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Satachrist is...

Currently writing
medical things only

Currently reading
Samuel Shem: Mount Misery
Dr. Helmut Müller: German History

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Friday, April 09, 2004

  Staircase Moments.

Reading Heidegger's Being and Time I stumbled across his perception of time as a continuum, and was suddenly reminded of the Zeno Paradox...

The Dichotomy: There is no motion, because that which is moved must arrive at the middle before it arrives at the end, and so on ad infinitum.
The Arrow: If everything is either at rest or moving when it occupies a space equal to itself, while the object moved is always in the instant, a moving arrow is unmoved.

And so on. The paradox is of course a logical and not a physical one. Zeno thus did not criticise reality itself but our evidently limited view of it. He was a satirist.

Interestingly enough Zeno was closer to the truth than he himself imagined. For according to quantum theory space is not continual but comes in steps, the smallest having so called Planck Length. This is the absolute minimum amount of space any particle can travel. Would that resolve the paradox?

There is an enlightning article on the subject. The interesting part is where the author points out that today's view of physics may explain away the paradox but it still cannot solve the logical problem. Here:

Of course, modern readers may feel entitled to disregard this line of reasoning, knowing that matter consists of atoms which are not infinitely divisible, so we could never construct an infinite sequence of geometrically decreasing mirrors. Also, every photon has some finite scattering wavelength and thus cannot be treated as a "point particle". Furthermore, even a massless particle such as a photon necessarily has momentum according to the quantum and relativistic relation p = h/l, and the number of rebounds per unit time – and hence the outward pressure on the structure holding the mirrors in place - increases to infinity as the photon approaches the convergent point. However, these arguments merely confirm Zeno's position that the physical world is not scale-invariant or infinitely divisible (noting that Planck’s constant h represents an absolute scale). Thus, we haven't debunked Zeno, we've merely conceded his point.

Still more bizarre is the "sliced time" proposed by Zeno's Arrow...

It's been noted that Zeno's "Arrow" argument could also be made in the context of continuous motion, where in any single slice of time there is (presumed to be) no physical difference between a moving and a non-moving arrow. Thus, Zeno suggests that if all time is composed of instants (continuous or discrete), and motion cannot exist in any instant, then motion cannot exist at all.

One could ask why physicists assume that time is continual if space isn't. Most will instantly tell you that the idea of discete time is highly unlikely. Or do they actually mean "highly uncomfortable"?

Heidegger disregarded the idea of time being nothing more than a series of moments. For him only a much more complex concept could explain our subjective perception of the world as it is. It would be interesting to know what he thought about the quantum revolution... 

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

  Still Dead.

There is a book, a diary, where I put down my thoughts and calculations for very specific things. Stories. It is important to me that I can recapitulate the whole process, understand the old train of thoughts. The result alone would be insufficient. In many ways it is a lot like math.

Yesterday I took a look. Only to find that it's still all there. Schwarzlicht, the whole story, plots, charakter development, side-steps, irregularities and quirks. Most of it will not be of much use. But it does set the stage for my mind. It opens the portal to the small, intimate world of this one story. The light at the end of the tunnel. And I thought I had lost the way.

I need to write. The mood I am experiencing is no stranger to me. I need to go back, need to go back and read the signs. It's been so long. 

Monday, April 05, 2004

  Tales from the Far Side.

Culture War Casualities.
About 800 miles away, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the first batch of an evangelist, apocalyptic bestselling novel, The Glorious Appearing, has just arrived in the Christian Supply store. The 12th book in a series offering a modern-day rendition of the Book of Revelation, in which the antichrist is the head of the United Nations, has sold more books than John Grisham. Around 800 people queued to get their books signed on Tuesday.  

  Beyond the void has entered the promotion cycle this months. There will be articles, interviews and festivals while we're already busy working on new songs and ideas. After years of hard work it does feel strange to know that you have finally entered the business.

Not much has changed. Yet. But when I set out to make music some 10 years ago, I knew I wanted to see my album among hundreds of others but on the same eye level in an every day record store.

Check. And now what?