Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by dynasty, Aug 23, 2007.

1. This thread begins with a simple question and as answers are resolved more questions will enter into the equation based on the original answers to previous questions.

The first question is as follows:

Are there straight lines in the universe?

2. Is that you, dynasty? I didnt recognize you with that new avatar...

Yes, this is a useless post.

3. Do you mean, do straight lines exist naturally in the universe? At the atomic level, straight lines exist in a number of mineral forms, for (on the atomic level) long distances.

4. There are no perfectly straight lines though...gravity and mass effects everything, doesn't it?

(I don't know the answer to this question, but I know gravity and mass effect light, and light travels in straight lines).

What I'd basically like to get at is this: If there are no perfectly straight lines in the universe, why do we go about using forms of mathematics that have the very basis in them of straight lines and points?

The shortest distance between any two points in a straight line. Can we ever get a perfectly straight line though?

5. I guess we'll never know.

6. We don't have to use straight lines, we can factor in all those things and see a curve but it's a lot more complex mathmatics. We can create straight enough lines building things LOL

I mean for a line to be perfectly straight the two end points couldn't curve out a fraction of a decimal.

That type of perfection, down to the atom- would be insane.

Gravity might be just energy transfer, who knows if light is actually moving straight and it's just in a loop? The bend is just like how a pencil bends when you shake it- the pencil is straight but it looks like it's bending.

All forces may stem from other circumstances beyond our comprehension with our current senses. When you run into a problem like this it may just be because we don't understand the truth yet because it hasn't been explained to us in a way we can understand. Maybe the theories and observations are just some educated guesses but they don't understand something deeper going on yet. Who knows, but I do believe it's possible to understand if we study it enough.

7. Hmmm... I'm no mathmetician, and I think this will just end up being a ramble:

Suppose we start by admiting that there are no straight lines in the universe. That means that we are saying that straight lines are a concept or abstraction that is derived only out of our conciousness.

I wouldn't say that the mathematics we study today is 'based on' lines and points - just that the mathematics we study allows us to describe these otherwise abstract concepts. As I understand it, higher mathematics uses that same understanding to describe both more complex 2d forms as well as 3+ dimensional concepts.

I think math is something like a divine gift, where we get to be constantly surprised at how perfectly it can be used to express real and idealized concepts.

http://www.fourmilab.ch/images/Romanesco/Lcr1.html
^---- The coolest thing I have ever seen in my life. Possibly the prettiest representation of why I don't need a personal God. This tiny bit of insignificance that is our world is supremely awesome in and of itself.

8. Really though...isn't that what it is? It's all just derived from our consciousness.

I love fractals, +rep for this, those things are fantastic.

Anyway, I will continue.

Light travels in straight lines (although not perfectly straight)...Yet, certain forces in the universe effect light. Stars, black holes, etc. Things with large mass (such as stars) bend the light, black holes literally eat
light. Think about all that for a while.

If we wish to travel interstellar wise, and are not capable of developing a wormhole drive, shouldn't the best method be traveling at close to the speed of light in a direct straight path with that object?

Well what I've been thinking is...to travel in a perfectly straight path (as it has the shortest distance), we must be precisely calibrated to be on a straight path. But we can't have a straight path to anything.

9. Relatively, yes.

10. We need a device capable of creating wormholes. Fuck straight lines.