Time Cones

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Social Epistemology / Reality / Time /

Cones of Information

Mission: to draw analogies between astronomers’ cones of light and cultures’ cones of experience, information, reality

My 1985 autumn notes for a book to be titled Synthesis said, “Draw analogy from astronomer’s “cone of light” to cones of reality for say different religions. The astronomers deal with a world knowable only through the electro-magnetic spectrum, and there the greatest sensitivity is only to light. Other sources of information (in this case information meaning ideas, complexes of information, irrespective of truth or falsity), what grandfather said, could also be seen as cones of reality.”

2006 04 16 Astronomers talk about cones of light. Light radiates. Light is generated by a star. Huge as they are, in this huge universe, we’ll call the star a “point.” Whatever direction the light goes in, it spreads and spreads. Over time, any region of the universe that receives that light may be mapped as a cone: it’s a point at the originating end: at any point in time, timen, it’s spread to a circle. At each successive point in time, the circle is larger: as the cone gets “longer,” it’s base (the propagating end) gets bigger. (And there will be a lot of light at the originating point, ever less light over finite sections of the growing circle of the “base” or front end.

cones of light
thanx Fourmi Lab

Once upon a time people thought that light’s speed was infinite, that experience could be simultaneous, that you could see forever, that one could see “everything.” No, apparently not; not according to modern physics, modern astronomy, modern philosophy … The cone of light is local, there is no all-inclusive cone. Sentiences in some other solar system in some other galaxy in some other region of the universe would know nothing of our cone of light; but they’d have their own.

Yesterday, in an insert to my Sentiens: Stage Sense, I expressed “the analogy” differently:

… who considers how finite, how funneled, our information is? We can’t see the whole universe and we can’t know everything. But our human information cone is culture-made.

Here I shall develop that latter idea, possibly expanding the others as well. It will take time, more than one draft, to do it at all well. To start I just jot some things to cover:

Cones of Information

A species is an example of a cone of information. Eve, roughly one hundred fifty thousand years ago, had distinct genetic characteristics that her mother, her father, her sisters, her brothers … didn’t have: her ovulation was concealed. Eve is a “point” source of that genetic information. Over time the cone spreads, world-wide in the case of modern humans: all women, our women, the women of our enemies, have concealed ovulation. All the Homo females who displayed their fertility, like chimpanzees, died out.

But the “same” is true of any species. This butterfly, in its body, “knows” how to grow wings of a specific color pattern, of a specific shape and function … My body knows how to grow eyes, in my case to make them blue …

And that can go on and on, but jump:

Those who learned to kindle fire passed the knowledge on: from a “point” source, through an ever widening cone. By now most human beings have access to matches, to flints … and some could kindle fire from scratch: twirl a stick, chip a flint … gather materials that will ignite easily.

That’s an example where the cone covers most of the human world: but does it cover other planets? It covers our part of history, but it certainly doesn’t include most of paleo-history. …

A religion is a cone of information. The Jews did whatever; then they were told, by Moses, Thou shalt not … this and that. Some other religion is told that a crow created the world and its people. At some point the two cones may overlap: one individual has heard about Crow and also about Commandments

In 1601 some people, perhaps a few hundred, saw the maiden performance of Hamlet. Presumably they were all English speaking, mostly Londoners … At performance #2 a few more hundred people saw the play: half a thousand people had heard “To be or not to be.” By the 1620s literate English could read the play! … By 2006 Hamlet is as available as chemical matches.

BUT: cavemen hadn’t heard it, couldn’t read it. Jesus said this and that to hundreds, to thousands of Jews: and maybe a Roman or two. Now you can be born in Tibet and hear something attributed to Jesus; but killing him in his adulthood means that no human has heard what Jesus might have said in his age! (unless the resurrected Jesus whispered it to Joan, an eidetic Jesus confided it to Sam …)

Many of us have read Lolita — because Olympia Press finally published it. Before that only a few people had read Lolita. And not one person has read the whole of my By the Hair of the Comet: including me: because six years of appeals to publishers cost and didn’t earn: the novel is complete only as a sketch, huge sections remain unwritten.

Cones of information are simultaneously cones of ignorance.

If anything symbolic is universal, it’s the ignorance.

2008 06 10 This module as you may note isn’t composed so much as patched. I have yet to work time in, which I regard as far more important than a stylistic illusion of logic. And I have important possibilities to consider about potential analogies among all these imaginary cones.
a mess? i’ll edit


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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