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Alien mathematics - Printable Version

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Alien mathematics - Dalex - 08-09-2014

I was browsing Quora and found this answer/article by Robert Walker. It is simply amazing material.
Alien mathematics


More radically than that - ETs might not necessarily have a sense of linear time like us. We have a clear sense of past, present and future. And know exactly where we are in that time stream. But some ETs might live in a world where hardly anything changes from day to day. So is no need to remember when things happened but may be very important to know where they happened.

If so they might have a way of seeing the world that is spatially based - with linearly ordered time an abstract concept they find really hard to grasp. I can imagine e.g. if they live in the oceans beneath the surface of an icy moon like Europa, no idea that the rest of the universe exists, no seasons, nothing except gradients of temperature, and chemical gradients etc. They might have long term memory but no short term memory - as we understand their world.

After all in special relativity then time does play a rather strange role. It's not as easy to understand in a single ordered time stream.

Perhaps there are other ways of thinking about the universe that start from a more spatial basis - not that they have no idea of time at all - but - that they don't order it in a strictly linear way. What other ways of ordering it, they might have, I don't know.

RE: Alien mathematics - radtech497 - 08-09-2014

The Samaelians have a base-six mathematics based on a continuum of values, rather than discrete integers, which are evaluated by a sort of "fuzzy logic." Integers are used, but only as a limited subset of the continuum.


RE: Alien mathematics - Drashner1 - 08-09-2014

There are also beings in the setting who operate in virtches with drastically different conditions from our universe (different dimensions, physical laws, etc.). Some of them have probably developed rather different mathematics and such.