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Re: Re: Re: What's that noise?

by benn (Priest)
on May 20, 2003 at 11:47 UTC ( #259427=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re: What's that noise?
in thread What's that noise?

Actually, speaking purely scientificationalisticly, the answer is *very very probably*.

On a 'macro' level, there is a chance (albeit extremely small and *very* contrived) that the tree might be completely silent - if for instance, a *very small* tree had been sawn completely through earlier in the day, the ground had been prepared with sound-absorbing material and the leaves stripped off...to say nothing about the whole forest being covered with a big dome and the air being pumped out... :)

On a quantum level, again there is a 1-in-a-VeryLargeNumberIndeed chance of complete phase cancellation - every single sound made by the individual movements of a molecule could be negated by its neighbour moving in the opposite direction.

This is the point of the old saw...in order to answer a question like "does it make a sound" (and the associated 'is it in the appropriate human range - again, the tree could fall *very very quickly*, so only the local bats could hear it :) ) the thing has to be measured somehow - and the only question that can answered with 100% accuracy is *did* it make a sound, not *will* (or does) it.

What I want to know though, is if the tree falls on the box, does the cat die? :) Ooh - I wonder if I can get an Arts Council Grant to find out? {g}

Cheers,
Ben.


Comment on Re: Re: Re: What's that noise?
Re: Re: Re: Re: What's that noise?
by omnibus (Scribe) on May 20, 2003 at 16:24 UTC

    Well, if we're going to get all quantum about it, then what about the fact that making an observation changes the thing observed. So if a tree falls and nobody is around to hear it, then it makes a different sound than if someone was there.

    Of course, who's to say that the tree even fell at all. I say it is both fallen and standing until someone walks in the forest and checks :)

      Schroedinger's Tree? "Ex libris un peut de tout"
        Well, then:

        • If the act of observing changes the thing, then all observed things are not their true value or original state;
        • If the act of observing changes the thing, then acting to observe a False thing makes it True? Acting to observe a Nothing makes it Something?
        • Because one acts to observe whether something exists, and doesn't find it - then the observation destroyed it?
        • If the observing act can be said (somehow) to conclude the thing didn't exist, doesn't the act of attempting to observe establish it's speculated existence to the degree that one tried very hard to observe it? It's there because we suspected/believed enough to try? (Observing Nothing Makes Something, and the Quality of the Something is organized by the attempt to observe it? (ala, Brin's "The Practice Effect"))
        • Can the attempted observation of Nothing then Cause Something? Creation...
        • Is an attempt to observe or understand or 'know' knowledge therefore destructive of the knowledge itself?
        • Why haven't one of these tomes been written?
          • "Observation and Sensitive Dependence", or,
          • "Observation, the New Environmental Vector".
        • egads

        Therefore, refraining from observing preserves the Natural State and this becomes the new banner slogan for Greenies the world over?

        The certainly always extensible speculation. lol

      Just thought I'd come back and rattle old bones...

      Bear in mind that the simple question is whether a sound is made...at all...regardless of the changes that may occur due to the presence of (or lack of) an observer.

      Beer is not my thing...but then again, not much is now that I think about it.

      ======================
      Sean Shrum
      http://www.shrum.net

Re: Re: Re: Re: What's that noise?
by S_Shrum (Pilgrim) on Jun 05, 2003 at 10:18 UTC
    >> and the air being pumped out

    Ah, yes...the classic "In space, no one can hear you scream" tactic.

    In the abscense of air, then, NO, the tree would not make any noise...which begs the question...

    "What's a tree doing in a vaccum?"

    ======================
    Sean Shrum
    http://www.shrum.net

      It's enjoying the peace and quiet, mate. No hoards of philosophers standing around it waiting for it to fall...
      Socrates: Go on - give it a push. Wittgenstein: That'd be cheating - it's got to fall from Natural Force +s. Marx: Let's all push together... Aristotle: Sod this - let's go down the pub instead.
      All together now. "Aristotle Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle..."

      :) Ben.

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