Re: 2C Mary - Check your concepts at the door

From: Eric Hawthorne <>
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 2003 22:12:51 -0700

My physics is decades-old first-year U level (I'm a computer science type).
But if I'm not mistaken, there's no such thing as a 2C speed, or a 2C
of separation between two objects. All speeds can only be measured
from some reference frame that is travelling with one of the objects
(say A) or another,
and no other object (say B) can be observed to be closing at faster than C.
Similarly, if we're measuring the approach speed of A from our reference
that is travelling with B, we can never observe A approaching at greater
than C.
I'm not really sure how this relativistic stuff impinges on the rest of
your argument.
I've always held out the "weirdness of what happens to the concept of
speed" at
high speeds to be an example of the "limited domain of applicability of
every concept"
idea. i.e. "speed" only makes sense at low speeds, paradoxically enough.
Similarly, "color" wouldn't make sense below the size of wavelengths of
What this tells us is that words (terms) e.g. "speed", "color",
"right-wing zealot" make
sense only within delineated contexts. (e.g. the latter term probably is
hard to apply to
slugs, but then again... ok it is really hard to apply to rocks
sensibly..) Words are
descriptions which arguably only make sense within a (theory - in the
formal-logic sense)
 or at most within a closely related cluster of similar theories.
Theories just being possibly
large but finite self-consistent logical descriptions of lots of
"things" and relationships between
those things.
Every theory has a domain of discourse that it can be said to be
"about". It may be
a very broad domain of discourse, but there will always be perfectly
valid and coherent
other concepts and theories whose domains of discourse bear no relationship
(or no essential relationship) whatsoever to the domain of discourse of
the first theory.

    "We are all in the gutter,
     but some of us are looking at the stars."
          - Oscar Wilde
Received on Wed Jun 04 2003 - 01:12:04 PDT

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