Estimated reading time: 6,5 minutes
Disclaimer; I am not a mathematician, I am not a philosopher. As my philosopher friend quite accurately said to me after reading this blog; “you just ignored 80 years of philosophy of science”, I am aware of this. Nevertheless, I just like to think about things and write them down to structure, and understand my mind when I wrote this blog about how “everything is”. I am very much open for any feedback from every perspective to increase my knowledge about this topic, so please respond with any comments, feedback, or useful links. I hope you enjoy it.
When I was in primary school, we always got questions like these; John has five apples. Peter takes 3 apples from John, how many apples does John have now? The simple solution is of course 2, John has 2 apples. If you answered it correctly you got a great mark and smile from the teacher. But what about Peter? Peter gained 3 apples. But we could forget about Peter’s apples. This math-problem was focused solely on John. Nevertheless, there were always five apples no matter how both boys distributed the apples among each other. Isn’t it weird that in basic calculations, we hardly think about how we achieved our extra “apples”? One action in math always requires an opposite reaction in some other formula. So is math relative, and what does this mean? Shouldn’t we take everything into account? What if we take away relativity? And what is the role of humans regarding this subject? Have fun reading today’s blog; “Everything is”.
Is math relative?
When we want to determine the position of a thing using math, we use the X, and Y axes to find its position. If we want to calculate the position of a ball in the air, the ball in the air
is our focus-point, and the surroundings (the X,Y axes) is the reference frame. So we are able to say; compared to the X,Y axes, the ball is there at exactly at point 4,3 in the graph. But my question is, what is exactly at the center of the axes, at point 0,0 (the origin)? Who is there? Usually, we place the 0,0 axes when (or where) it becomes interesting to us to calculate a place of an object. So often in math (and physics) it is quite arbitrary when or where to place the center (the 0,0) of our graph. We can place the centers of our graphs whenever we want to, or on whatever we want to focus. We can place it on ourselves, on driving cars, on orbiting planets, while ignoring the rest of the things we don’t want to focus on. Thus, when placing the center of our axes is arbitrary, is also becomes arbitrary where an object itself is. Isn’t that quite a problem that math uses always a point of view? I believe that this fact, makes math quite relative. Math is relative to your perspective. If you would try to make math non-relative, you could argue that the real center of every graph should be at the center of universe, but our current scientific understanding is that there is no center of the universe. So, this impossible as well. Nevertheless, we could also argue something drastically different.
We usually don’t believe that someone or something is the actual center of the universe. Virtually every point in the universe could be the center of our plot (our 0,0) like we discussed. So in someway, everything in the universe is the center of the universe and also nothing is the center. In our mind we have someone who is placing the axes where he wants them. During our daily life we also make a lot of comparisons. We focus on things and have a reference frame. But what if there isn’t someone to make comparisons? Something that doesn’t have a reference frame? If there isn’t someone who compares the one thing to another, relativity is lost. Everything is just there. But this has large consequences. If you make no comparisons, everything is just present and everything exists. In this worldview, everything is equal. The stars, the plants, the humans, the animals, the voids, are all equal because there is no one to judge them. It is even hard to call things by their name because they couldn’t be compared with each other. If there is no reference frame, then our concept of a human does not even exist. Because distinguishing a human from a planet needs a reference frame. Furthermore, nothing in the universe has a place if you don’t take a perspective. For example, your cup isn’t closer than your window, because this is all compared to you. Each of these objects, your cup, your window, and yourself have their own place in the universe. Things could be infinitely close, but also infinitely far from each other. I would call a thorough believe that everything just is: “Is-ism”. Although many of us believe that everything is, with is-ism it is believed that relativity doesn’t exist by itself. Relativity is created when someone (often a human) compares the one thing to another.
Does thinking itself creates relativity?
If there is no general objective reference frame, what are we then? This question can not be questioned. In fact, you can not even question things if you have no focus. And answers will provide you no information if you have no reference frame. How long are two meters if you have nothing to compare two meters with? Thinking itself creates a focus and a reference frame, thus might thinking itself creates relativity? The importance of the presence of a “spectator” to create existence is related to another famous philosophical problem, which questions whether there is sound if a tree falls in a forest without listeners. I won’t get into the details of this problem but either way, it might be that everything exists. And that we, humans ourselves create relativity through focusing and the use of reference frames.
So when people say; everything is relative, you can argue against it and argue that nothing is. I believe that our thoughts themselves create our relativity but that the universe can do without it. But this gives us a worldview we can’t comprehend. Our thoughts, and the self-awareness of ourselves created the notion of distance, time, and place. Our reference-frame created our way of doing math, and we used that ever since. Furthermore, our thoughts created the notion of intelligence, beauty, pain, good and bad. Although these concepts are the most important concepts to live by, there is a larger frame that goes beyond our thoughts, which is the existence itself, the fact that everything is. This blog might not have contributed much to your reality but I believe, it is wise to consider once in a while that you yourself create your reality.
Further questions and little things:
- How does Descartes’ famous quote; “I think, therefore I am” relates to the view of relativity?
- Does the fact that math, and almost everything we do, is based from our perspective, made us more egocentric beings? If we don’t care (in math) how we achieved our apples, then we lost the notion of the fact that everything is.
- The problem of division (below one): If you divide an apple in 5 parts, you have 1/5 apples. But is that so? Don’t we have new things? The old apple doesn’t exist anymore. There is hardly anything in the real world that we can split in parts while the small parts stays are the same things as the whole.
- How close does the concept of is-ism, come to isn’t-ism (where nothing exists)?
- If you can only be sure of your own existence, and you might be the only spectator. Then you make yourself the center of the Universe, you become the (real) 0,0 in the Universe-plot. This is literally what “egocentric” means.
- How it quantum mechanics related to the fact of having an observer?