The Qualities of Space
Is the dimensionality of space descriptive, or explanatory?
We often accept that by simply describing something, we have explained it, but that is rarely, if ever true.
Three dimensions are the xyz coordinate system. It is very useful for mapping space. For many people and fields, that is all that is necessary.
Are longitude, latitude and altitude foundational to the biosphere of this planet, or a useful mapping device?
Since we otherwise have this infinite void, some form of definition is pretty useful, whether or not it is a perceptual construct, or something deeper.
So space has dimensionality and infinity. Anything else?
In Special Relativity, the measure of lightspeed is always constant, so that as a frame is accelerated, the measures of distance and duration are dilated equally, such that at the speed of light, both shrink to zero.
If we look in the other direction though, to where the ruler is longest and the clock is fastest, it would be the frame closest to the equilibrium of the vacuum. The unmoving void of absolute zero.
So space has one other property, equilbrium. Think of a number line, zero to infinity. The trinity of the absolute, the extant and the infinite.
Time, past, present and future, has been integrated into space, as a fourth dimension of events, though yet again, are there deeper issues? What generates events?
We are these mobile organisms, so this sequential process of perception, by which we experience reality, is a logical consequence of having to navigate our environment. Given plants lack that focused sequence of perception and don’t have to navigate, it is a logical explanation.
So our experience of time is a linear sequence, from past to future. Which physic codifies as measures of duration and correlates with measures of distance. While civilization is built on narratives.
Though if we step back just a little bit, it is obvious that change turns future to past. Tomorrow becomes yesterday, because the earth turns. Duration is the present, as the events come and go.
There can be no literal dimension of time, because the past is consumed by the present, to inform and drive it. Aka, causality and conservation of energy. Cause becomes effect.
Time is an effect, similar to temperature, pressure, color and sound. Time is frequency, events are amplitude.
Ideal gas laws correlate volume with temperature and pressure, but we don’t consider them dimensions of space, because they are only foundational to our emotions, bodily functions and the environment, not the sequence of thought.
Time is asymmetric because it is a measure of action and action is inertial. The earth only turns one direction. Entropy is a second order consequence and not what is measured as time.
Different clocks can run at different rates because they are separate actions, no space travel required. Think metabolism.
That civilization is about getting everyone following the same narratives, obeying the same rules, using the same measures, it might seem like there should be one universal, Newtonian flow of time, so we synchronize all our clocks, but there is rabbit time, turtle time, tree time, etc. The turtle is still plodding along, long after the rabbit has died. Hotter burns faster. Actions, consequences and measurements.
Energy is “conserved,” because it creates time. There is no physical past it can recede into, nor future from which it arrives. It radiates out, as energy from adjoining locations radiates in.
As process and present, energy goes past to future, while the patterns it generates go future to past. With a wave, the energy drives it, while the fluctuations rise and fall. Consequently the energy and the information it expresses are not synonymous, as they go opposite directions of time.
In a factory, the product goes start to finish, future to past, while the process of the production line goes the other way, consuming material and expelling product, past to future forms.
As lives go birth to death, while life moves onto the next generation, shedding the old.
Consciousness also goes past to future, while the perceptions, emotions and thoughts it generates and giving it definition go future to past.
Though it is the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems processing the energy, “feeding the flame,” while the central nervous system sorts the information precipitating out. Signals from the noise.
Thus the intellectual distinction of order and chaos, rather than energy and form. Though excess signal reverts to noise.
So what fills space is this dynamic called energy and the patterns it generates.
Consider a galaxy; The energy radiates out, toward infinity, while the forms and structure coalesce in, toward equilibrium. One toward black body radiation, the other toward black holes.
Synchronization is centripetal, while harmonization is centrifugal. Nodes and networks. Organisms and ecosystems. Particles and fields.
This might be an extremely simplistic observation, but it is also usefully valid. Cosmic convection cycles and feedback loops.
Consider that people evolved in a thermodynamic environment and while we frame our experiences as narrative timelines, this is similar to seeing the world as flat, as that is how our senses experience it.
We take a linear, goal oriented approach to a reality that is cyclical, circular, reciprocal and feedback generated and once we’ve fully isolated the signal from the noise, such as monetizing everything, synchronized it with similar signals and find it becoming some enormous, rogue cultural tsunami, tearing through harmonized ecosystems nature has taken eons to evolve, we wonder when and why the positive feedback turned negative.
Call it karma. What goes round, comes round. Reap what you sow.
We are clever, but are we really aware? Everyone spirals into their rabbit holes of specialization, leaving the windbags and charlatans in charge, while the thieves are going out the back door with everything they can carry.
When we are talking millions and billions of people, it’s not culture, or politics, it’s physics and biology. The old gets crusty and hard, while the new becomes defined by the obstacles it has to overcome. Neither understanding the other.
We’ve reached the edge of the global petri dish and colonizing space is not an option, as we barely understand what is going on here.
It seems like there is an enormous crash coming and only time will tell what patterns and ideas people will start coalescing around, after the dust settles.
So it might be useful to first understand how the processes generate the patterns.