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Life





supercorda
Life is like a book? What do you think about this?
ocalhoun
Only superficially...
spinout
hm, like a book... I wonder witch bad one... hitchhikers guide to the galaxy???
HalfBloodPrince
Life doesn't really have a cover, nor can you flip to the last page to check out how it ends. If you're religious, the 'author' already knows the ending but hasn't yet written it, if you're not then the book's just written as you go. Either way, once you finish the book you can't re-read it. Idea
Bikerman
Unless you are Hindu, perhaps?
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Unless you are Hindu, perhaps?

No, then it would be more like a series of short stories featured in a magazine. ^.^
Arty
Life is like a box of overused cliches.
spinout
Every big bang is a new page... In the book of this universe...

Really, I still have my doubts about this - but better a book than none - I think!
Dennise
Life may be like a book ONLY after you have lived and died.

While you are alive, life can't be like a book because you have choices that affect your future and a book is fixed with no choices.
liljp617
Dennise wrote:
Life may be like a book ONLY after you have lived and died.

While you are alive, life can't be like a book because you have choices that affect your future and a book is fixed with no choices.


Do you? Razz
HalfBloodPrince
spinout wrote:
Every big bang is a new page... In the book of this universe...

Really, I still have my doubts about this - but better a book than none - I think!

No, the Big Bang didn't occur "in" the Universe, it resulted in the Universe. Every Big Bang might be a new page in the book of the multiverse, maybe...
ocalhoun
liljp617 wrote:
Dennise wrote:
Life may be like a book ONLY after you have lived and died.

While you are alive, life can't be like a book because you have choices that affect your future and a book is fixed with no choices.


Do you? Razz

Well, that depends on how you view the brain, and indeed, the entire universe.
Is it purely cause-effect and mechanical -- making everything (theoretically) predictable?

Since we see behaviors in quantum physics that are absolutely random, things that are entirely unknowable, and relationships between objects that don't seem to follow cause and effect, then the universe cannot be perfectly predictable.
Given that the universe is unpredictable, I'm inclined to believe the brain is also (sometimes) unpredictable, which means you could make meaningful choices.
(Though the distinction between a rational choice and a random choosing of an option may be rather blurry. To be truly free choice, it must have a random element, because a purely rational decision would be purely predictable.)
HalfBloodPrince
ocalhoun wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
Dennise wrote:
Life may be like a book ONLY after you have lived and died.

While you are alive, life can't be like a book because you have choices that affect your future and a book is fixed with no choices.


Do you? Razz

Well, that depends on how you view the brain, and indeed, the entire universe.
Is it purely cause-effect and mechanical -- making everything (theoretically) predictable?

Since we see behaviors in quantum physics that are absolutely random, things that are entirely unknowable, and relationships between objects that don't seem to follow cause and effect, then the universe cannot be perfectly predictable.
Given that the universe is unpredictable, I'm inclined to believe the brain is also (sometimes) unpredictable, which means you could make meaningful choices.
(Though the distinction between a rational choice and a random choosing of an option may be rather blurry. To be truly free choice, it must have a random element, because a purely rational decision would be purely predictable.)

Isn't that randomness on a microscopic scale though (quantum mechanics, genes crossing over in fertilization, etc.), not like "should I have chocolate or vanilla ice cream"?
Bikerman
If relativity is correct then time and space are part of one single construct - spacetime - and are interchangeable. Thus moving through both always sums to c - if you don't move then time passes at rate c. If you move at speed c then time doesn't pass.
If you think about the implications of that...well, spacetime already exists, so it follows that the past, present and future already exist as coordinates in spacetime.
ocalhoun
HalfBloodPrince wrote:

Isn't that randomness on a microscopic scale though (quantum mechanics, genes crossing over in fertilization, etc.), not like "should I have chocolate or vanilla ice cream"?


Yes, but the operations of the brain also occur on a microscopic scale, so it isn't terribly hard to think they might be influenced by this randomization. (Even a very small random change might be amplified by the brain into change in a thought, which might influence a decision, which in turn might influence much more...) Some people have supposedly found evidence of this happening, but I don't think it has been proven yet; we don't know enough about exactly how the brain works.

(I'm just using an elegance or symmetry line of thought; it would seem somewhat strange to have such complex, purely mechanical and predictable systems (brains) in an inherently unpredictable universe.)

Bikerman wrote:

If you think about the implications of that...well, spacetime already exists, so it follows that the past, present and future already exist as coordinates in spacetime.

That's where a branching multiverse theory would be very helpful.
The coordinate 'x,y,z,t (time)' doesn't have to be absolutely fixed, despite being in the future, if we add in a fifth coordinate (dimension), that we could call probability.

A traditional time-line:

The traditional time-line has only one dimension (time), the spatial dimensions (x,y,z) are represented compressed into a single line.

A branching multiverse time-line:

For a multiverse time-line, we need to add in a second (vertical) dimension to differentiate between the possibilities.
In the multiverse time-line, this 5th dimension would be the needed vertical axis.

So, yes, the future -- and indeed all possible futures -- would already exist, and yet you would still have free choice (or at least random choice) of which future 'becomes reality'.
Bikerman
That is pretty much what we call the 'Many World' interpretation of quantum physics - proposed by physicist Hugh Everett.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
So, yes, the future -- and indeed all possible futures -- would already exist, and yet you would still have free choice (or at least random choice) of which future 'becomes reality'.

i don't see how branching universes results in any "choice", free or otherwise.

Suppose that at 5:00 you make a binary "choice" - to steal something or to walk by it.

At 5:01, two universes exist, one in which you made the "choice" to steal, and one in which you did not.

At 4:59, you haven't made the "choice" yet, so there is only one universe with one you. Now, explain to me how you have a "choice" to make in one minute. The way i see it, you're not "choosing" anything, you're doing everything; you are literally eating your cake and having it, too. You are not "choosing" between theft or good behaviour, you are actually doing both.

Branching universes may offer you the illusion of choice... after the fact. But it's clearly not a choice. Neither of the two "you"s in the two universes at 5:01 "chose" that universe over the other one: both universes needed to exist, so a "you" was created for every possibility. One you was created thinking they chose to steal, the other was created thinking they chose not to... but neither of them are the you at 4:59.
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:
One you was created thinking they chose to steal, the other was created thinking they chose not to... but neither of them are the you at 4:59.

Well, I would reverse that and say they are both you at 4:59, but the point still stands; the choice is an illusion, as long as both choices were possible.

If you'd prefer, we could postulate a multiverse theory that has only one 'real' line from the past to the present, and branches only in the future. Then, when a choice point turns out a given way, the alternative paths that could have been taken cease to exist, as the chosen path becomes real.
That allows a multiverse where all times exist 'at once', yet choice is real.
catscratches
Dennise wrote:
a book is fixed with no choices.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamebook
Dennise
catscratches wrote:
Dennise wrote:
a book is fixed with no choices.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamebook


Not so fast there ..............

Yes there can be pre-programed choices in such books. But those choices have pre-programed outcomes that do NOT mirror real life. Excepting suicide > death, harming ones self intentionally > pain etc. real life choices do NOT always have pre-programed outcomes.
Bikerman
Well, then it depends on whether you believe in concepts like free-will I suppose...personally I don't, but that's an opinion, not a law Smile
Arty
Sure it is. It has a beginning, middle, and an end. Just like a book.
Bikerman
So does any physical entity, so if that is the extent of the analogy then it is not an analogy at all, but a tautology.
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