Re: Bitstrings, Ontological Status and Time

From: Stephen Paul King <>
Date: Fri, 6 May 2005 22:05:57 -0400

Dear Brent,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brent Meeker" <>
To: "Stephen Paul King" <>
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2005 1:30 PM
Subject: RE: Bitstrings, Ontological Status and Time

> Julian Barbour's idea of time is just an ordering relation between
> self-contained 'capsules' (i.e. 'states'). Just as the states of your
> brain
> could be ordered according to the memories stored in them.


    Yes, that is also my understanding of Julian's idea. The problem that I
have is that he seems to completely ignore the necessary conditions requires
for the "construction" of the time capsules. It is like assuming that an
infinite pile of photographs exists without wondering exactly how the
photographs came to be structured the way they are and to encode information
they way they do.

    Using the well-order that exists over the Real numbers to "explain" the
ordering of events in time is cheating! Additionally, Julian seems to ignor
that observables, prior to the specification of the details of measurements,
are not Real valued, they are Complex valued; Complex values are not well

> Rates of change are measured by comparing clock states within different
> capsules. Clock's are physical devices for providing very simple
> memories,
> i.e. how many seconds have passed. So called "good" clocks are just the
> ones
> that make dynamical equations simple.


    Julian never seems to explain how the "comparison" process itself that
must exists between capsules gets coded into the time capsules, that I ever

Received on Fri May 06 2005 - 22:10:55 PDT

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