I would be honored if @achronon and @Geoffrey_Edwards would consider using this thread to continue to explore with me and any interested parties more thoughts along these absolutely fascinating deviations from Sloterdijk’s encirclements of space. Ed is right - we have drifted from spheres a bit, but in a good way. In the emboldening, cross-pollinating spirit of this place, I proceed…
(quotations from “Live Conversation #8-8/3-The Siren Stage: On the First Sonospheric Alliance”, part of the discussion of Spheres I: Bubbles by Peter Sloterdijk)
I’ll have to move Ingold up the to-read list. In the meantime, several things occurred to me:
The “world-line” is perfectly illustrated by, say, the orbit of the Earth in space. Because the sun too travels, the Earth really moves in a spiral rather than an ellipse. The same is true of human history in the oft-quoted observation that one can never step into the same river twice.
That space is “greater than the speed of light” is a speculation that astrophysics has been considering: the cosmic horizon need not be the actual ‘edge’ of the cosmos, but only the part we can see. And that part may be very small indeed - at the very least whatever blew out of the “bang” ‘the other way’, expanding with the rest of space, will never be observed from our vantage point simply because the light will never make it here. Given enough time theoretically, everything except our galaxy (augmented by collision with M31) slips over the horizon and effectively vanishes… (But does that torus come back around? …)
What really “baked my noodle”, related to the above, is why space should be faster and time slower than light. One reason may be that structure can be mapped efficiently in a way that process cannot. Maps are designed to visually capture in a simplified way, and the normal limits of space-time do not have to be a factor. We can take a journey from the surface of the Earth to the cosmic horizon in one of those delightful five-minute animations. But Andrew Marr needed eight one-hour programs to attempt to hit the highlights of the history of humanity. Too many moving parts requiring explanation; too many vantage points to consider.
And to continue with this, Carroll Quigley identifies seven ‘stages’ in his account of the rise, fall, and “recycling” of civilizations. Quigley was one of the first civilization analysts to work a recycling phase into his theory, unlike Spengler’s closed and Toynbee’s semi-open systems. Quigley’s world-lines never come back to the same place either (hence recycling rather than re-constitution or ‘renaissance’).
All of which to suggest, as a start, that Geoffrey Edwards is definitely on to something: can we have an adequate philosophy of space at all that does not also take into account its links with time? Bringing things back down to Earth, while planning for better ‘media’ and/or communities (integral cities and the like) should the recurring theme of “pulsation” (cycles of order and chaos, solidarity and fragmentation, the fleeting generational configurations of matter and information as they replace each other, etc.) be expected, even worked into the scheme? How so?
Maybe it’s just me, but I sense the Force is strong in this doughnut metaphor!