The conventional model for action-over-time involves a linear sequence of momentary states, unfolding one after another. The past is over and the future is yet to come. Time travel is a fictional fantasy. The momentary state is a discrete “state” defined by potentially measurable values for all relevant system variables at a “moment in time”. Some processes are treated mathematically as continuous, but all real observations involve discrete observation events. Quantum phenomena can be viewed as creation and annihilation events with temporal intervals between events – where “field motion – energy waves” is a metaphorical crutch. (See Feynman’s Nobel Acceptance Speech).
I propose that this conventional model is probably sufficient for most physical systems, but not valid for living systems. Living systems may experience “temporal integration“. In sensory processing, temporal integration uses memory stores to keep past data current to be modified by future data leading to the “integrated” result. An alternative model would posit literal interaction between sequential events within a specified temporal interval.
In metaphor, Feedpast Bootstrapping views information (but not matter or energy) moving back and forth during a temporal interval, future-to-past and past-to-future. The “moment” has space-time “volume” and “texture”. The size of temporal interval may vary. Maybe a few seconds in human brains. Can an adult feedpast bootstrap from their childhood? Is humankind feedpast bootstrapping from its primate substrate? Obviously feedpast bootstrapping is not the dominant process, at this time and location in our universe.
- If temporal integration via feedpast bootstrapping is a basic feature of brain processes, and not in non-living computers, brains may perform functions no computer can ever perform.
- What happens if the outcome of a prior event is replaced by a new outcome; and if there is a record of the first outcome? No paradox if the record also changes. Strange, but not impossible. Nor would there be any record of the replacement. Actually, elementary particle physics proposes similar virtual processes – so long as the process is so short that it can never be directly observed. Physicists can have those never observable processes violate the laws of physics.
- I called this a “time loop” when I explored the consequences of faster than light signals for my PhD thesis in physics at Yale. Einstein, a classical materialist, announced an edict: NOTHING CAN GO FASTER THAN LIGHT. If I could send a signal V>C to you and receive it back V>C, I would get it back before I sent it. If I coded the signal with information at the sending moment I would get that information about an event before it happened. What would happen if I acted on that information, and made the initial coded information false? The code would change and there would be a continuing loop (wiping out the previous loop) until I decided not to act on the information received before it happened. Einstein’s edict stopped consideration of super-luminary phenomena for many decades. Actually, the limit was that no particle of finite mass could be accelerated to V=C in a finite time by a finite force. Relativity says nothing about the possibility of entities traveling always at V>C. My thesis proposal was too radical for the Yale physics department and I later got my PhD on my auroral/geomagnetic research in the Antarctic. In 1968 another physicist proposed that entities could move faster than light, and they are called “tachyons”.
- I attribute my openness to radical thinking about change and time to my studies in physics and the history and philosophy of science. Science doesn’t “progress” as practitioners of science believe. Scientists believe in the DISCIPLINE of their academic discipline – into which they were socialized/indoctrinated by their formal education. I was naive and was blind to the indoctrination and didn’t socialize with other physics PhD students – meaning that although I comprehend some physics I never became a practicing physicist.
Could Gaia feedpast bootstrap to influence the Earth-Moon formation? This would involve influencing the solar system well before Gaia even emerged. Thus, Gaia would be a holon in the larger holon, the Solar System, which may have agency.
These thoughts are related to Rupert Sheldrake’s morphogenetic fields and formative causation.