The Invisible Spatial Origins of Material Dynamics
Consider the parallelism between Gabor’s Theory of Communication and human understanding of, for example, sediment deposition and/or climate change..
Gabor’s theory of communications augments a purely tangible (‘real’) time sequence of information elements into a ‘complex’ (‘real’ + ‘imaginary’) information signal. Gabor developed this ‘quantum physics compliant’ communications theory based on Pauli’s formulation of the ‘uncertainty principle’; i.e. wherein ‘time’ and ‘frequency’ are understood to be interrelated.
Gabor compares this to augmenting a ‘rotating vector’ with a ‘rotating field’ (which is 90 degrees phase shifted from the rotation of the vector). Tied up in this arguably more comprehensive ‘communications theory’ are the modes of understanding associated with ‘observation’, ‘experiencing’, ‘perception’ and a quality of observation that is termed in German ‘anschaulichkeit’§ (‘intuitively real’ or true to nature).
Imagine the rotating pinwheel appearance of a ‘hurricane’. Then imagine the imaginary reciprocal notion of a rotating field that is pulling the rotating pinwheel around. The 90 degree phase shift (which, in the mathematics, corresponds with multiplication by the imaginary unit ‘i’) is the same phase shift as occurs between ‘acceleration’ and ‘movement’ (velocity). the acceleration is the initial ‘pull’ followed by the ‘actual’ (‘real’ in mathematical terms) motion.
The ‘meaning-making’ associated with our act of ‘observing’ typically seizes upon the ‘real’ component (as in ‘visible local entity’) and ignores the ‘imaginary’ component, since the former can be construed by us as a ‘local system’, NOTIONALLY, with its own locally originating (internal source-directed) behaviour. Hence we say; ‘hurricane Katrina is ‘growing stronger’, is ‘moving northwest towards New Orlean’s, is ‘wreaking destruction’, is ‘weakening’, is ‘dissipating’ etc. etc., conveniently (and over-simplistically) equating this visible form that changes its appearance in time as local system with its own locally originating (internal-process-directed) agency/behaviour.
In this reduction of the complex dynamic to the ‘real plane’, the source of ‘causation’ of the dynamic shifts from the dynamics of the space that the ‘real component’ is included in (e.g. the flow of the atmosphere), to a time-based internal property of the real component (e,g. three coupled differential equations describing local internal dynamics which suggest the ‘Lorenz attractors’ etc.)§§
WHAT IS PROPOSED HEREIN IS THAT ALL OBSERVATIONS OF NATURAL DYNAMIC PHENOMENA EXPRESSED IN TERMS OF A TIME SEQUENCE OF MEASUREMENTS ARE NOTHING OTHER THAN THE ‘REAL’ COMPONENT OF A CORRESPONDING ‘COMPLEX’ ‘HARMONIC’ DYNAMIC, THE LATTER BEING A MORE TRUE-TO-NATURE RENDERING OF THE DYNAMIC.
To take a simple example, the Inuit ‘iglu’ (meaning house) is constructed from snow in the winter and from walrus or seal-hides in the summer. We might plot this observed cyclic change along a time-line and apply the ‘causal model’ to it. That is, if the present observation was the Inuit iglu made of snow, we could rewind the time-sequence of ‘real’ observations (photos of visible material dynamics) and observe the Inuit ‘holding the smoking gun’; i.e. cutting snow-blocks with his ivory knife.
What is lost in this view of ‘causation’ as LOCAL and IN THE IMMEDIATE PAST is the harmonically varying medium of the atmosphere (climate) that the Inuit are included in. This corresponds to the ‘rotating field’ or ‘imaginary component’ in Gabor communications theory.
If we start from the recorded time-sequence of visible images (the ‘real’ component), we will conclude that the causal sourcing of the emergence of those white mounds called ‘igloos’ are ‘local causal agents’; i.e. ‘the Inuit’. We might further ‘trace-back’ the origins of the iglu to an internal source within the Inuit; i.e. to his ‘knowledge’ and/or his ‘brain’ or ‘intellect’, the latter which we say is somehow stored in trained neural networks or etc. This notion of ‘knowledge-directed behaviour’, however useful as a simplified view, occludes from view the understanding that this dynamic, which on film associates with the scurrying about of the Inuit as his iglu rises up and takes on form, is conjugate with the invisible ‘imaginary component’ of the dynamic corresponding to the ‘rotating field’ in Gabor’s theory of communications.
Like the varying form of the iglu which seems to go through a cyclic metamorphosis, we have the metamorphosis of animals, insects and plants, where our observations capture ‘real’ visible images of the changing object, the source of the change being attributed to local internal ‘knowledge-drive’ or local internal biochemical/biophysical ‘process-drive’ (e.g. the ‘directional drive’ imputed to be ‘stored in genetic material’ in somewhat the same way that ‘intellect’ is imputed to be ‘stored in trained neural networks’).
Returning to the ‘iglu’, on the Siberian side of the Arctic, the Nenets have their ‘mya’ (tent) §§§ which is made of poles, covered and lined with hides in the winter, a covering/lining that is changed out to birchbark in the summer.
We can, likewise, plot these varying forms along a time-line and using the causal principle wherein the present depends only on the activities of ‘local causal agents’ in the immediate past, we can identify the Nenets as the ‘cause’ of these structural forms and their notionally ‘sequential-in-time’ variations (as is the appearance on film footage).
The representation of these dynamics in terms of a time-sequence of ‘real’ (visible) forms allows us to complete our understanding of causal agency in a local context, without giving a participating role to the common space the Nenets and Inuits share inclusion in. In this sense, we are portraying the Nenets and Inuits like ‘local rotating pinwheels’ while ignoring the rotating field that they share inclusion in, a ‘spatial commons’ that is responsible for the ‘phase-locking’ of their activities. Without invoking the notion of the ‘rotating field’, we would have to explain their common phasing of their house-building activities with propositions such as ‘like minds think alike’ or the notion that the ‘knowledge’ of how and when to build iglus or myas derives historically from a common base. These latter ‘explanations’, INAPPROPRIATELY, PRESERVE A KIND OF ‘INTEGRITY’ (INTERNAL-SELF-CONSISTENCY) OF THE NOTION OF LOCAL CAUSATION by avoiding the need (for completeness of understanding) to refer to the common influencing of the dynamic space in which the iglus and myas and Inuits and Nenets share inclusion. In so doing, the harmonic origins of the dynamic variance are removed.
One can conclude that the observations of the cyclic appearance and ‘metamorphosis’ of iglus, in terms of a time sequence of visible images, is merely the ‘real component’ of a dynamic that is ‘complex’ in nature, and that in order to fully understand these dynamics, we must acknowledge, as we would with the hurricane, that the time sequence of visible observations is nothing other than the ‘real component’ (rotating pinwheel) of an inherently ‘complex dynamic’ which includes also and AT THE SAME TIME , the invisible rotating field aspect, and that the visible dynamics and the invisible dynamics relate to one another in the manner that acceleration relates to material motion; i.e. as expressed mathematically by a 90 degree phase shift (multiplication by the imaginary unit ‘i’).
On this basis, it can be concluded that the ‘reality’ constructed by the observer in terms of time-sequences of visible images, is a reduced reality that corresponds with the ‘real’ component of an inherently ‘complex’ natural dynamic. This reduced reality, in terms of stripping the complex dynamic down to its ‘real component’, removes from such understanding as it then delivers, the harmonic quality of nature’s dynamics.
The ‘truth’ in the statements ‘the causal agent responsible for the iglu is the Inuit’, and, ‘the Inuit’s iglu-creating actions are directed from his internal knowledge’, … are inherently ‘limited truths’ that HIDE the greater truth wherein we acknowledge that there is an invisible ‘imaginary component’ in operation; i.e. the ‘rotating field’ which relates to the (visible) material-action imagery as (invisible) ‘acceleration’ relates to (visible) ‘material motion’; i.e. this relation being expressible in mathematics by a ninety degree phase shift or ‘multiplication by the imaginary unit ‘i’.
Further reflection suggests that genetically driven development is another example of the reduction of a complex dynamic to its ‘real’ component. In this view, the understanding of the origination of dynamic development ‘corrals the mental awareness’ of the person seeking to understand the phenomenon, to a local downward and inward nesting causation sequence, …. turning one’s back on the influencing role of the spatial-relational ‘rotating field’ dynamic in which the visible local material entities are included.
This contention between reduced-to ‘real’-component and un-reduced ‘complex’ views of natural dynamics is currently cropping up in ‘climate change’ wherein one group of scientists seeks to understand causation of temperature variation by going downward and inward (into the past) to find the ‘smoking gun’ whereas another group of scientists is looking to outside-inward harmonic ‘celestial forcing of climate’. Once again, the former route, reducing the complex dynamic to the real component in terms of a time-sequence of visible measurements and assuming that the present depends only on the immediate past removes the harmonic aspect of the dynamic.
The entire earth appears to be included in a harmonic ‘celestial forcing of climate’ §§§§ (e.g. the magnetic field in which the earth is an included component but not the sole source of the magnetic field dynamic, has been found to be an important influence of high level cloud formation which serve as reflective curtains that open and close off the earth to solar irradiance; i.e. are the source of a harmonic celestial forcing of climate dynamics).
The plot of temperature against time, as is central to the debate over the origins of climate change, by the above argument, represents the ‘real component’ of the climate dynamic, the ‘rotating pinwheel’ aspect. The invisible ‘imaginary component’ would correspond to the harmonic ‘celestial forcing’. Thus it would be a mistake to attribute climate variation to local internal (earth-based) causal agency. To do so would imply that the Earth had internal purpose or internal knowledge-direction of some sort.
In conclusion, nature’s dynamic phenomena are accessible to the observer by way of visual images of local dynamic figures within the dynamic ground of space. Intuitively, we know that these dynamics that associate with the actions and interactions of local dynamic figures DO NOT DERIVE FROM THE DYNAMIC FIGURES THEMSELVES. That is, when the sun shines on the surface of the earth every morning and human beings emerge into the open from the places of ‘hiding’, we intuit that there is ‘harmonic celestial forcing’ of their behaviour.
This ‘harmonic celestial forcing’ corresponds to the ‘resonance phenomena’ cited by Erwin Schroedinger in his argument with Heisenberg;
“Schrödinger assumed that an electron in an atom could be represented as an oscillating charge cloud, evolving continuously in space and time according to a wave equation. The discrete frequencies in the atomic spectra were not due to discontinuous transitions (quantum jumps) as in matrix mechanics, but to a resonance phenomenon. Schrödinger also showed that the two theories were equivalent.”
We could have the same argument right here in regard to the Inuits and their iglus; i.e. should we understand their actions to be ‘in-their-own-right’? That is, should we understand them to be ‘local systems with their own locally originating [internal knowledge-and-purpose-directed] behaviours? Or, should we understand the visible imagery, as Schroedinger did, to be ‘schaumkommen’ (appearances) which are the lesser part (the ‘real component’) of a more complex ‘resonance phenomena’?
For those who do not like to think of invisible sources of dynamics and prefer to think in terms that the dynamics of visible objects are ‘all she wrote’, there is often an angry rejection of notions such as ‘harmonic celestial forcing’.
As is captured in the footnote §, many physicists did not like Schroedinger’s ‘resonance phenomena’ (akin to ‘celestial forcing’ which imputes space to be a resonant plenum) being the primary ‘dynamic ground’ of physical phenomena, calling Schroedinger’s version of Anschaulichkeit ‘junk’, ‘rubbish’ and ‘bullshit’.
Thus, this note on ‘The Invisible Origins of Material Dynamics’ may be received by some with similar ‘disbelief’ if not ‘contempt’ or ‘disgust’. Be that as it may, there is abundant evidence to support the view that understanding dynamic phenomena in the constrained terms of the dynamics of local material objects, and their ‘internals’, occludes from our view and understanding, the ‘harmonic forcing’ that derives from the energy-filled plenum of space in which these ‘local material objects’ (which Schroedinger would call ‘appearances’) live..
As in the simple example of the ‘hurricane’, our intuition tells us that this dynamic figure (rotating pinwheel) is the result of the fluid dynamic ground in which it is included and that the rotating of the pinwheel is in conjugate relation with a rotating field and that these two relate in the manner that acceleration relates to material motion; i.e. where the rotating field has a phase lead of 90 degrees (multiplication by the imaginary unit ‘i’) relative to the rotating pinwheel.
For those who cannot accept that our human dynamics are ‘celestially forced’ (orchestrated by the harmonic dynamics of the space we are included in), there is always the choice of explaining why human beings tend to all come out of hiding when the sun rises, by the assumption that they are local, independently existing beings with their own locally originating (internal knowledge-directed) behaviour, and that common knowledge of the merits of early rising is what determines this amazing organisation that manifests as a social dynamic (and then can be seen as ‘celestially-forced’ or ‘locally/internally-sourced’).
Local ‘first cause’ locally incident creation of behaviour (from within the individual) requires the notion of a ‘quantum leap’ from ‘nothing’ to ‘something’, however, the view (as was Schroedinger’s) that the world dynamics are ‘resonance phenomena’ avoids the necessity for ‘quantum leaps’ and allowing instead for understanding in terms of continuous evolution in spacetime.
The ‘global warming debate’ is putting the spotlight on the nature of perception or anschaulichkeit, as never before.
* * *
§ from Theory of Communications, by D. Gabor, (J.I.E.E. 93, 1946, p 429);
“The essence of this method – due to a considerable part to W. Pauli – is re-definition of all observable physical quantities in such a form that the physical uncertainty relations which obtain between them appear as direct consequences of a mathematical identity
δtδf ≅ 1 (1.2)
δt and δf are here the uncertainties inherent in the definitions of the epoch t and the frequency f of an oscillation. The identity (1.2) states that t and f cannot be simultaneously defined in an exact way, but only with a latitude of the order one in the product of uncertainties.
Though this interpretation of Heisenberg’s principle is widely known, especially thanks to popular expositions of quantum theory, it appears that the identity (1.2) itself has received less attention than it deserves. … In communication theory the intimate connection of the identity (1.2) with the fundamental principle of transmission appears to have passed unnoticed.”
In particular, the transmission of ‘cause’ to ‘effect’ could be examined by looking locally and inward as if looking backwards in time into the interior of the system (e.g. inside the rotating pinwheel) and/or by looking outward into the not-visible-as-a-local-form spatial suprasystem (rotating field-flow) in which the local system was included.
If space were to be considered a resonant plenum (Schroedinger, Bohm) then there would be no problem in ‘uniting’ these two views, which have been argued also, at the most basic levels.
In this regard, the following ‘background information’ comments from the Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/ shed some light on this matter;
“In 1925 Heisenberg had developed the first coherent mathematical formalism for quantum theory (Heisenberg, 1925). His leading idea was that only those quantities that are in principle observable should play a role in the theory, and that all attempts to form a picture of what goes on inside the atom should be avoided. … The new theory scored spectacular empirical success by encompassing nearly all spectroscopic data known at the time, especially after the concept of the electron spin was included in the theoretical framework.
It came as a big surprise, therefore, when one year later, Erwin Schrödinger presented an alternative theory, that became known as wave mechanics. Schrödinger assumed that an electron in an atom could be represented as an oscillating charge cloud, evolving continuously in space and time according to a wave equation. The discrete frequencies in the atomic spectra were not due to discontinuous transitions (quantum jumps) as in matrix mechanics, but to a resonance phenomenon. Schrödinger also showed that the two theories were equivalent.
Even so, the two approaches differed greatly in interpretation and spirit. Whereas Heisenberg eschewed the use of visualizable pictures, and accepted discontinuous transitions as a primitive notion, Schrödinger claimed as an advantage of his theory that it was anschaulich. In Schrödinger’s vocabulary, this meant that the theory represented the observational data by means of continuously evolving causal processes in space and time. He considered this condition of Anschaulichkeit to be an essential requirement on any acceptable physical theory. Schrödinger was not alone in appreciating this aspect of his theory. Many other leading physicists were attracted to wave mechanics for the same reason. For a while, in 1926, before it emerged that wave mechanics had serious problems of its own, Schrödinger’s approach seemed to gather more support in the physics community than matrix mechanics.
[…”. Literally, the closest translation of the term anschaulich is ‘visualizable’. But, as in most languages, words that make reference to vision are not always intended literally. Seeing is widely used as a metaphor for understanding, especially for immediate understanding. Hence, anschaulich also means ‘intelligible’ or ‘intuitive’.”]
Understandably, Heisenberg was unhappy about this development. In a letter of 8 June 1926 to Pauli he confessed that “The more I think about the physical part of Schrödinger’s theory, the more disgusting I find it”, and: “What Schrödinger writes about the Anschaulichkeit of his theory, … I consider Mist (Pauli, 1979, p. 328)”. Again, this last German term is translated differently by various commentators: as “junk” (Miller, 1982) “rubbish” (Beller 1999) “crap” (Cassidy, 1992), and perhaps more literally, as “bullshit” (de Regt, 1997). Nevertheless, in published writings, Heisenberg voiced a more balanced opinion. In a paper in Die Naturwissenschaften (1926) he summarized the peculiar situation that the simultaneous development of two competing theories had brought about. Although he argued that Schrödinger’s interpretation was untenable, he admitted that matrix mechanics did not provide the Anschaulichkeit which made wave mechanics so attractive. He concluded: “to obtain a contradiction-free anschaulich interpretation, we still lack some essential feature in our image of the structure of matter”. The purpose of his 1927 paper was to provide exactly this lacking feature.
§§ As Poincaré observes in Science and Hypothesis, the assumption that the present depends only on the immediate past associates with this notion of local sourcing of dynamic phenomena;
“We recognise at the outset that the efforts of scientists have always tended to resolve the complex phenomenon given directly by our experience into a large number of elementary phenomena. And to do this in three different ways : first, with respect to time. Instead of taking into account the progressive development of a phenomenon as a whole, we simply seek to connect each moment with the one immediately preceding. We assert that the present state of the world depends only on the immediate past, without being directly influenced, so to speak, by the memory of a more distant past. Thanks to this postulate, instead of studying directly the whole succession of phenomena, we may confine ourselves to writing down “its differential equation” ; for the laws of Kepler, we substitute the laws of Newton.” — Henri Poincaré, ‘Science and Hypothesis’
§§§ Notes based on ‘Samoyedic Peoples of the European Tundra’ at http://pandora.cii.wwu.edu/vajda/ea210/samoyed.htm
“The Nenets lived primarily in a conical tent called a mya (which very much resembled the Native American tipi), not in an igloo or other type of semi-subterranean dwelling. The mya was made from 30 to 50 wooden poles; in winter it was covered with animal pelts weighed down by stones, in summer by sections of boiled birchbark sewn together. The birchbark was obtained by bartering with more southerly peoples (such as the Finnic Komi or the Ugrian Khanty).
Nenets techniques for hunting the animals of the Arctic Ocean seem to have been borrowed from the first Arctic aborigines. Thus, the Nenets word for seal is nyak, the Eskimo word is nesak. Also, the Nenets word for a one-piece Arctic clothing is lu; the Korak word on the Kamchatka peninsula for clothing is l’ku. All of these groups may have borrowed the words from some original circumpolar aborigines. More probably, the first settlers of Arctic Europe were cousins of the present-day Eskimo, Chukchi and other residents of the far northeast region of Asia. Nenets folklore also speaks of the aborigines living in ice dugouts (igloos).”
§§§§ Overview of recent discovery of ‘celestial forcing’ of climate due to the harmonic association of the earth’s magnetic field and cloud formation;
From ‘The earth’s magnetic field impacts climate: Danish study’, at http://www.viewzone.com/magnetic.weather.html
“… fluctuations in the number of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere directly alter the amount of cloud covering the planet.
High levels of cloud cover blankets the Earth and reflects radiated heat from the Sun back out into space, causing the planet to cool.
Henrik Svensmark, a weather scientist at the Danish National Space Centre who led the team behind the research, believes that the planet is experiencing a natural period of low cloud cover due to fewer cosmic rays entering the atmosphere.
This, he says, is responsible for much of the global warming we are experiencing.
“It was long thought that clouds were caused by climate change, but now we see that climate change is driven by clouds.”
[[N.B. [from a separate source] The earth’s magnetic field is not ‘internally caused’.
“The Earth’s Magnetic Field Is Produced By An External Dynamo System, Not An Internal Dynamo. … The Earth’s magnetic field and the planet itself are components of a complex dynamo system, in which the planet is included. … The planet and its magnetic field are part of the dynamo. The planetary dynamo system is composed of a magnetosphere, the planet, the magnetic field, radiation belts, ring current, and charged particles from the solar wind. The planet is the central component of the system and its rotation plays an important part in operating the dynamo and generating ring current. The magnetic field is generated by the system’s ring current, which is made up of charged particles. The magnetic field captures even more charged particles and brings them into the dynamo system as fuel. Everything works together.]]