Way OT : time and tao

Lynch, Jonathan bnz2 at cdc.gov
Wed Mar 23 17:59:23 EST 2005

<I think your analogy is starting to fall apart here. 
<I don't think you can infer causality from the existence of two states.

In the example with the excel spreadsheet, you can infer causality if it
is one of those spreadsheets in which you start with numbers in the
first column, and in all of the following columns you use a formula that
figures out its information based on the information in the preceding
column. Causality would, in fact, be inferred almost by definition in
that circumstance. Clearly, this analogy would make no sense if each
column just contained random numbers.

<You're implying a relationship between the two 
<states based on causality, and then
<attempting to prove causality based 
<on the implied relationship.

I meant for the two states to have assumed causality - I should have
made that more clear. Column 1 causes column 2. Column 2 causes Column
3, etc... Past events cause future events - just as we see in our

One could describe a set of circumstances in which future events caused
past events. But to describe these events, you would inevitably have to
resort to multiple dimensions of time in order to complete the

For example:
1st, particle A began at time = 0 seconds
2nd, particle A bumped into particle B at time = 1 second
3rd, particle B vibrated at time = 2 seconds
3rd, this caused particle B to go backwards in time to time = 0 seconds
4th, particle B interacted with particle A at time = 0 seconds

And so on...

This description has two dimensions of time (or causal chains, if you
The inner dimension is described with "time = 0 seconds, time = 1
second, and time = 2 seconds."
The outer dimension is described with "1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th."

<but without a flow of time these causalities wouldn't exist.


If every condition has a cause, then there must be an associated flow of
time to allow that condition to have happened. The starting conditions
of the big bang either had a cause, or they did not. If we believe the
starting conditions did not have a cause, then we are assuming
A-causality. If we believe the starting conditions did have a cause,
even though time in our universe was at value 0 at that moment, then we
must assume more than one dimension of time (or chain of causality, if
you prefer).

Every single description of possible scenarios of the beginning of time
that I have read either stated or implied A-causality, or stated or
implied multiple dimensions of time. The big bang/big crunch cyclic
model, for example, would imply multiple dimensions of time, if time
begins anew at every big bang.

<If there is no entropy then there is no time flow, and there
is no causality.

Entropy is an axiom of physics, a starting assumption. In all
observations of the real-world, it appears to hold true. However, this
does not mean or even imply that entropy holds true across multiple
dimensions of time, or across any outer realities in which this reality
is defined (if such realities were to exist).

I think it is dangerous to assume that the laws that apply this 4-D
space must apply anything that might exist outside of this space. Quite
the contrary, if one believes in an infinitely regressing chain of cause
and effect rather than in A-causality, then you cannot help but conclude
that entropy for the total system should be zero. Without that, all of
existence would already be in a state of maximum entropy.

Equally - the fact that time in our universe correlates with the
progress of entropy does not, in any way, mean or imply that an outer
dimension of time that is not part of our spacetime must also correlate
with entropy. The inner and outer dimensions of time could be of two
entirely different natures, just as in my spreadsheet example, in which
time on the inner dimension (the months laid out in the spreadsheet) is
very different from time in the real-world in which we are observing the

<...and this discussion is getting *really* off-track now. 
<I'd better duck out before the listmom gets upset... it's been fun.

Ya - I expect that I have just annoyed the total caca out of everyone
who is not into philosophy on this list - um, sorry guys.

More information about the Use-livecode mailing list