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Old 2021-11-12, 09:45   #1
MattcAnderson
 
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"Matthew Anderson"
Dec 2010
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Talking timeless math is

Hi all,

In my opinion,

mathematical structure is more timeless than the physical universe.

To quote my own web page,

Even after the closest stars burn out and become dark, mathematical structure will exist. For example 1+1=2 is a timeless mathematical truth. This fact will always be so.

see mattanderson.fun

Regards,
Matt
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Old 2021-11-12, 10:09   #2
paulunderwood
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattcAnderson View Post

In my opinion,

mathematical structure is more timeless than the physical universe.

To quote my own web page,

Even after the closest stars burn out and become dark, mathematical structure will exist. For example 1+1=2 is a timeless mathematical truth. This fact will always be so.
Would you "opinion" still exist when "the closest stars burn out and become dark"? Ergo would "1+1=2"?
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Old 2021-11-12, 10:56   #3
MattcAnderson
 
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Okay, good point. By that time, I would be dead. But, the prime numbers would not change.
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Old 2021-11-12, 11:08   #4
paulunderwood
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattcAnderson View Post
But, the prime numbers would not change.
In your opinion. Or can you prove the prime numbers are platonic?
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Old 2021-11-12, 14:04   #5
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattcAnderson View Post
<snip>
In my opinion,

mathematical structure is more timeless than the physical universe.
I'm not sure what "more timeless than the physical universe" is supposed to mean. The phrases "before time began" and "after the end of time" seem self-contradictory to me.
Quote:
<snip>
Even after the closest stars burn out and become dark, mathematical structure will exist. For example 1+1=2 is a timeless mathematical truth. This fact will always be so.
<snip>
AFAIK mathematics is a human invention, and as such only "exists" in the human mind. And even the notion of counting numbers - let alone addition and equality - is not universal.

At some time in the past - perhaps 100,000 years ago - there were modern humans, but nothing of mathematics on earth. Further back, there were no humans. So I would say there is such a thing as time before mathematics.

And what about the future? Never mind the stars burning out. And let us cheerfully ignore the prospect that in five billion years or so, Mr. Sun will turn into a red giant and incinerate the earth. Long before that, astrophysics tells us that in the hundred million year time range, Mr. Sun will become bright enough that the earth will be too hot for us to live on. Eventually it might develop a climate similar to that of Venus. But let us look at the interim - humanity wiped out, but its works left behind. There will be many books and journals devoted to mathematics sitting on library shelves. But with nobody left to read and understand the mathematics written in them, I claim that the mathematics would no longer exist.

I see two ways to claim that mathematics is "timeless." One way is to claim that numbers have "a life of their own," irrespective of there being any beings capable of thinking about them. Another would be to claim that time itself has no existence apart from human experience of it - that is, there is no such thing as the universe before people, and no such thing as the universe after people.

I do not subscribe to either notion.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2021-11-12 at 14:05 Reason: w
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Old 2021-11-12, 16:24   #6
kriesel
 
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Reality is that which exists independently of whether we believe in it or not, or whether we have beliefs, or whether we are capable of observing change or anything, or whether we or other sentient species exist. Physical and chemical processes occur. The processes follow discoverable principles and laws, independently of discovery date, language, etc. Sol appears to move through the sky, but Earth spins on its axis creating that appearance to an occupant of Earth's surface. The elliptical orbit and axis inclination relative to it create seasons and a count of sunsets measures the year. Similarly during local terrestrial darkness, Luna can be observed to go through phases. Analogous dynamics occur relative to some other planets, moons, and stars. Exoplanet discoveries are consistent with variations of that. The mathematical description of orbital mechanics apply whether an astronomical body or system is inhabited with life or not.
Behavior of other terrestrial species is consistent with some level of awareness of seasons and time of day. There's also experimental evidence that some other species can count and compare numbers. Not only primates, either. Even bees and venus flytraps apparently count. https://www.livescience.com/61084-ca...als-count.html

This question of whether mathematics exists independent of an observer or interpreter reminds me of Schrodinger's cat or the sound of a tree falling. How many cats are in the box, if Schrodinger is unaware of it/them/the box? The cat(s) may know how many are there, even if Schrodinger does not exist, and even if the cats do not call such awareness or counting, mathematics.

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2021-11-12 at 16:29
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Old 2021-11-12, 19:12   #7
Dobri
 
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In our universe, we count in increments of 1 so that

1 + 1 = 2 (counting),
1 + 1 => 3 (synergy, creation, or holistic approach, like two closed loops that have a joint edge form three closed loops), and
1 + 1 => 0 (dysergy, or destruction, like the annihilation of a particle and its antiparticle with the release of energy).

Imagine an alternative universe, in which for some reason the fabric of said universe produces a third element in the presence of two initial elements and 1 + 1 = 3. Would the sentient beings there have a notion of 2, or their counting would be 1, 3,...?
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Old 2021-11-12, 20:33   #8
MattcAnderson
 
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Default platonic love

I know what platonic love is. It is like love
for your sister. This is as opposed to romantic
love.

Some people fall in love with their area of study.

I took my education to the master's degree level.
I also did some teaching. And I delayed flirt
because I was studying. But now I am happily married.
I have a dog and a step grand son.

So god has smiled upon me more than most.
In other words, I am a lucky guy.

But that doesn't answer the question

I say that mathematical structure exists.
Much of math can be proved to be correct.

Some people say that the know their 'times tables,
but I bet that most high school graduates do not
know that 6*8 = 48. In my opinion that is the most
sexy mathematical fact in the one digit multiplication
table.

My dad taught me a Latin word - funiculum -
literally "slender rope" but he said it is
the written fraction bar. It goes between a
numerator and a denominator like in 5/8.

My dad also showed me the webpage APOD
(Astronomy Picture of the Day) and I still like that.

My dad was a good guy and he died in 2015.

But most people put things in a different order than me.

Lots of people get married at about age 25.

see this reliable statistic

I will not try to defend my view from all other
opinions in this web log. Thank you for your input
everybody.

Matt
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Old 2021-11-12, 21:28   #9
bhelmes
 
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I think the existence of prime numbers has started one nanosecond before time has started.


Last fiddled with by bhelmes on 2021-11-12 at 21:29
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Old 2021-11-12, 21:34   #10
MattcAnderson
 
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Hi again all,

I read a little bit from the Wikipedia article
about 'theory of forms' from Plato.

So, from my understanding, it was written that
there is a "visible form" or a "shape".

Our five senses add emphasis to this.

Here is a quote from the paragraph about
Intelligible realm and separation of the Forms

In the Phaedrus the Forms are in a
"place beyond heaven" (huperouranios topos)
(Phdr. 247c ff); and in the Republic the sensible
world is contrasted with the intelligible realm
(noēton topon) in the famous Allegory of the Cave.

I got very excited about the Allegory of the Cave
when I was in high school. Basically, you can
learn new things that you don't get from your family.

Place beyond heaven sounds like a time before all time.
It doesn't make sense to me.

I can relate to intelligible realm as it relates to
original research. I did calculations for the first
time with Prime Constellations, and so did Dana Jacobson
and so did Norman Luhn. It is great to be able to
add a bit of knowledge to humankind.

Even every member of GIMPS who finds a negative result on a Mersenne Prime is adding to "what we know".

This is new to me. Thanks for the Wikipedia link.

Regards,
Matt
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Old 2021-11-12, 21:48   #11
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
Reality is that which exists independently of whether we believe in it or not.
I resonate with this.

Only when I was first introduced to the Double-slit experient did my mind begin to understand that it couldn't (by definition) know everything.

I've been working to recover from this revelation ever since (in a good way)...

Oh... Also... We still aren't sure if QU is part of consciousness...
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