Koichiro Matsuno (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 16:30:57 +0900
Dear Stephen and All:
On Thu, 2 Dec 1999 Stephen Paul King <email@example.com> wrote:
>> >Could we go so far as using this statement as a formal theorem? It is
>> >interesting in that it focuses on the capacity of "making distinctions
>> >in progress" as a fundamental property of material bodies. The notion of
>> >Local Systems (LS) as clocking agents follows a very similar vein. :-)
>> You are right. I wish I could do this by myself.
> Do you have any references that would bolster this line of thinking? It
>seems that one of the requirements of acceptance of a notion is the
>weight of the persons that support it. This seems to follow from the
>idea that in a concrete sense, the truth value or weight of a
>representation is given by the number of observers that concur, e.g.
>have a similar (within their epsilon of error) representation.
Representation is the beginning and the end of all we can do, but
is only part of the whole story. If one tries to ground the fundamental
property of material bodies upon the capacity of making distinctions in
progress at least phenomenologically, representation must necessarily be
situated within the triad of experiencing, transforming and representing.
In particular, both experiencing and transforming are beyond
representation. Consider, for instance, the dichotomy between
"is walking" and "has walked". Aristotle came up with the notion of a
final cause to represent the difference between the two. Although this
representation must have found much followers up to during the Medieval
Age, the Galilean-Newtonian camp dismissed it completely by forcibly
equating "is walking" to "has walked". Instead, the G-N camp came to
focus upon the notion of boundary conditions as a candidate to be
represented. Nonetheless, Franz Brentano and his protege Edmund Husserl
came up with another notion called Phenomenological Reduction and
Intentionality by charging that the G-N externalist perspective was too
good to be true. The price Husserl had to pay was, however, to accept
these non-empirical and transcendental notions as representations. Even
today, I cannot find much sympathizers to Husserlian Transcendental
Phenomenology among empirical scientists. This must be a tough game, to
>> >The relationship between the finiteness of an observers spatial and
>> >temporal horizons and its ability to make distinctions is, I agree, very
>> >important! I have been thinking of the computational "simulation"
>> >capacities of a LS as being a measure of this finiteness toward the
>> >goal of a "bisimulational model of LS interaction.
>> Reading others and adjusting itself to the others on the part of any
>> clock are sequential but insepararable.
> In your thinking is this property of sequence defined by the reading
>and adjusting fundamental? I see it as a fundamental aspect of
>observation. This follows from the idea that "clocking" is fundamental.
>Perhaps, we need to work out a semantic for thinking and communicating
Put another way, Aristotle is quite right in distinguishing between
"is walking" and "have walked". Although I can say I am walking towards
the souvenir shop in the airport, it is also undeniable that my walking
in the crowded airport concourse has been actualized in order to
constantly avoid the approaching danger of collisions with the others.
Aristotle must have definitely thought of the souvenir shop when he
emphasized final causation, but I am not sure whether he would have also
thought of the approaching danger of collisions. It is extremely difficult
to represent the approaching danger properly. In fact, the Galilean-
Newtonian scheme was brave enough to dismiss such thins smacking of final
causes altogether from the very start. At issue is how to appreciate the
difference between the present progressive and the present perfect tense.
In other words, it must be an imperative to note that the present perfect
tense is a linguistic artifact in the legitimate sense of the word. This
may become clearer if we consider the contrast between "is walking" and
"have walked so far". A similar line of argument may apply to "clocking".
Ameliorating the linguistic artifact necessarily resting upon the present
perfect (e.g., as in the difference, if any, between "have walked" and "
have walked so far") must be the prime mover of clocking. It may be
intentional, but not in the transcendental sense of Husserl.
> To try to start this, I propose the concept of "mapping" used widely in
>mathematics. It seems to imply an identification of objects, concrete or
>abstract -spanning the gamut, that are distinguishable in some sense,
>yet have some commonality that can be used for the purpose of the
>identification. Umm, it seems that we also need to understand how to
>groups objects, viz. how to subjectivize or relativize the concepts of
>set and class so that they are not assumed to be fixed absolute
>universals. I see attempts toward this in tense and modal logics, but
>these seems to fail in ways that are overcome in non-well founded set
>theory (AFA), but the difficult and abstract nature of the texts on AFA
>seems to cause a problem for our folks... :-(
It seem to me that you are emphasizing the one-to-many temporal
mapping instead of the one-to-one.
> So could we construct a formal way of representing this idea, perhaps a
>matrix-like representation. In fact I see the various formalisms that
>are used in QM as a way of doing this, what is lacking in them is a
>coherent explanation or understanding of the limitations inherent in
>observation, e.g. infinite observers are not allowable!
One thing prerequisite to this perspective must be to admit the whole
body we can see in the present perfect mode carries with itself inevitable
linguistic artifacts. Once we can find some of them, what we should do is
only to constantly pass it forward, like handling a hot potato in the air
otherwise we would have a severe burning on our hands.
>The idea of
>thinking of sequences of observations as defining a "moving locus of
>consistency" seems to marry the idea of time with set theoretical
>primitives that may give us a toolbox with which to build a geometry!
>:-) I am thinking that the idea of "space-time" should be derived from
>such a methodology, instead of merely assuming an a priori and "for
>free" constructed space-time!
That is the internalist perspective, exhibiting a distinct contrast
to the G-N externalist one. The internalist perspective does not say
anything great or big in the beginning. It's bottom-up like Husserl's
Phenomenological Reduction. The internalist perspective grounded upon
finite horizons is intentional in precipitating the present perfect
tense on a global scale, which is an artifact but an inevitable one.
Despite that, the internalist stance is by no means transcendental.
It rests upon the ordinary linguistic practices. The internalist
perspective sees the occurrence of space-time in the present perfect
mode. The other side of the same coin is to admit that it would have to
constantly be updated.
> Umm, I think that we need to look carefully at the necessity that "a
>material body is that it can remain passively immobile even momentarily
>until its inevitable next updating". This reminds me of the notion that
>there is a non-zero duration involved in the reaction recordable in a
>system given a perturbation, e.g. the reaction to an action is not
>instantaneous, as is implied in Newton's model of the world. This
>connect us to the finiteness of the "speed of light" and limits on
> Perhaps the key is the amount of closure that a material body can
>"squeeze out" inconsistencies. This notion reminds me of the ideas
>involved in the compression of information!
This would mean that what is material is informational, and vice
> The usual formal languages and axiomatic set theories seem to refer to
>an infinite observer that is capable of discriminating with arbitrary
>precision, so it seems that we need to work within the limits of
>Heisenberg's Uncertainty toward the end of constructing a empirical
>model. Even the concepts of records must involve limitations on the
>ability to recover the original information. It seems that we forget
>that there exist more than one language and that records encoded in one
>language are usually not decodable within another language such that the
>original object could be reconstructed, e.g. we need to consider the
>issue of faithful reproducibility...
The record is an artifact. The record cannot keep in itself the
very activity of precipitating the following record. But we cannot live
>> No, this is an artifact at best. Sometimes, it would turn out to be
>> extremely useful.
> I agree; so long as we do not forget the limits of such, we can use
>these tools, e.g. we can hammer nails with a wrench, but a hammer is
>useless to tighten screws...
A nice wording!
>> I remember that intensities were a favorite subject matter to
>> medieval Scholastic philosophers including Duns Scotus. Intensities were
>> taken to be the agency of individuation. This idea has survived even
>> until now though in a very restricted form known as boundary conditions
>> that are already deprived of dynamic capacity of changing themselves.
> I still am unsure of this line of thinking. Umm, I believe that I will
>grasp it eventually. :-)
In short, mechanics must perfectly be legitimate if the intensity
specifying the initial condition is fixed. However, the reverse is not
true. The intensity is beyond mechanics. Although it can tell how the
celestial bodies would move, Newton's mechanics does not tell us what
celestial bodies would be available there in the first place. Likewise,
many seismologists seem to agree that precise prediction of the future
earthquakes would be hard to be attained. The fault is of course not
upon Newton's mechanics, but upon our inability to be acquainted with the
intensity driving the mechanics. The notion of distortions (of the earth
plates) remains quite uncomfortable within mechanics. One of the illusions
especially of our contemporary time is to let intensities be subordinate
>> Or, the whole Universe is a gigantic clock. But there is no one who
>> can read it as such, and accordingly no time because time is
> Yes, I find Leibnitz's writings to be somewhat helpful in giving a
>starting point toward the discussion...
A good remark.
>> One strategy must be to implement interactions in a bottom-up manner
>> instead of a top-down. That is to say putting small clocks together one
>> by one.
> I tend toward the use of both bottom-up and top-down thinking, like a
>zig-zag between seeing the Vase or the pair of faces in the illustration
>if FACES / VASE STEREOGRAM:
Of course, things in the present perfect mode are always conceived of
in a top-down manner.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Tue Dec 28 1999 - 12:06:24 JST