## Limits in space....(and time)...

Thought experimenting and conjecures about space's limits.

Astronomy, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Mathematics & Physics.

### Limits in space....(and time)...

In order to understand physics regarding grand or general theories, I'd like to discuss the limits in physics, such as singularities, shapes of space (like whether we could or could not find an 'edge' on the large scale, or any points in space and/or time. What I think is useful is to reintroduce the paradoxes of Zeno, given these have significant influence on the thoughts by past scientists that evolved into modern theories, such as the Big Bang or Steady State models.

So here's the first challenge. Zeno's challenged us to think of standing a finite distance from a wall and asked whether we could reach it or not. (?) His explanation is that we couldn't because to reach any distance closer to the wall, like say half way from where you start, it takes some given amount of time. If you then reach half of half of the original distance, it still takes some time to get there. We can repeat this process without end. To Zeno, this proves we cannot ever reach the wall, let alone any given point.

Of course, for most familiar with this, it is absurd but is what contributed to the evolution of Calculus' limits.

But is there a rationale to this IF the point at which we are discussing is a singularity? That is, if the Universe has an sincere 'age', then it has some point at which time and space becomes zero. But can you ever reach that point going backwards in time and 'touch' it or do you only reach it infinitesimally (meaning never actually reach it?
Scott Mayers

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Scott, if you want to bring limits into your discussion in a rigorous way, rather than in just a wibbly metaphorical way, you'd better start by showing you understand how to use the limit concept as presented in mathematics, rather than just name-dropping it. Starting a new thread invites us to begin at that beginning, rather than by pressing directly on to cosmological beginnings, as if we should assume there are and then construct a philosophical argument on that assumption. That would be fine, but you can't get any more out of that than you put into your assumption, and any further argument you provide is going to depend critically on the assumption with which you began.

I think what you really are nervous about is that we don't have a set of observations sufficient to settle the issue, and so it seems that you just want to try substituting assumptions for the data we do not have. This is not likely to be productive at all, pending your attempts to show us all how it's done, but that will involve more show than tell.

The limitations of the data are that we don't see photons deeper in history than the surface of first scattering. It's been pointed out to you that additional investigations may provide other kinds of data than optical, but that they are currently not definitive in resolving your question. Science lives with the condition that results are definitive within a particular scope of observations, and scientists are not out to satisfy inquiries that are purely philosophical in direction by means of data. Calculus by itself is completely insufficient to contribute adequately to a discussion of cosmology. General relativity, for one, takes us a bit beyond calculus, although the mathematical objects used therein do present derivative quantities.

It's already clear from our understanding that because of expansion, some photons will never reach us, so looking for an 'edge' as you call it by naive concepts of 'looking' is not in the cards. Discussions of multiverses are currently very rudimentary at the level you will apprehend, and very abstruse at the level of physics and mathematics that you will not.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.

Cito di Pense

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Universe is a bunch of cones of stars stealing away from the original singularity. Each apparently independant and travelling fast as light or something. Could be connected one to another by spooky action at a distance quantum mechanics?
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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Philosophy, not science.
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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

A singularity is when some term(s) in a description stop being finite. For example, a term containing the reciprocal of radial distance from a given origin, 1/r, tends to infinity as r approaches 0.

Such terms appear in solutions to General Relativity theory when matter densities get large. However, GR may not provide a complete description where a more correct quantum gravity theory is required.

For example, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle (HUP) may preclude an object with momentum from ever being located at a singularity since its position, x, and momentum, p, operators do no commute. Instead, the HUP yields dp dx >= h/2π and as dx -> 0, dp -> inf and it is no longer possible to locate the object there.

The Wheeler-de Witt equation is another route to removing the universe’s initial singularity by a process of “rounding off” space and time dimensions such that t=0 does not occur.

A further method to avoid singularities is to allow the spacetime to become “logarithmic” on approach to a limit. Again, 1/Log(0) is undefined and unattainable in such scenarios.

Also, the addition of 1 (or more) extra dimension(s) to space provides paths around any singularity as described above.

IOW, there are many ways for theoreticians to get around singularity problems and the above methods do not make an exhaustive list.
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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

newolder wrote:A singularity is when some term(s) in a description stop being finite. For example, a term containing the reciprocal of radial distance from a given origin, 1/r, tends to infinity as r approaches 0.

Yes, I think that is something we can all agree on. And, in keeping with the thread title, we might better say that an expression with zero in the denominator fails to approach a limit. I've amplified in case Mayers wants to think about that.

newolder wrote:Such terms appear in solutions to General Relativity theory when matter densities get large. However, GR may not provide a complete description where a more correct quantum gravity theory is required.

Yes, well, we do not have a quantum gravity theory. Scott Mayers is impatient to see one, but that's his problem, not ours.

newolder wrote:For example, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle (HUP) may preclude an object with momentum from ever being located at a singularity since its position, x, and momentum, p, operators do no commute. Instead, the HUP yields dp dx >= h/2π and as dx -> 0, dp -> inf and it is no longer possible to locate the object there.

Yes, if a location is precluded, it is not possible to locate there. Department of Tautology Department. Another way of saying that is that the operators do not commute. Who is the wiser who does not know how commutativity is defined? Oh, yes, indeedy, one can look it up. And then what? What inquiring minds will want to know is why commutativity is so central. And fuck, yes, we discover that it is central. And then what?

newolder wrote:The Wheeler-de Witt equation is another route to removing the universe’s initial singularity by a process of “rounding off” space and time dimensions such that t=0 does not occur.

Yes, and Mayers is probably going to complain that this "rounding off" is presently being left to one's imagination. This is not in a small way why discussions of ultimate cosmology bog down. We are none the wiser for hearing about "rounding off". The subtext is, "this is very complicated. Don't dabble in it." And I agree.

newolder wrote:A further method to avoid singularities is to allow the spacetime to become “logarithmic” on approach to a limit. Again, 1/Log(0) is undefined and unattainable in such scenarios.

I'm sure that leads to some other thinking for some people, but here, likewise: Who is the wiser for this poetry? It's just saying, "somebody has figured out that this might fix something unspecified. Trust me." That's what Mayers' message is, not mine.

newolder wrote:Also, the addition of 1 (or more) extra dimension(s) to space provides paths around any singularity as described above.

Oh, and likewise. The handwaving continues, and is a staple of informal internet discussions of cosmology. Not according to me, but according to Mr. Mayers. Just cut to the fucking chase and say, "this stuff is beyond you. It's probably beyond me, too, since I am illuminating nothing, but sounding a bit like I've read a few articles."

Somebody could save Mayers a few steps and explain commutativity to him. Somebody who understands how it's used, and not just how it's defined. That's a start, at least.

newolder wrote:IOW, there are many ways for theoreticians to get around singularity problems and the above methods do not make an exhaustive list.

No doubt there are. How this is done is left as an exercise for the diligent reader. That may be Mayers' entire point.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Cito di Pense wrote:...

newolder wrote:IOW, there are many ways for theoreticians to get around singularity problems and the above methods do not make an exhaustive list.

No doubt there are. How this is done is left as an exercise for the diligent reader. That may be Mayers' entire point.

The "point" in the OP and not answered entirely was:
...

But is there a rationale to this IF the point at which we are discussing is a singularity? That is, if the Universe has an sincere 'age', then it has some point at which time and space becomes zero.

How does a point of infinite density and no time evolve? Clowns on bicycles towing rainbow unicorns? If the Universe does not have "a sincere age" then the theoretical cosmologies alluded to and many others besides may help poster Mayers get passed the already debunked ideas in models of "steady state". When Mayers reads diligently around the subject, who is to say that these and other available techniques won't help?
I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops. - Stephen J. Gould

newolder

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

I still like branes.. evidence hard to come by

https://www.dummies.com/education/scien ... ng-theory/

snip
Some feel that the ekpyrotic universe model has a lot going for it — it solves the flatness and horizon problems like inflationary theory does, while also providing an explanation for why the universe started in the first place — but the creators are still far from proving it. Stephen Hawking has bet Neil Turok that findings from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite will verify the inflationary model and rule out the ekpyrotic model, but Hawking has been known to have to pay out on these sorts of bets in the past.
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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Scott Mayers wrote:In order to understand physics regarding grand or general theories, I'd like to discuss the limits in physics, such as singularities,

The problem with this is that 'singularity' is undefined, which would seem to be a necessary first step. I note that you wibbled a fair bit about singularities in the prior thread, with similar issues.

There are notionally two very distinct definitions of the term, and it's far from clear which you're talking about. The 'spacetime' singularity in sensu Hawking and Penrose is known to be horribly problematic (and is not what motivated the cosmic origin, as you asserted in the previous thread), not least because it's an asymptotic value in quantum theory. Neither Hawking nor Penrose think this sort of singularity can exist in our universe.

There is, however, the second type of singularity, namely a point at which the solutions to our theories tends to infinity. That's especially a problem in QM, as the output of any quantum function is a probability (more accurately, a probability density), and a probability cannot exceed 1, let alone get anywhere near infinity.

shapes of space (like whether we could or could not find an 'edge' on the large scale, or any points in space and/or time.

We don't need to find an edge, we only need measure curvature. One probably anomalous observation aside, we measure the universe to be flat to well within error bars on the largest scales we can currently measure. If we measure positive curvature, the universe is closed and finite. If we measure negative curvature, the universe is open and infinite. If we measure it to be flat, there are both finite and infinite solutions possible.

If the universe is infinite in extent, then it was always infinite in extent, and the 'singularity' can only refer to the energy density of the universe, and even then only within our local particle horizon.

What I think is useful is to reintroduce the paradoxes of Zeno, given these have significant influence on the thoughts by past scientists that evolved into modern theories, such as the Big Bang or Steady State models.

So here's the first challenge. Zeno's challenged us to think of standing a finite distance from a wall and asked whether we could reach it or not. (?) His explanation is that we couldn't because to reach any distance closer to the wall, like say half way from where you start, it takes some given amount of time. If you then reach half of half of the original distance, it still takes some time to get there. We can repeat this process without end. To Zeno, this proves we cannot ever reach the wall, let alone any given point.

Of course, for most familiar with this, it is absurd but is what contributed to the evolution of Calculus' limits.

Well, it's absurd for a reason, namely that, while it refers to time throughout, it functionally removes time from the equation in the form of speed. Give a distance and a speed and we can categorically define how long it will take to reach the wall.

Inserting Xeno into such a discussion is like inserting Aristotle into a discussion on sexual dimorphism in human dentition.

But is there a rationale to this IF the point at which we are discussing is a singularity? That is, if the Universe has an sincere 'age', then it has some point at which time and space becomes zero. But can you ever reach that point going backwards in time and 'touch' it or do you only reach it infinitesimally (meaning never actually reach it?

What makes you think the universe has a 'sincere' age? I've been keeping abreast of developments in cosmology since a time when what you refer to as 'the' big bang theory was still well regarded, and that's a very long time ago. No cosmologist I'm aware of doing robust research in the field still thinks time began at Planck-10-43. Once again, if the universe is infinite in spatial extent, then it always was.

ETA:
Scott Mayers wrote:In order to understand physics regarding grand or general theories...

The first step might be to study some physics.

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Cito di Pense wrote:Scott, if you want to bring limits into your discussion in a rigorous way, rather than in just a wibbly metaphorical way, you'd better start by showing you understand how to use the limit concept as presented in mathematics, rather than just name-dropping it. Starting a new thread invites us to begin at that beginning, rather than by pressing directly on to cosmological beginnings, as if we should assume there are and then construct a philosophical argument on that assumption. That would be fine, but you can't get any more out of that than you put into your assumption, and any further argument you provide is going to depend critically on the assumption with which you began.

I think what you really are nervous about is that we don't have a set of observations sufficient to settle the issue, and so it seems that you just want to try substituting assumptions for the data we do not have. This is not likely to be productive at all, pending your attempts to show us all how it's done, but that will involve more show than tell.

The limitations of the data are that we don't see photons deeper in history than the surface of first scattering. It's been pointed out to you that additional investigations may provide other kinds of data than optical, but that they are currently not definitive in resolving your question. Science lives with the condition that results are definitive within a particular scope of observations, and scientists are not out to satisfy inquiries that are purely philosophical in direction by means of data. Calculus by itself is completely insufficient to contribute adequately to a discussion of cosmology. General relativity, for one, takes us a bit beyond calculus, although the mathematical objects used therein do present derivative quantities.

It's already clear from our understanding that because of expansion, some photons will never reach us, so looking for an 'edge' as you call it by naive concepts of 'looking' is not in the cards. Discussions of multiverses are currently very rudimentary at the level you will apprehend, and very abstruse at the level of physics and mathematics that you will not.

This is my thread. If you don't like my approach leave. But don't tell me what I do and do not know. I would run circles around your head. And your insult is just acting as troll. Instead of ASSUMING something of me, PRETEND that I might have something of value (that is, assume charity rather than predefine me negatively.)

Thank you.
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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Spearthrower wrote:Philosophy, not science.

Yes, in part. "Science" is from "to see" and "logic" is the analysis part. Science is the subject within philosohy regarding nature (versus social or other issues). But you need math, which is a subject of logic.

Here I am raising a topic of RATIONALISM first, the means to reason by comparing some x to y. Thus, a 'ratio'.

The problem I'm posing is more universal to all spaces (a geometry) and the math (the logic using numbers). This problem is necessary to understand the FOUNDATIONAL understanding of physics.

[I'm hoping that the next post I read is ABOUT my O.P. and not someone attempting to smear my effort here!]
Scott Mayers

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

newolder wrote:A singularity is when some term(s) in a description stop being finite. For example, a term containing the reciprocal of radial distance from a given origin, 1/r, tends to infinity as r approaches 0.

A 'singularity' is, in geometric terms, AT MINIMAL, either an assymptote ( a virtual point), or a real point.. The question is to determine the possibilities of it being real with respect to the real geometry of space. If it can't pass the mathematical logic, it can't pass the science on principle.

You are getting ahead of yourself on the other issues. I'm getting simple here to try to prove something. Leave out GR or QM from this unless we can develop it from here.
Last edited by Scott Mayers on Nov 20, 2019 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

hackenslash wrote:
Scott Mayers wrote:In order to understand physics regarding grand or general theories, I'd like to discuss the limits in physics, such as singularities,

The problem with this is that 'singularity' is undefined, which would seem to be a necessary first step. I note that you wibbled a fair bit about singularities in the prior thread, with similar issues.

Then ask first. Look above. This is comparing geometrical/mathematical concepts in a thought experiment to try to make sense of space. If you have any math background, as above, it is either an assymptote or a real point included in the system.

So the question is: can real space have a singularity that is real or virtual. Is it an assymptote or a real point? I am introducing Zeno's paradoxes because they are relevant here (and have been to all theoretical scientists of the modern [the 'rationalist' era from approximately Galileo to Einstein.]
Scott Mayers

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Scott Mayers wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:Philosophy, not science.

Yes, in part.

Board index ‹ Science & The Humanities ‹ Physical Sciences & Mathematics

Science is from Latin scire, to know.

But that's obviously irrelevant because the term 'science' as we're using it is a formal methodology concerned with empirical observations.

Here I am raising a topic of RATIONALISM first,

Board index ‹ Science & The Humanities ‹ Social Sciences & Humanities ‹ Philosophy
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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Scott Mayers wrote:...

A 'singularity' is, in geometric terms, AT MINIMAL, is either an assymptote, a virtual point, or a real point.. The question is to determine the possibilities of it being real with respect to the real geometry of space.

Do you know what the "real geometry of space" is? Is it flat, saddle-like, spherical, toroidal, a pretzel, a curly wirly or what?

If it can't pass the mathematical logic, it can't pass the science on principle.

Then show your mathematical logic and we can proceed from there...

You are getting ahead of yourself on the other issues. I'm getting simple here to try to prove something.

What are you trying to prove? What does the proof look like?

Leave out GR or QM from this unless we can develop it from here.

Omitting GR is a mistake because the geometry of spacetime depends upon the matter/energy content.

Omitting quantum mechanics is a mistake because the universe behaves quantum mechanically.

If only we had a quantum theory of gravity, eh?
Last edited by newolder on Nov 20, 2019 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops. - Stephen J. Gould

newolder

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Scott Mayers wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:Scott, if you want to bring limits into your discussion in a rigorous way, rather than in just a wibbly metaphorical way, you'd better start by showing you understand how to use the limit concept as presented in mathematics, rather than just name-dropping it. Starting a new thread invites us to begin at that beginning, rather than by pressing directly on to cosmological beginnings, as if we should assume there are and then construct a philosophical argument on that assumption. That would be fine, but you can't get any more out of that than you put into your assumption, and any further argument you provide is going to depend critically on the assumption with which you began.

I think what you really are nervous about is that we don't have a set of observations sufficient to settle the issue, and so it seems that you just want to try substituting assumptions for the data we do not have. This is not likely to be productive at all, pending your attempts to show us all how it's done, but that will involve more show than tell.

The limitations of the data are that we don't see photons deeper in history than the surface of first scattering. It's been pointed out to you that additional investigations may provide other kinds of data than optical, but that they are currently not definitive in resolving your question. Science lives with the condition that results are definitive within a particular scope of observations, and scientists are not out to satisfy inquiries that are purely philosophical in direction by means of data. Calculus by itself is completely insufficient to contribute adequately to a discussion of cosmology. General relativity, for one, takes us a bit beyond calculus, although the mathematical objects used therein do present derivative quantities.

It's already clear from our understanding that because of expansion, some photons will never reach us, so looking for an 'edge' as you call it by naive concepts of 'looking' is not in the cards. Discussions of multiverses are currently very rudimentary at the level you will apprehend, and very abstruse at the level of physics and mathematics that you will not.

This is my thread. If you don't like my approach leave. But don't tell me what I do and do not know. I would run circles around your head. And your insult is just acting as troll. Instead of ASSUMING something of me, PRETEND that I might have something of value (that is, assume charity rather than predefine me negatively.)

Thank you.

While requesting Cito or anyone else employ the principle of charity is perfectly reasonable, nothing else here is.

Firstly, you did indeed start the thread, but you don't own it. This is a forum you've just joined, so you can be excused for not knowing the rules here, but nothing in the rules states that you own the right to dictate what occurs in your thread. You can, if you're unhappy with someone's post, use the alert function to the top right of that post to ask the moderators to intervene according to the Forum User Agreement. Cito, and anyone else, is perfectly free to post whatever they like within those rules. It may sound a bit snotty, but you are necessarily obliged to agree that you a) signed the FUA when you joined the forum and thereby submitted to those rules, and b) you just got here, so don't think you can dictate how this forum works.

Secondly, there are no rules against telling you that you don't know something. It is not abusive to do so, you're free to disagree and show that you do know something, or to disprove their claim.

Thirdly, you appear to have ignored the entire content of Cito's post which contains a number of valid challenges to your OP, and you did so just by telling him off about something you perceive to have happened, which looks like evasion.
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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

I shouldn't have to. If your competence in philosophy didn't match precisely your competence in physics, you'd already be aware that the responsibility to define terms is yours.

This is comparing geometrical/mathematical concepts in a thought experiment to try to make sense of space. If you have any math background, as above, it is either an assymptote or a real point included in the system.

Or, as is certainly the case in any discussion of physics, it's an event which our theories aren't capable of describing. This isn't a problem concerning the limits of physics, but of the limits of our current models.

So the question is: can real space have a singularity that is real or virtual. Is it an assymptote or a real point?

The answer to that question is beyond the limits of our current abilities to model, which is why this should be in the philosophy section, because that's the place for questions you wish to wax lyrical over without resolving it.

I am introducing Zeno's paradoxes because they are relevant here (and have been to all theoretical scientists of the modern [the 'rationalist' era from approximately Galileo to Einstein.]

I require a citation for this, not least because I've read the works of both Galileo and Einstein, and I recall no mention of Xeno anywhere, and the notion that anything Xeno had to say about this topic has utility in an era of differential equations is utter bollocks. Neither Achilles nor the tortoise were known to be competent at dimensional analysis.

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Spearthrower wrote:
Scott Mayers wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:Philosophy, not science.

Yes, in part.

Board index ‹ Science & The Humanities ‹ Physical Sciences & Mathematics

Science is from Latin scire, to know.

But that's obviously irrelevant because the term 'science' as we're using it is a formal methodology concerned with empirical observations.

Here I am raising a topic of RATIONALISM first,

Board index ‹ Science & The Humanities ‹ Social Sciences & Humanities ‹ Philosophy

I don't care where you opt to pick your definition. The distinction between LOGIC (anaylyizing) and SCIENCE (via the collection of observations), originally comes from philosophy, and is clear enough. But 'science' is etymologically of the same roots as "to see" versus analyzing. "Science" as a more modern term to encompass both tends to blur the rational distinction.

So, on topic, I presented the paradox here because it is necessary to understand what is or is not possible about reality. I can't prove anything to you if you can't play along. [Pretend this is one of your D&D games. I am your dungeon master and to prove that you're a good player, let me take the LEAD.]

Does the paradox here prove true for a real or virtual point in space as understood as our 'origin' in this Universe?

If you guys are as competent as you say, then this should be no problem, right?
Scott Mayers

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

The paradox presented here isn't a paradox, it's a failure to understand that time has been removed from the equation, the self-same problem with all Xeno's so-called paradoxes. Xeno was an idiot, who didn't realise that he'd tripped himself up with his own attempt to be clever.

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### Re: Limits in space....(and time)...

Spearthrower wrote:
Scott Mayers wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:Scott, if you want to bring limits into your discussion in a rigorous way, rather than in just a wibbly metaphorical way, you'd better start by showing you understand how to use the limit concept as presented in mathematics, rather than just name-dropping it....

This is my thread. If you don't like my approach leave. But don't tell me what I do and do not know. I would run circles around your head. And your insult is just acting as troll. Instead of ASSUMING something of me, PRETEND that I might have something of value (that is, assume charity rather than predefine me negatively.)

Thank you.

While requesting Cito or anyone else employ the principle of charity is perfectly reasonable, nothing else here is.

The underlined points above are not established (by oh what it that?...oh yeah, 'evidence') and it insults. That LOGICALLY tells anyone this this person is not interested in what you have to say regardless, but is only intent on DEFEATING you by the trolling it clearly is. And you are acting no different.

I won't be responding to OFF-TOPIC remarks about my credibility that you cannot establish. [I left the thread on what I am biased against (that D&D thread). If you are biased against me in turn as a whole person rather than that one particular topic I backed out of in respect, then you are only adding fuel to the fire of my own supposedly errant biases against you.]

I don't care if those of you want to participate or not. If you want me to go away, I can do that. I assure you I'll leave if I get no responses quicker though. Why would I want to discuss anything to those I'm unwelcomed to? But, if you continue to insult just to keep other potentially interested readers elsewhere here from wanting to bother speaking with me (out of fear of you guys wolfpacking them in turn), you show the perfect example of the online troll.

I don't care one way or the other. I just hope the admins here notice this behavior and perhaps may use it to determine if their site welcomes you more than others who might potentially be attracted to coming here.
Scott Mayers

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