Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

See what is general in what is particular and what is permanent in what is transitory

October 26, 2007

Consider how all events are interconnected.  When we see the lightening, we listen for the thunder; when we hear the wind, we look for the waves on the sea; in the chill autumn, the leaves fall.  Everywhere order reigns, so that when some circumstances have been noted we can foresee that others will also be present.

The progress of science consists in observing these interconnections and in showing with a patient ingenuity that the events of this ever-shifting world are but examples of a few general connections or relations called laws.  To see what is general in what is particular and what is permanent in what is transitory is the aim of scientific thought.

An Introduction to Mathematics by Alfred North Whitehead

Imagine a World without Periodicity

July 15, 2007

Definition: an event is periodic if there are successive events so analogous to each other that they may be termed recurrences of the same event.

Imagine a world in which there are no periodic events.

There would be no concept of a day or a month or a year.

The whole conception of experience as a guide to conduct would be absent.

There would be no heartbeat, no breathe.

There would be no seasons, no tides, no phases of the moon.

We may be able to identify sequences of events, e.g. A occurred before B which occurred before C, but we would not be able to measure the time between events because time is intimately dependent on periodicity.

Periodicity is fundamental to our conception of life.

We cannot imagine a course of nature in which, as events progresses, we should be unable to say: “This has happened before.”

— The above is extracted from a book by Alfred Whitehead North

P.S. There is a book called Flatlander, which describes a world in which there is no third dimension.  It would be fascinating, I think, to write a book which describes a world in which there is no periodicity.  What would be the title of such a book?