Post by ruylopez Post by da pickle
Good heavens ... repeats itself exactly!!!!!!! Each and every random event?
I am not convinced there are any truly random events in the universe.
that fundamentally defy prediction, no doubt. But is reality inherently
probabilistic? It just never has made sense to me. Schoedinger's cat,
Have you ever read my fable?
Something/nothing ... first and last words in my fable.
See what you think:
ON ACTION AT A DISTANCE - A FABLE
Something moved. Just from the rhythmic sounds, he knew who it was long
before he cracked one eye to confirm his suspicions. It was a while longer
before the faint scrape/slip pattern ceased.
"Are you awake?" the turtle asked quietly.
"Rabbits are always awake!" exclaimed the rabbit in his perpetually petulant
"I've been thinking," continued the turtle.
"Amphibians beware," thought the rabbit, but asked, "About what?"
"Things," the turtle replied.
"The entire Animal Kingdom is in danger," the rabbit mused silently, but
fired a quick question to throw the turtle off: "Define 'things.'"
"You're right, as always," said the turtle slowly, "but that is just part of
the question I'm considering."
"Let's have it. The bottom line." The rabbit wasn't going to waste a whole
"Okay. Here it is. If I push on one end of a thing, does the other end
move at the same time"?
The rabbit started to ask the turtle to define "time" and "push" and "end,"
but instead, he said, "Have you been swimming in the toxic waste pond? You
know what it did to those ninja nephews of yours."
The turtle took no notice and pressed on, "It's a good question, isn't it?
It's a mind puzzle. I want to know the theoretical answer."
The rabbit yawned, "Have you presented this pithy puzzle to anyone else?"
"The fox said it was an acoustics problem. He said the sound wave that
moves through a thing represents the fastest time that the other end knows
that the thing has been pushed. I didn't like that answer. Seems like the
thing itself doesn't need to move at all for sound waves to move through it.
Besides, that answer just doesn't sound right." The turtle chuckled, "No
"Doesn't sound like a sound problem," remarked the rabbit dryly.
The turtle continued, "The owl said the second postulate of Einstein (the
dead human, not my brother) denies instantaneous interactions. He said that
meant information must move from one place to another place in a finite
time; the fastest being the speed of light. Then the owl talked a lot about
elevators and dead cats in boxes and concluded that no 'thing' can go faster
than the speed of light. The owl seemed to stop listening to the question
when he got to talking. I tried to point out that the 'thing' I am talking
about doesn't get moving much at all. My question is whether both ends move
at the same time. I'm not asking about the velocity of the 'thing' itself."
"I may be hung up on whether the two ends are really two different places.
I guess I should ask, 'Do all parts of a thing move at the same moment when
it changes direction or speed?' Or maybe, can one 'thing' have parts at
all? How would you know?"
The rabbit first abandoned his inclination to ask for definitions of
"places" and "parts," but now he stalled for a little more time to think,
"Did you talk to anyone else?"
"I've spoken to some pretty smart ducks and they say it's an interesting
question, but not one of them has given me a satisfactory answer. Maybe
it's my slow witted nature, but it seems like such a simple question. You
know stuff. What do you think?"
The rabbit was stuck. He knew the answer to difficult questions often
depended on definitions. He spoke more slowly than usual. "We need to
define 'thing,' and that may not be easy. We use the words 'something' or
'nothing' all the time, but what is a 'thing'? What we call 'things' may
only be even smaller 'parts' that are very close together. If we define
space as the absence of a 'thing' (i.e., no 'thing' or 'nothing'), then some
thing ('something') is an island of 'stuff' surrounded by space. 'Stuff' is
'stuff.' A thing is made of stuff. A thing is solid stuff with no space,
just stuff. Parts may be just different things entirely. The need for
space to separate 'things' implies edges or boundaries ('ends,' as you say)
to the 'things.'"
The rabbit went on, "There is an old Chinese proverb that states, 'All
sticks have two ends.' The proverb is a good one to use when arguing an
emotional point with a friend and it may paint a useful picture for your
mind game. Are the two 'ends' of one 'thing' representative of two distinct
and different 'places'?"
"You push on a stick. Does the stick move as one 'thing'? Is there a wave
that moves from one end to the other? How small a 'thing' can one imagine?
Can there be a theoretical 'thing' that is a true solid, a true rigid body?
Can a 'thing' move all at once? If a theoretical light at one end is
flashed when the thing is pushed, does the other end move before the light
The rabbit prepared his conclusion. "It is an interesting question. There
is an old Sufi saying that seems appropriate:
'An answered question is as useful to a man's mind as a broken sword on a
"You don't know the answer either, do you?" sighed the turtle as he began a
laborious turn to return home.
The rabbit said nothing.
(The fable fails to discuss the interesting question of whether any "thing"
has ever been observed or can be observed. The questions that are presented
are for discussion, even if they are not profound and even if they only
prove the author's shallow understanding of "things." The fable begins with
"something" and ends with "nothing." I hope the questions start with
nothing and produce something. Responses are solicited.)
I have also proposed a modification of the "experiment" ... hang a stick by
a thread and post a sentry at each "end" of the stick. The "information" to
be transmitted from the "place" where the string is held is "when did the
holder let go of the string?"
When the holder lets go of the string, does it matter where the observer is
located? Does not the "whole stick" move down in the gravitational field at
the same "time?" Does this mean that "information" moved to all those
"places" instantly? Or at the same time? Or does it mean that all of a
"thing" is in the same "place?" The two "ends" are actually the same place!