A discussion on observing the past to determine the future

Abstract To study the processes by which past behavior influences future behavior, participants were led to believe that without being aware of it, they had expressed either support for or opposition to the institution of comprehensive exams.

A discussion on observing the past to determine the future

As much as physicists talk about time symmetry, they do not allow themselves to invoke the future, only the past, when seeking to explain occurrences in the world. Just as the boundaries of a guitar string how it is pinned at both ends determine how it vibrates, the distant past and far future of the universe may govern what happens today.

Some researchers even go so far as to think of the universe as the output of a forward-running computer program, a picture that is a natural extension of this schema.

Even though our view of time has changed dramatically in the last century, the Newtonian Schema has somehow endured as our most popular physics framework. But imposing old Newtonian Schema thinking on new quantum-scale phenomena has landed us in situations with no good explanations whatsoever.

If these phenomena seem inexplicable, we may just be thinking about them in the wrong way.

Is Time Linear, or Can the Future Influence the Past?

Much better explanations become available if we are willing to take the future into account as well as the past. But Newtonian-style thinking is inherently incapable of such time-neutral explanations.

Computer programs run in only one direction, and trying to combine two programs running in opposite directions leads to the paradoxical morass of poorly plotted time-travel movies.

In order to treat the future as seriously as we treat the past, we clearly need an alternative to the Newtonian Schema. In he was captured and imprisoned in a small, dank cell.

A discussion on observing the past to determine the future

Before long he was summoned, and a judge sentenced him to Most physicists are well aware of a different framework, an alternative where space and time are analyzed in an even-handed manner. This so-called Lagrangian Schema also has old roots and has become an essential tool in every field of fundamental physics.

But even physicists who regularly use this approach have resisted the last obvious step: By treating the future and the past on the same footing, this framework avoids paradoxes and makes new explanatory opportunities available.


And it just might be the viewpoint that physics needs for the next major breakthrough. This can best be done by treating spacetime regions holistically: We can picture regions of spacetime as bounded four-dimensional structures, with not just spatial boundaries, but also temporal boundaries—the initial and final bookends of the region.

It is hard to accept that events might be explained by what goes on in the future. For instance, when a ray of light travels from point A to point B, the action corresponds to the amount of travel time. The actual path is the fastest route, given the intermediate obstacles.

By this way of thinking, a light ray bends at a glass interface simply because it minimizes the overall travel time. The Lagrangian Schema works a bit differently in quantum physics and yields probabilities rather than decisive predictions, but the basics are the same: Spacetime boundary constraints are still imposed all at once.

By Newtonian logic, this sounds quite strange.

A discussion on observing the past to determine the future

The light ray at A seems to possess foreknowledge about point B and future obstaclesvast computational ability to survey the different pathsand agency to choose the fastest one. Instead of explaining events via only the past, the Lagrangian Schema starts with the entire boundary constraint—including, crucially, the final boundary.

But if used properly, the success of the mathematics indicates a clear logical priority of the boundary constraint: The boundary of any spacetime region explains the interior.

The Lagrangian approach provides the most elegant and flexible account of known physics, and physicists often prefer it. After all, there are obvious distinctions between past and future.


Given that we see such an evident arrow of time, how could future boundaries possibly matter just as much as past ones?Follow/Fav Observing the Past and Future.

By: Vespersong. Before the final exam, the village are transported to a strange place to watch their past and future. How does this end a centuries long war? Tune in and see a "watching the movie" fic.

A "fallacy of argument" is a flaw in the structure of an argument that renders its conclusion invalid or suspect. It is often used effectively if the audience accepts or . Sep 24,  · Mary, all the real tests say this is phony.

Please stay around and listen to all the people who can explain it better than I.

Does knowledge of the past and present determine the future? | Aeon Essays

Any real phenomenon requires energy and mass to make things happen. Honest conversation about big picture – past, present, future 5. Clarity about programmatic implementation 6. Do what now? What later? • Openness to change by observing elsewhere (ex, Sunday School changes) • Fewer pastors available.

Need to determine other things on the list before we can determine this one 2. Trend analysis: predict future needs based on past employment levels Ratio analysis: ratio of business activity and number of employees needed, e.g. sales revenue per salesperson Scatter plot: used to determine whether two factors (business activity and staffing levels) are related.

“Observing the Past, Planning the Future” Dear Ms. Witherell: The Committee of on the Federal City (The Committee of ) and The Office of Strategic Services Society (The OSS Society) are pleased to be Consulting Parties for .

Predict The Future By Observing The Past, Says Game Theorist • BusinessBecause