Friday, October 12, 2012

Black Holes Mean a Return to Platonism?

[Note: I think it is understood that some Neo-Platonists don't believe in God, then the term is used to mean a reference to a hierarchy of knowledge that exists in reality, or simply any major difference of realities that can be transgressed].

I have been musing, as the saying goes, that all Western intellectual accomplishments are similar to footnotes to Plato. Maybe this extends even into nuclear and quantum physics. Maybe, fundamentally, there is a fundamental definens of thought, that runs deeper in Plato than in his followers. Sometimes, it may even run as deep as a psychological insight about the nature of ideas.

A case in point is the nature of black holes. Continually there has been an un-graspableness about them, creating ideas that it might be possible to time-transport through them, or that they embody a different "dimension" of chronology, or even space, that they might be a kind of waiting room or Phantom Tollbooth, but it seems that many of these ideas are incidental compared to the reality of black holes. At least, that is how it would be if black holes were real.

So it returns to Platonism. Either we are idealistically creating ideas that materialize in the world, in some sense judging ourselves according to various religious traditions, or there is a simple matter of not being able to quite observe reality---that something remains much like a distant wall of the cave, which we cannot quite comprehend. What waits or weighs (not, I think, awaits, as though we are moving towards them) behind a black hole? Perhaps some knowledge beyond the realm of knowable and computable physics. Or perhaps, to the idealists, some genuine knowledge, that has eclipsed beyond the realm of things known today to human kind. Otherwise it seems certain that even Plato would not find it upon the surface of a wall.

[Notably, Douglas Adams, in his Hitchhiker series, mentioned a wall of unfathomable scale, a kind of mathematical difficulty, existing in space, as a kind of definition of knowable physics; Perhaps, sometimes, such a wall would not become a black hole, perhaps there will be at some time a Copernican revolution in architecture, or at least this is what Adams seemed to be joking about, or ironically impugning]

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