Pausing time

If you put a chicken in an oven (or a vegetarian alternative) and then pause time, what happens to the temperature of the chicken?

There are several things which you could argue could happen. One is that the chicken will remain at the same temperature as is was when you paused time.

Another is that the chicken will continue to cook, due to the oven being warm.

A Roast Dinner Cooking in an Oven

The one that I believe would happen is this option: the chicken, oven and everything else in the universe would hit absolute zero (-273.15°C) because heat requires particles to move, even in a solid the particles move, its just not as much as a liquid or a gas. As time is completely paused, nothing is moving, so everything must be absolute zero.

Despite this pausing time is theoretically impossible, at least here on earth. Even if you manage to pause time, you would be completely frozen yourself, as all the air particles around you would be frozen, rooting you to the spot.

Does this mean that if you were in a total vacuum (I would say space, as this is regarded as a vacuum, but it is technically not a total vacuum) could you pause time and still move around?

What are your thoughts on this? Can you pause time? Also, what would happen to the chicken?

Schrödinger’s cat

Schrödinger’s cat is a very famous philosophical thought experiment, devised by Erwin Schrödinger in the 1930’s. It challenges our interpretation of the world, and applies some quantum mechanics to a seemingly obvious situation.

The experiment involves a cat, which is placed in a box, with a flask containing poison and a radioactive source. In the box there is also a Geiger counter  – a device that measures ionizing radiation. If this detects a certain amount of radiation, the flask is shattered, releasing the poison which kills the cat.

Schrodingers cat experiment

The application of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is both dead and alive. Open the box and the cat is instantly dead, or, instantly alive, depending on what you find. Despite this, until you perceive what is inside the box, the cat is both alive and dead. Complicated I know.

“Surly when the Geiger counter measures the radiation at the set level, the flask will shatter and the poison will kill the cat.” – Don’t call me Shirley, and yes, that would appear so. However, if the radioactive source does not decay at the expected rate (which is possible) then the poison may not reach the cat and kill it, so the cat is still alive.

This is why the cat is both dead and alive, because as soon as you shut the box lid, there could be a massive spike of radiation, and the cat could die instantly, or the radiation may be emitted much slower than anticipated, so the cat survives. That is why the cat is both dead and alive.

Now the whole thing gets much more complicated when you add a camera into the experiment. If you place a camera in the box and watch it as a live stream, then the cat dies, when you see it die on the camera – or is it when you open the box? If you watch the camera with a time delay (say 10 seconds) does the cat die, when you would logically believe that it dies, or does it die 10 seconds after that, when it is perceived to be dead, or when the box is actually opened?

Is the cat alive when the box is shut, both dead and alive when you would logically think that it dies, and dead 10 seconds after, when it is perceived as dead?

There is also the question that “can the cat not perceive itself dying?” This could be true, until actual death, as you cannot perceive your own death, can you? Then again, if you are religious, and believe that “God perceives all” then does the cat not die when you would think that it would die anyway, as God sees the cat die?

Throw in fate and destiny and you have a whole new kettle of fish. If the cat is destined to die at a set time, can the radiation affect that?

Schrödinger cat jokeNo animals were harmed in the writing of this article, I was simply presenting a theory, and I needed a living thing as an example for the experiment. It is purely theoretical!

Prioritise the things in your life

Just before I set up my philosophy blog, I was enlightened by a fantastic bit of philosophy. I thought it was so good that I posted it out of place on my technology blog, you can find it by going to my A Bit of Philosophy article.

Now that I have a philosophy blog, I thought that it was only appropriate to re-post the article here. The article went a bit like this…

“A professor stood before his philosophy class with some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up an empty jar and started to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked yet again if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes”.

The professor then produced a cup of tea from under the table and poured it into the jar, filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

Food For Thought “Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the things most important to you – your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favourite passions – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else – the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out. Have fun with friends etc. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the car.

Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities right. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised there hand and inquired what the tea represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always time for a cup of tea!”

So there you have it, prioritise for your golf balls, they are the most important, also dedicate some time to your pebbles, and finally look after your sand, but if you loose some sand you are still full, and can easily gain it back – unlike golf balls which are much harder to attain!

Thanks for reading, I hope I have given you some food for thought.

Good luck looking after your golf balls!”

So, as I am sure you can see, it really was a very worthwhile bit of philosophy!

No Internet

On the evening of the Sunday before last, (5th September) I turned on my computer, and there was no Internet. My router physically would not talk to the world wide web. After a lot of fiddling with wires it  still didn’t work, so I had to do something else.

The next morning it was working again, now most people would probably just accept that, but it got me thinking… I felt rather let down by the world wide web, and in a weird sort of way alone.

I know its silly, but do you think that part of our lives now depends, or is even on the Internet? If you were never able to access the Internet again via computer, phone, games console or any other device, would you feel like a small part of you (i.e. your online reputation) had died?

That’s what I sort of felt like on Sunday night. I was 99% confident that the Internet would return with my online self within a short space of time, but it did sort of feel like a part of my profile (not just my Internet one) was sort of inaccessible.

Branding is everything in business is it not? Well in the physical world branding is to people as well. Say a celebrities name and many people will be able to tell you what they do for a living, what they look like etc. This is sort of like human branding. When X sleeps with Y and then the media finds out their reputation hits the floor and their ‘brand’ is weakened.

This is very similar on the Internet, you build yourself your own online brand which is associated with you. I have the Christopher Roberts brand, meaning wherever you find my name you can be assured that you will get quality and unbiased content. That brand stays with you when commenting on other sites and when social networking.

So what happens when the online you is still there, but not doing anything, and the offline you is there, but can’t access the online you? Okay, it sounds a little complicated, but have you ever really given it some real thought?

I can conclude with one thing that I know for sure, the Internet is big, massive, impossible big. Its beautiful, evil and a little bit strange. The picture seems to sum this up.

A map of the Internet

A map of the Internet

For good or for worse, the Internet effects out lives in a massive way.

Ask yourself this, are you better off because of it?

What is God?

Before I start this post, I would just like to make it crystal clear that I am not trying to offend anyone, or make anyone change their beliefs. Nether am I stating that this is what I believe, I am simply trying to present a theory that I have come up with.

I am not trying to offend anyone and I do not believe this. It is simply an alternative theory.

Okay, so to the theory. Many religions have a concept of a ‘greater being’ or God. Now what is this concept of God is not actually an entity in itself, but as a group of things? What if God is actually everyone?

The concept that God is every living thing or every person seems to work for many things that God is described to be. God can perceive all. If God is every living thing then it can perceive all, as anything going on can be seen be the living.

God is said to be able to perform miracles. People can perform miracles; people will go to amazing measures and do extraordinary things.

Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God, and if God is everyone, then Jesus (son of Joseph) was a son of one person that makes up the entity of God.

When you die, most religions believe in an afterlife which is dependant on what you did in your living life.

The concept of the afterlife could be that if you are good in life, people will remember you for the good that you did. This means that despite your body being dead, your memory lives on in others. Using the theory that everyone is God, God gives you an afterlife, as you are remembered by people who make up god.

There is also the concept of hell, which you go to if you are bad in life. This could mean that you die, but you are remembered for the evil that you have done in your life. This is like hell, as you are not remembered in a positive way.

Stephen Hawking recently said that

“Because there are laws, such as gravity, the Universe can and will, create itself out of nothing. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.”

This would fit in with the theory of God being a body of things, rather than a single entity, as the body would not have been around at creation.

Its just a theory, and I am not trying to impose it on anyone, but one thing does strike me: it does kind of work.

If we all make up God, then are we not God?

There is a famous song, “He’s got the whole world in his hands”. If we are God, is the world not in our hands?

The Earth in peoples hands

I am not trying to offend anyone and I do not believe this. It is simply an alternative theory.

Comments and opinions welcome as always 🙂