Monday, April 23, 2007

How to determine reality

Descate said "I think therefore I am". Then Einstein came around and showed us that everything we see, including time, is warped by gravity. And oh yes space and time are really the same substance now known as space-time. Max Plank, Heisenberg and Born added to the confusion with quantum mechanics. And here we are, with a fair amount of further confusion added since then, so how do we know reality? If there is nothing fundamentally fixed including matter, and space-time itself, what do we call real?

Reality now seems vaporous and nothing but an illusion. But here I am writing this. To me this is real. To you the reader it is real. But in another way of looking at this it is all a transitory fluctuation of energy. We all are a momentary fluctuation of energy. At a given instant in space and time here we are, at least what we call “we” and define as “are”

Look at a sparkler on the 4th of July. For a moment it is bright and flashing, gives off very high heat and then is gone. Now imagine if that you filmed the sparkler and then slowed the film down so that it took 15 billion years for it to burn halfway down the rod. Could you even understand what you were looking at? Generations would come and go, whole planetary life cycles would start, burn and die, while the sparkler burned in the film as it ticked one frame every million years or so. The sparkler would appear static and unchanging for most observers.

This is my lame attempt to show what reality is like. It is an illusion. Reality is what various transitory, energy fluctuations determine it to be at a given time.

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