MEASUREMENT: the method by which a standard subjugates a dimension

Measurement is the conceptual procedure whereby one perceivable aspect of reality is compared with another reference aspect which is used a common standard. Thus the response time for various bureaucratic and justice systems is estimated from the standard gregorian calendar, the weight of a tome of philosophic opinion is compared to the standard pound of lead sinkers and the voice of an aspiring opera-singer is compared to the specifications for a standard diva. Measurement is an essential procedure which contributes to the process by which certain quantitative judgements are evaluated as being 'true' or 'false'. The judgement that... the trial has lasted several days... could be evaluated as 'true' or 'false' by the application of a pair of callipers to a recent calendar. The judgement... this theory of the nature of thought is quite substantial... should be able to be evaluated as 'true' or 'false' by comparing it with a standard catalogue of faerie ephemera.

Measurement involves comparison, counting and memory... and it all takes time. It is not possible to simultaneously compare the beginning and the end of a 'ruler' with what is being measured. The processes of determining a beginning and an end are search-events, and as such cannot not be coordinated to either to take identical times to complete, or to take no time at all. As well as that, the process of counting the number of comparison units between the start and finish will account for a further lapse of time. Add to that the time taken for the counting to be stored in some memory device and it all amounts to anything but being instantaneous.

With respect to distance, time and energy, there are certain cosmological implications. Light has traditionally been used as the existential reference for curvature in all general terrestrial circumstances. The woodworker looks along the edges of his or her work-piece to determine any deviations from the optical line of sight. The builder uses an optical level to establish horizontal planes of reference. Optical instruments themselves and their associated modelling diagrams in general assume the ...'rectilinear propagation of light'... Even curved global distances are space-time pathways whose magnitude is ultimately quantified by comparison with a reference 'straight' optical pathway. Clearly, it has generally been assumed for earthbound individuals that in any homogeneous media, light travels in 'straight lines' and so other curvatures could be compared with it as a reference. However, now that it appears to be established that light is in fact deviated by gravitational fields, the somewhat flexible concept of... 'curvature of space'... has been invoked to incorporate this phenomenon. If light is now deemed to travel along the supposed curved lines of space we are now left with no reference for evaluating the extent of that curvature. To the earthy cosmological weeders it is entirely inadequate to mutter certain esoteric imprecations about the odd 'tensor' and then scribble mute multidimensional graffiti on two-dimensional whiteboards. At base it is a linguistic problem. 'Curvature' is a relative concept. It has never been an absolute property. 'Curvature' takes its meaning from what is considered to be 'straight'. Perhaps it will turn out to be the neutrino which ultimately provides us with an approximation to undeviability. Whatever is chosen in this interactive chaotic universe, it will be significantly perturbed by something in some fashion or other. In addition to these considerations... even though for most situations it has no pragmatic implications... it needs to be kept in mind that the actual act of measuring will change the thing being measured, because energy will be relocated during any interaction with some aspect of a system.

Supposing the cosmos to have begun as a singularity is a mensuration irrationality. If the only existing entity is an undifferentiated uniformity of energetic essence then its spatial magnitude is entirely indeterminate. With respect to itself it is infinite or finite as you wish. One cannot cut a comfortable familiarity with the dimensions of everyday existential spatial awareness, paste it onto the virtual hypothesis of a cosmic singularity and expect sensible consequences.