.

        That's kinda what I'm getting at, you can only run the arrow backwards if you "first assume a spherical cow" class of mis-modeling.

        The conversation goes "we removed the parts of the model that enforce constraint XYZ, and then discovered whats left in the restricted model doesn't enforce constraint XYZ, so condition XYZ must not exist in reality or in a full simulation" ... "Well then if it doesn't exist, why did you go to any effort to eliminate constraint XYZ in the restricted model, if it doesn't exist it wouldn't be there to remove in the first place?" ... "crickets"

        If thermodynamics didn't exist, or we handn't discovered it yet, then the situation would be a much larger mystery that it seems to be.

    • (Score: 2) by Covalent on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:16PM

      by Covalent (43) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:16PM (#40175) Journal

      Yup. We ARE the stuff of thermodynamic processes, so we have to follow them.

      Or, to put it another way, we are made of meat:

      http://www.terrybisson.com/page6/page6.html [terrybisson.com]

      --
      You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by acid andy on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:36PM

      by acid andy (1683) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:36PM (#40299) Homepage Journal

      If you throw out dualism and accept only physicalism I don't see how that leaves any place for a first person perspective. You can conduct physical experiments for the rest of eternity without explaining the difference between a being's first person experience of being alive and an objective third person examination of the physics that describes their brain's state and behaviour.

      If the first person experience is somehow an emergent quality, then explain how it emerges without resorting to dualism. I dare you.

      --
      Master of the science of the art of the science of art.
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:18PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:18PM (#40343)

        Your argument sounds interesting for 1814, now mix in the effects of the last two centuries of neuroscience, studying the effects of physical brain damage, study of electrical signals in the brain vs mental state, a seemingly infinite variety of psychoactive drugs that only affect the brain therefore should have no effect on mental state, correlation between mental thought and f-MRI physical observation, and then try to rewrite your argument. I double, no, triple dog dare you to try it.

        If its not an emergent quality, how come people on opposite sides of the globe, especially in the old days before modern communications and travel, can come up with identical hard science ideas, or at least some identical ideas at all? Archeology and translating a foreign (or dead) language should be impossible if thought isn't inherently emergent.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by acid andy on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:58PM

          by acid andy (1683) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:58PM (#40357) Homepage Journal

          I wasn't referring to thought. Yes, thoughts can be transcribed or even deduced via brain scans as can emotions and sensations to a greater or lesser extent. I'm referring purely to the first person point of view, that piece of information that determines that you are VLM and not someone else, that you have a first person view of VLMs thoughts and sensations and a third person view of all the other beings around you. You can try and argue that the first person perspective is an illusion, but at the most fundamental level it is what you are. We can conceive of a world where no living creature has any first person experience, all are machines processing sensory inputs to change physical states, that can only be viewed from the third person. This is the so called "philosophical zombie" thought experiment. The thing is, if you have a first person view of the world, then you must know that the world is not this way.

          --
          Master of the science of the art of the science of art.
    • (Score: 2) by khallow on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:37PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @09:37PM (#40353) Journal

      There's no last dying gasp. Almost tautologically, our perceptions are constrained by our perceptions. That never will stop. Mind-body dualism falls outside of that perception.

      If you assume some all knowing "truth" exists and our minds live in souls and all this other mythological dualism blather then you can imagine a non-thermodynamically limited intelligence that doesn't need to follow the arrow of time.

      Or it follows a different arrow of time which we can't perceive and is limited by a different sort of system than what we face and perceive.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by kwerle on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:11PM

    by kwerle (746) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:11PM (#40171) Homepage

    What a crapton of bs.

    No more like this, please.

    • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:30PM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:30PM (#40187) Homepage

      As scientific papers go, your refutation needs a little work.

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:56PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:56PM (#40245)

        The garbage in the article(s) was just as scientific as GP's post.

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:12PM

        by etherscythe (937) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:12PM (#40280) Journal

        Not necessarily. Richard Dawkins has refused to debate certain viewpoints of such an irrational nature (the "flat earthers" as he puts it). Reason being, to put oneself up to debate such a thing may be to inadvertently give more credit (from the perspective of an outside observer) than it deserves. To dismiss something out of hand, however, may be to give it just the right amount of credit.

        This depends on the obviousness of how outlandish the opposing position is, however.

        --
        "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday May 06 2014, @08:46PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @08:46PM (#40330) Journal

      I think you'll find the challenging problem for the editors isn't disliking BS, but creating an objective test for it.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by wantkitteh on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:14PM

    by wantkitteh (3362) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:14PM (#40173) Homepage Journal

    "Physicists ... see time as able to move either forward or backwards"

    But it only works for spherical chickens in a vacuum.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:24PM (#40181)

      I saw that they were making them heat resistant [soylentnews.org]; I didn't know they're making them vacuum resistant too!

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by bob_super on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:55PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:55PM (#40225)

      *Ideal frictionless chickens in a vacuum, please.

      • (Score: 2) by wantkitteh on Wednesday May 07 2014, @08:39AM

        by wantkitteh (3362) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @08:39AM (#40459) Homepage Journal

        Sorry, I haven't formally studied science for a while, working in the field has given me all sorts of bad habits. Was so busy quoting I forgot to correct the script and mention they should be uniform, ideal chickens. Or "Physics Chickens" as my old teacher would have put it.

  • (Score: 1) by Dr Ippy on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:25PM

    by Dr Ippy (3973) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:25PM (#40183)

    We can't remember the future because it hasn't been defined yet: there are gazillions of potential futures (a multiverse of them) but we haven't yet collapsed the wave function by our observation.

    The past is defined, because the wave function has been collapsed by observations in the present, an instant that moves forward in time from past to future.

    The notion "the future is already defined but we haven't yet reached it" is ill-founded. The future is open, the possibilities diverging exponentially from the present point. The future depends on what we (observers: humans and other conscious entities) decide our future universe will become.

    We make the future happen.

    --
    This signature intentionally left blank.
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:34PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:34PM (#40188)

      On a more practical small scale you can get supporters of the "no arrow of time exists" crowd all wound up by showing them a dual slit QM experiment, randomly forcing particle or wave behavior, then asking to run time backwards and try to force the opposite behavior. You can also play some entanglement games first one time direction and then the other, but thats getting more esoteric.

      All this "conservation of energy in a thrown baseball proves there's no arrow of time" stuff doesn't sound so cool when QM doesn't work that way, even if (some) physicists don't believe in chemistry, biochem, or engineering thermodynamics, they tend to believe in QM, so this gets them all worked up.

      • (Score: 2) by wantkitteh on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:43PM

        by wantkitteh (3362) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:43PM (#40219) Homepage Journal

        Funny, I understood that conservation of energy and arrow of time aren't mutually exclusive as reversing time also reverses entropy (and thus dissipation of heat through friction), effectively acting as a cue for all those seemingly independent actions that would need to happen "spontaneously" to satisfy all the prerequisites of time running backwards.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:01PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:01PM (#40227)
        QM with ad-hoc wavefunction collapse is, by construction, not reversible. So it's no surprise that it can't handle time-reversal thought experiments. Then again, it doesn't need to: one of the axioms is that dynamics are not time-symmetric, so you get the arrow of time automatically.

        However, this version of QM is more or less ruled out by now. (It would take a much longer post to lay out the case, but essentially experiments have shown larger and larger systems wherein superpositions can be maintained; there is no evidence for collapse kicking in at any particular timescale. Instead it appears that decoherence [wikipedia.org] theory is correct.) Modernly, the accepted version of QM (MWI [wikipedia.org] or similar) has no wavefunction collapse, and everything is microscopically reversible. So any QM experiment you can imagine (dual slit, etc.) can be time-reversed and will behave sensibly, as far as the physics are concerned. Of course if you time-reverse a entropy-increasing operation, then it will be entropy-decreasing (so there is always a thermodynamic arrow of time, defined by the direction of entropy increase); but nothing untoward (e.g. violation of a conservation law) happens.
    • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:38PM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:38PM (#40191) Homepage

      (observers: humans and other conscious entities)

      Don't wave functions collapse regardless of the presence of conscious observers?

      If not, what's special about conscious observers?

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
      • (Score: 1) by joshuajon on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:22PM

        by joshuajon (807) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:22PM (#40211)

        Wikipedia's page on the observer [wikipedia.org] in a quantum mechanical sense does a good job of explaining that consciousness isn't a necessary attribute of an observer.

      • (Score: 1) by boristhespider on Tuesday May 06 2014, @10:11PM

        by boristhespider (4048) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @10:11PM (#40362)

        The word "observer" has caused more misunderstandings than most other things in 20th century physics. It was originally used because quantum mechanics was heavily based on the laboratory -- when Heisenberg formulated his version of quantum mechanics, his first step was literally to take the observables one could recover in a lab and then play around with them to find how they were related given some theoretical modifications he'd made to classical mechanics; it was only later someone (Jordan, perhaps?) pointed out to him that he was doing matrix multiplication. So it made perfect sense to talk about an "observer". Unfortunately the name stuck, and has created unnecessary misunderstandings since. If you replace the word "is observed by" with "interacts with" then you're suddenly free of this disturbing anthropomorphism of nature, without changing the theory at all.

    • (Score: 2) by BasilBrush on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:13PM

      by BasilBrush (3994) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:13PM (#40206)

      The future depends on what we (observers: humans and other conscious entities) decide our future universe will become.

      Conscious entities are no different from unconscious entities. They're still made up of atoms and other fundamental particles acting according to the laws of physics. Whilst you may think you have free will to make an arbitrary decision, you don't know it. It may be that all your future decisions are predetermined.

      --
      Hurrah! Quoting works now!
    • (Score: 2) by wantkitteh on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:38PM

      by wantkitteh (3362) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:38PM (#40216) Homepage Journal

      FTFY:

      "The future makes us happen."

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:16PM

      by HiThere (866) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:16PM (#40284) Journal

      Sorry, but neither the past nor the future are determined. The wave function doesn't collapse for more than an instant...i.e., only in whatever instant is "now". Possibly the spread of potential is slower in the past than in the future, but both are deterministic in the large (e.g., planetary orbits, for periods of less then a thousand years...after that things start getting flaky) and both are non-deterministic in the small (e.g. position of an electron). We live on the interface between large and small, for the periods of time we consider normal. Over really large periods of time planetary orbits are also non-deterministic. Over really short periods of time, electron positions are fairly well determined, based on how well we knew their starting characteristics.

      So "the future hasn't been defined yet" isn't a good answer. But the past being "relatively" fixed might be. Just don't confuse "relatively fixed" with actually fixed. Even so... I don't think it's that simple. I think it probably *does* have to do with the flow of entropy at the chemical bond level. So if you explain thermodynamics, you explain the arrow of time. But it's statistical. Also, you put more faith in your memory than it deserves...you can't go back and check on it, but it's not accurate the way a recording is, and even those have an error rate.

      But it's even less determined than I suggested. I was describing things as if there were a universal time. Actually, though, "now" isn't well defined except for a nanoscopically small area. Once you get out of the "fuzziness of a photon" around a locale, there is no well defined now where the state wave is collapsed. This is actually what the "Wigner's friend" paradox is describing.

      Personally, I find the easiest model of the universe to use is Multi-Worlds interpretation of quantum theory, though I acknowledge that it isn't the only valid interpretation. The thing is that there are several interpretations that all are consistent with the available evidence, so choosing between them is currently a matter of taste. A Super-determinist would chose to see everything as deterministic, even though that was only one possible interpretation. (In fact, the Multi-World interpretation could, itself, be seen as a form of Super-determinism.) The descriptions of the different interpretations sound very different in English, but they make the exact same predictions (as far as can be tested) about matters of fact.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Gaaark on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:28PM

    by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:28PM (#40186) Journal

    Again, I point to the work of Julian Barbour and others who are trying to separate Time from Space (as Einstein originally had his thinking and as Mach thought).

    Time is emergent from movement through space, not an inseparable part of space; the 'arrow' of time moves only in the one direction.

    Etc.
    http://platonia.com/ [platonia.com]

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:38PM (#40239)

      Time is emergent from movement through space

      Time is because c is finite.

      Time as we know it, exists because it takes light certain "time" to reach from point A to point B. If communication was instant, then everything would happen at once. Things like chemical reactions would be instant. It (almost) does not matter what the value of c is, as long as it is finite.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:35PM (#40189)

    Please never post anything like this again.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:26PM (#40236)

      Bad articles can still lead to great conversations, which is after all the whole point of SN and its 'parent', and the queue is pretty damn thin, so the editors were probably faced with the choice of "this or nothing for a significant chunk of the day".

      Weekends tend to be slow news days, but still - if you don't like the articles that are being posted, submit your own [soylentnews.org]. You even get karma if your story is accepted. And again, it doesn't matter if the story itself is poor, so long as it has the potential to generate good conversation.

  • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:42PM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @03:42PM (#40195) Homepage

    If we could remember it, we wouldn't call it the future.

    they see the past as something that has come before and the future as a great unknown yet to come.

    This reminds me, tangentially, of the fact that while we tend to think of the future as "in front" and the past as "behind" us, some cultures label it the other way - since you can't see what's behind you.

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 1) by SplawnDarts on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:03PM

    by SplawnDarts (3962) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:03PM (#40203)

    There's a pretty good chance the particle physics theory of backward traveling time is abject bullshit born of convenience because it makes something else come out right - a luminous ether for the 21st century.

    Despite copious historical evidence that science is vulnerable to this sort of self deception, we all to frequently fail to acknowledge it's occurring now on any number of topics.

  • (Score: -1) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:49PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:49PM (#40220)

    God-fucking-dammit. I'd rather read Beta than this fucking bullshit.

  • (Score: 2) by Ken_g6 on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:53PM

    by Ken_g6 (3706) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:53PM (#40224)

    This solution [wired.com] to the arrow of time seems better to me than what's in this article.

    • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday May 06 2014, @08:42PM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @08:42PM (#40328) Homepage

      Eh, so... why don't things quantum entangle backwards in time as well?*

      *honest question raised by my partial and confused understanding of whatever that article is about.

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by wikkiwikki on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:11PM

    by wikkiwikki (1316) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @05:11PM (#40232)

    The present moment is the only thing where there is no time. It is the point between past and future. It is always there and it is the only point we can access in time. Everything that happens, happens in the present moment. Everything that ever happened and will ever happen can only happen in the present moment. It is impossible for anything to exist outside of it.

    Therefore it is obvious, that past and future don’t have a reality on their own. They are just mental concepts in our heads. Past is the thinking of memories while future is the projection ahead. But anything can really happen only in the present moment. Nothing else regarding time really exists in reality.

    • (Score: 1) by Oligonicella on Tuesday May 06 2014, @06:29PM

      by Oligonicella (4169) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @06:29PM (#40265)

      Wow. What an incredibly, convoluted and tortured redefinition of "present".

      • (Score: 1) by boristhespider on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:35PM

        by boristhespider (4048) on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:35PM (#40298)

        Yeah, I prefer "Any event connected to us by spacelike geodesics". Short, pithy and precise, so long as you know what a spacelike geodesic is and why the set of all spacelike geodesics passing through your now describes the "present". As soon as you do it's unambiguous. The past is the set of all events connected to us by past-directed timelike geodesics and the future the set of all events connected to us by future-directed timelike geodesics. Easy.

        Reconciling that with quantum theories is significantly less easy but the older I get the more I'm convinced that Feynman was right when he concluded that we may well be wasting our time looking for a "theory of everything" given that ultimately what we have are assemblages of algorithms that we expect to hold in particular situations.

    • (Score: 1) by jasassin on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:22PM

      by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 06 2014, @07:22PM (#40288) Journal

      True story. This thought came to me on an extreme mushroom trip. I realized I was constantly at the end. It sunk in so hard my tripping mind became confused because it knew it was at the end and it didn't know what to do next. It was an overwhelming concept.

      Maybe deja vu is what they mean by remembering the future?

      --
      jasassin@gmail.com Key fingerprint = 0644 173D 8EED AB73 C2A6 B363 8A70 579B B6A7 02CA
    • (Score: 1) by timbim on Wednesday May 07 2014, @04:14AM

      by timbim (907) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @04:14AM (#40421)

      Hey that was super interesting to read. Thanks

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @04:31PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @04:31PM (#40587)

    What the h*** does the Maxwell's demon reference in the second half of the post have to do with anything in the article? Is it just to insure that the post is as convolved as the original article? *insert random physics demonstration here to prove this comment*