Of course. You introduced a mechanical error into the clock's measurement of time -- the clock is no longer measuring time against a standard. It'd be like stretching a ruler out and measuring distance with a stretched ruler. That's not what I asked you. What I asked you is that if everything you measured with (ruler, thumb length, sonar, etc) gave you a certain distance, what meaning does it have to say that the length isn't actually that distance? I'll give you two analogies, one with time, and one with length. They both make the same philosophical point, but for some the second analogy might be easier to visualize. Chose whichever you want (I realize your time is limited, but both ask the same question).Bob Enyart said:Johnny, let me demonstrate the extreme error of your observation. If two wind-up clocks are ticking away side-by-side, and it takes me thirteen seconds to physically wind the hour-hand of the one clock ahead three hours, that was an action (an influence) that effected the clock, not the time the clock was measuring. That clock did not age three hours in the 13 seconds I fiddled with its big hand, and it didn't pass through three hours of time while it's neighbor ticked off 13 seconds. And of course, this illustration applies to countless influences upon all kinds of clocks.
Analogy 1: Time
Assume you and your buddy are floating in space each with your own wall clock. You picked this friend because coincidentally, he has the same heart rate and respirations you do. He also ties his shoes in the exact same amount of time you do.
You happen to look at your buddy floating some distance away from you and you notice that his wall clock is ticking off twice the rate yours is. You also notice that his heart rate and his respirations are twice that of yours. Finally, you see that he ties his shoes in half the time you do. If you time his actions against his clock, you notice that he's taking the normal amount of time. But if you clock them against your clock, you see that he's doing them too fast.
Your buddy looks over at you and notices that your wall click is ticking slow. Not only is your clock ticking slow, but your heart rate and respirations are half what they should be. Finally, he sees you tie your shoes in twice the time he did. If he clocks your actions against your clock, he notices that you're taking the normal amount of time. But if he clocks you against his clock, he sees that you're going too slow.
Question #1: In this scenario, if each observer had only himself and his clock (i.e. they couldn't see each other), would either know that something is not right?
Question #2: Can you tell me any method -- philosophical, mathematical, empirical, or other -- to determine whose clock is actually correct in this scenario?
Analogy 2: Length
Imagine you're floating out in space with a water bottle and a ruler. You take out your ruler and you measure the water bottle to be 10 inches tall. Then, imagine a process which shrinks you and your ruler but does not shrink the water bottle. You now measure the water bottle as 20 inches tall.
Now imagine again you're floating with the 10 inch water bottle. Then, imagine a process which expands the water bottle but you and your ruler stay the same. You now measure the water bottle as 20 inches tall.
Can you tell me any method -- philosophical, mathematical, empirical, or other -- to deduce which process has actually happened? Can you tell what meaning it has to assert that one or the other has happened? Is there any reason to assert that both cases are not functionally equivalent?