Parmenides and Isaac
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:05:39 AM
In his Method of Fluxions Newton combines space with time in the most natural way to show how they are indissolubly linked in our subjective process. In so doing he put his meditations to many good and practical uses, fully expecting an inexhaustible supply of new applications and uses and discoveries. Space-time is but one of these.
The notion of time is of interest. As a culture we can trace the invention of time to the Equation of Time.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equation_of_time Before then time as we know it did not exist!http://www.sundials.co.uk/equation.htm
The two main things we have done in our interaction with space is track the motion of the stars( which turned out to be the rotation of the earth) and the motion of the sun and or moon. This tracking of the sequential position of these bodies is the tracking of motion. The stages of this track we named "Tyme", that is the portions of the complete track as they vary in our experience.
Job 38:32 (Wycliffe) "Whether thou bryngist forth Lucifer, that is, dai sterre, in his tyme, and makist euene sterre to rise on the sones of erthe?" ("Whether thou bringest forth Lucifer, that is, day star, in his time, and makest evening star to rise on the sons of earth?")
Isaiah 14:12 (Wycliffe) "A! Lucifer, that risidist eerli, hou feldist thou doun fro heuene; thou that woundist folkis, feldist doun togidere in to erthe." ("A! Lucifer, that rose early, how fellest thou down from heaven; thou that woundest folks, fellest down together in to earth.")
There are other motions that we tracked: the falling of the surface of the water level in a barrel with a leak, the changing length and orientation of shadows, the blink of an eye, the beat of heart, the flight of an arrow. All these motions were tracked and traced and divided into portions of varying experience, these portions of motion we called "Tempus", as in tempus fugit.
Parmenides "tricked" his fellow grecians to make a point: all is an illusion, there is only the monad, and the dividing of the monad is "tyme". For how could an arrow move to its target if it is "all its length" at every "time " we inspect it, because by definition all its length is what we perceive only when it is at rest. Thus it is a contradiction that an arrow can be in flight and also at rest! And should we want to say "instantaneously" then it is still a contradiction because there are an infinity of instants, and by definition no thing can be in an infinity of places in finite duration! Thus motion is an illusion and there is only the monad.
Many dismissed Parmenides logic as fallacious, and as trickery, but Parmenides was as serious as they come and walked his talk! Parmenides point has not gone away, there is either no time and no motion , and all is an illusion or time and motion are indissolubly linked and time is motion!( This is a monad, one and the same idea!)
It is in fact Newton who answers Parmenides Paradox, by showing that objects are never at rest. Thus all its length is not a description of an object at rest, but of an object at an instant in motion, with the proviso that the observer just happens to be moving at the same relative velocity. In this surprising view, an objects measurements are continually varying, and at such a rate as to be able to be in all infinite instances in a finite duration!What we are unable to do is access all those instances with infinite frequency. Thus our frequency of oscillatory processing, that is sampling , determines the ricchness of our experience of the motion in the world. We only ever experience part of the variability in he measurements of any object, and only part of all the instances it visits in its motion, and that part only ever sums up to a finite number, because we missout on an infinity of other instances. The world is stranger than we can ever know! However the faster we can sample, the slower motion goes, but it is in inverse proportion to our sampling frequqncy. Space and time are therefore linked by our subjective processing frequency of motion, that is time is our sense of relative position in space of some tracked motion, or memory of motion and spatial intensity sequences.
Tyme then has always been a track of motion of various significant objects, and we have always lived and moved comparatively or relatively, and that is the best description of our relation to quantity, according to Sir Isaac Newton.
Thus using comparison we derive a notion of duration. This is a comparative notion comparing ONE MOTION AGAINST ANOTHER THAT HAS A BEGINNING AND ENDING. SAND TIMERS, WATER CLOCKS ALL FULFILLED THIS FUNCTION. They all began and ended and required someone or something to start them up again.
It was reputedly Galileo who recognised the properties of the pendulum as a source of accurate measure for duration, and it was not until Huygens that the mathematical comparative description was written down.
As a boy i encountered this equation for the period of a pendulum, It was the first time i ever met an implicit equation, and the fact that it was a ratio was never explained to me or any one else i knew. It is only now, in my latter years that i have had chance to understand the fractal nature of all things and the combinatorial nature of all equations and the comparative nature of the fundamental ones. As Newton said, the comparative and relative nature of our enquiries should never be forgot!
Thus within Huygens equation is the admixture of space and time and frequency , which we call now, after Hamilton and Einstein spacetime, but which we might otherwise call motion of a relative sorts!
Thus we have always tracked (sampled) motion, and used it to mark duration, and then to measure duration by a fractal pattern. But that fractal pattern is nothing but small instances of motion, moments as both Hamilton and Newton called them,samples. Thes moments are ordered sequences of sampled motion, but spread over space, and at the right "frequency of replay" they form the varied motions we perceive, the patterns of our experience of motion.
So when Einstein struggled with the Data of science, it was not his genius alone that came up with the current solutions, he relied heavily on Others insight and philosophy, and some of those people he frankly misunderstood.
His 1905 paper in which he introduces the notion of spacetime has some important misconceptions about space and time which were common in his day. Few to this day have read Newton's works in this area. Einsteins formulation is flawed because the thinking at his time was flawed, the method of fluxions was assumed to be the same as Leibniz differential Geometry, but it is essentially not. And in his careful working out of his method Newton addresses all the issues about duration within space, and the vector algebra within space. Mr Newton is in fact equally corrective of Mr Einstein.
It is through the scientific endeavour that we have extended scientific duration into universal time, but in doing so we have "forgot" that time is motion tracking/sampling.http://www.timezone.com/extras/200711101492