By Johnny on Aug 28, 2008 | In physics
I read this book called The Glass Bead Game. I like games, like tennis and Beer Die and quantum gambling, so I thought I'd check it out. Its about this game where, using these glass beads as symbols that you move around on a board, you can recreate all of human knowledge. Fine. But the skill to the glass bead game is translating ideas into glass beads placed in certain positions... which then translate into other ideas. Like you show how certain ideas from physics run parallel to certain ideas from music theory, or ethics, or Japanese housekeeping. So the book's writer, Hesse, is trying to show through this game how there's One Truth, and all ideas are manifestations of it, and if we find the right way of representing things, eventually all True Ideas turn out to be the same.
So that's what the fucking eggheads think. I don't know about that. But I remember when I was introduced to Hamiltonian Mechanics. You all know Newtonian mechanics- if you don't, for God's sake, watch out!
In Newtonian mechanics we track everything by force. F=ma. Right. So you study physics, you get to be pretty good at this stuff. You show me a bunch of slopes and boxes and pulleys and all that, I can write my F=ma equations and tell you whats gonna fall on what. You get so used to it, you think the equations are the reality, that that's what the universe has in mind when it makes shit move. Then I heard about Hamilton. And what Hamilton did was come up with a whole new system that doesn't even look at Force- it looks at energy, which is a totally different thing (I don't have time to explain why force and energy are totally different things, just take my work for it). His equations have NOTHING to do with the old Newtonian force equations. But he could describe EVERYTHING just the same as Newton could, with this new system. It blew my mind!
So I'd like you to tell me of anything you've seen, in physics or anywhere, where two completely distinct approaches can describe the same truth.
|« Live life, And double-derive||The Laws of Our Universe Are Wise »|