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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:57 pm    Post subject: No Where Reply with quote

Ok, we all know that space and time started together - that before the big bang, well - there was no before, but that is not what I'm interested in here. What I want to examine here is 'what can we say about the where of the big bang, rather than the when. Ok, you'll say, there was no where of the big bang in the same way as there was no when. But the Universe had to come into existence into something, even if we can (as yet) say nothing about it. If that 'where' was not a space, but just of a different set of dimensions, then it had to be something other, something that our 3D emprisoned minds cannot concieve of. Like Descartes cogitum, the imagining of the nowhere for which the Universe to pop into, forces it into the realm of a 'where' to the point where the absence of such a where becomes a logical absurdity. No when there could easily be, no where - not so much.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have two limitations going on here: being stuck in four dimensions and our fundamental wiring causing us to think that things have beginnings and endings; because we are mortal we think other things must end, as well.

Before those membranes collided and formed what we know as The Universe space/distance as we understand it did not exist. We see evidence of this even now since sometimes at the quantum level entangled particles will react with each other instantly regardless of their physical separation because at their level they aren't separated by distance (at least, not three-dimensional distance).

Similarly, there was no such thing as Time before then--the laws of thermodynamics and thus the "thermodynamic arrow" did not exist.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There also exist a fair number of chains of science/math/logic that seem to show, so far, that "something" will always come to be because "nothing" is inherently unstable.
That is almost all entirely beyond my current understanding and likely to remain so...but many of them seem, in one way or another, to say that "nothing" is just a particular kind/state of "something." [[or maybe the reverse, "something" just a state of "nothing."]]

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: No Where Reply with quote

peter wrote:
But the Universe had to come into existence into something, even if we can (as yet) say nothing about it.

As I always say, things like Nothingness are impossible to really comprehend. We may be able to explore it logically, but never experientially, and therefore it's unimaginable in a true sense. "There must be something!" is just a way of failing to really comprehend Nothing - we cannot imagine it.

Just as there was no "before" the big bang, there was no "where" in which the big bang occurred. Space was created by that event as well as time. Yes, it's impossible to wrap your head around that, and so the instinct for denial is strong. Nevertheless.

Vraith wrote:
There also exist a fair number of chains of science/math/logic that seem to show, so far, that "something" will always come to be because "nothing" is inherently unstable.

Nothingness cannot be unstable. "Unstable" is to be imbued with potential. Potential resides in things. "Unstable" cannot exist in Timelessness, because in Timelessness nothing can change. And in Nothingness, there is nothing which might change.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On nothingness being unstable:

Quote:

Their admittedly controversial answer is that the entire universe, from the fireball of the Big Bang to the star-studded cosmos we now inhabit, popped into existence from nothing at all. It had to happen, they say, because "nothing" is inherently unstable.

This idea may sound bizarre, or just another fanciful creation story. But the physicists argue that it follows naturally from science's two most powerful and successful theories: quantum mechanics and general relativity.

...

One thing they have found is that, when quantum theory is applied to space at the smallest possible scale, space itself becomes unstable. Rather than remaining perfectly smooth and continuous, space and time destabilize, churning and frothing into a foam of space-time bubbles.

...

Quantum mechanics tells us that "nothing" is inherently unstable, so the initial leap from nothing to something may have been inevitable. Then the resulting tiny bubble of space-time could have burgeoned into a massive, busy universe, thanks to inflation. As Krauss puts it, "The laws of physics as we understand them make it eminently plausible that our universe arose from nothing - no space, no time, no particles, nothing that we now know of."



But back to the original question here:
Quote:

So why did it only happen once? If one space-time bubble popped into existence and inflated to form our universe, what kept other bubbles from doing the same?

Linde offers a simple but mind-bending answer. He thinks universes have always been springing into existence, and that this process will continue forever.

When a new universe stops inflating, says Linde, it is still surrounded by space that is continuing to inflate. That inflating space can spawn more universes, with yet more inflating space around them. So once inflation starts it should make an endless cascade of universes, which Linde calls eternal inflation. Our universe may be just one grain of sand on an endless beach.


So the "where" from whence our universe sprang would be an infinitely inflating space, the "beach" on which our universe is a single "grain."
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all my years on this world I can perceive a point before the universe and a point past the universe. But I can never figure out how to get the child proof cap off the bottle.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The telling part of Z's quote is surely "nothing we know of": by Wayfriend's argument (which makes sense to me) as soon as nothing has the property of being able to change, it ceases to be nothing - even before that change has occurred. Yes, the space we occupy in our Universe did not exist, but to say there is (at present) nothing we can say of what goes on beyond the temporal and spatial boundaries of our Universe is a far cry from saying that nothing goes on.

(edit: just went back and read the final quote of your post Z, which negates my above comments. I'll leave them in in case there is anything further to draw from them, or as a palpable demonstration of my inherent folly if not! Wink )
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WF---what if imagining nothingness is beyond our ability cuz of what you said PLUS the fact that it cannot, in fact, "be" in the sense you mean?

Some nice synchronicity in this popping up in my crawling:


http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/stories/physicists-may-have-just-manipulated-pure-nothingness
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
WF---what if imagining nothingness is beyond our ability cuz of what you said PLUS the fact that it cannot, in fact, "be" in the sense you mean?


I would say the desire to find it impossible arises from our inability to imagine it. Won't we feel a lot better if that impenetrable darkness doesn't really exist?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Vraith wrote:
WF---what if imagining nothingness is beyond our ability cuz of what you said PLUS the fact that it cannot, in fact, "be" in the sense you mean?


I would say the desire to find it impossible arises from our inability to imagine it. Won't we feel a lot better if that impenetrable darkness doesn't really exist?


I've had varying thoughts/conclusions on this over time, but for right now:
Our abstract and large-scale understanding of nothing may have been begun/driven by a desire---but the conclusions/results are not caused by the desire. A fair amount of early astronomy was based on the desire to know the will of the Gods. What that knowledge has become has fuck-all to do with them. [[other than killing them, of course. But what's a Meta phor? Slaying ignorance.]]

I disagree that we can't imagine nothingness. I disagree with your claim that we can't experience it. We want it to be impossible [if we do] because it is absolutely penetrable.

Ever had dreamless sleep? Ever been knocked out cold? Ever been under general anesthesia? All small doses of nothingness that we can look at, if we try, with utter clarity...and the temporary taste and comprehension of nothingness terrifies us because we know exactly what it is like.

It's the not ever waking up from it that is the problem.

Honestly, any fool can understand nothing.
Understanding mostsomethings is hard.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But nothing cannot exist: it's a logical absurdity and thus whatever state or absence thereof pertained beyond the temporal boarders of our space time it was clearly not the concept that we try to wrap our heads around when we attempt to think of or describe 'nothing'.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
But nothing cannot exist: it's a logical absurdity and thus whatever state or absence thereof pertained beyond the temporal boarders of our space time it was clearly not the concept that we try to wrap our heads around when we attempt to think of or describe 'nothing'.


I deny [in my current modes of thought...it has been otherwise before, and likely will be again, at least temporarily] that we cannot wrap our heads around things which do not exist.
I might even say that fully comprehending things which cannot be is an important source/inspiration for discovering that which can and/or must be.

I've said before that almost everything in mathematics cannot exist in any literal way. Nevertheless, it leads to profound understanding at the theoretical/abstract level, and enormous utility [once adjusted and contextualized to physical things--- the pure form doesn't work, and much abstract will always remain Not Applicable] in the physical/pragmatic realm.

And that derivation from abstract to actual is accelerating. Not as fast as the math is, so we'll never catch up in any reasonable time-space, and if the advancement curves stay roughly similar to what they are, catching up is impossible in any and all time-spaces.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The theory is that before the singularity there was nothing, neither space nor time.

I am not saying that the theory cannot be wrong -- perhaps there was something. I am just saying that positing that there was something contradicts the theory. Even if the something posited is "instability" or "emptiness".

Quote:
Other scientists place the formation of the singularity inside a cycle called the big bounce in which our expanding universe will eventually collapse back in on itself in an event called the big crunch. A singularity once more, the universe will then expand in another big bang. This process would be eternal and, as such, every big bang and big crunch the universe ever experiences would be nothing but a rebirth into another phase of existence.

I am partial to this theory myself.

However, this doesn't settle another problem, whose solution is equally unimaginable: what is beyond the edge of the universe? By all accounts the universe has a size. So your kind of stuck with Nothing no matter how you squirm.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

However, this doesn't settle another problem, whose solution is equally unimaginable: what is beyond the edge of the universe? By all accounts the universe has a size. So your kind of stuck with Nothing no matter how you squirm.


Interesting that bring up another problem.

Let say in the future that there is a ship that is able to travel to the expanding edge of the universe. While mucking around the edges the Big Crunch goes into action and suddenly your ship is outside the universe which is shrinking. Can you get back or are you now lost to the void that once was a universe?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry guys - can I at the risk of being dull,just harp back to this logic problem: am I correct in thinking that the idea/concept of nothing cannot overlap with the idea/concept of existence ....... so nothing can be both nothing and existent.

If so then we have the idea of the Universe (existence) springing out of nothing and we are forced to concede that nothing is capable of change. Then we must confront 'Wayfriend's Dilemma' - that of how can nothing be capable of change and still be defined as nothing.

Houston, we have a problem!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Something" can occur from "nothing" because at the quantum level neither causality nor thermodynamics apply like they do at the macro level. Matter and energy can suddenly exist where it didn't before and at some point in the future it may suddenly cease to exist without leaving any trace of itself.

"Nothing" is a difficult concept for us because trying to envision Nothing is still Something. Nothing is the absence of Everything, including the thoughts which try to envision Nothing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
"Something" can occur from "nothing" because at the quantum level neither causality nor thermodynamics apply like they do at the macro level. Matter and energy can suddenly exist where it didn't before and at some point in the future it may suddenly cease to exist without leaving any trace of itself.

"Nothing" is a difficult concept for us because trying to envision Nothing is still Something. Nothing is the absence of Everything, including the thoughts which try to envision Nothing.


On the first, I agree mostly...the disagreements are long, odd, and a different topic [and may not be disagreements at all, depending....]

On first [a] (transitioning to second, below)
People, in general, would respond "But what you described isn't REALLY nothing. It's a kind of something, so it isn't what I meant. [[roughly the same as what WF said earlier]].

On the second, I don't think so, as I've pointed at in above posts.
Envisioning nothing is relatively easy. Even a Caveman could do it. Accepting it---accepting that they DO understand it---is the hard part.
People do that all the time, practically daily.
Sometimes it's on purpose, has an intention/outcome in mind...
Sometimes it's more or less sub/unconscious to avoid terror and/or feelings of meaninglessness.

If one were to test them deeply/in detail, I predict one would find that the average person understands "nothing" at a far deeper level than "1+1=2"

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Sorry guys - can I at the risk of being dull,just harp back to this logic problem: am I correct in thinking that the idea/concept of nothing cannot overlap with the idea/concept of existence ....... so nothing can be both nothing and existent.

If so then we have the idea of the Universe (existence) springing out of nothing and we are forced to concede that nothing is capable of change. Then we must confront 'Wayfriend's Dilemma' - that of how can nothing be capable of change and still be defined as nothing.

Houston, we have a problem!

Well, it's fair to take me to task on "Nothingness exists", as you point out. But I beg to offer that this is merely a poor choice of words on my part. It would be better to say "Nothingness is extant", or "The condition of Nothingness pertains".

But there is only a paradoxical dilemma if you believe that Nothingness caused the Universe to spring forth. As I said, in Nothingness there is no Thing which can cause anything. No instability. No tendency. No possibility. Nothing.

However, by definition the Big Bang is without a predecessor which caused it. It is causeless - the first link in the chain of cause and effect. The "first cause" which Thomas Aquinas attributes to God.

Therefore, there is no problem for Houston, as I see it. The Nothingness is not required to have something that caused the Big Bang.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imagining Nothing is an exercise in Zen.
There is no aspect of Nothing that we can feel with our sense of touch, so we remove any thoughts of touch.
There is no aspect of Nothing that we can see, so we remove any thoughts of vision.
There is no aspect of Nothing that we can hear, so we remove any thoughts of hearing.
There is no aspect of Nothing that we can taste, so we remove any thoughts of taste.
There is no aspect of Nothing that we can smell, so we remove any thoughts of smell.
There is no aspect of Nothing that involves math, so we remove any thoughts of math.
There is no aspect of Nothing that...

Get the idea? We must remove all thoughts on all ways we that we perceive or think about anything, because there is no aspect of Nothing that is involved with any of them. Indeed, Nothing has no aspects at all. Imagining Nothing means not imagining at all. No thought.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like that.

Ur Dead wrote:
Let say in the future that there is a ship that is able to travel to the expanding edge of the universe. While mucking around the edges the Big Crunch goes into action and suddenly your ship is outside the universe which is shrinking. Can you get back or are you now lost to the void that once was a universe?

I would question the assumption that you could exit the universe. Heck, I could question the assumption that you could even get to the edge, but that's a trickier business.

What I am sure about is that, when the universe starts contracting, your being contracted with it. It's not like a rug being pulled out from under you. It's like you're in a photo and the photo is shrinking - you're image gets smaller, too. That is to say, you are matter and so you are attracted to the center of the universe and so you're part of the wave of matter heading towards collapse.
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