Backwards Land

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Re: Backwards Land

Postby TLK on January 9th, 2017, 11:30 am 

Dave_C » Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:44 am wrote:Hi Badger. I guess the question I have is whether or not we would be able to distinguish the world running in reverse or not. If our beliefs supervene on our physical state, we can't 'remember' what happened unless we have a physical state to correspond with that. So if time is in reverse, we can't remember what happened in that future time.

Further, our brain's physical states in Backwards Land would still correspond to our believing time was moving 'forward'.

How could we believe we lived in Backwards Land unless we change something to do with how our experiences supervene on the physical?

I think I've convinced myself that we couldn't possibly tell any difference.....


I'm having a similar problem with the question. The question involves an individual consciousness trying to make sense of what is being perceived by senses. We don't have a physical account of how brain states "give rise to" conscious experience but the evidence is strong that conscious experience does correspond to brain states. The question BadgerJelly asked seems to require that we assume that somehow conscious experience is no longer related to brain states because in "backwards world" the brain states would also be "running backwards".

I don't see how we can understand what consciousness operating in the "entropy arrow of time" direction and physical processes "unfolding" backwards from that of the perceiving consciousness would work if we don't have some concrete idea of what the nature of that consciousness would be. BadgerJelly seems to want us to assume that the nature of the consciousness would be the same as our consciousness now but with physical processes running in reverse. But I'm not sure there is a way to make sense of that notion.
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Re: Backwards Land

Postby BadgerJelly on January 9th, 2017, 12:56 pm 

I am not saying our brains states are running backwards! I would have no comprehension of such a thing. That makes no sense. Our brians would be literally spewing out information from our senses. "Comprehension" would be impossible and meaningless ... I cannot imagine such a thing at all in the slightest only fool myself that I maybe could by an obtuse use of language. That is far from what I am doing here.

Maybe think of a cruel experiment where you only expose children to something in reverse. Maybe we train people to act out their lives in reverse. A sudden switch to viewing the world as it is would be very disorientating. I am asking you to place yourself in such a disorientating position and see how you would naturalistically view the world and come to understand it.

The best example to express this I can think of is the "ball on the hill" stated in last post. In reverse the ball will "magically" start to roll up the hill and hit some object. The way we see it there is no mystery. Something pushes the ball and it rolls down the hill. We see the cause and the effect. In reverse we are blind to the "cause".

I also understand perfectly well that we can onky partially fulfill this idea. We cannot simply forget that the ball rolls down the hill because some pushed it. What I am saying is that if we viewed many objects rolling up a hill we would conclude that the object will "hit" something even if we would not know when the object would start rolling up the hill.
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Re: Backwards Land

Postby zetreque on January 9th, 2017, 3:12 pm 

BadgerJelly » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:56 am wrote:I am not saying our brains states are running backwards! I would have no comprehension of such a thing. That makes no sense. Our brians would be literally spewing out information from our senses. "Comprehension" would be impossible and meaningless ... I cannot imagine such a thing at all in the slightest only fool myself that I maybe could by an obtuse use of language. That is far from what I am doing here.

Maybe think of a cruel experiment where you only expose children to something in reverse. Maybe we train people to act out their lives in reverse. A sudden switch to viewing the world as it is would be very disorientating. I am asking you to place yourself in such a disorientating position and see how you would naturalistically view the world and come to understand it.

The best example to express this I can think of is the "ball on the hill" stated in last post. In reverse the ball will "magically" start to roll up the hill and hit some object. The way we see it there is no mystery. Something pushes the ball and it rolls down the hill. We see the cause and the effect. In reverse we are blind to the "cause".

I also understand perfectly well that we can onky partially fulfill this idea. We cannot simply forget that the ball rolls down the hill because some pushed it. What I am saying is that if we viewed many objects rolling up a hill we would conclude that the object will "hit" something even if we would not know when the object would start rolling up the hill.


That would be a fun experiment for the ethics committee to consider. allowing :)

"I propose locking up a child/children in a rigged room where things work backwards for the first few years of their life. Balls roll uphill, TV sets play backwards etc.
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Re: Backwards Land

Postby zetreque on January 9th, 2017, 3:27 pm 

BadgerJelly » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:55 pm wrote: I woukd hesitate at using the term "out there" though.


I am not sure where that came from.

BadgerJelly » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:55 pm wrote:We have come.to understand the world about us through observation and scientific investiagtion. I am asking if certain things would become more or less apparent to humans if they viewed things running backwards?


I'm just going to say no. :)
For this topic, I am not interested in how people view things. I am interested in how things actually work as are other scientists and I don't think that living in a world where everything runs backwards would change much that our imagination can't contemplate.

If everything ran backwards, then you would have to wonder if understanding would change if everything ran forward. How about back and forth land? I think by just asking the question you are already understanding things from a different perspective and getting more out of it.

Something you said earlier:
Just think about math in reverse. Instead of searching for the answer you'd be looking for the question


Makes me think of a video I watched on youtube the other day about an illegal number which was a large prime number used for encryption. Something about it being easy to add two primes to get an answer but it being very difficult to have an answer and figuring out what the primes are that were added together. It doesn't matter on which end you start, it's still an investigation. Perhaps contemplate that problem regarding prime numbers and encryption and figure out if there are any different rules for the investigation depending on which end you start.

But is a question and answer the same thing? It just depends which side of it you are on? In the end, it's still an investigation.
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Re: Backwards Land

Postby Braininvat on January 9th, 2017, 3:51 pm 

Lla ta daerht siht dnatsrednu tnod I.

Yzarc lla eruoy!
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Re: Backwards Land

Postby TLK on January 9th, 2017, 9:17 pm 

BadgerJelly » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:56 am wrote:I am not saying our brains states are running backwards! I would have no comprehension of such a thing. That makes no sense. Our brians would be literally spewing out information from our senses. "Comprehension" would be impossible and meaningless ... I cannot imagine such a thing at all in the slightest only fool myself that I maybe could by an obtuse use of language. That is far from what I am doing here.

Maybe think of a cruel experiment where you only expose children to something in reverse. Maybe we train people to act out their lives in reverse. A sudden switch to viewing the world as it is would be very disorientating. I am asking you to place yourself in such a disorientating position and see how you would naturalistically view the world and come to understand it.

The best example to express this I can think of is the "ball on the hill" stated in last post. In reverse the ball will "magically" start to roll up the hill and hit some object. The way we see it there is no mystery. Something pushes the ball and it rolls down the hill. We see the cause and the effect. In reverse we are blind to the "cause".

I also understand perfectly well that we can onky partially fulfill this idea. We cannot simply forget that the ball rolls down the hill because some pushed it. What I am saying is that if we viewed many objects rolling up a hill we would conclude that the object will "hit" something even if we would not know when the object would start rolling up the hill.


Okay, thanks for the clarification. A certain amount of coherence of thinking is necessary for awareness of consciousness (if we accept that there could be consciousness that is unaware of itself). The evidence is strong that our conscious awareness derives from the activity taking place in an animal body. An animal body that appears to have evolved in form and function to produce neural activity of a certain sort and appears to be the foundation of the nature of our aware consciousnesses.

I think a significant part of what makes our thinking coherent is the notion of cause and effect. We model ourselves as actors where we can do an action that will cause the effect that we want; e.g. I caused a cup to interrupt a stream of water and fill with that water so that I could drink it. Much of the coherence of our thinking comes from modeling the world temporally and in those temporal sequences of events we see causes causing effects. I think it is likely that we are biologically predisposed to think that way.

So if someone with a perfect memory took a hallucinogen that caused them to experience their memories backwards with perfect fidelity I think there would be no way they could make sense of the experience because it would deeply, deeply contradict the cause and effect way we essentially are programmed to see the world. One of the fundamental factors that makes our thinking coherent would have to be somehow ignored. IDK, maybe if a person had a disciplined enough mind and was prepared for it, they might be able to maintain some coherence to their thinking while denying that the temporal sequence was unfolding completely contrary to their almost hardwired sense of cause and effect.

What would a mind have to cohere around to be able to have a mentally coherent view of the backwards temporal sequence? Well, it seems like a deeper essential part of our thinking that helps it be coherent is pattern recognition. The backwards sequence of events would likely be recognized as patterns of events. If the person could keep themselves from trying to impose cause and effect relationships on the patterns, I suppose the patterns could be interesting to experience.

Another problem, though, would be that unless some significant part of the hallucinator maintained awareness that what he was experiencing was an artifact of running his memories backwards, the hallucinator would probably try to think of acting in this backwards experience. He could be hallucinating and get really thirsty and need to get a drink and therefore try to act through his memory backwards experience. That could make for a bad trip.

If we could detach ourselves enough from the experiences that shaped our awareness, then I think watching a movie of a flower blossoming played backwards would be a pretty good approximation of what it would be like to experience a reversal of temporal events. It would be like passively watching a movie run backwards. What does a movie of a flower blossoming mean when it is run backwards?
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Re: Backwards Land

Postby BadgerJelly on January 10th, 2017, 1:18 am 

Biv -

Etirw ot eimt emos naket evah tsum taht.

That was really difficult! Haha
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Re: Backwards Land

Postby zetreque on January 10th, 2017, 1:24 am 

!yzarc tib a era ew seY

.oot yllacitamotua ti od ylbaborp dluow taht tegdag tenretni na si ereht erus m'I ro

.drawkcab gnidaer meht ees uoy sa sdrawkcab srettel eht etirw tsuj neht ,tsrif lamron tuo epyt ot reisaE
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Re: Backwards Land

Postby BadgerJelly on January 10th, 2017, 2:08 am 

Zet -

Egnellahc eht serehw neht?

Anyway ! Enough of that! XD

KLT -

I think you grasp what I am pointing at? From a "natural" outlook at backward phenomenon knowing when the ball rolls up the hill would be impossible to guess. We would still try and make such a prediction (although prescientifically this would be guess work clothed as a rational prediction. We would as least assume a set of instances that would makenthe ball roll up the hill although they would be variable and on a tiem line we'd not generally be able to to get close to an estimate). Through observations of multiple instances we may come to see the approach of some object toward the top of the hill and wait to see if the ball would roll up and hit the object. If between two hills we may have difficulty deciding which hill the ball would roll up.

Through such observations I would imagine we would conclude that the ball is "attracted" to some object that comes to the top of the hill ... but not all objects. This would again leave us in a puzzling position.
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