If a fractal location is never rendered - does it exist?

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Offline Fraktalist

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« on: January 22, 2019, 02:57:40 PM »
I had a discussion where this quote came up:

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_a_tree_falls_in_a_forest

Quote
Can something exist without being perceived? e.g. "is sound only sound if a person hears it?" The most immediate philosophical topic that the riddle introduces involves the existence of the tree (and the sound it produces) outside of human perception. If no one is around to see, hear, touch or smell the tree, how could it be said to exist? What is it to say that it exists when such an existence is unknown?

And it made me wonder:
What about all those unrendered locations in the Mandelbrot-Set (or other fractals)?
Do they exist? HAve they existed since the beginning of our universe?

And ultimately: Are we the render of a very specific location in the fractal universe and do all those locations we will never be able to reach (speed of light) actually exist or matter?


Offline hobold

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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 03:05:45 PM »
I think this is only a special case of an older question posed to mathematicians: is mathematics discovered or is it designed? If the former, then it always existed. If the latter, then it didn't always exist but was created at some point in time.

I don't have anything decisive to add other than remark that a lot hinges on the definition of the word "exist".

Offline FractalDave

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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2019, 11:40:26 AM »
I don't have anything decisive to add other than remark that a lot hinges on the definition of the word "exist".

And in the absolute sense it's impossible to definitively prove that anything actually exists other than oneself - or further, one's own thoughts......I know that I at least think that I'm typing this......
The meaning and purpose of life is to give life purpose and meaning.

Offline RedshiftRider

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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2019, 05:07:22 PM »
If were were to look at it from natural phenomena I would say it does. The laws of physics allow specific thing to occur but some only under specific circumstances. If it is observed is a completely different question and even if it does not occur naturally the laws may still be able to shape synthetic instances. The rules would still be there to allow something to happen, even if that specific thing does not occur.

Robbert Dijkgraaf did a talk on this once, about symmetry specifically. Unfortunately he forgot about fractals. :fp:

Edit: this might be relevant
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH-z9gE2uGY
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 09:02:05 PM by RedshiftRider »

Offline ThunderboltPagoda

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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2019, 11:52:47 PM »
I think this is only a special case of an older question posed to mathematicians: is mathematics discovered or is it designed? If the former, then it always existed. If the latter, then it didn't always exist but was created at some point in time.

These are the positions known as Platonism and Formalism.


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