A thing multiplies as a whole. So it can be treated as one. That makes it simple — although, on the other hand, it is complex, comprising other things. Exactly for that reason we need it. We get a grip on what otherwise could neither be handled nor be understood.

World Of Things

The notion of thing, as used here, does not necessarily refer to a physical object. Actually, it is rather a concept of logic than of physics. Is is absolutely indispensable for our orientation in the world. That is why we find it always and everywhere — the world must consist of things.

This truth is in no way limited to the physical world. Rather, in associating this notion with logic, we point out that even the things that we recognize as physical objects still have quite another dimension, that they are incorporated in a system of fundamental — namely logical — relations forming an essential part of their nature.

In Other Words

In mechanics, the principle of reproduction is often called “inertia”. Today we might instead speak of a “program” that lets a physical body recur again and again in the same manner. This behavior can be modified by forces, which, as a rule, are due to other objects — the execution of the program can be modified by inputs, ultimately by other programs.

Here we generally make use of still another terminology saying that it is the thing’s “space” that lets the thing reproduce itself, maybe influenced — or superposed — by other spaces, spaces of other things.

Elementary Reproduction

Since the beginning of mechanics there has been an inherent principle of elementary reproduction. It is implied in the use of differential calculus. Every motion — and even the non-motion, the state of rest — is a series of temporal states; time is devided into infinitesimal moments. So, in order to exist physically, a thing has to reproduce itself — or it has to be reproduced — every moment anew.

The Measure Of All Things

Originally, the physical body is the measure of the physical reality. Physically real is what we can see, hear, feel. That makes physics actually so interesting, that its subject is quite concrete, perceivable, material. In trying to get a grip on this matter, however, we have killed it. Until finally the completely lifeless body, the dead matter, became the measure of all things.

In reality, matter is not dead at all.

All And Nothing

Physics’ universality is due to extreme generalizations. It searches for the basis of all physical bodies of whatever kind. Such a radical abstraction is always in danger of irrelevance: meant to be good for everything and everyone may eventually mean to be good for nothing and nobody. Reality is squeezed into a fearful one-size-fits-all corset that takes the breath and crushes the life out of the body.

Relatively New

In newer physics, especially in the theory of relativity, time plays a role quite different from that in classical mechanics. It is no longer the universal, the absolute one. It can only be specified relatively, relative to the frame of reference, which, at first, in special relativity, is determined only by its motion; later, in general relativity, other physical properties are added. After all, it are the physical objects, the things, that have direct influence on the course of time.

This effect, however, is seldom stated explicitly. The fact that even the run of clocks is essentially dependent on the things and on the particular view these things give focus to is occasionally mentioned, but mostly encrypted and instantly disguised behind rather esoteric (for non-initiated not understandable) mathematical equations. It threatens the claim to universality of the laws of physics, which apparently ought not to be abandoned.

Without Sense

Clocks are extremely important for physics. Physics has not even been possible before the development of reliable reproducible time-measuring devices. From the beginning, the particular notion of time coming along with them has crucial impact on physical theory — and thus on the conception of physical reality.

A reality that is basically intransigent, cold, soulless, ultimately senseless. Things take their course — and besides there is nothing. Yes, the things themselves are irrelevant, and all the more those being alive, thinking, feeling. The hands of the clocks step monotonously forward (even if there are no hands and no clocks).

Plenty Of Space

The transition from one momentary state to another is a momentary state by itself. Interaction between two things is a thing of its own. In its own space, which, like any other space, does not pass.

Spaces do not have to pass, they do not displace one another, but rather superpose each other, penetrate mutually. There is plenty of space in the space of knowledge, enough for all of them.

So knowledge can exist forever, as space, which, the moment it is activated, generates the corresponding things.

Persistent Impression

Our various determinations of moments of time refer to physical realities that give meaning to the notion of time in physical sciences. These realities are always already implied when physics speaks of “time”, but they have hardly been registered yet.

Not only the activity (the interaction) is physically real, but also that what is called “knowledge” here. In the sense that activity causes a change and that this change is a persistent expression of the activity. The activity is stored in the change, so to speak.

Moments III

Every moment is a moment of interaction and of creation of knowledge: every moment is a moment of perception, a moment of observation.

Pieces Of The Past

Very often we want to know what will happen in the future. This is probably the main purpose of knowledge: to foresee the outcome of certain events and of possible doings. So that we are able to do the right things at the right time in order to achieve the best results.

It is generally assumed that the outcome of many processes is predictable (as long as nothing unforeseeable comes in the way). So, in a sense, these processes are already done. They are past, pieces of the past.

That is why we study past events: to gather more and more pieces of that kind, pieces that are certain, pieces of knowledge. These shall help us to build the future that we want.

Frozen Time

The past is regarded as definite, as unchangeable. Exactly for that reason it is principally knowable, and so, in a wider sense, knowledge.

We make it become actual knowledge in detecting and collecting remnants of past events, traces allowing us to reconstruct those events, to get a picture of what did happen.

All that happens leaves some traces. It is reflected somewhere. It changes something.

Knowledge is a kind of frozen activity. Solidified, definite, past.

Ongoing Stimulation

A thing appears by exerting some effect on another thing — which thus itself may be stimulated to affect another one — and so on. In this way, things are, under appropriate circumstances, able to activate (and maybe synchronize) one another continually.

Mutual Synchronization

Strictly speaking, every thing has its own time, namely its own rhythm of renewing. This rhythm is part of what we call the thing’s space. Now then, since the spaces of various things penetrate one another — which mostly occurs as interaction — their rhythms influence one another as well. So the respective things pulsate synchronously. As far as they are capable; if not, they do not take place, they do not actualize themselves in this particular space-time environment.

Modern Times

Clocks serve for synchronization. They are used to coordinate different processes so that these mesh as smoothly as possible. Like the gears of a clock. Or of any other mechanical device.

Clocks are highly responsible for generating the pulse of the mechanical age. They induce their rhythm on everything; so they dominate our life more than normally known. We stick to their space — thinking that this is the most natural thing in the world.

Sometimes it appears as if we live just for the sake of the clocks and all the other machines. Their continual reproduction seems to be the ultimate reason for being.

This is quite typical for the space of a thing, for a space of knowledge. We cannot exist but inside of one. And none of them leaves us untouched.