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Is spacetime an illusion?
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Posted 5/14/15 , edited 5/15/15

Zoraprime wrote:

mercury_filter wrote:

Khaltazar wrote:

PBS? This is what they are teaching kids these days? Everything he said was theory. The videos seem interesting to capture audiences and change your perception, but they are all theory and what-ifs.

While special relativity is theory, there is at least some experimental support for it. Michelson-Morley paved the way for it, and there have been many derived experiments to try and test for issues since. I don't know the details, but I think they have used GPS systems in experiments regarding it as well. It does sound like there are some potentially valid arguments against the way some of these experiments were conducted though.

.....I won't even try to touch on their mention of general relativity...I cannot make the illustrious claim of having any knowledge of that.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm pretty sure the video messed up entirely when it said events can occur in *any* order. When events occur from the same 'source,' chronology is conserved. No one can know my future before my present; because my present and future are the same source (i.e. me). This can be demonstrated just by using a spacetime diagram: just put yourself on some point in the space-time diagram. Do something; light cone goes out. Then do nothing for two hours (measured relative to your proper time), and then do something. Light cone goes out. The first light cone will always proceed the second light cone in *any* reference frame. He even said this rule by name (causality), he just didn't see how it applied. And unfortunately, because he misunderstood that, the whole video went to pieces.

When events occur from different sources, then present/past/future lose meaning because it depends on your spacetime coordinates.

I have no problem with special relativity; I just legitimately think the video misunderstood SR.

I have to admit that I did not pay too much attention to the video even thought I watched it all, since I have some familiarity with special relativity, and generally find the layman versions of much of science painful (even if I understand the importance of reminding people that science is cool; I don't look down on such explanations, so much as become frustrated of how much information is lacking). The result was that I did not notice that which you point out.

I must take my brown star of shame for the day, but this has inspired me to dust off my copy of Taylor and Wheeler's treatise on the subject, among other books, so I thank you.

Edit: I feel like there is something here that I am forgetting that is very relevant to the matter in your original post regarding the light cones, and with the order of events, but while I am familiar with SR (but certainly not an expert, I don't wish to misrepresent my knowledge), I have not personally done anything with it in a while. I am going to have to review and play with some of the math a bit, before I can say anything of substance. I still get a tarnished brown star of shame for not paying adequate attention to the video, but I am willing to admit when I have done wrong. I believe I should get another tarnished brown star of shame for my first post, since I did not state this, and that is close enough to misrepresentation that the distinction seems academic.
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Posted 5/14/15
Einstein had touched on this in his "easy" book about relativity, ( I think I have a copy of it floating around here someplace.) There is more to it than that but from my perspective, it's about understanding that your perspective is true only to yourself.
Life is not a journey... You are life, from you point of view, it is just that most people haven't been taught to think of it that way.

It is far more complicated than that but I'm too lazy to waste my time explaining it....

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Posted 5/15/15 , edited 5/15/15
I think that spacetime doesn't exist. Anything/Everything that is possible (all the different possibilities), already exists. E.g: right now you're reading this, but you /could've/ been not reading this, but you could've been sleeping, etc. etc. All the different pasts, futures, presents, they're all continuously existing, forevermore.

WE are the ones that are choosing which slice to visit. So we're the one going from present -> next present.

It's like... a CD (yeah I know no one ever uses those anymore.) or like a DVD (or are we all streaming now? :D) all the tracks are there, but when you listen to a CD, you're choosing a track/second and playing forward or backward from there.

That's what I think "life" is. Everything that's happened, will happen - it's all there, limitless outcomes, they're all existing at once. Life is just having the consciousness (like the needle in a record, or the scanner @ CD player) which "plays" one second at a time. We choose which "track" we want to jump to by the decisions we make second-to-second, continuously jumping to one reality and then another, all depending on our decisions. When we die, we just get off the CD/record, and get to start again with a differnet "life" playing from a different start.

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