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Thread: Do I make sense?

  1. #1 Do I make sense? 
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    I need your help guys. I have been having a discussion with someone on another forum in the thread "A geometric mind exercise", the same one I have here. The thing is that the whole of the thread up till now has been occupied by me trying to describe a scenario, him completely misunderstanding and then having to do it over again. He is one of the physics moderators over there and currently busy with either his MSc or Phd in physics, so he is no idiot. But still I cannot seem to describe the simplest of setups to him. It has gone to the point where he closed the thread thinking I was continually suggesting something preposterous. He has since re-opened it after some Pm's. We also had the same problems on another thread of mine ever there where it was left unresolved after almost two full pages of attempts on my part to be clearer.


    Can I ask you guys; do I make sense generally? Do you ever have trouble understanding what I am saying as a result of poor communication on my part? Does it happen more when I describe something technical, providing an oppinion or in other situations? Do my analogies make sense?

    I would love to hear from you, as this is really getting frustrating over there.
    Thanks


    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Even a close-minded person with bad communication skills can pursue a PhD - don't assume that his credentials mean he will always understand every complex idea presented to him. If someone approaches a problem from simply the wrong angle or seems unable to change some of their preconceptions while considering it, there can be issues. Granted, I've never had physics-related discussions with you since I only frequent the bio forums, but every post of yours that I have read has been crystal-clear to me. I find it hard to imagine you would become suddenly obtuse in places where I'm not around.


    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  4. #3 Re: Do I make sense? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I need your help guys. I have been having a discussion with someone on another forum in the thread "A geometric mind exercise", the same one I have here. The thing is that the whole of the thread up till now has been occupied by me trying to describe a scenario, him completely misunderstanding and then having to do it over again. He is one of the physics moderators over there and currently busy with either his MSc or Phd in physics, so he is no idiot. But still I cannot seem to describe the simplest of setups to him. It has gone to the point where he closed the thread thinking I was continually suggesting something preposterous. He has since re-opened it after some Pm's. We also had the same problems on another thread of mine ever there where it was left unresolved after almost two full pages of attempts on my part to be clearer.


    Can I ask you guys; do I make sense generally? Do you ever have trouble understanding what I am saying as a result of poor communication on my part? Does it happen more when I describe something technical, providing an oppinion or in other situations? Do my analogies make sense?

    I would love to hear from you, as this is really getting frustrating over there.
    Thanks
    I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that. Are you talking about... butterflies or pancakes?

    Nah, I'm just kidding, man. I've never had any problems understanding you :P
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  5. #4  
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    You always make perfect sense to me, in any discussion. Everything you say is put forward in a clear and conscise way.

    This moderator sounds obtuse, problem is if he doesn't understand its his own fault for not paying attention. If everyone here can understand what you are saying, very clearly, then he's the one with the communication fault, not you.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    In that thread you are referring to, I think I understood the first part about the spinning toroid, but the second part you lost me completely.

    Here is how I would have explained the first part, not that there was anything wrong with what you wrote.

    If you were in a vacuum with no gravity, you could take a rigid ring and start it spinning. It would continue spinning indefinitely by its angular momentum. Then you could place another ring next to that, angled slightly to the first ring, and continue with that until your series of spinning rings forms a toroid.

    Then you could stretch a flexible membrane between each ring. At the outer edge of the toroid where the rings are farthest apart, the membrane stretches and on the inside of the doughnut hole it compresses. Now if you take away the rigid rings, the stretchy membrane, if it has some mass and angular momentum, continues its turning inside out motion. Not being rigid it would deform from its circular cross-section, but would still maintain some shape by centrifugal force as it spins.

    Now onto the second part of your post.

    You wrote:
    Suppose you have a skin enclosing a near infinite number of zero dimensional points. It would then simply be a single zero dimensional point.
    Huh? Any skin enclosing any volume encloses an infinite number of points. Why would that volume be a single point?

    Then
    But let's say that each point can stray into any one of three dimensions at any time, forming a one dimensional string and then reverting back through the origin and into another dimension.
    I didn't get that part at all.
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  7. #6  
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    Well, thanks a lot everyone! :wink: I'm glad to know that I'm not going crazy. I am aware though that I have a tendency to use non-standard terminology (being a layman), which might elicit some confused frowns. Thanks again guys.

    Harold, thanks for your input. :wink:
    With the rubber sheet thing I wanted to have a situation where I start with a piece of rubber that is entirely homogenous so that eventually when it gets turned inside-out that the pressures, densities and forces at work are exactly the same with whichever side happens to be on the outside, plus, it is the direction my mind took. But you are right; your way does the same and reads slightly better, although it skips the part where the two ends of the inside-out turning cylinder fuses as they pass each other. I was not entirely sure if it would continue as I had described.

    You wrote:
    "Suppose you have a skin enclosing a near infinite number of zero dimensional points. It would then simply be a single zero dimensional point."

    Huh? Any skin enclosing any volume encloses an infinite number of points. Why would that volume be a single point?
    I understand what you are saying, and I agree. The thing is I should have added that the volume of the surrounding skin is determined by its interior, so if it was comprised out of any number of zero dimensional points it would have no volume, no dimensions, be a zero dimensional point itself.

    Then:
    "But let's say that each point can stray into any one of three dimensions at any time, forming a one dimensional string and then reverting back through the origin and into another dimension."

    I didn't get that part at all.
    As I have it; a point in geometry (mathematics) represents a point of zero dimensions. A line, then, only exists in one dimension. So I said that each point had the ability to form a line/string (strings in physics are supposed to be one dimensional) in any one of the three spatial dimensions, either into positive or negative vector directions (i.e. it could go into six directions from the origin, the point source) and then retracting so it could go into another direction according to the graph I described. I had to start with a finite number of point sources, because if such a setup was able to exhibit volume and I had started with an infinite number of points, the balloon would have infinite size, which would then render it unable to exhibit external shapes.

    Maybe I should have done this much explaining from the start then (included more information on the setup), since you are certainly capable and still had problems deciphering what I was saying.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  8. #7 Re: Do I make sense? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I need your help guys. I have been having a discussion with someone on another forum in the thread "A geometric mind exercise", the same one I have here. The thing is that the whole of the thread up till now has been occupied by me trying to describe a scenario, him completely misunderstanding and then having to do it over again. He is one of the physics moderators over there and currently busy with either his MSc or Phd in physics, so he is no idiot. But still I cannot seem to describe the simplest of setups to him. It has gone to the point where he closed the thread thinking I was continually suggesting something preposterous. He has since re-opened it after some Pm's. We also had the same problems on another thread of mine ever there where it was left unresolved after almost two full pages of attempts on my part to be clearer.


    Can I ask you guys; do I make sense generally? Do you ever have trouble understanding what I am saying as a result of poor communication on my part? Does it happen more when I describe something technical, providing an oppinion or in other situations? Do my analogies make sense?

    I would love to hear from you, as this is really getting frustrating over there.
    Thanks
    Kalster you make perfect sense.

    This is a common problem, so not one unique to you. If you are trying to describe something abstract or 'out of the box' it is possible this 'maths' brain can't comprehend it, despite his ability in other areas.

    When I worked in Optics, I trained myself how to use a focimetre, thus I did all the calcs for reading the lenses in my head. I then had a student Optician come to work with me as a Saturday person.

    He used to take forever on the focimetre writing down equations before he could reach the lense reading. It drove me nuts as it was so simple to do it in your head and reach the answer right away.

    I tried to teach him how but he just could not grasp it.

    I figured the reason was that once you have been taught something one way, it is very hard to learn it another especially if the other way appears to bear no relation to the first method taught.

    Thus if you are proposing something to this guy that basically goes against what he knows already about physics,maths etc. he may have trouble comprehending it if he is 'stuck in the groove'.
    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    The thing is I should have added that the volume of the surrounding skin is determined by its interior, so if it was comprised out of any number of zero dimensional points it would have no volume, no dimensions, be a zero dimensional point itself.
    Points, by definition, are zero dimensional. Are you saying all volumes are composed of points, and the points have no dimension, therefore the volume is zero? Therefore there is no such thing as volume? I disagree.

    As I have it; a point in geometry (mathematics) represents a point of zero dimensions. A line, then, only exists in one dimension. So I said that each point had the ability to form a line/string (strings in physics are supposed to be one dimensional) in any one of the three spatial dimensions, either into positive or negative vector directions (i.e. it could go into six directions from the origin, the point source) and then retracting so it could go into another direction according to the graph I described. I had to start with a finite number of point sources, because if such a setup was able to exhibit volume and I had started with an infinite number of points, the balloon would have infinite size, which would then render it unable to exhibit external shapes.

    Maybe I should have done this much explaining from the start then (included more information on the setup), since you are certainly capable and still had problems deciphering what I was saying.
    I still don't get what you are trying to say.
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  10. #9  
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    Kalster, I had a look at the thread in question, and I believe you and BenTheMan are merely having a misunderstanding of the phrase “initial position”.

    Suppose you take the spring on the left, compress it to the one on the right, and let go:



    When it reaches level A, it will shoot past and above that level because of momentum. You call level A your “initial position”, right? Ben, however, thinks that your “initial position” is level B. He thinks you’re trying to say that the spring will go below level B when it returns; that’s his argument with you.

    Yes, the spring will shoot past level A because of momentum. And no, it will not dip below level B because of conservation of energy. Both you and Ben are correct – you’re just arguing about different things.
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  11. #10  
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    BentheMan is the mod?

    lol

    No wonder you are having problems communicating with him.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Bentheman is one of these people who think there is only one right answer.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  13. #12  
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    Yes, BenTheMan is smart, very structured in what he says and how says it, but makes snap decisions on posters that are based upon minimal and often irrelevant data. I would consider it an honour to be misunderstood by him. :wink:

    You nearly always make sense to me Kalster - sometimes very good sense. (And sometimes you are just wrong. )
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  14. #13  
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    Harold:
    Points, by definition, are zero dimensional. Are you saying all volumes are composed of points, and the points have no dimension, therefore the volume is zero? Therefore there is no such thing as volume? I disagree.
    I also disagree, but that is not what I am saying. It hasn’t advanced to a stage where I can attempt to apply this setup to the real world yet. I only wanted to set up the experiment in my mind with some added particulars and then see what happens. Points are, as you say, zero dimensional. Lines are one dimensional. In physics a string is defined as a vibrating one dimensional line. I wanted to add the vibrating property of the strings into the construct later on, only after I have formed a complete mental picture of what is happening.

    Anyway, the point I am talking about do not physically exist, only as the point of origin through which the physical one dimensional lines fluctuate. These fluctuations occur roughly according to this graph:



    That is, they can go in any direction and can elongate to any length, but with the constraint that they are more likely to be small than large. Let me make the speed at which they elongate, arbitrarily, the speed of light. So then my question was if this setup could exhibit volume. A point source will, if looked at with a perspective on a macro time scale relative to the point source, form the rough appearance of a sphere. I am just wondering if, since the lines are only one dimensional, if a confined finite number or an infinite number would be able to affect each other, or “push” against each other. If the answer to this were to be no, that is when I would have introduced the extra condition of the lines/strings vibrating (as proposed in current string theories). That would provide a measure of volume to each string, but it would also then force the necessity of gaps to form, that is, areas in the volume that is not occupied by anything at all. I was trying to avoid these gaps, for reasons to be discussed later. Now? :?

    PS. I'll post this in my original thread as well for comment, if anyone is interested, though I am not sure if this part belong in physics or mathematics.
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  15. #14  
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    Jane:

    Yes, we eventually straitened it out via PM after he had locked the thread, and the problem was as you said. Thanks :wink:

    Ophi:
    Who can be right all the time? :wink: I generally would like to know it if I had just talked nonsense though.

    It seems that he has somewhat of a reputation regarding this? I didn’t know that. On the other hand I have been having trouble properly explaining the second part to Harold. So I guess I’ll have to give Ben the benefit of the doubt and just attempt to do a better job of explaining myself in future. I guess it is an acquired skill to be able to present a clear argument with as little words as possible. I really am not a fan of needlessly lengthy descriptions where a large part of it is made out of useless and irrelevant information.

    Thanks guys
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER

    It seems that he has somewhat of a reputation regarding this? I didn’t know that. On the other hand I have been having trouble properly explaining the second part to Harold.
    Teehee, me and Harold also have this problem understanding each other as do I and Pong, I and.......quite an extensive list really lol don't worry about it.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I guess it is an acquired skill to be able to present a clear argument with as little words as possible.
    I think I have made reference elsewhere on the forum (and some time ago) to the best book review I ever read. The book was called The Art of Brevity, a guide to writing clearly and concisely. This was the review.

    Excellent.

    P.S. It is as few words as possible, not as little words as possible.
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  18. #17  
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    I'll browse around for that book, thanks.

    P.S. It is as few words as possible, not as little words as possible.
    Damn, I hate it when I do that, like getting my tenses wrong. I have been trying to not make the number/amount mistake as well. :?
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  19. #18 Re: Do I make sense? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER

    Can I ask you guys; do I make sense generally?
    I thought you did, but recently I learned that maybe I confused you with Paralith.
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  20. #19 Re: Do I make sense? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER

    Can I ask you guys; do I make sense generally?
    I thought you did, but recently I learned that maybe I confused you with Paralith.
    Well, that can only work in my favour. :wink:
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    In that thread you are referring to, I think I understood the first part about the spinning toroid, but the second part you lost me completely.

    Here is how I would have explained the first part, not that there was anything wrong with what you wrote.

    If you were in a vacuum with no gravity, you could take a rigid ring and start it spinning. It would continue spinning indefinitely by its angular momentum. Then you could place another ring next to that, angled slightly to the first ring, and continue with that until your series of spinning rings forms a toroid.

    Then you could stretch a flexible membrane between each ring. At the outer edge of the toroid where the rings are farthest apart, the membrane stretches and on the inside of the doughnut hole it compresses. Now if you take away the rigid rings, the stretchy membrane, if it has some mass and angular momentum, continues its turning inside out motion. Not being rigid it would deform from its circular cross-section, but would still maintain some shape by centrifugal force as it spins.

    Now onto the second part of your post.

    You wrote:
    Suppose you have a skin enclosing a near infinite number of zero dimensional points. It would then simply be a single zero dimensional point.
    Huh? Any skin enclosing any volume encloses an infinite number of points. Why would that volume be a single point?

    Then
    But let's say that each point can stray into any one of three dimensions at any time, forming a one dimensional string and then reverting back through the origin and into another dimension.
    I didn't get that part at all.
    I don't get the first part. Wouldn't the membrane stop rotating because it would lose energy due to the deformation of the membrane when it stretches and compresses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thyristor
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    In that thread you are referring to, I think I understood the first part about the spinning toroid, but the second part you lost me completely.

    Here is how I would have explained the first part, not that there was anything wrong with what you wrote.

    If you were in a vacuum with no gravity, you could take a rigid ring and start it spinning. It would continue spinning indefinitely by its angular momentum. Then you could place another ring next to that, angled slightly to the first ring, and continue with that until your series of spinning rings forms a toroid.

    Then you could stretch a flexible membrane between each ring. At the outer edge of the toroid where the rings are farthest apart, the membrane stretches and on the inside of the doughnut hole it compresses. Now if you take away the rigid rings, the stretchy membrane, if it has some mass and angular momentum, continues its turning inside out motion. Not being rigid it would deform from its circular cross-section, but would still maintain some shape by centrifugal force as it spins.

    Now onto the second part of your post.

    You wrote:
    Suppose you have a skin enclosing a near infinite number of zero dimensional points. It would then simply be a single zero dimensional point.
    Huh? Any skin enclosing any volume encloses an infinite number of points. Why would that volume be a single point?

    Then
    But let's say that each point can stray into any one of three dimensions at any time, forming a one dimensional string and then reverting back through the origin and into another dimension.
    I didn't get that part at all.
    I don't get the first part. Wouldn't the membrane stop rotating because it would lose energy due to the deformation of the membrane when it stretches and compresses.
    Yes, but Kalster specified that there is no internal or external friction in this hypothetical situation.
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  23. #22  
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    Kalster

    I understood the OP just fine.

    A zero-point dimensional vector space IS a point, with a map from point to point. See Stokes Theorem.

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/StokesTheorem.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by thyristor
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    In that thread you are referring to, I think I understood the first part about the spinning toroid, but the second part you lost me completely.

    Here is how I would have explained the first part, not that there was anything wrong with what you wrote.

    If you were in a vacuum with no gravity, you could take a rigid ring and start it spinning. It would continue spinning indefinitely by its angular momentum. Then you could place another ring next to that, angled slightly to the first ring, and continue with that until your series of spinning rings forms a toroid.

    Then you could stretch a flexible membrane between each ring. At the outer edge of the toroid where the rings are farthest apart, the membrane stretches and on the inside of the doughnut hole it compresses. Now if you take away the rigid rings, the stretchy membrane, if it has some mass and angular momentum, continues its turning inside out motion. Not being rigid it would deform from its circular cross-section, but would still maintain some shape by centrifugal force as it spins.

    Now onto the second part of your post.

    You wrote:
    Suppose you have a skin enclosing a near infinite number of zero dimensional points. It would then simply be a single zero dimensional point.
    Huh? Any skin enclosing any volume encloses an infinite number of points. Why would that volume be a single point?

    Then
    But let's say that each point can stray into any one of three dimensions at any time, forming a one dimensional string and then reverting back through the origin and into another dimension.
    I didn't get that part at all.
    I don't get the first part. Wouldn't the membrane stop rotating because it would lose energy due to the deformation of the membrane when it stretches and compresses.
    Yes, but Kalster specified that there is no internal or external friction in this hypothetical situation.
    Sorry, didn't notice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Kalster

    I understood the OP just fine.

    A zero-point dimensional vector space IS a point, with a map from point to point. See Stokes Theorem.

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/StokesTheorem.html
    Thanks Q, but Stokes Theorem is a bit above my Maths knowledge, which is High School level (for now). You see, I am trying to consider candidate constructs for the space-time fabric, of which this one seems the most promising to date. At the moment I am thinking about whether the formed strings need to vibrate in order for the construct to be able to exhibit volume. The variation of two variables I can identify can then be responsible for inflation, namely the amount of vibration of the strings and the frequency distribution of longer deviations from zero of the strings.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Kalster

    I understood the OP just fine.

    A zero-point dimensional vector space IS a point, with a map from point to point. See Stokes Theorem.

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/StokesTheorem.html
    Thanks Q, but Stokes Theorem is a bit above my Maths knowledge, which is High School level (for now). You see, I am trying to consider candidate constructs for the space-time fabric, of which this one seems the most promising to date. At the moment I am thinking about whether the formed strings need to vibrate in order for the construct to be able to exhibit volume. The variation of two variables I can identify can then be responsible for inflation, namely the amount of vibration of the strings and the frequency distribution of longer deviations from zero of the strings.
    No problem. What Stokes Theorem derives is that the zero-dimensional point in which you stated would not have volume (or something like that) actually can be considered a point that can be mapped along with other zero-dimensional points. It changes your scenario enough to help solve the problem.
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