Wednesday, 4 January 2017

World Lines

Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series refers many times to "world lines," e.g.:

"'...think of the countless world lines intermeshed throughout the continuum as a spiderweb.'"
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), Part Three, p. 135.

If time is a dimension at right angles to the three spatial dimensions, then your world line is you extending, not moving, along that fourth dimension from your conception and birth to your death. The world lines of your atoms are longer and are intermeshed within you.

Wanda Tamberly says:

"'"World lines, our tracks through space-time.'"
-Part Two, p. 31.

That is incorrect. If a three dimensional body were able to move along the fourth dimension, then it might, or might not, leave a track. However, your world line is not such a track but is you, extending, not moving, in that direction.

Anderson nowhere says that immaterial minds move along the fourth dimension. See:

Wells, Blish And Moore
Time And Minds

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

However literally incorrect it was of Wanda Tamberly to say, Worldlines, our tracks through space," it was an understandable error. Wanda was using a metaphor and I don't think she literally had physical tracks thru space in mind.