All of history exists all the time – a consequence of space-time?

Verbal DNA (@doblearcoiris) 9 years, 2 months ago

Alright, so I was washing the dishes and thinking about the nature of space-time being the same fabric. This had been on my mind since watching Cosmos last night. I came to a stunning realization. If we were to leave this planet and travel to a planet say 5 billion light-years away and turn around to look at Earth with a hypothetical telescope capable of infinitely zooming in, would we not find that due to light from Earth taking 5 billion light-years to reach us it would not exist since we are actually witnessing the Solar System 5 billion years ago prior to the formation of Earth. Does that mean that Earth is existing and not existing simultaneously?

Likewise, if we were to travel 70 million light-years away and turn around, looking at Earth from the same super-telescope, we would find Dinosaurs still roaming the Earth. Does this mean that dinosaurs still exist?

Imagine just moving 5000 light-years away, we find that the Ancient Egyptians still exist and if we were to move 598 light years away we would be able to witness the Battle of Agincourt between France and England. Just a mere 101 light-years and the world is about to get caught up in World War I.

Considering the above, all events exist simultaneously so long as light keeps moving away infinitely, it is only a matter of perspective. Strangely though, we would not be able to actually be on the Earth at these time periods because as we moved closer to it we would effectively be traveling forward in time so that by the time we were back we have caught up with the “present.”

Does that confuse the fuck out of anyone else? Because it’s some trippy shit.

July 19, 2013 at 6:17 am
Jake (32) (@jacobbm) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

“Alright, so I was washing the dishes and thinking about the nature of space-time being the same fabric. This had been on my mind since watching Cosmos last night.” amazing, Everytime i watch cosmos it blows my mind in some way. Time is a really weird concept when you actually think about it. Give this a read http://everythingforever.com/ywexist.htm someone posted it a while ago

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Zykanthos (4,757)M (@chodebalm) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@doblearcoiris, You wouldn’t see dinosaurs or anything that existed before the moment in which we departed from the Earth.

Yes, the Earth you’re looking at through the telescope would be a version from the past, but only according to your own view because of the time it took the light from Earth to reach your eyes. Time is subjective – it is dependent on the observer. This is a basic law of Einstein’s relativity.

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Verbal DNA (74) (@doblearcoiris) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@chodebalm,

I am assuming an instantaneous (much faster than light) mode of travel is used. Currently, if anyone were watching from 70 million light years away, they would indeed see dinosaurs walking about on Earth.

Considering this though, does this mean that we are in a sort of immortal state? Would a version of us always be visible from somewhere in the universe? I would think that every age I have lived from birth to now is visible in proportional distance away from Earth.

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Verbal DNA (74) (@doblearcoiris) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@chodebalm,

“Yes, the Earth you’re looking at through the telescope would be a version from the past, but only according to your own view because of the time it took the light from Earth to reach your eyes.”

But that is the case with everything, even a person standing in front of you or the keys on your computer, it is, in effect, always in the past because light had to travel.

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Zykanthos (4,757)M (@chodebalm) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@doblearcoiris, I dunno man, that’s some mind-boggling shit. And yes you’re right – everything is technically seen in the past.

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em burke (3) (@emmycap) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

I have the Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart tolle. I also have, my favorit, would have to be A Seducers Diary by Kierkegaard.

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James (121) (@alljuicedup) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

No only is everything you see “technically in the past”, but every moment you experience is also technically in the past, since there is an approximate 80 ms delay between conscious awareness and when something actually happened (due to the time it takes to physically process the information).

We are all in a perpetual state of past snapshots (or “moments”) that our minds string and weave together to create the beautifully flowing illusion that we call time.

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Sandy (115) (@sandman) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@doblearcoiris, That’s true about what you would see, but the image of something is not the same as the thing itself. You can see fireworks in a photo, but that doesn’t mean they’re happening at that moment. The light (however faint) from previous eras is traveling through space, and contains the image of those long ago events, but it does not contain the events themselves, just an echo.

That being said, there are people (scientists and mystics alike) who believe that all time is simultaneous and only our perception moves along the axis of past-to-future at a fixed rate.

Personally I think the future has some pattern to it, but it orders and rearranges itself to some degree as we approach it, which is why clairvoyance is possible, but also free will.

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Plidan (17) (@Plidan) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

There is always a copy of you existing, as every moment you are seeing the past, and in the past you are seeing the past. Which is why you can go crazy if you stare into your own eyes in a mirror. You can get trapped in that moment forever.
Until you break concentration.

But technically when you die(if you die)

Are you still going to be that you? Or is it a different you?

Did the future already happen? Are we the first one? Or are we stuck in an infinite loop, because we are always in the past as the now, and the future that exist has to have a future as well?

Do we all exist simultaneously?
And there is no free will? We are always the past and the present and the future to one moment.

I mean what the fuck?
Am I only experiencing my life because someone is actually fucking do this?

And them watching this video is forcing me to experience life and death again?

Infinitely?

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James (121) (@alljuicedup) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@doblearcoiris, “Considering this though, does this mean that we are in a sort of immortal state? Would a version of us always be visible from somewhere in the universe? I would think that every age I have lived from birth to now is visible in proportional distance away from Earth.”

I guess that would depend on how you define “immortal”. It certainly is interesting that somewhere encoded on a beam of light is everything we have ever done or seen. But does that make us immortal? Should the ability to interact and effect what your seeing have some “say” in whether or not something actually exists at that moment and is immortal? Certainly the image exists (or persists through space), but just because you can see something, does that mean the thing itself exists, or just the image? Surely we are more than just the image of ourselves…

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emptyminded (68) (@thoughtless) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@doblearcoiris, yeah from that perspective we are eternal as long as some other thing with a perspective can realize our existence from a distance… information travels through light which makes your theory very much correct.

maybe thats how humans can accomplish time travel, by using a medium faster than light travel to beam to an unknown planet light years away… but even so time travel is still impossible because the actual event had already occurred and the information is already stored in the traveling light. the only way we could probably time travel is if we found a way to control light ( which is simi impossible) and bend it forming a loop of visual effects that happened before and the controller would be able to access any part of the loop he required but the experience would still be only visual and no alterations could be made to the scenario. come to think of it, maybe thats what hallucinogens such as dmt does by speeding up the neurotransmitters in your brain causing the speed of light to be perceived in a different time-space thus creating the experience of an hallucination.

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Plidan (17) (@Plidan) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@alljuicedup,

But they can’t see the future?
Has the future happened then?

Noone can see it but us then?
Because they can only see our past the farther they get?
Which means the future can only exist in other dimensions, but this dimension is always being witnessed as the past and present from different distances.

I feel though if you could zoom in across the universe, the camera would filter out all the light making it a live feed though.

To focus in that far? You’d have to filter out the light closest to you.

Idk.

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Verbal DNA (74) (@doblearcoiris) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@sandman,

What does that imply about actual lived life though?

When I look at a photo I am not seeing the light from the fireworks I am seeing “present” photons bouncing off the photo, I am seeing the photo not the fireworks.

12 light years away looking back, we can see 9/11 occurring, but this is merely the image of it occurring, not it actually occurring, but when 9/11 was happening it was the same thing, we were only seeing the image of it occurring except instead of light-years it was fractions of fractions of seconds. Does it become something different according to that variable?

What is the difference between a video of a historical event and an interstellar observer directly observing the same event?

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Verbal DNA (74) (@doblearcoiris) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@Plidan,

I honestly have no idea how the operation of such a powerful telescope would work.

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James (121) (@alljuicedup) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

Perhaps the more interesting thing to think about is, does light itself exist if not for the visual cortex? It is our ability to perceive light waves that quite literally gives rise to light itself. Without eyes, there would be no light.

Perhaps there is an alien species that also senses these waves, but in a wholly different process than us. To them, vision is something entirely different. Some unimaginable sense.

You could argue that whatever “truth” is out there exists independent of us, but without the ability to perceive, who’s to say what that truth is? It is our very limited and narrow perceptive abilities that define our existence.

No consider… The very act of “existing” is subjective. For all intent and purposes, when you die, when you cease to exist, so does everything (assuming you don’t believe in an afterlife). You will never “experience” non existence, because by its very definition, it is impossible. What do you remember of existence before you were born? There is nothing. If you believe you cease to exist upon death, what will you know after death? Nothing. All you will ever know is existence. It is quite literally all there ever can be… So by that reasoning, you are immortal. You will never know anything other than existing.

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Sandy (115) (@sandman) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@doblearcoiris, I do think there is a difference. If you are there in the presence of something happening, then it affects you directly, you can interact with it, it pushes on you and you push on it. Other people involved in the event are experiencing the same thing (not just visually, but physically and aurally as well) and you can interact with them, save them from a burning building, for instance.

Watching the light from a long-ago occurrence is like watching the movie of an event that has passed. Yes, you are experiencing it for the first time, but it is just a record of the event, you can’t interact with it at that point any more than you can make out with an old picture of your high school girlfriend.

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James (121) (@alljuicedup) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@doblearcoiris, “12 light years away looking back, we can see 9/11 occurring, but this is merely the image of it occurring, not it actually occurring, but when 9/11 was happening it was the same thing, we were only seeing the image of it occurring except instead of light-years it was fractions of fractions of seconds. Does it become something different according to that variable?

What is the difference between a video of a historical event and an interstellar observer directly observing the same event?”

The difference between watching a video and watching the light of something that happened long ago would be minimal. For all intent and purposes, they are pretty much the same.

The difference when you talk about watching something happen “live” is a matter of degree and perception. We could certainly get into a debate about free will vs determinism if you’d like (though didn’t you just start a thread on that lol). Yes, when you see something happen, it has technically already occurred, no matter how close you are. The difference is that we are designed as a species to perceive it as happening “now”. That is how our brains work, they weave together images into what we perceive to be a nice even flow of time. Similar to the way a movie is simply a strip of still images flashing at 32 frames per second (or however fast). Our brains are designed to skip the “gaps” and create a nice even flow.

Likewise, while we may never truly be seeing or experiencing the true present moment, our brains are designed to make it feel like we are. That is the difference… do we really have “free will” to interact with those things around us, or are we perpetually living in the ever so slight past? I do not know (although I lean heavily towards the deterministic side of things, I would never proclaim to know for sure). What I do know, is that our brains are designed to feel as though we have control and are in the present.

So the difference between watching something happen in front of you and watching something from light years away, is a matter of degree. At a small enough degree, we are built to perceive it as an uninterrupted flow of present moments that we can exert our will upon and interact with. When you watch a movie (or if you could see detail of something light years away) the outcome is already pre-determined. You can not change it. When something is happening “now”, you can… or at least, you have the feeling you can. Your physical body does can indeed, the question is, do you actually will it, or does it just happen and then you feel like you willed it? What is the truth? Who knows!

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Verbal DNA (74) (@doblearcoiris) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@sandman,

So is it the combination of other sensory experiences that make things occur? Sound, like light, is just a way of encoding information, just like touch or any other sense. When we speak of information, does it only exist overlaid? If sound or touch traveled the same as light and you could feel, hear and see the event years later, does it still exist?

If you drop a rock into the middle of a pond and feel its ripple at the edge, does the ripple not exist? Is it just a record of the rock hitting water? I do concede however that interacting with the ripple does not affect the rock hitting the water, but you must remember that I never said we could affect the past, only that it is eternally existing.

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Verbal DNA (74) (@doblearcoiris) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@alljuicedup,

“The difference between watching a video and watching the light of something that happened long ago would be minimal. For all intent and purposes, they are pretty much the same.”

I agree with this point, which is why videos are fucking awesome! Though it seems that nature invented video long ago. I like to think that nature keeps of record of everything and if it keeps a record, maybe we can tap into it.

“The difference when you talk about watching something happen “live” is a matter of degree and perception. We could certainly get into a debate about free will vs determinism if you’d like (though didn’t you just start a thread on that lol). Yes, when you see something happen, it has technically already occurred, no matter how close you are. The difference is that we are designed as a species to perceive it as happening “now”. That is how our brains work, they weave together images into what we perceive to be a nice even flow of time. Similar to the way a movie is simply a strip of still images flashing at 32 frames per second (or however fast). Our brains are designed to skip the “gaps” and create a nice even flow.”

Did I? I don’t remember doing so.

“Likewise, while we may never truly be seeing or experiencing the true present moment, our brains are designed to make it feel like we are. That is the difference… do we really have “free will” to interact with those things around us, or are we perpetually living in the ever so slight past? I do not know (although I lean heavily towards the deterministic side of things, I would never proclaim to know for sure). What I do know, is that our brains are designed to feel as though we have control and are in the present.”

I guess the question is, to the participant, can they know the difference? If it feels like you have free will, does it matter if everything is determined? Intellectually you can recognize the difference, but it will never truly feel different. Even if determinism is how things operate, what happens when infinite possibilites are determined thus making everything possible. Determinism, I think, operates on a false notion of time. I consider every moment to be a single expression, written over and over again with slightly different variables each time, but these variables cannot be determined because they all exist simultaneously, but we, through our actions can navigate the multiverse with our attention. When we read a book, a new universe. When we take a shit, a new universe. When we make love, a new universe. Still, it is all the same expression. How can our actions be determined when all possible actions exist at the same time?

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Plidan (17) (@Plidan) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

Are we the video? Does our consciousness just kick back on when someone watches a live video? That creates a parallel timeline?

Who the fuck knows man it hurts my head lmfao but it’s so crazy interesting to think about.

You have to think about the waves.

It isn’t just one pieces of wave by itself that floats to you is it?

It’s one wave that never ends that is always giving you a live feed. But that wave is still existing as the wave it was where it was before.

You can always rewind the wave because somehow it is still in your head as memory.

The wave is always there in all places its ever been.
So is consciousness just a perspective of a bunch of waves occurring in one place? Is that why we can kind of be in all places?
We are just wherever we happen to be which is the convergence of all things.
We are never occupying that same space.

Our particles and our galaxy are moving through infinity so fast we are in multiple places at once simultaneously at all times.

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Verbal DNA (74) (@doblearcoiris) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@Plidan,

“One voice in the cosmic fugue”

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James (121) (@alljuicedup) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@doblearcoiris,

Sorry, it might have been someone else. I know one just popped up earlier today lol

I’m not sure it does “matter” much if we ever were to answer the determinism vs free will question with 100% certainty. You’re right, even if it were true, it would not change our perception (then again, that was my point… the difference between something that we watch from light years away and right in front of us is one of perception).

Perhaps it would make everyone a little more empathetic if you realized we were all victims of circumstance. It would remove the common notions of good and evil as they wouldn’t make sense anymore. The idea of “punishment” in the traditional sense would lose value. That is not to say people shouldn’t be “held responsible” for their actions… a danger to society is still a danger to society. But they should be imprisoned not because they’re bad or to punish them, but rather for the good of the people because they are a danger…

It might not be a major change, but it is a different mindset imo. It’s hard to hate when you know no one is “evil”… when you know someone did not truly will the things they did, they basically just happened because that’s the way things are.

I think if somehow if we ever got to the bottom of this debate and found determinism the “victor”, that would be the major change.

As for your second part, about a multi-verse and all possible actions existing at the same time, I can only say that that is your opinion on how things may work. It may or may not be true, no one knows. But your belief in it does not make it so (just like my belief in determinism does not make it so).

I also think that determinism has a broad range of definitions depending on who you speak to. Some will say it means, given perfect knowledge of the starting forces and of all the universal “truths”, you could then “predict” every future event as it is merely a reaction to the initial ingredients. However, some hold that the mere lack of free will is enough to constitute a form of determinism. Even if it turns out that quantum mechanics has some sort of true randomness, and every situation is merely the result of some probability, the fact that “we” don’t have control over it is enough. In this sense, the universe wouldn’t be determined in that we can ever know what will happen next, it would be determined in that we can not control what happens next.

Again though, as you point out, regardless, we still have the perception of free will. We can’t shake that, so to some degree the answer becomes moot anyway.

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Sandy (115) (@sandman) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@doblearcoiris, It’s not about senses, it’s about interactivity. Yes, the ripples in the pond exists, but the ROCK has long since sunk to the bottom of the water.

I think following the sensory information (light, sound, whatever) is not a good argument for the idea that the past still exists. It’s a reductionist argument that is going to quickly run up against its own limitations. It’s really just showing that the past is passively perceivable, which is not much better than watching a movie of an event.

If the past exists coincidentally with the present (and future) then the thing to wrestle with is causality. We frame our universe in a causal system. We have a natural bias towards the idea that things happen because something caused them. Even if it’s a random occurrence, we still want to know the mechanism by which the random event emerged.

If time is simultaneous, then what does causality mean? Instead of A causing B, it is more like a tableau of events that are related but do not flow one to the next. Also, our intuition that we make decisions and have free will would be obviated by the idea of simultaneous time.

I don’t buy the idea that new universes spring from every decision we make. I think that comes from a deep misreading of quantum physics, something no one on Earth has yet wrapped their head around.

Good topic. Thanks for posting!

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Verbal DNA (74) (@doblearcoiris) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@alljuicedup,

Ultimately, everything is just mere illusion. We live in a sea of white noise, our senses picking out patterns within the noise, while we are ourselves a probability pattern within the same noise. Patterns all belonging to the same rug. Chaos dressed as order.

When you look at white noise on a television screen, is every pixel determined? Yes, but does that prohibit you from seeing anything you want within that noise? Likewise, when you stare at a cloud, its shape is already determined in that instance, but does that prevent you from seeing whatever you desire in it?

But perhaps imagination is determined as well, but as we discussed earlier, it is of no consequence. I think the determinism v. free will argument is not a worthy pursuit, the answer to it doesn’t come from asking that question it comes from figuring out the nature of cause and effect and if come to us that cause and effect are human illusions and that everything exists in all possible forms, then how can things be determined if there is nothing to determine?

I go back to the rug example, if this rug has an infinite amount of patterns, yes the patterns may be determined, but the sheer amount of possible patterns are— ah fuck it, I don’t know shit, I’m just a monkey.

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Verbal DNA (74) (@doblearcoiris) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@sandman,

“It’s not about senses, it’s about interactivity. Yes, the ripples in the pond exists, but the ROCK has long since sunk to the bottom of the water.”

How does one interact without senses? And if it is about interactivity, then when I play a video game, does the game universe exist as much as any other real event? I admit I am wading through the dark here, but I do this for the sake of argument. Also, the rock is only at the bottom of the water if you are at the center, to the person light-seconds away, the rock is still in mid-air no? Does the falling event still exist even though it has happened at one point and not yet happened at another?

“I think following the sensory information (light, sound, whatever) is not a good argument for the idea that the past still exists. It’s a reductionist argument that is going to quickly run up against its own limitations. It’s really just showing that the past is passively perceivable, which is not much better than watching a movie of an event.”

I still do not see how we gauge occurrences independant from sensory information? When you watch a live feed of something happening, don’t you believe it is happening even if you are just watching it? What makes a live feed “happening” as opposed to not happening? I would think it is merely the belief that it is happening that makes the event true for the individual.

“If the past exists coincidentally with the present (and future) then the thing to wrestle with is causality. We frame our universe in a causal system. We have a natural bias towards the idea that things happen because something caused them. Even if it’s a random occurrence, we still want to know the mechanism by which the random event emerged.”

Yes.

“If time is simultaneous, then what does causality mean? Instead of A causing B, it is more like a tableau of events that are related but do not flow one to the next. Also, our intuition that we make decisions and have free will would be obviated by the idea of simultaneous time.”

Yes again.

“I don’t buy the idea that new universes spring from every decision we make. I think that comes from a deep misreading of quantum physics, something no one on Earth has yet wrapped their head around.”

Really? When I decide to leave my house as opposed to staying in doors, does that not mean that I have created a universe where I did not stay indoors? If you have an equation and change the variable have you not made a different equation? I do not presuppose to understand quantum physics of course.

“Good topic. Thanks for posting!”

Thank you for responding!

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