There is a famous philosophical phrase which you may have heard of by the French philosopher Rene Descartes. I think therefore I am. I have never been able to fully appreciate this phrase, because I have never been able to understand it. I thought it was just a confusing idea which apparently was very profound to its creator, Descartes but it was not profound to me. I think therefore I am. Recently however I chanced to discover it’s true meaning, all these years after I first heard it in some random college philosophy course which I had taken while I was trying to decide on a major. The way that I learned the meaning of this phrase is by accident, when I came up with an idea of my own, which wound up discerning for me the meaning of Descartes famous saying.
My saying has to do with the importance of memory. Memory is the evidence of life itself. Could we prove that we have ever lived if we did not have our memories? No, there would be no way to prove it. The very young cannot prove they live because they do not have memories. Memory starts to develop a bit later than the first few years of life. Memory is an essential component to the human mind, so important that we cannot say that we exist without a memory. In other words our very existence is hinged on our capacity to remember. Not facts, like one plus one, but rather the experiences of life we have had. When I came upon this realization, I was immediately struck by Descartes’s famous philosophical saying and I knew that I had finally, unintentionally understood it. Descartes’s saying values thought above all else. According to him the greatest form of human consciousness is thought. Our very existence, says Descartes, is hinged upon our capacity for thought. He says, we cannot prove exist if we do not think. I agree with that argument.
However I would add memory is just as significant two human life as is thought. It is a vital sign of life. Thus I would say, I remember therefore I am. Yet there is another aspect of consciousness of the human mind that is just as important as the intellect and memory: emotions. Not all emotions, but rather positive emotions. Without positive feelings, we cannot say cannot say we are wholly alive. Happiness, excitement, and joy, enliven the soul, and prove life. Thus I say, I feel therefore I am. Negative feelings, depression, sadness, pessimism, have the opposite effect and deaden the soul. Thus they are to be avoided.
The intellect, positive feelings and memory; they constitute identity, the “I am”. To Descartes thought was paramount to identity. I argue all three are equally important. A reduction in the power of positive feelings reduces one’s identity. A reduction in the power of memory also reduces one’s identity. The same is true for the capacity to think. In the weakening of each faculty, one would be left to wonder “Who am I? Do I exist?” Identity, it seems, is divided within three parts. However, Descartes was not talking about the human mind. He was talking about the philosopher. He defined the philosopher as one whose whole existence, whose very reason to be, is anchored in profound thought and reflection.
Kujtoj prandaj jam (Albanian)
Ekziston një frazë e famshme filozofike për të cilën mund të keni dëgjuar nga filozofi francez Rene Descartes. Mendoj prandaj jam. Unë kurrë nuk kam mundur ta vlerësoj plotësisht këtë frazë, sepse kurrë nuk kam mundur ta kuptoj. Mendova se ishte thjesht një ide konfuze e cila me sa duket ishte shumë e thellë për krijuesin e saj, Dekartin, por nuk ishte e thellë për mua. Mendoj prandaj jam. Megjithatë, kohët e fundit pata rastin të zbuloja kuptimin e vërtetë të tij, gjatë gjithë këtyre viteve pasi e dëgjova për herë të parë në një kurs të rastësishëm filozofie të kolegjit që kisha ndjekur ndërsa po përpiqesha të vendosja për një drejtim studimi. Mënyra se si e mësova kuptimin e kësaj fraze është rastësisht, kur erdha me një ide timen, e cila përfundoi duke dalluar për mua kuptimin e thënies së famshme të Dekartit.
Thënia ime ka të bëjë me rëndësinë e kujtesës. Kujtesa është dëshmi e vetë jetës. A mund të vërtetojmë se kemi jetuar ndonjëherë nëse nuk do të kishim kujtimet tona? Jo, nuk do të kishte asnjë mënyrë për ta provuar atë. Foshnjat nuk mund të dëshmojnë se jetojnë sepse nuk kanë kujtime. Kujtesa fillon të zhvillohet pak më vonë se vitet e para të jetës. Kujtesa është një komponent thelbësor i mendjes njerëzore, aq i rëndësishëm sa nuk mund të themi se ekzistojmë pa kujtesë. Vetë ekzistenca jonë varet nga aftësia jonë për të kujtuar. Jo fakte, si një plus një, por më tepër përvojat e jetës që kemi pasur. Kur e kuptova këtë, u godita menjëherë nga thënia e famshme filozofike e Dekartit dhe e dija që më në fund, pa dashje e kisha kuptuar. Thënia e Dekartit vlerëson mendimin mbi gjithçka tjetër. Sipas tij forma më e madhe e ndërgjegjes njerëzore është mendimi. Vetë ekzistenca jonë, thotë Dekarti, varet nga aftësia jonë për të menduar. Ai thotë, ne nuk mund të provojmë ekzistimin nëse nuk mendojmë. Jam dakord me këtë argument.
Megjithatë unë do të shtoja kujtesa është po aq e rëndësishme. Është një shenjë jetike e jetës. Kështu do të thosha, mbaj mend, pra jam. Megjithatë, ekziston një aspekt tjetër i ndërgjegjes njerëzore që është po aq i rëndësishëm sa intelekti dhe kujtesa: emocionet. Jo të gjitha emocionet, por emocionet pozitive. Pa ndjenja pozitive, pa ate, nuk mund të themi se jemi plotësisht të gjallë. Lumturia, eksitimi dhe gëzimi, gjallërojnë shpirtin. Kështu them, ndiej pra jam. Ndjenjat negative, si depresioni, trishtimi, pesimizmi, kanë efekt të kundërt dhe e vdesin shpirtin. Kështu ato duhen shmangur.
Intelekti, ndjenjat pozitive dhe kujtesa; ato përbëjnë identitetin, “Unë jam”. Për Dekartin, mendimi ishte parësor për identitetin. Unë argumentoj se të tre janë po aq të rëndësishëm. Reduktimi i fuqisë së ndjenjave pozitive zvogëlon identitetin e dikujt. Një reduktim në fuqinë e kujtesës redukton gjithashtu identitetin e dikujt. E njëjta gjë vlen edhe për aftësinë për të menduar. Në dobësimin e çdo fakulteti, do të lihej të pyeste veten “Kush jam unë? A ekzistoj?” Identiteti, me sa duket, është i ndarë në tre pjesë. Megjithatë, Dekarti nuk po fliste për mendjen njerëzore. Ai po fliste për filozofin. Ai e përkufizoi filozofin si një njeri, e gjithë ekzistenca e të cilit, vetë arsyeja për të qenë, është e ankoruar në mendimin dhe reflektimin e thellë.
We have seen how important space is in the small or atomic sense. Now we will see that space is very important in the large or cosmic sense. Matter we can see, space we cannot. Space is the invisible part of the universe. But it is the construction worker of the visible universe. Through the process of gravity, space builds planets, stars, moons out of jagged matter. But now that leads us to ask: what is gravity? Commonly, and simplistically, gravity is thought of as a fundamental force that attracts matter to matter.
Historically it is mostly strongly associated with Newton, the first scientist to calculate it as 32 feet per second per second (rate increases by 32 feet each second); this is a measure of the rate of fall of objects on earth. Gravity is a centripetal force, Newton asserted, pulling objects down to the center of the earth. Newton offered no theory to the cause of gravity: “I have not yet learned the cause of gravity from the phenomena.” and “The cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know,” wrote he. His greatest wisdom was renouncing the idea of innate gravity:
It is inconceivable that inanimate brute matter should, without the mediation of something else which is not material, operate upon and affect other matter, without mutual contact, as it must do if gravitation in the sense of Epicurus be essential and inherent in it. And this is one reason why I desired you would not ascribe ‘innate gravity’ to me. That gravity should be innate, inherent, and essential to matter, so that one body may act upon another at a distance, through a vacuum, without the mediation of anything else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an absurdity, that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking can ever fall into it. Gravity must be caused by an agent acting constantly according to certain laws; but whether this agent be material or immaterial, I have left to the consideration of my readers.
Newton did not know what the agent of gravity was. However, even if he believed space to be the agent of gravity, he could not envision a model for gravity.
Einstein was the first scientist to offer a widely accepted theory of gravity. His model for gravity uses space as the physical field; this very fact was revolutionary. Einstein envisioned planets curve or shape space around them producing a warp where matter falls into. This means the rotating planets are in free fall – not in a downward direction, but in an elliptical path.
But since we are wondering about why planets are round, let us use Einstein’s reasoning and ask: If planets shape space, then is it not just as logical to assume that space shapes planets? Is it not space that forms senselessly jagged rock into beautifully round heavenly bodies? Of course!
Earlier we considered space as a three-dimensional field, where astronomic bodies fly in. In fact, space may well be considered as the ocean of the universe; just like the oceans of the earth where sea creatures swim in, space is the invisible ocean where planets fly in. Now let us ask what happens to water when something is placed in it? Naturally, the water must go somewhere. The answer is displacement. The object takes the place of the water and pushes it out. Likewise, when Earth is placed in space, it displaces the space and pushes it out.
A planet and space cannot occupy the same place. Each astronomic body displaces space.
Now let us pose another question: How much water does an object placed in water displace? Should we measure it by volume? Or by mass? Volume, because water cannot enter an object, provided its material is water impermeable. Even a hollow object would displace the same amount of water as a very dense one. But space is different. Space can enter a hollow physical object. Space cannot enter a solid body. Thus, mass, a measure of matter in a physical body, is the right measurement of displaced space.
Using this reasoning, let us ask: how much space does the earth displace? The displacement of space is directly proportional to the mass in the body. We may say Earth displaces an earth load of space. Likewise, Mars displaces a Mars load of space, and the largest astronomic body, the sun displaces a Sun load of space.
Earth’s mass is 5.97 x 10^24 kg. Thus, Earth displaces a mass equivalent of 5.97 x 10^24 in space. Mars’s mass is 6.42 x 10^23 kg. Thus, it displaces the mass equivalent of 6.42 x 10^23 kg in space, and most significantly, the most massive astronomic body, the sun displaces the mass equivalent of 1,988,500 x 10^24 kg in space. Notice, we used the term mass equivalent as opposed to mass. We don’t know the mass conversion rate (within a given density) between matter and space. One thing is certain, since space is a very diluted substance, the difference of physical mass to space mass would be very large.
Each physical body displaces its mass in space.
By assigning space mass and quantifying it, we have acknowledged its physical existence-every physical substance ought to be quantifiable-and we have measured the cumulative load surrounding a planet. Now let us ask, what effect does displaced space have on a planet? We could well say: it weighs down on the planet, thus resulting in gravity. We are along the right path. However, the mass of space cannot cause gravity because like matter, it has no absolute weight.
It is space’s structure that causes gravity. Earlier we asserted space is composed of strings or tiny discrete dashes. When left alone out in the open, they form an orderly grid. Now let us ask: What happens to the structure of space when it is not out in the open but rather displaced? Certainly, the strings cannot possibly maintain their neat and spacious grid if they are being pushed out by gigantic planets. Indeed! The space lines are compressed into springs; this new compressed structure gives them power to push down.
The springs of space press down on every planet, causing gravity.
The space surrounding an astronomic body that has been displaced and compressed by that body and exerts a downward force on it evenly from all angles.
Earth presses up. Space presses down.
Because planets are usually of different mass, they compress a different amount of space. Gravity may be a universal phenomenon, but it always operates at a local rate of space pressure.
The pressure of space is determined by a planet’s mass.
Compressed space remains closest to the surface of a planet and decompresses at an even rate out by distance. It extends well out into outer space and has a round shape, the very shape of the planet that displaces and compresses it. Conversely, as we stated, just as matter compresses space, space compresses matter! Planets are large compressed balls of matter. Where compressed space ends, a planet’s gravity ends. The larger and more massive the planet, the more compressed space it has on its surface, the stronger its pull on surface objects; the more compressed space in its outer space, the stronger its pull on nearby astronomic bodies like moons and comets. The sun displaces and compresses so much space that its power is so far reaching, it extends all the way out to the end of the solar system or further.
Through compressed space planets that do not touch can affect the motion of each other. If two separate planets, come near each other, their compressed space will make mutual contact, or blend, resulting in mutual attraction, bringing the two bodies together.
Of course, this creates an orbital relationship; over large astronomic distances, compressed space, strong as it is, cannot pull planets together. But it can pull the small planet around the large one.
Meanwhile, the compressed space around small objects, such as those found on earth, is too weak to pull them to each other.
The stars of the galaxy are held together by gravity. This could only mean the compressed space around stars is large enough to reach each other. Scientists tell us that even the galaxies are pulled together by gravity. This means that galaxies as an accumulation of matter have so much compressed space around them that they reach all the way to the neighboring galaxies. The compressed space around the Milky Way reaches all the way to the compressed space of the Andromeda galaxy; their space makes mutual contact and blends, pulling the two galaxies together. Considering gravity is present everywhere, all space in the universe is compressed to some extent.
Space and Weight
Now let us pose this question: If space presses down on earth, why can’t we feel it? We can’t physically feel space is because it is only half real. Thus, to the touch, it feels like nothing; it has no physically discernable material structure. But “the pressure of space” can be felt on material objects; for what we lift, lifts the pressure of space.
This all means mass has no absolute weight. Weight is space pressing down on mass.
Weight is external. Mass is made to weigh by the pressure of space.
To move anything is to move space out of place; because all space presses down, weight is created. To lift mass up is to lift the space on top of it up. To move mass sideways is to move space sideways. The amount of space moved is the amount of mass in the object.
Weight is the amount of space pressure an object “holds” above it. We can quantify space pressure: for example, when we lift an object that weighs 20 pounds, we lift 20 pounds of space pressure. An object that weighs 30 pounds lifts 30 pounds of space pressure. Weight is a measure of heaviness of an object, under the force of a planet’s unique amount of space pressure. It is a product of its mass and the local planet’s rate of space pressure.
Weight = mass x space pressure (force per unit of mass)
The more massive an object, the most space pressure it holds, the heavier it is. Most importantly, let us remember weight is due to an external pressure from space; it is not internal. It is dependent on the planet’s compressed space.
As we know, to move an object sideways is much easier than to move it up. In fact, only space on top of an object presses down. Space to the side of an object has no effect on it, because without pressure, space has no resistance. It is the top space that presses down on an object that makes moving it sideways difficult. Likewise, space beneath an object has no impact on it.
Objects remove space in the direction they move.
Gravity is one four universal forces. The three other forces of the universe-the strong nuclear, the weak nuclear, and electromagnetism-each have been shown to be a current of subatomic particles. For a few decades scientists have postulated that a quantum model of gravity may be devised, if only the graviton, an elementary particle, may be discovered. It is possible that a compressed space particle is the graviton; compressed space is near massless and does travel at the speed of light.
Individual mini-springs of space
If we take the quantum view of gravity, then we can hypothesize that the flow of compressed space strings creates an attractive current between separate physical bodies, like magnetism or electricity, which is also a current. However, although the other three physical forces are each a current of particles, it is probable gravity is unique from the other forces and is not a current. Nevertheless, in the words of Newton, whether quantum mechanics is the best model of gravity or not, “I have left it to the consideration of my reader.”
We have at last come to the end of our discussion of space and gravity. We have speculated and argued about the philosophical and physical reason Earth is round, the nature of space, the nature of gravity, and the nature of weight. What we have most learned is that space, an entity, that is not understood, sometimes just ignored, and most often labelled as mysterious and dark, is in fact responsible for so much. The visible universe, matter, owes, a whole lot to the invisible universe, space. So much so, that the visible came from the invisible. Moreover, as we argued, gravity is space pressure. I believe this is not the end of our understanding of space and gravity. More discoveries are certain to be made in the future which will contribute to a more comprehensive and detailed explanation of space and gravity. Some of the speculations in this essay may be proven to be false while others will be proven to be true. In any case, science must begin with hypothesis and speculation. Thank you for your attention and keep thinking!
Space is not material in the traditional sense. Unlike matter space is not tangible. Yet, like matter, space has structure, which suggests it is real, if only to some extent. While the structure of matter is atomic, the structure of space is most likely string. The strings of space crisscross each other in an orderly fashion to form a lattice or grid.
Space probably cannot be sucked by a vacuum or blown by a fan. Space can however be heated and cooled. This can be proved by the fact that the sun’s heat travels through space. Heat is motion. This means that space strings are set in motion by the sun’s heat. In fact, like atoms, which are always moving, space strings are probably always in some degree of motion.
While matter is composed of many elements-92 known naturally occurring elements-space probably has only one type of string. Space strings are so small and light that alone they have very little, infinitesimal mass. However, since the universe is so large, most of the mass in the universe is dispersed as space. While space has loose and dispersed mass, matter has a strong concentration of mass. This is what makes it matter. Although space has mass, it has no gravity. As we shall argue, gravity is not an innate property of mass. It is produced by the relationship of matter to space. Space is instrumental to the creation of gravity, but it by itself has none.
Space does not transmit sound waves, yet it transmits light waves. Because space strings are much lighter than the atoms of matter, they can be waved back and forth by light energy much faster. Thus light travels much faster than sound, which travels through matter. Moreover the speed of sound varies by the element that is being waved. Light elements mean faster speed, and higher pitch. Because space only has one type of string, the speed of light is constant. Also, since we know the speed of light to be: 299 792 458 meters / second, we can deduce the speed of a string of space to be: 299 792 458 meters / second.
A string of space is the lightest thing in the universe, much lighter than even the lightest element of matter, hydrogen, and even lighter than all sub-atomic particles. Photons, gluons and gravitons are said to be the lightest of all elementary particles. In fact they are said to be massless because their motion is unencumbered through space. However, it can be argued they are not massless bur rather simply are mass-equivalent to a string of space. Theoretically, everything that exists must have mass, if only a little bit. Thus, it is strange to call these particles massless; perhaps a better name is near-massless, meaning they have enough mass to exist, but not enough mass to be measurable.
Just like everything in the universe, which has a lifespan-a beginning, middle, and end-the strings of space also have a lifespan. Since they are so small, it’s possible their lifespan is very extreme in either direction, very short or very long. They may have the shortest lifespan in the universe. However, atoms, which are very small, have a very long lifespan; billions of years. This could mean space strings have a long atomic-like life span. Whatever the case, one thing is true: Space will outlast matter. The universe began with empty space, and it will end with empty space… then it perhaps will shrink back into a void. For now, just like life, space strings are always replaced by new strings.
In fact, since the universe is growing, this can only mean that “the population” of space strings is always increasing. Physicists call this phenomenon expansion. Space has been expanding since the moment it burst out of the infinitely small dot, at the universe’s birth. As space expands, it carries matter with it: all galaxies are carried further out into the periphery of the universe.
Currently, scientists have not physically seen or identified space or its tiny strings, but they have found something called dark matter, a mysterious entity that does not reflect light. 94 percent of the universe is dark matter; since space is just as abundant, dark matter, is quite likely space itself. Moreover, as stated earlier, light and other forms of electro-magnetic radiation travel via waves composed of very small, sub-microscopic discrete dashes called quanta. This suggests that scientists already have an idea of the strings of space. Photons, the discrete dashes of light, are seemingly dashes of space. The assumption that space has never been seen is not true; in fact, quite the opposite; we see everything through space, the sub-material substance whose particles, called photons, light up physical reality.
In string theory, scientists believe matter at its most basic level is composed of strings, which are also discrete. This suggests that space is the foundation of matter. The first subatomic particles in the universe (electrons, neutrons, photons, gluons etc.) likely were created out of the fusion of loose space, due to extreme heat at the Big Bang. In fact, even today, scientists claim small sub-atomic particles are constantly being created in the vacuum of empty space. This suggests the vacuum is not empty. It is full of space, the raw material for matter.
The strings of space are the most fundamental structure in the whole universe. The atom is made up of subatomic particles such as protons, electrons, photons and quarks. These components however resemble space more than matter: like space, they have no internal parts, and some of them-photons and gluons-have no real mass. They are tiny strings of space, the universe’s most fundamental structure.
Matter is built from a dense concentration of space. It has so many strings of space, that it has real, measurable mass. Einstein’s famous equation E=MC^2 asserts that energy is found within matter. Let us imagine two strings of space colliding at the speed of light, as the equation states. When the two separate fibers of space are fused their overall mass contains the motion, kinetic energy, of light speed plus the infinitesimal mass they individually possess. In other words, the addition is greater than the two separate units. This suggests that by fusing countless fibers of space in a chain reaction, real mass can be created.
It is possible that at the big bang, the major growth spurt of the newborn universe, the population of space strings expanded drastically. These fibers collided with each other with extreme heat energy “and stuck together,” leading to the first sub-atomic particles. These collided to form hydrogen. Then gravity formed stars with hydrogen. Then, as scientists state, due to extreme heat within stars, the other elements of matter were fused together in their core; hydrogen, the first and lightest element, is fused into helium, helium into deuterium, etc. The elements are expelled when those stars explode in a supernova if they are large enough to do so.
Let us ask what makes a planet round? Is it just luck? Or is it logic? The answer is logic. The round shape indicates a perfect balance; the distance of any point on the surface of a sphere and the center is always even from all sides. But is balance important? Yes, the laws of physics are the laws of balance in physical nature. Newton wrote, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” indicating balance.
the rule of balance
The result of a physical interaction between two bodies is the establishment of balance.
Bingo! We have discovered the root cause: Why is the earth round? For the establishment of balance. However, our answer, though most fundamental, is philosophical. All root, fundamental causes are logical. But science is not the study of root, logical causes. It is the study of immediate, direct, and most of all physical causes. These physical causes however follow the guidance of root, logical causes, as in the example above. So, let us see if we can answer the question: What makes a planet round scientifically, in other words physically.
A physical interaction must involve at least two physical bodies. The two bodies in the physical interaction are Matter; that is obvious. But what is the other body that applies the equal and opposite reaction against matter? Matter does not just collapse in on itself forming a beautifully round planet. Something must be forcing it to do so, equally from all sides. This something is subtle: space itself.
Now let us apply the earth/space balance to answer our question, why is Earth round: Matter, simply by existing, exerts an action, a force against space; evenly against all dimensions as the rule states, and space exerts an equal and opposite force evenly to all sides of matter. This interaction achieves balance. Mystery solved! Planets are round because space applies an even force from all angles.
Gravity as balance
Gravity is the establishment of balance between two opposing bodies, matter against space. The earth/space balance is equal in force and opposite in direction
Gravity as we see is not innate and self-evident to matter. We must remember it is a physical cause-and-effect phenomenon. Matter initiates the action and space is there to return it.
A sphere is a fully balanced figure from all sides. A pyramid, a cube, or any other shape would indicate imbalance and thus cannot exist in outer space. But let us imagine that the sun was another shape, for example a cube. What would happen to the orbital paths of the planets in this case? Would they still be round? The cube shape would indicate a gravitational imbalance. Where the surface of the sun protrudes most, the corners, there the gravity would be the weakest. This weakness would mean that the space surrounding the sun has an imbalance of gravity: this imbalance would result in square orbits for the planets. A pyramid sun would create a triangular orbit, while a rectangular sun would create rectangular orbits.
The shape of an astronomic body creates the shape of the orbital path of its surrounding satellites. A round planet creates a round path and indicates a balance of gravity.
Let us now discuss the shapes of galaxies. They too are around! We find a geometry in their shape, and thus gravitational balance. However, unlike planets, which are completely balanced spheres, galaxies more closely resemble wheels. Indeed, just like wheels, they rotate. Galaxies very much are like gigantic spinning wheels in the skies of universe. It appears that also like wheels they are especially designed for rotation. Indeed, it is rotation that gives them their very shape and suits them for their motion.
We now see the importance of the circle or roundness in the universe. It is the shape of balance and thus it is the shape of the heavenly bodies, their orbits, as well as galaxies.
We have witnessed balance in space, but should we not also witness balance over time? We can argue that rotation of all satellites about a center is the establishment of balance over time. If planets did not orbit their suns, but stayed in one place, then those solar systems would be “off” because one point in space would have a planet on it all the time, and none of the others would. Only when a planet rotates about the center, does it spend an even amount of time about the plane of space. The same argument may be made for spin about the axis: by spinning planets and suns evenly face all the angles of space. Likewise, galaxies too spin about the center in order to evenly face all the angles of space, establishing balance over time.
Don’t strive for perfection. Strive to accept your flaws.
There is always an excuse for not succeeding. There is never an excuse for not trying.
Happiness is in the here and now.
Are broken people stronger than before?*
Your limitations are the only ones you create*
If you are waiting and waiting for the right time to do something you’ve always wanted, you’re just procrastinating. The right time will never come. The time becomes right when you make yourself begin.