SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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ful 'infinities'. If an impulse could travel in 'no time' or with 'infinite velocity', which is a structured impossibility in this world, such an impulse would reach different places 'instantaneously', and so there would be no order involved. But, as soon as the actual order in which impulses reach their destination is found, 'infinite velocities' are abolished. We shall show later that 'infinite velocity' is a meaningless noise; here we stress only the point that it is a structural impossibility, as structure involves relations and orders, and order could not exist in a world where 'infinite velocities' were possible.
Conversely, if in our analysis we disregard order, we are bound to disregard relations and structure and to introduce, by necessity, some fanciful 'infinite velocities'. Any one who treats 'mind' in 'isolation' makes a structurally false assumption, and, by necessity, unconsciously ascribes some meaningless 'infinite velocity' to the nerve currents.
We have dwelt upon this subject at such length because of its general structural and semantic importance. The first step towards understanding the theory of Einstein is to be entirely convinced on the above points. Newton's disregard of order introduced an unconscious false to facts assumption of the 'infinite velocity' of light, which fatalistically leads to an objectification called 'absolute time', 'absolute simultaneity', and so introduces a terminology of inappropriate structure. A similar remark applies to arguments about 'mind' in an objectified, 'isolated' way. These arguments disregard the order in which the nervous impulses spread and so, by necessity, introduce a silent false to facts assumption of the 'infinite velocity' of nerve currents.
On empirical structural grounds, we know neurological and general facts on two levels. (1) Macroscopically, we have a structure in levels, stratified, so to say, with complexities arising from the general colloidal physico-chemical structure of the organism-as-a-whole. (2) The general sub-microscopic, atomic, and sub-atomic structure of all materials simply gives us the persistence of the macroscopic characteristics as the relative invarumce of function, due to dynamic equilibrium, and ultimately reflected and conditioned by this sub-microscopic structure of all materials. Under such actual structural conditions, terms like 'substance', 'material'., and 'function', 'energy', 'action'., become interconnected - largely a problem of preference or necessity of selecting the level with which we want to deal.
On sub-microscopic levels, 'iron', or anything else, means only a persistence for a limited 'time' of certain gross characteristics, representing a process (structurally a four-dimensional notion involving 'time') which becomes a question of structure. With the 1933 known unit of