I was discussing about rightness, truth, and God this afternoon with someone and was sitting in a restaurant with an LED moving sign scrolling different food menu choices across the screen. My mind wandered back and forth between the sign and the conversation.
Then a thought clarified in my mind.

leds As shown here, the "M" in the word was moving repeatedly from right to left across the screen. My engineering mind knew how the display was really done. It blinks LEDs on and off in fast sequence so that the M appears to travel right to left. Other examples that are similar:
  1. Moving Christmas tree light sequences have lights blinking on and off, yet the movement of a pattern is real.
  2. On a lake or ocean, each molecule travels simply up and down, but a separate reality emerges when considering all the pieces get put together. The aggregate behavior is a horizontally traveling wave. It has purpose, meaning, causality, and time-domain life. The wave is real - capable of capsizing a boat. Yet really, just the water going up and down is real.
There are two fundamental chracteristics in tension with the traveling M on the LED sign:
  1. Nothing is moving. The LED do not move; they simply blink on and off. Yet the M is real, it has purpose, it communicates intelligence, it has existence. Yet it scrolls across the screen. Something moves.
  2. The M exists for a certain length of time. Yet, what really exists is a bunch of parallel blinking, time sequenced blinks. The M does not exist as an integral item. Only the LEDs exist as they blink on and off.
What if physical things we think exist are like the M in the sign? What happens if they appears for a period of time, gain identity from a bunch of blinking quantum waves. In reality, nothing moves, and the items aren't real, per se. They're manifest in as much as an large number of aggregate somethings behave in synchronous behavior.

Created by brian. Last Modification: Thursday 05 of March, 2009 21:39:22 CST by brian.