Philosophic Noodling (was Re: Internet Health)

Jacob Albretsen jakea at
Wed Oct 6 10:04:02 MDT 2010

Quoting Michael Torrie <torriem at>:

> On 10/06/2010 12:26 AM, Levi Pearson wrote:
>> Did I say it was a spatial dimension?  No.  I said it was as real as
>> the spatial dimensions, which clearly implies that it is not itself a
>> spatial dimension.
> Just as long as no one goes around calling it the "fourth dimension"
> which it clearly is not.

No, but you can easily describe a forth spatial dimension  
mathematically.  I remember a problem in my multiple integral calculus  
class where we found the "volume" of a four dimensional sphere.  The  
hard part was setting up the integral and all the extra terms that  
needed to come along for the ride when integrating a forth spatial  
spherical coordinate.

Some recommended reading on this off-topic topic: - It's been a while  
since I read it, but as I recall it does a great job getting the  
reader to "visualize" a more spatial dimensions.,_Hidden_Dimensions,_and_the_Quest_for_the_Ultimate_Theory - Excellent book.  If memory serves, one of ideas it discusses is how when you are "at rest" you are moving through time at the "speed of light".  Then as you move through spatial dimensions, part of that "speed of light" is converted to moving through space up to the maximum of the speed of light at which point you are moving completely in space at the speed of light, but not in  

>> I did mention that some philosophers have denied the "reality" of
>> time, but some of them also put distance in the same category of
>> mental construct as time.  Physical quantities like length and mass
>> are as prone to relativistic effects as time is, so it's hard to
>> single out time as particularly "unreal" in that respect.
> Yes you did.  But I wanted to point out that Science also questions the
> "reality" of time.

Meh.  Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.

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