Are Space and Time An Illusion?

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3 Responses to Are Space and Time An Illusion?

  1. alfy says:

    It is an attractive idea that the passage of time, and the experience of motion, are just illusory and purely constructs of the human mind. I was interested that the visuals and animations were helpful and appropriate. The only mistake was the talking head waving his hands about. He totally distracted me from the visuals. By all means let him do an unseen commentary. I would like to see this done again, with Charley-boy excised from the images. We might see the equation more easily and have time to think about the ideas.
    A very interesting post, Jim.

    • Deskarati says:

      Let it go Alfy. According to everyone’s favourite scientist Prof. Wik E Pedia:

      Handwaving arguments often include order-of-magnitude estimates and dimensional analysis. Competent well-intentioned researchers and professors rely on handwaving when, given a limited time, a large result must be shown and minor technical details cannot be given much attention.

      So it looks like this is a perfectly acceptable way to put an important point across when you only have a short time. In fact it helps (most people).

  2. alfy says:

    Prof Buon Giorno explains that the Italians are renowned for their use of hand gestures when speaking. Consequently they have a wide repertoire of different gestures for different topics of conversation. I was fortunate once, to share a lodging with an Italian and I learned a variety of different conversational gestures, none of which have I ever seen used by English or American speakers. Three of these were quite obscene and only to be used with care. So I have no objection to the use of hand gestures per se.
    My objection is to the use of repetitive and unconsidered gestures. They do not add to the clarity of the speech because they are repeated continuously whatever the point that the speaker is trying to make. The viewer quickly realises that the gestures mean nothing and can be ignored. I challenge any one to explain what Poliakof’s furious hand waving adds to the explanation of various chemical processes.
    I recall seeing a TV commentator who had clearly been told, “You must not just stand there; use gestures.” He had learned only one; moving the hands together and then separating them to shoulder width, and bringing them together again. He did this on a regular basis like a robot or machine. It meant nothing.
    The issue of the illusory nature of time and apparent motion is probably the most important in physical science today; far more important than the LCM and the multiplicity of short-lived particles. This was an important and informative post and the grimacing and gesturing distracted me from following its complex ideas. May be the rest of viewers are better than I am at ignoring distractions to concentrate on a difficult concept.
    Prof Michael Faraday was considered the greatest experimental physicist of the 19C and people flocked to his scientific lectures at the Royal Institution in London. It’s a pity we do not have any video clips of these lectures.

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