Emergence of time
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Emergence of time



Summary
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time. 
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not include time:
Then he explains how in a physical world without time its perception can emerge:

The Order Of Time
In Carlo Rovelli's book 'The Order Of Time' he describes how time
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerged
within
Consciousness has confounded philosophers and scientists for centuries.  Now it is finally being characterized scientifically.  That required a transformation of approach. 
Realizing that consciousness was ill-defined neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene and others characterized and focused on conscious access. 
In the book he outlines the limitations of previous psychological dogma.  Instead his use of subjective assessments opened the window to contrast totally unconscious brain activity with those including consciousness. 
He describes the research methods.  He explains the contribution of new sensors and probes that allowed the psychological findings to be correlated, and causally related to specific neural activity. 
He describes the theory of the brain he uses, the 'global neuronal workspace' to position all the experimental details into a whole. 
He reviews how both theory and practice support diagnosis and treatment of real world mental illnesses. 
The implications of Dehaene's findings for subsequent consciousness research are outlined. 
Complex adaptive system (CAS) models of the brain's development and operation introduce constraints which are discussed. 

our consciousness
to help predict future events.  We perceive time as flowing, but Rovelli reveals this doesn't reflect the underlying
This page discusses the physical foundations of complex adaptive systems (CAS).  A small set of rules is obeyed.  New [epi]phenomena then emerge.  Examples are discussed. 
physical phenomena
.  And time contributes to the: nature of mind, origin of the universe, fate of black holes and operation of life; making the nature of time, Rovelli's greatest mystery. 

We perceive a fixed past, the present and an open future, which can be associated with time using clocks.  But advances in science have destroyed the layers that supported this notion of time.  Rovelli:
Crumbling of time
Includes: Loss of unity, Loss of direction, End of the present, Loss of independence, & Quanta of time
Loss of unity
Einstein identified that time speeds up the further the clock is from a massive body.  Rovelli asks: how does gravity operate between the earth and the sun?  It must act indirectly.  It is time's slowing that causes objects is a collection of: happenings, occurrences and processes; including emergent entities, as required by relativity, explains Rovelli.  But natural selection has improved our fitness by representing this perception, in our minds, as an unchanging thing, as explained by Pinker.  Dehaene explains the object modeling and construction process within the unconscious and conscious brain. 
to fall towards the earth.  But since Newton, physicists' equations described developments ordered by time, which clocks defined.  Einstein's discovery is inconsistent with this practice. 
Loss of direction
In our experience the past seems different to the future: time flows.  But Rovelli explains that physics' elementary laws don't identify any difference.  Only heat flows irreversibly from hot to cold.  Clausius realized heat requires change around it, for it to pass from a cold body to a hot one, and he defined entropy to measure this irreversible, unidirectional, progress of heat.  Boltzmann's statistical mechanics show that it is the microscopic movement of molecules & their collisions, which increase the entropic disorder of matter. 

Rovelli asks: why is the past more ordered? He notes:
  • Every configuration is particular.  Certain configurations are more particular only if there is a limited interaction between a subset of the total variables - a blurring in which other variables lack effect. 
  • At a microscopic level the past is no different to the future.  The blurring allows us to attribute a temperature to heat. 
  • Entropy is nothing other than the number of microscopic states that blurring fails to distinguish. 
Boltzmann realized there is nothing intrinsic in the flow of time. 
End of the present
Einstein also showed that time is slowed down by speed. This undermines our intuition & perception of time, but is only noticeable when travelling as fast or faster than an airplane in flight. 

'Now' is only relevant at the observer's immediate position.  It is inappropriate elsewhere.  Information takes time to reach an observer, so observations aren't representative of now. 

The present is a bubble, supported by our imprecise perception of time.  The temporal structure without a 'present' reflects a partial ordering, where order occurs between certain elements.  Rovelli represents past and future as cones where the apexes meet at now.  Special Relativity accepts this representation for the universe.  The extended present is a set of events that are neither past nor future.  The temporal structure of space-time is a structure of light cones.  These cones are disordered by gravitational waves: oscillating and enabling the formation of loops of events flowing through the light cones, as noted by Godel. 

The event horizon of a black hole aligns with a past edge, and the present and envelopes the future edges of any interacting light cone.  To exit the black hole an event would have to travel towards the past. 

The universe does not have a discrete 'now.' 
Loss of independence
Time was traditionally divided into days of 12 hours.  The length of the hours, tracked by a sun dial, varied depending on the time of year.  And the time of day depended on your position on the surface of the earth relative to the sun.  From the 14th century the church presented the time of day on its church towers and marked the hours passing with chimes, but these church times differed.  Coordination of train times required a more coherent framework. 

Aristotle concluded time measures change - no change meant no time passed.  Newton disagreed: True time is independent of change and is uniform.  Newton's position is still widely taught in schools.  Einstein's gravitational field exists independent of events, but distorts and flexes as it interacts with other fields.  Space-time will undulate when mass interacts with gravitational fields.  This is the inclining of the light cones.  The complex curving geometry integrates Aristotle & Newton's frameworks: Newton's real entity are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
is the gravitational field.  Aristotle correctly noted 'when' and 'where' are relative to something, including Einstein's spatiotemporal entity.  Einstein's gravitational field determines the rhythm of all physical phenomena including clocks.  But he subsequently concludes all physical things must have quantum properties. 
Quanta of time
Quantum gravity does not have a generally accepted theory and does not have the support of experimental evidence.  Rovelli helps to develop one alternative theory: loop quantum gravity, an alternative to string theory.  Loop theory breaks apart relativity's spatiotemporal sheet.  

There are three fundamental discoveries of quantum mechanics:
  1. Granularity
  2. Indeterminacy
  3. Relational aspects of physical variables


Everything is quantized.  Plank time is the minimum possible 10**(-44) seconds.  Reality is like a Seurat [or Leonardo] painting.  Nothing is continuous. 

Space-time is a physical object is a collection of: happenings, occurrences and processes; including emergent entities, as required by relativity, explains Rovelli.  But natural selection has improved our fitness by representing this perception, in our minds, as an unchanging thing, as explained by Pinker.  Dehaene explains the object modeling and construction process within the unconscious and conscious brain. 
like an electron.  Both fluctuate and can have superposition.  So the gravitational field is more accurately represented as a set of blurred layers.  An event may be before and after another, fluctuating. 

Fluctuations are determined, but only at certain moments: when a quantity interacts with something else physical.  At which point it 'materializes', position or momentum first! But this is only with respect to that physical interaction.  The quantities remain indeterminate to the rest of the universe. 

Time becomes an incoherent network of relations.  Space-times fluctuate, superimposed, materializing at certain times with respect to particular 'objects is a collection of: happenings, occurrences and processes; including emergent entities, as required by relativity, explains Rovelli.  But natural selection has improved our fitness by representing this perception, in our minds, as an unchanging thing, as explained by Pinker.  Dehaene explains the object modeling and construction process within the unconscious and conscious brain. 
'. 
World without time
Includes: The world is made of events, not things, Inadequacy of grammar, Dynamics as relations;
World made of events, not things
Once Newton's theory is removed from physics the only thing left is change.  The fundamental physical equations do not include time.  To be compatible with relativity, every apparent object is a collection of: happenings, occurrences and processes; including emergent entities, as required by relativity, explains Rovelli.  But natural selection has improved our fitness by representing this perception, in our minds, as an unchanging thing, as explained by Pinker.  Dehaene explains the object modeling and construction process within the unconscious and conscious brain. 
is really a collection of: happenings, occurrences and processes.  Plato, and Kepler, mistakenly tried to build frameworks based on objects, ignoring change. 
Inadequacy of grammar
Our physical world is not described well by 'presentism.'  The present is relative to a moving observer, and is different for each of us.  Changes are not arranged in a single orderly succession.  Temporal relations between events are complex.  But our language assumes past, present and future; which is misleading.  Change has a temporal structure of relations between events which is local and complex and can't be described by a single global order. 
Dynamics as relations
Without time, relations can be used to link variables together in the way pre-Newtonian time worked.  The fundamental theory of the world must be constructed without a time variable, instead detailing how entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
we see, vary with respect to each other.  DeWitt & Wheeler developed equations of quantum gravity to reflect this.  Their theory describes how things change, one in respect to the others: the dynamics of the world.  They define a world as a network of interconnected events with probabilistic variables. 

Elementary quantum events and spin networks: quantum loop variables describe fields that form matter, photons, electrons, other components of atoms, and the gravitational field.  The goal of loop theory is to develop a coherent description of the world.  Fields have granular forms: elementary particles, photons, quanta of gravity and space.  The elementary grains form space, from their web of interactions.  They interact incessantly, supporting their existence.  The dynamics are probabilistic and depend on prior history.  Relations of spatial adjacency tie grains of space into webs (spin networks).  A ring in a spin network is a loop.  Transforms of structures occur in 'spinfoam.' 
Sources of time
Rovelli explains the layers that together help time emerge: Time is ignorance, Perspective, What emerges from a particularity, Scent of a madeleine, Source of time;
Time is ignorance
Rovelli explores where our experience of time comes from: it is one of many
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
perceptual entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;


Thermal molecular mingling allows all variables that can vary to do so.  But energy is conserved within an isolated system, it cannot vary.   Thermal time emerges from time and energy being conjugates.  The equations of the evolution of time follow from the form of its energy.  Thermal agitation supports a system passing through all the configurations that have the same energy and only these.  The macroscopic state preserves the energy which generates a time - a generic, blurred, macroscopic state, excluding details, has some of the characteristics of time 'thermal time'. 

When an interaction renders a position of a molecule concrete the state of the molecule is altered.  But quantum event interactions will also independently resolve momentum.  The order of resolution matters and is noncommutative.  So interactions generate a primitive temporal order.  Alain Connes has developed a noncommutative von Neumann algebra which generates an implicit flow, a quantum time, which resembles thermal time. 

Millions of molecules and quantum indeterminacy allow macro-states to induce thermal time.  But thermal time does not distinguish between past and future.  It has no direction.  Entropy helps here. 
Perspective
Entropy was low in the past.  Rovelli explores: why was entropy low in the past?  Only a limited number of variables interact, all the rest do not register.  So, distinct configurations of the universe seem equivalent.  These blur in line with Boltzmann's theory.  The entropy depends on what does not register in an interaction.  These are more likely to become indistinguishable configurations, reducing the relative entropy.  The same configuration may have alternative variables participate in another interaction.  From where we, as part of a local physical system, interact with the universe's past, its entropy is low, even though the universe was not in a particular low entropy configuration.  We are attuned to a very particular subset of aspects of the universe, and it is this that is oriented in time.  This allows: memories in the brain includes functionally different types: Declarative, or explicit, (episodic and semantic), Implicit, Procedural, Spatial, Temporal, Verbal; Hebb suggested that glutamate receptive neurons learn by (NMDA channel based) synaptic strengthening: short term memory.  This was shown to happen for explicit memory formation in the hippocampus.  This strengthening is sustained by subsequent LTP.  The non-real-time learning and planning processes operate through consciousness using the working memory structures, and then via sleep, the salient ones are consolidated while the rest are destroyed and garbage collected.   to exist, traces to be left, and
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
to occur
Time flows forward for us by chance.  Our science is a special view from within, making our perspective particular.  It is the particular perspective that allows science to capture key variables that could be lost otherwise.  We experience time being on the inside of the interaction.  Entropy is a measure of blurring - which relates to us more than the universe. 
What emerges from a particularity
Rovelli asserts it is entropy, not energy, which drives the world.  Energy is conserved, flowing to heat irreversibly.  Life seeks low entropy.  The sun is a source of low entropy.  It emits hot photons which strike the earth.  The earth releases 10 cooler photons in response, balancing the energy but increasing the entropy. 

The prior universe included a vast cloud of hydrogen.  Very slowly, hydrogen coalesced into a dense cloud that induced fusion of hydrogen to helium introducing a further expansion of entropy, along with the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of stars, including the sun.  But large and small parts of the universe remain unconnected and constrained from changes of entropy.  Events happen because of mixing, increasing disorder. 

Life's processes increase entropy.  Each one catalyzes, an infrastructure amplifier.   the next.  Life consumes low entropy in food. 

Tracks are left by the past, in the present, because previously the entropy was low.  Brains make use of past traces to determine possible futures.  With
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
's help cause produces effect.  The elementary laws of physics describe regularities which are symmetrical about past and future.  Causes, memories, and tracks, emerge, as an effect of the perspective of us! 
Scent of the madeleine
What is man's part in the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of time? We are a collection of relations and events, but:
  1. We have a point of view in the world.  We are a complex process that reflects the world and elaborates the information we receive in a way that is strictly integrated
  2. In reflecting the world we organize it into entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
    1. At equilibrium entities,
    2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;

  3. Memory in the brain includes functionally different types: Declarative, or explicit, (episodic and semantic), Implicit, Procedural, Spatial, Temporal, Verbal; Hebb suggested that glutamate receptive neurons learn by (NMDA channel based) synaptic strengthening: short term memory.  This was shown to happen for explicit memory formation in the hippocampus.  This strengthening is sustained by subsequent LTP.  The non-real-time learning and planning processes operate through consciousness using the working memory structures, and then via sleep, the salient ones are consolidated while the rest are destroyed and garbage collected.  : links all the moments of our existence, connects together processes that are scattered in time;
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Evolution
helps by providing us with ways to predict the future.  The brain derives a perception of duration.  Past and future are constructed within us, using synaptic, a neuron structure which provides a junction with other neurons.  It generates signal molecules, either excitatory or inhibitory, which are kept in vesicles until the synapse is stimulated when the signal molecules are released across the synaptic cleft from the neuron.  The provisioning of synapses is under genetic control and is part of long term memory formation as identified by Eric Kandel.  Modulation signals (from slow receptors) initiate the synaptic strengthening which occurs in memory. 
constructions.  Memory combined with our continuous process of anticipation is the source of our sensing time as an illusion of permanent objects is a collection of: happenings, occurrences and processes; including emergent entities, as required by relativity, explains Rovelli.  But natural selection has improved our fitness by representing this perception, in our minds, as an unchanging thing, as explained by Pinker.  Dehaene explains the object modeling and construction process within the unconscious and conscious brain. 
flowing from past to future. 
Source of time
Rovelli summarizes his conclusions about the sources of time:

The Order Of Time clarifies the science that underlies our perceptions of real world events. 






































































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