by Robert Kovsky (...) The current version of the "Time and Paradigms" project is available for download [a .pdf file, 4 MB].
This "work in progress" draft is posted in anticipation of lengthy interruptions and in recognition of the vicissitudes and risks of life. The chief substance of the project is set forth in this publication, subject to further investigations, revisions, developments, etc. As the project is presently conceived, incompete portions are implicit in what is published here or from my other publications. This publication includes full drafts of the Introduction and part III and sets forth substantial constructions of part I and part II, including a new bursting devices design, "A Tube for Transport," which is a first model of the gut or intestine of an animal. Please see also the ( ... ) page on the bursters project..
Introduction: actual life meets detached reason
From the Introduction:
Scientific methods treat time as a numerical quantity that can be perfectly represented by a mathematical variable and precisely measured by standardized clocks. Such a narrow rigid treatment clashes with the rich flowing texture of temporal forms, tempi and rhythms that personal experience continuously weaves from memories of the past; from movements, feelings and perceptions of the present; and from anticipations of the future. "Reversibility" of the mathematical variable clashes with actual life where "the moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on." (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.)
In this project, three kinds of time are related to three energy concepts. Part I discusses standard Conserved Energy (CE) paradigms; Part II discusses new Virtual Energy (VE) paradigms. Part III discusses psychological and philosophical implications of multiple time and energy concepts.
First: actual time tracks movements of and changes in material bodies. Bodies that move and change in actual time include those with a simple constitution a falling iron weight or a molten metal alloy in a crucible and also living animal bodies with complex cells and organs. Moving and changing animal bodies make up the domain of actual life that is foundational in this project.
My approach begins with materialistic presumptions that are similar to presumptions of science, chiefly that movements of and changes in bodies depend only on their material constitutions, their histories and the histories of their interactions. I presume that there is universal agreement among persons about the order of such events in time and about periods of time between events. Such presumptions provide a foundation of "objectivity" for discussion of such events.
Principles of freedom distinguish my materialism from scientific materialism. Science seems to be committed to a materialism where "theories of mechanics" (e.g., Newton's, Einstein's, statistical, quantum) and "mechanisms" (e.g., chemical, computational) are presumed to describe and control all movements of and changes in material bodies. Such mechanical commitments exclude freedom. I hold to contrary principles, like those stated by Truesdell (p. 424), that such commitments "reflect a failure to come to grips with the real complications of nature. Beyond the easiest and long-mastered special cases, nature is too intricate for any inclusive theory."
I suggest that movements and changes of actual life e.g., itching and scratching confound all-inclusive theories of mechanics. While seated, I bend down and my right hand precisely scratches an itch on my left ankle, which lifts to meet the hand. I suggest that such itching and scratching is produced in my spine through an exercise of freedom and that all the vertebra in my spine participate in such productions. Preening of birds provides a more pointed example. I suggest that the feeling of an itch is needed to guide scratching. In contrast, no thought or "will" is needed, although thought and will may block movements when socially mandated. Similarly, a visual goal guides walking movements of the body. I suggest that, while producing whole-body movements in their spines in actual time, animal bodies of fish, birds, mammals and human beings exercise freedoms that are excluded from computational or mechanical theories of science.
Second: detached time operates in imagination, a domain that is occupied by images (feelings, perceptions, memories, plans, theories, etc.). Some images are based on ongoing actual events. Others are generated through memory or during fantasies or other mental activities that have no connection to ongoing actual events. Imaginary events in fantasies can be slowed down, sped up or skipped over in ways that are impossible for events in actual time. In imagination, a clock can be reset to a start time and different alternatives can be constructed. Different persons will have different memories and fantasies; temporal variations in imaginary events (slowing, speeding, skipping over) are impossible to compare from person to person.
Detached time operates during rational processes such as adding numbers mentally. "Detached" means that processes are independent of muscular movements and actual time. Some people add numbers quickly in their minds and other people are slower. A person might add quickly at work and slowly when contemplating the bill after a family meal at a restaurant.
Detached time operates in thermodynamics paradigms of Conserved Energy. As discussed below, such paradigms are constructed from continuous equipoise and equilibrium operations on stationary positions. Detached time also operates in computer algorithms. All such rational processes operate in detached time in imagination, in equipoise/equilibrium physics paradigms and in computers. In such rational processes, movements can repeat incessantly without change. Such repetitions require time invariance: an exact repetition of movements produces exactly the same results in the body and in the environment. If a variance is introduced in movements, any change in results is attributed to the variance. (Such an attribution maintains the ancient "principle of sufficient reason.") Time invariance requires a static environment and a fixed production system. Laboratories and consumer electronics devices aim to satisfy such requirements and to produce exact repetitions for prolonged periods. Animal bodies and movements of actual life have lesser capacities for such time invariance or for exact repetitions.
Third: in controlled time, operations in rational domains co-exist with bodily movements and changes in the domain of actual life. In other words, selections in rational domains trigger, inhibit or modify bodily movements in the actual domain; and perceptions and feelings that are rooted in the actual domain influence selections in rational domains. ...
Many variants of controlled time occur in musical performances where movements of a musician are under the control of a conductor or ensemble or internal beat. Repetitive beats and cycling melodies provide gist for operational controls; but movements also require exercises of freedom in actual time on the part of each musician.
(...) this "work in progress" version of the "time and paradigms" project is available for download .[4 MB]
Please see also: