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# Null World

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### #1 Mike Casey

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:22 PM

(x)~(x=x)

Is this one of the ways reality could have turned out?

### #2 Qwickdraw

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:14 PM

I think reality or the universe is here because logically "nothingness" cannot exist without "something" to define it. Just as you need dark to define light big/small, whatever you cannot have nothing without its opposite.

### #3 scopethis

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:24 PM

what is the opposite of opposite?

### #4 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:29 PM

I need some help with the mathematical symbols being used here....what does (x)~(x=x) mean?

Thank you

Otto

### #5 StarWars

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:03 AM

(x)~(x=x)

Is this one of the ways reality could have turned out?

No one knows for sure.....

### #6 Mike Casey

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:15 AM

I need some help with the mathematical symbols being used here....what does (x)~(x=x) mean?

Thank you

Otto

The symbol "(x)" is the universal quantifier, to be read as "for every x", and "~" is the negation operator, to be read as "it is not the case that."

As for (c=c), "Identity" is defined in logic as the relation that each and every thing bears to itself and to no other thing. It is a logical truth that: For every x, x=x -- except in Null World.

### #7 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:41 AM

Mike,

Thank you.

I'm trained in philosophy. Perhaps you can hear the sound of others here at CN whispering "Danger Will Robinson. Danger."

I believe I understood your explanation/description of what (x)~(x=x) means. Let me repeat it in my own words just to be sure. It seems to be the case in the world in which we live that whatever x is, x is always itself. However, one can postulate the existence of a world in which the nature of x is such that x is not itself. Is my wordy repetition of what you said...does it seem accurate.

Now, I have a whole bunch of comments to contribute. But first, I want to be absolutely sure I understood what you wrote.

Otto

### #8 Qwickdraw

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:45 AM

what is the opposite of opposite?

I am thinking "identical" but this is just my way of thinking

### #9 llanitedave

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:26 AM

It's the subtly similar that cause all our problems.

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:54 PM

Logic, of course, is simply a formal system that does not have any necessary connection to reality. And, indeed, in reality, there is no such thing as a fixed X=X identity. What is is always in dynamic relation to other things both in space and time. And change is a part of the whole situation. I've called this the "is/are" of things in my work.

### #11 brentwood

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:59 PM

I just showed this thread to my old grandpaw and he said that of course 'X' is not the same as 'X=X' as the first has one letter and the second has two!

### #12 scopethis

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:20 PM

"x" cannot "be" in a null world without contradiction.

### #13 deSitter

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

Not again

-drl

### #14 Ira

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

I think reality or the universe is here because logically "nothingness" cannot exist without "something" to define it. Just as you need dark to define light big/small, whatever you cannot have nothing without its opposite.

/Ira

### #15 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:12 PM

Mike,

Why does this idea, (x)~(x=x), interest you? What is it about it you find interesting?

Otto

### #16 Qwickdraw

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

I think reality or the universe is here because logically "nothingness" cannot exist without "something" to define it. Just as you need dark to define light big/small, whatever you cannot have nothing without its opposite.

/Ira

hypothetical

### #17 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:29 PM

Definition is the act of predicating a subject. The predicate is the category into which the subject is assigned.

In the context of our discussion here I would like to add a few comments.

First, a subject can be predicated (categorized) without reference to any opposite of the subject. In order to define a thing all we need is the appropriate category to which the subject is assigned.

Second, there is a difference between opposite and privation. For example; darkness is the privation of light. One can make a room brighter by adding light. If darkness were an opposite, one would then make a room darker by adding darkness, which, of course, is not what happens. We make the room darker by decreasing the light in the room.

Third, a definition in which the subject is predicated of itself (e.g. A=A) is a special type of definition called a tautology. The unique feature of a tautology is that it is, at one and the same time, true and meaningless; meaningless in the the actual sense of the word meaninglessness, in that the predication of the subject adds no new information about the subject being predicated (categorized).

Fourth, only real things can be meaningfully discussed. This point was first made by the Greek metaphysician, Parmenides in the only fragment we have of his writings called the Proem. One could object to this Parmenidean idea by citing, for example, "Hobbits". For example, when Dr. Joe Cronin and I were editing the chapter on metaphysics in a book we co-authored one of us (I forget which) objected to the Parmenidean idea by sending an email to the other with one word "Hobbits". The meaning was, Hobbits aren't real but we seem to say a great many meaningful things about them. To this, one or the other of us responded that it was not Hobbits about which we said meaningful things, but the real world analogs used to describe Hobbits about which meaningful things were said; hairiness, caves, huts, eating three breakfastes, etc.

Fifth, there is an important difference between imagination and fantasy. Imagination can be used to display the essence of a thing being investigated. Fantasy, in the strict sense of fantasy (phantasm) cannot provide information which helps us display the essence of a subject being investigated. When one uses imagination one is using analogs from realities already meaninfully uncovered; hair, hairiness, shortness, cave, hut, magicians, reptiles, fire, gems, pride, hubris, ambition, etc. However, with fantasy (phantasms...things which have never existed in reality) nothing can be used to say anything useful about things as they are in the real world. Thus, though it might mean something to say George is like a Hobbit, it probably doesn't mean anything to say he is like a unicorn in Flatland. (x)~(x=x) seems to be a product of fantasy and not imagination; (x)~(x=x) is more like a unicorn in Flatland then it is like a Hobbit, or, using the words of the quantum physicist, Erwin Schrodinger, (x)~(x=x) seems to be much more like a winged lion than a triangular circle.

Sixth, (x)~(x=x) reminds me of the paraphrase of an idea by Frederich Nietzsche; "the only truth is that there is no truth". This statement is self-contradictory; it contradicts itself; i.e. "If it is true that "the only truth is that there is no truth", then the statement "the only truth is that there is no truth" is not true and therefore must be true." Which, of course, points out that the original statement is either wrong, meaningless, or both.

Eighth, the difficulty I have thinking about and talking meaningfully about (x)~(x=x) reminds me of the statement that one of the difficulties we have about speaking about things like timelessness, eternity, and time travel is that we are constrained by using a "tensed" language; a language in which there are the tenses of present, past and future. Thinking and talking about timelessness and time travel using a tensed language is like trying to step on one's own shadow; it can't be done.

Otto

### #18 stephen63

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:12 PM

Otto,
Duck, here comes the fusillade, maybe.

### #19 Mike Casey

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:12 PM

Mike,

Why does this idea, (x)~(x=x), interest you? What is it about it you find interesting?

Otto

My interest is in whether the initial event (The Big Bang) could have produced an 'empty' universe. Grünbaum suggested it would be meaningless to talk of time in a clockless and eventless state of nothing -- which led me to wondering what part, if any, time might play in an 'eventless' universe. In any case, (x)~(x=x) is a way of describing what the 'reality' of such a world might be like without stumbling over the problems of semantics or linguistic content.

### #20 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:53 PM

Mike,

That sounds very interesting to me. I need to digest it a bit and get back to you, which I hope to do in short order.

Thank you...very interesting.

Otto

### #21 scopethis

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:18 PM

well..we all know what digested material turns in to....

### #22 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:52 PM

Mike,

I got back to you but the post was deleted because of my analogical use of theological and philosophical language.

The idea of the nature; the essence of an eventless and timeless reality was explored by Augustine of Hippo in the AD 5th century.

For the sake of your/our discussion here, let us begin with the assumption that the Big Bang could generate a timeless reality. Timelessness is necessarily the condition of eventlessness. Eventlessness would not have to be an empty reality. Eventlessness could be populated by entities if the entities which populated such a reality were themselves purely actualized; i.e. an absence of potentiality. In such a case then, "(x)~(x=x)" would not have to be a condition of eventlessness and timelessness because entities did exist as themselves, in one way and not another way; i.e. x=x.

Later, it would also be reasoned as being logically consistent that this timeless/eventless reality could exist as the immanent condition of material reality in which all entities were endowed with both potentiality and actuality.

It will later be reasoned that this immanent connection of a timeless/eventless reality with a material reality will have important ramifications for the understanding of causality; a philosophical assumption uncritically accepted by and upon which all of modern science is based.

Otto

### #23 Qwickdraw

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:54 AM

First, a subject can be predicated (categorized) without reference to any opposite of the subject. In order to define a thing all we need is the appropriate category to which the subject is assigned.

Second, there is a difference between opposite and privation. For example; darkness is the privation of light. One can make a room brighter by adding light. If darkness were an opposite, one would then make a room darker by adding darkness, which, of course, is not what happens. We make the room darker by decreasing the light in the room.

On your first point I have to wonder if an article can be described solely on its own merit. My way of reasoning seems to dictate that an article has to "come out" of a class in order to be defined with its own character. For example, how can we say that an object is present without defining the idea of absent or vice versa? Can one really “exist” without the other? Perhaps this is just me interjecting my human psyche and muddling up what stands naturally without me. It almost goes to the level quantum mechanics theories where we as humans by simply observing an object can influence its behavior. Does our logic also contribute to what is allowed to “exist” and not “exist” by simple self imposed definition?

On your second point I believe what you are defining the difference between an opposite which is a "word that lie in an inherently incompatible binary relationship" and a gradable antonym which is a "pair of words with opposite meanings where the two meanings lie on a continuous spectrum" such as hot/cold, light/darkness. But consider the fact that there might also be extremes to these gradable antonyms such as absolute zero/absolute hot (the moment of the big bang?). Absolute light/absolute dark may be analogous with absolute hot/absolute zero.

### #24 llanitedave

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:24 AM

As has been pointed out already, logic and reality intersect, but they do not always correspond. And our language does not scale well when it comes to describing all possible conditions or phenomena.

Most of these dilemmas seem to me to be more linguistic struggles than analogous to anything in the external world.

### #25 Mike Casey

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:18 AM

Otto

I've not forgotten you, just doing a lot of reading. I'll return.

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