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Date:         Tue, 6 Oct 1998 17:45:16 +0000
Sender:       Quantum Approaches to Consciousness
From:         Saul-Paul Sirag <sirag@POND.NET>
Subject:      [q-mind] Reply to Johnson on subjective time -- A.I. Andemicael
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

From: Adhanom Iassu Andemicael <>

Subject: Reply to Johnson on Subjective Time (q-mind: 2 Oct 1998)

[Johnson previously] If you restrict yourself TO and WITHIN your dimension of "nows" you have no way to claim that a 'now' is not a 'previously' utilized or occupied 'now'. To claim otherwise subsumes a removed perspective les 'arrow of time' (previous, subsequent, etc, etc) become meaningless.

[Andemicael previously] You are claiming that M arrives at a "now" (call it Point-A) and then arrives at this same "now" (Point-A) some time later. However, you are forgetting the critical fact that these two "arrivals" of M bear a before/after relationship to each other. (You, of course, definitely acknowledge this: you use the word "previously" in your description above.) Thus, the second "now" occurs after the first "now."

[Johnson] I used ' & ' around "previously" to show objectual treatment...

[Andemicael] In order to make your argument here you have to EXPLICITLY define a point as having been used previously. (There can be no ambiguity in your use of the word "previously.") Yet you are reluctant to define an earlier/later-than relation between the point's first use and its later re-use! It seems your argument for randomness cannot even be *formulated*.


[Johnson previously] If one sees Zeno as rationally arguing on behalf of Parmenides, motion is indeed illusory for logic and information theory have no means by which to express absolutely simultaneous variance or constancy of both time and space.

[Andemicael previously] Realize that in describing motion as an "illusion," you are, in fact, acknowledging that we perceive it (you merely deny that it is an objective, mind-independent, phenomenon). Our psychological impression of continuous variance (motion) has to be accounted for within the framework of a persisting set of mental states: we cannot simply ignore it or dismiss it as you apparently attempt to do.

[Johnson] I have to laugh, really (!), because my point has been THAT we ignore it or dismiss it VIA our conscious reasoning processes...

This is why it is so critical to carefully identify the basis of our reasoning processes. If Parmenides and Zeno accepted their conscious reasoning as rational and used it to judge the veracity of their perceptions then they have lots of modern company. There are modes of reason which balance logic and information theory combined but I suggest these are normally operant outside conscious manipulation. This allows the understanding "Yes, that really is moving." (which is accepted by those who do not view motion as illusory) but our conscious modes do not have the same universe of discourse as our "un or sub conscious" ones.

[Andemicael] No, my point here is that motion may very well be an illusion. But what *is* an illusion? By definition, it is something which is perceived (something which we *see*). We cannot deny that we *see* motion through any reasoning process; but we may, of course, question whether what we see happening is "REALLY happening," objectively. We have to realize that our mental impression of motion is ITSELF an occurrence that takes place within the context of time's passage. I am pointing out that *this* mental impression needs to be explained within the framework of a persisting set of mental states.

(We may very well dismiss motion as an *objective* phenomenon via our conscious reasoning processes; I am not challenging this here. HOWEVER, we cannot deny the fact that we see the illusion itself.)


[Johnson] do you know that the timeline is a set of points without endpoints? Because you observed it thusly? Because you defined it so...? Both appear to require a removed perspective. (Meta language is sometimes claimed in this regard...)

[Andemicael] I believe you have strayed from the issue here. What we are addressing here is your choice to label points as "relocated" simply because they are preceded by other points.

The question of what is relocated and what is not concerns the *vantage point from which we discuss existence* (in other words, whether we discuss it from the point of view of the initial point or from the point of view of some other point on the line). When you refer to a point on the timeline as "removed," you suggest that the line has a first point of existence (the point is removed in relation to this natural perspective). I'm simply indicating that your use of the words "removed" and "relocated" implies something which isn't true: you suggest (unintentionally) that there is a first point of existence even when considering a line which is defined as not having an initial point.


[Johnson previously] ...what is your warrant that we 'exist' (or 'are') on the base number system?

[Andemicael] I believe I misinterpreted your question in my earlier postings. (I interpreted "base" as a reference to the timeline rather than base/alef, etc.)

To reiterate, it is the series without an initial point (timeline) that satisfactorily describes time's passage.


[Johnson] is interesting that you don't mind claiming endpoints but saying they are not part of your timeline. Particularly in light of:

"...but it certainly manages to pass over all of them in a relatively short period of time: one second..."

I suggest you do claim endpoints, you simply claim them in an ontology of the completed infinite, which you want to claim as part of your system but, then again, you want the timeline without endpoints to be your ontology. Hmmm....

[Andemicael] I do not claim endpoints. My statement ( "...but it certainly manages to pass over all of them in a relatively short period of time: one second...") does not include or apply to any endpoints. This infinite set that is "passed over" has no first or last point in it.

An entity can persist for any length of time (a second; an hour...etc.). But whatever the length of its existence, it will not have a first and last point. (It should be noted here also that the entity could continue in persistence indefinitely.)

You may ask how these various durations differ from one another:

Consider two line segments without endpoints: the two obviously are similar in character (neither has a unique beginning or end.). This does not mean, though, that they are of equal length. Imagine a one-inch line segment (L-1) and a two-inch line segment (L-2) parallel to each other. Now remove the endpoints from the two lines. L-2 is still longer that L-1.

Now consider a very long line which extends indefinitely in a given direction. This line is longer than L-1 or L-2. ...and it corresponds to an entity persisting indefinitely.

Best regards,

Adhanom Andemicael

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